Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Life's Like That...

This could apply to any aspect of your life that you thought you had planned out, but God had other plans...


When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip- to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around...and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.

By Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm so blessed to have gotten the mom I have..and hers as well..

This is a truly BEAUTIFUL piece. Please read this at a slow pace, digesting every word and in not hurry....this is a treasure...

For those lucky to still be blessed with your Mom, this is beautiful. For those of us who aren't, this is even more beautiful. For those who are moms, you'll love this.

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. "Is this the long way?" she asked. And the guide said: "Yes and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning."

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said,� "Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come."

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children," A little�patience and we are there." So the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said, "Mother, we would not have done it without you."

And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage.� Today, I 've given them strength."

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: "Look up. Lift your eyes to the light. And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God."

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and�golden gates flung wide. And mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them."

And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates." And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: "We cannot see her but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence......."

Your Mother is always with you.... She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street; she's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks; she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she's crystallized in every tear drop. She's the place you came from, your first home; and she's the map you follow with every step you take. She's your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space... not even death!


Pass it on to the men too because they have mothers too....




Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what
makes it permanent

-- Marilyn vos Savant 1946-NA

Monday, April 20, 2009

Now this I can relate to..memo to self...

I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why did you just do that?

This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.' He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you.

Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets. The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so... love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't. Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it! Have a garbage-free day!

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

education..learn all about it

The grapevine has been buzzing the last decade over the "new math" that kids are being taught in school. It seems like every time I turn around they are introducing new math.. newer math, not to be confused with the new old math of a few years ago. Education seems to have shifts and new strategies in how and what our kids learn. A few years ago, I had the vlessing to play "aunt nanny" for the weekend to my niece and nephew. My sister had gone out of state for some training so it allowed me to bond w/ the kids in a closer way. My niece was in the 7th grade and was working on her science homework. She gave me insight into the new education. Never in amillion years did I or many of my peers ever dream the effect the new computer would have on society as we knew it. We were the Class of '84- the Age of Big Brother.. So B is doing her homework w/the computer. And it blew me away that her homework was the stuff I had learned in my univeristy classes.

They say Algebra can be much easier understood while in elementary school. While it isn't Algebra as we knew it, the abstract thinking is the thing they are working on.
Foreign language is also being taught at an earlier age as the human child's brain can wrap itself around the rules much easier. We are in an excellent elementary school where we live...located in an award winning master planned community. But, even there the Spanish program had to be cut out of the budget. There were just too many elementary and secondary schools needing to be built to handle the masses moving into our area. As for Spanish, you can now learn some here in our local super plus grocery store. They are now broadcasting in both English and Spanish. This doesn't sit well with me. How are newcomers ever going to learn English if they never need to use it? Most of our packaging now comes in bilingual format.

In my volunteering at the school I have been noticing a big difference in how language arts/reading are being taught. I'm not really certain if my 160+ college credits.. yes.. I DID say 160 hrs..that haven't amounted to much have allowed me to adapt to my own children's education. I dread the day when Marshall and Rachel come home seeking guidance with their math homework.. Hell, I couldn't do it, understand it, or even pass it while I was in school.. so I figure I'm doomed from the git go this time around. So maybe B can help my kids out w/science and some other subjects to get my kids through. Actually, the way it's going.. M will already understand it and will soon realize jsut how dumb his mommy is. He is so blessed as it all comes so uncredibly easily to him. I'm just honestly trying to figure out which distant relative he inherited from.??. cause it surely wasn't this child. And as for Rache, just where did the music and sancing come from? Both John and I are incredibly inept when it comes to rhythm and moves. And that child can break a move. I'm telling yall.. she was switched at birth..

Oh yea.. and getting back to Big Brudda (as my kids would call it)really is happening. The cameras on the street lights, the fingerprints, the genetic markers, the wiretaps..ok I have to stop.. I'm making myself nausoues again. I remember back about a decade ago when the movies "The Truman Show" and "Edtv" came out. It was the 24/7 cameras following someone around in their daily life. We said how boring.. no way.. that will never happen.. So now I ask.. and what is reality tv that even I get caught up into? Oh these times are so very confusing. The more I know.. the more I don't want to know..the room is spinning and the voices are calling me again.. lol

Spring Has Sprung

Spring is here and is in full bloom...
This is the best time of year in my book around here, except for the horrendous allergies. And they are just about as bad this year as I have ever experienced
them. I started in early February plotting out our garden. Bought tons of seeds and planter dillies to start them in the new addition. And boy was I off to a great start.. Well.. we know how the strawberries went..

I still haven't been able to get outside to plant our garden. My seedlings are now
full plants.. but this crazy weather is really causingme some heartache.. Spring here in Central Texas lasts such a short time. I figure we have about 5 1/2 weeks before we start to feel the toasting of our area. We can easily go from the 60's to the mid 80's this time of year which is incredible bliss. And then Hades rears his very ugly and unforgiving head. We hit the mid 90's for about 2 or 4 weeks and then we shoot right into the 100+ heat that can scorch your butt and cook your meals all without the need for a grill or pit.

So now I'm beginning to ask myself why even bother w/the garden? All that work at this point only to fry and die outside if I can even manage to get outside w/ my allergies. People move here in droves for our weather.. I just wish we could pull out the welcome mat a little longer so they could adjust.. Wait.., Adjust? I'm a native and I don't think I will ever get adjusted to the heat. But I plan on
enjoying the pretty flowers and green trees and the few scattered wildflowers that did manage to crop up despite the severe drought we found ourselves. Happy Spring..
It's hard to believe the next holiday is Memorial Day which kicks off the blisterbutt season..

Monday, April 13, 2009


Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger
you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.

-- Epictetus (55-135 AD) Greek Philosopher

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The mpost expensive pet

Our home has been invaded by the most expensive pet I have ever encountered. And I'm sad to report that I have only noticed this pet only a handful of times. He's very timid, prefers to remain hidden and is harrassing us with his appetite. To be honest, he has to be one of the ugliest lizards I have barely seen. Oh yea, barely seen. Yep I said it..BARELY!!

In a flash of light he's gone. Faster than Penelope Pittstop trying to outrun the Dastardly Villians. He's brown with this butt ugly jagged hornyish spine.. It is rumored that the Texas Horned Lizard is in jeapardy of becoming extinct. Well, I'm here to tell you that we McNicolls are doing our unplanned part in keeping his faint cousin alive and well fed. And he's laughing all the way into his many rooted dens that we call inconvenient and maddening holes in our landscape. This is one pet we never set out to adopt. He has seemed to have adopted us. We enjoyed his far removed bright green cousin Louie way better. He even made it into our home a time or two scaling our walls for a better view of suburban domestic bliss.

No.. This one..The Unwanted.. has a gourmet craving for our strawberries. It seems like fruits and veggies just don't taste like they used to anymore. Growers have managed to take out the true taste of fruits such as tomatoes, watermelons and our kids favorite, the beloved strawberry. So Wonder Mommy wondered if maybe growing some of our own might teach our little weapons of mass destruction the joys of homegrown fruit?? So I wandered into the new Lowe's Garden Center and forked over our hard earned $40.00 for 10 deep green plants. The kids and I then proceeded to plant the healthy foliage and tendered loving care and water to each one, with visions of luscious deep red sweet and juicy berry berries flowed through our brains.
We patiently waited and tended the soil. Noting all the upcoming fruits just awaiting our bowls. But NOoooo!! The next morning we would soon discover the said berry berrie half eaten or gone. We cried dismay and went back to our berry empty bowls...thinking the conniving Doodledog wonder had out done us once more.

Before long, a pattern appeared. The green berry would pinken and would almost be ripe. But just before we could get to it, a bite would appear. We soon realized our berries were being marked and held for ransom. Only we never got the note. Later, the rest of the berry would disappear as well. This thing we realized was NOT our beloved Doodles.. but some other sneaky creature. So we decided to outsmart the rascal. We found ourselves plucking these bright green fruits that were the color of limes. They were placed on the window seal to ripen with time. We rationed them out as if they were gold. And the few times a child would gleefully pluck a ripe one before the creature was so bold. A whoop and a holler could be heard for the skill and the fact that we had outwitted this ugly feller!! I caught glimpses and heard bushes rustling so we knew who the thief was.

So we have been outwitted by this butt ugly worldly fearing creature of our precious
crown jewels. And I have come to realize that we have replaced those jewels with the organic ones from the store.. Or whatever happens to be on sale.. This game we grew tired and we accepted defeat. Cause once a berry picked too early is not a tasty treat.

These days I have learned that for cooking the over ripe ones taste like those of long lost days and they make great shortcake even better.. Therefore, when taking our original investment and dividing just how few berries we actually get, these fruity jewels are about as expensive as the price of gold. Thus the result of the best fed butt ugly pet of the year.. And to think John used to figure out the price of dog food by the pound. Those dogs had nothing on this lizard. I will plead the fifth on this one for sure.

Hmmn.. if we catch him I may put him up for adoption on Craigslist!! Any takers out there?

Bout Time

Actually, this isn't true for me right now. I am actually fat.. and I am ready to do something about it. After the kids, the surgery and all is said and done, it is very important that I do something about this right here.. right now.
Friday, I will go in and get some blood work done and see just how much needs to be corrected. Life just seems to go so fast and the pounds seem to easily creep up on me.

This is something that I will do for myself first and my health second and my family third. But we all will be winners. And I want to be here for our kids and my husband and teach them that healthy living is really important.

Thursday is the big day. Me and the kids are expectantly awaiting our Wii game system. And then we will go out and purchase the Wii which will keep me going towards my goal. This system is so incredibly cool... and totally in your face.. there's no hiding anymore. Everyone will know exactly where it stands with me and just how far I have to do. And then we will celebrate. Oh Yea.. And darling husband has promised two weeks worth of celebrating when I succeed.

Marshes is especially excited about the new game system. Everyday he asks if it's gotten here yet. He too will be working on a behavior overhaul in which he will be handsomely rewarded with his changes by getting to play this system. We will all be moving, grooving and working to be more healthy. As if those little skinny minnies
need to step up that activity? Right.. maybe I will catch them on the next lap.

This is something I have been thinking about alot lately. And I am so blessed with such awesome, supportive and uplifting firends we have agreed to strive for healthier living. Despite the fact that we live all across the nation.. this time I am dead serious about feeling better about myself. And what better way than having a blast in your own home.. by the way: although I am coach's kid.. I have always despised exercise unless it was at the pool or hanging out w/ my dad shooting baskets. And this was probably a zillion years ago. wait, there was an exception as to when I enjoyed being so active. Our family had just moved to what I now call my hometown and me and my siblings were overly active. Compulsively, determined and very dedicated out of pure boredom from not knowing a soul. And it was an incredible way to meet people in a new town. From 1 in the afternoon we would go to the pool and stay will 5:00. Then we would head home for a rest and supper. Once the heat had died down we would hit tennis balls against the grocery store's back wall near our home and then either run at the track or skateboard. And oh yea.. our mom even had us doing clean up in the yard before all of that exercise.. all in the high Texas heat.. Talk about a great tan.. It felt so good to be that healthy.
Unfortunately, as we made friends and school started we never got back into that routine. And this was when I wa built like Rache.. small and thin.. Oh the days..
Before the jobs, unlimited sodas and the job that made me the guard keeper of the scoopers of Blue Bell hand dipped ice cream!! I'll never get back to those days or sizes.. But my goal is to get healthy.. And hopefully, my migraines and allergies will repay me this kindness.. Oh to dream..
So.. here I am.. out there.. on the line and being accountable.. So please feel free to ask me how it's going..

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

And Diva Doodles Too

And what would Princess Fairy Rache without her
Diva Frou Frou Doodles do??

Princess Fairy Rachel

Rachel attended her first girly princess birthday party at her dance studio. She was in her element for sure and she was all decked out.. Thought I would share our little "Fancy Nancy" day. Oh yea..And she had a really good time.. and who wouldn't
at a gig like this.. where every little girl was special!!


Happiness is often the result of being too busy to be miserable