Monday, January 31, 2011

Chalkboard Mat

I found this online, and since I am the MiMi to two children, ages 4 1/2 and 2, I am always looking at new things to keep them entertained!!

I want to buy one of these!!

This company is in Australia so I have no idea what the shipping to the states would be....but isn't it awesome??

The stores link is

Take Anywhere Blackboard Chalk Mat

What do you give your boys to keep them entertained while in the waiting room or while you are enjoying a much needed coffee break? If you don’t want to go with the pocket computer game option and want to go with a more creative, less expensive option then the Seedling My Blackboard Chalk Mat is sure to keep your boys quiet and occupied during the times when you need them to be. Simply unroll the mat and let them get busy drawing with chalk (eraser included).

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Old Folks!!

I love old folks.  If I could work with them each and every day I would be perfectly happy!!  :)

I think sometimes we don't teach the younger generation to respect the elderly as much as we should.  As a matter of fact, I see more and more disrespect, which just breaks my heart.

When I see an older person driving slow and find myself getting frustrated that they are driving so slow, I remind myself of my dad, who slowly lost his memory but who still enjoyed getting out every day and driving to Braum's to get a hamburger for lunch and a soft drink.  He did that until it was too confusing for him to get from the home where I grew up to Braum's which was just a few blocks away.  I am sure there were some days where someone was behind him wondering why on earth he was going so slow.

When I hear an older person trying to tell a story of how it used to be I want to listen.  I remind myself that they too used to be just like me.  They were young, they laughed, danced, and sang and lived their lives through the happy times and sad times.  They raised kids, were married and sometimes divorced, and had really interesting lives.  Now they are just screaming for someone to recognize them as a person and not just that little old lady/or little old man who couldn't possibly know "what life is like"!

When I see all of this new technology I worry about the old folks who are being "left behind".  No longer does anyone really seem to care whether the older generation can operate or access all the new technological advances.  It's interesting, because all of the older folks are the ones who went from no tv, party line telephones, sometimes horse and buggies and no electricity, to a society that thinks every home should have a wireless hub to operate five laptops in your house and a touch screen cell phone in every pocket.  Many times I see things that say you can access it on the internet, knowing full and well there is a whole generation, where there is a large number of the population who doesn't have access and needs help even figuring out what it is and why it's important.  What I beg to ask though, is how important is some of this stuff??  I say that because when you really think about it, while most of this new technology is really important, most of it can be done without.  Sometimes maybe we should take our cue from the elderly and SIMPLIFY what is in our lives and what we choose to allow into our home.  (This is an added statement....I think it's sad that todays children have to compete with a touch screen cell phone and computers to get their parents attention.  I've seend parents sitting at tables with their children in restaurants and the kids have their cell phones at face level texting....that is just sad...)

Take some time to appreciate the older folks in your life today!!  Give them a call or stop in and visit and listen to a few stories!! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sawed out of chairs ~ Not just for magicians anymore!!

Waaaaay back when, when I was in the first grade, I accomplished something probably no other child has ever done!!  I am pretty sure to this day no one else has done this either!!  :o)

My class was watching a movie one afternoon.  The lights had been turned off and most of the other kids attention was focused where it should be, on the movie.  However, to my little friend and I, it was play time!!  We sat in little desks and chairs.  Our chairs had backs on them that had about a 15" space or so between the seat of the chair and where the back of the chair started.

My friend thought it would be awfully fun to lay down on her back on the chair seat, and then slide her head through the space on the back of the chair, and then slide her whole body through and come out the other side.  We could do this undetected where we were sitting in the dark, or at least to a first grader, so we thought!

My friend went all the way through with absolutley no problem.  I thought I would try.  I put my head through, and then tried to slide my body through.  Nothing.  I tried to go back out the other way, not a budge.  At that particular time, my teacher decided to call on me to see if I was paying attention.  I was so embarassed I didn't say a word.  I'm sure when she looked over to see where I WAS sitting, and no longer saw me, she had to wonder just where I had gone to. 

She turned on the lights, and the whole class could see my predicament.  I was stuck in my chair!  I was laying with my head and part of my chest sticking out one side, and my abdomen, rear, and legs sticking out the other side!  My teacher had to call another teacher to take the class outside while they figured out how to get me out of the chair.  They had me wiggle, and they pulled me, and I could not get out.

They finally had to call the school custodian in with a hacksaw.  He thought it was a rather funny situation and started telling me he was going to saw me in half like they do on the magic shows.  I of course, who was only six, was horrified and thought he was serious and started wailing pretty loud.  I'm pretty sure my teachers could have killed him for saying that to me.  I had to lay there while I was literally sawed out of the chair.  He cut all the way down through the plastic backing, and then I was able to get out. 

After my terrifying ordeal I did get to go to the teachers lounge and have a coke with the teachers.  I can't even begin to imagine what they said to my mother when they called her!!  I can still picture that classroom and the teacher calling on me plain as day!! 

I still feel pretty certain that the title of having been sawed out of chair in school still only belongs to me, and I am proud of it :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jackies Wedding

Since this is the most creative thing we have done recently and took sooo much time and planning, I thought I would share some of our favorite photos!  I have thought about what fun it would be to do wedding planning as a serious occupation, but just haven't made up my mind yet!  Most of you, my friends, have seen these photos already on my Facebook page.  I thought I would share these with the general public in case someone is planning a wedding and needs some inspiration.  My daughter was engaged for two years and then decided that she wanted to have their wedding in about a six month time span.  We worked so hard to pull off her "fairytale dream"!!

These were the moss letters we ordered off of Etsy

The programs...Jackie designed the overall look and our invitation person made it come to life.......The other photo is a view of all of the martini glasses for the Mashed Potato Martini Bar.  That was so much fun....You put your mashed potatoes in there and then they have TONS of toppings for you to choose from to put on them.  Yum!!
The flower girls and one of the Ring Bearers
Jackie had the flower girl dresses custom made by another lady on Etsy. 

The cake!!  What is so neat about the whole cake thing is that the lady who made their wedding cake is the same one who made our wedding cake close to 25 years ago.  We were one of her first customers!!

The luminaries designed by our invitation person!!  We had some on every table and in every window

The head table, it was gorgeous!!

One of the table arrangements!!   We had tons of candles!!  There were hydrangeas under each of the candleabras.
First Dance!!

Daddy/daughter dance

The very first dance after Jackie changed into her reception dress!! 
They played Cupid Shuffle and quite a few people got out there and danced!!
It was a blast!!

The Groomsmen

The Bride, Bridesmaids, and Flower Girls

The sisters

There were over 8000 rose petals put out on the aisle runner!!
We had to layer them by colors!!

Jackie's bouquet!  She spent hours with the florist specifying
how she wanted the flowers to look!!

The Bride and Bridesmaids showing off their bouquets!!  The maid of honors
was a smaller version of the Brides, and the other Bridesmaids had white bouquets!!
I accidentally cut Jessica (maid of honor and my other daughter haha out of this pic)

How the guests saw the tables when they came in for the reception!
We had the tables preset with salads.  There was a buffet waiting.
We had roast beef, grilled chicken, green beans with sun dried tomatoes, a mashed potato martini bar (which everyone loooooved), rolls and then tea and sparkling wine or beer to drink.

A wide view of the tables

One of the flower arrangements in the chapel.  If you look you can see the candles to the back of it.  We had about 12 candles layered down each side of the steps

Jackie and Cody dancing! A great view of her reception dress!!

The Bride and Bridesmaids (- Taylor)

The Grooms Cake ~ it was soooooooo good!!

The Groomsmen ~ ha I love this pic!!

My new son in law with all of the children in the wedding!!
His niece Chloe, my granddaughter (his daughter) Adleigh, My grandson (his nephew) Payton, and his nephew Braeden

The Beautiful Bride!! <3
The Bride and her daughter!! :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Every year, for at least the last fourteen years, we have had ladybugs swarm our house twice a year.  It never fails that a few will find their way into one end of the house through the vents on the outside of the house.  The only place they go is into the master bath.  I have really gotten to where I sort of despise ladybugs.  This brought me to the idea that perhaps I could go outside and "catch" them all and put them in a container and sell them!!  After all, ladybugs are very beneficial for gardens and you can buy them on the internet!!  :)

That being said, I thought I would look up "ladybugs for sale" on a search engine this morning.  I don't think it's going to be worth my time to catch them all haha!!

This is what one website says that has them for sale:

Live Ladybugs.....1500 for $6.50

For now I will just have to put up with them I guess.....STUPID LADYBUGS!!

Ummmm I can't imagine how long it would take me to catch 1500 ladybugs and then keep them all alive while being shipped.  How about 1500 for $1.00 a piece LOL??  That's more like it!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

E. Tx teacher disciplined for taping talkative student's mouth - KLTV 7 News Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |

E. Tx teacher disciplined for taping talkative student's mouth - KLTV 7 News Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A Lufkin mother is angry after she says her son's mouth was duct taped shut. 
Javier Mijares said he was talking in one of his seventh grade classes when his teacher, Jessica Cotton, taped his mouth for an hour and a half to make him stop.  The incident happened in September 2010. 
The Lufkin Independent School District administrators found out about it this month and interviewed Javier.  Javier told his mother about the school's interview. 
He said he was worried he would get in more trouble with his teacher if he told.  "It was hard for me to have the tape on my mouth because I couldn't breathe. It was very hard to and I had my retainers and it hurt," Javier Mijares said. 
Javier is now in a different class. 
School officials said they don't condone the behavior and the appropriate disciplinary action has been taken against the teacher. 
Superintendent Roy Knight said LISD immediately began investigating and found the teacher had in fact used tape to keep a few students quiet.  "I agree completely with the parent. This was inappropriate, shouldn't have happened and is not our protocol for keeping kids from talking out loud in class. It was wrong, we shouldn't have done it. Where we're in disagreement with the parent is over the discipline for the teacher," Knight said.
Knight declined to comment specifically on any disciplinary action for an employee or student, however, he did confirm the teacher does still work for the district.
Mijares said Jessica Cotton did apologize to her, but not to her son. "They need to give her some time off or, you know, she needs some help."  Mijares said she wasn't sure if she would try to pursue criminal charges.

Here's the part where I put in my two cents worth!!  This makes me incredibly angry.  You see, I have a child who talked non stop in school.  It's very annoying to read the comments left on this post on KLTV because most assume the child is a disrespectful hellion.  I can tell you from experience that this is simply not always the case. 

Jackie was put in the Gifted/Talented program in first grade.  She had an amazing talent for soaking in information and doing outstandingly well on standardized tests.  I am very thankful to this day for her teacher Mrs. Phyllis Cavazos who pioneered a trial program called "multi age" classrooms.  They had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in one classroom together.  The kids rotated around at stations and worked at their own pace.  It was one of the few classrooms who had 100% scores on their TAAS tests each year.  Because of this classroom setup, Jackie didn't get in trouble near as often for talking during class time.

As the years progressed, I spent many an hour in the teachers classrooms and wrote many a note and spent many an hour listening to Jackie tell me how she got in trouble that day for talking in school.  I realize it's hard for the other kids to listen while someone is talking.  I also realize when you have a kid who is really smart, and who to come to find out later has a photographic memory, its REALLY HARD. 

I am writing this blog to talk about an incident that occurred when Jackie was in the eighth grade.  In the eighth grade, Jackie weighed about 60lbs.   

She was in gym class and apparently had been talking.  The gym teacher got mad, and made her do jumping jacks.  Not just a few, and I didn't find out how many until the next day.  At that point I was ready to kill someone.  Jackie came home from school that afternoon, and I don't guess she wanted to tell me she had gotten in trouble in gym.  She ate dinner and went to bed early.  The next morning....SHE COULD NOT STAND UP OR GET OUT OF BED.  When she finally told me the whole story, her gym teacher, out of anger had made her do 700 jumping jacks.  YES, 700.  You can only imagine the pure ANGER we felt and how quick we were to call the school, the principal, and the Superintendent.  There was a meeting later in the day with my husband and the aforementioned people.  All I remember is my husband telling me that when he left that meeting the gym teacher was bawling. 

We didn't sue, everything just kind of sorted itself back out.  We dealt with this sort of thing until the day she left the eleventh grade out of frustration for getting in trouble for talking too much still, and got her GED and went straight to college.  She has now graduated with an Associates Degree and is pursuing her Bachelors degree.  She is not, nor has she ever been a disrespectful bad kid.  I know that teachers have the gamut of intelligence spans in their classrooms.  I see sooooo much being focused on the kids who aren't catching on, yet nothing done to accomodate the kids who are gifted.  They are usually the ones carrying the test scores for the schools in my opinion.   What I would like to see is for teachers to think outside of the box, and I know they have a lot on their plates, but there are some kids who need to have something else to do in the classroom, a leadership role, bang the erasers, check homework, find what makes those talkative kids tick and you won't have a problem if their minds are busy. 

Monday, January 24, 2011


Just for the sake of saying it, this story occurred about 4 years ago!!

My daughter Jackie and I loooove to go shopping.  It's no big stretch of the imagination to think that we were out shopping the day before Jessica's birthday.  We were at the mall in Tyler, and we were doing what we do best!!  We went in and out of so many stores just window shopping and occassionally buying something we like!

We went into one of our favorite stores, Kirklands.  It's really hard to not buy something every time we go in there!!  There in one of the display barrels were some throw pillows with cute little sayings on them.  The moment I saw one in particular, I knew I had to get it for Jessica as an additional birthday present. When we got home, I also wrote this saying allllll across the envelope to her birthday card!!    I am not telling you what it said until the end of the story :)

The day proceeded as normal, and the next day when Jessica got up she said "Mom, I had the craziest dream last night!!"

She said "I was in a store, like Gander Mountain, and I asked to look at their guns".  "She said we looked at the ammo, and I held a bunch of guns, and then I started shooting stuff off the walls!!"  "I was like a wild woman, and nobody minded that I was doing that"  She said, it was sooooo crazy I can't believe I would do something like that in a dream.  Must have been really mad!!

I started laughing hysterically and had to give her the extra birthday present early!! 

The pillow I got her says "May All Your Dreams Come True"

I still laugh every time I see that pillow in her room!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What Are We Teaching Our Kids??

I'm sure most of you have seen this commercial, where the little boy is "feeling sorry" for the other kids who have "lame parents" that don't drive cool cars.  REALLY??  People are NOT  the cars they drive NOR the homes they live in.  It amazes me that a company like Toyota would even think this commercial is ok.  What I am starting to wonder is what age group is in charger of making these commercials now?  Obviously a younger generation than me!! 

I have such a huge problem with this commercial.  It's becoming a sad statement of the society we are living in today.  Cars should not be a "status symbol".  Cars are a means of transportation, to get you from point A to point B.  I think its terribly sad that even the youngest of children are being exposed to these kinds of statements, and will be influenced at an early age to start comparing what they have to other people. 

I sometimes wonder just what made society change as a whole from just being nice and respectful to one another, to being mean and derogatory because someone doesn't have as nice of things as you do. 

I have thought many times that commercials are probably the number one thing that leads to theft/robberies/and feelings of hopelessness among folks.  If you have ever been really really poor, and you are forced to watch commercial after commercial of places you can't eat at, clothes you can't wear, vacations you can't take, and cars you can't drive, you really start to despise the way the world turns.  Heck, I have to remind myself all the time that the sparkly, clean, super organized  houses I see in commercials are just that, COMMERCIALS.  Commercials are not an accurate representation of society as a whole. 

I know for a fact that children are not automatic judgers of these sorts of things, they are taught it.  Last year I took Payton to a McDonald's play place.  He was having a good time, running up and down and sliding down the big slides.  A father brought in his son and his daughter.  I was a little surprised, but didn't want to show it, because the little girl had two arms and no legs.  None.  She could still get around by using her upper body strength and what parts of her legs she did have.  Payton became her new best friend.  He wanted her to go up and down the climbing thing and down the slides, and he never thought twice about noticing her differences.  To him, she was just a playmate.  He never said a word to me about her being different.  All he knew was that she was nice to him. 

I pray that most parents will have the common sense to teach their children that nice things are just that, nice, and you don't flaunt them when you do have them and that people are still "cool" even if they drive cars that are over 2 years old or live in a tiny shack next to a river. 

I know I am preaching to the choir, but I have to tell another story that goes along with this.  My husband used to sell tractors.  From time to time customers would come in that no one else would help, because the salesmen were very judgemental about how the prospective "customers" were dressed.  They would decide just  by looking at someone if they could afford to shop there or not.  So sad. 

An older man came in wearing overalls and no shoes.  He smelled like he hadn't had a bath in a few days.  The other salesmen ran the other way .  Billy being the super nice guy he is went right up to him and treated him with the respect that he deserved.  He told him he needed a new cab tractor for his place.  Billy showed him the one he wanted, he said he would take it.  Billy asked him if he would like to visit the finance office.  The man said no, that he would go home and come back in a little while.  He came back alright, still dressed the exact same, but with $38,000 in cash stuffed in his overalls. 


Piggly Wiggly

pigglywiggly.jpg image by lbr71322

I came across an article written this morning about a southerner visiting the country of Wales, and she was telling them about shopping at the Piggly Wiggly.  Many of you who have not grown up in the South will have no idea what I am talking about. 

Piggly Wiggly was a wonderful chain of grocery stores all across the South.  When I would come to visit my grandmother in Jacksonville, Texas, we would always go shopping there.  As I grew older, and would come hang out with the older kids, many of them worked there.  I remember fondly my cousin Jane and I making trips to the Piggly Wiggly to go look at all of the cute boys who worked there.  :o)

As giant Mega Stores like Wal Mart came along, I suppose Piggly Wiggly was pushed out of the local market, and I haven't seen one in years.  It sure does bring back good memories though," Piggly Wiggly"!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When Your Hut is on Fire

I personally love the message in this.....we all have times in our lives where we think all is lost!!

When Your Hut's On Fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.
The Moral of This Story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering.
Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

P.S. Consider passing this on, because you never know who feels as if their hut is on fire today

The Train Story ~ Otherwise known as a funny day in my life (copied from my FB Notes)

I love that I have the opportunity to spend so much time with my grandkids. Some days are just funnier than others, and this morning was one of those "funny days". As a lot of you know, I like to encourage creativity among children. I want them to learn to "think outside the box". A lot of that depends on imaginative play and stretching their little minds to create.

Today Payton, Adleigh and I were riding along down some backroads coming home. We were wayyyy out in the middle of nowhere and Payton asked if we could pretend we were a train. So I said sure, and we started pretending that my Jeep was a train. I said chugga chugga and he would be the "whistle" and blow the whistle every now and then. We went for a ways and then he said..." can we let that passenger on?". He was pretending that there were imaginary passengers that wanted on our train. So I slowed down and stopped in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere haha and we let our "passenger" on. We did this about five more times and he thought it was great fun. We got down to the stop sign at FBC Mixon and he said " MiMi....there are a lot of people in that garden who are passengers and they want to get on our train" was so cute but he was talking about the BIG CEMETARY next to the church hahahaha....I was like ummmmmmmm OK SURE....they can get on too.....

We drove some more and picked up some more "passengers". Later on he asked me if they could have a bathtub on his train because everyone needed a bath haha. Then he told me that ALL THE PASSENGERS were coming to stay at my house!! LOLOL so now we are home again......with all of our imaginary passengers! :O) Sigh......hope they don't want me to fix them all lunch!!

Have a great day everyone!!

Flaming Taco Shells

I think it's only appropriate that I start my blogging journey with the story about why I chose to name my blog site, FLAMINGTACOSHELLS.....there is a story behind that!!

My husband used to be a ranch manager.  We had several ranch hands that worked for us.  I chose to cook the noon meal for these guys, and they would always show up dirty and hungry and sitting in my living room waiting to eat.  We always had lots of fun cutting up and laughing together every day. 

On the day of this story, I chose to cook them some tacos.  I don't know about everyone else, but I can't stand to just use the taco shells straight out of the package.  I always take them out and stick them in the oven to get them crispy again.  On this day, I took them out, put them on a cookie sheet, and put them in the oven on broil.  I was always really good about checking them every few seconds to make sure they were ok. 

However, on this particular day, I FORGOT!!  When I looked in at them, they were flaming.  I grabbed my oven mitt and snatched them out of the oven.  I thought to myself, I will dump them in the kitchen sink.  As I tilted them towards the sink, the flames shot up and for some reason I was afraid that I would catch my wallpaper on fire. 

I turned and proceeded towards the front door walking really quickly through the living room, past all the seated cowboys watching in amusement, towards the door.  As I got to the middle of the living room, carrying my cookie sheet of flaming taco shells, the flames shot towards me.  I tilted the cookie sheet away from me, and THE TACO SHELLS FELL OFF IN TO THE MIDDLE OF MY LIVING ROOM FLOOR!! 

At this point, my living room carpet caught on fire.  Seriously.  The guys jumped up and luckily of course they were all wearing boots and stomped out the fire.  I do believe I am probably the only person ever to have caught their living room carpet on fire with flaming taco shells.  :o)

I have no idea what  they ended up eating that day, but I can guarantee it wasn't tacos!!


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