Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Day the Music Died

My laptop does not respond to the wireless router my husband bought, so, I am stuck to my side of the bed with a hard line from the phone jack plugged into my computer. I have gotten used to it over the past year or so but today I cannot leave my bed - or the music dies.

I have been “in charge” of the radio station while my boss and manager fled to Vegas to get hitched. I’m not sure how “in charge” I can be over three people (one being me). But, none-the-less, the torch was passed to me. Sounds cool, to be “in charge.” I got temporary business cards that claimed I was “in charge” and wrote on all the windows of the station that there was a new sheriff in town…me!

It turns out that being “in charge” really just means I am the one all the complaints get passed to and the responsibility of fixing what breaks is mine.

Have I ever told you that I am not an engineer? Shocking, I know.

Everything was going ok at first…the U Stream refused to work and the online streams worked but they didn’t record. I was good with that. The weekend came and the music decided to be bipolar. I had to drive to the station and turn the music back on several times. I spent my time at the station this weekend cleaning the above message off of the windows.

By Monday, the AM station would only play local breaks and our morning Tradio show. By this afternoon the FM station would play, as long as I was sitting in front of my computer willing to restart the programming every 10 minutes or so.

The good news, the married couple is almost home. But for now, I’m stuck in the middle of dead music, this side of my bed and a girl who has her first softball game in an hour.

So, my last official business of my being “in charge,” – I am firing me from being “in charge.” I would quit my new position but this way I get to draw unemployment.

I’m glad the couple got a worry-free wedding week and it’s good to just be the News Director again.

In other official Thomas family business:

The Boy #2 crammed all of his clothes into a chest-of-drawers this morning, making me “give a speech” while exiting the house this morning. He now knows that cramming his clothes causes wrinkles, which causes bad first impressions and could be the downfall of his entire future. If you haven’t noticed – I parent on the scare tactic. I’m pretty sure he’s terrified of wrinkled clothes at this point.

I got a new gadget for my kitchen. I have a cereal obsession. It’s my favorite go-to meal and my kids often eat it instead of dinner. It could be the lack of dinner prepared, but for whatever reason, they have cereal for dinner a LOT! This baby came from Sams and I LOVE it! Very cool. Useless really, but very cool to look at. I didn’t know my cereal could make me any happier.

$153 worth of sports physicals completed. Can I get a coupon for the doctor’s office next time? All I can say is, “These kids better excel at sports.”

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Smokin' Style

I love fashion and I used to love to smoke. I quit three years ago and I now reinvest my old cigarette money into my wardrobe monthly. I was spending about $100/month on smokes. I want to share one of my incentives for quitting – fashion. That is why this blog is called “Smokin’ Style.”

I also love bargain shopping and want to share the way I do it for me, my kids and upcoming gift giving occasions.

I will hopefully be posting my wears and tabbing it for you. I hope you enjoy and please let me know of things you have found.

This week I wore some new items I found at New York and Company:

I got this white shirt for $10.49, orange sweater for $12.70, jeans for $15.88, shoes for $6.67 and the necklace was a gift from my mother. (A trip to Italy landed me this gorgeous necklace from Murano Glass Company – thanks mom)

This entire outfit is also from New York and Company:

Shirt $19, Pants $4, Shoes $6.67, Bracelet .99 cents, Yellow Belt $11

This outfit came from the yardsale!

J Crew Linen Pants and Shirt $12 (my sister's SIL has a huge yardsale every two years and I am the first to go through every year! She has GREAT taste!)

These shoes were $24 at Kohls - Dana Buchman

These purchases were made at Gap yesterday for a total of $42:

I got 30% off of this price!

I have a Gap/Banana Republic Credit Card - this allows me extra sale offers. I got an extra 30% off of yesterday's Gap purchase because I am a card holder. I do not carry balances on my cards - this is a waste of $ to pay the extra interest.

Kohls also is great about sale offers for their card holders. I have a 30% off in my possession right now. When I get these I begin to think, "Who do I need to buy a gift for in the next several months, do the kids need shoes in the next several months or do we need household items." Plus I got Kohls cash to spend at a later date that requires no extra purchase.

I always buy at the very end of the season - refer to Gap purchase.

I have learned to buy name brand items, especially with most of my shoes. Name brands offer better quality and ALL things go out-of-season and therefore, go on clearance. Trust me, cheap full price items are more expensive then Name Brand sale items; the cheap brand is poor quality and will shrink, fade and fall apart quickly.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Living Life More Abundantly

“Why don’t you ever listen to me or respond when I am talking to you, especially when it’s serious,” – me.

“Shhhh…” – husband

It still makes me laugh, Quick witted this husband of mine.

We have had a long but wonderful week.

Work has been crazy busy; my boss and manager ran off to Vegas this week to get hitched at a tacky little place called the Bellagio. I mean, pfffttt…the Bellagio. What do they have that we didn’t have here in Podunk. Stupid blown glass ceiling and fountains. Oh and there’s that memory of you proposing in front of the fountains. Mind boggling…

I get to watch the wedding via online tomorrow evening. I’m very excited. I have never attended an online wedding. How will we know if any of the guests object? Should they just tweet it? I guess that’s the new technology way.?.

In all seriousness, these two are crazy in love and are having their dream wedding in a gorgeous place. I’m glad it’s all going seamlessly perfect for them. Can’t wait to see it tomorrow night.

The husband has co-hosted my morning show with me for the past three days. We’ve had a great time but we’ll never prove it since the Ustream blacked out and the audio stream did not record. There’s no record…oh well, if that’s all that breaks while those two are gone, I’LL TAKE IT!

Our family grew by one this week. We have had our son’s friend almost every weekend since January 2011. He was displaced from his parents. This Wednesday we were granted custody of him. I guess I will call him boy #2. Or, since he is red headed, I could call him the “Red Headed Step-Child.” Hmmm…it has potential.

He’s a great kid! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to be his interim parents/family.

We got to refinance our home today. Steve, the loan officer, spoke sweet nothings to me and the husband. He romanced us with a low interest rate, no home appraisal needed and very little documentation.

He was able to do this since we have had our home loan with his company for the past 5 ½ years. We ended up lowering our interest rate to 3.3% (down from 6%) and changed our term from 30 years to 15 years. We also shaved $150 off our monthly payment. We love you Steve…We really, really love you!

The husband bought us matching iPhones today. We had two phone lines up for new contracts. My Blackberry Torch is crap. The ear piece went out several weeks ago and I have had to use the speakerphone feature only. This week the touch screen went black.

I bought three pairs of jeans, one tank top, a sunglass case, a fleece military style jacket and a peacoat at Gap today for $42. Booo-Yaaaa!

Promises fulfilled:

John 10:10 - The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Thank you, Jesus

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Racing On A Stationary Bike

“Momma, they got my price tag on me,” – eldest girl when she was four and checking into Bible school.

I was reminded of this story tonight from a facebook post written by a friend.

The Bible school attendants didn’t price my child to sell; they had just put a name tag on her.

When the boy was about five or so, the husband carried in a plate full of grilled chicken legs into the kitchen and the boy says, “Ummmmm, chicken with a handle!” We still call it that.

The middle girl came downstairs today raised up her shirt to show me her tank top underneath and her bare arms. (She has grown up tall and thin over the past couple of months) She said, “Am I getting Anorexia?” She said it like she had caught Anorexia overnight. I laughed and tried to explain that was an eating disorder, not something that is contagious. She ate raw cookie dough last night before bedtime and she’s been terrified ever since. She asked all the way to church if she got Salmonella when it would kick in. She’s so funny.
This picture was taken two years ago, before the girls outgrew me.

Today is the husband’s birthday. The big 41. The middle girl and I came home from church and cooked him lasagna, orange juice cake, chocolate chip cookies and wrapped his new laptop.

I decided to purchase him a new notebook after watching him with his mad scientist setup long enough. The screen of his old laptop blacked out so he hooked it to his old desktop monitor. He used it like this for almost a year. This AWESOME setup already has dibs claimed from the boy. He gets all of the “still usable” electronics his dad is finished with. His room looks a little like a technology graveyard.

Happy Birthday, Husband.

Started training for the Warrior Dash today. The website recommends training by running so many times a week. I HATE to run, so, I went to the gym and did the same ole routine I always do. Hope there is an elliptical or stationary bike there the day of the race.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dang Pilgrims!

So, I love the new Pilgrim Stove Top Stuffing commercials, they crack…me…up! You need to youtube if you haven’t seen. But this reminds of a story last summer.

I remembered to stop at the local farmers market one Saturday. I had planned to do so many times before but forgot until after they had already closed. I choose a head of lettuce, a small, very small, batch of new potatoes and three squash. It was $7.50.

I got back into my car, where my 11 and 12 year olds were waiting. I said under my breath: “Wow, they sure think a lot of their vegetables. That was expensive.”

I see out of the corner of my eye this little fist in the air, shaking, and the boy says, “Dang Pilgrims!”

I busted out laughing and said, “They’re not pilgrims.” He said, “What are they then?” I said:

They’re Amish!

“What’s the difference?”

So I reached deep into my wealth of knowledge and all I could pull out was this nugget:

They don’t have a Mayflower.

He said, “Oh.”

Come to find out, while I was buying vegetables, the middle girl was asking him where the pilgrims lived.

And I think the Amish are sheltered.

My 5-year-old nephew is here and I love this kid and he loves me!

Things he has said tonight that are funny:

• “I lost a race at school this week and my teacher said I was a sorta loser.”

Sore loser maybe?

• “Are we playing tag?” “No, I’m just running to the bathroom,” – middle girl.

Middle Girl: MOMMA!
Nolan: Sorry.
Middle Girl: Stop!
Nolan: (Yells at me) SHE DOESN'T NEED YOU!

• “Ok, here it is…” He says this before everything he says to me. Love this boy!

• “Come on! Are you gonna recharge? (talking to his iPad) Will you stop showing a battery!” Lets charge this up right nowowowow – singing to the iPad. He gets this from his Aunt Misty; singing about everything.

(Rolling around in my floor) "I'm waiting for something to charge and I need to be patient."

He told me one night, “I can’t live with you (out of the blue) ‘cause you don’t have any pictures of me on the walls.”

Good News In All The Land

The following scene is not exaggerated at all:

(Loud, quick footsteps down the stairs) “There is good news to be found!” – proclaimed the eldest girl who never speaks. “Good news for all U.S. Directioners! A second leg of the tour may be announced tomorrow! We have started a prayer circle!”

She is standing with knees knocked, cell phone in one hand and the other pointing a finger across the air in mine and the boy’s direction as she speaks; braces shining and glasses sliding down her face from the race down the steps.

This child loves the boy band “One Direction.” Have you gathered from my previous blogs?

The boy says, “Well look at you speaking out loud!”

The next day I get this series of text while I am in a meeting:










What’s yolo mean?


LOL. I’m in a meeting, love you


So Friday night two extra girls, with laptops in tow, came over with plans to be the first to purchase “One Direction” concert tickets when they went on sale Saturday. I left for the morning to cover a few events going on in the community, but when I returned, the mission had been a success! They have 8th row tickets and are super excited to meet their future husbands.

I’m pretty stoked myself. I had prayed for billionaires for my girls to marry, looks like the good Lord will provide. (Actually I prayed for good Godly men, I hope they come in the form of billionaires)

In other weekend business:

I spent a great Friday night with some great girls at a 2 hour Zumbathon and then a one hour Mexican-All-You-Can-Eat-Athon!

Got signed up for the Warrior Dash that is coming to a town near me on June 23rd! Super Stoked! If you do not know what this is, you should google and see the entire layout. It’s a 3.5 run that includes crazy obstacles you have to overcome; like a military type course. Lots of mud is involved and they encourage costumes. Considering an old prom dress but wondering if it will slow down my “dash.” You log on to get your Viking name, which is assigned after a series of questions. Can you guess mine?


I swear, it did not ask me about my job, nor did it talk to the husband.

The money goes to St. Jude’s Children Foundation.

You get a Viking hat (with horns) with your registration AND a turkey leg at the end. They also give you a huge mug of beer with your turkey but I don’t drink so I’ll be using my beer to wash the mud off myself OR I can barter with someone for their turkey leg. Hmmm….

Let the training begin…

She Went and Got On America

“Momma, she’s not a very good teacher, she doesn't explain things well,” – middle girl.

Let me set the scene. I had just picked up my two middle-schoolers, the neighborhood boy that rides home with us and my boss’ daughter from the elementary school. My bus is full when my child pleads a case about the “C” on her progress report. The skinny of it all – I am ok with the “C” as long as it’s not a “C” come report card time.

Where I lose control is when you blame your irresponsibility on someone else.

“This is not her fault, you are to work at school like a job, and this is your job. You are to review what you did in class every afternoon so you are prepared the next day…”

“But she doesn’t explain it well and she’s unorganized,” – middle girl.

This lecture went on and on. And somehow I am always able to tie all of America’s problems back to irresponsible children.

“That’s what’s wrong with America! Everyone wants to blame someone else when they fail!”

That is a quick excerpt of the entire conversation, but at work the next day my boss decided to tell me his daughter’s take of the conversation while we were live on-air.


You will have to open a new browser to watch...blogspot would not link it.?. Sorry!
(Please skip forward to 10:50 where the conversation begins.)

The poor kid – I grounded her for a week and she just cried and sobbed.

The next day she comes home from school and says, “Momma, my teacher asked how many of us got into trouble for our grades, I raised my hand and said, “You have no idea.” She then said, well I had everyone’s grades wrong on your progress report.” The child went on to say she has an 86 “B” average. She asked if she was still grounded and I said, “Of course not.”

Come oWWWn teacher! She called you unorganized and I came to YOUR defense. You owe my child cookies and me a valium. Just sayin' But, at least Anna learned the downfall of America. Happy weekend, peeps!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Grew a Pair of Jeans Today

Sllluuuuurrrrrrr…that’s the sound of me putting my new, white, crop jeans on this morning. I did the whole ‘drop it like it’s hot’ move to make them fit me right.

I hate that I have to do this, especially when the size is already one size bigger than I typically wear.

By Noon, I was holding on for dear life.

These baby’s had grown to fit me and a baby rhino. As much as I would like to share my jeans with a baby rhino, I didn’t have one handy so I just got to do this all day:

Good thing the Governor wasn’t in town on business today. Can you imagine; excuse me Governor, would you mind holding my jeans while I hold the microphone and ask you some questions? Thanks, wouldn’t want to show my wears.

I’m not stupid to the fact that I did not shrink today, especially since I ate my weight in Easter candy. If this was the designer’s way of trying to make me feel better about myself I don’t need that. I pay my children and husband to tell me nice things about myself.

So I ask all my blogger friends, what kind of jeans are your favorite? I am not real happy with what’s in the ole closet right now. Thanks!

My Favorite Quote of the Day: My husband’s wife if freakin’ AWESOME!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Picture Perfect Weekend

Let’s start smack-dab in the middle of the weekend events; because it’s my favorite.

The husband decided to put pants on and head to church this morning. When I got outside, late from fixing the hair – the family was in the Jeep. As the boy says – it’s topless.

Are you serious? We just spent an hour fixing everybody’s hair and we are going to ride in the topless Jeep to church?

Yes. I rode almost in the floorboard. I know you are thinking I am lying so I took this picture for you. That’s me, headed to worship my King, with my head between my knees.

Has he not read the good book? The 13th Commandment blatantly says – Thou shalt not head to church in a topless Jeep with wife who has fixed hair. Please intercede for his forgiveness. I love that man. He/The Easter Bunny left me an awesome card and three bags of Lindt Lindor truffles – my fav!

It was standing room only at church today. At least 700 people there, including the ChriEasters. (Word learned from my morning co-host MB. I have adjusted my vocab to accommodate it. It’s the people who only attend church at Christmas and Easter. Glad they come, wish they came every Sunday)

Saturday, I went to Belmont Baptist Church to see their Easter Cantata. It was Ahhh-Maz-ing! I cannot wait to go back next year. I am dragging every person I know to go with me. Be prepared to go peacefully people, I will own a taser by next year. The amount of talented singers that church has been blessed with – can’t say enough about this production.

We headed to my mothers and step-dad’s for Easter dinner. She made her famous chicken & dumplins, or as my 5-year-old nephew says, “chicken and dunk-lins.” Love that kid! The babies all hunted Easter Eggs and the star of the day was our 2-year-old baby niece.

We left there to have dinner with the husband’s parents and sister’s family. Our mommas are both such great cooks! We ate so much that I headed straight to the gym when we got home. Well, right after watching Bubba Watson claim his green jacket at the Masters this afternoon. Awesome comeback.

In other weekend business:

I finished the last two columns that needed to be painted on the front porch.

Found the boy Saturday and I didn’t even have to stop and refuel. We found his friend’s home the first try and it wasn’t near as far as I thought. Only took me an hour – round trip.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. I burned my elbow frying pork chops. How? Because I’M AWESOME!

He is Risen! Hallelujah!

Two of my six sisters...that's another blog.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lost In The Country With Tan Lines

The best part of a workout is the amount of water I feed my body. I haven’t been to the gym to workout except once in the past two weeks, it was good to make it back last night. Such a slacker this girl has been. I have been at the gym every day to use the tanning bed. I swear the tanning bed off every year and then about March I get tired of using baby powder and water for makeup and I decide to go. I need to purge this from my routine BUT my husband hates the smell of self tanners and he LOVES tan-lines. So, I get in the tanning bed fully dressed.

I’m kidding. I take my socks off.

Speaking of the husband, he took me out this evening for shopping, dinner and a drive in the country. That’s what his facebook post bragged. Let me break this down properly.

We took the boy to a birthday party. His friend lives in Tim-buck-too, next to Egypt. We drove the car until it ran out of gas, then we rode a horse until it lay down and died and then we walked in the wilderness for 40 years. That’s not entirely true, the horse didn’t die. We did get lost.

About an hour in, we found a mountain top and we were able to get cell phone signal. We left him for the night, I may be the mom of two from here on out, not sure I can find my way back tomorrow to pick him up.

So after we left our lad, we headed out of town to find One Direction t-shirts for Easter baskets. There were none to be found. My girls would have loved these since they both claim they are going to marry one of the boys in this band. Eldest girl described her wedding for me today. It involved a dove putting her ring on her finger, a cliff and Stevie Wonder singing as she heads down the aisle. “The sun will be at its scenest when we say I do,” she proclaimed, “And that’s a real word, Mrs. Hackly taught it to us last year and I use it frequently.”

I encouraged both girls to sit in their rooms and save themselves for these boy-band members. I assured them the boys would show up on our doorsteps one day. I’m such an encouraging mother. Applaud me.

Back to the date.

We looked at several stores and found nothing; we had dinner at Rafferty’s. We ate so much we almost decided to have a nap in the car before pulling out of the parking lot. True story. We went on to Sams and grabbed some groceries and we were home by 7:00 p.m. He thanked me for the date after we got everything unloaded. I just glared at him. He said, “What? I took you for a drive in the country.” He cracks me up.

Well, I’m going to go and start loading down the car with extra water and food, maybe a sleeping bag for my trip to get the boy tomorrow. I’m going to have to start screening friends based on location of their home.

In other Good Friday business:

I bought two huge ferns Monday and I was able to split them into six smaller ferns. I used a handsaw to cut them apart. I wonder what my horticulturist friend would think of this. The kids and I did plant some seeds earlier this week in our attempt at growing some summer vegetables. The boy put together my small porch-size green house all by himself. (Feeling better about my parenting skills) We have sprouts! Realized today that we planted about eight different things and I have no idea which are what; we didn’t label them.

The kids and I got ready to go and be a part of the Cross Walk that is a tradition in our community every year. The sign said Noon; we got there at 11:50 a.m. It was over. I really wanted them to be involved this year; to experience a very small sample of what Christ may have experienced carrying the cross over 2000 years ago for us.

I am humbled at the thought of the day. By his stripes, I am healed. Thank you, Jesus.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Flowers From Favorite(s)

I didn’t pick the name of this blog; my sister Amy chose it last night. She commented on my blog last night that she had taken our grandmother flowers and she was pretty sure that mamaw had told her she was her favorite. I claimed mamaw was high on her pain medicine! She said that she could see the name of my blog tonight – “Flowers From Favorite” and she was right, I took my grandmother flowers today so I could write this blog honestly.

My mamaw was the most precious little thing. When I was leaving today we took this picture and I showed her - she said, “Now, four or five smokes on that.”

I attempted to coax her into saying I was her favorite and she said, “Now, you're all my favorites.” She’s just precious. So, while naming my blog tonight I added the (s) to Favorite to appropriately honor my mamaws choice of her favorite.

In other 94th day business:

The husband is HOME! He has been in New Orleans for five days watching the UK Wildcats claim the national championship title! He came home with more t-shirts then we have family. Sure glad he’s home, I’m going now so I can spend some time with him.

Oh, before I go…the middle girl has her first crush on a boy band. She informed me last night she wants to see One Direction, “It’s on my bucket list.” Can you have a bucket list at 13? She bought two magazines today and plastered posters all over her room.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Two Smokes On That

Two more columns painted today…two more to go and I am finished with the front porch! Whoo hoo! All in a weekends work. So much more to do but I have made great progress on things I wanted to accomplish inside/outside my house.

Who needs a man?

I do.

But, it’s nice to know that I am capable. My boys worked hard today. They re-potted my ferns for me. They also each got their own bottle of poison to spray on the grass to kill bugs and weeds. I suited them up with goggles and fair warnings to not open their mouths while the water hose was on. They did good. Proud Momma!

I cooked the very best cheeseburgers I have ever had, tonight! We topped those off with four dozen chocolate chip cookies. I came home from the city council meeting to a driveway full of kids again. Half I fed. Half ran away when I pulled in…not sure why they think I’m mean. I’m really not.

UK Wildcats are battling it out for the NCAA Championship title. The husband predicted today UK will win by 11. We will soon see if he is prophetic. If so I will let you know what he says about the Myan's 12-21-12 prediction.

In other 93rd day business:

My 97-year-old grandmother is in the hospital, after taking a nasty fall and breaking several ribs. This woman is amazing. She is the meekest, sweetest, most darling woman I know. She can yodel, hand sewed every grandchild a quilt and raised 11 kids – just to name a few. My favorite thing she says, "Two smokes on that." She would say this after something pleased her. She would take her sweet little fingers and make like she was holding two cigarettes and put them to her lips as she said it. She has never smoked a day in her life. Too funny. Please pray for my mamaw.

Favorite quote of the day: I’m usually done hearing people before they even finish talking because I am a fast listener.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

He No Longer Completes Me

When I was 13 I met my husband. He was 18.

I hated him.

I cannot remember very many things in life because I am cursed with a horrible memory BUT I remember walking into his house and laying eyes on him for the first time. He was sitting in the floor with a tennis shoe on his head.

His girlfriend was sitting on the couch near him.

I was spending the night with his sister, who is my age. The next morning I awoke and was brushing my teeth. He came into the bathroom and proceeded to urinate next to me. I was horrified. For years I would not spend the night with her unless he was gone.

Then when I was 17, he bought a Jeep. His sister and I loved to drive that Jeep. He kept asking me out and I finally agreed, IF I got to drive his Jeep to school every day. He let us – we were so cool!

The little snot, I fell in love with him.

It took years to figure out the best part of us, but I have said for many years, “He completes me.” I don’t mean that in a lovey dovey kind of way. I mean it in an Attention Deficit Disorder kind of way. He is so good to me, every time I start a project, he knows I am going to walk away and he never says a word. He just jumps in and completes it exactly the way I had it laid out. BUT, this weekend I completed several projects all by myself.

It’s been an interesting 16 years and it keeps getting better.

He may no longer complete my projects, but that man surely completes my life and I am better for knowing him.

He did get his own bathroom, and this year at 40 he got another Jeep. Eldest Daughter said today that she wanted to drive it to school every day when she gets her driver’s license next year. Not sure where her taste comes from. I’m sure when he bought his Jeep this year he never thought he would lose it to another teenage girl that wants to drive it to school. This teenage girl, however, already has his heart.

In other April Fool's Day business:

The boy put together my small green house today all by himself. I'm impressed!

The kids cleaned out the garage. I'm impressed!

I made them cupcakes in exchange for the child labor, and I only ate three. I'm impressed!

Church this morning was GOOOOD! I'm Blessed!