Friday, July 30, 2010

WARNING: Stay Off Of The Sidewalks !

Rachel has a car !!! After years and years (ok - maybe it only seemed that long to her poor exhausted parents) of looking for the perfect car - WE FOUND IT !!! Derek has taken her car shopping for several days and he and I have looked at a few without her. Finding a car under $5,000 that isn't a POS is nearly impossible. They either have five bazillion miles on them or they were previously owned by a sweaty, chain smoker, who kept their seven monkeys in the car instead of buying them cages. Plus you have to find something "cute" and not an "old lady car" that holds five people. Good luck with that one !

We lucked out yesterday - big time ! I was talking on the phone to my banker friend about how much we could borrow to go along with the $3,000 that Rachel already has saved (yes we are one of those HORRIBLE parents who make their children save for their own cars) and he informed me that he couldn't loan us any money on a car older than a 2003 model. Well dangit all to heck ! We had planned a big trip to OKC to look at cars and none of them were newer than an 03 model. Then my banker friend had a lightbulb moment ... DING ! His nephew (who is leaving to join the Navy next week) is trying to sell his car. It's a 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier - really cute and only slightly old ladyish. Long story short (too late), WE BOUGHT IT !!! Rachel is going to get to learn about car payments, insurance payments, checking accounts, how much a tag cost, etc. She is also going to learn that if you let the little childrens have drinks and food in your car, then it won't be long before you have the monkey smell as well.

She couldn't wait to drive it around town when we got home last night, so she and the twins did a treasure hunt all over the house to find enough coinage to go to Sonic for drinks. Before they left Derek told her, "Get me the biggest blue slushie they have ..... and make sure that the straw is extra long so that when I ride in the backseat I can jab it all the way through the bottom of the cup and then sling it around!" She rolled her eyes and said, "Daddy - that isn't funny". After they drove off, he turned to me "She thought that I was joking". Oh yeah - this is going to be fun !

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Of All the Gin Joints ....

Derek has been reading my blog ! How dare he ! Doesn't he have some Peggle to play or some pinup girl pictures to look at instead? I mean the nerve of some people ! There are millions of other websites out there ... stop reading mine you bald fireman !

I discovered this little tidbit (don't you just love that word? - let's all say it together TID-BIT) of information the other day on our way to do some highly entertaining grocery shopping at the fancy grocery store without taking the kids - hell it was almost like a vacation or a hot date (well at least a luke warm date). Anyway ... out of nowhere ... in between some of his "redneck, I loved my cousin, but had to give her up cause she was addicted to crack and couldn't support her drug habit cause my best huntin dog needs an operation" music he turns to me and says "So ... you want to learn how to mow?"

To which I replied, "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? Where did you hear that?" Then I pretended to pass out for a few seconds and awoke with a "where am I?", "who are you?", and "and there was a Tinman, and a Scarecrow, and a Wicked Witch .....". He didn't fall for it and said "Don't bring your mother into this ... I have been reading your blog."

Well gosh darnit all to heck ! Now I guess that I am going to have to be nice and not post the picture of him laying in bed, with nothing but his underwear on, eating a Big Mac ! Oh maybe I will ..... muahahahahaha ! That will teach him not to try to actually make me do my own weekly challenges. THAT BASTARD !

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Personal Ventilation System

Also known as the huge hole in my pantyhose that is getting bigger every time that I sit down ..... the hole also has runners that have now reached my knees .... not a good look ... this might be one of the weirdest feelings on earth ...right up there with the look I had on my face after trying blueberry cobbler cheese.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekly Challenge - Prune for New Growth

My "slap in the face" taught me all sorts of lessons. One of the most important ones was that true friends are hard to come by and some of your friends won't stand by you in the hard times. After I was arrested (yes - I spent some time in the black and white jumpsuit - if you don't know that by now then you need to step away from the box of wine for a little while), I lost a lot of people whom I thought were my friends. For a while I tried to force the relationships. I would call them. I would text them. I would send emails. Then one day as I was reading my Joyce Meyer Bible (a lesson on pruning), it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was trying to force relationships with people who either never cared about me or no longer cared about me. Why was I wasting my time? More importantly, was my inability to prune these dead limbs holding me back?

My challenge for this week is to finally let go of the relationships that I have continued to hold on to even though those people have not shown any effort to continue knowing me. I know what you are thinking - "that slappy is a fantabulous person - who in their right mind wouldn't want to know her?" But alas - it is true ! It's time to prune some more and to start caring about the people who care about me ... and let the other dead limbs fall.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tough On Crime Doesn't Work

I unfortunately know way too much about the so called justice system. I also know way too much about politicians and their perceptions about crime. I have to wonder sometimes if any of them have ever even talked to a person in jail. How can they sit up there at the Capitol pretending to know what causes crime or the best way to deal with it when they don't even bother to do some research? No child dreams of going to prison one day. No child dreams of being addicted to drugs. No child dreams of robbing a house or joining a gang. Maybe we should be concentrating more on preventing crimes by finding out what really leads people to do bad things. Find the point in somebody's life when things went wrong.

I talked to a Senator last year who told me that murder has been a crime since the beginning of time and even though punishment for it can be death itself, people still commit murder. I agreed. Changing the punishment doesn't prevent the crime. People know that cooking meth and having drugs in their possession is a crime, yet they do it. Why? Could it be that they have no real coping skills for when life goes wrong and they turned to drugs as a way to numb themselves? Could it be that they were raised in that environment and don't know anything different? Could it be that the education system has failed them to the point where they graduated from high school not knowing how to read or write and selling drugs seems to be their only way to make money?

The commercials for the Governor's race are hitting the airwaves on a regular basis and they all promise to be "tough on crime". Why? That has been the approach for years and it is obviously NOT WORKING !!! Why not be smart about crime? Why not try out the old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"?

Our society has been teaching kids for years that when things go bad you just need a drink, to pop a pill, or to indulge in something to make you feel better. The mental health field has moved away from teaching people how to work through their problems towards handing out prescriptions and continually blaming somebody's past for their actions. Why not teach coping skills and life skills so that people can work through their problems instead of ignoring them and just hoping that they go away? Changing brain chemistry is often not for the better and there are links to an increase in crime rates for people on psychotropic meds. Let's start looking towards the causes of crime and trying to prevent the problems before they happen.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Workin At The Car Wash

During our trip to Vegas back in March, Derek and I went to see a burlesque show ( I think that I spelled that right,but am too scared to Google it ... who knows what might pop up ... pun intended). Anyway, at one point in the show the dancer that Derek found absolutely captivating did a little number where she wore a stunning aqua fringed outfit and man oh man ... those little fringie things were a flyin ! I thought Derek was going to pass out.

After the show, we were talking about how Vegas needed a burlesque type of show with curvier women ..... the light bulb went on ! This could be our million dollar idea ! We could call it "Chubbies" (note the double meaning) and we could use only curvier women to do the dancing. I told Derek that I would even be willing to do a little number in a fringie outfit .... only when I did it we would use the song "Workin at the Car Wash" because that was what it would resemble. He nearly passed out from laughing so hard .... not quite the same response that he had to the other fringie outfit .... but the same end result ... him laying on the floor gasping for air.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is It Really Freedom of Religion?

There is a huge debate going on right now about the building of a mosque close to Ground Zero in New York City. So many people have weighed in on the subject, most of which have no business even giving an opinion about it (wink wink). Here is my opinion (and keep in mind that I am a Christian who considers herself to be very spiritual, but not at all religious).

I have always believed that there are radicals in every religion and a radical Christian can be just as dangerous as a radical Muslim. Radical Christians have supported harming people because they perform abortions or because of their sexual preference. Does that mean that all Christians think that way .... NO !!! It is the same with the Muslim religion ... a few crazy terrorists are not the entire religion or it's people and I don't believe for a second that any God wants their people to harm and kill each other. The phrase "killing in the name of God" makes no sense at all.

The people who are making a big deal out of the small portion of a building that will be devoted to prayer should be focusing their efforts on bigger issues and should leave the peace loving Muslims who live, love, and thrive in this country alone ! People like to say that we have freedom of religion in this country. I disagree ... I think that we have freedom of Christianity and if you don't believe what the so called "moral majority" believes then you are viewed as wrong. I will never understand why some people feel the need to force the way they believe on others or to condemn somebody for worshipping their God their way.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My First Rejection

I can't remember if I have posted on here about my book. If I haven't then I can't believe that I haven't. I have spent pretty much every weekend for the past year working on it and at last .... IT IS FINISHED !!! I spent the past two weekends editing it and have found a "focus group" of people to read it and give me their honest opinions about it. Just for the hell of it, I sent out my first query letter yesterday and about five minutes later I received my first rejection. I am pretty sure that it was a form letter rejection, which in some strange way made me feel better about it - as if he didn't even take the time to read my query letter.

I expected to be more upset about my first rejection. It stung for about ten seconds, but then I got over it. If that agent doesn't want to read my work then that is his loss and when I am a bestselling author and he comes to one of my book signings then I will remind him that he passed on my book .... and then I will throw him into the moat of piranas !!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekly Challenge - Replace a Bad Habit

We all have bad habits. We know that they are bad ... but we don't work on fixing them. This week I am going to try to replace three bad habits with good habits.

1. I eat while I watch tv (even when I am not hungry) .... instead I will exercise while watching tv and try to only eat while sitting at the table

2. I sometimes tune my kids out when they are talking to me .... instead I will look them in the face while they are talking and actually listen to what they are saying

3. I tend to talk over people (this is a leftover bad habit from my bat shit crazy days and I catch myself doing it every once in a while) .... instead I will stop talking when somebody else starts and be more open to other people's opinions and thoughts

Another One of Those Moments

Friday night Beth and Emily had friends come over to spend the night. They basically spent the entire evening in their room watching movies, painting their nails, listening to music, and eating anything that wasn't tied down. As I was walking past their bedroom I could hear them talking loudly and I stopped to listen through the closed door. I don't know what the original conversation was about, but I overheard Emily say "well look at all of the bad stuff that happened to my mom and she got over it .... she has a really good life now". The tears started to flow. I couldn't help it.

We tried really hard to shelter the younger kids from the horrific things that happened about four years ago, but I they know the big story. They don't know the details about the meds and my withdrawal, but they do know about the arrest and the rumors that were all over town. They have even had a few kids at school say really hateful things to them about it. Hearing her say that about how I had a really good life now was what made me cry. They have seen me at my worst, but I am so glad that they can see that I have chosen to be better and try not to be bitter about the whole thing. That I have chosen to take the bad things that have happened to me and use them to educate others. That instead of crawling in a cave and feeling sorry for myself, that I choose to live and to tell my story in the hopes that it can change the world.

P.S. Bryce leaves today to go to church camp and I told Derek several times yesterday that he needed to have "the talk" with Bryce before he left. Derek looked me right in the face and said "he is going to church camp ... nothing like that is going to happen at church camp". I literally choked on the water I was drinking ... Derek sure does have one hell of a sense of humor.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Selling Happiness in a Microwave Society

I came across this article yesterday and for those of you who know how I feel about Big Pharma ... you can just imagine my reaction.


The very first paragraph in the article says it all. "A weight-loss pill called lorcaserin not only helps people drop pounds but does so with few side effects, new industry-funded research reports." Did you notice the part that said "industry-funded research"? I did and once I saw it, flames shot out of my ears and I screamed like a wild banshee. It was not a pretty sight. "Industry-funded research" basically means that they drug companies who are making these wonderful new magic diet pills are the ones who are saying that they are perfectly safe with few side effects.

From all of my research into Big Pharma, I have discovered that a drug company can run as many drug trials as they want (typically only 6-12 weeks long) and then hand pick which two trials have the best results and send those to the FDA for approval. Then they pay the FDA to look over the information and make their decision. THE FDA DOES NOT DO INDEPENDENT DRUG TRIALS. The vast majority of the general public does not know this. In my opinion, "FDA approved" doesn't mean a damn thing.

When will our "microwave society" learn that faster isn't always the better. Sure people will take these new magic diet pills. Many of them will have horrific side effects. Some will lose weight for a while only to gain it back after they stopped taking the pills because they didn't bother to change their thoughts, attitudes, and actions about diet and exercise. The "instant fix"doesn't work and I will always prefer the slow oven cooked turkey to the one that our society is trying to nuke in that microwave.
How can we ever be content if we rely on companies to sell us happiness? When will it ever end? When will we stop looking for the quick fix and start looking for the real fix?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Worst Thing That We Can Tell Our Children

I have five very different children. It's amazing sometimes how you can raise five children in the same house and their personalities and little quirks be so very different. I have smart kids. I have funny kids. I have kids who complain about being bored all the time. I have kids who could entertain themselves with rocks and sticks. I have a few agreeable kids. I have kids who swear that the sky is orange just to have something to argue about. They are unique in their own right, but we never tell them that they are special.

My kids have known for years that they are not any better than anybody else. We tell them that. We show them that by giving to the homeless, donating to charity, and making them do real chores around the house. We will never buy them a car. We will never pay for their college. We will never tell them that they are prettier, smarter, or better than somebody else. To us they are fabulous people (perfect, crystalline, beautiful snowflakes), but to the rest of the world they are not anything special (just another snowflake in the pile of slush on the side of the road). We don't want our kids to ever feel that just because they were born means that they are in someway entitled to something ... that they somehow deserve the best just because somebody else has it. We want them to strive for the best, but be able to be content when things aren't at their best at all. Every single one of my children has a special gift that they can share with the world and use to the best of their ability, but that gift doesn't make them better than anybody else. It doesn't make them special. I think the worst thing that we can tell our children is that they are special. Elite - Smarter - Prettier - Faster - Funnier

The best thing that we can tell them is that they will always be a perfect little snowflake to us, but when they get out there into the giant snow storm of the world that other little snowflakes are there too and sometimes those snowflakes can benefit from your special gifts and sometimes you can learn from theirs.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't Give My Kid A Balloon !!!

Whomever invented the balloon should be shot ... no wait .... they should be forced to ride in a mini van with 5 screaming children and the 27 balloons that they were just handed when they walked out of the birthday party. Oh yeah ... balloons popping like gun shots ... kids screaming when they accidentally let them go in the parking lot ... kids screaming when they pop each other's balloons ... parents screaming at the kids to keep the balloons down so that they can actually see out the back when they look in the rearview mirror so that they don't accidentally run the mini van off the side of a mountain. Although by the time you ride in a car with 5 screaming children and the remaining balloons that haven't been popped, spit on, rubbed on heads to create static and shock each other, or lost out the window ... then you are thinking that a little jaunt down the side of the mountain doesn't sound like such a bad idea.

Of course with my luck ... I would break every bone in my body and would be forced to lay in a hospital bed in a full body cast for months on end WHILE PEOPLE BROUGHT ME BALLOONS !!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This One is a Daddy Lesson

Those of you with children know that there are some lessons that can only be taught by the Mommy and some lessons that can only be taught by the Daddy. The Mommy gets to teach about leg shaving, eyebrow plucking, and the most horrific lesson ever - the "this is how you use a pad" lesson. I wanted to cry, scream, and puke all at the same time when I had to give that one.

Well the lesson that is quickly approaching is the moustache and shaving lesson. The "big talk" lesson is also quickly approaching, however Derek seems to think that just ignoring that problem will make it go way. Well all I have to say about that is "You can raise that grandbaby on your own bucko - this chick had the lesson with the 17 year old daughter and it was your turn to talk to the 16 year old son and you spent that night eating ice cream while watching the Pawn Stars marathon".

Both of the boys are growing those lovely ratty looking sort of moustaches where the hair only grows on the corners. If we lived in New Jersey and wore gold chains it might look cool and with time they might even grow in a full "Father Guido". However, we live in Oklahoma ... not cool. So I told Derek this morning that this was a "Daddy lesson", because I sure couldn't teach it. When he hesitated, I said "Well I could teach them how to shave their legs and pluck their eyebrows, but I don't think that that's a good look for redneck country". He went and bought shaving cream and razors today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

If You Ain't Learnin' ... Then You Ain't Livin'

Don't you just love how I broke out the "hickspeak" for the title there. It sounds like the title of a Country & Western song.

Do you ever say to yourself, "I really need/want to learn how to do that"? Well here is your chance ... make a list of three things that you either need to learn how to do or have always wanted to know how to do. I consider myself a pretty independent person, but have recently discovered that my husband does a lot of stuff for me. Here are the three things that I am going to try to learn this week:

1. how to use a corkscrew wine opener (I know ... you probably thought that I only drank boxed wine, but sometimes I splurge on the $6.50 bottle of wine and I always have my husband open it for me)

2. how to use the grill (the husband always grills the food and it bothers me that I don't know how)

3. how to mow a lawn (even though I will never be able to use the phrase "I have never mowed a lawn" ever again, I really need to learn how)

I am actually kind of bummed that I am going to force myself to learn how to mow. I love the look on people's faces when I tell them that I have NEVER mowed a lawn. They look at me like "How is that possible?", "Do you live in a cave?", "Are you some sort of alien?". I just never had the need to. I got married when I was 18 and Derek has always done the yard care on his own and now that we have teenage boys, they have been learning how to do it. I am going to tell Derek that he also needs to teach his 37 year old wife and the 17 year old daughter too (so that she doesn't end up being somebody's 37 year old wife who has never mowed a lawn).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lowe's and Behold ... We Owe A Lot of Money !

$7,000 on the Lowe's card at 24.99% interest - I am going to give you a minute to get back up into your chair after reading that. We had the Lowe's card paid down to around $2,500 when our deadbeat renter from last year (the one that we had BEFORE we had this deadbeat renter) pretty much left the house in shambles while allowing their yappy little dog to pee in every room while smoking a cigarette. Yes, I do believe that the dog was smoking in there too. In fact I believe that they invited over every person in town to partake of their smoking rooms (aka our rent house). You are probably asking yourself "Will this chick ever learn?" and "Why are all of their renters deadbeats?" Well I did learn enough to take out the add in the paper that read:

Two bedroom, two bath house with carport, fenced yard, storage building, all appliances, and central heat/air ...... deadbeat renters who can't keep jobs, refuse to pay rent, have chickens that they keep indoors, and drug dealer friends are encouraged to apply !

So when the deadbeat renter from last year moved out, we had to replace all of the carpet, paint all of the rooms, replace some countertops and cabinets, replace mirrors, patch holes in the walls, buy new blinds, etc. etc. Of course when I say we in this scenario, I really mean Derek because I don't do much in the way of home improvements other than stand in the middle of the living room calling the deadbeat renters everything but a lima bean. The total for everything that we had to repair or replace was nearly $5,000 and since my name isn't Annie and I wasn't adopted by some rich, bald dude then we didn't have that kind of money. So it all went on the Lowe's card, which now has a balance of $7,000 at 24.99% interest. Which means that we are paying approximately $1,750 in interest EACH YEAR !!! (get back in your chair !)

So here is the plan .... I called Lowe's credit card service and of course, they don't lower their interest rates for anybody. Blah blah blah - we cut up the card and refuse to charge anything there ever again. Which means that they will probably have to fire a few people since we are no longer supporting the company, but hey that's just too bad. We have been working pretty hard in the past few months to pay off credit cards and hope to pay off two more this month. The plan is to pay Lowe's $1,000 a month until it is paid off. It is not going to be easy, but I am bound and determined to have that card paid off by my birthday next March. Of course, that will also be around the time that the current deadbeat renter decides that they have always wanted to cook a goat in the middle of the living room and that their pet buffalo is too scared to sleep outside.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along

Somebody on one of the forums that I am a member of posted a question about how to get her two sons to stop fighting. I suggested this:

"My sons are only a year apart and they share a room. They fight a lot and it has come to blows more than once. When they are in one of those fighting moods then we force them to stay away from each other. They tend to fight more when they are bored too. Plus if we tell them that they are not allowed to be around each other, then they actually want to be around each other. My suggestion is to force separation ... sit them down for a family meeting and tell them that you are tired of the contant turmoil in the house and until they can learn to be nice to each other and get along then they won't be allowed to play together or spend time with each other. Find chores that they can do alone. Make them play alone. Make them watch TV in separate rooms. Making them see how lonely it can be without the other one around might help."

I honestly thought that this was a valid suggestion as it has worked for us. Riley and Bryce have had a few really intense fights and I know that if we would have let them "fight it out" then they would have seriously hurt each other. When a 14 year old boy and a 15 year old boy fight it is not a pretty sight. They punch. They kick. They throw things. Sure we could let them "fight it out" and really hurt each other (and probably break some walls and furniture in the process), but what would that teach them? Our society is violent enough as it is ... should we really be allowing our children to beat the crap out of each other when they argue over a toy or who gets to decide what video game to play?

I was shocked at the responses to the question. Really shocked. There were only two of us who answered along the lines of separating the fighters and stopping the fight. The rest said to just leave them alone and let them fight. Children who are mad are not rational. They want to hurt the other person. They can't control their anger.

I posted this in response:

If I have a problem with a coworker, would it be okay for me to go punch her in the face while the boss stands back and watches while we "work it out"? If we don't tolerate that kind of behavior for adults, why would we allow it for our kids ?

If the only way that a child can express their feelings is through physical force then they won't have the coping skills needed to resolve conflicts without hitting, kicking, biting, throwing things, etc. The last thing in the world that we need to be teaching our children is how to be more violent.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One of Those Days

Ever have one of those days where you wake up at 5 a.m. and feel like you might not make it to the bathroom before your bladder bursts - only to discover once you get there that evidently your bladder has burst because you are peeing blood? PEEING BLOOD !!!! It's not as much fun as it sounds.

A trip to the doctor, a diagnosis of a severe Urinary Tract Infection (I capitalized that because it is that important), and three prescriptions later I am sitting here at work feeling just awful. Not looking forward to the following ten days when the antibiotics will tear my stomach up AND give me a yeast infection. Plus I will be peeing orange. PEEING ORANGE !!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stop Complaining and Start Changing

One of the key things that I learned while doing CBT (Cognitive Behavorial Therapy) was that I am in control of my own thoughts, feelings, and actions and that I have the power to change things in my life that I am not happy with. I spent a lot of years believing that I was destined to be a certain way, when that is not the case at all. None of us are destined. We have the power to change things. The challenge for this week is to stop complaining about the things in your life that you do not like and start taking steps to change them. Write down three things in your life that you are upset about, not content with, or that you want to change. Write down and think about how you are handling those issues now and why the way that you are handling them is not working. Then come up with a plan to change your thoughts, attitudes, and actions. I will share with you the things that I am working on as examples (with the changes that I am planning on making in parentheses).

1. I have gained back about 20 pounds of the 50 pounds that I lost two years ago. I complain about the weight gain and how it makes my back hurt and makes me feel “blah” most of the time, yet I spend my evenings eating in front of the TV. (Do not turn on the TV unless there is something specific on that I want to watch – spend that “TV time” going for walks with my husband and the kids or doing yoga)

2. I would like to have a closer relationship with my children, yet I spend my evenings watching TV in my room with the door closed while the kids watch TV in their rooms. (have “no TV days” where the family plays games together or goes hiking in the mountains)

3. I complain about the amount of debt that we have, yet we go somewhere nearly every weekend just to have something to do and we buy things that we really don’t need. We also spend way too much money on take-out food. (find inexpensive ways to entertain ourselves or work on projects at home – cook more meals together and eat together at the dining room table)

I have heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results. I spent way too many years being insane … going to try something new.

Friday, July 2, 2010

It's Official ......

.... as of today I have five teenagers ! My babies turn 13 today. Emily talked to me about the important landmark in time of finally becoming a teenager ... then she asked when she was going to get a cell phone and whether or not she could now watch "The Hangover". The answer to the cell phone question was "you are not getting one" and the answer to the movie question was "HELL NO". To which she replied in a high pitched tone, "Why not? I am a teenager now?" After I stopped rolling around in the floor laughing, I said, "Oh yeah ... that and a dime will get you ... wait ... a dime won't get you a damn thing ... so that and I dime will get you ten cents." She was not amused and stomped out of the room with a huff, an eye roll, and a door slam. Oh yeah - she's a teenager !

Thursday, July 1, 2010

We Little Piggies Ain't Scared

Yesterday morning Derek told Bryce to go upstairs and put his shoes on because they were going to mow the yard. Bryce proceeded to walk upstairs and complain to Riley that he didn't want to mow the yard, so Riley (who loves to mow) volunteered to do it for him. After all of the mowing was done (while Bryce sat on his ass in front of the tv), Bryce had the nerve to come outside and ask Derek if he would drive him out to his friend's house. THE NERVE ! Derek told him that he didn't want to drive him out there and evidently when you don't want to do something then you don't have to. Bryce huffed ! He actually huffed ! Oh he has perfected the huff ... along with the eye roll ... the sulking silence ... the "why not?" ... the stomp up the stairs ... and the all important door slam. Oh yeah ... its a virtual greatest hits of the teenager with a bad attitude. He has yet to figure out that when you lay around all week long watching tv and eating that we are not going to go out of our way to give you money to go places or drive you to those places.

I read an article once about raising teenagers and the summary of it was that God made babies so cute and cuddly so that we would love them, take care of them, and want them around. God made teenagers so hard to get along with, with a horrible attitude, and an awful smell so that we wouldn't mind so much when they move out. AMEN TO THAT ONE !!