Friday, December 17, 2010

They did what?!?



If you haven't heard about the latest lawsuit that has hit the California court system, have a seat. Because this one is going to astound, stupefy, enrage, and otherwise make you to want to drive to Cali and slap someone, namely Monet Parham-Lee.


So the gist of it is this: This woman is not a parent. She is a woman who has had babies. She has no backbone and refuses to exert her right, scratch that -- duty, as a mom to say "No."  She wants to sue McDonald's to banish toys from Happy Meals because they make the "unhealthy food" too appealing to children. And then the children pout and beg and make her life miserable until she caves in and buys it for them. 


Well, here's a thought: Man Up! Tell them no. Keep on driving. Don't give in. They will learn that pitching a fit won't get them what they want and eventually will stop asking for it. Or, how about you make them eat the apples instead of the fries and drink the milk or water instead of a soda? Then it wouldn't be unhealthy.

And the best part about it? This woman is a “regional program manager” on the state of California payroll for child nutrition matters!!! What a hypocrite! She gets paid to tell other parents how they should be feeding their children, but can't follow her own advice at home. Girl, please.

And don't even get me started on the judicial system in California...... How about I come over there and sue Hollywood for making movies too suspenseful, too seductive, too fantastical to resist? Or we sue the California citrus growers for daring to sell their fruit East of the Mississippi River where we all know that the Florida citrus is better anyway? They must let any fool sit on the bench out there. Because if they tried to bring that case to trial here, we would laugh them out of the courthouse after giving them the proper tongue-lashing they deserved.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/12/15/2010-12-15_mcdonalds_suit_over_happy_meal_toys_by_california_mom_monet_parham_new_low_in_re.html#ixzz18PIKi8fx

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Facebook Fun: ABCs of Me

Posted on Facebook in 2009
Directions were to answer the question or put your first reaction to a word.....


A 
- Available: not since 1992 
- Age: 32 
- Annoyance: people who smack their food/gum 
- Animal: sometimes 

B 
- Beer: gross 
- Birthday: May 16th 
- Best Friend: my husband 
- Body Part on opposite sex: arms 
- Best feeling in the world: sleeping in 
- Best weather: fall nights 
- Been in Love: still am 
- Been on stage?: unfortunately 
- Believe in Santa: yes! 

C 
- Candy: m&ms 
- Color: red 
- Chocolate/Vanilla: chocolate 
- Chinese/Mexican Food: Mexican 
- Cake or pie: red velvet w/ cream cheese icing 
- Continent to visit: Australia 
- Cheese: Colby 


D 
- Day or Night: Day 
- Dancing in the rain: why not? 

E 
- Eyes: blue 
- Everyone has: a need for love 
- Ever failed a class?: close, thanks Amy! 

F 
- First thoughts after waking up: just five more minutes! 
- Food: if I don’t have to cook it 

G 
- Greatest Fear: ladders, heights are ok if I’m not on a ladder 
- Goals: be the person God sees 
- Gum: = toothbrush @ work 
- Get along with your parents? yes 

H 
- Hair Color: red 
- Height: five foot eight 
- Holiday: Christmas 
- How do you want to die: gracefully, not whimpering 

I 
- Ice Cream: mint chocolate chip 
- Instrument: french horn, but only in middle school band 

J 
- Jewelry: overflowing, need another armoire 
- Job: part-time office manager @ YMCA 

K 
- Kids: 2 
- Kickboxing or karate: karate….. wax on, wax off 
- Keep a journal?: no, but started several. Trying the blog thing. 

L 
- Love: yes 
- Letter: email 
- Laughed so hard you cried: too many times to count 

M 
- Milk flavor: natural 
- Movies: sci-fi, action, adventure, chick flicks, kiddo cartoons… 
- McD’s or BK: McD’s 

N 
- Number: random. 

O 
- One wish: new car 

P 
- Pepsi/Coke: coke 
- Perfect Pizza: Papa John’s pepperoni & mushroom 
- Piercings: pierced ears & have enough earrings to wear a different one every day of the year 


Q 
- Quail: bird 

R 
- Reason to cry: sad movie 
- Reality T.V.: only dance shows 
- Radiostation: 104.7 the Fish 
- Roll your tongue in a circle: why? 
- Ring size: 7? 

S 
- Song: right now? Rock What You Got –Superchick 
- Shoe size: 9 
- salad dressing: Ranch 
- Sushi: eww. 
- Skinny dipped? no 
- In the shower?: why yes 
- Strawberries/Blueberries: strawberries 

T 
- Tattoos?: no 
- Time for bed: 10ish 
- Thunderstorms: good sleeping weather 

U 
- Unpredictable: never. Always. 

V 
- Vacation spot(s): mountains, beach. Wish: Ireland/England/Scotland 

W 
- Weakness: Dr. Mall 
- Worst feeling: migraine 
- Wanted to be a model: yes, until I tried it 
- Worst Weather?: hot & humid 


X- X-Rays: teeth, neck & back for chiropractor 

Y 
-Year it is now: 2009 
-Yellow: Sun 

Z 
- Zoo animal: orangutans

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What doesn't kill us....

I think it is safe to say that 2010 started off pretty crappy and quickly went downhill before finally rebounding in September and ending (soon) on a pretty decent note.

January: my dog died. unexpectedly. violently. and I was the one who found her.
March: my Papa died. expected. peacefully with a romantic twist. but difficult to watch my dad grieve and deal with jerks for family.
May: my Grandma died. expected. peacefully in her sleep. but too soon after I finally began to understand her. relate to her. proud to be like her. and painful because my Daddy was again hit with loss and had to deal with the ugly truth about his brothers.
May through August: Russel is sucked into camp life just as I really need some stability and support. but extended family came to the rescue.
September: the turning point. Skydiving. adrenaline rush. a kick in the "bum" to appreciate life and a reminder that we have to live it. and the libido boost didn't hurt either.
October: realized how much weight I gained over the past year, but not really motivated enough to do something about it.
November: normally by this time of year I am listening to Christmas music and have checked off several names on my shopping list, but I still am not really into it yet (in December).
Now: I can still feel the "funk cloud" around. but I am going to kick its "bum". I have committed to one too many things recently because the idea of them made me excited, but I am determined to see them through. I am more in love with my husband now than ever before. looking forward to our annual anniversary trip. despite knowing that I need to lose weight (mainly for health reasons although my doctors don't seem worried yet) I am becoming more comfortable with my body (for which my husband is very appreciative). and I am still pressing on. determined. confident I will win. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Georgia Peach learns how to make Sweet Tea.

I was skipping through the Covington News website when I stumbled upon an article that not only made me laugh, but I identified with. The woman describes herself as "Not from Here" (even though she was raised in Alabama, her momma n' them were from New Jersey) and wasn't raised on our sweet elixir, but confesses that she has fallen in love with our traditional beverage: Sweet Tea.

I, however, was born and raised in Georgia. In fact, I am a 7th generation Georgia Peach on my Daddy's side. But when it came to the cooking in my childhood home, my Momma's Northern ancestors were a strong influence on how we prepared certain things. It wasn't until my sixteenth year, however, that I learned we didn't make real Southern Sweet Tea. (um, what?) It only took one sip of my now mother-in-law's nectar to open my eyes to what real Southern Sweet Tea tasted like. And it wasn't until a few years after that enlightening experience, watching her create that heaven-sent yumminess, that I understood how even the slightest modification to the process could change an elixir fit for the gods into nothing more than a flavored beverage. (I will confess here that we did a lot of steps wrong in the process, as you will see, but for the sake of the metaphor work with me.)

I grew up making "sweet tea" from Lipton Instant Iced Tea (gasps!) and artificial sweetener (the horror!) in cold water (well, I never!). How was I supposed to know that true Southern Sweet Tea could only be made by steeping the tea bags in just boiled water in a pot on the stove, dissolving the sugar in the still hot liquid, and leaving it to sit for a while before serving over a glass of ice?!? That's just not how I was taught. But believe me.... the product is worth the work. I had always wondered why just adding sugar to the "iced tea" (read unsweetened) they served in fancy restaurants never tasted right. It's because the sugar won't dissolve properly in cold water genius!

It was a true moment of revelation!

So, if you are "Not from Here" and are ever in a fancy restaurant that doesn't serve the best beverage that the South has to offer (and believe it or not there are some in the South like this, though for the life of me I don't see how they stay open) do not be surprised if a true Southerner in your party looks aghast. And please, whatever you do... do not tell them to just add some sugar to it. It is not the same. And you will receive a look from them that says either: "Bless your heart, you're not from here are you?" or "The Hell you say!"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Skydive the Farm

I don't think any of us were expecting the scene that unfolded as we arrived at the Farm. . . a large open hangar with couches facing the field and a lot of people from varying walks of life milling about. Kids running around, and dogs roaming looking for a good behind-the-ear scratch. We were all a little taken aback at how mellow and yet professional the staff and instructors were. It was almost like we had stepped into a surf shop that had been transplanted to the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.
The chill atmosphere turns into a hopping, well-oiled machine as the jumpers land. The truck takes off to pick up the students, instructors and videographers. After they unload, they make their way to the hangar where a myriad of people take the parachutes and begin the most important task of the day: repacking. We are hypnotized by the methodical and seemingly mundane routine of it. The instructors, meanwhile, are picking out their next student and giving their spiel of what to expect, and do's and don'ts to wide-eyed "I'm trying hard to not freak out" students.
After getting harnessed up, we get on the bus for the scariest part of the day.... the ride to the airport! That driver did not observe the speed limit on the winding mountain road. It was then that an unsettling statistic popped in my head: you are more likely to die in a car crash on the way to the airport than parachuting out of the plane! And then once we were in the plane, I was really glad that Travis was hooked to me with a parachute, because, well..... it was no private jet. I knew it was safe simply because I had seen it fly over us four times already that day, but I had no problems jumping out of it! However, when you take into consideration all the gear strapped to the people, gutted and functional is better than pretty and cushy. There is no way you can have real seats and get hooked up to your "exit buddy" much less walk together to the door to jump.
There is no good way to describe the free fall. It is exhilarating, loud and surreal. The canopy ride is peaceful & serene, with an amazing view. After the canopy deploys and you know it is working properly, you breathe a small sigh of relief and can talk to your instructor. They will let you fly on the way down, teaching you how to turn and showing you where to go, but landing is all them. I loved the rush of the free fall, but I enjoyed the canopy ride better simply because I didn't have to worry about the camera and was free to look around. I would go again tomorrow if I had the money and the time.
Here are our videos:


video

video

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Relentless

It has been a while since I was really moved by a book. Truly inspired. Made to look inside and contemplate everything I thought I was and believed.

Here are some words to get you thinking:

Murder (dictionary.com)

–noun

Law. The killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).

–verb

to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.

Kill –verb (dictionary.com)

to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay

Anger –noun

a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.

Wrath -noun

1. angry, violent, or stern indignation

2. divine vengeance or retribution

Now some quotes to catch you up:

“Anger is the father of violence, as well I knew, but I had not allowed myself to consider that wrath, when it is the product of pure indignation and untainted by ideology, is the father of justice and a necessary answer to evil.” – Dean Koontz, Relentless pg 178

“The true commandment is ‘Thou shalt not murder.’ It doesn’t say ‘kill’ in the original language, because killing’s a whole different thing from murder. Furthermore, Moses didn’t provide categories of murder, some worse than others.” – Dean Koontz, Relentless pg 341

“Evil itself may be relentless, I will grant you that, but love is relentless, too. Friendship is a relentless force. Family is a relentless force. Faith is a relentless force. The human spirit is relentless, and the human heart outlasts – and can defeat – even the most relentless force of all, which is time.” – Dean Koontz, Relentless pg 428

Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.” (NIV translation) Commandment #6

So.....
What would you do and how far would you go to protect the people you love the most?

As Christians that can be a tricky question.
We know our commandments; number 6 says "You shall not murder" (Ex 20:13 NIV).
We have been taught to "turn the other cheek" (Matt 5:39 NIV).
"Avenge not yourselves.....Vengeance is mine" says the Lord (Romans 12:19 KJV).
We believe that no matter what our God is in control.
But there are also numerous passages in the Bible where the Lord commands His people to exact His vengeance on His enemies.

So what are we supposed to do when Evil comes knocking at our door with no other intent than to steal our joy, kill those we love, and destroy everything we believe in, hope for and want the most in this world? Are we supposed to remain meek, happy in the knowledge that we are going on to a better place? Or do we pick up our .38 and shoot the bastard in the head?

I would not classify myself as a violent person. I don't really like confrontation and would never pick a fight. I'm pretty laid back about most things, but I'm making it public here: this momma's packin' heat, and you enter at your own risk if you even think about hurting one of mine.

Where do you stand?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yes, I am a Soccer Mom

At the urging of Julia's preschool teachers, we signed her up for ballet when she was three to help her physical development catch up with her intellectual prowess. But, that didn't really stick, so the next year we signed her and her brother up for soccer at the Y. And as they say..... the rest is history.

I have officially joined the Soccer Mom club. We always have folding chairs, a big golf umbrella, and bug spray in the back of our SUV. From time to time there is a soccer ball magnet on the back of my truck, and we have just completed our second summer of soccer camp complete with international coaches. My daughter takes a book and a size 1 (little-bitty training size) soccer ball everywhere she goes. I have been watching the World Cup on ESPN, and can understand most of the penalties that are called in the games. I can even brag and say that Russel and I had the only undefeated team when we coached Connor's under-six team. (that's 4 & 5 year olds) Go Eagles!

Connor no longer plays soccer, choosing instead to play baseball. But Julia has moved up in the soccer world and is now about to start her second year in the Academy league. (Under 13 travel ball for those of you who are outside the soccer world.) She loves it, so we sacrifice two nights a week and most of our weekends in the Fall and Spring. And don't forget the hefty price increase.

And I think that is the true definition of a Soccer Mom. The parent who is willing to sacrifice time, money, sleep & the occasional sun burn to give her child the opportunity to be part of a team playing a sport she loves.