Friday, August 21, 2009

R.I.P. Officer Jesse Hamilton

My prayers go out to the family of Officer Jesse Hamilton and the Pasadena Police Department today. He was shot and killed today in the line of duty. This hits very close to home for me and my family. As most of you know, my husband is a fellow officer and this is his department. This is the fourth officer to lose his life while on duty in the history of the Pasadena Police Department, and the first officer to lose his life since my husband started with the PPD department nine years ago.

My heart is breaking for his wife and children. His fellow comrades are mourning his loss and dealing with the reality of the dangers they face every day on the job.

I will be praying for his family and fellow officers and will be hugging mine a little tighter this evening.

R.I.P. Officer Jesse Hamilton, and thank you for your selfless service to the citizens of Pasadena. May God be with your family.

Article about the shooting.

Memorial page and donation info.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Facebook or Crackbook? (as one friend likes to call it)

When I went to post the new link about the arrest in my friend’s murder, I couldn’t remember my password to blogger. It eventually came to me but the reality of just how long it’s been since I’ve updated my blog hit me. Three-months without blogging is a long time, even for me!

Since my last update in May, Les and I have taken a trip to Chicago where he had a work seminar to attend. I tagged along and we flew up early and took a detour over to Michigan to spend Memorial Day with my friend Vicki and her family. Lauren moved home for the summer and my front living room has been serving as her storage room for the past two-months. She also spent five weeks studying Spanish in Costa Rica and returned home last week. Les and I went kayaking for the first time. At night! It was really cool. We also celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary on July 9th. That’s more than half of both of our lives! We decided to skip out on the annual family camping trip this year but Cassidy & Caden still went with my parents for the full two weeks plus a few days. Les & I enjoyed the time alone but by the second week it was just too weird around here without the kids. I’m not so sure I’ll ever be ready for the empty nest! My friend Shelli bought a house with a pool nearby and I have spent many days over there enjoying it, sometimes all by myself because she had to work most of the summer. (Side Note: Enjoying her pool has only fueled my desire for one, but I’m still trying to convince Les that he wouldn’t be stuck doing all of the maintenance alone). I became involved with Dakota Rescue, a local dog rescue organization. I took a volunteer position as their foster coordinator/recruiter, which mainly consists of staying updated on all of the dogs in foster care mostly by email and some phone calls, which I can do from home. We also took in a foster dog from Dakota Rescue, so we now have three dogs living inside until we find her a home, which is sometimes stressful, but worth it. I have stayed true to my night owl ways while being off for the summer and now only have three days left to adjust my sleep schedule before going back to work. Ugh!

I wish I could blame my blogging absence on something relevant like I’ve been busy saving the world but there’s no valid reason for my long absence. If I had to pin it down to one specific thing I would have to say it’s been facebook, along with Farm Town.

Most of my online time now is spent communicating with friends on facebook. Facebook is a place where I can go 24/7 and always find at least one of my 200 plus friends online. I’ve reconnected with lost friends from elementary school, old teachers, old friends from our Military years, out of state friends and relatives, local friends and relatives that I don’t get to see very often, etc. It’s really been awesome. I’ve been “tagged” in photos from the past that I never even knew existed.

People of all ages seem to be taking advantage of facebook. I even set my mom up with one and she loves it. If you don’t have a facebook you’re truly missing out on an invaluable service that can help you reconnect with people from your past and present. Once you join you will start receiving friend requests from people you haven’t seen or heard from in years and you’ll be wondering how in the world they ever found you. I’m constantly seeing friend suggestions pop up on my side bar of people I might know.

I grew up in a very tight knit community where everyone knew everyone back in the day. It’s been a blast reconnecting with some of these people that I haven’t seen in 20 or 30 years! There have been regular social outings going on all summer with old childhood and school friends. Someone will post an open invite for their friends to join them out somewhere to hear a band, to do a walk for charity, for a welcome home party, swim parties, a girls luncheon, etc. just to name a few and it will turn into a big reunion style get together. I’ve attended a few of the outings and had a blast seeing people. It’s funny how you can pick up right where you left with some people.

You can get a peak into someone’s world and generally know how they’re doing that day just by their status updates. Prayer requests are common and the outpouring of emotional support being offered can be comforting to a mom with a son in Iraq, someone with a sick parent or child, etc. Last week we were all viewing mobile photos from an old school friend of his wife while in labor! Nothing graphic but we were being updated throughout the day until we finally got a picture of the new baby. You just gotta love cell phone cameras and phones with internet access.

I have converted some anti-facebook people who wanted NOTHING to do with it into full-blown facebook addicts! Be careful, because once you take the plunge into that world, it will suck you right in and you might find yourself up all night long chatting with people, looking at their photos, searching for friends or playing one of the many games that facebook offers, sitting in the doctor’s office updating your status and checking your facebook from your phone.

Facebook itself is addicting but inside of the facebook world is a game called Farm Town. Typically, I’m not a big game player but this game has turned me into a farming junkie, along with many of my friends and people all over the world. I’d love to elaborate more but have to go check on my pineapples!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Answered Prayers!

They finally got him. Now let's get him back to Texas and see justice served.

News story.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Slightly Awkward Moment

I picked Caden and his friend up from the Strawberry Festival yesterday and was headed to drop his friend off at home. Both boys were riding in the backseat. I really wasn't paying much attention to the conversation between these two 13-year-old boys until something caught my ear.

Caden: I couldn’t tell if they were real or fake. Could you?

Alec: No.

Me: (Without even thinking, spoken in a shocked and shrill tone of voice)
Are you two talking about boobs?

I turned around to see Alec with a mouth full of strawberries, eyes wide open as he burst into hysterical laughter and both boys responded in between their laughter with a loud NO.

Caden: We were talking about those fake people in front of the church. They look real.

Laughter continues. My face is now flushed and I am now laughing, explaining myself and apologizing.

Caden: Mom, I will never look at you the same again.

More laughter. Maybe I need to get my head out of the gutter.

Last night I drove back past the church and saw the fake people (a.k.a. statues).
I laughed out loud just thinking about it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Effective Way to Break a Nasty Habit

I have tons of pet peeves. One of them is when people leave their dental floss picks laying around after using them instead of putting them in the trash. It totally grosses me out. Seriously, who wants to look at something that was stuck between your teeth with remnants of your last meal hanging from it? Please, do us all a favor and find a trash can. I feel the same way about used Q-tips. Luckily no one at my house does that but I’ve seen them next to bathroom sinks elsewhere.

Cassidy has recently started wearing rubber bands on her braces. They are supposed to be worn 24 hours a day and taken out while eating. They can be reused after meals but generally need to be changed out once a day. Since day one she has been removing them to eat, but forgetting about them and leaving them laying around the house in various places.(The coffee table, the dining room table, the bathroom counter, etc.) To her credit they’re usually lying on a paper towel, but still!

I cringed at the thought of her being at school and removing them during lunch every day, so I bought her a small round plastic container to hold them in. It’s about the size of a quarter and is actually made to hold medicine. I told her to use that rather than laying them on a napkin on the table for everyone to see while they’re eating. I know she has been using it because I recently found it in the washing machine after doing a load of her jeans.

I've made it perfectly clear that I’m tired of stumbling upon her used rubber bands throughout the house but she continues leaving them all over. After I saw four of them sitting on the coffee table this last time I started thinking of ways I could break her of this nasty habit. (Obviously, my complaining isn't doing the trick).

I thought back to how Les once cured Lauren of a nasty little habit she had several years ago. We were having issues with her leaving huge wads of her hair in the shower drain. Cassidy & Caden would complain about not wanting to remove it before their baths/showers and often times Lauren wouldn’t be home to go do it herself. I was often stuck pulling it out for them and my constant complaining to her wasn’t phasing her. It went on for a while before Les finally got fed up and found a way to finally get through to her.

He took a big wad of her long hair from the drain and left it sitting right on top of her pillow. She finally got the message. Perhaps I should try that out on Cassidy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Justice for Tina

In April of 2008, I shared a local story that hit close to home. You can read about it here.

It's been one year since Tina's murder and one suspect is still at large. The family recently appeared on the Today show hoping to generate some new leads in the manhunt for the remaining suspect. It is rumored that he fled to Mexico. Imagine that.

As stated in the original post, both suspects were here illegally and both had been arrested prior to the murder. Please pray that this monster will be caught and that justice will be served for this grieving family.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Happy 21st, Nawen!

For the first time since you were born I will not see you in person on your special day and that makes me sad. I hope you have a wonderful day and night out with your friends.
I love you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Always Check Their Homework

I saw this on one of the blogs that I read and thought it was funny.


Letter to Teacher:

Dear Mrs. Boddel,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told Sarah how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had. Then I found one more in the back room, and several people were fighting over who would get it.

Sarah's picture does NOT show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly,

Mrs. Inkeles

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cujo and Chockitt Milk

We moved into our current house when Cassidy was three-years-old. I was a stay at home mom when the kids were younger and being that I stayed home with the kids, we were night owls. Lauren was also a night owl except during the school year.

Shortly after we got settled into this house I decided it was time to get the younger kids to bed a little earlier than they were accustomed to and on a more normal, balanced schedule. I was also going to try to reverse my natural night owl ways and also get myself into bed at a decent hour, which still probably wasn’t what most people would consider a decent hour.

Caden was easy to train for the new schedule. I could just lay him in his crib and he would fall asleep within 10 minutes. Cassidy, however, wasn’t exactly pleased about her new mandatory bedtime. She has always been strong-willed (most people call it stubborn), had a temper and was one to make it very well known if she wasn’t happy about something.

To make it easier on myself and to keep her from raising hell and waking everyone else up, I, at first, allowed her to go to bed with a movie on. (Yes, we had a three-year-old with a TV and VCR in her bedroom because that’s just how we roll). I would put the movie in, turn off all the lights in the house, go to bed and read for a while. I knew from past experience that if I stayed up, she would inevitably come into the living room asking for a snack or just wanting to hang out with me until the wee hours. (It’s in her genes to be a night owl)

When we first began the new schedule she started falling asleep during the movie and I’d usually go in and turn her TV off, but about a week or so into it she began waking back up in the middle of the night (like 2 or 3am) and coming into my room to wake me up. She would stand beside my bed and in a very deep and angry voice (picture Satan here) she would say, “I want Cujo and Chocolate milk”. (Pronunciation of chocolate = chockitt) Being the considerate wife that I am and knowing that Les had to get up early, I would lead her out of our room to go tend to her because she wasn’t exactly whispering her request to me.

In the beginning, I was so tired that I would oblige with her request. I didn’t want her to wake the whole house up and figured that she would go right back to sleep quickly since it was the middle of the night. I would walk her to the kitchen still half asleep, wait on her to finish her chockitt milk so I could put the movie back on, turn off the lights and go back to bed.

Unbeknownst to me I was creating a monster. Literally. This became her new routine for a few weeks before I’d finally had enough of these middle of the night wake up calls and decided they had to stop. I was going to enforce the one movie at bedtime rule and there would be no more middle of the night movie requests.

Trying to break Cassidy of this habit was like trying to take crack from a junkie. (Not that I know anything about that firsthand but I have seen movies!) She didn’t take it well at all.

The first night that I took a stand and broke it to her that she wasn’t getting “Cujo and chockitt milk” was not a pleasant experience for any of us. It was as if we had the exorcist visiting us here at our home during an exorcism. She woke the entire house. I think I saw her head spin a few times and green stuff spewing from her mouth at full speed. I’m pretty sure the neighbors came outside to see what the commotion was all about. Eventually, we put her in a straight jacket and tied her to her bed, but at least then we could all finally get some sleep. Nah, really, I just laid down in her bed with her and duct taped her mouth shut. After about a week of that she finally accepted her new bedtime rules. Ha! Are you wondering if that’s really true? No, but let’s just say it wasn’t a pleasant experience for any of us living in this house.

Moral of story: Benadryl has more than one purpose.

Just kidding. We all paid the price for at least a week. She eventually quit disrupting the entire house at 3am for “Cujo and chockitt milk” and started making her requests in daytime hours.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fine Parenting as Revealed by a 3-Year-Old

The first movie that Cassidy ever actually sat still long enough to watch from beginning to end was called Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog, known in our family simply as “Yellow Dog”. She has been a dog lover since she was an infant, always trying to get as close as possible to our German shepherd, Chelsi. I can’t count how many teething biscuits she willingly shared with that dog while she sat in her walker giggling.

Yellow dog is about a boy and his yellow lab, named Yellow. After the boat they are on capsizes, the boy and his dog are stranded in the wilderness on their own until finally being rescued. Cassidy loved this movie beginning at the age of two. She would walk around asking to watch Yellow dog constantly. As a matter of fact, we bought it for her on DVD this year for Christmas. She probably hasn’t seen it in years but it was one of those things when I saw on DVD I just had to get for her.

Her love for real life dog movies continued as she broadened her horizons and started watching more dog movies. She also loved Homeward Bound. One weekend she went to stay with my mother-in-law, who back at that time was totally breaking the law by renting movies and copying them. She always had a huge selection of VHS movies that the kids or anyone else could choose from and borrow. We actually used to joke that she was worse than Blockbuster because if we borrowed any movies she always remembered exactly what we’d taken home and would be asking for them if we ever forgot to return them. She didn’t charge late fees so I guess she really wasn’t that bad!

When Cassidy had just turned three she returned home from a weekend visit with her grandma and now had a new favorite movie. Can you guess what dog movie it was? Here’s a hint: It’s a about a rabid dog that traps a mother and her young son inside their car when they arrive at an empty ranch house where the dog has already killed his owner. Ironically, the man was going to fix the woman’s car, which now will not start. The dog stalks them while they are stranded in their car and tries to kill them for two days every time they attempt to escape and run into the empty house. They almost die from the heat and having no food or water. They also sit in their car and watch helplessly as the dog mauls the sheriff to death. If you guessed Cujo, then you are correct. Yes, that would be the one!

At least give me some credit because I did make sure that Les edited out the sex scene in the beginning of the movie from Cassidy’s copy. (We got tired of getting up after the movie started to fast forward through it) See, I really do try and monitor what my children are exposed to. I just didn’t think a dog terrorizing and killing people was that bad.

Around this time we took the kids to an Astros game, back when they were still playing in the Astrodome. We sat behind a couple at the game who chatted with Cassidy throughout the game. They clearly thought she was cute and seemed to be amused with her. At one point the lady turned around and began asking her questions. What is your name? How old are you? Do you like the Astros? Does that cotton candy taste good? What is your favorite movie? To which Cassidy replied very clearly, CUJO! Judging by the expression and look of shock on the woman’s face I'm fairly certain she was expecting a bit of a different response from this sweet little girl, perhaps something more like Toy Story, Bambi or Cinderella. She left the lady speechless and I wanted to crawl under my chair. This might explain why I lost out on Mother of the Year in 1997.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now

I never wore or needed glasses until I turned 38. Les didn’t either until he was also 38. For me, reading glasses were for “the elderly” and I absolutely refused to believe I needed them, even after the words on anything I was trying to read had become blurry.

After much reluctance on my part and Les’ insistence that I try out his glasses for reading, I broke down and gave them a try and they made a difference. I finally accepted the fact that I was indeed getting older and actually needed the dreaded reading glasses. At first it was only necessary at home and I kept a pair by the bed for reading. It wasn’t long until I started having issues at work on the computer and now keep a pair in my desk and also in my purse.

Les thinks I have an addiction to buying glasses now because I have accrued quiet a collection. I think I may own about 6 pair, maybe a few more. Is that really over the top? I think not. If I’m going to have to wear them I’d like to find a trendy pair and sometimes they don’t seem as flattering after I get them home. I haven’t yet splurged on a $20 pair but anytime I go into CVS, Walgreens or Wal-Mart, I can be found in the reading glasses section trying them on hoping to find a cute and stylish pair. I bought some Sarah Palin styled ones the other day.

Dollar General sells them for $5-$8 and they have some really cute ones. As a matter of fact, while out Christmas shopping Les and I stopped there to get some gift bags and both tried on reading glasses. We stood in front of the display case trying them on and comparing styles for a good ten minutes. It was then that I stopped and realized that we really were getting old. We were actually out shopping for reading glasses together. I’m thinking it can only good downhill from here. Next thing you know we’ll be out shopping for Fixodent and Depends.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Potty Training 101

During a recent walk down memory lane Les and I were reminiscing about the woes of potty training Caden. We'd taken much needed advice from many people being this was our first boy. We were told by some people to drop fruit loops into the toilet and to make a game of having him aim for them. It was also suggested to just let him go on a tree if he was outside playing since kids tend to wait until the last second to go and it's often too late. We were told that might help decrease the frequency of accidents during the training process and that he might think it was fun and less scary than being rushed to the toilet in a panic.

The yard thing worked really well at first, especially since the kids spent a lot of time out in the back yard when they were younger. He seemed to be catching on quickly, having fewer accidents and I had less wet laundry to do. However, it took us a while to “re-train” him and to teach him that whipping it out by the tree in the front yard or at the public park wasn’t really what we’d had in mind.

The potty training discussion brought to mind a story I’ve heard many times over the years about what my brother did shortly after he was potty trained, and I’d have to say I would gladly suffer the embarrassment of being the mom of the “tree peeing boy” over the mom of “insert brother’s incident here” any day.

So, as the story goes, my mom was in her late pregnancy with me. Her and my aunt had gone to do some shopping at Sears with my brother in tow, who was three-years-old at the time.

Does anyone remember when Sears had the display bathrooms all set up like real bathrooms way back when? They had real sinks, toilets and bathtubs and they were decorated to look just like a real bathroom. There were usually several of them set up in one section of the store and I remember being fascinated with them as a kid whenever we walked through them.

My mom and aunt were walking along shopping when they realized my brother had stopped and they turned around to look for him only to find him sitting down on one of those toilets with his pants down around his ankles going number two in the middle of Sears. My mom was so mortified and humiliated that just she kept on walking, leaving my poor aunt to go back and get him.

Don’t ask me whether there was toilet paper or if they ever told a store employee about the “clean up on aisle 9” because I don’t know. (Mom, care to fill in any missing details since you were actually there?)

I’m betting they headed straight to the car and got out of there as fast as they could and that some poor employee was not happy when he opened the lid and found that pleasant surprise.

Moral of the story: Boys will go anywhere when the urge hits them so always keep a hat and pair of dark sunglasses handy.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


I’m a big believer in karma. I truly believe what comes around goes around and in time, whatever you’re dishing out, whether good or bad, you will get it back at some point down the road. That has often comforted me whenever I’ve been wronged! I know karma will take care of them.

Here’s a small example of karma at work.

A few weeks ago Lauren told me a story about going to Jack-in-the-Box. She had pulled into the drive-thru but there are two entrances feeding into the line. It usually works on the honor system unless you are trying to merge into line next to a jerk who won’t acknowledge that you’ve been waiting, too.

Anyhow, she was waiting for her turn to squeeze in and there was a lady who rolled her window down and motioned for Lauren to go on ahead of her. The lady was actually there first so Lauren rolled her window down and asked her if she was sure it was okay, then thanked her and got in front of her in the line.

When she got to the window she asked the cashier how much the tab was for the lady behind her and she paid for her food and the $7.00 tab for the nice lady behind her and left. That was a simple measure of kindness on Lauren’s part but it was still generous and thoughtful and I’m proud of her for doing it.

Lauren called me last night to tell me a story that happened to her and Boogie last night and I reminded her that it was her karma for the Jack-in-the-Box incident in which she had been generous to someone else.

Lauren and Boogie decided to go eat at a nice restaurant last night while they were in College Station. They had some extra Christmas cash and wanted to splurge so they went to a very restaurant where you sit in front of the cook and possibly share your table with other people. They were seated first and then a couple with a little girl and a man and his daughter joined them at the table. Lauren was next to the two little girls and started talking to them and a conversation began with all of them. One of the men saw Boogie’s ring and asked him about it and that led to a conversation about him going to play ball for Rice next year. Lauren said they were really nice people and they chatted on and off through dinner. When it was time for Lauren and Boogie to pay their ticket one of the men told the waiter to put their meal on his ticket. Of course, Lauren and Boogie tried to stop him and told him that was very nice of him to offer but not necessary, but he absolutely insisted. Boogie later tried to give the kids $20 for ice cream but the dad wouldn’t accept it. They said they just wanted to buy their dinner and thanked them for letting them join them at their table. Lauren was really touched and couldn’t get over complete strangers doing this, especially when they had ordered steak and lobster and their tab was $77! A pretty unexpected and nice surprise for two college kids, huh?

That’s karma, baby!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

We partied at my brother's (where firecrackers are legal) and taught the kids some stupid, I mean daring stunts (i.e. see picture of my brother running through the fireworks in his highly flammable Wyatt Earp looking western coat). We ate, played Taboo, laughed, sat around the fire and stayed entertained until, oh, about 6 this morning. Good times!

Happy New Year!