Sunday, August 31, 2008
Honestly, I feel that I could tell you a book about Michigan and about squat about Texas since I just moved here in January due to dh's job relocation - YET I thought to myself, since you are NEW to Texas and I'm NEW to Texas I knew exactly what gift I was going to give you - the differences between Texas and Michigan.
Well I can tell you what Texas (well at least my region of Texas - Dallas) is not - it's not desert with rolling sagebrush, scorpions and longhorn cow skulls laying on the ground with a vulture sitting on top. It's not full of spiky cactus and what you would think of the typical desert. As sad as it sounds - that is what I thought. I've led such a sheltered life! I need to get out more! LOL. By the way - that is me near a longhorn cattle sculpture made of twigs and ivy!
Here is the city of Dallas Texas - where I hail from (I'm actually in North Dallas). See the green building? The building to the right that has small lights on top that look like half circles is where my dh works. So cool seeing it on the skyline! :)
Hey, sometimes it takes someone who is new to something to find differences in things others take for granted. So kick back, enjoy some yummy BBQ, Tex-Mex, or a mesquite smoked steak (my fav!) and learn a bit about Texas AND Michigan - oh and view this with a sense of humor. No feelings were hurt in the process of making this ;)
|Y'all - A greeting that EVERYONE really does say to |
mean - 'All of you'. Ie. You all - y'all.
|Y'all - A funny thing Texans say to mean 'You guys'.|
|Fixin' - Means going to do something - Ie. I'm fixin |
to go to the store. I'm fixin to leave the state. Not used everywhere,
especially not that often in the Dallas area, but used more noticeably
outside the city limits.
|Fixin' - Something people do when something is 'broken'.|
|Eh - Something you say in a Dentist chair.||Eh - Something you say at the end of a sentence that means, 'You got it?'. Influenced heavily by our Canada neighbors.|
|It's very hot most of the year. 90 degrees is warm. 110 is hot. 60 degrees is cold. Don't even mention 20 degrees.||It's very cold most of the year. 90 degrees is hot. Don't even mention 110 degrees. 60 degrees is great. 50 degrees the kids still wear shorts to school. 20 degrees is cold.|
|If it snows the entire city shuts down, even if it's a FLAKE.||It needs to snow about 4 feet for them to shut down school, let alone a city.|
|If there is a thunderstorm, you see a ton of lightening, but |
don't hear much thunder.
|When there is a thunderstorm, you see lightening, and you hear thunder RIGHT after.|
|There are tons of tollways.||I don't think we have ANY tollways.|
|Everything here is named after the president Bush. There |
is a President Bush Freeway nearby my house, for example.
|Nothing is named after Bush to my knowledge.|
|Chick-fil-a and Sonic are restaurants, yummy ones at that.||Chick-fil-a may be mistaken for a chicken, and Sonic for the video game. Sonic may exist in one or two locations, but Chick-fil-a is a southern thing. Who eats chicken biscuits for breakfast?|
|Tex-Mex is a yummy type of restaurant in Texas that combines |
the option of ordering Steaks or Mexican.
|Tex-Mex sounds like a person who is Mexican that lives in Texas.|
|Chili is something you eat that is usually very spicy. You do not have Chili Cheese fries or Chili Hot Dogs (I've since learned that it really is a 'Michigan' or at least Northern thing.||Chili may be something you put on a hot dog or fries. YUMMMM.|
|CR - it's a country road.||CR - could be the beginning spelling of CR'ap.|
|U-turns are allowed everywhere (except in the rare case where there is a sign prohibiting it).||U-turns are not allowed.|
|There is no state income tax, but sales tax is 8.25%.||There IS state income tax (and some cities have their own income taxes too like Detroit), yet the sales tax is 6%.|
|Alley is a place that is behind your home in which you drive |
your car into your garage. (In most cases).
|Alleys are places that people associate with 'dark' things from movies.|
|Soda. You ask for pop around here and they look at you like you're crazy.||It's NOT soda, it's POP.|
|Speed Limit is generally 60 on highway.||Speed limit is 70 mph on highway (much better!)|
|Gas is not as expensive as everywhere else partly due to the president owning so much stock in gas (or so I hear) :).||Gas is at least .20 more expensive than Texas because of a state 'gas tax'.|
|It's Sunny ALL the time.||It's cloudy most of the time.|
|There are huge fields in the middle of a bustling city.||There are no fields or cows grazing in a field in the middle |
of the city.
|In most grocery stores, the cart goes on one side of the |
conveyor belt and the person who pays goes on the other side. The cashier will unload the basket, somewhat like how Costco does it.
|In most grocery stores, the cart and the person go in one lane and the customer unloads the basket.|
|Southern Hospitality - EVERYONE is nice here.||Well I love Michiganders (since I lived there for 29 years) |
but people in Texas are nice all over, where many people in Michigan don't
say hi or look you in the eye. It used to drive me nuts because I'm very
|A recent article stated that Dallas/Fort Worth had the |
lowest rate of unemployment in the USA.
|A recent article recently stated that Detroit (Michigan) has the highest rate of unemployment.|
|Everyone here is proud to be a Texan. You see bumper stickers all over that say things like 'Born in Texas, Raised by Texans' oh and my all time favorite - 'I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could'. Now I need that for my car! LOL||Well, it seems you either love or hate Michigan. I don't see bumper stickers that say 'I love Michigan'.|
|You pretty much have to do the hokey pokey in order to get |
your new license plates. Your plates and your licenses are in different buildings
and you need to get one before the other. It's an all day affair. Ridiculous!
|It's easy to get a driver license and plates - you go to |
your secretary of state office.
|Football is huge - especially the rivalry between the |
Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns.
|Football is huge - esp the rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State.|
|Dallas Cowboys have cheerleaders.||Detroit Lions have no cheerleaders (and they suck - every year).|
|School starts before Labor Day-||It's the state law that school must start AFTER Labor Day so |
it does not impact tourism.
Ok, so after all of that, here is what I love/miss.
I miss fall. I will miss not being able to go to apple orchards and get the soft, warm, yummy apple cider doughnuts sprinkled with cinnamon.
I miss the lakes and water.
I miss my family (they're in Michigan).
I love the hot weather. I love how it's warm nearly year round!
I love not having snow.
So there you have it - the greatest differences between Texans and Michiganders.
If you visit I hear the Fort Worth zoo is tons better than the Dallas Zoo and if you like to shop - visit the galleria - shown to the right. It houses over 200 stores and restaurants, a skating rink and glass vaulted ceilings.
Here's a few misc facts I bet you didn't know (and frankly, either did I!). I bet Debbie didn't think this would turn out to be a learning opportunity for the bloggers who signed up for this! LOL.
- More wool comes from the state of Texas than any other state in the United States.
- Texas is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation.(I know some people here that really do think that Texas should be it's own country and has talked openly about it!).
- Texas boasts the nation's largest herd of whitetail deer.
- Austin is considered the live music capital of the world.
- Professional sports teams include the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Houston Astros, Houston Comets, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and Texas Rangers. (Did I tell you my neighbor used to be a Cowboys Cheerleader and a Maverick's Dancer?)
- Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. The Dublin Dr Pepper, 85 miles west of Waco, still uses pure imperial cane sugar in its product. There is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper.
- Texas comes from the Hasinai Indian word tejas meaning friends or allies,
- The armadillo is the official state mammal.(And you see them dead on the side of the road all the time - I remember the first time I saw one on the side of the road - I was so excited to see my first (dead) armadillo - I even blogged about it! Ha!).
- Texas possesses three of the top ten most populous cities in the United States. These towns are Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.(I live in Dallas!).
- It's the second largest state.
- The Dallas-Fort Worth area has more residents - 5,221,801 - than 31 U.S. states. For example, Arizona has about 5.1 million residents.
I hope you enjoyed your visit.
Please come back to visit me soon!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Grandma Norma and Grandma Char are (hopefully) making themselves at home. From the looks of it below, it looks like not only are the Grandma's comfortable, but the cats and dogs are too.
I failed to bring our camera so I'll introduce you to bear - he greets you when you walk INTO the restaurant. It was quite a sight, er fright, for Grandma. She was like, what the?!! It's huge. It's a huge stuffed bear, probably stands about 8 feet tall. He's quite the door greeter when you walk in. LOL.
The kids were well behaved (yay) and when we were done in the restaurant, Grandma Norma paid for the kids to go on the quarter driven ride on horses in the front. They were happy. What a fun trip for the Grandma's!
Later that afternoon Joe made dinner and did a fab job at that. He got mad at me because I couldn't stay OUT of the kitchen - it's hard to release the reigns to someone else to cook when I always do it!
After dinner we ran up to Walmart for a few things. Grandma and I slipped off quietly to look at the kids clothes. They were trying to get rid of stock and had all sorts of kids clothes for ONE DOLLAR folk! OMG - you can't even buy USED clothing at thrift for a dollar! Not one to pass up a good deal like that, I went nuts. I bought every 24 month outfit and 3T outfit I could find for Justin, All of the 5/6 outfits I could for Joey and I even found stuff for ME for $1.00!!!!! Some nice Hanes T-shirts, a running shirt, etc. ONE DOLLAR. Joe was a bit upset at first, but then was like - well you can't beat it for ONE DOLLAR. In all I think I bought about 30 shirts!!!! Grandma Norma even found some for her! How about that!?
I love a good deal, how about you?!
Friday, August 29, 2008
We had TWO BIG BOXES of food from Grandma's pantry. Veggies, soups, fruit, you name it, it was in the boxes.
Then mom brought a box of Halloween goodies - including masks, things to hang from trees, candle holders, etc so that will make our house more fun in another month when we prepare for Halloween.
It plays the Chicken Dance. Justin jumped up and down to it!
Here is our birthday celebration for Justin. Note the sideways turned candles. We thought we had candles, but didn't. We had the 3 and 0 for my 30th birthday a few weeks prior so we turned the candles sideways so it made 2 candles. Ha!
got Justin a present - a monster jam fighting pit arena.
Braxton picked it out and Joey and Braxton were more excited
than Justin was. It was funny.
It's a Just like me doll and it's supposed to look like her.
Grandma Char and Grandma Norma made it here with their two jack russel dogs - Hazel B and RJ around 10pm tonight. We were sooo excited to see them! Joey ran right outside. Justin was like, who are these people and then I think he remembered because he smiled and warmed up to them quickly.
Grandma Char and Justin were playing a game tonight. I asked Justin to say 'Grandma Char', he'd look at Grandma Char, laugh and say, 'NOOOO'. It was like he didn't believe her name was Grandma Char.
The most amazing thing of the night is the dogs and cats got along! I have FOUR cats, they have two dogs and my cats have never been around dogs. The dogs and cats sniffed each other and Hazel B rolled on her back and was sooo nice to the cats. I thought for sure the cats would hide or hiss, but nope, they co-existed peacefully. Amazing. I still can't believe it.
Everyone is tired and sleeping. I'll be ready for bed soon - just printing out my photos for this year's annual company calendar contest. I just hope this time one of my photos makes it!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Well we knew when we moved it was only a matter of time before the grandma's and grandpa's missed the kids so much that they went crazy...so crazy that two grandma's are leaving tomorrow from Michigan and driving in a van with two crazy dogs to visit us.
That's from Michigan to Texas trip folks - it will take them 2-3 days and grandma is mid-70's. Oh I know they'll make it. Nothing is holding them back - they have grandkids to spoil!
So we are anxiously waiting their arrival. We hope it's Thursday but it will probably be Friday and it will be on Justin's 2nd birthday! What an awesome birthday gift for him! We are so excited for visitors!!!!
Funny kids the kids said or did today:
As I was hugging and kissing Joey before bed tonight he says to me, 'Mom, you're stinky'. Gosh, thanks Joey. What a nice thing to say, as I go off smelling under my arms and my shirt. I didn't think I was that smelly?!
So Joe goes and gives him a hug and a kiss and he tells daddy, 'Dad, you smell GOOD'.
Yeah, well Joe just gave both Joey and Justin and himself a shower. I didn't get MY shower yet.
Then, on the way home from daycare Justin tells Joe, "Daddy crazy driver'.
Joe, who is dumbfounded that Justin even has those words in his vocabulary, calls me on the phone and asks, 'Did you teach Justin to say that?'.
I'm laughing now. HAHAHA. I tell Joe, "Of course I didn't teach him that, but it IS really funny'.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I went, dropped about $200 in shoes and running clothing, and then the extra $100 for my GPS watch/heart rate monitor and started to run. I would run on the dirt roads next to work or the main sidewalk bordering the major road. When I was done I would then shower off in the locker room after my run and go back to work.
Then I started to dread running about 2 months into it and stopped. Michigan winters don't help either. Who wants to run in snow covered trails - NOT ME. I HATE the cold.
When I moved to Texas I casually mentioned to Desiree that I used to run, and she got all wide eyed and said, 'Really'? That is the beginning of our friendship - and we've been running buddies ever since and we've kept it up since I moved here. That's commitment.
Last summer I would make it about 2 miles and just DIE. I mean it was awful. I hated it. It was a boring run, just me and my music and the dirt road. I kept praying it would just end every time I went out to run. It was hot during the summer and boring. I missed the companionship.
Now I run with Desiree. We talk and talk so it's not boring anymore and this is why I look FORWARD to running. It's my time alone, with my friend, where we can run and get exercise and talk about life.
Desiree pushes me to run further. When I'm ready to turn into jello because I'm so fatigued and give up, she pushes me.
When I don't want to run because I'd rather veg, yet I already told her earlier in the day that I would run, I go anyway.
We've been running consistently about 2 - 2 1/2 miles.
Ladies and Gentlemen - I did over THREE MILES TODAY. We took a long route and we ran it all.
Yes, I have finally proven to myself that I could finish a 5K. That is seriously a personal goal of mine. I have never in my life run 3 miles - and today I did and I wasn't even tired.
We actually got about to 2.5 miles and Desiree was complaining we were running slow today (which we were) and all of a sudden I got a second wind and started to run faster - about 1-2 mph faster - and I was going UP HILL!
She said, 'What the heck got into you?'.
'I have no clue', I told her. Thoughts that it could be the caffeine in my diet coke I had about 2 hours earlier popped into my head. 'I just felt good and started to kick it up a notch.'
She started to fall behind because she told me she was tired today. She told me to take off and she would catch up.
I never looked back and just started to run. I let that extra energy just take hold and ran. I have no clue what that energy was about - perhaps it's the running high you get when you start running a lot. I wish I knew.
Either way I embraced the energy today and let me push me to a personal goal. What a high that is.
My next goal is 3 1/2 miles. Wish me luck! ;)
By the way - if you look at your browser's url above and look at the ICON to the LEFT of the url, you will see it's now a foot. How cute and convenient, huh?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
We went to eat at Culver's for his birthday lunch. We had a B1G1Free coupon for their hamburger and we wanted to try it out. Their hamburgers were AWESOME. WOW. Their chicken tenders were really good too! Justin had a hot dog and ate it all. They also have a wonderful ice cream called a Cement Mixer - similar to the Blizzard at Dairy Queen, and that was great too. We had a GOOD lunch and we were so stuffed when we were done. Oiy!
Next was a trip to Toys R Us today to get Justin his EARLY birthday present. Last time we went there he LOVED this 10 inch bike they had so I knew that was going to be his birthday gift. It was $50 and it's a Thomas bike. He also got a 3 pack of Monster Jam monster trucks, as if he doesn't already have the entire collection. The kid is obsessed with monster trucks. They have about 20 different ones.
Here is Justin's reaction to finding it at home after his nap.
Friday, August 22, 2008
When the new dates came up I RSVP'd on every single one - not wanting to miss out on the fun. Well that and I need to start scrapbooking again. I have my own scrapbook room and I guess it's just too lonely to go there by myself. I need people!
Friday night Joe watched the kiddos as I lugged my scrapbook stuff over to the west side of Frisco to go to Cheryl's house for my first SHOT crop (I think it stands for Scrap Happy Ones Together).
Cheryl got a heck of a deal on these HUGE tables they normally have in cropping spaces and sets up 4 huge tables in her living room for everyone to crop. This is a normal monthly affair.
I managed to get THREE layouts done. I met a ton of nice people and I heard my first person actually say 'fixin' in a sentence. Most people in Dallas don't say 'fixin' to do things. Everyone says y'all but not usually 'fixin'.
Many people kept asking 'Where are you from'. I guess my heavy Michigan accent gave it away - ha! The lady next to me knew I was from the Midwest because she's from Chicago. The girl across from us in the photo in brown had a THICK Alabama accent and it was super cute.
It's a riot because I told Erin (the girl next to me) that I can't tell people have accents. They sound like me in my opinion. She said she used to think the same thing when she first came down here to live and said eventually I will go back to Michigan and be like, wow, they DO have an accent. Ha! I told her I wasn't sure that would happen because I talk on the phone with Michganders all the time for work but I guess we'll see.
Cheryl, the hostess, is the person in green in the far back on the left.
Here's a peek at the layouts I completed. Yay for me!
PS - A special thanks to Becky's Fleck's latest book PageMaps. I love the sketches and it keeps me inspired. ALL of the layouts below originated from one of her sketches.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
So what do you think of the new blog 'look'?
Janet, one of the bloggers I follow, had a tutorial link to how to do the signature below and how to customize your blog header. I'm happy to report I figured both out and love the new blog look. I'm sure I will totally be changing it all the time, but I'm happy with it for now :) I know, I can never be happy when there are so many possibilities for change!
Thanks Janet! :)
Do you ever think about things we take for granted?
The other day I asked Joey to help me clean the house. One of his jobs was to take the magnets off the kitchen table and put them ON the fridge.
I had to pester him about 3 times to do this (isn't this the case with most kids?).
Finally I noticed the magnets weren't on the table anymore.
I asked Joey, 'Hey, I see the magnets aren't on the table. I don't see them on the fridge. Where did you put them?'
Joey looks at me puzzled. He walks to the fridge, puts his hand on the door and opens the door. Low and behold, the magnets are sitting peacefully on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
I looked at Joey and I said, 'Joey, the magnets go ON the fridge, not IN the fridge'. I figure he should know this - he plays with them now and then.
I started to laugh. He then realized that he did it all wrong and started to laugh. He grabs for one of the magnets and he says 'Momma, these are COLD'.
I say, "Well yeah silly - they are IN the fridge!".
I guess I take it for granted that he always knows what I mean. Sometimes I have to slow down and realize the kids need a little MORE instruction, or maybe they hear what THEY want to hear. *sigh*
At night Joey ususally asks for water. Tonight was no different. I got him a dixie cup of water and he asked for a second. I was half way out of his room and told Joe it was his turn.
Right after I tuck the kids into bed I hear the four cats we have start meowing like they are in a rock band. MEOW MEOW MEOW.... They do this because they know that they get wet food at that time of the evening (their treat). I walk down the stairs to get it for them (I think they have ME trained), and if I don't do it then and there, they keep meowing over and over (driving me batty so I just give in!).
Joey notices I'm gone to tend to the MEOWING cats, and Joey says to Joe, 'Didn't mom hear I wanted another drink of water? She's down there screwing around with those cats!'
Joe explained to Joey that I feed the cats every night after he goes to bed. Joe started to snicker - me, screwing around with the cats?!
The funny things the kids say!
BTW - Say a little prayer for Joey's little friend Christopher's mother. Today was exactly a year after her husband passed away. Today was a trying day for her and our woman's Bible study class came out strong by emailing her and calling her all day to tell her we were thinking about her. She loved it!
Today in the grocery store, while doing our 2 week shopping, I stopped and got some Gerber daisies, in orange - just gorgeous. Joe asked who those were for, I said Carolyn and he said no more. He thought that was nice.
Joey and I delivered the flowers after we were done shopping and I gave her a big hug. I hope she knows so many people care about her. *HUGS CAROLYN*
So...not only do we take what kids KNOW or DON'T KNOW for granted, sometimes we take our own family for granted. I admit it, I do on a daily basis. Think about how lucky you are today and give your family some big hugs. I know I did!
*hugs to you!*
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I saved this from a parenting magazine and thought it was funny to see how far parent's have come since WE were kids - 21 years ago - OIY!
PS - I was 9 years old!
What was hot in 1987:
- Toys - Talking Cabbage Patch Dolls, Koosh Balls (I know both of these!)
- Music - Raffi's Everything Grows (no clue)
- Cereal - Crispy Critters and Cocoa Pebbles (I know the second)
- Saturday Morning Tv - Care Bears, ALF, Pee-wee's Playhouse and He-Man (Loved all of them!)
- Prime Time - Cosby Show, Growing Pains (These were GREAT!)
- Candy - Big League Chew, Ring pops (loved both of these!)
- Book - Where's Waldo (who didn't have this book!?)
- Kid's Movies - The Princess Bride and Harry and the Hendersons (flashback!!)
Here's what else it said (from Parenting May 07)
- If you were at a playground and wanted to call a friend, you had to pack up your toddler, go looking for a pay phone, and hope you had change at the bottom of your diaper bag!
- If you heard the word web - you thought of the book Charlotte's web. There was a good chance you've never even BEEN ON a computer. Online meant you were at the supermarket or at the post office! ha!
- You probably didn't worry about overscheduling your child, whether baby's food was organic and trying to find a prenatal yoga class.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Today the post is about the wonderful things the boys say to me.
Justin is just the cutest (well so is Joey but this is about Justin today). When I put him to bed now and start to walk out of the room, he yells to me
In which I reply
In which Justin replies
I LOVE YOU
My heart breaks into a billion pieces as I yell back
I LOVE YOU TOO!
I had no clue he knew how to carry on a loving conversation like that! He's not even two and he knows how to carry on a loving conversation. The kid is also wonderful at telling you 'Thank you' when you give him something. He just breaks my heart. What a sweetie.
As I'm walking down the hall Joey asks me for another hug because he says I didn't hug him, which I did - 5 times today. Each day I ask him how many hugs and kisses I get. He tells me a different number each day. Today was 5. He gives me 5 kisses, I give him 5 hugs and then 5 kisses. SO I gave him another hug (and loved it too).
It's so cute to have these fun bedtime traditions with your kids.
Do you have any cute bedtime traditions?