December 27, 2009

You will never guess what I forgot?

No not my second blog anniversary...well actually I did, I have been keeping a blog now for two years, pretty impressive.  But that is not what I forgot, I did that on purpose,,,well not totally, actually I did forget, but when I remembered it was a little too late, and just didn't know what to do.

But I forgot to make a Christmas card and forgot to mail them out!  Well I didn't forgot, but even last year I made a card, and just never mailed it because well I didn't know where we were going to be living and had no idea what address to use.  I guess I could of mailed those out this year, but oh well.

So here is what you would have gotten had I written a Christmas note. Well actually,,,have I said that a lot already? We don't usually include a bragging  written note, because most of the time you, that refers to anyone reading this and anyone who would be reading this if it came via snail mail, know whats going on, especially if you are reading this. 

But since G-Man is dying feeling ill, and had to come home from church I thought today was a better day than any to account for this last year, in case you missed anything in our lives this last year. 

December of 2008 we were in Hawaii and about to head home for Austin.  We had planned to take care of my in laws house while they served a mission. Eric was going to be working at his job at Hart and life was going to be just dandy!  I guess thats when we should of clued in on the whole life is dandy part. As we were getting on the plane, well actually a day before but close enough, Eric was informed that when we returned to Austin his last day would be that Friday.  We were stunned.  But we knew we would head to Austin, stay with his folks for awhile and things would work out.

As I sit I wonder if we were suppose to stay in Austin. There are many days recently that I miss Texas, maybe its the snow here, maybe its some old friends there, I don't know, because I really do love where we are living right now, though I'd like to modify our living arrangements AKA move some walls and add some rooms...but anyway....where was I?

Well we had an enjoyable Christmas last year with Eric's parents, and we even left our kids with them while we flew to California to pick up our car that was shipped from Hawaii---still has those plates on it...guess its time to register it here in Utah??? Anyway while we were driving, Eric and I talked a lot.  And maybe I talked him into it, or maybe we both felt it was the right thing to do, because before we knew it four days later, I was flying to Utah with T-Rex and Eric was driving to Utah with the rest of the kiddos.  It felt right.

We landed in our parents home.  They were gracious enough to take our loud, messy, noisy, over active family into their quiet, peaceful, clean home.  Not sure if it was the stress of us there or what but shortly after our arrival (well probably not that short in their eyes, six weeks??) my dad ended up in the hospital having open heart surgery. 

We found ourselves a few short days later, in a neighbors basement apartment.  The Hazards, almost complete strangers to us, opened up their basement apartment for our family, to dwell in for FREE for a few more months.  During the whole time, Eric applied for jobs, the kids went to school, made some friends and we were doing ok.  I even got out and started teaching again. 

Can I tell you it actually felt really good for me to get out and have a job, and feel like I was somewhat contributing to society someway, other than raising some kids in a dysfunctional manner...let me just say this last year my nasty side has reared its head, and I feel like I haven't been the best mother, or person.  I am trying.  But its hard when I have been in such a personal funk, or rather deep depression...but thats a whole other post for another time.

Well, while Eric was job searching, he started talking with his old business partner and lifelong friend, about a restaurant idea and dream.  See ever since I have known Eric, and even before I knew him, because my sister told me about him, he has loved to cook BBQ, cater and has talked about having a restaurant.  His partner Greg has also dreamed of the same thing, and recently had taken a business class and wrote up the whole restaurant business proposal.  He had even been searching for restaurant pads for awhile.  Anyway he and Eric started talking, and Eric started going out with Greg in search for restaurants. 

Before we knew it, the two signed a lease and things started rolling.  We opened Texas Pride Barbecue in June of this year. 

In June we as a family moved to Ogden to be closer to the restaurant in Huntsville.  I had never heard anything really nice about Ogden or even ever been here.  Let me just say I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty and quaintness of the town.  I have made some amazing new friends and really love being here. 

Summer flew by, with trips to the Lake, visits with cousins, and busy busy times at the restaurant.  Things felt ok, though as a start up, only money being made was that going back to the restaurant.  Not enough to support one family let alone two.  So lets just say things have been tight, if anything at all. 

This year sure has humbled me.  A LOT!  I have spent many days, most days, very few days not, Crying!  Its been hard, Eric is gone all the time, my kids as much as I love them just seem to be out of control, and I just most days don't feel like I have the energy to do much about it.  I don't know how single moms do it, because I have for the most part been one, and I feel like I am not doing it very well. 

Now if this isn't the most depressing Christmas card....see now you know why I never wrote and sent one out. 

And despite the downs, that I feel I am drowning in, there have been many ups.  We have gotten to know a whole lot more of our cousins and aunts and uncles better. We have so many family members around, though we don't see them near as much as I 'd like, it is fun to have them near.  We have had complete strangers, friends and family members, generously reach out to us, especially at this holiday time.  I learned that what I thought was no money before was truely wealth. My kids have been pretty healthy, other than a few hospital stays for T-Rex (ok so he had it a little rough), a broken arm for Bee, stitches for me, and a few odds and ends little bugs...we are alive and well.  We have made several new and wonderful friends. The restaurant has brought us in contact with several really old and dear friends, so much fun seeing people come up and supporting us.  I am not sure I am at the point where I have seen much of my own personal growth or where I can say I am grateful for this year, but know at some point I will get there. 

I do know that God lives, and that He loves us.  I know that He is ever mindful of us and though I do feel at times like I am unable to keep my head out of water, somehow, somewhere, a hand reaches out to me and pulls me up for a breather, still stuck in the water, but at least I am still able to catch a few breaths, and I know those are given to me by a loving Heavenly Father, He does love me.  And some day, I will understand this whole year, and I will look back and say "Oh I see!  We suffered through that year to teach everyone else around us how to be more charitable :)" 

Here's to 2010!!! May the blessings of Heaven be poured out upon y'all and us too!

December 26, 2009

Christmas Day in Photos!

G made a Santa Block as a card and thank you for Santa.  Though it still sat on the mantel in the morning and he asked if Santa even saw it.  He did and was very grateful! Just didn't have time to take it.
This is Two as she walked out and saw her Santa chair! So happy!
This is a little out of order, but Tuesday I had realized we hadn't had or been to a Christmas party this year.  So I called and invited a few of my friends here over.  However since it was last minute many had plans, go figure :) but gratefully two good friends didn't and we had a blast. I think I might throw more parties even if Eric isn't around.  We had fun!Here is T-Rex playing with his train that his Papa built for him. Pretty impressive!
G-Man wearing his new PJS and his new favorite baseball cap...GO COUGARS!!! (even if his dad professes to be a U fan he loves BYU!!!--thanks uncle soren!and all decked out like a little skater dude!! Hed go outside for about two minutes and come back in freezing...figuring out that summer outdoor toys are not great Utah Christmas gifts. But he still loves it and as I speak the kids are scooting around on it with T-Rex's ride on train attached. Bee had an interesting request this year for santa "$12 in cash."  So he did give it to her with a few other things.  She got this canvas bag and put her "special" gifts in it, her doll, her new wallet with $12, her makeup, her barbie, some card games. She has carried ti around ever since.  G-Man commented that next year he is going to ask santa for $20....Better start saving for these cash Christmases. So happy to have a new brush and a little petshop! She tried to fit the house in her purse, just not big enough!
Here is T-Rex using his new tools to fix stuff, he loves tools and went around just "fixing" everything, including his new trains and trucks.

Hope y'all had a very Merry Christmas!!

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Y'all

No fluff, no news, just wanting to send you a warm and Merry Christmas!! We love you and hope you are blessed in so many different ways as we have been blessed this year despite our trials!!!

'Twas the night before Christmas...

'T was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse,  or so they say because we have mice a stirring like crazy.  A few days ago, I was asleep in bed and awoke to the sound of a ball rolling across the floor, I kid you not. I nudged Eric and said "We have mice and they are playing with something." 

He kind of shrugged me off until the day before yesterday as he was putting on his pants, and he shrieked like a little girl.  I asked him what was the matter and a mouse ran from under the bed, through his legs and down our heating vent.   It was not too long before he got some traps.  Well yesterday we set two. 

During the afternoon, G-Man noticed the trap red bar was up, see now they have these animal friendly traps that just trap the mouse.   So I grab the trap thinking that the poor little guy was dead, but to my surprise he wiggled, and startled me.   I really didn't want to set him back free to just end up back in our warm house, so I headed to our just emptied trash can, and set him lose.  There he sat, GUS GUS, the smallest fatest mouse ever, just peering up at me from the pit of the can.  The kids all wanted to see, so I lifted them to check out our new captive.   I felt a little sad for the poor thing, now going to freeze and starve to death in the trash can, so I put some cereal in there for him. 

Then I reset the trap again and about one in the morning, I heard a lot of noise coming from the heating vent...and Eric turned on the light and told me that we had caught another one. He crawled back in bed, and the poor little mouse, trapped head down, flapping, and thrashing around, kept me up. I felt bad for the poor thing, so bad I said to Eric "We can't let him die like this. It is not a nice way to die." 

So he put on his warm clothes, walked out in the snow fall, and freezing winter air, and let this one go and stay with Gus Gus.  He came back in bed and then said "So freezing to death is better than being trapped and hung upside down?"

"Well at least he has company and food, and now some trash to bundle in.  Its a mouses heaven." 

So rest well little mice and I hope you do not have more family members to stir in the night.  Because I don't know how many more my can can hold, and how much more my heart can take sending y'all away. I am about to get y'all a blanket....Maybe I will go buy a cage? 


Its Christmas EVE where did this year go???  Man, anyway I just wanted to say thank you to all our many santas out there.  I spent many hours unnecessairly, worrying about what to do for my kids for Christmas. So many wonderful people have wrapped gifts, given us money and helped us out in so many ways!  I just want to thank you all!  It has been such a blessing to have so many wonderful caring people in our lives, We are so undeserving of such gifts.  My kids are going to be so spoiled this Christmas...THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

December 20, 2009

December in Photos


Eric my love turned 40!  We celebrated by going to dinner to our favorite RED ROBIN and then off swimming in an indoor pool, of which I was wary because it was in the low teens. But we had a blast. Then on his real birthday we woke up and had breakfast pancake, and then met his brother and sister for lunch. The roads were icy and I just found out that his sister was in a car accident on the way home!  Thanks for meeting us and making it a special day and I am so sorry you had an accident.  I feel so bad!The Breakfast pancake is one of our family's favorite traditions.  Each layer is buttered and either jammed or fresh fruits (usually depends if we make it to the store the day before) and again usually topped with whipped cream, but these were filled with homemade peach jam and some tasty razelberry jam. 

SNOW!!!!! SNOW!!!! SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The beginning of a giant snow man!It is getting bigger....and well never got a picture of the finished dude.
T-Rex Never laughed so hard as he did, in the snow!!  I wish I owned a video camera. He would just throw him self down in the snow and laugh as he slid down our little hill.  Then he would thrust himself up with out touching the snow with his ungloved hands.
Then Miss Two decided to cut her bangs, however this picture doesn't do her cut justice, other than the fact that those bare spots are where her hair is cut to the scalp!  Nice job Two, and the best part is Eric was almost an accomplice...he at least was watching her and her brother T-Rex cut chunks out of their hair.  At least it grows back.
Nanny and Papa came to visit!  We love when they come to visit!  And appreciate all they do for us! The kids loved sitting around and talking with them, we even talked them into going out in the cold to see the awesome lights of downtown, after a day of baking, and store trips.

Today we hung out with most of our Simonsen family and had a wonderful time!  Thanks for all the singing and entertainment and yummy food...and GIFTS!  Love our family and feel so blessed.

December 18, 2009

Dear Wells Fargo,

Dear Wells Fargo,

You really need to put customer back in your customer service.  When I sent in my letters and spoke to your customer service reps, it sounded like they were spewing off exact lines from a memorized manual.  I mean are they real people, or is everything you do automated?  You know like the whole "lets process the highest amount first for the best interest of the customer regardless of date and time" process.  Did you ever stop to think that THAT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST of the CUSTOMER??? Because the only one whom I see that best interesting is your already fat wallet! 

I mean really, lets process the $900 rent that went through Monday night right before closing before the $1.50 charge that was pending since Friday....and charge the customer $35, because that makes so much sense!

Hey Wells Fargo while you are at it, why not keep charging an overdraft fee, on your overdraft protected customers..and just keep telling them that you can't help them out, and that they the customer, should just put money in their account.  Thats like a hungry alligator, telling a hot, thirsty lamb to just come and get a drink and swim around.  You are waiting to pounce and mall your poor unsuspecting customers.  I pay you, you take it all for yourself, and then overdraft and charge me for all the other bills right now that need to be paid.

I know I am just one tiny little drop in the bucket, and the now over $500 in fees (which should never occurred) might be nothing to you but that is half my income and all I have to pay my bills and feed my four young children with.  That is alright you keep on charging. 

Keep throwing your policies out at me like "you should be aware of your pending charges and checks you have written..." Believe me I am well aware, I know where my cents are coming and going and I'd prefer them not to keep going to you.  But what some of your policies should state and be mentioned are : 

We processes the highest amount to make sure you don't have money to cover those already pending charges. 

We know that you can't pay us and we will keep charging you so that we can then send you to collections and charge you even more, because we care about our customers.

We make sure that there are plenty of inexpensive charges pending, hanging in the balance waiting for the large amounts to come in so that we can charge you fraudulent over draft fees, its a recession and we have to make money!

And please keep threatening me to close my account. Go ahead, we have already moved our stuff, well not yet because we don't have any money, but we will no longer be banking with you once we have money to open another account. 

Wells Fargo it has been our pleasure to feed you.  And hope you have enjoyed chewing on this small poor soon to be homeless family.  Hopefully we are a few last of your prey, since congress is now investigating your predatitory banking.... And Merry Christmas by the way, how about overdraft fees for Christmas?


Over- Chewed, over- drawn and over- tired!

December 15, 2009

Tears of Gratitude!

The tears flow like the spring time rivers around here.  I think my hormones must be out of wack or something but it doesn't take much to make me cry.  However, today I shed tears of joy? of love? of overwhelming kindness? of thoughtfullness?  Not sure what the tears are but they were triggered by some kind acts that have come my way. 

Over Thanksgiving my mom took me and we did a little shopping for the kids, which took a huge burden off of me for getting gifts for my children, and well was given a few dollars to buy some other things, and well that money went to the bank and into the pockets of our dear bills....MERRY CHRISTMAS electric, gas, utilities dudes! 

A week ago, I receieved two large boxes, which are still sitting in my closet, from an old roommate who had called awhile ago wondering if her kids could adopt my kids for Christmas.  I cried when she asked and told her we would really appreciate that.  THANK YOU!!!

On Eric's birthday we received a card from a family member, and Eric at first thought he was getting a really cool extra birthday gift, and in some way he was but it was a gift card that we were able to use to take the kids to the store to pick out gifts for their siblings.  THANK YOU!! We even got a nice snow shovel, and some cleaning supplies!!!

Then we had another family member give us slippers for the kids!  I can't wait to put those in their stockings!  THANK YOU! 

Then this last Saturday  while delivering some cinnamon rolls to some friends and neighbors, I got stuck in the snow.  Two men that I don't know, left their party, beers in hand, and got me out of the snow...its quite a funny story, maybe one I will share for later, but I really appreciated them helping me. 

And after returning from being stuck in the snow..there is a lot of it out there this week, I found on my front porch a bucket full of stuff and a huge pack of TP and paper towels on the front porch.  Attached was the note: 

The Twelve Days of Christmas (sing a long if you wish)
12 ROlls of TP
11 Homemade Oreos (oh they were tasty)
10 Paper Towels

9 (teen) Mob-Tab Choir songs
8 Cookie Cutters
7 mini toiletries
6 comfy socks
5 $20 bills
4 crafts for kids
3 Soaps (laundry, dish washer, hand)
2 Cans of Cocoa
1 Fondue Pot for You!

G-man and Bee were awake as we went through everything, G-Man kept telling me to stop crying, but I was just so overwhelmed by the thoughtfullness of it all! 

Then today as I was shoveling the slushy, icy snow off the driveway the mail man came walking across the street with three large boxes....I said "Oh are those for me??" 
"You Corrine?"


"then yes they are."

I opened them and inside each box were several wrapped gifts for my children.  I can't wait for them to open them Christmas morning! They are hidden until then and maybe little G-Man will start believing in Santa Claus again!  I can't share how much I really appreciate everything thinking of my kids this year!  It just makes me feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family around.

Maybe I am getting greedy but I am just waiting now for my dear friends at Wells Fargo to refund me the 11 overdraft charges that really should have only been one!  Oh My Dear Wells Fargo don't you know it is be really nice to Corrine month???

THANK YOU, Thank you, THANK YOU,  everyone for your thoughts and prayers and for your GENEROSITY!!!!!  It is more than appreciated and I can't wait for the day when I can offer such to others, until then you get my time, my love and my baked goods....

December 12, 2009

Are You A Texan?

You know you are a Texan when you have a Texas shaped ice cube tray or a Texas shaped platter!  Texans love their state and love  the unique shape of it, they must right since you can even  go to the local grocery store and get Texas shaped tortilla chips.

Well recently I have been on a hunt for some of the Tackiest Texas shaped Treasures, and I need your help.  You may be at Goodwill or other second hand store and sitting there in the home section you see a Texas cross-stitch, or mug...I want it!  We want it. 

At Texas Pride Barbecue we would love to display your treasure! I'd love to showcase it on my new blog Tacky Texas Treasures

So hunt through your cupboards, search the store shelves find us some Texas Treasures, the tackier the better

December 11, 2009

Hanging in the Balance

A few days ago as I took Two and T-Rex to the grocery store, I was balancing texting Eric, phoning a friend, keeping the two of the kids in the cart, reaching for things off the shelves, and figuring out what I needed and what we could really live with out.  My mind flying in all different directions when I hear Two say, "Can I get out of the cart and walk?" 


While thinking about other things I grabbed her, and set her on the ground.  And as my phone buzzed again I said to her "Stand right here keep your hand on the cart."  Then I stopped and answered the phone. I was in search of something for someone and was having a hard time finding it.  All the while paying a small amount of attention to T-Rex who had just gone from the seat to the back of the cart.  I kept a careful eye on him, but was reading some prices off the shelf, and holding the phone to my head.  Ok so maybe I wasn't doing the best at multi-tasking but trying. And most likely I wasn't standing right next to my cart, as you know sometimes you push it to one point before your mind registers that the item you were looking for was back four or five feet.  Not that I would ever stand far from my cart...just saying sometimes I see that happen.  Ok so I do.  Anyway.....

T-Rex decided that he had a moment to make a break from the cart and he flung him self over the side. I hung up the phone, set down the item I was price checking and rushed to catch my son, however, the shopping cart caught the back of his jacket for me, and there he dangled from the shopping cart.  His little toes a foot from the ground, moving back and forth.  His arms swung side to side, trying to set himself free.  While the sweet dear shopping cart held the back of his coat. 

T-Rex, unaware of his safe catch, started saying to me "I stuck, I stuck."  As I was thinking, yeah, he is stuck I can keep shopping. I mean the cart had a pretty nice grip on him and he was pretty much stuck, unless his shirt and coat flipped over his head... But my plan was foiled when another shopper turned the corner.  I figured I should probably finish rescuing my child, because someone might think of it as an inappropriate way to shop.

December 06, 2009

Foot Stomping good time!

In order to get the attention of my children down in the basement, I stomp my foot four times.  Usually they come quickly running up, with a "Yes Mom what do you need.?",  Really they do. 

Well today, and actually last week, Eric asked T-Rex to go get his brother and sisters for dinner.  T-Rex said "Yesh"  and then with his tiny little leg stomps four time all the while shouting "Dinner." 

Eric and I just laughed at him. I guess he is paying attention.

December 04, 2009

All I want For Christmas

As we were driving to the store, well actually over to the bakery to pick up fresh hot buns for the restaurant, not once but twice and I still don't have them but that is a whole other story....all the kids but one fell asleep.  So G-Man and I had some time to chat as we drove around town killing time to pick up buns that were going to be done a little before four and then a little after four and now well anyway, again another time.... So as we are enjoying...our drive, he said to me "Mom can you tell Santa that I want a LONG board instead of a skateboard?" 

My reply was " Sorry Santa is so busy that he doesn't take requests after December 1st." 

Then the thought occured to me, they really should start the Christmas commercials like around back to school time...I mean you will be out shopping for crayons and all those things why not throw in some Christmas specials.  Then all the tempting Christmas commercials would be off the air the week of Thanksgiving.  Black Friday can be the grand finale of Christmas commercials, so that they no longer taint the young minds of wanting kids. 

I was glad I came up with that deadline thing...because well around here you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

And speaking of fits, our Bee the best fit thrower of them all, hopefully won't be throwing a fit this year at Christmas, because to our surprise, as she sat on Santa's lap this last Monday, when he asked what she wanted for Christmas, she replied "Makeup and twelve dollars in cash." 

I later asked her why she wanted "$12" in cash.  Her answer was "Well I was thinking first I wanted twelve dollars to buy some makeup, but then I figured santa could give me the make up and just give me twelve dollars. 

I think maybe Santa can scrounge around to find $12 to put in a savings account for her or something, but maybe he will find some ones around here somewhere...needless to say not too tough to please her....I hope not. 

(Sorry can't find spell check because I can not spell)

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