Merry Christmas and year-in-review

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Holidays | Posted on 24-12-2012

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Wow, 2012 is quickly ending and today is Christmas Eve already! Above is our holiday card this year (yes, we really are dorks). I was sitting here thinking about this year and all the amazing changes and adventures we have had.

The whole family had an amazing time in Disney over the Summer. I think that will, likely, be the highlight of 2012, for sure. It was also interesting to watch the family change over the past year, we’ve completely changed our eating habits and what we choose to do. We’re all healthier and happier, for sure.

Cassie is now in 4th grade and doing amazing, of course. She carries all As and still has never had to move her clip (I’m seriously going to find out next year if they have a perfect behavior award and if they don’t, I’m making the principal make one up for her LOL). She’s a Daddy’s girl for sure. She can get Tom to do almost anything for her if she asks sweet enough. She has been doing an amazing job with her violin lessons and she loves her computer games and plays Minecraft a lot with her friends. She’s turning into such an amazing young lady right before our eyes. We are so proud of her and know she’s going to do amazing things in 2013.

Jamie is in 6th grade. Yeah. Middle School. He’s actually doing really well, all As and Bs. He is in the band and is loving playing his clarinet. He’s taught himself to play several extra songs on his own and we’re so proud of him. He’s a Momma’s boy and is always ready with a hug and kiss for just about anyone. He’s every bit of a pre-teen, though. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how he evolves over the next few years. Jamie is one of the most empathic people I know, he feels your pain and wants to do whatever he can to make you feel better. I’m constantly amazed by him and how much he cares for his friends and family.

Tom turned the big 4-0 this year. So, he’s an old dude now. He’s still working as a teacher (math interventionist) and loving it. It took him a little longer to figure out what he wanted to do when he grew up, but he’s definitely found the right path. He’s happier than he’s ever been and I’m proud to call him my hubby. (But seriously, you could not pay me enough to work with a room full of elementary – or any – children, I would go insane). He still loves to cook and is the comic relief for Cassie and I (who are known to take things too serious sometimes).

For me, this year has been kind of a whirlwind. The emergency neck fusion surgery really messed up my life for a few months, recovery kind of sucked. I, of course, reached my goal weight – losing 200 pounds – and decided to lose a little more. I figure I’ll know when I’m done. I’m still running OffAssist and still trucking along very well. I started playing violin, myself, and am having a great time learning – and spending time with Cassie (who is helping to teach me along with our instructor).

So, 2012 is nearly gone and onward we go…

Happy Holidays!

Mr. B’s Talent Show Performance

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Posted by Candy | Posted in School | Posted on 20-05-2012

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Tom participated in his school’s talent show this year… :)

How I Met Your Father…

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 15-12-2011

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I’ve told the kids how Tom and I met before, but I guess they just don’t pay attention. But I mentioned that we were going out this weekend to celebrate 20 years since our first date and they asked, so I thought I would share. This Saturday marks exactly 20 years since Tom and I had our first date. We are going out to a nice local restaurant (Wink) and then going to see Beauty & The Beast at Bass. This is actually very significant. When I heard it was coming and I heard the dates, I called Tom immediately and we both laughed and knew right away where we were going…

In October of 1991, I was heavy in to the Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). Back in the day, before the internet, us geeks used something called a BBS. We would dial in to another computer and use the forums, download freeware/shareware and play games and stuff like that. There was even a fancy one or two that could have multiple “nodes” and you could chat live with one or two other users. It was all very fancy. My own first connection was with an old computer that had two 5.25 floppy disks (one to run the computer and the other to house the program) and was at 300 BAUD. What’s a BAUD, you ask? Yeah, just don’t ask. It was slow. Watching one line of text scroll across, then the next line…. etc etc. This new guy showed up on the scene, named DayStar (I went by the witty name of Candie) and he was EVERYWHERE. And he replied to almost all of my messages. It was a little weird, but whatever, right? He sent me a private message  and we talked back and forth and eventually he got my phone number out of me. I cannot recall why, but it sounded like a good idea at the time.

… and then he wouldn’t stop calling me. It wasn’t really stalkerish, but almost. I would talk to him, but he wanted to meet. I had a LOT of good reasons. Like my sister’s birthday party. Then my other sister’s birthday party (he totally didn’t believe me, but they really do have birthdays just two days apart). Let’s see, I was washing my hair. I had homework. I managed to NOT meet this guy for nearly two months. It’s not that I was being mean, but he was 3 years older than me. He was in the military. I was 16, he was 19. Eventually, my mother asked what was going on. I told her and she said, “He sounds like a nice guy just looking for a new friend. He is in a new city. Give him a break. What’s the big deal?”. Le Sigh. Mothers just don’t get it?

So… I hatched a plan. He was almost 20, so what did he want with a 16-year-old anyway? I decided that I would make him go away by making him realize that I was just a kid. Beauty & The Beast had just hit movie theaters. So, I would agree, but to make him think I was just a kid and make him go away, I’d insist he take me to see that movie. So, I set my plan in place. He called. He asked if we could meet again. I was pretty bratty and told him that yes, I would, but only if he’d take me to see that movie… I waited, with odd glee, as he surely was trying to back out…

… and then he said “Oh, wow, yes, of course… I love Disney stuff”. I think I may have threw up a little in my mouth. WHAT? Okay, surely, he is kidding. Maybe I could just shake him? So, we agreed to meet at the mall (on December 17th). I would be wearing a red Christmas teddy bear sweater and jeans. Ha! Do you KNOW how many people were at the mall in a red sweater? Okay, so I was kind of mean to him. He couldn’t find me, but I saw the Metallica hat and figured it was him. I followed him around for a few minutes, noticed he had a cute rear end (hey, he does!) and walked back to our meeting place to see if he actually figured out who I was. It was kind of funny, in a mean twisted way…

So, off we go to the movie. I’m thinking that surely we’ll watch it, I’ll go home and he won’t call again. Then he started singing the Disney songs. What the heck? I figured I would just change my phone number. Obviously, he was crazy. At least he paid for the movie… so, after the movie he asked if I wanted to go grab something to drink. We ended up at McDonald’s and split some fries where, once not singing Disney songs, I realized he was actually a good guy. So… he called the next day and asked if I wanted to go out on a real date. He was willing to come get me and take me somewhere.

Let me explain… this is not a small thing. I lived in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. It was a good hour for him to get there if he hit any traffic at all. So, I gave him directions. He would be there at 6pm. By 7pm, I was pretty sure I had gotten rid of him and really felt bad because he was a nice guy. Dammit. I was pretty resigned to putting on my PJs and going to bed when the phone rang. This was before cell phones and he was lost. He was also out of our area so he had to talk some small itty bitty store into letting him make a long distance call. So, yeah. He was late. He was VERY late. I have no idea what I told my parents we were doing, but by the time we got back to civilization it was later. We ended up going back to his apartment where his weird roommate was watching a movie (Backdraft, I think?) and talked for a while. I think we grabbed take out from somewhere. Not very exciting, but hey, it worked.

While I’m telling this story, I’ll take the opportunity to embarrass my husband by telling you that we went back to the car, he opened my door and leaned over a little (cuz apparently it was time to kiss) and said “I hate this part”. I think I snorted with laughter and said “Thanks”, which totally ruined my 16-year-old “moment” so I told him to just get in the car. I think later he said we should try that again and he managed to not make a really stupid comment.

And that was pretty much that. We were pretty inseparable at that point. We both have a really weird sense of humor and we have enough inside jokes (like I randomly tell him “I hate this part” when he tries to give me a kiss) to confuse all of our friends. By Valentine’s Day, I was in lurve… he asked me to marry him in March (WTF was kind of my response). We found out in June that he was being moved to Hawaii in December. At that point (I mean, I was a kid, but I was smart enough to know that THAT long distance wasn’t going to work), we decided that I would finish school, get married and move to Hawaii in a year. We had a plan. We got engaged. He left and within a week things changed in my home life and I ended up moving in with friends in December. It was tough all around. Tom found out he wouldn’t be able to get leave until September. I graduated in June, so I was kind of in flux with the whole living situation. He could, however, get leave in early March… which is why my wedding date is 1 day after the day I turned 18 – and moved to Honolulu. I graduated with my class (I only needed 1 English credit to graduate, they let me write a few papers and mail them to the school).

Yeah. I was 18. He was 21. It could have been a disaster for sure! But, we made it work. And we still make it work.

So, that my friends, is why we knew we HAD to go see Beauty & The Beast on the 17th. Exactly 20 years from our first date when we saw it in the movie theater. Can we all get a big “awwww”. Thanks :)

18 years of marriage so far :)

It’s official! He’s employed again!

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Posted by Candy | Posted in School | Posted on 12-07-2011

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So, Tom signed his paperwork this morning. He’s officially employed again. He’ll be working as a math interventionist at the same school he was in last year – Wells Branch Elementary. Yay!

How stressful, but I’m glad it’s all in writing again. LOL.

Been a crazy Summer! I hope to upload some pictures over the next couple of months of all of our shenanigans this Summer :)

Yes, a quickie post tonight. More later… hopefully :)

Heard From The Bedroom… Sex!

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Heard From The BackSeat | Posted on 06-06-2011

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Okay, so the title was to get your attention…

Cassie hasn’t really asked about sex or anything like that and we decided it was time (more on that in a minute) to fill her in a little bit before the kids at school told her god-knows-what. After her shower, I sat down with her in my bedroom and asked her if she had ever heard the word “sex” before. She said yes and I asked her if she knew what it meant. She proudly told me “It means love.” Awwwww… ya know, I think that’s the most apt description I’ve ever heard.

So, anyway, the big reason I brought it up to her is because she hadn’t asked and I knew we needed to have that talk soon. But also because Tom is scheduled to have a vasectomy this week. Can I just say, “Yay!” Our kids are 8 and 10. We’ve been married for 18 years. Everyone in this house can wipe their own butts and buckle their own seat belts. We’re done with the baby-making part of our lives and I’m looking forward to not having to deal with any accidents, quite frankly.

So, yeah, we haven’t told the kids about that yet, but I figured it would be easier to explain why Dad has an ice pack on his crotch later if I addressed it now.

One more funny… when the doctor asked if Tom was doing this for himself or his wife or what the deal was, Tom said that he was doing it for “us”.  I think that’s probably the most apt description I’ve heard too.

Snippy-Snip, baby!

PS – before anyone can tell me I’m oversharing more than I should, I asked permission before posting this news ;)

Tom does the talent show

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Posted by Candy | Posted in School | Posted on 20-05-2011

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So, Tom’s school had a talent show. I didn’t make it, but one of the kids recorded it for me… too funny. He was the only teacher brave enough to do anything for the talent show. Go, Mr. B, Go!

(He’s wearing a wig because the kids are always after him to grow his hair out. LOL, yeah, that can’t won’t happen.)

Updates – the good, the bad and the super sweet

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc, School | Posted on 19-04-2011

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IMG_8376Late photo of Cassie and her cake on her birthday…

I’ve been basically hibernating since my last post. Tax season was a bit brutal to me this year. Crazy, but should hopefully slack off once I catch up – if I ever do catch up!

The kids are doing fabulous. Jamie has really come out of his shell this year, he’s managed to drop probably 20 pounds and his grades are AMAZING. I’m so proud of him. If I could get him to get up in the morning without threatening him with bodily harm, then life would be REALLY fabulous. Cassie is puttering right now along… she loves school and loves learning and always has a smile and a hug ready for nearly everyone.

Tom got notice that due to the budget cuts, his position will be cut after this year. So yeah, he’ll have worked five months. Very sad, but we have hope that he will be rehired. He honestly loves teaching and has loved the past four months. Funny, he finally finds what he’s supposed to be doing in life and now this, but we have always believed that things happen how they are supposed to so I have faith that this is just a bump in the road. (Yes, I think he’s crazy… there’s so many of them – no way – not happening – I’d rather have bamboo shoved under my nails). But I must say that he’s been so genuinely happy that I really do hope he’s able to continue next year. The good news is that he was hired, so he’s in the rehire pool. Like I told him, if he wasn’t, he’d be in a bad position. So, see? Not all bad.

I’m doing well, getting ready for a few upcoming trips and various things going on. Excited, but already exhausted. At least I have a couple of weeks to recover before we go… it’s going to be fun! First stop is Portland, then to Dallas this Summer and then Vegas this Fall. Never been to Portland or Vegas so I’m super excited.

Not much else going on, honestly… just going day by day… we did get the kids new bikes. I know it’s sad, but our kids don’t know how to ride. They had bikes with training wheels, but Jamie took a nasty fall when he was 5 or 6 and refused to get back on it. We’re kind of making him get one because I know he’ll like it. Cassie, of course, is all over it and trying her hardest to learn. She can go if I give her a good shove, she just can’t start or turn around yet very well. It’s coming along though!

And now a sweet story (and to show you that either Tom is the sweetest husband ever or he has everyone snowed)… I texted him a few weeks ago while he was at the grocery store and asked him to bring me some jelly beans. I was going to be up most of the night and I needed something to chew on. He came home with them. No problem right? He told later that he had to go back in because he was packing the car. Awww… sweet right? Well, he went back through the line and the lady said something and he said “Oh, my wife wanted jelly beans so I came back in”. She asked when I was due (umm. no.) and he said, “Oh, she’s not pregnant, she just asked and I came back in”. She was surprised and asked something to which he replied, “Yeah, I just can’t resist a pretty face.”

Snowed or sweet? Hmmm… it’s been 18 years and I’m still not sure…

Random February Update

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Holidays, Misc, School | Posted on 08-02-2011

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Thanksgiving 2010 Outdoor (7)I know I’ve not done a real good job the past few months about updating, it’s been a pretty crazy time in our lives. Jamie’s now 10 and Cassie turns 8 very soon. I swear, I must have blinked. I feel so lucky to have two wonderful kids that get along with each other and us. It’s honestly a little weird sometimes how well they do together. I keep waiting for major wars to break out, but so far… so good (knocking on wood furiously).

So, let’s see… Jamie turned 10 (when did this happen?!?!) October 17th. He’s such a wonderful young man that I’m proud to be his mother. He’s very empathetic towards everyone he meets, just an amazing boy. A few months ago, we took him to be evaluated and, while I wasn’t completely on board, he has Inattentive ADHD (the difference is that he really doesn’t have the hyper part, just the inability to focus). He’s been on medication for two months now and (again) I wasn’t completely on board until his teacher grabbed me during a school event last month and told me that she has seen such an amazing real change in him and how he’s able to finish his work on time, get his math worksheets done and she’s not constantly having to keep in on task. We’ve noticed some changes here at home too. He doesn’t take it on the weekends or days off from school. It’s really to help focus during class. He brought it up yesterday, actually, and said that he likes that he’s not in trouble so much for not doing his work and he doesn’t feel like his brain is “crazy” (whatever that means). I know it’s the right decision, but it still bugs me a little. I still think ADHD is over-diagnosed. So, I suppose I’m still leery overall, but it’s made a BIG difference for him. Contradiction, much?

We spent Christmas in South Carolina again. I love spending the holidays with my mom and sisters. I think next year we might stay home though. It’s a trek and really wore us all out. We drive (yes, 1250 miles one way) and we take the dogs (Leo cannot really handle being boarded) so it’s kind of crazy.

Cassie. Oh, Cassie. Cassie turns 8 this week. Cassie is a bright and lovely young lady. She’s very responsible and likes to keep people on point. She likes to snuggle up as much as she likes her independence. She made it into Robotics (see my previous post – LOL) and is having a great time. She’s also doing REALLY well with violin lessons. Something clicked for her a couple of months ago and she’s finally getting the rhythm parts and a few pieces are actually really pretty sounding. She’s an amazing student, but works hard to achieve her goals in school. She’s so serious sometimes that I feel like I have to remind her to have some fun too. Perhaps responsible was an understatement. Militant might be more accurate. *laughing*

Our biggest news lately is that Tom got a job! He’s teaching 5th grade and loving it! It’s hard work, but he has great students and is enjoying following his dream. It’s been nice to have group insurance and a FSA again too, I won’t lie. It’s been a big adjustment for us both. I’ve had to do all the daily running around while trying to keep my neck above water in my business, but we’re making it through pretty well.

Me? I’m doing okay. I’m finally getting the allergy testing (and hopefully shots) I’ve been wanting to do for many years. Living in Austin is rough, I have allergy issues 10 months or so out of the year and I’m hoping this will help a little. I just need something to help me get it under control and livable. This year was really bad during cedar season. Otherwise, it’s been pretty much the same old same old.

I promise to make more of an effort here. I tend to update on Facebook more often, but I know this is more permanent so I’ll try harder :)

Robotics for Cassie

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Posted by Candy | Posted in School | Posted on 06-01-2011

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Before school let out, Cassie found out they were going to be starting a robotics program for the lower grades at her school. She talked about it ALL Summer. She also asked about it every week since school has started. At long last, the school sent the coveted letter home. They are taking “applications” and 12 kids will be asked to join – that’s all they have enough kits for. The key is that you have to write a paragraph saying why you want to join robotics. This is very serious, folks. Cassie has written a letter, a sloppy copy. I’ve been asked to edit it and she’ll re-write it tomorrow. This has to be cutest letter EVER so I’m sharing it. Click on it to see it, I’ve translated it in this post though. Tell me you wouldn’t let this little girl into your robotics program. I dare you!

Cassie's Robotics Request

Robotics Paragraph

By Cassie Beauchamp

I really like robots and I always wanted to be in the robotics club. My brother has a robotics kit and I really like the robotics kit. My dad used it for robotics. My dad helped teach robotics. I’m really interested in robots. I have watched the big kids in the past. I have seen the robots go around the course. I liked seeing them build the robots. When my dad said they were doing a kid robotics I said “When are they?” I was waiting for a long time to get into robotics.

We made the front page!

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 06-05-2010

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We’ve done this a few times now, but it’s always surprising and makes me feel good when we make the front page of Recipezaar. These lemon bars were really good but not as lemony as I would have liked, next time we’ll kick it up with some True Lemon.

20100506 lemon bars