Monthly Archives: October 2008

Traffic Court, Virginia Beach style


Have you ever had one of those days that started out good and just got better?  Me neither…not in a while.  And ESPECIALLY not on a day that began with a trip to a municipal building.  In ANY state.

But Tuesday, October 14, 2008 was QUITE the exception.

I woke up in a timely fashion, put on my crisp new white cotton blouse, a new necklace and black tailored trousers.  I even busted out the black non-sandals, closed-toe heels just for this occasion.  Because when I go to court, I like to look more like the lawyers than the defendants.  It’s just my strategy.

So I found the building 30 minutes ahead of schedule and as I walked up to the front door, I made the wise choice to turn right around and put my cell phone back in the car.  I read the signs on every handle and I took them seriously.  I’m nothing if not an avid reader.  One of the many blessings from God came in a quite unexpected place on my return trip to the front door…a gal sitting on the curb wearing, get this, a shirt that was LONG ENOUGH!  Seriously, I am currently mentally and intentionally thankful whenever I see shirts and pants that meet, nay, overlap these days.  It’s like a twisted treasure hunt, I love them so.  Despite the fact that it makes me feel so very old and 40. 

“In my day…we had pants that came up yay high, and shirts that tucked in or went over the top, even in the back…  And we LIKED it.”

So they whisked me right through security and back to Traffic Courtroom B where Barbie The Honorable Judge Blonde Ponytail was presiding.  I’m not smack talking the judge…she’s my new best friend.  But I did wonder what she wears to the bars.   She was THAT pretty.

Regardless of the calendar-worthiness of the judge, Traffic Court, even in Virginia Beach is no Ally McBeal or A Few Good Men.  I mean, the lawyers were not that good looking or even well dressed for that matter so it was quite the buzz-kill.  On the bright side,  I did get several days worth of meals planned during my 2 hours of waiting.  Plus, there were several way more scandalous issues that I was able to hear which were interesting enough to tear me away from grocery list composition.

Finally it was the turn of ALL Officer Detrich’s clientelle to come forward and plead “guilty,”  “Not-guilty,” or “no contest” which Judge Jessica (not her real name) explained means “…not arguing the nature of the ticket, you just have additional information that may not be indicated in the officer’s report.”  Fair enough.

I was #13 in line and we moved pretty quickly.  Now is the time it dawns on me that I might want to consider being a little nervous.  Even though she is dismissing people left and right, even the 15 year old kid who she made take a breathalizer test which he failed, not to mention untucking his shirt as soon as she dismissed him from the bench (again, thankful.  Long Enough.  Thumbs up, Drunk Teenager in traffic court, for at least covering the boxers) I still had a bit of a heart-rate climb.  What if I’M the random “example?”  She may look at my picture of the 35 MPH sign and say I photo shopped it.  Yikes, maybe I should’ve just paid the ticket.

But all was well because when it was my turn, she reminded me we are all about keeping our neighborhood safe.  Agreed.  And then she said to the officer, “I’m gonna give her the benefit of the doubt,” and she said to me, “You’re free to go.  No charge.”

I am free to run!

I am free to dance!

I am free to drive real slow!

I am free.


Fli-yup Flops


I Am Flip Flops

You are laid back and very friendly.
Cheery and sunny in disposition, you usually have something to smile about.
Style is important to you, as long as you can stay casual.
It takes a lot to get you to dress up!
You are a loyal and true person, though you can be a bit of a flake.
You tend to “play hooky” and blow off responsibilities a lot more than most people.
You should live: By the beach
You should work: At a casual up and coming company

Random, yes. Strange, check. Interesting? We’ll see…

Standard gave me this idea:


1.  I lived in one house/nieghborhood/city/state for my first 18 years, then 11 houses/apartments in 5 states over the next 22 years.  That’s strange, right?

So…we begin our tour in East TN, then college in AL, (’cause I’m counting the dorms), marriage and first jobs in FL, 4 kids in 5 years all in MI with an 8 month detour to NC, then back to MI and now VA, which we love.  But we (everyone but hubby) all miss MI.

2.  Did you catch that part about 4 kids in 5 years?  Yeah.  I know NONE of the songs on the radio that were popular from 1994-1999.  When Oldest was 5-6 he got to where he would notice The Look from anyone who got behind us in Kroger, head off the impending conversation by looking up and saying, “We’re all hers.”

3.  I asked Oldest Girl for a strange/random thought and she offers:  You are shorter than your 12 year old daughter.  Just now I saw my rebuttal on some facebook flair: 

So that is my new motto.

4.  I have a large chicken on top of my refrigerator. 

Both my grandmothers were Lovers of  Creativity and I have several ceramic magnum opi (?) from both of them.  Mimi (Mom’s Mom) gave me the chicken (rooster) on a visit to see her in coastal SC several years before she died.  She kept it on her fridge and I would love to grow up to be just like her so I keep it on mine.  She played in the handbell choir and rode a stationary bike well after her 90th birthday.  I should be so blessed.

5.  I have a few scratches and dings on all four bumpers of my car

and have no idea how they got there.  I’m also going to court on Tuesday for a speeding ticket.  Completely unrelated.

WHAT ABOUT YOU, Oh, Randomly Strange Reader?

BSF bubbles


I had a delightful time with the 2s yesterday.  We had 5 boys, 2 girls,  2 leaders, very few tears and a lot of fun.  Little Cayden asked me during opening if I wanted some “womanade.”  It was delicious.  Then she refilled me with “Pink Womanade” which we both agreed was even better.  And neither one had any carbs or sugar.  BONUS!

Always, ALWAYS when I work with children God teaches me something about my relationship with Him.  Yesterday it was during Large Muscle time.  We went outside and chased bubbles.  We were in a 3 sided courtyard with a slight wind so it took some formational tweaking to figure out which direction to face and blow and where to position the children. 

Each child would fix their eyes on one big bubble…out of hundreds…and chase it to the far reaches.  I positioned myself as goalie on the dangerous sidewalk.  The bubbles would float up the side up the building anyway, and we don’t want 14 tiny Keds tromping through the mulch & flowers so I’d just turn ’em around and point out 6 dozen more bubbles for them to choose from that were floating safely over the grass. 

This got me thinking about boundaries.  And desirable “bubbles” in life that aren’t always catchable.  No matter how many times the leader said, “Keep your feet on the green grass” and they would look down at their feet on the green grass and at their teacher’s eyes and nod, once their eyes locked on that bubble, they could not be torn away and didn’t have a clue their feet were somehow all of a sudden on the sidewalk or the mulch and they were being turned around.  This is so me.  “How did I get way over here?”



One great thing about 2 year olds is that they are easily distracted.  They don’t mourn the high-floating bubble.  They aren’t even crying when they pop the long-chased after bubble. 

They are quick to look in a different direction and much to their delight discover that there are way more bubbles…enough for me and everyone else too!   Too many for me to pop, even!

Though the sidewalk really wasn’t dangerous, it wasn’t the BEST place for those feet to be.  Though the mulch isn’t expensive or anything, it is just not so respectful to have your feet on it.  Though a 2 year old has a worthy cause and is somewhat obedient just chasing bubbles, the boundaries they stumble on are worthy of a redirect.  May it be so with me, Lord.  May I only chase the exact right bubbles you want for me and help me to let them fly away when it goes where I can’t or shouldn’t get it and not be too too sad.  After all, you are blowing more bubbles for my delight all the time. 

Thank you God.  You really are SO good to me.  Glory Hallel-u-JAH!

Alpha Mom Day


I feel like an ACTUAL real mom today.

Most days there’s an almost 3 hour window when the family is getting ready.  And I just don’t need that kind of time.  Hubby is up before 6 and wakes up #3 who wants time daily to straighten her wavy blonde locks.  #3 and #4 hit the bus stop at 7:30 at which time #1 and #2 are rising and readying themselves for their bus to Princess Anne at 8:30.  I usually begin getting ready full steam ahead around 7:00 which is not quite enough time to be finished at the 1st bus stop…and then stall out the first time I walk by the computer.  But not today.

Hair Straightened 5th grader has a field trip to Williamsburg today.  The form said in bold italic underlined caps “BUSSES WILL LEAVE AT 7:30 SHARP” so I was up at dawn, like the good Alpha Mom I am Not, fully dressed, with shoes and everything by 7:06.  I even made #1 an egg or four because his braces were hurting so bad.  Look at me!

Now it’s the rest of the marathon day.  BSF children’s department (“Let my people go!”) then fellowship lunch…OH YEAH!  I JUST REMEMBERED I’M SUPPOSED TO BRING CHICKEN!!!!  D’oh.  Then right to work, rehearsal for the weekend and home in time for Thursday night TV of course.

It’s also day #1 of South Beach diet which means gargantuan salad for dinner.  And since when do I know what’s for dinner at 8:17 a.m.?

So, to all you moms out there fully dressed, coifed and made up knowing what’s for dinner at the bus stop every single day…good for you. 

See you next field trip.

Holidays–BRING IT!


The family birthday season is finally over.  Hallelujah!

Except for Hubby in two weeks and he’s easy.  Steak, cake, massage, done.

Yesterday Oldest turned 14.  He had a list that would piss off Santa.  And it did.

Burnout 3 at Game Stop $14.99

Tony Hawk American Wasteland  $9.99


$100.00 for clothes at Hotline or Coastal Edge


Drumset/guitar with lessons

Madden 09

soccer net

basketball net

ipod (not shuffle)

real soccer jerseys that fit me

new drumset for Rockband

A boom box for the garage when working out

new soccer ball

new sk8 board

a long board

cable for my TV


Is that it?  No problem.  Oh, wait.  I forgot.  Our last name ISN’T Gates.  Or Trump.  Or even Philbin.  Not to mention we spent the afternoon at the orthodontist.  With 3 count em THREE patients.  Pass the Paxil, please.

I used to LOVE the offspring party season.  We did a choo choo train theme and found the perfect Baskin Robbins ice cream cake.  The cutest pictures were taken under the table that year.  One year was a race car theme and I made a spectacular figure 8 racetrack cake.  We did painting pottery once and I ordered photos of the birthday kid made into confetti  I’ve made birthday muffins, birthday cupcakes, birthday crowns, and birthday bubbles at Gymboree.  But now it’s all about the birthday bling-age.  I am most definately out of my early childhood comfort zone. 

When 14 boy/man came down the stairs just now and spoke, I thought it was my husband for a second.  Boys & toys.  I guess that’s normal.  But I sure miss the wonder of the bow-on-the-head, play-with-the-box days.  Them ‘r gone.  Woo-oo Bye Bye.  In return is the realization that this time next year he will be searching for Driver’s Ed classes.  With three siblings right behind him. 

Come Lord Jesus! 

Before YOUR birthday works for me.



Something weird is happening.  Something strange and out of the ordinary.  Something that will blow your mind.

I’ve become interested in fashion.

This doesn’t mean that I LOOK like I’m interested in fashion.  Oh, but no, silly fantasizing reader.  Far from it.  In fact I celebrated this amazing discovery admission by making chocolate chip pancakes for the “family.”  This may work against me on the runway.

It all began harmlessly enough with multiple summer episodes of What Not To Wear.  Who can’t love Clinton and Stacey who tell EVERY SIZE of woman how “tiny” their “waist” is when they wear the right clothing.  I mean, “shut up.”

Then a highly respected friend of mine from BSF in Michigan who just happens to be friends with a coworker of mine at NRC  (hello?!  Worlds colliding!)  mentioned her delightful family’s co-operative marathon of Project Runway back in the summer.  My mind opened ever so slightly.  Plus also the lure of lolling about for several hours no doubt played a role.  I mean, time at the beach is way up there, but what to do after tanning because “tanorexic” I am not.   So now I have graduated from why “comfortable” is a bad word to the person who knows about how to “Holla atcha boy” and that the fashion forward version of Hip Hop is high waisted jeans.  (chuckle) 

I realized yesterday I was morphing from a far-from-caring-about fashion into an unshakable growing interest and desire to watch the people who do care.   I guess there was no turning back once I blew off a planned trip to the grocery store for ice cream to watch the Rachel Zoe project instead.  It’s pronounced “Zo” just so you know…

The full realization hit yesterday when I read Big Mama’s Fashion Friday blog and realized WITH JOY that I had purchased her VERY FIRST SUGGESTED LINK!  On Fashion Friday EVE.  Because that’s a key element in fashion.  Timeliness.  Which is a challenge for me in EVERY aspect of life.

So I admit it.  I’m a fashionista wannabe.  I’m this [ ] close to buying a McCall’s pattern and watching The Devil Wears Prada again.  This time with intention.