Friday, August 29, 2008

More than a Red Flag...

Let me set the scene. I wrote out checks to pay 2 bills, put them in their assigned envelopes with the stub from the creditor with our account# on it, etc. My husband put them in the mailbox at 6:00 am this morning.

Fastforward to 12:30 pm. I am enjoying a leisurely sushi lunch with my two girlfriends when I receive a call on my cell phone. "Hello, Heather". "Yes, this is she". "This is Patricia from XXX Bank, did you write a check to Mr. John Allen for $300 for A/C repairs recently?" "Ugh, no". "Hmmmm...yeah we didn't think so either but he did try to cash one drawn on your account with your forged signature." "Is he still there at the bank?". "No, he took off we did retain the check and need you to come down as soon as possible." "Thank you Patricia, I'll be there in 15 minutes". "Ok, I'll flag your account that there is fraudlent activity so that if he tries to cash anymore checks on your account they will not be cashed". "Thank you, I'll see you soon".

My mind was racing as to where this guy could have gotten my checks, etc. When I got to the bank I realized he'd stolen them out of my mailbox this morning because he had made a new check (looked like a money order) out to himself, using the EXACT check # I used to pay the bill left in my mailbox, then he forged my name at the bottom and in the memo line wrote "For a/c repair".

He actually went inside the bank lobby to cash it, presented his id, placed his thumbprint on the check and then when the teller told him that she needed to verify the check he said, "Uh, I have a phone call I need to take in my car, I'll be right back!" He promptly hightailed it out to his car, jumped in and sped away. Not before being caught on camera at the bank, leaving his thumbprint on the check and forgetting his state issued id card. Sounds like he should be featured on the next episode of, "America's Dumbest Criminals". The teller also got his license plate # as he zoomed away. What an idiot.

It really was frustrating having to close my account, open a new one, close my two credit card accounts from the bills he stole out of my mailbox. Thankfully, because of the vigilance of the bank teller no money was stolen from me. But, what a jerk.

It really angers me that people are that hard up for money that they pull scheme's like this. I cannot press charges against him because he didn't get any money out of it. I'm frustrated that I cannot press charges for forgery though. Ugh! Why does our justice system always protect the predator rather than the victim.

My word of caution to anyone who pays bills and put's them in their own mailbox to mail out, and raises the red flag. You are ONLY raising the red flag to alert the criminals that you have outgoing mail then can take. yourself the heartache and, take any bills you need to pay to a post office or secure postal drop off facility. You will divert all potential problems like this. Also, if you pay a bill and the creditor's note says to include account # on the check, so that it's easier for them to process your payment. DON'T, only put the last 4 digits of your account number on your check. Now if the coupon enclosed in the envelope with your check already has your account number pre-printed on it, well you're basically out of luck if it gets in the criminals hand. Sad and scary, but it happens.

Hope everyone has a safe Labor Day. Don't forget mail doesn't come/or go out on Monday, so REALLY don't leave outgoing bills in your mailbox with the red flag up over the long holiday weekend.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Liquid Heaven...

I had this idea for a great tasting smoothie today. So, what did I do...combined all the "not-so-secret" ingredients in the blender and voila'.........LIQUID HEAVEN! You think I'm kidding? Try it yourself and you'll agree. In fact, I bet you already have all these ingredients at your house RIGHT NOW.

1 medium size banana
1 pkg. Great Value (WalMart brand) French Vanilla instant pudding mix
1-2 cups of Horizon Organic 2% milk
1-2 cups of crushed ice (from fridge's auto icemaker)

Blend well until it's a "smoothie" consistency. Drop in a straw and enjoy!

You will not believe how yummy! Try it and report back to you. There are all kinds options for fat free and sugar-free varieties. Sugar-free Chocolate pudding mix, Skim Milk, Fat-free milk.

I am so excited that I discovered this yummy treat! It's quite possibly the best smoothie I've ever tasted.

I'm calling it Simple, Liquid Heaven Smooth-Ings.....(Get it-Smoothie and Pudding mixed) Oh well, just go try it.

* Stop by the "Tip Junkie" blog and see lots of fun tips on various things. Very helpful. I submitted my smoothie recipe to them today. Maybe they'll feature them on their blog.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Watch out Nastia...Here comes Emery

Check out my adorable niece, Emery. Notice her perfect gymnastic form. You better watch out Nastia.

I can't wait to see Emery this weekend when her and my sister fly in for a visit.

Hop on over to "Tip Junkie" link (to the right under..blogs I peruse at my leisure) and check out this cool blog I found that give's lots of cool tips for making life easier and fun too.


P.S. Hope everyone likes my new layout. You all know my extreme obsession with pink and white leopard.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend wrapup....

Sorry no pic's from the weekend. We were SO busy though, appt's, friends over for dinners/lunches, cookouts, birthday parties, etc....

I went with my friend to purchase school supplies for her 3 kids. Holy macaroni, I cannot believe the very specific supplies list from the local school districts. I do not ever remember having to get "quadrille graph paper". Honestly, I don't even know what that is. Also, when did kindergartners need index cards, highlighters, composition books and 6 spiral bound notebooks. All I remember from kindergarten supplies in 1977 was having to have the paper with the dashed lines on it for writing practice...or was that for first grade. Either way, the list wasn't TWO PAGES long. Crazy! A person can go broke with all the supplies needed these days to get a "proper" education. Does anyone think the school districts are getting any "kickbacks" from Mead and Papermate? Hmmm....I wonder!

I am SO EXCITED that my sister and my niece Emery are going to be here next weekend! I haven't seen them since Thanksgiving and I'm missing them greatly. We're going to have so much fun catching up and eating Pho'. (My sister and I always have to visit our obligatory Vietnamese Restaurant Pho' Que Huong for some rocking noodle bowls and spring rolls). Sis, I found one in Frisco. Plus, I want to introduce her to Gelato, of course.

One more week until Luke starts school. I am SO ready for summer to be over. That includes the frippin' 120 F temp's. It is this time every year where I say to myself, "why the H.E.double hockey sticks do I live here?". Only in Texas can it be 120 F day and snowing the next.

In other news, I'm enjoying helping in our churches Tower Coffee Shop...hopefully soon to be renamed to HE Brews....It's a blast making frozen latte's, frappuchino's and the like. I am truly blessed by being able to serve in this capacity 3 Sunday's a month. It's fun and I get to meet so many new people as well as create some truly decadent smoothies.

One more funny, before I end for today's post. Yesterday, I was getting ready to leave early for church to open the coffee shop. I was scurrying around to get Luke's clothes on and him ready so that all daddy would have to do was put him in the car and go. We were in his room. I'd stripped him of his night time pull-up (yes, he still has pee pee accidents during the night). I had put on his shirt and other than that he was standing there butt naked. I was trying to get him to put on his big boy underwear when I notice him "fiddling with his vittles" very uh.....aggressively. I calmly said, "what are you doing son?" Matter-of-factly he replied, "I'm dancing with my penis Mommy". Ok, I about lost it laughing but instead I maintained my composure and said, "Honey, we don't need to dance with our penis." His reply, "Okay". Boys, always creating fun conversations for Mommy's and Daddy's. You gotta love him.

Ok, one more VERY IMPORTANT thing. If you want to laugh check out this video. It is 6minutes long but WELL WORTH it. Have a great laugh (Thanks Tammy)

Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

OH, I almost forgot to tell on the link to the left that's for Courtney Warren's Come Together Cards business. She has a precious card/invitations biz. Holly, I think you'd really be fond of her designs. She's also the wife of a classmate of mine, Joel Warren from the band Forty Days. Please support her business. Us Mompreneur's have to stick together. Thanks.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Trickery is when I'm the one that planned the "girl's night out" to see, Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 movie, and THEY turn it into a surprise birthday party for ME.

I am never surprised, but I must say when I arrived at Starbucks and my gal pals were all sitting there and said, "SURPRISE!", I truly was. I was supposed to JUST be meeting Lori, for coffee BEFORE the movie.

So, with all their Strategery (Bush-ism) they managed to pull one over on me.

My best bud Heather made the "pants" cake. She's so creative. I made everybody kiss my butt. Even a total stranger (man sitting reading his book) He was a good sport and I even gave him a piece of my butt cake. I just told him not to tell his wife that he went to Starbucks tonight and got a piece of @$$.

I had a blast, they showered me with fun gifts and afterwards we all went to see the movie, which ROCKED!!! Keira we missed you at the movie, but thanks for coming to the pre-party bash. You brought sexy back (wink)

Thanks to all the girls who came. I had so much fun! I have the bestest girlfriends in the entire world.

Love ya'll,

P.S. Next time could ya let me know you're going to surprise me, so I can put on makeup and not have a bad hair day. (wink)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pleasant to the palette...

WARNING: This post will definitely be hazardous to your health and lead to addictions.

Why? You ask........well,

For starters I'm sharing my newest favorite food item and a "famous" friends recipe. You'll LOVE me AND you'll HATE me.

First, friend Lori got me addicted to this last week and it's like a snowball running out of control...........Bigger....BIGGER, bam (as Emeril would say) FULL BLOWN ADDICTION!!!

If you've never tried Gelato it's WAY TASTIER than icecream and it's better for you. I do not know why it took me 36 years (well technically, 35 years and 361 days--I turn 36 this Friday) to discover this delectable little treat. To find out more about Gelato, google it...Find out where they sell it in your area and go directly to the nearest store. If you're local, they sell it in Frisco at Pacuigo's Italian Gelato store near Stonebriar mall and at Market Street.

Next, in honor of my dear friend Margaret who passed away 2 wks ago. I made her "famous" homemade mac-n-cheese recipe this weekend. Margaret was a fabulous cook. What I like best was her AWESOME mac-n-cheese recipe. I don't think she would mind me passing it along so others can enjoy it too. You will never eat boxed macaroni and cheese again, after trying this recipe. Try it, you'll see what I'm talking about. Follow this recipe for cheesy greatness.

2 cups of elbow macaroni (cooked and drained)
1 stick of salted butter
1 pound of Velvetta cheese

Cook and drain macaroni. Put in large pyrex dish. Chop butter into squares and mix it thoroughly with the macaroni. Chop up the velvetta cheese into squares and mix it with the macaroni. Pour in about a cup of milk (or more if you want it creamier). Seasoned salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 375F degrees for at least 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Great for Sunday's after church, family gatherings or any time you need a yummy dish because you're PMS'ing. Soul food.

Rinse and repeat.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Conversations I wish would last forever...

This is just adorable. One of those precious moments with your child that you wish you could bottle up and keep forever.

It started this morning when Luke crawled in bed with me after Jason had left for work.

He snuggled down right next to my face and began this conversation:

Luke: Hi, Mommy...where's daddy...oh yeah, he's not here...he's at work.

Me: (half asleep) Uh-huh!

Luke: That's okay, Luke Rice is here, and I'll protect you.

Me: Okay

Luke: Yeah, me and the angels and Jesus.

Luke: We should pray. I'm going to pray, ok?

Me: Okay

Luke: Dear Jesus, thank you for this day...protect us with the angels and Jesus, Amen.

Me: I hugged him and said, Oh, sweetie that was such a beautiful prayer.

Luke: You like it Mommy?

Me: Yes, I loved it.

Luke: Now I gonna give you a kiss. (leans down and smooches my cheek)

Me: Ah, thank you... mommy loves Luke's kisses.

Luke: Ah, you liked it. You did smiley face.

Luke: Ok mommy, the sun's not sleeping anymore so it's time to get up. Get up mommy, okay?

It was such a precious little moment. I just love that boy. I wish he could stay little forever.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nothing too exciting today....

My internet was down ALL DAY. I was suffering serious email, blogger, facebook withdrawals. I took some pic's today of the Lukemeister though. Hope you enjoy.


Monday, August 11, 2008

The highs and lows of life..

Yesterday was hard, Jason was a pallbearer at our dear friend Margaret's funeral. Although, I'm glad to know she is with Jesus and cancer/pain-free, it is still sad for those of us left here on earth. I cannot imagine the pain and loss that Larry, her husband is feeling losing his spouse. I cannot imagine the pain that Russell her son is experiencing with his first baby on the way. Nor, can I imagine the pain Becky, her daughter is feeling as she and her husband just had Margaret's first grandbaby 11 days before she died. I do not have an answer as to why God allows situations such as cancer to take people from this life. I DO know the Lord is Sovereign and everything little detail fit's into HIS plan for us. He uses every circumstance to draw people to Him. Whether we understand it or not. My prayer is for Margaret's loved one's who are left behind. Her parents Buford and Louise, her husband Larry and her son/daughter Russell and Becky. Margaret, you made such an impact on so many people's lives. Personally, had you not had Russell I would not have met Jason and we would not have had Luke. Thankyou for your life and service to other's, may you rest in peace and dance on the streets of gold. We all know how you love to dance. You are already missed by many.

On a lighter note, it was nice to be invited over for dinner tonight at Lisa's house (you'll remember she's our Extreme Home Makeover recepient from last week) Dinner was delicious and I thought I'd show a couple pic's that were taken.

Busy week ahead, hope everyone is doing well.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

You will be missed...

Cancer, YOU DID NOT WIN! Jesus did. It was time, Jesus called Margaret home this afternoon. Her son and her daughter were there beside her, as she took her final breath. What a beautiful thing to be in the presence of Jesus. Although, our hearts ache, we know that she is with her Savior.

Thank you Margaret for sharing your life. You are an example to all, of what it means to live life to the fullest. Funeral arrangements are pending. If you are one of my faithful blog readers, please pray for the Wilson family-- both immediate and extended. Both of Margaret's parents are still alive, they are well up in their late 80's. I had dinner with them tonight. They are mourning the loss of their sweet daughter. This is the second child they've lost. No one should ever outlive their children.

Buford and Louise,
Thank you for sharing Margaret with us. She's was a beautiful person and faithful friend. She will be missed by all who knew her. May you find solace, knowing that she is with Jesus.

Heather Rice & Family

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"Bus Driver, MOVE THAT BUS!!!"....Home Makeover

The long awaited slideshow is finally here. This weekend I was honored to participate in the best thing I've ever done in my entire life (short of delivering a baby, and getting married or course!)

Let me explain how it all began. God blessed US by allowing single mom Lisa and her 3 kids visit our church a few months back. The rest is history. A few of us met her a couple weeks back, as she volunteered to help with Vacation Bible School. As we began to talk to her, we learned her story. She recently moved out of a homeless shelter that she's been living in for over a year with her 12 yr old daughter Quianna and 5 year old twin's Zoe and Zion. She's a single mom who's had a very rough life these past few years. She's not one to ask for ANY TYPE of help, although she desperately needed it. She has a college degree and took her test for teacher certification this past Sat. This was all the time we needed to kick a plan into action. So, in true Extreme Home Makeover fashion (Ty Pennington would be so proud) we kicked her and the kids out of the house for 2 days (they stayed with friends) and told her not to return until 6:30pm Sat. night.

Last Thurs. emails went out from our small group at church asking for donations for our home makeover transformation. Never in a million years would I have thought how it would all end up. It was nothing short of a miracle how the Lord sovereignly brought together JUST THE RIGHT people, donations, color scheme's, decorating talents, organizational talents, etc......Every room has a story from the way colors, furniture and accessories match to last minute donations. Lisa is able to lease this house and has been there since March. It is a 2 year old house that literally had 1 bed that all 4 of them were sleeping in. It had a bistro kitchen table that Lisa bought at a garage sale for $75 bucks (it was the envy of all of us- just gorgeous) They had a couple washcloths, towels and that was about it. No pillows, sleeping bags on the floor in the kids rooms and no toys.

EVERYTHING YOU SEE IN THE PICTURE SLIDESHOW WAS DONATED. From 2 fridges, 5 tvs, beds for EVERY room, dressers, computer desk, formal and non-formal living room furniture, formal dining table, china hutch, dishes, curtains. We painted the house from the front door to the back door. The reaction on her face when they walked in was priceless. I am so humbled at the things I take for granted. That night Lisa told me, "Oh, my gosh we all have blankets tonight". Like me, you've probably got at least 3 spare blankets sitting in a closet. She couldn't believe she had lamps on her nightstands and that someone had given her a George Foreman grill. It's the little things that those of us who haven't been through what Lisa has, take for granted.

We (all 25+ people physically involved)were so blessed by being part of this project that a couple of us are considering starting a non-profit ministry and do this on a regular basis. NOTHING I have ever done blessed me as much as this experience. GOD IS SO GOOD! Thank you to everyone who donated time, tangibles. She now has a stocked pantry, two stocked refridgerators and MUCH, MUCH more. There is enough stuff in the garage still to furnish a second house. She's going to go through that stuff, keep what she wants, give away what other's she knows needs and have a garage sale for the rest. She's so excited to get to do this for someone else. What a giver she is. Lisa, we pray this is a fresh start for You, Quianna, Zoe and Zion. You deserve nothing but the best. Glad you like your yellow bathroom and that the kiddo's are enjoying their fun rooms.


A very special friend...

To my sweet friend Margaret,

We came to visit you last night. You looked so peaceful. We stroked your hair, kissed your cheek, held your hand and told you how much we love you. I could tell you heard us. You tried to respond. You are a beautiful women who adds so much to our lives. You just had your first grand baby 10 days ago and he loves his grandma. You are expecting another grandbaby in March. These last 4 months have been so hard on you. What you have endured through chemo, hospitalization's, surgical procedures no one should ever have to endure. The hospice nurses told us that it could be any time now. You are not in any pain and we are grateful, you've endured too much already. Thank you for giving us Russell and Becky. I know you are proud of them. If it hadn't been for Russell, Jason and I would have never met. You are such a treasure. Always smiling from ear to ear. Your zest for life is unparalled. I wish more than anything that we had more time with you. I know that Lord has other plans. As I told you last night, it is an honor to call you friend. Your spirit will live on through your kids and grandchildren. Turkey dinners won't be the same without you. Walks around the cul-de-sac won't be the same without you. All of us are forever changed for knowing you. Rest sweetly dear friend and when it comes time for the Lord to call you home know that we will be ok, Larry will be ok. Look down from heaven and be our guardian angel. We love you so much Margaret.

I quoted the scripture to you last night Jeremiah 26:14--As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right.

The time has come and it's good and right for you to live in heaven with Jesus. Thank you for sharing your life with us. We are better for having known you.

Heather Rice & Family