Friday, December 18, 2009

Flashback Friday, part 10

Photo taken 04/07

This is my genius brother. He was back on leave in the states from Iraq, and was used to making due with what he had on hand. Why go through all the steps to rotate the screen when it's easier to flip the whole monitor? Of course, this made my techie husband about blow a gasket.

Yeah, that's my gene pool. We may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but gosh darn it, we'll figure it out! And usually will have people laughing at the same time.

Join in on the Flashback Friday fun! Swing by Tia's blog to find out more.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Don't lie to me, it's Christmas!"

I know it's not Friday, and I don't normally post anything except on Friday, but I've been feeling yucky and laying around. With all this extra time spent on my tush, I figured I might as well get another blog post squeezed in this week.

Let's take a trip back in time, the year is 2008, and it's a few days before Christmas. For Christmas, Hubby and I decided to get the kids a dog. We didn't really want just any dog though, we wanted one that had been previously loved/house-trained and tested with irritating children. By a huge coincidence, my sister had a black lab mix that fit the bill perfectly. Score! So Goliath began his journey to come live with us. The grown-ups decided the best way to acclimate the dog and the kids to each other was with a "visit". There was no mention of him coming to live with us in case he decided that Monster didn't really need all ten fingers, or Monster decided that a large black dog was not in his best interest either. Instead, my sister brought her kids, a family friend, and Goliath over for lunch. Of course, the dog had to go out, so my sister, me, and the family friend took him around the neighborhood. It was a quick walk. I think my sister brought her phone in case Hubby couldn't handle all 6 cousins, and I brought nothing, not even the house keys because there were people still there to let us back in. Like I said, it was a quick walk. No muss, no fuss. Until the trip back home.

We were walking back down the main road through the neighborhood, which also connects two pretty decent sized roads. We get a lot of through traffic because of this. We also have a lot of really irritating speed bumps. Wait, let me clarify, the speed bumps aren't irritating, the people who don't know how to drive over them without slamming on the breaks are. Anyway, a car pulls up beside us with 5 rather large adults in it. They slowed way down, and I was expecting them to do the whole slam on the breaks for the speed bump thing, but instead the passenger rolled down her window. Now, we don't know very many people in our neighborhood- my allergic reaction to the trees in our backyard (and all over the neighborhood) keep me inside most of the time, but I do have "How 'bout this weather" conversations with a few people I see regularly. This car did not contain any of those people.

The passenger, an older lady, started the whole we need gas money conversation. Normally, I believe what's mine is yours, and I will share just about everything I own to someone who needs or even just really wants it. But, like I said, no one had anything in their pockets. We were out taking the dog for a walk. The lady in the car didn't want to believe that, and started muttering stuff about needing to take her kids somewhere, and some people were so rude. At this point, I started having indignant thoughts like, your children all look more than old enough to get a job, and on top of that those "boys" look big enough to push the car down the street if the need arises. So I clamp my mouth shut, because I knew something would come out that I would regret. One of my eyebrows started sliding up my forehead, too. The pursed lips and rising eyebrow usually forewarn my kids that Mommy's gonna let loose, so knock it off, by the way. The lady could see that she wasn't getting anywhere with begging, so she hefted her quite liberal bosom and upper body out of the open window, stuck her finger in our faces, and shook it while yelling, "DON'T LIE TO ME, IT'S CHRISTMAS!" And that's when I lost it. My sister and I looked at each other and started laughing. I'm not really sure if she said anything else as they drove off, but that one phrase has become part of my Christmas memories. One day, I may write a Christmas Carol featuring that line. I'm partial to the melody from Carol of the Bells, but it may be difficult to come up with enough words to match.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Flashback Friday, part 9

Ugh, it's been one of those mornings, but I'm actually posting my flashback on time today. Of course, my laptop's hard drive is fried, so I have no access to any pictures on it. I also don't know how to work the scanner from Hubby's laptop, so we're stuck with a blurry scan of a photo taken four years ago from my sister's Facebook. I've already posted all the old pictures from mine.

This is my family. My immediate family. As in just my brothers, sisters, their spouses and children. We make for a fun, large, loud group.

Let me introduce you to everybody- on the far left we have my brother (#4 of 5 siblings), his wife, and step son. She is pregnant with their daughter in this picture, but you can't really tell. This was between two tours of Iraq for him, so that's why his hair looks the way it does. His stepson wanted his hair to be just like his Daddy's (he's always called my brother Daddy, so sweet). She's also had another little girl since then.

Moving toward the right, we have my older sister (#1 of 5), her husband, her son and daughter. Her husband had issues with the whole solid white shirt concept. I believe my mom had to send him home twice to put a different shirt on. I'm pretty sure that's not his shirt he's wearing.

Then you have my mom (Grammy) seated, holding the Monster. She got to sit, but me, who had just had a C-section 4 weeks earlier had to stand the entire time. Whatever, it was for a good cause.

Moving along toward the right, there's me (#2 of 5) with my puffy pregnant face and Hubby holding Sissy. Monkey and Bubby are standing next to Grammy. That's not a smile of happiness on my face. I was in a decent amount of pain because my brother, whom I love dearly, decided it was his job to make the lady (who just gotten staples removed from her belly) laugh. Yeah, God bless him, he and my brother-in-law were playing with all the props and telling my poor mother they were going to get their picture taken in the ridiculously small Santa hats and Eater Bunny ears. They were also stealing the reward stickers and sticking them on people. You might even be able to spot a couple if you look hard enough.

Then there's my younger sister (#3 of 5) with my youngest brother's (#5 of 5) hand on her shoulder. She just recently got engaged, and he just started college. They're both hearing impaired, too. Did I mention that yet? She communicates almost completely by Sign Language, but she can read lips very well. He just has enough hearing to make him think he doesn't have to wear his hearing aids and ends up asking "What?" every five minutes. Yeah, that could be his age, too. He's at that irritating I-know-everything college stage. It's fun.

This was taken in January of 2005. My brother was back in the states, and my younger sister had traveled from Texas to see him and all the nieces and nephews. My mom had decided that this may be the one and only time she would get all the kids together, which of course meant we had to get our picture taken. I don't know if she really explained to The Picture People how many of us there were because we were crammed pretty tight into that room. They had to wheel the camera out into the hallway and stop every time someone had to walk by.

It was quite the evening. Trying to keep all the cousins clean and contained (White shirts? Genius idea, mom!), making sure everyone was smiling and looking the same way, and keeping my brother and brother-in-law out of the props was, um, interesting to say the least. That was a good holiday, though, and for all the fighting we did growing up, I still love my siblings and wish we could be together every day. Well, maybe not everyday, at least once a week. Uh, once a month, yeah, definitely once a month.

Stop by Tia's blog to join in on the Flashback Friday fun! You know you want to.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Flashback Friday, part 8

At this point I'm not even sure why I try to post on Friday. I should give up and plan on posting Thursday because then it would be on time for once. Hey, it's Flashback Friday, and I might get a post up by Saturday! Sara's way behind- what's new, huh? Anyway...

Tia posted a really cute picture of herself in Santa's lap. You have to go check it out because the expression on Santa's face is so epic. My parents never pushed the Santa thing, and were perfectly honest about it. So I don't have any pictures of me with Santa, but I do have this picture of a belly that jiggled on it's own.

(I'm pretty sure that's a doll in her shirt. Mine was definitely a very active baby.)

I'm about 6 weeks away from giving birth to my fourth and last child, and my sweet Sissy was determined to be just like her Mommy. She's not quite two in this picture, but she already knew everything about being a mom. She had quite a few babies, and although she carried them around by their heads, she was a very attentive mom. We even had to rig up a baby sling once Monster was born, so she could carry her dolls around just like Mommy.

Even to this day, she is in charge of those boys, despite the fact that they all outweigh her and could easily hurt her, she keeps them in line.

Come join in on the Flashback Friday fun. For more details, swing by Tia's blog.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Things I need to remember...

On days like today (we're not even getting into how my day is going) there are a few things I need to remember...

He did stay in his bed during nap time at one point in his life.
(Picture taken 12/06)

She used to be cute, you know, before she learned how to sass me.
(Picture taken 12/04)

They can play together without the house exploding.
(Picture taken 12/04)

No matter how bad it gets, sometimes all you need is a new perspective.
(Picture taken 12/04)

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Flashback Friday, part 7

I'm a little late. It's not because I was out Black Friday shopping. I refuse to shop on Black Friday. After thirteen years of retail, it's a matter of principle. Someone has to get up and be at work at least an hour before all those shoppers show up, and I can guarantee they'd rather be in bed. So that's my rant about that.

To continue on with the parade of hideous formals... I don't have a picture of me in a formal. However, I do have a funny story about my Senior year Homecoming Banquet. Yes, it was a banquet, there was no dancing. (I feel like I have to explain that every time so we're all on the same page.)

Imagine if you will, a small, private Christian school with about 120 students in the high school. Every year, a Homecoming Banquet is held in the fall, and a Junior/Senior Banquet is held in the Spring. Well after enough complaints of boredom from the students, the faculty decided to try something different. Because they were such a small group, they could do something fun, like say, a mystery dinner theater.

Yes, we went to a mystery dinner theater for Homecoming. We didn't fill up the whole room, so there were tables with random people sitting at them. I can't even begin to think what those poor people were thinking when they entered the room full of teenagers in formals with a few wary-looking chaperons. Oh, and even though someone at the restaurant knew that a group of Christian teenagers were attending that night, the actors went right ahead with the normal show, full of double-entendres and sprinkled with a few choice words.

This point would be a good time to introduce my date. He was a friend of my older sister's boyfriend, and he was in the country on a student visa. He was from England, had long hair, and drove a white Harley. He was also very well mannered and polite to my parents. Yeah, I was rebelling with an extremely polite gentleman because that's how I roll.

Here's a shot of me, my date, my sister, and another one of our friends taken on a different night.

Back to the banquet, we were sitting at a table with a few other people from my class, one of whom hated the school and did her best to be as different from everyone else. So of course when the, um, adult jokes were made, the director of the school (a Baptist Pastor) and the other chaperons became quite red, several students stifled giggles, several more ducked their heads and covered their mouths with napkins, and my date and my rebellious friend laughed loudly. I felt so bad. I had to explain to him why no one else was laughing. He looked confused at first, but apparently decided to ignore it because he continued to laugh at what he thought was funny which I enjoyed very much. Especially since it didn't help drain the blood from the chaperons' faces.

So the next year, they went back to the hotel dining hall.

To join in on the Flashback Friday fun, swing by Tia's blog.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Flashback Friday, part 6

In trying to keep with the "look at my hideous formals" theme, I found a picture that I actually like. I know that I'm normally very self-deprecating, but this time I can't really say too many negative things about this picture. I'm sorry, I tried.

This is my dad and youngest brother, too. In case you can't figure that out.

Obviously this was my Junior year of high school. Obviously I made the homecoming court. I didn't make queen because that was only available to the three Senior representatives. What isn't so obvious is that we only had fifteen girls in my class so it wasn't that big of an accomplishment and I'm wearing a bridal gown that was $25 on the sale rack of the bridal store where I was working at the time. Yeah, that dress had a train that my mom cut off. I believe the reason it had been marked down was because of some stains on the hem, because my mom cut off a couple inches from the front as well. She also put a slit up the front so I could walk without doing the geisha shuffle which was very helpful when I had to be escorted across the basketball court by my father during halftime. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that my high school is so small that they don't have a football team? They have Homecoming Banquet during basketball season and Junior/Senior Banquet in the Spring.

Anyway, I really liked this dress a lot. It was very retro in the way it was cut (for the early nineties anyway), and the neckline was fairly flattering for a girl with no chest. Hey, that's me! I had no chest, so it was fairly flattering. It's kind of hard to see the pattern, but it was a really pretty brocade stripe that lengthened. That was something my beanpole self didn't need, but I liked it anyway.

The one bad thing I have to say about this picture is- I have no idea why my hair looks like that. Whoever I paid to do my hair like that should have gotten a stern talking to. Don't get all up-in-arms about me being wealthy enough to pay someone to do my hair. I had a job, found a hugely marked down dress and bought my shoes at Payless. Plus, I was on court that year and was getting my picture in the yearbook. It was necessary. It does make my head look huge though, doesn't it? I look like a bobble-head. Oh, I almost forgot, the next night at the banquet, I matched the tablecloths. Yeah, they had off-white brocade tablecloths. Everyone else at my table was wearing black, so I stuck out like a sore thumb. Not something a shy teen-aged girl wants.

It's like when Maria made the kids clothes from drapes, except my mom stole a tablecloth. Not really.

You should recognize the girl sitting at my left, she wised up that year and went with something more subtle. No more Michelin Tire Sleeves for her! Sheesh, I'm really slumping over in the picture, too. I guess that's what happens when the person sitting next to you is a good six inches shorter than you are. I have to say too, that only three of us at the table were completely in dress code, one was right on the edge, one was in violation, and one kept her dress on her shoulders until the camera came out. That's one thing dress codes taught us- how to push it just far enough without getting caught.

So that's my Junior Year Homecoming Ensemble. If you would like to peek back at my Freshman and Sophmore years, feel free! I don't think I have any pictures of my Senior year Homecoming, which is sad. I don't even remember what I wore, but I do have a good story about that year and a casual picture of me and my date taken on a different day.

Join in on the Flashback Friday fun, if you're brave enough. Or just swing by Tia's blog and laugh at the rest of us.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm a multi-tasking procrastinator- watch me go!

It's Sunday night, and I'm just finishing up the coming week's lesson plans! Of course, I'm watching some movies on Netflix Watch Instantly so come tomorrow morning I may have to re-do some page numbers, but it keeps me seated so I'm not constantly finding other things to do.

This is really not like me to be this ahead of schedule. I'm normally making up the daily lesson plans over my morning coffee, and collecting all my supplies while the kids each their lunch. We have determined that it's easier for us to start school after lunch while Monster is taking his nap. At least that's the official reason. It's just a huge coincidence that it allows me to procrastinate as long as possible. I swear.

Now, if I was really all together, I would have the muffins for tomorrow's breakfast already in the oven, but I don't want to make y'all look bad. :)

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Flashback Friday, part 5

Is it still Friday? I'm SO late, I'm sorry. I had a busy day and busy night, and I almost didn't post at all, but I already had a picture picked out, so here goes:

First let me apologize profusely to my dear, sweet friend who puts up with so much. (Psst- I'm fairly certain she had plastic grocery bags stuffed into those Michelin Tire sleeves. That's all I'm going to say about her while she is unable to defend herself.) And yes, I am wearing an ENTIRE. DRESS. MADE. OF. TURQUOISE. LAME'! You can't even see the shoes in this picture, but let me tell you they matched the silver pleather clutch peaking out from under my hand perfectly. As in they were also silver pleather. Silver pleather. So, not only did I have on a freaking turquoise disco ball for a dress, my shoes sent off little reflections of light so much that when my date and I passed a light fixture, we both had to cover our eyes to avoid being temporarily blinded. Oh, my poor date. That poor boy never knew what was coming. I should let him just pretend he had nothing to do with this, but he was actually quite adorable. And I need to show you the shoes.

I'm sorry, you dear man, hopefully this never gets back to you, and your wife and family don't start to question your sanity because you stuck it out and didn't run screaming into the night. (Breathe, Sara, it'll be over soon.) Look at my shoes. And oh, sweet lord, I have on flesh toned pantyhose. See, it's the little things like this that you have to block from your memory or you end up sitting in a corner, hugging your knees, and rocking back and forth.

On the plus side, my hair is good.

Can I just tell you that I couldn't lift my arms? I was afraid of tearing the dress. When Poor Date pinned my corsage on, he ripped a little hole.

So that's my Sophomore Homecoming ensemble. Once again, we didn't dance, so movement was not an issue. I'm thinking of making this holiday season all about my hideous choices in formal wear. Don't worry, I have more than enough to last for a few months. I may have posted a few already on this blog and at my Facebook, but you'll forgive me for mentally blocking out things like that, right?

Please join in on the Flashback Friday fun, go to Tia's blog for more info.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Flashback Friday, part 4

Just to let you know up front, I'm writing this post whilst supervising a second grader and kindergartner home schooling, so if I slip into "A says a, a, apple" mode, I'm sorry. I'm also drinking my coffee, and trying to keep my coffee breath away from the Princess who has made it known several times she does not appreciate the smell of coffee breath. I'm a multi-tasker, watch me go!

Tia posted her high school i.d. I thought about digging out my college one because we didn't get i.d.'s in high school, but I found something better. And by better, I mean hideously mortifying to all involved.

I don't have as many old pictures scanned as I thought. I'm sorry if I've shared this picture already on my blog. This is my freshman year right before the homecoming banquet. Yes, I said banquet. Remember when I told you I went to a private Christian school? Yeah, they don't believe in dancing, so I've never learned. So does the fact that there was no dancing might make the GINORMOUS train a little less odd-looking? Please? Yeah, there's really no excuse for that stupid train. It was a hand-me-down, but I asked to wear it. My mom offered to make me a new dress (there was a dress code that made store-bought dresses nearly impossible for me), but stupid me, I asked to wear that monstrosity.

I didn't have a date that year, we went as a group of girls, and had a slumber party after the big shindig. Why am I wearing a corsage if there was no date, you ask? My daddy bought it for me. Yeah, aw, whatever.

Those glasses alone are worth their own post. They're very Sally Jesse Raphael, huh? Although you probably can't tell in the picture, they had a deep red tortoise shell pattern. Ooo baby, I was stylin'. That was my last pair of glasses. The very next year, I got contacts, got my braces off, and got a boyfriend. Coincidence? I think not.

So yeah, I spent the whole night trying to keep my train out from under other people's feet, and I loved every minute of it! It was my first formal banquet ever, and I was dressed like a princess. Teenage hormones do crazy, weird things to you.

Join in on the humiliation, I mean fun next Flashback Friday! You know you want to.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm so late, nothing new, huh?

I want to win some Stevia. Tia is having a giveaway. Do you want to win some Stevia? Go to her blog and find out how you can enter!

It's supposed to taste like sugar. I'll believe that when I taste it. I'm one of those people that can taste fake sugar a mile away. In fact, we only buy Swiss Miss instant cocoa because the other brands use fake sugar, check it out. My tongue knows; it can't be fooled. So if I win, I'll do a taste off, and let you know.

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Flashback Friday, part 3

It's Flashback Friday! I'm following Tia's example and posting a Halloween pic. Actually I'm posting two.

This is me and my oldest, Bubby. This was right before he turned four. My husband had just started working at the same place as one of my ex-boyfriends. It's a long story, but we had all been friends at one point, so it's not as awkward as it sounds. It was his office's party, and my first Halloween party. I've gone to plenty of Fall Festivals growing up, but we didn't celebrate "the devil's holiday". I don't remember ever dressing up as anything besides a cowgirl. We still raked in the candy, so I didn't really mind.

We had to dress up, and even though I wasn't really interested in going at all, I had to find costumes for me, my husband, a four year-old, and a one year-old. Let me add too, that it is nearly impossible to find a costume for an infant that isn't made of fake fur or any other material that is conducive to 90 degree heat. It is still FREAKIN' hot in October in Florida, but because most of the country is cooling off, apparently we have to improvise. Monkey, my second son, ended up wearing a Superman pajama set. I gelled his hair into a little curl on his forehead, and he looked adorable. I wore black cigarette pants, a black corset top (I was working at Victoria's Secret at the time, and I worked those sales racks), cat ears, a bowtie, and a tail. I think I also had black knee-high boots. At any rate, I had just recently dyed my hair black, so I thought it fit. The party was awkward, nobody was having fun (who has fun at their boss' house?), and it was over soon enough. One of these days, I'm going to throw a fun Halloween party just so I can say I've been to one.

This is my oldest younger brother. Catch that? There are five of us, three girls and two boys in that order. He's the one my kids call Uncle Bubba. Growing up, he was called Bubba because he was the only boy for almost ten years. He enlisted in the Army Reserves, decided to join full-time, got moved from Supplies to Helicopter Repair, got sent on two tours to Iraq, and decided no more. He lives in Virginia now, with his kids, and I miss him very much. We're the only normal two in the family, and that doesn't say much. Or speaks volumes, depending on how you look at it.

At any rate, I painted his face with glow in the dark paint, and I'm really proud of it. I think my Hubby was working because he ended up taking my oldest trick or treating with me. I was very pregnant at the time with my second, so I mostly sat on a bench, and he did all the walking.

Funny story about my brother, every time my husband had to take a business trip, he would come stay the night, so I wouldn't be alone pregnant with a baby. I swear, my neighbors gave me looks because every time my husband left town, this other guy showed up. We don't really look that much alike, either. Yup, good times.

Join in on the Flashback Friday fun, I'm sure you've got good stories to tell!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

"They call me tater salad."

I need to stop cooking like this. I'm not going to have any clothes that fit by the time Thanksgiving rolls around (see what I did there?). I can't help it though. Fall makes me want to cook. Christmas may be the time of year for baking, but fall is soup season. Here's another one of my favorites, and guess what, it has pork products and potatoes! Big shocker.

Baked Potato Soup
serves an army
  • 1 pound of bacon, snipped into bite-sized pieces with kitchen scissors (Use the good stuff, go ahead, you deserve it.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (Baseball-sized is good.)
  • 2 cups carrots, diced (Look, it's a vegetable!)
  • 5 pounds of potatoes, diced (You can feel healthier and leave the skin on, or go completely unhealthy and peel them first.)
  • 1 T dried chives (If you have 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives, that's fine, too.)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 to 2 cups milk
  • Sour cream to garnish, if you need a little extra fat
Get out your big pot. We're cooking for an army here, there's at least 10 servings in this recipe. Saute the chopped bacon on medium heat until it starts to render its fat.

Add the onion and carrot, and cook until the onion is translucent and the bacon has given off all it's yummy fat. At this point, you can drain off most of the oil, but what's the fun in that? I'm sure cardiologists everywhere are cringing, but bacon fat makes me happy.

Add your potatoes and dried chives, and stir to coat every last piece with goodness. (If you are using fresh chives add them with the cheese so they don't get too nasty.)

Add enough water to cover everything. You can use chicken stock if you'd like, but definitely use low sodium or no salt added chicken stock. Bacon is plenty salty. Taste the broth to see if you need salt or pepper. I always add tons of pepper- I love a peppery potato soup!

After you've adjusted the seasoning, cover it with a lid, and let it cook on medium until the potatoes are starting to fall apart. It's probably going to take about 20 minutes, depending on how big you've diced your potatoes.

Right before serving, add the cheese and stir until it has melted completely. This is when you add the milk. If your soup is too thick, add more milk; if it's just fine, add less milk. Your soup will thicken as it stands, so err on the side of thin rather than thick.

If you've had a really rough day, serve it with a dollop of sour cream and more bacon on top. In my opinion either naked or dressed, this soup is a winner!

I know the title has little to do with the actual post, but it's one of my favorites clips by Ron White.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday, part 2

It's Flashback Friday! I almost missed it, too. I've had this feeling all day that there was something I was supposed to do, but it didn't click until I saw Tia's reminder on Twitter. And here I thought laundry, baking muffins, homeschooling, crocheting Christmas presents, and giving out medicine was all I had to do today. Silly me! BTW- giving a very flexible and energetic five year-old eye drops for an eye infection is about as easy as wrangling a greased pig. Or a soapy three year-old in the bath. Either way, I deserve a blue ribbon at the county fair.

Remember when I told you I wasn't a pretty child? The eighties weren't a good fashion decade anyway. This is my tenth birthday. It was a sleepover, and I was dressed up in my ruffled collar schoolmarm shirt and faded blue khaki skirt. Yup, I'm the one with my tongue sticking out.

When we were growing up, we were allowed to have a birthday party every five years. Because there were four of us until I was fourteen, this worked out to one a year with one year off for my parents to financially recover. I have solved this issue by having all my kids between November 12th and December 15th. They all have to share one big party. We used to throw each one a party, but as we added more kids to the crowd, we started to run out of money before Christmas even came around. Anyway, back to the photo.

Out of the seven girls that came (I invited all the girls in my class), I really only talked to three of them on a daily basis. I didn't really say much to anyone, for that matter. Don't worry, I'm making up for it now. I was such a late-bloomer. Sorry, I keep getting side-tracked, back to the photo!

We had a really good time. We made pizzas, cookies, and my mom made us home-made donuts in the morning. Looking back, I realize how cheap my parents made out, but back then I had no idea. I just remember having someone other than my sisters to stay up late and talk to. It was good times. You know, back when we still thought boys were gross. Once we started caring what the boys thought of us, it was all over. Sometimes I still think boys are gross, but it makes me happy when one of them tells me I look nice. At least now I don't totally flip out when a boy is talking to my friend and not me.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yummy, yummy in my tummy... part 2!

One of my Twitter friends, HKprettyinpink, asked me to share my recipe for Sausage, Potato, and Kale soup. I tweeted the simple version, but then thought more explanation might be good for those of you who had no idea what I was talking about. I have come to realize that's most of the earth's population. Even my own family has given me the "wha?" face from time to time.

Doesn't this look good? This is after it's been refrigerated and reheated, too.

So here it goes:

Sausage, Potato, and Kale soup

Note- I call it that because the sausage is my favorite part, followed by the potato, and well, the kale is there because it has vitamins.

  • 1 pound of bulk sausage (If you like it spicy, use spicy Italian; if you would rather have chunks of sausage, use sausage links and chop them up, I use Jimmy Dean Regular because that's what I like.)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (When I say large, I mean the size of a softball.)
  • 1 1/2 pounds of baking potatoes, diced (You can either leave the skin on or peel them, your choice. If you would rather have a firmer potato, use red potatoes; they hold up to cooking better.)
  • 1 box of chicken stock (I don't know how much stock comes in the box. If you really want to go all Martha, make your own, just don't brag about it to your friends. They might not like you later.)
  • 1 pound of frozen greens (Use kale, mustard, turnip or spinach- your choice again. If you want to use fresh, be prepared to wash, dry and chop at least 3-4 pounds to get the same amount. Just go frozen.)
Get out your big pot. Heat enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom over medium heat, and saute your sausage and onion until the sausage is done. If you want globs of sausage, don't worry too much about breaking it up. I need sausage in every bite, so I go medieval on it with my wooden spoon and break it up good.

While the sausage is cooking, you can prep your taters. Add them to the pot and stir until all that yummy sausage and onion stuff is covering every piece. I'm getting hungry. Add the greens now if they're still frozen. If you actually thought ahead and defrosted them (What's wrong with you, and how can I get that way?), add them after the potatoes have cooked halfway.

Dump in your chicken broth. If you need to add a little more water to cover your potatoes, go ahead. Taste the broth to see if you need salt or pepper. If you've added extra water, you're probably going to need to adjust the seasoning. Cover with a lid, and let it cook!

Depending on how big you've diced your potatoes, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. I dice mine small (1/2 inch) because I have no patience. Go small the first time because once you smell this soup, you will want to eat it as soon as you can. If there is any left, I suppose it could be frozen, but I've never had any left to test this theory.

This can also be done in a slow cooker. Saute your sausage and onion first, then add everything to your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or high for 2-3 hours.


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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yummy, yummy in my tummy...

I'm trying to write something witty and coherent, but it's not working. I think all my blood has rushed to my tummy, more later. So... because I found the camera, I thought I'd just post some pictures and maybe explain them a little.

Goliath gets the peanut butter jar after we're done. Most people rinse their recycling out before they put it in the bin, we lick it out. What did we use all that peanut butter for, you ask? Why is there so much fuzz on your carpet, you're probably also wondering? Don't judge me because I have fuzz next to my couch. I know you're staring at it. I know it's driving you crazy. Sheesh, if it bothers you that much, you can come vacuum my house for me. Bring a vacuum, mine is usually clogged with dog hair. Anyway, back to the peanut butter...

Peanut butter-dark chocolate french toast sandwiches of course. Breakfast for dinner is freaking awesome! We did have some pineapple, and I made them with whole wheat bread, so don't get all up in arms because my kids had chocolate for dinner. You're just jealous because you don't have any leftover homemade dark chocolate ganoche laying around.

Oh, and lunch was potato, sausage and kale soup, from scratch. I was Super Chef today, and my tummy is happy.

-Side note, I skipped Flashback Friday because Tia is sick. Send her well wishes and join in on the fun next week!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Weebs!

I guess it's fall. There have been no leaves changing, the grass on our neighbors' lawns is still green (we have dirt that one day I will spray paint green); it's not even cold yet.
I did get a little bag of fabric leaves in fall colors from my Monster. They've started celebrating Fall in his Sunday school class, and he's really excited about it. He came running out of his classroom holding a little brown paper bag that he had lovingly decorated in one hand and a lollipop in the other hand. He shoved the bag into my hand, said "Dish ish foh you!", and quickly stuck the lollipop in his mouth before I could take it away. Yes, he has learned the art of distraction from his Mommy. I'm so proud.
When I asked him what was in the bag (I've learned to ask first. Sometimes little boys think things like bugs, used gum, and half eaten cookies need to be saved for Mom. They're so giving.), he said, "It's weebs!" If I could have recorded his little happy dance, I would watch it every day.
He's three years old, and still can't say "r", "th", "l", or "s" most of the time. I should be concerned, but it's still too cute which I need because most of the time, he's very un-cute.

Oh, and I would take a picture of his little art project, but the camera's still missing. There's a reason we call him Monster.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Flashback Friday, part 1

One of the blogs I stalk is Christopher and Tia. I fully admit my stalking. I may have posted a comment or two, but it has been a while. At any rate, Tia has been encouraging people to own up to their dorky, awkward pasts (at least in my case, she looks adorable) and join in on her Flashback Friday posts. So I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna bite the bullet, jump the shark, take the plunge, and any other cliche you can think of that would fit here. Please understand, I was not a beautiful child. Yes, Mom, I was beautiful inside, but outside I was, well as my loving father put it, a toothpick with an olive shoved half-way down. I was a really skinny white girl with a butt. Yup, baby's got back.

To ease you all into the wonderfulness that is my past, I'm gonna start with a picture of me and my older sister.

We grew up in South Florida, Margate to be exact, so this really could have been taken any time during the year, but I'm guessing I was either four or five in this picture. I am the blondish one in the red two piece, by the way. I couldn't really tell you why we were sunbathing by the trash heap, but I can tell you we didn't do that very often because I don't tan, I burn. And then get freckles. My lovely older sister (consequently, this picture may be the only proof that she was taller than me at one point in her life) tans like you wouldn't believe; she turns a gorgeous olive color. She also married a man who is part Puerto Rican, part American Indian so her children get really dark, too. Me? Oh, I married a Scottish/English guy. Yeah, we have clear children who turn the color of a watermelon at the slightest amount of heat. Hey, I married for love, not skin pigment. Oh, and we live in Florida, so I guess you could say my kids are red ten months out of the year, and then I have clear children for the other two. When I say clear, I mean you can see every vein in the skin. Just like their Mommy! Family photos are really fun, I always tell people my sister's kids are the brown ones, mine are the clear ones.

So yeah, that's more about my present than my past, but to tell you the truth, I don't really remember much about this picture. That was an awesome Flashback Friday, huh? Eh, maybe next week, I'll actually have a picture I remember something about.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Yeah baby, I'm breaking ALL the rules!

Ask anyone, talking about politics on a non-political blog is akin to stabbing your neighbor with a rusty spoon. Not nearly as bad would be talking about religion, let's say just stabbing that same neighbor with a spoon not washed with Cascade. Guess what I'm gonna do in this post???

First off, let me say, any comments left with swear words in them will be deleted. If you really feel the need to use them, please get creative with your punctuation marks. I'm sure we can all figure out what you mean. Other than that, feel free to share how you feel. Oh, and don't attack anyone personally. If I think your comment crosses either line, I'll remove it. I have that power- it's my blog (mhua-hua-huah!).

So here comes the fun!

I recently got into a discussion with a woman who attended the same private Christian school I did from kindergarten to twelfth grade. We are both self-proclaimed Christians, different denominations. We are both mothers, neither of our children attend private school (I believe her children are in public, mine are home-schooled after starting in private), and both of us and our spouses are active in our respective churches- different denominations, but both believing in salvation though Jesus' blood. (If you don't understand this, I can go into further detail.)

I was taught that you should respect those put in authority to you regardless of how you feel about their views, so you can imagine how irritated I got when she repeatedly made extremely negative comments about our current President. I will say right now, I didn't vote for him. I didn't vote for the other guy either. After at least a year of these comments (getting more and more unbearable) I finally said something. I pointed out how negative and disrespectful they were. I used nice words, only grammatically correct capitalization, and only what punctuation was necessary. Of course, this marked me for attack from her various supporters using their trademark overuse of capitalization and strings of exclamation points. Needless to say that this caused me to defend my points, politely again, explaining exactly what I believed and why I chose to believe it. Oh yeah, I did some research. It was really informative, and helped me really define what my beliefs were. So, I'm gonna share because it seemed like such a waste on people who didn't really listen to what I had to say because they were too busy spouting out things that didn't really have any backing facts but were full of capitalization and strings of exclamation points.

I believe that no matter your feelings about someone's beliefs, you should be respectful. Especially those in authority to you. It's just polite. I wouldn't demonize anyone, and although the President and I don't share a lot of the same views, that doesn't make him an evil spawn of Satan (I'm paraphrasing for comedic effect, I don't believe anyone used those exact words).

I believe that in no way should the government get its hands on my religion, and I understand that the First Amendment prevents that from ever happening. However, this also means that I can't get upset when the government refuses to allow my religion precedent over others in state sanctioned events. If it means children in public schools aren't taught that Allah is God, then I'm okay with them not being taught my Jesus is God. Yes, I understand the need to share my faith with others, but if I'm living my life the way I should, people would know I'm different before I even open my mouth.

For that matter, I could care less what holy book our President used while he took his Presidential Oath. In fact, I would rather have him swear with his hand on the book he deemed most holy, because then it would mean something more to him than using whatever book was handed to him. And as long as he doesn't touch that First Amendment, he can believe whatever he wants. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to do my darndest to vote up every law that follows my beliefs, and vote down every law that goes against them. That's how this country works, not always perfectly, but it's doing a whole lot better than some.

It was brought up repeatedly that because our founding fathers were Christian, we should follow the spirit of the law, and only allow Christianity into the government. I paid enough attention in school to know that nothing about that statement is true. Just because our money says, "One Nation Under God" doesn't mean they were Christian. Believing in a god is called Deism, not Christianity. You can believe there is a god without believing that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. They were politicians, and because of this, made many contradictory statements about what exactly they believed. So, if they weren't clear with their words, shouldn't we go by they way they lived their lives, you say (as many asked me to)? Lying, slave owners with mistresses on the side surely meant they were Christians, right? And last time I checked, just following the spirit of the law is still enough to get you thrown in jail. (Yeah, I wasn't really stealing, I was redistributing the wealth.)

At any rate, the law is the law. And if I don't want the government telling me how to believe, I can't tell them that they should allow my religion into their schools and exclude others. And yeah, when the Bible told you to respect those in authority to you, it wasn't just talking about the ones you agreed with, but then that would be that spirit of the law thing again, huh?

So, all right, share your thoughts. Remember, keep it civil, and use @%^#*! not curse words.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Who needs to plan when you can procrastinate?

I'm starting Christmas presents now. I still won't get them all done in time. Planning ahead does nothing but prolong the period of guilt I give myself.

Yet another reason why Procrastination ROCKS!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Hey, so yeah...

So yeah...

Here's what I've been doing in no particular order:
- homeschooling three children
- keeping a house in running order (somewhat)
- potty training the last of four kiddies
- renewing my love of yarn, thread, and all things crafty
- changing my hair color several times
- working with the high school and college-aged kids at church
- trying to remember what my friends look like
- spending time with family

Here's what I haven't been doing, once again in no particular order:
- blogging
- I still don't scrapbook

Seriously though, I may just stop this blog and move on to another one. I feel like a particular theme for blogging would help me keep it up. For more info, check my Twitter.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Do you know the muffin man?

Fact: I like to bake when it gets cold.
Fact: I have shredded coconut in my freezer.
Fact: I have bananas that are getting mushy.
Fact: I do watch The Office.

My kids like muffins. I think I've established this in a previous post. I like to put fruit in them for the health factor, but plain banana-nut and apple muffins are getting old. I was playing around with a basic recipe and came up with a tropical muffin. I'm thinking of calling them Banana Colada muffins, but I'm pretty sure that one of the kids will tell Pastor Scott that Mommy gives them Banana Coladas.

So here's the recipe:

1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. shredded coconut
canned pineapple (chunks or crushed)
1 small ripe banana
milk (I used soy milk and it worked great)
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 beaten egg
1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. If you feel like making way more work for yourself, feel free to skip this step and just grease the muffin cups. I don't know anyone who enjoys scrubbing muffin cups, but hey, whatever floats your boat!

Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and coconut in a bowl.

I used pineapple chunks, so I put about 8 chunks and the banana in my mini food processor and pureed it until all the lumps were gone. If you use crushed pineapple, you could just mash the banana with a fork and skip the processor. Put the banana and pineapple in a measuring cup, and add enough milk to make the total liquid amount 1 cup. You could definitely play around with the amounts of banana and pineapple. Add more pineapple than banana if you want, but don't exceed 1 cup total.

Stir the pineapple mixture, oil, egg, and vanilla into the dry ingredients. It's going to be a little thick. Spoon it into the muffin cups, and bake for 20 minutes.

If you really wanted to get fancy, you could add a teaspoon of rum extract instead of the vanilla. Oh, and don't omit the oil, the banana doesn't add enough fat to keep them from getting too dry.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If you want to destroy my sweater...

I'm such a proud Mommy! It seems that one of my children has adopted my love for yarn. In fact he loves it so much, that my stash is no longer safe, and I have gotten very good at untangling masses and re-winding balls.

I'm wondering how hard it would be to teach someone without opposable thumbs to knit or crochet...

Seriously, though, Goliath LOVES yarn, and I have to be very careful about what projects I leave laying around. On the plus side, he might actually enjoy a hand knitted sweater (if it ever gets cold enough here for him to need one).

Oh, and please ignore all the little bits of things in the corner. My vacuum cleaner won't fit in that spot and I'm too lazy to deal with the tube thing. You may also notice the little plastic ball shoved into Hubby's speaker. Monster discovered it would fit perfectly when he was about a year old. He was so advanced for his age!

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Downward Dog sniffing your hair anyone?

We got the kids a dog for Christmas. Before anyone gets their panties in a twist, we adopted a beautiful, two and half year-old (non-pure bred) black lab. Yes, I know all about the numerous animals waiting to be adopted in shelters nationwide. No, I would never pay for an inbred puppy from a puppy mill.

What we wanted was a calm, already housebroken, big dog that would be good with the kids. I don't see the point in little dogs, and let's face it, the dog is going to get stepped on at some point. I would prefer that he doesn't get broken when it happens. What we got was a 62 pound dog named Goliath who thinks he needs to be sitting right next to or on me no matter what I'm doing.

Take this morning, for example. I've been slacking on the yoga over Christmas break. How much concentration do you think I can manage with all four kids running around? Well, I started back today, and the dog was more than happy to help. Laying on my back meant kisses to my face (ugh, dog breath); downward facing dog meant a wet nose on my neck and snuffling noises in my ear; warrior pose meant the dog trying to peek under my legs.

He's even helping me type right now. Oh yeah, this is gonna be fun.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Just getting back in the flow of things- HA!

Yeah, I know it's been a while. It was Christmas- I totally blame Christmas.

I'm gonna ease back into this blogging thing by sharing a website I found through momlogic. Which is also an excellent site, by the way. It's called Tampon Crafts, and how could you not like it already?

I'm also sharing a video of Aunt Flo playing a tampon pan flute. Oh yeah, I said Aunt Flo. Enjoy!

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