Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sacrificial love

A friend sent this to me via email today and God told me to share it with you, it's a truly beautiful story. Break out the Kleenex ladies!

A Father's love...

What a father wouldn't do for his son, with God's divine interference..
A son asked his father, 'Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?' The father who, despite having a heart condition, says 'Yes'. They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying 'Yes' to his son's request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his father, 'Dad, let's join the Iron man together. 'To which, his father said 'Yes' too. For those who don't know, Iron man is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile(3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island. Father and son went on to complete the race together.


While out reading blogs today (well ok, it was actually like, 12:01 or something) I ran across this funny fellow. (Who, incidentally, reminds me of looking in the mirror some days - only I have more hair.)
I totally forgot to mention yesterday that it was my 100th post. I'm thinkin' the day I had just might have killed a few brain cells & that's why I forgot. (Or maybe lack of sleep...ya think?) I was really excited about it - I see that 100 things link on a lot of blogs & I want to join the club - but like the dingbat I am, I forgot amid all the humor of posting on my offspring.
Funny thing is that Rick posted this guy on his 200th post so I thought it would be the perfect way to commemorate the occasion.
Go check out more of his artwork, he's really great & even famous in the blogging community...he drew Dawn's blog header after all!
Thanks Rick for sharing your work with us crazy bloggers out here :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A mamma's pride

Today in a nutshell.

Mid morning:
Adah pooped in her underwear (on purpose) again. This is a child that will turn 5 at the end of the summer. She gets badly constipated & the doctor put her on Mirilax for 6 months. The first goal is to get her cleaned out. (Isn't that a nice thought?) The second is to allow her muscles to return to normal function. So I'm expecting some gross undies for awhile but this girl would walk around all day in poop filled undies if you let her. I am completely serious about this...a few times she's done her deed while playing outside & we don't smell her until later in the day & the undies are crusted onto her lil butt. That can't feel good can it? I just don't get this girl!!!

Just before lunch:
The kids are all outside playing. Adah comes in yelling something at me about boys & the mail so I go look out the slider door & they are over by the road. I say calmly yell at them "Get back here, don't you go to that mailbox!" Sam says "well, there isn't any mom." Isn't any what? "Are you telling me there isn't any mail?" After further investigation it becomes clear to me that my boys, ages 6 & almost 5, walked past the neighbors house to the busy road where our mailbox stands. Fantastic! They got a nice big lecture and a time out in which they were to think on said lecture. Most likely they thought about the dead bugs on the windowsill instead but hey, I tried.

Right before nap time:
As I'm talking to Adah, Eli comes up to me with a wet hand & says "Mom, Sam peed on my hand." "What??? Did you wash it?" Sam interjects "I didn't pee on his hand, I peed on his shirt!" Like that's better or something. "Sam were you peeing outside again?" "NO! I peed in the toilet mom, not outside." "So you peed on Eli in the bathroom?" "Yes, in the bathroom." "Eli, why where you so close to Sam in the bathroom that he could pee on you?" (It would be hard to do that in our bathroom, the toilet is in a corner with walls on either side.) *sigh* "Ok, Eli, do not go in the bathroom while someone is using it and Sam, don't pee on anyone please." BOYS!!

I started writing this during nap time & gave Sam a small writing assignment to keep him busy. I've now had approximately 536 arguments with him about it as apparently I do everything wrong. "No mom, that's not how Mrs. A does it, it's wrong mom!" I learned that when he says 'mom' I'm to say 'what' nicely. I'm also rude, mean & I don't love him. I sound like an absolute ogre - who knew?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The imagination of kids or planes, trains & automobiles

As I was saying goodnight to Sam a train went by, prompting this conversation:
Sam "Mom look at that train."
Mom "Yup, they go by all day long don't they."
S "I rode on that train."
M "You did huh?"
S "Yeah, I rode on it when I was 100 years old."
M "When you were 100 years old! When were you 100 years old?"
S " When I was 164, 2, 68!"
M "Wow!"

Then I moved on to Eli, after dragging him from the window (watching the train) & wrestling him into the bottom bunk.
E "Mom I don't wanna sleep in my bed, it scares me. I wanna sleep with Sam!"
M "No Eli, you need to learn to be brave & face your fears. Mommy & daddy are right downstairs, Sam is above you in his bed, Adah is in the next room and Jesus is always with you."
E "Mom, you have to bring your bed up here."
M "There's nowhere to put it Eli."
E "Yes it will, you can put it in the toy room."
M "No, it won't fit in the toy room."
E "Put it on the stairs mom."
M "That would be silly wouldn't it!"
E "You can put it in the road."
M "What?"
E "You can put it in the road & it will rain. That will be silly!"
M "That would be very silly."
E "And then a car will come & break that bed and then it will squash your head & jump right in this house."
M "I think you are very silly Eli."

Next was Adah's turn.
A "Mom where's grama?"
M "On the airplane going to France."
A "A big airplane."
M "Yes, very big and & they will be on it for a long time. They will eat on the airplane, and maybe read a book and even sleep right there in their seats."
A "Grama's on the big airplane going to her vacation."
M "Just like grampa & grama told you."
A "Grama will have cheeseburgers for dinner."
M "I don't know what they will have but maybe a cheeseburger."
A "A cheeseburger and macaroni and cheese."
M "Wow, that would make for an interesting dinner."
A "Can we have macaroni and cheese mom?"
M "Nope, it's time for sleeping.

Then came my favorite part, the part in which I head down the stairs, anticipating the quiet peacefulness of a house with sleeping kids. But then the chorus began:

"Goodnight mom!"
"Goodnight mom!"
"Goodnight mom!"
"Goodnight mom!"
"Goodnight mom!!!!!"

Which they will continue until I respond with: "I can't hear you anymore!!"

Ahhh, peace.

Friday, June 20, 2008

In which I climb out of my culinary rut

Do you get stuck in a rut of using the same old recipes week after week? I do! Every now & then I get a wild hair to try something new and it gets rave reviews doesn't produce a loud chorus of "Ewww, groooss, & what is that!" from my family. (That's what I call a keeper y'all!)So I add that something new to my rotation & it's soon treading round-n-round in that rut with me. *sigh*

Do you want to climb out with me? Sure you do! If you take a lil look-see over at my sidebar, I've got a nifty new button over there that'll take you to Whip It Up, A New Recipe Challenge. It's a contest based on using a new recipe each week & blogging about it. The fine ladies hosting Whip It Up (see them here and here) will post a weekly round up of the recipes tried by all us contestants. Go on now, you know you want to join in, it'll be fun! Ok well, at least go check it out will ya?

If you do decide to jump on the new recipe ladder (and you know you should), please tell them who sent you there.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I've been known as sweet, tart & always fruity...what am I?

A summer dessert with fruit, of course!

My dear Fried Okra is hosting her Top Recipe Thursday & as usual I'm adding my 13 cents. No not 2 but 13 as that's the number of recipes I came up with! Not all of them use fresh from the tree fruit but I think they're worthy of mention nonetheless. (What does nonetheless mean anyway? Sheesh, people who use words they don't know are annoying aren't they? *a'hem*)

My favorite way to eat fruit is fresh picked. Although I didn't grow up in Georgia or anything my gramma had a couple of peach trees & I grew up eating peaches over the sink cos they dripped so much. I can't hardly look at what they call a 'large peach' at the grocery. They're hardly bigger than a golf ball & about as hard, which I think is a crime. I know a victim of such crimes, my poor husband, who thinks that peaches taste best crunchy.

I know!!

But as much as I love fruit in all it's perfect, juicy, ripeness, this would not be a recipe post without recipes so here's a smattering of my faves.

Fruit Cream Cheese Dessert

¼ + 1 tbsp butter
1-cup flour - sifted
1 tbsp sugar

Mix & press into bottom of 9 x 13 pan
Bake @ 300 for 30 minutes or until brown

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 container of whipped topping (12 oz)

Mix cream cheese with powdered sugar
Fold in whipped topping
Spread on cooled crust

Fruit topping
Fruit, 3 packages frozen strawberries or fresh blackberries or raspberries (berries work best)
3 tbsp cornstarch
Drain fruit & reserve juice
Cook juice with cornstarch until thick
Combine fruit with juice mixture & spread on top of filling

This is Chris's favorite dessert. His mom makes it every time we visit & it's soooo yum.


5 lbs apples
¼ (heaping) honey
½ tsp (scant) nutmeg
½ tsp (scant) cinnamon
8 whole cloves

Peel & slice apples
Cover ½ way with water
Add honey & spices
Bring to a boil
Simmer covered 10 minutes
Mash with potato masher until reaches desired consistency
Leave cloves in but check each day to see how strong it is, take out after reaches desired strength. Freeze sauce you won't use in a week or so, this recipe makes plenty of extras.

I know I know, this is more of a fallish thing but it's a fruit recipe that I love so there ya go. I tweaked this from my MIL's recipe, she is the one who taught me it's ok to experiment & make a recipe your own. I love my MIL!!

The rest of these I haven't tried yet but the recipes sound like winners. I will try to give credit where credit is due but true to form, I did not write down my sources when I copied these.

Rhubarb Dream Bars (from Leah)

2 sticks butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour

Mix together & pat into jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes

4 eggs
½ cup flour
1 ½ tsp salt
3 cups sugar
4 cups rhubarb diced small

Beat eggs
Add flour & salt, mix
Mix sugar & rhubarb, add to egg mixture & stir
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes

I've had a lot of these lately thanks to Leah, who loves to bake them & force them on others give them away. Well, my taste buds love them but my fat cells love them more. (Get it? More as in more of them? HA - I kill me!) Really they are to die for, reminiscent of a lemon square. If there were just one left I might just fight someone for it - that's how good they are.
I've always loved rhubarb, my mom used to give us each a stalk for an all day snack/toy. (It's a fruit, it's an umbrella, it's rhubarb!) I think my parents have a picture of my sisters & I holding them with the leaves over our heads. Hours of entertainment!

~Disclaimer. Mom did make sure we understood in no uncertain terms that the tops are poisonous. Although I'm sure there were times she wished she hadn't! End disclaimer~

Blueberry angel food cake

Angel food cake mix
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
Prepare cake according to directions, folding in blueberries
Bake & cool cake according to directions
Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, stir well with a whisk
Drizzle over cooled cake

Not sure where the heck I found this one but it sounds good don't it?

Cranberry and pineapple desert

Drain juice from a large can of crushed pineapple and add 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce, 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and 1 small container of cool whip. Mix together and freeze. Remove 1/2 hr. before serving

My mom made this for Thanksgiving dinner last year & it seemed like it would be a difficult recipe but it only takes like 5 minutes. Who knew?

Crepes with bananas and hazelnut chocolate sauce

1-cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups fat free milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
¼ cup nutella
2 tbsp fat free milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 large firm unpeeled bananas (about 1 ¾ pounds)
Powdered sugar

Place flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk
Combine 1 ½ cups milk and eggs, stirring with a whisk
Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring with a whisk just until smooth
Cover batter; chill for 15 minutes
Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium high heat
Remove pan from heat
Pour a scant ¼ cup batter into pan; quickly tilt pan in all directions so batter covers pan with a thin film
Cook about 1 minute
Carefully lift edge of crepe with a spatula
The crepe is ready to turn when it can be shaken loose from the pan and the underside is lightly browned
Turn crepe over; cook 30 seconds
Place crepe on a towel; keep warm
Repeat procedure until all the batter is used
Stack crepes between single layers of wax paper or paper towels to prevent sticking
Combine the nutella 2 tbsp milk, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk until smooth, keep warm
Peel bananas and cut in half lengthwise; cut each half crosswise into 2 pieces
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium high heat
Arrange 4 banana pieces in a single layer in pan
Cook 1 minute or until lightly browned
Turn pieces over; cook 1 minute
Remove banana pieces from pan; keep warm
Repeat procedure with remaining banana pieces
Place 1 banana piece in center of each crepe; fold sides and ends over, and place, seam side down on clean surface
Repeat procedure with remaining banana pieces and crepes
Spoon about 1 tbsp sauce onto each of 4 plates, spreading to cover center of plates
Arrange 2 crepes on each plate
Sprinkle with powdered sugar

I think this is from Cooking Light.

Fresh peach croustades

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup small mint leaves
1 sheet puff pastry
2 cups sliced peeled peaches

Preheat oven to 400
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan
Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves
Cool completely
Place sugar mixture and mint in a blender; process until smooth
Combine mint mixture and sliced peaches in a bowl
Cut 4 (2 inch) circles in puff pastry using a sharp round Cookie cutter
Roll each circle of dough into a 4-inch circle on a floured surface
Place on a baking sheet
Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown
Top with peach mixture

Sounds so fluffy & full of peachy yumminess. Most likely from Cooking Light.

Harvest pear crisp

6 cups Anjou* or Bartlett pears, cored and cut lengthwise into ½ inch thick slices (about 3 pounds)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1/3 cup all purpose flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup regular oats
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375
Combine pears and lemon juice in a 2-quart baking dish, toss gently to coat
Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and 1 tsp cinnamon; stir with a whisk
Add cornstarch mixture to pear mixture; toss well to coat
Place flour, ½ tsp cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined
Add chilled butter; pulse 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal
Add oats and walnuts; pulse 2 times
Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over pear mixture
Bake for 40 minutes or until pears are tender and topping is golden brown
Cool 20 minutes on a wire rack; serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream if desired
*Anjou pears hold up best

Like the applesauce, this is more of a fall thing but worth the wait I think. Cooking Light again.

Honey peach and blackberry cobbler

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
8 cups chopped peeled peaches (about 4 lb)
¼ cup honey
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp salt, divided
3 cups blackberries
Cooking spray
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 ¼ cups low fat buttermilk
2 tbsp turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 400
Combine ¼ cup flour, peaches, honey, juice and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl
Toss gently & let stand 15 minutes
Fold in blackberries
Spoon mixture into 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray
Combine 2 cups flour, ½ tsp salt, granulated sugar and baking powder in a medium bowl
Stir with a whisk
Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal
Add buttermilk and stir until just moist
Drop dough onto peach mixture to form 12 mounds
Sprinkle mounds with turbinado sugar
Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden

Peach cobbler with a cinnamon crust

¼ cup all purpose flour
1-cup sugar
¾ tsp ground cinnamon, divided
6 cups sliced peeled fresh ripe peaches or 2 (16 oz) packages frozen sliced peaches
Cooking spray
2 tbsp sugar
1 (15 oz) package refrigerated pie dough
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350
Combine flour, sugar, and ½ tsp cinnamon in a small bowl
Place the peaches in an 11X7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray
Sprinkle with sugar mixture & let stand 30 minutes
Combine ¼ tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar in a small bowl
Unfold 1 pie dough, reserving remaining dough for another use
Brush with egg white & sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture
Cut the dough into 16 wedges
Place the dough wedges coated sides up on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, set aside
Bake beaches for 30 minutes or until bubbly
Arrange crust over peaches, serve warm

I'm remembering now an edition of Cooking Light with an article about fresh peaches. I remember getting very hungry while reading it. Right now I can't wait for peach season. Think I might have to visit my sis in Richland & get me some peaches from an orchard.

Peach ginger crisp

½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
6 cups sliced peeled peaches (about 3 lbs)
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice
¾ tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 375
Combine flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in a bowl
Cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly
Stir in almonds
Combine peaches and remaining ingredients in a bowl
Spoon peach mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish
Sprinkle with flour mixture
Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly

Sounds like a Cooking Light recipe to me.

Peach raspberry sorbet

1 16 oz can sliced peaches in heavy syrup
¾ cup fresh raspberries, frozen
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp superfine sugar
Freeze unopened can of peaches until solid, at least 18 hours
Submerge can of peaches in hot water 1 minute
Open can and pour any syrup that has melted into food processor bowl
Slide frozen peaches from can and cut into chunks
Place in processor with remaining ingredients
Process, pulsing on and off until smooth
Serve immediately or transfer to a bowl and freeze until ready to serve

I know this one isn't Cooking Light but it is from a magazine. Don't remember which one of course!

Rhubarb custard bars

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
9 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl
Cut butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal
Press mixture into a 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray
Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups 1% milk
3 large eggs
5 cups (1/2 in) slices fresh or frozen rhubarb (un-thawed)

Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl add mild and eggs stirring with a whisk until well blended
Stir in rhubarb; pour rhubarb mixture over crust
Bake for 40 minutes or until set
Cool to room temp

½ cup sugar
½ cup (4 oz) block style fat free cream cheese
½ cup (4 oz) block style 1/3 less fat cream cheese
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen fat free whipped topping, thawed

Place sugar, cheeses, and vanilla in a bowl, beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth
Gently fold in whipped topping, spread evenly over baked custard
Cover and chill at least 1 hour

And back to Cooking Light. (Do ya think I liked that magazine?)

There you go, there you have it, my favorite summer fruit desserts. Feel free to copy & paste at will but if you use any of these please let me know how it turned out.

Happy cooking y'all!

Warrior princess Kennedy

Please check out this video of Kennedy, a most courageous girl. Let it touch your heart & pass it on. Everyone needs to know what these kids go through!

View this montage created at One True Media

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Prayers needed!

Please go check out the last couple of days on Nate's blog & pray for his family. Tricia is having health challenges that are very scary. They need all the prayers & support they can get.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yee-haw, I'm outie-here

I'm taking off in a few minutes for a weekend with the crazy church ladies in Cle Elum & I'm sooooo excited!
I'm sure I'll get some pics for you, someone always has a camera & one lady in particular is notorious for getting those shots you wish she hadn't.
Oh I love them so.
The kids are going to my BFF's house until Chris gets home. He is bummed he won't see me until Sunday (he stayed at my sisters last night) but at least I'm leaving him a crock pot full-o-chicken & a pot of brown rice in the fridge.
Good wifey, good good wifey.
HA! You know better than that don'tcha?

Have a great weekend y'all!

Love those 80's

After only the 329th time of humming the Golden Girls theme to myself today I thought: "Hey, 80's sitccom theme's would make for a great blog post!"

Yeah I know, I'm a quick one I am.

Anyway, tonight I'm-a have-a A-Z sitcoms party & drag you along with me into the 80's. (Just think of it as a vacation without all that aquanet.) My sisters & I used to sit in front of the tv & sing the songs in harmony. Fun times least when we weren't fighting over which show to watch!

So here's the theme for Golden Girls. I know I'm not starting with A but since I had it in my head all day I think it's fitting I start with it.

Sofia was always my favorite, so sassy & cute!

I thought this one was so funny!

And how can you resist Tom Hanks in a dress?

I always thought the other guy was cute...check out those legs!

Ok dumb show but I sure wanted Charles in charge of me!!

This was a household fave for years. I think it's got one of the best theme songs ever, my sisters & I always harmonized this one.

I was sad to find that every (and I mean every) Cosby show theme had the code disabeled so I cannot share with you the 80's sitcom. If you are so inclined, go to youtube and look up the cosby show opening season __ and you can find all of them. (My faves are season 4 & 5) loved this show & still do. Most of the 80's show's that I've seen re-runs of I've not liked as much as I did back in the day but this one? Just as good as the first time. I've got the first season on my netflix queue & I can't wait for them to work up to the top of the list.

So my consolation prize is this

I SO wanted those shades!

I love Judd Hirsch, such a funny guy.

I couldn't find a theme song for this one but this is a great clip.

That woman could tell someone off like I've never seen before or since! And the hair, oh the hair! I swear those ladies had the biggest hair you could fiind on TV! Bit of trivia for you, Jean Smart (Charlene) lives in WA state & I got to shake her hand at an alzheimers walk fundraier - she's a lovely lady & so passionate about alzheimers research. I told Chris I met her & he had no clue who she was or what show I was talking about - men!

What chu talkin bout Willis?

I liked this one a lot. The fact that I wanted to be Kristie McNichol had a lot to do with it.

So I'm thinking that since I already have 10 clips here and I've only gotten through the letter D, this is going to be a multi part post. I just don't have enough time to do the intense research required of such an important post sit on my butt for hours on end looking at sitcom clips & missing out on sleep. Youtube is like chips, you can't stop at one (or 2 or 387). Yup, I'm going to bed a tad late tonight!

Stay tuned for the next installment & have a dandy day today!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy kids = happy mom!

My kids declared I'm the coolest mom ever and frankly I agree. (Like I'd deny that!)
I made them grahm cracker ice cream sandwiches for snack time.
Yummmmmers baby!
I would recommend thinking ahead & giving the sandwiches some time in the freezer. Graham cracker ice cream sandwiches are much easier consumed when the crackers are a tad soft - ours just squished the ice cream out the sides. But hey, I served ice cream for a snack today & that's what really matters!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Mari did a cute lil summertime meme & I'm jumping on board with it.

5 things I love about summer:
1. Swimming
2. Gardening (fresh veggies mmmmm)
3. Playing in the yard with the kids
4. Flowers, especially of the wild variety
5. Long, lazy evenings

5 things I hate about summer:
1. Temps above 85
2. Trouble sleeping cos I'm too hot
3. Sausage toes (aka swelling from the heat)
4. Kids that want to be held in temps above 85
5. It's too dang hot y'all

I think I had a theme going with the last 5 things. I do not do well in extreme heat & it gets pretty dang hot over here in the Inland Northwest. But although it's hot, I'm still happier here in 90+ weather than over on the coast at 80 with humidity. Now, I know Washington state is not known for it's humidity but I can feel it nonetheless. I have been to SE Nebraska/NW Missouri in late June & to Tennessee in August so I do understand what real humidity is about. But there's a big difference between humidity on a vacation & humidity in your daily life. I just turn into a human puddle & have a hard time even thinking when it gets hot & humid. So although my mom likes to tell me how much cooler it is over there in Western Washington, I'm secure in the knowledge that it feels cooler here despite the heat.

Like Mari, I'm not going to tag anybody. If ya wanna do it go on ahead & if ya don't, well then don't!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The weekend, a birthday & BBB day 3-4

Day 3 - Do what we have already done (shine sink, dressed to shoes, read 2 minutes of messages) - check!

Day 4 - Write these things down (on sticky notes) and continue shining sink & getting dressed to shoes - not going to do the sticky's the beginning of the control journal which I already have done from before

I didn't do any 15 minute decluttering but did get the house sparkling clean for Sam's birthday party.

My parents came for his party. We invited all 9 kids in his kindergarten class & we had 5 come plus 2 little siblings. I was kind of disappointed for Sam, he really wanted everyone here. But that made for a total of 10 kids & man was it loud!!

We had blast but were relieved when it was over. I'm not inviting that many kids again unless we are meeting at the park or something. We got through it with games & stuff but when we let them play upstairs for a bit we had kids throwing toys & one jumping off of the top bunk! Yeah, put a stop to that quick!

So my baby is 6 years old now. *sniff, sniff* He likes to tell us about every half an hour. "Hey mom, guess what?" "What?" "I'm 6!" But today it's changed a bit. "Hey mom, I'm almost 7!" He's so sweet! I wish I had gotten a shot of his face when we were all singing happy birthday to him. I've never seen him so excited. I just can't believe he's gotten so big! I have never been sad to have him grow up before this. Now he's such a boy, such a kid and my lil chubby cheeked baby lives only in memory. I love to see him develop & learn new things but he's just changed so much this past year, school makes a huge difference. But he will always be my snuggly boy. He thrives on psycal contact & prefers to be all squished together in the recliner for it. I cherish those times more than anything!

We had a good visit with my folks. After the kids went to bed Saturday night they introduced us to the game of farkle. It's a blast to play even when mom wins 2 games in a row. I think farkle makes a good alternative cuss word too!

My parents & I took the kids for a nice long walk Sunday morning. We went on my usual route but mom & the kids picked wildflowers & grasses the whole way so it took about twice as long. Now I have 4 tiny bouquets of pretty weeds in my kitchen. I love the fields around here. There's lots of bachelors buttons, wild lupine, and assorted who knows what scattered all over.

After the walk my dad's hay fever went nuts & they had to leave early. The kids were sad but we worked/played outside for the rest of the day so they got over it soon. I got another lil flower bed dug up & will plant it this week. I also planted another pot of string beans & spent a good hour laying with the kids in the grass looking for bugs in my new flower bed.

We managed to keep the house clean all weekend so this morning is easy-cheesy for me. I don't have too much on my list for today 'cept for a lot of errands. We'll see how it goes with all 3 kids in tow. Sam's school is out for the year so it's time to get used to having 3 kids home all day.

Well I hope y'all had a fabulous weekend. I gotta get hopping on my list-o-stuff & head out for hours of torture my running around with the kids.

Have a great day!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Some people will stoop to anything!

Check out this e-mail I got in my junk folder this morning.

From Mrs Susan Morgan
N�[38 Rue Des Martyrs Cocody
Abidjan,Cote d'Ivoire


I am the above named person from Kuwait. I am married to Mr.Abram Morgan, who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2004. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.

Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $2. 5 Million (Two Million Five Hundred U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in Abidjan in suspense account.

Presently, the fund is still with the bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that i have serious sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained.

The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I don’t have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don’t want my husband’s efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don’t want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence i know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the Lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace.

I don’t need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband’s relatives is around me always I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank here in Abidjan. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the Lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.

Contact me on the above e-mail address for more information’s, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive yourreply.

Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs susan morgan

This makes me sick! I’ve seen this kind of message before…I think we’ve all heard about the one from Nigeria…but to go so far as to call themselves Christians? I don’t think so!!! This is a scam, pure & simple, preying on (mostly elderly, gullible & generous) believers who don’t know better & ruining lives in the process.
Honestly, I don’t know how these people can look themselves in the mirror. How do they sleep at night? How can they feel good about themselves at all?
It’s a whole mindset I just don’t get & hope I never do.
Please, pass this information on to those who might not have heard of this scam. Please educate all those you can so we can put these people out of business & behind bars. If you get a message like this, please contact your state attorney general. They want to know about this, it can help them in the fight against this kind of despicable scam.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sam on kissing

I asked Sam what happens when you kiss.

"Puts glue on your lips."
"What does that mean?"
"You put the red glue on & when you touch lips you get the glue on your face."
"Who has the glue?"
"Mom & Adah. Red glue. The girls have the glue. Not Sam & Daddy & Eli."
"Is the glue good or bad?"
"It's good."
"So when you kiss somebody it's good?"
"Yeah, it's good."
"Why do you kiss someone?"
"Because you love them!"

Now if that ain't cute I don't know what is!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

BBB day 2.2

Do over day today!!

From now on I'm only concentrating on my babystep & my de-cluttering. I need to keep it simple right now & throwing in the pressure of doing my whole to-do list (no matter how small) was just too much for my poor damaged psyche.

So BBB day 2 is Get dressed to lace up shoes & read 2 minutes of her e-mails. (There are a lot of e-mails with FlyLady.) Check. Except that you're supposed to do this in the morning. I did it at about 2:30 PM. She also includes do your hair & face in done, face is done all the time as I don't wear makeup (I know, weird) except for Sundays & special occasions.

I am walking with BFF today but not until after the last tee ball game. I'm picking up the boys from school in a few minutes (so I better get this done quick) and we're gonna eat early at her house before the game. She is taking my place tonight at a meet-n-greet for the committee that is trying to get some kind of health care clinic here in town (Woo-hoo!) We both wanted to go to both things but since that's impossible we shall devide and conquer.

I'm doing my 15 min de-clutter after the walk.

And PTL, I'm having a MUCH better day today :)

Snack attack!

Megan took my suggestion to do a post about snacks in her series on recipes. Isn't she sweet? I struggle to keep my picky kids happy in the snack department. I'm afriaid I end up doing ye old graham crackers with peanut butter on most days. Or there's my wildly inventive ritz crackers version. And sometimes I get really crazy & throw in some raisins.
I'm just that cool.

Every now & then I get a wild hair and actually bake's my giant list-o-recipes.

Multigrain fruit bars
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/3 cup wheat germ
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup dried cranberries
¾ cup corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
Heat oven to 350
Spread oats, rice cereal, wheat germ and sunflower seeds in a greased 9x13 pan
Bake, stirring until oats are toasted, about 20 minutes
In a bowl, combine apricots, cranberries & the oat mixture
In a saucepan, combine corn syrup and sugar, heat to a boil
Remove from heat & stir in vanilla & cinnamon
Pour syrup mixture over oat mixture & mix well
Coat hands with cooking spray, and spread mixture in prepared pan
Chill until firm & cut into 24 bars

These are very good but tend to fall apart.

90 minute soft pretzels
7 Cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 pk active dry yeast
2 cups water
2 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp water
2 egg yolks, beaten
Mix 2 cups flour, sugar salt and un-dissolved yeast
Heat 2 cups water and margarine to 120 to 130 degrees
Gradually add to dry ingredients
Beat 2 minutes at medium speed
Add 1-cup flour
Beat at high speed 2 minutes
Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough
On floured board, knead 5 minutes
Set in greased bowl & turn to grease top
Cover and let rise in warm, draft free place 40 minutes
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces
Roll each into a 20-inch rope
Shape into pretzels or other shapes
Place on greased baking sheets
Cover; let rest 5 minutes
Mix egg yolk and 1 tbsp water & brush on pretzels
Sprinkle with salt

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until done
Cool on racks

My mom used to make pretzels with us as kids. This is not her recipe, I found it online somewhere but my kids love playing with the dough as much as I did.

So there you have it, my giant contribution to the snack lovers of America. Go check out FriedOkra for more great ideas.

Isn't it ironic

You Are a Positive Person

No one would accuse you of being too negative!

You're a naturally upbeat and optimistic person.

Like everyone else, you come across things you can't stand every day.

But unlike everyone else, you ignore what annoys you and focus on what uplifts you.

So most of the time this is true but in the light of the post below? HA!

Yesterday was NOT good

This is what I wrote while bawling my head off after the poop hit the fan.

I want to give up. I am so sick of dealing with problems with the kids. Why do they all have to be so hard? Why do I have to have 3 strong willed kids? Why do I have to have 2 boys with ADD? Why do I have a daughter who is so sassy & whiny & bratty?
I know that God gave me these kids but sometimes I think he screwed up bigtime. I do not handle this well at all. I do not want to deal with it. I don’t want to dance around Sam’s sensitiveness. Sometimes I feel like I just cannot handle it anymore. Why did God do this to me? I know there’s so many people out there desperate for kids who could handle these issues so much better. I get so angry with them. So angry. I do don’t want to deal with it. I just want it to be better. I just want everything to stop.
How could he do this to us if he really loved us. Why did he let me have kids before I got my shit together. I am such a bad mom, I yell at them all the time. I’m flat out mean. I hurt their feelings so much. And when I get angry like today…look out. I spank in anger. I throw things. I yell. I say whatever is going through my mind whether or not I’d actually do it. Like say I want to to throw Adah out the window. Or spank her raw with the metal spatula. Or give her up for adoption. Well, I say these things to Chris but it freaks him out. When I get mad like that I don’t care. I just want everything to stop & I don’t care if I hurt anyone. Until later when I calm down & see how the kids act with me. Then it makes me cry because I know I’ve hurt them in so many ways and they don’t deserve it. They didn’t ask to be born into our family, they just ended up here. Sometimes I just hate life period.

Please excuse the language, that's just where I was at the time.

Yeah, first thing on my list today is to find me a shrinky-dink.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Knock knock

Yes Sam has discovered the knock knock joke. The first time it was funny & cute:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Mr. Bear.
Mr. Bear who?
Mr. Bear bananna!
(Sam laughs)
Haha, good job Sam!

Then we get:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Mr. Bear.
Mr. Bear who?
Mr. Bear butt!
(Sam laughs harder)
Yup, that's a knock knock all right.

And finally my favorite:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Mr. Bear.
Mr. Bear who?
Mr. Bear poop!
(Sam laughs histerically)
Ok Sam, now you're just acting like a boy being gross.

Then Eli gets into the action:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Mr. Bear bananna.
Mr. Bear bananna who?
Say hi!
Hi Mr. Bear bananna.
(Eli laughs histerically)


My Dad is bringing overa book of real knock knock jokes this weekend. Thanks Dad!

We've also been treated to hearing "Hey mom, guess what?" "What?" "That's what HAHAHAHA!" about 97 times a day.


BBB day 2

So yesterday was a 1-step-forward day & today has been a 1-step-back day.

I did not even look at what my babystep was for today.
I did not do my 15 minutes of de-cluttering.
I did do my grocery shopping. (hard to ignore that one)
I did not walk with BFF. (raining or we would have)
I did not do laundry.
I did not clean the bathroom.
I did not work outside. (again, raining)
I did blog. (like I'd miss blogging, duh!)


I was tired, kids were grumpy, it was raining, and I had to do grocery shopping with grumpy kids. So. Not. Fun.

And now here I am, spilling my guts to you. I could lie through my teeth (or would that be fingers?) & tell you I got all my stuff done & hooray for me. But I'm all about being honest & transparent so I'm showing you all my lazy pathetic glory. Yuck!

But tomorrow is another day. A day in which, as FlyLady says, I am not behind!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Warning**husband rant in progress**Warning

Ok so Chris is staying with my sister & her family 1 night a week so we can save on gas money. He's at a new jobsite that's just as far away as the last one but this has the advantage of being an 8 hour day & it's close to my sis.

(begin rant)

I get extremely wiped out when I have to do the night routine with the kids so him being out of town is hard on me. Chris called me at 9:30 this morning to tell me they got rained out today & were sent home. He mentioned how it's a good thing he's staying with sis cos if he had to come home it would be a huge waste of money.

Yes that's true but my selfish wifeyness says "dagnabit that sucks!"

K, got over that, but as I was doing homework with Sam tonight my phone rang repeatedly. I was not about to answer cos Sam was actually concentrating (very unusual) so I forged on & pretended I didn't hear anything.

After we got done I checked my phone & I had 437 2 missed calls from Chris. I call him back & he says all sleepy sounding, "Where were you? I called twice."

"Ummm, doing homework with Sam & I'm not going to answer when he's on a roll."

"Oh. Well, I'm totally exhausted so I want to say goodnight to the kids now."


I comply like the good wife I am (snicker) and he says an extrememly short good night to the kids.

Now, when he's out of town we always talk right before we go to sleep & read our bible chapter over the phone. Not so tonight.

"Honey? I'm going to say goodnight to you too. I just can't stay awake anymore."

Again, wha??

How the heck is he so tired after hanging out at my sister's all day? I'm here at home, working my fingers to the bone for his children spending meaningful time with our kids, making them waffles with strawberry sauce a highly nutritious, balanced meal for our scream fest nice quiet dinner, and he's tired from sitting around doing nothing?

What-the freak-ever!

(end rant)

I'm SO looking forward to seeing Chris tomorrow night, I've missed him so much!

Love you honey!!

BBB day 1

So today was babystep #1, Go Shine your sink.
(for the official directions, click here)

Unfortunately my sink will not actually shine. It's a very old porcelain sink & has lots of stains I can't get out now matter what I try (and I've tried everything!) But I went ahead & 'shined' the dang thing & it looks much better now. The stains are still there but overall the sink is much brighter.

Here's my to do list for the day:

Find control journal, do day 1 baby-steps, de-clutter 15 min
Walk with BFF @ 9 - bring invites to Mrs. L’s room
What’s for dinner?
Clean bathroom
Work outside, plant beans, water, string on porch
Blogging - Sundays FLY post, fix link to Janae & Kelly, reading, PPP

So what did I get done?

Here I am with my Control Journal, so obviously I found it & I already talked about my sink.

I also did 15 minutes of de-cluttering my desk, walked with BFF, got Sam's invites to his classroom, got dinner planned & worked on Sunday's blog. Not everything on my list but not a bad showing overall. (And I added an unexpected meeting to the day - I'll talk about that more in another post, it's something I'm really excited about.) I did drag my feet on the sink & de-cluttering but when I finally got my butt in gear did them it felt so great. FlyLady would say "I'm so proud of you!"

I need to work on not procrastinating. I would have gotten much more done had I just jumped right in. But I need to remember I'm taking babysteps & working on things 15 minutes at a time.
First day down, now to see what Tuesday brings :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Feels like I've done a marathon

So yesterday was clean the house day. We say that every weekend but this time we actually did it. Well, we didn't pay much attention to upstairs or our bedroom but the rest of the house looks great - yay us! I cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed the rugs (& the spiders - eww), picked up the living room & helped to do a detailed sweeping job. Chris picked up the family room, helped with the sweeping, and cleaned most of the bathroom, did you get that? He did the BATHROOM!!

We were motivated to do all this because we are having Sam's birthday party on Saturday, (he turns 6 on Sunday - my baby is getting so big! *sniff*) and we have invited all 9 of his K-kid classmates to the party. (Yes I may need to be committed afterward but I'm sure I'll get lots of blogging material out of it!) I don't know most of the parents so I want the house (at least the part they will see) to be sparkling.

I should add that we got all this done while watching my BFF's 3 boys, ages 6, 3 & 18 mo. For once the kids played nicely together & we had very few fights. I hardly had to get involved with the older kids at all & the lil guy hung out with Chris & I. I always love playing with toddlers...especially if they aren't mine!

I have a few jobs to finish during the week, like scrubbing the toilet (but I'm NOT complaining), picking up the kids rooms and such but other than that it's just upkeep.

Today I'm starting on my beginner babysteps so stay tuned for that tomorrow.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Starting over

I am not known for my housekeeping skills. I have never been a 'cleanie' & most likely never will. There is always a load of laundry (or 2, or 3...) waiting to be folded on the couch, dishes to be done in the sink, toys, books & assorted stuff strewn all about the floor. I would rather do just about anything (blogging, duh!) but clean. We are clutter hounds, my hubby & I, we don't really like it but we seem to be powerless to keep anything picked up for long and we are passing this fabulous trait on to our children.

(I am being VERY transparent here...please be kind!)

A couple of years ago I stumbled on a website that has the potential to change the life of someone like myself. If you look over at my sidebar & down a smidge, you'll see a cute new button. That lil lady with the wings is the FlyLady & she's one of the most amazing women I know. I (sorta) followed her routines for a few months here, a few weeks there, always falling off the wagon eventually but knowing what I needed to do to jump back on.

Last year when Chris started with the bricklayers union I started to fall apart. The company he worked for was in Spokane, but at that time we lived in Kittitas, 3 hours away. Long story short, for 6 months he spent his weeks in Spokane & his weekends at home which I could not handle. I not only fell off the FlyLady wagon, I lost sight of how to get back on & the will to do so. (By the time we moved here I was very close to having a complete nervous breakdown.)

So now it's 8 months later & my house is seriously driving me nuts. I'm tired of living in a dump. I'm tired of crisis cleaning every time someone visits. I'm tired of living in CHAOS (see previously mentioned cute button.) It's time to get back on that FlyLady wagon. I'm going to dust off my old Control Journal (after I find it), shine my sink & start over again with the Beginner BabySteps.

To keep me accountable, I'm going to blog about my journey. I plan to post about what I did the previous day, how I'm feeling etc. If I miss a day I invite you to ask me why the freak I'm slacking off if something is wrong. I feel like I need someone (other than my husband, he'd just get in trouble haha!) to help me stay on track & who better than my pals out there in bloggy-land?

If you are a SHE (Sidetracked Home Executive) like me, I invite you to join along. For all the BO (Born Organized) ladies out there, you might gain a little insight on how us SHE's operate. And if you know a SHE that could use a little encouragement please share my blog with her - who knows, it just might change her life!
Header image by sabrinaeras @ Flickr