Thursday, July 31, 2008

Love me just a little

You Are Occasionally a Narcissist

While you have healthy self esteem, you're really not that full of yourself.

Compared to most people, you're quite humble!

Though occasionally, you can't help and reflect on how great you are.

There's nothing wrong with being proud of yourself - as long as you don't let it go to your head!

The times I think a little too highly of myself are when I think back to my High School days. I was part of an award winning choir & I remember them as my 'glory days.' It's easy to get full of yourself when hundreds of people are clapping a & they give you a trophy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thank you, thank you & a million thanks to you!

Oh you guys are great, thanks so much for praying. It took me 4 hours to do all my running around but I was able to get our account into positive territory again & our financial butt is saved. I love the Ellensburg WAMU branch - they actually called & offered to waive the fees if I could bring it positive yesterday. We would have had over 200 in fees so now we actually have enough for gas the rest of the week - yay!
In the middle of all the money hoopla yesterday I got a call that put another urgent item on my list. I am part of a community group in Sprague & recently inherited the responsibility of the blog. It's been on the back burner, I actually have not touched it until yesterday's call. I found out that the blog is more important than I thought. Turns out that our group needed me to post on a couple of new things in the community for a grant. A grant that must be completed today! Oh fiddlesticks!!
I had no idea the blog was that important, I wish the lady that passed it on to me had let me know that the grant writers used it - I would have done this weeks ago!

Oh well, it's done now & if you want to check out the Sprague Horizons Community Blog you can see what took me a ridiculous amount of time to do.
I had never messed with slide shows & was not sure what site to use. I knew the other lady used Flickr for pictures so I worked for a long time uploading & editing there...only to find I couldn't make a slide show using the free service. Then I checked my notes & found she used Slide to do the shows. Girrr! At that point, it was time for Chris to get up for work (that would be 2:30 in the morning folks) he gave me a good scolding & sent me to bed.
I had to finish this morning so first thing I made myself about a gallon of coffee & got going. I'm so glad to have the weight of it off my shoulders, from now on I'm posting there more often!
We are leaving on vacation tomorrow, hopefully right after Sam gets out of summer school. That's the goal anyway, with all my detours yesterday we'll see if I can get ready in time. I've been really looking forward to this vacation, it's a family reunion & I haven't been to one on that side of the family since I was in High School. I'm going to find a lot of changes!
Here is a picture of the founding members of this reunion...

(L to R) Uncle Bruce, Aunt Ruth, Grampa M, Grama M, & Aunt Jane.
They have all gone to be with the Lord & are all greatly missed, this picture is of the last reunion they were together (and the last one I attended) in the late 80's. We have had them every 3 years for as long as I can remember.
So I'm very excited to get out of town & have fun with a whole lotta 1st, 2nd, 3rd and who knows how many other cousins. It's going to be loud & crazy & above all fun, fun, fun!
We are going to Wallowa Lake Resort in NE Oregon & I hope to have a lot of pics for you next week.
Have a fabulous weekend everyone & thanks again!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Prayers pretty please

Ok, I have a million things to do today, we are going to a family reunion on Thursday & I have a lot to get done before the trip.
So this morning I gave my email a quick check before attacking my list & found a message from our bank that we are overdrawn -by almost 400 bucks.
Jumpin Jehoshaphat, dagnabbit, frickin' frackin, and a big oh poop!
I went over my grocery receipts for items I can return & raided the coin jar - that plus the money I can take out of my other bank (vacation fund, emergency fund) will just barely make up the difference.
This took me forever, between finding stuff & just sitting here stunned & now I have even less time to get the new emergency stuff I must do plus me to do list done.
I would appreciate any prayers you could send our way. That we won't get in the hole again before Chris gets paid on Thursday, that we will have enough for our vacation (we ARE going no matter what!!) and that I won't kill Chris for not keeping up with the accounts. Oh, and that I can get my list done & the kids won't be a problem today.
Thanks guys, you are the best...I'm off to put a band aid on a severed limb :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Adah on wildlife, bike savings & my kitty blogs in his sleep.

I had a funny conversation with Adah this morning while we were lounging around in bed.

"Dragonfly is going to come in & get us. They fly, they’re birds."
"But they don’t have feathers, only birds have feathers."
"Yes they do!"
"No, birds have feathers but not dragonflies. God made them with wings but no feathers."
"Well, we will have to take the feathers from the birds & give them to the dragonflies."
Isn't she sweet? Poor naked birdies!
It’s a great start to your day when you have to wring out a load of laundry by hand to put into the dryer. Our WM has been on the fritz for awhile & it’s starting to drive me nuts. Sometimes the spin cycle does not work all the way. I open the thing & the clothes are just sitting in the bottom, not all stuck to the walls like they normally are. It’s especially great when there are towels in the load, most especially, bath towels. Then it takes 2 cycles in the dryer to get them dry. Fun!
I got to thinking about the bike today. (BTW, my pal over at Organized Doodles asked a few particulars about this gem. It's a Suzuki SV1000 2003, 996cc's, top speed of 177) Seems like every time Chris gets home I ask him how his ride was & he says "my butt hurts."
I so want to smack him for that, he's the one who wanted the dang thing in the first place! I go through moments when I'm ok with it but most of the time I resent the dagnabbed thing.
So I thought I'd figure out how much we've spent on the thing so far. (Cos' I needed to fuel this fire, right?) These are all approx figures but I think a lot of them are on the low side.
Down 300
Insurance 30
Jacket 100
Helmet 80
Backpack 50
Rear tire 300 (!)
Front tire (2 weeks later) 150
Total 1010

Hmmm, what was it we spent on his gas pre-bike? 800 if I remember correctly, and the above list does not count gas for the bike so far. I didn't feel like looking all that up so I left it off the list. Yes most of these expenses are a one time deal. (I don't know how long tires last on this baby but I hope it's a looong time!) And we must remember that he will only be able to ride until mid to late October here. I'm NOT letting him ride once the frosts hit. So all winter we will be paying insurance & payments (about 190 total) for something sitting in the garage. Kind of like we're doing for his car right now.
So as of now we are over 200 in the hole for this thing plus gas.

My sweet lil smudgie was watching me blog & fell asleep - I keep the laptop propped up. In my head it won't get quite as hot that way :)

Isn't he cute? He's grown a lot since we got him, it will be fun to see how much he weighs at his next vet visit.
Then Sam came over asking if he was awake & 'had' to pet him. Woke him up just enough to switch positions.
And he ended up like this.
All in all, not a bad blogging companion. He sure doesn't interrupt like the kids do!!
Have a wonderful weekend y'all!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Much ado about...

K, planned on posting my recipe today but time got away from me. I'll post 2 next week to make up for it.

Today was a busy day - much more than usual. I should state for the record my goal in life is to NOT be busy. Granted, I have 3 kids & the older they get the busier I'm going to be but I can still dream right?
So morning was normal, kids wake me up & beg for breakfast for 20 minutes while I'm a good example lesson on what not to do by laying in bed until the last minute possible.
(I'm so proud!)
Took Sam to summer school, came home, set the twins up with a movie & jumped in the shower.
Started cleaning up the kitchen (holy cow, I think every dish was in the sink or counter) & picking up the house. I felt like poo-poo yesterday so I laid on the couch as much as possible. I think I only got up to attend children (fix food, & change movies) & use the bathroom. The house was a mess!
Go pick up Sam from summer school.
Get call from BFF asking if I'm going to reading program. Ummm, I should but I don't wanna. Oh phooey, I'll go already. There's only 1 week after this & we've only gone 3 times.
Make lunch, eat lunch, go to library.
Endure chaos that is summer reading program (I might just blog on this another day - it's, to put it nicely, not planned well.)
BFF asks if I want to do dinner together - yupper-do! Her hubby works swing shift & it's Chris's night at my sisters so perfect timing.
Go to extremely overpriced small town grocery store to get more dinner fixins.

BFF arrives with kids, we shoo all but the baby out to play in the sprinkler.
Kids play, we talk. Kids fight, we yell. Kids play, we talk...ok you get the idea.
We eat, the kids run around the house chasing each other & yelling, we shoo them upstairs so we can hear each other talk.
Kids fight.
"Ok movie time kids, everyone on the couch!"
We talk until movie is over & it's 30 minutes past bedtime.

They go, but we wish for a sitter.

Wow, that ended up a lot longer than I thought and all to tell you I didn't have time to post my recipe. Don't you feel informed now? Yeah, I wouldn't either :)


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I spent approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes grocery shopping with my kids today. I'm sure that's all I'm required to say but I will elaborate (as I'm apt to do) just so you can get the full effect.

We had a marathon trip today, all in the pursuit of saving a buck.

Of course I negated that savings by forgetting my list (and I need my list) and having to drive the 25 miles home & turn right around & drive 25 miles back to Cheney. I just love running in circles, don't you?

So we are finally back in town & I stopped by the first 2 stores to pick up the sale fliers. These stores are relatively small & don't do mailers (which annoys me to no end) so to find the best deals I have to do it this way.

Then we were off & running in Safeway (much to the delight of the kids, who were very sick of their carseats by this time. "Why do we hafta go back mom? "Mom I wanna get out of my seat." "Mom, she's touching me again.")

I have a new rule for grocery shopping which, depending on one's point of view, makes me look like a drill sergeant (minus the swearing) or an overbearing evil mom. (I know this from the looks I got from other moms, the ones with 1 child under walking age were the funniest ones. They just looked scared they'd have to do this someday too - HA!)

Before I started this new thing, my shopping consisted of my kids all doing things they are not supposed to, different things that is, all at the same time. Sam would be wandering on ahead, eventually turning the corner & on his way down the next isle. Adah would be standing on the side of the cart, the front of the cart, 'helping' me push (aka getting in the way & tripping me), or standing in front of the cart impeding my progress. Eli would be dawdling behind, inspecting things on the shelves (preferably in glass jars) & freaking out when I got too far ahead.

Meanwhile I'd be attempting to yell at all of them at once. "Sam come...Adah knock it...Eli put that...Sam I said..." while simultaneously shopping for the best deals. (Mom's head explodes.)

Sound like fun? Yeah, notsomuch.

So now I make them line up behind me & stay there the whole time. This consists of me repeating my orders approximately 1364 times during each hour spent in the store.

Have I mentioned that my throat hurts? (Chocolate ice cream goes a long way in soothing a sore throat. Just in case you are wondering, that is.)

Ok (I know, I know, on with the story already) so to give you a glimpse of my shopping nightmare fun I'll tell you what you would see if you were a fellow shopper doomed to lucky enough to be in the same store as my lovely family.

A mom, looking very grim with 3 kids straggling behind her. This mom occasionally asks in a very gruff tone, "Adah, why are you walking next to me? "Where are you supposed to be walking?" after which Adah would reply "behind you mom." and fall back with her brothers. At other times you might hear, "Sam let go of my shirt." "Sam let go." "NOW SAM!" or, "Eli, stop pushing Sam." "Eli stop touching the pickles." "Eli do not touch anything other than your own body!"

Now repeat this scenario for the next hour & forty five minutes (spanning 3 stores) and you've got the picture. Kind of reminds me of the back of the shampoo bottle I bought today - lather, rinse, repeat. Lather, rinse, repeat. Lather, rinse, rep...


By the third store I was beginning to think about alcohol despite the fact I usually drink only once a year on my birthday. (Mexican restaurant+strawberry margarita+birthday=one happy me!)

Hey, maybe some rich TV producer could come up with a reality show that involves grocery shopping with crazy kids & frazzled moms. I'd clean up with that...unless I was competing with BECAUSE I SAID SO that is.

Now I'm home, the kids are in bed & I'm happily blogging while eating a pile of ice cream soothing my throat. was your day?


I just love Rick over at Organized Doodles. He's such a fun artist & always has me on the hunt for eggy. (And I love eggy in this doodle...too perfect.)

My plan this evening was to watch an episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition online (which I did) and then take the laptop to my room & watch a movie in bed. Then I thought, "I should check blogs for a minute." and now it's 2 AM.


Yup, going to bed now. I mean, now. Uh, now. Ok after I turn off the dang computer - get off my back already, geez!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More 'news' & the weekend

Read about a new baggy pants law in Chicago here.
And a drunken practical joke gone up in flames here.
And a couple of dumb crooks getting rudely awakened here.

The Chicago law needs to go nationwide. Although not as prevalent as it used to be, I hate that style. To all those young men out there who wear their pants around their ankles...I get a very strong desire to pants you when I see you. Of course, my style back in HS was to wear holey jeans...extremely holey jeans! My mom was always trying to throw them out & I was always saving them. I had one pair that had no butt anymore, just the seam. I wore boxer shorts under them & they were my favorite jeans (& probably the favorite of all the guys, I had a pretty hot bod back in the day.) I can't believe my mom let me out of the house!


This weekend was a roller coaster ride full of fighting and fun. Chris & I started arguing almost the minute he got home. Stupid arguments all of them, but passionately stated by both parties. I swear, sometimes I get the picture of a couple of rams fighting when we do this. Just run full tilt & slam into each other, over & over again. We are both so stubborn & very good at miscommunicating. Often we agree on the end result of something but argue about the process. Or if I say something & he takes it the wrong way or vice versa, which happens all the time with us. We can go many rounds with that one. I think he needs to pay more attention to what I said & understand me better & he thinks I need to say it better & think of his reaction more, bla bla bla to infinity.
I lost my mind & totally freaked out as I've done before. Having him gone all week is just very hard on me & I can't do it for long. This was only for 2 weeks but that's all it took. I just feel like everybody wants a piece of me until there is nothing left. All week it's the kids, on the weekend it's Chris & I don't get any time for myself.
I tend to do things a little different while he's gone, just to get through the week & that is hard on him. Having ADD, he needs routine & when I change things he feels left out & gets frustrated. Plus he looks like the bad guy when he gets things back to normal. My changes usually involve letting the kids do stuff they don't normally get to or whatever.
So that was Friday.
On Saturday we argued a bit more in the morning & then went to see The Dark Night This was a big thing, neither of us can remember the last time we got to see a movie in the theatre. And holy cow is it spendy!! The movie was awesome, just as we expected. I was more in the mood for Wall-e after all the hubbub from Friday but we were late for it & The Dark Night worked out better. Heath Ledger's joker was amazing. So creepily funny, the perfect psychopath. I'm just glad I'm not afraid of clowns or anything, that would put you over the edge for sure! For those who have seen it (there are no spoilers here for those who haven't) my favorite moment with the Joker was when he walked out of the hospital & had to click the remote...too funny & that outfit was hilarious! My favorite part of the whole movie was the convict on the boat, that was simply awesome - you know what I'm talking about.
It was a bit sad to watch though, knowing about Heath's death. I can see why he was taking anti anxiety & sleeping medications, becoming that character would be hard to take emotionally. I wonder what his daughter will think of it when she gets older. Will she be proud of his amazing performance or might she resent the film for being part of the reason he died? Only time will tell but obviously I hope it's the former.
After we got home we played with the kids & argued, ate dinner and argued some more.
Sunday we went to church (argued beforehand,) came home & cleaned the house. Chris made up a plan for cleaning that involved all of us & it worked great. I cleaned off the surfaces & dusted, Sam picked up toys, Adah picked up papers & trash, Eli put books away & Chris supervised & did the floors. We went room by room & got most of the house cleaned. I think we are going to make this a regular weekend event. We actually had fun...imagine that!
So overall the weekend was not horrible & not fabulous, just good & bad in it's own special way.
My plan this week is to work on my huge backlog of laundry & start to plan my packing list for next weekend. We have a family reunion coming that I've been looking forward to for a year. More on that in another post though.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Something 'fishy' about the news today

My web browser opens with a page of the latest news. I check out any stories that are interesting to me then check to see if there's any interesting entertainment stories. A few days ago I discovered a link to a strange news page & today this story is at the top of the list.
I think it sounds kinda bout you?

Friday, July 18, 2008

A buncha nonsense

Your Fitness Type: Playful

You enjoy exercise as long as it doesn't feel like work.

Working out is your playtime, and you're up for any exercise that's fun.

Try exercise that involves a little friendly competition, like basketball, softball, or volleyball.

Or you may even like exercising with a fitness video game. Anything that makes you feel like a kid again.

This is so not me! I like to walk, I like to swim and I (used to) like to dance. Team sports? Hate em! I was always the last kid picked for the team, and I sucked at them all. Friendly competition? Ugh, all I felt was pressure to perform at games I sucked at. I also loathe balls flying in my direction at high velocity (or even medium velocity for pete's sake - they hurt if they hit you dagnabit!) and I don't like to sweat - could be the reason I'm waaaaay overweight. Ya think?

You Are Ready, Willing, and Able to Commit

You are not scared of commitment in the least.

In fact, there's a good chance that you're already committed to someone you love.

You are willing to give up a little freedom for relationship stability.

And once you're in a relationship, you'll do almost anything to make things work.

Gee, ya think? Being married for 10 years might just have something to do with these results. Although the last line of that was a bad thing for me back in the day. A very, very bad thing!

What Your Sunglasses Say About You

You are spontaneous, open minded, and optimistic.

You are very youthful and free wheeling, no matter what your age happens to be.

You need to be shaded from the darker, more depressing aspects of life.

You feel sunniest when everyone around you is up for a good time.

This was was pretty close although I don't need to be shaded from anything. But I couldn't choose just one of those shades so here's the other one...

What Your Sunglasses Say About You

You are funky, freaky, and as weird as weird can be.

Your taste in everything is unusual and downright counter cultural.

You need to be shaded from uptight, judgmental people.

You feel sunniest when you can kick back and relax... without a care in the world.

Right on the money baby. Not-a-care-in-the-world sounds fabulous to me. Problem is, I'm married with children so we all know it's not happening anytime soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

4 year olds write the best lyrics

I was doing important research on the computer reading blogs the other day & I overheard this from the other room:

"And it goes like this:"
"bottom, bottom, bottom."
"I have a poop coming out of my bottom."
"A really cute bottom."
"I have a bottom sticking on my bottom."

(I was hoping for more but evidently the muse left him.)

Of course, he was sitting at the table while singing this lovely tune. I'm just glad we finished dinner a few minutes before his inspiration struck.

You never know what's going to come out of that kid's mouth.

Whippin up some grub

Brown and Wild Rice Chicken Salad (from Family Circle Cookbook)
Serves 6

1 6-oz. box brown and wild rice mix
3 Tbs. tarragon-flavored vinegar (I used red wine vinegar and added a pinch of tarragon)
1 Tbs. honey-Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 Gala apple, cored and chopped
6 scallions, trimmed and chopped
2 large ribs celery, sliced
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Lettuce leaves for garnish (optional)

Prepare rice mix following package directions. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in 1/4 cup oil. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbs. oil over high heat. Add chicken strips; saute for 4 to 6 minutes, until lighltly browned. Place chicken on a plate; cover and set aside.
In a bowl, combine apple, scallions, celery, pecans and cranberries. Add rice, vinegar mixture and chicken. Line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves (optional); spoon in salad. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold.
435 calories
21 g protein
38 g carbohydrates
23 g fat (2 g saturated)
4 g fiber

My path to finding this recipe was a 6 degrees of seperation thing - only it was 3 degrees instead of 6. I found Life with Three via FriedOkra's post, sizzlin summer recipes, back in May & this baby has been on my list ever since.
I made a few changes (as I almost always do) to suit our tastes. I found I was out of tarragon so couldn't put that in, used a fuji apple instead of a gala, left out the scallions, & used pine nuts instead of pecans.
Now on to the questions:
Was the recipe easy to follow?
Did the dish taste good?
I loved it. The rest of my family were ummm, less than thrilled. Chris has an aversion to anything with veggies+fruit &/or fruit+meat mixed together, so this was a double whammy for him. I knew this going into it but I had to try, it just sounded so good! My kids picked out the fruit to eat & wouldn't touch the rest - even with the loss of dessert hanging over their heads (pernickity things!)
Would you make it again?
I would make it for a potluck or make a smaller version just for myself. No reason to waste great food on picky people!!
If you want to check out the rest of the Whip it Up entries, come on over here Friday & click on the Whip it up button in my sidebar. C'mon, you know you want to :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some forks & a Dixie wanna-be

You Are a Fork

You are truthful, direct, and straight forward.

People find your honesty to be a bit piercing at times.

You are driven and wildly ambitious.

You know what you want, and you take the most direct path to getting it.

I very much resemble this. Unfortunately, my piercing honesty gets reserved for those close to me, not people in general. I'm too worried about what complete strangers think of me to be that honest with them, much to my husbands dismay :)

You Are 40% Yankee, 60% Dixie

You're a pretty even split of Yankee and Dixie. You've probably traveled around a lot in your life.

I was born & raised in WA but I love, love, love the South. I love the people, the food, the accents, the scenery...the only things I don't love are the humidity & the storms (hurricanes & tornadoes freak me out!) Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong part of the country - but I can't imagine leaving good ole WA, even with all it's faults.

The great bathroom adventure

I gave you a hint of this story a couple weeks ago when I blogged about my fabulous day. Be warned though, it's not a pretty story. Well, I guess you could say it's pretty, as in pretty dang smelly - but however you put it, it's not for the faint of heart. Might be effective birth control though!

I was out on a grocery trip at one of my favorite retailers, Fred Meyer. I love Freddy's cos they have playland, where I can deposit 2 of my kids to play while I spend quality time argue with Sam & shop for groceries.

We hadn't gotten the best start on the day but after having lunch things were looking up. Until, that was, I got the dreaded page over the intercom system to 'come to playland.'

I figured it was just cos' I was late picking them up (never happens - HA!) but when I arrived I noticed Adah walking a little um, funny.

The attendant told me she had said she needed to go potty but that she could wait. *alarm bells ringing in my head*

So I hurry them into the bathroom only Adah is trying hard not to hurry & is walking even funnier.

Yup, you guessed it, by the time we got into the stall she had poop dripping down her leg.

Now, I've been past the diaper bag stage for some time, so there I am without wipes & extra clothes, with Adah dripping onto her feet.

So I begin the dash back & forth between the towel dispenser, sink & stall - round & round we go, when I can stop nobody knows.

Meanwhile, the boys have the run of the bathroom. Danger, Will Robinson, danger! I hear them greeting & saying goodbye to several ladies. I witness the greeting to one woman, who seems less than thrilled to see 2 boys in the woman's room. A minute or 2 later, I hear her talking to them, & saying something about them being rude. "What are they doing?" I ask. "Looking through the crack." she grimly replies.

Wonderful boys, just flipping wonderful! As if I'm not having enough fun already, I have to deal with my peeping-tom's-in-training now. Why did they have to choose her to spy on? Couldn't they have picked someone with a sense of humor? Oh no, not my boys.

I profusely apologise to the woman, and make the boys do so as well. Then I give them a big lecture of why that is wrong & make them stand against the wall for awhile. But that only lasts until I venture back into the stall with Adah. (I later found out Eli was in the hall for awhile, yikes!)

Adah is not happy to be cleaned off with cold, rough paper towels & lets me know in no uncertain terms. It takes at least 4 trips back for more towels to get her clean, the stuff is everywhere! I ended up just tossing the undies but had to wash out her shorts as best I could & make her wear them. Yeah, she was not big on that idea but we don't have money to buy shorts on a whim & I wasn't letting her walk around naked! (Although she would have liked that I'm sure.)

We finally got out of the bathroom, completed the shopping & got everyone in the car. (I almost forgot my favorite comment of the day. While in line at the checkout Sam said, "mooo
om, Adah still stinks!" at top volume. Thanks for telling everyone Sam...girrrr) Our little detour took so long we had to rely on gross good ole Mickey D's for dinner. I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open & desperately needed some caffeine for the drive home.

I managed to get us home, groceries in the house, Adah bathed & kids to bed without loosing my cool. After all was quiet I collapsed into bed with my laptop, a movie & lots of junk food to salve my injured soul.

And of course, through it all I kept thinking, "This is going to make one heck of a blog post!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

100 things, part 2

Are you ready for a new installment of things about me? I don't think I'm all that interesting but I started this crazy thing & I'm-a-gonna finish it! Personally, I'd rather hear about you - but since I'm the one writing this blog, I guess it's up to me.

20. When I was a kid I always wanted to be a wife & mother.

21. I thought I'd be married right out of High School but my boyfriend(s) at that time did not agree, much to my disappointment. (For which I am now extremely grateful.)

22. I didn't get married until I was 28 - 4 years after my little sisters, who were 21 when they married.

23. My sisters are twins & 3 years younger than me, they got married in the same year, 1 month apart. We all lived at home at the time & it was all wedding, all the time. Dad & I seriously thought about getting an apartment until it was all over.

24. A lot of people asked me if I was jealous they were getting married. My pat response was "Why would I be jealous? I have no desire to marry T or N!"

25. Then Grama got into the act at a family dinner with out of town relatives. The talk inevitably turned to wedding stuff & I said "Ugh, all I ever hear is wedding, wedding, wedding, could we please talk about something other than the weddings?" My dear beloved Grama said in front of God & everybody, "Don't worry dear, your time will come." Wha??? So NOT what I meant Grama, thank you very much for embarrassing me & making me look like a pathetic looser!!!

26. I met my hubby on AOL. Sometime I'll blog about it but the short story is this: Met online late Oct, face to face early Dec, he moved to WA early Jan, married early May. Not something I recommend but it's worked for us :)

27. I lived in the same house until I was 20 & lived there again from age 22-26. My parents still live there.

28. Nicknames I've had: Alien, Laney, Laney-poo, Hota-lou, Lane, Al, Laners, Norm, Roomie, Pookie, & my all time fave, Precious, which is what Chris has always called me.

29. I've never lived anywhere but WA state & only in 5 different cities. Kirkland (2 locations), Seattle (5 locations), Cle Elum, Kittitas & Sprague.

30. I sang in an award winning jazz choir in High School but never learned to read music.

31. I have learning disabilities that were not diagnosed until 10th grade.

32. Most of my house is 103 years old - the newer part is from the 1970's.

33. We live 2 miles from one of the best fishing lakes around & don't even own a pole. *sigh*

34. I have had 4 best friends in my life & was rejected by or grew away from 3 of them. (1) Stacy from Elementary school got too 'cool' for me after we hit Jr High age & broke my heart. I still think of her parents as mama & papa C - in my heart they will always be my other parents. (2) I met Micki at a family camp & we were glued at the hip all through High School. We grew away from each other at the end & I don't know if I'll ever understand what happened to us. I still miss her & wonder if we will ever be in contact again. (3) Jenn was my pal during my mid to late 20's. We worked together & were roommates for awhile but our friendship was doomed by a lot of lies & deception. We won't go there though, all has been forgiven & I still hear from her now & then. (4) I have been so blessed to find my current BFF Leah right here in the lil town of Sprague - she is a real God-send & like a sister to me. We hit it off from day one & can completely depend on each other. Leah, I love you & thanks for the Oreos today!

35. I have never been to a foreign country except Canada (which doesn't really count if you ask me.)

36. I have been to all but 13 states but don't ask me what they are! I don't remember most of them cos' I was too little. The only ones I know for sure I haven't been to are Hawaii & Alaska.

37. With my hubby I have been to Oregon, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa & Missouri. And WA if you want to count my home state :)

38. We would like to visit each state someday. I want to travel internationally too but I think it's important to get to know this great Country of ours first.

39. When we retire we plan to see the world via short term mission trips. I just think that would be a great way to really get to know the people of other nations. We want to do the tourist stuff too but want to make a difference while we're there.

40. I got saved in 1994 In Spokane at an Amway major function.

Well, there you go, there you have it, items 20-40 of my 100 things - hope you like reading it as much as I liked writing it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whip it good!

I totally could not resist that title. I'm a child of the 80's y'all!

Alright folks, I've got my first installment of the Whip It Up recipe challenge for you. I found this gem on All Recipes & it's fantastic. I'm a sucker for a summery pasta salad & when you add sausage & pesto? Seconds please!
This was a hit with my whole family although I admit the kids picked around what they deemed to be gross - that is until I broke out my trusty if-you-don't-eat-all-your-dinner-you-won't-get-any-dessert ploy. Works almost every time.

Pasta Salad with Pesto

Yields: 8 servings

1 (19 ounce) package Bob
Evans® Italian Grilling
1 pound uncooked penne pasta
1 tablespoon butter or
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated
Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups seeded and diced
Roma tomatoes
1 small green bell pepper,
1 cup whole ripe olives
1 cup cubed mozzarella
Red leaf lettuce for garnish

Cook sausage in large skillet or on grill until browned; let cool. Cut in half lengthwise; cut each half into 1/4 inch slices and set aside. Cook penne according to package directions; drain. Toss in large bowl with butter to prevent sticking.
To prepare pesto sauce, place garlic cloves in food processor with metal blade or in blender; process until smooth. Add basil and parsley; process until finely chopped. Add pine nuts; process until finely chopped. With motor running, slowly add olive oil in fine, steady stream. Add Parmesan cheese and black pepper; process until well blended, scraping down side as needed.
To assemble salad, toss sausage, tomatoes, bell pepper, olives and mozzarella cheese with penne. Gradually stir in pesto until salad is moist but not saturated. Serve salad on lettuce-lined platter, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

I used Hilshire farms sausage instead of Bob Evans (whoever he is) & it tasted just delish. I cut mine up before I browned it...I like getting the crusty browned flavor on as many surfaces of that sausage as possible. I used ye old Parmesan-in-a-can instead of freshly grated cos' we don't have the $$ for the good stuff and it just takes less time to shake from a can rather than grate it yerself. I also used red bell pepper in place of the green - I just don't like those green ones much.
The only thing I didn't like about this is that making pesto in a blender takes for-freakin-ever. Someday I'll get me a food processor & my pesto-making efficiency will be what I wish it to be but until then...totally worth taking the time with the blender. Fresh pesto just can't be beat.
The 8 people they say this recipe serves would be rather large people, this makes a huge bowl of salad & would be perfect for your next potluck.


Was the recipe easy to follow?

Did the dish taste good?
Yum, yum, yum, yum and yum (that's one yum per family member y'all.)

Would you make it again?
Oh yeah, I think my hubby might hurt me if I don't :)

Can't wait to see what my fellow recipe-tryer-outers came up with for their first entry.

If I were Catholic I'd say like 900 hail Mary's.

Bless me bloggers for I have sinned. It's been one entire week since my last blog entry.
Yes I totally know that's lame, lame, LAME!
Forgive me?

K. This week it was determined by the hubby's boss that they will start work an hour earlier to 'beat the heat.' Let us remember this particular job is 2 hours away from home & hubby already gets up at 3:30 to make it there on time. Getting up at 2:30 is not going to work for him so now I'm back to where I began, a pseudo-single mom with a weekender hubby. I'm headed for a white shirt with some reeeeeealy long sleeves if this goes on very long...last time this happened I was very close to a nervous breakdown. NOT a good thing y'all.
Hubby says the job will be over soon so I'm praying the next job is a scosh closer to home. Care to join me? Please??

On a lighter note...

We have a new family member & not of the mechanical variety this time (phew!)
He is the cutest thing ever & I'm completely in love with this lil bit o fluff-n-bones.

I present to you smudge,

the cutest puddy-tat on 4 paws in my extremely humble (a'hem) opinion.

The only problem is that smudge is driving this guy

and these guys

crazy with the desire to chase, control & squish play hold & cuddle 24/7. Smudge has other ideas...he'd rather explore & attack innocent pieces of paper & clothing he finds on his (very few) unmolested jaunts around the house. The result of this is that I'm hearing an unprecedented amount of whining/crying from them and honestly, I can't decide who is worse, the kids or the dog!
So the excuse for my bloggy deficiencies is that my household companions have required more policing of late & thus, more time. Well, that and my addiction to watching season 9 of Big Brother online. But I only allow myself to watch 10 2 episodes a day. Yeah.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A fabulous day in 12 easy steps

1. Stay up really really late the night before.
2. Let kids watch movies non-stop all morning.
3. Decide to take kids out for lunch an hour after you normally eat.
4. Make sure kids delay leaving for at least an hour - clothes, shoes, potty...
5. Have a relaxing lunch with your crazy, insane, manic, whiny wonderful children.
6. Spend 45 minutes in a tiny restaurant bathroom with 3 kids, 2 of whom have to poop.
7. Go grocery shopping.
8. Find that your daughter has created something wonderful when you get paged by pick up your kids from the grocery childcare center.
9. Experience another lovely trip to the bathroom with your children.
10. Make your way home with your crazy, insane, manic, whiny wonderful children.
11. Spend at least an hour coaxing, pleading, yelling bonding with your kids while getting them ready for bed.

And last but not least...
12. Be sure to spill a giant container of watermelon on the floor before you head to bed.

to be continued...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Please care

Nate posted this video a few days ago over on his blog. Please watch it, please let it hurt your heart. Please go visit Nate, Tricia & Gwyneth. Read their story and consider donating to their Great Strides walk. And please, please register to be an organ donor - I've made it easy for you, just look over at my sidebar for Worthy Websites & click on Donate Life America. It's easy & it only takes a few minutes - just think of what a gift you could give to hurting families, what a legacy you could leave.

Thanks for watching, God bless you!

100 things, part 1

I feel so cool that I can do one of these now - I'm like a real blogger now baby!

O' course I'm not going to come up with them all now but at least I'll get a start on it.

First and foremost...

1. I love the Lord my God with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength.

2. But I'm still very much a sinner & fail Him all the time!

3. I thank God for His grace & mercy every day - without His giving me those all day every day I would be sunk for sure.

4. My 'vertical alignment' is this: God first, family second, friends third, & me last - although I don't always achieve this...see # 2.

5. I would have job in #4 but as a SAHM, my family is my job so I didn't list it.

Some favorites:

6. I love daisy's - I like them (& most flowers shaped like them) above all others. They just make me smile every time.

7. Blue is my fave color. I like all the shades but a deep iridescent cobalt really does it for me.

8. My favorite flavor is vanilla.

9. My favorite smell is the top of each of my kids' heads.

10. My next favorite smell is vanilla.

11. I have 2 things that tie as my favorite thing to do in my spare time. One is reading & I bet you can guess what the other is...and yes, I'm doing it right now!

12. My favorite blogs are, in alphabetical order: BECAUSE I SAID SO, Confessions of a CF Husband, FriedOkra, and Scribbit. I love love love all the blogs I read but these are my absolute, if-I-had-to-cut-out-all-but-4-which-would-they-be list.

13. I'd tell you what my favorite food is but it changes frequently.

14. My favorite movie of all time is the Wizard of Oz. It was the first movie I saw in the theatre & the first time I saw anything in color. It made a huge impression on me and although I've seen it approximately 947 times I never get sick of it.

15. I do not have a favorite animal - I love just about everything that breathes be it mammal, reptile, name it, I like it. I don't like many bugs (the hollyhock weevil is my current nemesis) but bugs like the praying mantis or walking stick are extremely cool.

16. My favorite place to vacation is the Oregon coast. I love Washington state but the coast? Oh man, Oregon has it beat hands down! The area around Newport & Depoe Bay is the best in my opinion, I could go on & on but that would be a whole post in itself.

17. My favorite place we've lived is Cle Elum.

18. My favorite genre of music is jazz & my favorite genre of jazz is swing/big band.

19. An amendment to #15 - my favorite bird is the hyacinth macaw.

20. My other favorite movie is Labyrinth. In my teen years I watched it (with my BFF of the time) just about every weekend. We both had a thing for David Bowie and the relationship between Jareth & Sarah. I still know every line in the film but can no longer do it without watching the movie. I have also lost the ability to do Ludo, Hoggle, & assorted other characters I was good at mimicking.

Whew, that's hard work! I'm going to do this in several installments & after I get to 100 I'll put them together & link it in my sidebar. It might take me forever though, just in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The big boy's new toy

This is our latest acquisition. Chris is having fun with it although that's not why he bought the thing. The plan is that it's going to save us oodles of money on gasoline. The jury is still out as it's financed & we are paying for 2, and insuring 3 vehicles. Of course, this means that we will always have something sitting in the garage, not being used, but because we still owe on it we can't drop the insurance. *sigh*

Can you tell I'm not 100% on board with this thing? I think it would have been more prudent to keep saving until we could put like half down on one...but that's just me. Chris was convinced this is the only way we can save on his commute - cutting expenses in other areas just won't be enough in his opinion. We don't have a choice as to how far he must drive, he has to go where the job is, that's just the nature of construction. Also, living in a rural area means we typically pay more for gas than city dwellers and we have to drive more/farther than they do. Chris figured that we paid out over $800 in the past 30 days - zoinks!

So he's like superman in the kids eyes now, they were SO excited when he rode up the driveway. Eyes as big as saucers & squealing like crazy. Of course they all want a ride but it's going to be a few years until that happens. None of them are reliable enough to hold on & lean into turns etc.

I'm looking forward to getting a ride too - but I'm going to wait until I'm satisfied he's experienced enough. Most likely that will be after he thinks he's experienced enough...I tend to be nervous on those things & I need to completely trust & be sure in my mind the driver is ready to handle a passenger. But I do love to ride, the freedom, the power, the...well the speed is what really does it for me!

We still plan to get our fun bike when we're older. I wanna be a Harley chick someday. Subaru chick just doesn't sound the same.

Here's Sam sitting with daddy

And Adah

And Eli

And me looking quite dorky in the helmet.

Princess charming

You Are Pretty Charming
While you're not a natural charmer, you can be charming when you want to be.
And lucky for those around you, you usually feel like turning on the charm.

You project a happy, calm image - even when you're feeling the exact opposite.
You make people feel great about being around you... though you're not always up for putting in the effort.

Header image by sabrinaeras @ Flickr