Friday, July 31, 2009

A Letter to a Grouch

To the old man behind me in the check out lane at the grocery store:

Thank you for crowding me in the grocery line yesterday. I just loved how every time I pushed my cart an inch and stepped forward you were right there. Breathing down my neck. I especially loved how I could here you huff and puff with every item I put on the belt. I didn't look, but I am sure you were rolling your eyes too. At this point I wasn't sure why you had such an attitude, but you made it clear before I left. I guess you were in a hurry? Well, I was too. I was ready for supper and so was my entire family.

My favorite part was the comment you made to the check out girl upon my leaving. I guess you thought I couldn't hear you, but I guess since you are old you talk louder than you think. No, there isn't an ice storm coming, for your information. Welcome to my world of feeding three growing boys. And for your information, with luck and a little creativity, I hopefully will be able to stretch this over flowing cart of food to 2 weeks. If I'm lucky. You should see the cart in the winter time when I don't have fresh vegetables to pick in the garden.

And you should be thankful I only had one with me. I probably would have scratched your eyes out if I had just shopped with all of them and had to put up with your huffing, puffing, eye rolling, snide comments. Maybe you have never had children to shop for and maybe you are a grouch because you never got to see little smiles everyday.

And if you were in such a hurry, why didn't you offer to help put the groceries on the belt? And if you were in such a hurry, why don't you try the express lane next time and leave the regular line for people like me?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chocolate Eclair Dessert

This is a recipe from my Grandma Row's. She always made it in the summertime. If I had to guess why, I would say so she didn't have to heat up the kitchen since you don't have to cook any of it. That would be my reason!

Chocolate Eclair Dessert

2 3oz. packages instant French Vanilla pudding
1 9oz. cool whip (I think they don't make it in 9 oz anymore so 8 oz will do!)
1 lb. box graham crackers (almost)
3 cups cold milk
1 can chocolate frosting

Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Put layer of whole crackers in bottom. In a separate bowl, mix together pudding and cold milk. Then fold cool whip into the mixture. Put little over half the pudding mixture over crackers. Add another layer of crackers. Add remaining pudding mixture. Add third layer of crackers.
Add 2 Tbsp. of milk to the can of chocolate frosting and mix well. Spread over tip of graham crackers. Refrigerate overnight.

This is so good. It is also good for a church meal since you don't have to do anything before church! haha!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lake Winnie

On July 10, we went with the church group to lake Winnie. I haven't had a chance to post about it with all the drama with the van. Then if I had my laptop I didn't have my camera. Better late than never, right?

I saw Brayden for the first five minutes we were there and that included the time to wait in line, pay, and get an arm band. The next to leave us was Blaine with his friends and Stephen following behind. Then it was just me, Bryson, Candy and JaneClaire. We took them to every ride in the kiddie area. Some of them we rode with them and some they rode together. We all packed coolers and ate a picnic lunch together. It was hot, but it wasn't really hot. We did apply sunscreen and then reapplied a few times. JaneClaire was only afraid of one ride, the Haunted Castle, and Bryson loved it. JaneClaire loved the Free Willie and flume ride. Bryson didn't. They had a blast together.

Bryson slept in his stroller for about 45 minutes and so me, Candy and JaneClaire rode the "Tilt a Swirl". That is what JaneClaire called it. I think it was her favorite! As soon as it started going she started hollaring, "I love it! This is so BEEEUUUTIFULLLL!" I think that was the funniest thing that happened all day. JaneClaire is 6 months older than Bryson and a whole head taller. They don't look that close in age. She is a sweet heart!

Four days later we were out in the yard. Stephen and I were pulling weeds in two different flower beds. Bryson was playing around in the back yard.

Out of the blue he came up to me and said, "I so 'cited 'bout late Weenie!"

"Bryson, did you have fun at Lake Winnie?"


He then proceeded to name almost every ride that he and JaneClaire rode together. He told me that she was his buddy. It rocked. It was awesome. (That is what he said!)

But he did clarify that he didn't like the Free Willie and he didn't want to ride it anymore. Then he started shaking then grabbed his stomach to show me how he felt on the ride. And he really did shake like that on the ride, turned green, and I had to get the lady that was operating it to stop it and let us off the ride.

We all slept good that night. And all of us slept until nine. All of us except for Brayden. He was up a little after 6am. He won't sleep late for anything.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Movie Night

Last night we had planned on a family bike ride now that Stephen fixed my bike. It has been about three weeks since we have gotten to ride. But as soon as Stephen got home last night the sky was getting darker and the wind was picking up. You could smell the rain in the air. The younger boys started whining because we weren't going to be able to go. They tried to talk me into letting them play in the rain and I couldn't get them to understand that you can't play out in a thunderstorm.

So Stephen mentioned that we had a movie on DVR that we could all watch together. National Treasure II. That is a movie we could all watch together, with the exception of Bryson who will only watch the Thomas the Train Sing-A-Long. Which, let me add, is very annoying. It plays the song that it comes on to between every song. So Bryson whines, each time, "Oh no! It's all done!" Then I have to explain that it's not, listen to another stupid song, then explain again.

I digress....

Blaine has been in this mood lately. I keep telling myself it is his age. And I hope it is. I have asked him a hundred times if something has happened. Had his dad or step mom said something to upset him? Is he nervous about school starting? Is he hungry? All I get is a snarled face and a "NO!" like I am the stupidest thing on the earth. So when we all agreed that it would be a great night for "movie night" I got that same snarled face and the whining began.

Blaine: "I don't want to watch that movie! It is stupid!"

Me: "Have you already seen it?"

Blaine: "NO!" (with a snarl)

Me: "Then how do you know it is stupid? I think you will like it. You liked the first one."

Blaine: "No I didn't."

Me: "Yes you did and you are just trying to be difficult. So you can go take your shower and then you can go to your room, read a book, pick your nose, I don't care. But we are watching this movie!"

Blaine: "MOM! Like I am gonna read a book!"

Well, that explains the bloody noses doesn't it?


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It Ain't Food Network, But They Eat it...Tuesday!

This is one of the family's favorites. Everyone eats it really well, except for Bryson. Only because he doesn't eat anything well right now. He is at the age where the Dr. says if he eats one good meal every three days it is enough to keep him alive and he ate a good lunch yesterday. He definitely eats only when he is hungry.

Hobo Packs

Hamburger patties (1 per person)
baby carrots (however many you want for each person)
1/2 to 1 potato per person, peeled and sliced 1/4 in thick (again, depending on how much they can eat)
sliced onions or dried minced onion
Dale's Sauce (I used low sodium)
aluminum foil

First let me say the wider foil works best for this. You need room to fold it and not have stuff leak out into the oven.

Preheat oven to 350. Cut a big square of foil for each person.. Put one hamburger patty in the middle of each foil. Add a splash or two of Dale Sauce to the meat. Sprinkle with minced onion or place sliced onion on top. I used minced onion last night because everyone but me always leaves them behind, but it adds flavor. They ate the minced onion with no complaints. Top with sliced potatoes and baby carrots. You don't have to use baby carrots. I just do because it is more convenient. Next time I may try big ones but slice them because they take the longest to cook. Pull the foil up and fold it over everything. Fold the ends up a few times. Be sure you leave enough room between the top of the foil and the food, making it like a little tent so the heat can cook it. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for an hour. (If you slice the carrots it won't take as long. I checked mine after 45 minutes and the carrots were still a little hard. That's why it might be easier to slice them in half next time.)

When you take them out of the oven and open the foil, be careful, the steam can burn. Just thought I would add that since that woman sued McDonald's for the hot coffee. Don't want anybody suing me. That was a joke. Not the hot part, just the suing me part. Anyway, you can do this on the grill so you don't heat up the kitchen. But the time I tried it on the grill I burned everything. Nothing could be saved so I just do it in the oven. Better luck to you if you use the grill!

You can also use whatever veggies you want. My mom made this growing up and she added celery. My family won't eat it so I don't. You could use peppers too. You could even let everyone assemble there own and do whatever they like.

Let me know if you make this, what veggies you used and how it turned out. I would love to hear from you!


Monday, July 20, 2009

An Apology Letter

For those of you readers who pass by my house on a regular basis, I am sorry. Sorry you have had to look at the jungle that was growing on the side of my house that faces the main road. I don't even remember the last time I weeded or thinned out the iris' in there. But I do have some good excuses....
Three summers ago I got pregnant in June. I slept until October.

Two summers ago I had a newborn. Nursing and poopy diapers were at the top of the "to do" list. And all the sunscreen labeled for babies? Well, after you purchase them and get them home, you read the label and you can't use them on babies. I still don't understand that one.

Last summer I had a little boy who only operated in one

This summer that same little boy likes to push the limits with how close he can stand to the road before he gets hit by a speeding car or chased by his mother who runs waaaaay slower than he does.

So yesterday, in the fall like weather, I changed out of my church clothes and into my yard working clothes, and headed out into the jungle. Bryson fell asleep on the way home from church and I knew I would have a couple of hours to get it tackled.

In that jungle I found:

  • A lot of poison ivy
  • a gumball tree
  • 2 pin oak trees
  • wild strawberries
  • Bermuda grass so long it grew up through the bushes and all the way to the top of the crepe myrtles
  • way too many purple iris tubers
  • enough monkey grass to kill a horse
And that is just a short list of things that I could actually identify. So now it is all cleaned out and Stephen is going to move some of his lilies to that side so we have some more color over there. But they won't bloom again until next spring. I think. Now you can drive by and notice how cleaned out it is and that there really is brick there. And a window!

I should probably go ahead and tell you I am sorry now because I may not have time to weed it again until next summer. So you all better enjoy it while it lasts.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Drama

Yeah. There is more.

Monday when I was driving home from work, smoke started pouring out from under the hood. This happened this past spring and it had to do with my a/c. So when it happened I just figured it was no big deal. Thought it would be the same thing as last time and that it would be under warranty. So I took my van in yesterday morning to the dealership. They called a little while later to tell Stephen that a rock had hit my condenser and busted a hole in it. The damage? $700.00! They then proceeded to tell him that sometimes insurance companies will cover this.
So I made a few phone calls, got transferred back and forth to different departments because people don't know what they are doing, was given different numbers to call myself, all the while people pointing fingers here and there at who/where I needed to call.

Pretty much this whole story boils down to this:

There is a difference between something hitting me and me hitting something. And the insurance company automatically assumes that I hit something, not the other way around, which is then classified as collision, not comprehensive, therefore upping the deductible from $250.00 to $500.00. So if I filed a claim it would make my insurance go up and since I filed a claim less than two weeks ago, could possibly get dropped from my insurance company. So I will take my van back to the dealership today, only to fork out $700.00 and leaving my insurance company out of the loop.

That is why there was no Recipe Tuesday. I am sure all of you are so sad. Maybe next week? We will see. Now I need to go finish getting ready for work. My big boys will be home soon and it is going to be a busy day of pretty much not getting to spend any time with them. Stinks. But the month at their dad's is over, and for that we are all thankful.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

27 Cup Holders

The drama kept on going this past weekend. It didn't just stop with Poison Control. After the big boys found out that we went hiking without them the week before we heard lots of whining. "You always do the fun stuff when we aren't here!" I remind them often that we don't choose to do things without them but that we don't plan on sitting at home and pouting. So since our store was closed last Friday for the holiday weekend we planned a hiking trip with all the kids.

We went to the same place as the week before but took a side trail as soon as we got on the main trail. None of us had hiked this one before and it wasn't as long as the week before. It was more up and down compared to the week before of easier hiking. Blaine carried Bryson's back pack for him with his pull ups, wipes, and a water bottle for each of them. Once again, I expected to end up carrying it but I didn't. All the boys did really well. The last time we took Brayden and Blaine they whined a whole lot, but that was several years ago and they have grown up a lot since then. We hiked an hour to a watering trough that was used to water horses when soldiers past through during the Civil War. I think I put that in my last hiking post, but was wrong last time.

We got to the end of the trail and poor Brayden had to go to the bathroom. Really bad, if you know what I mean. I told him he could go in the woods. He could use Bryson's wipes. He looked at me like I was crazy. I guess he didn't have to go as bad as he thought. He would die if he knew I wrote about this so...shhhh! We took a short water break and ate a granola bar. Then we headed back up the mountain. We made it back up the mountain in an hour. We were hiking quickly since Brayden had to go. We got to the parking lot and hurried to the car.

Brayden opened his door and asked, "What is that?"

As I walked around to Bryson's side to put him in his car seat I was asking him what he was talking about. And then I figured it out.
It was glass. And Bryson's window was busted out. There was a rock as big as my head sitting in his car seat. Then Bryson started crying cause someone broke our car. Then he saw the rock in his car seat and could see his blanket underneath it and cried harder.
I called the police and Stephen got on his phone to call the insurance company. We looked through our things to make sure nothing was gone. My purse was in there and I still had my credit/debit cards, all my checks were still there and my id. Stephen's wallet was locked in the glove box and he checked his and all his was there too. All of our Cd's were there and our cooler. We couldn't find anything that had been taken, so it was filed as criminal mischief with the police department. The boys asked me why someone would break out our window and not take anything. I told them the van was so messy that they probably thought someone had beat them to it. They thought I was joking and they laughed. I gave them the look and they realized I was serious.

Then while I am giving the police officer all my information over the phone I hear Stephen telling the insurance company that something was crazy and I could tell he was mad. They were telling him that our insurance doesn't cover our side windows!!!!

What?!? Are you crazy?

Now keep in mind that we had roof damage over Easter and they only covered half our roof. Now they are telling us they only cover half our van? I guess I need to be sending in half the payments! Then we finally got through to the person on the phone that a rock didn't hit our window, someone threw a boulder through the window! They then realized we were talking vandalism and they said it would be classified as that. By that point it was 4 minutes after 5pm and all the glass places were closed.

And what happens when you have kids around glass and both parents are on the phone? This.
There is a total of three bandaids there. Luckily for us our first aid kit was with us so I bandaged everyone up and went about our business.
Stephen's dad had to leave his mom who had just had surgery two days before to come and get us. My parents were in Canada and Stephens' sister was in Japan. I asked him to come get the kids because of the glass and obvious bathroom situation. By this time we had been by our car for an hour. Two hours after needing to go to the bathroom. Poor guy. We followed them home and then Stephen's dad drove him to my parents house to get their van that they had thought to leave the keys for on the kitchen table "just in case".

And the 27 cup holders? That is how many is in my van and every single one of them had glass in them! I vacuumed for 2 hours while Blaine entertained Bryson in the backyard for me. He is such a good helper. Then I decided since it hadn't been cleaned for awhile that I would shampoo the carpets too. It looks so much better.

The next day we were getting ready to go to our boss' house for the 4th and went to get Bryson's diaper bag. I couldn't find it. I asked Stephen if he had gotten it out of the car on the mountain and thought maybe we had left it sitting on the bench where we were waiting. He told me he had not, and then I realized that it had been stolen!! Bryson cried again. So I had to call the police department back and explain that the diaper bag was stolen.

"Your diaper bag? That is all?"

"Well...and everything in it!"

So then I had to list everything that was in the bag and how much I thought everything cost. On our way to the 4th of July get together we went back up on the Mountain to see if it had been ditched when they realized it was a diaper bag and not a purse, but didn't see it. And I really liked that bag too. It was a perfect size and was actually a tote so it didn't look babyish.

So they finally got my window fixed yesterday. They had to order the glass. And people don't work on holidays. Bryson was so excited when he rode in the car last night.

Stupid kids with nothing to do.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It Ain't Food Network, But They Eat It....Tuesday!

Yesterday Stephen called to tell me that is Pee Paw was coming down and bringing us some cucumbers to make pickles. Stephen's mom had surgery last week so they didn't want to mess with pickles this year. I have one jar left and we are eating them sparingly, so I told them I would take them. While looking for my Chunk pickle recipe from Stephen's Mee Maw, I realized how UNORGANIZED my recipes were. I knew it before, but trying to find a specific recipe yesterday did nothing but clarify that thought. I have 2 recipe boxes, several notebooks and then there is the recipes I print off the computer and don't file because I will forget about it before I get a chance to make whatever it is. So yesterday I started trying to get some of them organized. I didn't hardly make a dent, but I did find my pickle recipe and i found this one that I haven't made in a few years. And it is SO good. I don't remember how many cookies it makes, but I remember it not being a lot like most cookie recipes. Which is good if you are just making it for your family. Not too many. If you are taking it to a get together you might want to double the recipe. These cookies melt in your mouth and they are different than other recipes.

Lemon Cookies

1 package lemon cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 can lemon frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 4 ingredients together. Drop onto cookie sheet in small spoonfuls. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Spread icing generously. Let cookies sit out for a few hours or overnight for icing to set.

If you make this let me know what you think!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Hello Poison Control? It's Me Again....

I was excited yesterday when I crawled out of bed. Brayden and Blaine were coming home. I hadn't seen them since Sunday and I talked to them twice on the phone but they were obviously too busy to talk much.

Brayden..."We're playing baseball Mom."

Me..."Oh! That sounds like fun!"

Brayden..." is. But we had to stop because you called."

Me..."Oh. Well excuse me! Who all is playing?"

He named his brother and two other kids from the neighborhood. It was one of the cooler days this week...only in the low 90's.

He repeats, "Yeah....we had to stop mom because you called and they are all staring at me."

I reply, "Tell them they should be thanking me for the water break."

So I was excited to see them when they came home yesterday. Although I always remind them to call home, they only do during baseball season when someone forgets their jock strap or cup! They walked in the door and I asked them if they had eaten. They told me they had so I told them to get in the car. I had to go print some stuff at work to work on at home. I was trying to get their and finished before the store opened because Bryson seems to think that the store guys should always play football with him with one of the blue and white floatie things that go across the ropes to divide the shallow end from the deep. They did okay...considering the store opened before I was finished. And there are stashes of candy everywhere in the store.

We returned home about an hour later. I had lots of things I wanted to get done yesterday. Then as I was standing in the kitchen getting started, they ask the famous question. "What are we gonna do today?"

" need to unpack all your clothes so I can start washing to send it all back. And if whoever put clean clothes from your dad's house in the dirty clothes last week gets the hankerin' to do it again you will be in big trouble! I could smell the different detergent. I don't wash for fun you know. Four loads need to be washed, I am done with all the science experiments in the fridge and they need to be disposed of, the kitchen table went AWOL awhile back and I would like to find it today, the beds need to be made...did I forget anything?"

I turn around to see blank stares from Brayden and Blaine as Bryson runs squealing around the kitchen hollaring "clean clean" and pushing around his vacuum like he is all hyped up on Mountain Dew. I tell them to get started because we were going to IHOP for lunch with my parents before they fly out for Canada. They run off excitedly to get started unpacking. I guess that was what they were wanting to hear....not all the work I was hoping to get done.

We got to a stopping point and went and sugared the kids up on pancakes and Coke. Coke? Who in the world drinks coke with pancakes? And why does the waiter keep bringing refills? He must not have children. Atleast Bryson had chocolate milk but I'm not sure that is any better. Then our boss called to tell us that she was bringing big, huge cupcakes by the store for Stephen's birthday this week. Okay...they really need this don't they? Bryson fell asleep on the way back to work so I told the boys to hurry up and bring a cupcake with them so I could put him in his bed. Somehow they set off the car alarm and woke him up so that was the end of that. And let me just add here....the more sleep deprived this child is the more energy he seems to have and the more violent he becomes. Not a good thing.

We get home and by this point everyone was fighting. Brayden and Blaine were at each other's necks and Bryson was just feeding off of it. By this point it was the hottest part of the day so I preferred them staying inside. They were going to a birthday party and riding in a limo to see Transformers at 8:45 which means I would have preferred that they lay down and rest for awhile. Blaine slept in the car and then went to my bed to watch TV when we got home. Brayden watched TV in the living room. Bryson went back and forth bugging everyone and throwing things at them. I warned the two older ones that they could stay home from the party and go to bed early if they needed to.

To make a really long story a little shorter, Bryson ended up sitting in his bed 3 different times for being ugly. Blaine had to use an ice pack on his head and then his face 2 different times. Then they all ended up in my bed quietly watching TV. Wow. I should have sent them all back there earlier! Don't get excited. It didn't last long.

"MOM! Bryson is eating your lotion!!!"

I run back to my room to find his face and both hands covered with peppermint foot lotion. I am sure he was unpleasantly surprised to find out that it doesn't taste as good as it smells. I grabbed him and wiped his hands and mouth. Then I had him rinse his mouth with water...all while Brayden is reading the back of the bottle for me to see what the warnings are. "It doesn't say mom" as he lays the bottle down and walks off.

What?!? It has to say something! I grabbed it and started reading. It said nothing but 100 percent natural. Then I started reading the ingredients. I got to Borax and thought maybe I should call Poison Control just in case. That is when another fight broke out and I just about lost it when I couldn't hear on the phone. I put it to them straight. Real straight.
"Your brother just ate something that might kill him or possibly send him to the emergency room and all you two can do is fight while I am trying to hear the lady at Poison Control talking to me?" That shut them up.

The lady started asking me questions. How much did he eat? My first thought was to tell her that I had not measured it out before he ate it. Then I told myself that just because I had a bad day did not mean she had to be the dog to get kicked. So I answered the questions to the best of my ability considering I didn't even see the incident. She asks my name, his, our phone number and some more questions. I start answering her and then I just finished up with, "Don't worry we're in the system. He ate flowers out of the yard last summer". She laughed and said that happens a lot. She was still being nice so now I am thinking that was good....she's not calling DHR on me to get the kids taken away. She informs me that even though it says 100 percent natural doesn't mean that it can't harm him. She was worried about the menthol and peppermint extract because it could cause blistering in his mouth and throat. She tells me to give him water, juice or Gatorade. No milk or sodas. That wouldn't be a problem. She told me she would vall back in an hour to check on him. He really likes Gatorade so I gave him some. He threw it back at me and told me he didn't want it. In fact, he didn't seem too thirsty anymore for anything. He ended up going to sleep and I watched him closely. Poison Control called back two times to check on him. He ended up being just fine.

Needless to say, I was eager to get them to their party and get home so I could go to bed and get the day over with. We had talked about taking them hiking today. Not sure if we still are but hopefully today will be much better than yesterday. And those papers that I had to print to work on yesterday? Didn't even touch them. Table is still missing and laundry is still dirty. But I did get the fridge cleaned out. And me and Bryson picked a 5 gallon bucket of corn, 8 cucumbers, and a bowl of blueberries.

It was nice to be in the quiet garden as the sun went down last night. I hope you all have a happy 4th and stay safe!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quilt number...who knows?

While working on a baby quilt this afternoon as Bryson napped, it occurred to me that I never posted about finishing Roman's quilt! Here are some pictures I took of it. Keep in mind....I never claim to be a photographer....

I honestly have to say this quilt turned out far better than what I thought it would. I had a hard time finding fabric to match the paint samples. A lot of these fabrics were fat quarters...which means I had to purchase small pre-cut pieces. That is why I decided on a scrappy look like this. I couldn't figure out where to put the rick rack, so I didn't use it. It still turned out really cute. I have to say, it is one of my favorites. I even threatened not to mail it to them! But I decided that wouldn't be very nice of me and very reluctantly drove it to the post office so the lady there could pry it from my hands.

If you would like to see pictures of cute little Roman on his quilt click here and scroll down to Mr. R. is 3 months. You can even see a photo of his cute little family that we miss a whole bunch! Oh my goodness! I just added my first link ever! I hope it works!



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