Thursday, December 31, 2009

What I Did This Decade

Can someone please tell me exactly where this decade went? Just yesterday I was marveling at how the world didn't come to a screeching halt like the Y2K nuts said it would and now it's ten years later. So, to recap, here is what I did this decade:

  • Graduated from high school and went to college
  • Met this really hot guy and married him
  • Dropped out of college
  • Let the hubby join the army and moved to Hawaii (then Texas, then Kentucky)
  • Gave birth to 3 awesome kids
  • Went back to college
  • Read some books
  • Voted
  • a bunch of other random things
So, what did you do this decade? Anything interesting?

I Want My Schedule Back

Christmas break has thrown me so off my schedule. I love spending some quality time with the kiddos and the hubby, but I want my schedule back. I missed Random Tuesday Thoughts yesterday, so I'm gonna throw out some random Wednesday thoughts. I promise I'm gonna be back on schedule soon and we will return to our regular blogging programming :)

**I haven't taken down the Christmas decorations yet...not because I'm that in love with them, but because I'm lazy.

**The hubby is watching the Burn Notice marathon on USA and he's not even in the house right now. But, I guarantee, if I turn the channel, he'll come in wanting to know why I changed the channel because he was watching that.

**I've cooked in my CrockPot everyday this week. My sis gave me a CrockPot recipe box for Christmas so I'm testing some of them out. I'll pass along what works.

**I read Matilda this week, just for fun. It was amusing, different than the movie (of course) but still good.

**We visited the National Corvette Museum yesterday. It's pretty cool. The only downside is that the hubby now wants a Vette...

**I love taking my kiddos to the library. They are quiet and don't argue there.

**My kids are now demanding lunch so I've gotta go...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Christmas Happiness

I got some really great stuff for Christmas...pretty dishes, books, a freakin' awesome handbag from my parents, a Crock Pot recipe box...it was fantastic. However, the very best gifts I got this year were the smiles from this wild bunch...










And the reason for their smiles...



I hope you all had a very merry Christmas full of love, happiness and memories to last a lifetime!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Catch Your Happiness

The other day I was reading one of my magazines. On the last page, it has a few inspirational quotes. One of them really stuck out to me.

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
~Benjamin Franklin

It seems to me that so many people believe that they are entitled to happiness yet make no effort to make themselves happy. Or they go about it all wrong. With Christmas upon us, I think we should all remember that happiness does not ultimately come in the form of whatever gizmo, gadget or doo-dad that you unwrap tomorrow morning. Next year, we will have forgotten all of these things, or sold them in a yard sale to make room for the coming wave of new and improved gizmos, gadgets and doo-dads. Happiness is the love around us, our crazy families and the memories made during all the madness. So, while you are unwrapping those presents tomorrow, take a minute to look around and catch a litle happiness for yourself. Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is It January Yet?

I've been asking myself that question since Friday morning. Don't get me wrong. I love my children, but 24/7 with them makes us all a little nutty. The weather has been a little yucky so the kiddos have been stuck in the house. I've been having internet troubles so I'm a bit cranky. The whole thing is just setting us up for some major drama around here. I did take the boys to the library yesterday afternoon. It was a great outing. They know the library rules and are quiet the whole time we are there. The peace was nice while it lasted! Oldest kiddo has already finished his books, so I think I'll take them over again tomorrow to pick out some more books and maybe a movie. Too bad you can't check out some sanity from the library...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Home for the Holidays

Home is where the heart is.

This has been my motto for years now. Since my hubby joined the Army, we have moved several times and will continue to move frequently until he retires. This little saying has helped me in so many ways. Whenever his unit deploys and wives start packing up and moving home, I stay put. My heart is in the house we share, the location where we are stationed, and, ultimately, the life we share. It isn't always easy, but it hasn't killed me yet.

The holidays are always an interesting time around a military base. It's almost like a ghost town. Everyone packs up and heads off to visit family in other places. We have been known to do that. In fact, we haven't been in our own house for Christmas in a few years now. Going back home is always fun, but super stressful too. The hubby's parents are divorced so that means we are pulled in three different directions. It can be really frustrating because no matter how hard we try someone always gets shorted. This year, the hubby wanted to go visit his grandparents in Minnesota. I have a severe aversion to cold weather. I wanted to go to Arkansas. There was no way we were going to agree, so we chose to stay home for the holidays. Both sides of the family have been relentless in their efforts to lure us to them for Christmas (and hubby hasn't entirely given up on trying to convince me to go to MN), but we have stuck to our decision. Our friends around here ask if we are going home for the holidays and we say "No, we're staying here." Then it hit me today...Duh, we are going to be home for the holidays. We will be in our home. I am really excited to watch the kiddos open their presents around our tree on Christmas morning. I am also really excited to know that we won't spend the day rushing here, there and everywhere. This year, my heart is just really into a quiet Christmas at home with my hubby, the kiddos and our crazy dogs.

So, I am editing my motto in celebration of the Christmas season...

Home for the holidays is where the heart is.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random Goodies


**Random goodies...haha, that sounds dirty...yes, I'm very mature!

**I keep meaning to turn the channel but I haven't yet, so I've spent the whole morning watching ESPN...that's my punishment for being too damned lazy to find the remote.

**I love Phineas and Ferb!

**I have to say that I'm pretty happy that the 49ers won last night. I don't know why, but I've always had this aversion to the AZ Cardinals.

**I need to go grocery shopping, but it is payday and I'm procrastinating because I really don't want to wade through the mess of retirees who show up at the Commissary on paydays. We don't really need to eat...

**My Christmas shopping is finished!! Yes, I mentioned it yesterday too, but it feels so good that I feel the need to share it more than once.

**Of course, I still have to wrap and ship those presents...UPS Store here I come. I'm too lazy to actually pack my own boxes.

Alrighty, well, I've gotta go wrap those presents, stick a sharp pointy thing in my eye and go grocery shopping...enjoy the randomness people!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Semester in the Books

I know I've been a bit slow about blogging the last couple of weeks. I have been busy finishing up this semester. Today I took my last final of the semester (and feel about a thousand pounds lighter). I am super excited to have a few weeks off. Next semester my classes are all online, so I will get to hang around the house and do some volunteering for the kiddos' classes. I am really happy that I won't be commuting for two hours every day to school. I am also super excited that it will be my LAST semester. Then I'll officially be a college graduate! I am still wrapping my head around that one. I love learning and being in class, so I'm a bit frightened at the thought of no longer being a student. I am also a little nervous about how all my plans will pan out. Hopefully, next fall, I will be the teacher rather than the student. That's a whole other bundle of nervousness that I won't subject you to for now. For now, I'm going to go enjoy the fact that all my Christmas shopping is done and I can focus on reading whatever I want! I just started Breaking Dawn and am really anxious to get into it and see how the story ends.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Joys of Cold Weather and My Middle Kiddo

My middle kiddo was born in Hawaii. For this reason, he firmly believes that he is Hawaiian. I have tried numerous times to explain to him that he is not, but he's not buying it. I swear, the kid will end up living in a little beach shack with a great view of the waves he plans to hang ten on. (At least I'll have a place to crash on vacation!) Most of the time, his belief that he is Hawaiian doesn't have a huge impact on our life. However, when cold weather rolls in, this belief becomes the bane of my existence. This is the fight we have on a regular basis...

Me: The bus is coming, get your coat on.

Middle kiddo: Nope, I don't need a coat.

Me: It's cold outside, you need a coat.

Middle kiddo: I'm Hawaiian, I don't wear coats.

Me: You are not actually Hawaiian. Put on the danged coat.

Middle kiddo: Noooooooooo.....

Me: Ok, my dear little Hawaiian, put the coat on...

Middle kiddo: I don't wanna!

Me: I know, but it's cold here on the Mainland and little Hawaiians do wear coats when they are on the Mainland.

Middle kiddo: Fine, but when I grow up and move back to my homeland I'm gonna throw my stupid coat in the ocean.

Me: I'm pretty sure that would be bad for the fish.

Middle kiddo usually mumbles something about stupid coats and fish, puts his coat on and boards the bus with a look on his face. Having this fight with him is really frustrating. But, it does amuse me too. I sometimes worry that our Army lifestyle with all its moving will make our kiddos feel a little homeless. You know, that they won't have a place they can always go back to like I have with Arkansas. Despite the frustration I feel whenever I argue with middle kiddo, it relieves me a little bit to know that he does have a place in his heart that is his "home". Now if I can just figure out how we're gonna pay for him to attend University of Hawaii, I'll have it made.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts


Yay! It's Tuesday which means I can empty all of the random thoughts out of my brain and call it a blog...

**My children have done nothing but fight this afternoon. Is it bedtime yet?

**I took my Spanish final today. I am officially done taking foreign language for my degree, YAY!

**I always had a sneaking suspicion that Tiger Woods was secretly a douche bag.

**I have completed my Christmas shopping!! Now I just have to get it all wrapped and shipped.

**My MIL is coming to visit this weekend.

**We watched Elf last night. I always forget how amused I am by that movie.

**My oldest kiddo has started reading The Boxcar Children Mysteries. I love that he's reading stuff that I read when I was his age.

**Middle kiddo got Super Mario Bros. for his Nintendo DS. The hubby and I might have spent several recent nights playing it after the kids have gone to bed.

Well, I've gotta go finish making dinner so we can get the kiddos fed and to bed, then spend another romantic evening fighting over whose turn it is to play Mario...

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

Today we remember those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor. When we lived in Hawaii, we visited the Arizona Memorial a few times each year. Before you get on a boat out to the memorial, there is a brief movie about the history of the attack. Most of the time, the movie is introduced by a park ranger (because the Arizona Memorial is a National Park). However, on a couple of occasions, we were honored and lucky enough to be there when a survivor of the attack was there to introduce the movie. Listening to their stories was amazing. We never visited the memorial on December 7, but there was always a big ceremony and any survivors from the American side and from the Japanese side are there. The memorial is a wonderful tribute to those who lost their lives on that terrible day. If you are ever in Hawaii, make sure you visit!




Flag over the Arizona Memorial


The oil drip from the sunken USS Arizona

Friday, December 4, 2009

Books that I've Read Recently

It's been a while since I posted about what I've been reading. I figured I should give ya'll a quick update because I know how interested you are in my reading habits...

**I have made it to the 10th book, Ten Big Ones, in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I say it every time, but seriously these book are hilarious! They are quick reads and full of laughs.

**I read The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto "Che" Guevara for my history class. It was interesting, but if you aren't into memoirs this one won't be your cup of tea. Honestly, if I hadn't had to read it for a class, I would never have picked it up. There are some really interesting insights into the hows and whys of the revolutionary movements in Latin America during the 20th century, if that's what you are in to.

**I'm gearing up for the end of the semester and finals, but somehow I have still managed to start two other novels. I'm about a hundred pages into Eclipse from the Twilight Saga. So far, it is much better than New Moon (meaning that I haven't wanted to gouge my eyes out yet or screamed at Bella for being so whiny). I'm also thirty pages into The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike. I'm really enjoying it. I probably won't finish either of these until finals are over, but I'll be sure to share my opinions of them when I do get through them.

Hope you are all reading something interesting...feel free to share :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Not the Brightest Light on the Tree

I know, I know...I'm behind on my blogging. This semester is winding down and finals are coming up, so it's been hectic for me. Here's a funny story about my puppy to make up for it though...


This is Abbi...



She's chasing a bug. She does a lot of that. (Really has nothing to do with this particular story, but it's a cute pic...) Abbi is our almost-one-year-old mini pin. Normally she chases bugs, sleeps on the back of our couch, poops in the floor then spends the night snuggled up with middle kiddo under his mound of blankets. We love her (all expect for that pooping in the floor part).

The other night, the hubby and I had just gotten in bed when we heard Abbi whining. After a minute, the whining turned into crying. So hubby got out of bed to make sure middle kiddo wasn't laying on her or something. Hubby checked the bedroom and Abbi wasn't there so he went down the hall and found Abbi standing next to the kitchen trash can with a piece of bread crust between her paws. The little darling had gotten into the trash can and pulled out the crust. She knows that she's not supposed to be near the trash can. In fact, she knows this so well that she started whining and crying while she was digging in it. The little brat told on herself! We had to laugh because if Abbi had just kept quiet we would've never known she was even near the trash can. Needless to say, Abbi spent the night in the kennel and we once again realized that she's not the brightest light on the tree...but she sure is one of the cutest...

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Fun Never Ends

We had a busy but fabulous Thanksgiving weekend! On Thursday, we joined the rest of America in stuffing ourselves full of wonderful food and then vegging out in front of the TV for some football. I think we were a pretty good looking bunch...







On Friday, I went temporarily insane and went shopping at 4:30 in the morning...I'm happy to report that I have regained my sanity (well, at least what little bit I had to start with).

On Saturday, middle kiddo turned 6! This was his first official picture as a 6 year old...




Yep, he's such a serious kid! We had a great little party for him and he opened his parental torture devices...um, I mean presents. Then we watched some more football. The Arkansas-LSU game has been on his birthday since he was born, so it's a tradition for us to watch that.

Yesterday, I helped the hubby catch up on his course work. Now, I'm catching up on my own school work. I've got finals coming up next week. Yay. And I have to finish my Christmas shopping. Double yay. Oh, and Christmas cards apparently don't address themselves. The fun never ends around here :)

Did ya'll have a fabulous Thanksgiving and long weekend?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hunting Season for Women

This morning, for the first time in my life, I took part in the madness known as Black Friday. My middle kiddo turns 6 tomorrow. We're getting him a Nintendo DS, which the wonderful world of Wal-Mart had on sale for $98. Also, they had digital photo frames for $29. I figured I couldn't beat a deal like that for the in-laws. I stood in line for 2 hours. I know, that's tame compared to some. And it was totally worth the smile I'm gonna see tomorrow when middle kiddo opens his birthday present. After all of this adventure this morning, I've come up with a few reasons for why people call it Black Friday...One, it's freakin' pitch black outside at 4:30 in the morning...Two, standing in line for two hours will cause one to black out. I also came up with a cardinal rule for Black Friday shopping: Leave your crabby hubby at home. (I came up with this one after standing in line next to a crabby hubby for two hours...seriously, if he called his wife to see where the "F***" she was in the store one more time, I was gonna stomp on his phone...)

Anyhoo, I successfully secured the bounty and have returned home. I don't think I'll leave again today. People are freakin' crazy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown, Day 9

Tomorrow is the big day...Thanksgiving! Is everyone ready to gorge themselves on turkey, pie and all the other fixin's? Personally, I don't like turkey, or mashed potatoes, or pretty much any other thing that normal people do...I do like rolls and pumpkin pie, so I'll stuff myself on those things...Anyhoo, on with my countdown...

I am thankful for days off. Today, the boys and I had the day off from school. We were able to spend some fun time together. We went and picked out their Christmas ornaments. Then we went to redeem their Book-It coupons at Pizza Hut. Before heading to pick up the baby from daycare, I took them to pick out their Christmas present for their baby sister. They are super excited that it's her first Christmas and picked out a super cute little stroller-along walker for her. It's pink and she can put a baby doll in it. I'm pretty sure she'll love it. All in all, we had a great day and it was all thanks to having a day off.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown, Day 8

I guess I really have been counting up to Thanksgiving rather than down. Oh well, it's the thought that counts right....anyhoo, today I am thankful for our Army life that let's us move to the places we've been. Sometimes it is frustrating to move so frequently. (Our next move is coming up in April and we'll have been here for less than 2 years...) But we've been to some awesome places and seen some awesome things...


Kolekole Pass, Hawaii



Sunset in El Paso, TX



Waterfalls in Kentucky


We've been to some fabulous places and seen some beautiful things. And it's all thanks to our Army life. It is not always perfect (or convenient) but it does provide some great benefits :)

I Want a Vacation and Other Random Thoughts


Buckle in and enjoy the random ride...

**I want a vacation! Someplace warm, with sand and sunshine, little fruity drinks that come with umbrellas...and no kids. That's right. Mommy needs a vacay.

**I have a cold. It sucks.

**I've got the rest of the week off from school. Woo-hoo!

**Normally, I avoid Black Friday shopping like the plague. However, I think that I'm gonna brave it this year in order to save $30 on my middle kiddo's birthday present.

**Did I mention that I have a cold and that it sucks? Well, I do and it does. The cold makes me spacey and the medicine makes me loopy....Loopy can be kinda fun, but spacey sucks.

**I love the show Bones. It cracks me up and it is one of the few shows that the hubby and I agree on.

**My MIL is my friend on Facebook, but has not friended any of her children...Is this odd or is it just me?

**We're staying home for the holidays. I'm excited about this because we always travel to visit family and it is always stressful.

**Here's a joke that my oldest kiddo told me this week: How do you keep a dog from barking in the back seat? Put him in the front seat, of course!

And that concludes RTT for this week :) If you need more randomness, head on over to the UnMom and check it out.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Attention: Members of this Household Have a Severe Dishwashing Allergy...

I'm gonna have a sign made for my house that says this. Seriously. I believe that my sons and my husband must have a severe allergy to all things related to washing dishes. I have come to this conclusion because they all place their plates and cups precariously on the edge of the kitchen counter (kind of close to the sink) and sprint from the room. Put the dishes in the dishwasher a few feet away? Nope. Rinse the plate off so gunk doesn't dry to it? Nope. Leave it all for mom to deal with? Yep. I have decided that only a severe allergy is the only way to explain this. I love them dearly, but their dish habit is driving me bonkers. Every night I have to wade through a counter full of dishes just so I can wash the baby's bottles for the next day. I understand that an allergy is a medical condition but maybe they have a shot for it...

Thanksgiving Countdown, Day 7

Onward the Thanksgiving countdown goes :)

Today, I am especially thankful for the fabulous friends that I have.



Thanks to our Army life, we have friends across the US and the world. Regardless of where they are, my friends are always there whenever I need them. We've been through think and thin, deployments, terrible twos, chaotic moves and so much more together. They randomly send me cards to brighten my day. They never fail to amuse me on Facebook. My friends keep me going during those times that I just wanna pull the shades and crawl into bed. (Ok, really they bring over the booze, get me intoxicated and then laugh at me, but whatever works, right...) I am truly blessed that I get to call the most wonderful women in the world my friends!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown, Day 5 & 6

Some days just get away from me. Yesterday was one of those, so I missed posting Day 5 of my Thanksgiving Countdown. I'm gonna combine days 5 and 6 to make up for that.

This time around, I am thankful that I don't always get things my way. Or, in other words, I am thankful for unanswered prayers. If everything always went the way I planned for it to, I would have missed out on a lot of really cool things in my life. I would have moved to Texas for college and never met my husband. I would have won the lottery a long time ago and never learned the lessons of money management and being happy with what I've got. I would have gotten my college degree four years after I got out of high school and I would never have learned to appreciate education the way I do now. There are so many times that my plans haven't gone right. And each time, something better came from it.

Two wonderful quotes come to mind when I think about this blessing...


Friday, November 20, 2009

It's Gonna Be the Latest Diet Craze

When the boys were babies, the baby food companies were just starting to come out with all this stuff they've got now. I remember that the sweet potato puffs were a huge deal. Now that I have another baby, I have discovered that you can buy puffs in about a gillion flavors. Not only that, but they also have crunchies, which are very similar to the puffs but come in a shape like a cheeto and different flavors of course. When my mom visited recently, she wanted some puffs and crunchies to snack on. Honestly, I thought the woman was a bit loopy...until I tried the mild cheddar crunckies. OMG, they are like white cheddar cheetoes. Yummy! I could eat the whole container in one sitting. The best part? The whole container is only around 200 calories...so munch away! It's gonna be the next big diet craze and I'm blazing the trail...Maybe I'll get an endorsement deal, write a book, make a few TV appearances...it's gonna be great! Then I'll fade into obscurity just like Susan Powter...only with better hair, of course :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown, Day 4

Thanksgiving is inching closer and, so, my countdown marches on. Now that I have gotten past the perfunctory blessings (kids, hubby, parents), I'll move on to some less obvious stuff.

Today I'm feeling pretty thankful for coffee. That's right...I believe it may be the nectar of the gods. Without coffee, this is me...Once I've gotten my coffee, I'm a happy person. Even my kids know that mommy requires coffee to function properly. As a mommy to 3, wifey to 1 (just thought I'd confirm that I'm not a polygamist...), pooper-scooper to 2 dogs and full-time student, I have about a million things going on every day. It takes a lot of caffeine to keep me going...



In the words of Lorelai Gilmore, "I'm the perfect storm of caffeine and genetics" :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown, Day 3

Day 3 of my Thanksgiving countdown....

I have been blessed with super parents. They have been married for almost 28 years, which is almost like a record these days. When I was growing up, they sometimes annoyed me. Now, I realize that they were looking out for me. Never once did my parents tell me I couldn't do something. My dad is one of the most patient people I know. My mother is one of the most intelligent people I know. I love them very much and can't believe how lucky I am to have such great parents!


My daddy and me....a few years ago...



My mommy and me, at my sister's wedding a couple years ago

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown, Day 2

Each day between now and Thanksgiving, I am going to make a post about something for which I am grateful. Yesterday, I bragged about my kiddos. My blessing today made those kiddos possible. No, not the milk man or failed birth control! It's my hubby!



He is fabulous. Not only does he protect our freedom, but he cooks dinner sometimes too!



In addition to his culinary skills, the hubby is one heck of a dad. Also, he's not too hard on the ol' eyeballs. Yep, I'm a nerd...a nerd in love...

Woo Hoo for the Randomness


**I was up until 2 am this morning working on a paper.

**This fact means that I am too exhausted to come up with some witty introduction.

**My hubby is surfing internet coupons. He might be driving me crazy.

**He's only coupon surfing because he traded his vehicle in for a truck last week and our payment went up.

**I may be too exhausted to come up with random thoughts.

**Ha ha, last night, I was proofing something for my sister. This morning we were talking about it and I told her that I had moved a word. Then I told her I couldn't remember where I moved the word to, but I was thinking that I might have put it in the witness protection program and moved it to Phoenix...um, it was funny then...maybe you had to be there?

**The pistachio commercials crack me up.

**I think I'm gonna go take a warm bath and go to bed early.

For the lowdown on RTT and more randomness, check out The UnMom.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown, Day 1

Recently on Facebook, I've noticed a lot of my friends doing a countdown to Thanksgiving. Each day they will update their status with something for which they are personally grateful. I think is wonderful. Personally, I think we should remember to do this everyday, not just in preparation for Thanksgiving or on the actual holiday. Anyhoo, I've decided that each day between now and Thanksgiving, I'm going to make a post about something for which I am grateful. (Or, at least I'm going to try, somedays just get away from me...) So, here it goes...

I am grateful that I have the three most amazing kids in the universe.



Seriously, they are awesome! Each day, I learn something from them. Some days I learn (or re-learn) patience. Other days I learn that the best things in life are simple. Yesterday, my oldest kiddo sat down next to me while I was doing my homework and asked if I wanted a Kit-Kat bar out of his Halloween bucket. At first, I said no. Then he told me that it was his last one, and that he was going to have one and he thought it would be fun to share the last one with me. Well, after that, how could I say no?! So, we sat there and had a Kit-Kat break. It lasted less than 5 minutes, but was probably the best part of my day. My kids have huge, loving hearts and stubborn streaks that are about 5 miles wide. I love them more than anything and thank God numerous times a day for blessing my life with their presence.

Why?

Why do people complain that they have no money while talking on their brand new iPhone?

Why do people say they worry about the environment but have no qualms about driving their gas-guzzling SUVs?

Why do some parents expect my children to act perfectly while theirs are running around ripping toys from my child's hand?

Why do people complain about their weight while chowing down on a super-sized value meal?

Why is it that people complain they don't have enough time but don't miss an episode of the latest reality show?

Why is it okay for me to work hard for everything my family needs but others expect these things to be handed to them?

Why are 8 year olds running around with cell phones? And exactly where are their parents?

Why are we shocked that childhood obesity is on the rise when children are given snacks at every turn? Is a sugary pouch of junk and a box of liquid sugar really necessary after only an hour of running around?

Why do people seem to have no respect for others?

Why is the sky blue :)

Why do I care?

Well, I at least have answer to the last one...I care because I live in this world too and I'd like for it to be a nice place for everyone. As I re-read this, it seems a little less than cheerful. I really didn't mean for it to, but at least once a day one or more of these questions crosses my mind. I suppose I'll never understand a lot of things. But I do think that if we all took just an extra minute to think about it, some of these questions wouldn't even be necessary.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Everything I Need to Know About Public Speaking, I Learned From...

When I was in high school, I participated in FFA (Future Farmers of America, in case you were wondering). I first joined so that I could get out of classes sometimes and hang out with this guy I liked. I had no idea just how much I would take away from the experience. One of the sponsors talked me into being on the horse judging team. Horse judging basically consisted of judging some horses (duh!), putting them in the right order, and then giving reasons to a judge. Reasons is a short little speech thingy that you give to a judge explaining your logical reasons for placing the horses the way you did. For me, reasons was the most horrible part because I'm not a huge public speaker (even if it is just an audience of one). I always managed to get through the reasons and, even got to where I could score pretty well. Eventually, our team placed third in the national competition.


(That's me on the right)

At the time, I had no idea just how much I was really learning. This week, however, I was reminded. I had to participate in a debate during my history class. While I was sitting at the front of the room, waiting for my turn to speak, I just kept reminding myself that this silly debate was nothing compared to giving my final set of reasons at the national horse judging competition. When my turn came around, I took a deep breath and spoke my part with no problems. Frequently, I am appalled at the way people speak in front of my classes. I am just so thankful I learned how to speak in public from my time in FFA.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

So Mistreated

This is my beautiful baby girl...



She is a very happy little bundle of giggles...




But don't let this fool you...sometimes she is so mistreated...




For about 1 minute everyday, her horrible mean parents put her in this jail-like thingy and this is her opinion of it...



Geez, how could we be so mean :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day

Today is a very special day. (Well, actually, every day is very special, but that's another topic...) Veteran's Day is a time to remember those who have served our country. Some have lost their lives, but all have made sacrifices of some form. This particular holiday is close to my heart because I am married to a veteran.



My hubby is a soldier. He has deployed twice and is ready to do it again if necessary. He puts his life on the line to protect our freedoms and in order to secure those same freedoms for others. In my mind, he is a hero. He would never consider himself as such; in his eyes, he is simply doing his job just like anyone else. But, how many people are actually willing to be so selfless? It takes a special person to do a soldier's job and I am very grateful to each and every person who has chosen to do it. Happy Veteran's Day to you all!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TGIRTT


Thank goodness it's Random Tuesday Thoughts!! It means I get to be completely random, which, let's face it, takes far less brain power.

**I could totally leave for school early this morning and possibly not spend a decade looking for a parking space, but my daughter just quit crying! I didn't have to pick her up; she just started entertaining herself. This is a major dealio...

**Yes, I said dealio...

**My beautiful daughter is currently in that stage of life that requires her to cry anytime she's not being held. It is not her most attractive quality at the moment, but I love her anyways.

**The boys still have Halloween candy.

**I have to go to school tomorrow; everyone else in the house (the hubby included) is off for the day.

**Since my last post about what books I've read lately, I have blown through books 4 and 5 in the Stephanie Plum series. Today I'm starting book 6. They really are hilarious. If you like a good fluffy mystery series, these are totally for you.

**I ordered some stuff online recently. When my package arrived, one item was missing so I emailed the company. They emailed back and wanted me to call them. What was the point of emailing them if now I have to call them? I'm annoyed.

**I made pumpkin bread this weekend. I love pumpkin bread!

**I also started reading The Witches of Eastwick and still need to read Eclipse.

**Ok, I suppose I'm done for now and should head to school. But I totally reserve the right to add more randomness later today :)

Have a great one!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Love This Pic

During the summer, my boys went to visit the grandparents for a week. One day while they were there, I got this pic from my sister. It is my precious boys with my nephew. I love it! So, I thought I'd share it with you guys...plus I don't have much time to type because my child is screaming because I'm not holding her...I love this stage of life....Anyhoo, back to the picture...



Sunday, November 8, 2009

YAY for Happy Hour

My weekend has been long and stressful. I won't go into all the details, mostly because I'd get all worked up and lose the point of this happy post, but my father-in-law is visiting for the weekend. Anyhoo, I have a ton of school stuff to do tonight. We went out for lunch and a stroll around the local flea market. On the way home, I decided that I'd swing through Sonic for a little pick-me-up. A cranberry limeade sounded like the perfect way to brighten up my afternoon and prepare me for the stacks of schoolwork awaiting me at home. I pop in, place my order for a lovely large cranberry limeade and the guy tells me that my total was 95 cents! Yep, that's right! It was Happy Hour!! Woo hoo!! It totally made my weekend. Hope something equally fabulous has brightened yours as well!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Tragedy in So Many Ways

Many people have asked me if I plan to blog about the tragedy that occurred yesterday at Fort Hood. This is a logical question based on the fact that I am an Army wife and that I tend to blog about pretty much whatever crosses my mind. My initial reaction has been that I would not. I say this because I'm not sure what to write regarding this tragedy. The Army is like one giant family. I know people all over the country, and around the world, including at Fort Hood. As far as I know, no one I personally know was injured or killed in this attack (Thank God!). That is a small blessing for me. However, my Army family is hurting. I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon and evening glued to my television set. I was holding my breath, waiting to learn exactly who or what was behind the attack. While I waited, I debated with myself. I was trying to figure out which possibility was scarier: an attack from an outside entity or an attack from within? I still don't know. The thought of an attack from outside the Army family scares me because it might not be limited to one base. The thought of an attack from within is scary based on something else. How one can turn on his brothers- and sisters-in-arms, plot against them, and actually take from them their physical well-being and their lives is beyond my comprehension. If we cannot trust our own, those who we are supposed to trust with the lives of our loved ones in war zones, then who can we trust. I know I'm probably getting a little extreme here. But I also know that I cannot be the only one feeling this way. My heart is broken for those who were personally affected by this senseless tragedy. I hope that my extended Army family can recover from this swiftly.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What I've Been Reading

I've just finished up two books. They are both fabulous and very different from one another.

First up is Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig. I thought it was a breath-taking story. It was almost heartbreaking in many parts. But, honestly, what well-written drama set during the Civil War years isn't? If you've never read Gone With the Wind, there is a good chance you will be lost if you read this novel. (FYI: The novel Gone With the Wind is totally different and waaay better than the movie....and I love the movie.) The saga of Rhett and Scarlett is always captivating. This novel explores it and so much more of Rhett's life. I loved it.

Next, I read this fabulous book called Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson. It is a guide to teaching the fine art of grammar, usage and style. Obviously, not everyone is going to read a book like this for pleasure (although, I'll admit that I did, because I'm a nerd like that). Anderson makes teaching the scary subject of grammar seem fun and almost easy. I would recommend this book to anyone responsible for teaching grammar to middle and high schoolers.

I'm not sure what I'll be reading next, but I'll be sure to share. Anyone read anything good lately?

Just Don't Burn It

As promised earlier this morning, I am posting a new crock pot recipe. This one is for apricot chicken. The kiddos liked it. The hubby is a nerd who ate two sandwiches 30 minutes before dinner and wasn't hungry. So, his opinion doesn't count on this one. One word of advice before I pass this one along: The sauce will burn if you cook this too long. Trust me. I might or might not have burned the first attempt at this recipe.

Apricot Chicken

1/2 jar Apricot Preserves (it was an 11 oz jar)
1/2 bottle Russian Dressing (it was a 16 oz bottle)
1 packet onion soup mix
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into thirds or quarters depending on the size

Mix the preserves, dressing and soup mix in the crock pot. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours or low for around 6 hours.

I served it over rice.

Coming Up...

I'm rushing out the door to school right now, but I wanted to tell you guys that I have some fabulous stuff to blog about later today.

Coming up I have
  • a new crock pot recipe
  • reviews of what I've been reading
  • and a lovely little rant about disrespectful drivers and funeral processions.
I know, you are on the edge of your seat. I almost feel bad for making you wait...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No Creative Name Today


Woo hoo! It's Tuesday! That means it's time to get random, so let's get this show on the road...

**I needed 4 things from the Commissary today. I managed to remember all 4 things. Yay!

**I was doing so well about drinking water for months after my daughter was born. Then I quit pumping for her and have slid back into my coffee/soda guzzling ways.

**I'm extremely annoyed with a certain college at the education center here on post. I need to take one course through them to transfer into my university in order to graduate. The course is a sophomore level British Literature course. Freshman Composition is a pre-req for it. I've received credit from 2 large universities for the courses because I took the CLEP exam and my current university gave me credit for the courses based on a huge writing portfolio I turned in. I've proven my writing abilities. Not to mention the fact that I'm an ENGLISH major and have taken numerous upper level courses. But, nooo, this freakin' tiny school won't accept those credits, so I can't take the course I need to. Oh, but they will award my hubby about a zillion hours of credit for "life experience".

**I may have gotten a little worked up on that last point there.

**William Blake's wife, Catherine, was illiterate.

**I actually managed to burn something in my crock pot recently. I didn't even realize it was possible. I've since corrected the problem (didn't cook the meal so long) and the recipe turned out well. I will share it soon.

**The father-in-law is coming to visit this weekend. I'm ambivilent about it.

**The flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz scare me so much that I won't even watch the movie.

**I also have a fear of peacocks.

And that's about all the random I've got in me for today. Go visit The UnMom for more fabulous randomness and enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bedtime

Sometimes I wonder what my hubby will be like when we get old. I fear that he will be that old man who wakes at 4 am to make his coffee and get the newspaper, then eats lunch at 10 am and spends the rest of the day waiting for the mail to arrive followed by an early bird dinner at 4 pm and bedtime at 7 pm (after the nightly news and Wheel of Fortune, you know). You may wonder what leads me to this conclusion. Well, my friends, let me share a little conversation that occurs on a nightly basis (usually around 7:45 pm) in our house

The Hubby: Are you ready for bed yet?

Me: Um, are you serious?

The Hubby: Yes, it's (insert obnoxiously early hour of the evening here).

Me: Be a grown up and wait until after 9 before you ask me that again.

See?! He's totally going to be that old man! I think I can live with it as long as I don't turn into that crazy old cat lady...crazy old cat ladies tend to smell like wet cat food and I just don't think I can handle that...

I'd Like to Thank the Academy

The lovely Vicki over at Frugal Mom knows Best has seen fit to bestow not one but TWO fabulous bloggy awards on me. I'm so very excited! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm feeling a bit like Sally Field right now...you like me, you really like me...Ok, sorry...Here are the awards...



One Lovely Blog

The rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award" are:
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.


Love ya! Award

This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

See, aren't they pretty?! So, these awards come with instructions to pass them along. I don't know that I can get up to 15, but I definitely have some lovely ladies that I'd like to recognize. I'm just going to pass them both along to the following fabulous bloggers:

  1. My favorite cousin, Ashley of Love Grows Best in Little Houses: She's just starting out, so go visit her!
  2. My lovely friend and fellow military wife over at Losing 90. I've reconnected with her recently and am oh-so-glad that I did. She's a wonderful person!
  3. The mouth-watering, oh-so-yummy Java Cupcake. Seriously, I think I gain 10 pounds every time I check it out :)
  4. 2 Toddlers and Me: She is so charming and always seems to have the greatest ideas for her little ones.
  5. My fabulous friend, April, at A Labor of Love. She is making her way through the adoption process and sharing it with us all.
  6. Jen, at Random Blitherings of a (Not So) Domestic Goddess: She never fails to crack me up, on her blog or in real life :)
I know it says 15, but I just can't pick that many. Sorry :( But again, a big THANK YOU to Vicki for these lovely awards!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween! I love Halloween because they show cool stuff on the History Channel. Yes, I'm a nerd. Last night we watched The Haunted History of Halloween, which I've seen numerous times. But I really like how they trace the history of the holiday in a way the kiddos can follow. Tonight, I think I'll watch some show about the Wolfman in France. Ok, so enough about my nerdiness...

We have done our trick-or-treating and the kiddos have eaten some candy. They are actually pretty good at not eating the candy all at once. I have those kids who like to stretch the candy for as long as possible. They've been known to still have Halloween candy at Christmas. Anyhoo...thought I'd share a few pictures...


The 3 cutest trick-or-treaters on the block




And the award for creepiest mask goes to....





Isn't she just the cutest strawberry you've ever seen?!




The most excited trick-or-treater...




The most OCD trick-or-treater...


Enjoy the rest of the Halloween night and be safe!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Please Pray for My Sister

I just got off the phone with my mom and my little sister. My little sister and her family came home tonight to find that their home had been broken into. While they are still evaluating what has been taken, it is obvious that all of their big ticket items are gone. I feel horrible for them and so helpless at the same time. No matter how old she gets, I still feel very protective over my sister. While she was putting on a strong front, I could hear in her voice that she was devastated. On my 10th birthday, our home was broken into. Luckily, my grandfather stopped by before the man was able to take anything more than my father's wedding ring and some small things that fit in his pocket. But I remember the feeling. It's an indescribable feeling of being violated. I hate that my sister and her family are having to feel that way tonight. I'm thankful that stuff can be replaced and no one was physically harmed. I don't do this often, but I tonight I am asking that you please say a prayer for my sister and her family. Pray that they can somehow feel safe in their own home again. Thank you so much!

I Feel So Loved!

One of my favorite blogging mamas over at 2 Toddlers and Me picked one of my posts from this week as her choice for Favorite Post Friday.




I'm so excited. Head on over and check her out!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's Like You Know

We all have certain things that drive us crazy. One of those things for me is the use of what I call "crutch words". Crutch words are words such as like, um, uh, you know, etc. that people use when they are speaking. I tend to ignore them and not be bothered too much by them during informal conversations. However, when someone is making a presentation in front of a class, the use of crutch words drives me absolutely batty. Today, I was reminded of just how annoyed I am by these words. A guy was doing a presentation of the illustrations that were part of today's assigned reading. His presentation lasted for about 1/2 an hour. He used the phrase you know excessively. To calm myself, I started keeping track of how many times he uttered the phrase about half way through his presentation. Within a span of 15 minutes, this guy said "you know"...brace yourself...143 times!! I'm still recovering from the horror of it...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's Like Riding a Bike

Recently I was having a discussion with someone about parenting. I'm not sure what exactly we were talking about, but somehow the topic of teaching a child to ride a bike came up. Since then, I've given it some more thought and realized that the metaphor of teaching a child to ride a bike is just like parenting. When our children are young, we act as their training wheels. We allow them to do as much as they can, but prop them up when they need it. With our support, they learn the basics without falling. As they get older and are able to ride along fairly well, maybe we take off one training wheel. They still have our support, but are able to do a little more without us. Eventually, both training wheels are removed. The first few rides without the training wheels we run along behind them holding them up so they don't fall. But at some point we, as parents, must let go. We know that our child is probably going to fall. They might scrape a knee or bruise something, but we will be there to help them up. Finally, we let them go. When we let them go, we know that sometimes our children are going to fall. But, we also know that we'll be there encouraging them to pick themselves up and get back on the bike. Not always are we going to fix their scrapes. Sometimes, we will show them the medicine cabinet and let them do it themselves. Some days letting go is harder than others.


Update:

I'm so excited to announce that this post was chosen for Favorite Post Friday by 2 Toddlers and Me!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quick Observation

It was raining this afternoon when it was time to get the boys off of their buses. I grabbed my umbrella and crossed the street to the bus stop. As I got each one off the bus and walked them to our house, they ended up with more of the umbrella than I did. Needless to say, by the time I had gotten them both home, I was a little damp. I didn't really mind because my boys were dry.

So here's my observation...

You know you're a mommy when you give your kids the umbrella because as long as your child is dry you don't even notice the rain.

Hip Hip Hooray for RTT


I love Random Tuesday Thoughts! Let's just get ride to it...

**Where does ABC find all those crazy families for Wife Swap? And exactly why do the families throw such a fit over the rules change? Don't they understand the concept of the show?!

**I turned in my essay on Blake today. I feel about a million pounds lighter.

**It's raining, yuck.

**Last night's dinner was a disaster. I tried a new recipe. It would've been good if it had been cooked for about half the time. We went to Wendy's.

**Speaking of Wendy's...I have been saying for years that some place should put chicken sandwiches in the kids meals. Finally, Wendy's is doing that! My kids were ecstatic!

**I cut my finger last night. I have no idea on what.

**I have a professor who drinks about a pot of coffee before class, then bounces around the whole class period. It kind of reminds me of my kids.

**There was this really pretty yellow envelop in my mailbox today. I got all excited that someone had sent me a card. Turns out that it's my neighbors mail. Dang mailman!

**I am totally unmotivated to do any housework lately. Thank goodness the hubby isn't opposed to picking up my slack.

**My mom bought my oldest kiddo 3 chapter books on Saturday. He finished all 3 of them by Sunday afternoon. I love my little bookworm.

**My middle kiddo has the smile of a future heartbreaker. I'm not looking forward to his teen years.

**My precious baby girl is pulling up and scooting around the couch. She'll be walking sooner than I care to admit.

Hope you have a fabulous Tuesday. If you want some more randomness, head on over to the originator of RTT, the unmom.

Monday, October 26, 2009

You Don't Have to Be Here

I'm so frustrated and I just have to vent, so please excuse my ranting in advance. I am a full-time college student. I went to college for one year right after high school, then quit for a few years to be married and have babies. When the boys were out of the baby stage and the hubby was preparing for a second deployment, I decided to return to college. As an older college student, I apparently have a whole different outlook on attending class than some of my younger counterparts. In order to pursue my education, I give up time with my children, time with my hubby and huge amounts of money. Therefore, I take going to class and paying attention very seriously. I do not have to be there. I choose to be there. Attending college is a choice. No one has to be there. I'm so sick and effing tired of dealing with people talking during class. I'm also sick of people coming and going as they please with no regard to others. When you register for class, you are making a commitment to attend said class with the goal of learning something about the subject. You aren't saying, "Yeah, I'll come if I don't have anything better to do" or "Yeah, I'll come but I'll have to leave early because my boyfriend wants to do it during his break". You're not there to chit chat with your sorority sisters about last night pre-gaming session and who charmed (term used loosely) her way out of a DUI arrest.

So, basically, the point of my little rant here is this: If you are in college, you should act like an adult by respecting those around you. If you are registered for a class and choose to attend, sit down, shut up and pay attention.

**I'm sure that this doesn't apply to any of you, my dear readers. Thanks for enduring my little rant, we'll now return to the regularly scheduled program :) On, a lighter note, I'm testing out a new recipe and will share details soon if it turns out well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Roots

I come from a very interesting combination of people. My grandfathers and great-grandfathers were all very strong, hard-working men. Each of them have had a very significant thing in common. They were all married to wonderfully strong and independent women. All of these women were very different from one another. Each had her own strengths and weaknesses. As I look at myself, both my appearance and my personality, I can pick out each of them in me. I feel like I've been blessed with a little piece of them all and hope that I make each of them proud. I want to tell you a little bit about each of these amazing women.

Granny Lynda is my mom's mother. She is a soft-spoken, tiny woman with beautiful eyes and an infectious smile. Many people often think that she is oblivious to the world around her. However, I know that she sees and understands the world around her, but she chooses to not let that get her down. She sees the best in everyone and never utters a bad word about a person without blessing their heart. From her, I have learned that the world is often beyond my control but I can control how I respond to it. I also smile like her.

Granny Shirley was my dad's mother. She had piercing blue eyes. She was brutally honest. Her opinions were never a mystery. Granny Shirley has some very rough relationships in her early life which made her a little hard. This was something that I didn't know about her until I was in high school and it shed a new light on so much. I know she loved me, I know she loved others. However, sometimes she struggled with expressing her love and sometimes she came across harshly. From her, I learned that honesty is the best policy. I also learned that we don't always know what a person has been though so we should not judge them too harshly. I also have eyes that are very much like hers.

My great-grandmothers were all interesting women, as well. Grandmother Eliott got a college degree in 1924. She worked with the state extension office and visited women on their farms. Part of her work with the extension office consisted of starting a rest camp for farm wives. Talk about progressive, right?! In the 50s, she founded an arts & crafts fair that continues to this day and is a major contributor to the local economy each year. Although I never met my Grandma Clardy, I'm told that she was fiesty and had a sense of humor quite similar to my own. My Grandma Elsie was a woman who chose to spend her life taking care of those around her. She was an excellent cook. When I was about 4 years old, she taught me how to make apple pie. She was a very patient woman, and I swear she was probably a saint. My Gran-Gran moved to a nursing home when I was very young. Every time we visited, she gave us candy bars. Turns out, she was excellent at Bingo and cards. Each week in the nursing home, she cleaned up at the games so that she would have enough candy bars for each of us great-grandkids. She was witty and thoughtful. From these 4 women, I learned that getting an education is possible even when the odds seem to be stacked against you and that achieving whatever you want takes a hard work. I also learned the importance of family.

The person that I am is a direct result of these 6 women. Each of them passed along unique traits to me. I am blessed to come from these women and I love them all very much. I only hope that I make them as proud of me as I am of them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

25 of My Quirks

I'm all out of bloggy ideas today, so I've decided to share 25 things about myself...Enjoy!

  1. My favorite color is yellow.
  2. I have an irrational fear of being attacked by squirrels, but I'm not actually afraid of squirrels.
  3. I flew an airplane once.
  4. I'm an English major. Even though my major falls into the liberal arts category, I am conservative in my thinking.
  5. I am a fan of the Razorbacks, Cowboys and Braves through the good, the bad and the ugly.
  6. I am the world's pickiest eater.
  7. I love to cook, but rarely eat what I make (refer to number 6).
  8. I have a split uvula. (That is not something dirty)
  9. My favorite movie is Bull Durham.
  10. I drive a Jeep Wrangler X and I love it.
  11. The hubby and I don't own a vehicle that isn't a Jeep...this happened totally by coincidence.
  12. I love moving as frequently as we do, but I sometimes worry about how it affects the kids.
  13. Even though I plan to be an English teacher, I'm not a grammar nazi. However, it drives me crazy when people misuse it's, its, their and there.
  14. I have a love-hate relationship with my Blackberry. I love all that it does, but I hate that it costs me so much every month.
  15. I don't mind doing laundry, but I hate folding it.
  16. I do not like Shakespeare's works. This isn't because I find it difficult to read. It's because I think it's crap. (Sorry, if you disagree.)
  17. I'm going to vacation in Europe...don't know when, but someday.
  18. My first major in college was Horticulture.
  19. When I was in high school, I was on a state champion FFA horse judging team. We placed 3rd in the nation.
  20. Bing commercials make my head hurt.
  21. I've read the first 2 Twilight books and will read the last 2. I'm not infatuated with them like the rest of the world seems to be, but I feel like I should read them because my future students are reading them.
  22. I'm distracted on a daily basis by Facebook.
  23. I have a goal that all 3 of my kiddos will leave my house knowing how to cook one really good meal, how to do their own laundry, and how to change the oil and tires on their vehicles.
  24. I love getting mail.
  25. I can hook up my own washer and dryer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Thing It's RTT


I'm feeling a bit random today, or maybe it's more that I can't stay focused on anything for very long today. Anyhoo, it's Tuesday!! That means I get to get my random on, YAY!

**The dogs are about to get their butts kicked out of here. This week, they have chewed up two books, a bra, a baby toy and the nipple off of a baby bottle while I was at school. Seriously, you stupid animals, what's wrong with the CHEW toys?

**I have a paper due in my course on William Blake next week. I need to edit it and re-write lots of it...but I'd rather run a few miles in heels.

**Why do Avent bottles have US ounces and UK ounces? I thought an ounce was an ounce. Apparently, I thought wrong.

**My non-school related reading for this week is Mechanically Inclined. It's about teaching grammar to middle & high school kids. I'm loving it.

**Yes, I'm a nerd.

**I had cereal for dinner last night. It was good.

**Monday Night Football is perhaps the most distracting thing on TV. I end up glued to it and stay up way too late.

**The hubby is a Vikings fan, so yay that they are 6-0...now if only the games would be shown in our area because I may throw large, heavy objects at the hubby if I have to listen to his whining for one more week.

**The number of catalogs I receive has greatly increased since I had a baby in April...I'm certain these two things are connected somehow.

**We don't have a house phone or a microwave.

**My mommy is coming to visit this weekend.

**Sometimes, while I'm on-campus I worry that one of the million squirrels is going to randomly attack me. They have really sharp claws, you know.

Now, I'm off to watch some TV before the boys get home from school and take over the remote control. Enjoy your Tuesday!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Herding Cats Would Be Easier

Some nights, dinner time is the worst time in our house. Tonight is one of them. As I sit here writing this blog, my oldest kiddo is making excuses as to why he can't (more like won't) eat his meatloaf.
  • He's full
  • He ate all of his lunch and isnt' hungry
  • He hates meatloaf
  • His brother is making faces at him
  • It's inedible
I'm about to pull my hair out. I hate nights like this. Honestly, this is why on a regular basis, I consider filling in the dinner menu with chicken nuggets and frozen pizza.

I know it's not just my kiddos. What are some of your family's favorite kid friendly meals?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Being a Hostess

Last night, we had some friends over for dinner. Other than the fact that I totally stress about my house being a mess, my kids acting like total hooligans and my cooking not being quite good enough, I love having company. As a good southern girl, how to be a good hostess is something that has been ingrained into my DNA. Seriously, being a bad hostess will get your pearls yanked. Every time that I have to play the hostess, I always recall the best hostess I've ever encountered and try my best to be like her.

Miss Molly was the wife of my mom's boss. Every Christmas, they hosted a fancy dinner at their beautiful home. My mom's boss had been a bigwig in a major corporation at one point in time, so they had more money than anyone I've ever known. Their home was beautiful, the meal was elaborate and I was (still am) the world's pickiest eater. There was no way in the world that I was going to be convinced to touch whatever it was that Miss Molly had presented to us for dinner. So, I did what I always did in those situations. I politely pretended I had eaten something by pushing my food creatively around my plate. Well, Miss Molly noticed. I believe my mother was mortified when Miss Molly quietly asked me if I would like a peanut butter sandwich and I accepted. This beautiful woman took me by the hand, and, in the middle of her huge sparkly kitchen with a smile on her face, made me a peanut butter sandwich. She didn't make a big deal out of it, she just did it.

You see, as a hostess, her goal was that everyone leave her house happy. If she had let me walk out of there without eating, I wouldn't have been happy. Granted, I was used to it. But thanks to her and her peanut butter sandwich, I learned a lesson that I carry with me to this day. When you are hosting people in your home, it is your job to make sure they are happy. If that means whipping out the peanut butter, then so be it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Truth in Advertising

I'm a big believer in the notion of truth in advertising. If you put yourself out there as the best, then dang it be the best. This goes for large companies scrambling for my pennies, as well as 30-something soccer moms in their minivans.

On my way home from school today, I needed to pee (TMI? Sorry...). So, naturally, I got stuck behind someone who was in less of a hurry than me. As I was patiently driving behind this lovely minivan, I took notice of her window art. Plastered all over her back window were Twilight themed stickers. Now, I'm all for reading (duh) but I'm fairly certain that this particular soccer mom had never actually read the books.

Why? Well, because one of her stickers proclaimed "I drive like a Cullen". Now, if she had read the books, she would have been driving a lot faster than 10 miles an hour and I wouldn't have had to leap from a barely parked vehicle and sprint through my house to the potty.

I'm still a little bothered by the fact that 30-something soccer moms seem to have taken more interest in this series than the tweens it was meant for, but I'm sure that's a post for another time...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beef Stew Recipe

It hit me last night that, as much time as I have spent talking about my crock pot, I've never shared my recipe for Beef Stew. I make tons of things in my crock pot (as you can tell by previous posts) but this is probably the one recipe I make the most. The kiddos love it, as does the hubby. It is super simple, and it is so basic that it is easy to tinker with if you are out of something or if you just want something a little different.

Beef Stew

2 tbsp flour
2 tsp seasoning**
1 lb beef stew meat
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 medium onion
3 cups cubed potatoes
2 (10 oz) pkg frozen mixed vegetables
2 (11.5 oz) cans vegetable juice
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp beef bouillon granules
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 bay leaf

Place flour and seasoning in large plastic Ziploc bag. Add stew meat and shake to coat. Heat cooking oil over med-high heat. Add meat and brown (don't cook all the way through, just want to brown it). Place in crock pot. Layer onion, potatoes and vegetables on top of meat. In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour over layers in crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or 5-6 hours on high.

**The seasoning I use for this, my roast and so many other things is Paula Deen's House Seasoning. The recipe is easily found in her cookbooks and online. But since I'm nice, I'll share it with you here. In an airtight container, mix together 1 cup salt, 1/4 cup black pepper and 1/4 cup garlic powder. This awesome stuff can be stored in your airtight container for up to 6 months and used on pretty much anything.

Enjoy the stew!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Almost Forgot Tuesday!



So, in case you are anything like me (forgetful), it is Tuesday! That means it is time for me to be totally random. Yay!

**2 days for fall break is a total rip off! The kiddos got a whole week. Not fair!

**My hubby hates the Target commercial with that moon song in the background. He always mentions it. The commercial does not bother me, but his constant mention of it does.

**I spent 5 minutes debating which bag of frozen veggies to buy at the commissary this morning. One bag was .69, the other was .79. It was a big decision, people!

**I quite possibly need more excitement in my life.

**Why does postage keep going up at such astronomical rates? Oh, because the government is in charge of it....And they want to be in charge of medical care?!

**I might have accidentally backed into the hubby's vehicle yesterday afternoon...

**You know how on TV funerals, there is always some kooky thing happening? Like someone gets drunk and throws himself on the casket? Or someone accidentally tips the casket over? Well, it always makes the funeral way more interesting...I hope mine is interesting...and a long time from now...

**That might have been morbid.

**I think I'll dye my hair tonight.

**I had something fabulously random to say and have now forgotten it...believe I might be suffering from CRS (Can't Remember $hit...it comes with age or in my case children)

**My parents are featured in a video on YouTube!! Crazy! You can check it out here if you'd like to.

And that's about all the random I have for today. I'm off to watch NCIS...