Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nothing More Precious...

...than the hand of a baby...

...or the love between siblings...


...or a boy's love for his dog...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

More Yumminess From the Crock Pot

I'm on a recipe roll today.  This morning I got tired of looking at some rice in my cabinet, so I threw it in the crock pot with a few other ingredients.  And like magic, it turned into a yummy rice pudding!!

1 cup rice*
4 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom**
1/8 tsp salt
non-stick cooking spray

Spray the inside of your crock pot.  Place all ingredients in the crock pot and give them a stir.  Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.  Stir and eat.  (Don't burn your tongue!  Also good at room temp or cold.)

*I used some jasmine rice we'd had in the cabinet for a while.  I think any white rice would work well as long as it's not the quick-cooking kind.
**If you don't have cardamom, no worries.  Don't rush out and buy it, unless you plan to use it in other stuff because it's a little pricey.  Just throw in another 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon in its place.
***I would not throw this in the crock pot if you aren't going to be home to watch it.  You'll need to keep an eye on it.  Mine was done right at 2 1/2 hours, but depending on your crock pot it could take up to 3 hours on high.

This got two thumbs up from both boys, a yum-yum-yum from baby girl and a "pretty good" from the hubby.  Hope you like it!

OMG Brownies

I love brownies.  I love marshmellows.  I love chocolate frosting.  So, duh, I put them all together and made the most awesome brownies EVER.  I call them OMG Brownies.  OMG because they are as simple as they are delicious.  Here's the directions and some pictures...


1 box brownie mix (for a 13x9 pan)
mini marshmellows
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla


Mix and bake brownies according to directions on box.  About 5 minutes before the brownies are done, make a layer of marshmellows on top. 

While waiting on the brownies, mix the condensed milk and chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir just until the chips melt.  Don't let this mixture bubble.  Add vanilla to the mixture.

Pull the brownies out when they look like this:


And pour the frosting over them while still warm.
Let all this yummy deliciousness cool for a little bit then dig in.  These brownies are ooey and gooey and just about the best thing ever.  In fact, when I made them last night, hubby's only complaint was that we didn't have any ice cream to go with them.  (He thinks ice cream goes with everything.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

How to Clean Your House in 5 Minutes or Less

We have all had those times when we find out that company is coming over last minute.  Horrified, you run through the house trying to tidy up a little bit.  So, in my quest to occasionally prove useful, I figured I would share a few of my tips on how to clean your house in 5 minutes or less.

  • Put the dishes in the dishwasher.  Don't worry about neatness, just throw 'em in.  Or, stack the mountains of dishes neatly in the sink.  You know, a neat mess is impressive.
  • Close the doors.  I use this one on the kiddos' room all the time.
  • Throw the dirty laundry in that room with the closed door.
  • Spray something that smells good.  Out of air freshener?  No worries, dog perfume works just as well.
  • If all else fails, grab yourself a drink, plop down on the couch and look scared to touch anything.  Then just introduce yourself as a guest in the house and look slightly horrified by the mess you are being subjected to.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Random Letters

Dear Weather,

Make up your mind!  You are making people crazy.  Seriously.  Your mere threat of a winter storm has sent people into a frenzy.

Not impressed,

Dear Vikings,

My hubby is still upset about your loss.  How hard is it to hold on to the ball?  For the amount of money you get paid, I would glue the ball to my hands.  You might wanna practice the basics during the off-season.  Because if I have to listen to more rants about how Peterson can't hold on to the ball or how the offensive line isn't doing their job, I might throw the TV out the window.


Dear people who crowd me with their carts in the check-out line,

Back off!  Hitting me with your cart does not encourage me to pay any faster.  Actually, it makes me want to hit you but I just don't have the money to bail myself out so I try to refrain.  If you back away from the card machine, I might be able to sign my name and get out of your way faster.  Also, please keep your snotty nosed child from touching my stuff.  Thanks.

Trying to be civilized,

Dear Baby Girl,

I know you can't control the snot coming out of your nose, but if you could at least try to not cough all over me I would appreciate it.


Dear Cold,

Please just be a cold.  I don't have time for a sinus infection.  And, if you could go away soon, that would be awesome!


Dear Homework and Housework,

Please get done by yourself.  I have a bit of a cold and just don't feel like dealing with you.  Plus, the craziness they show on Wife Swap is far more entertaining.

Lazily yours,

Dear Johnny Depp,

I realize you are the same age as my parents, but I love you.  My infatuation is fairly new.  I'm sorry I did not appreciate your work much in my younger years.  But, I am older and wiser now.  Don't worry, hubby knows all about you.

Feeling like a teenager,

Dear Tax Refund,

Please hurry yourself into our account.  I have big plans for you!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Book Tossed From the Curriculum

**So, I totally had this little rant planned, then saw that my bloggy friend Cheryl posted about the same thing, so click here to go check out what she had to say too!

Parents are at it again.  In their quest to protect their children from all things bad, some parents at a school in California have managed to get the dictionary banned.  Yes, you read that right.  Apparently, the dictionary contains a definition for "oral sex".  I'll wait while you finish gasping...Oh, you might want to go ahead and gasp over some other words in the dictionary...shit, damn, breast, penis...

I can remember reading the dictionary when I was younger and giggling over a few words.  I'm pretty sure all kids do.  (Even these parents who have deemed it inappropriate for their children)  I turned out alright.  As a future English teacher, I'm concerned that at the rate parents are yanking books from schools I'm going to be left with nothing to teach.  I already know I can't teach about Harry Potter (kids might think they are wizards and attempt to fly broomsticks around campus) or any book that gives them any information about sex (well, Shakespeare is ok because the kids are too dense to get all those sex jokes, right).  Now I'm going to be left without a dictionary too.

What is it with parents?!  I mean, I am one but I still don't get it.  Sex is not a bad thing.  Teaching our children about sex and responsibility is not a bad thing.  Telling a kid that sex is shameful and something they shouldn't do is only going to accomplish two things: they're gonna do it and they're gonna lie about it.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not going to be encouraging my kids to run out and sex it up.  But I am going to encourage them to wait to experience the wonder of it until they are in a committed relationship with someone that they deeply care for.  In the end, our children are going to make their own decisions.  All we can do is give them the information and tools to help them and hope they make the right decisions for themselves.  Removing dictionaries from a classroom or prohibiting a book that talks about sex from a library is not going to stop a child from growing up.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winter and I Aren't Friends! And Other Random Tuesday Thoughts...

Welcome to a wintery Tuesday!  Let's jump into the random thoughts I've got floating around today.

**Winter and I aren't friends!  This morning we had some slicker than snot snow (lovely image, huh?).  I took the boys to school and attempted to take the baby to daycare.  I slid on the crap no less than a dozen times.  Finally, I decided to just bring the baby home and see what the weather did.  It's warmed up a bit and the slick factor has gone down a few notches, so I took her to daycare a little bit ago.

**My family hates having their routines messed with.  Baby girl was seriously cranky because of it.

**Why is it that kids can't seem to take their socks off without the socks ending up in little balls?  Yesterday, I was doing laundry and it took me 15 minutes to unroll socks.  I know I've told them a million times to unroll their socks, but they must be physically incapable of it, because my kids always do what I tell them to...

**I'm making pork roast in the crock pot for dinner tonight.  I love my crock pot, in case you missed that memo.

**This morning, middle kiddo had a bad dream.  I got him calmed down and on his way back to sleep, so I went back to my bed.  A few minutes later, I hear him yelp and running to my room.  Apparently, he was almost back to sleep and he saw something flash outside.  He was convinced that a monster was taking a picture of him.  Is it just me, or does this seem weird?

**I have a housework vs homework conundrum...whenever I'm doing one, I feel guilty for not doing the I just end up doing neither and watching Wife Swap reruns on Lifetime and playing Zoo World on Facebook.

**Baby girl has started refusing to eat the 3rd stage baby foods.  She is fine with the pureed fruits and desserts.  But other than that, she wants nothing to do with baby food and steals table food from everyone else.  I'm fine with this, but it does worry me just a bit that she's not getting the nutrients from the baby food that she needs.

**On the topic of baby food, does anyone know what the deal is with these 2nd formulas?  You know, the ones like Good Start Gentle Plus 2?  Baby girl is old enough for them, but they are a whole new thing to me.  Back when the boys were babies, there was just the one version.  So this stuff is confusing me.  It's cheaper by a few dollars, but I don't wanna make the switch without more info on them.

**I have decided that when I finally do graduate from college I will be qualified for at least two jobs: governement employee or chick who jumps through hoops at the circus.

And that's about all the random I can muster up today.  Hope you all have a great, warm Tuesday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Aww Memories

I have been friends with April from A Labor of Love in real life since we were in 4th grade! There are some really embarrassing pictures of us with too much blush and lipstick on somewhere out there. Recently, when I sent out the call for questions to lift me out of my bloggy rut, she came back with one asking what my favorite school memory was. Well, other than getting the heck out of there (which was my first answer), I wasn't sure. I gave it some thought. I came up with some pretty awesome memories. Allow me to share :)

  • Senior Prom: April and I met up for pictures before hand. Then we put in an appearance at the actual event. It was pretty lame, so we left early and went to the movies all decked out in our prom dresses. We probably had more fun than anyone who stayed behind in the overcrowded, hot, stinky gym.
  • Bus 8: From 3rd grade through 5th grade, I rode Bus 8 with April and a bunch of other kids like us who lived in the sticks. Our bus driver was a cantankerous old man named Dutch. Dutch probably smoked a pack a day and had skin like leather. Once he kicked my sister off the bus for chewing gum. In spite of the cranky old man, we had fun on the bus.
  • FFA: I loved being in FFA. I learned a lot about life (I know that sounds odd). My senior year, I wanted so badly to be president. But I'd had a falling out with some of the more popular people and didn't get the position. I ended up being Vice President and rocking it. I learned that even when things don't go our way we still have to give our all and trust that things will work out.
I really did love school. (Still do) But I have to say, I would not go back if given the chance. I'm blessed to have some wonderful memories from those days and wonderful friends to share them with.

**I'll add some pics to this post later, but right now they are in the closet in my sleeping baby's room :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fairy Tales

This semester I am taking a course called "The Literary Fairy Tale". It is pretty interesting so far. Here's the thing though...since day 1, people have been arguing back and forth over whether or not fairy tales are detrimental to children. Some say the tales are just stories and not any big deal. Others say they are sexist and give children unrealistic expectations of life. This last group says that fairy tales teach girls that they must be submissive and pretty and that they teach boys that strong women are evil.

I grew up watching Disney movies. I loved Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. However, those stories (much like the books I read now) were my little escapes. I lost myself in the fairy tales, but when they were over I left those stories behind. I never dreamed of actually growing up to be a princess and marrying a prince with the help of a fairy god mother. I had serious dreams. I wanted to go to college. Yes, at 3 years old, I knew that. What I'm getting at is that I do not think that fairy tales gave me unrealistic expectations of life. I believe this is because my parents started very early in my life teaching me the difference between reality and fiction. (My favorite movie at 3 was Trading Places, so it was kind of important that I knew that distinction) Even now, my kids know that things in books, movies, etc aren't necessarily things you should do in real life. They are simply fun little escapes. I think the problem comes in for people when they fail to recognize the difference.

So, what do you guys think? Are fairy tales bad? Do you let your kiddos read/watch them?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Feeling the Love

I'm so feeling the love today!! Cheryl, a very lovely new bloggy friend, declared me a GLOB! A GLOB, not a blob. Let's save the fat jokes for later, ok. Which reminds me, somehow my hubby missed out on "Yo Mama" jokes when he was growing up. Poor deprived man. But I digress.

This is my GLOB:

Isn't it lovely?! It was so sweet of Cheryl to give it to me and I'm gonna pass on the love to some of my favorite GLOBs...

Ashley at Love Grows Best in Little Houses
Tesa at 2 Wired 2 Tired
Vicki at Frugal Mom Knows Best
Annette at Life on Ft Bragg

These ladies are awesome! They make me laugh when I need it the most. They warm my heart with their support. They remind me that I am not alone on this wild ride we call life. I love the blog world! Thanks for stopping by and make sure you go visit these GLOBs and leave them some love :)

Sand, Sun, and Drinks with Umbrellas

Welcome to the weekend! And another installment of my You Asked, I'm Telling! A few of you asked me variations on the question "What is my favorite vacation spot?".

When I was a senior in high school, we took a trip to Hawaii. We visited the island of Oahu. I fell in love with the place immediately. What's not to love?! There's sand and perpetual sun. The temperature rarely drops below 70 and rarely rises about 90. My little 17-year-old self dreamed of living there. Little did I know, less than two years later, I would be a married, a mother and fulfilling that dream of living in Hawaii. My hubby's first duty assignment was at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

We lived in vacationland for three and a half years. Yes, he deployed from there, so parts of it sucked. And, yes, occasionally, I suffered from island fever (similar to cabin fever). But, looking back, those were some of the greatest years.

So, my favorite vacation spot is Hawaii. After having lived there, I know how to do it on the cheap or how to live it up if money weren't an object (you know, because someday I plan to be all rich like Britney Spears and parade around a Maui parking lot with no shoes on...) Here are a few of my fave destinations on Oahu:

  • The USS Arizona Memorial. If you go all the way out to Hawaii and don't visit, you're just silly. It's free. Plus, it is amazing to see in person.
  • The International Marketplace. It is simply awesome. Lots of sparkling, fake jewelry and plenty of vendors willing to bargain with you. Love it! Don't pay full price for anything!
  • The Honolulu Zoo. Once, the huge turtles were, uh, mating while we were there. You could hear them all around the zoo. Talk about rude neighbors, huh?! Oh, and try explaining that to a 2 year old.
  • North Shore. The views there are amazing. During the winter months, the waves can get really big over there too. Seriously, we're talking like 50 feet. Watching them really gives you a whole new appreciation of the power of water.
  • The Swap Meet. We used to go and buy 10 t-shirts for $20. I'm sure prices have gone up a little, but you'll still find some great souvenirs there. Plus, walking around the Sun Bowl is a great workout. Make sure to take plenty of water with you because like every other place they will charge you an arm, a leg and your firstborn for a bottle there.
These aren't the only great places to visit on Oahu. There are many more and you'd get bored if I listed them all. One last piece of advice, if you are in the military or the hubby is, there are some great places/prices available to you (Bellows AF Rec area, the Hale Koa Hotel, etc). Do your research before going.

Ya'll got any great places to visit or fab travel tips to share?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Books I Love

When I sent out the call for questions to get out of my bloggy rut, ya'll responded with some great ones! Tesa from 2 Wired 2 Tired asked me what my favorite book is. Well, I'm a lover of lots of books, so it's hard for me to narrow it down to just one. (If you read the last post about crock pot recipes, you might be noticing a pattern here...) Here are some of my favorites though:

  • The Unvanquished by William Faulkner. I'm a Southern girl, so it's pretty much required that I include a Faulkner book on this list. Seriously, the Southern Belle police will totally re-po your pearls if you don't. Anyhoo, this was the first Faulkner book I read and I fell in love with it. A lot of people complain that Faulkner's narratives are hard to follow, but that isn't a problem in this one.
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I just really liked this book. I find Sylvia Plath very intriguing.
  • The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. These books are hilarous! They are also pretty quick reads. (Well, probably because I get so into them that I can't put them down until I finish)
  • Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. I'm a big fan of Erdrich and this one is probably my favorite. She is a Native American author and her books are filled with Native American culture. However, she is a master at weaving together many different cultures. Her narration style is much like Faulkner, but easier to follow. Like Faulkner, she has also created a community of characters that she follows through many of her books.
So, there's a short list of my favorites. There are so many more (like Harry Potter and Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation). I love books...which explains why I major in English and plan to be a teacher. I love reading and hope that as a teacher I can encourage that same feeling in young people. (Ok, I know I got a little mushy there, sorry)

What are your favorites? I'm always on the lookout for new books to get lost in so I can avoid housework for a little longer :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Best Crock Pot Recipes

This is another fab installment of "You Asked, I'm Telling" (yes, I named it). One of my fabulous readers, who also has her own fabulous blog and a deep love for the Colts, asked me about the best thing I've made in my crock pot. It's taken me a couple of days to put this one together because there is some debate as to the answer to this question. So, I decided to share a "Best of"! Excited?! I am...

This first recipe is the one that I feel I have perfected. It is for pot roast. Hubby says it's the best. I've even made it for the MIL and she was impressed.

3 lb. boneless roast (I tend to go with whatever is on sale)
1 1/2 tsp House Seasoning*
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
3 1/2 tsp beef bouillon granules**
2 tsp minced garlic***
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup chicken stock****
1/2 pound baby carrots
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

Heat oil in a skillet. Sprinkle the roast with the seasoning. Put carrots and potatoes in crock pot. Place roast in the skillet and brown on all sides, then put roast in the crock pot on top of the carrots and potatoes. (You might need to nestle the roast down so some of the carrots and potatoes come up around the roast, so the roast won't be too close to the lid) On top of the roast, layer onion, bay leaves, bouillon granules, garlic and soup. Add chicken stock and enough water to cover ingredients. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

*I use Paula Deen's recipe for House Seasoning. It is fabulous for this recipe and on lots of other things. Mix 1 cup salt, 1/4 cup black pepper and 1/4 cup garlic powder. Mix well and store. If you don't want to commit to making this much, just sprinkle your roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
**You could also use 3-4 beef bouillon cubes, crushed.
***Fresh garlic gloves work here too. Just use 1 clove per 1 tsp.
****I don't keep stock. Instead, I just keep bouillon granules and mix stock as I need it.

Next up is my best quick crock pot recipe. This meatball and veggie stew takes about 5 minutes to throw together. (I just linked back to it, because...well, because I'm too lazy to type it out again)

Finally, oldest kiddo declared this next recipe to be the best ever. It's a new one that came out of the Crock Pot Recipe Card Collection that my sis got me for Christmas. It's for Asian Beef Stew.

2 onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 lb round steak, sliced thin
2 ribs celery, sliced
1/2 pound baby carrots
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup orange juice
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 cup frozen peas

Place onions, beef, celery, carrots and mushrooms in crock pot. In a small bowl, combine orange juice, broth, hoisin sauce, cornstarch and curry powder. Pour over ingredients in crock pot and put the lid on. Cook for 5 hours on high. Stir in peas and cook for 20 minutes longer. I like to serve it over rice, but you could probably put it over noodles as well. Or just skip the rice and noodles and dig right in :)

I don't have pictures to share right now, but hopefully in the future I can add some. Of course, the hubby and kids tend to inhale their food so I have to be quick with the picture taking thing.

More Random Tuesday Thoughts

It's time for some more Random Tuesday Thoughts. Sit back and enjoy!

**We got the baby a big girl car seat yesterday. I figured since her feet were hanging over the end of the carrier and she's nudging up against that 20 lb weight limit that it was about time. She loves it.

**Oldest kiddo lost another tooth last night. He was crying and screaming while hubby was trying to pull it. The minute it came out he starting dancing around cheering about how he was gonna get more money.

**The tooth fairy is gonna be broke real quick if that kid doesn't stop losing teeth.

**I'm gonna be an auntie again.

**Why do husband ask 50 times if you are ready for bed, but don't lift a finger to help out with all the things you have to do before going to bed? I mean, if they washed the bottles or picked up the 2000 miscellaneous shoes around the house, we might could get to bed a little earlier. Sitting there playing with your Facebook zoo and asking me when I'm gonna be ready for bed doesn't get us there any quicker.

**Ever notice how people drive like morons in parking lots (well, that's not really limited to parking lots...) and then blame everyone else. If someone comes inches from backing into you, it is certainly not their fault. Sure, they didn't look before backing out of that spot, but you shouldn't have been driving down that aisle. Duh.

**Hubby is a Vikings fan. I'm a Cowboys fan. It was a rough weekend around here.

**The kiddos brought home their school pictures back around Thanksgiving. I still haven't sent them to the grandparents.

**My 10 year high school reunion is this year. I'll probably miss it though because all the people who still live back there think it's a good idea to have it after school starts.

**Speaking of high school...I'm amazed at how many people never left. We were a big class (600+) and from what I can tell on Facebook, many of them are still there. Not that it's a bad place...I plan to move back when hubby gets done playing Soldier, but I just thought more people would go away...maybe that was wishful thinking...

Alrighty, well, the randomness has been fun, but I have to catch up on homework now. Go visit Keely over at The UnMom for some more brilliant randomness.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Little Comedians

Ya'll ask some great questions! One of my dearest friends asked me what the funniest things my kids have said are. She knows my kids in real life, so she's heard some zingers out of their little mouths. Oldest kiddo used to like to ask her if he had a chicken on his head.

My kiddos are really funny. Oldest kiddo has a very dry sense of humor. If you aren't listening to him, it is very possible that you will miss some of the funniest things you've ever heard. Recently, hubby's sister informed him that he's going to be an uncle. (Well, technically, he's already an uncle, but this is the first one on his side of the family...) We decided to tell the kiddos. First thing out of oldest kiddo's mouth was, "But how? She doesn't have a husband!" He was dead serious, but hubby and I couldn't hide our laughter.

Middle kiddo is also very funny. He knows he's funny too. However, like so many kids, he is his very funniest when he's not trying to be funny. This evening I was trying to explain gout to the kiddos. (My dad has had it for a long time and recently had a flare up.) So, I was telling them about uric acid crystals building up around Pappy's knee. Middle kiddo looks at me and says "Is Pappy sparklely?" After a little Q&A, I figured out that middle kiddo thought that the crystals meant that Pappy was sparkling. It was pretty dang cute. Middle kiddo also says "My Bag" on a regular basis, but what he really means is "My bad".

The baby doesn't really talk yet. However, she has been known to growl (like the dogs) when you get to close to her food. She's got older brothers, so I'd say this is purely a defense mechanism.

So, there you have it...some of the funniest things that have come out of my kiddos' mouths lately. I'll be back tomorrow with some more answers to your questions. Think I might tackle the one about my best crock pot recipes...

Friday, January 15, 2010

When and Why I Started Blogging

I have to say that I have the greatest readers! You guys sure came through for me with the questions. I love them all and plan to answer them all over the next few days. Tesa (who happens to have adorable children and a great blog, go visit her!) asked me how long I've been blogging and why I started. It was the perfect question for today, since today just happens to be my 1 year blogoversary!!

I actually started blogging on MySpace a while before I started this blog. However, I knew that I was quickly outgrowing my MySpace days and wanted a blog that was not connected to that. So, this blog was born. I have always loved writing. I have always sucked at keeping a journal. Blogging was a great fit for me. I knew it was something I would keep up with (because I spend waaay too much time on the internet) and it would allow me to write.

I love sharing my stories with others. Blogging also allows me to connect with other women out there. I love getting comments and knowing that I'm not alone in the things I go through. There is always some wonderful person out there who's been there done that and is ready to give me that little bit of support I need.

I never really meant my blog to be a place for me to share things with distant family, but sometimes it happens that way and mostly it's great (except that time my mom got a little annoyed that I called her crazy...but the shoe might not have been too small, if you know what I'm saying). Basically, my blog is a place where I'm free to be me. I put it out there with no filters and feel no guilt over it. That's really something we can't always do in real life. I love blogging and hope to be here in my little corner of the bloggy world for quite some time to come. If you already follow me, thank you so much for riding along! And if you don't follow me, well, why the heck not?!

Thanks for the question, Tesa! I'll be answering more of the great questions I received over the next few days. And if you didn't leave one, or think of another one, pop back over and ask away!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ask and I Will Tell

I'm in a rut. Well, to be exact, I'm in a blogging rut. It's winter, my brain is cold and the ideas just aren't coming to me. So, in a move I may come to regret later, I am opening it up to you my dear readers...

What do you want to know? Ask me and I will answer.

Just leave me a comment with your question and over the next few days, I will answer whatever questions come my way.

To start things off, I will ask ya'll a question...What do you do if while visiting someone's house you discover they are out of toilet paper? Me? I search their cabinets. I know that sounds horrible. But I don't want to drip dry just because they didn't check the toilet paper before I showed up :) And I figure searching the cabinets is a better solution than using the fancy hand towels, right?

Alrighty, so I hand it to you...What do you want to know?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

If I Lived a Normal Life

If I lived a normal life, I might worry that my hubby would lose his job because of the economy. Instead, I worry that he will give his life for his job.

If I lived a normal life, I might worry that living in the same place for their whole life would limit my children's world view. Instead, I worry that they'll never know how to settle into one place for more than a few years. More than that, I worry that they will never form deep attachments to people because people come and go from our life so frequently.

If I lived a normal life, I might own just one set of curtains. Instead, I have about 3 sets because the windows are never the same size.

If I lived a normal life, I might think it was simply cute when my kids play soldier. Instead, I have mixed feelings about it. It is cute that they imitate Daddy, it makes me proud that they want to follow in his footsteps protecting our freedoms and it scares me to death that I might have to watch them go to war someday.

If I lived a normal life, I might never think about showing my ID to get into the grocery store. Instead, I have to remind myself that the greeter at Wal-Mart has no desire to see my ID card.

If I lived a normal life, I might appreciate those who sacrifice to keep us free but I would probably never truly understand just what that meant. Instead, I know all too well the sacrifices made. I know that soldiers give up their lives in so many ways. They miss birthdays, anniversaries, first days of school, first steps and words. They give up so much. Many have even given their own life. And it's not just the soldiers, it is their spouses and their kids that sacrifice too.

If I lived a normal life, I would probably go on vacation sometimes. I would go see new places. Instead, I don't go on vacation. I move to new places and get to enjoy the wonders of those places for a few years at a time. It's kind of like one big vacation. Actually, it is an adventure.

If I lived a normal life, it would be good. Instead, I live a great life as an Army wife!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Homework Can Wait...RTT Can't

Hooray for Tuesday! I love me some randomness, so let's get to it...

**I should be doing homework.

**To avoid hubby's blah-blah-blah about how I should be doing my homework, I am staring at my screen with a confused look, sighing heavily and shaking my head...He thinks I'm doing my homework, hehehe...

**Zoo World is a bad, bad zoo is worth over $22 million...if only I had that kind of money in real life!

**Why is everyone acting all shocked and appalled by the fact that Mark McGwire admitted to using steroids? Was I the only one that caught on to that back in the day?

**While I'm on a sports roll...Why do some people insist on bashing Michael Vick? Yes, he did a horrible thing. However, the man paid his debt to society as determined by our great justice system. Let him be.

**My favorite color is yellow.

**I think you should all go visit my fave cousin at her blog.

**I want some oreos...not just regular ol' oreos, I want some of those white chocolate dipped ones that they have at Christmas time. I didn't see them this year and I can't get over it.

Ok, I give up...I have to go do my homework. Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday and go visit The UnMom for more random fun!

Monday, January 11, 2010

In a Past Life, I Was a Mechanic

I know very little about cars and how/why they run. In fact, my knowledge of them can be pretty well summed up in one sentence. Put gas in the thing, turn the key and put it in drive. See, not a whole lot. However, somehow I can always diagnose what is wrong with my vehicle when it won't start.

A few years ago, I had a Toyota Tacoma. Hubby was out of town on a training exercise. I took the kiddos for a check-up and came out to find that my truck wouldn't start. There was this little clicking noise, but no attempts to start. Lucky for me, there was a kind soul there to give the kiddos and me a ride home. I did some googling and decided that the problem with my truck was the starter. I called my father-in-law to discuss it with him. He told me that the truck was too new for the starter to have gone out. I insisted that it was the starter, but took his advice and pulled the battery to have it tested. (Of course, I had to have the truck towed home first.) So, I take the battery down to the parts store, they tested it and, darn if the thing was just fine. Well, to be fair, it was a little weak, so I went ahead and replaced it with a new one. I took the new battery home, put it in the truck and tried to start it. I got the same little clicky noise and no start. So, I waited a couple weeks for the hubby to get home. He pokes around on the truck some and guess what...the starter HAD gone out. Turns out, that year model had some problems with the starter. It made absolutely no sense, but I was right.

Fast forward to last week...I went to the cleaners/alterations place to get something fixed for the hubby. I come out and my jeep won't start. Again, lucky me, someone was able to come get me. I did some googling to find out if there were any start issues with my particular model jeep and came up with nothing. So, I decided that it must be the battery. I read in a few places that a battery can be so dead (and the cold doesn't help) that it won't even jump start. I assumed hubby knew this, because he's a guy and knows stuff about cars. Well, he and our friend go to look at the jeep, get it fixed and bring my baby home. They come back a while later without my jeep. I asked if they had bought a new battery. Hubby tells me that it wouldn't jump so they don't think it's the battery. I fill him in on the whole deader-than-a-doornail-won't-jump thing and stomp off. A little bit later, he and our friend set out again. They go buy a new battery, put it in the jeep and it started! Geez, I was right again. Hubby insists that it makes no sense and our friend swears there has to be something else wrong with it. But I've driven a few times since then and had no problems.

I don't know how I diagnose these problems that make no sense. I think it's my special talent. Maybe I was a mechanic in my last life...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day!!

The kiddos got a snow day. Yay. It actually hasn't been that bad. They've only made me want to pull my hair out once or twice. They went out to play earlier so I got a chance to test drive my fancy pants new camera and thought I'd share the results...

Alright, so that's not all the snow pics, but my hot cocoa is waiting on me...Stay warm bloggy friends!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm Gonna Be Really Annoyed If I'm Not Being Punk'd

So, today has pretty much been the day from H-e-double-hockey-sticks! For real! Listen to the crap that has happened to me in the last few hours...

  1. Woke up late, it was snowing, and I ended up having to take the kiddos to school because we missed the busses
  2. Went to get something sewn on to a Gortex jacket for the hubby, come out of the shop and my jeep won't start...nothing, nada, just won't start...Hubby is in a school for the next few weeks so I call a fabulous friend who comes to get me
  3. Go to the fridge to get a soda and realize that not only am I stuck at my house with no transportation, but I am also out of soda.
  4. Scrounge around and manage to find a half-gone, way beyond flat, week-old Mt Dew throwback.
  5. Hubby is nice and goes to pick up the baby for me. Brings her home, I'm standing in kitchen holding her, talking to hubby and baby pukes on me...the kind where you have to change your clothes all the way down to the bra...yeah, nice.
So, that covers the last few hours in my world. I'm gonna go shower (see #5 above) and hope to God that Ashton Kutcher and his camera crew don't jump out at me because then I'd probably fall, hit my head and get a concussion or some other freak accident thing. Hope your day is going better than mine :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My 2nd Grader Flies the Bird

This morning, I started volunteering in my son's class. He is in second grade. I spent over two hours working with the kids on a paragraph they were typing and adding a piece of clip art to. It was pretty interesting to watch them. I learned a lot about how they construct their sentences, picked out some patterns in their (mis)spelling of words, and some other stuff that I find interesting (partly because I'm a nerd and partly because of my future as a teacher). One child was pretty challenging. I'm fairly certain that he has ADD. However, I managed to keep him on task (sorta) and not lose my mind during the hour it took him to type four sentences. As much as I enjoyed working with the little people, I was pretty excited when they were all done and I could go home. As I was getting ready to leave, the teacher asked if she could talk to me for a minute.

We stepped out the door. Apparently, a couple little girls have come to her saying that my kiddo has been flipping them the bird (she actually said sticking up his middle finger, but let's call it what it really is, people) and saying some not nice things (I don't even want to imagine what lovely things he's saying in conjunction with his bird flying). She said at first she just blew it off because my son is a good kid and never gives her any problems. However, when these girls came to her a few more times, she said she couldn't keep ignoring it. I agree. And I tend to believe that he is doing this because I've gotten on to him a few times at home for letting the bird out of the cage.

So, here's my question...short of cutting the kid's middle fingers off (which I think is probably a little drastic and possibly illegal in most states), how do I get him to stop it? I'm not even sure where he learned to do that because it's not something the hubby and I do. I do so love being a parent...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's Tuesday and I'm Feeling Random

Yay! It's Tuesday! I've been out of the loop for the last couple of RTTs because my schedule was completely thrown off by Christmas break. But, I'm back! Yay! Let's proceed with the randomness...

**I should only read the articles that I click on when I'm surfing the net. Reading the comments always makes me mad because people are so rude. I know this about myself, yet I never seem to remember it.

**I have managed to get completely sucked into that stupid ZooWorld game on Facebook. Seriously, it could turn into a major problem. Is there one of those Annonymous groups for that?

**I begin my final semester of college tomorrow!! I can barely contain my excitement!

**I'm a little nervous about the whole getting a job thing after I graduate.

**One of my dogs is standing on the side table in the living room looking at me. Not sure why she thinks it's ok to stand on the table. Maybe it's because I never make her get down...

**Oldest kiddo like the Disney channel because it's "shows all for kids" unlike Nick which is "shows for kids and grown ups because they have George Lopez"...those are his words, I'm not sure where he came up with that...

**My Christmas decorations are still up...Hubby did take down the outside stuff so people driving by don't see what rednecks we really are...I can guarantee that the decorations will be down by Easter though so we're not too redneck.

**We're moving in late March which is probably the only reason I feel comfortable making that guarantee...

**I keep all of my notes and papers from school. At the end of each semester, I make a file for each course I took and put them all in a box. My problem now is that the box is full and the files from this fall semester won't fit in it. Guess I need a bigger box.

And that's it for today's random thoughts. I have to go check on my Zoo. Didn't get enough randomness here? Go check out the UnMom for even more random thoughts! Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm So Excited!

After much begging, I finally convinced the hubby that I need a fancy pants camera. I have been drooling over digital SLR cameras for months. I've researched them, read reviews, searched them on eBay, etc. Yesterday, I finally talked the hubby into letting me buy one. I am now the super proud owner of a Nikon D3000. Please don't let me give you the wrong impression--I am not a photographer. I am simply a mom who loves to take pictures of my kiddos and a chick who likes to take pictures of all the interesting places we see. This fancy pants camera will let me do both of these things a little bit better. There is so much to learn about this new camera and I am so freakin' excited to learn it all. Who knows...maybe someday I will be a photographer! I'll put it on my bucket list right under "Write a Book". Until then enjoy a couple of the very first pictures from my new camera...


So, I'm a football fan. I'm actually even more of a college basketball fan, but we'll get to that later in the season. This weekend was a big college football weekend with all the bowl games. As I watched the games with the hubby and kiddos, everyone kept talking about the situation at Texas Tech. If you like sports even a little bit and haven't been under a rock, I'm sure you've heard the story. I'm not here to take sides or even really comment on it at all. I bring it up because the whole situation just reminds me of an important lesson that we all need to remember as we make our way through life.

Every day we all make decisions. Right, wrong and indifferent. Our decisions often go unnoticed by others. However, we all must remember that they are our decisions. When we make a decision, whatever it may be, we have to be prepared to take responsibility for it. If I decide to eat ice cream for breakfast every day of the week and gain ten pounds, that was my decision and I have to hold myself accountable for it. My example is pretty light-hearted and amusing, but many aren't. The thing with the coach at Texas Tech isn't even the only example I could use from recent news. If there is one thing I hope I successfully instill into my children, it is a sense of responsibility. So many people seem to wander through life without ever accepting responsibility for themselves and their actions, and it's just plain sad to watch.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What I Plan to Do This Year

(Yes, I realize I'm into this dorky-4th-grade-essay title thing lately, but, hey, I'm a dork and that's how I roll...)

I really try to make goals for myself rather than resolutions. I believe that resolutions are all about changing behavior and, honestly, how often do we do that...about as often as a leopard changes its spots. For 2010, I have a few goals. In no particular order, here they are:

**Read 52 books.
**Graduate from college.
**Get into the Alternative Certification Program and get a teaching job.
**Limit my daily soda intake to 2.

So, I think that last one borders on being a resolution so let's not hold our breath on it, but the rest are totally doable with a little hard work (and possibly a little luck on the job thing, given the current job market in most places).

I hope you all have a wonderful 2010. Stick around and see how far I get with my goals/borderline resolution. You are guaranteed a few laughs and maybe even an insightful moment or two :)

What are your plans for the year?