We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls. --Mother Teresa

Friday, January 29, 2010

Food on Friday

Again!  I did it!  I have Food on Friday two weeks in a row.  Let the sun shine down upon us all.....

This week I have a creation to share.  This whole Pantry Challenge has really tested me.  It's so much easier just to stop at the store and pick-up whatever we want or don't have for dinner.  And then throw a few extras in the cart and $88 later I am out of there.

Using what I had, I created a recipe we dubbed, "Cheesy Taco Roni".  Pretty impressive, right?  These were actually leftovers from earlier in the week from our default meal of mexican food.
Rotel cheese dip, taco meat and macaroni.  Hence the name, Cheesy Taco Roni.  Clever.

Boil water, add macaroni.  Cook until it reaches the doneness stage your family prefers.  We like ours slightly on the crunchy side.  Drain macaroni.  Add cheese dip (originally--32 oz of velveeta, 3 cans of diced tomatoes and chilies), taco meat, and a 1/2 (as in 1/4 cup) stick of butter.  I did warm my taco meat slightly in the microwave to aid in getting it out of the container. 

How much cheese dip, you ask?  Well, I used my ladle and scooped in 3 scoops, stirred for a little bit and then added about 1/2 of a ladle.  I did not use this entire container of taco meat.  I used about 1/2 because I only had 8 oz. of macaroni.

Here is how it looked:

And after we 'plated' it:

Yes. Yes. Yes.  I know.  It's a yellow meal.  It could remind one of school lunch.  But hey, it's what we had and I didn't make a trip to the store.  We still got most of our food groups in.  Besides, warm starch with melted dairy is my favorite food group.  And yes, that is a homemade roll.  Long story.  I didn't mean to make rolls but that is what I ended up doing.  Another post, another day.

The verdict?  4 out 5 Hays Crew members really liked this meal.  It had a nice flavor.  I think that green beans and a corn muffin would have been a little better for side dishes.  I was out of flour so I had to improvise.  It's a twist on another fall back meal, cheeseburger mac.  The one who didn't like it:

No surprise.  But hey, 4 out of 5 isn't bad.

You may be curious about the blue plate I used to plate the meal.  If not stop reading here.  Otherwise, here goes.  We have been paper plate free for 3 weeks.  We thought that we could try it without paper plates for 2 weeks.  I spent the money that I would usually spend on paper plates on 6 blue plastic plates.  There have only been 2 times that I wished for paper plates and both times were on Friday nights when we were in a rush to get somewhere.  Other than that, the plastic plates have been great.  So for awhile we are going to try being paper plate free.
It is also bonus because we have less trash.

Anything we can do to be less trashy....just sayin'.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Money Well Spent

Last week our HS boys basketball team participated in a mid-season tourney.  We didn't attend game 1, but did make it to games 2 and 3.

Twirling girl gave a little show at half time of game 3.  This is what 9 million dollars will get you:

I have to admit that I am very proud of her.  I would NEVER to this day NEVER get out on a 'stage' and perform anything and heck would have to freeze over for me to get out there by MYSELF.

And she does it.

It is impressive to me. It is even more impressive because what you can't see is that there was an entire boys basketball team lined up along the edge of the floor staring at her waiting to get on the floor to warm up.  I didn't notice it, but a friend of mine did and she was nervous for my child as she began to perform.  I am glad I didn't know it at the time.

And she is very much worth the 9 million dollars. Just sayin'.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Random Dozen

Go see Linda over at 2nd cup of coffee and join in on the fun!

1. How good are you at delaying gratification?

Not so good.
2. Maybe a marshmallow wouldn't be too difficult a temptation for you. What food would be most tempting?

French fries.  I simply cannot resist a fresh, hot french fry.

3. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being saintly) how patient are you?

Can we talk negative numbers?  And I am a lot more patient than I was earlier in my life.  I try to be patient with non-relatives but with relatives (like people who live with me), not so much.
4. Have you ever waited for something in life only to be disappointed upon realization of the goal/object/etc.?

Um.  I am sure there is something but I simply cannot find it right now.  
5. Are you a person who takes shortcuts?

I like things to be done 'right'.  Not perfect but right.  Say I was going to paint my house.  I would want to scrap it, repair it, prime it and paint it.  I do have a tendency to take shortcuts when I am sewing or altering twirling costumes.  
6. Which line is hardest to wait in?

I don't mind waiting in line.  I like to watch people and visit with the others who are waiting.  I have also come to the conclusion that I cannot control the line, so I might as well enjoy the time.  
7. Did you wait to discover the gender of your unborn child until its birth?

Nope.  We didn't have a sonogram with my oldest child so she was just what we wanted--a baby.  The twins had several sonograms that should have tipped me to their personalities--stubborn.  They wouldn't ever let us see--we also told the techs each time that we weren't really interested in knowing the gender.  And they were just what we wanted--babies.  I think that not knowing is a wonderful part of being pregnant.

8. Are you more patient with children or the elderly?

Both.  In my mind, I remind myself that that could be my grandma or my child, and how would I like them to be treated?  
9. Did you ever sneak a peek at a present?

Have you met my mother?  Um.  NO.

10. What is the longest you've ever waited for anything?

 We waited a reeeaaaaalllllyyyyyyy long time to buy a house.  We searched for years.  I have looked at a LOT of houses in our community.  My realtor found a 'real' job while we were searching.  Bless her heart, she tried and tried. 

11. Who has more patience, you or your significant other?

The man is an absolute saint.  He is off the scale with patience.  See question 10.  It is completely amazing to be in his presence.  I will tell you that if he becomes impatient, it isn't pretty.  
12. Which of the following songs about waiting is your pick for the best?

A) Anticipation by Carly Simon
B) The Waiting by Tom Petty
C) Right Here Waiting for You by Richard Marx
D) Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

10 Things I Know For Sure

1.  Life is precious.  Handle it with care.

2.  Even when the naughtiest child in the class is gone, someone else steps up to take the job.

3.  Listening to the laughter of children can soften even the hardest of hearts.

4.  It's hard to play fair.

5.  Quality really does count.

6.  I believe that all bad days lead to really good days.

7.  Two weeks from today.  I am sure that it was the greatest day of my mother's life.

8.  At 5:40 last night, there was still some sun shining.

9. What do you suppose she's got in that there purse?  Bob Saget?  Her sister?  Sandwiches?  

10.  Research says that you make a 'memory' when you sleep.  No wonder I can't remember jack!  Just sayin'.  

Monday, January 25, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another Award

Mrs. E over at Easy Street has done it again.  She gave me an award.  This time it is a PRINCESS award.  See there is somebody out there besides me who believes that I am a Princess

Thanks for the award Mrs. E.  I am a book freak.  Can't find me in a store?  Look in the books.  Dream day activity?  A day in the bookstore or excessive amounts of time on amazon.com, barnes and noble.com or even half.com.  I love to read and most everyone who knows me knows that reading is my first choice of a leisure activity.  I have been a reader for a lifetime.  It came easy for me as a youngster and books let me go places I would never get to go.  The other bonus:  if I had a book in my hand my brother left me alone.  ALONE.  He hated to read or anything to do with reading.  I can remember staying up late reading when I was a teenager and getting up the next day to read.  Oh wait I still do that. 

I LOVE this award because it is largely about reading.  Here are the rules for the princess award:

1. Name an author you love.
Lauraine Snelling.  She writes christian fiction.  Mainly historical fiction.  She also wrote my most favorite books in the whole wide world....I have read this series all the way through at least 3 times.  The Red River of the North series.  She has at least 4 series that branch off  from the family that the book is centered around.  The Bjorklund Family.  The series begins in Norway where a family has been saving to send their people to America.  2 brothers and their wives embark on this journey.  Once arriving in America, they travel west to the Dakotas to establish farmsteads. It just goes from there....both brothers die the first winter and the women (as always) are left to establish the homesteads. 

It's funny that Mrs. E gave me this award this week because last night I thinking that I was missing Ingeborg and that  a reread would help me thru the winter.

But I also love Jeffrey Archer, Terri Blackstock and Kristin Hannah.  Oh and Barbara Delinsky, Nicholas Evans and Susan Wiggs.  Wait, there's also Jennifer Chiavarini, Tatiana Rosnay, and Sarah Guern.  But what about Pearl S. Buck, Lorna Landvik and Maeve Binchy?  So many authors, so little time..... 

2. Name an author who highlights your personality.  
Probably it's more of a character than an author.  But the author created the character, sooo cart or horse?  Anyway, it's Lauraine Snelling's main character, Ingeborg Bjorklund who is headstrong, opinionated and kind-hearted.  She wants to do the right thing for her family and her community but when darkness threatens to overtake her, she reaches for her bible. 

3. Name some books you love.

To Kill A Mockingbird--if you haven't read this, take the time to put this in your book stack.   Gone With the Wind, Kite Runner, Friday Night Knitting Club, Cane River, As the Crow Flies, The Elm Creek Quilt Series, anything by Jeffrey Archer, The Good Earth, The Geometry of Sisters, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Little House on the Prairie and The Long Winter, The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwieler, Otis Spofford, Ralph S. Mouse, and The Horse Whisperer.  

I could go on and on.

On a side note--I read around 50-60 books a year--usually 30+ during the summer. And I know this because I write down in a journal each book I read.  I have some gaps in the journal but for the most part I have done this since 1996.  I started the journaling after I kept checking out books I had already read. 

4. Something that always excites you.

Sunshine, sunshine and more sunshine.  I love sunshine--and I am not just saying that because it has been days since we've seen the sun.  I love 95 degree days......with sunshine.

5. Something you hate.
Lying.  Just tell the freakin' truth already.  Quit the sugar coat and spill it.

And now I'm passing this award on.  All they have to do is nab the Princess button above, post answers to the questions above, and pass the award on. 

These are some Princesses in my opinion:

Erica at The Craig's

Arianne at The Pfizenmaier Tales 
Linda at The Kansas Cook 
Bridgette at The Rankin's

Thanks again, Mrs. E and I am off to read my book, just sayin'.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Food on Friday

I know.  It's a small miracle.  They do happen every day.  Today is your day.  I actually have something for Food on Friday and I had the time to put it together for your viewing and eating pleasure.  

This is not my specialty.  It is this girls.....

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
2 cups of sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of coarse or grated zucchini
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of cocoa
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp.  soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together salad oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Add zucchini.  Stir in dry ingredients and milk.  Bake in a well greased and floured tube or bundt cake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 or 50 minutes.  Turn out and cool on rack.  Glaze with powdered sugar icing.

We had soooooooooo much zucchini this past summer that we (as in College Girl) grated it and put it in baggies for the freezer.  It has been a wonderful treat for the winter.  This usually a summer cake for our family.  It is exceptionally good with homemade ice cream. 

She really does make this cake better than me and I proved it last weekend.  Mine looks better:

Gorgeous, don't you think?  But hers tastes better.  In my defense, I was out of powdered cocoa and subbed in unsweetened chocolate squares that have to be melted.  The texture was much different.  It tasted OK, but nowhere as good as hers.  She has the magic touch. 

And that does my heart good....just sayin'. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Randomness...or More of the Usual Ramblings

I gotta make this quick...my show is going to be on in 40 minutes.  My show?  Oh yeah.  I love this show and today while I was at school USA played a marathon in anticipation of the season opener tonight at 9.  Yep, I lovelovelove Burn Notice.

Another man named Michael that I could really go for.  He cracks me up and he certainly doesn't hurt my eyes any either.  And since the actress who plays Fiona is my age and looks just like I think I look, I kind of like her, too.  Sharon Gless plays the mother and she is also a crack up.


Got my new bifocal glasses tonight.  Eh.  The eye doc said that I should wear them all the time--go cold turkey is what she is telling me.   Put my old ones away and forget about them. So I am wearing the new ones but I feel kind of loopy.  We'll see how tomorrow goes at school.  I like the frames.  I will try to get some pics up over the weekend.  Since I still haven't completed the posts that I promised to for last weekend, don't hold your breath.


I did get a haircut tonight.  I now have all my real hair color.  And I have an appointment for enhancements to replace my real color with something that is brighter and much more beautiful than dark mousy brown that is on the verge of having gray hairs (not really. I don't have any gray hairs, yet and I am telling my children right now they better not give me any!!)   As I have aged, my hair has gotten darker and darker.  I am just weird like that. 


10 days left in the month.  How many days of sunshine?  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Random Dozen

These questions come from Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee.....and join in the fun! 

1. So I was thinking about how Jon Bon Jovi never seems to age much. His hair is smaller nowadays, but he still manages to look like a boy somehow. And then that made me think of the story of Dorian Gray. Question: If you physically lock in one age for yourself, which would you choose and why?

I am really good with the age I am.  Next month I will be 43.  I am good with it.  We just had a 100 year old member of our community pass away and I am good with being 100.  Life is what I make it.   

2. What is the best dish that you cook or bake (your piece de resistance?)

Coach says homemade noodles.  

3. When you feel blue, what is one strategy you use to help yourself back to normal?


4. When was the last time you danced in public?

June 2009 at a wedding dance.  

5. Do you consider yourself a realist or dreamer?

According to Coach and his assistant....A real dreamer.  Coach and his ASSistant say that this question is too hard.  They want to know why she doesn't ask something like are you a smartbunny or a dumbbunny(not the words they actually used)?  They CLAIM they could answer that question.  

6. As a parent, what is one thing that you have done well?

I have nice children.  

7. Which is your favorite character on the Andy Griffith show?

That's a real tough question.  Otis?  Barney?  Aunt Bea?  Opie?  Definitely not Andy's annoying lady friend.  I think I am going to go with Barney.  He's my kind of guy.  Conscientiously goofy.  

8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Eh.  6?

9. Have you never been mellow? Have you never tried … to find a comfort from in side you? (Sorry, Jorge was singing that song just now, and it just seemed to be perfect timing as I was creating this week’s questions.) REAL question: What is your #1 driving pet peeve?

Nice blinker, buddy.  

10. Which color best represents your mood today? Care to elaborate?

Red.  As in I was red hot stinkin' mad at 8:30 in the morning on Tuesday.  Suffice to say it involved a copy machine.

11. If your spouse were an animal, which would he/she be?

Bear.  As in Winnie-the-Pooh. 

12. What activity takes up the bulk of your time on an average day?

Driving my children to events.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

10 Things I Know for Sure

1.  So rumor on the street is that 90 to 100 days after fog, there is some sort of moisture.  Gee, I am thinking that April could be kind of wet.

2.  Who the heck bought pimento's and put them in my pantry?  And what exactly am I supposed to do with them?

3.  Bifocals at 42 and 7/8.  I didn't quite make it to my mid 40's before I needed them. 

4.  Sunshine anyone? Let's make this our pump up song and see if it helps......

4.  The footage from Haiti sucks the wind right outta me.

5.  Patience is a virtue.

6.  If is sounds like a fart, and it smells like a fart, it's a fart.  Or a third grader.

7.  Learning how to lose is as important as learning how to win.

8.  Acting your age is a lot harder than it sounds.

9.  Really.  I hope she didn't pay full price.  And believe me, there are more where this came from.

10.  The laugh of my mother-in-law is priceless.  Just sayin'.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Music of My Life

1983.  Totally dude.  I love the 80's. 

I'll stop the world and melt for you.  What's that supposed to mean anyway?

All I know is that when I heard this song on the radio Friday night I was instantly transported to the movies on a Friday night in 1983.  Valley Girl.  I actually paid money to see this movie.  There was a midnight showing and we got off work (try to be surprised--at the grocery store) and headed to the movies.

My kids are gonna love this one.  Just sayin'.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gee, What a Surprise!

Guess who's at it again?  Yep.  Bud.  He snagged a bird every day this past week.  We have feathers all over the breezeway.

Friday night when we got home from the ball game he was at it again!


He absolutely looks like the crazed psycho kitty he is in this picture.  He isn't even fazed by us coming to watch him.  He almost seems to get a little thrill by us being spectators at his little sporting event.

Coach went outside 15 minutes later to find Bud near his food dish whining at Coach to fill it up.  Oh geez.  That cat is crazy.

I keep trying to give him away.

Truth be told, I would miss him if he was gone.  Just sayin'. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Story of A Boy and His Teacher

When people ask me what I teach, I am often tempted to answer "KIDS".  But in my head it comes off smarty marty so I usually tell them the current grade I teach, which is--third grade.  It is quite possibly the greatest grade to teach.  Oh wait.  I feel that way about every grade I have taught because I teach KIDS.


There's this little boy (third grade boy--3GB) in my class.  He was quite possibly the cutest kindergartner you have ever seen.  And then he was the cutest first grader.  And then the cutest second grader.  And now he is in my room.

Admittedly, he has his moments.  Everybody in the building has some sort of funny story and some sort of not-so-funny story about him. 

He gets grown-ups.  Sometimes he gets their goats, if you know what I mean, but he gets grown-ups.

He can be sooooooooo annoying.  He can drive the kids around him crazy.  Earlier in the week a very sweet little girl who has the patience of a saint with people who are not related to her all of a sudden was sitting right next to me.  I kind of looked at her with that look and she whispered very gently, "He is driving me crazy."  I asked her if she would like to move away from him for a while and she vigorously shook her head yes.  Enough said.  I was so proud of her for not lashing out at him and making a scene.  'Cause that is for sure what I would have done. 

The kids in my class have such a heart for him....but they have their limits. 

On Thursday, I was pretty much at my wits end.  4th day in a row of school and the kids were restless. I mean RESTLESS.  I had exhausted my bag of tricks.  (Bonus for everyone--I had been awake since 3:30 AM and was on day 3 of my contact lenses due to broken glasses and I wanted to scratch my. eyes. out.)  I feel these little arms around my middle and feel a big squeeze and when I look down, 3GB is giving me a hug.  When I smiled and hugged back, he responded, "I thought you might need one of these."  Oh. My. Ever. Lovin'landsakesalive.  How did I get so lucky?

Later in the afternoon, during math we are working for what seems like the thousandth day in a row on the same skill, he leans over and says, "Why are your eyes so red?"  The voice in my head said something inappropriate but my outside voice prevailed and I reminded him that my glasses were broken (which really bothered him) and I had to wear my contact lenses in order to see.  He said very quietly, "I am sorry.  I hope your glasses will be fixed soon."  No matter what you say, a naughty little boy has a heart, too.

So bring on Friday.  Yeek!  The entire school was jazzed.  And I do mean JAZZED.  The barometric pressure must have been at an all time high.  There wasn't enough diet pepsi or donuts in the western hemisphere for the teachers in my building.  At 12:40, I requested they call the radio station and inform the public that school was being dismissed at 1:00.  No.  Really, it will save lives.  No.  C'mon, give a girl a break already.  No.  OK...fine.

I EAT my weight in girl scout cookies to survive the afternoon.

3GB is the last one done with our daily poll.  We have a daily poll and then we find the minimum, maximum, mode, range, and median with the data.  (Insert large soapbox here)  Why do those who know best think that 3rd graders need to know mode, range and data?  Whywhywhy!?

Suffice it to say that 3GB doesn't know why either.  Nor does he know any of these terms and what they mean.  Which is a bald faced lie.  I have taught this, my awesome title math teacher has taught this and I have retaught. I have modeled, modeled and modeled some more.

Yet,  everyday we go through the same thing.  Which I have come to understand is his way of trying manipulating me into doing his work for him.  I don't anything for him.  I don't know why he keeps trying this tatic.

So he has written 14-21=11 on his paper to find the range.  (seems we have deeper issues than I thought)

This conversation follows...

ME:  Um, is it possible to do 14-21 when you are in the third grade?  (we talk about someday this will be possible but not in 3rd grade.  Like when you get to high school I tell them.)

3GB:  Yeah.

ME:  Really?  Are you sure?

3GB:  (with eyes that can melt my heart)....Yeah.  I did it right there.

ME:  So you're telling me that you can take 21 away from 14?

3GB:  Yeah.  (his tone of voice is beginning to indicate that he thinks I am a few cards short of a deck.....he's quick like that)

ME:  So if I have 21 pieces of gum and you have 14 pieces of gum and I say GIVE ME 21 PIECES OF GUM RIGHT NOW, you could do that?  (man, I am on to something here....something he loves...gum...this is gonna work....he is sooooo gonna get this.....I am feeling pretty good right about now....quick thinking on my part....whew!)

3GB:  He looks at me with all the admiration he can muster up and says....WOW!  You'd have a lot of gum!

Never mind.  I give up.

Recess, anyone?  Just sayin'.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thinking of a Title for This Daily Posting is Wearing Me Out

So I am going to squeak this post under the wire (and I am watching the clock and hoping I finish--I am working as fast as I can at this time of the night on a Friday when I had to go to school for five days in a row). It's January 15, and I have posted everyday but one. I did post twice on one day, does that count? It's harder than I thought it would be. I have to really shout out my admiration to those bloggers who post daily. I am not short of ideas, I am short of time.

Really the only reason I am posting tonight is because I have to stay awake to put pep squad necessities in the dryer that are needed for The Pep Squad trip tomorrow morning at 7:30. This is when spares would come in very handy.

Big ball game tonight for our high school boys. I go to watch the band and the pep squad....the drummer in this video rocks and if you look closely you will see my favorite trumpet player.  He looks like the trombone is going to hit him in the head.  Thank goodness it didn't, his head could do some damage.

I have no pictures to share of our girls basketball team because I didn't get there in time to take pictures of their game.  I feel bad about that but I was caught up in reading and lost track of the time.  When I did arrive I found we had a full house and our usual seats were sort of taken and I lost my head.

I did manage to get some shots of my high school aide....

And some a whole lot of my usual shots.....

Our boys pulled off a win!  It was a huge game for both teams as we were both undefeated going into tonight's contest.  It was hotter than the dickens in the gym but the entertainment was spectacular.  We are heading into our big tournament 8-0.  WOW!  Way to fight, Tigers.

I do plan to update you on my Eat From the Pantry Challenge, my grown-up book club selection for January and a very funny story involving a third grade boy over the weekend.  We are headed to the Metropolis on Sunday for some family time and my third grade boys are playing basketball tomorrow in a tourney here in town.

Life is all good...just sayin'.  And I made it with 23 minutes to spare....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Did I Mention I Got an Award....

Mrs. E over at Easy Street passed this Kreativ Blogger Award to me.  

Creative.  Really.  Seriously.  Smart aleck.  Onery stinkpot.  But I will soooooo take creative.  Thanks Mrs. E!  You made my week. 

I feel really good about this.  I GOT AN AWARD!!  

The rules that go with the award are pretty easy to follow.  Did I mention I got an award....

1. Thank the person giving the award.  (Thank you, Mrs. E--I love it that you read me AND leave me comments--it's so like we know each other)

2. Copy the award to this blog.  (See above.)

3. Place a link to their blog -  (If you click on the highlighted text above-- you'll find Mrs. E!  She teaches English and she is FUNNY.  )

4. Name 7 things people don't know about you.  (Below)

5. Nominate 7 bloggers who you admire  (Below)

6. Place a link to these bloggers. (Highlighted names to click on)

7. Leave a comment on their blog notifying them of the award.  (I will.)

7 things you don't know about me.  Um.  Do I have anything else that you don't know about me.....by the way....my question mark key isn't working....Did I mention I got an award....

1.  My mom  made sure that my brother and I had braces as youngsters.  She waited to get hers until she was in her 50's.  It was at that point that I realized how much she had sacrificed for us.  Thanks, Mom.  Love you.

2.  I think my favorite before I got a college degree job was working in grocery stores. It's an honest days work.  You go there, you smile and visit, well, and work, and you go home.  You see a ton of people.  It's a job I could do again someday.  I love the grocery store.

3.  I lived in the same house until I was 19 years old.  This was a pretty amazing piece of trivia to my lunch bunch.  There were several of us who could claim this--but there were more who couldn't.  Since then I have lived 6 places.  Did I mention I got an award....

4. My first car was 1971 Toyota Corolla.  My used-to-be-step dad purchased it for $600.  It was green and a 5 speed.  There are some pretty good family stories surrounding my adventures in learning to drive that car. 

5. I knew when I opened the door for my first date with Coach that I would marry him.  I literally opened the door and thought, "I am going to marry this man."  I can tell you what we both were wearing.  The best part of the story....he immediately confessed to not having any money.  We were in college, after all.  He said that his mom wasn't too happy with the state of his checkbook and he just couldn't spend any more money.  He asked if we could just stay home...sure.  I changed out of my 'date' clothes, made some popcorn and we watched Fletch.  Great date movie.  And that is all she wrote....here we are 23 years later. 

6. I talk too much.  Oh wait, I bet you already know that piece of information.

7.  I love to laugh.   


Now for 7 bloggers I admire. This is tough because I don't want to leave anybody out.  And I know I will so let me apologize in advance.  I love you all, but the rules say 7.  And I am such a little rule follower.....

The Craig's  I just really enjoy all of these people.  The Mom, the Dad, the 3 little lovelies....they are warm, and inviting and funny and real. 

The Pfizenmaier's This mom of 4 boys (I cannot imagine) is a wonderful, spiritual person who writes from the heart.  This post is one of my most favorite of anything I have ever read. 

Life As We Know It  This person is relatively new to my daily reading.  Spend some time with her...it's a pretty amazing thing they are doing.  Did I mention I got an award....

It's Not All Flowers and Sausages  Ok.  Admittedly if you aren't a teacher, you might not 'get' this girl.  But I get her.  And she makes me smile.  Really, she makes me laugh out loud on a regular basis.

The Rankin's   This girl....just go there.  Her current pics will melt your heart.  She's a teacher, reader, mom and cook.  In my mind, she's still in middle school, but in real life, she's a darned ol' grown-up.

Cake Wrecks  I just recently came across this blog.  And I am telling you that I never leave without laughing.  People put the darndest things on cakes.  Go there.  Laugh.  Did I mention I got an award....

(Insert Title Here)  This boy makes his momma and daddy very proud.  And he makes me laugh.  I love his writing style and his sense of the world.

I might insert a disclaimer here:
This is a bizarro grouping of blogs.
No rhyme or reason.
I simply started opening my bookmarks and randomly choosing.

Enjoy!  And thanks, again, Mrs. E for the blog love.  Right back at ya--just sayin'. 

P.S.  Do you ever read this and wonder why they let me teach other people's children?  Am I drunk when I post or what?  I promise I read everything 47 hunert times before I post and I still find mistakes.  Goodness sakes alive already!  Did I mention that I got an award?  It wasn't for correctness! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Random Dozen

1. When was the last time you craved a food--what was it, and did you cave?

This is going to sound like I am a pregnant person but I forging ahead with the information.....I recently happened upon a snack that will cover all my cravings--sweet, salty, healthy--pretzels dipped in peanut butter with a banana slice on top.  I know, I know.  Who craves healthy food?  And yes, I cave every time.  It's just better for everyone that way.
2. M & M's or Skittles?
M&M's all the way.  Preferably peanut butter M&M's.  

3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through?

4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning?

Um.  Yeah.  A while.  I do not pop out of bed.  And for land sakes, DO NOT talk to me until way later in the morning.  
5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to?

I have never been and no, I don't want to go on a cruise.  I am a motion sickness person and constant rocking doesn't appeal to me in any way, shape or form.  
6. Who is your favorite actress?

Depends on the day.  I enjoy Sandra Bullock and Debra Messing.  Right now, I am really liking Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife.  I can forgive her for Snakes on a Plane.  Everybody has to eat and pay bills.

7. ______ is something that I will just never understand.

Hurting children
8. How much of a technology junkie are you?

I plead the fifth on this one.  
9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you?

I enjoying spending time in the greeting card section of the store.  Especially the humorous card section.  I had a friend that I exchanged cards with for years.  She never missed my birthday and we were always sending cards back and forth.  I never knew how much that meant to me until she was gone.
10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut?

Every four weeks.  On Thursdays.  I am all about my hair.  Currently, 'we' (as in the hairdresser) are letting my hair return to it's original color.  This could be interesting.  Or not.  
11. What do you enjoy shopping for most?

Groceries.  Shoes.  Not necessarily in that order.  
12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house?

Do I have my school keys?  Do I have my phone?  Is the coffee pot off? 


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

10 Things I Know for Sure

1.  What a difference sunshine and 30 degrees make in my life!

2.  We are going paper plate free for two weeks.  I didn't buy any when they ran out at the tail end of the week.  This could be very interesting.

3. The Big Mac came clean.  Thanks. 

4.  I would have been an excellent pioneer woman if only there had been inside toilets and electricity.  Other than that, I am good to go.

5.  What a wonderful sound 18 third graders made when the teacher announced "OUTSIDE RECESS!!"

6.  My 'Eat from the Pantry Challenge' is in week 2.  Eh, not as much fun as week 1.

7.  These are quite possibly the sweetest pictures in the history of the world.  Oh.My.Gosh.

8.  Stupid is as stupid does.

9.  Everybody must lose once in a while.  Sunday just happened to be our flippin' day to lose.

10.  There is no limit for better.  Just sayin'.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Music of My Life

If you haven't figured this out already...you will after today.  I am an 80's girl.  I graduated from high school in 1985 and I so love the 80's.  Hair, clothes, music.  All. Of. It.

I found this video while searching for something that would remind me of summer time.  You know, HOT WEATHER.  I hate cold weather.  And I must be getting old because this past week has been the most miserable weather I have seen for awhile.  This beats the ice storm of 2007 hands down.

So anyway, I am pretty sure that I paid money to see the movie, "Cocktail", in the theater.  Tom on the big screen in the 80's?  Um, yeah.  I paid to see them all.  Now?  I wouldn't walk across the street to see him.

This video is classic Beach Boys with some movie clips thrown in and a little John Stamos.  See if you can find him.

Have a wonderfully warm Monday.  Just sayin'.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Too Funny

Be careful what you ask...you might just get the answer.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I Wish

....for this....my front porch in summertime.

...and this...feet up, reading a book at the lake in the summer.

...and this.....the lake house in summer.

....and this....catching turtles in summertime.

The upside is that it's closer than it was yesterday.  And next week promises outside recess!  The 30's--break out the capri's!!  Just sayin'.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


This weather is brutal.  We live in the center of town and it is scarycold.  I cannot begin to imagine what my friends who live in the country are experiencing--let alone how they are caring for the livestock.  I searched and located both our kitty cats so our 'livestock' is all good.  Bud was nice enough to let Willy hang out in the garage.  Mighty big of Big Bud Bad A...!  Of course, Sophiegirl is all toasty warm inside the house.

We did not have school today, thank goodness.  I would be mess waiting to make sure my country kids got to and from school on the buses.  We are waiting for the verdict for Friday.  I am hoping for at least a 2 hour delay. 

So since I was given a gift of a day at home, I completed several projects.  Oh and made the traditional snow day cinnamon rolls.  Once again, I think they might be the best I have ever made....

I didn't get a picture before but I think this after picture tells a lot.  Yes, my favorite girl twin takes hers right out of the middle everytime.  And before you get your shorts in a bunch, Mrs. Rankin, you can find the recipe here.  I would read the suggestions at the bottom of the recipe before you begin and I melt one stick of real butter (do they sell any other?)  to coat my dough after I roll it out.  I also use brown sugar instead of white sugar on top of the melted butter.  Today when I made the frosting, I used powdered sugar, quite a bit of vanilla (that's why the frosting looks like caramel) and a little milk.  They really were fantastic.

I also paid bills and did school stuff.  Blech on the bills.  School stuff needed to be done and I still have some more stuff that I want to get done.


Frack has a little project in progress...and I actually let her use my sewing machine.  That machine is rather sacred to me so this was kind of a big deal.  I thought about having her use my old machine, but I am trying to let go of my inner control freak.

She is making hot pads.  You know the kind filled with rice,beans or wheat and warm up in the microwave?  My mom made some yearsyearsyears ago, and I made replacements yearsyears ago.  Now she is making some.  It's a great snow day project. 

I did alter our menu for the week--but I didn't have to go to the store to do it.  We are having chicken and noodles and homemade wheat bread for dinner.  I also got another batch of refried beans going in the crock pot.  I am sold on making refried beans from scratch--it was fairly simple and they tasted absolutely divine!  This time I doubled the recipe and again, plan to put them in the freezer.

Stay warm and safe.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Random Dozen


1. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being a cranky-baby-hissy-fitter, how much of a complainer are you?

Probably a 5.  I comment a lot and I didn't think that was a form of complaining.  I have since been told that it's really complaining.  

2. When someone else is talking, do you listen, or are you thinking about what you're going to say in response?

I think I do both to my husband.  When listening to people who aren't related to me, I think I listen.

3. I just deleted 1062 messages from my email account. Do you have any plans for a clean sweep this month--of anything?

Not really.  I would like to clean sweep my teenage sons room.  I am going need a biohazard suit to complete the job.  Time is kind of short this month so maybe I will tackle this project in March.

....(And now, here are some brilliant questions from a gal named Angie at Angie's Ad Lib who graciously offered to let me borrow her brain. Please go over and see Angie because it was so nice of her to help me out. Thank you so much, Angie!)

4. Tell us about your perfume. Was it a gift? What does it remind you of? Do you have a signature scent?

It's Dove soap.  It reminds me of clean.  

5. What is your best organizing tip for the new year?

When in doubt, pitch it out.

6. What is your favorite comic strip?


7. Do you sleep with a fluffy or flat pillow?

Fluffy.  Fluffy.  Fluffy.  I have 3 pillows.  2 on the bottom and one for on top of my head.

8. What color is your kitchen? Why did you choose that color?

My kitchen is purple.  On the red/plum side of purple.  

The reason?  My appliances are pink.  No, I am not kidding.  Proof:

And yes, those are my husband's offspring acting like ninjas.  And yes, I have grown to love these appliances.  When we first moved here, I really thought we would need some new ones.  My husband said, "When they break and the appliance guy cannot fix them, we can see about new ones."  He believes that we, as in Americans in general, are very wasteful.  We often get new 'things' just to get new.  Not because 'things' are broken and can't be fixed, but just because we want new ones.  We have lived here since August 2003, and the appliance guy has been here twice.  Once in March 2009 and once in May 2009.  Both times he fixed the oven.  It cost under $100 for both visits.  Now it's a contest to see how long we can make them last.  We are pretty sure they were put in the house in the late 1950'sSo that is why my kitchen is purple.  Can I just say I love my kitchen?

9. What’s the most interesting bumper sticker you’ve seen?

I am drawing a blank on this one.  

10. Do you prefer an expensive writing tool or whatever is lying around? (Are you a Montblanc or a Papermate?)

Um.  Yeah.  About this one.  I, uh, sort of have a writing utensil fetish.  I like a smooth, thick line.  My current favorite is a good old-fashioned blue Bic pen with the lid.  I like my utensils tall.  My current favorite pencil is a black Dixon Ticonderoga. They have a soft, smooth lead with a fantastic eraser.  And oooohhh, they just feel good in my hand.  I have been known to spend an inordinate amount of time and money in the writing utensil isle.  (and I bet I have thousands of writing utensils--really.)

11. What chore doesn’t feel like a chore – you just enjoy it (at least most of the time)?

Sweeping the breezeway/patio area.  I miss summer a lot. 

12. If your parents often repeated themselves, what is something one of them said more than once?

My mom had 4 things that she repeated often....
"Stop it, Scotty."  
"It'll be fine."
"If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all."  
and my personal favorite--this month anyaway--
"What comes around, goes around." 



Tuesday looked something like this......

I wake at 4:50 and think, "gee I can sleep 10 more minutes before I have to get my fat butt out of bed to walk on the treadmill."  Then it is 6:30. This never happens to me.  For real. 

Hop out of bed...that's a lie.  I never hop out of bed.  Gently ease out of bed and begin to think that warm cereal would be good for breakfast.  MaltoMeal?  I think not enough fiber.  Oatmeal?  Eh.  Girls don't like old-fashioned oats.  Oh wait!  I am 'eating from the pantry'....so I found this:

MMMMM.....this ought to be good...5 grams of fiber per serving....140 calories and .5 grams of fat.  Perfect for a woman of a certain age!  I cannot tell you how absolutely disgusting Zoom tastes--even with brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  I ate about 1/2 of it and announced to my family...."I don't believe that this will be gone from the pantry anytime soon."   Make plans to throw it out when Coach isn't looking.  This is, after all, his purchase.

Shower uneventfully.  Get dressed uneventfully.  Choose shoes.  Eventfully.  I just couldn't decide what shoes to wear.  It was a dilemma.  Finally choose and load up to go to school.  And by this time it appears that I have already smoked my resolution to be on time to school.  Pretty impossible to be at school at 8:00 if you are driving out of the driveway at 8:01.  Oh well.  I crank my pump up song of the day and cruise to school.  Yep.  Hit. Every. Light.  And have to wait to turn onto school street.

Once I am in the building...let crazy rain down.   

At 10:00, we go to break.  I go to the bathroom.  Wash hands for an extended amount of time.  Stomach flu has hit community.  Wash hands some more.

For some reason, I am kind of standing with my hands on my hips and for whatever reason feel compelled to feel my butt.  You know how sometimes you are just led to do something.  Just an unexplained need to run my hand down my butt.  (Kind of like the time I 'caught' a 7th grade boy looking at me with eyes that said I see something I shouldn't but I don't know who to tell but somebody's gotta know NOW and it occurred to me that my pants might be unzipped?  And they were.  And he saw the teacher's magenta granny panties and they weren't exactly what he wanted to see.)  It's that feeling.

There's a hole in my pants.  Um, yeah.  A hole in my pants.  Kind of a slit/tear.  My pants are black but my underwear are not.  Just my luck. 

Dilemma.  Do I rush home and change pants?  Do I sit in my chair all day?  Do I?  Do I?

I stayed at school.  I went about normal business.  And do you know that no one looks at my butt?  Not one person noticed that slit/tear.  No kidding.  I go through the whole day and even sat in a meeting from 4 to 5.  Praise God not one person noticed the hole.

At some point in the day it occurred to me that my teeth felt weird.  I just felt like my teeth didn't feel right.  I just couldn't put my finger on it.  I ran my tongue over them several times and I just felt strange.

Yep.  After putting it all together, I didn't brush my teeth on Tuesday morning.  My routine was smoked when I didn't get up at 5.  I was simply 'off' all day.  I DIDN'T BRUSH MY TEETH.  And nobody noticed.  Again.  Hole in my pants and disgusting breath.   

I'd like to tell you that the day got better from this point, but it would be a lie.  Telling the truth is a resolution I plan to keep.

But my hair looked good.  Just sayin'.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10 Things I Know For Sure

1.  There are some incredibly stupid TV shows out there.  The Real Housewives of (insert region here) as opposed to the, say, Real Fake ones?  C'mon already.

2.  I cannot operate our gaming system.

3.  Third graders make me laugh.  For example, do you know that when you are stressed or angry doing the downward dog yoga position will make you feel less stressed and less angry?  Yep.  Straight from a third grade girl.

4.  Canned cheese is the greatest invention since sliced bread.

5.  Bonnie Hunt and Kelly Ripa crack me up.

6.  A hair cut makes me feel so much better about my world.  Does that make me superficial?

7.  Puppies are so cute, but dogs who shed every hair they have on a daily basis...not so much.

8.  Have I mentioned that I do not care for cold weather?

9.  Undergarments are overrated.

10.  If it looks like skunk, and it smells like a skunk, it's a skunk.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Music of My Life

Today. I. Must. Return. To. Normal. 

It's my pump up song. 

For the record...that's not me with the roller skates and sequined tube top.    Just sayin'.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Countdown

15 hours.

15 hours until the real world smacks me right in the face.

15 hours and it won't be pretty.

15 hours.  Pray for me, please.


Did you notice that new button on the left column?  Gee, it seemed like such a grand idea on Thursday.  31 posts in 31 days. 

Really.  Who's going to know if I don't post 31 times in 31 days?  Will the blog PO-lees shut me down?  Will I be thrown in blog jail?  Seriously.  Who's going to know if I do post 31 times in 31 days?

Wait.  I will know.  And you will know.  Accountability. Thanks for keeping me honest.


Although I only have 15 hours, I believe that the homefront is prepped and ready for the week.  I got around this morning and made our menu plan--from the pantry as I am also a part of this little project:

I am a grocery junkie.  There.  I said it.  I am a grocery junkie.  I feel deficient as a wife and mother if we don't have a fully stocked pantry.  And baking cabinet.  And chest freezer. And 2 refrigerators.  With freezers. 

You know how I hate to go shopping?  Well, I love grocery shopping.  That's the first thing we did after we got married....went to the grocery store.  We had cash from gifts and we got a cart and put whatever we wanted in the basket.  WHATEVER.WE.WANTED.  No lie.  I think it came to like $63.  I can remember that the day before our oldest child was born our income tax refund came in the mail.  Guess where I went?  Yep.  The grocery store.  Spent $131.  We probably ate until that child was 6 months old on that trip. 

Not so much anymore. 

My grocery budget is way out there.  So this little project is an attempt to get that budget in line and use up what we have in our stores. 

Many of you know that most of our stuff is from scratch--biscuits, muffins, bread, fried chicken, homemade noodles, meatloaf, blah blah blah.  I know that there are lots of people mentally scratching my eyes out right now.  It's cheaper if it's from scratch and it's better for us. 

So this is the plan for the week:

--Taco Potato (taco soup over a baked potato--mmmm.....I will see if I can get this recipe posted sometime in the near future)
--salmon patties and oven fried potatoes
--hamburgers and hotdogs
--steaks (gift from this girl) and baked potatoes
--pancakes and sausage
--tacos with refried beans and spanish rice

I made the salmon patties (put in freezer), and spanish rice today.  I will let you know how that spanish rice turns out.  I made it, but my rice didn't 'cook', and it was pretty soupy.  Since it is going to sit in the fridge until we eat it later in the week, I think it will be fine. 

I did make refried beans from scratch.  At $1.79 a can and 2 cans (sometimes 3) a week, (we like mexican food--it's our default meal) I figured that maybe I could make beans and freeze them.  So I did.  Again, I will let you know how this deal turns out. 

I also tried this: 

Homemade hamburger buns.  Mine don't look like the picture.  Next time.  Mine don't really look like the buns you buy at the store either, and they are somewhat dense.  I had some trouble with my yeast proofing.  I threw away the first round of yeast due to lack of growth or what I thought was lack of growth.  And the second didn't grow any better--but I took a risk and forged on. 

They will be fine.  I will continue to perfect this little adventure.  I thought that I could form them into hot dog shaped buns, alas...not so much.  I believe the message to the hot dog eaters is--cut your hot dog to fit the bun.  Or go bunless.  I am not buying buns. 

Back to the Eat From Your Pantry Challenge.  I have stalked several of these women and they all seem to have a plan.  I have a half-baked plan and am working on a full baked plan.  Baby steps. 

For now, with 15 hours to go, I am going to enjoy my tea and cookies.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Does Your House Feel.....

.....naked?  If mine could talk, it would tell me it felt well, naked.  Our Christmas decorations are down and the spaces are empty.  Except for my office--that's where all the decorations are stowed and waiting to be returned to the closet only reached by a ladder.  It is amazing to me that my house always feels naked for a few days after the trees come down.  They are, after all, only up for about 1/12th of the year.  Now if only my house was clean for 1/12th of the year....

We spent some time with good friends yesterday afternoon.  Very enjoyable conversations and excellent food.  It was a simple time and all I had to do was show up with cookies.  My lovely children reviewed the rules with us before we left--no smoking, no drinking, no drugs, no sex and have fun--oh and call us if you need us....and then checked up on us several times while we were there.  Actually drove by (getting caught) and then sent us crazy text messages.  Goons.

Have you seen the commercials for this:

How about that claim...people who eat whole grains are slimmer blahblahblah....so I did my part this morning and had several bowls with my coffee.  I wonder when I will start to feel slimmer?   

We have a long awaited wedding tonight and are very excited to see these two really good grown-ups get hitched.  Thanks for including us in your celebration.  Life is all good.

I am going to get myself around and head up to the kids wrestling tourney taking place today at our high school.  I have some little guys who are wrestlers in my class and this is my only chance to see them and their moves.

So it's Saturday.  And it is absolutely freezing outside and there is an 80% chance of snow.  Hmpf.  Imagine that.  Snow. 

Inside recess is looming in my future.....just sayin'.

Friday, January 1, 2010


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Happy New Year!  I think this is a good way to start 2010.....

(This post originally appeared on February 25, 2009 and I think that this is a good day to repost it.....)

So this post is dedicated to all my friends out there who are potty training 2 boys, sending a child off to war, hoping and praying for more children, dropping off kids at college, becoming grandparents and mourning the loss of a child.

So basically everyone I know and those I only know through this blog.

You know that song by Lonestar.....Let Them Be Little.....I LOVELOVELOVE that song. Sometimes I can listen and smile and go on....sometimes, well I have tearstearstears. In May 2008, (and for about 4 months after) there was no way I could listen to the song without being a total and complete mess. I would literally have to turn the radio station if the song came on.

And then I see pictures of my kids.....and I want to tell everyone....Let Them Be Little. It's only that way for a while.

Enjoy each moment....don't wish away the time. You can't get it back.

Enjoy the little things and the big things.

Give hugs.

Take pictures. And print them.

Go to Grandma's...a lot.

Be present.

Let Them Be Little.

Let them sleep in your bed.....I can guarantee that doesn' t last forever. Mine barely step over the threshold into our room these days....maybe they figured out what REALLY goes on in there.........

Play outside. Shoot hoops....let them win. Once.

Tell stupid jokes. Laugh at their made-up jokes.

Eat dinner at the table every night.

Find out who they played with at recess. And why.


Cook with them. Even if its Hamburger Helper.

Tell funny stories from your childhood. And laugh at your brothers and sisters.

Pray for them.

Tell them no. And mean it.

Go to church.

Make family rules....you must help carry in the groceries and help put them away in order to eat. Help with the dinner clean up. Sweep the floor. Clean the bathroom. NO overnights on Saturdays.

Most of all.....

Let Them Be Little.

Just sayin'.



Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. -Proverbs 11: 17