Monday, March 31, 2008

Creeping up on 8

We're sneaking up on a Birthday in our house!

Tonight G got a surprise by getting to open a present early.
Stacking cups!
Everyone got in on the action ~ some quicker than others.

Good by March

In like a Lion, out like a Lamb
In like a Lamb, out like a lion

I really think it's
In like a Lion and out like a Lion!

the wind is blowing wildly here today! The Weather man says it's reaching speeds up to 60 mph! To the north it's bright and sunny and to the South it's gray and murky!
Guess it's a good day to stay inside and catch up from the weekend.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A day of 4th

W went into his first varsity track meet with great trepidation! There were some big schools there and that worried him. But when it was all over W had placed a some what disappointing 4th in the triple (nudged out of 3rd by his buddy) and an amazing 4th in the 4x400. The somewhat disappointment in the triple comes with W saying "I'm jumping farther than that I've ever thought I could so this is still great." and he's having to work hard for the 4x400. W didn't run last year in track sticking only to jumping so this challenges him, but he's willing to take on the challenge and work for it. W 's school won the track meet with the most team points and this THRILLS him! I can't go without mentioning JoJo ~ W's friend is breaking all sorts of records this year and we're only 2 meets into the season. When I asked him if he was going to continue this, he very meekly and humbly "I hope so". There isn't anything JoJo can't do when it comes to track and field, OH wait he said this morning that he can't pole vault! That's the one thing he can't do, but he has everything else covered!

For those of you that never seen the Triple Jump
Here let W show you!
drumroll ~

Friday, March 28, 2008

Simple Joy

I love to be home! It's my favorite place. The place that I feel the most comfortable, the place that grounds me, the place that brings me the most joy. I'm a real home body and I love it! I don't think I'd ever have cabin fever, I might run out groceries that would force me out but I just love HOME!
Yesterday I got to stay the majority of the day and all evening, a rare pleasure these days.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Times have changed

G and I just finished our 2nd book on cd. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary. A classic, plain and simple! I can remember reading about Henry and Ribsy when I was young and it still holds a child's attention. There are some things that I'm sure that G didn't understand, like when Henry makes a phone call from a pay phone in a phone booth. It describes the phone booth and the trouble that Henry has getting the door close with Ribsy inside. I don't know that G even knows what a pay phone is let alone a phone booth! Then it mentions that a little girl has curlers in her hair ~ I wondered if he knew what that meant! Times have changed.

"Manners" by Kate Spade

This was a great, fun read. It's filled with lots of entertaining and useful tips on Manners. From Grocery store shopping cart manners to sportsmanship ~ it covers everything.
It was the Perfect Spring Break read.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mom Taxi up and going......

After a much needed rest the MOM TAXI is on the go again!

Today was the greatly anticipated start of Track season and G's first soccer practice.

I picked G up at school at 3:20 drove 40 minutes to the Track meet. Watched W long jump, he did great but didn't place, left at 5:30 headed back to our town. Got G to his soccer practice, watched, filled up with gas ($3.12), got a text from W that he'd placed 2nd in the triple jump (I missed it!), drove back to the track meet to watch W run in the 4x400 (placed 6th). He seems to do better without me there! Got home at 9:30!

Along with watching my boys doing their favorite things, I got an extra bonus ~ there was a 'sun spot'! It didn't last long but I 'caught it'.

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Madness in full swing around here!

W spent an evening last week filling out his predictions for the NCAA tourney only to have it blow up this weekend. There was some amazing basketball played this weekend. All the boys in our house enjoyed watching college basketball this weekend. G would watch, then go outside to shoot some hoops for awhile, then come in and watch some more. He would watch on the the basement TV, then run upstairs to give hubby an update. G wouldn't take the time to notice that hubby would be watching the same game! I believe the sentimental favs are KU and then W is a huge NC fan! They both held out, winning this weekend ~ we're keeping out fingers crossed for next weekend.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter
from our house to yours~

G on Easter Morning
G's Easter Bunny Cake

This picture was the last minute that the bunny was in tact.
W was waiting over to the side with a knife and fork !

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Here comes Peter Cotton Tail, Hopping down the Bunny trail.....

~Easter Traditions~
In the Easter tradition G and I colored Easter Eggs this morning! G focused on putting his friend's names on the eggs, while I stuck with the more tradition Easter egg designs. Can I just say this day is the entire reason I have coffee cups!

Then on the Saturday before Easter our friends the Hull Family have a GREAT tradition of an Easter Egg Hunt. Everyone they know is invited. Everyone is required to provide either 2 bags of candy or 2 dozen real hard boiled eggs (before hand) then they have them ready to go when you get there! Here is G and his friend, trying to be patient, waiting for everyone to arrive. The field behind them is covered with colorful plastic eggs. I think the Hull's said they had over a 1000 eggs this year!

When they say GO and it's a free for all. Gather as many eggs as you can before they're all gone! Which only takes a few minutes. Once the gathering ends the counting begins, there is a GRAND prize of $1 for the most gathered. Then the eggs are emptied, you keep the candy and return the eggs. G had 52 eggs!

New Tradition?

G found these eggs at Wal-mart. They are "Lights out Egg Hunt"! Last night I hid (tossed) in the front yard after dark. G and W's girlfriend, J raced to see who could find the most. The eggs have a small glow in the dark stripe around them and then they had small flashlights! It was fun and COLD.

Skipper, the dog, thought it was great that I'd come outside to play ball with him! He'd run after the eggs ~ I finally had to just let him have an egg. He was so disappointed with it popped open thus making it not a 'ball' anymore!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Let there be light!

For several weeks my laundry room light as been flickering (it's a florescent light). Made it feel like I was doing the laundry in a disco! I changed the lights in it, it stopped flickering but stopped working. Hubby finally chimed in saying that he thought the ballast needed to be changed. I got the numbers and set off to Home Depot! As I was driving home with my purchases I wondered how much a new light would have cost. My 2 ballast were $20 a piece. I delayed working on the light several days, but finally gave in since my amusement of doing the laundry in pitch dark was GONE! LONG GONE! I'd gotten the wrong ballast! I asked hubby how much he thought a new light would cost...... long story being cut short -- returned $40 of ballast for a $37 light!
Just how can this be?
The whole is cheaper than the sum of it's parts!

Also got the new bathroom lights ~ I'm so excited to get those up! I'll go work on those now ~ it is last chance Friday after all!

OK got the new vanity lights in I love them! Still having trouble with the track lights. Who knew that replacing a white track light with a black track light isn't exactly the same. Once again,
Just how can this be?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Picture Show!

G and I took in a movie this afternoon.

"Horton Hears a Who"
I've never heard G laugh so hard or so much in my life! It was fun to sit next to him. He really enjoys all the silliness. As we were leaving he said "now let's go buy this!" I think that translates into a thumbs up!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hump Day Updates

Well, since I've kept you pretty well informed this week ~ the updates will be short but sweet.

Monday, G went to work with hubby and found some cousins there. He came home to report that Matt's oldest daughter has the same last name that we have! He thought that was amazing ~ he was even more amazed to find out that Matt's last name was the same as ours also!

I was out in the rain purchasing hubby a weight machine and G some church clothes. I looked like a drowned rat by the time I got home!

W and a Friend (the same that was awaken by scared Skipper) put the weight machine together when I got home. I have I mentioned how handy it is have a strong teenage son AND with friends?

Today -- we've been doing all the chores that were negelected the previous two days! Boy things really creep up on me! but today was catch up day! -- glad it's done!

book on Tape

Yesterday and today G and I have been listening to a book on tape,

"How to Eat Fried Worms"

by Thomas Rockwell.

This helped past the time on the ride yesterday, but it's good to enjoy a book with G in this way!

I think we'll go get the movie this afternoon and enjoy it all again!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fantastic day in Fantastic Caverns

We met up with Gran'pa R and Gran'ma B and drove to Fantastic Caverns. We rode in a tram through the 1/2 mile cave.

There was lots to see, something every where you looked!
Things growing up and
and things growing down!
We had a great time UNTIL it was time to ride out of the cave,Through the rain that was pouring off the hill ~ it was like a amusement park ride with water!

OH, we saw one bat in the cave and one outside of the cave.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Patrick's day!

An Old Irish Blessing
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

What's for supper?

For supper we had Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Broccoli, Carrot sticks, and my super simple potatoes.
This is a recipe that I created (that's why it's super simple) a few years ago that is my "go to" thing with I have no time to do anything else. They taste alot like fried Potatoes, but not fried, but still nice and crispy!

Super Simple Potatoes
Potatoes ( I like to use Red but any kind will do) peeled or unpeeled
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese
Paula Deen's seasoning* to taste
cut the potatoes in to wedges
coat with olive oil
sprinkle with cheese and seasonings
I put it a large ziploc bag and toss it all together
can put in the refrig until ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 425 to 450
(screaming hot as Rachael Ray would say)
Place the pan that you're going to cook potatoes on in the oven to preheat also.
I cook my on a pizza stone.
Drain any excess juices/oil off of the potatoes
(can clip the corner of the bag and drain)
put on to preheated stone/pan.
cook at the high temp for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350 for 20 more minutes.
you can turn the potatoes after the first 10 minutes.

Paula Deen's Seasoning

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 garlic powder

Mix together and store in an airtight container

I use this on tons of things, chicken, roast, potatoes.

If you're going to salt and pepper something you could use this instead!

I should have just stayed in bed!

Skipper on a calmer day
This morning as I was waking up I could hear the low rumble of thunder in the distance. It didn't wake me up, but I could hear it once I was awake. First thing I always do is go let the dog, Skipper out of the garage. As I opened the door, Skipper zooms past me and into the house. Skipper is scared of thunder! This happens not once but 3 times this morning between 7am and 10am. On the second round of scared Skipper in the house, W's friend that was spending the night got a sacred dog on top of him with a wagging tail in his face. Poor Skip didn't know why everyone wasn't as glad to see him as he was glad to see everyone! Each time it was more and more difficult, as Skipper was getting wise to my ways! I finally had to get tough! and make the inside louder than than the low rumbles outside. Don't mess with MOM with a pan and spoon in hand!

I finally got to the city, only be running around in the rain, I finally decide to head to the mall for G's new church clothes -- Well, I wasn't alone at the mall ~ today is the first day of spring break and I believe that every kid in the county was at the mall. Panda Express had a line 10 deep every time I walked by!

I'm home now, Skipper is outside in the sprinkles, my little bit of groceries are up and I'm wanting to go relax with the cover up to my chin and not come out until tomorrow.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Simple Joy

I got to hang out one load of laundry this week. W was the lucky person who got their bedding hung out this week. I love to look outside to see the wind blowing and whipping the clothes dry.
Just a about a hour after this picture was taken there was a huge clap of thunder -- I had to rush out gather the sheets before the ran drops hit! OH, well -- now you know the rest of the story!

And He rides with the Wind.....

G pretends that it's a dirt bike, so he MUST wear the dirt bike helmet. I think it makes him look top heavy. G perfected the bike riding Friday, while I painted. I caught the trick of the moment. He certainty has alot of confidence! When Hubby got home G informed him that he'd rode up and down the drive way 40 times, they got the calculator out and figured that he'd traveled 6.4 miles!

the Reveal.....

The Before
The After
I'll be changing the light fixtures but for now it's done!

Price of Things

A gallon of Gas ~3.16
A gallon of Milk ~3.59 (Whole) 3.35 (Skim)
A Loaf of Bread ~ 2.99
Strawberries ~2.99 (pound)
Blueberries ~ 2.99 (4.4 oz)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pass The Advil, NOW PLEASE!

Today was the day my bedroom and bathroom got color!

It was frustrating and I wanted to scream at times, but it's just almost done now. W came in and gave me 30 minutes of painting just when I needed it most. That helped eliminated the last of the white walls. Boy, did I fell better after that I felt like there was actually a light at the end of the paint can.

My right arm feels like it's going to fall off so I'm headed off to find the Advil and shower!

I took a picture of before and after -- but you'll have to wait for that.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Hazel Mae!

I thought that today was my Grandma Rice's 87th Birthday but I just discovered it was yesterday! oops! I have alot of appreciation for my Grandma Rice, first her love of mowing the yard. I can remember going to her house on Saturday afternoons and she'd be just finishing up mowing, the smell of the freshly cut yard and her shoes were grass stained. I must get my love of mowing the yard from her. My Grandma Rice taught me to tie my shoes. I can remember going to her house (on main street next door to our house), she got a piece of yarn out and wrapped it around her leg. I sat on the floor while she showed me how and then I practiced on her leg while she sat there crocheting. Another early memory I had was of her sitting on her back porch shaking a big jar of milk, making butter, my uncle Gary came home with had bad sunburn, she stopped got out the vinegar and sponged him down with vinegar. I can smell it now! Happy Birthday Grandma, I love you!

Just How Can this Be?

Last Night hubby and I were rushing around inside the house trying to get out the door for W's last basketball game, I hurried by a window to notice G was halfway up the drive way turning his bike around. I went outside just in time to see G riding his bike back to the garage. This may not seem like an interesting bit of news to most of you but let me fill you in on the background.

G hasn't ever learned to ride a bike! He tried with training wheels but didn't really like the feel of wobbling back and forth, he didn't trust them. Then the training wheels broke and he wanted NO Part of riding without training wheels. Last summer was pretty much a wash since the week before G broke his arm a little girl in his classroom broke her arm riding her new bike! G didn't want any part of that again either! I spend the last part of the summer asking him, pleading with him to just try. G would calmly ask "but why do I need to learn to ride a bike?" He was so convincing that I, too began to wonder why kids learn to ride bikes! So the little bike sat in the garage, always looming around the give away pile. G was quickly out growing the little bike that we had and I knew that I had one more chance to get this done. I had to try again. I would not give up this year -- G WOULD learn to ride a bike next week over Spring Break!

Last night he was outside waiting for us, saw the bike in the garage and wondered if he could ride it. He hopped on and rode up the drive way!
Just How Can this Be?

I just finished reading.........

"Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter"
by Shelly Brady.
Bill Porter was born with Celebral Palsy, but never let it become an obstacle in his life. Bill walked miles and miles everyday through the neighborhoods of Portland for 40 years becoming the top salesman for the Watkins company. Shelly Brady worked for him and learn some great life lessons from him.
This is a nice quick and easy read.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hump day Updates

This week started out in my mind as one that I'd get alot done around here, but things haven't worked out that way, thus far.

I have been working on getting hubby's new van licenced and then converted for him to drive. The conversion was a 5 hour appointment, but I just stayed in the city and wasted time, and not too much $. But still it was time away from home not getting the things done that I wanted to get done. It's all done (at least for this week) and hubby drove off in his new van for the first time this morning!

W's Madrigal (singing) group went to an area college yesterday to be critiqued yesterday. This group is getting ready to go to competition in Chicago so they're getting professional tips! As I've said before W lives in the minute and loved the trip, and is pumped about going to the competition, even though he knows they need to work hard before going. Knowing their music director they'll be right where they're supposed to be in Chicago!

W's track experience is going well, all of the track coaches from last year retired so there is new blood in the track program. This is exciting for everyone involved as the new coaches are mixing things up in a effort to take 1st place in state this year (they placed 2nd last year). W, who hasn't done track events in a couple of years will be running the 4x400 in addition to his long jump and triple jump. The first track meet will RIGHT after spring break!

What for Supper?

I didn't ever get around to pre-planning menus for this week so we're not having anything great to share with you. On Monday G picked ham with Mac 'n Cheese I think all of you know how to make that but if you need directions let me know. Last week I discovered and made a new dessert. It'll hold us over until good fresh berries are in the stores!
Mixed Berry Cobbler
2 (12oz) bags of frozen mixed berries - thawed
1/4 cup Whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 orange, zest finely grated (about 2 Tbsp) I thought this was a bit much - I'll decrease the zest or may even leave it out next time.
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar (divided)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 Tbsp Canola oil.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large large bowl, toss berries with WW flour, sugar and zest. Pour into baking dish.
In a medium whisk the WW flour, all purpose flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the butter until many small pebble-sized are formed.
In a small bowl whisk together butter milk and oil. Add to the dry mixture until moistened. (may not be all of the liquid)
Do Not over mix.
Drop batter onto the fruit forming 6 mounds.
sprinkle with remain sugar.
bake for 30 minutes, fruit will be bubbly and top golden.
let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Simple Joy AND Just How can this be -- all together!

This past Christmas my boys gave me the 3 things that have brought me joy. The first is the fluffy blanket in the background. It's all cozy and ever so warm, I love to curl up with it on a chilly evening with a book. The next thing is the Cherry Blossom body spray (on the right side of the picture) I love the smell, so clean and fresh. I spray the blanket with it just so the blanket will smell like me. If someone else get cozy in the blanket they'll think of me. Then there was the surprise of last week, I got the hand soap for Christmas (from G and W) also, but didn't get it out until last week. I love the smell! It stays with me for awhile.
Now Just How can This be? I've been in Bath and Body works a million times and never thought I'd like any of these things -- now Just how can it be that those silly boys, BOYS no less, find somethings that wouldI love, but hadn't ever found myself? Huh? Just how can this be? I love those Boys!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Last Chance Friday

Today wasn't really a last chance Friday, where I try to get things done before everyone's home on the weekend, because the boys were at home. It was still a catch up, tie up the loose end Friday.

I needed to pay bills (done but not mailed. does that count?), finished pulling off the wallpaper border, that was coming off in half inch shreds (done), get the construction items out of the bedroom (done), menu for next week (not done), and laundry (not done but about to be started), deal with Chicago trip (done), .... Ok you get the point -- tie up the loose ends.

G got to watch the birds this morning. There is a BlueJay that visits every morning about 9am. G always wants to get a picture of him but since the Jay is a late riser G misses him everyday. G got to see him but didn't get the picture... YET! there is always tomorrow.

W had the job of getting all the 4wheelers in to the shop for their spring tuneups -- that was a chore and took him all day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Just How Can this be?

What kind of Mother am I?
Last week G was talking about the great cough drop that someone had given him. When I said, "it was just like a Life saver", he replied "What's a Life Saver?"

Just How Can this Be?
So today G tried Life Savers!
His favorite flavor is Grape so far.

Hump Day Updates!

This is such a treasured trophy. It's G's. G has longed for a trophy like his older brother's for a great while. When W was G's age whether it be soccer or basketball they all got trophies every season, then somewhere in time they started giving out medals. G has only gotten medals and even though he's pleased with his medals, he wanted trophies like W. He would often ask me why he wasn't getting trophies like W. Trying to do my best I would try to help him understand that there wasn't really a difference but in G's world there was a difference. Fast forward to last Saturday afternoon....... They gave G his much awaited trophy. The look on his face when he saw them wheel the table out lined with Trophies was PRICELESS! G and the trophy were inseparable the rest of the day. Yeah to G for a great Basketball season!

We finally got hubby's new van. It's so nice. Now we're waiting some parts to have it converted for hubby! Won't he look classy driving around?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What's for supper?

This is a new recipe for our family and for the most part we REALLY liked it.
Very Good Spaghetti Sauce
Brown 1 pound ground beef
with 1 minced clove garlic,
and 1 medium chopped onion
Drain -- then add
1 green pepper diced (optional)
2 more diced garlic cloves
2-16 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1-7 ounce can mushrooms
As this simmers -- add
2 Tablespoons dried crushed Basil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Simmer up to 30 minutes.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Grandma Smith

Today is my Grandma's Birthday, she's 98. She's still here physically but not mentally. I love her and miss her. Grandma was the stereo-typical Grandma, baking cookies, making clothes, doing whatever she could to make your visit comfortable. She had a quiet but fun wit about her. I'm grateful that I see that wit in my brother and my son! Even though I'm still funnier than both of them!

Windy Weekend!

Should I post about the stick that scrapes the outside wall sounding like a squeaky rocking chair, or the piece of some distant neighbor's trash blowing across our field only stopping when it hits the fence, or the fact that there wasn't much a need to put the finishing touches on my hair before leaving for church, or the feathers fluffing up on the birds as they try to eat, or the wire in the ceiling that isn't tacked down and flops in the wind or the tired arms from trying to keep the car on the road? OR the fact that it sounds like the roof is going to blow off at any minute! All happening when the wind blows around here and this past weekend the wind blew HARD. The weather man said gust up to 50mph at times! With the southerly wind was the warm weather of 60's and 70's but all is done today! It's 30 with a north wind!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Simple Joy

Laughter is a wonderful joy and this is movie does just that . One of my favorites " Pixar Short films". It's filled with the short films that are shown before Pixar movies, such as Toy Story, and Monsters, inc. My favorites are the "Birds", "Nick Nacks" and the "Tin Toy". They make G and I laugh out loud every time we watch it, which is often. I would also recommend watching the movie with the directors commentary. There are some interesting tidbits that make the movies that much more interesting. Don't forget the popcorn!