Friday, September 29, 2006

Hair Did

I sure 'nuff did.

The sides should have been a touch longer, but I'm so loving the new look!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Well, sweet J, you turned two about a week and a half ago. It seems like you were born about a minute and a half ago, but time flies when you're watching your heart walk around outside of your body, right? You are the pride and joy of your entire family. You are rotten and spoiled and you are all ours, we couldn't be happier. You are the typical baby of the family, slow to talk, quick to scream, and the object of everyone's complete and utter adoration. Since you've been slower to talk than your siblings were, you are a master of body language. There is no mistaking your desires, especially when you waggle your little finger and tell us, "'Mere! 'Mere!", pointing and acting your way through every day is what we've come to count on. You surprise us every day with a new word you can clearly articulate, but we will forever be on the lookout for your happy little dance that shows us the delight in your heart. You spend a good portion of every day trying to talk us out of just one more "bi-C" (vitamin C) and each time we give in, you very somberly mimic us telling you, "only one more, or you'll have a sore bum", you even point your little finger and roll your eyes.

You were so eager to ditch your diapers that you potty trained your little self to the point we could take you out in public with just your big girl panties. Then, for whatever reason, you decided big girl panties weren't all that and a bag of chips, and it's been diapers ever since. You are the most confounding bundle of opposition the world has ever known. You are ornery and sweet, mean and caring, shy and outgoing, scream in the car but you love to go places, the only thing we can count on is that you will do the opposite of what we expect...or not.

You surprise and delight your nursery teachers with your ability to hold a pencil correctly and string beads onto a pipe cleaner, too bad they can't see you run the Casio piano. You know which buttons to push to make it play all your favorite songs and you spend hours each day singing and dancing along with it. Your father and I often joke that you will be in third grade by the time you are six since you refuse to be left out of the homeschool day. We give you your "paypee" and "peepee" each day and you sit at the table with B and K and work just like they do. Just last night, you amazed us all with your ability to bean your sister, then your brother, in the head with a roll around ball at 15 paces. In fact, you can pretty much hit anything you throw at. Your dad couldn't be prouder. Your siblings have taken to wearing their batting helmets indoors.

You tell us "pfunny" (funny), "shash" (trash), "pitty" (pretty), "ticka" (tickle), "'ep meeee" (help me), "step-step", "uppy" (cup, up, puppy), "pee pee" (paper, pencil, get me to a bathroom, and look what I have), you love your "di-dow" (pillow) and your "ki-ki" (blankie), and you have recently developed a love affair with "Bonnie", the big purple dinosaur. You also love Blue's Clue's and have a special sound you use for that, it sounds nothing like Blue or Clue. You also roar. We aren't sure why you do it, but you think it is hysterical. Perhaps the funniest thing you do lately is bring daddy your cat book, and then make daddy chase you with it. You giggle and flirt and dramatize the kitty getting you like it were a real, live cat chasing after you.

You hate clothes and spend a good part of each day as n@ked as a jay-bird. It really is something to see a n@ked girl flop herself onto her brothers skate board and scoot herself across the kitchen like super man. You've also perfected the art of n@ked-couch-flopping. This involves removing all the pillows from the couch, yelling "fi-fi" (excuse me) at the top of your lungs until any bodies that dared sit upon said couch move to another location, and then climbing onto the arm, standing up, and belly flopping onto the seat. You get extra points if you roll off the seat and onto the pillows that litter the floor from step one.

You've decided your sister is a good royal subject, and have decided she should be allowed to share your air. This was a wise decision on your part, your bubba loves you, but he's not nearly as cute in a princess dress. They both wait on you hand and foot, and I have to say, you owe them big-time. You are a fickle playmate and they are very patient with your impatience.

You are the best entertainment we've ever had. Watching you do crunches with me is enough to send us all into fits of laughter. When you get into trouble, you run to your room, scream for 5 minutes or so, and return as though nothing at all ever happened. We let our phones ring extra long just so we can watch you dance. You sing yourself to sleep each night and fill our world with a cuteness that is so blinding that we forgive you all your tantrums.

You are the best surprise we ever got. Happy Birthday little J.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Lied

I can't stay away. I'll go MIA tomorrow though.

I have to tell you about today's t-ball practice. K decided to play t-ball with her good friend S. K and S have been buddies since they were just babies. S's dad coached B last year during fall ball and had strict orders from S to make sure he got K on the t-ball team. He really is a peach of a coach, spends tons of time with the kids, really works with them and most importantly, he builds up their confidence and makes them feel really special. So today, we got to practice a few minutes early (I know, don't fall over from the shock) and he took the opportunity to work with S and K on their batting. As he was giving K some of the finer points of getting her feet set, she listened intently and did a great job of doing just what he asked. She hit a few balls and he continued to help her make fine adjustments and she hit a few more. He showed her a couple little tricks to help her pivot on her back foot, including giving her a "bug" to "squish" under her toe to help her remember, and he showed her how to get her bat back up over her shoulder. She listened intently to all of this, did exactly what she was supposed to, then she looked him right in the eye and said, "And we're supposed to get the red belt, huh?"

It really is all about the accessories.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Short, Quick Update

Not the best picture, but you get the idea. My uber talented friend, Zmom helped me line the shawl I found and we attached the sash at the edge, so it matches perfectly. Finally, we attached little clips on the inside that attach to the dress so it won't go flying off in a stiff breeze.

And I got an A on my test! I won't have much time this next week, so, see you when I get back from Freaky People Town.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mythbusting Mom Style

We love Mythbusters around here, and I recently did some myth-busting of my own. You know how you're supposed to wait until the dew "burns off" the grass to mow? The story is, that if you try to mow the grass while wet, the blades won't cut it. Well, I'm in a huge time crunch for the next two weeks, and so I put this myth to the test and mowed my grass in.the.rain. I can tell you that the blades cut just fine, and here are a couple more things I learned while busting this myth:

1. Rain in Texas ceases being warm when the temperature reaches below ninety.
2. Everyone who drives by waves when they see you mowing your grass in the rain. Then they laugh and point.
3. You children take their cue from you that they should also play in the rain.
4. When the water keeps running into your eyes, it is perfectly acceptable to get yourself an umbrella.
5. The mower doesn't like large puddles, slows the blades down a lot. And don't forget where the doggy holes are, those aren't just big puddles and mowers are heavy when they are buried to the axle in mud.

Also, the dress came. Round two, and this time it zipped. Huge step in the right direction. I tried it on with the "fixes" I found and I can't wait to post pictures! I need to make things permanent first, but once I work my magic, you will be AMAZED girls, just amazed! I'm so relieved.

I also took my first Biology test last night. I decided that maybe I should study. This is not something I've ever done before, this study...thing. About halfway through studying, I got to thinking, "What if college really is harder?" "I'm going to have to memorize all these terms?" "What was I thinking?" I then made the mistake of looking up the course in the catalog. The class I took is for science majors. How did I overlook that?! I got to class early, and apparantly, I wasn't the only one who was worried. Half the class was there quizzing each other. He handed out the test and I got to work. Halfway through I was practically singing. If I were not a happily married woman, I would have considered kissing my instructer. I'll find out whether I got an A or a B on Thursday.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Just wanted to take a moment and say that I remember.

We had just moved to Texas. I was listening to the radio while I dropped the kids off at school. The DJ's were confused, no one knew how a pilot could have made such a mistake. I got back to the house and decided to wash the car since hubster and the little kids weren't up yet. As I washed, I listened and as it became clear we were under attack, I went inside to turn on the TV. We watched as the towers fell. We moved around that day in a dream-like state. I remember hearing fighter jets roar over the house, and running outside to see if there were new horrors that weren't yet on the TV.

We watched National Geographic's special tonight, and the images were as horrifying today as they were five years ago.

Yes, I will always remember.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Reason to Love Homeschool #437

I'll bet booger doesn't even make the weekly spelling list at PS.

Home School Picture Day

Remember school picture day? It's been a looooooong time since we've done school pictures. I hated that they were so expensive and didn't turn out that great. So we started taking the kids to Sears, they take a fun photo and they used to mail out SUPER good coupons. $8.99 packages packages seem to be a thing of the past now though. So I thought I'd try my hand at some pictures for the quickly growing clan. Notice K's first missing tooth?

Some other favorites are on the Drop Shots bar. The one where J is looking down would look great in B&W. Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another Official Post

I'm renewing my love of meal planning and once every week or two cooking. Frankly, once a month cooking has never really worked for me, and I'm OK with that. I know Gabriella used to do Freezer Food Friday, so her blog is a great place for some recipe's and ideas to get your juices flowing. I'll post a couple recipe links, but today, I'm going to focus on my method:

Break it down: Think of your month in terms of weeks. A week is really just 5 days. 5 big meals for each day of the work/school week, one day to eat left-over’s and one day to cook what you’re “in the mood” for. The beauty of creating a meal plan, is that you can re-use it indefinitely! The biggest tip I can give you is to get in a routine. Try to plan your menu, shop, and prepare foods at the same time each day, week and month. I usually don't worry too much about lunches. I buy sandwich stuff, keep mac and cheese on hand and occasionally make up a batch of chicken salad people can use during the week. Lunch kind of falls into place around here.

Get the right tools: You will need:
3X5 index cards
Zip-lock Bags, every size from Sandwich to 2 Gallon.
Sharpie Marker
Tin Foil
Waxed Paper
Sharp knives
At least two cutting boards
Large pans/platters

Get a game plan!
Start with a clean kitchen. Always. If your kitchen sink is full of dishes, you will not feel like cooking and adding to the mess. Once you have a clean work area, drag out your calendar, pen, 3X5 cards and recipe box. Sit down and give yourself plenty of room. Look at your month and see where events like birthdays, late meetings and unusual circumstances fall. I recommend planning at least a week at a time, the more planning you do, the less time you’ll spend overall.

GO!: On each card, list a dish you’d like to serve for breakfast, and a meal you’d like to serve for dinner. Keep in mind your calendar needs, and realize that we are going to prepare dinner once, maybe twice, a week! The only meals you’ll make during the week will be breakfasts. For your dinners, focus on meals that will freeze and reheat well. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Marinated meats are a staple in our household.

Make up about 14 cards with breakfast/dinner combinations to start. As you go, use one card to make your shopping list for purchasing the groceries you’ll need.

Stick to the plan!: Whether you plan to cook and shop weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, it pays to have at least one month worth of completed index cards. Even if you choose to go to once a month cooking, it will still payoff to spend 20-30 min each week making sure your plan is in order and you have everything on hand that you need. During your planning session, once you have several cards made up, all you have to do is re-mix the cards and you have a brand new menu!

When it’s time to go to the store, start with a clean fridge and pantry. I usually try to plan my shopping day so that I can do the bulk of my prep work when I put the groceries away. Before I leave for the store, I set up several work area’s with the recipes and equipment I’ll need when I get back, and I make sure I will have room in my fridge and freezer to store them. When I return from the store, the meats are placed in one area, the dairy products put away and I prepare the meat dishes before I put them in the fridge or freezer. I don’t always cook each one, marinated meats are dumped in a pan or put on the grill the night they are served, mini meat loaves and stuffed chicken and pork chops are individually frozen, uncooked, on waxed paper in jelly roll pans, then transferred to ziplock bags until the night before they are needed. If I make dishes where the meat is in sauce or might not freeze well, I will go ahead and cook them, then store them in ziplock bags in the fridge, and just use them early during the week.

Some recipe's to get you started:

Salisbury Steak I make this into meatballs and cook before freezing or refrigerating.
Stuffed Chicken CutletsThe dark horse I didn't expect the family to go nuts over. These are SOOOOOO good.
Pamela on Recipe Zaar Has a bunch of recipe's for OAMC, the chicken cutlets came from her, and we also loved the Honey Glazed Dump chicken.
Amish Baked Oatmeal Don't forget breakfast! I make this with regular oats instead of quick, use 25% less sugar than called for, double the amount and cook overnight on low in the crock pot. To die for. My kids think it's dessert.

They CAME!

B feels like an official 2nd grader now.

We've been getting "official" around here a lot lately.

We'll be your "official" source of all things mundane and boring. Boring is good. Baseball starts tomorrow. That will not be boring.

I did find a fun steal for my new t-ball girlie:

Yes, a PINK t-ball helmet. On clearance for $2 at Wally Mart. I am so sad I didn't buy the pink and robin's egg blue mitt they had on clearance two months ago. I'm almost secretly hoping her brother's old cleats won't fit. Yes, they make PINK cleats. I know. It's a sickness, really.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I Didn't Die!

I felt yuck-o-la most of last week, but awoke on Monday to a much better feeling self. Now the crud is working it's way through the fam, but hopefully the kids will be spared the worst of it. Thanks for the kind comments, even while I let my blog reading go to pot.

College is making me feel old! In my REMEDIAL math class last week, we were discussing mean and median and I, being the accounting minded individual that I am, asked when we'd even really care about median. The teacher who, is obviously well versed in the meaning of REMEDIAL, offered the example of purchasing a house in a neighborhood with fairly consistant property values and one odd-ball, high property value. Gotcha. Then a bubble blowing, Gucci bag toting, flip-flop wearing little gal on the back row piped up, and this is what she said:

"As a woman, and as a shopper, median means a lot to me, so that I buy items that are reasonably priced and I don't overspend on like items."

OK. Whatever.

Two minutes later, we're handed a worksheet:

"Bob's electricity bills for January, February and March were $178, $295, and $150, what is Bob's average electricity bill for these three months."

Here's the conversation that went on in my head:

"As a responsible, bill paying adult, it would be a cold day in Pergatory before I gave one moment's thought to the median in this equation. In fact, it's been so long since I had the need to think of anything other than bill paying and budgeting, it's no wonder my poor little brain rejected the idea of using a median."

And it was then that I KNEW:

I am an official grownup.

I think like one. I look like one. I act like one, and best of all, I'm OK with being one. Perception is everything.