Friday, September 30, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday - My Handwriting. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Comment Spam

The random comments are getting out of hand, so I've turned on the word verification. Please still leave your comments, because I love them. Thanks, friends!

Three Things Thursday

(1) I am an oldest child.

(2) I have a BS in mathematics.

(3) When I laugh really hard, my eyes tear up and it looks like I’m crying.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Conversations with Sally

On the way home from school yesterday, Sally shared this with me: "So I had to go to the nurse today to get some ice, because I've got anchors."
Me: (trying to be calm) "You've got what?"
Sally: "Anchors. In my mouth. They are all bleeding, too."
Me: "Do you mean cankers, like canker sores?"
Sally: "Oh yes, CANKERS. I've got cankers all over my mouth."
Me: (seeing an opportunity) "You know, Sally, I know how to avoid getting canker sores."
Sally: "Really? How?"
Me: "You need to eat less sugar and drink more water."
Sally: "Oh brother!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Five Things Meme

I've been tagged by Sherry to do this little meme (by the way, "meme" is pronounced mEm and is "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture." I didn't know; had to look it up.)

5 things I plan to do before I die:
~Take my kids to Washington DC
~Write a novel that someone will refer to as “literature”
~Travel in Egypt
~Hold my grandchild
~Learn to speak Arabic

5 things I can do:
~Ignore my regular routine while I finish reading a book
~Bake yummy desserts
~Make my family laugh
~Play the piano and a little flute
~Tap dance

5 things I cannot do:
~Lie (at least not very well)
~Keep my house spotlessly clean
~Speak another language
~Add in my head quickly (Since I was a math major, this is a real disappointment to most people.)
~Understand how it is possible to not believe in God

5 things that attract me to other people:

5 things I say most often:
~That’s so GREAT!
~Put your shoes away.
~Mommy needs her coffee . . .
~Where is the boy?
~I love you no matter what.

5 celebrity crushes:
~Shawn Cassidy (when I was nine)
~Tom Cruise (but not anymore)
~Sean Connery
~Johnny Depp
~Kate Winslet (who says I can’t have a crush on a girl? She’s wonderful)

5 people I want to do this:
~Amber (of Amber&Crew)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Infamous Fred Bars

My mom is a fabulous baker. In fact, I'm sure many of my high school friends liked me so well because of my mom's baking skills. We had homemade cookies at least once a week. And her pie crust . . . ahh, it is the best. Her most famous, or infamous, dish has to be the Fred Bars, named after one of her high school boyfriends who loved these things. Even though Fred is long gone, the name has stuck. We've tried to change it to Dave Bars (after my dad) and now I should call them Stu Bars, but it just doesn't fit. They will always be Fred Bars. (The 'real' name is Peanut Butter Fingers, but you should really put at the top of your recipe card:  Sheila's Mom's Fred Bars.) I am reading this recipe from a card that my mom wrote - one of the best gifts I've ever recieved. She hand wrote all our favorite recipes and gave my sister and I each a recipe card box full when we got married. I refer to them all the time. I love that she wrote them all by hand. I can see her, sitting at the round table in her kitchen, drink of water close at hand. Thank you, Mom. I love you.

And one more thing. If you like more of a cookie form, you must try the Nestle Old-fashioned Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are quite wonderful. I just made some this last week. Very tasty.

Sheila's Mom's Fred Bars

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Add to that:
1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Stir in:
1 cup flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
Spread in greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Do not overbake! Sprinkle bars with 1 cup of chocolate chips. Return to oven (that is turned OFF) for 2-3 minutes to soften chocolate chips. In a small bowl, combine:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2-4 Tbsp. evaporated milk (I always use regular milk and it comes out fine)
Spread softened chocolate chips over bars. Drizzle with peanut butter mixture.* Cool; cut into bars. Makes 4 dozen.

Recipe by Sheila at musings of a
*You can use a knife to make a marbled swirl pattern (my mom's style) or you can drizzle straight lines of the peanut butter sauce and then run a knife through them (up, then down, then up, etc) to make a pattern. Or, make up your own style and name them after your special someone :) If you end up under-baking them and they fall apart, serve them with ice cream. Enjoy! (Sherry, these will definately win you mommy awards on difficult days. Stock up on chocolate chips and oats and always let them lick the bowl!)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday

My favorite jammies. My mom got me the pants. I wear them with a white or black tank top. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Quote for the Day

"Reading for pleasure, reading a novel while you are on the bus or the train or the subway, reading a biography instead of returning all your boss's e-mails, reading philosophy in the back of a seminar that your corporate team sent you to, reading a short prose poem translated from Spanish by your favorite Chilean playwright in the coffee shop, reading a movie review on-line at the place where you pay bills when you are too late to mail them - just reading novels and books in general will greatly aid you in your pursuit not to be rich, if only in their sheer time-as-money-wasting capacity. It makes a practicing nonbazillionaire like myself tremble to consider how much money I could lose reading Anna Karenina."
~ Robert Sullivan, How Not to Get Rich: Or Why Being Bad Off Isn't So Bad, quoted in Real Simple Magazine, October, 2005.

Three Things Thursday

(1) I love pumpkin, but I don’t like the color orange.

(2) I am an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs.

(3) I love to read. I keep a list of the books I’ve read, going back about five years. It gives me a great feeling of accomplishment, that list.

About Three Things Thursdays: Every Thursday, post three random facts about you. Then come and post a comment here with a link to your blog. Play with us - it's fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Can't Make This Stuff Up

Sally runs inside (she'd been in the backyard playing for about one minute) and tells me, "Mom! You are not going to believe this, but there is a huge mouse in the poop trash. It's huge! It's so disgusting! Come see . . ." OK, I am filled with fear and a cold sweat breaks out all over my body. So we go out to see the poop trash - this is a small trash can that I leave on the side of our house, in the grass, to put the dog poop in. Samuel and Sally like to use the pooper scooper, and I don't like to have them drag a full pooper scooper all around the patio. Hence the trash can . . . Yes, it is disgusting. Yes, it is quite dead. No, not a mouse. A possum. A dead possum, on top of the poop, covered in ants. Is that just the sickest thing you've ever heard of? So, after I freak out inside, I calmly usher the kids into the house, turn on a cartoon, grab a trash bag, and take a deep breath. I threw the whole thing in the large trash with a heavy lid.

Afterwards, as I related this tale to my husband, he asked me if I washed my hands. Why would I need to wash my hands, I asked? I didn't even remotely come close to handling this thing. There was NO WAY I was going to try and save that trash can. It's history. It's so gone. And yes, I scrubbed my hands in hot water. Twice.

And today was trash day. So this thing will be in there for the next week. I know it's dead, and it's covered up now, but still. It's there.

I will never like possums.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It's probably magic

Last night, we had quite the storm. It was preceded by the largest, most beautiful rainbow. The kids and I sat in the driveway and marveled at it, quiet in our thoughts. Sally was looking for God, as we had just finished a quick funeral for a bumblebee. (She brought this thing to me and asked for some honey. She was sure that with just a little honey, he'd be ok. I told her that no amount of honey would bring this little guy back, as he was nearly headless. She insisted that he moved a bit in the wind, and didn't even try to sting her as she picked him up by the wings, the poor sick little creature. But he was very dead. She teared up and was very sad, so we had a little funeral for him.) I was glad to sit down and be still. Samuel, well, who can know what goes on in his mind?

Then it was time for our bible study. As we sat with our close friends, discussing Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, the lightening and thunder flashed and crashed outside. I even lit some candles as the power flickered once. Sadly, it never went out. It would have been great to finish up our group with candlelight and silence. But, it was not to be. So instead, we finished with cake and ice cream and Pirates of the Caribbean. It was Talk Like A Pirate Day yesterday, did ye not know, ye scallywags? Arrr! (Here's another fun site: KeepToTheCode)

In the middle of the night, the thunder crashes woke us all up. Sally and Samuel woke up first, and I admitted defeat. Samuel slept with Daddy, and Sally and I slept in the bottom bunk. I had just nodded off when a huge crash woke me up, and I grabbed her and started laughing at myself. Then, our silly dog joined us. He's quite afraid of the thunder, so he snuggled up to us all night long. I'm pretty tired today. I hope Sally is ok at school. I'm planning quiet time/naps as soon as she gets home.

Thought I'd end with the lyrics of the great storm song, The Rainbow Connection. When did Sarah McLachlan sing this song? I'm sorry I missed that one. I love her voice.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell.
We know that it's probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Oranges are good. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sarcastic or Extremely Insightful?

I got a batch of Cosmo, People, and Entertainment Weekly magazines from my friend, J. Thanks, J! To a non-regular reader like me, they are like mind candy. Anyway, I'm flipping through the EW, and I find this article on the movie, The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Now, I've never watched The Exorcist, because I'd be plagued with nightmares of the worst kind. I try to avoid things like that. So I will probably not see this movie. However, it always interests me to know what the media thinks about things like evil, Satan, and hell. So I was really surprised to read this little quip:

"If the devil and his minions are so devilishly clever, why don't they express themselves in more nefariously unexceptional ways, blending in with the neighborhood to wreak havoc?"*

Hmmmmm. Maybe they are just so good at blending in that you can't even see them anymore, writer LS from EW. Ever think of that?

*Entertainment Weekly, September 16, 2005, page 61.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

On The Brink

Do you know how random things happen to you, and then all of a sudden the randomness doesn't seem random, how a pattern begins to take shape, and then something happens that makes all the random stuff make lots of sense and it all falls into place? Well, it's still random here, but I feel like a pattern may emerge yet. Like I'm on the brink of a new . . . I don't know yet. On the brink of something that God is trying to teach me, some new direction that my life will take. Something is there, but I don't see the pattern yet, and I'm getting a headache from looking so hard.

So I have to go play dolls and dress-up now. I know, it's a terrible burden. But someone's got to do it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday

The contents of my trunk - the back of the minivan. Note the NeatSheet and camping chair - for the soccer games. Also still toting the umbrella stroller - just in case. Ah, and the bag of books on the far right, looking for a good used bookstore to trade with. Yep, lots of good junk. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Three Things Thursday

"Three Things About Me" is now "Three Things Thursday" -- thank you to KMJ for suggesting the new title. Want to play? Every Thursday, post three random facts about you. Then come and post a comment here with a link to your blog. Here we go:

(1) I married my high school sweetheart.

(2) I love the new Dove ads - both the ones with the cartoon women and the ones with the women who aren't size 2. I have changed several of my usual brands to Dove to support their Campaign for Real Beauty.

(3) I do not like sweet pickles, but I love this recipe for sweet cucumbers. My grandma made it all the time, and the smell and taste remind me of her. Slice up a cucumber and put it in a glass jar. Add one cup of sugar and one cup of vinegar (plain white vinegar). Shake it up and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. (KMJ, you reminded me of this last week. You'd probably love this.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Everybody's a kid at heart! Posted by Picasa

Jessica and Sally (two of a kind) and Will (the bug killer hero) and Samuel go head-to-head on Arctic Thunder - hands down, the BEST game at Chuck E Cheese. Sally dominates the game - beat almost all of us at one time during the night. Posted by Picasa

Riding the wave runner - go Samuel! Posted by Picasa

We went to Chuck E Cheese last night for a little family fun. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Biggest Bug

The following is not a pretty story. Yesterday, when I brought some juice boxes in from the garage, a large bug fell out of the box. Yes, it was a cockroach. I HATE THEM! This one has been seen in our front bathroom, and I've seen it before in the garage, but I'm always so freaked out and busy screaming that I can't manage to squash it. So, it runs behind the TV, and I spend the better part of an hour pulling all the entertainment equipment away from the wall, slapping the floor with a stick to scare the thing, moving cords around, freaking out. To no luck. And I knew what would happen. And it did.

Later that night, I had some friends over to play a game. I knew the bug would come out when my friends were here. I was right. Stu and Will were here, too, when the thing crawls up the wall. I grabbed a floor cleaner, like a swiffer but with a bigger head, and slap it against this thing. It's not dead. So Will, my hero, grabs the swiffer and starts hitting it. He pins it down, and I move my stick and re-position it so it will catch the bug. Unfortunately, it is still alive. So I go loco on this thing, and whack it several times. Stuart sits in his chair, telling me to stop or I'll wake the kids up. I don't care anymore - this thing must DIE. So it's finally dead, and I catch it on my sweeper and carry it out to the trash. The dog looked at it, and backed away. It was that big. So disgusting.

And I know why the cockroaches reduce me to a screaming ninny. It is because of an unfortuante incident in Mexico, where a cockroach was on my shoulder in the bathroom in the middle of the night. I'm serious. It was horrible. And somewhere, as he reads this, my dad is laughing and soon he'll start into a few choruses of "La Coo-ca-ra-cha! La Coo-ca-ra-cha!" and do a little dance that involves brushing an invisible bug off of his shoulders. He thought it was a riot. My sister is probably laughing, too. Someday, I may even think it's funny.

Monday, September 12, 2005

252 Basics

Our church is starting a new kids program called 252 Basics. It's very cool, with lots of stuff for parents to follow up with at home. I put a link on the side, but I wanted to write about it, too, because I really like it. Good stuff. It comes from Luke 2:52: "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Our virtue this month is knowledge, and the kids learn about how true knowledge comes from the Lord.

And the winner is . . .

. . . Mrs. Fish! Congratulations on being my 10,000 customer, and thank you for sending me the photo of my page :) Thank you to everyone who played. I have no lovely parting gifts for you.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Soccer Mom

Yep, I'm a soccer mom. (minivan - check. portable chairs - check. child in soccer - check.) Sally's first game was great - she blocked a goal, and fell down to block another player. GO PINK PANTHERS!!!

Yes, she's already a serious player. Posted by Picasa

Sally is #11 - "Coach! I'm ready to play!" Samuel was seriously bummed that it isn't his turn to play "soc ball". Posted by Picasa

The Pink Panthers, Sally's first soccer team. She's in front, second from the right. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sally, on her birthday. This is a common sight - she is asleep, and the boy is still awake. He's just like Stuart - has the "no sleep" gene. It's a real bummer sometimes. Posted by Picasa

SPF - Junk Drawer

My junk drawer. It's a necessary evil. Notice there is a baby lock on this one - Samuel hasn't figured it out. Yet. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Some Thoughts on Milk

For you new moms out there, or those who've been around the block a few laps and need a reminder, here's some important things to remember about milk:

~ A "good mom" always will taste the milk before giving it to her child. The rest of us will at least perform the sniff test on milk to make sure it is ok. There should be no hint of sourness at all. (And, just for the record, if the milk smells like parmesian cheese, throw it out. Yes, all of it. Even if you just opened it and the date is still in the future. Bad smell = bad milk.)

~ The date on the container doesn't always reflect the freshness of the milk. Things happen. Always do the sniff test.

~ If your two year old says the milk tastes "yucky", trust him. Do not taste the milk yourself. If a child who will eat almost anything, who may (or may not) play tea party with toilet water, if that child says it tastes "yucky", it's yucky. Throw it out. Do not taste. Do not smell. You'll thank me for this one.

These random thoughts on milk were inspired by actual events that took place in our household last night. Indeed, I was sorry that I did not know that last little gem. It smelled bad, and tasted worse. Why would I taste something that smelled bad? Who knows . . . .

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New Friends

Elementary school holds many memories for me. I loved my fifth grade teacher. I can still hear her voice in my head when I read Where The Red Fern Grows, because she read it aloud to us during the spring. I was very afraid of my third grade teacher, because she yelled at my friend, Kerry, when she was trying to do a math problem at the board. In general, I loved school, but I didn't like recess very much. I was a shy girl, blessed with the double whammy of glasses and red hair. I had friends, but making friends didn't come easy to me.

I think parents fear that their experiences will be the same for their children, especially when it comes to school. At first, I was worried. I taught Sally how to make friends when she was young, thinking if she was armed with this skill, she'd be fine. It never occured to me that she is just a totally different person than me. As we arrived at school today, a little girl - 2nd grader - runs up to us and says, "Hi Sally!" I look at Sally, and she says, "This is my new friend; she's in my class." I tell her my name and ask her hers. Turns out, I know her mom. We chat a bit as we walk to the playground. "Hi Sally!" This time, it's our neighbors - twins in the 2nd grade. They talk to Sally a bit, then turn to Samuel, who is in awe that older kids would play with them. When I turn around, Sally has gone to sit in line with her other classmates. She is playing a patty-cake game with another little girl, another friend. This 1st grader wants to meet Sally's brother, tells us about her family. "Bye Mom! I love you!"

Second day of school, and she's got several friends and self-confidence to spare. In many ways, she's not like me at all.

Three Things About Me

(1) I put ice cubes and crushed ice in my water because I like it very cold.
(2) I think in maps. I like to go to new place only if I have looked at the map first, so I know where I am.
(3) I do not have a gall bladder. It was removed in 2003. I do not miss it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ready for school! (Samuel is doing his smiley face on the far right) Posted by Picasa

Samuel and Sally on her first day of first grade. (sniff!) They do grow up so fast! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 04, 2005

"Thanks for the tea"

Samuel loves playing tea party. Nothing is more fun than playing with Sally's tea set and pretend coffee pot. We even got him a plastic, primary colored tea set so he could have his own. So yesterday, he's playing tea, and he got some water from the bathroom (which I said was ok) and he's bringing us - Stu and I - cups of coffee and tea. We pretended to drink this, and in our pretending the water sometimes touched our mouth. Stu may have had an actual sip. I'm not sure. I may have, too. This tea party seemed to last a long time. I found a dried blade of grass in one cup, probably from the floor. Yuck. But not as yuck as this: later, Stu found several drops of water on the toilet seat. "Samuel, did you get the water out of the toilet? Or did you dump it in the toilet? Samuel? What did you do?" Stunned silence. "Water. Baffroom. I did it!" Um, not sure what that means . . . must go brush my teeth . . . several times . . . .do we have that super strong germ killing mouthwash, honey?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

SPF - Favorite Beverage

My favorite beverage is a starbucks drink - venti vanilla latte, or a venti gingerbread latte during the holidays. (sorry I missed last week!) Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 02, 2005

Drumroll please . . .

Another blog is born! Please join me in welcoming my cousin, Amber to BlogLand!

10,000th visitor?

My hit counter nears 10,000 . . . I'm pretty excited about that. If you are a frequent reader, please check it out and let me know if you are the 10,000th visitor. I'd like to offer you some lovely prizes, but, alas, I have none. Just the honor of holding the title: "My 10,000th Visitor". OK, I just thought of a prize: I'll post a photo of the winner, providing I have a photo of you and your approval to post said photo. Sound fun? You know it does.

Quote for the Day

"Christians believe that God loves us no matter how we behave, and we believe that our behavior matters."
~Theology Mom
(This is from a post I especially liked - I've been thinking about this lately and thought I'd put it here. Good deeds, good decisions, good behavior - it does matter. It is very important. Do the right thing!)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

"How you doin'?"

Future heartbreaker. Don't you just love the frown? Posted by Picasa

Fun Website

I've been blessed with a friend with an avocado tree! This site has been most helpful to me:
I'm planning on making a huge batch of guacamole and freezing it today, and Sally and I are going to try and grow some of our own. I know, I know, it takes years to grow a tree. I got time. I got space. So, when Sally is tweleve or thirteen, we'll have fruit-producing trees. Maybe.