Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The hugely embarrassing ending: I threw up after riding the Star Trooper.
I reluctantly say, "Ooookaay" and hop on a basket that swings from a strip of metal. It wasn't that bad the first time around. When Triston and I were done, Jackson is on the sidelines crying because he wanted to go too and he looks at me with pleading eyes. Travis is crowned King of ALL WUSSES, and I hop in the basket again.
The rest is history. I held it until we got home and then I upchucked my dinner. I blame Travis for not manning up and riding the freaking ride AND taking the curves on our CURVY too quick. Plus, he laughed at me and I heard him tell his brother on the phone, "That is awesome." So not cool, Travis. So not cool.
I surpassed the calls of motherhood that night. I hope they remember this. But, if they don't I will be sure to remind them. (and Travis, too. This surely earns a freebie of my choice, right?)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I had visions of a purple ribbon. "Grand Champion" cookies, I would boast, but it did not happen for me this year. I entered these babies in the country fair and got a blue ribbon for them. A blue ribbon does not do these cooks justice--they truly are the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever, which I properly labeled on the entry form. Whoever judged apparently did not get the memo--I lost to Pumpkin Bread. (and we all know it was probably quick bread from a box OR the judge's relative, but whatever.)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Last night, we went to the Brown County State Fair/4-H Fair. I was getting the feeling that Fair Week is kind of a big deal around here---I was right, and I love it. I guess I could say that I am a fair person--solely for the food. Nothing makes me happier than the whiff of good Kielbasa Sausage and fried Elephant Ears. Oh, and a Big Red. You've got to have a Big Red at the fair, right? And a Lemonade Shake-up. And Cotton Candy. And Fried Tenderloins.....
The fair was bombarded by teenagers, which of course I expected. But, I have never seen so many teenagers that look like this:
And I was totally disturbed. Skinny jeans do not look good on boys. On any boys. Ever. But especially on people who are not rock stars, or in the case of the band Metro Station, pop stars or electronic music stars? I just don't know.
I totally get it, now. I totally get why parents cringe and worry and fuss over their teens. I totally get why parents fear the coming-of-age adolescent and that kid's need to be an individual AND DRESS LIKE THAT. I totally get how things could always be worse than how your kid dresses, but ohmygosh, I would die if my boys were rocking that gear. And I totally felt like I was 52 instead of 26. Especially when one of the aforementioned "dressers" whispered something to his friend and they looked at either me or Travis and laughed.
And to my Mom and Dad: I am totally sorry I put you through the teen years. Forgive me quick before Triston, Jackson, and Bryce hit puberty (cringe) and I have to go through that. Okay? Good.
More fair stories to come with a hugely embarrasing ending.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Getting ready for church on Sunday, Jackson walks in my bedroom and says, "Mom, you look pwretty. Are you going to be a pwrincess?" (I was wearing a gauzy ruffly skirt, which is my favorite, ever, that I got on sale at the Gap for $16.00 last year. It's the perfect shade of blue, and I just love it. That morning I matched it up with a black-fitted tee and leopard print ballet flats. Love it.)
At church, Jackson crawls up on my lap and whispers, "You have the pwrettiest eyes, Mom".
Yesterday at dinner, Triston asks if one day he will like girls. I told him, "Absolutely", but secretly I was cringing. He says, "But there is no other girl as pretty as you. Can't I just marry you?" Jackson chimes in, "yeah, I'm going to mare-wee you too and wive with you forever.
Add in Bryce and all the kisses he slobbers all over my face and the joy that lights up his eye when I walk into the room (unless he is doing something he is not supposed to like unwrapping ALL of the toilet paper from a double roll and stuffing it into the toilet. So not cool.).
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
My french experiment. It was quite simple--I got it out of a French cookbook for kids. But, it was delightful. A recipe I will add to the rotation.
any kind of chicken (I used chicken breast cut in half)
1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. thyme + extra for sprinkling
1/4 t. pepper
bay leaf, finely crumbled
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
Combine flour, salt, thyme, and pepper, mix well. Meanwhile, heat butter and oil together until melted. Roll chicken pieces in flour mixture and place into pan. Brown chicken and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle chicken pieces with thyme, bay leaf and garlic. Add chicken broth, gradually, and mushrooms to pan.
Stir and cover (with a slight opening so steam can escape). Reduce heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes. You will have a yummy extra tender chicken dinner. Spoon mixture over chicken upon serving. Yum.
Canned tomatoes (I used canned garden tomatoes, about 28 oz.)
1 can of chicken broth (you could use vegetable broth also)
*I guess-timate a lot. Use your own discretion when measuring. Also, make sure you add enough sugar to counter-act the acidity of the tomatoes!
Saute a little garlic and onion in olive oil until tender. In a blender, combine tomatoes, broth, sauteed garlic and onion, and rest of ingredients. Puree until smooth and pour into pot. Bring to a rolling boil and serve with grilled cheese. I added a dollop of sour cream to top the soup.
My family goes crazy for this. It's a family recipe that we picked up in Tennessee. It started out as a Holiday breakfast, but has worked its way into dinner on a week night. I've also made it for several brunches, especially good for showers.
1 lb. breakfast sausage
2 cups shredded Colby-jack or cheddar
1 package crescent rolls
Preheat oven at 350. Open crescent rolls and layer the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan with 2 triangles. Try to stretch crescent rolls to cover bottom. Place in oven until rolls start to puff. Set aside. Meanwhile, cook sausage according to package, drain, set aside. Crack eggs in medium sized bowl and beat until you have a consistency like you were making scrambled eggs. Add cheese and mix well. Combine with sausage and mix well. Pour sausage mixture into pan on top of puffed crescent rolls. Place remaining crescent rolls on top and bake until top is golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I was in awe. Awe because I really do live in the most beautiful part of the state. Awe because after so much negativity about this area, I was enlightened. Here I've been grumbling about feeling stuck where we are and wishing for our time here to expire so we can move on to bigger and better things. (i.e. a bigger city).
What a silly girl I am. There's quite a lot more than meets the eye around here.
The next day I go into town and run into another t-ball parent. Then the librarian asks me how we're doing and she means it. Then a lady I've come to know from work shows up at the same yard sale. Then some random man strikes up a conversation at CVS. Turns out his kids went to USI and now they are in law school--weird. It's kind of nice to run into people you know. Or, even if you don't you find out you really do--indirectly.
You don't find that in a bigger city. Or, at least not on the same scale.
Another road trip is planned. Too much too be covered in one day, but I'm packing my camera this time and I can't wait to document my finds.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Before I had children, I had only one cavity. I used my own discretion, there in the dentist office that time, when he asked me, "metal or white". I didn't know that white fillings cost so much more than the metal ones, a fact that my mom so kindly let me in on when she received the bill in the mail a few weeks later. I should have mentally marked that experience for the future.
Fast-forward eight years. I go to the dentist in April of this year and he tells me I have five 5! cavities that need to be filled. Metal is no longer an option. Porcelain On lays, he tells me, at a whopping 700.00 a piece is what I need. After a series of mis-communications that left me feeling like they didn't really want me as a patient anyway, I hunkered down in a chair for an hour and half and let a guy who says he got C's in dental school go to work. There is all sorts of wrong about this.
Afterwards, I paid my very-large-for-just-went-down bill and rescheduled to get the other side done. Two weeks later and I can feel just the slightest twinge of something when I bite down on that side AND one of the teeth that was worked on is so sensitive that even mouth wash stings.
I feel like they are doing some dental trickery on me, if you will. What happened to just the regular ol' cavity filler? And, will it cost less if I refuse the movie they offer during the procedure? I'm supposed to go back tomorrow to finish up, but I'm going to have them check the one side they already did. You know, just to make sure I got my 600.00 dollars worth done right.
Travis has always said if he could do it over, he'd be a dentist. Now I know why.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I told Travis that I wanted Chicken Fajita Nachos, my most favorite dish at this particular restaurant. It's a huge portion of chips doused in that creamy Mexican cheese and topped with Fajita style chicken, onions, and green peppers. Top it with a little sour cream and jalapenos and Oh. My. Gosh. As I waited for him to return with the goods, I got an episode of Lost ready to go.
He walked in, we sat down, and began feasting on delicious food AND a thriller--a most exciting combination.
In my anxious state--watching that show, I completely lost track of what I was doing. Not only did I watch 4 FOUR! episodes in a row (with a little fast-forward action), I ate the entirety of those Fajita Nachos, half a bag of chips and salsa, and some of Travis'.
What is wrong with me?!
You can imagine the heartburn I faced last night. And guess what? It's 11 A.M. today, and it's still with me. You can also imagine that after watching four episodes of anything, my head was spinning. I didn't sleep well. But oh my gosh, it was so freaking exciting. Ah!
I deemed today as a day of cleanse. This is a I cannot believe I freaking ate all that food and watched all that T.V., DO NOT stop moving today, run three mile, eat very little food, drink lots of water, no T.V., never do that again cleanse. And I guess we should set up some rules for our recreational activities from now on, too.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Bryce peeking around the corner at Shrek
Never mind I've chosen to rock the woodgrain panels and original 1986 brown shag to the world: check out that face. It's one of sheer terror and one that makes my heart aflutter. I love seeing my kids scared, the face that accompanies is just the cutest thing ever. It can be a fine line though, understanding the science of scaring. Alas, I know from personal experience.
Right before we moved to Jacksonville, we stayed with Travis' parents for six-ish months. Travis' dad runs dogs, or used to run dogs, and I guess he was pretty good at it because he has among his trophies, one in the form of a stuffed bird. A stuffed bird that used to be ALIVE. Triston, being the 15-month-old animal lover that he was, was naturally drawn to the bird and would point and say "Gunh", which was his word for "Bird" (for, like, ever.) . I would get the bird down and set it on the table at his eye-level and let him look at it, all the while knowing there was a hint of caution in his eye. (I so wish I could find a picture of that bird...it was intense.)
You get bored when you don't have your own home....ahem, something I know all too much about and it wasn't long before I started making the bird move ever so slightly across the table and making soft "coos" that made Triston's head snap up. He would look at me and make the face and I would hug him and tell him it was alright. So cute. But, somehow that morphed into me actually scaring the crap out of him with the bird. I would make the bird "caw" and he would run to me and make the cute face. It sort of became a game...only one he didn't really like. Oh, come on, it was only a few times....and his Nana and aunt helped, so there.
But then, we were at my mom's house one night. Triston had just watched Monsters Inc. and I could tell his "monster awareness" was off the charts. It was getting close to bedtime and he was coming down the hall--the darkened hall. Like a bona fide idiot, I stood in the shadows and jumped out at him and growled. What a mom.
He was never the same. To this day, he still cautiously walks down the hallway at my mom's house. He wants every light on in his vicinity if it's dark outside. We have had many a argument over why I'm not going to stay in his room until he falls asleep, and we've stumbled over him in the morning upon waking because he has made a bed for himself right beside us in the middle of the night. Worst of all, I lost his trust that night. Even now, if he is really scared about something, I can tell my presence does little to calm him. I really have to talk him out of it and every once in awhile he ends up scaring me. (Like when Travis is gone over night...those are the worst.)
I, of course, hadn't realized all the ramifications quite yet at that point and continued to try to scare my kids. All in the name of seeing that face, pretty pathetic, huh? It's just so cute. But, fortunately, Jackson didn't have the same issues and he was unfazed by my eager attempts. Jackson's only terror comes from getting caught doing things he is not supposed to, a trait I will be bracing myself for as adolescence draws nearer. Oh, and bugs. He hates flying bugs.
So along comes Bryce and since we already had 3 years under our belts of whining about being scared, the prize of seeing the cutest face ever just wasn't a prize anymore. You'll be glad to know I've recovered from trying to scare the crap out of my children on purpose and I do what I can to shield them from sensitive material.
Nevertheless, that face ranks among my favorites and when I do get the chance to see it, instead of running to console, I'm usually running for my camera.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
salt and pepper to taste
Buttermilk biscuits (I use the frozen ones)
After draining sausage, return to pan. Sprinkle enough flour over the sausage to evenly coat it. Pour enough milk to just cover sausage and add salt and pepper, to taste. Turn heat on high and stir as the sausage mixture starts to boil. Once it thickens, turn heat off. Spoon some atop a biscuit and enjoy!
This month celebrated the birthday of Julia Child, of Mastering the Art of French Cooking fame. Yum--I love the thought of french cooking, but it's one of those things you don't want to mess up. I've been inspired to try it. Although the Poulet Saute Aux Herbes de Provence looks amazing, I'm pretty sure that recipe and myself would be a bad mix for the first time around. I went to the library and checked out French cookbooks for children. Something they might actually like--something I might actually be able to cook. First up: Sauteed Chicken, in a mushroom gravy-like sauce and Asparagus with Aioli, a creamy sauce to top it off. Maybe some chocolate mousse for dessert? Yum.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I live 6 miles off a highway in the middle of a valley. For those who know Indiana, it's a pretty flat spanse of land--cornfields as far as the eye can see. Where I live, I too see cornfields, but placed between two mountainous hills that stretch for miles. It is Brown County, isn't that what it's known for?
The road I live on is windy (as in wine-dee). Although houses run along the road, it is a lonely ride home--especially at night. In one area, there are no houses. Only a field, the tree line, and black outlines of the hills up against the midnight blue sky. (You better believe that for the first several months I lived out here, I was high-tailing it at this point. I mean, Big Foot or some crazed hillbillies could have stepped out of the dense woods at any moment.) But, then the seasons changed. Once a dreaded area, for me, has become a treat. If I am coming home in the evening, usually from work on the weekend, it is about dusk and the sky is lit up like glitter.
Fireflies. Thousands of them. They just hover, in this area, right above the stalks and twinkle. I sometimes wonder if the fireflies are there just for me. I have come to look forward to my drive home in the country. It kind of tops off my night, if you will. And hey, isn't that what it's all about? Finding joy in those small and simple things? Even something like fireflies? Yes. I think it's a pretty good start anyways.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana
A sprinkle of sugar
**I've been blending the ingredients first, then adding ice. My blender takes care of ice-tray size cubes, but party ice works really well, too.
Sprinkle of Sugar
**You can add strawberries to this one, too.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Last night, though, was another story. I got half-way through our date and then I choked. "I cannot do this anymore," I told him, but he kept saying "You CAN do this" "You're doing great", so I listened. I tried, but my heart just wasn't it it. I heard Travis call from the next room, "Dude, turn it off--start tomorrow--let's go to bed. Too enticing. I then said to the other man, "My children really wore me out today and my husband is going to bed. I'm sure you understand, meet you tomorrow?" I promptly hit STOP on the DVD player and Billy Blanks faded to black (no pun, intended).
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I always say I'd like to buy a bunch of sundresses and skirts to wear all summer, but I don't know why. I really just like bermuda style sweats and tees with flip-flops or work-out attire (with my tennis shoes, of course). But, on some days, I tell Travis that I'm going to start dressing for the part, now. Wear suits and pearls, even if I stay home, to get prepared for when I run for mayor.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
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