Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Weekend Around Here

I promised my sweet grandmother I'd post some of our weekend adventures.

I mowed:

Efficient, no?

Our new place came complete with our very own shopping cart. And yes, her shirt is on inside out AND backwards.

It also has a handicapped ramp. You do the math. (I'd run too, Penny)

Ah yes. Safety first!


Yep. Just another weekend at our house!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yet Another Catch Up Post

I think my enthusiasm for blogging has sincerely waned. Or maybe I'm just always busy. Or maybe I just have a hard time being all witty all the time. But before we hit the books for another semester, I will post a little something for my three readers.

We moved. In August, in Texas. Craptastic is the only word I can think of to describe that whole experience. I was watching two extra kids while we did it too. The new place is much smaller, much uglier and much cheaper. It's gonna be great!

K turned 9 on the 17th. My sweet low maintenance kid wanted a playdate at the splash park, all the ice pops they could eat and snickerdoodle cookies. Totally do-able. Even amidst moving chaos.

J got her ears pierced on Saturday. I can't believe she's getting so big. She's also super excited about starting Kindergarten. She misses the deadline for public school, but if I try and put her off one more year for homeschool it will not be pretty at all.

B can't wait for baseball to start. I can't believe it's already time to play again. Then I remembered, this is Texas, they play spring and fall because they have a general propensity for over doing everything.

I have 15 hours again this semester...but I only have three semesters left and it really does seem possible now. I just spent a small fortune on everyone's books so we should be all set...except for the starting part. I'm ready for having a schedule again, but not ready to lose all my free time just yet. I'm always surprised how clean the house is in the summer and how much we are able to go do and how much free time I have when we aren't in school!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cheer Mom

This post just cracks me up. I wrote it several years ago now, and I never really came up with a good ending, but it is still so darn funny that I think I'll just go ahead and post it that I've lived through it and no one can really put a hit out on me:

I'm missing the cheer mom gene. In Texas, they take their football very seriously. Even high school teams enjoy a huge community following and the starting players enjoy celebrity just like what you see in the movie Friday Night Lights. And it almost goes without saying, Texas mom's take their cheerleading seriously.

D was a gymnast. I was happy in my little gymnast mom role, carted her to practice three days a week, meets on Saturdays, fundraisers every so often. I was content and life was grand. In 8th grade, D tried out for Cheerleading. D was a G-Y-M-N-A-S-T, she made the squad with ease. It wasn't really a big deal, practice after school, no more astronomical gym tuition and fees, no sweat. D decided cheer wasn't that big a deal and didn't try out for the 9th grade squad, but when high school rolled around, the lure of fame and fun was too strong.

I got my first taste of Texas-mom-cheer syndrome when D made that first squad in 7th grade. My hair stylist told me that one of the women who worked for her in the salon had a daughter who was an eighth grader had tried out for that same squad and didn' and there was "a seventh grader" who DID. *Insert accusatory tone here* I've got pretty thick skin for stuff like that, too bad, my kid can do every tumbling trick in the book and she's just as cute as yours. I'm pretty sure my "it's a middle school cheerleading squad, not a big deal" attitude didn't help much.

Fast forward to tryouts in ninth grade. Girls are waiting to go in the gym, every single mom is there, in alllllllll her glory. I was lucky if I only had a small amount of puke or whatever on my shirt, and I'd barely made any effort to show up at all, I mean, really, you can't WATCH them try out, noooooo, you sit in the hall for "moral support". Excuse me, but my tender motherliness is directly proportional to my comfort level. Chasing two small children through the high school halls is not comfortable or fun to me. The mom who's daughter was jilted in 8th grade squad had been enrolled in a cheer gym and made the squad the year D decided not to try out. As I was pulling B off the top of a stairwell, I'm pretty sure I heard them saying something about having "seen it all" as far as girls who "deserved" to be on the squad not being chosen. *Insert more accusatory looks here* Both girls made the squad so bloodshed was averted for the time being.

But the first CPO meeting I managed to remember and make it to was my baptism by fire. My indoctrination and my wake up call that I walked into the church meeting room, the smell of Chanel and hairspray nearly knocked me off my feet. As I scanned the room, I thought I might have accidentally stumbled into a Mary Kay meeting, but when I recognized the objects on the tables were not mirrors, but heavily "bling-ed out" designer handbags, and the bubbly blonde at the front asked me who my daughter was, I knew it was too late to run. It was like walking into the Twilight Zone, people. I'm telling you, it was like the high school popularity club on steroids, with money and bigger cars.

Nope. I don't fit in well with the Cheer Mom club. But I'm not worried, they've got more than enough "pep" to make up for my cheer mom slacker-ness.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Somehow, B has inherited Grandpa D's love of WWE. The other boys liked the Monday night brawls, heck, they were real wrestlers and while they knew it wasn't real, they liked the action. But B's love is sheer adoration. He waits all week long for it to come on and watching him bounce on the couch and cheer for his man is waaaaay more entertaining than what my dad and I watched on Saturday mornings. ;O)

I love how J says "Hoo-ta" when she is asked where Grandpa L lives.

I also love to hear K watching Taylor Swift on YouTube and hearing her eclectic taste in music evolve. It's particularly entertaining when she tries to sing along with the girl who yodels.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Paula, Where Have You Been All My Life

My Grandma G had a serious love of Julia Child. Used to crack me up how much she liked that lady. Now I sit and watch Paula Deen and Rachel Ray...and I no longer crack up. I understand the deep and abiding love of the cooking show.

Hubster always talks about the "PERFECT" blue cheese dressing he once had in a small town somewhere in Montanna. Well, tonight, Paula was making her signature blue cheese dressing and I decided to give it a try. If you've ever seen Paula in the kitchen, you will know that she is my kindrid spirit. She measures nothing. She goes by feel. She is a free spirit in the kitchen. Woman after my own heart. So the following amounts are approximate:

Paula Deen's Blue Cheese Dressing

3/4 cup good mayonaisse (not Miracle Whip, trust me on this)
1/3 cup or less of sour cream
2 tsp "Silly Salt" This is a Paula product, but I figured she had to start somewhere and picked up some Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt and figured Paula probably used it when she was not a TV star with her own product line.
a pinch of garlic powder
about a 1/4 cup of buttermilk
a goodly handful of Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese crumbles. (Queen Paula explained that Gorgonzola is more mild. This mildness however, does not ensure that your children will eat it...I'm just tellin' it like it is...)
Cracked black pepper to taste

Mix it all up and squish the blue cheese crumbles a bit as you do so. Let it hang out in the fridge a bit to marry all those lovely flavors. This was seriously tasty on the fresh salad I made. So tasty in fact, that the lovely club steaks* that came in our butcher pack were pale by comparison...and then I dunked the steak in the sauce and we were back in business. Hubster said it was the closest thing to that perfect dressing as he's ever had. I suppose the MT air probably made it taste better.

*Club steaks are a prime rib steak. We purchase our meat in bulk from a local butcher and these lovely gems are included in the mix. I pay a whopping $1.68 a pound and receive a 60 pound assortment of roasts, steaks, burger, pork chops, ribs, sausage and bacon. We've found this to be an extremely economical way to purchase our meats and love, love, love the quality and service. I even send their perfect, succulent, incredible smoked hams to family around Christmas on occasion. I always wear my waders when I go to make my order, because you never know when they will be washing out the kill floor, thereby creating "pink puddles" in the parking lot...gross, I know, but this is THE cleanest smelling butcher shop I've ever set foot in and I've set foot in many butcher shops over the years. Seriously awesome quality folks. Check out your local butcher and don't be afraid to break out your waders to get there.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Campbells Ain't Got Nuthin' On PW

Pioneer Woman posted a lovely gazpacho recipe yesterday and we had some for dinner. It was sublime. I can tell we will be eating a lot of it this summer. Here's the short version of the recipe:

P-Dub’s Gazpacho
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
5 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup (more to taste) red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (less to taste) sugar
Tabasco to taste
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

I chopped it all up, reserved a little of the vegetable mix and blenderized the rest. One tip, if you are in a hurry, go easy on the tomato juice and add a couple cups of ice to the blender. Your soup will come out chilled from the start. It is technically better to follow her instructions and let the flavors marry a while, but in a pinch, ice will do. It is important to serve it ice cold and honestly, the reserved veggies are a pretty garnish, but we liked the soup better without the big chunks, so I'll put it allllll in the blender next time. And there WILL be a next time, oh, yes, there will.

Monday, June 15, 2009

She Shall Have No Clothing for One Year

K needed a new swim suit. Her friend who frequently gives us her hand-me-downs gave her a really cute one, but it was a bit...saggy in the booty area. I attributed this to the slightly rounder body type of her friend and a season of prior use, and I set off to buy her a new one at the Walmarts since Target had let us down on two prior occasions. We found one we could stand and I purchased a size 7/8. We brought it home and almost as an after thought, I told her not to take the tag off before she tried it on. Once the suit was on, she let me know that it was too short for her, as evidenced by the straining straps and 80's thong effect, and I set out to exchange the suit.

Did you know that your all night WalMart will not process returns after 10 pm? No? Well, don't try and do it at 9:55 either because even though a customer service clerk is there and clearly not headed home any time soon, they will not allow you to walk back and grab another size. One strike against JIT distribution strategies.

So I grudgingly purchased a second swim suit and brought it home. Now, in my experience with dressing children over the last 14 years, I have come to understand children's clothing sizes somewhat. Generally speaking, your child's clothing size will be roughly their age. So tell me, for the love of everything that is holy, WHY WHY WHY do they sell swim suits in size 4/5, 6-6X, 7/8, 10/12 and so forth? What do you do when you are 9? 7/8 splits you up the middle and 10/12 might look a little loose when you are dry, but the moment you get wet it will sag like your grandmamma's behind?

I don't even want to contemplate what purchasing jeans for her in the fall will be like.