July 24, 2009

Me - In a Word

So I found this on another Jen's blog (there are so many of us, after all) and wanted to do it too. The trick is that you can only answer with one word. Leave a comment if you add it to your blog and I'll come and visit. (c:

1. Where is your cell phone? purse

2. Your hair? ponytail

3. Your mother? Momma

4. Your father? Daddy

5. Your favorite food? Chinese

6. Your dream last night? forgotten

7. Your favorite drink? tea

8. Your dream/goal? teach

9. What room are you in? office

10. Your hobby? web

11. Your fear? dark

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? teaching

13. Where were you last night? here

14. Something that you aren’t? skinny

15. Muffins? banana

16. Wish list item? house

17. Where did you grow up? Oklahoma

18. Last thing you did? pack

19. What are you wearing? clothes

20. Your TV? off

21. Your pets? traveling

22. Friends? world-wide (yes, it is too one word, it's just hyphenated)

23. Your life? busy

24. Your mood? nervous

25. Missing someone? sometimes

26. Vehicle? cute

27. Something you’re not wearing? shoes

28. Your favorite store? teachers'

29. Your favorite color? purple

30. When was the last time you laughed? today

31. Last time you cried? week

32. Your best friend? Joe

33. One place that I go to over and over? library

34. One person who emails me regularly? Jeanne

35. Favorite place to eat? Chinese

Sometimes You Just Can't Win

Normally I don't post about politics or current events, however, I feel almost outraged about the current goings-on with the Cambridge police. Have you read the article? Apparently some nosy neighbor of a "Harvard scholar" called the police when she saw what she thought were two guys trying to break in. Two guys with backpacks trying to break down the door. Now, you be the judge, does that sound like, oops, my door is jammed to you or would you automatically think the home of your neighbor who had been out of the country was getting broken into? I, friends, would presume the latter, and apparently so did this woman. Now, to make matters worse, after the police showed up they wanted proof that the guy belonged there and the man got all upset. Not just a little upset, but enough to get himself arrested. Really, how hard is it to pull out your ID and say, sorry for the misunderstanding, officer, but this is my home. Apparently it's too tough for a Harvard professor. The part in all this that really upsets me is the fact that the president - who is apparently friends with this guy - said that the actions of the police were "stupid". Um, really? Stupid? Charges weren't even filed and dare I repeat myself, but all the guy had to do was be civil and show proof of ID. In my opinion, it's pretty poor leadership to publicly attack a city's police department when your friend gets himself into trouble. The photo with this post is of the responding officer Sgt. James Crowley as the media ask him questions at his home.

June 27, 2009

Wanna Take a Quiz?

Well, I'm in a quiz-kinda-mood tonight so here are a few, and amazingly enough - I think they're accurate. (c:

You Are Thin Mints

You are bold and brave. You dare to be different, and you are confident about who you are.

Your fearlessness has paid off. You are extremely well liked and popular.

You are charismatic and charming without even trying to be. People appreciate your unique take on life.

You are willing to take risks, speak your mind, and live life to the fullest.

You Are Blue

You are a philosophical and often inspired person. You are the master of ideas.

You are open to many points of view. You believe that it's important to communicate and not judge.

You have a worldly perspective, and you're always looking to broaden it.

You are a true people person, but you also value your solitude and personal space.

You Are the Library

You are very intellectual and well read. You tend to be absorbed in your own interests.

You can seem a bit standoffish. To be honest, you're not that interested in other people.

You are comforted by the things you own. You tend to be a pack rat.

It's likely that you have many old possessions that you treasure. You rarely throw anything away.

You Are a Pond

You are modest, pleasant, and reliable. You are content and confident.

You are harmonious and caring. You truly like other people for who they are.

You are a very genuine, humble person. Because of this, you're very approachable.

You are soft-spoken and a bit sensitive. Your mild personality is a refreshing change for people.

You Are Tea

You are mellow and reflective. You don't allow yourself to feel in a rush and frenzied.

You're likely to appreciated the ideas or connections that come up over a warm cup of tea.

While you do enjoy the energy of a caffeine boost, you love that it allows you to take a break.

You're not in a rush to do anything. You're content with your life, and in no rush to change it.

You Were a Creative Kid

When you were a kid, you always had to be doing something with your hands.

Whether you were painting a picture or just doodling, you had to be creating something.

You were too busy thinking about your future creations to listen in school.

It's likely that every part of school was a challenge for you, except for art class.

You Are Mac and Cheese

When you are stressed out, you seek safety above everything else.

And nothing is more nourishing than a big warm plate of carbs.

Taking risks takes a toll on you, and you prefer your comfort food to be old fashioned.

You're the type of person who could eat the same meal every night, especially when life is hard.

You Are a Playwright

You are a highly literate wordsmith. You love both reading and writing.

You are also a natural storyteller. You can turn a mediocre anecdote into a riveting tale.

You find people and all aspects of life fascinating. No topic is off limits for you.

In modern times, you would make a good filmmaker or novelist.

June 21, 2009

Jammin' at the Park

Joe's niece is really active in the baseball program in their small town. For the end of the season this year they wanted to throw a big shin-dig to celebrate what a great season the kids had. That's pretty awesome if you ask me. And what shin-dig is complete without live music? Well, not this one! Joe's band played and being the good band-wife I am I was there to offer a fair critique when the music was over (and to fetch water bottles, snap photos, etc). Unfortunately, after I got home, all of my photos were a little, well, fuzzy. I'm not sure why, but I chose the clearest one I could to share with you. Joe is the drummer - just in case you were wondering. Isn't he cute? (c:

Camping Out

Joe really likes camping and I've been a really neglectful wife through the years we've been married and only gone with him one time other than this last week. That one time the girls stayed with his parents and we got an emergency phone call telling us that his dad had fallen and broken his hip and we had to come back asap. We did try and take the girls once too, but it was so cold that we left in the middle of the night and no one considers that camping. But, this week was Joe's vacation and we tried it again. We were going to go for a couple of nights, but we had storms like crazy and ended up putting the trip off for several days and then decided to stay only one night. I'm kind glad we did. I'm not a camping person, it's a lot of work to be out in the heat if you ask me, but you didn't, right? So, for this trip I didn't take pictures, I gave the girls the camera and told them to on a hike around the park and see what they could get pictures of. Here's what they captured.

Sydnee collected lots of nuts and ended up creating a nut family, this is one fine example - the baby nut.

After we had gotten so much rain the park was majorly flooded. We weren't at this end of the park, but there is supposed to be a pretty little hiking trail over there.

Sydnee was nice enough to sit and pose for Krista to snap her picture - well, at least once anyway.

Then Krista went a little crazy with the camera and got this not-so-flattering shot of Sydnee.

Of course, Sydnee was not to be out-done and chased Krista down to get a photo of her too.

Be thankful, my blogging friends, I spared you the photos of the dead fish and turtles that were found. Of course, my children didn't come back with any pictures of live animals, they are far less interesting.

June 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week's Menu Plan Monday is going to be a doozie because we're off to camp by the lake for the next few days. I went ahead and put together our menu plan, as unbalanced as it is.

Breakfast - scrambled eggs
Lunch - Yo-Yo
(your own your own)
Dinner - leftover fried chicken from last night

Breakfast - cereal

Lunch - sandwiches and chips
Dinner - kabobs (marinated pork, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms & tomatoes)

Breakfast - campfire eggs with bacon and leftover veg from the kabobs)
Lunch - hot dogs and chips
Dinner - fish if we have caught any or grilled chicken

Breakfast - cereal
Lunch - hot dogs, sandwiches or leftovers
Dinner - takeout something (we'll be coming home that evening)

Breakfast - cereal
Lunch - Yo-Yo
Dinner - spaghetti with meatballs and tossed salad

I'm not planning the weekend just yet, this is hub's vacation week and I'm not sure if we will be home or what.

June 14, 2009

So I found this meme-of-sorts through Mom's Magic, who got if from One Thing, who got it from Prairie Prologue - talk about recycling, huh? Well, here's my attempt at it. If you decided to do one, leave a comment so I can visit.

I am…a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister.

I want…to learn to knit.

I have…a wonderful beautiful family.

I wish… we could all just get along.

I know… how to find happiness in the little things.

I hate… liver - no it's not deep, but it's true.

I fear… the unknown.

I hear… the turtle playing in his tank.

I crave… a quiet cottage in the woods.

I search… for knowledge.

I always… enjoy a good book on a rainy morning.

I usually… love traveling with my hubby.

I am not… as good as I wish I was.

I miss… living near the woods.

I love… my wonderful family.

I never… learned to ride a bicycle.

I rarely… think about the future.

I cry… when I'm frustrated.

I lose… anything and everything.

I should… develop better organizational skills.

I worry… about my children.

I dream… of a peaceful country life.

I was… tired from being in the car all day.

June 10, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

Once again my house is calm, peaceful and without the force that is MIL. So, what's a girl to do with all this wonderful free time? Return to blogville of course! Today's meme is Works for Me Wednesday hosted by We Are That Family, and it's one of my favorites. Once I realized it was Wednesday I began to ponder what little tidbit to share today. We are not particularly interesting people or impressively frugal or talented in rare circus feats (although we are working on the frugal part, the other, not so much). But, I did find something pretty cool to share (no, not sword swallowing or jumping through fire, but still pretty cool, I think). This nifty little plant is called house leak (if you are my mother) or stone crop (if you are MIL). My mom said the name came from planting it under the leaks in your gutters so it was well watered, my mom is true hill-folk, so that's probably not the name. I'm not sure what you call it, but it's an awesome cure-all. It's a lot like an aloe plant, but I think it's lots prettier and you can plant it anywhere. In the summer it gets pretty little flowers on the top, usually yellow or pink, and comes back year after year. To use if for any kind of owie (burns, stings, scrapes, etc) mash up a few leaves and use like antibiotic cream. My mom used this on me when I was little and I've used it on both K and S as well as Hub. It doesn't smell funny or burn so the kids like it and it's got a soothing feel, and for some reason Mom's Magic Mush (as it is so lovingly called around here) seems to work better than the pricey stuff from the drug store. Maybe it's the mom touch added to it.

June 5, 2009

Dunah... Dunah...Dunah. DunDunDunnnn

Ok, if you didn't get the title it's the scary music from your worst nightmares. Why? Because my mother-in-law is coming to stay with us. Did you hear me? My mother-in-law is coming to stay with us - tomorrow! Maybe this does not raise the intense fear into you that it does with me, but let's be fair, you've never met this woman. This is the woman who in one breath can tell my I'm lazy for not working over the summer ("it must be nice to sit around all summer and not do anything")while condemning my view of motherhood because I'm "not available" for my kids during the school year. She is never nice to be nice. This is the woman who says what a wonderful cook I am, too bad I can't get everything done at once so we can it while it's hot. She likes to do "helpful" things like reorganize my kitchen cabinets ("why in the world would you put your plates there, don't you know they belong in this cabinet?"). She likes to complain about how my house is not big enough or how we don't use it the way we "should" ("you'll never have room for a big enough dining table in that room, will you?" and "you really don't need an office, you should find a better use for that room"). And of course I don't clean it enough (her: "oh, don't you have a mop" me: yes, why her: "well, your kitchen floor just looks like you don't have a mop") It's never ending and no, this time I am not exaggerating. Just the thought of talking to her raises an intense feeling of dread, I'll be honest, I don't always answer the phone when she calls, and sometimes I throw up a little in my mouth before I do. I can't help it, she makes me physically ill. Remember how I said she was coming to stay with us, well, she's not just visiting, she'll be here for a week.
Let me put this into perspective for you, she lives less than an hour away. That's right, folks, she's not coming across the country or even across the state, she's just the next county over. So, now you may be asking why it is that she feels the need to come for so long. Well, the first reason (if you asked her) is that we never go see her - we don't - she has the same skin-crawling effect on all of us (yes, even my husband, though not the same degree as myself). But, you want to know the real reason? My niece-in-law (MIL's granddaughter) has had her electric turned off because she decided it was more important to take her kids on vacation than to pay the bill. So, their whole family (there's two kids, the most spoiled rotten little heathens you've ever met) will be staying at my mother-in-law's house until they can get their power back on and my niece-in-law's husband doesn't get paid until next week. Since their kids drive my mother-in-law crazy she's coming to stay with us and destroy every bit of self-esteem I have before heading back home to her nice empty house.

You might ask why I don't say something to hubby. Well, he's great about my parents coming to stay for a few days when they are back this way (my parents live in Indiana and we live in Oklahoma, see how they would need to stay here?) and even though he really doesn't like them, he doesn't show it to them. I feel I should do the same for him when his mom is here (even though she doesn't need to stay and she's really just coming to watch me squirm). So, the reason for the post was to say I might not be here as much as I would like for the next few days while I get my life dissected by the maternal genetic donor of my dear husband. If there is any bit of my soul left after she leaves I will be back.

June 4, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Canisters

This is my first post with Vintage Thingies Thursday (hosted by Coloradolady) and I wanted to make it something special. I'm kinda crazy about vintage things and I have recently discovered that S also has the same form of dementia. She told me a few days ago that she wanted to go with me to see the antique store to see all the cool old stuff. Ahh, a child after my own heart. Anyway, today I wanted to share my favorite set of canisters with you. These lovelies are one of the few things I was able to beg my mom for before she died (everything else is when "when I die you can have it", simply because she likes old things as much as I do). They were my great Aunt Marie's (whom I am named after) and I've always thought they were the coolest. There is the Bakery for holding flour, the Coffee House where I keep my coffee filters, Tea World where I store my miscellaneous herbal teas and another one that is the Sweet Shop the same size as the Bakery. I don't keep flour or sugar in the ones designed for those since they are not air tight, but i do love them all the same. These are made of metal and have to at least be from the 60s since my great aunt had them in her kitchen. The canning jar next to them is a really large, tall one so they are bigger than they look. The jar was my grandmother-in-laws that I found out in my mother-in-laws shed and asked if I could have it.

June 3, 2009

Worldless Wednesday

It's not summer 'till you've got sand in your pants.

Works For Me Wednesday

Today's Works for Me Wednesday (hosted by We are That Family) theme is Summer Boredom. Thankfully, we have yet to experience this phenomenon here this year (reality check, we've only been out of school for two weeks) but I am prepared! Our boredom buster is simple - we pull out the Girl Scout badge book. This year S has set a monstrous goal to earn ALL of the badges she can (which mean every one out of the book that looks remotely interesting and lots more from other councils). By the end of the summer we are going to be badge divas! So far, we have used badges to help us plan a zoo trip, visit the local historical museum (can you say, *free*), try cooking some new recipes, volunteer at the animal shelter, make homemade playdough to share with our friends (yes, the other moms do love us!), design a "dream room" and learn how to check the fluids in the car. Since not everyone can be a neighborhood kid and get a cute little container of playdough we thought we would share our homemade playdough recipe with everyone.


1 cup flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla or any essential oil, optional
about 15 drops of food coloring, color of your choice


Cook all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, stirring real hard until mixture forms a ball. About 4 minutes. Remove from pan and let sit for about five minutes. Knead briefly and the dough is ready to use. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

I usually split the dough into two pots to mix in the coloring and scent to get two colors out of each batch. You can keep this out of the fridge, I use this same recipe to make playdough for my classroom and we would keep it in the cabinet. After a few months it can start to smell funny(not sure if mine was from all the kids playing with it or just the dough getting old). Since it's so cheap to make, when it starts to not smell so good, we just chuck it and start over.

June 2, 2009

Not Me Mondays

...even though it is Tuesday, remember what I said about not being able to remember what day it is? Anyway, Not Me Monday is hosted by My Charming Kids.

Since this is my first time at this I won't list all of the "Not me!" things I can think of, otherwise you would run away screaming about what a terrible mother I am and I would have nothing to share next week. Don't worry, we'll take it slow and you can gradually come to know what kind of mom I am.

I {do not} still have several huge piles of stuff sitting in my office (which is {not} really my dining room and in the middle of my house) from cleaning out my classroom and these piles {are not} encouraging all of our family members to pile other things in other places around our home. Even more so I {will not} wait until the day before my mother-in-law is expected to visit before I frantically sort through the pile and try to cram everything from bulletin board pieces to craft supplies to resource books in any empty nook or cranny that can be hidden from sight. Speaking of bulletin board pieces I {did not} spend way too much on them and now have two large trash bags filled with everything from frogs to camping to gingerbread. Um, nope, not me. I would show photos, but since it's not me I can't, right?

June 1, 2009

Goodwill Party

Through the blog line I found a fun new (new to me anyway) posting party hosted by Thrifty Decor Chick. The idea is to share your goodwill (thrift store) finds. Well, our nearest goodwill is the next state over (not really as bad as is sounds - just 45 minutes away) so the girls and I ventured out to the next best thing. We have a Resale Shop (yes, that is the name of it) and we went browsing around and ta-da we found this very cute shelf for $2.99. I was tempted to paint it before I put it up, but I think I might like the wood better, I'll have to think about it. The blanket hanging was one my great grandma made me as a baby, the boy and girl figurines came from my grandma (and were broken by my mom as a toddler, but repaired beautifully), the milk glass jar belonged to my grandmother-in-law (is that the right term, who knows?) and the milk glass vase came from my mother-in-law. The bird in the cage was a Christmas ornament on clearance for $.25 and our name is actually the letters W and P and the number 8, all on clearance for $.10 each. So, the whole thing is a grand total of $3.54. I may change the shelf look around and I'm thinking of making a small wall-sized quilt to hang from the bar, but for now I like it.

Menu Planning Monday

Through my browsing of the blog world I came across Menu Plan Monday over at org junkie. I'm brand new to the menu planning world, but I've heard this really helps cut down your grocery bills so I've decided to take a whack at it. And since it's a new venture, why not blog about it and share it with the world, right? So, I've taken stock of what I have in my freezer (and started my grocery list for this week, but we really don't shop until Thursday) and started a week of meals....

Monday - Chicken and Ramen stir fry with broccoli
Tuesday - Steak quesadillas
Wednesday - Fried pork chops, mashed potatoes and corn
Thursday - Polish sausage pasta, green salad
Friday - Chicken strips, mac & cheese, broccoli
Saturday - Grilled pork chops, grilled cabbage, pasta salad
Sunday -

Summer Reading Kick-Off

This morning was the library's summer reading kick-off and of course we had to be there. S loves the summer reading program, she's always really excited about it and has to go to the kick off every year to see (drum roll, please) PROFESSOR B LOONEY. Well, I'm not sure why she is so taken with this guy, yes, he is pretty funny and does great things with balloons, but it's like an addiction with her. Anyway, this morning we did a few errands and then headed over to get good seats - not that we had to worry, we were the first family there. This year the focus is on being creative and using your imaginitation (as the good professor says) so they talked about how you can imagine your own pictures in books and he made balloons to illustrate some of the kids' favorites (the little guy setting next to me got all excited the first time he heard we were illustrating with the kids - he wanted to color on the first volunteer). S's book was the Junie B book where she's got the monster under her bed and so S became the monster. See her big scary teeth and her woogley (her word) antennae - when she wiggles her head around she makes a kind of wooggley sound too, I'm not sure if that's the monster noise or the antennae. Isn't she scary? Her teeth were actually attached even better, but we had a pop on the way into the house to take the photo (because even after six years of these programs I still can't remember to take the camera).

May 31, 2009

Week Sneak Peak

Each Sunday I try to mentally plan out what I have to do the following week and when. This was really important during the last few months of school since I was going in early at least a few times a week. Now that summer is here it's not such a big deal, or it wouldn't be if I could remember what day it is half the time (still haven't figured out how to fix that one). Anyway, each Sunday I'll add my planner here so I can't loose it before Monday morning.

  • Pick up check from the office (and make sure it's all there this time)
  • Put check in bank before bad things happen
  • Professor B Looney at library (10-11)
  • Visit the pool (if S has cleaned her room)
  • Ask for key to Methodist Church (for Girl Scout meetings)
  • Laundry
  • Plan Girl Scout meeting
  • Work on school pile (all the stuff from my classroom)
  • Reading group at the library 2-3
  • Wash sheets
  • Girl Scout meeting

  • Trash day (and they keep coming earlier!)
  • Balance check book, pay bills
  • Clean out refrigerator
  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping
  • Menu planning
  • badge work with S
  • Laundry
  • Work on school pile
  • Going to yard sales!

May 29, 2009

Fun Day Friday

For today's Fun Day Friday we are sharing our new snail farms. Haven't heard of one, well neither had we. I went to take the trash out a couple of days ago and there were snails all over the back porch. So, for fear of stepping on one I hollered at K and asked her to come gather them which was oodles of fun for, the first snail farm was hers, then S needed one too. So, if you have a plethora of snails on your back porch, here's what you can do with them.

Get a small Rubbermaid tote box (ours are shoe box sized) and use a Phillips head screw driver (or a drill if you have one around) to make holes in the lid so the little guys have some ventilation. Add some dirt (we used potting soil leftovers) add in some moss (it makes it prettier and gives the snails some diversity on their farms). Water the soil well, you can use a spray bottle or just pour it in a little at a time until it is absorbed, and grab some food for them. We are feeding ours oranges, apple and egg shells (to help make their little shells strong). I don't know why, but according to what I've read online, you should not give your snails carrots. Since I'm not big into experimenting with animals, I haven't tried this one so I don't know if you will get mutant snails or just sick ones. You should clean your snails' palace every few days, the more snails, the more often. We are observing ours for a while then releasing them back *under* the back porch, hopefully they will like it better there than on the porch itself.

March 16, 2009

A new outlook

I have a confession to make, the Proverbs 31 section has always, well, irriated me. Here's the problem I had, in verse 15 it talks of how the lady will rise early to prepare food for her family, and her servants. I was lost right there, if all of this was being accomplished by a woman who had servants at her beck and call, then there was no way I would be able to ever measure up. Then, this weekend I was blessed with reading Crystal's newsletter. In this month's edition she wrote a wonderful article about kitchen appliances being servants. Almost instantly (it does take a moment for me to register things) I was hit with the realization that servants do NOT have to be people! Oh my goodness, if only I had thought of this years ago (granted, I probably was not ready for this realization years ago). This little discovery stayed with me through today and as I was talking to my daughter this morning about buying a bread machine (no, I have not, but I really do want one) it hit me again. I have so many servants already, and do I appreciate them? Usually not. For example, my dear husband bought me a great new blender for Christmas and it has never even come out of the box. It's very cool looking and I really did need a new one, but I did not appreciate his gift enough to find uses for it. I have a huge wonderful crockpot that was a gift from a very dear friend (who I have not seen in years and I do miss her) that I could really be getting some use out of by having dinner ready for us when we get home and the kitchen already cleaned, but do I use my time wisely and do these things? Nope, instead I try to throw together something when I get home and wonder why my family has not been thoughtful enough to do this without my asking them to. I also have in my "staff" an awesome stand mixer that was another gift from my husband and I rarely use because it is heavy and I don't like lugging it around. If I would make a home for it on the counter where it belongs, I would not have to lug it anywhere. However, the servants are not only in the kitchen, I have a wonderful washer & dryer set that are HE front loaders, and I could have all of our laundry done in just a few loads a day. Instead, it piles in the bedrooms, bathroom and laundry area and I curse my wonderful machines that they don't sort and fold the laundry as well. So, what am I doing with my newfound outlook? Well, My washer and dryer are running very efficently today, because I keep giving them new tasks to do (every servant needs a plan to follow) and I am looking for crockpot recipes (on the internet, what better servant for a household than that?) that I can prepare in the morning before work (I don't leave the house until 11 most mornings so I have plenty of time) and have dinner bubbling away while I clean up the kitchen. This will also lead me to be more efficent with our resources (another Proverbs 31 lesson) and more self-suffiecent because we won't need to pay other to create a not-so-healthy dinner for us. While these are a good start, I also like the idea that my mindset has been updated. I have learned many things from Crystal, but have never had such an ah-ha moment as this one.