Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Yumminess: BLT Wraps

This is a great summer recipe........whether your making lunch for yourself, your family or for a buffet style gathering. So easy my Chickie Poo, my 10 year old can make it. It was a huge hit at my bookclub!

BLT Wraps:

1 Pound Bacon cut in 1 inch chunks, cooked and drained well
1/2 head of lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, diced
2 cups of shredded colby jack cheese

small flour tortillas
Ranch salad dressing

Gently mix bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese together in large bowl. Allow guests to self-serve and put BLT filling in wrap and add ranch salad dressing as desired. Enjoy!!

PS: If you've yet to use the pre-cooked bacon, this is a great recipe to try it out! Cook the bacon slices for a few seconds in the microwave then cut with kitchen shears. No heat in the kitchen, and no mess either!!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sincerely Fro Me To You ~ Put your booty into it, Girl!

We Are THAT Family is hosting Sincerely Fro Me To You again this week. So I bravely went back into the trunk. Yup, that trunk. I pulled a few pics out that might work, but I really didn't feel like writing all the back stories that may go with it. Bunny-boo is not feeling well and I had a FUN but late night talking with friends. So Mama is tired! I was considering sitting this one out.

This morning, I was talking on the phone with Neurotically Yours and we talk like we normally do: you know, covering thousands of non-sequential topics in a matter of 45 minutes. She was telling me about Discovery Cove and how she wouldn't want to swim with the Dolphins (I'll let you tell her why, OCD anyone??). I said, I'm not even that good with more than 10 minutes of snorkeling. Look at all the pretty fishes..........ok now let's DO something. That got me thinking of a picture my husband took with an underwater camera on our honeymoon when we went snorkeling.

To prime this shot I must tell you that I CAN dance. Seriously. I can totally back that A$$ up!

But snorkeling??.....................

Apparently, not so much.

Go point and laugh at others by clicking here!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WMFW: Green Grocer

Reusable Grocery Bags

An opinion, fact or tip for each bag:

~I have 6 black ones from Publix that I purchased for 99 cents each.

~They need to train the baggers. They don't know how to fill such a large bag. I hate that I feel like they are rolling their eyes at me, when I bought the bags AT THEIR STORE!

~I brought them to Albertsons. They gave me a 5 cent credit on my bill for each bag. After 20 visits, the bag will have paid for itself.

~The bags hold alot. I used the bags to take snacks in the car and and another filled with toys on our two hour car trip last weekend. It was perfect!

~ I leave them folded up in the back of my car. They are always there when I need them.

~I feel so granola crunchy using these. Try it, you'll like it! It works for me.

~~~~~Go visit Rocks in my Dryer to see what works for others! ~~~~

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

SPT: Something Blue ~ Bunny Boo

It's time for Amuse-Bouche 's SPT Challenge.

Today's directive was something blue. I immediately thought of the color baby blue which led me to........thinking of my baby, Bunnyboo.

My BunnyBoo posing as Baby Blue.

It's early morning so the grass is wet.

She is just in a diaper, and we don't roll that way.

Her hairbows don't match.

And her mom keeps sticking her black camera in her face and sternly saying, "NO" to make her cry!

Wanna see how other's shot blue today? Click here!

Meanwhile, I'm off to try to spend the rest of the morning making it up to Bunnyboo ~ 'cause SERIOUSLY, have you evah seen anything so pathetically blue??

Monday, May 26, 2008

You Likey?

Obviously, I have a new blog design.

Nope, I still don't really know what I'm doing.

But, I go on vacation for the weekend and come back and my RL friend's blog , Neurotically Yours, goes and gets glamified. I immediately dial her up and demand she tell me HOW SHE DID THAT.

She tells me to go to Leelou Blogs. She has awesome FREE templates that are easy to use. I go there and she's right, they are adorable, easy, and best of all ~ FREE!

Looking for a change? Click on the link on my sidebar!

Then, leave a comment so I can go visit your new digs.

Another victim (*ahem*) er..... friend....

joins the blogging world. Please go visit By the Seat of My Pants and leave her a comment or two. I swear I didn't push THAT hard with this one!

Three down........MANY to go.

My first time........

The first time I read a blog it was quite by accident. I was googling ideas to make inexpensive gifts for my book club and bunko group. I found these cute bookmarks I made for my book club but I just couldn't find anything for my bunko group (and so you got nada, ladies). I did however do a search with the words~ homemade~ gift~ bunko~ group~ or some such thing and under the results was a listing for Notes From a Cottage Industry.

I clicked on it and saw the cutest picture of cupcakes! It was love at first sight.

I wanted to make cupcakes like that. As a matter of fact, the more I read what she wrote, the more I wanted to be her. She does it all. Great party planner, yard saler, furniture rehabber, baker, speaker, dreamer, home decorator, and mom (now add grandmom to that long list) I was a bit obsessive with reading all the back posts. I clicked on everything. I couldn't get over how much I could learn from someone who didn't know I even existed. I want to be her when I grow up, I kept thinking. That hasn't changed.
Prior to this, I didn't even know what a blog was. I had heard of it, but thought it was mostly a Dear Diary type of a thing. Not for me. After clicking on that one little link, I was hooked. I started to branch out to some of the other sites on her blogroll. Some I liked, some weren't my cup of tea.
As the holidays drew closer, I stumbled upon BooMama's holiday tour of homes. I quickly called a friend who had moved away and we "toured" the homes together over the phone. Then we got busy kicking up our holiday decorations a notch.
My crafting gene that I had been repressing for a few years came out rampant for the next three months. I did burn myself out a bit after going WAY overboard with my baby's first birthday and the craftiness has been dormant lately.
I found some really cool "mommyblogs" and find I really enjoy the ones who mix momminess with humor. I have some mommy friends that when we get together it is always a laugh. So we each started our own blogs the same week. It's been so much fun and I can't wait to see where it takes me. I have stumbled upon so many great blogs in my travels...........and they keep getting better.
What was the first blog you ever read?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Confession is good for your soul.....

Or so I've heard.

This is a little take off of the POST SECRET project that we have all seen before. One of the blogs I read, Dust Bunny Hostage, did something similar here and I thought I'd try it too.

I admit I love reading other people's secrets. I search to see if anyone else may have a similar secret to one of mine. I sometimes even read one and than think.........oh yeah, I guess that's a secret of mine as well, I just hadn't thought of it.

Anyone who knows me probably thinks I don't have many secrets, 'cause I talk a lot and tend to let most of it hang out there! But give me a anonymous setting (and I don't mean the drunk dialed 3 am kind)......and woo girl, it all comes out!

So here's your chance! Leave one of your secrets in the comment section.


I'll take Dust Bunny Hostage's rules for herself and apply them to myself:

And as for the rules for myself, I will not use any type of site meter to figure out who said what. I really don't CARE if you have a crush on your boss, I just want to see if there are any brave souls who will play along.AND, I reserve the right to delete any comments that are not appropriate for this site and Blog audience. Anything vulgar or base will have to go, K?If you don't have a Secret to share, make something up. I think a good portion of the people with the post cards do; at least that's what I tell myself.

Leave a real secret, make up a secret, leave someone else's secret........I don't care as long as you entertain me!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday Sweetness: Chocolate Trifle

Heading to a Memorial Day celebration and need to bring along a dish? This delectable dessert is sure to make you the most popular guest!

Chocolate Trifle

1 (19.8 ounce) package
brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant
chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened
condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen
whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container frozen
whipped topping, thawed
caramel sauce
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.
In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Swirl caramel sauce over top. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wanna be a winner?

Just do what I do. Go visit Frantically Simple and enter her contest to win a free signed book.

I want to read it after you if you win, though! I promise to use a bookmark.......

Sincerely Fro Me to You ~ Taking you back to my Roots!

Ok, so it was 1991 and I obviously discovered Sun In. And mood lipstick. my defense I didn't know any better.

I've already introduced you to my mom. What I didn't say was that when she got pregnant with me, I sort of interrupted her plans before she was old enough to live free. Ya know, like a hippie. Little did she know before she could take a breath after having myself and my brother and sorting out her life; disco was king and most of the communes were breaking up. That did not deter my mom. Instead once she and my father split up, she found places to live that matched her Earth Mother persona. I started my pubescent times in Colorado where we ate all natural WAY before it was cool. (And just for the record ~ I NEVER thought it was cool) I tell you all this so you can understand my mother rarely wore make up and wasn't particularly concerned with her appearance. So I certainly had no reason to be concerned with mine.

I have always had a dual personality (who just said multiple?, I am not!); for example: I was a bit of a feisty tomboy but loved to nurture dolls (in private) wayyyy longer than I wanted anyone to know. So it took me a bit longer than the other girls to catch on to "beauty skills". I waited to wear a bra until I was a large B cup and I couldn't hide the girls anymore. When I approached my mom about shaving my legs, she suggested waiting as long as possible because I'd have to do it for the rest of my life. She then proceeded to have me feel her razor stubble. When I informed my mom that I had first gotten my period she gave me a OB (applicator less) tampon. Ahhhh, NOPE! She shrugged as she had "rolled her own" in the past and to this day I don't want to contemplate what that entails. I went with the maxi pads until my junior year of high school.

My father remarried and I went to live with he and my stepmother from 8th grade until I graduated from high school. My stepmother was the antithesis of my mom. She NEVER came out of her room without her face on. She only wore high heels (even jumped rope in them), and had a wardrobe to die for. She is girly girl to a T. But whether she thought I already asked my mom for beauty tips and just didn't take them, or I would ask her when I was ready, or enjoyed laughing at the Polaroids of me with my rings around the eyes, I don't know. She never passed on beauty tips.....especially not the secrets.

I remember experimenting with make up freshman year of high school(think Twisted Sister), but before long I opted for the clean face look. I carried that look off for way tooooooo until about 8 years ago! When I needed to get dolled up I would put on lipstick and mascara.

Once I got to college, all the girls were using Sun In. I tried it a few times, but was never consistent ~ ergo the roots! No one told me how bad the two tone look is!!!!! Two tone cars were all the rage then......but for your noggin?~ not so much!

As for the mood lipstick; if you are fortunate enough not to know what it is let me enlighten you: the tube costs less than $1 and starts off green. According to your mood, it changes colors. It usually did a plum ~ish color for me. It never would tell me what mood that was. Is drunk a mood?

So that's my defense: I didn't know better! What's yours?

Click on this and go see what everyone else is posting this week at We Are THAT Family.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WFMW: Go To Appetizer

Everyone needs a go to recipe for every category. Here's my appetizer that everyone drools over and no one can stay away from:

From my favorite cookbook to date - The Life of the Party by the Tampa Bay Junior League:

Hot Swiss Bacon Dip

8oz cream cheese - room temperature
1/2 c mayo
1 c shredded swiss cheese
2 tbsp chopped green onions
8 slices bacon, crisp and crumbled (or a pkg of the bagged bacon

butter crackers crushed for the topping
3 tbsp melted butter

Combine first three ingredients. Then stir in the bacon and green
onions. Spread in baking dish. Top with crushed crackers and
drizzle with butter.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 min. Serve with crackers or whatever and
apple slices.

Even those who swear they don't do swiss cheese will be licking the plate!

What works for me: having a simple, delicious dip that everyone raves over!

Now head over to Rocks In My Dryer to see what works for everyone else.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

SPT: Something Borrowed

The SPT challenge this week was Something Borrowed. I am taking these SPT challenges as a way to force myself to take pictures creatively. I'm not really ready to do it as a Self-Portrait. I also don't have any photoshop or other editing capabilities (yet). I am just hoping to meet the challenge and evolve.

On that note I offer the last thing I remember borrowing: EGGS

I'm a spur of the moment baker. Actually, I can be a procrastinator as well, truth be told. That means I often make do with what I have. But eggs can bring me to a complete stand still. There is no substitute. My man will eat 3 eggs for breakfast and at least 2 (if not more) of my kids will also eat eggs in the morn. That doesn't leave me with many spares!

So I usually have to call my neighbor, Jang (as my kids lovingly call her). Thanks, Jang!

Hop on over to amuse-bouche's blog and see how other bloggers met her challenge!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Shhhh........I can't hear the roar over the crowd!

Yesterday I took my oldest daughter, Chickie~poo, to see Lion King on Broadway....(except we weren't in NY ~ so maybe that should read Lion King on Bayway??) Any whoo, a friend and I have a pair of season tickets and when there are shows she has already seen, or doesn't want to see, I "buy" her ticket and take Chickie~poo with me. We chose to buy the Sunday Matinee (2pm) subscription, since chances are My Man would be home and I won't need a babysitter (we have no local family).

I love the theater but am rather new to most of the shows. Since I am such a voracious reader, most of the time I have read about each show, or seen a movie version, but have yet to experience it on stage. My mother in law has a friend that she has season tix with and they've been going for about 10 years or so. Last year I adopted this tradition for my own and convinced a friend to do the same. I love it and even though it can be a bit of a stretch to our budget, I happily forgo going to the movies and instead borrow the dvd's when they come to my library.

In December, I took Chickie~poo to see Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Show starring the Rockettes. Chickie~poo was soooo excited. Her questions were relentless: What time does the show start? What time do we need to leave our house? How long does it take to get there? Do we have time to stop for treats? Where do we park? How far/long is the walk? What time does it start again? She tends to be a bit anal ~ not sure where this trait comes from!

I assure her all is taken care of. She calls her Grandmother who just saw the show last week as it was in her city. Grandma tells her be sure not to miss the Rockettes as the Drummer Boys. We pull into the packed parking garage but are the only ones walking to the theater. We pass an older woman who is dressed as an usher and she says, "Aren't you a bit early?". We just murmur and keep walking as this is Florida, and we encounter confused elders daily. When we present our tickets to the usher at the door, we were informed the show started at 1:00 and we have missed the first half! My poor daughter was soooo disappointed. And yup, you guessed it, we missed the Drummer Boys act.

I was confused, as I bought a season subscription for Sundays @ 2. Apparently, they change the time of a few shows. I was told to check my tickets more closely. The tickets for this show and Lion King were for Sundays @ 1. Lesson learned. (the hard way!)

So yesterday, we left more than enough time to have lunch on the way and still arrived at the theater 45 minutes early. My daughter is 10 and is tall for her age. There seemed to be a million preschool aged kids in the theater and at least $60 a ticket, I was wondering if money wasn't an issue would I take my preschooler? I came up with.....NOPE, 'cause I think I'd be so worried they would be loud or squirmy and would somehow prohibit other viewers from enjoying the show. Obviously, these parent were cut from a different cloth than me.

For the most part, most of the kids were good. You'd hear some sounds every now and then. I saw a few parent with babies leaving through the dark door (which is even crazier to me as you have to pay for a ticket for any person, babies included) when they started to cry.

One scene a child continued to whine and the parent refused to take the child out of the theater and the actor playing Simba addressed the problem without missing a beat. In the scene he was telling Nahla how he couldn't leave his paradise as there was no place more beautiful, greener......etc. etc. and he slipped in Quieter. Everyone cracked up.

I point this out to tell you before the show started, the crotchety middle aged woman who has a season ticket next to us (and smells like mothballs, stale coffee breath and Charlie perfume) turned to my tall 10 year old daughter and nastily said, "Please don't talk or sing the songs and ruin the show for me!". My daughter was mortified that someone would think she wasn't mature or well mannered enough to handle herself appropriately at the theater! With all these young ones around, she decided to call my girl out?? I don't think so!

So tell me, what do you think about taking children to the theater?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Best Muffins evah!

Banana Crumb Muffins

Wanna make the best muffins evah??? You have to try this recipe. It's the top rated recipe at

Banana Crumb Muffins

"The crumb topping is what makes these banana muffins stand apart from the ordinary. They're scrumptious!"

Original recipe yield: 10 muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why, Mom, Why????

It's time for We are THAT Family's weekly Sincerely Fro Me To You. Please go have a look see at what others came up with this week.

This week I offer you a picture that no child should have to find of them self.

Why, Mom, Why???

Was there really nothing more to do while we were camping? When your 5 year old daughter did the potty dance and might have said she really needed to go, did you really think photo op? Did you position her just so on the picnic table, surrounded by people (I see someone leaning on the tree, Gah, I hope looking the other way!) then run to get your camera? Or did you make me hold it until you got the camera? I hope it was handy.Did you confirm it was just #1? Or were you willing to take the chance all in the name of creativity? From the surprised look on my face I had NOT signed any waivers for this photo shoot. Did we later eat at that picnic table or were we just defiling someone else's campsite?

Mom, you need to answer for yourself and we are all waiting..................

Why, Mom, Why???

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Making a list, checking it twice

Rocks in My Dryer is holding What Works for Me Wednesday again.

Wanna know what works for me? Basic staple items kept stocked. Cleaning items, paper products and toiletries are things I always have at least doubles of. When I am opening my second to last one of these, I put it on my weekly shopping list. Then I rotate and put the new one in back and move the others forward. I know it makes no sense as most of these items don't expire, but I feel better about it.

I also keep coke, milk and bread on my list, whether I need them or not. I type my shopping list. Yes, I realize I'm one of those. I have a saved document that has my list broken into categories and the above three mentioned items are already typed into it. Then I gather my scrap paper from the kitchen where I write down things as I use them up and then after I've meal planned for the week I type up my grocery list. I print it out right before I leave to go shop and when I close the document, I don't save the changes! The document is ready the next time for me with the categories and these three items. I then bring a pen, pencil, crayon or highlighter to mark things off while I'm at the store. (I've been forced to use lipstick in rare cases).

I can't tell you how much time it saves me to do these two things.
I also can be honest when I tell my kids if it's not on the list.......we aint gettin' it!
We are never without shampoo, toothpaste, laundry soap or Clorox wipes. We ALWAYS have toilet paper, and as Flylady once said, "Nothing says I love you like having toilet paper when you need it" (or maybe I'm paraphrasing here).
Bread goes into the freezer to be rotated out in an orderly fashion. My kids are milk drinkers and we go through about 4 gallons a week. If it seems we have too much milk, I'll plan a meal or snack or treat that uses milk. Having enough coke, always a good plan to make mama happy!
And that, my friends, is what works for me!

Go find out what works for others this Wednesday: click here!~

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

SPT Challenge: Something New

Amuse-Bouche hosts a weekly challenge entitled She Photographs on Tuesday (SPT). Here's the gist(as I understand it): She gives you a topic and you interpret that through photography. I am excited as I got a new camera and still need practice using it.

This Tuesday the directive is Something New.

I offer you: A Brand- Spanking New Twelve Year Old

This is my oldest child, Bugaboo who turned 12 at 12:08 this morning.

In 1996 my water broke around 2 in the morning on Mother's Day. I was so excited; I was about to become a mother on Mother's Day. My father was also born on a Mother's Day. Can I tell ya, I got robbed!!??!!! That kid waited until Mother's Day was over and gave himself an extra 8 minutes to make sure to rob me of my first Mother's Day.

But who can be mad at such a cutie??!!??

I can't even call him a procrastinator as he was born two weeks early. He just likes to do things his way. He's a planner and a list maker. He likes things to be fair and just. He loves to reach out to the underdogs. He helps everyone. He has a great sense of humor and loves to read. He plays baseball, basketball, football, and golf. He's showing us glimpses of the man he will be. He makes us proud!

Happy Birthday, Bugaboo!

To see what other bloggers did for this week's SPT challenge; click here:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Birthday Traditions

My oldest son is having a birthday tomorrow. It's become our family's tradition for the birthday person to plan the meal for the family on the actual day.

The party with your friends: you have no say! It can be whatever day is most convenient for me. The type of party you are having dictates the food. For example, my son has invited 6 of his friends to be picked up after school on Thursday by My Man and they are being taken to a afternoon professional baseball game. I'm sure they will have hot dogs and soda. Maybe some peanuts or crackerjacks. The pick up for the parents will be at a ice cream shop, so I'm sure there will be ice cream for everyone as well.

But this year the birthday boy has his own baseball game on his actual birthday. His brother has baseball practice. And we are expecting out of state guests who will be staying with us, to arrive that evening.

So, tonight we will be eating our family Birthday Dinner. Here's what he has planned:

Smashed Potatoes and Gravy
Root beer in a bottle
Leave me a comment and tell me: What would you plan for your birthday dinner?

Don'cha have anything to say?

I've been reading blogs for a few months now. I rarely left comments. It's not that I didn't have anything to say.......I was more intimidated with making my thoughts coherent and concise (not always in that order). When I did feel the need for speed, I posted comments under the name " A Lurker". Pretty scary, right? I thought it described me to a T, but was generic enough to hide. I mean anyone could be a lurker, right?

But, now? Now that I have decided to join the ranks of those who write, I CRAVE the comments. When my computer alerts me that I have new mail I rush over to see who has left me a comment. Laundry be damned! Of course, this sets me up for recurrent disappointment as White House/Black Market is just notifying me of the things they are offering this week that I can't afford. Or gives me the daily recipe that will undoubtedly contain at least one main ingredient that someone in my family won't eat. But I am not to be deterred, no, I am eternally hopeful. I know the next alert will be the one.

So how do I get more comments? I can't decide if I should unabashedly demand comments or just continue to ask open ended statements encouraging one to leave a comment? Do you have any ideas? Leave a comment with your suggestions.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother's Day

Are you wondering whether my husband knows me or not? Well, I could make you wait till tomorrow as the actual gift has yet to arrive, but my man couldn't wait that long to tell me all about my gift.

You see, he read this blog entry I wrote where I stated he doesn't know me well enough to surprise me with a gift I will love. To be more accurate, he asked me to read it to him over the phone while he was bored on Saturday. After reading him the last line: ".....he could have read this post and saved all the effort he is going to for Mother's Day to prove he knows me :)" our conversation went something like this:

My Man: Oh, I've so got this!
Me: Ya think?
MM: I soooo know you.
Me: No you don't. Didn't you hear me say I don't even know myself? So how could you know me?
MM: I've got this!
Me: We'll see.......

Later that day:

MM: Has a package come for you?
Me: Nope, the mail is here though.
MM: Let's call DHL and see if I know you.
Me: You got me DHL? Wha?
MM: No, your gift is being delivered from them. Look up their number.
Me: 1/800/Call/DHL
MM: You can't give me the numbers? I hate having to spell it out.......C.....A....L....
Me: *giggle* You need the tracking number. You don't have the tracking number. Do you even know the name of the person you bought this from on Ebay? Their not gonna be able to tell you anything.
MM: I don't need that.
Me: *thinks to self: why must he waste his time like this?*

A few minutes pass.......

MM: It won't be here until Monday.
Me: Wha......howdja...... whatever. I could've done that.
MM: Unh, hunh. So you wanna know what I got you? I saw you looking for it on your computer. You had one of those list thingys.
Me: Hunh? I do searches all the time. Oh, I do have a Amazon wish list with 2 items on it.
MM: Yup, I got you want you wanted!!!!! It's the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixers.
Me: My oh my, pumpkin pie! Oh, the baking I can do with that........
MM: Yup, I'm gonna say win/win!

So since he let the cat out of the bag early, but the gift won't actually arrive until tomorrow, you'll have to make do with a stock picture from amazon:

Isn't she beautiful??? I'm gonna have to name her.....Any suggestions?

I'd tell you my kids know me better than anyone, but since I repeatedly tell them over and over and over and over again what I want from them, I'm not so sure I can get away with saying they know me as much as listened to me :)

Here's my stash I was greeted with upon wakening this morn: (click to enlarge)

It contains the obligatory handmade cards, the cute picture gifts the two middle kids made at school, a acrostic poem my oldest wrote:





I know, I know, how did he ever come up with that? You'll also see one of those cards that plays music when it's opened. Have you seen those commercials? Apparently, my kids did. My MIL was talked into buying that for my kids to give me. All four kids, even the baby, played freeze dance with that until the battery died. The loot in the pic is all spread out on the paper submarine my seven year old used in a talent show Friday where he sang and danced to Yellow Submarine. Then convinced his teacher he needed the wall mural size prop to give to me. *Thanks*

But you can barely see the requested gifts: Love Coupons.

I love me some love coupons. They are the best gift! The kids can make them themselves. They don't break their bank. You get just what you need. It's the equivalent of cash from My Man.

This mother's day I raked them in. I have at least 30 of them from the older three kiddos. The coupons I received are the bomb: they range from cleaning their room, to free massage, free "babysitting" all the way to staying out of my face for 30 minutes. I swear, you think I'd make that up? The seven year old even thought of the gift that keeps on giving: One free coupon with whatever you want, even another free coupon. What mom wouldn't want to cash in one of these? Oh, and they don't expire though the older ones were smart enough to put time limits on some of them.

I highly recommend asking for your children to give you love coupons for all your holidays. Once my coupons are used up I have to start making up holidays so my kids will replenish my stash. Can you say: Thank God It's Monday and my mom did the wash???

Meet the Mama: I hate having my picture taken.

I hate having my picture taken. I am hypercritical of myself. I always hide when someone brings out a camera.

If I am forced to pose, I feel all awkward. How many chins are showing? Are the black circles under my eyes especially heinous today? Am I smiling too hard? If I sit/stand/lean/kneel like this is it better or worse?

And heaven help me if it's a group shot. If you think those are always better because you can hide in the must not be only 5 feet tall. See, when you are vertically challenged everyone seems to grab you and shove you front and center.

Even half of my children are taller than I (well one has an inch or two to go, but she still has great posture and isn't trying to hide extremely large breasts, yet). So you can only hope to be in front of women who are larger than you. Men don't count. I don't compare myself with them. (Though I reserved the right to mock any man whose girth is smaller than mine.) The repetitive chant looping through my head at this point is.... "Do these people I surround myself with make me look fat?" If so, it may be time to find a new group. 'Cause it must be their fault, right???!!!?? (It's Mother's Day, say "Right!" ~ at least throw me that bone).

And then my friend wanted me to post a picture of myself. I hemmed and hawed and said I didn't have any pictures of me. She said what about that one I saw the other day? Oh, well that was from a long time ago. That got me thinking I could use ANY picture. A baby picture, a picture of me from college, whatever, the sky was the limit. So I told her when she started her own blog, I'd post a picture. I figured I had at least the summer to get it together as my friend wasn't allowing me to *push* her as others claimed I did. Matter of fact, if a blog didn't come in ebook form, I figured I was safe with this friend. Guess what she did? Yup, that same day!!! And to top it off, she's a skinny biatch!!!!! Actually, they both are. (Maybe that explains why they want to be friends with me ~ but how does this benefit me??)

Please go visit The Keeper of All Things and leave her a comment and show her some love.

Then tell her I DID post a picture of myself. It was taken last year, when I was 8 months pregnant, at my baby shower for my youngest. Everyone gives the pregnant woman some slack, it's only right!! So, I'm not fat in that picture, I'm "heavy with child" :).

*I'm off to break up with all my skinny friends and make new friends that are pleasantly more plump than I*

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I do Rock! I won!!!

I NEVER win anything. I know everyone says that....but in my case it's true. But this time, the God's were smilin' on me and I won!!!!

I entered Frantically Simple's My Kid's Mom Rocks contest and won. Her rules were simple:

"Each winner will get to personalize his or her own box of fruit-roll ups for free. (Each box is a $30 value.)That’s right, you get instant coolness delivered to your door and you pay nothing.
To enter, leave me a comment telling me either:1)How your kid’s mom (or dad) rocks or 2) How you would personalize your Roll-Ups."

I frantically (pun intended) clicked to leave a comment and this is what I came up with:

Hmmmm, my first thought would be to put *my seven year old’s name* ’s Mom Rocks! But, my ten year old may be feeling like a middle child again and get all surly and feel left out. She tends to do that. Pretty sure my oldest middle schooler would be ok with it as he would be mortified if I brought *ANYTHING* to school for him and singled him out. And the baby could care less as long as she gets one.So then I was thinking go with *our last name* kids’ Mom Rocks!!! And then what? Splitting the box in half? Only giving them to the kids they each like?So I gotta go with brownie points and do something like the one with our last name, but send them in lunch boxes for a few days so they can make all the other students jealous, and then give a few to each teacher I love to teach my kids the art of brown nosing!!!!Thanks for the offer.

It did the trick. The Gods smiled.........or at least my number came up.

Hmmmm, it's only a 14 hour drive to Atlantic City. Think my luck will hold out? Nah, me neither.

Thank You, Mom

Meet my mom........ This is my mom, in her mid teen years. Not long before I tried to ruin that awesome figure! I'm sure I will post about her over and over again as she has given me sooooo many great stories that demand to be shared. I've already warned her.

I decided to use this picture honoring her because I always stared at those legs whenever I saw this picture. They look nothing like mine. Actually, I only have my mom's olive skin tone, her left handedness and select personality traits. And maybe her hands (but not her nice nails). Other than that, NADA! Thanks for nothing, DNA.

But this post I just want to thank her in honor of Mother's Day. There are so many things I should be thankful for when it comes to having her as a mom............

~Thank you, MOM for giving me life. You turned eighteen three weeks before you had me and could have chosen differently.

~Thank you, Mom for being that young mom who everyone thought was my sister as I got older. You may have embarrassed me in every other way; but you always looked great doing it.
~ Thank you, Mom for being so creative. There was never a dull moment.

~Thank you, Mom for sharing your DNA with me so even though I missed out on those legs, my daughter got them and I can live through her.

~Thank you, Mom for being the butt end of most of both your children's jokes!

~Thank you, Mom for being the Grandmother, (Gotta) to my children. They love and admire you just as you are!

~Thank you, Mom for making me think. It took me a few years to understand that to think for myself didn't always go against what the majority said, but when it did, it was all good.

~Thank you, Mom for being such a strong woman. You have given me the strength by being your daughter to know that I can do whatever it takes. I will follow your example, if needed.

~Thank you, Mom for being you! I love you.


What?? You've never done the Flip Flop Test??

Me neither.....until today.

I was visiting Dust Bunny Hostage and she had a test about breakfast. But I hate breakfast. I only eat a little bit to get me going in the morn, but I don't like any of it. I was having a hard time answering the quiz questions.....what kind of cereal do you like? (none), what would you put of pancakes (nothing), etc. .....and none of these were options.

Then I saw it. A link for another test ~ for the Flip Flop Test. THAT I could do.

Here's what my Flip Flops say about me:

What Your Flip Flops Say About You

You are a warm, friendly person who simply enjoys life.

You don't complicate things for yourself. Life is too short!

You have a super optimistic attitude, and you have figured out how to be happy.

Everyone wants to know your secret... and it's a lot more simple than they might think.

Your ideal warm weather place: San Diego

I've never been to San Diego but I'm thinking I have to tell my husband the Gods at Blogthings says it's my ideal warm weather place and he'll have to take me, doncha think? Leave a comment and tell me what your flops tell me about you!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Neurotically Yours is born!

Welcome to the blog world, baby girl!

Thanks for the suggestions.........she finally came up with her own. I *may* have pushed her a bit. Whadda ya think? Go visit her so she can tell you her side of the story!

Click here and show her some love!

So I have this friend.......

and she wants to start a blog as well.

But she's allowing herself to become stagnant over the perfect blog name. She is stuck. She's asked her husband and kids. She's asked her brother who has written poems for the family. She's searched her mind. She's listened to my suggestions. But she can't commit.

I've asked her what ones she's considered. She just giggles and says nothing! I give a few suggestions. She is noncommittal in her hmmmmm. I tell her to pick a word that describes her. She tells me: neurotic; then really laughs. I say how about Possibly Neurotic and she says, nope, she's pretty sure she IS neurotic. So than I go through 31 different flavors using the term neurotic. She just says she can't decide.

Here are my top picks as of this morn:

Simply Neurotic
Neurotically Domestic (yup, I made that word up)
Proud to be Neurotic
Can You Spell Neurotic??
Neurotic Since 19?? (Not sure of her birth year as she's a bit younger than me)
My Mom is More Neurotic Than Yours
I'm Pretty Sure I am Neurotic

So please leave a comment and tell us which of these you like, or if you can creatively make up one of your own using Neurotic !!!!!!!

My Neurotic Friend Will Thank You!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Father, Wally

Wally would have been 59 today!
His high school picture is a little worse for the wear....
We've missed him alot these past 8 1/2 years.
He has 5 more grandchildren he never got to meet.
Happy Birthday, Wally!

An Ode to Dorothy

I'm on the wagon again. Come join me as I participate in We are THAT Family 's blog carnival entitled:

Sincerely Fro' Me To You.

Her instructions seem easy enough to me: "We just want to read about something that will never see the inside of a scrapbook either because it's not worthy or because you can't find your fancy crinkle cut scissors." Um, I've yet to make any scrapbook and all my pictures are thrown in a trunk. And not in an organized trunk, but literally thrown in. As I was forced to see last night at 9 pm when I was picking up piles to go through in search of a recent family picture my 7 yr old needs for school ~ tomorrow!

However, even if I was able to have my family's life creatively documented and bound, this picture wouldn't have made the cut. Not because it isn't worthy, or I couldn't find my fancy scissors, or the fact that one of my older kids took it, but because it's not the most flattering pic. It shows my mother in law, Dorothy, as I've seen her many times at the end of her visits to my house. This is an ode to Dorothy in honor of Mother's Day!

We've clearly exhausted this woman! She drives four hours to see us, and we've planned her arrival to the minute. After the kids help her bring her things into the house, I wave a combo hello/goodbye on my way out! Well, she offered! She usually calls a few days before she is to arrive and asks if her son and I can go out at all while she's here. With his work schedule combined with whatever event has brought her north, there is only a 50-50 shot of this happening. However, she always tells me then to find a friend to go to dinner with or go shop by myself or whatever. Dontcha just love her already????

She also is a work horse, old school style. She can't stand to sit still when there are things to be done. She takes over the "cleaning up after the children" duties including the dreaded folding and putting away of the laundry (and with four of them, there is ALWAYS laundry to be folded and put away). I like to cook, so when I make dinner, she'll do the kitchen cleanup! She comes and makes the kids do a spring clean in their rooms regardless of the season. She is the master of the old newspaper and glass cleaner on the french doors. When we are entertaining for whatever event she is here for, she is a bit socially shy so she tends to stay in the kitchen cleaning up. After getting over feeling like I take advantage of her, it works for both of us!

She is also the most patient game player with the kids. She plays endless rounds of uno, bs, go fish, spoons, trash, war and rummy. And don't even get the kids started on the board games. The only two board games in my closet I haven't actually witnessed her playing (which doesn't mean she doesn't when I'm not here) are Twister and Chicken Limbo. She trumps me even in video games, though neither of us will play. She at least will watch them; I refuse. If I don't even want to play the game, how much fun do you think it will be to watch you play it??

When she visits us, she sleeps with my ten year old daughter who flails in her sleep. My daughter has legs ~ankle to hip~ two inches longer than mine and she ain't afraid to use them! She kicks, hits, huffs, puffs and is always half on and half off the bed. Can you imagine the cover situation?? Yet, Dorothy always says she slept just fine.

She keeps her advice to herself. Do you know how hard that is to someone like me, who looks for any opportunity to share whatever wisdom I believe I have? Her ex mother in law didn't just seem to give advice, she also insisted she take it. Dorothy is the most non confrontational woman as they come so it was easier for her to just go with the flow. She is in fear of repeating the experience now that she is a Mother in Law; so she withholds her advice as well as her judgement. Even if we ask for her advice, she will generally (in a roundabout way) tell us to do whatever we think is best.

She NEVER has an unkind word for anyone. She lives by the rule, "if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything". My rule seems to be more in lines with "if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me". I go to great lengths to try to get her to say anything negative, even about her ex husband, but the comments have been rare and vague. I'm sure she probably prayed for forgiveness after those few times as well. She is a very faithful person. She is active in her church and attends regularly. In the summer, when she is not teaching, she attends daily. Though I don't share these views, I find them admirable.

That actually may sum up our relationship: We may not share each others views, but we find them admirable. I always feel we are polar opposites in personality, beliefs, and actions. When I tell my husband he must have sought out someone who was unlike his mother to marry, he's always surprised. He thinks we are very similar in what counts to him. We both love him, love children and family and do whatever it takes to make that our number one priority.

So this picture would never have made it to a memory book, because when I look at Dorothy holding my baby when she was a scrawny six week old, I see how unflattering it is. Reflected on me. I didn't see that she may have gone beyond her limits and I allowed her to silently plow through. I will add this picture to my mental memory book so that her next visit I will remember to force her to take in big periods of rest ~ cause I love her! She is the best Mother In Law I could have ever asked for!!!!!!!!

Check out more memories Sincerely Fro' Me to You ~ by clicking here

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Works for me Wednesday

To make this whole blogging thing a bit easier I thought I'd hop on a few bandwagons and let more experienced bloggers pave the way. So today I will be following the lead of Rocks in My Dryer. Click here to see her list and a whole slew of other wagon hoppers:

The theme is: What Doesn't Work for Me : or Lessons Learned the Hard Way.

Generic Soda: Sooo not right! Ok, I'll give you orange or grape soda may be fine for grocery store brand.........but cola? Never! And yes, in case you were wondering, there is a difference between Coke and Pepsi, and I can tell!!!!!!! Just give this girl her Coke in a glass with ice, and nobody will get hurt.

Wireless Bras: Underwire IS the support, so I just don't get large cup sized bras without underwire.

Thong Panties: I know some of you think they da bomb, regardless of wearer's size; but I've got to tell you, I've tried them when I was tiny as well as, well, large and I find them to be nothing but the most uncomfortable piece of string up my ass!

Clogs: Perhaps this is just in response to the memories I have associated with them of my mother's choice of footwear, but everything about them are heinous to me. Even the name..... CLOOOOGGGGG. *shudder*

Fragrance Free Detergent: I'm not talking about people who have allergies, but this is all about me, right??? If you don't get detergent that smells good, you might as well go back to washing your clothes in a big tub with water or just don't use detergent at all ~ kinda like Euro's and deodorant.

Hey, this is much easier than I thought, but I could go on and on and on and I have a whole basketball team coming to dinner and I have to clean, and bake cupcakes and it's almost noon. I have walked (twice this week so far, go me!!) and grocery shopped already today. On that note I'll add just one more of What Doesn't Work For Me:

Complaining Janes: You know, the people who find fault with everyone and everything! This was a fun little blurb, but I really do try to look on the bright side of things. I certainly don't want to be a Debbie Downer (am I showing my age again with that reference??) So here's to putting a glow on the rest of your day!

What are some things that don't work for you?????????

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is fast approaching. Have you dropped your subtle and not so subtle hints? I went to the store the other day and picked up a skirt and a pair of jeans and told my husband it was some of my early Mother's day presents. He asked if Mother's Day was soon?

I'm not a great gift receiver. Or giver for that matter. My husband and I forgo gifts often for each other and blame it on our financial situation. My husband loves surprises and I hate them. My preferred present is cash with the freedom to shop without children or guilt over my purchases. I really think this is a win/win sitch. My husband chooses the amount to give and I get whatever I want. Who wouldn't want that?

Apparently anyone with an ounce of romance, which excludes me. Are you one of those girls who want to be surprised? Why, I ask? Does he know you so well he always gets it right? Cause I gotta tell you, I don't know myself that well.

I used to just ask for gift certificates so I could pick out what I wanted. But that just put pressure on me to buy something at that particular store. I'd go to the store and end up looking at things for the house, but then I'd think, wait a I the house? Of course I'd find tons of things for the kids, but hey this wasn't about them either! So I'd steer myself back to the department just for me, but I just couldn't make a decision. My AWESOME talent of being able to justify almost anything was working against me! Maybe its a fear of commitment? Nah, I have four kids and have been married for over 12 years so that can't be it.

My phone just rang and my husband called from work saying not to open any emails from any shopping online he may have done. Hunh? He said maybe he may have done some shopping on ebay and may have asked a question and he doesn't know which email account the response will be sent to so maybe it would be sent to me and I was not to open it just forward it to him at work.

So after this I told him I wanted to talk to him about something. Doesn't everyone just love to hear those words? I also asked if I was on speakerphone (nope ~ but I always have to check cause he loves to mulitask while on the phone and he shares his office with his assistant). I took a deep breath and blurted out that I didn't understand why I was doing this so I didn't expect him to understand but I wanted to start a blog 'cause I've been reading some for a few months and it's free and I'm not sure why I want to or what I will get out of it but I promise to keep his name out of it (for now) and I'm not asking for permission, just informing him of my personal decision. WHEW! Silence on the other end, then of course he had to say, "Why?" Uh, I don't know, didn't you hear my rambling statement??

Moral to this post: I should have told him about this last night when I wanted to (but chickened out and thought if I slept on it the perfect rationale would come to me in my dreams) and he could have read this post and saved all the effort he is going to for Mother's Day to prove he knows me :)

First Post

I think I'm gonna try to forge into the unknown world of blogging. Please be patient and kind :)