Friday, December 28, 2012

Olive Bread, So Good

     Oh my heavens, have I got a recipe for you. This recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman's Blog, which I get every morning, and I am convinced that if we met in real life we would be instant best friends. I tried this last night with a few variations. I used pre-sliced french bread and I skipped the green onions. And because I used the pre-sliced french bread I only had to put it under the broiler for about five minutes. This was like a delicious pizza without the nasty sauce. 
     Seriously, I made this my dinner last night. And don't be afraid of the Mayo, because it just helps make it creamy, you can't taste it. I also had mozzarella on hand so that's what I used. One more quick tip make sure the butter is very soft. It helps it spread easier. It was so good. Give it a shot.


  • 1 loaf French Bread
  • 6 ounces, weight Pimiento-stuffed Green Olives
  • 6 ounces, weight Black Olives
  • 2 stalks Green Onions (scallions)
  • 1 stick Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3/4 pounds Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

Preparation Instructions

Roughly chop both black olives and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Slice green onions into thin pieces.
Combine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture onto French bread that has been sliced lengthwise. Bake at 325ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.
Mixture can also be refrigerated (up to two days) and used as a dip. Great with crackers.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Time To Take Down The Tree

     Have you taken down your Christmas decorations yet? Has your tree found a new home on the curb? I am always a little unsure of when it should all be taken down and put away for next year. Some people are superstitious and believe that you have to take it down on New Years for good luck in the New Year.
     In the past we have taken our tree down as late as two weeks after Christmas because the kids couldn't bear to part with it. This year I think it may go sooner than that, providing I don't have a mutiny on my hands.
Some of our kids still don't think I should take the tree down sooner rather than later. Our tree is pretty dead and taking up valuable real estate in my kitchen. What? It was the only place we had to put it this year since we have filled every available space with people.
     We had a great Christmas with family, and presents, and lots of good food. I hope yours was just as good. Now off to strip the tree before it becomes even more of a fire hazard. Maybe I'll find a gift card I missed. :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ready Or Not Here It Comes

     Ready or not here it comes. Today is the big day, because tomorrow will be too late. I hope you are done wrapping, baking, shopping and sitting in front of a fire with eggnog, or your drink of preference in a mug, enjoying some Christmas music.
     I'm not there yet. Not even close. I hope to be there some time late tonight. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
     I am wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas. May your families gather in health and safety and share in the spirit of the season.

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Years Resolutions

     It's that time of year again. Time to start thinking of some New Year's resolutions. I would be willing to bet that over the last 32 years of marriage I have had the same resolutions 27 years in a row. I figure this means I am either an eternal optimist or an epic failure. I'll let you decide.     
     The important thing is, I am still going to make them this year too. I haven't narrowed down the details yet and to me the details are the important part. I like to make elaborate lists of goals, setting down rules as to how I'm going to accomplish said goals. (This is probably why I fail.)
      But I'm still going to make them. It's a tradition after all. Here's a few that I have been keeping on the list.
To eat healthier. (This will fall by the wayside on New Year's day.) To be a more patient and better mother. My kids conspire to make this one impossible by driving me crazy.)  To keep to a house cleaning schedule. (Don't tell me what to do.) To try and save more money. (Have I mentioned the fifteen people living in this house? They want to eat daily.) To read my scriptures more consistently. (I actually had some success with this one last year.)
     Those are just a few of the goals I have set for myself and I'm sure there will be about ten more that I can fail at before the snow stops flying.
     Do you make resolutions? More importantly, do you keep them. What had been your greatest success? What had been your worst failure.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How Can This Be Happening Again?

     I happens every year. I start to get ready for Christmas and I have all these great intentions and then somehow, someway time slips through my fingers and it's here and I'm not ready. I haven't done the baking I wanted to do, I'm not done with my shopping and don't have the food bought. How does this happen?!
     There's still Christmas music I haven't listened to. I need one more week. Can anyone help me with this? If you have the gift of going back in time or slowing down time, now is the time to let me know. I can keep a secret, really.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Daughter and Her Bionic Hearing

     How is it that my teenage daughter can hear me tell her sister she's being flaky from two rooms away? I think she has bionic hearing. It makes it really hard to talk about her behind her back. What's up with that?
     I thought teenagers were supposed to be partially deaf. My others always were. They were lost in a teenage world of their own. To be honest I think I prefer it that way. How can you find that release of stress you need while raising teens if they hear every whisper?
     I think it's some kind of conspiracy on her part to drive me crazy. It's working.

Monday, December 17, 2012

20 Random Acts of Kindness

     Is there anyone who hasn't shed a tear at the senseless violence that has happen in our country over the last few weeks? I doubt it.
     At this time of year it seems we should all be rejoicing in the season rather than mourning lost lives. I propose a little something to help mend our hearts and return the focus to happiness. In honor of the children, I am going to try to do 20 random acts of kindness before the end of the month and I invite you to join me. If all of us try to counter evil with good there is no telling what kind of difference we can make, though I suspect the biggest difference will be within our own souls.
     I still believe there is more good in this world than bad. Let's prove it. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Our Christmas Season So Far

     We have had an eventful week and it's not over yet. This morning we are getting new carpet in our family room because our dog Koda has ruined it. We have to move the entertainment center, which has enough cords and wires to rewire the space shuttle. It may never work again. We also have to move the couch, which is heavy and bulky, but we won't have to rewire that.
     The flu has reared its ugly head at our house, be forewarned if you come over. My daughter passed out tonight in the bathtub as she was vomiting. She landed face first and split her lip open, got a bloody nose and we'll see tomorrow about the black eye.
     We're also trying to get my mother in law ready for her trip to California. Talk about stress, it's never ending around here.
     I can only hope we all get and stay healthy before Christmas comes and that Grandma doesn't get it at all.
     How's your holiday season going? Better than this I hope. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thank Heaven for Little Boys

     When I was growing up I had two sisters, younger sisters. I also had a younger brother, but he passed away at two years of age. Because of this boys were always a mystery to me. I didn't really understand the way they think and why they act the way they do.
     Now that I am married to one, and have given birth to five of them, they are less of a mystery.
     Boys are much more of a what you see is what you get kind of creature. They usually know what they want and go for it. If they get angry and fight with each other they explode and then it's over. 
     Where as the girls, they fight and two hours later you hear them saying,"And one more thing, remember when you..."  They are kind of like little wives that way. They may forgive, but they never forget.
     My boys have had so many girls around them that they knew just when to stick up for themselves and when to head for the hills. It has made them better husbands and better boyfriends. 
     I enjoy watching my two little boys and trying to see the world through their eyes. They are so curious about things and they enjoy testing their limits. I can't wait to see what kind of men they turn into.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Life is Good When

     What is it about a newborn baby's cry that  makes you want to pick them up and love them and poke your own ear drums out at the same time. I know, you're thinking, "You should be used to that with all your kids," but you never get used to that.
     The best part now is that I don't have to get up and take care of that screaming baby. hahaha. I can roll over and go back to sleep. Although I do have to confess a little bit of anxiety about whether she's being taken care of the way I would do it, but that's the price you pay for being able to go back to sleep. You have to trust that you've raised your kids in such a way that they are ready to take care of the next generation.
     This week alone I have heard all three of my grandkids wake up in the middle of the night. Sofia was throwing up the other night and I heard bath water running at about 2am. That brought a big smile to my face. I not only got to go back to sleep but I didn't have to clean up the barf. lololol Then Liam woke up a couple of times and I just snuggled down into my blankets and drifted away. Then there's little Livia, so tiny, so cute and so hungry. I don't have to change her, nurse her, or try to figure out why she is crying.
      I get to see them every day. I get to hold them when I want to and snuggle with them and kiss their little faces but I don't have to do any of the work. 
    Yes, being the Monna is the reward for having done it all before and now you get to not do it. Life is good.

Monday, December 10, 2012

If Money Were No Object

     Here we are with Christmas knocking at the door and it got me to thinking about presents. If money was no object, like it was you who just collected the Powerball payout of 192 million in cash, what would you want for Christmas?
     Would it be something small and sparkly that would make Elizabeth Taylor swoon, or something you could drive really fast? Use your imaginations and go for the brass ring here. What would it be?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let the Season Begin

     We just bought our Christmas tree, let the season begin!
     Of course, as I started stringing the lights I remembered that most of ours burned out last year and now I have to go buy more lights before we can progress. Why does this always happen? You get started on a project and you are stopped in the first three steps. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.
     I probably have half my shopping done which it more than I had done at this time last year. I also have made a couple of batches of Christmas goodies. I'm feeling really good about that. I have a long way to go though. We have been making cashew brittle the last few years and it is one of our favs. I also make Russian tea cakes, which a few of us love, but the others can take them or leave them. Which is fine with me, more for the rest of us. I also make these little chocolate peanut butter squares that taste just like Reese's peanut butter cups.
     I have attempted to make sugar cookies with icing several times, but they never turn out quite right. I blame the recipe and the altitude, because it couldn't be me.
     I'm looking forward to Christmas a little more this year. I don't know why, it's not like we have more money to spend. It's the same as any other year. I think I have just decided to try and enjoy the season and not stress about it. I'm going to make a special point to enjoy the music, the lights, the food and concentrate on the blessings we already have, instead of what is under the tree.
    And here's to wishing the same for you my friends.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Birth Of Baby Livia

     We definitely experienced the highs and lows of the child birth roller coaster yesterday. And I have to say there is nothing worse than seeing your child in pain and not being able to do anything. Then there was the stress of a possible c-section after hours and hours of labor. Thankfully, we were able to avoid that, but after 27 hours of labor poor Karrah was exhausted. Pushing that baby out was a real test of her endurance.
    Luckily she had her mom and two of her sisters there for support and encouragement. I got a chance to see how special our family is. We're not perfect, but we try really hard not to hurt each others feeling and we are always there for each other when someone needs us. Watching Livia's birth brought us closer. And I can tell you that little girl is loved by each of us. She will never lack for family or aunts willing to help her and telling what she's doing wrong and right. If it takes a village to raise a child she has one in her own family. She probably won't be able to truly appreciate that until she holds her own little baby in her arms and is surrounded by family.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I Love Autumn

     I love autumn. I love cold weather. I love the hazy, gold glow when it is late afternoon and the sun is beginning to set. It is the only time of year that has this feeling.
     Now the trees have been stripped of their leaves in anticipation of winter and the grass is turning a yellow gold.
     Christmas lights are taking the place of pumpkins and scarecrows. Before we know it Christmas will be here.
     I only wish this time of year would last longer and it wasn't quite so stressful.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just One More

     We all stayed home from church yesterday with sore throats and runny noses. You're welcome.
      It's not the best situation to be bringing home a new baby, but hopefully sometime tomorrow my daughter will have her baby girl and in a few days we will bring her home.
     That will make a grand total of fifteen people living here. I have to say that there are times when it seems hectic, but all in all it hasn't been that bad. Maybe, we're just used to lots of chaos and noise, or maybe our house is big enough not to feel too overcrowded. We do have seven bathrooms, yes seven, with seven bedrooms, eight if you count the living room that we are using as a bedroom. We purposely did that just in case the day came when one of our married kids needed to stay with us for a while with their family. We could see the writing on the wall regarding the economy when we were planning our house.
     We look at this time in our lives as a blessing because we have been able to spend time with our kids as adults and with our grandbabies as infants. Most people don't get to do that. It seems just when your kids are becoming livable and pleasant to be around after the teen years they up and leave. You don't get to enjoy who they have become.
    We are lucky to have this opportunity. When they finish their educations and move I know we won't be able to see them as much and it already makes me sad. Sooner or later they will move away to follow a job or something like that and our time together will be over.
     For hundreds of years people raised their children and then those children grew up married and raised their families right on the same land, or at least in the same town. Those were the good old days. Family is what it's all about. There is always room for one more.

Friday, November 30, 2012

If I were in Charge

     I'm starting a new category on my blog today and it will be called, "If I were in charge." The first thing I want to talk about is college classes. If I were in charge I would change all the stupid, time wasting classes you are required to take just to satisfy your general ed and move on the the classes you really need to get your degree of choice.
     I understand that the powers that be will say they want students to be well rounded when it comes to their education, but I suspect that it's more a matter of squeezing out more dollars from these students before they leave school forever. For example my son was required to take a class about classical music. His major is Bio-medical engineering. So what the heck does classical music have to do with that? This class is costing him six hundred dollars. SIX HUNDRED! And he hates it.
     If I was in charge I would require a few general ed things that were basic and more geared toward dealing with the day to day working world, like how about a psychology class that deals with co-workers, conflict resolution, dealing with the public, something you might actually use in the working world.
     There is so much wrong with this country and the way things are done that it drives me crazy. It seems we have lost our common sense.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

No Baby Today

     I wanted to be able to share the joyous news of our new grand daughter's birth, but alas, the flu has reared its ugly head and they sent Karrah home last night because her midwife was sick. I don't know when she will be having this baby now because I'm not sure if they are going to try to induce her when the midwife is better, or just let nature take its course.
    I do know that I was all geared up and ready to kiss her little face about a million times and now I am going to have to kiss my little Liam's face instead, not that it's a problem for me, but at about 750,000 kisses he gets tired of me. Sorry kiddo, I have to have my fix of baby kisses and you are easier to keep in one place than Sofia is. She's two, and though I get to kiss her each and every day, she's mobile which makes it harder to chase her down.
     I do know for sure that some time in the next couple of weeks we will have a new grand baby and I can't wait.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The World Would Be a Better Place

     Tomorrow sometime, I will be a grandmother again. I like to think of myself as, Mom, the sequel, because Grandma sounds old and I don't feel old.
     This will be our tenth grandchild and we have not yet begun to procreate. I am aiming for an even fifty. I figure that years and years from now I will have hundreds of descendants. They will probably look back at my life and say why on earth would she have ten kids? I know because my own kids already say this.
     Karrah was complaining about how tired and uncomfortable she is and I asked her if now she could appreciate all that I have been through over the years and she replied, "I don't know what is up with you. You're crazy." I think her having four more my not happen, but that's okay.
     Every new baby is a blessing and I can't wait to kiss her little face, and hold her, and smell her. After her bath.
     I look forward to the day she smiles for the first time. I can't wait to hear her little voice say, "Monna and Coke." That's what our grand kids call us.
     I can't wait to see who else joins our family over the years and to watch them grow and turn into whoever they are going to be.You see, in our family it's all about the kids and it always has been. If more people would see children as the they blessing they are instead of a burden the world would be a better place.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Love Routine

     It's been one of those mornings already. It was a fight to get my daughter out the door and to the bus before she missed it, and it was a fight to get my two boys out the door to school. I don't know why they think I'll believe their pathetic attempts to play sick. I mean really, I was a kid once too a long, long, long time ago. Of course I never pulled that stuff. (I can hear my mom's laughter right now.)
     I love the fact that they go to school. It's the only time I can think without the constant whine of little whiners in the background. You know what I mean, "I'm hungry and there's nothing to eat," or "He's had the computer for the whole day and it's my turn," or "She's been in the bathroom forever and I gotta go." Mind you we have seven bathrooms in this house, but they always want to use the one that's occupied. I totally blame their dad for this one.
     I am looking forward to the holidays, but I can promise you now that I will be looking forward to them going back to school in January just as much. There is something comforting about getting back into the routine of a routine. Ya know?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to All

     Well, the turkeys are in the ovens and the potatoes are being peeled, so I thought I would sneak away from the chaos for a minute to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
     I hope this day finds you and those you love healthy and happy. May the rest of the year be filled with love and laughter and all the good things life has to offer.
     I am grateful for so many things I couldn't even begin to list them all, but I am grateful for all of you and the love, encouragement and support you have given me through the years with my blogging and with my books. I wouldn't be where I am now without all of you and I never forget that. Thanks again  and have a great day. Don't eat too much. hahahaha Like that's not going to happen.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Thanksgiving Menu

     Here we are knocking on Thanksgiving's door. I'm often asked what and how much we cook for our Thanksgiving meal so I thought I would give you the run down. Be forewarned, we live in fear of not having enough to eat.
2-twenty pound turkey's
1-large ham
2-green bean casseroles
2-funeral potatoes
10 lbs mashed potatoes
2-jello salad with strawberries, pineapple, banana and sour cream. It's a family recipe that we all love.
1 pistachio salad
and 7-8 pies
     I think that's about it. As of right now our count for tomorrow is around 20 with a few maybe's thrown in. Our largest crowd since we moved here was almost forty. We didn't have a whole lot of leftovers that year.
     We're always grateful we've made it through another year. We have so much to be thankful for.
      To you and yours, I hope the day finds you surrounds by loved ones, with much food and laughter, joy and happiness. I love you all and you have a special place in my heart. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Maybe it's Just Me

     Here we go with the start of the holiday season. It's a mixed blessing to me. As much as I love this time of year and my family, having the kids home so much can be a pain in the neck.
      There are trade offs to be sure. You get to sleep in and you don't have to fight the homework thing, but then you have to feed them constantly and referee their fights. Whose turn is it on the computer and whose turn is it to empty the dishwasher? There are times I wish school would start at 9:00 am and get out at 5:00 pm. You know, get them ready for real life, toughen them up.
     I've now got my boys doing their own laundry and they have to clean their room. They're 9 and 11 so I think they're plenty old enough. Nothing like do your own laundry to make you realize it's not worth putting clean clothes in the hamper because you're too lazy to set them on a shelf. Haha, there's a method to my meanness. How's that for real life?
     The Christmas holiday is particularly hard when they are home. I start to go shopping and they want to go with me. How's that supposed to work? I can't buy them presents when they are right there. And they are too old for the, "That's for your cousin," trick. This is just another reason why the holidays are a mixed blessing for me, as far as school being out. Do you ever feel this way? .....Maybe it's just me. :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Brace Yourself, Here Come the Tunes

     Today's the day! The family doesn't know it yet, but I'm breaking out the Christmas music. I realize it's not even Thanksgiving, but I just can't hold off any more. I look forward to hearing those songs all year.
     The fam doesn't appreciate my choice in Christmas tunes because most of them are from country artists and a few traditional artists, like Bing Crosby singing White Christmas. Does it get any better than that?
     I think as long as you are doing Christmas shopping you should be able to listen to the music of the season. It helps ease the pain at the register.  And Walmart had their Christmas carols playing the other day when I was there, so I figure if it's good enough for them it's good enough for me.
     I have my ipod all charged up and ready to go so beware, the loud moaning and groaning you here coming from the direction of my house today will be my family. Bwahahahaha!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

We Still Have Dreams

     I have always had this dream of owning a small cabin somewhere in the mountains with lots of pine trees around it. The cabin would have big windows to watch the snow fall in the winter time and the leaves fall in the autumn. It might even overlook a lake.
     Wouldn't that be nice? Having ten kids makes this a difficult dream to attain, because while most people our age are empty nesters, or close to it, we still have three kids in school, two in elementary school. It's going to be a long time before we can think about hiding away in a cabin.
     And then you have the dilemma of wanting to be close enough to the older kids and grand-kids that if they needed us we could be there.
     Life is full of decisions and dreams, some are easy and some aren't. You don't stop dreaming and wishing as you get older. I still remember my grandmother telling me that she loved getting presents. This surprised me because I thought surely a grandmother would be beyond caring about that. Then I came to realize we are who we are and even though our bodies age we are still twenty-one-year-olds on the inside.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Pioneer Woman

    I get a blog post every morning from The Pioneer Woman. Do you know who that is? She is a blogger who has two cookbooks, out among other things and I love her blog.
    She posts blogs about her family and their life on an Oklahoma cattle ranch. She's is funny and I know if we ever met we would be great friends.
     Anyway, today she posted a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Salad and since I am always looking for new recipes to feed my crew, my gang, my army, this is going on the list of things to try.
     Check it out. It may be something that your army likes also.
     Here's today's blog and the link to her blog. And if you need something to brighten your morning sign up and give her a go.

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman | Ree Drummond - Full RSS Feed

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Salad

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  • 1 whole Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce (Frank's, Etc.)
  • Salad Greens: Iceberg, Romaine, Mixed Greens
  • 1/2 cup Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Extra Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Celery Hearts, Leaves Intact

Preparation Instructions

With a sharp knife, carefully slice the chicken breast in half from top to bottom---meaning you'll have two similarly-sized chicken breasts that are much thinner. Heat olive oil and butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast pieces and pan fry them on both sides until they're done. Get as much golden brown color on the chicken as you can. When it's done, remove the chicken from the skillet and pour off any excess fat/oil (but don't clean the pan.)
Return the chicken to the skillet and pour over the hot sauce. Turn the chicken to coat it on both sides and let it sit in the sauce while you prepare the other ingredients. (Heat should not be on under the skillet.)
Toss the lettuce in a large bowl with just enough salad dressing to lightly coat it (thin the dressing with a little milk if it's too gloopy.) Heap tossed salad into two individual bowls. Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles over the top. Slice the chicken into thin slices (on the bias) and arrange them over the top of each salad. (Dip the slices back into the sauce if necessary to really coat them.)
Top the whole thing with more blue cheese crumbles and serve with celery hearts.
Posted by Ree on November 14 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

But I've Been Writing!

     I haven't forgotten about you, but I have been writing my fingers to the bone trying to finish, 'Out of the Darkness.' I managed two chapters yesterday. Hurray for me.
     My goal is still to have it out in December, so I have been writing like mad. I rolled it all into Nano so that it works.
     The goal is another chapter today. Luckily I'm getting to the really good part, so all I want to do is write anyway.
    Wish me luck, I'm going back in.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Right Where I Want To Be

     Here we are in the middle of November and I have already started my Christmas shopping. Now, I have to admit I have a long, long way to go, but knowing that I started gives me hope that I may not be at Walmart on Christmas Eve fighting for the left overs, like every other year.
     I would love to be one of those people who are done by Thanksgiving, but I never am. I just have too many people to buy for and not enough money at one time to do it all. This year we are cutting back. The economy has hit us hard with rising gas and milk prices, but that's okay.
     Christmas is not about the gifts. At least its not supposed to be. And if you watch all the Christmas specials, that's what they are trying to tell us. It's about family and friends and being with the ones you love to celebrate the day of our Lord's birth.
     I wonder what he would say to us about the huge amount of money we spend at this time of year? Would he be disappointed that we don't spend more on the poor and the homeless? Or would he be disappointed that we don't focus on him this much all year long. I think about these kinds of things.
     When I step back from the day to day grind that we call life I can see all the blessings I have. There are too many to mention, but I have a family that I love, we are healthy we have food and shelter. That's more than some people will ever have and for these things and all the other blessing in my life, I am grateful. This is right where I want to be as the Christmas season starts.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Snow, Snow, Snow

     I am so happy this morning. It's snowing. I love the snow. Being from California, I didn't get to watch the snow when I was little, or get to stay home from school for the occasional snow day. When we moved her five years ago we weren't sure how the now was going to affect our lives and to be truthful it hasn't all that much.
    The hubby doesn't have to drive to work in it so that's not a problem and the city is pretty quick to clear the streets if the snow is heavy enough. We have found most of the time that the snow melts on the streets first anyhow. Other than the one year, I think it was 2009, we haven't even had enough snow to build the sled run that is our goal every winter.
     I'm hoping for more snow this year, especially at Christmas time. I would love for it to snow either the day before or the day of Christmas. That would be awesome.
     As for today, I'm happy that our mountains are getting a fresh blanket and I'm going to turn on my fireplace and make some homemade hot chocolate. Yumm.
     And let's keep the fact that the snow here isn't that big of a deal to ourselves.
     The snow here is awful folks. It's four feet deep and getting deeper. Don't move here. :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Who's With Me?!

     Today is a sad day for many of us because our candidate didn't win. And though it hurts and I worry about the direction our country is going, I am not going to let it destroy my faith in what made this country great.
     I will pray for our leaders to build upon the principles that we hold dear and for a brighter tomorrow. I will be thankful for what I have and strive to give my family what they need. We are so blessed in so many ways and I try not to let myself forget that.
     And I intend to get my house in order. Starting with our food storage. "Those who are prepared need not fear." Wise words. There is also spiritual preparedness, and emotional preparedness. I think it's time to take a close look at those also. Being the best you can be takes effort and planning.
     Who's with me?!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

     It's finally here, election day. I'm glad that we will be done with this craziness for a while. I know that if Romney wins the Democrats will be in mourning and if Obama wins the Republicans will be having conniptions. Either way, neither will be able to please half the population.
     I am sad to say that, in my opinion, we have reached a new low in our country. We have lost the ability to be civil to others. Especially those who have a different opinions than we do. When did it become okay to call people names and ridicule their beliefs? We have crossed a threshold that there is no backing away from. And our political leaders are right in there leading the pack.
     Is it any wonder that our children are bullying each other mercilessly when we have set that example. It makes me sad the basic politeness appears to be a thing of the past. How will our elected officials be able to work together to solve all these huge problems with such animosity between them?
    I fear for our future if we all don't start acting like adults instead of two-year-olds who have temper tantrums when they don't get there way.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm Behind Already

       I'm not even a week into Nano and I'm already behind. (See last Thursday's post)  How can that be? Oh yeah, I'm a wife and mother. I should be used to this. You know the old saying, 'The best laid plans of mice and men are quickly laid asunder.' That's me I plan things and in ten minutes out the window they go.
     Last week for instance, I had my day all planned and the next thing I knew I was on my way to the urgent care for my daughter's broken toe, which turned into toes. The day after that I thought I knew just how I was going to spend my time, but I wound up at the Dr. with my other daughter for her baby appointment.
     So goes my life. And I hate to say it but the hubster is the worst. On the very first day of Nano, I was ready to isolate myself in my room and pound out a chapter, but since baseball season is over and football hasn't gotten into full swing and there weren't any basketball games on that night, he decided we should go see a movie. This is something that we rarely get to do. I didn't want to hurt his feelings and who knows when we'll get the chance to go again, (this is how I justified it) so off we went.
     Now the hubby left to go to Cali for work and I am ready to hit it.
     Wait, the boys have dentist appointments in an hour, and to make matters worse they have the day off from school. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
     That rhythmic thumping you hear is me banging my head against the wall. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Getting Back Into the Habit

     I have been trying to get back into the habit of running every morning and it's been a challenge. My treadmill broke a few months ago and I had the hardest time getting someone out to fix it. And now that it is repaired it has been hit and miss.     
     I got up to exercise yesterday, and the hubby says to me, "Don't exercise lets go out to breakfast."
     Well, what could I say but, "Okay." so off to Denny's we went to have Moon's over my Fanny. That's Moon's over my Hammy for the uneducated amongst us. Today, I get ready to go for it and now we are running errands all morning. Funny how I don't have a problem getting on the treadmill when he's out of town. And I can also stick to a pretty healthy diet when he's not around.
     Nothing like your significant other to sabotage your noble efforts. I could try to have a little more will power but I all tastes to good. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


     It's that time again! It's NaNoWriMo time! I know you're asking yourself, 'what the heck is that', right?
It stands for National Novel Writing Month. And it's here. Every November writers, wanna-be writers, non-writers and assorted others set a goal to write a novel in a month.
     Is it hard? Of course it is. I put it right up there with dieting and exercising on a consistent basis. But people do do it and they succeed.
     The goal is to write a little over 1600 words a day. This takes a bit of planning. My plan is to runaway from home, or duct tape the entire family until December, or just try to hide away from them and get my words done. I haven't decided which plan to go with yet.
     If you have ever considered writing a book, or your life story, or your grandmother's life story now is the time. Just Google NanNoWriMo and it will take you to the website to sign up. And here's the best part it's FREE! Yes you read that right, FREE.
     Once you are logged in you can enter your daily word count and go. A handy little graph will show your progress thought out the month. And remember if you don't get to 50,000 words, it's okay. If you wind up with 1000 for the month, It's a 1000 more than what you had in October. Right? Right?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Old Haunted House

     I honor of Halloween I'm going to share with you a few of the experiences we had at our old house that convinced us the place was haunted. The funny thing was, we didn't realize we all had strange things happen until we all started talking about the old place after we had moved out.
     For instance, one day I was cleaning the upstairs bath room and I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Now, these weren't little creaking footsteps, they were heavy, like a mad teenager stomping to their room kind of footsteps. I heard them start at the base of the stairs and come all the way up to the top. It was like twelve steps. I turned to see who it was and there was no one there. I walked over the the staircase thinking someone was playing a joke but there was no one there. The hair on the back of my neck instantly stood on end and I had the chills. It was very creepy. 
     And then there was the time I was watching TV with my youngest and he had fallen asleep on the couch so I decided I was going to go and do the dishes while I had the chance. I turned of the TV and was at the sink in the kitchen when I heard the TV go back on. I thought that was really weird, so went back into the living room and turned it off again. I also shut the doors to the entertainment center. I made it all the way back into the kitchen and started doing the dishes again when once more the TV was on and the doors were wide open again. Once again the chills crawled over me.
    Then there was the time my son had two friends spend the night. From his bedroom you could see the front sidewalk at at two in the morning they heard a knock on the front door. They looked at the window and saw a little kids about five years old standing at the door. My son when to go open it while his friends watched out the window, but before my son could open the door the little boy walked half way down the walkway the then disappeared into thin air.
    There are just a few of the weird and creepy things that happened there. All the kids had things happen at different times but for some reason none of us ever shared them with each other until years later.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Only Two Months Until Christmas

     Do you realize that Christmas is in less than two months. Where did this year go? I swear time goes by faster every year.
     At least I can say that I have started my shopping. Yes, I have bought exactly one present. Whoo hoo! And today, if I can pull it off, I will have purchased two more. It reminds me of the saying, 'you can eat an elephant one bite at a time.' Only with our family being as large as it is, you have to take large bites and chew fast or else Christmas will come and go and I won't be ready.
     I always feel like if I just had one more week I could really do Christmas right. Do you ever have that feeling, just seven more days and I could do all the baking I want, I could wrap the presents prettier, I could send more Christmas cards to more people? Why does it always seem like time is against us? Or at least against me.
     With tomorrow being Halloween, it's a down hill slide into the new year, so hang on everyone here we goooooo!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Just Call Me Mother Hubbard

     I don't know what it is about this time of year that gets me to thinking about food storage and what we have on hand versus what we may need. Perhaps it's the thought of running to the store in the snow or on icy roads. Or maybe it's that you see those huge bags of onions and potatoes at the store and I think, "I want some of those." Or maybe this time it's seeing the folks back east rushing to the store for supplies before the big hurricane hits, only to find empty shelves. How scary is that? Now I'm taking inventory and though I do have some stuff well stocked I have other stuff that has dwindled.
     I try to store what we eat, the only problem with that is that we eat it. So it's a never ending cycle. I buy, we eat, and I have to buy more. If you have a solution to that problem let me know. I make dinner one night and the very next night they all want to eat again. Go figure.
     And then there is the question of whether you should store the long term storage items first or keep trying to have the day-to-day stuff. I'm never quite sure where to start. I do know, however, that there is great peace of mind that comes to me when I have my cold storage room full of canned goods, sugar, rice, pasta and the other stuff.
     I did a major push on food storage a few years ago and I loved to go down into the basement and see shelves full of chili, refried beans, peaches and case upon case of cream of chicken soup. Knowing we wouldn't go hungry was like having money in the bank. So if you see me buying cases of canned goods in the near future you'll know why. Mother Hubbard is filling her cupboard.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hate Halloween!

     I have to say that Halloween is my least favorite holiday. Hate it, can't stand it, its only redeeming factor is the candy. I eat my own because I buy the best stuff. Since my kids were little it has always been a battle.
     Two weeks before Halloween.
     Me: "What do you want to be for Halloween?"
     Them: "I don't know?"
     Me: "How about this, or that, or maybe this?"
     Them: "No, I don't want to be any of those things."
     Me: "You better decide because the costume parade at school is in two day."
     Them the night before: I want to be a little Mermaid and I want to to make a costume just like Jenn's mom made for her."
     Me: "I can't make a costume in one day. You're going to have to be something here. Like a dead soccer player, or a zombie cheerleader."
     Them: "Noooooo, I don't want to be that. Let's go buy a costume."
     Me: "There aren't any good ones left because you waited too long."
    We run all over town trying to find what I knew wouldn't be there anyway.
     Them: "I don't want to be a fifties girl."
      Me: "but I just spent a fortune on the skirt."
      Them: "I'm just going to be a dead cheerleader."
      Me: "I hate Halloween."
      If it weren't for the candy, I'd cancel Halloween all together.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Monthly Recipes

     Those of you that know me well, know that I try to plan my dinner menu for a whole month. I have this handy-dandy calendar that has the full year. At the end of every month I sit down and start looking at the next month and start filling in the blanks, because there is nothing worse than knowing it is four in the afternoon and you have nothing planned for dinner. The natives start getting real restless around here if they don't see food being prepared, so, at the request of a friend, I thought I would share with you my menu for Oct. just so you can see it.
Taco Salad
Parmesan Chicken w/Alfredo sauce
Pancakes w/sausage
Crockpot chicken
Chili sizes
Biscuits and Gravy
Chicken Fajitas
Enchilada Cassarole
White Bean and Chicken Chili
Pork ribs w/cheesy potatoes and vegis
Mostaccioli Bake
Parmesan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Grilled chicken w/pasta and garlic cream sauce
Pepper Bellies
B-B-Q steak w/baked potatoes
On Sundays we do really easy stuff like eating all the leftovers. When I was a kid my mom called his Hobo night. Or we have Nachos or something like that. We also have had several days this month when I was out of town and there were birthdays so on those nights I didn't plan a meal because I knew we would be eating out. Gotta love birthdays.
I have found that when I know what were having I can buy everything I need at the store and just go back for things like milk, fruits, vegis and bread. 
I'm not always perfectly organized, but I try to do a little better every month. If you are interesed in any of these recipes let me know. These are not necessarily in order and I started making breakfast one night a week in an attempt to cut down on our horrendous grocery bill. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What is Going on Here?

     Do you ever wonder what the heck is wrong with people? Everyday it seems that the world gets a little bit more cynical, uncaring and inhuman. First the little girl in Colorado disappears on her way to school and now another little girl is killed in New Jersey for bike parts. A man waiting for his father to shop in California is set on fire by a stranger. What is up with that?
     I know that random acts of violence have been going on since the beginning of time, but doesn't it seem like they are happening more and more? How is it we have lost our sense of compassion or empathy for our fellow man? What happened to the Golden Rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. I remember hearing that in school when I was little. How did we get so far from where we need to be?
     It makes me want to keep my children inside where they are safe, but that isn't realistic nor is it healthy, physically or emotionally.
     I have decided to try and do random acts of kindness for people whenever the opportunity arises. By doing this I hope my kids will see they have the power to make a difference for good in the world, even it is a small gesture. And I am going to sit down with them, when they least expect it, and talk about how we treat others. We need a change and it is going to have to start in our own homes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To My Baby Boy

     Nine years ago today, I checked into the hospital to be induced with my tenth and last baby. To their surprise he had flipped since my doctors appointment just the day before and was now breech. They wanted to do a C-section. I told them I didn't really need a c-section since I had already had nine babies and I could push this one out just fine. They wouldn't hear of it, so to surgery I went.
     By the time they cut me open, he was on his return lap and was head down again. C-section for nothing.
     The strangest thing about the whole experience was Scot was born during one of the worst fire seasons California had seen. "Firestorm 2003!!!" the news anchors would say dramatically, as if it was the end of the world. And it was bad. There were fires they couldn't stop and they burned all the way to the ocean. Hundreds of homes were lost state wide, it was devastating.
     So there I am in the hospital, sore from surgery, and outside my window the sky was dark orange from all the smoke. I was due to go home and then the infection set in. Those few extra days in the hospital happened to be when the time change occurred. When I did come home, it was like coming home to the apocalypse. It was four in the afternoon and the sky had this dark orange glow and it was raining ash. I will never forget it.
     Happy Birthday to my baby boy, Scot Thomas. I love you. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Investments

     Being a mom is a thankless job. You can never do enough and you can never do it right. Why do we put ourselves through this? Because we hope and pray that in the long run it will be worth it.
     It's sort of like a long term savings plan or investment. You put a little away for a rainy day even though it's painful to give up at the time and you are thinking, "Gee, I could use that money now for a lot of cool stuff."
     Someday you will be glad that you made that investment. It comes back to you with interest.
     I always hope that as my children grow up they will someday see the work, sacrifices, time and love we have invested in them. And I hope they show their appreciation by becoming productive members of society who reinvest in their own children the way we did in them.
    At least that's the plan. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Me and Silence

     Hello from Powder Mountain. No I'm not skiing, there's no snow yet. But even if there was snow I wouldn't be skiing. I'm writing. I'm at a writer's retreat trying to finish Out of the Darkness. I have no phone service here and I'm having to use FB to keep up with the fam. How weird is that? When we have all this technology and I can't call or message my family because there's no service here? I depend on that technology to get me through the day.
     I always wondered what it would be like not to be at everyone's beck and call and now I'm finding out. It's very quiet. Can you hear that? It's called silence. I haven't heard it in so long I had to stop and think about what the word was called. And since my room is in the basement I'm getting a lot of it.
     I wonder how long silence and I will be friends before it drives me crazy and I have to go in search of human contact. I'll have to wait and see. For now it's a shower and back to work. Have a great weekend everyone.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Conversation With My Daughter

     Went to Walmart today with one of my daughters and this is how it went.

     Her: Mom do you love me?
     Me: No!
     Her: MOM! Why not?
     Me: Because that questions always costs me more money.
     Her: Mom!
     Me: It's true.
     Her: You've already spent enough on me today.
     Me: Then I love you very much.
     Her: Okay, just checking.
     This kid added twenty-five dollars to my total already, so was it worth it? I'll let you know.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'll Live Forever

      Do you ever have those days when the lists of to do's is as long as your arm and you just can't work up the enthusiasm to do any of it. That's where I am today. The day has barely started and it seems as if I am already behind. And the hubby hasn't even called to give me his list of things he needs me to do. Yikes.
     You know the old saying, "I was put on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things and at this rate I'm so far behind I'll live forever." That's how I feel. Maybe that's a good thing because now that I had my birthday, my kids keep pointing out that I have one foot in the grave.
     Thanks kids I needed that.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Post Birthday Post

     Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday. It made my day to hear from so many friends. I am very blessed.
     Here are a few random thoughts about birthdays. I spent part of mine at Walmart. It really doesn't bother me that I turned 50 because I don't think I look 50. I am getting a new printer for my birthday and it should be here tomorrow and I will be linking it to my laptop. This will make me very happy. The hubby still owes me Coldstone for my birthday and I intend to collect. I got my five dollars from my mother-in-law so all is right with the world. I'm going to have to think long and hard on what I want to spend my money on.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

     Today is my birthday.......and it's a big one. It's times like these you step back and take stock of your life and wonder if you've done the right things, made a difference, will be remembered for the good things you've done.
     I'm pretty sure I will be remembered as the crazy woman who had ten kids. And barring the Apocalypse, my DNA should be around for a long, long time so I've made a mark there. I have tried very hard to always be kind and if I have a chance to do or say something kind, I have taken that opportunity.
     I genuinely love and care about the people in my life from my family, friends, ward members, who are my friends too, to people I've never met.
     I am far from perfect, as my kids will tell you, but I have tried to do the right things in life, even when it was hard.
     All in all, I think I've done a good job of it. Hopefully, I will have a long time left to perfect myself. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mayo vs Miracle Whip

     We had a deep philosophical discussion yesterday on the age old question: Mayo vs Miracle Whip? Needless to say Miracle Whip lost. We are and have always been a Mayo family. And not just any Mayo will do, it has to be Best Foods, Hellman's for you folks east of the Mississippi River.
     We love it so much it is a huge part of our food storage. For a year supply I figured out I would need about 45 jars of the stuff, so when it goes on sale and you can't find it on the store shelves, know that I beat you there. 
     We wondered about what kind of people prefer Miracle Whip? Did they have a bad childhood? Maybe their parents suffered from strange genetic condition that made them unable to really taste Miracle Whip and they passed that down to their poor, poor children. We feel bad for you, really we do because Miracle Whip is awful.
     Don't be upset if you are one of those people. I'll keep your secret and we still love you even if you don't have working taste buds.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

First World Problems

     I have always been grateful to have been born in this time and in this great country for so many reasons. When I was a little girl my family would watch things on TV like the National Geographic shows and sometimes you would see how people lived and barely survived in other countries. That made such an impression on me.
     I love having first world problems like, should I get my nails done today or should I wait until next week? Should I sign the boy up for basketball or football? Should I make dinner tonight or get pizza?
     It's not like we don't have our problems. We do. It's just that when you look the world over, I'll take the kind of problems we have here over the ones a wife and mother have, say, in Afghanistan. I don't have to worry about being put to death if I go outside of my house without a male relative escorting me. And I don't have to send my children to the local dump to scrounge for their dinner like they do in, I think it was Brazil.
     I don't have to worry about my kids dying of an ear infection because there are no doctors for miles or babies dying from dehydration because the water they drink makes them so sick.
     I have always been a silver lining kind of person and when things start to get me down I step back and count my blessings. In fact on my family room wall I have the words, "Because I have been given much."
     It's a gentle reminder of how lucky I am to be right where I am. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Tribute to Women.

     I have come to the conclusion that women the world over are the most amazing, beautiful, intelligent and creative creatures ever.
     As you know, I spent the weekend at a writer's conference in Park City. It was awesome. There were women of all ages, back grounds, circumstances, political views and religions, yet we all found a common ground to stand on.
     We don't bicker about our differences, we embrace our commonality. I can't tell you how much I love and respect these women. We also had several men at our conference and we embrace them with open arms.
     I am always impressed by the women in my ward at church also. I could fill a page with their attributes and still not cover them all.
     We get so down on ourselves and don't give ourselves the credit we deserve, so for today, lets pat ourselves on the back for being the lovely creatures we are and do something especially kind to us. And if anyone asks you why, tell them I told you to.
     I wish the world was run by women. It would be very different I think.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Park City Here I Come

     I will be off to Park City tomorrow for a writers conference. I am looking forward to it because it will be my first conference since I moved here five years ago. There will be agents, publishers and authors and for those of you who are Sherrilyn Kenyon fans she will be there. I am very curious to hear what the publishers have to say. In this world of changing technology the publishing world has taken a hit.
     Writers no longer have to get through the pearly gates in New York to get their work out there.
      I love being with my writer friends, we inspire each other and can talk about plotting and characters like they are real people and no one looks at you funny. Whether or not I actually get any writing done waits to be seen but I have high hopes.
      I'm also leaving the hubs to take care of two soccer games, a drop-off and pick-up for work and all the meals. Hehehe, good luck honey and good bye.     

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To My Daughter On Her Fifteenth Birthday

     I can't believe it has been fifteen years since I gave birth to my baby girl. Kaelyn was my last home birth and to our surprise weighed in at 10lbs 3oz. and I did that with no epidural. What the heck was I thinking?!
     As our eighth child we thought we were done, but our count was five girls to three boys and that wasn't going to work. Talk about severe OCD. I had to have two more boys just to even the score to five and five.
     Kaelyn is your typical teenager and wants a new cell phone for her B-Day. She does need one as her screen is cracked and the phone is temperamental, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sort of like a fifteen year old I know, but who shall remain nameless.
     On second thought they are perfect for each other. :)
     Happy Birthday my girl. I wish for you a great day with many more great, awesome, out of this world days to come. Love you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gnats on Crack

     I didn't believe the world was going to end with the Mayan calendar, but now I'm having second thoughts due to the plague we have going on. We have been besieged with bugs the likes of which I have never seen. If I was on vacation and saw bugs like this I would never go back. The problem is I live here.
     I have to clean my car windows three times a day and that doesn't do much. We all are fighting over who has to take the dog out to do his business. We have fought over that for a while now, but at this point, we all have justifiable reasons to not want to go outside.
     I wonder if this is how the Egyptians felt during the ten plagues, because the flies have been out of control also.
     I keep hearing we need a cold snap to kill them off and I say bring it on. When I look out my sliding glass doors and see nothing but tiny gnats on crack every where it freaks me out.
     Normally I am looking forward to the cooler weather just for comfort but this year, I feel like it's a matter of self-preservation. I don't need anymore protein in my diet from inhaling those things.
     Where is Jack Frost when you need him?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Bomb

     Today is a nerve-wracking day. It's Book Bomb day. I don't know why I let myself get so stressed. The book will either do well, or it won't. If it doesn't, I'll write a new one. Come to think of it, I'm going to write a new one anyway. It's the only way to keep the people in my head from taking over in mutiny. Can we say schizophrenia? At least it's the internal kind. And I can channel it into something productive.
     Thanks again to all of my family and friends who have supported and encouraged me for a very long time. You all mean the world to me.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Some Time Today

     My new book has been uploaded and should be ready to go on Amazon and Barnes & Noble sometime today. This is always a nerve- wracking time for me. Mainly because I uploaded them myself and I'm not all that computer savvy. My son usually helps me and he is in California so I was on my own. As a non-techy person, I have this fear that I will hit the wrong key and it will all be sucked into the black hole never to be seen or heard from again. All that work, gone forever. My kids keep reassuring me that this can't happen, but I'm not convinced.
     I'm also nervous that readers won't like this book as well as they seem to like the first one. Releasing a book that you worked on for so long is like giving birth. You want everyone to think your baby is the prettiest baby ever, but not everyone is going to. This is where you tell yourself that you write for you and that is enough.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We're all in This Together.

     I'm so sick of companies raising their prices just because they can, I'm ready to lose it. Jet Blue not only eliminated the early morning flight that the hubby takes to Cali on Sunday morning, they doubled the price of the one that he is now forced to take. It is taking a huge chunk out of our budget and I don't know where to make up the difference anymore.
     Now I'm hearing there is going to be a huge pork shortage,(Bacon? I like bacon) in addition to corn and other grain products, due to the drought. I'm trying to stock up my food storage room and my freezer, but how are we supposed to do that when we are getting gouged everywhere else.
     I seriously don't know what to do anymore. If you have found a way to save, send your ideas this way because I could sure use them. I already have been planning out our menus for the month and trying to keep the meals simpler, which is hard to do around here, but the grocery budget is out of control. Do you set a limit on your grocery shopping? Do you plan your menus? Have you given up eating out altogether? Are you eating more cost effective meals? What are your best savings ideas?
     I figure we are all in this together so lets help each other out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

E-readers vs Paperback?

     I had a conversation with a friend the other day about the pros and cons of an e-reader vs a paperback and I was wondering what you all think. Do you prefer one over the other? If so, why?
     I have a Kindle, one of the less expensive ones. I love it for several reasons. First, I like to take it on trips because I can have hundreds of books on it and don't have to figure out in advance what I'm in the mood to read before I go somewhere. I also like the fact that it isn't back lit because my eyes tend to get tired. On the other hand I am thinking of getting one of the new Kindle Fires because it is back lit so I can read at night without the light on. I know, a real contradiction.
     Do you read on your smart phone or other device? I downloaded the Kindle app onto my iphone and I have to say, I'm enjoying being able to read at the airport as I wait for the hubs to fly in. I also downloaded my scriptures onto it so if you see me with my phone out at church I am probable reading them.
     I will never get rid of my collection of favorite paperbacks, but the books I have read lately have all been on my Kindle. So give a shout out as to which you prefer and be a part of a totally unscientific poll.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I Love Autumn

     I did it! I survived another summer. An overly hot, never ending, sweat-soaked summer. I always feel if I can make it to the 'ember' months I have a chance. Here it is, now officially autumn and I am still alive. Yayy!!!!!!!
     I love looking at the ten day forecast and seeing that the highest temperature is eighty degrees. I would however, like the nighttime temps to drop into the forties. Then I will know for sure that the worst is over. I love feeling the cool night air as I snuggle into my big comforter.
     People think we're crazy when I tell them we sleep with the windows open in the winter and not in the summer. I love fresh air, but it has to be cool fresh air. In the summer the air is too hot to be enjoyable.
     It's strange how all of my married kids have married people that come from homes where the temps were kept much higher than ours. They all think we are living in a refrigerator all summer because we keep our A/C so low. Duh, that's why we have A/C so we can be cold in the summer time.
     It's bad enough those few minutes when you have to walk into the fiery furnace that is your garage and get into your car and wait until the A/C kicks in. I hate that.
     Welcome autumn. I love your fall colors as the leaves change. I love the shorter days and being able to turn the oven on again without wondering if it is going to make you sweat like a marathoner. I love that the kids are back in school and I don't have to watch one more episode of the mind-numbing shows that they love. And I love my three car refrigerator, where my coke gets so cold I don't have to put it into the fridge. I love you autumn. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Where Have I Been?

     I know I've missed a few days here and there of blogging and I didn't want you all to think I'd abandoned you. I didn't. I have been working my behind off editing my next book and outlining two others. It takes a lot of concentration. Something that is hard to come by here.
     I'm sure you all are waiting for my insights and daily words of wisdom. lol Like which way is the proper way to hang the TP. That blog got the most comments by the way. And I know you all love to hear about my struggles with children. Yes, even after raising seven of them to adulthood I still don't have all the answers. I have a few, but not all.
     Have a fun weekend everyone and I'll see you on the other side. Of the weekend that is. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just One Moment

     Sometimes life just sucks. It doesn't matter what you do right or wrong, things happen and you are left holding the proverbial bag. It's moments like these when you have to put on a smile and go on. Why? Because you don't have any other choice. There are people depending on you and like the old saying goes, "Life goes on."
     I'm not a person who likes to dwell on things that go wrong. I always feel like, life happens and it happens to all of us. And in the grand scheme of things, I would rather have my problems than someone else's because theirs could be so much worse.
     When I stand back and look over all the good things in my life I realize how lucky and blessed I am. I live in the greatest country on earth. I am healthy, my family is healthy, we live in an incredibly beautiful place and I know that all the trials we go through are just a moment in time.
     So I will choose to look at the bright side of life and be happy. Those are my thoughts for today.

Monday, September 17, 2012

How Weird Can One Family Get?

     I have come to the conclusion that we are a weird family. We go through these phases where we do or say the most random things and they go through the whole family for weeks and sometimes they stick around forever. 
     For instance our new family word is beverage. "I need a beverage." "A nice cold beverage would be perfect with this meal." "Mom! What kind of beverages do we have?"
     You get the point. It's kind of like finding a random object somewhere really strange. Like the Superman figurine at the bottom of a huge container of hair gel,or in the shower hiding behind the soap. Now, I know what your thinking, that in a house with small kids that happens, but it's not the small kids it's the adult kids that do these weird random things.
     They also like to have these conversations that start off normal and the next thing you know they are talking about monkey's egg laying habits in Iceland. We have had company over at times when this happens, they look at my kids with the most confused expressions on their faces you have ever seen, because they discuss these things in a totally serious manner.
     I'm sure our guests leave thinking we are the oddest family ever. Just like three years ago when we became enamored with peacocks. I don't know how and I don't know why. I do know that all of a sudden our house had pictures of peacocks everywhere. They were in the bathroom, on the ceiling above my bed and in the pantry in the kitchen. In fact the one in the pantry is still there.
     My kids like to randomly yell, "Peeeaaacoockkk!" out the window of our car at unsuspecting people as they walk down the street. Our t-shirts that my daughter had made for our family camping trip this summer had peacocks on them. If our last name was Peacock I could understand that, but it's not.
    We are just a weird family, fun but weird.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Take That Rocky Mountain!

     We got a letter from the electric company telling us that we are energy hogs. They even went so far as to compare our energy usage to our neighbors. Wasn't that nice of them. Apparently we use three times the amount of electricity as these energy conscious folks. And believe me we pay for the privilege.
     If you looked at every house that shares our property line the largest family has four people residing there.   
     What the people at Rocky Mountain Power have failed to take into consideration, however, is that we have 14 people living in our house right now. We also have five refrigerators, one freezer, two washers and dryers, TV's, laptops, and all the other assorted toys that we first worlder's enjoy. 
      If all the adults living here moved out and into their own houses we would have six different households spawning from us. If each of these households used two hundred dollars worth of electricity a month that would be more than double what we are paying this month, even with the A/C running 24/7 in August. When you look at it that way, we are saving electricity and resources.
     I wonder what they would do if everyone suddenly started to conserve energy in a big way and their revenue dropped drastically? How would they answer to the stockholders then? Rocky Mountain should be sending me a letter telling me what a good job we are doing or at least shut the heck up. After all we are paying for their summer vacations.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The New Buffalo Wild Wings

     We tried the new Buffalo Wild Wings today. It was good. The service needs a little work. We got our appetizers after our entree was served. I hate that. And I had to remind them twice that I wanted my Chocolate Blender, which is kind of a shake with little pieces of ice and chocolate in it.
     The hubby says he'll give them some time to get it together and if we have bad service next time it's going on the bad list with Chilis. We have had so many two hour lunches at Chilis when we were aiming for 45 minutes that we have quit going. I do love to stop by and pick up chips and salsa to go. I have even had to wait 15 minutes just to have them hand me chips and salsa. How hard is that?
     At Olive Garden, other wise none as the OG, our favorite server is Heather. She's awesome. If she hadn't been there I would have quit going when they took Garlic Herb Chicken con Broccoli off the menu. We love Heather though so we keep going and I have found something else I enjoy so it all works out.
     A good lunch experience has to have great food and service to make it worth our dollars. When your are dealing with the public attitude is everything. I tell my kids that all the time.
     We are very excited that Texas Roadhouse will be coming soon. We love that place. As soon as they are open I'll let you know if its worth your time and money.
     Not that we eat out a lot or anything.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

School-Love it or Hate it.

     It's fun to see your young kids go off to school for the first time. I know many of you have withdrawals, and shed some tears, but it is special to watch them come home from their first few days filled with the wonder of learning.
     Do you remember when they first recognized a letter they had learned. "Look, Mom. That's a B. B is for boy and for ball."
     I remember all of my kids doing this. My husband still talks about that day in first grade when all of the sudden reading made sense to him and he ran home and told his mom, "I can read! I can read!" He became and avid reader until he found sports.
     My grandson Dawson just started kindergarten and the first day was rough for him. He decided at the last minute he didn't want to go. There were tears and sad faces. And that kid has the saddest face. It breaks your heart to see him upset. My daughter got him into the class and when he realized it was going to be okay she left. The other day Dawson came home excited because they did his letter in school that day. He told my daughter, "They did my letter today, Mom. I told me teacher, "That's my letter and she said, I know." Then wide-eyed he asked, "How did she know that was my letter?"
     School, the love-hate relationship for both parents and kids a like for generations, but there are those moments when, "You get it," and anything is possible.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Not Your Momma's Roast Beef Sandwiches

     As promised here is the recipe for what we had for dinner last night that I keep thinking about this morning. Yumm. We had French Dip Sandwiches, but not just any old French Dip will do in this house. These are special. Here's the ingredients. You will have to adjust the amounts for your family since I'm pretty sure most of you don't cook for between 14 to 25 people every night, so you're on your own in adjusting.
      1 bag of rolls. I bought steak rolls from Walmart.
      2lbs of roast beef I had sliced at the deli counter.
      Au jus the little packet that you mix with water. Usually found on the gravy aisle if you've never bought it before.
     Sliced cheese. I had cheddar and provalone on hand.
     And the secret ingredient. Ranch Dip made with sour cream. The kind you use on football day.

     Slice the rolls in half and butter them. Put them in the oven on broil until the butter is melted. Don't let them over cook. Just a tiny bit golden is what you are going for.
     Slice the roast beef into about 1/2 to 1 inch slices. This makes it almost like using shaved meat without the extra cost of having them shave it. I'm cheap like that.
     When the rolls are golden take a tablespoon of ranch and put it on one side of the roll, pile meat on top, add a slice of cheese and back into the oven until cheese starts to melt. Again don't over do it. They cook fast.
     Take out and dip in the Au Jus and eat. I put my rolls in on a cookie sheet.
     Let me know if you try these. I would love to know what you think of them. 


Friday, September 7, 2012

It's the Little Things

     They say in marriage it's the little things. It's true, it's the little things that drive you crazy. My husband has had the same cell phone forever. He needs a new one desperately. I keep trying to get him to dive in and do it, but he puts it off.
     With that being said, I have one question. How on earth do you miss calls when you have had a cell phone for so long that you need to replace it, because you wait too long to answer. His phone will ring and he will look to see who's calling. I will say, "Are you going to answer that?" I hate his ring tone. It's the one the phone came with and he's never changed it, ever.
     He'll say, "Yes, I'm going to answer," and then he waits and misses the call. It makes me insane.
    I change my ring tone every so often and after two or three calls I know just how much time I have to answer before the call is missed, so why doesn't he?
    I'll even tell him, "You're going to miss the call." He says, "No I won't," and then he misses it. Sometimes you have to wonder if husbands do these things on purpose just to make you crazy.
    Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ANSWER YOUR PHONE!!!! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gimee, Gimee, Gimee!

     Today's blog is sort of a continuation of yesterdays complaining about McDonald's money grubbing ways.
     What is up with fast food restaurants putting out tip jars?! What the heck! Like they don't charge enough as it is. We went through a drive thru recently that had a number 10 can hanging by a string and someone had written the word TIPS on it. I made me really uncomfortable. I mean someone let me know if I am wrong, but isn't the whole idea of tips to reward a server for a job well done? Did that change and I not hear about it?
     And if that is still the point of tips, why would I tip someone who hands me my food from a window? There is no serving involved in that.
     Things are changing is this world and not for the better. It seems everyone wants something for nothing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

McDonalds and Their Penny Pinching Ways

     There is something that has been bugging me for a while now and I have to get it off my chest. It's McDonald's, they are not exactly my version of haute cuisine. They are more like fried pork rinds and store brand pop in front of the TV watching The Price is Right. (Shiver) So why do you have to fight them to get what you need to enjoy (gag down) your meal?
     Last week I went through the drive thru and ordered 3-20 piece chick Mcnuggets and I told them I need ranch, buffalo and bar-b-que sauce. I get to the window look in the bag and I have one of each. Really?! I have sixty nuggets and they give me three sauces? How is that supposed to work?
     Sixty nuggets is obviously going to feed more than one person. And I have this thing where I think everyone should have their own dipping sauces so they don't share germs. I mean, cold and flu season is coming and if your dipping your nuggets into someone else's sauce watch out.
     I hate having to say, "I need five more of each sauce," and having them act like they are sacrificing their first born. I understand that corporations are always looking for ways to raise the bottom line, but seriously? I resent having to beg for what should come with your nuggets in the first place.
     It's like dealing with the friend or relative who always disappears to the restroom at a restaurant when the bill shows up. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. It's uncomfortable and embarrassing.
     Get with it McDonald's and don't make us beg for our sauce. That is all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Start of a New Season

    Today is a great day. Not only did school start but I lived through another long, HOT summer. I know, I know, September can still be hot, but it has the promise of cooler days. I always feel if I can make it to the ember months, I'm good to go until late next spring. I don't know why I have such an aversion to heat maybe it's that I love layering clothes, maybe it's because I was pregnant through so many LONG, HOT summers that I now can't enjoy them. Perhaps, I just love autumn so much more with its beautiful fall colors and the beginning of the holiday season.
     What ever it is I am hap, hap, happy today. I hope you are too.

Friday, August 31, 2012

60,000 words in three days. Oh boy!

     I am going away for a few days with some pretty big plans. My writing friends have taken on the challenge of writing a book in three days. That's 60,000 words in three days. It is a lofty goal, but I have spent time outlining and planning and I am going forth to accomplish.
     A hotel is the only place I would be able to even attempt such a feat. I'm stocking up on coke, 5 hour energy drinks and snacks that will keep me fueled for success. Wish me luck.
     Our motto for this little challenge is, Do or do not, there is no try.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It Ain't Over Til It's Over

     I have to confess to being a list maker. I have lists for so many things from groceries I need to buy, to projects I want to do, goals I want to accomplish and everything in between. Do I follow those lists? Not always... Well, most of the time no. Why?  Because I tend to shoot for the stars. Why not? I'm only setting these goals on paper and paper is cheap.
     I know deep down that I need to be a little bit more realistic when it comes to setting goals but let's face it if you don't shoot for the stars once in a while you won't know what you are capable of achieving. In the last year I have learned that I can make a menu for the entire month and follow it. I have written a whole book, I have exercised for thirty days in a row and lost a significant amount of weight all because I set goals.
     I feel pretty good about accomplishing these things and I choose to dwell on what I have done rather than what is still on the list. After all everyday is a new day and I can start again. I can make a new list or adjust an old one. That is the beauty of life, it ain't over til it's over.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's Not About You Anymore

     I have always told my kids that the minute you are expecting a baby it's not about you anymore. As a parent, especially a mother, your whole life if dedicated to making sure that child has everything they need from food and diapers to the love and emotional support they need to grow up to be the best person they can.
     Once you are a parent, it doesn't matter how old your child gets, you worry about them. Are they happy, are they healthy, are they doing what's right? When they marry, you just take on another person to worry about. Then when they have kids it starts all over.
     This leads to hours and hours of worry and concern. And, of course, the more kids you have the more you worry.
     Yesterday my youngest fell off his scooter and hurt his wrist. He really didn't cry that much and it didn't look swollen so I told him he would be fine and he and his brother went to the Clearfield Aquatic Center for several hours. After dinner he was complaining about his wrist hurting and when I looked at it I saw that it was swollen. I knew it was broken. I had that sick feeling in my stomach you get when one of your kids is hurt and you haven't paid it enough attention and you feel like a really bad mom. In my defense this is the kid that thinks he needs to go the ER when he gets an eye lash in his eye.
    Off to the urgent care we went and after the Dr. looked at it and X-ray's sure enough it's broken. The cast goes on next week, after the swelling goes down. On the bright side, he'll have a nice new cast on his arm when he starts school and kids love that.

Monday, August 27, 2012


     I have to admit that I am part Irish, Scots, English and stick-in-the-mud among other things. Especially when it comes to doing things like camping, swimming and taking my life in my hands, for various reasons. The first one, I don't like bugs dive-bombing me while I am trying to sleep. That's one of the reasons I tend to stay in my house from spring until late fall. Not to mention the heat. I am totally in love with air conditioning.
     Swimming is a problem, you actually have to let people see your body while you parade around in fabric that is thin and clingy. For someone who's puffy, that can be very traumatic. And I think once you become a mother you start rethinking all those crazy things you do when you are young because you have children to take care of and what would happen to them if you got hurt or, heaven forbid, died. Roller coasters suddenly lose there allure.
     That is why I think I deserve a special high five from everyone on the plant. I went camping with the fam and not only did I sleep in a tent with no A/C, I put on a swim suit and went jet skiing. I have pictures to prove it. Which my daughter kindly put on Facebook for all the world to see. Yes, that is me on the back of a jet ski with the hubby. Yes the life jacket makes you look twenty pounds heavier. And yes I really am that white. What do expect from a person who has avoided showing her legs to anyone since she was seventeen.
     I even endured the pit toilets....and they where AWFUL!!! I almost barfed when I went in there the first night. And I have changed more diapers in my lifetime than just about anyone you know. To make it worse the smell would drift on the breeze and come through our campsite every so often.
     I think I might go camping again someday, but not unless there are flush toilets.
     I will try to post the pic later since I can't figure out how to snag it off of FB.
     I hope you all will still respect me in the morning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts.

      The pressure is on. I have to have everything ready for our family camping trip when the hubby comes home tomorrow. That means grocery shopping, packing and laundry. I have so much to do and not enough time to do it in.
     I know that is the lament of every mother on earth. What if we could do all the things we want to do everyday instead of all the things we have to do. How would you fill your time? Naps? Reading? Watching anything but the Disney Channel?
     It's not like I don't like soccer, I do. I just don't want to dedicate my life to it, but that is a mom's duty in life. Finding the soccer stuff because they didn't take it off and put it in the laundry like they were supposed to and now they are going to be late for practice and it's everyone's fault but their own!
     Can you tell I've been down this road a few thousand time?
     I think I need to make a list so nothing gets forgotten. I can't take this pressure. I think I need Coldstone to help me get through the day.     

Friday, August 17, 2012

Feeling the Back to School Hunger

     Have you seen that pin on Pinterest that says, "Cleaning the house with the kids at home is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreo's" I'm there. They have been home all summer and because of the heat have been inside most of the time. Now I am finding myself wanting to do a deep cleaning of the house but there are too many bodies here to work around.
     I need school to start so the kitchen can get a deep cleaning and the floor can get mopped. As it stands now, I feel like I'm just smearing the dirt around. There are perpetual finger prints on the walls and windows and socks everywhere, courtesy of our dog Koda, who loves to chew on dirty socks. Gross! Have you ever smelled the socks of preteen boys? I just can't wrap my mind around the attraction he has for them.
     When your kids go back to school do you do a deep cleaning? Do you clean all summer and then relax? I'm always curious how other moms do it because after all these years I still haven't found the right system.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Camping, not for the Feint of Heart.

     We're going to buy camping stuff today. I guess this is really going to happen. It's kind of like watching a car accident in slow motion. You see it coming, but there is not a darn thing you can do about it.
      The hubby is making lists. That's always a dangerous thing. I can feel the tension already. This may be one of those trips where, even before we leave, we are all at each others throats. What fun.
      Of course next week when we are supposed to go the weather is going to be changing on us. Let's hope we don't get rain and really cool temperatures while we are sleeping in tents. It won't be much fun at the beach is its too cool.
      I hope this doesn't come across as having a bad attitude about our trip. I'm not normally a negative person, but I have been here before and I know the signs.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thank You, Thank You and Again Thank You

     I want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who supported me by buying my book on book bomb day and who have since mentioned it to friends and family. The response has been so much more than I hoped for. Everyday the sales seem to get higher.
     This morning my ranking on Amazon was 12,557. This is amazing! I know it's because of all of you and I don't forget that for one minute. Digital publishing is word of mouth and reviews since very little marketing is done, so I want you all to know how much I appreciate it. For those of you who have taken the time to Like it or review it on Amazon, thank you so much.
     Your kind words have really touched my heart. I am blessed to have so many friends and friends of friends who have gone over and above to make a writer's dream come true.
     Thanks again from the bottom of my heart.      

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Busy Time

     Just when you think life can't be any busier than it already is it gets busier. We had to be a doctors appointment at 8:45am this morning. That means up early, shower and out the door by 8:15am. Even though I'm usually awake at this time I like to do my own thing during the summer and stay in my jammies until, well, until I feel like a total bum and I hit the shower. Because my day can't really begin until I shower.
     I wish I was one of those moms who can put her hair in a ponytail and go but I'm not and I never have been. I've really been enjoying summer for the freedom it gives me in the mornings. (If it wasn't for the heat it would be a good season.)
     Now the countdown to back to school has begun, not to be confused with the countdown to September. I do a lot of counting down. It occupies my mind. Then we will be back into the rhythm of up in the morning and off to school, and homework, and soccer and all the rest. There are advantages though, I can go to lunch with the hubby without taking along three extra kids. Yippee!
     Is back to school something you're looking forward to or are you dreading it?