Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Shout Out For Some New Summer Recipes

     I am working on planning out my meals for the month of June. I would like to have meals that don't heat up the house. What do you cook for dinner on those dog days of summer when you don't want to turn on the oven?
     Do you have some favorites you could share? I could even do some light crock pot dishes. We do use our bar-b-que often in the summer so if you have some good marinade ideas for beef or chicken send them my way.
     Feel free to Facebook me with any and all recipes.
     I have been cooking dinner for my family for almost 32 years now. I think it's time to find a few more family favorites. Thanks everyone.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In the Good Old Summer Time

     Batten down the hatches moms. There is only two more days of school after today. And you know what that means. It means sleeping in, and going to the Roy Pool, and late nights with all the neighbor kids playing ghost in the graveyard. It means warm weather and bar-b-ques, sweaty, sun-tanned kids leaving the door open while the air conditioner tries to keep the house cool.
     Before you know it the Fourth of July will be here and we get to enjoy all the parades and fireworks. Then we get to have our second Fourth of July on Pioneer Day. I have to admit that took some getting used to for me when we moved here five years ago. I didn't know some of the stores shut down on Pioneer Day. What's up with that? We didn't have that in So. Cal. but I'm used to it now.
     After Pioneer Day it's a slippery slope right into the next school year. Which means school clothes and backpacks, pencils and glue sticks. And it's so hard to get the kids to bed at a decent time when the sun is still up.
     Hello summertime. I hope it's as fun as I'm trying to make it sound here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dish Dilemma Follow Up

     I want to thank everyone who tossed their two cents into the pot last week on my Dish Dilemma post.I had no idea the storm of controversy I was causing. Facebook traffic must have increased ten fold because of it. 
     I have taken your advice and divided up the kitchen into two jobs. We have the kitchen person and the dish person. The kitchen person is responsible for clearing, wiping, putting away, and floors. The dish person is responsible for dishes both dishwasher-able and hand-washing what is not dishwasher-able.
     I still find it surprising that I have to do this for the fourteen and over crowd we have living here. I swear they are all wanna be lawyers, arguing their case like they do.
     So far we have had pretty good success with everyone sharing the load. It's only been a few days, however. I will have to report back on how it all works out long-term.
     I would also like to point out that I have been doing dishes since I was six. No dishwasher. And no one had to tell me that wiping and clearing the table were part of the job. Just Sayin'

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

     Happy Memorial Day everyone. As you enjoy your bar-b-ques and picnics and spend time with family having fun and living it up on your day off, let's take a minute to remember those whom we have lost. Let's especially remember the men and women who gave all in service to our great country.
     I love the United States of America. I bleed red, white, and blue. I get choked up when I hear those wonderful patriotic songs that you get to listen to around the Fourth of July. My heart swells with pride when Lee Greenwood's, 'God Bless the USA,' plays on the radio.
     I would like to shake the hand of every service man and woman and personally thank them for the job they do and have done. Without them, I hate to think of where we would be now. So, hat's off to all of you. Say a quick prayer today, somewhere between the corn on the cob and the potato salad, that our country will continue to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Have a happy, fun and safe Memorial Day my dear friends.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dish Dilemma

     Okay, so I need all of your opinions. We have decided, meaning me, that everyone in our house should now take a turn doing the dishes. I know you're all thinking, what about the hubby? Now that it is spring time he has moved outside and is taking care of the lawn, and with a 1/2 acre lot that is a lot of work. So, I told everyone they would be responsible for one night a week. Remember, we have 11 people living here so dishes are no joke.
     What I need your opinion on is, when you are doing dishes, should that include wiping up the table and counters. I say yes because the kitchen isn't clean until those are wiped up. My kids say no because it's not the dishes. What say you my good friends.
     Last night my 22 year old was doing them and on the table were napkins, cups grated cheese, drops of sour cream, a cheese grater and so on. When I do the dishes, I clear the table and island of everything wipe them down and them proceed to wash dishes and then load them into the dishwashers. I don't know how you can "do dishes." if the table hasn't even been cleared of all of them. I guess he thought all the dirty cups run over and hop into the sink when it's bath time for them. When I pointed it out he said, "That's not dishes. Dishes are only what's in the sink and the pots on the stove.
     I thought he was joking, and then my daughter yelled from the bedroom that, "That's not part of the dishes."
     These are adults who are in college.
     What happened to going the extra mile and leaving a place better than you found it? Do those thoughts not enter anyone's heads any more? To me doing the dishes means when you are done, the kitchen is clean.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Paul Revere to the Rescue

     Yesterday, my hubby, my mother-in-law, and myself went to my son, Ryan's school performance. In which he played Paul Revere. Now, before I go any further, I have to tell you I have been doing yearly school performances since 1986. Sometimes as many as seven in one year, every year, over and over again. So, I have seen A LOT of plays, musicals and what have you.
     And, though I can't say I remember them all, I remember the standouts. Like when my oldest daughter thought I was late because she couldn't find me in the crowd and she gave me dirty looks all through the entire Christmas performance. I have that one on tape. I remember my other daughter doing a song routine called, "Cute Chicks," where they dressed up like baby chicks. I can still sing most of the song in my head and I do on occasion. She's now almost twenty.
     Yesterday's performance will be long in my mind because my son played Paul Revere and he rode all over the stage in an inflatable horse, with a tricorn hat on his head. I had to laugh. It was great.
     And I have to confess that when they asked the veterans to stand and the kids sang the songs from all the branches of the military, I got a little choked up. I am an unashamed, heart swells in my chest, patriot and those things get to me. When Lady Liberty stood on a box with the immigrants around her and recited the words from the statue of Liberty, I was moved to tears. It happens every time.
     The funny thing was, later on my hubby said to me, "I got a little choked up when they did the Statue of Liberty thing." Ha! So it's not just me. No wonder we get along so well.
     I have three kids left in school and someday the plays for my children will end, however, I planned it right and this fall I will have three grand kids in school, so guess what? The school plays, choir performances, musicals and such will continue in the Stefan household for decades to come. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In the Good Ole Summer Time

     Since summer is just around the corner, I thought I would explain why I don't like summer, it's HOT! I don't like to be hot. I don't like to sweat. With that being said, I have decided this summer, to accept summer for what it is. Aside from it being the season that makes me appreciate winter, I'm going to spend more time outside trying to do fun things.
     I'm going to take my kids to the Roy Pool. I'm going to make them weed our plot at the stake garden with me. I'm going to go on hikes with my hubby and kids. We're going to take trips to a few of the national parks that are close by. I'm going to make this the summer of fresh fruits and vegetables and eat a lot of good stuff, most of which, hopefully comes from our garden and fruit trees.
     Doesn't that sound like I'm trying to have a positive attitude? I'm going to try and overlook the way my skin burns in the sun. I'm going to try and pretend I am not hot and sweaty, even when I am. I am going to ignore the 100 uva rated sun block that I have to spray on, that makes me slimy and gross. I'm going to try and go walking outside, instead of on my treadmill, which is still broken by the way. I'm going to try and pretend that I love having my kids at home 24/7 with their constant whining about there being nothing to do and nothing to eat.
     I think I deserve a pat on the back for this new way of thinking and if I can't pull it off, I'll do what I usually do during the summer. I'll close all the curtains, turn the AC down to 70 and curl up with a blanky and watch movies with the kids until late September. See you all in the fall. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Frustration Runneth Over

     I have to confess to a bad case of frustration lately. And it's not big things that are making me frustrated, it's little things that are driving me crazy. For example, we had not one, but two birthday parties this weekend for my darling granddaughters and I planned ahead and even had the gifts ready. A rare event in this house. What made me want to scream was when I went to get gift bags for said gifts, all I had was Christmas bags. Now, let me say that every time I go to the dollar store I stock up on birthday gift bags, so I can't understand where they go. I know I am not using that many. It's a good thing they were turning 2 and 3 and they didn't care that we only had Christmas bags. It made my head spin though.
     Another example of my lack of planning skills was on Sunday when I was making meat loaf for dinner. All of the onions left in my cold storage have sprouted and taken on some strange life form. You can't make meat loaf without onions though. Thankfully, my neighbor came to the rescue, but I hate being in that position.
     I like having what I need, when I need it. I like planning my meals and having everything in the fridge or pantry I am going to use for those meals. No matter how hard I try, however, it seems like I am never prepared the way I want to be. I could go on and on and list a weeks worth of situations just like these, but you get my point.
     I have been doing the wife, mother, homemaker thing for a long time now and I still don't have it down. Maybe, there is no hope for me. My frustration runneth over. Don't be like me. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

You Play, You Pay!!!

     Today's post may not be fit for children.
     Have you seen the news story about the man who wants the government to help pay his child support? Apparently, he went to court and said his minimum wage job isn't enough to pay for the 21 kids he fathered with 11 different women. He told the court he was not having any more, but has managed to add nine more, for an even 30 since his first court appearance.  WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?! Has he never heard of the word condom or how about vasectomy?! Why should we pay, as taxpayers, for his irresponsibility. I'm sure we already are though. It costs money to have babies and I'm sure the baby mama's are getting food stamps and welfare. Some of the mom's get as little as $1.49 per child per month. How can you feed a baby on that. If you are going to have a harem, you should be able to support one.
     Where is his sense of personal responsibility?And what about the mother's responsibility? If a man already had 21 kids with 11 women, why, oh why would you risk getting pregnant again. He is not good daddy material. Are all the people involved here too ignorant to use birth control that you get for free from any planned parenthood clinic.
     Our whole society has turned upside down when it comes to common sense. It makes my blood boil when I hear things like this and I have to wonder what these people are thinking.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Boys and Their Odoroma!

     How is it that two cute boys, meaning mine, can have such stinky feet? I swear they can clear a room better than the police. All they have to do it take off their shoes and we all run for cover. We have to take the shoes outside and make the boys go and wash their feet just be in the same room with them.
     I have bought them new shoes, and foot powder and spray, and new socks, and still within a very short time they reek. We can even tell when they have wrapped their feet in the fleece afghans that we keep in the family room to curl up in on cool night. I have washed the afghans several times, but the scent lingers. I may have to get rid of the old ones and get new ones.
     I could understand it if they had hit puberty, but they are only eleven and eight. I am a little bit afraid of what the next few years will be like.
     I have often thought that boys were easier to raise than girls, with all their emotional outburst, but girls do smell a lot better. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's Garden Time

     Now that we're home from vacation and the chance of frost has passed, it's time to start planting. I could hardly sleep last night thinking about all the things I want to plant. Visions of red ripe tomatoes, squash and watermelons are just a few. If you have ever popped a warm, ripe cherry tomato into your mouth straight from the plant, you know what I'm talking about. 
     Our stake has a garden and I thought I had missed the boat on getting a spot this year, but got lucky and someone from another ward dropped out, HA! Sucker. I'm taking your spot, and when you are paying for tomatoes and cucumbers from Walmart, I'll be bringing mine home from the garden and I won't have to scrub that nasty wax coating off that they spray onto the cucumbers at the store.
     I think maybe cantaloupe will be on the list this year along with the watermelon. I can just taste that fruit salad now.
     My hubby and kids think I'm crazy and they hate having to go the garden and pull weeds, but I say, "tough." It's good for them to see what goes into producing food and a little hard work in the hot sun never hurt anyone. The kids need to learn to work, it's important. And I don't care if they think I'm a strange. Bring on the pumpkin starts, baby, it's garden time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just Not My Morning

     What do you do to get yourself going on those mornings when you just want to go back to bed. I don't have them very often, but this morning is one of them. All the kids are off to school and I have a list as long as my arm of things to do, but I don't want to do them. My bed is calling to me saying, "Come back to bed and close your eyes. You know you want to."
     Then there is the part of my mind that is saying you need to get to Walmart and Home Depot so you can get going on that list that needs to get done today. I also need to sit down and plan some meals for the week before I can even go to Walmart. I have to decide what to plant in my garden plot at the Stake Garden. I also have flowers I bought before our vacation that need to be planted. I have laundry to do and the boys closet needs to be reorganized.
     It doesn't matter how much I did yesterday, there is still a ton of stuff to do today. And, of course, on top of all of this these people who live with me are already asking what is for dinner. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?! I made dinner last night. Isn't that enough for one week? I guess not. I better head on over to Walmart. Oh, first I have to plan my menus for the week....I'm going back to bed. Don't be like me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Let's Hear it for Routine!

     Routine. What's are your feelings about this word. Some people hate the routine of life they get into. They see it as a rut. It's something they want to break out of and do something different, something fun.
     I, on the other hand, appreciate routine. After having been in Cali. for a week and spending that time in a hotel room with the fam, am ready to get back into the routine of life.
     I find it comforting to do the same things everyday. I like knowing that I have to get up in the morning at seven, and I need to wake the kids up by seven fifteen. I like knowing, in advance what dentist appointments, sports practices and school and church activities are on the agenda. It gives me strength and confidence knowing that I have it under control, even though, most of the time, that is an illusion.
     And after spending said week in Cali. with the fam. I am really grateful to get home to my own house with three bathrooms on the main floor, my own washer and dryer, and the best of all, my own wide bed, that I love more than...I'll let you fill in the blank, but whatever you love most, I love my bed even more.
     So let's hear it for routine. Let's hear it for being back home. Let's hear it for sleeping in your own bed.
     Vacations are great, especially when they are over.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Life At Disneyland

     You may have noticed I haven't been posting this week because we are in So. Cal enjoying Disneyland. I walked by a man on a cell phone the other day and I heard him say, "They call this the happiest place on earth, they should call it the most expensive place on earth." At the risk of being thought rude for listening, I had to laugh. On our first day, food cost us about ninety dollars, and we didn't eat there, not meals anyhow. We snacked. Now, I realize our family is three times the size of average families, but still!
     We now have our own waters, lunchables, string cheese and applesauce cups to haul in with us.
     Another thought on Disneyland, what an interesting compilation of people you see there. I chatted with a lady from Seattle who, I thought was sitting with her grandkids, as I was, only to find out the baby she was watching was her's. I was surprised, because she had long gray hair and was wearing a long skirt. She told me that her doctor told her she was at an extremely advanced age to have her first, he is now six, and she was five years older with her second. I wanted to ask her how old she was, so bad, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
     Then there was the lady, who I didn't talk to, who had a bondage theme going on with her tattoos. She was walking the park with her two small children. Then you have the parents who look like gang members. It's no wonder they now screen for weapons as you enter the park.
     You can hear any number of languages being spoken in one day. It's a mini UN in there. All in all, most folks are on their best behavior. Maybe it's being there for the kids that makes it easier for everyone to get along. Maybe if we put kids first all the time we could stop the craziness that sometimes takes over our world. Just a thought.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Road Trip Number 3 NO!!!!

     Here we go again. We are heading out to Cali tomorrow to spend a few days at Disneyland since our passes are about to expire. I always have bouts of anxiety when we get ready to do this. Not to mention, the thought of spending ten hours in a car with four children should be enough to strike fear and panic into the heart of any mother.
     Past experience has taught me well, so I am breaking out the heavy artillery. I'm packing the dvd player, the ipods, the DS's, and the shuffles. We're heading to Walmart with all the kids(I try to avoid this like the plague) so they can pick out any snack they have ever dreamed about. I hope and pray that with all of the above we will be able to make it without a full ten hours of, "He's got his foot touching my foot!" and "I don't want him breathing on me!" and "How much longer?!!!" Of course there is the road trip classic, "I have to go to the bathroom."
     Is it any wonder I have anxiety about these things? Just to be sure I don't have to listen to them too much I'm packing my ipod and I'm turning it up loud. I can listen to all the country music I want and I don't have to hear "them" moaning and groaning in the back seats.
     I know this sounds bad and it's not like I don't want to be with my family. I'm just not sure such an enclosed space with no avenue for escape is healthy, for me. Okay! I'm a bad mom.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

38 Minutes a Week?!!!

     My daughter told me the other day that she heard they did a study where they discovered that parents talk to their teenagers, on average, 38 minutes a week. My first thought was, that's way too much!
     All kidding aside, who are these parents and where the heck are they that they only talk to them for thirty-eight minutes a week. I spent more time nagging my fourteen-year-old to clean her half of the bathroom, yesterday alone. Then there was the 60 minutes on the couch helping her with her English homework. I endure about an hour of her coming into my bedroom almost every night complaining about how awful her life is and that she is fat and ugly. I did mention she is fourteen right? I spend hours every week trying to boost her self-esteem and tell her she has a great life and she should be grateful. I explain to her, in my mom voice, that if she answers me in her nasty tone of voice, the one she doesn't hear coming from herself, one more time that I'm going to take away her phone for all eternity. That has to take up 38 minutes daily at least.
     Then there is dinner time where we all get hear her complain that she hates what we are having for dinner and we never have anything good to eat in the whole stinking house, even though our grocery bill exceeds our mortgage payment every month. This is about an hour every night with added meals on the weekends, it's a lot more time spent in enduring to the end- I mean in conversation with my teenager.
     So I say again, who are these parents that only spent 38 minutes talking to their teenagers every week? I want phone numbers, so I can find out how they do it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What is so Great About Your Hubby?

     With all the talk about marriages breaking up and the divorce rate at 50-50, it got me to thinking about all the friends I have who still seem to really like their spouses. I know people who have been married for many years who still hold hands. Which is cute. I have to admit that it makes me a little jealous because my hubby isn't much of a hand holder. If he takes my hand of his own accord, I look at him suspiciously and wonder what he did wrong, but that's just us.
     I once did a blog post about the ten things I liked most about the ole hubster and I thought today I would give all of you a chance to let us know what it is that you love most about yours.
      Here's your chance to tell the world about the awesome back rubs, or the flowers, or the bathroom scrubbing that is going on in your relationship.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Germ Fairy has Been Here

     How is it you can go weeks without any illnesses or major disasters and then just when you plan a trip everything goes crazy? We have been slammed with the flu at our house and I am watching it wind its way through the family one person at a time. So far we have had five people get it and we still have several more to go. I pray it skips them, especially the hubbster. He has to work. There is no calling in sick for the self-employed. 
     We are supposed to leave for California on Sat. and I don't know how we will be able to travel if someone has the full on flu. We already have tendencies towards car sickness and when you throw the flu in on top of that, forget about it. I usually carry a few ziploc bags for those who get to feeling queasy in the car, for this flu bug I may be packing boxes of them and lots of rolls of TP. I'm telling you this bug is merciless.
     Sometimes I wonder if there is a little fairy that goes around carrying a wand full of germs and taps people on the head as soon as they have something important or fun planned, so that you have to cancel at the last minute due to illness. If there is, I want to find that little fairy and kick her heiny. 
     This will be our one and only trip for the summer, so keep your fingers crossed that we make it. Preferably without the vomiting into ziploc bags and the accompanying potty stops.