Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Like the Fireworks

     It's hot outside. In case you haven't noticed, we're having a heatwave. Heat makes me sweat. I don't like to sweat, unless I'm exercising and even then it's one of my least favorite things about exercising.
     July is the hottest month of the year here in Utah, although August isn't exactly cool. And if I remember correctly last September was pretty hot.
      For me getting through the summer is a mind game. I tell myself that as of June 21, the summer solstice, the days are getting shorter, even if you can't tell. Yay! And if I can just make it to a "ber" month I can survive the brutal, coma inducing, sweaty, miserable, hate them, days that are summer. 
       Now I don't want you to think I have a bad attitude about summer, so I will tell you what I like about this time of year........I like the fireworks.

Monday, July 1, 2013

I Confess, I'm Mustardless!

     Here we go again. A new week to try and get done all the things we didn't get done last week. It feels like I fall further and further behind all the time. I did get my pantry cleaned out and worked on the cold storage room in the basement. I can't believe how much junk we had in there. It's embarrassing. I'm glad you didn't see it.
     I'm also glad you can't see the mess that is my garage refrigerator. Someone spilled something red in one of the door shelves and now it's all dried and sticky. Why is it when something gets spilled it seems as if it's always red, red punch, tomato sauce, etc, etc. I love having a clean fridge, but I hate cleaning them out. All those unidentifiable leftovers that no one ate, it's like a scene out of some kind of sci-fi movie.
      I live in fear that someday those leftovers are going to come alive and then watch out.
      Doing these simple chores also proves that I need to go shopping. As a mother, there are certain things you just have to have on hand. How I can be out of mustard is beyond me. We always have mustard. How did this happen? Don't tell anyone I'm a mustardless mom. I'm so ashamed.

Friday, June 28, 2013

One of Life's Greatest Mysteries!

     What is it about the sight of an empty toilet paper holder that sends anyone over the age of four running in fear from the room they just spent time in? They escape as fast as they can, leaving the next user to deal with the issue of an empty roll.
     I know these people are capable of putting on a new roll because as children they managed to unlock any and every child proofing lock I ever bought within 24 hours of installation. I even had one for the fridge that was this huge piece of sticky Velcro that I had a hard time opening. I watched in disbelief as my daughter pushed a chair to the stove, climbed onto the stove, got a wooden spoon out of the crock I kept there, then pried the tape open and helped herself to the can of chocolate frosting that was in there.
      So I ask, why can't anyone who shares my DNA ever put a new roll on the holder? It is one of life's greatest mysteries. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Does the Future Hold?

     I wonder about the future generations of our country. I wonder about our country. What will the sense of entitlement that so many people seem to harbor bring about? Are we raising kids that think everything should be handed to them on a plate with no work or effort involved? Where is this attitude going to get us in another 25 to 30 years?
     I know my kids would be considered spoiled by some people and I have to agree.
     They seem to think that as long as I have my ATM card there is money available for them to try to spend. I have assured them that that isn't how it works.
     Years ago my son was asked what his dad did for a living. He told them, "He goes to the dairy and fills his money pouch with dollars and comes home." We had quite the laugh over that one. I don't know what he thought his dad was doing the other 16 hours of the day because at the time his dad often worked sixteen and seventeen hour days. That's what happens when you are self-employed.
     I don't know that today's kids can work that hard. They seem to be geared to work easy, maybe they are willing to work long hours, but not too many of them want to do the hard physical labor of past generations.
     So many of our jobs no longer exist, they've all been sent out of the country, will there even be jobs available in 25 years? What does the future hold for them? I wonder.

Monday, June 24, 2013

What We Did On Our Weekend Away

     So the hubs and I went away for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary and all I can say is we have VERY different ideas about what constitutes a celebration.
     Here's my ideal weekend away. Get to the hotel, relax enjoy that there are no kids bugging you to find their socks, or to make them Top Ramen, or that they aren't getting their turn on the X-box, etc, etc, etc, to infinity. Go out for a nice dinner and then go back to the hotel and watch something you've been planning to watch for the last three years and just haven't been able to.
     Sleep in our own queen-sized beds without anyone hogging anything, or burping in your face. I know that doesn't sound romantic, but when you have been married as long as we have and shared a bed with ten kids over the years you come to appreciate the space.
    If I had had my way we would have slept in and then gone for a nice breakfast and maybe to walk around the mall, or to a movie, even a drive in the mountains. The hubs idea was to stay at the hotel for the free breakfast and then back to the room to watch sports on TV and when that was done to watch the last half of six different movies because the guide for their HBO was off on their times, and we couldn't figure out what time they actually started. Then, of course a long nap, followed by more sports. We did go to dinner, I was hoping for dinner and a movie, we did dinner and then back to watch the hockey game or something.
     We did eat lunch at Olive Garden then drove around Salt Lake City for a while then back to the hotel for more of the last half of movies.
      I really wanted to see World War Z this weekend. I love all things zombie. I tried to talk the hubs into it, but it was a no go. My kids went and saw it while we were gone and loved it. What is up with that? They liked it so much they want to see it again, so today I'm going with them.
     Maybe next year I'll spend my anniversary with them.

Friday, June 21, 2013

33 Years and Still Going Strong

     Today the hubs and I are celebrating our anniversary. We have been married for 33 years. Oh my!
     Only old people are married for that long and I don't feel old. What's up with that?
     And when you figure in that we dated for about two years before getting married...we have been together for a long, long time.
     My fifteen year old daughter said to me the other day, "Sometimes I wish you and Dad would get divorced, so I could have two different houses, but I know that's not going to happen." I had to laugh.
     The hubs and I have joked for years about divorcing the kids and running away together. I think that's a good thing. We love each other more now than we did when we got married. It hasn't been easy, in fact there have been times when it's been down right hard, but it's worth it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What the Heck Did I Buy!

     I went to Walmart yesterday to pick up a few things, milk, bread, ice cream, dinner stuff for two nights, $192.00 later, I had to ask myself, "What the heck did I buy?"
     Does this happen to you? I could have sworn that I only spent about $100.00 but the amount kept going up. I even price matched. How does this happen?
     No wonder there's no money left at the end of the month.
     The scary thing is I could go do what we call, "a big shopping," that's where we stock up on groceries for the month, and now it would probably cost close to $500.00. I haven't done that in a while. It makes me cringe.
     The prices just keep going up and the packages get smaller. I wonder where we'll be in five years? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Good Sportsmanship a Thing Of the Past?

     Last night my son Ryan had a baseball game. We arrived at the park very early due to a miscommunication and were able to watch the game before ours. I have to say it was disheartening and not because any of the boys did anything wrong, it was the coach and a few of the parents from one of the teams.
     I don't understand how the concept of good sportsmanship has fallen so far so fast. Is it the over-paid professionals and their extreme egos that has caused this? Is it that basic decency isn't considered fashionable in a, "do whatever it takes to come out on top," culture? 
     The coach was telling his players to crowd the plate hoping that they would get hit and get to first base. Then he would walk out onto the field to stall the game when they were ahead. He must have called ten time outs.
     Another gem, when his third baseman got run over when he was blocking the plate and got injured he accused the runner of hurting his player on purpose, to the point where the injured kids, relatives ran onto the field to yell at the other coach and the offending player, who was crying in the dug out because he felt bad about hurting the boy. SERIOUSLY! What is up with that? Did I mention that the relative kicked open the field gate and busted the handle in the process?
     Why are some people like this? Do you get your ego stroked when a bunch of 12 year-olds win a baseball game. Is that all you have in your life that it's that important to win at all costs? If I had a kid on that team I would be embarrassed by the coaches behavior.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Today I'm Grateful

      Some of you may have seen my post yesterday about the wheel falling off of my husbands van. When he had it towed to his mechanic, the mechanic had all the other men in the complex (it's two long blocks of buildings that house mechanics that specialize in different types of car repairs) come and look at what had happened to his van. They couldn't believe he was still alive. If he had been on the freeway going 70 miles and hour, like he usually is, he wouldn't be here today. 
     It's things like this that make you step back and realize the blessings you have even if you don't always recognize them.
     Every night when my two youngest boys go to bed we have a prayer and they almost always say, "Please bless Dad in California that he will come home safe." We say these prayers so often that you start to not pay attention to the words and the meaning. I'm ashamed to say that it becomes routine.
     Today I have a new appreciation for those repetitive prayers that two little boys say for their dad. It makes me grateful for the blessings I get when I'm not paying attention.
     I have so much to be grateful for always, but especially today. I needed to acknowledge that publicly.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Strawberry Fluff Dessert, Yumm!

     I have a new recipe for you all to try, and boy is it delicious. It's a strawberry dessert and it's cool, refreshing and easy to make. Thanks Camie Wilcox for the heads up on this one. I made it on Saturday for our Father's Day dinner and it was a huge hit. Of course I had to double it. I'll give you the single version.

3 containers of strawberries-Washed and sliced.
1 quart of vanilla yogurt.
1 large container of Cool Whip-I used the Walmart brand.
2 packages of Jello's White Chocolate instant pudding mix.

Sliced the strawberries and put in a bowl. Mix in other ingredients until fully mixed and serve. It is so good you may want summer to last forever. Trust me on this.

Let me know if you try this yumminess and what you think about it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our First Time at Lagoon

     We went to Lagoon yesterday for the first time. We have lived here for six years and this was our first trip. We got in cheap because my daughter works there and we had her family pass.
     We had a great time. I think it was more fun because we didn't pay full price to get in. It wouldn't have been so fun if I had paid $56.00 each to get in. There were eight of us. I'll let you do the math.
     The best part was watching my six-year-old granddaughter go on rides that were terrifying. That girl has guts. I'm so proud, because I'm a chicken. I guard the ice chest as they go on all the rides. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.
     One of the most rewarding things about this trip was watching teenagers go on rides where you can't take a purse or your other stuff, set it all down in the bushes just outside the ride without hesitation. In California you don't leave your purse for anything because it won't be there when you get back. Even at Disneyland I wouldn't leave my purse in a stroller. Only in Utah do you see this kind of trust in a public place anymore. And I have to wonder how long that will last.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hard Times A-Comin'

     I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately about what is really important in life. As Americans we are so programed from birth to think that we need "things." We spend our lives buying stuff. Some of it we use on a daily basis, but some things sit and collect dust.
     There have been so many times I wish I could go back and not buy whatever it was that I thought I needed.
      Spend, spend, spend, it's what makes our economy go round. At least that's what the government wants us to believe. After the recession started in 2008, many people deeply regretted not having money in their savings accounts. We tend to live paycheck to paycheck here in the U.S. or even worse live on our credit cards. I am the first to admit that saving is hard. After paying the bills and buying food there isn't a lot left at the end of the month.
     The scary thing is what is going to happen when the next big crash happens? How long can our government keep printing money to prop up our economy and not face up to the MASSIVE amount of debt they have buried us in?
     I may not have a degree in economics, but I have run a household for many years, and anyone who has can tell you, you can't spend more than you earn because sooner or later it will bite you in the behind. And I don't care what kind of spin the Washington types are putting on it. We are in trouble, people.

Monday, June 10, 2013


     I have never trusted the IRS. It's too big, too life-destroyingly powerful. And now we are supposed to trust the IRS with all of our health information? After the scandal with the tea party and patriot groups? How is that going to work? If you are not on board with all of the current political parties views you will be put off, delayed and harassed until you die of natural causes? That's one way of getting rid of those who don't agree with you.
     I don't like having to share my private health information with the government. I don't like being told what I have to spend my money on. It's un-American and it goes against the constitution of the United States. I don't care what the supreme court says, they are wrong.
     Of course, our constitution is being dismantled a little bit at a time and no one seems to be doing anything about it. I wonder how long it will take before we wake up and see that we have been too busy watching Dancing with the Stars and not paying attention to what is going on around us? Will it be until it's too late? I wonder?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Road Trip

     Batten down the hatches, it's the last day of school! And we are off. We are taking our boys on a road trip and doing some sight-seeing. We are heading to central Utah for a one day excursion.
     As the boys were arguing this morning before school, I had to ask myself if this was a good idea. Maybe we should just keep them apart as much as possible instead of strapping them into the car right next to each other.
     This could be our first and last trip of the summer depending on how it goes. Why do we do this to ourselves as parents. The fighting and the, "Are we there yet?" and "I'm hungry. When are we stopping to eat?" or the dreaded, "I have to go to the bathroom, again!"
     Since the car was invented this has been the plight of parents around the world.
     I think the pioneers had it easier. When they said, "I'm going to stop this vehicle and make you walk!" They meant it. Oh, to have that option now!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Juicing? Not Sure It's For Me

     I guess juicing is the new thing to hit the diet world. While in California, my son found a great deal on a juicer. He juiced for four days and lost 10 pounds. Of course he's male so he could probably have sneezed and lost ten pounds, (so unfair), but still, ten pounds is a lot of weight.
     I tried juicing last night for dinner and I have to say that two hours later I was hungry. I want food to eat. I needed something to crunch. I like the idea of getting all the nutrients that juicing gives you so I may supplement with that from time to time, but I don't think that strictly juicing is my thing.
     It will take my longer to get to my goal, but I will. Probably right before I die, but I'll be looking skinny.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Year Round School? Whose Idea Was This?

     Our elementary school is going to year round....(que scary music here). I have managed to avoid this for the other nine kids. That's a whole lot of avoiding.
     For my son's sake I'm trying to have a good attitude, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to hate it.
     I liked having my boys on the same schedule because they are best friends. Now my 12 year old is going on to jr. high and my poor Scot is going to be stuck in elementary on different schedules. So while Ryan is enjoying summer until the end of August, Scot has to go back to school the end of July. (I see a total melt down coming.) That means I will have one of them home a lot more often than I am used to.
     While Ryan is getting ready for school to end for the holidays in December, Scot will be off the whole month of December. How the heck am I supposed to get any Christmas shopping done with him home? Has no one thought this through? Mothers depend on that time to run ourselves into the ground with exhaustion.
     Instead of having months with all the kids in school, I will have one of them home most of the time. I'm pretty sure this is not going to be fun. For now I smile and tell Scot it's going to be great, but I have my doubts.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Let's Change This

     Here we are on the brink of summer vacation and the sun is coming up so early it's waking me up before I get the chance to sleep in. In the winter the sun doesn't come up until like 8:30, but you have to get out of bed, drag you're kids out of bed and get them to school in the freezing-cold darkness. What's up with that?
     I think we have this backwards. We should have school during the summer and take the winter off. We could all stay inside with the kids, watching movies and drinking hot chocolate. Doesn't that sound better than dragging them out of their warm beds and making them face the cold, cruel world? Who wouldn't want to snuggle under the covers on a dark and snowy day and watch Jurassic Park for the 16,817th time?
     I'm going to start a petition to change this. Who's with me?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kids, Can't Live Without Them

     "There's nothing to eat in this whole house!" Always said dramatically for effect. If I only had a dollar for every time I've heard this in all my years as a mom, I would be one wealthy woman.
      And if I had a dollar for every diaper I've changed in my lifetime I could pay off the national debt, well, at least part of it.
     These are the things that as motherhood goes are universal. Just like hearing your teenage daughter complain about having nothing to wear when you can't see the carpet in her bedroom because it's buried under all the clothes she doesn't have.
     Or how about, "I can't wait until I'm eighteen and can move out of here and do whatever I want!"
     I love that one. And I can't help but laugh when I hear it. The closer they get to eighteen the more they seem to like being here, especially when they start figuring out how much rent is, and food, and cable and internet. Living for free at home starts looking pretty good.
     Kids, can't live without them, and I'm pretty sure, in my case, I won't ever get to.
     Have a great Tuesday everyone.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

     Happy Memorial Day everyone. I know you're grateful for the day off and a chance to gather with friends and family. The bar-be-que is waiting and good times are to be had by all, but while you are preparing to live it up, lets take a minute to remember that there are those who aren't here with us today because of the sacrifice they have made. Our way of life was paid for with blood, sweat and sacrifice.
     As the centuries have passed you would think that we could find a better way to settle our differences than to make war on each other, but it doesn't seem like we're making any progress in that noble goal.
     So remember those long gone, say a prayer for them and those they left behind. And to the men and women who have paid the ultimate price I say, "You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith." Rest in peace. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Big Plans!

     Here we are on the cusp of summer. What are your plans for vacation? I want to live vicariously through all of you as you go to Hawaii, and cruise to Alaska. Are you packing up the RV and traveling the country? Today's the day to shout it out.
     We are planning on heading to some of the beautiful national parks they have here in Utah and checking them out.
      What are your big plans?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Take Pride in Your Work

    I guess the economic downturn made it necessary for most printed news organizations to lay off their editors, because the news articles I read now have so many mistakes in them I sometimes have to read them two or even three times to try and figure out what they are trying to say. It's like reading something written by a child or a non-native English speaking person. Have you noticed this?
     I realize that mistakes happen, I make a lot of them, but these are people who make their living doing this. Have we gotten so busy that no one proof reads anymore? 
     I read most of my news off the internet now days and it's getting so bad I can't believe it. Next we're going to have, lol and imho inserted into news articles.
     And it's not just there that I have noticed this. I recently took an online class from another writer. The class had over one-hundred pages of notes that needed to be printed out. More often than not, the pages had errors on them. Not spelling errors, thank goodness for spell check, but sentence structure errors. I would have to read the sentences several times to understand the meaning.
     When you make your living with the written word you need to show it some respect. For a writer to send this out into the big bad world in such a state doesn't reflect well on her.
      I realize that most of us today just figure out what is trying to be said and move on, we don't have time to bemoan something so trivial, but where is the pride in a job well done? In professionalism? Are we lowering the bar for future generations to not reach the standards of our parents?
     I realize this isn't an earth shaking issue, but it bugs me. I feel better now that it is off my chest.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Goodness of Mankind

     When disasters occur it restores my faith in humanity to see the people step forward to help in any way they can without thought of getting something back in return.
     The tornadoes in Oklahoma have been devastating, but in every news report you see the average Joe doing what needs to be done. I have seen folks digging through rubble with their bare hands. They are comforting each other in the face of total loss. People are helping their neighbors by taking in pets that have been traumatized by the storms and have no home. They are bringing in supplies where there is no power. Way to go.
     And for those who felt the need to loot homes and businesses that were damaged, all I can say is karma. It has a way of coming back to haunt you.
     Thoughts and prayers coming your way to all who have been touched by this trying time.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What's A Mother To Do?

     I know how the end of the world is going to happen! We are going to be smothered in all the paperwork that collects in our homes and no one will survive. Eons from now they will think it's some odd burial custom to fill the inside of our homes with papers and leave the bodies inside to mummify.
     Okay, maybe not, but it feels like that sometimes. I swear to you I am constantly throwing away piles of paper and yet, when I look around my house I have stacks of stuff everywhere. It doesn't help that I can't make the toss or save decision on every thing because I have adult children living here and they get tons of stuff. I set it aside and when they get a chance they go through it. It's the "when they get the chance," that drives me crazy.
     I have one son, who I will hand a stack of mail, magazines included, who will, an hour later, get up and walk away and leave all his stuff right on the couch where he was sitting. Yes, you know who you are.
     I also have to sort through bills, ads, coupons, newsletters, boy scout stuff, soccer mailings, and tons of other junk. There are times when I just don't want to have to decide whether or not I should toss or save. Talk about pressure.
    And to make matter worse, my hubby's idea of helping to pick up the family room is to pile all the junk on the desk in the kitchen. Yes, I get dirty socks, cleats, sweaty basketball jerseys, unfinished homework, candy wrappers, and all kinds of stuff balancing precariously on what is supposed to be a work surface in my kitchen. So underneath all of that is the mind-boggling stacks of paperwork.
     I don't want to do it anymore. I don't want to be the one that has to make all the tough decisions, like whether or not to throw away my son's Indian Report, even though the dog chewed it up, and have my son look at me like I am the worst mother ever. "Don't you want to keep this forever?" Sad face along with it.
     I want to say, "No, I don't want to keep it forever! It's done! It's over! Move on with your life!
     But instead I put the chewed up Indian Report on the shelf in his closet to gather dust for years until one day when he is not here and I can toss it. What's a mother to do?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Here It Comes

     Every year at this time I feel stressed, excited, and a lot of anticipation.
     The stress comes from so many activities in a short amount of time. We have soccer, baseball, basketball and the end of the year school activities. With all the practices and preparing that go with it. And then you throw in the grandkids stuff, dance recitals, their sports, which we like to watch if we get the chance, and it's a busy time.
     It's an exciting time because we are having warmer weather, and everything is blooming and it just gives off an energy all around. There are flowers and veggies to plant and places to go and things to do. It seems there is a lot of planning going on this time of year.
      Of course, the kids are having major anticipation about their summer vacation. We don't get to take long vacations due to family commitments and the hubby's job, but we try to do fun things with the kids. Movies, pool time, hiking, bar-b-ques, we've even done over-night camping trips. We look forward to staying up later and sleeping in, no homework.
      I always have this image of what it's going to be like and it never becomes a reality, but still every year at this time I think about how great summer time is going to be.
      This year is going to be very different because our elementary school is going to a year round schedule. Our youngest will only have about six weeks before he has to go back to school. This is going to change summer for us greatly. Wish me luck as we once more head into the unknown. :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Lies Ahead

     I have felt for the last year that I needed to add to my food storage due to the trying times we are facing. "What trying times are those?" you ask. I wish I could give you a good answer besides, "I just have this sinking feeling the the recession of 2008 wasn't the last we've heard of financial crisis."
     How can our government operate under such straining debt without there being some kind of tipping point? All of us know you can't spend more than you earn without there being serious repercussions, but apparently the politicians live in a different world.
     I wish we could all live in that world where we can have everything we want with someone else paying the bills, but unfortunately we don't, and I think they are going to be surprised when the house of cards comes tumbling down.
     Many are saying we are going to have a huge spike in inflation and that scares me. It's already hard enough to make ends meet for most of us these days. If food, gas, utilities and other daily expenses goes up 50, 75, or 100% what then.
     I don't know, but I do know that I don't want my family to go hungry, so for now, little by little, I will keep trying to stock the pantry with more and more.

Monday, May 13, 2013


     Today's topic is serious and stomach-turning, just to warn you.
     I am so sick of reading and hearing about young moms who leave their babies with boyfriends (who aren't the baby-daddy) only to have the beast beat the child. It seems this usually happens when the mom goes off to work and the beast is sitting on the couch watching tv or gaming. I can't stand it anymore. I want these people to get more than jail. Jail is too good for them.
     And it really irritates me that the moms get off because they weren't there. I don't believe for a minute that the guy just went off and there were no signs of abuse or neglect before hand. You can't hide that kind of evil for long.
    Wake up mother's! It's your job to protect your kids. Don't leave them with someone you aren't 100% sure will love them and take care of them kindly. What is wrong with these people? The mental-mutants seem to be everywhere. You can't pick up a newspaper or look at MSN news without seeing headlines about abused kids. It makes me so angry. Where were the grandparents? Where were the neighbors? Where was CPS? And how many times have we heard that the kids were taken away only to be given back? What is up with that? There are times in life when you shouldn't get a second chance.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lawn-Mowing Season and Snow-Shoveling Season

     I have decided that there really are only two seasons here in Utah, despite the all the talk about there being four of them. There's snow-shoveling season and lawn-mowing season. We just ended one and now it's time to start the other.
     I bought a bunch of strawberry plants and six tomato plants that I've needed to get in the ground for two weeks now and it hasn't happened (which is a good thing since we had a hard freeze warning) and now the hubs wants to go and buy a bunch of flowers to plant in the yard. I'm not too excited about that. I'm tired just thinking about it.
     And you know what is going through my head right now? Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I Know We Are Weird But...

     Did you hear the rain last night? Did you? It was wonderful, beautiful, perfect and all the other words like that. I love rain. I love snow. I love weather. I know my kids, the ones who actually read this blog, will be rolling their eyes at that. They like to make fun of me because I'm weird.
     Of course, they make fun of me a lot because that's what a family does. And that's okay, we accept each others weirdness, we embrace each others weirdness. For instance we had a whole family discussion on whether you bunch, or roll, or fold your TP while you are preparing know. We had people demonstrating their technique and trying to convince each other of the superior benefits of their way.
    I don't think anyone was convinced to change their ways but a good time was had by all.
    There is one thing the whole family agrees on, we always have and we always will, the toilet paper hangs over the roll. The is in cement. It's in our DNA forever and ever, Amen. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Crusty Sock Duty

     As a mother, there are things you do that you just would not do unless you truly loved your children as much as you do. Things like cleaning up their vomit, changing diapers that make you gag, wiping the snotty green and gooey nose for days at a time when they have a cold.
     Luckily, I have passed these stages and my kids can pretty much take care of themselves at least physically.
     For my younger two boys I still do their laundry however, and that is a problem. You see my boys are twelve and nine and they are in the midst of the stinky sock stage. EEEWWWWEEE! 
     I come across these disgusting socks as I am loading the washing machine. They are little balls of crusty sweat and bacteria. That is NOT a good combination, I assure you. I have to confess that there have been times when I just couldn't bring myself to unball the sock and I have washed them as they were. The problem with that is they come out of the dryer just as gross as they went in. So most of the time I cowboy up and unroll them. (This is where the love and devotion come in. If I didn't love them this much, I wouldn't touch something akin to roadkill.)
     Apparently our dog loves the boys too, because he likes to take their socks and roll around on them, nap on them and collect them, but that is another blog altogether. Have a great day everyone.

Friday, May 3, 2013

We Rock!

     It has been one week since my daughter got the keys to her new house. In that week we have scrubbed every wall. We have painted and repainted. New appliances have been delivered. New carpet has been installed. New drawers in the kitchen have been ordered and should be here in two weeks. (They took all the kitchen drawers.) I guess actually emptying them into a box was too much for them. And though we still have a few things to touch up and a broken window to repair we are on the downhill slide.
     Now we just have to do the actual moving in. We are all beyond tired and looking forward to the finish line, but we won't be happy until we are done and can survey a job well done.
     I have discovered how much our family can do when we work together and how well we work together. Try to imagine this, we have had six of us doing most of the work. Between them, five of them have children eight and under. I still have three kids that are underage, so that makes eleven kids. We have ten different sports being played, one in pre-school, a kindergartener, four of them are two and under, dance class and a job.
     Trying to juggle all of the logistics and doing the work was an example of multi-tasking that would make NASA proud.
     Still we have persevered and we are almost there. It's a wonder what one family can do when they are there for each other. We rock, if I do say so myself. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Eternal Search for Something to Eat for Dinner

     My mom went back to work when I was thirteen. I would get out of school, walk by the elementary school, pick up my little sisters and we'd walk home together. I would get them a snack and make sure they started their homework. Later on I would start whatever dinner my mom left out for the family. By the time she got home it was usually close to done. Because of this I feel like I have been making dinner all of my life.
      Perhaps this is why, at times, I am sick of my own cooking and need to find new recipes to add some variety to my culinary life. When I find a good one and it's quick and easy I feel like I have hit the lottery.       
     Lately I have been lucky and have found several new recipes to add to the rotation. Oh, we still save nights every month for the favorites like tacos, and steak, but Chili Verde and Tortellini Soup are now going to be regulars.
     Cooking for sixteen people every night pretty much insures that someone won't like something. I have one that's pretty much a vegetarian. Another one who takes two bites and then won't eat any more. One with stomach issues. Another who won't eat anything that isn't coated with sugar. And there is always someone on a  diet. When I find a meal that the majority enjoy, it's a keeper. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tortellini Soup

     I have a new recipe for all of you. It fits my favorite requirement, it's easy. I love easy recipes because my life is not easy. And every one should have something that's easy in their life. Right? So after a long day you can toss these ingredients together and waalaa easy.
    Here is the recipe for Tortellini soup.

1 plus pound of mild Italian sausage (I prefer Johnsonville for the spices)
Brown, drain and then I rinse off to get off more oil.
4 cups water (Can add more if needed when tortellini is cooking)
2 cans of tomato soup
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
2 carrots or more
1 zucchini (the size you find in stores)
Boil, stirring occasionally so doesn’t burn, until carrots are about cooked to liking.
Add package of tortellini (fresh or frozen)  Cook time what is call for. Appox. 10 minutes.
You can double by adding twice of everything but the soup.  For a real large pot like at the retreat I added one extra can.
You can also top with grated Parmesan.  
 I served with warm garlic bread.
      This is delicious. We ate it for days because I doubled the recipe and everyone loved it. 
     Thanks to Alysia Ricks for this wonderful recipe. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Big Head

     So I was at Walmart the other day with the hubs, who needs a new hat to wear in the yard as he weed-eats, and we had the following discussion.
     Me- Hey here's one. Try it on.
     He puts it on his head.
     Him- It's too small. I think it's a woman's hats.
     Me-I don't think so. It's a man's hat. You're head is too big.
     Him-What the heck am I supposed to do?
     Me- I guess you'll have to start shopping at the big head shop.
     Him-Ha ha. That's mean. (He actually sounded like it was the first time anyone has told him he has a big head.)
      Me-I don't know what you're whining about I'm the one who gave birth to your big-headed children. Eight of them with no drugs. 
      He thought about that for a minute.
      Him- Ouch.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Love of Empty Trash Cans

     I have a confession to make, I'm a little bit OCD about getting our trash cans out. The hubby always teases me by saying, "I think I'll take the trash cans out in the morning instead of tonight." Then he laughs because he knows that just sent my heart into palpitations.
     With a family our size missing the trash man is a catastrophe that I have experienced a few times and I don't ever want to have to live through that again. The trash starts piling up and there are bags everywhere. The trash in the house doesn't get dumped because there is no place to go with it. I HATE that.
     Hearing the trash man on the street below us is music to my ears. I listen for him and if I'm up I'll watch him dump our trashcans into his truck and drive away. It's truly one of the best things in life, empty trash cans. I can hear you laughing and that's okay, I'm used to it.  :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

To Coupon or Not the Coupon

     Did you know I used to be a big couponer. Spell check says couponer isn't a word. HA! I used to scan the Sunday paper and the ads to see what kind of deals I could get. I don't do that so much any more.
     I found a dollar off coupon the other day on Nutella, which my daughter is inhaling faster than I can replace it.
     Now a dollar off of something is a good coupon, but do you remember when the stores used to double them. In Cali, some stores even had triple coupon day where they would triple the value. Those days are gone forever.
     When I search for coupons now, I find piddly little ten cents off coupons. What good does that do? For instance I had a twenty-five cent off coupon for Paul Newman's Marinara, which I love, but I bought fourteen jars, so one twenty-five cent coupon hardly does much. Now if I had fourteen one-dollar-off coupons we'd be talking some serious saving. And if they doubled them! Woo Whoo!
    I miss the good old days when couponing meant serious saving. It seems like the prices go higher and the coupons get smaller.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I'm Baaacckkk!

     I'm baaacckkk! After spending the weekend recharging the batteries, I'm back and ready to go. I have plotted and planned, discussed and befriended, learned and shared with many other writers about the best way to go about the craft of writing.
     I'm enthused and eager and ready to fly through many projects.
     Right after my nap.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Today is the Day

     Today is the day. I'm going on a writer's retreat with a group of writers. I look forward to these getaways for many reasons, the companionship, the chance to talk about writing with people who don't look at you like you're crazy, and the chance to work undisturbed.
     We're going to a very large cabin in Midway, Utah where the trees, hopefully, are starting to leaf out and the tulips are coming up.
      I haven't had much of a chance to think about what my goals are for this weekend other than to write, a lot.
     I have so many things I want to accomplish this year and it's already April. The time is tick-tocking away so fast I'm being left in the dust.
     Does it seem like every year goes faster than the last, or is it just me? 
     Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Need to Be Me

     My tulips are about to bloom. I'm so excited. I share this with you, my friends, because if I said this to my family I would get a sea of eye-rolling. I don't know why. Tulips are beautiful. Mine are all red and when they bloom it is a stunning display, but I feel like I can hardly enjoy them due to the lack of shared enthusiasm around here.
      I need to be me, people! I need to love tulips! I need to love the smell of fresh wood chips! I need to ooh and aww over the perfectly blue Utah sky with it's white puffy clouds! I need to be free to be able to stand in the window and watch the rain and snow falling!
      I gotta be me! If this makes me a nerd, deal with it! It's who I am. I am your mother and you're stuck with me, so deal with it!!!  This concludes exclamation point day. :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What is Going On?!

     Today is one of those days where you ask yourself, "What the heck is going on in this world?!"
     How did we as a society get so messed up that someone has to set bombs to go off and hurt innocent people who are outside enjoying a special event? Are they that filled with hatred that they have to strike out at whomever is closest. What is up with that?
     I know a lot of people are for taking away all of the guns to make us safer, but I don't think that's going to help. This goes so much deeper. We are losing our sense of humanity. You see and hear about it all the time, from bullying, to sexual assaults of young girls, to school stabbings and shootings.
     Are we so isolated from each other that the thought of taking someones life doesn't mean anything anymore?
     What a terrifying thought. How can we change what is happening? Is it too late? I wish I had the answers.

Monday, April 15, 2013

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

     Our family has been hit with some strange virus. The symptoms are earaches, dizziness and exhaustion. I didn't go to church yesterday and slept most of the day. The strange thing is sleep and I have always had a love hate relationship. I would love to sleep a full eight hours, or even nine or ten, but I'm lucky if I can get a good four hours straight before waking up and tossing and turning the rest of the night. So it is very odd for me to be this tired and be able to drift off. It feels really strange and good at the same time.
     Of course, being a mother I'm wracked with guilt for sleeping during the day even if I'm not feeling well. My mind goes over all the things that need to be done and I hear that voice in my head saying get up, shower, go, do and conquer. The other little voice says take advantage of it while you can because soon you'll be better and then it's back to the grindstone.
     Right now the little devil is winning. I'm off so sleep some more. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

How to Eat Pancakes

     We went to iHop with two of our kids today and had an in-depth discussion about the proper way to eat pancakes.
      My son wanted to poor the syrup over them, but the plate was too small and the syrup would have run over the sides of the plate and onto the table.
     This is when I showed them how to do it right. You cut up the pancakes in the middle and poor syrup over the cut pieces. The cuts in the pancakes fill up with syrup creating a reservoir of syrup and the outer pieces keep it from running over. As you eat the cut up pieces you can keep refilling the reservoir and work your way out.
      Apparently my son found this laughable. He said he couldn't possibly eat pancakes from the inside out. He explained he had to eat his from one side to the other. He also told me he didn't like the way I eat my chicken burrito from Cafe Rio because I do the same thing to it, I start in the middle and work my way out.
     I have a reason though, the burritos are huge and I want to make sure I eat the good stuff in the middle before I get full. I wouldn't want get full on the doughy tortilla part on the end. Right? 
     Kids these days just don't know how to eat.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's All Walmart's Fault!

     What is it about Walmart that makes my mind go totally blank? I usually have a pretty good memory, but the mental list I keep in my head of things I need from Walmart goes right out of my head the minute I walk in the door.
     As I am driving I think to myself, milk, bread, 10 cans of potato soup, bananas, paper plates, shampoo and soft scrub. Then I walk in the door and it's like, "I think bananas were on the list."
     My poor mind starts wandering, along with my body, up and down the long aisles of food and all the other fun stuff and I fill my cart with things I need, but not what I went for. Cookies! Yumm!
     I know deep down I should make a list. That reminds me we need Ritz crackers and dog food, but I just jump in the car and go, sure of my ability to remember so few a number of items. Did I buy Bay Leaves the last time I was there? I better get them because you can never be out of Bay Leaves.
     And what about Pasta Roni? I think it was on sale somewhere, but where? I could save eight cents a box if I could remember. And what kind was it that most of the fam didn't like? Am I even having that with dinner? The kids were begging for Doritos, but if they aren't on sale, I'm not buying. Were they on sale? Was that last week?
     You can see this is a problem and I totally blame it on Walmart and all the fun and yummy stuff they have there. It's overwhelming. How can I remember my ten items when I am surrounded by millions of good tasting and fun things. Heaven help me!

Monday, April 8, 2013

I Have to Try This

    Do you like spicy? I love spicy stuff. I love that burn after you eat something and you can still feel it. It's like the bite that keeps on giving. I found a new recipe on Pinterest. It seems I am finding all my new recipes on Pinterest lately. It's for Baked Jalapeno Poppers. Yumm. And it looks like it was made to be a little less on the fatty side. I can't wait to give it a try. Maybe tonight for the championship game between Michigan and Louisville? It came from The Guiltless Glutton's website. If you give it a try let me know what you think. 
  • 8 small wonton wrappers
  • 2 1/5 tablespoons Neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 jalapeno rings (pickled from a jar)
  • small bowl of water
  • cooking spray

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay out your wonton wrappers and divide out the cream cheese and cheddar cheese into the center of each wrapper. Image
  3. Put 1 jalapeno ring in each wrapper
  4. Dip your fingers into the bowl of water and lightly run your fingers over the edges of a wrapper (this make the edges stick together).
  5. Fold the wrapper so it forms a triangle around the insides (you may have to pick it up and press it a little to make sure the jalapeno lies flat and the edges close up). Side Note: I horrendously need a manicure.Image
  6. Once closed, put each bite onto a greased (spray with cooking spray) baking sheet.
  7. Spray the tops of the bites with cooking spray then put into the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Flip them and bake for another 3 minutes.
  9. Let them cool a little bit and dig in!
As much as I love bar food, I love healthy bar food alternatives better and this recipe is perfect!

Recipe and images from A Guiltless Glutton

Friday, April 5, 2013

What Inspires You?

     Inspiration is a fleeting thing. What inspires one, does nothing for another. Music, poetry, art, scripture all have inspired me at one time or another.
     I am a huge fan of Robert Frost. There are about twenty-five of his poems that move me. One of his most popular is The Road Not Taken. I feel like this is the theme of my life. I married my husband at an age when most girls are thinking about prom, graduation and college. Then I started having children with a boy first and then a girl. That would have been it for most people, but not me. I took a different path and had eight more.
     Then I decided to follow my dreams and work on writing. It has been a wonderful journey, so far.
     I don't know what path I will follow next, but I'm sure somewhere, something will inspire the next path that I take.
    What inspires you? Is it literature? A song? A person? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Ryan.

     Twelve years ago today I gave birth to a beautiful and perfect baby boy. It was a great experience. I had my first ever epidural, which totally rocked. He was number nine and such a good baby. I can't believe it has been twelve years.
     Ryan is a sweet kid. He will come up to me and wrap his arms around me and say, "I love you, Mom," for no reason at all. He has also been known to give me a kiss on the cheek just because. The saddest thing about this is that I know those days are coming to an end sooner rather than later.
     He's a good kid who tries to do what's right and I'm really proud to be his mom.
     I can't wait to see what path his life takes. I love you, Ryan. Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To Serve

     There are times in life when you have to ask yourself, "Why do I bother?"
     Life is so stressful. Yet, everyday we get up and go at it once more. I mean, what choice do you have really? To stay in bed and hide under the covers? I would love to be able to do that every now and then, but with a house full of people it's never been an option. Besides, they know where my bed is. I can see them now standing right next to it poking me, asking me what's for dinner.
     Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be. If our lives are filled with taking care of others, we have less time to focus on all of our woes and we can make it through the day more satisfied.
     I really believe that if you are depressed or unhappy, find some kind of service you can provide for someone. You will feel so much better. Service gives you a feeling inside you just can't get from anything else. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this fact, but it has proven itself to me over and over again.
     There is always someone who is worse off than you and when you see or hear about them it makes you grateful for your own challenges and they don't seem so hard anymore.
     Just a little food for thought this morning. Have a good one everyone. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Break

     Spring Break, it's a mixed blessing. I got to go to bed last night without worrying about all the details of a school day bouncing around in my head. You know the kind, do they have clean socks? Are we going to be able to find the missing library book? What about the red folder? Did I sign it or not? I have to make sure they brush their teeth before we get to school. That kind of stuff.
     On the other hand, they are home all day. ALL DAY. And to make it worse they are all hopped up on candy from the Easter bunny. The older siblings look forward to that, let me tell you. There are arguments about what to watch on TV and who has what spot on the couch. Who has to empty the dishwasher. Scratch that one, they argue about that everyday. And I get to hear, "There's nothing to eat in the whole house!" Always said like they are going to die with their next breath, about one-thousand times a day.
     All in all Spring Break is just a preview of what is to come for summer vacation. Which starts in about nine weeks and counting. And don't think we're not looking forward to that.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Time Marches On

     I always tell girls that they will become their mother whether they like it or not. I usually say this with an evil laugh. I don't know why they wouldn't want to be like be, aside from a few flaws, I'm an okay person.
    But they seem to think it's a horrible thing. Of course, they all think I'm crazy for having so many kids and they tell me on a regular basis that they aren't having that many under any circumstances. The cowards. :)
     Seriously, I don't care how many they have as long as they have some. Grandkids are the best. If I had known how great it is to be a Monna I would have started there. I get to spoil them rotten and send them home, well, at least the ones who aren't living with me, but I spoil them anyway and send them to their parents.
     They are all growing up too fast, however, just like my kids did and are doing. I haven't figured out how to stop the progression of time. If anyone has any suggestions on that send them my way. In the mean time, I am trying to cherish every moment of my life.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What if it's all About Kindness?

     Here's a little food for thought for today. I have had several friends who are writers get a couple of bad reviews on their work lately. Now, I'm not talking about someone who goes on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Goodreads and says I really don't like this authors work because of this or that. These reviews are just mean, hateful and demeaning.
     My question is, when did it become okay to do this to people? Is it because the internet has made us anonymous and we can be the rotten to others under a cloak of secrecy? I don't think so because of all the bullying that has reared it's ugly head. Bullying has been around since the beginning of time, but it seems to have taken on a new life.
    A week or so ago even MSN felt it necessary to post a video off of Facebook of a teenage boy who was trying to talk his girlfriend into taking him back. He was crying in the video and looking wimpy. The caption underneath the video made fun of him and said, "I bet the boys in the hood aren't going to let this one pass," or something like that. So now we have "news" outlets joining in the bullying. This really bothered me. I have to wonder how many fights is this kid going to get into when others make fun of him.
     Is this the new low we have sunk to as a people?
     What if when it is all said and done, when are lives are over and we look back on all the things we have accomplished in life, it's all about how we treated others? And I mean everyone. How did we treat people of other races, other religions, the disabled, the mean and hateful boss, people who didn't agree with our political views, the checker at Walmart? What if our kindness in this life is what it's all about. What if that is the big test and the reason for our being here? How would you do? How are we doing as a society?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tilapia and the Mother Hen

     Here's the skinny on the Tilapia, I ate it. It wasn't bad, but not as good as chicken. I will make it again and try it different ways. The only draw back is that we were hungry again later on. I could hear the fam making their way into the kitchen and finding things to nibble. I topped off with Captain Crunch before bedtime.
     On a different topic, it looks as if my daughter and her hubby and baby will be moving out soon. They are in escrow with their house and it is supposed to close on or before the 12th of April. It's going to feel very strange not hearing my little Liam in the morning. He's a yeller especially when you don't feed him fast enough. It's the Stefan in him. It's in the DNA, it screams, "feed me, feed me, now!" 
      The house they are buying is only a few miles away, but it won't be the same. I am grateful for this time in my life when most of my children either live with me or are very close. I know it won't be this way forever and that makes me sad. Even though most of my kids are adults now, I still want to cover them with my mother hen wings and protect them from the storms of life. If only it was that simple.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'll Prove I'm Not Picky

     My kids accuse me of being a picky eater just because I don't like fish, or sushi, or Chinese food, unless it's orange chicken and then only at certain places. I will eat fish and chips from two places, mostly because the breading and the frying have pretty much eliminated most of the fish taste and the tartar sauce takes care of the rest. I don't like peas and I won't eat anything with peas in it, at all.
     I don't like corn in my food either, corn on the cob, or as a side dish is fine, but no salsa made of corn or soup with corn in it. I don't like red delicious apples. I don't like any kind of organ meat, liver, heart, or tongue. My son loves lengua tacos. Do you know what cows do with there tongues? They stick them up their own noses. I just can't get past that, especially when the taste buds are still on them. Gross!
     I only mention this because tonight I am trying Tilapia. My son has convinced me that it is the least fishy fish there is, so in the interest on not being labeled picky, I'm going to give it a try. 
     I have a couple of recipes on Pinterest that I pinned and I'm going to try one of them. Wish me luck and if you see me at McDonald's at 7:00 you'll know it didn't work out.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Chili Verde

     I having been cooking for my family since I was thirteen and my mom went back to work. I would start dinner and she would finish it. Then I got married and I have been cooking ever since. And I have to admit that after almost 33 years of marriage I am pretty sick of my own cooking, so when I find a new recipe that ever one likes I get excited about.
     I found this Chili Verde recipe on Pinterest and the fam loved it, so here it is. I like it because it's not chicken, it's pork, which means I don't have to hear, "Chicken again!" I have been trying to expand our meat horizons.

2 lbs. pork diced (I used boneless pork ribs)
1 cup onion, chopped
14 oz chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 1/2 Tbsp chicken stock (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp jalapeno (I omitted this)
4 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tbsp green Tabasco sauce
10 oz green enchilada sauce (I used the big 27oz can to make it go further)
27 oz  can green chilies diced. (I couldn't find the big can so I used several small)
8 oz canned green chilies, pureed
1-2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed(optional) I did it.
1/2 teaspoon salt

Brown pork and drain. Add onion and chicken broth (will not cover meat) Simmer 1 hour stirring often. Combine garlic powder, chicken stock, celery salt, cornstarch, oregano, cumin, jalapeno, cilantro, chili powder, and green Tabasco sauce. Simmer 1 hour stirring often to avoid sticking.
Add green enchilada sauce and stir. Stimmer 1/2 hour. Add chopped green chilies and cook for 15 minutes. Add pureed green chilies, white beans and salt to taste.
Serve with cheese, sour cream, chips and/or flour tortillas.

I had to double this but the fam ate every bit of it and raved about it.

If you are on Pinterest you can search for it with the pic under Chili Verde and it is a copyrighted recipe from Favorite Family Recipes 2012. This had tons of flavor and was not spicy even with the chili power and Tabasco. I didn't double those, however. Or you can check it out on my Yumm Pinterest page.
Give it a try if you are looking for some new kind of yummyness.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Things That Bug Me

        I have been really irritated lately by all the fees we have to pay that we never agreed to. There's a fee on our cell phone bill every month that I have to pay because poor people need cell phones or so Congress decided a while ago. I can barely afford my own cell phone bill. Why should I have to pay for a cell phone for other people? Especially when they abuse the privilege and the whole program has a massive amount of fraud.
     I have no problem helping people with a job loss or health issues buy food with food stamps but when they and their family have been on food stamps their whole life I think there's a problem. It takes a lot of money to feed our family every month, but we do it.
     And now we have Obama care. I remember when a Congressman called Obama a liar for saying that people who are in this country illegally were not going to be covered, but guess what, they are, so now we, as tax payers, are going to have to foot an even higher bill to pay for them.
     Where does this end. Almost everyone I know is barely managing to get buy. How much more can we take?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Sucks!

     It has been a week and I still have not adjusted to Daylight Savings Time. I hate it.
     What cruel, sadistic person thought up moving our clocks forward and getting up in the dark of night? Like life isn't hard enough?
     I remember when it didn't happen until April sometime and now they've moved it up to the second week in March? What is up with that? Why? Is this really about saving energy or is it about the government punishing us and showing us how miserable they can make us just because they want to? I suspect it's the latter. If fact, I suspect there is a group of old men who sit around a big table laughing about making us poor schmucks get up even earlier and drag our behinds to work and school. And I further suspect that after they finish laughing they go and take long naps.
     I say that next year when they want to turn the clocks back, we revolt! We all keep right on sleeping until we are darn good and ready to get up and face the day. Who's with me?!

Friday, March 15, 2013

And the Race is On

     My life seems to be a daily challenge to be prepared for what comes next. I try to be organized and plan ahead, but I, more often than not, fail miserably.
     Yesterday the hubby decided he would like bar-b-qued hamburgers for dinner with potato salad and a special jello I make. Fine, I said, "If you will peel the ten pounds of potatoes I'll do the rest."
     Of course we didn't have the special Costco patties he loves, so first we went to the Bank and then off to Costco. While we were in Ogden we stopped by the Honda dealer to pick up a part he had ordered. Then I dropped him off because it's March and if you know us you know what that means. March Maddness!
     I ran to Del Taco to grab some lunch. And the girl gave me all mild sauce, not the medium sauce I asked for. (See yesterday's blog) Good thing I caught it before I left.
    I downed a burrito real quick then headed off to Walmart for the rest of the stuff I needed for dinner, but while I was making my list we decided that we were going to have Beef Stroganoff tonight, so I had to go back to Smith's because they have the best meat for my kind of Beef Stoganoff.  In, out and on the way to Walmart.
     An hour and a half later I have what I need for the rest of the weekend.
     I get home and unload and put it all away as the hubby starts peeling potatoes. That was when I realized that the Jello wasn't going to happen. It was too late. The hubs was irritated, but decided since I hadn't sat down once all day, he would keep it to himself for his own health and safety. Smart man.
     The potatoes were done boiling along with the eggs so I was started to get everything else ready.  Then we headed to another store to get the pickles for the potato salad. You have to have the right pickles or it's just not right. I used to have ten jars in the basement but they were used and not replaced.
     We ate at about seven last night. Finally. The point is. If I could get back to the place where my menus were done for the month I would have had most of this stuff and the Indy 500 could have been avoided, but life isn't that easy. When you have the time you don't have the money and when you have the money you don't have the time, so the race goes on, but life was a lot easier when the pantry was well stocked.
    Gotta run the flag is about to drop for today's race. Ready, set and Go!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why Can't You Just Listen?!

     Have you noticed that listening is becoming a lost art. We went to lunch yesterday for my daughter's birthday. The waiter was great, but I had asked for extra olives and peppercinis for our salad and a few minutes later he brought us a plate of olives and onions. I found this ironic after I had just filled a bread plate with discarded onions I picked out of the bowl.
     You ask for ranch with your chicken Mcnuggets and you get bar-b-que sauce. Or you start to explain something or ask a question and you get interrupted by the person as if they don't have time to hear your whole explanation.
     I called my son into my bedroom the other night, he pokes his head in the door and before I could say anything he says, "I'm going to take a shower right now." As if I nag him about that, HA!
      "That's nice, but I wanted to tell you you left your backpack in the bathroom and tomorrow morning you're going to be freaking out when you can't find it."
     I won't even go into the husbands not listening thing because that's a whole other level of not listening, with different motivations.
     So what is it with the not listening? Are people so busy that they don't have time? Or are we so programmed by TV that if you can't resolve something in less than a few minutes they are unable to focus.
     I'm not sure but it's driving me nuts. I sometimes want to scream, "If you would just listen to me until I am done speaking!?"
     Maybe that's too much to ask these days when everyone is so busy telling you their opinion that they can't be bothered to listen to yours.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kristin

     A few years ago, I had a baby. It was really more than a few years ago because she's now going to have her fourth baby. She was my first baby girl. I had a son and then a daughter. The perfect American family.     
     My mother suggested that I my family was If you know me, you know that didn't happen.
     My little girl became one of the most strong willed people I know. She drove me crazy sometimes. We were constantly bumping heads. She thought she should be in charge, but I was against it since she was only three.
     When she was seven she told her grandma that she could do anything I could do but drive a car. She conquered that as soon as she turned sixteen.
     It's funny now how two women who fought and fussed for so many years could become so much alike.
     I always tell my girls that it's inevitable, you become your mother. I usually say this with an evil laugh. :)
     I'm proud to say that she in not only my daughter, she's my friend. Happy Birthday, Kristin. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

No Soda For You!!!

     Does anyone else find it incredulous that New York's Mayor Bloomberg has nothing better to do than to out law large sodas for the people in New York?
     I mean really? Is the city running that smoothly? Do the people that need jobs all have them? Is their financial state in that great of shape? Is crime that low that all he has to worry about is making sure the puffy people of New York don't get more than a sixteen ounce soda with their burger and fries?
     Talk about a Nanny State, where are all the people screaming in the street that Bloomberg needs to stay out of their plastic cups? Are New Yorker's really okay with this? I can't imagine that someone on his staff didn't have the nerve to say, "Hey, Mayor, we really should focus on issues that matter."
     This really, really scares me, not because I enjoy a coke once in a while, but because it goes against what this country stands for, FREEDOM!
     Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the pursuit of happiness and all that. When the government starts taking it upon them selves to regulate how much soda you can drink, there is something VERY wrong going on in our society.
     Our rights are being slowly taken away and no one seems to be noticing. Scary, very scary.

Monday, March 11, 2013

We Need To Talk! NOOOOOOO!

      Have you ever been really mad at your spouse or significant other and said those dreaded words, "We need to talk?" Did you see the deer-in-the-headlight look come over their face as the reality set in that something was very wrong.
     I have learned that wives are not the only ones who employ this technique. Adult children and teenagers do it too. And it's usually bad.
     We have had many of these sit-down type of conversations lately, with more than one of our children, and they have involved much tribulations, tears, and stress as we figure out our next move. Of course, you expect this as a parent, but ideally they would spread out the drama over a longer period of time. A MUCH longer period of time.
     I think it's time for a family meeting, no more crises until further notice and this means you. Dad and I need a break from the stress.
     What do you think the odds are that we could make this happen with ten kids, and spouses and grandbabies? Yeah, that's what I thought too.
      So if anyone needs me, I won't be in bed hiding under the covers.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Today's a Big Day!

     Today is a big day. Karrah and Taylor are getting married. That will make four out of five of my daughters married.
     We are growing by leaps and bounds and I couldn't be happier. I know that sooner of later someone will have to move away for a job or some other reason so for now I am going to bask in the knowledge that we have all of our kids within a ten mile radius. That is a rare and precious thing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Coming and Going

     Usually on Wednesdays I pick up  the hubs at the airport, but this week he is staying an extra day in Cali. It feels weird. It's funny how one change in your regular routine can totally throw you out of whack.
     It's like when one of your kids is gone for a few days, the whole dynamics of the household change. And we are looking at big changes in the very near future around here. My daughter Karrah is getting married on Friday and she and her new husband will be staying with us for a few months. Katie and her husband will be moving out into their new house and Monica and Sofia will be coming home from Argentina where they have been visiting her family for the last couple of months.
     As you can see the dynamics of our household have been way out of whack for a while. And I am a person who likes routine. I want to get back to a regular routine. I want everyone to be where they are supposed to be. I'm funny that way. I'm like a mother hen and I want all my chicks under the sheltering umbrella of my wings. Does this make me a control freak?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's Feeling a Little Bit Like Springtime!

     Here in the beautiful state of Utah, it's beginning to feel a little bit like springtime. The snow is melting and the temperatures are getting warmer. I have yet to see any sign of my tulips, but I'm sure it won't be long.
     I love springtime. I love seeing the trees getting their new leaves and the grass turning green, all the flowers that come alive. The kids can play outside again, a definite plus. The skies are blue and it just feels good.
     What I don't like about springtime is it leads into summer. Have I mentioned we don't like the heat? I'm sure that somewhere deep in our DNA there is an anti-heat loving gene. I can feel it already the days are getting longer and the temperature is rising. Before we know it the sun will be beating down on me as I hurry into Walmart and it will make me break out into a sweat. I don't like that. There's only one thing I do that is supposed to make me sweat and it doesn't involve going outside.(treadmill, just in case you were thinking something else)
     Springtime also means the start of the yard work season for the hubs. He loves that, NOT.
    I will enjoy the spring and revel in its beauty, but when the heat turns on I will be hibernating inside my temperature controlled house like a sleeping bear only to stick a toe outside come autumn to test for cooler air. I'll see you then. :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Why Can't Stuff Last Anymore?

     I have a major grip this morning. My washing machine broke down yesterday. I know that these things happen, it's just a part of life, but I have come to suspect that the appliance manufacturers are purposely trying to make their products NOT last.
     I remember as a kid, my mom and dad's stuff lasting forever. If you bought a new appliance it was a big deal. You would replace your refrigerator after 20 years. The same with the washer and dryer.
     My washing machine is not even six years old yet and yesterday it decided to stop pumping the water out. Our refrigerator's ice machine is on its last leg and we can no longer use the water dispenser through the door. It also isn't six years old yet. I have had to have the repairman out for the dishwasher when it was only three years old. My mother-in-laws dishwasher died after three.
      Is this what we have come to? We ship out all our manufacturing jobs to China and Mexico and now we can't get a decent product that stands the test of time?
      When my in-laws moved from California, they still had a refrigerator in their garage the had to be forty years old. I'm sure it sucked down the electricity, but it still worked.
      I don't want to pay twice for something that should last at least ten years. First in the purchase and then in the repairs. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? It makes me crazy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Are You Ready for Springtime?

      Who is ready for springtime? I have a hunch it will be a lot of you. We still have an ice berg in front of our house. And as much as I would love to see it melt, springtime leads to summertime and that is my least favorite time of year. Why you ask? Because it gets hot. I am anti-hot. I don't like to sweat.
      I would rather be cold and able to slip into a sweater than be hot and unable to cool down. Plus, my air conditioner, which is only five and a half years old needs work. Can you hear the ca-ching, ca-ching. Yes, expensive work.
      So as much as I would love to see my tulips coming up, I am perfectly content to feel the cold air on my face when I walk outside. And I will totally miss my three car refrigerator when the temps get higher.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why Leave?

     Did you see the headline on MSN about the American couple that has disappeared while on a biking trip to Peru? And this comes right after the New York mother who went to Turkey by herself was murdered.
     This is why I have no desire to travel outside of the USA. There are a lot of places in the world where the people don't like Americans.
     There a lot of places in the US I wouldn't go either. Harlem, east LA. Chicago's southside and Detroit.
     When Detroit's police chief warned people to not come there due to crime and the police department being downsized due to budget cuts, I listened. Not that I would go there anyway, but still.
     I have several friends who have traveled extensively and when I listen to them laugh and talk about the awful toilets and bad hotels I think I can have all that in the US and save a lot of money. I can also be treated rudely by teenagers working in restaurants. I can be confused by strange traffic rules and I don't even need to leave Utah for that, thanks to SLC and their one way streets.
     I could spend a lifetime traveling the good ole US of A and never see it all, so why leave? And biking trips to Peru are never gonna happen.

Monday, February 25, 2013

I'm So Far Behind

     Here we go again, the start of a new week. If I wrote down all the things I need to get down this week it would be as long as my arm. In reality, I know I won't accomplish all these things and most will go back on my mental list for next week, but you have to start somewhere, right?
     Here's a few things on my list.
     Clean out the cupboards above the desk
     Plan my meals for the rest of the week
     Get my nails done
     Get my hair done
     Do an inventory for my food storage stuff
     As you can see I have a lot on my list. It's never-ending. I complete one thing and two more take its place. I seriously could have filled this page. If the old saying which reads, If God sent us here to accomplish a certain number of things, I'm so far behind I may never die. If this is true, I'm in good shape.

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Endless Search For Mac and Cheese

     There is one thing I have been looking for my whole life that has escaped me. No it's not the secret to losing weight, or the way to get kids to actually finish their chores, but if you have the answers to those let me know. The quest I'm talking about is the recipe for really good homemade Mac and Cheese.
     I have tried so many different recipes and none of them have made me cry out, "Eureka! I have found it."
     Some have been to dry and others have been just too darn expensive to make. A la Martha Stewart.
     I thought I found one once but on the second try it failed.
     Mac and Cheese has to live up to the scientific method. The recipe has to hold up time after time with the same results to be proven worthy.
     So if you have a "to die for" Mac and Cheese recipe, maybe one that has been passed down in your family for generations, that you would like to share, let me know. As long as I don't have to drive to Salt Lake for some weird cheese that costs $8.99 a pound, I'm willing to give it a shot. It must be creamy, tasty and totally worth the calories for me to love it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Superhuman Power

     If I could choose a superhuman power I think it would be to control time. Think about it, I could slow time to a crawl and never be late or stressed again. I could turn back the hands of time and make my adult children babies again and then I would spend days and days hugging and kissing and playing with them and when I was tired of the baby phase I could make them into adults again.
     I could be a teenager again and appreciate the body that I thought was fat back when I was fourteen. :)
     I could go back in time a see historical events take place. I could really experience the old west, or the sinking of the Titanic, and so many other things. I could even find out the winning numbers for the lottery and...never mind.
     What would your superhuman power be if you could choose?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Know It's Important But???

      Well, I did it. I once again got all sweaty and tired this morning working out on my treadmill. I'm on day eight of my next thirty day challenge. I have to give it a special name or I won't give it the importance it deserves.
      Which brings me to my next thought. Why is it that something that makes you feel so good after doing it is so hard to make yourself do? I have been giving this a lot of thought lately. Before my treadmill broke, I was in the zone. If I couldn't workout in the morning it just felt wrong. It took four long months to find someone to come and fix it, during that time I lost it. My enthusiasm, my drive, being in the habit.
      Now I find myself in the dreaded position of having to lose weight that I already lost once. If my treadmill hadn't broken down I might be at my goal weight now. Arrrggg!
      Is it laziness that makes it so hard to go at it? How do you make yourself do it. At what point does it become easier for you? Any and all suggestions will be taken seriously. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

My List

     Have you ever wondered how you remain sane with all the stuff you have to remember? I mean as the mother and absolute ruler of my household, I have a list you wouldn't believe.
     What am I going to fix for dinner? Did I take meat out of the freezer for dinner? I put this wayward screw in the desk drawer over a year ago, intending to screw it back in, but into what? Did I buy envelopes? Yes, but I forgot the stamps because my kids were bugging me for candy at the check out counter. I forgot to check to see if I have gas in the car. Am I going to run out before I remember to check? Did I put new socks on the list? The boys have holes in all their socks. Did I pay the cable bill? Am I low on toothpaste? What's on sale this week that I can add to the food storage pantry? When was the last time I cleaned out the fridge, because there is something alive and moaning in the crisper? Did the boys finish all their homework packets last week? Are they ever going to truly kill Lori off on the Walking Dead? Is it time to re-order grandma's meds? Did I remember to tell the hubby that I think the front driver's side tire looks low and it's supposed to snow on Wednesday? 
     You see what I mean? It's a never-ending, vicious, life sucking cycle of questions that if they aren't answered, life as we know it may end and it's driving me insane. I'm so glad I got this off my chest. You may now return to your own list of never-ending, life-altering questions. Have a nice day. :)   

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

     Happy Valentines Day to everyone. I hope your having a great one. Valentines Day is one of those holidays you either love or hate. There have been many years when I hated it. It seemed so fake. I love when the hubby brings me flowers for no reason, not just because he's expected to. It means more when it comes from the heart.
     Of course, I wouldn't turn down See's candy no matter what. :) So much for the diet.
    So far this one has been good. We had dinner last night at Texas Roadhouse. And today we're just going to do whatever we want to do.
     What is your best Valentines Day so far, or what would be your dream Valentines Day if money were no object. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Object!

     I have to admit that I didn't watch the state of the union address last night for several reasons. First of all, I can't stand the way President Obama talks. It's like watching William Shatner over act as James T Kirk. His little pauses for dramatic effect drive me crazy. Is that the right effect, or is it affect. I can never remember the rule for that one.
     Second and the biggest is, I don't like being lied to. Which is also the reason I didn't make it a point to watch the debates. If the old rhyme, liar, liar pants on fire, had come true, it would have been a fire storm of epic proportions.
     And I am not bashing one political party here. They are all liars and I've had it up to my eyeballs. I'm sick to death of our nations leader manipulating the facts to their advantage.
     And the media, which used to try to be unbiased, putting there own spin on everything. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!!!!!
     If I want to be lied to, all I have to do is listen to my nine-year-old who cracked open a Sprite with his breakfast and then had the nerve to tell me to my face, "I didn't know I wasn't supposed to have soda with my breakfast."
    And my eleven-year-old who couldn't believe I was freaking out when I found, once again, clean and folded clothes in the hamper. "You said to put the clothes in the hamper."
     It amazes me how they twist reality to suit their naughtiness. 
     Oh my gosh, I'm raising politicians!  NNNNOOOO!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

They Best Laid Plans

     I had high hopes yesterday when I told you all the we were going to take a little time for ourselves. Now, it ain't happenin'. The hubby has the flu and we just remember his flight tomorrow won't be landing until almost six at night, so there's no point it spending the money to stay at a hotel.
     It seems like these things always happen to us. I think this is why I'm so afraid to commit to anything. We make plans and they blow up.
     Oh well, maybe next month. On the bright side the hubs will be here for Valentines Day. He has missed a lot of important dates the last couple of years, my birthday, our anniversary, and he almost missed Christmas. It should be fun having him home for the most romantic day of the year.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Little Time For Ourselves

     The hubby and I are going to try to take a night for ourselves this Wednesday. We're going to call it a Valentines Day getaway. Boy, do we need it. It has been a stressful year so far and I am hoping and praying that it gets better from here on out.
     We used to go away more often when our kids were little. We can't quite figure out why it's so much harder now that they are older and able to take care of themselves. It should be the opposite.
     I'm looking forward to the peace and quiet. Something that is in short supply here.
     I would love to say we have these great plans to do something really cool, but what we usually do is take a nap. An uninterrupted, no one fighting in the next room, the TV isn't blasting, kind of nap. It's worth every penny. We may take in a movie if there is anything worth seeing, but other than the nap and eating out we don't do much.
    This really makes us sound old, doesn't it. Maybe it lack of imagination that keeps us from doing something better than this, I'm not sure. We really should try to broaden our horizons and do something different. 
     When you go away for the weekend do you have a go to plan that you could share. Preferably something that doesn't cost too much. I will consider any and all suggestion. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Filling Up the Pantry

     We ran to Costco this morning, so I am late getting to this today. One of the goals I set for myself for the new year, was to build up our tiny little food storage supplies. We used to have a large food storage, but we have gone through a lot of it and now it's time to rebuild.
     Last month I added 250 pounds of rice to what we already had. I have to laugh at this because the hubby doesn't like rice, but I do, so there. I also added six bags of barley. They are small bags, only 28oz each, but I got a great deal on Amazon. I have been looking for barley in the stores around here but they don't carry it anymore and when they do it is mucho expensive.
     I have a list as long as my arm of things we need to restock, but I figure be like the tortoise and not the hare and by the end of the year I hope to have a full pantry to show for it.
     And interesting side note, I also bought three big bags of Costco toilet paper which cost me $14.99 each while the sugar cost me only $11.59 for a 25 pound bag. I consider this a deal because the sugar is going to last a lot longer than the TP but it just seems wrong to pay more for the TP, considering its purpose compared with the sweet goodness of sugar. :)   

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Need a Vacation

     Here's my list of the top ten reasons I need and deserve a vacation.

     10. It's winter time and it's been dark and cloudy with really bad air quality. I would love to see the blue sky.
      9. I live with 15 people.
      8. Sometimes you just need to be alone to have some time to think by yourself in peace and quiet.
      7. I have a long reading list and I need to make some headway on it.
      6. My kids are driving me crazy.
      5. I'm tired of cooking dinner every night.
      4. I live with 15 people.
      3. I really need to take a couple of long naps.
      2. I have never been to a real vacation destination, Hawaii, New York, Yellowstone, Mexico...nada.
      1. I live with 15 people.

     I think those are some pretty good reasons for wanting and needing a vacation. What's you're number one reason?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An Empty Pantry

     I hate to admit this, but the shopping carts at Walmart just aren't big enough. I know I should be grateful they are the size they are because, in theory, a smaller cart keeps you from spending even more money. In my case, however, it only means I have to go more often because I can't fit everything I need into the cart in one trip.
     I spent over $200.00 there yesterday and I only got two dinners and a few necessities. I already have a new list going and I vowed to stop going there so much in an effort to save money. The only thing it has accomplished is we are out of stuff all the time. For instance, I was making enchilada casserole the other day and I didn't have enough cheese. I HATE that. It drives me crazy. I was so much happier when my food storage was up and running, but little by little we have run out of things and since I have been trying to save money when we go to the store I haven't been restocking, just getting what I need for now.
    It's a double-edged sword and it cuts both ways. So this year is the year of re-stocking food storage, both long term, anybody need to borrow some rice, I have 400 pounds of it, to the daily stuff.
     Here in lies another problem for a family my size, I have to make a special trip just for food storage.
     When you buy 150 bags of sugar it takes up a cart or two, so there is no room left for things like bread, eggs and cereal.
     So I am back to square one, off to Walmart I go to stock up.
     I think this would qualify for a first world problem.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Onion Distance

     It was a crazy weekend around here. Both of my married daughters and their families were here just to hang out and because of the Superbowl. We always have a great time when we are together, but with over 25 people in the house, including a lot of grandkids, it can get really hectic.
    Yesterday my daughter Katie and I were discussing the pro's and con's of several of the houses she and her husband have put offers on. I made the comment that three of the houses were great, but I thought one was just a little too far away.
    I said, "If you get the Clearfield house and it's Sunday and you're making dinner and realize you're out of onions and you need to borrow one, it's just a little too far. While Kristin and Karly live close enough that they could come and get an onion if they needed it."
   Out of no where my son popped up. "We have too many people in this family that live in onion distance."
   After thinking over what he had said we started to laugh. I always thought living within onion distance was a good thing, but apparently I may be alone in that. 
    As crazy, hectic and chaotic as it gets I'm happy that my kids live within onion distance. That was my master plan when we moved here and I hope it stays that way for a long time.