Friday, March 30, 2007

This really very well may be the best cake ever!!

Ok, I will not post picture or the recipe. To see it and get it so you can make it yourself, you need to go here. Trust me, clicking that link in the previous sentence back there is worth it!! Even if you have never ever followed another link on this page ever. Even if you are just lurking, take some action on this one. WOW! I am putting this recipe in my book, and I think I will call it "Ree's Chocolate Cake", cause, I got if from Ree, after all. TRUST ME, PEOPLE, YOU NEED TO CHECK THIS OUT!! Your hips are asking for it. I can hear them from here. They are joining the chorus that my hips are singing... "pad me, pad me" and the stomach is saying "feed me, feed me" and, and, you just have too...........

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Mostly, anyway...

It isn't done in a perfectionist sort of way, because, I dispute the fact that I am a perfectionist as one certain friend believes. So, no OCD ways here. My room is "done". Not spring cleaning done, but, LOOK!! NO LAUNDRY!!! *happy dance*

My corner is free and ready for my quiet time... yay!!

Nothing extra on the bed posts. YES!!

And LOOK!! My bike is free!! I wonder if this means I should use it. Probably would help getting those 10 pounds off, huh? OKAY, OKAY!! YES, I feel guilty!

Now, the girl's room, I feel this is what PROVES that I am not a perfectionist or anything of the sort. *AHEM* She did it ALL BY HERSELF. Not mommy done, but it passes. OK, I admit, it WILL be getting a mommy clean in the VERY near future, but this week was just NOT conducive to mommy hoeing out little people's rooms and reorganizing and putting away properly and giving the "it-better-look-like-this-and-everything-better-be-in-its-proper-place-or-I- will-be-in-here-without-warning-with-a-garbage-bag-cleaning-everything- but-your-bed-and-dresser-out" talk. NO, Eye, that DOES NOT make me a perfectionist!!! Ask E!! Anyway, T did a good job. Perhaps pictures of the mommy job will follow - some day.

I am not bothering to include any updates on the laundry bins... I have yet to EVER have a day when every single one is empty, so, what's to show?? People can get through the door. 'Nough said.

Clean Clothes!

An update will be arriving shortly, but in the meantime, I thought you all would get an immense kick out seeing SOME of the clean and folded clothes. This is only after doing about one third of the laundry. Fear not, it is all put away in the proper places. I made sure. Big stacks, huh?

Here, take a closer look. Please note that the really tall piles belong to a certain little girl!! Hmm....

For Aunt E and LP

Dear Aunt E, LP, and Uncle D, too,

Well, we actually recorded the song for you, but, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to post it!! So, we will not be including our rendition of "I Love You" with the lyrics. Here's to you, LP:

I love you,
A bushel and a peck,
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck,
A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap,
A barrel and a heap and I'm talking in my sleep about you.
About who?
About you.

Cause, I love you.
A bushel and a peck,
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck,
A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap,
A barrel and a heap and I'm talking in my sleep about you.
About who?
About you.

I love you,
You bet your pretty neck I do.

Lots of Love,
Aunt E, JT, and T (oh yeah, and Uncle J, too!!)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday = Laundry

Or, maybe the title should be, "I Live With a Bunch of Slobs". Granted, I can make just as good of a mess as the rest of them, but, jeez, guys!!!!! And the main source?? Laundry! (I know, I know, it doesn't LOOK like a laundy mess in her room, but trust me, everything else was strictly a... mostly... laundry mess. And I'm not even bothering trying to show you the boy's room because #1 - size. #2 - by the time I decided this needed to be documented, you couldn't tell he had a mess to begin with.)

So, my "sick" kids (they both claim to have killer sore throats... we will see how the girl feels after "girl scouts" is mentioned... she has a meeting today. My money is on the fact that she will QUICKLY perk up. The boy won't care - girls are pretty but icky right now.) ... oh yeah, back to my story... So, my sick kids get a sick day today... BUT, the price they had to pay is that they had to venture into their rooms (isn't hers LOVELY?? Fire hazard, maybe?) and bring me ALL clothes that are not put away... God only knows what is clean and what isn't... And I've been beginning to wonder... where have all their clothes gone? Has a group of aliens come and looked around and decided that a six year old girl and an eight year old boy have clothing worth stealing?? I'm really wondering here, because I will do laundry, fold it and pass it off to them to put away and two days later they have "nothing to wear". Or, in the boy's case, what he is wearing is obviously dirty.... You would not BELIEVE the places these pieces of clothes were hiding! The girl kept coming with basket-ful after basket-ful!

Then, I got thinking... my husband occaisionally gives me the same "no clothes" song and dance, so I actually paid attention to the mess we call our room... yikes. Now, the hubby views my exercise bike as a clothes rack... I suppose if I was actually trying to USE said bike on a regular basis, perhaps I would have noticed... oops.

And the bed posts... also not supposed to be used for draping clothes... oops again.

And, my "corner"?? Oh yeah... that is where the CLEAN clothes are stashed. Big GIGANTIC oops. OK. So, my room is pretty scary, too. But seriously, it is the LAST thing on my list of priorities... Company doesn't go in there... I don't cook in there... we don't do school in there... I can get to my bed... ok, moving on.

So, today, I am attacking the pile of laundry. I just want to state right now that, while I have been slacking a *LITTLE*, and I really do only mean a little, our laundry baskets are never EMPTY, but they most certainly don't generally overflow like this... perhaps the slacking has been in keeping an eye on certain little peoples hiding spots for when they "clean" their room... Oh, but it is all changing!!! I'll keep you updated, for sure, but it will more than likely be tomorrow or Wednesday before you get to see the finished, put away, spotless results. Yes, it will probably take that long. I just hope noone tries to come over and visist today... the door is blocked by a load or two of colored clothes.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Are You a Slacker Mom

Funny... I don't feel like this most of the time... calm?? me?!?

If you, too, would like to find out what kind of mom you are (do some of us dare ask?? I must admit, I was scared...), click here.

Are You a Slacker Mom?

Your quiz score makes you: Zen Mom

How do you do it? Even when explosions are all around, you are able to take a deep cleansing breath and chant your mantra "this too shall pass." You are a calming influence on your kids in a hectic world.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My Son's Proffesional Opinion Is...

This is the case history of mom, who is suffering from a boat complex. She also has abnormal fears of pants and brown schizophrenia. As a child, she had a colorful mother who never let her run outside and paid no attention to her sweaters. Also, the father refused to let her play Little League bar. When she was 32 years old, the pet dog ran away on a rainy night, which is why she sang at the moon during thunderstorms. It's no wonder that today she never leaves the light and spends all day watching horseshoes on TV while eating boxes of lion biscuits.

My professional recommendation:
Commit mom to a spa for a week's worth of skin baths, facial flowers and shiatsu girls with a big, burly hat.

Thanks, Aunt E, for the very fun book that allowed this very professional analysis and recommendation.

Mail Call

Every day the kids look forward to the delivery of our mail. They just think it's great. Today they were especially rewarded. Thanks, Uncle D and Aunt E!!

JT is checking out his division cards, T is scoping out the crosswords, and they've both set their eyes on what book they will start with.

Oh yeah, they loved the hippos dipped in chocolate!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I Am SO Glad We Homeschool!!

Every once in a while, something comes up that makes me so thankful that our children are not in the public school system. Today I am probably more grateful than I have ever been. Struggles? Sacrifices? They all just disappeared. They became just a minor itch, if anything.

It all started with an email from my sister-in-law. She forwarded me some information and asked if I was giving my daughter theHPV vaccine. Well, that was the first I had heard of it, and, spurred by what I read in her email, I did a little research. I am seriously appalled.

From the small amount of research I did, it seems that HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. That is what I gathered from the first statement made in this article. Other articles addressed the question of whether or not HPV could be contracted from things like toilet seats, but from what I have seen so far, it is a very remote chance... The first article stated: "According to the CDC, the only way you can totally protect yourself against HPV is to avoid any sexual activity that involves genital contact." Um, really.... Isn't this one of the reasons (besides the obvious, "this is God's way - WAIT!") that we teach our kids ABSTINENCE?! And, in Texas, Governor Perry signed an order making this vaccine "mandatory" for girls entering the sixth grade in the public school system. How scary is that?! With orders like this, how long will we have the freedom to choose what to do with our own family? And isn't an order like this once again saying that "we know you are going to sleep around. Here, get safe." That is just the moral side of it.

What about the effects of the drug? Not all vaccines are the greatest gift to mankind. In case you didn't check out the first link about what SIL's email contained, here it is, seriously, check it out. Research this on your own. I am not normally one to write posts like this, nor am I really an "anti-system" person, but this situation made my blood run cold, for all sorts of reasons. As parents, regardless of the fact that we homeschool , it is our job to raise our children in a Godly fashion and to protect them. This new mandate sends the wrong moral signals and it also has the potential to harm our daughters in a very real way.

God, thank You that You directed us to teach our children at home. Thank You for the wisdom and strength to do what is right.

Edited to add: 11/15/07 - If you are visiting from Teaching the Truth: a Homeschooling Perspective, go HERE for clarification.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

How to Gain 10 Pounds

What is Saint Patrick's Day without the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner??

Then, there's dessert.... BUTTER ROLL..... The name says it all.

I will willing give you pictures of this delectable creation. If you were ever in Mississippi and went to God's Katrina Kitchen and were able to experience Mo's cooking and his *drool* butter roll *drool*, your mouth should be watering right now. And, also, if you have done that, you may very well have met Mo, and should therefore know the severe pains I had to go to GET this recipe. I will not share the recipe. Selfish, I know... (But, somebody might have to kill me if I share it.)

Some of the ingredients

Mixed together to make this

Then add a little more stuff so it looks like this

Roll it out

Put it in a pan like so (not so pretty, but.... oh, the joy that floods my... stomach... sorry, I was starting to hear heavenly choruses)

Bake it...

How can you NOT enjoy??

Saturday, March 17, 2007

What I Am...

So, I took a survey, and, this is what it said about me....

You're a...
Triple Layer Cake
(I do wonder what KIND of triple layer cake I am... Chocolate? Marble?? Coconut??? What AM I? This may have created more questions than answers....)

For you, baking is one of the building blocks of life. The sweet aroma of cookies baking. The
delicious pleasure of frosting a cake. That first mouthwatering bite. The very thought of anything baking brightens your day. You bake for flavor, for family and friends, for the sheer joy of it. Quick, somebody fire up an oven!

Friday, March 16, 2007


While I don't have quite the same bargain shopping skills as someone I know, I am still very good at finding a great deal! I have had a blast on eBay lately... A certain well loved gramma funded my recent excursions on eBay. THANKS!!! :) Check out some of what I got:

Ok, one of the Nalgenes is missing. J scarfed it and took it to work. But it looks exactly like the green one with the yellow top. I am *still* waiting for my extra Nalgene top. I, um... melted the top for my original Nalgene.

The silver colored parts are something that I don't know much about but I do know it goes to J's motorcycle. I am waiting for one to arrive for the truck, as well. We had to replace the bearing on the truck, and since it is four wheel drive, that is a VERY un-cheap part! But... J came home and told me to look on eBay and, lo and behold!! There it was! For a good $60.00 cheaper!! Yay!!

And, under the napkin... yeah... I am the most excited about that, hands down!! I'll admit, I am a Victoria's Secret fanatic for all sorts of very logical reasons, but shopping there has the ability to get very pricey... So, I decided to see if I could find those things on eBay. And I DID!! Fourteen pieces in all, and for any of you that have visited VS, you will know that should have cost me....... an astronomical amount. But it didn't. I covered them up for the sake of my daddy... Don't want you to have to see it... But, if knowing where I shop gives you heart murmurs, I'm really really really really sorry. I just couldn't NOT include that exciting part and fully convey my love of eBay.

And Gram, if you get to read this, THANK YOU! Every time I open my drawer and pull out a thing or use my Nalgene, I think of you. When I drive down the road and my truck no longer hums, I will think of you. Love you!

P.S. For the record, I am not the only person to talk about their things on their blog... But, dad, I promise, tomorrow's post will be much safer. I apologize for all the discomfort this one may have caused you.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Water Bagels

Oh yeah, they are good!

2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 1/4 cups flour
4 quarts water

Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl. Add the sugar, salt and flour, and stir to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

(I just leave it in my KitchenAid mixer and let the mixer do all the kneading for me.)

Cover the dough with a lint-free towel and allow to rise for 15 minutes.

Flatten the dough, then roll it out to a thickness of one inch, and about 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.

Cut it into strips 12 inches long and one inch wide. Roll the strip between your hands into a cylinder about one-half inch thick. Cut each cylinder in half crosswise, form each half into a ring, and pinch the ends together to form closed circles. Cover the bagels with the towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a large pot and preheat the oven to 375 F.

Place the bagels, four at a time, into the boiling water. Reduce the heat and simmer for five to six minutes. (Note: it is very important that you DO NOT leave the bagles in the water for too long, otherwise they will shrink and shrivel up and turn into bagel-raisins!!)

Remove the bagels,

drain well,

and place on baking sheets.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


You really want to come to my house and eat a fresh, homemade bagel with me, don't you??

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Amateur Photographer...

... in action. I found this photo on my camera yesterday. He kept asking if he could take pictures all day long. Hey, maybe photography could be a class for school... Ah, the benefits of homeschooling... While we need to fine tune his techniques (mine, too, while we're at it...) he does make a great subject...

My dreamer...

Have I mentioned what a hard worker he is?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Phone Conversations

I discovered something today... My little girl has a penchant for exaggeration.

She is chatting on the phone with her Uncle D in a land far far away
and I hear, "sometimes I stay up til four in the morning." Uh, no, honey, once in a while we get you UP at four in the morning. "We started school late today cause mommy let us sleep in cause we were up til midnight last night celebrating daddy's birthday." No, again, baby girl. Mommy and Daddy would have been PASSED OUT if we were up til midnight. It was more like 10:00. Still too late. Other than our sleeping habits, she did get the majority of her other facts straight. Despite the deer in the headlights look on her face, she was thrilled to be able to talk to Uncle D and Aunt E.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

How We Celebrated

"It's daddy's birthday! We should have the day off!" Never mind that daddy didn't have the day off... But, ever the bargainer, I made a deal with them. "I'll give you the day off IF you help me Clean the house." Oh yes, that was "Clean" with a capital "C". I know how to bargain. :) They did a good job and we were able to get things done that I had been putting off due to either, I HATE THAT JOB or the fact that I felt like I had been run over by a MAC truck this week and every ounce of my being HURT. Couldn't tell, could ya? So we cleaned, I baked, I cooked, I wrapped, they created.

There are no pretty "before" pictures of dinner, but it was pretty good. Round steak - another recipe my mom pointed me at:

1 round steak
mustard (enough to cover steak)
bacon (enough strips to cover
1 envelope onion soup mix

1 can cream of mushroom soup (ok, I confess, I used cream of celery. The hubby despises mushrooms)

Spread mustard on steak, cover with bacon strips and onion soup mix. Roll
up and place on heavy duty foil. Pour cream of whatever soup over steak. Seal foil and cook at 325 for 3 hours.

And I made cake.

Ok, ok! So I cheated!!

But the frosting was homemade!!

And everybody liked it.

Can you tell from the Great Cake Massacre?

The kids made him about three cards a piece.
It was cute. He has cards coming out the ears from them.

After dinner and cake we all went in to a too much food coma. The kids fared better than we did. They vegged in front of a movie.