Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #1

Ok, I'm going to try something new. The Thursday Thirteen.

This week's offering is 13 things I did while helping at kindergarten today:

1. Got my marching orders from the teacher: I am to be in charge of helping the kids make Green Eggs and Ham.

2. Plug in electric skillet. Notice it won't stay on. Fiddle with plug which seems to help.

3. Get three little girls started cracking their eggs into cups. Give each a small piece of ham to cut up and add to their eggs. Show them how to scramble eggs with a fork. Let them carefully add 1 drop of green food coloring to their eggs. You'd be surprised how much color 1 drop of food coloring makes!

4. Let girls add their egg and ham mixture one at a time to the skillet and show them how to use spatula.

5. Notice eggs are not cooking very efficiently, or at all really. Fiddle with plug again. Skillet is not working so the teacher goes to hopefully find a back-up in the other kindergarten room. Waiting and hoping...Yay! She's successful!

6. Start heating up the new skillet, finish cooking eggs with the girls.

7. Call a new bunch of kids over, repeat steps (excluding the getting a new skillet in the middle of cooking) about 16 more times.

8. Start cleaning up giant eggy mess on tables on counters.

9. Find out that somehow during our cooking chaos, one little girl was missed, so I get everything out one more time, and begin heating the skillet.

10. Help last little girl with her green eggs and ham, and begin cleaning up again.

11. Wash skillets and spatulas in a tiny sink that is approximately 2 feet off the ground--short even by my height-challenged standards.

12. Accompany Nat to lunch where I help kids get ketchup on their trays and refill the ketchup dispenser.

13. Tell all the cuties goodbye, and go home. Strangely, and unfortunately, the smell of burnt eggs is still haunting me. I don't think I'll be in the mood for scrambled eggs, green or otherwise, for a very long time!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wait For My Signal...

A while back Sis and I had a mother-daughter shopping trip to the valley. When it came to have lunch, Sis wanted strawberry waffles from IHOP. Who am I to refuse her that? OK, I admit, they also happen to be one of my favorite things in the world.

When our plates finally arrived both our jaws dropped when we looked at her waffle, because sitting right in the middle was by far the biggest strawberry either of us had ever laid eyes on. The thing was the size of an apple. By strawberry standards it was a mutant freak of nature.

Well, just the sight of it set us off into a fit of laughter, and we joked about how they must've waited for just the right customer to give this special berry to.

I start eating my delicious waffle while Sis contemplates how to go about eating her mammoth berry. Her timing is always impeccable when it comes to making me laugh and this day was no exception.

So with my mouth full of waffle, she says, "I wish I worked here and got to be in charge of who to give the berry to. I would watch carefully, and the other workers would ask, 'Is it time?' And I would say, 'No, not yet.' I would tell them, 'Wait for my signal!'"

I'm starting to chuckle, and trying desperately to chew fast and get it down.

Then she continues, "When I saw just the right person to give the precious berry to, I would yell, 'RELEASE THE BERRY!'"

Oh no! I didn't eat fast enough and she got me! Now I'm going to release the berries in my mouth because I'm laughing and choking at the same time. Somehow I manage to swallow, and commence to laugh so hard that I snort. Sis is pleased. Anytime she can make me snort, especially in public, is a good day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mom's Lasagna

Our niece has been put on bed rest for her pregnancy and today was her 28th birthday, so I decided the best gift for a pregnant lady on bed rest was food.

Last night I began the process of making my mom's lasagna. It's one of those recipes that dirties every pan in the house and is very labor intensive. First there's the meat sauce to make, then the cheese sauce, then the noodles to boil, and finally to put it all together. I doubled the recipe, because if I'm going to go through all that trouble I wanted a lasagna for us too!

It tasted so good tonight for dinner. All that hard labor was very worthwhile. I'm not much of a cook, in that I don't enjoy it really. I can follow a recipe well enough, but I prefer easy recipes like the ones on the back of the Campbell's soup can.

I am always surprised though when I make something and it tastes just exactly how mom used to make it. I seriously almost cried tonight when I ate that lasagna and it tasted like mom had come into my house and made it for us. For a minute I could just imagine she was still here working her mom magic on all of us...making us all feel loved and special, and it brought back memories of growing up and having my mom's best friend Pattie Anne and her family over for dinner. Mom's lasagna was always a meal that everyone requested and looked forward to.

I'm just thankful that I was able to do her recipe justice, and that I have a few of her special recipes that I can make and still have a part of her with me. Ok, I'm making myself cry now...I miss you mom!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Don't Waste Your Money

We got our dog Bindi Sue (or Suey) a year ago from a pet rescue organization. She was one of the last 2 of her litter. Her mom was definitely a Pit Bull, and from the looks of Suey and her brother, who looked exactly like a Black Lab, we figured they were Pit Bull/Lab mixes.

Here's our dog Suey and a picture of her mom Junie.

Well the folks who adopted the brother recently had a doggie DNA test done on him. These tests claim to be able to tell exactly what mix your mixed breed dog is made up of. The test runs about $200.

The lady who runs the rescue thought I would like to know the results of the DNA test and it was as follows: the dominant breed is Weimaraner, and the secondary breeds are Sheltie, Wolfhound, Mastiff and Greyhound.

Let's see, no Pit Bull or Lab or actually any breeds that resemble my dog...hmmm. Well the rescue lady and I are in agreement as to the accuracy of the test!

And just a plug for getting a dog from a rescue: because Suey was fostered through rescue we knew her temperament, and we knew she was good with kids and cats and other dogs. I think adopting through a rescue group is the way to go. The people who do pet rescue really match the pet with the home and do it all out of love of animals and not money.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Another Monday Mash

We ate Hamsters on Friday night and they were delicious. (Thanks, Holly!) They are actually shredded chicken mixed with cream cheese and veggies wrapped up in cresent rolls and dipped in bread crumbs. When you put the yummy cream of chicken gravy on top they taste a lot like chicken pot pie. They were a hit, except that Shelby was a little offended by the name since she has an adorable hamster named Baby. We took a picture (that's blurry, sorry) of Baby and an edible hamster for comparison, but as you can see, Baby turned suddenly cannibalistic and we had to trash one of the scrumptious morsels.

I have a new calling at church-1st Counselor in Primary. Which means instead of teaching the under 8's Sunday School, now I teach or conduct Sharing Time (when all the kids come together after their classes.) I was a little nervous, but everyone said I did a good job yesterday. Our Primary is extremely small, just 6 kids that come regularly, 2 of which are mine, and I really wasn't so much nervous about teaching to the kids, it was that the Primary President, the Chorister and Pianist were there too, and so there's a little added pressure I guess. After teaching Sunday School for the last 2 1/2 years I was ready for a change, so I think this will be good for me.

After church the girls wanted their friend (the Primary President's daughter) to come up to play. We often let the girls have get-togethers on Sunday, since we live in different towns and it's hard to get them together any other time. Her mom said that she had a huge crock pot full of chicken and rice and she would bring it up when she picked up her daughter. I said, "Are you going to stay for dinner?" Which was a stupid question I know. I was just surprised that they would want to come to our house for dinner. I really like her and her husband, and we all had a great time. The only other couple that ever comes for dinner is our niece and her husband, so this was a treat. They even talked about doing game nights together sometime. Wow, a couple our own age to get together with! Yay!

In other news....They're Here......

I won't rest until they're all gone too. I swear I would buy them by the case if my budget allowed. Yum!

I'm reading The BFG by Roald Dahl to Shelby. She and Nat are really enjoying it, and beg me for "one more chapter" every night. I was afraid it might be too scary for Nat because of the giant snatching the little girl from her bed, and the other giants who eat "human beans", but she's been ok with it. I remember reading it with Cam and Sis too, and how we all laughed at the silly things the Big Friendly Giant would say and do. It's definitely a good read!

Happy President's Day. I have the day off. No daycare kids. I got to sleep in and now we're going to try to figure out something fun to do. The weather is gorgeous so we need to figure out a way to enjoy it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Off to See the Princesses

Mike and I took 4 little girls to see Disney Princess Wishes On Ice yesterday. Originally my niece and I were going to take my girls, her 3 year old, and my other great niece, but just a few days before the event my poor niece was put on bed rest due to complications with her pregnancy, so Mike decided he would go with me instead.

Mike and I don't get out together very much, so I jokingly called this our "date". Never mind that we had a 3 year old, a 5 year old, a 7 year old and an 8 year old for company, and that we ate at McDonald's. A date's a date!

Despite the 2 hour drive each way, the girls were very good. Actually, the hardest part of our whole trip was after we made it into the arena and were trying to find our seats. We were bombarded by all sorts of vendors of WAY overpriced Disney goods, along with crowds of other overwhelmed parents with pint-sized princesses in tow. We ended up going the opposite way that we should have, only to get turned around and have to go through all the craziness again to get to the other side of the arena. Whew!

The girls were enthralled by the skating and the princesses and the music. Their little faces were precious. They each got to choose a $10 souvenir, and they shared a $7 (yes, $7!) bag of cotton candy. After the show we walked out to the setting sun and warm temperature and a big grassy area, so we let the girls run and play while everyone else inched their cars out of the parking lot.

We made another potty stop, a Taco Bell dinner stop, and with all the girls asleep and Mike and I both exhausted, we arrived back home at 9pm. It was a very fun trip. Of course Nat asks me today when we can see the princesses skate again, and surprisingly, I think I will definitely consider doing it again next year!

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Day O' Valentines

My day went like this:

1: Go help in Nat's class. Help kids distribute their Valentine's and give them candy hearts to sort by color and count. Have lunch with Nat. Help Nat and 20 other kids get the ketchup on their tray for their chicken nuggets.

2: Received pretty flowers from Mike delivered by a guy in a tux. Thought about what a fun job it must be to drive around making people happy.

3: Made Funfetti cupcakes for kids with sprinkles on top. Attempted to pipe a red heart on each one. Much harder than it looks! Luckily kids aren't picky when presented with a cupcake.

4: Fed Funfetti cupcakes to nine crazy kids who just came from their class Valentine's parties. They say sugar does NOT make kids hyper. You can't prove it by me! Note to self: next time spike frosting with tranquilizers!

5: Went to dance rehearsal after Mike got home. We only have a little over a week until our performance, so I couldn't skip. Met Mike and the girls afterward at the pizza place just in time for the pizza to arrive!

6: Came home and finished off the vat o' chocolate I've been saving (leftover luscious Belgian chocolate from the chocolate fountain at the church chocolate extravaganza.) Decide that a graham cracker dipped in chocolate and then topped with mini marshmallows may be the greatest taste sensation ever invented. Dipped until we were fat and happy! (If there is such a thing as a chocolate hangover, I have one this morning!)

(Yes that is the dog's feet in the background. She's getting away with being on the couch and thoroughly taking advantage!)

7: Put girls to bed at 9:00. Can hear girls still up giggling at 10:15. Again, the theory that sugar doesn't make kids hyper is busted!

Hope you had a happy Valentine's Day too!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Long Lost Friends

Well, just a couple days ago I found a long lost friend from high school. I found her on Myspace. I have a profile I put up a couple years ago when my kids got interested in Myspace. The deal was they had to have me as a friend so that I could access their profile.

I actually found 2 other former classmates on Myspace, but I have been trying to find this particular friend, Terri, for years with no luck. I searched and found her sister about a year ago, and asked her to pass along my email to Terri but she didn't for some reason, so I had kind of given up. Surprisingly, on Sunday I got a message from the sister saying Terri was now on Myspace. Yay!

We've exchanged messages and caught up with each other's lives in a nutshell, but I look forward to getting to know her again.

Terri was a year younger than me in high school, and we hit it off in PE when we realized we both felt the same way about it---awkward and out of place. We were both shy as well and not in any of the cliques.

She and I would often slip out of the far corner of the field when the PE teacher was not paying attention, then we would take our time wandering around until slipping back onto campus for our next class.

She would often accompany me and my dad on our summer fishing trips too. We would go horseback riding, and swimming and play board games and laugh by the hour.

One time in particular, Dad and I took her to the top of a mountain to see our favorite fire lookout and as we were winding our way back down the mountain on the bumpy dirt road, we came to a spot where we had a clear view of the lookout above us. My friend Terri took in the scene and then said, "Wow! If we were still up there we could see ourselves!" When she realized what she said, we all had a good laugh about it, and my dad still thinks that's one of the funniest lines ever.

I'm so thankful I live in an age when a few clicks on a keyboard can reunite us with someone special from our past. It's really incredible to think about.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Prom Update

Sis made it to the junior prom on Saturday.

I did her hair. Twice. My niece did her make-up while I did her nails. We only had to do that once, thankfully! Then Sis took off to finish getting ready at her friend's house with some other girls.

Despite going with her ex-boyfriend whom she wasn't speaking to just a week ago, she said she had a great time. (She said she apologized even though she felt she shouldn't have had to, but in the interest of fun at the prom they put their differences behind them.)

Sis has accused me of living vicariously through her with this whole prom experience, and she is probably right. I dropped out of school part way through my junior year. I got my diploma and went on to get a 2 year degree, but I never had the fun high school experiences that so many others did. I chalk it up to being painfully shy and to not fitting in to any of the campus cliques.

I know even if I had stuck it out in high school I wouldn't have attended a prom, I was always so socially retarded and afraid to dance. I still surprise myself when I think that now I belly dance!

I certainly wish that I had had a better time in high school, but I am thankful that my kids (well at least my 2 older ones for now) will have good memories of their time in high school.

And Sis is talking about throwing me a prom for my 50th maybe it's never too late!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Daisy Was Here

Yesterday I had my Daisy girl scout meeting with Nat and 5 other kindergartners. They're very fun girls but it's a bit like herding cats. They have tons of energy and very tiny attention spans, but they couldn't be cuter in their little blue Daisy tunics and bright smiles.

We were working on our Friendly and Helpful petal (at this age they earn daisy petals, not badges), by beading friendship bracelets. I also gave each of the girls 3 cards that read "A Daisy Was Here" at the bottom, and then they decorated their cards with foam flowers and stickers. I instructed them to take their cards home and to think of helpful things they could do around the house without being told, whether it was straightening up magazines on the coffee table or taking dirty dishes to the sink. After they did their helpful deed they were to leave their Daisy card behind.

As the girls were winding up with their crafts, I popped into the other room to check on a mom who was setting something else up in the next room. When I tried to come back in to where the girls were working, they wouldn't let me in, "Don't come in yet!", "Don't look!", "Wait right there till we tell you!"

Finally I got the ok to enter. The girls were all hiding under the table, trying unsuccessfully to suppress their giggles and the table was completely cleaned up. They had put away all the beads and stickers, markers and glue, and in the center of the table were 6 little "A Daisy Was Here" cards. How cute is that?!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Next Best Thing to Chocolate

That's right, Rice Krispie treats are my 2nd choice to the brown stuff.

I just made a batch because I can't seem to get enough sugar in my system. I've been tearing the house apart eating anything sugar-laden, putting mini chocolate chips on everything, finishing a box of chocolate wafers, and then eying the marshmallows and Rice Krispies, produced a pan of these goodies.

I've also been very fatigued and wanting to throttle anyone who dares to even look at me twice. Hmmm....this happens every month and it's not until the headache kicks in do I remember...Oh yeah, PMS! You would think I'd catch on after 30 years....Although, I must admit that the symptoms seem to be getting worse as I get older. I pity my family for having to put up with me during this time of the month!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Spec-ee-al Kitty Boy

It all started with a spelling list and the word "special".

Shelby was being her procrastinating self about getting her homework done one night and had to finish doing a sentence with each of her spelling words. She was being kind of a pill about it so I decided to lighten the mood when she said she had to use "special" in a sentence. Since my big lovey cat was sitting next to me I suggested, "I have a spec-ee-al kitty boy." Shelby of course rolled her eyes and chose her own sentence, but thus began a weekly ritual: she tells me a spelling word and I use it in a sentence along with "spec-ee-al kitty boy", she rolls her eyes and chuckles then does her own sentence.

Now I look forward to spelling sentence night because I get to be a huge goof-ball and she gets her sentences done without grumbling. It's a win-win.

She did get the last laugh on me though, because when I checked her sentences I noticed when she had to use the word "problem" she came up with the sentence, "My mom has a problem with cats."

This is my "Spec-ee-al Kitty Boy", Opie who is also a champion bed warmer.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Dress and Jewelry from Forever 21... 30 dollars
Shoes and Bra from Target... 36 dollars
Dinner at the Olive Garden... 42 dollars
Happy teenage daughter... priceless!

Sis found this dress in Forever 21, which was the first store we went to. She loves it, and it was 20 bucks! I don't think many moms get away with spending 20 dollars on a prom dress! It totally fits her personality. She's definitely not your frou-frou, glittery, taffeta type girl.

We had a great time and lots of laughs and made it home before the snow (yes, more!) started falling in earnest. I had envisioned our prom dress shopping trip to be a marathon of blood, sweat, tears and maybe even a few swear words, but it was quick easy and joyful! What a blessing!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Brain Empty...Must....Fill...

Well I was on a roll on Monday with my "Brain Dump" and apparently I really did dump everything out of it because I haven't had a bloggy thought since then!

We've been dealing with snow storm after snow storm for the last 2 weeks. Got a bunch more last night and had yet another late start for school this morning. I think in the last 10 days of school we've had an unprecedented 2 snow days, and 5 late starts. There is another snow storm tomorrow night and then maybe it will quit for a few days. Sheesh! We usually don't get hit this hard all at once so I'm being a bit of a weenie about it I guess.

The girls and I attended the Chocolate Extravaganza tonight at church. This is undoubtedly the highlight of my week. Chocolate cake, chocolate candy, and all sorts of goodies to dip into a chocolate fountain. I even tried Nutella for the first time. It was darned tasty, I tell ya! I fed the kids dinner tonight before we left, but I didn't eat because I didn't want to spoil my appetite. I have priorities after all!

Tomorrow Sis and I will pack provisions and make the 2-hour plus trek to the biggest mall within a reasonable day's drive to continue our prom dress search. Last week we had Prauma (prom dress trauma) after a disappointing online and local dress search, so does that make prom dress shopping tomorrow Promping? I don't I said my brain be empty!