Sunday, March 30, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

Here we go with this week's "Four Foods on Friday" questions.

#1. American cheese. Sliced fresh or prepackaged processed cheese product?
I prefer sliced fresh although I'm not much of a cheese lover and the added calories is something I tend to stray away from. Unless of course I need a dairy serving added to my diet. I do however love shredded cheese... on nachos and those baked potatoes that I mentioned last week

#2. What is your favorite cracker?
"Chicken in a Biscuit" brand crackers have a delighful flavor. It taste good on it's own and doesn't necessarily need a topping like cheese, although this does taste good as well.

#3. What hot breakfast cereal do you like? Think oatmeal, farina, grits, etc.
Malt o' Meal with sugar and butter is a great warm breakfast meal and a favorite of mine. In my house we refer to it as Cream of Wheat. Although I don't care for the actual brand "Cream of Wheat". The taste is not the same. My sister serves it to her kids when they are sick and this keeps their tummys full without any adverse affects.

#4. Share a recipe that uses corn.

Tortilla Soup

1 can Hatch green enchilada sauce
1-4oz. Can green chilis
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can pinto beans (or kidney)
1 c. frozen corn
1 can chicken broth
1 can cooked chicken (optional)
1 t. red pepper (cayenne)

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 2-3 hours on high. Serve with tortilla chips, broken up on top of soup.

Optional toppings: sour cream, cheese, chives.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Out of this World

We seem to hear more and more these days about alien abductions, life after death experiences, etc. My thoughts on the subject are not to judge what you can't verify.

I believe that these people truly believe these things have happened to them and who am I to decide that they are confused or just imagined this event or had a dream that seemed very real. Who are we to say that just because we haven't experienced the same spectacular occurence, that these people are strongly mistaken in what they believe they experienced?

I never want to be a person that makes a judgment about someone else's life and spreads my own beliefs to try and prove them inaccurate or wrong when I could quite possibly be the one who is mislead or mistaken.

We should all keep an open mind to all things uncertain.

See more "Out of this World" topics at Sunday Scribblings

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's the Weekend!

You would think I worked a 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday job. No, my schedule is "always on call". I take breaks when I want to because I might be working the night shift, graveyard or whenever it hits me to get something done. In other words, I pace myself. And I get what needs to be done... done! My excitement for the weekend is due to how relaxed the schedule tends to be. So, although I still have work to do, its just nice to chill... a little bit.

And to start my weekend, I had lunch today with my friend, Chris, whom I haven't seen in a couple of months. We talk once every few weeks or so just to stay close. We had a good time and covered the usual topics of children, sex, college, soccer... whatever was worth talking about. And then shared a delicious desert. I love my friend time.

Feed Flare Contest

Collin James De Ruyck at "Feed Flare" has a website with topics that include social marketing and networking, blogging topics, making money online, as well as how to set up and promote your RSS feeds and start enjoying your blogging time.

His site has been live for just over a month and he's kicking off this site with the biggest blog contest so far this year. Only 5 days left to enter into the Feed Flare Grand Opening $500 giveaway!

Not yet!

We had a very warm day yesterday and I spent part of it sitting outside reading a book. The sun felt so good and the vitamin D that I absorbed was a bonus.

After Cody got home from school, he went outside to play with one of the neighbors. After a bit of jumping on the trampoline, he came in and asked if it were warm enough to go swimming.

Did he not see the cover over the pool? Clueless.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Let Us Grow Lettuce

Yesterday I went and bought a few plants to add to my plant containers. I decided to try growing lettuce because I thought it would feel so "countryish" to walk out back and pick leaves to make a salad or add to a sandwich. I've never grown lettuce, only tomatoes, so this is a first for me.

The trouble with growing lettuce around here is that I'm afraid my cat will eat it. Especially if I grow them in a beautiful container and I fertilize, water and talk to it in my most attentive voice. If I pay too much attention to any plant that I care about, then a cat is surely going to destroy it. And this particular cat has been known to destroy things!

So I've opted to plant the lettuce in a container that hangs on the fence, up high, out of reach of the "destroyer". Maybe I'll actually get to enjoy the lettuce that I grow in my own backyard. And since Cody has already asked to sample the lettuce, maybe all my kids will become interested in adding lettuce to their diet.

Naaaahh! What was I thinking?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

I'm late in participating in Four Foods on Friday, but I didn't want to wait to get started.

#1. What’s your favorite form of potatoes?
I love baked potatoes best because of the yummy ingredients that you can add. There are so many choices to pep up a baked potato, but my favorite is sour cream and chives. Although I've had stew on my baked potato and that was scrumptious also.

#2. Pie crust. Premade or from scratch?
I used to religiously make it from scratch and it was quite delicious, but these days it takes too much time so I buy premade and even though there is a difference, it works for me.

#3. Vegetables. Fresh, frozen or canned?
Fresh would be great, but I buy frozen because I'm not rushed to use it.

#4. What one dish do you wish you could prepare better?
I wish I understood how to buy and cook meat so that it never ended up tough like jerky. Sometimes, I have a problem with this.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Killdeer

I wanted you to see this video of a Killdeer (we call them Killdees) that has layed 4 eggs in our front yard in the last couple of days. When we first spotted the nest there were only 3 eggs but yesterday, she added another. They typically lay the eggs where they will be camoflauged like in a dirt patch with rocks. The bird prefers newly plowed fields or the banks of clear rivers, sometimes along the roadside. Their nests are usually in the open on the bare ground. The eggs typically are speckled and tend to blend into their surroundings.

We had some work done at our house this past winter and the lawn has been torn up, so where there was grass it is now bare dirt. This has now become an ideal location for this nest of eggs. I didn't get the eggs in this video but I'm standing about 6 feet from them. Watch how this bird tries to distract me away from the nest by playing "injured" so that it might be a bigger target than her precious eggs. So cute.

video

Although these birds are fun to see in action, they are very noisy and their chirp is not the most pleasant to hear when you are trying to enjoy a peaceful day outside. The killdeer is known for its piercing chirps that sound like "kildee, kildee." It's annoyiiiing, annoyiiiing!

So I had this dream

I was standing with some friends in this place that appeared to be like a diner, but no food was being served. There were only some tables, chairs and booths. In walked a Country Western singing star and that brought on "oooohs" and "aaaahs" from the crowd. I wasn't sure who it was because I'm out of the loop as far as country music goes right now. He had a reddish beard and mustache and was wearing a light colored cowboy hat. Not bad looking but nothing that would normally turn my head.

He stood on a platform and gave a quick speech but I don't remember hearing anything that he said. Next thing I recall, he is sitting next to me with his arm around my waist (I do recall being bothered that he had his hands on my waist. I'm not happy with my weight right now.) Then he turns to me and says, ....

"Would you like to go get an egg?".

???

Maybe it had something to do with Easter.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What??

This happened just 10 feet from where I sat, yet I didn't even notice what was going on. I must have been blogging doing laundry.

This had to be Mojo's doing.










from left to right: Brandi, Mojo, Mia

And just seconds after this shot was taken, Brandi noticed what had taken place and left for a more suitable napping place. Mia continued to sleep without realizing who that "someone" is that is lying on her butt.

It's ugly, but in a good way.

Let's face it. Pool equipment is ugly. Which is why those who have these oversized, bulbous or square monstrosities that keep our pools looking clean and beautiful, attempt to hide it with plants, fountains, fences, or whatever else we can find to tuck away it's ugliness. And my equipment is no different (I say "my" because I'm in charge of pool duties so I claim ownership).

I have our equipment hidden by a small fenced area so that no one is expected to admire it while sunning by the pool. But we have been admiring this area the past couple of days because, once again, we hauled gravel into the backyard and added it around the equipment area. And what it did was made it look neat and tidy. I think we are addicted to gravel and it's pleasing-ness (if this isn't a word, it should be) to the eye. Ray is coming up with other areas to cover in gravel and I'm sure I'll be right there cheering him on.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I just don't get it

I don't understand why losing weight has to be so incredibly hard when putting the weight on is so deliciously easy. Why can some people eat whatever they want and never gain an ounce while others must battle with their weight on an hourly basis? And if you've ever been on a serious diet, you know what I mean by "hourly".

Back in 1990, I went on my first very serious diet and lost about 25 pounds. Since that time, I've always said that losing weight is the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life. And because of it's difficulty, the pride you feel within is amazing. But getting a ticket on the "diet ride" is very difficult. It takes lots of motivation, support and sheer determination... all of this before you even begin.

Why does it need to be that challenging? I just don't get it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Green thumb at work

I dug, I digged and I dug some more. I planted about 11 plants in the backyard today. Things are starting to take shape. Now if I can just keep these plants alive. I'm told that I'm not very successful with plants. I think it's just bad luck... a lot of bad luck, because I've never had so much trouble until recently.

Here's one of the Euonymus that was so gingerly placed in just the right spot.












After all the gardening was done and things started to cool off, we decided to enjoy our firepit. It was great for keeping those toesies warm.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dishwashing Soap

I don't know if anyone does this but I discovered not long ago while cleaning my kitchen that using a rag that is sudsy with dishwashing liquid is great for cleaning grimy kitchen cabinets and the stovetop. Everything cleans up fast and easy. I now clean everything in my kitchen this way and I like that I don't have to get out another cleaning product and waste paper towels. Plus many of the dishwashing soaps are now antibacterial. From dishes to cleaning the kitchen top to bottom... all in one step.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More work on the pool

Ray added the check valve to the pool pipes today. This was a must have for the swimming pool heater in order to prevent highly chlorinated water from entering the heater and harming the "heater parts". That's some very technical talk on my part. Tomorrow he will be adding the chlorinator so that when I open the pool in April, I will have everything to get things moving.

The only other thing that was going on today was the taxes that I worked on. I hate our tax system. We were so screwed this year in a couple of different areas that I did not see coming. Oh well. What can you do?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guess what I saw today?

The first signs of Spring. I was on my way to pick up Cody's glasses when I looked up from the road and spotted those little white flowers that are the first to appear on a Pear tree. I love those flowers because once they have sprouted, the newness and freshness of Spring follows. And as I continued to drive I noticed that it wasn't only the Pear trees that were waking from the winter slumber, but other trees had also sprouted small green leaves. I love-love Spring!

It's a rainy dreary day today but seeing this miracle of nature makes it so much easier to endure. Did I say that I love Spring?

What happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay in Vegas

Las Vegas had to be one of the funnest places to travel for a soccer tournament. Another fun place would be somewhere near a beach if you actually had the time to enjoy laying in the sun on a lounge chair with sunglasses and a good book to read. Oh, and don't forget the margarita in hand.

But this wasn't the beach, this was Las Vegas and it definitely had it's perks. After Caitlin and I arrived in Vegas, we stopped to have lunch before checking into our hotel room (which wasn't on the strip but was a very nice casino hotel). We had a show to see our first night before starting the soccer portion of the trip. We saw David Copperfield at the MGM Casino and had front row seats. I'm still amazed at some of the tricks he pulls off. This was the second time I've seen his show and I remember being more amazed the first time I saw it, over 15 years ago. Maybe it's my age.

A lion laying on a glass floor that we viewed from below

Our first soccer game was good the first half and the second half was a completely different game from the one we had just watched 10 minutes earlier. Funny how fast things can change with this game. We tied 2-2 on a game that we should have won easily.

Most of the team went to the Las Vegas strip that night. We spent most of our time in New York, New York. The girls rode the roller coaster and we ate in the Rainforest Cafe. So much walking!
Daytime picture of New York, New York


Evening picture of New York, New York

Saturday was dedicated to soccer games. In between games, the girls were taken by limosine to the Pink Taco in the Hard Rock Casino as a treat for one of the girls who turned 16 on this day. At the end of the evening, I played a slot machine and then turned in for the evening.

All of us parents had thought we had escaped the wintry weather for the warm desert air in Vegas. But that was not to be. We were all bundled up for out last two games of the tournament and the wind and cold air just about froze us to death.


Excalibur

But after our near miss of frost bite earlier in the day, we moved to the Excalibur hotel on the strip and attended the Tournament of the Kings which is a dinner and show. We devoured our meals with our hands, because they don't provide utensils so that you may fully experience this time when kings ruled and knights jousted. This was such a fun show with lots of audience participation. Afterwards, we enjoyed the different casinos and the sites they had to offer. Again with the walking!! Which explains why I slept for fifteen hours (mentioned in earlier post) after returning home.

I won! I won!

I won in the drawing for the assortment of chocolates from "Signs, Miracles, and Wonders" blog party. The party was fun and I look forward to next time!

Oh yeah... and I'm back from Las Vegas. I'll be blogging about it later but I'm still in re-cooperation mode. I slept almost 15 straight hours when I got home and collapsed into bed.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sudz and Bubbles

A cowboy's wife is having a giveaway for a $25 gift certificate to "Sudz N Bubbles", where a soap is a form of art! All of you bloggers, run over there and get all the details.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

We leave tomorrow morning and will be gone until Monday. Should be a pretty fun weekend with the soccer team.

University of Oklahoma soccer coaches are coming to watch the team play while we are in Vegas, along with other college coaches. When the team gets back to Oklahoma, the coaches will be attending our next practice session to get a good look at the girls. We've also been invited to go to OU to visit the campus and meet the soccer team.

Soccer coaches from almost every state are attending this tournament, so it will be interesting to see how many are watching our games. It's exciting to get this kind of exposure for college.

I don't know if I'll have an internet connection in Vegas so if you don't hear from me, I'll be "tripping, stumbling, flipping, fumbling"...(sorry, throwing a little Fergie in there).. anyway no worries.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I hear you

You remember all that work I did yesterday (firepit)? Ouchie WAWA! I have the sorest butt muscles that I think I have ever had. I didn't even know that I had those muscles there. But they are screaming at me today and I hear them loud and clear.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fire Pit

I'm so exhausted right now that this was almost going to be one of those "picture" postings. But then you wouldn't know what was going on so I felt the need to explain.

Ray took a day off from work today or should I say, he took a day off from sitting at his desk with his feet propped up on the desk (and yes, I have proof of this). Anyway, he has a day off from relaxing in his office to do some hard labor in our backyard. I sort of imagined myself handing him a tool here and there or fetching some water, but somehow it didn't work out that way. I must have lugged 20 bags of gravel to the backyard while Ray lugged 40. I was tired after that and we hadn't even began the project and the answer to your questions is "yes, the thought of quitting did pop into my head a few times". But Ray would get out that darn whip and I was back to work.

After recently having a pool added to our backyard, that left us with a few flower bed areas to finish up. In the corner of the yard we decided to make it a firepit area so that's where the need for all of this gravel comes in. I also had to put in some edging to separate the areas where I plan to add some plants later this Spring. Ray did most of the gravel work and then we worked together adding the mulch into the other areas. I don't have pictures of the other areas because there is nothing to see but mulch and I thought that was too boring.


The finished product...minus some much needed plants.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ultimate Party 2008!

It’s The Ultimate Blog Party 2008! The Ultimate Blog Party starts today and ends on the 14th. Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom to join the fun and meet new blogging friends.

Here in my happy blog home, you'll find quips about my family, friends and the family pets. We are heavily involved in soccer in this family and I'll be posting updates to scores or the outcome of tournaments. If I find a good recipe or hear about a helpful tip, I won't waste anytime posting it here. Sometimes I write about events that I found amusing and wanted to share. Hopefully you find my blog home interesting and visit again.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and hopefully I'll see you again soon.

Don't forget to head over to the party where prizes will be given out.
I hope to win the following gifts:

  • #82- Custom made pillowcase
  • #100- 3 books set
  • #116- Autographed book by Nicholas Sparks
And if those prizes aren't available, I would be happy to get the following listed in preference order.
20, 94, 39, 60, 68

Have fun at the party!!

Twilight

I recently finished reading the book, "Twilight". It was a recommendation on behalf of my daughter and was she ever right. I loved it. It was an Amazon's Best Book of the Decade..(so far) and it was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.

If you like books with suspense and secret love then try this one on for size. It's a story about a 17 year old girl, Bella, who moves to Washington to live with her dad. She meets and falls in love with a boy at her new school. Or I should say they fall in love with each other. Problem is... he's a vampire and part of him thirsts for her and the other part of him would protect her at all cost. If you like love and suspense, then try this book on for size.


I'm reading the sequel to this book and it's hard to put down. "New Moon" continues the story of Bella and Edward. So good!! There are 4 books in this series. The 4th book is not due out until the end of the summer. "Twilight" is being made into a movie and production started in February. I can't wait to see these characters come to life.

If you read this book, let me know what you thought.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tennis

Hayden participated in a school sponsored tennis tournament in Tulsa and I tagged along to watch. It wasn't as structured as I was expecting, but that seem to work just fine for this sport. Although it was a little chilly, it was fun to watch one of my kids play a sport other than soccer.


This is the bus that is used to transport the teens in Claremore to their school functions. I like how it screams Claremore pride and really...it's just cute. The kids are probably thinking, "omg, how gay!"

I had a good time watching and Hayden had a great time playing. I look forward to the next tournament.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Patience is a virtue, right?

Cody, my ten year old and my fourth child, is going through that clingy stage. He has been my shadow now for about a month or so. I've learned it won't last forever from raising my three other kids that are all older than him. Time passes quickly and one day you look around and they've become years older. So much older that they no longer want to spend their evenings hanging out with you. So I love the time he spends with me. I know that in a few short years, he won't be sharing his time with me and asking me five billion-trillion questions. And those questions, I'll just say right here, I'm not always able to answer. He will soon reach another stage where he thinks Mom is boring or stupid or just too old. And he'll find other things to fill his days.

This clingy stage is so sweet and so exhausting at the same time. After a day of questions like why the banana he's trying to peel won't open up the right way, or asking if I've ever had a pencil where the eraser doesn't erase good or aiming his nerf gun at me from around the corner, or sneaking into the room to pop up and surprise me; I begin to wish for a couple of hours of quiet time. And all of this attention he is handing out is reserved just for me. I certainly know that it's a compliment that he wants to play with me and spend time with me. I know this. So I put on my happy face and listen attentively to what he has to say, act surprised when he jumps at me and try to answer his many, many questions. And as his mom, it's my job to make sure he doesn't feel slighted in the least.

He can really make me tired. But I do love this attention he gives because I know it won't last forever. And I want him to grow up to be a man that will come home, walk through the door and give his mom a hug.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I can't be this stupid!

I was over at the neighbors today, letting their dogs out for their morning potty break, and I stepped out onto their back porch to watch and make sure they both went pee. After a bit of waiting and it was getting a little chilly outside, I turned to go back in and found out that I had locked myself out.

"Hmm, ok".

This is not a problem. I'll just go through the side gate and enter through the garage that I had left open. Only problem was that the side gate and back gate had pad locks on them so there was no escaping that way. I was not only locked out of the house but locked into the back yard. I started to assess my situation and I decided that I would be climbing over the fence with a little help of a patio chair. But then I thought of the pool house that had an entrance from the backyard and an exit through the storage area. Thank goodness that door was unlocked. I very coolly, made my way through the pool house and unlocked the overhead garage door in the storage area to make my escape and re-locked that door behind me.

Once I was back into the house I read a note that the neighbor had left me about giving the "girls" a treat before going back to their beds. I then walked to the backdoor to make sure they were doing ok but I couldn't see them anywhere. So I stepped out to the back porch again and shut the door. AND locked myself out AGAIN!!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Does it ever end?

It's Monday. It's cold. It's windy.

I had one thing that was a "must do" today. I did laundry. And I did laundry. And I did more laundry. And when I was done doing laundry, I found more laundry to do.

And that is something that can easily be done on a cold, windy Monday.