Friday, October 31, 2008

Our last trick-or-treater...

...was a pony. And that little cowboy behind him was the one who rode in on him. I wanted to pet that horse so badly but all I did was stood there and told the mom that they sure did have a big dog!

I love how life here sometimes imitates a country life.

Happy Halloween!!

Hope everyone has a great time tonight during the festivities!! Don't let the witches and ghouls get you and don't cross the path of any black cats!! Keep safe!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm not George!

"I will name him George and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him."

And if you want to see the cartoon that this quote came from then I've put here for your viewing pleasure. (especially around minute 2:04)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boo!!


I've been Boo'd by Dawn who is a fellow blogger that also lives in a town nearby here.

The instructions for Boo'ing fellow bloggers is this:
Go to as many friends as you want and tell them they've been "BOO'd." Have them link back to your blog to pick up their Halloween Treat (picture) and tell them to Boo their friends. Then put the picture in your side bar so everyone knows that you've already been "BOO'd" and to send the picture to someone else. What a fun Halloween thing to do for us bloggers.

Just because it's "white" again, doesn't mean it's clean!

We were a little slow at getting the pool filters cleaned for winter storage this year. We had freezing temperatures last night of 28 degrees and we still had not removed the filters out of the pool equipment and cleaned them. Actually, you are suppose to replace them every year but since they cost somewhere between $300-$500, we will be cleaning them until it's absolutely necessary to make that purchase.

Ray got home early from work and pulled out the pressure washer and started spraying them down. Then, thinking he was done after about 5 minutes of this, he came and got me to tell me he was finished and to come check them. Last year, I spent a good hour or so on them so this timely cleaning was a bit surprising. I went out to find that once I started spraying the filters, there was still murky water, lint and black particles coming out of them. It took us about 45 minutes to an hour more of this to get them as clean as they were going to get. And he thought he was done after 5 minutes!! I hope he keeps his day job because after taking out the trash, cleaning the garage and washing the cars, he's no good at house chores and I would not be very good at bringing home the bacon.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We had a nice evening last night at home. We don't have nights like that often because of our soccer schedules. Caitlin and a neighbor friend of hers from across the street went to the store and bought cookie dough. So while they made the chocoloate chip cookies, the boys and I patiently waited for our share of cookies and watched a few Family Guy episodes. That cartoon has so many things that are just so inappropriate but funny at the same time. The boys would laugh about the dumbest things. I think it was a "boy" thing, because I just didn't get it. And "no!" it wasn't the inappropriate stuff. I get that!!








It wasn't long and the smell of cookies had us headed for the kitchen where Caitlin and Kyle had started sampling them and taking crazy pictures. We each had so many cookies that I'm surprised we didn't go to bed with stomach aches. I love nights like this where we just hang out, laugh, cook and just enjoy each other.



Monday, October 27, 2008

Look at this!!

I filled my tank for less than $40. It wasn't that long ago that it was costing me $80. I'm so happy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

First contact

While I was at work today, Ray called me to let me know that I had received a letter from Dylan. It's been almost 2 weeks since he left for basic training in the Air Force. I was pretty excited and hurried right home to get my letter.

Unfortunately it wasn't a letter, it was information about his graduation that the Air Force required all recruits to send home. But I was ok with that because I now had his address and I could write to him to lend some encouragement in the off chance that he might need it.

So we went to Hayden's soccer game that afternoon and while sitting there enjoying the game, my phone rang. IT WAS DYLAN!! I only got to talk to him for about 90 seconds but it was enough time to hear that he was enjoying basic training and he was doing really well. He said they had been really busy so there wasn't much time to call home. I told him I would write him and he said he would write and tell more about what was going on with his training. I look forward to seeing him in November and hearing all about his experience in San Antonio. I have so many questions!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Home fresh goodness

I had a goal for myself this week and it was to try and make homemade bread. What made me want to try this, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. I'm a fan of a fellow blogger who lives a country life, and that's putting it mildly. Her blog is called Chickens in the Road and you should really check it out if you aren't already one of her readers.

I'm downright jealous of the resources that she has at her fingertips or should I say, right outside her front door. Her and her husband recently built a new house and for the past year she has added ducks, goats, chickens, a dog to watch these animals, a garden and a pond. She has decorated her home this fall with the foliage that grows near her home and around her property. She's been learning how to milk goats and make cheese from that milk, which has not been an easy task to collect. And on top of all that, she's funny, she's an author of romance novels and she bakes homemade bread frequently using a recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation.

She was my inspiration to make my first batch of homemade bread. I followed her directions and mixed the ingredients as instructed. I let the dough rise in a covered bowl for about an hour and then kneaded it.




I only have 1 loaf pan so I opted to use half the dough to make a few large rolls. This photo was before the bread was allowed the second time. It's at this point that I divided the dough to make my rolls and my 1 lone loaf.




An hour later, the dough had risen again and was ready to go into the oven to be baked. I was so proud every time that dough would rise successfully. I figured I would mess something up with the ingredients and be left with a flat lump of dough that would need to be trashed.







But look!! The bread turned out beautifully and was delicious as well. I can't wait to make my next batch and to try her other versions of this recipe.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Handy Shmandy!

I thought I would share how handy I am at fixing things. I must have inherited this cleverness from the white trash part of my family. Yes, I have white trash members in my family tree and I've learned to accept it but not to pass along "their ways" with my children. Except for this one time:

The handle on my microwave recently broke off and we were having trouble getting that door to open.
BEWARE: A rhyme to follow. So tug as we may, and tug as we might, that door wouldn't open without a fight.
The plastic frame around the bottom of the door was starting to give out and I was noticing a small crack where it would surely snap off soon. I had to do something fast. Thank goodness for duct tape. I taped it to the inside of the door and left a bit hanging out at the bottom to give the kids (and myself) a brand spanking new handle. Voila! Do you see it? Pretty snazzy, huh? Life is good again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Four Foods

Here's this week's Four Foods. If you like to share recipes and might find it fun to share information about yourself related to food, then join in by visiting Fun, Crafts and Recipes. It's fun and it's a way to meet other Four Foods bloggers.

#1. Name something you use cream cheese in/on.
I mostly eat cream cheese with red pepper jelly and wheat thins. But since my cholesterol is a bit high, I've bought fat free cream cheese and I'm going to try it out. I doubt that I'll like it much.

#2. Do you use yogurt in any recipes?
I've never used yogurt in anything I've ever made. I think I'm afraid.

#3. Macaroni salad. What do you like/put in yours?
I like macaroni salad, but I've never made it. The only thing close is a pasta salad with the twisted pasta, broccoli, salad peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and Kraft House Italian dressing. It's delicious.

#4. Share a recipe that you use sour cream in.
I haven't made this in quite a while because of my picky-a** children, but this dish is so good! Please try it and let me know what you think. I got it from my sister years ago.

Quick Creamed Chicken Breasts
6 bnls whole chicken breasts
½ c. chopped mushrooms
1 c. canned cream of mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream
¼ c. chopped parsley
paprika

Place chicken in shallow baking dish. Combine soup, sour cream, mushrooms and parsley and pour over chicken. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered about 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just a little bit

It's raining in "these here parts" of the country. The lightning and thunder made an entrance today as well.

It makes things difficult when you are out grocery shopping and taking the dogs to the groomers. I've been soaked more times today than I want to remember.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sometimes, life gets in the way

I haven't posted in a few days because we were traveling home from Mississippi on Sunday and then I worked all day on Monday and Tuesday. I plan to find something interesting to blog about but I needed to get past these last few days.

Our trip to visit Miss. State was quite an experience. The coaches will be coming to watch Caitlin play when we go to Houston for our premiere league games. It should be interesting to see what happens. I'll keep you posted. It's going to be difficult to see the coaches and not be able to go up to them and say "hi" or even wave in their direction. NCAA rules!!! They bite.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More of our road trip to Miss. State

It's all about Miss. State:
Even girls need weight training:
Indoor facility for those bad weather days:

Film room:
Rock wall in the recreation center:
Pregame warmup:
Watching the game from the grassy knoll:

Friday, October 17, 2008

To see what we could see

We drove around the campus of Mississippi State after we had dinner even though it was already dark but we just wanted to see what we could see. (The blurry pictures are a result of having the "flash" option off...I'm sure I'm not doing something right.)








The most impressive things were the Sorority and Fraternity houses. They were also the only things we could get pictures of in the dark, since they were well lit up.









They were huge!











The lights were on at the football stadium so we were able to get a glimpse at this as well.... again.... another massive structure.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Four Foods

Time for Four Foods from Val at Fun, Crafts and Recipes.

#1. Share a cupcake, muffin or cookie recipe.
I don't make cupcakes as often as cookies so I'm sharing a cookie recipe.

Thumb Cookies
½ C shortening
2 egg yolks
½ C butter
2 C flour
½ C brown sugar
½ t salt

Roll in small balls and cook 3 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and mash the center of cookies with thumb. Bake 5-6 minutes.
Filling: 2 c. powdered sugar 2 T. milk ¼ c. melted butter food coloring 1 t. vanilla Mix together and fill in thumb prints.

#2. Cupcakes, muffins and cookies require something to drink. What do you drink with them?
Milk is the best with cupcakes and cookies. But muffins, it depends on the type of muffins. Maybe a pop would be my next preference of drink.

#3. Which do you prefer, mini muffins and cupcakes or full sized ones?
Just give me full sized ones. I want a big cupcake with a big flavor... yumm.

#4. What type of muffin or cupcake pan do you use? Silicone, disposable, etc.
I use the metal pan with the non-stick surface. I would love to try the silicone type someday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Could the drought be over?

So our last soccer game of the weekend which was on Sunday did have a happy ending. At least for our team. We won the game and actually scored 3 goals to the other team's 1. I think we all collectively felt a sigh of relief since the last few weeks have been a bit disappointing for this group of girls and their parents. We have not won a game but only managed to tie at best in the last 4 games or so. Hopefully we are back on the road of scoring goals and winning games.

And now for some pictures from that game. Here is the team getting their halftime peptalk from the coach. That's my girl in the middle on the bottom bench looking very bored interested.









And look at her here, winning that ball and defying them any chance of scoring against us. You go get 'em girlfriend! Of course, she learned this from her momma.









Wait, here she is about to step in the way of the shot that is being taken by the opposing team. That's gonna hurt. No pain, no gain... and we did the gaining on this day. The team looked great and all the girls played well that Sunday. They should be proud.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I didn't know that I signed up for this 19 years ago

It's funny how one day they are babies in your arms and then the next day they are grown and gone. Dylan left for basic training on Monday. His mood was great and we had a good morning together as we went to Walmart to buy a duffle bag and stopped by McDonalds to pick up something for breakfast. We had one last talk about how it was going to be while he was at basic training and what we both expected and didn't expect from each other.

Once we arrived at his dropoff, we hugged goodbye and I told him that I would see him in about 6 weeks. I took pictures as he made the walk to begin his journey in the Air Force and then he was gone . We drove off and started the ride back home and it seemed like everything was going to be ok. But that was just a mistake in my thinking and as I would later find out.. Ray's thinking too. Nothing is the same and life now has a different look. I'm sad and my head is in a fog. Being by myself at the house today was unbearable. I thought that keeping the tv turned up loud enough where I could hear it from any room would keep my mind focused on other thoughts. No matter what I tried, I couldn't escape the fact that I was alone in my head.

I ended up leaving the house right after 11 and going to where two of my very good friends work. I was not going home until my kids came home from school. I hung out with them during lunch and for the rest of the afternoon. Their office was closed for the week and they were doing small jobs around the office or I would not have been able to be there. As was expected, we laughed... a lot... and I was soon feeling good again.

I really have the very best friends that one could wish for and I knew that turning to them would be the answer. I will lean on them for the next few days as I wait for things to get better.

But none of my kids are ever allowed to leave us now that we know what to expect. :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tag, you're it!

Michelle at The Froggy Bottom Blog tagged me in a game to name 7 weird or random facts about myself. And here its is.

Seven Weird or random facts about me:

1. My scariest dreams usually include something to do with water and plumbing. To this day, an over flowing toilet really freaks me out.

2. I had my appendix removed when I was only 3 years old.

3. My left foot is a bit pigeon-toed. I have to consciously make myself turn my foot outward when I walk.

4. One of my hobbies is genealogy. I started working on my family's history about 12 years ago, but with raising kids and such, I put it to the side about 8 years ago and plan to start on it when things slow down in my life.

5. Two of my favorite foods are tuna casserole and banana pudding.

6. I love to sing. There was a lot of singing around me when I was growing up and it's something that I've loved for as long as I can remember. I can hold a tune but I don't have a good singing voice. That doesn't stop me from wailing out a tune.

7. I'm afflicted with migraines and usually get one about once a month. Luckily, I have great meds for them and it doesn't usually interrupt my day.. .much.

Now, I will tag others.

Tanya at Desert Trivia
Angie at Garza Clan of Colorado
Donna at The Domestic Life
Vicki at Another Day Another Rambling

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday soccer

We drove over to OKC yesterday for Caitlin's soccer game. Her team is in a big time funk right now and cannot get that ball in the back of the net to save their life. It's bad.

On a positive note, Caitlin called the assistant coach with Mississippi State yesterday and talked to her for a few minutes while we drove back to Tulsa. She was very nice and made Caitlin laugh a few times, not sure what was funny but it was a good thing and put Caitlin at ease. We have a meeting at the admissions office when we first get there on Friday and then we will be watching their soccer game that night. From there, Caitlin will leave with the team and spend the rest of the evening with them and I'll meet them for breakfast the next morning. We are very excited about this trip and hope that it has a scholarship offer somewhere in the near future.

We go back to OKC today for another game and it needs to be better than it was yesterday... geez!

Friday, October 10, 2008

My tummy don't like it

I haven't felt especially well the last few days, something with my stomach is not feeling quite right. Other than that, I feel completely fine. I started wondering if maybe it was because Dylan was leaving on Monday. It's strange because I don't feel upset about his departure(yet!), but it is on my mind most of the time. Could this be enough to have this kind of affect?

And now, to add to my jitters, Mississippi State's assistant soccer coach has invited Caitlin to go there next weekend. She will visit the campus, check out the soccer facilities, meet the team, and watch them play a game. I'll be driving her down but I'm not sure where my involvement ends. I've heard stories where she'll spend time alone with players from the team and even possibly stay the night with them...IN A COLLEGE DORM!! She's just 16. This makes both of us a little apprehensive. We've been hoping for this opportunity but it makes us nervous to think of meeting the coaches and knowing the right things to say and ask when we get there. If all goes well, they will offer her a scholarship to play for them.

Eeeks! What do we say?... What will they say?... What do we NOT say?... Will they like her?... What shoes will I wear?

With so much happening right now and this next week, it makes me wonder if this is why my tummy is feeling flighty. Hey, maybe I'll end up losing a couple of pounds.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Look what I can do!

Mojo makes life a little more interesting around here in that way that a cat can. And look at those sweet paws with the cute little tufts of hair growing between his toes. So cute, right?

Guess what he can do with those "precious" paws? He can open my bedroom door using the door knob...which he does in the middle of the night. Not a big deal except he's the reason I wanted the door closed, to keep him out.

He jumps up on my bed, presses his nose against my face, kneads the blanket and purrrrrrs; all in an attempt to get me to pet him. Nevermind the fact that I tried to pet him earlier that day and was quickly shown that his majesty did not, in any way, want to be bothered by the likes of me.

But at 3 o'clock in the morning, he's ready for that attention that I was offering earlier. I roll over away from him and face the other way. Well, no matter! He just climbs over me, careful not to miss poking all four paws one at a time into my side. Once he's in front of me, he again makes nose to nose contact, maybe even a lick or two with that rough tongue. I lie perfectly still just to let him know that he's not going to win this game. With his efforts exhausted, he collapses against my body with all his might, snuggles up tightly and falls asleep.

I guess I could lock my door, but I'm afraid I'll wake up and find him picking the lock.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Gas prices

This is the price of gas here today.

Swweeeeeeet! It's pretty sad when you get excited about the price of gas being just under $3. How I miss the good old days when it was closer to $2.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Snuggles

She's happy and the tail is happy. Nothing better than snuggling up to a smelly shoe.

video

Monday, October 06, 2008

Friday's Four Foods

It's that time again. Every week, Val at Fun, Crafts and Recipes gives us 4 challenge questions to answer about food. This week is no different so if you want to play, copy and paste the questions below onto your blog, give your answers and then leave a comment at the Four Foods on Friday post on Val's blog.

#1. Pasta. How do you tell when it’s done? Do you cook on medium or high?
I cook it on high and for the longest number of minutes suggested or until it looks ready to eat.

#2. Deep frying. What kind of oil do you use?
I don't do a lot of deep frying and although I shouldn't, I still use vegetable oil. But I have at times used the better choice of oils.

#3. Grilling. Do you grill on foil or directly on the grill?
We grill directly on the grill. Always have and probably always will unless we are grilling vegetables.

#4. Share a recipe that involves cooking something two different ways. Example, for lasagna you might fry the meat and bake the whole dish.
I recently made a post about making stew and had been asked to post the recipe, so it's coincidence that my stew recipe would be the answer to this question. It's not anything special or different, it's just fast and easy, as it should be.

Stew
2 pkgs stew meat (I have a large family)
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 can green beans
frozen corn
1-2 cans beef broth
salt and pepper

In pan, heat cooking oil. Lightly coat stew meat in flour, salt and pepper and sear lightly. Put meat in crock pot. Peel and cut potatoes and carrots. Layer potatoes on top of meat and follow with carrots, corn and green beans. Pour in beef broth as needed to cover potatoes. Salt and pepper and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Stir, serve and enjoy.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Laughter, the best medicine

I want to thank everyone for your prayers for my dad who was admitted into the hospital last week. He is now home after 8 long days in that place, but they still don't know the exact cause of his illness. The doctors think they are getting close to a diagnoses but nothing conclusive yet.

He is feeling so much better and is improving everyday. He kept his sense of humor through this ordeal and was even making me laugh about some awkward things he was going through.

He's the reason why I have such a sunny outlook on life. What a great thing to inherit.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Air Force basic training is right around the corner

Dylan leaves for Air Force basic training soon. I retrieved a couple of boxes from the attic and started removing items from his room that we will keep in storage and items that he'll take with him once he's been stationed. Dylan sorted through his clothes and cleaned out his dresser drawers, while I packed away his trophys and awards that he received over the years.

I realized while we were working that it was a good thing that we were taking care of this now because it was a little emotional for me and if this were the last weekend before he leaves, I don't think I would be able to handle it very well.

This "clean-up" will be all done now and next weekend we won't have any large hurdles for me to deal with. He leaves a week from Monday, on the 13th of October. Just 10 short days from now, he'll be an Air Force recruit.

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!!

O.J. Simpson found guilty! Ha!!

I can't say that I'm disappointed. Of course there will be an appeal and he'll probably get off in the next trial, but for now... hee hee. I watched some of the trial and it definitely sounded like he handled that situation like a gangster would, regardless if he was just trying to get his own stuff back. Ha, ha!

Sorry, can't help but laugh.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mother-Daughter bonding

Here's a picture of Caitlin chillin' before her final game last weekend. We were watching the game that was being played on the same field where her game was soon to be taking place. Although we didn't win either of the games (both were a tie), the weekend turned out to be a lot better than I had anticipated. I thought it was just going to be another soccer weekend where we rush to one game, shower, eat and get ready for day two. But it was actually better because Caitlin and I were able to fit in a nice dinner at Olive Garden and then went shopping at the mall. It was a bonus that we did not fight over what clothes were cute and which were definitely NOT while shopping.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It warms the heart

It doesn't look like much here, but this was the beginning of a very delicious stew. The ingredients are layered in the crockpot and cooked for several hours. Here it sits undisturbed and unstirred but moments from now, it'll look savory and delicious. Mmmmm, I love stew during the cooler months of the year.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

You made me Meme!

MEME Button

I saw this Meme over at Dawn's Diversions and she says to anyone that sees it to consider yourself tagged and to particpate. And so I will. After all, it has a cute title, don't you think? You can play too, if you're cool like me.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
We just made the big move to Claremore, Ok from Midland, Tx. Our neighborhood, which is out of city limits, was new so there weren't many neighbors around us and I remember it being dark and scary at night. My kids were young with my youngest being 6 months old. And I was fat, or fattish.

2. 5 Things on my To-Do List Today.
I plan to dust the furniture, make a trip to the grocery store, call a friend to have lunch, do some weight training and make dinner.

3. What snacks I enjoy.
I love peanut clusters, bit-o-honey, barbecue potato chips, powdered donuts and popcorn.

4. What would I do if I were to suddenly become a Billionaire?
Remodel our home and add a couple of extra rooms, plan for my kids to go to college anywhere they want and go shopping for clothes!!! I would do many things but I wouldn't get too crazy.

5. 3 Bad HabitsIs it awful that I can't think of any bad habits? I don't drink(only socially and rarely!!), smoke, or bite my nails. The worse thing I can come up with is that I might talk too long on the phone to my friends and family.(sorry, but I love you guys!) I'm definitely on the computer a lot... is that bad?

6. 5 Places I've lived.
I was born in Upland, California and we moved to Monahans, Tx before I was 3 years old and not for very long. Soon after we moved to Midland, Tx where I grew up. After I married, we moved to Oklahoma City, Ok and back to Midland and we now live in Claremore, Ok, just outside of Tulsa, OK, where I'm content to stay. I love the TULSA area!!

7. 5 Jobs I've had.
Famous Corndogs was my first job at the age of 15. I was employed by several retail companies, one being Waldenbooks and others that included JCPenneys and Sears. I worked in the accounting department for a couple of different places, mostly accounts payable. I now work at Lowes and I don't know if it's the job or the people that work there, but I love it!

8. 5 Things People don't Know About Me..
(1) I've had some weird "tics" that come and go without warning and stay with me for years. (2) My BFF is the only person besides myself that knows my deepest secrets. No one like her. (3) I had a job once where I dressed up like a gorilla and Kermit the Frog and delivered balloon bouquets. (4) I like to watch Family Guy. (5) I've always wanted to own a bookstore.