Archive for November, 2008

All the Glitz and None of the Fritz.

November 30, 2008

Time for some CBA fun.

What’s that? Crazy-Blonde Award of course.

I’ve been having this long conversation with Ms. Blonde of TheDailyBlonde, mostly we talk about Pepsi vs. Mountain Dew. But lately we were talking about all the bloggy awards going around. And that it’s hard to acknowledge them and then sometimes it’s even weirder to pass them on? I don’t usually display awards won, but then I feel bad…and I want to make up for that, then I feel dumb… yada, yada..

Anyways… we were talking about how the whole point of passing on bloggy awards was really about passing OUT links to other blogs and sites– right? So here goes.

We’ve created this award. Folks can accept the award and use the button to prove it. Or not. Cool either way. Here’s the deal. No passing it on. Just give a shout out to some new blog I’ve never heard of, when you feel like it eh? (You probably already do this..so that’s easy right?)


To start off this CBA:

I nominate the testosterone blogs in my life.
Yup. I have found 3 Male operated blogs that I read on a fairly frequent basis.

  • One is on a personal service mission, self appointed. He’s amazing and he’s a grandpa and his posts often make me cry, but he warns me first- so that’s nice.
  • One is on a different mission, and he claims to have nearly = parts estrogen/testosterone, so he may not fit in this list.
  • One has self proclaimed ‘spiritual balls’. And I really don’t know how to compare that in the testosterone race…um…so I won’t try.

See if you can tell who’s who….?

Please meet Mr. Marvin Wilson (@paize_fiddler on twitter). He blogs his spiritual thing over at
FreeSpirit. He cracks me up daily. And don’t let the “I blog a ministry” scare you.

Here’s a couple direct quotes…

I write stories and compose blog posts that are set in the real word, not some Sunday School class held in Disneyland. It’s my calling.

And this little gem… I can’t seem to let him forget it..

I’m not a preacher. I don’t have the spiritual balls to try and tell other people what to do when it comes to themselves and their relationship with God.

Oh and he writes whole novels. Ready for some humor..? It might surprise you.


Next on the testosterone rollercoaster:

Is….. Mr. CoastRat… (see how I did that..?) Lance Myers is the really great guy and amazing writer behind the blog. And when he isn’t cleaning up after nasty Queen Katrina’s mess and aftermath…
He’s writing poignant posts. (I love using that word.) On twitter he’s @CoastRat

I totally love this post:

Train ran over my bike, mommy.

“As I went to cross the tracks, I got by the first rail OK, and then was stopped cold when my front trike wheel turned sideways and went “slup” down into the slot between the second rail and the pavement next to the rail, becoming instantly stuck tightly in the slot.

Here it was, my birthday, and I was riding my brand new trike, and now it was stuck on the railroad tracks. I was upset!”

The other thing I love is Lance’s great pics of all the lovely bird life down on the Mississippi coast…

I would love to see the hummingbird migration… probably won’t happen in my near future though. I get to live through his photos instead!

And that story you’ll need a tissue for? It’s this one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

He said they all cried too:

As I looked around, I saw that all of us Crew members were crying, the two Paramedics were crying, and the Medical helicopter flight crew was also crying.

Those moments were some of the most helpless of my life.


As for this last one…

He nicknamed me Mrs. Crabtree. So I nicked him right back. You may call him Mr. Ratburn.

But Jay will work. Or @halftimelessons on twitter. He is 1/2 of the mastermind behind
the very popular Mission:Mondays (If you hurry you can get in on it today in fact!) I think just for participating you get to be entered in some sort of uber awesome end of the year contest! Go. Enjoy.

MissionMonday

Oh, and if you didn’t guess by now, Mr. Ratburn is the self proclaimed equal parts estrogen and testosterone. He promises not to burp or fart while perusing the mommy blogs, so don’t be afraid…

There you go. Boys? Feel free to pick up your award. Or not. Either way you are the first recipients of the CBA. Congrats.

Be on the lookout for DailyBlonde‘s turn to hand out the CBA… She’s off Pepsi these days so no promises..

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Church Chat

November 30, 2008

I pretty much don’t wear makeup any more (not that I really ever did-ahem…I never much liked the Gap either…). I pull my hair back in a pony tail most days and call that ‘I did my hair today’ do. I do wear clean clothes everyday…everyone is grateful for that.

But on Sundays, for church, I often wear mascara and even…*lip gloss*. Wow, huh?

I’m not sure what my point is. Help me here?

Is church still worth dressing up for? We always wear dresses and the men, white shirts and ties. My 4yrold little boy looks soo awesome in his itty bitty clip on, and the girls love when they can sort of match or coordinate with their dresses. I know with the sewing and stuff I do, it might sound crazy but the only clothes I ever make are Easter Dresses.

I actually started out this post, thinking I only put a tiny bit of makeup on for church, and was kind of thinking how there’s no need to be on ‘show’ for Sunday, but then I got to thinking exactly the opposite. Not that outdoing the Jones or looking like you are heading for a cocktail party on the Sabbath is a good thing?

And everyone is welcome in whatever they come in of course. I’m just saying isn’t it nice to have something to dress up for at least once a week? *Lipgloss* and all?
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Acknowledged

November 27, 2008

I left you a surprise over on my blog….

These words were left in my comments four times over the past few weeks.

And I got to thinking why someone passes on a lovely (and usually goofy) bloggy award?

  • I suppose because it was given to them, right?
  • Or is it because of the rude bossy annoying demands in the ‘rules’ that it be passed on to 20 of your closest blog pals?
  • But there’s also the whole I want to be nice and point my other bloggy pals your way, right?

Giving out links and sharing the blog love? I think that’s a good start? And since I seem to have a problem following the rules~ annoying or not….

I’ll just give back a feature to each of the pals who sent a lovely award my way…and instead of passing on …I think I have a surprise coming up instead? Stay tuned…!

FIRST:

From the very pretty, very witty and VERY PINK:
Ms. ParentingPink herself. She blogs at ParentingPink.com/blog.

Her writing and stories are totally hilarious:

“Now that I am officially a member of the Justice League, I am going to make a few changes. First, Batman has to get rid of Robin. The economy is in shambles and we can’t afford him on the payroll. And seriously, what does Robin really do anyway?”

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Meet Elizabeth,
Poor Robin, won’t know what hit him, eh?

But…there’s more…This one woman dynamo has created a whole magazine, online style–

ParentingPink.com

From hip articles, to forums, to parenting advice… Elizabeth has life with daughters covered–

In her pink kinda way!


Do you have daughters? Ages infant to teen and in-between? Then you should see this site!


ANOTHER:

Do you have bloggy pals that should you actually meet in person you would be more like sisters because you literally already know everything in each other’s lives? You find yourself wanting to share cell phone numbers with this person? I do. And this is one of them. Ms. ButlerDiaries. —cracks me up regularly over at her place: TheButlerDiaries.

(And Kaye…I just figured out skype…now it’s your turn!)
Here’s a sample of one of her many themes: Wal-Mart sagas… (she lives in Arkansas..she doesn’t have a choice)

“Last night at Wal-Mart, MM picks up some gum and says, to me and check out person,
“This has ZERO sugars, that’s like better than Sugar Free.”
Looks at us for a while…”Oh, that is sugar free.”
I could literally see the light bulb switch on in her head.”

And something else about Kaye? She cooks. As in if I ask what was for dinner, I know it’s gonna be good. I plan to meet up and EAT with my friend Kaye someday. Till then? I get to pretend to eat with her by noting down recipes in her family and friend’s Recipe blog…

(Scroll down a bit in her recipe blog to see her grandma’s Chess Pie…FINALLY I get see what the heck that is?…I’m making it for Christmas…)


NEXT up….

A crazy lady I met where?? Do you even know anymore where you meet online pals? Kelli? Was it twitter? My blog, your blog, GNO… what? Whereever it was I know to find her here:

GohnCrazy

She is Gohn green, Gohn new puppy, and recently she’s convinced she’s Gohn ONLY 2 kids! (we shall see…eh?). Here’s a recent something that really explained Kelli to me.

“I’m ready to get this Thanksgiving thing on and then break out the Christmas decorations. I’m starting to feel it. I think it could have something to do with the fact that I decided to pledge handmade for Christmas this year. I’m really getting sick of the commercialism that is Christmas. I’m taking it back as much as I possibly can. There will be a few things that I will actually visit the store for, but few. And I’m excited about it, even if I do feel slightly insane for truly deciding this just one month short of the big day.”

She wants to be green and good and decent…and yet instead of in your face about it, she also realizes the reality of life with little kids and the chaos! I hear you Kelli!


Here’s the last one…
She’s last not because she’s least, but because honestly I’ve known Ms. Musings for the least amount of time in this list.

But I already know this about her. She is geniune and kind, pretty much my two main requirements for online friendship. She has two little girls, works her tail off and despite the mandatory weekend of vomit, she has an awesome life and I’m jealous. California and all that.

She calls herself boring? And I’m all..uh? With the blond thing and the glasses thing and the OCEAN thing going on there..boring..huh?

This tells me a lot about her..in a big fancy meme she had plenty of extra time at work to fill out…

“R is for biggest regret: I don’t really have any regrets at this point. I’ve done just about everything I’ve wanted to do, travel (to lots of wonderful places), have two lovely gremlins daughters (what the hell were we thinking?? Kidding), own my own businesses, have a fantastic house (that we can barely afford – but its beautiful!), and two nice cars (that are paid off!).”

And ANYONE who can go out shopping and bring home THIS kind of shopping bag? Is a Winner in my book. And I need to be friends with them. And then I need to copy the bag and colors for my next awesome tote!


So there you go. Instead of passing on more gas I mean.. awards… I’m working on my own thing..give me a couple days…?

Now? Do you think I should tell these four I left something on my blog for them??!

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Kids w/ Cameras…

November 26, 2008

All photos taken with 11yrold’s camera.


All photos are cheesy.


And of course we MUST take photos of the piles of stuffed animals that litter our room.

And the cat. Of course. Right after we make her a bed under our bed, we must take her picture. Of course.

Finally I get to play along over at Angie’s House again!

Did you see the awesome children’s book below? Did you?

I Just Fell In Love…{with a book}

November 23, 2008

I literally Tripped over This Amazing Children’s Book:

SteamPotVille

Are the illustrations killing you? I nearly had a coronary when I looked through the pages!
They Floored me? Made me go…huh?
The warped circular images force you to search and re-search through each image because you are convinced you might have missed something. It’s a cross between Escher and an Ispy book! I am so excited to see how my little boy will react to the pages of this book? Talk about the best Christmas present for a little kid!

Here’s my favorite line from the book….

“While Uncle Chuck’s Cow Whispered Meow.”

I love this dreamy page at the end of the story… with the words:

But you remembered you just closed your eyes
And turned off your sight,
And when dreams come
They come in the middle of the night.

Can you so totally hear my 4yrold chanting that last bit?!
I can.

Welcome to SteamPotVille,
DON’T FORGET THE ICE CREAM??

I say… don’t forget your creditcard. This book is only $13.99!

Steve Ouch is the real person behind the book and you can find his brand spankin’ new (yes, I’m jealous) wordpress blog here, and follow him on twitter here, and of course GET THE BOOK here! Steve did not ask me to review his awesome book, I pretty much forced him to let me. He did however follow me on twitter, and that’s cool right? (Do you think he’ll mind if I ask him to sign my copy?)

UPDATE::::: Steve said yes he will sign my copy, and he said the book will be released in one day! Whoop!


Church Chat

November 23, 2008

I often see bloggers who write about feeling guilty for not posting.

I don’t feel that kind of guilt.

I have neglected my personal blog for a few weeks. But I have been on a big internet ride lately. Twitter has sucked me in.
MommyGossip-GNO has taken off …..and wow?

A great idea about 2 weeks ago… Became a full fledged fundraiser this week. $1400 was raised for FeedingAmerica.org. More than 10 people donated auction items and door prizes, and over 50 people donated cash. I was still getting requests to donate items DURING the twitter #GNO event on Tuesday night! I have truly met some amazing, caring, giving people.

So instead of guilt I give you forgiveness.

Have you read this book?
The author describes a current day husband and wife who are struggling with their relationship. He uses the story of Abigail and Nabal from 1 Samuel in the Bible, to help explain why forgiveness is important for YOU the reader.

Okay. Now to explain.

A few posts down (I intend to remove the post so look now) I wrote about a current financial frustration we are dealing with. And my internet pals came out of the woodwork to wish me better luck and some even have been doing a search themselves to help with the problem! (see I told you, amazing people.)

Not that I didn’t want some sympathy and help even. It’s just that, after writing and then answering some questions from folks about our situation. I began to feel really sick about it all.

See.

My husband has a terrific job. He makes plenty of money to cover our very normal lifestyle. Both of us have college degrees and I am confident should we go under a certain point financially I will simply go out and get a job and the problem will literally be solved. My children are healthy (yes I’m knocking on wood). My husband loves me very much, he tells me every day. I have a gigantic extended family who I am also confident would help us out in any way they could.

An aside: While we lived in NYC I often walked around homeless people, I sometimes gave change sometimes not. I often thought, what if that were me? But I could never really imagine it, because I knew if I were ever so down and out I could always call 2 sets of parents, 9 siblings, and over 60 cousins. Talk about a safety net.

Back to my point.

There is an unbelievable amount of people out there who are so much worse off than we are. Yes I have gripes and complaints and even fears. But I am safe. And warm. And well fed. And well loved. And this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my home.

The worst of it– is when asked point blank. “Are you guys going to be okay?” I realized I had really screwed up. My biggest fear with the whole can’t sell our house?
What if we won’t be able to fully fund our 401K next year? Isn’t that awful?

Please forgive me.

We just found out our little town here sponsors an ‘adopt a family’ at Christmas time. I am so on board. Are you?

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She Gets Older and Smarter…

November 17, 2008

…and I seem to get older and dumber.

2005.
Her grandfather taught her to play chess.
So of course. A chessboard for a cake!

2006.
She has found her true love. Dancing.
May she love it well past the boy stage and skip that part altogether!

2007.
They will tell you the breakfast in bed thing has been a tradition for birthdays for forever.
But I have the photos to prove that THIS was the first year.
That’s it.
ONE year = tradition.
I’m stuck with it for forever or until she turns 18 and moves out right?
Like Mother -Like Daughter.
A purse cake (of course) for 2007.

And….This weekend.
See what I mean?
One time = tradition, chained in for life.
Never let you forget it.

Happy Birthday to my 11yrold. You know this means I AM OLD now.

But the cake?
This year I won.
Instead of the ‘traditional ones’, I talked her into this awesome ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ Cake.
Did you know they make peppermint ice cream sandwiches? AND…oh my gosh!
we saw Eggnog ice cream sandwiches?


I found all sorts of recipes for different versions of This Amazingness.

Here’s what we did.

peppermint ice cream sandwiches
vanilla Oreo cookies
one candy cane

Frosting:
1 container vanilla store-bought frosting
1 small package white chocolate pudding mix
1/2 container small whip topping
mix together

unwrap 8 peppermint ice cream sandwiches
lay 4 side by side on piece of parchment paper
cover this layer with frosting mix
crush 5 vanilla Oreo cookies, and sprinkle on this layer

lay 4 more sandwiches on top of frosting cookie layer
frost the whole ‘cake’ with the rest of the frosting
crush a candy cane and sprinkle on top for Martha effect

put it all in the freezer, and enjoy 2 hours later!

I’m seriously using this frosting for like EVERY other cake I ever make. It was THAT good.

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Not My Usual Self

November 14, 2008

This one’s a rant.

Please scroll down for a happy posting.
~~~~~~~~~~

We had renters for the house. They fell through. Two weeks ago.

We had renters for the house. Yesterday. Today they fell through. Hubby was just about to purchase a flight to head back there to sign papers and do a walk thru. Grateful he didn’t at least.

We just got notice that our home owner’s insurance was CANCELLED. What? Can they do that? Oh…From 2 months ago? How? Why?

And now. It will cost ASTRONOMICAL to get it reinstated. Great. Thanks. On top of large mortgage for home we are NOT living in.

The home we are currently renting is great. And that’s nice. But. Bankruptcy is looming.

Okay. I can go out and get a job first. Thanks for reminding me. Counting blessings, I am.

And now. I’m going to go eat THIS. Hubby was out of town yesterday and I asked begged him to please bring home something yummy. ANYthing I didn’t have to make myself. I know. All those yummy recipes…but, when you are depressed you need THIS.


Are YOU playing along for PSF?

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ThanksGivings Past

November 13, 2008

Once upon a time, we had this really great idea. We thought we would try to take advantage of the Thanksgiving Vacation days and travel somewhere warmer…

And it was a good idea and all.

But.

The condo we wanted was booked for the actual week of Thanksgiving, so we opted for the week starting the day AFTER Thanksgiving. Which didn’t really maximize the days off school. But whatever.

Another but.

If you need to be somewhere the day AFTER Thanksgiving and it’s an 11 hour drive and you aren’t sure your 3yrold can hold up that long and you think you may be stopping over in VEGAS for the half way hotel stay….then…how do you do the ACTUAL Thanksgiving day?

These were our options:

  • Get up early to cook and eat turkey at 10AM and on the road by 2PM? NO. That sucks for obvious reasons (the get up early part mainly–but leftovers? cleaning up after the mess in order to LEAVE, indigestion in the car for 6 hours..)
  • Get up early and drive to In-Laws for Turkey dinner there, bringing only the rolls? No. Similar reasons (the get up early part, the convince them to eat earlier part, the part where it’s 2 hours the other direction from where we were headed??)
  • Get up kinda early and eat early lunch/dinner at local restaurant? No. First of all SERIOUSLY expensive unless you want Turkey ala Dennys, second…you need reservations 3 weeks in advance? IN ADVANCE? Who are all these people eating Turkey dinner OUT?? Good grief.
  • Cook Turkey dinner at the condo in warmer clime only do it a day or so AFTER Turkey day? Now that was sounding good.

And it worked pretty well too. The um.. kitchen utensils and supplies were quite lacking…hard to mash potatoes without a masher ya know?

This is us at the Condo, last year. With swim hair. And a little boy who fell asleep and missed the dinner altogether.

The funniest part, was on Thanksgiving day while driving through Las Vegas (stayed in a hotel overnight…)we needed to eat dinner after being on the road a long time. Just ANY dinner would do, right?

Um? McDonald’s? Closed. IHOP? Closed. In-N-Out? Olive Garden? Burger King? Closed, Closed and Closed. 7-eleven was open and we were considering our options there. For our real/fake Thanksgiving dinner! Hot dogs and Big Gulps!? And then…we saw it. A parking lot full of cars…surrounding…

a Black Angus restaurant! WhoHoo!
Never been to one before, but who cares…at least it wasn’t a hot dog eh? (They barely squeezed us in– a late cancellation, whew!) They were so confused when we opted to order off the menu and not eat their Turkey meal! Oh well.

Now this next picture is more like it. Turkey Day 2006. Always pull out my fancy Williams Sonoma tablecloth. First year I got to use my mother’s china. And the first course.

Roasted Corn and Red Pepper Soup.

My absolute mostest favoritest. It’s what I can’t live without on Thanksgiving Day. Well that.. and my family of coursers!

That soup btw? I first found it in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook….Seriously worth the effort of clicking this recipe and stashing it in your online recipe folder…I know you have one…

I promise…those other recipes are coming. I almost have enough really terrific recipes submitted to even hand out the Hot Chocolate Recipe…I could use a few more though?

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Holiday Food Thoughts…

November 10, 2008

My MIL learned to make hand dipped chocolates the old fashioned way–
from her MIL.

I was always supposed to learn how to make those fancy cherry chocolates, and chocolate covered fondants from her.

It never happened. I lived too far away for too many years.

Instead.

I learned to make Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Rolls, and from scratch Gingerbread Men that create heaven on earth while they bake and taste even better(!) and a family recipe for Danish Pastry (it uses more butter than one cow can make in a month!) and my personal favorite: English Toffee. Yummmm.

Danish pastry 3

What is the food you cannot live without during the holidays? The perfect Turkey? Grandma’s secret recipe for walnut stuffing? How about the desserts? Ooooh…pumpkin pie of course! But what about the weird things, the experiments gone awry, the goodies only your family loves?

I’d love to share my recipes with you. Will you share yours with me?
I have an over the top Hot Chocolate recipe, one your kids WILL NOT like, it’s that good.
It will be your reward for sharing with me.

Join us for GNO Tuesday night over at Twitter.com. Our Guest Tweet is Nicole from PinchMySalt.com. Bring all your foodiest thoughts and questions, I can’t wait to ask her about those dipped cherry chocolates!

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