Sunday, December 30, 2007
Christmas Eve was spent with some very special old friends that live here in MO. We enjoyed a live Nativity put on by the children. Very spiritual. It was especially touching during Mary's serenade to the baby Jesus when the sheep (age 2) climbed on back of the stuffed pony and wanted to go for a ride. I'm sure that totally happened at the real thing, too.
Here are some highlights (feel free to skip it if you're not a grandparent...or even if you are):
After Christmas, we were looking for someplace to get away for a few days. We had been asked to speak in church and just weren't quite ready for that kind of commitment (don't worry - they got us re-scheduled for mid-January) so we packed up the car and headed south to Branson.
Have you ever been to Branson? We hadn't either. It was a strange combination of worlds. Picture a bizarre mix of the Osmonds and Las Vegas. That's Branson. Only without the gambling. But with extra helpings of old ladies and a disturbingly large number of wacky theme-restaurants.
It was about what you'd expect it to be.
We spent most of the time at our hotel on the lake (never did find out the name of this lake -- everyone just called it The Lake! The Lake! We're going up to The Lake!) but the weather was glorious and we spent hours outside exploring, hiking, and throwing rocks into The Lake! We only ventured indoors briefly, and that was for some swimming when we tired of all that fresh air.
Here are some highlights:
Yeah, I'd totally do it again. Might have to. Say, maybe Sunday, January 13th.
Anyone care to join me?
[Well, not so much as a spontaneous little holiday as a desperate need to have a legitimate excuse for not speaking in church today. I'll be honest.]
Details coming. Excited? Me, too.
Friday, December 21, 2007
While I am sure there are many people out searching for their sanity, none of them have been looking through me. Probably because I don't have any and the internet knows that.
There was a lot of strangeness - nothing beat camel toe sneakers, that is for sure. I had me some good laughs on a daily basis at the expense of these searches.
And speaking of contests, the recipe challenge is going extremely well. My family has been devouring the delicious recipes sent by all of you kind people. So far, some favorites have been from Lisa-Marie, Jessica R., Tiffany W., Holly, and many, many others. I am still working my way through the recipes and will probably have to extend declaring a winner until January 15th so I have enough time to try all of them. You all were just way, way too good to me. You've given me some fantastic help. Who knew that there was so much variety out there?
Well, you did.
And now I do.
My husband thanks you from the very bottom of his heart. Stay tuned for a winner January 15th.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Your son will fill out the enclosed card requesting the live tadpole that comes with the gift.
He will mail off the card in September.
Then one cold day in December, you will open your mailbox and see this:
Chase named him Sir-Croaks-A-Lot. [I'm hoping he's more like a Sir-Croaks-Not.]
Sir-Croaks-A-Lot comes with his own food, which will only serve him for the next four weeks when he is in his tadpole state. Once he becomes a grown-up frog, he will require live crickets. Yes, that's right. I said live.
Sir-Croaks-A-Lot only enjoyed his post on my kitchen counter for about ten whole seconds. Then he was banished to the black hole that is Chase's bedroom.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
- Annoying cough in kids.
- What does my baby look like right now?
- Pouting chauffeur recipes.
- Birdlike arms.
- Teepee p0rn.
- Things to say to your son.
- Finding my sanity.
- The best thing about my brother.
- How my hair look like.
- Strep throat infection on face.
- I need to quit or I will lose my mind.
- Camel Toe sneakers.
- Things men hide.
- Why does my infant look at my hair?
- Bad belly aches.
- Hot sneakers in November 2007.
- Trying to forget my past.
- I need your help.
- Pictures for a web site download.
- Birthday massages for best friends.
- Favorite things to give husband.
- Martha Stewart n*ked.
- What are your guilty pleasures clothes?
- My luck my life.
- Hannah sandwich.
The answer will be posted on Friday. Give it your best shot.
Monday, December 17, 2007
It was then time to turn my attentions to the Princess and take her breakfast syrup-soaked tangles and turn them into something lovely. I called and called, but she didn't come. Not even when I used my loud yelling voice or my angry impatient voice.
Assuming she was paralyzed by the hypnotic powers of Noggin (because it's like preschool on TV!), I took a trip downstairs to retrieve her. It was not until I had my hand on the basement door that I heard her screams.
Rushing down, I find her head pinned awkwardly between a collapsed metal folding chair -- her body twisted and tangled -- and unable to get out. She was hysterical and sobbing (understandably). I pulled her free and felt pangs of guilt as I saw the large bruise on the left side of her face. I have no idea how long she had been like this, but I suspect quite a while.
What added salt to this already painful wound (for me, not her) was when she said, "I thought you were in the other room and just wouldn't come get me."
Yes. My child was painfully pinned between two pieces of metal and she thought I would not help her.
I must be the best mother. Ev-er.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
What do we think?
I have to say that as of right now, I'm not feeling it. I have no doubt that a good make-up artist, several thousand hours in the gym, and a brow wax would help, but I did picture Edward a bit more dashing than this Mr. Patterson. I will reserve the final judgement to when I see him in the movie, but I am cautiously disappointed myself.
For Bella, they have cast Kristen Stewart (who is the Meg Ryan lookalike in In the Land of Women). Here's hoping she's less annoying onscreen than Bella was in the book. I so wanted to drop-kick that girl until she got some sense knocked into her stupid head.
And no, I don't care.
I liked 'em.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Here is a picture of the cupboard full of the kids' craft supplies. Yes, even when it's for them, it must be neat and labeled in tidy, plastic bins. I really ought to have at least 50 percent ownership in the Container Store by now. It's quite sad, really, that they all know me by name at that place.
- I can only do laundry on Tuesdays and Fridays. If I miss a day for some reason, it throws everything off in my mind. It won't get done and I feel like I'm doing laundry every day (something I try to avoid), so I stick religiously to my schedule.
- When I load silverware into the dishwasher, there has to be an equal amount of silverware in each little spot. I will pull a clean fork or spoon out of the drawer and re-wash it just to keep the numbers even.
- I like things in groups of three. I don't know why. I just do.
- I have to make my bed everyday. Even if I don't get to it until right before I climb in at night, I will still make it. Most days, it is made first thing.
- I also have a very specific number of pillows that I need under my head and in between my knees in order to sleep well. Hotels never meet the quota, no matter how many pillows the nice ladies in housekeeping bring you.
- It literally hurts my head if there is a crooked picture on the wall. It's all I can do to NOT fix it when I am in someone else's home.
- I like to set my bedroom clock five minutes fast knowing that I will sleep five minutes longer as a result. The Husband can't stand it because he forgets and always thinks he's late. I look at it as a little present I give him every day - that extra five minutes that he doesn't know about. He doesn't see it that way though. It annoys him (strange, normal man).
- I. HATE. TO. BE. LATE. To anything. I loathe going places with people oblivious to time. It stresses me out.
- I clean and re-organize every closet in our house at least monthly.
- I cannot go to sleep if there is anything that shouldn't be on my kitchen counters.
- If I am more than four or five months behind in my scrapbooking, I will lose sleep at night worrying about it. I will then clear my schedule for the next several days and get caught up.
I'm afraid to give you anymore. I worry that you will have me sent to a nice padded room with lots of people in white jackets. Just take solace in the fact that most of my crazy is locked up inside for the most part. The crazy need not come out, right?
And I do realize that I'm not normal.
Now tell me what you are OCD about. Is it possible there is anyone crazier than me?
Didn't think so.
Monday, December 10, 2007
I then imagine the house burning down in my absence - a freakishly bizarre electrical problem that only happens one in a gazillion times. He and his little coughing self are asleep in the basement and don't get out in time. I am heartbroken at the thought, and figure that I'll have to go to jail for my horrendous parenting. I picture saying tearful goodbyes to the other two at the jailhouse door, me in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs. I also imagine that the Husband will wait faithfully for about two weeks.
By the time we reach the doctor's office, I am in tears over my lost child, my now motherless and abandoned children, and my burned-down house. I am also angry with The Husband for having an affair while I was in prison.
It only takes two minutes to get to the doctor's office.
It may take me all day to stop being mad at The Husband for having that affair in my imagination.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
First, she had chores that needed to be done. Which, for someone with a mild case of OCD like our Cinderella, means floor scrubbing, bathroom sanitizing, baseboard dusting, and closet organizing. Let's just say that it takes more than a few hours:
And like the storybook Cinderella, this Cinderella has her own arsenal of rodent-like workers who help:
Unlike the perfectly skinny, annoyingly cute Cinderella we all know, this Cinderella likes to eat. Bad things like cookie dough and ice cream. And since she forgot to drop eight pounds while she slept last night, she has to run hard in order to squeeze into that dress she bought two weeks ago:
Fortunately, this Cinderella is a realistic sort. She abandons all hope of dropping eight pounds before the party and decides instead to use this:
Our real-life Cinderella does have a fairy godmother, of sorts. Hers looks like this:
(And no, her fairy godmother's name is not Michael Berger. This is not an actual card, in case you couldn't tell. I've sent all my actual real cards to Mr. Liu Yan so he can process my nineteen millions united state dollars.)
(She promises it is much more flattering on her than it is on the hanger, especially with the help of some super-suctioning panty hose.)
And finally, Cinderella's glass slippers:
The modern-day Cinderella has a blog. She spent way too much time today doing important things like staging pictures for her blog, looking in the mirror, and taking a nap. However, this left no time for a professional manicure. She didn't plan that one well. She's not very good at painting her own nails and usually pays good money to have other people do it for her. She's slightly out of practice.
Her little rodent-like minion offered to do it for her, but she declined, not wanting to go to the party with half a bottle of nail polish on her hands. She did, however, let the rodent-like minion do her own nails, which made her very happy:
One thing Cinderella didn't leave to chance was the makeup. She marched her little self right over to MAC and had a spiky-haired punk girl give her the smoky-eyed look:
All in all, it was a very fun night. Cinderella didn't lose her slipper, she didn't have to be home at midnight, and she got to go home with the Prince.
And they all lived happily ever after.
[Until the next morning when Cinderella woke up, had to make breakfast, do the dishes, pick up the laundry, and get everyone ready for church.]
Fairy tales are so overrated.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
In the car ride on the way home, I asked the kids, "Doesn't it feel good to give to others? Don't you feel so good right now?"
The Princess, in her ever-so-subtle way, said, "No. I don't feel berry good at all. Because I didn't get anything FOR ME."
When we got home, I immediately sent the Princess up to her room to think about the real reason we have Christmas. She made several trips downstairs with her answers, each time getting sent back up.
She claimed we have Christmas:
- So Santa can bring her presents.
- So Santa can drive the sleigh and bring her presents.
- So Santa can bring ALL the children presents.
- So everyone can buy presents.
- So Santa and parents can buy presents for all the kids, not just her. (She was clearly trying to think unselfishly).
When I told her that Christmas had NOTHING to do with Santa and sent her back up for some more thinking, she came down a little sheepishly and said, "Is it because of Jesus?"
Clearly, I'm doing a bang-up job as a parent.
It only took her six tries.
Monday, December 3, 2007
What was it about this man that made my heart quiver every time I saw him? He leaned casually against the railing, waiting for me. He was so dashing in a suit. He was tall and slim, and his toned muscles were ever-so-visible through his shirt. I wondered for the hundredth time what it was he saw in me.
He held my hand as we walked out to his car. He seemed distant tonight, distracted. He must have sensed my unease, and squeezed my hand in reassurance.
In the car, we talked quietly about our day. Simple, easy conversation. That's how it always was with him. No awkwardness, no pretense - it was effortless and comfortable. It felt like nothing I'd ever known. It felt like home.
We got to the restaurant and he held the door for me. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed his hands were shaking. Insecurities clouded my mind. Had he brought me here to end it? Was this daydream romance going to be over so soon? I marveled at how attached I had grown to this man in such a short time. He was a piece my heart had been missing. His sudden arrival in my life had made me feel whole for the first time. I doubted my heart could take it if he walked away now. I took a deep breath and followed him to our table.
The waitress came and took our orders. He barely glanced at the menu and ordered the exact same thing as I did. We continued talking - the familiar ease washing over me. I began to let the doubts slip away. I focused instead on his dimples and slight smile as he talked. I let my eyes wander up to his deep blue eyes, surrounded by long, dark lashes. Lashes so perfect that women everywhere wept with envy.
After we had eaten, the hostess approached our table. In her hand was a small, white box. She smiled as she handed me the gift.
"The boutique next door is having a special, and some of our guests get gifts tonight," she said.
I tugged on the ribbon and began to unwrap the small box. He was silent. Watching me.
Inside the box was a silver bell. It was beautiful. I could hardly believe my luck. Such an unexpected prize. I never won anything.
But then I noticed it. There was writing on the outside of the bell. And inside...there was a ring.
No -- could it be?
I looked at him as tears filled my eyes. He stood up. He swiftly slid out his chair and put his napkin on the table.
He got down on one knee, visibly shaking.
"Will you marry me?" he asked, terrified.
Tears spilled down my cheeks and I ran into his strong arms.
"Yes, yes, I will marry you."
He took me in his arms and kissed me. The restaurant around us erupted in cheers and applause. For a moment, I had forgotten there was anyone but us in the room.
When the tears slowed enough that I finally could see, I looked at my beautiful, silver bell. He'd had it engraved to read, "You are the ring in my bell." He gently took the ring out of the bell and slipped it on my left hand.
It was a perfect fit.
And he has lived every day of his life since then in pursuit of my complete and utter happiness.
I love you, baby.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
FROM: Mr.Liu Yan
Bank of China Ltd.
13/F. Bank of China Tower
1 Garden Road,
To whom it may concern:
I have a transaction of mutual benefits, which I like to share with you. It involves an amount of Nineteen millions Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only,in our Bank, which I like to acquire with your help and you will be compensated adequately as your commission.
If you are interested please reply instantly with your contact information and forward your telephone number so we may discuss and I shall provide you with the details of this transaction.
If interested send your response to my personal email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I cannot wait to get my hands on my nineteen millions United State dollars. This SO has to be real. I mean, he's a bank officer. Look at his email. You can't have those words in your email address unless it's true. People don't lie. Ever. I've already forwarded all my personal information, credit cards, and bank account numbers, plus those of my friends and family. I cannot wait to get my nineteen millions United State dollars.
When I get it, the first thing I'm going to buy is a giant Santa blow up globe to put on my front lawn. You can come visit and see it. I'll use my nineteen millions United States dollars to fly you here.
This is going to be the best Christmas ever.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
So right now I'm heading out to try and find a new dress for The Husband's work party this weekend. I had planned to rake the leaves in our yard today, but decided not to on account of the fact that I'm having a really good hair day. And it's windy outside. And I already got sweaty this morning on the treadmill. So I'll carefully tiptoe through the mall, trying not to muss my once-in-a-lifetime good hair day, and wish you all happy Wednesday. Anyone have a hair net I can borrow?
I told you I was narcissistic.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
So it has come to the point where I put the brakes on the eating and start to back up this buffet train before it crashes into McDonald's and never comes out.
What is a little frightening to me is that I actually do exercise six days a week. I have not missed more than a day or two for probably three years. I run 3-5 miles every morning. I am sure that is the only reason I have not put on 20 pounds this month.
Can you just imagine would I might be looking like today if I WASN'T exercising?
So here's the new plan, for a new me:
- No sweets. (I know, you can hear the Hostess factory screaming, "Noooooooo!!!" all the way from here).
- Chocolate only once a month (and you ladies know when that becomes a necessity).
- Small portions.
- Healthy meals.
- Snacks will consist of a fruit and/or low-fat protein.
- Nothing will cross my lips but water after seven p.m.
And more like this:
Anyone care to join me in this endeavor? It's always so much easier to suffer the misery of dieting with someone else. We could have our own little blogging diet support group.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
This was our front yard:
This was the local version of heavy traffic:
This was our hilarious, late-night game-playing, nut-eating company:
It turned out to be a technology-free weekend. We had no cell phone service, no landline, no internet access. We drove 30 miles to a neighboring town to see a movie (Enchanted - LOVED it!), which oddly enough was a mere two dollars per person (yes, really. I tried to correct the cashier that, no, I wasn't only buying ONE ticket, I needed FIVE. And she said that ten dollars WAS the price for five tickets. I about died).
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
So without further use of the word porn, I present to you: My Thanksgiving teepee cupcakes. I made them for the cub scouts, but they are equally functional as a centerpiece or place card holder for your thanksgiving table.
You will need a package of sugar cones, a cake mix, and an aluminum disposable baking pan.
Mix the cake mix according to package directions. (Or if you're one of those annoying people who only make things from scratch, then mix up your hoity-toity cake batter.)
Take a disposable baking pan, turn it upside down, and cut a few holes in it with scissors. You'll need this to stabilize the cones while they bake. It's funny, but you just can't put the pointy end of a triangle in a pan and expect the triangle to stand up. I don't know why that is, but it just is. So the powers that be require us to find a creative way to bake these little teepees. Stupid laws of physics.
Now pour a few tablespoons of batter in each sugar cone. You don't need very much. You'll want some room at the top for the cake to rise. If you fill it all the way up, it will explode on you and make a big mess on the bottom of your oven that will stink every time you turn on the oven. Not that I'd know anything about that, ahem. So just a little bit, okay?
Then bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes. You'll have to keep an eye on these in the oven. They like to tip over. I reached my hand into the oven a few times to right the ones that toppled over. I have super powers which allow me to do that. You should probably use an oven mitt.
The cones get a little brown around the edges, but they still taste delicious. Eat a few when the kids aren't looking if you don't believe me. Especially while the cake is still warm. Mmmmmmm.
Once the teepees have cooled for a few minutes flip them upside down. Then snip off a little bit of the cone with kitchen shears. I would not advise doing this before baking as all your batter will fall out the bottom. Again, the physics, you know.
Then stick in a few toothpicks (although I actually used BBQ skewers. For some reason, I buy toothpicks and they're never seen again. I blame the children and fully expect to find boxes and boxes of toothpicks someday. But the skewers worked equally well):
Friday, November 16, 2007
And in honor of my awesome self, here are 34 things you may or may not know about me, on this, the eve of the anniversary of my birth:
1. I was born absolutely, solidly perfect.
2. That state lasted a solid two-and-a-half years, then Daniel was born and ruined everything.
3. I was going to be a world-famous ice skater.
4. Until I broke my arm skating, had six surgeries, and realized I had no grace.
5. I was a tomboy and had only one Barbie.
6. Whose head I filled with sand.
7. I have four brothers; one older, three younger.
8. I learned how to fight well at an early age.
9. I had a huge crush on Johnny Depp when I was 13. Still do, in fact. Can't wait to see this.10. I have always been afraid of the dark.
11. I secretly wished I was Jo on the Facts of Life.
12. My first kiss was a short, skinny, blond boy named Rocky.
13. I think we 'broke up' a week later.
14. He was heartbroken and never forgave me.
15. I always wanted to be a Broadway singer.
16. I realized that dream would not come true (seeing as I can't sing at all) and resigned myself to a life in the audience instead.
17. I am, however, a theater snob and will not watch any show from the balcony or in the back.
18. I spent 75 percent of my senior year cutting class. I probably only graduated because I was taking five Home Economics classes.19. I still have nightmares about classes I skipped regularly.
20. I have a secret dream to be a professional photographer.
21. When I met my husband for the first time, I knew we would get married.
22. He knew a short few weeks later.
23. I have lived in six different states.
24. My first job was at Subway sandwiches when I was 16.
25. I had bad eczema on my hands and used to tell people I saved my baby brother from a fire, and that the red marks on my hands were burns.
26. I will probably go to hell for that lie alone.
27. I had my first baby without the blessed miracle of science that is an epidural (not by choice).
28. I gratefully had the other two babies while fully numb from the waist down, as god intended.
29. I am extremely afraid of heights and speed. Which explains why roller coasters and I don't work well together.
30. I love hosting parties.
31. I am neurotic and worry about really dumb things.
32. Like the fact that the Husband still has not registered his car in Missouri and has no problem getting speeding tickets.
33. I could never have imagined how much I would love my life today.
34. I am very happy to be me.
So happy birthday wishes to myself. May the next 34 be just as good as the first have been.
P.S. Feel free to send gifts. I'm not bashful that way at all.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I have caught The Husband watching this show. Oh, yes, indeed.
More than once.
Our friend Jack, and his LOVELY wife, Rexella, claim that all the floods, earthquakes, and catastrophes of the world are caused by a group of aliens, controlled by one evil alien, sent by Satan himself.
I have to say that I don't really get the whole televangelist thing. You see these guys on t.v., preaching hellfire and damnation 'til the sweat runs off their hair plugs and down their face, and it just leads me to wonder -- if I watch them, does that count as church for the week? Can you just pick a religion on t.v. and call it good?
I'll be honest, if I'm going to forsake my Religion and pick something to follow on the television, it's probably going to be something with a little more zing to it.
You want resurrection? Plentiful on Pushing Daisies. How about sin and deception? Nobody knows more about that than the hoochie mamas on Wysteria Lane. The fact that CSI can come up with a new spin-off show every year is nothing short of a miracle. And let us not forget Mr. Hefner and his three granddaughters/girlfriends who remind us weekly of the perils of living in sin. [Although most men would probably classify this as a show in which they learn envy. Stupid men.]
So I guess what it boils down to is this: To each his own, right? I am sure the ladies sending their monthly social security check to Jack Van Impe do it because they believe in him. I spend a [crazy] three hours every week at my church because it's what I believe in. And that's good enough for me.
I only hope that if the evil E.T. returns as Jack has prophesied, he brings us the Reese's Pieces.
I could tolerate hell if I had me some peanut butter candies to munch on.
Monday, November 12, 2007
If you thought the picture of bad dog was scary, you should see what came out of my crockpot yesterday
I know, I know.
So I've decided to stage my own intervention. And every recovery process begins with admitting you have a problem:
Hi. My name is Stie and I cannot cook.
Now those of you who know me in real life, let me clarify that statement by saying that, yes, I can bake like nobody's business. I have never met a baking recipe that I cannot master. But give me a piece of meat? Ten times out of ten I will ruin it.
A large portion of the problem is not really knowing what to make. I tend to recycle the same four recipes each week. My poor, long-suffering husband can take no more. After almost 14 years of marriage, it is time I got some new recipes. He can only smile politely across the table for so long.
What I am proposing is this: I need you to send me your VERY BEST dinner recipes. Send me one; or send me five; but please IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, send me something. Please send me things that you KNOW are good. Your tried-and-trues. Recipes my picky kids will eat, but also recipes decent enough for the husband's slightly more gourmet palate.
[However, I do need to ask that whatever you send me does not include any form of fish. I do not like the fish. I will not eat it in a house. I will not eat it with a mouse. I do not like fish, Sam I am. I do not like fish, that's my stand.]
Here's the kicker, internets. I will try each and every recipe I get. My family will review it, and the overall favorite recipe will receive a $25 giftcard from Amazon for you to spend on yourself (you don't even have to tell your husband you won it, hee hee). It will probably take us a few weeks to get through them all (as I really only tend to cook a few times per week), but before January 1, I promise to have declared a winner.
You can email me the recipes at email@example.com or leave your recipe here in the comments. Enter as often as you like. But please help. You do not want my family to eat that soggy beef stew again.
I leave my fate in your hands.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
(and one I really should have tried, seeing as I had four brothers I could have sold for a handsome profit):
Good boyfriend. Very, very good boyfriend. [not that I'd know anything about that, ahem]:
And according to the P.E. teacher at my daughter's school, good shoes: