Tuesday, November 27, 2007


All kids know that fast food tastes better than Mom's cooking. I was no exception to that rule. I hated home-cooked hamburgers (still do) but yet I would gladly forgo eating at home and "suffer" with a burger from one of the fast food joints. My brother and I would irritate my parents to go to McDonald's until we were old enough to realize that there was better food out there. At that time, we didn't have a Burger King, Dairy Queen burned their food, and we weren't big fans of Hardees so McD's it was. We were also the ones who rarely got to go out to devour fast food, some months we might have gotten to go one time. I now realize that I can pay $25 to feed my family of five one meal from BK or I can go to the grocery and buy a minimum of three days worth of food.

Now that I am a parent, my kids have been deprived of certain joys. Not of fast food, we eat more than our fair share, but of being able to go to McD's. They are growing up on Wendy's and Burger King, partly because DH worked for the local McD's and he knows the stories. Knows them and saw them first hand. It's enough to make you not want to eat at any restaurant but that's a topic for another day. The kiddos have not been completely cut off of McD's, I do take them occasionally and of course they go some for field trips. But today brought a whole new low.

I had spoken to Mom earlier today, who said she was headed for Wal-Mart for a few things. That reminded me that I really needed a few things myself and a friend had alerted me that she saw Older Son's picture in the paper for something school related. So I picked up yesterday's paper before they were restocked with today's and went to Wal-Mart. When I was leaving I called Mom and she informed me she was meeting Daddy for lunch. At McD's. And that I was welcome to join them. I declined. I turned down free fast food to come home and eat leftover Thanksgiving dressing!! Now there are a lot of restaurants that are starting to use trans-fat free oils. McD's and KFC are just a couple of those restaurants. I understand the reasons they are making these changes and I know that the food still tastes like the same greasy food cooked with the fattening oil. The problem? The new trans-free oil and I don't like each other. I suffer physically, with pain worse than I ever had when I was in labor with all three kids, whenever I eat from these restaurants that use this type of oil. So I turned down free, greasy, fattening food in order to not suffer all afternoon. So this evening, instead of enjoying my suffer-free evening from not partaking of that wonderfully greasy food, I will be listening to three kids moan that they want to have Captain D's or Pizza Hut for supper while they eat their veggies. Isn't that cool or what?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Santa's Last Christmas?

They were all too shy or frightened to sit on Santa's lap. Will this be the last year we believe in Santa?

Baby's First Christmas

He's not quite sure what to think about the big new toy in the living room.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Living in this part of Kentucky has it's advantages. We don't have a lot of snow during the winter months and here the last couple of years all we've had is light snow. It will snow overnight and will be melted by that afternoon. To top it all off, the kids didn't miss school because of it. It always fell on a weekend or holiday break. Summer months leave us with heat but usually not the unbearable humidity that the southern states have. This summer was not a good one. We had a horrible heat streak through the end of July and first of August that had us in 100+ weather. Air conditioning units seemed to never stop running and people were covering windows to keep the heat out. Halloween was mild. The kids didn't have to worry about getting cold while trick or treating. Now Thanksgiving is two days away and today's highs were in the low 70's. Perfect for a certain daughter who had lunch and play time at the park today on a field trip. Tomorrow a cold front approaches, bringing rain and a chance of storms, leaving Thanksgiving will be truly Thanksgiving with highes only in the 40's. So knowing that tidbit they call a weather forecast, I did the only thing logical.

I washed my van.

I've been telling DH that the van needed a good washing before winter set in. Unfortunately when he's home, he doesn't have time to mess with it and I haven't had the energy. Today I had the drive to get it done. But I didn't just wash the outside of the van. I did windows. I wiped down the dash, doors, and cupholders. (Children do not need their own cup holders but that's a subject for another day). I even took carpet cleaner to a few of the spots that have been there since we bought it (and a few that have been acquired over the last few months). One can only imagine what the neighbors thought as I started vacuuming at 7:30 am. About how it was washed by 9:30 am with me in my jeans, flannel shirt and crocs. I can now say that my van is almost ready for winter.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Do I or Don't I?

Every week, "T" is responsible for a "spelling brochure." Basically, it is something his teacher made up with four or five different tasks he is supposed to work on throughout the week and return on Friday. Last night "S" and "K" both had basketball practice and I forgot to tell "T" to finish his brochure. I found it this morning after he had left for school with all sections finished except one. This brought me a dilemma. Do I take the unfinished homework to school and let him turn it in with 20 points off for not being finished or do I stay home with the homework and let him take it back on Monday? I have never taken unfinished homework to school before because I usually don't find it until AFTER they come home from school. If they forget something like a lunch box and I find it, I'll drive it over there and leave it at the office so that they'll have lunch. But this was something totally different than lunch. Lunch is a mad dash to get it thrown together before the bus runs. This was homework that he's had all week long to complete and place back in his folder and didn't. Is it really fair to the other kids if I drive his homework to him because he forgot it? Should I have sucked it up and taken it to him? I chose to not take it to him, because he's had all week long to work on it. Most days he chose to do one section at a time so that he could hurry up and be done with homework to do something else. Now this isn't like a horribly hard thing to do. On one section, he writes each word twice. Another section he has to write the words in alphabetical order. Yet another section has him copying two short sentences that will be on his test on Friday and the last section is usually about writing capitalizations and abbreviations correctly. He is given a basic form of a work and he is to write it correctly, such as mon is actually supposed to be Mon. I feel like if he wants to drag this out, he could do the two longer things, abc order and write each word twice on separate days and then finish out the rest on the same day since it is short. What do you think? Did I do the right thing?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Chicken Nugget Day

Anyone from my high school will tell you the best day to eat was on Wednesdays. That was chicken nugget day. Because the school had so many students we had three lunch periods. You never wanted to be on the third period because occasionally they would run out of nuggets. If you didn't have the split lunch (interrupted classes halfway through for lunch and return to your class after lunch) then you didn't bother stopping by a locker on your way to lunch. You hightailed it, books and all, to the lunch line to get a good spot, or you would probably end up searching for a place to sit. Nugget day was that monumental. All of these memories came flooding back to me today, as I got to participate at chicken nugget day at the elementary school level.

In elementary school, we didn't have a set day for nuggets. If it showed up on the menu, then you knew they were having them. The kids are attending a different elementary school than I attended, but still in the same county. This school has a set chicken nugget day. They also have a day, starting just after the beginning of the year, that each class gets to invite someone (parent, grandparent, etc) to eat with them. It is always on nugget day, unless closer to Thanksgiving or Christmas where you get turkey. Today was my day to eat with Younger Son. Maybe it was better when I was in high school, they have changed the type of nuggets, or it was never really that good in high school, but it was definitely not as I remembered them being. But Younger Son was beside himself. Mom got to come eat with him. I can't tell you the number of hugs I got, or back pats I received from him, all because I joined him for lunch. He talked almost nonstop, so much so that I thought he wasn't going to have time to finish his lunch before his teacher showed up to get them. He did finish his lunch and offer plenty more hugs before she got there. All in all it was a good day and I have become Mom of the Day because I ate with my son.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Different Cultures

By all means, I'm not the shortest mom, but at 5'1", I'm certainly not the tallest. DH is 6'1" and had family that was over 6'6". Imagine how much I worry when I look at my Older Son who, at 10 years old, is only 4 inches shorter than I am. The boy can almost look me eye to eye. I take pride in the fact that I wear Sketchers shoes, one because they are comfortable and stylish, and two because the ones I choose add an inch to my height. That bit of information brings me to my current topic.

Sports (yeah I know, confusing but I needed a topic change). DH hails from southern Mississippi and if you know anything about the south you know they are DIE HARD football. They live and breathe football. I am from Kentucky, so everything here is basketball. People here live for basketball season which is quickly approaching. My family was not one of those families who sat around the tv because there was a game on. I just happen to be lucky enough to know that emphasis is put on basketball (which I did play some), and that round orange ball here is almost godly.

Now Older Son has made the decision he does not want to play football, because he doesn't want to get hit (logically). So he played little league basketball last year and has signed up for it this year along with Daughter. Practices started about a week ago, and coaches are starting to set up their teams by teaching them skills and setting players to positions. Now these two children, born by their 5'1" mother, are both playing the position of CENTER on their teams. Both of them. How does this logically happen?? Yes, they have a tall dad but both of them?

Now I'm not completely naive. I am smart enough to realize that all of my children are going to be taller than I am. I think at age 7, Daughter was 10 pounds heavier and 2 1/2 inches taller than I was at her age. But how did I luck out to have two centers?

On a different note, all of you should have noticed that I have elected to not mention names of my family in my blog. I did this for safety reasons of course, but I am not sure how to refer to each of them. Most of my current readers already know my kids names, or have access to something that tells you who they are. I have requested that my husband give me a good nickname to refer to him by, but unfortunately he is still sickly, and is unable to come up with a good one for me. I'm looking for ideas as to what to call the kids other than Older Son, Younger Son and Daughter, because that just gets old. I have considered making a cheat sheet off to the side that says S is Older Son, K is Daughter and T is Younger Son but I don't know. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Holiday Cooking

Almost everyone knows that the holidays brings the joys of food. Not just any kind of food. The fattening kind. I made chicken and dressing last weekend just because I was craving dressing. I finally got the birthday cake out of my refrigerator and thought it was the perfect time to make cookies. The cookies that I have been putting off because I had two birthday cakes in my fridge and there was three bowls of halloween candy in my room. Cookies that I bought the ingredients for at the beginning of last month and have been itching to bake. Those cookies. Also known as peanut blossoms.

Now I had never had peanut blossoms until I had some Hershey Kisses one year and found the recipe on the back. I decided they sounded good and had to try them. I've been hooked ever since. They are best when eaten about five minutes after they come out of the oven. That gives the cookie time to cool off but the chocolate is soft and gooey. But the recipe amuses me. The first thing it tells you to do is unwrap 48 kisses. First of all, every person is going to make the cookies at a different size, simply because there is room for error there. No one is going to see 1" balls the same way I do. And because of that I only had 41 cookies. So what would I have done with the other 7 kisses? Eat them because they were open? Feed them to the kids? I mean all of us would be eating the cookies so we really didn't need to add to the junk by downing extra kisses. Throw them away? That would be a waste of perfectly good chocolate, a huge no-no in this household.

Second, why unwrap the kisses before you do anything else? You have 8-10 minutes of wait time before you need the kisses while the cookies bake in the oven. Do they expect you to stand there and watch the cookies swell up through the door of the oven while they bake? Well I hate to break it to the recipe department at Hershey's, but my oven doesn't have a viewing window so I have other things to do. That's when I open the first round of kisses. Sixteen of them to be exact, the same amount of cookies that are baking in the oven. By the time the last of my cookies came out of the oven, I had most of the cookie dishes washed, the last of the kisses unwrapped, and the supper dishes washed that I had yet to work on. Guess I didn't have to unwrap those kisses first after all. But they were still good.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Feeling Better

I must be feeling better today. I've actually accomplished things today and yesterday. Since yesterday afternoon, I've washed over 5 loads of clothes. Washed, folded, and most of them are put away. And I've cleaned bathrooms. Only someone who is feeling better would be brave enough to clean two bathrooms after two growing boys and one grown man right? I thought so.

That being said, right now I'm running on fumes. I made the mistake of drinking caffeine at supper last night and didn't sleep a wink. So I've been up since about 10:30am yesterday. My ramblings may be a little bit unclear and choppy for that reason.

I can breathe freely today. And even though I can still feel a little bit of sinus pressure, most of my voice is back (but I won't be singing any concert's anytime soon), and forgetting about the chest rattling cough, I feel better over all. Is that possible?

Unfortunately DH called me yesterday for one of our evening conversations and told me he had it. I told him I didn't want to give it to him! (He should've listened when I told him I didn't want to kiss him because my throat hurt!) And I know he knew I felt bad, when he got up Monday morning and got the kids ready for school and put them on the bus. And when he came to the car after talking to his former professor and I was asleep. In the car. And again when we came home and I took another hour and a half nap before the kids got off the bus. Now he's driving a truck with a nasty bug and I really don't envy him. I just hope he's sleeping soundly when he can. But I warned him I didn't want to give it to him...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I have no qualms about helping deplete the kids hard earned halloween candy. After all, it was ME who had to single-handedly keep them together, keep them from running out in front of cars, and get them into their costumes correctly. And I'm not one of these moms who hide the fact they raid the kids candy and do it while they're at school. I eat it with them. So imagine my surprise when Daughter came out from the bedroom with a Jolly Rancher for my approval (making sure it's actually candy, yeah uh huh, not at all trying to limit the actual intake of candy here). I don't mean one of the small, fat rectangle pieces. I mean one of the long, flat pieces. It was half the size of the jolly ranchers that we used to buy as kids. I did what any normal parent would do. I pouted. I haven't even gotten into the bowls far enough to notice this candy. So she tells me there's another one. I perk up some while she brings me one. Sour apple. I could feel the smoothness of the candy on my tongue and I hadn't even opened it yet. It's the type of candy I gave up when I had my braces so that I didn't have to explain to my parents and orthodontist that I had a piece get stuck to a bracket and broke it trying to get it off. The kind of candy that I never really picked up again after I did get them off. So I kept it. It's two days later and I'm still working on this beautiful thing from my childhood. This is the type of candy I will now have to keep my eye out for, so that I can enjoy the memories again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Effects of Daylight Savings

Today has been one of those odd days all the way around. The kids were out of school because of election day. Technically they called it a mandatory teacher's day but it's always held on election day. It is also the day that the weather decided to turn off cold. Winter cold. So the kids have watched movies, played nintendo, and played outside for a short time. Granted I hated the fact that electronics dominated the most of their time today, but the way my head feels, they'll get over it. It's not like the whole day was shot. Daughter has worked on her cartwheel today and Younger Son mastered climbing a tree without a boost from his sister. About 5:45, Daughter decided she was going outside.

"I'm going outside to work on my cartwheels."

My response was, "No you're not."

"No, I 'm going outside to work on them."

"No, you're not."


"Because it's dark outside."

"No it's not."

So she opens the door and looks out. "Told ya so."

"The sky is still blue."

"Yeah. Dark blue." That's my child.

You Know...

You know you're sick when you step out the front door into glaring sunlight and your head screams for you to run for cover in the comfortable darkness of the house.

You know you're sick when each step you take with your socked feet down the driveway is like hammers pounding your head.

You know you're sick when you can hear Dayquil crying out to you. Or Robitussin. Or Sudafed.

You know you're sick when you look at the clock and cringe because the kids will be home soon and the only thing you've accomplished is a nice nap on the couch.

I can't wait to feel better.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Reverse Psychology

Years ago I was a psych major. No really. I was. Unfortunately, I was also just out of high school with a run of the mill restaurant job, and though I was in management, it still wasn't enough to pay car insurance, two car notes, tuition and books. So I dropped out after completing 18 hours. I decided this week to put my lessons to use.

Younger Son loves spaghetti. I can cook spaghetti for supper and he will clean his plate in ten minutes. Unfortunately, Older Son and Daughter have reached a point they don't like spaghetti. So they whine. And they want the sauce separate from the noodles, or not at all if they can get away with it. So when it came time to plan my meals for the week, I figured I would try shaped noodles instead of using plain vermicelli like I usually do. This time I bought rainbow rotini. It worked! Older Son declared his love for this type of spaghetti and had four noodles left. Daughter declared her love as well and cleaned her plate. Younger Son was skeptical at first, having had the same type of noodles at Memaw's house in a pasta salad. It took a lot of convincing that they were just plain noodles with food coloring. But after trying it, he also had four noodles left and I believe he started out with more than Older Son and Daughter.

Wish I had thought of it sooner...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Holiday Spirit?

It's with sadness that I announce that Wal-Mart has outdone themselves. Again. A couple of years ago I used to work for them, in the garden center. That year, Halloween took over the aisles of that area of the store, unlike this year where it just took over a couple of aisles by the bike rack, and a group of people who were recruited for Halloween's night shift came in. They then pull down whatever is left from Halloween or summer, whatever is left out there, and Christmas is placed on the shelves as quickly as possible. All of it may not be put up, but the majority of the Christmas merchandise they have received to that point is put on display. This year was no different in that aspect. As I walked by the garden center this morning, you couldn't help but notice all of the greens, reds and golds scattered throughout. But what was different was the huge Christmas tree they put up next to the entrance. I don't recall, in previous years, seeing the blowup displays being put up until closer to Thanksgiving.

This whole thing irritates me.

I love this time of year, as far as the holidays, but I hate the hectic lives that goes with it. I hate the fact that all I have as of yet for the kids are a couple of stocking stuffers. I hate the fact that tonight is their fall festival and basketball practices start full force next week, adding to the busy activities of the season. I can't bring myself to break out my Christmas clothing or even listen to a Christmas cd because I feel like I'm taking away from the effect of being focused on what I should be thankful for Thanksgiving (even though I should be focused on that every day). But not only did I see a Christmas tree at Wal-mart today, I saw an elderly lady with a Christmas sweater on, as well as heard them playing Christmas songs.

On November 2.

It's so not right on so many levels. How are we supposed to celebrate the birth of Christ if we are fueling the commercialism of the holiday? I'm not saying it shouldn't be celebrated with Santa the way we did when we were kids, but to see Christmas decorations up in stores before Halloween even ends kind of takes away from the Christmas magic.

And to hear that Santa will be arriving to the mall, November 17th, an ad we heard on Halloween, on the way tricking or treating. Daughter was excited, as any child would be. But then I have to wonder if this is my kids last year to believe in Santa, or has it already happened but they're afraid to ask. Are they naive enough to think that just because we say Santa is real, then it's true? Or are they smart enough to hide the fact they don't believe, because they're afraid they won't get Christmas gifts as in previous years?

On a marketing level, I understand why Christmas ads and decorations are set out earlier and earlier each year. Christmas is the biggest money maker that a retail store has each year. So sure, they're going to take advantage of that fact and make us feel guilty that we only have "x" days until Christmas.

On a personal level, no amount of marketing understanding can change the fact that I feel this is just so not right. That stores are manipulating a celebration used to honor Christ, and leaving out anything that remotely resembles a religious belief because they don't want to offend those who don't celebrate Christ but celebrate Christmas. Get over it. Christians have rights as well and that includes us being able receive a Merry Christmas instead of a Happy Holiday.


My mom and dad have been steady doing updates on their house since they bought it a few years ago. Because the house is located in the middle of a bad S-curve, they decided to take their driveway out of the curve and move directly in front of their garage instead the angle it had. They also decided it needed to be done in concrete. Lots and lots of concrete. Thirty-eight yards of concrete. And they needed help raking the last twenty-six yards that was delivered yesterday because they couldn't do it by themselves. So me, being the unemployed person that I am, was a prime choice, along with an uncle of mine. So I went over yesterday morning to help.

The first batch was delivered at around 9:30. The second at 11 and the last at noon. Unfortunately, the chute on the truck was not long enough to reach one of the areas to be poured, so we had to rake the concrete from the next area that the truck could not reach. Around one, we finally had all of this mess leveled out, and smooth. By two, it had been "brushed" and edged and was ready for drying. I came home to have 5 minutes of quiet before the kids got off the bus.

Eventually, I finally looked in a mirror to find I have a sunburn! In November! Now I burn all summer long if I don't pay attention to what I'm doing, that's nothing new to me, but I don't think I've ever had a burn this late in the year. Then I get up this morning, my freckles are considerable darker than they were yesterday, thank you very much, and I have muscles that ache in areas that I didn't know I had used muscles. My side, back and arms ache. And people say Stay-At-Home-Moms don't work.