Saturday, February 28, 2009

Muffins

I am a sucker for a great muffin. I will take muffins any way I can get them.

When I was younger I used to eat gooey bran muffins for breakfast. i convinced myself that since the muffin was made from bran, in addition to the seven pounds of sugar and molasses, it was healthy.

Bran muffins were healthy like zucchini bread and carrot cake.

Today it's official, I am deeming that anything made from vegetables is automatically deemed healthy, especially if it is in the form of a muffin.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Overusing Exclamations

I think that I have fallen into the trap of overusing exclamation points. I confess that I am trying to overcome my temptation to add three or more exclamation points to the end of a sentence.

Facebook users are notorious for exclamation over indulgence and I add myself to that list.

"Hi [so and such] you look great!!!!!"
"Good Morning!"
"Falling asleep as I sit at my computer!!!!!!!!"

Even in emails, the exclamation point has been given too much credit.

"Let's do lunch!!!!"
"you are so right!!!!!"
"Craving a cheese enchilada!!!!"
"I love Las Vegas!!!!!"

I'm just over the over use of exclamation points. I may stand alone, however, when you read my post, or review my status on Facebook, and note the periods only and missing exclamation points, it doesn't mean that I am boring and not excited about things. I just refraining, from the over usage of, well, shouting.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grandmas Rule

Growing up I had no grandmas. My mom's mom died when I was 5 and my dad's mom lived in Missouri. I never met her in person. I had no grandpas either, and no aunts, uncles, or cousins. My parents are both only children. Poor me, I know.

My children have the great blessing of having two wonderful grandmas that not only live close by, but are very involved in their lives. They love their Grandma and Nana.

My youngest gets the most time with my mother since she watches him for me when I am at work. He adores her. She spoils him beyond comprehension and he knows exactly which buttons to push in order to get her heart to melt into a heap. He woos her with his wink, shouts "I love you Grandma!" from the other room, and rushes to her side when their eyes meet.

As much as he sees her, I would guess that he would tire of her presence and want to be around me more since we don't see each other as much as we used to, prior to my working full-time. Not so. the minute he wakes up he begs, "Can I go to Grandma's?" and questions, "Is it time for me to go to Grandma's yet?"

What gives? In my house, grandmas rule, and moms, well they are second rate. I guess it could be worse.

I am thrilled that he has such affection for his dear grandma.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stay Dry

This officially marks the most rainy winter that we have had in a long time. We are beginning to get used to it and not so overcome with strife the minute the drops plop on to the ground, and we are in search of the nearest umbrella, or hoodie, or whatever is close by and waterproof.

We woke today to ominous clouds. Their dark and gloom indicated rain, but they were so far off in the distance that it was questionable whether or not they would bring moisture on not.

From our living room we can see people walking their dogs on the sidewalks and jogging. This morning was no different. We ooh and ahh at the cute dogs that stroll by and each of us grumble with dog envy. We have no dog.

As the kids were brushing their teeth, I was sitting on the ottoman starting out the window at the clouds that had now turned to rain, wondering if our oldest had remembered to pack her umbrella in her book bag.

My thought was interrupted by a dog, and then a long leash and then a man. The man was walking his dog in the rain, however, he had no umbrella, no hoodie, and no rain poncho. This man had cleverly figured out a new way to protect his hair from the threatening water dropping from the sky. This man was different from the rest. This man thought quickly.

He reached deep into his pocket, grabbed hold of an extra, blue colored bag, that is typically used to place dog poop inside when walking your dog, blew air into the bag to puff it up, and with a handle in each hand, placed the bag over his head like a giant, blue, top hat with the handles looped around his ears perfectly. Oh my Mr Man.

Fashion forward? No. Clever? Perhaps. Goofy look of the season? Indeed.

Someone needs to tell that man, "Hey, it's only water."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

"The heavenly Father gives abundantly to His children and wants them to enjoy His blessings. However, only when believers walk obediently with Him are His gifts effective - sin can stifle them.

Is there anything getting in the way of your total submission to the Lord?"


In Touch Ministries Magazine-March 2009
Charles Stanley

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Congratulations?

It's always nice to receive a letter in the mail that starts with the words, "congratulations," unless, the next few sentences indicate that I just won a brand new car as long as the six digits on my letter match the number at the dealership located 25 miles from my house. Those letters get discarded immediately.

The congratulations letter I have is from the DMV. Why are they congratulating me? Evidently I am eligible to renew by mail/Internet. Evidently that is exciting, however, I usually renew by mail, so I'm not quite sure about all the fuss.

The sorry part of this and might I add vain part, is the fact that I wholeheartedly dislike my driver's license picture. Who does like their driver's license picture? At least a handful of people if not fewer.

Given this incredible amount of drivers, who loathe the photo that was placed on their license, I think that everyone should be able to submit their own photo, sort of like a blog profile snapshot, or the one one might include as their Facebook photo. A photo that make the holder of the license show it with pride.

Perhaps it really doesn't matter how I appear in my photo since hardly anyone sees my driver's license, and those who do, receive my pre-cursor speech, of, "Please don't judge me by my photo, my hair did look good when I left the house, but when I entered the DMV something happened. It happens to everyone."

I will renew by mail and do my very best to keep from entering a building with the letters, D-M-V plastered across the front glass doors. However, if I ever I do need to subject myself to the stale air, and sound of whining toddlers echoing off the beige tile, I'll insist on their taking a fresh photo of me for my driver's license, and pray that my photo turns out decent, at best.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Video Blunders

Do you not love the pile of laundry in the background, sound of children echoing from the living room and the timer sounding off to alert me that the neighbor boys need to go home?

Ahh, the life of a mother, and I am oblivious to all of them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This Bed was Built for Two not Three

I'm pretty sure that a five year old, who has slept through the night since he was 9 months old - we had issues, should stay in his own bed now.

Lately he has been coming into our room, rousing me, not my husband, from a deep sleep, and crawling into our bed with his blanket, bear, and pillow.

Last night I was rudely awakened at 3:00 a.m. I had to settle on my back with my arms above my head because I was squished between my son and husband with very little wiggle room. I laid there for 30 minutes, until my son was in a deep sleep, then scooped up my boy's limp body and put him back in his own bed.

I didn't move him sooner, because I was too cold to get out of bed and too sleepy to do much more than scoot over to make room for his warm body. After laying awake, uncomfortable and frustrated, I weathered the cool temperature in the house and marched him back to his room.

At 4:00 a.m. my dear young boy returned. He pushed on my shoulder until I awoke, shoved his body back along side of mine, and there I was again, for the second time in one full hour, lying on my back with my arms above my head.

I'm exhausted, and stupid. Tonight I will not move over and allow my son to enter our bed. I will not succumb to the warm bed as opposed to getting to my feet to return a 5 year old to his own bed. I will not roll over onto my back and subject myself to an uncomfortable position to accompany a small child. I will not.

I hope that I made myself clear. I need a lot of convincing at 3:00 a.m. when the brain gears are at a sudden halt and the house tempurate is near 60 degrees.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Gift That Sucks - Really

I received a new Dust Buster for Valentine's Day. I made a concerted effort to tell my three boys that under no circumstances, when they are old enough to give a gift to a special someone, should they ever give an appliance, especially one used for cleaning.

In my husband's defense, I wanted a Dust Buster, however it did feel odd, when he was opening his new clock radio, and watch, I was ooing and ahhing over a hand held vacuum. It was more of a joke. We shopped together at Target and threw random odds and ends into the shopping cart including cleaning supplies and kept saying, "another Valentine's gift for me." It was no secret that I was receiving a Dust Buster in addition to sandwich bags and a box of cereal.

The bag of solid milk chocolate hearts from See's Candy more than made up for the appliance purchase. I'm a sucker for great chocolate, and See's Candy is my absolute favorite. I picked that gift out too.

Valentine's Day has come and gone and my children are already asking about the next holiday that is coming around when they can get more toys, wow, that's frustrating, but expected, from a 5 and 7 year old.

My birthday is just around the corner and down the road a bit-April. I have made it perfectly clear that appliance purchases are unacceptable. I'm thinking more in the line of a jacket that doesn't have a hole in the pocket, or a pair of shoes that are less than two years old. I'll ask for a replacement for my 12 year old car next year. That gives people plenty of time to save their money.

Monday, February 16, 2009

We Here in Southern California

Since anything and everything other that 70 degree temperatures and blue skies constitutes bad weather in Orange County, it is hard to differentiate between what is really bad weather and what is just angry weather, that is just different, but not so bad.

My daughter left the other morning for a trip to the local mountains with 200 high school students from church. We just had a severe, okay it rained a lot, more than normally, rain storm. The mountains are covered in a blanket of white.

The students were very excited to venture up to the mountains to frolic in the snow. We frolic here since we see actual snow so seldom. Also, we don't own snow clothes. We own jackets that are thicker than a wind breakers, but not so thick that we are actually kept warm for any length of time in the low temperatures. Jeans typically suffice, with an under layering of leggings, and if the rain boots get wet, the sneakers will do just fine.

I got a call this afternoon that the buses were leaving a day early to avoid blizzard like conditions. It turns out that if the students and leaders stayed through the night there was a great chance that they would then be stuck in our local mountains for two more days.

Really? I questioned. Is it really going to be that bad or is everyone overreacting? Remember, Southern Californians overreact with weather conditions.

As I listened to my husband and his explanations of inexperienced winter weather bus drivers attempting to scale mountain roads with little visibility, I scummed to the fact that it was a great idea that they came home early to avoid the blizzard- that's what we are calling the angry weather.

And so, tonight the students and leaders have entered our youth center to finish off their weekend with an all-nighter where they will consume cold pizza, observe stupid human tricks, and finish bonding in the midst of loud music and raucous game playing.

I just hope it doesn't rain. What if it is such a severe storm that we cannot drive to the church to pick up our children. What then? We will have to wait until the weather changes and the temperatures reach 70 with a clear blue sky-and that may take longer than expected.

Admittedly, we here in Southern California are a weather cautious, especially with blizzard like conditions.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Think on This

We lose the approval of God when we seek the applause of men.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

Mark 12:30

Friday, February 13, 2009

Knocking Doors Down

We have a door that leads from our garage to the patio in front of our house. To get to our front door, we either have to walk through the side door, or the garage door.

Although we have some things in our garage that we would miss if they went missing, we never lock the side door. Since we do not own a key to this door, it would be impossible to open if it was ever locked.

Last post I mentioned the fact that I often take things that always work correctly for granted. My tail light is out, still, the other day my car didn't start, and I forgot to bring attention to the fact that my electric garage door opener hasn't worked in months. I haven't been too bothered since I am typically taxi-ing a brood of children we can be easily coaxed into jumping out of the car to hit the button which opens the garage.

Today, I really missed being able to properly use my garage door opener. The side door, which is never locked and missing a key, was locked. The time was 3:45. Inside the garage sat two baseball bags with cleats, batting helmets, bats, and gloves.

Baseball practices were being held at 4:00 and 4:30. I needed to get to those bat bags. Also inside was a bike helmet that my neighbor wanted to borrow for a BMX bike party his son was attending. The party was scheduled for 4:30.

It's a great thing that my neighbor is a fire fighter. Although he was missing his handy axe, steel toe boots, and "jaw of life," he did rustle up an good sized wrench to peel off the stubborn doorknob, and with a swift bang of his hip against the door, it opened.

We are now the proud owners of a jacked up doorknob, and door with splintered wood and a broken latch, however, we were only 5 minutes late for baseball and all equipment was in tow.

Everyone should have a neighbor who is a firefighter, or at the very least, an electric garage door opener that actually works.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Granted

It's the little things that I take for granted, like flipping on a switch and the lights going on, filling a glass of water from the sink, and without a thought, having the water pour from the faucet and water emerging.

I take zippers for granted, and shoe laces. I appreciate shutting the door when the rain is pelting the ground outdoors but take the door and the roof over my head for granted.

I take for granted the fact that both of my turn signals on my car work properly and that my car starts when I insert the key into the ignition and turn it clockwise. However, when either of these things malfunction. They are deeply missed, especially the one about the car starting properly.

A week ago my right signal went out I have had two people wave at me to roll my window down to inform me of the lack of light beaming from my right brake light. "Oh thanks!" I bellow even though I have known for over a week that my tail light is way gone. My husband is very handy, however, who wants to bother finding a tail light at the Tail lights R Us store, removing the old tail light, inserting the new tail light, and fixing the problem? Not us, evidently. This is ultimately more that just a quick stop, and off I drive.

The other day my car decided not to start. That's no fun. It appears, after close investigation, that someone under the age of 6 turned on the dome lights to get a better look and something and forgot to turn the lights off. Dome lights on all night=car not starting in the morning.

My car eventually got started, that's good. My tail light is still out. That's not so good. I miss my tail light. I vow never to take him for granted again. I just wish Mr. Tail light read a self help book and could take care of his lack of beam on his own. I don't have time to coddle or tail light shop.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Admit

I got hooked. I got hooked from the get go. There, I admit it.

I got home late last night after Bible study and my husband was deeply engrossed in 24. No, that is not the show that "hooked" me. Although I am sure that Jack Bauer is a great guy, upstanding citizen and all, I just can't get into his life threatening situations like the rest of America. Does the guy ever sleep? Evidently not. He is way too busy to sleep.

the show that "hooked" me was True Beauty. My girlfriend had told me about the premise of the show, and I wasn't intrigued from the description, however, once I watched it, I was smitten. We are dating now.

I was baffled by the conceit of the "beauties" and how highly they thought of themselves, and, when left to their own morals and integrity, many of them failed. Ouch.

I have the series recorded. I wonder who will fail to open the door for someone in need of assistance, dip their shoes in the champagne bucket because chocolate was spilled all over them, or cuss outloud when they are told that their face is not symmetrical and therefore not that pretty. Oooh.

True beauty comes from within, and no one needs a plastic surgeon to tell them that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Some Thoughts for Sunday

O to grace how great a debtor?
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart Lord take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above


"Come thou Fount" lyrics

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Another Super Nanny Blog and Crying

Super Nanny made me cry. Let me clarify. Watching the show Super Nanny made me cry. Jo didn't actually come to my house, insult me, and bring me to tears.

I don't typically cry when I watch Super Nanny. I watch the program because it makes me feel better about my parenting skills, or lack there of. I justify the fact that at least my family isn't on the show Super Nanny, and at least my children don't hit me in the face, and at least my children don't write "I hate you" in crayon on a white piece of paper. Trust me. My children have a whole different set of issues, just not those mentioned.

The show was featuring a couple who had 10 children. The oldest was a 15 year old boy who was forced into a parenting role and the youngest was 6 months old. The mother's dream was to have twelve children. That was it. She just had a dream. From what I could tell, it was more like she needed to feel needed, and was addicted to babies. She admitted that the children filled a void that she had from her own mother not giving her enough attention. Sad. Oh and Dad - he's an alchoholic, but getting the help that he needs.

The bigger children were completely responsible for taking care of the younger children and were worn out psychically and emotionally. Jo, noticing that the parents spent no alone time with the bigger children, had the family come up with a calendar, with days set aside for the mom to spend time with one child only and do something fun, and the dad to do the same.

This is the cry part: The fourteen year old daughter was really excited to get a pedicure and manicure with her mom because, the last time she did something with her mom was a year ago. That is horrible. The girl started crying.

I felt so sorry for the girl, and the other members of the family who do not get to spend time with their parents because there are too many children, and the parents are too overloaded.

I am so grateful for my brood and the time that we spend together. Okay, so admittedly, I complain when I just want to take a trip to Target by myself and I end up taking all of them with me, and it takes twice as long, but, I do appreciate the time that we spend together.

I need to be more aware of spending alone time with each of the kids also, as opposed to all of them at the same time. That's another thing that Super Nanny does for me. It makes me aware of the areas in my parenting that need fixing, and trust me, there are plenty of areas that need help.

Thanks Jo.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ot Oh Man!


We purchased a beautiful, inexpensive ottoman from Living Spaces back in November to accent our much-needed new couch. The ottoman had four sections that made for a nice storage area. The tops flipped over and made for functional trays to eat from or do homework in, or sit in. Nice.

Unfortunately, within the first three weeks the ottoman began to fall apart. The straps on the trays tore off, the seams came undone, and the fake leather material began to pull away from the wood.

Living Spaces pleasantly replaced the ottoman and brought us a new one.

Within one day, the inside dividers had fallen and the nail and staples were exposed. Once again I had to call to have the ottoman replaced. When the delivery personnel came to replace my second ottoman with the third, I suggested we check the furniture prior to their leaving. Good call.

As soon as the delivery guys pulled off the top piece to look inside the storage area, they saw two pieces had again pulled away from the structure and nails and staples were exposed. Wow.

Three ottomans later, We opted out of a fourth. We are settling on a completely different ottoman and will gladly use the $100.00 gift card to Living Spaces that we received for our troubles.

I hope that the new ottoman doesn't fall apart. I'm getting a little tired of arranging my schedule around the return and delivery of faulty furniture.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cash for Gold

When gold jewelry was popular, I had lots. When gold jewelry consisted of chains and bracelets and charms and such and not gold in the sense of wedding rings and beautiful necklaces purchased for you, to mark a special occasion.

I'm talking about cheap gold, the type of chains and anklets that could be found at a swap meet as well as on a giant spool in a store that gets measured and cut and fastened with a clip and purchased for pennies.

I have lots of bad gold that may be 14 karat and may be not.

I cannot help but perk my ears when the annoying Cash for Gold commercial comes on the television. According to the commercial, I put all of my gold jewelry into a bag, send it away to the merry men who love all things gold, and viola!

The next week, a check arrives in the mail written out to me, for large amounts of money. Sounds great, however, I'm sure that I find my gold jewelry to be worth more than the lovers of all things gold who open the bag and see all of my glistening gold jewelry.

I'm never going to wear the braided, thin gold chain I got for 8th grade graduation, or the promise ring I got from my first "real" boyfriend. The gold earrings are pretty, but shout, "I love the nineties!"

My gold sits in a box. I hope one day to sell it and make enough money to buy myself a real piece of jewelry, or a motor scooter, or a new car.

Wishful thinking. Chances are, ten years from now I will still have my box of old gold jewelry, and it will be worth less than it is today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Three Drawers


How many utensil drawers does one family need? I guess that would depend on how many people are in your family. At least that makes sense in my little world. We have six members of our family, and three drawers which hold utensils, two people per drawer, perfect.

One drawer is deep, for large, metal, hamburger flipping spatulas, tongs that are long and metal, and soup ladles. This drawer was often pulled open during the "witching hour" so that young, toddler bodies, could stand at the drawer's edge and spend the next half hour throwing everything from inside the drawer on to the floor. This method of occupying toddlers had incredible success and I would highly recommend to all mothers - of toddlers. Teenagers don't find utensil drawers to be much fun.

Two of the drawers are shallow, for holding items like measuring cups and spoons, orange peelers, and meat thermometers. These drawers are all crowded and messy, however, I know exactly what is inside the drawers, and what utensil belongs to what drawer. I don't think that was proper English, but you get the idea.

I'm considering a reduction - in utensil drawers. We could use the space. However, I would then need to find another place for eight pumpkin knives and scoops, seven wooden spoons separators, and six rubber spatulas. Everyone needs six rubber spatulas.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Inappropriate-ness Deluxe

Admittedly I only sat in front of the television to watch the Super Bowl because of the snacks. The homemade cheese dip and guacamole were too good to pass up.

Another reason why I watch men throwing their bodies at one another was due impart to the commercials. The commericials that air during the Super Bowl game are supposed to be award winning.

As I sat with my family, young children included, I was shocked at how many of the commercials were trashy and inappropriate.

In the Doritos commercial, when the guy crunched on his Doritos chip, the pretty girl walking toward him suddenly lost all of her outer clothing and was left standing in only her bra, underwear, stockings, and stocking holder-upper thing. The name of this lingerie item has slipped my mind. No pun intended.

On the commercial for Teleflora, the box of flowers are talking to the girl receiving the flowers. Insulting her, they say, "No one wants to see you naked."

The Carl's Jr. commercial has a girl changing into skimpy dresses four times while, grabbing, adjusting, and arranging her boobs every three seconds.

The Daddy dot com commercial has Danika Patrick on the computer monitor taking a shower eight times. One man watching the computer screen yells, "Awesome!" when she drops her towel. The company admitted that they were "pushing the envelope" this year with their commercials.

I was so disappointed. Such garbage. It's too bad that companies felt the need to be so inappropriate. Unfortunately, that's the world in which we live.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Something to Consider...

"A great delusion is that our times of prayer ought to differ from other times."

"I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thoughts of God"


Brother Lawerence
The Practice of the Presence of God