Thursday, September 27, 2007

The He-Man Veggie Haters Club!

I am not feeling very well today. It is co op day and my fibromyalgia is acting up, or flaring up, or whatever. I try not to mention my fibromyalgia much because I’m in denial, and to type it is to own it. I don’t want to own it.

I neglected to throw anything into the crock pot this morning, and D is working late, so I’m doing dinner the easy way. I went downstairs and pulled out the boiled eggs, peanut butter crackers, pickles and a bag of apples and rounded up the kids. “Dinner”, I tell them.

The three little girls were thrilled, they love cracking eggs and eating pickles.

G however was not impressed. “It’s Monkey food.” he says. “I’m not a monkey; I can’t survive on fruit’s and vegetables!” “Momma (here I must interject that when he calls me Momma, he looses all "man" credibility, it's just too cute.) I’m a man, I need man food! I NEED MEAT!!!”

Oh, save me from the HE MAN club!

And I feel I need to point out here that instead of choosing the decidedly non veggie items like boiled eggs and pb crackers, he opted for a bowl of cereal. Hummm? No meat in cereal, I'm pretty sure.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Because I'm her mom...

I think she has some real talent.

The Lily's I got for my birthday in July...

E's drawing of the Lily's I got for my birthday in July...

The next Georgia O'Keeffe? Perhaps.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Just thought I should let all my many readers know that the recipe I posted about on Thursday, you know, the one that I put in the crock pot and neglected to plug in, was pretty darn good!

I went ahead and cooked it that night when I got home, then refrigerated the whole thing (my crock pot comes out and I can stick it in the fridge) then the next day about 2 hours before dinner I got it out and skimmed off the fat, then put it back in the crock pot to cook the rest of the way.

I think this made the au jus sauce even better because the fat from the meat had been skimmed off. It was easy, and a big hit around here. YIPPEE!!! I found a crock pot meal that does not make D run for the hills.

Here is one tip though. Use low sodium soy sauce. It was a bit on the salty side.
So there you are a good, easy crock pot meal that a manly man will like; just don’t forget to plug in the crock pot!

Friday, September 21, 2007

School at Home, or Zoo at Home?

Here is what our homeschool looks like on occasion. You either gotta laugh or cry. Today I choose to laugh.

I finally got everyone settled and working, it was 9:30 not the aimed for 8:00. But they were quite and working.

This diligent schooling lasted for about 10 minutes. Then all at the very same time; the boys both yelled Mooo-ooom, you know in that way that makes it two syllables and you know they are about to tattle on each other. (never mind that they are both almost adults, they STILL act like 2 year olds now and then).

The phone started ringing; the girls at the table spilled a giant glass of water on the table where they were doing school. It landed all over several of their papers and was inching closer and closer to my laptop. Needless to say there were screeches and three little girls running for the towels.

At this very moment, The Entertainer started playing on the radio. It was laughable. If this were a movie, that is exactly when someone would have said “Que music” and The Entertainer would have definitely been the soundtrack.

I wonder if we’ll get anything done today? Perhaps we should just give up and go to the Zoo; it’s kinda like one here right now anyway.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Good Reicpe...missing vital step.

Crock-pot French Dip Sandwiches


1 beef chuck roast (about 3 lbs.)
2 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 bay leaf
3-4 whole peppercorns
8 French rolls, split


Place roast in crock-pot. Add water, soy sauce, and seasonings. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until beef is tender. Remove meat from broth; shred with forks and keep warm. Strain broth; skim off fat. Pour broth into small cups for dipping. Serve beef on rolls. Makes 8 servings

Here is a recipe for French Dip sandwiches. I think it is good but I don’t know for sure.

Here is a tip that the author of the recipe left out.


Turns out, this is a vital step in the process and I neglected to do it.

I’ll tell you in about 6 more hours if it is any good…

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Teen Boy and His Money Are Soon Parted.

On Saturday my teenage son got his first set of wheels. This is a monuments occasion. This is a symbol of growing up. This is freedom with tires.

He bought it with his own money; some of it was gifted to him and the rest he saved. He even has some left over for repairs and gas. This is the perfect kind of truck for a teen boy. It is old and being held together with duct tape and bailing wire.

It has 200,000 miles on it, so says the odometer, but it has had the engine replaced by our mechanic friend, so who really knows how many miles are actually on it. It has no AC, which in TX is a big problem, but it is not my big problem, it is B’s big problem. He’ll have to save to get it fixed. (Although we are weak and I’m sure we’ll help him.)

It’s really hard to believe he is old enough for this; really, they don’t call them the mean streets for nothing.

In DFW, good old southern manners are a thing of the past; people here will just as soon run you down as let you in their lane. You’ve gotta be ruthless to get anywhere on the freeways down here; and I’m going to let my baby and his little airbagless truck out there…? Yes I guess I am. I don’t really get a choice here, they grow up whether it is allowed or not, naughty things.

I think my prayer life is about to reach a new level; and I’m going to be seeing a lot of this in the future.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Little Glitter Goes A Long Way!

Just in case you were wondering, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I have simply been swallowed whole by my schedule!

I haven’t had a moment to think, much less update my blog, for days. I don’t have much time now either as I must get out to the store and the library. But I had a funny thing happen the other day I have to tell you about.

I went to Wal-Mart and they were having a huge sale on girl’s jeans. As my girls are growing at alarming rates, the jeans I bought them just a few months ago have been outgrown.

Anyway, I bought several like this, with embroidery and glitter. Once we got home I stuck all the jeans and various camo shorts I got for the boys in the wash.

When the dryer beeped I went to get all the new clothes out, and imagine my surprise when I opened the door to the dryer and a big puff of glitter came out. I almost choked…on glitter!

Well, needless to say, the boys’ camo shorts are covered in glitter. They were none too happy about this. This stuff is like glue! I’m telling you, they could use this stuff in one of the alphabet agencies to track people. Forget that high tech tracking stuff; just spray some glitter on them. It’ll never come off! They’ll be able to see them sparkling form outer space!

Also, this glitter has been spreading its way through my house. When I sit on the couch I see glitter, it is in the kitchen, and it is even on my bed. I feel like I’m living in Barbie’s Dream Castle or something.

Does this stuff ever biodegrade?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Martha Crocker

In an effort to be real with y’all I thought I’d throw this random post out there. Give you a little picture of who I am and what you are likely to encounter if you were to pop over for tea, or coffee, I do both.

First of all my house is small and I live in a neighborhood that can only be described as straight out of the 50’s. Imagine all the people in your church living in your neighborhood. Yeah, that is what I have. While we are not missionaries ourselves, D’s parents are, and they live on a missionary base. Across the street from this missionary base is a small 5 street, square neighborhood. It is almost exclusively made up of missionaries, except us. We love it here. If some little kid crashes on his bike at 3:30 in the afternoon, about 8 mom’s are going to come flying out of there houses.

There are also many homeschoolers here, so it is not uncommon to see kids outside at 10 am on a Tuesday. I love it here except for one thing…the houses. Think military housing. It’s like that. No creativity and they were designed to house the larges number of people with absolutely no bells and whistles. We have 4 bedrooms and the smallest living space possible. We couldn’t possible feed as many people in the kitchen as we could sleep in the bedrooms. The upstairs has only one room, the master with a bathroom. This is the only reason I can live here. I can go upstairs are literally rise above it all. This is the strangest house, I have a living room the size of a postage stamp, but the largest master bedroom I’ve ever had.

One thing about living here is that people really do pop over to borrow sugar. I can’t tell you how many times a mom will knock on my door to see if her kids are here playing with mine. This, of course, never happens when the laundry is put away, no. People only drop by unexpectedly when there is a mess. But that is who I am.

There are currently 7 of us living in this little house and it shows. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not social-services-taking-my-kids- away bad. It’s just always lived it.

It is not beautifully decorated, but I do have curtains, pictures on the wall and some candles. It’s just not necessarily the way I would love to decorate had I more room. One really must LOVE something to allow it to take up space in a 1500sq ft house occupied by 7 people.

I do someday dream of a model home type atmosphere. But I know it will be long after the kids are gone. Right now, as I sit at the kitchen table and type this I can see a sticky spot, probably from the glue stick A was using this morning, or from the peanut butter and honey sandwiches the kids ate for lunch. The table has been wiped off several times today, but not by me. I am the only one who can get EVERY sticky spot off the table. I think you have to be over 18 before this skill develops.

So there you have it. You’re always welcome to drop by my house for a chat, but just be aware that you might stick to the table.

I don’t live in a perfect house because I’m not a perfect person, but really no one is. Martha Crocker does not really exist. I sometimes think if we’d all just work a little harder at being real with each other we could erase some of the burden of perfection we all feel. God does not call us to be perfect, thank goodness, He just asks me to be hospitable.

I need to get a sign for my front door…Enter at your own risk. Neither Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker live here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's a Calm Monday!

It’s Monday morning. In general, I am not a huge fan of Monday mornings, but I think this one is going to be good.

I just got a call from B’s algebra teacher and she can’t see him today. While normally this is not a good thing, the kid does need to learn algebra after-all, today I’m glad. This means that I get to stay home today. No running around. It is not my Monday to drive A to Scottish Rite so I can just stay home and HOMEschool.

It is also a grey, rainy day today; the kind of day where you just want to stay home and read; so that is what we are going to do.

I have my favorite mango scented candle burning, calm classical music playing, and the house feels calm. Too bad it does not feel clean too. There are 5 small piles of laundry sitting on the living room floor and they are driving me nuts. I am trying not to think about them though. When we read aloud the kids will fold their pile and put it away, but for now it is ruining my classical music, mango scented ambiance.

Bible Study also starts tonight. I have missed my friends this summer. Not that I haven’t seen most of them, but we’ve all been so busy with our lives we haven’t really been able to get together. I love these ladies, we are all so different, yet we all love the Lord and each other. It’ll be nice to see them and study the Word and pray for each other.

I’m going to enjoy this calm day because it’s the last one I’ll get for a while. Everything has now started back up; homeschool, Scottish Rite for A, youth group activities for the boys, AWANA for all the kids, Small groups and men’s/women’s bible studies, co op classes, etc. It’s all going strong now. This school year will probably prove to be a busy one, but I’m praying it’s a good one too.

I’ll leave you with this quote I saw on Sally Clarkson’s blog. I loved this post she wrote and I really like this quote.

Have a great day!

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. C. S. Lewis

Friday, September 7, 2007

Co Op Day

Yesterday was our first Co op day of the year. The kids had a blast. The 4 older kids are taking writing classes which I am sooooo glad about. I love the idea of them honing their writing skills a little more.

Everyone seemed genuinely happy with the way the classes went except B who was not real happy with his Biology class, but what can you expect, it’s biology. I think if you like it you’re doing it wrong.

This year I have two literature classes, a K – 2 and a 3 & 4. The 3 & 4 class has only 7 kids and is a blast! The kids are great and we had a lot of fun. This is what I envisioned when I signed up to do this. We had some great discussions and had a great overall morning.

My K-2 class? That is an entirely different story! Don’t let that photo fool you, it was anything but orderly. First of all there are 14 of them. 14! What in the heck was I thinking?? It was a zoo! When the kids first came in they were climbing up on the puppet stage and getting behind it and running all over the room. OH MY! I lost control right from the start because they all came running in at the same time and I had a few parents who wanted to talk to me and next thing I knew kids were climbing the walls!

I finally got them all under control (sort of) and sitting on the floor for the story, but they were so talkative! I could not keep their attention. They were rolling around, talking to each other, interrupting me to tell me that had lost a tooth, etc. YIKES!

But here’s the really embarrassing part. I had a parent stay in the room with me because her son is shy and she wanted to help him get settled. So she was watching this nightmare unfold! I even had a student walk out the door and I didn’t notice!

Now in all fairness it was not as bad as it sounds. My teen helper was leaving the room to take two of the students to the bathroom, and their little sister saw them leave and she followed them. My teen helper saw her come out of the room and just took her with them to the bathroom, but the point is she left the room without permission, and this mother noticed and I did not.

Nothing like public humiliation. I wonder if she’ll let her son come back.

I have big plans for next week. Assigned seats with their names on them…placing my teen helper near the puppet stage to keep them off…and I’m going to be mean! No more Mrs. Nice Teacher! Those kids are going to learn when to be quite. I have too many in there to have it be a free-for-all! UGH!

Then when we got home G told me how bad his ear was hurting and that he felt nauseous during PE and a bit dizzy. He’s had swimmers ear for a week or so now, but we’ve been treating it and had it almost gone till a few days ago when it came back with a vengeance. So as soon as we got home from Co op, I called the dr and the dr said come now, they had an opening. G and I hopped in the car and went to see the dr. She said it is a pretty bad infection, and that the normal antibiotic ear drops would not cut it, he’d need oral antibiotics. So off to the pharmacy we go. By the time we got home it was after 5.

I gotta tell you. I don’t want to see the inside of one more waiting room for quite some time!

I am praying next week will be better. It won’t start with a holiday, I don’t have appointments scheduled. I am not allowing anyone to get sick. It is only the regular amount of mayhem next week. Maybe we’ll get some school done.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

That's So Punny!

Today was my day to drive downtown to take the kids to Scottish Rite. We leave the house at 11:10 and I don’t get home till 2:30ish. That tends to break into our school day quite a bit. This week’s been kind of a wash as far as school, what with being tortured yesterday and then driving downtown today. And tomorrow is co op day.

We did do our Bible reading, journal, math, Wordly Wise and reading. Not much; no science or history, although the kids did look at snake books while we were at SR, and we played the Noggin history game again, so I guess we did some science and history. Oh well, this is why I homeschool. The world is our classroom. I just wish we were in our classroom less!

My Mother in Law sent me some puns. I have some kind of warped sense of humor because puns make me crack up. I was laughing so hard at the linoleum one I could hardly read it to the kids.

So here are a few for you. They are dumb, clean and really, really funny! (at least my warped brain thinks so)

Have a great Wednesday!

The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

A backward poet writes inverse.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A - flat miner.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

A calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

A plateau is a high form of flattery.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture: a jab well done

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Dr. Martin and Steve Irwin

I wasn’t going to do it, I promised myself this morning that I would not blog about going to the dentist, because you, my readers, did not have to go this morning to the torture chamber that is the dentist chair and therefore shouldn’t have to hear or think about it. But I just can’t help it, I must whine. And there is no better place to whine than on the World Wide Web for all to hear.

Truly it was an awful experience. First she had to measure the distance from something on my teeth to my gum, or something, because apparently I am showing signs of receding gums. I’m at a 3 and a few 4’s. I don’t know what that means, but I gather it’s bad but not horrible. THIS PROCESS HURT! Basically she poked my gums several times in the front and back of EVERY TOOTH. Then she started cleaning. OUCH!! I think I like my plaque and tartar thankyouverymuch! What if I don’t want you to scrape it all off at great physical cost to me? Not only does it hurt EVERYTIME she touches that horrid metal scraper thing to my gums, but even when it is only touching my teeth, it may not hurt, but the sound, oh, the sound. Fingernails on a chalk board have nothing on the metal pick scraping enamel sound. OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS! It is the most hideous sound on earth.

The Dentist also reminded me that a temporary crown was designed to be just that, temporary; and almost 3 years is stretching the term wildly. So I must get that permanent crown, and fix a few of the fillings I had put on in the 70’s that are not cutting the mustard anymore. So after paying $55 to be tortured, I was told I will have to pay another $450 for further and more intense torture. Oh, Joy!

Needless to say we’ve done next to no school so far today and I just want to take some tylonal and go to bed.

The kids did tell our magic DVR machine to record all the 5 million hours of Crocodile Hunter that played over the holiday weekend. They’ve been watching it for most of the afternoon. Can I count that as science? I just heard Steve Irwin say that some cobras are nocturnal and diurnal. Surely that is science, right?

I’m glad you agree, I’m leaving the kids to their science and I’m going to bed!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Jane Austin Meets Motocross

The time has come to indoctrinate my daughters in all things Jane Austin. They are a bit on the young side but, really, is any girl to young for Jane’s magic? I think not.

Here’s the set up. D and the boys are away this weekend at the Outdoor Motocross Nationals. This is a major deal (I’m told) because the Outdoor Motocross Nationals never, never come here. So they had to go no matter the cost, and the cost my friends, it was high. But if Jane herself was reincarnated or her apparition showed up say, in Wortham Texas next weekend, I would probably move heaven and earth to go, so
I guess I understand…sort of.

So it’s just me, E and A. (T is home this weekend) Sat was just a regular day of laundry and grading algebra (have I mentioned how much I LOVE B’s algebra tutor? Just looking at all those letters mixed in with numbers gives me the cold shivers.).

But on Sunday we had girl time. We went only to Sunday School, then we went home, changed clothes and grabbed a few card games and headed to Panera Bread. This is a girls paradise my friends! We ate lunch and played In A Pickle and Professor Noggin’s First Peoples of North America. We got a few strange looks; I guess not many people take their kids to Panera to play games that look suspiciously like learning games on a Sunday.

Then we did something that you can really only do with your mom and sister…we went bra shopping for E. She’s only 10 and she’s been wearing those sport’s bra things for a few months now. But well, it was time for a bit more. She is young and I really hate to begin her life-long bra wearing sentence now. But, it was time. So we bought bras and shoes because we were at Target and you simply can’t go to Target on a girls shopping trip and not try on shoes. Then the girls bought purple and white stripped socks with monkeys on them. Not because they needed them or because they’ll match anything they own, or even because they’ve always wanted purple and white stripped monkey socks; but because they were in their size and they were on clearance. Oh, my heart how it melted…I’ve trained them well.

By the time we got home it was late afternoon. The girls went outside and played (they’re young and don’t feel the heat) I stayed inside because, well we pay a lot of money for this A/C and I couldn’t let it go to waste, so I read a book.

Then it was time…their first Jane Austin movie. I sat them down with their dinner of popcorn, pretzels, and drink in the living room no less, and gave them a brief synopsis of Sense and Sensibility. I told them who was related to whom and who loved whom and who was rich and who was poor. Then we began the movie. We did have to stop the move for explanations SEVERAL times, but it was worth it, because they got it.

They were totally engrossed; they followed the story line perfectly, a little too perfectly actually. Remember why Willoughby left Marianne? Because he got Colonel Brandon’s charge pregnant and was cut off without a penny, so he had to marry the other lady and her 50 thousand pounds? Yeah, I had to explain how someone got pregnant without the benefit of marriage to my 8 year old, who still was under the impression that only married people got pregnant in some sort of magic way. Didn’t see that one coming. But I guess it was time.

Because we stopped the movie for explinations about every 15 minutes, and had the birds and the bees talk, the movie took a bit longer to watch, but when it was done A said, “those movies are so cool! It is a lot better when you have a mom to tell you what is going on, Thanks Mom!”. And my heart, it melted a little more.

In many ways it is sad to see my baby girls growing up; I want them to stay little and braid their hair and dress them up. But I am also looking forward to the woman they are becoming. We are really starting to have fun together. They’re old enough for me to share the things I love with them and shop with and take out to my favorite restaurant. My girls are just fun to hang out with.

I may not have any more babies in this house, and that is a little sad, but I have some kids that are turning into great friends.

And tomorrow…a dentist appointment and A’s first day back at Scottish Rite. I wish the weekend would never end.