Thursday, October 30, 2008

WOW I'm actually making a post!

WOW.....Twice in one week. Now this is a new record! :)

I decided to go ahead and write this morning because I am too tired to start working. Nevermind that I have already been here for 30 min. and I have only turned on my computer and responded to 2 emails. I really need some coffee!

My eyes are KILLING me today! I went to the eye doctor about 2 months ago and got a new prescription and a new kind of contacts because I could never seem to throw the old ones away after 2 weeks. This new kind I am supposed to change every month, and although I am supposed to be able to sleep in them, my doctor recommended that I take them out once a week so my eyes could rest. WELL, I only slept in them 2 night and my eyes hurt SOOOO bad. I could barely drive work this morning because of the sun. And now, this window view I have at work is not working out well either! As long as there is no "direct" sun light, I am o.k. I hope they start feeling better soon!

I am also supposed to be going to lunch with a girlfriend of mine that I have not seen in like FOREVER! We have both been extrememly busy with our jobs, and it seems like every weekend for the past few weeks, someone in my house has been sick. Let's hope this weekend is better.

We are also going to venture our first "trick or treat"ing on Friday. I have never taken the kids, mind you Kaitlyn is only 3. This should be fun though. We have plans to meet another friend of ours with her kids, and probably her sister and her kids as well and let the kids have some fun. We never did the "trick or treat" thing growing up. Our church usually had something going on that we would dress up and go to, but we never went around our neighborhood, so this will be a first for not only my children but Mommy too!!!

Saturday is my neices' birthday party. My sister does a "halloween" theme party for them every year, so I will take the kids for that as well. I am sure that Kaitlyn will have fun dressing up again and going to play with her cousins. PLUS, my sister has a new baby they just adopted so I get to play with her. She is so sweet and little, but i have not seen her in a month!

My husband is going to the Florida/Georgia game on Saturday, so he will not be joining me, but I am sure the guys will have fun. Not sure why Florida/Georgia, because they are not fans of either, but I am sure it will be a good game, and the tickets were free. Heck it's FOOTBALL, who cares who's playin right? :)

Well, I guess I better get some work done!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Crappy Soup

Souptacular08




It seems that now is the perfect time to introduce you to my oldest, G-man. He is 12- enough said. He is a bundle of moods, smells, and sarcastic faces- just an adorable little guy. Anyway, I thought maybe the best way to introduce the munchkins was to tell a story about them that somehow illustrates just exactly who they are, and thus the recipe and blog about my infamous "Crappy Soup."

Others refer to it as Tortellini Soup, but here it is now known only as "Crappy Soup." And I'm telling you it's so easy a toddler could make it. S0 first, the recipe (s) - I have to give you the recipe for pesto pinwheels too- because you can't eat soup without pinwheels.

Crappy Soup (The First "Flying By the Seat of Your Pants" Recipe)
1-2 cloves of garlic minced

Olive Oil (enough to cover the bottom of your pot and saute the garlic)

48 oz. chicken broth

3 cans of tomatoes (I get Hunts garlic, onion, & basil)

1 Family Size package of refrigerated three cheese tortellini

dried or fresh basil (to taste)

Saute the garlic in the olive oil. Pour the chicken broth and tomatoes in the pot along with the basil and bring to a boil. CAREFULLY, pour the tortellini in the boiling mixture and let boil 2-4 minutes until the tortellini are desired tenderness. Done! (it literally can be from bag to table in about 20 minutes with very little effort.

Variations: my kids get picky about the chunks of tomatoes, so I occasionally puree 1-2 cans of them before adding which makes the broth thicker. I have also added spinach to it so I can pump some veggies in them- most of the time they don't notice- just tell them the herbs are fresh!
Pesto Pinwheels
1 can of Crescent Rolls (I use Pillsbury low fat)

3-4 Tablespoons of prepared pesto
Shredded Parmesan Cheese


Unroll the crescent rolls and keep the dough in the rectangle. Pinch together the perforations a tad. Then spread an even layer of pesto on the dough. Top with a layer of parmesan cheese. Roll that baby up from the longest side, cut into 1/4 inch slices and bake in at 350 for 10-15 minutes (until they are brown) and serve.
That is the fastest dinner I know- it travels well; does wonders for friends who are under the weather (Our foodie friend who regularly eats out in the trendiest of places thinks I can walk on water because of this recipe!)


Now for the story...

It seems my little buddy gets tired of a food quicker than the rest of us. The first time I made the soup he was my biggest fan. He raved, ate several bowls, and remained pleasant for well over an hour. That was the first time.

I will admit that because the entire family was so excited over this soup that I did make it quite a bit. Maybe even once a week, maybe. Anyway, one evening last winter I called them to the table, but when I walked through the living room G-man did his guilty "thing." I walked through without saying a word and as I passed him on the computer he minimized the screen and said "Nothing."

"What?" I ask.

"Nothing." he said.

"I didn't say anything. Why are you saying 'nothing'?" I ask.

"I thought you asked me what I was doing so I said 'nothing.'"

"Clearly that was Satan speaking to you son, not me. But now I'm curious, what are you doing?"

"Nothing."

Well, you know that wasn't going to get it, so I made no big deal of the exchange, went into the kitchen to finish putting the dishes on the table and gave him a moment to take care of his business on the computer.

Oh, how I love parental control software! Now, keep in mind I was all worked up thinking I was going to have to call John Stossel and possibly a counselor once I discovered what I was sure was going to be a predator on the prowl for my baby. Really, I was sweating, I had butterflies, and I had already prepared myself for the fact that I was going to miss Extreme Home Makeover that night.

Imagine my surprise to find that he had been e-mailing his buddy. They had been going back and forth over the Valentine Carnation Massacre of 2008 (a story for another day) and G-man finished the exchange with (and I'm doing this from memory):

"I have to go. My mom made this crappy soup that she makes all the time and I have to go eat. But for the record- I can't stand (child will remain nameless for obvious reasons) he's a retard."

OH NO HE DIDN'T. Not my sweet child that I have talked to until I was blue in the face about being kind to others and never talking about people behind their backs - not to mention insult my cooking. So, I send a reply from the secret places in my parent software that says...

"G-man, this is your mother. Your crappy soup is getting cold. Come to dinner now. As for the developmental delays of your friend that you seem so obviously concerned with, I think it best that tomorrow you spend some time with him at lunch so that you can get better acquainted and can apologize for your inability to control your tongue. Love you tons! Mom"

Oh hey, did I tell you that I teach in the upper division of the school that he attends? Have I mentioned that I eat lunch right before he does? And did you know that I see him every day when he comes in to sit down? Oh yes, some lessons are painful to learn.

The good news? G-man and aforementioned "retard" are now friends and he has reconciled himself to again liking the soup.

Ivy- The Cat Dog




Ivy used to be the baby. I say used to be because she was the companion we got for Holly, my baby. Santa Clause brought Holly to the kids in 2005. They named her "Holly Berry" as a play on actress Halle Berry's name and for the Holly bushes that grew outside our house. Holly lived most of her early life on a 25 acre farm with several other dogs and children (we rented a house on the farm of some dear friends).

Anyway- I remarried, and we moved from the very small farmhouse to a bigger home with a smaller yard (1 acre to be exact). Holly became very lonely as she didn't have Russell (he best friend in the entire world who was also a Jack Russell Terrier with the personality of a little old man). So, the next year on New Year's Day, Ivy joined the family.

We named her Ivy because we love the Christmas Carol "The Holly and The Ivy" by Bing Crosby. So we had Holly and Ivy- until May. Holly died on the Monday before Mother's Day. They were playing together in the yard and somehow Ivy's lower jaw got caught up in Holly's collar and it twisted. Holly was strangled, and even worse, Ivy was caught in the collar and could not get free. So she spent at least a couple of hours attached to her buddy.

Needless to say, she was traumatized. She has never been quite the same. She is not an affectionate dog; she doesn't run to you and jump up on you like Mack. Instead she stays a very close distance away from everyone but her family. If you are a stranger she barks.

She is a cat caught in a Lab-mix body. She is quiet, moody, only affectionate when it suits her, and VERY low maintenance. Which works well as Mack, the other dog is exactly the OPPOSITE of her. She is sweet-spirited and every so often, when you're not expecting it, she will walk up to you, sit down, paw you on the leg and then lean her head up against you to be petted.

But- her God-given talent is hunting. Oh the girl can hunt. We live in an old neighborhood and we are lucky enough to have an acre of land with a creek in the back. We are also blessed with many mature trees. Which means we are also blessed with rabbits, possums, squirrels, birds,moles, frogs, snakes, occasional coyotes and deer, and I kid you not, this summer we even had a Blue Heron. Ivy has hunted down literally dozens of specimens in the last two years. Just yesterday she brought me a small frog. (She's very thoughtful that way- she always brings you what she catches, puts it at your feet, and then sits for you to pet her- and we never taught her to do that!)

Last spring the kids were eating breakfast and watching the dogs from the large window in the breakfast room that looks out on the backyard. They were both laughing at Ivy because she was on the hunt and had found a rabbit. They found her crouching down and creeping to be very amusing. Anyhoo- Ivy lept at the rabbit and the chase began. I told them not to worry, Ivy couldn't possibly catch the rabbit before it ran out of the electric fence perimeter.

Well, I was wrong. Turns out, Ivy was much more stealth-like than I gave her credit for, so the kiddos witnessed Ivy catch a rabbit and behead it in a matter of seconds. Seriously, one of the most impressive things I've seen in a while.

Now my oldest child, G-man, was distraught and repulsed. The youngest, AC only had this to say:

"Well G-man, you better hope that wasn't the Easter Bunny or you can hang up getting a new DS game this year."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mack the Climbing Dog




Well, hello there. This is my maiden voyage into the blog world from the Total Momsense blog. I'm working up an entry on college football, because I so love college football, but for now I'm just getting my feet wet. I thought I'd start by introducing a member of the family to you every day for the next few days by telling you silly stories.

That being said- it seems only fitting to start with Mack....the dog...the black Labrador Retriever adolescent. Oh yes- nothing is quite like an adolescent Lab to really rile things up in a house. Understand that my husband does not think he is a dog person. He believes animals go outside and are regarded as inconvenient messes...or he did...until Mack.

He gave me Mack for our anniversary last July after my other dog, Holly, died in a freak accident. Mack prefers D. (the husband) because that is who feeds him and D can throw the tennis ball much further than I can.

Mack is not Marley-esque. He does not chew holes in our wall or shred couch cushions or drool on babies (ONLY because those things have not been presented as options to him). What he DOES do is the following:

1. He climbs trees- I am serious. The first time I saw him do it was when his tennis ball was lodged between two branches of one of the cedar trees that are planted in the landscaping in the front yard. I came home to find large branches of cedar in the yard (neatly piled up, mind you) and the front of the cedar tree totally nude- stripped to the trunk. Since then, he has taken up climbing up the landscaping trees for sport.

2. He is addicted to tennis balls. If you give him one, he will do nothing else but fetch that ball. He will fetch for hours. He has fetched until he literally almost had a heat stroke. Each night before he goes to bed he puts his tennis ball squarely in the center of the front porch so that each morning when we all leave for school one us will throw to him. Every single morning...like clockwork.

3. He swims underwater. He dives in and swims totally submerged like a person. Loves it- and it is one of the silliest things I have witnessed a dog do.

4. He is terrified or offended (not sure which yet) by hot air balloons. He can spot them when they are only tiny dots on the sky and the barking starts. He doesn't stop barking until it is out of sight. Mind you, he does NOT bark at strangers that come into the yard, animals, or other dogs. But he does bark at hot air balloons. Oh- he also barks at plastic grocery sacks that blow across the yard, but that is a story for another day.

5. He eats vegetables. Yes he does- the dog has quite an affinity for squash and green beans. Don't ask me- I just smile and say okay.

Understand- we have three children- all gloriously weird and funny, but it just didn't seem fitting to start with a child when I could go with a tree climbing, underwater swimming, hot air balloon hating dog. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about Ivy, the black Lab mix with the personality of a cat.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

what a horrible blogger I am

I must say that things have been super busy since I started my new job. I have yet to find a day where I have NOTHING to do. I guess that is a good thing, because it makes things go by faster. But, on the other hand, I do not have time to blog. I will have to make an appointment in my calendar, at least 2 times a week, to take 30 min. to write a blog and to catch up on everyone elses.....That's sad isn't it? I am sure things will settle down soon, I am still new at the job and making sure that everything is right. I am sure it will become part of my everyday routine soon enough, that I won't be afraid I have missed something...:) Things are actually going really well. I have caught on fairly quickly and easily. It is just a lot of reports and remembering where all the information has to go. Fun times.

The kids have also been in a new school. After the fiasco with the last place, it was over it. We pulled the kids out of the other daycare the very next day, and went to view the one they are at now. I LOVE the new place. They have been there going on 3 weeks now, and not ONE phone call from them that either of them were sick. We even took Tyler to school one day when he was a little down because he is teething, and I called to check on him. She said he was fine, a little cranky but she new it was the teeth! WOW....I would have DEFINATELY received a call from the other center that day FOR SURE!! I really do like this new place though. They have web cams so I can go online and check on the kids whenever I wants. It's kinda cool. I actually have only been on there once because I am so busy, but Brian gets on there several times a day to check on them. They also take the kids on field trips too. The first week they were there, they went to the pumpkin patch. Because of the short notice, I was not able to go with them and chaperone, but they seemed to do fine. There were even workers ready at the pumkin patch to help all the kids. I was nervous at the idea at first, but after talking to the directors/owners, I was fine. I mean, eventually they are going to have to go on field trips in school right? They didn't take Tyler either, so that was good. I thought he would be too young to go!

In December, they are taking them to the Nutcracker. I have already put the date on my calendar so that I can go with them. That should be a lot of fun!

All in all, things have been good, just busy. We all had the "bug" going around the last few weeks, but seem to be getting better. Hopefully I will be able to write again sometime this week. I hate that I have not been able to, I know this is a way a lot of us keep in touch. I will try to do better!

Mission Momsense

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"
Isaiah 58:6-7

Here are some of my favorite missions. Check them out and help the cause of the poor around the world.



Hope for Dube Bute.  The Alexanders (above) have adopted two boys from Ethiopia.  One of the boy's still has family, including a brother, who live in the remote village of Dube Bute.  They are raising money to provide water, medical services, veterinary services, and school buildings for this village.  100% of what you donate goes straight to the people of Dube Bute.

Sponsor a Child


Compassion International helps to release children from poverty all over the world. Click on the picture or the name to go to their website and sponsor a child.


Charity:Water is an organization that works to place wells in impoverished areas so that clean drinking water will be available.
Mocha Club is an organization that fights poverty in African countries. From their website you can choose a specific cause in an African Country to support for as little as $7 a month.

Personal Momsense

I am a mom of three, a teacher to a crew, and married to a coach. We are surrounded by children 24/7. I haven't been to the bathroom alone since 1996, and I am fairly certain that is a trend that will continue for quite some time. We are constantly on the go...this is the momsense that ensues as we parent at the speed of life.



The Events that Lead to the Momsense:

March 24, 1971. I am born. I immediately make my mother cry (a trend I will continue for another 20+ years) because I was the biggest baby in the nursery.

1974. My brother is born. This simply meant that it was time to up the ante on the shenanigans.

1976. I practice forward rolls in my basement for more than 4 hours in hopes of making it to the 1980 Olympics.

1980. No Olympics, but I do ask for a Dallas Cowboy cheerleading uniform for Christmas. My father emphatically declines, and I settle for tennis shoe skates and a ten-speed bicycle.

1981. I get bangs for the first time, and my mother quickly points out that I don’t have the forehead to pull them off. I keep them for another 28 years (and counting)…

1983. I get my first kiss…at school… by Chip something or other. I quickly mark it off of my “To Do Before I Die” list vowing never to do it again. My list also includes the following activities: making a phone call from a phone booth, riding in a taxi cab, wearing eye shadow, writing a book, and becoming a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader. (Ambition is clearly one of my strengths)

1984. I enter junior high, get braces (which, if you'll notice, was NOT on the aforementioned list), and master the art of being “cute and darlin’” a tactic that will serve me well for many years.

1985. My family relocates from Nashville to Franklin. I declare my life over and start reading up on nunneries.

1986. I enter 9th grade at Franklin High School and get nominated for Homecoming Court. Not ever having heard of that, become quite offended because I thought it was something boring like student council. When I found out I just dressed up, sat on the back of a convertible Corvette and waved during a parade- I was totally cool with it.

1987. I attend Barbizon School of Modeling. I then willingly don a two-piece bathing suit in a mall food court all in the name of fashion. (Consequently, this will be the beginning of spectacularly average modeling career which will include a couple of country music videos and a few mall Back-to- School fashion shows)

1988. My parents take me out of FHS and move me to Brentwood Academy so that I am not able to rely on my “cute and darling” routine anymore. I run track for the Eagles and enjoy being state-runner up in 3 events two years in a row.

1989. I graduate from high school and enroll at The University of Tennessee in the pre-med program.

Early in 1990. I discover I don’t enjoy sick people and change my major to English perhaps to pursue a career in law. A few years later I realize I prefer not to deal with other people’s problems, so I decide to teach teenagers and have children of my own, because how better to avoid dealing with the problems of others?

1989-1993. I enjoy 5 full football seasons at UT (I squeeze one year of grad school out of the Parental scholarship fund)

1994. I begin my teaching career intending to work 4-5 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom.

1994-2003. 1 marriage, 2 children, 1 heart-wrenching and unwanted divorce. Still teaching...
2003. I enjoy the best year of my adult life. Jesus and I become very tight, and He sends Coach. Still teaching…

2006. Coach and I marry in the coolest wedding ever and bring our families together…and then there were 5. Still teaching…

2008. So begins the blog… AND, still teaching…

2009. Finally reconcile with Jesus that teaching is my purpose. Enjoy the antics of my family. Turn 38. Will begin taking donations for Botox and a new car. (I’ll explain later this week).

Popular Momsense

Cooking Momsense


If you're looking for a Momsense recipe, you've come to the right place. Just find the one you're looking for, click on it, and we'll whisk you right on over there!

(ww) indicates it is Weight Watchers friendly.

Appetizers

Main Dishes

Vegetables
Green Beans w/ Caramelized Onion     (ww)


Baked Beans        (ww)
Baked Mushroom Rice      (ww)
Orange Herb Rice    (ww)

Salads

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's been a while

So it has been a while since I have posted anything. Things have been mad crazy with the new job. I actually wrote a post last week, but when I posted it, only 1/2 of it was posted, so I had to deleted it!

Last week was one stressful week, well the first part of it anyway. Monday-Wednesday was really stressful with all the things I had to learn and try to retain. It truly is a lot! Not to mention that BOTH Monday and Wednesday I got a call from the daycare about the kids being sick. Monday it was Kaitlyn....she had a rash from what I knew was an allergic reation to lotion my mother-in-law put on her. Like most daycares do, they tried to self diagnose her and say she has "Fiths Disease." So, at 4:45 I get a phone call about this rash and am told that I can not bring her back without a doctor note....So, $46 later, we find out that....IT'S AN ALLERGIC REACTION!!!! Sensative skin!!!!!! Not to metion the fact that her regular doctor was close, so I had to take her to her old pediatrician (which I HATE!!!) @ 8:00 at night......Not a happy mommy. But, in the daycare's defense, I do understand why they called me. It's just procedure. I would want them to call another kid's mom if they had a rash too.

Now, Wednesday was Tyler, and this one was RIDICULOUS...They called at 10:00 am to tell me Tyler had a fever 100.5....HE IS TEETHING! I told the director that he was teething and she said he had a runny nose too.....REALLY A RUNNY NOSE??? Gee, he's TEETHING, AND is in DAYCARE! KIDS IN DAYCARE HAVE RUNNY NOSES ALL THE TIME....She said she would watch him and monitor the fever but if it got worse, she would call. At 5:00, when my husband went to pick up the kids, there was a note ,stapled to his daily report, that said he could not come back to school unless he had a dr. note saying he was not contageous....SERIOUSLY? You wait til 5:00? So, again, we found ourselves @ the dr. office I don't like. Luckily, the doctor on call that night was the only one I actually liked out of all of the doctors! So, $15 and we have a dr. note saying he is teething and to give him motrin! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.............

This is only part of my issues with the daycare....I do understand that there are procedures when kids are sick and I do appreciate it, but you would think they would use better judgement. I mean, seriously, Tyler was playing JUST FINE and didn't act like he was sick. Do they seriously not have anything better to do with their time? But get this....Monday and Tuesday Tyler came home with his shirt soaking wet. This boy drools A LOT! With him teething, it's even more. I take changes of clothes for him, but he still came in the same clothes - SOAKED with slobber. I even mentioned on Tuedsay to the teacher that I have bibs for him. She told me they have their own bibs they use. Wednesday I made sure I even brough extra shirts. I meet my husband at the dr. office when I get off work, and they are already back in the room where he had to undress him for them to check vitals. I noticed that he had been wearing the same outfit, but it didn't look as wet as the days before. BUT, when we were done with the doctor, I dressed him. I could smell the "mildew smell" from his shirt because they didn't change it and it had been wet. I was FURIOUS.....Wait there is more. I also noticed that his nose was rather dirty. I thought it was just dried up snot because I knew his nose had been running. NOPE! Aparantly, when they take the kids outside, the ones that can not walk just crawl around in the dirt.....This made it a whole lot worse.

I took the kids to school on Thursday, with the intent on talking to the director....she was not in - took the day off. I did say something to the teacher about his shirt issue, and I must say since then, he comes home in a fresh shirt and even has a bib on. I did get to talk to the director yesterday and felt a little better about a few things, but still not about the outside play.....Then TODAY.....I get a call from the daycare at 3:45 that Tyler has an "explosive diaper." I have to come get him and he either needs to stay out tomorrow or he needs to have a dr. note. ONE LOOSE DIAPER....SERIOUSLY??? The poor boy had 2 jars of yougart for breakfast.......AHHHHHH!!! He has ONE normal poop that morning and ONE loose one. Since when does that constitute sickness? Maybe 2-3 but not ONE! So, here we go again to the doctor....

On the way to the daycare, I called 2 different daycares to see what their response was to it. Needless to say, I am looking for a new daycare. I can't have this. The kids haven't bonded to this new daycare like they did the last. I am not to fond of it, and it doesn't really seem like that are looking out for the kids in my opinion. They are being a bit ridiculous if you ask me. Maybe that doesn't sound ridiculous to you, but I do know that the other daycare did not seem this paranoid! Nor did they let my 1 yr. old that can't walk play in the dirt! I mean, come on, how much dirt has he eaten???? And, I find out there is only 1 kid in his class besides him that can't wait, so it's not like the whole class can't walk!

So, anyway, sorry that my 1st blog in a while is a RANT, but I just had to get that out. So, any suggestions? Am I being an overly sensative mom? Am I right for being frustrated? I mean, it's just the fact that I am having to shell out all this extra $$ when I could be spending it on other things. I just don't get the same vibe from this daycare that I had from the first daycare they went, nor the other 2 places I called today. I really liked both of the directors at the 2 places I talked to today. Now I just have to go visit them to see if I like the location/facilities.....

I will try to post some better things tomorrow!