Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm a Nguyener (Win-ner)











Amy Amy Bo Bamey over at Life of a Nguyener (Win-ner) gave me a really great award. I teased her when she told me about it and said my G-rated audience might get a little jolt from her not-quite-G-rated blog. She's a riot and if you want to to add a little sauciness to your day, head on over.

1. The winner can put the logo on her/his blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated

So here is my list of recipients:

--My sister, Gina, over at Daddy's Our Hero.

--Katie at MKHKKH.

--Nikke at Mom is in the Fishbowl.

--Abbie at Just as I Am.

--Jubilee at Notes of Jubilee.

--Dave and Miranda at Book, Line, and Sinker.

--Allison at A Mom Thing.

Thanks again Amy! I always wanted to be a Nguyener.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Apparently

Apparently, tap water gotten free at home and put into a water bottle doesn't taste nearly as good as the water bottles you buy at school for $1...but you fill your bottle at home anyway because your mom is too cheap let you pay a dollar for WATER.

Apparently, powdered milk ($5 for a huge box) used in recipes tastes just as good as regular milk...as long as your children don't know.

Apparently, it doesn't hurt as much to spend your parents' money as it does to spend your own...and then it's excruciating.

Apparently, it's very important to do your own work on the school project until you realize you are waaaaaaaay behind and mom is right there...and has nothing to do.

Apparently, if your parents must sit in a car and wait on you, it's not nearly as long a wait as if you have to sit and wait on your parents...that's just torture and abuse.

Apparently, it's imperative that you have a cell phone at school even though the teachers will give you detention if they see it or hear it. Therefore, you put it in your locker before school and it stays there until after school when you promptly enter the bus...that brings you straight home.

Apparently, little boys sometimes refuse to come home from school because they want to play longer, forcing daddy to come home empty-handed...and pouty.

Apparently, naps required at preschool are cruel and unnecessary...even though you're consistently the first one to fall asleep.

And apparently, God is listening even when you're sure He's not...especially when you're sure He's not.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Complete and utter randomness

-My children are back in school!









- My iron, may she rest in peace, died. In case you're new to this blog, go here and see that I'm a little obsessed with ironing clothes for my family. So when my old iron started spitting and spewing at me and leaving unsightly brownish marks on the clothes I was trying to make perfect, out the door it went. I heart my new iron.

- Keaton (11) is having quite a time adjusting to middle school. She essentially skipped 5th grade and this whole 6th grade we're-not-going-to-hold-your-hand-because-you're-big-now attitude she's been thrust up against is quite the rude awakening for her.

-My children are back in school!

-Sutton (18) has a back injury that is much worse than anticipated so she is having to wear a restrictive back brace for 23 hours a day, physical therapy for an hour and a half each morning (at 6am), and is relegated to back row only this volleyball season. Life stinks for her right now and on top of that, she's homesick:-(

-I cleaned out my Suburban last night and I swear I came away with 10lbs of trash. I found chewed gum, cracker and cookie remnants, and previously sucked on mints and lollipops hidden in hard-to-see nooks and crannies.

-Landon (4) has a cavity, thanks, in part, to the contraband mints and lollipops he and his brother had hidden in my Suburban. Aaarg.

-But, my children? They're back in school!

-I need a haircut and highlights something awful, but I've become too cheap to pay what I've paid to have it done every 3-4 months for the past seven years. I'm trying someone new this weekend. I'm strangely nervous. It's just hair though, right?

-The two boys have begun coming downstairs to our room in the middle of the night so when I awake in the mornings, there are five people in my bedroom. That's just wrong. They also use my shower each night and waste my shampoo making strange shower concoctions. That too, very wrong. Maybe I just need to move upstairs and let them have it all.

-I would really like to lose five more pounds. I walk and walk and walk each day. I also eat and eat and eat. At this point I'll continue to blame the nursing. That'll give me time to come up with another excuse.

-Have I mentioned my children are back in school?

-

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sin in a pie tin

I have a sweet bloggy friend, Katie, who posted this great recipe last Spring. I held on to it all these months until 1)I found strawberries on sale and 2)my raging sweet tooth got the best of me. So, I whipped out Katie's recipe and tried it as a surprise treat for my family.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I had no idea my children would love it so much. Hayden (7) kissed me in church on Sunday and said, "Mom, I really love you and I REALLY love your strawberry pie." And my husband, who normally doesn't care for fruit pies, gave a quick stamp of approval and ordered another. In the last week, I have made THREE of these scrumptious pies.

Katie's Strawberry Pie

4 c. fresh strawberries (quartered)
1 baked pie shell crust
1 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
3 T. strawberry jello
1 c. cold water

Mix sugar and cornstarch. Add cold water. Heat over med. heat until thickened. Add jello and mix. Add strawberries. Pour into baked pie crust (which should be cool) and refrigerate. Top with whipped cream.


Now, the first time I made it, I just bought whipped cream and it was very good; with the next two pies, I made my own whipped cream and, unbelievably, the pies were even better.

Homemade Whipped Cream

1/2 pt. whipping cream
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Whip cream with mixer. Be careful not to over beat or it will get too thick, like butter. When it begins to thicken, add sugar and vanilla; stir. Refrigerate.

And since I forgot to take a picture each time I baked these, I stole borrowed a picture of a pie that, I swear, looks JUST like mine:








*Ahem*

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hallelujah!

Summer's over, school's started, and I couldn't be happier. It was a long, hot summer with much too much togetherness. They needed a break from me and I from them.

My morning began at 4:45 and by 8:30 everyone was where they should be, and little Peyton and I will now be enjoying some much needed one-on-one time.

Keaton (11, 6th grade) on her first day of middle school:
"I think I'm gonna throw up."
"Mom, will you pray with me? And you'll have to do it 'cause I just can't."





















Reagan (13, 8th grade):
"Mom, please don't take my picture; it's just school."





















Hayden (7, 2nd grade):
"Mom, I'm so excited I think my head's gonna explode!"

Landon (4, Pre-K):
"My tummy feels funny...and I don't think I have to poop."





















Hayden enjoying chapel.





















The whole school, K-3rd.














Hayden leading the first prayer of the school year.
















Landon's class is right next door to Hayden's.














I think he's going to be okay...














...it's his daddy I'm worried about:-)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More bling than Bible

Or so my husband says.






















I think he's just jealous.

Friday, August 22, 2008

2 days 12 hours 41 minutes...

...until my children go back to school!!

They're not NEARLY as excited as I am.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

She's sooooooo funny

Reagan (13): "Mom! What are you doing?!"

Me: "What? I'm getting rid of these."

Reagan: "But those are your pregnancy and baby books!"

Me: "Yeah, so?"

Reagan: "But we're not through yet!"


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lights...Camera...Get those boys outta here!

Jimmy and the other Jimmy shot their infomercial recently and we tagged along to take a peek at the process. The boys were very interested in EVERYTHING and made sure all of their questions were answered. They were eager to find out what Daddy was doing on the sound stage, so they were given a crash course.














The Jimmys.















The stage manager said watching the process woud be even more interesting from inside the film trailer, conveniently located down three floors and in the back parking lot, too far for little boy voices to carry.














They were pretty thrilled with getting to see Coach Johnson again.
















Even Granna and PawPaw visited with the coach.















And because she didn't want me to be left out of the "celebrity" photos, Reagan insisted on a supermodel pose from me. Clearly, I missed my calling.














You can stop laughing now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"I'm ready to QUIT"

I made that statement last night as my five children stood staring at me, wide-eyed and disbelieving. It had been one of those days; in fact, it has been one of those several weeks. I have been cooped up in an RV with these kids-o-mine for a week, not being able to banish their loud, wrestling, arguing, question-asking, needy selves to their rooms or outside or anywhere away from me for a few minutes allowing me to regroup. When we returned home from our trip, Jimmy left for New York and my lofty plans of free time as the children played outside where derailed by several days of rain that are showing no signs of dissipating, so even at home I can't seem to find even a nano-second of the (okay, maybe I'm selfish) me time my mind seems to be craving.

When I decided I'd chance some muddy feet and wet clothing for a few boy-free minutes, I sent them both to the back yard. The area is fenced, they have a playscape, and a lot of area to run and play, so what did they do? This is a photo from the front yard.














Yep, they figured out a way to remove slats from our fence and make the view from the road oh, so lovely. The neighbors are understandably pleased.

The view from the back yard is just as visually stunning. That was a pear tree you see there until they decided to break most of the limbs. The hose you see? It's running full force into a hole in the ground. It's the third time they've pulled that little trick. My neighbor said she discovered the hose running while we were in Virginia...for a WEEK. I can't wait to see the that water bill.














The third picture is of a piece of wood tied to a rope strung from one end of the yard to the other. No reason really. I guess they thought it'd be fun and I just need to be thankful they didn't accidentally hang themselves.














So, Mom is ready to bail. I don't know where I'm thinking I could possibly go at this point. I've still got a list a mile long of before-school-starts necessary to-do's, a daughter regularly calling from college freaking out, and a nursing toddler attached to me day and night. It's not like I could sneak out unnoticed. I suppose I can just fantasize and count down...school starts in FIVE DAYS.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Coming home

We're home.

The problem is my daughter is in Virginia and I am here. Something about that is just not right. I keep taking inventory, counting heads, and keep coming up short. Out of nowhere my heart skips a beat, wondering where she is. I've lost track of her. And then I realize she's not here, she's not even close to here. And then I worry and I get sad, but then I smile inside because while it's true she's not here, she's right where she needs to be now, where a girl woman her age should be, moving on, growing up, leaving me. It's hard, it hurts, but it's time...and I miss her.

We're home, but home has changed and it may take a while for me to adjust.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Amateur Elvis fan

Today was our much anticipated trip to Graceland. And while I have always considered myself a fan, today I realized how much of a fan I wasn't.

As I looked around at the other visitors, I noted that I didn't have an Elvis hand bag, I didn't have an Elvis shirt, I didn't have Elvis earrings, rings, and a necklace, I didn't carry an easel holding an elaborate tribute to lay at his tombstone, and, sadly, I wasn't fortunate enough to have a nifty Elvis tattoo. I saw women of all ages covered head to toe in Elvis paraphernalia, and the Elvis impersonators were plentiful.

We were fortunate enough to have the VIP passes for the Graceland tour so we bypassed the super long lines to reach our shuttle and were even able to visit a bonus room in the house. An added treat was a tour of the back yard of Graceland and the out buildings. We toured his two aircraft and a car museum housing his movie cars as well as his personal favorites.

I also couldn't hold a candle to his real fans at the gift shop. They bought hundreds of dollars worth of Elvis nick knacks and music. I bought a $7.00 magnet for my fridge.

So while I may not be his biggest fan, I'll take my magnet home and every time I reach in my fridge I'll think of the great entertainer with the beautiful home, the fancy planes, and the cool cars; but more notably, I'll remember what is probably the biggest, craziest, most adoring bunch of fans of any star in the world.

The living room:












The dining room:












Peyton was not impressed and encouraged me to take her elsewhere.

















Granna, Pawpaw, Reagan, Keaton, Hayden, and Landon in front of Elvis' eagle suit from his concert in Hawaii.












Where Elvis was laid to rest.





















His wallet, pistol, sunglasses, and some of his jewelry displayed in the bonus room.











We walked through one of his planes, the Lisa Marie. One of the facts mentioned was that the seat belt buckles were 24k gold plated. He bought the plane for $250k but spent $800k customizing it.












Us in front of Graceland.














Thank you, Elvis, for the glimpse; we had a wonderful time.

54 years and counting

My in-laws, Granna and Pawpaw, are with us on this trip and we had the honor of celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary with them yesterday. Since a party and guests were out of the question, we decided a little sight-seeing in Nashville might be a fun way to honor such a special and unique occasion.

We began the day by touring the Ryman auditorium. Granna and Pawpaw had visited the Ryman more than fifty years ago, and while there was no show to see this time around, the tour of all the memorabilia was quite enjoyable.

Future Grand Ole Opry stars:














Peyton obviously had enough.





















This is for my dad: Patsy Cline

















Next was a suprise for Granna and Pawpaw. Jimmy had reserved spots for us all on the General Jackson Showboat for a lunch cruise complete with a show, the Peking Acrobats.

The views were amazing, the food delicious, and the show was unreal.

















Happy Anniversary Granna and Pawpaw! Here's to many, many more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good-byes are hard...really hard.

For brothers:



















For sisters:
















And for dads:

















But moms just can't...



















let...


















go.