Friday, October 31, 2008

Cook These Muffins

Well, it's Halloween, time, and you know what that means...class parties. I thought I'd take the easy route and bring the apples for the caramel apples. Bless my little monster's hearts, they volunteered me to bring other goodies. Woopee! So, this morning I ran to Walmart to buy the supplies for Bookworm's popcorn balls and Popcorn's cupcakes. Now, normally I make a ton of popcorn balls anyway, because we used to have a big party before terrorizing our neighborhood in Texas, but here, my neighborhood's too small to terrorize, most of the people are older, and I just can't have their heart attacks on my conscience. So, we're terrorizing a friend's neighborhood with their kids. Hey, if someone can't handle the terror, at least I don't have to look that person in the eye every day.

But, back to my original point. I decided to make pumpkin muffins for Popcorn's class. My kids love those things. I frosted them with canned frosting that I bought, added green food coloring to and whipped so it would go further. Don't be suckered into buying the "fluffy" or "whipped" frosting. It actually has 4 ounces less of frosting and they charge you the same. Whip it yourself, and your can goes further....and you've stuck it to the man. I need to stick it to the man sometimes. I guess I'm more my father's daughter than I thought!

Here's the recipe for pumpkin muffins. They are delicious, moist and nutritious. Can't beat that! So, here's the recipe. Try it! I promise you'll love it, and you're family will too.

Pumpkin Muffins
1 package yellow cake mix with pudding in it
1/2 c water
1 can pumpkin (1.5 c of fresh pumpkin that you made after Pioneer Woman inspired you)
Pumpkin pie spice to taste

Mix the above, place in muffin cups and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Now, how easy was that?

I frosted them with green frosting and stuck a pretzel stick in them to look like a stem. I was originally going to frost them orange and pipe green leaves on them, then use the pretzel, but thankfully I was out of red frosting, so I was unable to make orange. This made my life much simpler today. This makes 18 muffins. I had to make an extra batch because Popcorn has 20 in her class, and I didn't plan well. So, now we get to snack on extra muffins for a few days! By the way, I made 46 popcorn balls... Do you think that's enough for 19 kids?

Oh, and one last thing, then I promise I'll stop rambling....Did you know that if you throw an entire laundry basket full of jackets in the washer after camping, and your digital camera happens to be in the pocket of YOUR jacket (this means you can blame noone but yourself...dangit, I love to blame anyone but myself), it will not survive? However, by the sheer grace of God your memory card will survive! So, dear reader, I don't have pictures of my hard work, because I have no camera. When Studmuffin is home I can use his work camera, but alas, he's at work. I know you're sad for me...I can just feel these things. Hey, if you're not keep it to yourself. I need my delusions.

Philippians 2:14-16
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Original Prairie Woman

In case you haven't noticed I'm using this site to preserve every precious memory that I can. I've always loved to write the stories about my kids and save them for later use, lest I need to blackmail them, or stroll down memory lane. I've always planned on writing about my Grandma Irene, The Original Prairie Woman, but I never get around to it. So, today when nothing exciting has happened thus far, and I feel compelled to verbalize with someone I will tell you about this lovely woman.

My grandma is really a source of endless stories... the paper jewelry I used to cut out of magazines for dress-up at her house... the card tables she set up thousands of times for my cousin Jason & I to play house in...cupcakes for supper...ordering Bill Cosby's Picture Pages for me to do along with him during Captain Kangaroo...two packets of cocoa mix per cup make it better (one just isn't sweet enough. Can I get a Hallelujah, amen!)...Well, of course I could go on and on, but you get my point.

This story involves my grandma, who's Indian name should be Shewhokillsasnake or Shootsmanyarmadillos. Grandma turned 88 this summer. She also told me about her pesky armadillos this summer.

Did you know armadillos jump really high? They do flips in the air and everything. In fact, this is why you hit them driving down the road. They panic and jump up and...bam! more armadillo. I actually had a friend who's van had a mysterious dead animal smell. You guessed it, there was a dead armadillo wedged in her undercarriage! Yuck.

But, I've usual...we were talking about Shootsmanyarmadillos. Apparently when Grandma shoots the armadillos under her trees they jump really high in the air, then run under her spreading cedar. At least she thinks she's shooting different armadillos. She said maybe she misses the same one over and over and it runs for cover. Oh, tears of laughter are clouding my vision as I picture my little Grandma toting the rifle out to go 'dillo hunting of an evening.... You just don't get much classier than that. But that's the thing...she is "classy," but she also sees what needs to be done, and she does it!

Take a rattle snake in the house....Yep, in the house. In the summer of 1995 (lots of great things happened that summer) there were rattlesnakes in the panhandle like crazy. I don't know how many Dad & I killed that summer (Okay, I mostly fetched Dad and prayed for his safety as he killed them.) However, there was literally an infestation of snakes at my grandparents. I'm telling you, they must have killed a snake a day.

Well, Grandad went out to supervise my dad working, (yes, supervise...he was very good at that) and he left through the living room door. Now, this door had a hydraulic closure on know, you walk away and it closes a moment later. Well, Grandma walked into the living room, and there was a snake, stuck in the door. She, being the great prairie woman, recognized it as a rattler right away. Grandad was gone, no one's around, and if she left that snake unattended, it might slip on in. So, she pulled the door shut until it latched with the snake hissing and rattling like nobody's business.

Now, Grandma can't just leave the snake there. What if it somehow gets free and is loose in the house? So, she got the 22 rifle, pinned that snake's head to the floor (picture pristine white carpet here) and blew it's brains out. When I came over later that day, she said "Look, you can't even see any blood in the carpet...It all came out!" I tell you what-those murderers on television need to talk to my grandma about how to clean up blood splatter!

Yep! That's Grandma Irene...The Original Prairie Woman.

Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Popcorn and Bookworm

My beautiful girls need online names. I've been pondering this for a few days. When they were littler we referred to them as Number One and Number Two when they were in the room and we didn't want them to understand who we were talking about. I originally thought this would work online, but where's the fun in that? And, what does that tell you about their little personalities?

When you name your child, you have no idea what kind of person they'll be. The amazing thing is, that once you meet them, and their little personalities develop, you can't imagine calling them by any other name. Well, I'm saying you, but I guess I better take ownership of my feelings, and quit pushing them off on you, dear reader. I think my little darlin's names are perfect for them, but today I get to be creative and give them new names. So, welcome to the christening of Bookworm and Popcorn... Aha! You already have an immediate image based on these descriptive names, yes? Well, let me tell you a little about my little girls.

My oldest daughter, Bookworm, is... a bookworm, and all of the personality traits inherent in bookishness. She is intellectual, careful, and has a very dry sense of humor. Did I mention she's a tad dramatic? Don't know where she got that from! She actually has a crazy sense of humor, but not everyone gets it. I, of course, being a master in humor fully understand her.

Now, don't you need a story to fully grasp her? Of course you do! Take the Loch Ness monster. The amount of knowledge about a mythical creature in her little noggin is amazing. "Did you know it is probably a plesiosaur? It lives in a lake, called a loch in, like Ireland, or Germany, one of those places." I ask you, how many 8 year olds know that if Nessy exists it's probably a plesiosaur? Or, how about this one. "Mom, the reason my hair looks like I don't brush it is because it's swept." Hmmm....not sure I understand...."You know, it's windswept!" Is that a bookworm word, or what?

Now for Popcorn. She also loves to read, but she is much more...explosive... in her personality. I decided on Popcorn, because I'm never sure when she's going to explode into action. Why walk? Skipping is better. Why sit on your bottom for a movie? Lying on your back and continuously bicycling your legs in the air is way better. This is also the best way to practice spelling words. I guess this helps the blood flow to her brain. She can spin a tale out of almost nothing... It's a mystery where that comes from.

Let me tell you about the "Tricked you now I gotta stick you game." She told me all about it today. The rules are still a little fuzzy. "First, you trick someone, then you say the rhyme. Then, they run away, and tag the mailbox. You must open and close the mailbox... but everyone has to see you do it... Oh, and you have to spin around three times... no four...NO! NO! You do jumping jacks, that's it! JUMPING JACKS!" I asked her if she just made this up. "Yes, but I'm not sure about the rules yet, but it's REALLY FUN!" Of course it is!

Well, dear reader, I hope you have a blessed day. Thank you for sharing my ramblings. I'm sure you feel more complete having learned about my little munchkins? Of course you do!

Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Corrections from yesterday's post

First, dear reader, I must make a correction in yesterday's post. My beloved informed me that the first hockey game happened in Canada, not Alaska. I apologize for misleading any of you on this oh-so-important detail.

Second, I need to change the way I refer to my beloved online. He doesn't care for hubby, so we discussed it and..........Studmuffin it is!

Of course there is a story behind this name. And let's be honest even if there weren't a story, I'd make one up just to have something to blog about. Oh, if only my life were half as interesting as I like to pretend. But again, dear reader if you don't agree with the fascinatingness (new word there!) of my life, please keep it to yourself. My ego is fragile, and my heart is so tender. Oh, I'm laughing out loud now!!

But, back to the story.....

Many years ago (1995 to be exact) studmuffin and I were dating. We'd been dating for about a year by then, but I hadn't had the pleasure of meeting his stepsisters family (I'd met the stepsister...she roomed with my sister in college). My husband has a nickname that his family uses, and she asked him if I called him by the family nickname. "NO," he replied, "she calls me studmuffin."

I don't know if Dana has ever let him completely live that down, but we decided to resurrect the old name for blogging purposes. Thank you, Dana, for the inspiration you gave us years ago for an online pet name for my man. From now on all future references to my beloved will be Studmuffin.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lies We Tell Our Children

Am I the only one who lies to their kids? I don't mean the usual... Santa, Easter Bunny etc. I mean just outright lies. I gotta be honest here. My husband and I get a huge kick out of telling our kids lies. We like to pretty it up and call it "teasing" them, or telling them "stories" but really, they're all lies. I know you're dying to know what these atrocities we're telling our children actually are... Aren't you? Well, if not, please humor me, and read on. I need to share my thoughts, and my husband is tired of listening to my rambling....

Speaking of my husband and rambling, the most recent lie we told the girls was just last night. We were eating a lovely meal with my parents at my favorite restaurant...anything Mexican. Hubby mentioned his period of silence he had in the past. Honestly, I don't know what brought this up, but he told the girls he once went 3 years without talking. They both wondered why. To prove his love to me, their wonderful mother, he took a vow of silence that lasted 3 years.... Sigh... How romantic.

Of course he ruined the romance of the moment, and knocked the starts out of their little eyes when he told them that it actually took him that long to get a word in edgewise with me. Not to be outdone (I've never even pretended to be silent, not even when my dad used to tell me little girls were to be seen and not heard) I told them that it actually took me 3 years to realize that I was the only one talking. You see gentle reader, I have many important things to say, and a limited time on this planet to share all of the VERY important information I need to give to the world. You see the burden I suffer, and understand my plight, I'm sure.

We continued to enjoy our little deception to the little ones clear through the evening, and we were still chuckling about it in Sunday School this morning. Our teacher's wife, Denise, told me this would come back to haunt us. We laughed, and said "Oh that's nothing. You should hear about the first hockey game EVER!" That particular story will go down for all time into the archives of world's greatest tales ever told to 2 little girls by their parents off the cuff.

What could be this story? What?! You didn't even know we were hockey fans? Well, dear reader we are not hockey fans, although we've been known to go to a game when free tickets are offered. (We would like some any time you feel the need to pay your blessing of season hockey tickets forward... thank you.) But, back to the story...

It all began with an overcooked buttermilk biscuit long ago in a strange and mysterious place called Canada...

A certain gold miner (his name has been lost through the years) was breaking his morning fast (you see, it was so long ago, they still broke fast instead of eating breakfast.) This particular fellow, we'll call him, Paul (that seems very strong and lumberjack-ish, and I'm sure that implies great strength and willingness to brave the wilds of Canada) was eating a biscuit. Unfortunately, this morning it was particularly cold, and his already hard biscuit was frozen solid. In disgust, he flung the biscuit away from him where it skidded across a frozen lake, and landed at the feet of a bear.

The bear, never one to pass up a free meal himself, picked up the biscuit and tried to bite it. "This biscuit is too hard," he said in disgust. He threw that biscuit down and it skidded across that same lake again, and that was the first hockey game.

Now, here's the best part of the story....

Daughter #1: Who won?

Well, I must tell you we were taken aback by this question. Who did win? The bear, of course... Everyone knows the Bruins are great hockey players!

Daughter #2: I didn't know bears could talk.

Daddy: Well, sweetie, that's because bears can't talk anymore. They've eaten so much garbage that over the years their ability to speak has become impaired from the amount of cholesterol that they've consumed from human waste.

Well, believe it or not, this was all the information our little ones needed. They continued on with their meal as if conversations about talking bears occurred every day in our house. Oh, I'm laughing just thinking about it.

Sadly, Denise had an impact on my hubby. He told the girls today at lunch that we were only teasing them about the vow of silence... He even told them the first hockey game was a joke! It made me sad... There's just no mystery in this world anymore. I mean, if you can't lie to your kids about talking bears and vows of silence, what the heck is left? Honesty, truth, and edifying tales that help build their little characters into the individuals we want them to someday be? Yes, this sounds good in theory, but I ask you... Where's the fun in that?

Have a great day, and make sure there's some laughter in it!

A Cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov 17:22

Okay, and just for some balance...

The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools. Prov 15:7

Friday, October 24, 2008

Offing a Virtual Husband

That got your attention, didn't it?

Well, for those of you who don't have Yahoo for your home page, you really missed out this morning. Apparently a 43 year old woman in Tokyo is facing up to 5 years in prison for killing her virtual husband when she realized he suddenly divorced her. Yep, the lady was pretty upset and used the information she'd gained during their happy marriage to hack his computer and kill off his virtual persona.

How funny is that? I'm still laughing about it. I can't get the image out of my head... Her shocked and horrified countenance as she discovers the treachery of her virtual husband. Her swift vengeance.... "I'll kill him!.... Hey wait a minute... I really will kill him! That'll teach that so and so to divorce my online avatar!" Then with maniacal laughter ringing through her tiny Tokyo apartment, void of any furniture except a low table with cushions thrown around it and a high dollar laptop in a position of prominence in the middle of it. The cushions are, of course red with gold embroidery and she has little jade statues scattered throughout the room with pictures of cranes and women in kimonos with white painted faces adorning her wall. The only necessary appliances in this spartan aparment is her beloved Wok and a kettle for brewing white or green tea. Oh, there may be a bottle of saki somewhere in the house, to help kill the pain of her sudden betrayal.

Let's see... Did I leave out any stereotypes? How about the ripe smell of ginger and soy sauce in the air? Or perhaps, some lovely incense burning? I don't know... take this where your imagination will, but I for one found this story to amusing not to share.

Hope everyone's having a happy Friday. I sure am. The girls don't have school today for parent teacher conferences. So, we've spent the morning laying around in pajamas, watching Scooby Doo, and for myself, drinking vast amounts of coffee...That could account for my wild imaginings. Too much java always makes it hard for me to keep up with my thoughts.

The girls have now moved on to crafts, and I originally logged on to pay bills (blech!) when I discovered the lovely aforementioned article, and was inspired for today's blog.

Now, I must sadly move on to my chores. My husband has oh-so-sweetly asked me to vacuum the pool so we can winterize and cover it. Why do I always get the crummy jobs? My wonderful hubby informed me it's because I'm the wife. Can I apply for a new position? How about trophy wife? That certainly seems to imply very few responsibilities except looking good and making sure he looks good in the process.

I also have to vacuum the house and clean the bathrooms. The girls will dust and mop the floors. They hate dusting, but love mopping. I tell them that when they become mommies they can make their children do the chores they like the least, and get as much joy out of watching their own little Cinderellas do the chores the wicked mommy hates to do. It helps build a child's character to ensure they have plenty of drudgery in their lives. How can they ever truly appreciate free time if I let them languish on the couch all day?

Besides, when we finish with all of the drudgery, we will have all weekend to mess it up again and just enjoy time as a family... We also plan to make cookies today. Not sure what kind yet, I'll let you know.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Killing Rubber Dummies (Then saving them, of course!)

How many ways can you kill the same guy? Then, after you kill him, how many times can you save him? This is the question I've been asking myself for the last 3 days as I was taking the beloved ACLS (that's advanced cardiovascular life support for the non-healthcare folk.)

The answer to this age-old question (is it really age-old or only days old?) is lots of ways. He can have just about any strange or common event happen to him, but then the real kicker is, that no matter what happened, he's just as dead from severe cold as he is from a car crash or a heart attack (my personal favorite, but we won't get into the psychology of having a personal favorite way to save a dead person), there are only so many things you can do to save this dead person. Yep, I said save a dead person, because you realize that once you have no heart beat, and no breathing, then you are clinically dead, but not so dead that we can't revive you if we act quickly. Anyway, I digress... did I have an original topic? This blog is confusing myself, I can only imagine how my loyal days old readers are feeling right now. I apologize.

The point of this blog is (I think) that I PASSED MY ACLS CLASS!! Yes, I realize this is the fourth time I've taken it and passed it in my career as a nurse, but nonetheless I feel an extreme sense of accomplishment every time I do actually pass. It's hard to describe the tension I actually feel as I'm resuscitating a rubber dummy. What if I do the wrong thing? What if I kill him more dead than he already is? These are the thoughts I have as I'm "saving my dead dummy." They are real, and it is scary. The good news is I have so far saved all of my dead dudes to date. YEAH!! That's way better than real life statistics, which I don't actually know, but I know it's not 100%!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting Started

Where do I begin? I always seem to have so much to say, but when it comes to getting started I can't think where to begin. But, hey, here's an example of my ability to ramble. I could blather on and on about not knowing what to blog about!

Let's see... today... today...

The girls are always a source of entertainment. The girls, who are currently 6 and 8, were fighting (is that too strong of a word?) about who had to take the first bath. I wasn't here last night, so I couldn't play the person who took the first bath last night gets the second one tonight. So, I randomly chose #1 (my 8 yr old) to go first. She was furious, and said she had to go first last night. Well, of course both girls have the same disclaimer. I told her to please go ahead with her bath (I'm sure I was that diplomatic and sweet with my tone of voice.) She went to the bathroom in a foot stomping fashion, which I can tolerate, because she's moving towards obedience. However, at the last minute she stuck her head out the door and blew a raspberry. I'm not sure who it was directed at. Possibly me, possibly her pesky little sister. How exactly do you punish for a raspberry? I calmly asked her to "come here." Then I had her stick her tongue out at me, I grabbed it, and told her not to spit at me any more. This was very upsetting for her. Can you believe this was a cry-worthy punishment? She apologized and went to take her bath in a much more respectful fashion. Whodda thunk? Grabbing a tongue. I'll have to tuck that in my bag of tricks for discipline!