Friday, October 29, 2010

CAN I INTEREST YOU IN SOME CRACKcorn?

* I KNOW!   I didn't blog for an ENTIRE week!
I was on vacation.
It was lovely.
I didn't write down a single witty conversation the entire week.
So it was actually a vacation for my kids, extended family and all of those I normally eavesdrop on.
I guess they deserve a break every once in awhile.


* But I'm back just in time for FRIDAY FRAGMENTS
Get on over to Half Past Kissin' Time and hook up with Mrs. 4444!  You'll love her!


* We went to Chicago and visited my brother and his family.
He graduated from med school this summer and is doing his residency in Emergency Medicine.
He has GREAT stories.
And NOT just from the ER.


* The vacation was low key.
We mostly just hung out and went to the Shedd Aquarium,
Field Museum,
 the top of the Hancock Tower,
Wrigley Field, shopped on Michigan Avenue, got cupcakes at the Bleeding Heart Bakery, ate Chicago style deep dish pizza, Chicago dogs and sat on my brother's bed eating CRACK corn. 
It's caramel corn from Garrett's Popcorn downtown, but I swear they put something in it.  You innocently "try" it and then you become a fiend.  You WILL eat it until you are sick AND THEN YOU WILL KEEP EATING IT. 
We brought several pounds home - of the crack corn too.
I'm checking in re-hab later!


* We weren't the only ones who ate too much!
One of the most fun things we did was watch my nieces' Ball Python eat dinner.
And I know you wouldn't want to miss the pics!







Seriously!  How cool is that?  Who wouldn't want this guy living in their bedroom?
* Are your kids completely different?  I mean, different from each other?
Mine totally are.
All three are AWESOME and they do have a lot in common,
but, they are each so unique.
Here's just ONE example.
Trammell: "Hey, I can register tonight at midnight.  Can I call you later to talk about different classes and professors?"
Me: "Sure.  I can go look at the class schedule while you are in class today.  I can also check out the professors on RateMyProfessor.com so you don't have to waste time later."
Trammell: "Great.  If you don't get time, no worries, but I'll call you later."


Me: "Hey, isn't it almost time to register for next semester."
Garrett: "Ummm......I don't know."


Well..........there ya go.

*Well, it's the last day of Fall Break today!
We're going to live it up

by driving to the Boy Scout office to turn in Parker's Eagle Scout Application,
baking some cakes for the church Halloween party,
doing laundry and cleaning the house.
Woo Hoo!  We know how to party!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

NOT BY THE HAIR OF YOUR CHINNY, CHIN, CHIN

Friday ROCKS!
The Friday before Fall Break ROCKS even more!
So before I start to party,
I'll upend my head and get the FRAGS out.
You don't have to be celebrating Fall Break to join in!
Go see Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time to play along!
* I voted! 
It's a family tradition for Brian and I to take the Blue Book and our ballots to breakfast and discuss them and fill them out. 
Growing up, my family (Mom, Dad, me <- the good one and my three brothers <- the naughty ones) would all sit around the kitchen table and Mom and Dad would take turns presenting an issue. They woud take turns presenting the "Pros" and "Cons." They tried to be neutral, but mom just couldn't help yourself.  "Oh for heaven's sake Ed! You're to the right of Genghis Kahn."  See!  That's where I learned about political leaders.......like Genghis Kahn!


* Hmmm......picked up my parents' mail (since they are on thir mission in Rome, it's a regular occurrence.)
Their mail in ballots were in there.
I DO have power of attorney.
Should I go ahead and vote FOR them?
Bahahahaha............such power!
Shall I mark "yes" on all the "right" issues for my mom and really send her over the edge?
I told you I was the good child!

* I started my Christmas shopping.
I went to the store for something very specific for Garrett and Trammell.
The store didn't have it.
So I bought some stuff for myself.
I'm counting it as Christmas shopping even though I'll probably be wearing my new purchases in October.
My INTENT was to Christmas shop!

* Arrrghhhh!
There was no line for a "write in" candidate for coroner on the ballot.

How are people going to write me in?
I'll never get to be coroner.

*Overheard:
Okay so it wasn't "overheard."
It was said directly to me.
"You need to get a hobby...........and not ironing!"
Wow!  Someone doesn't appreciate those crisp, unwrinkled sheets enough.
It was said in a totally, loving way........like, "You need to do something fun, just for yourself."
Next time, I'm only ironing MY SIDE of the sheets.

* If you were picking a new hobby,
would you choose kick boxing or that new pole dancing exercise that's all the rage?
NEITHER of those is going to be my new hobby!
I HATE to sweat and I think both of thoseinvolve sweating.

* The following Facebook status from a FEMALE friend just made me gag on my cupcake -
"Got a haircut today and had my chin hairs waxed for the first time!  It's awesome.  My chin is so smooth."
This one status update alone is argument for why 1) Facebook should be shut down immediately. 2) Facebook isn't for moms and dads. 3) We really aren't qualified to make important decisions like who should run this country.
Is this grounds to "unfriend" someone.

* Alright - I've got a plane to catch.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FIRST DATE!

Casually slipped into a conversation -
"Yeah, so I will probably, um, go on a date Thursday night."
"Wait! What?"
"Yeah.  Mark and I might take some girls out on a date?"
"Who"
"I don't know."
"Where?"

"I don't know, maybe to like the corn maze or something."

"Well, don't forget.  You're not asking anyone out until we go on OUR date."

Yep - it's a family rule.
BEFORE you go on any dates, you have to ask ME out.
You'd think that would discourage dating until 25!

The rules are as follows -
1) You must call me up IN ADVANCE.
2) You must have a plan.
3) You must ask me out for a specific date and time and tell me the plan.
4) You must pick me up.
5) Take me on a date - it can be short and cheap.
6) You must pay.

How easy is that?
Yet most of my three sons have had an EPIC fail.

Garrett called in advance (and not even from the same room) and asked me out on a date on a Thursday night to get ice cream. Fine.
He called in a panic that day and moved our date to 5 pm SO HE COULD GO OUT WITH ANOTHER GIRL at 7!
FAIL!

Parker asked me out to get ice cream after his driver's license test.
He called me on my cell while I was driving AND HE WAS IN THE PASSENGER SEAT!
Our date was to Cold Stone Creamery.
As soon as we walked in, he promptly told me I HAD to get a Love it size.
"What if I didn't want a Love it?"
"But you have to!  We're doing buy one get one free on my Wolf Card."
FAIL!

"You can't tell your date what to order!"
As if calling your mother up, picking her up and driving her somewhere for date isn't fun enough,
there is more to this outing.

Once I've mortified you by announcing to anyone who will listen, that this is a date and that's it's your first date, and you've secured your ice cream and are hunching down in the booth in the back of the store, we down to the nitty gritty:
"Mom's Rules for Dating"
I have NEVER seen boys concentrate on ice cream so hard in my life.
Yes, it starts out pretty tame -
Shake hands with her parents.
Let her parents know where you are going and what time you will be home.
and gradually builds up to "Don't go into the girl's house if no on is home." And "Don't go into a girl's bedroom." 
And then I get a little bit more specific about appropriate dating behaviors.

Usually, their eyes shoot up from the ice cream in horror and quickly dart back - not wanting to make eye contact.
Then they slouch down further in the booth, duck their head into the ice cream cup and say, "Okay. Okay.  Okay."

I don't know if they hear me over the buzz in their head of the continual loop "Please make her stop talking.  Please make her stop talking."

And then that's it.
If you survive,
you can now ask someone ELSE - more attractive and who doesn't give lectures and will more than happily order a Love it - out.
Happy Dating!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BABY YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR!

We almost had a crisis of epic proportions.


Tiny Baby had his DRIVING test appointment yesterday at 9:45.
He was a little irritated that it just happened to be scheduled during his "off" hour.
I mean really, it should have been scheduled during Calculus or Chemistry.  Duh!
What's the point of leaving school when you are supposed to be leaving school?


We were prepared though -
Driving log - check
Birth certificate - check
Car Registration - check
Proof of insurance - check
Certificate of Completion of Drivers' Ed - check
Permit - check


We got to our appointment 20 minutes early because we are compulsive weird that way.
We went to Station 1.
She asked for Parker's permit.
He opened his wallet to slide it out of the little, clear, plastic pocket.
I wish you could have seen his face.
It looked just like this -
No permit.
We had plenty of time, so we decided to run home and look for it although we had no clue why it wasn't in the plastic sleeve nor where it could be.

The Station 1 greeter lady chased out into the parking lot and said, "Wait.  Come back in.  Since you have his birth certificate, we can get you a replacement permit and then you don't have to go all the way home."

Cool!  I never knew DMV people could be so helpful!

She checks over the rest of the paperwork.
"Wait!  Where is the Certificate of Completion of Drivers' Ed?"

Don't ask why we need that.
Our laws have changed about 10 billion times since my first received his license 5 years ago and basically it is nigh to impossible to get your license when you are 16.

I point out the little 2X4 card that says "Proof of Completion of Drivers' Ed."
"Oh no!  This isn't it.  The certificate is 'official.'  It's 8 1/2 X 11 and has to have the original signature."

"Well this is the only thing we got from Drivers' Ed."

"Ah....I see this card has a staple in it.  It must have been stapled to the 'official' certificate."

"No, I stapled it the drivers' ed book because it was small and I didn't want to lose it.  Here are all the books and papers he received in Drivers' Ed."

Bottom line.  We were missing the certificate.  We would have to leave and go find it....but we still had plenty of time.
We looked in the two places it would be, if we had received it, but we knew we had never seen it before in our lives.

Parker was crestfallen.
Meanwhile, he found his permit................in his wallet.
It was behind his school ID.
But it didn't matter.
No certificate.  No license.

Because we kept every scrap of paper from Drivers' Ed, I had his teacher's cell number.
I called Mike and explained what happened and asked if we could get a replacement certificate.  I figured I could pick it up later in the day and we could start the process over tomorrow.

"Well, I'm on my way to a nursing home about 15 minutes away from you and I happen to have my Drivers' Ed stuff with me.  If you want to meet me, I can give you a certficate."

Needless to say, I did not let Parker drive.

We met Mike.  He apologized if he did not give us the cetificate.  We apologized if we had lost it.  He mentioned that rescheduling the driving test with the DMV would take 4-6 weeks.

Seeing Parker's devastated face, he said, "Actually, I'm giving a driving test his afternoon at 2:30.  It should take about 30 minutes.  If you want to meet me at 3:00, I can give you the driving test then.  Oh, but it's the driving school rules that it has to be in my car."

Let me think about it - no 4-6 week wait, Parker could still get his license today, no grumpy DMV employee, driving Mike's Honda or Toyota instead of our giant Yukon XL, driving on the same streets Parker drove for drivers' ed.  Hmmm........."Yes!  Yes! We'll meet you."

PARKER PASSED!
Suprise!  What kind of Drivers' Ed teacher would fail his own student?  Wouldn't he look bad?  Wouldn't parents question where their good money had gone?
Parker did fine. He only missed one point!  Yippee!

And then Mike's next words were music to my ears.
"You don't have to go back to the DMV."
Because the driving test was done by a state certified instructor, we could take his test results and all of our paperwork to a different county office.
WooHoo!  I LOVE YOU MIKE!

We were the ONLY ones in the county office.
We were in and out of there with Parker's license in 7 minutes!
Congratulations to Parker!
Special thanks to Mike!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WRONG! Everyone is just WRONG!

My whole life is RaNDoM.
So how come I sit down to write and I draw a blank?
It's not really a blank - it's just that I have so much to say!
Help! I'm talking and I can't shut up!
Go over to The Un Mom and see Keely for something less nonsensical (or maybe not).


* Tiny Baby enjoyed a quiet and sedate Sweet 16 Birthday.
Something is wrong with my children.
They refuse any hoopla.
They never want to have a party.
What is wrong with them that they DON'T want to be the center of attention?

 
* We opened presents after school and went to the restaurant of his choice.
He has been waiting several months to receive this -



I know, weird, a fountain pen.
What is wrong with my kids?










* Don't worry, his Christmas list is more normal (kinda).
He wants the new Call of Duty video game - also known as COD.
A new controller for the PS3
And, here's where the wheel go off the track -"A COD designated Snuggie."
His words. Not mine.
I asked, "What's wrong with a blanket?"
Parker: "Then your arms get cold.  You definitely have to have sleeves.  Oh and I don't want the leopard print or the camo.  I just want a plain one."
Phew!


* This is the first high school parent/teacher conference in seven years that I am NOT making dinner for 300.
I'm dropping off my roaster, a crock pot and a couple of giant bowls, but that's my only investment.
I "get" to go to a viewing and a funeral.
Hmmm.......maybe I should have volunteered to do the meal.


* You know something is wrong with me when I am counting down the days until Lil Wayne gets out of jail.
But in my defense, it's only because I cannot take another song featuring Nicki Minaj.  She's dirty , and not in the good way.  She's trashy.  And it's soooo unladylike to rap.  Please make her hold hands with Katy Perry and skip into the sunset or get put in jail for weapons charges.  Either one.


* Something is wrong with Garrett.
Garrett hates blogging, specifically, my blogging, more specifically, my blogging about him.
He hates cooking.
Well maybe he doesn't hate cooking, but he doesn't do it.
So should I have him drug tested?
He called yesterday and said, "Mom!  You should totally check out this blog.  It's by my friend's mom and it's just like yours.  It looks just like yours.  She shares really cool recipes.  They look so good!  I'm looking at a recipe for pumpkin/chocolate chip muffins.  They look really good and I might make them because we're going to a potluck and we might take these.  So yeah, I will probably make these.  You should check out the blog."
Yeah..........something is wrong with him.


* I saw these at Target yesterday -
in the street walker Girl's Department.  If you buy these for your 7 year old, I'm unfriending you.  What is wrong with people?

Well, I'm sure nothing is wrong with you!
So get on over and visit some of the other RaNDoM posters!
Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TINY BABY!

Sweet 16!
It's Parker's special day!
Parker has always been full of energy, passion and enthusiasm.
He was due in November and tried to make his grand entry into the world in August.
With hospitalization, medication, bed rest and my mom moving in for three months,
we were able to contain him until October 18th!
He never walked, he ran.
He has always been adventurous and up for something new and different.
He puts up with unbelievable amounts of teasing and holds his own.
He has always been able to keep up - whether on his feet, a bike, roller blades, a scooter or on a snowboard.
He is fearless.












Our family wouldn't be the same without Tiny Baby, TB, PK, Parky, Bubsy, Sir Bubsalot, Rat-Dog, Ratly, and 100 other pet names!

We love you Parker!
Happy Birthday!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

INTERNET FRIENDS ARE REAL!

A special thanks to Valerie!
She's a long time (like 10+ years) internet friend.

We "met" on an old AOL board and we've also become blog BFF's.

I really want to thank her for her comment on yesterday's blog post.
She wrote: Sounds like things are going great-well, except for that "tropical disease" and the plague. Hope everyone is feeling better soon!


Now, we all know it was a little tongue in cheek.
But I chose to take it literally.
And she right.
Things ARE going great!

It's been a little bit difficult at my house this week in that there is a lot of outside drama going on.
It doesn't involve me, my husband or even any of my own kids.
But it has taken A LOT of my time and emotional energy.
I have probably spent 20 hours this week on negative projects.

So Val's comments (I'm calling her Val because we are such close friends! ;) ) rang home and reminded me that as far as what is important - my family - things ARE great!

I AM blessed.
Right now, everyone is in a good spot.
Everyone is happy and basically heathy (no one is dying yet).
Everyone is where they are supposed to be and doing what they are supposed to be doing.
I DO have a great life!
Thank for the reminder!

Friday, October 15, 2010

GOOD NEWS & BAD NEWS!

* This week is full of GOOD NEWS & BAD NEWS!
The good news is that it is now Friday!
The good news is that Mrs. 4444 is hosting

So we can all get on over to Half Past Kissin' Time and play along!

* BEST NEWS - Wasn't that mine rescue incredible?  It was awesome to watch and I loved hearing each of the miner's stories.

* GOOD NEWS - Trammell (the one who just got back from his 2 year mission in Cambodia and is in Utah attending BYU) got a J.O.B!
He will be teaching English to foreign missionaries who are coming to the U.S. or Canada to serve missions.
I don't know how that works.  But evidently, he does.

* BAD NEWS - Trammell has lost 20 pounds in one month.

* GOOD NEWS - If he shares his weight loss secret with the world, he will be rich.

* BAD NEWS - I believe his weight loss secret involves a tropical disease <- that's nicer than saying parasite or worms.  So you may not want his weight loss secret.

* GOOD NEWS - After suffering from "morning sickness" as he calls it and throwing up every other day for seemingly no reason, his doctor referred him to a G I guy.

* BAD NEWS - The G I can't see him until November 29th.

* GOOD NEWS - He INSISTED they see him now and muscled his way into an appointment today!

* BAD NEWS - Tiny Baby is 15 and 362/365ths.  

* GOOD NEWS - He wants NO part of a party.  He will take presents and a driver's license though!

* GOOD NEWS - He is over the plague.  Just in time to spend the evening flagboying with the cheerleaders at the football game - after the ater school cookie making and team dinner of course.

* BAD NEWS - No going out for ice cream after the game with all the cheerleaders because the PSAT's are tomorrow morning at 7 am.

* GOOD NEWS - But after the PSAT's is a lacrosse game, building a haunted house with friends and a barn dance.  Parker has such a BORING life!

* GOOD NEWS - Garrett has straight A's in college.

* BAD NEWS - Except in one class.  The first test was yesterday and it didn't go so well.  He got a 76%

* GOOD NEWS - The class "brain" got a 60% and the high score was an 80%.  Everyone is hoping for a curve.

* BAD NEWS - Parker gave me the plague.  I'm coughing up a lung.

* GOOD NEWS - It's Friday and I don't care that I have the plague!!!  WooHOO!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

GRILLED PIZZA

Here's a quick and easy dinner for you!
RUSTIC GRILLED PIZZA
We had a lot of fun with it!

You take pizza dough - what do you mean you don't just have some dough?  I bet you want a recipe?
Don't tell anyone but I buy my dough in a frozen dough ball in the bakery section of Sunflower Market.
But homemade pizza dough is easy to make. 
Really.
Fine.  I'll give you the recipe later.
Anyway-
take the pizza dough and divide it into individual portions.
With your hands, form the dough into a round or square or unidentified crust shape -as seen above.
Do NOT manhandle or roll the dough.
The less touching the better.
But stretch it as thin as you can.

I hope your grill is preheated.
I forgot to tell you that part.

Spread some olive oil on one side of your pizza crust - about 1 Tablespoon
Go ahead.  Spread it with your fingers.

Place the dough -oiled side down on a GREASED grill.
Cook until crispy on the bottom - a few minutes.
While it's cooking, spread another tablespoon of oil on the top.

Flip the crust over and grill the other side for a few minutes.

Remove the crust from the grill and top with your favorite toppings.
We used
sauce
grated cheese
sauteed onions
sauteed mushrooms
pepperoni
sliced banana peppers
artichoke hearts
fresh basil

To each, his own!
Place the pizzas back on the grill and cook until the cheese melts.

Everyone gets their own pizza and there is no whining!
Fun for an afterschool snack, fun for a teenage party, just plain fun!
Buon Appetito!


What are you doing still hanging out around here?
Go make your pizza!


Ohhhh.......you want a dough recipe.
Oh alright!

1 t sugar
1 pckg. dry yeast
2 t olive oil for bowl and brushing
coarse salt & ground pepper
2 1/2 C bread flour plus more for work surface

Pour 1 C warm water in a medium bowl.
Add sugar.
Sprinkle with yeast.
Let sit 5 minutes.
Whisk oil and 1 t salt into yeast mixture.
Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until water is incorporated.
The dough will seem dry.
Turn ot onto floured work surface.
Knead until the dough comes together in an elastic ball - about 2 minutes.
Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl.
Brush with oil.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Put in a warm draft free spot and let rise until double - about 45 minutes.
Punch down, cover and let rise another 30 minutes.
Divide into 4 pieces - makes 4-10 inch pizzas.
You can refirigerate dough for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Get creative - you can add herbs, garlic or a bit of Italian herbs to the crust before kneading.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vote for ME for CORONER!

Fall is finally here.
And I am pretty excited about it!
It's 45 and rainy!  Yippee!
Sorry - I was getting sick of the 80's and my summer clothes.

You know what else is here?
RaNDoM! 
It's RaNDoM THouGHT TueSDaY with Keely!
Go over to
The Un Mom's and give her some love!

* I'm making this today -
It's a cute little banner to hang in the house.  I'm sure my college kids (who will never see it) and soon to be 16 year old Parker will think it's awesome!
You can make one too!
Go on over to LeeLou Blogs and print one!


*Evidently, it's time to re-elect our coroner.
Talk about my dream job!
Vote for ME for Coroner.
I have a sick and twisted attraction to dead things - not like horror movie dead things but like CSI.
So vote for me!
Oh, I have no training.
Also - does anyone know why it matters if your coroner is Democrat or Republican?
Does one fight for corpse's rights more than the other?
Just wondering.



* Recent coversations with someone who doesn't care to live until his next birthday - which is ONE week away!

Me: "Seriously - no more tennis with firey tennis balls!"
Him: "Huh?  What?"
Me: "Do you think I'm stupid?"
Him: "Tennis with balls of fire?"
Me: "Did you seriously think I wouldn't notice the char marks on the garage and the singed tennis ball?
No more."
Him: " But fire is good. Being a pyro is good. All the inventors liked fire and I'm going to invent something.  I am.  I'm inventing time travel.  I just need a few more minutes to work it out.  Really - put me in a Calc8 class and I'll be able to do it."


* Talking to the same genius
Me: "Don't forget, tonight is your academic letter ceremony."
Him: Groaning; "No.....no it's not.  We're not going."
Me: Of course we're going. You have to go."
Him: "No, smart kids letter. Kids who are really intelligent stay home and pick up the letter in the office the next day."
Plus they have cookies from the Cookie Company for dessert - that's the REAL reason to go!

Don't tell anyone, but I wrapped up two in a napkin for today's breakfast!
And it's breakfast time!
Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 11, 2010

CAST A VOTE FOR THE SMALL DOG!

I long for the days of Cialis commercials.
Remember those offensive ads?
Yeah, I hated them too...........until the election season.
Now, we can't watch a 30 minute show without being bombarded by political ads.
It's no exaggeration.
EVERY ad is a political ad.

And if that isn't enough,
every dinner hour is interrupted with phone calls from "Washington."

Everyday between 4 and 6, the phone starts ringing and I'm still dumb enough to answer.
It's always a recording.
It's always advising us of some dirty dog move that someone who is Democrat or Republican in Washington is making to end all of our rights and bring certain disaster down upon our household.

But my favorite call was the other night.
Ring......ring.....
"Hello?"

Same canned man's voice: "Survey 2010..............
Me: thinking....here we go.......
Man: "Do you own a small dog?"
Me: Taken aback.  Ooooo.....do we get to vote for the White House dog?  Are those dirty politicians taking away dogs' rights too?  This is going to be good.
"No." I finally answer.
Man: "Thank you very much for participating." Click
Me: Wait!  That's it?  Because I don't own a small dog, I don't get any input on raising taxes, term limits, or Wall Street bailouts?  What if I have kids who smell like dogs?  Come back!  Ask me another question!

Please make election season end!