Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey and trees

 The tree.....all trimmed and ready for a multitude of presents to go under if only I had a multitude of presents to go underneath.
 We get Aunt Bri for 10 days and she came along on our tree hunting extravaganza!
 Baylor with two of his four awesome and beautiful Aunts! They came for Thanksgiving and we loved having them here.
Brody was no where to be found for the photos.... probably nude somewhere.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's perfect!

I have been looking through magazines and browsing websites for the past few months, dreaming about the perfect Thanksgiving table.  Researching different recipes and decorations, contemplating how I can achieve total domesticity on this beloved  forgotten holiday.

I had been frazzled and stressed out, trying to clean and find chairs to fit around the table and china that matched. NOTHING matches in my house.  Chairs don't match, plates don't match, furniture doesn't match, towels don't match and on rare occasion my socks don't match.  Someday things will match, just not at this point in my life.  I pulled out every utensil, cup, saucer and platter trying to find the perfect place setting.  I was failing miserably at this point, when Baylor comes into the kitchen where I had everything sprawled out on the counter. It looked like the china cabinet had just barfed.

If I had a china cabinet.  

He smiles and walks away. I can see the excitement of the impending holiday in his little eyes.  He has no idea why mom is cursing at the silverware.

I continue to put table cloths on and rearrange chairs (or lack thereof) to make sure we are able to walk and sit and of course for our expanding bellies.  I threw some pumpkins and Indian corn on the table and stacked some plates, but really it was just a huge mess.  Nothing was organized, nothing matched.....and in walks Baylor.



It's perfect.

It takes one five year old to make this crazy mother realize that it's not about having matching china or a Martha Stewart like table, it's about who is sitting at those slightly crooked and very dirty chairs.

I am looking forward to preparing a meal for family but what I am most looking forward to having them all here (except for our two brave soldiers Bill and Kort) There will be tears I'm sure and much laughter!

Ah, enough of this mush. I am off to scrape dried peanut butter off the table....*sigh*

Friday, November 19, 2010

Home improvement marriage building

 I don't suggest that anyone, especially two married folks, to embark on a home improvement project (or trying to fix a bathroom boo boo) together.

In the same room.


one person starting the project and think *she* is doing a bang up job, only to be shot down and crushed by the other person involved.  

Okay, okay....I have many talents but apparently cutting tile 

It all started as a little re-caulking project and ended up as a major bathroom overhaul.  A major bathroom overhaul that was not in our budget for this month, especially since Thanksgiving looms around the corner.  I have to give my wonderful husband credit, he did a marvelous job.  I however, sucked it up.  I shall no longer be allowed to place sticky squares anywhere in our house....ever.  Amen.  

The best line of the day goes to Baylor who exclaims, "We have a new bathroom!! The old one was hairy!!"
(I'm so sorry that I shed like a banshee) 

 Here is the finished product. SO much better than the purple wall and whitish yellowing tile.  It is however, VERY slippery...just ask two naked, wet boys who bit it after their baths.
                   So happy to have my bathroom back and unfortunately for Brody, will no longer have to shower in a big tiled room with lots of showers and lockers.  

P.S I have a new stove too (also not in the budget but much needed...Merry Christmas to me!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The short one has taken up a singing career (along with a dog tormenting one) I found him today in a slightly awkward position (on the toilet) belting out a childhood favorite.

Jesus Love Me.

Only he changed the words.

Jesus Loves my poopie.


That is all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Donde esta?

I feel as if I have been neglecting my faithful blog readers this past week and I do apologize.  Last weekend I was in Chicago, being an uber band geek, and participating in the US Open Brass Band Championships.  I know, it's okay to be jealous.   I'm also in the midst of getting ready for TWO open houses....that happen to be on the same day (never fear, the artwork will be divided up....I just can't decide what needs to go where!) and working on a ton of commissioned pieces for Christmas gifts.  This is a good thing.  A really good thing.  You know why?

1. Big moldy rotting hole in bathroom floor was found. Awesome. NOT.
2. Stove from circa 1985 bit the dust.  Does it smell like gas in here?

Of course timing with these minor catastrophes couldn't be more perfect.  These craptastic events were not in the budget for the month and I'm hosting which I shall need an oven....and a bathroom.

On the upside, I have been selling a good amounts of artwork and we have been having fun taking a shower at Cornell.  I'm not joking.  Big tiled room with lots of water and echoing voice? What's there not to love. I couldn't get Brody out.  Looks like I found our new activity to beat the winter blues.  I'd invite ya'll to come, but well......nevermind.

Things could be worse and I have to remember that there are people going through much worse things like the loss of a job or even a child.  Putting things in perspective and being thankful for what God has given me.

I've also been in the midst of a reading fest.  I just finished The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  It was awesome. I need a new book....suggestions?

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

Teaching your children to be thankful is one of the most important virtues that you can instill upon their little brains. It doesn't come naturally but with consistency, repetition and simply making it a habit, their attitude towards gratefulness will begin to change.  Teaching them to be grateful in difficult times is also very important.  We've tried to make this month our month of thanksgiving and just listening to what the boys are thankful for each night makes my heart swell.  They are so innocent and yet so thankful for the little things that it can knock your socks off.  It just goes to show that every little thing you do in your child's life is important.  Even if most of the things they are thankful for involve food (Brody) or toys (Baylor) tucked away in their little hearts are moments that you as a parent have taken the time to spend with them.  Treating each moment as something to be grateful for is an art.  Some of mine for this week are: 

1. A certain person who shall remain nameless, but really out of the kindness of their heart decided to let a simple error that had gone unnoticed and created quite an unfortunate situation, be wiped clean.  Who does that anymore?! Needless to say, it was pretty awesome and made my day...week...month....year.  

2. That I have glasses and a library that loans me free books to immerse myself into each night.  Staying up far too late to dive into a great novel and forget about just how stressful the day was.  

3. My band.  They're not really my band, but they are like my second family.  I care about each of them and am so very blessed to be able to be a part of such an amazing group of talented musicians.  No one gets paid, no one really gets anything, except for ultimate enjoyment of making beautiful music and being surrounded by people who love to make beautiful music.  

4. That cross country season is almost over.  Almost. Then track starts.  BUT I do get a few weeks where my hard working husband is home on a weekend. I will soak up those precious weekends! (I also have a huge list of things for him to do around the house, shhhhh) 

5. Friends who get my sense of humor.  They may be rare, but they get me......I get them....and we laugh.  

6.  P90X.....couldn't lift my arms above my head yesterday to brush my hair BUT I caught a glimpse of an ab muscle in the mirror (glimpse....could have been a figment of my imagination) 

7.  My brother Kort who is serving in the Air Force right now. My brother in law, Bill who is in Army Ranger training and my sister in law Kim who served in Iraq.  I have the utmost respect for them and our armed forces.  

8.  Thanksgiving.  I get to play Martha Stewart, see most of the Speidel family and my sister in law Bri is flying in from Louisiana.  SO stoked. 

9.  My boys. I am thankful for these balls of energy just about every second of every day.  Even in times of nudity, mutiny and temper tantrums. That I was chosen to mold, care for, love and send in the right direction, these precious yet crazy little boys.  I wouldn't trade this job for anything.  

10. My sexy husband.  Really. He thinks his partially graying hair isn't handsome, but I beg to differ.  He has definitely put new meaning to the phrase, "better with age."  

What are you thankful for this week? 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nap? Who, me? No, thanks.

 "MOOOOOMMMMM! I'm not tired!!!!! I'm not sleepy!!!! I want to come downstairs!!!!"

That is what I hear just about every day when it's, "nap" time for the Brody man.  I do believe that it's about that time again.  Time to give up the precious nap.  I'm not convinced completely, but he's trying so very hard.
Do you see something wrong with the picture? (Other than the fact that my pantry door as goobers all over it) Those two little feet belong to one naked three year old that was hungry at wanted a snack.  Apparently you must take all clothes off before climbing on the garbage can in order to reach the snacks.

I do it all the time.

No, not really.

Scared you didn't I?

What am I going to do with this kid?!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday's Meals: From friends

I have a little box with a bunch of hand written recipes that I have collected over the years from friends. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.

Sherry's Chicken Tetrazzini (not so much low fat but amazingly yummy)
Sauce: 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 1 stick butter, 1 container sour cream, 1/4 cup Sherry (the wine, not the woman) 1 can sliced mushrooms
Pasta: 1 lb angel hair pasta cooked and drained, 3 lg chicken breasts cooked and cubed

Heat sauce ingredients together until smooth. Add to cooked pasta and chicken, placed in greased 9x13 pan and sprinkle with parm. cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Berkley's Southwest Chicken Pie
2 rolled pie crusts
3 large chicken breasts cooked and cubed
1 can black olives sliced
1 can black beans drained
1 can corn drained
1 cup salsa
1 t. garlic powder
salt/pepper dash
1 c. uncooked rice
1 sm container sour cream
1 pkg shredded cheese

Place one pie crust in bottom of springform pan.  Mix everything else together in a bowl, place in pie crust and then top with second crust. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

Mama's Shepard's pie (only I don't know who's mama it's from?!)
1 1lb ground beef
1 packet of gravy mix
1 16 oz frozen veggie medley
3/4 cup water
grated cheddar cheese
1 packet instant taters (about 4 cups)
3 t. diced onion
2 t. garlic powder

Make instant potatoes. Brown meat with garlic, onion and then drain.  Add gravy mix. Add water and stir with low heat until thickened.  Spray a 2 qt dish with pam, layer meat, pats of butter,veggies, taters and cheese...repeat.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dinner Woes: nudity and escaping noodles

 No nudity here....just our tree of Thanksgiving.  Every night at dinner, we each write down what we're thankful for and hang it from the tree.  The first night Baylor was thankful for God and that he was a Christian and Brody was thankful for food...big surprise there.
 I'm not sure how it is at everyone else's house, but we can't seem to do a few things.....
1. Keep the food on the plate
2. Keep the kids at the table
3. Keep the food in the kids (it ends up everywhere except the mouth)

 There is something very wrong with this picture.  Actually, wrong but not surprising. Good thing that chair has a back.  Nothing like spaghetti a la naked.
This is Brody's hot face.   "MOMMMMM, IT'S TOO HOT!! Blow on it! Stick it in the freezer!!"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A life long learner

I am one of those people who has a really hard time following directions BUT I really like to learn new things (this combination often proves to be a failure in most circumstances, but I'm working on it) I like to consider myself a life long learner and hope we are teaching the boys that you can learn just about anytime, anywhere you just have to have an open mind (to a point....we wouldn't want the brains to fall out now would we?) I have a list on my computer of things that I want to learn before I die.  I bucket list of learning if you will.....

1. Learn how to play the cello, such a beautiful instrument and when I was younger and picking an instrument to play, I couldn't get my arms around it.

2. Put on and wear lipstick correctly.  I am an epic failure and picking a shade that looks good on me and they all seem to come out the same color...eighties hot pink.

3. Read all of the classics.  Dictionary in hand, cup of tea and comfy chair, I will tackle them all.

4. Participate in THIS race.  Jen, you're doing it with me.  I'm making you.

5. To learn how to control my anger.  Keri, angry? Heck yes. I am a live wire most of the time.

6. Go on a real honeymoon.  Lonnie, my dear....I LOVE the Cardinals and I LOVE you but I'm thinking of something warm, with sandy beaches and drinks with little umbrellas where I don't have to move for hours on end.

7.  Write a book.  No, really.  I already have a few titles in of which is Speak Loudly and Carry a Girnormous Stick; living with miniature nudists.

8.  Learn a martial art.  I've taken a few kick boxing classes and they were pretty awesome....found muscles I didn't know existed.

...and the list continues!

What are some things that you want to learn how to do before you bite the dust?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday's Musings......things I'm thankful for this week

I want to start each week off by thinking of things (be them small or large) that I'm thankful for......sometimes it's the little things!

1. A car radio.  I didn't realize how much little ears soak up and also how amazingly quiet a car can be when you stick in Adventures in Odyssey.

2. Muscles. That's right. I'm going to go ahead and pat myself on the back here and applaud my amazonian woman efforts this morning.  I (for the 7th year in a row) managed to take out the screens and put in the winter storm windows on our front porch.  Thank you P90X for making the heaving a little less excruciating.

3. Friends.  My dad told me this week that he ran into two of my old high school friends and one from elementary school that read this blog.  Humbled to say the least.  I am so thankful to have friends from all over, from all different religions, political backgrounds, shapes and sizes.  Friends from elementary school, high school, college and all over the place! I hope that they can take one nugget of encouragement, laughter or insight from my ramblings.  Now you know what a big dork I really am.

4.  My Brody man's sense of humor.  Here is how this conversation went:
Me: Brody, what are you reading?
Brody: The Bible!
Me: What does it say?
Brody: It says (Taking finger and pointing at the words as if reading) that you should give me cookies and popcicles.
Me: wow.

I also caught him carrying on a complete phone conversation with someone......using a calculator as a phone. I'll post the video later.

5. My husband the super anal budget man and receipt Nazi.  Hey, someone has to keep me on track.  I knew  I kept him around for a reason.

6.  That people a. like and b. are buying my artwork.  Pretty humbled by that one too.  It was really gotten us through these tight months!

7.  Miniature Kit-Kat bars.  My mouth thanks you, my hiney does not.

8.  The Internet. How else would I be able to capture and share the hilarious, the touching and the insane moments that go on in this house with the entire world?

Happy Halloweenie

 Hello.....hello? Baylor, the camera is over here....and seriously Brody, could you act a little more excited?! It's candy we're talking about here!!
 Princess dork face....I mean, Dorthy.  See toto.....hiding behind me........please excuse the extreme white legs.
Halloweenie was a success.  Too much candy....will need to hide some of it or dispose of quickly!  On to bigger and better things....Thanksgiving! I'm hosting this year, so excited to see family! I'm working on the recipes and food planning this week because I'm that kind of nerdy planner.