~my thoughts about life~

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Raising Sextuplets

I am thrilled that Raising Sextuplets is back on the air! I am always amazed to see how people care for and live with multiples. I have four kids of my own (not all the same age!) and there are times when I feel like I could completely lose it. But I think these parents do a great job of keeping their cool with the given situation. They are an inspiration to me and their show makes me take a step back to look at and appreciate my life.

I was never a fan of Jon & Kate. I was greatly bothered by the way she treated her husband. And we all know how that turned out. But I see a totally different relationship with Bryan and Jenny. They seem to truly love one another and support each other in their hectic lifestyle. I think their character blows away the others who have tried and failed at a similar show.

So God bless Bryan and Jenny. They're going to need it! Although one look at them lets you know how blessed they already are.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Big Shoes to Fill

Baby girl is definitely that....a girl. She has a tremendous love of all things girly: purses, jewelry, and most of all shoes. Her Big Sis gets frustrated at times when she can't find the match to one of her shoes. We find them in the oddest of places and there's only one suspect. This was what I found beside me as I sat here blogging...the clump, clump, clump of her in my 3" wedge heels. I know my mind will return to this memory when she's wearing heels of her own some day and I'll wish I could return to this time when she was little and precious.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Texas Sheet Cake

I was inspired. That's my excuse. So I broke down and followed my inspiration. I whipped up a Texas Sheet Cake. Judging by the ingredients, I wonder if this is truly the most fattening concoction known to man. (No, I guess you could deep fry it!)

But I was hungry for Texas Sheet Cake, and being the cook that I am, I just happened to have all the ingredients handy. And oh, was it ever worth heating up the already hot house! If you have the time and the ingredients, I highly recommend whipping up a Texas Sheet Cake yourself. Your taste buds will thank you, even if your waistline doesn't!

Texas Sheet Cake

1 C butter
1 C water
1/4 C cocoa
2 C sugar
2 C flour
1/8 t salt
2 eggs
1 t baking soda
1/2 C sour cream
1 t vanilla

Combine butter, water, and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until butter melts. Add sugar, flour, salt, eggs, soda, sour cream, and vanilla; mix well. Pour into a jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare frosting.

1/2 C butter
1/4 C cocoa
1/4 C + 2 T milk
1 lb. (4 C) powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla

Combine butter, cocoa, and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and mix well with an electric mixer. Spread over hot cake.

Where, O Where Has My Birdseed Gone?

I recently purchased a new birdfeeder. My last birdfeeder was an adorable 3' snowman holding a bowl of seed but he fell victim to an unfortunate death. So I made sure the new feeder was made of plastic and childproof.

The day after I filled it, the feeder was half empty. I figured the birds of the neighborhood were just hungry. Then I saw the culprit....a black squirrel. He must be tougher than the native brown squirrels of this area because he was the only one I saw eating the seed. So here are before and after pictures to answer the question, Where, O where has my birdseed gone?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Your Baby Can Read

A friend of mine recently gave me a complete set of unopened Your Baby Can Read DVDs. I was so excited for the gift because I had seen the numerous infomercials and wondered what the program was truly like.

So we're still on the first DVD and I'm undecided. I wondered if Baby Girl might be a little too old for starting this program. It seems like it works better for younger babies. She doesn't exactly sit still for the entire show. But on the plus side, she has started saying more words like dog and elephant. She would just rather watch the oh-so-annoying Yo Gabba Gabba ("Go-Go" in her words).

It's hard to remember to put the DVD in twice a day but we're going to try to stick with it for now. I would love to hear any rants or raves about the product from others.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweet and Garlic

The Baby Girl got into it again today....the Lazy Susan. It's her most favorite place in the world. And because of that, I have it blocked off with a baby gate. Somehow today, she got past the gate and entered into the world of fragrant spice jars, bags of sugar, and boxes of pasta. From the other room, I heard the sound of something small and granular hitting the wood floor. I sent the 9-year-old in the check on the strange sound. "Uh oh, Mom! She got into the sprinkles," was the response. No biggie, sprinkles are easy to sweep up. But I couldn't pinpoint the spicy smell filling the room.

I took Baby Girl up to her room to change her. When I opened her diaper, a strong smell of garlic permeated her room. I looked down and noticed she was covered in garlic powder. Even after a bath and a thick lather of Baby Magic, both she and her room still smell like an Italian restaurant. And I still have yet to locate the possibly empty jar of garlic powder. Maybe it will turn up with the stuffed pink puppy she lost a month ago.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What a Weather Day!

What a weather day it has been here in the Midwest US! Tornadoes, thunderstorms, rain....and even an earthquake! Earthquake? I wouldn't know because I didn't feel it, but many friends and neighbors claim they felt the 5.5 Canadian earthquake all the way here. I'm just glad it didn't cause a Great Lakes tsunami!

Are earthquakes even considered weather? Weather, nature -- all the same category, I guess. Here is a picture of my beautiful hydrangeas I shot while taking rain pictures. I loved the color contrast with the dark stormy skies overhead.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where I've Been...

I haven't blogged in so long and didn't realize until this moment how much I had missed it! I started off by reading my favorite blogger and catching up on all of her clever insights I had missed out on since I've been gone. And that made me want to share what I've been up to (not that anyone is reading...but still).

April- we went on vacation to the Smoky Mountains. Oh, the pure bliss of staying in my pajamas 'til 3, reading novels, playing Scrabble, sightseeing, and relaxing in the hot tub while cold rain pelted my nose. I could take a vacation like that once a month! It was so relaxing and enjoyable. It made the two vomit experiences on the way down not so bad.

May- Hubby and I celebrated our 14th anniversary in New York City, a first for me. It was only a day and a half so I made sure to cram a week's worth of sightseeing in a short time. It amazed me to see famous sights I had seen on television so many times and to realize Tom Hanks stood RIGHT HERE! The only celebrity we noticed was Lionel Richie, which was pretty cool, even though I'm not really a fan. We walked so many miles that it took several weeks for my knees to recover. I would definitely do it again. Oh, and eat at John's Pizzeria again!

June- the kids are now out of school and this large 4-bedroom house suddenly seems very small. They have actually been pretty good so far. The first few days were a battle until they remembered how I crack the whip! If I could just keep them from fighting with one another, they would be pretty close to perfect. I'm blessed.

I have also turned another year older since I last documented my thoughts. But we don't need to discuss that. My recently turned 9-year-old asked me what we did special for my birthday. I thought, quickly trying to come up with something sweet to say so as not to disappoint him, but nothing came to mind. I tried to gently explain to him that Mama is the one who does the special things for birthdays so when it's Mama's birthday.....

That did not please him and he is now adamant, along with Little Sis, to do something special for Mama since she didn't get anything special on her birthday. So sweet. I guess I've done something right to deserve kids like that. Now, if they would just go have a little talk with hubby......

Summer has been so lovely thus far. I avoided the use of my air conditioning for as long as possible. But it's now humming happily and I am no longer sticky and stinky. But I miss the sweet, clean breeze blowing in the windows, no matter how sticky. Our flowers are prettier than ever this year and I've really enjoyed nature. I tried my hand at flower planting this year and have really enjoyed watching the little seeds start to grow. Next year I'll have to start earlier so we can actually have flowers before early fall. Until then, I'll still enjoy the little green shoots and be happy that I accomplished a little bit of a green thumb, even though it's barely mint green.
Other things I've done recently:
  • 3 birthdays, 3 birthday cakes...one was in the shape of a Lego man's head, which is what the 9-year-old requested

  • 1 field trip to the Fire Station, 1 field trip to the Zoo (with a group of 5 kids), 1 Spelling Bee, 1 elementary school graduation and awards ceremony

  • My biggest production of the year- a dramatic sign language performance, written and choreographed totally by me, with 35 signers and 500 in attendance

  • My second biggest production of the year- a Mother-Daughter Banquet, totally written by me, with 250 in attendance

  • The acquisition of dozens and dozens of new gray hairs

And that's where I've been.