Thursday, December 30, 2010

I am going to brag on my teenagers

  As any mom of a teenager knows, it's not a glamorous life, teenagers can really put you through the wringer. I try to remember it's not all their fault, that hormones have a lot to do with it, but some days, it's very evident to me why the young male wolves get kicked out of the pack! I mean really, Mama wolf is probably tired of having to clean their bones out of the cave, she's just had enough and off they must go!

    But, I digress, this week I have very proud of my teenager, it's their last winter break (as their seniors this year) and they are both putting in a full weeks worth of work.

    C is working his co-op job from tech school. He's one his way to being a tool and die maker (following in Daddy's footsteps). His work has plant shutdown for the main floor so they can do maintenance on the machines. This is a dirty job, C comes home covered in oil, and yet he goes back in everyday, knowing that he's making good money to be there, helps I'm sure. Also C genuinely wants to do a good job for his boss. He wants to prove they made the right choice in hiring him. We got hit by the snowstorm Sunday going into Monday AM. C left over a 1/2 hour early to make sure he got there on time. I have to say I'm very proud of him.

                                    C at the open house of his tech school working the CNC
   R is working 40 hours this week as well. Unfortunately it's not as his chosen profession as a welder (that will come starting on the 5th when his new co-op job starts). He is working at the grocery store filling in for his dairy supervisor. R is "throwing the load" which means he's responsible for getting the load put where it needs to be, whether that be out on the shelf or in the backstock cooler. It's a physical job, he's tired when he comes home, but he gets up and hauls his fanny off to work each morning.

                                     R showing his grandparents his welding skills
    I know a lot of their friends are working the same type of hours this week, but that's because the seem to gravitate toward kids who's parents have taught them the value of an honest days work. So to all those kids who spent their winter break from school working, my hat is off to you. It's nice to see there are still young people out there who aren't afraid of a little hard work

Monday, December 20, 2010

Only 5 more wake ups till Christmas!!!!!

And as always, I'm not more then 1/2 way done. Although I have it on good authority that the elves have wrapped all the kids gifts and just need to put the curly ribbon on them. At our house Santa gifts are all wrapped pretty, with shiny paper and shiny curly ribbon. When the twins were older, but Jey was just a baby, Hubby made the comment that while it looked nice on Christmas morning, he doubted it would make any difference to the kids if I wrapped them so fancy. I told him it made a difference to me and since he didn't have to put one piece of tape on a package, he needn't worry about it. Well low and behold (and out of the mouths of babes) C says to me that Christmas (he was old enough to know who helped Santa out) Mom I just want to thank you for all the things you do to make Christmas so special. I really appreciate how you do all the little things that mean so much.  Oh yeah, still get tears in my eyes over that one. So with those sweet words of encouragement tucked away in my brain, I'll be curling the heck out of the shiny curling ribbon later on this week.
     Some Christmas cookies have been made, and using the time honored method of my mom (hiding some of the cookies) we'll have at least sugar cookies and peanut butter blossoms for our Christmas guests. We'll try for gingerbread men later in the week. We made them for the first time ever last year and they turned out so yummy. And the little two love decorating them. I'll make sure to post some pictures of my little bakers hard at work.

    So here's hoping you've got your items bought, wrapped and ready to go. That your cookies don't all get eaten before the big day and you have a very merry last week before Christmas.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Look 3

 Of to Baby Girl's preschool carols and cookies this morning, so I decided to go with look number 3. Tried to get a picture at home of just me, but Little Man doesn't have a very steady hand. So just the one photo of me with Baby Girl.

   Today I went with the lilac color sweater tank under the olive color button down collared shirt. So a little Christmasy with the green, but not over done. Plus I think a sweater would have been a little too warm today with all those other parents/grandparents in the sanctuary. So glad I wasn't over dressed.

 And here's my outfit number 3 and my favorite little girl ever!! Oh and her little Santa dress, $4 JC Penny  clearance last year. 
    Now I just need to decide if I want to brave the cold and the crowds and hit Old Navy tomorrow for their scarfs for $1 sale. ???

Monday, December 13, 2010

Curbside Pick Up

  That sounds so much nicer then "trash picker" doesn't it? But hey, some people throw out some pretty nice stuff, so why let it fill up a landfill? See, I'm being green and recycling (which still sounds better then "trash picker).

   So anyway... I've been wanting a mirror for the mudroom since I painted it back in the summer. I really haven't found anything in my price range that I liked. Well driving down the road over the weekend, what should grab my attention, but someone's cast offs sitting at the curb. I stopped to look at a storage bin set, but then I saw this mirror and fell in love.
     This is a great old mirror, the wood is real, the mirror weighs a ton, but it looks wonderful. The only down part to this mirror is the stud isn't in the center of were we hung the mirror, so it's a little of center, but I can live with that. With just a little Pledge and Method window cleaner (oh I love that minty smell) this mirror looks great in it's new home.

   Hubby likes to have a mirror by the door to check out his hair before he leaves (although he always wears a hat, so does it really make a difference?) The other nice part about where this hangs is, it reflects the light coming in the door, so it brightens up my mudroom some. 

   Or if you want to check your hair after you've walked through the wind tunnel to get in the house, then it will work for that too.

   So now you know my decorating secret, I pick other people's trash up. But.... it's good for the planet because it's not going in the dump. It's good for the piece, because it would be a shame to not have this simple, but beautiful mirror displayed in someone's home. Last but not least, it's good for the budget, because it's free and who doesn't like free? 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brownies out of a box

GASP!!!! I admitted it, I make my brownies from a box mix! I know there are lots of moms out there (and some dads too) who make them from scratch and to you I take my hat off! But, I never really found a scratch mix I liked enough to take the time and effort to make. So it's just me and Betty Crocker when it comes to making brownies. The other nice thing is a box mix is quick and simple and since I always seem to have some little person under foot willing to help, I need quick and easy.

   So today after preschool Baby Girl decided she wanted to make brownies for Daddy. So out came the box mix and her step and she was good to go (with just a little help from Mommy)
mixing the eggs for the brownies

    Now lest you think I'm too lazy unambitious I do try to add a little pizazz to my box brownies. This time I sprinkled some little marshmallows and butterscotch chips on top and put the pan back in the oven for a few minutes to make them soft and stick to the top of the brownie.  
Don't they look yummy?
   So there you have it, don't be afraid to let your kids into the kitchen. And don't be afraid to make a box mix (most people won't know unless you tell them). Your kids won't remember what kind of cake or brownie you made, only that they were allowed to help and the special memory of being in the kitchen with mom.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I love my Shark Steam Mop

 And when I say love I mean love!!!!!! Let me just say, I hate to clean. The only reason I do it is because no one else will  (the cleaning fairy has lost the directions to my house). I will do anything to try to make cleaning more enjoyable. Then add to that that most cleaners are kind of toxic and the smell of some makes you wonder if you should have cross ventilation in the house when you crack the bottle open.

   OK so Black Friday lots of places had steam mops on sale for a pretty good price, but Target had the Shark mop for $49 and it was the only one that had the full head (most has some little triangle head that would have taken forever to clean with).So I decided I'd elbow my way in and get the mop. I mean for 1/2 price, how could I go wrong??

    So yesterday, I'm sitting there looking at my dirty kitchen floor (I've got 4 kids, it seems like the kitchen floor is always dirty) and I decided my mop can't wait till Christmas, I want to use it now. So out comes the box with the very easy directions on how to assemble and start cleaning. I was mopping with in 10 minutes. Oh the joy of it all. There was no lugging the bucket of water and praying I don't trip (I really am that big of a klutz). No wringing the mop out, no manual effort at all really. Just plug in the mop and start moving it back and forth. The movement of the handle releases the steam, so if you've got a tough spot, just give it a little more steam and up it comes. The head swivels so you can do along the edges easily. The best part no toxic fumes.

    So the kitchen floor came out great!!! I was so impressed, I had to try my hardwood floor in the living room. I had the men folk clear out the furniture from the living room (if I was going to do it, I was going to do it right) and pushed the dust mop around first (you want to do this, or you'll make mud). The hardwood came up so nice, that I decided to polish it since I already had the floor clean and I can't remember the last time I actually polished the floor. It looked brand new!!
Look at that shine
  I polished the floor this time, but I do think the floor looked great even without it being polished. This is real hardwood flooring, the steam doesn't leave wet spots, it was barely damp.

  I really can't find one thing wrong with this mop. It's easy to use, lightweight, works great, easy clean up, really handy to have. Just make sure you dust mop the area you're going to use the steam mop on and you should be good to go. I will say this created an "If you give a mouse a cookie" kind of vibe. Since the kitchen floor came up so nice, I did the living room floor. Well that came up so nice, I did both bathroom floors. And since they came up so nice today I'm going to do the mud room floor and the hall. So it's a little addictive, don't say I didn't warn you. Knowing what I know now, I'd have bought the mop for full price (well actually I'd have bought it was Bed, Bath and Beyond and used a 20% off coupon. It really is a must have in a house.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Looks 1 and 2

    I thought I'd post them together since I didn't get a chance to post look #1 from date night with hubby on Thursday night.
  Normally I'd just wear a v-neck sweater and call it a day. But I like the look of layers, so I'm trying to work them into my wardrobe.  ( I know, come into the 2000's already D!!)
     So I wore my periwinkle collared blouse under my eggplant v-neck sweater, not a drastic look to figure out, but it looked good and was comfy to wear.
    I wore this with jeans, but I'd also wear it with a black pencil skirt as well.

   Look #2 I thought was a hit, till I looked at the picture hubby has taken. Ehhh, not the best thing I've ever worn, but not the worst either. 

     I wore the short sleeve, collared navy blue blouse under the green sweater, I think I would have liked it better if I had long sleeves with a cuff to finish the look on the sleeve of the sweater.

  Well live and learn right?  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I love free stuff

 but then who doesn't???
I put a quarter next to the samples to show size

My free sample of Pantene shampoo and conditioner came in the mail last week. I will say, nice sample size. I hate when they send you the little foil packet. How are you supposed to know if you're going to like it after one use? Although those are great for when we're camping, no shampoo bottle to leave behind at the camp shower.

    The sample was for colored hair (yes I cover my grays) and since it's winter and I only wash my hair every other day (I know gross, but washing it every day in the winter just kills it!) I had a weeks worth of the product. It was ok. If I had a coupon and it was on sale, I'd buy it, but nothing I felt like I had to rush right out and get. 

The shampoo was nice, had a nice fragrance, but the conditioner left something to be desired. It didn't feel like a strong conditioner. To me a good conditioner works the knots out of your hair when you rinse your hair. With the Pantene I felt like my hair really wasn't that smooth.

   So anyway... that's my review. I think if you had short hair you'd like this product. For those of us with long hair, I'd say pass this one by.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

30 Looks for $30

    So inspired by the blog of the young lady who was doing New Dress a Day, the young lady spending $365 for the year and making a new dress out of what she found thrifting and my nephew's darling GF over at Chocolate Covered Bridges with her 30 Day challenge, I came up with my own challenge. I thought I could do 30 looks for $30.

   So this weekend armed with $30 and Hubby to watch the little ones, I went off to the thrift stores. I know some people groan at the mere thought of walking into a thrift store (my teen boys included) but to me it's like going hunting for the 12 point buck, some days, you'll just take your gun for a walk and some days you'll bag the buck. This weekend I bagged my buck!

    I found 12 tops for $30, not too bad of a deal. But my real goal was to find things I could mix and match and really get the most bang for my money. 
So I found 12 items that I think I can get at least 30 looks from. I didn't find any pants/skirts, so I guess I can't really call them outfits, so I'll just say "looks"
   My purchases were
  • long sleeved black silky blouse
  • black and gray v neck sweater
  • plain black long sleeve t shirt
  • periwinkle 3/4 length sleeve blouse
  • long sleeve olive green blouse
  • eggplant v-neck sweater
  • light olive green v-neck sweater
  • white with brown striped blouse
  • light olive green v-neck t-shirt
  • lilac scooped neck sleeveless sweater
  • short sleeve navy blue blouse
  • oatmeal scoop neck t-shirt

  So while some of these pieces I wouldn't wear by themselves, I know they'll fit into my overall plan.

    And if I wear something that doesn't really match, please feel free to tell me, I'm not the most fashionable mom on the block.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Helpful hints for grocery shopping for Thanksgiving

  I really do love my job, it lets me see I'm actually smarter then I give myself credit for.

 First off, when you are planning on getting your free turkey with you store rewards card, don't come in on Thanksgiving Tuesday and expect to get the 20 pounder, those are long gone, be happy if you found one for 15 pounds. Don't complain to the cashier, it's not their fault. Failure to plan on your part doesn't give you the right to be mad at me.

    Also on that same day, don't buy a frozen turkey and ask me Do you think it will be defrosted by Thursday? I'm going to guess no, but call the turkey hot line that's what they're there for.

    Don't ask the kid working grocery what bread, other then white bread, can you use to make your stuffing. You lucked out this time, you got my son and he's watched me make the stuffing, so he actually had a clue. Next time you won't be so lucky and the kid will point you to the Stove Top and tell you to have a nice day.

  Now I took off tonight (the night before Thanksgiving) because I don't think I can hold my sarcasm in all night long while people who have no business being in a grocery store (really ladies, this is the night you're going to send your poor man in to pick a few things up???) look lost and get mad when they can't find cans of cranberries, or the French's Onions to make green bean casserole. Once again failure to plan ahead of time, doesn't make this my fault, so don't take it out on me.

  To those of you who bought your turkeys when you were supposed to, got all your grocery shopping done last weekend and if for some reason you still needed to pick up one last thing and still had a smile on your face, thank you. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!! I'll try not to elbow you on Black Friday morning ;-p

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Conference Time

 So the week of Thanksgiving is conference time in our school district and we've got plenty to be thankful for in our family.

   Little Man is doing well in class. He's pleasant, helpful and brings something unique to his class (I think that's the teacher's way of telling me she's never had a quad riding, camping, fishing, "I'll tell you everything you never wanted to know about any of these subjects" kid in her class before.) There's some communication/comprehension/confidence barriers there, but I think it's because, well, she just doesn't speak "redneck" so the teacher sometimes has to ask Little Man to rephrase things. Which can make him think he's said the wrong thing. But he'll work on it and it will get better. And one more thing about Little Man, he LOVES his big brothers. His kid writing journal has stories of big brothers and the teacher said he smiles when he talks about them, so while it has nothing to do with education, it still made me happy to hear.

    On to Baby Girl. I know conference for a 3 year old, but hey, I'm a mom, I like to hear how cute my kid is. And if there really was a problem, I'd like to know that too. But Baby Girl is just a happy little butterfly in class. She dances, walking in to class in the morning. She's very orderly in putting things away (hhhmmm, are you sure we're talking about my daughter here??? The one who getting to the bed at night is like Moses parting the Red Sea???) So it was a nice morning for the mommy yesterday.

    Now tomorrow the big two have their senior/graduation project presentation. So praying that goes well. And so thankful I didn't have to do that back in the day.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

McCormick Apple and Sage Pork Chops

   The one nice thing to working in the grocery store (no we don't get a discount) is seeing the new food items that come and out getting new ideas for recipes. So tonight I tried McCormick Apple and Sage Pork Chops

It's a handy little package of premeasured spices and a recipe, so I figured I couldn't mess it up too bad. (oh the power of positive thinking)

   So I blend all the little spices with the flour like the directions tell me and set to browning the dipped pork chops.
   Already the kitchen is smelling good. Now I know the recipe calls for onions, but I don't like onions and since I'm the cook, guess what? No onions. So while the chops are browning I cut the apples. Instead of wedging them like they show on the recipe card I decided to slice them into whole circles and since I don't have the fancy apple core remover thing, I just used a knife to cut the seeds out. ( I know, I'm such a chef)

 OK take out the pork chops and toss the apples into the pan. It says to stir them, but I just turned them over with the tongs so they stayed like nice little circles.

  So now I'm supposed to add the apple juice, but...., yeah no apple juice, so I took 1/3 cup of applesauce and added water till it was a 1/2 cup and them just mixed them together. (I'd like to point out I'm a "just wing it cook") Mix in the brown sugar and put the chops back in the pan. Bring it to a boil and then turn on low till the chops are done. 

   I made this with sweet potatoes (served with a little brown sugar and butter) and cauliflower. The men folk seemed to like it and said the recipe could be added to the rotation, so while it's not exactly like the McCormick ideal, we still give it a big thumbs up!   



Friday, November 19, 2010

My Mom

 I'm not sure why I don't talk about my mom as often as I do my Pop? I love them both and they are both great people to know. I've very lucky to have both of them still alive and healthy. I thank the Good Lord every day for them.

   My mom is an incredible woman, no really, she is, and the sad part is, I don't think we give her enough credit. She gave birth to 7 children natural (at a time when there were woman who got knocked out and woke up with a baby). She also breastfeed all of them in a time when many just popped a bottle of formula in the kids mouth and called it a day. And sadly she had to bury one child when he was a teenager. As a mom of two teenage boys I can't imagine the pain and heartbreak our mother suffered, but life went on and she endured and managed to take care of the house, the store my parents owned and keep our family together. 

   Hubby likes to tease his father in law about taking good care of "his cook". Truth be told, Hubby loves mom for just more then her cooking, but, since he's a tough guy, I'll pretend I don't know.

     I didn't realize growing up all the teachable moments my mom was sharing with me. And even now at 41, I'm still amazed to look back and think of a quiet word my mom would have and how she was able to keep the peace in the house. I need to work on praying to be more like her with her quiet words.

Mom, Me and Baby Girl at her Baptism
    And lest you think I've put my mom up to be some sort of saint, I realize she might have what some might consider to be a flaw or two. As adult children we'll think of a joke we might want to tell Pop, not wanting to tell mom and offend her sensibilities. (of course she wants to hear the joke) And we all laugh at the time my parents were visiting an antebellum house in Louisiana and when mom said she'd take a mint julep, the lady cautioned mom there was "strong liquor" in the drink. Mom decided she could handle it. So it's nice to see even a stranger sees Mom as a lady.

    Most of all I know I didn't appreciate my mom till I had kids of my own. Oh and the teen years, I really feel bad for my mom, I know now how painful those years are for a parent. Although I'm still not sure who has it tougher, the teen going through it, or the parent watching their teen go through all the pain and anxiety and there's not much a parent can do to help along the way.

   Mom had her hip replaced this summer. And with Pop's help, she mended very quickly. I'm not surprised though, mom's a tough cookie! And now this fall she had her knee replaced. Once again, she came right home from the hospital and she's healing and on her way to being better. I have to say, even with the pain she has, she's still cheery and pleasant company. Of course we know it's just so she can head down to Florida with Pop as soon as possible. I mean who wants to stay in cold PA when you've got a nice little house in FL just calling for you to come visit?

    So that's my mom. No, she may not be perfect, but she's pretty darn good and I'm sure I'd be lost with out her. So thanks Mom for everything, but most of all for not killing me when I was a teenager, I'm sure there were times when it crossed your mind to sell one or all of us kids off to the gypsies. Maybe you figured they wouldn't take us anyway.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stuffed Shells

  So one of my favorite things to make is something with sauce and cheese, because let's face it, how can you go wrong with sauce and cheese? I'm pretty sure you could put that combination on a rat's butt and it would taste good.

  So here's my recipe for stuffed shells. I got it out of a JC Penny United Way recipe book my sister gave me. It's a little time consuming to stuff the shells but, the taste is worth it. Also this is a great recipe to freeze or take to a covered dish dinner (make sure to bring the recipe with you, people are going to want it)

Stuffed Shells

1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of parmigiana cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg (mixed well)
1 box of jumbo shells
1 24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
12oz of shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown and drain ground beef. Add parmigiana cheese, bread crumbs and egg to the ground beef, stir well and set aside.

 While your cooking the beef you can also be cooking your shells. Follow the directions on the box. Most call to boil for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water.
  Put a small amount of the sauce in the bottom of your 9x13 pan. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

Spoon the mixture into the shells and line them up in your pan.

(my lovely assistant Baby Girl)

   Then cover the shells with the remaining sauce. 
 Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or till the cheese is melted.

 Now I would love to show you a picture of the finished product, but the men folk dug into this before I could take my last picture. (lesson learned don't put it on the table till after I take the last picture)

    To give this recipe a little kick you can add a tablespoon or two to the beef mixture.
   If you're going to freeze this, defrost before cooking and cook at 350 for 25 minutes, remove from oven, then add the shredded cheese, then place back in the oven for another 10 minutes (or till the cheese is melted)


Ack it's been way too long

 I've been reading everyone's blogs on a hit or miss basis, but I realized how much I miss doing my own, so here I am blabbing away on the internet. Hopefully I'll be doing some more cooking things and adding some more pictures (once I remember how to post them)

   So just craziness of life going on. The big things, the twins turned 18. Holy crap!! How did that happen???? I'm the mother of adults!!! I'm still a little in shock. They're good boys (for the most part) but it's now hit me with full force, we've got so much left to teach them and so little time. So I try to wrangle them in the kitchen when I'm cooking now. I mean they've got to learn how to cook more then just a microwave hot dog and a can of soup. Most girls out there today are expecting their husbands to be more helpful around the house (as they should).

   So I'll be trying to keep up better. I'm sure Little Man and Baby Girl will provide me with some cute stories as always.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Little Man

   Happy 6th Birthday to my Little Man. In some ways it just seems like yesterday when we were shocked to find out we'd be having another baby. I've hear people refer to a child born after a miscarriage as a "rainbow baby" because they're something beautiful at the end of a tragic storm. That's Little Man, he's my rainbow.

   After I had lost a baby at 10 weeks, I figured we were done having children. I can't even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child after hearing the heartbeat, feeling the child move, my heart goes out to my dear friends who have suffered such a loss, to me the pain is unimaginable.

   When I found out I was pregnant with Little Man,  it was a complete shock. I was sick, taking pepto bismal like it was going out of style. I had taken 2 home pregnancy tests and they came back with a negative. I went to the doctors hoping to find out why I was so sick. I was quite surprised to have to give blood for a pregnancy test. I was even more surprised when I snuck upstairs to the 3rd floor conference room to use the phone to call back the doctors office for my test results. So sitting there, in the room filled with potraits of stuffy old bankers, I found out about my rainbow.

    I was so nervous the whole pregnancy, I worried if this pain or that pain was somehow not right, if somehow I would loose this baby too.

   On April 30 Hubby drove me to the hospital at 5:30 AM so I could have my c-section and meet our new son. Other then a drop in blood pressure on my part and the nurses telling me I needed to take deep breathes, it was pretty uneventful. After having the twins at 4lbs each, Little Man seemed huge at over 8lbs.

    So here it is six years later and I'm still amazed at my Little Man and all his wonders. He's such a sweet little love bug. He's kind to his friends and really anyone he meets. With a smile that will melt your heart, you can't help but fall in love with him. I know all too soon Little Man will be all grown up and gone and so I try to treasure the little moments of his life. I try to take a mental picture to last when he's swinging so high, he's almost a little scared, but loves the feeling and a smile just covers his face. The look of pride as he learns something new every day at school. The sweet little way he'll play with his little sister. It would never occur to him to not be her prince and dance with her when she's a princess. 

  And so today, when we're singing happy birthday, I'll try not to cry on the cake. I'll try to keep those tears in till I lay my head down on my pillow and thank God for my beautiful rainbow.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's tough no matter what your age.

 I always smile when I see someone who has twins and tell them what a blessing they have (nothing makes me madder then people who say oh twins double trouble). Some parents of twins have asked me if it gets easier when the kids get older. You can see they're desperate to hear it will get easier, so, I tell a white lie and say, Oh sure the older they get the easier it is. I know it's not nice to lie, but it's not an outright lie. Things will change, but I don't think it ever gets easier, it's just trading on set of problems for another.

 When the twins were young and we were sleep deprived, we'd long for the time when they'd sleep through the night, when the boys would be old enough to do things on their own, silly us!!

    So now the twins are much older, really almost ready to do everything on their own. In less then a year they'll be 18, legal adults and yet, I don't think it's easier. In fact I think these years are even harder then the sleepless nights filled with diapers, bottles and crying babies. I still have sleepless nights, but now it's because I'm laying there thinking about all the new problems. Will they be able to stay on the straight and narrow? Will they be able to pay their bills (car insurance is ridiculous for teenage boys)

    And then there's the hardest part of all, matters of the heart. You think it was heartbreaking when you were a teenager to have someone break your heart, have a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend??? Well just watch your teen go through it and you'll find a whole new level of pain. It's like a baby with colic, there's not a thing you can do to make it better, it's just got to run it's course.

  Now lest I scare all the young mothers out there, I will say there are a lot of pluses as well. The joy of watching my teens pass their drivers test was incredible, yeah I cried, but it was tears of joy and pride. Being able to sit at the table and really talk to your kids, laugh at their jokes, be in awe of their knowledge of the world around them, that's pretty cool too.

  So truth be told, it's doesn't get better, it's just gets different. But then I don't remember anyone ever telling me parenting was easy (at least not if you're doing it right). I can't imagine my life any other way though. I can't imagine how quiet and boring dinner would be. So to be cliche' it's the toughest job I've ever had and I love it more then I can ever imagine.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm excited for the warm weather

  Anyone who live North of the Mason Dixie Line knows that winter is fine, but come April, we've had enough and we want Spring. So the last few weeks have been springlike, hot one day, chilly the next, the ever present danger of the last frost worries those who plant. Also the warmer days mean it's time to get the camper out and get it ready to head down the road. I am super excited about that!! I can't wait for our first trip out on Mother's Day weekend to Gettysburg (Ryan's Steakhouse here we come)

    So with the warmer weather we were able to start the garden. I got PopPop's old tiller out (yes the one my grandfather used), gave it a little tickle and I was breaking ground. I planted radishes, onions, a whole role of peas, turnips and carrots. Then the weather was pretty warm the other day, so I tilled some more rows and put in beets,  leaf lettuce, more carrots and remembering that once the kids had "helped" eating all the way  pick the row I didn't have enough for a meal, I put in another 40 foot of peas. Hopefully this year I'll actually get to have some with a dinner or two.

    Little Man picked out flower seeds to plant. His reasoning for planting flowers is because while we eat the vegetables from the garden, the bees really like the flowers for nectar for their honey (where does he come up with this stuff???)   So when we get back from our Mother's Day trip, we'll fire up the rototiller again and plant his flowers for the bees, along with green beans.

   I have to say, I was really anxious to get back to the garden this year. I love to walk barefoot and feel the dirt under my toes. How can you plant if you can't feel the dirt?. I also seem to feel a sense of calm when I'm working in the garden. Maybe it's because I know I'm using PopPop's tiller, it makes me feel connected to something bigger then myself. I can't help but wonder if he's looking down, smiling that his granddaughter and her family love to work with the land like he did. I wonder if he's smiling that the old Case rototiller is still chugging right away. I feel very lucky to have known my grandfather. He was a good man and well liked by everyone he met. My dad reminds me so much of him and I realize how lucky my kids are to have the same type of grandfather, one who's quick with a smile, happy to share a story and proud to be a PopPop.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How is he my son?

  So once again it's that time of the week for me to plan lunches for the men in the family. The twins normally get a sandwich and 2 snacks, usually a granola bar and a bag of chips/pretzels/what have you.

     Well today C tells me he doesn't like chips. He likes Cheetos, Fritos, etc, but not chips. I knew he didn't like pretzels, so I try not to buy the variety bag with them in it, but how can he not like chips??? I can't even think of eating a sandwich without chips and C doesn't even like them??? How can he be my son????

   Oh and yes there are apples, bananas and such for them to take for snack as well. But I guess eating something healthy for lunch must take you down a level or two on the cool factor???

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lowering expectations

 I think when we're younger we have all these plans of what we'd like to do and accomplish. We have great visions of how we'll make the world a better place and then Motherhood comes along.

   In some ways I still drive to make the world a better place. I try to raise my children so people feel better for having known them. Hubby and I try to teach them right from wrong, good from evil, you know the basic parenting stuff.

    But for myself I've lowered my expectations, a lot. It doesn't take much to make me happy now. If I get to eat my cereal before it's soggy, it's like winning the lottery (I actually plan my cereal purchase to be something that takes a long time to get soggy). I used to want to wear nice clothes and look good. Now, if it fits and it's on sale, I'm a happy camper! 

    So I guess some would say I've "settled", but is that really such a bad thing? Maybe it's just better to be happy w/ the little things in life instead of be miserable about the things we can't have?

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm ready for warm weather

   I know I'm crap out of luck since I live in PA and the temperature is hovering around freezing right now, but I'm ready for warm weather all the same.
   I'm ready to plant my garden! I'm ready to walk outside and feel the dirt between my toes as I plant, weed and pick. I like winter, and usually I'm not so ready to get rid of it, but we've had snow twice in December, so we could have it once more in January and then bring on the sun and the 70 degrees!

   I'm also ready to go camping. I had thought we might be able to sneak south for Easter break, but it doens't look like that will pan out, so I'll have to settle for Mother's Day. Then June we'll take a week and then July our big family camping trip to Knobles!!! Lots of cousins, an aunt and uncle or two, we look forward to that one every year.

 So while it's still blustery outside I'll dream of warmer days to come. Of seeds and plants, of campfires and s'mores. Come one spring time!!