Thursday, January 29, 2009

Movie Night

Since there is a dismal selection on TV tonight, I told the children that we would watch a movie together. I was scrolling through stuff on the DVR and found the old "The King and I". They have enjoyed some of the other old musicals I have recorded, so we turned it on. To my surprise, they are mesmerized. It is funny that I know all the words to all the songs and they are amazed by that. It surprises me too. I have to give that credit to my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Ruth Webb, because she loved all the old musicals and often brought her guitar to class and played the songs and sang them with us. Strange how you remember things like that this far along in the future. I never would have thought back then that I would be sitting here singing those songs with these two little children. I think Mrs. Webb has prob ably been gone for a while, but I would be inclined to call her up and tell her about it if she were still alive.
"Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect and whistle a happy tune....and no one will suspect that I'm afraid........."

Super Chicken Tortilla Soup

I got a recipe request for the Chicken Tortilla Soup that I made the other day, and I have to admit, it was a "Sandra Lee, Semi-Homemade" sorta thing. I like to do things that way because they are fast and taste good too. The trick for me these days has been being able to make stuff that I can actually eat, since I am off of white stuff, i.e. sugar, white flour, potatoes, and rice. Anyway, here's how I did it.
Fill a big pot with 10 cups of water and a little salt. ( I did mine in a cast iron dutch oven)
Add 4 good size boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Gently boil until they are done. Take the chicken out, set aside. ( You could skip this chicken business if you have a rotissery chicken laying around. )
Strain the broth and return it to the pot.
Stir in the Tortilla soup mix. Turn it on to where it will just simmer.
Add 1 or 2 cans rotel tomatoes.
Chop the chicken and add it back in.
Now is the time to put in whatever you want to add - leftover green beans, rinsed black beans, corn, whatever. I put in a bag of frozen vegetable gumbo mix 'cause I like okra. Some rice might make it good too, but I can't have that.
Let it simmer until it gets all bubbly and everything you put in is done. If it gets too thick, add a can of chicken broth or some water.
Serve in shallow bowls with crushed whole-grain tortilla chips and sour cream. Chopped onion, fresh jalapenos, and shredded cheese make it even better!
Hope that is what you wanted!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We all Scream for Ice Cream!

I may have to HURT the person who told me about this ice cream! It is really GOOD!!!!! I bought some last week ( on sale- even better) and now it is calling me at all hours of the day.

It does have a little bit of an artificial butterscotch whang, but it has no added sugar 9( has splenda) and is lower in fat that most. I can live with a little bit of artificiality. I have been eating about 1/2 cup ( ok, maybe 2/3...sometimes 3/4) every other night or so, and I don't think it has hurt me a BIT!

Anyway, I am glad that I bought it on the recommendation of a fellow "sugar-shunner" and I'm really looking forward to trying another flavor. Butter pecan is one of my favorites, and it really works in this sugar-free version because the flavoring is a bit stronger than in some others.

Try'll like it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Birthday Dinner

Here is the Birthday Girl!....the old fat chick with the really flat hair is me. I had a little nap before we went to the restaurant and well, my hair was not at it's fluffiest. Not that it's fluffiest is a big improvement. I thought it looked ok in the mirror, but you know, pictures don't lie.
The wait staff all came out and sang a very lively birthday song and treated the Princess to a very special, very large chocolate sundae.

Frick was not too pleased that Frack was getting a lot of birthday attention. He'll get over it.

Typical expression for our exhuberant party girl. I sure hope the 6th year is as fun for her as the previous ones!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Coconut!!!!

Baby sister turned SIX today!!!!!!
Cake for breakfast after making Birthday Wishes.

That's what friends are for......

Baby Bella has made fast friends with Bindi the Blimp...........

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Morning Quest

Not to gross anyone out or anything, but I spent part of my morning on my precious day off collecting poop samples. One of our nurses at work is doing a veterinary technology course and she needed to learn to read fecals from various barnyard species, so we had to aquire some "samples". I have a hookup with the closest "mixed animal practice/petting zoo/animal retirement home", so after dropping the kids off at school with the 49 cupcakes we made last night, I trekked down there to go on a poop quest.

I got plenty of samples: goat, sheep, horse, miniature horse, calf, and very large ( and grumpy) steaming Bull poop. Good thing the handsome and able cowboy was present to distract the bull whilst the sample was scooped.

Anyway, it was relatively warm ( about 50 degrees) and brightly sunny, making the outing enjoyable. Seeing friends and collecting poop......a very good thing.

Today's Birthday Girl and other Sundries

Here's the "Birthday Girl" today. We were all out for "potty break" during house chores. The sun was right in her eyes, so she was squinting a little.
Even Lulu got out in the sunshine for a few minutes. She is really getting stir-crazy being in the stroller all the time. I will be so glad when she is all healed and can be free to do whatever she wants. Doesn't she just have the cutest face ever? I love that da-gum doggie.

Baby Bella won't ever be still, so this is about the best pic of her I can get. She is constantly running and wrestling.....she's a real tough nut.

One Year ago Today

One year ago today, we were up early birthing babies. Allie said that she will pose for a birthday picture later today when we have time to find her a pretty dress to wear. Or maybe a chicken suit.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I was up WAY early this am the dogs woke up when the other parental unit left for the Y at 4:40 am. I was standing outside in the 21 degree cold with the dogs and I think I finally saw the Pleiades, " The Seven Sisters". I have been looking for them every night since they were mentioned in my Bible study last week. It has been so cloudy that it wasn't visible, and I think I really saw it just now. Of course, I am no astromomer, so I may not have seen it at all, but I prefer to think I did. Basically, what I saw was a bright cluster near Venus. I will have to continue this star study during our many trips to the yard. ( I did not take the was made with some telescopic camera thingie by some techno geek..... I just fished around on Google for it)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mother Nature is teasing us!

Here's the biggest dove I have ever seen. I would bet that he is the size of a banty hen. I bet he is COLD up there so high!
There was just enough of a dusting to get the children excited. I pity the teachers at school today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hair Experiment and other Sundries

In case you ever wanted to know, I think all the Loreal hair colors , no matter what their "level" , use the same basic color codes on all the different products. The 6.99 product in color 9A will give about the same color as the 14.99 product in 9A. I did not call the haircolor hotline, but tested the theory out on my own hair. A risky endeavor, I know, but I just couldn't see spending twice as much if the lower price stuff would work the same. IF hair experiments don't work, one can always just cut it or re-color. I 'm a daredevil when it comes to home hair changes.

The only difference I could tell in the high vs lower was actually in the packaging, and the 14.99 stuff has a little tube of "shine creme" in it. I got a ton of hair cremes and lotion potions, so I didn't miss the shine creme in the least. The end result was as good as it ever is, in fact, the color may be a little less "reddish" and more "beige", which is what I like.
I color about every 5-6 weeks because now that I straighten the curl out, the roots show a lot more. I used to only do it about every 3 months, but then I was getting regular trims ( or cutting it myself) and had kinky curls. I have so much grey now in the front that it sorta looks like I have streaks when you get up close. I like it, although with it all one length and fairly blonde it looks a little like Eric Northman's hair. ( ha, Sarah)
Other than the hair experiment, we didn't do a lot today other than make a trip to Costco, which is always exciting. The children are always giddy with anticipation about what the sample ladies will be handing out. Since it was Monday morning, the pickin's were slim. I think they tried some pizza rolls and some pretzel chips. We actually went to get a hard drive and some school snacks, but ended up with tilapia, pork chops, Blue mountain coffee beans ( yay!) , and some other various items that were NOT on the list. I cooked tilapia and broccoli and brown rice for dinner - of course the boy wouldn't eat any of that stuff, so he had to have his standard pasta and meat balls in tomato sauce.

Tomorrow is the 100th day of school, and to "celebrate", the first graders had to make a poster with 100 objects on it. Parents were able to we made a snowman poster using 100 cotton balls. It was the simplest thing I could think of, but the result was pretty good . Hopefully we will get it to school in one piece.

Gumbo and Boudain have started courting some.....guess it is due to the increase in daylight hours. So far no eggs, but I suppose if she does start to lay, I'll have to give them a nest box because if not, she will just lay eggs until she gets calcium depleted. At least with a box she'll lay 5-6 eggs then stop for a while. If she does lay, and there are hatchlings, there will be babies for adoption. Get your cage ready!

Have a great inauguration day!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Product Review.....Glade candles

I love my dogs, but I don't love the smells that sometimes come with having them. Subsequently, I am always trying new floor cleaners and laundry detergents and all sorts of deodorizers. One of the very best quick fixes ever is a good scented candle. My favorite brand ever is PartyLite, but they are quite expensive. They're worth it because they burn so well and you don't end up tossing out a half burned, ugly stump. Yankee candles are a close second, but again, they are a little on the high end, and aren't we are all trying to save money wherever we can? Anyway, I was at Kroger Friday night (getting the Velveeta mac and cheese and other stuff that we can't get at Aldi) and they had these Glade candles on sale for 1.75! They are wonderful, even if they are only 4 ounce. I lit one immediately when I got home and it filled up our living/dining/kitchen area with a really clean, nice smell. I blew it out after about an hour, and the smell was still present the next morning. Now, that is saying something because I usually have a clogged head in the morning, and even I could still smell it.

Usually in the past I would like a vanilla or cinnamon candle in the kitchen, but since I am trying not to eat so much, this clean linen scent is really nice. Our living room has a vaulted ceiling, and the thermostat for the furnace is in the hall near the bedrooms, so it cuts off when that small area warms up, leaving the living room COLD. Of course, part of the cold could be that we have the wood door open so the dogs can come and go as they please through the doggie door. When it is cold out, I usually have to wear sweats, socks, bootie slippers and have a blanket handy to be able to sit in the living room comfortably. I should note that this is just ME.....the children will stay in here wearing only their underwear, or last night the girl wore a Snow White dress all night. The thing I was getting to was that when I light the candle in here, I swear it is WARMER. It is certainly just in my head, but it seems like it is.

Bottom line is......these are good, and they are on sale. Go to Kroger and stock up on enough to last until PartyLite has a clearance sale.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bob Loves His Little Girl......

It's really hard to watch TV and suck your thumb with a 17-lb cat in your lap.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Whew! This is the second week of the Disciple Bible study, and I have got to say that it is challenging at the least. I haven't studied anything this much since college. Each week there are 6 daily lessons, then there is the class on Sundays. At this point, I am scrambling to get the dailies done, sometimes two at a time. It takes a lot of concentration, so I have to wait until everyone is asleep to even think about it. There is a lot of flipping back and forth, so I got smart and used Bible Gateway to PRINT off everything I needed the first day of the week, so now it is right there without having to turn those flimsy pages so much.
The course lasts 33 weeks, and should cover 80 percent of the Bible. That is a big commitment, but so far, I'm there!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lookie Who Cooked Breakfast Today!

Today my little handsome first grader volunteered to cook some eggs for breakfast ! I was excited because that meant that he also intended to EAT the eggs! ( Please don't notice the dorky pajamas - he still likes to wear them, and I think that they are cute.)

He cracked the eggs all by himself, getting only a teensy bit of shell in the bowl. We fished that out, then he added the milk, did the whisking, and finally cooked them up , light and fluffy.
He had them with toast, blueberry jam, and sausage. It was probably the biggest breakfast he has eaten in three months. I was really proud.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Is Cauliflower really a good sub for potatoes?

In my constant search for thing I can actually eat without messing up my glucose groove, I came upon a recipe for cauliflower soup. ( Does that sound like anything remotely tasty?) Actually, it was on Pioneer Woman's blog - I'll have to ask her nicely before I post it. Or, I might just make it different enough that she wouldn't recognize it as her own. Like she actually has time to READ anything!

Anyway, I had heard of the Atkin's Mock Mashed "potatoes" that uses cauliflower and wondered if it was good. I made the "Mock Danish" and it was NOT what I remember as being anything remotely Danish-like. This soup looks a lot like potato soup, and with the exception of a little flour, seems pretty safe. I think that I'll make it and see what happens. If any of YOU have any exciting, Low-carb recipes, send them to me. I'm getting bored with salad!

Friday, January 9, 2009

I just tossed the last of the WOW! sauce

I was just cleaning out the refrigerator and way in the back I found a little bit of Lulu's WOW sauce just sitting there....leftover from the last trip to the coast. It made me sad to just throw it away, but it was separated and yuckity, so it had to go. I'm thinking I may make a batch of my own this year since I have the recipe. Then I got to lookin at pictures from various Lulu's visits. Here are a couple for ya.

Lulu's sandbox......summer 2007. Sweet little babies, playing nice in the sand with the toys and while we were waiting to be seated for dinner.
Lulu's sandbox again....summer 2008. One year later, bigger kids doing the same thing.
I was just thinking that if we are going to Florida in March, then we will be going in the general direction of "L.A." ( that would be Lower Alabama, for you Yankee readers), so there might be the opportunity to stop at Lulu's. Of course, I'd go way out of my way to go there, don't really need a reason.

Ok, this is not a picture of my kids, but of the one of the many reasons I LOVE lulu's so much.
I thought back in September that I would likely never want another fried green tomato in my lifetime since we had them nearly every day all summer, but here I am, in cold and wet January, wishing for just a few slices to have with the last of the WOW! sauce. FGT with WOW and a Crab Melt . Can we leave tomorrow?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Today was REPORT CARD DAY! I am proud as punch to report that BOTH children had excellnt grades. The Brilliant Boy had ALL A's and the Gregarious girl got ALL S's ( which in Kindergarden, is just like all A's). I am just so proud of them both.

Orthopedic update

Little Lulu is adjusting to her splint pretty well, but she is still not so happy about being confined to the stroller most of the time. The stroller actually was bought on ebay with the intention of using it to go for walks so that I would get some more exercise. Of course, it got cold and wet and subsequently, the mileage on the stroller is still quite low. It has turned out to be a good thing for this confinement because it can be moved anywhere in the house, it is up off the floor, and she can see what is going on. It would wash well too, but so far that hasn't been an issue.
I am really going to recommend that people use them. I showed this one to a lady at work yesterday as a possibility for her little dog who is in the need of a pacemaker.

Here, Allie is checking out the cargo compartment. I bet if I put a little blankie in there she would sleep in it. Man, do we ever love these dang little dogs.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Say a Little Prayer.......

Please say a little prayer for Lulu today if you have a minute. She jumped out of my hands about 18 inches from the floor as I was setting her down and broke her left radius and ulna. Now normally, I wouldn't be too worried about it if it were someone else's dog, but this one, well.... she is pretty special. It was pouring down rain outside, so I was going to get her just potty in the kennel, so I took her back there and leaned down to sit her on the floor and she just bounced out of my hand. I guess it was just the angle that she hit the floor because I heard it pop. Of course, I jerked her up and pulled it out straight immediately, then took x-rays and got a splint on it. It is not perfectly lined up, but hopefully it will heal with just the splint. Just not a lot of material to work with in those little baby legs. I guess if it doesn't look like it is healing in a couple of weeks, we'll go see the ortho guy. I called him yesterday and he said to just get it as close as I could and get a good splint on it and it would likely be fine. I can hear myself telling pet parents the same thing, but it is different when it is my own.
Just think about her today........she is so incredibly sweet, and I am afraid will be way way more spoiled by the time this is all over.

Monday, January 5, 2009

"Not what I expected" by Allie

" Tuhday ah got me sumpthin I waddn't reeely esspektin. It wuz a gud day 2 start, then the mudder persin tole the nuther gurl at the qwinik to "get her ready." They sticked me wif sum needlz and then b4 ah knew it, ah wuz wakin up frum a "spade". Ah guess it is sumpthin all us'ins dawgs has to git, but ah sure dint want one. Now ah am in my bed, eatin sum chikin. That is not sucha grate consulatin prize. Oh leest now it is over! Ah will feel better tahmarah. Luv, Allie "

We had a slow day today, so Allie did indeed get her spay. I have been trying to get it done for weeks, and today seemed as good as any. Now as soon as these other little snappers get old enough we will do them too.

Other than the spay, today was pretty uneventful. The children people went to holiday camp a the Y since school doesn't start until tomorrow. It is really nasty outside tonight - freezing rain and sleet. I hate it. Hopefully it won't hang around and will be clear by school time. Everyone is tired and I am praying they will go to bed willingly and fall asleep fast because I have a BUNCH of reading to do!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fun in the Kitchen!

One of the gifts that each set of kids got from the grandparents was Paula Deen's kid's cookbook. I sat down and looked through it early this morning and I think it will be a lot of fun for both of my kids since they like to do things in the kitchen and they are both reading now. There are lots of illustrations and the ingredient lists are not only in words, but in pictures also. The recipes aren't complicated, but do involve measuring, counting, mixing, baking, etc. There really are lots of lessons to be learned in the kitchen that can apply to school as well. I can't wait until we start making some of the recipes! The girl already has a cute gotta make one for the boy.

Thanks Kiki and Bear!

Holiday Finale!

The holiday season of visiting, gifts, and cooking, and eating is officially over. Yesterday we made the final celebration trip down South and visited with that leg of the family. We had a lovely time and all the children received a ton of gifts. I think every one of them was quite surprised by some of their gifts.
Here is the little ballerina's haul. She had to get it all out and take an official inventory before she went to bed at 11:45. Now it is 8:45 am and she is already up and working in her room arranging all her "stuff".

We now have the much coveted "Bakugan" balls. Also, we have a launcher and battle arena and a ton of the cards and little figures. I am not sure how all these things work together, but at least now we have them and our young man can rest now. He has been in overdrive about these things for months. When he finally fell asleep last night, I had to pick them all up off the bed and put them away. He also got some cool outdoor games that we will have to play when it dries up a bit.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Someone is Serious about her Food!

After a rough start last week, Baby Bella has figured that the crunchy food is pretty good stuff! In fact, she gets pretty darned
testy if any of the other little dogs seems interested in the bowl when she is there.

We've had a very productive New Year's Day. All of the Christmas decor has been returned to the tubs and boxes and is back in the attic. The tile has all been swept and mopped and the exercise bike is back where I can see the tv when riding it. ( If I can't see the tv, I won't ride it)

The children have been exceptionally good for being cooped up all day inside. We are about to have a Wii contest.........ought to be big fun!
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