August 31, 2009

Once was lost

Have you ever dug your hand in a spring jacket after it had hung in the closet all winter, only to find a $20.00 bill? Or searched and searched for your car keys, then found them? Isn't that a wonderful feeling? I almost want to let out a big sigh just thinking about it. I tend to lose things often, so I am VERY familiar with the feeling.

On with the story. Rick sets out cameras early every fall at our farm. When something passes in front of the lasers, it snaps a picture. He does this so he can scout the potential "big bucks" for deer season. So, he brought home the card that was in his trail camera (that is what it's called), and loaded the pictures onto the computer. He was disappointed (there wasn't a big buck) but I was thrilled!!! Thrilled because, I found lots of lost pictures. Good pictures!!!! If you know me at all, you know that pictures are my joy. To me, found pictures are better than a $20.00 bill in the pocket. The kids all look so young and I looked so much thinner :(

I thought that I would share a few with you. Just for ole' time sakes.
My sweet Macy Boo-boo. Isn't she precious?
Dana, Grandma and Aunt P. I'm sure that they wouldn't like this picture. I love it though.

A couple winters ago, our pond froze up. We had a gazillion and three geese standing on the top of it. They stayed there for two days. I was soooo sad when they left. Aren't they beautiful people?

Well, I'm going to have company today so I need to get busy.
I hope that you enjoy your Monday and it's a new start for a new week. I call new starts, DO OVERS.

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice,”- Psalm 95:6-7
Isn't this refreshing?
I found it on Click on the link if you want to read the rest of the chapter.

August 28, 2009

Burnt toast

This picture sums up the day.

I made a wonderful dinner the other day. Salmon, whole wheat pasta, corn, and burnt toast.

You see, burnt toast happens sometimes. You get busy and forget. Then you notice a putrid smell coming from the oven. (you suddenly panic) Oh, crap, the bread!!! You frantically grab the pot holder and open the door. (with a scowl on your face) you cough, because of the smoke, and pull out the charred toast. No matter what level of culinary expertise you have, we've all burnt toast!!!

So, I ran the pan out to the deck. It was still smoking and I didn't want it to trip the alarms. Well, guess what. The pan was forgotten. I woke up the next morning and noticed it. Sitting in the same spot I left it the night before. I went out to get it and upon further inspection noticed we were missing five pieces of bread. Hummm....interesting? I guarantee that the kids didn't eat it. My imagination is going wild. I don't do varmits people!!!!!

I have another "burnt" story to tell before it gets locked in the lost memories vault.
It was our first Christmas Eve in this house after we built. Rick's parents came over for dinner and to attend church service with us. It was a nasty day. I can't remember the weather exactly but I believe it was raining. Rick was making his famous steaks on the grill. I'm not a beef lover, but my-oh-my, these are delish! Our basement was unfinished at that time. To avoid the weather, Rick pulled the gas grill INTO THE BASEMENT!!! I was busy putting the finishing touches on the side dishes when our smoke alarms all go off. Our house has an "echo problem" (because of hard wood floors and high ceilings). The alarms were piercing our ears!!!! We didn't know how to fix it and we didn't want to miss church. So we ate our dinner while the alarms went off. We couldn't hear each other. That didn't matter though because you couldn't even hear yourself think. It's probably a good thing that we didn't talk because I wasn't a happy camper. Rick's parents got a chuckle out of it.

Memories are special aren't they. I'm so glad that we have them, because that is a good belly laugh now. Why is it that I can remember stuff like that, but I can't remember something from yesterday? My brain is fried I tell ya.

August 26, 2009

Flowers to cheer you up

In June Rick signed 20+ acres into C.R.P. (conservation reserve program). Most country folks will know what this means. But the city slickers will be scratching their heads. If you are curious, click here.

This particular program is for quail. We planted two large patches of blackberry bushes (so they have something to munch on). Then planted two very long strips of sunflowers (so they would have something pretty to look at? I'm not sure what the purpose of the sunflowers were. You will have to ask Rick.)

I was doing a little mowing the other day and noticed, from a distance, they were blooming. Upon further inspection, discovered that they were GORGEOUS!!!!!!! My-oh-my!! Be still my heart!

Have you ever seen thousands and thousands of sunflowers in one patch? If you have, then you understand. If not, I'm so sorry. Sunflowers aren't even my favorite flower and it was still breathtaking to me.

I'm planning on rounding up the monkeys and taking their pictures in them. The boys will LOVE this idea, not!!!!


A week ago tomorrow, a wee little dog appeared in our driveway. I felt bad and couldn't resist be-friending her. I brought her in the house. Fed and watered her. I never wanted the dog. But I was fond of her. She appeared to have been beaten and starving. So sad:(
We have asked many, many people and no one seems to want a puppy. What do you do? Hopefully she doesn't stay here. However, she has a collar and a name now. Humm? Does that mean this is her new home? Looks that way.

Those that know me understand that I like things nice and tidy. It is on the verge of a sickness actually. Yet, I allow myself one room to go crazy in. I clutter, create, cut, sew, and write in this room. It is suitably named, "my craft room". Clever, huh? Rick built this room for me with his own two hands. This is one of the reasons that I love being in there. It is my retreat that I can escape to when I have a little extra time, I'm stressed or I just feel extra creative.
My problem is that I sometimes lose myself in all the clutter. I mean that in a very literal way. If I had a heart attack while in this room. You might as well start picking funeral songs because you would never find me.
I decided that enough was enough. I had to clean this fire hazzard. I dusted the shelves and purged my supplies. I sorted and filed and rearranged. Ahhhh, it feels so much better.

I use my table to store my Big Shot and inks. I rarely sit while scrapping.
We had these cabinets made especially for this room. The bases store albums and photos. The shelves store my supplies.
This is where I stand to work. My fav. spot in the room.
More supplies and magazines that I subscribe to.

This is my Daddy. He is also known as....Howie, Bobby Dale, Junior among others. Well today is his 54th birthday!!! So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!!!!

August 24, 2009

I {heart} mushrooms

Raise your hand if you LOVE mushrooms!!!!
For those of you that did, MEEE TOOO!
For those that didn't. Well, I don't know how to feel about that!

I found these beauties in my back yard yesterday. They just popped up overnight. How does that happen? Seriously!!! Mushrooms and dandelions. Simply amazing!!

I thought that I would show you the mammoth size of these by placing Gracie's hands around them. Wowser!! I love to eat mushrooms but you cannot eat these babies. Well, unless you want to be very very sick! I think that they instead would be a lovely temporary home for a fairy.

My favorite mushrooms are morels. Every Spring my family would hunt them. Those are special memories. We would soak them in a salt mixture to kill the bugs. Then coat them in flour and fry them in oil. Oh my. I'm hungry thinking about it.

August 20, 2009

Random picture for a random day

Gus has been a little devilish lately. He has discovered that tormenting the kitties is super-duper fun. When Gus is around, the cats live in high places. (which are usually places that they are not allowed). He understands his limits. By nature, Gus does not have the ability to jump where "normal" dogs can. He is (what's the word), "big-boned. So he simply acts as though he is going to jump, which totally freaks the kitties out. You see, they don't understand that he has no intention of actually jumping. In their minds, they are one jump away from Gus' lunch. Little do they know, that all he wants to do is play. I can almost read his little mind. (In a husky, bulldog voice) "Come on, play with me. What's the matter? Why are you running? Wow, your hissing at me. Does that mean that I'm supposed to bark?" Poor Gus...... and poor kitties.
This picture was taken before Gus entered the room. See how relaxed Congo can be. He is in kitty heaven. I believe that this kitty understands much more than we give him credit for.When Rick and I left for Mexico, I swear he knew it! I could be wrong but boy-o-boy did it seem like he knew. He also has a strange, stalker sort of love for me. I might be frightened if I understood the magnitude of it. I'm hoping that it is a "mommy" type love. Although sometimes it feels more like the Peppe Le Pew "obsessed" kind of love.

This is a random picture of a butterfly. I snapped it while taking Guster potty.

and..... this is Guster, after he went potty. See how innocent he looks? He doesn't mean any harm.
In all the excitement of the first day of school. I forgot to post a picture of Gracie at the "Meet the Teacher" night. Her backpack is about to explode from all the supplies she needed to bring. Crayons, pencils, notebooks, folders, sharpies, kleenex, ziploc bags......well, you get the idea.

Well that is probably more randomness than you can stand. I am preparing myself for the first "full" day of school. Yesterday FLEW by!!!!!!

You might be proud to know that I completely and utterly scoured my master bath yesterday. That is the last bit of randomness before I go make my morning coffee.


August 19, 2009

First day of school for the monkeys...

Normally, the first of anything is usually scary!!! If you are like me, firsts are VERY scary. That is the reason I haven't joined an exercise class at the YMCA.

For all three of my monkeys, today was a first.

For Gracie, it was the first day of a different school. She is switching from Dewey to Field. When the boys made this transition, it seemed like they instantly grew up. The same is happening with Gracie. Her Open House went without a hitch. Mrs. Scott was a sweet as we anticipated. She gave Gracie smiles and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (always a good sign!!!). I think our year is going to be remarkable!!! (big smiles)

For Ian, it is not only a first day of a different school, it is middle school!!!! Also, his school is in absolute chaos. The city decided to tear down the main part of the building's structure and re-build. The result is that there aren't enough classrooms. They are making classrooms in the cafeteria out of temporary walls. When Ian started school this morning, he didn't know where ANY of his classes would be nor where his locker was. To say that momma was worried is a huge understatement. I know that they will all manage. Nevertheless, it is my job to worry and I do that job well.

Ryan has the least change of all. He is in the same school. Yet, he is in the same turmoil that Ian is in. His changes are a little more subtle. He is the "big man" on campus. A mighty 8th grader. He now shares a school with his little brother, which cannot be cool! His classes are different along with different teachers.

They were all excited this morning and despite all these changes, it's going to be fine.
IT'S GOING TO BE FINE.....IT'S GOING TO BE FINE......IT'S GOING TO BE FINE. I'll just continue to tell myself this while you read on.
I'm not looking forward to waking Ryan up every morning. This monkey LOVES his sleep!!! I think a bull horn purchase may be in my future!!!!
Ian, on the other hand, jumps out of bed at the crack of dawn. Usually before anyone in the house.

Gracie informed me this morning that I didn't need to help her get dressed. After she told me to go downstairs twice, I frowned, and obeyed. Why, o, why, do they grow up so quickly? Can someone pleeeeasseee tell me???? I always thought that they weren't babies long enough and teenagers too long!! Can I get an amen?

For me, the changes are that I am once again alone during the day. I may get more done with the monkeys gone to school. But I get lonesome for them. Many mommies look forward to their children going back to school. For me, it's bittersweet. I love the noises they make around the house while I'm cooking and cleaning. Even if they are "fighting with each other" noises. I find that I talk to Gus more. He doesn't roll his eyes at me at least. Him and I took a short walk at Danner Park this morning. It was a short walk because Gus isn't much for exercise. I ended up stopping four times to let him catch his breath. Lazy dog!!!! However, he loves the attention. I'm sure that the kids going to school blesses him. Maybe???? I think that he might miss them too.

Every year on the first day of school, I make the kids breakfast. This has become a big deal to them. It is a big deal because it doesn't usually happen. I'm am not a breakfast maker. Well...unless we have breakfast for dinner. My gears usually don't start turning until mid-morning. So they usually eat cereal, breakfast bars, pop-tarts, or frozen waffles. Please don't judge me for this. I almost always make wholesome dinners.

Even Gus got some breakfast casserole mixed into his food.'s a special day!!!!!!!

Breakfast Casserole

5 slices thick-sliced white bread, crust and all (buttered and cubed)
1 pound mild sausage, cooked, crumbled, and drained
3 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 eggs
2 c. milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt

1. Spray a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish with Pam. Place the bread cubes in the casserole. Evenly distribute the sausage over the bread cubes. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Combine the eggs, milk, mustard and salt and mix well. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and allow it to sit on the counter for 15 minutes while you preheat the over to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap, place the casserole in the oven, and bake for one hour.

Serves 6 to 8

p.s. Before you say anything. I know!!!!! This was made the night before. It wasn't cheating though, promise!!!!

August 17, 2009

In my opinion..........

My philosophy on life

1. Cheese and/or ketchup can make nearly anything taste good. (one exception might be cereal. Although I've never tried it and it doesn't sound that bad)

2. Your favorite books should be read more than once. Three or four times is even acceptable.

3. Hair does not belong on a woman's face except on her lashes and brows. (you should have two brows, not one. This tip goes for men also.)

4. You should have one creative thought a day.

5. The prettier the flower, the shorter they last.

6. The Devil himself, invented the bikini.

7. A wedding ring should mean something to you. A simple wedding band or a 4 ct. paperweight. If it is on your left hand ring finger, it signifies a covenant.
This is my second wedding ring. Rick handpicked this for me when my first ring's solitaire was switched by a "chain jeweler". I love that he chose each stone in this ring.
He didn't just point to one in the case. My man knows diamonds.

8. Do not get Santa Claus and Jesus mixed up at Christmas time. There is only one savior, and it isn't a jolly ole' man in a red suit.

9. Take your children on vacations. They will probably forget what you bought them last year. They won't forget your trips together.

10. Life can be different if you choose, but not if you keep putting if off until tomorrow.

Missouri State Fair

As I'm typing, buckets of rain are falling from the sky. Rick called this morning to tell me that Z highway south is closed. Great!! How am I going to get these monkeys to all our appointments today? I may be taking the loooonnngg way around. Don't let me kid you. I enjoy a good thunderstorm. Especially at dusk when we all sit on the front porch and watch the lightning. Those are fun times!!!! Last night, however, it rocked our house, knocked out the power, and scared the little monkey (a.k.a. Gracie).

We took a day trip to the Missouri State Fair. I felt like pooey thanks to the cold I caught while at the river. I tried to be a trooper and not complain too much. AAAAAA-CHOOOOO! sniffle sniffle, cough.

I haven't carried my good camera in a while. It's so cumbersome when traveling and walking a bunch. I'll be glad to snap some pictures with it soon though. I sure miss the quality of them over our little point-n-shoot. I will probably have it with me when Gracie and I go to meet her new teacher tonight. Her name is Mrs. Scott. SOOO EXCITED!
Ian and Gracie liked scratchin' the pigs. I was a little afraid that one would bite their finger off. We came home with all their digits!!!
These Hampshire wethers were awfully lovey-dovey. They nibbled, kissed, and nudged all three of the kiddos.
This ALMOST makes me want sheep again. Temporary moments of insanity.
Got yer' ear!!!!!
So stinkin' cute!!!!
So stinkin' funny!!!!
So stinkin' mean!!!!! (not Ryan, the GOOSE!!)
Gracie enjoyed a pleasant conversation with Mr. Roboto. He sang, "Amazing Gracie".
Then they posed for a picture.

August 14, 2009

River Rats

Date: August 12-13th, 2009
Place: Elk River in Anderson, MO
For: Family fun
What: Floating in tubes, snorkeling, catching turtles, jumping off large boulders, campfire stories with smores!!!!!!
Mr. Mini Me. Doing the back float.
Leanna and Macy listening to Little Bunny Foo-foo. As told by the master, Uncle Mike.
Heather is preparing herself for a backward press. She assumes the position on the end of the rock with her back to the water. She will initiate the backward press starting with the arms stretched into a "T" position. Hehe.....just kidding
Trey, you are always so adorable. However, in this picture, you sort of look like a monkey.
Macy and Gracie "pretend sleeping" on the picnic table. We decided that Josh and Leanna need to name their next baby Tracy or Lacy or Casey. That way we REALLY get mixed up when calling the girls.
Nater, you are sooooo strong. (and cute too)
Uncle Mike gave his rendition of "Little Bunny Foo-foo." Humm???? In case you are wondering, he isn't bopping them on the head too hard. hehe.
Ian jumping off the rock we coined, "the big rock". I could always get a clear photograph of everyone else jumping. Poor Ian though, always had a blurry finish. (Ian, it's because you were lightning quick!!! Don't tell anyone else!)
Uncle Mike and Gracie flyin' high!!!!
The boys would call out strange things as they were jumping. Cowabunga, I like tacos, stuff like that.
I wish I were a fish, a swishin' in the water. I'd do the things I wanted to, and not the things I ought-er.