August 31, 2010

Why I Blog????????

Without a story....... this is a picture of a box of stuffed monkeys.

However, there is a story.

Gracie was three years old. I was the Pre-school Director for my church's pre-school. There were two primary classrooms (three year olds). Each classroom had a mascot........... a monkey. Gracie's classroom monkey was Max.

Max was used in the classroom.
1. as a reward.
2. as an example
3. as a lesson

He would occasionally make messes in the classroom while the children were at recess. (wink-wink)

But the most exciting role that Max played in the school was........
He was able to come home with one child every Tuesday. He would stay at the childs home for an entire week. The family of the child would document Max's adventures with them by taking photos, writing a letter, etc..

So, it's Max's turn to stay with us...............

Gracie proudly holds him under her arm and has a large smile plastered across her face. We take Max with us everywhere we go that night. Including a flag football game for Ryan.

This is where the story turns to the worse. Gracie forgets Max at the game. It's now well past dark. I haul myself back to town (flashlight in tow) to find dear Max.

Nope............. Notta............ Nowhere!!!!!!!!

I give up the search party for the night and go back the next morning. Inside I'm hoping that the daylight will shed light on Max's hiding spot.

Nope............ Notta.............. Nowhere!!!!!!!!

I contact Gracie's teacher and spill my guts. I ask her where she bought Max. How do I find an identical Max?

I have a lead and so I do a quick online search.

I find other Max's alright. But I have to buy them in lots of 12!!!!
So I call the company. "Ma'am, I just need one Max. Is there a way that I can purchase one?"

Nope........... Notta............... Nowhere!!!!!!!!

So, I grudgingly buy 12 monkeys. 12 MONKEYS FRIENDS. What am I going to do with 12 monkeys?

I rush ship them directly to my house. In four days, I have a box full of monkeys.

Now the original Max was gently loved. He had dirt smudges on his face and fuzz balls on his fur. Don't for a second think the children didn't notice.

Now for the irony............
1. What in the world do I write in Max's adventure letter? Do I say that he was lost/ then found? Do I say that he went to a "special salon" that made him look good as new?

2. A month after this fiasco, we found the original Max....... in Gracie's bedroom!!!!

August 29, 2010

All in a Weeks Time

I'm wondering when it's appropriate to decorate for Halloween.

I've gobbled up this series by Karen Kingsbury. I ventured away from youth and teen novels and picked up a big girl book. Now I cannot put them down.

This is the 2nd series of the same books.

and this...... my friends, is the last books in the same series.
14 novels of the same family. That is mucho grande pages of reading. :(

I'm on the very last book ("Sunset"). I feel like I'm closing the chapter on a longtime friendship. I could tell you how the Baxter's (the subjects of these books), take their coffee. I'm going to miss them.
Our church hosted "Church in the Park" yesterday.
Gracie played in her first "official" soccer game Saturday. She did a nice job. I love that she finds her hair occasionally, then twists it.

I've been missing Mike like crazy and trying not to let it slow me down. (and I've been worrying about my Pammy)

I've been trying to apply Mike's favorite verse to my life.............

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"
1 Thessalonians 5:18

August 27, 2010

{I admit}

I admit that....................

..... I cannot jump on a trampoline anymore. (and it's not because I can't jump)

..... I only shave my legs twice a week.

..... I have been know to eat taco sauce out of the jar with a spoon.

..... I bought an Adam Lambert and Susan Boyle CD in the same shopping trip.

..... that I would give anything to weigh what I did just three years ago.

..... that flushable moist wipes have changed my life.

..... my newest sinful food craving is Oreo balls (thanks to my newest friend Cindy)
I admit that I might have dropped one accidently on the floor.

I admit that I let the dog lick up whatever he wanted before I cleaned it up.

I admit that I messed up two on purpose so I could eat them.

I admit that I wanted to sit and eat the whole lot of them (but didn't)

I admit that I should probably be on my treadmill working off "oreo ball" calories, but I'm telling you about it instead.
I admit that I really shouldn't be trusted by myself because I'm dangerous.


In honor of Fall weather,
Chillicothe Hornet football
and my newest diet plan
I introduce you to the "Granny Smith's Apple Cake".
Rick's Grandmother was lovingly called Granny, and this was her recipe (hence the name).

Someday I want to be a Granny Smith. Not anytime soon............ or even in the next 10 years........ but someday.

Granny Smith's Apple Cake

1 1/2 cup salad oil
2 cup sugar
3 cup flour
3 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts
(in most cases, less is more. This is an exception, more is more!!!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cup peeled and chopped apples
(I use my handy-dandy Pampered Chef gizmo. However, if you don't have this make your slices thin and walnut sized)

Combine all ingredients except apples and nuts. Mix well. Gently fold in apples and nuts. Bake in a greased and floured bundt pan at 350 degrees for exactly 60 minutes. Cool and remove from pan.

1/2 cup oleo
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk

Add all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Boil for two minutes. Let cool and add enough powdered supar to thicken. It will harden as it cools. I like it to be a light golden brown. The consistency of runny pancake batter. Spread on cake while it's warm. I pour it on top and let it run down the sides.

You MUST, MUST, MUST eat this with either a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or a glass a milk. It's not an option. If you do not listen and eat it without milk or ice-cream. REPENT IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

August 23, 2010

Mostly a week of Gracie

Gracie has begun her first season of soccer. Gracie brought her biggest fans with her last night. (a.k.a. Grandma and Grandpa)
The scrimmage went well, except for the ball she caught with her stomach. Everyone who would listen to her last night heard about the "injury". Then Ryan, Ian and Gracie got into a debate about which sport was tougher and who had the biggest bruises and so on. I mostly tuned it out, but I believe that Gracie won.............. like usual.
Isn't she the cutest lil' soccer player you've ever seen?
The roses are still blooming in the yard. Depite lack of attention from their gardener.
Gracie was presented with her 3rd Grade Bible last Sunday. She will now be in Bible Adventure Club and the God Squad starting in October. Wowser, she is growing up.
She has been leaving little notes around the house for me.

I'm not sure if she does this because..........
#1. She knows her mom is forgetful.
#2. She has seen me make a gazillion lists.

Gus is enjoying the quiet around the house during the day. He follows me from room to room. (mostly wanting food and scratched)
He requested a vampire costume for Halloween this year. I pretty sure that we won't need a set of fangs. I'm thinking of letting him audition for the next Twilight movie. Young girls would swoon over that face, don't you think?

August 18, 2010

9th, 7th, and 3rd, whew!

My monkeys are officially back in school.
We survived three mornings of early morning. (thank goodness for coffee)
So far, no hitches. It has been smooth sailing.
The matching backpack, hairbrush, and umbrella have helped with the transition!
This photo was taken on the night of "Open House". Mrs. Bonderer seems like a little gem and I'm looking forward to sharing a school year with her and Gracie.
This was the first morning of school. We ALWAYS take photos!!! This wasn't a problem for Gracie. She is a camera ham.
The boys, however, were another story!!
I explained that this wasn't an option. Their photo WAS going to be taken. So they gave me their strangest faces and worst poses............ and I was happy.
They think that their mother is beyond weird.

I am, and that's OK.

August 17, 2010

MO State Fair 2010

Rick and I began our relationship at the Missouri State Fair 20 years ago. For five years prior to that, we were co-exhibitors and friends. So needless to say, we have roots in Sedalia, MO. The smell of sheep manure brings back sweet memories of youth, romance, and love. It is for this reason that we TRY to go every year.
Yes, things have changed.
1. We used to know everyone in the sheep, cow and hog barns. Now, we wouldn't remember if we did!
2. August seems hotter at 35 than it did at 17.
3. Animal testicles seem to be larger than they were back in the day.
4. The prices are higher (toting three children with us doesn't help any).

The prizes are just as junky
The food is just as greasy.
and delicious!!!
The entertainment is just as corny.

The cows, goats, and pigs smell just as bad.

The boys deserted us........ we weren't cool enough for them I suppose? The girlfriend waiting in the mid-way didn't help our chances either. So, it was Gracie, Daddy and I. The three musketeers. We drank chocolate milk from the Farm Bureau building, ate corn dogs, and went to a petting zoo.
We saw the best alfalfa hay in the state of MO.
and the largest pumpkins and watermelons.
Then we paid a lady $12 to paint Gracie's face like a tiger.

The finished result. After 5 minutes she asked me to take the glitter off her lips. Then after 20 minutes asked if we could take the paint off her nose ("it itches", she said), Finally after an hour, it was completely washed off. $12 I will never see again.
Grandpa Larry and Gracie sitting in a tractor.
I've done some editing on these photos. I wanted them to look old..... antique....

The State Fair means that school is near and summer is over. (sigh) I'm not sure where it's gone. Seems like they fly by faster and faster every year. I cannot believe that I have a freshman, 7 grader and a 3rd grader. It simply isn't possible. Just yesterday I was bawling my eyes out after I took Ryan to Kindergarten. Ugh! I'm not sure if I'm more sentimental this year because we have lost Mike and Tegan recently, but I feel like it's hard to swallow. I'm proud of my babies, but I sure wish I could slow it down. Is that too much to ask?