Friday, May 30, 2008

Strange But Delicious Recipe: Tex Mex Pumpkin Patties

When I first saw this recipe I thought it sounded gross. Then I thought is sounded interesting. Then I decided to try it. They are actually really good and I have made them quite a few times now. We have them with tomato soup, or salad, or for a snack. We also add a dollop of sour cream on top. Check it out here. PS. Like how I used my fine china for the picture?!

In other news, Katie made her first semi-successful attempt at pulling herself up today! She pulled her whole body up on the cedar chest and had one leg underneath her, but couldn't get the other one in line. Where has the time gone? This girl's gonna be walking before I know it, at which point I think I will curl myself up in the fetal position and have a good cry. Time goes too fast!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hot Summer Days

While we were dating, Jeff worked and lived at ‘the farm,’ the subject of many of my Franch stories. We whiled away many an afternoon riding around on four wheelers, checking irrigation ditches, shooting prairie dogs, chasing coyotes, and other miscellaneous shenanigans. On lazy, hot summer days we would sit around in the shop (a barn-type building, sans animals) and shoot the breeze with whoever was around. There was an old pop machine in there, always stocked with Mountain Dew and City Market-brand lemon-lime and pink lemonade pop. Yep. I said pop, folks. That’s what I call it. We’d open the door of the pop machine and grab ourselves a cool drink. Next to the pop there was a big jar of Fireballs. Remember those? We’d sit there sipping a cold, carbonated beverage filled with Yellow Lake 638 and eat Fireballs while chatting about the price of beans in China. Or why on earth some people, who will remain nameless, chose to wear white Levis on a farm. Or who was going to stop over and pick up a few bails of grass hay. Just general stuff like that. I guess with all of my Franch tales, you are probably beginning to think that we, or primarily Jeff, never did any work. Au contraire, there was, and is, always much work to be done around the farm. In the spring, the fields are burned to prepare them for planting. Irrigations systems have to be cleaned out. Occasionally a rabbit or something will make a nest in the pipes and that has to be cleared out. The fields must be tilled and creased in preparation for planting. At the farm, they irrigated some fields via gated pipe. This meant that we, and I say we because this was my job when I was helping Jeff, had to set each gate to the proper opening. There is one gate per/foot of pipe or so, so you get the idea. That’s a lot of little gates. Each one has to be set so that water is distributed evenly throughout the length of the field. After all this is done, there is the planting. I never actually participated in this, so I can’t really fill you in. It involves putting the seeds in the dirt. How’s that for eloquent? That’s what I’m here for. Spring seems to be one of the busier times in farming. So much to do, and you only have a few weeks to do it. Then comes irrigating. That has to be done quite frequently. Being in a desert, water is a commodity and so you have to plan accordingly. In addition to all this, you have to worry about various weather conditions and insect problems. Should your crop happen to survive the summer, harvesting starts a whole new whirlwind of activity. This too, must be carefully planned. The crops must be harvested at just the right time. A freak rainstorm could knock out your entire wheat crop. The hay must be cut and left in the fields to dry. Rain, again, could ruin everything. Then, the hay must be bailed early, while the dew is still on it. Then the bails must be gathered from the field and stored until, hopefully, someone buys they for a good price. There is a lot more that goes into farming, but you get the idea. In between all these Franch shenanigans I tell you about, a lot of real work went on. And maybe just a little bit of sitting around in the shop eating Fireballs and drinking Mountain Dew.

Shout-Out

Every now and then, I find out that so-and-so is reading the blog. It always makes me laugh to think that you all come here to read about how crazy we are. Thanks mainly to Dad, for proselytizing my blog to anyone we ever met, various random people check in including, I am told, my sister's second grade teacher. Hi, Miss Fountain! So I just thought I'd say 'howdy' to all the so-and-so's reading the blog: Welcome! I'm glad to provide some kind of entertainment or family update or whatever. If you're ever bored, stop in and leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Beam me up, Scotty!

Alternative Title: Thanks for the Mammaries, James

Or: Why I should never take James shopping again!


We went to Kohl's today, because I had a coupon for $20 I needed to use before it expired. I was hoping, praying that I could find a bathing suit. Oh, the horror of it all. I realized that this season's hottest accessory is boobs. It is impossible to find something that does not advertise the merchandise, if you know what I mean. So I set forth on my unfruitful mission to find a bathing suit. James made the all-important 'my-mom-is-forcing-me-to-shop-so-I'm-going-to-hide-
in-the-clothes-rack'
discovery. Except that he announces 'I'm hidin' mama!' and jumps out. Of course, this being a new and exciting thing, he had to hide in every clothes rack we passed. I managed to gather up a couple tankini tops and scored the big dressing room. Katie sat contentedly playing while I tried stuff on. James tried to look under the dressing room walls. I tried to find a bathing suit that fit, without making me look like a total tramp. James was getting bored, and fast. I was trying to distract him by showing him how the little clippy hangers work. It didn't work. He was bored and I could tell I had better hurry up. Then, without warning, he said very loudly "I eat your booooooooooooooooob, mama!" Uh, no. "Tee eat your boooooooooob, mama!" So, not too loudly, but loudly enough to be heard by whoever heard James' remarks, I said something like "Katie nurses, doesn't she? You don't nurse anymore." Geez. What do you say? I am sure whoever else was in there at the time was wondering what the heck he meant, or laughing at what he said. Needless to say I was glad to get out of there without running into anyone in the dressing room. Now if only I could find a bathing suit that doesn't showcase the booooooooooooobs, I'd be one happy woman.

PS. Maybe to redeem himself as a faithful little shopper, on the way to the counter, James picked up a shirt and said, 'Dit dis shirt, Mommy. It's cute.'

And a totally random update unrelated to certain aforementioned parts: Katie is doing what I would refer to as the preliminary crawl. She is scooting mostly with her feet, but using her arms a little, to pull herself across the floor. She is getting pretty good at getting to what she wants. It won't be long before she is crawling around.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The World Keeps On Spinning….

….And so do our neighbors.

Despite the fact that we live in the same type of neighborhood in the same town as our old house, we feel much closer to our neighbors here. Not only is our yard smaller, but we have only a chain link fence between our yard and everyone else’s. While all our neighbors are very nice, it is a little close. It’s one of those situations where you can hear everything they are talking about and see who has mustard on their hamburger. Until we find it possible to invest in a privacy fence, we will be able to look out our dining room window for our evening entertainment. And I don’t mean watching the squirrels. Last night, we watched the neighbors leaning over with their heads resting on a baseball bat, spinning in circles. Then they would try to run around. Please note that it was not simply the kids: the parents were participating as well. It provided us with some interesting dinner entertainment. Another thing they do, which cracks me up, is practice golfing in their backyard. There is not much space, but that doesn’t stop them. Maybe I need to get out more, but I find it funny that they golf in their backyard. Another neighbor of ours is a sweet older woman and her husband. While it doesn’t appear that there will be any shenanigans happening on their side of the fence, they do have a shrine in their backyard of the Virgin Mary. She is standing under a little roof and there are a plethora of rodent statuary gazing lovingly upon the Virgin. Nothing is quite as touching as a ceramic tree rat (AKA Squirrel) looking admiringly at a statue of Jesus’ mother. Again, why this cracks me up, I am not sure, but it makes me giggle. I guess this is all part of living in suburbia, where you can get involved in everybody’s business if you want to. All I have to say is that hopefully there are no nude sunbathers in the neighborhood.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day




Saturday, May 24, 2008

Check this out!

Here is a video of my brother, Nate, in the Scion DJ Battle. He goes by DJ Natev. He took Fourth Place and learned everything he knows from me.

OnQ:Produxions

Friday, May 23, 2008

The New House: A Few Pictures

Since I apparently have nothing better to do today, trying not to overdo it, I am sitting here wiling away the kids' naptime by blogging non-stop. I have been meaning to put up a few pictures of the former Orange Crush Palace so you can see what we've been up to.

And then I melted...

This morning we were playing in James' room. He was building with his blocks and Katie was sitting up chewing on various objects. I needed to run downstairs for something and, crazy as it sounds, I left the two of them alone. I told James to take care of Katie and I'd be right back. I quickly ran downstairs, grabbed what I needed and ran back up. There was James, with his arms gently wrapped around his sister, holding her. He looked up at me with a smile and said, "I takin' tare of Tee, Mama." And then I melted.

I think I might actually survive.

After almost two weeks of sick kid(s), me getting sick, me contracting the Black Plague on top of whatever else I had going on, and the lack of sleep that comes along with that, I think I may survive. Talk about a run on sentence! While I am still not totally 'better' or recovered, things are looking up. I no longer feel like my rib cage is being squeezed in a vice and I have been able to eat. Woohoo! Katie seems to be feeling mostly better too. Hopefully by the weekend we'll all be back to normal, whatever that is.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Glade Park Movie: The Best of Summer Franch Fun

It was during college that we were turned on to Glade Park’s ‘Movie Under the Stars.’ Glade Park is a rural area perched atop the Colorado National Monument:

A quick Google search said that the housing density in Glade Park is one house per square mile. Compare that to 5,310 people per square mile around here, and that’s just downright depressing. But it’s also beside the point. It is a small town. On top of the monument. Every summer the fire department plays movies on the side of the fire house. There is usually a hokey country-western band playing, the kind where it is someone’s Aunt Hilda and Uncle Slim who like to play at family gatherings and such. Despite the lack of musical sophistication, it does suit the nostalgic ambiance. There is no one there to collect your money at the gate. In fact, there is no gate. You just wander in with your lawn chairs or a blanket and find a place to settle down. When you get settled, then you can find one of the firefighters and give him your 50 cent admission. With that, you get a raffle ticket. On the side of the field there is an old fire engine, refitted to become a grill. You step up on the sideboard and order a hamburger or hotdog. I think hamburgers were a whopping $1.50. For that price, you don't even have to share! There was a little concession stand that also sold my favorite concession stand candy: the Jolly Rancher stick. And, they had fireballs. Seriously, how can you go wrong? So, after you have spent your $4.00 or so on a movie admission, food and candy, you can return to your blanket and sit down to watch the movie. At dusk, it begins. At least they begin to try and get the movie running. It took a little finagling a few of the times we went, but when it comes on, it’s well worth it. Sitting out under the stars in the cool evening air with friends, enjoying a watermelon Jolly Rancher and watching the Three Stooges. It can’t get much better really. About half way through the movie, they pause it to draw a winner of the raffle. This usually involves someone fishing around for a flashlight, and them someone else looking for the raffle tickets. When all the necessary components are located, they draw a few names out of the hat. The prizes were things like a stuffed animal, or a donated gift certificate. I was always in awe that for 50 cents, not only did you get to see a movie but had a chance to win a prize too. After the prizes were given away, the movie went back on. The drive home was the perfect ending to an already wonderful evening. Driving down the edge of the monument at night gave us a clear view of the valley below. Once or twice I even got Jeff to stop so we could get out and look at the stars. There is nothing like looking into a sky so vast and dark that you feel like the ground is moving underneath you. Now that I've waxed eloquent about the 'good ol' days,' I think I might have to check into going again when we visit this summer.

***Disclaimer: I am SICK, sleep-deprived, and generally feel like poo so if this post sounds disjointed, random or non-sensicle, that's why. Heck! I can't even figure out how to spell non-sensacle. Sensical? Oh, I give up!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I shootin' buss-ards!

***I think I have sunk to a new low, posting about gas, but here goes nothing. ***

This is the new phrase around here, courtesy of Grandpa. Whenever James would pass gas, Dad would ask James "Are you shooting buzzards?" Now whenever James farts, he laughs and says "I shootin' buss-ards!" If Katie passes gas, which of course being the delicate little flower that she is (just like her mommy), she never does...but if she did, James laughs and says 'Tee shootin' buss-ards, Mama!' Sometimes, being the gentleman that he is, he takes the blame for them. 'That was me, Mama!' Now, whenever he makes a noise of any sort, he says mischeviously, 'That was me, Mama!'

What's up with boys? How do they learn at such a tender young age that farts are funny? Pretty soon he'll be having belching contests with his father because of course, historically, I have never participated in such nonsense. Never.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I feedin' Tee, Mama!

video

Sunday, May 18, 2008

This made me giggle....

Yesterday there was a knock at the door. I was tending to a pair of dirty buns so Jeff had to get the door. All I heard was "If he's going to insult me like that..." when the door closed. I asked Jeff what happened. Some guy came to the door and said, "I noticed the condition of your driveway and I was wondering if your mom and dad would be interested in getting the driveway replaced." Translated means "Hey, you little 6'4" whippersnapper who's still wet behind the ears, do you think your parents would spring for having their crappy driveway replaced?" Needless to say, his flier went in the trash!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Like father, like son...




Yesterday's Happenings:

Yesterday morning found Mom and I doing this:


Technically, we were not actually dumpster diving. We were trash picking. Trash picking is a favorite pastime here in the land of PA. We got the heads up that it was the community large trash day in a neighboring town. We actually, unknowingly, hit this a few years ago. We found all kinds of cool stuff and just thought we were hitting a 'good trash day.' Geez. That really makes me sound trashy. But anyway, here's what we found: a picture frame, a bunch of records for Nate, two new sets of paintbrushes and oil paints, etc., a few name brand sweaters, one with the dry cleaning tag still on, and a few other random things. Oh, and I found a fancy purse with change and stuff still in it. Can you believe people throw this stuff out? There were some clothes with tags still on them! The funny thing was, when I got home, our neighbor came over and said that someone had stolen his whole trash can with trash. Now that would concern me too, due to identity theft, but I had to laugh. The police told him it was not a crime to steal someone's trash, and little did he know I had taken part in a little trash picking that morning. Although I was not rooting through peoples' rotten egg shells and credit card bills and such. Did I mention that during this whole ordeal it was poring rain? Mom and I didn't care; we had fun. That's how high class we are. And speaking of high class, we had a high class wedding to go to last night. So, after spending the morning trash picking, I had to get all gussied up for a wedding:


The wedding was very nice and the reception was a lot of fun. I even danced for a few songs! Jeff, of course, stayed on the side lines except for trying to dance with the groom to 'Jesse's Girl.' He was not too enthused about dancing with Jeff, although he did respond by singing a few lines of 'I wish that I was Jeffrey's girl.' What a way to end the day!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Braising 101: What NOT to do

Using my remaining six brain cells, I decided to braise a roast yesterday in my fabulous new dutch oven. Doesn't braising sound fun and exciting? Well, let me tell ya. I heated up the dutch oven, drizzled a bit of olive oil in there and dropped in the roast. It sizzled nicely and I anticipated flipping it over to see a nice brown crust on the bottom. Instead, I flipped it over to over to find the plastic pad thingy sizzling in my fancy-schmancy new dutch oven. Note to self: do not braise while sleep deprived. At least the plastic appears to be gone from my pan. And the roast was saved too. I scrapped off a little plastic and we were good to go. For what it's worth, braising makes a pretty darn good roast. As long as you take the plastic off first.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Contact Paper: A Retrospective Look at the Wondrous Material







All these designs have been spotted at our new house. Aren't they lovely? We also had multi-shade blue flowers and a darling orange and yellow flowered print at the old house. Now, riddle me this my friend. If they have made contact paper in all these glorious patterns, why, oh why do they only have white now? It is 2008, people! In this era of do-it-yourself funkiness, you would think they could come up with something fun and exciting. Oh, well. White will never look this out of style. And while we are on the topic of ugly, check out the lovely paneling we have going up our stairs:

Six Times

That's the number of times I got up last night. That's also the number of brain cells I have left after last night. The kids had a rough night. James has a bit of a cold or something and had a nightmare last night (I think). He woke up screaming and crying. I woke up with him one more time, more to check on him then anything. Katie is teething, I think, and out of sorts, so she decided to fill in the gaps James left in my sleep interruption cycle. Thanks, kids! Let's all take a nice nap now, shall we?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Playing in the Dirt

I got to play in the dirt today! The kids and I went to Lowe's this morning and spent the afternoon planting away. Actually, James spent the time digging random holes and pestering his sister. I multi-tasked by planting, entertaining James and keeping him from hurting his sister and keeping Katie happy. I had so much fun being outside and planting things. I planted a variety of peppers, including Anaheim, Cubanel, Cayenne, Bell and Jalepeno. I also planted a cherry tomato and a Big Boy just for kicks. I put in peas, lima beans and some fancy-schmancy colorful beans. I will be able to plant a lot more than I thought I could squeeze in. Tomorrow I will be planting sunflowers, lettuce, cucumbers, a hill (one, uno, ONLY ONE) of zucchini and some basil and cilantro. As James says, 'Yipeee!!!!'

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jeff's Trade Show Goodies

Jeff got back from a trade show in Baltimore last week. He brought a bunch of goodies home. Check out a few of the more unusual things:

A light-up ice cube that can actually be frozen. No party is complete without a flashing ice cube in every cup. Not to mention that the ice cube is advertising a company that makes sewer systems, among other things.


A little laser-cut metal thingie. Check out the pen next to it to get an idea of how small it is. Each flag has 50 stars (not circles!) cut into it. Impressive, but now what do I do with it?

A nifty toothpick holder: When you push the slider, it pushes a toothpick out for you. It's fun! I'm easily amused.

A lint remover, or if you are James, a cell phone. He even took his 'cell phone' to church with him.


The jury is still out on this one. What in the world!?!

My Beverly Hillbilly

James loaded up his car with a variety of things he might need on his trip to 'Miss-sippi.' (Mom taught him to say 'We're goin' to Mississippi.' He loaded up his dump truck, a few rocks, my garden trellis and his shovel. Somehow he managed to squeeze in there too. When he tried to commence his trip, this is what happened:


Crash!

While James was taking his imaginary trip to Mississippi, Katie was sitting on the grass like a perfect lady, wondering what shenanigans her brother was up to.

Hmm...that brother of mine sure is weird.

I have better things to do...

Like smile at my mommy!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fun with Friends

It's hard to say who has more fun when we get together: the mamas, or the kids. Here are a few pictures from last week when Candi and her kids came over to play.





More Pictures

Now that I have discovered the slide show, I am unstoppable!

Happy Mother's Day, Grandma!




We miss you! Wish we could come over and visit any old time. We love you!

Happy Mother's Day!

Ode to Mom

You let us bury you in leaves.
You let us climb up trees and play in the mud.
You laid in the grass and taught us how to see pictures in the clouds.
When we asked you what was for dinner, you said 'Chingafrog.' (How do you spell that anyway?)
You wiped our butts and snotty noses.
You bought us raspberry Zingers or fruit roll-ups after our swimming lessons.
You made us homemade donuts and zweiback and chocolate chip cookies.
You only asked me 246.24885 times if I had your muffin cookbook. (He, he...I had to throw that in there)
You read us chapter after chapter of the most fascinating books, until you probably just wanted to sleep.
You taught us how to count in German.
You taught us how to say 'Sheetaraya' (Again...spelling?)

And now....

You let my kids sit on your kitchen counter and eat all kinds of 'cheats'
You take the kids when I need to run errands.
You helped me pack, clean, move, clean, etc......
You keep special things for my kids at your magical grandparent house.

I could keep going about all the fun memories I have. Thanks for being the best Mom and Grammy! We love you!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Yes, I love technology...

Ok...so I found out there is a new-and-improved way to put up a slide show. My friend Candi, being the technological genius that she is, discovered that Blogger has come up with a nifty new tool for slide shows. No more re-writing HTML code to get the box aligned in the right spot. Thanks, Candi! On the down side, while I was creating a web album for the blog, Picassa saw fit to send 40 of my pictures off into oblivion. Where did they go? I don't know. Same place as my stinkin' camera cable I guess. Soon, if all goes well, I'll have a new updated slide show playing. In honor of technology, I have included this lovely video clip to commemorate technology.

Friday, May 09, 2008

So Much Fun! The High-Class Adventures of James

Since Jeffrey had to trot off on a business trip, I had my friend Candi and her three kids over for dinner last night. While Jeff was collecting free pens and key chains and cowboy-hat-shaped hardhats, we were sitting outside watching the kids play and enjoying a few minutes to chat. James got to try to ride a bike for the very first time. He didn't quite get the whole pedaling thing down, but he looked like he was having fun. And since we are a high-class, cultured family, James decided to teach Noah and Amanda a thing or two about class. He ate out of the compost pile, AGAIN! I made him spit it out. Disgusting! And speaking of disgusting, my little boy spits! In front of Candi's kids! And there is not a dang thing I can do to stop it, because Jeff does it! Why, oh, why must men spit? It is by far one of the nastiest habits ever. When James spits, Amanda likes to yell "James is spitting!" so we know James is breaking the rules. Unfortunately for Candi, she has to explain that it's OK for James to spit, but not for them. And I just hang my head in shame. The babies also had a fun time playing and looking at each other. I got a really cute picture of the two of them that I'll show y'all if I ever find the stinkin' cable!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bikes and Bulls

Can it be? It has been over a week since the last Franch tale! I had better put one up so my trusty readers won't desert me. Jenni and Danny, I am lookin' out for you!

Growing up, we loved to go bike riding. I will never forget our first bike. It was a little black Huffy, purchased if my memory serves me well at Target. Dad took it home and assembled it for us. It was the beginning of a lot of fun times. Somewhere along the line, we acquired a red bike of some sort. I also got a lavender bike for Christmas one year, which I contributed my measly savings of probably $2.46. (Hey, that’s like a summer’s worth of pop can collecting!) We would ride up and down the sidewalk and as we got older we would venture down the road. It wasn’t long before we were riding down the dirt road to the ‘big hills.’ These hills were, to use modern day vernacular, ‘the bomb.’ The first hill was steep enough that even if you went down it riding your brakes, you could still have enough momentum to rocket up the next hill. It was a sign of getting older and braver when we went down that hill for the first time. Remember, Rach? I also remember going down those hills on the back of the snowmobile with John Folkestad. He flew down the hill with me flapping off the back like a flag in the wind. When he went over an irrigation ditch, I flew off. Good times, people. I just wonder how I lived to tell about it. Which leads me, in a very roundabout way, to the point of this Franch tale. On the way to the ‘big hills,’ there was a pen with several of the biggest, meanest, ugliest bulls around. They would stomp and snort and stare us down as we passed them by. Now these bulls would be enough to scare the pants off of just about anyone. What made it even worse was the fact that these lean, mean, kid-eating machines were held captive by two measly strands of hot wire. Only two strands. We would push our bikes up the hill as fast as we could. As soon as we got to the top of the hill, exactly where it always seemed the bulls would be standing to stare us down, we would jump on our bikes and fly down as fast as we could. We weren’t going to waste any time finding out whether or not two strands of hot wire could hold in a 2000 pound bull. We’d haul down that dirt road faster than two shakes of a lamb’s tail and wouldn’t slow down till we were well past range to avoid a situation like this:

P.S. The caption on this photo when I found it online was 'Cheeky Bull.' Te, he, he, he....

Has anyone seen my stinkin' camera cable???

Argh! I have been searching high and low for the cable so I can load some pictures up on the blog. Do you think I can find it? Of course not! It's driving me crazy. Where is the darn thing anyway?!

OK. I'm done venting. Now, on to greater things. Like my kid snacking out from the compost pile. Mmmmm. I started a compost pile yesterday with a bunch of apple peelings left over from making applesauce. There were a few other random things in there, like banana peels. This morning, Mom was over and we were hanging out in the backyard. Mom noticed that James had a very long string o' something hanging from his mouth. Turns out it was an apple peel out of the compost pile. And he ate it. Yummy. I figured it wouldn't kill him, because that's the kind of backwards hick mama that I am I guess. Later, I added some miscellaneous onion parts, a few egg shells and the guts of a few bell peppers. I told James that the stuff was yucky and to leave it alone. So, naturally, what did he do? You guessed it! He fished out another apple peel and started to eat it. This time I made him spit it out. I have no qualms with my kid eating decomposing apple peelings, but when they are mixed with egg shells and onions and whatever else, I have to draw the line. Seriously!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I Have Dirt!!!

To quote my old boss, I am happier than a pig in poop. I have a garden! The patch of grass I had chosen has gone from my dreams into a nice, freshly tilled piece of earthy goodness! Can you tell I am just a tad excited?! Although I had the intent to put in a garden this year, I didn't know if it would happen due to a few small time constraints. You know, unpacking a house, painting, general housework and two little kidlets running around. Thanks to our neighbor, who owns a rototiller, I have my 10' by 20' garden tilled and just about ready to go! The trusty 'Meg-z-tiller' will not have to work so hard this year! The soil is great, loose and without rocks. I think I got lucky with that. I am planning on planting peppers, chilies and herbs. I might do peas or something like that. I am going to put in a few tomato plants, but not my usual 10-12 plants due to the fact that our rototillin' neighbor plants upwards of 50-60 tomato plants each year. Can anyone see some salsa making in my future? I can't wait. I am also thinking about making a little compost bin. Dad, you'll be proud. Nothing like making a little of your own dirt. As Martha Stew@art would say, it's a good thing.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Wee Irish Lad

This phase seems to be coming to an end, but I have been wanting to write about it before it disappears forever. James started using 'me' instead of 'I' or any contraction thereof. His sentences began to make him sound like a little Irish fellow. Here are a few examples:

'I need me sippy tup!'
'Me go in ba-yard'
'I need me pants, Mommy'

He is finally figuring out how to use 'I' and 'my' now, so the 'me' is slowly giving way. His new misuse of grammar is the use of 'our' instead of 'we.' Case in point: 'Our go in living room, Daddy. Our play in living room ri-NOW!!!'

In other kid news, Katie is starting to be able to sit up on her own for a few seconds at a time. She can sit up pretty well with some support. She forgets herself after a bit and starts her perpetual kicking and knocks herself over. She loves the music in church, and yesterday she was squeeling, screaming, kicking like crazy and as happy as can be.

I am getting ready to start a vegetable garden. Our neighbor came over last night and offered to till it up for me. That will be so nice. Now I need to figure out how to keep the varmits out. Groundhogs, squirrels and rabbits. Any suggestions? Garlic, scarecrows, plastic snakes???

Enough of the rambling update. The natives are getting restless. Ta, ta for now...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Our Morning Routine

Since we've moved into the 'new house,' James has been through quite a transition. The first week or so, he seemed pretty normal. After that, a hell broke loose. He just behaved like a little heathen. Geez, it's like he is human or something. Anyway, for a few weeks it was very trying. After this phase started to pass, James started not being able to sleep at night. He would be awake for at least two hours when we put him to bed. Most of the time he would want us to check on him, or he'd come downstairs and say 'me not tired!' The other thing he started to do was wake up at all early hours. (2:00am, 4:00am, 5:30am) This means that Katie wakes up at all early hours. James just comes down stairs and climbs into bed with us. I tell him he has to go back to sleep. Usually he does. Then, of course, Katie wakes up too. I bring her in bed with us too. My morning, from 5:00 on, usually involves a cold foot in my ear, a chubby little hand pulling my hair and a 30 pound toddler trying to curl up directly under my armpit. Although it's not exactly how I would care to spend those morning hours, it is sweet to have both my babies curled up next to me sleeping soundly. It was especially sweet yesterday when James was stroking my hair back out of my face while I was trying to sleep. Even if his hands smelled like pizza sauce and dirt.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

If you think I'm weird...

...you should meet my husband. He is by trade an engineer. Need I say more? Him and his quirky coworkers plan various themed clothing days at work. Friday was wear-the-company-logo-shirt day. In the past they have sanctioned days such as orange-shirt-Wednesday, tie-Tuesday, circa 1992 long sleeved jean shirt Monday and multi-shirt Friday (involving multiple outfit changes). Jeff and his coworkers have also perused the local grocery store with Jeff wearing his cowboy hat and Elvis glasses. On his own, Jeff has sported his gigantic red laser-viewing goggles while driving around. Why? Please don't ask me. Ask him. I have been with him for just about ten years and still can't understand him. Yet of all the goofy clothing days Jeff and his fellow engineers have masterminded, my all time favorite is 'no-undie-Mondee.' I just have to wonder, how do they know who is participating?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Waaaaaahoooooo! We're back in business!

Who knew that we could all be so dependent on this here modern day technology!? I was starting to have nightmares in which my wee son cut off his finger while retracting a measuring tape and I had no phone to call anyone. I am also oblivious to whatever earth-shattering or non-earth-shattering events have happened in the last month. I guess that might be a good thing, depending on what has happened. I have been relegated to blogging only when I could go over to my parents and bum the internet off of them for a few minutes. Through it all, I’ve realized how much I like blogging. It’s not really the idea of everyone reading the stuff I write. Sometimes it cracks me up that you all tune in to read about big butts and my kid’s poop and dead steers. I realized I like blogging because it is theraputic for me. I enjoy the process of writing, even if it is about small children riding sheep. I was thinking the other day that it must have all started back in the day with Dad’s old green and black screen computer. We would get to go over to his office at the church and write ‘hairy-bear’ stories. Dad would start out with a sentence, and we would take turns adding to it at random. The stories always turned out to be full of twists and goofy turns only a second grader would be capable to contriving. The bottom line is, I think this is where it all began. It was then that writing became fun. So thanks, Dad. And thanks, Erin, for pestering me so much about starting to blog. It’s a lot of fun!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Day Without Sunshine

A Guest Post by James

A day without my grandparents is like a day without sunshine. Every day, I ask my Mommy at least three times, sometimes twenty-seven times, if I can go over to ‘Dammy-Da-paw’s house.’ I am on to the fact that it is but a brief walk to the magical grandparents house, and I think I should be able to go whenever I please. You see, my grandparents spoil me. They give me ‘cheats’ all the time. Despite the fact that Grammy slips me treats laced with carob and brown rice syrup, I still think she is a peach. Grandpa likes to give me M&M’s. He finds it quite humorous to slip me a few every now and then. Someday, my Mommy says she is going to get me all hopped up on sugar and send me over to spend the night. I can’t wait! Just don’t tell Grandpa my Mommy’s plan. Grandpa and I, we’re pals. He is kind of uptight about me peeing on his carpet, though. Seriously, can someone just ask him to relax? Have I ever peed on his carpet? No! (Note to Self: Add that to my To-Do list) Did I mention that they let me do all kinds of stuff I am not allowed to do at home? Things like sitting on the kitchen counter, using the hose sprayer, indiscriminately applying band-aids to imaginary boo-boos. They also have special things for me to use at their house, like my own pair of gardening gloves, a rake and a shovel. I like their house so much, in fact, that I am considering moving in with them. Do you think they would mind?

NEWS FLASH: After a very long ENTIRE WEEK of no phone, they finally figured out how to turn it back on and.....drumroll please....we should have internet today! Yipeeeeee!!!!!