Friday, December 31, 2010

Pinto Beans

We like eating beans fairly regularly here, but eating the same thing over and over again can get a bit boring, especially if the only beans out of a can that you like by themselves are Ranch Style Beans (that would be an Amanda preference and not an entire family preference). I like pinto beans, but not from a can. I've been working over the last few weeks on a pinto bean recipe that I really liked and I think this one is pretty darned good.


1 Tbsp olive oil (because, really, what else are you going to use?)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
3 cups chicken broth
2 tsp dehydrated onions (because they were in the pantry, not absolutely necessary)
3-5 cups of water, added as needed

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil. Add in the garlic once the olive oil is hot and heat until fragrant. Add in the pinto beans, cumin, oregano, chicken broth, and dehydrated onions. Bring to a boil and then lower heat until beans are simmering. Stir every 20-30 minutes, adding water as needed. Total cook time is 2 hours to 2 1/2 hours.



One of my favorite meals that my mom used to make was brisket made in the crockpot. There's nothing quite like walking into a house warm with the fragrance of something good to eat waiting for you. I begged my mom for her recipe and it couldn't be easier. There are two hard and fast rules for making brisket like my mom's. First, the meat is labelled "brisket" on the label. Second, the barbeque sauce has to be dark. I used KC Masterpiece this time. That really is steam coming off of the plate. I just took a picture of my plate before I started eating so I could put it on the blog because I really thought I'd need to make brisket more than once before I posted it, but the brisket really is that easy to make.


Brisket, mine was 4 pounds
1 bottle of dark barbeque sauce
1 cup water

Trim as much fat off of the brisket as you can. If there's a sweet yellow dog at your house, microwave the fat and trimmings and pour them over the dog food still in his bowl. He will love you and stay out from under your feet while you're finishing up the brisket, not that it's going to take you much longer anyway. Pour about 1/2 cup of barbeque sauce in the bottom of the crockpot (use a crockpot that's appropriately sized for your brisket). Put your trimmed brisket directly into the crockpot (no, you don't need to brown the brisket first) and add in up to 1 cup of water. You don't want the brisket swimming in sauce, but just shy of that point. Cook on high in the crockpot for about 8 hours. Slice and enjoy as is or in a hamburger bun.

Roasted Asparagus

We went to my Aunt's house for Christmas this year. Ed and I even took his parents. Everyone is able to get along for at least a couple of hours, so it worked out pretty well. My Aunt had a tenderloin smoked (which was delicious) and I did a mushroom dish from someone else's blog (I can't remember which one as I'm typing and am still not talented enough to link another website within a post). I also made roasted asparagus, which if you haven't tried, you definitely should.

Roasting asparagus is just about like roasting any other vegetable. Asparagus comes bound by two large rubber bands. All of the magazines I've read say to break the asparagus stalks, one by one, where they will easily break and then peel any other hard parts off with a vegetable peeler. I love my family very much, but I needed to get my makeup on so we could get out the door. I cut those bad boys all at once just above the lower rubber band. You'll get tender asparagus every time you do that. I throw the ends in my compost pile. (Hahahaha!! That would be a spot right outside my side door that grows monkey grass and I'm never going to do anything else with it. I think the earthworms feeding off of it must be 9 feet long though..) Arrange the asparagus prettily in a dish, splash with some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Lie to your mother about the amount of salt you put on the asparagus. Bake it at 400-450F, depending on what else has to go into the oven with the asparagus, for about 20-30 minutes. The tips will be just the slightest bit crunchy if you cook it just right and they'll burn up if you do it longer. Be at the first of the line if you actually want to eat any of it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm moving!

Several weeks ago, I decided that my blogging had become schizophrenic and it didn't really feel like a blog entitled "Cooking for my Twins" could support my mommy blogging tendencies or my foul mouth. :) I've started another blog that will mostly be my mommy blog.

Ed says it sounds like a porn site and I assure you, it's not.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas win

When I was five or six years old, my father produced not one but two huge boxes wrapped on gorgeous Christmas paper for my mother. I remember being so excited for my mother, fantasizing about all of the wonderful things that could be in those boxes. I *may* have caressed said boxes. Christmas morning came and my mother opened those boxes and it was a vacuum cleaner. I was pissed. I had imagined furs and jewels and all kinds of fantastic things awaiting my excited mother in those boxes. Not a vacuum cleaner. I'm getting mad right now just thinking about those boxes. My mother probably knew what her present was. I don't remember her being indignant, or even moderately irritated.

Fast forward to seven years ago. I'm married to a wonderful man and he routinely goes all out to make my Christmas wonderful. His family tradition involved making sure his mother opened enough gifts at Christmas that the cats and dogs didn't feel compelled the next year to all give her Christmas gifts in addition to what my husband and father in law gave her. Fortunately, they feared what the cats and dogs would do if I didn't get enough packages to open. So, Christmas morning seven years ago, I'm opening my presents and the husband and father in law had obviously done a large part of their shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond. One of my many presents that day was a hand held vacuum cleaner.

I didn't say anything about it to Ed that day. Or that week. I did go to work and bitch about how Ed had inadvertently been a little unsympathetic. I may or may not have used stronger words. I never said anything to Ed about the vacuum cleaner, but my coworkers sure did. He was caught off guard as I'd never told him about the vacuum cleaner my mother received.

Three years ago for Christmas, Ed gave me a motorized bathroom cleaning device and a six pack of toilet paper. There was some jewelry hidden in there. But still, a motorized bathroom scrubber?!?!?!?!?!?! For my birthday this year, he gave me a heated mop. I don't even clean my own house. I write out the check once a week! Fortunately for his life, he does hide something nice in with the cleaning supplies.

This year, there were no cleaning supplies. This year, Ed watched me when we were out shopping together to see what I liked but wouldn't buy for myself.

Did you give or get any bad gifts? Or any really good gifts?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Boys at Christmas, II

Last night, my computer hated me and wouldn't let me post the pictures of that other kid who lives at my house and in the room of the obviously favored kid whose pictures were posted yesterday.

It's genetic. Whenever there's a camera close by, my eyes close. Naturally, this happens to an evil munchkin too.

If you can't pick your nose in a picture, what good is a camera?

Why shouldn't your fingers go into your mouth after they've been in your nose?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Boys at Christmas

I told the boys that I needed to take some pictures of them for a present for one of my many aunts today and, naturally, they objected to having their picture taken. I asked them how they would like to have their picture taken and Trip said, "with crazy faces," and Logan said, "in the dirt." It was early in the day and I had yet to turn into a crappy monster mother, so I said, "let's go."

Practice picture. Still cute.

Having fun.

Very obviously my child.

Still my kid.

Drumrolllll,.......My kid is really named Damien. It's because my mother watched Rosemary's Baby way too many times when I was a kid. You're welcome, Mom, for the devil grandkid.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Appetizer Thingies

We had some dear friends over the other night and I made these delicious little appetizers. I didn't do a great job naming them though, so if one screams out to you, leave it in the comments.


1 can of cresent rolls
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp apricot preserves
1/4-1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese
2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Heat oven to 350F. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Spread out the cresent roll in one solid sheet on the cookie sheet. (Spread it out in the middle cookie sheet so you can cut the whole thing after it finishes cooking. Sadly, I didn't think about this.) Press the perforations together to seal. Microwave the butter and preserves for 20-30 seconds. Stir to get the butter and preserves mixed well. Spread evenly over the cresent roll. Top with the blue cheese and then the bacon. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or according to the directions on the cresent roll package. Cut into 15 pieces and enjoy.

The first Christmas party

We had our big family Christmas dinner at my Aunt's house tonight. Her house looked like a winter candyland. She had a gingerbread man Christmas tree in her kitchen that was adorable!

We celebrated Christmas on a Saturday this year, so there was no Cowboys game for entertainment. My aunt and uncle set up a ping pong table so that everyone could have something fun to do and a reason to yell. Mom went nuts playing one of my many aunts!

Four of my beautiful and crazy aunts!

We had a great time together.

What are you going to do for Christmas?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chili Dip

My in-laws throw an awesome Christmas party every year on the 23rd (Eve Eve!), and every year, my mother-in-law makes this amazing chili dip. There are never any leftovers which irritates Ed to no end. We make this chili dip a couple of times throughout the year to make my sweetheart happy :) Don't worry. He doesn't read the blog and will never see that last phrase, the turd. This chili dip has the perfect consistency for dipping with Frito's or topping for a chili dog.

The line up:

2 lbs ground sirloin
2-3 packages of Williams chili chipotle mix
1 clove minced garlic
1 15 oz can refried bean
1 15 oz can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
2-3 tsp cumin
8-16 oz ketchup

Brown the sirloin and drain off the fat. Over medium heat, add in the williams chili mix, garlic, refried beans, rotel tomatoes, cumin, and ketchup. Stir well to incorporate all of the ingredients. Taste multiple times to see if the seasonings are right. Add more ketchup and/or chili mix until you get the seasonings right.

If you're making this for a party, cook the chili the day before and leave it in a crock pot on low during the party. Serve with Frito's and cheese.

Ohwa-tatur-diam, part deux

I finally got to witness the magic taking place at the office with the animal crackers. The boys are more actively participating that I thought they were. Half the time that the animal crackers were "hidden," the boys could see them and were wrestling with Ed to get them back. Ed and his father teamed up against the boys, passing the 5 pound tub of animal crackers back and forth, chasing each other around the office, tackling, wrestling, generally running off energy. I did my best to not get run over while still being able to watch all of the action.


The boys go to Ed's office everyday after school. I keep snacks in the kitchen for them and they go get whatever is available when they get to the office. The last thing I bought for them was a gigantic tub of animal crackers from Sam's Club. Snack time is viewed by the boys as vital to their very existence. So naturally, Ed had to screw with them yesterday.

When the boys arrived at the office after school, Ed had hidden the animal crackers and told the boys that the animal crackers had been stolen by a magician. The boys would have to say special words to combat the magician's spell and make the animal crackers reappear. They would also have to go to their Granddad's office and yell the words as loud as they could because that would be the best place for the magic to work.

"What are the magic words, Daddy?" they asked.

Well boys, there are three words. The first word is Ohwa, the second word is tafar, and the third word is tiam. You have to yell them really fast and really loudly to make them work," said Big Daddy Awesome.

"Ok, Daddy," they said and then ran upstairs to their Granddad's office. (I'm assuming there were no clients in the office at the time or if there were, they would have laughed with Ed.)

The boys commence their yelling, " Ohwhatafartiam! Ohwhatafartiam! Ohwhatafartiam!"

They ran downstairs to ask their Daddy if their animal crackers had reappeared. Unfortunately, they hadn't. Ed told the boys that maybe they would need to try different words. Shockingly, Ed knew just which words they would need to use.

"I think you should try these words next. Apparently, the magician's magic was too strong. The first word is Ohwa, the second is tatur, and the third is diam. Yell them as fast and loud as you can again."

"Yeah, yeah, stronger words! Good plan, Daddy!" Off ran my very gullible children.

The voices of my children sailed loudly down the stairs for all to hear.

"Ohwhataturdiam! Ohwhataturdiam! Ohwhataturdiam!"

They ran downstairs to Ed again, asking if the animal crackers had reappeared. They had!

So basically, ed and I had children so we could make them do funny things and then laugh at them. This is parenting at it's best y'all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm going to make you get divorced and I'm going to marry Mommy!

Ed and the boys were playing last night. I'm not sure what I was doing. Laundry? Dishes? Working? Blogging? I'm not sure, but the wrestling turned into arguing, as it frequently does. (Children need to be taught how to argue effectively. We're teaching them valuable skills here.). When Logan finds himself on the losing side of an argument, he falls back on his tried and true retort, "You're fired, Daddy!"

Lately, the "firing" has proven ineffective, lost it's sheen for him.

Logan's new retort made Ed fall out of his chair because he was laughing so hard.

Logan said, "I'm going to make you get divorced from Mommy! And you're going to marry a new wife and live with her!"

After getting up from the floor and wiping the tears of laughter from his eyes, Ed asked him who was going to marry Mommy and Logan said he was going to marry Mommy. (Awww, how sweet! There's that Oedipal complex in full swing!)

My question is this: Where did my kid learn about divorce? It had to have been at school because Ed and I aren't considering a divorce. We don't discuss it. It's really not an issue for us. We don't have close friends or family members who are going through a divorce. I don't mind that he's heard the term. It's not like you can shield your child from something that half of the population is doing. But whether he learned about divorce from television or school, he has a surprisingly clear understanding of the term and I know I didn't tell him about divorce. He just seems so young to know about it. I first learned about divorces when I was 8 and my parents got divorced.

When did you first learn about divorce? Have your children come home talking about divorce at a young age?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Boys, Growing Up

I try hard to live in the "now," but I usually find myself looking forward to the future with the munchkins or missing how sweet and young they were in the past. I find myself now missing my sweet babies of the past. I love my boys so much, but I miss the babies they were. I suppose this is a natural reaction to the transition they are making, but dang it, I miss my babies!


Logan chose his blankets when he was only a year old. Ed and I would put certain blankets into each boys' crib when they went down for the night and they would throw blankets back and forth to each other until they had the blankets they wanted. Logan called his "lue lankets." He looks at me like I'm crazy now when I tell him what he used to call his blankets. It's more like he can't believe he ever mispronounced anything. He still sleeps with the blankets, but he has stopped chewing up the ends of them.


Trip was two years old before he ever found "his" blankets. They were the little 9"x9" blankets that had come with bigger baby blankets. (We had everything in pairs.) He saw the blankets at the office one day and then had to have them everywhere he went from then on out. Trip called them his "pocket bankets" and would cuddle with them as if they baby dolls. He grew out of the "pocket bankets" when he was around four years old, but did move on to another special blanket. His special blanket now is a king sized, gray blanket that was meant for my bed. (The little thief!)


Logan's language has always been oddly clear. He's accepted most corrections to grammar and pronunciation well and incorporated it into his language seamlessly. There is one big exception though. He calls fingers "thingers." We've had long discussions about the spelling and pronunciation of "finger" and he knows how it's spelled and he keeps on calling them "thingers." I really hope he keeps calling them "thingers" because it reminds me that even with as big as he is, he's still a little bit of my baby.


I know it's natural to miss the sweet babies your children used to be. I know it's natural to yearn for the young men your children will become. I hope that for this Christmas season, I can simply enjoy the people my children are now.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I love ratatouille and the boys will eat it after they've seen that little Disney rat making it! Yes, I do feel comfortable bribing my kids with movie time if it will get them to eat their vegetables.


1 eggplant
1 bell pepper, I used red because I love the color
1-2 yellow squash
1-2 zucchini
1 tomato
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 16 oz can of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp oregano
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Heat the oven to 350F.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and tomato into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash in half longways and then cut into 1/4 inch slices. Put all of the vegetables into a 9x13 dish.

Mix the tomato paste, tomato sauce, oregano, garlic, and salt in a bowl. Pour the tomato mixture over the vegetables and then stir it all up to get the sauce on all of the pieces of vegetable.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Top with Parmesan cheese.


Jasmine Chicken

You've got to eat something in December besides the Christmas feast right? I made this incredibly easy dish a few nights ago and the munchkins loved it. We had some friends over and they brought their very daring daughter with them. When she saw Trip dousing his food in Tabasco, she thought she should try Tabasco too. Her daddy put one tiny little drop on a bite of rice and her little face started turning red at her chin and the red went all the way up to her hair line! It was too cute! And I was glad that someone else at the table reacts the same way I do to Tabasco.

Incidentally, the name "Jasmine Chicken" has little to do with the dish. I stole this recipe from a girl at work. I'm a bit of an ass occasionally and I had a horrible time remembering her name. We started talking about our kids and how much her girls loved the movie Aladdin, and especially Jasmine, and my coworker became Jasmine.

Anyway, on to the recipe!


2-4 chicken breasts, cut up into bite sized pieces (or whatever piece of chicken you have on hand)
1 can of peaches in heavy syrup
1 16 oz bottle of barbecue sauce
1 Tbsp chipotle chile powder

Heat the oven to 350F.

Put the chicken and peaches into a 9x13 dish.

Put the barbecue sauce into a bowl. Add in the chipotle powder and mix well. Pour the barbecue and chipotle sauce over the chicken.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Serve over rice.

And now, I have saved you from an assured 3 week starvation. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I saved a life yesterday

Yesterday was a strange day at work. It was Saturday, so the hospital was quiet, mostly because the ancillary departments get to take the weekend off. Intensive care units don't have that luxury. There are always sick people in need of care.

I had to give a patient blood yesterday, so I went down to the lab to get the blood. It was like I had stepped into an 80's horror flick hosted by Gilbert Gottfried. The lab was empty. Absolutely empty. I walked up and down the corridors of humming machines. The humming was interrupted by occasional beeps from the machines. I called out "Hello" only to be met by silence. I walked from one end of the lab to the other searching for someone, anyone, to give me the blood I needed for my patient. Finally, after what seemed like an eerie eternity, I found the lone person in the lab, who said all of the other people must have been called out for one reason or another. I got the blood and went on about my day.

My day was going fairly normally until after lunch, when one of my patients decided to take a turn for the worse. Obviously, I can't say what exactly happened to my patient, but I'm sure it happened in at least a few other places around the country. What I can say is that I saved a life yesterday and that if I hadn't had the help of all of my coworkers, my patient might not have lived.

I came home last night exhausted and emotionally spent, but I feel good today, knowing that I truly helped another person.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I think my blogging has become schizophrenic...

When I started blogging, I really wasn't sure what kind of blogger I wanted to be. I thought I knew, hence the name Cooking for my Twins. However, as time has gone by, I've realized that my blogging has multiple personalities. I like to blog about my cooking, or burning of food, however my little family sees it. I like to blog about my kids, mostly so I remember all of the funny things my kids do, but many of my stories about my kids or family really don't belong on a blog about cooking.

Like this morning for instance:

I was getting the boys ready for school and Ed came downstairs to leave for work. Ed said something kind of funny/jokingly threatening to Trip.

Trip said, "If you do that I'm going to cut you!"

Ed replied, "If you cut me, we're going to have fricasseed yellow dog for dinner tonight."

Logan jumped in with, "Oh no we're not! We're going to have Annabelle steaks!"

(Annabelle is the bulldog who worships the ground Ed walks on and views me as the thief of her rightful place next to her man.)

I then declared it time to leave the house because we were late for school again.

The boys and I went out the door and Logan says to me and Trip, "We're going to have Midicow appetizers too."

(Midicow, who's real name is Penelope, is the black cat who feels the same way about me that Annabelle does.)

We all laughed, got into the car, and went on about our days.

See, it doesn't really fit into a cooking blog.

And then there's the side of me that really wants to blog about gross things that really wouldn't belong on a Mommy blog either, but I'm definitely not going to write any of those stories here. You're welcome.

So I'm going to be making some changes in the next few weeks. There may be a title change here, though I'm not really sure what it'll be. I'll make an announcement when I've made my decision.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Big Daddy Awesome's got skills

Eleven years ago today, Big Daddy Awesome and I went out on our first date. That poor man. I've been torturing him for eleven whole years. He made me schnitzels and mashed potatoes. Actually, he made them on Monday. I was ecstatic to have them as leftovers tonight. (You work fourteen hours and see how picky you are when it comes to dinner.) I wanted to share his Mom's schnitzel recipe, but he wouldn't let me. He might not have any socks in the morning. That'll teach him to tell me no!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Parenting revelations

I've just had a major parenting discovery. The discovery--boys basketball is the most awesome thing ever! The munchkins have just started playing and have now had a grand total of three practices. And the revelations are coming in!

Can they play basketball? Not really. They might be a little better prepared if we had ever played basketball with them. Or even watched a basketball game on television, but we haven't. That's ok though, because most of the other kids are on the same level.

So why is basketball awesome? Because it's climate controlled! And it comes with seating! And I'll actually be able to carry on a conversation without swatting bugs away!

I could wear high heels if I wanted to! I won't, but it's a possibility. It could rain and the game will still be played. My hair will not be a wind blown mess after the game is over! I'm so excited!

Logan is determined to make yet another sport into a full contact sport which won't be too bad when he finally gets to play against another team, but for now, he's content to wrestle with the biggest kid on the team for the ball. The entire team ended up on the floor and wrestling for the ball at least twelve times tonight. I think they spent more time on the floor than they did dribbling or shooting the ball. I have a feeling that all of the games will end up like that too.

All of the kids are 5 or 6 years old, so plenty of the kids will end up picking their noses and staring off in space instead of playing the game. I've been told that the scores will probably not get out of the single digit area for the whole season. All of the kids will still end up being exhausted after the games are over.

Basketball may be the greatest thing ever! At least until they are actually old enough to play football. I am a girl from Texas after all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Family Game Night

We were watching television over the weekend with the boys and a commercial came on touting the wonders of a family game night while surreptitiously advertising a game for said family game night at the same time. The boys then begged to have a family game night with whichever game the commercial was advertising. I told them I couldn't buy the game on the television, but I would teach them how to play chess. (Every year after Halloween, we tell the boys that Santa has sent out an email telling us to not buy anymore toys or games for them so that we don't buy something that he's already planned on getting for them. Shhh!!)

So that Saturday evening, I taught them the basics for playing chess. I learned to play chess when I was 8 and each of my brothers learned when they were 5, so I figured the boys were plenty old enough to learn. They enjoyed taking each others pieces and really enjoyed the quality time we spent together.

The next day, we walked over to their grandparents' house and demanded to take their new chess set!

Logan was so excited he put his hoodie on upside down!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms

It should be obvious by now that I am not cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Most of the family actually likes the traditional Thanksgiving foods and since I have an extreme dislike for stuffing and candied yams, I have no intention of cooking them. I get nominated to make side dishes and desserts and appetizers.

The lineup:

8 oz mushrooms
6 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
8 oz cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess fat.

While the bacon is cooking, remove the stems from the mushrooms.

Mix the cream cheese and bacon pieces together. Spoon about 2 tsp of the mixture into the mushrooms. Place into a 8x8 glass dish.

Bake for 30 minutes.

The Boys have been Busy

I have vague recollections of coloring as a child, but I don't recall bringing home a huge amount of drawings or worksheets. Trip loves to draw and do all of the paperwork associated with each work station at school and he brings home a ton of paperwork every week. Logan usually decides to forgo the paperwork which I appreciate because I don't have to argue with my inner pack rat over whether or not to keep the papers. Most of the papers they bring home are math or language exercises. By they, obviously I mean Trip. I did recently win a huge argument with my inner pack rat and threw out all of the school papers that couldn't fit into their baby books! I have kept these drawings for the time being.

So one day a few weeks ago, Trip brings home three drawings. There was a flower for me with "Mama" on it, a butterfly which was almost finished for Logan, and another flower for "Ed" who happens to be known around here as "Daddy!"

Awww! My sweet baby!

This is just funny. I don't even call him Ed. When we asked Trip why he wrote "Ed," he said he just wanted to. Typical kid answer, I guess.

And he loves his brother!

Not to be upstaged, I think Logan spent more time on his one drawing than Trip did on all three of his.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Y'all, I'm clairvoyant

A few months ago, when Mom was first planning her trip, we talked about what all she was going to do on this fantastic vacation. One of the things she had planned was a hike up Mount Sinai. As I laid down in bed that night, I had a powerful vision of her being pushed on the trail up the mountain by a small, older Asian woman. I freaked out! I called her immediately and told her about the vision.

Small disclaimer here: I do occasionally have visions, but they only concern my mother. If you were thinking about asking me to look into your future, I'm sorry. If you're not my Momma, it just won't work.

I've had visions about mom in the past that have come true. She's asked me to tell her about all of my visions so she can decide if she's going to change her plans accordingly. She decided, based on my vision, to not climb Mount Sinai.

I finally got to see mom tonight and she told me about all of the cool things she saw and did. It turns out that you can climb some of the pyramids. One of the first days of the trip, her whole group climbed up one of these pyramids. (I'm not a very good blogger because I forgot to ask her which pyramid they climbed.) Her group was going up the path the way the trail guides showed them to go. There were people all around going the wrong way up the path and climbing straight up. And a small Asian woman (mom said Japanese though I forgot to ask how she knew that) started pushing people out of the way and trying to force them off the path so her husband could take her picture from below. One woman in mom's group even got pushed all the way down and broke her finger! The armed guide with mom's group saw the commotion and walked over to mom and her friends and the pushy woman melded into the background.

Mom still didn't climb Mount Sinai.

And I am totally freaked out now by my psychic abilities. I'm concentrating on lottery numbers now. I'll let y'all know how that one goes!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Evil Ass Mother was Messing with my Head

My mother has just gotten back from a vacation. She was gone for more than two weeks. I'm just now mentioning it because I am a bit superstitious and wasn't really sure she'd be coming back alive. I just saw melodramatic flash through your mind. Stop that! I am not! Ok, fine, maybe I am. But only a little. But she does have a history of nearly dying on her vacation. (See the post from May called Family Road Trips-I have to figure out how to link here.)

So Mom went on a two week trip with her church group. They went to Cairo, Egypt, then Lebanon, then ended in Jerusalem, Israel. I had to talk her into going on the trip. She wasn't sure she even wanted to go. Then I started wondering who was going to watch my kids when she got pushed off of a mountain. It would be just like her to climb to the top of a pyramid and then have something crazy happen like a giant hawk swooping out of the sky and carrying her off to be used as food for the hawk's young. She's a small woman. It could happen! Can you even climb the pyramids?

I made certain demands of my mother before she went on this trip. I knew I wanted some kind of verification on a regular basis that she was alive. She refused to call because it would be very expensive. I talked her into texting occasionally since she has finally figured out how to text. She said she'd also email because one of the other women on the trip was going to do that.

The first text I got from her was:

Made it to new york city

This text sounded exactly like her. I don't think she's figured out how to capitalize or use punctuation with her phone yet. So, no biggie here.

The next text was from Cairo.

Made it to cairo got an engraved neclace made for amanda mom

And then I got an email from my mother.

We are having fun. traveling with armed guard for security.
we are at st. caterines now.
Love, mom

At first, I read this email and thought, Mom is having a fantastic time. This is right up her alley!

Then I didn't get anything for a couple of days and started to freak out. I think I was fairly justified for freaking out for a couple of reasons. My mother misspelled my name. I have had this name for more than 30 years! She had to assert her authorita with my father and demand to name me Amanda. (I was almost named Cleopatra--the whole name, her choice.) And then, my mother is a court reporter. She's been a court reporter for almost 35 years! This is what she does for a living, day in and day out. She gets paid to type and use proper capitalizations and occasionally, proper punctuation and grammar. And with this email, she can't spell my name right or capitalize or use proper punctuation?? What the hell?

Then I started to compose an email to send her in my head that went like this:

Mother! This message is completely out of character for you! It's grammatically incorrect and the punctuation is missing and you haven't capitalized anything. And you spelled my name wrong. ME!! Your first born child!! Prove to me that you haven't been kidnapped by telling me how much you loved your last stepmother. If I don't get word from you soon, I'm calling the embassy. Your panicking daughter.

Then I told the husband about my planned email and my worries. He talked me out of sending the email. Told me I was being ludicrous, among other things. None of them were very flattering. Dammit. I think the nicest thing he called me was a drama queen.

So I had several large glasses of wine and calmed down a bit. Decided I could wait a couple of days for her next text or email.

It may have been a few bottles of wine, but they were bottles of Shiraz and ever so tasty.

Four interminable days later, she finally sent a text message.

Still in jordan madison fell off bus skined his arm mom

I have no idea who Madison is, but I know she went with a group of 30 or 40 people. The rest of the trip proceeded with the text messages. She and I are going to have some serious words when we finally talk about her attempts to scare the crap out of me when I see her tomorrow. She did get home today and was in bed by 7:15 p.m.

She didn't say a single word in her texts about any near fatal accidents, but she hasn't taken a trip in her life that didn't almost end with her death. I'll put up some pictures to when she sends me some.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The High Jacking

My formal dining room has been taken over by Big Daddy Awesome and a friend of his. They've been playing a war game for weeks now. That's a plywood board on top of my table because my 8 person table is not big enough for their game! They spend hours every week playing this game. And obviously, Thanksgiving will not be at my house this year. I'm making a few things to take to my mom's house and later to his parents for Thanksgiving. I will be evicting them by December 1st. Christmas dinner will be in that room.

Even my crystal candle sticks have been high jacked!

But they are having a lot of fun. I guess that is the most important thing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Awesome boys

Tripper learned how to tie his shoes first and doesn't seem to remember my $10.00 bribe offer. It took longer for him to learn than I thought it would, but he's extremely proud right now. Logan finally figured it out last night and is equally proud.


Trip had a sucker yesterday and Ed was teasing him, trying to take away the sucker. Trip started chewing the sucker and Ed says, "You're eating that sucker wrong."

Trip says, "Mmmmm, it tastes like Daddy's tears!"

Score Trip 1 - Daddy 0.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I am one of those weird people who have tons of food issues. One of the many intolerable foods for me is the traditional candied yams or sweet potatoes. Yuck! All of that brown sugar and marshmallow concoction completely ruins the sweet potatoes for me. This is the way I love sweet potatoes. Roasting the sweet potatoes gives the outer edge a little bite. The savory flavor is wonderful.

The line up:

1-2 lbs sweet potatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Lawry's seasoned salt

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Wash the sweet potatoes and cut off any bad spots. Cut the sweet potatoes into large chunks. Put the sweet potatoes in an appropriately sized dish. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Use enough that all of the sweet potatoes have a light coating of olive oil. You may need to stir the sweet potatoes a bit after you've drizzled them with olive oil to get them well coated. Sprinkle with Lawry's seasoned salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes.


What are you making for Thanksgiving this year?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You CAN'T tackle Momma!

These are my three guys, doing their nightly thing again. I just don't get it. It hurts to get tackled and yet, they do it every night. I'm waiting for the night they don't have the energy for all of this wrestling. Even if Big Daddy Awesome is not available to wrestle, the munchkins still wrestle with each other.

I do not remember wrestling this much as a child.

I wouldn't trade my three guys for anything. I'll take the bruises. Eventually they will hear me as I'm yelling, "You CAN'T tackle Momma!!"