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!!"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sausage balls

My girlfriend, Lisa, brought over the most delicious sausage balls the other night and I begged her for the recipe because it was so good. She's awesome, so she gave it to me! Her secret was to add grated onion and jalapeno. Yum!


16 oz spicy breakfast sausage
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 onion, grated
1 jalapeno, grated
2 cups of bisquick

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Put all of the ingredients into a mixer with the dough hook and mix it until it's a well incorporated dough. (There should be no dry bisquick at the bottom of the bowl.)

Form into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.

Swoon when you take your first bite.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Crepe Myrtles in the Fall

Every fall, several crepe myrtles drop their pretty pink flowers onto the top of an old covered deck behind our house. I've always loved the way the flower petals looked atop the roof. I did perch myself precariously on a rocking chair to take this picture and managed to emerge unscathed! Now that I'm freezing cold (Ok fine, it's getting down into the 40's at night), I love this picture and yearn for the warm fall evenings we spent on the porch.

And I'm really, really cold. One day it was pleasant and I had the air conditioning off and the next, I'm freezing my tail off and wearing sweat pants inside my house. I was not ready for this!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


These are delicious! I first saw a picture in a cookbook which had a recipe that contained things like flour and baking soda and the list just kept going on and on! I'm never going to do that! That's too much work. These however, are incredibly easy!

The ingredients:

1- package of puff pastry
1- 7 oz container of pesto
Sprinkle of salt

That's it. Really.

About an hour before you plan on cooking these delicacies, take the puff pastry out of the freezer and set it on the counter.

Turn the oven on to bake at 400F.

Open up the puff pastry completely, then spread half of the container of pesto (about 1/2 cup) evenly over the puff pastry. Sprinkle a light dusting of salt over the whole thing. This is the best time to use the salt, otherwise the salt won't properly meld with the pesto. You don't want to taste the salt, you just want a tiny bit of salt so that the flavors of the palmier pop.

Start rolling the puff pastry up at either end to meet in the middle.

Cut the rolls into slices and place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 16-18 minutes.

Don't use parchment paper. It's just a pain in the butt. And you'll still have to clean the cookie sheets.

If you completely forget to salt the palmiers, pop an olive on top and enjoy the flavors dancing in your mouth! It would also be good with an olive tapenade instead of the basil. If you try the tapenade, skip the salt.


Monday, November 1, 2010


Since I didn't get to take the munchkins trick-or-treating, I begged them to get into their costumes early. They didn't protest. They did however, tell me that they couldn't be in their costumes if they didn't have their light sabers. Trip was Darth Vader and apparently, Darth Vader can only use a red light saber. I received a lecture from both boys about Darth Vader ONLY using the redsight saber. Logan was Obi Wan Kenobi. Obi Wan's light saber color didn't receive the same attention as Darth Vader's.

They did not need to be told what to do with the light sabers. The sword fighting is intrinsic. I was just excited at this point because I didn't have to yell at them to watch out for the TV!!

World Series, Rangers v. Giants, Game 4

The crowd was amazing at Game 4 of the World Series! There were more than 50,000 people in attendance! The excitement of the crowd was palpable. The stadium hummed with the voices of so many people.

President George Bush Sr. and Pres. Bush Jr. threw out the first pitch.

We were ready to watch a great game. We didn't really see that. The Rangers barely showed up. Big Daddy Awesome and his Dad yelled until they were hoarse. It didn't help. The Rangers didn't take any of their advice.

I did get to see some of my favorite players though! Micheal Young, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, and Bengie Molina were all there. You've got to love a sport that can get a guy with a gut the size of Molina's to it's World Series!

Tailgating at the World Series game!

We went to game 4 of the World Series yesterday! We had an amazing time! We decided a little tailgating was in order before the game. Big Daddy Awesome and I took his parents to the game. We took our cooler and lawn chairs and found a nice and shady spot to relax in the most delicious Texas fall air for a couple of hours before the game started. And because it was the four of us, we laughed the whole time!

This is the handsome man I got to look at all night! Lucky me!

This was right behind my handsome husband. It's a portable potty. It's meant to be taken on a camping trip. It is NOT meant to be taken tailgating. This raises all kinds of questions for me. Do they just dig a hole underneath the chair inside the crapper tent? Or do they cart their crap around? Surely it's a hole. Why do they feel the need to have a port-a-crapper so near their tailgating site? I realize regular port-a-pottys are a bit on the disgusting side, but seriously, they can't hold it until they get in the game? Or is their behind too good to share a potty with the common man/woman? Is squatting really not an option? Why would they want their crap so near their food? Aren't they worried about cross contamination with their food? It's not like that port-a-crapper has room for a proper hand washing station!

We laughed quite a bit about the port-a-crapper, but if Big Daddy Awesome even thinks about taking me camping just so he can get a port-a-crapper, he is dead wrong! "Camping" for me includes a spa and five star service!

Some of these people were serious about their tailgating! We saw dozens of generators and DirecTV satellites and people watching other games and pregame shows from their cars. Pretty schnazzy!

Circling precariously overhead were at least six airplanes advertising beer, car insurance, and free admission to three different titty clubs. Because screaming and cheering for several hours in the elements is the perfect environment to enjoy before going to a strip club. I've never been to a strip club, but I'm thing Eau De Body Odor is probably not the best scent for attracting the strippers. And if your stench is bad enough, I'm willing to bet the strippers won't care how much money is in your pocket. A helicopter with no obvious purpose was in the mix for a while.

Just to make things more dangerous in the skies above the ballpark, in came the sideways flying blimp. The blimp looked like it was just a giant balloon being pushed along at the whim of the winds. (There were no blimp crashes in Arlington last night.)

We had a fantastic time tailgating! Beer is a beautiful thing and makes any sporting event infinitely more fun!