Sep 26, 2008

~ Reluctant ~

What's with the picture? I typed in reluctant in the google image search, this was the first one to come up. I don't know why, but there you go.

I'm very reluctant to start this day. I have a long list, very long. Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day, and I have to get a lot accomplished today to prepare. Crazy being good, in this case, but still crazy.

B and I are taking a short drive to support our family in an amazing event. We're very happy for them and all the changes they've seen in their life in the last year. We can't explain how much we love and support them, I hope they know.

Next, another drive to pick up our new family member. An event that I am happy but anxious about. I have big plans for this girl, and a short time to pull them off. I hope she's ready for it.

Child #1 is going on his first scout camp tonight. He's nervous about it. We don't sleep over. No friends here, none of my children there. Stay late and watch a movie, that's fine. There is no sleeping at other people's homes. I have my reasons. But as a result he's pretty anxious about his first scout camp. I am as well. It's only one night, and only minutes from our town. But still. The Scout leader has warned the boys about bringing any electronic devices. They aren't needed or necassary.... I get that. However, my son will have the cell phone with him. We call it the kids phone. It's one of those phones that the mom pre-programs the numbers in so they can only call 4 designated numbers. He's feeling better to have this possible connection with us, and am I.

It's a dilemna in my head. Over protect him as I've done for 11 years. Shelter his exposure to the world and it's vices. Keep his reality contained within our home. But he's getting older and needs to have some life experiences. Granted, experiences that we're tightly controlling at this point....but starting. There's always the risk that the experience he'll have is more than we anticipated. A parent hopes that their children can become responsible members of society with a grasp of all the world holds, within limits. Especially at 11. So we're letting him go. Pushing him even. He's a reserved kid, not one to jump in. He is his father's child. Stand back and look at the whole picture, weigh the options, make and educated decision. His mother tends to jump in and consider the consequences later. Opposites attract.

He's a tad confused. I've stuck to my guns about this sleep over issue. And yet I'm sending him out the door for this camp. I'm confused as well. But all I know is, he'll be fine...and hopefully have fun, and he needs to spread his wings a little. I'm going to go cry in my room now.... = )

I'm rambing, mostly to avoid starting this day. I need super powers today; stealth, muscle, longevity and organization. I don't know that organization is high on the super powers list. Haven't yet heard of Super-Organized as a hero to be feared. The only one that comes to mind is that Flylady girl, and she doesn't strike me as lethal. Well she does, if I had to measure up in her cleaning abilities, as I'm lacking. Son #2 recently came into the kitchen with a home-made sword. He's forever making a sword with anything he can find. He readied himself to show me his 'moves'. They always have sound effects, they're boys, they live their lives with sound effects. This time he had new ones that hadn't been used before.



I'll be using these sound effect as I work down the list.

Laundry - wapow, watush. Baking - wapow, watush. Groceries - wapow and watush.

Oh, and that Chili Pasta Bake that I've been putting off for the last couples week, huge success. The kids gobbled it up.

Chili Pasta Bake

1 1/2lbs ground beef

1 can Italian seasoned Tomatoes

1 can Tomatoe sauce

2 tbsp Chili Powder





1 cup noodles - raw

Cook up meat, throw all in the crock pot.

Let it go all afternoon. I pured the tomatoes.

20 min before eating, throw cheese all over.

I served it with nacho chips as it was pretty thick, lasagna consistency. They scooped it up and chowed. I'll double the recipe next time, no left overs. Enjoy!

Sep 24, 2008

~ Remedy ~

It's been a while since I offended anyone, so it's time to remedy that situation.

Brought back by popular top ten irritations of the week....or just random thoughts.

Pull up a chair, get comfortable, and prepare yourselves. Those of you who know me well are ready to smile and roll your eyes, maybe even laugh a little, those of you that don't....please don't email me with your grievances...this blog is read at your own risk.

1. Fall Premiers - my favorite time of the TV season. My favorites return and new ones are presented that may be added to my list. So far on the 'I will now PVR this show' list are;

Fringe - this is X-Files meets Alias. Created by JJ Abrams (Alias, Lost) it is weird and head scratching, which is why I enjoy it. Nothing ever really seems to get wrapped up. So the first episode has people's faces melting off, and the next one has a women get pregnant and deliver within a couple hours. That would rock hey? Wanna add to our family?....sure, what are you doing around 3:00...not too much, k...I'll just throw a load in the laundry and then we'll have a baby this afternoon. Sounds good.

The Cleaner - this is a A&E show staring Benjamin Bratt. First of all, he's nice to look at. This show is not for the faint of heart. It's about an interventionist. So it's pretty graphic with the drug and alcohol use and the effect on people and their families. Interesting though.

Amazing Race 13 - starts Sunday. This is ranked in my top 5 favorite shows, I'm going to be on this show one day. When I'm a US Citizen, and reside in the US....but one day.

And of course all the regulars... Grey's, ER, Jon & Kate...

A new one that I've have PVR'd but haven't watched yet is The Mentalist. This one has Simon Baker who I loved in The Guardian. He was also in The Devil Wears Prada. Also a pretty boy. Don't know if this is good yet.

Then there are the shows that I personally do not corrupt my PVR with...if you do, that's fine....just sayin. Not a fan of Big Brother, never really got into Heroes or Lost, Survivor is so predictable that it's really only about watching people fight in exotic locations. I've heard House is good, have a couple of those taped...B enjoys Law & Order and all their spin offs, he's also a fan of Two and Half Men and Terminator.

2. Though it would seem that I watch a lot of TV, in fact I don't really. I tape a lot of TV and watch it in my 'veg out and assume the coma position' times. Lately I've been reading a lot. Book after book. As you've seen here with the recent book reviews, and the addition of the "Currently Reading" icon. I have always loved reading....but lately it's a must. So I've been lurking around on the blogs of dedicated book worms. I can't believe how much some of them are able to read, I guess they don't do anything else.....or are super speed readers. I've thought of taking up reading while driving on the highway. It's a long span of time that you're doing nothing else except looking forward....still thinking about that one.

3. We're de-junking. Major de-junking. It started about two weeks ago with the kids rooms. How a child can accumulate so much crap in one room is beyond me. I know, my mother is rolling her eyes and saying "Apples doesn't drop far from the tree". I'm a hoard, I know. Though not as bad as that lady on Oprah once that had 13 dumpster of garbage and stuff in her home. That's C-R-azy! So the As-Is section of our local recycling depot has seen a few loads of our stuff. 14 years can collect a lot of stuff. Much of it is things we're no longer using, or should have gotten rid of long ago.....then there are the pictures. How do you throw away pictures of your darling babies in all their cuteness. We didn't acquire a digital camera until the second one was 3 or there are many years prior of our life. So they're in a box...taking up space....but I'm a mother, I'm supposed to be sentimental.

4. We're adding to our family this weekend. Not a child...unless I've been injected with the virus from Fringe that makes you reproduce in 90 minutes. Not a dog, the world may implode before my husband allows that. We're assuming, recruiting and inviting my 19 yr old cousin to live with us for a couple months. I know what you're thinking......why? Well there are some details best left un-detailed. Let's just say... 'because'. So that has stepped up our de-junking. We have to clear out a room for her. Yet again, we have a lot of junk. Start with the stuff you have to keep like financial records and such. There's at least two boxes there. Then there's craft stuff, fabric and various Martha Stewart supplies that you always must have on hand. So I presently sit in a disaster. What was an over crowded room that we term the 'office'....but would actually be more accurately termed 'the catch all crap from the whole house room'...has been pulled a part today. Progress was made, but now I'm tired...and I'm not doing it all myself. The big boy can come home and help me...not all this mess is mine.

5. Why must we keep every box that every electronic device came in. Are we going to package up the children and send them away to be received in mint condition? We have a fair amount of electronics at this house, and some of them large....we also have all the boxes. B says he'll purge and let go of his love and affection for them. I figure either the boxes go or he does, we'll see which one he picks.

6. Also, was their a cord sale on at some time? Cause we have a massive amount of cords. Many are serving their life mission and are attached to devices and providing life sustaining power while inflating our electricity bill. But others, they're everywhere. Maybe we could store them in the electronics boxes, or maybe I'll hang my husband with them to just show how I feel about their presence in our home.

7. Toys. Are they really necessary. Let the children play in the electronics boxes. We, of course, like every other family in the universe have a lot of toys. We don't even buy toys except on birthdays and at Christmas. But you multiply the receiving by 4 children and that's a lot of toy paraphernalia that comes into this house. No more toys. They can play with boxes and cords.

8. Clothes - are they necessary? 4 children = a lot of clothes. They only have what they need. Okay maybe the girl has more than she needs...but give me some slack, I only have one girl to dress up. In an attempt to save money I keep the clothes that the boys grow out of to hand down to the next brother. This has worked well, but the interim times require space and totes. There was quite a waiting period between boy #1 and #2. 7 years is a while to store clothes. Fortunately though boy #2 & #3 are much closer in age and size. In face as soon as #2 grows out of them they go straight into #3's closet. I'm happy to report that our boys have recently acquired a new male cousin...the totes are going to their house = )

9. Paper. How does a household accumulate so much paper. The children bring home loads of it from school everyday. We recycle all we can...but some has detailed info about us. You can't recycle this stuff....identity theft and all. So the shredder has been whirling to eat up all the info about us. I'm considering identity theft though. Seems like a good way to live. Don't like your life, start living someone else's. I'm thinking of Madonna or Celine. I can't sing, but they seem to have rather high pay cheques, I'm going to assume their lives. Can you send me some of your unshredded garbage please?!

10. And finally, El Rancho. This is a little off topic, but that's where I had the unique experience to sleep this past weekend. Not Best Western, not Ramada. No, the 16 hotels in the metropolis of Lethbridge were all full. El Rancho it was. The name alone should imply the quality. It was clean, but that's all I have for positive details. El Rancho, look it up.... no don't.

Took a while for me to get going, must be out of practise. Will have to be more prudent in my top 10 list.

~ Lose 10lbs in 100 Days - Week 1 ~

Week 1 - how did you do?

I started out great. Went for a run 3x and was getting enough water everyday. Then life and family situations got my attention and I was out of town for a couple days. So I only lost .5 pounds this week. But hey, it's a start.

What is your plan of action?

Did you measure? I did, but am not going to measure again until the end of week 4. I'm on my last 10-15 pounds, so it's coming of slow.

Let me know how many pounds you lost this week so I can keep our tally going.

Week 2 Challenge - Weight Training.

Last year when I took off 20 pounds, I did it all by running. This year I'm adding weight training. If you can increase your muscle tone, you'll burn calories all the time...not just while working out. I'm using Jari Love's program. I have one of her DVD's, and have just borrowed the one on the left from the library. I've also seen them at Wal-Mart for pretty cheap. I like that she's a regular mom that started out by training a couple times a week. She's not over perky and wearing neon pink spandex, like some of the others. I would like tones arms before I die. It's on my life list - toned arms.

Have a great week!!

Sep 22, 2008

~ Come get the Grub ~

Dinner plans this week.

Monday - Quesidillas (sp?)

Tuesday - Chili Pasta Bake - no I haven't made it yet

Wednesday - Pork Chops & Rice

Thursday - Chicken Roll Ups

Friday - Pizza

Favorites from last week... well maybe the week before, last week was not exciting.

My husband loves this, the kids pick out what they like.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

3-4 chicken breasts cooked and cubed
2-3 cups of raw broccoli
1 cup Minute Rice
2 cups shredded cheese
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups crushed Ritz Crackers

These quantities are a guess, I just throw it together without measuring. So if it seams too thick, add a little more sour cream or some water. If too thin, add more rice.

Mix chicken, broccoli, rice, soup and sour cream together. Put in greased 9x13 pan. Top with crackers and cheese. Bake at 350 for about 1/2 hour or until bubbly. Depending on how soft you like your broccoli, you can cook longer.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

This recipe orginally consisted of making the sauce, dumping on raw chicken and baking until finished. I find that takes way too long for the chicken breasts to cook through. So I slice up the chicken and cook in a pan, then we have the sauce as a side. That way the children that don't like the sauce still have chicken, rice and veggies for dinner, and those that do pour the sauce over everything.

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water
2-3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar

Bring to a boil and add 2 tbsp of water with 1 tbsp of corn starch to thicken, more depending on how thick you like it. This makes about 1 1/2 cups of sauce.

Sep 18, 2008

~ Here at the end of the world, we learn to Dance ~

Here at the end of the World, we learn to Dance

I wish this had been better, I wish it had been riviting and compelling and kept me up at night. It didn't. I felt obligated to finish it just to see what happened. I started turning pages and scanning to see if there would be anymore good parts, there weren't. This book recived awards, or maybe the author did on previous attempts....I can't remember. It's not high on my list of favorites, in fact it didn't even contend.

~ Dismal Dining ~

This week has not rated high on the gourmet dining. There was a spiral down when I got the flu last week. Nausea and cooking are not kindred friends.

Monday - Spagetti

Tuesday - Sweet & Sour Chicken

Wednesday - Pancakes and Eggs

Thursday - Nuggets and Fries - I had Salmon and Salad, 10 lbs does not come off if eating fries.

Friday - Pizza

Dismal and disappointing.....will find a place to make a legal U turn.

~ Tagged ~

Received a tag from my SIL.


Sep 16, 2008

~ Challenge Kick Off ~

Here is it, 100 days until Christmas. What better time to take off 10 pounds. To some 10 pounds doesn't sound like a lot, but for those of us that have a little weight to lose, but not loads, 10 pounds is a huge amount. Especially if it's your last 10 pounds. This isn't my last 10 pounds, I'd like to take of 10 more after that. But if this is the only 10 pounds, then that would be great.

So, here goes.

Step on your scale, and look down at the number. You will have to actually look at the number if you want to participate. And don't round or rationalize the number. It's not because you're retaining water, or it's that time of the month....or whatever. Look at the number. Now visualize the number, less 10. Looks better hey?

Next, measure. Most times you'll start losing inches before pounds. Measure waist, hips, thighs, arms, boob....where ever you'd like to keep track of the difference. Write down each measurement.

Finally, get started. Walk, run, skip if you like. But get moving. Do something you enjoy, there's nothin' worse that excercise, especially if you hate it. I've been running twice this week. Why did I ever stop. I love running.

Every Wednesday check in to get motivated and inspired by everyone else. Tell us how much you've lost. I'll be keep track of the total pounds. That's what the big number on the sidebar is. How many pounds can we lose?

If you're one of my lurkers and want to parcitipate, post your number anonymously. I'll add it to our total. But if you want to win the prize, you will have to reveal yourself at some point.

Here's your first inspiration. 100 days is just over 14 weeks. You only have to lose 1 pound per week, and still have 4 weeks to spare. The first couple weeks might show nothing, or you may see lots come off all at once and then level off. Don't give up. Even if you only end up losing 5 pounds, that's 5 pound less than now, and your jeans will be fitting better.

75% of what you look like is because of what goes in your mouth. The other 25% is based on your activity level. Make better food choices. I find that 3:00 is my witching hour. I do great for breakfast and lunch. Around 3 is when I'm pretty hungry and start crazing. Or eat the quick cookie. I've started eating half sandwich at this time. Tomatoe, cucumber, cheese....yum. We don't eat dinner until after 6, so I'm still plenty hungry by then.

Stay hydrated. Water, water, water.

Good luck....see you next week.

Sep 13, 2008

~ Challenge ~

Next Wednesday the 17th there are 100 days until Christmas.

I challenge you.

100 days to lose 10 pounds.

It's my goal. A little weight has snuck by on me as I've been dealing with different things in my life, and neglecting my running. So I'm getting back on track.

So there are a few days to get your goals set. What will you do? Eat better, move more?

I got a head start by getting the flu for the last couple days, it's not the recommended way to lose weight.

On Wednesday, step on your scale. Don't cringe, don't cry, just accept the story the number tells. And make your goal happen.

Check in every week and let us know how you're doing. Everyone does better with support.

Is there a prize?! Why, yes there is.

When you reach your goal of 10 pounds, let me know and I'll enter you into the draw for a copy of the book I just read and enjoyed, The Last Concubine. And for those that are able to take off more than 10 pounds in 100 days, you'll be entered into a draw for some fabulicious Bath and Body Works products. You have not lived until you've treated yourself to Bath and Body Works.

Hop to it, get a plan in place.

Don't look at the big picture. Look at one pound at a time. More move, eating better. Don't eat after 7:00, walk the kids to school, lift weights while you watch your favorite show. It can be just that easy.

See you Wednesday for the kick off of 100 days to lose 10 pounds!!

Sep 9, 2008

~ Dinner Time ~

This week on the menu.

Monday - Chicken Nuggets, Rice, Veggie & Salad

Tuesday - Taco's

Wednesday - Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

Thursday - Crock Pot - Chili Pasta Bake - this is new I'll let you know if it's a good one.

Friday - Pizza


As per BG's are some recipes from our favorites of last week.

Lasagna - everyone knows how to make this, but I finally found the recipe that told me how to throw it all together with the noodles raw. Put it all in the oven and it comes out perfect. The secret? Add water. Make your recipes as you always would but put an extra cup or so of water in your meat sauce. The noodles slurp it up and it all comes out perfect. Plus, cover it in tin foil and it steams itself while cooking.

Chicken Paremesan - This is not as exotic as it sounds. It's basically spagetti with chicken and a different pasta. When I have more time I like to bake the chicken in the pasta sauce with lots of mozza cheese and parm on top. But in a fix I BBQ or bake the chicken and just throw it all together on their plates.


Sep 7, 2008

~ The Last Concubine ~

The Last Concubine by Lesley Downer

I picked this book up as the cover struck me when I was at the library last. I have to say, its like nothing I've ever read before. A historically accurate story of ancient Japan from the perspective of a fictional girl named Sachi. The story was compelling, the characters believable, and I enjoyed it.

Sep 5, 2008

~ Why is that?! ~

Confident, Capable, Independent, Talented, Out-going, Friendly, Busy, Goal Oriented, Successful, Smart, Savvy, Entrepreneur, Witty, Humorous, Deep, Knowledgeable, Loving, Empathetic.

Do you think of a man or a woman?

Probably went back and forth. Or you started thinking of specific people in your life that represent these qualities.

Lately I've been wondering....why is it that we're taught to be strong confident women, but we don't appreciate it in each other?

What do I mean?

Women Compare, Men Compete.

It's true. Any woman will look at another woman and take something about her and compare it to herself. And really, I bet it is always the other woman's best quality being compared to our worst.

She's thin, I'm not. She's pretty, I'm not. She's confident, I'm a wimp. She's outgoing, I'm shy. No matter how confident and capable the woman, it will always happen. It's the way women are made up. You may disagree. But you look at any magazine, they digitally enhance and air brush these women to look perfect. And what's the result? A society of girls obsessed with their appearance because they don't all look like the impossibly perfect model.

Older women do it in a less obvious way. We still look at the magazine representation of society, or the body obsessed celebrity and think that we're coming up short. We just don't tend to play it out in our regular lives like a youth may. But do we look at those around us and do the same thing. Or more realistically, we see the women around us and conclude everything that they are accomplishing directly illuminate all that we are failing.

We judge them by what we see first. Or assume that they are this or that because of what we perceive them to be. That's unfair and really, and impossible way to measure a person.

What if we're not an instant judge. You get to know someone, find out what makes them tick, what qualities they possess. Are we happy for them and their success, or begrudge.

I have a cousin J who taught me a valuable lesson years ago. She is a person who is genuinely happy for others and their success in life. I thought I was the same type of person. I was happy for others. But she takes it to an admirable level. She really celebrates people's accomplishments with them. I have tried to take on this quality. It's difficult at times. Often what someone has acquired or accomplished is what we would like. Many of my friends have new houses, I would like the same. It took a little while to not look at their new houses and wish I had it. But to look at their houses and be happy for them, and accept what is mine.

Are we intimidated by another? What is it about another and their personality or appearance that causes us to look at ourselves and deem unworthy? Does another conclude our own self worth. We don't teach our children this. We teach them to be their own self, to see themselves as valuable regardless of what others or society. Yet as adults we look at another and see less or more.

Snob has recently been brought to my attention. I've looked up what a snob would be: someone who looks on others and sees themselves as superior. I think there is a vast difference between being a person that does this, and being a person that people think does this. Who's to say what is in a person mind. What is the dialogue that runs in a psyche. Only the one can say. To conclude that a single word describes a persons entire existence, short sighted.

Capable and Confident is not Arrogant and Superior. Why are some always so eager to break one down when they are at their strongest.

So you ask, are the descriptions at the start what I consider myself. Yes. What is your instant thought. Confident and Capable, or Arrogant and Superior? May I reiterate. Self esteem is not based on what others think of us, but what we think of ourselves. Will you let the thoughts, pre-judgements and assumptions of others determine your self worth?

I won't.

Sep 3, 2008

~ Re-thinking ~

I've decided I'm not a snob......stay tuned.

~ Dinner Time ~

What's your plan for dinners this week?

Monday - Holiday, ate at Grandma's

Tuesday - Chicken Parmesan

Wednesday - Roast & Potates

Thursday - Lasagna

Friday - Pizza

Good cooking to ya!

Sep 1, 2008

~ Sticks and Stones ~

So I'm supposed to devastated by the revelation that I'm a snob. I'll add it to my 'to do' list for today.


Is this supposed to be something that I've never heard before? PUH-lease.

I'm not just a snob, but a queen snob. I rank high on the snobbery scale and work hard to maintain my status there.

So how does a mega snob like me make friends, keep friends and continue relationships with people. I mean, who would possibly want to be friends with such a person. ha ha.

Well for starters I don't fly my freak flag all the time.

So here is the Conundrum. Does a snob like me continue to allow anonymous comments on the blog? I've had some really great comments that I've appreciated, and then the other ones. I'll keep pondering.

In the meantime, here is a sampling of the Vacation Friends Questionaire that I will be publishing in a local newspaper near you.

  1. Are you a Snob?
  2. Do you like to hang out with Snobs?
  3. Are you a blog lurker?
  4. Do you leave anonymous comments on people's blogs?

You know, in addition to the regular questions.

  1. Are you irritating?
  2. Are you good looking?
  3. Do you chew with your mouth open?
  4. What was your gross yearly wage last year?

Oh, and I'll be hosting the first annual "I'm a friend of a Snob" convention this year.

Stay tuned.