Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Prayer Requests

Last week as I was praying George in at night, he said he had something to pray for. I was pleasantly surprised and asked what it was. He said, "The wall." You can click that link if you don't remember what that's all about. For me, I just don't want to get into it again.

The next night he wanted to thank God for blankets. Especially the big boy quilt Grandma made for him. And the last time I tucked him in he prayed for his bears, Blueberry and Rainbow Bear.

I'm so in awe and very grateful to be his mom.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Third Time's a Charm

Last Thursday after her third attempt, Emma passed her driving test!!!!

She passed the driving portion the first time but was having a lot of trouble with maneuverability. Here in Ohio she has to maneuver a car through a series of cones and then back it up on the same path. If you bump cones you get points off. If you knock a cone over, you fail.

She has over 6 months of experience but when she asked to take the van out alone on Thursday night, I still said no. It was dark and she was asking to go somewhere she wasn't really familiar with.

I did let her go around the corner 3 times so far to pick up her cousin and bring him back here.

This is a very exciting new stage of her life. I remember her first car like it was yesterday....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Elementary Quiz Bowl

Victoria, George, and I picked up Mom yesterday and drove to South Central to watch Luke and Brooke participate in their 5th and 6th grade Quiz Bowl match.

There were 3 preliminary rounds with 4 different players each from each team. They buzzed in and answered questions for 10 minutes. The 4th round was again 4 players each with the advisors choosing their best players from the previous 3 rounds.

Luke, being a 6th grader, was on the team last year but this is Brooke's first season. Brooke was selected to play in the first round. She was one of the first to buzz in, misspelling abbreviation (abbreveation). She later got a question right, from this year's literature book, Island Of The Blue Dolphins. Brooke's team won their round 13-4 (over a much smaller school). She definitely did well considering it was her first match.

Luke was in the 3rd round team and got 14 questions right (and 2 wrong) in leading his team to a 19-6 win of their round. He added some humor to the match a couple times.

First was by buzzing in early as the questioner had said, "Two men played 5 games of checkers. Each won ..." and answering, "They didn't play each other." Luke loves riddles and had heard this one before.

Later, the other team missed a math question and Luke was trying to buzz in before the mediator had cleared the buzzer system. He held his buzzer higher and higher in the air, pressing the button the entire time, with a determined look on his face. This look was replaced by one of shock when the buzzer system was reset and Luke's teammate's buzzer light came on instead of his.

In the final round, Luke got 7 right (and 4 wrong) and their team won by a final score of 62-26. It was fun to see the kids participate and do well. One of the hardest questions of the day was, "Name 7 things you can wear on your feet that start with the letter S?" Do you know the answer?

Before taking Mom back home, we stopped to visit Aunt Margie & Uncle Tom and watched President Obama's Inauguration on TV. Then we tried to have lunch at Ella Mae's, but it was closed so we took the only other option in town, McDonalds.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Do it like Daddy!

Today we played fort, read books, painted, stamped, and made cookies. What a busy morning!

When it came time to tuck him in I was trying to take some shortcuts with the story. He looked at me with his confused face and said, "You're not reading it like Daddy. Go back and read it like Daddy!"

Friday, January 9, 2009

Somebody is Getting Away with Murder

In December, somebody unplugged BOTH the sump pump and the battery back up. The drain tile filled up and we ended up with about a 6 foot in diameter circle of standing water under our wool Berber carpet. We're still dealing with that mess.

Last night, YET AGAIN, I found a big lump of gum in the dryer from somebody's laundry.

Once, somebody ate the remote. The buttons were actually chewed off.

Somebody also picked the stuffing out of a chair cushion and tossed it under the computer table.

These are just a few short examples of what goes on in this house. One of the downfalls for parents in a large family is not knowing who to blame. If we only had one child I'd know exactly who did it. Sometimes I feel like I'm living with a bunch of liars. It is a rare day that anybody admits to anything.

All I know is that I want the social security number for this "Somebody" so at least we can start deducting them!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cheesecake Factory

We ate out at the Cheesecake Factory last Saturday for Emma's birthday. The kids each get a turn picking a restaurant for their birthdays. It's really the only time we all eat out together unless we are traveling. We knew this would be our most expensive outing (no kids menus even!!) to date so the kids were warned to drink water and have a dessert partner.

It was loud and crowded. They finally seated us in a nice secluded little alcove in the back after an hour wait. The kids liked the murals on the ceiling. Our waitress was a total doll who came from a family of 9 kids. She was excited to have us, or maybe she was only excited to have the guaranteed 18% gratuity the restaurant tacked on to our bill, who knows?

We gobbled down about 6 baskets of the bread while we were waiting for the food. I had totally forgotten about the bread. The kids could have all split meals too if I had remembered the bread.

Kevin, George, and Rachel shared 2 Old Fashioned Hamburgers with fries. Nathan got the gigantic Classic Burger. Rachel ate one bite of her burger and a handful of fries. Nathan ate about 1/2 of his burger and most of the fries. It was a bit pink in the middle which he was not used too.

Brooke had the Grilled Cheese served on egg bread with fries. The sandwich was about 8"x6". She ate one half and a handful of fries.

Jacob and Luke split the Pepperoni Pizza. Jacob did not care for it but Luke claimed it was "definitely worth waiting for!"

Emma and I both chose pasta dishes. Emma chose the Pasta Da Vinci without the Chicken(Mushrooms, Onions and Garlic in a Delicious Madeira Wine Sauce Tossed with Penne Pasta and Parmesan)

I got the Louisiana Chicken Pasta(Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlets Served Over Pasta Tossed with Mushrooms, Peppers and Onions in a Spicy New Orleans Style Sauce.) There went my purely vegetarian diet but it was out of this world. The portion was gigantic so the leftovers served as Sunday's lunch for me and Sunday's dinner for Emma.

Cheesecake all around for dessert. Kevin and Rachel, Me and George, and Nathan and Brooke all split the Original cheesecake. Emma (who didn't share because we have an uneven number and it was her birthday) opted for the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle(Layers of Chocolate Cake, Chocolate-Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Ganache.) Jacob and Luke split the Oreo cheesecake. Jacob was the only one with any complaints.

The bill came to about $150 once Kevin added on an additional tip. Amazingly, the daughter in question never even offered her thanks.

Monday, January 5, 2009

One week of dinners for 4 from Aldi

You will spend about $50 for these 7 dinners. That's about $1.80 a dinner not taking into account the leftover food. You will have a stack of precooked breakfast sausage, a couple servings of turkey ham, 1/2 bag chicken nuggets and at least 4-6 hamburger patties/buns leftover for the next week. Also a stack of precooked breakfast sausage.

This menu includes meat at 6 meals. You can save a lot more by substituting spaghetti for one of the more expensive beef meals.


Riblets, corn, applesauce, instant mashed potatoes.

Chicken nuggets, instant mashed potatoes, applesauce, carrots.

Stew meat with broth and sour cream, bread and butter, lettuce, peaches.

Turkey ham, mac and cheese, green beans, pears.

Hamburgers on buns, French fries, peaches.

French toast sticks, sausage, pears.

Chicken Kiev, mashed potatoes, green beans, applesauce.

Shopping list

1.29 sour cream

1.99 bag lettuce

.99 each 2 boxes instant mashed potatoes

.95 each 3 jars applesauce

1.29 each 2 cans pears

1.29 2 cans peaches

.49 each 2 cans green beans

.49 can carrots

1.69 French fries

.49 can corn

3.80 turkey ham

4.99 stew meat

2.69 rib pork patties in BBQ

3.99 chicken nuggets

.99 each 4 chicken Kiev

6.99 hamburgers

3.89 sausage

.35 box mac and cheese

1.99 French toast sticks

.79 bread

.85 hamburger buns

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Banned Substance List

Most of you who know me know how I loathe our children possessing gum. All fellow graduates of the Mean Mom School will concur. If I see it, it goes straight into the garbage can. On Halloween, I weed through the bags and send all I can find to the Exs' houses.

I am very much in favor of the United States joining Singapore and making gum illegal. I have cleaned it out of my dryer and off our wood floor. I have cut it out of carpet and hair. I have scraped it off the walk and off the bottoms of children's shoes.

Gum is not the only substance that has damaged our property.

My loving sister saw fit to gift a couple of my children with plastic cylinders of slime for Christmas. One blue and one pink. And these are not preschool aged children mind you. One is 9 the other is 11.

The pink one is already dried into my 9 year old's cream colored carpet. The blue one came through with my 11 year old's laundry in a Sesame Street towel. It hardened like cement in the dryer.

Farting goop is being added to the list of banned substances at our house. Gum and silly putty are already on the list. If you give any of these items to our children, be forewarned that they will be in the trash can before your car leaves my driveway.