Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a lucy conversation...

Unlike yesterday,
today has been most non-productive.
Though it's only 2 PM and I have high hopes to
do something to justify my breathing
space in my corner of the world.


last night Lucy and I went to a meeting at a new
Christian school (well, new to us) that has
a wonderful homeschool enrichment program that she will
be attending.

On our car ride there, our conversation went as such:

"Mom, I really want to see Angela's baby."
(Angela is my good friend who is pregnant)

"Well, Lucy...once the baby is born we will go see it,
but right now it's still in Angela's tummy."

"Mom, how do babies get out?"

*Here we go again*

"Lucy, babies come out of a woman's v*gina."
(I have no qualms about saying it like it is)

"Oh my gosh. I am never having a baby."

"Yes you will."

"No I won't."

"Yes you will."

"Mom, I wish YOU had a baby in your tummy...
a really BIG baby."

"Thanks, Lucy."

Then on the way home from our meeting our conversation went
like this:

"Mom, I really want to drive a car...
but I do NOT want to go to kindergarten."

"Lucy, you are not driving a car and you ARE going to kindergarten."

The End.

For now...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

my list

I feel the need to list for you all the things I did today (so far):

(Perhaps I am desperate for an atta girl)
(Not perhaps...I am)


Here is my list:

1. Got big kids off to school.

The end.

Whew, I'm exhausted.

Hahaha, I'm funny.

Moving on...

2. Made potato salad for dinner tonight (before 9 AM)

3. Shredded the meat off of approximately 13 (count them)
chicken breasts that I cooked yesterday and divided them up into zip lock bags
and stuck them in the freezer for future dinners.

4. I intended to make chicken stock from the leftover
chicken scraps...but I just didn't have it in me this time.

*Are intentions supposed to make the list of accomplishments?
Probably not.

4. Milled some flour.

5. Made 2 loaves of cinnamon bread with above mentioned flour
(before it even had a chance to cool off from the was a magical experience).

6. Fried a big ol' mess of chicken for dinner tonight.
Big O' mess.
Family, you are very welcome.

7. Made a batch of requested (my dear K-man) Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

8. Squeezed in a little bit of homeschool with Lucy.
I must admit, I slacked in this area today.
My apologies.
But that's the joy of homeschooling.
Lucy's reading is really starting to take off so I figured we
deserved a little break.
Yes, I am making excuses.
We plan to really hunker down after Labor Day.
That's my plan.
Yes it is.

9. There is no number nine yet.

But I still have to:

1. Make my bed (yes, it's nearly 3 PM as I write this)
2. Put my make-up on (yes, it's nearly 3 PM as I write this).
3. Go to Nick's soccer game.
4. Go to a meeting for Lucy's homeschool enrichment classes.


How's that?

I'm having my perk-me-up coffee as I type this,
so all is quite well with the world.

Talk to ya later, alligator.

**So sorry for no photos of the potato salad
and massive amounts of chicken, cooked in various ways.
You people really expect way too much of me.

**Actually, now that I read over this post,
it doesn't really look like I did as much as it feels like I did.
Why is that?

No matter,
it was a good day.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

manning-up his ride

How does a little fella man-up his pink ride?

Well, he fills the back up with cicadas, of course.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Talk to ya later,

Friday, August 26, 2011

pretzel tattoo

Today's Project:

Hot Homemade Soft Pretzels.
(Click to get recipe)


OH my word.

Oh MY word.

Oh my WORD.


These little rascals were THE greatest thing
I think I've ever made.

Not that that's saying much because I readily admit
that my cooking skills lack luster.

The sign in my kitchen that reads:

*I kiss better than I cook*

holds much truth.

Though I'm not sure I'm that great of kisser either.

What ever we talking about?

Oh yes...


Take a look...

The shape is lacking the traditional twist...but that's only because
they poofed up so big in the oven.

That happens to me too.

But I tell you what.
These little suckers could be shaped like June Bugs
and they'd still be dangerously delicious.

Actually...they do look like June Bugs.

So be it, I say.

I am vowing before you right now
(not really)
that I will get this recipe tattooed onto my right arm
as soon as I get up the nerve.
(not really)
I never ever ever want to be separated from this
glorious path to pretzel heaven.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

THE vanilla post

Well, here we go.

The big vanilla post.

Is anyone still following along?

today I broke out all the stuff for my vanilla-makin'.

It's quite simple, actually.
(I got the method from Laura at Heavenly Homemakers)

A whopping gallon of vodka.
Yes, it's el cheapo vodka.
What can I say, I'm a cheap date.

Then add 80 Bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans.
I love that movie,
And as it turns out, it's a real place.
Who knew?

I kid.

Moving on...

I just cut the beans up the middle
and threw them into a big glass container.
Which happens to be my sugar canister.
So sorry, shug.

Then I poured in the good stuff.
And just for your information, I don't normally
entertain my children with hard liquor.
Except today.

And now,
the whole concoction sets for a good 4-6 months.
All the while, my sugar is temporarily homeless.

The end of another glorious day.

a gallon of homemade vanilla {but first, the vodka}

Last night after I dropped the kids off at church,
I was on a mission to get my vodka
for my vanilla extract that I'm going to make.

It was something I had to work my nerve up to do
because you see, unlike many of you, we don't have liquor in our
grocery stores in these parts.
So there was no masking my shame with Pop-tarts and Doritos.

Hard core.

I had to march into a liquor store and buy my gallon of mood/baking
altering beverage.

I will be using for the latter.
(So far as you are concerned)

I had my speech for the clerk all worked out in my head.

"As you can see, sir, I am purchasing an unusually large amount
of vodka...but please don't worry,
I am simply making vanilla extract."

To which he would say,
"Oh okay, ma'am...that explains the vodka.
But what's
your plan for
all this Taquilla?"


Just kidding, just kidding.

But reality was,
I got to the counter and it was apparent to me that the
tattoo-ridden lad didn't seem the least bit
surprised by my purchase.
I am guessing that such a transaction by a 42-year mother of six
is quite normal.

So I paid and got the heck out of there.

And I'm so thankful to tell you that I got in and out without
anyone from church seeing me.
As far as I know.

So now I'm ready to make my vanilla.
Although I did wake up this morning with the nagging question
of why the heck I need a gallon of

But I'm in too deep to turn back now.

Family and friends, please do act surprised when you get your
own bottle of baking enhancement/coffee additive for Christmas, okay?
(what you do with your vanilla is your business).

That's my vodka-buying story.

I will keep you updated on my vanilla-making.

Because I know you are on the edge of your seat.

Monday, August 22, 2011

proverbs 31 woman {and her vodka}

My weekend was c.r.a.z.y.

And packed full of emotions.
Dang it, why do we have to be so attached to our children?

Leaving Brenden at school was so stinkin' hard.

This was the last pic I took as we drove away.
The freshmen loaded onto 8 big buses to do a service
project in Joplin, MO to help clean up from
the tornado.

I can't think of a better way to kick off a new season in life
than to serve others.
I love, love, love, love, love this school!

Not five minutes after we left, B texted me and said,
"Do you miss me yet?"

I said,
"Yes, I do, you turd!"

Name calling and levity kept me from bursting into tears.

I told him it wasn't too late for us to turn around and come
back to get him...that he could come home with us
and play video games in our basement for
the rest of his life.

He said, no, that the internet at school was better.


Anyway, life at the ranch goes on...

I finally got around to milling some flour with my new grain mill...

Are you as excited as I am about this?
I knew you were.

Hard winter white wheat berries.

I know what you're, Lori really is grain-smart.
Why, yes I am.
Actually, not really.
But I pretend.

Ain't it purty?

And boy did it make a mess in my kitchen.
100% whole wheat flour lightly covering 100% of everything.
It's very farmy.
And bakery-ish.
It's very multi-tasky.
I now have wheat colored highlights in my hair.
Dusty blond.

My new-found homemaking skill led me to greater heights
in my entrepreneurial skills.

My brain just never ever shuts off.

I made 12 pounds of flour, bagged it up in 4 lb. bags,
put a cute little label on it...and
took it to the little country market where I sell
my eggs and gave the old man a sales pitch on why he should
buy my flour.

And he bought it.
And wants more.

I tell you what.

OH! And I got my order of 1 lb. of vanilla beans in the mail today.
I'm going to make vanilla extract.
That's also exciting, right?
Next I just need to go buy a gallon of vodka.
That's one blog post you aren't going to want to miss.

All this Proverbs 31-ish activity is going to have me rolling
in tens of dollars before you know it.
Or just rolling, depending on how much I dip into my vanilla concoction.

Don't worry, I won't forget my humble beginnings.

Now if you'll excuse me,
I need to go spy on Brenden on Facebook.

Brenden, if you are reading this, I was just kidding about that
last part. Please don't unfriend me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

today it happened...


And this...


And all this...

...can mean only one thing.

Today, it happened.

We took our baby boy to college today.

*Sniff sniff, boo-hoo, waah-waah-waah*
And repeat again.
And again.

I'm so happy and excited for him!

And I'm so sad for me.

No, he isn't going to OU.
He's just wearing that t-shirt to confuse you...and me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

once upon a time...

Once upon a time,
there was a very hot and dry summer.
It was so hot
(how hot was it?)
that the children of the land were kept indoors,
much to the chagrin of their mother.
Much chagrin.

Then one day,
clouds rolled in and soon broke forth
with showers of soaking rain.

The children were set free from their captivity
and let loose in the wild to enjoy
this long-forgotten Noah-like downpour.

And the rest of the story goes as follows...

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End.

first day of school

Today was Macy and Eli's first day of school.
Bless their hearts.
They had to catch the bus at 6:53.
Which actually rolled by our house at around 7:08.
Not that I was constantly checking my watch or anything.

But they were excited.
Especially Eli.
The school supplies alone made him giddy.
Just wait till Christmas, kid!

Aren't they so cute?!!

There they go.
Bus #1.
The driver's name is Cherry.
Does it get any better than that?

Our tiny school district doesn't have an ESL program.
But the principal at Eli's school has gone
above and beyond to help us.
Like, WAY beyond.

She called this afternoon to tell me that he had an
absolute blast at his first day...that he participated in the
activities and the other kids were so eager
to meet him and everyone wanted to be his partner during
twosome activities.

I think he's going to fit in just fine!

a good sign

With Lucy being in charge,
there is a lot of girly stuff that goes on,
which she includes Isaiah in.

This makes his biggest brothers cringe.

But yesterday,
since Lucy was on the couch feeling rotten,
Isaiah-man ventured out to do some manly things, on his own...
without any guidance from Lu.
We all suspected this was possible.
*Don't tell Lucy*

He brought me a handful of dead bugs...

Proud as punch, he was.

He struck gold.

Once Nick caught wind of this,
he breathed a sigh of relief and said,
"That is a very good sign."

Then he stuck a plunger onto his littlest brother's belly.

You know,
to continue the manly behavior.

Which was hilarious, so thought Isaiah.

Then the two men had some cuddle time.
In a manly, wrestling kind of way...
Of course.

Very adorable.

Very manly.

Monday, August 15, 2011

morphine and martini drips

I had such high hopes to tell you all about my productive weekend.

to tell you that I made a double batch of cookie dough
and wheat bread for the freezer.

that I organized 3/4 of my troops to pick up sticks
and hedge apples in the yard.

that I planted my fall garden.
Spinach, lettuce, broccoli, and carrots, thank you very much.

that I ordered my grain mill.

that I actually went through every stack of papers
in my living room (and elsewhere)
and filed, trashed, and mailed every last bit of it.

I wanted to tell you all that.

But instead,
I'm catching my breath from having spent the ENTIRE DAY
in the ER with Lucy-bug.

People, can you please understand that this child cannot,
I repeat,
CANNOT, handle any amount of pain?

She was up ALL NIGHT Sunday night with severe abdominal pain
and fever.

We got up with hopes that she would bounce back
but she didn't.

She couldn't.

She couldn't.

So off to the hospital we went.
We feared appendicitis.
But it turns out, after two rounds of IV fluids,
blood work, MORPHINE (for her, not me...dang it) and an xray,
that our darling daughter has a stomach virus
and was (IS) loaded with gas (and other such things).

Bless her stopped-up bottom.*Photo taken after Morphine drip for Lucy and Martini drip for Mommy.
Partially kidding, of course.

Then, after five hours,
I said, FIVE HOURS, in the hospital, I had to meet up with Nick
to take him to the podiatrist.

Of course I did.

What else would I do?

Does life ever become simple?

Don't answer that.

*A big thank-you to my in-laws who came to stay all day with
the rest of our kiddos at home!

Friday, August 12, 2011

farm skills contest {lost in translation}

First of all,
I need you to mourn with me for just a moment or two.
I tried my first batch of mozzarella cheese...
and it was a failure.
Dang it.
But the good news is,
I now know how to spell it without using my spell-check.
Baby steps.

I blame the quality of milk.
Which is all the more reason I need dairy goats.

Moving on...

We went to our little teeny tiny township fair yesterday.
I had all kinds of fantasies of my Chinese children
quickly becoming little cattle ranchers
and bread bakers as a result
of our experience.

That didn't happen.
Far from it.

But 3 out of 4 of them did enjoy the horse shoes.
So I count that as a step in the right direction....

But I totally lost them during the Farm Skills Contest.

Not a smile to be seen for miles.
Nary a grin.

I think Macy's expression pretty much sums
up her opinion on country livin'.

Chinese city slickers.
I'll convert them if it kills me.

Yes, I will.

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