Tuesday, July 31, 2012

people, poultry, and other living things...

I had six hens get out today.
Who forgot to show them yesterday's sermon post?



*****

Hello, Kitty!


******


Boys.
Forever little boys.
Doing little boy things like
putting a glass of water in the freezer
to see what would happen.

Oh, the suspense!

Yep.
2nd grade science for almost
grown men.



Success.


*******

And this is my life's shenanigans
with the people, poultry, and other living things
with whom I share air.

It is what it is.

Monday, July 30, 2012

crazy hens on the loose

Every single day this summer
I've had escapee-hens.

And every single day
I try to coax them back to safety,
with little immediate success.

And every single day
I write a sermon in my mind,
as I'm chasing the above mentioned hens around 
my yard.

"Chickens," I say, "I am your keeper,
I feed you endless supplies of food.
And give you ever-flowing drinks of water.
I give you safe boundaries.
And within those boundaries, your life is
pretty darn good.
No predators that I can't single-handedly
take down.
Nothing is bigger than me,
your care-taker,
that I can't protect you from."

(Okay, maybe that's a bit far-fetched....
cause I doubt that I would rise to the occasion,
should a 
coyote/raccoon/opossum/anything-else-I-deem-as-creepy
 get in their pen.)

But for the sake of my sermon,
this works. 




How too often we
run around like crazy hens,
fretting, worrying, living-life-on-the loose,
thinking life is easier on our own...
free from the boundaries of safety and
endless Living Water,
yet resisting THE ONE who wants to
get us back to that very safety, as soon as possible?

Yes, we all do it.

It's ridiculous, right?
Yep, it is.

Thank you Jesus for your patience
and extreme measures to
get us back into the hen-house of life!



I will finish the outline of my sermon notes
and send them to area pastors.

I have a few loose ends to tie together first.
And perhaps some sort of
flip-chart.
Maybe a felt board.
Not sure yet.


Amen.


Oh, and to my hens...
Just so you know, 
I'm not Jesus.
And I will eventually leave you for dead
if you don't stop escaping.
(That's not part of my sermon.)
(Although maybe it should be.)


Speaking inquiries welcomed.
Shoot me an email.









Sunday, July 29, 2012

random things {yessss!}

A few random things:

1.  Isaiah came to the dinner table
the other night with his goggles on.
And he couldn't have been more
serious about it.
Not sure what that says about my cooking.




2.  I am feeling fairly certain that it's going
to be 100+ degrees outside for the remaining duration
of mankind.



3.  I made marinara sauce tonight,
with tomatoes from my garden!

(And carrots and basil from my garden!)
(And celery, garlic, and onions from Walmart!)
Yesssss!




Okay, 
so I may have overdone it on the carrots,
giving it an overly orange hue.

But let me tell you,
it was sooooo yummy.

This totally justifies the $150+ I spent on
watering that da-gum garden.

$150 marinara sauce...
priceless.


And add to it,
some homemade focaccia bread.



4.  I am religiously watching the Olympics.
And I am just going to say what
everyone else is thinking:
Olympians have THE best butts.
I can't stop staring.
I just can't.
Good for you, you perky, cellulite-free athletes!


That's all.

Friday, July 27, 2012

how to freeze milk

Does anyone remember the episode of, 
King of the Hill,
where Peggy gets a job at the local newspaper
as a columnist,
writing her musings and household hints?

I'm pretending to be Peggy.


(The resemblance is uncanny, right?)


I feel as though I'm loaded with handy hints
for you all this week!

Well, one.

Freezing milk.
Oh, yes you can.

We go through one gallon of milk a day.
Did you hear me?
I said, (did you hear me??)
One gallon of milk, every freaking day.

And this old gal must load up.
Cause I ain't runnin' to the sto every few days.
Ain't gonna do it.
(Who stole my proper grammar, who?)

I buy about six+ or so gallons at at a time.
Put a few in the various refrigerators...
and stick the rest in the deep freeze.

Then I thaw them out.

Here's an exciting picture of that very activity:
Quick, gather the family!


Don't you dare call the food-safety police on me.
I'm sure my methods
are far from Health Department approved, but whatever.

This works for us.
And has for YEARS.
And years and years and years.


It takes about 12+ hours to thaw out a gallon or two.
I sometimes fill the sink up with cool water
when I need a quick thaw.
And by quick, I mean...eight hours or so.

I refuse,
REFUSE!
to run to the store every few days.
So,
this method is what works for us.

Don't freak out by how your gallon
has a bright yellow tinge to it when you pull
it out of the freezer.
That's just the milk fat.
Me loves me some milk fat.
After it thaws, it all goes back into place
and will behave appropriately.
I promise.
Give 'er a shake, if it makes you feel better.

Beware that there are often milk-icebergs.
No harm done.
But it drives my big boys crazy.
Though, they have lived quite nicely through it,
thus far.
It is building character in them as we speak.


And that's all I have to say about that.
Don't come running to me if you get salmonella or 
anything of the like.

This works for us.

Amen, and amen.


Love,
Peggy Hill


my easy meals

Well, okie dokie!

Since there was such a vast
response asking me for my full list of 11 Easy Meals
(I believe it was...two of you),
here you go!

(Remember, I said they were EASY,
keep your expectations low.)

Sloppy Joe's
(homemade...not from a can.)
(Please)

Tacos
(self-explanatory, yes?)

Cold Sandwiches
(Get creative, people. Hoagies are a fav around here.)

Grilled Sandwiches
(Ham, cheese & mayo on wheat bread,
grilled on a buttered skillet.)

Pizza
(Homemade crust, it's easy. Really. And cheap.)
(Get creative with toppings
and make your family call you by
your Italian name, Sal.)

Meatball Sandwiches
(Homemade meatballs are the bomb...
but I often buy frozen to have plenty on-hand.)
(Reintroduce Sal to your family)

Hamburger Helper
(Homemade, of course.  I am a respectable
homemaker, you know).
(I will give you the recipe later, promise)

Chili Dogs
(Don't use chili from a can or I may
have to come to your house and make chili
for you.  Wait...that may come
back to bite me.)

Hamburgers
(Duh)

Taco Salad
(I have no idea what to say about that.
It is what it is.)

Chicken Fried Rice
(For the Asians in your life) 



As I think of more,
I will share them.


And if you have any super easy ideas
of your own,
do share, please!
Maybe I'll work up a big ol' blog post
with all of our ideas!

Then we will be super-heroes.



Oh and one homemaking peril I must share with you.
We are completely out of milk,
except FIVE gallons that are frozen solid in the freezer.
I have a teen boy who will be waking up soon.
In my panic,
I mixed some half & half and water.
He'll never know.
Right?



(If you happen to be driving by my house soon,
bring thawed milk, please.) 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

meal-planning {and world peace}

As the mother of 27 children,
meal-planning is essential.
(Ignore my inability to count)
(I'm a little cloudy these days)
(A lot cloudy these days)
I've learned that eating at home is
cheaper than eating out.
Yes, it has taken me close to 25 years
to figure that out.
I used to ride the short bus.

So all this newly-found enlightenment
has taught me to write lists.
Oh, girls...do I write lists.
And, 
I go on wild tangents where I take 
grocery shopping-life by the horns
and show it who's boss.
I can work a shopping cart,
piling that sucker high and wide
with a million kids dangling off of it,
like nobody's business.
And I maintain a perky disposition all the while.
Actually, that last part isn't true.
Not true, whatsoever.

But most of the time, truth be told,
my planning and shopping is completely
whimsical.
I'm forever a free spirit.

However,
lack of planning has kicked me in the booty
more times than I care to count
and I'm done with it.
Done, I say!

So after learning from others' menu-planning
ideas, 
I have decided they know nothing
about what works for me.
Don't even try to get me to nail down
now what I will make three weeks
from this Thursday.
Forgetaboutit.
I'm a free spirit, I told ya.
So I came up with my own plan.

Here's how it goes:

I divided my meal categories into 
four categories:
(Breakfast isn't included because
to me, that's a no-brainer.  There's always
eggs/bread/cereal to eat.
No planning necessary)
(Unless I make breakfast for dinner,
which I've recently put a ban on.
But I can't talk about it, lest I get upset all over again)

Here are my categories:

1.  Easy
This would include things like:
tacos
sandwiches
sloppy joes

You get the idea.
I currently have 11 meals in this category.
Score!

2.  Big
This would be for a couple meals 
a week, like:
cajun chicken pasta
spaghetti and meatballs
fried chicken strips

They're heartier than the Easy meals,
and a more labor-intensive.
But I'm woman enough to handle it.

3.  Once-In-A-While
Let me explain this one in a little more detail.
These are hard-core meals.
Meals that will only be made randomly,
all based on my mood and degree of
generosity I feel towards my family on that given day.
Things such as:
chicken tetrazini 
(which K-Man does not like but everyone
else does...so that's why it's on this list)
salisbury steak
chicken-fried steak fingers
lasagna


4.  Quick Weekend Meals
Here's the deal on this category.
I all too often forget about meals for
the weekend.
I don't know why everyone can't
just be happy with a little spinach salad
and fruit.
But, no.
These people won't settle for that.
But I refuse to spend my entire weekend
in the kitchen.
(Who am I kidding?)
(I am nothing more than a non-paid
cook in a greasy diner).
May I take your order, please?
Here are some of your choices:
quiche
baked potatoes
fried egg sandwiches
ham salad
(that really does sound like a diner
menu, doesn't it? 
Except for the quiche, I suppose)



Anyhow,
all that to say, I now have my extensive
list of meals.
And I am pretty sure I remembered
to buy everything I need for all of them.


And now world peace can finally begin.
Because Lori only has to go 
grocery shopping once a month now.
In theory.
(Hilarious)


My work here is done.
You are welcome.



My tip jar is on the counter.
Feel free to utilize it.





Tuesday, July 24, 2012

7 {a must read!}

 Ok so,
when Patty was here
(I won't stop talking about Patty's visit for another 2 1/2 months,
just so you know),
we went to hear Jen Hatmaker speak
at a women's dinner at my church.

She was amazing.
You'd be mighty blessed if you listened to it.
(Go HERE to HEAR)
(Haha)
(You may have to skim through the sermons to find hers).



Anyhow,
Patty and I were so blessed and convicted
and resolved to never speak of anything other than
serving the Lord.
Ever.
Even though we whine endlessly to each other
about various and particular things,
we are determined to be thankful and
walk humbly with our God.
Together.

Patty and me.
And the rest of my fabulous friends.



Here's Jen.
She was so dang funny.
And real.
And funny, funny, funny.
And the word she brought messed me up real good.


And I immediately wanted to
buy every single book she's written.
(I need to stop starting sentences with And)
But I have no money.
However, God has a way of providing
all the things we need (big and small)...
and my dearest friend Mary loaned me three,
count them, THREE, of her books.
I is soooo giddy.

And I'm reading this one first.

Oh.My.Gracious.

I have never laughed OUT LOUD,
and felt so convicted, all in one page.
After page, after page, after page.

Seriously,
go buy this book.
Or borrow it from your friend Mary.

You will love it.
And you will love me for recommending it.



I must go now.
There are little children begging me to
feed them dinner.

And because I'm a good mother,
I will feed them.


Enjoy your Tuesday evening.

(Today is Tuesday, right?)



Sunday, July 22, 2012

wanda and me

When Patty was here she took this
fabulous picture of Wanda and me.

I don't know about you,
but I think we have an uncanny resemblance.

It's almost like,
I can't stop looking at us.


I love this chicken.
Even though she's the weirdest,
most bizarre-looking creature God put on this planet.

She and I have a ton in common.

And we will forever be sisters, of sorts.
My sisters would agree.


My life is now complete,
now that I have Wanda.


I think I'll stop now.

Good night.


Friday, July 20, 2012

my day {in case you were wondering}


If you were wondering what I did today,
I will tell you.

Here's what I did:

I got up at a ridiculous hour.
I think it was around 3:18 AM.

I ate breakfast (because I MUST eat breakfast),
showered (because I MUST shower),
then headed south to Connie's house.
(Because I MUST go see Connie periodically).


I am not much of a traveler.
Even though I've been to China numerous times,
and other various places,

I have never driven (by myself)
longer than 2.5 hours.

But because my dear and wonderful friend
Connie invited Eli to come spend
a couples weeks with them,
I decided to man-up and drive, drive, DRIVE.

So today was my day to go pick him up.
And the day started Er-lay.


And because I have an uncanny way of amusing
myself,
I took a few pics on my way down.
By myself.

Here we go:

A lovely Kansas sunrise.
I tried to get a better angle...but I opted for
staying on the road, and not DYING, instead.

But, it's lovely, no less.
Yes?




Then I admired greatly, 
the Flint Hills.
Alright so, the picture may seem boring.
And in many ways, it is.
But trust me, the Flint Hills are so lovely!!!!
They're so...
flinty...and hilly.


Then:
I spent exactly 1 hour & 13 minutes visiting with my 
to whom I owe millions of dollars.
And a chili recipe.
But then I had to leave abruptly because
I needed to get back home,
lest I turn into a pumpkin.


And on my way back home,
Nick's car
(which I drove today, because it gets WAY 
better mileage than my big ol' Burban),
(which we have had since he was in KINDERGARTEN),
turned 200,000 miles.
I pulled over and had a moment of silence.
Not really.
I am a get-home-in-record time Nazi.
I would never pull over unnecessarily.
Never.
Never, ever.

But here's a pic of the odometer.
Because, that's just fun.


Then later, to pass the time,
I started having car troubles.

Nick's little car started sputtering.
I called K-Man and he calmly told me,
"Just keep driving."

Well, that was very comforting.

He is not nearly the alarmist that I am.
And that alarms me.

But I trusted his leadership
(that's just the kind of Proverbs 31 
wife that I am),
and I kept driving.


I will skip to the end and tell you that I did, in fact,
make it home,
without incident.
That K-Man is one smart fella.

But I must tell you that I saw THE most wonderful
billboard sign that
advertised CREMATION for $895.

I could only imagine Midge telling Hank,
as they're driving down I-35 in their RV,
"Quick, right that number down!  I may need that!"


That was my day.


The End.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

super-duper-stuff!

Listen, people.

I got this GREAT Toning Body-Wash from Dove about a month ago...and I REALLY DO love it.

I have crazy-dry skin.  ALWAYS.  And in the summer, it's something AWFUL.  I spend copious amounts of time in my garden, digging in dirt, (for some unknown reason) AND time in the swimming pool with my kiddos (it is an impossible cycle).  Which leads to horribly dry skin!!

So when Dove sent me their new Toning Body Wash, I was totally all over it.

I am normally a bar-of-soap-kind-of-gal.  SO love my bar of soap.  But when I got my Dove Body Wash in the mail I felt like quite the special girl....it was seriously like a spa-away-from-home.

Really, it was.

I usually drench my body in lotion after my multiple showers every day....but I seriously got to skip most of the moisturizing since Dove poured into my skin what was lacking.

SO...all that to say, you really should give it a try!

And why not go to the link below and enter to win their great giveaway?!!!

That would be great.

And here is a coupon!!
Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!


You will be happy.

The End.


Enter to win one of two $500 Spafinder gift certificates!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

hot diggity!

Don't you love it when you text your husband
at 3:34 PM and tell him you have
NO IDEA 
what you are going to fix for dinner...
and, does he have any ideas?

To which you expect the standard response,
"Oh, honey...whatever you make is fine."

But instead he says,
"How 'bout chili dogs?!"

And you say,
"Hot diggity dawg, man!  Okay!"

Then you promptly instruct him to stop by the
Walmarts to buy hamburger,
hot dogs, & buns.


And he does.

Because he's dreamy!
(And starving).


But bless his heart.
He bought lean ground beef.
Little does he know,
I stopped buying lean ground beef back
in the late 90's.
I'm just so reckless that way.
And cheap.

No worries.
We will have us some amazing & lean chili dogs
tonight for dinner.

It's elaborate.
And very fancy.

And sooooo dang yummy.

Don't be jealous.
Come on over and I'll make you one too!


t-shirt question {here ya go}

Many of you asked where I got my t-shirt.
Though non of you asked
about my shining disposition.
And that baffled me.


But I will overlook that for now.


Anyhoo,
my t-shirt is actually a very old one
that I stole from Brenden.

There.
Now he knows.


I think we got it at a Christian
book store at the mall.
However,
the store isn't there anymore.

So really,
I am of no help to you on this.
(Or anything else for that matter)
(But I've been trying to tell you that for years)


But because I do love you so very much,
I googled it and found many 
sources for similar shirts.



So there ya go.

I'll let you take it from there.

My work here is done.




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

zoo with patty

So.
In the planning stages of Patty's visit I said to her,
via email,
"Don't worry...I won't drag you around the zoo
in this weather!"

To which she said,
"Oh my gosh, we would LOVE to go to the zoo!!!"

To which I said,
"Oh GREAT, okay, we will go to the zoo then!"

To which I now say,
"You STUPID STUPID IDIOT! Why would you
drag anyone to the zoo in this weather?"


But,
I did.

Yes, that's what I did.


Ok so, here are our zoo pictures.
I am pretty sure it was 127+ degrees.
Hell will be more pleasant.
(Not really)
And we were pretty heavily grumpy about
7 minutes into it.

Just saying.

But we were pretty adorable anyway.

Take a look.



This is Patty and me when we escaped to
the funny farm in Maui.
Don't be jealous.

And the look on Macy's face pretty much sums
up how ridiculous we felt
for going to the zoo on such a day.

We will never ever EVER go to the Topeka zoo
in July for as long as we live.

You can count on that.


And we will not talk about this experience
again from this moment forward.


Had an absolute blast with Patty!

I have a few pics posted on our
blog.


Monday, July 16, 2012

larry the lizard {and patty}

Yesterday we went to the zoo,
I mean, pet store.

It was quite the adventure.

A quirky little old woman working there
practically threw this rat at Lucy
to hold.
I was breaking into a full sweat
that Lucy would immediately hurl the
poor little (and disgusting and vile) rodent
right off of her.
Whew.
Instead, she handled it with much grace.

As did Isaiah.

Then after a stern lecture from the quirky little old woman
working at the pet store about how to handle a hamster,
they got to play with them.
With a little less fear and trepidation than
the rats.

Hermit crabs.



Then,
what happened next was
the mother of all pet store experiences.

A little bitty lizard, we'll call Larry,
fell madly in love with Patty.

They chatted for quite some time,
Patty reassured him that his life would
be full and lovely without her.
He couldn't grasp how that could possibly be true.

Tough love is, well, tough.
And we moved on,
leaving Larry alone with his thoughts.




The End.



Oh, but today...
we are going to the REAL zoo.

Stay tuned.

I can only imagine whose heart Patty will
break there.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

patty!

Patty is here and we are having a blast!

I haven't taken many pictures though...


But here are a few:

The girlies wanted to swim.
But WE wanted to avoid getting in the pool
at all cost.
So we bought some rings for the girls,
knowing they'd be happily distracted and not
even notice we were standing on the
sidelines.


These two are simply adorable together.
They are both from Fuzhou, Jiangxi,
which gives them a special connection.
And they have been inseparable!


And as the good hostess that I am,
I will post a MOST unflattering picture of myself....

alongside a MOST lovely picture of my guest.

The End.

(For now!)



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