Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Huge Flop and a Reader Recount

My sweet friends just left my house. We kicked off our next Bible Study today. It is a Beth Moore study called "David. Seeking a heart like His." Today's introduction was kinda of historical, giving us a little background in to the time period, who David was and how he came to be. It was more "teachy" than the other two studies I have done of Beth Moore. I like it when she is more "talky". When she brings her real life stories in to give you real examples. I am sure that is coming over the next ten weeks and I am so looking forward to it.

For this moment though, what I am seeking is some understanding of what in the heck went wrong with the monkey bread recipe I made this morning.

It was so gross. I called it tumor bread.

It was the opposite of the lovely, perfection that was the pineapple upside down cake that I made last week. It wasn't the traditional monkey bread that I have made before, cutting biscuits in fourths and rolling them in cinnamon sugar. This was made with frozen dough balls. (Yes, Harry and Chip...I said "balls". Let's just get that out of the way, right now.)

The recipe called for putting all the ingredients in a bundt pan and leaving the whole kit and caboodle in the oven overnight to rise. When I opened the oven door this morning, that sucker was a serious eight inches over the bundt pan. Holy cow. Talk about rising!

I took the plastic off and it deflated a bit, but there was obviously entirely too much dough in the pan so I unceremoniously ripped some off. Then it rose again. I pulled more off.

It was ginormous.

I put it in the oven to bake and pieces were still falling off of it and landing on the oven rack. I had my kitchen tongs out trying to snag the raw dough off the rack before it burned and smoked up the kitchen.

How would you like this to be your greeting: Good morning, welcome to my home. Please grab a gas mask, a big piece of cardboard or an old cookie sheet and start fanning the smoke out of my kitchen. When we get the smoke cleared we are going to have some yummy smoked monkey bread and a cup of coffee with our Bible Study.

Martha Stewart....I am not.

Anyway, I cooked it until the top was really brown, hoping the inside would be cooked. When I turned it out on the platter it was a hot mess. Literally. There was raw dough, burnt dough, nuts, sugar all kinds of mess. There were a few pieces that were decent (just under the burnt part, but on top of the undercooked part) but overall it was a total flop.

Thankfully, I was surrounding by friends and laughter and no one gave a rip about the tumor bread.

Next time, I am making a Louisiana Coffee Cake. Keeping my fingers crossed. After the debacle withe the tumor bread they will all probably eat before they come! Ha! Ha!

Okay, let's talk about my blog readers. I said yesterday that I was up to eight regular readers. Y'all, I think I really undersold myself. I think I really have like twelve regular readers!

I know, pretty exciting isn't it?

Now, I am not going to put you through the torture of how I arrived at that new figure, but just suffice it to say "People are coming out of the woodwork telling me that they are reading".

Not really.

Two people told me they are reading that I didn't know were reading.

So, I just assume there are probably at least two more I don't know about, so that is twelve.

Can't you just imagine how good I was at statistics and estimating?

Anyway, these are people that know me. Not the people who search for "WWE Underwear Wrestling" or "Fruit Phobia" and end up here...but you guys who come here on purpose. Bless your hearts.

Now look, the change I finally made to the settings has made it much easier to comment. So comment!! I love hearing from you. It is like going to the mailbox and finding a letter instead of a bill. Just give me a little "Hey! Ho! Holla!" Or leave a recipe for fried eel. Whatever cranks your tractor!

Anyway, I am putting the tumor bread behind me (or more accurately, directly into the trash can) and going to get to work!

Had an awesome work day yesterday. Four teleconferences, but lots of things accomplished and marked off my list. Felt terrific.

Hope your Wednesday is wonderful!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Weekend was great. I cooked Friday night and Saturday night. That is unheard of around these parts. I was hoping to control the restaurant intake. That plan worked well.

Unfortunately, I also baked. DANGER, DANGER!!! Cavemen didn't bake. I made the most amazing pineapple upside down cake EVER and spent the entire weekend being very uncaveman-like and eating bits and pieces off of it.

It was my girl, Beth's mother-in-law's recipe and her hubby's favorite cake. I made one for him last week when he got back from his Dad's funeral.

Anyway, while it was cooking in my oven last week, my mouth was absolutely watering because it smelled so awesome. Obviously, I just had to make one for my family.

That is kind of a was mostly for me.

So after I made it and tasted it, this is the text I sent to Beth: I want to salute your MIL for having the most amazing recipe EVER for pineapple upside down cake. Ate a piece warm from the oven and could have cried. Going into sugar and fat coma now. How in the world did you keep this from me for 11 years? I should be pissed.

I seriously think the first thing out of her mouth when she meets someone is "Hi, my name is Beth. My husband's mother has an unbelievably yummy pineapple upside down cake recipe that I have printed on this card to help spread the news."

My life (not my pants) would have been so much more enjoyable for the last 11 years if I had been making this cake occasionally.

Let me preface this recipe with a word of caution: Make sure your pants have an elastic waistband and/or are extremely loose from say....a raging stomach virus.

Here you go:

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 stick of butter
1 can crushed pineapple (drained - save the liquid)
Brown Sugar
Boxed Yellow Cake mix

Melt the stick of butter in the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over the butter (about 1/2 cup or so, maybe more) until it looks like the butter is getting absorb by the brown sugar. Pour the drained crushed pineapple on top of the brown sugar. There are no cherries in this cake recipe because Tony doesn't like them. I did not miss them either and I love cherries. Also, I sprayed the sides of the pan with PAM just to make sure it came out easily.

Follow the directions on the box to make the yellow cake; except substitute 1/2 of the water called for with pineapple juice that you drained from your can of pineapple.

Pour the cake batter on top of the butter, sugar, pineapple concoction in your 9X13 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees according to the directions on the cake box or until a toothpick comes out clean. Pull it out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes and then invert that beautiful, delicious wonder onto a serving plate. There will be some amazing little bits stuck in the pan that you must swear to scrape off and eat. Do not let that go to waste (or is that waist?). Cut a warm piece, eat it, moan out loud and then send me an email to thank me.

You are welcome.

I have done my part, by spreading the news to my eight regular readers (I think I am up to eight regular readers! Catching the world on fire with this blogging masterpiece!).

Now, you guys get out there and spread the news to the rest of the world.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Finally....Some Pictures

It's Friday! We made it through the first week of school without too many bumps and bruises.

I finally got some pictures of my kiddos, which I labeled "First Day of School", but were actually Second and Fourth day of school. Maybe I should just relabel them "First Week of School" and that would be correct on all counts.

Anyway, let's see the boys, shall we?

My sweet Harry on his fourth day of school. All decked out in his running gear at o'dark thirty in the morning. The flash actually may have done some cornea damage as much as he writhed in pain after the snapping of this photo.

Here is Harry last year. What a difference a year makes.

This is Chip on his second day of school.

This was Chip last year on the first day of school.

The following are pictures that should have been deleted, but I just didn't have the heart. The photo session was prolonged extensively by crazy faces, crazy arms and a crazy father who was supposed to be on a teleconference call, but was instead jumping into lots of pictures that he wasn't supposed to be in.

We had animals and all kinds of crazy distractions!

In other news, not related to school or cute kids....this is my 400th blog post on Simply Writing Out Loud. That is a lot! I thoroughly enjoy it and love going back and looking at old posts. It is fun to be able to relive some of those silly moments in our day to day family life that would be easy to forget if they weren't written down somewhere.

Lots of work projects are picking up speed, but with school back in session the timing couldn't be better.

I am starting another Beth Moore Bible Study next week - can't wait.

Harry's driving is improving in leaps and bounds.

Chip got a new bat yesterday. He is stoked.

My hubby complains that he feels sore and doesn't know why. This is after he bikes 25 miles and then runs 5 more - TWICE. Saturday morning and Sunday morning. Hmmm, wonder why he feels so achy? It's a mystery.

I have book club on Sunday night, which is one of my favorite things. Can't wait to see what we read next and if I can download it on my Nook!

That is all! Hope your weekend is fabulous.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

School Recap

Let's give you a quick recap of the school day for both of my fellas.

First Chip.

I had the supremely awesome idea to walk up to school to get Chip on the first day so we would have the 1 mile walk back to chat and get all the details of his first day. Also, that would be an additional 2 miles that I would be requiring of my old body and that is all positive.

I filled up a water bottle, grabbed my sunglasses and took off with plenty of time to get to school. It was hot when I started out, but not unbearable. Then I got to the halfway point and had sweat running down my face, my back...I think even my knees were sweating. It was gross.

I think with temps near 106 degrees at 2:30 in the afternoon is just hot. I was totally second guessing my decision, but plowed on. Sweat was dripping off my hair by the time I got to school. Isn't that a pretty mental picture?

I clung to a small sliver of shade up against the building while I waited for him to come out. Thank goodness Chip was practically the first kid out the door when the bell rang.

Huge smile.

Me: How was your day buddy?
Chip: It was awesome!!
Me: Really? That is great! I am so happy about that. What made it awesome?
Chip: Well, first of all I lost a tooth at lunch (proudly pulls it out of his pocket to show me)
Me: NO WAY! First day of school and you lost a tooth? That has to be some kind of record or something.
Chip: Yeah. And I didn't even go to the nurse when it was bleeding like crazy.
Me: That is cool.

On the way home, he gave me a play by play of his day and it was all good reports. Fun at recess, fun at PE, lunch was good (made better by the tooth coming out), Ms. Coleman was so nice. YEAH!

Then he drops his tooth in the grass as we are walking. We looked for it for a few minutes, but did I mention how hot it was? We were sweltering, the ice in our water bottle had long ago melted and my clothes were sticking to me in a very unflattering fashion.

Chip looks at me and says "Come on Mom, let's just leave it. I lost a tooth today and then I REALLY lost a tooth."

So, we left that tooth in the grass and charge home toward the bliss that is air conditioning. HEAVEN!

So all in all, a great first day of fourth grade for Chip! So happy about that.

NOTE: We already discussed our pick up plan for today and I will be driving to get him. Need to wait until the weather turns just a tad bit cooler before we walk again.

Now Harry's day.

Cross Country practice was fun. Played a little Extreme Frisbee (or something like that).

The showering was not nearly as bad as he thought it was going to be. He did tell me that his buddy Jack asked to borrow his bottle of body wash. When Harry got in he said "Jack, kick me the body wash." Jack did. It skidded to a halt right by a really funny junior on the team. Harry went to pick it up and the kid was like "Woah! Wait just a minute. What is going on here????" Harry said it was mortifying and funny. There were some other locker room stories he shared, and none of them were awful. Glad he got the first one out of the way.

He did have a schedule glitch and was signed up for Junior level English and he is supposed to be in Sophomore level English. He made several trips to the counselor at various times through out the day and by the end it was all straightened out.

He has a couple of good buddies in his lunch, which is sweet.

NOTE: Blue cube was discussed numerous times yesterday. I was wrong. It was a mistake. Paper bags and Wal-mart bags from here on out.

The teachers on his A Day schedule all seemed to be nice and it was a thumbs up from him.

He did forget to bring his Cross Country clothes and towel home, but with all that he was supposed to remember for yesterday and contending with his schedule issues that was just a tiny blip on the radar.

He said it didn't even feel like school and that his day went by so fast. I am sure that will change when the classroom instruction and homework start happening.

For now, we are just hoping for a nice B Day today.

He got up with his alarm this morning and when I got back from my walk he was already dressed and standing in the kitchen. He asked if he could have a little coffee and I said he could.

Seeing him standing there, getting so tall, sipping on coffee just made my heart hurt. I can remember dropping him off at Hubby's parents house when he was about two years old when I had to go to work. He would still be in his little footie pajamas and would climb up to the kitchen table with them. They would let him stir their coffee and he thought he was such a big helper.

Time truly does fly by, doesn't it?

Well, now I am all teared up with this little walk down memory lane. Must get ready for a teleconference in a few minutes. Snap out of it!

On the work front...I got to have two long, intelligent, focused conversations on the phone yesterday. It was so awesome not to have to worry about someone screaming in the back ground or the door flying open with a fight to mediate or an emergency snack needed. I got so much work done! And once Chip was home I didn't do another stinking thing! I hope that is how it goes most days!

Hope your day is pleasant, productive and all that jazz!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of School

Today is the first day of school! Harold is starting his sophomore year of high school and Chip is heading into the fourth grade!

I love a schedule and routine, so getting back to school is usually something I look forward to. Not only is the routine good, but getting seven hours of uninterrupted work time after a summer of running here, there and everywhere is awesome!

But this year I am having some major trouble getting my head around who, what, when, where and how. Like who needs to get where, what do they need to take, when do they have to be there, where are they going and how are they getting there. It is complicated.

You see, Harry is running cross country this year. He has been getting up at 5:45 a.m. to get to the 6:30 a.m. practice. They are normally done by 8:00 and then he is home for a shower.

Things will be different now that school is starting. Practice time is still 6:30 a.m. but now he has to shower at school. That is a HUGE change and one that has brought much entertainment to our household. I wish you could have been a fly on the wall when I was giving Harry the run down last night at 9:00. I thought his head was going to explode.

1. You will have two bags to take in the morning.
2. Before practice, put both bags in your locker.
3. Do you remember the combination of your lock? Are you sure? Put it in your phone just in case.
4. Get your water bottle out and take it with you to practice.
5. After practice, take your clean clothes out, put your sweaty dirty clothes in the same bag to bring home.
6. After you shower, leave your body wash and deodorant in your locker.
7. Bring your wet towel home with your dirty clothes.
8. Please eat your breakfast. I don't think you have lunch till 1:00 and you will be starving by then.
9. Make sure you are done in time to walk to the main building and find out what room you are supposed to report to.
10. Figure out how you can go by your locker and grab your dirty clothes bag before you come home.
11. You are riding the bus home. I think it is the same one as last year.
12. Text me when you get your schedule and tell me if you have any problems.

There was also some advice given by Hubby of how to get through the group shower situation as easily as possible.

Seriously thought Harry was going to lay down and croak right in the kitchen floor.

Then the real fun started when I showed him his lunch container, which was a totally cool blue cube from The Container Store with little sections for the sandwich, chips, etc.

Harry just stares at me.

Harry: "What? Are you trying to get me killed? I can't take that for lunch!"
Me: "Why not?"
Harry: "Because it is blue and a cube and has little sections!"
Me: "But your sandwich won't get smashed."
Harry: "I would rather eat a ripped up, shredded, flat, smashed sandwich than pull that blue cube out of my backpack. DAD - Tell her!"
Dad: "You wrote his name on it?"
Me: "Yeah, just in case he loses it."
Dad: "Good grief. Throw his lunch in a Wal-mart bag and be done with it."

AND that is just Harry!

Then we have my little Chipster to throw into the mix. Lunchbox, love notes, water bottle, snack, plan for where we are meeting after school.

My morning started at 4:35 so I could get lunches made and my exercise in before the day kicked off. It is dark and scary at 5:00 in the morning. And still HOT!

I have to do this EVERYDAY???

I'm pooped!

Bring summer back!!!

Anyway, they are both out the door this morning. With smiles. Yay!

But, I forgot to take a first day of school picture, so I will have to take that this afternoon!

I can't wait to hear all about their days when they get home!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

P.S. Text received from Harry that practice and shower were done and he was eating his breakfast! Big hurdle accomplished!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hit with Kindness

Yesterday, after a long family swim I needed to go to the grocery store. It was Sunday, so I knew it was going to be crowded. It was the Sunday before school starts so it was probably going to be REALLY crowded.

Before, hitting the store with my long list, I decided to swing through Starbucks for a protein plate and an iced Skinny Vanilla Latte. It is still so hot here and an ice coffee sounded so yummy. Not to mention, I was starving and going to the grocery store hungry is a huge mistake. Caffeine and something in my stomach was just what I needed to get through a Sunday before school starts shopping bonanza.

NOTE: Yes I am aware that cavemen didn't have Starbucks and Skinny Vanilla Latte's. Stinks for them.

So, I place my order and I am in line behind a little gold Honda Accord. As I wait my turn, I watch the exchange of money and the handing of coffee through the window to the car. They pull out with their beverage and it is my turn.

I pulled up to the window and the little girl working at Starbucks is just grinning like crazy. A smile a mile wide.

She leans out of her window and says "The car in front of you paid $5 toward your order so you just owe $3."

My mouth falls open a little bit and I said "Well, isn't that so nice. That just made my day!"

She says "I LOVE random acts of kindness! It happens here all the time!"

I said "I am also a big fan and will have to be on the lookout for a way to pay it forward."

So, it made my day, it made the girl at Starbucks day and I hope the person in the little Honda Accord got a big dose of happy making the day of a complete stranger.

Needless to say, I sailed through my shopping with a smile on my face and a little pep in my step. I can't wait to pay it forward!

So my challenge to you today is to find some way to do a Random Act of Kindness for someone! It really is the little things that make a difference.

Have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Random with a Capital "R"

There are lots of things on my mind today, so I am going to just do a random list and see if I can scare any of you with what is banging around in the old brain.

* Chip met his new 4th grade teacher last night. Her name is Ms. Coleman and she is lovely.

* Harry got his Sophomore schedule and it all looks good. Hard but good. Pre-AP Algebra II makes me wake up with night terrors.

* Can't hardly believe it is almost time to take "First Day of School" pictures again.

* I need a recipe for the best pineapple upside down cake ever made. I want to make it for our sweet friend Tony who just lost his dad. It's Tony's favorite and although it certainly won't take away his grief, I hope it let's him know that other people are thinking of him. If you have a good recipe - send it to me!

* A good piece of fruit is SOOO good, but a bad piece of fruit is SOOOOOOOOOOO awful. Just bit into a plum that made me want to barf - then a peach that made it feel like summer was exploding with joy in my mouth. Something exploding with joy in your mouth tastes really, really good!

* I love my Nook. Reading like a fool. The Hunger Games series - AWESOME!

* Where do insecurities come from? Are you born with them? Do you develop them over time? Is it nature vs. nurture? Why are they so hard to shake? Do some people have no insecurities or does everyone have something?? This is deep stuff. I have many questions and zero answers.

* We need rain. For real. Seriously. No joke.

* We have been walking from 6:30 to 7:30 in the morning this summer. With the school year starting we think we might walk from 5:15 to 6:15. Holy cow, that is early. I am going to bed right now to bank some sleep.

* My girlfriend, Liz, who lives in Florida is doing the 3 Day 60 Mile walk this year in Tampa Bay. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders over the last two years and I am so very excited for her to participate herself. It is way outside of her comfort zone, but she is putting herself out there, doing some really hard training and finding the courage to ask for donations. I told her that she is going to be changed by the experience and I can't wait for her to feel the magic of The 3 Day. If you feel a tug on your heart to support the Susan G. Komen efforts like I do, please go to, click on the Donate To a Participant button, type in Elizabeth Hartman, and give a little. It feels good to give to such an amazing organization that really helps people. Thanks for making a difference Liz! I am so proud of you!

* Why are drinks from Sonic so dang good? It is the ice? The cup? WHAT?

* Need to come up with some better Paleo recipes. I put Spaghetti and Meatballs over a pile of lettuce (instead of pasta) the other day. Big Mistake. Huge Mistake. Disgusting Mistake. Caveman Update: They did not have to contend with Zebra Cakes and they also didn't have to contend with donut holes. Just saying, these are challenges of epic proportions around these parts. Even an exploding with joy peach can't hold a candle to a donut hole. It is like food is not fighting fair.

That is all the rambling time I have for now.

Must turn the brain from "random" to "buckle down" to get some hard work stuff moved off my plate.

Hope your Friday is awesome and you have the best weekend EVER!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Celebration and a Question


Harry has been rolling out of bed at 5:40 every day to go to Cross Country practice by 6:30 in the morning.

He is so sore.

Yesterday they did a recovery run, which he was looking forward to until they said it was 5 mile recovery run. That is far.

He took many Motrin yesterday.

This morning, he staggered out of bed and went straight to the couch where he fell asleep again. He finally woke up, got dressed, walked to the car and headed into practice looking like a Zombie.

He came home from practice a different kid. He was hopping, skipping, smiling and jumping.

First of all, practice only lasted an hour. Second, they did a couple of timed miles and the first one he did in 7:09! The second he did in 7:14! Woo Hoo!!!

He has improved so much in just 7 days of practicing with the team.

Of course, he said he wanted to barf when he was done, and he was waaayyy at the back of the pack...BUT that he was sure he could take :09 seconds off his time and get in the 6's.

So happy for him that he got such a positive result after putting in some effort.

Now on to the second part of my blog.


Do you think cavemen ate Zebra Cakes? You know, the Little Debbie kind.


You don't think they could have harvested some wheat and made it into flour, found some sugar cane, a little cream from a cow to make that delicious filling, a little white frosting, a little brown striping piped in through a straw made from a hollowed out stick? COME with me.

Unfortunately, this cave girl did eat one yesterday. Cave men didn't have a pantry full of snacks for teenage boys to avoid I am sure.

Sadly, I didn't even taste it!

I waited too long between meals, had nothing else ready to eat, a little piss poor preparation that resulted in scarfing down a sugar loaded, processed food in an instant. UGH!

One of my girlfriends asked if it made me feel terrible. Like did my stomach hurt.

No, it did not.

Back on track today.

I hope your Wednesday is wonderful!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

UNO Season

Have I mentioned recently that playing UNO is becoming a regular event at our house.

It's good clean family fun.

Or is it??

Just for memories sake, I am going to jot down some of the most common phrases heard around our kitchen table during a game of UNO:

* Is it my turn?
* What color is it?
* Is it my turn?
* Can I play a SKIP on a REVERSE?
* Wait...which way are we going?
* Is it my turn?
* Quit looking at my cards.
* You forgot to say UNO
* Who goes first?
* I just dealt.
* Who farted?
* Is it my turn?
* Is that a nine or a six?
* Why do I have eight cards?
* Is it my turn?

Doesn't that make you just want to run over and join us???

Chip is the organizer. He dashes all over the house, rounding up all the players. He wants everyone to play. It's more fun that way. He is also the one who lays a card down and immediately says "Is it my turn?"

He is finally mastering the art of holding his cards in a fan shape so he doesn't have to shuffle through them every time. Talk about the human delay of game.

We play till the big loser hits 200 points. Last night, that was Hubby after about six rounds. We have played many, many more rounds, but it is never enough for Chip. He would like to play around the clock.

It is a season in our lives.

The UNO season.

It will be fleeting I am sure.

In fact, I am not sure if I have mentioned this or not, but wrestling is out. Sigh. Chip isn't watching it, talking about it or playing it anymore. It just faded away. It makes me kinda sad.

It also makes me wonder what in the world we are going to do with the five wrestling rings and bin full of wrestling figures that he accumulated during the WWE season of his life! Maybe I will put some of his favorites up in the attic.

Well, that is all my fingers have in me for today!

Hope Tuesday is good to you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Celebrating Dad

It's Monday.

All day.

We had a great weekend, but man could I have used just one more day.

We spent a lot of the weekend celebrating Hubby's birthday. There were presents, streamers, a big, icing covered cookie from The Cookie Company, birthday cards, etc... He is a kid at heart and loves presents. This year, we bought tons of baseball card packs and wrapped them individually. Every time Hubby mentioned something about his birthday, the boys pulled one out of their pocket to give to him. Chip was keeping some under his baseball hat and when Dad would say "birthday", he would tip his hat down and hand him a pack of cards. It didn't take long for him to make the connection and so he mentioned his birthday ALOT!

His other gifts, a projector, an autographed mini helmet, some shirts and the "I'm 46 years old fer sure present.......a nose hair trimmer!" He requested it. He got it. He used it.

As I suspected, we made a trip to Dave and Busters this weekend to celebrate Dad's birthday. I haven't been there in a while and it was quite fun. I didn't play anything, but I get a charge out of watching the trivia game and/or those kids who are masters at the Dance Dance Revolution. I am not even sure what is going on with all the taping, jumping, stomping and what they are trying to match on the screen, but there were two guys at Dave and Busters who were gettin' it. They were sweating like crazy. That has got to be some terrific exercise. Not sure those moves actually translate to a dance you could actually do in a club, because I am afraid someone would get hurt on the dance floor. Parts flying everywhere!

On a very sad note, my sweet friend Beth called me yesterday to tell me that her husband Tony's dad had passed away. Just took me reeling back to the phone calls we got about Joe and Louise. My heart just breaks for their family. It is so hard to lose someone you love.

Looking ahead this week, we kick off some back to school stuff around these parts - pick up textbooks for high school, meet the teacher night at elementary school, etc. Our first official day back to school is next Tuesday, August 23rd. Work is also cranking up with a vengeance, but I am ready for it!

Paleo Update: We ate a great deal in celebration of Hubby's birthday. We avoided Krispy Kreme, which I was thankful for! I thought I made terrific choices in all of our restaurant selections. I had a salad at Freebirds - no tortilla, no cheese, no rice, no beans, dressing on the side. At Red Robin, I had a burger with no cheese, no mayo, no bun. It was in my little basket just wrapped in some iceberg lettuce. It tasted fabulous. I had no french fries. None. They have endless fries at Red Robin. I had zero. Nada. None. I had no cookie cake at all. Not even a tiny piece.

I gained three pounds in two days. Son of a ....

I guess cavemen didn't have restaurants.

I am sure it was a lot of added salt that I have cut out when I am eating at home. I am also sure that I need to make even better choices at restaurants.

Can you bring me a stick of celery, two baby carrots, a lemon and a giant cup of water? I think that is like negative calories since you burn more chewing than is in the actual food.

I think the bottom line is that humans really don't need that much food. I have read briefly that on the Paleo diet it is encourage to fast occasionally for a couple of meals. Apparently, cavemen didn't always catch dinner, so sometimes they went hungry. I don't like that. I will continue to avoid processed foods, carbs, sugar, but pretty sure I am not ready or willing to go hungry!

That is all for now! Here is to a great week ahead for all of you!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thoughtful Words

My sweet friend gave me a devotional book at the end of our Bible Study this past spring. On my birthday, this is what I read:

"Hold My hand, and walk joyously with Me through this day. Together we will savor the pleasures and endure the difficulties it brings. Be on the lookout for everything I have prepared for you: stunning scenery, bracing winds of adventure, cozy nooks for resting when you are weary, and much more. I am your Guide, as well as your constant Companion. I know every step of the journey ahead of you, all the way to heaven."

I don't know much, but I know I love reading that. It puts a smile on my face. I thought someone else out there might need this today.

Other than that bright news, things are clicking along around here. New shoes have been purchased for the first day of school. New haircuts have been suffered through. Harry is done with his first week of cross country practice. Chip has been refreshing himself on multiplication facts. Summer reading is getting done. Paleo eating plan is going well.

Hubby has a birthday coming up tomorrow. We are going to party like it is 1999. Or more likely, we are going to party like it is 2011. The kids will probably want to take him somewhere super awesome like Dave and Busters and then Krispy Kreme. It's going to be crazy I tell you.

SIDENOTE: The cavemen did not eat doughnuts. They were stupid. They hadn't yet learned about the beauty of flour, lard and sugar deep fried in oil. They didn't know what they were missing. Sadly, I DO know exactly what I will be missing. I will be missing Hot Doughnuts Now.

Work is cranking back up after being blissfully easy for a few weeks. I think I am ready. Not yet feeling a "BRING IT ON" or anything, but not dreading it either.

Hope your week is wrapping up nicely and you have a relaxing weekend planned!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I recently wrote about a new place in town called JumpStreet and I thought I would share some pictures. Mom and Dad - please show this to all my nieces and nephews so that they will bug their parents to bring them to visit their Aunt.

If they come, she will take them to JumpStreet.

It is air conditioned, so even in the heat you can have some fun.

There are multiple long runways of trampolines with hills on either end. This is not a very good picture, but they are long. People were doing some crazy cool tricks in here.

You can jump and jump and jump and jump.

Bounce and bounce and bounce some more...until you are a sweaty mess.

Or swing off a rope and land in a pit of foam blocks.

Or trampoline into the pit.

It is hard to climb out of the pit, but that is why it is good for you.

There is also a maze and a crazy mechanical bull to ride.

And be thrown from.

And there is a dodge ball game going on all the time.

In fact, the second time my boys went to JumpStreet it was with my friend Martha. She took seven boys. Martha is very brave. My kids said they played dodge ball the entire time. That was two hours of dodge ball and they said they could have played longer. But hunger beckoned and they left.

It's a fun place!

Come see me and I will take you there!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ten Random Tidbits

I have been uninspired to write for the last few days. A bit lethargic. Taking lots of deep sighs. Summer is winding down. Vacations are over. Reality of a busy calendar and schedule is staring me in the face. I don't like it.

If I don't make eye contact, maybe it won't be happen. I try that with Astro sometimes and it works. I'll keep you posted on my luck with ignoring the calendar.

Anyway, until I get a fire lit under me, here is a quick "Ten Random Tidbits" for you.

1. We went to the Melting Pot for my birthday dinner. It was fun. Surprising how when you get each course with the little plates of veggies, meats, breads it seems like it won't be enough food. Tiny pieces. Cooking them individually. Takes forever to eat. Then the dessert comes out and you are so full you can't move. Chip is in love with Rice Krispie treats dipped in chocolate.

2. I got a Nook Color for my birthday. Great gift and I have already read two books.

3. Harry started Cross Country practice this morning. I woke him at 5:45 a.m. He said it was hard.

4. I started a new eating strategy. Paleo. Eating like a caveman. Lean meats, fruits and veggies. A few nuts and good oils thrown in. Day three and it is not bad. Again, I will keep you posted. It feels terrifically healthy.

5. Family Uno is dominating our evenings. I am losing big time. Is there a real strategy or is it more luck of the draw?

6. The boys are pet sitting, which means I am also pet sitting. Three dogs, two cats. Chip loves it and takes much pride in taking care of those pets. It is good.

7. It is so damn hot here and we need some rain. Seriously.

8. We went to The Container Store yesterday. I love that place.

9. My sister's husband Kevin's mom was brought home with hospice recently and it does not seem she has very long on this earth. Say a prayer for Pat and all of her family, who will miss her so desperately when she is gone.

10. That is all. Can't even come up with a #10, so I will end with nine!

Hope your Monday jumps off the start of a wonderful week!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Birthday Wishes

More laughter than tears;
More joy than heartaches;
More adventures than challenges;
Soft breezes;
Toes in the sand;
Sun on my face;
Peace and contentment;
A glass of wine and a warm cookie every once in a while;
Buckets of "I Love Yous";
Health, happiness and love in my heart.

....happy birthday to me.......

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's Official....

The sweet baby boy that I brought into this world just five minutes ago passed his driver's permit test today. He is legal to get behind the wheel of a car.

If you are looking for me, I will be in my room crying.

No really, I am super proud of him. He will be a great driver and I am not worried at all.

That is a lie.

A big fat lie.

I am worried.

Worried he will get hurt.
Worried he will hurt someone else.
Worried he will wreck the car.
Worried he will leave in the car and never come home.

So really...I will be in my room crying. And praying. Lots and lots of praying.

Actually, it is just a permit. He still has to have a license driver over 21 in the car with him at all times.

It is going to be fine.
It is going to be fine.
It is going to be fine.

I love you Harry.
Be careful out there.