Sunday, February 27, 2011

He's 21!

My oldest?'s his birthday today.

And somehow, someway...he grew up.


Happy 21st, Matthew.

You know how loved you are...right?


(And just a little mom business even though you are 21 and a legal adult...please make wise choices while in Hawaii. Okey dokey, over and out.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Sun Is Shining

The sun was shining all weekend.

I; however, chose not to appreciate it.

I was cold and we were running a billion different places and I was cold and we were running a billion different places and did I mention I was cold? And running a billion different places?

In between being cold and running a billion different places and spending hours panicking over my parenting abilities and truly wondering if God knows I can do this, I made lasagne.

Lasagne for me means love. It's warm and cheesy and takes time to make and smells good and tastes even better. And then I didn't stop there...I even made brownies.

Or rather I had the 12 year old make brownies. Slave labor works in this house.

(I totally want this cookie jar...anyone know where I can get one????)

On Sunday we went to a different church because M's choir (and my oldest son) was singing's in a charming part of our county that feels old. Good old...and because we live in a place where nothing is old, that is even better.

And while at church, the Pastor gave the most incredible sermon on Matthew, chapter 5 and he talked about how life just isn't fair. That not everyone gets an even piece of pie. And that what Jesus had to go through just wasn't fair.

But God was there. The WHOLE time.

And every single person in that big church that I didn't want to go to because I like MY church with MY pastor and MY pew and MY incredible music week after week...every single person disappeared and it was just God talking to ME.

Sometimes it's just not fair, but that doesn't mean it is bad. And that doesn't mean that God isn't right here with me.

Deep breath. I need to remember that.

After, we bribed Matthew with brunch out with us (vs eating back at the dorm) and he said yes, so we splurged on PJ's Abbey...which you might want to visit soon if you live locally because it's been sold and is turning into yet another mexican restaurant.

I will miss their Sunday brunch...great food, great prices, great decor, and really great live jazz. All in an old converted church.

My boys. My heart. My stress. My joy. My raw, achy knees from being knelt on in prayer.
My breakfast. I'm almost embarrassed to share what it is.


OK...I'll share. It's poor man's steak and eggs....grilled meatloaf, over easy eggs, onion strings and roasted potatoes.

I know, I know, I know.

But SO beyond good, especially since it came with bottomless champagne and let me tell you, after this week in our journey of raising three sons, I needed.

So then on the drive home with my three boys in the back seat and that guy that I like so much by my side, I noticed the sun was shining and I felt like I could do this. One day at a time.

And then it shone even a little bit brighter when Brian's basketball team won their game against the team with the most horrible meanie pants coach ever, which I shouldn't be gloating about but he was just so awful that we HAD to win....but if we had lost I would have reminded myself again that life isn't always fair.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's Over

It. Is. Finished.

The most painful (literally and figuratively) basketball season of our lives.

The knee? It's healed.
The heart? Not so much.

Watching your 17 year old who has poured his all into a sport he loves so much suffer all season long has been torture. Yes, we know this is part of his story, God's story for him, but it's been a rough one. Brutal even. Michael and I sat on the bench game after game after game, aching for him and what he's been going's been a big family lesson in patience and trust.

And hope for what will come.

(trying vimeo out...liking it so far!)

Aside from 4 basketball events between 2 children this week, I met up with a girlfriend for a the lobby floor at this theater which is covered in movie quotes.

The movie...From Prada To Nada? Silly and not great, but fun for a rainy morning matinee with a friend.

The oldest of my children is about to have a milestone birthday...a birthday that will bump him up a box to the 'no longer a child but a legal adult' category.

And milestone birthdays (that will be celebrated in Hawaii without his mama) deserve a little something special. in a weeping mother who clings to you and begs you to stay little and dressed in overalls forever?

That would be my choice.


Nope...he got an iPhone and I've gotta say, I'm a little jealous.

While Brian was home sick last week, I took many years (yes...YEARS) worth of magazines that I had saved for the recipes and finally cut them all out. Something I should have done forever ago. Next step...putting them in binders, but that's going to have to wait for another time.


That guy that I like so much is working all weekend AGAIN (gotta love 7 day work weeks for 5 weeks in a row...NOT) so I'm hanging here with the boys, one of whom (you can rule out the youngest shrub...and that leaves?) is banned from all technology. Loads of fun for all who dwell here. Sigh.

The question...who is REALLY grounded when a teenager is grounded?


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Heart Day

Valentine's Day in our little house is a pretty big deal.

When the boys were small we always did a big valentine's breakfast, even if it was a school day, and it was a pretty big deal for a few reasons....the first being that I would actually cook a big breakfast and the second being the little presents they would each get.

I don't normally cook breakfast. It's just the way it is. Unless it's a frozen waffle...that's cooking, right?


Once they hit the teen years it evolved from breakfast to supper because, well, they weren't always that chipper early in the morning.

5 year olds are chipper. 15 year olds are not.

So tonight we'll celebrate.

(And m&m's on the table? Not good. I keep grabbing a few every time I walk by them...and I keep coming up with excuses to walk by them. I think I'v taken out like 50 loads of trash. So far. I'm sure I'll find more...)

Also, in celebration of love day, 25% off anything in the shop. Use code 'ValentinesDay25' at checkout. Coupon only good for today!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

This weekend I made homemade red velvet cupcakes in anticipation of Valentine's Day.

Well, I really made them because I've been in the house all week caring for a 12 year old who has finally stomped on the swine flu and is now feeling better...and while watching FoodTV this week , Brian thought these looked good.

And if you have H1N1 and are miserable and ask your mama for red velvet cupcakes, then good golly...she's gonna make them.


The recipe called for 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of red food color, but I barely had 2 tablespoons...and a trip to the store just wasn't going to happen.

I can't imagine them being any more red...and for the first time EVER, I had no desire to stick my finger in and lick the bowl.

Come I the only one who likes raw cake batter?

Anyway, they came out pretty red!

But let's face it. No one eats a red velvet cupcake for the cake's for the piles of yummy cream cheese frosting on top.

This was a great recipe...I halved it and still had a ton left over, perfect for spreading on graham crackers. Not that I would know.


These were pretty good, though the boy I made them for didn't end up even trying one. Oh well. And I've learned that my family isn't big on red velvet.

I liked them and have lots left over...does anybody want some?


Here's the recipe I used...Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


This weekend we cleaned up the has been so sunny and warm here, but the rains are coming again.


Along the way, we had someone watching us:

Maggie cat, hidden in a little tree.


In all honesty, that guy that I like so much cleaned the backyard. I sat at the patio table to show my support.

It's the thought that counts, right?


Friday, February 11, 2011

A Week In The House

The view inside my little house on my little street is much the same as it's been all week.

Sick boy. On my bed.

(or on the couch.)

First off...H1N1 is no fun and I would never wish it on anyone. Second, today is day 5 and his temp is down to 99.9. Like I keep saying, baby steps. Third, Brian is feeling well enough to roll his eyes when I suggested we watch The Sound of Music (hey, we're running out of movies!). And last, no one else in our family has shown any signs of it. Praise God.

I, on the other hand, am going stir crazy. I made banana bread yesterday and then remembered that the only person in our little house who likes banana bread is Matthew, who is away at college. I cleaned out the pantry and the linen closet and under the boys bathroom sink. I've watched Oprah every day and every single episode of House Hunters that has been on.

So this morning I took a pile of magazines and poured a diet cherry coke into a wine glass (only because I took every glass out of the cabinet to run through the dishwasher) and sat on my little front porch.

It was nice.

And quiet.

But for reals, I am totally craving adult conversation. I am missing it so much. And the early morning interactions with crossing guards this week are not the same thing.

I must say, the sunshine felt better than I could have ever imagined.

Hello, February!

Valentine's Day is on Monday and I have been looking forward to a hot date on Sunday night with that guy that I like so much for weeks...but I'm thinking we might be canceling our plans.


It's OK, we'll reschedule for when the youngest shrub (shrub-ette?) is feeling better...maybe next weekend?

And Happy Birthday to my cousin Laura!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Around Our House

All the Valentine's Day orders shipped this week, with the last of them going out this morning. I would like to publicly thank the US Postal Service for providing me with free pick up at my house, while I am still in my PJ's.

I am thankful.


I love how things come in waves...this week seemed to be the 'joyful' wave, with orders for various necklaces using that word.

I made banana bread with bananas I found in my outside loaf with walnuts (for the daddy) and one with chocolate chips (for the boys).

I used this recipe but did a couple of things different (which is why I never post recipes, Tim!)...
  1. I doubled the recipe.
  2. I made the topping without the walnuts and instead added them into one of the loaves and added chocolate chips to the other...maybe 1 cup each?
  3. I didn't read ahead and put the strusel/crumb topping on at the beginning. worked well anyway.
  4. I baked it at 325, but it took 1 hr 20 minutes...I would do 350 next time.
I'm not much of a baker (all those directions to follow!) but I sampled one of them and it was really'll be perfect for breakfasts.

A few weeks ago I had one of my older boys carry this pot from the backyard to the front porch and it decided to start blooming this week...perfect timing for Valentine's Day!


Brian is slowly getting better. His fever is now hovering near normal but he still has zero appetite and looks pretty rough...but every day is a little bit better.

He actually spent a few minutes out of bed/off the couch and played a video game...and then napped for an hour after. Poor babe.

Baby steps!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


One of my favorite things about my oldest son is that he is so quick to laugh, especially when he's trying hard not to.


Last night he showed up at home all dressed up.

I asked him what was up and he wouldn't tell, though when I asked who the girl was he couldn't help but laugh.

And the harder he tried not to, the bigger his smile became.

Problem was, he brought his roommate as back-up and I could get absolutely no info out of them.

I hope they know that I will remember that and when they come for food, I might not be willing to share.

Just sayin'.

And then at 6:45am I received a text and a picture...a picture of Caesars Palace in Vegas with the message 'love you! And yes, there is a girl!'

What a brat.


Inside our little house, the youngest shrub is perking up a bit after causing me to shake in my boots for the last 36 hours. Takes a lot to freak me out but I've been a worried mama!

He actually ate a few spoonfuls of jello and his temp is down to a low 102 (hovered near 105 most of yesterday and last night)...I'm thankful the tamiflu and/or antibiotics are starting to kick in.


So far today we have watched Iron Man and Avatar and Night In The Museum.

Too bad you can't watch chick flicks with a 12 year old.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Sick One

The most perfect thing to drink when sick (in our little house, that is) is orangina...but only the orangina in the tiny little bottles. Why not the big bottles? I have no clue...but I am sure it has something to do with the cute factor of the small bottles.

But we ran out and I had absolutely no desire to
  • a: run to the store
  • b: wait for that guy that I like so much to stop at the store on his way home.

Desperate, I made homemade orangina with stuff we always have around....oj and pellegrino.

It's easy. Fill a glass 3/4 of the way with orange juice and then top it off with some sparkly water...just enough to give it a little fizz.

Mix it up and throw in 2 straws...there's something about double straws that help you feel better.

Trust me on's a proven fact.


The youngest shrub has had a few really rough days...and even rougher nights. High fevers, coughy, achy, pukey...all add up to one miserable kiddo.

After a night of not being able to get his temp under 104 (scary) we got into the DR first thing this morning.

H1N1. Check.
Ear infection. Check.
Strep throat. Check.
Bronchitis. Check.
Pink eye. Check.

He is so sick.


I am thankful for modern medicine...he's on a bucket load of stuff and I can't wait for him to feel a little better.

In the meantime, my house is a wreck. First I was down for a week and now I am on hovering mom patrol, which means nothing is getting done.

This is only from the boys hamper in the bathroom...not sure if I will ever catch up.

Oh well.

(Is there a laundry fairy? If so, could you send her to my house?)

Tonight...we sleep?




Monday, February 7, 2011

More Sickies

I've got a houseful of fresh citrus lovers in our little house with the current fave being blood oranges.

They still shock me when I cut into them, but they are so sweet at this time of year...and packed full of vitamin c, which we are apparently in desperate need of.

(It's 3:30am and Brian just woke with a 103 fever. Sigh.)

Have you ever tried them?

On the flip side, my neighbor who doesn't cook brought over a 'meal' (her words, not mine...too funny!) while Michael was out of town and I had what Brian has (yes, we are absolutely pathetic around here) and was stuck on the couch.

Blood oranges and krispy of champions.

Speaking of champions...hooray Packers!


I was sitting at my desk and glanced out the window just in time to see this little guy walking down the sidewalk.

Just taking a Sunday stroll, I guess.

That guy that I like so much made it home yesterday...even after I called and (for the first time ever) told him he might want to stay away.

We are, after all, dropping like flies.

But he likes me and his offspring, thankfully, and made it home in time to watch some football and man the grill.

It's now 3:40am and Brian is finally sleeping, so I am going to crawl back in bed, too.

In the morning...after the sun rises, I am going to open all the windows (supposed to be 75!) and disinfect this house and see if I can't convince these germs to leave. us. alone.

I hope they listen.

Enough is enough.

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