Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Call To Arms!

I don't like getting political here because my ideas are usually in the minority and I'm all ready considered counter cultural enough for homeschooling my 20 kids. I'm also not one to scream and yell about what executives are getting paid because that's up to the company bean counters and shareholders to deal with. If they want to pay Joe Average one million a year to fill a fancy office, that's their prerogative because this is America and we have that freedom. However, when I heard that after recognizing the US is in a recession, signing a bail out bill in the trillions and fussing at the auto executives for flying private planes, Congress gave themselves a raise, I had to say something. After all, we, the people, are the share holders in this corporation called the USA, and while not immoral or illegal, I think it's the height of poor judgment to give yourself a raise when you know your company is in the weeds. It would be like me fussing at Bo Hunkmeister for blowing our budget and then going out to Kohl's for a new wardrobe. And none of those guys and gals on the hill are in desperate need of that raise to make next month's mortgage payment.

Now thanks to the magic of the Internet, we can have ready access to our representatives.

Here in Lil' Rhody we have:

Representative Patrick Kennedy
patrick.kennedy@mail.house.gov
202-225-4911 (D.C.)
401-729-5600 (here in Pawtucket)
number for his Chief of staff, Adam Brand 202-225-4911
WTH?!? He has a chief of staff?? This implies more than one staff person!! When do I get staff?!?

Representative Jim Langevin
202-225-2735
401-732-9400
his Chief of Staff, Kristin Nicholson 202-225-2735
Bo Hunkmeister has been holding out on me about this staff thing!

Senator Jack Reed
202-224-4642
401-943-3100
Neil Campbell, Chief of Staff 202-224-4642
This guy has a media director, chief of staff AND a scheduler. Can I get a scheduler? I'm two month behind on the kid's history lessons here.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
202-224-2921
401-453-5294
Mindy Myers, Chief of Staff 202-224-2921

Go to Project Vote Smart to find your guys and give them a call or drop an e-mail. Be polite and respectful, but ask:
1. Is now a good time to give yourself a raise?
2. Where is the money coming from?
3. In light of the needs facing the average American, is this a good use of the voter's tax dollars?

I'm curious to know what they would say.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This is our new electronic Christmas card! Also known as “I couldn’t get my act together to do the real thing!” Every Christmas, I normally make baked goods for the neighbors, decorate the house, and make Christmas cards with the kids to mail to our friends and relatives. This year, I’m counting it progress that I’ve vacuumed recently. I actually thought about just buying some Christmas cards and sending them out, but my Art-School-Itis kicked in.

We are also trying to save money for our new 25 passenger van (with flame decals) to accommodate our growing brood. Considering the cost of postage these days and the lack of a government bailout for my Christmas plans, something had to go. I mean, my card mailing list used to be about 60 people, but courtesy of Facebook, that list has grown to 150. Besides, by blogging I can tell you more of what’s going on in our lives because I love to hear what’s going on in your lives.

So here goes...

In April, we received a new play set with help from the grandparents.

With four boys, this one ought to last at least two years before it begs to be put out to pasture. If we have any more kids, we might ask the grandparents for help with the purchase of a cattle ranch somewhere out west.

In May, Bo Hunkmeister did his piratey thing.

I think he makes an excellent pirate. I had started making plans in my head to join him for next year's encampment but God had other ideas – like Baby Number 6 (who is still being referred to as Gummi – any suggestions for alternative names will be gladly considered).

The big event of the year was our RV trip to Oklahoma. We all had a terrific time and being true children of the new millennium, we blogged about it here. We hope one day to do a trip all the way across the U.S.

In September, we went to North Carolina to visit my brother. Luckily, no hamsters were harmed on this trip and a fun time was had by all (right, guys?… guys?). Again, I emphasize, get thee to a southern pot luck!

Justin still works for Newfangled Web Factory, a fabulous company (oh, hey Mark) and if any of you have a large corporation that wants its website re-done, these guys are top shelf. I’m still homeschooling the kids in between making desserts with too much sugar in them.

As for the children, they’re still growing despite my protestations.

Princess Buttercup is now 11, a lovely young lady who takes her nose out of a book only long enough to sleep, eat and periodically shower.
Princess Git-Er-Done is nine, a promising violinist and all ready showing herself to be quite the capable mother, albeit some 10-12 years earlier than necessary.
W. Bear just turned seven and is showing signs of becoming an engineer. If you’re lucky, he'll show you some of his cool dance moves.
Tater, who’s four, loves to sing, is learning to write and still knows how to charm the dickens out of Mom.
And that leaves two-year old Baby and, well I've already blogged enough about him.

But enough about me, how about you? Thank you to all who sent us cards (and delivered some yummy baked goods!)
Carolyn – congrats on the new baby! Any names yet?
Maura – congrats on the new baby! Any names yet?
(what is with all you ladies having babies, anyway?)
Maresy – your kids are too cute. Where’s Marilyn?
Bob – find the body yet?
John – you have fine young men there. By the way, Happy Birthday.
Judy – thank you for your kind words, we’d love for you to visit if you’re ever in New England.
Lisa – your girls are beautiful.
Kate – your girls are beautiful too and you need to have a book contract (I didn't take your car).

I wish you all a wonderful holiday and many blessings in the new year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

French Toast Panic!

The weathermen have predicted a huge snow storm for tomorrow. This of course sends millions of Rhode Islanders to the grocery store for milk and bread despite the fact that the weathermen are notoriously wrong. The Weathermen Underground was actually a group of people during the 60's who had to go underground because they were getting weather predictions accurate and this cheesed off the mainstream, right wing elitist weathermen ("We can't have accuracy! That's just too...too...helpful!"). Wait, no, I just made that up...

Anyway, wondering what to do with your abundant stash of milk and bread?

Baked French Toast
(courtesy of my sister-in-law)

1 lb of bread
8 eggs
3 cups milk
2 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray. Rip bread into bite size pieces and put in pan. Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl and pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Topping
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Melt butter in small sauce pan. Mix the sugar and corn syrup in and simmer until bubbling (stir occasionally). Pour over top of dish French Toast and bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes.


If you're nice to me, I'll share my Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This is What I Want

Ok, forget what I said about the home/waterbirth thing. This hospital in Taiwan is where I really want to have my baby.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hi, I'm on Crack


I'm six months pregnant. I've got five kids. I homeschool 'em. Why am I telling you this? To drive home the fact that time and energy is not something I'm basking in. So when my six year old son asks me, "Can I have that Candy Land Cake for my birthday?" Do I try to steer him to something a little bit more manageable? Heck no! I say, "Sure honey!" Why? It's Art-School-Itis.

Art-School-Itis is a non-treatable genetic trait which is exacerbated by attending an art school where you're taught stuff like how to make clothing from some glue sticks and gauche. I know what you're thinking, "But Domestic Goddess, lots of people are crafty like that." I know, but Art-School-Itis takes it that special, interpretive step further. Art-School-Itis is more than just the overwhelming desire to wear black, listen to the Smiths and drink far too much coffee. It's the inability to walk away from a creative challenge. It's the nagging voice in your head every time you see something that says, "I could make that." It's the overwhelming desire to craft mushrooms out of meringue for a yule log because cut up marshmallows just don't reflect the essence of a real woodland mushroom. It's the whacked out notion that with a glue gun and a few found objects, you could probably build a car with superior gas mileage.

So when my kids ask for a cake, I can't just order a pretty one from Wal-Mart. I can't even get a cake and doctor it a bit. No, I have to spend four hours and $25.00 on candy. Don't let my nutritionist mother in law see this post. She's liable to call social services on me.

If anyone knows of a support group, please let me know. But first I have to finish this medieval shirt for my brother.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Random Thoughts #2

1. If I'm the Domestic Goddess, then my parents are Grandparent Dieties. They took my three little boys to their house for a week. The peace and quiet here at Casa La Diva was, it the words of Cory Booker, pure "deliciousness." Of course, now that the puppies are back here, my mother is befuddled by the enormous silence at her house.

2. Bo Hunkmeister wrote a thought provoking post here. Give him some comment crack, y'all.

3. If anyone knows of an obstetrician or midwife willing to let me do a VBAC in the state of Rhode Island, please call me. If you know some one willing to let me birth in a jacuzzi, I'll throw in $100 finder's fee for you.

4. See this little bundle of cuteness?

Hard to believe that he once pushed my stomach up so high that I'd get heartburn in my eye balls. Or that he'd do a rendition of Lord of the Dance on my bladder every morning at 6:00 am. Or that he made me want to eat everything in a ten mile radius. Hard to believe he's going to be 7 in a few days.

5. Speaking of babies, I have to take a three hour glucose tolerance test on Saturday. That means not eating anything past 10:00 pm on Friday and then subsisting all Saturday morning on a hideously sweet drink all while getting four blood tests. I can't help but think if men got pregnant, there would be a better test than this. Like, eat this pizza, have a beer and we'll give you one blood test while you watch "Remember the Titans".

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Finally, Someone Who Understands Me....

Mrs. Bear!

from the photographer:
"Black bears typically have 2 cubs, rarely 1 or 3. In 2007, in northern New Hampshire, a black bear sow gave birth to 5 healthy young... After spending nearly 4 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 6 weeks, I had that once in a lifetime opportunity and photographed them in the shadows and dull lighting of the evening... The print is properly focused and well exposed with all 6 bears posing as if they were in a studio for a family portrait. "

Of course, Bo Hunkmeister, graphic designer extraordinaire, couldn't help but put his touch on the photo.


I can only imagine the comments Mrs. Bear gets:
"Are they all yours? By the same bear?"
"You forest-school them? Is that legal?"
"How do you keep up with all your cubs? I can bearly handle my two!"
yes, bad pun

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seen Any Kisses?

It's been a whole week since I've started looking for the Hershey kisses that Bo Hunkmeister hid through the house. As of 6:28 this evening, I'm up to 71. Only four more to go!! I might need to hire some people to come help me look. Bo said I couldn't use our kids but he said nothing about hired guns.

Some of you ladies have told me, "Oh, I wish my husband would do something like that." You have to remember that your spouse probably has some other wonderful qualities that Bo doesn't have, and that you can celebrate that special quality in your man. What qualities Bo is lacking, I don't know, but I suppose there's got to be one. And no gagging out there over that last statement, you were warned in my earlier posts about my esteem for the Bo Hunkmeister.

Now some of you guys have told Bo, "Hey, you're making us look bad." All I can say is, "STEP OFF!" Don't diss my man! That's the hormones speaking, if you hadn't already guessed.

Anyway, I might have to put the kiss search on hold in light of Thanksgiving. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Cooking-Fest-O-Rama: brining the bird, dicing, chopping and sneaking bits of bacon when no one is looking.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday and remember - pace yourself!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. In case you haven't been reading faithfully (what?!? you haven't?!? I'm hurt!), Bo Hunkmeister has hidden 75 Hershey's Kisses around our house. If I find them all, I get a dinner out. The up side is that as of today, I'm at 65. The down side of all this is that I'm finding lots of nasty, dusty spots in my house.

2. Princess Buttercup found this website in a magazine: FreeRice. It's a site that has vocabulary tests, geography tests, and other tests. The gig is for each question you get correct, rice will be donated to a family in need. They explain it all a lot better than I do at their FAQ page. Anyways, the kids are having lots of fun filling the rice bowl, and (this is music to a homeschooler's ears) they're doing schoolwork without even knowing it.

3. Blue Cross/Blue Shield is dropping two major hospitals from its network over a payment dispute. The two hospitals that happen to have the highest delivery rates in the state. You'd think that BC/BS wouldn't want a bunch of angry pregnant ladies on their front step. Didn't their mommas teach them not to mess with pregnant ladies?

4. Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, said in an interview after election day that he wants to celebrate America's "racial deliciousness." Deliciousness? Of my many positive qualities, I never thought of myself as edible.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What the Over Achieving Mom Does for Her Son's Birthday

I found this on Cake Wrecks



Go here to see how it's done.

Can I eat the cake scraps?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mr. Fabulosity Himself - Bo Hunkmeister!

I had a very good weekend. It started Saturday with Bo taking the kids to a movie while Baby took a nap. That meant two hours by myself in a quiet house. All those with small children out there know what I mean.

Then today we went to church, and some girlfriends and I went for a shopping/lunch trip straight after. Not only do I return four hours later to a house cleaner than I left it (including the infamous mess known as my dining room table), but I find a note on my kitchen cabinet:

My dear, hidden through out the house are 75 Hershey Kisses for you to find. Find 20 and get a Dunkin' Donuts latte, find 40 and get a foot rub, find 60 and Bo will cook dinner on the evening of your choice, find all 75 and Bo will take you out to dinner.

Suffice to say, within 5 minutes I had found 40 of them. Bo was impressed until I reminded him that asking a pregnant woman to sniff out chocolate was like asking a normal person to breath. Not only was he asking a pregnant lady to find chocolate, but there was the added incentive of being taken out to dinner. Chocolate? Dinner out? Say no more!

He did add the condition that I could not have the children help me find the kisses (darn! he knows me too well). So as of 7:30 pm, I only have 20 more chocolates to find. I'm putting out a prayer request for psychic abilities. Of course, part of this is entertainment for Bo as he watches his wife turn into a three year old, running through the house looking for chocolate.

Princess Buttercup, bless her heart, asked Bo, "Does she get to collect all the prizes or does she have to pick just one?"
To which Bo replied, "No, she can have all the prizes."

Remind me to slip Buttercup a five spot tomorrow. After my dinner out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Public Service Announcement #324

I laughed so hard I wet myself. Some of you might have seen these before but I felt the need to share some laughs with the world
Weight Watchers recipe cards from the 70's

Parenting Advice?!?

Sandy left a comment on my last blog asking for parenting tips. After I stopped laughing and picked myself up off the floor, here's what I came up with so far:

1. Rejoice in the small things.
Anything from "Hey! He said a new word today" to "Well, at least he didn't puke on the carpet!" (usually the latter ones are the situations I most rejoice in)

2. Have a sense of humor
see above

3. Have lots of kids
If you have two kids and one becomes a miscreant, you have a 50% failure record as a parent. If you have six and one heads south, your failure record is only 17%.

4. Make those kiddies work!
A two year old can help throw stuff on the washing machine, pull stuff out of a grocery bag, etc. The sooner they get used to helping, the better.

5. Ask for help (did I say that?)
Forget about parenting books from people who only have one kid and a degree from Harvard. Ask your friends what worked/didn't work for them. Remember, there is nothing new under the sun; there have been other moms who's kids have run pant-less down the street in broad daylight (not that... mine...ever did...)

Well that's it for now. I'll post more after cocktail hour nap time, if I think of any.

Bo, any contributions?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Some Funny Things

At least I think so.

1. I wrote a book review of Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile's "I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood" on Amazon. The same rambunctious one I wrote here expect for being a bit more condensed. Anyway, I looked up the review the other day and some one left a comment "Do you even have children?" Yeah, just a few....

2. W. Bear, my son was reading the list of character traits we have hanging up on our wall (because I'm that kind of homechooling mom) and says, "Well, I tried self control but I didn't like it."

3. I asked Princess Buttercup why she was fretting so much over her Christmas list in early November. She replies, "It's my pensive nature, Mom!"

4. I turned down a piece of chocolate after dinner and W. Bear says, "Oh no! Mom's lost her mind!" Tater says, "Oh no!!" W. Bear says, "Oh no! We're being dramatic!"

5. I'm giving a spelling test to Buttercup and I say, "The word is forty-eight, in ten years I'll be forty-eight." W. Bear says, "Mom, that makes you thirty-eight now."
Buttercup says, "No W., she's twenty-nine!"

P.S. Check out the award winning love cook create knit's free giveaway.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ooo!! I Need a Dress for the Award Ceremony!


My blog friend, Lori (whom I actually met in real life) gave me this award. She's a homeschool mom like me with seven (gasp!) kids. Go check out her blog "Reflections and Ramblings of a Not-So-Super Woman" and give her some comment crack love.

Thanks Lori! You made my day!



Now for receiving the award, here are the conditions:

1. The award can be displayed on the recipient's blog.
2. Add a link to the person from who you received the award.
3. Nominate up to seven other blogs.
4. Add their links to your blog.
5. Send a message to each of those you awarded to tell them about the award.

I'm going to follow Lori's lead and only nominate one. That way I won't have to rack my pregnant brain to think of six more. I nominate "love cook create knit". She always has something interesting to say and I like her blogs on exploring a more environmentally friendly/frugal way of life. Rock on ladies!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Life in the 80's

The Daily Oy recently put up a post about memories of being at my house in the 80's. Read his blog first so the rest of this makes sense.

I have mostly fond memories of the 80's and my brother's friends. Well, I do cringe a little thinking about how I tried to interject myself into their activities (pesky little sister, anyone?).

My eldest brother, who I will call K, started a band with his friends. They practiced in our rec room and called themselves Armageddon. I didn't know what the word meant but it sounded pretty cool. I don't think they ever played a whole song through to the end. When I was in high school, I dated a guitarist who did the same thing. Many years were spent waiting for musical closure. This is why I'm so happy Bo Hunkmeister doesn't play guitar.

RM of the Daily Oy was a nice guy, but it was the drummer I had a crush on. My ten year old aspirations were to grow up and marry him. Having later dated a drummer in high school, I'm glad I didn't marry a drummer either. Plus the drummer came from a large family and well, large families are just weird (that was sarcasm). I did appreciate how K's friends didn't just blow me off as a mere nuisance. Or at least faked being accommodating of me.

I did not think you guys were absolute losers. My goodness, y'all were probably the first to eat sushi in your class. I thought that was exceedingly sophisticated of you. I remember you guys doing a teppan-yaki dinner at my house. No mere going for a slice of pizza for you dudes! Do you still count shrimp tails?

And for the record, we did have video games. We had an Apple 2e on which we could play Brick Out and Pong. I don't recall if we had Atari. If we did, my dad probably bought it second hand which means it didn't work well. And we had a Pachinko machine. I remember seeing my mom entranced in front of it one day, and then wondering if we were going to be able to eat dinner that night. I'm sure my kids feel the same way when they see me in front of the computer blogging.

The third wheel thing...well, even his own siblings felt like third wheels when K was up to his plans. It's not a reflection on you, RM, it's K's inability to be sensitive to others when focused on what he was after.(sorry, K, had to be said)

Perhaps the only scarring from that time was growing up liking Led Zeppelin. Most of my junior high friends were into Menudo and Duran Duran and looked at me like I was a counter culture weirdo for liking Led Zeppelin. I realize now, it was training for becoming the counter culture large family homeschooling weirdo I am today.

Off topic here - You asked in the comment section how I make my guy feel like he's the most important thing in the world. I try to remember he's a man, not another girlfriend. I try to follow some of his interests, even if I don't understand them. I don't treat him like he's another one of the kids. I try not to say anything derogatory about him in public (not that we don't have issues but there's a time and place for resolving those things and trash talking about him to the girlfriends ain't one of them). Basically, as cheeky, holier than thou, and preachy as it sounds, I try to treat him the way I would want to be treated.

So RM, angst not, my friend, it's all good.

Technology

My brother recently put me in touch with a friend of his from high school (the editor of the aforementioned Daily Oy). It's really kind of cool to instantly communicate with someone so far away. However, I'm befuddled by the myriad of ways to do so. Do I respond as a comment on his blog? Do I write on my blog? Do I post any of this on Facebook?
Maybe it's pregnancy brain, but I'm having a hard time getting my head around the whole Facebook idea. I still don't know what a poke is. My only guess is that it's another way to waste time (was that sarcastic? it's the head cold speaking). And keeping up with the comments flying around on my "wall". It's like when my kids all start speaking to me at once. Ack! Quiet!
My brother sent me a friend request. I'M YOUR SISTER! I'VE PUT UP WITH YOU FOR MY ENTIRE LIFE!! And in all honesty, he's put up with the little princess herself for at least 38 years. I'd say we're already friends of some sort, aren't we? Thanks to Facebook for making me come out of the closet and say that. As a friend once pointed out, "The more ways I have to communicate, the less I do so." (someone contact MXB and tell him to e-mail, call, Facebook, IM, ping, poke, whatever)
All right, enough ranting. Time to eat. Then find a sunny spot to take a nap in.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ooo! A mention on someone's blog!

My eldest brother emailed me this blog today. I'm still trying to find out who amongst his high school friends it was. But I'm quite flattered.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Think God....

...has a sense of humor
...thinks I have the strength of four women
...thinks I have nerves of steel

Why do I know this?

BECAUSE WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER BOY!!!


(Do all ultrasound techs take such great pride in getting the best shot of baby's dinky and pointing it out? Mine did.)


Y'all can start the prayer vigil for my sanity now.

I can already tell Gummi's going to be a handful. Here he is with his butt up in the air and his legs over his face. Cirque du Soleil, anyone?



~sigh~

Anyway, all is well with baby and I will leave you with this parting pic.


Gummi sayz, "Get me a Latte."
Obey the Gummi.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A New Reason to Love Mamala

There are many reasons I love my Mother in Law. For example:

  1. She likes sushi
  2. She doesn't fuss at me about how I raise the kids
  3. She's stylish
  4. She introduced me to Trader Joe's
  5. She reads my blog
  6. She produced my husband
  7. She's not a high maintenance house guest
  8. She's great with the kids without spoiling them rotten

I could go on but the reason that trumps all of the above is this recipe she sent me recently:

CHOCOLATE CAKE-IN-A-MUG
1 coffee mug
4 Tbsp. cake flour (plain, not self-rising)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa
pinch of salt
1 egg
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. oil
Small splash of vanilla
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips, optional

Add dry ingredients to mug, mix well with a fork.
Add egg, mix thoroughly.
Pour in milk and oil and vanilla, mix well.
Add chips, if using.
Put mug in microwave, and cook for three minutes on 1000 watts (may be slightly less depending on you microwave).
Cake will rise over top of mug--do not be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little; tip onto a plate if desired.
Eat!
(This can serve two if you want to feel slightly more virtuous.)


Oh yes, that's right, molten chocolate cake can be yours for five minutes of effort.
Now I ask you, how can you not love a woman who shares this bit of yumminess with you?!?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Zen Master

A conversation between Bo Hunkmeister and myself this morning:

Bo: "You look nice in that outfit."
Me: "Thanks, it's from M.E. [names changed to protect the innocent]."
Bo: "I didn't know you guys are the same size."
Me: "We are for the most part, except the pants she gave me are [sheepish grin] too small."
Bo: "She has shorter legs, that's why."

Do you see what the Zen Master has done here? He doesn't confirm my hinting at my big butt, but comes up with another perfectly plausible reason why the pants don't fit. Bo, darling, what ever mojo you got that helps you do this, I'm gonna bottle and sell!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Did You Hear Something?

We're at dinner tonight and Bo Hunkmeister decides to have a little fun with the kids. We had a packet of wasabe paste and he offered $1.00 to anyone who would take a taste. Princess Buttercup, the concrete sequential child, carefully assessed the parameters of the bet and declined. Princess Git Er Done on the other hand, being random, jumped right on the bet. She ingested the 16th of a teaspoon amount and immediately sputtered, "Ack! Suicide! I gotta learn to start listening to those little voices in my head that say, 'No, no, no, don't do it!!' "

This explains a lot about her....

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Who's That Handsome Devil?



This is the man who, in thirty years time, would have to put up with the Domestic Goddess before Bo Hunkmeister came along. No wonder he had such a big smile on my wedding day. Anyway, Happy Birthday Dad!




p.s. I would have put a picture of my mom here on her birthday but then she would have never taken me to Kohl's again. Yes, I am that shallow.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sinking a Little Bit Lower

I was watching a show last night when I saw a commercial for Axe Dark Temptation Body spray. It's a new body spray for men that smells like... chocolate. According to the ad, it's supposed to make women absolutely wild about you. According to the website (which I visited in the spirit of good journalism), all us gals need is the right scent to be turned into sex crazed maniacs. I just have a few questions for the makers of this spray:

  1. Do you really think women are so shallow that all it takes to make us attracted to a guy is the whiff of chocolate? Did your momma not clue you in to what's important to a woman?
  2. Does this come with a free sample of "Have Some Character" body wash?
  3. Did "Does Not Fear Commitment" or "Respects You as A Woman" not work as a scent?
  4. Is this mistakenly giving the guy permission to continue to act like a neaderthal as long as he has a bottle of this handy?
  5. According to your website, this spray supposedly makes women between 18 (I hope) and 28 go crazy over you. Does it make women older than that laugh?
  6. What happens when the girl you're interested in decides that she's happier to just get her own bottle rather than hang out with you?
  7. When the scent fades, are we allowed to dope slap you for thinking so little of us?
  8. Can you make a scent for women that smells like "Call Me When You Can Behave Like a Real Man?"
  9. Am I being too snarky?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our Multi-Cultural Family

For those of you not in the know, I am half Japanese (or "Hapa" for the truly hip). What does this mean? This means kids who have the following thought patterns:

"What's for dinner?" they ask.
"Chicken, rice, and broccoli" I say.
"Do we have nori?" they ask (not even considering the cuisine)
"Sorry, no." I say.
"What?!? Can we go to the bodega and get some?" they ask
"No, I highly doubt the Dominican owned store has Japanese products." I say
"Why not?" they ask.

Sigh......

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Every Moment is a Teachable Moment

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Boys....

Tonight I'm putting my boys to bed and, as usual, they ask for a bed time story. My eldest boy picks out Angelina Ballerina. Now I'm an open minded, progressive mom, so I'm not reading anything into this. Then as I'm getting the youngest into his jammies, my eldest says, "Hey Mom, look at all the cool ways Angelina can kill people with her ballet moves!"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

After a long morning of trashing the Monopoly money and game pieces, up ending the Battleship box, dumping the dominoes out and whacking his sister on the head, Baby decides he needs a snack. Having only been absent a minute or two, I come back to the kitchen to find this



garlic bananas, anyone?

Did I mention it's only 10:00 am? Help? Please?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lazy

Sorry I haven't been blogging recently. Gummi has been making it difficult. If I'm not sleeping, then I'm eating. If I'm not eating, then I'm sleeping. And if by some small chance I'm not eating or sleeping, then I'm wandering around the house looking for someone to rub my back. That's right, I've become....my cat. So in the mean time, I will leave you with this (I double dog dare you not to get weepy at how cherubic this child sounds).

Monday, August 18, 2008

That there Debi Pearl book, part II

My Dear R,

Your father has bought to my attention that my recent post about Debi Pearl has caused you some concern. So I am writing that I may put some of those concerns to rest and restore my status in your eyes as "Most Favored Auntie".

My ideas about "submission" have been rolling around my head for the past 17 years; being thought out, read about, discussed and re-thought out as I finish each year of marriage. So my idea of submission to my husband is not the typical one embraced by our society (meaning being a door mat). My ideas about submission are as follows:

First and foremost I believe God created man and woman on equal footing. It says so right in Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." It doesn't say God created man and then man needed a lackey so God created a woman. However, to me, "equal" doesn't mean "same", it means "of equal value." If given the choice between living without my hand or my foot, that would be hard. They're different, performing different functions but I really couldn't say one is more valuable than the other, now could I? I want them both, and working together they can accomplish many things.

Now, while of same importance, I believe men and women have different functions and purposes. If the world thought/acted entirely like women, there would be lots of talking, but probably little decided. If the world thought/acted entirely like men, we'd probably have lots of activity, but we're not sure to what purpose. I think our society often thinks equal means same and therefore we women tend to think men think/act/feel like us. Let me tell you something sister, they don't! Women tend to value connection and relationships, men tend to value respect and honor. Women can connect emotions with an event more readily than men can. So one idea of submission means to respect your husband as the man he is. Don't try to treat him like he's another one of your girlfriends. Look to what he values and try to meet those needs.

My second idea regarding submission relates to the leader of a house. A lot of people say that their marriage is completely equal, everything that needs to get done for the family, all decisions made are done 50/50. If that works for other folks, that's fine. However, I think that, like a corporation, there needs to be one final person who says, "The buck stops here." (bonus points - which US president had that quote on their desk?) There needs to be that one spokes person for the family. Knowing my skill set, I think that position in my family is best filled by your uncle, Bo Hunkmeister. However, realize that any good leader worth his salt, before taking action, will seriously consider the wise counsel of his wife and trusted friends around him. And any leader worth his salt leads by example.

My third idea is that submission is only to your husband. So if some other guy thinks women should not have a job outside of the house, that's fine for him but you don't have to abide by that. Nowhere in the Bible does God call for women submitting to any other man's authority but their husband's. If you want a career, then go get one girl! But it is then incumbent (look the word up) upon you, dear R, with the wise input of your parents who know you and love you, to find the man who shares your values, who recognizes the talents God has given you and who desires to see you grow as a person. Now, if in a fit of romantic insanity, you marry some selfish knob who thinks women should stay at home barefoot and pregnant (and I am currently wearing shoes, so rest your worried mind), then you unfortunately will have a difficult time submitting to your husband as he will probably expect things of you that you will not agree with.

And God needs female leaders. Look up Esther, or Deborah, or Abigail, or Jael. Or your church's associate pastor, or Condoleeza Rice, or Beth Moore. But your career choice should be something you and your husband both can agree on. And just because you don't have a career outside of your house doesn't mean you're not doing something important either. 2 Timothy 1:5 says "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also." So who influenced Timothy's faith the most? Grandma and Mom. And Billy Graham couldn't have done what he did without Ruth behind him. Charles and John Wesley would have been nothing without their mother's guidance.

So as you can see, I'm not advocating that you submit to your husband like some crazed Jonas Brothers groupie or a cult member. Just that a little respect for the husband in your life will go a long way towards having the happy marriage you want.

If you want the full sermon and teaching video, send Auntie a check for $29.95.

Love Always,
Auntie Domestic Goddess

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This Is Why I Love Him...

We're at the blood center this evening so Bo Hunkmeister can do his quarterly donation and the nurses are making small talk. Noticing me and my width, which is at its greatest at the end of the day, one nurse asks the usual set of questions: When are you due? Do you know what you're having? How many kids do you have? And this last one is my favorite because of the response we get when we say this is our sixth baby. So we tell the nurse this is our sixth baby, her eyes pop, her jaw drops and without missing a beat, Bo says, "You might take my blood but you can't slow me down."

Ain't he the greatest?


by the way, did you know 35% of Americans are eligible to give blood but only 3% of them do so?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Go Read This. Now.


I just finished reading this at my breakfast table. I was crying by the end (ok, so being pregnant might have something to do with it).

Thursday, August 07, 2008

This Was Amusing

I got this idea from Lori's blog (btw, lovely to meet you and your kiddies). Lori's was quite funny so I thought I give my name a try. The deal is you type your name followed by "needs" into the Google search box.

1. Dawn needs a guitarist - No thanks, dated one, so glad I married someone who doesn't play guitar.

2. Dawn needs a miracle - Already got one growing, but if I may be so bold as to ask for another in the form of four wheeled transportation?

3. Dawn needs a tripod - uhmm...

4. Dawn needs a reality check - bwahahahaha! My reality is fine. You should try it!

5. Dawn needs to fly - That would make getting errands done easier

6. Dawn needs to get over herself - Google, you sure know how to hurt a gal....

7. Dawn needs a big glass jar to grow her own "brain in the vat." - Ok, weird.

8. Dawn needs a history lesson - Ooo! Another book recommendation!

9. Dawn needs training - Hey! That's not fair! I'm house broken!

10. Dawn needs a latte - Well, that was not really on Google, but since we were talking about my needs....

You're next!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

And the Fodder Continues...

This is from the Silly Question Department:
The other day my friend "Laverne" (names have been changed to protect the silly) relayed a conversation she had with a mutual acquaintance, "Shirley." Shirley had called Laverne and asked if we were expecting again. Laverne said yes. Then Shirley asked, "Are they happy about it?"

Now that question struck me as kind of odd. First of all, why wouldn't we be happy? I'm not an unmarried teenager. I've been married 17 years and have five kids. If I'm already travlin' the big family road, why would one more be an unpleasant event? Secondly, even if I were unhappy, would I tell you? What good would it do? What would you say in response?

I think questions like this come from a society that has so divorced sex from pregnancy, that we're utterly surprised when pregnancy happens without our foreknowledge. Here's a little secret I've learned. No matter what form of birth control you use, outside of a hysterectomy, any sexual intercourse has the possibility of pregnancy. Seriously. I've known couples that, even after the husband had a vasectomy, were buying a pregnancy test.

In all honesty, we will have to get a bigger car and that has kind of bummed me out a bit (if you'd like to make a donations, make your checks out to "A New Flamin' Van for the Domestic Goddess"). But, like what I once read in a Randy Alcorn book, one person's difficulties should not diminish the value of another person's life. Basically, this pregnancy should not be any less a joyful occasion than the first child, who didn't require a new car purchase. So the long answer to Shirley's question is, yes, I am happy to be receiving a blessing and it would be great if you could be happy along with me.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A New Name!

As I said in a previous post, we thought we'd call this baby TBA. However, on Friday I had an ultrasound and the technician said, "See that gummi bear there? That's the baby."



I went home and relayed this conversation to the Bo Hunkmeister and then said how tired I was. Bo responds, "Gummi Bear kickin' your butt, eh?" And voila! A new name! And it works so well! As in:

Gummi wants ice cream.
Gummi says I need to lie down
Gummi Bear is making me eat this
Obey the Gummi

Great, eh?

A Special Gift

So we tell the kids on Sunday that it was our anniversary and immediately they want us to drive them to the Dollar Store so they can get us a gift. Not wanting any more ceramic surfing dolphins, I tell them that it's quite unnecessary to get us a gift. However, Princess Git Er Done can't help herself and leaves us this note on our night stand:



Who am I to argue with the Seventeen Years of Marriage Fairy? I'm goin' back to bed!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Romantic Dinner

Today is our anniversary.

The Bo Hunkmeister and I have been in wedded bliss for 17 years.

Normally, we'd go to one of many renown Providence restaurants: Gracie's, Mill's Tavern, Spain. Truly romantic fine dining experiences.

Tonight, I have a special request of Bo. I want to go the the A&W drive in in Smithfield and get a chili cheese dog with onion rings and a root beer float.

Can you tell I'm pregnant?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My First Midwife Visit

I knew being pregnant would provide lots of blog fodder.

I am expecting our sixth child. I mention this (again) to help the reality sink in for me so that you, gentle reader, will understand when I say I have experience peeing into small cups. Quick mental math (pregnant woman doing quick mental math-bwahhahaha!!) makes it 65 times, minimum, that I have hit the target. That's not including those pregnancy test sticks either.

Why am I blogging about this? Because like senior citizens, we pregnant ladies have the hormonal need to share our body functions. Mostly to mourn that our bodies are no longer under our control. If you're grossed out by any of this or think that this is more than you need to know about me, go here now.

Anyway, here I am at my first midwife visit with said familiar cup in hand. Walking into a bathroom with my hands full yet needing to turn on the light, my first thought is to hold the cup in my mouth to free up one hand. My second thought is that the nurse would probably get sick at the sight of lip marks on a urine sample cup.

So here I am aiming and doing my thing. But I need to know if I'm filling it up properly. Is there enough of a sample? Should I do more? And...oh man, I drop the cup! What do I do? Reach in and get the cup? But there's now nothing in it. And with my drawers around my ankles, can I reach the stack of new cups without making a mess? Do I have it in me to give another sample? Arrrrggghhh!

All this aggravation so the nurse could perform pregnancy test. WHAT?!? I've got two sticks at home I could have showed you!

Can't wait to see what fun the next visit has in store for me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Exciting News

Well, in case you haven't heard the news yet, the Domestic Goddess is in the family way, she has a bun in the oven, she is with child, all these euphemisms to say I am pregnant.

Again.

While not exactly planned, we're not surprised either. And we're happy. After all, if God rolls up in the 'hood with a tricked out Lincoln Navigator just for you, you're not going to tell him that now is really not a good time. Well, maybe with the gas prices being what they are...exchange the Navigator with a trip to Hawaii and you'll get my point.

One cool thing about being pregnant is the potential blog fodder. Why I could post at least week's worth of material on people's comments to me alone. Just the other day, I had a woman ask me, "Do you know what causes that?" Being hormonal, I answered, "Sex or water and I'm not willing to give up either." Mind you, this was to an elder of my church at a Christian woman's conference. Do you think God is in heaven, covering his eyes and slowly shaking his head? Yeah, I think so too.

Anyway, as usual with the blog, I was trying to think of a nickname for Number #6 (which itself seems a little cold) when I was inspired. You can blame the Mother In Law for this one. Bo Hunkmeister sent his mom a birthday card saying "with love from G, H, W, H, J and TBA." The Mother In Law writes back, "Congrats! PS. No family humor on this one. You cannot name him/her TBA. Promise???" Ooo, I can't resist! TBA! So until we can think of a better name than Thomasina Bernice Angelica or Titus Benedictus Alfonso, we'll just refer to our little blessing as TBA.

Hey! I just thought of something! TBA-The Blessing Abundant

I'm so clever....

My First Meme (don't even know how to pronounce it)

I got tagged for a meme! Wow! I've never felt so....relevant... to the Web! Well, thanks to Lori for this. Lori, I looked for you at Women of Faith (I figured since it was New England, I'd find you as soon as I stepped into the place) but got caught up rockin' to Nicole C. Mullen.

So here are the rules for the meme:
1) Link to the person who tagged me.
2) Mention the rules.
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.
4) Tag six other blogger´s by linking to them.
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.

My Six Quirky Things?
1. I can't put a book down even if it stinks. I'm not one of those ever sunny optimists until it comes to books. There have been many books that, by the tenth page, I'm thinking, "This person got paid for this?!?" But I read it through to the end because I keep thinking, "Well, maybe it will get better." It usually doesn't.

2. I don't eat any fruit. Unless its apples baked in a pie. Or melon with prociutto.

3. If I'm alone in my car, I like to turn the music up real. Real loud. Like dumb teenager loud.

4. "Clustered" things creep me out. Things like a swarm of bees, lots of ants in one place, a pomegranate interior. Don't ask, I don't understand it either.

5. I love to smell babies' heads. New borns, babies who just took a bath, my kids after playing out side. Now I'm pregnant and I’m excited I get to sniff a newborn again (that earthy smell only lasts a week or so)

6. I don't like the color sea-foam green. I don't think I have repressed bad memories of institutional buildings, but something about the color makes me nauseous. There's a day care near me where the exterior is entirely a heinous shade of sea foam green. To paint a place where children play that color is a grievous sin in my book.

So there it is. When I first started I thought I'd have a difficult time coming up with six. Now that I'm started, I could probably get to 20. Oops...time to eat.

I tag.....
1. Gail
2. Bo Hunkmeister
3. Steve, the only other blogger I know
4. I'd send this to Mary Ellen but she doesn't blog!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

That there Debi Pearl book

So I did it....

After seventeen years of marriage, I finally read Debi Pearl's "Created to Be His Help Meet". You know, that book about which people either think, "This saved my marriage!!" or "This woman is the brainwashed spawn of the enemy!!" Being the consensus building female that I am, I fall somewhere in the middle. Well, actually I'm more towards Debi's side. But with reservations.

Over all, I think there's a lot of good stuff in the book. We wives would all be better off in our marriages if we followed the general idea of what Debi says. That being said, Debi does have a plain spoken (read 'blunt') way about her that, in this day of political correctness, is automatically deemed judgmental. And she has some ideas that might be a little too counter-cultural for some (i.e. heavy emphasis on herbal remedies, self sufficient living, etc). However, I think it’s a shame that people who are turned off to her manner of speaking or some of the ideas contained within her book will dismiss it entirely. Outside of the Bible, I've never read a book thinking, "This must be the inerrant truth on this subject because it's written by [fill in the blank]." I think it's dangerous to read any book with that mindset (well, maybe Thomas Sowell but that's another conversation). I've always kept in mind that the advice contained in a particular book might not work for my situation, or maybe it will, but not at this time. Even books I start off disliking have something that will make me pause and reconsider what I believe. They either strengthen my beliefs or cause me to research further if I've been wrong (which, of course, seldom happens, right Bo?)

Anyway, here's what I found interesting:

1. God created Adam with a job to do which he commenced doing before Eve arrived on the scene. Basically, what I think Debi's saying is that we were created to help our man, not the other way around; Adam's occupation takes precedence over Eve's. That's not to say Adam disregards Eve's wants or desires (an unhappy wife is not a good thing. Ask Bo). But it might not be God's plans for Bo to drop his career because I want to be free to pursue mine. What I'm taking away from this is that I'm to be Bo's helper. I'm not his roommate doing my own thing, but someone actively working to help him do his job.

2. "A good marriage is good because one or both or them have learned to overlook the other's faults, to love the other as he or she is and not to attempt to change the other or bring him or her to repentance." (p.129) AMEN. Ladies! Stop trying to get him to be Mr. Right and focus on being Mrs. Right! Pray for him and then let God deal with the spouse's short comings (God's better at it anyway).

3. "If you find pleasure in being a source of temptation to men, you are definitely an ungodly woman and are in desperate need of repentance." Whoa. This is what I mean by blunt. So if I wear a tank top, am I in this group of "definitely ungodly"? I understand what Debi says about too many women not understanding the workings of a man's visual stimulation. And I hear all you ladies out there saying, "Well that's the guy's issue. I'm not responsible for their dirty minds." Modesty means different things to different people. But I do think we have a responsibility to help our fellow human with living as best as they can. If I know my friend is on a diet, I'm not going to suggest going to an ice cream shop and say, "Well it's her issue." Although I have to go on a small rant here. TEEN GIRLS: STOP WEARING TANK TOPS TO CHURCH. Ok, I'm done.

4. "Any good woman should be able to fix a screen door." I've heard many a wife complain about how hubby is "just not getting around to fixing x, y or z." Honestly ladies, is it easier to sit around, complain and wait forever for the work to get done by a disgruntled spouse? Or should you use your God-given resourcefulness, get the job done and surprise hubby with one less thing on the "To Do" list? If you have given birth, you are more than capable of getting some handiwork done around the house.

The general idea I take away from this book is to respect your man as a man. Treat him like the blessing from God that he is and he will rise to the expectation. If you keep thinking that you're the one who's OK and you're waiting for him to get his !@#$ together, you'll be waiting a long time.

So, if the whole idea of wifely submission makes you start snarling, don't read this book. If you're down with it and looking to refine your technique, it's worth a read.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


I'm a big fan of menu planning. Even when I'm not disciplined enough to do it all the time, I still proselytize about it. Menu planning makes the grocery shopping easier, the day goes easier, etc. Then I found this blog about menu planning and I had to jump in. If you need menu planning tips or ideas, this is definitely a good source. So here goes my plan for the week. I don't have recipe links because most of the stuff I make up as I go along.

  • Monday -Fried Rice
  • Tuesday -Cauliflower Soup (Tyler Florence's recipe)
  • Wednesday - Spaghetti
  • Thursday -Chicken Wraps
  • Friday -Salmon
  • Saturday -Pork Tacos
My challenges are:
  1. I have a big family (seven of us total)
  2. There are some picky eaters in the bunch, myself included
  3. I've a new desire to stay on budget
  4. I'm trying to get more whole grains into our diet and less meat.
Breakfasts alternate between coffee cake, scrambled eggs, baked oatmeal, steel cut oatmeal, muffins and whole wheat pancakes.
I need ideas for good, cheap, easy lunches (am I casking too much?). Mostly it's peanut butter & Fluff sandwiches, hot dogs or mac & cheese. Uh oh..... is that the Bad Mommy Police at the door?






I'm back, it wasn't the police. It was my guilty conscience.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Just Where the !@%$# IS Waldo?


This was the scene this morning on in my living room. Happiness is children reading.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fight the Frump



I know its kind of a tenuous connection but since we're talking style today, I thought I'd unveil the latest in Homeschool Mom Attire.










No drab black jacket here ladies. Should I get hot pink pants too? Or stay with your basic black? I will need a new pair of kickin' boots, though.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The List Grows

Found another piece of paper on my desk that had some more books on it ~sigh~

45. The 4 Hour Work Week - Timothy Ferris
46. Among Thugs - Bill Buford
47. Heat - Bill Buford
48. The Tin Drum - Gunther Grass
49. On Royalty - Jeremy Paxman
50. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
51. Piano - James Barron
52. Funny in Farsi - Firoozeh Dumas
53. Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T. Kiyosaki

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Oh Yessssssss......



I found this luscious little recipe on one of my favorite blogs The Pioneer Woman. I decided to make it last night for my bible study group. They were so good, Bo Hunkmeister said, "These ought to be called Crack-Overs." Do yourself (and your family, and your neighbors, and your friends) a favor, whip up a batch tonight. It's really easy and they taste
oh.
so.
good.


Apple Dumplings (from Pioneer Woman)
serves 8 or me and Bo alone if we have a decent cup of coffee

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon
1 small can (8 oz.) Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

p.s. I copied the photo from Pioneer Woman because you just have to see how lovely these apple bundles of love dumplings are. If I've committed some kind of faux pas, someone please let me know.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My Current List of Things I Want to Read

1.The Natural Child.-Jan Holt
2.Parenting the Strong Willed Child - Rex Forehand, Nicholas Long
3.Between Two worlds-Zainab Salbi
4.What Color is a Conservative? - JC Watts
5. Diamonds, Gold & War (So. Africa) Martin Meredith
6. Trees of Smoke Denis Johnson
7.Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
8.Dark Star Safari-Paul Theroux
9. Ms. Moffets First Year-Abby Goodnough
10.A Survivor's Guide to High School-Luann Schackelford
11.Dumbing Us Down-John Taylor Gatto
12.The Sisters-Mary Lovell
13. Infidel - Ayaan Hirsi
14.Tending the Heart of Virtue - Vigen Guroian
15.Scratch Beginnings - Adam Shepard
16. Saving Childhood - Michael& Diane Medved
17. Eat The Rich - PJ O'Rourke
18. To Begin the World Anew
19. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth - Jeffery Satinover
20. Raising a Happy, Unsoiled Child - Burton White
21. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness - Peggy Noonan
22. Motherhood Deferred - Anne Taylor Flemming
23. The Case for Marriage - Linda Waite & Maggie Gallagher
24. It Takes a Parent to Raise a Child - Glen Griffin
25. Kinsey: Crimes & Consequences - Judith Reisman
26. Moral Grandeur & Spiritual Audacity - Abraham Joshua Heschel
27. My Father's Secret War- Lucinda Franks
28. Domestic Tranquility - F. Carolyn Graglia
29. The Divorce Culture - Barbara Dafoe Whitehead
30. The Man Who Would Be King - Ben Macintyre
31. The Princess Bride
32. War Against Schools: Academic Child Abuse - S. Engelmann
33. The Great Mortality-John Kelly
34. The Joy of Being a Woman -lngrid Trobisch
35. 7 Myths of Working Mothers - Suzanne Venker
36. Spin Sisters - Myrna Blyth
37. Parent Survival Guide - Dr Todd Cartmell
38. Blg Fat Cookles-Elinor Klivans
39. Thomas Keller
40. let's eat-beatrice hollyer
41. Eleventh Hour Eleventh Day Eleventh Month-Joseph Persico
42. Bad Childhood Good Life-Laura Schlessinger
43. Not Your Mothers Life-AmyLowe
44. The Innocent Man - John Grisham

This is off my Palm Pilot hence the bad typing. The above list also assumes I don't get my hands on any more NY Times Book Reviews.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Remember Iowa

I have to say that while sitting in my cozy house that I've thought little of all the flooding going on in Iowa. Then I read this post by Darla. It occurred to me the double standard that I've had. Heck, I can remember baking cookies and selling them with my kids to raise some money for the Katrina victims. I don't think I've talked to my kids at all about Iowa. Read Darla's post. If I can find a more direct way to help, then I'll post it. Otherwise, I think the Red Cross might be a good place to start.


I copied these photos from Darla's site with her permission.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Groceries!

Inspired by my friend, Becky, I took pictures of the groceries I bought today. I used to try and do a once a month grocery trip but I'm way too forgetful and impulsive to get by on just one grocery store run per month. So I switched to the weekly plan. My hope dream aspiration goal is to make a weekly menu and JUST BUY GROCERIES FOR THAT MENU (and there was much laughter all across the Web). So here's what happen today:


This is the stuff I need for the weekly menu









This is everything else I bought







Hmmm.... gotta work on that self control thing.....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wow

My no. 2 daughter got up at 6:30 am this morning (this must be from her father's DNA because I don't get up before 7:30 am unless I'm in labor)

She made me breakfast in bed.









She made her sister breakfast in bed.








Then she fed her three brothers (ages 6, 4 and 2) by herself.
[no photo because I was still in bed eating]



Did I mention she's only 8?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oh. My.

I know not all pop music is suppose to comment on the human condition. Some of it is meant purely for entertainment (like anything written by Prince). I'm not asking for artists to use the King James Bible for song lyrics, but when I found this song the other day, my jaw dropped. This delicate sonnet is from the Black Eyed Peas, a hip/hop group out of LA.

My love (love), my love, my love, my love (love)
You love my lady lumps (love),
My hump, my hump, my hump (love),
My humps they got you

My goodness. And it goes on and on like this. Did they have no other lyrics? I mean, just what greater good would a song like this serve? Can you imagine a member of this group, say Fergie, going to her Grandma's house?

Fergie: "Wassup, Grandma!"
Grandma: "Why hello, my pet, how are you today?"
Fergie: "Just great! I wrote a new song."
Grandma: "Oh you did? Well aren't you the most talented young lady! Tell me sweetie, what is your song about? Do you sing of the magnificence of the world around us?"
Fergie:"Uh...no."
Grandma: "Do you sing of the glorious wonder of true love?"
Fergie: "Nuh uh."
Grandma: "Do you sing of the frailty of human nature?"
Fergie: "Naaah"
Grandma: "To bring awareness to the suffering of others?"
Fergie: "Nope"
Grandma: "Well, poppet, tell your grandma just what you're singing about?"
Fergie: "My hump."
Grandma: "I beg your pardon?"
Fergie: "My hump."
Grandma: "Say again sweetie? Grandma's hearing is not what it used to be."
Fergie: "My hump, Grandma. And my lady lumps."
Grandma: "Oh dear..."
Fergie: "And about how men will buy me with things that smack of materialism so I will feign a relationship with them which in truth, only feeds their superficial physical needs. Temporarily."
Grandma: "I see....Ooo! Is that your Grandfather calling me? I'm sorry my tart..um dear, I really must go now."

Yes sir folks, the world's goin' to heck in a Birkin handbag.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Girl

This is my daughter. Today, she turns 11. Happy Birthday Sweetheart. Mommy and Daddy are so proud of the way you are growing up.










Yesterday she was like this.









A couple of days before that she was like this.






~sigh~

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Fix

World Magazine just came out with its 2008 book issue. This is the issue where they review a whole boat load of books. For a book addict like me, this is crack. If anyone needs me, and I mean critical emergencies only, I'll be in the basement, reading. Just send down a latte ever four hours. No, make that three hours.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's That Time of Year Again

It's time for the local library's summer reading program.  This means the kids will be getting gift certificates to Home Town Buffet. Ok....be strong....don't cave to temptation....

A Day in the Life of Baby

This was Baby at 11:00 this morning.


He must have had a late night because he never falls asleep at this hour, much less on my lap.

Then he woke up, and got a hold of my drink.

Notice the empty bottle (it was half full when I left it).
Notice the variety of Vitamin Water that it is (revive?!?)


This was Baby 10 minutes ago
He got into my pantry, pulled out the vacuum cleaner, plugged it in and started cleaning.
And then this.

Ok, I put him up to the dish washing, but I do have a bathroom that needs cleaning...

Those Funny Russians

What happens after one too many vodkas....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Can Dream, Can't I?

It's 70 degrees here in Lil' Rhody. There are fluffy white clouds in the beautiful blue sky so I said to myself, "We need to be outside!" And I thought, it's been at least a year since we've been on a picnic so I told the kids, "Let's go to the park!" There's a large and lovely playground near us that's in a very nice park with plenty of grassy areas perfect for a picnic on a beautiful day. I threw some sandwich fixin's in a bag and off we went, smiles on our faces.

Visions of my lovely picnic with my charming kids came crashing down when the reality of my situation hit. I have boys. Three little boys. Now my boys, alone, individually, are wonderful, sweet and charming (ok, I'm exaggerating a bit with Baby). Together however, they are more rambunctious than chihuahuas on speed.

After climbing and touching everything that could be climbed and touched and terrorizing every other kid at the playground, we went to our picnic area so I could make lunch start my non-stop litany of
don'tthrowthatstonedon'tthowthatstickwhere'syourbrotherdon'tthrowthatdirteither
~quick breath~
leavethesquirrelalonewhere'syourbrotherstoprollingaroundinthemudgetoutoftheparkinglot
~hurry make sandwich ~ whereisyourbrotherIsaidputthatstickdowncomeherecomehereCOMEHERE!

Now we are home, the little boys are napping, and I'm exhausted. And I remember why it's been a year since our last picnic.

I Wanted to Eat My Flesh

In honor of Lori's post about awkward meals the other day, I want to make her feel better by sharing a dinner party experience I had.

When we were first married, my husband and I went to a small church in Dartmouth, MA (well, most churches in New England are small). I guess we looked like lost puppies because one Easter, this family took pity on us and invited us over to their house for Easter dinner that evening. The next year, I decided I was going to return the favor by inviting them to our house for Easter dinner. I don't know what possessed me to make lasagne for Easter dinner. Anyway, I thought I was being real clever by making the lasagne the Saturday night before and putting it in the refrigerator. I figured that way, as soon as we returned from church, I would just pop that baby in the oven, and we'd have a nice hot meal in no time. Did I mention that we lived 30 minutes from the church? This might not mean too much to most of you, but for you New Englanders out there, you're thinking, "Why did you attend a church soooo far away?"

So this lovely family follows us home from church, I put the cold lasagne in the oven and we sit at my kitchen table and wait. And wait. And wait. Did I mention that I didn't make any appetizers? When we were nearing the 1 hour mark and the lasagne was still cold, I found a half eaten bag of tortilla chips in my pantry. No dip, no salsa, just plain chips. Finally, about two hours after we got home, and about five hours since anyone had a decent meal, the lasagne was hot. And like a good hostess, I forgot to make a salad or any other side to go with this meal (that was sarcasm). Having barely avoided starvation, we finally ate the lasagne. Suffice to say, it was quite an uncomfortable dinner party for all. But God has a sense of humor. I know this because the family's name was Donner.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How Sweet is That?

Nothing warms my heart like seeing my little baby try to be like his daddy.





Yes, that is a basket on Baby's head.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Week End Fun

I am your average housewife. I am mother to five children whom I home school. I like to make sure a hot dinner is ready when my husband gets home from work. Because I like to support him in his endeavors, I took our children to an event at our church that he helped organize. It's called GearFest. It's an annual Father's Day event where all sorts of cars, truck, motorcycles and heavy equipment are bought in for dads and kids to climb on, look at, explore, etc. I was walking around, keeping an eye on my kids, admiring my husband's accomplishments when I saw my friend's car. A BMW M Convertible Roadster. "Would you like to drive it?" he said. "Sure," I thought, "it'd be fun." So me and my 10 year old got in. We buckled up and started the engine and...Oooo. Mild mannered housewife no more. I was in control of six cylinders of automotive love. Yeah baby. I went out on the road and opened that bad boy up. After tearing up the back roads a bit, we returned to the event, I parked the car, gathered my children. And SMILED.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Help!

Normally on Frump Free Fridays, I am throwing my two cents out there regarding frump fighting but today, I lay myself bare friends. Be gentle. This time, I am asking for help. ~Bo Hunkmeister looks shocked~ It's about my hair.





This is Me.












This is MyHair.















MyHair, at times, seems like a 6th child (high maintenance, can be fussy, gets in my way a lot, etc.). I have a love/hate relationship with MyHair. Bo Hunkmeister likes it. A lot. So I like it too. Yet, I don't like MyHair because it takes a good two hours to dry. MyHair is a pain to deal with during the heat of summer. MyHair gets in my face. If I pull it back so it doesn't get in my face, I get the halo of frizzies. And I won't even start on the rant about static during the winter.

My biggest issue though with MyHair, is that I've been wearing it in the same frumpy way since, oh high school. For example:

















And these photos are from the past six months. There are many, many more like 'em.





Sometime, when it's too hot I put it up like this:











But that's the extent of my hair creativity. So what I need from you, my internet friends, is suggestions for change. Keep in mind, I have five active children all under the age of 10 so I need something very low maintenance. Did you get that? Very Low Maintenance. And nothing too drastic (a la Posh Spice) because I don't want Bo Hunkmeister to be mournful for weeks on end. I'm looking forward to your creative comments and extend a heartfelt advance thank you to my frump fighting sisters.

(By the way, the photos of me and MyHair were taken by my 10 year old daughter. She took some really good photos on our RV trip. If anyone is looking for a wedding photographer on the cheap, give me a call.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bo Hunkmeister Found This For Me

Is it me or what? This is why I love Bo.

A Solution for Us Common Folk


I know many of you, since reading my Posh Spice post, have been wondering, "How much time does the Domestic Goddess have on her hands?" or "Who's watching her darling babies while she trolls the web?" or "Where can I get my hands on an overpriced, bulky Birkin Bag?" Well, I have the answer for that last question. You can rent, yes rent, your very own Birkin bag from Bag, Borrow or Steal. If you're fashion conscious but budget minded, you can rent instead of owning. For only $1,632 a week. Why that's just $233 a day! Less than $10 an hour! And to think I was going to sell off a few of my kiddies so I could buy a Birkin like Posh...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Paris Hilton and the End Times

Some people see certain world events as signs that the end times are near. Events such as war, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. I see things like "Paris Hilton's My New BFF (Best Friends Forever)" and I know for certain God is in heaven saying, "I have had it with the lack of imagination! And people prostituting themselves for five minutes of notoriety! Call out the hell fire and brimstone!" Ok, enough blaspheming.

It has come to my attention that MTV, that bastion of quality broadcasting, has a new show in which 20 or so young people "compete" to be Paris Hilton's new best friend. Initially, I was just going to unleash the snarky hounds of hell and mock Paris and all that she is, but I thought, that's not what a nice Domestic Goddess would do. Then, as I cleaned up the pancake syrup that my son spilled all over the floor, wall and table, it occurred to me that I have a few qualities that might make me a perfect BFF for my home girl Paris.

  1. I already own a pair of Manolo Blahniks (got 'em at Savers for $6.00!)
  2. I've been to Paris, as in France
  3. I have a cute entourage, my kids. This is valuable on a couple of levels; it’s always good to look like you have lots of friends; with my kiddos, there's always adventure and when you get into that next media hot spot for a poorly made video, ask any politician, a photo op with a bunch of cute kids does wonders.
  4. I brine my chicken. No really, Paris, you have no idea how important this is.
  5. I love sushi
  6. I'm use to being up at 3:00 am with whiney kids
  7. I already have a terribly sexy hubby, so I won't be stealing your boyfriend ('cause, you know, like everyone knows men find petite middle aged women with five kids hawt!)

So Paris, girlfriend, give me a call!

Keepin' It Real

Baby has a tendency to get into a lot of things. I mean, a lot. I mean if something is broken or missing, you can count on it being Baby's fault.
We're trying to toilet train Baby today. Which means, while he started the day in a t-shirt and underpants, he is now buck naked. So I hear Baby fussing in the bathroom. "Ooo!" I say to myself, "Maybe he's trying to go on the potty and he needs his mother's help!" I go in to find Baby has gotten into my supply of sanitary products and is now trying to get the adhesive pad off of his little boy parts. Being the mom that I am, I blog about it.