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

Senator Jack Reed
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
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.

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".