Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Can Make Lasers

Halloween is not as far away as you may think!

My sweet, adorable child has decided that he would like to be Boba Fett (he's an intergalactic bounty hunter, for those of you unfamiliar with all things Star Wars) and his little brother would like to be R2D2. The thing is, the costumes available for purchase are not only VERY expensive, they are also not up to B's standards. B has decided he needs to have a jet pack, lasers that shoot from his wrists, and a helmet that "goes all the way around" his head. Before I can even begin to explain why some of this is not possible, he says "Mom, come on! I know you can do this. You can use empty toilet paper rolls to make the lasers, and I know you can figure out how to make a jet pack" I have never been more flattered in my life. Here is a child who honestly believes that I can make laser shooters from toilet paper rolls and engineer a jet pack. I know what you're thinking 'Oh, he just means PRETEND lasers and a PRETEND jet pack'. No, you are very, very wrong. He wants real lasers to fire from his wrists and a real jet pack, that will lift him from the ground, but not too high because he doesn't want to fly into space.

"Here mom! I want it to look like this"

So again I say, Halloween is not so far away! I have approximately 2 months to construct a miniature robot that bleeps and bloops, and transform a 7 year old into a fierce bounty hunter, complete with space age weaponry.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Patrick Sandwiches and Star Eggs

Before we started home school this was B's favorite sack lunch item:
Patrick Sandwiches

Who doesn't love Spongebob's BFF, Patrick? Now he's available in sandwich form!
Cut star shape into chopped ham (baked ham will not cut as clean) with medium sized star cookie cutter.

To save time push the cutter through the entire package of ham. Cutting out ham stars everyday is a bit of a hassle! =)

Spread whipped cream cheese on both sides of a snack sized bagel insert star and you're done! *To save money I buy the regular cream cheese and whip it at home.*

Once I went a little overboard and carved a mini Patrick face into the star. That day B came home and hadn't eaten his lunch. When I asked him why, he said he felt like Patrick was really alive because he had a face and he felt weird about eating him.

Now, what to do about the excess ham?

*Breakfast Stars*

Take star silhouette and place in/on pre-greased, preheated pan or griddle.

After sides begin to curl in crack egg directly over the center of star.

Flip, cook until preferred yolk consistency is achieved.....

and serve on toast or bun!

You have now used one piece of lunch meat for breakfast AND lunch, and at the same time, made your little one feel like a STAR!

Breakdown: All cents rounded up

Patrick Sandwich:

1. Ham star- $3.44 for pkg of 16 ham slices= 22 cents per slice, divided by two (ham star is approxiamately 1/2 slice)= 11 cents per star

2. Mini bagel- $2.46 for bag of 12 minis= 21 cents per bagel

3. Cream cheese- $1.27 for 8 ounces= 16 cents per ounce- After whipping, we use approx. 1/8 = 2 cents per serving

.11+.21+.02= $0.34 per sandwich

Breakfast Star Sandwich:

Star sillouhette-11 cents

Egg- $3.28 for 24 large eggs= 14 cents per egg

Bun- $1.14 for pkg of 8 buns= 15 cents per bun

.11+.14+.15= $0.40 per sandwich

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Don't Judge Me!

B used to get terrible ear infections as an infant, which meant I had to administer terrible ear infection medication. I don't remember what kind of medication I was giving B this particular day, but I do remember it was clear. Anyhow, about 2 minutes after I had given it to him he spit up a bit. Now the bottle clearly stated to "FINISH THE ENTIRE BOTTLE". I couldn't tell whether or not he had spit up any of the medicine since it was clear and so was his spit up. (In retrospect he probably just spit out drool) I was a new young mother and wanted my baby to get what he needed. So without thinking twice I STUCK MY FINGER IN HIS SPIT UP AND TASTED IT TO MAKE SURE IT DIDN'T TASTE LIKE MEDICINE. Of course, as it turns out, it did not taste like medicine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Whisk

Not to long ago I decided to buy myself a whisk. My last whisk had been plucked apart by my children, and since then I had been doing all my "whisking" with a fork. Anyhow, one night as I was "forking" away in the kitchen I thought to myself, "this is ridiculous, just buy a new whisk already!". So the next day during my weekly Walmart trip (see previous post) I picked one up, I could of bought the one for $1.97 but decided the one for $2.97 might last me a little longer. I spent the next week or so happily whisking away eggs, puddings, sauces, etc. Then one morning I opened my utensil drawer and it wasn't there......

"B, have you seen my whisk??"

"I haven't even touched it! Why would I know where it is?"

"Can you please go check in the playroom?"


" J, do you know where mommy's whisk is?"

" Noooooo"

" B, did you find it??"


Guess I'm back to forking my eggs. Wait! It looks like B's found something!

"Look Mom! Look! J made you a beautiful metal flower!"

"Oh no!MY WHISK!"

At this point, J comes running up behind B with a big smile on his face.

"J did you do this to mommy's whisk?"

"Pretty flower for you mommy!"

He was so happy, so proud of what he'd made. What kind of monster would I have to be to get upset?

"Thank you, it's the most beautiful flower I have ever seen."

Monday, August 25, 2008


I do most, if not all, of my shopping in two places, Walmart and Costco. Costco is amazing, it's always clean, the aisles are wide, and my fellow Costco shoppers are usually polite. Going to Walmart, however, is an entirely different experience. I always plan on going around 6am to beat the crowds, but then real life kicks me in the face and I wind up going at exactly the same time everyone else in town decides to go. I have this theory that there are people out there who wait for an exceptionally hot day, put on a tank top, go for a jog, do not take a shower or apply deodorant, then head directly to Walmart. These people then proceed to wait in the canned goods aisle for an unsuspecting shopper to lean in close to a shelf to examine a product. (This is where the fun begins! ) These perspiring, odorous people, then rush up beside the innocent shopper and reach for a can on the top of the shelf, making sure to place their steamy, sans deodorant underarm within 6-12 inches of the innocent shopper's face. For extra fun, they will wait until the rest of the aisle is jam packed, leaving no escape for their target. The worst thing about these malodorous thrill seekers, is that they never say "excuse me" before reaching in front of someone's face. I know these people exist, I've seen them, smelled them, fallen victim to their twisted game. But it's not these olfactory offenders that really bug me. The people that really make me think twice about going to Walmart are a far more dangerous group, they are known as the Cutters. Cutters are dangerous because they can strike at any moment. They are very careful to choose the quietest of carts. They need quiet carts so they do not, at anytime, reveal their position to the enemy (fellow unsuspecting shoppers). When it is time to check out Cutters will not waste their time looking for the shortest checkout line. Instead, they wait for another shopper to locate the best line. When they see this shopper begin to push their cart towards the optimal checkout stand the Cutter jumps into action. Pushing, with almost inhuman speed, they race to position their cart directly in front of the enemy's (innocent shopper's) cart. Cutters have been known to clip carts, block aisles, run over toes, and push small children.

I think I either need to start planning better, or start wearing steel toed boots and a mask when shopping. Knowing me, I'll be picking up a pair of time I go to Walmart. =)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Machete Man!

About a month or so ago our weedeater died. We took it in for repairs and were supposed to get it back weeks ago, but apparently it's problems were worse than we thought. Meanwhile back at the homestead........Parts of our backyard had weeds at least 6ft tall, I kid you not!

Since we started recruiting duty, I've taken over just about all the household duties, including yard work. Mr. X's schedule only allows for Sunday's off, and I'll be darned if he's going to spend the day doing yard work! But, even I, an experienced wacker of weeds, could not tame our backyard without the help of a machine. Fortunately, Mr.X was able to get yesterday off and decided to tackle the weed problem. I really thought he was just going to spray them, then pull them up manually when they died. But I was wrong, I knew that when he called me from Home Depot and said he was picking up a machete. Being a normal person, I asked him what the flip he was going to need a machete for! What I failed to realize was that I was not dealing with a normal person, I was dealing with a Marine.

What went on in Mr. X (The Marine's) mind:
Invasive vegetation surrounding residence
Chemicals: No go, no time, besides chemical are for p^$$!#s
Manual pulling: No go, no time
Hack all non-grass vegetation with machete

Of course, as any logical person can see, hacking things with a machete is the only obvious solution.

I can't say I wasn't impressed with the results. After about two hours, the weeds were gone, hacked to death by a machete wielding Marine.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back to Base

After nearly four years or recruiting duty, we are headed back to base. If I never hear the words/phrases poolee, pool function, a/c, t/c, phase line again I will die a happy woman.

I really miss living on base and can't wait to move back. I don't think I fully appreciated all the resources available to me the first time I lived there. The commissary, the Naval hospital, the exchange, the free entertainment........I could go on for a while. Anyway, I 'm really excited to move and will definitley be more appreciative this time.


My husband has lost almost 15 pounds in under two weeks while on the Atkins diet. I really, really did not want to start doing Atkins again but he leaves me no choice! I can't just sit around stuffing my face with bread while he becomes the epitome of physical fitness! Blah.........Last time I did Atkins I lost about 40 pounds of "baby weight". That was right before I became pregnant with baby #2 and gained all my weight back! So why wouldn't I just go right back on this seemingly perfect diet? Because bread is good, pasta is good, carbs are good! I just need to get into the right state of mind. I need to tell myself that pasta, bread, cake, cookies, etc. are not worth the weight!

Okay, I doing it, I'm starting Atkins. Forgive me my crankiness while my blood sugar tries to stabilize.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mom Friendly Pizza

Pizza dough with a 15 minute rise time!
Adapted from this recipe:

1 pkg dry yeast~ I recommend Red Star Quick rise
1 cup warm drinking water~ yeast will not proof as well in tap water
1-2 tsp salt (depending on taste)
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tablespoon oil (I prefer olive)
Cornmeal or flour to prevent dough from sticking to pan

Preheat oven to 375
Place flour and salt in large mixing bowl
Add yeast to warm water and stir until dissolved
Add yeast, water, and oil to flour
Mix until fully incorporated
Cover bowl with kitchen towel and place atop preheating stove for 15 minutes
Sprinkle cornmeal or flour on pizza pan or cookie sheet
Lightly coat your hands with oil and place dough directly on pan (do not knead)
Gently pat and stretch dough to your desired shape and add your favorite toppings!
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes

We like to use canned Hunt's or Delmonte traditional spaghetti sauce in place of pizza sauce. It's VERY inexpensive and one can will give me enough sauce for 6-7 pizzas. We have also decided that we much prefer plain shredded mozzarella to any of the fancy "pizza" cheese mixes.

If you'd like more flavor you can add garlic powder or dried herbs to the dough.

Now you can make pizza in the same amount of time it takes a delivery man to get to your door!Yay!

Clean up, clean up everybody everwhere...

Need motivation to clean your house?? Watch this, it will have you scrubbing every nook and cranny in no time!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gravity and Molecules

My new best friend is Google. B's, once innocent, questions have evolved into complex inquiries that stump me on a consistent basis. Questions about wars, Presidents, politics, NASA, single celled organisms. etc. My reply to 80% of his questions is "we'll look it up on Google when we get home."

After one Google session, he turned to me and said, "I think that bodies of water, like the ocean, are similar to space. There is no gravity in space which is why astronauts can float, and in water things float because of the way water molecules are. It's almost like a space atmosphere on earth. What do you think Mom?"

Uhhhh....I think you should go play Wii while Mommy tries to figure out what you just said.

Who is going to clean your house?

Setting: The kitchen, I am scrubbing grease from the stove, while B sits at the table enjoying a glass of juice.

B: How do you know if a person is going to like to clean?
Me: I guess you would just ask them
B: Well, I sure hope my wife likes to clean.
Me: Why?
B: Because she will need to clean the house when we get married.
Me: Well what about you? What will you be doing while she's cleaning?
B: I'll be at work
Me: Well what about when you're home from work? Are you just going to sit there and watch her clean?
B: No. I'll probably just go and play with the kids.
Me: Do you think it's fair to let your wife clean everything, even when you've made some of the mess?
B: Ummmm.....No, that doesn't sound fair. I guess my wife won't have to clean if she doesn't want to.
Me: Then who's going to clean your house?
B: You will, Mom. I'll let you live with me and you can clean my house.

Not exactly what I was expecting to hear.
Note to self: Have a talk with Mr. X about chore distribution!

How do you want your eggs?

Me: How would you like your eggs?
B: Over medium
Me: Over medium? Are you sure?
B: Yes, you know, "yolky" eggs. They are called over medium.
Me: I didn't know you liked "yolky" eggs.
B: Yes, I really enjoy the yolk's rich flavor

Hmmmm...... too much Food Network maybe?


B: Can I have some ice cream?
Me: No, you haven't had lunch yet.
B: Why are you being like this? Why are you being the meanest mother on the planet?
Me: I said no because I care about you and I want you to eat. And I don't think I'm "the meanest mother on the planet"
B: You know what I think? I think you want to sell me and buy a new son on Craigslist. Is that what you want?
Me: That's not true, I love you and I'm keeping you forever.
B: Can I have some ice cream then?
Me: No

Hmmmm, maybe I shouldn't of told him how you can buy just about anything on Craigslist.

That Large Woman

Have you ever wished you had the ability to make yourself invisible?

Place: Checkout line at a very crowded grocery store.

B: Mom, can I have that candy?
Me: What candy?
B: The one right there on the shelf
Me: No response since I'm distracted trying to remember if I've forgotten anything
B: Mom, mom, mom, mom
Me: Yes, what is it?!
B: Mom! Can I have that candy?
Me:What candy?
B: The one right there! Can't you see it? It's right there! Right next to that LARGE WOMAN!

Are you skinny too?

I was stretched out comfortably on the couch one afternoon when B approached me.

B: I can see your stomach mom.
Me: Sorry about that.
B: Wow mom, you're really skinny!
Me: Why do you say that B?
B: Because mom, you just have so much skin.

I never thought I would be so depressed after being told I was "skinny".

Monday, August 18, 2008

A lesson in loving one's self

A few months back I started making homemade pizzas for my boys. They absolutely LOVE eating them, and I absolutely LOVE how inexpensive they are to make!

Of course, being a homemaker, I am always looking for ways to cut costs. During my last trip to Costco I noticed that block cheese was 1 cent cheaper per pound than shredded and decided my labor was worth the savings. *bad mistake*

Fast forward: 2 days later

It's lunchtime and my three year old is in the mood for pizza.

After setting the dough aside to rise I pull out my massive block of Costco cheese. I cut off a section and begin shredding away. The cheese is really cold and it's sticking to the surface of the shredder, I begin pushing harder and harder to force it through the grates. Then it worst fear (involving cheese). I pushed the cheese too hard. I heard the cheese slam into the cutting board just as I FELT my thumb knuckle slam into the grater. "NO!" I looked down at my thumb.....flap. Yes, there was a flap of knuckle flesh gaping at me.

As blood trickled down my hand I couldn't help but try and get something positive out of the situation: Self worth. Yes! If only I had valued myself at more than 1 cent per pound savings I wouldn't be standing in my kitchen crying about my grated knuckle. So learn from my mistakes and love yourself today. Because your knuckles are worth more than a penny a pound.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Over the years I have tried several different pancake recipes in my quest for the perfect pancake. I remember my first attempt... I was 11 years old and determined to make the best pancakes EVER. Which is why I added eggs to a box mix that specifically stated "No eggs needed!". I thought since eggs weren't needed that would make them extra, and extra could only mean extra special pancakes! So I added a couple of eggs. Maybe it was just the eggs that made them turn out so rubber like, or maybe it was the excessive stirring of the batter, or maybe it was the fact that the pancake mix had been sitting in back of the pantry since we had moved in, I can never be totally certain of the exact cause. All I know is that not only did my pancakes feel like rubber, they tasted like it too. Add some slight overcooking on my part and I ended up with something that not even the dog would eat. Seriously, our dog tried to take a nibble, but then decided to just lick the syrup off and run away. I guess even dogs don't like the taste of burnt rubber.

Well.............last week I finally found it! A simply delicious recipe for pancakes that my kids just can't get enough of. =)

From posted by Ellen Brody:

1 egg
3/4 cup
2 tablespoons
margarine, melted
1 cup
1 tablespoon
3 teaspoons
baking powder
1/2 teaspoon

*Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more milk for thinner pancakes

Suggested additions:
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Squeeze of lemon juice
A little orange zest
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Please don't add them all together =)

P.S. These freeze beautifully!

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