Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What a view...

"The View".

Not the liberal-leaning network talk show. 

The view from our couch.

The view of the television screen. 

What a blessing a television is.
But something more is it...
a curse.

It draws the children in like a moth to a flame.
It is a pied piper to many adults as well.

I posted a blog back in August about how we were cutting cable
We did cut the cable, and we have stuck with it.
We do have "Netflix" though. 
We have the plan with both streaming & with DVD's.
It has parental controls set up.
However, it is *still* full of messages we don't need coming into our home.
Lots of it.

I am a firm believer in "garbage in, garbage out".

This being said, I am a wimp.
I am ready to cut it off. 
Just the streaming, not the DVD portion. 

Remember that.
I don't want to deal with the disappointment that the kids will express. 
I don't want the attitudes that will have to be disciplined.

Having trash coming in seems easier than dealing with my children being upset. 
But just because it is easier, doesn't mean it's right.
As a matter of fact, it seems the easy way is most often not the right way. 

Matthew 7:13 tells us:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it".

Wide Gate, broad road...Leads to destruction.

Narrow Gate...not the easy way.

The easy way leads to destruction.
Allowing my kids to have things their way leads to...

So, we will cut Netflix too. 

This stinks. But it will be worth it. 

I love that RedBox is so cheap, and available too. 


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Troy Says-On Life

At what age is a person an adult? 
When they're a Daddy. 

Why do you think so? 
Because then they're older than you.

If could change one rule that your family has, what would you change?
Dad wouldn't give me spankings.

What is something that makes your family special?
They love on me.

Of all the things you are learning, what do you think will be the most useful when you are an adult?
Math. I don't know why, Daddy just says so.

Are you a good friend? 

Why do you think so?
Because I make a good friend, that's why. 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The 5 Stages of Moving to a New Town (Emotions People)


We lived in a place that I hated.
We had been there for 21 months when the news came that we were being pardoned  transferred.
When I first moved there, I was shocked at how ugly the area was.
Okay, in all fairness I am an East Texas Piney Woods girl who LOVES trees and water.
I even *like* humidity.
Moving to the baren land of West Texas was a shock.
However, I was absolutely determined that is was going to all be okay.
I had heard about how "friendly" West Texans were, and that was encouraging.
Guess what?
Some were friendly.
Most were not.
I have never been in a place where people were so judgmental and conniving. 
That being said, I also met some wonderful, caring, genuinely EXCELLENT people there.
It just took quite some time. 
I began to be comfortable, and decided to bloom where I was planted.
I think I bloomed quite well in the desert...
while still missing the trees, the water, and more friendly people.
I missed decent priced housing too. 
Then the phone call came...we were leaving that place.

1. anticiaption

I was so excited. 
We were going back to an area I was familiar with, though I had never lived there. 
We found a beautiful house and started making the plans.
Things got delayed some, but it was all a go.
Anticipation was killing me. 

2. enthusiasm

A new start in a new town.
A beautiful new home.
Seemingly friendly people.
Beautiful scenery.
Felt promising, so promising. 
It was all very invigorating and comfortable.
I was full of enthusiasm. 

and then...

3. loneliness

Man I miss my friends in West Texas.
I guess it wasn't such a bad place after all.
Sure, it wasn't the prettiest place, but it wasn't the worst place to be.
Man, I really miss my friends.
I have a beautiful home, no one to invite over.
I don't know anyone here in this town, 
and while the people I have met are friendly enough, 
none seem to genuinely like me.
I am okay with that. 
I would rather have friends who adore me, than have people around just for the sake of having people around.
I know I am a great friend. If they don't like me, it's their loss. 
I also know I am an odd duck, and that makes people shy away.
That is okay too. 
What makes me so lonely is...
There is no one to call if I am sick.
There is no one to call if I need help with the kids.
My husband is gone most of the time back to West Texas.
I am needed at work more, but I can't work as much as they need me because it is *just me*
...for the most part.
When my husband *is* home, he doesn't want me gone.
I am homeschooling again, so I can't just leave the kids often.
Plus, I have no one to help me out if I already have things scheduled and need to run into work.
I really wish I didn't *need* to work.
Maybe things will change in the near future.
Geez, this is not all roses like I thought it would be...
Do any of my friends realize how much I really miss them?
I am lonely.

4. hope

We went back to our old church, a little over an hour away, when we first moved here.
We loved being there.
It felt like home.
We wanted to find that here.
We researched churches and their belief systems.
None seemed to be what we were looking for,
but we had a list going in order of ones to "try" anyway. 
We procrastinated. We made excuses.
Then one day, I stumbled upon one I hadn't hear of previously.
It was only 15 miles away. 
We decided to try it, because it most closely resembled what we thought we were looking for.
We tried it, and we liked it.
We liked the people.
I *think* they like us. 
I have been talking to a couple of the ladies, and I am really starting to feel a kinship with them.
Even though we have been only twice.
None of those ladies are from here, nor do they live here.
But, they are not far away either. 
Once again, I have some excitement over being here.
I still miss my friends.
I still love our new home, even though we will probably be looking for one further out in the country come the end of the year. 
I have hope...

5. faith

Throughout this saga, I have never once lost faith in God, of course.
I am speaking of a different kind of faith. 
A faith of what is to come now, after our move.
I am standing on the scripture:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1)
I will bloom where I am planted.
I will make new friends.
I will establish roots here, even if not in this home.
My friends that I miss are STILL my friends, even if miles separate us. 
I am blessed and I live a GREAT life. 
I am full of faith....

Sibling Rivalry...

Edited: I made this post last night, and set it to post this morning.
We had a particularly bad day yesterday around here.

This morning, they were all peaches and cream.
Troy even said "wow, sissy is in a good mood".
When Tucker woke up, Troy said "Wow, Bubba is in a good mood too!"

So, it's been a good day.

Still doing what was planned though...

I can look at this picture and see the tension.

My kids, they do not really get along.

It breaks my heart.

The teens are all snippy with the little one.
If they aren't being snippy with him, they are "playing" with him...
(which is just another word for torturing him, I promise you this.)
Tickling him...
Holding him down when he wants to leave...
Taking the remote and changing something he is watching...
Picking him up and carrying him when he doesn't want to be held...
You know, stuff like that.

They do not speak kindly to one another very often, and they are constantly trying to find a way to get under one another's skin.

They love to push each other's "buttons".

So, I am going to enact a system of consequences for being "ugly".
We will have a family meeting and talk about these problems,
and the reason for the consequences. 

The consequences will be kept in a jar and as they "act up", they will have to pull one out and do it. 

I know any of them would fight to the death for another one of them, if need be.
I don't understand this rivalry thing, I never experienced it.

We will also be working diligently at character training to get their hearts "right" again.
Without their hearts being right,
nothing will change.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Troy Says-On Love

What is the proper age to get married?

Why 13?
Because when you're 13 your pretty much grown.

Well, your sister is 14, you're saying she should get married?
Um, no. Not her. I meant me, when I am 13.

What do people do on a date?
Get a ring and kiss.

When is it okay to kiss somebody?
When you're 36 and you're already married.

Is it better to be single or to be married?
Married, because well, I don't know it just is. 

Why do people fall in love?
Because when they see each other they feel like they want to marry them.

What does it feel like to love someone?
Nothing. I mean, being sad, being happy, all those emotions.

Why do lovers hold hands?
Because they just feel like it. Like you and Daddy do. 

What do you think about love?
I feel like love is about bunny rabbits.

What about bunny rabbits?
It's good, love is. That's all. Just stop Mom. 

How do you make someone fall in love with you?
By looking at them in the eyes. That's all *I* have to do. 

What are people thinking when they tell someone they love them?
They're thinking dumb. Dumb. 

Is it okay to kiss somebody?
No. When your six, then no. But if you're married it's okay. 

How do you make love last?
By being happy and kissing a lot. 


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Random Ice Cream Girl

The town we recently moved to has a "Braums", which has just about the best ice cream ever made.
Outside of home-made ice cream that is.

My daughter inherited her grandmother & great-grandmother's passion for ice cream.
She loves it.
I am not sure *love* is a strong enough term to describe her affection for it.

Braums is cheap. We can get a big double dip cone for under $2.
We stop by there...A  LOT!!!

Sweet Katie girl started this thing about a month ago, where she wants to be "surprised" by what two scoops she gets. So, she just orders "A waffle cone with two random scoops of ice cream".

At first they were a little confused, but they have all gotten in on the game now. 
It' almost as though they are excited when she comes through and orders.
One girl told us "This is the third time I have made your order, I try to do something different each time. It's so much fun." 

We have been enjoying the "random flavor" experiment. 
It's always fun to see what they give her.
It's even MORE fun to watch her eat it and try to guess what it is they have chosen. 

Yesterday it was "maple walnut" and "pistachio".

I got to thinking about it...

This is just ice cream, but what if we were like this with God.

We tend to be so specific about the things we desire, that we don't just look up to him and say "give me whatever Lord, and I will be happy with it". 

You see, not ONCE has one of the workers at the ice cream shop come up with a gross combination.
Let's face the facts folks, they could put lime sorbet with butter pecan and make anyone wrinkle their nose. But they don't. They enjoy giving her new combos to try...things that go together.
They don't even KNOW us, much less love us.

God loves us. He wants to give us things that "go" together.
How many times do we "wrinkle up" our noses because *we* don't like the combos he has chosen?


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Southern Fried Family Cooks: Taquito Enchiladas

This is *seriously* one of the easiest, most yummy recipes on earth.

It's way kid friendly too...which is a plus.

It is also very easy to change-up, and do new things with. 

Let's get to the "how-to's" first. 

Preheat your over to 375 degrees

Get a box of taquitos. Usually, they are in the freezer section, but weird stores like Wal-Mart put them in the little floor coolers in the meat section.  You can get chicken, beef, chicken and cheese, beef and cheese, flour tortillas, corn tortillas...whatever your heart desires. 

I make two batches, because one little guy loathes onions in his but the rest of us love them.

I use glass pans. Metal would work too. Whatever you bake in is fine. 

Get you 2-3 cans of enchilada sauce (I feed 6 with 3 regular size cans, 2 big cans)

You can use green, red, whatever. Green typically goes well with chicken. Red with beef.

Open your sauce and pour a thin layer into your pans. This keeps your taquitos from sticking.

Place your taquitos in the pan(s). 

if you are only adding cheese, roll them around to cover them in sauce...

add any toppings you want (excluding cheese)

We use onions, some add black olives

Add more sauce

Add cheese. Lots of it. 

This is where it varies for us. If I use a huge baking pan, I do one layer and stop.

Sometimes I like to change it up and do "layers", so I keep building. 

In these pictures, I will layer the big pan but I am DONE with little man's pan.

I stack another layer of taquitos, sauce, onions, and then cheese...

These bake at 375 for 45 minutes. 

I set the timer for 30 minutes, and at that point I add the small pan.

When they come out, this is what they look like. 

Can you smell that? YUM! 

Now, I have special dietary considerations that require me to have a higher intake of fat, calories, and protein. So, I modified my plate to include more of those factors.

I added a fried egg and sour cream.

Double yum! 

Another modification we have thoroughly enjoyed is getting the "Philadelphia Southwest Cooking Creme" and mixing it with the enchilada sauce before placing it in the pan. Just a thought. :) 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tour My Laundry room

I have always dreamed of having a large laundry room.
Almost as much as I have dreamed of having a "schoolroom".
With this new house, I got my dream laundry room. I love it.
So, on that note, I am going to share it...along with some tips. 

This is from the door looking into the room...

Another view from the door
(My window treatments are in the works...I'll update later)

When you walk into the room, this is the wall to the right.

Showing off my owl...I love him

Swinging around you see the washer & dryer amongst all my glorious cabinets! 

Another view from the door. Light off, so it doesn't have the yellow casting like the other pics.

Now, tip one...
These are command hooks, which I use ALL OVER my home.
I love that they are sturdy, but removable without a trace.
I use these to hang up things that cannot be put into the dryer..
such as the unmentionables in the previous picture. :)

Tip two:
If you use fabric softener like I do,
and I use A LOT,
(after all, we must smell good while in our soft cozy clothing)
you run the risk of it gooping up and causing issues in your washer.
So, I keep a cup of water on top of the washer so that I can rinse it every wash.
I also rinse after I pour bleach into the bleach cup, so I don't risk residue in another load. 

And my third (and final) tip...get one of these nifty iron/ironing board hangers and hang that baby up! 
This, of course, is the back of our door. 

And there you have laundry room that almost makes doing laundry a little less torturous fun