Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Sitting, but there was Knitting

How did Josh do at home for over three hours with three boys, all under six years old?

Well…… it did not happen.

I know, it is disappointing that there is no great story to tell here. I am a bit disappointed myself.

However, can I just tell you that it has been a long time since I have seen that look of relief come over Joshua’s face. When I told him that The Sister’s husband was off work and would stay home with their boys, it looked as if someone just informed him the tumor was benign.

It made me laugh.

He was a great sport to say he would watch them plus our Luke, but I could tell it was not on his top ten list of things to do in his lifetime.

Oh well, there will be another time…..we will need more knitting classes at some point!

And about the knitting class….good gosh, I am NOT a natural at it. I have my work cut out for me. I had visions of myself having a knack for knitting and I would churn out scarves, mittens, and socks in no time at all. I was wrong. It will take a while.

The Sister on the other hand did great.

I am jealous of her.

She did however point out that while she is better at me in knitting, I already had my Christmas decorations out, and she does not. At least she tried to make me feel better.

Love her.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Memories, part one: The things She said

I love Christmas!

Part of what I love about Christmas time is all the memories. Every year there are certain things that are always brought up around our house. I will try to share some of the funnier ones on here this Christmas season.



Two of my favorites involve Joshua and my Mother. First, I must explain that Mother loved Joshua dearly. I know most of it is because of Joshua himself; she just loved him and his personality. But, some of it was that since his mother lived so far away, she felt she needed to step it up with him a little. She was his “Texas Mom”.



First memory…...this one particular Christmas, Joshua wanted a mini Dallas Cowboys helmet and Mother decided she would buy it for him. We went to a sports memorabilia store and I showed her the exact helmet that he wanted. We picked it up and went to the counter to pay. Behind the counter, on a shelf, sat another Dallas Cowboys helmet, but it was a bit different. This one had lights around the star and was lit up like a Christmas tree.



In all seriousness, she asks, “Do you think Josh would rather have the one that lights up?”



I laughed and I laughed hard. I was not sure what was funnier, the fact that she was asking or the fact that she was serious.



“No, Mother. I can assure you, he does not!”



The story does not end there. After Christmas, I took Joshua up to the store and showed him what he could’ve had for Christmas. He laughed too. Every year I bring this up….”too bad you did not get the helmet that lights up.” He always laughs and then says, “That will NEVER get old.”



I tried to find a picture of this helmet, but could not. I can only assume that someone decided it was not a great idea and they stopped making them.



Second memory……I am not 100% sure how it all started, but once I moved out of my parent’s house, Joshua and I always went to Mother and Dad’s to help decorate for Christmas. I am sure I had pity on Mother and just decided we should help her, but I do not really recall.



One of Mother’s specialties was putting up the Christmas lights. She was a perfectionist about this and so it was her job. One Christmas, Josh took it upon himself to follow her around the tree holding the strand of lights. Nice of him, I know.



After a minute or two, Mother gives this high pitched giggle and says, “Josh, stop chasing me around the tree!”



WHAT. THE. HECK??



Did my Mom just do and say that to my husband?



Yes. Yes, she did.



And wait…..Is my husband laughing with her???



Yes. Yes, he was.



Every year since, I mock her when we put up our lights. I of course do not say it as good as she did, but we get a good laugh out of it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mother's Pecan Pie

If I had to live the rest of my life only eating one kind of pie, pecan would be it! I have childhood memories of sitting on the back porch step with my grandfather while he cracked pecans with his hands. He would toss some in the bowl and give some to me to eat. I would wash them down with a cold Dr. Pepper. Thank you Paps for teaching me the finer things in life!

My grandmother would then make the BEST pecan pies!! When my grandmother stopped making the pies, my Mother took over.

I could not have a Thanksgiving without this pie.

The key ingredient here is to use LIGHT corn syrup and not the dark. It makes all the difference in the world and the pie is fabulous! I’ve had the pie with halved pecans and the pieces. I am not sure why, but I like the pieces better. But, either way, it is greatness.

Oh, and sometimes I “make” the crust and sometimes I use a frozen crust. I find that during Thanksgiving I tend to use the frozen since it is quicker and I have many other things to make. However, at Christmas, my Dad makes the majority of the food, so I take more time for the crust.

Mother always “made” hers. Here is the secret recipe to her crust.  Follow instructions on the box....yes, you simply add water.  :-)



Because my Mother made this pie more during my life than my grandma, I call it Mother’s Pecan Pie. Here is the recipe. ENJOY!!

Mother’s Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

¼ cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup light corn syrup
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups pecans

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Next find the cutest little cook around.  (Please note a good cook will always have some sort of mess on their apron.)



Melt butter and mix all ingredients in order listed.





















Pour into deep dish shell.




Cook for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for 35 minutes.  Crust should be golden brown. 





Let cool completely before serving.

YUMMY!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The New Sitter in Town

A while back I thought about learning to knit. I decided it was probably just a passing phase and so I decided not to learn. Then I kept thinking about it some more. I thought it would be fun to make scarves, mittens, hats, sweaters, and maybe, just maybe, even new Christmas stockings for us. (obviously not for THIS Christmas)

I made a decision. I will do it!

Now that I made up my mind to learn this craft, I needed someone to teach me. I thought that The Sister (from another mother) knew how, so I started with her. Nope, she does not know how, but she wanted to learn this as well and even already had some yarn and needles. I had no idea. PERFECT! I now had a knitting buddy.

I called around and found us a place to take a class, but the only problem was the hours. Perfect hours for her are not perfect hours me. The only time that really worked well for us both was Saturday afternoon, but she has two boys that need to be looked after. And since her husband, our favorite police officer, works on Saturday afternoons she needed to enlist a sitter.

“Do you think Josh would want to watch the boys?” she asked.

“Hummmm…. I don’t know, but I will ask.” I replied.

Okay, so will Josh want to watch three boys, ages 6, almost 4, and almost 2….and for about three hours? To be honest, I was not feeling hopeful on this. Josh has watched these three boys alone before, but it was only for a short while. Nothing went wrong, and in fact, the boys were perfect. But, for three hours? Not sure he would go for this.

“Hey, I found a place that has sewing classes. “

“Good.”

“The only problem is that The Sister needs someone to watch the boys. Want to do it?”


Silence. Not even crickets chirping in the background. Just silence.


“You really do not have to do it if you do not want too. Just say so. Really, it’s no big deal.”

“I will do it.”

“Really?”

“Yes, I want y’all to be able to have your time together and do the class.”

Do I have the best husband or what?

And no worries, I will keep you posted on how the sitting goes!!



Oh, and does anyone have a Nanny Cam I can borrow??

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cooking with Luke

That title kinda has a ring to it. I think there may be a cooking show in the future for this kid!

Luke has been working on writing a cookbook and since I think it may be a while until we get it published, I thought I would share some of the recipes on here. That way, if there are readers with little ones, they can cook with them. Or, if there are some adults out there who want to really broaden their horizons in cooking, they give it a whirl too!

I will admit, that some, just some, of the recipes so far are a little vague. There is some reading between the lines which is required when cooking these recipes. But, what do you expect from a six year old boy?!? However, the one below has pretty good instructions and requires almost no assisting the cook!

Please note that the directions below are the exact words and directions from the Master Cook and NOT his mother.

Monster Toasts

Pour milk in four bowls.

Put food coloring in.



Paint a monster.





Toast it.



Put butter on it.



Put powder sugar on it.



Munch your monster!


Please cook with your kiddos and ENJOY!!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sharing Cake

Our favorite police officer had to leave Luke’s birthday party early to go to work. He did not get any cake, so I told him I would send some home with his wife. But, I forgot.

He called her later in the night to make sure I sent a piece home for him and boy was he disappointed to find out that I did not. I felt bad.

But, I said I would just bring a piece to church the next day.

On Sunday morning, Luke wanted cake for breakfast. What kind of mother lets her kid eat chocolate cake for breakfast?? This one. It’s what makes your birthday special….doing things out of the ordinary.

We went in to get the cake and Luke says, “Do not give me all of it! Kyle NEEDS a piece!!”

First of all…..Luke, no worries, Mom is not about to give you THAT much cake for breakfast. While I am cool enough to let you eat the cake, I am not cool enough to pour ridiculous amounts of sugar down your throat so early in the morning.

Second…..really?? He NEEDS it? As in, if he does not get this wonderful cake that I made in his stomach he will kill over dead?? Yes, I think that might have been true. Luke is so smart. We cannot have our favorite police officer dead from lack of cake. Then there will be no one to get the bad guys off the street.

And third…. and most important, I was so proud that he remembered to think of someone besides himself, even with his own chocolate birthday cake!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Luke's Birthday Party

I believe this was my favorite of all Luke’s birthdays. I love that his birthday was on a Saturday, the same day that he was born, and so it was fun to have his party on his actual birthday. The party was low key and fun! We rounded up our best friends, their kids, and headed off for some bowling. The adults had a lane and the kids had a lane. As if watching the grown-ups bowl was not funny enough, watching the kidos sure was.









We then went to our house and had pizza and salad for lunch.

After lunch, it was time for presents. I just love how at every child’s birthday party, the children all feel compelled to assist the birthday child in opening presents. It makes me laugh. I have often thought about doing it to someone just to see what the response would be. Would everyone smile and think I am cute, or would a knock down, drag out, fight ensue?

This year Luke received some awesome birthday presents!

Grandpa Petty gave him a serious gun with serious ammo. I feel Joshua and I will need to purchase guns to protect ourselves and Brody will need a full armor suit.



Grandpa and Grandma Stewart and Aunt Charity gave Luke a art set that included paper, scissors, glue, color pencils, markers, colors, paint, and paint brush…all in a caring case!


The BF and her family gave Luke the neatest airplane, complete with pilot and cargo. And it is no ordinary plane, it does the neatest things! Currently, the cargo is MIA, but the pilot is spoken for.


The sister from another mother sewed Luke an apron!  She and her family also gave Luke supplies to make the cookbook he is writing, as well as a book and paint set.


Another friend of mine did not attend the party, but sent along a Highlights magazine and bought Luke a year’s subscription and then some other knick knacks, but no paddy whacks.


We had already given Luke the puppy for his birthday, but we had to give him something on his actual birthday, so we gave him Toy Story 3 and silly bands (because the 500 he already has simply are not enough).


After opening presents and playing it was time for cake and singing!





Luke requested a chocolate cake, chocolate icing, with chocolate sprinkles. To top all that chocolatey goodness off, they had chocolate ice cream. Most of which ended up being spilt all over the table. Each boy then came in to tell me the table was messy. No clarification, just that it was messy. I of course took this to mean there were plates, napkins, and cups on the table, not ice cream. Hey boys, clarification is much appreciated!

Everyone stayed over for the entire afternoon and into the night. The kids played, watched tv, argued, hurt each other, and played some more. Five boys all under the age of six….lots going on. We grown-ups sat around talking and laughing….a lot. And refereeing the arguments.

Now, as you can imagine, with all these boys, many funny things happened and were said. Here is my favorite of the night. All the boys were down the hall in our extra bedroom and there was yelling and doors slamming. No one appeared to be hurt (yet), but I asked Josh to go down there and tell them to stop slamming the doors. (I personally did not get up to do this myself as I was holding the BF’s sweet baby girl and trying to decide how to steal her.) Joshua went down the hall and said, “yall need to stop yelling, stop slamming doors, and need to put ALL your clothes back on!”

Please tell me, why do boys feel they need to take off their clothes? As not to incriminate the innocent….it was the youngest son of the BF who felt he had too many clothing items on. However, I do believe that I have seen each of these boys take their clothes off at some point when it was not appropriate.

Why? Why do they do this?

Boys are strange. They smell weird. They are loud.

But, I love them. I love my Luke and I love each of those boys at his party.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Always a Happy Birthday Song

Four years ago today my parents called to sing Happy Birthday to Luke. Praise the Lord we were not home and they sang to him on our answering machine.

Several months later, I realized the message was still on our machine. I thanked God immediately for this little gift and will forever be grateful.

Ever since, on his birthday, Luke has been able to hear his Grandma Petty sing Happy Birthday to him, with Grandpa as the backup. I can think of no better present than the sound of Mother’s voice singing to her youngest Grandson.

Sometimes I cry when I listen, and sometimes I smile so big it hurts.
Luke, please know your Grandma Petty thought the world of you….in fact, I know she still does.

HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY LUKE!!


Mommy and Daddy love you so, so much and are so very proud of you and all you have done in your six years!






Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is it wrong?


Is it wrong to want to kidnap someone’s baby? Really, I need to know.  I seriously want to do it.

My BF had her baby girl and she is the cutest thing ever. She has a full head of hair and is lovely. I am not saying my BF is not a good mother, she is. I just think I need to raise this little angel. And besides, she has two boys. They can keep her busy and occupied.

I know they will notice this precious little girl is missing and I have a feeling they will suspect me. After all, I have been sporting a rather large purse.

Luckily for me, I work for a company that supports working remotely.

The Stewarts may be packing up and going to Wyoming soon….or some other place where no one will think to look for us.

As soon as the BF and her family are used to the new living arrangement, they can visit; I have no objections to that. I just want this baby girl to live with me.

Congrats you guys. She is perfect and I love her!

Yes, I got this baby's Momma's approval to post her picture.  What kind of crazy person do you think I am??

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Kong



It may be too early to say this with pure conviction, but I think the Kong has completely changed our lives for the good!

I love Brody, I really do, but some things were going to have to change or we were just not going to live in pure happiness and bliss together.

Brody is a fun and playful dog, but we soon learned that he got bored with HIS toys rather quickly. He first turned to Luke’s toys. No bueno. No bueno at all. You see, this caused major problems with Luke. Luke loves Brody and wants to continue to love him, but he cannot tolerate the dog taking HIS toys and chewing on them. Luke has seen all three Toy Story movies and so he knows without a doubt that his toys have feelings. And he hurts for them when they are being carried around in the mouth of a little beagle. Oh the drama!

So, we would distract Brody and remind him of his toys. This worked, for a while at least.

Then, Brody seemed to be bored again. And now, he turned to my things for entertainment. No bueno. No bueno at all. For some bizarre reason, the things that Brody loved most of mine are things that once belonged to my mother! This needs no explaining, you understand. Brody and I went round and round. Brody, I love you and think you are swell and I want to continue to love you and think that you are swell.

But, the little red bird that once belonged to my mother and used to sit on the birdbath, which also belonged to her, in our entryway is NOT supposed to look like this.



I do not have a picture what it is supposed to look like, but I can assure you, the above is NOT it.

I realize that sweet little Brody has no clue the emotional damage he could possibly be doing to me, but, this could not go on. Luckily for Brody, Luke was aware the bird had some sentimental value to me. So he made a replacement. I must say I like the new bird better. Brody is lucky that my Luke is just the sweetest thing ever.



Anyway, we had been told about the Kong and I looked it up on the computer one night. Not one bad review about it! In fact, many people said how they too had issues with their dogs and this toy changed things for them.

A glimmer of hope sparked inside of me. We might have some relief soon, rather than waiting for this pup to grow out of puppiness!

I ordered a Kong on Amazon and then waited on the front porch for it to arrive. Okay, not really, I had to stay in the house and monitor our Brody to ensure that the bird was the only thing he ever had the chance to totally destroy…and go to work from time to time.

Then, it arrived at our door. I was so happy. Luke was so happy. Josh would have been happy too if he was home at that moment. I was also hopeful that peace and happiness would soon return to the Stewart home!

I ripped that box open, filled the Kong with peanut butter, dog treats, and some kibble. Luke tossed it to Brody and we watched. We watched and watched while laughing hysterically. Brody LOVES this toy and it kept him occupied for an hour straight. No lie!!




While I was elated, I was also concerned that this too would get old. But, to a beagle, I guess food and treats will never grow old and this toy is still entertaining him like crazy. Whoo Hoo!!

Brody has forgotten that there is a room down the hall full of toys that belong to a little boy. He has also forgotten about the flowers that sit upon the coffee table, the wooden chairs in our kitchen, and the wood bar stools. He is now fully focused on getting the treats out of the Kong!



Thank you Kong makers!! Peace and happiness are fully restored!!!

Now, if we could just get Brody to pee outside in the rain. Is there a toy for that?

This is in not a paid advertisement, just a happy customer review.