Saturday, May 31, 2008

Clearly I have lost it...

I just threw a birthday party for a McDonald's Happy Meal toy. I will give you a moment to let that sink in.

I feel the need to explain. Tractor Boy fell in love with a goofy little 2 inch teddy bear from a Happy Meal a few months ago. Very out of character for him, but whatever. Lately he has been obsessed with Teddy. Grandma "had" to make clothes for teddy. He must sleep with Teddy and "share his food" with him.
Well, this morning he announced that it was Teddy's 3rd birthday. AND that it was absolutely necessary to have a party with a cake.
Cut to an hour ago. Nearly had a meltdown when it was realized that we had NOT in fact bought a cake for Teddy. Thankfully we had a few mini-cupcakes and 3, yes 3! candles. So, being Mother of the Year, we put Teddy in his nicest outfit, lit the candles, sang Happy Birthday, and then had cupcakes. Teddy even shared his. Luckily, I fixed the camera so here is proof of our craziness.

Please don't ask about the snowman plates. You're talking to a woman that just celebrated the birthday of a deformed teddy bear. Clearly, the snowman plates are the least of my problems.

Speaking of cupcakes...this pretty much says it all.

I hereby vow to get some exercise in everyday. I am not sure how exactly, but I will figure something out. I will also get back to drinking more water and less Starbucks. I will also eat a Lean Cuisine type meal for lunch rather than my children's leftovers. No more Pop Tarts for breakfast. Oatmeal and Special K bars only. 6 months and 5 days until the bridesmaid dress becomes a reality. I need willpower, people. And any advice that you might have. Any secret weight loss tips you've been keeping to yourselves?

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Friday, May 30, 2008

A little of this and that

I have another meal in the Crock Pot! Yes. 2 Crock Pot meals in one week. I got all PW-like (without the nice house and fancy camera) and took pics as I went. BUT, I am not posting them until I try this meal. I am sure it will be good, but to be honest I am a little nervous. The smell is...not my favorite smell. So, I have a pizza on stand-by if things go sour. I will let you know.

It's another wonderful summer break day. I started mowing while the kids played outside. Actually, they ended up standing on the front porch watching me for some time. Then they got bored and were inside watching TV. But, I ran out of gas! :( And although there are gas cans in the barn, I am a little hesitant about using them. These men around here tend to put strange things in containers so just because it LOOKS like a gas can, doesn't necessarily mean it contains gas. So, the lawn mower sits while I blog. Boy, was that a miserable, boring paragraph, or what?!

OOh. Exciting news. A lady from the place where my teaching award is coming from called today to get my SSN in order to "CUT THE CHECK!" Woo hoo. Bring on the check! Not sure how much it is for, but even 5 dollars would make me giddy.

Clay Aiken. Hmm. If this guy doesn't want to admit he's gay, then why would he AI a 50 year old woman? That might just get filed under, "Creepiest news of the week."

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things I have done so far on my summer vacaction:

1. Cooked a lovely meal in my Crock Pot

2. Slept in until 6:30 (That's right. My adorable children think that 6:30 is a good time to get up.)

3. Dusted the entire house

4. Went to the big city and had lunch with my sister (without the kids!)

5. Did 72 loads of laundry and for once I did everything-washed, dried, AND put away

6. Picked up about 1,000 tractors

7. Made hot chocolate for the kids at 6:45 this morning per their request because nothing says summer vacation like hot chocolate

8. Bought this sign (on the gate) and planted the pentunias. I am waiting on my husband to get more "miracle grow" from the barn for my top bucket.
9. After years of waiting for my husband to do something with it, I finally just took matters into my own hands and took an empty, barren piece of land and did this! 3 days ago it was completely full of weeds and leaves. Oh, and a broken whiskey barrel planter. The kids are I worked our butts off and got it deweeded (mostly) cleaned out, planted, and spruced up. I personally told our favorite dump truck owner that I wanted a load of pea gravel today! Woo hoo!

10. Found my daughter dressed like this. I like to call the picture, "Russian Peasant."

11. Proofread my sister's wedding invitations. We don't want another Save the Date fiasco.

12. Had lunch with my mom (She bought. Yay!)

13. Downloaded Carrie Underwood's "Last Name" onto my iPOD. LOVE that song. (You can hear it too. Just click "play" on my music list.)

For more lists of all things thirteen, go here.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The garbage bowl. Rachael Ray has talked up the garbage bowl forever it seems. I wasn't all that convinced that a separate bowl for scraps as you cook would be helpful. Are you ready for a rare moment? I was wrong. There. I said it. It turns out my mom had a bowl from her mom that she was getting rid of as it didn't have a lid. Lo and behold it looked JUST like Rachael's garbage bowl. So, I took it home with me and tried it out. It makes a huge difference. No more messy counters or back and forth to the trash can. It really does save time and space as you prepare a meal. And those of you who have been reading my blog know I am working on using my Crock Pot more now that school is out. So, I used my garbage bowl this morning as I prepared my meal. Check it out.

This is Rachael's bowl available here for $17.95. Does your bowl need to look like this? Um, no.

This is my garbage bowl full of potato and onion peels, as well as a few wrappers.

And this is the savory meal I was able to put together in no time thanks to my garbage bowl.

The garbage bowl. It works for me.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Spy the Answer!

I know you're all dying to know where the paci is. I apologize if I kept you up all night wondering. You won't have to worry your pretty little head tonight, though. Here it is!That was fun! I am sure my kids will create more messes with which we can play. The good thing is, each type of toy has its own tub or drawer so clean up is surprisingly quick. There's a tub for blocks, toy box for large equipment, basket for medium equipment, then there is a 3 drawer cart for animals (top drawer), attachments (middle drawer), and 1/64 tractors (bottom drawer.) I do love a good organizational system!

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Monday, May 26, 2008

I Spy

with my little eye, a paci. Do you?

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What a Crock

Now that I will be home during the day, I would like to use my Crock Pot more often so that I can get supper prepared before the evening meltdown occurs. My problem...I have like 2 recipes for my Crock Pot and one of them is a frozen store-bought meal in a bag. You can see I need some help. So, here's your mission should you choose to accept it. I need recipes, people. Main course, easy, seafood-free recipes. PLEASE leave a Crock Pot recipe comment. Please. The future of my family depends on it. Well, that's a bit dramatic. But, it would be nice to cook them a meal once in awhile. I don't want my children to think hot dog is a food group. Thank you.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008


The kids are in bed and I am enjoying my first glass of wine. Okay, it's not technically a glass, but rather a frozen beer mug full of blackberry wine. So sue me.

It has been a great day all around. The weather is AMAZING. It was about 75 degrees with a light breeze most of the day. And right now I am sitting next to an open window and it's just chilly enough to enjoy a sweatshirt. I love cool evenings. It's one of the best things about an Indiana spring.

We spent most of the day hanging out at home and running a few errands. After Little Miss had her nap we went to the park right down the road from our house. We were the only people there for most of the time so the kids got full run of the place. It's not big, but it has just enough for a 2 and 4 year old to stay busy with. At one point a 3 year old girl was there trying to take the swing that Little Miss was deciding whether to get on or not. The little girl said, "That's my swing." Tractor Boy replied, "Well, did you build the swings?" LOL. What a good big brother sticking up for his sister along with just the right amount of sarcasm to know he is my child.

I leave you with a few cute pics from the week. You will be able to tell I am on summer break as the number of pictures I have time to take/edit/post will increase dramatically. Lucky you! ;)

Most adorable new shoes from Target!

Wearing Daddy's work shirts.

You might not think toilet paper would be much of a toy for a 4 year old boy. Au contraire. They make the most perfect round bales.

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Fridge Facts

The last line pretty much sums it up.

What Your Fridge Says About You

You aren't greedy, but you don't really deprive yourself either. You strike a good balance with the stuff you buy.

You are not careful with your money. In fact, you rarely think about how much you are spending.

You don't tend to be a very adventurous person, but you do surprise everyone now and then. You have a bit of a wild side.

You try to be responsible, but you don't always succeed. Your heart is in the right place though.

You are likely to be married - and very busy.

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Friday, May 23, 2008


Mrs. 4444 gave me this totally awesome awesomeness award a couple weeks ago. I love her blog and think she is awesome too, so go check her out!

Now, if you haven't figured out just how awesome I am and don't believe Mrs. 4444 since she doesn't REALLY know me, go read my real life friend's blog. She thinks I am all that and a bag of chips. So much so she rallied my school to nominate me for an excellence in teaching award in our district. How freakin' crazy is that?! She sees an email sent in April or May which requires letter writing, thought, effort, etc. That is the end of the school year, people. No one wants to mess with that kind of stuff at the end of the school year. When you see that kind of email, you hit "DELETE." But she didn't. She organized several people (including all 48 fifth graders!) to write nomination letters. I couldn't be more thankful and grateful and overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness. But the big question is...did I win?

You will have to read this to find out.

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School's Out for the Summer!

It's over! Another school year has come and gone. It has actually gone very quickly. I feel like I just met this group of kids and now I have sent them on to
6th grade! It was a fairly uneventful, yet crazy day. The kids walked in to find Bob nametags on their desks. :) Then we had our awards program from 8:30-10:00. It was L-O-N-G. It looked funny to see most of my class standing for attendance or honor roll awards with Bob nametags on. LOL
Then we went back to the room for corn snacks. The kids made "corn salad" out of Corn Pops cereal, corn chips, and cheedar cheese puffcorn. (The corn cupcakes ended up being way more time consuming and expensive than I had realized, so I opted for the cheaper corn celebration!) All in all, it was a good morning. Then we cleaned the room up and out. Then I sent them off to lunch and recess. Thank the Lord it wasn't raining then! After recess we went to the 6th grade graduation program, then inside the room for an extra recess. Then we sent them off to the buses. All the teachers stood in the rain to wave those buses on! Phew!
Somewhere in there daycare called to let me know Tractor Boy was running a 101 degree fever! So I asked them to give him Tyl...

See how I stopped in mid-sentence? Yeah. Tractor Boy started throwing up on the couch. So, the Tylenol I had just given me 10 minutes before is now on my couch and the floor. Good times. Now I have him changed, blankey and Teddy in the washer and a BUCKET next to him on the non-puked on couch.

Did I mention I am glad school is over?! Yes, yes I am. Although I have to admit, going from a full-time working mom to a SAHM is always a tough adjustment in the summer. I love having more time with the kids, but it is tough getting used to being at home all day. I have to remind myself to stop and just ENJOY the summer and not worry about staying busy working/cleaning/picking up, etc. I just need to enjoy my summer with the kids. I hope to stay plenty busy with play dates, trips to the playground, park, library, Grandma and Grandpa's house, zoo, Children's Museum, etc. This will be the last summer before Tractor Boy starts school. :( I DEFINITELY need to make the most of it.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Mashed Potatoes

That's right. I am blogging about mashed potatoes. Here goes.

Up until a few weeks ago, my only real experience with mashed potatoes came from a box. That's what we had growing up. That's the kind Mom made and I never had the opportunity or need to make real mashed potatoes.

That was until Pioneer Woman posted the recipe for those damn roasted garlic mashed potatoes. She ruined my life. Ruined my life. Because now I must have real mashed potatoes. I haven't used a flake since. And me and mashed potatoes go way back. I love potatoes of all shapes and sizes, but roasted garlic mashed potaotes? Hamana.

But do you know what a pain in the ass mashing potatoes is? Okay, the mashing part isn't TOO bad but the pealing takes forever. And it's messy. And time consuming.

So, when I spotted these at the grocery, I thought I would give them a try.

They are SO good. You must try them right now. While I will still make real mashed potatoes for special occasions and on all those days when I have tons of free time, these Bob Evans mashed potatoes have replaced the box of flakes in my cabinet. (Well, they really need to be refrigerated, but you get the idea.)

What are you doing still reading? Go buy these mashed potatoes!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Well Worth the Wait

Today was such a great day! The kids finally got the Gator surprise. Grandma and I waited in the garage facing the door. Grandpa opened the door for the kids and we caught their first glimpse of the Gator on video. They were so cute! Little Miss liked it and took a few rides, but Grandpa is pretty much the only toy she needs. She definitely has him wrapped around her little finger.

Tractor Boy, on the other hand, not only loved it but drove it endlessly the entire time we were there. The tools and bucket were just icing on the cake. What a great weekend!

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Be sure your sound is on

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OMG! Could I be more excited? NKOTB performed a medley of their best songs on the Today Show. I did love me some Donnie. If you can ignore the pitchiness (okay, they're tone deaf) and the fact that they are now a 40 something boy band, it's pretty good.

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Saturday Stuff

Need a rainy day activity for kids? Try this. (Okay, it's not raining here but I really just wanted to sit at the computer with my coffee.)

Use a baking dish (the deeper the better) and put some uncooked rice in the pan. Get your loaders and bulldozers ready. Dig in!

It really helps if you don't mind sweeping up rice in about 30 minutes because with these shallow pans, there will be a mess. Oh yes, there will. As a matter of fact, I just heard a crash followed by Little Miss running to get her Susie Homemaker broom and dustpan. I am not even getting up. I don't want to know.

I am so excited that this weekend is finally going to be dry (hopefully) and possibly warmish. My parents bought the kids this

and it has been sitting in their garage ready to roll for a week and a half, but the weather has been such crap that we haven't been able to do anything with it. The kids don't even know about it yet! But, tomorrow we are going to Gamma and Campa's house. My dad has a regular Gator (as do we but for some reason Campa's is much more exciting.) Anyway, Dad always has the back of his loaded with gloves, gardening tools, bucket, etc. So, Mom got each kid a set of garden gloves, gardening tools, buckets. Little Miss even gets pink ones! Cute! It even has the extra dump bed!

Luckily it won't dump over 22 lbs so there is no fear of Tractor Boy dumping his sister out! Farm Guy got the same John Deere keychain Campa has for the kids' keys. I can't wait to see their faces tomorrow when the garage door opens.

The rest of the day includes errands, laundry, dishes, and sweeping up rice. Have a great Saturday!

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Friday, May 16, 2008

I could have sworn this bottle was full half an hour ago.

That's right. A whole bottle. But, oh boy was it good. And it has magically made all the stress melt away...along with my ability to type coherent sentences, so I will keep this short and sweet.

5 days, people! Do you understand the magnitude of that number? Praise the Lord we have a busy week. There is so much going on I seriously doubt my ability to actually teach anything. And really, who are we kidding? How much learning is going to happen the last week? My one and possibly only teaching experience will be the soda and Mentos experiment, which is always a hit. We are testing which brand will produce the biggest fountain. Last year it was Diet Sam's Choice cola. This year? I will let you know!

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

From the popsicle stick

Why wouldn't the oyster let anyone have his pearl?

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El Starbucks

After school we ran to Starbucks. When the barista handed me my order, she repeated it back to me.

"Here's your grande, light, no whip, mint mocha chip frappuccino."

Tractor Boy pipes up from the backseat, "Is she speaking Spanish?"

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I have blogged about this before, but I just love it! I do not have any fancy picture editing programs on my computer (read: Photoshop is too dang expensive!) so I rely on my newest obsession, Picnik. Picnik is a free, online picture editing program. You can play around with color, contrast, frames, text, graphics, and more. I swear, if you don't have Photoshop or any other good picture editing program, try Picnik. It works for me.
For more great tips, please be sure to check out WFMW on Rocks in My Dryer. I'm John Deere Mom and I approve this message. Thank you.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can you feel the love tonight?

Since Crazy Daisy gave me the most adorable little bloggy award, I decided I should share the love. So, here are 10 blogs I love, in no particular order. (I am really sorry if you are reading this and I did not pick you. Seriously. I had to pick 10. If I gave the award to every blog I read and stalk, we would be here all night, people.)

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Kids say the darndest things

Tonight I was putting jammies on the kids. Tractor Boy was squirreling around and "accidentally" kicked me. Farm Guy immediately told him to apologize and give me a hug. Tractor Boy looked completely perplexed and said, "Why, is it Mother's Day again?"

Hello?! He thinks he only needs to be nice on Mother's Day?

So I told him that everyday was Mother's Day because mothers are special. He said, "Well, I don't think so."

*breaking heart*

Then he redeemed himself. He grabbed me in a hug and said, "I think you are the only special mom."

*happy heart*

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Aw, shucks.

One of my favorite bloggers, Crazy Daisy over at Forever Daisies, has given me the sweetest little award. Wanna see it? Come on, you know you do. Here it is...

Is that just the sweetest thing you have ever seen? It definitely made my night, so thank you Daisy. You had me at, "I love you."
I think I should probably share the love and promise to do so...tomorrow.

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Single Digits

That's right. 9 days of school. Man, that feels good to say. 9 is easy. What isn't easy is pretending that it's school as usual for 9 more days. But I can certainly manage. I just keep pretending I don't know how many days are left when the kids ask. :) If only they knew I was counting down the minutes!

If you are looking for something to do, head over to Google Doodle and vote for the best kid-designed Google Doodle. My class submitted entries, but unfortunately none were chosen. There are some amazing artists in the Top 10. So go check it out and vote for your favorite in each age group.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

So far this Saturday

We ran errands this morning. We hit the ATM, then went to hell and back Wal-Mart, then to a local greenhouse for Mother's Day planters. They didn't have what I wanted, so what did we do? Went to an ice cream stand instead.

Once we got home and unloaded the groceries, we were playing outside in the somewhat sunny yet cool weather. I decided I wanted to mow the backyard. Farm Guy was/is at work (his real job, not his farming) and the backyard REALLY needed it. So I let the kids play on the patio in the sandbox while I got started. A few passes into the yard, I look down and I MOWED A SNAKE! Did you hear me?! I mowed a snake! Heaven help me. It was, um, slightly alive but in no condition to do anything about it. I freaked out and started screaming for the dogs. I thought they would rescue me. I was wrong. All they did was fling it around a little and paw at it. So, I regained my composer and mowed the rest of the yard. It looks great, except for the little unmowed patch because of Mr. Snake. I wasn't willing to run it over again just to finish mowing for fear of part of it flying onto me. I don't think I would survive the trauma.

So, how's your Saturday going?

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things I won't miss during summer break:

1. Bob

2. Corn

3. Grading papers

4. Curriculum mapping

5. Hearing, "He cut in line."

6. Dealing with, "She said she wouldn't be my friend anymore because I told her I wanted to be Susie's friend but she doesn't like Susie so now she is ignoring me and telling everybody blah blah blah."

7. Teaching from a stupid math program

8. Sending missing work papers home with the same kid all year with no results

9. Meetings

10. Meetings (Seriously, there are so many it definitely counts for at least 2 things.)

11. Kickball drama on the playground

12. Emails from parents

13. 30 minute drive to school

There are probably more, but these are the top things that came to mind. I am definitely ready for summer. It seems this week and the upcoming final two weeks have been/are turning out to be so busy and stressful. I will be glad to stand on the sidewalk and wave those buses on for good on May 23. Well, for good at least until August 14.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Farm Equipment 101

We have a winner! A random winner, that is. I put your names on pieces of paper and had Farm Guy pick one out of a basket and the winner is......


Congratulations! I will track you down to send you the John Deere toy.

Now, more importantly it's time to get schooled. So, here are the answers to the quiz.
1. Manure spreader

2. Seed drill

3. Square baler

4. Log skidder

5. Planter

That was fun. Now, don't tell Tractor Boy I am giving away a tractor. Whew boy, would he be mad!

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Are You Smarter Than a 4 Year Old?

Let's find out! As I was playing with Tractor Boy and marveling at how much John Deere equipment he has, I thought it would be fun to have a little contest. Soooo...I am posting 5 pictures of various pieces of equipment. Leave me a comment with the name of each piece of equipment. We'll see if there are other John Deere moms out there!

Even if you don't know them all, you have an equal chance of winning. I will pick a random comment for the super exciting prize of a toy John Deere tractor (1/64 scale...yeah, that'd be the smallest!) I will pick the winner Wednesday night at 9:00 EST. Good luck and have fun!






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