Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lordy, Lordy Look Who's Forty....One

Steven celebrated his 41st birthday on Thursday. It’s not very often that we get to go out just the two of us. We didn’t go anywhere fancy or romantic but we had time alone—which is priceless. As with anything I am involved in there’s little adventure.

We got a late start because they were working cows and when we returned home he would need to finish breeding the cows. I came home from an almost horrible day at work (it’s not the wok that’s awful but a few of the people you have to deal with). Anyway, I called Steven before I left work to tell him I was taking him on a date just the two of us. As soon as I got home, I started getting ready so he wouldn’t have any reason to back out. While I was transforming from frumpy school teacher to hot momma, Charlee decided to join her dad outside in the cow pens. Later, Charlee came charging in to tell me about her dad’s dealings with the cows…. I’m not going into disgusting detail. Charlee explained how her dad had stuck his arm in the cow and she had “die-a-ribed” on him and to look where she also had die-a-ribed all of her. I immediately replied “I hope you didn’t get that on my carpet”. Lucky for me she didn’t. Not long after that Steven peeked his head in the back door, I remind him that I wanted to take him out to eat. He sheepishly agreed and then stepped inside—he was covered in poop from head to toe. Needless to say this did not set the tone for a romantic night out. He showered and shaved –and turned back into the handsome man I know.

We were going to leave the girls with their grandparents. Most of you know that typically we have to tear Charlee away from her Grandma Hines. Not the case this time. She pitched a royal fit. We tried everything under the sun to bribe her. I even told her we were going possum hunting and that she may get hurt …but she explained the door to the truck would be closed and she would be safe. Finally, I broke down and grabbed my scrapbooking bag which she is forbidden to mess with. She jumped up and acted as though she had never shed a tear and couldn’t wait to get over there and “scrap book”.

Due to time restraints, we decided to go to Backyard. Plus if it’s your birthday you eat free. The waitress sat us down, when Steven realized he left his wallet in his work truck. No free meal tonight. The rest of the evening went fairly uneventful. I even got a kiss good night from the birthday boy.

I have said in the past that Steven married me not out of love, but because I could cook (almost as good as his mother). On Saturday for Steven and Katie’s birthdays, I baked their favorite cake—Brown Sugar Pound Cake. I got the recipe from my friend Kathy. Forever ago, I stayed with Kathy so I could attend classes to get the courses needed for elementary certification (about 15 years ago). We tried out this recipe. I don’t know if she ever fixes it, but my bunch devours the whole cake the day I bake it. I, personally, like the batter better than the cake.

Charlee helped me bake the cake for them. Katie came into the kitchen hollering the cake is burning and opens the oven….about twenty minutes later BIG daddy comes in and opens the oven door again.
If you bake, you know what happened to my cake. What didn’t fall, stuck to the pan.

The remains are the yummiest part....

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

1 cup butter
½ cup shortening
1 pound brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
5 eggs
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating at medium speed. Add flavoring. Sift dry ingredients (2times) add to creamed mixture alternating with milk.
Grease a tube pan (I use a Bundt pan). Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

HINT Place a baking dish with water in it under the cake to make it extra moist. This a secret I learned from Shirley Williams a lady at our church.

Belated Valentine Blessings

Bear with me through this post... I have been working on it for over a week and can't get the wording correct...but you will get the gist.

“I have learned to be content with whatever the circumstance” Philippians 4:11

There was a time in my life when I thought I need more. I am not exactly sure what I need more of but I needed more. But as I grow older and stronger in my faith, I know that whatever I have or whoever I am is only because of Christ.

Our former preacher’s wife Angela sings a song that each and every time I hear it I sob …I’m talking uncontrollable weeping. When I hear it I reflect on the blessings that I have in my life are gifts form God.

Here are some from the lyrics to the song:

The things that I love and hold dear to my heart are just borrowed,
They’re not mine at all,
Jesus let me borrow them to brighten my life
So remind me, remind me, Dear Lord
Roll back the curtains of memory now and then
Show me where you brought me from and
Where I could I have been
Remember I’m human and humans forget
So remind me remind me again.

With that being said here’s a list of some of my random Valentine Blessings

1. A heavy heart and strong conscious because the Holy Spirit is directing my life.
2. My husband’s picking and poking. Proves he loves me without words.
3. The girls when they argue with one another. I know my children are learning to fight for what they believe in and that no means no.
4. Mom and Dad’s invites during the middle of the week, let’s me know that my family still enjoys fellowshipping together.
5. Early morning calls from my father in law- Mr. Robert, confirms we did not die in the night from a gas leak.
6. Ms. Annette, my mother in law inspecting clutter and offering organizing tips because she wants to help make my life easier and less stressed.
7. Prayer request from my church family – demonstrates that we believe in the power of prayer.
8. Rushed 30 minute lunch – reveals that friendships can be maintained in minutes.
9. Floors that needed vacuumed and mopped that means I have a place to call home ( it may not be much but at least it’s not a card board box)
10. An almost empty gas tank- is a sign that we have traveled nearly 400 miles with safety. The ability to fill it up proves that my credit card isn’t maxed out yet.
11. Paper work, books to read and emails to answer implies that I have been blessed with a job.
12. The phone that rings when my hands are wet or I’m in the bathroom lets me know that I have brothers, a sister and friends that care.
13. The shower dripping or leaking proves that we have running water ( however, Steven fixed it this weekend)
14. An unmade bed reveals that I had a cozy place to lay me head the night before.
15. Dirty dishes to wash shows that my family has food on the table.
16. Electricity bill because I have lights, heater and air conditioning
17. Basket full of clothes that need to be fold – portrays I have clothes on my back.
18. Sunday School students that need to be quieted. Who love to come to church and learn about Jesus.
19. Hairy legs –I have been blessed with legs
20. Student loan bills – I have had the opportunity to go to school.

The list could go on and on… but you get the picture God has blessed me in little and big ways.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jawan's site

I stole this from my friend Jawan's blog. It took me a minute to figure out what the man says.

I think it's pretty yucky...but funny.

Check out her site, she has great ideas for little kids and lots of coupons and savings. A post last week had a coupon for a BOGO free entree.

Aunt B

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Seventeen Years of Joy

February 5th ,1992 – seems like yesterday. It doesn’t seem like 17 years have pasted, when my Katie Baby made her grand entrance. I was scheduled to have a C-Section at 8 in the morning. As with any surgery, no eating after midnight---my plan was to eat everything insight right up till 12. My friend Kathy was right by side taking every bite with me. Kathy decided we needed to make birth announcements for our special delivery. This was before the pretty picture ones were popular. While she monkeyed around on the computer, I had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. I didn’t’ make it when I felt the most unpleasant gush. Low and behold my water had broken. (It’s a horrible yucky feeling.) Kathy ran down the hall hollering, burst into Frank and Clara Nell’s bedroom and announced GET UP we have to go the hospital. We scrambled around and finally made our way to the Women’s Center. It was rainy and Frank drove about 45 the whole way. When we finally arrived the nurses giggled that they weren’t expecting me till later and ushered us to the room they had pre-prepared. This is one of the few times I have actually been early. Still today, if I am early it’s because of Katie.

My life with Katie has been filled with lots of joys and adventures. She was a gift from God. If you have spend much time with her you will quickly realize that GOD has blessed Katie with a wide range of talents, she is kindhearted, honest as a preacher, and has a contagious laugh. I know that HE has big plans for Katie. I can’t wait to see what the next seventeen years will have in store for Katie.

There's a water bottle under all that hair.

I love to write acrostics so here’s my tribute to Katie using her name…..

Keepsake Keeper-- She has all sorts of memorabilia stored away in her room. She has cards, rolls of toilet paper, Barbie’s, VHS Disney movies, high school stuff and slivers of paper with notes written on them. Katie loves anything that focuses on family traditions. Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday because most of our family gathers at our house for the celebration. Another favorite event for her is grinding cane at Meme and Papa’s. She loves to her meme tell stories about long ago. She collects teacups and ponders who may have owned the cup prior to her. She has a bulletin board that is overflowing with knick knacks from days of ole.

Great grandpa's restored tractor
Aggressive Athlete—Katie hates to lose. She turns into a beast on the court or the field. Everyone wants Katie on their team. She growls, grunts, and attacks the opponent. Needless to say she will do what ever it takes to win. Last year we had an unexpected visit with the Optometrist. She was playing basketball at PE and got all up in one of the boy’s faces and, he poked her in the eye (by accident). It scratched her retina and nearly blinded her –not really but she sure thought she would never see again. Last week she had mentioned that a girl at school said she was afraid of Katie and her friend, because the look mean. I never thought of my child as a bully. Actually, she has a very determined and intense look—not mean. She is friends with everyone .

Traditionally Talented – Like I was saying earlier Kate loves things of yesteryear. She loves black and white westerns especially John Wayne. Katie and Steven spend hours upon hours watching the western channel. Katie loves music and clothes from the 80s. She knows the words to all the songs. I know if she was a teenager of the 80s we would have been best friends. Like her mom, she has a interest in cooking. She loves to play the piano. As a matter of fact the piano she has was Meme’s from when she was a little girl. Kelley, Angela and me also played on the same one. Her name is also a family heirloom- she was named after my great Aunt Grace. She is sucker for antique shops—so Carrie give her a call next shopping trip. She wants an antique car or her dad’s old work truck. The only reason she likes to ride the bus is so she can see over the fence at the junk yard.

Intelligent Individual --- Katie is a brilliant; I have yet to figure out where the brains and her studious behavior derived from. She pulls a 4.O every nine weeks and has been asked by the Biology teacher to attend a seminar at the other university this summer. But due to her travels this spring we had to decline. As a child, she struggled with reading but now loves to read books about the past especially about the Civil War. (Thanks Ms. Crisatello) Most importantly, Kate is very knowledgeable of the Bible –and applies what she reads and studies. She spends time daily studying her Bible. Praise the Lord that Katie has been blessed with brains and she is not street smart.

Katie is wearing meme's shirt from the early 80's.
Earnestly Easy going--- never gets rattled. She is as cool as a cucumber. This is really obvious in her gait and her speech. Katie is never in a hurry (but she is seldom late). In the show ring she appears to be a novice but in reality she’s just taking her time. Katie enjoys life in the slow lane, taking time to smell the roses. This may seem as a good thing and but it can be nerve rattling…especially when I need to be at work on time. I recently learned that Katie doesn’t like to get to school early because she hates going to the gym. That’s a whole other story. I will never have to worry about Kate having ulcers—stroke –or heart attack.

Happy Belated Bithday Katie

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

26 pair of underwear

Many of you know Katie shows Black Angus Heifers. Undoubtedly, our family’s favorite show is the State Fair. My mom and dad usually tag along to help me with Charlee. This year, we left on Wednesday. Katie and Steven got up earlyand head out for the fair, I hate getting up in the mornings so after lunch thelate risers traveled south to join the show team. However, Charlee woke up raring to go. She was so excited she grabbed the first suitcase she could find and diligently packed the clothes she would need for our four day venture. The contents of her bag- 2 pair of jeans, 1 shirt, 1 pair of socks and 26 pair of underwear. That’s right 26 pair of underwear.

This was Katie’s 5th year showing at the fair. We have a group of friends that we show with- the Jones’, Smith’s, Beauchamp’s and a friend of Katie’s from school – the Harrison’s. Our group can be found joking, encouraging one another, swapping stories- some of which are partially true ;~), and my favorite part--eating.

Katie won 5 blue ribbons, division Reserve grand champion with her bull and first place in the 16 year old showmanship division. I have joked that if Katie was 60 the judge would have asked her out on a date…needless to say he was very impressed with Katie’s attitude in the show ring. After the show he congratulated us on her. The bull in the pictures is an offspring of her first heifer KIT. Last year we took the bull with Kit as a cow calf pair.

Here’s our adventure at the fair---

We love to eat the fresh strawberry shortcake - we eat try to eat at least two a day. The stand is half way across the fair grounds. We walk about a mile to get this particular one. We think it is the best and well worth the trip.

This year, "The Cracker Johnson Bunch" came to the fair for the first time. Angela commented that all “we do is eat” I beg to differ. We do other things ---Katie and Steven groom and feed cows and scoop poop. Sometimes little sis jumps in and helps with assistance from Ms. Marsha.

Saturday, the last day, offers a little free time for Katie to visit with her show friends. The previous days are hectic but tons of fun and excitement.

I told someone Steven just thinks his days are tiresome ….I’d like for him to spend a day in my shoes – Clara Nell wants to BUY everything, Charlee WHINES about everything and Frank, he’s the biggest kid of all – he drags behind wanting to SEE everything.

One evening after our shortcake journey, we decide to take a different route back to the barn. When what to dad’s wondering eyes should he spot ...but a seal show. He was totally intrigue by the splishing and splashing of the seals. So we stopped for him to watch the wet comedy show. One sneaky seal was behind the net tring to escape. He put on a side show just for the few spectators that remained. Dad chuckled and commented about their personalities . Mom and I went to walk away only to find that dad had only moved to a spot where he could get a better view. I asked Dad if he wanted his picture taken with the silly creatures…NO, NO …well if Charlee did he hesitated …Needless to say she wasn’t as impressed as PAPA. So I convinced him ...Yeah Charlee would love to have her picture taken with the seals. So we got in line to get a picture. I’m not sure who’s happier Dad or the seals… I definitely know it wasn’t Charlee.

After we watch the cow shows and we stroll around looking for something to eat. Steven, Dad, Charlee and myself had a delicous ear of corn...while Mom looked for something a little more appetizing . I think she came back with a corn dog. I think I could have find something better.

Okay I have to admit we like to eat.

We absolutely love Cracker Country. We spend hours upon hours watching syrup being made, biscuits cooked over open fire, asking questions about the smoke house, smelling lye soap and eating kettle corn.
Every year I take a picture of the girls in this salt vat.

By the end of the week not only are the cows exhausted but we are too.

The best part of any trip is going home. Maybe next year you can join our adventure. Don' t forget to pack your clean undies for the trip.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Why I hate Saturdays

If I ever make it big.... I will have someone to wash my clothes (and put them away).
Let me break it down for you:
2 loads of Steven's Farm clothes
1 load of Kimberly and Charlee's everyday wear
1 load of whites
2 loads of towels
1load of good delicate lights
1 load of dark delicates
1 load of sheets
1 load of Charlee's bed sheets for school.
and that's doesn't include Katie's.
YES that is 10 loads of clothes that I wash and try to fold on Saturdays. Lord help me if I have a headache or need (want) to go somewhere... I have considered hiring someone just to do the LAUNDRY.
Is anyone interested?????