Sunday, July 20, 2008

Morning Musings....

It's Sunday finally. I love Sundays. I usually get up before everyone else and hop on the computer and check all my groups, email, and blogs that I read and try to catch up from the craziness that is my life every other day of the week. Usually I make coffee but today I am feeling lazy and didn't, though now I am thinking I should have....

George is singing away over in his cage by the front window. I love the sounds parakeets make, even when they get noisy and start squawking. George does have one annoying habit, however--he imitates the telephone! I can't tell you how often I or one of the girls has been sitting in here and we hear the phone ring and start looking for it only to realize it's George! LOL! Funny bird...

Ok--I'm back--with COFFEE! Mmmmm.... When I was up in Lincoln last weekend my gf blessed me with four boxes of Gevalia coffee. If you have never had this coffee, you really need to go online and order some. They have many different blends and roasts. You can get it ground or whole beans, decaf or regular. If you are a first time customer you can even get an awesome coffeepot! And if you like tea--oh man! They have an amazing assortment of teas... So yeah, you should check them out. You will thank me for it--really!

I had to go wake up the kids so they can get ready for church. The daughter's bf is playing drums for worship this morning and he likes us to be there for moral support. He is very good for his age, especially since he has never taken a lesson in his life.

My older daughter just hates him sometimes--not literally, but just the fact that whatever he decides to do he is good at almost right away! She is the opposite and it drives her crazy! "I want to be good at just ONE thing, Mom, ONE THING! And I can't even do that! AARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!" What she doesn't realize is that she has many talents but they aren't ones that draw attention to themselves. She has a kind heart, she is responsible and takes charge when she needs to, she is a hard worker and an excellent, dedicated student. She thinks of others before herself and is unselfish and caring. But these things don't make her GOOD at stuff, like sports or music or whatever and so she doesn't see that she is "good at anything" because of it. That's ok--I know what a treasure she is and that she is my diamond in the rough!

Well, I got a busy day ahead of me so I had better get started. Drank half a cup of coffee already, fed the kids, got one in the shower, two emptying the dishwasher so I can fill it back up, and now I have to do the girl's hair since I just had her throw it up in a pony tail last night after she washed it. Now I have to get it wet and condition it again and get some oils on it (she is biracial) or I won't be able to do a thing with it! So I had better get moving.

Sundays. I love them....

Friday, July 18, 2008

All's Well That Ends Well.....

Well, here it is, 1030 PM and all is quiet on the Western front. Sort of.

Food was good, if I do say so myself! The tri-tip came out perfect, hamburgers and hot dogs were plentiful, and they almost completely decimated my calico beans! All the kids swam and played and ate while the adults sat around and talked bus talk, since we all work together. Even my aunt had a good time, though she has retired from driving school bus about a year ago. there was cake and ice cream and even a couple of presents to be opened, so all in all I think the party was a success.

Now the teenagers all left to go to the bf's house to get some movies, and I think they are planning a t.p. party for later. I don't have to go to this one, however, since one of the kids has his own car. (Yes, I have gone with the kids--it was a lot of fun until one of the cars of kids got caught!! And my girls happened to be in that car, so there I was, trying to think how I was going to answer that call from the cops.... "Yes? Yes, this is J and S's mother. What was that? MY daughters were doing WHAT? I am just shocked--shocked, I tell you!!" and here I was sitting just down the street from them! LOL! But the cop let them go with a warning and we high-tailed it out of there, let me tell you!)

So I am just sort of cleaning up the worst of the mess--picking up plates and cups and half drank cans of soda and throwing them away. Tomorrow I will finish up and then get ready to go to the next party. I bought too many buns--I always do that! I have this dread of running out of them so I always get too many and they really don't freeze well, so I am going to call my daughter's friend and tell them I will bring hamburger buns tomorrow as well.

I asked the bf if he had a good time, and he said he did, so I am glad that we did this for him. My MIL came through and got him the cool hat I found at the Van's store--he was really surprised that she bought him a gift!

The dogs have been released from their various rooms of imprisonment. My chihauhau isn't speaking to me right now--she was really bent that she got locked up for the day I guess! My big dog is walking around licking up crumbs and whatnot that were dropped on the floor. Gonna let her out in the back yard in a minute so she can clean up the chips someone spilled by the pool--dogs are good for that, you know! The old dog is sprawled behind me on the floor, enjoying the A/C, and my daughter's dog is reclining on the sofa arm, waiting for her to get back from the movie run.

All in all it has been a good day. It was worth all of the work to see the enjoyment my daughter's bf got out of hanging out with his friends and celebrating his big day. But now it is time for me to go bury myself in my room and relax. I can hardly wait to get horizontal!!

Two Hours to Zero Hour....

So the countdown continues....

I just spent another $50 on supplies--paper products are amazingly expensive!! Of course, if I had half a brain I would have gone to the dollar store and bought it there, but then I would have had to drive to the other side of town and at $4.50 a gallon for gas and the fact that I drive a Tahoe made me think I was better off paying more for the paper plates and forgetting about a better deal somewhere else!

The beans are bubbling along nicely. I flipped the tri-tip again and the marinade seems to be permeating the meat quite well. The boys have swept and picked up the back yard and I have sprayed it down once already--just waiting to go out and spray it again with my bleach/Listerine concoction. I set the table in the house with the table cloth and plates and napkins I bought at Cash & Carry--great little big box store down the street from work.

Eddie just finished making the salsa--omg! Wish you were here to taste it! WOW! All fresh veggies in it--jalapenos, onion, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro--it is amazingly good! He grilled all of the veggies on the BBQ and then blended it all together. I may not eat anything else tonight.... *grin*

OK. Hubby is getting ice so I can ice down the drinks. I need to clean the floors and kitchen now that Eddie is done with the salsa. (He's the bf, btw). I think I am going to make a sign so that people will come through the gate and not the house--easier that way and I can shut some of the house off--hey, we can only clean just so much, ok?!!

OK--enough stalling. Time to get busy again.... Whew! I will be glad when this is all over. Oh wait--I have to do it all again tomorrow for Em's birthday party!! Oi.....

Party Countdown....

Ok--today is the BIG PARTY at my house for my daughter's bf's 17th birthday. They have been together for a year now and since he lived with us for a few months this past spring and all he is as much a part of my family as my own kids, so I decided that I needed to do something for his birhtday. Because of the issues with his own family (read above about living with mine) he isn't even sure they are doing anything to commemorate the BIG DAY, so I stepped up and said "who do you want to invite and when shall we have it?".

Remind me not to be so impulsive next time, ok?

I mean, come one. I am not a party giver OR a party goer. I never had a birthday party when I was growing up. Oh wait--we did stay home from camping one year and I had some friends over. I think I was 8. Or 10. Whatever. I was pretty young. One year I remember that Mom didn't even wrap my presents. Just handed them to me in a plastic bag and said "Oh here, open this, happy birthday, get your stuff packed" because we were behind getting out of the house to go--yes, every year we did this--camping. That's a whole 'nother blog in itself, but I digress.

Since having my two daughters I have had to learn how to give parties. The cake, the ice cream, the gift bags for the guests, the games. I loathe games. But the girls loved all of it, so each year I have wracked my brain to come up with fun stuff to do. One year my older daughter took her friends rock-climbing. There's a place in town that rents out climbing walls. It's in an old warehouse and he's got ropes and harnesses and it's really a lot of fun.

Since my older daughter's birthday is a week before Halloween we have done costume parties a few times. Her friends' favorite game to this day is bobbing for apples! As she has gotten older I have had to do more sophisticated stuff. She still says her 15th was her favorite--decorated the empty townhouse my MIL was selling with Halloweeny stuff, pizza and candy and cake and ice cream, bowling at midnight, movies and music and dancing 'til the wee hours with three of her best friends. Her Sweet 16 was a Black and Pink Ball--everyone had to dress up and wear black and pink! We decorated the garage with black and pink sheets (to hide the walls), had strobe lights, a fog machine, and music and food and dancing...

The younger girl has her birthday in July, so it's swim parties and food or the water slides. One year they painted pillow cases to take home with them. And when she was little we always had a pinata...

This past summer was the first time I gave a party for no reason other than "let's have a party!" slipped out of my mouth and into eager ears. Since then the girls' friends have begged us to have parties all the time. I don't know why, either. All I do is get a bunch of pizzas, sodas, and hook the stereo up outside and turn them loose. Go figure.

But today is different. Today I have people coming in from work who have never been to my house. The bf has made friends with several of our co-workers and asked if they could be invited. Plus he has invited some of his friends also. So I have been cracking the whip for the past two days trying to get the house and yard presentable!! Not an easy task when you have 5 kids who are better at trashing the house than cleaning it! LOL!

But at this moment I am right on schedule. I made potato salad last night. I have two tri-tips marinating as I write this. I vacuumed and shampooed the carpets yesterday after work. I just finished putting the Screaming Beans together in the crock pot and they will now just simmer until people start arriving around 5 pm. The bf is making fresh salsa and I have to go get propane and the rest of the food in a little while. I decided to put off buying the buns for the hot dogs and hamburgers until today so that they would be fresh, and I have to get some chips. Got the big cooler down for the sodas and water. Get ice around four and ice everything down.

Now I have to get outside and clean the back yard. It is all cement and we have dogs, so I have this little trick of spraying everything down with Listerine and bleach and it eliminates the odors. Works really well! And I have to make sure the pool is clean and all the toys are put up. And chairs. I have to get more chairs....

I may not know a lot about giving a party, but at least I am organized!! LOL! Now I am just worried about people showing up.... (sigh) Oh well, if they come they come. If not, I will not have to cook for the next few days!!

Check back later for updates--I will try and blog later!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's A Crazy, Mixed Up Life...

Sometimes I think I must be just a little bit insane. That somewhere in my genetic makeup lurks a crazy gene that will some day just leap out and and take over my mind and I will be reduced to a gibbering, quivering mass that my friends and family will regard with pity as they shake their heads and say "I always knew she would crack someday. Tsk, tsk. What a shame..."!

Oh please--do people actually say "tsk, tsk"?! Exactly. But the crazy thing--yeah, that could happen. Really.

Consider my life ovwer the past year. I was going along, content with my life, hoping for better but okay with how things were, when BAM! In June we discover that my husband has heart disease and my whole world turned upside down. He has surgery to correct some of the stuff, but a lot of it will take time to get better.

In July my youngest daughter meets a boy and I decide that maybe my rules about waiting until they are 16 to start dating may not apply in this situation, so with much trepidation I allow her to date him. Here we are, a year later, and they are still together. Who knew?

In February of this year my girlfriend sends me a text, telling me that she thinks she is going to have to place her three children into foster care because she can't take care of them anymore. WHAM! On my 20th wedding anniversay I got the strangest gift I have ever gotten--three more kids!

Since then my life has been a series of ups and downs as we have all had to adjust to three new people in our home full time. My 20 year old moved out (again) but his friend moved in! My daughter's bf had a lot of problems at home and ended up living with us for the rest of the school year. My oldest god daughter is also in and out, mostly dropping by (with impeccable timing I might add!) for dinner a few nights a week. At any given time I would be making dinner for 9 people at the minimum, and all this on a budget of barely $400 a month for food... Yep, I am the Crock Pot Queen, baby! LOL! And I am a hell of a shopper when it comes to groceries!!

So where does that leave me? On the verge of madness, I tell you! Really! If it's not the kids it 's the hubby, and if it's not the hubby it's the critters. Or it's a combination of all three of them!

So what do I do? I laugh a lot, cry a little, sing like no one can hear me and dance like nobody's watching because what else is there? You gotta keep on keeping on and all those other time-worn cliches.

Would I change any of it? I'm not sure. Even at it's craziest I still love my life. The little kids are doing so well now--most of the time they almost act normal, which is saying a LOT if you knew them before! My husband and I have a much healthier life-style, which is always a good thing. My daughter seems happy with this boy and he loves her--what more can a mother ask but for her children's happiness? My odest daughter is going into her Senior year with good friends by her side and a life goal of becoming a teacher before her. Life is good, surprisingly. Life is very, very good.

Crazy? Yes. Insane? Maybe. But it's the way I want it. Most of the time. And think how boring my life would be without all of the kids and critters to keep me entertained?!!

"Yep, she's definitely lost it now Mildred. Time to call the nice men in white jackets to take her away..." *grin*