Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rave: C is for Cookie, That's Good Enough For Me

I thought I'd help you out in case your pants are feeling a little loose. Or you enjoy squeezing into last year's shorts and creating a nice little muffin-top of flab over the waist band. Your welcome, fat cells.

This recipe originated from my friend Amber but bounced into my hands after Deanna's recommendation. It did not disappoint. Although I did disappoint myself by eating an entire cookie sheet's worth within about 15 minutes of them coming out of the oven. Good thing I gave up looking good in a swimsuit a long time ago. And thanks to the twins and the 10 pounds of extra stretched-out skin they left me with, I'll be muffin-topping my shorts until my secret tummy-tuck fund has the necessary $ balance.

I recommend going with the butterscotch/milk chocolate chips combo. SOOOO delicious.

Chocolate Chip/Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:
1 C butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teas. vanilla extract
3 C quick cooking oats
1-1/2 C all purpose flour
1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 C semisweet chocolate chips (or 1 C chocolate chips and 1 C butterscotch chips )
1 C chopped nuts (optional)

Preparation:
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars.
Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Combine the oats, flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop by rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ramblings: The Tale of the Bobbing Bobble Head

Saturday started out innocent enough. Jeremy took Alex and the boys to Alex's 2 hour football mini-camp. Jeremy said they ran the team really hard and at one point Alex complained that his lungs were aching. That kid is like the energizer bunny, so when he complains that he's tired, you KNOW he's not joking around. I love it--it's a rare sight.

While they were gone, Maddie and I ran some errands and I finally managed to pull the trigger on the couch for the piano room. I'm holding my breath that it turns out like I'm hoping--it's not going to be ready for about 6 weeks. I told the salesguy--"Point me in the direction of your fabric selection that can withstand having poop scrubbed off of it. Or vomit. And dirty footprints." We'll see how it all comes together when it's finally delivered.

After that we were invited over to some of our friends' house for a barbecue. They have an awesome set up with a giant back yard. We had TONS of food--ribs, steaks, shrimp, ice cream, cheesecake--you name it. After we porked out on all the food, the kids ran around getting filthy and exploring outside. I hijacked a chubby 1 year old to play with cuz he needs to love me so that his parents will let me babysit him sometime--or at least his cheeks. If you saw them, you'd want to steal them too.


Then a couple of the dads agreed to take the kids around on 4 wheelers.
The kids were LOVING it. The little boys took a couple of rounds with Jeremy and when Avery got off, he came running to me and said, "We need to get me one of those!"

(Grandma and Grandpa--we may need to invest in a mini one for the ranch. But you may disagree after you read the rest...)



When I saw Alex and his friend Max strapping on their gigantic bobble-head helmets, I got a tad nervous. I jokingly told someone that Alex doesn't always have the best judgement when he's excited and I hoped this was a good idea. But the guys got all loaded up and the four 4 wheelers took off into the woods.
About 30 minutes later, 3 of the 4 four wheelers (yes. You read that right. THREE. Only 3.) came back and off jumped a couple of completely drenched guys. Alex and Mike.

Apparently Alex had been driving while hollering over his shoulder to Max (evidence of his lack-of-judgement issues), and had driven himself directly into the lake that they were supposed to be steering AROUND. But the bad part is that Jeremy and Mike were ahead of the boys, and when they realized that they hadn't seen them in a bit, doubled back to find Alex standing by the lake. He was soaking wet and the 4 wheeler was floating about 10 feet out in the lake. He said he hadn't been able to turn fast enough to make it back out of the lake before the 4 wheeler started drifting out. So he bailed off and swam back.

Since Jeremy had the twins, Mike jumped in and walked out chest-deep to retrieve the bobbing 4 wheeler. Jeremy (always thinking of juicy blog material for me) managed to snap these with his iphone as Mike made it back to the shore. Alex kept apologizing over and over and offered to clean it or do whatever to fix it. Mike's like, "I'm pretty sure cleaning is not what it's in need of now..."And now a plug for Nintendo: The gameboy in his pocket that got totally submerged during his swim still worked when he got back to the deck. Let's hope the 4 wheeler pulls through as well. They worked on draining and lubricating it for a long time so that it has a chance of surviving. As of yesterday, it had started and then died, so we're hoping a little more time drying out will fix it. If not, Alex's "Christmas present" is going to spend a very short time in his possession and will reside about 5 minutes away at his friends' house.
Oh my, oh my. Leave it to our freak show to capsize a 4 wheeler at a Memorial Day BBQ. Sheesh.

Sunday was nutty too. The barf-bug finally hit Alex and I had to leave church after an hour to bring him home. Awhile after that, they took Avery to Jeremy because he had been running out of the bathroom and smacked his forehead on the corner of the sink. He had a huge lump and a bad cut that was bleeding everywhere. Then while Maddie was in class, her fingernail got ripped way low and was hurting. Then she started feeling sick to her stomach. A few minutes after that, her teacher said that she was picking something up off the ground and a girl went running for the door, and stepped really hard on her arm. So then she was a crying mess. Yikes.

After church, Jeremy went to pick up his sister, Alainna, who is in town while her piano-genius husband Stephen is here playing in the famous Van Cliburn competition. (Also, Stephen is brother to our manny, Joel. Are you confused yet?) All the kids were running in the front door after greeting her in the driveway and Avery played the "slam-the-door-game."

The game consists of being the first one inside, and then slamming the door as hard as you possibly can in the face of whoever's coming next . I don't know where it came from or why it's fun, but they always do it when they come in the front. Except this time Maddie's hand was in the doorway, and her four fingers at the knuckle were skinned and munched. They immediately started swelling and turning blue. She had a rough weekend. Forehead lump, ripped fingernail, upset stomach, stepped-on arm, and now busted hand. Luckily, after icing it and taking some drugs, she was able to sleep and this morning it looked much better. I was sure at least one of them was broken.

And today, we've been hitting the good sales doing some shopping and hanging around with Aunt Alainna. Jeremy's currently manning the grill with some chicken and shrimp as I type this. I'm just curious what else our freakshow can get into before this long weekend comes to an end...

Ramblings: Field Day Frolick

Friday the kids had Field Day at school. I have memories of Field Day during elementary school and it was the AWESOMEST day of the year. Races, Popsicles, ribbons--it was so much fun. So I took the boys up to the school to see all the fun and they were amazed by it all. We found Maddie after about 10 minutes of searching the sea of kids, teacher, parents, and younger siblings. Alex didn't know we were coming so he was really surprised when Aidan attacked him. Can you tell he and his buddy had already visited the Sno-Cone table? The boys were just as happy to partake of the snocones. Luckily, I caught the girl that was LOADING them with red sticky syrup and begged her to only do about 1/2 a squirt. She had a baffled look on her face but did it anyway--one day if she's in charge of laundry, she'll understand. I was a little nervous when I looked over and right next to the never-ending line of kindergartners waiting for snocones, I see this HUGE pile of hammers. Giant, heavy, skull-fracturing-in-the-hands-of-a-kindergartner hammers. Hmmm--lawsuit waiting to happen? I think so.
This is Maddie with her good friend from her class and ballet. "We're partners--we're partners for everything--ballet, P.E., Field Day, at lunchtime. Everywhere. We're always partners."It started pouring rain about halfway through the kindergartner's time outside so they were herded and shuffled back to the classroom. After about 15 minutes in there, Avery had enough and started hollering, "Let's get outta here!" It stopped raining but their allotted time for Field Day was almost up anyway, so we snagged Maddie early (much to her delight--"Everyone's going early! If I stay, I have to do work!" Except she said it really whiny like "w-o-o-o-o-o-o-rk." Kinda like you would say "stinky brussel sprouts" or something. Alex was super p.o.'d when he got home at 3:15 and found out that she escaped school early.

Luckily, he didn't have to wait too long for some more entertainment. We had Jeremy's brother Spencer and his family over Friday night. We got Quiznos and went to the playground to run around and play. We've kept them down South for a couple years now, but they are fleeing from us and returning to Washington. I may try to steal their kids before they leave. Serious cuteness.But why, why do you all have to move so far away? A perfect title for this picture of Avery. Although I'm pretty sure he was tattling about something someone did to wrong him, or maybe begging for a drink of my diet coke or something.
Maddie sustained the first of a round of injuries while Dad was spinning her on this crazy thing at the park. Basically you stand on this little round platform and hold onto this pole, and the thing spins around really, really fast in a circle. Well, he started spinning and spinning (because his machismo is directly related to how scared he can make his kids on park equipment) and somehow she lost her grip and her forehead was introduced to the metal bar. Hard.
Hanging around during pre-lump happier times.Aidan kept following me around saying "take a picture of me!" So I said, "What are you going to do for me to take a picture of?"
Tah-dah! A perfectly fun Friday night enjoying some nice pre-Summer heat.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ramblings: Iron Chef'n stuff

Avery is the newest member to jump aboard the vomit train. This morning at about 4 am we heard him sitting on the stairs crying about throw up. So we set up the pack and play in the downstairs bedroom and Jeremy (who has no negative reaction to vomit whatsoever, yet gags, winces, and holds his breath while changing a poopy diaper) stripped his sheets and pillow for me to deal with this morning. Luckily, I think most of his dinner had already been digested so it wasn't as disgusting as it could've been. (We had Tilapia, pasta salad, and watermelon and I was more than a little relieved that I didn't have to see all that a second time around in chunk version on his sheets.)

Last night we had a big Iron Chef-themed activity with our church youth group that was a blast. We divided them up into five groups, each with a head chef, and gave each group a bag of ingredients. Each group split up and went to separate kitchens of some nearby families that we had made arrangements with beforehand. Each group was given a different secret ingredient, but everything else in the bags was the same. They had one hour to create a dish using everything in the bag and only adding spices or seasonings from the kitchen.

I drove a group back to our kitchen where Jeremy was waiting wearing his chef's hat and drooling at the chance to recreate his favorite Food Network show. I had to remind him more than once that the kids were supposed to be doing the creating, not him. I had to pry the spatula out of his hand--good thing his kung fu grip isn't as good as mine. But he was more than a little involved in the creation of the final dish--which he swears was really good. I wasn't brave enough to try it.
Our group's ingredients:
bag of bowtie pasta
chicken breast
orange
zucchini
tomato
canned shrimp
3 tiny phyllo tart crusts

I thought that we ended up cheating a bit by adding some dried onions, bacon bits, and heavy cream in the creation of our pasta dish. When we got back and saw all the other groups, I think we cheated the least of everyone because there were some that added all sorts of stuff like cheese, salad, desserts, etc.

I was surprised how into the "creative presentation" the guys in our group got. Especially with the orange that we cut in half zigzagged. With one half we took out the orange, and then pureed it and added it to some whipped cream. Then stuck it back in the orange peel, topped it with a little more whipped cream and orange peel zest. The other orange half along with the zucchini peelings got used to decorate the pasta bowl. We crumbled up the phyllo shells and sprinkled them on the top. Anyway, our main dish won "Best Tasting" and turned out fairly spicy because Jeremy kept dumping in Chipotle and Cayenne Pepper seasoning and Tapatio hot sauce.

The judges were not taking their assignment lightly--they spent about 15 minutes deliberating and repeatedly tasting the different things (they were very, very brave). They gave awards for categories like best presentation, most creative use of an ingredient, etc. (Jess--your dad was cracking me up.)See how cute our little orange cup dessert concoction was? It was definitely a fun activity that everyone seemed to enjoy regardless of their cooking ability--just in case you're ever in the market, or you have a slow night around the house and want to challenge your spouse to a bizarre cook-off.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ramblings: Tuesday Shmoozeday

Randomness...

1. THIS is the baby that we got installed yesterday, as opposed to any real or future baby that you may have been thinking needed "installing." (Or is Jessica the only perv out there?)

Ahhh! It's so shiny and bright...like a new penny. Too bad one stinkin' lodged penny ended up costing us 16,900 pennies. But at least we didn't have to pay the ridiculous $150 installation charge because I nagged Jeremy into doing it. He likes to say that I don't think he can manage stuff like that because I think he's "too much of an idiot" to figure it out (his words, not mine). I've never said that--what I said is that he is perfectly capable of handling household handyman tasks, but he HATES to do them so much that I have to bug him to death, and then he gets really grouchy during the whole experience. So he usually just tells me to hire someone to do it. He's got the brains (we're not still paying off those Harvard Law loans for nuthin'), but not the heart for it.

Luckily, the installation was fairly simple and didn't take too long and now I don't have to scrape and dump everything into the trashcan. Kudos to Jeremy for getting it put in there-I KNEW you could do it. We lived all three years in Cambridge during law school in our tiny, "historic"(which translates into really old), dang expensive townhouse without a garbage disposal or dishwasher. I'm glad those appliance-less days are behind us and I'd like to keep them that way.





2. Sunday Jeremy was out playing in the backyard with the kids enjoying the 72* weather when I heard him start screaming. Like PAIN screaming. Like women giving birth in movies kind of screaming. Or how you might scream if you came out and saw your car had been backed into and all smashed up and the person didn't even leave a note. Crazy, nutjob screaming.

Anyway, he has an ankle that he is constantly spraining and he hurt it again a couple of weeks ago in a basketball game. Well, Sunday night he fell into a little hole by the swing set and twisted it again. Hence the screaming. And thrashing. And hobbling around the yard swinging a short, plastic wiffle ball bat in the air at 90 mph. Mixed with some whimpering. And rage. And more bat swinging. And then he came to the porch and smashed the bat on top of the kids' octopus sprinkler that was still set up from the last time they used it.

The giant inflatable head immediately collapsed into a limp little pile of octopus. The kids were freaking out--not about Jeremy or his already swelling ankle or about his weird pain/rage routine around the backyard. They were freaking that Dad had smashed their favorite sprinkler with a wiffle ball bat. So I came out and said, "Guys--instead of worrying about the sprinkler, why don't you find out if Dad is ok?" To which Maddie replied with a huge pouty face, "Cuz we really LOVE that sprinkler." Take that Dad.








3. Today I'm thankful. Thankful to have a working garbage disposal again. Thankful for a few days of really awesome weather where we can play outside. Thankful that the big kids got invited to go swimming at a friends after school to burn off some extra energy. But mostly thankful that Aidan made it to the toilet this morning before puking.

He's been struggling off and on for the past few days with an upset stomach and barf issues and today he woke up complaining again with a fever. I can always tell something's up with that kid when he won't eat. He is ALWAYS eating. But the past few days he hasn't really eaten much of anything. This morning he wandered around with the only thing he wanted--a sippy of water--until all the sudden he said what he always says, "I'm bout to throw up!" But here's the BEST PART. He ran into the bathroom and did it in the toilet! I was happier about that than I would've been if both of the boys were instantly potty trained.

I HATE BARF. I hate cleaning it. I hate smelling it. I hate doing it. I even hate seeing someone else doing it. I am, and I've always been, a sympathy barfer. If I am anywhere in a 50 foot radius of someone throwing up, my gag reflex kicks in, and I find myself fighting back the barf. It's really horrible when you're trying to help your sick kids while they're throwing up, and then you start throwing up on top of them. Not a very cool mom-of-the-year move. But let's face it, I'm not on any short lists for mom-of-the-year, with or without vomit.

He's doing better as of this afternoon. The fever seems to have gone away and he hasn't thrown up anymore today. He's even asking for rice, so that's a positive sign. Maybe he's just nervous to see the finalists on American Idol perform tonight.

4. It looks like a plumber showed up after all!Normally, I would advise JUST SAY NO TO CRACK. Unless it's cute like this crack, and then it just makes me laugh.

The boys designed their very own waterpark last week when the temperatures started heating up. They put their spraying mat at the end of their little slide that they had watered down with the hose. Then to make it even more death defying, they filled the splash mat with a variety of balls. Except now because of the extra speed the water added, Aidan's too scared to slide down it without me holding his hand. Perhaps there's no chance of any future in the Summer Olympics for that kid.

5. These last two weeks of school are going to be nutty with all the awards ceremonies, class parties, PE performances, field day, and other assorted end-of-year chaos. And I'm going to feel HUGELY guilty that even though they want and expect me there for everything, everything tends to be scheduled smack dab in the middle of the boys' naptime. And my possible babysitters are in school themselves in the middle of the day, so unless I skip the naps and take the boys with me, (which would defeat the purpose of going cuz I'd be out in the hall with two crazy, crying, cranky boys) then I'm forced to disappoint the older kids and make them cry. And then they will assure me that I am indeed the very worst mother in the whole entire world. Ever. Across every country and continent in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, I am the suckiest mother of them all.

I'm going to have to pick and choose my activity attendance carefully. They get jealous if I go to more of the other kid's stuff then theirs. Does anyone else have this problem? I wish locking the kids in the car watching a DVD was a safe and socially acceptable solution in a babysitting pinch. Jeez--I'd crack the windows, I'm not totally irresponsible.

6. I ordered pizza tonight because I didn't feel like cooking. Plus I got started reorganizing my kitchen cupboards after we emptied the one under the sink for repairs, so most of my counters are filled with JUNK and I'm nowhere near being finished. And the dude should be here any minute, so ta-ta on that note!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ramblings: I spy...

I spy, with my little eye, ...

Something shiny.

Something round.

Something Lincoln-y and wet.

Something hiding in the shadows of a dark tunnel.

Of course! You've got it! It's a penny wedged in my garbage disposal even tighter than my kung-fu grip. The thing's not budging. We even took the dang thing off and apart to de-wedge the 1 cent disaster. Nope. Not moving. It's stuck vertically against the sidewall of the thingy that holds the blades in place, so that the penny keeps anything from turning and spinning like it should. GRRRR. Dang 3 o'clock church. Oh, whoops. Sorry--it's a habit now. If you have something go wrong or disastrous, would you also please blame it on my 3 pm church time? That way I won't be the only one.

I spy with my little crystal-ball eye...

Someone profoundly frustrated.

Someone returning to the scene of her hit and run car crunch, getting mad all over again about how someone smashes a car and then just drives off.

Someone trying to pick out a garbage disposal strong enough to annihilate pennies, matchbox cars, fingers and thumbs, and whatever else makes in down that four inch hole.

Someone bribing two rambunctious boys with Sonic milkshakes if they will just SIT DOWN without anymore WWF wrestling, rabid monkey-like screaming, or attempts at dismantling the kitchen displays.

Someone sweating profusely but still enjoying a Route 44 Diet Coke, scheming of how to get that new baby installed before tomorrow's round of dishes.

Any handymen just sitting around, wishing and hoping they had something to do for an hour or so? (FYI--I can't promise that I or the boys won't stick something down it if you have the bumcrack issue that most plumbers tend to have...Or that a picture of the aforementioned bumcrack with whatever we stuck in it won't end up being posted on someones blog.)

Here's to hoping you have a better Monday than I will...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ramblings: Famous Amos

Dear Amos,
We'll be seeing you tomorrow night! Please be as awesome in person as you are on your cds.

(This concert attendance also made possible by our good friend/manny {a.k.a. male nanny--and I mean that in the macho-est, most masculine and flattering way} Joel, who is willing to come sleep on our couch after the kids are all in bed so that we can take off and no one will call and turn us in to CPS. Well, at least not for leaving the 4 crazies alone while they're sleeping. They can choose from the list of many other reasons if they still feel like calling.)

Love,
Me

Check him out, why don't ya?
One of my faves.

Another nice, mellow one. Please excuse the creepy photos and just listen to the song.

Or here. Aren't you feeling more relaxed now? Good.

And cuz I'm feeling so chilled out now, I will mail a cd featuring an assortment of his songs to a randomly chosen commenter. Plus, as a bonus, I just may insert various fart noises from Jeremy's iFart program between the tracks on the cd. And if you're really lucky, I'll video the kids in a fist fight trying to announce the winner with their stupid voice changing bullhorn. Lucky you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ramblings: Ballet Marathon and A Death-Defying Hayride

Saturday was a LONG day...a good day, but a LONG one. (Probably not as long as this post though). The majority of it was spent at a nearby high school at Maddie's ballet rehearsal and then recital. And despite all the promises, (I know this was out of your hands Ms. Melissa) the recital was still a whopping 3 hours long. And the poor little tiny ones in the youngest class were almost at the end, and I'm sure they were exhausted by the time they went up there.

I decided it's the cheesy, over-dramatic dialogue followed by the semi-unnecessary awards (left-splits, right splits, center splits, co-lead student teacher, new student teacher, the list goes on and on...) at the end of the whole dang thing that make you want to gouge your eyeballs out with a rolled up program. At one point, there was a quote about every man having to walk through a wall at some point in their lives...? And then something about struggling through life and suffering though death and loss...? This is a dance recital not an obscure lecture on philosophy, right? But we persevered and the majority of the crowd ultimately triumphed by remaining alive with eyeballs intact. We gave the girls flowers after, but the real treasure is in her other hand: Fun Dip.

{Am I wrong, but wasn't it called Lick'em aid when we were little? Why the need for the name change?}

Maddie and her cousin Tara are in the same class and did great, even though there was a bit of confusion at the beginning and throughout their dance because one of the other girls had accidentally come out and gone to the wrong spot.

Don't feel obligated to watch this--I'm posting it for the absent Grandmas and other relatives that will be interested.

Maddie is the 2nd from the right (although she is usually on the end--which is the source of the bewilderment you can see as they try to reposition themselves around the girl in the wrong spot). Excuse the cheesy 20 seconds of dialogue in the beginning, I didn't know quite when to start recording. And they must have rushed through some moves because they finished a good 20 seconds early, and stood there frozen not knowing what to do with themselves.
video

The girls got to come sit with us after their turn onstage and Maddie LOVED watching all the other dancers. She was enthralled with the skills of the 40+ year old baton twirling lady, but I was impressed (and a little frightened) that the baton twirler's mom standing about 15 feet from us could cheer so loudly that it actually sounded violent.





Right after the recital, we all loaded up and headed out to my parents' ranch for some honky tonk fun. My grandparents are in town from Washington and so some of my cousins were scheduled to come up from Houston with their families on Saturday. But due to some illness (luckily, non-swine flu related), they weren't able to come up. But we carried on with the hay ride and wienie roast anyway.

A cold-front blew in suddenly and everyone was underdressed and a bit chilly. Despite that, we had some fun on the hayride of death. No, it wasn't really death defying but we did question the sanity of taking a huge trailer full of HAY to tour pastures full of horses and cows. As soon as we came in the gate, we were like sitting ducks. All the chomping mouths were running after us at once trying to sneak bites of our seats. It didn't help that my dad kept slowing down to a crawl and stopping here and there.

At one point, Alex screamed "Grandpa, zip up the pouch!" After alot of laughing and naughty insinuations, we figured out that he meant "pick up the pace." So for the rest of the hayride we all kept randomly screaming out "ZIP UP THE POUCH!"






Maddie and Cate.
Me and Avery.
Jere, Aidan, and Greg.
Tara and Brooke.
Maddie and Grandma.



Grandpa found this turtle and let each of the kids take turns trying to infect themselves with as many diseases as possible. We told Alex we'd give him $5 to kiss it. He didn't. Nor would he take the offering of a combined $50 jackpot to jump in, roll over twice, and then jump back out of the full manure wagon. His loss.
It's been raining a TON here lately, so all the grass was tall and green and keeping the animals fat and happy. When they weren't chasing us, they were mostly just annoyed by the noise of eight kids mooing and whinnying from the haywagon. The horses don't appreciate being mocked.

The kids liked seeing all the momma cows and horses with their babies following around behind them. I felt really, really horrible for this one momma cow whose udder was so HUGE and engorged it looked like a water balloon when you fill it up too much and it's about to explode. You could tell it was so heavy by how it was swinging when she walked. {Insert sound of Barbra Streisand singing 'Memories'}. There is definitely a painful reason behind her ornery attitude. I've felt your pain, sista.


After the hayride, the kids all descended on a poor little calf that needed to be bottle-fed and each kid tried to heave the giant bottle in a tug of war with the hungry thing. He wasn't sure quite what to make of all the chaos and screaming. But I'm pretty sure Aidan found a new little best friend. (Funny--his new friend smells pretty much the same as his twin brother and he can put him in a headlock just the same, too.)




At that point, we were all hungry and getting ready for some grub. (You have to call it grub when you've been out at the ranch pretending to be cowboys.) So we went back to the house and got the firepit going for some yummy hot dogs along with corn, potato salad, fruit, chips, and other assorted goodness provided by Granny. The kids got nice and dirty and I had panic attack after panic attack worrying that they would start monkeying around and someone would end up in the flames. Am I the only neurotic mom afraid of the kid/campfire combo?
No firepit has reached its full potential until it's had marshmallows destined for s'mores cooked over its hot coals. My dad won the prize for prettiest and most uniformly toasted marshies (photo was of his work in progress), and Dee was the lucky recipient of his patient work after she played the "But I'm pregnant and the baby wants marshmallows" card. Spoiled rotten fetus. After we ate and ate and ate and the kids played and played and played until we dragged them home and hosed off the gunk and stickiness even though it was WAY past their bedtimes. We figured they could all sleep in Sunday morning (thanks to that horrible, evil 3 PM church time), but it wasn't meant to be. The boys woke up at their normal 6:30 and set off that new alarm system I told you about when they tried to go out on the porch. Everyone was up, wide awake, and scared spitless.

But at least Saturday was full of fresh air, lots of laughing, a slightly hazardous hayride, good food, & good times.