Thursday, August 28, 2008

Autumn asks: How did you and your spouse meet?

Sandra over at Diary of a SAHM did this questionnaire yesterday and asked her readers to join her. Here are my answers.

1. Who is your man?
Dion, a SMSGT in the United States Air Force, a lover of extreme metal music (mostly Christian now-a-days), a man that loves his family, is a thinker and almost always looks like he's frowning if you don't know him, takes his responsibilities very seriously, loves his country, loves mopars and is waiting very pateintly to be in a position to pick up a junker and restore it.

2. How long have you been together?
24 years

3. How long dated?

Just over a year...and several of those months he was away at boot camp and tech school.

4. How old is your man?
He is 40 years old

5. Who eats more? Him

6. Who said "I love you" first?
I honestly don't remember.

7. Who is taller?
Definitely him, he's 6'0 and I'm only 5'5

8. Who sings better?
Him. I sing really, really bad. That's why we try to sit next to loud singers in no one can hear me! LOL!

9. Who is smarter?
Lets just say we both have our strong subjects and our weak ones.

10. Whose temper is worse?

11. Who does the laundry?
I do - but there was a time in life when I worked full time that he did it.

12. Who takes out the garbage?
First choice would be whichever kid is assigned. Then its his turn. I fall in that line last.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
He does

14. Who pays the bills?
I do -- can any current military wife say they don't? If they do I'll show you a husband that never deploys.

15. Who is better with the computer?

16. Who mows the lawn?
He does - now that our son has moved out!

17. Who cooks dinner?
Depends. If I don't cook, he does. He's a GOOD cook. And he has control issues about his food.

18. Who drives when you are together?
He does

19. Who pays when you go out?
He does - I have no money!

20. Who is most stubborn?

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
He is - I have issues.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine. They even came to see us when we lived in Iceland.

23. Who kissed who first?
It was a mutual thing

24. Who asked who out?
He asked me out

25. Who proposed?
He did

26. Who is the most sensitive?
He is.

27. Who has more friends?
I do. I'm more trusting of people in general.

28. Who has more siblings?
He does. 2 with the same parents and 6 half brothers/sisters. I just have one sister.

29. Who wears the pants in the family?
He is the boss. He is the boss. He is the boss. :)

30. How did you meet?
I worked with his friends and there was a Kiss/Ratt concert coming up and his friend said they were going and I should sit with his friend since he didn't have anyone to sit with and I didn't have a ride. The rest is history.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Autumn Asks: Has your summer officially ended?

Ours did, as of today. It makes me sad. I really enjoy having the kids home with me in the summer. When we homeschooled I loved having them at home. But Songbird was ready to go back to school. She waited anxiously for a week and couldn't wait to get out to the bus stop.

We sure had a wonderful, busy summer. Lots of fun and memories this time to be sure. And I'm so glad that Songbird got to go to church camp this year. And the beach house with her Girl Scout troop. And our girl road trip. And our family vacation to San Antonio. I'm actually double glad since we returned to financial difficulties that we weren't expecting. If we had known what was coming we would not have taken the vacations. Fall is looking way too tight, so I'm glad the girls got to have a fun summer to remember.

This year is the first year I have heard so many other mothers say they weren't ready for their kids to return to school. It's a new location and different friends, and it is a refreshing and wonderful change. Even the best of mom's I know are usually so ready for the kids to get back on that bus.

Are we all slowing down along with the economy and enjoying family more? Have I just started making friends with a different set of people? (Not that I didn't have ANY friends that enjoyed having their kids home, they just happened to be the minority.)

I'd say it was age related...but most of these new friends are younger than me by more than just a couple of years. And some are even older.

Whatever the answer is, I am really enjoying being able to say aloud that I'm not ready...without others thinking I'm crazy.

And after debating and fighting with myself every single day this summer, I declined the pre-k the school recommended I put Mighty Mouse in. She will still go up to the school for some "speech therapy" a couple of times a week. I just could not go against my gut. She's come so far since February that I am afraid to set her back! Pre-K in our district is all day, 5 days a week. Wow. Mighty Mouse is still not even done with napping off and on.

And this was a very hard thing to not do with our finances in such a mess. The easiest thing in the world would be to put her in pre-k and go to work. And she would survive. But would she thrive? Would she LOVE it? Or would she withdraw and close in on herself again? Would she end up hating school and affecting her whole school career (been there, done that)?

But now I am looking ahead and realizing that this is my last year at home with Mighty Mouse. I was going to keep her out of Kindergarten until the legal age, but I no longer think that is going to be necessary. God has been so good to us since we found our church. The times MM has spent in Sunday school, AWANA and Monday Mornings has been really healing for her. She is catching up to her peers now. She is still significantly behind socially, but I think by next fall all of this will be nothing more than a memory and a triumph.

Only a year left to just be a mommy. Then I will get to try my hand at something all new....being a college student. I'm doing things a little backwards in my life compared to others....and loving every minute of it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Autumn asks: Moms, are you ready for Make-Up?

Really, I'm not.

Anyone that has a little girl knows that the, "When can I wear make-up?", question comes up early. That's if you are lucky...a lot of little girls just start wearing it without asking the question, as they pass it among their friends and swap all kinds of nasties like pink eye and other green and yellow oozing messes. Gross.

Songbird wanted to join her friends in the wearing of make-up in the 5th grade. And when she said "everyone is doing it!!" she wasn't far off. So we were the big, bad, mean parents that said no. Not even over my dead body. Why would you be trying to attract male attention in the 5th grade??

At that point I made the the comment to talk to me in Jr. High. So Jr. High arrived last year and I said that she could start wearing make-up in 8th grade, but not this year. Well, let me back that up, I did let her start wearing clear mascara.

And now, 8th grade is tomorrow.

And don't you know, after church, in the car, the whole subject came up on how tomorrow she could start wearing eyeliner. Too bad you'll have to wait until payday before we can go find that coveted stick of eyeliner.

But wait!! Friends to the rescue!!! One of her good friends bought her make-up for her birthday! And there is even an eyeliner! BLACK! Oh joy!!!

So, knowing my colorful child (and seeing her character on Rock Band), I had visions flashing through my head. Like this...

Okay, maybe this is a little extreme. But I'm a mom...that's how the pictures roll.

Dad is not enjoying the conversation at all. He keeps pointing out how mom doesn't wear make-up and that is how he likes it. That is what looks normal.

So now I know I have to step up and do something. It's not her fault her mother has skin that doesn't tolerate make-up or much of anything else very well. Fortunately, she did not inherit that from me. But at 13 I don't want her going overboard and looking all made-up either. So I tried to start explaining a few things to her. And in this conversation I realize I am failing because she has already been schooled by someone else...who is probably her age and just as clueless.

So I tell DH that there is a change in plans (we were all getting ready to go to the grocery store for a weeks worth of meal shopping on the way home from church). Drop the girls and I at the mall, and you do the shopping while I take care of the make-up. He actually did it.

So I took Songbird into Dillard's because I knew they carried Clinique. If you are going to do it, do it right. (This is actually one of the only brands that I can tolerate...which is why I don't wear make-up...who can afford it???)

There was a wonderful young lady that I told I needed eye liner and a very neutral shadow along with lessons for a newbie. This lady was so wonderful. She taught Songbird how to choose colors, how to apply and remove and gave her some other tips. Songbird was also very impressed with her twenty-something make-up and neat eyeliner trick to turn up the corners of her eyes. Not yet kid.

She looked good. Really good. Very natural yet enhancing. (I'm going to skip on a picture as she isn't thrilled about me blogging on this in the first place.) My daughter left the store looking a few years older with only eye shadow and liner. I've nixed the blush and base as she has skin to die for at this point in her life. Her haul today looked like this:

I can't believe it, but its done. Whoa.

(And yes, when we got in the car dad's only comment was, "You look better without it." Men.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Autumn asks: Whats for dinner?

We emptied the freezer and are out of the planned meals we had. With having to pay off a bill for Bones and pay his half also on registration/tuition, grocery money is, well, more than a little low. So it was one of those...uuuhhhh, what can we have for dinner? Luckily the pantry came to the rescue, even though it is almost bare.

I fixed up a pot of mixed bean soup that I had the beans for. I added what veggies I could scrape up out of the fridge and the leftover pork chops from last night. Turned out really good. Also had some barley to throw in it. Too bad it wasn't a cold night...

Since soup is rarely something that is hearty enough for DH, I also made a batch of Green Chile and Cheese bread. I tweaked a normal recipe for the bread machine and let it go. Turned out great! I had 2 pieces -- so much for not eating any wheat.

We also had two banana's going bad so I found a recipe in my "to-try" folder for banana and coconut cake. I put it in a bundt pan and the other half in a bread pan. We followed-up dinner with the bread pan portion and I'll take the bundt to a cookout we are going to tomorrow.

So for having nothing to eat, we sure ate good tonight. Don't know why I was in such a cooky mood. But when you are down to being creative it always required much more real cooking anyways.

The only drawback is that my built-in dish washer is spending the night at a friends house.

I do so hate any kind of clean up in the kitchen.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Autumn asks: Why do we allow so many mandatory shots????

Why? Because if we didn't the "at risk" population (those that don't have health insurance or are just flat uneducated, or illegal, or poor, etc.) would make us all sick if the government didn't force this crap into our bodies. That's the reasoning anyways. I'm not convinced.

Is Autumn anti-vaccine? Well, lets see, she has worked for several different doctors that won't let their own children be vaccinated. She has a good friend with a son that has vaccine induced autism. She has known of military members that have had anthrax and other crap forced on them and end up in the hospital or disabled from that point forward.

ANYWAYS! Mighty Mouse was due for her 4 year shots. I don't like it, but as a military dependent there really isn't a whole lot you can do about it...especially if you ever get overseas orders. So I was prepared for the 5 shots she was supposed to have, that I had put off until after our vacations. I also am one to ask that she be given the shots "unbundled" to avoid their hidden mercury. (There seems to be no escaping the aluminum.)

45 minutes after our set appointment time we are called back. Hmm...turns out she needs 7 shots, not just 5. WHAT? Are you kidding me? And to make a long story short, after some back and forth with the doctor, I allowed 4 of the shots and will return at later dates for the others.

So now I have a kid with a raging fever...that HATES medicine and will not take the Motrin or Tylenol. I hate those meds too, but they are the lesser evil in this case.

Add to that seeing a friend last night that asks me about the HPV shot and whether Songbird has had it. Not just NO but ... well you get the picture. I fought the ped on that one too. PEOPLE, just do an internet search! DEATH, blindness, all kinds of neurological effects - they are listed at the CDC site. This shot is full of aluminum, which crosses the blood/brian barrier! But what about all the 5 years of studies? Oh, the ones done by the company producing the vaccine and NOT TESTED ON CHILDREN? Also, the death stats on the cancer in question are almost non-existent in developed countries unless the person does not get their routine pap.

Moving on.

My real purpose of this post, after 2 miserable days with a sick 4 year old that can not be comforted, is to tell you about a book I recommend. The book is called "Sweet Deception". It is actually about artifical sweetners, but that is not what I want you to get out of this. The book explains WHO pays the FDA, the processes our FDA goes through to approve meds and food substitutes or genetically engineered foods, etc. EVERYBODY should know this. Everything changed in the 1980's when they wanted to push through the AIDS drugs quicker to help more people. So their hearts were in the right place, but the method is shocking. Now the companies asking for the approval have to pay for it since there aren't enough government funds to support all the requests (maybe some of that money that is going to illegal immigrants could be funneled that direction????). Conflict of interest in the best case, biting the hand that feeds you if you deny a request. And guess where the studies come from? The people with the request. WHAT?

I got the book through intra-library loan. I recommend everyone get it and skim through it for all the parts on our FDA. It will educate you in a way you didn't know you needed to be educated in.

And now back to a whinning, crying four year old with an attitude.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Autumn Asks: Hatch Green Chile Anyone??

Now you get to learn about a strange ritual I brought to my marriage.

My mother's father was career army, but settled in New Mexico. He was originally from Texas and my grandmother was also (or maybe it was New Mexico, can't remember). Anyways, they loved Tex/Mex food. The good stuff...not Taco Bell or whatever. So, my mother grew up with a love of this same food, and passed the love on to my father (who was also career army and stationed at White Sands, where they met). So all growing up, all over the states and such, I remember my parents making trips to the farms in New Mexico for green chile about Labor Day. It didn't happen every year - like when we were in Germany - but it is a childhood memory I have.

So I grew up, and not having learned my lesson, married Air Force. Now I have carried the green chile ritual to even more places. I remember the commissary in Iceland getting a batch, which I snatched up and spent an entire day roasting and freezing. We lived in apartments and no one could figure out what that smell was and where it was coming from. Also, living in Nebraska, I would call the Ruiz farm in New Mexico and they would ship me 40 pounds. I'd then spend 2 days roasting, peeling and freezing. It is a labor of love.

My parents have moved on to Arkansas now, and we are back in Texas. Our local grocery store gets Hatch Chile so my parents are on their way over to put up 5 cases. Saved a two day trip to New Mexico!

I picked up our chile yesterday and have begun the process. Uh, the hot is HOT this year...DH is bringing me home a mask to wear so I don't burn any deeper into my sinus'. I found gloves also as my hands were on fire all night...and taking out my contacts was not a pleasant experience.

At the store I was asked by several people what I do with that chile? Everyone was interested as they roast it for you there and the smell is heavenly. My answer: Green Chile Dip (the bestest), green chile cucumbers, green chile stew, green chile salsa, green chile and cheddar bread, green enchalada's, added to eggs, hamburgers and sandwiches and several other mexican dishes. I love it. I even made up my own creation of a green chile sandwich - just add chile and sour cream to so thick bread and eat it!

So the process looks like this:

Buy Your chile:

If your store has a roaster - have them do it!! It saves hours and hours! If not, take it home and roast it yourself. This means getting out cookie sheets (I have specific ones just for this because they get black and ugly) and putting a single layer of chile on it. Have the broiler on and put the rack all the way to the top and stick the pan underneath it. You want to burn the skin so it turns black and bubbles. Then take the chile out and turn it. Repeat until you have burned the surface the best you can.

When the chile it cool enough to handle, peel and seed. Pull out the veins the seeds are on also as they contain lots of heat. We are more about the chile flavor than the heat around here.

Now you can cook with the chile or put them in freezer bags to freeze. Not a hard job...but very time consuming when you buy 40 pounds!

And the first use of this batch? Green Chile dip! Man was it good. Bones, my mom and I pretty much wiped it out!

4-5 green chile
large sour cream
dried or fresh onion, finely grated, 1-2 tbs
garlic salt, to taste
white or black pepper, to taste
Worchestershire sauce, to taste (1-3 tsp)
Vinegar, to taste ( we use a combination of spicy and rice)

Cut up chile, add all ingredients and chill for an hour to let flavors blend.

THE BEST. Tastes just as good with pretzels as with chips (thanks Christie).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Autumn asks: What does your name mean?

What Autumn Means

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection. (So not true...give it a try and have fun...and if you tried, you win.)

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
(Hmmm....maybe....not sure how aggressive I would call myself.)

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are a very lucky person. Things just always seem to go your way. (Yes and No. When I'm lucky, I'm lucky, but I sure am not exempt from being unlucky!)

And because you're so lucky, you don't really have a lot of worries. You just hope for the best in life. (Pretty much true. Prayer helps alot also.)

You're sometimes a little guilty of being greedy. Spread your luck around a little to people who need it.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life. (So true)

You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home. (Travel...yes - but home is best.)

You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated. (Pretty much)

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want. (Hah!! So not true.)

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way! (Not so much...I don't like knocking anyone down.)

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people. (I'd like to think so but not so sure this is true.)

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts. That's a fact.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals. (I stink at interpreting - I'm a "give it to me straight and say what you mean" kind of person.)

Now you give it a try. Click on the link to find out the meaning of your name.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Autumn asks: Isn't coming home the best part of vacation?

We are home!!

Sea World was HOT.
Swimming was great.
Riverwalk was great.
Children's Museum was fun for Mighty Mouse -- boring for big sister.
Dinner with family we rarely see was great.
Eating all the things I'm not supposed to (and didn't on my first vacation) was heavenly.

And now its time to return to the real world.

House is a mess. Loads and loads of laundry. Getting kids back on schedule. I'm beat!

LOVE coming home.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Autumn asks: Vacation photos anyone?

I thought I would post some of our vacation photos. I really don't have that many at the moment since I used my 35mm for the good stuff.

Here we are, Autumn, Mighty Mouse and Songbird, perched on the van, ready to head out on our girl adventure.

And here we are at one of our lunch stops along the road.

Songbird worked with her grandmother to make her friend a teddy bear. Too bad we don't live closer...I think we would have a new seamstress on our hands.

One of the lakes at Hot Springs Village. If you wait until 6:00-7:00 pm there is almost no one there and its not too hot.

Ok. Seriously.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Autumn asks: What is your favorite part of the Olympics?

Of course we watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics at our house. Mighty Mouse loves to see anything "China" and we love to show her the cool, positive stuff since there are always so many negative comments flying about on one subject or another.

The show was spectacular this year. How could it be anything but? What a job the Chinese have done. And no, I don't think an event that brings friendly competition of nations is the time or place for politics or protests. Just my opinion. Let the athletes compete and show us what they can do. These types of events help show the world our similarities instead of focusing on our differences.

ANYWAYS! What is your favorite part of the Olympics?

When I was a girl it would have been ice skating. Then it was womens gymnastics. As a teen the mens swimming and diving was rather nice. And all the gymnists take my breath away and confirm what an amazing thing the human body is. We are wonderfully and fearfully made.

But now, as an adult, my favorite has become the Parade of Nations. I love watching the participating countries parade into the stadium. I love seeing the different flags and getting a mini geography lesson from the commentators for those place seldom heard of. I love seeing the outfits that have been selected and are worn by the parade participants. And most of all I love seeing all the different faces, smiles, builds, hair styles, etc. The human race is awesome. And this is a mini glimpse of our world.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Autumn asks: Are you in the middle of new schedules and school supplies?

Ah yes, it is schedule pick up day. These never go well for me. For some reason I have a very hard time getting along nicely with school systems.

Songbird was dying to get to the school and pick up her schedule this morning. We threw Mighty Mouse into the car and away we went. Of course we got there and they turned me away. We need proof of residency. Seriously? She was in half of 6th and all of 7th and you are going to withhold the schedule? My license isn't good enough???

Only 3 acceptable things: a current water bill, electric bill or voters registration. So what if you pay your bills ONLINE???? Have the company fax us something. Seriously????? So we make a trip home, after I say I won't come back. But I do. I found my voters registration (and I don't know why this would work but a license wouldn't as you could have moved with either).

So Songbird got her schedule. And it was wrong. Again. Just like last year. They like to give her electives she does not want. So that was another paper to fill out and sign. And once again she will have to stop in at the front office on the first day of school to pick up a new schedule. So WHAT is the point of picking up a schedule before school starts???

And we got her school supply list. It is rather long, but probably fairly average for most of the nation. Now last year was a different story. I guess me telling the principle in writing that his school supply list was "downright abusive" actually made an impression. They are much more reasonable this year. Although the disinfectant spray and hand sanitizer is a little over the top after the 6 boxes of tissue. At least they didn't throw in the printer paper this year. Really I should walk away from this subject right now as I could spend an hour (easy) ranting about last year.

So today will be a day of running errands for food for the empty fridge, school supplies and various other stuffs. Plus Songbird needs to meet with her scout leader on the Silver Award package since we will miss the Wednesday meeting because....

We are taking a small 3-4 day mini-FAMILY-vacation with daddy to....

Military get in free with up to 3 family members. And DH has to drive down to San Antonio anyways for his yearly flight physical. So I used the "since you didn't go on our family vacation, how about a trip to free SeaWorld since you are going to be down there anyways???" I think Mighty Mouse is going to love it.

So my wonderful husband has made reservations downtown at a nice hotel near the Riverwalk and we will be leaving here Monday and returning Thursday. How awesome is that? I can't believe I scammed 2 vacations in one year. That NEVER happens. And I was afraid that with the car repairs this would get canceled. Luckily the extended warantee kept that from being extremely was only moderately so.

Better get moving...I still have to catch up on laundry and a little house cleaning also!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Autumn asks: When is an air conditioner in a car going out a good thing?

When a significant transmission leak is discovered before an 800 mile drive with 2 kids, back into 105 degree weather.

God is good.

And extended warrantee's aren't a bad thing either.

Thanks for the prayers friends!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Autumn asks: Trouble comes in 3's, right?

Please don't let it be 4's!!

First, let me say that we are having a wonderful vacation. No joke. But the last 3 days have started with tragedies.

As we were leaving Kansas City the air went out in the van. But it's not all bad. There was still air in the back for the girls so they were pretty much fine. Not as cool as they are used to, but at least they had some air. I, on the other hand, baked all the way to Nebraska. Nice. And I can't get it in to the dealership until Monday so its been a long long weekend...and its not even over yet. But, it could be worse. Of course to complicate matters I am actually staying about 50 miles from Omaha in a small town so getting about is complicated. The friend I am staying with was lucky enough to break her leg the week before I she can't drive and help me drop off the car. And, she drives a stick, and I don't, so I can't borrow her unused car. Good eye-rolling stuff. For my praying friends, please pray that I get the car back in no more than a day...and it doesn't cost too much. This is NOT in the budget.

The next day we got the call that an aunt passed away. It took me by surprise as she was doing so well - she had heart surgery but was doing great. At the same time I have an uncle that had a organ transplant that was not doing well and I was half expecting a call on him. God works in mysterious ways. Please pray for my uncle (surviving my aunt) for grace and peace as he deals with all the arrangements for my aunt.

Then there was today. While I was in Omaha, the friend that I'm staying withs children had a bike pile-up and one of them ended up in the hospital with a cracked noggin (yes, she was wearing her helmet) and was transported to Children's in Omaha. We met them at the hospital and picked up the younger to take her back to her home where we are staying while my friend stays overnight at the hospital (with her broken leg that she is not supposed to put any pressure on). Both look like they are doing well and will probably be home tomorrow. Without a helmet this could have been a very different story. Please pray that all is well and they both get a decent nights sleep tonight.

For those who asked, we are just fine. Even with the bad it is still a good vacation. Songbird is spending the night at a friends tonight so we will pick her up when we pick up the other two ( hopefully). I'll post on the good after I've returned home.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Autumn asks: Ever had the air conditioning go out on your car....

in the middle of summer...

on a vacation to 3 different states?

With only kids?

No daddy to fix it?

Autumn has.