Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday-August 30th - September 6th

Monday:  Tuna Casserole, garlic butter broccoli
Tuesday:  Masonic family night - we ate at the Lodge-no cooking!
Wednesday:  Ham steaks, scalloped potatoes, creamed corn
Thursday:  Soccer practice-Burrito, chili, cheese casserole
Friday:  Tilapia Piccata, pea salad, rice pilaf
Saturday:  Out to eat - Chinese food!
Sunday:  Grilled steak, baked potato, corn on the cob

This week we have two busy nights.  On Tuesday night, it's Family Night at the Masonic Lodge and since Mr. H  is going to be the Grand Poo-Bah (I think it's actually Worshipful Master) next year, he wants to make sure we all go to the dinner.  After we eat, a group will give a talk on preventing blindness.  I know you're jealous.  If you really want to be bored, I can recap the entire speech here on Wednesday-HA!

Soccer is gearing up this week.  I have to order another uniform for Tater Tot since he's getting so tall. His uniform from last year is getting too short.  He's almost as tall as I!  It was just yesterday that I rocked him to sleep every night singing Mandy by Barry Manilow.  Now he just wants to get Allie our boxer and cuddle in bed with her.  I've been pushed aside for a dog.  So sad.

I'm getting Fall fever and can't wait to start decorating for the cooler weather and football!  I have to be careful though since I'm not working, I can't run off to Hobby Lobby and spend a ton of money.  I have to re-use the decorations I have.  At least I've packed everything in a Rubbermaid in the garage where it's easy to get out. 

I hope everyone has a terrific cooler week!  Yay for Fall!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shopping the House

For a while now, I've been looking for a sideboard, buffet or cabinet to place next to the dining room table in our kitchen eating area/dining room.  When we built our house three years ago, I told the builder that I didn't want a formal dining room because when I had one before we never used it.  It just sat there looking pretty.  I considered it a total waste of space. 

Last week in a small little furniture store in the next town, I found a cabinet I liked but it was close to $800.  I couldn't figure out a way to justify that purchase, especially since I'm not bringing in any income currently.  When I was working, I would have just saved up the money and bought it but remember, I'm married to an accountant, it's hard to rationalize a random large purchase with him. HA!  I still love his little frugal ways though. 

This is the cabinet I really liked.

The cabinet has the same detailing as my table.  It would have been the perfect match.

Instead, I thought about the old antique armoire that I had in our office.  Mr. H has always wanted it out of the office because our office furniture is black and it didn't match but I had no where else to store it.  It was getting flimsy because it was so old and I had moved it a total of eight times after I got divorced and tried to get settled in a house.   I had bought it for $80 at an antique store here in town from a sweet elderly man that owned Forbes Antiques.  He told me that an old woman had owned it from the time she was two years old and when she sold it to him, she was 92.  It is numbered on each wooden piece and put together with wooden pegs.  As much as my tastes have changed over the years, that antique wardrobe has been a mainstay.  It has always matched my dining room table and been in the same room until this move. 

I decided we would try it in the eating area and surprisingly I still love it with the table. 

Don't laugh, I still need to put the door on it

It provides a ton of storage for the big things in the kitchen; wok, dog bowls, big serving pieces, my table runners and placemats.

Besides redoing my dining area, we've been pretty busy this past week. 

The boys started soccer practice on Tuesday. 
Our team stayed together and we picked up some competitive soccer players in town.  Our team moved up to 14 and under, which should be interesting since Tater Tot and his teammates are anywhere from 11 years old to 13 years old.  They're a great team and I think they'll like the challenge. 

Our coach, Jeff, turned his sideyard into a soccer field. So cool!

There are cows behind that white fence.  I posted on Twitter, "You know you live in a small town when you hear cows mooing while watching soccer practice."

I also figured out how to change the look of my Twitter page.  I know....I'm soooo late to the party. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Feelings on Friday

1.  I'm so proud of myself because I had messed up my blog layout by posting a video from my Photobucket account and Photobucket erased it but left the stupid "image has been removed" box on my blog.  It was driving me nuts so I looked up how to get rid of it and inadvertently erased the background for my blog. ARRRRGHHH!  I finally fixed it and feel like a ton of bricks have been lifted off my shoulders.  Oh the trauma of trying to do your own blog.  I swear someday I'm gonna spend some money and have a talented person redo my blog!

2.  I interviewed for a Land Technician job at an oil and gas company in the big city this week.  I really like the lady interviewing me but the company was deathly quiet and everyone seemed so robot-like that it really scared me.  I met the owner and he was completely snotty.  I worked for a snot in the past and really don't care to in the future.  The salary is a good one but the commute would be close to 45 minutes.  My Jeep Cherokee is a paid-off 2004 and I worry about putting a ton of miles and wear and tear on it.  Plus, in all honesty, I don't want to leave my kids and work so far away.  I've stayed home with them this summer and can honesly say that I've missed them when they've been in school.  I like being here when they come in the door and being able to fix them a snack.  You should see their faces light up when they see Allie, our white boxer, and I waiting on the front porch for them to get home from the bus stop.  It's been one of my favorite moments from the past couple of months.

3.  After the interview and my intuition telling me that I really don't want a stressful, but good paying job, I called my insurance agent and randomly asked if they were hiring any help.  My agent said he was looking for someone to answer phones and take payments three days a week.  He asked me to email my resume to him and he's supposed to call me early next week.  His office is in the next little town and would only be 10 to 15 minutes away from home.  A much better commute and much better hours but much less pay.  I mean, much, much less pay.

4.  One of my reasons for not wanting to work full-time is I worry about my Mom getting to her doctor's appointments thirty minutes away in the big city.  I'm just not confident anymore about her mobility. I would rather be there to help her walk in and get around the huge office building where her doctor works.  I know she feels bad if I have to help her but it gives me peace of mind to help.  

5.  This whole job thing has me completely stressed out and starting to feel depressed.  On one hand, do I take the good job and just suck it up.  I'd be providing a good salary and contributing a lot to our household.  One the other hand, do I do what my heart says and stay here for my boys.  It doesn't help that I started out as a stay-at-home mom and when I got divorced I had to thrust the boys into daycare all day.  That guilt has never left.  When working, I was getting tired of always feeling like I was missing everything and worrying that I would get fired for asking to take off and attend school functions.  Being a non-working mom erases a ton of that guilt.   

6.  I've worked really hard to become debt-free and feel as if I'm in a good position right now in life. Lord knows I've had enough stress in the last ten years to last me forever.  First, my son was injured at birth and his right arm was paralyzed, resulting in years and years of physical therapy costs, then my divorce (you don't even want to know what that cost my parents and I), then my father/boss died unexpectedly in a car accident, leaving me with no job or income.  The resulting catastrophic downfall took me a long time to recover from in many ways.  Oh, and add to those factors, the surgery that a Dr. N in Houston, Texas wanted to do on my son's arm that was going to cost me $50,000 CASH.  This was after my Dad died.  I sold everything I could think of, house, huge playset in yard, furniture, and still couldn't come up with the money.  Extremely stressful.  Oh, think of this when you hear of the Shriner's Hospitals-they treated my son for free!!!

7.  I love the Shriner's!

8.  I recently read on the internet that the same doctor who caused me to sell many, many belongings to come up with money for a surgery on my son has recently been investigated by the Texas Medical Board for overcharging for surgeries and performing surgeries on children that didn't need it.  HA! Karma does really and truly suck, huh?

9.  I cleaned the entire house today and my depressed feeling is slowly lifting.  I think the depressed feeling is what's causing this rambling post also.

10.  Starting school is extremely expensive!  I'm not sure I like the costly effects of August!

11.  A Lutheran church started meeting here in our little town and the people starting it are actually my cousins.  Cousins we don't really ever talk to but cousins, none the less.  I think that's a sign that we should start attending, since we are Lutheran.  My kids, however, want to go to a church here in little town thats Southern Baptist and has a band that plays during the service.  Apparently, they have Wii's for the kids to play and it's a really modern type church.  I, however, am very traditional and love the ritual of the old fashioned churches.  I might have to just go with the flow and take the kids to the modern church.  Anything for the kids, right?

12.  I just found out that our next door neighbor girl got caught kissing a boy on the playground last year.  That would have been in the 5th GRADE, yes, 5th.

13.  My husband has been awesome during all of this having to quit my job because their crooks thing.  He told me no matter what I decide to do,  I really love and adore that guy!

14.  Most people arrive on this blog by searching for Ree Drummond - Drummond Family Ranch.  I do live right her ya know and grew up with Matteo!  That cracks me up!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day At The Doctor

This morning when we woke up it was actually stormy looking outside.  I was so excited considering it hasn't rained here in weeks.  I drove the boys to the bus stop and let them sit in the car while it started sprinkling, then when they got on the school bus, the skies opened up.  I loved it!  I actually went back to the house and laid down for a little while with the dogs.  There is nothing like taking a nap when its thundering and pouring rain.  After my little nap, I got ready and took my Momma into the big city for a doctor's appointment.  She fell and broke her shoulder last November while visiting Ireland with my sister (yes, it was very stressful).  She's been having problems with it since then and needed to have another x-ray.  Thankfully the doctor said it was looking good.  Anyway, it was pouring outside and I just didn't want my Mom driving on the highway in those conditions.  It makes me worry that she's now in her seventies and doesn't get around as well as she used to.  She needs me to help her sometimes and I'm glad to do it.  It's one reason why I think I might just look for a part-time job while the boys are in school.  I think from now on, I'm going to have to help with my Mom more.  It just doesn't feel comfortable with her doing some things by herself.  I guess I'm now in that generation that's taking care of their widowed parents.  That's ok, she's done plenty for me and my boys!  It was nice to be able to talk to the doctor with her just for my piece of mind.

When my Mom and I got home, I had to pick up the boys and take Tater Tot's bike with us to the local bike shop.  He loves to jump curbs and little ramps with the bike his Dad bought him but he pops the tube in the tire when he does that.  This is the second tube we've replaced.  I really can't say anything though because I remember being a little girl and loving to ride my bike and jump curbs.  I think he came by it naturally. 

The weather cleared up in the afternoon and the high temperature today was 84 degrees.  It felt like Fall it was so cool after 115 degree heat indexes the past couple of weeks. Crazy!

I made the best dinner tonight.  I had found pork steaks on sale at the store for $1.99/lb. and thought of the Chili Verde that I love to order at our little Mexican restaurant in town.  I found a jar of Chili Verde salsa in the Mexican aisle and hoped that was the same Chili Verde they used. This morning, I put the steaks in the crockpot with the salsa and about a cup of water, cooked on High for about 8 hours and it was the best thing I've ever eaten.  I served it with white rice but flour tortillas would have been yummy too.  There's nothing like a super simple crockpot recipe.  You have to try it!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Boomer Sooner!

*I had already written this post for today when I went to Kelly's blog and she was talking about football season too.  Great minds think alike...or at lease Southerners think alike!*

Yesterday was the start of football season!  We watched the Saint Louis Rams because my favorite quarterback was playing, Mr. Sam Bradford.  Sam was drafted this year and is the former quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners, our favorite team!  He's also Native American and from the Cherokee Tribe. My husband really likes him because he's Indian just like him.  I even think my hubby and Sam look alike!

I get so excited this time of year because it's college football time! When you live in Oklahoma, football is the most important sport!  Well, that's really true anywhere in the South. The boys and I are fortunate enough that when I met Mr. Hautemama he had Oklahoma University season tickets. 

I have to give a little background about it though.  One of the first things Mr. H asked me after meeting was where I graduated.  I told him Oklahoma State University (OSU) and he replied, "Well, I'll overlook that."  I asked him why and he told me that he was a huge Oklahoma Sooner (OU) fan.  A week after we started dating and when we both knew it was going to get serious pretty fast, he even went as far as telling me he needed to talk to me about something.  I was scared he was going to tell me something really bad.  He sat me down and told me that he buys OU season tickets and he would prefer that I not complain about the money, because it was important to him. He said it jokingly but I knew he meant it.  I remember thinking "Holy moly, this guy takes his football seriously!" If you know anything about Oklahoma University football, you know that you have to purchase season tickets every year, whether you use them or not. There is a multi-year waiting list.  Mr. H was just warning me that it would be a constant purchase, no matter what.  To this day, seven years later, we actually have a waiting list of people who want to buy our tickets from us.

The irony of this is....I was raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, home of OSU, from the time I was two years old until I was twelve.  OSU was my family's life and OU was the mortal enemy.  I wasn't even allowed to wear red, I had never been to Norman, home of OU and I would never have wanted to go to a game growing up. 

After Mr. H and I had been dating for a couple of weeks, he asked me if I would go to an OU football game with him.  I told him I would think about it and immediately called my Dad to tell him the dilemma.  Should I go into enemy territory???  My Dad told me I would have fun and I should go for the experience. 
Reluctantly, I agreed to go. I was falling pretty hard for him and figured as long as I was with him, I'd have a great time.  We had spent nearly everyday together since we met.  The day after I agreed to go, he took me to the mall and bought me an OU t-shirt so I could wear it to the game.  I picked out a white one with a teeny, tiny OU on the front. The smaller the better, I thought.

When we got to the game, I walked into the stadium and my first reaction was, "Oh my gosh, this must be what it's like to have a winning football team!"  The stadium was huge, probably three times the size of OSU's.  I was stunned.

The whole atmosphere at OU, from walking to Campus Corner to get a drink, to the Sooner Tent where they have forty different restaurants and you eat and drink for two hours before the game, to the band, which I loved, was so electric.  It was fun watching everyone and feeling the excitement in the air.  I had never experienced anything like it.  I slowly started enjoying the game and by the end, I was so glad I had agreed to go. 

The Sooner Schooner comes out everytime OU makes a touchdown.  It's led by the cutest ponies named Boomer and Sooner.

The boys at their first OU game - 2004

I still love OSU, it's where I grew up for many years and where I went to school but I ended up marrying an OU football fan with season tickets. One thing about me is...I love college football more than anything.  I really don't like NFL but college is pure excitement!   We buy the tickets and then have to sit down and figure out which games we'll sell to friends and family.  Having two boys in soccer makes it a real juggling act.  

I'm so glad I agreed to go the first game because it's become such a wonderful family activity.  We can't wait until Fall every year and watching the excitement on the boys' faces melts my heart. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Letting Go

Yesterday I decided that I was letting go......
Letting go of guilt from staying home and not contributing to the household income
Letting go of worry that my kids were somehow not having a great first day of school
Letting go of worry that my 11 year old wouldn't be able to find his seven classes during the day
Letting go of the hate I feel for myself sometimes because I wear the same size that the average American woman wears and not a size 6 like a lot of 20-something new mom bloggers talk about wearing..ugh
Letting go of the guilt that I'm not cleaning the house and instead laying outside enjoying the sunshine and pool.

I noticed something yesterday....I really had no worries the entire day.  I tried to think of something to worry about and had nothing. My sons have grown into confident, independent little guys and they weren't worried at all about the first day of school so, in turn, I didn't worry. 

Sometimes I wonder if I just can't process stress like some people.  When I work, I feel horrible that I'm not the perfect June Cleaver stay-at-home mom.  When I stay at home, I let myself panic that I'm not bringing in my own income and I wouldn't be able to support myself if my husband was no longer around.  Why do I do that?  It's really the biggest waste of energy.  I'm going to just enjoy where I am right now.  I'm going to enjoy sitting at home, taking care of the boys and my house.  I'm casually looking for a part-time job but I actually believe that being a Mom is a full time job.

I've decided I'm going to try to take better care of myself.  I'm at home and able to cook myself a healthy lunch.  Yesterday, I cooked curried cauliflower. 

One head of cauliflower
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 cup of water
Cover and let steam until the cauliflower is just fork tender but still a little crisp

It's so healthy and lowfat but with a ton of flavor.  I loved it and it made me feel good, not guilty as if I had eaten a McDonald's meal.  I have time to fix a salad and I'm going to do that instead of getting out of the house and grabbing fast food.

The best part of my day was being able to wait on the porch with Allie the White Boxer for the boys to come home from the bus stop.

Typical brothers - everything becomes a competition...even getting to Momma first!  Look at those faces!  Think they had a fun first day of school?!
Allie was so happy the boys were home.  She was lonely all day without them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Day of School - Middle School!

Today was the first day of school.  Tater Tot is now in the 6th grade, which means Middle School and Small Fry is in the 4th grade.  They were so excited to start school that they had their outfits and school supplies ready yesterday afternoon. 
Tater Tot will be switching classes seven times during the day.  We went to the 6th grade orientation and found all of the classes and let me tell you, they were spread out in that building.  I was surprised how far apart some of them were from each other.  I went to a big school so I thought living in a small town, it would be a little different.  He's taking Humanities classes for his electives, so he's going to have Music Theater and Art.  He's extremely talented in art so he'll like that class.  Next year he gets to take Athletics.  This morning, he had to tell us to just drop him off.  He didn't need us to walk him in this morning.  I'm actually very proud of how independent he's been acting about starting Middle School.  When I was a kid, I would have been so nervous.  He's calm and collected about the whole thing, just ready to see his buddies that he missed over the summer.

Small Fry is moving up in the Intermediate Elementary.  He's now in the 4th grade and no longer the little guy on campus.  Our Intermediate goes from 3rd to 5th grade so one more year and he's one of the big guys around there.  He acted like this was "old hat" and was a little embarrassed that we walked him in.  Ha! We only get another year before he will ban us from the school forever! 

The funniest thing about this first day was our niece, Taylor.  She's an 8th grader which of course, means that she is the oldest in the Middle School.  She called and asked if we would come pick her up so she could help Tator Tot learn what to do when he gets to Middle School.  She said she'd show him how to go put his money on his lunch account and where they "hang out" in the commons area before school starts. I have to admit, it made me feel a little better knowing that she was going to show him the ropes.  He probably thinks having a cousin in the 8th grade helps him not get picked on by the older kids.  She'll protect him!

I'm not sure how I feel today.  I'm sad and happy all at once.  I've spent most of this summer at home with them and it's been so much fun.  I've never been able to just hang out with them and do whatever we wanted during the summer.  And this summer flew by so quickly.  It's also been the hottest summer, which meant the boys hung out in the house during the afternoons.  When the heat index is 114 degrees, we are very thankful for the air conditioner.  I just hope the school air conditioners are working today!

I'm starting the 30 day Shred today.  Staying home with the boys has been bad for my waistline.  I'm hoping to lose some weight so I will look decent in my jeans this winter! HA!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Worst Time For a Camera Disaster

Two days ago, Tater Tot and Small Fry came up with the great idea to go outside and take action shots of themselves skateboarding on the driveway.  They wanted to try some cool tricks and be able to post some of the action on Facebook.  I told them they could take my camera but to be very careful. They swore up and down that they wouldn't do anything to it.  They came inside so proud of the shots they had taken.  I noticed they quietly set the camera down and ran into the office to get on the computer.  When I looked at the camera, the lens was still out.  When you turn my camera off, the lens retracts into the camera.  I knew then.....something happened to the camera.  My intuition told me not to let them take it outside but they were so excited.  Oh well, lesson learned.

When I asked the boys about it, they admitted that one time they dropped it in the grass.  They didn't think anything had happened to it.  But, I googled all the tips I could find on Olympus cameras and nothing worked.  Now, in addition to new school clothes, shoes and supplies, I get to try to find a great price on a new camera.  I really have to have one since it's the first days of school, soccer and so many new things are happening in the next few weeks. 

Tater Tot is going into the sixth grade.  Middle school..can you believe it?!  I can't!  He's such a wonderful young man!  So kind and gentle, but also with a ton of self-presence.  I hope sixth grade is a fun time for him! 

Small Fry is going into fourth grade and he's excited to see his friends again.  Last year we had a hard time with his teacher and I'm hoping we get a sweet, caring teacher this year.  I think we deserve it after all the notes last year!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Shopping for School

Today we ventured into the big city to look for school clothes for the boys.  School starts in two weeks and Tater Tot is close to 5 foot tall which means he outgrows his jeans very quickly. 

We ran into a great sale at The Gap. Buy one pair of jeans and get the second pair for $10, plus the lady at the sales counter told us that since we bought 4 pairs total, we got the 5th pair free.  We spent $85 for 5 pairs of jeans.  Now that's a bargain.  I actually bought the boys the skinny type jeans, which I swore I would never buy them.  They don't look as skateboarder-goth type as I thought they would.  But, of course, I'm biased and I think my little stinkers look good in anything!

We about died walking around the shopping center in the heat.  The heat index was 115 degrees today with a temperature of 107.  Tomorrow I'm tackling the boys rooms and staying in the air conditioning all day.  I'm organizing and throwing away any old broken toys, giving away books they don't read, getting the Goodwill bag ready and reworking the closet.  I get tired of looking in the boys closets and there are shoes just thrown in there.  One time I found a brand new pair of shoes in the back of the closet.  Small Fry had taken the shoelaces out of the new shoes to put into his old shoes, then put the new ones in the back of the closet.  I had to explain to him that when we buy new shoes, its not to take out the shoelaces to use on our old shoes.  He just wanted the cool shoelaces that looked good. HA! 

I'm also going to try to figure out how to organize all of the electronics and gaming things.  We have more Wii and Playstation games, controllers and accessories, I just don't know how people keep them all together without looking a mess.  We're going to go over the "play one game at a time, then put it up" rule.  How many electronics do tweens collect? It's killing me! 

We also finished our school supply buying.  We have two huge piles of notebooks, folders, pencils, etc., ready to lug to school on orientation night.  Tater Tot gets a locker with a lock this year and will be switching classes six times a day.  He's so excited to be able to go to his locker between classes.  It's the little things that thrill him!

My First Blog Award!

Are you sitting down??!! I was nominated for my first blog award!  Thanks to Janice at The Northens - I now feel like I'm really somebody.  You like me, you really like me!

How to play:

1. Thank the person that gave you the award.

2. Tell your readers 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers you have recently discovered & love reading about!

4. Contact the bloggers & let them know you gave them an award!

Hautemama's Seven!

1.  I am deathly afraid of clowns.  Everyone that knows me knows never to invite me to the circus.  The saddest thing about that son is a Shriner's Kid so we get free tickets to the Shriner's circus.  And, my son doesn't like clowns either.  It must be hereditary.  At least it's a real phobia so I'm not that crazy!

2.  I feel completely chaotic and unorganized if my life isn't in order.  I seriously feel like a cluttered house equals a cluttered mind.  I even keep a Household notebook so I know everything about our schedules, meals, etc. right there in the book.

3.  I've always wanted to work for Southern Living magazine.  It's been my dream since I was a small child.  I was probably the only 11 year old in Oklahoma who couldn't wait to get my next issue of the mag! HA!  I think it reminds me of my Mom's 11 (yes, 11) brothers and sisters, all of my aunts and uncles in Alabama!

4.  I can't stand for people to touch my feet, or even look at them.  It makes getting pedicures kinda creepy!  But I still do it!

5.  I'm addicted to Twitter.  It's so fun to check Twitter on your phone and know what all the Real Housewives are tweeting about each other.  It's some good stuff too!

6.  I live right by The Pioneer Woman and grew up with Marlboro Man's cousin Matteo.  Matteo and Teresa are the sweetest people on earth.  I love the read the comments when she talks about Matteo and women are just all over themselves about how handsome he is.  If you knew Matteo in real life, you would love him. He has the best personality in this world-total sweetheart!

7.  My kids are the world to me.  We've been through a lot together and we've come out the other end as survivors!  My boys are the sweetest, kindest, most confident kids and that's exactly as I had hoped.
Now, here's a list of great blogs I've recently found. Tag you're it!

1.  Conni @ Its Good To Be Queen
2.  Dina @ There's No Place Like Home
3.  Georgie @ Georgie In BA
4.  Katie @ Harrison House
5.  Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality
6.  Robin @ The Stain Family
7.  Beth Ann @ Life With Me In Kansas
8.  Robin @ Alabama Slacker Mama
9.  Lauren @ The House of Fletcher
10. Aubree @ The Southern Family
11.  VKT @ Chronicles of a Veteran Kindergarten Teacher
12.  Beth @ Unskinny Boppy
13.  Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings
14.  Melissa @ A Familiar Path

15.  Dawn @ Dawns Diversions