Go Jump In A Lake…OK!

Here we go, I think this is going to be the busiest weekend of the summer!

Tomorrow night we are going to see Bryan Adams and Foreigner in concert. It is an outdoor concert and yes we are taking the kids. They love going to concerts with us, so we let them when the price is right. These tickets were $10 each but you have to sit on the lawn which is what we prefer to do anyway. Last year we took both girls to see Steve Miller. We also took the older one to go see Rush this one was a bit expensive but she really wanted to go. This concert should be great!

Saturday we get to celebrate my youngest daughter’s birthday. She will be officially 9 even though her dad thought she was turning 10! She will have three of her friends over  to our neighborhood pool for a party. Simple but fun, they can swim, eat pizza have cake and the best part is nobody gets to mess up my house!

Sunday is the day I can’t wait to get here. We are packing up the car and heading out for 4 days of camping. We rent a cabin at a lake every summer to just get away from it all. The best part is we have a no electronics rule for everyone. No cell phones, radios, tv, computers, gameboys, nothing!

So come Sunday I am going to say the hell with it all and go jump in a lake!

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Hello Dolly

I live in the Gulf Coast area of Texas. Luckily for us we are not near where Hurricane Dolly came in. For the past 3 days we have seen cloud bands from the storm, which in my opinion are really cool. I am one of those strange people that like hurricanes. I have been known to go outside during hurricanes before. I am just in awe of them for some reason. My mother was the same way.

Today we are finally seeing some rain from Dolly. So what do my kids do during a really stormy day? They both ask me if they can get their swimsuits on and go outside in the rain. My reply was “Go for it! If it starts lightening, use your little heads and come inside!”

It is nice to see a family tradition being passed on! Even if we are all crazy!

Backyard Visitor

This is an aerial picture of our neighborhood back in 2002. Our house was not built when this picture was taken. We live in the entrance to the cul-de-sac and our backyard runs along a canal. On the other side of the canal there is nothing but ranch land, at least for now.
Our Neighborhood 2002

Our Neighborhood 2002

We have a great view from our upstairs windows of the canal and the ranch land. We are used to seeing cows and horses roaming around back there. We even get to hear coyotes at night. We have fished the canal and caught catfish, bass, alligator gar and we have even managed to catch a snapping turtle on a fishing pole!

Our backyard has seen it’s share of wildlife as well. We have a bunch of bunny rabbits that visit us, we have seen a skunk before and even an opossum. Because of the canal we get our share of snakes as well. As for birds, we have a nest right above our backdoor that has been home to a family of doves for about 2 years now. We also get to see a bunch of hawks, egrets, and disgusting buzzards!

Today we had a new visitor in our backyard. I was the person who found the little visitor as usual and of course, as usual it scared the crap out of me and I screamed! So what do we get to add to our ever growing list of backyard visitors but an armadillo. What can I say, only in Texas!

Our little backyard visitor

Our little backyard visitor

I Am Woman… Almost

My youngest daughter is having a bit of a hard time here lately. She is patiently sitting by and watching her older sister start to have a lot more privileges then she has. She is also tired of hearing me say, “That’s life, your sister is 7 years older than you. When you get older you will be able to do more things too.”

Well last night we were sitting on the couch watching a movie when my little one started talking about wearing perfume. I told her she can wear her perfume on special occasions to which she replied, “Mom, I am almost a woman you know!”

I couldn’t help it but I started laughing. There is something really funny when your 9 year old tells you she is “almost a woman!” This from the little girl who still wants me to read to her at night when I tuck her into bed!

The Gift That Keeps On Giving…Me A Head Ache!

July is birthday month here at my house. Both of my daughters were born in July. My oldest just turned 16 and my youngest will be 9 on Sunday. Last weekend my in-laws came down to celebrate their birthdays. They decided to give them each $30 in gift cards this year. My oldest daughter also received $40 in gift cards from her friends. 

I hate gift cards! To me they are a cop out. I think you should put some thought into what you give someone for a gift.

Last year my mother in-law took my oldest daughter out for a day of shopping, pedicures and then they had dinner with grandpa. My daughter loved spending the time with her grandmother as well as spending her money and really enjoyed the dinner with just her and her grandparents. My youngest daughter spent a day with her grandparents and her cousin who is 4 days older than her going to the circus. They all had a blast!

This year they get gift cards! That means I have to take them shopping! I hate shopping! I spent 2 hours with 2 girls in a store yesterday. Talk about a total nightmare. The little one did fairly well. She knew what she wanted and stuck with it. The oldest one on the other hand drove me nuts! She has to look at everything and then look at it all again. Then of course she buys the first thing she had her eye on!

Next year if my kids get gift cards I am telling the person who bought it that they must be the one to take them shopping!

Poll of the Week

I am going to try something a little new here. I am going to post a weekly poll here on my site. Some may be serious and some may be light-hearted. Please feel free to comment on any of the polls if you want to or just leave some feedback.

So here is my first poll. I figured I would start it off on a serious note if you can call politics serious! I actually love talking politics, I just don’t do it here very often.

 Poll: Who will be our next president?

Ribs To Die For…

I found this recipe over at The Kitchen Sink. The ribs came out awesome! I will admit that being a bit lazy, I did not make the Bourbon Glaze but I instead used a really good BBQ sauce. The key is to cooking the ribs in the pineapple juice! My youngest daughter doesn’t like BBQ sauce so we left hers plain and she ate every last piece!

Bourbon-Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Bon Appetit

5 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plum sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 2 1/4- to 2 1/2-pound racks baby back pork ribs
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

Whisk first 11 ingredients in small bowl.

Do ahead: Glaze can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place long sheet of heavy-duty foil on each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Sprinkle rib racks on all sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 rib rack on each foil sheet. Fold up sides of each foil sheet around rib rack to form boat-like shape. Pour 1/2 cup pineapple juice over each rib rack. Fold up foil to seal packets. Bake until ribs are tender, about 2 hours.* Remove ribs from foil packets. Transfer to roasting pan; pour any juices from foil over and cool.

Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Cut each rib rack in half. Grill until browned, brushing frequently with glaze and turning often, about 10 minutes. Cut racks between bones into ribs.

* The original recipe calls for baking the ribs for 1 hour, but Epicurious commenters suggested 2 hours.

I’m Bored

We have officially hit the I’m Bored stage of summer! My youngest child goes back to school in 4 weeks and the oldest goes back in 6 weeks. Both children are walking around trying to find something to do and they are driving me nuts. Not that they have to far to drive for that to happen!

So far this summer we have gone to the pool almost everyday, gone to the movies, gone out on our boat a lot, gone to vacation bible school, and have just hung out here and played with friends! What else is there to do?

I told my youngest one that we could always get out the multiplication flashcards or do a summer book report if the whining gets too loud. She immediately found something to play with, no problem. She usually has no problem keeping herself occupied. 

The oldest one is the one that is really testing me right now. She has to have someone with her to keep her from being bored. It seems that when she is not grounded from the phone her friends are. Currently her boyfriend has lost his phone privileges for a week. She has already blown the use of her computer for the summer, so that is out of the question. I have told her if she does not find something to do soon she will be helping me super clean the house for when her grandmother, my mother in-law, comes over tomorrow!

I should be thankful beacuse at least so far there has been no blood shed between the two of them! I say so far because we still have another month of summer to get through!

Play Date Rules

OK, I have given this some deep thought and I believe I have a list that I can post in my house. I looked at W. Bruce Cameron’s 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, which I thought were pretty good, but these are rules that a dad wrote. My “Play Date Rules” need what you might call a mother’s fine touch to them. I will have to keep these rules short since the attention span of most teenage boys is that of a flea, so here you go:

Play Date Rules

  1. No boys allowed in any bedrooms or any room with a door attached to it for that matter.
  2. If you can help yourself to my food, you can help yourself to my dishwasher as well.
  3. If you shouldn’t stand on something then don’t put your feet on it at all.
  4. No kissing allowed in front of minors or parents for that matter.
  5. If I don’t like you, my daughter does not like you, she just might not know it yet!
  6. If you get accidentally get something pregnant, you accidentally marry it.
  7. My first name is Mrs. and his is Mr.
  8. Curfews are not negotiable. We go by the clock on our wall, don’t want to get in trouble then set your watch by our clock!
  9. We believe in the 3 strike law. If you screw up 3 times you are out of here unless you screwed up and broke Rule number 6!

Sweet 16 And Never Been Kissed…Ya Right!

My oldest daughter is officially 16 today. So what that really means is that today I am officially old!

I would like to say that my dear Sweet 16 year old has never been kissed, but I was always told not to lie! Especially since I found her and her boyfriend in her room swapping some tongue together on their last play date!

Last Saturday we decided to invite the boy over to go swimming with us. Then we came back to our house and the two children were supposed to be upstairs in the family room playing ping pong and listening to music. Well I stopped hearing the pong of the ping pong table, so I decided that I would take the laundry upstairs and put it away. That is when I caught the two children attached at the tongue in my daughter’s room!

I did not freak out, which really surprised me! The two of them freaked out enough for all three of us! I very sternly informed them that they broke the number 1 play date rule in our house which is no boys allowed in the bed rooms! The boy then apologized to me to which my reply was: “I am the last person you will ever want to piss off! Let’s make sure you don’t piss me off again, O.K.?!”

I don’t know why but he went home shortly after our little talk. Go figure.

I am thinking that I need to come up with a Play Date Rules List and post them by our back door. I’ll let ya know what I come up with!

And The Arte Y Pico Award Goes To…

Joan over at Whatever I Think gave me this nice award. Sorry I did not have time to write an acceptance speech. I guess a simple thank you will have to do. So here goes, thank you Joan!

And now for the rules:
1) Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.
2) Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog by so everyone can view it.
3) Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4) The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the “Arte y pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) Please post these rules.

Here are my 5 receipents of this award:

  1. Betme
  2. Joy
  3. Ugly Ass Opinion
  4. That’s What She Blogged
  5. Just Giftedly Outspoken

I Can See

For some reason when you become a mom you take care of everybody else but yourself. I became a mom at the fairly young age of 21. Trust me I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! My sacrifices have all been worth it!

I have been wearing glasses since I was 16. I have only had 4 pairs of glasses in my lifetime. My oldest daughter started wearing glasses when she was 5 years old. Every year I take her to get her eyes examined and we get her a new pair of glasses. She has had 11 pairs of glasses in her lifetime.

The last time I got my eyes checked was 7 or 8 years ago. I got a 6 months supply of monthly contacts and a pair of glasses. I soak the contacts every night and rotate between the 6 pairs. I can’t stand wearing my glasses since they are all bent up from falling asleep with them on.

Lately I have been squinting and moving things away from or nearer to me to see them. Not good! So last week I broke down and went to the eye doctor. I got new contacts on the spot. My oldest daughter helped me pick out a pair of glasses that would not embarrass her in public. I have to admit I actually like them.

When I got in the car to go home, wearing my new contacts of course, I kept commenting on how I could actually read the road signs! My oldest daughter was like “That’s great you couldn’t read them before?!” Hey I knew what they meant and I know where I am driving anyway! I can see the car in front of me what else do you need!

Well finally I can see for miles!

My Child’s Play Date!

Today we take a new step in our house. My almost 16 year old daughter has a “play date” with her “boyfriend”! I keep calling it a “play date” and every time I do she freaks out. I love it! I know I am too cruel to her but I can’t help it.

Her “boyfriend” is coming over to our house for the first time. This is the first time she has ever had a boy over. My youngest daughter has already informed me that she will keep an eye on them and let me know everything that goes on. I don’t even have to pay her for her services, which I was well prepared to do!

My oldest daughter has already asked me if I was going to ask him a bunch of questions. This got me to thinking and last night I wrote down a bunch of questions on a piece of paper and handed them to my daughter this morning. I thought she was going to drop dead! I thought it was funny!

Here are the questions that I wrote down:
1. If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
2. What is your favorite color?
3. How much money do you have in the bank?
4. If you get my daughter pregnant how do you plan to support her and the baby?
5. What is your plan for the next 10 years?
6. If you could be a cartoon character who would you be?
7. Who do you think our next president should be?
8. What type of car do you want?
9. What is your favorite baseball team?
10. If you don’t treat my daughter right, do you think I have the right to kick your butt?

I also told her that her dad just might be cleaning his shotgun this afternoon. I think she is rethinking this having a boyfriend over to the house idea!

It’s A Small World

This past weekend a major life event happened at my house. It probably happened a little bit before this weekend but this was the first time I noticed it. Or maybe I even noticed it before but this past weekend I finally acknowledged this major life event.

It is finally official: My oldest daughter is taller than me!

We were in the bathroom where I was attempting to help her straighten her hair. I don’t do good styling hair, that is just not my cup of tea. I was standing behind her when I looked in the mirror and I could not see myself! She was in the way, blocking me!

It is not very hard for someone to be taller than me seeing that I am only 5’2″. But somehow it is just not fair when your child can look down on you! I did inform her that I of course could still take her down if needed. I just hope she doesn’t make me prove it!

Happy 4th of July

Fireworks over Houston, Texas (© Bob Gomel/Corbis)

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Ronald Reagan
40th president of US (1911 – 2004)