Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Random on Purpose

(Perhaps the most fun you can have is to simply have fun! Random fun for unorganized thoughts, yes, that's my day.)

I used to get ready for school as fast as I possibly could to be able to sit and watch Gumby before time to leave.

(There's always a Benjamin story to tell).
Benjamin asked if we could flick knuckles. The rules of the game.... you flick a person's knuckle they flick you back. You just get ONE good shot. With his sisters giggling I said sure. He took my hand. Flick. One good hit to my knuckle... well, as good as a four year old can flick. I started to move my hand... he held on tight..... Flick. Flick. Flick.... flick!!! I said, "Hey, I think it's my turn." (Everyone giggling knowing I wouldn't dare flick him back). His response, "Ummm...... well, this is the no-mommy-Benjamin-world so you don't get to have a turn." He wins!

My awesome randomness to throw out to you today...... I keep dreaming of Africa so I've included the place that continues to haunt me at night.
Kilimanjaro...... someday.

While deleting the useless junk from the desktop of my computer I found this recipe. Always share a chocolate recipe... it's the neighborly thing to do.

Chocolate-Glazed Fudge Cake
1cup butter
16oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2teaspoons vanilla
6eggs, lightly beaten
1/4cup whipping cream
1tablespoon light corn syrup
1teaspoon vanilla
3oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch round cake pan. In medium saucepan, melt butter and 16 oz. chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Gently stir in eggs until well combined. Pour into greased pan. Place cake pan in 13x9-inch pan; add warm water until 1 inch deep.
2.Bake at 350°F. for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Remove cake pan from water bath; place on wire rack. Cool 40 minutes.
3.Carefully run knife around edge of pan; invert cake onto wire rack. Cool an additional 20 minutes.
4.Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine whipping cream, corn syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add 3 oz. chocolate; stir until melted and smooth.
5.Place cake on serving platter. Place pieces of waxed paper under cake to catch drips. Slowly pour glaze over top and sides of cake to cover. With narrow metal spatula, smooth glaze over cake. When glaze is set, remove waxed paper. Store in refrigerator.

Random fun must come to an end. Being random on purpose..... just a fancy way of saying.......procrastination. Page #63 won't produce itself, so I must return to writing.... time to create while the fabulous four sleep!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Great Outdoors

It's June and that means it's Great Outdoors Month! Little things matter this time of year. The moments without the television. Families unplugged. Here's a few ideas to get your crew outside and having fun.

Go fishing and teach your kids how to safely bait a hook or take a fish off the line.
Go hiking and keep a field guide along the way of all the interesting things you find.
Picnic. This doesn't have to be a lot of work. Pack lots of snacks and drinks. 
Go to the beach for the weekend and play.... play...... play.
Keep a moon phase calendar. It's the perfect time to start with that giant moon out there this time of the month.
Buy flowers to plant together and let the kids weed and water them. 
Discover the beauty in your own backyard. Look for insects and go bird watching.
Play in the local park. 
Go swimming. Invite others.
Go stargazing OFTEN. Learn a few constellations with your kids.
Go camping. 

Saturday, June 25th, is the Annual Great American Backyard Campout. Click here to learn more from the National Wildlife Federation. There's even a facebook page to join for this event!

Discover the Be Out There campaign to get kids outside playing. Sign up for their newsletter and get motivated for fun!

Make your outdoor time an adventure. Here's a link for those with smaller children. Playtime is learning for them.
Exploring Science in the Backyard.

Need some quick ideas for fun? The Disney FamilyFun site has great ideas! 

The fabulous four and I are star gazing quite a bit. I have my super seven year old making a star book. Each constellation we find, she recreates with stickers and then learns the name. Now when we get out of the car at night, no one rushes in the house. Everyone takes the time to stop, look up and take in the beauty of the night. 

Teach your family to notice life. Create your own family outdoor fun this month. You're not just making memories, you're creating moments that knit your hearts closer. Enjoy all the fun you can find!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

So Much More Than Groceries

The fabulous four and I had our weekly grocery shopping extravaganza. Nothing exciting really in our cart, but there was fun to be had. 

I've said before, we usually are the loud family you pass, and you either think "they sure are having fun" or  "Oh God, please spare me from ending up on near them again!" We don't mean to be obnoxious, but we laugh.... a lot, or we randomly sing...... a lot.

Today my crew seemed to be in rare form. Walking down the cereal aisle, I had one ask.... "Mommy, is this cuckoo puffs any good?" (insert loud laughing from us all).

(Who isn't cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!)

Down another aisle Uncle Ben's rice was on display and one of the younger four asked, "Isn't this the President?" (insert loud laughing once again). Her response to laughter... "I'm seven, give me a break here." (Even more laughter, even she gets red in the face laughing).
(For those that don't know Uncle Ben)
(It's still funny!)

As we walked through the store a young guy passed us and I told my crew, "That's the guy on facebook that I showed you. The one with the guitar?" And... so began the singing all through the store. He rounded the corner during a time of no singing and walked right behind them. They didn't notice. When I pointed him out once again they freaked. If he's singing on facebook, he's famous..... didn't you know that?

The smallest of the four sits in the grocery cart. Life is easier in a crowded store with a small person riding. He was facing forward moving his hands in the air in front of him.... up and down. My oldest stepped in front of him and smiled. His response, "UH!!! You stepped on my horses, and I was going so fast!" (Loud laughing once again!)

We walked out to where we parked... you know... the end of civilization, and I started the van so the children wouldn't melt while I desperately tried to load all the groceries. Our music was on. We have recorded our playlist and it started playing..... a bit loud. Now, I've made sure my kids know 80's music, but when WHAM started singing "Wake me up before you go go" I had several heads in the parking lot turn my way. 

I do believe I qualify as the most uncool single mom around. However, I don't know anyone else who has as much fun as I do buying groceries.

Friday, June 10, 2011

GFC is down.... don't you be!!

Hello Friends!  Blogger seems to be having problems with Google Friend Connect, but here's another way to connect today for all of you on the hop. I've noticed too that even when I follow this way I still can't leave comments. Have fun making new friends!

Even though the 'Follow Me' button is empty, you can still follow me! Here is how:
* Go the very TOP LEFT SIDE of my blog.
* Click 'Follow' on the navigation bar!

Thanks for the reminder from Chrissy at Lil' Baby Bootie.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

To the Land.... of the Lost!

Marshall, Will and Holly
On a routine expedition
Met the greatest earthquake ever known
High on the rapids It struck their tiny raft (insert screams here)
And plunged them down a thousand feet below
To the Land of the Lost
To the Land of the Lost
To the Land of the Lost

Do any of you remember this show? I loved it. I told my kids about it and it made me think how fun life was when I was really little. How special a Saturday was. The freedom of the weekend. Watching movies all night. Playing outside all afternoon. Cartoons all morning. The intro there seems a bit corny now (the fabulous four agree), but didn't we used to think it was great!

This looked a lot creepier when I was little.

Not quite as scary as Jurassic Park

I can't remember what these crystal were for. Anyone know?

Nasty old Sleestaks! Do you remember the one Sleestak in the disco vest?

Great fun gathering this information! What was your favorite show from the Saturday morning lineup? 

Let me ask you a question.....

Here's a question for everyone that dares to string thoughts together outside your brain and call it writing. How often do you write? Maybe that's not the best way to ask. How much time do you devote to your craft? Better.

While my children were playing in the pool today I sat there thinking about how much I don't write.  I had my notebooks with me. Yes, I'm one of those that likes to write on paper still.... ancient way of creating I know, but it's freeing to me. I have an idea notebook crammed full of book ideas and stories with beginnings and very little else. So, I decided to count all the works in progress... or works that have been set aside so long that I can't really remember everything in them. Well, 47 is the magic number of unfinished or forgotten work.

Now that inventory has been taken, I feel challenged to complete some of these before the end of the year. It's going to be exciting visiting with the old friends of my imagination and embarking on journey after journey to the far off places in my mind.

My only problem... when in the world do I find the time? I'd love to hear from any of you about your writing schedules.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

170 Days of Something!

There are 170 days that I'm to do SOMETHING. It's a personal journey I'm on that has literal destination.....  the ending a time of growth, and the beginning of a new season. That doesn't seem like a long time...however, it's the time that remains.... the beginning number was 377. It's a long story, but life changes fast and this is a time of taking the time to notice. So, June 8 begins 170 more days of trying desperately to create change around me.

I loathe change! I possess a specific hatred toward change, and it seems things change so fast lately that it's hard to keep up. Here's a few example of me not changing. I've had the same keyring since 1986. I've had the same pair of sunglasses for 8 years. My pathetic excuse for a cell phone has been with me for 5 years... don't text me..... I'm likely not to respond because my house is a black hole in cell signals. I sometimes sleep in a t-shirt that I got in 9th grade at a weekend camp. In your mind your either thinking.... wow, that's like me, or wow, she's a freak! See, change and me.... we aren't the best of pals. 

This is my assignment for the next 170 days..... CHANGE. So, this should be fun, don't you think?  Want to know why.... well mark it on your calendar, I'll tell you when I get there... and if you want to join with me, decide what you want to CHANGE in your life, and keep coming back to tell me of your progress. Everyone wants to lose weight.... ME TOO! So do it! Boy, I am. I intend to be healthy. Time to change. One of my biggest goal is my writing. For the next 170 days I will be writing.... fiercely writing, reading about writing, blogging.... you get it. Just time to get manuscript #2 completed because #3 is needing some attention. I also intend to organize my life. For those of you who are active in my life outside this screen... you know. Change, right? I'll amaze the masses! 

Don't you want a better you? Not a different life... no the life you have is so precious.... so real. I'm talking about an upgrade. That's my goal. I want to look back at the end of 170 days and see beauty in every moment with the CHANGES that will make me more of who I'm suppose to be.

Don't forget to click the "vote for us" button up there! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's All Fun & Games Blogfest

Today, with our host Alex J. Cavanaugh, we unite in the blogosphere to come up with three of our favorite games and why they're our favorites.

My list is completely made up of board games. The first and favorite for me, of course, is chess. I'm quite addicted to playing online chess games, but nothing beats the one on one, board in the middle, ability to SAY checkmate. Why is it my favorite? My dad taught me the game of chess when I was quite young. He NEVER let me win. After years of trying, when I finally won, I felt like I had climbed a mountain! Now, my children have learned the game and the same rule applies for us. When you beat me..... you really beat me, and we play a LOT of chess in our house. We have four chess boards, but this is the favorite board at the time.
That's right.... it's a Super Mario chess set!

My second favorite all time game was a game from 1975...... JAWS.  Load all the junk in the sharks mouth, set the rubber band, and try to take out each piece before the mouth snaps shut and makes everyone playing scream. Why is this a favorite? It was delightful fun for all of us who actually saw the movie that year in the theaters! Plus, when we weren't playing the game, Barbie was swimming for her life!
(I can't believe I found this picture online.)

Last on the list is Aggravation. It's a long game or a short game. It all depends on the roll of the dice, but no matter what it's great fun and the winner feels quite accomplished. The fabulous four and I play this one a great deal.  We have a version where six people can play so no one gets left out. Why is this a favorite? My daddy made a board for us when they were building an addition to our house. He took the circle of marble that was cut out to make the sink in his bathroom out to the garage. I remember him drilling all the holes for the board, and my sister and I colored in the circles to match the marbles. It then became one of our favorite family games.
I could list 10 more, but I'll stop there. I still love board games and my kids enjoy them too. We've even made board games a tradition for our New Year's Eve. We start after breakfast and we play games all day and all night. It's not just games to us. It's time together laughing and the time for making great memories.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Funny Side of Life

The advertisements on the right side of my facebook page completely entertain me, so I started collecting them to share with you.  The fabulous four and I have laughed at all of these.

The caption for the first two pictures reads: 
Become a Dietitian 1 YR

So becoming a dietitian will help me identify the food I can make cool stuff with or just play with in general.

The title on this picture made me laugh out loud!
Give Single Dads a Chance
Let's be realistic. This man can't be single. 

This needed no title. It stands alone. 

The title here had to be written first and the picture inserted later.
Hot Shoes! Just $39.95
I assume this does not include the amount you will spend in the emergency room after gracefully falling.

The title here: 
Pell Grants for Women
So if I get the pell grant I won't end up in a giant glass, or will I? Hmm....

Who wouldn't want to go to this!! I did however neglect to see where this is, so the google search is all yours.
I wonder how many episodes of Full House the Beach Boys are in? 

The title of this one: Lower Your Auto Insurance
Umm..... this is information she should have had yesterday.

Yet another dietitian ad. 
In just one year I can convince my children that fruit, while tasty, CAN be used as rain gear. Is it me, or does this look like a muppet gone bad?

Just a fabulous ad for body art... this is not a tattoo... it's henna.
This was the add I actually visited. She sells belly dancing attire and a "how to" video. Plus, she'll actually come and create art on your party guests! 

This title came as a question:
Want to know why moms love Cheerios?
Well, that's a given. I'll answer with a question. Do you know how easy it is to sweep up this snack?

I do hope you've enjoyed the ads of facebook as much as we have. Now I can start a new file! 
To be continued..........

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It Begins On A Wednesday

To say it never was is to believe it never can be
It still exists if only for a moment in the day
The brief reality when night breaks into morning
The feeling of beginning
In this
Hope lives.

When times are tough do you have a circle of support you can call on? I realize I do. In lonely moments do you think of those that never have left your life? I have those moments. In the wee hours of the morning when sleep WILL NOT COME, does your mind fill with memories of laughter shared with friends? There's comfort there.

I love the beginning of a new month. It's really no different than any other day. June 1st.... doesn't that SOUND bigger than JUST the beginning of a new month? Let's look at the calendar for a moment.

Just another Wednesday.
Not today. Let's not allow it to be just another Wednesday. Find something to begin today. Start whatever you've been putting off. Let go of something that is worrying you. I've been on a personal journey for some time now. Today is different. The rules changed for me, and I'm taking my journey a bit more serious. 

So on this day, June the 1st of the year 2011, find HOPE in something. It's there, and it's the beginning of something beautiful in you.