Friday, February 25, 2011

It's an adjustment.

Last night my oldest, laid back as can be son had a meltdown.

He is not really a meltdown type. He's so cool, calm & collected most of the time. He played it off like he was frusterated with his homework, but then I heard the truth in the form of a mutter: "I hate Oklahoma. I wish we never left South Carolina."

And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

The hubby & I had noticed some uncharacteristicly low grades coming home in his folders lately, and a major attitude brewing. Granted, he's 9 and I've been told that the attitude of teenagers starts early, but it was so out of the norm for him. He's such a go-with-the-flow kind of kid. These were signs of him not adjusting, and I just didn't see it. I was too busy wallowing in my own self-pity of hating the crazy, can't-make-its-mind-up weather and longing for my friends and the beach that I didn't even realize he was having an even harder time acclimating that I was. Way to be an on-the-ball mom. Nice.

I feel like it's partly my fault, too, because I'm guilty of voicing my complaints about Oklahoma in the presence of my kids. I realized last night that if I want my kids to succeed in getting used to a new place, then I need to show them how. I can't just expect them to dive in headfirst and come up smiling. I need to show them how to hold their noses and then swim to the surface. I need to give them positives instead of just pointing out the negatives. And I'm the first one to tell you I'm a pessimist, so that's going to be a major working point for me. But if it means that my kids will be better able to cope with a new environment, then I will bust my butt to get myself in the right mindset to make that happen.

It's going to be a process, I'm sure, but I know that they'll get there. We all will.

(It will definitely help if the weather can warm up and keep the snow and rain and tornado threats away though!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm surrounded by monkeys.

Yesterday we took the kids to the Oklahoma City Zoo. The kids were out of school for President's Day and the hubby had the day off as well, so we decided it'd be a fun outing. Our apartment gets small when the 5 of us are sitting around with nothing to do. We found out from a friend that the zoo was offering free admission on Mondays in February, so that sealed the deal for me. Even with it being cold and windy. Passing up a free zoo day was NOT something that I could swallow...I do have Dutch blood running through my veins you know. We are a thrifty people.

Anyway, we didn't spend a ton of time there because of the cold...the animals weren't very active either. But I did get some great pics of the kids.

And this one is by far my favorite.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Vodka Penne Pasta

This is SUCH a yummy recipe. My kiddies informed me that they prefer this type of pasta over the regular pasta & spaghetti sauce that I usually make. Fine by me...this is one of my favorite's too!
Here's what you need:
1 package (16 oz) penne pasta, cooked
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Grated Parmesan cheese
and either
2 jars chunky spaghetti sauce and 1/4 cup vodka
2 jars Bertolli Vodka Sauce

Heat the sauce, basil and red pepper in a 3 qt saucepan to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in the cream.

Place pasta in a large serving bowl. Pour sauce mixture over and mix well to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

You will NOT be disappointed in this easy to make dish!

Monster Jam Time!

For the second year in a row, the little man chose a trip to see monster trucks over having a birthday party. Last year it was a boys' night out- the hubby took the two dudes along with a friend of ours and his son. But this year Sophia & I went along. You know...because we need some 'culture' in our lives.

I have to say, I had alot of fun. My kids and hubby were SO excited to see Grave Digger. But when the "halftime show" was on and I witnessed motocross bikes in action...this momma was blown away. These crazy nuts were doing backflips off a ramp that I'd be scared to walk up, let alone speed a dirtbike onto. And the quad riders were doing tricks too. But the chaos that was their finale...I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Serious. They had the bmx bikers going off their ramp while the dirtbikes and quads went off their ramp and did tricks OVER TOP OF THE BMXers!! WHAT?! As a mom I was scared to death for these boys who clearly were dropped on their heads as children. I mean, what other reason would someone willingly fling themselves upside down while riding an offroad vehicle? And if one of them fell down and landed on those poor bmx bikers? Forget it. I'd have been scarred for life, and I probably would never let my kids ride their bikes ever again. Because you know that the little man would try to do some tricks the next time he hopped on his two-wheeler. No. Thanks.

But thankfully no one got hurt and I was sold. I want to go to more motocross freestyle events! I watch X Games with my boys and can't believe the stunts those guys do, but when you see it live in person, right in front of your own's amazing.

Oh yeah, and the monster trucks were pretty cool too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Enjoy it while it lasts!

Last week I was sitting in my house shivering as I looked out the window in disgust. For the second week in a row the kids had more than one day of school cancelled due to snow (6 snow days in 2 weeks people!!) and I was at the end of my quickly fraying rope.
But this week?

This week has been lovely. Well, except for the "breezy" 30+ mph wind we have everyday. But gale force winds aside, the weather has been almost perfect. Two days this week we got up to 80. I was in heaven! Today was a little cooler, and the ever-present wind made it feel more chilly than it should have, but we decided to celebrate the sun and above-freezing temps by meeting the hubby for a picnic at the park since the boys were out of school.
Again. This time it's for teacher in-service day or something. (I'm seriously beginning to wonder if Oklahoma schools EVER have a full 5 day school week!)

The kids had a blast getting outside, and this park- despite being sandwiched between the interstate and one of the main roads outside the base-was alot of fun.

The kids said it was the best picnic they'd ever been on. Looks like we'll be frequent guests long as the weather allows.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mmmm Mmmm Monday Revisited: Cake Mix Cookies

This is a repost from last February but these are such a big hit in our house that I had to revisit them. Cake mix cookies are so easy to make. And if you're like me and love love love those frosted sugar cookies from Walmart, then you'll love these. The hubby & kids tell me that they like them even better than the Wally World version!

Cake Mix Cookies
1 pkg cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs

Heat oven to 375*. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, and eggs and mix until thoroughly moistened. Shape dough into 1" balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Gently flatten the dough ball with your fingers to about 1/4 of an inch thickness. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown. Cool one minute, remove from cookie sheet.
Now here's the fun part! If you want to frost these tasty bites, let the cookies cool completely, and then use your favorite frosting on top and decorate with sprinkles or anything you'd like. I let mine sit out overnight to harden the frosting a bit. I sent these special Valentine's funfetti cookies with the boys for school and they were so excited to have them in their lunches!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Chicken Pot Pie Bake

We tried this recipe one of the days last week that we were snowed in, because we needed some good, warm comfort food. The hubby and I loved it...the kids on the other hand weren't sure about the biscuits. But they enjoyed everything else!

Here's what you need:
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 and 1/3 cups milk
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cups refrigerated new (red) potato wedges, each cut in half crosswise
3 cups cubed deli rotisserie chicken (without skin)
1 bag (1 lb) frozen mixed veggies, thawed
1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 375*. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix soup, milk and Italian seasoning. Stir in potatoes, chicken and thawed veggies.

Seperate dough into individual biscuits and cut each into quarters. Add to potato mixture and stir gently to mix. Spoon into baking dish.

Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes or until top is deep goldenbrown and biscuits are no longer doughy inside. Sprinkle with cheese and bake another 4-6 mintues until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Man!

Today you turned seven. My little man, trouble maker and youngest son. You are a bundle of energy and I don't think I've ever seen you sit still. Even in your sleep you go nonstop. I'm pretty sure that "walk" is not in your vocabulary. You are in fast forward from the time you wake up until the time you crash at the end of the day. You are so passionate about everything...sports, fun, even in your temper you are full of fire. You make me want to pull my hair out and laugh all at the same time. You push me to my limits, yet your heart is limitless. Most of the time I have no words for you...everyone who knows you understands why. You are just one of those people who can make an entire room errupt in laughter with a single sentence.

I love you to pieces and I'm so happy to have you as my little man.

Hope your snow-day, 7th birthday was the best day of your life!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


They're calling it the Blizzard of 2011. My hubby (who was born & raised in the Adirondack Mountains of upsate New York) begs to differ.

All I know is that there's about a foot of snow, the wind is whipping like crazy, the high is 16* and the windchill is -15. For this Southern girl, the term "blizzard" sounds about right.