Saturday, January 31, 2009

10 Years Part 1

Although tomorrow is the 10 year anniversary of my Mom's death I'm going to reminisce today cuz tomorrow is all about my little man Blade and celebrating his 7 years of life. I love how God worked that out for us, it's full circle.

Don't worry although it's a sad day this will not be a tearjerker post. My Mom always told me her favorite thing about me was my ability to find the humor in every situation and make her laugh even when she wanted to cry so that's what I'm gonna do. Since my Mom has been gone 10 years I've thought of 10 funny memories with Mom to share. It's gonna be a long one so this is Part 1, the rest will be posted on Monday.

1) When my Mom would take us to the store and we (and by we, I mean mostly me, my sisters were good kids) would do everything possible to embarrass and humiliate my mom. Such as throwing Bounce on the floor and exclaiming loudly "IT'S FALSE ADVERTISING, IT DOESN'T REALLY BOUNCE!!" or sneaking condoms and booze in her unsuspecting cart without her realizing it. Then as she was checking out she'd get so embarrassed and mad her face would turn 14 shades of reds and she'd make us take them back and put them where we found them. Those were not appropriate items for a pastor's wife's shopping cart.

2) The time my Dad, ever in denial that he actually ended up in a houseful of girls instead of boys, took us on a wilderness vacation to a lake cabin in Minnesota. We rented a pontoon boat for the day. It was Dad and 5 girls (we had another teenage girl living with us too). Three of us girls were on the front of the pontoon, Dad and Mom were driving the boat. Until Mom decided she wanted a picture of us girls on the front of the boat so she told my sister to go up by the rest of us and she stepped up to take the picture. Then because all of the weight except for Dad's was in the front of the boat it began to sink and sink quickly. But Mom still got the picture and the picture shows us with a look of panic as water was coming up on the pontoon around us. Classic. Poor Dad, we were laughing too hard to be of much help as he feverishly bailed water to avoid the rented boat sinking in the middle of the lake and us having to swim to shore.

3) The day that she fell in love with GI Joe. GI Joe and I had been dating for about 6 months and had started talking marriage when we were having dinner with my family and discussing my latest blonde moment/adventure. She looked at him and with all sincerity said "Why do you want to marry my daughter?" And GI Joe, being the quick thinker that he is, replied immediately with "Because I know my life will never be boring." She laughed and told him that was the best answer he could've given and from that day on she was his biggest fan. She liked him a lot up until the point but that day is when as she says "she fell in love with him." As a sidenote, I've done my best to keep up my end of the deal and make sure GI Joe's life is in fact never boring. I think I'm succeeding.

4) My wedding. Think Bridezilla + Momzilla, we were a force to be reckoned with. It was fabulous. But because we were classy control freaks, it went off with only minor incidents and no one disowned us or put out a hit on us even though I'm sure it was tempting at times.

5) My honeymoon. Now one might ask why I have memories of my Mom on my honeymoon but let me explain. The day after our wedding we set out on a road trip to a beachfront condo in sunny Florida. As we pulled out of the driveway of my parent's house I started sobbing hysterically, realizing that I would never again live with my Mom and family. Poor GI Joe, he didn't know what to do, he offered to take me back but I told him that we were married now and we had to do the grown up thing which was keep driving and then I told him not to mind the hysterical sobbing coming from the passenger seat. He did his best to try and comfort me but I just had to cry it out. We did keep driving until somewhere in Georgia, downtown Atlanta, to be exact, when I was hit with the immediate urge to vomit and made him pull over on the side of the road in the middle of the night so I could do just that. It was a bad case of food poisoning. So here I was the blushing bride vomiting on the side of the road in front of my new husband. He found the next hotel, which looking back now was probably in the worst possible part of town but he was a strong soldier just out of boot camp, he could protect us. I couldn't move without wanting to toss my cookies and he kept asking me what I needed him to do. I told him to call my Mom cuz she would know what to do to make me feel better. So he did just that at approximately 4:oo in the morning. She told him to go buy me a Coke and to hold my hair while I was puking. Good advice Mom! After a couple bottles of Coke and a few hours sleep I was a little better and we were able to continue on our journey. Thank goodness for Mom! Secretly, I think she was thrilled to get that call and know that even though her little girl had gone off and gotten married I still needed her. Again, my hat goes off to GI Joe for not leaving me there and rushing back home to seek an immediate anullment.

To Be Continued........

Friday, January 30, 2009

Peacocks, Parking, & Mike Seaver

Peacocks-I regret to inform you that the Peacock Crossing sign was not put up soon enough and Pete the Peacock had an unfortunate run in with an obviously blind driver, who didn't see the huge brightly colored bird standing in the middle of the road. We may have to reorder the Peacock Crossing sign in Braille, I guess. We believe Pete was suffering from depression as Jasmine, the female peacock seems to have paired up with the other male peacock, Aladdin, leaving Pete odd man out. This may have attributed to his fatal accident. It was a sad day at the Koons Zoo for sure. Pete was a beauty and he will be missed. We did what any grief stricken family would do after the untimely passing of their pet peacock. We gathered round him, shed a few tears (seriously, we get attached!), said a few kind words, and then plucked out his prettiest feathers to put in a vase in the house.
RIP Pete.

Parking-I had to stop by the mall this evening on my way home from work and happened upon a "rock star" parking space but it was a parallel parking space, uh oh. Not an easy feat when you're driving a bus, but I was up for the challenge. Here is a picture of my remarkable parking job. Please do not attempt this as I am a professional, trained driver.
(I'm the White Volkswagen. Kidding, I'm the one behind it)

So as you can see my parallel parking attempt was successful until I came out and got a fresh look at it. Oh my goodness! I was so embarrassed. Actually, I wasn't embarrassed until I whipped out my camera and starting photo documenting my parking skills and then noticed the small crowd of people pointing and laughing. I did manage to get out of the parking space without any significant damage to the car in front or behind me which was nothing short of a miracle. How did I ever pass driver's ed? Oh I remember, because they didn't want to deal with me another year and because every time we used the simulator I got confused and called it the stimulator and made everyone giggle. I think they may have just wanted me out of there?!? It definitely paid off I am a fantastic driver.

Mike Seaver-We just watched "Fireproof". And can I just say that Kirk Cameron aka Mike Seaver is every bit as dreamy as he was on Growing Pains? GI Joe really appreciated the ongoing commentary I provided throughout this very touching movie. And the fact that Kirk made a promise to his real life wife to never kiss another woman, even in movies, so in this movie when there was a kiss it was actually his wife standing in, makes me heart him even more. It's okay GI Joe understands.

And on that note I'm off to prepare for a very exciting weekend that is sure to be filled with blog material. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's Fun Living with a Blonde

When you live with a blonde you sometimes find things like this:

And when I pointed this out to the alleged blonde she denied all accusations and has no recollection of putting milk in the cupboard, even though her cup with milk in it was left on the counter as evidence. I love that I am not the only dizzy blonde in the house. I would hate to have ALL the fun.
The really funny part is that after I took this picture for Exhibit A, I shut the cupboard and went about my business until about 5 minutes later it dawned on me that I had left the milk in the cupboard and perhaps I should move it to the fridge. It's a mother daughter BLONDE bond what can I say?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pampered Pesto Pizza

Sometimes I look in my fridge and cupboards and try to use up stuff that either I have half a jar of or it's nearing it's expiration date. I'm thrifty like that. Sometimes my "experiments" turn out tasting like something out of the lab that ends up being slop for the animals, but once in a great while I actually create something delicious. This was one of those rare occasions where it turned out great.
I'm almost embarrassed to post the recipe because it's so simple and the measurements are totally dependent on your personal taste but here's what I did and it was a hit. The pigs were disappointed that they didn't get any extra slop but the family declared it a thumbs up. So here goes:

1 premade PIzza crust, I used a thin and crispy one
1/4 c. pesto sauce (can be found by the spaghetti sauce)
1/4 c. alfredo sauce
1 large can chicken
5 strips turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c. Mozzarella cheese (more or less to taste)
1/2 t. Italian seasoning

Spread alfredo sauce over crust, then pesto sauce. Layer chicken, bacon, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and then sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Cook according to pizza crust package instructions. And viola! dinner is served. Bet you didn't know I was part Italian huh? :)

*You don't have to use both pesto and alfredo sauce, you can do one or the other, you would just increase amount to equal 1/2 c. of sauce total. We liked the creaminess that the alfredo brought to it combined with the tanginess of the pesto but we're backwoods country folk so do it however you want!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lady Lessons By the Prairie Princess

Now make no mistake I am no Miss Manners, after all I'm the girl who enjoys frolicking with farm animals in coveralls and as a result may sometimes smell like manure. However, I pride myself on generally carrying myself like a "lady". I mean really even when I'm doing dirty, stinky, farm girl stuff my lip gloss is always nearby as one must always be presentable. Obviously my use of lip gloss constitutes me as an authority on being a lady and certifies me to instruct others on such things.

The reason I bring this up is because it's come to my attention as of late that there are women out there who need some lessons in conducting themselves in a lady like manner. The following are public service announcements:

*To the female (she is NOT a lady) who unapologetically touched my friend's husband inappropriately, while his wife (my friend) was standing 6 inches away. You crossed the line there sista. Now I realize you were being an equal opportunity groper by not discriminating between the married and unmarried men. But you should know that the saying goes "Play hard to get" NOT "Grab all you can get." A lady is never grabby and certainly distinguishes between the available and unavailable gentlemen. You are lucky that my friend IS a lady and nicely told you hands off her husband instead of laying you out right then and there. Keep your grubby hands to yourself in the future or the Prairie Princess will be called for back up and you don't want to mess with me, I wrestle goats and sheep to the ground for fun.

*It is never ever okay as a lady to tell your coworker that you aren't wearing a bra to work. Seriously, I don't even have words to address this. It really happened to me yesterday though. And NO I wasn't the one telling my coworkers I wasn't wearing a bra I was the one being told this information. My ears and eyes burned the rest of the day.

*As a lady, it is not okay to scream words like "MORON, IDIOT, or WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" to a fellow driver when they pull out in front of you and nearly cause you to hit the Casey's gas station sign. Oh wait, oops that's exactly what I did yesterday. Please disregard all advice offered as I am obviously not qualified to be giving advice on how to be a lady. But I was screaming those words with freshly applied lip gloss on my lips, that's gotta count for something right?!?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blast From the Past (UPDATED)

Saturday night we had a blast from the past when we had dinner with our friends from high school, Jeremy and Signe. Before I tell you about our fun filled evening of homecoming cheers, cruising the loop, 90's music singalongs, and prom pictures, let's take a quick trip down memory lane, shall we?

Jeremy and Signe have been together forever, since before I came on the VM scene back in high school. In other words, a LONG LONG time, like 15+ years (remember math is not my strong suit). Jeremy was in the same class as GI Joe and myself, while Signe was a spring chicken in the grade below us. Apparently, Jeremy the romantic asked Signe to go to Homecoming with him while standing in the lunch line when he was a sophomore and she was a freshman. Jeremy and GI Joe played football together and had been friends since well I don't know, this isn't their blog so it doesn't matter. Anyway, I don't remember when Jeremy and I became friends. Knowing him it was probably shortly after I arrived on the scene and he felt sorry for the poor new girl who everyone else was either ignoring or pointing at suspiciously. But I do know that pretty much every funny memory I have during my high school years has Jeremy involved somehow. Sorry, most are not blog appropriate! :) He's a great, sarcastic, and fun guy so obviously we got along well. I didn't know Signe as well during high school because she was very athletic (I on the other hand was not), and always at some game or another. But she let Jeremy hang out with us while she was being Miss Athletic so you couldn't help but like her. That and her wonderful dizzy blondeness and gullibility.

So we all dressed up in our hoodies (Jeremy insisted, apparently he'd read the blog entry about GI Joe's fondness for hoodies) for a gathering at their house. They have 2 mini Jeremy's that are a little bit younger than our boys so we made it a family affair.

We partied like it was 1997 and played a mean game of Last Word while we locked the kids in the basement to play Wii. Actually, GI Joe smoked us at Last Word while we, and by we, I mean Jeremy and I, tried to keep up. Meanwhile, Signe was much too busy studying and analyzing the rules and challenging every answer anyone gave. So really Signe in fact had the "Last Word". Gotta love those teacher/student types. :)

We had a great time with our old friends but here are a few excerpts from our evening that 12-13 years ago I would have never thought we would hear ourselves saying.

"Phew, I'm tired" And others was 9:30.
"You need to share!" talking to the kids regarding video games.
"Eat your supper or you don't get dessert."
And my favorite "Oh no, Hunter just puked all over!!" Oh wait, maybe that wasn't so unheard of back in high school.
Here's our prom picture (minus the wrist corsages and tuxes) that I forced them to participate in during the evening. We've come a LONG way Baby!

VM Class of '96 (and '97) Rocks!!!

Speaking of blasts from the past, THIS JUST IN: My husband since 6th grade, Jordan Knight and the rest of his New Kids On The Block friends are coming to my city for a concert on April 6th! Oh mercy me! My NKOTB mentor and BFF Annette and I will be there and will have a full blog coverage. But for now I have important decisions to make such as what am I going to wear, what is our fluorescent pink sign that we hold up during the concert going to say, how are we going to sneak up to the stage, etc, etc.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Cha Cha Salsa

This is a top secret restaurant recipe that you must not tell anyone you got from me. if ever confronted about it I will deny it and throw you under the bus! The lengths I had to go to in order to obtain this recipe are indescribable. You know that restaurant with the big red pepper on the outside that have the bottomless chips and salsa for a mere $2.99? Well, this my friends is the recipe for that delicious, eat it til you have to waddle out, salsa.'s super super easy and you will probably never buy salsa again. You're welcome.

1 can diced tomatoes, I usually get the garlic and onion kind but any is fine
1 small can diced green chiles
1 T. lime juice
1 t. salt.
1/2 t. cumin
chopped onion or onion powder to taste, I usually do 1 T. onion powder
canned or jarred jalapenos to taste, usually 2 or 3 slices, makes it the same heat as the restaurant.

Combine everything but the jalapenos into a blender. Turn blender on high for just a second or two until it's pureed but still has some tomato chunks. If you overdo it with the blender don't worry about it, still tastes great. Finely chop up jalapenos, remember not to touch your eyes when dealing with jalapenos. Red, puffy, watery eyes are not a good look for anyone. Mix jalapenos in. Put in fridge for a couple of hours so that the flavors can "meld". Devour with some nice and salty tortilla chips.

It takes all of about 3 minutes. I make it on a weekly basis it's that good! Ole!!!

Friday Funnies

I didn't set out to be one of those people that blogs daily, really my life is just not that exciting, usually. But then material just keeps coming to me and I can't help myself. Here are some excerpts from our Friday that made me laugh.

*Went to a movie tonight and for the first 15 minutes of previews there was no sound. It didn't appear that any of the theater staff was working to solve the problem but there was an usher who was walking up and down the aisles doing, well, whatever it is that ushers at low budget theaters do. A man in the theater called out to the usher "Sir, there's no audio." Thank you Mr. Obvious. But the part that made me actually laugh out loud was that the usher acted like he hadn't noticed and immediately went into crisis mode. Maybe it was just me but something about that just struck me as funny. P.S. I did not cry at Bride Wars, YAY ME!!!

*Puberty is rearing it's ugly head in our precious 9 year old daughter. Within the span of 15 minutes she went from laughing, to yelling at her brothers, to whining, to sobbing. It's not pretty, people and we are ill prepared. She was telling me about a book she had read and stopped talking for a minute. During that minute of Dakota's silence, Ryder said something unrelated to her topic. She FLEW off the handle yelling at him "Ryder, QUIT INTERRUPTING ME!!" We pointed out to Dakota that he hadn't interrupted her as she had stopped talking and these words actually came out of her mouth, "But I was THINKING of what I was going to say next!" Oh well of course, how dumb of us, he absolutely interrupted her. DUH!

*Came home from the movie, and Moose, the aptly named Lab, had managed to eat 2 entire boxes of Healthy Choice devil's food cookies on our bed. What upset me most about this little escapade was not that he had consumed chocolate (he's got a stomach of steel), but the fact that he didn't leave any for us. Seriously, not cool Moose, and if I find crumbs in my bed you're in the doghouse.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No, Thank YOU!!!

Just when I was beginning to feel uninspired and unsure of what to write about,

showed up on GI Joe's truck after coming out of Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant on Tuesday night. It seems that the alleged "victim" thinks GI Joe parked too close to her. GI Joe says that he parked between the lines and had plenty of space to open both the front and back doors of his truck. Knowing GI Joe and his insane love for his truck it's hard for me to believe that he would put it in harms way of a door ding by parking too close.
So I've used my crime scene investigative skills earned from hours of watching CSI and made the following conclusions:
1) The perp was obviously not a very intelligent individual. GI Joe's truck screams Alpha Male. From the pristine exterior to the personalized Hawkeye plates there's no mistaking it for a chic mobile. Awfully brave there sista.
2) Oh yeah I said sista. It was definitely a girl. I think the use of sarcasm (note the arrow pointing to the Thank You) as well as the use of a triangle exclaimation point is all the proof we need. That and the trying way too hard to sound tough, dead giveaway.
3) Nice stationery. This leads me to believe that it was not a premeditated crime and she went into the restaurant, tried to page the Jerk who parked to close to her and after he didn't come forward, she asked for a piece of paper from the wait staff to write her love note. Either that or she was a waitress. We'll know more when the fingerprints come back from the Lab. But now with Grissom gone, could be awhile.
3) Phew...I'm so glad she clarified that she's a Christian. I mean, that's pretty much how we start every Sunday service but you just never know what kids are saying these days. :) And what a relief that she is a Christian so she didn't have to meet GI Joe and give him the smackdown. GI Joe was visibly shaken by the thought of that.
4) Lastly, we've deduced that our suspect is of extremely stout nature. According to GI Joe, if she had trouble getting between her car and his, then she was one Big Mama cuz there was plenty of space for the person of large to average size.
In closing I have a few words for Big Mama
Big Mama-
Thank you for sharing your Christian testimony with GI Joe. He found it very uplifting and heartwarming. And on that note, we'd like to invite you to church Sunday morning. Call me! Just a word of caution, next time you leave a "love note" on someone's car maybe you should look for an import or a small girly looking car. Chances for your survival are significantly increased that way. Lucky for you, instead of hunting you down GI Joe just brought it home and we enjoyed much laughter and speculation over it. And most importantly, maybe 40 cent wing night is not what you should be doing on Tuesdays. I'm just keepin it real, please don't threaten to "meet" me. No, REALLY Thank YOU!

Prairie Princess

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Election Reflections

On this monumental day in history I couldn't help but reflect on this past election and what an interesting one it was.
In our house, GI Joe is very political savvy and knows what's going on in the world of politics, who stands for what, listens to a ton of talk radio and watches a lot of Fox News. Which in my book makes him a bit of a nerd but according to him makes him smarter. And he may have a point because he is well informed and educated on our nation's issues. I, on the other hand, would much rather spend my leisure time watching really educational shows such as Cribs and Supernanny. During election time, he took his job of making sure his family was well informed on the candidates, their platforms, and how they stood in relation to our beliefs very seriously. Maybe a little too much so. I came home on more than one occasion during election time and he had all 3 kids sitting on the couch with him watching Fox News and him breaking it down in kid speak. Now regardless of where you stand politically you have to appreciate parents talking to their kids about world issues and politics. I mean it's their future right? It just so happens that GI Joe is very passionate about his political views and maybe, just maybe, a smidgeon of that rubbed off on his children.
During election week, the kids were doing their own election at school. On the first day of the week, they learned about the candidates and got a sticker to wear of the candidate they wanted to vote for. Apparently, a rather heated discussion occurred on the playground between Blade, age 6 and a young black girl. According to Blade it went a lil' something like this:
Blade noticed the girl wearing an Obama sticker so he went up to her.
Blade: "Why are you wearing an Obama sticker?"
Young Obama Supporter: "Cuz I'm gonna vote for him."
Blade: "Why would you do that?"
Young Obama Supporter: "Cuz he's black and I'm black."
Blade: "You're an idiot if you vote for someone just cuz of their color. That's stupid."
(Please note that Blade acts much like his father who doesn't always, ok never, sugarcoats things.)
I don't really know what happened next because I received 2 different stories. Blade says he convinced the little girl he was right about not voting someone just based on their color BUT his teacher said that the little girl was upset and they had to have a conversation about not calling people stupid or idiots. However, I do have to say that his teacher commended us (I use that loosely as you know it wasn't me) on talking to our kids about politics and that it was good that they had formed opinions and at least knew about the election. We (ok this time it was me) had a discussion with the kids about how one of the great things about living in America is being able to have our own opinions and how we should respect the opinions of others even if we don't agree with them. And then of course we addressed the use of the words stupid and idiot which are outlawed in our house, unless of course we're driving and someone steals a parking spot from Mommy at Wal Mart.
Somehow we managed to survive the election and no one was suspended from school for political campaigning, bashing, etc. Now if we can just survive the next 4 years.....

And on that note, I'd like to take a moment and send a few special inauguration messages because I'm sure the intended recipients are reading my blog.

To President Obama & Family-We wish you luck and don't let all that power go to your head. Also, I think you should go with the Labradoodle over the Water Spaniel. Water Spaniels are much too high strung to live in the White House. Good luck with the housebreaking.

To Laura Bush-Don't think I didn't notice how giddy happy you were today. I know you were thinking "C'mon George get your cowboy hat on and let's go home to the ranch.I'm done with these crazy city folks." Can't say that I blame you, I'd want to get out of Dodge as fast as possible too.
To Kohl's-You should really stick to department store stuff like shoes and clothes and not Obama memorabilia. He's not God or Elvis. I just think we should wait and see what he's got yet before we start making velvet wall hangings and coins with his face on it.

To Aretha Franklin-What were you thinking wearing the giant gray bow hat? That's all I'm saying.

And now that I've alienated and offended half of my readers I'm outta here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why Did the Peacock Cross the Road?

The following is proof that we have a peacock problem. We have a history of peacock problems.

It all started when I brought home our first peacock ,whom the kids and I named Prince on the 45 minute drive from the farmer's house to ours. At the farmer's house the peacocks were just hanging around. perched on the barn and such. I asked the farmer if he had to clip their wings to make sure they stayed there. He said "I don't think they can fly, I've never clipped their wings they just stay here." I called GI Joe tell him to prepare a penned in area for the peacock until he got used to us (everything has to be tame around here). By the time I got home GI Joe had a nice area fenced in for Prince. As we were unloading Prince's cage from my truck GI Joe asked me "Do they fly?" I said "The farmer said they don't." And guess what happened at that very moment....PRINCE FLEW AWAY!!! It was a sight to behold as this beautiful brightly colored peacock soared thru the air until it dawned on us "oh crap he's flying away how are we going to catch him?!" There is some timber south of our house and it looked like Prince landed somewhere in there so GI Joe took off after him. He found him once and was getting close when Prince took off again. Prince was gone forever. Rumor has it that he has been spotted in some trees between us and the farmer's house.

Our second attempt at peacock ownership began with the purchase of a lovely pair of male and female from a livestock auction. We'd researched it this time and knew that it was best to keep them contained for 3 months before letting them wander. We had arrived home late at night from the auction and instead of getting them set up in their new area we left them in the large dog kennel that they came in. We checked on them in the morning and they were fine so we left them in the kennel and resolved to unleash them in their area when we got home from work. Plan failed when Bad Luck Neighbor Kid tricked the bus driver into letting him off at our house and they beat me home. By the time I got home the peacocks were GONE, the kennel had been opened. I'm not pointing fingers here but I'm telling you Bad Luck Neighbor Kid is/was my prime suspect. We did another search and found the female in the trees on the side of the road a ways down from our house. With a little luck and a large fishing net we caught her but to this day I think the male ran off with a pheasant. Cheatin' scumbag.

Finally last spring we acquired 2 more beautiful peacocks. We actually contained them for 5 months to make sure they knew this was home. And they do kinda. They occasionally fly down the road to the neighbors to perch on their swingset and are known to take a daily walk to GI Joe's parents place to eat cat food but for the most place they stick around the Koons Zoo and mingle with the other creatures. But we've got a problem......

The following is a conversation that took place Saturday while I was at the grocery store touring the Weinermobile.

Doorbell rings, strange lady is standing outside of our front door.
GI Joe answers: "Hello?"

Lady: "Ummm yes do you have peacocks?"

GI Joe: "Yes, why?"

Lady: "Well because one of them is standing in the middle of the road and he won't move. I'm afraid he's going to get hit."
GI Joe steps outside makes a peacock like noise (I never told you he's a peacock whisperer did I? Oh yeah he can talk to cows, llamas, turkeys too.) Pete the Peacock scurries off the road into our front yard. Lady is slightly embarrassed that it was so easy, GI Joe tells her thanks for letting us know, and she leaves probably cursing the darn rednecks who have peacocks that roam into the road.

The Next Day

Scene: We are in town doing some shopping when GI Joe's phone rings. Here is an an excerpt from that conversation.

GI Joe's Mom (FRANTICALLY): This is Mom, your peacock was standing in the middle of the road and he almost got hit.

GI Joe: Whaddya want me to do put a shock collar on them?

(Me, giggling hysterically at that visual)

So today I ordered this sign to help rectify the problem and prevent any automobile peacock fatalities. I'm sure the drivers on our road will LOVE it. Yep we've reached a whole new level of hillbilliness.

I wanted to order this one just to make the neighbors talk. And really don't you think an elephant crossing the road would be slightly self explanatory?

Gotta go, I have to do Peacock Patrol til the sign comes!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekend Highlights

*I wish I had pictures of our fabulous weekend to show but Akala, our Great Dane puppy, chewed up my USB camera cord. It was special. It's okay I much prefer to look at my pictures on the camera screen anyway.

*I wrestled Cocoa the goat to the ground and felt strangely barbaric and wonderful all at the same time. He should learn not to mess with me. Have you ever tried to wrestle a mad goat to the ground? It's a good workout.

*Made my house smell like a greasy spoon diner in an attempt to make Pioneer Woman's Onion Strings. Totally totally worth it. What about the Biggest Loser Boot Camp you might ask? What about it? Maybe you should mind your own business!!! :) It was in the name of science as I had never attempted to make Onion Strings before. Experiment was very successful.

*Enjoyed a trip to the grocery store without kids! And much to my delight and surprise the Oscar Meyer WeinerMobile was there. Even though I didn't have any children with me that did not stop me from a) getting a tour of the inside (AWESOME) b) taking a picture of it and c) getting my very own glow in the dark Weiner Whistle. I told the kids that I would be using the weiner whistle the next time I take them to the mall to keep them in line, you know kinda like a drill sergeant. So if you hear a shrill whistle next time you're at the mall look for me. I've also decided my next vehicle is going to be a WeinerMobile. What kind of gas mileage do you think they get?

*Got dressed up in my boring Carhartts with pink accessories and went sledding. Redneck sledding that is. We hook a 6 1/2 foot rescue toboggan to the back of the four wheeler and then GI Joe drives us all over the back 40. I may or may not have screamed like a 5 year old girl. Did you know frozen cowpies make very painful speedbumps? Like I said I'm here to educate and inform you.

*Old Navy proved it's undying love for me by having my favorite 50% off CLEARANCE prices sale. I love you too Old Navy and nothing makes me happier than $1.75 shirts and $4.99 pants.

*Cried twice at the kid's movie Hotel for Dogs. Not like Marley movie sobbing but quiet crying. Seriously what is wrong with me? It was a great movie that far exceeded my expectations and the kids LOVED it.

*GI Joe received his long awaited and well deserved military promotion to Sargeant First Class on Friday. Don't worry I'm still the General round these parts.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Worst Mom Of The Year

WARNING: What you are about to read may upset you and cause you to think lesser of me. Viewer discretion is advised. Not recommended for small children or perfect parents.

I've done it again, I've solidified my running for the Worst Mother of the Year. Up until now, my nomination was pretty strong with entries like forgetting to pick up the kids from school on an early out day, refusing to participate in the PTA, and other various offenses such as occasionally sending them to bed without making sure they have brushed their teeth. I know the horror right?!? But last night, I sealed the deal and made sure that my nomination would take the prize.

Let me paint you a picture. I came home from work Thursday night, and just didn't feel good so was trying to relax on the couch. I had given the kids the assignment of cleaning their rooms hoping that would occupy them while I took a nap and besides their rooms needed it. From the moment I got home all I heard was whining and fighting. Love it. The boys were especially getting on my nerves with their constant play by plays of "Ryder said......" or "Blade threw a toy at me" (imagine that in high pitch whiny tones). HELLO people Mommy is on break, OSHA says I'm entitled to one.

Anyway, after the 1003th time that the boys came out with reports of fighting I had had enough. Having tried everything else it was time to get 'em where it hurts.

I instructed them both to join me in the living room and sit on the couch side by side. This is when it got really good. I gave them a lecture about the joys of brotherhood (as if I know I had 2 sisters) and then made them HOLD HANDS. Then I told them that they were going to sit right there on the couch holding hands as many minutes as their ages combined which is 11, but math is not one of my strong suits so I set the kitchen timer for 12 minutes. After returning to the living room after setting the timer they had "unheld" hands, which added 1 minute to the timer. Every time I caught them not connected I added a minute. As you can imagine this was pure torture to 5 & 6 year old boys. Oh man, if looks could kill I'd have been a goner. After they did the time, 15 minutes total, I gave them a nice Sunday School lesson about how Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery but years later when they needed food he forgave them. And that if Joseph could forgive his brothers for selling him into slavery that they could certainly get over their minor offenses against each other and forgive each other or I would sell them both into slavery. Just kidding DHS! And then because I'm an overachiever I made them give each other a nice big hug. Ahhh brotherly love.
Neither of them enjoyed the exercise and I'm pretty sure that when I was out of the room they were discussing adding this to my nomination for above mentioned title. However, I do have to say that after their 15 minutes of togetherness there wasn't any fighting the rest of the evening. Every time either of them started getting the fighting tone I reminded them of their little couch fun and their attitude miraculously and immediately improved.

I'd just like to take a moment to thank the academy, my fans and most of all my children who nominated me for this award. I'm honored to accept the Worst Mother of the Year award, unlike the Mother of the Year award it doesn't come with a trophy which is fine by me, I don't need another thing to dust.

If you need parenting tips let me know, I don't charge much.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Whom It May Concern

This is the letter I sent to Carhartt today along with the photo.

Dear Carhartt,
I am writing to let you know of a suggestion that I believe would enhance your product line and expand your target audience.
I have been a proud owner of Carhartt products for the past 12 years, since I married my husband and moved out to the boondocks. It was my welcome gift to the country life, my own set of coveralls. I must say I deeply love your product as we live in the arctic Midwest and it gets extremely cold here. My Carhartts keep me from dying or losing any appendages due to hypothermia while tending to our assortment of animals and that is a huge selling point, obviously.
Last night, with the winds blowing and the temperature dipping to -20, my husband and I donned our Carhartt attire to go do the chores. As I was putting my boring, although functional, navy blue coveralls on, I thought to myself "Man, I wish these were in pink." Now you might be thinking a real farm girl that is wearing our product could care less about the color. I dare to disagree. What girl doesn't want to feel pretty and feminine even if they are going outside to get dirty and stinky with farm animals? I know I do and in a lame attempt to do just that I accessorize my coveralls with pink gloves, hat, scarves, etc. I do not want someone passing by our farm and mistake me for a man. I don't mind that the coveralls do nothing for my figure as their roominess allows me the ability to layer and further enhance their effectiveness. But if they were in a lovely shade of pink that would deepen my devotion to the Carhartt brand and make them the rage of farm girls across the world. Pink is after all the new black and a calm and happy color. Isn't that a plus when dealing with livestock? I think so.
I understand that a light cotton candy pink (which I would prefer) is not sensible as it would show dirt and other stains. In keeping with the Carhartt tradition of muted, darker tones I am suggesting a nice raspberry color. I know in the past when I've asked at the local Carhartt supplier if they had anything in pink, after they laughed at me rudely, they directed me to the women's variety in a deep purple. While an improvement from the black, brown, and navy it's just not pink. I've taken it upon myself to give your design team a headstart and created a template for you to follow. Also, when you are ready to market the new and improved raspberry coveralls I am willing to promote and model them at a cost to you of just a free pair. I appreciate your attention to this very important matter and look forward to your response. Thanks.

Prairie Princess

So Carhartt if you are reading this call me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chilly Night Cornbread

Because I promised to try and on occasion be informative and educational I thought I would share my world famous, secret cornbread recipe. Every farm girl must have a cornbread recipe to go with their fried chicken and greens. Oh maybe that's not just a farm girl thing and greens..YUCK. Never really understood that whole thing. Anyway, it's very gourmet because I am high maintenance after all. Not really. Actually, I really am high maintenance but this is not gourmet by any stretch of the imagination.

1 box Jiffy golden yellow cake mix (you'll have to splurge to buy this it's very expensive..$.39)
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix (same here, but it's worth it)
2 eggs
1/2 c. cold water
1/3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, obviously you shouldn't try to mix it directly on your countertop. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish, pour mixture in. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the top is nice and golden yellow brownish but not too brownish. If in doubt do the toothpick test, if it comes out clean it's done. Serve warm with butter and honey cuz that's how we roll at the Koons Zoo. Oh and by the way it's really not top secret so feel free to take full credit and pass it on to all of your friends.

Here's a cornbread testimonial from one of my children this evening during dinner.

"Mmmmm the cornbread is sooo good but the chili, well how many more bites do I have to eat of the chili before I can have more cornbread?"

Don't worry I won't give you the chili recipe.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Steak Bites Go Here and Make These

Pioneer Woman is my long lost sister and I follow her blog religiously and have tried many of her recipes. These steak bites had my mouth watering all day so I made them tonight and I'm telling you make them immediately. Even if you're a doubting Thomas like me and can't believe something with so little seasonings could taste good, believe me it does. Hence the Biggest Loser workout. Enjoy!

A Short One (No Pun Intended)

Overheard by me after Blade got out of the shower and Dakota walked in the bathroom.
Dakota: "Whoa Blade, I see your hot dog and buns!"
Blade: "MOMMY...Dakota is looking at my hot dog and buns!"
And scene. (Editor's note: We do not refer to the anatomy in question as any type of food.)

In other news, if I am unable to blog for the next 6 weeks it is due to the Biggest Loser Boot Camp DVD kicking my booty and making me so sore I am unable to type, walk, or breathe. Note to self: It is no fun working out with GI Joe, he laughs at my coordination. Whatev. :) I'm going to go sulk over some Oreos and milk.

Lastly, losing one's cell phone in snowbank is not fun, especially the week of not one but 2 possible winter storms and given my winter driving skills, or lack thereof.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I'm sure you're wondering what I did last night? Well, funny you should ask because it was a rare occasion where we had a babysitter and plans with other adults! I know! I know! And it gets better.

The big event was arranged by my friend Cheri who celebrated her 29th birthday earlier in the week but there as an ulterior motive to the meet the new man in her life. Let me give you a little background on Cheri, she's gorgeous, funny, smart, stylish, ambitious, wonderful ,and I'm starting to sound like her pimp so I'll stop, but anyway my point is that she's a catch but throughout the years of our friendship she's been cursedly single. And it's not for lack of trying. She's dated tons and even tried her hand at online dating, which only resulted in giving her enough material to be able to write her own blog about those experiences and made her married friends all the more thankful to be happily married. But none of the guys ever measured up either to her expectations or more importantly those of her friends. In fact, for me, this was the first time I'd actually met someone that she's dating. That in and of itself gave me reason to believe that our Cheri might actually be on to something.

So Cheri sent out an email to 20 of her closest friends (seriously, did I mention she's a social butterfly?) and invited them to dinner and meet and greet with the new man..Brian. How Brian came into the picture is quite a story of courage, romance, and fate that is total Lifetime movie material, so I was anxious to meet the man behind the mystery. I got a babysitter and told my GI Joe that we were going out on the town. Woo hoo!

I'm going to deter from Cheri for a moment and give you a little side story. My husband, GI Joe, wears a uniform 5, sometimes 6 or 7 days a week and when he's not in camo he can be found in jeans and a hoodie. That's his off duty uniform, jeans and a hoodie. He kinda collects hoodies truth be told. On the rare occasion that we get to go on a date I usually request that he mix it up with a button down or something just to spice things up. As we're getting ready to go out last night he informs me that since we're just going Mexican he's wearing a hoodie. I give him the look, you know the look that says "Oh REALLY?!?". Then I go into the whole spiel about this is important and that since we're having dinner with Cheri and her special someone we should dress to impress and besides it's kind of a date night. Because he is like my 4th kid at times he then started in with the "i bet there will be other people there wearing a hoodie" to which I responded quite confidently "no i'm fairly certain given what Cheri's told me about Brian that he will not be wearing a hoodie and Jessie's husband, Josh (the only other people out of the 20 that he knows) won't be wearing a hoodie either, so here put this button down on, mmmkay thanks." Because he loves me and has learned if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy he obliged me and put the hoodie back on the shelf. Here is where I would like to thank Josh for showing up in a hoodie and becoming my husband's hero for the evening. You are a rockstar and to everyone else, hope you got a good look at GI Joe in a button down because pretty sure I'll never win that battle again. Thanks again Josh!

Ok back to the real story. We arrived at the restaurant and met Cheri and Brian and a few other earlybirds. Our table wasn't ready yet so we sat at the bar (don't worry GI Joe and I enjoyed a Diet Coke, no rum) as more and more of the "intimate party" arrived. Cheri introduced us to Brian and then I asked that she leave him with us for a few minutes so I could conduct my "interview". Just kidding, well kind of. Here's the great part though, this guy didn't flinch one bit when I asked him question after question or when I asked him what I would find when I looked him up on Iowa Courts Online later. (Editors note: Iowa Courts Online check came back clear!)He was definitely well on his way to winning me over. The poor guy is from Cheri's hometown area and didn't know anybody that was attending the dinner. For some people that would've made them nervous and made them want to drink heavily. Not this guy, he jumped right in and held his own. He was friendly, funny, and just a genuinely nice guy.

When he officially won my blessing was at dinner when the conversation turned to his part time career as an auctioneer. Of course, wanting to see his talents I asked him to demonstrate right then and there for us his auctioneer voice, I don't even know how to type the sounds they make but you know what I'm talking about. At first he was a little taken back and asked if we really wanted him to demonstrate, of course we encouraged him and gave him a fork to auction off. Let's just say the entire restaurant was on the edge of their seats as hands were going up all over the table bidding on a fork. He is good at what he does because bidding on the restaurant quality fork ended at $17.00 to Cheri's neighbor. How awesome is that? He auctioned off a fork at a restaurant on demand!! Yep, I'm sold! He's a keeper Cheri.

Chips and salsa, cake, fork auctions, sombreros, cross eyed pictures, and good friends what could be better? Thanks Jessie, Josh, Brian, Cheri and the other 16 that I don't really know, for showing GI Joe and I a good time on our childless night out. Let's do it again soon, and this time we'll all wear hoodies!

Friday, January 9, 2009

In the Beginning....

The first 12 years of my life were spent living on the Southside of Des Moines as a pastor's daughter. Some friends of the family lived in the small town that we now reside outside of. When we would go to their house for a visit or to play, I honestly and completely thought they lived in the country. Even though they lived in a nice cul de sac surrounded by houses, I figured since it took us 25 minutes to get there from the city and there was a lot of open space in the town and there was a creek at the bottom of their street, that it was country living. Call me sheltered but that's what I thought.
Right before 6th grade, my Dad took a new church in the metropolis of Burlington, IA. Ahhh Burlington. Not near the big city that Des Moines was, they didn't even have a Wal Mart when we moved there, can you imagine? And our house happened to be right on the highway leading out of town and technically outside of city limits. We could see the main drag, the bank, the stoplights and everything from our house but I was sure that because there was a cornfield behind our house and we were too far outside of city limits to have cable that we were now living in the boondocks. Even though we lived in the boondocks, or so I thought, it still felt like a big town with a diverse group of people. When I started 9th grade at the high school, I think there were 400+ in our class. I thought I had the perfect mix of boondock living and urban. Did I mention I was also going through a phase at this age where I thought I was or wanted to be black? True story. I knew the gang signs, the colors, had lots of black friends, and loved me some hot sauce! (Thanks MJ) You may wonder what this has to do with anything, I promise it'll all make sense shortly.
The summer before my junior year we moved yet again back to the Des Moines area. P.S. I hate moving. I had decided and informed my parents that I didn't care where we lived I wasn't going to the big Des Moines high schools, I wanted to go to a small school. We worked out the details with those family friends I mentioned early who lived out in the "country" and I started my junior year at VM Community School which housed K-12. I knew I was out of my element when I pulled in the parking lot that first day of school and saw all these dusty vehicles and the alarming number of pick up trucks. Seriously. Then I walk into the school and I swear to you every single male I saw was wearing a wildlife sweatshirt and let's just say it wasn't a very "diverse" student body. I, of course was looking for the black folks (remember?) and found only one, J, who was mixed and hated rap music. WHAT?!? I seriously thought I would die and wanted to drop out immediately. These were not my kind of folks. Obviously, that wasn't an option. The first few months were a little rough, you know how it is being the new girl in a small school when everyone else has been going to school together since kindergarten but I survived. And somewhere along the way I grew to love the small town, the dirty pickups, and even fell HARD for one of those boys wearing a deer sweatshirt.
Despite the ugly deer sweatshirt, he caught my eye that first day and I swear it was love at first sight. He happened to be a REAL country boy who lived WAY out in the country on a gravel road on a farm. I won't go into all the details, that's for another post, but let's just say sometimes country boys tend to be a little shy and slow moving so it took this particular boy almost to the end of our senior year to finally ask me out. The rest is history, he pledged his undying love for me, left for 3 months with the military, wrote every day while he was gone, came home and 5 months later proposed. Another tidbit about country boys, when they know what they want they don't waste time.
After a year and a half of dating we done got hitched. No seriously, he doesn't really talk like that. :) Anyway, he'd always told me that having been raised in the country there was no way he'd ever be able to live in town. And that's how we ended up here, 5 miles outside of the town I thought was the country growing up, and right down the road from where he grew up. And now I realize how delusional I was and what really living in the country is. It means no pizza delivery, no cable (thank goodness for direct tv), no 5 minute trips to the store, no block parties, no neighborhood kids riding their bikes around, no pavement. But I do know now that this is where I belong. It means I can have animals, I can go outside in my PJ's, I can layout nude and no one will see. C'mon you don't really think I do that do you? PUHLEASE. It means seeing the stars at night without any street lights to obstruct the view, it means being able to hear the coyotes and birds, and it means going in the the ditch nearly every winter because even after 9 years out here I still haven't figured out how to drive on gravel when it's slick. Awesome.
And that is the beginning of my journey as the self proclaimed, Prairie Princess.....stay tuned.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Is This Thing On?

Welcome to my first blog entry on my new venture, Hillbilly Hilarity.
When you take a city girl, marry her off to a backwoods country boy, move her out to the middle of nowhere, throw in 30+ animals of various types, 3 very unique kids, and some crazy friends and family, it's a sitcom waiting to be made. But NBC hasn't called yet so while we wait for that call I decided to start a blog. This blog is here to educate you on animal care, acreage management, and child rearing. Are you kidding me? I don't know the first thing about any of those so this is just really to entertain you with stories from this zoo we call life. They always make us laugh and I hope they do the same for you.
In addition to zookeeping and childbearing, I love music, cooking and shopping so there may be on occasional entry that may have to do with those things that you might actually learn something from. Probably not, but at least it will break up the monotony of story after story of my blonde moments, animal mishaps, and funny kid sayings.
Glad you're here, stick around and feel free to comment. It'd be nice to know someone's out there actually reading this stuff. :)