Thursday, February 26, 2009

Farm Girl Stuff

I'm warning you now, that this post is going to be full of random thoughts that may or may not make any sense or be in any kind of order, but that's what goes on inside this mind of mine. Try to keep up. Here goes:

*I must tell you about my new favorite hoodie. I know, I know, hoodies are GI Joe's thing BUT my fabulous friend Cheri (see post "Sold") bought this hoodie for herself awhile ago and when she told me about it, I knew I had to have one too. Take a look. Never mind that I look like I'm singing opera, I'm not, just focus on the hoodie. The color is off in the picture but it's a lovely shade of light pink and says, wait for it,.....FARM GIRL! Yay! Thanks Cheri, for as usual, exposing me to new and wonderful things. I heart my new hoodie.

*Speaking of pink, that is what we were talking about right? After not hearing from Carhartt yet regarding my innovative suggestion regarding the pink Carhartts, I called them. I spoke with a lovely lady in the Customer Support area who had not yet heard of my suggestion and promised to make a call to the Marketing department to make sure they received my brilliant suggestion and photo. She laughed about the photo, I told her I was just trying to make it as easy on the design team as possible. That was after she told me that Carhartt did make pink coveralls. Ummmm excuse me, WHAT?!? Turns out in their fall line, they did have infant overalls available in "vintage rose." But they were no longer available and were only up to size 24 months. No offense to Vintage Rose but it was ugly and if they think for one second they are going to pass that off as my pink coveralls they are sadly mistaken. I politely told her I had no need for infant girl coveralls, that my suggestion was geared for women and we wanted a brighter pink. She assured me I would hear back from them soon. I'm sure it's just taking so long because they are waiting until they can actually send me the first pair of raspberry pink coveralls that will be debuting in the spring line.

*Thursdays are not good days for the Prairie Princess. I was finally recovering from Trauma at Target from a few Thursdays ago when the unexpected happened again. I ran out at lunchtime to run to the bank and some other errands. I was sitting at the stoplight waiting to turn, chomping on my sandwich, when a van pulled up next to me, and a lady stuck her head out the passenger's window yelling something. I'm always a little leery about rolling down my window to hear what they have to say because a) I never know if they are talking to me or not and b) I never know what offense I may have just committed against them i.e. cut them off, side swiped them, head on collision, what?. But she didn't seem angry so I took a chance and rolled down my window and heard her say that my tire was flat. Ahhh no. I hate airing up tires almost as much as I hate getting gas. (Remind me to tell you about my experiments in Fuel Economy Management sometime, those were some good times.) But after she said that I did notice that my truck did seem to feel weird, so I drove to the nearest gas station, and sure enough my tire was flat, really flat. I called 1-800-GI-Joe to notify him of the situation and tell him that for once I was handling it. He asked me the same question he always asks me when I tell him I have a flat tire, "Did you look at all of your tires before you got into your car?" And I answered like I always do, "Ummm, NO, why would I do that? That would be retarded!" To which he always says, "You should always check all of your tires before you go anywhere." Has anyone else ever heard of doing such a thing? So I aired up my tire and was on my way. Until I went to go home from work and totally forgot that I had had tire issues earlier in the day AND also about GI Joe's advice. Oops. So guess what? I was driving down the interstate when a car pulled up beside me and a man stuck his head out the passenger window and mouthed some words and pointed to my tires. This time I knew exactly what he was talking about so I stopped at the next gas station and aired it up again. This time it wasn't near as flat but it was definitely in need of air, which was good because I was about to do another experiment in Fuel Economy Management and it forced me to stop. That reminds me I'd better sweet talk GI Joe into going out to fix that darn tire tonight because goodness knows I'll forget to look in the morning and drive all the way to work with it flat which apparently is bad on the rims or some nonsense like that. (Please excuse that ridiculously long run-on sentence.) On a happier note, I made it thru the bank drive thru WITHOUT hitting one of those rubber pylon things they have so that people don't hit their tube system thing. They just don't make those drive thrus big enough for the Princess Mobile so I have marks on both sides of my truck where I "kiss" those on a weekly basis.

*We have new additions to the Koons Zoo. Normally, we don't start adding on til spring but have you ever heard what they say about rabbits and their mating habits? Pretty sure they aren't kidding. Our bunnies, Skunky and Snowball, found a way to keep warm over the winter that resulted in 3 adorable baby bunnies. They were born about 3 weeks ago and were hairless and looked like mice. In fact, at first we thought mice had somehow gotten into their hutch and had babies. Shows you how much the kids and I know about this kind of stuff. Until GI Joe, being the experienced farm boy that he is, pointed out that they weren't mice they were baby bunnies. So in an instant they went from being ugly creepy things to being adorable and sweet. In just 3 weeks, they've grown hair, ears, and are hopping all over the place. It's precious. And the best part of the whole thing is that the kids didn't witness the conception taking place. And that my friends, is a very good thing, because when they saw our horses, ahem, "dancing" a few summers ago it resulted in some very explicit pencil drawings from Dakota, and many awkward conversations about weird "dancing" and our "circus horses". How to explain such things to your children was not covered in our Lamaze classes, and I may have ruined them for life in trying to explain it to them. Oh well, they'll figure it out and if not, I hope their future spouses like to....."dance". :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Holly's Follies

*Monday at work, I spent 30 minutes on the phone with the help desk located in Timbuktu, battling the language barrier to have them unlock my sign on account. My password contained a number and it turned out that my num lock was off. Good use of time there, genius!

*Attended a Fisherman's Swap Meet with GI Joe and the kids over the weekend and spent the entire time on the hunt for pink lures. I tend to be slightly vocal when shopping so I might have attracted a few curious looks and eye rolls when declaring a lure "pretty." My family was proud. But GI Joe did buy me a pink and purple lure that is guaranteed to catch the big ones. I can't wait to test it out. Yes, believe it or not, I love to fish! But only with my pink pole, pink chair, and pink lures. Pink really does work better. Oh and I don't bait my own hook or take the fish off. That's why I have a husband and 3 kids. It's good practice for them.

*My wonderful son, Blade said this to me after I was overly excited about the new hoodie (yes, I wear them too) I had purchased and was putting on in the car before our next stop, "Mommy, you are soooo weird, I can't even believe you're my mother." Believe it Buddy you won the Mommy Lottery!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Funny Valentine

As promised…
I’ll admit it, I’m high maintenance and I’ve been that way for a long time. It’s just who I am, part of my charm if you will. Part of me being high maintenance means that sometimes, I have unreasonably high expectations of those around me. Unreasonable if you are that person, totally reasonable if you’re me.
Case and point, my first Valentine’s Day with GI Joe. We’d been dating for nearly a year, had been through 3 months of separation when he went to boot camp, I survived a road trip from Iowa to South Carolina with his parents to see him graduate from said boot camp (if you know his parents you know what an adventure that was!), and we were talking marriage, it was serious. Even though GI Joe is 110% Alpha Male with the whole soldier/country boy thing going on, he’s old fashioned when it comes to courtship and actually quite the romantic. Don't mention that in front of his Army or hunting/fishing buddies of course, but truth be told he is
. While he was at boot camp, he’d wake up in the middle of the night to go hide out in a bathroom stall to write me letters. He wrote me EVERY SINGLE DAY of his training. And they weren’t just “hey how you doing? I am fine. We shot a gun today. OK Bye” letters. No sir, these were deep, professing his undying love for me, planning our future, all kinds of sappy stuff that I like to torture him with now! You bet I kept every single one. He's always been quite romantic so when it came to our very first Valentine's Day, the international day of love, I expected greatness. Poor GI Joe.

So rewind, 12 years to 1997, our first Valentine's Day as a couple. Valentine's Day was on a Friday I think and I worked in an office full of girls about my age. EVERYONE got flowers delivered. I kept thinking "I'm sure mine will be coming soon, knowing him he's got some grand scheme planned." Ummm not so much. Now here's the thing, I think having flowers delivered ON Valentine's Day is uninspired, overrated and a big waste of money, send them some random day during the year when the whole world isn't telling you too, it means more. But I think that day it was seeing all the other girls who I knew didn't have half the relationship I had with GI Joe, getting flowers and thinking their guy was the greatest thing ever when I knew that mine really was the greatest thing ever. And then being asked by said gloating girls "where are your flowers?" I was slightly grouchy by the end of the day and on the verge of tears to say the least.

GI Joe picked me up from work that afternoon, totally unsuspecting that he was about to see a very ugly side of me. He was being his usual sweet self but didn't have the dozen roses I half expected him to have. Instead, he handed me a single purple rose. Now most girls might've graciously accepted the rose and been thankful for the thought. Let me remind you I am not most girls. Instead, I silently accepted the rose and was strangely quite for the duration of our car ride. The whole time I was thinking "A PURPLE rose? He brings me one measly rose and it's PURPLE?, What am I his Grandma?" Oh did I mention I'm a bit of a drama queen too? But somehow I managed to keep my thoughts to myself, for once, and determined to not let stupid flowers make or break our evening.

Turns out the flowers were just the tip of the iceberg.

So in my head I had pictured our first Valentine's Day date to be at a nice restaurant complete with candlelight followed by going to see a movie, a romantic comedy, perhaps. I've since learned to share these visions with GI Joe. But we were young and dumb back then so I just assumed that he already had it all planned out and it would be perfect. He did have it planned out. Imagine my surprise when we pulled in the parking lot at the ROYAL FORK BUFFET. Don't get me wrong, I am a girl who loves to eat but a buffet for Valetine's Day? Turns out his church had a tradition called the Adult and Youth Group Valentine's Day outing that consisted of going out to eat together and then bowling. And guess what? That's what we were doing. As much as I love the people who were there that evening, it just wasn't what I had in mind. Amazingly enough, I managed to plaster on a smile and pretend to enjoy myself. (Editor's Note: In my old age, I've gotten progressively worse about being able to do this.) I was so convincing that GI Joe had no idea that anything was wrong until we pulled into the parking lot of the bowling alley. And I had a complete and total breakdown, sobbing hysterically and making absolutely no sense but I'm pretty sure I covered all alleged offenses including: no flowers sent to work, a PURPLE rose, Royal Fork w/ mostly senior citizens, and NOW BOWLING! I just couldn't fake it anymore. Poor poor GI Joe, he didn't know what hit him or who this puffy eyed, blubbering monster was in his passenger seat. In his defense, I had not given him any hints as to what I would like to do for Valentine's Day AND it was the first Valentine's Day he'd had a serious girlfriend to share it with.

Needless to say, we didn't go bowling. I don't even think he went in to tell everyone else that we were leaving, he probably didn't want to have to admit that his girlfriend was insane and possibly schizophrenic. We went back to his house and he spent the rest of the night apologizing profusely for messing up and I, being the gracious and classy lady that I am, let him grovel.

Here's what that very traumatic first Valentine's Day taught both of us that have been invaluable in our marriage:
1) I am very very high maintenance, and dramatic, and spoiled and he married me anyway so there's no one to blame but himself.

2) I'm a lucky lucky girl.

3) Don't assume anything. We've figured out that neither of us are mind readers, so if we have expectations for something we'd better say it.

4) That first Vday wasn't a complete loss as he's been trying to make up for it for the last 12 years.

P.S. I was over it about 11 years and 51 weeks ago, but don't tell him. I just got a trip to Puerto Rico out of it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Puerto Rico Points of Interest

Grab a snack and settle in cuz this is going to be a long one. I'm BACK and I've got lots to talk about!!!
Because GI Joe is employed full time with our nation's military (hence the name GI Joe), on occasion we are able to take advantage of certain perks such as hopping on a refueler jet with a bunch of Air Force and Air Guard guys and girls headed to tropical destinations such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico, free of charge. I love this part of GI Joe's job. Anyway, our trip to Puerto Rico was one of those perks. In the past, we've taken the kids but this time we decided to just make it the two of us. Like I said, I think it was yet another attempt to make up for our first Valentine's Day back in 1997. I really will tell you that story eventually. But I think he finally did it, we had a fantastic time and the fact that it was 85 and sunny the whole time we were there didn't hurt at all.
You may or may not know this about me but I am a Type A planner, firstborn child, to the max. Sometimes it drives my family nuts because on vacations I have an itinerary for each day of the trip usually in spreadsheet format complete with prices, hours of operation, etc. I scour the internet and make a ton of calls months in advance to find out about the tourist attractions, history of the area, climate, and the best hotels for the best rates, always pulling my "do you have a military discount?" card. I'm not ashamed. Part of the fun in parties, vacations, major events for me is the planning. I know I'm weird.
I tell you this to tell you about my experiment in spontaneity. Because it was just GI Joe and I going on the trip and the Air Force peeps were being typical hush hush about the details such as exact time of landing, location, etc, I decided it would be a good time for me to loosen up and NOT plan or book anything, just to go with the flow. That's not to say that I didn't spend hours researching and reading about the island of Puerto Rico, finding out what the sights were, where to stay/where not to stay, hotel and car rates but I didn't BOOK anything. You have to know that this was a huge stretch for me and upon landing in Puerto Rico I was sure it was going to be the death of me. But we survived and it actually worked out great that I hadn't booked hotels in advance because we never would have happened upon the very adorable boutique hotel we stayed in the last 2 nights if I had booked ahead. The internet does NOT know everything! Don't tell anyone but the lack of itinerary was a bit freeing. Not that we'll be doing it this way on our next family vacation but for this trip it was perfect, even though GI Joe on more than one occasion had to tell me to relax and settle down. :)
Here a few of the highlights from our trip:
*Because we were on a military flight we had to sit thru a "pre flight briefing" in which one of the plane crew members said these exact words, "You'll find inflatables and oxygen masks near your seats but if we have to ditch the plane it's going to be a very bad day." I think he was trying to tell us that no amount of inflatables or oxygen masks would save us, it was so comforting.

*The Amazing Race like scene where we RAN, dragging our luggage, while dodging crazy Puerto Rican drivers, from one rental car place to another trying to find one that still had cars available. P.S. GI Joe and I will NEVER EVER appear on Amazing Race, while it might make for very entertaining television it would not be so great for our marriage. We did finally get a car, thank goodness.

*The $75 parking ticket received because we couldn't read all the Spanish mumbo jumbo on the sign. Whatever Puerto Rico, you're an American territory put your street signs in Spanish AND English, especially at tourist attractions. Apparently it said something about No Parking Reserved for some kind of Officiales. Anyone know what happens if you don't pay a Puerto Rican parking ticket?

*I saw a glimpse of GI Joe and I in the future when I overhead a conversation between a lovely retired couple one afternoon on the beach. It was getting late in the afternoon and the sun was losing it's bronzing powers so the old man turned to his wife and said "Honey, I think the sun is just about gone, whaddya say we pack up and head out?" To which the wife responded with "It's just between the buildings right now, let's move our towels up a little....ahhh there's the sun." The old man then just sat down with an exasperated sigh on his newly positioned blanket while she continued her sunbathing until no amount of moving towels would bring the sun back. Priceless and totally us.

*Having a policeman interpret my order for a TACO to the no habla ingles cashier at the taco joint. Seriously...TACO. Isn't that a universal word in the English and Spanish language? Apparently not.

*The near death experiences that occurred everytime we got in the car and attempted to drive somewhere. These people made my driving skills look like a professional driver's ed teacher. Scary thought right?

*The coronary attack I had when we were swimming at the beach and GI Joe dangled a piece of seaweed in front of my face and said "Look it's a sea snake!" And then he nearly drowned from laughing so hard at me trying to run in chest high water while screaming hysterically. Why is my fear of creepy things so darn funny? Strike one on VDay Revival mission.

*The tour of the Bacardi Rum factory. But you don't drink you might say. Very true we don't, but we were trying to do things outside of our norm (remember the experiment in spontaneity?) and the tour came highly recommended even for non drinkers. And it WAS very interesting. After seeing how it's done, learning the history of all the cockails rum is used for, and smelling the molasses that rum comes from for an hour, I could've easily become a lush. Good thing we're Baptist.

*When our shuttle bus carrying us and 6 of the plane crew to our plane on the morning of our departure broke down in the middle of a very very busy street and we were already 30 minutes late due to no fault of our own......awesome.

*Seeing an establishment called "Condom World" every few miles in certain areas. We didn't stop to check it out (really we didn't!) but I can only imagine. Actually, it's better that I don't imagine but still I think Puerto Rico may be a bit shady.

*The amount of pink houses. We didn't see one single normal colored house they were all painted in Carribean colors like sea foam green, sky blues, pink, salmon, turquoise, etc. And it looked very tasteful somehow. Maybe it was the bars on the windows that really set the color off.

*I would make a great Puerto Rican woman, except for the blonde hair and complexion, oh and my inability to speak Spanish. But other than that I could totally do it. You see those ladies LOVE shoes and jewelry as much as I do. They don't mess around when it comes to footwear, no sneakers or Old Navy flip flops here. They are all about the heels. I'm not kidding I didn't see one local woman dressed in anything but cute high heels no matter her age, what she was doing or where we were at. It was amazing. They definitely dress to impress.

I may or may not post a few photos of the trip, it will depend on what they look like after editing. It was pretty obvious that I haven't been faithful to Bob and the Biggest Loser Boot Camp in the recent past. I'm coming back Bob. Or maybe it was because I didn't get any retakes since it was usually complete strangers taking our picture, and it felt a bit demanding, even for me, to review the picture, declare it unsatisfactory, and ask them to retake it!

On a sidenote, thanks Iowa for welcoming us back with 29 degrees and wind. Oh yeah why would we ever want to leave you?!?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blogging Hiatus

This is to inform you that I will be on a blogging hiatus until Wednesday 2/18. My dear husband, GI Joe is taking me to Puerto Rico for Valentine's Day. He's still trying to make up for our very first Valentine's Day way back when. And trust me it was a doozie. More on that as well as tales of our adventures in Puerto Rico upon my return. Hasta La Vista!

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's the Little Things In Life

Last night GI Joe, told the boys that they needed to put their shoes away and straighten up theirroom. You would've thought he'd asked them to scale Mt. Everest in the middle of an avalanche.
Blade: "But why do we always have to pick up our shoes and clean our rooms?"
Ryder: "Yeah why? We have to do everything...clean our rooms, pick up shoes, set the table...."
GI Joe: "Because that's just life."
Blade: "Well then I HATE life!"
Ryder: "Yeah me too!"
Oh yeah they have it so rough don't they? Someone call Protective Services immediately and get them out of this terrible environment in which they do everything EXCEPT clean the house, cook, laundry, feed the animals, etc.

I totally disagree with Blade. Life is good and I love it. Here are just a few things in life right now that make me very happy.
A man and his goat

GI Joe doing some goat wrestling
When we got home from work, Cocoa the goat was hanging out in the ditch. Again, what must the neighbors think?!? We have no idea how he manages to get out of the barnyard but it is pure enjoyment and entertainment for me when he does. Because that means GI Joe will wrestle him to the ground, flip him on his back, grab all 4 hooves, and hoist him back over the fence, while Cocoa makes some crazy noises. It's FANTASTIC. I couldn't quite capture the entire process last night but next time I'll make that my mission.

This is another reason life is pink coffeepot and coordinating pink pig coffee mug. What's even better is GI Joe making the coffee in it. Just picture it with me, it will make you smile too. This just might make a morning person out of me yet.

And saving the best for last is the fact that my newborn niece, Kaydence, got to ride in the coolest Princess Mobile ever yesterday, when they transferred her to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville. She rode in style to a place I am confident will give her the best care possible and give my sister and brother in law all the tools and resources to care for her. That AND it is the place that all the country stars visit regularly. A little star power never hurt anyone..... :)

Ridin' in style

Incognito due to the paparazzi
Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Marvelous Monkey Bread

First things first, Kaydence was able to be taken off the ventilator today for awhile and managed to breathe on her own for several hours. Yay Kaydence!! Things are looking up. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers. Keep 'em coming.

I think this news calls for a celebration. A monkey bread celebration. And not the ordinary monkey bread with the run of the mill cinnamon and sugar. Oh no, this is kicked up a few notches. This recipe makes even me, despiser of mornings, LEAP, out of bed! And the fact that it requires very little thought or preparation is also a plus considering I'm not coherent til about 8:00 a.m. and at least one cup of coffee. I wish I could take credit for creating this recipe but I have to give credit where credit is due. When my Dad got remarried, not only did I gain a fabulous stepmom but I also got her famous monkey bread recipe. It was in the prenup. Just kidding, but this is Evie's recipe and for that I will forever be grateful. Well, for that AND making sure my Dad doesn't leave the house in his 1985 red and yellow tiger striped Chiefs pajama pants ever again.

Alright enough talk, let's get to the action.

2 tubes Butter Tastin' Grands Biscuits (it's crucial to get the butter tastin' big ones)
1 pint heavy whipping cream (it's not the small school lunch milk size container, but not the quart, it's the one in the middle)
1 1/4 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan. Tear each biscuit into 4 pieces and put in pan. Stir brown sugar and whipping cream together in mixing bowl and pour over the biscuits. Make sure all biscuits are coated. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until top is golden and biscuits in the middle are cooked through. When you remove from the oven you can either serve right from the pan OR line a cookie sheet with foil and flip the pan of monkey bread over on to the foil so all the gooey goodness is on top. A good morning is guaranteed.

And now you will love my stepmom Evie as much as we do. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fun with Guns

Before I get into the happenings at the Koons Zoo, on a serious note, I would like to ask you all to say a prayer or prayers for my niece, Kaydence. If you're not a pray-er (if that's a word) this might be a good time to become one. Kaydence was born yesterday at 37 weeks after my sister had a perfectly normal pregnancy. The delivery was uneventful (my sister is tough like me) except that after she was born Kaydence was having trouble breathing on her own. She was put on a ventilator and has remained on that as her breathing really hasn't improved. She's also showing some signs of some other issues. We don't know a whole lot right now but all we know is that this is a scary time for our family as there are so many unknowns. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
So as I've said before I deal with adversity, drama, heartache, etc thru laughter so that's what I'm going to do. And what better way to do that than to tell you about the Family Fun with Guns session we had the other day. Sounds fascinating right? And a little dangerous, or maybe a lot dangerous. Let me explain.
Before GI Joe was, well GI Joe, he was/is a country boy, a redneck, a backwoods boy, etc. Which means he grew up shooting stuff. He got his first gun at about the age of 7 and has been terrorizing possums, rabbits, squirrels, pheasant, and deer ever since. Now before you go all anti-gun on me let me assure you that we do not take gun safety lightly in our house and all of our children are taught gun safety and respect by GI Joe, who given his line of work knows a little something about it. And they are locked up at all times with the only key being hidden in an undisclosed location that only GI Joe knows. I realize that not everyone will agree with us on this point and frankly I'm okay with that, thank goodness we live in America where we have that right. I would also like to point out that he doesn't shoot just to shoot, he only shoots things that either are causing harm or for food. I'm very adamant on that. Just ask Dakota about the time she shot a bird and I cried and threw a hysterical fit and then grounded her for a week.
I have to admit when we first got married I was a little nervous about guns in the house and the fact that he was so proficient with them. But a couple times of firing one myself and I was hooked. Now that's not to say you'll find me out deer hunting with GI Joe. That will NEVER EVER happen. I'd be more apt to yell at the deer to run away or to pet and comfort them in their final moments than to shoot them. I think that's why I've never been invited. That and I haven't been able to find the safety vest in blaze pink, only blaze orange. But I do love to fire guns. Not big guns, they hurt my shoulder and make me scream like a girl. But I like the powerful feeling I get when I'm holding or firing a gun. Because GI Joe knows this about me and also knows that I'm a big wimp he bought me an air pistol for my 30th birthday. I heart my air pistol. It gives me that tough girl feeling without the sore shoulder. I really wanted it for protection against possum that might wander on to our deck at night and scare the daylights out of me. (Editor's sidenote: I deeply love animals with the exception of the following: possum, bats, snakes, lizards, rats, mice. None of those will ever make the Koons Zoo roster.) However, I think it would merely scare the possum and stun it enough so that GI Joe or one of my sharpshooter children could actually seal the deal. Sorry PETA, that's just the way it goes. Possum are nasty, nasty creatures, and the beady eyes, oh yuck, the eyes...

As for the country bumpkin kids, all 3 of them have taken after their father, and love to shoot and hunt and all that boyish stuff. Even Dakota your daughter, you ask? Yes,actually, ESPECIALLY Dakota. She's been a gun totin' Annie Oakley since the age of 8 and loves to hunt with her Daddy. Yes, she is mine, the maternity tests came back positive.

Anyway, the other evening it was a balmy 50 degrees out and we were itching to be out and enjoy it and thought we would do some target practice. I with my wicked air pistol, and the kids with the Daisy BB gun. GI Joe was the safety warden. We set pop cans on the fence posts in our front yard and were about 50 feet from the road. I just love the crazy looks we get from the neighbors when they drive by and I'm in the front yard shooting at a pop can with what looks like a small handgun. It makes me giggle.

Now as much as I love shooting, I might not have the best aim in the world. I blame the wind, my height, my hair that kept getting in my eyes, etc, etc. Let's just say I only hit my pop can twice and that was because I got within a foot of it. Meanwhile, my kids Buckshot and Sharpshooter (Blade and Ryder) were hitting their target repeatedly using their BB gun. They then proceeded to torment me about my shooting skills and saying such things as "you shoot like a girl." Ouch. Then Dakota piped in with "But I'm a girl and I'm a really good shot, so it's just you." Double ouch.
Here's a picture of Buckshot and Sharpshooter. Gotta love the stances.

I'm happy to report that no kids, animals, or cars were injured in our Fun With Guns session although if that would've happened I probably would've been the culprit as I am the worst gun safety student ever. Once I may have been reprimanded by GI Joe for waving my air pistol around in the air, I had a reason, I don't remember what, but I did. Possum beware.
And there you have it, just another day in the life of the Prairie Princess......

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Trauma at Target

Today started out like any other day until I went to drive to work and my truck was dead. I am not a morning person to begin with so any interruptions to my routine are not welcomed. We determined that the battery was dead so GI Joe jumped it, promised to get a new battery for it today, and off I went. I was actually really excited because the past few days my CD player had been acting weird but post-jump it workeText Colord perfect. So I put in my New Kids CD and jammed all the way to work, thinking I just might be able to salvage the morning after all.

At lunch time I decided to go run a few errands. The Princess Mobile started right up and off I went, no problems. In fact, I called GI Joe after making my first stop and reported that it was running fine. Then I was off to Target for a quick stop before going back to work. I found a rock star parking place, pulled in, shut her off, and got out. But when I hit the lock button on my remote I didn't hear any clicking noise. Now, normally I'm not very observant about these things but for some reason today I noticed. I got back in and put my key in the ignition and tried to start it up. NOTHING. No dashboard lights, no radio, NADA. So I did what I always do when something goes wrong, I called GI Joe. I reported all the symptoms and he determined that the battery had probably given out and that I probably shouldn't have driven it anywhere until he had replaced the battery. I must've missed that memo when he distributed it this morning. He said he would go get a new battery and come to the Target parking lot to replace it. In the meantime I had to get back to work. Work isn't very far at all from Target but I immediately vetoed the walking back to work option as that's just not how I roll. Instead, I called my friend, Annette and luckily she was out and about and said she would LOVE to come and get me but it would be a few minutes. She's awesome, mostly because she loves lip gloss and New Kids as much as I do, but also because she didn't think twice about coming to help me out. That left me with time to wander around Target, not such a bad place to be stranded. But then the tragedy struck. I picked up a lovely bathmat and slit open my finger on the cardboard label thingy. I was bleeding profusely, okay maybe not profusely but enough that I was afraid I would leave a blood trail that could later be used to convict me of a crime I didn't commit. I was desperately trying to find a First Aid kit or anything to stop the bleeding so I didn't get blood all over everything. Target, here's some advice for you, place some First Aid kits randomly throughout the store in the event someone is injured while shopping, thanks. I was at the back of the store of course, so after not finding any other options I made my way up to the front of the store to the restrooms to tend to my finger that was now hanging by cartilage. Alright that might be a bit overdramatic, but it was still bleeding. As I was wrapping a paper towel around my injury my phone started ringing. I fished around in my purse with my good hand and came up empty handed. I can never find my phone, why would this be any different? So I dumped out my purse on the diaper changing station and it wasn't there. I start panicking thinking "On top of everything now I've lost my phone (again)!" until a thread of reason shone thru and made me realize that I couldn't have lost it as I had just heard it ringing. And there it was in my coat pocket right where I had put it earlier. Nice. At that point, I had had enough of Target and decided to just head outside and wait for Annette. If you know me at all, you know it takes a lot for me to leave Target empty handed but at this point I was just glad to still have my hand in tact....mostly.

Annette rescued me and back to work we went. I got a call from GI Joe later in the day to tell me my truck was now running fine and that he hadn't needed to put a new battery in. Something about the battery cables were loose, oh and something about it not having any coolant. Coolant? OHHHHHH, so THAT's what the Low Coolant light was talking about when it kept flashing on my dashboard. I just thought there was a short or something because why would you need coolant in the winter time? So weird. But as always, GI Joe came to the rescue and the Princess Mobile is back on the roads. And I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of communicating dashboard light messages to him. As for my Target injury, it will be a slow recovery and it may require plastic surgery but I'm a tough farm girl I think I'll survive.

But seriously Target..I'm willing to forgive your behavior today in exchange for implementing the first aid kit suggestion, think about it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A "Super" Weekend

A few highlights from the weekend.

We took Blade and Ryder to see Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, and Darius Rucker in concert in Omaha. We had great seats and the show was outstanding. After Dierks played, GI Joe was in the restroom when he overheard one guy say this to another.
"Dude, Dierks was so awesome, I've got a MANCRUSH on him." I think it goes without saying that GI Joe made a speedy exit. Something about the words mancrush being used in the men's restroom made him squirmy.
I declared that I was rooting for the Rams to win the Super Bowl because I love Kurt Warner. I'm sad to report that that the Rams didn't win, neither did the Cardinals for that matter. GI Joe was not impressed with my lack of football knowledge.

We hosted our traditional Super Bowl party with a select few friends and family (GI Joe takes football very seriously even though his team didn't make it) which included GI Joe's brofriend, John, (we'll talk about THAT whole thing another time) who happens to be the most die hard Steelers fan of all time. There were times during the game I really thought John might need recessitating, thankfully his wife was there to handle the mouth to mouth so GI Joe wouldn't have to do it. I think that would cross the guy love/brofriend line.

During the Super Bowl, the kids were playing in another room when all of the sudden we heard Blade yell "They took my pants!" I went in to see what the fuss was about and he indeed was pantless trying to hide his tighty whities with his shirt. When I asked what happened to his pants he said that the rest of the kids (Ryder, Dakota, and the 8 year old daughter of our friend) had taken his pants. I don't know specifics and frankly, I'm sure they would frighten me. All I know is that had better be the last time that happens to him at a party!

The highlight of the Super Bowl for me, besides the plethora of culinary delights, was when every person at our house watching the game put on the 3D glasses to watch the Monsters vs. Aliens commercial. We did not look like dorks at all. I'm just glad I was the one taking the picture.

I woke up on Monday morning feeling every bit of my old age from lack of sleep, eating too much spicy Super Bowl food (P.S. Pioneer Woman's Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno things are AMAZING), and laughing too hard at the after Super Bowl episode of the Office. If you don't watch the Office, please go immediately to the NBC website and watch Sunday night's episode. The first 10 minutes alone will hook you for life. We've watched it 4 times since then and I've felt justified in taking a short hiatus from ab workouts as they are getting a great work out just by watching that episode.

10 Years Part 2

In case you missed Saturday's edition, I'm taking a trip down memory lane in honor of the 10 year anniversary of my Mom's death. Put the Kleenex away you won't need it for this one. We left off at #5, so here we go.

6) Being an accomplice to my bout with crime....third degree reckless throwing to be exact. While she pled the 5th to it, she knew exactly what I was doing that night I had to call her from the cop shop for egging a jerk from church's house. She actually gave me money to buy the eggs! But she had to make it look good for when the church ladies came knocking at her door the next day screaming at her for raising such an unruly, Satanic daughter. My poor innocent Mom, too bad we weren't Catholic cuz I'm pretty sure she'd be in the running for sainthood.

7) I got my love of Mexican, food that is, from my Mom. We loved us some Taco Bell and Chi Chi's. On more than one occasion, I would write my own note, forging my mom's signature, to present to the school secretary to excuse me from school and then go meet my Mom for lunch at one of those fine establishments. I signed my Mom's name so many times my senior year that when she actually did sign something they didn't believe it. After GI Joe and I were married, I would still meet my Mom for dinner and she'd tell me how I could work off the enchiladas I was eating, now that I was a newlywed. My reaction was probably very similar to yours right now...."MOM!!!!"

8) Midnight shopping at Wal Mart. I also inherited my love of Wal Mart from my mother. We especially loved going there at odd hours when we had the place to ourselves. We would wander the aisles, shopping and laughing. That was girl time at it's best.

9) Serious Sunday dinners at the pastor's/our house. Being the perfectionist pastor's wife that she was, she would slave away all weekend preparing the house for company and for a spectacular meal on Sunday after church. And sometimes she'd forget to set the delay bake on the oven so we'd come home to cold food and have to get KFC instead. Awesome. I get my insane need for perfection when company is coming from her too. Thanks Mom.

10) Game nights with Mom and the sisters. We are a very competitive bunch and it often got very heated. My middle sister Heidi is a tad bit argumentative, although she'd argue she's not! But anyway, we'd be playing a friendly game of Uno or Sorry and I'd start the trash talking and possibly attempt to cheat just to get Heidi riled up. And it would work every time and then before you knew it Heidi was fightin' mad, I would keep egging her on, and Mom would laugh so hard she'd spew Pepsi all over the table. Now that's the stuff memories are made of.

My Mom was a wonderful, naive, sweet, funny, classy lady and I am obviously nothing like her. :) I'm so glad I at least got 20 years with her and hope that someday I'm half the mom she was. She was never a recipient of the Worst Mother of the Year award so I have a long way to go but it's good to aim high.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What I Love About Blade

Today is Blade's birthday. Hard to believe 7 years ago I was in the hospital after convincing my doctor that he needed to induce me since I was 7 days overdue. You may or may not know this about me, but I can be very persuasive.

Here are just 7 things I love about our firstborn son, our little man, mini GI Joe or JJ as his Wii Mii says. These are in no particular order so don't judge me.

1) His sense of style. You gotta love a kid who includes in his first day of school recap "you won't believe so and so's hair, it's like she didn't even brush it!" He is so particular when it comes to his clothes, shoes, hair, etc. I even ask him for advice on my clothes, decorating and furniture. And I'm not the least bit worried that he's gay, he's just particular and has had good trainingl! His future wife will thank me.

2) He's wise beyond his years. Ever since he was a newborn you just got this sense that he was taking everything in and processing it. I have to remind myself that he's only 7 as he seems like a miniature man in his observations, opinions and the way he carries himself. See Election Reflections post for an example. :)

3) He tells it like it is. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that about him even though at times it's my demise. Like the time he told me, "Mommy, you're pretty but Cinderella is WAY prettier." He'll keep ya humble that's for sure.

4) He's got all the athleticism that I wish I could've had. It pays to marry up. He got every bit of GI Joe's sports mind and ability. He's good at everything he does. Unlike his mother, who has a tendency to shoot at the wrong basket and run only when being chased by scary things like bugs or guys in masks at haunted houses.

5) He's such a suck up but in an endearing way. He's always been the golden child at school and does his best to pull the wool over our eyes at home too. He's eager to please and is not afraid to tell you what wonderful things he's done that deserve your attention and appreciation.

6) He's funny. He's got quick wit and sarcasm that just cracks us up.

7) He's so much like his Daddy it's frightening. From the way he looks, his walk, to his mannerisms and sense of humor, he's a mini GI Joe. Just what the world needs is another one!!! :) But he does have enough of me thrown in there to make him unique. It's a good thing though, I married GI Joe cuz I thought he was awesome (obviously) so I think it's great (most of the time) that they are so much alike, except when they gang up on me!

In a nutshell, he's all we ever hoped for and more in a son, when GI Joe and I were just starting out and would dream of our future children. To those of you with daughters in the 6-12 year old range (seriously, we had a 5th grader come up to us and tell us how wonderful Blade was!!) get them on the dating waiting list now as it's already filling up fast. Not that any girl will ever be able to survive my screening and approval process.

Happy Birthday Buddy, we love you!