Thursday, December 23, 2010

From Our Zoo To You....

In years past this is when I would post our annual Christmas novel letter just in case you weren't on the list of the select 37 that actually received it in the mail.  Not this year.  This year, I started to write the annual Christmas letter and by the end of the first paragraph realized if I sent it out people would need to spike their eggnog with something strong just to read the letter, it was that depressing.  I'm not one to sugar coat things (like you didn't already know that) and the first 2 1/2 months of 2010 were among the worst in our family's history and that just doesn't make for a feel good, warm and fuzzy Christmas letter.  So instead of the Debbie Downer letter I included this shameless plug for this blog. 

Dear Friends and Family,
Seasons Greetings!  You're probably expecting a lengthy, detailed, witty (a girl can dream) recap of our year.  After much deliberation, angst, and even a facebook poll, I've decided not to write the annual Koons Christmas letter. 
Dry your eyes because instead I offer you this...........  My blog where I, self proclaimed Prairie Princess, record the major and not so major happenings, mishaps, events, that take place here at the Koons Zoo throughout the year.  Like the time I accidentally bought donkeys because I thought they were mules or Blade's first season of tackle football or Ryder's Homecoming Court appearance or Dakota's dabblings into girlhood or the kids' new bovine brother or the National LamKoons Summer Vacation, and many more tales, it's ALL right there and will continue to be.  So really it's the gift that keeps on giving!  You're welcome. 
Now with all the extra time you have from not having to read the novel that typically is our Christmas letter, go have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year! 

The Koons Clan

So if you came to this blog because you got that shameless plug in the mail along with our Christmas card, welcome and I hope you'll stick around.  And to those of you faithful, longtime readers, thank you for reading, thank you for laughing with us, and thank you for encouraging me to keep writing.  Being the attention seeker that I am, I probably wouldn't keep doing it if I thought no one was reading it even though I love having this record of our lives.  But you guys make me want to record it all.  So thanks and I'm sure someday when my kids go back and can read about the details of their childhoods, they'll thank you too.  Once they get out of therapy, that is.   :)

From Our Zoo to You...Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mary, Did You Know....About Nikon?

About a month ago, while at Silver Dollar City with my family and my sister Heidi and her husband Terry, we had a deep theological discussion.  The discussion was sparked by my incessant need to photodocument our outing to Silver Dollar City and the kids among all the millions of lights there.  I was trying to, you know, capture the memory. 
Let me set the scene for you. 
Me forcing my family to smile nicely and act like they were having a marvelous time and totally in love with each other in front of the gigantic lighted Christmas tree for the perfect family Christmas photo.  My family getting more irritated by the second by the number of retakes I demanded and also because for some reason they rather dislike having their picture taken..all.the.time.  Funhaters.
But then I dropped this bomb on them. 
"You guys should be glad I'm taking pictures, that way you can remember all these fun moments of your childhood.  I bet Mary wishes she could've taken pictures of  baby Jesus as he was growing up.  How sad is that, that she didn't get to take his picture or have a baby book for him?"
I wish you could've seen the incredulous looks on the faces of my husband, my sister, my brother in law, and my children.  It was a look like, "really?  WHERE does she come up with this stuff?"  Welcome to inside my head, the water's fine, but these are the kinds of things that cross my mind.  
GI Joe's response was, "I'm pretty sure they weren't really worried about taking pictures and more concerned with, oh I don't know, RAISING THE SON OF GOD."
Whatever GI Joe.  Every mama wants pictures of her babies and I'll bet Mary was no exception.  So that got me thinking.  Isn't it a shame that Nikon and Canon weren't around when Jesus was born?  I'm sure Mary would've liked to have a few pictures of her baby, I mean who else can say they gave birth to JESUS?  Every new mother thinks their baby is God's gift to the world but Mary's baby?  Mary's baby actually WAS God's gift to the world so she wins..showoff.  Also, don't you ever wonder if baby Jesus was a cute baby?  I do.  Because contrary to popular belief not all babies are cute, like the one who was in the nursery as I was pacing the halls of the maternity ward while in labor with Dakota and may or may not have said, "I hope our baby doesn't look like THAT baby cuz it's kinda ugly," about without knowing his Dad was walking right behind us....oops.  If only Mary had had a Nikon we'd know if baby Jesus belonged in the cute baby camp or the unfortunate "hope he grows into it" camp. That would give a whole new meaning to Picture Bibles, wouldn't it? 
It kinda makes me sad for Mary to tell you the truth.  No pictures, no brag book, no baby book.  She raised the greatest guy ever and doesn't even have an 8x10 glossy on the mantle to show for it.   Wonder if she put a notch on the doorframe to track his growth?  Someone should totally track down that doorframe and put that on ebay, can you imagine the bidding war?
So from now on when my family gives me grief about taking their picture yet again, I'm just gonna ask them this, "What would Mary, mother of Jesus, do?  I'll tell you what she'd do, she'd take the picture and I'll tell you what else, her child, JESUS, would smile and cooperate with his mama, SO GET IT TOGETHER PEOPLE!"  
Sacrilegious?  Nah..  Effective?  You be the judge. 
I think their faces say it all. 


Gender Confusion

Attention, your attention please.  I have an important announcement to make.

*clears throat*

Here at the Koons Zoo, we've been living a lie. 

Remember our little, ahem, issue with our llamas?  The brokeback llamas?  Aren't you glad you clicked that link so you could see that picture again?  You're welcome. 

And remember our solution to the aforementioned issue? 

Well, plan failed.  The candles, the wine, the music was all for nothing. 

Now instead of a happy llama family with a gay llama uncle, we have....wait for it.... THREE GAY MALE LLAMAS. 

Yeah, that's right, our supposed llama mama?  Not so much a mama. 

This shocking discovery was made over the weekend when he/she formerly known as Dolly came up to give GI Joe a nuzzle because that's what she does, and as she was running away, the wind blew her fur just right, and lo and behold, get the treasure chest because there were JEWELS there.  And I'm not talking emeralds here, people. 

This explains why we there's no baby llama even though the appropriate gestation period has passed.  Nothing's gestating in there if you know what I'm saying. 

Once again I was improperly misled by the livestock auction.  Remember the mules?  This time I had paperwork that said he was a SHE. 

So Dolly Llama is now Wally Llama. 

The bad news is that it has become increasingly obvious that we are not certified in gender specification.  Between Herky the Turkey who we were sure was a boy until HE started laying eggs, to a kitten who for MONTHS went by the name Jasmine until we saw Jasmine in a precarious position with another cat that caused us to change the name from Jasmine to Jazz, and now this.  Come to think of it, do I really have ONE DAUGHTER AND 2 SONS?!?  Uh oh. 

The other bad news is that we really thought Wally was a Dolly because of all the chasing and..ahem...dominating that the other 2 male llamas were doing to her/him.  So not only did Dolly/Wally NOT cure our brokeback issue HE made it worse.  And now we have a regular Blazing Saddles brothel up in here. 

The good news (?)....Gay marriage in's not just for people anymore.   

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Tale of Two Earrings

Last night as I was getting ready for bed I was taking out my earrings and found, much to my dismay that one ear was earring-less (that’s absolutely a real word). I rather liked the earrings I had been wearing so was a little bummed that I had apparently lost it. I reached over to the other ear to take out the remaining earring and thought it felt a little bulky. I laid the earring down on the sink and looked in the mirror. And what did I find? THE OTHER EARRING…IN MY EAR. The same ear that the other earring had been in, in the same hole! So basically, I had been walking around all day with 2 earrings in the same hole in the same ear. Nice.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank my coworkers who let me walk around all day, head tilted at a weird angle from all the excess weight on one side and 2 earrings dangling out of one ear hole, without saying a word.  Thanks guys, thanks a lot. 

At least now I know why my ear hurt all day.

So when you see celebrities with 2 hoop earrings dangling out of one hole in one ear on the cover of US Weekly very soon, you’ll know who started the trend.

THIS girl, that’s who.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A REAL Prairie Princess

As if there was ever any doubt that I am a true Prairie Princess, here are a list of things I've done in the past week  that pretty much put me in the category of former prairie greats such as Laura Ingalls Wilder and Ma Walton.  I mean, we knew this already but I amazed even myself this week with my pioneer like ways.

*Went for FIVE days without a dishwasher!  That means I washed dishes dirtied by five people BY HAND.  Gasp!  At about day 3, I realized paper plates were made for just such occasions (I'm quick like that) and that lightened the load but still...dislike.  Alright, I gotta be honest I didn't actually wash all the dishes by myself for 5 days, I LET the kids help.  It was a fun novelty to them so I let them indulge their life long dreams of washing dishes.  I'm a good mom like that.  The needed part came on Friday and by Friday night I was back in dishwasher business.  Thank goodness that dark time in our life is over.

*Started a fire BY MYSELF.... THREE TIMES.  The fireplace in our house is old school.  No switch here, you actually have to use logs and stuff.  We've had some really cold evenings and nothing makes me happier than Christmas music on the stereo, candles lit, something yummy in the oven and a warm fire roaring in the fireplace.  GI Joe has  been once again working marathon hours so if I've wanted something done I've had to do it myself.  So I did.  I started a fire.  And I'm happy to report that it stayed solely in the fireplace, there were no injuries AND it stayed burning as a fire should.  Also, I didn't even cheat and use lighter fluid.  I did it the old fashioned way with logs, twigs, newspaper and a lighter.  Because I'm quite certain that Caroline Ingalls had newspapers and a lighter and then blogged about it using her laptop.  So between this life accomplishment and washing dishes by hand for 5 days, basically we ARE the little house on the prairie. 

*I drove a really big boy truck to the feed store to get straw and feed for the animals.  You should've seen the look on the guy's face when I stepped out of the truck in my pink coat, fuzzy scarf, and high heeled boots and asked him to load up some straw bales.  Priceless.  I'm quite certain he thought I was using them for Christmas play props.  But then I started talking farm stuff with him so he'd know I'm legit and his mouth dropped to the floor.  He couldn't thank me enough for stopping, I think he's just not used to seeing anyone not wearing overalls and a feed cap.  What wasn't priceless was when I had to take that all home and then spend hours outside in the elements in my NON PINK Carhartts (I'm working on ANOTHER letter) insulating all of the buildings that the animals use for myself with a fever and nausea.  Good times, IF your idea of a good time is manure, continuous sneezing and watery eyes from the straw, frostbite and too much time to repeatedly ask yourself "Why do we have all these animals again?"   I still firmly believe if my Carhartts had been a nice shade of raspberry the task would've been all rainbows and kittens. 

While my pink Carhartts are in production I'll stick with my norm.....

Good night John Boy. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Motherhood Moments

This past weekend was one of those weekends where nothing went as it should and I couldn’t wait for Monday, which turned out wasn’t any better, but that's  another story for another day. 

Back to the weekend....
GI Joe has been working incredibly long hours and the weekend was no exception, he got to spend all day Saturday and Sunday training new recruits, leaving me to single motherhood. It just so happens that single motherhood is not my fortitude, I’m definitely more of a team parent. But figured I would make the best of it as I try to do since this happens quite often with GI Joe’s chosen career. I had a whole day planned of fun for the kids and I to keep us occupied. And by fun I mean, sleeping in, shopping, out for lunch, followed by some baking and Christmas movie watching. Sounds great right? Right, that’s what I thought. But apparently, fun to the kids means fighting, whining, being possessed by retarded aliens, and driving their mother crazy. I can see how the two would be easily confused…or not. I will spare you all the sordid details of their ridiculous behavior because frankly I don’t want to relive it. It was that bad. It was so bad that I was mentally writing the Craig’s List ad that went a little something like this: “Free to good home, 3 very cute kids, ages 11, 8, and 7. Housebroken (mostly). Have been well trained but may need some refreshers as they seem to have temporary amnesia.” Now some might say I should’ve just taken them home if they were behaving that bad. Which would’ve maybe worked except that I would’ve been trapped in the house alone with them. Also, when you live in the boondocks and work full time during the week and spend every evening of the week being a chauffeur to the aforementioned children, there are things that have to get done and weekends are really the only time to do so. Going home was really not an option unfortunately. Besides I think if I would've taken them home they would've considered that a win since they were not digging the shopping part of the day's agenda.  I get that somehow my shopping gene skipped them and they don't find the joy in it that I do, however, grocery shopping is a necessary evil and Christmas shopping for their Daddy should be a fun thing for them.  Also, it's not like I was dragging them shopping for 17 hours or anything it was just a few hours so basically, suck it up cupcakes.   
What I'm about to tell you may shock you, especially if you're one to read any of the Mommy Blogs where they talk about how wonderful and well behaved their children are and do nothing but dote on them, mysteriously leaving out the real life parts about how their kids drive them crazy sometimes, how they may or may not have lost their cool with them, and how they fed them Green Apple Tic Tacs as a snack to tide them over until dinner. Not that I've done ANY of those things but I am just not one of those Mommy Bloggers.  Yes, for the most part our kids are very well behaved and I love them with every fiber of my being but let's be realistic, it's not all puppy dogs and rainbows. 
Over the course of the weekend I heard myself saying things that I remember my mother saying to us (aka me my sisters were SOOO innocent) and realized I am my mother...with a twist.  A twist that makes me NOT quite as sweet or gracious or even tempered with my children as she was with hers.  And that's how I find myself saying (not yelling, I'm not a yeller just a "tone" kind of mom) the following things to my children on Saturday:
"I'm never taking you anywhere with me again!" (that's a classic straight from my Mom's arsenal.)

"See how well behaved those kids are being in that cart over there?  That's how you should be acting. OH MY GOODNESS, WHY ARE YOU NOT ACTING LIKE THAT WELL BEHAVED KID?!?

"I think I'm going to drop you off at Camp Dodge with Daddy and he can get you ready for boot camp cuz you're about 2 seconds away from being sent there FOREVER." 

"Everyone please shake the stupid off before we go into Target."  Stupid is typically not allowed but extreme circumstances call for drastic measures and technically I wasn't calling THEM stupid, I was simply implying that stupid how somehow gotten stuck to them causing them to act out of character.  But really, "shake the stupid off?" I'm so ashamed. 

"Raise your hand if you think it's a good idea to make Mommy, buyer of your presents, close personal friend of Santa, mad 3 weeks before Christmas?  *Crickets*  That's what I thought."

"Everyone get in your rooms and get them clean.  As much as I love you, I really don't want to see your faces or hear your voices for a few minutes. Mama needs some ME time. It's for the best."  You'll be relieved to know that I did not use my Mama time to drink any medicinal brandy, although believe me the thought crossed my mind.

"We're playing the quiet game.  The first person to talk, whine, or touch their brother or sister gets dropped off on the side of the road. And you think I'm kidding....."

And the list goes on but I don't want to lay all my cards out on the table for DHS to see.

Admittedly, it was not one of my finer days of motherhood but that's what it's all about.  Surviving the days like Saturday to get to the days like yesterday where we watched Rudolph, listened to Christmas music, cooked supper together, laughed, cuddled, and wrapped presents.  The worst thing I said to them yesterday was, "Quit running thru the house with that sword, you're going to fall and get BLOOD ON THE PRESENTS!!"  Seriously.

And there goes my Mother of the Year award....again. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More About My Ass(es)

It's been 2 months since I brought home the mother/son mules/donkeys.  I still call them mules/donkeys because I hold to the fact that I THOUGHT I was buying mules.  For 2 long months, I've been deliberating over names, trying to figure out the perfect names for them. 
Meanwhile, GI Joe can only refer to them if he puts "stupid" in front of them.  For example, "Did you hear your stupid donkeys hee hawing this morning?"  or "I let your stupid donkeys out into the other pasture."
They really aren't stupid, but he just really REALLY loves donkeys.  Which is why I would NEVER knowingly buy a donkey.  A mule?  Yes.  A donkey?  No.  That's what he gets for sending me to an animal auction unchaperoned.  How was I to know that my first clue that I was purchasing donkeys instead of mules was that it was a mother and baby.  Who knew mules don't have babies?  I do!!!!! (now). 
Anyway, my mules/donkeys have adjusted well to the Koons Zoo.  Although, to hear GI Joe tell it, Holy Cow's reaction when we unloaded them into the same barnyard was, "Nooooooooooo".  But all this time I've been searching, thinking, googling for the perfect donkey names.  In the meantime, I've just been calling them sweetie and honey.  Not that they answer, they are still quite skittish and aren't the petting type...yet.  Give us a few months (warm ones) and they will be. 
But finally, FINALLY I've decided on names and I couldn't be happier.  They are perfect.



I probably don't need to explain why I chose Beyonce for the girl.  It probably goes without saying, it's a pretty common name for a donkey.  Or not.  Beyonce's black, the donkey/mule is white.  Beyonce is not a mother, donkey/mule is.  Beyonce can sing, the donkey/mule can't exactly sing but she does make some interesting noises.  Beyonce is bootylicious, and the donkey's technical name refers to that same anatomical area.  Oh and donkey/mule IS A SINGLE LADY!   So as you can see the choice was clear.  Really, it came down to I just love the thought of saying I have a donkey named Beyonce and also yelling that out across the pasture.  Good times. 
Then there's the baby boy...Kanye.  That's pretty self explanatory.  I mean, did you see the real Kanye West and his little escapade taking the microphone away from poor, innocent Taylor Swift last year?  He made such an A%#, I mean donkey of himself, so it's only fitting that an actual ass share his name.  Not to mention we were staying with the people of color theme, you know since they're white donkeys and all.  And naming them after white supremacists was clearly not an option.  Hello, '92-'94. 
So there you have it, the story of how my ass(es) was named.  And now I"m going to go wash my mouth out with soap.  Right after I go say goodnight to Beyonce and Kanye.  "See Me Now" ya'll, I have donkeys named Beyonce and Kanye. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Water Tower Wishes

Tonight as we drove by our small town's water tower lit up with a Christmas tree spanning the entire length of it, as it has every year since I can remember, I made the following announcement to my three children:

"Guys, I'm gonna climb that water tower one day, " said in the same matter of fact tone that I imagine Christopher Columbus did when he announced he was going to sail the ocean blue.

"But Mommy why?  It's so high."

"Well, because every good country song about living in a small town talks about climbing the water tower and for as long as I've lived here I"ve never done it.  It's time."  (And now that I say that I can't really think of a single one but I know they're out there, I've heard them!)

"What if you fall and break your arm?" (As if, don't they realize I'm as graceful as a ballet dancer?)

"Isn't that illegal?" (Obviously, they don't know I've been on that side of the law before.)

"Oh it will be fine.  It'll be fun!"

"I don't think it's such a good idea." (Who taught them to be so conscientious, such rule followers?  Geesh.)

"It's a great idea.  I can't wait to say I've climbed the water tower.  Maybe I'll even paint our name on it!"

"That's really NOT a good idea because then they'll know who did it and WE don't want to get in trouble."

"You guys really need to loosen up."

"We're gonna tell Daddy, he won't let you do it."


So who's up for a little water tower climbing?!?  Anyone?  Anyone? 

And now time for a side tangent that just happened, real time:

And right here I was going to post a picture of our town's sweet water tower lit up as a Christmas tree.  Bet that's never been done before huh?  Not the posting of a water tower picture but the lights hanging from the tower to form a Christmas tree.  However, when I googled it instead the first thing that came up was a picture of one of the boys' wrestling coaches, which is odd because I had no idea that he was responsible for the water tower, but that wasn't it.  Then I thought maybe he too had dreamed of scaling the utmost heights and getting a view from the top and he was featured in the county news right next to the tidbit about Bertha going to town for a pedicure on Thursday, but nope that wasn't it either..  I was completely optimistic until I looked a little closer at the picture and thought it looked a lot like a mug shot.  Not that I'm familiar with mug shots, after all when I had my run in with the law they refused to take my mug shot even though I asked...repeatedly.  A few more clicks and I had my answer and it wasn't pretty, friends.  He is on the sex offender registry.  *giving you a moment to gain your composure while that sinks in* And now I'm freaking out.  Here's the good news:  a)  he's considered very low risk and has no restrictions such as where he can live, work, etc b) it was 10 years ago and it was with a woman over the age of 18 (maybe his wife?) and c) he's always been a great coach to the boys and very polite, nice and helpful with us along with his wife who is basically running the wrestling program.  The bad news?  Well, you know me, I don't know if I can just pretend to be blissfully oblivious. How can I not pose the question to the head coach about his judgement in allowing a registered sex offender be an assistant coach to our kids?  And also, shouldn't we have been made aware?  What if he doesn't even know?  Oh dear, what have kind of can of worms have I opened here?  Am I overreacting?  Should we let bygones be bygones?  All I was trying to do is find a picture of the water tower for crying out loud.  What would you do?  Talk to me.  It's all fun and google until someone shows up on the sex offender registry.  Ugggh.
And while you're at it, tell me if you'd climb the water tower? 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You Can't Handle the Truth Tuesday

I’ve still got a touch of the blogger’s block and suddenly I am able to blog in paragraph, story telling format and only in bullets. My high school English teacher would be so proud..or not. Sorry Mr. Horn.

So instead of a coherent, flowing post I shall grace you with some tantalizing truths about me, Prairie Princess. Fascinating stuff I tell ya. I’m weird. This has never been more evident than when writing this post.

*I am a thrillseeker to the nth degree, however I despise, detest, am terrified of, ferris wheels. Hate them. I especially hate riding these horrid death traps with people who are aware of my fear and then capitalize on it by doing things like rocking our car back and forth and laughing hysterically while I scream “We’re going to die! We’re going to die!”…..ahem…GI JOE & HEIDI. Give me a roller coaster with a 400 foot drop and 13 loopty loops any day over a stupid ferris wheel. At least I know with a roller coaster my demise will be quick and relatively painless but with a ferris wheel that’s a LONG way to fall to your death and even then it may only maim you instead of killing you. Down with ferris wheels.

*Sometimes when I’m driving alone in my car I’ll crank up the Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, recline my seat, slouch down, and pretend I’m a gangsta who is greatly feared in the hood. This totally works except when I’m driving on a gravel road in the boondocks on my way home to take care of my FARM ANIMALS. Also, I can’t find my blue do rag so it’s hard to “represent”. And another thing? I wish Snoop would record a Baptist friendly version of some of his hits, you know like Kidz Bop, that still has the same beat just minus all the language. Ain’t Nuthin But a G Thang could totally be an alphabet learning song.

*Speaking of cranking up the tunes, I noticed recently that when I am parking or backing out of a parking space, I instinctually turn down the radio. After some deep self evaluation I’ve determined the reason I do this. It’s so I can hear if/when I hit something. Seriously. Listen, the P Mobile is a big girl so I may not always feel it if I “bump” or “tap” something. Not that I have learned this from experience, I’m just sayin’.

*When I see babies in public without shoes on, I cringe.  I have no explanation for this other than a) I love shoes and think we should start them young and b) no one else in the world goes into Wal Mart without shoes on why would a baby?  What if they decided to start walking at that veryj moment and they didn't have shoes on?  Then their precious feet would be touching those nasty Wal Mart floors and then where would we be shoeless parents?!?  It's an abomination.  What's even worse than no shoes on a baby?  A baby out in public in nothing but a diaper.  That is so NOT ok. And it's pretty likely that I will purchase an outfit for the baby, hand it to the parents, and wait patiently while they put it on.  I mean REALLY. 

*I'm a sniffer.  I'm that crazy lady in the detergent aisle opening bottles of laundry soap and fabric softener.  I'm all about smells.  I have some favorites, ex:  Gain Island Fresh, Tide, Era, but I still have to sniff all of the viable options every single time I have to buy laundry soap and will choose depending on my mood.  Also, I have to admit that not only do I use liquid fabric softener but I use dryer sheets.  So DOUBLE the fabric softener!  GASP.  I told you I'm smell motivated. 

And so my blog has reached a new boring low...laundry.  Goodbye forever.

But before you go, here's one more truth about me, a cliffhanger of sorts.  Are you ready?!?  Drumroll please.

*I shopped for SEVENTEEN HOURS on Black Friday this year.  I'll tell you about it just as soon as my shopper's elbow heals up. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Cliche

I’m having a major case of blogger’s block lately. And it’s not for lack of material because I need to talk to you about the following items: Annette’s Fabulous 40th Party, the time the daylights got scared out of me at the haunted bridge, the new TV season, the National LampKoons Early Christmas Vacation, my latest mascara addiction, and how distraught I am over the break up of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria, just to name a few. Very deep, life altering topics obviously.  But instead I’m going to cop out and present the 2010 edition of “What I’m Thankful For”. Turkey handprint optional.

1) That I actually remembered to start defrosting the turkey well in advance of the big day, unlike last year where I played roasted Russian roulette with salmonella.

2) For kids who are now old enough to load/unload the dishwasher, sweep, dust, and clean their bathroom. It may not be to my standards but I’ve learned to just let it be because at least I’m getting a break! Remind me again why some people don’t give their kids chores? Oh what’s that? Because they’re NOT slavedrivers….tsk tsk…I feel sorry for them.

3) For New Kids on the Block performing on the American Music Awards the other night. Did you see it?!? It was SA-WEET. I smile just thinking about it. I could’ve said bye, bye, bye (oops wrong boy band) to the Backseat Boys, I mean Backstreet Boys, but that’s just me, well and Annette too. But that’s all part of their plan, which is a huge tour with NKOTB and the Backstreet Boys….appropriately called NKOTBSB. Don’t worry, we’ve got tickets to the already sold out show in Chicago on June 17th. Counting down days. Thrilling blog post guaranteed. Oh and because I want you to experience the joy that was their performance on Sunday night here’s the link you’re welcome. Please note how beautiful my Jordan is. Thank you.

4) For my new phone. You guys, I’m in love. And from someone who’s been known to always, always, always get the lemon of cell phones and ends up purposely running it over, that’s saying a lot. Don’t ask me what kind because I really couldn’t tell you, I just know that it does all kinds of fancy things, has a pretty pink case, and feels so good in my hand. Oh and most importantly? It works! That’s more than I can say for my old girl.  RIP old girl. 

5) That my favorite day of the year is almost here. Black Friday here we come. Although, I will be writing a passionate letter to some retailers due to the change in their store hours. Do they not realize that the Discount Divas have a specific route/time schedule that we’ve followed for years and changing their hours to open at 10pm on Thanksgiving or at 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday really throws a wrench into the spreadsheet? This is really intolerable but we shall prevail.

6) That I’ve uncharacteristically kept my mouth shut regarding a certain matter in our lives. Trust me this has not been easy for me but I’ve let GI Joe do all the talking in this situation. And for that the individuals involved should be forever grateful because he’s so much nicer than I. You have no idea how bad I want to blast a blog about this or better yet share a few words with those involved but I’m trying really really REALLY hard to be a grown up, a good Christian grown up. Ugggh…sometimes being a grown up is so overrated.

7) For a little piece of land where I can indulge my inner farm girl. Not to mention my adorable calf who I speak to and pet every single morning before I leave to work. If you’ve never known the love of a brown eyed Jersey boy, (and I don’t mean the Situation) you’re missing out.

8) For the best present I’ve ever given GI Joe, a custom made smoker. This has proven to be the smartest gift ever. He loves it and is constantly experimenting with different foods to smoke and we the family get to enjoy fruits of his smoking labor. His latest smoking conquest was called “Bacon Explosion” aka Heart Attack Waiting to Happen, it was 10 pieces of thick cut bacon weaved into a square formation covered with a layer of sausage with cooked bacon sprinkled on it and then rolled up into what I like to call Pork Sushi, and smoked. It was beyond words delicious. I also enjoy making jokes like “what are you smoking today” or “that’s a nice piece of butt”, and believe me, that never gets old.

9) That my beautiful pink Kitchen Aid mixer that I broke while attempting to make bread (from scratch) was a week away from the warranty expiring. I called KitchenAid, told them what happened and they are sending me a new one and then they’ll send the Fed Ex guy out to pick up my old one, all free of charge. It was so painless, I will forever be loyal to KitchenAid products and not just because they make kitchen appliances in the prettiest shade of pink but because they are awesome.  Sidenote:  This did nothing to help ease my fear of baking with yeast even though the bread did turn out wonderfully. 

10) That I have it so good. Sure it’s not always rainbows and sunshine, hello it’s IOWA , but overall life is grand. Three beautiful, healthy kids, a loving husband who makes me laugh and spoils me, great friends who “get me”, a wannabe farm full of animals that I don't have to eat or slaughter but that are just there for my petting enjoyment, and for this blog to record it all.  I saw this quote on the great Facebook and it pretty much sums it up..."Life is best when you know how good you have it."   Amen to that. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Mini Mac Daddy

Houston, we have a problem.  The problem is that I have a mac daddy on my hands...and he's 7. 
Last night the boys had a concert at the school.  That in and of itself was hilarious.  Only our son would be doing some "Walk Like An Egyptian" dance moves to "It's a Small World After All". Nice touch Blade, you're right Egypt should totally be represented in "It's a Small World". 
After the concert, Dakota, Ryder and I were walking across the parking lot to our car while GI Joe went to pick up Pharaoh, I mean Blade.  As we were walking a girl from Ryder's class was also walking with her parents.  She saw Ryder and immediately exclaimed, "Hiiiiiii Ryder!" in that little girl way.  Instead of replying with a simple hi, GI Joe's son gave her a slight head nod, raised his eyebrows a bit and said, "Wassup?" She apparently was hoping for something a little less gangsta and said in that high pitched sweet little girl voice, "Ryyyyyyderrr why would you say that?  I said HI."  Ryder again looked at her, squinted his eyes a bit, did the head nod, and said, "Wassup dude?"  The little girl giggled and said, "Ryyyyydddderrr I'm not a dude, I'm a GIRL! *tee hee*"  Ryder looked at her, gave her the slightest smile, gave her one final super cool head nod,  and went on his way as the little girl went giggling off into the night.
Excuse me, what just happened?  And HOW did that work?!?   
I asked him where on earth that had come from and he shrugged and gave me the cutest, slyest grin and said, "I don't know but it works."  And then I bought him ice cream and a pony just for being cute. 

And so it begins.  Help us all.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Livin' Our Love Song

Today is a momentous day in the Koons Zoo household. It's the day that I prance around the house in my wedding dress, subject everyone to the watching of the wedding video, and demand to be treated like a princess. So really, not that much different than every other day. But I feel justified in doing so today because it's our 13th wedding anniversary. 13 YEARS! Can you believe it?

We were young when we got married, (obviously, since I'm only like 25 now), and there were some doubters who thought it was just young, passing love. And to those haters I say, HOW DO YOU LIKE US NOW?!? That's what I thought.

After 13 years, I think I've figured out why it works and why it's still working. It's because we're really nothing alike. Like the wise Paula Abdul once said it's because "opposites attract." Let's review:

He's a rule follower.
I'm a rule breaker pusher.

He's disciplined.

He hates onions and freaks out if I try to sneak in very finely chopped onions into anything I cook.
I enjoy the flavor that onions impart to food and am constantly pushing my food processor to its chopping limits to find just how small I can chop them to get them by his very discerning tastebuds. It's a game, I will win.

He's good at math, bad at spelling.
I'm good at shopping math, which apparently is a very different kind of math and good at spelling.

He's a wallflower.
I like to be in on the center of the action.

He constantly takes the high road and is the bigger person.
I'm constantly telling Jesus to take the wheel because I want to go Monster Jam on that high road.

He fixes stuff.
I break stuff.

He's athletic.
I rip my yoga pants, wreck my bike, pull muscles, and end up eating a Reese's to make me feel better, when I try to be athletic.

He's a country boy.
I'm a former city girl. We're closing in on this gap more and more every day though. Hello, I have a cow.

He's a homebody.
I'm a busybody who likes to constantly on the go. 

He likes to kill animals for sport.
I'd much rather pet animals than hunt them.

He's impatient.
I'm not really that patient but he makes me look that way with his lack of it. 

I could go on and on because our differences are great but then again so are our similarities which is why it miraculously works. 

There's nobody else in the world that I can imagine spending my life with.  And let's be honest, nobody but GI Joe could handle that job. 

Happy anniversary GI Joe. Thanks for being the yin to my yang cuz I know you're into all that Chinese philosophy, new age thinking stuff. 


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eleven Cubed

Dear Dakota,

How cool is your birthday? 11 on 11/11? I'm not good at math but I'm pretty sure that only happens once in a lifetime. You’re welcome. Too bad you weren’t turning 11 on 11/11/11 but you can’t win them all, so 12 on 11/11/11 will still be pretty awesome.

Eleven years ago today, I paged (that’s what people used to do before everyone had a cell it) Daddy about 30 minutes after he left for work because I felt like something might happen. He came home, we called the doctor who told us to wait it out so we sat at home all day and played games (Uno, Skipbo, and Racko…I won, obviously) until we could wait no more and the hurtin’ was for certain. Then we made our way to the hospital where they gave us a room and told us to keep waiting but that we would have a baby soon. FYI: “Soon” in medical terms can mean anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 days. It was Wednesday night so luckily, Beverly Hills 90210 AND Party of Five was on so Mama was blissfully distracted from the pain that was wracking my body. I blame Charlie on Party of Five (another thing to google) for refusing the drugs. Have I ever told you that?  You know, that I had you with NO DRUGS.  The funny part was that that day was your actual due date..November 10th, 1999. The really funny part (funny now that I’ve survived it) is even prenatal you moved at sloth speed and were born an hour past your due date at 1:07 a.m. on Thursday, November 11th. I never want to hear you say you’re mad that you don’t get a card in the mail on your birthday because YOU are the one who waited until Veteran’s Day (a federal holiday) to come into this world. We didn’t know if you were going to be a boy or a girl but when you were born I can still hear Daddy saying, “It’s a girl! It’s a girl Holly! We have a girl!” Standing outside of our hospital room that night were Nana, Papa, and Nita. Nana had waited all her life to have a girl so when she heard the magic words that you were a girl she immediately started planning her first shopping trip to buy dresses and shoes and pink things. She was just a tad bit excited, just like the rest of us.

So that was ELEVEN years ago. I have to admit, this totally freaks me out. I came to the realization the other day that we only have 7 more years to “raise” you and we’re way over halfway done which means if we’ve screwed you up it’s probably too late to fix it. And let’s be honest, you are our firstborn so most of the time we were/are just winging it. I hope you turn out to be a functioning, happy, well balanced, member of society in spite of us being your parents. 

Since it’s your birthday, let’s talk about you. This has been an interesting year because you’re just on the brink of being a teenager and you’re a girl. Those two things combined mean TOTAL. DRAMA. ISLAND. Listen, I love you with every inch of my heart but sometimes you make me want to scream. Daddy says it’s because you have my attitude and we just butt heads. I say it’s because you are just like my sister Heidi who always has to have the last word and who I once tried to kill with a butter knife because we clashed so much but whatev. (Sidenote: I’m so glad my attempted murder with a butter knife was unsuccessful because the minute I moved out, Heidi and I got along great and she’s now one of my BFFs. Also, if I ever catch you trying to kill one of your brothers with a butter knife you will be in SO much trouble.) :) All I know is that there are times when I’m certain I will not survive your teenage years. Let’s hope I do because I can’t wait to see what you do with your future, even if I’m viewing it from inside of the psych ward. Maybe I can get a day pass when you win the Nobel Peace Prize or something.

You are the most unique and talented girl I’ve ever met and I’m not just saying that because I’m your mom, although that has a little something to do with it. Your creativity and the way you express yourself thru writing and art just blow me away. I have no idea where you got your artistic abilities from but wow. You are a free spirit who is not hindered by stereotypes or expectations. I love that about you. You are confident with who you are, even if that's a little out of the ordinary, which it is. I hope that stupid girls in junior high and high school don't dampen that confidence, but knowing you it won't.  You'll probably just call them a big word that they won't understand and go about your business.  You love to read and can read half a Harry Potter book in one night and tell us every blessed detail about it.   You love nothing more than getting up before dawn and wearing camo to go hunting with your Daddy.  Last spring after turkey hunting with him all day and not getting anything you told him, "I love hunting with you Daddy, even if we don't get anything just because I get to spend all day with just you."  Awww...well played, well played my child.  You are amazingly smart and know something about everything.  For example, we were carving pumpkins (against my will) and you enlightened us with how jack o lanterns came to be and how they actually started as carvings in a radish or turnip.  I should know better than to doubt you but truth is, I googled it and of course you were right.  You love animals especially cats, horses, and the occasional chicken.  You spend hours and hours out in the barnyard playing with, analyzing, studying, petting, and ahem..sometimes RIDING the animals.  This country life we're living is definitely for you.  Sometimes I get really frustrated because it will be time for supper and I'll yell and yell for you and about 20 minutes later you'll show up dirty and stinky because you were exploring in the back pasture or catching crawdads in the creek or stalking a fox in the woods.  But truth is, I'm glad you get to grow up like that even if it means my food gets cold.  It's just a part of who you are.
When I look at you, I can't believe how you are an exact mix of both Daddy and I, but yet all your own.  You are gorgeous (even though you growl when I tell you that), in an untamed, wild way that perfectly suits your personality.  You're smart, funny, dizzy, respectful, and wise beyond your years in a lot of ways and in others still such a sweet, innocent little girl. 
You are the oldest and with that great power comes great responsibility.  Not really, well kinda but I just really wanted to use that Spiderman line.  Anyway, you and your brothers have such odd relationships.  You and Blade are BFF's a lot of the time. It's  so stinkin sweet when we're out somewhere and I notice the you two are walking side by side and you have your arm draped around his shoulders. Now for you and Ryder those times are fewer and further between, like only when he has something you want, but they do happen, once in awhile. Right now you and Ryder are like fire and ice, because when the 2 of you are together a meltdown of some sort is pretty much inevitable.  You know how to push his buttons and he knows how to push yours and WOULD YOU TWO PLEASE QUIT PUSHING THOSE BUTTONS?!?   But I know that someday those same brothers will turn into overprotective, overbearing bodyguards threatening your boyfriends and telling their friends to watch what they say about you.  You are constantly trying to impart your vast wisdom on your brothers, to, and I quote, "make them smarter."  Last year YOUR Christmas list actually said, "workbooks for Blade and Ryder so I can make them smarter."  See, you really do care!

For all our differences, you are a huge part of my heart.  You made me a mom and taught me how to love unselfishly.  I'm a better person because you were born.  I can't imagine life without you Munchkin.  Thanks for bringing your light into our lives, may it always shine as brightly as it does today.  And may you call me Mommy til you're old and gray..amen. 

Love You To Infinity and Beyond,


Monday, November 8, 2010

When GI Joe is President

The elections this week got me thinking about my future, my future as a First Lady. OK so that may sound a bit presumptuous but GI Joe DID get at least 6 write in votes for the U.S. Senate yesterday so he's clearly on his way. But seriously, the guy does have some very real political aspirations, just as soon as his time being a full time soldier is up. Apparently, there's some silly rule about an active military member being unable to be in political office. Personally, sometimes I think those are the ONLY people that should be in political office because no one seems better suited to me to make decisions about war and terrorist attacks and such than those doing the actual grunt work. But that's just me.

And now for the first shameless plug in his non existent campaign. He will be the breath of fresh air in politics that this nation desperately needs. No, he's not politically correct all the time but guess what? Alot of people are sick to death of all this politically correct, we can't hurt anyone's feelings crap. Can I get an amen? :) He knows what he's talking about and is passionate in his love for God, his country, his family, and his beliefs. And he's not afraid to stand up for what he believes in. He won't be influenced by other powers, money or any of that. Also, he's easy on the eyes and let's be honest that never hurts a guy running for office. Thank goodness Marilyn's dead.

So because I'm a Type A Planner, I've been thinking/planning on what I will be like as a politician's wife, specifically the First Lady. You know my motto, go big or go home. I think it would be safe to say that it will be like nothing this country has ever seen before.

For starters, I WILL wear this to the inaugural ball.

I WILL have a cow, (Holy, obviously) on the White House Lawn. And a peacock...and an emu...and a goat...and well, how would I ever decide who to leave behind?!?

I WILL do some redecorating in the White House as I think it's a bit stuffy and could use some pops of color.

I WILL walk around barefoot on the White House Lawn. I guarantee that the hillbilly children will be too, probably with their shirts off. I will however, stress the importance of not pooping on the White House Lawn. Gotta keep it classy.

I will NOT do laundry anymore...hallelujah!

When we are being photographed, I WILL demand to see it and approve before it's released for viewing. And if it's not suitable to my liking I WILL demand a retake.

I WILL probably fire the cooking staff and do it myself and insist that we continue to sit down as a family every night for dinner, when logistically possible. If a foreign prime minister or Secretary of Defense would like to join us that's fine.

I WILL still cut out coupons and be a bargain shopper. Hello, if our country were run like a lot of our households would we have such huge national debt? I think not.

I will NOT have a personal shopper or someone who tells me what to wear, unless of course, it's my friend Annette.

I will NOT have a speech writer because I have a feeling they wouldn't let me tell funny, sometimes inappropriate stories, and who wants to live in that kind of world?

When GI Joe is campaigning, I will save the media and opponents the trouble and just refer them to my blog to get all the "dirt" on our family aka me since GI Joe is as squeaky clean as they come. You know what they say, opposites attract. Here goes, YES, I was arrested once for 3rd degree reckless throwing which is a step below a felony and YES, I stole corn once from a neighbor's field, and YES, I have a terrible driving record, and YES, I have the occasional shot of brandy when feeling under the weather and YES, I am upholding my end of the deal to make sure GI Joe's life is never boring. So there you go, put that in your tabloid and smoke it. Speaking of smoke, YES as a new mother I did once buy a pack of cigarettes. light one up, take a big hit off of it and then blow the smoke in my newborn daughter's ear because I'd read somewhere that doing that will cure an earache. Not sure if it actually worked but it definitely seemed to make her feel better! Don't worry the patch comes in infant sizes. And let me just get it out there now, YES I did INHALE.

We WILL still go to church every Sunday, not because it "looks" good but because that's who we are and it's very important part of our lives. And it will probably be Baptist, a black Baptist church, if I have any say. Because they know how to get down and also, I bet their potlucks are out of this world. And I'm all about the potlucks.

I WILL insist that instead of those $2,000 a plate political hob knobbing dinners they have in D.C. frequently (does no one else watch Real Housewives of D.C.?) that everyone bring their favorite dish to share. Just think of how many taxpayer dollars we could save if we turned those high falutin' dinners into potlucks.

My limo WILL be pink. And my Secret Service men will smile. I simply cannot be surrounded by such serious people all the time. I would constantly be giggling and scheming ways to make them laugh.

I WILL make sure that GI Joe has nobody with a last name that starts with L and ends with Ewinski working for him.

When meeting various political figures and leaders, I WILL tell them what I really think. Even if it's not politically correct and may make them mad. Ummm, don't care.

Instead of being known for great arms and sleeveless dresses like First Lady Obama, I WILL be known for my fantastic use of lip gloss.

I WILL use my power to finally convince Carhartt to make coveralls in pink and make them sorry they ever ignored my letter to begin with.

I WILL still blog and tell you all about it.

I leave you with this...


Oh and did I mention, I WILL be his campaign manager?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hollyisaweenie also known as Halloween

Admittedly, Halloween is my least favorite holiday of the year. And it's not because I'm Baptist and it's a religious thing but it's because I'm a) cheap and hate spending so much on costumes that only get worn once 2) a scaredy cat who hates masks, scary things, and sudden movements like SCARY PEOPLE IN MASKS JUMPING OUT AT ME 3) pumpkin carving is the worst with it's pumpkin guts and gore all over my kitchen and oh yeah 4) I'm a FUNHATER.

But rest assured, I set my funhating ways aside for this Halloween and lived it up right or wrong, depending on which side of the Halloween fence you're on. We kicked off the season with the "War of the Costumes 2010." I've always had a "No Scary Costumes" rule and forced encouraged our kids to stay on the light side of Halloween and be things like pirates (Blade 2008=cutest pirate ever) or fireman (Ryder 2008=cutest firefighter ever) or cowgirls (Dakota '09=hello cheapskate!). Well, guess what? They're growing up and with that comes this independence, opinions, mumbo jumbo and now they each have very distinct immoveable ideas of what they want to be for Halloween and shockingly, none of their ideas are Ketchup & Mustard or lions or puppy dogs. Especially not for the boys who are by nature, drawn to terrifying things like villains, Jason, Freddy, bloody zombies or the Scream guy. Not that they've ever even seen any of those movies but they just like how "cool" the masks look. Obviously, I exercised my parental rights and quickly axed any suggestions of such things but I just couldn't get them sold on being Mario & Luigi (I mean seriously, how cute would that be?) or Bacon & Eggs (umm hello?...awesome) or any of my other more lighthearted, amazing suggestions. Word of advice to parents of babies and toddlers out there: Dress your babies and toddlers in the most precious, wonderful, creative costumes that YOU love because someday soon they'll ruin all of your fun, grow up and have a mind of their own, leaving you and that adorable scarecrow costume behind. This year, I had to *gasp* compromise and we ended up with a Werewolf (Blade) who I kept telling myself was just simply Michael J. Fox in his Teenwolf costume, and Ryder as The Unkown Phantom that was definitely creepy but not gory or blatantly scary and then my sweet Dakota who debuted as an Ostrich Rider, you know given her history of riding emus and such.

*Imagine pictures here*
I had firmly announced after the costume selection that this year's costumes were the Scary Max, meaning at no point in their childhoods would their costumes ever be scarier than they were this year. And scary they were, especially when I was in the kitchen one peaceful Saturday morning, enjoying my coffee and the quiet of everyone else being asleep, and turned around to discover a Werewolf and a creepy phantom staring at me. I may or may not have jumped and screamed at the top of my lungs (you'll find this is a common occurrence this time of year) which sent them into a fit of giggles for the next 2 hours. I’m not even safe in my own kitchen, people.

Friday, I put on my Halloween fun-loving hat again (that was my costume this year) and was in charge of Ryder’s Halloween party at school. 21 kids + an hour Halloween fun & games=no problems BUT 21 kids + 6 CHATTY mothers + an hour of Halloween fun & games=Prairie Princess aneurysm. At one point when I was calling Halloween BINGO I told the kids in my best mom/teacher voice, “OK guys, you’ll have to quiet down so you can hear what I’m saying, otherwise you won’t know if you have BINGO.” And then I realized it wasn’t the kids after all, oh no, it was the 6 moms who came to “help” chit chatting along the wall..loudly. So there was that. Next time do you think people will get the wrong impression if in my email coordinating the party I say, “Please just send snacks, drinks, cups, whatever, your attendance is NOT necessary and in fact, forbidden.”?  The party was a spooktacular success. At the end of the day Ryder’s teacher pulled me aside to tell me thanks for heading it up and also to tell me how impressed the other moms were with the fun games I came up with and how well I was able to keep the kids reigned in. Then she warned me that word could get out and I could find myself in party planning demand. Great, of all the things to be good at, party planning just had to be one of them.

Then it was trick or treating time. Now here’s another thing about Halloween that I totally don’t get. All year long we tell our kids not to take candy from strangers but on one night a year we actually take them door to door to strangers houses ASKING for candy. Weird. Also, I could buy a lot of candy with the $ spent on costumes, especially Nov. 1st when it’s all marked 75% off at Target.. Every year I try to cut that deal with the kids, “hey I’ll buy you guys all of your favorite candy and lots of it if we can just skip this costume/trick or treating bit”, and they never, ever, go for it. But since they don’t go for that deal I had decided that this year we were getting our moneys worth out of those darn costumes so we were going trick or treating not one, not two, but THREE different beggars nights. I’m a slavedriver like that. Friday night was trick or treat night in a nearby town. It was a gorgeous night so it was actually quite enjoyable being out and about, except that about 20 minutes into trick or treating we started hearing, “Can we be done yet? I’m tired of walking.” To which we responded, “Suck it up cupcakes we’ve got another 40 minutes and then we can be done, now get to knocking on those doors.”

At one house, the kids and I were at the door getting the loot and GI Joe was hanging back on the sidewalk when a girl in a scary clown mask walked by him. Fun fact about Prairie Princess: Not only do I hate scary masks but I really really REALLY hate scary clowns or mainly clowns in general. It stems from an unfortunate run-in I had with some at a Haunted House a few years back where I repeatedly threatened to inflict bodily harm on the creepy clowns that would not leave me alone. ANYWAY, GI Joe being the wonderful, loving, mean husband that he is, told the scary clown to come up behind me and tap me on the shoulder, so she did, and I jumped and screamed..really loud. And then all the kids trick or treating on that street were laughing at me and my own son said to me, “Mommy, next year we may just have Daddy take us trick or treating, I just don’t know if you can handle it.” You might be on to something there, son.

The next night was trick or treat in our small town. Now I have to admit I kinda like that one because we see people we know, do some catching up (Hi Julie!), and just get to enjoy small town living. Except that we got to hear a lot of the same, “Our buckets are almost full, can’t we be done?” and of course we kept cracking the whip and made them collect candy til the last light was turned off. Hey, it’s the least they could do after all they’ve put me through. But we may be blacklisted in our town because here is the joke that GI Joe made up for them to tell:

Q: What do you call 12 midgets?

As you can imagine, that joke got very mixed reactions. Some thought it was hysterical and some immediately called DHS to report the kind of parents that would let their kids tell such a politically incorrect joke. One of the kids’ other favorite jokes wasn’t much better..

Q: What did the skeleton say to the vampire?

Again, mixed bag. Condescending looks aside, trick or treat #2 was a success. Sidenote: They aren’t allowed to say “suck” in any other context unless they are referring to vampires. Except now they are constantly calling each other vampires..huh. One more thing of interest, this makes approximately the 11th year in a row that I’ve left our front light on and had not one single trick or treater. I just don’t get it. Is 5 miles from town on gravel really too much to ask of trick or treaters? I promise I would give full size candy bars and make it worth their while. I remember the first year we lived out in the boondocks I was sure that if I left the light on, we would have trick or treaters, even if it was the kids who lived out here on their way home from town trick or treating. I was all prepared, stocked up on the best candy, left the light on and waited patiently. GI Joe tried to tell me that they would not come but I was sure that if I bought it (candy) they would come. Apparently, in a lifetime of living out here he’s never had a trick or treater stop. You can imagine my utter disappointment. Next year, I may put up a sign in town luring kids deep out into the country for trick or treat, especially since I may be banned from going with our kids trick or treating. That wouldn’t come off as creepy now would it?

Then there was the 3rd and final night in the town where our church is located. On our way home from church last night we made the best of the last 40 minutes of trick or treat and hit the motherlode of candy. It was speed trick or treating to try and hit as many houses as possible but it paid off. Much to their delight a lot of people took the lazy route and just put out the bucket or candy with a note telling them how many to take. No joke, no small talk, straight to the candy business. But at one house, the light was on and there was no bowl so they had to knock. The 3 of them stood around debating who should knock as no one was overly anxious to do so. Finally, Dakota did the honors but she did a ridiculous timid, quiet knock that no one would ever hear so we told her to knock again, and she did but just the same. And then I yelled, “YOU GOTTA WANT IT! NOW KNOCK LIKE YOU MEAN IT!” GI Joe looked at me incredulously, “You really just said you gotta want it?” Yes, yes I did and I think that proves yet again what an awesome mother I am.

Fun Halloween Fact: I heard a news report the other day that said that parents eat over 50% off their kids Halloween candy. To that I say…ummmm DUH. Like we’d let our kids eat all of that candy and besides haven’t we EARNED it?!?

Tonight we’re recovering from our sugar hangovers and carving pumpkins. Wait, it’s November 1st, and we’re carving pumpkins? What? I have a strong dislike of carving pumpkins for a lot of reasons; the mess, the risks involved when children are playing with knives, the rate at which they rot once you carve into them, just to name a few. As I said, I’m a real bundle of joy this time of year. Last year I managed to convince the kids that painting the pumpkins was so much more fun than carving them, and they fell for it. This year I told them when we got them at the pumpkin patch that we should wait until close to Halloween to carve them so they don’t rot and so our pumpkin lovin’ dogs wouldn’t eat them. I thought I was home free as it had appeared that they had forgotten about it as we made it through all of last week and the entire weekend with nary a mention of doing it. UNTIL Sunday night, Halloween night. All of those jack o lanterns lighting up the night refreshed their memories and I was had. Darn all of you with your cutely carved pumpkins. So here we are, November 1st, carving pumpkins, putting a candle in them and setting them on our front porch. I’m sure the neighbors don’t think we’re strange or anything. Nothing new really.

On the bright side, I have a sizeable supply of Reese’s pumpkins and Sweetart Chews and it’s only 25 days until the best day of the year..Black Friday! And that’s the best part about Halloween…November 1st.