Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pink My Ride

Reason 2,098,878 Why I Love My Husband

It's the little things in life...

On the way to church Sunday, the back passenger side tire on the Princess Mobile blew out. GI Joe garbed in his Sunday best, aptly and quickly changed the tire, missing only Sunday School but still making it in time for church. The kids and I hitched a ride with the MIL so we didn't have to miss Sunday School and also because had I been trapped in the car with 3 grouchy, fighting children any longer than necessary I might've hurt one of them and it's probably unholy to beat your kids on Sunday. Probably.

Tire changed, GI Joe made it to church, kids still alive=a successful Sunday morning.

Fast forward to Monday morning when I went to leave for work and noticed that now the front tire on the PMobile was flat. Yay for me for actually noticing, because there may or may not have been other times in my driving life where I did not take notice of such things and drove indeterminate distances with flat or low tires. Yay for GI Joe because he told me to take his truck to work so I wouldn't be late and he would deal with the new flat tire. Yay again for me for not hitting ANYTHING, moving or unmoving, with the big boy truck. Also, yay for XM radio which GI Joe has in his truck but I do not have in the PMobile, so I got to listen to 90's on 9 AND HairNation on the way to work and nothing starts a Monday off better than a little "Poison" and "Boys II Men".

GI Joe called me later in the morning to let me know that now all 4 tires were flat and he had pulled out nails from 3 of them. No, I haven't been cruising thru construction sites lately nor have I driven thru piles of nails, that I'm aware of. The best we can figure is that our road was recently graded AND it's harvest time meaning there are a lot of tractors and hay racks and things with nails on them that could easily come off and on to the road and of course I had to find every last one of them. Darn "real" farmers with their harvest nonsense.

Basically, what started out as just airing up one tire turned into an all day event for GI Joe. By the time I got home from work on Monday afternoon all tires were aired up and ready to go and THESE were sparkling in the sun.

Here, let's take a closer look, they are just so beautiful.

That's right, PINK valve stem caps. Who knew?!? He saw these when picking up other tire fixing supplies and thought I had to have them. And he was right. They were the first things I noticed about my (non flat tires). Not that they weren't flat anymore just that they had pretty pink things on them. I'm observant like that.

I love him not only for his brains, his good looks, his ability to fix tires, but also because he put pink valve stem caps on my PMobile, knowing full well that he too drives it on occasion (ie: weekends, vacations, etc). Giving up a little bit of his manhood just to hear me say, "OH THEY'RE SOOOOO PRETTY!" in my highest pitched girl voice? Now THAT'S love my friends.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls with the Most Preceding Adjectives Ever Known to a Recipe

Ice Cream Caramal SIN-amon Rolls

I haven’t shared a recipe with you, my dear readers for awhile, and it’s not that I’ve been on a kitchen hiatus or that I don’t have any good ones to share because that’s not the case. I’m still cooking up a storm and trying new recipes left and right. I’ve come to the realization that sometimes I use baking/cooking to avoid doing household tasks I do not enjoy such as laundry and cleaning toilets. So if there’s a toilet to be cleaned then by golly, I’m baking up a new concoction instead. This little “dependency” I have may require therapy to overcome. On second thought, probably not, now that we’ve recently assigned the kids an updated chore list that includes but is not limited to cleaning their bathroom toilet. YES! Finally, having kids is paying off! Bake on!

Wow, longest intro to a recipe ever huh? I have no future as a food blogger.

Back to the good stuff. Over Labor Day we spent a fabulous weekend with my entire family at my Dad and Smom’s (stepmom has such a negative connotation so I’m hereby creating a new friendlier word) house in Council Bluffs , IA. My Smom Evie is famous for quite a few things: 1) her infamous laugh/snort 2) her hairstyling abilities 3) rescuing my dad from a life of boredom, pedophile sunglasses, and Velcro tennis shoes and last but not least 4) her breakfast feasts, just to name a few. I’ve shared an Evie original with you before that is one of our family favorites. Over Labor Day however, she introduced us to a whole new world (on a magic carpet ride) of sweet rolls, and for that I will be eternally indebted to her. Well, that and making my dad happy and being a wonderful smom, grandma, friend, etc, etc.

I’ve made these Ice Cream Caramel SINammon Rolls no less than 5 times in the month and a half since she brought them into our lives. I have recipe ADD so for me to make anything more than twice in a month is speaking volumes of it’s deliciousness. Typically, I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon rolls AND I’m not a morning person. The fact that the repeat recipe is cinnamon rolls AND requires me to be somewhat coherent in the morning is a testament to it’s greatness.

Come, let me share this whole new world with you. I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder..... (Name that tune.)

1 bag of Rhode’s Cinnamon Rolls (12 ct.)

1 c. vanilla ice cream (or flavor of your choice, butter brickle, cinnamon, caramel swirl would also be good choices)
1 c. brown sugar
1 stick butter
Follow package instructions to allow rolls to rise. Place 12 rolls into a 9x13 pan. And yes, go ahead and make all 12, trust me. Preheat oven to 350.

In a saucepan, combine 1 c. ice cream, 1 c. brown sugar, and 1 stick of butter. Stir constantly and heat to boiling. Let boil, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes or until it’s a beautiful caramel color. You should probably taste test at this point.

Now this is where it gets good, pour this caramel mixture over the rolls. Yes. It may seem like a lot of liquid but I wouldn’t lead you astray. Bake according to roll package directions. After suggested time, check them, as you may need to bake for 5-10 minutes more to allow the middle to bake thoroughly. All of the rolls should be a nice golden brown. Also, blow out the Yankee candle because your kitchen will smell like heaven from these. You’re welcome.

Once they are done baking, take them out of the oven and frost immediately with frosting packets provided in the Rhode’s package. That’s right, caramel sauce AND frosting, breakfast of champions my friends.

Best served warm with a spoonful of heaven’s nectar (aka caramel sauce) spooned over the roll.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I've been neglect recently in giving you an update on Holy Cow and I'm sure you've been wondering. 

My fears of him being malnourished and too skinny have long since subsided because check out the milk gut on this guy.

Whoa duuuude, lay off the sweet feed! 

But seriously, I love this cow more than probably what is socially acceptable to love your livestock.  I can't help it though, I mean look at him. 

I'm still working on teaching him to sit and shake.  It's going as to be expected for a bovine at his age.  Some tell me it may be impossible for him to sit due to logistics and anatomy and blah, blah blah but I've always been one to push the envelope so if there's ever a cow that will sit, it shall be mine.  

We're also working on halter training him so that eventually I can put his halter on him and take him for walks around the countryside.  Wouldn't that be delightful?  The neighbors already tend to look at me funny when they drive by and see me DRAGGING Holy around the barnyard because someone is slightly resistant to being led on a halter.  But for now I win because I'm a tough farm girl and can still drag him around.  Yes, it gives me an awesome upper body strength workout.  Give him a few months though and we may be putting those mule/donkeys to work letting them halter break him.  Were you aware that donkeys are used to halter train calves?  That's totally why I got them...not.   

Holy and I wish you a Happy Moo-nday! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just So I Can Say I Blogged Twice in One Week Again!

If you came looking for more x-rated pictures, there’s nothing to see here. I posted my fair share of those yesterday. Now we’re back to good, wholesome, clean fun normal.

My head hurts (could be brandy withdrawals) and I can’t really think nor type in coherent sentences so here are a hodge podge of things that I’m sure you’ve just been dying to know…or not, but you’re here now and just like a wreck you just can’t help but look. So read on friend, read on.

*SOMEHOW, I am in charge of Ryder’s class Halloween party. Clearly, I was under the influence of something (I have my suspicions) when I signed up for that at the open house in August. I just sent out my first email to the other moms who had signed up to help, not CHAIR it, as that was all me (hello Type A). After sending the witty, slightly sarcastic, “let’s do this” type email it occurred to me that not everyone on that email distribution may get or appreciate my humor. I’m quite certain that there will be kids absent from the Halloween party because their parents felt it best to pick up their kids early from school that day rather than expose them to the crazy lady running their Halloween party. I keep forgetting that when reading what I write not everyone hears it the way I do in my head. So weird. On the bright side, Ryder tells me that this party is the most anticipated of the year because “Ryder’s mom” is in charge again and remember last year when she let us play with toilet paper and stuff?!? Yeah I know kids, it’s a gift.

*Hypothetically speaking, IF I dropped my ATM card in a clean toilet in the bathroom at work, I would in fact reach in and get it out, gagging the whole time. And then I would, hypothetically, wash it and my hands thoroughly with soap and hot water, and then SLATHER it in hand sanitizer. And then I would wash my hands again 17 more times and still feel slightly nauseous at the thought of using that hand to eat or prepare any type of food so would use my left hand for the rest of the day.  Hypothetically, of course. Because if that happened in real life I’d probably throw up a little every time I went to use my card. Wait, how could GI Joe have orchestrated such a thing?

*Has this ever happened to you?  Let's say you were shopping in a store and when you go to leave the store you can't find your keys in your purse.  So then you dig thru the contents of your purse, get really mad because you still can't find them so you then retrace all of your steps back thru the store which were aplenty because you are a shopper and must check out every single area.  You get even madder because you still can't find them and have now just spent 10 minutes retracing your steps.  So then you go out to your truck in the hopes that maybe you left them in there as you sometimes accidentally do.  On your way out to your truck, you happen to reach into the pocket of your jacket and are holding on to your keys as if they weren't the very item  you've just spent half your life looking for and it takes you, honest to goodness, a good 30 seconds before you realize, "Oh hey!  There's my keys!!!"  Ever happened to you?  Yeah me either, just wondering.  :) 

*The other day I stopped at Costco after work for some necessities (not eggs though..booyah!).  The end.  Just kidding there's so much more to the story.  If you're familiar with Costco you know that they are the sample mecca, every day of the week.  Sometimes we'll go there on a Saturday around lunchtime and tell the kids, "If you're still hungry after we shop/eat our way thru Costco" we'll go have lunch."  Oft times, no lunch is needed.  So I was sampling shopping my way thru and had a delightful sample of a Triple Chocolate Ghiradelli Brownie.  Thumbs up on that one by the way, I'm sold.  Approximately, three hours later after I'd checked out at Costco, ran into the gas station to pay for my gas, passed numerous people in nearby cars, said hello to my family, took Dakota to piano lessons, talked to her piano teacher about upcoming schedules, I happened to look in the rearview mirror and see a huge smear of chocolate on my cheek.  And we're not talking a little bit, we're talking like somehow half the brownie ended up on my cheek and NO ONE HAD SAID A WORD.  Niiiice.  Word to the wise, after sampling go ahead and use the complimentary napkin to wipe your mouth and face even if you don't think you've got anything on it.  You can just never be too careful. 

*Last weekend it was Hicks+Six at the Koons Zoo.  We had SIX kids from Friday night til
Sunday afternoon, and by we, I mean mostly me as GI Joe was off playing Army for most of the time.  Three of which were ours and the other three were my good friend Denise's.  The oldest of which is named after me.  Seriously!  Her first name is Holly and it was on purpose!  Isn't that the coolest?  Also the coolest?  That although I don't see lil' Holly every day somehow she is a mini me.  Very matter of fact, opinionated, bossy, knows what she wants and not afraid to tell you, and sweet, of course.  It was a trip, she cracks me up.  For example, she was not a fan of my cooking.  I had made sloppy joes for lunch on Saturday (because what kid doesn't like sloppy joes?) and her exact words were, "Big Holly this is like yucky chili I'm just gonna eat the chips."  :)  Her sisters are younger than her at 4 and 2.  So here's the thing with that.  I had forgotten in the 3+ years we've been out of the toddler stage just how demanding and exhausting it is.  Toddlers are like, soooo high maintenance what with their having to be constantly watched, waited on, fed, and changed.  I was dead woman walking by Sunday afternoon but we had fun and I don't think they were too traumatized by their weekend with Big Holly.  Although I, on the other hand, am still building my self esteem up after being called BIG HOLLY for the whole weekend.  Ouch.  This was my big accomplishment...getting 6 kids showered, dressed, fed, and to church ON TIME.  And I did it!  Here's proof.  Yay me! 
Maybe I could be a Duggar after all.  Except that after a weekend with 6 I realized just how content I was having only 3 kids, until they started driving me crazy and I thought maybe no kids sounded pretty darn good.  So yeah Michelle Duggar you go on with your bad self (and hair.) 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


A few Saturdays ago, we took a little family outing to a nearby Pumpkin Patch.  We'd not been to this one before but you can see it a plethora of bounce houses/slides from the interstate and that's all the more advertising it takes for our children to be sold.  Well played Patch's Pumpkin. 
We did the usual pumpkin patch things such as.....

Pet a donkey (can't do this at home due to GI Joe's No Donkey policy...oh wait....hee hee.)

Ride a moo train that we may or may not be too big for

Pick a few pumpkins...obviously

Those were all lovely, family friendly activities but then there were X rated activities....AT A PUMPKIN PATCH!  I KNOW WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?  You've been warned, now please use parental discretion when viewing the rest of the pictures. 

So once we did all the G rated stuff, it got a little wild and crazy because then we...

Jumped in a giant  boob pumpkin
That's some Double P if I've ever seen it.  SERIOUSLY?!?  Tell me I'm not the only one who sees it, especially considering what we did next.

And climbed thru the birth canal of a caterpillar
Dilated to 9? 

Wait, WHAT?  Is it just me or is this just downright disturbing?  Thankfully, the kids were delightfully oblivious as I really wasn't prepared to have "that" talk at the pumpkin patch, I mean I'd much rather let an episode of TLC's "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" explain it for them.  So instead GI Joe and I had to snicker like junior high boys when the kids weren't looking and smile and say "How cool!" when the kids kept being delivered crawling out of the caterpillar. 

That was one trip to the pumpkin patch we won't soon forget.  Perhaps we'll go back when it's time to have "the talk" so we'll have visuals to refer to.  Thanks Patch's Pumpkins for an informative, fun, yet shocking visit.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Call off the Amber Alert, I’m not missing, I’m not hospitalized, I’m not incarcerated, I’m just a bad blogger.

Here are a list of my excuses:

*Suffered a severe head injury last week when the trunk of the Princess Mobile came down on my noggin. It hurt, people. And it may or may not have affected my ability to blog coherently. So really, no different than normal.

*Internet issues on the homefront and while I do have a “smartphone” (although is it really a smartphone since I have been thru 8 of them and had to actually run it over to get one that works properly for more than a month?) and could potentially blog via my phone, my fingers are much too fat to do so.

*Celebrating GI Joe’s birthday “weekend”. Yes, I get a month, he gets a weekend, what of it? Where’s the sappy birthday post you might ask? It’s all right here…in my heart.

*Blogger’s block. I went from brimming with posts to barely being able to muster up this poor excuse for a post. It could be the head injury (see above) or it could be that I just suck. I have approximately 17 unfinished posts sitting there waiting to be finished, some of which are 3 months old. You don’t mind do you? Relevancy isn’t probably something you’re expecting when you come to this blog anyway is it?

*And last but not least, I’ve been very busy accidentally buying donkeys. Sometimes it’s easy for a girl to get confused while at an animal auction and to think she’s buying some adorable mules, a mother and a baby. Only to discover when she gets home and her wonderful donkey hating husband lovingly points out to her that 1) mules don’t reproduce (fun fact: mules are the product of a rendevezous between a donkey and a horse but mules themselves are sterile and do not make baby mules. To get a baby mule you have to breed a donkey with a horse. See, I told you this was an educational blog.) 2) THEY ARE DONKEYS. Ummm oops. You’ve had that happen right, you bought a donkey thinking it was a mule? Who hasn’t really? I mean donkeys and mules are so easily confused. Oh and did I mention that since the inception of the Koons Zoo, GI Joe has had a strict “No Donkey Policy”? He finds their braying (that’s the noise they make, HEE HAW) very, very intolerable. In my defense, I passed on the 3 mini donkeys that were sold prior to the mules/donkeys because as bad as I wanted one because they were SOOOO cute, I didn’t want to violate the No Donkey Policy. I’m a good wife like that. But when these mules/donkeys were brought out into the auction ring I could’ve sworn I heard someone say they were mules and I believe that someone was my very equine savvy daughter so I had no reason to doubt. She denies all allegations of involvement and says I’m crazy. Whatever. But the auctioneer never, ever said they were donkeys either, he just kept referring to them as a Jack and a Jinny. And me, being a wannabe farm girl just assumed that’s what female and male mules were called, just like donkeys, either that or someone had already named them. I saw their cute faces and got caught up in the heat of the auction moment and the auctioneer calling me out, forcing me to keep bidding on the mama and then practically giving the baby to me. What’s a girl to do? Well, I’ll tell you what this girl did. She bought herself a pair of “mules”. And you’ll be happy to know that even though those mules turned out to be donkeys, therefore violating the “No Donkey Policy” I am still married. Hooray! GI Joe is still adjusting to being the proud owner of 2 donkeys but I’ve done my part by taking their picture with his phone and making it the default that pops up everytime I call him or email him. He loves it and he really loves me, obviously.

See, don’t I have a nice ass?

What's not to love? 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Habitat for Insanity

Monday of this week, I put my vast array of construction skills to good use and volunteered to work on a Habitat for Humanity house. And by vast array of construction skills, I mean I have a pink hammer and am really good at coming up with DIY projects for GI Joe to do and then overseeing them to completion. Clearly, I was an invaluable asset to Habitat for Humanity.

I went with a group of my coworkers, many of them whom I did this with last year. Here’s a picture of Annette and I working very hard last year. On SCAFFOLDING!
Sadly, Annette wasn’t able to join us this year but was with us in spirit.

Last year when we went, we spent the day framing and insulating the house. This year our group signed up a little later in the building process, meaning the stuff that required my pink hammer and nails was already done leaving us to prime and entire house including ceilings…in 10 hours. 

I'm writing this from heaven because I'm actually dead right now.  10 hours of hard, manual, exhausting labor on a Monday?!?  Yep, dead.

Also, of note, they wouldn' t let us have any input in paint colors so we had to paint everything boring white.  That was painful for a color lover like myself ('92-'94).  We even offered to do a little decorating, maybe paint an accent wall a bolder color, make a fall wreath on the door, you know make it a little more homey,  but our suggestions and input was unwelcomed.  Ouch Habitat that one stung. 

Here's a recap of our day:

Someone exposed their crack problem.
*picture shown with expressed permission of crack bearer

We made giant milkshakes with this really cool mixer.

Someone came out of the closet.  We were supportive.

Some people did a lot of this at the water/snack tent.

Not naming any names, just sayin'.  Ahem....

And we painted...ALOT.

As in so much, that I couldn't grip my hairdryer the next day.  That's a problem.

Some highlights from the day:
*The beef jerky at the water/snack tent that was right outside of our house.  Seriously, we were like kids in a candy store with that stuff.  I guess all that hard labor makes you crave a little protein. 

*Our House Leader aka Slave Driver who was on us like flies on honey.  Apparently, she didn't get the memo that our priorities were in the following order:  Fun First, Safety First (but actually second), and finally, working.   She was all about the working for some reason.  Why must some people be such spoil sports?

*When we got kicked out of our house for 45 minutes because they had to pressurize it so we got an extra long lunch.  SCORE!

*FREE lunch! 

*When I was mobbed by blog fans screaming "Prairie Princess! Prairie Princess!"  Highlight of my day.  It's not every day you're walking back from your extra long, free lunch and hear adoring fans screaming your blogger name while your coworkers look at you like they had no idea you were a celebrity.  But that's exactly what happened.  And it was awesome, once I got over the initial shock of people I'd never seen before yelling my blogger name.  Nice to meet you Becky and Alisha (I really hope those are the right names, forgive me if they're not, I was slightly high on paint fumes), next time I'll try to have a Sharpie on me to sign something for you.  :) 

*When we got to ride the "party bus" back to where our cars were parked at the end of the day.  True story, our shuttle bus was a party bus complete with disco lights, Lady Gaga on the stereo and stripper poles.  Sadly, we were all far too exhausted to take advantage of such amenities.  Perhaps if we'd taken the party bus TO the house in the morning we'd had a little more "oomph" in our day.

*The main highlight of the day?  THE END OF THE DAY.  I have a whole new appreciation for those in construction.  I couldn't wait to get back to my nice comfy desk chair the next day.  Of course once I got to my desk the next day, I had to type all day with a pencil between my teeth because I couldn't move any of my appendages, but that's a small price to pay in the name of community service.

Congratulations to the homeowners who will be moving into the Habitat house that my coworkers and I poured our blood, sweat, and tears  into.  (The tears were only from some of us and not til 4:30 when all the other habitat volunteers on the block were getting ready to leave and we were still slaving away with no end in sight because our house leader was still cracking the whip) into. We hope you'll enjoy and we'll totally understand if you paint over our boring white paint job with a more pleasant, aesthetically pleasing color. Just don't call us to help you with it because to be honest I still can't lift my arm above my head.