"Boys are found everywhere—on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them and Heaven protects them. A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair
and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket."
Author: Alan Beck

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Where has the time gone, and why do I always feel as though I start my blog posts with this sentence? Fall break came and went,and I'm trying to adjust to life without a house full of rowdy boys. It's nice to have calm and quiet every now and then, but I miss my noisy gents.

A quiet house is a lonely one.

On Sunday, Derek and I took the youngsters on a walk to enjoy the warm sun and beautiful fall colors.  We spend a lot of time outdoors, but this particular outing will always remain at the top of my list.  We were missing one boy, who was busy working off his debt at Dee and Papa's.  It was strange not having him with us, and even more peculiar to be counting to four every time I did a headcount....which I do quite frequently.  Though we missed his presence, he jumped at the opportunity to duck out of yet another family hike.  The boy is growing up, and I am not a fan.

Our journey was filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered. One of the first, was a row of abandoned nests from the little mud swallows who have flown south in search of warmer temps. 

There were plenty of snake holes, trap door spider caves, and other miscellaneous
 crevasses to explore.
Look at this view.  I could stare at this picture all day.  In fact, I may.
We helped a few silk weeds escape their pods. 
They whispered 'thanks' as they blew away
 in the wind.
Another picture that I could stare at forever.
This was taken right before I made him step away from the cliff.  It may look as though he's right at the shore, but don't let it fool you.  He was teetering at a death-defying 12 feet above the water.  He was also in a trance and seemed to be mesmerized by his surroundings. 
Love this nature-lovin' boy of mine
Well done, kids.  You didn't cut our heads off this time.
A hike is not a hike until you find a hopper or two....or three or four.
Is it just me, or could you stand in this spot and quickly forget all your cares
and worries in the world?
This picture isn't nearly as beautiful as the actual scene in real life.  The glistening leaves that lined the path mimicked the yellow brick road.  I was disappointed to find that the wizard
was not at the end.  I'd like to ask him for a few things.
Some of us find walking sticks, while others say 'screw it' and take the whole damn branch.
(I took 97 pictures.)
It's all fun and games til someone steps on a cactus. 
He wouldn't tell me his wish, but I'd venture to guess it had something to do with a hot dog, a steak, or a slab of ribs.  The boy NEVER.  STOPS.  EATING.
Looks like this caterpillar was just as hungry.
Items not pictured are, a water snake, a pair of mallards, a hawk, one ginormous ant hill, and one 11 year old who is too cool for nature walks. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mommy blues.

If your son left this morning for 6th grade camp, you're probably feeling a little blue today.

Feeling blue, will make you crave chocolate.

You'll keep busy, while chaperoning your kindergartners field trip, which will help you forget about the fact that your 11 year old just left for two days, which will help you avoid overindulgence in chocolate.


Your friend (and fellow field trip mom) tells you about the enticing no-bake cookies she made last night (it's all your fault, Charlene!)

Hearing about chocolaty no-bake cookies will make your mouth start to water, and your tummy begin to growl.

Driving home from the field trip, you'll turn the radio up EXTRA LOUD in an effort to drown the noises of your growling stomach. 

(it won't do much good)

Once home, you'll scour the cabinets for something sweet.  Reaching for a handful of candy corn (boring), you'll glance at the peanut butter jar. Seeing the peanut butter jar will remind you of the no-bake cookies your friend told you about.  In your mind, you'll run through the short list of ingredients she said they contained and hope that you have everything.

Crossing your fingers that you have what they call for, you'll google NO-BAKE COOKIES.

Googling NO-BAKE COOKIES will leave you with a bazillion different recipes.  You pick the one that looks the yummiest (sans gluten) and tweak it to your liking.  After tweaking, you'll begin to do the following:

Bring the following to a boil:

-1 3/4 cups sugar
-4 T. cocoa powder
-1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter

Once your mixture is boiling, you'll let it boil for exactly one minute, then mix in the following:

-1 t. vanilla
-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
-3 1/2 cups oats

You'll mix everything together, and drop these babies by the spoonful onto parchment (or waxed) paper.

You'll lick the pan clean.....really, you will.....and you'll let the rest set for an hour or so.  Then you'll try your best not to eat the entire batch before your kids get home.

Thinking of your kids will remind you that one of them won't be coming home for two days.  As you start to become blue, you'll remember the yummy chocolate treats you made.  As you begin to eat your third one, you'll decide that chocolate makes everything gloomy a teensy bit better.

The End.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bye bye, susan.

Do you have a lazy susan?

No, I am not referring to that weird aunt of yours, but rather the disturbing cabinet that sits (very lazily) in the corner of your kitchen.

You know the one.
Do you love your susan, or are you tired of her being, you know, LAZY?
If your susan is anything like my susan, she's dirty, stained, doesn't shut properly, and has the storage capability similar to a shoebox.  Though I think a shoebox could hold more.
Last week, my susan took her last breath.  I was trying (ever so gently) to organize her unkempt shelves.  I strategically placed my baking pans (and other misc. tools) on susans' two shelves.  I closed the door, which popped back open, like it always does.  As I tried to 'fix' the door, a rolling pin got wedged, and susan became even more defiant than ever before.
I ran to the garage (mummbling a few bad words on the way), grabbed a handful of tools, and did what should have been years ago.  I ripped susan out (not so gently).
In the process, I found a lot of dust, and a Dorito chip that just may be 10 or more years old.
No more susan.
I loaded my new storage space (no longer referred to a susan) with my baking pans, cookie sheets, and pie plates.
It looked a little bare, so I hung cup hooks and added my rolling pin, pot holders, and even hubby's BBQ tools to the new area.  But THEN I got the bestest idea ever!
(Yes, I'm perfectly aware that bestest isn't a true word.  However, it remains one of my favorites.)
I lined that sucker with a swank pattern of contact paper.  Oh happy day!
For a finishing touch, I painted the edge of the bottom corner using a black Sharpie paint pen.
Isn't it wonderful!  It's super functional, and amazingly adorable all at the same time.
That'll teach susan.

Friday, September 28, 2012

ME time.

Yowzers, life is busy. I used to try to envision what life would be like once all five boys were in school. Though I'm not the lounging, bon bon type, I pictured myself getting caught up on all my little projects, in between the time I'd spend baking, decorating, painting, and writing.  Id put my feet up every now and then and get lost in a book, with a piping hot cup of tea by my side.

What the hell happened?  Granted, all 5 boys aren't in school full time, but I do have exactly four hours per week where I'm the ONLY.  ONE.  HOME.

Here's the part where I need therapy.  Those precious 240 minutes are spent cleaning, folding, organizing, running (think errands, NOT treadmill), doing, volunteering, and partaking in many other ing's.

Funny thing is, I'm having a blast!  Who knew it would be so much fun to grocery shop alone, run in and out of stores alone, fold laundry (music blaring) alone, and scrub the kitchen floor when there are no little feet eager to traipse through your mop trail?

Life is good.  Damn good.

The crisp autumn air is the cherry that sits atop this blissful life of mine.  (Have you any idea how much I adore the declining temperatures?)  Bye bye shorts and flip flops.  Hello jeans and tall boots...I've been waiting (very impatiently) for you.

In other news, when I'm not folding, cooking, cleaning, and/or running (again, no treadmill), I can be found volunteering at the boys' school.  I think I may start sleeping there.  It'd be much easier than this back and forth gig.  Last week, the boys had field day and the two littles and I went to cheer them on. 

Here's a snippet-


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Best. Day. EVER.

Have a look at those leaves. It doesn't get more exciting. Fall has arrived, people! Today I am the happiest girl alive. It's pouring rain, and it's a brisk 55 degrees outside. I'm wearing jeans...did you hear that?  I'M WEARING JEANS, and sorting through my cookbooks trying to decide what I'll bake today. 

Today was the first day my boys have worn pants since at least March of this year. You know what that means -They all trotted off to school looking like the Cleaver's. None of them had pants that came past their ankles. Poor kids are bound to get 'the business' from their peeps today

My apologies, boys.

Look on the bright side.  At least you don't have a crazy Aunt Martha who demands you wear the short-pants suit she bought you to school.

Things could always be worse.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Buyer's Remorse

Last night I was invited to a 31 party, hosted by one of my awesome neighbors. If you're anything like me, you are reading this thinking, "what the heck is a 31 party?"

No, it has nothing to do with ice cream (though I wish they could somehow combine the two).

In short, 31 is a company that sells totes, bags, purses, etc. The catchy part is that YOU get to pick your own fabric, and can even personalize your bag with a monogram. If you're really lucky, you can even pick the color of your stitching. What's not to love? And, if you're like me, you get completely


when it comes to these types of home parties. I usually fall SO in love with the products, that I end up being a consultant. Speaking of, everyone OK with their Wildtree spices and oils? Let me know if you need to order anything.

Every inch of my neighbor's family room was sprinkled with lovely bags of all shapes, sizes, and colors.  Each one reached out to me as I walked by, but this one
and this one

grabbed hold of me ever so tightly. 

I bobbled back and forth between the two, comparing their pros and cons (I'm lying a tad about the con part - they had no cons).  Disaster struck the instant I was faced with the order form.  I quickly lost control of the muscles in my hand, and I accidentally ordered them both.


I ordered the shoulder bag in the grey fabric (shown to the right of the picture) with an A, embroidered in turquoise.  Further impaired by bad judgement, I went on to order the wristlet (in the black and white pattern on the top).

Crappity crap.

Today I'm suffering from an excruciating amount of guilt, remorse, regret, and shame....to name a few.

Before I go through with cancelling my order, I thought I should make a list of the top 10 reasons why I deserve these delightful items.  Here goes-

10.- Because I never buy things for myself (other than shampoo, toothpaste, underwear, and mascara...but not until it becomes completely dried out and clumpy).
9.- Because winter isn't coming fast enough and I'm continually faced with 90 degree days, which makes me grumpy.
8.- Because my husband is traveling for work this week, and I HATE.  BEING.  ALONE.
7.- Because I just ate a ham & hummus sandwich for lunch.
6.- Because I woke up late this morning and made my husband's lunch, my kids' lunches, packed their backpacks, and made homemade pancakes (in the shape of storm troopers, Darth Vader, and Yoda) in less than 45 minutes.
5.- Because a shoulder bag with a turquoise A would make me giddy.
4.- Because a wristlet would come in handy for places where lugging a large purse around is frowned upon (Like when we visit our farm.  Farmgirl's don't carry big purses.).
3.- Because Christmas is 105 days away.
2.- Because today is my 13th wedding anniversary, and my husband and I have no plans to go anywhere, do anything, or buy any gifts.  My husband could give me the shoulder bag, and I could give him the wristlet.  Being the manly man he is, he wouldn't have any use for the wristlet, so he would kindly re-gift it to me.  He's always been very giving.
1.- Because I'm Amy, mother of 5 amazing boys, wife of 13 amazing years, and DARN IT.....I'm  kinda worth it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Life on the prairie can be cruel.

Labor Day weekend was this wannabe-farmgirl's dream come true.

Horse rides...
after horse rides...
after horse rides...
after horse rides.

Throw in a few tractor rides,

and some campfires,

and you've got yerself one heck of a good time!

Just when things couldn't seem more perfect, this little lady got the bright idea to learn how to gallop off into the sunset.

The first go-round went smooth as can be. The second? Well, not so much. Starlight, the three year old mare (who was sweet as pie to my boys, thank goodness), decided she had had enough of me. She reared once, she reared twice, and the third time she successfully threw me towards the moon.


No, seriously....OUCH.

I landed square on my my right hip, which inevitably, landed me here-

I'm bruised and banged up, and I've got a backside that could rival Kim Kardashian.

(beauty is not pain-free.)

To Starlight, the spirited mare-

throw me once, shame on you.

Throw me twice.....well, that just isn't going to happen.

Prepare yourself, girl.  You and I have only just begun.