Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last post of 2009

I figured I could squeeze one more post out before the year ends. 2009 has been a rough road. A really really rough road. But, it's finally over and I'm hoping that 2010 brings much more happiness and less turmoil. I am thankful for many things that happened this year, despite all the things that went wrong. I'm thankful for finding my way back to JD. And for Jason's bi polar disorder finally getting under managable control. I can't even describe how greatful I am to have a normal 10 year old. I'm greatful that I have The Bestfriend in my life, and I hope that 2010 is easier on her than 2009 was. And I'm greatful for the most amazing husband on earth... even when he irriates me, I don't know what I'd do without him. And I feel like my cooking has definitly reached a higher level this year, so that's definitly a good thing.

Speaking of cooking.. my fondue was a-freakin-mazing. So yummy. Pinot Grigio, gruyere, and provolone. It was yummy. Way yummy.

I decided that I'm not making a cake from scratch for the cake balls. But the store didn't have red velvet cake mix. :( So.. I took a page from JD's book and got an orange supreme cake mix, some cream cheese frosting and milk chocolate bark for the coating. I've got the cake cooling, and I think it's just about ready, so I'm gonna go get started on them.

Happy New Year!!

Okay, I'm done

Pouting that is. Hormones are a beautiful thing, aren't they? It's really not a big deal.. I just thought a party sounded fun. But Beatles Rock Band and Fondue with the fam sounds pretty good, too. :)

Another lame new year's shaping up to be anyway. Everyone cancelled. Everyone. :( Is my house really that bad? Why do people never want to come to our gatherings? I mean, I know my house is small. And I know I have a lot of kids, but damn. I invited several people to come enjoy fondue and cake truffles with us and all of them would rather just stay home. I'm just going to save myself the huge letdown I always feel when people cancel or decline and stop inviting people over. Yes, I'm in a pissy mood. It's my party and it's turning out lame so I'll cry if I want to. And yeah, I really do feel like crying about it. And I do know how pathetic that sounds. I'm blaming my hormones.

So happy new year. Big fucking deal.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Word of Caution:


I should have just eaten the damn cake and been happy.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

By default, my answer to this question has always been a resounding "Chocolate!". But the older I get, the more and more I am coming to realize how much I love vanilla... and how much I usually prefer vanilla. Like right now. I'm looking at a box of ding dongs (chocolate cakes with chocolate coating and cream centers).. or bavarian cake rolls (vanilla cake with bavarian flavored cream, which is vanilla).. and the bavarian cake rolls are so winning. But I think I'm going to be good and resist both and get on the treadmill instead. And then I can have a cake guilt free. LOL

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cake Truffles

Last weekend, we were at The Husband's sisters house. She had these lovely little "red velvet cake balls", a holiday treat she received from a co-worker. It was like a truffle (the dessert type), but made of cake. It was extremely moist inside, and double dipped in white chocolate. It was DEVINE. Utterly devine. The Sister-in-law did not know how it was made though. At first I thought perhaps the cake was not cooked all the way, and left doughy.. maybe change the ratio of liquids up to more like a brownie? I did not know. But I needed to know. Apparently the co-worker only gives out the balls.. never the recipe. I can't blame her. That's how I am about The Cinnamon Roll. So I did what any sane food addict would do. I googled. "Red velvet cake truffle". And did my wondering eyes find? The easiest recipe I've ever encountered. No wonder the lady won't give it out. It tastes complated and it's 3 things. Boxed things. One red velvet cake, made according to package directions (this is sounding more and more like a paula deen recipe LOL).. one can of cream cheese frosting, white chocolate bark. Once the cake is completely cooled, crumble it all up. Mix in 3/4 of the frosting, stir it up (this is why it was so moist and brownie like even though it was cake), and form into balls. Dip em twice in the melted chocolate bark and there you go! I'm so making these. Whether or not I use box mix and canned frosting remains to be seen. I have a kick ass red velvet cake, and cream cheese frosting is about as easy as opening a can. We'll see. I might be a rebel and use the damn box!

Oh, how did I know it was boxed cake and not scratch cake? The color. Only boxed red velvet has that particular shade of dark red. Duncan Hines brand, was my guess. LOL Which is not always a bad thing, I don't think. My motto used to be "Duncan Hines does it better than me".. until I found The Cake recipe that works on everything, and gave up the boxes. That was just this year, so I'm definitly not a Duncan Hines hater. I'm just loving that my scratch baked items get such raves. :) But this was a truffle. I'm not sure it really matters if it's scratch or box once you mix in creamy frosting and roll it in chocolate. I'm not sure it matters at all. :P

And since I think this truffle would be great with some champagne (or persecco in my house).. this is going to be a New Years Eve treat. :)

Spaghetti Ham Carbonara

I made another "Christmas Dinner" for Sunday Dinner yesterday... HEB had the most awesome "meal deal" when you bought a ham.. so even though The Sister made the ham for Christmas Dinner, we got ourselves one, too. I made it yesterday with some cheesy au gratin potatoes and more baked beans. We have lots of ham leftover, as well as baked beans.. but since we've had that twice now.. I wanted to do something different with the ham tonight.

I thought about omlettes or the like.. but I really have to be in the mood for eggs.. and I am definitly not in an egg mood tonight. But I have tons of them. I was thinking perhaps a pasta stratta or something.. so I put 4 ingredients in the allrecipes thing.. pasta ham cheese eggs. And I got something different than stratta.. I got hurry up ham carbonara. Hey! That sounds good! And it's not eggy. Perfect! I modified the recipe to my liking (of course LOL).. and am planning to get started as soon as I hit "publish post". Picture and recipe (with my new cam :P) are to follow. :) Wish me luck! It's been a while since I've done a carbonara. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël!

What a day! I made the stupidest (most stupid?) Christmas mistake this year. We waiting until 11:46pm on Christmas Eve to begin wrapping presents. For 5 kids. Yeah. STUPID. Needless to say we didn't get to bed until about 5am this morning. We let the kids stay up pretty late, in hopes they would sleep in.. Which probably would have worked had the Idiot Dog not decided to run up and down the hall barking like a maniac at 8:00am, effectively waking the entire house up.

Dave and I tried to pretend it wasn't happening.. but when Andy came in our room with his new orange fishing pole that Santa left him, hitting everything in sight with the tip of it.. we knew we were just going to have to make it on 3 hours of sleep.

Everyone was super excited about all the gifts they received from Santa and from us.. The wii got huge exlamations of joy.. The Beatles Rock Band was practically ripped from the box in excitement. The EasyBake Oven made two pretty girls ecstatic. And the new pink Cannon A1100-something or other camera that Santa left for mommy took a bunch of really great pictures. :) Now if only my retarded laptop would allow me to install the camera software so I can transfer the pics from camera to laptop We'd be set. LOL Oh and if the drums and guitars for The Beatles Rock Band would fix themselves and be recognized by the xbox, that'd be awesome too. Oh and why doesn't the EasyBake oven come with the darn lightbulb? And why is the printing on the box so freakin small I'm not even sure it was there when I looked the box over to see if everything was included, or if it magically appeared while riding in santa's sled? So.. no lightbulb cookies brownies or cakes for us this evening. But tomorrow, when the dollar store opens up Daddy is gong to rectify the problem, as well as get the batteries mom forgot to buy for the boys flashlights. LOL

The Sister made the ham, and I made the sides.. homemade baked mac n cheese and homemade brown sugar baked beans, a raisin sauce for the ham, and yummy soft yeast rolls. Last night, I put together two breakfast treats for this morning.. One an egg, bacon and sausage casserole thing.. and the other a caramel "monkey bread" coffee cake. Which was frozen yeast rolls sprinkles with butterscotch pudding, brown sugar and melted butter.. then left to rise overnight.. once cooked they turned into this big soft ring of bread covered in caramel sauce.. and because the yeast rolls start out individually, they pull apart easily. I made the ring in the new bundt pan that Jason gave me. It's a holiday wreath style bundt pan... He found it at a garage sale on a table labeled "free".. and brought it home, wrapped it in a pillow case (LMAO, so cute.. he couldn't find paper and tape), criss crossed two candycanes on top of it and put it under the tree. He made me open it on Sunday when everyone was opening gifts The Mother so that I could use it for Christmas. I was excited when I found something yummy to do with it. It turned out great, and I we have a new holiday tradition. I'll make the caramel coffee cake in that pan every Christmas morning. :) Make ahead breakfast yummies for Christmas morning rock. I know tons of people do it, but this was my first time. I'm totally sold! :)

We spent Christmas Eve baking and decorating cookies, listening to Christmas music, and playing outside during the 1 hour of snow flurries we had. And eating lots of bad for us food.. queso with sausage, some english cheese that had cranberries in it, brie en croute, and cookies. Lots and lots of cookies! I made chocolate peppermint pinwheel cookies (so pretty, the kids were way impressed), chocolate crinkles with a hershey hugs pressed in, and of course the standard cut out sugar cookies. Can we say SUGAR RUSH!? LOL

And what I love the most.. is that in the midst of all of this chaos that naturally occures when presents and cookies are involved with a family of seven, my children still took the time to remember that today was Jesus' birthday and remembered to celebrate not only the visit from Santa and all the new gifts.. but to celebrate the birth of their Lord. :)

Buon Natale!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hectic Life

I've been a very bad blogger lately. But I'm pretty sure no one ever reads this, so no biggie I guess. Things have gone from hectic to crazy with Christmas approaching.. but I'm enjoying it. I didn't enjoy the 5 straight hours of cleaning Sunday afternoon in preperation of The Mother coming for a visit. We had a mini Christmas party with her and her boyfriend and The Brother and his fam came over too. We had mexican food. The Mother lives veddy veddy close to the Texas/Mexico border and as such is privy to the most amazing tamales you've ever eaten. She brought up 5 and a half dozen. Heaven! To go along with The Most Amazing Tamales in the World, I mad a pot of chicken tortilla soup. In the new 6qt red with white interior enameled cast iron dutch oven The Husband gave me!!! I called him from the store and asked him to please wash out my big stock pot (that was sitting in the fridge with leftover spaghetti and meatballs because I couldn't find a tupperware LOL) and he kind of hesitates and goes "okay..." and I'm thinking man, I suck.. He's been so helpful today with all the cleaning and here I am asking him to do something else..." We hang up after I tell him he's The Most Amazing Man Ever and I literally run through the grocery store parking lot in order to get home and get the soup started before everyone starts showing up.

I get home and I drop some bags immediatly inside the front door and rush back out to the car for The Mother's requiset can of popcorn that I get her for Christmas every year. As I did that I let The Husband know that it was finally dark enough outside to see which lightbulbs needed to be replaced on the Christmas lights. He says okay and starts walking down the sidewalk and then pauses and goes "your pot is on the stove". I get in the house and look at the stove and see my sparkly new red pot that I've lusted after for years and years with a Christmas bow on top of it. I squeeled in delight and turned on my heel ran down my front walk around the garage and jumped into The Husband's arms screaming I love you I love you I love you!! He laughed and said "I didn't say WHICH pot was on the stove". I told him he was a bad boy though because he keeps giving me my presents early! LOL But I was so not complaining and ran back to the house and fired that baby up!

And can I just say.. it was the most awesome Chicken Tortilla Soup EVAH. Everyone said so. The Nephew went nuts over it. Even The Pickiest Eater in All The Land loved it. It was totally thanks to the pot. It had to be. :)

I even enjoyed washing it. By hand. And drying it. And placing it proudly right back on the stove for all to see and adore. *I* finally own a pot worthy of making Coq Au Vin in. :) Ina's Coq Au Vin. I can't freakin wait!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kid Quote #567

From Justin after Jason informed us that Justin's new girlfriend (what?!?!) wears glasses and his old crush now wears glasses too: "Hey I'm attracted to girls who wear glasses, what can I say" LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!! He used those exact words. I snorted coffee out my nose. :P

French Toast

So I totally stumbled on something today, completely by accident because I was making an emergency substitution. And it turned out awesome, and I'm pretty sure this is how I'll do it from now on. :)

I was making myself some french toast for breakfast this morning.. Yes, just myself. No one else was home. And I wonder why my pants are tight. Anyway.. back to the recipe. I already had the bread cut, and the butter melting in my new stainless steel sautee pan, and had already cracked the eggs and added cinnamon, clove and a wee bit of maple extract. I open the fridge to grab the milk. Uhm. Where's the milk?? Damn kids. No worries, there is heavy cream and half and half in the garage fridge... And I think "this is good.. heavy cream would be so much better for the custard anyway!". So I go to the garage fridge for my heavy cream. Apparently it's time to defrost and clean that fridge because the heavy cream was frozen solid. As was the half a half. Not wanting to wait for either to thaw (damnit the butter was ready to go and my stomach was growling in anticipation).. But what else am I to do? So I decide to set the container of heavy cream down into a bowl of warm water and make a cup of coffee while I waited.. as I grab my french vanilla liquid coffee creamer out of the fridge I glance over at the eggs in the bowl and think "what the hell! if it sucks, I can just toss it".. So I add in the creamer and went on with making my breakfast.

And let me just say.. HOLY COW! The sugar in the creamer made the toast caramelize a bit, which made it sweet and crispy.. and since it was actual french bread, it was all soft inside. It was so damn good!!! And the vanilla flavor in the creamer made it so perfect. Seriously. This is my new secret weapon for french toast. Well I guess it's not so secret now. LOL

And yes, I was a good girl and made up for this decadent breakfast on my treadmill. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


So the other day, The Husband came in with two boxes of new knives for me. This might seem a little unromantic to most.. but to me, it's the most romantic gift EVER! The only thing that could top these knives is the $600 Le Crueset 6qt orange Dutch oven that I've coveted for YEARS. And that includes diamonds and lingerie. I freaking LOVE good kitchen knives. And for Christmas he usually gets me a new kitchenaid knife. I've always settled for these knives.. they aren't great knives and they get dull fast.. but they aren't cheap Faberware knives either. They were a decent compromise and Dave has an electric belt sander sharpening thing that he keeps my knives in good condition with. In the kitchenaid knives, I've got the 8in santoku, the meat slicer, the bread knife, and the santoku shaped paring knife. The paring knife is definitly not my favorite. It doesn't have a sharp point, therefore can't be used for much. I've been wanting a new one for a while. And my santoku isn't strong enough to really get through some things, like seperating a chicken leg and thigh from each other... Yes, I totally get into cutting a whole chicken apart, cooked OR raw. Doesn't matter. Chopping fresh veggies is relaxing to me. I can't imagine buying prechopped veggies because that is half the fun of cooking for me. I LOVE knife work.

Well, the other night The Husband came in with two boxes of kershaw knives. These are the knives that he buys off the tool truck at work (The Husband is a mechanic.. a very good mechanic I might add).. Anyway, The Husband has been using kershaw pocket knives for years.. and he is rough on pocket knives, but these really stand up to the job. The only reason he buys new ones is because he just wants a new toy. LOL Well, they put out a line of kitchen knives, for the Christmas season and he bought them for me!!!! I got everything except the 8in chef knife, which he promised to order this week. The set came with THREE different paring knives! Two with pointy edges, and one that is santoku shaped. The 8in santoku it came with way out performs my kitchenaid knife.. and the bread knife actually sliced the side of my thumb when I just barely brushed my hand against it while wiping off the counter (won't be making that mistake again!) These babies are SHARP. And strong. And I am in utter bliss!!!! He was going to wait till Christmas to get them.. but he knew he was coming home a little bit in the dog house that evening, and gave them to me early. He said he knows that I never get new kitchen stuff the way he gets new tools.. and he wanted me to have them early, he'd get me another christmas present. :) Sweet baby.

Tonight we are making fajitas. And I am doing all kinds of chopping.. fresh pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, sliced peppers, and I am slicing the meat.. I don't care if The Husand is doing the grilling.. I get to cut the meat up. He is not touching my new babies. LOL

I just love early Christmas presents.. and I have the best man in the whole world. :)

P.S. Yes, I am a bit superstious and believe it's bad luck to recieve knives as gifts.. so I paid him a penny for the knives, lest they cut our relationship apart. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wits End

That's where I am with Justin. My wits end. Get yourself a cup of something warm and cozy up.. this ones a doozey and it's going to take a minute to read.

For his birthday, The Mother mailed him $25 cash, but the mail was taking forever, and it did not get here in time for his birthday. So when he took his gift card that a friend gave him to the store to buy a new game for the X box and didn't have enough money on the gift card for it, The Husband spotted him the $25 so he wouldn't have to wait any longer. On the condition that when the cash came in the mail, it went directly to us to pay us back... Since we'd already spent a couple hundred dollars on his birthday as it was. He said he was cool with this and got his game that day.

We checked the mail all last week, to no avail. I sent Justin to check the mail on Friday. Still not there, he says when he gets back to the house.. *several* minutes later. (I bet you can already guess where this post is going, huh?) I asked him what took so long (because this was the day that it was freezing cold and snowing outside and I didn't want him getting sick).. he said "the mailman was just getting to the boxes and he had to wait for him". "Okay. No card, huh?", "Nope.".

Fast forward to yesterday morning. Something was bothering me. I couldn't put my finger on what. But I had an uneasy feeling all day long, and knew it had to do with Justin. When Jason got home from school, I asked where Justin was. Because I wanted to see how his day was.. make sure everything was okay. I was worried it was "mother's intuition" kicking in and he'd had a bad day or got into trouble or something. Jason reminded me that Justin had choir practice after school and wouldn't be home till 4:30. Then he goes off to get a snack. Next thing I know, Jason comes to my room to tell me some interesting news.. "Hey mom, somehow Justin has $20 in his lunch account at school. Ms. Jackie asked him where the money came from (because she knows I would never send that much money with just one child without a note asking her to split it between their accounts).. and he tells her "I've been racking yards for extra money". Hmmm. Jason (being the observant fellow that he is) says to me.. "But mom.. Justin hasn't gone anywhere since his birthday.. he's always inside playing the game. He couldn't have racked any yards". Indeed.

So then I had my answer to what was making me feel uneasy all day.. but it STILL didn't click quite all the way. I was imagining some guilable friend gave him their lunch money or something (this has happened before).. and we're having a tight week when it comes to money so I'm thinking "great, now I'm going to have to come up with $20 bucks to pay some kid back his lunch money... God I hope that money from mom comes in the mail today".

At 4:30 I decide I'll go pick Justin up from choir instead of having him walk home like he usually does. When he gets in the car, I ask him how his day was.. to make sure my first feeling about the day wasn't true... He beams "I had a great day! No conduct card marks!" I reply.. "Awesome!!! Now why don't you tell me about the $20 in your lunch account?" His face freezes then falls and his eyes get wide like a deer caught in the headlights. Busted. I say "I hear you told Ms. Jackie that you racked some yards.. but uhm.. when exactly did you do that? Because you've been holed up in your room with that new game since your birthday." He whispers "I got it out of the mailbox". I was FLOORED. Until that moment, I had not even considered that he had stolen my mail. I said "excuse me? when did you do that?". "The last time I checked the mail". I ask him if that was why it took him so long to come back in the house.. "yes." I was furious. FURIOUS! "WHY!?"... "Because I wanted to keep the money".

We get back home.. and I am so appalled I don't even know what to do about it. We have been stressing about this money being "lost in the mail" since last week. I was planning to go down the post office and raise hell about it today. And several times this weekend he made comments about it taking so long to come in the mail. I called Dave to let him know that it was not lost in the mail afterall.. Then I called The Mother to let her know that it was not lost, that it had infact come last week.. She was appalled. She said something about $25, and I said "well Justin said there was just a twenty in the envelope".. she replies "LIKE HELL! There was actually $27 in that envelope, because I added 2 extra bucks to pay you back for the card you got him on my behalf.. LET ME TALK TO HIM!" I could hear her reading him the riot act. The Mother.. She's fierce when you cross her. I should know, I am her kid afterall. I hear him start naming off several food items "a big soda. Candy. Gummy worms. chips. gum." Aparently this was his response to "what did you do with the other 7 bucks because you and I both know there was $27, not $20". After at least 20 minutes of being berated by The Mother, he hands the phone back to me, hangs his head and goes back to his room. He got the "you have disappointed me" talk. I know that one. All too well. It was worse than her being mad. When you disappointed her, it was BAD. I'm so glad he got that from her. She told him that usually when I call her and ask advice, she always smooths it over.. and that she was disappointed and wasn't going to smooth this one over, she was right behind me in whatever I decided to do for punishment. She also explained to him that opening mail addressed to another person is a federal offence. Not a city or county or even a state offense.. It's an FBI offense. She told him how lucky he was that it was only my mail that he opened, because if it had been a neighbors, he would be charged with mail theft. This scared him. To which I say "Good."

I let him sit in his room and stew while I thought about how to handle it. After a while, I called him to my room and started "the talk". You know the talk. It's that 45 minutes of hell when your parents make you feel about 2 inches tall for doing what you did. I explained to him how tight money has been this week because daddy didn't have a great week at work last week, and we had to pay the rent. Some might disagree but I think it's important for kids to understand that everyone experiences tough times, and that some weeks, we need to be a little extra frugal. I told him how I have been waiting on that money because I needed it for groceries at the end of the week.. And that I have been really worried about not having it. At this point it had been at least an hour and a half since my first comment of "Now why don't you tell me about the $20 in your lunch account?". Please take note of the EXACT wording in that question, it plays a key part in the next part of this story.

I tell him "I hope you don't think you're keeping that money on your lunch account for icecream and fun snacks. I am calling Ms. Jackie in the morning and you better hope she has the ability to take it back out of your account and return it to me.. because I need it. And if she can't.. You're still not keeping. I know she can move money from one account to another.. because she's done that before when she accidentally put Jason's lunch money in Andy's account. So I'll have her spread out between your brothers and sisters for icecream. But either way.. YOU are not keeping it." My phone rang right then, it was The Husband.. and just as I am answering the phone.. Justin pulls money out of his pocket and whispers.. "I didn't put the whole 20 in my account.. just 10. Here is the rest". I answer the phone yelling "You had this money in your pocket the whole time and said nothing?!?! You were just going to keep it and let me think the 20 was in your lunch account?!?!?!". Thank goodness it was The Husband on the phone and not someone else. He told me "it's not important.. call me back after you deal with that" and hangs up. I freaked out. FREAKED OUT. "You were just going to keep this! Until you found out I was going to call Ms. Jackie and would find out from her there was only 10 in your account, you were going to try to keep this.. After all of this, you were still lying and being decietful to me!!! I can't even believe you!" He tried to say "no.." I told him "Don't even try to deny it!! I have NO REASON TO BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF YOUR MOUTH! WHAT YOU HAVE DONE MAKES YOU A LIAR AND A THEIF!!!" I put that in caps because I was indeed screaming by the end of my tirade. I told him to walk away. I told him I was more pissed than I was that he sat there, for an HOUR AND A HALF with the money in his pocket and said nothing, tried to keep it.. and that I was extremely pissed off and he needed to walk away from me so I could count to 10 and calm down. I was thisclose to smacking him. He had no intention of telling me about that 10 unless he had to. He tried to say otherwise.. that I hadn't given him a chance to speak up, because I had been yelling at him.. I said "Yeah? What about in the car? That was your first chance. Or how about when you were laying on your bed, with the covers over your head, trying to take a nap because you were pissed off when I said you better not touch anything electronic in your bedroom? You waited until I said I was calling Ms. Jackie about it." He hung his head. He knew he had no defense.

When Dave got home, we talked about what to do. Dave said we should cut his hair off. Because when he started growing it out, and when Jason and Andy got the mohawks, we told all of them that it was a deal.. They could look however they wanted, have whatever crazy hairdo they wanted, so long as they acted right at both home and school". Well, ever since Justin got his ear pierced, his behavior has gone downhill. He conduct sheet at school was so full, they had to put a second one in his binder. He keeps blowing off his homework and not filling out his reading log. He keeps acting like a jerk to his siblings. He keeps backtalking. It has been a nightmare with him the last 6 weeks. Infact, just the day before all this happened, there was a half a page note on his conduct sheet telling me how he had ripped the spacebar off of one of the schools laptop for no apparent reason and that now the entire keyboard would need to be replaced and he was banned from using the laptops. He would only be allowed to use the desktop computer that's located right next to the teacher so he can be monitored while using it. Constant bad decisions. And we have threatened to take his hair several times. So that was what Dave thought we should do. I disagreed. Mostly for selfish reasons. *I* like Justin's hair. I hate short hair on him. He's too skinny, and his long hair gives him "bulk" if that makes sense. Plus, we have no money to go to the hairdresser, so the only option for taking his hair, is having Dave buzz it straight off... And it's going to be in the 20s again tonight.. I don't think it's a good idea to take what little insulation his body has off right before a big cold spell. And there's the school play next week, and I really don't want him looking stupid in it. And with buzzed hair.. he looks stupid. Not to mention the redicule from his peers. So I made a deal with Dave. We ground him from everything. EVERYTHING. The boy has books and a chess set. That's it. And we gave him extra chores. Along with writing some sentences. And he's got until next Friday to get his act together. Next Friday is the last day of school before Christmas break. If he gets into ANY kind of trouble whatsoever between now and next Friday, I will personally buzz his hair off myself the minute he walks in from school. Because he'll have 3 weeks for it to grow back and get a decent haircut before school starts up again. And he'll be grounded inside, so there won't be a problem with the cold afer school is out.

After that, Dave and I completely dropped it. I was sick of yelling and being angry and was ready to just move on with our evening. We had dinner, to which I told him be better not complain about the burrito he was eating (he doesn't care for frozen burritos.. remember he IS The Pickiest Eater in All The Land).. and that he better eat that burrito with a smile.. because if he hadn't taken the money, he'd be having pork chops for dinner, because that's what I had to put back when I was at the store the other day, and got the burritos instead because they were cheaper. He didn't complain. He ate his burrito, put his plate in the sink and went back to his room. Smart boy.

By the time bedtime rolled around, I was upset for a different reason. I told The Husband that I felt like a failure. Because it's my job to teach him right from wrong, and I am failing miserably. This is not the first time he has stolen money from me. It's actually the 4th or 5th. That's why I exploded so much. It's been a while since he's stolen from me.. but not that long.. I think the last time was around the end of the school year last year. When the boys all came out to say goodnight to us, Justin heard what I said to The Husband and hung back to be the last one to say goodnight. He had tears in his eyes. His body langauge showed how bad he felt. He hugged me extra tight and whispered "Mom I'm sorry I stole from you again. And I'm really sorry I opened mail with your name on it." I immediatly told him "I forgive you and I love you". Then he says " And I really did want to tell you about the 10 bucks in the car, I'm not lying about that I swear.. but I was scared you would just get more mad if I said anything so I didn't" I told him "well hiding it from me certainly didn't help your case. I've alwyas told you.. don't hide things from me, and be honest about what you've done wrong.. the consequences will be less severe if you don't lie to me... and you just kept lying, Justin. You decieved me when you told me it took you so long because of the mailman.. when ifact you were just trying to get rid of the evidence. You tried to lie about how much money was in the envelope right up until Mema' called you on it, and you hid having the money in your pocket for over and hour and a half... you just kept lying. And that doesn't work. Haven't you figured out by now, that I *always* find out? You have yet to pull anything over on me.. so why do you keep trying? I'm a smart girl Justin, and you have too many siblings willing to rat you out to get away with anything... so why don't you do us both a favor and stop trying? I'm getting a little tired of always being mad at you". His tears really started flowing at that point and he said "I'm so sorry mom, I really am. I won't steal from you again. I swear I won't. I'm sorry I disappointed you."

Well of course by then I was crying too.. and I told him I loved him so much, and that it hurts me when he does these things, because it makes me feel like I am not doing my job as a parent. And I told him that it worries me that he can just lie to me, without blinking and without any guilt. Because I thought I had taught him better than that.. but obviously I hadn't. He said he was sorry several times.. and I told him that I accepted all of his apologies and that I had already forgiven him for before he even said he was sorry.. but that there would still need to be consequences. But I also told him "you know, it's not the end of the world. All you have to do is be good. And I know that you can be good. I'm not asking anything of you that you are not capable of. You do know how to act, because up until Halloween you had been doing so great.. So you need to just buck up and take your punishment like a man. You're grounded, but it will eventually blow over. And you've got a clean slate to start with tomorrow. All you have to do is keep it clean and before you know it, you will not be grounded anymore and life can get back to normal." We hugged really tight and he kissed my cheeck and told me sweet dreams.

This morning, before he left for school he came to me and told me he was sorry, again. And said "I really want to have a good day today"... and I told him "then you will! I know you can.. you ARE a good kid, Justin.. You've just made some bad choices lately. All you gotta do is make good choices."

Sure enough, he did indeed have a good day. He came in this afternoon in a good mood and told me "no coduct marks!!" before going straight to his room and getting started on homework. He did ask me "Mom can I have just one of my priviledges back?" and when I said "no, not yet".. he didn't complain or pout.. just said "okay" and went back to his room and picked up his book.

I am hoping and praying that something got through to this child. Because this crap that we've been dealing with has GOT to stop.

If you made it this far.. Thanks for reading, I know it was a novel.. I hope your eyes aren't bleeding too bad. LOL

Monday, December 7, 2009

Take my hand....

JD..Do you remember this? :)

Take my hand in your hand
and walk me through a lifetime
Walk with me over a bridge of observation
With me walk through a pool of knowledge
Together we would climb through a tree of

Over we would walk a mountain of discovery
Then walk me over a field of honesty
Walk me down a silent path of thought
And at the end of our walk
We will find ourselves in a valley of friends
Together we will undertand a lifetime of love
So... Take my hand in yours and walk me through a

Je t'aime, soleil

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bavarian Apple Torte

For the Crust:
1/2 cup almonds, rough chopped and toasted
1/4 cup (granulated)sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract

Grind almonds and granulated sugar in food processor until you have fine crumbs. Add flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add cubed butter and pulse 6 to 7 times until the mixture is about the size of peas. Add the egg yolk and extracts and pulse to bring together. Press into the bottom of a spring form pan that has been lined with parchment. Place in freezer while the oven heats up to 350 degrees. Press foil directly onto the crust and fill with dried beans to blind bake. Bake in in oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Put back in oven for 5 minutes. Press down any puffy parts of crust with the back of a fork. Allow to cool while you prepare the apples and filling.

For the Filling:

2 pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Beat cream cheese and sugar until creamed together. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time and mix thoroughly. Pour over crust and smooth with spatula.

For the Topping:
4 cups thinly sliced peeled and cored apples (granny smith recommended)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs corn starch

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch in a bowl. Add apples and toss to coat. Pour apples over filling, arranging them as desired.

Place spring form pan on a cookie sheet (wrap the outside with foil if you know it does not seal well to avoid leaking from apples) and bake in a 350 oven 55-65 minutes, until set.

For the glaze:
1/2 cup apricot preserves or apple jelly

Melt in a small sauce pan over low heat until it becomes a syrup consistancy.. Brush over the top of the warm apples after removing torte from oven.

It sounds more complicated than it really is. The most time consuming part is peeling, coring and slicing the apples. This can be done quickly with a mandoline slicer or a food processor. Since I already had my food processor out to make the crust, I used that. I plan to serve this with a drizzle of warm homemade caramel sauce. I'll post the recipe for that and another picture, of the torte once I take it out of the spring form pan and drizzle it with the caramel. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Quote of the Day...

I could give up chocolate.. But I'm no quitter!! -someone at

LOL Love it.

But chocolate is not in the works at The Mamma's house today. Today we have butter.. and sugar... and cream cheese.. and apples.. and a little homemade caramel sauce... In the form of a Bavarian Apple Torte. For my lovely friends at Austin Vet Care tomorrow. And The Bestfriend. We're having a girls night.. and I'm in the mood to bake.. it's freezing outside.. nothing better than heating up the oven for an hour and a half when it's 30 degrees outside. :)