Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Pick a Pumpkin ... Or Birth One (and Monday Night Football)

My dad showed me this and I may have peed my pants laughing. Happy Halloween, everybody! I don't care if it's SNOWING ... we're trick or treating no matter what! What are YOUR plans? I heard there's some big Monday Night Football Game on ... will you stay home and watch it or go out with your kids? Dilemmas!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Egg Babies

Man, we're so poor my kids have to play with EGGS for fun. They draw faces on them and take care of them. They are egg babies. And sometimes they get dropped. Oopsie!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Choosing a Song for Your Wedding

I want a wedding re-do.

Well, not the wedding part, but the reception.

It was too crazy to enjoy, and I certainly didn't enjoy my new husband very much because I was too busy socializing with all the people who brought presents. When I go to a reception these days I encourage the bride to just say hi to my family and move the heck on to enjoying herself. I'm just there to party anyway. I want her to really be in the moment and have fun with her man and her family and her wedding party.

Things were so crazy leading up to our wedding that when it came time to choose OUR dance song, we were stumped and just chose whatever came to our mind, which was the Phil Collins version of Groovy Kind of Love.

I'm thinking we should renew our vows when we hit 15 years just for fun (but that's in two years, so it will have to be a cheap affair!). Aron McLoughlin, our new first dance song I will choose (and pretend that it is 1998 again and we aren't sleeping together) is the song by the Beach Boys that is Wouldn't It Be Nice? Here are the lyrics, which are perfect for what we were going through then, and they make me tear up because things have been just so great since then (with ups and downs of course; I'm not going to sit here and lie to you, for gosh sake!):

Wouldn't it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long
And wouldn't it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong

You know its gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through

Happy times together we've been spending
I wish that every kiss was neverending
Wouldn't it be nice

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Baby then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do
We could be married
And then we'd be happy

Wouldn't it be nice

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But lets talk about it
Wouldn't it be nice

Good night my baby
Sleep tight my baby

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Jammies ... do you celebrate Halloween?

Who doesn't love a baby in a good Halloween jammie? By the way, do you celebrate Halloween? We absolutely do, but we try not to do it in a scary way.  I wrote an article called Halloween Hecklers for New Jersey Family and caught some crap from an atheist and a Catholic about my flippant Halloween attitude. Read it and see what YOU think. I welcome your comments back here at The Kerrie Show.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bacteria at McDonald's? Say It Ain't So!

A friend of mine from Loo-zee-anna who I have known since the ripe age of 14 sent me this link and I love love LOVE it! It's about a mom who is also a college instructor who has been banned from a bunch of Mickey D's in Arizona because she is telling the truth about how NASTY those places are! Banned! I smell a conspiracy theory along the lines of JFK's assassination!

Here's the deal: If you Google "McDonald's Playland Sock Policy", my recent blog entry on the topic comes up first in the search ratings. You gotta check this post out before you comment, please! Anyway, I was so mad that we were harrassed for not wearing socks at Mickey D's on a June day because the place is so disgusting anyway, what is the point? I mean, are my kids' feet going to make the place worse? Do I love to do dishes? No freaking way!

I caught so much crap over that post from friends, family members and total strangers alike. As if all there is to being a GOOD MOM is making sure your kids wear socks at McDonald's. Don't get me started, people. I'll whoop butt in a Good Mom Contest any day of the week, and you know it.

ANYWAY ... I can see if my kids had open sores on their feet that I didn't want to get infected with disease, that would be one reason to wear socks ANYWHERE. But I love the comment in the link about how McD's has to just APPEAR clean and not really BE clean. So do they clean it with bleach or not? Could it be worse than a daycare or a school? And won't we track bacteria home on our socks and shoes and crap anyway? Does it really matter that much if we wear socks?

Ask the backwoods population. You know, the hillbillies, the trailer trash. Ask ME! I kid you not, my kids are the healthiest I know and we live like total farm folk in the 'burbs.

FYI, McD's: everybody knows how gross your place is! You don't need to ban this chick for telling it like it is. Be on the lookout for a blog post from me saying that I am also banned from Kansas City McD's for being a general pain in the ass!

The Tooth Fairy Goes Into Debt

In my house the Tooth Fairy brings a solid buck for each tooth lost. Do you think the Tooth Fairy ventures anywhere near the Duggar house? I think she (or he, I guess) would go into debt. What does the Tooth Fairy bring to your kids?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We Like to Pick Up Glass and Trash and We Like Firetrucks

Don't freak out, but yes, we are all wearing shoes in this picture. It's because we are by a stream picking up glass and trash. I kid you not, we probably picked up 8 pounds of glass. I always have plastic trash bags with me so we like to leave areas better than how we found them. It's the Scouts in us, I suppose. I woulda been a good Boy Scout (no, not Girl Scout).

This same day we got to see a fire truck launch out of the firehouse and Sam was THRILLED! This is Sam and Da checking out the firetruck. Most boys are obsessed with firetrucks, I know, but Sam is SUPER obsessed with ambulances and firetrucks. I say it's because he was almost born in an ambulance and because both firetruck and ambulance came to our house when I was in uber labor with him. Kids remember stuff, I tell ya.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Should a Teen Have a Brand New Car?

I love when people try new things. One of my best friends and godmom to my daughter Eva is trying her hand at writing. I have to say she ain't half bad. She's starting out online, but you know I'm trying to drag her into the regional parenting markets with me! Anyway, check her piece out about her first car when she was a teen ... it was a beater and it was far from NEW.

Do you think teens should EVER have a new car? Does a bear poop in a catbox? Leave her a comment on her essay ... she'd love to hear from you. This might start a debate because I know a few people who got a new car upon graduating high school. Mind you, these were responsible kids and I don't recall them wrecking said car, so I suppose there are cases where a new car might be alright to reward a great only child! Otherwise, you set a precedent of getting a new car for all your kids just because they graduate, and all your kids might not take such great care of a new car!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Do They Still Sell Syrup of Ipecac?

We spent the weekend SICK! I started feeling gross Friday night and picked up a couple of fun movies for the kids at RedBox. I love how you can put them on hold after scouting out which location has what you want. The kids watched The Zookeeper and then I watched Barbie Princess Charm School with them. I'm sorry, but I love the Barbie movies. Not all of them, but Charm School and Fashion Fairytale.

I spent all Friday night puking but Aron had ... other problems. He could not puke. I looked for syrup of ipecac at the store but couldn't find any. We used to have some, back when it was recommended you have some if you had a kid and said kid swallowed poison. Then I heard they de-recommended it. Hubs needed some.

Do you ever pray to God to give your kids' sickness to you? I did that. Callie still got sick a few times, and Eva once. Everyone else was fine. Aron and I were a mess. I HATE being sick ... it changes fun plans and the house quickly turns into a pigsty!

Wondering what made us sick? Best we can figure is a dinner I made, except Joel and Michael didn't get sick at all and they ate plenty of it. It was boxed cheesy potatoes with some frozen chicken I had crock-potted a few weeks earlier. I had split the chicken in half, and we ate the first part without incident. Then I immediately froze the rest. Not sure how we got sick off of that, but I'm cool with blaming it on my cooking. My grandma once got her whole family sick on a Boston creme pie, so I am in good company!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Every Kid Needs a Kitten

I dig this picture for a number of reasons:
  1. It was taken 10 pounds ago.
  2. It was taken at my friend Carrie's house, who I dig and don't see enough.
  3. My kids love furry animals but the only one they own is a hamster. Hamsters don't snuggle on your lap, you know.
  4. I grew up with kitties and love them. My parents even bred Persians for a little while. I had them in my 20s also. Then came a day when we had 2 sons and our cats were too much to handle. One of the cats was peeing everywhere, and the kids were getting into the food and the litter and we had no great place for the catbox so our kitchen always stunk like pee. Now we have vowed we won't get a dog until our youngest child turns 3. I think Aron is going to try to get me pregnant before next October so he won't have to get a dog! I am determined otherwise, though :-)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Like Father, Like Son

Aron was growin' some facial hair recently, and he marked up Sam so Sam could be his Mini Me. Aren't they so cute?!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Disco Cheerleader Diva and Upward Cheer

Callie is quite the performer. Last weekend I was making dinner and she popped out from behind the wall looking like this and doing a little disco act. I was caught off-guard and started cracking up! Her afro is actually the skirt from her dance recital costume from summer. Then of course we have the cheerleader top going on. She's not in dance right now and instead we are doing Upward Cheer, which is a Christian organization, which means the uniforms won't be hoochie or Toddlers and Tiaras.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sam Writes His First Thank You Notes

Dear Bill, Sue and Pat,

Thank you for the money for my birthday for my savings account. I am saving up for a pony! Can I keep it at your house? Thanks! Or I might buy a full-size firetruck, also to keep at your house. I can't wait until Turkey Day at your house. Let me know what to bring. I can make cereal, messes, poopie diapers, crackers and water. I love you guys a lot and missed you at my party. It sure was loud. I don't remember inviting so many crazy kids. Mom must have done it. Mothers! Words I can say: turtle, hippie, me, eat, Elmo, Coke, beer, train, firetruck and Pikachu. I love you. Samuel


Dear Nonnie and Poppy II,

Thank you for the money for my birthday for my savings account. I am saving up for a pony, a train and a firetruck. Can I keep one at your house? I am two now and can say turtle, hippie, Elmo, Coke, train and firetruck. I love to make messes so Mommy will blow her top -- it is so funny! I blow raspberries at my brothers and sisters when they mess with me and make me mad. I am a little naughty, but I am cute, so that helps :-) I love you guys! Samuel

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oops! Those Vines Weren't Pumpkins!

Yup, the "pumpkin vines" I blogged about a few weeks ago are ... you guessed it ... gourds. They are gourdgeous! They were going nuts ... corkscrewing themselves into the air conditioning unit, into the ground, into the short fence around our garden. Then one day bugs were all over them and a white powdery-looking substance and they started dying off. We'll have to dig into a few again this year and toss them in the garden like last year and see what happens. Soon you might be coming to McLoughlin's Pumpkin and Gourd Patch.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Two-Layer Bus

I laughed so hard when we saw this bus and Joel said, "Look! A two-layer bus!" I wasn't laughing AT him ... it was just funny. Luckily we were stranded while waiting for traffic and I grabbed the camera really fast and snapped a pic for you faithful readers. And don't think I don't know what you are thinking: That I will soon be needing this double-decker vehicle to haul my family and friends around :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Boxes Are the Cheapest Toy

Samuel may only be 2 years old, but he already demonstrates that he likes to think INSIDE the box. Perhaps he will grow up to be more mainstream than his mother. And yes, those cute mocha legs belong to none other than Jordan, babysitter extraordinaire!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza My Way

**I have to give Cook's Illustrated some credit here, but I do mess around with this recipe.


My husband makes the time-intensive, complicated version of this and it ROCKS, but recently it was just me and the girls and Sam for dinner, so I made it quicker. My friend Eva Gavin (remember, she’s my daughter Eva’s godmom and has a son I’m trying to marry her off to so her name will be … Eva Gavin Junior) and I stood in the kitchen and chowed down on it. Here’s my version:


DOUGH

3 ¼ cups wheat flour

½ cup yellow cornmeal

1 ½ teaspoons table salt (as opposed to chair salt)

2 teaspoons sugar

2 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast (one small packet)

1 ¼ cups water, room temperature (lazy me just puts in warm tap water)

3 tablespoons butter, melted (I accidentally put in about a whole stick of butter and it was amazing!)

Olive oil for coating the dough bowl later



SAUCE

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup grated onion

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons or more minced garlic (I love the stuff that comes in the jar!)

1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I was out so I had to use tomatoes from our garden)

¼ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves (we grow them in a pot; you can get them at the grocery store … don’t skip them, though, because they MAKE this sauce!)

1 tablespoon olive oil



Toppings: whatever you want! Make sure you have mozzarella cheese; otherwise, we like black olives, pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, whatever is around.



Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Add water and butter and stir some more. Aron’s recipe says to use a stand mixer and go to town for several minutes, but you know I’m not havin’ any of that! I just stir and then knead with my hands, preferably after just changing a poopy diaper (just kidding!). Coat sides of bowl with some olive oil. Then put some oil on the top, flip the dough upside down, spank it and put some oil on the top of the bottom. Kapish? Okay, let’s move on.



Cover the dough bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, until it doubles in size. While you’re doing that, go ahead and start the sauce.



Heat butter in medium saucepan until melted, then add oregano, onion and a couple shakes of salt. Cook a bit then add garlic and cook a minute, then add the tomatoes and sugar and simmer for like 20 minutes until it reduces and isn’t runny. Make sure you stir it often so you don’t let the sauce stick (Goodfellas, anyone?). When it looks ready, take it off the burner and add the basil and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.



Aron’s version has you “laminating the dough” and letting it rise again and folding it like an envelope and massaging it with butter and …



Whew. I just wait til it rises, punch it so it knows I’m boss, then split it in half and put it in 2 round pans coated with cooking spray. Here’s the important part, folks, so WAKE UP:



Put the cheese on NEXT. The beauty of this pizza is that the hot sauce goes over the cheese, and the cheese comes out fabulously melty and gooey! Let’s recap:



Dough

Cheese

Toppings

Sauce



Cook at 400 degrees for 20-plus minutes. When you take it out of the oven, let it rest a few minutes before you cut it. It’s worked hard and needs a break. While it rests, go put on your big-girl or big-boy pants because you will be filling them out!



*Oops! I used rosemary instead of basil. Guess we don’t grow basil, but one of my homeschooling pals does and showed me the error of my ways! Rosemary was fine, but get some basil!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to Samuel McLoughlin!

This little dude, my youngest, is 2 years old today. We'll probably go on a field trip to a fun nature center or children's garden-type of place and grab some ice cream.  Since he's too little to care and we're low on funds, we'll probably just eat dinner at home. Then tomorrow is his birthday party at our house! Cake and ice cream will flow freely all over the house, and he will be surrounded by those who love him.

He just got his first haircut this week and he looks ornier than ever (pix to come). He is a crazy little sweet pea who is independent and fierce and still nurses and sleeps next to his mom and dad.

We love you, Sam!

Crap, I accidentally didn't post-date this, so it's showing up early. Sorry about that! His birthday is Friday the 7th!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Things We Do for Our Kids to Have Fun

Come on over to Homeschooling Mommybot today to see what I've signed up to do ... all for the kids, darn them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Backyard Henkeeping for Overland Park, KS ... YET!

This is Miss Eva helping her dad make breakfast. Eggs to be exact. We are hoping someday we can walk under our deck, say hello to our hens, and grab a few eggs from them for breakfast (supplementing with grocery store eggs, of course, since hens only lay about an egg a day and we would need 7 eggs per day at least!).

If you get a chance, head over to Facebook and LIKE the page Overland Park Needs Hens. Even if you don't live in my neck of the woods, you can still show your support. My main argument is that hardly anyone is going to go out and get a hen if it is ever approved. Overland Park's argument is that we are a nice city and that hens don't belong here. Yet hens are kept in LA, San Diego, Houston, Minneapolis and many other major cities who are way ahead of us.

Hey, hens are way less gross than cats and dogs. They may be dumb, but they give eggs! And they won't jump your neighbor's fence and poop in their yard. And they won't poop in your neighbor's sandbox. And they won't poop in yards when you take them for a walk on their little hen leash. Can you tell I'm obsessed with poop from animals being where it should not be?

Can you keep hens in YOUR city? Would you?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't Become One of "Them"

I've realized something this last week.

I realized that I can pack up my family and move away, but that there will always be haters around. There will always be jealous people, bitter people, anti-Catholics, people who don't like big families and assume you are stupid about birth control, people who think homeschoolers are lazy and don't really teach their kids at all.

There will always be people who judge you and who are never on the mark.

No, moving won't help. Getting mad or getting even won't help. Do you know what helps?

The thought that I won't be one of "them". So to avoid becoming one of those sad, lonely, judgmental people, I pray for them. I try to have a sense of humor about situations that are bad. I try to understand why someone would do something so horrific to another human being, and then I stop trying to understand and just hand my problem to God.

I continue my life. I love on my kids, I educate them. I love on my husband. I cook and clean and write and hang out with my friends and see my family. I laugh and smile and joke not because I minimize things that are happening, but because I just want to be happy and I want my family to be happy. I don't want to be a bitter, mean person.

It's hard at first to not become one of "them" ... but with practice, you can do it. Your actions can influence your thoughts.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Last Friday Night ...

Set to the tune of the song I HATE by Katy Perry (I love the melody but hate the words!):


There's rip in my man's jeans
Must've eaten too much beans
Kids are all over the place
Runnin’ up and down the berm
I smell like a coffeebar
Sam is passed out on my lap
S’mores are on the barbeque

Is this a poke stick or a snake?
Pictures of last night
Did not go online
Forgot
Oh well.

It’s a grassy blur
But I know it sure did rule 

Dang.


Last Friday night
Kids were runnin’ everywhere
They were all up in our hair
So we hit the campy fire.


Last Friday night


Yeah I danced with Mic-O-Say
And I got all in the way
Think we wed but I forgot

Last Friday night
Everybody did their tent
“Glamping” sure is heaven sent
Then the Sprenger trio showed. (yeah!)


Last Friday night
Scout fam campouts are the best
Never say we’re gonna stop-op
Whoa-oh-oh

  

This Friday night
Do it all again?
This Friday night
Do it all again? (not!)


Sokols brought jumbo mallows
They were as big as pillows
Obershaw in charge of graham
Pham was human fire pit dam
Shepherd chillin’, super cold
Souders lookin’ solid gold
Chitwood needs a ginger ale
This was NOT an epic fail!
 


Last Friday Night ....
Dropped to 44 degrees
Had to pee among the trees
Think we slept but I forgot.


Last Friday night


Happy birthday to my stepdad, Dave. He is always doing nice things for the kids and for me, and we love him very much.

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