Thursday, July 31, 2008

73 Driving to (and from) Cleveland

Mississippi that is! We finally took a day to run down to see Chip's parents and the rest of the family. There are always so many things I want to pull over and snap pictures of on the way, but we never actually do it. One, my "big lense" just is not big enough for some things. Two, it just never seems practical to pull over on a highway where everyone is going at least 65. Three, we are usually in a hurry to get where we are going before Connor's feeding timer goes off :)

On the way down I tried snapping some pics through the windshield, not the best way but it kinda works ...

Sometimes the white balance is off

sometimes the shutter is not fast enough

sometimes you can't get a good angle

there is no sometimes about this sight, lots of agriculture!

Sometimes the natives are happy ...

sometimes the natives are restless ...

One the way back we did pull over for my favorite spot. This is an old service station/garage. It looks really cool in the winter. I will have to get some pics when the trees are bare.

here is the "boathouse" without the blur

And the new sign of the times CORN ... it is everywhere. These fields probably sat fallow for the last 20 years, but farmers can make more money growing the corn than collecting that check from the government.

Ahhh, the rural Mississippi life ...

72 Two Chocolate Pies

One pie ...


MMmmm! Can't go wrong with chocolate pie!! We made some while we were in Atlanta and they were so delicious that I had to make them when I got home. I was a good girl though. I did send one up the street for a neighbors birthday. The other ... I let Chip have a piece :) This recipe is super easy. It would have to be for me to make it. Although I have noticed that the three recipes I have actually taken the time to write down in my recipe book all involve CHOCOLATE!

1 1/2 cups Sugar
3 cups Milk (we use one can evaporated milk and then finish with regular milk)
3 heaping TBSP Cocoa
3 heaping TBSP Flour (does not matter if it is all purpose or self-rising)
1 stick Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Pie Crusts (not deep dish)

*brown pie crusts
*Combine the flour, sugar and cocoa in a large saucepan. You might want to sift this to keep out the lumps - but I am lazy so I did not.
*Add in egg yolks, milk, and butter. Cook on MEDIUM to MED-HI until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
*divide into two pie crusts.
MIX YOUR MERINGUE! I tried whipping it by hand and gave up --- break out the electric mixer!
Meringue is your 4 Egg Whites and 3 TBSP Sugar. Whip until it forms soft peaks (Mom told me STIFF peaks, so lets go with stiff - but if you just can't wait to get to the eating then soft will do).
*Cover pie with meringue
*bake at 350 degrees until top starts to turn golden.

These are best after they have completely cooled and spent some time in the fridge.

Monday, July 21, 2008

71 WiiFIT and Polar Bears

And the trash lives on ... we did however get the living room rearranged so that I can use my WiiFIT a little easier. I hate to admit that a game is an actual workout, but my legs are jelly. I can feel my love handles slimming out, yes already. I can tell my posture is improving, ever so slowly. Now if I could just manage to find a way to do it without having Connor asleep AND Katie asleep or at her friends. Sure, you might ask why I don't just get a workout by moving and cleaning the metric ton of crap in my house? Why? Because that ain't FUN! In WiiFIT you get points and stars, in real life I get a child who enters a clean room and five seconds later it is as messy as it ever was. I could mop the floor and have it ruined before I throw out the water. What kind of motivation is that? Does it make you want to clean the house, me neither!!??!!

On a non-cleaning note- we went to the Zoo on Thursday. Charity and I loaded up the kids for a game of sweltering heat and animals. We did have a great time, if you don't count all the grumbling over picture taking. Katie was not even the worst!! Jacob and Katie ran up to the entrance holding hands and I did not have my camera!! It was so darn cute. We meandered through the zoo. Cats, playground, snakes, kimodo dragons, aquarium, farm, train, birds, pandas, elephants, Northwest Passage, African animals, and a short dip in the "stream". Along the way the kids enjoyed their icees, though I think they really liked mixing them the best. The polar bears were in rare form. There was another child at the zoo with his Build-A-Bear teddy, and one of the polar bears seemed particularly taken with it. In fact, it seemed obsessed. It stopped in mid-swim to check it out, then followed it around. When the boy ran off the polar bear continued to look for the teddy bear. At first I thought the bear was just curious ... then it started to divebomb the glass. The gift shop sells stuffed polar bears, surely it sees teddy bears all the time?? I don't know what it was about this particular bear that set it off. It was the Fourth of July teddy, white with stars. I can only guess that the polar bear was a female. The other bear had no interest in the teddy. When it swam by the first bear would smack it away. Totally curious about that bear now. Was it a female? Has she lost a cub? Is she expecting? Just hungry? I would have loved for a keeper to have come out. I do hate that she was agitated though. Poor thing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

70 I lied

I am not going to do a longer post. Mainly because I just don't have the time between trying to live my present life and trying to figure out how in the world I am going to convince all the crap in my house to get up and leave on its own. I am just not good at throwing stuff out. Hmmm, Chip played "bouncer" a few times in college. Maybe I should let him do it. Though I must say that if I let Chip throw stuff out then it will be MY stuff, it will be KATIE'S stuff, maybe even CONNOR'S stuff ... but very little of his stuff. I got so disgusted with the mess that I stood in the kitchen and took shots of my garbage heap, put together I am hoping to create a 360 degree view of hell. Be very afraid.
But, about Atlanta :) WE had a great time with family and a few friends. Never enough time to see or do everything we want. I was supposed to go back on Friday the 11th, and on Thursday Mom insisted we actually DO something. Chip had already vetoed the beach and teaching Connor to walk, so we went with the Fernbank Science Center. Amazingly, I think it was exactly the way it was when we would go there for school fieldtrips. We headed over to the Fernbank Museum, but when Katie heard that there were not any mummies she wanted nothing to do with it. At least we did not pay before we told her! I am sure it is cool, but for the money they were charging I would rather head to Graceland and show Katie the Jungle Room (next time you visit Mom). We did go back to the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory for the wonderful mummy exhibit. Though I must admit that Katie FLEW through it. She did want to show Connor the mummies which was pretty cute. I got to see my brothers and their families a couple times. We had a great time on the Fourth at my oldest brother's house, even if Mom did take a picture of me climbing into the pool! *SHUDDER* We were able to go see my friend Ashlee and her little guy. Went out to dinner with Judd, Julie, and Kyle. And of course, we went to "My Favorite Place" for a junking adventure. I had a few good finds. Mainly, we just had a great time being with Grammy. Connor may not have been allowed to learn to walk, but he did learn to clap, cluck his tongue, and he learned that he LOVES pickles.
Now, about the refuse heap that I call my house ...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

68 Atlanta Trip Picture A Day - almost

I will do a longer post later, but here is a pic from each day (except Tuesday).









67 The BESTEST Birfday Cake EVAH!

So now I totally understand the billboards that I have been seeing around that say "Our Kids Can't Read!!" The one I remember the best has the word MISSISSIPPI, but the S-es are all facing the wrong way. Well, I turned the big 3-1 almost two weeks ago now (been out of town so that is why the blog is so behind, oh and that I am lazy). Chip surprised me with a cake from our local Schnucks. You tell me if you see anything wrong with it ...

yeah, you got it ... apparently I turned thirty oneth, or thirty firth as I like to call it.

Chip said that he watched her doing it and was too dumb-founded to stop her. Truly makes it my cake though. Anytime Chip orders something for me it will get messed up. I do have to point out that Chip did the little heart thingy. He tries ...

maybe next year he will remember that I like buttercream frosting on a yellow/white cake :) it could happen!