Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pink Roses, Pineapple Burgers, and Eternity.

Another enjoyable weekend at the Jeep Hacienda.  Made the most of having four days off in a row.  Enjoyed some delicious food (some from our own garden) and great company.

Isabella and Grandma, ages 5 and 59.
Grandma (my mom) had her 59th birthday and we celebrated by taking her to dinner.  I brought along a few daughters just in case the subject of age had her in the dumps.  Nothing brings on the smiles like a couple of innocent little girls.  I took my five and ten year old and met her at a Chili's restaurant near her work.  She teaches part of the curriculum for medical assisting / medical billing at a local technical school.  We talked about my girls and what they thought of their newly started school year, among other things.

She's caught in the rut of living paycheck to paycheck.  Then something will break (car, dishwasher) and she'll end up putting the repair on a credit card thus extending the never ending cycle.  I've offered to help, however I can, but she's too stubborn to accept.  She didn't think things would turn out this way as life moves on.  She's put in long, hard hours for a long time and doesn't see a light at the end of the tunnel anymore.  She used to dream with me as we'd make lists of places we'd like to visit someday: Egypt, Africa, Europe, Australia.  Last time I attempted to draw her into the game, she bluntly stated that she doesn't play that game anymore...because there's no chance of it ever happening now.  Lesson learned: Plan ahead...WAY ahead.  We parted with a hug in the Chili's parking lot and I shifted my focus to my silly girls falling haphazardly into the back of my little Jeep.

Bison burger with pineapple, bacon & terriyaki.
The next day we thawed some frozen bison from our prep freezer.  We mixed it with a little beef just to make sure the kids didn't notice the difference in taste.  I packed it into large patties and grilled them indoors on my griddles.  Nothing guarantees a rain storm like plans to grill outdoors.  Sure enough, as Wifey and I talked about grilling our bison burgers outside, the rain clouds rolled in.  To make the burgers even more delightful, we bathed them in terriyaki sauce and topped them with a pineapple ring and bacon.  You know a meal was done up right when you can reheat it the next day and it tastes exactly the same.  Luckily for me, we had a few burgers left over that night and I got to enjoy them two days in a row.

We don't stock pineapple rings at our place so it gave me the perfect excuse to run to the store.  Did I mention I was at home for four days with six girls (seven including Wifey)?  Yup, a run to the store was refreshing.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pick up some lovely pink roses.  The young woman at the checkout counter whispered to me with a glint of suggestion in her eye "They're only $6.99 for a dozen..."  I nodded in agreement with her female foresight and was pleased with the idea of presenting such a lovely bouquet to Wifey at such an agreeable price.  Lesson learned: A beautiful gift doesn't have to be expensive.

Mr Dark Brown Carpet...meet Mr. Bleach.
Of course, the week isn't complete without the Mayhem duo (3 year old Chloe & 5 year old Isabella) stirring up a little trouble.  We've lived in our current house since 2001 with our oldest now 14 and not once, NOT ONCE, did we ever worry about leaving the laundry bleach bottle in the laundry room.  It has a child proof cap ya know.  Well, leave it to the Mayhem sisters to not only decide to transport the bleach bottle from the laundry room to the living room but somehow the cap was also taken off the bottle. 

Now, I've bragged for at least two years now about how smart it was for me to install dark chocolate brown colored carpet in our living room because it hides every kind of spill and stain the little carpet munchers can throw at it.  Never in my dreams did I think they would cart the bleach bottle in there and dump it upside down on the dark brown carpet.  Right in a place that can't be covered by moving the couch and a throw rug would look silly tossed to that particular location near the edge.  Looks like I'll be experimenting with brown dye next weekend. Lesson learned: if they can get to it, they will...eventually.  Put it away properly.

Nothing says LOVE like roses and burgers, right?
Speaking of how smart I am, did I mention I installed locking door knobs on all the older girls rooms?  See, the big girls leave their doors open when they leave for school.  Then the little ones have an all day treasure hunt as they search for makeup, markers, scissors and such with which to destroy any last little corner of the house that happened to remain clean from the prior day.  But not with me around, no sir. Not with my superior intelligence.  I presented each older daughter with a room key and explained that this was an exercise to start preparing them for having their own dorm, apartment, or home someday.  "Keep your things locked up and safe," I'd say as I proudly handed over the keys.

Now, I was even smart enough to make spares.  One spare for each of the three daughters.  What I didn't count on was them systematically losing their keys and secretly fetching mine to use for access.  Well, this was the weekend that the oldest daughter lost the spare too...after her room door was locked...by her friend that was staying the night.  Normally, I would have told her to sleep in the living room and I'd deal with it the next day.  Locksmith if necessary, should my own skills prove a failure.  But fate chose to have it happen on a night when we had company.  Needless to say, we are now in need of a new door knob (be it the locking kind or not, I don't know yet) and some glue to put the stupid door back together.  Lesson learned: I should have made backups to the backups.

Mesa Temple, August 27 2011
I don't think I have any fellow Mormons reading my blog but I should mention that this was an unforgettable weekend for one more reason.  This past Saturday Wifey and I were Sealed for all eternity in the presence of God.  Followed by the Sealing of all my little angels.  The expression of true happiness visible on my wife's face was an image I'll never forget.  It reminded me of our wedding day 13 years ago only there wasn't a hint of worry on her face this time ;-)  All my little angels, gowned in dresses of pure white, completed our family circle as we smiled in God's presence.  Lesson learned: through God, all things are possible.

We ended the weekend with some potatoes from our garden.  Five year old baked one and gobbled it up sprinkled with cheese while big Sister attempted to make potato chips using vegetable oil and a deep pan.  I took my prerequisite short nap to bolster me through my first night shift back at work.  It only took about two hours into my shift before Wifey and I were texting each other about how we wish I was still home.  It's strange what you realize at 3am sometimes.  Today, at 3am, I realized that witnessing the worst bleach spot on my dark carpet is still better... than the best day... at work.

Lesson learned: enjoy every minute.



  1. Your mom and I are the same age.

    Sounds like you have had a busy few days off. Life is never dull (or quiet) with a large family.

    I didn't know you were a Mormon. Good bunch of people. Never met one I didn't like.

  2. Happy belated birthday to your mom. Sounds like life's ups and downs might have knocked the wind out of her for now, but she will bounce back. All any of us can do is one thing, one day at a time. I hope she decides to give dreaming a try again.

    YUM, buffalo burgers! We could get ground buffalo at most grocery stores when we were in NW New Mexico ...but we can rarely find it in central Texas. When we do run across, it's pretty pricey. But boy is it GOOD!

    You don't have to be Mormon to appreciate the significance of what your family experienced this weekend. Though we are not Mormon ourselves, we were married in a little tiny Mormon church in Lybrook, NM. Our best friends and the seven children they had at the time were our witnesses. Come to think of it, we were the only ones at our wedding who were not Mormon. It was a beautiful ceremony, I got to marry my best friend and share the experience with some of our dearest friends. We will celebrate our 12th anniversary on November 3rd. Seems like yesterday.

    : )

  3. Actually you do have a least one Mormon reading your blog,and I really enjoy it.

  4. @Arsenius I keep my religion to myself usually. Since this is a blog about my family life, I decided not to exclude the event on this ocassion. Glad you never met one you didn't like :-) I hadn't even heard of Mormonism while growing up in Oklahoma.

    @HossBoss I still have hope for mom too. We bought a half buffalo about a year ago off CraigsList from a guy that raises grass fed, free range buffalo in another state (don't remember where now). He takes the orders and sends someone out to meet in a parking lot for sales. I was surprised at how many people showed up for orders. It was a tad expensive but we were trying to get away from hormones/pesticides etc.

    @Anonymous Ahhh, super sneaky anonymous mormon. I've been found!

  5. I just happened to stumble on your blog today and read this post (and I am a Mormon...wait, Latter Day Saint!) :) As a family who is in the middle of the struggle to get there ourselves, I am so happy for you (even though I don't even know you!) Congratulations on being sealed to your precious family. I love hearing stories that it really does happen!


Don't you spam me...I'll just delete it!