Friday, July 27, 2012

Mind Your Own Business

The news has been thoroughly saturated with pro-gay vs. anti-gay support of various businesses lately.

Oreo Cookies, Amazon, Target, and Many Others have all recently "come out" in support of gay marriage.

Chick-fil-A 's president Dan Cathy recently said, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’”

In response to that, The Jim Henson Company distanced themselves from Chick-fil-A.

General Mills and Home Depot are pro-gay marriage.

Even the Green Lantern is Gay.

Why can't companies just stick to their own business? Why do they feel the need to jump into these types of hot-button issues? Why can't Oreo just keep making cookies? Why does the Amazon CEO's donation of $2.5 million to gay marriage need to be publicized? Why does DC Comics feel the need to jump on the gay bandwagon? What does Chick-fil-A's stance on gay marriage have anything to do with their making fast food? Why should a company who markets breakfast cereals, including Cheerios, which are a childhood staple for most American kids, make a stand one way or the other about homosexuality?

What does any publicly-owned business' opinion on homosexuality have to do with their day to day operations? Nothing, if you ask me.

Companies who flaunt their view of gay marriage are not practicing good business sense, in my opinion. First, they are alienating their customer base. Second, they are risking the trust of their shareholders. Third, they are setting themselves up for discrimination lawsuits.

If you feel strongly one way or another about homosexuality and gay marriage, and if you feel that you should or shouldn't support businesses who have taken a stand about it, then it would behoove you to research the company before you patronize it. No more can we just make a quick errand to a store anymore, we need to research how they stand politically, even if their politics have absolutely no bearing on the product they manufacture or the service they provide.

Remember when private things were kept private?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Is That Math?

I learned something new today. It's something called the "50 50 90 rule." Basically it states that if you have a 50/50 chance of getting something right, the probability is still 90% that you'll get it wrong.

I was truly and honestly observing this rule in my older boy's life recently. He's learned how to put on his shoes by himself, and even though I put his shoes in front of him for him to put on the correct feet, it's still a pretty good bet that he'll put them on the wrong feet.

I even mentioned it to him recently: "Son, you've got a 50-50 shot of getting those shoes on the right feet. But still, you get them on the wrong feet about 9 times out of 10. What's up with that?" He just smiled and answered, "I want to do it by myself!"

Someone suggested that I put his shoes in front of him the "wrong" way, and maybe he'd get them on the right feet more often. I might actually try that sometime.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Concerning Cows and Ice Cream

This was sent to me via e-mail. I am not usually a "forwarding" kinda gal, but I thought this was worth sharing.

Remember this "cow and ice cream" concept whenever you cast a vote!

A Presidential election was heating up and some children showed an interest. We decided to have an election for class president. We would choose nominees. They would make a campaign speech. The class would vote. Candidates were nominated by class members after discussing the characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot. The class had done a great job in their selections. Both were good kids.

I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia's mother.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches.

Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best.

Everyone applauded and he sat down.

Now it was Olivia's turn to speak. She was concise. She said, "If you vote for me, I will give you ice cream." She sat down.

The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream."

I thought she would say more. But she did not have to. A discussion followed. How would she pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure. No one pursued the question but took her at her word. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it...She didn't know. The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream...

Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a landslide.

Most people tend to react like nine year olds. They want the ice cream.

The rest of the people know someone has to feed the cow and clean up the mess…. which is the ice cream that was promised!
Government doesn’t stand alone. It can’t give something to someone without taking from someone else. Be careful when voting for ice cream!

Someone always pays for the ice cream and there will always be messes to clean up.

**And on a side note, I'll just mention there has been a whole lot of manure being slung back and forth during this election season.**

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Didn't I Tell You?...

...that my whole family is against me? See here: No Way, Kid!

Take a look at what arrived from Grandma and Grandpa via UPS this afternoon:

He really, really wants to go outside to pretend to chop down a tree, but it's raining right now (awwwww, shucks!) So he's pretending to chop down my kitchen cabinets instead. See, I told whole family is against me! LOL

I'm gonna have to get him some "safety glasses" soon.

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa. Thanks very much. I always wanted to be in a real live Texas Chainsaw Massacre. LOL!

But seriously, he LOVES it! You made his day! (He's offered to give me a haircut with it, which I politely declined.)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

So, What's the "Deal?"

People don't know what to think of my family. Yes, we are an odd bunch, but people don't know how to wrap their minds around our marriage, kids, etc.

In fact, I was chatting with a lady in church today, who I've known for 6 years, and she asked what the "deal" was with our family. I had assumed that she knew our family timeline, but apparently she didn't. I started to wonder who else we know who doesn't understand the "deal".

So apparently, there are several people who don't know our family's "deal." I'll set everything straight here.

Honey and I were married in August 1992. That means we'll celebrate our 20th anniversary next month! Neither of us were previously married.

Our daughter was born in November 1993. Honey and I were married more than a year before she was born. She is our biological child.

15 years later, our son was born. Yes, that's a long time. No, it was exactly planned that way, but we are so very blessed. We can't imagine a life without him.

16 months after our first son was born, our second son arrived. Yes, he was planned. We thought by having our first two kids so far apart, they were more like two "only children," so we decided to give our boy a sibling. We tried right away to have another kid, because I was clearly "advanced maternal age", a.k.a. "OLD!" and we knew things would be more difficult the longer we waited. That, and well..., Honey had just returned home from a year in Afghanistan, and we had very clearly missed each other!

Okay, that's the "deal." Honey and I have been married almost 20 years, and we have three kids together. No exes, no step-kids, no divorces, no adoptions. Kinda boring, eh? But you'd be surprised some of the questions/odd stares we get when people are curious about us.

One time I made the mistake of taking my daughter with me to my son's doctor check-up. The nurse gave a snide remark of, "Which one of you is the mom?" I replied very firmly, "I am the mom. These are MY children." The nurse apologized sincerely. I learned my lesson not to bring my daughter with me to the clinic unless absolutely necessary. Even then, she'll wait in the waiting room.

When I am out with my family in public, and I see someone looking at us strangely, trying to figure out if I'm the mom or the grandmom, I'll make it a point to say a bit louder than usual, "Can you help me with your brother?" or "Hold your sister's hand." After 3 1/2 years of those types of looks, I've gotten used to it. It doesn't bother me anymore.

Another time I went to the doctor with my youngest son, and a different nurse couldn't tell if I was the mom or grandma. She asked very shyly, "Are you his m-m-m-mmmmom?" I had a good laugh at that one, but at least she didn't assume I was Grandma. "Yes, I'm the mom," I answered. "He's my old-age baby."

Even our neighbor who lives across the street asked us recently, "So...does your daughter have the same last name as you?" He had assumed that since our daughter was so much older than her brothers, Honey or I must have had her from a previous marriage. Honey replied, "No, everyone in our family has the same last name. Stacie and I have been married almost 20 years." I was tickled at how he tried to politely ask his question in a roundabout way--if our daughter had a different last name, instead of coming right out and saying "Have either of you ever been divorced?"

Honey learned the hard way not to take all the kids out without me. One time he took our daughter and sons out on an errand, and he said that he got lots of "You're a dirty old man" type of stares. People assumed our daughter was actually his much-younger wife. Not cool, not cool at all. Soooooo....he doesn't take all the kids out alone anymore.

Here's what I'm personally still having a hard time wrapping my mind around: Our daughter, who is 18 1/2, has found several gray hairs on her head. (It's genetic, I found my first gray hair at age 20. I color it regularly, mostly because I'm already mistaken for being my kids' grandma. No need to fuel that fire!)

So I have a gray-headed daughter and a 2 year old son! Boggles my mind!

Our crazy crew:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

AP Economics Grade

My daughter received her AP Macro Economics Grade today.

She got a 4! Pass with flying colors!

Now she's got 15 college credit hours under her belt. Add that to the 9 she's currently taking, and she's got nearly a full year of college credit before most of her peers are even starting.

Congrats, sweetpea! We are so proud of you!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

No Way, Kid!

My three year old said to me, "Mommy, I need a chainsaw."
I asked him, "Why?"
He answered, "So I can help Daddy chop down a tree."
"No, you don't need a chainsaw yet. Maybe when you're older," I replied.
"But don't forget I need some safety glasses too," he said.
(At least he understands the importance of eye protection!)

I shared that little conversation with Honey, and he excitedly told our son, "Hey, you can ask Grandma and Grandpa for a chainsaw, okay?" (*sigh...Sometimes I think my whole family is against me!)

Note to Grandma and Grandpa: if you get my kid a chainsaw, Lord help us all...LOL

Friday, July 6, 2012

Brilliant "B" Dinner

I cooked a "B" themed supper tonight:

Isn't it beautiful?

It was "Best Ever Beef Brisket" (recipe to follow), with brown beef broth gravy, broccoli (but with a bit of cauliflower, and terribly overcooked) and whole wheat baked biscuits with butter.

Unfortunately, the boys didn't eat much. I guess the meal was a big bust. I thought it was good, though, even if the broccoli was mushy.

I can't remember where I got the brisket recipe, so I can't give proper credit where it's due. If you know where it comes from, please let me know so I can give the right link.

Best Ever Beef Brisket
Dry rub:
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. salt (I only used about 1.5 tsp)
1Tbsp. EACH: garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, and white sugar

1 brisket, about 2 to 4 pounds (tonight I actually used a rump roast, but that doesn't really go with the "B" theme...)
1.5 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the dry rub ingredients and apply to the surface of the brisket. Cook brisket in the oven, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove from oven, add beef broth to the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover tightly with foil. Lower oven temp to 300 degrees F, and cook 3 more hours. Let brisket rest 30 minutes before slicing.

To make the gravy, pour juices acquired after baking the brisket into a saucepan. In a separate small bowl, mix together 1 Tbsp. cornstarch with about 2 Tbsp. cold water. Shake or stir vigorously until smooth. Pour into the saucepan, and heat until thickened.

I was planning to serve mixed berries for dessert, but the boys won't be getting any since they didn't eat their dinner. Bummer for them! I will give them a different snack before bedtime, which is usually some sort of mixed fruit and yogurt.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Big Boy Swings

Our three year old has never liked to swing at the playground. I don't know why exactly, but I've always thought it's because he doesn't feel like he's in control of himself when he's swinging. (He doesn't like to be upside down either, which I suspect is for the same reason.)

Our two year old loves to swing though, but he's always been in a baby swing. That is, until yesterday, when we went to a playground that only had "big boy swings." He still wanted to swing anyway.

So Honey put our two year old on the swing, and he did great! So our three year old decdied to give the swings one more chance. And he did great too!

Here are my "superboys" on the big boy swings:

Sorry about the picture quality, it was taken with Honey's phone. But you can tell they're both enjoying themselves.

Our three year old reached another milestone yesterday as well: he loves to hang from the monkey bars, and yesterday he actually got up on them and went across one rung all by himself. Honey and I just looked at each other in shock and said to each other, "Did you see that?!" Our son is not quite 3 1/2, so we were pretty surprised he was able to do it.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!