Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Bacon At 3

Who knew Harrison could rock the bass like that? Well, actually I did cause sometimes in the morning before school he plays this song and honestly, The White Stripes before breakfast is almost too much even for a really hip mama like myself.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dodo and the Twig of Insanity

Okay, here is proof that William is kind of a nut, and he is bringing his siblings and cousins into his insane world!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Look at this tutorial. I absolutely love it! Aprons are so cool!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend Update

Well, here we are, another week gone by. Here are the highlights:

1. There have been a lot of questions about our 37 gallons of milk. There are 17 left in the freezer. Adrian just told me that we had 4 gallons of milk in the fridge when I brought them home, so you can do the math. We are loving having all this milk and I will be really bummed to go back to $40 a week on milk!

2. The spaghetti supper fundraiser was a big success. The most popular item was a German Chocolate Cake that went for $120. Yes, $120. Thank you Sister Foster!!

3. William has been working hard at getting the house painted. It is looking good. Oh, not our house, a house Adrian has bought to rent or flip or something. We will see what we do with it.

4. Ella has her cute glasses. Someone needs to force me to post a pic! It just takes so long to load the darn things!

5. William is hoping to complete his Eagle project on Saturday. Can I get an Amen?

6. William's car got a flat tire on Saturday. At the Stake Center. This allowed Adrian to meet a visiting member of the 70. Cool, huh? Have no idea what I am talking about? Call me, I know some fine young men that would love to explain it all to you! Oh, and it was really a hassle to change the tire since they are after market wheels. A funny size and recessed lug nuts. Adrian persevered and figured it out, though.

7. Adrian finally had a few minutes free and was able to hook up our new heat pump. Just in time cause we were getting pretty hot here in the house. We have turned the air conditioning on and Adrian is one happy camper. I am wearing fleece jammies and fuzzy socks, but that is okay!

8. Molly has been struggling with allergies this spring. Her eyes were so swollen Friday night she could hardly get them open. She had an Asian look. Seriously! We asked Dr. Foster for some advice Saturday night at Stake Conference and she suggested Zyrtec. We got some that night and she took a dose about 11:00 at night. She looked much better today. I hope this fixes her problem. We also had a good rain last night and today, so maybe that will knock some of whatever is bothering her out of the air.

9. We had the cousins come and spend the night this weekend. Since we had church meetings Saturday night for 18+ The kids all came here and goofed off. Lucy, Rachel, and Harrison each had a babysitting gig here at the house during the adult meeting. It was like a day care here. That was okay, cause I wasn't here to witness the carnage. I didn't get back home till close to eleven and everything was cleaned up and ship shape! I have VERY responsible teenagers!

10. Last night we went out to eat with Steve and Gretchen and Aaron and April at Pizza Hut. Okay, our Pizza Hut has become a Pizza Hut/ Wing Street and this is our first visit since the new menu. We are very disappointed. They have changed their sauce. Maybe the whole pizza. WE didn't like it. Bummer!

11. Today after Stake Conference we ate lunch at Adrian's parents house. The kids had a blast. And made a movie. It is on youtube, I think. I will have to get with William and ask him the details. I know his YouTube name is Enigmaof92. You can go and look at his videos, if you like weird 16 year old stuff.

12. William had a Drum Lesson this week. Of course the teacher thought he was great. William has a lot of natural musical talent.

Well, that is about all I can think of. Have a fab week!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I am apron swap happy!

I received my Sassy Apron Swap Partner for the summer swap and I am so excited. I can't say who she is but I have been to her blog tonight and am very excited to get started on something special for her!

And... We made $1600 tonight at our fundraiser for camp. That is about half of what it will cost. Yipee!


6 Batches of Brownies

10 pounds of Spaghetti

gallons of sauce


homemade caramels

potato candy

German Chocolate Cake

Oreo Pie

French Silk Pie

chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate no-bake cookies

pecan pie

and the list goes on...

Tonight at 6:30 all of these things are available for your eating and/or bidding pleasure! That's right, tonight is the Young Women's camp fundraiser. So if you live near my town please join us in the Cultural Hall at 6:30. There will be a spaghetti supper with salad, bread and brownies for dessert. (I have been baking brownies ALL day!) And the girls have all made special desserts to be used for a low key, no pressure, Silent Auction.

Come join the fun! And for those of you too far away to visit tonight, I will try to remember my camera so I can post some pictures.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


On Monday April 14 I bought 37 gallons of milk. It was every gallon of skim that Kroger had. It was skim because, in my humble opinion, even 1/2 percent is thick and nasty and has to be strained through your teeth!

Why, Cynthia, did you buy 37 gallons of milk?

Funny you should ask. I bought them because they were $1 a piece. And since we go through about 10 gallons a week I figured saving over a hundred bucks was a groovy idea.

So I carted 37 gallons of Kroger skim home. We put it in the upright freezer in the basement. Adrian plugged it up and we went about our business. About an hour later the temp in the freezer had dropped 15 degrees. Excellent, they will be frozen by tomorrow afternoon, I thought. Then a couple of hours later (Do you see where this is going?) the temp had risen 10 degrees....whoa Nellie, RISEN?


Yep, the freezer was broken. GULP. 37 gallons, remember?

Did you know that it is possible to squish 37 gallons of milk into your already stuffed chest freezer. If you throw out the empty ice cream buckets? First you have to gripe and complain about having children that return empty ice cream buckets to the freezer. Then you have to remember to be thankful that they even return the ice cream buckets to the freezer. After you have only asked 37 times. (Do you see my theme? 37!)

So the happy Hale family is gulping milk as quick as we can. It is already almost half gone.

Our milk loving bellies are singing the happy song!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The grass is always greener around the field line!

When William was little Adrian used to let him ride the lawnmower with the blade up. Then he got big enough to mow. And for a while he was happy. He felt like a big kid. It was even, do I dare say, fun?

When Lucy and Rachel were little they didn't want to mow, they wanted to feed the baby. Problem was, I was breastfeeding.

Mom, can we nurse the baby?



Umm, no. So they took baby dolls and pulled their shirts up and nursed their babies. They would just sit silently next to me while I nursed.

Then Harrison started looking longingly at the lawnmower.

Puhleeeze can I mow like William?



No. And then one magic day about 3 or 4 years ago.



Unbridled joy. It lasted about one summer and then some of the most grueling parenting known to mankind. Coordinating two boys that would rather have their toes cut off than mow, to mow. In the HOT Tennessee summer. And mowing season starts in the beginning of March and ends about the first of November. And don't even mention weed eating. Suddenly text messaging sounds like a better form of parent child communication than actually being in the same room with them when vile words like weed eating have to be mentioned.

Alas, poor disgruntled teens, salvation is in sight!

And it comes in the form of a perky 9 year old girl!

Oh yeah, look at me!

Hello, you poor people not on a mower. Oh, are you having to pick up sticks while I zoom by in 4Th gear?

Yes, I am concentrating. This half acre is going to look great, just wait till I tackle the rest of the 12 acres! (No, we do not mow all 12 with the mower. Some is in woods and we bush hog the big field. We mow maybe 2 or 3 acres, though!)

I make dirt look good. Or maybe I make John Deere lawnmowers look good.

Sometimes lawnmower is similar to the Teacup ride at Disney. Hold on tight while I swing this puppy around!

Really, there is no better way to spend an afternoon.

Look, no hands.

How long until she thinks lawn mowing is the worst thing to do on the face of the earth? The English bookies will be taking bets.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tornado, Gun Threat, Earthquake? It must be the end of the world

and I feel fine. No, really. After last Fridays tornado in Warren County we get a gun threat at the Middle School. Today everyone was going to die. Or so it said on the bathroom wall. Now, I do believe whoever wrote that should be strung up by their toenails. But I also doubted that anyone was going to do anything. And they didn't. Middle Schoolers by definition are DRAMATIC. But they had extra security today. And of coarse, most kids stayed home anyway. Not mine, Lucy said she was not going to give up her perfect attendance(?!?!) and Rachel said since she was up anyway she might as well go, but please come pick her up before the basketball game that was scheduled to start at One. Harrison lives for missing school and spent the morning getting ready for his camp out tonight.

And then there was the stinking earthquake. At 4:37. I do not like to be woken up. Especially when I already have a terrible cold and feel gross. And then I couldn't fall back to sleep. Yuck! Lucy said Bandit was asleep in her room when the earthquake hit and he was very unhappy. But then went right back to sleep. Lucky dog!

So what will it be next week? Floods? Asteroid? Gamma rays?

I did something foolish

Last night Adrian told me a funny story about Molly. He said that she was walking through the house with her pant leg pulled up and rubbing her knee. He asked her what was wrong. Her reply: I did something foolish. (Foolish??)

Some back round:
She and the other kids have put "steps" on the front trees. They are just pieces of 1x6 that they have nailed up the tree. After they did that they decided to build a way to pull things up into the tree with them. They have tied a rope to the branch and put a big metal hook/clasp thingy on the other end. It closes around a bucket handle or whatever they hook it to. It is almost always is hooked to a bucket that sits in my front yard.

Back to last night. Apparently Molly decided it would be fun to hook the hooky thingy to her back belt loop and then hoist herself up. Yeah, I know, that isn't really possible, is it? I guess that you learn things like this by trial and error! So she hooked it to her pants and pulled. And must have lifted herself a bit because she ripped her belt loop off and landed on her knee.

Yeah, Molly, a little foolish, but cute!

Monday, April 14, 2008

My mailbox luvs me today

What a day. What a week, really. Did you all read about the tornadoes in Tennessee on Friday? They were one mile from my house. ONE MILE!! The kids couldn't leave school until about half an hour later than the bell because they had them all in the hall/basement in tornado position. I was in my tornado position down on Rachel's bed reading a book. With a flash light. Our power was out about half an hour. The tornado did major damage to some houses of people that we know. Very scary.

But on to lighter subjects. I walked out of my very cold house today into the very cold front yard in my fleece jammies to get the mail. It was on the 80's all last week and then boom, tornado and cold weather. Adrian actually got snowed on this morning while doing an inspection up the mountain a bit!So I am keeping warm in my jammies. And yes, I drove the kids to school in my jammies. First time I have ever done it.

So I walk out after the mailman has turned around and is headed back

up the road but still get caught by the UPS lady. Not like she cares that I am in fuzzy blue jammies, but I felt funny.

But she brought ME a package! It was from my Grandmother. How exciting. And then when I get in the house and rummage through the mail there is a letter for me. A LETTER? And guess where it was from....


From a certain Country Doctors Wife. You know, Mr. Panties Sister in Law!

Hooray, Rechelle! I received my Gift card to Anthropoligie. I am so excited to use it. I have been perusing their site and it may take me a while to pick what I want because I am really bad at decisions like this! But I am so excited to look. I am going to admit my small towness here when I say I had never heard of Anthropologie. So, Rechelle has saved me from a life doomed to only shopping at Wal-Mart and I am eternally grateful!

And from my Grandmother came some clothes and these three gems...

A book, because I love to read!

And these two pics. On the left is my Great Grandmother. We called her Daddo but her real name was Cynthia (just like yours truly, every ones fave blogger!) On the right is Daddo's mother, my great great grandmother. Her name was Martha Lou Shelby Hardin. I knew Daddo. She lived until my freshman year at college, but I never met Mattie, as she was called.

What a great day, and what wonderful treats that came to me.

Thank You Dee Dee and Rechelle!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bacon at 3

I found a hot new band.

The drummer and the base player are amazing.

They even look like me a little. I was destined to like this band.

And, I am the one that usually buys the bacon that they cook at 3. On Boy Scout camp outs.

Yeah, those are my kids. And their friends. The redhead on guitar has a recording studio in his basement. He knew what he was doing. The other 3 showed up that day and played the other instruments for the first time. Well, if you don't count the many hours they have played them on RockBand.

Jimi Hendrix better watch out.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sponsor My Cousin Amanda at March for Babies!

My cousin Amanda is looking for sponsors for her Walk- a -Thon for the March of Dimes. She is a mom with 3 kids and has been helping with this fundraiser for years. It is really easy to donate, just click on the link and use your Paypal account. I just love Paypal. Having to get up and go find my purse and then rifle through looking for my debit card would completely stop me from doing stuff like this. Yeah, I am that lazy! But I never had to get up off my lazy tail and so here it is Amanda, a donation and a post on my blog. Hey, Amanda is also looking for people to join here walking team so if you live near Springfield Oregon you can walk with Amanda. And if you do I will be so stinkin' jealous cause I wanna get to walk with Amanda!!!! But I live thousands of miles from her. So sad for me! Anyhoo, click the link and check it out.

A Quickie

1. Ella went to the eye doctor yesterday and she confirmed what we already knew. Ella couldn't read the writing on the wall, so to speak. She is know sporting a snazzy pair of contacts. We ordered a pair of glasses (blue, of coarse ) they will be in at the end of the week.

2. We have a poltergeist in the house. Last night we had lights go out and the kitchen sink clog up. At the same time. We ran a snake through the sink all the way to the big clean out in the basement. It seemed clear, but no water was coming through, just eh snake. SO Adrian tied a washcloth to the end of the snake and pulled it back up through to the kitchen. It slid through no problem. Okay, must be cleared, whatever it was. NOPE. Still the water backed up when we turned it on. Then magically it just ran out and everything is fine know. Can anyone explain this?

3. Molly won second place in a coloring contest sponsored by the newspaper.

4. I am about finished with book 2 in the His Dark Materials Trilogy. It has been MUCH more interesting than Book 1. It is also a bit more creepy. I will give you my full opinion once I finish Book 3.

5. I have no idea what to make for dinner and my food budget has run dry until the 15th.
Dinner. is. my. worst. nightmare. UGH.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Yawn* Sniff* Oh, was I reading something?

Let me apologize right now to Rechelle. She has posted on her blog about how Philip Pullman isone of her favorite authors. Rechelle, you might want to go and groom the showcats or something right now, cause I am gonna 'dis your homey Philip.
I decided to read Book 1 of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Ella and Molly saw an ad for the movie this week and were all a twitter. So I needed to investigate for myself . So far, so good and the anti Christian front. It deals with good and evil and original sin and the Catholic Church. But since I am not Catholic, a lot of the Original Sin rhetoric is kinda lost on me. I believe that man will be judged on his own actions and not on Adam's transgression.
I don't want to be a spoiler, so I am just going to comment on the fact that so far, I find nothing offensive. I am told that Book 3 will be different. I have Book 2 in my purse, so I will read it tonight and get Book 3 tomorrow. Then we will see what all the uproar is about.
But now let me tell you my opinion of the book in general. *YAWN* Sorry, but this was one of the most boring books I have ever had to read. It was killing me. I read it over the last two mornings while I was proctoring for TCAP at the middle school. I wish I had been taking TCAP instead of reading this book.
Well, I know I like things short and sweet, and that is what I am giving you here. I am curious to see what other people have thought of the book. And I guess the movie, since I think it is coming out on video the girls said so there are probably some of you who have seen it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pumpkin Cake

I made this tonight and it was yummy. I like an excuse to use my favorite cake pan. My tube cake pan. Does anyone else love to make tube cakes? I know PW loves to make sheet cakes. I like tube pans cause there is more cake and less frosting. I usually just make a glaze and pour it over. So easy. This recipe is from Molly's Strawberry Shortcake Holiday cookbook.

Angel Cake's Sweetly Spiced Pumpkin Cake

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt

Mix the above in medium bowl. Then in your mixer bowl combine:

1 cup oil
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla

beat until smooth and then add dry ingredients. Beat until smooth and then pour into a greased bundt (I use my two piece tube pan) pan and bake 60-75 minutes or until it tests done. You can pour a glaze over the top once it is cool and you put it on a plate. I made a glaze from 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons butter (softened) and about 3-4 Tablespoons of orange juice. You could use milk or cream if you don't like orange.

Need a laugh?

From looking at this on You Tube I think this is from a TV show? If anyone knows anything about these guys could you leave me a comment and tell me?

Oh, and since I do not speak French if someone hears something undesirable that they say will you please let me know. I understand a lot of what is said, but I don't want to have something bad on my site and just not know it. Thanks!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I made banana muffins today for snack and they are so tasty I thought I would quickly jot down the recipe for all of you.

No, I have no action shots of the flour being poured into the bowl. No amazing photos of me mashing bananas. Just a recipe. I know you are secretly glad that it is not going to take 20 minutes to get through this post!

Banana Muffins

1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed

Melt butter in bowl. Add rest. Bake until done.

Was it too complicated? Do you need a picture of me stirring so you understand how to do it?

Okay, I am being a little snarky. PW has great recipes. We are loving her Mystery Rolls. They are the best. ever.

Oh, I use whole wheat flour. You can use wheat, white or a mix. Whatever floats your boat. Just go and bake these yummies. They will make you happy. If I lived in a perfect world that was all about me I would throw some cashews into the batter also. But I live in Tennessee. Very unlike a perfect world!

Goodnight my blogging friends!!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Laundry Chronicles

Edit* Adrian thought that I should mention that the 4 older kids have their own washer and dryer and do all their own laundry. So basically I get into this much laundry trouble doing the laundry of just 4 people!!

Go ahead and get a snack cause I have a long laundry story to tell you. And I am a really slow typist! So about a month ago I had a bad dryer experience. It is the first time I can remember this happening to me. I went to get the clothes out of the dryer on this particular day and noticed something disturbing. Pink smears, kinda in straight lines. ALL OVER EVERYTHING! And when I say everything let me tell you that this just happened to be a dryer full of Adrian appraisal shirts. The nice new ones. Okay, it's not like they were from Brooks Brothers or something like that , they are mostly from Wal-mart, Goody's and Old Navy. I probably spent $15 on the most expensive one. But, they were the sharp looking ones, and it takes Adrian all of ten minutes to wreck his clothes. They say watch out for a redneck when he says, "Hey guys, look at this," cause he is probably about to do something dumb. At my house I need to watch out when the redneck says, "I won't get dirty." He will get dirty! He always gets dirty! It is mostly because he is good natured, helpful , and not afraid of anything. But engine grease, mildew from rubbing against the side of a house when measuring it, or mud from helping pull someone out with the tractor still causes major stains no matter what the motivation.

So I was way bummed when several shirts were totally ruined for wearing out on inspections. They are still get for farm work, but he has PLENTY of shirts suitable for that! The culprit appears to be a tube of chap stick.

Fast forward to yesterday.

I went to wash a white load. When I got to the basement Rachel had taken my white load that was in the dryer and put it in a basket and then put my dark load into the dryer. She had a load in the washer. I moved everything around and turned on the washer. I put the soap and bleach in it. Then I put the white load in. As I was putting the stuff in I was looking for a particular shirt that I want to pre-treat. I got the whole load in. Where was that shirt? DUH. I had just put the CLEAN load into the washer. The dirty load was sitting by my feet. UGH. All I could do at this point was let the washer finish its thing. So this morning I run down before I need to runt to Cookeville and finally get the other white load washed. I pull the load out of the dryer and WHOA, what the heck? Black ink. Yep, more ruined clothes. Not the whole load at least like last time. A couple of Ella's stuff was wrecked but miraculously Adrian's 2 BRAND NEW shirts are untouched. (Say AMEN!!)

AM I aggravated? Yes. So I at least am going to get this other load washed. I throw the doubly washed white load into the dryer and then I get a good look at the inside of the dryer. Wow, there sure is a lot of ink staining the inside of that dryer...oh

NO, it is not dry. I touch an ink spot and my finger comes back black. And I just threw a white load in there. A white load with Adrian;s good white church shirt. Are you noticing the theme here? How many ways can I find to ruin my husbands nice clothes. I never injure the manure and blood and oil stained stuff. Oh no. It comes out looking great. Just stained. But his nice clothes have a death wish.

Like a mad woman I grab all the clothes out of the washer and throw them directly into the dryer. All the while screaming and gnashing my teeth. And yes, his nice shirt was the first thing that I put into the dryer. It has ink on it.

I put soap into the washer, turned it on left for Cookeville. I have not been back downstairs to survey the carnage of that load. Tomorrow I am going to get several dark towels and put them in the dryer until the ink is just a black stain in the dryer. It feels more like a black stain on my laundry loving soul. I have always enjoyed doing laundry. It is warm and smells good. and watching the washer go swish swish brings me great joy. I think I blogged about it once but I am way too tired to try and find that post. I am not enjoying my laundry lately. If I quit liking laundry there will be nothing left. There are no other chores that I like.

I am so blue. Well, more of a bluish black. The color of the pens that Adrian uses. And leaves in his pocket.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

80's mania

I found a list that I wrtote one day when I was waiting to pick up kids. It is a list of bands from the 80's that I like. Here it is:

Thompson Twins


Pet Shop Boys*



Duran Duran*

Howard Jones*

Paul Young*

Wet Wet Wet

Leslie Chueng*+

Tat Ming Pair*+

*Bands I have seen perform

+Hong Kong bands, you may not recognize them! Actually, INXS fits in that category, too.

Now I know you have opinions and want to comment. It's okay, wanting to comment is a reflex. A reflex ex ex ex ex ex....

It is Sassy Apron Swap Time Again!!!!!!!!

I loved the swap I did for a spring apron and have already signed up for the next swap. It is a summer theme. Head over to The Sassy Apron Swap site and check it out!!

Clean house

I know I am not the only one that struggles to have a clean house. I love having a clean house, but it is a full time job. Unfortunately I am not employed as a full time housekeeper here at the Hale Hole, um, I mean Hale House! I spend about 2 hours a day driving to and from school. That is if there are no extra activities. Yesterday was music so I had to run 2 kids to music lessons and then pick them up an hour later. Then 2 other kids stayed late for band and had to be picked up at 5:00. Plus we took a pie to our Bishop's house after FHE evening last night. Always something else to do, right?

SO what are the time savers out there? I have had my eye on that bathtub cleaning thing that you hang from the shower head and you press the button once a day and it sends a mega shot of cleaner in every direction and cleans the bath/shower. And I don't have to. Does anyone have this thingy? I keep seeing $5 off coupons in the paper and Wal-Mart has it for $25. If It works it would be well worth it, but if it doesn't it would be an0other junky waste of money and plastic. And Crunchy wants us to not buy anything this month. Well, I am not a big consumer, but I am in the middle of a big bathroom remodel and it is not going to wait till next month.

Anyway, I want your secrets for housecleaning. And your opinion on the bathroom thingumabob. Wish I could remember the name of it...

And I have been given 2 awards and I promise I will get those posts up soon.

Now, go and clean your houses!

Here is a link to the automatic shower cleaner