Monday, December 29, 2008

She Works Hard for the Money

Today UJ and CassiJo went to G-mom's to help out with the babies, visit and generally soak up all the love they could.

They put in a full day of it, arriving at noon and not returning home til 8pm tonight.

Joe bragged on how much of a help Cassi was with keeping Kai occupied and being sweet with Maya. (UJ got a big dose of love when Maya fell asleep on his chest......ahhhhh the sweet sounds of babies sleeping on you...)

Cassi and I were engaged in an embrace so I could love on her and brag on her and she whispered, "Can I get paid?"

I replied, "How much do you want?"

She said "Well I worked 8 hours how about $8?"


Let's hope she feels the same way in a few years. Yea right.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

There is No Such Thing

There is no such thing as too much love.

But there may be a point of exhaustion.

I think we may have reached it yesterday.

We spent the entire afternoon and evening with JorySan and the babies.

We played, wallered and kissed them all day and they tolerated it very well.
Kai is a hider. He hides his toys and puts them in cabinets, under sofas, behind furniture. Jory has to hide his wallet so Kai doesn't get a hold of it and hide it! (he almost forgot where he hid it too!)Maya is a doll baby. She rarely cried and tolerated all the girls holding her and playing with her. She got a little fussy last night and when we took some of her clothes off and went outside to cool off and rock in the swing at Papa's she went right to sleep. I can still put "the moves" on these babies!

We even made time to squeeze in a Walmart trip with Mr.& Mrs. Iwabe, Noriko's parents. They don't speak much English but did very well. We lost them for a while and after I walked the store, it dawned on me to look in the music section. They love country music and whenever they get a chance, they buy lots and lots of cd's to take home. When I found the check out with Joe, I admired all the cd's they had. Mr. Iwabe could say all the names of the artists. :o) They also can't believe the price of ham here. In Japan a small (maybe) 3lb ham might be $200!!! Mr Iwabe (or J-Pop as Jory calls him) loves ham, so last night when we had ham on our little snack buffet, you know he was there eating some of that!

We ended the evening at Papa's for a little Christmas with them and took the Iwabes through the Garden of Lights or Illumination as they called it. Kai kept saying "atah" or "look what I found"!

Needless to say we were glad to see that bed last night! (But can't wait to see the babies again......but tomorrow.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Themes

Merry Christmas to all you Bloggers!
We revved up Wednesday for a busy few days. Started with lunch with my family followed by a visit to G-moms followed by visit to Nana's then a lovely candle light service at church. We ended the day with a supper of snack foods and punch with my Aunt Joyce and her family. The children got to read the Christmas story from the Bible and I thought that was pretty special. (All our babies can read now!)

We had a very nice Christmas day at the Joes too. (Pictures will follow later)

Joe and I stayed up way too late on Christmas Eve and didn't get to bed til about 130am, watching movies piled up on the couch. I won't promise that I didn't snooze a little, so don't expect me to pass any quizzes about the movie!

Cassidy was the first to wake up and God bless that child, she let us sleep in til 8am. :o)

What followed was wrapping paper flying,lots of smiles and giggles and a few "Are you serious?"s

Cassi was pleased with her purple big-girl bike and itty bitty tv with dvd.

Carly was thrilled with her small HD tv for her room to. Now we need an inexpensive dvd player to use with it. Who knew that thing wouldn't pick up any local stations??

Joe's theme for this Christmas was Iron Chef at Camp. He got several cooking themed gifts and some camping lanterns. They should come in handy for our next camping rendevous. :o) He also got some silly gifts in with his real gifts. A shower curtain liner and compressed air. I had to throw him off the trail!

My theme was Iron Chef at Camp also. (unplanned! Hey great minds think alike!) I got a nice two burner camp stove. That will be so nice not to have to load up our huge grill to take with us next camping trip! Whew that thing was heavy! When Joe bought the stove he said, "Let me just say that my gift in NO WAY implies you are the woman and I am the man." Note:I will make sure he cooks on it just as much as me. Promise!

We got to see my BIL Jory and his sweet family from Japan yesterday too. Kai, my nephew was very sweet and let me hold him and play with him. It's funny that play does not need language. Laughter is the same in all languages. He is a busy little thing and kept us laughing. I have a funny picture of the first moment Kai saw Uncle Joe. He was soooooo tall!

My niece, Maya got to hold Uncle Joe first.She was snoozing when we got there and Noriko, her mother brought her to Joe for her first snuggle. She is the sweetest baby! She laughed and smiled at us and was generally an angel.

We can't wait to see them again today. I am pretty sure they are missing me. I can feel it. :o)

My gift to myself was a nice 2 1/2 hour nap after lunch.

Monday, December 22, 2008

And the Children Said, "Whew!"

Last night I finally got some gifts wrapped and under our tree.

The girls' gifts are all wrapped and color coded. CassiJo's are wrapped in mint green paper with snowflakes and CarlyJo is wrapped in B/W stripes. UJ's are wrapped in Batman paper, what else??

I wish I could have been here to see the look on CassiJo's face when she saw all the gifts. She knew I color coded them and called me to ask which color was hers. I almost didn't tell her but decided that unless I wanted 88 phone calls today asking me "What color is mine?" all day I had better tell her, so I did. She helped me out by putting tags on the gifts. She put 10 on her "big" box. I guess she didn't want anyone to open HER gift.

My brother in law, Jory and his family (from Japan) will be in attendance this Christmas. We are waiting (im)patiently for Kai and Baby Maya to arrive so we can squeeze them and kiss their little cheeks!

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Series of Unfortunate but Funny Events

Today I ran in my first 5K run. I finished in 45:23. According to a runner's website that is moderate. I am ok with that.

The race was held at Honor Heights Park in Muskogee. We ran in the park, around the outside to the "back" entrance then up a large hill (you don't realize how long and steep the incline is until you are walking it!)and back down. The uphill part was about 1K. I walked up it, not wanting to overdo it.....remembering the good advice from Leslie and my SIL Andi......slow and steady......compete with yourself only.....don't pay any attention to others. I loved the downhill part and was SO grateful for it!

Here is the ingredients for a funny story:

1. prior to departure, people in my house were having laundry issues. damp clothes cannot be worn in frigid air. we had to wait for the pants to dry.

2. a person in my house had toilet issues right before we left. (and said person cannot and will not be rushed)

3. We had hoped to be at the park at 415 for the race to start at 445. we left our house at 422. I refused to look at the clock because it was going to give me anxiety.

4. we decided to take both children AND the dog.....thinking it would be a fun adventure for them. (next time it will be me and Joe.)

5. Joe had to drive at unsafe speeds.....and dart in and out of traffic. Why were all the slow-pokes out today? Going the same direction we were?? And why was the Batmobile in the shop?? Man we really needed that jet engine today. He also S-T-O-P -Go at a stop sign when we were in a hurry to the registration. We got honked at by a old people car.

6. The start line was NOT where we thought it was and there is only three entrances to the park. They are spread WAY out. We, naturally went to the wrong one.

7. Joe dropped me off at the closest point to the registration desk. I ran up there and didn't have time to search for my I had to start with out a number. (keep that in mind for my finish line story) I wasn't too worried about the number since I was "competing with myself".

8. I was overdressed a bit and had to try and keep track of all my clothes as I shucked them during the race. At the 4K mark the wind picked up and it got really cold so then I had to put all the stuff back on.

9. I came up on the finish grateful to see it. I was freezing and dizzy and looking for my family among the people cheering on the sidelines. I didn't spot Carly until the camera flashed. She almost missed me!

10. The finish line people take this running stuff very VERY seriously. When I arrived, I expected "Good Job!!"
I got: Where is your tag?? No number? TURKEY! If you don't have a number you SHOULD NOT CROSS THE FINISH LINE."
Wow. Who knew?? NOT ME CAUSE I WAS LATE!! I should have just gobbled and went on.

11. Carly took my picture crossing the finish line and said Joe was in the truck. She said, "Dad was worried about you and almost ripped the front of the truck off on a rock he parked on."
WHAT??? When Joe parked, there was a rock sticking up and it cracked the plastic part of the lower bumper. He was not happy. I examined it later and determined in all my mechanical prowess (none) that we could order the part off the internet. When I told him that I got "the look". I didn't talk any more. :o)

12. The dog wasn't happy either. She was panting the whole time and really was over stimulated by all the people and strange smells not to mention the the ride over in the truck. Poor baby.

13. Leslie asked if I got a t-shirt since I didn't get my packet. I told her I sure did. I went right over to the table and "stole" one. I paid for it with my registration but didn't want to wait around to find someone to hunt my packet I helped myself and got the heck outta there.

It is funny now.........well actually it was funny to me as it was happening......
I was just too stunned to laugh out loud.

On a positive note:

I have been assured that this is not normal and my next race will not be this way.

I am counting on it.

Rush? What Rush?

Christmas shopping at dawn's crack insures short lines and peace while shopping. (you just have to walk around the Stockers and their pallets of stuff) I was done shopping and home before anyone stirred from sleep at my house. Woohoo!!

Gifts are bought and hidden.

Do I have to wrap them??

There is not one wrapped gift under our tree.


I'll fix that!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Round She Goes

Last night it was frigid here in Greencountry Oklahoma. So cold we had ice on the roads. Uncle Joe offered to drive my running route to check for ice so I wouldn't fall down and hurt myself. He also offered to follow me in the truck in case I got cold or couldn't finish. How sweet!!

After we pulled into the driveway to let Cassidy out I immediately got out of the truck and started running. I got to to the end of the block and he was still there. I ran further and could see him through the neighborhood through the yards. He was still there. I thought he was just giving me a head start.

He was still there when I came around the corner. I thought to myself: he must just be staying warm in the truck. Maybe he was talking on the phone. Yes he is on his phone. I can see the light....oh wait. He is just playing a game. He probably has the seat all nice and warm for me when I am done. I wonder if he even sees me. He has to see me I am wearing a pink jacket.

Fourth lap I am coming around the final turn and he is getting out of the truck. I think to myself: (y'all don't laugh) WOW He is coming out to cheer me on. He is meeting his woman in the time she needs him most. He will pat me on the back and say, "way to go honey". What a sweetie.

Uh. No.

When I get to him, he said, "Where have you been? I have been waiting on you to come out of the house! haha!! I thought you were inside! I went looking for you in the house and out in the back yard."

He never saw me leave and go to the road and start running. He never saw me......

I laughed about that all day!!

I could have tapped on the window while he was playing the game, but he said I would have scared him to death.

We crack me up. :o)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's a Gouda Thing

This my gourmet supper I whipped up last night.
Note the fancy glass full of Diet Pepsi. We are fancy around here people!

Yummy and easy chicken noodle soup with bowtie pasta for added fanciness.

Grilled Cheese, gourmet style.......

Gouda cheese (shredded) with cumin and sauteed onions on Rye bread.
Very interesting and different but all in all a.....
pretty tasty dish!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The secret ,( according to Uncle Joe and Aunt Jo) to making soup so good you say Mmmmm all through the meal is:

Swanson Vegetable Broth

We have used it in most of the soups we have made lately and what a yumm addition!! It is even good when you are sick plain with crackers.

There you have it secrets. Can you beat that?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Great Expectations

Last night was a huge surprise and exciting time for us in the Joe house.

It was Finals for the swim team in Claremore. This was CarlyJo's age group competing, age 11-15. There were quite a few more swimmers competing and the competition was great!

CarlyJo had to be begged to participate. She dug her heels in and would not relent.......until we made a deal with her.

Short story: she had been grounded for several weeks and in order to get some days knocked off for "good behaviour" she agreed to compete in two events.

Coach Christa chose Backstroke and Breast stroke. CarlyJo has a beautiful and graceful stroke, but she just needed to put her "all" into it and s.w.i.m.! We just wanted her to complete the event....competing with herself and work to overcome her performance anxieties. Get this.........

She won.

Both events.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Road Trip Dos

Another roadtrip was enjoyed by the Joes yesterday. I was nice and gave Joe a weeks notice this time and it sure did make a difference! haha. He slept like a log and got some good rest while I took the children to school and got ready. I let him sleep until he woke up...which took a while even with me blaring harmonica music from the internet radio. :o) I on the other hand was awake at dawn's crack, excited about our trip. :oD

We chose a new destination: Fayetteville AR. It is only about 80 miles away and a great day trip destination. We mapped out our plans and got on the road about noon. We planned to go to Dickson Street and explore the local restaurants and shops. If you don't know, Fayetteville is the home of the University of Arkansas, so you can imagine the great things they have to keep students busy. (staying in trouble or be the judge)

Our first stop was lunch since we were pretty hungry. We snacked on Clif Bars on the way down there but they don't fill you up for too long. We stopped at Bangkok for lunch. Take a look below at the beautiful food we ordered.

Our appetizers.
Spring Rolls.
very tasty and look at the beautiful presentation

Next course:
Tofu soup.
Not too hot but hot enough to be very comforting on a wintery day.

Joe's entree (i can't remember the Thai name)
Tofu Curry with pineapple.
Very yummy! He said it was his favorite of all the Thai we have had.

My entree: Pad Thai with shrimp
I usually stick with things I know since we usually share our meals. Joe usually goes for a walk on the wild side and gets "new" dishes. :o)
This was very yummy and full of shrimp. I really liked it and ate every bite!

Next you will see our next stop: Dickson Street Bookstore. This store took our breath away. It was like the bookstores we have seen on movies. Books from floor to ceiling, wall to wall, stacked in corners and going on for what seemed like miles! It was a sight to behold and very overwhelming to book lovers. We did manage to find something for each of us and one Christmas gift for G-mom. (Shhhh don't tell!)

We also found the NorthWest Arkansas Mall and it was very nice. Full of nice stores and food vendors. We found a few Christmas gifts there as well and generally had a nice time looking around. Found some decorating ideas for when we repaint the living room and had a nice walk from one end to the other.

Headed back to the Dickson Street restaurants and ate a gyro at Kosmos Greek Restaurant. If you have never tried a gyros, you really missing out. They are very good and such a change from the same ole hamburger! The dipping sauce was very dill-y and cool on the hot lamb. Mmmmm We love gyros!
We headed home with our tummies full and our heads full of ideas for our next trip back. There were many more things we wanted to see, but just ran out of time. The trip home was very pleasant and really flew by since we were chatting about all we saw.

Daytrips are very fun and I look forward to the next one.........
Note to self: recharge camera before road trips!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Just Keep Swimming

Today we took CassiJo to the finals for her swim season. The meet was in Claremore, about a one hour drive away. We only made one wrong turn (a record for I mean me.)

CassiJo swam in 3 events and placed in two. We were so proud of our little swimmer....even when she was doing a Rockette dance while waiting for her turn to swim. UJ asked if that little number was the "PeePee Dance." (Mom's know exactly what I am talking about) No. It was not. It was just a little number for the entertainment of the parents in the stands. :o)

Way to go CassiJo!

One down and one to go. CarlyJo's age group competes Thursday. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Baby Brudda

While we were at our family Christmas gathering this weekend I asked our little cousin, Nicholas if he wanted CarlyJo to come and live with him and be his big sister.
He agreed.
He really liked CarlyJo who played a lot with him and his baby brudda, Zachary the whole time we were visiting.
He liked the idea so much that when he did something (semi) naughty he was afraid she would not want to come and be his big sister. He sat in her lap and held her hands and said, "I want to talk to you about being my big sister."
We thought this kid was a hoot!
He was not happy when we had to leave. He was talking it over (tearfully I might add) with his mother when we left. His mother, Candace assured me that he would be fine as soon as his grandparents came to pick him up. Apparently a big sister is NO competition for grandparents!


CarlyJo on Crazy Day during Homecoming week at school. I love her eyelashes!! She got them at Sephora when she and Megan went shopping.

A Gaggle of Giggly Girls
CarlyJo's 14th Boobay Party
Top L to R: Cassidy, Kyndra, Sarah, Ashley, Taylor
Middle: Lillian, Megan and Kaitlyn
Bottom: Carly holding Domo, and Bailey

Cheezin for Christmas

Ho Ho Ho
from the Joes!

Here we are in Heavener OK for an early Christmas celebration with Joe's side of the family.

We had a nice drive down there, Joe pestering me the whole way.......

....and he is so funny he cracks himself up!

A rare sight: Carly smiling in a picture....voluntarily. :o)

She loves taking B&W's. I can see why. They change the look of the photo so wonderfully!

I had to work really hard to get this photo. I have two daughters that take after their father and LOVE LOVE LOVE to ham it up for the camera. I have heard people say they have stacks of pictures of Joe making silly faces. :o)

I only wish our daughters were as innocent as they looked in this photograph. Soon as the flash went off they started arguing again. haha!!

Happy Sunday Blog Friends!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stockin' Stuffers or Santa's Old Elves

Saturday The Joes went to Miss Debbie's house to stuff some stockings for 100 Oklahoma soldiers serving in Iraq. Miss Debbie (shown above right, CJ on left) is a classmate of Uncle Joe's and was very sweet to volunteer to be the coordinator of their community project. The MHS Class of '78 in conjuction with the FTG Class of 2013 (Thanks to Carly's efforts with her teachers and classmates) collected enough to fill each stocking.

Just a sample of some of the items our community donated......

AJ, Box Taper Upper

Cambryn and Cassi, two of our box stuffers
(Carly is taking the picture)
Thanks for helping girls!

Santa needs worker elves of all ages and Class of '78 isn't too old! Thanks to all of you for pitching in to show some hometown soldiers some hometown caring!

Leslie and Joanie preparing to stuff some bags with goodies.

There were Idea Thinkers, News Coordinators, Stocking Makers, Stuff Collectors, Box Tapers, Box Stuffers (Thanks CarlyJo, CassiJo and Cambryn!)and Organizers, all very important jobs and we are grateful for each and every one of them. On behalf of the military personnel that will benefit from a small box from home:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Stretching Post

I am really bored and stretching here for a blog post.

I am one of those people who has a pretty big purse full of useful things such as:

1 lip balm mint flavored...very tasty
1 lip gloss Rimmel Snog
1 bendy foldy brush
1 cell phone
2 Rx bottles
1 lotion B&B Tuberose bottle but full of Johnson's Vanilla Oatmeal
2 calendars
1 pair 3-D glasses
5 3-D cards
12 Holiday Giveaway tickets (i sure hope one is a winner!)
1 small notebook mostly full
12 notecards blank
2 written cards half addressed
1 gel pen
1 digital camera
1 ipod
1 Rib Crib mint
1 coupon for lightbulbs
3 bills
1 hot pink Cross pen
3 sticks of gum
1 address book
1 extra large emery board
2 bottles of fingernail polish
make up bag: tylenol, ibuprofen, naproxen, vitamins, zantac, tweezers, mascara and safety pins, emergency girl supplies
wallet weirdness: UJ's old college ID circa 1978, UJ's old drivers lic circa 1986. sweet note Cassi wrote me (Mom, you are the nicest mom I ever had. Love Cassidy) several expired American Eagle gift cards that I have been forbidden to throw away and sworn to keep, movie ticket stubs, 82 receipts (jk)
keys on my stretchy keyring to: my car, Joe's truck, home, work, and Gmom's
2 keyless entry remotes.

I would post a picture but that would mean laying it all out and I just don't want to do that right now. I have things to do before tomorrow like watch a movie, paint my nails, read a magazine and take a long hot bubbly bath.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tell It Like It Is CassiJo!

Yesterday I decided to try my hand at baking a pie. No, that is NOT a picture of my pie....I forgot to photograph my progress and finished product last night.

Sweet potatoes are on sale dirt cheap at the local Walmart so Uncle Joe, being a sweet potato lover, bought 10 pounds for us commenting that they will keep in the cool garage. (send me your sweet potato recipes!)

Google discovered a cornocopia of recipes: some with nuts and some without. When I asked Joe if he wanted nuts in his he shouted from the other room, "NO! No nuts! Just sweet potatoes! Don't go jackin' around with it! Just sweet potatoes!" Ummmmm. OK. No nuts. I get it. :o) He is a sweet potato purist I guess. I have heard of these people, but never dreamed I was married to one. ha!

I boiled the taters, peeled them, smashed them stirred some yummy spices in and put them in the oven to bake. It was a nice and simple recipe. Just the kind I like!

We had some warm sweet tater pie with ice-cream and whipped cream while we watched OU stomp Texas Tech late last night. :o)

While Cassi ate hers at the kitchen bar she said, "Mom this looks like pumpkin pie."
"Yes it does, but it is sweet potato pie." I replied.

Her dad chimed in, "How can it be pumkin pie when there is no pumpkin in it?"

Without missing a beat she said, "Well you can call it sweet potato pie if you want to, but around here WE call it PUMPKIN pie."

Joe and I looked at each other and cracked up.....where does this kid come up with this stuff? She is funny!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Best Laid Plans

I totally got Joe today. I have never "gotten" Joe. Ever.

I planned earlier this week to surprise him by taking today off. I didn't tell a soul in my house. I arranged to have Nana pick up the girls so we would not have to rush home. I had several ideas to choose from and I told my co-workers to tell him I ran an errand if he called me at the office before 9am, the appointed surpise hour.

I got up, showered and left as usual so I wouldn't give any secrets away. It was a long hour before I could come home and surprise him. I got a cup of coffee, read the paper and went to the Dollar Store to pick up some stuff and waited.

I was in the house when he walked in from taking CassiJo to school. He had a sick look on his face. He HAD called and was told I had "stepped away from her desk". When he saw my car at home he panicked and thought something was wrong.

"SURPRISE!!" I squealed. "I took the day off!!"

He was totally speechless.

It took him about 20 minutes to calm down.

He doesn't do surprises well. (Next time I think I'll give him a heads up.)

I totally caught him off guard and surprised we are off for a surpise day trip. :0) Who knows where we will end up!

Aunt Jo, The Surpriser
Over and outta heeeeeere!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Do You Like My New "Do"?!

My funny new blog header was created (and installed) by lesliereid didn't she do a great and goofy job?!

I have never been Simpson-like, so this will be fun! I am just glad she didn't create me with tall blue hair. :o)

Thanks Leslie!! You are a peach! (and I like peaches)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Aren't All Women Puzzles?

Rubik Cube Generator
Create your own Rubik's Cube

I could never solve a Rubik's if you can't beat 'em, join em!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

List of Important Information

Foods I Didn't Try Until I Was an Adult
I am sure you have been waiting for this .......ha!
1. Jelly beans (Jelly Bellies)
2. Asparagus
3. Turnips ( I only like my MIL's....cooked with a bit of sugar)
4. Cornbread....JIFFY CORNBREAD
5. Bread and Butter Pickles
6. Maltomeal
7. Tortellini
8. Ravioli
9. Alfredo sauce
10. Hawaiian Pizza
11. Guacamole
12. Heinz 57
13. Coffee
14. Cappaccino
15. Cottage Cheese
16. Pepper Jelly
17. Crab Legs
18. Pesto
19. Hot Tamales (the candy)
20. Beets
21. Chinese Food
22. Thai Food
(My mom was a picky eater.......can you tell?? Picky eater=Picky cook!!)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Uncle Fro

I forgot to post a picture of Uncle I mean Uncle Joe's Falloween Get-up.
*snicker* :o)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sundies and What Not

Hi Folks! It's me, AJ.......

Look at these funny mannequins we found at Sam & Ella's

Uncle Joe you have some 'splainin to do. Why did I come home from work and find a lipstick kiss on your face? ;o)

My friend's hands are filled with music. Her fingers dance on the keys and fill my ears with joy.

We had a wait, a sundae on Sunday on our way home from camping.

Strange Things in the Ditch

I am sure there is a logical and reasonable explanation for this.......
God, please let the person who lost their wheelchair in our ditch find it soon. Amen

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Guess It's Over

The Fat Lady sang.

I don't like her.

I had hope!!

I was at least glad to see that McCain won our state.

Onward and upward!!! (or at least onward......)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Procrastination Obliteration

Ladder Golf is fun!!
Wanna learn how to make it and play??
We first played with some friends from UJ's Class of 78 at a picnic and had such a ball we went right out and made us a set to take camping with us. We won't discuss who won this match. (I was tired and the sun was in my eyes OK??!!) :o)
I found a wooden duck stick on a picnic at Wildwood in September......

CassiJo and Hoghead aka Octagon Man aka Terry
These two love each other and love to torment one another.......

pretty flower arrangement by CassiJo and AlliJo

AlliJo and CassiJo have an impromptu picnic at our house on a beautiful Saturday.......

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Falloween Princess

Updated with photo!! Princess CassiJo sans long white gloves

This Halloween CassiJo decided she wanted to be a princess. She decided this after choosing a lavender satin candy basket at Super Target in Edmond. We searched the local mall for a costume and unless I want my daughter to be a harlot, we will not be selecting a costume from their store. We settled on long white gloves and a crown from Claires, with the understanding I would comb the resale shops the next day for a perfect princess dress.

First stop....not much luck. I found a hunter green bridesmaid dress and that was the only thing that wasn't too long or too revealing. At the low low price of $6 how could I go wrong? I wasn't thrilled with the selection and decided to make one more stop at Twice Is Nice and check thier selection. BINGO!! SCORE!!! I found a tea-length pink chiffon dress that was perfect for our little budding princess. I scored major brownie points with this dress people!! (pictures will follow tomorrow)

I noticed rather quickly that CassiJo's demeanor and personality changes when she is HRH Princess CassiJo. There is apparently some unspoken rules about being a princess:

1. Attire must be long and flowing
2. Crown is required, the more jewels the better
3. Gloves, long and white, preferred but not required
4. Shoes must high heeled and/or sparkley. Bonus if they "snap" when you walk
5. Cupped hand wave must be perfected
6. English accent is required apparently
7. Princesses get to boss everyone around
8. Drinks must be consumed with the pinkie finger pointed up
9. Lips must be pursed
10. Princesses blink in excess
11. Everyone in the room MUST kiss the hand of the princess upon greeting.

This is for your information should you ever visit the Joe Household while we are still in Princess Stealth Mode........

Happy Falloween!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Break

Today is the first day of Fall Break for the little kiddies across Oklahoma.
CarlyJo spent it with friends doing what girls do about boys and paint their piggies. CassiJo and her daddy went to a movie after she spent the night with Nana and Papa. (BTW if any of you would like to invite her over for a sleepover, she would be glad to come. She is feeling a little blue that CarlyJo has so many friends to spend the night with and she really doesn't have many.....)

ME? I was at work. Someone beat me to the punch and took off first. Shoot!!

Here are some things I have learned this week:
1. More football rules and what-not, while watching the OU/Texas game
2. Heated seats are wonderful (we got a new-to-us truck with heated seats)
3. Running in cold weather makes me dizzy
4. 4am is very early to wake up every day. If you need a wake up call at 4am Central time, I am your girl.
5. Never engage a disgruntled doctor as to why drugs are so expensive
6. Never assume things will go off with out a hitch.....something always comes up. Thank goodness for family to help out. Right AndiJo?
7. My beautiful niece and nephew from Japan will be here for a Christmas visit.
8. There is such a thing as a chocolate ovarian cyst. (but it is not filled w/chocolate.)haha
9. Uncle Joe still sneezes really loud
10. Carlyjo talks really fast when she is excited.
11. Cassijo still sings ALL the time. The other night she sang herself to sleep. (and another day we caught her singing to herself in the mirror after her shower...The CassiJo Show!)
12. Only bad mommies forget to pack their baby's swim suit when going on a weekend trip. (Thank Goodness for Super Target!!)
13. Running to music is fun.
14. I was told by one of the providers, after defending a disgruntled and grumpy employee that I "could find something good in a pile of C-R-@-P." I think that was a compliment.
15. I have spent 3 out of 4 lunch hours in Walmart. I spend way too much time in Walmart.

That's all from AuntJo tonight folks!

Happy Fall Y'all!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Things I Learned While Camping

The Joes, (less CarlyJo who is too cool and waaay to busy to camp with us.....haha) went camping this weekend at Greenleaf State Park. We had a really good time and here are some things that I learned on our 48 hours while there.

1. Don't sit downwind from someone sprinkling red pepper. It burns your eyes.

2. Set up your tent to catch the cross wind, otherwise it will just blow your tent in and scare you in your sleep.

3. Don't serve chili one night then beans the next day. (but do mix the left over chili with the beans!!)

4. Don't try to walk to the farthest bathroom when participating in #3.

5. Bring a small basket to carry your shower paraphenalia.

6. Leave modesty at home when showering in the bathrooms. There really is not privacy. (or shower late and get dressed lightening fast like I did)

7. Be glad that your daughter collapses , exhausted, in her camping bed....put there by her very own self.

8. Bring lots of wood for the camp fire, and don't forget to protect it from rain.

9. Listen to the weather man and believe that a 30% chance of rain is a big enough chance you should put everything up for the night.

10. Invest in an air mattress. Totally wonderful! Beats sleeping on the hard ground and makes snuggling to keep warm much easier....

11. Inspect (and double inspect) the ground for sticky-up items before setting the tent up.

12. The smell of fresh coffee and bacon in the morning beats any alarm clock.

13. Rising with the sun and the birds (sometimes making funny noises) is wonderful.

14. Slow down and enjoy all the quiet.

15. Our universe is a wonderful and marvelous thing.....take a blanket and admire all the stars.

16. In quiet camp areas, voices carry so don't talk about your neighbors or say naughty things.

17. Electricity is overrated.

18. Camping is fun.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

French Fry How To's

I was eating my lunch in a hurry today as I had to run some errands on my lunch break......I was driving down the road eating french fries pondering these questions:

1. When you eat FF's do you eat one at a time or are you a multiple-consumer.

2. If you are a multiple-consumer how do you determine the acceptable number of FF to eat at once?

3. Does the texture of the FF have any bearing on your decision? If I am eating crinkle cut fries, I tend to eat them one at a time but thinner cut fries are consumed at least two at a time.

4. Are you a conscientious selector of fries? Choosing the largest, crispiest or longest fry to eat first or do you just dive in, grabbing and eating?

5. What is your ketchup application technique? Do you dunk one fry at a time or do you pour/drizzle/dump ketchup on all the fries and eat them with a fork?

I am a dunker but have wandered over to the drizzle side of the fence depends on the situation, the availability of the condiment and the number of diners also engaging the condiments. I also like pepper in my ketchup. (Don't say ewww until you try it!)

6. Lastly, who makes the best frenchfries?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our Baby

got saved last night. We went to the Community Block Party put on by our church and she gave her heart to Jesus. She was very excited to make her decision public this morning. We will be thrilled to watch her baptism soon....

Heaven is celebrating!! We are too. :o)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Stellar First

Last Monday night Uncle Joe and had a "Stellar First". We went to the football track for our nightly exercise and on our first lap around we noticed a lone soul sitting on a bench in front of the stands. In front of this person were two instruments on tripods. We walked closer and closer and the face came into was my HS Basketball Coach, Coach (Glenda) McClain. She is married to my old MS Science teacher, Mr.(Cleon) McClain. They are both retired, but Mr. McClain came out of retirement to teach his dream subject: Astronomy. He went above and beyond the call of duty to make this class happen for Fort Gibson High School students. He wanted a class of 12 due to the limited amount of equipment he had but the turn out was so great, he has 17 students interested in Astronomy.

We stopped to chat with Glenda because she and UJ have the same heart condition and they compared notes and medications and it did them both good to share a little of their stories....moving on........she invited us to stay and view what the students were about to view: Jupiter and its moons. HOW COOL IS THAT? (of course we took them up on that offer!)

We stayed and listened to Mr.McClain teach a bit and it really took me back. I really enjoyed his classes. He was a great teacher and she was a great coach. Both were encouraging in their own way. He was more dry but funny and she was a positive, upbeat person who you just loved to be around. We all found it very strange they got married, but they have been together for a long time now and seem as happy now as ever. They never had any children, I guess all the students they had were enough. :o)

This is almost the exact view we saw from the huge telescope they had set up.

It was the first time I had ever viewed anything like this and I was so thrilled to finally see something so awesome. Glenda invited us to come back again for the next viewing: Saturn. I hope they don't forget to call.......

I think I know what I want for Christmas.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stretching My Noodle-making Muscle

Saturday I finally got up my nerve and tried our pasta maker attachment for our KitchenAid mixer we bought this spring. The mixer came with a "Mixer Bible" and was chock full of recipes. The first pasta recipe is for beginners so I decided to start at the beginning and stretch my noodle muscle with a fairly easy noodle. So what if I messed up? It was only flour, egg and water!
It was much much easier than I thought to make them, and I would do it again.
I have been wanting to make Fettuccini Alfredo so this was the perfect opportunity. Uncle Joe seasoned up the chicken to saute, I made some mushrooms to add and when the combination came together, well let's just let the picture below tell the story.


UJ liked it and fussed a bit over the tasty plate. I ate that up along with the yummy noodles. :o)

Next I'll work on my tomato noodle muscle

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thank Goodness for the Day After Thursday!

I'll start by saying I am glad it is Friday and we all get to rest a bit tomorrow. I am a little short on words tonight so I'll just tell a funny story that Joe told me one day this week on our Nocturnal Stroll.

*Disclaimer: This is told in my own words and will not exactly match the story word for word as it was told to me. End Disclaimer*

One night while UJ was visiting Memaw and Pepaw in Heavener (translated: out in the boonies) he decided to take a stroll up to Aunt Dodo's house, about 1/4 mile away. (Approximately)

The night was dark and quiet. So dark he could not see his hand in front of his face. So dark it made your eyes feel strange to be open and not able to visualize anything. So quiet all he could hear were the country insects and the sound of his footsteps walking down the road.

The sounds he heard made him start to wonder what kind of varmits were lurking near by. Pepaw was forever telling a tale about a cougar or some other scary critter up near their house. Joe became a little nervous.....what if one was about to crawl acoss his foot and bite him?

He began to run in the darkness, feeling his way by the feel of the road beneath his feet. The farther he ran the faster he ran until he was at a fever pitch pumping his 20-ish yr old legs as fast as they would carry him. He was wearing Roper boots so he was really clippety cloppety running down the road in the pitch black country night.

When he came to his senses enough to look around he had run PAST Aunt Dodo's driveway and had to back track a bit. When he arrived at the house Aunt Dodo greeted him in true Blevins Sister fashion...."Hi Huh-neeee! What are you doing here so late? Did you hear all that racket on your way? It must have been a horse running down the road." He laughed. "No Aunt Dodo, it was me running down the road." They had a good laugh and I am not sure she believed that the noise she heard was him running down the road.

I have this picture in my mind......a skinny, (handsome) guy with quite a bit more hair, in Wranglers and Ropers running down the road in fast what you would see on an episode of The Little Rascals.......looking around realizing he missed his turn and running back, trying to get his aunt to believe thta racket really was him running down the road and NOT a horse. I laughed out loud every time I thought about it at work this week. I am still smiling. :o)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Did You See That?

Did you hear that speech by Sarah Palin?? (Did you see her daughter lick her hand to make the baby's hair lay down? So cute!)

Did you hear that speech by John McCain? Cindy McCain?


Yea. What they said..........

I can't wait for November. I have never NEVER been interested in politickin' but this year has piqued my interest. I may not have watched the speeches if Joe hadn't been in charge of the tv remote, but in any case I paid attention and learned a lot and was inspired by the two candidates and their families.

McPalin! McPalin! McPalin! McPalin!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Last night on my nocturnal stroll, I could feel the effects of Hurricane Gustav. He was blowing and throwing rain around a little here in Oklahoma. I just enjoyed the breeze and the cool drizzly rain ....

Monday, September 01, 2008

Pei Wei's Big Adventure

Saturday Uncle Joe asked me if I had heard of a restaurant called Pei Wei. I had because a drug rep catered it in for us last year. Then yesterday I had a fabulous idea: go try it. I knew exactly where it was, and it was easy to find for us country folk so off we went after CassiJo and I got in from Sunday School.

We bribed the children into staying home so we could have a nice lunch alone with Subway. Gotta love Subway!!

We arrived at PeiWei and were lucky enough to get a parking spot on the front row. :o)

We were greeted just inside the door by a man serving samples of honey seared chicken; a very tasty little tidbit to get our appetites whetted.

If you have never been to Pei Wei here is the proper procedure. (do not vary from this procedure or their may be consequences. All the dear folks in line with us complied with all the protocol so no one was hurt during our dining experience. ) A line is formed from the door to the cash register where your order is placed before you are seated. The menu appears on panels in the line area. You are to review and select your food choices before arriving at the cash register. The cash register is attended by a Soup Nazi. Do not dillydally or lollygag while ordering. You are allowed one question. Answer quickly any question asked of you, pay and get on down the line and wait for your seating assignment. Take your seat and wait for your food. Do not make eye contact.

We were seated right by the fountain drink station. Something that later I appreciated.

I ordered Shrimp Thai Coconut Curry with fried rice. (wish i had gotten white sticky rice, but that guy at the register scared me!) Joe ordered Thai Blazing Noodles with Beef and for our appetizers (we went a little crazy) Lettuce Wraps and Crab Wontons. Our appetizers arrived minutes after we were seated and they were very tasty.

When our entree's arrived we admired them a minute before digging in. Mine was very pretty with all the red peppers and greenbeans and Joe's was very colorful as well with quartered tomatoes and carrots and lots of noodles with a reddish tint. After the first taste he realized the reddish tint was Hell Powder.

Now let me tell you UJ has a tough tongue and a palate for hot and spicy things. ;o) After several bites of these hot noodles UJ wiped his brow and commented how hot they were. I tasted of them and I must have had some noodles off the bottom or some that escaped the Hell Powder because mine were not that hot. Apparently the heat is a cumulative effect because with each bite the heat multiplied exponentially until I saw steam coming from Joe's ears and nose and sweat beading up on his brow. He took several bites of my dish to cool his palate(or jump up to the fountain drinks that we were seated near) and would bravely dig back into his Blazy Beefy Bowl until he had just had enough. He couldn't finish it. I was famished and totally ate every bite of mine save the extra rice. By the time we left both our stomachs were on fire. We were in need of something to cool them down, so after a short trip to Sam's Wholesale Club we stopped at a custard shop called Freckles and UJ chose a Chocolate Alley for us: Chocolate frozen custard with smashed Snickers topped with whipped cream and chocolate chips. Mmmmm very nice coolness for the tummies on fire. :o) I was driving so he fed me and didn't even get any on me. Way to go Joe!

So in conclusion: Pei Wei's is a great place. The prices were very reasonable and the food was tasty. I would love to go again and try my favorite Thai dish: Pad Thai. (I am pretty sure UJ is done with Thai Blazing Noodles too, wouldn't you agree?) We had a nice day out and came home for a rest before our nocturnal walk and the movie Vantage Point.

A very good day was had by the Joe's

Today my laboring efforts were extinguished when the carpet steamer we rented Saturday will not work. Great. Lesson #1...always check to make sure the unit is working BEFORE filling with water. Now I have to move all the furniture back into the living room from the kitchen. Yay. They better give me a really good deal to make up for this.

Have a great day! Take a nap! You deserve it........I think I will.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Walker's Etiquette

Uncle Joe and I have been walking at night for a long time now. We went through a spell in the winter that we didn't get out much but got started again this spring and have kept it up most nights. We walk after dark so it is cooler for him (and more private for talking. :o)

We recently started walking at the track at our school. This gives us an exact distance and we don't have to worry about the cars . I have been pondering a few things along the line of etiquette and oddities

1. Why does everyone walk the same way?
2. Why is it counter clockwise?
3. Should you move out of the way when you hear someone coming up behind you or do you have the right of way in your lane?
4. Are you obligated to speak and 0r acknowledge someone every time you pass one another?
5. Is it rude to laugh if you hear a rude noise emitting from the derriere of the person in front of you?

This is a great time of the day for us and we relish it and look forward to it every night. It is great exercise for both of us and I am actually looking forward to some cooler days for our nocturnal strollings. Try's a good thing!:o)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beautiful Bargain: Bitty Baby Bananas

Cassidy and I went shopping yesterday at Homeland. Look at the cute little bananas she found! Aren't they cute!? They are very tasty and more intense than a full sized version. Bigger does not always mean better in the banana flavor department. :o) haha They are the perfect size for the children's lunches or a small snackie before bedtime. Mmmmmm Enjoy!

First Day of School and Other Stuff

CarlyJo Eighth Grader Extraordinaire
CassiJo Third Grade Brainiac
A super supper plate!
Uncle Joe made the meat:Marinated Pork Tenderloin with mushrooms, onions and garlic. (marinated in syrup, balsamic vinegar and garlic) I made the Garlic Smashed Potatoes (used Yukon Gold.....try them. They are so yummy!) and Broccoli Salad. We had the B-Salad when we went to OKC to lesliereids house. When I served this to my family on this night they all said, "We liked it better at lesliereid's house." That is funny because *I* made it at lesliereid's house! So the old saying is true? Location! Location! Location! I was the only one who ate much of it. I refused to throw it out, so every night I ate a few bites and ate the last bite yesterday for a snack. It is very tasty! It has broccoli, raisins, sunflower seeds, onions and bacon with a tasty dressing If you are are a broccoli lover this is the salad for you! I'll be posting the recipe on the "Everyday Gourmet" link later.
In other news: I need a day off. Another staff member has given notice and will be leaving the first of September. This was a shock to me and I am very sad as this person is my favorite! She is my 9-5 Mother! She has been with the clinic for 20+years and she will be missed. We have begun training on the front desk receptionist, Jennifer, and that is working out nicely. Jennifer is a friend from our old church in Muskogee, and in a surprise move she and her family joined our local church! I am very excited about getting to know her and her family. (they even have a daughter CassiJo's age....that is extra great!)
In other other news: Uncle Joe reports that he can feel his brain function returning to normal now that the children are back at school during the day. :o)
Something funny: Yesterday I made some homemade chicken noodle soup for lunch. Cassidy didn't want any and was asking to eat a sandwich in the living room. Uncle Joe did not understand that she was eating a sandwich.
"Daddy, can I eat my lunch and watch tv?"
Uncle Joe's reply, "No you can't. You spill things and don't clean it up." (thinking she was going to be eating soup)
"Well I am eating a I gonna spill that??"
Needless to say she didn't get to eat in the living room after that remark.
This is really getting to be a long post. I sure didn't think I had this many words in me today. I have a headache and want to go back to bed. UJ massaged my neck and it feels better, but I still feel some sleepy in me.
I have another "first": I am reading a Larry McMurtrey novel, Dead Man's Walk. I have never read anything by this author and I am pleased to report I am enjoying it. It is the story of the characters of Lonesome Dove, Gus and Call's beginning. This is a recommendation from Uncle Joe. He checked the book out and was about to return it unread when he saw me searching for a new book to read. "Here try this." he I am.
I wonder how much longer I can make this post so it is as annoying as possible?haha!!
We didn't go to church today and it is 11:14am and I am still in my pj's. I should go get dressed. Right after I snooze a little more.
AJ over and outta here......