Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Males all around me...

When I say I live in a house full of men I’m not exaggerating. 4 sons + hubby + 3 male cats! I can’t even get a girl cat! I’ve always had male cats. They are supposed to be “nicer” and more cuddly. I grew up with cats and they have always been part of my family.  There were always lots of cats around with the farm my Grandfather had.  I have an Aunt that when I was little I use to love going over to her house because she had 3 Burmese cats. If you don’t know what a Burmese is, they are a breed of cat and are commonly called “Velcro” cats because the cling to you! And they do. Every time we could go over to her house these cats would lay on your head, shoulder, lap, etc. and loved it! I always wanted one of my own.

Well a couple of years ago we were looking to get another cat and I said to Joe that I would LOVE to have a Burmese and told him how much I loved the one’s my Aunt had. She had the traditional Burmese known as the sable color.
 So I started searching on the internet and didn’t realize that there is traditional Burmese and European Burmese. There are several different “colors” that they come in and the one that stuck out to me was the European Burmese Lilac. They actually have purple ears and nose (very faint).  I searched and searched and couldn't find one!  I had no idea it would be difficult finding one!  After many months,  I found a breeder that just happen to have one that was supposed to go to Europe to be a stud but the buyer couldn't come up with the funds and so he just became available.  I was super excited!  After several days of paperwork we were all ready for him!  He would be coming by airplane!

We brought Ozzie home and let me tell you, I've never experienced a cat like this!  He literally bounced off the walls!  We were ready to send him back!  I knew Burmese where athletic but wow!   I guess he was just getting use to his new home because he did calm down...somewhat.  He is now 8 and still acts like a kitten.   He is my baby!  He is the most loving cat I have ever owned.  He is also very vocal and will talk up a storm!

He is very muscular and likes to jump up on things:  
 He takes over the bed:
 He poses for pictures:

                                    He loves to lay on my laptop:
        He loves to cuddle with his buddies Brody &Woody:

So if you like cats and always wanted a cat that never leaves your side, get a Burmese!  I love mine!  Anyone else have cats?  I'd love to hear!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

4 Sons

All of our children were planned...well for the most part. We tried for 2 years before getting pregnant with Venti....we then planned for Grande and he was born 27 months later. A couple of years later and Venti was 5 and Grande was 3 we decided we needed more space because at the time we were living in a 3 bedroom townhouse. It just so happened that it was the same time the land that my Grandfather owned was just starting to be developed and new homes were going to be built. My Dad had just gotten his Real Estate license and so he became the developer/real estate agent for these homes. He graciously gave both my sisters and myself a lot so that we could each build a home and all live in the same neighborhood!

So the process of building a house became a priority and well in the middle of all of this I found I was pregnant again! We had planned on having another child after we moved into our new house! Well it looked like our house warming gift was going to be Tall! He was due the day we were to move in. As it turned out, he arrived 2 days prior. When we moved into our house, there were still alot of things that weren't finished..including the heat! We had to put his bassinet beside the oven and leave the oven door open!

As the years went by, the 3 boys all had each other and were each others playmates. When they were at the ages 10, 8 and 6 we thought about maybe having another baby. I researched everything I could find on "how to conceive a girl"...I pretty much knew when I would ovulate and so I read that having sex a couple of days before ovulation sometimes resulted in a girl. So we tried this....and tried...and tried....and a year later and we still weren't pregnant! By then the kids were 11, 9 and 7 and I was soon approaching 35.

We decided to go away for a night that day in July 1999. Just the 2 of us.

We were still trying the "girl" way and I knew I was close to ovulating.

So we had sex that night (I know...TMI...sorry)...

And that next morning Joe wanted to make the most of having a night away, but I knew that I would probably be ovulating that day and I said, "no..we can't...we will have a boy"...

I wanted a daughter in the worst way...I have 2 sisters...all girl cousins....I am very close to my Mom and I wanted to have a daughter for every reason I could think of!

But I gave in....

Short was born 9 month later.

I knew at the exact moment he was conceived.

I didn't know with the other boys.

But I knew with Short.

2 weeks after that morning...the positive pregnancy test!

I was so excited.

At 20 weeks we had the ultrasound.

"Do you want to know the sex?"...the tech asked us.

"Yes, but put it in an envelope...we may or may not look at it"...

That's like being handed a wrapped present and never opening it!

The envelope sat on our kitchen table.

And it sat.

For about 4 hours.

I couldn't stand it any longer.

We sat together on the couch.

I told Joe to open it.

I couldn't look.

He opened it...I heard him chuckle.

Is he laughing because its another boy...or laughing because we are finally having a girl??

I feel the image brush again my arm as Joe nudges it to me.

I slowly look over at it.

I cried..and cried and cried.

I  must have starred at that ultrasound picture 100 times...thinking maybe they were wrong...maybe that was the umbilical cord!

I thought that I'd never have that Mother/Daughter experience and it made me so sad.

I was sad for days.

And then it passed...I realized that God gave me boys for a reason...everyone is given what they are given for a reason. A mother of sons is what he wanted me to be...how lucky could I be?  My sons could still go shopping with me....they could bake cookies with me....they could do everything a girl could do......and to think that I was sad...sad about the sex of our baby? Who does that? Look at all those that can't have children or have trouble conceiving and here I was sad that I was having another boy? I felt ashamed that I felt this way. I quickly wiped the tears away and eagerly awaited the birth of my 4th son. What a lucky girl I am and I didn't realize it.   My boys have given me everything I've always wanted..and more.

                     This was taken 10 years ago...where did the time go?

Thank you God for giving me my 4 sons and forgive me for not realizing it sooner.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Venti graduates from Penn State in May. I can hardly believe 4 years went by already. I remember the first day there. We set up his room...made sure everything was just right before we left...we stayed for hours not wanting the time to come for when it was time to leave. We were stalling! Finally it was time to go. He walked us to the corner where the bus would pick us up and take us to our car...far away from his little dorm room....I balled...and balled...looking back at him waving at us was the saddest moment I can remember. When we got home his room looked so empty. I felt like he was gone forever. It felt like our family wasn't a family anymore because he wasn't here. For a whole week we cried. If I was folding laundry and came across an item of his..I'd cry. When he called at night, who ever answered the phone..cried. Joe cried....Grande cried...It was awful! As time went on, it did get easier to deal with. I still cry. I cry when he comes home because now we are use to him not being here! It is very hard to kiss your child goodbye no matter where or what the situation is.

So now comes graduation...from college...its a big deal! He has worked so hard to get to this point. We want to have a nice party for him. So we started checking around and getting prices. I think I have to get a 2nd mortgage for this party! Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Creamy Peanut Butter Eggs! Mmmmmm

Here it is! My super creamy and delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg recipe! As I stated yesterday, I have never shared this with anyone! Here is how you make them:

You only need 5 ingredients!!

This recipe is doubled because they don't last long enough to only make 1 batch! The doubled recipe made 140 but it depends on how big or small you make them. If you don't want to make the double batch, then just cut the recipe in half. I will list both the single and double batch ingredients:


3/4 pound butter (3 sticks) (do not use margarine) Room Temperature
2 pounds 10x sugar
13 oz. Marshmellow Creme
2 lbs. Peanut Butter (Jif seems to taste the best)
2 1/2 lbs. Chocolate Coating Disks (see below)


1 1/2 pound butter (6 sticks) (do not use margarine) Room Temperature
4 pounds 10x sugar
26 oz. Marshmellow Creme
4 lbs. Peanut Butter (Jif seems to taste the best)
5 lbs. Chocolate Coating Disks (see below)

These direction will be for the DOUBLE batch!!
Once the butter is soft, use electric mixer and beat the butter and 1 pound 10x sugar on medium speed until creamy.

Add the 26 oz. marshmellow cream.

Beat with mixer on medium speed until mixed.

Add the 4 lbs of Peanut Butter

Beat with mixer on medium speed until smooth

Next add the remaining 3 pounds of 10x sugar....ONE pound at a time!!

I bought the 10x sugar in 1 lb bags which made it easier so I didn't have to measure!
When adding in the sugar, use a spoon and not the mixer as its too thick and you will probably burn up your mixer which I have done about 4 times now! lol

Lay wax paper on cookie sheets. Shape mixture into oval eggs. Place on cookie sheets.

I used 3 cookie sheets and put them close together.

Put cookie sheets in refrigerator for several hours or freezer for 45 minutes. They have to be really cold before you can dip them in the chocolate.

After they are cold, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.

Do NOT boil the chocolate. Heat only until the disks are all melted. I used this chocolate:

Use a thin, pointed object like a skewer or something. I use something I found in my kitchen drawer...I have no idea what it is, but it works! Dip one egg at time...let the excess drip off.

You can make your eggs alittle fancier if you want by drizzling some of the excess chocolate over an egg that has already been dipped:

Once the excess had dripped off, twirl your tool to "shake off" the egg onto the wax paper on a cookie sheet...then use your tool to dot a little chocolate over the hole that your tool was in.

Some extra tips:

You can't heat all the chocolate at once...I melted the chocolate 4 different times...while the chocolate is heating, put the eggs that you didn't dip back into the refrigerator...take one tray out at a time..keeping the other trays cold. Use a paper towel to wipe off your tool after each dip. The colder the egg, the easier it is to dip.

That's it! Don't they look yummy?

I purchased some wax bags at the candy store for easy giving!

Please let me know if you make them and how much you enjoyed them! Or if you have any questions!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Creamy Peanut Butter Eggs! Mmmmmm

Its that time of year!!! I'm making my creamy...and I mean creamy Peanut Butter Eggs today! Its a recipe from my mother-in-law that is the BEST Peanut Butter Egg you will ever have! I haven't shared the recipe until now but love having all these new friends and I want to share it with you!!!

Come back in a little while and I'll have the details!!!

Free STARBUCKS Pastry!!

I had to put this on since we are all named after Starbucks items! And its too good to not pass up!!!

Get a free pastry on the morning of March 23 with the purchase of a handcrafted, brewed or iced beverage.

Come to participating Starbucks on Free Pastry Day, March 23. Choose a delicious pastry to pair with your beverage and that tasty item is free.

To get your free pastry, print out the coupon below and present it to your barista. Or simply show them the coupon on any mobile device. But Free Pastry Day ends at 10:30 a.m. – so don’t miss out!

Free Pastry

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Tall!

Happy 17th Birthday to son #3!! Hope you have an awesome day!!!

Maybe you'll get some new t-shirts!! Love you!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

$9.60 Vera Bradley Purse!!

Get a $45.00 Vera Bradley purse for $9.60 + shipping!!!

Use code save20sale at checkout!!

Great for you or for Mother's Day gifts!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Skunk!

That's what my house smells like right now! I woke up last night to the most awful smell ever! A Skunk!! I thought he was at the foot of my bed and had just let loose his skunky skunk! I swear I woke up and saw clouds of skunky smoke! I even had to sleep with the covers over my nose! He's out there somewhere really close...like maybe even under my back porch or something! When I came home from work tonight I had forgotten about it...that is until I opened the door and it smelled like there were 10 Beauticians giving perms in my kitchen! It smells that bad!

I had remembered a tip for when one of my sons burnt a bag of popcorn in the microwave and the horrible smell that it left. You take coffee grounds in a bowl...add water (make sure you use enough water that the grounds don't dry up), mircrowave the grounds for 2 minutes (longer if necessary). I tried that and it did work...at least I think so! You know how when you smell something bad you can still smell it later?? Well I still think I smell it! If you have any tips to get rid of it, please let me know!!

Venti is coming home for the weekend, so that means cook..cook and more cooking! Little does he know that Joe took Saturday off and we are going out for dinner! Woohoo! Joe is switching to night shift starting next week. He was on night shift back in September and then switched to 1pm-9:30pm and he feels like he is missing out on the whole day and with Summer coming he doesn't want to work that shift...so back to night shift it is. That means keeping the boys quite all morning while he sleeps...not an easy task!

Tall turn 17 on Saturday! I can't believe it! He doesn't even have his drivers license yet! He got his permit last March and didn't even get to drive when he fell playing basketball and broke his wrist.

Ozzie cuddling up to Tall:

He had to have surgery and now has pins in his wrist. He was in a cast until July and then physical therapy after that. He drove twice in September and then the weather got bad and he hasn't driven since! We told him to let us know when he wants to drive. He obviously isn't ready to or he would ask! He was very nervous the 2 times he went so its probably better that he waits until he really wants to drive...plus we already have 4 of us on our car insurance which is practically as much as our mortgage! :)

Short is having a sleepover tonight..just one boy but it sounds like 15 of them downstairs...I am not a fan of sleepovers!

And why isn't Survivor on?? Who likes basketball anyway? :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Moisturize Moisturize!

Had I known when I was in my 20's the importance of moisturizer, I would have taken a bath in it every night! I never even thought about it then because I was "young". I did a promotion a couple of months ago for some facial moisturizers at Costco and I remember a young girl (20's) coming up to me asking what I was demoing....when I showed her the age defying moisturizer she said, "oh I don't need that...I don't have any wrinkles"....I explained to her the importance of starting young and continuing on because having healthy skin in your 20's leads to healthy skin in your 30's and 40's.

My facial routine consists of only 2 products and have given me some really great results. I can't say whether or not my "young" looking face comes from using these or good genes! My Mom is 63 and looks no where near her age:

I shower at night and when I wash my face, I use water only! Then when I get out of the shower I use the towel and wipe off any remaining make-up. I don't wear alot of make-up and if its a day that I do, then I use a make-up remover cloth.

After my face is dry I use L'Oreal Revitalift Double Lifting Cream. Its a 2 in one and it works great! I couldn't find a coupon for this particular product but L'Oreal has some other great Coupons and samples that you might be interested in!!

This unique dual-action treatment instantly retightens skin and effectively fights the look of wrinkles. Advanced RevitaLift Double Lifting is the first double-action treatment that combines two exclusive complementary formulas in one application an ultra-concentrated lifting gel and a powerful anti-wrinkle cream for intense lifting action.

Then I use Garnier Nutritoniste Ultra-Lift Pro Deep Wrinkle Night Cream:

Visibly plump deep wrinkles, hydrate & intensely firm your skin while you sleep with this night cream. Click here for a $2.00 coupon!

And that's it!! Another Beauty Tip is to make sure you don't forget to moisturize your NECK!! I can't emphasize that enough! Alot of people don't do their neck and it is very important!

I'd like to think that I have great looking skin but not sure if its the lotions I use or the fact that I laid under a Sun Lamp when I was in 9th grade and had 2nd degree burns on my face...then I popped all the blisters and my whole face peeled! Talk about exfoliating!

This was from a recent photo shoot...unretouched!

Monday, March 15, 2010

White T-Shirt

Being a Mom of 4 boys is really rather interesting. Plus I have 2 sisters and all girl cousins so I grew up not knowing a whole lot about the male species. Things that I have seen over the years sometimes puzzle me and often times gross me out!

I am particular about bed making...I simply cannot walk past a bed without making it...so every morning after I wake up Short, I venture into Tall's room because he never makes his bed and it only takes a couple of minutes to throw the covers on and fluff the pillow.

So for the last several months, when I walk around to the further side of his bed I noticed something white sticking out from under the bed....not thinking anything of it, I'd reach down it and was always one of his t-shirts....again..not thinking anything of it and tossing it into the laundry.

Well yesterday I was making his bed and I walked around to the other side and there was the t-shirt again.

This time when I reached down, my hand got a hold of something...well ummmm....dried and crusted!!?? Ewwwwww...so I picked it up...touching as little of the t-shirt as possible....holding it up to the light (yes I really did that)...omg...Nooooooooooo...not my little boy (almost 17)...but still little in my mind!

So I decided to investigate alittle further even though I could hardly control myself...I stooped down and lifted up his bed skirt and found this:

A sea of white t-shirts! Is this really something teenage boys do?? Yes of course they do, but not my son! Venti never had t-shirts laying around...neither did Grande....what happened to tissues or in the shower?? Or never at all?? I know he is a normal teenager...but couldn't he at least throw them in the laundry so I wouldn't see them??

Joe said I should put a post it note on one of them and say, "please place in laundry or use a tissue"....