Thursday, March 29, 2007

Four Days 'til The Bachelor...

Anyone else excited for another season of The Bachelor? I don't know why I like this show really. I don't even know why I'm blogging about it. I suppose I just saw the commercial for it and I keep thinking, put it on the calendar, put it on the calendar, you know you're gonna forget. Pathetic, I know.

There's definitely something I enjoy about the show. The last two seasons, Mom in Action and I swore we would NEVER WATCH AGAIN. Right. So what is it that I like? Maybe it's watching these women swoon over a man they've never met, planning their weddings before the show has even started. Maybe it's seeing just how extravagant ABC can get with their dream dates on private islands with silk pillows and candles everywhere. Or maybe it's the late night call to Mom In Action to laugh about Erica's tiera or moan about the girl he picked at the end... it's just fun. Mindless fun.

If you want to join the fun, The Bachelor starts Monday at 9:30 on ABC.

It's a Land of Make-Believe...

My dear hubby and I recently took the kids for a road trip - we just really needed to get out of the house. We drove to Lancaster to spend a few hours at the Hands On House. The kids LOVE pretending and this is the perfect place for them to really act things out! Chicken Nugget would pretend (with me of course) 24-7 if I would oblige... but I just can't. I've been pretending now for six and a half years, and honestly, I'm getting a bit weary.

The Hands On House is awesome. The first time we went, the kids liked it so much that I bought a year membership for the family. With three kids of different ages - it can satisfy the needs of each of the kids. I think that Huckleberry is on the tailend of the age range - but he still enjoyed it very much. Their yearly membership includes reciprocity with a long list of museums throughout the United States - including the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia which is really awesome!

They have a face painting area where the kids do it themselves, a farming area where they ride on a tractor and learn about different farming equipment and the agriculture of the area, a factory called the Whatcha Ma Giggle Factory where the kids get to punch in a time clock and work on an assembly line, a dress up room with a stage and a pirate ship to send fun flags up the mast. And the girls personal favorite - the supermarket. The girls always spend alot of time in this area either shopping and "buying" the food, or being the check out girl. It's alot of fun. You can even grab a preprinted shopping list when you walk in - making it fun and educational.

This is a great place! During the week it is normally a quiet place - never over crowded and small enough to let your kids run around from station to station. On the weekends, well it's always more crowded on the weekends, but still not unbearable. Here are some pictures from our trip.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Introducing The Jack Family...

Sorry it's been so long since I posted something new. I caught a bit of flack last night from my dear friend, Mom in Action, so here I am. Are ya happy?
Blogger and I have been having technical difficulties adding pictures to my blog and what fun is a blog about your family if you can't attach pictures to it!?! So now that Blogger figured out the problem on their end, I am back in business. That does not mean that I will be posting everyday - let's be real now. There are some of us who blog recreationally, and there are others a bit addicted (you know who you are).

Without further adieu I would like to introduce my family:
Husband & Pumpkin Pie

Huckleberry & Chicken Nugget

I love having a face to go with the name. Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Make Your Own Playdoh!

Here's a great recipe that I got from a dear friend for Kool-Aid Playdoh. The kids and I made it a few days ago and had alot of fun. It smells awesome, doesn't stain and lasts longer than the real stuff.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2-3T vegetable oil
2 cups boiling water
2 packages same colored Kool-Aid

Mix all dry ingredients together, then add the boiling water and oil. Mix with a spoon (it will be too hot at first), then knead it with your hands until the mixture is completely incorporated.

This makes alot of dough - so I split the recipe and made two colors instead of one. Store them in ziploc baggies.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007


As I'm writing to tell you about this hysterical "toy"... my 4 year old daughter, "Chicken Nugget" is sitting under my desk playing with it. Ah... Flarp. It's 88 cents of pure bathroom humor fun. I first found this treasure at the Hershey Wal-Mart. *** sidenote: The Milton Hershey Boys always want us to take them to Wal-Mart - not sure what the big draw is. I guess it's like me going to the Pottery Barn Outlet. I'd go every weekend if someone would take me. Anyway - back to the Flarp.
Flarp is "noise putty" - I guess "Noise putty" looks better on the packaging then "Fart Putty" - which is exactly what it is.

I'm not a fan of the real thing - growing up in my family, you just didn't rip 'em whenever you had the urge - so I'm disgusted when members of my own family (I'll keep them nameless) take such liberty. I'm just really grossed out. But Flarp on the other hand - is hysterical, not disgusting and has a pleasant odor, as opposed to the real thing.

Chicken Nugget loves this stuff. She is constantly using it and laughing uncontrollably. It's harmless stuff - and my kids love it.

I would not however, buy it for a friend. We made this mistake over the weekend. Chicken Nugget saw it at the Dollar General and wanted to buy it for her friends' birthday. I didn't even think twice about it! I suppose I should have. The little boy loved it - in fact, it was quite a hit at the party. Not sure if his mom was thrilled that we bought her sweet son a can of fart putty. But it sure did make everyone laugh at the party. The little boy's brother wanted his own can, so did the neighbor boy - so, as if we didn't already do enough - we bought some for them the next day and put it on their doorstep. Thought we'd send a little more Flarp their way.

If you have an extra 88 cents to spare - pick it up next time your at Wal-Mart - it's in the toy department. It comes in lots of different colors and scents (pleasant scents, not realistic ones) and it is guaranteed to make your family laugh!!!

*** The birthday boy's father informed me that although Flarp does not stick to most household surfaces, it will in fact stick in your child's hair ***

Thursday, March 8, 2007

$$$ Save, Save, Save $$$

That's what I told my 6 year old son, Huckleberry, when he asked me to buy him an $80 Nintendo Game Boy Advance. I made a deal with him that when he saved half, Dad & I would pay the other half. That was in December. Surprisingly, with only a dollar a week allowance, a little money from Memom and Pop, a gift card for Christmas, a few dollars from Great Grandma and presto... he's saved the $40.

I was sure hoping it would take longer. So when he informed me a few weeks back that he had saved his $40 - I panicked and said, "well now Daddy and I have to save our half". He seemed to think that was a reasonable answer. Thank goodness.

I'm not a big fan of gaming equipment. I didn't play them and neither did my husband. So I've been hesitant to get one for Huckleberry. He really enjoys them - so I've researched the different game systems and the Nintendo Game Boy Advance has alot of really fun, kid-friendly games out there.

He'll of course have limitations on the time ge gets to play and he will most certainly have to finish his morning chores before game time.

So we finally bit the bullet tonight and bought it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Fifteen Pounds To Lose - Can I Do It?

I joined a "Biggest Loser" group through Moms in Action at our church, because since having my third child, "Pumpkin Pie", I have gained 15 pounds. What's so sad is that I lost all my "baby weight" and then packed on the pounds well after she was born. So, I can't blame any of this on Pumpkin Pie - besides, I think you only have about a year after they are born to blame it on them - and she's 2.

Needless to say, I've gotta lose this weight. I've been in denial for a while. But with each button that pops, and each pair of pants that "shrinks", I come closer and closer to realizing, I've gained weight, and it's not coming off without my help.

At our group last night we identified the times of day that we struggle with our eating/snacking, and the foods that we love to eat that we shouldn't. It was information that we all admitted that we already knew, but it sure did help me to say them outloud. I am a huge snacker during the day, but never have an issue at night. I love chocolate and crave cookie dough like no human really should.

Towards the end of the meeting we committed to make some changes and report back at our next meeting in a month. I'm blogging what mine are in hopes that it will spur me to actually do them:

1 - do free weights during American Idol
2 - run on treadmill three days a week
3 - hang my bathing suit up next to my mirror as a reminder that summer is not that far away

So far, I've done only one of the above - Idol was terrible tonight, but I felt good doing my free weights during it. The treadmill intimidates me - I've had it for three weeks now, and not yet run on it - but I'm determined to get on it... tomorrow :) And last but not least, my bathing suit is packed upstairs in the cold dark attic - think I'll send my husband up there this weekend to grab it for me.

Parmesan Corn Chowder

Found this recipe in a cookbook this morning and was thrilled to see that I didn't have to go to the food store for any of the ingredients. I love those types of recipes. And I love the fact that I could put off going to the food store with three kids yet another day. I won't be so fortunate tomorrow - we're out of milk, eggs and well, just about everything else. So without further delay - here it is:

Parmesan Corn Chowder
2 cups chopped peeled potato
1/2 c thinly sliced carrot
1/2 c thinly sliced celery
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup margarine/butter
1/4 c flour
2 cups milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 - 17 oz can cream-style corn
In a large Dutch oven, stir together 2 cups water, the potato, carrot, celery, onion and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the margarine/butter. Stir in the flour. Add the milk all at once. Cook & stir over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add the cheese, stirring until it is melted. Carefully add the cheese mixture to vegetable mixture. Stir in the corn. Heat the soup through, stirring occasionally. Do not boil.
(I made two changes - I added another cup of water because it just didn't seem like enough & I added two chicken bouillon cubes to the water - I thought it might be a bit bland boiled in just water).
A month ago, I bought a chunk of fresh Parmesan cheese at the store - I always thought it was too expensive. It isn't cheap - but it is really worth it, everything tastes so much better and the cheese lasts a really long time. Try it, let me know what you think!

Monday, March 5, 2007

"That's My Boy"

Last night, after we arrived home from Hershey at 9pm, moved the sleeping kids from the car to their beds, unpacked the car, unpacked the suitcases AND folded all three loads of laundry that I left on my bed before we went away - we retired to our bed - surprisingly not tired. So...

I know where you THINK I'm going with this ladies (really girls you should know me better), but I'm actually not. I read a few chapters of my book and my hubby was catching up on schoolwork. As we were both quietly sitting in bed, we hear my 6 year old son (Huckleberry) get out of bed to come downstairs to go to the bathroom. And my husband comments with pride, "that's my boy". (Background - after 3 years of bedwetting every night and ALOT of prayer, he no longer has the problem. So when we hear him getting out of bed at night - it's a big deal).

Anyway - we hear him get out of bed, and then I get engrossed back into my book, and don't notice he never comes down the stairs. My husband turns to look at me and says, "Huckleberry is peeing on his bedroom floor". It takes me literally a minute for my brain to register what he has just said. And then I realize that sound that I THOUGHT was a plane far in the distance, is actually the sound of my dear son, peeing on the hardwood floor in his bedroom, which is directly above us (in fact doing his business practically over our heads).

What's funny is my hubby and I look at each other like, "you're gonna take care of this right?", but he doesn't budge. So I grab some rags and "joyfully" head upstairs. And there is Huckleberry in the middle of his bedroom with his pants down looking confused that I just turned the lights on. "Huckleberry, what are you doing?" He responds completely bothered that I asked, "I'm going to the bathroom!" So I say, "Baby, you just peed all over your Matchbox Track and the Teradactyl Hat you and Daddy made" (if you don't know what the Teradactyl Hat is - please don't ask). He looks down at his toys and hat and responds, "oh". And then he pulls up his pants and goes back to bed.

I couldn't wait to tell him all about it in the morning, because I knew he wouldn't remember. He didn't believe me until I showed him his Matchbox tracks in the sink and his Teradactyl hat at the curb (it's garbage day).

Hope you got a good laugh - we sure did!

You Can Pick Your Friends & You Can Pick Your Nose...

You know the old saying, "you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friends' nose". Well, I just asked my dear husband what he would like to be called on our blogpage. He gave me two ideas, albeit not very good ones and then declared "you can't pick your own nickname". So, to anyone out there who is actually reading my blog AND knows my husband - I need your help. Give me your best nickname for my husband. Get creative!

Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Another Weekend At Hershey...

Well, it's another weekend at the Milton Hershey School as Relief Houseparents. It's actually been really relaxing here since my in-laws took all three kids home to New Jersey on Friday and are bringing them back today. Our kids love coming to MHS on the weekends, but it sure is alot of work. Thirteen high school boys and three of our own (ages 6, 4, and 2) can make for a very busy weekend.

But "surprisingly", when you take the three youngest children out of the picture, it's a pretty easy gig. My hubby is watching his THIRD movie of the day and is working on some illustrations for a children's book. And I've had the chance to create this blogpage!

I do have to say, this day seems to be going on FOREVER!!! I'm not used to having so much time on my hands. I wish I was at my own house without my kids - I would actually be getting some much needed projects done around the house. Instead I'm creating this crazy blog.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

You're Never Gonna Believe This...

Well, I finally did it. I'm officially a "blogger". Even as I write this, I'm shaking my head in disbelief. In fact, I don't even know if I have anything to say! For those of you who know me, (and have named me "Say Anything") it will be hard to believe that I have nothing to say. Speaking my mind is easy... the written word, well not so much. In the written word, I can't spout off what's going through my head at any given moment - I just don't type that fast.

My hope with starting my own blog page is to keep in touch with our distant friends and family. I'm just terrible at keeping in touch... with three little ones at the house, I just can't seem to get a quiet moment to pick up the phone. And then when the quiet moment comes (at 9pm) I'm just too tired. So, my apologies to everyone I haven't called in a while. And an even bigger apology if you've called, and I haven't called you back. So, until I get it together enough to pick up the phone I'm gonna blog.