Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Best Corn on the Cob

I really don't like to toot my own horn when it comes to my cooking ability, because, basically, I don't have much. However, there are a few things that I think I really do well, and corn on the cob is one of those. Here's what I do:
This is my cast of ingredients. The only thing not pictured here is the corn. You can also opt to use butter instead of margarine. Do you see a pot full of boiling water? Nope, that's because you won't need it. I grill my corn on the cob, not boil. I think that the corn loses tons of flavor by boiling it.
After husking the corn well (no leftover strings for me!) I start off by tearing off squares of tin foil, as many as cobs of corn you will be grilling. I spread approximately 1/2 Tablespoon of butter on one cob of corn then sprinkle lightly with salt. Remember, you can always add more butter and salt just before you eat, so go lightly. After butter and salting your corn, wrap it up in the tin foil.This is the best part of the cooking process for me. After all the corn on the cob is wrapped in tin foil, I hand it off to Jeremy and tell him to cook it. If you aren't as lucky as me to have a grill expert (well, he's pretty close), here's my recommendation: start your grill, and immediately place your rolled up corn on the top rack for the duration of your cooking. You could put it directly over the heat for a short time, but don't leave it there for long. You run the risk of it burning that way. It's better to slowly cook it and just fire it for a short while. Tonight, I think Jeremy had it on the grill for approximately 30-40 minutes.
Let the corn sit for about 5 minutes after it comes off of the grill. Believe me, you'll want it to sit for a few minutes: it's much too hot to handle. Unwrap and enjoy! The best part about it being wrapped in the foil is that when you want seconds, it's still nice and hot.Here's what a few of my fans have to say: "Mommy makes the best corn on the cob! Jayce have more?"
"Garble, garble, yum, yum." (Interpretation: Mmm, Mommy. That was delicious!)

Next time you want corn on the cob with dinner, please, put away your pot and water and try it this way. I can guarantee you will love it!

MckLinky

There’s a great new “linky” service available and I wanted to let you know about it. It’s called MckLinky – www.mcklinky.com. After realizing the need for a new, reliable linky capability, Brent Riggs and MckMama got together to create a free, easy to use linky service for all their blog friends.

MckLinky is a free link list feature that allows you to do include lists of other blog links like MckMama does on Not Me! Monday. You can use MckLinky any time you want your blog readers to leave a list of links on your blog. It’s simple, reliable, free...and loads of MckFun!

I gotta say, I just used it for the first time yesterday (on MckMama's Not Me! Monday post) and I loved it... Maybe it was because I was #5... regardless, it worked well. Not to mention the creators are running a contest and this is my official entry! Wish me luck, people!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Beware...

...of Sam's Club pizza! Or not.
It seems like every time we are at Sam's Club, it is right around a meal time. Personally, I think it's a ploy on the part of my husband and children. They really seem to like eating there. After all, it's decent food that's super cheap. Just not exactly healthy. But, if you know me at all, you know that I don't always look for the "healthy" alternative. I do love me some fast food. But I digress...
I needed to get up to Sam's Club today to pick up a few essentials: diapers, chicken, apples, tomatoes, etc. Because of Grayson's sleep schedule today, Jeremy ended up taking Jayce to the library for Laptime this morning, which meant that we ended up at Sam's at the perfect time: lunch time! It seems like this happens a lot, because as we are walking out Jayce looks at me and says, "Mommy, I eat hot dog?" I looked over at the pizzas and realize that one of the supreme pizza's looks almost heavenly and absolutely delicious.
Fast forward about 15 minutes, and I've come up with a decent lunch for a place that only serves pizza, hot dogs, soft pretzels, and ice cream. My pizza was exactly what I expected: delicious. The crust was perfectly bread-y and soft. I popped the very last bite into my mouth and started chewing. Suddenly, I crunched down on something that felt like a rock or a popcorn kernel that wouldn't give. My first thought was, These people are totally paying for my pizza! It has something hard and gross on it! I spit it out and my tongue probes my mouth and comes across the tooth that crunched on the offending pizza, and I realize that the tooth is half missing. Crap. Maybe it wasn't the pizza after all. After some investigating, I realize that the crunchy thing I bit down on was in fact my tooth, not something cooked into the food.
Thankfully, it really didn't hurt too bad, but it was very sharp. A quick call to our dentist and I had an appointment for this afternoon. Now, I'm sitting here, my mouth is throbbing and truth be told, it's all my fault. Not Sam's Club's. It had been a while since I'd been to the dentist. I'm a little claustrophobic and I desperately need the gas. You know, the gas that makes you feel all good and floaty. I love that stuff. But again, I digress... Did you know that you can't have that fabulous stuff if you are pregnant or breast feeding? I've been pretty much pregnant or breast feeding for the past 3 plus years. Don't worry, I've been to the dentist in that time, but I've been procrastinating on getting a couple of fillings put in. Turns out that was a really bad idea. Now I have to go back again and get 2 more. Less I lose half a tooth again.
I'd like to blame Sam's Club for my horrible afternoon, but it would seem like it's not their fault. Moral to the story: don't skip dentist appointments, don't blame others for your mistakes. Stick with me, folks, and you might learn a lot. Happy Monday.

Not Me! Monday


Yes, friends. It's Monday. Specifically, Not Me! Monday. I love the chance to confess deny those things that happen to me and my family throughout the week. Special thanks to MckMama for making Mondays a thing to look forward to instead of dread. And now, on with the show!!

I am not completely and totally thrilled/excited/beyond happy that my father in law is home from the hospital. I am not totally thrilled/excited/beyond happy that his most recent tests are showing that he's still doing well-ish, as far as the cancer is concerned. We did not witness God working another miracle in his life again over the past couple of weeks. God is so good.

I have not been in a pool just about everyday this past week. My two year old is not a total water baby - he's not swimming on his own with a life jacket, with absolutely no fear. What a kid!

**This is a little graphic and disgusting - fair warning**
My poor 10 month old was not so stopped up this past week that we had to use a suppository on him. By "we" I do not mean that I made my husband do it. I was not totally surprised to see how well it worked - by that, I do not mean that I was surprised to find poo up to his navel and up and out the back of the diaper, dripping down legs, and smeared across the floor. I did not discover this while trying to make dinner. I was not so completely grossed out that I couldn't eat dinner that night. Ahh, being a mom is so glamorous!

Last night, I did not promise my 2 year old that he could come with me to pick up pizza so that he could listen to VeggieTales in the car. I did not leave him behind because he was too busy reading books with his dad. I did not hear, "But I go with Mommy!!" screamed when I got back to the house. I did not take him out for a drive after dinner. I did not stop and get ice cream for my husband and I. We did not already have ice cream earlier in the day.

So, what did you not do this week? Please, leave a comment so I can go check out your Not Me! Monday list!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

i {heart} faces


This week's theme over at i {heart} faces is "Wedding Bells". As soon as I saw that, I knew exactly what picture I wanted to submit this week. Granted, this definitely isn't the best photo I'd ever taken, but the story, people, is what makes this one of the most beautiful photos, ever.
My father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 2 1/2 years ago. Sadly, the prognosis for pancreatic cancer is not good. He underwent major surgery just days after his diagnosis, in an effort to remove all of the disease. The surgeon knew that my sister-in-law (his daughter) was getting married 6 months later. His advice after the surgery: move the wedding up, or he probably won't be there. My sister-in-law decided to keep her date, and as you can see in this photo, she's dancing with her dad. Notice the smile.

Now, nearly 2 years later, he's still fighting, defying odds, and a living example of how God still works miracles. If you are praying folk, please keep Ron Meyers in your prayers. And as always, go check out the other entries at i {heart} faces.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Splish, Splash!

Oh baby, it's HOT outside. If you live in West Michigan, you know what I mean. We've been doing what we can to keep cool without air conditioning (rest assured, people, we do have it in our bedrooms upstairs so everyone can sleep comfortably). Our wonderful neighbors have allowed us to use their pool at will (Jayce, incidentally, has become an expert swimmer with a life jacket in only a short time), but I'm not entirely comfortable taking the boys by myself. I have a feeling that if this summer gets much hotter, I'll be changing my mind quickly. We've done the needless run to Meijer for nothing at all just to be in the air conditioned car and store (and to look at the Lightning Mater stuff, according to Jayce). Today, we broke out the kiddie pool for the first time this year. Fun times ensued.
Grayson was not thrilled with the straight-out-of-the-hose temperature water. I did add some hot water from the house.
Jayce really enjoyed being able to have free will where splashing was concerned (I do not enjoy being splashed during bathtime).
When he wasn't splashing, he was playing in a mud puddle, because, you know, we got the kiddie pool out. Naturally, the mud puddle drew all kinds of attention. He is a boy, after all. His favorite thing to do: walk through the mud and get his feet covered, then go down the slide to get "clean". You know the water didn't stay clean for long.
Grayson enjoyed the slide. The boys were really good about taking turns.
I didn't feel the need to put a swim diaper on the boys when we were only hanging out in our own pool. I imagine those diapers get a little uncomfortable when they are so water-logged.
I believe I captured the only time the boys successfully shared the big bowl. It was soon taken away. Yes, they are brothers.
Grayson's diaper became so water logged that it literally fell off. I had to take a rear end shot. I totally missed out, though. To get into the house, I had both boys striped down to their birthday suits... that would have been the perfect blackmail photo in the future.
To end, a little video. It's been a long time since I've posted a video of the boys playing, so here you go!

video

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GREAT NEWS!!! Ron is home from the hospital. They got home today around 4 pm, and naturally, he's pretty exhausted, but he's home. Praise the Lord.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day 2009

This year we celebrated Father's Day with Ron in the hospital (not our best Father's Day yet, but we were happy to all be together), and I took a few pictures. Thought you might like to see them.
To the best Daddy I could ever hope for and want for my children: Thank you for being such a wonderful father. You had a great example of what a father should be, and I know that our boys do too. We hope you had a great "Happy Daddy's Day"!
This is the look that Grayson gives just after being tickled by Jeremy's goatee.
Grandma definitely enjoyed the lovin' that the boys were giving her.
Jayce and Grandma enjoy giving each other Eskimo kisses.
Jayce actually enjoys giving anyone Eskimo kisses. He now asks for them when going to bed.
Grandpa seemed to enjoy watching Grandma play with the boys.
Aunti Kalena brought Grandpa some balloons which someone seemed to think were for him... I also made it into a picture!
Daddy and Grayson hanging out together.
Jayce and Uncle Jon-Jon had fun together.
The whole family. Thankfully the nurse walked in just as I was going to take a picture of the family. Although photography was a tad out of her list of duties, she was willing to take the picture so I could be in it too.
Daddy said his goodbyes because he had to go to work that night. No, Jayce doesn't have a tissue up to his nose, it's a Larry sticker (VeggieTales) that he is smelling for some reason.
Jeremy and Dad Meyers.
Kalena made a DVD of some old movies of Ron and Karen's (actually, it turns out they were Karen's parents' movies) from when they were in Hawaii. We got to see lots of Hawaii scenery and Kalena as a baby. It was a very cool Father's Day gift.
Jayce a tons of fun batting around the balloons.
Aunti Lauren had lots of fun being batted by the balloons.
Jayce found a string "pet" again. He also had one in Kentucky. He walked around dragging it behind him for a week.
This is Grayson's "I'm-totally-coming-to-get-your-camera-mommy" look. That's about the time I chose to put the camera away.
We had a great Father's Day celebration with the Meyers family.

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Ron Update: Rumor is that he's going to be breaking out of the hospital tomorrow!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not Me! Monday


First of all, I'd like to give credit to where credit is due. To MckMama, thank you for giving us this weekly outlet where we can fess up deny our shortcomings as wives, mothers, and people. Before we get started, let's say a quick prayer for baby Stellan who is back in the hospital with SVT. Stellan, we are praying for you to get home soon, and that God will heal your heart from this condition. Now, on to my confessing denying.

I have not found myself so sleep deprived this week that I mistakenly set a very full glass of soda down within reach of my 10 month old. I did not quickly forget that I had done that because I was not completely distracted by facebook and blogger. I did not only realize my mistake when I suddenly heard a cascading waterfall. It did not take me a few moments to realize what had happened. I was not totally relieved to find that the soda missed all of the electronics it spilled near. It did not take me 10 minutes to clean up the huge mess.

I did not find myself rockin' out to VeggieTales again this week without the kids in the car. I do not often find myself singing those tunes in my head throughout the day.

I did not stay up late one night, watching movies with my husband. We did not look at each other, at one point, and decide we were hungry. I did not send my husband to the 24 hour grocery store to get us some snacks because we didn't have anything in the house. I did not make the mistake of doing so when he was hungry. It was not because I had neglected to do any grocery shopping last week. My husband did not return from the store with the following: a small cake, a large cookie, 3 packages of cookies, mini cupcakes, ice cream, and buns. Yeah, it was not good thing that we had company this weekend to help us get rid of some of that food. It is not fortunate that Father's Day was yesterday so that we could take the small cake and large cookie to our Father's Day celebration to get rid of more of the junk my husband bought. I am not on a total sugar rush still.

I did not have a bat fly into my bedroom at 3am the other very early morning. I did not scream like a little girl, hide under the covers, witness my husband bat (haha) that thing out of the air with a laundry basket, and have it land, dead, right next to my head on my bed. I did not immediately begin plotting my blog post (you can find it here), only to find that the bat incident was only the beginning of a very long night.

I did not allow my 10 month old to play in my storage container cupboard while I was doing dishes yesterday. I did not get so involved in cleaning (I know, ME?? Maybe I'm turning over a new leaf...) that I didn't notice what my son was getting into. I did not turn after hearing a loud thump to find that he was now getting into our lazy susan. I did not see a large, mostly full bottle of light corn syrup (previously used to make peanut brittle - last Christmas) had fallen to the floor. I did not see that somehow the lid had broken off of the bottle, and my 10 month old was now crawling through the puddle of corn syrup on the floor. I did not scrub the floor and my child for 15 minutes, trying to get the mess cleaned up. The floor is not still sticky, no matter how much I scrub/mop it. I am not dreading the line of sweet ants that will inevitably show up to feast on our mess.

I am not thrilled to have this week be OVER. This week has not been one of the most stressful, tiring, nerve-racking weeks of my life. I am not totally looking forward to see what this week will hold for us.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

i {heart} faces


I'm back into the swing of things, people. I'm finally joining i {heart} faces' contest again this week. The theme is "Let's hear it for the boys!", so it's only the men here.

Believe me when I say, this one here is all boy. My first born loves cars, trucks, running, getting dirty, his sand box, and anything truly boy.


I don't think I've ever entered a photo for the adults category, but there's a first time for anything!

This is my brother. He lives way too far away. We had a chance to go camping together this summer, and this photo was snapped then. I love the colors, his smile, his eyes. I just think this picture works. But, that's my opinion.


Do you want to see all the other amazing entries this week? Well, click on over to i {heart} faces to check them out!

Kentucky Vacation Pics - FINALLY!!

If you know me and my family, you know that we are a pretty close knit group of people. I may live at least a couple of hours (or more) from them, but we try to get together as much as possible. So, when we discovered that an entire year was going to go by before we had the whole family together, we knew that just wouldn't work. Thus, a trip to Kentucky (half way between us and my brother and his wife) was planned. Jeremy's parents came along with us too, because we love camping with them and they are the expert campers. As it turns out, we may not have survived without them.
The trip down to Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky was fairly uneventful. One of the random stops we made was at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. I'd like to say that this was intentional, but we missed an exit for gas and randomly stopped here. Because the boys needed to get out and stretch their legs, we explored outside a little.
Jayce was thrilled to be up close and personal with an airplane. He was surprised to see how big it was.
As you can see, there was a tribute to the space shuttle Challenger. There were two capsules that were available to check out.
These are the flags flying at the tribute. As you can see, we had some beautiful weather.
Jayce was able to climb up into one of the space capsules to pretend to be an astronaut. Every good astronaut waves to his Mommy...
Jayce and Papa took some time to run around and get their wiggles out. Well, Jayce got his wiggles out, Papa just got exhausted trying to keep up with Jayce. Only kidding, Papa. Only kidding.
We finally got to the park in Kentucky (after a short detour - bad directions!). We were so happy to see Uncle Kevin and Aunti Rachel! They were such troopers. They had just made an 8 or 9 hour trip and were more than willing to play with the boys while we were getting everyone set up. Uncle Kevin was impressing Jayce with his soccer skills.
I don't get to include pictures of myself very often, so if you see a few random shots of myself, especially ones with the kids, forgive me. Or don't. It's my blog. I can put whatever pictures I want on here. :)
Grandma, Jayce, and Grayson doing what they like to do best: reading "Goldbug".
We played lots of games while camping. This is Grayson's version of soccer - chewing on the ball.
However, the adults got into a very lively game of bocce ball.

We also played a lot of "Hillbilly Horseshoes" or "Ladder Golf" or whatever you might call it. I must admit, I have discovered that I really enjoy this game - and I'm not too bad at it either. I actually beat my brother a couple of times - something I haven't done at a "sport" in a very long time.
Uncle Kevin was excited to play with the boys.
Aunti Rachel was happy to spend time with them too. She even showed Jayce how to make coffee. No, he didn't get to taste any - boy would that have been a long night!

We had a good time hanging out around the campfire with everyone.
Well, I suppose we had a good time watching Rachel tend to the fire. It was their night to make dinner and since Kevin was holding Grayson (see above), Rachel built up a great fire. Way to go, Rach!

Doesn't he look like a little peacock?
Big hugs for a little brother. I can't tell you if Grayson liked it or not, but I'd guess no.
Kevin and Ron had some really great conversations around the campfire. Do you see those sticks in the fire? Those were our apple pies that Kev and Rachel made for dessert the night they cooked. Mmm...
Early morning snuggles with Aunti Rachel.
Papa took Jayce over to a playground next to our campsites for a swing.
Here's a picture of what our set up looked like. We had three sites, but with 1 trailer, 4 tents, and 1 screen room. We needed all the space we had!
The park we stayed at also had some interesting attractions. There were bison that were fed every morning at 8am. Unfortunately, I was up most mornings at 8am, so we went over to check them out. Aww, look at the cute little baby bison. You should see what this thing does to it's mother when it's unhappy with it's milk supply - head butting is involved. That's all I'll say out of respect to you breastfeeding mothers out there (and because it makes me hurt just to think about it)...
Jayce had a special view of the bison.
Grayson and the bison.
There was a small museum at the park too which detailed the history of the area, specifically how it was discovered to be a place that fossils were discovered. By this shot, you'd think Jayce is checking out a neat display of animals, maybe about how they co-existed....
NOPE! It was a display that showed how animals would wander too far into a bog area and get stuck and die. Do you see the "bones" in the upper left of the photo? And the bird in the bottom left? That would be a vulture, feasting on decaying bison. Cute, huh?
Apparently the bison and museum were too much for Grayson and Uncle Kevin. They enjoyed a little nap after we got back to our campsites while we were getting breakfast together.
Do you see these two? This is what they do at the pool... sad, huh? Ok, I'm mostly kidding. They would read and get warm enough to get into the unheated pool. Those of us from Michigan didn't need to get hot... we already were. Those silly Virgina people...
We Michiganders enjoyed the pool.
Mom managed to put Grayson to sleep while holding him in the pool. He's covered with that t-shirt because we didn't want his young skin to burn (yes, he did have sunscreen on, but still...)
While Grayson napped in the pool, the rest of us took advantage of his vacant floatie. Here's Grandma enjoying her turn (Aunti Rachel and I both took turns too. It was fun!!).
She must have the magic touch - Jayce passed out on her lap right after getting out of the pool.
Ahh, the last night. We had thoughts of a campfire with roasted marshmallows and s'mores. Last minute conversations or family games. Enjoying each other's company. God had other things in mind....
As I was getting the kids ready for bed, we began to notice the wind starting to pick up and the dark clouds beginning to gather overhead. After I put Jayce to bed in our "sleeping tent" (yes, we had two tents in an effort to have a safe place for the kids to play), I nursed Grayson in our screen room/tent. As I sat there, I began to feel quite uneasy with how much the tent was blowing around. The wind was whipping through, making the whole thing blow to a 45 degree angle. And that was with the added weight in it. I was especially nervous about Jayce being alone in our other tent. As I finished feeding Grayson, I stepped out and noticed that our campfire was literally blowing away. Clearly, we were going to be having some wicked weather.
The decision to take cover was made quickly as it began to rain and blow even harder. Thankfully, Ron and Karen were there with their trailer, otherwise we would have been forced to take cover in our cars or the bathrooms. I ran to the trailer with Grayson, and handed him off to Ron. I ran to get Jayce, and the wind continued to grow stronger and stronger. Honestly, I wondered if we were going to have to deal with tornadoes or something (in hind sight, I realize that we were at the top of a mountain - of course we really felt the wind!). Jayce, in his usual stubborn (he dislikes change) way, did not want to get out of bed. After some heavy lifting, I got Jayce into the trailer also. We did some quick clean up of our campsite (so things didn't blow away), and everyone else headed into the trailer also. Kevin and Rachel were concerned about their tent being secure in the high winds and rain, but Rachel was able to be our comic relief even in her concern: Know the movie Cars? "I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park!" Thanks Rachel for the laugh!
Jayce and Grandpa had a little sleepover on the bed in the trailer.
All in all, we managed to survive the storm with a minimal amount of damage. Unfortunately, Kevin's phone didn't make it, but I think that was the only casualty we experienced.
Do you see the unhappy look on my face? This is the look of a person that had to pack up most of her camping stuff in a rain storm. Fun times.
Rain and high winds, we still had a great time with Uncle Kevin and Aunti Rachel (and the rest of our family)! Of course, our time together was much too short, which means we are already looking forward to Christmas, the next time the whole family will be together.
My only regret? I suppose it was the excitement of seeing Rachel and Kevin after so long, but I didn't get too many pictures of the grandparents that were along on our trip. I suppose I'll need to work on that for next year!
For those of you that made it all the way to the end of this post, I commend you. Thanks for hanging in there.