Saturday, January 24, 2009

June Cleaver Tips of 2009

Top Seven 2009 Tricks

1. Homemade goodies anyone? Buy Rice Crispie treats from the grocery. Once home, take them out of their packages, take a knife and cut the edges a little haphazardly, spread a little butter on the edges, and put them on a plate. Nobody can tell the difference.

2.  Done drinking a Capri Sun? Blow into the straw and fill the bag back up, put back into the fridge...good as new.

3. Need some school snacks? Have each kid go to the car with a Ziploc bag, move the car seats and rug mats and find what they didn't eat over the last week. This will create at least two snacks.

4. Easy house sterilization...put Mr. Clean in all bathroom sinks and kitchen sinks. Let this sit or a couple of hours. Drain. Rinse out sink. Don't bother with anything else. The smell says that you've cleaned allday.

5. No need to wash, dry and fit sheets onto the bed. Make kids sleep on top of the comforter no washing and no bedmaking.

6. Every time you eat out, empty the sugar container. It only takes 63 packets of sugar to make a batch of Kool-Aid, 42 packets for chocolate chip cookies, and just a couple for cinnamon toast.

7. Carry a pair of scissors with you when taking walks in the never know when you'll find your next flower arrangement for the kitchen table or fresh vegetables for dinner.

Wouldn't June be proud?

Friday, January 9, 2009

What About You?

Every day we come into contact with literally hundreds of people.  Maybe even thousands.  People are everywhere...with you while you shop, running by you on a treadmill, sitting next to you at work, and neighbors out and about.  Out of all daily interactions, how many people do you talk too?  I tend to talk a lot, but I know I don't come close to talking to a quarter of the people that surround me.  Why?  There is no real answer,

People are unique...each and every one.  Some are funnier, some quieter, some bigger, and some older.  Every person is in need of something though, right?  A smaller house, a new job, a good cake recipe, an idea of a good book to read, needing knowledge of how to ski, a place to get a good cup of coffee, where to go to dinner, funding for a new business, or place to get a haircut.

Wouldn't it be interesting if we played life like a game and the game was called 'What Do You Need?'  The directions of the game would be simple.  Ask all of the people that surround you what they need...and I mean EVERYONE...especially people you don't know!  If you have something that you can give them, do.  If not, get their name and remember what they need.  The next person you meet, do the same thing.  The thing is, since we are all unique and different, we may be able to make matches for those that would never meet.  Person A may need a warehouse to rent for a certain price, and Person F may be trying to lease a space they own.  (Get the gist?)

The really exciting thing about this game is that it's about helping others.  In the end, we may help ourselves because we may find someone who is looking for our special unique "stuff".  

I believe that in us, we all have the ability to help one another all the time, yet we don't.  Not because we don't want too, but because we don't' know how.  This game is easy, because there is nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

So, what do you need?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Put It Away or Don't

Grocery shopping..I wouldn't say that I love to go, but it is one chore that isn't smelly, doesn't require me to get on my hands and knees and scrub, and never gets dusty.

As I was leaving the store today, after going in to only get some apples and bananas, I found that I had a basket full of groceries that I had no idea that I actually needed.  With my cart brimming to the top, I pushed it outside and filled my car up with the yums for the week.  As usual, I was in a hurry to get home to do some sort of something important, and I just felt like I needed to leave the shopping cart basket right by the car.

Funny thing...I just couldn't do that.  I haven't been able to leave a cart not in the proper parking apparatus since I was in my early twenties.  Like most everything else in my life, there is a very perfect reason.  The reason this time - Violet.

Violet was my loving Norwegian speaking, Tennessee and Iowa breed grandma.  To put it simply, Violet was delicious...absolutely everything about her.  Her cooking was mouth watering, her tone was delectable, and the lessons she taught were more than thought worthy.

One day after shopping with her at the local Sioux City Hy-Vee, grandma expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the patron who left their shopping cart by their car.  I asked her and she said this, "It is a privilege to have shopping carts.  Back in my day, we had no such thing.  We all should honor the modern conveniences that are around us, and respect those conveniences."

When I say to my boys that I am a life long learner and want them to be too, its' because I want us all to continue to learn lessons like this and keep our ears open for the next thoughtful opportunity.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oopsie Baby!

I have a friend from high school who has five kids.  She is a great mother, she spends loads of time with her children, she has a healthy and loving relationship with her husband, brings cookies over when I am feeling down and is an all around wonderful person.

The two of us were having a cup of steaming hot coffee one early morning a bit ago and were chatting up the ins and outs of our lives.  I find the best conversation is often had over a caffeinated beverage with a couple of sugars added into the mix.

As the two os us had our heads together in rapt attention to the other - as we both crave one on one time where we know the other individual is really listening...

Right at that point, someone we both knew came up to us to say a quick hello.  The visiting friend said to my coffee drinking friend, "Oh, I didn't know that you had another baby."

To that, my friend replied jokingly, "Oh, you know, we weren't quite ready for another one.  He was  a little oops, " this said along with a hearty giggle.

After a couple of minutes, my friend and I were left alone again, and I could tell that there was something that had shifted.  After not too long, my friend said, you know, sometimes I feel like I have to apologize for the number of kids I have.  We wanted each of our children, we love them more than life itself, I don't think anyone was a mistake or unplanned!  I hate when I do that...when I make a joke out of what is mine."

Together we discussed that issue and concluded that our kids are the loves of our my friend, I only wish to be as great of mother and friend as you...and there is no Ooops in that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Call It Special Night

A couple of years ago, we started a tradition in our house.  Once all three kids were tucked in and ready for bed, one of them would have what we called "Special Night".  This activity only happened once a week per child, but it was ten to fifteen minutes after bedtime, spent one on one with mom doing whatever activity each child chose when it was their night.  Sometimes in those minutes, the boys would choose to play Go Fish, Monopoly, we'd draw, have hot chocolate, or build blocks.  Depending on the son and the night, the activities would vary.  The boys loved it - it was a time for us to connect one on one with no interruptions, and they got to choose the activity.  During Special Night is where I learned of my oldest son's first crush, about the girl in class who just can't seem to get along with anyone, the happiness at being the best runner in gym class, the struggles that one was having in math, and many other very private thoughts.  

Unfortunately, as things go, "Special Night" has been pushed aside for late soccer practices, band concerts, and playing until the last possible minute.

Today I realized that we haven't been doing special night...and I miss it!

I'd like to up the anty and the fun.  This week, the Crowe house will once again have "Special Night".  The time around, the recipient will be secretly sneaked out of bed for minutes of un-divided, un-equivocally, the best time of the least for me!

I feel lucky....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NEED...just ONE...more...DIME!

Went through a Starbucks drive-through the other was just one of those - I need to have some extra caffeine, to super juice me up, to get through the rest of the day days.

Anyways...I reached into my purse and grabbed what I thought was a such was a $1.  So, that had me a little crazy...must find change...must find change...and quickly.

Found the lint in my purse, many Chuck E. Cheese tokens in my change tray, and mildewed apples in the crack of the seat.  

I happened to be lucky in the midst of it all...I did end up with a tall Americano.

But this got me to thinkin' - do celebrities ever have to scrounge for change?

Enquiring minds do want to know...

Sunday, October 12, 2008


The word - the special special word - FART!

I allow my boys to use this word, and by doing this, I know there is a possibility that some will think my mothering skills are lacking.

Go back 28 years... Star, my next door neighbor, and the "bad girl" on the playground even at the age of seven, was walking home from school with me. Something smelly happened and I said, "Wow, that was a terribly stinky!"

Peals of laughter were heard through the air and I think she might have even laughed so hard that there were tears in her eyes. "Stinky? Don't you mean fart?"

"I'm not allowed to say fart."

This is when the teasing began....and trust me when I say that it was only the beginning.

You see, I let my boys say, "Fart." It might not be a great reason, but there is a reason. One little innocent word made me feel like a fool for many years. I know I can't shield them from most of the world, but in my own little way, I like to try to all of the time.....