Dear bloggy friends, I've missed you.  I really have.  But I've been unavailable lately to write.  Because I've been asleep.  Or eating something.   It's a hard life I live, I tell ya'. 

    Actually, I've been away on a fantastic little tenth anniversary get away and was either too stressed out trying to get everything ready to leave, or was too busy doing nothing while I was there, or was too distracted with our first days of summer to write for the past two weeks.  But did you see the last post on here?  From Aaron?  Isn't he just the best?  My brother-in-law that reads my blog because he knows fine entertainment when he sees it, says that I talk about Aaron nice on here all the time and it just can't be real.  Well it's true, sometimes Aaron gets grouchy and bossy and I want to punch him in the neck.  That really does happen.  But honestly, I have to say that he is fantastic.  For ten years I have been married to a fella who makes me feel loved.  All the time.  Even when we are fighting and I am screaming like a nut.  Or when the house is lookin' a hot mess and I haven't had a bath in days and am lookin' a fright and I forget that I am snack mom at the baseball game and I forget to pay the power bill on time and when I "accidentally" use a dentist who is out of network and we have to pay three times what we would have in network.  Even during all of that, he makes me feel loved. (even though just reminding him about the dentist thing is going to stress him out all over again)

    And on Mother's Day morning I woke up to a surprise post by him, talking about me being a great mother.  He's a great guy, but "lovey dovey" he is not.  So the fact that he wrote and shared all of that with you just solidifies it - he really is fantastic.  He always knows just what I want the most.

    Now that's enough on the sappy sweet stuff.  I'm about to gross myself out. 

    On a completely different note, schoooooooooooool's out.for.SUMMER.  Sing it with me now schoooooooooooool's out.for.SUMMER.  So we have spent our first week of summer bliss doing just what  was intended.  Nothing.  And that got me thinking, what else is going to change now that the kids are out of school?  So I made a list (because we all know I love making lists)

1.  The swimming pool now counts as a bath.  Six days a week.  We will only use soap for Sunday church.

2.  I won't check the mail again until August because the boys always get it for me when we drive up the driveway from school.

3.  The laundry will never be caught up.

4.  There will always be wet towels piled around the house.

5.   M&M's count as breakfast.  And lunch.

6.  My house doesn't stand a chance of being clean between now and August

7.  I will be awake at ridiculous hours of the night every night, watching reruns of Friends, That 70's Show, Swamp People, Duck Dynasty, The Nanny, and The Office. 

8.  We will sleep until at least 9 am every morning.

9.  I will feel guilty about the fact that Aaron has to get up for work so early every morning and work so many hours at such a long, stressful job while we just spend every day chillin.

10.  I'll probably be feeling that guilt from beside the pool.

Dear Summer, thanks for existing

Love you like M&M's as a meal,
Cassie 

    

   
 
I want to tell you a story.  No, this story will not be as good as the ones you normally read on this blog; but none-the-less, it's Mother's Day and I feel compelled to share.  Next week is Cassie's and my anniversary (10 years).  She asked me a couple of weeks ago if for our anniversary I would write on her blog.  I reluctantly said yes.  You heard me.  Unfortunately for you, there is potential for me to write again.  However, this week I thought it would be good for me to "practice" on Mother's Day.  This one is a surprise.  If you could read this while I was typing - I would ask you to wish me luck.  All 20 of your who read this blog make me slightly nervous.  Not really.  But. . . . .

Okay, enough of the intro.  Let me get to my story.  There are times that I feel you need to hear the "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say.  My story starts approximately 10 years ago. 

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This is where is all began.  Ten years ago - May 2002.  Many important decisions were made in our lives at this point (give or take a few months).  We had a plan.  Cassie was to finish college; we would work for 5 years, and then we would have 4 children.  We had all the other important decisions covered.  Our hope was once we had kids, she would be able to stay home.  So...the plan was set.  However, as you know from this blog - Cassie doesn't know how to spell p-l-a-n.  The only "plan" Cassie had was to bath 2x per week, not wear shoes (unless a sign says she must), not keep a check book nor care about any $$$ that she would spend.  FYI - these were things that she decided after this picture.  Still love her.   

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This is graduation day.  This is the next step of the story.  This is actually about 2 years later - May 2004.  In the fall of '03, I was trying to help my wonderful wife with our plan.  She was going to graduate in a matter of months.  I was encouraging her to start job hunting and interviewing.  But this, my friends, would force her take a bath more frequently, dress up and wear shoes.  I messed up and made the following statement, "Darlin', the plan is for you to work until we have kids."  Literally, I believe that were my exact words!  Major mistake.  What you can't see in this picture is that my beautiful wife is pregnant.  Yeah, she showed me.  What do you mean "5 year plan" and "job hunting"?  All of you know that Cassie is a "domestic goddess", but maybe you don't know that she is also a master manipulator.  Not really on the manipulator, but it makes me feel better to act as if I didn't cave so easily.  So now it starts. . . . .

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#1 - Super G - '04
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#2 - Turnanator - '06
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#3 - Destruct-o-girl - '09
I know - all women everywhere want their "I just had a baby in the hospital" picture posted on the world wide web, but again. . .this is my story.  True as it is.  And I tell you this story because Cassie has been able to do what the good Lord wants her to be from the beginning - An Absolutely Amazing Mother.  How many times does the "5 year plan" actually work?  You know what I mean.  It didn't work for most of you either; and just like most of you, I wouldn't change anything for the world - especially choosing Cassie as my Baby Momma.  The picture below says 1000 words - maybe not to you, but to me.
Now, for Mother's Day, I have decided to share with you some of my favorite Notes to our domestic goddess.  I hope this brings memories to those of you reading this blog.  I'm going to share just one from each child.
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This is not a Mother's Day card, but couldn't pass it up. Super G drew these pics a couple of years ago while Cassie was sick. Just awesome! Apparently Cassie has better hair when she feels well.
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I don't have a clue what the "brown snake" is below Mommy above. Maybe her belly was hurting. Either which way, Gibson made sure she knew when to take her medicine.
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Card from Turnanator. Apparently, he didn't like the amazing pic on the left side; he "x" it out.
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I always like Turnanator's stick figures. And apparently Cassie needed to learn how to spell a few words.
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Destruct-o-girl's red little hand.
Just focus on the red hand below.  It took me some time to get Davis to stick her hand in red paint and not ruin everything in the house.  We made it through it.  Oh. . .destruct-o-girl.  I don't know what I was thinking when I tried this one.   
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This was our Mother's Day card many years ago when the boys were little bitty. The boys did the best they could. This was probably one of the first cards the boys and I did together.
To all of you loving Mother's, from my family to you - thanks for being who you are.  Thanks for being awesome.  Thanks for loving your children and making this world a better place because of it.  The Lord makes it very clear in the Bible how important you are to the church, your family, and this world.  Happy Mother's Day to you; I hope your day is special because you deserve it.

To my mom, Sandra, and to Cassie's mom, Candy, you know how awesome we think you are.  A man once said that "a child is trained 100 years before he or she is born."  Thanks for molding our (your children's) families to what they are today.  You both are amazing - We love you so much.    
But to MY Baby Momma, I want to say exactly what was on the back of the same card above written many years ago. 
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If you can't read it; I'm sorry. It basically says, "Your awesome and I love you." You know the routine.
Cassie, from your loving Hubby, Super G, Turnanator and Destruct-o-girl - Happy Mother's Day!  We love you "big much" - all the way to the "cheese cake factory and back"! 
 
    So here's the thing about our family - we live in Mississippi.  And we don't get out much.  So the fact that golf has sort of become our family's favorite sport of choice (to play that is.  we're from the SEC.  of course we are die hard footballers) is a little bit laughable - considering the fact that golf is such a refined and highly mannerous thing.  You know, all the dress codes and etiquette and the fact that you have to watch where you drive and step and you have to be quiet.  None of that sounds like us at all, does it?

    But I think golf has become our thing because it's really all Aaron has left.  The time for football has past.  The occasional pick-up basketball game makes him feel old and beat down.  No one will play tennis with him.  And the last time he played church-league softball he ripped his shoulder into pieces - which he then re-injured when the attic door completely ripped loose from the ceiling and he fell out of the attic and caught himself on beams with his elbows.  All in the name of Christmas decorations.  It was ugly my friend.  He ripped things.  He had a temporary man boob. Yikes.  So I guess the point of all this is to say - golf is his kind of game now.  And because he likes it (and also because our last house was on a really nice golf course so we had unlimited access), our boys have now really taken to it.  At least Aaron, and usually Aaron and the boys, go once a week minimum. 

    Sometimes we even get brave enough to go as a family.  Its usually late - like right before dark - when we go because we are trying to sneak in a few holes before it's too late but after other people have finished so we don't disturb them.  And the only way to describe us when we're there - The Clampets Come to the Country Club.  Seriously.  There are three full golf bags and five people (two of which are quite large) on one golf cart.  We look ridiculous, we are loud, and we sit our baby in the wire basket on the back.  The boys stand hanging off the side and when we drive up to retrieve wayward golf balls, they jump off and roll commando style to get them.  We are the Clampets.  We don't belong at the country club.  But we go anyway.

    Just this past Friday we went, in fact.  And on this particular Friday, we were even more "Clampety" than usual.

    Picture it........................

    There we were, at the first hole, dividing into teams for a three hole scramble.  Aaron and Turnanator (bc he is the weaker playing child at this point), and Super-G and myself (bc I am the weaker playing human amongst the entire population of earthlings at this point.  seriously.  golf is not for the large chested.  it is impossible for me to keep my arms together and near my body.  it's just not happening sports fans) were facing off at the first tee.  Of course Aaron hit from the white tees, or is it the blue tees?  I'm not sure, just whichever set is farthest away. Then we drove the cart down the hill a bit (please remember the "downhill" component of this story.  it's critical) to the red tees where the boys and I would hit.  Turnanator hit first and promptly knocked one into the pond right in front of us. (just like Aaron did on his first attempt.  also, please remember the "pond".  also critical)  Then it was Super-G's turn.  His daddy was giving him some instructions and I was standing there watching because I was next.

    I know what y'all are thinking at this point......."where's Destruct-o-girl?".  Well that is a fantastic question because at the very second we were focused on our drives, she became focused on driving.  The golf cart.  Down the hill.  Straight towards the pond.  As many of you know, the parking break on a golf cart is on the top corner of the brake pedal itself and is released when the gas pedal is pushed.  Well she waited until no one was looking to push that gas and take off.  Fortunately Turnanator was there at the cart putting up his club so he saw it all happen and screamed for our attention.  Unfortunately he decided to try and stop her himself by getting in front of the golf cart and pushing.  He weights 50ish pounds.  It did not work. 

    So one second we're all casually whacking golf balls around, and the next second Turnanator is screaming "NO D, NO D!!!".  We turn to see her barreling down the hill on the golf cart straight towards the pond while her brother is sprinting as fast as he can backwards to keep from getting squashed flat.  I scream at Aaron because I know there is not a chance under the sun that I will catch them, then I start screaming at my precious little son to get out of the way.  Of course that was easier for me to say than for him to do!  So Aaron takes off running and literally dives into the cart, basically pushing the brake with his hand until he can get it stopped.  Luckily he got it stopped before anyone got pancaked or drowned.  Then I burst out into gut-bustin' laughter because that is apparently the reaction my body goes into when I get freaked out that family members are going to get seriously injured and then they don't.  It's the same thing I did when homeboy fell out of the attic.  He was dangling by his elbows and I couldn't stand up from laughing long enough to help him get down.  It's a problem.  I'm addressing it with professionals soon.  Then we proceeded to knock four more golf balls into the pond, load back up on the cart and head to the next hole like nothing ever happened. 


    I'm still not sure we ever figured out who won the scramble..............................

*cue banjo music

 
Other wise known as Pi.

    Math was always a little tricky for me.  I mean, I did alright in math in school because I was decent at memorizing steps for formulas, but math was never really something my brain could totally wrap around.  You know - get. 

    Luckily for me, I now live the kind of life where I don't need very many math skills beyond a preschool level.  1-2-3. 1-2-3. 1-2-3. 1-2-3.  I find myself counting to 3 a lot.
-There's 1 child.  There's the second child.  Where's the third child?!!
--Oh, whew.  There she is in a ditch at the baseball field, army crawling into a culvert.
-There's 1 child.  There's the second child.  Where's the third child?!!
--Oh, whew.  There she is hanging waist high over the second story balcony.
-There's 1 child.  There's the second child.  Where's the third child?!!
--Oh, whew.  There she is standing on the top of a chair back on her tiptoes, about to fall into the baptistry at church because she is trying to float a boat made out of a church bulletin.

(I'm not going to lie to you.  My life feels stressful sometimes)

    So to deal with all this stress, I cope using one of my favorite math tools.


   
The Pie.
    Ok, so that's probably not, per say, exactly what you had in mind when I mentioned math tool, but if it helps you sleep at night, pretend I'm working fractions with it.  You know, "If I eat half of this pie now and lie and say that my kids all ate a piece, then it would look like I only ate 1/8 of the pie."  Fantastic.  I'm a math genius.
   
    And I'm also a nice genius, because I am about to lay on you one of the easiest and yummiest desserts that I have ever made.  It may be familiar to a few of you because I actually already gave out this recipe on a previous post.  But when I did, I just quickly ran through the directions and made the whole thing as a point on one of my crazy "list" blog posts.  So I'm afraid none of you actually understand how important it is that you try my Frozen Caramel Pie, and then thank me profusely for bringing your life meaning. (I need that kind of thing occasionally to keep my self-esteem on track, you know).

    So if the picture above (which is not a very good one, by the way.  I was too hungry to remember to take a picture when it was all frozen to perfection and at it's most photographic state) doesn't make your mouth water - then you probably don't have trouble fitting into your jeans like I do.  That being said - make this pie anyway.  It's simple.  It's delicious.  It will make your husband want to make out with you on the couch.  And it only takes five ingredients and a mixer.  And a freezer.  And a few minutes. Plus freezing time. (but that's just a good time to go freshen your makeup and brush your teeth for the "post pie" appreciation make-out that's about to go down) 

    First things first, go to the store and buy.................

-2 graham cracker pie crusts (you are welcomed to make your own with crumbs and butter but why in the round world would you go to all that trouble friend?)
-1 container of whipped cream cheese
-1 container cool whip
-1 can sweetened condensed milk
-caramel

    As you can tell by my terrible, unedited photo, I am a HUGE fan of most anything off brand.  I will use WHATEVA kind of "uncle jimbo's big country farm" brand any day of the week if I get a deal on it.  But there are a few things I don't mess around on the name brands with.  Velveeta is one.  (all processed cheese loafs are not the same pal)  And caramel for this Caramel Pie is another.  You are welcomed to buy whatever type of caramel you want, but consider this a warning - if you buy the cheap, light, runny stuff, your pie won't be as good.  And please tell my why you are going to the trouble of making a pie if it's not going to be awesome?  Spend the extra dollar or two.  Get the good stuff.  I prefer the "Lava" brand caramel dip sold in the produce section of my Walmart.  It's dark and thick and ma-num-a-na.

    To begin, spread a nice, gooey layer of your caramel in the bottom of your pie crust.  This is not a "measurement" type of thing.  This is more of a "do what makes you feel good inside" type of thing.  Then in a bowl, mix the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and cool whip until combined and pour evenly into the two crusts.  Then lick the bowl and spatula with all your might.  Then quickly stick it in the sink and run hot water in it to erase all evidence that you licked it clean.  Then go back and drizzle more caramel over the top for pretties.  Again, this is a "do what feels right" type of situation.  Next, pop those clear pie pan lids on your pies and slide those bad boys in the freezer.  See?  I told you it was simple!  Now wait a few hours for your pies to freeze and then surprise your family with something delicious that tastes like it was harder than it is. 
    Then last, but not least, please take an awkward photograph of your super cute husband loving the pie so much that he eats half of it at one sitting straight out of the pan.