Saturday, October 25, 2008

Something's Wrong

Halloween isn't here and yet the first bag of treats is gone. What is happening? Rich came in and saw the bag opened and ask, "Did you open the Halloween candy?"

I replied, "Yes, we had some early trick or treaters." Quick huh! However, usually when we get into the candy there is some left for the trickers. The first bag is gone. I don't remember eating all that many so I think what is really happening is the bag is much smaller with fewer candies.............I now believe the trickers to be the candy makers.

I actually try to buy candy I don't like so I won't eat it. That didn't work this year. I ate the candy I don't like. It wasn't that bad. What you gonna do? I went back for more candy and there were malted milk balls. Of course -- they are my very favorite. I can't resist them. Ever. I bought two bags thinking that would be plenty as we probably won't get very many kids. The first bag is already down to two treats left. (Those darn early tricker or treaters.) I'm at a loss. I'm not supposed to even eat candy. Then after sending my kids popcorn for Halloween there was a give-away tin. It arrived yesterday. It's hopeless.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cub Land

Since this log is my to be journal, I decided to blog about my scouting experiences which are heretofore unjournaled. Channa, Lauren's mom is now working in the scouting program with her husband (in Lehi, Utah) and it reminded me of my years in cub scouts. I was called to be den leader when Matt was 8. So I worked with both Matt and Jeremy's cubs. Rich was bishop part of the time and I kept asking to be released, but no luck. I wanted some lofty calling since my husband was the bishop -- I was den leader for years. It was a good calling because we met at the house. That made it easy for me.

Matt was a new cub scout when I was called to the job. What a fun bunch of boys were in the group. We had lots of fun. I do remember one boy just wanted to go up to the kid's rooms to play with their legos. And ...........his mom wouldn't pick him up for hours. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Anyway, the best experience came from a summer camp at Fort Belvoir. I arrived with my gang of cubs and found out the activity of the day was to build a go-cart from a stack of lumber, tires, hammers, nails, etc. As I later learned, the "experienced troops" came prepared with dads and aerodynamic plans for assembling the machine. One boy would ride in the go-cart and one would push. Yes, there was to be a race at the end of the day.

I looked at the stack of materials and remember thinking -- this is not something I can do. Then, I looked at the boys. They were counting on me, so we went to work. We did finish the little go cart and needless to say it didn't look very pretty. No aerodynamics were involved. We had to nail it back together after each race. But.............guess who won? The little rag tag Fairfax Cubs. The other troops were amazed. They didn't realize our determination. The best part is recalling how awesome those little boys felt about their accomplishment. One kid fell off and skinned his knee and said he couldn't race again. Of course I told him his buddies were counting on him and to get back over he went.

The next year I talked the bishop into letting our cubs plan and execute our own Camp Akeala at a lake. We did and it was a blast. They all learned boating safety and we had the rain gutter regatta that year.

When Jeremy's group started with Cub Scouts, I had 12 boys. They were also a fun group. Best memories: sucking the hard-boiled egg down the milk bottle and out again; the Halloween meeting; time after time having the little boys bump their heads on the light fixture above the table and replacing the globes; and having a hole (for about 10 years plugged with calk) in the stainless steel sink made by one exuberant scout. Such is the fun of a scout leader. The Halloween meeting deserves a mention. The scouting materials had a poem about visiting a graveyard and instructions to blindfold the boys and pass around all the body parts. (Brains - spaghetti, Heart - piece of liver, Eyes - grapes. You get the idea. After the about the third body part some of the boys were scared and crying. I couldn't believe it - babies, I thought. So I let them take off the blindfold and all was well. I had a good laugh.

Just when I was trying to think of a way to talk Andrew out of being a scout, I was released from the calling. Andrew was 8 and had already had several years of cubbing with Matt and Jeremy's groups. So that was a good long spell of scouting for me. We had our nine pinewood derby cars to show for it. Lots of fun. I still remember the twinkie made to look like a pinewood derby car -- gum drops for wheels. I guess I'm amazed at what a good memory it is now. You never know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Everyone has been asking for the caramel popcorn recipe. This has been a huge family favorite in the Neider family for years. If Rosy and Renee got to the bowl first.....................they know. (Rosy confessed on Andrew and Melanie's blog.) There wasn't much left.

2 cups light brown sugar, packed (I use one cup- it works - not as much sauce tho')
1 stick (4 ounces) butter or margarine
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 quarts popcorn (or more)

Bring brown sugar, butter, and syrup to a boil; add 1 can sweetened condensed milk. I continue to cook for another couple of minutes, stirring constantly because it will burn easily. Pour over popcorn and stir with a big wooden spoon until every kernel is coated. I use the turkey roasting pan to coat the popcorn because it is long and lends itself to better coating. This also makes great sauce for ice cream.

Then fight over who gets to clean the pan.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Grown Children

An amazing thing happens to children. One day you look at them -- and those children are gone..................grown. What happened to them? What happened to my little ones? Even when the boys were in high school and college, they changed so dramatically in the maturing process. I remember looking at my little boys and thinking on many occasions -- what will they be like when they are grown? What will they look like? Will they have good jobs? Will they be well balanced as adults? Will they enjoy life? Am I giving them what they need as children? Mothers worry as all you mothers know. Well, now I know. Those little boys have grown. The nice thing is they grew into people that I really like. They are talented, smart, handsome, fun, funny, well educated, hard-working, valiant, and much more. and......... I enjoy being around them. They turned out! Know what I mean? And a bonus that I never considered....................they have darling wives and children. And Girls! As I said, AMAZING. Am I lucky or what!

A mother knows her children so well. Knows their little personalities. My cubs are grown; however, they still have the same personalities. Love those boys. My harvest has been bountiful.

Funny Moments:

Matt: 3
Telling Matt about Baby Jesus and asking him what Baby Jesus did when he grew up. After thinking hard said, "He made those cattle stop lowing."

Jeremy: 6
Leaving me a note on the piano: "My mom is a jrake (jerk). Piano is for baby." Then running away to the drug store -- coming back for money to buy his mom a present.

Andrew: 5
Rich had returned from the hospital and Andrew asked him if he was going to die. Rich gave him a long explanation and we both felt sad that Andrew was thinking about his daddy dying. Then Andrew said, "Well, if you do die, can I have your side of the bed?"

Just love kids. They come up with the best treasured moments. Thanks Crowley Boys for all of the fun, all of the hugs, all of the entertainment, all of the blood, sweat and tears. It's been worth it. You have grown into awesome men that I enjoy knowing. The harvest is indeed bountiful.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanks for the Blogs

I feel like I've just visited with my kids, all of my nieces and friends. What fun blogs you all have. They make me feel so connected to everyone. Thanks for sharing your life in your blogs. They are inspiring, crazy, funny and just enjoyable to read.............

I need to get caught up with my blog, but I have just been too darn busy. I did have to drive myself to work today. No HOV. Rude. So I stopped at Macys to look at the bedding on the way home. It seems like I am always looking for bedding. Those who know me well understand the situation. It takes about 10 attempts before I land on just the perfect one. This one is for the guest room. I found one I loved -- a Ralph Lauren -- a bit pricey, but I figured with coupons and discounts, I would go for it. pillow sham........$135. Whatever. It was a good thing they didn't have two or I might have been tempted. So I have been searching the net for a better price. Come on Ralph. Really. He really loves his shams.