No, My Name Is NOT Martha…

I’m The Unhip Housewife, not Martha Stewart.  But thank you for the compliment!

I’m making my famous Chicken Noodle Soup recipe and it’s SUPER easy and tastes like gourmet.  It’s guaranteed to please your family as well as knock the socks off people at those holiday gatherings.  I swear people think I’m this fabulous person who makes all these homemade meals all the time.  If they only knew..!

Well now I’m going to share the recipe and let my secret out.  We moms have to stick together!  Hopefully this will be a meal your kids and hubby will love and look forward to as the weather gets cooler. We’re having highs in the 90s here in Florida, but I’m just going to crank the a/c down and make this soup anyway.  A girl can dream, right?!

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Here’s the recipe to my delicious soup:

Ingredients:

  • One rotisserie chicken
  • 3.5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 lb bag of extra wide egg noodles
  • celery
  • baby carrots
  • salt
  • pepper

Take all the chicken meat off the rotisserie chicken. Set it aside.  Throw the bones from the rotisserie into a large pot.  Add water to cover the chicken bones and boil.  Once it comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat and simmer.  Let it simmer for a couple of hours and then turn off the burner and let it cool.

Hold strainer over a large bowl and strain broth from bones.  Pick remaining meat from the carcass and throw it in the pot.  Pour broth back in pot and add egg noodles.  Add a cup of water and boil on medium heat.  Chop celery and baby carrots into bite sized pieces and dump in pot.  Stir. Once noodles have softened, add chicken meat.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Once the carrots and celery are soft, it’s ready to serve.  I usually serve it with crescent rolls (my kids love making those AND eating them so it’s a win-win).

Guys…it is SO. GOOD.

NOTE: This recipe makes enough to serve a small army.  LOL.  I usually freeze half of it if I’m just serving my family, or I give some to family, neighbors, whoever!  Even the local fire station!

Bon appetit, y’all!!

Let me know if you tried it and how you liked it!

 

Senioritis

Senioritis. I’ve got it.

I am over 40, but that’s not the kind of “senioritis” I’m talking about. I have a child who will be graduating next year.  A senior in high school.

You young mommies and daddies out there with babies, preschoolers, even elementary school kids won’t get it yet, but I hope what I post here will sink into your brain as your days run together into weeksmonthsyearsssss. Older moms always told me, “savor every moment…they grow up so fast!” and I would nod as if I really got it.  I didn’t.  Not until now.

Somehow, without me realizing it, time has slipped away.  My sweet toddling baby learned to read and ride a bike and got student of the month and started middle school and took driver’s ed… and we just blinked…and she’s in 12th grade.

All those “mundane” afternoons of car line, going to the park, doing a little bit of homework, eating dinner together.  Gone.  She drives herself to and from school. She’s got a job.  She’s got things to do.  On her own.  Important things.

This summer my girl swore in to the United States Marine Corps. She’s only 17, and you might think we are crazy to have signed for her to join so early.  But she’s been wanting to do this for 3 years now, and it became apparent to us that she would have done it the day she turned 18 (5 months from now), and by signing early, she has a better chance at getting a big scholarship the Marine Corps offers. So she’s now a Marine Poolee, and will either go to college and come out an officer in the USMC, or go to boot camp and get a job in the USMC.  Either way, she’s officially in.

And either way, she’s leaving us.

It’s funny how last year we just went on about our days, not thinking about the fact that she would be leaving.  I guess you just don’t think about it until you have to.  And now, here we are, 8.5 months away from her high school graduation, and every event, every “first,” is now a “last”.

I want her to attend every football game, every dance, go to every birthday party, movie, and gathering she can. I want all her friends to come over and I want them to post videos of themselves laughing, swimming, goofing off…being carefree kids.

In just a few months her world as she’s know it will turn upside down. She will, in a sense, become an adult.  But I mean, it’s what we become parents for, right? To take these precious gifts from God and raise them to the best of our ability, pour everything we have into them.  Seems like a daunting task to take on for 18 years straight.  That’s the hard part, right?

Nope.

Letting go is the hard part.  The rest of it was a piece of cake.

So for now, I’m going to try to celebrate every moment, cherish every “last,” remember exactly who my girl is right at this moment.

She loves to fish.  She likes big trucks. She loves animals.  She loves to draw.  She’s quiet, but when she laughs, it’s infectious. She is crazy about her country.  And she’s a future Marine.

I can’t wait to see what she will become as she ventures out into this big world, but for now I’m just going to soak in all the nows. 

So my advice to you parents of younger kids is this: Cherish every second.  Even the bad ones.  Even the boring ones.  Even when they are disobeying and talking back and being horrible and driving you nuts.  Because even in those moments, they are yours. Teach them.  Even if you feel like you’ve said the same thing a thousand times. Hug them.  Take pictures of them at every stage.  DO things with them.  Go places. Make memories.  Enjoy all the “firsts” before they become the “lasts.”

Because it happens so fast.  They grow up so fast.

 

Hot Mess Mama

My son Chase is in preschool, and is there for 3 glorious hours a day. Glorious for him, even more glorious for me. We get a weekly newsletter from his teacher, and last week we got one that had the upcoming events calendar, and on August 31 it said “VPK no dropoff.” I just assumed they were telling parents they had to drop the kids off in the car line and not walk them into the classroom anymore (you know, to sort of cut the cord for those mommies and daddies who don’t want to leave). Look, this is my third child and I’m 44 years old.  Ya ain’t gotta tell me twice.  I pretty much slow to a roll before booting him out the sliding passenger door of my van to the waiting car line attendant. (I kid.  I kid.)

So August 31 came and we did our usual morning routine.  I was going to stay home and work on cleaning, so I didn’t bother getting ready.  We got in the car, drove to the preschool, and I thought it was strange to not see the big long line of cars waiting to drop off kids.  As a matter of fact, the parking lot was quite full.

And then I see it.

There was a sign saying, “NO DROP OFF FOR VPK. PLEASE GO INSIDE AND SIGN YOUR CHILD’S VPK ATTENDANCE RECORD.” No.  NO!!!  I was in my pajamas.  My old grey t-shirt and waaaay too short knit grey shorts (that believe it or not in NO way matched the grey t-shirt). My hair was like when you go 2 days too long without washing it, wear it in a ponytail, and it gets that bump from the elastic band? Yeah, that. I didn’t brush my teeth. I had no makeup on (and had just had a massive breakout all over my face). But the worst thing of all…NO BRA.

I slapped on some foundation that I keep in a little emergency makeup kit in my console. I grabbed the spare hairbrush from the pocket behind the passenger seat and brushed like a maniac.  Now, it’s a Christian preschool, and I’m pretty sure if I had bent over in the shorts I had on, they’d have been able to see clear up into my soul.  So I gingerly got out of the car, discretely pulling down the pj shorts so at least my upper thighs weren’t out and waving hello to everyone.  I ran around to the back of the minivan, looking frantically for the jacket I keep in the there for cold restaurants.  Maybe that would hide most of what was going on.  Well I found the jacket…I had placed it over a box of toys I was donating to hide them from Chase. I had two choices: 1) Yank the jacket off the box, exposing my evil secret to my son, who was standing right by me, or 2) Leave it and walk into that preschool proudly, owning the abomination that was me.

I chose #2.

I used my (thankfully) large purse to hide one boob, while grabbing my purse handle with the other arm across my chest to hide the other boob.  I grabbed Chase’s hand and speed-walked inside.

“Mommy, you’re pulling me too hard! You’re walking too fast!”

Gah.  I slowed my pace. His classroom is at the end of the ridiculously long hallway.

I went into the classroom…thankfully I only kind of know one mom and she wasn’t there yet. Chase ran to his seat, I signed the paper, kissed my sweet boy and ran for the door.  Luckily his teacher was deep in conversation with another teacher and didn’t even acknowledge me.

Long hallway.  His teachers from last year’s class. Parents coming down the hall toward me in droves.  I kept my head down, boobs still, thighs slightly concealed and practically ran to my van.

I made it.  I didn’t see one. Single. Person. I. Knew.

Praise the LORD.

And now I know what “VPK no dropoff” means.

Late

My daughter has been sick for the last few days and today is her first day back to school. I woke her up at the usual time, then was preoccupied with ten thousand other things before I realized her breakfast was still sitting uneaten on the table. It was 30 minutes after I first went in and woke her up.

Panic.

”Gracie!! Are you up??” A groggy voice calls back, “I am now…” Dear. LORD.

Much scrambling and nagging took place. Then we tore out the door,  my 4-year-old and me still in our pajamas (he’s home sick today) and Gracie, looking forlorn and puny.  There’s that mommy guilt that sets in when they no longer have a fever but still feel puny and you make them go to school.

We live in a rural area with 2-lane roads, so if you get behind a slow vehicle, you are screwed. And wouldn’t you know it, this morning we got behind a truck and trailer going 25 mph the whole way.

My daughter’s school starts at 9:25 a.m. And guess what time we got to school? 9:24 a.m.

Sigh. At least we weren’t late.

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Where. Is. The Fish!?

This story represents a typical night in my crazy household. I don’t think this stuff happens in normal households…

My 17-year-old daughter caught a fairly large fish for her Marine Biology class’ tank. Well…sadly, it died before it got to the school, so she got a 5-gallon bucket and put the dead fish in it before she went to work tonight. I’m not totally sure why, but she left the thing in the bucket in her room.

She left her door open, and later, my 4-year-old son peeked in her room and yelled, “water is on KK’s floor!!” I ran in there and found the bucket surrounded by a hundred little wet cat paw prints. Panic began to set in as I realized there was a good-sized dead fish somewhere in my house. I yelled at the kids to look everywhere for it, and I knew we had better find it before my husband came in from the garage. He’s a sweet guy, but he’s been on a rampage about us having “too many animals” at our house (we have 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, a few fish, and around 20 chickens…I don’t see the problem, do you?) and this would have pushed him right over the edge.

So there were the kids and me, running around looking under the table, the desk, in the laundry room, etc. I was yelling, “Think like a cat! Where would you put a big, dead fish if you were a cat?!” After  a few minutes of tearing through the house looking, I ran into our master bedroom to find the fish there on the carpet. On my CARPETTTTTTT. I heard my husband come in from the garage, so I quickly scooped the fish up in a towel from the laundry basket and nonchalantly walked into our eldest’s room and dumped  the fish back in the bucket.

Sigh.

I put down a clean towel over the carpet where the fish was laying and so far my husband hasn’t asked why it’s there. Maybe it just blends in with all the other crap laying around our house, I don’t know. I’m trying to decide which would be less noticeable: to cut out that section of carpet or to burn the house down? I’ll figure that out in the morning. 974A71D6-FE99-490C-980C-A9DF0BDF73EA