Monday, December 29, 2008

Anniethology Asks

I will be teaching a class on manners to a group of teenagers in a couple of weeks. What advice would you give teenagers on manners? What bothers you most about teenage manners or the lack thereof? What are the "modern manners" associated with e-mail, cellphones and texting? I've noticed that teenagers are dating less and "hanging-out" more. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? What advice would you give teenagers on hanging-out?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Anniethology-style Part 2

Thank you to everyone who signed my Christmas Guestbook and thank you to everyone who sent me a real Christmas card. If you see your card are cool.

Anger and malaise are two of the less desireable side-effects of Christmas morning.

Secret Agent Man with his superior snow removal skills, cleared the way for the boys to try-out their new scooters.

The aftermath.

After staying up late to wrap presents and waking up early to unwrap them, this is where I was at 10 a.m. this morning.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Don't send me a Christmas card, just sign my guestbook.

Scroll down to see my Holiday pics! Thanks and keep signing everyone!

This is how we roll: Christmas 2008

I'll take a stretch Excursion limo ride to see Christmas lights over a one-horse open sleigh any day!
Pretty, pretty, shiny, shiny.

Mini Me's Gingerbread house is good enough to eat.

I'm Fairy Godmother to Madison. Her mommy brought her over so I could see Maddie in the outfit I bought for her.

Chillaxen in the limo.

Monkeyboy loves his candycane!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Before you go to the toy store, practice the three "R's"

Click here to read my latest post for the Mile High Mamas.

Thanks to all those who have signed my Christmas Guestbook so far. Especially those who are de-lurking to do so. Keep signing! I would love to hear from you all. (scroll down)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Annie speaks her mind: Jennifer Aniston needs to shut-up already; Part Deux

Jennifer Aniston just keeps getting classier and classier. Not only does she appear nekked on the cover of a magazine this month, she is also talking about the Pitt-Jolie kids by name. Joking about going on vacation with them and holding them.

She is a freaky-stalker-ex-wife. She's a headline grabber. She can't build a career on her "talent" alone, so she has to drag her ex and his children into it.

It looks like jealousy, plain old jealousy. Angelina Jolie is the highest paid actress in Hollywood and Brad Pitt's babymama.

And what is Jennifer? A cougar. Wasn't John Mayer like 16 went he wrote, "Your body is a wonderland?" PUKE! (I bet Tibs could answer that question.)

I am not going to go see your stupid movie, Jen! So there. Take that. I'll keep my nine bucks, thankyouverymuch!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Nightmare before Christmas

Twas a couple weeks before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for the Payne family mouse. All the stockings were hung by the food storage closet door with care in the hopes that Saint Obama Claus soon would be there.

(Scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatch the record)

Say what?!

You heard me. Obama Claus!
The other night I woke up from a horrible dream. Obama wanted to give everyone in America a bicycle for Christmas and the Payne family had to buy them.
The voice in my nightmare went like this,
"Obama is giving everyone a bicycle for Christmas and it's YOUR turn to pay."
The Payne Family is going to pay for other people's healthcare, abortions, and failed businesses, but bicycles?!
Mr. President Elect, that's where I draw the line.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Anniethology One Liner Wednesday

You have one line or less, what would you say to Santa?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Anniethology-style Part I

"My Martha" and I went on a Holiday Tour of Homes this weekend. All the homes were beautiful and inspiring. I immediately came home and made some improvements to my Christmas tree.
"But Annie," you ask, "your tree was already pretty. What more could you have done?"

I added peacock feathers! Everything is better with peacock feathers...

...even this guh-lady!

And I added a mascot... a peacock. We haven't come up with a name. I'll take suggestions.

More fuzzy pics of my Christmas decorations. Santa, I've been a good girl. Please bring me a new camera.
Marital bed decorated for Christmas by day

Elfin Magic by Night

Early Christmas Present to Myself

I realized on Thanksgiving that I was pathetically low on salt and pepper shakers. When I saw these on it was chicken love-at-first-sight.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Annie speaks her mind: Jennifer Aniston needs to shut-up already

Jennifer Aniston wants to pretend that Vogue took her remarks about Angelina Jolie out of context, but I saw her on Oprah, she won't shut up about that family.
Speaking of "uncool," I think Jennifer is uncool. If she wants the world to move on, she needs to quit talking about the Pitt-Jolie family. She is perpetuating this, no one else. When a reporter asks her about them, she can say, "no comment" or "different topic," or "I don't want to go there." But, nooooo. She is squeezing the publicity of her highly-publicized marriage and divorce to Brad for all it's worth, afterall she has a movie coming out.
If she doesn't have the sense to shut up, her manager or publicist needs to be fired, because they are not keeping her from making a donkey of herself.
The horse is dead, D.E.A.D, dead already, Jen!
All this talk makes her look small and petty. Granted, the way her marriage to Brad ended and his relationship with Angelina began was not classy by any means, but they are together now. They have children. They are a family. Jen needs to butt out.
I think it's uncool and not classy to remark, make up stories, or re-tell histories about former boyfriends and or husbands, especially if they have moved on and have family of their own. For pete sake, he is someone's father now. Again, it's dead, it's over, leave it alone already. It benefits no one and just makes it look like you have never gotten over it.
I wasn't impressed with Jen and Ben's marriage in the first place. When I saw them on Oprah and Brad said something to the effect that they are in this marriage for as long as it both makes them happy, I was like, "This marriage is goner!"
Since when is marriage about happiness?!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Twilight Review and Aubrey says...

It's been over a week since I saw "Twilight." I've seen two other movies since then ("Bolt" and "Australia"). My interest in writing a review has waned to the point that I am boring myself just typing this. But, seeing that it is a mandatory requisite in Blogland, I'll do it, but I'm going to keep my review short and sassy.

I think it was great to be in a theater with a bunch of fans. I loved that the group of 13 year olds behind me squealed when Edward came on the screen. One yelled out, "I love you, Edward!"

An older, obviously more jaded fan responded, "Get over it, Honey."

I liked the "movie." Was it great cinema? No. But it sure was a fan pleaser.

My problem was that the intensity between Bella and Edward was turned up to a 10 from the very beginning. The intensity had no chance to build.

I will say that I was pleased with Bella and Edward's onscreen chemistry. Their still shots did nothing for me, but Edward, live and in action, has a charisma that is undeniable, even for this Jacob fan.

Will I see the sequels? Did Jasper look constipated? The answer is, oh yeah!


Aubrey said, in her characteristic lower case style:

"i was just thumbing through the new VS catalog
and thought they should change these
from the boyfriend pajama
to the bella pajama.
frumpy flannel pjs?
don't they remind you of bella?"

I agree with Aubrey on changing the name from the "boyfriend pajama" to the "bella pajama." I don't know any self-respecting man under the age of 75 who would wear those.

"Look, Grandpa, I got you some new pajamas. I'll put them in your top drawer so the nurse will know where to find them."

Grandpa unable to voice his displeasure due to the stroke, wets his bed in defiance.

So, that's where the Halloween candy wrappers ended up!

Someone(s) shoved their candy wrappers underneath the couch cushions!

I will not confirm or deny whether I contributed to the shoving.

Thanks to a helpful son and the Dyson....

...this mess was cleaned up.

I told my helpful son he could keep any of the money he found in the couch.

I may or may not know how candy wrappers ended up in the couch, but where did the two dollar bill come from?!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The afterglow of a well-prepared meal

I don't consider myself a good cook, so I was surprised at the feeling of overwhelming pride that came over me whilest I surveyed the bountiful spread of food on our Thanksgiving table.
So this is why they do it! This is why some people put so much time and effort and thought into their food. I now understand the mind of the Foodie. (Why do I feel like watching a "Top Chef" marathon? Has Anthony Bourdain always been that handsome?")
Thank you, everyone, for your recipes and encouragement. I will definitely try them over the holidays.
Here (above) is an example of Martha's Magic Rolls. Not "The" Martha, "my" Martha, my mom. It was the first time I attempted them on my own. They were wonderful.
I also followed some of your advice, my dear readers, and made my own cranberry sauce. I used Cranberry Sauce II from So little effort for such a big pay off. Who knew?!
And now on to the next holiday. I hope you like pictures. I am going to flood my blog with them. A little teaser for up-coming posts? How about, "Anniethology's Week of Humanity"?
Hurry back!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Anniethology Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving dinner at the House of Payne is going to be very traditional: Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, green bean salad, ect. Oh, and of course, pumpkin pie. But what I am missing is a way to show-off with food. I need a side dish or a dessert that will show my dinner guests that I put some extra thought and effort into the classic meal.
I invite you, my dear Anniethology readers, to give me your suggestions and recipes. Help me take my Thanksgiving meal from traditional to terrific!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturdays with Sam Payne

Here's a video from a talented singer, songwriter, and musician, Sam Payne. Yep, he's my people. Look for me in the slideshow. I'm the one with the gun.

Who needs sleep?

Guess where I was a 4:18 a.m. this morning? Where else can you get your Saturday's edition of angry cats and decorated cakes with spelling errors? Give up? Clickety here!!
"Hala Hala Hala"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Den mom's designer duds

I couldn't very well make smores and tie knots in this?! Well...I could, but I won't.

This uniform is way more practical.

Oscar believes you don't have to forgo style for practicality. He designed the scarf for the den mother uniform.

This will be the only time in my life I ever wear a designer item. I make the most of it every Tuesday afternoon. Thanks Oscar!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The crazy lady down the street...

...put her Christmas tree(s) up already!

She must really l♥ve Christmas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finders keepers, not as clear cut as it may seem

Mini Me ran downstairs the other night, pretty excited over something. She handed me a dictionary and said, "Look inside."

What I found was a ten dollar bill. She asked if she could keep it. I told her that it's probably someone's birthday money that they stashed and forgot about. I also said that if nobody claimed it, she could have it.

I called the boys down and showed them the dictionary. I said that if they could tell me what was inside the dictionary and why, they could have it. Boy #2 said,

"A lot of words and what they mean, so people can know stuff."

"Yes, that is true, but not exactly what I was looking for."

It became apparent that they had no clue. My questioning jogged no memory of using the dictionary as a piggie bank.

When I divulged the contents and the amount, suddenly the memories came flooding back, they all remembered putting the money in there. At that point I could not judge who the real recipient of the money was and why they put it there.

I invoked the Finders Keepers Rule and gave the ten dollar bill to Mini Me.

The groans of dispair turned into yelling about how unfair I was. That is when Secret Agent Man came out of his secret lair office to remind, Boy #2 in particular, that yelling at mom is never acceptable. I got a forced, but nice and tearful apology.

The next day Boy #1 brought me the ten dollar bill and let me know that Mini Me had left it on their computer desk. The Finders Keepers Rule turned in his favor and he became the new owner of the ten dollar bill.

To her 7-year-old credit there was no whining, wailing or gnashing of teeth.

Later that night, the same night we went shoe shopping (it was a long night), the boys wanted to spend their money. While I paid for my purchases at Sears, they ran ahead to Target to peruse the toy section. By the time I got there, they had not yet made up their minds and tried to negotiate for more money. I said "no" and told them we needed to get going. Boy #2 pleaded with his brother,

"Just grab something, anything!"

They wanted to drop that ten dollar bill like it was hot, they didn't care what they spent it on, just as long as they got to spend it!

When I told them that I was not going to give them any more money and that we need to leave, Boy #2 not having learned his lesson about yelling at the woman who carried him inside of her body for nine months, yelled at me again! In Target!

That's when he got the quiet, but harsh and deadly mad mom whisper,

"This trip is over. You are not getting anything. You are not going to say another word. We are going to walk out of this mall right now."

You can imagine the tongue lashing he received all the way home.

Mini Me was pretty upset with me too. She had her eye on a new Littlest Pet Shop that I refused to buy her.

Later that night, it was a long night, I saw Mini Me packing her bags. When I asked her if she was planning on running away, she told me she was just "arranging" her purses.

The next morning, the boys were looking for their money again. It seems that they had left it on the coffee table the night before.

Apparently, Mini Me learned the finders keepers lesson. She picked it up and put it in the safest place she knew, her Hello Kitty wallet inside of her giraffe print purse.

The boys knew they were defeated. There was no arguing the point. Their little sister took advantage of the situation and profited.

Later that day, Boy #2 came home "sick" from school. While he had the house to himself, he went into his sister's room, found the purse, opened the wallet and took the money. He then hid it inside the speakers of his stereo.

When the other kids came home, he pretended to find it, handed it to his brother and told him to come tell me what they had found.

Knowing that my daughter was not foolish enough to leave the money unattended again, I immediatedly knew that something was fishy. Upon cross-examination both boys denied taking the money out of their sister's wallet.

Boy #2 was not immediately forth-coming and to Boy #1's credit he did not rat-out his brother, but Secret Agent Man, as known by his associates as "The Human Lie Detector," procured a rapid, yet unremorseful confession. Boy #2 felt fully justified believing that this money was his to begin with.

I needed to take a break and have some time to think about how I was going to deal with the sneaking, the lying, and the stealing. I let the boy stew in anticipation of punishment for over an hour, when I finally announced to him that he and I needed some time alone to talk about his behavior. I told him to get on his shoes and wait in the car, I was going to get my keys and purse and we were going to go to McDonalds for some ice cream and talk.

He sat in the car for about five minutes before he came back in to find me at my desk and said,

"I thought we were going to McDonalds."

I looked up from my computer screen and said flatly,

"I lied."

I don't know what the tears were about. The disappointment, the realization of having been lied to, whatever they were for, it was the effect I was going for. I said,

"Feels pretty crummy to be lied to, doesn't it?"

This isn't the last time our kids are going to lie to us, or be sneaky, or perhaps even steal, so the lectures and lessons have continued over the last couple of days. This whole finders keepers business has been interesting to see the revealing of their characters and note what we need to work on.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The words you thought you would never hear me say

"If I never go shoe shopping again, it will be too soon."

It started back in July. We were in Phoenix on our way to Boston. We went to a mall in Scotsdale to buy tennis shoes for the boys. We went to Foot Locker and just let them pick out whatever they wanted. Mistake number one.

I usually have them choose shoes that are gray or black because white shoes look old faster. But, I thought, "Hey, we are on vacation, try not to micro-manage every aspect of their life for a change." Mistake number two.

Boy #1 picked out a pair of $55.00 shoes. I didn't even look at the price of Boy #2's shoes, assuming that they were a similar price. Mistake number three.

I didn't realize until we rang them up that they were $80.00 shoes! For a 9-year-old?! Are you kidding me? I went ahead and bought them. What has been long suspected was then confirmed, I do, in fact, have brain damage. Mistake number four.

Two weeks ago, Boy #2 gave up wearing his $80.00 shoes. He developed a corn on his little toe and it was rubbing against his shoe. He helped himself to my tennis shoes. He didn't seem to mind that they were ladies tennis shoes. I've medicated his corn and it is fading away, but I guess I will need a stronger medication to rid him of his penchant for ladies shoes. He even wears my tennis shoes to church, insisting that his church shoes are so small that he walks on top of his toes.

If you know me at all, you know how much it kills me to have my kids wear tennis shoes to church, let alone, my tennis shoes!

So, tonight, we went to the mall, the kids and I. This time around was different.

Boy #2 got ten dollar tennis shoes instead of $80.00. Both he and his brother, at my insistence picked out gray and black shoes.

But, I did cave on the "color rule" with Mini Me. She picked out a pair of black Skechers for $34.99. Again, she is only seven, what does she need $34.00 shoes for? We compromised on a white pair of "High School Musical" shoes for $16.99, with half off of that price for also buying Boy #1's shoes in the same store. I hate character shoes, I think they are lame, but for that price, I was willing to let Mini Me walk on Zac Efron's face.

We were able to buy three pairs of tennis shoes for under $80.00. I know my thrifty friends could out frugal me. They could get six pairs of shoes with pizza money to spare for that amount, but it's still a massive improvement. Don't ya think?

But, alas the boys still needed new dress shoes. boys dress shoes were $20.00. It felt like a conspiracy. I hated to pay that price especially since I cannot keep up with their ever increasing growth rate. We ended up buying shoes that are two sizes too big. It may look like they are wearing flippers for awhile, but at least I won't have to buy them dress shoes until their Senior Prom.

At one point during the evening, if you were in close enough proximity, you could hear me do that "mad mom" whisper, you know the one.

"This is a store, not your living room. Quit touching each other, stop making those noises, apologize for hiting your sister in the face with your shoebox, and stop laying on the benches. Is it too much to ask that we leave the mall with a little bit of dignity?!"

Apparently it is.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My inner females are fighting

There are three famous females that I idolize. Not just idolize, I consider them to be my close personal friends, even though they don't return my phone calls. I would even say that a part of them lives inside of me.

So when my inner females don't agree, it hurts.
When a couple of my inner females have thinly veiled contempt for one of my other females, how do I metabolize the loathing within myself?

I hate it when they gang up on each other. Two of the females don't want the other anywhere near the government. But if she is not in the government, where else is she going to go? TV, that's where! And they definitely don't want her in their realm, either.

I love all my inner females. I want them to love and respect each other, too. I can't turn my back on any of them, just like I could not turn my back on myself.

Maybe if one of them would call me, we could work this out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The word for the day is "resignation"

I have resigned myself to the fact that I am not good at picking winners. In the past year alone, I have picked these losers.
Korto from Project Runway

"Archie" from American Idol

Jason from the Bachelorette
And I believe that the world would have been a better place had they won.

At least I can feel good that I have done my part. I have had my say. I admit to getting a little teary-eyed in the line at the polls today. I am grateful to live in a country where little Annie Payne, wife and mother from Fruita, Colorado can vote for her leaders. It was done orderly, respectfully, and without intimidation.

One of these videos is not like the other. Come on, can you tell me which one?

*Pakistani election sponsored by Rubbermaid

Regardless of what happens today, we still live in the best country in the world.