Friday, May 14, 2010

This Ain't No Mini-Van!

Tucker Treats is now in business! I said I would NEVER drive a mini-van, but I didn't say anything about an ice cream truck! We still need to make some adjustments to the van like repainting it, but here it is! It arrived on Wednesday while I was at work, and seemed to work fine according to Brittany who drove it around to the driveway in the back. Then I tried to start it up on Thursday, and it kept dying. I was freaking out! I was supposed to be taking it for the inspections!

I called the previous owner, and he reassured me that it was working fine before and should be working now. He told me to check all these little things, switches, wires, etc. I popped the hood, everything seemed OK...not that I would really know. I called Jeremy while trying to fight back the tears of disappointment. Then I called the guy back, and he determined that if it wouldn't start, then maybe it was the starter. He told me to try a little trick...still didn't work. I got nothing but strong gas fumes.

To make a long and rather embarrassing story short, Jeremy got home and started it right up. Because of the year of the van, off market fuel pump or something crazy like that, I didn't know you had put the key in and hold for a few seconds before starting it while "feathering" the gas gently at the same time. Eventually, they determined that I flooded the engine in my "inexperience". I didn't realize that "feathering" it was different than "flooring" it. I guess that makes me a stereotypical female in this regard. But, hey, I'll be a pro in no time! At least I figured out how to operate the nifty loud speaker. That thing is so cool; it plays 16 different songs!

Either way, we are rockin' now! Jeremy took it for the safety and emissions inspection today (it passed, whew!) and is getting the registration completed as we speak. I picked out most of the ice cream already; we get the freezer tonight, and we get to pick up our order tomorrow!

I did find out that it takes almost 30 days to get all of the permits for Allen, but the good news is that none are required for McKinney! Let the fun begin!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pistachio Cream Pie

Are you looking for something cool and delicious to serve at your next party, event, holiday or potluck? Need to impress some relatives?

With summer on the horizon, I thought I would share with you one of my new favorite recipes. I wanted to make something special for Brittany and Roman since Mother's Day was going to be a rough day for them. I knew they liked pistachios, so I created a Pistachio Cream Pie just for them. We have now decided that it will be our new Mother's Day tradition! Here is what you will need:
  • 2 Graham Cracker Pie Crusts
  • 1 Tub of Philadelphia Ready Made Cheesecake Filling
  • 2 packs of Pistachio Instant Pudding Mix
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cu. of finely crushed pistachios (more or less)

Mix all of the ingredients in a big bowl and blend well. Pour into pie crusts, chill about 30 minutes and serve! Top with whipped cream and garnish with a few whole pistachios for that special added touch.

I actually like to split the recipe in half and make two different pies. Chocolate Chip Banana Cream is our other favorite...or Triple Chocolate Fudge...or Lemon Love... Hint: Just substitute with your favorite Jello pudding mix! It's so easy and doesn't require any baking. You can even add fresh fruit. Be creative. It's fun!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

What a crazy week for the Tuckers! We all ended up with some form of the stomach flu, some worse than others. Then there was the stress of trying to secure our new (to us) home in McKinney, the stress of still trying to get the ice cream truck shipped from FL, then reaching out to one teen in crisis mode that needed a place to stay, another stressed about finals and the other trying to squeeze in GED courses. All of this happened while Jeremy was out of town for three days! But Javin and Kadi getting dropped off at the wrong bus stop and walking ½ mile home by themselves topped the chart. It also caused me to realize the importance of being a mother, and I thought about how fitting it would be to blog about it since Mother’s Day is around the corner. So, let’s back up.

On Tuesday night, I had one of the most awful dreams that a Mother could have. I had a nightmare that my children were missing, namely Javin. His body couldn’t be located and I was told that I needed to file a missing person’s report. The emotional pain of the dream was unbearable. Even when I awoke, I was still trying to figure out where I needed to go to file the report. Then I noticed Javin was asleep in the bed next to me. I sobbed and hugged him hard as I breathed a sigh of relief. But unfortunately, it didn’t end there.

As they boarded the bus for school that morning, I prayed that God would have His angels protect over them and guide them through the day. I pleaded the blood of Jesus over them and kissed them goodbye. But, all day long I just had this very uneasy feeling, a mother’s intuition, that still small voice. I continued to pray for them throughout the course of the day and all the while trusting God that everything would be fine. Let’s not forget that I still had last night’s dream fresh on my mind. Whether that dream held any significance, I will never fully know, but I do know that it caused me to intercede harder than I normally would have.

Well, at 3:20pm, I get a text from Brittany asking if their bus was supposed to be late. They are normally home by 3:15pm and dropped off near the house. My stomach dropped. I called the school and they assured me that their bus was just running late. Britt texted me about 20 minutes later and said they were home. Oddly enough though, I was still not at peace because I sensed something wasn’t right.

When I got home at 4:30pm, I found out that since their bus was running late, the school and the transportation department boarded them on a different bus with a substitute driver. But they forgot to mention to the driver that my kids were the first stop. Instead, they get dropped off about ½ mile from the house on the other side of the neighborhood at about 3:15pm. After crossing intersections and alleyways, they made it home safely…20 some odd minutes later. Javin was able to figure out where he was and just happened to pick the right streets. Then “what-ifs” began to overwhelm me, and it was then that I realized that I had been praying for a specific reason. What if he would have made one wrong turn? Who would have known where they were?

By this point, I was extremely emotional. Both blood-boiling anger and an eternal gratefulness consumed me at the same time. I was so thankful for God’s protection. And as any loving mother would do, I made some phone calls…immediately. I think Roman saw a side of me that he had never seen before! By 6:30am the next morning, it had already been escalated to all department heads involved; a meeting was called, and new procedures were in place to prevent this from EVER happening again.

Now, here is the good part. I love it when God provides confirmation and peace. I was on my way to work the next day and enjoying my usual prayer time. I gave praise the One that I knew was in control and thanked Him once again. I decided to turn the radio on, and there was a song playing that brought me to tears. It’s called “Somebody’s Praying.” This was the first time I had ever heard it, and it was completely contrary to the style of music that was played on this certain station. Read the words, and you will understand it’s importance to me:
Somebody's prayin, I can feel it
Somebody's prayin' for me
Mighty hands are guiding me
To protect me from what I can't see
Lord I believe, Lord I believe
That somebody's prayin', for me.

Angels are watchin', I can feel it
Angels are watchin' over me
There's many miles ahead 'til I get home
Still I'm safely kept before your throne
'Cause Lord I believe, Lord I believe
Your angels are watchin' over me.

Wow, wow, wow! Oh, the duties of a mother. And the most important one of all is praying for our children. None of that was coincidence, but Divine in every aspect. I felt like this was the song being sung over my kids that day. There is no doubt that the angels were walking with them and guiding them all the way, thus preventing any alternate outcome or scenario. Praise the Lord God Almighty!

Anyway, it is quite an old song, but give it a listen…

Gosh, I love my children…each and every one of them.