Friday, July 31, 2009

7 Deaths in the Familiy

How do you convince your would be/want to be oceanographer 11 year old that she should go out and buy ANOTHER fish after seven of them have died in 2 months?

We have 7+ (the plus sign is because her last fish was pregnant) gravestones under the tree in our front yard.

Fish # 1: "J.J." Cause of death? Chlorinated water Length of life? 4 days.

Fish # 2: "Luigi" Cause of death? It was killed by her cousin's fish (we were fish sitting). Length of life? 1 week.

Fish # 3 and # 4: "Hermoine and Ron" Cause of death? Water. Length of life? 2 weeks.

Fish # 5 and # 6: "Fred and George" Cause of death? Water. Length of life? 1 hour.

Fish # 7+: "Moe" Cause of death? An unfortunate accidental suicide. Moe jumped out of her temporary bowl (next to the kitchen sink) and into a soaking enchilada pan in the sink. I noticed the fish was missing and found her fins up in the pan floating next to pieces of soggy tortilla. She was VERY pregnant. H had already bought the breeders net and was wishing for many many babies.

How do you encourage her? After she's invested her own money?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vampires and Soccer

I have been MIA. Sorry. I blame it all on Vampires and Soccer. I started reading New Moon (Stephenie Meyer's sequel to Twilight) and got hooked. I finished New Moon and have now moved on to Eclipse. It is all about the Vampires at my house. H really wanted to read New Moon, she read Twilight, and I wanted to pre-read the others before she started in when we go on vacation.

Soccer Camp started on Monday. Long about January of this year when David lived here without us he registered the kids for this Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp. This program is AWESOME. The coaches are wonderful with the kids and my kids are having a BLAST. The training that these coaches must endure before teaching has got to be extensive...and they play wonderful training games with the kids like "Pac Man" and "Austin Powers." They are tired and happy each afternoon, and the coaches give great "homework" that my kids eat up each night. Homework has been things like "make (an edible) sports drink for your coach," "find facts on your country and bring them in," "make a bracelet for your coach," or "make a t-shirt jersey for your world cup team." We won't mention that each one of the coaches is adorable and has a dreamy British accent.

Since I have known about camp since January you'd think that I would have planned out my week and would have made tons of progress and done a bunch of sewing and stuff. But no. I have frittered away every single day while the kids have been at camp, shopping for beach trip stuff, wandering the library, reading, etc. Now on the eve of my last day of freedom I am asking myself what I have done?

Monday, July 20, 2009


Last Friday our family was invited to one of D's bosses (we'll call him Mr. X) house for dinner along with many other couples from D's office. D and a few of the guys at the office get together every once and a while and smoke cigars...and Mr. X found out and wanted to join their "club." D started the club with his BFF and the club has grown to 6 or 7 now.

So we get over to Mr. and Mrs. X's house and are enjoying ourselves...time passes and pretty soon Mr. and Mrs. X are, let's face it, pretty much drunk. For those of you who don't know me well, I'm not a big drinker, if I am going to partake of anything more than Diet Coke, which happens maybe once a year, I am going to be at home. Mrs. X is drunk and decides that she needs to start taking pictures of things with her BFF's iphone. Alas, a few pictures get taken and I am in two, at her insistence holding a cigar I had picked up off the patio table. Whatevah.

Mrs. X then, thru the miracle of facebook, finds me and posts the pictures. Again, whatevah. Not my first choice, but whatevah. Mrs. X is now facebook messaging me and posting a message reading "The guys talked about it today and decided that we are all getting together Friday night at the pub. We can send all the kids over to the movie theater to watch a movie while we drink and hang out."

First, the "guys" never invited David. A few of them were talking about it around him but he never got invited. Second, do I feel comfortable that my kids would be across the open area mall at a VERY busy movie theater on a Friday night? Third, this woman is going out of her way to make me feel welcome, which I appreciate, and we AREN't invited! Fourth, how many times am I going to go and sit and watch these idiots get drunk? Thoughts?

Second Best

One of my favorite foods in the world? The stuff childhood memories are made of? Puyallup Fair Scones. (Washington State Fair) I know, I know. Scones!? Really?! I swear to you that it is not the nostalgia talking, it is the fact that these crazy scones, are crazy good. So good, in fact, my brother who lives in Knoxville has his MIL fed-ex a box of scones to him every fall during fair time. So good, that the scone line is always a mile long and there are rarely complainers because you A. drool over the smell wafting around you, and B. watch the cute little ladies in their white uni's cranking out the scones.

I swear to you people walk away with shopping bags filled with scones, people mozey the fair with arm loads of this crazy breakfast food.

The box of scone mix and the jam they make the scones with are sold in most grocery stores in Washington and surrounding states, but THEY NEVER taste the same as Fair scones. I don't think I have had a real fair scone in years. Sniff. Sniff.

I know, I know...where is all this going? It is leading to the SECOND best scones I have ever tasted. Completely different in texture and flavor, the follwing scones are flakey, tasty and the best homemade scone I have ever tasted. But you have to follow the directions (duh) and as my father always said, don't over touch or over mix the dough. It makes it tough. I made mine the night before baking. I cut them, placed them on the cookie sheet and put them in the fridge til morning. Still excellent.

If you don't care for the orange cranberry flavors indicated here, try chocolate chips...raisins or whatever your fancy.

Scones-Orange Cranberry

3 cups flour

½ cup sugar

5 teaspoons baking powder (yes, FIVE)

1 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut in small pieces

½ cup dried cranberries, soaked in orange juice for 10 minutes

½ cup chopped pecans (eww)

½ cup milk

1 egg

Zest of one orange

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter until dough is in pea-sized crumbs. Drain cranberries and add to dough along with pecans (eww). Whisk milk, egg and orange zest in small bowl. Add to dry ingredients and mix until JUST incorporated and dough clumps together.

Roll out onto floured surface ½ to ¾ inch thick. Cut into desired shape, I made triangles, and freeze, refrigerate or bake shapes at 375’F until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blogger is not allowing me to post! This is a test, because I have spent the last 30 minutes trying to get the dumb thing to post my entry!

Monday, July 13, 2009


I spent a few hours on the computer today looking up craft ideas for my new Kindergarten class. The teacher I am working with gave me a list of themes, and I am at the compiling stage. I figured I would give the teacher a list of ideas and pictures and have her choose.

I found some great favorites are the "gifts" to make for Grandparent's Day, Mother's day etc. Here are some of my favorites:

Lino prints from styro foam meat trays...

Heart pendants from clay and paper clips...

Plexiglass mosaic frames....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Help

I just finished reading this book, something I must have found whilst on Amazon, and it was amazing. Honestly when the notice of hold request arrival from the library popped up in my e-mail I couldn't remember reserving it, not even when I read the cover flap did I remember the synopsis...but it was good. Read it in a 30 hour period and be anti-social to your family good.

I started it Friday night when D and the kids were doing a puzzle (?) and I was uninterested in participating...stayed up til all hours and finished it the next day.

The story is told by three different people...two black servant women and one white well to do Jackson, MS.

Go check it out!

Awkward part 2

My brother and sister have both agreed. They are willing to submit the phot to AFP. So I'll fill out the paperwork and sent it in.

My brother obviously wanted his full name left out of the credits, along with his social security number (like I would do that) or some other specific binding agent. His comments about the photo were "I'm not trying to be snarkey or anything, but how do you find time to submit photos to bizarre web-sites?" "Dad obviously had just yelled at L and I for something."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


So I kind of sent a photo of my family to and they want to use it in a book. I have to ask my family's permission.

What do you all think? Would there be any weird repercussions? I thought it was only fitting for their web-site...

The even funnier thing is that I have others that may be even funnier in the ole scary family portrait folder on my computer. I just liked this one because it is supposed to be taken at the happiest place on Earth and my brother and sister look like there in, let's just face it, HELL.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Okay I Lied

Isn't it nice when you go to the library to pick up your books on hold and discover that a book (that you requested AGES ago)
that you can't wait to read is waiting?

Today I picked up Sew Darn Cute. And people, it is just that darn cute. Glancing thru at the stop light (bad I know) I want to make everything in it. I am looking forward to sewing again! Woot.

While I was at Micheal's this afternoon to replace the paint brushes my daughter ruined yesterday (argh) I saw this book Sock and Glove and rushed home to place a library request. I have a feeling Owen is going to be getting some very cute sock animals for Christmas. The animals inside are just as cute as the dog on the cover.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Meine Mutti is Back

After weeks of frustrating phone calls and begging my brother and nephew via facebook and phone to fix my Mother's Mom is back in the 21st century. Huge relief.

At one point yesterday David suggested I hop on a plane and fly to Washington to fix the wireless, rather than go through another excruciating phone call with either my Mom or Dad.

Thank you God!

Back on Track

A few weeks ago I made a blogging promise to blog daily. Lately I have fallen short of the goal, but maybe, hopefully I am back on track.

I have too many things to be thankful for at the start of this week...a beautiful healthy family, our house in NC is closing in a few weeks (woot!), I have been doing great with my other goals of morning Bible reading and working out on our elliptical, and yesterday when we walked into church...drum roll...wait for it...people that I had met last week at VBS smiled and engaged us in conversation! We interacted with people at church! Big double woot!

This week's plans? Nada. We are meeting my new co-worker for lunch today, and my kids are BEGGING to go back to the Dayton Art Institute for their final scavenger my Monday is planned. The rest of the week holds promise...I am severely burned out on sewing for some reason, so Hannah and I are making plans for fabric painting, batik, and more photography. Her last black and white/old school camera set of prints came back (man I need a scanner) and there were some wonderful stills. I will find a way to scan my favorite, a self portrait of sorts that she took of her feet and shoes (low black converse) in the grass. I LOVE it and may enlarge it and matte it for the wall.

Sam and I love this wonderful mixed media piece at the DAI and I have been saving paper garbage to make a small version. (Couldn't find the artist's name, but we will look today while there). We can do that this week too...

Two last things...

I R*E*A*L*L*Y want to get into a jewelry forging class (havent found one locally) but saw this interesting post about recession friendly jewelry...recycling old gold pieces into something new. Maybe next week.

Owie needed some dessert to go with his sandwich...I am thinking of options. Here are a few of the unfinished pieces I have made so far (felt sewing is therapetic and the only thing I like sewing.)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I H*E*A*R*T Google

I know it is the fourth, and I should be talking patriotism, but I really love Google. I think I am addicted.

Last night, after my post about the cupcakes, I was remembering a fictional book I'd read a couple of years ago that had recipes at the end of each chapter for yummy cakes. Within 2 minutes I found the title on Google and had a request in at the library.

This morning I started freaking out because I had a weird bikini line rash (Sorry TMI) and what did I do? Googled it. Found out that it isn't such a good idea to go months without changing your razor. Bacteria can form a crazy rash on your bikini line.
Ooops. Well, it saved me a $20 co-pay. Easy fix. New razor.

The other day Chloe's teeth were falling out, weird, I know. guessed it. I Googled it and found out that Shih-tzu's have notoriously poor teeth and they fall out.

I HEART Google.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Last weekend for O's birthday party my sister made these bad-boys for the adult dessert. (Photo stolen from the beautiful and talented Andrea-without her permission!) Laura got the recipe from one of her favorite books "A Homemade Life." The author had a wonderful blog called Orangette. I love her recipes.

Whilst my Mom was here she bought me a copy of the book. It is a nice read, excerpts from the authors life, each chapter with it's own recipe and tie to food.

Today, I doubled the recipe and made a huge batch of said cupcakes for our 4th of July parties. Two different kinds of chocolate (power and chunks), yogurt...etc. Man they are yummy chocolate goodness.

Tomorrow we are having D's family for lunch BBQ (including his Mom hopefully-first time she will have visited our new home and she lives 1.5 miles away) and we are going to a friends house to watch fireworks. I made enough cupcakes for both occasions (as well as tonight's dessert). Yum.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Movie and Trouble

Tonight was my second date with my neighbor Lynn. Of coarse both of us brought friends, but tonight was the night we went to see the movie "My Sister's Keeper." Let me just tell you A. the book does NOT match the movie apparently and B. Bring an entire box of Kleenex. My sister-in-law (my bring along friend) said at one point during the movie he had to pinch herself because she didn't want to start sobbing. I was so into the movie that I didn't notice all the sniffing until EVERYONE in the packed theatre was sniffing. LIKE CRAZY. Go see it!

Trouble? Oooooooo. My kids got in H*U*G*E trouble today. Ask my sister, it is not like Hannah is unfamiliar with trouble lately. (Yesterday she tried to burn the house down whilst baking cookies. I came upstairs to find a first level full of smoke, burned cookies, and two girls upstairs with their music so loud they could not hear me SCREAMING my head off calling theirs names.)

Anywho, today's trouble? My kids, using a combination of "Spy equipment" and just plain old second extension handset pick up eavesdropped on my phone conversations. At one point I said to my sister-in-law, is someone on the phone? It is kind of "echoy." I asked if anyone was on the phone repeatedly. No acknowledgement. So finally something dropped upstairs and I heard it quite clearly. My kids fessed up to everything, little turds. The whole "do I listen outside your door to your conversations?" lecture ensued. Willful disobedience. Their punishment? Sent to their rooms for the rest of the afternoon (a good 3 hours).

And then there we Five.

Tuesday H and I show up to VBS and find we have another child in our group. Tyler. About five minutes in Hannah and I both realize that Tyler is going to be a handful. I've been around enough kids to understand that this particular kid has an issue or two.

Cute as a button, but oh how he fixates. Whether it is the sign that our group sits next to, the bracelet we made in craft today, or the noodles lying in the grass at game time this kid has his hands all over everything. Today Tyler and I had a bit of a Come to Jesus when I asked him to give me the paper (cootie catcher foldable) in his hand so we could move on to the next activity. He looked at me and then looked back at the cootie catcher and continued to play. I asked again. Tersely. He kept playing. I went to take it from his hand, he moved it away staring me down, and my teeth started gritting. Give me the paper so we can move on to the next activity. This went on until I came a millimeter from loosing it and I grabbed it from his hand.

That my friends, is my beat me button. (Or one of them). I have asked you to do something/give me something and you are BLATANTLY disrespecting me and making my blood pressure raise to the point of boiling.

I am obvioulsy learning patience during VBS.