Saturday, December 23, 2006

Flypaper and 8yo "creativity"

Ah, yesss--the bliss of spending the afternoon on my bed, feet propped up, pillows behind my back as I read books and knitted a sock. (It was also necessary because my back is spazzing and cramping up for some odd reason or another, and the only way I could stretch it out was to sit that way.....unless I wanted to walk around like a gorilla with knuckles dragging on the ground. Bed: muuuuch better option.)

So I repeat this tale not as a participant, but a gleeful bystander, informed after the deed was done. My dear daughter S. made flypaper this afternoon. She took one sheet of paper, an entire bottle of Elmer's glue, and the majority of my breakfast bar space and went to town spreading the glue all over. Then she went outside to play.

A. discovered the tacky mess a while later. She was in the backyard, sticky from fingertips to elbows, now with the addition of dirt affixed to the remaining glue on her body. A. called her in, scolded her, and sent her to the bathroom to wash.

Now, Elmer's glue is water-soluble, fortunately. However, water just wasn't cutting through the tack. Mom tried the countertop bleach wipes next. Nope. A. finally got the WD-40 and a metal spatula and scraped the glue off, revealing the laminate. Voila!

Making the punishment fit the crime--S. has to sweep the back porch. So mean of us! :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Live from Puyallup!

First off, I have to apologize to Tammy for this picture because my camera is lame and I can't retrieve the better of the two pictures we took!! When she gets home she'll upload a better photo of the two of us, I hope!

We entertained Tammy and Kevin, and Hank and Lavonne tonight at dinner! So for those of you who like to know bloggy connections... this is Rebecca's brother and mother and sister-in-law. And new step-dad. ;)

Adding to the mix we had Crystal's brother Richard too (my favorite "anonymous" commenter here). So it was a big reunion. Unfortunately he left before the cameras came out.

And do you see the ball of self-striping yarn in front of me?? :D :D Tammy gave it to me to make a pair of socks!! I'm excited. We tried to get started on it tonight, but between family and children interruptions, plus the fact they have to get up very early in the morning tomorrow and left early... we didn't get a chance to get it started. Ah well.

4 days to Christmas! We've decided on turkey for the meal.

SO if I don't post until then...merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

"You can borrow brains...

...but you can't borrow character." That's what Dr. Bob Jones, Senior, was once quoted as saying.

So in the spirit of "Borrowing Brains" --or in this case, IDEAS -- I'm going to post my weekly menu here. That way I can feel free to completely disregard it or move meals around as necessary!

Sunday Dec. 17- LEFTOVERS

Monday Dec. 18- Ham sandwiches on ciabatta bread
Baked Macaroni and cheese
Overnight salad
Banana pudding

Tuesday Dec. 19- Grandma Sandy and Grandpa Larry arrive!! That is, if AMTRAK gets them here on time... >:O|
Mashed potatoes
Green beans

Wednesday Dec. 20 - Andy makes dinner.

Thursday Dec. 21- Company Casserole (yep, because COMPANY IS COMING)
Filet Mignon and caviar (ha ha, that's what Hank said he wanted. HA HA HA.)
Salad brought by Lavonne
Garlic bread
Fruit dip and/or chocolate fondue with apple slices, clementines, grapes, strawberries, pound cake and shortbread

Friday Dec. 22 - Eggrolls
Stir-fry noodles or rice with vegetables

Saturday Dec. 23 - Pizza and salad

Sunday Dec. 24 - Christmas Eve! Leftovers, likely ;) - a fancier-than-usual smorgasbord in the evening with shrimp cocktail, smoked oysters, sliced pears and apples, and crackers and brie.

Monday Dec. 25 - Christmas Day!!
Roast Beast or Pork or Turkey (we need to have a family discussion about this!)
Broccoli Casserole
Baked potato
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie

This doesn't take into account any trips to Buca di Beppo or the Outback Steakhouse that my dad might want to make. :) But it's a start.

Oh, and I can't forget to get the Little Smokies sausages for Christmas morning.

Blog Worlds Collide

So Crystal and Aaron and crew stopped over today on their way back north - D and S were ready to play and sure enough, soon after Micah came in, he asked, "Where's the toys??" (it was too cute) .

And of course we had to have pictures. Sorry about the backlighting. Here's the happy nuclear Microsoft family:

And one of the two bloggers:
Note to self: pictures don't lie. I'd better get my sorry carcass back to Bally's, and fast. (Ha! "fast" indeed!! )

So Crystal and I were talking about just how who knows who, and how did we all end up on each other's blogrolls, etc. It's just a small world, is all! :) I read all her friends' blogs and let me tellya, she knows some interesting people.. Or at least they can take a boring story and make it interesting!! ;)

So for those of you who are wondering just how I fit into Crystal's life... she was in my husband's youth group when I first moved out here to WA. She was the yearbook editor, the pianist for Norselanders (HS jazz ensemble), and the resident Vulcan of the youth group. ;) I sang a solo at her wedding to Aaron when I was T H I S B I G pregnant with Number One Son. And, we have taken piano lessons from the same lady.

It's Christmas time, and former youth groupies are coming home to WA to visit. Be prepared for "Blog Worlds Collide - part deux" !!

oooo, secrets, yesss preciousss

Nice to have power again

Thursday night we had a rather wicked windstorm move through the greater Seattle area. We were prepared: candles, flashlights, pitchers filled with water, peanut butter and jam.... yeahhh, we can handle it!!

The winds were kicking up around 7:30 - lights flickering - power surges- then as A. and I lay in bed reading books (A - Truth Matters by John MacArthur; me - Eragon again, since the movie's coming out soon) the power went out about 11 p.m. Storm really hit about 1 or 1:30, though we couldn't really tell since the power was out. :) When all was said and done, we'd lost about16 feet of backyard fence--NOT the one we replaced back in June!! And it's the neighbor's fence, technically. So that was a blessing.

Friday morning was chilly but not too bad. We prepared to go out to help some of the single ladies in our church who live in fir-tree neighborhoods. Had to take three different routes to get there because of trees over the road and power lines down. We spent some time raking tree debris out of her front yard. It was a mess!

Our power came back on around 9:30 a.m. yesterday, so we really did not have too much inconvenience at all. Crystal is still without power even now--and hopefully she and I will get together later today before she has to go back to her northerly neck of the woods.

OH! Kids had karate graduation scheduled for last night - they're being promoted to green belts (Finally) - well, with the power outages, everyone and his cousin Bob were out on Meridian S. Hill last night to be where there was light and heat. It took 20 minutes to get from 112th to 118th (That's 6 blocks). We gave up on graduation and went back home.

So I will enjoy my coffee and hot breakfast this morning and be grateful that I am no longer part of the million without power.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nutcracker: Sweeeet!

This morning we had our last music teachers' meeting of the year. We had a tea/brunch, then played duets and solos from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. Nyaho was there at the beginning but had to leave (yes, I did have a lesson with him and it was good). I played in a flute trio for "Dance of the Reed Flutes" and it was rather fun all around.

This afternoon did some grocery shopping as a family whilst storm and wind and rain pummeled us on the outside. AND I went to the library for the first time in months! (I am not going to make my Newbery goal this year. But perhaps in 2007.) Instead of going for books primarily, I went to the CD's and got some Madrigal Songs by a group from Cambridge directed by Rutter; Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1; Thelonious Monk (jazz pianist) and Don Byron (clarinet). How's that for diverse genres? Not sure yet about this Don Byron; I really liked "Bug Music" but this CD's starting off a little odd.

For dinner tonight: Feijoada ! yummm. Pronounced "fay ZHWAH dah" - it's a Brazilian dish with black beans and sausage. I serve it over rice. Got the recipe from a Brazilian's wife, so it's good and presumably authentic.

D has been feeling under the weather and I'm a little run down myself. Fortunately I don't have any commitments the rest of this week except school.

Kids are complaning of hunger (bottomless pits!) so I must tend to the rice and feijoada. Ciao.

Monday, December 11, 2006

translation: "BORING"

Take this test at Tickle

Anne, your flavor is Mellow

Like vanilla ice cream or fresh bread, you're an easygoing and friendly person who's a staple to have around — always enjoyable at any time. With your relaxed attitude, you're both reasurring and refreshing, and this makes people around you feel at ease.While others may be fiery and hot-tempered, you always find a way to keep calm, cool, and collected. Your laidback and low-key attitude is what flavors everything you do — from spending a day at the beach to hosting a backyard BBQ to watching movies at home. No matter what you're up to, it's sure to be fun and have a feel-good vibe. Cool!

What's Your Flavor?
Brought to you by Tickle

To play or not to play

Tomorrow morning I have the oppty to have a lesson with Dr. William Chapman Nyaho. He's a wonderful person, and a fabulous pianist. He's filling in for Dr. Jacobson whilst she's in Australia visiting her daughter & co.

But I've not practiced well!! Do I want to go tomorrow and pay money to embarrass myself, or do I still go, suck it up, and learn what I can regardless??

I see the problem here: I don't want him to think ill of me, when I have such a high regard for him. You see? FEAR OF MAN.

THEREFORE, I will suck it up, and go.

Tonight I have a choir party. We finished our Christmas concerts last Saturday night and tonight we turn in our music, as well as celebrate. It's a dark, stormy, windy, rainy night, but I'm gonna go. I put some leftover soups in the crock pot - so Proverbs 31 of me~! - so the family will be provided for in my absence. I've made ham, pickle, cream cheese rollups with olives for horse-doovers (you know, I don't know how to really spell that word and I'm too lazy to go to right now to look it up) - and all I need to do is put on some festive lookin' clothing and out the door I go!

Sigh..... A. just walked into the bedroom and made the following statement:

"Just for future reference....the crock pot works much better when you plug it in."

*evaporation of Proverbs 31 ideals* -

ah well, a choir-partying I go. That's why there's microwaves.

Can't Stop Eatin' These Horse-Doovers Recipe:
  • thin-sliced deli ham, blotted dry on a paper towel
  • softened nonfat cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
  • dill pickles, halved or speared (depending on diameter)
  • olives, your choice of black or green
  • frilly toothpicks
Spread cream cheese on ham. Put a spear of pickle at the end of the ham. Roll up, slice in 1" segments. Stick a frilly toothpick through an olive, then into one of the ham/pickle sections.

I can't stop eating these! I ran out of olives and just made the ham/cream cheese/pickle spears and it's still great.

Family is distraught that I'm leaving with 72 of these for the choir members but none for them. Will have to make more later (I bought 2 packages of the toothpicks :) )

Friday, December 08, 2006

~Da-who Dorays, Fa-who Forays~

TODAY! Yes, TODAY we brought the tree into the house, set it up, and gave it a drink for the first time since Andy chopped it down on Monday.

*praying our tree doesn't become a Krispy Kritter until the next 17 days have gone by...*

I don't recall helping set up the tree when I was a kid; Mom did most of it. But I've learned to step back and let the kids put up the ornaments, and who cares if it's not perfect? They're excited and eager to help. They even helped to put up some of the lights.

Hang on...oven's beeping...have to stir the caramel corn.

We're going to sit down and watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, followed by A Charlie Brown Christmas. And munch on caramel corn!

I'll edit the pictures in later. Meanwhile, here's the caramel corn recipe that I LOVE. (I have a microwave version that's not as messy; this is the oven version)

  • 1 c. butter
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. light Karo corn syrup (or golden syrup)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 batches of air-popped popcorn (near as I can figure, this is about 18 cups of popped corn)

Have your oven at a low 250ยบ F - get a large dutch oven or roasting pan out and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Make popcorn and dump into the pan. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, then add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add baking soda and vanilla. Pour over popcorn, stirring to mix.

Bake in a low oven for one hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes.

Serves - well, it depends on how much you like this stuff. Me, I walk by and grab a handful if it's out. So I try to save this recipe for December only!! Then eat celery the rest of the day (*sigh*).

Kinda like eggnog. We've had our gallon for the year; we're not buying any more. And fruitcake too. My husband actually enjoys fruitcake, so we buy the ones that Costco makes.

Whoops!! Movie time~!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

St. Nicholas Day!

Well, my waffling about Sankt Niklaus hasn't made a lasting impression on my youngest halfling. See, every year the local fire department decks out Engine No. 2 with lights and puts Santa up on top, lit up with floodlights. Then they blare Christmas music out of the truck and drive slowly up and down the streets of Puyallup, giving candy canes to all kids. They do this in different quadrants of the city over the span of several days. It's great fun to see.

So tonight was our night~! Kids heard the sirens and music and went bonkers. "I-hill ha-have a-huh bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuee...............Christma-hus......without you-hoo......" was blaring as the truck drove down our street. Very happy kids. Santa, candy canes, and Elvis. What more could you ask for? After all, thanks to Lilo and Stitch, the kids think Elvis is a model citizen.

And today, December 6th, is actually St. Nicholas' Day. The kids' teacher, who is Greek Orthodox, told me that her church "adopted" 4 women/families that were living in the local Safe House and are helping them to have a Christmas. Someone came out dressed up like St. Nicholas and retold the ancient story, then provided the women and their children with needful gifts. I thought that was pretty cool.

BTW to clarify- yes, I homeschool. But yes, the kids have another teacher. We're doing a virtual public school - where I/kids do all the work - and we have a teacher resource for support and encouragement. (grin) ...AND accountability! We're in the Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA). Several other states have the same program. California, Colorado, Idaho, Florida, Pennsylvania all come to mind. At any rate... my taxes pay for it. No out-of-pocket for me. Some HS'ers have told me that I've "sold out" though--- I'm not really a homeschooler anymore, I'm part of the public school system. (some of these people can be very violent in their opinions!) But it's not their responsibility to educate my child, it's mine, and I must do what is best and right for US.

Which is why I don't criticise people for putting their kids in brick and mortar public schools either. Not my business, not my family...they have to do what's right and best for them!

Sorry about the tangent. Just rambling.

Which also reminds me, it's also St. Penny's day.......which, being interpreted, is my sister in law's birthday!!! Eeep! I'd better get that card in the mail. *rolling eyes*

AND speaking of cards, my Christmas cards are IN THE WORKS. No February mailings for me this year! ;O)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Worst Burglar Ever

He's got determination, I'll say that for 'im.

Regrouping and Borrowing twice

Math, math, math.

I've just endured three...THREE hours of tears, yelling, and frustration over 13 subtraction problems that require you to borrow from both the tens and the hundreds columns and regroup as ones and tens.

Just so you all know, and in the spirit of full disclosure: according to my son I am a tyrant who makes all this stuff up to torture children; a dictator who likes her own way; a person who will probably throw the block of cheese at her son if he gets the problems wrong; plus to top it all off I like to spank my children for no reason at all, just because I like it.

Enough about MY morning, how was yours??

How do those homeschooling moms do it? With eight kids all lined up like so many ducklings in a row, perfectly groomed, hand-sewn jumpers that all match, yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir,

I am NOT WORTHY. I cannot beat that. I can't even attain to it.

I know I've quit before but this time I mean it!
Probably. Maybe.

I need some personal regrouping time! I am drained and it's barely 1 in the afternoon. I have a very energetic, brilliant but foolish, OPINIONATED son and I thank God for his mind. JUst pray God will change his heart. I am not the Holy Spirit (reminding myself).

OKay. Making a cup of tea now. Kicking the family out of the house to go to the library.

For dinner tonight: Crock pot potato and ham soup. Nice to have at least one of my ducks in a row, even if school absolutely bit rocks today.