"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Google Searches Gone Amuck

I saw this on LisAway's blog and thought it looked fun. Here are some of the weird Google searches that have brought people to my blog.

annoyed facebook friend requests don't know: yep... I'm with you on that.

nuni and nooni skits: umm... I don't know what this means. Did I write these words in my blog? (Quick blog search - no.)

is there going to be a sequel to the book hattie big sky?: I don't know, but now I'm curious...is there going to be? (Google Search of my own-where I came up as the second option - interview with the author says: maybe).

mrs piggle wiggle video: is there one?? I'm excited. (Answer: sort of, but not really.)

your an intriguing man by your writing: umm... i don't know what this person was searching for that could have possibly brought them to my blog.

kraft jet puffed mallow bites: I know!!! They are delicious, aren't they?

ladybug invasion kansas: yep... I know. All over the place.

who is elizabeth gilbert's ex?: I thought the same thing when I was reading Eat, Pray, Love.

toys go out movie?: really? Again, I'm excited and now have a question I have to find the answer to because my post about the book certainly didn't mention a movie. (Answer: no... at least not yet.)

wash hut provo: why is anyone looking up this place?

can mascara melt from oven?: yes.

jason mraz morman?: first, it's spelled Mormon. Second, I'm pretty sure he's not.

sex: sorry to disappoint. Not much talk about sex here. Just the book review for The Sex Lives of Cannibals and possibly the speculation of Baby X's sex before he was born. Oh, and maybe discussing that there is too much sex in a book for me to recommend it. Unfortunately, all this mention of sex has brought up a bunch of crazy perverts searching for stuff they definitely aren't finding on my blog.

Also, again, all you teens out there, stop coming to my blog looking for Cliff's notes on teen books. I'm not doing your homework for you!! (But now that I've written "Cliff's" here, I'll bring more of you in. Argh.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloweens Past

In preschool, I was a clown. My teachers were Mrs. Schubert and Mrs Slavinski and I remember being very frustrated that I could say their names in my head correctly, but when I tried to say them out loud they got all messed up and jumbled.

In kindergarten, I was what would now be called an American Indian. And I brought a bat from my neighbor's yard to show and tell.

I was a ballerina/gymnast when I was 8 or so.

The rest of my Halloweens all blur together. I was a butterfly one year. I know I was a punk rocker for quite a few years in a row. Around sixth grade I was a tiger. I was a cheerleader one year in my sister's old cheerleader uniform.

My Halloween's typically involved whoever my best friend was at the time (first Vicki Hull, then Angela Wess, then Julie Pinteric, etc.) and their younger siblings. Our parents would drive us to a more populous neighborhood in my teeny little town and we'd go door to door filling our pillowcases with candy to our hearts content.

We never got trick or treaters at our house. Or I guess I should say we rarely got trick or treaters. Sometimes my friends would come. Maybe a neighbor. But one year, we decided we'd trick or treat at some of my neighbors, figuring if my family bought tons of candy each year for the trick or treaters that never showed up, the neighbors must do the same. One lady gave us caramel apples but felt bad because she only bought two each year for the two boys who lived across the street from her and never expected anyone else. I think she gave those two boys each a dollar that year since we got their apples.

We buy a ton of candy each year. Eat all the good stuff. Buy more. Eat. Buy. Give away. Get stuck with a bunch of dum dums and weirdo gummy body parts that our kids get when they trick or treat. And while the kids are asleep, we slowly eat all the good stuff that they did get out of their pumpkins. Then I vow to give up candy and in the middle of a long boring day I find myself in the kitchen tearing open a bad of chocolate chips and eating handful after handful. Repeat.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tween Girls

Princess Sparkley turned 6 in August. She's not a tween girl yet. I hope she's not going to be tween girl for a very very long time. At least not in the bad sense of being a tween girl. And in the "almost a teenager" sense of tween girls. But on Saturday we were at the Crown Center in Kansas City and we came across this store called Bloom!. I can't find a website for it, so I'm thinking it's just this one location. It's described as "Fashion and Accessories for Tween Girls (8-13 years old)." PS and I went in to look around. We'd been in there about one minute when she whispered to me, "I wish this was my bedroom." Uh oh... we're in for it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The New Sandbox

We went to a pumpkin patch today that had a huge "sandbox" full of corn kernels. My kids loved it, and they're sort of the big kids now when it comes to sandbox kind of stuff. I loved the idea too. Although I did find a huge pile of corn kernels in my car that fell out of their coat pockets when they sat down. And we haven't even undressed them yet to uncover what made its way into their clothes. Mostly I just loved these pictures.

Oh, and this picture... totally unrelated, BUT, with a pumpkin:

Oh, and this that I drove past on my way home:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bug Eaters

It's official, all the boys in our family have tried to eat a bug.

1. Jed, while running cross country in high school had a bee fly into his mouth (and sting the back of his throat?!?)

2. When we first moved to Kansas, we were on a walk with Buddy and Princess Sparkley in the stroller and we caught a lightening bug to show the kids... it flew off Jed's hand, and we looked over at Buddy who was frantically pulling it off of his tongue. It was quite traumatic for him. We always tell him he was so brave to catch that lightening bug... especially in his mouth.

3. Today Baby X was crawling around by the kitchen table and I saw him chewing on something. I figured it was one of the zillion Cheerios he'd dropped earlier but he was really gnawing on it so I stuck my finger in his mouth and pulled out a squished ladybug. Yuck.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Red Sox Mourning

So, the Red Sox don't get to go to the World Series this year. It should make my husband feel better since my kids think that the Red Sox are supposed to win every year and find it hard to believe that they've only won three times in the past 90 or or so odd years. It just happens that two of those wins have been during their lifetimes. Jed is a Pittsburgh Pirates fan and after that, a National League cheering fan. He's nice enough to cheer for the Red Sox for me and my dad and the kids but when the Red Sox just keep winning, he feels the need to start cheering for a new underdog, or something like that.

I accidentally matched my two boys today. Not on purpose, I got one dressed and then the other and then realized that they sort of matched. So I decided to take some baseball pictures. And Princess Sparkley felt a bit left out, so she went and put on a red shirt to join in on the fun. Here are the results:

Writing in Books

I'm super annoyed. Remember when high school English teachers would make you do marginalia, writing notes in your book margins? In high school, I basically just wrote random stuff to fulfill the assignment. There have been occasions, in college and as an adult when I've really used marginalia... but only here and there, and very infrequently. Otherwise, I never ever write in a book. So when I check out a book from the library that has been written in, I'm frustrated. When the person writing in the book thinks they are correcting errors that aren't actual errors, I'm even more annoyed.

I just finished Spells and Sleeping Bags by Sarah Mlynowski. It's a young adult chicklit kind of book. Three different people wrote in this book. The first person drew a little carrot, and lightly, in pencil wrote a one word definition for "procrastinated," I can't even remember what they wrote. I was sort of annoyed that they had to write in a book, but they used pencil. Oh well. The second, most annoying person in the world, used pen and made corrections to nonexistent errors. First they corrected the spelling of the word repellant (it was changed to repellent) -which, when looked up in the dictionary, both spellings are correct, and the one in the book is actually listed first. THEN the person changed the spelling of racket to raquet. ARGH! THEN they had the nerve to correct grammatical references, twice. Things that were totally up to the author how it was worded and were parts of character's conversations, and thus, not necessarily perfect. The third person to write in the book crossed out one of person number two's grammatical corrections and rewrote it the way the book originally had it. Hoorah. I just wish there was some way the dummy who messed with the book could check it out again and see the error of their ways.

Oh I am so annoyed!! I wish there was someway I could find this person and beat them upside the head with this book!!

Please, never write in a book that you don't own. And PLEASE, don't make corrections if you don't know what you are talking about. I'm blaming it on some nerdy teenage girl who thinks she's all that when it comes to grammar and spelling. My husband is blaming it on a English teacher... but since I was one, and a lot of my college friends still are English teachers, I'm sticking with my annoying teenage girl theory.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bloggy Blog Blog*

I am super excited to have received another award... well, the same award, twice!! I received this award:

I received this award from Rae at My Life On The East Coast and from LisAway at Away From It All. Rae's awarding came with the instructions to tell you 6 things about myself and to award it to 6 creative bloggers. LisAway's came with no such rules. I think I'll follow half the rules and only pass it on to one person, like LisAway. The 6 things about myself has kept me from blogging about it. If you read my blog, there isn't a whole lot that you don't know. Well, I guess if you don't know me, there's a whole lot you don't know. But it doesn't seem like it. So here are 6 random things that you might not already know:

1. I won FIRST place in the Ventura County Science Fair when I was in the 7th grade.
2. I had pet chickens when I was little named Squeakers and Peckers.
3. I've been to Mexico, Japan, England, Scotland, Spain, France and Switzerland.
4. I love eggplant.
5. I can't swim.
6. I see myself as a follower, not a leader.

Now that you know even more useless stuff about me... the passing on of the award. I would like to give this award to Rachel (whose blog is private, but who has a photo blog) at Rachel Clare Photo Blog because I envy everything about her photography it's beautiful and it's more creative and artistic than I could ever imagine, replicate, think up, etc. If only I knew all of this before she left Kansas. She's in southern California, so if you are too, have her take your picture!!

*Have I already titled a post "Bloggy Blog Blog?" It seems possible. Oh well.

Monday, October 20, 2008

They're baaacckk...

Can you see all the tiny ladybugs on my window?

Last year our home was invaded by ladybugs. I've seen one or two inside in the past week, but that's it. I went and ran errands for about two hours today and when I returned home our front windows, door and under the roof overhang* were covered in them. As are the inside of the front windows. Crazy. I know they are trying to hibernate for the winter after all the research I did last year, but my question is: why weren't they here the first winter we lived here. They just showed up last winter and then again this year. Hopefully they'll all find their way into my lamp again this year and I can vacuum them up when they are dead and the kids are asleep. Is that mean?

*Which I'm sure there is a fancy name to describe this... an eave??

Reading to do

I have lots of reading to do. And not just books. I logged into my Google Reader account today, and the busyness of Thursday added with being out of town most of Friday and Saturday has made it explode. I have 243 posts to read. And that's not even counting those of you with private blogs. So all of you... stop posting until I get all caught up! :)

Where were we this weekend? Here are the clues:

Facebook Friend Requests

I have a Facebook friend request from a girl whose name I do not recognize. I ignore these kinds of friend requests. I get super annoyed when I have friend requests from people who think that just because they know a lot of the people I know that they know me as well. If you don't know me, you don't know me. Period. End of story.

So this Facebook friend request girl that I ignored requested me again a day later with the message "Do you recognize who I am?" Ummm... No. I ignored you. Either I do know who you are and I hate you. Or I have no clue who you are. And no, the 1 by 1 inch picture of you and some other person, at least ten years older than the last time I saw you, doesn't help. NO. I don't recognize you. Oh, and the married last name with no maiden name. That doesn't help either. And a message asking me if I recognize you. Also, NOT HELPFUL. Maybe a "hey, we went to elementary school together." Or, "hey, remember when our soccer team won the state championship?" (Assuming I was ever on a soccer team and they ever won anything.)


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

image from here

It was 1996. I had just started at BYU and was home to get my wisdom teeth pulled during a break. Jed had a broken ankle. My mom's brother was in town. He took us (my parents, Jed, and I) out to dinner at Tony Roma's. It was the first and only time I've eaten there. Since I'd just had my wisdom teeth pulled, and we were eating at a restaurant famous for its ribs, my choices for a meal were limited. I ended up getting their baked potato soup. It is the yummiest soup I've ever eaten. I saw this recipe* today and decided one of these cold fall days I'm going to have to give it a try.

*I have another Baked Potato Soup Recipe from a Taste of Home recipe winners cookbook that I'll have to post later on... remind me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Costumes

I love this!!!
I can't remember where I got this picture. I found it when I was
looking for baby snail costumes after I posted this one.

This one was submitted to my local online newspaper and I filed it away to use when I had a baby in a stroller at Halloween. And then I totally forgot about it until the other day. Old Navy has their baby mouse costumes on sale... anyone have some yellow spotted fleece??

Current Favorite Pictures

I took these pictures Thursday at Princess Sparkley's school field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. I didn't really get any good pictures of her because she was off with her friends and we were trying to let her be cool without her mom and little brothers tagging along. But I love love love these two pictures.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Book Report: The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost

image from amazon.com

I really enjoyed this book. And it's nonfiction. I've only mentioned about a hundred times on this blog that nonfiction is not my genre of choice, but every once in awhile I give it a try, and I end up happy that I gave nonfiction a chance. The Sex Lives of Cannibals* is about Maarten and his girlfriend, Sylvia, and the two year adventure that begins when they decide to take a job and move across the world, literally. This book, while informative about the south pacific, more specifically the way of life on Kirabati and the surrounding atolls, it is also hilarious. However, the language is a bit rough. Mostly only in reference to feces but in many other occurrences as well. Oddly, the sex in this book is minimal and extremely mild. The title, again, hilarious.

Here are a few of my favorite parts:

And then a group of boys marched into the center of the maneaba and they looked like trouble. They wore droopy shorts. And bandannas around their heads. They glowered menacingly. Someone turned on a boom box and inside this maneaba, in the village of Ukiangang, on the island of Butaritari in the Gilbert Islands, Vanilla Ice was heard. Ice Ice Baby. The boys danced with that skippity-hop-look-I-have-no-shoulders thing that Vanilla Ice made his own. I glanced at the unimane. These were men who could recite their geneaologies back five hundred years and more, who knew hot to read the water and the sky, who knew how to build things as large as a maneaba without a nail, who knew, in short, how to survive on an equatorial atoll on the far side of the world. . .

In Europe, every town town has a memorial commemorating the townsmen who lost their lives in the two world wars. In America, every town has a Wal-Mart. Only on the Great Plains does one find the telling remnants of lives lived and lost, the abandoned homesteads that creak with forgotten stories, and the only reason those boards still stand is that the landscape is so bleak and foreboding that no one else wants to build there ever gain. Frankly -- and I mean no offense to the good people of North Dakota -- I can't believe you haven't all left yet.

Hmmm... Sylvia is not one for cussing. There were no windows in th aft compartment. A blue tarp had been pulled down to keep the rain out. Atenati and Bwenawa sat on the bench opposite looking equally miserable. Every few minutes, one of the three would poke their head underneath the tarp and over the railing and begin to barf. Not good. Though I wasn't typicaly afflicted by sea-sickness, the pitiable sight of these three and the heaving and lurching of the boat was beginning to make me feel nauseated as well.
"Why don't you come up on deck," I said to Sylvia. "The problem here is that you can't see the waves and so your inner ear is confused. My inner ear is confused down here."
"We should have stayed in Maiana," she began to moan. "We should never have gone today. I should have said let's wait until the sea calms down. I didn't know it would be like this. Boo-hoo."
She didn't actually say boo-hoo, but she might as well have. I believe that if one-half of a couple becomes weepy and mopey, it is important for the other half to respond with refreshing bursts of sunnyness. This often entails lying.

*recommended to my by (in order of recommendation): Chris, my sister-in-law Heather, my brother-in-law Brett.

Raising your kids to love reading

evidence that we're raising our kids to love books

My mom, a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, buys one of two things for baby shower gifts. 1) Clothes that won't fit the kid for years. Which is actually really nice because in my experience, every baby gift I've received was 0-3 months. My mom tends to buy 18-24 month sizes for gifts. 2) She gives books. I love this and try to do it as often as I can (but sometimes I succumb to the uber adorable baby clothes that are out there). Recently she started giving this book, The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.

Yesterday my mom sent me this article that a woman wrote about raising your kids to love reading. I'm fairly certain at this point in my life that if my kids end up hating books, it will be because there were always too many around, too much reading happening all the time. Possibly that they were ignored while we read. But I'm thinking they'll just keep loving books forever. I loved the article anyway.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Technology Hates Us

While I love the life that modern technology provides, neither my husband or myself are especially gadget savvy. Our lack of expertise on all things electronic makes it so we are constantly frustrated by how the technology we do have isn't working the way we want it to. Not to the point where I want to throw it in the trash, but close. On Sunday a man speaking in church mentioned wanting to throw his computer in the trash. This totally flabbergasted Princess Sparkley who leaned over to me with wide eyes and said, "Did he just say he wanted to throw his computer in the trash?"

Jed is pretty certain that technology hates us. If it is electronic and we've owned it, it's partially or fully not functioning properly. Take our TV for instance, to begin with it's some weird brand that made it almost impossible to find the right connections to hook it up to a DVD player and a VCR (yes, surprisingly our VCR has survived all these years). Now the TV has these colored blotches on parts of the screen. But we're too cheap, and don't care enough to replace it. It works, it just isn't giving 100%.

We aren't on our first DVD player, we're on our second... soon to be third because Baby X has chewed on the DVD remote control enough that we can't push the up, down and side to side buttons, which, are surprisingly necessary when navigating through DVD menus these days. Jed has a friend who is going to sell us one of hers for $5 or else we'd probably keep suffering through with the broken remote. We are also on our second portable DVD player. I'm not even sure how to count up our computers. This is my third. Jed's second. But somewhere in there we tried to build one from the old ones, and it didn't completely work out perfectly. Just like technology to treat us that way.

Today my cell phone tried to kill itself. It vibrated itself off of the perch I'd set it on and has a big crack in the screen. And it's not like I even have one of those slide phones. I don't even have a flip phone. I have its predecessor. Maybe it was just so ashamed of its outdatedness it tried to take its own life. Ha. Little does it know that I'll keep using it until it has stopped working altogether. Much like Jed's friend, the one giving us the $5 dvd player, whose phone's speaker doesn't work so she can only receive text messages, which we aren't savvy enough to know how to send, and so when he called her to pick up the bookshelf we got from her last week, she just had to yell directions to her house at the phone because she knew why he was calling, but wouldn't be able to hear him speak.

Goings on...

Baked these

Stayed up too late finishing this and watching this

Paid $2.67/gallon for gas and being happy about it

Busy keeping Baby X out of the dishwasher

Ate lunch

Trying to stay warm in Fall temperatures and rain without actually using the heater yet

Working on this

Going to make these

Visiting the pumpkin patch tomorrow

Wanting to think up a fun blog giveaway

Needing to vacuum

Watching dirty clothes pile up


Monday, October 13, 2008

Creative Lunches

I get bored making three meals a day for people. I don't think I'm the only one. Especially lunches. Breakfast is easy: bowls of cereal, oatmeal, toast, cereal bars or granola bars. And for some reason, it doesn't matter that there are so few options. It seems like our lunches are sandwiches of these varieties: peanut butter and jam, peanut butter and honey, ham, turkey, cheese. Or noodles, either Macaroni and Cheese or just plain noodles with Parmesan cheese on top. BORING. So today I mixed it up. Buddy is having oatmeal for lunch. Princess Sparkley is having a tortilla with peanut butter in it, rolled up. I sprinkled a couple of chocolate chips in as a fun surprise. As she was eating and came across a chocolate chip she said, "Are you Grandpa Lund?"*

*from here: The other day, we ran out of candy bars, and I found myself eating milk chocolate chips** out of a tiny Dixie cup... I've turned into my dad (although he prefers semi-sweet).

** I had to open a jumbo sized bag of chocolate chips from Sam's Club the other day just to use 1 cup of them in a recipe. This is bad news because there is also no candy in the house. So I keep walking past the cupboard and taking just one more handful. Over and over and over again.

Pointy Tongue

Buddy (Dec. 2004, 8 months ish)

Buddy (today, Oct. 2008, 4 years and 8 months ish)

Baby X (the past few weeks, 8 months)

Baking Mishaps

They look great. They taste... not so great

First I made these, which were promising, but didn't live up to the promise. Then this weekend, since I always have black bananas, and am always looking for a great banana bread recipe, I made a recipe called Fudgy Banana Muffins, or something of the sort. It sounds promising, right. Pumpkin and chocolate chips are good together. I love frozen bananas covered in chocolate. These should be delicious. Unfortunately, they aren't. Once again, only Princess Sparkley likes them. There's just something a bit amok with them (... tofu* or something). I'm going to have to stick baking known successes for awhile to get my baking self esteem back.

*joke from the Hugh Grant movie "Two Weeks Notice," there is no tufu in these muffins.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shed a Tear

image from associatedcontent.com

I read about it first here. Mother's, the company who makes everyone's childhood favorite pink and white frosted with sprinkles circus animal cookies, is going/has gone out of business. Read more about it here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dressing up for Halloween

image from marthastewart.com
how to make this costume here

My kids are always asking me what I'm going to be for Halloween. But I haven't really dressed up for Halloween as an adult (post college). I might wear Princess Sparkley's candy corn costume from last year. Do you dress up for Halloween?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Umm.... YUM!

I saw these Jet-Puffed Mallow Bites on sale today at Target and bought some since the kids are always bugging me to buy marshmallows* and I love a good chocolate covered marshmallow. They are delicious. I think I actually said, "These are heavenly." To which Buddy said, "These are very tasty." Exactly.

*Don't be cheap and thrifty and try to buy the Target brand marshmallow. Ick. I did that last time. They are horrible tasting. I compared the list of ingredients between the Kraft brand and the Target brand, the only difference is that the Target brand lists something called "natural flavors." Those natural flavors did it in.

American Food Classics

I found this on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and thought it looked fun.
American foods
Bold means I’ve tried it. Strike means I’d never try it. Highlighted in gray means I updated this list in January 2014.
1. New York pizza
2. Hoppin’ John
3. New Mexico green chile4. Homemade buttermilk biscuits
5. Tasso
6. Whole Maine lobster7. Calabash-style shrimp and hushpuppies8. Kansas City barbecue ribs
9. Hot glazed Krispy Kreme
10. San Diego fish tacos
11. Cheese curds
12. Key lime pie
13. Philly cheese steak
14. Memphis pork barbecue sandwich
15. Lowcountry boil16. Huckleberry pie
17. New England clam chowder
18. Boiled peanuts
19. Buffalo burger20. Eggs Benedict21. Pastrami on rye22. Corned beef and cabbage
23. Pancakes with maple syrup24. Everything bagel with cream cheese and tomato
25. Thin Mints (preferably frozen)26. Frito pie27. Potato knish with mustard
28. Silver Queen corn on the cob
29. Soft pretzel from a street cart30. Fresh-picked blueberries
31. Sourwood honey
32. State fair funnel cake (does county fair count?)
33. Chesapeake crab cakes34. Candied yams
35. Oyster dressing36. Snow cone or snowball37. Wild Alaskan salmon38. Sautéed morels39. Persimmon pudding
40. General Tso’s Chicken
41. Frozen custard
42. Italian sausage with peppers and onions on a hoagie bun43. Chili dog
44. Buffalo wings with blue cheese
45. Spam musubi
46. Saltwater taffy
47. Fluffernutter sandwich on Wonder Bread
48. Black and white cookie49. Frybread
50. BLT with thick-cut applewood bacon
51. Baked beans
52. Pumpkin pie53. Collards with vinegar and Tabasco
54. Tex-Mex fajitas with skirt steak and sautéed peppers
55. Fried green tomatoes
56. Succotash
57. Shrimp and grits58. Hot water cornbread
59. Barbecue chicken pizza with red onions60. Chicken fried steak
61. Carnitas burrito
62. Apple butter63. Geoduck
64. Soft-serve ice cream cone dipped in chocolate shell
65. Pecan pie
66. Catfish supper at a church or fire station
67. Oysters Rockefeller68. Homemade cranberry sauce
69. Pimiento cheese
70. MoonPie washed down with R.C. Cola
71. Pickled watermelon rind
72. Cracker Jacks at the ball game
73. Smithfield ham74. Meatloaf and mashed potato blue plate special at diner75. Chicken and waffles
76. Po’Boy77. Green bean casserole with French’s fried onions
78. Stuffed sopaipillas79. Turducken
80. Shad roe on toast
81. Sweet potato casserole with or without marshmallows
82. Cioppino83. New York cheesecake
84. Pan-fried river trout
85. Jambalaya
86. North Carolina pig pickin’
87. California rolls
88. Burgoo
89. Penuche fudge
90. Fried peanut butter and banana sandwich (the Elvis)
91. Scrapple or livermush
92. Elk medallions in red wine reduction
93. Muscadine grapes
94. Cheeseburger at backyard barbecue
95. Open-face turkey sandwich
96. Chicago deep dish pizza97. Cobb salad98. Peach pie a la mode
99. Macaroni and cheese with Tillamook sharp cheddar
100. Root beer float
Wow... I thought I'd gotten over my picky-eater-ness. I guess not so much when it comes to strange foods.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Multi-tasking = messing up more than one thing at a time

That's my new definition for multi-tasking after I tried to make rolls for dinner while doing a handful of other things. It wasn't until the rolls were set in their warm place, waiting to rise, that I realized I had yet to add the 2 eggs. So I quickly put the dough back in the mixer and added the eggs and a bit more flour. It's rising, so it seems like it'll turn out alright.


My mom sends me all sorts of newspaper clippings, Family Circus comics for the kids, wedding announcements for kids who graduated from high school the same as me, etc. She just keeps an envelope ready to put them in and every few weeks a get a thick envelope in the mail full of fun things to look through. Recently she clipped something called "Not-Reading Statistics." I don't know the source, so I don't know how accurate this is, but I found it shocking.

Not-Reading Statistics
  • One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • Forty-two percent of college graduates never read another book.
  • Eighty percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • Fifty-seven percent of new books are not read to completion.
  • Seventy percent of Americans haven't visited a bookstore in five years.
If this is true, all I can say is ... wow. And sad.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Jason Mraz

I would just like to proclaim my love for Jason Mraz. No, not a boy crazy crush kind of love, although I see why you might think that following my last post. I love him like a love Hugh Grant. I love Jason Mraz's music, while I love Hugh Grant's movies (and, in the case of Music and Lyrics, his music as well).

I saw Jason Mraz on Good Morning America or something about 4 years ago when he was talking about his first famous song which had just come out at the time, The Remedy (I Won't Worry) and he'd written it about his best friend who had been diagnosed with cancer.

These are the things I like about Jason Mraz:
1) his songs
2) he seems crazy fun*
3) the words he uses (lugubrious) while throwing it all together with slang, etc.
4) his music is a bit of everything - pop, rock, jazz, hip hop, folk

*Even more so when I watched this clip and found out that he's a raw foodist... he only eats raw, unprocessed foods. AND, he lives on a 5 1/2 acre avocado orchard outside of San Diego, CA. I grew up on a 2 acre avocado orchard.

Boy Craziness

I just finished the 9th book in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series and was laughing at how truly boy crazy Georgia and her friends were. I was thinking about Princess Sparkley and how I hope she's never one of those girls who is over the top boy crazy and trying to remember if I was.

I went through a boy crazy phase when I was a preteen. I always had huge, usually unattainable crushes, mostly on movie stars or rock stars. In high school my best friend Jenny and I were a bit boy crazy, but I think it was more having fun with being boy crazy girls, than actually being boy crazy girls. Do you see the difference? Is there a difference? So we had crushes, and top secret nicknames for all the boys we liked, (Jed's was cookie monster since he had blue hair and all) or didn't like. But even then, a lot of our crushes were on famous people... much safer than real boys. And even the real boys we proclaimed were our crushes, were way out of our league, boys who barely knew we were alive.

My sophomore year of college I think the boy craziness all died away. I was terrified of boys. I moved off campus, out of the dorms and the boys weren't 18 or 19 anymore, they were all 22 and 23. I'd already had two roommates, my own age, get married!! I was terrified of: 1) getting married, and 2) not finishing college. So I was trying to stay clear of boys. And for some reason, this is the period of my life, the only period of my life (other than Jed's pursuing of me) when it was most difficult to do. I had boys pursuing me. Two of them. I spent a ton of time in the library studying* at night to avoid being home when they would call or stop by. Once they stopped by at the same time. As I was talking to one, the other one knocked. It was crazy. I was never that girl. Never the girl with two dates in one night (the roommate I had like that was already married). Never the girl turning down dates because she already had one. I was the girl making up excuses to avoid the date in the first place, or hiding out in the library.

It was along this same time that I came home one night to find a strange note tacked to my apartment door. It was from my friend/roommate Tiffany, Wendy's older sister. I wish I remembered exactly what it said, knowing Tiffany, it was hilarious. It was warning me not to enter our apartment because our other roommates were trying to set me up on a date with yet another boy. You can believe I high tailed it out of there. That was 1998.

I often think that Jed really tricked me into marrying him. Not that I didn't want to marry him, just that I was still, three years later, terrified of getting married. I always say that he sneaked up on me and took my by surprise, which is hard to do when he'd been the boy chasing me the longest. He was the boy who knew me best. He was the boy I felt most comfortable around. He'd always been my best friend. So when we started being friends again, I started to get a bit nervous. Then we kissed and I realized that I had to make a decision fast because if I was going to date him, we were going to get married. With him all my fears of getting married went away and I stopped worrying. I'm pretty lucky he came back along.**

*This was not normal for me.

**So, this started as a post about boy crazy girls and turned all sappy. Sorry about that. :)

Candy Corn Cookies

Princess Sparkley is a bit obsessed with Candy Corns. You may remember her costume from last Halloween:

So when Martha sent me an email with these pictured, I knew I'd be making them this October.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Monday Going Ons...

...or why I'm too busy/lazy for a real post and other random musings.

  • I have a cold. So my throat is sore and keeps giving out on me and my head occassionally feels like exploding, although it's getting better.
  • I've been reading a lot, (I needed to, if you remember this post). I finished Eat, Pray, Love on Wednesday, Stop in the Name of Pants! on Thursday, The Glass Castle on Saturday, and The Sunflower last night.
  • I just started The Sex Lives of Cannibals, which was recommended to me by three people and I didn't realize until I started it that it's another nonfiction book. I've way over filled my nonfiction quota for this year.
  • I now write reviews and rate books here.
  • Baby was sleeping from 8 o'clock at night until 5, 6, or 7 in the morning, until our family reunion trip to St. Louis at the beginning of August. Since then, he wakes up at least twice a night, usually more. And he's becoming a stinker about laying him in bed and having him just go to sleep. Now I have to rock him and hold him until he's nearly unconscious or he'll scream and scream. Argh.
  • Baby X's wakefulness is making me extra tired. So instead of jumping out of bed and starting my day at 8 (Ha! I like I ever jump out of bed at 8.) I just want to lay in a clump on his floor and have him crawl all over me for a few hours before I'm awake enough to function.
  • The Kite Runner is waiting for me to watch it while folding a huge pile of laundry.
  • I keep getting friend requests on Facebook and I'm so excited to see who it is and it's always, 98% of the time, someone I don't know. They think that since we know the same people, or we grew up in the same town, that we should know each other. If you don't know me, don't request me as your friend!! Argh.
  • And I keep having to sneeze.
  • Baby X is in a cute, squealing like a baby pterodactyl phase, and if we squeal back at him, he'll do it back to us. It's pretty cute.
  • I like slashes. For instance, before Baby X came along, we had a room (now his) called the office/playroom. Except it then became referred to by our kids as "the slash playroom."
  • There's candy cane ice cream in my freezer. Yum.
  • And I keep having to sneeze.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Go Red Sox!

Just a quick sending of good vibes across the internet to my Boston Red Sox (and my dad) who are playing in game three* of the playoffs against the California Angels of Los Angeles and Anaheim** (or whatever their new name is).

*Boston leads 2 games to 0.
**Sorry Angels that you are my second favorite American League team that just happens to be playing my first favorite American League team.

More Halloween Food

image from RhodesBread.com

I was looking for a recipe for monkey bread* made out of Rhodes Rolls and found all these cute Halloween recipes.

*Here's my monkey bread childhood memory. My brother has always done well with older people. He's always been best friends with people my parents age or older, even as a teenager. I don't remember why, but this woman from church brought over monkey bread to our house in a big brown stoneware bowl for my brother. Maybe it was for our whole family and I just assumed it was for him because growing up, my brother loved monkeys. His room was covered in monkey posters. He had tons and tons of monkey stuffed animals. So obviously, monkey bread would be for him too. I remember sitting at the island in our kitchen, watching the Smurf **movie and eating tons and tons of monkey bread. So whenever I think about monkey bread, I think of the Smurfs... La la la la la la, la la la la la.

**They are making a live action Smurf movie... maybe a trilogy!!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Halloween Treats

Halloween Cat Cookies found here

Fall Snack Mix found here

Halloween Pumpkin Bar found here

My own childhood recipe for pumpkin cookies.

This Pumpkin Choco-dot Cake recipe is the whole reason I asked for and received cake pans for Christmas two years ago. I had this cake at a friends and it was so yummy. And I still haven't gotten around to making it. Argh. This year I will.

And since it was about all I ate for three days straight a couple of weeks ago, I may just have to post my friend's pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe that I finally got a copy of.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Book Report: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

image from amazon.com

This book took me forever to read. Not as long as Clear and Present Danger (by Tom Clancy). I've been on the same page of that book for at least ten years. Or Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell (which I swear I'll finish someday). It just took several weeks. Nonfiction does that to me. Fiction I can usually get through in 1-3 days, maybe a week if it's hard getting started. Nonfiction is slow and painful for me, even if it's enjoyable, which this book is.

I read a review of this book that mentioned a lot of swearing and sex. At the time, I was only 1/3 of the way into it, only in the "Eat" part. I had to stop and think about it before I agreed about the language. But at the time, the writer was celibate*. So she talked about sex in a "I've chosen not to have any" way, missing it, wondering if the right guy came along, should she change her mind about celibacy. Then I persevered through the "Pray" part, which was a lot about Yoga, not something I'm interested in. And I got to the "Love" part, where sex IS talked about, quite a bit. So I'd have to agree with the review I read, if you're sensitive to this sort of thing, this isn't the book for you. Otherwise, I enjoyed the story, the self-discovery that Elizabeth Gilbert goes through, and the way she tells her story.

*Rivers Cuomo, of Weezer fame, was celibate for awhile. On Weezer's Weezer Weezer Red Album**, there's a song called "Troublemaker" that says, "And people will crane necks, to get a glimpse of me and see if I am having sex." That cracks me up every time. And if my kids are in ear shot, forces me to sing very loudly over the real lyrics... "and see if I am with my ex." I learned this form of substitution from a kid named Justin Cash my freshman year at BYU, he'd sing "like a mother mixin' salad" instead of "mother f-ing...."

**Note to Ben and Angela... I didn't like this album at all at first. I totally love it now. There are a few songs I don't love. But I think I like them all. Oh, and my kids love it too. Especially "Troublemaker" and "Pork and Beans." They totally rock out to the chourus on "Pork and Beans." I tried to film it on the webcam, but the cd was in the car and the webcam and the computer's music player did not work well together.

Haunted Houses

image from bluebison.net

When Jed and I had been married for almost a year we made a quick trip from our home in California to Utah to attend my BFF Angela's flute recital at BYU. For whatever reason, haunted houses came up. One of her friends or roommates asked our opinions on haunted houses. I didn't know Jed's. He didn't know mine. She laughed about how little we knew about each other, probably assuming that we were some young couple who'd dated a few weeks, gotten engaged, and been married a few weeks later. Little did she know that we've now actually known each other 24 years. Crazy, I know. Makes me seem older than I am. At the time I guess we'd only known each other about 17 years. Not long enough to know each other's opinions on life's all important topics... like haunted houses and such.

**Added later- my opinion about haunted houses has been asked. Hmm. That's just the thing. I don't know that I really have an opinion one way or the other. Back when I was in high school and college, the thing about haunted houses and scary movies was having a boy to cling to when you were frightened. Now I have one whenever I want, so I don't really need a haunted house. And I don't so much like being scared either. I can't remember what either of us told the girl. I think we both had about the same opinion... no opinion. I mean, we've never been to one together. So we obviously don't like them a lot. But I don't think we hate them either. Blah blah blah.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Charlie's Angels (the TV show) Review

image from wikipedia.org

Let me start by saying I loved this TV show as a kid. Loved it. I think I watched it with my grandma. We don't have cable, just bunny ears on our TV, so we're limited on what we can watch, and a lot of it is fuzzy. (But this is how we read so much, so it's okay.) And really, there are only a few channels I miss (the Food Network, TLC, Noggin, etc.). So because we don't have TV, we watch a lot of TV shows on DVD that we check out from the library. I've worked my way through Alias, most of CSI, most of CSI: NY, Ugly Betty: Season 1, Arrested Development (Thanks, Erin), 30 Rock, etc. A few weeks ago I had this epiphany that I should check out TV shows like Charlie's Angels and Wonder Woman (it's on hold for me at the library as we speak).

I spent the first few episodes of Charlie's Angels yelling at the TV and being shocked. First, they are horrible detectives. (And this is probably the show that got me into mysteries and made it so I owned my own detective kit when I was a kid. The series that made the ten year old me decide I wanted to be a detective when I grew up.) They never have their guns ready when they need them. They always get caught snooping. When they are undercover, they have no problem conferencing together, just a few feet from a suspect or someone. They have huge discussions about the case within earshot of all sorts of people.

Second, I can't believe the stuff they allowed on TV in the Seventies, or that I watched this stuff as a kid. Granted, most of it went way over my head (at least I hope so), but still, it's pretty bad. The sexual innuendo, Charlie's new girl each episode, Farrah Faucett's you know what's sticking out constantly, episodes dealing with the porn industry, or massage parlors as covers for prostitution. I mean, I guess I've seen a lot of this on CSI now, but it isn't the Seventies and I'm not a kid. I guess I just pictured TV before 90210 being like I Love Lucy (another fave show of mine) where Lucy and Ricky had to have separate beds and they couldn't use the word "pregnant" in the episode title for the episode when Lucy tells Ricky that she's pregnant, they have to say it in Spanish.

So I yelled at the TV a lot while I watched. I guess I was hoping it would be more girl power with intelligent, tough, awesome female detectives and less . . . Baywatch: the detectives. The movies have handled it a bit better, but if I'm remembering correctly, the second movie was a lot more "Hey, check out how sexy we are." No thanks.

Spooky Treats

I love to make this recipe when Halloween is near. Plus, I love pudding. I discovered this about myself when I was pregnant with Princess Sparkley.
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