"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

Sunday, February 28, 2010


As a way to save money grocery shopping, I've been trying to be really good about planning out our menu. Last week I also tried to plan out our menu based on what was on sale in the weekly store ads. The last part didn't go so well. By the time I hit the worst grocery store ever, only a few of their weekly sale items were still on sale. The next day, I tried the other grocery store that supposedly had roast on sale only to find out that their ads expire on Thursday (it was Friday). Argh.

Here's my menu plan for this week, I'll try again next week with the sale ads... I suppose:

Sunday: BBQ Beef Sandwiches
I usually buy a tiny potato or macaroni salad from the deli section since only Jed and I will eat the salads. Sometimes I make Broccoli Madness to go with it.

Monday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches. I half it and use a variation of this recipe (minus lavender, tarragon and almonds, plus red grapes) and serve it on yummy croissants.

Tuesday: Penne Rustica
My friend Erin has been posting her menu, and shared this recipe that sounded yummy. **(I've since made this recipe a bunch and LOVE it!)**

Wednesday: Egg Salad Sandwiches
The kids will probably want fried egg sandwiches, or ham sandwiches, they don't love egg salad like me.

Thursday: Pizza Bubble Ring with a salad

Friday: eat out

Hmm... we're having a lot of sandwiches* this week. Do your menus plan out like this with similar meals all week?

*It's me that wants to eat all the sandwiches. I had an egg salad at our Valentine's Party last week and it was so yummy I wanted more. BBQ beef is an easy crock pot recipe for when we're at church late. I went to Sam's Club yesterday and bought a huge thing of croissants and know Jed loves chicken salad sandwiches.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quote of the Day

Princess Sparkley: [Laughing in exasperation and disgust.] He's [Baby X] eating goldfish out of my hand like he's a goat!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

His Father's Son

Baby X with his new, cheesy smile.

Jed is one of those people who sees a commercial for a yummy chicken sandwich at midnight and wants to go to the store right then and buy it. Ads work on him. Especially tasty food ads. Especially late at night. I was sitting at the desk checking my email just now while Princess Sparkley did some phonics work book pages, Buddy sulked in his room because he got in trouble for his bad attitude about school, and Baby X watched Elmo. I heard Elmo say something about chocolate, at which point Baby X ran over to me and started chanting in a very demanding whiny voice, "chocolate, chocolate, chocolate."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pretend Slumber Party

I just realized I never published Princess Sparkley's Unbirthday Party from when she turned 5 on this blog. Here it is:

So, I was trying to do the every other year birthday party thing with our kids. Princess Sparkley had family parties for birthdays one and two. At three I figured she was old enough that she had friends, etc. So we had a Strawberry Shortcake party with a few friends from church. That was in California. Then for number four we were in Kansas and a friend had a July birthday party just before her. So I talked her into an art party, figuring it would be easy and inexpensive, which it was. Then five rolled around and I told her we could have her friends over for a play date and cake, but no presents. This turned into a pretend slumber party. At least no one brought gifts. All the girls came in PJs and brought sleeping bags and pillows. We watched Cinderella III and ate popcorn. Then we had a sleepover themed cake and sent them home. Not too overly party. I hope.

The invitations were pillows.

The table.

The table... alternate view.

The door.

The slumber party cake. (Idea from here.)

Watching the movie.
(That's Buddy at the top right in his Thomas sleeping bag. He was a guest as well. )

Blowing out the five candles.

Lingerie* Poll

I've added a poll to my right hand column. I don't actually want to know anything about your lingerie wearing habits by name or screen name, but I'd like to know anonymously, what your answers are to the poll question.

This came about from a group of women I was talking to quite awhile ago when one referenced that she'd received a lot of lingerie as a wedding gift but never really wore lingerie, hadn't in years (she sort of implied that it was all a joke and she never wore it), and had gotten rid of it. I don't know if she was being honest, or not. Hence, this poll.

*By lingerie, I don't just mean silky, sexy nightgowns, I also mean sexy bra and underwear sets.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stage of Life

I feel like I'm in a weird stage of life right now. Somehow, my kids just kept getting older and I'm no longer a mom to only babies and toddlers, a mom planning play dates and park days and cherishing their nap time. And I don't know what to do with myself.

I don't know what my mom did with her days when I was the age of my kids because I was off at school. My kids are homeschooled, so of course, a huge chunk of my day is spent schooling them. A huge chunk should also be spent planning out their education, but that isn't always the case. I told them the other day after hearing them moan for the bazillionth time when I said it was time to start school that there were other things I could be doing with my day that were more enjoyable then having them throw a fit at me because they were given a math worksheet to do.

My biggest problem is how to be social. And, I'll admit, that's always been one of my problems. BUT, I felt like I had mom things pretty well down before my kids were school-aged. We had play dates. We went over to friends houses or had their friends over to our house. I could go visiting teaching and it was normal to have all of my kids with me. I could go grocery shopping with all of my kids at 11AM on a weekday and not get weird looks.

Now I try to drag my kids to a park day, but realize quickly from the need to drag them that they are too old to socialize with the three and under crowd at a park day.

While I've met some homeschooling moms that I've gotten along great with, this is not always the case. It's not that I don't get along with them. We just don't click. And it isn't like hanging out with other moms whose kids are in school. If your kids are in school, they're in school. If you homeschool, there are hundreds of different ways, methods, curricula, styles, to chose from and your style doesn't always mesh with the other moms style, and maybe it's just me, but I don't think of myself as the typical homeschooling mom. I have nothing against public schools. Truly. Well, I guess there are a few things, but those are all just concerns about what my babies are exposed to hanging out with other kids from different backgrounds. Not necessarily the public school-ness of it. I don't homeschool because of my religious beliefs. To me, it's just a way to be more involved in my children's education, knowing what they are learning and being a part of it.

So I'm wandering around like an 11 girl trying to figure out if she should play with a doll or like a boy. I thought adulthood was supposed to be easy compared to growing up!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

To Better Myself

To better myself, I'm following the lead of Cher Horowitz (from Clueless), who was actually based on Jane Austen's Emma. So I'll think of it as following Emma's example as I write up a list of some of the books I'd like to read this year, books that aren't YA lit so I can be a more rounded person. And to tackle some of the books that we own, that I've never read, that are finally accessible. I'm sure I'll add to and surpass this list, but it is my starting point.

  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald* 11/6/10
  • The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian 11/8/10
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway** 10/28/10
  • First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke
  • Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver***3/16/2010
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini 4/7/10
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell****
  • Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger*****
  • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner******
*I need to read this again in order to read Chris Bojalian's The Double Bind. It seems like they are going to have a Jane Eyre to The Eyre Affair sort of book relationship and I haven't read it since my junior year of high school.
**Originally I picked The Old Man and the Sea, but after suggestions, I changed my mind. Jed went through a Hemingway phase in high school, so we own a ton of his books and stories. I've only read a few stories here and there for literature classes in college and thought I should tackle one of his books.
***I originally wrote
The Bean Trees, but I meant Animal Dreams. I read The Bean Trees a few years ago, and it is what convinced me to give Barbara Kingsolver another chance, because after The Poisonwood Bible, I might not have.
****I read this book in the fifth grade. And I've read the sequel. And I've seen the movie (I own it) several times. But the fifth grade was A LONG time ago, and I thought I might appreciate it differently now.
*****I read this book my junior year as well (American literature= junior year of high school) but with Salinger's death recently, I started wondering if I would appreciate this book more now that I'm older, and not so focused on how much bad language exists in it.
******Because I definitely need some nonfiction in my reading line-up, I've heard this book is good, and maybe it'll help me understand what Jed is studying.

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