Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Recap

Busy Weekend!

Friday night we had dinner with the neighbors. They shared delicious halibut they caught on their recent trip to Alaska. We also had mac and cheese and caesar salad, and I brought Cherry Pineapple Dump cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Saturday we loaded up the neighbor's truck with tailgating supplies and 6 of us headed to the K-State/Missouri game. We snagged a parking spot in view of the jumbo tron, set up the canopy and enjoyed the game from the comfort of our camp chairs with plates full of smoked brisket (oh yes, even the smoker came along), potato salad, spinach and cannellini bean dip, guacamole, taco bean dip, sugar cookies shaped like footballs and Powercat heads, chocolate chip cookies and smores bars.

This was my second tailgating experience ever with last week's catered meal at Walt's company's tent being my first, and I must say I'm hooked. There is something so festive about sitting under the tent watching footballs flying through the air and seeing so many people out enjoying themselves. I am quite enjoying K-State's signature purple. It makes this girl happy to see the parking lots, people, vehicles and everything else you can imagine blanketed in such a lovely color as purple.

Stadium, jumbo tron and lots of purple visible in background!

Sunday Walt went fishing with a neighbor (can you tell that we landed in a great neighborhood with fun people?), and I used the morning to relax with some tv. In the afternoon I walked the 2.6 miles to Radina's in Aggieville for a fancy coffee drink. Only when I got there I was so hot and thirsty that I couldn't stomach the idea of a coffee drink, but water and a raspberry lemonade granita sounded just right. I pondered the idea of walking 2 miles any time I feel the need for a treat; this could be the beginning of a great workout plan. Walt picked me up on the way home for a total of 4.86 miles walked.

We rounded out the day and the weekend with a couple German beers with the neighbors to start our Oktoberfest mini tour at Old Chicago and pizza and pepperoni rolls from Hy-Vee's Italian Express.

Monday, July 12, 2010


It's July. In Kansas. Which is not as hot as July in South Carolina yet, and for that we are extremely grateful.

Here's a quick update:

We moved to Kansas. Manhattan, Kansas, in fact. January 26 we loaded up a U-haul and hit the road, pulling over long enough to drop a sweet pup at the cargo area of the Atlanta airport, so he could fly to his new home in Tucson, Arizona, where we hear he is extremely happy playing with his new doggie friend Oscar the boxer mix (I think!)!

January 28 we pulled into our new driveway in frigid Kansas. The wind blows a whole lot in Kansas during the winter, by the way, which we did not realize until we moved there. And it makes it significantly colder than a South Carolina winter. Brrr.

Almost 6 months later here we are still in Kansas and loving it. We miss our family and friends and church and small group, but we feel like we are right where we need to be right now and that is a blessing.

Oscar, the dachshund, had to be put to sleep Wednesday, March 10, 6 weeks after we moved. It was so very sad; he had a tumor that kept him from eating or drinking and there was nothing that could be done to improve his quality of life. It happened very quickly; the tumor was suddenly big enough to bother him and he was put to sleep the next day. I still hadn't found a job, so it was very hard to lose my little shadow who kept me company every day at home. I am thankful he didn't languish and suffer.

We have since gained a cat, Molly. She is very fluffy and quite affectionate, and while she isn't Oscar she is lovely to have around. I quite like her.

The girls we were caring for last fall went home December 22. I enjoyed the peace and quiet, but I missed them! They are with us this summer; we are going on our fourth week of summer fun and, boy, now I wistfully dream about the peace and quiet sometimes :) But we are so glad they are here! We have been to the splash park (free! I love Manhattan, KS!), several playgrounds, the recycling center (anything can be an adventure, right?), the farmer's market and the Hawaiian ice stand several times. We still need to visit the zoo and the new city pool with the big slides. And we need to eat a lot more ice cream.

Tonight I made an amazing dinner. Not necessarily because I am amazing, but because I had amazing recipes to use. We had:

White Bean and Mushroom Ragout over polenta; I used the instructions for polenta from this recipe. I just used some whole grain corn meal I had on hand, and it worked wonderfully.

Oh. my. goodness. It was delicious. The girls loved it. Hubs and I loved it. It was flippin' delicious. I will be making this again.

I miss you bloggy folks. I gotta get my bloggy mojo back.

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Wow...if I wait 3 more days then I can say I took a 5-month hiatus from my blog whereas blogging after 4 months and 20-something days makes it totally obvious that I was just a slacker.

Now you know the truth.

Stuff happened, and I'll blog about that later, but first here's a post that has been languishing in my drafts folder since about November 20.


7 weeks ago we added 2 younguns to our house. And we're all still alive to tell about it.

One morning last week during the rush out the door to school I reached the zenith of my desire to inflict bodily harm on a certain 7-year-old, and I don't just mean a simple spanking. I wanted to hurt that kid. You will be proud to know that I didn't.

Really I don't know that you should be proud; I'm an adult, so giving in to my desire to inflict bodily harm cannot be an option...unless I'm inflicting my own bodily with harm by eating a cone full of ice cream for lunch...which I did today (*bliss). You will be relieved, maybe, or less likely to call the authorities if I go on to say that instead of inflicting bodily harm I dropped her off at school...ha, take that, kid.

And I simmered down and that was a good thing.

November 6 was my 28th birthday! 28...sounds so weird. Its been 10 years since my age had an 8 in it. And a lot has changed since then. But I don't feel so different, you know?

Hubs decided to make me a birthday dessert. You may remember the picture perfect chocolate cake he made last year. I had forgotten all about it until I saw it again on the blog. That's why I need a blog. So I can remember all the sweet things hubs does for me.

He asked what I wanted; I produced the recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake pie from my way-too-extensive recipe file (recipes go in, but do they ever come out...).

He made it happen! It was SO good!

Yes I shared it with the girls.

But only the tiniest slices ever.

Refined sugar is not good for our kids, folks. I had to eat it all...for the good of the children...

Because he made it I let hubs play with a piece...

Poor scared pie.

"They" say that you should photograph slices of things with the point facing you, as if the food were looking at you (do I want my food looking at me?), so that the viewer feels connected with the item in the photograph.

This piece of pie is almost looking at you...its looking at something over your left shoulder.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Kinder, Gentler Halloween

Bank situation solved: 2 empty Polaner All Fruit jelly jars (it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it...can you send sypathetic thoughts to hubs? sometimes I think I drive him crazy when the grocery list has more do-not-buy notes on it than actual items I'd like to purchase for us to eat) washed out, de-labeled, slots punched in the lids. I decided I wanted the girls to see the money in their banks and thereby perhaps be motivated to save it. Homemade banks working for now!

Actual conversation "friends" this weekend. Yes, our friends related this story to us. This in no way, shape or form happened in our believe me, right??

Person #1: You do realize you put a plastic bag on a 7-year-old's head?

Person #2: You do realize you left a 7-year-old with a plastic bag on her head in the car while you picked up the hot-n-ready pizza and Crazy Bread at Little Caesar's?

Person #1: more pizza for you

So what had happened was...S was Snow White and we used some of the Halloween hair color in a can to make her red/orange hair black. And, while this hair color seems semi-permanent on skin and bathtubs, it sits on hair like a fine powder threatening to "poof" off at the slightest provocation.

So in order to keep it under control on the car ride home from the fall festival at church one of the adults in her life may or may not have given her a Bi-Lo grocery bag to put over her hair.

And the other adult may or may not have left her and her 5-year-old sister (a red and yellow sunflower) in the car while picking up dinner at Little Caesar's. I have it on good authority that they were alone all of 10 minutes...and that they are both alive and well today...

Please don't call whoever gets called about kids alone in cars with plastic bags over their "friends" would be so bummed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

You're 3 feet tall and still pick your nose; you don't scare me...much

(Note: We want to get the girls started on an allowance, so they are going to need a bank of some sort for saving their quarters. These are $5 at Old Navy and are serious contenders, but then I start to think about it:

Ooo! Sparkly piggy banks! They'll love these!

Wait a minute...they are both going to want pink...and it's going to be a pain to try to keep up with whose pink bank is whose. Hmmm...maybe I make the pink one a special reward?, that could totally blow up in my face.

Ok, I'll get the pink sparkly one for myself, and I'll get silver and green for them...or would they like silver and gold better...

Why is this so hard! If only they had a purple one! Then I'd be set! Yeesh, this parenting thing is hard.

I still don't have banks for them.)

Oy, what a two and a half weeks it has been.

Friday, 10/2: S and C move in.

Monday, 10/5: S and C go to their new school and hubs and I suddenly become responsible for two little girls with HOMEWORK...I thought I was done with homework when I got that diploma a few years back...

Friday, 10/9: We celebrate one week with the girls with dinner at Pizza Hut! This is the first meal S and C have eaten outside of school or our house all week...this makes me happy! We are meanies and only give them water to drink, not the requested Mello Yello and pink lemonade...can you imagine?? Now relax, there will be plenty of time for sodas later...

Saturday, 10/10: We eat lunch at Sonic where they have their weekly desserts. S has a chocolate sundae and C has a strawberry sundae. We visit mom-in-law in the hospital. Her best friend is there and offers to watch the girls while we get more clothes from their house and buy school supplies. $84 later...we are appalled. C really needs 20 glue sticks?! Are they eating them for snack or something?!?! We buy 6 glue sticks, with 3 going with each girl. And when we get back to the hospital...C proudly brandishes the Dr. Pepper she's been given. See, I told you sodas would show up somewhere.

Tuesday, 10/13: I realize that I am reaching a breaking point. I haven't yelled or snapped at anyone yet, but I can feel its not far off. I start to take everything personally...I'm SURE S is taking 4 hours and 92 gallons of water to brush her teeth because she KNOWS how much it irritates me. C interupts me while I'm talking to the neighbor because she KNOWS steam will come out of my ears. I tell everyone who will listen that my full-moon transformation is about to happen and they better stop me or stand back. I pray...a LOT. I truthfully answer the woman who has been in the hospital for 3 weeks (mom-in-law) when she asks me how its going. Woman in Hospital is so comforting and encouraging...I feel like a selfish, whiny, brat. Dang it...

Wednesday, 10/14: I pour it all out to my mom, and she talks me down from the ledge. Lets me know it's ok to feel annoyed. Tells me not to beat myself up. The girls get in the car after school, and I am, very unexpectedly, a new woman. Go ahead, say my name 327 times, challenge each and every boundary I've given you, tell me a few fibs and definitely tell me how, since you've eaten chicken livers before and you don't have good taste, you really can't eat the mushrooms in the lasagna...I can take it.

Wednesday is not a breeze, but hubs and I handle it. Thursday morning is not a breeze, but hubs makes the lunches and has them waiting in the fridge, and we got to school early enough for me to walk C in...she'd been asking me to for 2 days.

Sunday, 10/18: We are finally ready for church only to look at the clock and realize we'd have to take the girls to their classes late as the current sermon series isn't appropriate for them (The Elephant in the Pew; this week's focus: pornography). I've done the late thing and its one thing for me to do it to myself, but I really really really want to avoid doing it to them, so we decide we aren't going. I'm feeling grumpy and guilty about this and I tell hubs I'd like for us to do something together to enjoy the beautiful fall day. Being the amazing hubs he is, he finds a local hiking trail all of 15 minutes from our house, and we spend a lovely couple of hours throwing rocks in the lake, picking up leaves, looking at colorful mushrooms and hiking through the woods in the gorgeous sunshine. My soul is recharged.

Can I just be a witness that God is good? Talking to wise people, praying like crazy and working together with my man results in postponed full-moon transformations and much happier Insta-Temporary Parents.

WE (using our huge network of support and leaning on God) CAN DO THIS!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The ball is rolling...

Mr. Bouncy Ball!
Originally uploaded by moiht
...or bouncing, as it were.

We met with the guidance counselor at S & C's current school earlier today. The meeting went so well! She was very helpful:

--C is in montessori which has limited spots, and we wanted her to be able to return to montessori when they move back in with mom-in-law. Counselor said she didn't see that being a problem; yay!

--We wondered about the best way to ease them into living with us and going to a new school. I wondered about driving them an hour one way to their old school for a few days after they moved in with us. Counselor said since they know hubs and me and have stayed at our house, they would probably be fine starting in their new school right away. We'll drive them by the school this weekend to show them where they'll be, and they should be much more comfortable Monday morning. Yay!

We talked to the new school today, and they will be ready for the girls to start Monday. We meet with the counselor at the new school tomorrow afternoon to make sure everything is in place.

And tomorrow evening we'll be moving two little girls into our pink guest bedroom (the one with the snot on the walls).

Looking forward to the adventure!

The Ghost of Christmas (Presents) Yet to Come

(Picture: aMacHan)

I've been thinking ahead to Christmas...which is only 84 days away!

We don't always get S and C stuff for their birthdays and Christmas as they have so many toys already. In the past we have avoided giving stuff by giving experiences. One year we took them to Monkey Joe's; last year we took them to the Georgia Aquarium; I still owe S a trip to a tea room for her 6th birthday...and she turned 7 this past's official: I'm the worst sister-in-law ever.

Anyway, I've been brainstorming what to give the girls for Christmas, and I think I've got it: a trip to see The Nutcracker Ballet!

Its in early early December, and it might be just the thing for S & C! They love all things pink and princess-y and The Nutcracker has all that plus some excitement, too.

(Picture: daviduweb)
I mean, just look at this picture. What pink-princess-loving little girl wouldn't be beside herself with delight at a night of ballerinas in tutus?!?

I was introduced to the story of The Nutcracker very early in life, and I love the story, the ballet, the music, all of it to this day. I can see us getting all dressed up for the ballet and going somewhere for hot chocolate and dessert before...I would have loved that as a little girl! Shoot, I would that love that now as a big girl.

On the other hand the SC Children's Theatre is putting on the play Dear Santa, and it sounds pretty cute...and it could give the ballet a run for its money...
But I'm just so excited about the Nutcracker!!