Archive for November, 2009

Thanksgiving Favorites

Posted in food, holidays on November 27th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , ,

I forgot to poll our Thanksgiving guests, but I was wondering about everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving dish.  Judging by what the kids had for breakfast this morning, I would say my kids’ favorite Thanksgiving dishes are as follows:

Taylor, age 9 – sweet potatoes (we put marshmallow creme in ours)

Sammie, age 5 – mashed potatoes and gravy

Disney, age 3 – oatmeal (ok, so oatmeal wasn’t at the Thanksgiving dinner, but Disney didn’t really eat Thanksgiving dinner, so I don’t think she has a favorite dish.  She LOVES oatmeal though!)

Christopher, age 16 mos. – turkey

And for lunch, Mom and Dad had their first delicious leftover sandwiches.  They were so good we think we’ll have the same for dinner.  We got a smoked turkey this year, and it was delicious!  It was great to not have to mess with cooking a turkey with great company and all these little ones underfoot.  There are so many ways to make a leftover sandwich; the best way is of course with creamed onions.  We didn’t have any creamed onions leftover this year, but my husband’s yummy mashed potatoes make a really good leftover sandwich condiment.  And not having leftover creamed onions is a good thing – I’m glad people enjoyed them!  Creamed onions are my favorite Thanksgiving dish AND my husband’s!  So what’s yours?  Feel free to add anything in the comments section I may have forgotten!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

Posted in holidays on November 26th, 2009 and tagged , , , ,

I am thankful every day for all that I have, but today is an excuse to  feast in celebration of our thankfulness.  Here’s to hoping you have a safe and happy holiday!

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Parenting Pickle

Posted in Everyday Life, Kids on November 23rd, 2009 and tagged , , , , ,

My almost 10-year-old daughter has a friend I’ll call Kathy.  Kathy has been over to our house to play with my daughter for years, and we’ve never really had much of a problem.  We’ve noticed lately that Kathy isn’t as well behaved as our daughter’s other friends, and she also is not as tolerant of my daughter’s younger siblings.  Yesterday, Kathy spent about 6 hours with our family, and it was a fun yet tiring day.  It was one of the few times we’ve had an extra kid around and I’ve noticed extra chaos and strife; usually the extra kid(s) blend right in and sometimes even help out with the little ones.  We took Kathy to the mall which is about 20 miles away, and we ate a Mexican buffet, bought the kids candy at the $ store, and took the kids to the pet store.

Kathy’s mother was supposed to come at 6, and since the kids had a late lunch, we were waiting to feed our kids until Kathy was picked up.  Kathy’s mother was late, and the kids got hungry, so we tried to stretch our planned dinner for 4 kids into one for 5.  It didn’t really work, there was some squabbling about food, and Kathy’s mother finally showed up around 6:25.  On her way out, I called to Kathy who has asthma, “Do you have everything?  Do you have your inhaler?”  To which she responded, “I still haven’t found my inhaler.”  (like she had told me she was missing it, but she hadn’t!)  I unlocked the car for her to look in there, and I went up to her mother’s car and explained that this is the first I had heard about the missing inhaler.  Her mother was extremely rude to me.  We didn’t find the inhaler, and they left, and I vented to my husband because I don’t like when people are upset with me!  He was sure that I had misunderstood; that Kathy’s mom was upset with Kathy for losing her inhaler.  After all, if her mother had told me at any time that Kathy has a tendency to lose her inhaler, she could have asked me to keep a special eye on it, and I would have!  But not one word was said – I only know about the inhaler because I’ve seen  her carry it; it was never explained to me.

So then today, our cell phone had some missed calls, and they were Kathy’s mom.  When my husband called her back, he was sure she had called because they had found the inhaler.  No such luck.  The frantic phone calls were Kathy’s mom asking if we had found it yet and informing us (quite rudely) that if we did not find it, we would owe her $47 for a new one.  So my husband, now knowing that I had NOT overreacted to the rudeness last night, calls the mexican restaurant, and sure enough, they have it.  He called Kathy’s mom, who basically told us we would have to drive back out the twenty miles each way to get it.  But it’s Thanksgiving week, we have 4 kids, and my husband works during the day.  So she hung up on my husband, and now I’m upset and writing a blog post about it.  Here’s the pickle:

Kathy is the real victim here.  Her mother is mad at her and her friends and their family, and her mother’s erratic behavior is going to isolate her daughter.  As it is, Kathy calls our house about 20 times every weekend and is pushy about being invited over – it’s hard not to feel like our house might be the only place to where she gets invited.  But as a parent, I did not like the negative influence I saw Kathy having on my younger children yesterday, and that was before any conflict was had with her mother.  My daughter’s birthday party is coming up, and I feel badly for both Kathy and my daughter if she isn’t invited.  On the other hand, I feel this is more than just a parental conflict that can be overlooked for the sake of the kids.  I feel a little bit taken advantage of – after all, we invited Kathy to spend the day with our family, and her presence did incur some minor costs.  Nothing I would have thought twice about, until I was given flak about our fun day… and I’m 95% sure we told her mother we’d be heading out to the mall ahead of time also, so it wasn’t as if it came out of left field!  Also, my husband and I are concerned about what Kathy’s mom might hold us liable for should we have any further incidents with Kathy at our house or in our care.

So do I let my daughter invite her to the birthday party?  Should I say anything to my daughter about this conflict?  Do I pay any bills I might get from Kathy’s mom for gas, etc?  It’s just a shame this had to happen; my daughter has plenty of friends whose parents are on the same page with us; we take their kids out all the time without incident, and they even usually say ‘thank you!’.  I honestly don’t feel like we did anything out of the ordinary here…  Should I have gotten a babysitter and driven the 40 miles to get the inhaler myself?  Honestly, if I had done that though, I might have THROWN it at her when I got back!

I Want A Customized Cupcake Car For Christmas…

Posted in holidays, Pop Culture on November 22nd, 2009 and tagged , ,

I really don’t, but try singing this blog post title to the tune of “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”, just for laughs.  And for further amusement, here is a picture of the customized cupcake cars, which of course come complete with candy caps for the contraptions’ captains!

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All joking aside, thankfully I don’t know anyone who could or would blow $25,000 on one of these, now that is just a waste.  The title of the article I found this in was intriguing, “9 Extravagant Holiday Gifts”, but honestly, I didn’t find much amusement beyond the cupcake cars; maybe you’ll disagree when you click on the link above.

Awesome Octopi

Posted in animals on November 20th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

While I’m on the subject of our visit to the zoo…  well, in some ways it wasn’t our best visit, that’s probably why it took me almost a week to get motivated to write about it.  A few of us were still recovering from the flu, while others in the family were coming down with it, so the lot of us that day were quite crabby!  But we did see some amazing animal action, including the often inactive octopus – he was moving all around his tank, which prompted many questions from  my kids, my husband, and myself.  I did a bunch of research when I got home, and I learned what I already suspected – octopi are awesome!  Here are some of the coolest facts:

•  The octopus has a short lifespan; varying among species from 6 months to 5 years for the larger species held in captivity.

•  Octopi are invertebrates, meaning they have no hard skeleton, and they are very intelligent creatures – considered the most intelligent of all the invertebrates.  They have been known to manipulate man-made objects, like opening jars or even solving puzzles and mazes.  Check out the following video – an octopus navigates a water maze by getting out of the water and going over the maze!  (The major action starts about 2 minutes into the video.)

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•  Because of the fact that octopi don’t have skeletons, they can squeeze their bodies (which is actually that bulbous looking mass most people mistake for a head – and it contains three hearts!) through extremely small openings.

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Do Meerkats Often Sit Like This?

Posted in animals on November 20th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , ,

Toledo hotel and zoo 11-13-09 006

We had a chance to visit the Toledo Zoo the other day and snapped this amusing pic of a meerkat just chillin’.  Is this a common pose for a meerkat?  I’ve never seen one sitting up like this before last Saturday.  Anyone watch Meerkat Manor?

Totally 80’s!

Posted in games on November 20th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I haven’t done one of my board game reviews in awhile, so I thought I’d write about a little treasure we found at the Goodwill tonight and actually had time to play – Totally 80’s Trivial Pursuit.  Since my husband and I were both children in the 80’s, we thought we’d enjoy this version of the popular trivia game – even though I threatened to kick some butt since  between the two of us, I’m the one who’s chosen to fill her head with useless knowledge (most of which I’ve forgotten over the years anyway!), but what I’m trying to say is that I usually win the trivia games in our family.  So we start to play the game, and the pawns are in the shapes of various pop culture staples in the 80’s.  There is a Care Bear, a computer, a Trapper Keeper, and a CD – cute!  And I loved how the pie pieces are stored in the bases of the pawns when players earn them!  My only complaint is that there definitely should have been more pawns – can’t believe there wasn’t even a Rubik’s Cube pawn?!?  How about some Jelly Shoes?  A banana clip?  Cabbage Patch Kid?  Atari console?  The list could go on and on…  Here are the ones they did include:
delete 80s pawnsBut anyway, my husband did end up beating me, but I have two excuses.  1.  The kids came down in the middle of the game and kept trying to play with the pawns which was distracting and I  lost my focus.  2.  My husband is older than me, and therefore he remembers more of the ’80’s – haha!  Ouch!  Ok, so I’m a little bit of a sore loser –  rematch tonight?

(I guess this didn’t end up being much of a review.  It’s a Trivial Pursuit game, nothing new there.  But if you were around during the 80’s and enjoy getting quizzed about the decade of excess, you’re in for some fun!)

The Popular Social Networking Site Called “Book Face”

Posted in Cool Internet Stuff, Pop Culture on November 19th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

It’s time for me to officially make my presence known on Facebook.  If you watch the awesome NBC comedy “The Office”, then you’ll understand the reference in the title of this blog post involving a creative Halloween costume worn by Jim Halpert, a character on my favorite show – it was hilarious!

But back to me learning Facebook…  some time ago I signed up for a Facebook account (don’t even remember why), but then I stopped using it because it started doing freaky things behind my back – like randomly adding mere acquaintances and business associates as my Facebook friends.  That was NOT the way I had envisioned social networking!  But my youth group kids have been BEGGING me to join Facebook, and since I took pictures of them last week, we decided that my homework challenge is to get on Facebook so I can post our pictures.  So here I go, and the first thing I’ll be doing is looking for a way to NOT invite everyone on my email contact list to be my Facebook friend!

Yummy Healthy Snack

Posted in food on November 16th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My husband and I have been enjoying this snack lately, and it’s healthy and easy to make.  You’ll need:

Apples – Type is up to you – we think Granny Smith tastes best for this.  I also tried it with Gala apples which are good, but I  don’t recommend softer varieties like Red Delicious.

Peanut Butter – We highly recommend natural peanut butter – Smucker’s makes some.  It’s a little more expensive than the standard variety like Skippy or Jif, but it contains only peanuts and a little salt – none of that other junk like hydrogenated oils, sugar, and who-knows-what-else.  The taste of real peanut butter is amazingly better than the junky kind too!

Grape Nuts Cereal

Basically, you just slice the apples, cover them with peanut butter(less if you’re watching your fat intake), and sprinkle with Grape Nuts – it’s really good!  And it’s great for a snack or light lunch for diabetics also because the protein in the peanut butter lowers blood sugar that might be elevated from the apples and cereal.  If you decide to try it, let me know what you think in the comments section!

3D Escher

Posted in hobbies, Pop Culture on November 15th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , ,

Have you ever heard of the Dutch artist M.C. Escher?  His famous works depicted impossible realities, often based upon mathematical and spatial challenges.  Case in point, one of Escher’s most famous works, titled Relativity:

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Let me guess, even if you’ve never heard of M.C. Escher, you’ve seen the above  picture, right?  But have you ever seen it in 3D?  Seems people have been recreating Escher’s art in Lego form, which I think is pretty cool!

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How about more of Escher’s most famous works, done in 3D Lego style?

delete escher legodelete mc-escher-lego-belvederedelete mc-escher-lego-waterfall