Friday, February 27, 2009

Lenten Soup and Bread



I know I haven't posted much about our Lenten plans yet, other than we've given up sweets (unless you are Special K and then you've forgotten already).  I'm hoping to take the children to daily mass at least once a week and to Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings.  Confession is always on the list and then so is extra time spent in prayer.  I'm beginning a new Lenten tradition tonight.  We are going to make a vegetarian soup and homemade bread for supper.  I'm using Twelve Months of Monstary Soups and The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking as sources for new recipes.  Tonight our menu will consist of Red Bean and Rice Soup paired with Irish Brown Bread. I think that sounds pretty hardy.  I'll post our Lenten Friday fare at the end of posts I write on Fridays as well as a quick review of the recipe we used the week before. I hope you all continue to have a Blessed and Holy Lent. Print Friendly and PDF

Turn to the Side

Ok, this assignment did not turn out as well as the first one.  The assignment was to take a head and shoulders portrait of a person.  They were to use natural lighting, get in close, zoom all the way in,  set up their shot while holding their cameras in the portrait orientation (you know, vertical), and shoot several photos.  Most of their photos look like mugshots.  That is my fault.  I forgot to tell them to have more fun with it, use props, position their subject, you know, add some personality. A couple had pretty decent and candid shots, but so far, several of them have promising futures working for the DMV taking driver's license pictures.  Next week's lesson has more promise and potential, I hope.

Oleander managed to capture a rare sighting of a sleeping Baby Wingnut.  Have I mentioned his sleep schedule is all whacky?
JP took a photo of his big sister just before leaving for Taekwando.  It's a little like a passport photo, but Karate Kid does look very pretty with a smile on her face.
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

It Was Bittersweet

I came across a partially eaten bar of bittersweet Lindt chocolate in the pantry.  It was not like that yesterday.  I questioned the children on the main level of the house as to whether they were the culprit or not.  They all denied pilfering the chocolate.  Upon further observance I realized the bar was torn into wildly.  My attention was turned full force unto my two youngest children.  Baby Wingnut still tells the truth when confronted, so his denial was plausible.  I decided to not even give Special K the chance to lie.  

I confronted her head on, "Why did you open this chocolate?" 

She immediately shrugged her guilty little shoulders.  

"K, what did we give up for Lent?" I asked. 

"Sweets," she sheepishly answered, "But I forgot."

Not even two whole days into Lent and she has forgotten her Lenten promise.  She cracks me up.  She'll never be accused of being "too holy" that one.
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Small Successes Thursday


Join the Faith and Family blog and give yourself a pat on the back for your "Small Successes."

1. I did get my older girls' room painted this week and I did a very nice job if I say so myself. Their room is coming together quite nicely and I should have it finished by the end of next week when their new mattresses are delivered.  We do have one little glitch.  The blinds I ordered will not ship until April, so the girls will have to continue using the blue ones that do not match the color scheme of their room.

2. I managed to go through several boxes and bags of clothing the children have outgrown.  I have about 8 huge bags of clothes to give to charity and one very large bag of the very nicest clothes to give to Baby Wingnut's god parents.  I'm keeping my maternity clothes and the very smallest baby clothes, because you just never know what God has planned for you, do you?

3. I made it through all of Ash Wednesday without a single cup of coffee. That was really, really hard!  I am not giving coffee up for the rest of Lent, but I do offer it up as a sacrifice on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  One of Wingnut's co-workers said his mother would never give up coffee for Lent, saying,  "Lent is for sacrificing, not for suffering."
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shrove Tuesday



Traditions on Shrove Tuesday include having pancakes for supper.  In ages past eggs, dairy, fat and meat were forbidden to be consumed during Lent and thus would necessitate using up those articles before Ash Wednesday.  I suppose the best way to use up eggs and dairy was to make pancakes.  We make pancakes, waffles or french toast as our family tradition the night before Ash Wednesday.  Tonight, before we head out to our Parish Mission, we'll be having a sinful variation of filled baked french toast that pairs wonderfully with my fruit sauce recipe or real maple syrup.


Baked French Toast

1 loaf of french boule bread with crusts cut off (I'm saving the crusts to feed ducks in the spring)
2 cups low fat milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
nutmeg (freshly grated)

Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar

In a 9 x 12 pan arrange one layer of bread so that most of the bottom is covered ( you can trim and cut the bread and arrange like a puzzle).  Whisk eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, sugar and nutmeg.  Pour 1/2 of egg mixture over bread in pan.  Beat cream cheese, eggs and sugar together in a small bowl and then spread over mixture in pan.  Arrange a second layer over the filling in the pan.  Pour remaining egg mixture over the top.  Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.  Bake for 1 hour in a 350 degree oven.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  Cut into squares and serve with your favorite topping.
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That's His Boy


After having a little bonding time with Baby Wingnut, I told him to go find the "girls" and go play. 
"How about with my boy?" He asked.
"Um, sure,"I replied.
Off he ran only to return a few moments later with tears in his eyes.
"I can't find my boy," He cried.
"Where is he?"
"Upstairs."
"Is he the boy baby doll?"
"No, he's JP."

Yep, that's right.  His "boy" is his older brother, Stat Boy.  Once found, "boy" was promptly punched in the face.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Beat

Whew!  I am not enjoying Baby Wingnut's new sleeping schedule.  We have had three very fretful nights of sleep.  He is going to sleep way too early at night, and then tossing and turning all night long, only to get up way too early.  Last night he was out at 6:30 and woke up at least three times before Wingnut and I hit the sack at 10 p.m.  This morning he was awake at 4:00 a.m.  Normally, I try not to complain about any lack of sleep.  It's just a part of parenthood, no? So there really is nothing to complain about.  I just hope he switches back to a normal schedule here very soon. I'm having to concentrate way too hard on not being cranky! Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Off to the Fair


After only playing the flute for a year, OJ has become our little Pied Piper.  We are off to the Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair in Reston, Virginia.  OJ needs to pick up her second place award for her recorded piece, play in our local flute choir, and participate in the Flute Master Class she was selected for.  Wingnut will be taking the rest of our brood to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport.  I'll be back to blogging on Monday.  Have a blessed weekend! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, February 20, 2009

Through the Camera's Lens

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm teaching a beginner photography class to our 6th-8th graders in our homeschool co-op. Their first assignment was to photograph everyday life in their families.  The children were instructed to take lots of photos, to move around their subject, to get in close, and to get in focus; fairly simple instructions for a first photo assignment.  I have to say I was quite pleased with the results.  It was truly enjoyable to see life through their lenses and they all snapped some wonderful photos.  OJ and Stat Boy are both in my class and I think they actually got something out of the assignment.

OJ snapped a shot of Special K playing with her favorite doll of the day.  It looks like Elizabeth is whispering in Special K's ear.
Stat Boy took this awesome photo of Baby Wingnut slam dunking the basketball.  I love the angle on this shot, and we haven't even talked about interesting points of view yet!
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Please Leave a Message


Baby Wingnut loves the answering machine.  He'll pull up a chair and playback old messages, but his favorite answering machine feature is the "leave a message" message.  We've had the same message on our machine for several years.  It was a cute one of one of the girls giving callers instructions and then at the end of it another one of the girls blurts out some indiscernible words that included "That's funny, mama!"

Baby Wingnut managed to erase our cute little message a few weeks ago and recorded one of his own.  The message lasted no less than three minutes and sounded like he had actually answered the phone and was carrying on a conversation with whoever had called.  He then proceeded to leave the machine and run about the house continuing to talk and sing in the background.  My sister was his first victim and was left quite confused, believing Wingnut was playing a joke on her.  I kept meaning to change the message but forgot and so several other callers were left stranded, trying to decipher the meaning of the babbling toddler.

Eventually I got around to changing the answering machine message.  I coached Baby Wingnut to say, "Please leave a message", and then proceeded to record his message.  At first he would just whisper, that would not do, so I coached him to say it loudly.  The message now has him practically screaming, "PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE!"  I thought that was pretty cute, so I saved it.  

Wingnut was on a trip this last week and called home.  After hearing the recording for the first time, he got me on my cell and expressed his concern that CPS may be visiting our home, as it sounds as if Baby Wingnut is being abducted.  It can't be all that bad.  Folks are getting the machine, laughing nervously and leaving their messages.  I think I'll keep it for a while.  It'll keep 'em guessing.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Family Bed

Throughout our years as parents (16 years now) we have implemented what many call the "family bed". Our youngest child always rooms with us and sleeps in our bed.  I'm one of those nursing nuts that nurses my babies until they self-wean sometime between 18 months and well, our youngest now will be three in June and is still nursing (he tells me he really loves it).  The family bed is NOT for everyone.  It would not work if Wingnut weren't the one driving it in our family. He has always loved sleeping with the kids in our room, whether just to cuddle or to make sure they are still breathing.  I went along with the idea because, for me, it meant more sleep.  If I don't have to get up out of bed to get a crying baby and nurse him back to sleep, that definitely means more sleep for me.  I barely wake up to help a baby latch on, anymore.  As our family grew we would eventually move an older child out of our room, but there was always a tacit agreement that they were welcome to come on in and cuddle with us in the morning as needed.  I'll tell you, too, we have never had problems with night terrors or nightmares.  I believe their night time security comes from utilizing the family bed.

Originally, our two oldest had their own rooms, but Stat Boy kept crawling into Karate Kid's bed at night, so we gave in and moved his bed into her room.  Today, we have our master bedroom and three smaller bedrooms. Stat Boy has been on his own for several years now, but will eventually gain a roommate, whenever Baby Wingnut is ready to move out of our room. The girls are all paired up in the remaining two bedrooms with two girls each to a queen sized bed.  On weekends and during the summer our kids prefer to all sleep together in the basement on piles of blankets and cushions they have acquired over the years (they are all a little weird, I know).

With our oldest turning 16 and our next oldest daughter approaching her teen years, I began to think, possibly, a 16 year old would not want to continue sharing her bed, let alone bedroom with a nine year old.  After discussing options with the girls and Wingnut, we went ahead and purchased a trundle bed to replace the queen bed and we are redecorating the oldest girls' room to accommodate the increasing maturity in our family.  As much as I don't want them to, our babies all grow up, hopefully they'll still want to continue having their slumber parties in the basement.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mmmmaple Syrup

Don't you just love nice, warm pancakes with syrup on the weekends?  I try to make waffles, pancakes, or french toast at least once during the weekend.   Wingnut introduced all of us to the wonders of REAL maple syrup when he brought home the absolute best maple syrup from Canada several years ago and many of our children have made the real stuff their topping of choice.  Our two youngest still prefer "lady syrup" or Mrs. Butterworth's syrup to the real thing, but lately the commissary has been out of stock.  I don't know why I don't just pick up a bottle of Log Cabin, or something else.  I guess I am resistant to change.  This weekend our youngest two were once again out of luck and did not want to try real syrup so I heated some honey with a little butter and called it honey syrup.  They loved it, so I think I'll keep that in the repertoire. When given a choice, Wingnut, Karate Kid, OJ and I would rather top our breakfast with fresh fruit, but when that is not in season, or exorbitantly expensive, I whip up a wonderful fruit sauce using frozen fruit.  Any frozen fruit will work, but we prefer wild blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, or peaches.  It really is a very simple recipe:

Fruit Sauce

One bag of frozen fruit
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Combine fruit, sugar and water in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until fruit defrosts and sauce begins to boil.  Add cornstarch mixture and reduce heat to low, stirring until slightly thickened.  For blueberry sauce I add a teaspoon of grated lemon zest to the fruit, sugar and water.  For peaches I add about 1/2 a teaspoon of grated nutmeg (yes, grated fresh, otherwise don't bother).
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Monday, February 16, 2009

He's da Bomb

One of the best things about having young children is the funny things they say.

Their misunderstandings can be cute, as in the following:

Wingnut was watching Turner Classic Movies.  Special K walked in and looked intrigued by the scene.  Wingnut explained the characters were searching for the Abominable Snowman.  I mentioned that I didn't think she knew what the Abominable Snowman was.  Special K pipes up, "Of course I know what he is.  He's a snowman that blows up.   You know the a-BOMB-able Snowman."

Their unfiltered comments can be downright mortifying:

Wingnut's father lost part of his right hand in a training accident when he was in the army.  We wears a unique device on his hand that we all refer to as his "hook" to assist him in grasping things. Our children have had varying degrees of interest in Grandpa's hand ranging from complete obliviousness to downright morbid fascination.  Grandpa turned 70 this week and we were all wishing  him a happy birthday during a phone call.  Special K got her turn and very boldly proclaimed, "Happy birthday Captain Hook!" 

Or the things they say can remind you they really are smarter than you:

You know how toddlers can be little parrots and will imitate most anything you say?  Wingnut thought it would be funny to teach Baby Wingnut to parrot a little German.  He wanted Baby Wingnut to repeat "Ich bien ein fart-fart" (don't ask, it really was funny at the time).  

"Say Ich bien", he coached Baby Wingnut.

"No, I not Ick Ben.  I Ben!"

How can you not love having kids?  They keep you on your toes and keep you laughing.
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saint Valentine



Our little homeschool friend wanted to bring Saint Valentine gifts for each of the children, but when Stat Boy was approached and asked what he might like he declared emphatically he didn't want anything for Saint Valentine's Day.  I was puzzled at his response, at first, until I read this blog post written by a mother of 5 boys.  Now I understand.

Wingnut and I have reservations at our favorite Thai restaurant for a romantic dinner that will probably end at our favorite coffee bar (no, not the one in our own home).  The kids are thrilled we are leaving, as this means pizza, popcorn, and a movie for them.  Do you have anything special planned for this evening?
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Friday, February 13, 2009

I Love This Blog

If you have never read Creative Minority Report, you need to start now!  This is, by far, my favorite blog, probably because it is extremely well written by professional freelance writers and is very often dripping in sarcasm, hyperbole, and humor.  While I appreciate their comical stylings, they are also incredibly intelligent, plugged into the current political scene, knowledgeable in Church matters and well grounded in their Faith.  But by far, my favorite posts deal with the day to day, self-deprecating descriptions of their lives as husbands and fathers (like this post by Matthew Archbold).  One does not need to be Catholic to read and appreciate most of their material, but one does need a wicked sense of humor. Print Friendly and PDF

Spring Homeschool Co-op

We've been participating in our homeschool co-op for 7 years now.  It is an activity the children truly look forward to and benefit from immensely.  Our group is usually divided into four smaller age groups, plus the nursery.  We always have plenty of babes in arms and a well staffed nursery of moms, but we are also welcome to bring our younger children into our classroom as needed. Unless I am in the nursery, and I try very hard to avoid being so, my youngest set is nearly always with me. This spring we have some great classes planned for the children, and as I have spent many hours online looking for co-op class ideas over the years, I thought I'd post our ideas here for others benefit.

Our nursery moms have planned on teaching a little music and a little sign language to the toddlers.  If they don't have just a touch of planned activity the children tend to go a little feral. As the weather warms up, the children will be able to go outside.

The next age group are our K through 2nd graders.  Their classes will be astronomy, the 5 in a Row literature series, and a class in sign language in which they will learn to sign the words from several short story books including Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle.

The 3rd through 5th grade will also be studying astronomy taught by yours truly.  I'm hoping to include hands on projects each week.  Today I'll be displaying a to scale model of the sun and planets to show the vast difference in solar and planetary size and the children will be making their own to scale model showing the relative difference in distances of planets from the sun. This group will also have an art class and a class in 19th century baseball.  My kids are especially intrigued by the baseball class.  Rumor has it that our teacher is bringing in a 19th century baseball player re-enactor to the class and the children will play a game using 19th century rules at the end of the semester.

The 6th-8th grade will have classes in Shakespearean drama(don't tell my kids, they don't know yet), Physics Quest, and introductory photography taught by me.  This will be my third time around teaching photography and this group has been begging for this class for a couple of years now.  I'm not a trained photographer so this is usually a great learning experience for me as well as the students and it is always entertaining to see what they find interesting enough to photograph.

The High School class will be taking a second semester of Church History.  This class is for credit for many of the children in a local homeschool umbrella group so it is much more involved than any co-op class we have ever had.  Karate Kid really enjoys this class and even likes doing the homework assignments.  The teacher for this class has a wonderful knack for engaging the teenagers and drawing them into the rich history of the church.  Their second class will be a drawing class that they will be able to pair with the photography class from last semester for a 1/2 Fine Arts credit.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

High Five


What are your small successes this week?  Join the club at Faith and Family Live.


1). I compiled and organized five portfolios for our yearly homeschool review with the county.  I also supplied the county with a complete bibliography of books used by each child for each subject.  Usually my reviewer needs to write each bibliography out by hand, so this saved her some very valuable time, for which she was very grateful.

2). I packed a healthy and filling lunch for Wingnut every night this week before I went to bed.  

3). I wrote out skeleton lesson plans for the entire semester for the two classes I'm teaching in our homeschool co-op (astronomy for 3-5th graders and photography for 6th-8th graders). This is huge, as normally I am scrambling lesson materials together on Thursday nights for co-op on Friday morning.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oldie, But Goody Movie Review


Wingnut and I have a Netflix membership for those times when we just want to relax and watch a good movie.  We lean toward old classics, especially anything by David Lean, Alfred Hitchcock, or Frank Capra.  Last evening we began watching an old movie, neither one of us had ever heard of before, directed by David Lean entitled World War: The Sound Barrier.  As the title suggests it is an account of the quest to break the elusive sound barrier.  The story is the fictionalized retelling of the British super sonic pursuit.  We may all be familiar with our own national hero, Chuck Yeager, who did finally break the speed of sound in 1947, but I was unfamiliar to the knowledge that this was a world wide quest.

I had planned on watching only half the movie last night, as I did not want to stay up past my bedtime, but the movie was riveting.  As with most David Lean movies, the acting was superb(classic British austerity, just for you Sarah), the filming was incredibly realistic, and according to Wingnut, the aviation technicalities addressed were mostly accurate(for an movie depicting aviation, that is high regards for Wingnut).  It was so well done, Wingnut had to research whether what we had just watched was a true story or fiction.

The film does not only address the technical aspects of the pursuit of the sound barrier, but also the personal sacrifices made in that pursuit.  Men lost their lives pursuing a complete unknown and for inexplicable reasons. This is poignantly portrayed and questioned by the main characters in the movie.

This is a great homeschool family movie (holding the attention of children approximately 9 and up), especially after studying the historic subject.

*A description and explanation of the above photo can be found here.
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Is There a Day That Goes By. . .

. . .that he doesn't say or do something so completely adorable?

Yesterday morning I was making Baby Wingnut "brekfass" (do you see a theme here?).  He was waiting, oh so patiently in his chair for his cinnamon toast when he demanded,"I want, I want, I want . . .  toast on my sugar!"  He was absolutely serious, of course.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gift from the Heart. . . Er, I Mean Stomach

I was taking a quick little cat nap on the couch only to have it interrupted by my sweet, little, two year old.

"You sleep, mama? You want some brekfass(breakfast)?"

"Uh, sure honey.  What are you going to make for me?"

Sweet, little, two year old runs into the kitchen, talking to himself, pulls a chair up to the pantry, climbs on to said chair, rummages around for a few seconds, climbs down from the chair, runs to kitchen drawer, opens kitchen drawer and grabs a spoon, and runs into the living room with "brekfass".


This is what he brought for me. . .  

Mama is not a big fan of Nutella.  Funny; sweet, little, two year old is. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sweet Sixteen








Dearest N.,

We cannot believe you are already sixteen years old!  This has been the fastest sixteen years we have ever known.  You have grown into such a lovely and accomplished young woman.  We are so incredibly proud and privileged to call you our daughter.  I hope your siblings always remember all the games and ideas that you came up with to entertain them.   You are creative, smart, strong, and have a wicked sense of humor, just like your dad.  We pray every day for God's will to be done in your life, because we are sure he has something incredible planned for you.  We hope you have a wonderful sweet sixteenth.

Love,
Mom and Dad
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Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Feel a Cold Coming On...

. . . It must be time for soup!

I know I'm fighting off something.  Special K has been sniffling and coughing all week.  Baby Wingnut began a croupy cough on Thursday and his cheeks are all pink.  My throat has been scratchy and irritated since Wednesday.  I decided it was time for steaming bowls of turkey and wild rice soup.  This recipe is a family favorite and pretty good for you too.  I paired it with the best homemade dinner rolls from The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking by Brother Rick Curry, S.J. (We have loved every recipe we have tried from this book.  The children also love to read about the origins of each recipe and the stories of community life and saints placed throughout the book).

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

Stock:
Approximately 2 pounds of turkey pieces (breasts and legs are good, but I prefer thighs if I can get them)
1 tablespoon oil
8 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
2 cups dry white wine (optional)
8 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 stalk celery cut into 3 inch pieces with leaves intact
1 onion quartered and peeled

Heat oil in very large heavy pot or dutch oven.  Salt and pepper turkey pieces on all sides and brown on all sides in oil.  Add rest of ingredients to pot and bring to a boil, skimming foam off top as it rises.  Reduce to low, cover pot and simmer for two hours, until turkey pieces are cooked through.  Strain solids reserving stock/broth and turkey.  Allow turkey to cool until you can shred the meat from the bones with your fingers.  Shred into bite sized pieces and reserve.


Soup:
2 teaspoons oil
3 stalks of celery, diced small
3 peeled carrots, diced small
1 onion or two shallots, diced small
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp baking soda (this aids in softening the rice especially if you used wine in the stock)
2 cups wild rice
reserved stock
reserved turkey pieces

In very large, heavy pot or dutch oven saute celery, carrots, and onions in oil until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic, thyme, basil, and rosemary and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add wild rice and toss, coating with oil, vegetables and aromatics. Add reserved stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45-60 minutes until rice is tender.  Add reserved turkey meat and heat through before serving.

*Wild rice can be fairly expensive at the super market, sometimes as much as $7 for a cup.  I have had better luck at the commissary and at the natural foods market(which has a large variety of wild rices to choose from).

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Worth the 16:23 it Takes to Watch

Ok, it only took three of my favorite bloggers to post this YouTube video before I finally broke down and watched.  Need a little pick me up today?  Take the time to watch this.  And, you know what?  You are amazing.  You are great. Print Friendly and PDF

He Loves His Queen

Baby Wingnut sits at the table singing his heart out:

We are the champions, my friends
And we'll keep on fighting to the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
Cause Annie is a loser

Baby Wingnut does not have the curse of misunderstanding lyrics like his mother.  He has the uncanny gift of his father to change lyrics of songs to mock, antagonize, and tease his siblings. He's only 2.  We are in big trouble.
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Look Ma, I'm a Barista


So, have I shown you the fantabulous gift Wingnut got me for Christmas?  It is this beautiful Pasquini espresso machine with coffee grinder.  Isn't it shiny and lovely! Wingnut has always been a coffee aficionado (I, on the other hand, grew up drinking pre-ground Folgers) and we have had some form of espresso maker in our home since the earliest days of our marriage. Obviously we've come a long way since our first little $60 Krups machine.

Did you know making proper espresso is an art form?  It takes quite a bit of practice and adjustment to get the correct grind, the proper 15 to 30 second shot draw, and a beautiful head of crema.  Then there are the variations of drinks to master.  Beside a straight espresso, there are Cafe Americano, Cappuchino, Macchiato, Breve, Cafe Latte, Cafe Mocha, Cubano, etc.  You can check out an entire list of variations here on Wikipedia.  Wingnut has nearly mastered the Cappuchino replete with the classic meringue textured foam. I wonder, if I am a barista, does that make him a barrister? Never mind, my Pasquini is calling me!  Would you like a cup?

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Approval Ratings Already?

From USA Today/Gallup


Of note, his first abortion related executive action has garnered the least approval and the Guantanamo Bay order is next to last. You can read the entire article here along with political party affiliation breakdowns. I wonder if he and his operatives will actually take note?

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A Day Late and A Dollar Short


I should have blogged about the Super Bowl yesterday, but I was too lethargic to upload the photo of the cake Karate Kid and Special K made for the game.  When you read our party menu you'll see why I was feeling so lethargic.

So did you watch the game?  As Super Bowls go, it was a pretty good one and hard fought on both sides.  We didn't really have any preferences for a winner, but some of us felt a tad obligated to root for the Steelers, as they are Baby Wingnut's godfather's favorite team.  The "Godfather" sent me a photo of the Steeler defense to use as a screen saver on our computer. Um, "Godfather", that is just not going to happen.

We tried to avoid the commercials as much as possible, as we were allowing the children to watch the game, we did manage to see the hilarious Doritos ad with the "crystal ball".  I previewed the rest of the ads on Youtube yesterday and the children and I watched the clean ones online last evening.  The kids found the Troy Polamalu/Coke Zero ad especially worthy. There were a few other cute ones, but I'm beginning to wonder what all the hype about Super Bowl commercials is.  Were they ever really that special?

I had Karate Kid plan the menu for the game and she went with an American Southwest theme that included:
-7 layer dip (with spicy Mexican chorizo)
-Queso (with spicy Mexican chorizo)
-Chipotle lime dip served with Ruffles
-Nachos made with Doritos (some long abiding fantasy my kids have had)
-Soda
-Double chocolate cake (pictured above)

Notice the distinct absence of anything resembling a vegetable or even fruit!  I didn't even think of it until bedtime when I could barely move my bod up the stairs to bed.  I'm having a coronary now, just thinking of all the cheese, sausage, chips, and sour cream on that menu!

We had a very nice family evening celebrating the Super Bowl.  Hopefully next year I'll pay a little closer attention to the menu and add a little crudite to balance it out ;-)
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Showing Some Restraint?

6 year old sits at kitchen table, humming a tune as she draws her picture.  Suddenly she stops and yells, "WHAT THE!"

Father and mother are not sure how to respond to her outburst.  Should they applaud their own restraint because she does not know to use an explicative at the end of her phrase?  Or should they work on their own demonstrative behavior when things don't go quite as planned?  Nope, they laugh out loud, because there is nothing quite so funny as the 6 year old's reaction to her own inability to draw the eyes just so.
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