Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wild Weekend We-view

What a weekend! Most of the story is in pictures. Well, the fun part of the story is in pictures. The other part...I will try and paint you a picture. Have you heard before that the reason camping is such a great family experience is because there is so much misery involved? At some point, everyone has just had enough of being dirty, wet, smelly, tired, and together? And invariably there is some getting lost involved? And in all the crankiness that is miserable at the time, a true bonding emerges? Things that are just not funny at the time have a way of eventually being a memorable experience that everyone laughs at. Well, we didn't go camping, but we bonded through misery. Let's get this part out of the way so I can share the fun...
So the story is we were headed to Eastern Washington for my sister's wedding (fun) and my Grandma's 90th birthday (fun). Here it is the end of March, and a big winter storm warning is issued for the Cascades. Two feet of snow forecast for Saturday into Sunday. So we left early enough to be on the front of that, missed it all together. High five. We grabbed some lunch (me talking with my mouth full to tell everyone else to be quiet and eat so we could get done quickly) and checked into the hotel to change. Here's where things took a "bonding" turn. We then spent an hour and a half driving around lost. Lost. In a place we go to frequently enough to not be lost. We were lost. It was as if the "island" (my aunts house) had been flashed into a different location. (I don't know how to describe that accurately. That's Brad's show that I "watch" with him, although I can't follow it at all.) Here's what it was like a bad episode of The Amazing Race. I hate to be lost. I get all anxious and crabby and mean. And we were lost. I was tired. Angry. Mean. We fought the entire hour and a half. The upside is the kids were very quiet, but I was too angry to even notice. If a camera had been in our van, it would have actually been an amazing episode of The Amazing Race. It would have been good t.v., but alas it was just us. If only Phil had been at our destination when we finally arrived. I can just see it. "Brad and Leanne, you are the last family members to arrive. I'm sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from the Dharma initiative." Whatever.

Fast forward to back at the hotel later that evening. The kids wanted to go swimming, so we headed to the pool. The chlorine level was so crazy high that our eyes were burning. Burning badly. We had to go out for fresh air several times. A short time later, a kid started throwing up - a lot - in the pool shower. Exit stage left. Pool closed.

Time for a good night sleep. Yes? No!! Little Miss Beth began a coughing marathon at 3:30 in the morning, lasting all the way to 6:00 when we got up and started the day. Further exhaustion.

At 6:30, we learned that the passes were requiring chains. Chains!! We had to be home for Alex's dress rehearsal at 1:00, so we hit the road at 7:00 and took the longer way home, up the Oregon side of the Columbia River. Beautiful drive. We appreciated it the best we could, but we were a cranky bunch. It was very cool to see all the huge windmills that are somehow using the wind to generate power. Even that turned into snippiness. Brenna: "Look there's just one not moving." Alex: "Now you are going to have to ask why it's not moving, aren't you?" Mom: "Alex, close your mouth and sit back in your seat!" Etc., etc., etc. Like I said, bonding.

But it was very much worth it. We had a great time catching up with family and being witness to a great wedding. Here are the highlights:

Steve & Darrlyn

Not many people get the privilege of having their grandkids and their grandma at their wedding!

My Aunt Spud and her granddaughter, Emma. S.W.A.K.!

Alex & Jake trying to convince Emma to dance with them.

Our family's version of "Kath & Kim": Jess & Trish

Me with my sweet grandma. Happy 90th!

Beth, Alex, & Brenna with Great Grandma

My cousin Ron with his favorite grandma.

Me & Connor. I tried to convince them to let me keep him. Don't we look like a match? They wouldn't let me, even though they have two. Sheesh.

Alex & Beth taking a spin on the dance floor.

I have so many more good pictures, but that's long enough. And I'm ready to be done. So there you have it! A fun (and bonding!) weekend!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flashback Friday

Simpler times.

Ironically, I am too busy today to do the flashback I had intended to do. I'm flashing back in my mind, but do not have time to do it properly on here. So I will save it for next week, and instead do this simpler flashback.

Because the day has been so busy, I was thinking of how much simpler life was when the kids were so young. Busy, but a different kind of busy. Tiring, but a different kind of tiring. Definitely simpler.

Here is my sweet firstborn, such a purely simple moment. (We were told he was a girl, thus the flowery bedding. But then we figured it had enough blue in it to make it work. I don't think it ruined him...)

We still have these simple moments, of course. They are just compressed in between a lot of busy moments.

So the five minutes I gave myself to do this are up. I would like to just sit and stare at this picture, but today is a day of successive busy moments. On to the next one...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Martha's A Criminal??

The girls have half days of school this week for conferences, and yesterday they had some friends over to have some rainy day fun. Oh, man, was it fun people watching for me! I love hearing their happy chatter, and always get some great chuckles from comments I hear. This was an especially great combination of girls for providing funny comments. I wish I could just record their conversations and post them here. They'd probably never come back, but it would be great entertainment. Every time I took a picture, one of those sweet girls would say, "Is that going on your blog??" So this is for Emily...the day in pictures:

Beth & Natalie

Faith, Emily & Brenna

Natalie the Unicorn & Beth the Cheerleader

Dinnertime brought a game of Imaginiff. They were having so much fun asking silly questions about each other, and us. The greatest conversation came from one of these questions. It was "Imaginiff ( ) was a criminal. Would he/she be more like: " followed by 4 choices. One of the choices was Martha Stewart. The reading of that choice brought stunned faces and a look of total confusion to some of the kids. "Martha Stewart is a criminal??" Followed by a couple kids saying, "Who is Martha Stewart??" (To protect the innocent, I won't reveal who asked which question. You can probably figure it out.) So they started asking me why she was a criminal. I said, 'It was for tax evasion or something. Oh, no, wait...I think it was for illegal stock trading." That was followed by the next part of the funniest conversation. One child, in total seriousness, asked, "What is sock trading? Why is it illegal??"

And when I got home last night after my Bible study and delivering girls back to their rightful owners, these were waiting for me on the table. No reason, other than I'm loved. And I love him right back. My favorite flowers from my favorite person. Good way to end a good day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vile Weed!!!

Yesterday I began a venture into something new. I have been intrigued by this for quite some time, and recently read some more about it. So, for a variety of reasons, none of which I feel compelled to share, I started juicing yesterday. It was quite an experience. I am not one who is drawn to the flavor of vegetables. Not at all. Unless I can visibly see the melted butter pooling up around them, that is. I eat them just because I know they are good for me, but not because I really want to. Well, imagine the assault in my mouth when a liquid form of carrots, celery, cucumber, beets (with the greens), lemon and apple hit it all at once! There's a line in Seinfeld when Newman is forced to taste broccoli, and he spits it out saying, "Vile weed!!!" I'm not quite that bad, but I do have an understanding of his feelings. Everything within me wanted to hiss out, "Vile weed!!" when I took my first swig of this juice. But I've been told it gets better the more you do it. So I'll keep at it and see what happens. And the straight carrot/apple juice is great. I made that version for the kids, just to let them suffer, I mean enjoy, the juicing right along with me. I'm going to give it a go for 30 days and see if I think it's worth continuing. Stay tuned. I hope to find some tasty combinations as I move through this. And, I have some intriguing recipes that use the pulp from the juicing that sound good. Things like carrot cake, muffins, etc.

And, if you are so inclined, feel free to stop by and I'll whip you up a glass of vile weed.

Can you feel my pain??!!

Perseverance. It better pay off.

Now I have some accountability. When you see me, ask me if I've juiced!

And to keep it real, here was my dinner...

Brad was sent home from work yesterday at 1:00. Nice boss who noticed he has been working too much, and sent him home. Love that. So we took advantage of the time and went to see a movie. And because I was so good with my veggies earlier in the day, I thought it would be good to add in some corn. Popped corn. But corn. A veggie. With butter. Lots. Of. Butter. Mmm.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Menu

Today I will post a recipe requested by Alex. The main reason I do these Monday Menus is so my kids can have a collection of the recipes they love. Someday I will have them all put into a book for them, so this is a good way to organize them.

With that said, Alex wanted me to post the recipe for the cookies I made on Saturday. Here's the thing with my baking. Real bakers/chefs will say that baking is a science, and you need to measure carefully to get the correct result. I believe that's true, but in my kitchen I tend to add a bit of this/a bit of that, in my cooking and most baking. My cookies are often a little different every time I make them, but they are always good. There are things like the way your oven bakes and the pans you use that you need to get to know in your own kitchen, then make adjustments that work for you. I use a heavy-weight, dark, non-stick pan for cookies. They tend to brown a bit more on the bottom when you use a dark pan. I like that, because then the top can be a bit on the underdone side and you get moist cookies that don't dry out when they cool. I'll post a few more cookie recipes as the weeks or months go by, I'm sure. This is one that was thrown together and for whatever reason really wooed Alex...

Chocolate Chip/Toffee Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter (I always use butter), softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla (real vanilla. not imitation vanilla, PLEASE!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestle makes the very best...)
crushed Heath candy bars (I had a 12 oz. bag of mini bars, I used about 1/2 the bag)

Beat together softened butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add salt, baking soda, and 1/2 the flour. Mix gently on low. Add remaining flour, mix just until combined. (Beating too hard/too long, stirs up too much gluten in the flour and will make the cookies tough/dry, so don't over mix.) Stir in chocolate chips and crushed Heath bars. At this point, stop and smell the chocolate chip bag. Come on, get your nose in there and take a big, deep breath. It's a must. Then call someone into the kitchen and make them do it, too. Things are better shared. If they don't take a deep enough breath, make them do it again so they really get it. Trust me, it's genuinely therapeutic. Anyway, use a cookie scoop to drop cookies onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes. Again, your oven or cookie sheets may bake differently, so adjust that time to your liking. Let set on cookie sheet for a couple minutes, then remove to cool on cooling racks. Yum, yum!

I'd like to show you a picture of the cookies, but I was too late...but this picture really does tell the story.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

More Music

Today was another day filled with more music, compliments of Alex. He had his annual solo/ensemble festival. He played a bassoon solo, in a woodwind quintet, and a saxophone duet before an adjudicator that specialized in that instrument. Thanks to Mr. H. (more on him later) Alex had a great schedule that allowed him to play in the quintet and follow that immediately with his solo. He was excited about that, because it allowed him to be warmed up and have some of the jitters worked out before his solo. Well, due to a technical difficulty with the clarinet in the ensemble, they switched him around at the last minute and had Alex step in and do his solo. He definitely had some quivery notes (that were not vibrato) in the beginning, but settled in to do a masterful job.

Alex does not like playing solos at all. He does not like all eyes on him, and I think most of us can relate to that. But he did a great job, and will probably have more opportunities to do this in the near future. "Wow! Incredible technique!", was one comment from the very impressed adjudicator. I don't know much about bassoon technique, but the "wow" and "incredible" I totally get. He is wow-ingly incredible to me, too.

After both bassoon performances, we had a 2 hour break before coming back for saxophone. We went out to lunch, and Alex hit El Jackpot-O. The Mexican restaurant we went to has a lunch buffet! Like I said, El Jackpot-O!! He ate and ate. Let me tell you, that place did not make a dime off him today. We left ridiculously full.

Saxophone duet went smashingly well. Alex and Quinn played "Take 5", a jazz piece. They had fun doing it, and it showed. Impressively done by those two.

Back to Mr. case you happen upon this, or your wife does, a big pat on the back from us! I know this a major event for you to put on, and we have so appreciated the opportunity to participate in it the last 3 years. So much scheduling, coordinating, putting out fires, etc. Your easy-going manner and enthusiasm for the musicians sets a great atmosphere for this day to be a success. I don't know if you get enough kudos for what you do, so here's one from us. You did a great job and we thank you for it! Hope you get a much-deserved quiet day tomorrow.

And we miss the main man around here a lot. He has been working crazy hours doing some system upgrades at work. (Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about with that line?? Can we all just take a moment of awe for that one?) Anyway, it was good to see him for lunch today, the only meal we've had with him since Wednesday. We just heard from him that things aren't going too well, and he will be working long into the night to get it done. Cookies are in the oven and on their way to fuel everyone. Hoping it will add some zing to their brains and fingers so they can wrap everything up with lightning speed!
Now I have a cookie delivery to make.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flashback Friday

First of all, Happy 1st Day of Spring!! Here's a picture that shows Spring trying to arrive at my house...

My pussy willow tree is trying so very hard. It has carried on its plan despite all our crazy March snow. And I'm officially putting away my heavy winter jacket today. I may be shivering at the bus stop next week, but that's just tough. After all, it's Spring!

Now, onto the reason for this post...Flashback Friday!

Here we go back to Spring 2001. This story is so Brenna.

I have to share some background information on Brenna for this story to be fully appreciated. She's always had a way of stumbling into interesting "owies". If there was a wall, Brenna could find a way to bump into it. If there was a piece of lint on the carpet, Brenna could trip over it. The door that goes out to our backyard has been the same door since we moved into this house. And yet every time Brenna walked through the door, it was as if she was walking on foreign ground. She tripped on that door jam just about every time she walked through. At 3, we took her to the eye doctor, thinking she must have a depth perception problem that caused all the bumping and tripping. After a thorough exam, the doctor said, with great kindness, "Well, her eyes are just fine. I guess she is officially just clumsy."

Often we would be having dinner at the table together, Brenna sitting in her chair. No obvious wiggling or squirming. And then, out of nowhere, Brenna would just fall from her chair. All we'd see is a blond ponytail flipping over the table as her body disappeared from view. After the first several times, we didn't even react. It became as common as someone asking for seconds. We never did figure out how she managed to fall out of her chair so often. So, with all that in mind...enjoy the flashback:

Brenna came to find me, and said, "Mommy, I think I hooot my nose. Is it bweeding?" I turned around to see this:

Oh, how I wish this picture did this nose more justice. Sure enough, Brenna had a big rug burn on the bridge of her nose. "What happened, Brenna??" Here's her response, in her sweet 3-year-old speech:

"I was cwalling awound on da gwound, pushing my nose all ova, and when I stood up, I had dis big owie!"

I know, the normal follow up would have been "why??". But this was not even necessary with Brenna. An unusual owie was not unusual for Brenna. In the following days, we would hear, "What happened to your nose?" We'd reply, "A rug burn." Those that knew Brenna didn't even bat an eye. Those that didn't, we didn't bother to try to explain.

She has learned to control her body more as she's grown. But we still have the occasional incident. It's just become an endearing part of our endearing middle child. Ya gotta wuv dat gil.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Menu

Here is a yummy soup recipe my friend gave me. With the stubborn way the stormy weather is hanging on around here, this would be a great meal for this week. Again, my kids love this soup. Molly fed this to Brenna awhile ago, and Brenna came home raving about it and begging me to make it. This makes great left-overs, and freezes very well. Thanks, Molly!

recipe from Taste of Home

Minestrone with Italian Sausage

1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium leek (white portion only), chopped (I left this out...)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup uncooked small pasta shells
3 TBSP minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a soup pot, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the carrots, celery, leek and garlic; cook for 3 minutes. Add zucchini and green beans; cook 2 minutes longer.

Stir in broth, tomatoes, cabbage, basil, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Return to a boil. Stir in the garbanzo beans, pasta and parsley. Cook for 6-9 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Special Birthday Wish...Times Two!

A very Happy 1st Birthday to my (great) nephews! I cannot believe it has been a year since these two came roaring into the world. They brought so much joy on a special anniversary in our family. And that's one thing that is just so special about a baby - or two. They bring out so much gushy love, and all they do is show up! So thanks to Connor and Hunter for showing up! We'll see you in two weeks, and I so hope you will let me rock you.

Here are the little men themselves...and don't you just love the suits with bare feet??! That is SO boy!

Happy Birthday, Hunter!

Happy Birthday, Connor!
Save some room on those cheeks for some kisses from all of us! We love you!
And congrats to Ben & Stephanie on completing their first year of parenting. You guys are naturals...and doing a great job! Wish we could see you all more, but so glad to be a part of your lives. See you soon...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Boy and A Bassoon

Today was all about watching Alex enjoy the reward of a lot of hard work. He had auditioned for the all-state West band this fall, and made it. So we had to have him up north at 8:00 this morning for the big event. They rehearsed all day, and then had a 4:00 concert. It was so great to see him enjoy the excitement of the day. 119 kids in the band, and they pulled off a fabulous concert. Truly great, and not just because I am the mom. They were really great. The choir was great, the orchestra could have used a bit more rehearsal time, but the band really blew it all away. A fabulous guest conductor from WSU spent the day with these kids, and he obviously was a very inspiring leader, as he pulled great dynamics from this band. It was truly a pleasure to watch.

We are so proud of you, Alex. You've taken a raw gift and added a ton of dedication and drive to produce this beautiful sound. There are days when you just don't feel like practicing, and you do it anyway. It's paid off in a big way. Keep that lesson with you, young have set some high goals for yourself, and they are all within your reach if you are willing to work hard. It is a joy to be your mom (most days!), and it's a joy to see your success.

So here are some pictures of our favorite bassoonist...

This picture was meant to have a bassoon in it, because we are frequently asked what a bassoon is. But he had already packed it up when we reached him and we were tired and hungry. We are going to stage the picture tomorrow, and I'll add it then. But he just looks so cute, so tired, and so proud in this picture, I wanted to include it.

The rest of us had over 6 hours to fill, so we had some fun shopping and getting some much-needed errands done. Plus just lots of wandering and enjoying being together. We even ran into Brenna's teacher in the food court! Fun memories:

These two can make fun out of anything. In the picture above, they are posing each other like statues.

After getting Alex registered, we headed straight to Starbucks. Necessary fuel for daddy today, fun treat for the girls.

I'm so proud of this one. Just have to keep it real. Sadly, Beth is unable to cross her eyes. We're working on that.

Of course, we had to do a little browsing at The Rainforest Cafe. That red-eyed tree frog in the background is a very purposeful addition to the picture.

And we finished the day with a late dinner at Red Robin. Alex was, of course, famished. Conveniently, there was a Cold Stone right next door. So the kids got ice cream to go and we hit the road for home. Long day. Great day. Great kids.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flashback Friday

Ah, the love of a 2 year old! Beth was almost 2 in these pictures, October 2002. And she was loving our new kitty, Edgar, in the only way she new how to love a kitty. Edgar survived quite nicely, and loves Beth very much. One would understand if he developed a fear of her, but he never did. A bit of caution perhaps, but never fear. And he has endured much more than this while being loved by 3 kids. He has worn hats, bandannas, curling ribbon necklaces, and all sorts of decorations. I even once rescued him from an attempt to dress him in an American Girl doll dress. That was where he drew the line. But he still prefers nowhere else but to be curled up on one of the kids' beds. And when the kids go out in the backyard, he yowls at the door until he's able to go out and play with them.
So, here is the start of a beautiful friendship:

And the ultimate love from Beth...she shared her blankie with him...

And, now, here is proof that the love is mutual. A very big Edgar...and very big Beth.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

She's A Little Bit Country

What's a girl to do when she longs to ride a horse, but lives a life of horse-deprivation?

Well, you take an outgrown plastic slide, a patio set ottoman, and a couple jump ropes. You arrange it just so, and voila! A horse and buggy! In her mind, this looks just like the set that Pa Ingalls would use to drive his family to downtown Walnut Grove.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Bumper

Welcome home, my happy bumper! I have missed you!

I don't think I have mentioned it here, but my van was swiped by an elderly man trying to leave his parking space during our Girl Scout Cookie booth a couple weeks ago. I was walking towards it, with a cart laden with cookie cases. I could see another Sienna trying to back out, while my van rocked slightly. I said in a quiet, stunned voice, "I think he's hitting my van. I think he's hitting my van! He IS hitting my van! Oh, no, he's leaving. Oh - now he's going to hit her - watch out! Where's he going??" He drove around to another aisle to find a more accommodating parking space. I got to my van, and sure enough there were 3 big scrapes of paint all along the curve of my bumper. So I followed him, tapped on his window and told him he had hit my van. "No, I don't believe I did."

"Yes, I watched you. And you have a big scrape all down the side of your van. And my paint is right down the middle of that scrape."

"Well, I didn't hear anything, so I don't think I did that." I cringed, and wondered how hard to try to convince him before I called in some help. Some help in the form of flashing blue lights. Then a man pulled up who had witnessed the whole thing and was so kind to stay and be present while we exchanged information. So the man got out, and said, "Well, I'll be darned. I guess I did do that." Sheesh.

Anyway, today I got her back from the repair shop. She's so glad to be home. And she's feeling quite proud of the spiffy new shine on her rear end. I do think she was a few inches taller as I drove her home. And I think I even heard a sigh as we pulled safely into the garage.

Oh, wait. That was probably me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Menu

Here are a couple recipes that I cannot recommend enough! They are both huge hits with the entire family. So yummy that I am craving them both even as I think about them...

First is Spinach/Strawberry Salad Supreme. So, so good. I would eat this salad as a dessert. And you know I do not say that lightly! It is that good. My kids loved it, and we have eaten it twice this last week. If the combination sounds odd, go for it anyway. You'll be glad you did.

Spinach/Strawberry Salad Supreme
1/2 bag spinach (a nice bowl full, as below)
1 lb. container strawberries, diced
1 avocado, diced
Marie's Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing (refrigerated in produce section in most stores)
Almond Accents Honey Roasted Sliced Almonds

Combine diced strawberries and avocados in small bowl. They should be diced like you are making a salsa. Drizzle with the vinaigrette dressing. It doesn't take a lot, because the juice from the berries will add to the dressing. You don't want it soupy, just glazed. You can either toss this with the spinach and serve right away, or plate the salads separately, placing a scoop of the strawberries/avocados onto a mound of spinach, then sprinkle with almonds.

One of my favorite friends, who is fabulous at many things (including cooking) gave me this chicken recipe awhile ago. I just tried it this weekend, and it was another huge hit. Even from 2 of my kids, who usually try to disguise chicken breasts by covering them in some sort of sauce. They all wanted more, the highest compliment from a kid! And Brad and I loved them as well. Thanks, Marlece!

Rice Crispy Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups rice crispy cereal, crushed
2 TBSP flour
1/4 tsp. dried thyme (rub it between your palms to wake up the flavor before adding)
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
dash of garlic powder and salt
1/4 cup melted butter

Combine crushed cereal, flour, and seasonings. Dip each chicken breast in butter and then in cereal mixture. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika for color. (I didn't do that, and it was just fine!)

This chicken is suppose to be like a mock fried chicken. I think I crushed my cereal too fine, so it didn't come out crispy. But it still had a fabulous taste, so either way you should be happy with it!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just wait 5 minutes...

There's an expression about our crazy weather in the Pacific Northwest...if you don't like it, wait 5 minutes and it will change. That has never been truer than today! Here are some pictures from today, a day that we are stuck between winter and spring...

Doesn't this picture just ooze with spring? Beth with her bunny, Hailey.

And, here is a picture that oozes winter...taken just a couple hours later.

And, just a couple hours after the snow, Alex was out getting his arm warmed up for the baseball season, another ooze of spring!

It has been continuing to flip-flop that way all weekend. A bit of sun turns to a flurry of snow, then back again. Winter just can't say a graceful goodbye this year.

And, below I'll end with a cute picture of Edgar the cat and Hailey the bunny checking each other out. Edgar usually just ignores both bunnies when they are exploring the yard, all the animals just hang out together and generally stay out of each other's way. A mutual respect for each other's space. But today Edgar decided to say hello...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Flashback Friday

Happy Friday! Today, let's go back and visit the summer of 1998.

(As a side note: I began writing this post 20 minutes ago, and that's as far as I got. I was interrupted by 6 oz. of grape juice spilling all over the table and dining room floor. This is one of the reasons I do not give my kids juice. The mess potential is just too high. We are in a 2-week period of exception due to one child's temporary special need that I won't go into here to protect her "dignity." But let me just say this: she's by far my messiest child. Putting grape juice in her hands puts my mop on high alert. So, happy "teacher in service day" to my mop.) Now back to where I began...

Where were we? Oh, yes, the summer of 1998. Alex was 3 years old, and I see now was more brilliant than we even realized! I believe he may have been really ahead of his time. In 1998, if what I'm about to refer to was being used, it certainly wasn't as prevalent as it is now. Or maybe I just wasn't paying attention. But there is this very tragic trend going on with some "celebrities" of our time. Have you noticed? It involves their lips. And it is truly tragic. I don't even know what they are having injected into their lips, but it gives that "I've been stung by a bee and need an epi-pen" look that is so painful to look at. Have you seen them try to form words? UH! Painful! They need an honest friend in their life. You know, one who will have the confidence to tell them they look awful. I can't understand why they think it's a better look.

But there is something in our family line that is drawn to that. My mom would check herself out in the reflection of the window by our front door when she was coming and going, use one hand to "poof, poof" (always twice) her hair, and at the same time pucker her lips out to be more poofy. So, he came by it honestly, but here is Alex at 3, finding an at-home method to increasing the volume of his lips..

(Another interruption...this time my most accident-prone child went running through the kitchen, into the dining room, forgetting the floor had just been mopped, and took a big spill. So a brief pause to hug and comfort and remind her that the floor is wet...I'm taking a deep breath and continuing now.)

Now, for the at-home method to increase one's lip volume...

Yes, it's the vacuum cleaner attachment. Yes, the vacuum was turned on. Yes, he came up with this all on his own. Why? I don't know. Because he was 3 years old, a boy, and he was simply acting his age. And, yes, the result was very temporary and his lip returned to normal shape and size.

So, there you have it. If you have been longing to have lips that are unnaturally plumped, the fulfillment of that is as close as your vacuum cleaner.