Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fantabulous Photo Shoot Extravaganza

We had a little photo session yesterday because we are too cheap to pay for professional photography and I thought you might enjoy some of the results.

Our first model is E.

Up next is A. She takes her modeling very seriously.

We can't forget N.

And finally, the twins showing the love.

Artsy Phartsy

I have been trying to improve my artistic skills, such as they may be, and thought I would share what I I have been up to with the class. I did these folders for the girls.

This is a snippet from an illustration in Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. I LOVE that book.

Obviously, this is from Thumbelina. I spent hours of my childhood staring at this picture. It made such an impression on me that I saved it all these years.

Last but not least, is Toad from the Frog and Toad series. Toad kills me. I identify with him, as sad as that statement may sound.

One of my favorite illustrators of children's books is Jan Brett. She is so amazing. Even if you don't have children I strongly recommend checking out her work. Especially The Hat and The Gingerbread Baby because there is so much going on in every page. So what are some of your favorite children's books?

Trick or Treat

Just try and tell me you don't want throw candy at your computer screen right now. They were so excited about trick or treating this year. All in all they made out pretty well. They even scored some good chocolate for mommy and daddy :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Drum Roll Please

And now presenting the a-mazing E! Watch as this 6-year-old girl makes dogs out of balloons--after only seeing it done twice--right before your very eyes!

If only I were technologically advanced enough to maximize the technology that I possess and knew how to transfer what's on my video recorder to the computer, but I can't so I suppose we will have to settle for a still photo. Please try not to cry, I know you are disappointed. I have to say my jaw about hit the floor when I saw her do it. She seriously only saw them do twice and then retained that information overnight to perform it the next morning. Kids are amazing.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My favorite word

My brain has been under attack for the last 3 weeks. It is currently being held hostage by the word "pernicious". I am completely obsessed with the word and am experiencing supreme frustration trying to find ways to incorporate into conversation. Any suggestions for its casual use would be greatly appreciated. Then, perhaps, I could get it out of my system and stifle its constant tickling at the edges of my consciousness. (Have I mentioned I have issues?)

Also, if any of you happen to know how to correct this formatting issue I am having, I would be eternally grateful. I can't get it to stop centering all my posts and shoving my sidebar to the bottom. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thank you, Noggin.

This song has been stuck in my head for 2 weeks, and I'm sure it will continue to be until after Halloween. Now, it is my gift to you. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October Eye Candy

Every fall I am overwhelmed with the desire once again feel the crisp autumn air, see the trees blazing with red and orange leaves, and taste fresh apple cider while waiting to take the hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick our own pumpkins. I love fall in Indiana. The problem is I am not in Indiana. I am in southwest Florida where the air is balmy and heavy and all our apples are imported from Washington and Michigan. Where I laugh heartily at the selection of parka-like Halloween costumes at Target which are good for nothing down here but inducing heat stroke. The other day I found myself getting downright cranky about Florida's flat refusal to recognize that there has, in fact, been a change in season. Then I stopped by my grandma's house and was somewhat consoled by this:

I may not get my favorite version of fall weather down here, but I have to confess that Florida fall does have its charms. Like this:

Be forewarned that despite all this flowering loveliness, I will still complain bitterly about not being able to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal because it is too daggone hot and that it never feels like Christmas here. I'm just keeping it honest; I do it every year. On those days, remind me to look back at these photos:

Sometimes these extreme close-ups of orchids seem like a violation of the flower's privacy.

What is fall like where you live? Do you like it or dislike it? What is your favorite season and why? I am burning with curiosity, please share.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Enchanted Life

Today I have some major cleaning to do. But am I discouraged or reluctant to delve right in? No! Why? Well, because I have a happy working song to hum, of course! Don't tell me you don't have one. You don't, really? No wonder your house is such a mess! In the interest of posterity I will share mine with you. Please note that this is actual footage of me on cleaning day.

So now that you know my secret, I have a few questions for you. What is your absolute least favorite cleaning chore? Do you follow a cleaning schedule? Any cleaning tools or supplies you can't live without that the rest of us should know about?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If You're Missing the Grill

I got to thinking after my last post that perhaps I should include a recipe for those of us still experiencing less than cool, crisp autumn weather and those of you who miss summery grilled food. Thus, I submit for your consideration kefta and zucchini kebobs via smittenkitchen. These were beyond delicious. Everyone in my family moaned in delight and declared them fabulous in every respect. Even if you are a little nervous about ethnic food and the idea of dipping meat into minted yogurt, don't be afraid. After all, the worst that could happen is you don't like it. Don't worry, just try one bite and if you don't like it, you don't have to eat it. (Works on my kids.) You don't even need a grill. I did mine in the grill pan because it was raining. They are very simple to make.
Here are the kefta

Here's the zucchini. Now, put them together and....


Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese

Now that fall is upon us, it is time to trot out all the homey, comforting recipes that have sat forlorn and untouched throughout the summer months. Of course, it is still in the high 80s and humid here in Florida, but I choose to ignore that. It's October, doggone it, I want some baked pasta! And so will you after this post. Seriously, make it. You will totally thank me for it. I will begin by enticing you with photographs of its cheesy, mouthwatering goodness.

Looks good, huh? Huh? Huh? (If we were not separated by cyberspace I would be nudging you with my elbow here. I suppose it is a good thing we are separated by cyberspace because that would probably be annoying.) Now contemplate the sausage. I used sweet Italian turkey sausage because the kids don't like spicy.
Now--stop salivating all over your keyboard!--click here for the recipe and go make you some dinner.

Growing Up

So, my baby lost her first tooth. My baby lost her first tooth. My baby. Ordinarily, I am not one to become weepy and nostalgic over things like this. I readily confess that I don't remember at what exact age they all walked, crawled, or talked, but for some reason I can't explain, this tooth loss affected me. Why? I was excited when the twins lost their first tooth. Is it all wrapped up in the whole kindergarten madness I'm going through? It is just so unlike me, it confounds me. Anyone else out there experiencing this sort of thing? What was it for you?

Friday, October 3, 2008


The constant onslaught of political mumblings, sound bites, and other such nonsense to which we are subjected every election and are currently enduring, brought to mind Brian Regan's comments on politicians. I hope you enjoy. I highly recommend listening to more of his comedy on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prepare For Cuteness

I walked into the twins' room the other day while they were at school and found this.

The girls make their beds before school and this particular morning N. made sure Mommy Monkey and B were comfy and snug before she left.

Over the weekend E. got into a bit of trouble trying to push her limits. Apparently she was feeling remorseful because I found this note from her.

(the letters in the thought balloon represent all of our names)
Man, I sure miss those girls while they're in school.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten

I am happy to report that Tropical Storm Fay bypassed my area and we had only to endure a very rainy day. Henceforth, I am able to share with you the girls first day of kindergarten (minus N. since she was sick).

Here they are in front of their classroom in their uniforms. N. was very disappointed that she couldn't go and told her teacher she was so excited to "enter kindergarten". When we picked E. and A. up that afternoon she proceeded to tell N. how much more fun they had than her. Nice.

E. and A. in their assigned seat. I am so happy that all three are in the same class! Many of you may know that it has been my plan to homeschool my girls, and for that reason it was very difficult for me to deal with them being in public school this year. It is still my intent to begin homeschooling next year, but after meeting their teacher I felt enormously relieved about them being there this year. They had a great first day and N. is so excited about starting tomorrow. I wish all of you out there with school-age children, homeschooled, public schooled, or private schooled, a wonderful year!

I would love to hear about some of your schooling choices/issues/wishes/experiences!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Zeke Plays Dress-Up

Grandma C. bought my girls some lovely silky scarves for their birthdays. These scarves unleashed a hidden desire deep within Zeke's bosom (do dogs have bosoms?) to be dressed like a Russian grandma. Think I jest? Here is photographic evidence. Shortly after this he made us all some Borscht and read some Bulgakov. He always has had great taste in fiction.

August Birthdaypalooza

All three girls have birthdays in August so we do a little thing I like to call the consolidated birthday party. This year they wanted an under the sea party. I had real starfish (carcasses) for the partygoers to take with them and fun little sea creature crafts planned. Unfortunately, 2 out of 3 girls had fevers and it ended up just being our family, my grandma, mother-in-law and a brief visit from my friend and her grandson (Hi Julie!). There were still presents and cake so the girls were still happy. So without further ado I present to you pictures from the birthday and preparation of the cake. Marvel in its splendor (possible overstatement there but my grandma (bakery dept. veteran) said the writing looked nice).

Part One: The Cake

Mmmm....chocolicious. I made this cake into a 4-layer cake filled with raspberry sauce. If you have never had the pleasure of straining a pot of raspberry sauce through a fine mesh sieve, you are missing out my friend. Good times. I have to tell you, in all honesty, that I could have drank this stuff from a mug.

I made a swiss buttercream icing that looked pretty but tasted, well, like butter. I was having lighting issues so it may not be apparent that the icing was light blue. The shells are candies I made from Wilton candy disks and mold I picked up from Michaels. Making those was actually more fun that I anticipated. My favorite part of the cake itself was the icing bubbles coming up from the Swedish fish.

Part Two: The Party

We found the now-traditional birthday hats at Disney a few years ago. Cute, huh? The girls had a great time opening gifts. They received so many nice things!