Saturday, February 27, 2010

People are strange

I'm pretty sure the whole idea of this confuses our dog.  She likes to sit and watch. 

(Ignore the clutter, please.  This is what happens when you combine workout gear, craft supplies, and a very disorganized person.)

And doesn't Nate look like a super hero running this fast?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Zach's cake for the Blue and Gold Banquet

This is the cake that Zach built.

This is the campsite, to keep the Scouts warm,
and protect them from elements in case of a storm,

on the cake that Zach built.

This is a pine tree,
so carefully made,
for a Scout to sit near and rest in the shade.

On the campsite, to keep the Scouts warm,
and protect them from elements in case of a storm,

on the cake that Zach built.

This is a sleeping bag, rolled and ready for slumber,
Inside the cozy tent, for the Scouts to sleep under,

near the pine tree, so carefully made,
for a Scout to sit near and rest in the shade,

on the campsite, to keep the Scouts warm,
and protect them from elements in case of a storm,

on the cake that Zach built.

This is the fire, crackly and hot,
Perfect for hot dogs and providing a warm spot,

not far from the sleeping bag, rolled and ready for slumber,
inside the cozy tent, for the Scouts to sleep under,

near the pine tree, so carefully made,
for a Scout to sit near and rest in the shade,

on the campsite, to keep the Scouts warm,
and protect them from elements in case of a storm,

 on the cake that Zach built.


is Zach.

(Heaven help us.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Have you learned anything new recently?

Um, so I have kinda have this tiny crush on Tyler Florence

What can I say?  The guy can cook.

And it's okay, because Nate has his own little celebrity crush on JLH.

Who's JLH?

Jennifer Love Hewitt, silly!

And I'm totally okay with that because, pretty as she is, she's still the Ghost Whisperer.


And, I can empathize with her:

The poor woman carries a little extra junk in her trunk, just like I do.  But I, at least, have the sense to cover it up when I go to the beach.

(Except for that one time my mother-in-law took a truly AWFUL picture of me in a swimsuit on vacation straddling a sand castle I was making.  She later used it on a scrapbook page just to be mean - and to force me to make my own replacement scrapbook page for her book.  Have I mentioned I'm sooo not a scrapbooker?)

Anyhow, I was watching my man, Tyler, cooking some pasta on his show and he explained the you should always add salt to the water after it boils, because adding it before raises the temperature at which the water boils, and lengthens the time it takes to reach boiling point.


How did I not know this little scientific tidbit before?  I mean, I've been watching the Food Network for quite some time now trying to improve my cooking skills.

Truthfully, it's just not helping.  And it really makes me hungry.

I think that's false advertising.  I may have to sue.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Okay, just pretend you are, even if you're not.

And feel feel to gloat when I'm complaining about the scorching heat here come August.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A visit to the Children's Museum of Phoenix

Because Nate and the kids had yesterday off for Presidents Day, we decided to check out a museum we'd never been to, the Children's Museum of Phoenix.

Once of the first displays we saw was this set of vacuum tubes. There were large pom poms that you could put in a hole and they were immediately sucked up and through the machine and then shot out another area. It was highly entertaining!

Another cool display was a metal covered wall with PVC pipes, vacuum hoses, colanders, and other things attached to it with magnets that the kids (and adults, of course!) could move around and then drop golf balls through. The kids couldn't get enough of this thing.

I wouldn't mind putting one of these in my house somewhere, it was that much fun.

 The museum has tons of cool art, like this frog made out of kitchen utensils.

These cars are made out of plastic pipes and rollerskate wheels. There was a huge track the kids could race them on.

 There were tricycles the kids could ride through a pretend carwash, complete with air blowing at the end.

 In one area there were several shoes that were once worn by some of the Phoenix Suns. This is Amar'e Stoudemire's size 17 shoe.

I'm sure we'll be heading back soon, especially since I discovered the museum has Target Free First Friday nights, where you can visit the museum free of charge on the first Friday night of each month from 6:00 - 10:00 pm.

Cool, huh?!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's one of the valentines I ended up making for my kids to take to school this year. I waited until the very last minute as usual, because that's how I roll. I planned on starting earlier, but several weeks ago, an email was sent out to the parents stating that 'due to the current economic situation' (boy, isn't that getting old?) there would not be a Valentine's Day party held in the classrooms this year.

I almost wept.


While I'm sure there were some parents who jumped for joy at this news, Valentine's Day really is one of my favorite holidays and the idea of my kids not being able to pass out valentines at school just about broke my heart. I'm already lamenting the fact that soon my boys will be too old to willingly share valentines with their classmates.

To add insult to injury, I noticed the grocery store had drastically reduced the number of conversation hearts available this year, (where's the Necco brand?!) and those they did carry were completely FRUIT FLAVORED.

As IF!

Everyone knows that conversation hearts are supposed to be kind of chalky and taste like Pepto Bismol and cloves and other weird flavors you wouldn't purposefully eat any other time of year.

I was outraged.

And when I tried to express this frustration to my husband, thinking he'd understand, he just didn't get it.

Because he hates conversation hearts.


And I tried to point out that it didn't matter whether or not you like to eat conversation hearts, you just need to have the option. In fact, you can put them in a candy dish for decoration and then toss them in the trash after the holiday, for all I care, but they need to be there. They've been the iconic symbol of Valentine's Day for the last 100 years, for crying out loud!

I mean, I personally don't love Peeps, but I eat a couple on Easter anyhow, because that's what you do. And if they suddenly stopped making them, I'd be sad because they'd been a traditional part of my Easter since childhood.


(Nate probably thought I'd lost it for getting so worked up over something so trivial, but we've been married almost 14 years now, so he's learned it's best to just shut his mouth and nod his head and pretend to agree with me when I get that crazed look in my eyes...)

The lack of appropriate candy coupled with the valentine ban left me in a foul mood.

But then, a light appeared at the end of my gloomy tunnel. One of my son's teachers sent home a note stating that it would be okay to bring valentines in her class, and then a second note followed with the same message from my other son's teacher.


I grabbed my Big Shot and some stacks of card stock and churned out 60 of these little Build-a-Bears, then went to work stamping and glittering and tying ribbons.
And a holiday treat wouldn't be complete without my trusty printed and stamped Avery labels. (Nate ended up running to Wal-mart at 11:30 at night to pick some up for me for this project, sweetheart that he is. I so need to buy those things in bulk at Costco, don't I?)
These save us so much time and effort. Here's how I used them last year, and the year before.

And each valentine had a Blow Pop attached, which my son assured me was the best lollipop choice available. So, good call on my part.

The Valentines were deemed a success by my boys, and while no original Sweethearts ended up decorating my home, I discovered a new Valentine's Day tradition - Godiva truffles.


Now, what was all that nonsense about conversation hearts again?

Friday, February 12, 2010

To you, from me, FOR me...

Today I caught part of the Martha Stewart special Valentine's Day show.

I normally don't mind Martha. She's got some great ideas, right?

Like these ridiculously adorable Valentine soaps.

And how cute are these little treat cups?!

So on today's show, she asked some of her guests what were some the best and worst gifts they've ever received or given for Valentine's Day.

And so, imagine my surprise when she later went on to have a segment where she taught a man how to make...

(wait for it, because it's good...)

a "Lingerie Bouquet" for his somewhat mortified looking wife who was sitting on the front row.

Each flower was carefully crafted using a rolled up pair of lace panties from Hanky Panky, an online store whose home page boasts of the ability to 'personalize your thongs'.


Just listening to Martha instruct this poor, fumbling man to "fold the crotch up twice until it reaches the waistband" kind of gave me the willies.

Somewhat like when she had this pole dancing segment on a few weeks ago:


But back to the crummy gift idea.

I don't know about you, but if my husband ever presented me with a dozen pair of lace panties he'd delicately rolled up into flowers and wrapped in tissue like a bouqet, not only would I question his manhood, there's a pretty good chance he'd never get the opportunity to actually see me wearing those panties, or any other for that matter, ever again - if you get what I'm saying.

Lingerie as a gift has never made much sense to me anyway.

Years ago, I was working in the lingerie section of a department store during the Christmas season. At closing time on Christmas Eve, an annoucement was made inviting customers to bring their final purchases to the counter. Rather than encourage the shoppers to leave well enough alone and go home already, this announcement had the opposite effect and seemed to whip many of them into a last minute Christmas buying frenzy. People were practically running around the store grabbing ahold of anything that might possibly be considered a gift.

A few minutes later, another announcement was made about the store preparing to close, yet the shopping blitz continued. A few more notifications (more like desperate pleas at this point) were made informing shoppers that in order for the store's employees to be able to spend the holiday with their families, the registers would soon be shut down and the doors would be locked.

But the store still didn't clear out.

What few realized before that moment was that the normal people had all gone home after the first announcement, and what was left in the ransacked store (besides the terror-strickened employees) was a mob of crazy, desperate, "I'm such a jerk I didn't even bother to think about doing any kind of Christmas shopping until today" kind of people.

(It's frightening to think about, isn't it?)

Fortunately the management of the store stepped up and came down from their corner offices to "help" customers make their final purchases by practically leading them by the arm to the registers and shooing them out the door.

And so, the final transaction I made on that special Christmas Eve was for a deranged, grizzly looking, hick of a man desperately clutching a lacy pair of crimson red thong underwear. This yokel, who seemed quite pleased with himself for finding the perfect gift, (and last minute to boot! Ho ho ho!) had been politely escorted to my register by a distinguished, expensive suit-clad store executive.

It was awkward, to say the least.

And how could anyone not wonder about the "lucky" recipient of that skanky underwear?

Because it's really the thought that counts, right?

Once again, ew.

So, what was the best (or worst!) Valentine's Day gift you've even given or received?