"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Friday, January 30, 2009


Maybe Ethiopian White Ninja fighters?

Big Sisters

What fun when big sisters have artistic talent. A quality woefully lacking in Mom.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


they make me smile, I bring to you the Top Secret Drum Corps.  I'm not a drummer, but even I can see that these guys are amazing. It is well worth the time to watch and admire what discipline and dedication can do musically.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last Recipe

Since I assume you all know how to make steak, the Chili recipe will be the last one for this week. This one's especially for Tami :) it's from the Lion's Club Cookbook. You may have to cut it in half if you don't have a large family, although it freezes great.

Best Ever Crock Pot Chili (Yes, that's really what it's called)
2 lb. ground beef
2 medium onions
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 Tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cans tomato soup
1 can diced tomatoes (I use the seasoned kind)
2 cans dark red kidney beans
2 cans chili beans (spicy)
1 cup tomato sauce

Brown ground beef and onions. Drain well. Mix all ingredients together in crock and simmer on high for 5 hours or so.

This recipe is for a 5 quart crock pot. If yours is smaller you will have to halve the recipe.

Family Friendly Recipes

My dear friend Jean has requested recipes with "fewer ingredients", so now is the time to post the recipes for Cheesy Noodle Casserole and Chicken, potatoes, carrots with onion soup mix. These are definitely NOT gourmet, but oh, so pratical.

Cheesy Noodle Casserole
Egg noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 pound American cheese

Cook up some egg noodles - however many you want. I usually use about 2/3 of a bag. In a 2-qt. casserole dish combine soup with one soup can of water. Cut up ham and cheese in bite sized pieces. Place in casserole with soup. Add noodles after they are done cooking. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour.

It doesn't get much easier than that! Except maybe this -

Chicken, potatoes, carrots with onion soup mix
Chicken breasts
Lipton Onion Soup mix
1/4 cup olive oil

In a 9X13 pan combine the onion soup mix with the olive oil. Cut up chicken and potatoes into bite-sized pieces, add baby carrots. Quantities are up to you. If I'm really filling up the pan (which I usually do for our family as this is one of the kids favorite meals) I'll use two packets of onion soup mix and about 1/2 cup oil. Stir to coat chicken and vegetables. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

Good To Know

That the police here respond quickly to a 911 call. How might I know that, you ask? Well, apparently one of my children, Who-Will-Remain-Nameless (WWRN), dialed 9-1-1 by accident. I casually glanced out my window after lunch and noticed a police car stopped at the bottom of our driveway. My first reaction was to ask the kids, "Is the dog inside?" When the dog was found to be in the house, my child, WWRN, came and asked me, "If I dialed 9-1-1-7 would that count as a 911 call?"

"Um, yes, it would."

Well, thankfully, the nice officer was reasonably understanding and left after taking my name down. Surprisingly, the officer did not ask why my children weren't in school. I was really surprised that he didn't question that.

Well, now all my children have been lectured in NOT starting any phone dialing with 9-1-1. Hopefully, this won't happen again anytime soon or the neighbors will start talking:)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Congratulations, Evan!

Another pat on the back for Evan today. A couple weeks ago he submitted an audition CD of his bagpipe playing to MACHE (Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators) to be considered as a student musician for their annual homeschool conference. He received a call today congratulating him on being accepted to perform at their annual conference in April.  Evan will join other student musician (primarily playing the piano or violin) who play prior to the keynote speech on Friday evening.  I've gone to the conference many, many times and have never heard a bagpipe player there, so we are very excited about that.

So all you homeschool families in the Minnesota area, come join us at MACHE to hear Evan play!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tandoori Chicken

Okay, recipe number two comes from my sister, Kathy, the recipe queen!

Tandoori Chicken
1 medium onion
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled & coarsely chopped
2" piece of ginger, peeled & coarsely chopped
3 Tbs. lemon juice
8 oz. plain yogurt
1 Tbs. coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. ground mace
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
6 chicken legs
3 chicken breasts, halved
(I use thighs and/or breasts and I cut up my chicken in to serving size pieces)

Make the marinade first. Put the chopped onions, garlic, ginger and lemon juice in an electric blender and blend to a smooth paste, about 1 minute on high speed. Place this in a bowl large enough to accommodate the chicken. Add the yogurt, coriander, cumin, tumeric, garam masala, mace, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne. Mix thoroughly.
Skin chicken legs and breasts. With a sharp knife, make 3 diagonal slashes on each breast section going halfway down tot he bone. With the point of a sharp knife, make 4 or 5 jabs on each drumstick. Make 2 diagonal slashes on each thigh.

Put chicken in the marinade and rub the marinade into the slashes with your finger. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn 4 or 5 times while chicken is marinating.
Grill 7 or 8 minutes on each side then raise grill and grill 15-20 minutes on each side. Baste with marinade while you cook.

I usually serve with couscous.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Spicy Peanut Chicken

I'm going to have to enter the recipes one by one as I have time, so tonight I will start with the Spicy Peanut Chicken (which came from Cooking Light - my all time favorite cooking magazine). It's GREAT, but as the name says, a little spicy. Chris, Nina & I loved it. The other kids ate it because they had to to get dessert - we don't do options when it comes to meals around here. You eat what's served or you don't eat. Amazingly, there are very few things that the kids won't eat. They don't always like what their eating, but they do eat it.

Spicy Peanut Chicken
1 Tbs. peanut oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 1/2 Tbs. minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
3 cups chopped plum tomatoes (about 6 tomatoes)
1 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
8 cups rice (we used rice noodles and really, really liked that!)
3/4 cup Greek-style yogurt (we skipped this because Chris doesn't do yogurt)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring frequently. Stir in peanut butter and next 5 ingredients (through tomato paste); cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve chicken mixture over rice; top each serving with yogurt. Yield:12 servings (340 calories, fat - sat. 1.6 g, mono 3.1 g, poly 2.2 g)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What's For Dinner?

Well, if you are like me (once again, not something you should readily admit), you have a hard time figuring out what to make for dinner from week to week. Wouldn't it be nice to have some new dinner ideas every now and again? So, here, on The Zoo, I am starting a new blog item called What's For Dinner? You will find it on the left of the page in place of Mouse Count (since the little mice haven't been too terribly active lately - I think we poisoned most of them).

Anyway, back to What's For Dinner? - there I will post my dinner menu for the week, so on those days you just can't think of what to make for dinner, just check out What's For Dinner? for new ideas :) If you want a recipe, just let me know (you can comment on any post) and I will post the recipe. I will write NEW by the recipes that I haven't tried yet - don't request those recipes until I've made them because for all I know they might be really nasty!

Okay, here we go...


I saved $90.67 on groceries this week! Yippee!

Okay, some people want details....

Unfortunately, most of the deals are over :( Let's see, Coborn Delivers (formerly Simon Delivers) offered $44 off an order over $100 in honor of the inauguration of our 44th President (although I seriously doubt they would have done that if McCain had won), then I had a $15 off coupon for Cub (which came in the mail) and another $10 off coupon for Cub (which we got from Holiday gas station - I'm not sure why. Cub and Holiday have some sort of special relationship these days. Buy gas save on groceries, buy groceries, save on gas - works for me) and then Cub had turkey breast on sale for $.68/lb and then there were a bunch of other coupons...

You get the picture...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Doesn't He Look Great

Here you have it - Evan in is band uniform. I had to post two pictures. The one so you could see the hat and shoes and the other because it's just a better picture.

FYI, he had a great time at Burns Night and he and Chris even tried (and liked) the haggis.


My kids have informed me that the cute little heart that the mouse left me isn't a heart at all - it's really an image of Mickey Mouse. Instead of leaving me an early Valentine he was leaving me his calling card!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Burns Night

Okay, if you're like me (and I wouldn't admit that if I were you), you have no idea what Burns Night is.  Well, Evan is going to a Burns Night celebration tomorrow.  That should be a clue that is something Scottish. Right you are.  Burns Night is a celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, who most notably wrote the words for Auld Lang Syne and less notably, Scots Wha Hae and To A Louse  and let's not forget Address To A Haggis .  Now you understand why people hold these Burns Night celebrations all over the world!

Okay, this isn't any ordinary party.  There is a certain order of events that is maintained at Burns Nights world over.  Here is how it works -

Welcome speech
Selkirk Grace which goes like this 
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit

Piping in the haggis
Address to the haggis
Toast to the haggis
The meal
The drink
The immortal memory of Robert Burns, I think
Second Entertainment
Toast to the Lassies
Final Entertainment
Reply to the Toast to the Lassies also known as the toast to the laddies
Vote of thanks
Auld Lang Syne

There you have it!  Now you can see that this is no ordinary party.  You can also see that those Scots really like their haggis.  I figure after tomorrow night Evan will be 100% Scottish.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Morning At Our House

So That's Where They Were Staying

I ventured into the storage room today to get out a bin of clothes  (have I mentioned that I have something like 20 bins of clothes in there, of sizes that no one fits into right at the moment).  As I was rummaging through this particular bin of clothing I noticed little presents left by our furry boarders.  It became abundantly clear that our little mouse friends had spent quite a bit of time in this bin of clothes.  The lid was not on it tightly and apparently they had moved in.  Thankfully, they had since moved out, but not without leaving us a little token of their appreciation.

I kid you not, they really did eat a heart shape hole in these jeans! I was a little miffed at my furry friends for ruining a pair of jeans, but I could help but smile!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hank the Cow Dog

This is a post for all my friends with young kids. You really HAVE to listen to Hank the Cow Dog - not listen to him like he's a talking dog or something, I mean listen to the Hank the Cow Dog books on tape, err, I mean CD. We love them! They are books written by a man who was a rancher in Texas - right there, that should make you want to listen to them - and he has a great sense of humor, particularly if you are a dog owner.

Now you can just have your kids read the books, but they are, oh, so much funnier if you listen to the CDs. We just check them out from our library when we have long car trips to take.

Anyway, I thought I would pass on this little nugget to you all :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have A Dream

Every year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day I read MLK's I Have A Dream speech to my kids and every year I can't make it through with crying.  Some things we need to hear over and over again and, I believe, this is one of them.  So today, I share with you the text of that speech.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

So, did YOU make it through that without crying?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Just Gotta Say Something

Sometimes, I just feel like I have to say something. Now is one of those times. I spoke to my mom today. She's in Alabama, enjoying their winter get-away. During the course of the conversation she told me that in Alabama tomorrow is not just considered Martin Luther King Day, it is also Robert E. Lee Day. Sure enough, I researched it and it is so. Now this bothers me some, but from my research I found out that Lee's birthday is indeed January 19th and some states celebrate both events on the same day. Personally, I find that somewhat offensive.

Now before you think that I am being overly sensitive, I need to mention something else to you. For my entire life, everywhere I've been, Presidents' Day, which is coming up in February, has been a day set aside to honor Presidents Washington and Lincoln. Washington's birthday is February 22 and Lincoln's is Feb. 12. You can imagine my shock a few years ago when I was in Alabama in February and discovered the Presidents' Day there is set aside to celebrate Presidents Washington and Jefferson.  What?  I almost fell over when I read that.  If that doesn't reek of racism, I don't know what does!  Now, I have nothing against Thomas Jefferson, but why the omission of Lincoln and the substitution of Jefferson (who by the way has a birthday in APRIL)?

Although I have strong opinions on most things, I do pretty well tolerating those with different beliefs, but that tolerance comes to a screeching halt when dealing with racism.  I won't tolerate it.  I cannot tolerate it.  For the sake of my children, I cannot tolerate it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Warmer Thoughts

Oh, yippee! It's -24 this morning. So, I think I need some more warm thoughts for the day, not to mention an abundance of warm tea, a blanket and a cornbag...
These warm thoughts come to me from January 2007 - the last time I physically went to my happy place.  Just 47 more days and we'll be there again!  

Just to show you how bad we all want to be warm, my kids have already started packing for our trip which is over six weeks away!  It is the topic of conversation about 60% of the day around here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Warm Thoughts

-22 here - nope not complaining, just thinking warm thoughts/memories of warmer times....

Green trees/grass and running/liquid water - two things I miss this time of year!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why Is This Boy Smiling?

Oh, yeah, it's because he's wearing a kilt. As you can see, Evan got part of his uniform tonight. He's still missing his shirt, jacket, kilt hose, and ghillie brogues, but that doesn't stop him from running around in this get-up.

My Happy Place

The temp. was -14 this morning and since I've vowed not to complain about the weather here I am now going to my happy place....

Actually, I'm not really going to my happy place for another 49 days, but until then I will hang out there in my thoughts...


My dear husband informed me that he is suffering from an illness that afflicts him every four years.  Concerned, but not overly so because he sure seemed healthy to me, I asked him what that might be.  President-elect envy, he informed me!

You see, not many people know this, but my dear husband has always wanted to be the President of the United States.  He especially likes the President elect phase where you get to appoint your cabinet.  Now that he is actually old enough to be the President, I'm a little concerned that one day he will come home and tell me he is starting his campaign.  I, on the other hand, have absolutely NO interest in being First Lady (well, maybe a little bit of interest), but I have NO interest in having my husband be President.

Chris has always wanted to be in the Navy on a submarine, too, but that's a whole 'nother story...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well, That Was Depressing

I just finished reading Cold Mountain.  Jen, you did not tell me it was a depressing book!  Not that I didn't enjoy it, I did.  It just was pretty sad and dark and depressing throughout and then the ending, well, I can't talk about the ending in case some of you readers haven't read it yet.

So, now I've decided to read Cry, the Beloved Country.  Hey, as long as I'm in the depressing book mode, I might as well keep at it.

Wedding Rings

Here's my conversation with Raelea tonight.

Raelea: Mom, where who gave you your ring?
Mom: Daddy.
Raelea: Did he make it or buy it?
Mom: He bought it.
Raelea: Did he get it at Target?
Mom: No.
Raelea: JCPenney?
Mom: No.

Apparently, she thinks everything we own comes from Target or JCPenney, which would be pretty accurate.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

10 Great Things About Minnesota In January

I promised my friend Crystal in Alaska that I would not complain about the cold here anymore, so I have decided to put my brain to work and come up with ten good things about living in Minnesota in January. It wasn't easy, but here they are...

1. I can drink tea all day (yes, it's primarily to keep my hands warm, but that's beside the point).
2. I can drink hot chocolate whenever I want (and it's good for you too!)
3. I go to bed earlier because that is the only warm place in the house after the thermostat turns down at ten o'clock.
4. I don't have to weed any gardens
5. No mosquitoes.
6. I can snuggle with the kids on the couch to keep warm.
7. I can look forward to going to Alabama and walking on the beach in nice warm weather, with the waves lapping at my feet and the wind blowing through my hair while I look for shells and listen to the seagulls...oh, wait, I think I got sidetracked.
9. I have a son old enough to start up the car to warm it up for me before I go outside.
10.Hmm, I'm having a hard time coming up with one more. Maybe you fellow Minnesotans can help me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We Have a Bigger Problem

My faithful blog readers will remember that we had a death in the house when the new year began. We thought that that took care of our unwanted rodent problem, but, alas, we were mistaken. And so the sage continues...

It was a chilly Friday morning when Chris arose and went to the basement to fix the malfunctioning furnace. Not knowing too much about furnace repair, he decided to do the one thing that he did know how to do, namely change the furnace filter. Said filters are stored in the storage room - a very cold, dark room off of the laundry room. Trips into the storage room in the winter are infrequent and brief. Chris, not being the wimpy type, boldly enters the frigid storage room to retrieve a filter and what should he see scurry across the floor and up the cement block walls, but a little furry rodent.

Upon replacing the filter, he comes and tells Barb as she stumbles out of bed, that we need to move the mouse poison to the storage room. To which she grunts and runs in to take a warm shower to thaw her frozen tootsies.

Ah, if the story would end here, it would be pleasant and a nice read for your little children, but, alas, it continues and grows darker and more disagreeable. And so we continue...

As is Barb's habit, she arose early on Saturday morning to provide sustenance for the family for the coming week. Upon returning from the grocery store, she met Chris at the door and he had this tale to tell.

"You're not going to believe what happened to me this morning!" At this point Barb is thinking, what could have possibly happened to him, it's only 8:00.

Chris continued, "I was going into the storage room to get the wrapping paper..." At the mention of the storage room, Barb's mind wanders to little furry creatures. "and as I was turning around and walking out the door, I saw a little mouse run across the floor and...right under my foot as I was taking a step." **Now is the time for all small children to stop reading*** "And I could feel it's little body squish and break under my foot. I quickly lifted my foot and it jumped up and ran under the shelves. I looked for it, but couldn't find it."

At this point in Chris' recounting of the events of the morning, two things occurred. Crying broke out from a couple of the girls in the room and Aidan shouted, "Oh Yeah, Dad!"

So, as you can see, our little kitchen mouse was not the only rodent uncaged in this house. I have been told in the past that if you are SEEING the mice, you've got more than a couple of them.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Never Too Old

For footy jammies that is.
And it's a good thing, too, because our furnace wasn't working properly last night and it was COLD in here!!!

Survival Lunch

Nina thought of a new way to eat lunch.  It's called Survival Lunch.  Everyone has to get their own food while mom sits there and peacefully surveys the scene.  Hmm, I think I like this idea.  All worked well for the older kids who are quite self-sufficient.  I ended up having to feed the little ones - go figure.  All in all, less work for mom, more work for the kids.  They all liked eating their choice of food, but they didn't care for washing all of their own dishes :)

This might have to be a weekly event now.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Well, since now of my avid blog readers could furnish the answers of our Scottish Attire Quiz, I will supply the answers for you (obviously none of you are into this quite as much as I am - probably because none of you will be forking out all sorts of money for this stuff in the coming month )

Here you go...

and last but not least,

the Sporran is the little purse thing they wear around their waist.

Oh, and I forgot to quiz you on the Sgain Dubh.  That would be the little dagger they wear in their sock.  Actually, that is NOT required in the band uniform, but Evan owns one already, so you can be sure it will be in his sock, err, I mean kilt hose.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


My friend, Caryn noticed a resemblance between Marcus & Mr. T.   I have to say I agree. What do you think?

New Volcano

Today for school we built Olympus Mons. I am sure it is due to erupt really soon, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Scottish Attire Quiz

So, here I am perusing websites which sell Scottish attire. This is what I do in my free time. Actually, I'm trying to figure out what all this stuff is that Evan will be wearing soon. So, I thought I would give you a little quiz.

Can any of you tell me what a Glengarry is? How about a Sporran? Or maybe Ghillie Brougues? I think I have the rest of it figured out, you know, shirt and skirt, um, I mean kilt. Oh, and the socks, they're called kilt hose.

Okay, I actually know what all of those things are (thanks to Evan educating me), but I want to know if any of YOU know what they are.

Off to bed I go where I will dream of tartan...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Marcus Got A Haircut

Okay, he only sported this 'do for about 10 minutes, but he thought it was great. He keeps telling me that he wants to keep it that way next time. We'll see about that...

Now That's Funny!

Okay, my bad mood has now been lifted! You would not believe the hysterical comments some Chinese individual has left on my Year In Pictures posts. Go back and check them out. I am laughing, so hard, I'm crying.

Okay, I'm just going to cut and past them here for you....

I think I need to think in order to fully understand the contents of your description!
Personalized signatures:我爱棋牌

Very good!I like your blog!
Very good content!
Personalized signatures:面对面视频斗地主,面对面视频游戏下载,淮安掼蛋,常州三打一,常州麻将

On this point, I feel you should be described in greater detail, I think it is that we need!

A friend of mine told me to come here can find what I want, I come, did not let me down, I like these things, very meaningful!

Do not know if you also like ancient civilization, I am from China, I like your BLOG, also hope you like our countrys civilization!
Personalized signatures:面对面视频斗地主,面对面视频游戏下载,淮安掼蛋,常州三打一,常州麻将
And now, for my personal favorite...
I love very broad, I like some of the ancient culture, like modern architecture, and now I am fat, I like your BLOG!
A special thank you to my new Chinese friends!


So, what do you blog about when you're having a bad day?  When you're grumpy, the kids are fussy and it's cold outside?  Apparently nothing.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back To Normal

Tomorrow my life goes back to normal.  No more lazy mornings with long breakfasts.  No more taking extended time on interesting topics at school.  Back to keep-watching-the-clock-so-Raelea-doesn't-miss-her class.  Hmm.  In a way it will be nice to be back to the swing of things, but I sure will miss the more relaxed times that we had over the holidays.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Oh, Happy Day!

Yippee! We have insurance! Apparently, Blue Cross Blue Shield was not concerned about Raelea's speech therapy and felt like they could still make money off of us, unlike certain other insurance companies! I take back all the mean things I have said about BCBS in the past - I LOVE them now!

The Year In Pictures - November/December 2008

November 2008

December 2008

And there you have it - 2008.  Ours was wonderful.  I hope yours was too!

The Year In Pictures - October 2008