"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, May 31, 2013

Brace Yourselves

It's late.  I probably should just go to bed because my opinion filter has been turned off, and goodness only knows what will come flying off my fingertips now!

As I've said before, it's my blog, so you need to expect to get my opinion from time to time!

Tonights topic?  A Cheerios ad.




Apparently the above ad has caused quite the uproar in cyber-world.  The hate spewed out in comments to this ad reached such a level that Cheerios blocked comments on the video on YouTube.  Why all the fuss?  Well, because the commercial depicts an interracial family.

What the heck!

What year is this?

I know I shouldn't be surprised, I really shouldn't.  I am well aware that racism is alive in well in this country, but I get lulled into believing "it's not as bad as...."  And then people get their undies all in a bundle about a commercial showing a black man and a white woman as husband and wife.

If this 30 second commercial garners this much attention and hate, I can only imagine what goes through some people's minds when they see our family!  GET OVER IT PEOPLE!

As a side note, I showed this commercial to my 15 year old daughter, and told her that this ad has caused hateful reactions from some people.  Then, I asked her to guess why people would react that way, without giving her any clues.  She couldn't figure it out.  She saw NOTHING in the ad to cause anyone to think about anything except Cheerios and what a cute little girl that is.  I had to TELL her what caused some people to spew hate over this add.  How sad is that, to have to tell your child, "Some people will hate families like that.  Some people will hate families like ours."

And my last comment - I love that the commercial ends with the word LOVE!

That is all.

I've Survived!

I feel badly about neglecting my blog since Tuesday, but honestly, I've been spending all my free time scrounging up things to sell at our garage sale.  Even today, while the sale was going on, I would make trips into the house to find more stuff to get rid of.  It becomes kind of like a game - let's see how mush stuff we can sell, and let's see who will buy it.

God gave us a gloriously sunny day (after a week of rain), so it was thoroughly enjoyable to sit outside all day and watch our stuff disappear.  Now I hope more of it disappears tomorrow!

We had lots of little girl clothes...go figure.

We enticed the kids to give away some of their toys.  Not nearly as many as we would like them to get rid of, but it's a start.

And then there was that one scraggly son who we put in the free basket...
 And why is my son brushing his teeth while standing in our driveway during the middle of a garage sale???!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

Obviously, having a garage sale and ending the school year all in the same week is a really bad idea.  I'm not sure who would ever try to do such a thing.

Oh, wait....

Scratch that.

I'm so glad that we are trying to finish up school and get ready for a garage sale this week.  Just think of all the opportunities I'll have for sorting through bags and bags of clothes while keeping kids on task and grading assignments!  No doubt, these next two days will be some of the best of my life!!

***I'm on a negativity fast.  It ain't easy, but I'm trying!!***

Anyone who wants to take loads and loads of clothes off our hands is welcome to stop by on Friday or Saturday.  Heck, stop by tomorrow if you want.  I'll let you dig through the bags!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Proving Zoe Right


As an addendum to my previous post, apparently Zoe and Grandma do practice their downward dog together.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Break With Reality

Co-op ended yesterday, and Zoe was sent home with this...





A little book of stories about Zoe's life....kind of....

Here is Zoe's retelling of our Christmas -

Zoe's Christmas
I woke up and opened my gifts.  We ate monkey bottoms for breakfast.  The monkeys ran for the door, but we were fast.  It was too late.

We then went to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  I had new yoga pants, so Grandma and I worked on our downward dog.

From there we went to church.  The little kids and I sang songs.  We sang "Jingle Bells" and "Eye of the Tiger."

Our evening ended with hotdogs, chips, pop and Pepto Bismol.  The DVD player made a humming sound as we watched the movie Boys Over Flowers. We all had a flowers in our hair.

All very good and fine, except we don't eat monkey bottoms, or chase monkey around our house.  Zoe has never done yoga a day in her life.  We did NOT eat hot dogs and chips and Pepto Bismol on Christmas, and we had no flowers in our hair!

Here's her "retelling" of our vacation to Alabama

Zoe Goes To Jail 

 We went to Alabama for a family vacation.  Along the way, we stopped at a shark and octopus store.  I took a shell bottle to show my brother Marcus.  The store called the police and they put me in jail for 21 days! 

My family went boogie boarding and out to eat.  They felt bad for me, but I was stuck in jail until the police saw it was all a big mistake.  

My family fed me cheese pizza and Sprite.  They said they missed me, and went bowling for 99 hours.  Boy, were we tired!

Ummmm, I'm not even going to try to explain this one!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How Can This Be?

I'm allergic to a city. I kid you not!  I have spring allergies. They have hardly been noticeable this year, until yesterday. Everything was fine at home, but then I had to drive Molly to Minneapolis. As I was driving through Bloomington, my eyes suddenly started itching severely. That was unique, but even more so because when I got to Minneapolis I was fine again. On the way home the same thing happened.  I had to go up to Bloomington again last night and started having an allergic reaction while there.

Now, as in right now,  I'm sitting at Molly's flute teacher's house, in Bloomington, and trying not to scratch my eyes out. Honestly, I think I'm allergic to Bloomington!

I wonder how they test for that?!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Littles Go To The Park

I am the youngest of four children.  Despite an age gap of only five years between me and my oldest sibling, my parents separated us into "the big kids" and the "little kids."  My two older sisters were the big kids, and my brother and I were the little kids.  It got to be rather humorous when I was a teenager and still referred to as the little kid, but that is beside the point.

Now that we have kids, we do the same thing.  The first five kids are the big kids and the last three are the littles.  Granted there is a 13 year gap from youngest to oldest, and a four year gap between the big kids and little kids.

Anyway, Chris brought the littles to the park tonight, and he also brought his camera.  Here are the results....






Saturday, May 18, 2013

Random Saturday Pictures

Siren, WI - Main Street


 Doesn't every eight year old drink Miller Lite?
 (Calm down, people, she didn't really drink it)

The lakes too cold to catch anything, but it's fun to cast anyway.




Random days are the best!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's a Mystery!


7:00 PM

7:00 AM (the following morning)

How does this happen?

While all the stories I've read have little elves or magical critters who appear at night and do work for you while you sleep, apparently my little magical critters make more work for me.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How Did This Happen?

One day they start kindergarten, and the next thing you know they're graduating from college!  People told me it would be like this. "Oh, the time goes by so fast," they'd say.  I'd nod in agreement, but not really realize what they were telling me.

So, in the blink of an eye, Evan went from this...

To this....


Well, the day has arrived.  My firstborn little bundle of joy, is now a college graduate.  Eleven years of homeschool, two years at a community college, and two years at the University of Minnesota, and presto!  College graduate.  And magna cum laude, at that.

Congratulations, Evan!  We couldn't be prouder of you!



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dear Window Manufacturer,

Requiring the removal of window hardware semi-annually for the taking on and taking off of screens is, as we would say in engineering school, poor design.  Please keep this in mind in all future window designs.

Sincerely,
Barb

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  I love you tons and tons and tons!

Aren't they cute?!



Saturday, May 11, 2013

We Told You Not To Do That

Chris:  "Why is your finger in the water, Molly?"
Molly: "I got a burnnnn!"
Chris:  "How did you get a burn?"
Molly: "I was playing with fire."

Cabin Opening

We were beginning to think that it was never going to happen, and we even had a few snow flurries today, but we have indeed officially opened the cabin!

The spring leaves have been raked...and why is that boy wearing shorts when it is only 45 degrees??



The windows have been washed and had their screens put on...

The boat lift and dock have been put in....after lengthy consultation...

And a poem was written about a stick on the shore.
We are officially ready for summer to arrive (and stay!).  Hoping the forecast for 90 degrees on Tuesday is accurate!!




Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Little Co-op Play

Aidan, Emily, and their classmates at our co-op have been working all semester on a play, A Celebration of hans Christian Andersen.  They performed it today at co-op, and I (not so skillfully) video recorded most of it.  I somehow managed to cut off the end, and I had to break it up into three parts to make the folks at YouTube happy.

Despite these disappointments, I now present to you the 56th Street Players performing A Celebration of hans Christian Andersen by Kim Williamson....in three parts....

(Aidan & Emily make their appearance in Part 2)


Volunteers?

So, I'm sitting here waiting for some videos to be uploaded to YouTube.  Just derping around while iMovie takes its own sweet time.  I'm noticing that the banner picture on my blog is several years old.  We don't look like that anymore!

I need someone to volunteer to take a really nice picture of our whole family....for free....

Any takers???

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I've Succumbed

I have resisted, and resisted, and resisted, but the pull was just to strong.  I signed up with Pinterest!

Don't judge!

The sad truth is, I needed a place to store some really good recipes that I've found.  A place that I will be able to find them again quickly when I need them.

Viola!  Pinterest.

I will not be spending all my free time surfing around looking at things.  I will NOT!

As a side note, I had a hard tome coming up with a username. Apparently lots of moms with eight kids have enough free time to hang out on Pinterest, or maybe they're all just storing recipes there!

This Stuff Fascinates Me

It is well-known that moving to the United States can be detrimental to one’s health in general — an effect mainly attributed to a Western diet. But in the narrower realm of allergy and asthma, the risk has been less clear, he says.   -  Doug Brugge, Science News 5/18/2013

It's a great time to be alive and studying the human body! Looking for an interesting read?  Here's an article for you.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One More Career Choice

Not sure why the topic of future careers keeps coming up on my mind, but it does....frequently.

The latest is a nutritionist or food scientist or maybe a neuroscientist.  I have become extremely fascinated with all the new discoveries and breakthroughs in the understanding of nutrition and its effects on our body.  It seems like I can't read the news for a week without some new discovery or breakthrough being reported.  Apparently the old adage, "You are what you eat," is more true than anyone ever realized!

So, if that royalty thing doesn't work out, and if there is no need for essayists or all-purpose public figures, I think I shall become a nutritionist.  Actually, maybe I could be a nutritionist AND an all-purpose public figure.  I'm actually hoping to begin my career as an all-purpose public figure (we better start abbreviating this - APPF) VERY soon.....as soon as I figure out exactly what one does as an APPF.

It's Definitely Spring

I think I can definitively sat that spring has arrived.  Not only are the temperatures in the 70's, I have also packed away all the winter coats and mittens.  But the most sure sign of spring is....soccer season has started.

After being delayed a week or more by snow and sloppy fields, the season has officially started.  Both Zoe & Raelea are doing soccer this year, which means we have soccer practice/games four nights a week for the next eight weeks. 

Here are my little soccer players after Zoe's practice tonight.

If you're bored and looking for something to do any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, come on over for some fun soccer watching!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

More Tasty Stuff

Here's a recipe for you that you really HAVE to try!!  It is spectacularly tasty and quick and easy to make.  What more could you want?  It came from my all-time favorite recipe magazine Cooking Light, and it was in their 20-minute recipe category.

Chicken Puttanesca with Fettuccine

8 oz. uncooked refrigerated fresh fettuccine
2 tsp. olive oil
4 (6-ounce)skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (although you can substitute shrimp if you'd like)
2 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
1/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped kalamata olives
2 tsp. capers (I use more because I LOVE capers)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 cup (1 oz.) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh basil (optional - but why would anyone want to leave basil out of a recipe?!)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces.  Add chicken to pan.  Cook chicken 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Stir in pasta sauce, olives, capers and pepper; bring to a simmer.  Cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring frequently.  Arrange 1 cup pasta on each of 4 plates; top with 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture.  Sprinkle each serving with cheese.  Garnish with basil, if desired.

There you have it!!  It is SOOOOOOO good!

Friday, May 3, 2013

A New Theory

This global warming theory isn't working for us here in Minnesota this year.  Hard to believe in global warming when it has snowed every day so far in MAY!

Climate change?  Well, the climate has indeed changed.....and not for the better.  Climate change is not giving me good feelings, either!  I'm thinking we need a new theory, and I've come up with it!

Seasonal Shift

Yes, seasonal shift.  Here's how it works: all the seasons shift by about two months.  This would explain the winter weather we're now experiencing, right?  Now for this theory to work, summer will have to extend into November.  That works for me!

Anyone else with me on this one?  I'm voting for seasonal shift!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Boy and His Dog

Actually, it's a husband (acting like a boy) and his dog.

I've Taken Leave of My Senses

For some strange and bizarre reason, we've decided to have a garage sale this spring.  I have a vivid memory of our last garage sale, many years ago, when we declared that we would NEVER hold one again.  Well, apparently NEVER has finally arrived.

What on earth would possess us to gather all of our undesired belongings into our garage and spend two days sitting outside selling them?  We have too much stuff!!!!!  Our kids don't really want to get rid of their excess stuff.  We would like them to part with their belongings that they haven't touched in three years.  In order to make this idea infinitely more palatable to the brood, we have offered to hold a garage sale, and they can keep the proceeds off of all their personal items they sell.  Suddenly, they are highly motivated to get rid of things.  This is a good thing!!

Sounds simple enough, right?

Well, if we're going to go ahead and do this thing, it would only make sense for me to go through the gazillion bins of clothing I have in my storage room and get rid of items which are likely to never be used.  And that is exactly what I am doing with all my free time.  I live a raucous life, I know!

If I am scarce around the blogosphere in the coming weeks, it will be, no doubt, because I am surrounded by bins in my basement.

And if you want to come take away any of our stuff, the sale is May 31 and June 1.