Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Can I Please Have a Do-Over?

My day in bullet format:

  • Woke up at 5 am to the worst storm our house has weathered over the last 10 years. We have had wind before and hail before but not like this. (Please know that I understand there are people out there with much bigger problems than us today this just happens to be my day)

  • While grabbing the kids out of bed I heard a thump. I discovered after looking out the window that an extremely large branch had fallen on my 2 year old car.

  • To make things even better we had no power.

  • Neither did the kids school but it was awards day and they powered though with battery powered audio equipment.

  • The kindergartners did an adorable song about going to first grade. Little Man got a Special Recognition award. We were thrilled for him as he has worked really hard this year.

  • First - Third grade awards were in the gym and I was glad to move from the cafeteria. With all of the parents it got quite stuffy.

  • Munchkin got 6 awards: Music, Art, Reading, Math, Poetry (her poem will be published so if you would like to order a book let me know soon) and Principals list (all A's, all year). Since the power was still out we checked the kids out of school early.

  • This allowed me to take Munchkin to the doctor to check on her ankle that has been hurting since Sunday night when she ran down the sidewalk in flip flops. It appears to be sprained and our doc suggested an ace bandage.

  • After the little piece of good news on the ankle we walked out to the car and my car was screwed. No really! There was a giant screw in the back right tire. I called Firestone and immediately drove my car over to get a patch. 

  • While we waited for the car we decided to get some GiGi's cupcakes. We walked over to the mall and found out that GiGi's no longer has a kiosk during the week. Boo!

  • At least the guy at Auntie Anne's was nice. He split a cup of pretzel bites for the kids and even gave each of them a cup for their icee.

  • Apparently, the tread was too low to patch the tire (there are 30,000 miles on them) so I purchased a new one.

  • Target was next on the list. From the parking lot I called to file a claim on the car. I haven't had to do something like that in 13 years. The last time was when I backed out of my driveway and a huge station wagon plowed into the side of my car. I had been waiting all day for the guy that has our policy to call me back. I finally called again and the receptionist told me who I actually needed to call.

  • The claims person was very helpful and got me all set up with everything I need to get my car fixed.

  • While in Target I checked my schedule on my phone and discovered that every date on my calendar had been erased. I am hoping it is just a sync issue otherwise I could have a bit of trouble keeping my dates straight.

  • I then checked my email and discovered that the Girl Scout Hobby Lobby paint class was at 5pm. Not 6pm. 15 miles away. I discovered this at 4:50pm. We made it by 5:15. Rush hour you know.

  • I am fairly certain at least 15 cicadas kamikazeed themselves on my windshield on the way to Hobby Lobby.

  • The paint class was fun and Munchkin painted a very colorful abstract guitar. I was very frustrated to see a girl grab the purple paint pen before Munchkin could get it. Munchkin had been waiting in line for it so I was pretty ticked. I was extremely tired and made sure to tell the girl to give it to Munchkin when she was done as she had cut in line. Yep, I told off an 8 year old. So proud of myself. I wasn't mean I just made sure she understood it was not ok to cut in line. 

  • She is happy, her mouth is just full of granola bar.
    • Munchkin and I ended the night with a trip to goodwill to pick up a couple of books. She found 2 that she was interested in.
    • Here is a question for you if you made it this far. Those copper bundt pans that you see as decoration, can you bake in those? I saw one at Goodwill for $1. It said 3 1/2 cups on the side but also had the hook for hanging. I didn't buy it as I didn't know if I could actually use it or not. 
    • I am home and will be crashing in my bed very soon.
    • Say a prayer for those hit hardest by all of these crazy storms!

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Harry Potter Dinner

    I have been thinking a lot lately about my kiddos and cooking. I don't remember ever cooking when I was a kid. I remember baking cookies with my mom and remembering that she was a really good cook but not the process of actually learning to cook. When I was in college, living with girlfriends in an apartment I pretty much lived on baked potatoes and canned pineapple.

    The Thanksgiving before Hubs and I got married we attempted a mini thanksgiving at our little house. The turkey cooked for 6 hours and still wasn't cooked through and my apple pie was heaped so high the crumb topping didn't cook like it was supposed to. We put that turkey in the trash and when we came back from our honeymoon it's carcass had been stripped clean and laid out on the patio by a raccoon. At least someone enjoyed it! After we were married I could make a great box of hamburger helper. We ate a lot of rice and cereal.

    My mom and I just talked about this the other day. She said she doesn't think she was a great cook when I was growing up. She made a lot of hamburger helper and convenience foods that we could afford. I remember my sister opening noodles after school and cooking. I had zero desire to do that. I started working at Burger King at 14 so that could have something to do with it.
    I have had the privilege of learning to bake over the last couple of years and I am trying to become a more creative cook. I am getting pretty good at following a recipe and can improvise a bit if I need to. I know there are people out there that think you are only a good cook if you can just go in the kitchen and throw stuff together. Personally, I think that is kind of snobby. I feel very accomplished when I can get an entire meal on the table after following a recipe!
    I may have mentioned before, Munchkin is quite the little foodie. I had a can of chicken noodle soup as an option for dinner one night. She said it was just so bland so we jazzed it up with a little heavy cream and some spices. Then she was quite happy to eat it.

    For Christmas, Uncle Sports Information Director and Aunt Accountant got Munchkin the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook! I had her choose a main dish and a side dish to help me make a couple of weeks ago. She chose Molly's Meatballs with Onion Sauce and Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic. I threw all of the ingredients into a bowl and had her mix them by hand. At first she was a bit leery. She didn't want to touch the raw meat. However, when I reminded her how much she likes to play in the dirt, and that it would wash off she was happy to stick her hands in the bowl. Munchkin even formed the meatballs. All I had to do was cook them on the stovetop. I could get used to that! :)

    We also put together some Butter Beer. We used the recipe over on Prudence Pennywise's site. Out of all the  food in the Harry Potter movies Butter Beer stands out to me but it is not actually a recipe in the book. The kids loved the food but they were not really fans of the Butter Beer. Oh well. At least we tried. I think I will have the kids pick more recipes this summer. Maybe by summers end Munchkin will be able to create an entire meal by herself!

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    {TWD} Butter Pecan Cornmeal Biscuits

    I have a confession to make. I often feed my kids processed, sugar filled cereal or store bought waffles. Pop Tarts even make an appearance on occasion. But not today! Today they were fed homemade biscuits and cantaloupe. They are supposed to be maple but the only syrup on hand was butter pecan. They came together quickly and easily. Of course, I was in too much of a hurry to dig out my pastry blender so I just mixed everything together by hand. That was a first and not nearly as messy as I thought it would be.
    The kids scarfed these down and thought they were delicious. My husband thought they were ok, he liked them but thought they were a bit dry. They were definitely an easy morning treat and will go into the breakfast rotation!

    Thank you to Lindsay from A Little Something...Sweet for choosing this weeks delicious Tuesdays with Dorie Recipe. Make sure to check out how the other bakers did with this recipe this week! :)

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    A few more photos of Cicadas

     I did not think this would be a brood of epic proportions but apparently I was wrong!


     Just starting to emerge
     Just testing out the wings a bit.
     Out of the shell a bit more.

     We had to run in for a few minutes to get school clothes on. By the time we got back the cicada had completely emerged and was hanging off of the husk.
    We didn't see it after school so I am sure it turned dark and had flown off to pursue other options.The lacy wings seem kind of pretty to me.

    Entomology Class

     This morning Munchkin and I jumped out of bed to see if we could see some cicadas molting. I wasn't sure what we would find but her enthusiasm for actually being out of bed to hunt cicadas was contagious.
     This child loves dirt and mud, so I was not surprised that she wanted to hold the cicadas. She was so excited to see the three red dots on the newly hatched cicadas face. She learned about it in PE and can't wait to take a picture in to show her PE teacher.
     We finally found a cicada to watch come out of its hull. Munchkin really wanted to help it get out but I explained that it needed to do it itself because it needed to make its wings strong. She understood and was content to watch.
    Sweet girl! I hope you are always curious and want to learn about new things!

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Attack of the Cicadas

    Every year since we moved to Tennessee we have been marking the summers by the arrival of Cicadas. We used to have 2 silver maples and the sound of the cicadas was something we really had to get used to.

    A few years ago someone said "Oh no! It is the 7 year plague of the cicadas". It didn't really seem like there were that many more than normal. This year is the 13 year brood of cicadas. Anderson Design Group has come up with some merchandise to commemorate the attack of the cicadas. Go check them out, I'll wait...Ok, you are back! :)

    Not only can you get merchandise you can go on Facebook and find a group that tells you how to find the cicadas for eating. If you really want a recipe you can click here.

    Little Man captured one the other day when my neighbors we all out helping us with some bushes. He was intent on seeing it emerge from it's shell however I had to tell him today that it died. :( He wasn't too broken up about it though. We went out to look for some of the other shells.

    After school we went on a hunt in our backyard. There are quite a few shells on our foundation, a few on the play structure and a bunch on the willow tree. The thing that surprised me though was how many were attached to the willow leaves. Every year there are quite a few attached to the underside of our deck but there don't seem to be any under there this year. Munchkin was thrilled to find several holes that she is convinced the cicadas climbed out of. She stuck a stick way down in one to see how far it went. I think it was about 12 inches deep.

    I am wondering if we will have a bunch more over the next few days. I guess we will see. :) Ugh and the mosquitoes are back. *sigh* my poor sweet daughter and my poor husband will be eaten alive by the end of the summer.

    If I can snap some photos of the actual cicadas I will post those too! :)

    Saturday, May 07, 2011

    I heart my New Lens!!

     My neighbor has been digging up worms for the robins on her porch. This morning was a perfect opportunity. Several neighbors came over to pull out three large bushes and found plenty of worms for the baby birds.

    Cute baby birds!

    I love that I can take these photos without having to be on top of the subject! I was on the other end of the porch for these. Next week I will get to practice taking pictures of Little Man's baseball team. :)

    Thursday, May 05, 2011

    New Lens Day 2

     Here is it day 2 with my new lens! Pretty exciting stuff huh? I went out this afternoon and snapped a few shots. I am going to have to practice getting things in focus from that far away. This top one was on manual focus though and manual settings! Yeah me! :) That cute little face peeking over the gutter is really a little pest. He and his brothers are living in the soffit at my neighbors house. Cute little rat with a good PR rep!
     I thought we had squirrels living in our soffit as well but now I am not so sure. I think maybe we have several bird nests resting on top of our gutter guard. This little bird must be hungry!
    Here is mama bird from yesterday actually sitting on the nest. I was trying to sneak up and see if I could get a shot of the babies. Not luck today though.

    Wednesday, May 04, 2011

    New Photos

     These are some of my first photos with my new lens! :)

    Guarding the baby birds
     Mama and Daddy making sure I didn't get too close to the nest.
     Look at that form!

    My Hubby Loves Me!

    I got my Mother's Day gift early so I can take it to Little Mans baseball game Saturday and to the Airshow on Sunday! :) My hubster loves me!

    Tuesday, May 03, 2011

    {TWD} Chocolate Orange Marbled Bundt Cake

    Swirly, chocolaty, orangy, goodness. More! That is the word from my kiddos and my hubs. They simply want more of this cake. It is moist and delicious and chocolate orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations.

    Thank you to Carol of The Bake More for choosing this weeks easy and delicious Tuesdays with Dorie Recipe. Make sure to check out the LYL to see how the other bakers played around with this Basic Marbled Bundt Cake.

    Sunday, May 01, 2011

    Funny Things My Son Says

    Today my little guy is talking up a storm. He loves singing along to songs in the car. He likes playing baseball but does not love it. And, he comes up with funny things to say. We are still working hard on speech. He has a significant delay and it is still quite difficult to understand him. I do want to remember a couple of funny things he says.

    • He calls mushrooms marshmallows. He likes both mushrooms and marshmallows but we keep trying to correct him and he keeps mixing them up.
    • He says he is freezing if it is hot or if the wind is blowing.
    • He still mixes up breakfast, lunch and dinner. He will ask what we are having for dinner in the morning and what we are having for breakfast in the evening. 
    • He all of a sudden has saying "A little help here?"
    • He also has just started saying "DUH!!" to any very obvious statement. I am pretty sure he picked that one up from a girl at school.
    Obviously we have some things to work on but he is getting there. I personally am hoping his speech comes together in the next year. Kindergarten was hard enough for him, not being understood by his classmates. I am hoping for first grade his classmates will understand him. And, I am hoping he will keep coming up with funny things for me to blog about.