Thursday, November 29, 2012

All I want for Christmas...

Is a halfway decent picture of the two of us. Is that really so hard??  (I love how I look the same in all the pics and only Aron changes.  Sigh.  That guy.  **shakes fist in air**)
So, uh, are you gonna take the picture?

Did you already take it?

Better get my smile on.

Ooo...that wasn't a good face.

Look, I gots my fat suit on.

Wooo-ee that was fat.

Gah! No I'm not!

Ok, I'm serious this time.

This *is* my smiling face.

What do you mean "I don't act like I like standing by you?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bowl me over

We went bowling last weekend with Myles and Chase.  They enjoyed it so much that they want to go again.  And again.  And again. 

I think I shouldn't have opened that can of worms.

Someone wouldn't sit his bottom down long enough to take a picture.  Too much excitement.
Aron tried to help them pick out balls to throw.








Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Part of where I'm going, is knowing where I'm coming from

Warning:  Parts of this post will be braggy about the awesomeness that is Ella.  If you don't want to read it, wait a few days and another post will be up)
Dear Ella,
You are almost 9 (9!!).  I've gotta admit...I'm pretty darn stoked about what you've become despite having me as a parent.  Sometimes I look at the other mommies and think "Yeah, this one's mine.  Good luck with yours!"  *snicker, snicker*  Just kidding, I don't really think that!  (psst!  yes, I do)
You have such a kind and beautiful spirit that amazes me.  There is a patience with Luke that is astounding (as his mother, I can acknowledge that your patience with him is truly remarkable).  You only put him in a headlock and punch him sometimes which I consider to be a win.  See also below.

  You always have the correct answer when I ask you if it's better to be pretty on the inside or on the outside.  You're that kid that stuffs 3 pairs of gloves in your pockets when you leave the house so you can distribute them to friends who forgot them at recess.  When doing your dog walking, you always have a treat or two (or thirty) for the 4-legged friend.

You both work hard and play hard (see also below).  You have at least 4 books that you're reading at any given time (one from the school library, the classroom library, your school book club, and one from my library).  I tried to ask you once if you wanted me to stop bringing you one from my library but you looked at me like I was an alien.  I assumed that was a no.  Your teacher gives you harder math than the other kids in your class to challenge you but you thwart her attempts at a challenge by whizzing thru the homework sheets she gives you in two seconds flat.  You're in a book club at school for advanced readers because you really, really like to read.  The book club makes you delve into the pieces of the book like character development, plot development, and new words.  This fall, you really enjoyed soccer and gave a great effort despite the fact that you really, really run like a girl.    Your cheeks were always flushed with effort and you really wanted to win (Team Orange Crush rules!!) which was a first for you in athletics.

You recently heard the news that Santa is *cough cough* less than real.  You took it fairly well (some crying but not outright bawling) and I introduced you to the idea of a bubble bath and candles while eating ice cream straight from the carton in the bathtub.  (Yes, Jeanne, it was Graeter's mint chocolate chip)  Who says I can't teach adequate coping skills?
You're not afraid of anything and love to try new things (given that you feel like you have enough information to consider the probability of injury, enjoyment, and reward).  You've always been my tough-as-nails kid though I think most people would not give you credit for it because you can be quiet and observant rather than loud and impulsive.  People expect you to be shy and timid but that could not be any less what you are. 
Recently, you've been saving your own money by working hard to buy something.  This is the first thing you've ever really worked toward.  I can't wait to watch you achieve your goal.
In short, you're pretty damn awesome.
Your Mom
(and let the hashtags roll...
#superstar #kick ass #my kid #genius #athletics #academia #no Santa #nature vs nurture #killer instinct #inner beauty #go ella)

Monday, November 12, 2012

End of soccer season 2012

I missed the kids' last soccer game this year because I was working.  I relied on Aron to get some pictures so here they are.

Book Review

This is my first reading of a Gillian Flynn novel.  She has several books out with her current read being a popular book club selection (Gone Girl).  Sharp Objects is about a newspaper reporter from Chicago that goes back to her small hometown to investigate a series of murders.  Let's just say she's not the most sane of narrators and neither is the dysfunctional family you meet along the way.  Think the Waltons meet Dexter.  Recommended for those want to jerk themselves awake, touch their teeth, and smell your drink to make sure someone didn't slip you a mickey.  (Read the book, you'll get it)
 Fictional portrayal of the deportation of the Lithuanian people during the Stalin/WWII era.  Much has been talked about with what happened to the Jews (I also read the Diary of Anne Frank--really good, btw) but they were only part of the heinous actions of that time period.  Insane that any of that could happen in this world.  See also the insanity of this.
 It's a good book and I would recommend it.  Don't pay attention to the fact that it's a young adult book.  Recommended for those who want to expand their Stalin knowledge in an Anne Frank kind of way.

Hey, look!  It's the chick from The Office!  Here's the chronicle of her life so far.  I would say it's not as entertaining as Tina Fey's book, Bossypants, but better than Judge Judy's Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever.  I enjoyed the perspective she provided as an Indian American growing up around the same time period I did.  It reinforced to me that the more people are different, the more they are the same.  Recommended for those who want to read another autobiography of someone then think "I could write this stuff about my youth but then who would read it besides my mom?"
I gotta admit. I kinda skimmed this one and only read the parts I found interesting. In a nutshell, there's a lot to be learned from stiffs but beware that there is an unglamorous side to having research done on you. Like the part where they use a table saw to slice your head from your neck then gently peel your face skin away from the rest of your lump to get at the meat of your noggin . You also might have your soulless shell tossed into materials like compost to see how fast you decay when exposed to certain types of bugs and what not.  Recommended for those who think CSI crime scenes are for wusses. 
This book was really bad.  It tried too hard and felt like a lame combination of a better written book, Mortified, and those horrible Sex and the City movies (you know, the one where they painfully went to Abu Dhabi, rode camels, and complained about Big yet again). I didn't bother to finish it so I would recommend it for no one but my neighbor who can't remember my name.

This one is next up, I think.  It's not my normal style but let's see how it goes.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Easiest pumpkin bread ever

One can of pumpkin, one can of cake mix

Pour bag of cake mix into a mixing bowl.

Add a can of pumpkin.

Grab a container of cinnamon

Add a pinch

Mix it all together

Put it in a loaf pan coated with cooking spray

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
Seriously, it's so simple it makes me tear up a little.  I did include pictures for those who are culinarily (is that a word I just made up?) challenged.  Here's the recipe in a nutshell:

1 box of white or yellow cake mix (15 oz)
1 can of pumpkin (15 oz)
1 pinch of cinnamon

Pour the cake mix in a bowl.  Pour the pumpkin on top of it.  Pinch some cinnamon in there.  Mix them.  Pour in a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

If you want to make it even easier, buy a spice cake mix and omit the cinnamon.  You could probably also make muffins out of it.

Easy peasy.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Rite of Passage

It's never any fun waiting for your little brother to be done when you've gotta go really bad.

Hurrying to the field.

The Shoe!

View from our seats.


Look closely--She indicates both number 1 and number 2.

The beautiful Shoe.
I've been going to OSU football games for quite a few years now.  Like, I've been going so long, I actually remember Chris Spielman and Chris Carter playing in a Buckeye uniform.  I'm very excited that we recently got to share this experience with the kids.  It's probably safe to say that Luke enjoyed the food the most.  Ella paid about as much attention to the game as I did at that age.  Both kids thought it was great that Poppy was also at the game with Uncle Jeff.  Poppy and Jeff were easily talked into going out for dinner afterward.  Poppy lost a bet with me so he had to pick up the tab for all of us at dinner.  You shouldn't have bet against me Dad!!