Monday, April 29, 2013

Book review episode 6

It's that time we go!
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:  I decided to reread this classic.  I remember having it read to my class when I was in the 4th grade.  It is frequently referred to in religious settings and I wanted to give it another go around as an adult.  I enjoyed it.  I definitely felt more capable of interpreting the symbolism within the storyline.  My only issue comes with the proper order of this series.  I always thought this book was the first but there is some controversy about the chronological order vs. the publication order  of the books.  I enjoyed it enough to read the rest...I'll probably go with publication order.
The Alchemist:  I'm not really sure what I thought of this book which is (I think) a first for me.  It's a philosophical book about finding where your treasure lies, finding your way, and the legend you leave in the world.  It was originally written in Portuguese by a Brazilian man then translated to English.  Seems like most people I've talked to about the book either really love it or really don't love it.  I can't say I really know where I lie in those two choices, though.  The book would be an excellent selection for a lit class in college where it would garner some interesting discussion.  I would say it's recommended by me mostly because I thought about the book after I finished reading it which is more than I can say for the majority of Janet Evanovich's books.  Sorry, J (she likes it when I call her J).

The Glass Castle:  What is it like growing up with two mentally ill parents?  Read this book and you'll find out. Some things were surprising, some I could see coming but it was an interesting read.  I read that Jennifer Lawrence recently signed on to play the lead in a movie adaptation.  Strongly recommended.  The end.

The Book of Joe:  Big shot author makes it big by writing a fictional account of what it was like growing up in a small town.  Author then has to return to small town where they all hate him with the fire of a thousand suns.  Somewhat cheesy and cliche in its description of life in a small town (says the person who lives in a small town and grew up outside an even smaller town).  Recommended with reservations.

The Bare Bones Bible Handbook:  As someone who did not grow up in a church, I enjoyed this book to give general information about the different books of the bible.  It's like a Cliff's Notes version of the bible.  Recommended for those who have ADHD or for those who want to jump start their knowledge.

Twenties Girl:  A chick goes to a long lost aunt's funeral and ends up being haunted by her until she can locate a necklace.  Some of the dialogue is funny.  A decent throw-away type of beach read.

Curses!  A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale:  A twisty turny version of every fairy tale you've ever read or heard of.  It was an interesting take on fairy tales recommended by a friend.  Expect lots of cursing and u-turns as the author unwinds a murder story.  Pretty decent read.  I'll probably eventually read her other selections but I'm not in a hurry.

Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die:  Oh Willie.  I'd like to think that you had not already rolled something up and smoked it when you were writing this book but clearly, this is false.  I skimmed it while looking at his old photographs.  Not really recommended unless you're a big fan of Willie.  Or weed.  Or Willie on weed.
What am I currently reading?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I will teach you, teach you, teach you, I will teach you the E-lec-tric Sliiiiiiiiiide!

Luke is still going strong with his friends and the Boy Scouts.  A few weeks ago, they went to a local adult DD facility and had some dance lessons with a man and woman who have to be the most patient people ever (patience of Job, I tell ya).  They seemed to truly have a good time teaching songs like the Electric Slide and Cotton-Eyed Joe to a large group of little boys who had no coordination and the adults from the facility.  
Luke is the scout furthest to the left with no hat on.
Again, the he's the scout on the left (the one beside him is our neighbor friend, Landon)

This is one of Luke's friends.  He had his hands in his pockets the whole time.  Too cute!

My little man.
Need a little extra entertainment?  Click the link below to watch Luke show off his moves.  Oh and you may want to turn the sound down...I talk and cackle a lot during the video.  You should be able to pick Luke out for all the high kicking he did.

Click here:

Jane update!

I'm sure you've all been anxiously awaiting an update on our former kitty aka Jane.  My friend, Jeanne, has been especially on the edge of her seat wanting to know how she's doing because she's such a huge fan of furry pets.   Long time readers know that Jane had to go and live with my in-laws a few years ago due to unacceptable behavior issues.  Why they put up with her crappola I'll never know. 
Jane used to look like this:
See how cute little Jane was?  So tiny and petite.
Here's Jane now:
She kinda looks like an overstuffed raccoon at this point.

Yup, it's hard to lift her up.

"See?  I can pick up Jane, too.  Hurry up and snap the picture, Ma...I can feel my L4-L5 herniating."  (a little adjudicator humor for Jeanne and Connie).

"Stop making fun of Janie!  She doesn't like labels like "plump" or "fatty patty" or "chubby wubby tub tub."  Use your kind words please, Mommy."

I love her.

"I hate you Annie.  If I still had my claws, I would go for your face."

"Still picking her up!  Take her pic!"

Yup, she's wider than my 9 year old.  Awwwwwkward.

Science night

About a month ago (maybe even more), the kids attended a science night in association with a local Boy Scout troop event at their elementary school.  If I was a better parent, I probably would've made them read and learn about all of the principles involved with playing with balloons, taking pretend soil samples with straws in multi-colored cupcakes, and other games they participated in.  But I'm not parent so you'll not learn about them in this blog either.  Instead, you will see pictures of the kids with their friend, Allie, playing and having a good time with balloons and the like.
See?  Balloon playing.

Bunny ears with the cupcake "soil sample."

More balloons.

Learning how to take their tasty soil sample.

Allie, Luke, and Ella learning about something.  Who knows what it was?  Not me.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Modes of Transport in Chicago

When we went to Chicago, the kids got to experience many different forms of transportation that we don't normally take part of.  It was fun!  We drove our car about 5 hours to an Amtrak station in Hammond, Indiana (right at the Illinois/Indiana border). 
Waiting on the train at the Amtrak station...
After about a 40 minute ride, Amtrak dropped us off at Union Station in downtown Chicago.  It was about a 30 minute walk to our hotel.  We had been stuck in a car and on a train all day so we decided to walk.

The schedule board for Amtrak at Union Station...

The train made him sleepy...

The train made this one snuggly...
Once in Chicago, we took cabs and buses.  I think the kids enjoyed the variety of ways that we got places.  Truth be told, I did, too but I'm a nerd like that.

Master of the Selfie

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hey Look! A Squirrel!

This is a true convo that happened at our house:

Aron: So he's related to the Hatfields?  Like the Hatfields and McCoys?
Annie: Apparently. 
Aron: Huh.
Annie:  Which one was Hatfield in that show?
Aron:  What show?
Annie:  That stupid show you made me watch that you thought was super good and somehow quite a few people ended up watching it, too.
Aron:  The one on the History channel?
Annie: Yeah.
Aron:  I dunno.
Annie:  Was it Tin Cup guy or the other guy?
Aron: Tin Cup?
Annie: Tin Cup.  The guy from Tin Cup.  You remember when you were flipping around the TV that time and got to the TV guide channel and you watched like half a screen of Tin Cup while the channel guide was rolling along the bottom half?
Aron: Tin Cup?
Annie:  I think that was a real low point for you when you watched the half screen version of that movie, sweetie.
Annie:  *sigh* The Hatfields show...which one was Hatfield, Tin Cup guy or the other know, the Big Love guy.
Aron: Are you trying to say Kevin Costner?
Annie:  Yeah, him.  Was he Hatfield or McCoy?
Aron: Honestly, you use Tin Cup to describe Kevin Costner?
Annie: I guess I coulda used Waterworld...would that have been a more suitable alternative?
Aron:  I can not believe you just used Tin Cup.  Better options would have been Robin Hood or Dances With Wolves.
Annie:  But I thought that would have been more relatable given your history with the half-screen TV Guide channel version of the movie.  So who was Hatfield? Was that him or the Big Love guy?
Aron:  I don't know who the hell the Big Love guy is.
Annie:  Well you're not very helpful.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Sprinkles! (Yes, please!)

While in Chicago, we made a pit stop at Sprinkles Cupcakes.  (Don't know what it is?  Click my wikipedia link.)  It's owned by Candace who is a judge on Cupcake Wars (clickety-clack on the links for more info).  Luke was very happy to try out the Cupcake ATM.  Yes, we're a family that feels strongly about the Food Network in case you can't tell.  Stop judging me or I'll unleash my fury about your Duck Dynasty, Toddlers and Tiaras, and Hoarding: Buried Alive, mmmk?
I'll take one of theeeese....

Yup, seems like I need one of these, too...

We ended up going inside the bakery and may have ended up with a few cuppies to take back to the hotel.  (L to R: First row Brown Sugar Praline, Ella's Chocolate Marshmallow, Luke's Chocolate Marshmallow  Second row Coconut, Black and White, Double Chocolate)
"You're going to come and live in my
tummy now, little coconut lover."

Good Eats!

Vacations mean tasty adventures in food for us. I got pictures of some our yummies and/or the places we stopped.

First stop for us was Schoop's of Warsaw, Indiana. 

Schoop's was pretty tasty.  Think of an Indiana version of Steak and Shake.  It was vacation so I let the kids eat whatever they wanted so they both chose Irish nachos which consisted of fries, cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing.  They were so lucky it was vacation because that would never be their meal here in Ohio.

Once we made it to Chicago, we decided to get adventurous by going to a tapas restaurant called Emilio's Sol Y Nieve.  We had a variety of cold and hot plates.  Super tasty and the kids were great about trying new things (love that about the kids!).  I don't remember what his was but here's what we got there:

I forget what this was but it was tasty-licious.

We met up with our friends, Jenny and Tommy.  Aron and Jenny drank coffee together like they were in college studying for an all-nighter at Yolk.  I'm not a huge breakfast eater so I had a bagel but everyone else had breakfast yumminess including Luke who ordered his long-standing favorites of scrambled eggs and bacon along with biscuits all smothered in a white gravy. 
Jenny looks caffinated but Aron looks barely awake.
Crabby-looking Ella and Tommy dunked their bacon into their pots of
syrup.  Luke, not pictured, drank syrup from the pot when
no one was paying attention.  Yup.  That's Aron's kid.
  Next up:  Lou Malnatti's for some deep dish pizza.  We were still with Jenny and Tommy so we had one kid pizza (pepperoni) and one adult pizza (The Lou: spinach, mushrooms, and roma tomatoes). 

Jenny and Ella conspired to take this pic without me...I'm
sitting across the table.  I don't think I like the two of them
hooking up to do stuff.  Jenny makes me nervous.
The kid pizza.  Yum!
Next up was Bandera which featured this yum-tacular cornbread below.  Ella and Luke both say that they serve the absolute best grilled cheese ever.  I would say they make a mighty fine fish sandwich.

On the way home, we stopped by a Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives location called South Side Soda Shop in Goshen, IN.  

We had a great server who was very understanding about having 2 semi-cranky, travel-weary kids to hang out with.  She was able to recommend a Green River phosphate drink (see also below) as well as several other tasty phosphates.
Click the photo to enlarge Luke threatening
to dunk his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (suspiciously
the same color as the Green River) in his cup.