Unique Traditions for Easter

When Ashton was two years old, celebrating his third Easter, we decided to do things a bit differently.  This was the first year that he would have a proper basket, and I wanted to make sure it was something special.  At the time Kohl’s had these wonderful Cat in the Hat stuffed toys, so we got him the stuffed animal and the book to match.    Sure, there were a few toys, some candy filled eggs, and the like, but the center piece was the book and the stuffed toy.  Since then, we’ve decided that we would make Easter a holiday of books.  Last year, Ashton received a copy of Where’s My Cow along with a cute little fluffy cow, and Anwyn got a Pat the Bunny book and toy set.

This year, Anwyn is getting a nursry copy of Peter Rabbit (a shortened version, for little ones) and a matching stuffed animal.

The copy of Peter Rabbit plus cookies and candy.

Some sidewalk chalk, but only because it has poka-dots.

They each got new water bottles.

For Ashton, I found a copy of The Giving Tree, but didn’t really have a good idea for what to pair it with.  So Aaron is going to run to Home Depot, where we found some apple tree saplings for a good price.  Ashton is going to get to help plant his own apple tree in the yard as an Easter gift.

This includes all of the same things that Anwyn’s basket did.  Switch out the chalk for a deck of Go Fish cards and they’re practically identical.  I added an apple to Ashton’s basket, to go along with the tree and the book.  Both baskets also include a windmill, because the kids love them and they were less than a dollar a piece.

I hope everyone have a fantastic weekend, no matter what they celebrate.

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Heart Will Go On

The good news is that I was not slaughtered in my sleep shortly after Thanksgiving.  I have been alive and well.  The bad news is that I’m lazy and forgetful and when something happens in my life it doesn’t even occur to me to tell you about it here.  I’ll throw a little blurb up about it on Facebook, and be done with it.  If it is too long for Facebook, I think “I guess I could blog about it,” and then something shiny gleams off in the distance and I wonder off distracted.  So here’s a drive by update…

Christmas Hafla was wonderful and exciting.  I messed up at least one part of every routine I was in.  It irked me.  Everyone else did beautifully, though.

Christmas was exhausting.  We drove to Norman, OK, came home, and drove down to Beaumont, TX all within a week.  Because we’re not very bright, I guess.

Since then there have been random gatherings, haflas, and other small events that are of no interest to you.  At some point (probably years from now when I remember again) I’ll tell you about our adult trip to Disney World, which was wonderful.

Scarborough Faire started this weekend.  I’m not dancing at all this year, but I’ll enjoy going out to play.  Aaron will be on the Ivanho stage a few weeks to drum for the belly dancers.

Every once in a while I think about getting a private blog somewhere and putting my private thoughts there.  Somewhere that is just mine, where no one else can find it.  Where I can post whatever I want and no one can complain.  This way I can get things out of my system, without the fallout of exploding at people.  But it would never last.  I’d eventually have to tell someone about it, and then the whole thing would fall apart and I’d have to give it up.  I’m only good at secrets for a short period of time.

So I’m still breathing, the kids are still doing well, and I owe you a post about Disney World.  That about sums it up.

Published in: on April 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pie and Turkey Day

I was watching tv one day and came across Man Vs Food.  In this episode (which I failed to see all of) Adam visits a little place called Yoder’s Restaurant in Sarasota, FL.  He was there to discuss pies.  When he came to the question of the most popular pie on the menu, the woman said without a thought, “our Peanut Butter Cream Pie.”  Of course he then asked her how to make it.

As I watched this woman assemble the pie, only one thought screamed in my mind.  “Aaron’s family would love this!”  I knew at the next big event I would be making this pie.  And of course, as that was only a couple of months ago, the next big thing (outside of birthdays) is Thanksgiving.  What better time to make a pie?  So this last Sunday I made a test pie.  I have never made a pie before and I wanted to make sure it would work out before Thanksgiving Day.  A sort of dress rehearsal.  We went over to Aaron’s folks’ house for dinner, and they were more than willing to serve as a test audience.  I figured out what tweaks needed to be made, and everyone enjoyed the hell out of that pie.

Now I have to admit something.  I’ve been living with this idea in my head for about two months now, and couldn’t for the life of me tell you where it came from.  I vaguely remembered that I saw it on Man Vs Food, but couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant, or even where he was.  I had to look all of that up just now so I could write this post without feeling guilty about not giving credit where it was due.  In the process of looking it up, I found a number of recipes.  It hadn’t even occurred to me to look it up.  The whole idea seemed rather straight forward…

You start with a crust.  Whether you want to make the crust or buy ready made is completly up to you.  I cheated, and bought a Pillsbury roll and bake crust (they were on sale).  You make a mixture of peanut butter and powdered sugar (after some experimenting I worked out that it was 1 part peanut butter, 2 parts powdered sugar) and pour half of it into the crust.  Make home made vanilla pudding and pour that it.  Top with a little bit more peanut butter mixture, some whipped cream, and the rest of the peanut butter mix sprinkled on the top.

The first trick I had to learn was how to make home made pudding.  I had never even though to learn.  I am glad that I did.  It is amazing, blissful, and tasty.  I will never eat jello pudding again (I lie, but I probably won’t ever buy it myself).  If you want to use box pudding, you can.  It will make me sad, and your life will be just a little empty because of it, but you can.  After learning to make pudding, everything else was pretty simple.

I will make another pie this evening, to be served tomorrow.  If the reviews I have already gotten are anything to go by, it will be a hit.  For anyone who wants my pudding recipe, leave me a comment and I’ll send it via email a few weeks before Christmas.

Every year I collect my favorite recipes that I learn that year and send them to friends and family that I think will appreciate them.  Please let me know if you want to be added to that list.  Along with the pudding, this years recipes include…

  • Hot Chocolate Milk Mix
  • Chocolate Syrup (for chocolate milk or on top of ice cream)
  • Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
  • Tomato Soup Cake (I know it sounds weird, but trust me)
  • My Granola Bars (a very adjustable recipe)
  • Acorn Squash Soup (which will also grace the Turkey Table this year)
  • “Butter Chicken” (Not a true butter chicken, but a tasty and fairly quick rendition)
  • Naan (to go with the butter chicken)
  • Zucchini Parmesan
  • Slow Cooked Whole Chicken (not so much a recipe as an idea and guidelines)
  • Slow Cooked Gingered Chickpeas and Tomato Stew

So if you want on the list, you have to tell me.  I will not send these recipes via facebook or any other means, only the people on the email list will receive them.

Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Day At The Farm

There is a place near by called Green Meadows Petting Farm (I don’t think it was a permeant location, I think it travels around with the animals).  We took the kids to it and had a wonderful day.  They had a hay ride, maze, and allowed the kids to pick out a pumpkin.  There were several animals that the kids got to pet, including baby chicks, ducklings, kids (goats), calfs and piglets.

I got to hold a baby chicken.  It was really neat, but those suckers are stronger than they look.  It did not want to be held, and had no issues expressing as much.  They let us feed the goats, which was an interesting experience.  When they put the feed in Ash’s hand, he threw it down where the goats could reach it.  He would not let them eat out of his hand unless one of us was right there with him.  Anwyn was only somewhat interested in the goats, and was much more concerned that we wouldn’t let her eat the goat feed.  She nearly had a fit when the goat did lick her hand… apparently she doesn’t like the feeling of goat saliva on her.  Ashton got to milk a cow.  He said it was really cool, but had a worried look on his face the whole time, and I’m fairly certain that he only said that because he thought we expected it.

The last thing we did before picking out a pumpkin was the maze.  Ash led us through it with very little issue the first time.  Then he had to do it again, to explore all of the other options.  Then he wanted to go through it backwards (which is when we told him it was time to pick a pumpkin and go home).

There are several photos over at the flickr site, so feel free to check them out.  Most are from our trip to see the animals, but there are a few random ones at the end.

Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gift Ideas For Nothing In Particular

I’m posting this for a few reasons.

A. For my own amusement.

B. Because someone will inevitably ask what I want.

C. Because I want all of these links and ideas in one spot and this seemed fairly easy.

So feel free to ignore this post if you like.  It is not me asking for gifts.  No one has to get me anything!   I promise, I won’t be sad if you don’t get me something.  I wasn’t planning on getting you anything either.  Unless I was, in which case, ignore that last sentence.  You know what?  Just forget it.

1. I want a pocket belt.  Not a fanny pack, but a belt with pockets on it.  Some examples here. Happy Cow Travel Belt, Black Pocket Belt.

2. I would like a pastry knife/ cutter.

3. A 25 Yard Cotton Skirt I really like the black one.  The green one is nice too.

4. A gift certificate that I am not allowed to spend on anyone but myself.  I won’t listen, and I’ll spend most of it on the kids anyway, but it’s a nice thought.

5. A fireplace screen that my cats can’t get into.  I’d like one with doors, but they tend to be a bit pricey. If you catch one with doors on sale, please let me know.

6. Sheets.  If you can find them to match This Bed Set all the better.

7. A case for my dance sword.  I’ve been told that archer’s bags (for bow and arrows) are a good idea as long as you pad the bottom so the sword doesn’t tear through it.

8. A large French Press, either 8 or 12 cup.  Again, I don’t have anything specific that I want, just something nice.  I’m tired of only being able to make one cup of coffee at a time.  When we have guests, I’d like to be able to make more.

That’s all I can think of for now.  Again, if this is helpful, great.  If you have no intention of getting gifts for me anytime soon, then ignore this post.  I just wanted to see the list written out, and figured I’d put it out where people could see it just in case they asked.

EDIT: This post will be updated randomly as I think of things.  Keep checking back if you’re looking for ideas.

Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 8:57 pm  Comments (1)  

Anwyn Turns One

She’s a one year old.  She’s a toddler.  She walks, she mimics words, she expresses her self clearly.  She eats solid food, she drinks from a cup, she gets into everything. She is absolutely incredible.

A year ago today, I was in a hospital bed, surrounded by family, drugged out of my head (I had a cesarian) and held in my arms my little girl.  She was so tiny, at only 5 lbs. 5 oz. but already full of energy.  Even at one day old she had no issues expressing herself.  Now I can’t even recognize her as the same baby.  I look at her and think, “Was she ever that small?”  It’s strange how something can seem like it happened yesterday, and forever ago all at the same time.

So happy birthday to my amazing, expressive, creative, clever, beautiful little girl, Anwyn.  May you stay as curious and playful as you are today, and may your beauty always shine from within you.  

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

All About Cats

A few weeks ago my mother and I took the kids up to Oklahoma to visit family.  We saw the kids’ great grandparents, and I finally met my Aunt Cyndi and Uncle Pat’s kittens.

Kitten might be a bit of a stretch.  They are about a year old, and huge!  They have two beautiful Siberians and I think they might be the most spoiled cats I have ever met.  Observe…

First, their living room toys.  

Then, the tower.  

Next to that, the window shelf that Pat built.  

And the ramp to the loft that he built for them.  Not to mention all the baskets of toys they had.  So, as I said, spoiled.  But if we had cats this beautiful, I might be inclined to spoil them as well…Not to say that our cats are not lovely.  And since we do love and want them to be happy (and want Bonny to stop climbing the walls) I was inspired to come up with something myself.  We already had carpet in the garage, so I found a cheap bookcase and altered it a bit.This is what the original should look like.  We had to do some hack work to make it sturdy enough for two hyper cats. So we added boards to the back to brace it a little bit.
I cut holes in the shelves and added carpet.

When the whole things was done the cats seemed quite pleased with their new toy.

After all the pain and frustration this thing caused, if they didn’t play on it, I might have strangled them.

Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Aaron Runs, And Blogs

My darling husband has started a blog of his own.  It’s at this link and is about his running experience.  He is doing a program called couch to 5k.  This blog (he says) is to keep track of his progress, keep him honest, and probably to talk about other things in his life.  Mostly he feels he has something worth blogging about (I guess he didn’t have that before.  A girl could take offense to that).

So, go visit, give him your support, and maybe even find out just what it is about this man that I love so very much.

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 4:32 am  Comments (1)  

To My Father

Anyone who knows me knows how much I’m like my mother.  If it weren’t for her, I have no idea who I would be.  She’s given me drive, passion, and one hell of a sharp tongue.  I am so grateful to her for so many things.

It’s not always obvious that my father and I have much in common.  Our personalities are not as identical as my mother an I.  But when I think about it, he gave me so much.  So for fathers day, I have to say to my dad, thank you.

Thank you for being so protective over me.  For teaching me how to defend myself both physically and mentally against anything that might come my way.  Thank you for preparing me for whatever might happen.

Thank you for showing me how to live my life without fear of anything.  For showing me how to move forward with my dreams and desires.  For teaching me to believe that anything I want is well within my reach.

Thank you for all of the hard work you did to make sure your children had a good life.

Thank you for showing me what a husband and father should be.  For giving me a wonderful guideline in choosing my own husband.  And thank you for being as kind a father to Aaron as you have always been to me.

Thank you for being an amazing Grandfather to my two kids.  For always striving to entertain them.  For always lighting up their faces.

Thank you for all the love, wisdom, and joy you have given us.  Thanks for everything you have shown us.  Thank you for the amazing places you have taken us, the art and music you have shared with us, and the experiences that you have made possible for us.

Thank you.

(Of course now I’m going to hear it from my mom.  All she got for mother’s day was a phone call.  I guess I’ll have to make up for it next year.  Hopefully she’ll forget by then.)

Bucket List

Some one sent me this in an email, and instead of forwarding it to a bunch of soon to be irritated people, I decided to share it here.  So here it is… things I’ve done in my life time.

Have you…

  • Shot a gun… Yes
  • Gone on a blind date… No
  • Skipped school… No.  I know, I’m such a square!
  • Been to Canada… Nope, parents went without me.
  • Been to Alaska… No but I’d like to.
  • Been to Cuba… No
  • Been to Europe… Yes, England
  • Been to Las Vegas… *Grumbles* No
  • Been to Mexico… No, but I’m not sure why not.
  • Been to Florida… Yes, multiple times.
  • Been to California… Lived there for two years
  • Been to Maine… Nope
  • Been on a plane… Dad used to work for American Airlines, so yeah.
  • Been on a Cruise Ship… No, but that’s another thing I’d like to do
  • Been on a one day Lake Cruise Ship… No
  • Served on a Jury… Yeah
  • Been lost… Many times
  • Been on the opposite side of the country... Opposite of what?  I live in Texas. I’ve been in both California and New York.
  • Gone to New York City… Yep. Again multiple times.
  • Swam in the Ocean… Yes
  • Cried yourself to sleep… Yeah
  • Played Cops and Robbers… Yes
  • Played Cowboys and Indians… Yes, but aren’t those the same games?
  • Sang Karaoke… Yes
  • Paid for a meal with coins only… Fast food meal, but yeah.
  • Made prank phone calls… Not in a long time, but yes.
  • Laughed until some beverage came out of your nose ... Probably
  • Read the Bible completely through... Not yet.  Maybe some day.
  • Caught a snowflake on your tongue… Yes
  • Danced in the rain… Yes
  • Written a letter to Santa Claus… Yes
  • Been kissed under the mistletoe… Yes
  • Watched the sunrise with someone… Yes
  • Blown bubbles… Hasn’t everyone?
  • Gone ice skating… Yes
  • Gone skiing… *Groan* and discovered it was not my thing at all, yes.
  • Camped out under the stars… Yes
  • Seen something so beautiful that it took your breath away… Yes, Grand Canyon did it first, then both of my children.
  • Are or have been married... Married for six years.
  • Have children… Two beautiful kids
  • Have / had a pet… Yes, we have Jack and Bonny, our insane cats.
  • Been skinny dipping outdoors… Not in a very long time, but yes.
  • Been fishing…  Once.  And I don’t like fish.
  • Been boating… Yes
  • Been water skiing... No
  • Been hiking… Yes
  • Been camping in a trailer/RV… No, always took a tent.
  • Flown in a small 4-seater airplane… Yes, my aunt and uncle’s plane.
  • Flown in a glider... No
  • Been flying in a helicopter... No
  • Been flying in a hot air balloon… No, but I want to!
  • Been BUNGEE-jumping… No, never appealed to me.
  • Gone to a drive-in movie… If I ever did I don’t remember.
  • Done something that should have killed you… No?  I can’t think of anything.
  • Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life… Done things that I wish I could take back, yeah.
  • Been to Africa... No
  • Ever ride an elephant… You know what?  I haven’t.  I’ve been on a camel, but not an elephant. Maybe I’ll take Ash on the elephant next year at Scarborough Faire.
  • Ever eaten just cookies for dinner… Maybe. (Don’t judge me)
  • Ever been on T.V. Yeah.
  • Ever steal any traffic signs... No.  Should I have?
  • Ever been in a car accident… Yes.
  • Had a nickname... Yes
  • Name Ever been in the local paper… I’ve been in group photos in the paper, yeah.
  • Ever been to Asia… No
  • Ever been to Australia… No, but some day.
  • Been ski-diving… No
  • Favorite drink: Non-alcoholic… Cherry Limade
  • Tattoos… One, on my back
  • Do you drive a 4-door vehicle… Yes
  • Favorite number... 3, 6, and 9
  • Favorite holiday… Halloween
  • Favorite dessert… Chocolate
Published in: on June 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment