Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
My mantle is ablaze with fake greenery and lights. Oh, and zebra print ribbon....very important to note.
After an unfortunate mis-estimation of the appropriate height at which a wreath should hang on our front doors, we have successfully dressed the entrance to our home.
The Christmas tree is in it's stand. It is REALLY fat.
It will be decorated tomorrow. The children had not been bathed in 5 days (yes, you heard that right) and I could not handle water sports and juggling with fragile glass orbs in the same 2 hour period.
The advent calendar I started in January? Just finished, with one day to spare.
Clark Griswold has not vomited lights all over our roof. Yet.
Even the shopping has begun. Which includes four very popular hamsters, imported from Wisconsin. I was clued in to the fact that these things are the favorite Christmas item of children ages 4-9. Not sure any of our children have ever heard of these zhu-zhu pets, but I'm a sucker for a good fad. And things that other people tell me are cool, like the skinny jeans I currently feel like a sausage in.
But if you ask my 7-year-old what she wants for Christmas, she will tell you a real, live cat.
So. Battery-operated hamster it is.
But before I really sink my teeth into our family Christmas, I need to make 50 gingerbread mangers out of graham crackers this week.
Totally. Not. Kidding.
Just like the Christmas tree ALWAYS looks bigger in the house than at the tree lot...50 gingerbread houses seemed manageable. IN SEPTEMBER.
Friday, November 27, 2009
But now, we are really headed into a marathon of sorts. Big J & L's birthday in a couple of weeks, followed by Christmas 7 days later. I crawl into New Years on a severe caffeine high.
Tomorrow is my ONE YEAR blogging anniversary. So I just can't take the weekend off, because that would be like denying a part of my identity. I began this obsession after Thanksgiving last year, when I decided to soak a turkey in a salt bath. I hadn't been that inspired with words in ten years, and well, just look at where it's gone. I'll get all sappy about that later.
Right now, I have a baby shower gift to show you. And for some reason, I have been REALLY obsessed with converse sneakers in baby sizes. I don't know. It doesn't always make sense, but I knew I REALLY needed our friends to have these. As much as they need diapers and bottles and blankets, they NEEDED converse sneakers.
In keeping with my blue theme today, I decided to try my hand at a ragamuffin garland (as seen here). LOVE it. I want one in every color scheme.
But then. I had to tie it all these projects together in some sort of freaky theme...so here is what the baby onesie looks like all wrapped up with a ragamuffin ribbon! Can you stand how I brought that around, full circle?
I mention this because: I think you can take any present up a notch with pretty packaging. And guys, we are all about to wrap a crap-load of presents. And they could use a little ragamuffin ribbon, no?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
One might even say I was close to panic.
I know you are thinking this was an act of good will on the part of my husband, and cause for celebration and rejoicing. Um, no.
And here's why.
Many moons ago, when it was just the two of us, and we were having friends over to our home, I asked my husband to clean our bathroom. He tried to play dumb and ask questions that are FUNDAMENTAL to bathroom cleanliness.
Let me interject and tell you that this man has been washing his own clothes since he could walk, so I was pretty sure his mama had gone over basic bathroom cleaning techniques--and I recognized this for what it was, an attempt to get out of the grossest of household tasks.
Finger wag, deep sighs. You are cleaning the bathroom, I say. A decision I have regretted ever since, as it OBVIOUSLY still brings flashbacks when I smell cleaning products anywhere near the vicinity of our bathrooms, knowing I had nothing to do with it.
Because, you'll see, I went about my business on that day and returned to check his progress some time later...only to find him buck naked and using underwear he had JUST TAKEN OFF HIS BODY to mop our bathroom floor.
Men, that is how you can be sure you will never clean another bathroom again, as long as you both shall live.
Second fear brought on by the unexpected smell of "clean": My children are swimming in a bathtub of bleach and burning any evidence that they once had retinas. I know our kids are past the age where they would drink something found underneath our sink, BUT, we have entered the phase where it seems logical that experiments with toxic substances are okay, if done in the name of science and learning.
Rest assured, my children still have their fingerprints in tact, and can be identified that way by the law. It seems some young 'un went a little crazy with the disinfecting wipes which were scattered amongst the countertop.
So, on this day before Thanksgiving, I am thankful that:
- My husband thinks it's still inappropriate to clean the bathrooms.
- My children know that bleach is not a thirst quencher.
- My children did not attempt to clean the toilet in the fit of cleaning that involved half a container of Clorox wipes.
A small taste of how we avert disaster, on an hour-by-hour basis. What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Brilliant plan, until I melted my almond bark and added GOBS of pink food coloring. I was going for hot pink, and didn't realize that food coloring, in that large amount, would drastically alter the consistency of the almond bark. Within seconds it was stiff and goopy...and obviously not going to work.
Plan B. Throw a bunch of pink crap on the cake. Oh yes, this is where 6 trips to Hobby Lobby (in ONE week) and my generally hoarding habit pay off!
I ended up loving it more than the original idea, and there were no panic attacks as I came up with the new and improved plan.
Cake #2, for our family party on G's actual birthday, is pictured up top--I just couldn't let the almond bark idea fail me. So we baked up a Duncan Hines yellow, iced it up (and added GOBS of food coloring), and created the letters with the almond bark. So easy, and much better than me trying to freehand it on the cake!
And that is the story of how I was victorious over baked goods.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Alrighty. I realize I am a little late tonight, but it was for good reason, that can be boiled down to two words. New. Moon.
Oh to be 18 (or 104, whatever), totally pale and shiny in the sun.
Now I am home and happy to share the details of the pink party. Here we go.
Pic #1: The mantle. Tulle and white lights, with some fake pink flowers stuck in for a pretty effect. The grapevine trees I painted green and added the butterflies to--I did this not for the party, but for our Christmas decorations this year. They just happened to fit the color scheme!
It was REALLY hard to get a good picture of the entire room, to show you the overall effect. I took pictures during daylight hours, but they really lose something without the glow of lights and candles. Here's a good shot of how it was all laid out---tables in the center of the room, pom poms above the table, Christmas trees off to the left. I am actually using pictures taken on Friday AND Sunday (G's real b-day and family party day), so some details change a little.
To really make the room look pink, I knew I needed some pretty big items to change things up a bit. I've always wanted to do a forest-like tea party, so this was my chance, especially being so close to Christmas! I borrowed the silver tree and added one of our small green trees in an attempt to really change the look of the house.
The tables. On Sunday, I used more tulle, more white lights, and the centerpieces...mason jars with cheap flowers from Sams, and then covered in pink bandannas!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
But when I look at her now, I see such a big girl. Who is beautiful. And my goal for the year ahead, is not to take "easy" for granted. Because it is SO easy to tend to the needs of my younger children, and to just let G go about her day. Even as she becomes more complicated and aware and influenced by EVERYTHING around her. If I haven't done the best job of it up to this point, NOW is the time to pursue this girl who is timid and sweet, and anxious at times, and forgiving and smart and quick to please. She doesn't throw tantrums, or try to manipulate, or act strongly on her emotions, which makes her even tougher to REALLY get to know, if you aren't putting in the time. '
And I want to know her. Everyday, and all the minutes that she is constantly changing and growing. Because she is awesome.
Happy Birthday Goose!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Just one quick look at the pink party. A huge success, I think. And I now have a fairly accurate assessment of what it would be like to be raising fifteen-tuplets (my word for 15 children, all age 7).
We took a TON of pictures, because this was truly a labor of love. And the end result turned out exactly as I was hoping, so you can color me pleased. I'm pretty sure you can't gage the success of a party based on the amount of pink decoration per square foot...but if I am being truthful, that's how you can evaluate my happiness level, at the present moment.
More on Sunday (or maybe Monday) when I have an opportunity to truly process this two-hour window with 15 first graders! So much precious, hysterical, growing up way-too-fast, awesomeness.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I will also tell you that wart removal is not what it once was. To me, that experience brings memories of pain by some instrument that happened to be burning hot and freezing cold, all at the same time. I cannot even fathom the depths of a tool that bi-polar in nature...and it seems that in ten years time basic human rights have been applied to skin care, and they have created a way to remove warts that includes no freezing/simultaneous burning.
It also appears that I AM NOT dying of skin cancer. As has been my secret fear, since booking this appointment a month ago. My mind runneth wild with all kinds of worst-case-scenarios, this just happened to be the one at the forefront of my mind for 4 weeks. You know those small moles in my stomach, that I have had since birth? I had this eerie feeling that they have been killing me softly for 33 years.
But I do have a real fear of missing something big. Being the gal that walks into the dermatologist with some huge tumor that's been there for years. And having a medical professional look at me like I'm crazy for not figuring it out sooner.
Not sure if the fear is of dying, or looking stupid. Now there is a real look in to my inner psyche.
I once went to an OB appointment when I was pregnant with Little J, only to be sent STRAIGHT to labor and delivery because it appeared he was on his way out. I had NO idea. And he was my 4th child. I bought myself two weeks of hospital bedrest (with three more at home) with that little stunt. So this scenario that I speak of...this fear of missing something OBVIOUS...well, it's a very real possibility for me.
Particularly if I am distracted by a good mod-podging project.
This house is in the process of big transformation. We are going PINK! I have begged, borrowed and stolen (okay, not really), to deck the halls in pinkness. And you know what? I LOVE it. I love having an idea and seeing where it goes, and how it all turns out. It's getting harder and harder to figure my almost 7-year-old out, but I know this makes her happy. And not in a way that I have to talk her into, but in a way that is totally her at the moment. Girly, but growing up.
Not to mention, that I am very visual, and I love a good theme. I can run with a theme, and I will have pictures to prove it! By 3:30 tomorrow, we will be up to our eyeballs in pink 7 year olds!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
But. I now believe that part of me expected the devil himself to exit the vaccine syringe, in a gross green cloud of smoke with a psycho, evil laugh. I might also have been thinking that my children would grow horns and tails and fur.
Which, of course, would mean I made the wrong choice.
But there was none of that. There wasn't even a 3 hour wait, like I was expecting. More like 3 minutes, after which time all three of my littlest were escorted into a room and given the vaccine. They took it like rock stars. Big J was a bit sobby for a while afterward, and he kept telling me how that lady "punched" him. No worries, folks, I was there the whole time, and the vaccine was indeed administered by syringe and not via fist. All wrongs were forgiven, however, when we arrived at McDonalds for lunch.
If I have learned anything in 7 years of parenting, it's that McDonald's solves all--DESPITE the fact that my children don't eat McDonald's particularly well. Nothing like testing the antibodies my kid's bodies are being forced to create, than by taking them straight to the hot zone of infectious diseases.
In an unrelated subject, I have also realized, today, another area of failure as a mother--that being, my children's inability to dress themselves. It took Big J 20 minutes and 4 tries (not kidding), to get his pants on properly. And by properly, I mean zipper/button on the front, pockets on the back.
There are only two options.
Which he chose wrongly.
You know how everyone always says, "Give it time, no one ever goes to kindergarten with a pacifier?" or "He won't go off to college still in diapers?". Well, I'm not sure that applies here. Big J just may be getting married in pants that are backward. And possibly shirtless, because he won't be able to find the head-hole.
But then, he'll be his wife's problem.
This issue is EASILY fixable, I know, if I force him to learn it himself and be all hard-core. However, that will mean that we will be a minimum of 30 minutes late to every scheduled appointment/meeting we have before noon, everyday. Not sure which is worse.
Happy H1N1 day!! We wage war with the wart tomorrow....
Monday, November 16, 2009
Party preparations have begun. And Mod-Podge has been used. All is right with the world.
This project (pictured) makes me want to spell all kinds of random words throughout my house in different selections of whimsical paper. I can honestly say, that's a first.
It is really fun to search Hobby Lobby for all shades of pink. Which exist, in abundance there.
My plan includes tissue paper pompoms, silver Christmas trees, pink smoothies, and GOBS of balloons. Oh! And a funky tulle garland with all kinds of random pink goods. I have no specifics, beside a mental plan which may or may not be do-able. Sometimes I see beautiful table settings and lovely linens, but when I start dreaming of unicorns and rainbows, I know I've gone delusional. It's a fine line.
On a side note, it appears my three youngest will be getting the H1N1 vaccine tomorrow, before school. The school nurse is a sweet gal, a bit quirky, maybe a little out of touch with the four year old age group. She has asked me to keep them home from school if I cannot get them to stop crying (post shot). I mean, if they are still sobbing 2 hours after the injection, we have problems. Problems which are unlikely to be solved without a bottle of wine.
Swine flu vaccine and wart freezing. This week is stacking up to be AWESOME.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I have been ALL OVER the place. Not just on the blog, but in life.
I inadvertently scheduled myself for all kinds of involved projects, spanning different holidays and seasons and books of the bible and craft ideas. All things I LOVE, but sort of shoved and condensed until I couldn't tell Monday from Christmas.
Sometimes my children would talk and I would smile and nod...and before I really realized what was happening, they were juggling knives of fire.
Just kidding. But somehow, the three youngest did manage to find G's roller skates in our basement, and yet, no one was rushed to the hospital with a skull fracture, despite the fact that they appear to fight over these rolling death traps all the time. Which means, that two munchkins are constantly chasing a third munchkin, who is on wheels that cannot be controlled. It's as if fighting over them has become the new, fun, death-defying hobby.
And yet, I also managed to redesign my Christmas wreaths. Which makes me happy, and productive and kind of sad when I realize that my children have been playing catch with the hairdryer, over a full tub of water.
I haven't really felt like a mother lately. Or a wife. Or like I was doing anything particularly well. I'm not done being busy (c'mon, that would mean I died, and it would be SAD), but I am done for the moment with projects that are way outside of the orbit of my comfort zone.
Project for the week: throwing a "pink" party for my soon-to-be seven year old. And this is AWESOME because it's pink (and pink is ALWAYS fun) and it's for seven-year-olds who are pretty pleased with anything containing glitter and sugar.
Also on the schedule this week: a dermatologist appointment for 4 of 6 Denckhoffs. Should be interesting. And humorous. And full of all kinds of GREAT stories, which involve peeling Big J off the ceiling when we remove the wart on his hand.
Bear with me folks. I'm about to get my mo-jo back. And that process will involve a good amount of mod-podge and several episodes of America's Next Top Model. And for an extra dose of mommy-humor, a good story about a wart freezing.
Should be a good week.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Done. Finished. Happily moving on to other projects.
Christmas wreathes, check. Thank goodness, because it is November 12th, and what would I be doing with my time, if not hot gluing various items to fake evergreens?
Ooooh. I used shimmer mod-podge and it was a WEIRD silver color. Me thinks the shimmer is overkill, when you've already painted the "D" with metallic gold paint. Maybe what I needed was glitter mod-podge. Shimmer just sounded more subtle, less flashy. In retrospect, probably not the right choice. What is the difference between shimmer and glitter? I need to know. I want to ace my mod podge final.
I must say, that there is something to be said for preparing for Christmas. Not entering the month of December with a general bad attitude, given everything that needs to be done. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being busy. I just hate being busy with things that are immediate.
FYI. Walmart is also dangerous at this time of year. I purchased two more tubs of ornaments for the garland which will match these wreaths. Can you really have to many ornaments that are sold in monochromatic color schemes?
I am sorry I have been lame and talking about Christmas and a women's retreat with no fun details. Polka dots are not in great abundance this week, and that makes me feel dull. I did, however, have the chance to get out on the town tonight, with my hubby. We pretended we were 20 and hit some sort of hip charity event where Ladue News photographers took really awkward pictures. And that, made me feel every inch of 33. But the four-foot-tall bartender poured me the largest glass of wine I have ever seen, and that helped trick me into believing I was really 18.
Once this weekend is over and done, I will move on to planning a pink party for 7-year-old girls. Before I took on 2,653 projects in the month of November, this would be the sort of thing that I would obsess over for WEEKS. I will have 6 days, but I am confident in my abilities to throw a kick ass party.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Until two days ago, this is what our Christmas wreaths looked like. Plain. Ugly. And why is it wearing a most fancy blouse, with no pants or undies?? That's my fun way of saying that I put all the goodies at the top, and saved none for the rest of the bare, fake wreath.
Well. On top of raking and organizing our church's women's retreat (my LAST major project, done this weekend!!!), it seems I also wanted to redo the Christmas wreaths I have cared less about for my entire married life. I am inappropriately crazy-busy. So, when I whine, tell me to suck it, please.
A very talented friend of mine demonstrated wreath making, during the women's event I was a part of last weekend. She took a glue gun and some fun sparkly things and Bing! BANG! BooM! A beautiful wreath was born, and I was inspired.
Which wouldn't be so bad, except that Hobby Lobby was having a SERIOUS sale on holiday items, and that is where my desire to re-do my wreaths turned into a major obsession. You would have thought I was born to create wreaths, based on my shopping cart. And the FIVE trips I have made to HL. Sigh.
Now. You know me, and I cannot survive without a polka dot of some sort...notice the subtle thin ribbon! Honestly, I made two of these, and they look less than an hour. But to me, this is still missing something. And on my SECOND trip to Hobby Lobby today, I figured it out. You'll have to wait a little longer, though. Not because I like suspense, but because it actually takes a little energy and creativity...none of which I have at the moment.
But the best part??? I put this up on my door to get a picture, and then tried to close the door. No go. Wreath is now to fat. Of course. It seems my storm door might sit a bit a jar throughout December, or I'm hanging these babies inside, which might be kind of nice, because then I'll get to actually see them!!
So, it's taken a while for me to realize that I'm not so into traditional red and green. Huh. Might explain why I don't have much in terms of Christmas decor. But that is about to change. If Hobby Lobby has anything to do with it.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
No shocker. I pulled constant all nighters in college, as I never began a paper until the night before it was due. And I was an English composition major. So that's a lot of nervous, frenzied, late nights. Fueled by Coke, back when my metabolism could handle calories without exploding the skin surrounding my belly button. Sometime I will tell you about Real Coke Sara. She was fun. And skinny (but she thought she was fat, and that makes her kind of annoying).
Anyway. Nocturnal, college Sara would write, write write....and then crash, crash, crash. Skip a few classes and repeat all bad and destructive behaviors--until another paper was due, 4 days later.
But lately, the buzz of getting things done has resulted in giant bursts of energy (versus coma-like sleep), similar, I'm guessing, to what drug addicts experience when toxins hit the bloodstream. High off of the workshops I survived on Saturday, I have found myself: cleaning windows, putting random items away, writing letters, making silhouettes.
And here's the kicker: RAKING LEAVES!
As if I have ever raked leaves or cared about lawn care in my life. Proven by the grass I killed on our front lawn when I FAILED to rake leaves last year. I even cleaned out the flower beds and...wait for it....SWEPT THE DRIVEWAY.
What is my problem.
I think I might be addicted to being busy.
That, and there's nothing like three hours, uninterrupted by children, to keep me productive. Which leads me to the solution for teenage sloth-ness. It involves teen pregnancy, as a motivator for housework (I didn't say the plan was good), but there is nothing like time away from children to get a butt in gear. I might venture to guess that when given the choice between whining and laundry, teens will choose laundry every time.
And then there is this cute, little blog. Which is like a newborn to me. I love it, but sometimes I want it to sleep for 24 hours straight. As witnessed by my lack of posting last night. I try to post every day, Sunday through Friday...but this mommy just needed a moment.
To rake, apparently.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
One large obligation...done. Such a conundrum, because I love to be creative, especially with my kids, but I HATE to speak in front of people. Shocker! I know you haven't heard me whine about that for a week straight.
We're talking about 3 small workshops of 5-7 ladies...but it's the whole idea of teaching something. Because I feel completely inadequate to teach, well, anything. I barely function without Diet Coke, so I'm not sure I'm of right mind to give any sort of advice. Unless, it's where to get Diet Coke.
And if you don't already know that, I assume you are new to the United States. Or you don't leave the house much.
Anyhoo. Here's a small sampling of my Saturday morning...and my table o' children's fun crafts. I assembled instructions for 20 or so projects, based on ideas I'd actually think about trying with my kids this Christmas season. Some may be complete disasters, others may turn out great and become yearly traditions. No way to know if they will have severe behavioral reactions to icing or paint or baking spices...only time will tell.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
I TRIED to take several "ideas" and come up with ways to alter them and make them work in different situations. Example: Gingerbread houses. A big hit on Saturday was the flat, frame-able ginger bread house...because WOW! it would be great to save the counter space. It's pictured above, but I will create a more detailed tutorial in the weeks to come. Really, it's super, SUPER easy...and just took a little out of the traditional box thinking.
I have some other fun ideas for nativities and holiday art that I will share, in detail, at a later time. For now, I am just writing to thank those who came yesterday, because it was A LOT of fun and you were very kind and not scary at all. Not an evil look or menacing weapon in sight.
For those of you fearful for my sanity this week, know that I am alive and well. And mentally in tact (no comments from the peanut gallery). And it was actually enjoyable, once my sweat glands completely drained out my arm pits.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Kitchen drawer handles as a climbing wall.
My only thought: I can't believe it's taken 7 years of parenting to witness this. I will let you know when he retrieves the flag from the ceiling.
FYI: Little J is a real man, stunting without a harness and all. Suck on that, three year olds.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
As of late, Wednesday is no longer the day until I am halfway to a free weekend. It means death by public speaking is only 3 days away. I fear hives cometh soon.
Instead, I am filled with a constant nervous buzz, partially caffeine induced, which tells me (constantly) that I need to be doing more, More, MORE!! Ornaments! Manger scenes! Garlands of popcorn--which are a DISASTER by the way, and should in no way be attempted by young children. This might be the most important tip I share with everyone on Saturday.
But back to dinner.
I also do not suggest making a recipe, for a large group, if you yourself have never made said recipe before. Particularly one that calls for an 8 hour bean soaking and uses words such as "dutch oven". Dutch oven, in my previous experiences, refers to being confined in a very small space during a very revolting gas passing issue on the part of my husband.
Here I was thinking I was all way-too-cool-because-I-am-planning-ahead and making dinner at midnight. Only to learn that navy beans need to soak overnight in what sounds like a horribly smelly device.
Which is fine and all, except that today is pretty full, this evening takes me out of the house and I have something in the range of 20 hours of crafting to do when I get home. Which includes finishing the TERRIBLE popcorn/garland, because I have already committed to much time to it to quit now. Raising kids is a lot like a popcorn garland I suppose. To much time and skin elasticity sacrificed to bail.
Kidding! I actually miss my kids a ton this week, because I am busy doing the crafts designed for them. Ironic.
Also ironic that the white chicken chili I have experimented with is neither white, nor chili-like. More like a brown soup with chicken. And beans.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Here is where I explain yet another difference of growing up in a mostly-Asian country (translation: Hawaii). Yes, I do know that we are the 50th state, and not an independent nation.
But we are not American, in your "typical" sense. Unless you consider 5'2 average height, and spam a nationally loved food. Seriously. And before you think I am slamming Spam, let me just tell you that I LOVE it. Before I left for college, I had never eaten a fillet mignon, but I had digested spam on a weekly basis. And I wouldn't have traded it.
So. Take what you know about Japan and Gwen Stefani and the Harajuku girls. Got it? Okay. Make it more casual--less platform heels and more flip-flops. But keep the mid-riff, tight shirts. Oh, and add a tan. Now, set that image to any song in the Billboard Top 40. Bonus points, if the song you selected was a ballad.
Hawaiians love ballads. And before you think I am ripping on Hawaii's musical tastes, I might add that songs by Expose, the Covergirls and Atlantic Starr were among my FAVORITES in high school. When I hear them on the radio now, I still know every word. And this greatly amazes my husband who has never heard of ANY of these groups.
Okay. Then you take the English language, insert a few Japanese words, potentially some Chinese for good measure, and give it an odd, slang twist. "Mainlander" Americans won't be able to understand it. And neither will Asians from Asia. So, it's like a foreign language to the entire world. We call it Pidgeon. Yes, like the bird.
Aside from the whole spam debate (mainlanders think it's gross, Hawaiians think it's da bomb), another common, yet less discussed, difference is SAIMIN. Or what the upper 49 refer to as Ramen noodles. The cheap food of starving artists.
I grew up on this stuff! There are restaurants back home that have MULTIPLE versions of saimin on the menu! I ate it with the same frequency as spam. Most times spam comes in it--I probably just blew your mind with the cheapest, grossest food stereo-type.
And then, while grocery shopping on Monday, I came across the Ramen noodle section. I remembered it fondly, like airbrushed t-shirts, and then a little something caught my eye...
That would be the price tag. One of these packages, 17 cents. Which means, I fed three of my four children today for a combined total of 34 cents.
And then I was instantly sad that it's taken this long to give them a taste of their faux-Japanese roots. And I say faux, because while Hawaii aint typically American, it also isn't traditionally Asian. It's sort of it's own, bizarre hybrid. Potentially, it's what you get when you bake Asia at about 85 degrees for thousands of years?
I'm pretty sure that by the time I was Big J & L's age, I had mastered chopsticks. I don't ever remember NOT being able to use them, proficiently, I might add. What a disservice I have done to my children and their cultural identity. Not to mention their fine motor abilities.
The questions that boggle the mind, I tell you.
**Edit: If you have not heard of The Covergirls, Expose or Atlantic Starr, I am deeply sorry for you, but it is not too late. Search them on itunes. You won't be sorry. And you will understand me, just a little bit more.***
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Where crafts intersect with math or general common sense, I usually fall short. As witnessed by today's error. Which also resulted in lots of laughter.
Moral of the story: If you are experimenting with block printing, you need to reverse the image. I'd like to tell you that if I thought about that for a minute before creating the template, it would have occurred to me. But honestly, it would not have.
One of several projects I have lined up for this craft workshop I'm doing on Saturday. Otherwise known as the event which is causing all kinds of hysteria in my small mind. Not sure which crafts we're actually going to experiment with, but this is a possibility. And it would be so AWESOME if people came to my workshop, only to create a mildly-dyslexic piece of art.
And, to stick with our theme of keeping it real, I will have you know that there was a strange odor in my family room this morning.
Now. Strange odors, in and of themselves, are not really a red flag for me, as I live with four children who constantly hide all kinds of food and waste and fermenting substances in unlikely places. My defense to that kind of trickery is to ignore. See if I care that the wall is growing fur!
But, this was weird. And for me to say that, you must realize we are at a bio-hazard level of, like, 10.
My first thought: Something's dead in the chimney. Ick.
So, as I bend down to open the fireplace doors, I see it. Guck oozing from the monkey pumpkin on my mantle. This is worse than something decaying in my chimney. I touch the pumpkin, in an attempt to carry it to the trash.
The stump INSTANTLY falls off, as the pumpkin has transformed to liquid, and is being held together by the thin shell of paint Little J coated it with. I am fearing that the simple pressure of my breath will collapse it into a river of stink and gnats (which I am also noticing, but on their own, is not enough of a warning sign). By the grace of God, I manage to roll this thing into a trash bag...and banish it to our outside trash cans, where it will sit for a week, because it seems our trash pick-up occurred 15 minutes prior.
Just a warning. DO NOT open our outdoor trash cans this week. Or possibly, EVER.
Now. Even if you didn't sweep your floors today (which I DO NOT do on a daily basis), this has got to make you feel good about yourself and the general cleanliness of your home.
Happy to be of service.
Monday, November 2, 2009
I don't know my license plate number. I don't even know what letter it starts with. But, I knew it was me. Because this is kind of a hobby of mine. Tempting fate to steal my collection of empty diet coke cans.
I made a choice right then and there that I didn't care if the door was open. The door could wait 20 minutes. It wasn't worth it to drag 3 kids back out to the parking lot, all the while fielding questions about who was watching our groceries and WHY they didn't get a cookie.
So we shopped. And at the end of our excursion, you could color me surprised that it wasn't my car that was open to the elements. Add a tinge of glee that I'm not the only one who walks away from a vehicle and forgets a small thing like a door.
Now, now. I know you're all here for the webs. Made out of ALMOND BARK. How I love me some almond bark. Even more, now that I know you can use it like icing.
Buy it, get it home, melt it. Spoon your melted bark into a gallon sized plastic baggie--you are attempting to get it into one of the bag corners, and what you have created is a decorators icing bag. All you need to do is snip the corner (the smaller the hole, the finer your almond bark lines will be). Placing the melted almond bark/icing in the bag never goes very smoothly. You will get goo in a lot of strange places. Be encouraged, it happens to everyone.
Use this link to take you to Country Living, as they have so graciously created a template for making these webs. You'll print it off, line a cookie sheet with wax paper, and slide the template under the wax paper. Cut the tip off your plastic bag and trace away!
G's birthday is in a few weeks, and I'm planning to do just that with her cake. I've never been good with free-handing icing...it always resembles the writing of a 90-year-old. I should probably add that icing bark solidifies...so once it cools down, it will harden, and that's how you peel it off the paper and add it to your baked goods.
Might I also add: the left over almond bark, in the make-shift decorators bag, is an excellent fine-motor activity for the little ones. Just be sure to lay wax paper down first!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Perhaps it is because our children are getting older, but Halloween is becoming more fun. There is less screaming when it comes to adults in costume or scary decorations at Sams Club. Which, coincidentally, make the holiday INFINITELY more enjoyable for me!
I've posted a bunch of crafts and things over the past few weeks, but here are a few more images. Crafts also equal a jolly good time for me, so this is quickly turning into a fun, month-long tradition. And thankfully, the weather in St. Louis this October was absolutely crap-tastic...which means we had MUCH time to devote to crafting, and a constantly gray and eerie backdrop for our festivities.
Halloween 2009 was a huge success. It was the first year our kids went willingly to each door, while we adults hung back on the street. This might be why my children returned home with obscene amounts of candy (from maybe, 15 houses total). I am pretty sure they grabbed multiple, LARGE handfuls of candy from neighbors who weren't sure how to discipline greedy children.
I'm also somewhat sure it is generally assumed, amongst our neighborhood, that our many small children have to fight for their daily food allowances. And therefore, they feel personally responsible for helping to sustain them with kit-kats.
Anyhoo. You'll notice there is an image of spiderweb cupcakes--my greatest find of 2009! I'll post the link, and give you a play-by-play tomorrow, because I believe this technique means BIG THINGS in cuteness, no matter what the season.
It could change the world of crafting, as we know it.