Saturday, November 29, 2008

The wonderful world of family...

We spent Thanksgiving day in the cities with my mom's side of my family. It was a wonderful day, filled with good food and family. (and yes, the pies survived the trip and were enjoyed-I think, since I went for the pumpkin instead...)

There is something about getting together with my mom's side that just speaks of the holidays. I suppose it comes from all the gatherings over the years; when I think of childhood holidays, birthdays or other goings'-on, one thing that comes to mind is cousins..slews of them. There's somewhere around 70 first cousins on that side (hundreds of seconds, I'm sure.) I landed in the middle, I'm not sure where. The middle, a wonderful place to be when it comes to growing up and family.

So this Thanksgiving was kind of amazing to me. I walked into the town hall (no one's house is big enough for all of us..) and walked into a slew of kids. Only this time, I was arriving with my own little ones in tow. Added all together, we realized my Gramma's 50th great-grandchild is 'in the oven' and will arrive sometime this spring. Wow. (and just think, my youngest cousin is around 8 months old...we've a way to go before the final tally...)

I love that we all still get together now and then for things such as the holidays. Not only so I can see everyone and visit, but so Oliver and Elsa get to be in the middle of a slew of cousins. They are the only grandkids in mine and Eric's family, so their experience is so, so different than the one I grew up in. It's wonderful, they are loved and doted on like you wouldn't believe, but yet I love that they get a taste of having cousins around too. It's a wonderful world to experience.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And we all survived...

The goal was to make two apple pies to bring to Thanksgiving tomorrow. I succeeded! They even look pretty. But the process of getting there-that wasn't quite so pretty.

It took:
  • 10 or so apples, run through the peeler/slicer/corer by a determined Oliver;
  • A walk to clear my head and wonder if I really wanted to continue,
  • At least five mixing bowls since everyone needed at least one;
  • Lots of flour...everywhere (The picture below doesn't do the end product justice);
  • A couple piles of flour/water goop..strewn across the floor;
  • A large pile of kitchen towels;
  • Multiple washings of the table in between rolling every crust to get rid of the goop;
  • And a large dose of patience topped off with quite a few quick reflexes...
Baking things that require a bit of space is always an adventure in my kitchen. The adventure comes in trying to find the space. I started these pies on the table, and by the time I was finishing off pinching the crust, I was balanced on the two inches at the edge of the sink (Have you ever realized just how versatile that little space is? I use mine quite a bit) By this time, Elsa was taking a nap, so Oliver and I built a "Pie Man" from the left over crust. I melted some butter, scraped the remains of the pie filling (a little apply-sugary-cinnimony stuff) from the bowl and mixed them together, then spread it on the guy. Oliver made him a face and buttons out of chocolate chips and into the oven he went. A tad bit later, out he came. Oliver was purely excited, until I broke off an arm for us to try...then he was convinced it should be "put back on!!" Oops. But hey, he tasted good!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Our New Arrivals

Blender. Marie Claire. Entrepreneur. Maxim. Men's World. Ebony (2 issues). Not the list of magazines you'd expect to find at our house, is it? I never would have thought so either. But, there they sit, along with a few others. Weird. The even weirder part? We didn't order them, buy them, or ask for them in any way. They just showed up. Actually, they showed up at Eric's ma and dad's over the last week, addressed to Eric, at his parent's PO box.

Mysterious, and kind of disturbing. Seeking the answer to this mystery, I called a couple of the magazine's 'subscription offices' and asked why we they were gracing us with their unsolicited presence. These kind people didn't know, but said that a clearing house was in their database as the one that signed us up. 'Sometimes they do this to promote a shouldn't be getting billed.' My thought? Um, GOOD! Then, saying they would kindly cancel the subscription if we didn't care to receive it, (and sounding sort of disappointed that I wasn't ecstatic about getting their magazine for free) they gave me 800 numbers to those other that didn't work at all, and the other that made me into a piece of voice mail. So, the answer still lurks out there somewhere., so, strange.

My only real question: Why couldn't at least one be something good??

But...don't look a freebie-gift-horse in the mouth, I guess.

If you're looking for me, I'll just be increasing my punk rock, black culture, how-to-look-like-a-model, entrepreneurial knowledge.

*hmm...Men's World...does it give clues to the way a guy thinks?? Maybe this one could be useful...:)*

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's all fun and games...

Until somebody gets hurt.

Isn't that what our mom's always told us? I guess that must be one of those things I'm supposed to do now that I'm the mom. Oops.

Not to worry, it's nothing that drastic. Just last night we were all going a little crazy, playing hide-n-seek, and I was chasing Oliver. He slipped and fell into a kitchen chair, ending up with a fat cheek. Why must those face boo-boos bleed so much?? Well. That was the end of that. This morning Oliver required oatmeal...the cold cereal he tried first made him cry. Yup, guess I'm supposed say stop...but where's the fun in that?

While I was hiding I made a discovery. Another reason we need a bigger house: there aren't many places to hide. It's all well and fine right now; hide-n-seek with these two isn't really to requires a lot of whistling. But give 'em a few years.... Yep, we need a new house.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Here comes Winter...ready or not!

It's snowing out. Yikes. I'm just not quite mentally ready for winter to arrive. I've done things in preparation...picking up the yard toys, putting the storm windows in (still waiting for the plastic...), even went and bought some sorely needed new snow boots from L&M. (I thought they were a pretty good deal, as long as they live up to the claim of 'rated to -50'...but of course, I opened L&M's ad this weekend, and whatdyaknow, they're on sale for $6 cheaper. Humpf.) But...WHERE did fall go???

Speaking of the L&M trip, it was a rather spontaneous COMPLETE family outing the other night. I say complete, because it seems so rare that Eric and I are actually in the car together, headed in one direction. This was a nice change. Anyhow, Thursday night rolled around, and being as this is my weekend to work, I was in need of lunch-type foods. (I work every other weekend-Fri afternoon, then 7-7 Sat-Monday, hence the need for quite a few choices..) So, off to PR we went. It was shaping up to be your typical trip to L&M and J&B, until we arrived. We walked though the door of L&M Fleet, and there in all their shining, perfectly-eye-catching, yellow and green glory were three junior sized John Deere tractors. Oliver's jaw actually dropped. Out came a 'Ooohhhh....tractors..a loader!' Said with all the enthusiasm of a two and a half year old in his absolute glory. So, after sufficiently (I thought...he didn't agree) checking them out, we continued through the store in search of the above mentioned boots, mittens for the kids-where have all the mittens gone??-and a few electrical pieces for the sawmill. It wasn't a quiet ride...'But I NEED one.' and 'No...I don't need gloves..I need a tractor maybe.' I didn't mind. It was pretty cute actually, the lengths he was going to to convince us he couldn't leave without a tractor. Such sincerity has never before crossed his face. Now Oliver has his wish list for 'Mit-mas': a big shiny, eye-catching, green and yellow pedal tractor...with a loader, of course.

Ahh, well. The snow is kinda pretty. Hello, winter.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Joining the Blogging World...

Blogging...How to start? I 've been reading the blogs of some of you others out there for a while, and every now and then have had an experience or thought, then thought 'hmm...that'd be kinda fun to share...' Most often, my source comes from those two wonderful, goofy children of mine, but also from other parts of life. If you happen to stop by-I hope you'll enjoy the few things I have to say!