Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tonight's Sudden Conversation

Tonight we dropped Maddie off at church for confirmation class and Mike, Jake and I headed to dinner.  About 10 seconds into the ride this is the conversation completely out of the blue:

Jake:  What's a one-night stand?


Mike:  Kerry?

Kerry:  Uhhh...where did you hear that?
Jake: I'm reading these cool facts on my iPod.  "40% of all Americans will have a one-night stand."

[Driving must have gotten intense because Mike was super focused on the road at this point.]

Kerry:'s where a guy and girl who may or may not really know each other...sleep together...asinhavesex...and then probably never see each other again.  It's really not cool.

Jake:  Oh...yeah, doesn't sound cool.  SO...Armadillos....

And like father, like son, Jake was pretty fast to change the subject as well.  But we did learn that somehow or other Armadillos get leprosy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ho Ho Ho!

This past weekend we set up our Christmas decorations.  Jake opened one box and found his new winter hat:

He wore it to school Monday and I think it's become his new go-to hat in the mornings.  I wonder if I bought him a snowman hat for January - and a different theme for each month of winter - if he'd wear them?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

This morning Jake was rummaging through the refrigerator when he saw the lefse my mom had brought over a few days ago.  He mentioned how he would love some, but it probably wouldn't fill him up.  I agreed.

He decided on the next best thing...

I'm sure this is exactly what the teachers had in mind when they remind you to eat a healthy breakfast on test day.

Friday, November 16, 2012


A really great friend of mine was having a baby in October and I wanted to make her a blanket.  Forget getting her something she could actually use like a gift card to Domino's or something...

Anyway - ages ago I pinned this blanket with the hope that someday one of my friends would decide to have a baby.  I knew this would be the blanket I wanted to try in October.

I gathered the materials and sewed everything to what I read the directions to be.  I later realized that what I had read and what was written were actually two hugely different things.

This is what I ended up with:

Soft and cuddly?  I think not.

The inspiration was all fluffy - you couldn't see the underlying fabric between the rows.  Mine?  Not so much. I had chosen a base fabric of stripes where the rows on the back ran in complete opposite directions.  I had also chosen a very contrasting thread, so there was a third direction of "stripes" included.  It was migraine inducing.  Not to mention that the colors of the backing fabric and the colors of the flannel completely clashed.  I don't know what I had been thinking; it looked so cute at Joann Fabric.

And square...fuggle.  I had finally stopped trying because it was soon to be the size of a napkin.

The flannel binding, after washing, was not only pilling - because it was flannel - but was also coming undone because it was too thin a strip and my hand sewing was no match for the thickness of the blanket.

Mike, being ever supportive, told me it was fine.  My friend would love it.  I told him I could not in good conscience give this to someone I actually liked.

So, I headed back to the store and tried again.  I bought completely different styles of fabric based on my learning experience (big or minimal patterns only).  I bought flannel that actually matched.  I bought thread that blended into my backing fabric.

Then I went home and read the directions correctly.  Attempt number two ended with this:

Are you all breathing a sigh of relief for my friend?  I was.  THIS was what I had envisioned it turning out like.

See that fluff?  It might get fluffier with each washing!  I explained to my friend that she might want to dry it alone - this bad boy produces some lint!  Then I realized I had just given a gift of not only extra laundry...but one that possibly required special instructions.  What every new mother needs...

You may be wondering what we are going to do with the previous blanket.  Hence the post title.  It is Sadie's Christmas present.  If she were human she'd be a blanket baby.  She has a Barney towel that we gave her when she first arrived and it has giant holes in it, it's purple and has a picture of Barney on it.  I told Maddie my idea and she went right over to Sadie and told her, "You are getting a new blanket for Christmas!"

I told Maddie that wasn't very the dog won't even be surprised.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Griddle Master

Pancakes are one of our "go-to" meals.  For those certain nights of the week that we have very little time to prepare a full meal, pancakes are fast, easy, and we are all happy to eat them.

The only down side is that Mike or I are usually preparing them.  The cook rarely gets to actually eat with the rest of the family.

The last couple times of pancakes, Jake has really wanted to make the pancakes.  A few weeks back he and Mike worked together to learn how to ladle the batter without spilling it everywhere.  Jake also learned how to tell when pancakes need to be flipped.

Last week Jake was insistent that he could handle it all himself.  He started out with "dollar" pancakes and each batch got a little bigger until he had worked himself up to a "normal" sized pancake.

So now Mike and I get to eat, but Jake doesn't.  This is still not the perfect system.  However, Jake's favorite part is yelling (literally yelling to us who are five feet away...) "SOUS CHEF!  I NEED THE PLATE!"  Then one of us is expected to bring the plate over to be reloaded with fresh pancakes.  We think the power may go to his head soon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

All Dressed Up

I will totally admit to being a Halloween Scrooge.  I just cannot get into this holiday.  Last weekend the kids and I finally headed to the store to get a costume.  Maddie wanted to be some kind of crazy zombie (aren't they all...).  Jake originally wanted to be some scary clown, followed by a choice of some type of ninja followed by some other ninja.  I already had a headache.

30 minutes into the store visit I texted Mike, "This is killing me.  You are totally handling costumes next year."  He texted back, "Two ghosts...I'm done."  During our hour long time at the store Maddie tried on at least three costumes - none of which she liked.  Jake tried on one costume and realized it was too small.  I mentioned how in days of old we used to make most of our costumes (and by "we" I meant "my mom").  They actually scoffed at that; no one made costumes anymore.  But after looking things over for a fifth time, suddenly he asked if he could be a soldier - everything we already had at home.  Okay!  One down, one to go.  A couple more searches later for Maddie yielding nothing and I threw out a suggestion of how to make the costume she wanted at home and we headed out of the store having bought fake blood and some fake scars.

We brought an old "convict" costume of Mike's to my mom who consulted us on how to fix it up.  Maddie was having two friends over (also zombie wanna-be's) to hand out candy while Jake was heading out with Mike and a friend down the street.

A couple years ago Jake was a soldier.  I was surprised he wanted to do a repeat costume, but I think he seriously just likes two aspects: the camo, and the hat.

And just so everyone is clear...boys do NOT wear "makeup".  I mentioned that I thought his "makeup" looked great.  Mike and Jake were very clear that boys do not wear makeup they wear war paint.  My bad.

A full view shot...the bright yellow and orange gun really help hide him.  That's okay - they just match his shoes.  But, of course, I've been informed boys don't wear outfits either so I'm sure that was just an accident.

Maddie's two friends arrived and spent quite a bit of time putting together makeup and helping each other perfect their costumes.

Scary zombies:

Happy zombies:

Scary zombies:

Me, wasting an evening playing on the computer:

And as a final Halloween sort-of FAIL, I will present our "pumpkins"...

I have to say though - we had one neighbor boy that stopped me to stay he thought the bags were kind of clever.  His mom is a crafter so I'm pretty sure he's been taught to appreciate these types of efforts...

Halloween 2012 ended with three fake pumpkins and, against all odds, two home-made costumes.  The fake blood was used up and the scars remained in the packaging.  Hope Mike is ready for next year....I'll be watching from the sidelines.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy Birthday to the Mr.!

Yesterday was Mike's birthday!  He usually tries to declare it a holiday and takes the day off work.  This year he's even declared it a four-day weekend so he doesn't have work on Monday either.  He told his boss it was a National Holiday - she said, "Only national?"  He said next year he was going for international.

We had to ship the kids off to school, but we enjoyed a nice breakfast of Mike's request..."non-runny eggs". I cooked them until I thought we'd choke on them then served them up.  They passed muster...whew.  Then we kicked the kids out of the door and headed to Caribou where he got his free coffee.  We got to spend some time relaxing and reading and chatting.  Afterwards we decided to head out on a drive for wherever the wind decided to take us.  We love driving around and looking at houses and different areas so this was a treat - and I'm sure the kids were thrilled later to learn that they had missed out on it.

We had asked Mike what type of cake he had wanted.  He didn't have any huge suggestions, but mentioned that his mom had always made a "Cherry Chip" cake when he was little and he was sure it came out of a box.  I was pretty sure it didn't.  Maybe it did in 1977, but I'd never seen it.  A little Google search and Duncan Hines provided the recipe.  After chopping a half jar of maraschino cherries, and staining my fingers an awful shade of red, we had this:

A very manly pink cake.

We brought it downstairs and had the traditional singing...

The inside of the cake was pink too.  Mike later said he was surprised there was real cherries in it.  He didn't remember that from the cake of yesteryear...dried cherries, definitely, but not the real thing.  He said it tasted good and Maddie liked it a lot so...thank you, Duncan Hines!

Presents were next.  Really, Mike had already picked out his own presents...he outfitted his bar with a bunch of 5-gallon kegs and everything needed to run his taps.  However, we couldn't have a birthday without something  to open.

He really likes a certain brand of shirt and had pointed some sales out at the mall.  Maddie picked this gift out for him.

Jake wanted to get him a beer kit, but the yeast wasn't available so instead we got him a "growler".  This is a jug he can use to fill up with the beer on tap and take it to parties or down the street to the neighbor's on bonfire night.

Mike had spent the afternoon watching some t.v. show on Netflix that he's been trying to finish.  He was only too happy to spend the afternoon downstairs with the sound turned up (lots of special effects...) and nobody around ( to make comments on what a ridiculous show it was.  He even kicked the kids out when they started hanging out and wondering what he was watching.  Some definite "me" time for him.

Happy Birthday, Mike!