Friday, November 20, 2009

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

What are YOU thankful for?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sushi Anyone?

I guess I've decided to come out of the blogging hole I've been hiding in for the last few months (was it really March when I last posted??) now that we've moved far, far away and I can't just tell people about the awesome thing I did tonight. You know, at least not in person.

Tonight, my friends, I made sushi for the first time! I know. Is that not seriously so cool? Ellis and I love sushi, but we rarely get to go out to eat it. So I thought, hey, how hard could it be? I got myself some toasted seaweed, a rolling mat, and some sashimi grade tuna and went to town.
For the adults, we have your classic Philly rolls, and my version of the so yummy "Jenny roll" that I had at Tsunami a while ago with (who else?) Jenni. My version is, of course, called the "Jenni Roll."

I made a tamer roll for the kids with cooked crab. I cut them smaller, too, so they'd be able to manage them better, and the rolls got a little smushed in the process. The presentation is lacking here, I know, but the kids had fun messing around with the chopsticks.

Ellis enjoys his rolls with wasabi and soy sauce.

I like mine 'al natural,' the way they were intended.

And the girls mostly liked the fortune cookies. I know, I know . . . fortune cookies don't really fit the Japanese theme, but let's be honest, the girls aren't exactly sushi aficionados.

Yes, attempts were made to eat the fortune cookies with chopsticks.

FYI: In my quest for sushi-making knowledge, I discovered that sushi is not meant to be eaten with chopsticks but is supposed to be eaten with your hands. (Jen, you don't need to master the chopsticks after all!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Crime and Punishment

The other day, the kids were playing outside on the swing set (you know, before the March blizzard of '09), and Ellis saw Marley pushing Lucy down while they were up on the slide. In what I think was a stroke of disciplining genius, Ellis made Marley have a timeout that involved writing down all the reasons why pushing her little sister off the slide was a bad idea. Here's what she came up with:

1. Bekus Lucy will haf too go too the Hosobl.

2. Bekus Lucy will hav a brokin lag.

3. Bekus Lucy will be hrt.

4. Bekus Lucy will kri.

5. Bekus she will be sad.

She had written each reason on a separate little sheet of paper, and then she stapled (and taped) them all together in a small booklet for our reading pleasure.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Which Girl Scout Cookie are You?

You Are Peanut Butter Sandwiches / Do-si-dos

You are easy going and naturally happy. You don't need a lot to make you smile.

You genuinely care about people and are a great friend. You're always doing your best to make the world a better place.

Even though there isn't an immature bone in your body, you still are like a big kid sometimes.

Why make life complicated when the best parts are actually quite simple? You enjoy the small joys of life.

Hmmm. . . I'm not sure I like being associated with a cookie called the "Do-Si-Do." I swear, I never clogged when I was younger . . . . At least not professionally.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Land of the Cheese, Home of the Packers

Okay, so as many of you may have heard by now, it is official: we are moving to the great state of Wisconsin! Yes, I know . . . there were rumors flying around for a while about us moving to Mississippi. And yes, those rumors were started by me. But as it turns out, Ellis is a highly sought-after man, and what can we say? We liked Wisconsin a lot better. But hey, we'll be next to the Mississippi River, so I like to think it all evens out.

And even though we won't be moving until the end of the summer, I've been accumulating a lot of really valuable information about our future state. Friends and family have been extremely helpful in sharing their wealth of knowledge, and now here's what I've got so far:
  1. Great cheese. Now Dana may mock, but there are few things I love more than squeaky cheese (and yes, those who know me well . . . or just read my blog . . . will know that chocolate is one of those things). So I can't complain about this one.
  2. Cold winters. This one doesn't bother me too much either. The real problem is when you have hot, humid summers, and nobody wants to go outside. Like I need a house full of kids all summer long.
  3. Green Bay Packers. I plead ignorance on all things football-related. (They are a football team, right?)
  4. Highly ranked public schools. Good, good. I don't want dumb kids.
  5. Beautiful area. Well, I have to live there, so this one's definitely a plus.
  6. Big ol' river. The city we'll be living in borders the river, so that could be pretty cool. Ellis is excited because there are all sorts of outdoor-related activities we can do there. This could be good and bad. I'll let you know.
  7. Low cost of living. Bonus! Houses are really cheap there, and as we all know, it's a good time to buy. We'll invite you all for the house-warming . . .

Well, that's about all I've got right now. Feel free to chime in if you know any other bits of Wisconsin trivia. I've clearly got the important stuff down, but I do like to be prepared. I guess I'll hold onto my parka and snow boots.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

All Chocolate is Not Created Equal

So here's something interesting I've discovered (in addition to the fact that about half of my posts seem to be dedicated to chocolate): Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips just aren't as good as almost any other generic brand of chocolate chips. And frankly, neither are Ghirardelli chocolate chips. And aren't they supposed to be the better brands?

It's kind of weird, I think, that Hershey's brand tastes more like semi-sweet than milk chocolate. I'm not exactly a chocolate snob, but I do much prefer milk chocolate to semi-sweet when it comes to the chocolate chips in my cookies. And I want them to taste like milk chocolate, too. Is that so much to ask?

Probably the best ones out there are Macey's brand milk chocolate chips. Those are sooo tasty.

So what's up with Hershey's, huh? If I buy milk chocolate, I want milk chocolate! Of course, it didn't exactly stop me from finishing off the last of this bag of chocolate chips . . .

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jump, Lucy, Jump!

Okay, so I literally have no time to be blogging right now, but I thought I'd throw one quick little video on here. Have I ever mentioned how much Lucy likes to jump? I mean, seriously, if it were an Olympic sport, she'd totally take the gold.

What's that you say? Oh, it is an Olympic sport? Huh. Well, I guess it's a good thing we started her training early then. If she doesn't end up an Olympian, I know she'll totally beat that one kid with the freakish long legs in the long jump at the 5th grade Track Meet.

Check out the evidence below: Lucy, age 3.

And yeah, maybe I'm pushing her a little hard there at the end. Look, someone's got to get this kid ready for Summer Games 2022.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It understands me

Okay, so I'm trying not to panic here, but I've recently discovered that there is no chocolate in my house.

[Waiting for reaction]

Did you hear me? I said NO chocolate. None. No more leftover Christmas candy, no more Hershey Kisses that I had stashed away in a drawer that I lovingly chose not to share with anyone else in my family. (It will rot their teeth. I'm just thinking of them.) No bag of mini-Kisses that were supposed to be for chocolate chip cookies, were I to make some. No box of 100 calorie chocolate shortbread cookies (apparently, the 100 calories is only significant if you eat 1 bag at a time).

But see, here's the problem. I can't really make anything chocolate because Ellis and I are trying to eat healthier right now [snickering . . . what Ellis doesn't know won't hurt him . . . ] So I can't just have a chocolate cake or cookies lying around the house. That would totally defeat his our goal.

Sigh. It's just hard to be responsible for your family when you really have no interest in doing it for yourself.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead

Something I just overheard while Marley and Lucy were playing pretend:

Marley: "Well, Mom and Dad are dead. Now we can do whatever we want!"

And frankly, it's not the first time I've heard them playing a game where their parents are dead. Not just away on vacation or out shopping, but dead. So, um, how should I be feeling about this?

Monday, January 12, 2009

So this is why I never do Spring Cleaning . . .

So I've now spent most of the weekend cleaning blinds, walls, baseboards, doors, and organizing rooms. Why would I subject myself to such misery, you may ask? Look, I like a clean house as much as the next person. But this deep cleaning and scrubbing is just not my thing.

And seriously, after all the blinds I've cleaned, I realize now why the last time I cleaned those blinds was . . . hmmm, well, let's see . . . I can't quite remember . . . um, I'll have to get back to you on that one . . . but if I were judging from the layers like you would do to determine the age of a tree, hypothetically, of course, I'd have to guess 3 years (which is when we first hung them up).

Well, anyway, we've decided to sell our house. That's right, we've given up on getting to stay here in the ol' home state. Ellis has a bunch of job interviews that are for schools out of state, and since they all start in August of this year, we thought we'd better get a jump on selling the house.

But you know, while I was cleaning all those wretched blinds and walls, I just kept thinking how I wished I was curled up somewhere reading a book and neglecting, well, pretty much everything else. And that made me think about all the crappy things we have to do as adults that we'd really rather not be doing.

Things I Should Do____________Things I'd Rather Do

Clean the blinds............................Let the blinds gather an inch-thick dust layer
Wash the dishes...........................Leave them in the sink and go watch 30 Rock
Make dinner.................................Eat cold cereal
Go for a run.................................Stay in my warm, comfortable bed
Get the kids ready for school..........See Above
Go to bed early............................Stay up blogging or watching SNL with Ellis
Sweep........................................Get family to stop dropping things
Get kids ready for bed...................Go to bed myself
Eat healthy snacks........................Make repeated trips to the bag of choco chips
Go grocery shopping......................Have a root canal

So, I think I mostly fall somewhere in between these two columns on any given day (some days leaning more severely to the right . . .), but what about the rest of you? I know I'm not the only one out there. 'Fess up. What are some things you do instead of what you know you should be doing?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Anyone need a drummer?

Okay, let's get something straight here. I am not a gamer. Never have been. Never even wanted to be. Remember when Nintendo first came out? My best friend had one, and I was never more bored than when she wanted to play Mario or some games involving a big gorilla or Mike Tyson (could have been the same game; I'm not sure).

And I've always been pretty certain that I would never want to have any kind of gaming system in my house. Seems like a big waste of time, you know?

So fast-forward to last night when our neighbor invited us over to play Rock Band. Then fast-forward to 5 hours later when we had to tear ourselves away because it was 2:30 in the morning, and we felt guilty for keeping them up so late.

All I can say is, I think I've found my new calling. I'm just looking for a band who needs a slightly inexperienced drummer, and I'll go on the road right now. Either that, or we're going to have to buy our own game because I'm so hooked that I was tempted to sneak over to my neighbor's house during Sunday School today to get in a little practice.

Oh, and I'm thinking of dying my hair bright pink . . .

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rockin' in the New Year

So, when you throw together a last-minute New Year's Eve bash with Jeffrey and Karen, you really just don't know what you're in for. Our night included (but was not limited to) the following:

  • Jeffrey's amazing and delicious homemade pizza

  • Board games (Karen and I won, and then lost)

  • 20 pounds of Christmas candy (hey, it's totally justified when it's on sale after Christmas)

  • A few neighborhood fireworks

  • Jeffrey's midnight run around the block in the nude (oh wait, he opted to keep his clothes on after he felt how chilly it was out there)

  • "Eye of the Tiger" (Karen and Jeffrey, then Ellis and Jami)

  • "Material Girl" (Ellis and Jeffrey . . .see video below)

  • "Tricky" by Run DMC (no one)

  • Numberous 80s medleys (all of us)
There's a surprisingly long intro to "Eye of the Tiger" when you're playing SingStar 80s. Luckily for all of us, Jeffrey and Karen were prepared with theme-appropriate choreography.

I tried to get Ellis to do some Rocky moves with me during our "Eye of the Tiger" intro. He wasn't nearly as inspired as I was.

And for the grand finale . . . All I can say is, move over, Madonna.

Too late for Christmas stuff?

I'm not sure at what point you're kicked out of the blogging world for neglecting to actually, uh, blog, but you know . . . new year's resolutions, and all that.

So a few weeks ago, the fam made some very tasty gingerbread men (well, okay, mostly women, but that's what you get with our family) and decorated them.

Lucy went with the "more is more" theory on her candy decorations. Of course, by the time I took this picture, she'd already eaten most of them off. You can tell she's still on her sugar-high by the glazed look in her eyes.

Marley spent most of the night painstakingly putting all these tiny candies on her cookie's skirt, and most of us had finished eating our cookies before hers was done. After I took this picture, she spent another hour on her decor.

I think Larrin felt sorry for Ellis's lone gingerbread man and made one herself, although opting to give hers a crew cut. You know, just in case he should ever decide on a career with the military.

Mine is entitled "Self-Portrait" which I think is fairly obvious. The orange corn-rows, multi-colored button-up, and pleated floor-length skirt are dead give-aways.

Ellis's cookie manages to put on a brave face despite a recent traumatic injury. (And personally, I'm rather fond of the Chippendales-esque tie/no shirt combo he chose to go with.)