Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Toy Review Time...

Time for another toy review and I think I will review the game we played last time, which is like the third Cranium game I think we have. I think I love Cranium. I havent had a bad time with any of their games yet.

This is Zooreka!You roll two kinds of dice, one a regular dice and one a resource dice which helps you pick up food, animal and shelter cards. The regular dice tells you how many spaces you may move on the board. You can land on different things like sunny day that gives you good news like, your giraffe just had a baby so you get to draw another animal card, or a stormy weather card which delivers bad news like, your monkeys got out, put pack three animal cards.

The different cards can be traded for each other when you land on a trading post space and just the right combination of cards gets you a habitat peice. You have sixteen to choose from. I always try to get the elephants, orangutanes, bats and dolphins. Collect four and you win the game, your zoo is complete! I think its funny that no one ever wants this habitat:

Thats right folks, the Naked Mole Rat! I give this game the full rating. I love it.

Where did THAT come from?

That is what I am asking myself about last night. I got home, we ate dinner, and then I had all kinds of energy. I rounded the munchkins up and we played a game. Then we did some laundry and then, and this is where it gets good...we made BANANA Bread. Yep. All before American Idol too!

My kids' eyes get all glazed over when they see that one or two bananas are getting brown...and if I do not discard them before they notice, they start pestering me to make banana bread. I just wasnt quick enough this week I guess and they noticed.

So, my first idea was that I would let THEM make the banana bread as I relaxed and handed out orders. HA! I have a LOT to learn. N wanted to crack the eggs, and of course he tapped it on the bowl like a showed him, and then he clenched his fist, crushing the eggs in his hand. So, I had to pick egg shells out...

Oh, well. I ended up doing most of the work. Which was fine, I guess. They were happy with the banana bread, the house smelled good, I no longer have deteriorating bananas on my counter. Yay, for me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Check this out part 1

The second blog I ever checked out was Torina's Busy Intersection. I dig it, she makes me a good way! A couple days ago she posted questions people wrote in about adopting older kids from the foster care system. That was a good idea, and it is an interesting read. So check Torina's blog out

Monday, January 26, 2009

Taking time out

Yesterday I did something I was quite proud of and made me feel like a good mom. T had taken the boys to the store to get some belts, so it was me and S. I was up to my eyebrows in homework and she had her little doll, Alexis and was just kind of hanging around, trying to be quiet so she wouldnt disturb me (Im cranky when Im distrubed while doing homework). It began to bother me that I was involved in my homework that it was taking away time I could have spending with just her, here in the house. SO....I turned the computer off. I did. And we played. It.was.good.

I said, "lets do something while all the boys are gone". She asked me what I wanted to play and I said I didnt care. So we pretended. Im used to doing that but in a different way. I pretend things like the dishes are clean, and that the alarm clock isnt going to go off in three minutes, and that my boss isnt knocking on my office door, stuff like that. S wanted me to pretend that I was the grandma (great, Im pretending, Im OLD), and that her two dolls were my grandchildren, two of eight. We talked about her ten year old son, Kevin. She was cracking me up. At one point I was supposed to come into her beauty shop and she was supposed to do my hair for Kevins birthday party. I played along, and then I cheated a little.

Me: Oh, thanks for doing my hair, it looks good
S: Your welcome.
Me: Can we go to your house now, we have a while before the party.
S: OK.
Me: If I promise not to mess up my hair, can I pretend to take a nap?
S; Ok.

and then I laid on her bed. I didnt actually sleep, but I was reclined, as she busied herself with her dolls. We just talked about all her kids and her "husband". She was cracking me up. It was fun, and I know it is something I should do more often, with all of the kids.

Boring, whining rant by moi

Ok, Im pretty ticked off. I just wrote this huge boring rant about how my life is too busy and how I dont have time for squat (say that, its fun)anymore and how school stinks because the statistics class ruined it all for me...yada yada yada, and its all gone! Gone into the bowels of cyber space forever.

Oh let me tell you about one of the most embarrasing moments and it doesnt even involve my kids. My brother was visiting my house from SoCal and I had wrote something down on a peice of paper, I dont remember what now, anyway I meant to write "bowl" and I ended up writing "bowel". It was something I had written for him to read too, and when I reread it later, I almost died when I realized what I had done. It wasnt the bowel part that was so embarrasing, just that I looked like an enormous idiot. So, when I ever I write bowel or bowl I think of that. Just wanted to share.

So, anyway, what I was saying was that my boss has taken it upon himself to drop loads of work on my desk. Im SERIOUS. I mean just who does he think he is? The nerve. Oh, he is supposed to do that? Well, just when in the heck am I supposed to catch up on blogs, mine and everyone else's? Hmmmm? When?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Funniest thing Ive heard this week

It came to light this morning that A did not listen to his teacher on Friday, because he "wanted to be home". Normally, this is a kid that gets behavior awards and who the teachers absolutely adore, so I was kind of surprised. Anyway I talked to him about this:

Me: How many times did Mrs. T have to ask you to stop this?
A: twice
Me: How many times should she have to ask you?
A: Once.
Me: Yes, thats right.
A: But Mom, twice is better than her telling me a hundred times!

I cannot argue with that!

Friday, January 16, 2009

For your viewing pleasure...

...because Im too sick to write anything, and because they are cute, and because I like you. I wont write much today because Im loopy with cold meds and it will come out sounding stupid. Like it doesn't all the time anyway, right?

Pictures of my movie star/hippie/and rocker children for Spirit Week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Annoyments/Enjoyments of this VERY second


1. School work nagging at the back of my mind, quite loudly
2. This Diet Coke, not what I REALLY want, but whatever, stupid body image.
3. This song on the radio, I think I last heard it on an episode of "Family Ties'.
4. The phone ringing.
5. School work nagging at the back of my mind.


1. The fact that my office door is shut and Im inside, and there isnt anything anyone can do about it, since Im entitled to a lunch break.
2. The piece of Werthers candy sitting in front of me, waiting patiently.
3. The banana Im eating
4. The fact that American Idol starts tonight (Im lame, I know this, but I LOVE Simon Cowell)
5. Thumbing my nose at school work.

Wha's uuuuup?

Ive been sitting here struggling with the decision to blog or not to blog today. So, here I am. I just dont have a whole lot to say, or at least I think I dont. We shall see.

This weekend we had a glorious 12 hours to ourselves (T and me). It was good, although next time, we are going to spend it close to home instead of going into the wild and crazy "city". I dropped the kids off at the respite providers house, and went and had some much needed waxing done. I stopped at the coffee stand and got myself a delicious vanilla latte, and got T a vanilla Italian Soda, then went home and jumped in the passenger seat as T jumped in the drivers seat (cause I hate driving and he hates my driving) and away we went, sipping our drinks as we went.

We went to a thrift store and loaded up on Props for the kids' "Spirit Week" at school. It is ironic because when I was in school (teen years though) I hated that school spirit stuff, and here I am getting all into it for my kids. Monday was movie star/famous person day and N wanted to be Elvis. See, I told you all he was smart. So we bought stuff to throw together for that.

S and A had no idea who to be, and I was running out of energy so their costumes werent as good. A was James Dean which consisted of his hair being slicked back with pomade, a t shirt rolled up at the sleeves, faded Levi 501's and a leather jacket (which he already had). S was a generic movie star. She wore a pair of over sized sunglasses with "bling" on them, and I bought her a stuffed small breed dog to shove under her arm, and called it good. I was going to make her be Winona Rider by taking away the little dog and adding a big shopping bag full of clothes with price tags affixed to them, which amused me to no end but no one else may even get.

Then we went to the movies. We saw "Gran Torino" (Clint Eastwood)and it was awesome. NOT a family movie, its rated R so hopefully no one would take little ones to see it. It had all the swear words in it you could possibly ask for and more. Oh and violence too, which is sometimes fun. It did have an awesome message behind it though, about pre judging people of different races and stereo types and how the very people you (if you were a racist)abhor can change your life positively and give you new outlooks. It was FUNNY too, really funny. Its been forever since Ive seen a theatre that packed. It was also my first experience with Movie Nachos with runny cheese and jalapenos. It was good too, Id even do it again.

Then we wandered out to a gun show, which was really thrilling for T, and kind of fun for me too, just not as fun as it was for T. Then we just kind of ran around to various stores looking at things and ate dinner, then home. Fun, no kids, but next time....local movie theatre, couch, books, DVDs, and quiet, maybe even a long hot bath, a nap, and chocolaty substances which should be illegal. Yeah, thats what we are doing next time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The saga of T and Woody the woodpecker.

I was minding my own business when the phone on my desk rings. I answer it and this is what I hear:

"Hi Mommy!" Honestly for a minute, I thought it was the wrong number. I never get phone calls from the kids, and so for a minute, I forgot that yes, now occasionally I do go by "mommy".

Me: Hi, Adam
A: Guess what Daddy did?
Me: Hmmm, no telling. What?
A: He shot Woody!!
Me: Oh, so he finally go him, huh?
A: Yep.
Me: Is he dead?
A: deader than a doornail (I heard T tell him to say this)
Me: Are you sad?
A: No.
Me: (kind of disappointed) Your arent? Not even a little bit?
A: No. He was ruining my house!
Me: (laughing my butt off)

This is a historical day for us. See, it wasnt just some annoying woodpecker that he just decided to kill. This is the SAME woodpecker we have been battling with for 2 years. It was kind of a love/hate relationship with T and Woody. More on the hate part, but I am sad because, I love all creatures and because it was kind of fun, this little thing they had between them.

T works nights, so has to try and sleep during the daytime. This woodpecker has been stopping by almost daily and "tap tap tap tap tap". Right above our bedroom window. So, T has suffered lack of sleep to this. For years now T has been going out to the deck to try to shoot Woody with a bb gun. I swear the woodpecker would listen for T to get out of bed and then wait for him to step out on the deck. As soon as T stepped out the woodpecker would fly away. And he wouldnt fly out of sight either, but just out of range of the gun to a tree and watch T as he swore under his breath and surveyed the increasing damage to our house.

T was quiet about getting out the door too. Eventually it would take him a minute to open the door, to ensure it was quiet when it opened, and he was quietly and slowly getting out of bed. He locked all animals up when the tapping started, so a dog wouldnt burst out the dog door and scare Woody off before T got a chance to get out there. Still, the wood pecker lived. Eventually Woody would sit there while T raised the bb gun and then he would fly again. Poor T was being taunted by this bird.

Last week T went out and bought a pellet gun, and a very effective one at that. He spent a hour or so setting it up and sighting it in, and shooting telephone books with it. We oohed and aahed at what this pellet gun could do to the yellow pages.

This morning, he was ready and Woody got complacent. He let T (who wasnt asleep, but doing things around the house and watching A), get his gun, step outside, get him in his sites and then paused one second too long.

Now before you go getting TOO upset (no one loves animals more than I, NO ONE),according to many sources, death is the only thing that will stop a woodpecker once they have a target in mind. Besides, the wacky, deviant red headed bird of cartoons wasnt depicted that way by accident. The creator of the woody woodpecker cartoons was inspired by his battle with one certain woodpecker that was driving HIM nuts. We would have tried other methods if they worked.

Poor Woody, Im really going to miss him. Our house however may survive now, which is a good thing. Oh and T's giddiness at finally defeating his nemisis is kind of fun too.

This is kind of what our woodpecker looked like. I think. I know it wasnt the redheaded variety though.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pondering cauliflower and other stuff... kind of what Ive been doing today. I have spent several hours in class, trying to write a ridiculous paper having to do with statistics and hypothesis testing and blah blah blah blah orgle, diggle, rarstic, froo. Well, that is how it all sounds to me, all this number mumbo jumbo. I might as well be reading and trying to decipher Martian.

After torturing myself enough for one day, I decided to do nothing but blog surf. There are some wonderful bloggers out there, and they inspire me. I need some inspiration too because I feel so stagnant. The holidays are over. Now what? I guess this is why people make resolutions, so they have something to ponder. Ive already addressed my non resolution making feelings, but it doesn't mean I don't have PLANS.

I have a huge calendar sitting on my desk here at work and aside from one dentist appointment, one vet appointment, one hair appointmen, one basketball practice, and one glorious day of respite(Yessssss), that is pretty much it. Oh, I KNOW it will fill up and it will get crazy like it always does. I guess my point is (if I even have one)that instead of making resolutions I am pondering what Id like to do, if only my calendar would stay blank.

So, what Ive been pondering (that is a neat word, my favorite for the week,I think)is all over the place, as I'm sitting here listening to the wind howl and ignoring the phone as its ringing; yes, I AM at work. I'm pondering vegetables for one thing. It is so expensive to buy them, and kids need them. I'm pondering a garden and how nice it would be to have our own. This is not a new ponderance (is that a word?), I ponder this every year.

I'm pondering cauliflower and how much I like it. I'm pondering making cauliflower soup from the recipe on Pioneer Woman's site.

I'm pondering books and what I should read next, now that Ive decided to turn the TV off during the last part of my "me" time, which occurs after the kids go to bed.

I'm pondering on the scrap booking thatI have let slip, because I'm so busy with the things that have not yet filled my calender. I'm pondering digital scrap booking specifically.

I'm pondering how I feel like I am not what I thought I am or what I desire to be. I'm not the type of person I strive to be. I only thought I was, and I (and God) have a lot of work to do. I'm pondering at the failure of a few things in my life and the successes of others. I'm pondering the power of prayer and why I don't rely on it more.

I'm pondering, of course, my children and how to discover each of their individual personalities better. I tend to view them as a unit, and I know that they are so much more than that. I'm pondering where the time to get to know, really know, them better once the calender fills up is going to come from. I am also pondering how to be a better wife and the effort that will have to go into that because I feel so busy all the time.

So, not really resolutions, just things that are important to me and that are on my mind. I will try to do some of these things, I really will. I just don't like the pressure a resolution puts on me.

The thesaurus that sits near me for assistance in plagiarism avoidance says this under ponder: consider, meditate on, reflect on, contemplate, think over, ruminate, study over, and rack one's brain (it really does say that), just to name a few.

So, at the start of this shiny new year,why not give pondering a try. While you still have time.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Toy Review Time

I dont really have a lot to say this weekend as we have been just sort of lounging around and the kids have been mellow, which does not give me much to blog about, so I will review a toy or two.

My bro got A the Cariboo game made by Cranium, whom I am growing to love. Besides, what an awesome name for a toy company. I was thinking about opening up a record store years ago, with a friend of mine and we were going to call it Ear Candy. Is that cool or what? Anyway, I digress...

Here is A and his game on Christmas morning.

It is a fantastic game for pre school or Kindergarten, it may be a little on the easy side for A, but it is good excersise for his mind, and it keeps him fresh on his abc's and 123's. Its bright and colorful too, which impresses me, because Im simple like that. Throw a red bead into the sunlight and Ill be entertained for hours..

You have these bright colored balls that hide inside trap doors after you drop them down the chambers. You have to unlock trap doors that correspond with the cards that you have in your hand. For example a card might have the letter A on it, and then you find the trap door with the picture of the item that begins with A, and you unlock it; if a ball is in there, you take it out and put it in the round hole on the side of the game. Collect all of the balls and when you put the last one in, a treasure chest opens and you win. Very cute, and he likes it.

My suggestion for the manufacterer would be to re do the packaging so that there is a place for the cards when the game is stored. Oh and a little holder for the cute little key that opens the trap doors. Im afraid its a matter of time before it gets lost, or falls out of the box and then the kitty from h-e-double hockey sticks runs off with it in her nasty little kitten mouth.

So, I would give the Cariboo 4.5 stars out of 5. I just asked the real experts in the house and they all gave it a thumbs up. N said the only thing he doesnt like about it is that the cards that go on the trap doors to tell the player what they have to match the card in the hand with are too hard to flip over (they are double sided, one for easy and the other for advanced, which is a cool feature).

This is the game board, showing the trap doors and chambers. It doesnt show the cute letter treasure chest though, so trust me its cute.

This is the brightly colored balls (arent they purty?), the cards, one deck for beginner and one for advanced, and that little doomed key.