Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Installment 2: Trick or Treating

We started the Halloween festivities with a little pumpkin carving in the afternoon.  Followed by a Jack-o-lantern shape pizza from Papa Murphey's for dinner.  Then it was time to don costumes and go!

Rehm's costume got rave reviews.  There were several houses where he had to wait because the person answering the door called someone else in the house to come see him.  It was funny though that several of the "Grandparent Generation" didn't know what he was.  I heard "Oh, your a remote control...," "Oh, your a TV," and my favorite, "So, are you in Jail?"

Rehm's comments that were my favorite were, "Hey, wait for the iPod!" "Expensive merchandise coming through!"

Rehm's costume is now in the trash.  It made it through trick or treating but was partially torn at the bottom of the screen on both sides when he got home.  The cats proceeded to knock it off the table and finish it off.  It was a fun costume to create.  Not expensive but a fun and challenging creative process.  Of course even if it could have been saved it would have been obsolete by next Halloween as it no longer even looks like the current generation of iPod Nanos. 

Charlotte's costume was probably my favorite this year. Why? Well because it appeals to my sense of practicality.  She already had the shirt and jeans.  While I had to buy the boots, vest, hat and rope, they will all get lots of use.  The boots and vest will be part of her normal winter wardrobe and Rehm has a play in Theater Arts that he needs to dress in Western wear for.  So I'm set.  I love a costume that can be reused and not just packed away for another Halloween. 

Ruby and Eliza Claire are so neglected.  They were really not given any choice in what their costumes would be.  I refused to buy them costumes since we had costumes in their size already in the house.  Their choices consisted of the costumes they wore or anything they could find in the dress up box.  Next year they will have the same choices as the costumes should still fit them.  Eventually, they might get some say, you know, when they are grown and paying for their own.
Ruby was the first child to call it quits.  She and I came home as soon as Michael rejoined us after making sure the house was still standing - we left pumpkin seed roasting and Michael set a timer and then didn't hear it when it went off in his pocket.  Oops! Luckily all was well and the pumpkin seeds were still edible. Rehm was the next child to head home.  Charlotte and Eliza Claire made it until Michael called trick or treating over. 

When we got home from trick or treating the kids all dumped out their baskets on the floor.  I immediately started sorting their candy into two large piles.  One for chocolate and one for everything else.  Rehm immediately commented on the sorting and knew why I was doing it.  It bugs me when the candy is stored together and the chocolate takes on some of the fruity flavor - yuck! Ruins it for me.  And you know the Halloween candy is all about me. 

Our kids don't get to keep their own stash of candy.  Everything immediately goes in to the community pot.  Apparently I'm a Halloween candy socialist.  Once it is sorted into chocolate and non-chocolate the kids have a few days to enjoy the spoils.  Then I start sending it to work with Michael and donating it various places to get it out of the house.  At the end a week whatever remains in the house goes in the trash.  I refuse to have candy sitting around until Christmas.  I am such a mean mom!  I believe last year the kids kept begging for candy at non-candy times and complaining about how many pieces they got and I got fed up and threw it all away well before the week was out.  Surprisingly, on the whole there are no complaints about the community candy or how long it stays in the house.  I guess they know better :)

All in all it was a great Halloween.

Halloween Installment 1: Behold the iPod

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ruby Halloween Story: The Picture

Ruby's Halloween Story

Ruby just read me this story that she "wrote."

There was a witch with a pumpkin gun.  She would shoot her gun at each house as she flew past.  I don’t know why she had a pumpkin gun. The End!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Mother is a Genius!

She told me how she stores her cilantro in the fridge to get it to last more than a few days.  I finally tried it, even though previously I always thought it was too much commotion.  My cilantro lasted for over four weeks without getting slimy and turning brown! If you are like me, you've probably read this before but blew it off but I promise it is worth the effort.  It is so nice now that I make my own salsa every week to know that my cilantro will be fit to use whenever I need it. 

Here is what you do.  Unbind and wash the cilantro.  Trim the bottom off the stems.  Fill a glass with about an inch of water in the bottom.  Put the cilantro in and cover it with the plastic bag from the grocery store.  Store in the fridge until needed.  Whenever you use some cilantro change the water in the glass.  If the inside of the bag gets too wet, stuff a paper towel in the top of the bag before you put it back over the cilantro.  That's it.

And here is my Salsa recipe.

Fresh Salsa

All measurements are approximate as I don't actually measure anything.  I just throw it in.

3-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 jalapeno, coarsely sliced with seeds in 
1/2 medium white onion coarsly chopped
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4-1/3 cup red wine vinegar or lime juice

Add garlic and salt and pepper to food processor and pulse until garlic is finely minced.  Add jalapeno and onion and process until as coarse or fine as you like.  Add tomato and cilantro and process to desired coarseness.  Add tomato juice and vinegar or lime juice and pulse to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Makes 6 cups 

Some weeks I make it with the red wine vinegar, some with the lime juice.  It gives it a different flavor.  Some weeks it is spicier than others depending on the size and spiciness of the jalapeno.


Saturday, October 09, 2010


There have been a few funny misconceptions at our house in the last 36 hours.  The first occurred last night on the way to dinner.  I noticed a dead deer right at the edge of the road, laying on the grass.  Ruby pipes up from the back seat with "Mommy, I just saw some big animal resting in the grass!" For some reason, I felt the need for full disclosure and explained that it was a deer and it was not resting it was dead.  I don't know why I felt the need to explain.  Luckily she took it well.  All the kids asked several questions about the deer. Why did it die? Why it was on the side of the road? If a car hit it, why was it in the grass and not on the road?  Of course we were on our way to dinner and at some point Charlotte insisted we stop talking about it.

Today, we were driving back out to Scout Jam (awesome, pictures to come, though not tonight) - Michael and Rehm had spent the morning out there with the rest of his pack and had had so much fun they wanted to go back for the afternoon.  On the way, there is a strip club called the Pink Monkey Cabaret with a giant inflatable pink monkey on top.  As we pass the Pink Monkey, Rehm announces that we are almost to Scout Jam.  I told Michael that he knew that because he saw the pink monkey, Michael didn't believe me.  So he asked Rehm how he knew.  Sure enough Rehm tells him it was because of the pink monkey.  Then I hear Charlotte say, "What kind of store names itself the Pink Monkey?"  Rehm answers, "Well Charlotte, a business can pick any name it likes."  Charlotte counters with, "But why would a carpet store be named Pink Monkey?  It doesn't make any sense!"  While yesterday I was quick to point out and correct Ruby's misconception of a situation today I was strangely quiet.  Well, after I quit laughing so hard I was snorting, that is. 

I still don't understand why a strip club needs an inflatable pink monkey on top of its building.  For some reason I don't think that is what is enticing its clientele.  I swear they just do it so all of us parents have to explain to our children why it is not an appropriate family destination and why they can't go see the blasted monkey.


Friday, October 08, 2010

A Visitor

Micheal caught this little cutie in the backyard.  I love having a camera that can capture such great detail.

Mom, I know you especially will be thrilled that I have captured such up close detail of an amphibian. 


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Where there's an Apple there's usually Drama

If you look closely you can see the blood

Charlotte turned seven on Saturday and lost her first tooth the next day!  It was an eventful weekend at our house.

Charlotte's tooth had been loose for several weeks.  We noticed it before school started back in August.  However, Charlotte does not seem to be a tooth wiggler.  For the most part she ignored it.  Finally the week of her birthday she decided it was time for the tooth to go. 

On Sunday evening, she asked for an apple - not cut up, please.  She started eating and in a few minutes she was bleeding and announced her tooth was coming out! Of course this was in the middle of dinner.  Michael is very squeamish when it comes to teeth.  It has been so long since Rehm has lost a tooth that I had forgotten this fact.

Not sure what she was eating for dinner.  That is either cheese or mustard on her face, I know you were all wondering.
 Charlotte and I excused ourselves from the table and went upstairs to take care of the impending tooth loss.  Michael started loosing the sickly green color he had turned.

Once upstairs we assessed the situation.  The tooth was really loose - pointing straight out of her mouth but it was still holding on stubbornly.  I tried pulling it but was concerned it was hurting her.  I told her to try.  She reached up, grabbed the tooth and yanked it right out!  She was very proud of herself! And yes, I did a photo essay of the process.  I knew you would all want to see this momentus occassion in full photographic detail. 


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Charlotte is Seven

 I can not believe she is seven already.  Where did my baby who would not sleep unless held go, and where did this sassy, independent, self-confident girl come from?

On Charlotte's actual birthday. We got up, opened presents and had breakfast - she chose chocolate chip pancakes with scrambled eggs and sausage.   Most of the day the kids spent playing and hanging out.  That evening Charlotte's friend Grace from school came over to go out to dinner with us.  We went to Chuy's where Grace and Charlotte got to sit at their very own table.  Then we came home and had cookie cake.  Charlotte declared it the best birthday ever!

Anyone else discovered Zoobles? They are a cross between Littlest Pet Shop and Bakugon.

Gift Certificate for a Cartwheel Clinic at the YMCA from her siblings

Should I be concerned that she recognized the James Avery Box

A friendly game of basketball before dinner

Silly, silly girl

Granny Shot

I'm not so sure how I feel about being seven...

I love cake!

Grace and Charlotte singing the "I Can Count to 500 by Tens" song written by Grace, Ellie and Charlotte



Favorite activity: play outside

Favorite sport to play: basketball

Favorite food: cheese pizza

Favorite song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Favorite band: Go Fish

Favorite TV show:  Phineas and Ferb

Favorite restaurant: Chuys

Favorite toy: Baby Caroline

Favorite subject as school: Math

Monday, October 04, 2010

Why I don't post as often as I should

This is my to do list for today. Notice anything about it? I never seem to sit down much less get to blogging. I have Charlotte's birthday post ready but haven't had time to sit down long enough to actually post.