Archive for March, 2008

Budding Chef

Tonight Baseball Boy came to me asking if I would teach him how to cook.  He really wanted to know  how to fix his favorite meals.  I grinned, pinched his little cheeks and told him of course I would and that I bet he would grow up to be a chef.

He grinned proudly and asked could we start right then.  The first thing he wanted to learn to make….Ramen Noodles.  He will be a gourmet chef before we know it!

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Unwelcome Visitor

The following events will hereafter be referred to as the Great Mouse Incident of ’08.  It began Friday night as I sat alone in the living room awaiting Tigerfan.  I thought I saw a shadow move across the floor and felt the slightest fluttering of my heart.  I jumped up and began kicking things to no avail and decided it must have been my imagination.

Saturday afternoon, I told Tigerfan of my imaginings.  He responded that it could have been a mouse.  The incident was forgotten until Saturday night as Tigerfan and I relaxed together on the couch enjoying some Chocolate Moose (not mouse) Tracks Ice Cream.  As Tigerfan worked at a chunk of fudge, I again saw a fleeting shadow of something.  Tigerfan did not see it.  My imagination again, right.  Wrong.  All of a sudden from behind the entertainment center shot a mouse!  In my house!

I would like to say I was calm and self controlled.  That would be a lie.  I screamed and jumped on the couch!  Tigerfan saw it and jumped up.  He is my hero, so he was ready to save his bride from the killer mouse!  He did, however, pause to observe the mouse, inform me that he was far more scared of us than we were of him and then proceed to tell me how cute he was peeking out from behind the magazines!

I remember as a child watching an episode of Three’s Company (I know, quality TV at its best).  There was a mouse in the apartment and the girls built a path of chairs through the apartment to walk on while wielding a wooden spoon with which to protect themselves.  I thought they were so silly.  I mean it was just a little mouse.  What could it do?  I know longer mock them.  Inside I know it is a very irrational fear, but all I could think of was him jumping out and running across my feet, or jumping out of the pantry, or out from under the couch.  AAAGh!  I am scaring myself again.

Anyway, when Tigerfan finished admiring his new friend he tried to come up with a plan.  It involved covering the box Mickey was hiding behind with a garbage bag and carrying it outside to release the little guy back into his natural habitat.  Good plan.  It didn’t come to fruition.  Plan B involved a broom and trying to smash the little guy.  I had to leave the room for that one so I cannot give details but long story short (Ha!) this plan was also unsuccessful however, it did manage to flush him out of his hiding spot.  He escaped into the fireplace and disappeared.  Tigerfan found a tiny hole in the mortar between the bricks and was convinced it was here Mickey had made his entrance and hopefully his escape.  The hole HAD to be plugged!  So, my little Macgyver patched it…with plastic tac. He then proceeded to torment me the rest of the evening by running his fingers up my back and legs to give me the sensation of a mouse running across me!  He’s a keeper!

Hopefully, the plan worked.  There have been no mouse sightings today although every time I open the pantry, walk by the sofa or any other opening, I feel compelled to check them out quite thoroughly.  Tigerfan bought some mortar repair and made a more permanent fix and we have a lovely glue trap next to the entertainment center.  Hopefully that will be the last we see of our little unwelcome guest but I am seriously considering investing in a cat!

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Pardon Me While I Step up on My Soapbox

It all seemed so harmless when it began.  A cute little animal.  A few games on the computer.  Such a cute little craze!  I am speaking of Webkinz.  A little over a year ago when they entered our life, it seemed so innocent.  The boys were given one for Christmas last year and just went crazy.  A few months later they each got one for a birthday gift (including Dancer).  That is when things started going South.  You see, Dancer wanted to buy things for her beloved “Pink” but was unable to make much money playing the games.  So I began having to play the games at night after the kids went to bed in order to get her points to redecorate her house and dress her computerized pet in the appropriate fashions of the day.

Then, what seemed like childish fun became an obsession!  Children began getting not one or two but ten or twelve of these little stuffed creatures.  Why?  I mean how many can you really play with on the computer anyway.  But it was the beanie baby craze all over again.  Students at the tutorial would give me daily updates about how many they have.  Numbers started skyrocketing with kids having 20 and even 30.  The newspaper came out with a story about a local boy with 60.  The little critters were arranged all the way up a flight of stairs.

We even gave a couple as gifts.  On our home-front, however, we remained sane.  We explained to the children that they really did not need to spend their college funds on stuffed pets.  The few that they had were plenty.  And they were satisfied.  Up until today, the count had held steady.  The boys had three apiece and Dancer had two.  All of them, except one had been gifts and we had not wasted hard earned money on them.  I must say, I felt a little parental pride knowing we had not been sucked into the mayhem, especially after talking to some of our Sunday School girls last week.  They were all bragging about how many they had.  Most of the counts were around 30.  I asked what they did with them and the answer was nothing.  They played with one or two on the computer and most of the rest were kept in boxes or suitcases.  What was the point of having so many just to throw them in a box, I wisely questioned.  The answer, of course, bragging rights–the ability to say you have 20, 30, etc.  What a world we live in!

Well, today we awakened to tragedy.  Baseball boy logged on to his account to find that it had expired!  I guess I trudged too naively through this tangled “web” of Webkinz.  Apparently after a year or so, you can no longer play with the animal that has become your friend.  You have fed and clothed it for a year, named it, loved it only to log on and find that you can no longer play with it:  UNLESS YOU BUY A NEW WEBKINZ AND ADD IT TO YOUR ACCOUNT!  My child was devastated.  I know many parents would probably just go get another one.  They are just $12.99.  But this is a depressed economy, people!  And the point is that while it is a marketing genius for the Ganz company it is just plain cruel to the children.  We ourselves have perpetuated it by giving them as gifts.  What happens in a year when they no longer can play with their animals and do not have the money to just throw away on an unneeded toy.  The devastating thing to B.B. was not that he wanted another animal, but that he was going to lose his “friend”.  I felt horrible but felt that I had to stick to my guns not to just go out and waste money on something so fleeting.  In the end, Dancer and he pooled their own money and each bought a new Webkinz to add to their accounts and keep the cycle going.  They are thrilled to death to have a new “pet” and that they didn’t have to lose the old one.  But in a year, we will be in this place again.  Is it just me, or does anyone else feel just a little taken advantage of by the toy company?  I tell you, it has just done me in for the day.  I know there is nothing I can do about it but at least I have a place to come and vent.  If you are still with me, thanks for letting me get this off my chest.  And, please, at your next birthday party DO Not give the gift that keeps on taking!

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A Man After My Own Heart

Baseball boy was doing homework from his tutorial class this morning.  The assignment was to write some rules he knows and then write some rules he would like.  Here are his lists:

Rules I know:

1.  Do Not Steal

2.  Clean up After Yourself

3.  Be nice to uthers (his spelling)

4.  Pay your taxes

Rules I would like:

1.  Eat chocolate every second

2.  No smoking

 I love that boy!!!  I am teaching him well.  🙂

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Just Checking In

This blogging thing was soooo much easier before having a newborn and going back to tutorial!  I am finding it so hard to get time to post!  In the past two days, I have thought of twenty different things to type about but haven’t had the time and now I must quickly go because I am 15 minutes late to popcorn and House Hunters night!  Really, there is a bowl of popcorn, a Diet Pepsi, and a brand new bag of peanut M&M’s waiting for Tigerfan and I and really, you have to have priorities.  I will try to post about the weeks goings on tomorrow.  I realized that in about a week and a half I am sending my almost 11 year old baby on a Mexican cruise and I AM NOT READY emotionally or otherwise.  What were we thinking when we said he could go?  Well, I must go check out house number 3!

By the way, if you get a chance please keep my dear friend, Heather in your prayers.  She is the wife of an army chaplain stationed in Germany.  She had pneumonia that went into an infection in her lungs.  She has been in ICU in Germany for almost two weeks.  Today, the doctors performed a surgery to remove the infected part of her lungs.  The surgery went well, but she is still fighting for her life.  She has a 13 year old son and a 3 year old daughter and they all need to be bathed in prayer.  Thanks bunches!

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Post Easter List

Happy day after the day after Easter!  I have had a little trouble getting to the computer the past few days.  Here’s what has been going on:

1.  Saturday was a youth hunt so Tigerfan and Football boy headed into the wilderness to try to conquer a turkey.  They saw many…they conquered none.  Maybe next week.

2.  While the mighty hunters stalked their prey, I took the rest of the clan to the Resurrection Celebration at our church.  Fun stuff.  When we returned home the hunters were already back and Tigerfan was vacuuming my floor (he really is a good egg!).  Baseball boy and Tigerfan then had to leave for a rather chilly baseball practice.

3.  I decided to begin the egg dying process at that point.  No one in our house except Tigerfan eats boiled eggs so after a couple of years of throwing away a lot of eggs, I decided to simplify and downsize this year.  I bought one carton of 18 eggs and told the kids they could each dye 6.  I know, I sound like a humbug, but to dye eggs I know I am going to throw away just seems a little ridiculous.  I had purchased a box of egg dye during my last Walmart trip.  The eggs were boiled and we were ready.  I opened the box and dumped the contents to find twelve, yes twelve, dye tablets.  I had 18 eggs.  And 12 colors.  What ever happened to the nice, simple, six pack?  On the upside, no one had to wait for another person’s egg to finish in a color.  What, you want red–there are three choices?  Green?  Neon or Lime?  I even took a picture of the huge conglomeration of dye containers, unfortunately I find it impossible to transfer said pictures to this blog, so use your imagination…and think BIG! 

4.  We had a nice, peaceful, 50 degree Easter.  I ordered Dancer a dress off Ebay.  It didn’t come (which is actually good because it was sleeveless–by the way, it came today!).  We got the big boys shirts.  At about 8:00 Saturday night, we like to think ahead around here.  The baby–I used great aforethought and had him a precious Easter outfit before he was even born!  Unfortunately, it was a short outfit.  I put him in it anyway, wrapped him in a blanket and called it good.  Tigerfan has some great pictures and has even okay-ed posting them.  Unfortunately we have that pesky problem of my complete lack of technological know how.  Hopefully at some point this week he can do it.  Not tomorrow night, though.  Tomorrow night we must waste precious time and brain cells watching Housewives of New York (or something like that). 

5.  After a delicious lunch at my MIL’s to which I contributed deviled eggs (which I do not eat) and a strawberry pie (that she gave me all the ingredients for), we took the kids to the theater to see Horton Hears a Who.  I know that is a strange Easter activity, but it was so fun, really a cute movie, and so quiet and calm at the theater.  Apparently movie going is not a high Easter day activity.

6.  Today, we had to get back to normal life, a full day of school, laundry, etc.  We went to dance only to find out they were still on Spring Break.  So we went to Target and bought Easter Candy at 50% off.  If you have read long, you know all about this candy conspiracy.  I mean, you cannot turn down chocolate at 50% off even if your counter is completely covered in all varieties of chocolate treasure.  Even if Nana bought two packages of Easter cupcakes because they were only $.75 and then gave them to us.  Even if I desperately need to lose 30 pounds.  It is 50% off, people!  Do not worry though, I am going to take it to the tutorial and feed it to my class.  That way I get the thrill of the bargain, but not the calories.  And who doesn’t like a teacher who gives them chocolate?  If I can’t be mother of the year, maybe I can get the teacher award….

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Just a Reminder

May we never forget why we celebrate Easter!

And by the way…I figured out how to embed this all by myself!  Is anyone impressed?  Okay, Football Boy helped a little!

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