Friday, January 11, 2008

You've heard of Dumbledore's Army....

But have you heard of Earlgirl's army? Last week our family 'leveled up' in our strength and agility, as my boys would say. Before we discuss that, let's take a quick survey of our existing security arrangements: We already have the blades covered. Thomas took up throwing knives after Christmas.We're just fine in the guns department. We've got big guns.
Alternative weaponry? We've got it too. Ever heard of javelin/child throwing? It's a little known, but important art of war. But last week, we got our first training in hand to hand combat. I feel so much safer, I really do.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another thing about us:

We are absolute freaks for the tv show Avatar, the last Airbender. We don't just love it. We don't just watch it. We live it. We breathe it. We soak it into our pores. Literally.
You may be aware, that we haven't had any television channels for eight years. We still don't, so we get our Avatar fix on the computer. We have every episode. A new episode is quite an event in our house. Tuesday night,we were huddled around the monitor, and the excitement was palpable. As the intro began, we hear this little guy chiming in on about every third word: 'years the world...'. Watching it together is so fun. There are squeals, gasps, and the grabbing and shaking of shoulders in intense moments. And there are many intense moments! At different times, my little boys have been convinced of their own 'bending' abilities. #3 walked around for a week blindfolded, declaring himself a 'vibration bender'. My floor has been splattered with water during their waterbending phase, but thankfully it was summer and the bulk of the action took place outside. I have favorite episodes that make me chuckle to myself every time I think of them. There are action-packed ones that left us breathless, and clever ones I still can't believe. (A haiku contest? Who does that?) Anyway, if you're hankering for a cozy night all snuggled up on the couch, eating popcorn and being entertained, Avatar's a pretty safe bet.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why My Family is Different than Yours

The cool thing about blogging, is that you get to peek inside someone else's life. Each of us thinks our lives are totally normal, and probably boring to other people. There are things, though, that are unique to each person or family. I've been thinking about what gives our family our own distinct flavor, or um, smell. You ready for a few?

My kids have super powers. I'm not supposed to talk about this, but my oldest can summon fireballs at will. This guy fights crime by night with his laser beam eyes. #3 can fuse his fingers together to form paddles that are useful for swimming great distances or at high speeds. Fire resistance makes cookouts a lot safer.Large feet also run in the family.
But seriously, artistic ability is highly prized, particularly drawing weaponry or fearsome beasts. If my boys are sitting very quietly and reverently in Sacrament Meeting, you can bet they're drawing some sword with a ridiculously serrated blade that has hooks and axes attached.
Another thing, my baby is near perfect. He never makes messes. Not ever. Or poops in my favorite shoes. Or draws on the new couch.Or tries to drown cats. He's always clean and tidy.
Here are some more. My oldest, when he was in 2nd grade, was disgusted with a little book they were studying. In the story, a deer was eating tomato plants in somebody's garden. "That would never happen" he insisted. "Why not?" asked the teacher. "Tomato plants are poisonous, they're part of the deadly nightshade family!" "Oh" replied the teacher.
I was so charmed when in the first grade, my #3 boy drew a garden scene complete with carrots that had wire worms. He even drew them correctly. I love gardening, I just didn't realize how much I'd passed on to my boys. I guess I don't have to worry about anyone tricking them into eating tomato leaves!
So here were a few things that make us, well, us.
Take some time today to think about what makes you- you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I've been tortured.

Have any of you read about waterboarding? That was me yesterday, except I was rubberdammed. No offense to you dentists or dentist's wives out there, but dang. I've pushed out five babies, several times unmedicated. Procedures don't usually phase me. My midwife was cracking up once when she was 'working' on me. "Was that the gentle traction on my cervix with the long pair of pliers?" I piped up from behind the stirrups. I had a pamphlet out and was reading aloud the instructions. I'm just not that fussed. But yesterday, I swear, I had rubber between every single tooth, horrible metal clamps that were yanked and twisted. I was drilled until the noxious fumes of the filling that was being replaced made me almost gag. You know the smell of burning hair? This was worse. I sat there, with my jaw wedged open way farther than should be allowed, eyes unfocused trying to 'find a happy place'. It didn't work. All I could think about was waterboarding, and the fact that I was actually paying for this.
I'm still not better. I suspect things did not go well. At one point, the dentist and his assistant exchanged glances, and mentioned 'endo tissue'. I can't chew, which surprisingly didn't stop me from consuming vast quantities of the potato chips I bought for my kid's lunches. I needed comfort food, and popcorn just wasn't possible. I nibbled the chips, like a little mouse. Then I ate ice cream. I have just one thing I want to know: does the US military know about dental procedures as a potential way to 'soften up' a suspect? At this point, I swear, I'll admit to anything!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The F-Bomb Dropped at Dinner!

We had company. Yes, company. We've known the Kings for years; my husband home teaches them, (that means he visits them and helps them when there's a problem, it makes them almost family) and John has had the distinct honor of being my two older boys' scout leader. They brought their long-anticipated and much-adored baby with them. These eyes and chubby cheeks are responsible for my lack of attention during Sunday school every week. See, the Kings know to hand this sweetie over to his 'Auntie M' as soon as they get to class. We were eating, talking and laughing, telling funny stories. I was telling the assembled group about the trouble we had with #2 son when he was learning to talk. I explained to everyone how much this little guy loved trucks. He couldn't let one pass by him without commenting on it. He also couldn't pronounce 'tr', instead, he substituted the sound 'f'. I told them about how he saw a toy truck in Sacrament Meeting and started shouting out his version of 'truck'. We all had a good laugh at our humiliation. As the noise began to die down, boy #3 piped up "I know what he said, he said '%#*&'. There were a few moments ringing silence. Then we all broke down, absolutely breathless. I was laughing so hard I was crying, my face buried in my hands. Even Rashed had his head down on the table, unable to keep it in. I understood that I had gravely miscalculated my listening audience. This little guy had no idea what the f-word even was. 'Shut up' and 'stupid' are swear words in our house. He just wanted to impress us with his powers of deduction. When he was under control again, my husband gently informed him not to say that word, that it was a swear word. "That's the F-WORD?" He said, incredulously. Yep, that's the one. Wouldn't you know, he discovers that with company over?

Recipe for Peanut Butter Pie

My husband came home from a work potluck raving about a dessert someone brought. "What was it?" I asked, intrigued. "It's hard to describe," he said,"it's kind of like cheesecake, but there's peanut butter in it". I nodded politely and made a noise that says 'oh, that's nice'. The words peanut butter and dessert don't really go together in my mind. A few weeks later, I was visiting my husband at work, when Susan handed me a recipe card for her Peanut Butter Pie. Now, I love new recipes; I just can't help myself. I was in the middle of planning the menu for my Christmas dinner, when I remembered that I needed to bring a dessert to the big family dinner Christmas Eve. I didn't want to sacrifice any of my beloved pies, so I thought I'd try something new, and viola! Peanut Butter Pie. Let me just say, it was good. It was beautiful, and then it was gone. Here's how to make it, Pioneer Woman style. I doubled my recipe, so if it looks like there's more in the bowl than should be, that's why.Here's what you need: powdered sugar, creamy peanut butter (not pictured, the peanut butter was feeling fat today), vanilla, cream cheese, chocolate syrup, cool whip, and a graham cracker crust. You can make your own crust, but I have an aversion to it, I don't know why.

In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 8oz package of cream cheese and 1/4 cup chocolate syrup. Mix 'em up real nice and smooth-like. Don't forget to scrape the edges because the peanut butter is kinda sticky. When it's all combined, add 8 oz of cool whip. When the texture is smooth and creamy, scoop it into the graham cracker crust. Make sure the top is nice and flat. Now, you lick the spatula. This is the fun part. You take your chocolate syrup, and squeeze out a nice spiral onto the pie. Then, with a butter knife, draw lines in the surface like you're slicing a pizza. Isn't that pretty? Then you just pop it in the freezer until it's solid, maybe two or three hours. I haven't tested that part out precisely. When it's plenty frozen, take it out and enjoy all the adoration, sighs, and appreciation! Yum.
For your Copy, Paste and Printing Pleasure:
Mix together:
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
then add and blend 8 oz cool whip
scrape the bowl well
then fill a graham cracker crust with mixture
smooth in out flat
pour chocolate syrup on top in the form of a spiral
draw knife across surface like slicing a pizza
freeze until firm.
Try it, I dare you!