Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Interest and Awe

I took this photo at a martial art's tournament last month. These little guys are lining up for someone to jump over them and break the board in the background. I love the look on his face. It's not really fear, more like interest and awe, I think.

Dances with Drums

Today we visited the Kansas Museum of History. It is a nice museum with well-done exhibits and it was easy to spend an hour or two just browsing. There is a special children's area where kids can play and interact with history-related objects. Master Munchkin and I enjoyed ourselves quite a bit there. At one point he paused from his game of trying to knock over milk jugs with a ball and came looking for me. He found me sitting inside of the children's Tipi, playing the theme to the movie "Terminator" on the authentic-looking Native American drum. No, not just playing. Jammin'. I was jammin' that drum and enjoying myself immensely.

"Mom!" he hissed, poking his head inside the tent. "Could you please not play the drum?" He looked around to be sure nobody was around. "It's embarrassing!"

Now I've been embarrassing my daughter for years. It's kind of fun. But this is the first time my son has been embarrassed by me. He's only 8. Humph.

And so it begins.

Now grab a drumstick and join me...

Sunday, December 27, 2009


The recent snowfall has rendered us snowbound for the past few days. Luckily I have plenty of food in my pantry from a holiday party that was canceled. Even though our guests couldn't reach us, the groceries we bought to feed them may have very well saved our lives. We've been surviving on such festive foods such as The Stuff of Life and Christmas-colored M&Ms and hot wassail. It could be worse. Much, much worse. :)

Ironically, today was the day I decided to start recording my food intake, to help me loose some weight. So far my food diary reads:

1 c. of coffee with fat free 1/2 and 1/2
m&ms, dark chocolate, of course

a lonely piece of leftover fudge
a cup of hot buttered rum
a slice of homemade bread, with butter (yeah baby!)

chips and bean dip
more coffee
more bean dip

Hey, we're just trying to survive over here. A woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do!

Wait, I just received word that the road to town has been cleared. Drat. Er, I mean, woo hoo!

Now pass the bean dip please.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

12 Days of Dinner

It's been delightful having my Favorite Sister here for the holidays. She and Miss Munchkin made dinner for us on Christmas Day. The menu was based on the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. The girls planned, shopped and prepared it all by themselves. When it came time to serve the meal, they burst into song and unveiled each dish as they sang the corresponding line in the song.

Here are a few of the highlights:

"Turtle" Doves um, turtles

Calling Birds (bird nest cookies - get it?)

French hens

Geese-a-laying, of course

marshmallows for the hot chocolate (Maids-a-Milking)

Lord's a Leaping (rich, royal fudge)

fried doughnuts for the Golden Rings

And a "Cornish hen in a broccoli tree"
(with pears on the side)

Dinner was delicious.

Next year's Dinner: "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Despised and Rejected

This year we didn't put up our Christmas tree. I figured Trooper would just eat the ornaments and use the trunk as a porta-potty. Instead, Miss Munchkin brought out a little artificial tree that had been sitting in her closet for the last 5 months. Apparently this little tree has has quite a history. It used to belong to the family over at Coal Creek Farm and, when they decided they didn't want it, they took it to a garage sale. Apparently nobody else wanted it either. Afterwards it made a trip to the local Goodwill store, where it was firmly, but kindly rejected. I'm not exactly sure how my daughter ended up with it in her room. But it was just what we needed this year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Up on the Rooftop

Up on the rooftop
Kitty paws
On jumps silly cat

Lizzy trots across our roof. I don't know why.
Maybe she's checking out the tarmac and making sure everything's good to go for Santa.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Shortbread

As soon as I first tasted this recipe, I instantly added it to my list of Things to Make Every Christmas. It makes your house smell fantastic!

You really do need to try this. Unless you're my neighbor. Then just wait -you're getting some for Christmas.

Christmas Shortbread

1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 1/2 TB orange zest
2 TB ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
2 c. all-purpose flour
confectioner's sugar

1. Beat butter, brown sugar, zest and spices together until fluffy.
2. Stir in baking soda and flour.
3. Divide dough in half.
4. Press into (2) 8" round ungreased baking pans.
5. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until the tops are dry and cracked, and the edges are slightly higher than the center.
6. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes.
7. Cut into wedges.
8. Prick each wedge with the tines of a fork.
9. Cool and dust with confectioner's sugar.
10. Store tightly covered.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday Haiku

cinnamon, nutmeg
savor the scent of Christmas
gingerbread, fresh pine

Mischievous pup
with your sharp little white teeth
Get away from those gifts!

Why must you tempt me?
Little Debbie Christmas cakes
I tell you, "Begone!"

Brace Yourself

Check out the jowl action over here!

Kudos to Nate and Jacyln. They always make me smile. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009


That was the sound of me coming up for air!

The last few weeks have been crazy-busy but there is now a sweet lull in the fray. Huh? Well, you get the idea...

I've missed you, Sweet Blog and Dear Readers.

Master Munchkin's Class Christmas party went well, except for the part where I ate 6 Little Debbie vanilla Christmas Tree cakes. Not all at once! I had to sneak some out to the car to eat afterwards. I mean, I wouldn't want to look like a pig or anything. ;)

I was called to Jury Duty in the middle of the week. After waiting about 1/2 hour, the Judge came in and told us that the Prosecuting Attorney was sick and that the trial was postponed. And that we didn't need to come back! Wow. I didn't even have to break out my bacon scarf.

The Munchkins and I passed our Belt Tests this week. The owner, Himself, did the testing this time and it was thorough. We did shoulder-throws, neck-cranks, lots of boxing combinations, reaps, headlock take-downs and a bunch of self-defense techniques. When it was over, and we passed, we felt really proud. And tired! :)

The Munchkin's school Christmas concert was last night. I would like to know who took my little girl and replaced her with a smiling, graceful, beautiful young woman! I remember another concert when Miss Munchkin was more interested in slapping herself on her little four-year old forehead and spinning around in circles in the front row than singing nicely. Wow, eleven years changes things. And goes by entirely too quickly.

Now I'm off to spend some more time with my Favorite Sister. She flew in for the funeral but will be staying with us for a few weeks. Happy/sad times.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Busy Girl

It's been a bit crazy around here this week. My Favorite Sister is here visiting for the funeral. Although it's a sad time, it is so good to see her! I took her to try the Best Burger in the state yesterday and she came to kickboxing with me last night. That was fun! Right Rene? Rene?

Add to this the hubby's obligatory Office Christmas Party, jury duty, Room Mom responsibilites (Master Munchkin's classroom Christmas Party), entertaining a puppy with destructive chewing tendencies, Christmas shopping, school Holiday programs and Belt Testing, and I feel like I'm a bit bonkers this week!

I'm going to try and get some family pictures while my sister is here. I'll share some with you if I succeed! :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Busy Boy

Our puppy has been busy lately.

These are were my only pair of black heels. They were comfy and cute - a rare combination.

These were my signature shoes. They looked great with a pair of jeans. They don't make these guys anymore - I checked.

Yes, this is a library book.

How embarrassing.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Family Photoshoot

I recently the privilege of photographing a lovely family.

This is the Mom and Dad. How cute are they?!

Their 3 children now have families of their own.

Check out this beautiful, old barn we found.

That's Uncle Bryan, surrounded by his adoring nephews.
All of these guys are very sweet and polite and were a pleasure to photograph.

K is the awesome volleyball coach at the Munchkin's school and a very hip mother of 3 boys.

I love how all of the siblings (even the grown up ones) seem to get along and really enjoy each other's company.

What a great family! I very much enjoyed hanging out with them for the afternoon.

Monday, December 07, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like....Bacon

I have a bacon-loving boy in my house and have been considering some Christmas gift ideas.

How about a bacon belt?

Bacon gumballs?

Or a fat, juicy wallet may be just the thing!

Bacon-scented dental floss?

How about some bacon band-aids? Bacon makes everything better.

All of these are made by Accoutrements and can be found at Archie McPhee.

I also found several bacon-flavored treasures on Etsy:

How fun are these bacon magnets for your fridge by Design Dude?
By the way, you have to see his "Push Button, Receive Bacon" magnet. Very clever!

And check out this lovely bacon scarf:

Now what boy wouldn't want one of those?


My dear aunt passed away last night. Our family won't be the same without her.
I took this photo of her and my Uncle last year at Thanksgiving.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Makes a Mama Proud

Tonight, in our martial arts class, we learned how to do a basic gun disarm. As usual, I was a bit slow to catch on but Miss Munchkin picked it right up. After a few minutes she was taking my gun away like candy from a baby. I'm tellin' ya, it makes a Mama proud.

She also learned how to drag me down from behind and render me unconscious in 8 seconds. But that's another story... ;)

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Did you know that Jane Austen was only 41 when she died? This seems rather close to home since I am turning 40 this Spring.

Check out this interesting article out of London that addresses What Really Killed Jane Austen?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Visitor from Cuteville

This little puppy came to visit over Thanksgiving. Isn't he just the cutest little thing?!

Our puppy, Trooper, who is not a large dog, positively dwarfed the critter. He thought we got him a new squeaky toy.

Even Frodo had to check him out.

What the?

Trooper needed a little reassurance.

What about ME? Do you still love me?

Smooch! Just checking.