Saturday, December 12, 2009

Date Nut Balls

I think this the recipe my mom uses to make these cookies. They aren't too sweet and are a good foil to all the chocolate fudge and frosted sugar cookies rolling around during the holidays.

1 cup soft butter
2/3 cup sifted confectionary sugar
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
pinch salt
1 1/3 chopped pitted dates
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter with sugar. Stir in water and vanilla. Add flour and salt, mix well. Gently add the dates and walnuts. Roll into 1 inch sized balls. cook. Bake for 20 minutes in 300 degree oven.Roll in powdered sugar while still warm.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Two and a bunny, or "Fifi's on Fire!"

Fifi, the smallest of the clan, turned two years old yesterday. NO MORE BABIES in this house. At the moment, and seeing as I'm a woman of a certain age ohmygawd i turned forty this year, I don't see any happening along in the near future. Unless a stork gets lost or something.

The Feefster got everything every little two year old girl wants: babies, bottles and convertibles, a sit n' spin and a very large bear.

The balloons adorning her crib, doorway and chair at the dinner table, scooter and ice cream for breakfast didn't phase her. She acted like 'yeah, I get this stuff all the time. I'm the princess." (do you think it would kill me to wash the kid's face before taking milestone pictures? Sheesh,...)


That's right folks, only the birthday girl gets to lick frosting off the naked barbie torso. You don't turn two everyday, ya know.

So, yes, in my family (extended and otherwise) I hold the highly esteemed title of 'world's ugliest cake maker' and there are plenty of posts on this blog and my other one to exemplify this fact. So, a barbie cake? Well, that's the pinnacle for me.

I can't do the fondant thing. Besides the fact that it's 6$ a sheet, and doesn't taste all that great, where's the sport in it? It's like placing corn on the back porch and waiting for the deer to come while you sit in a rocking chair sipping hot coffee. (you know who you are). You roll it out, drape it on and voila - beautiful, non creased, non crumbed frosting.

I have to do the buttercream frosting thing. I'd say that the picture I took above of this cake was taken after Fifi sampled the cake (which is true) and declared it 'yummy', but it really doesn't matter. It didn't look much better before that, actually.

I totally cheated and bought the packaged deal - cake pan and naked barbie torso, plus instructions to make six different elaborately decorated barbies including a mermaid. Which I should just throw away now write an apology letter to the company for wasting all that effort on me, and stop my suffering.

It's the big day. The cake pan needs to be assembled. I actually follow the instructions since it includes a screw. When I'm finished with it, I can't figure out how the heck the pan is supposed to balance. It doesn't balance with me. So, I hand it to the twelve year old who is unsuspectingly wandering through the kitchen. He figures out I've connected the bottom plate backwards, turning it around (duh) makes the pan stand straight. This never even occurred to me.

I tell hubby this is the reason he can't die before me and that he needs to write into his will that when he's dead and I'm still kicking around, Jared has to completely take care of me. Because I am seriously helpless. And obviously a true blond and no matter what my relatives say, more than a 1/4 polish.

The cake turns out fine once it's taken out of the pan, the barbie gets placed in with no problems. It's when I've got the naked barbie torso in one hand and a spatula with pink buttercream frosting in the other, knowing that I'm feeding this cake to three little boys, that I wonder if this is where Tiger got his start. But it's either slather the frosting or leave the cake topless. I'm such a prudish American girl, I opt to frost the boobies.

But, I do draw the line at doing my cake's hair. So, no pretty braids, no frosting flowers in those pretty burnette plastic strands.

I meant to put a little 'Happy Birthday!' banner in her upstretched hands but didn't quite get to it. At least with the cake's limbs extended they were out of the way of the fire hazard. I can't say the same for Fifi's hair - she bent down for a picture and between seeing hubby launch at her and the sound of sizzling, I completely attacked her, shoving her head into my side and wacking it, scaring the living daylights out of her.

B yelled, 'Fifi's on fire!" Fifi screamed her head off because I attacked her. All the while my in-laws were on speaker phone waiting to sing happy birthday to their beloved grandchild.

She did live to see her second birthday come to an end. Everytime we ask her how old she is, she shows us a few fingers, says 'two' then tries to make bunny ears and says 'and a bunny.'

Happy Birthday Fifi!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Sights and Sounds of Christmas

This is the tree topper I got for, well, the top of our tree. Notice it isn't on a tree. It's on a table.

This is the topper the kids elected to put on the tree - it's a picture of an angel J made when he was in 4th grade. When we lived in Banda Aceh, Indonesia for a year while hubby did tsunami reconstruction work. In a land where there are no decorations for Christmas because it is shrouded in Islamic Sharia law. So, we improvised. We bought some sort of shrubbery, put it on top of two moving boxes covered in green sheets and used some wacky string as a garland, seashells and corals as ornaments (along with toilet paper tubes wrapped in festive looking wrapping paper),.. and this angel. Which is partly designed with a toilet paper role. This was done three years ago. The angel is still carefully placed by the kids on the top of the tree, taken down and stored for the next year. Here, in the land of plenty. Just goes to show you, I guess, that it really is the simple things in life our kids remember and crave. That time and effort. Or mine are just weird. Go figure.

In the spirit of children, I made this massive Christmas tree cake for a potluck tonight. Two pounds of frosting, sour gummy lifesavers. It almost makes up for the fact that I should have just left the cake in a square shape and not mess with it. Oh well.

Here are the gingerbread blobs the B and Fifi made yesterday and decorated with frostng placed in a ziplock bag with a hole cut in the bottom. What a great way to teach your children that everyone matters, who cares if they look different? That guy doesn't have a head? It's okay - he deserved to be frosted. Three legs? One arm? A weird growth sprouting by what should be an abdomen? Frost him! They all taste the same!
We love to listen to Christmas music, as any family probably does. K's favorites? "That one about the baby in the manger and Silent Hill." (er,.. translation: Away in a Manger and Silent Night."
The girls are fascinated by the Nutcracker Ballet, so we listen to the music during dinner. Hubby is trying valiantly to teach B who wrote the music. When asked tonight she responded: "the nutcrack guy."
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Kingdom for a Star Cutter

I LOVE to bake and cook. The more creative I can be, the better. I don't have time, however, what with the five kids. Nor do I have open silver palettes waiting for me to whizbang them with delectable dishes. So, Christmas is the time to go all out - what kid ever said no to a cookie, especially when I have to make about ten different varieties?

My problem? Cookie cutters. I don't have any. I can kind of remember maybe buying some (or was I dreaming that? Or was it my friend telling me about those awesome stackable snowflake cutters and I just thought it was me?)

Okay, I do have some. I have a rocking horse, a snowman with a hat, a tree and a gingerbread androgynous person, a heart, a heart with an arrow through it, a hammer, the state of Michigan (?????), a really big leaf from some deciduous tree that resembles maple, 10 ghosts, a handful of bats and a crescent moon. Or a banana. Depends on how old you are, I guess. And how you look at it.
It seems that I forget which holiday I actually have cookie cutters for, and keep buying Halloween cookie cutters and turning my head away from the display at Christmas time.
So, it looks like for the past decade I have talked myself into the fact that I don't have any ghost cookie cutters, the last five years I included a bat, and for some reason last year I needed a banana. I mean crescent moon.

The funny thing is - I haven't made any cookies at Halloween. We are so inundated with candy, I can't bring myself to make a single cookie.

The cookie cutter syndrome seems to have gotten progressively worse with the amount of children running around. Coincidence? I think not.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stuffing Fit for a Superhero

From Sonja:

1 cup onion chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1/2 tea Tabasco
1/2 tea poultry season
1/2 cup butter
cups bread (cut to cups if not stuffing a turkey)
2 TB parsley
1/4 cup Sherry
1/2 cup pecans chopped

Cook onion, celery, Tabasco, poultry seasoning in butter until tender. Pour mixture over bread and parsley. Add mushrooms, Sherry, and nuts.

Stuff turkey OR cook at 350 - 40 fr 1/2 hour

Tricks- if not stuffing a turkey, you may need to add more "juce" - butter, mushroom juice, and Sherry. Bump up the Tabasc an use fresh parsely instead of the dry stuff.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy,.. er,.. Irrelevant Holiday!

Yep, it's that time of the year when we get to eat all sorts of yummy fall foods,.. turkey, cranberries, pumpkin guts,.. it's almost Thanksgiving! So you know what that means,... I'd better post some Halloween pictures before they become totally irrelevant. Nothing like getting down to the wire,...

We started the holiday in grand tradition by going to the local pumpkin patch. Between figuring out how to squeeze the visit between football practice and games for three boys, and making sure the pumpkins weren't green mush by the time Halloween rolled around, it was an orchestration of scheduling.

After finding Jared at the culmination of his school sponsored (but parent funded - there's a recession, you know) fishing trip to the regional park, we headed to the patch with about 55 minutes of pickin' time before the scarecrows start to give you the ol' evil eye to get the heck out of the shrubbery. Even farmers want to eat dinner at a relatively normal hour. (Did I blog this already? It's been so long, I forget,...) Well, we got lots of cool pumpkins, played some mean football in hell, I mean, Thermal, California and hosted the annual 'Silly Chili and Halloweenies' at the homestead.

The fam. Notice the Paul Bunyan and his real axe. Also notice the ghillie suited kids. Oh, you can't find them? Yes, I did a good job. Tinker Bell. The unicorn, and me, showing my horns.

Here are the son and daughter of the original Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Now you know what I mean. (Isn't that CUTE??!!?!?! Wen, I got some cushions that could use some covering, if ya know what I mean,...)

The crazed clan. We had a great time. Boys trick or treated for about an hour, came home for sustenance and then went back out to jump out of bushes. The girls did great. Fifi figured it all out and had a blast. We have enough candy to last us until, .. well,.. next Halloween.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Geography Matters

Kudos Washington Post! As a BA degree holder in geography from the University of Washington, I couldn't agree more! (Go Dawgs!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


First installment of the pumpkin carving ritual. We really should just buy into the whole 'family pumpkin' instead of carving five. And somehow an errant sixth pumpkin made it into our wheelbarrow at the ol' pumpkin farm (that happens when you have a gaggle of people you are trying to control in a retail establishment. Too many pumpkins, bunches of skittles in fists of toddlers who are in the plastic vehicle part of the cart at the grocery store that you have to carry back in with said child and profusely apologize for raising a clepto, wondering the whole time if it's some sort of a sting operation.)

We made it to the pumpkin patch at 5:10pm (patch closes at 6pm). Got pumpkins. Little boys trekked through the corn maze. Big boy was too cool to do things like that so he hung out. Little girls bounced in an oversized air filled pumpkin. The whole time, the young male attendant would come over to comment on how cute they were, and Fifi would cry for mommy and stop jumping. Finally I had to be a meanie and just plain out tell the dude in the pirate hat, "my kid's afraid of you. Don't come over here." I'm sorry to hurt your feelings, but really,...we paid $3 for her to jump. Leave us in peace.

Sunday meant trunk or treating at the Church parking lot. Every year I have visions of decorating our Suburban and doling out candy and every year I am waylayed by too much football and small children needing my attention. And this year, it was the dreaded ghillie suit.

Argh. What's a ghillie suit you ask? It's a camo suit covered in tree branches and the like that hunters use to hide from those maurauding ducks. Then they became popular with paint ballers. Now, we don't hunt ducks or shoot paint ball guns, so I wasn't about to buy $70 ghillie suits for two boys who thought it would be fun to dress up like that for halloween. I'm all for delusion in my life, so even though it's a well known fact I can not sew (nor am I really too crafty - I had white flowers at my wedding because I couldn't pick a color) I am a bargain hunter and set out to make the ghillie suits, not buy them. To walmart for $15 camo sweatsuits. To Michael's for spray on adhesive and various fake leafy plants; ivies, fronds of ferns, waxy deciduous leaves, along with a big needle and some thread. (Seriously, I send my clothes to the cleaners for them to sew on a button. Pathetic.)

HOURS (and I mean hours) later, I have one suit ready to go for Sunday's 'dead run' at trunk or treat. The suit has leaves sewn all over it on the top with moss on the top and the bottom. It sheds. A lot. So it can not come in the house. (that's saying much from an owner of a German Shepherd and a Husky - too majorly shedding dogs).

I lay it carefully in the back of the Suburban so we can transport the specimen to the Church. Carefully put child into ghillie suit. He refuses to paint his face in camo to match, so most people have no idea what the heck he is and start to refer to him as a 'tree.'

What are the rest of the clan? Let me break it down for you: I went EARLY to KMart (gack! Of all places!) to get costumes or the girls - B was a cute fairy with a light up skirt. She didn't want her hair combed or to wear shoes. She was going for that total 'Tinkerbell lives in the forest with a bunch of orphan boys and so do I' look, but I finally talked her into some ballet slippers. Other than that she totally looked the part of the fairy on the island of lost boys,...

Fifi was to be a CUTE, cute, cute little unicorn - complete with an adorable little body suit in the shape of a white hershey's kiss with purple wings (I know unicorns don't have wings, just go with it. It was cute.), little white hoof shaped shoe covers and a white hat with a purple horn. She DID NOT LIKE IT. I threw her little blue ballet jammies complete with frilly skirt from Grandma Z and some pink sparkle shoes on her and she was good to go.

K was the ghillie monster, er, tree. J (the cool one) was to be a mad scientist like last year, but he left the lab coat and crazy glasses at home, so all he wore was a crazy hair whig. Which was enough to have the middle school girls thinking he was that-kind-of-minimalist-halloween-cool and slyly follow our group around the parking lot. (I saw you girls.)

Z - ddn't have the ghillie suit done in time so he threw on an old skeleton costume, his Duck's hockey jersey and put a bag on his hockey stick. Dead hockey player. Excellent, CHEAP, easy,.. and he won FIRST PRIZE for scariest costume. Go figure.

I threw on some stuff (complete with stuffed parrot! It's amazing the stuff we've accumulated in the halloween box after 12 years of kid halloweens!) and went as a pirate wench.

Pumpkin patch again with B and about 50 crazy toddlers this past Tuesday, today is her 'harvest party.' I've got the orange jello ready to go. Friday is the Radio Disney party at the Elementary school (there are good things about being in Southern Cal), and the necessity for me to torture myself for 30 minutes in the 'crush the can' booth. Saturday is three football games in Thermal, Cal. (so appropriate for halloween - we're playing football in hell! Excellent!) Then small dinner party for whoever wants to show up at our house, then trick or treating through our neighborhood. Then, a few kids will spend the night, ensuring we don't actually rest until next weekend. Oh wait, that's Z's birthday. Never mind then.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Faith Matters

Get on the newsfeed for a little introspection to your day. Faith Matters Now with Fr. Edward Beck and Chris Cuomo.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some Spam is worth a can opener

You just need a good laugh on a Monday. Especially after pneumonia made you cancel a shopping trip with your best girls (and boy). And then you were stuck home all weekend long with yet another child feverishly ill.

This was sent over from Sonja, it's worth the post!

If you are an owner of a dog or know someone who has a dog which belongs to the 'dangerous breed' category; or if you have a child visiting your house, please take this as a warning.

Don't leave your dog with any small child unattended under any circumstances! Only one little moment was enough for this to happen:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October flies right in

Fifi is now my cuddly little girly girl. Beans broke my heart the other day when we were getting ready for Church and she informed me she 'doesn't like dresses.' WHAT? Next, she'll be telling me her favorite color is blue. Beans favorite thing to wear are jeans and her Hello Kitty! long sleeve tee shirt. So, we are all happy here the weather has turned and it's now in the 80's so she won't die of heat stroke in the name of fashion. I'm also not allowed to do anything besides put in a clippy into her hair. No pigtails. No curly ribbon pony tails. No french or other kinds of braids. No headbands. I can only look at other little girls and dream about the possibilities. Fifi is sprouting a little more fuzz on the top of her head, so the Crusty the Clown look is dissipating and I can actually get a little, tiny clippy to stay in for a while if I take every strand of hair possible, twist them together to create a rope, and then fasten it within an inch of her life to her scalp. Viola!

We spent this past Sunday at the Miramar airshow dragging a feverish 12 year old and four other winsome children around 25 miles of tarmac to look at things with wings. And see war games with real smoke and real loud BANGS! That Fifi didn't like last year, and you know what? She doesn't like them this year either. We saw the Blue Angels, but it was kind of a let down, after practically living with them at SeaFair forever in Seattle. Nice to have a little bit of home with us since we can't rely on the Dawgs to give us a warm fuzzy feeling. Can't wait to see the Notre Dame fans at the boys' football practices this week. It'll make for a long one.

Everybody run, 'Bina's got an AK-47 so some other pointy thing that holds lots of bullets. Zach was in HEAVEN. His latest fixation of learning-more-than-is-humanly-possible after his jaunts with dinosaurs, arctic animals, birds and owls is now warfare and guns. I have a lot of military shows that are impolitely taping over my Grey's Anatomy and House on the ol' DVR. He draws pictures and picture and pictures, reads all sorts of books and has Wikipedia bookmarked on his Internet browser.

All this collection of facts and his testing scores prompted a letter from the school letting me know that they are considering him for entrance into the Gifted and Talented program at school, and could I please take a moment to fill out this questionnaire. Great. You know what, people who make crazy rules? It is hard enough being a parent. I don't need the added pressure and catholic mother's guilt knowing that the questionnaire I filled out for my kid's consideration into a gifted program was so horrible that they decided not to allow him entrance. I won't know until later this week, I guess, but I'm already stressed about it. I waited until Hubby came home just to bounce my answers off him, have him analyze my handwriting (do I look too desperate if I slant it? I shouldn't heart my 'i's, should I?). For all I know, the school has tapped into my iPhone and it's already confessed that I'm probably not good material for a GATE parent. (which, btw, I CRASHED this afternoon. Seriously. The easiest piece of electronic equipment known to man? Something a monkey can operate - and I'm sure they have an app for that - died and won't open it's ever lovin' Apple eyes.)

Here is the Zman in front of something with wings that has some sort of significance. I'm sorry, I wasn't paying much attention, besides counting heads and sporadically screaming "Where is the BABY!" every so often and having various and sundry people related to me point out she was right next to me.

They are cute, aren't they? Or is it just my imagination? Football is going,... we got shut out this past weekend, but everyone is playing a good game and having lots of fun. That's what counts, right?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Deja Vu

The invasion of the football players. They may be small, but they have a tendancy to take over your life. We're feeling very European these days as we eat dinner as a family at 8:30 pm.

I'm feeling very '90's convenience chic as I place the crockpot, rice cooker and bread maker on the kitchen counter tops to do their orchestra of food preparation without me.

The dude in the middle of the picture is Z, #90. Also the only child to be able to take the 90+ heat while wearing long sleeve body armour. He's a real man.

Here's the sweet little 8 year old, K, taking down about three players from the opposing team. By himself. Because he visualizes his older brothers and it gives him THE POWER, that's why.

Here's J, the QB. He has a lot of responsibility this year, which is good for him - it might bring him out of his shell. Do I want him out of his shell? Maybe not,... Bringing the play to the field. Coaches are actually mature enough at this level to contain themselves sort of quietly, at the side lines.

Pass! Before he went down in a crumpled ball of bruises.

Otherwise, it's the same old, same old here in SoCal. Hot. Flu. Fire.
It's happening AGAIN. I watched the DC-10 and various airplanes make drops on the hillside on my run over to meet the family at the football park. Then, woke up dreaming I was camping, only to discover that yes, everything I own that is made of cloth smells like a campfire. Natch, wildfire.

Between that and being hyper cautious because of the flu, this is going to be a looooonnnggg fall and winter. J and S have been psuedo sick. Just enough for me to keep my twitchy doctor calling finger still. Fifi was up all night. Here's to hoping she doesn't vomit during the preschool tour of the Apple Orchard this afternoon.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I'm sorry, I am laughing so hard, I can not type. Please check out this site.

It's now filed in my 'if only Id' thought of that first' drawer, along with the movie rentals and not buying stock in Sprint.

Me, of the birthday-cakes-gone-horribly-wrong set - ("what do you mean you don't know what it is? It's a cake in the shape of an electric guitar!') I am in love. sigh,...

I know, lots has happened,.. I'll blog again someday,.. soon....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Girl Power!

This weekend was an all girl weekend (okay, except for our next door neighbor. Who's a boy. But he doesn't count, because he lives next door.) OUR boys were all up in the woods foraging for drinking water, carrying freeze dried food and tents and wandering around for three days, all in the name of,... fun.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love to camp. With a cooler that contains my beer so it's nice and cold and my hershey bars so they don't get too melted when the roasted marshmellow is slapped on top of it. And the annual trip to REI? Fun! I like to slip a cute little skirt into the pile of water bottles, new filters, tasty freeze dried astronaut food and additional backpacks. New backpacks are required as the kids get old enough to carry enough stuff on their backs that they do not have to rely on their older brothers' unconditional love and mercy to carry enough food and water for them to stay alive too.

I do own a pair of hiking boots and they do have some marks on them. I am seeing my dog days of hanging out in non-yurts come to an end again since the baby of the house is almost two, and the man who fitted Jared this year at REI told Rob all sorts of wonderous stories about outfitting his clueless three year old and taking her hiking for hours in the forest. Yikes. My only hope is that I can distract Rob with the boys when he asks me that semi-annual question, "doesn't ice camping sound FUN?' If I never own something called a crampon in my life time, I think I might die a happy woman.

So, the girls and I are jam packing all our favorite activities into this weekend while we still can: sugar cookies with pink strawberry frosting and sprinkles baking, pizza making (the girls basically ate all the cheese and olives before it got on the pizza), going out to eat (SOOO much cheaper and easier when you just have three mouths to feed), mall hopping (Disney store princess action figures!), watching girl movies like 'Barbie and the Diamon Castle' to which Fiffi danced the whole time and Beans was riveted to the point I don't think she blinked the entire movie and Oak Glen pet farm frolicking.

I kind of forgot how present I have to be as a parent, since I have the older boys to really rely on every other time. This weekend I had to feed rats and the dog, clean the pool, take out the garbage, and break out fights over new Disney princess action figures myself. No sneaking away to do edits for my article due Tuesday; when the girls were awake, we were all about hanging out. Including eating meals at the little girl table, even if I absolutely didn't fit into any seats.

Posing in Oak Glen, where the Pendleton fire was just last week. The fires really depressed the tourists, which is too bad, this is a big weekend for them. We'll go back to get apples (big apple growing community) and pumpkins and Christmas trees this year.

Tire swing at the new park by the one room school house museum.

Pretending to learn something in the one room school house museum. The school closed in the early 1060's.

Interesting stuff,...

Okay, so this is an old picture taken at football, but it's a cutie.

This is another old pic from the summer when I took the two girls and Jared out shopping for football gear while the other two boys were in vacation Bible school. You can see why all eyes need to be on the girls, no attention can go anywhere else,...

Shopping with the girls. Beans knows the Starbucks sign now and requests to go there for Hot ChaCha.

Walking home from the boy's school a while ago.

Making cookies is a great way to break up a Disney princess action figure fight.

And then later that day we made pizza.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


While we've all been worried about the flying pig flu (by the time it gets to this house it will have been born again into some sort of new super bug - I am just certain of it) and thinking about equipping ourselves with a certain kind of medically necessitated gas mask, we were surprised by two fires in the area and the need for a different kind of gas mask.

The first fire started this weekend up in Oak Glen, a cute little area that reminds me of Washington if for no other reason it has apple trees. Of course, this was one of the places I had slated to spend Labor Day weekend since the boys of the house are all going on some crazy multi-day camping trip. Nix this idea; there is nothing but charred remains from what the news sources say.

These pics are all from the SECOND fire that started yesterday afternoon about 4pm. Just when we all thought the other fire was containable and had dropped behind the ridge, some evil yahoo started another fire that is burning even closer than the last.

We live next to the regional park which has a resevoir, so the kids have been entertained by helicopters and fire planes all day. It made the morning dog run interesting, but man, my heart goes out to all the people who have been evacuated (good friends who just moved into the area included) and the hard working fire and Red Cross employees. Stater Brothers on Bryant Street was a staging area for many fire workers and trucks. The Community Center is the local emergency shelter. I feel like I'm back in Banda Aceh with all the emergency vehicles whizzing around.

DC-10. There were three flying around at one time; including a 747.

Schools are closed in the district due to poor air quality. Who knew you could have 'fire days'. Snow days, yes. The kids are praying for mudslide days and killer bee days now, too.

Kind of Armegeddony, don't you think?

The power went out for a bit yesterday, too, adding to the feeling of the world ending. But, as California always does, it'll rise like a Phoenix. Now, what to do with five kids when it is 100+ degrees outside and the air quality is so bad that school is closed????

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

All Work and No Play

Makes Karen a bad blogger,...

Toiling away,..

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kyle!

Well, he made it to eight! Congratulations K! Above is the birthday loot. Not sure why it's blurry because I've only had two cups of coffee so far this morning. I shouldn't be shaking yet.

I had to concede that I couldn't carry on with my normal activities AND frost 36 cupcakes for the Junior PeeWee Division I football players, a quadruple layer cake, decorate, make goody bags and wrap presents, so hubby took the five spawn and ventured to football by himself. It was heavenly being able to lick the frosting bowl all by myself.

Why a four layer cake? Because there are 25 kids on the football team. Do you know how many cupcakes you can get out of a cake mix? (I have five kids, I am not baking a cake from scratch. No time to measure.) 24. So, I have t make either 50 cupcakes, or an extra layer for the cake. I decided on 36 cupcakes and a very tall cake. Because you need a large canvas for all the mini oreos, sour gummy worms, regular gummy worms and jelly beans that must go on the birthday cake. I'm surprised that much candy made it on the actual cake, what with the five of them 'helping' to decorate it last night. (Let's just say they sampled all the jelly bellies and can tell you which of the 50 flavors they like best.)

So, today is pretty mellow, besides the sugarblast. Ice cream for breakfast. Candy ladened cake for evening dessert. Poor kid can't open presents until tonight when we are all together. (We're evil that way)

But we're traipsing to Big Bear with some friends on Saturday for jet skiing and attempts at water skiing in VERY COLD water. I will be hanging beach side insisting the babies need me so I don't have to get wet. Then, BBQ at the cabin with a candle in a marshmellow to celebrate.