Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'll Bite

Seems everyone is doing it, so I might as well. Heard of the Omnivore's Hundred? It's a list of 100 foods to see how much of an omnivore you are. It was started at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk. Any foods I have eaten will be in bold. I only score 37/100, but that's still better than I thought I would do! Although I think I may have a perfect score on the sweet treats...

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Countdown is On

One week from today, the kids start their school year. They are all excited. Very excited. I have to admit, I'm excited as well, but also a little hesitant. Does my excitement make me a bad mom by today's standards? (I'll skip my soapbox on our kid-centric society for today - no thanks needed!) I feel ashamed to admit to most of my friends that I am looking forward to the kids going to school. I'm especially ashamed when it comes to my 3 year old daughter. I find myself feeling guilty when I read the mom articles and talk to my mom friends. There are one or two that share my feelings, but they are also reserved about admitting it in public. Now, I'm not suggesting that we all throw a parade and run down the street shouting with glee, but I do wish that it was more socially acceptable to be happy to see the school year come. I remember my mom saying (frequently by the end of August) that she couldn't wait for school to start. Now I know how she felt. But these days, I'm not supposed to want to pack them off on the bus. I'm supposed to want to drive them myself, both to and from school, and spend every waking minute making sure that their lives are happy and easy. I just don't have either the energy or the belief that is in their best interests.

I AM going to miss the lazy days spent in the sunshine and having my babies all to myself. But let's be honest - they are getting bored with me and their siblings. They crave both the social opportunities and the stimulation. And Matthew is in dire need of occupational therapies that are beyond my limited abilities. I am going to enjoy sending them off to school, missing them during the day and getting those hugs and the the run-down of their days when they get off the bus or I pick them up from daycare. I might not be the best mom, but I think that for my kids, I'm doing OK.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Migraines

I hate them. Enough said.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wasted Time

As I was standing outside this evening, watching my dear husband running around behind Matthew's bike, his hands on either side of his abdomen, sometimes righting his balance, sometimes helping to propel him forward and keep him moving, a thought entered my mind. "I should go inside instead of wasting time out here. What a wasted evening." You see, we were outside waiting for someone to come look at a desk we are trying to give away. They came, they saw, they left empty handed. And now we were spending a few more minutes helping the kids ride their bikes and scooters. Matthew wasn't going to master his two-wheeler tonight. I wouldn't be missing anything and I had so much laundry to fold, or I could log into work. I have 18 more hours to do for the week and only 4 days left to do it. As soon as I completed that thought process, though, all the small groups from the past 3 years came back to me. This time is precious - this time with my family, making them a priority. No time spent in this manner is ever "wasted" time. So, I leaned back on my husband's car and watched him get an aching back bending over Matthew. I encouraged Adam to ride faster and turn tighter. I listened to Anna ring her "very favorite" bike bell. I put all of my to do's out of my mind for just a minute to focus on what really matters. Too bad they're all in bed, now I have no choice but to log into work.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Productive, Lazy Sunday

What a good day today was. It's one of those days where you end it feeling as though you've accomplished something, yet feeling rested at the same time. It started off with church, our own pastor back from vacation, not too hot - just a nice time of worship. We got home and sent the kids out to the pool. Checked on the garden and came in with a basket full of tomatoes, poked the pre-baked ham in the oven and plugged in the laptop on the deck to get some work done while still supervising the kids. After lunch, laid Anna down for nap, started the tomatoes cooking for sauce to freeze, mixed up cookies and watched the kids out the window. Then while the sauce was cooling, I logged into work for a little bit (down in the oh-so-much-cooler basement) and listened to the older kids laughing and having a good time playing the Wii a floor above. Add in a little home grown spaghetti squash with freshly made sauce on top for dinner. So while tomorrow it will all start up again, with not enough time to accomplish all that needs to be done, today was a good day.

Unfortunately, Ben's day wasn't quite so idyllic. He had to fix the upstairs toilet...again. And he doesn't even like the kind of cookies that I made today. Poor guy.



Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why do they have to grow up so fast?

Since Adam's birthday was while we were on vacation, he had his birthday party with his friends today. It was a good time - 8 of his friends at our local Rec center. All I had to do was provide the cake and the birthday boy. Watching him with his friends, being careful to include everyone in the activities - even his little brother, sister and cousin - I was so proud of my big kid. But then this evening, he looks at his dad's driver's license and made a comment about his dad's long hair in the picture. I said his dad was a handsome guy - and then to be silly, said "all the girls think so". His eyes got big and he said "Really? Cool." I could see what he was thinking..."I look just like him." It's becoming clear that he's beginning to care what girls think. I'm not sure I'm ready for that!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Groundhogs

This year we let the area around the deck get a little overgrown and now we're paying the price. We made it far too tempting a location for a groundhog, so now we have a permanent guest. Any suggestions for how to get rid of it? Unfortunately, we can't use the 22 in our neighborhood. Wonder if pelting it with plastic BBs would have any effect... Or I can always sic my team of super heroes on it. (The kids made super hero t-shirts the other day, to go along with their secret identities.)



Aqua Boy (aka Adam), Super Dupe (aka Matthew), Super Supe (aka Desiree) and Super Girl (aka Anna)


Aqua Boy has super strength and can spray water.

Super Dupe is short for "Super Duper". He has super strength, super speed and super hincks, which is cleaning fastly.

Super Supe has super strength. (Matthew doesn’t understand how she can NOT want to be able to clean fastly.)

Super Girl has a super smile. It makes people too happy to be bad. And she can fly...sort of.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fond Memories

For me, the best part about vacation is the memories and images that last with you through the next year. Here are some of my favorite images from this past vacation...



video

The End of an Era

OK, so that might be a little overly dramatic, but it's how I feel at the moment. Four years ago...is four years long enough to be considered an era? Perhaps if those years were BIG enough... Four years ago, I found myself leaving a job that was both challenging and satisfying to stay home with my children. I did so with some reluctance, but knowing that it was the Lord's will for my life at that time. My reluctance was gradually replaced with the joy I found in what is, for now at least, my most important role - Mom. These past four years have been very formative, not just for the four children under my care, but also for me. Almost a second "university" of sorts. The need to provide my children with a well-rounded social environment required me to break out of my shell and find a more social part of myself that I hadn't known was there. I didn't expect to learn so much about how to be a better wife, better friend and better steward during this period dedicated to being a full-time mom. I think that I will always look back on these years as being just as influential as my college years.

Now I once again find myself on the verge of a change, brought on by children growing and changes at work. Again, I am reluctant, although excited. I have missed the challenge and stimulation of my work, yet I will miss this period of my life. I'm excited for what lies ahead, but not ready to bid farewell to this...bliss. If only I could prevent the children from growing...for just a little longer.