Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Halloween. Again.

I have never liked Halloween. Well, maybe that's not entirely true. There was probably a time when I enjoyed getting dressed up and seeing how many houses I could clean out of candy.

But it's been a while.

I've never bought, made or put out Halloween decorations, and it's only been in the last couple of years that we've taken Christian trick-or-treating. I haven't even bought any candy this year. To hand out, I'm saying.

I have bought candy.

But I like to bake (shocker!) so I decided to make some cupcake pops for Christian's class. Look closely, because you will never, ever see these on this blog again.

I baked the cake at 9:00 last night, then dashed to the store for the rest of the supplies, and got home at ten to finish what I could before bed. Which was at 1:30 this morning. I got up at 6:30 this morning to get Christian ready for school, and started working on these the minute I got home from dropping her off at 7:30. Well. Not the minute. I did have to drink a cup of coffee to clear the cobwebs from my brain. Unfortunately, the coffee didn't work as well as I'd hoped.

But I did finish them just in time to rush them to the school, an hour before dismissal, so she could hand them out to a bunch of sweaty, stinky-dog-smelling kids who probably don't care what they look like as long as they taste good.

And they do.

Lordy, they do.

So there's a pumpkin,
A mummy,

A ghost,
And Frankenstein. He's actually the cutest one... unfortunately my camera doesn't capture his good side.
Have I mentioned lately how much I hate my camera?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008




I don't know who Mark Gregg is, but I thought this was very well-written, and I agree with what he writes. I also have a few more reasons, but I'll leave it at this:

Dear Mr. Obama,
It is October 1st, 2008. My name is Mark Gregg. I am a 50 something conservative white male. I have followed your campaign closely, including the speeches you and others made at the democratic national convention. I am respectfully providing you with seven simple (probably shallow) reasons why I could never vote for you. I believe my opinion is shared by many people. While there may not be quite enough to prevent you from becoming president of this nation, I do think there is an awakening to the fact that you are not a (the) messiah that the media and liberal Hollywood entertainers are trying to portray you.

1. I hear your mantra of change, change, change. Yet, you picked a long term, liberal, insider (Joe Biden) to be your running mate. This is NOT change. It is a move that hypocritically refutes the very thing you supposedly stand for. Your campaign then slammed McCain for picking Sarah Palin, apparently, because she is NOT an insider. She is a maverick who cleaned-up quagmires of political scandals. Which way is it, Barack? Is it okay for you to pick a insider under the mantra of 'change', but not okay for John McCain to pick a smart, aggressive, reformer?

2. You have the single most liberal voting record in the senate. This indicates to me and others like me that you may very well be an angry black man seeking to punish our country for sins of a different generation. I am not racist. I have some biases just like you and every other human alive. Unlike the democratic party who claims to be for the minority (but their record heavily refutes this), I will give any person who truly needs help, help. I married a 'minority' girl 35 years ago (she is Hispanic) and have seen the evils of prejudice first hand.
However, I have also seen my wife and my children and others in her family throw off the veil of self imposed prejudicial bondage and move ahead. They love our country and do not view themselves any different than I view myself as a citizen of this country. Your lovely wife so disappointed people like me during this campaign when she stated it was the first time she had ever been proud of this country.
She apparently never noticed the massive aid we give dozens of other countries.
She apparently never noticed the sacrifice of literally millions of veterans who helped make this country a free nation and helped liberate other nations from brutal dictators such as Adolf Hitler.
She apparently does not remember that she attended ivy league universities with scholarship money that ultimately (at least some of it) was paid for by our taxes. This troubles me more than you know. She is an angry black woman who appears to not like her country very much. I don't want her representing me to the rest of the world.

3. You claim Christianity but apparently do not realize that the Bible teaches that he who does not work, does not eat. The Bible does not say or even suggest that he who CANNOT work, should not eat. Yet, your liberal policies reward people who are capable of working, but choose to not do so. This bothers me. I know that if you are elected our taxes will spiral upwards. You should heed the words of Winston Churchill: 'We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle..' If I like anything about you, it is your campaign promise to balance the federal budget. Unfortunately, we have heard this a huge number of times from a number of different politicians and we realize that when you energize the very liberal Nancy Pelosi, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, etc, etc, and the many other democrats like them, a balanced budget will never, ever happen on your watch.

4. During your question and answer session with Rick Warren of Saddleback Church your answer concerning the question of where does life begin, stunned me: 'Above your pay grade?' Does this mean when something bad happens as President of this nation that you are going to look at your salary to determine if you can respond? I am sorry, but this was the most serious gaffe I have seen you make. Frankly, it shows me that you are pandering in the most obvious manner. You will choose your words not from your heart, but from an agenda that I believe is still hidden from the American people.

5. If anything stands out about you it is probably your appeasement mentality. In this era of rampant, radical Islamic extremism and with the latest stunt pulled by the re-energized Russian government, I am not sure appeasement is healthy. I again revert to the words of Winston Churchill: 'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.'

6. You and your party tacitly believe that a 13 or 14 year old girl must have the parents' approval to have the school nurse provide them with a Tylenol when they have a headache at school. Yet, this same girl can become pregnant and the school can skirt her off to a clinic and abort the child in her body without the parents knowing or being notified. This scares the hell out of me. You have two little girls. Would you be upset if this happened to them and you were not informed? Then why do you stand for this? It makes no sense to me.

7. My seventh and final point (for now) is your supporters. I have watched the Hollywood entertainers who support you, systematically embrace Hugo Chavez of and others like him. I see the continuous smut and garbage produced by , the very people who promote you the most vigorously. It is not a positive point to me and others like me to see these over-paid, bizarre, poor examples of human existence fawn over you and push you and your liberal agenda as hard as they do. The way I see it; When the devil is for you, we should question whether or not we should be against you.

In closing, I just want you to know that you scare me. I cannot vote for you. It is not because of your skin color. It is because these items I've listed and many, many others like them. Do not claim that my dislike for you is race based. It is because I do not feel you have the best interests of this nation at heart.

Respectfully,
Mark A. Gregg

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Baby Bella

Recently, we received a couple packs of what I would call trading cards for girls... they're called Baby Bella, and they're part of the Bella Sara game. It combines trading cards with interactive online games and activities.

The cards each portray a horse, an inspirational message, and a code to enter at http://www.bellasara.com/.

The code adds the horse to your child's online stable, so that your child can nurture their animals, read stories and play games in the land of North of North. You can feed and water the horses, brush them, and make sure they have plenty of clean hay. There's also online "stores," where kids can "purchase" things to decorate their online cottage. It doesn't actually cost money, but horseshoes, that kids win playing online games.

Parents can choose the level of interaction that's right for their child's experience in the parents section of the site.

Starting November 6, there will be a ten-day online celebration of the Baby Bella addition. Kids will be able to qualify for daily prizes, print off birth certificates for their babies, and have access to special codes that change each day.

There will be a contest with Bella Birthday packages, special guest goody bags, and full sets of Bella Sara merchandise as prizes.


When Christian opened her Bella Sara trading cards, we had to get on the computer. Right then! And enter all of her horses' codes. She played for two straight hours that day! One day, I got on the site to see what all the fuss was about. She heard the music (which sounds like the track they play at the spa) and came running and kicked me right off the computer. She carries those cards with her every time we get in the car. She absolutely loves the Bella Sara horses.

Hubs wanted to know what Christian was playing on the computer and I explained to him it was an online site with trading cards about horses. He started grinning, and said that the daughters of some of the guys he works with are really into it, too.

It's actually a fairly fun website... even for adults! She doesn't know it, but every now and then I get on there and take care of some of her horses. There are so many things to see and do, a kid will probably never do it all.

And at $2.99 a pack, these cards would make great stocking stuffers. You can find them at most bookstores, discount chains, and toystores.

Not bad for a little time to yourself!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm too stoooopid to be allowed on a computer



I think I know why all this happened. I'm pretty sure they weren't completely dry/hard, so when I put them under a plastic cake dome, there was no way for any moisture to escape.

Add to that the south Texas heat and humidity, and it's just not a good combination.

Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid.

Monday, October 20, 2008

ARGHHHHHHH!!!

I'm not speaking pirate... I'm MAD!!!

So I mentioned I went to some cake classes.

I took pictures of my projects yesterday, but they weren't very good, so I took more today. I started with the bride and groom. Here they are:


Not bad, no?
My other project, called, "Dad & Me," was okay, too. Not perfect, by any stretch, but okay. Let's just say I wouldn't be embarrassed to give it to someone.

Let me be clear. It was okay. As in, not anymore.

Wednesday night when I got home I put it under a cake dome to keep it safe/clean, until I was ready to place it on a cake (and that was the plan), and set it up on top of a cabinet so nobody would knock it over.
I got it down to take pictures just minutes ago, and this is what I found:

The chair has split open in three places, the little girl is now doing a back-bend over her dad's arm, which has caused her leg to crack (almost break off completely), his arm couldn't handle her acrobatics and cracked, and his crotch cracked. Thankfully he's made of sugar, so nothing inappropriate is visible. It is a pile of sugar good only for the trash. Which is a shame. I really worked hard, and thought it looked pretty good.

He has no idea the pain he has inflicted on my soul. He just sits there. Smiling like the moron he is.

And this little wench? Don't even get me started on her. I think this whole thing is her fault.

Can I just say?

I won't be paying them any final respects when I throw their treacherous little sugar bodies in the trash.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

WARNING: CAKE PICTURES AHEAD!

My goodness, am I ever exhausted!

The Sugar-Sculpting Goddess of All Time, Lorraine McKay, visited Austin this week. She came a really long way to teach three classes... all the way from Scotland!
It was grrrrrreat! (I really wish I could post sound of her and her husband, Andy, saying that! They were such a joy to be around, and their accents were absolutely adorable!) She has more talent in her pinky fingernail clippings than I do in my whole body.

The lady... er... lassie, is just amazing! She is also a really awesome teacher. Lorraine is expert at translating the motions and movements she's making into easy-to-follow words.

Unfortunately, I got really sick the first couple of days. I came home, went to the doctor (who prescribed miracle pills... with painful side effects), and went back for more!

I have two projects finished: a bride & groom, and a little family. My camera is being its usual crappy self, and is refusing to take good pictures. I'll try to find time soon to take some pictures outside, so you can really see the details. For now, these will have to work.

First, Lorraine's bride & groom (as if I had to clarify whose this is!):

And mine:


I also got to meet Lisa, from Cakes & Cupboards. She was really sweet and a lot of fun (besides having oodles of talent), and her Mississippi accent was just about as intoxicating as Lorraine's Scottish one!

Like I said, my camera is being feisty, so I'll take better pictures (I hope!) and try to post them soon.

I think I'm going to bed now, to sleep until next weekend.

G'night.

AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HUBS!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I got an interesting e-mail from my brother yesterday, and would love to share:

Hello all,

Attached is a picture that Courtney [my sil] took of Colton [my nephew] & me at the County Youth Rodeo back in April of 2006. She had snapped several pictures throughout the day of us, looking at the bulls, watching the rodeo, etc.

When the rodeo was over, Colton & I walked out into the arena to check out the horses and look at the bulls behind the chutes, while Courtney stayed in the stands. She called us over to the fence to chat, so Colton climbed up on the pipe fence to talk to her.

Colton & I started arguing over wether or not he could ride some of the bulls & Courtney snapped this picture. She had been wanting to enter it in the county fair for the past 2 years, but due to busy schedules, etc., hasn't been able to.

She decided this was the year.

She's working a booth at the fair this year with one of her sororities and when I came up today to get the suburban, with a glimmer in her eye said "Come here, I want to show you something." She took me to the photography exhibit and showed me the picture.

Attached to the frame was the ''Grand Champion" ribbon!!!

We walked around the carnival tonight and let the kids ride some rides, and there were soo many people who congratulated her for the ribbon, as well as having such handsome-looking subjects to photograph whenever she wanted!! (I made the last part up)

I just wanted to pass on her latest accomplishment to family & friends. Hope this finds everyone well.

Take care,
John

CONGRATULATIONS, COURTNEY!!!

I've always loved this picture, and think it would look way better in my house than it does in yours.

Just food for thought.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Aquadoodle Draw N' Doodle Mat

Yesterday I posted about the Bath Blizzard from Kid Kleen. We were also lucky enough to receive the Aquadoodle Draw N' Doodle Mat to try out.

The kids loved it!

And, truth be told, so did I!

It is 100% mess-free drawing.

We opened the box, filled the pen with water, and Cullen started drawing. Finally, something he wouldn't get into trouble for writing on the floor and furniture with! He got such a kick out of scribblling all over the mat.

The Draw N' Doodle is a really large fabric mat that has enough drawing space for more than one kid, yet it rolls up neatly for storage. There's even an elastic loop that holds the water pen, so it won't get lost at the bottom of the toy box!

It's completely re-usable, too. The pictures kids draw disappear as the water dries, so they can draw again and again.

Christian got home from school and immediately commandeered the Draw N' Doodle. She wrote her spelling words (three times each) with plenty of room to draw left over. Once the words disappeared, I quizzed her, using the Draw N' Doodle. It was a really great way to make practicing her spelling more fun.

The Aquadoodle Draw N' Doodle Mat retails for about $25, and is available at all leading toy stores. It's appropriate for kids two and up.

My kids really loved it. I bet yours will, too.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kid Kleen Bath Blizzard

Last week, we received a really cool bath toy in the mail. It was the Kid Kleen Bath Blizzard. The kids were ready to take a bath as soon as they saw it! Can you believe it? Something that actually makes the kids want to take a bath???


The Bath Blizzard is a little machine that hangs off the water faucet and pumps out bubbles into the tub. It came with a bottle of bubble solution, and since you only use a capful, it's going to last quite a while. The solution is safe, non-toxic, wheat & tears-free and even hypoallergenic! Which means it's even great for the little ones!


We had one of these bath bubble machines before, but it didn't work nearly as well as the Bath Blizzard. Once you turn it on, that thing really pumps out bubbles. It's the only one I've seen that has a fabric screen that makes more, and finer bubbles than other machines. It looked like I had put bubble bath in the tub, when it was just the Bath Blizzard.

Just look at all those bubbles!


I also liked the strap that secured it to the faucet. Our other one had suction cups that stuck to the wall... unfortunately, it never stayed stuck. The Bath Blizzard hangs from the faucet, and stays there until you take it off.

The age range is 3 and up. Christian loved it. Cullen liked the bubbles, but didn't like the noise, which, trust me, was not loud at all. He runs into the house when the cows start mooing. No joke. We just let the tub fill up with bubbles, then turned it off and let him play.


The Bath Blizzard retails for about $20, and is available at all leading toy stores.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Such a nice Sunday!

It was finally cool enough (just about all day!) for us to spend the day outside. The kids played, hubs walked around trying to look busy, and I read my Bible. It was a really great day.

After Cullen woke up from his nap, and we all had lunch, we went back outside and the kids had popsicles. He really does stick his tongue out like this each time he licks them! It's hilarious!


He apparently had some trouble getting it to his mouth each time.

This is after the popsicle fun had worn off... and he realized he had gone a whole hour without his "ganket." Which is Cullen-speak for his security blanket. It was taking a tour of the washing machine while we tried to keep his mind off it by playing outside.

video

video

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Book Meme

I know my last post was a meme, but it was fun, and this one should be, too. I found it at Crystal's.

The Rules: Grab the nearest book.
Open the book to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your blog along with these instructions.
Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one, pick the CLOSEST.
Tag five other people to do the same.

Crap. It's one of Hubs' crazy war books. He LOVES depressing true war books. This one is BlackJack-34, by James C. Donahue.

My conversation with the forward air controller was interrupted by a tap on the shoulder. I turned and saw that it was Danh pointing to his hand. His thumb had been shot off. I gave the radio handset to Bob and applied a dressing over the stump. He didn't have any signs of shock or pain, so I withheld the morphine.

Yep. Hubs reads all about rainbows and sunshine. Little girls in pretty dresses dancing in fields of flowers. Pink unicorns and sparkly fairies. That's him.

I don't like tagging people, so just let me know if you find this and want to do it. I'd love to see what you've got near you. Probably not some freaked out, weirdo war book.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Meme for Hubs

Here is a Hubby Meme I found at Erin's Words. It's the first time I've seen it!




1. He's sitting in front of the TV: what is on the screen?
Hunting, fishing, or the History Channel

2. You're out to eat. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
Him? Eat salad? HA! The ONLY two vegetables he eats are corn and potatoes. I usually eat his salad... with Ranch or Caesar dressing.

3. What is one food he doesn't like?
ONE??? I ONLY GET TO NAME ONE THAT MR. PICKY-PANTS WON'T EAT??? Whatever, I'm listing a bunch: strawberries, grapes, kiwi, avocado, celery, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, grean beans, peas, squash, pasta, rice, casserole of any kind, cheese, shrimp, crab, lobster, zuchinni, mac'n'cheese, spaghetti, guacamole, enchiladas, chinese food of any kind, eggplant, olives, butter beans, navy beans, kidney beans, ranch style beans, boiled eggs, egg salad, chicken salad, lunchmeat (other than bologna), garlic bread, mushrooms, the list is pretty much endless.



4. You go out to the bar. What does he order?
He doesn't go to bars. He used to order Crown & Coke. He HATES beer. (me, too!)



5. Where did he go to high school?
In a teeny-tiny south Texas town.

6. What size shoe does he wear?
11



7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?
He collects two things: guns and ammo. Oh, and MRE's. I think he's a little crazy. He's preparing for "the Day."



8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
The ONLY type of sandwich he eats is plain bologna on dry bread.



9. What would the Husband eat every day if he could?
He does eat something every. single. day. It's toast with butter and Nestle Quik chocolate milk for breakfast.



10. What is his favorite cereal?
Plain corn flakes.



11. What would he never wear?
Dirty wash jeans.



12. What is his favorite sports team?
He's not into sports. He used to like NASCAR, before they let foreign cars in. Mark Martin was his favorite driver.



13. Who will he vote for?
The most conservative person on the ticket.



14. Who is his best friend?
Randall. For a while, they talked more on the phone than we did. I'd see Randall's number on the caller ID and tell hubs, "Your wife is calling."



15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do?
Are you kidding? I'm perfection in his eyes.



16. How many states has he lived in?
One



17. What is his heritage?
I haven't a clue... and I don't think he does, either. He doesn't even know if his mom's dad is alive or not.



18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind?





19. Did he play sports in high school?
Tennis. He mostly took pictures for the school newspaper.


20. What could he spend hours doing?
Killing innocent animals. Or walking around in the woods.



This was fun! If you do it, let me know so I can see it!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

How Am I Feeling, You Ask?

Get ready...

Prepare yourselves...

Like crap.

First, the pollen counts must be up right now (I haven't checked) because my eyes are so itchy I want to gouge them out, my throat is scratchy and always on the verge of soreness, and I have a perpetual sinus headache.

And then there's the morning sickness, or, in my case, afternoon/evening sickness. After school lets out, I feel like I hit a brick wall. I am exhausted, and feel like I'll puke if I move. It really stinks. Considering I have two children to take care of at this time of day!

Hopefully it will end soon.

Nights aren't much better. The pukiness usually lasts well into the evening (until around midnight or so) and while I'm so tired I could pass out, I have to pee every ten minutes. That's no exaggeration. Literally. Every. Ten. Minutes. This usually lasts until about 2 am, at which point I decide I'd rather just change the sheets in the morning, and crash. I sleep for two or three hours, and then wake up and it starts all over again. It's the same thing if I attempt a nap during the day while Cullen naps. Usually I get so frustrated because I'm so tired but can't sleep. And I don't actually have to go that bad; it's just the feeling like I need to. Which, psychologically, makes it even worse! WHY AM I NOT SLEEPING IF I DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE TO GO???

I'm not good at being pregnant.

There's just not much about it that I like. Or even tolerate well.

You'll come to realize that over the next six months, but I promise to try to keep the bitchiness to a minimum.

I said I would try.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If you know me at all, you know I have a toddler (who hasn’t jumped on the whole “clean up after myself” bandwagon) and a first grader.

Which means I have no time for myself.

I am constantly being called on to entertain, educate, feed, clothe, clean, wipe, etc… Which is fine. That’s my job.

But recently, K’NEX and Sesame Street made that job slightly easier. I received a Sesame Street themed building set, and look out! Those kids were out of my hair for an hour!

We got the Elmo and His Piano building set. It’s a K’NEX building set that includes colorful rods, connectors and blocks so that kids can create their own custom versions of Elmo, his piano and his goldfish Dorothy. The set also came with activity cards that showed different building ideas, and a handy box in which to store everything once playtime is over.

The box says it’s age appropriate for kids 2-5, but Cullen had a blast with it, and he’s not quite two.
It holds the attention of the older kids, as well. Christian (age six) was determined to build everything the cards showed, and her friend, who’s ten, also built her own masterpieces.
They loved this thing!

They’re not that expensive, either. Sets start out at $10.99, and go up to about $33.00. Which isn’t bad for a multi-use, imagination-building toy. Kids can be as creative as they want to be, or just use the activity cards to jumpstart their building fun.



If you’re interested, visit: http://www.knex.com/sesame-street-building-sets/
to see what all is available. There are many different characters to build, and many different sized sets in a range of prices.

You know, there's only 85 shopping days left until Christmas!