Monday, November 30, 2009

Nana and Papa Go to Preschool

Grandparent's Day at my littlest's preschool was an all out affair!

They even had little doorways for the grandparents to try to crawl through!  I graciously refrained from snapping a pic of Nana crawling through...

...but here she is laughing with another guest at what they had just had to go through!

When we first got there, Nana gave Lily a little surprise gift...a flute...

She loves little surprise gifts, of course.  This flute was especially cute.  I liked it too, since I can play it and my teenage boys can't, and I am all for anything I can do that they can't.  I'm think I'm getting a "short person complex" around them....but that's another post.

This post is about the great time that Lily had with her grandparents....her Papa came on Friday since she needed a grandparent both days, but I didn't get any pictures of him, sadly.

They played, crafted and I'm not sure what else for two and a half hours!  The reason I'm not sure what all they did, was because parents weren't supposed to stay.  I giggled because when I got them settled and said that I would be back later, both Nana and the next day Papa looked at me in surprise and said, "'re not staying?"  Nope!  They were on their own in preschool!

They survived!  And a fun time was had by all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Timmy Takes to the Stage

Timmy spent a lot of time on stage last week....
first he was an ENTHUSIASTIC performer in the Children's Choir at church.

Honesty, he did smile when he actually sang.  He had no choice with all of us sitting in the second row making funny faces at him!

Then he was a hockey enthusiast for his school play, celebrating the wonderful state of Minnesota!  It was a thorough history of the state....and I mean thorough!

Then after a quick costume change, he did a great Garrison Keillor impersonation.

Here's Garrison Keillor.

"...Lake Wobegon...Where the men are all good looking, the women are all strong and the children are all above average!"

I think he was spot on!  Except he had no red necktie.  Because his costume manager is me.  And I am very overbooked these days.  Those are my old glasses, though...with the lenses knocked out.

Oh how we love watching Timmy perform.  He's easy to crack up...hardly even a challenge!

Monday, November 23, 2009

How Birthdays Should Be

My family made my last birthday of my third...wait no it would be my fourth.. decade one to a great way...

Although it was a school morning, I was allowed to "sleep in" until 6:30!

When I arose, I was treated to this:

Amazing French Toast!  Pardon Zach's arm!

Fresh Raspberries!

Cut Grapefruit!
Plus, coffee, juice and...

...smiling faces!  They smiled a lot...just on the inside...

....They really liked their own "cookin'!"

He's thinking "My mamma needs to comb her hair!"

She's not thinking anything.

So after a wonderful, fabulous, heartwarming birthday breakfast with gifts and hugs galore, what did I do?

I said "thank you" and "I love you" to my husband, and then...

I left town.

Yes I did!

I took off to Rochester and spent a fun couple of days with these gals:

More on that later!

Food Consumption Advisory

Note to all the people out there who are planning on feeding us in one capacity or another over the holidays....

 I am bringing this with me!  Be advised.

Number 29 is coming with too.
However much you think you are going to cook...
cook more.
We thank you.
Our food budget thanks you.
My stirring arm thanks you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fall Together

Our last weekend up at the cabin was quiet and relaxing....

besides Twister,...

...our kids raked...

and raked...

...and raked.  I think it was in the 50's, but I guess raking really warms a person up!  I can't tell you what the black goo on the face did...but it definitely made them tougher.
Lily is always ready to join the fun!  Her raking, though, was....pathetic.

But she was very good at collecting fall treasures.

We made green play-dough and stuck them in.  It was something to do.

There was lots of time for study....

...and card games....

...and chatting around the table.

I love Fall weekends at the cabin.  The only problem with this one was....

poor little guy!

Recipe for Spaghetti Squash

Check out the spaghetti squash which landed in our garden!!!  We only got one squash.  Thankfully!

I made spaghetti squash back when Tim and I were first married as a low calorie alternative to pasta and served it with spaghetti sauce, but, with three teenagers and two "willing to starve if necessary" munchkins, I didn't think that basing my family's whole meal on a "low calorie substitute" would be a good idea.  So we went with the side dish approach.

I must mention that this is Katie's squash.  She picked out the plant at the nursery back in June, but unfortunately, though she tended it regularly, she wasn't around when the time came to cook it!  So Lily stood in her place!

First pierce the squash several times to keep it from exploding. :)

Then it goes in the microwave...I am glad I have a huge microwave (by today's standards...remember the first microwaves that came out and how HUMONGOUS they were?  I think they made them smaller after the manufacturers saw Gremlins and had nightmares about getting "nuked.")

So anyway, cook the squash on high power for as long as it takes to get a little bit soft.  Remember the rind will remain stiff, but you can squeeze and see if the flesh is cooked.  I think this one took about 20 minutes in the microwave.  You can also do this in the oven, but it takes longer.

Then cut it open and inspect the fun!  If it's not soft, just put it back in the microwave for another 5 minutes.

Scoop out the seeds.  You can roast them like pumpkin seeds if you like.  I didn't like.

Scrape out the flesh.  For spaghetti squash, the flesh comes out in long strings when you pull it with a fork.  It's worth doing just for this part.

At this point, you can serve with your favorite pasta sauce if you like.  The squash has a mild, creamy flavor that pairs well with just about any italian application.  But since that would have been too controversial, I just added some butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper, and called it a dish.  And it was delicious.

The spaghetti squash which you find in the grocery store are much smaller than ours...just so you know what you are looking for!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Fun Before the Flu

OK....let's play a little game....can you guess what is happening here?

I'll give you a hint...we were at the cabin....

Have you got it?

Any guesses?

You HAVE to be close now!

It's a cabin favorite!

It's a good chance to check up on spinal alignment.....

..and flexibility of course...
and family dynamics....
...and personal space issues...
... lots of personal issues come to think about it....

It's a chance to show the little ones who's a real way...

There's always lots of drama...

...and laughter...

and opportunities for blackmail....

Postscript:  Take another look at Timmy's face in this father/son picture:

About two minutes after the conclusion of some seriously enthusiastic Twister games, Timmy came to me and said that his head hurt and he felt really sick. 

 I placed my hand on his head expecting clammy sweat from all of his exertions in Twisterland, and instead I felt that unnatural dry radiating heat that makes a mom's stomach clutch...and her brain begin to systematically cancel everything she though she was going to accomplish or do in the next three days as she mentally begins telling herself, " I need no sleep...I need no sleep...I need no sleep," and "I am immune...I am immune...I am immune..."  You know what I'm talking about.

 And that was how we all got the Swine Flu.

Just kidding...only Lily and Timmy really got it, but you can't say we all weren't exposed! 

So if you looked at the first few pictures and guessed SWINE FLU GROUP-INFESTATIONAL EXPOSURE.....YOU WERE RIGHT! 

You were also correct if you guessed LAST FUN SUZANNE OR TIMMY HAD FOR A VERY LONG TIME!

I will accept either answer.

Your prize is a used Twister can pick it up at our cabin anytime!