Monday, July 31, 2006

Well, That Was A Bust

Confession time... My family's dinners are often (always?) hastily thrown together. I am very much an it's-5:00-what-in-the-world-are-we-going-to-have-for-dinner type of cook. I'd love to say that I can throw together a great meal with things I find in the pantry, but that would be, well, a lie.

Last week, however, I decided I would try to actually plan out meals for this week. To make this easier, I used my recipe software and pulled out a pre-planned menu it included. I printed off my shopping list from this same software and went grocery shopping yesterday.

I put tonight's meal (sweet and spicy chicken) in the crockpot this morning. It was pretty much done by the time Griff got home from work.

Then the problems began.

Griff: Is there teriyaki sauce in that recipe?

Me: No, it's soy sauce.

(brief silence)

Griff: I do appreciate you cooking dinner tonight, but I really don't like soy sauce.

Me: What?! I've been married to you for almost 16 years and I didn't know you don't like soy sauce?!

Griff: (trying to be nice about this) I'll try it.

(he takes a bite)

Griff: I'm sorry, but I really can't eat that.

Me: Let me try it. (I take a bite) Nope, I'm not going to eat it, either.

We call Ruthie in to try it. She takes a bite and spits it out into the trash. By this time, we're all laughing. There is no way Robert will eat it after all this, so we don't even ask him to try it.

I don't want to throw it away, so I decide to call a friend and offer it to her family. She said she would take it. Her family actually likes soy sauce!

So, my efforts for dinner tonight were a complete failure.

On the plus side, though, I did get Pei Wei for dinner. Yum!

(Tomorrow night's dinner is meatloaf. I should be pretty safe with that.)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tickle Your Funny Bone

If you like to laugh at the funny things kids say and do, check out Carnival of Kid Comedy over at Life in a Shoe. You won't be sorry!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Just So You Know

Ruthie went to a birthday party at a friend's home yesterday evening. I picked her up at about 8:30. Between moms coming in and girls leaving, the front door ended up staying open for several minutes.

All of a sudden, the smoke alarm on the ceiling in front of the door went off. Birthday girl's mom reached up and pulled the cover off to turn it off. She told us this happened all the time. The heat and humidity from outside would set off their smoke alarm.

Did you get that? The heat and humidity coming into the house set off their smoke alarm. At 8:30 at night. In an air-conditioned house.

And I choose to live here. I LIKE living here.

I am a very, very strange person.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Works-for-Me Wednesday

I am once again participating in Works-for-Me Wednesday. My tip involves my stand mixer.

I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer. It's great, but I always had a problem when using it with cake mixes (or any dry mix). It seems no matter how many times I scraped the sides of the mixer, I always ended up with a small amount of dry mix in the bottom of the bowl.

The last time I made a cake, I got the idea to add the wet ingredients to the bowl first, rather than the dry. Ta-da! No dry mix left in the bottom of the bowl.

This may violate some sort of baking rules (I am no chef, as evidenced by the fact that I use cake mixes!), but it works for me!

Be sure to check out the rest of the great tips over at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Car Trip Survival

Have you discovered the joys of books on tape? If you are looking for a way to make a car trip easier with children, without the use of a DVD/video player, you will find these to be invaluable. The kids and I went to Memphis last week and they did beautifully well on the 10 hour trip. I give most of the credit to books on tape. (I would love to say that it's because I've done a wonderful job of training them to sit quietly for hours on end, but anyone who knows me and my children would out me as a complete liar.)

Here are some of our favorites. Some were listened to on this trip. Others are from trips in the past.
We got all of these from our library.

Hank the Cowdog - These are read by the author and are absolutely hysterical. We took 3 of them on our trip, and while I was a bit Hank'd-out by the end, the kids never tired of them.

The Secret Garden - Oh. My. Word. I had never read this book. I just fell in love with the reading. What an absolutely beautiful book. It made me want to move somewhere with actual seasons and start a garden. For someone who can't keep an ivy alive, that's really saying something. I'm not sure Robert enjoyed it as much as Ruthie and I did, but he did not complain about it. (There are many different audio versions of this book. The one we had was read by Josephine Bailey.)

Redwall - It's one of our favorites. It's done by a full cast and is fantastic. It also got Ruthie interested in reading the books. She has now read 3 of them, all since May. Warning:
You need a really long trip for this one. I think it is 16 hours long.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy - This one was for me. While it is a trilogy written for children, mine are much too young. However, I found them completely entertaining.

If you can recommend any other audio books, please do so in the comments. They do not have to be children's books. My list contains those because I am rarely in the car without my children, so that's what I end up hearing.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Yep. That's Me.

created with

Anyone surprised? Anyone? HT: Higher Up and Further In

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ruthie's Summer Reading

My Ruthie is so much like me when it comes to reading. Like me, she was one of the last in her class to learn to read. Also like me, once she learned, she quickly passed up everybody in reading ability. (I hope that encourages some of you who have children who are not learning to read as quickly as their peers.)

Once I learned, it took no encouragement to get me to read as a child. I have fond memories of days filled with Little House books, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, The Bobbsey Twins, and more.

The main difference in our reading habits is that I am actively encouraging her to read "good" books. (I still can't believe I had never heard of Anne of Green Gables until college!) The occasional "twaddle" makes its way into her reading, but I feel that as long as the majority of them are well-written books, she is doing fine.

Here is what she has read this summer (so far!).

The last 3 books were picture books that belonged to Griff when he was a child.

I will post Robert's reading list for the summer later.

NOTE: In case you're wondering, Ruthie is 8 years old.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I Can Do This!

My drink of choice is Diet Coke. I know. You don't have to tell me. It's not good for me. I know that. I haven't chosen to give it up yet, though. Someday. Just not today.

Because I do love it so much, I rarely keep it at the house. I try to limit it to when we are eating out. If it's here, I will drink it throughout the day. I can go through a 12-pack in 2 days. I kid you not.

The only time I let myself buy it is when it is on sale for less than $2 a 12-pack. These days, that doesn't happen very often. However, it is usually put on sale around the 4th of July. Our grocery store, in fact, had a great deal. 4 12-packs for $10, with a $10 rebate. That makes them free!

So, of course I had to buy them. I actually bought 3 12-packs of Diet Coke and 1 of Sprite (a rare treat for the kids).

I don't want all this Diet Coke to disappear in less than a week, so I am giving myself a challenge. I will only allow myself 1 can each day. One!

Can I do it? I'll keep you posted.