Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 171 (12/26): All I want for Christmas is a can of lima beans

Personally I love lima beans - creamed, with corn mixed in as succotash, plain, and about any which way you can serve them.  My love of lima beans has been passed onto Colton. Thank goodness since not too many people like lima beans. Now I get to share them and eat them more frequently. The neighbor must have heard about our love of lima beans as Colton opened up a can of beans for Christmas.
Every year "Grandpa" Norris, the neighbor decides some ingenious way to wrap Colton's Christmas present.  Last year it was a roll of toilet paper that he had unrolled and then rolled up $1 bills in the t.p. and wrapped it back up. So when Colton unwrapped it he thought it was a little weird but then when he started unrolling it, he loved the money flying at him!
He smiled when he opened the can and saw the lima beans but of course thought it was a little weird.  Mr. Norris said to shake it and see if there was anything in rattled! So he told him to pop the top and see what was in it.
Money and Candy instead of lima beans were much appreciated! Although we would have ate the lima beans too!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 170 (12/25): Merry Christmas

I have been begging Colton to get his picture taken with Santa but he is getting to that age that he...well...refuses.  Why can't they be a kid forever?  I even told him that is what he could get me for Christmas was a picture with Santa and I would be a happy mom.
So I had a plan. They advertised Bowling with Santa over at Ft. Riley.  For $25 you and 7 of your friends could share a lane of bowling with 2 pitchers of pop and a large pizza for 2 hours.  They also take your picture with Santa, develop it and bring it to you while you bowl.   That was a great deal and another mother was taking her kids so we teamed together and got a lane. 
I was starting to sweat it when I started my trek over to Ft. Riley and my tire light came on as I was driving over there.  I raced back to Bob, the neighbor who always fixes everything for me, and said "Fix It" so we can go bowling!  He, of course, did and we were on our way.  I got pics of him bowling and even in the dark with glow bowling.  And the piece d'resistance....the picture of him and Santa!

It may be the last year for it so you better enjoy it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 169: (12/24) Christmas Cooking

Couldn't figure out what to name this one...Christmas cooking or Finger-licking good. 

Every year right after Thanksgiving we start making candies and cookies to give away at Christmas.
We had done our Black Friday shopping as you can tell by the new computer in the background. Mark was stripping wallpaper and Colton and I were dipping pretzels and baking.

My baking included date snowballs and 7-layer bars.  I took the snowballs to Marks family and noone would eat them because they heard the word date in the name.  His dad finally tried one and said they were yummy.  They are yummy and they don't really taste like dates.

Now check out some of the cutest things in the world - santas and snowmen made out of nutter butters.  These puppies were pretty messy to make and there was a whole lot of lickin' going on here. You can tell by Colton's mouth in this one that he had just got done licking some of his fingers off. No one would fess up but there was plenty of white lips on the boys!

I was busy making peppernuts which are always delicious.  They take forever but are so worth it when the cinnamon crunchy-ness is melting in your mouth.
Each year I try to make something new to see if I like it enough to make it the next year.  I tried something from Tasty Kitchen - which is a great site if you are looking for recipes.  These were gingerbread cookies with the peppermint hershey kisses on them. The gingerbread was a little hard but the hershey kisses were great!  :) They won't make the round of baking next year but I will find a use for the peppermint crunch kisses!
You can never go wrong with white chocolate covered party mix.  So Yummy and so easy!  Just take your favorite chex mix items (cheerios, chex, pretzels) and cover it with white chocolate. Then as we call it you sprinkle it with love with some red and green m&m's.
See - Finger Lickin' Good!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 168 (12/21): Total Eclipse...Solstice

The last time a lunar eclipse has occured on the winter solstice was 372 years ago.  I probably won't see another one on solstice day so I decided I'd better try to stay awake for this one.   Well they are predicting the next one will occur in 2094. I'll be 120 years old if I live that long.  It's possible but statistically speaking...not likely. 

I didn't keep Colton up since it was his last school night.  Plus I could barely keep my eyes open for it!  2:15AM is flipping early in the morning!  I haven't seen that hour since I was in college!

Chomp...chomp...chomp as the earth takes a bite of the moon.

I had to look up what exactly the Winter Solstice is since I had heard the term but not really knew what it was.  For inquiring minds, it is when the Earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. So my day was extremely short yesterday and the night was the longest.  The actual origin of the word solstice comes from Latin meaning sun stoppage.

I took what seemed like a billion pictures trying to figure out if it is best to use the flash or night photo or what.  Not really sure which ones are which but felt like I got some good cool pics.

I loved the orange-y color that it got as it was almost all blocked. It blocks the sun's rays and casts a shadow on the moon. NASA says that our atmosphere filters out most of the blue colored light, leaving just the red and orange hues.
I'm glad I stayed up that late but this weathergirl is forecasting a nap in her future!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 165 (11/25): Happy Thanksgiving ~ 2010

First off, let me start by saying: I am so thankful for all of my family and friends!  This year is a quiet year for us as we are staying in Manhattan and just having a feast and Wii game filled day.  We started by cooking biscuits and gravy and watching the Macy's Day parade. The turkey is in the roaster, Mark has the noodles started and the rolls that I finally got to bake like moms are ready to be warmed.  It is nice and quiet but different than having all the family around.

Colton has been busy in school creating some Thanksgiving art and writing.  I thought they were worth sharing.
This lovely story was created by Colton and it was from the viewpoint of a turkey pleading with the reader, his teacher Farmer Lowman, not to eat him.  It was hilarious! 
Let me rewrite the story:
Dear Farmer Lowman,
How are you doing today?  You do not want to eat me because I have rabies and I smell like a dead bird. If you eat me your face will swell up. I am left out everytime. The reason I got rabies cause a dog bitmeand that's how I got rabies and please don't eat me.

Not sure if Mrs. Lowman is eating turkey today but I sure as heck hope that my turkey in the roaster did not get bit by a dog and has rabies!

Here's a piece of writing that I will hang onto for a long time because of some of the things that Colton was thankful for.

H: Having a mom and dad
A: Athletics
N: Naps - I'm hoping this means that he will be taking them more often..especially when I want to take one too!
K: Kansas
S: Sports
G: Games
I: Ipod
V: Video games
I: I am thankful for football.
N: Napkins - Umm...It's interesting he's thankful for them considering he does not use them! Maybe he's thinking about his pants that he uses for a napkin!
G: Giving

Have a safe and blessed holiday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 164 (11/24): Nothing but Crack

I don't know what my fascination is with butt cracks is but my eyes just seem to gravitate towards them in a crowd.  I chuckle every time I see them and then I have to take a picture of it.  I'm sure there's some kind of name for this disease - crackophelia or buttcrackology.  Who knows but of course now I want to share it with the world.

During halftime at the KSU games there's always games the college kids play to entertain the crowd. This particular game was similar to musical chairs and the players had to make a layup and then go back and stand on a John Deer mat that Willie the Wildcat would take away one by one.  There are so many thoughts that went through my mind when this was going on as this girl had a full 2 inches of crack showing. What did Willie think as she showed him her better half?  I wondered if the tv station that was broadcasting had to go to commercial with all the skin showing or put up a big black out line for that piece of crack.  But most of all I wondered where the heck her underwear was?  I can't imagine going commando with jeans on!  Doesn't she feel the air blowing around back there with so much skin showing?  Are her parents watching and what are they thinking?

Well I doubt we will be seeing any more cracks with this game that is played at halftime because the at the next game, all the contestants wore humongous John Deer t-shirts over their shirts to cover up any possibility of crackage!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 162 (11/8): Football's Over Party

You can't see this but I was just doing my happy dance.  My happy dance because football is over!  The season was long and it just about sucked the life out of me and I wasn't the one suiting up in pads!  The kids improved so much.  After the first game which ended in a loss to over 60 points to placing 3rd in the Super Bowl, it was fun to watch each kid have stellar plays at some point in the season. 

The party was out in the country at the Hankins house which was absolutely amazing.  It was dark so the kids weren't able to play outside much but they all had a great time. Coach Munson handed out awards after a lengthy speech which had his own son questioning words that he used.  "Sacrifice" is not a word on the 3rd grade spelling lists so I don't think they had a clue what he was talking about.

The boys all got a trophy and this happened to be the coaches son. His dad did not think that nerdy Erkel should be playing football and kept telling him to put his pants down. He said he got that goofy side from his mother! Thank goodness that my nerdy kiddo didn't hike his shorts up!

The team went together and got the coach a jersey that they all signed and a football which had the team photo on it.  The football with the team photo was a great gift idea if you need a gift for a coach.  A parent googled best gifts for coaches and the store was on one of the links.  He was very appreciative and the boys were glad to get the awards ceremony over so they could get back to playing.
The last huddle of the 2010 season: Go Indians!  It was a fun season but a very long one!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 163 (11/9): D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G!

Football is over and I enjoyed last weekend so much.  No more getting up at 5am to make it to an 8:30 am game in Topeka. No more rushing from Colton's football games to the KSU games. Freedom.  Yes that is what I felt - freedom to do whatever I wanted and sleeping in waas at the top of that list!  :) 

We packed up Colton's football things and took them to the football party but before I stuck the helmet in I took off his mouth guard.  I paid $20 for that thing and I thought well maybe he could use it next year. going to happen.  Check it out - so gross and disgusting. All ground up in the back and then it is full of grass.  He has been sticking that thing back in his mouth with grass stuck to it. Yucko!  I feel like I should paint spots on his uniform and have him start moo-ing since he is practically eating grass.  So this will be deposited in the trash asap and we will buy a new one next year with hopes of it staying a little more sanitary.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 158 (10/31): Bible Sunday

Colton got his bible at church today.  We had missed so many Sundays due to football that it was nice to go to church and feel the normalcy and calm that comes from it.  For the past 3-4 months we have been going to one football game after another so just sitting in church was so relaxing. 
He looks so excited, doesn't he?  There were surprisingly not very many 3rd graders at the 11am service.  We usually go to the 8:30 service but Colton spent the night at a friends for his birthday so I knew it was futile to end the slumber party fun that early in the morning.

The pastor even called him by the wrong name.  I remember getting confirmed and the pastor standing over our heads as we kneeled at the front and him pronouncing me as Aaron Duryea.  I looked up and he realized what he had done.  Well it must run in the the same thing happened to Colton.  He was called Daniella or something like that and he looked at her confused and she realized the faux pas. She joked about it and asked the youth coordinator if she was sure that this was Colton several times.  It did finally perk up Colton as he looked so gloomy during the children's moment.

Here they stand ready to pray with their new bibles.

The girls received pink ones and the boys got blue ones.  They each had their names on them.  Colton got back to the pew and immediately started thumbing through it.  He was so excited to start reading it. The pastor said they needed to read out of it every week and he actually listened. 

I looked inside it to check it out and there are colored pages and it is very easy to read.  I think I might need to get myself this version!  They have revised it for kids -  Check out the 10 Commandments for Kids.  "You may not worship or put any importance on any person or thing other than God. You must worship only the Lord, not a friend, not a movie star or sports hero, not a car or skateboard. Nothing."    "You may not hate other people; don't every think of hurting someone else in any way."   Simple words and a simple message - easy enough for anyone to understand.  Perhaps everyone needs a bible this easy to read.  Maybe then they would actually live by it!

The Adventure Bible has maps and "Did You Know?" sections that have interesting fun facts about the time period and message being portrayed.  I can't wait for him to read and learn how to be a better little man!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 157 (10/28): Day of the Dead

This is mainly a rant and to show off some of Colton's work.  This beautiful thing even rattles and has KSU carved in the back  He made it in art to celebrate the Day of the Dead.  They were told that they could not celebrate Halloween but could celebrate the Mexican holiday where family and friends gather to pray for and remember those that have died. So here's where my rant comes in... 

He goes to a school that has a very diverse student body.  So they do not celebrate any of the holidays that I remember celebrating while I was in school - Christmas and Halloween just to name a few.  I remember dressing up and having a parade of costumes in the middle of the day and then the parents brought in treats and we played games.  I remember singing Christmas songs. They don't do that at Northview.

Have they gotten so diverse that Americans are in the minority and so not to celebrate primarily American holidays?  It is frustrating to think that a country that has prided itself on accepting all cultures would want schools to ignore the holidays that are important in American traditions.  I am an advocate for multiculturism but not at the sake of ignoring our own beliefs. There should be a balance of both so students see how diverse we all really are so please bring back the American celebrations in schools.

Ok enough of the soap box...   To end on something positive.  Check out the pumpkin that Colton designed and carved at Cool Care Club today:
See how the eyes are C's for his name - pretty cool!  He wanted the teeth different sizes just like he had baby teeth still and big teeth.  What a great job!  I much prefer this pumpkin to that scary dead ceramic Day of the Dead rattle skull head.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 156 (10/27): Ethiopia & 100 years

Can you imagine being 100 years old?  I have never met anyone that old until now.  Joye, who is in my Delta Kappa Gamma group turned 100 years old this past week.  Delta Kappa Gamma is a group for women educators. I hope to be that alert and sharp if I ever make it to that age.
We got her roses, which is the organizations official symbol, to represent the decades that she was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma.  She was thrilled!  The state officers also came to the meeting to help her celebrate.

Our speaker was Monica Wornette, who worked for many years in Africa as a health aide officer when Aids was first discovered. Her talk tonight was on Ethiopia and she brought back some really cool artifacts. The picture above shows her holding a picture that was painted showing tea/coffee time in Ethiopia.  Some of the strongest tea and coffee comes from Africa and you will never guess what they eat with their afternoon drink...popcorn!  The picture shows a lady with a bowl of popcorn and her tea cup and pitcher. What was interesting was what the artist used to paint the picture on.  It was not a canvas but on a piece of a tent that the artist had used for a shelter at one time.  They use what is around them.

So your quiz of the day is what is this box made out of?  I guessed wood and was told "nope" so take that guess off your list.  Answer will be revealed at the end of the post.

This is a pillow and it was all hand made.  Check out the stitching...truly incredible! It was tiny and very even. I just can't imagine spending that much time on something and giving it away.  They were so appreciative of the work that Monica was doing in their country.

This basket got a few gasps out of the ladies as they opened the lid and a snake popped out.  One woman about walked out as she was deftly frightened by snakes - dead, alive or even fake ones that pop out of a basket.

This was a hand carved harp with a drum at the base of it.  It was really fun to play with and beautiful to look at.  All these artifacts made me want to visit Ethiopia. I had always envisioned them as being impoverished and desolate but the items that Monica brought back really showed the beauty of a simple life.

This was a hand carved box that was just exquisite.  They are very religious and you could see signs of this devotion with crucifixes adorning the artwork. Inside the box were some hand carved stone beads. They were surprising smooth for being hand carved. The detail on the box was carried out even on the inside as you opened the lid and inside the rim in the interior of the box.  I don't know how they got their tools inside the box to whittle it from the inside...just amazing to think of the craftmanship and beauty.

Ok so what was the box at the top made out of...other guesses that were incorrect included stone and bone.  It is stained camel teeth.  I had to relook at it and think, "Wow camels have some humongous teeth!" because they looked huge on that box.