"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Because I Refuse To Make My Own Birthday Cake

I love making fantastic cakes for other people. The look on their face when they see the cake…well, it's my drug. Love that feeling. But make my own birthday cake? No way.

So when we have the family dinner on the Sunday during my birthday week, Aunt Denise brings a chocolate cake, frosting, plenty of sprinkles, candies, etc., then turns the kids loose on it. I love this tradition! (But for the past couple of years? I've insisted on making the frosting. I'm kinda a snob that way.)


This year, the cake was divided into three portions (so there wouldn't be any tears over who's art got covered up by who's craziness with the sprinkles). Baby had the far side, Boo in the middle, and the Boy's portion is buried under sprinkles and candy.

And just because I know you're dying to ask…I'm 29.95 plus shipping and handling.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Mistborn

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give away too much. You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!
I still haven't finished the book from last week (it's been a busy week) so I'm reaching back to one I finished before joining Teaser Tuesday.

In Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson creates a world where the Lord Ruler is a tyrannical ruler, oppressing the common people for the past 1,000 years. Think of it as a sort of medieval period with extremes in the classes and rebellion but add in powerful abilities fueled by metals and one ruthless king that's ruled for the past millennium. And really, I just can't do the storyline justice so please find a copy (or borrow mine) and read it for yourself. 

Here's the Teaser: 
"Only high noblemen could be Mistborn; they were said to be a secret sect of assassins who served him, only going out at night. Reen had always taught her that they were a myth, and Vin had assumed he was right." 
- pg. 65, "Mistborn" by Brandon Sanderson
What are you reading?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Smells of Caramel Apples and Swap Packages are in the Air!

I love Halloween. It's just FUN!

Are you going to dress up this year? I will (of course) but the Man won't (of course). Boo wants to be a witch and Baby wants to be a kitty. The Boy wants to be Spiderman. Or a red Lego. Or Superman. Or a blue Lego. Hey, at least he's it narrowed down to four. I'm still thinking.

Also? It's my Birthday week next week. I've started the celebration a little early by making an appointment with my dentist Thursday afternoon because nothing says "Party time!" like sharp, metallic objects jabbing your gumline. Woot.

So to make myself feel a little more in the party spirit, I signed up for another swap!


Swapoween


Two lovely ladies that I met through swapping are hosting one of their own. Angie from My So-Called Chaos and Beth from Living a Goddess Life put together a Halloween swap. Perfect. I love this time of year (and not just because it's my birthday). So march on over and get yourself signed up!

And while you're at it…got any ideas for costumes?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Maybe the Chemistry Set was a Bad Idea

Boo is in her "sign making" phase, where she's always changing/adding to the signs on her bedroom door. Since Baby switched places with the Boy and now the girls are sharing a room, her notes have take on a decidedly feminist tone.


If you can't read her sign, it reads: "Keep Out!! Only Girls allowed inside. We are making dangerous things. Warning: dangerous Girls."

I think the skull and crossbones presents her message well, but nothing says "dangerous" like a flaming skull. Or she's drawing the face that Baby makes whenever I try to fix her hair.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Grass for His Pillow

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give away too much. You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!
The Tales of the Otori is a trilogy set in an alternate Japan. While very much like the Japan we learn about in the history books, the people in this series tend to believe in myth and magic a little more. And there's a hidden tribe of assassins that totally reminds me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I started reading the second book in the series and very much appreciated the listing of characters in the beginning of the book so I could refresh my memory on just who was the bad guy, who was the good guy, and who was yet-to-be-determined. Takeo, adopted son of an Otori lord, now finds himself an orphan as he is taken to join his rightful family among the secretive and deadly Tribe. Worst of all is the separation from his love, Kaede, the beautiful heiress with a deadly reputation of her own: every man who desired her ends up dead.


Here's Teaser:
" 'Men die easily.' Kaede's voice was flat. 'From the prick of a needle, the thrust of a knife. You taught me that.' "- pg. 7, Grass for His Pillow: Tales of the Otori, Book Two by Lian Hearn.
What are you reading? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Comparison

I like my kids. I like to watch what they do, listen to what they say (or how they say it), and take pictures of them. I've got to remember these days. How else will I be able to emotionally blackmail them years from now?

They're growing too fast as it is. Seems like just the other day, I took this picture:


Boo is not quite three in this picture. The little pie on the table in front of her was the project for the day in her toddler cooking class (as cute as it turned out, the pie was not very good). Awww…so cute.

Now, look at this:


This is Baby. She took the same cooking class during the summer and this was one of her projects. Seeing her sitting at the table, looking so proud of her efforts, I remembered the image above. Then, I re-fixed Baby's hair and found the exact same shirt for the photo.

Do you think they're sisters?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm Blue (Da Be Dee)

Look what came in the mail!


Photobucket


Woot!

My partner was the lovely K from Living the Lindicious Life. My favorite color is blue (but you already knew that, right?). Interestingly enough, we both chose BLUE as our favorite color so putting together a package was pretty easy and just plain fun. K hasn't received the package I sent her yet because I was a day late in mailing (I have repented of my swapping iniquity) so you might have to check her blog later for a peek at what she got but here's my box o' blueness:


In fact, everything K sent me has something to do with chocolate! There's the obvious things, like the chocolate spread, chocolate-covered gummy bears, and chocolate cupcakes. Then she put in a gorgeous mug for sipping hot chocolate, a hot pad for taking those brownies out of the oven, a leather-bound notebook for recording all my favorite chocolate recipes, licorice to dip in chocolate, a photo album for pictures of my family eating chocolate, and a lovely sparkly blue scarf so I look spiffy when I go out to get more chocolate. Perfect!

And my favorite item? Why, this of course:


Not a spot of blue on it but I don't care! Sometimes it's good to break the rules just a little. Mmmmm…broken rules are so yummy! 

And K? Baby would like to sincerely thank you for the chocolate-dipped gummy bears. They are her new favorite "successful potty trip" rewards.

Teaser Tuesday: Discord's Apple

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give away too much. You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!
There wasn't much spare time this past week so I'm actually still working my way through Wildefire (it's starting to annoy me so I'm having a hard time getting into it). So here's a book I read during the summer written by one of my favorite authors, Carrie Vaughn. I go completely nuts for mythology so when I read the back of Discord's Apple, I was immediately hooked. Evie Walker returns home to her terminally ill father at a time when America is starting to fall into disarray, when terrorist attacks are common, checkpoints and rationing re-instituted. But her father - and her entire line of ancestry - protects the secrets located in the Storeroom, artifacts that ancient enemies have patiently waited centuries for the right moment.

Here's the teaser: 
"The slippers knew that the old woman had come for them; as if they had a sentience of their own. Did every object in the Storeroom have the same sense of knowing?"  
- pg 38, Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

What are you reading?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Open Letters…Again

It's been awhile since I've written an open letter but I constantly write them in my head, things I can't say to the actual person/corporate entity/personified noun - but what I really want to say.

__________

Dear Wal-Mart,

We kinda have a love/hate relationship. You love my money and I hate shopping there. While I appreciate the "upgrades" you made during the recent remodel, with your expanded cake decorating section and soda selection, there is one thing I just can't handle. It's those dang automated video ads.
Keep in mind that 95% of the time I roam your overly-bright aisles, I am just there because it's late, we're out of milk/bread/chocolate (you know…the essentials), and I'm too tired/stressed/lazy to drive the two miles to my preferred grocery store. It is in this less-than attentive state that I happen to walk by one of the many screens you've placed that are set to play commercials for the myriad items in that location. Nothing about the perky voice or enthusiastic advertising should be threatening but I never fail to jump out of my skin.
And dude, I'm already there and not gonna leave without spending at least $50 so do you really have to keep pushing even more things I don't need? Save it for early in the morning, when I need something exciting to get me out of bed, like the new and improved scent of fabric softener or yet another form of sugared carbohydrates.

I hate you,
Jessica G.

__________

Dear Soccer,

At first it was pretty cool being your mom, like earning a merit badge or leveling up on the video game of life.
But these early morning games on Saturday? Not cool.
Fix it or so help me, next season I will put him in horseback riding lessons.

Not even kidding when it comes to my sleep,
Jessica G.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Like Water For Chocolate

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give away too much. You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!
Once again venturing out of my comfort zone, I picked up a book that doesn't feature werewolves or magic or post-apocalyptic teenage angst. Gasp! So unlike me, I know! Like Water for Chocolate is set in 1930s Mexico, where Tita, the youngest daughter, must remain unmarried and care for her mother. Unfortunately for her, she falls in love with Pedro. Since he can't be with Tita, he does the next best thing: marries her sister, Rosaura.

Here's the teaser:
"She was swept away in a raging, rotting river for several yards; then she couldn't hold back any more, and she spewed out great noisy mouthfuls of vomit, like an erupting volcano, right before Pedro's horrified eyes. Rosaura complained bitterly about the way her wedding had been ruined, and no power on earth could convince her that Tita had not added something to the cake."
- pg 39, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

What are you reading?

Monday, September 5, 2011

S.I.M.P.

Maybe it's the painkillers I've needed lately or maybe Phineas and Ferb is just stinkin' hilarious…it's one of the few shows I'll watch with the kids, as the rest of them make my eyeballs want to explode.


Also? They have a link where you can make a 2D image of yourself by uploading a photo. So of course I tried it. And this is what I got:

Yep. That's me. Just need to add a few kid-placed smudges to my clothes and put a book in my hand to perfect the look. Some chocolate would be nice, too. Mmmmm…chocolate

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Confessional: No Surprises Here


Photobucket

I confess…


I hate doing laundry.
Yeah, well, join the club!
I would love to join the club and get matching jackets (that would never requiring cleaning) and swap names for our piles of clothes (my current favorite is Mount Washmore) and empathize over the stray crayon that somehow made it into the dryer with the girls' nice dresses.

I confess…

It wasn't just the act of doing the laundry but the hopeless, never-ending onslaught of clothes. The laundry is never "done." It's just not possible, especially since I've been potty training Baby this week (don't ask - it ain't pretty). So I avoided laundry like I avoid green beans.

I confess…

I felt like a failure because, for me, it hurts to do the laundry. Well, if you're bionic, it hurts. To understand better, next time you put in a load, switch it to the dryer, etc., try not using your right arm. You can't even use it to balance the load. So go about the laundry with one arm and see how much harder it becomes. And you can all thank me later for the greater appreciation you will have for the use of both arms to move wet clothes.

I confess…

I don't do the laundry anymore and that has made all the difference.

I confess…

The Man is the one hauling loads and sorting socks. My husband is the best, sexiest, sweetest, strongest, did I mention sexiest?, and most wonderful man. He was in awe of the fact that we produce loads of whites, darks, lights, and pinks.

I confess…

Seeing him add the fabric softener sheets to yet another load of clothes makes me fall in love with him all over again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's better to burn out than fade away

So.
I went to see Def Leppard last night. This was the second time I've seen them in concert. And we had much better seats than last time.


Pretty cool, huh? We had this nice walkway in front of us, which was great for dancing (or if you were the couple next to us, it was more like drunken staggering). Next time? I want the seats with tables and padded chairs.

Since my brain is still recovering from the booming bass and such, I'm just going to link to a couple videos from the two featured bands.

First up was Heart.



I only knew a few of their songs. A lady a little in front of us was jumping around like crazy so I'm pretty sure they were the reason why she came.

Def Leppard was the real headliner.


They began their set with a song off their latest album. The song is called "Undefeated" and on the screens in the background, they flashed pictures and news articles about people who has achieved the unthinkable, like Bethany Hamilton and Michael Phelps. Also included were the images of the band's tragedies. The montage added to the power behind the lyrics and it just might be my new favorite song.

Last night also served as a reminder of the reasons why I do not imbibe. People who downed a few too many beers were a big source of entertainment. The inebriated make very unwise decisions when it comes to…well, pretty much everything, from dance moves to dance partners, from clothing removal to amped up reactions to imagined slights. And I'm sure more than a few are going to end up on Facebook (or Failbook After Dark). I'm sure their kids would be so proud.

Speaking of kids…the VIP section in front of us had quite a few teens and kids seated there. If I'd paid $120 each for tickets for my teenage daughter and her two friends, then they better put down their stupid phones and watch the concert. Ridiculous. The parents even shelled out another $40 each for matching concert shirts for the girls.

I'm sounding a little grumpy. At any moment, I might break out into a "when I was your age…" speech. I didn't go to a real concert until I was in 17. I went with three friends to see UB40. I don't remember a lot from that night (probably because it was forever ago) but I do remember being so stoked to be there that I didn't care when the band played songs I didn't know.

What was your first concert?

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