Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer's Not Over Yet . . .

School may have started already, but it's only August. It's technically still summer, right?!

Lots of time yet for sidewalk artists to ply their trade . . .

. . . and plenty of good weather left to allow for
the hanging out of preteen hooligans in the backyard.

Dinner last night: baked ziti, garlic bread, green salad

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two Types of Moms at McDonald's

Type A Mom helps her child take off his shoes and place them in the plastic cubby. She kneels down so she's eye level with her child and carefully explains the sock policy: under no condition is he to take off his socks. Type B Mom enters Playland with a tray of food, sets it on a table, yells up the slide that it's time to eat, then exits the area to eat her meal in the main restaurant. She doesn't notice that her kids' flip flops are strewn about the middle of the floor.

Type A Mom's child is not allowed to play until he finishes his meal. Type B Mom's kids throw their McNuggets at each other and take their drinks with them into the play equipment.

Type A Mom lets her child know he has 5 minutes left to play while she tidies up and returns the tray to the top of the trash can. Type B Mom storms into Playland, yells up at her kids that it's time to go NOW, then sets off the high-pitched alarm when she ushers them all out through the emergency exit.

The McDonald's teenaged employee who's assigned to clean up Playland prefers Type A Mom.

If you've found this analysis informative, you may want to read further about Two Types of Moms at the Playground. Always with the parenting advice . . . I'm helpful that way.

Dinner last night: fast food

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How I Spent My Evening

My daughter wanted me to curl her hair for the first day of school. It's a time-consuming effort, but pincurling is the only way to get her long and heavy hair to hold a curl. So last night we settled down in front of the TV, busted out the bobby pins, and started pincurling away. 

Even after cutting a good 10" off her hair,
she's got long tresses.
This is going to take a while . . . 

. . . I take a small strand of damp hair,
wind it around my finger,
then pin it to her head.

While I curled,
she watched USA kick Brazil's speedo-clad heinies
in beach volleyball.

All ready for school!

Dinner last night: beef stroganoff

Monday, August 18, 2008

Street Urchins

Gimme your digital camera, ma'am . . . That's right . . . Now, move away from the Photoshop Elements 6 and no one'll get hurt . . .

While I wish I could claim 'em, these little cuties are not my children. But they certainly were better sports than my kids. They at least looked towards the camera when I sang, "Lookie here! Hey-ho! Lookie here! Gimme a big smile!"

Dinner last night: taco lasagna

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Air Time!

. . . the joy of zero gravitational force . . .

Dinner last night: halibut tacos with fresh cilantro and lime

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Old Friends

Margie and I were best friends in high school. She relocated to the East Coast long ago, so we rarely see each other any more. But the beauty of our friendship is that when we do get together we're able to pick right up where we left off. The years melt away and we're just two girlfriends again . . . gabbing, shopping, and having fun.

Dinner last night: steak with sauteed mushrooms, baked potato

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day

When the day is this lovely, you've just got to get outside. Let's go climb a mountain . . . 

At the head of the trail . . .

Phew! We made it.
Let's have a snack and enjoy the view.

It's great to live in Alaska.

Dinner last night: meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy

Monday, August 11, 2008

Get Ready to Cry . . .

The Destructors

rumble rumble rumble wham BAM KERPLOWWW!!

Uh-oh . . .

Oh, no . . . 

Shhhhh . . . here she comes . . . act cool . . .
Oh, hey, Mom! 'Sup?

What's that over there?
You know, far away from the closet . . . 

What the . . ? Are you kidding me?!
You were trying to climb up the shelves?
And you pulled the entire unit out of the wall?!

Look at this! It's embedded in the opposite wall!
You could have been hurt!
Are you hurt??

Nah, we're good.
We were in that little space right there,
safe and sound.

Whaddya mean I'm supposed to be watching them?
I thought I was supposed to be playing Halo
and eating barbecue potato chips . . .


Dinner last night: heavenly halibut, cous cous, green peas, salad, rhubarb crisp with vanilla ice cream

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Thrill of the Hunt

I read about an idea on Scribbit that I thought I'd try. I saved a few egg cartons, cut them in half, and painted the inside different colors.

My older girls had three friends over yesterday, so I took them all on a nature walk. Their mission was to find items that would fit into the egg cartons and match the corresponding colors. The girls took off in different directions and found their items in no time at all!

I was quite the sneaky photographer,
so none of the girls realized I was taking pictures.

Well, maybe one of them noticed.
I don't think she appreciated my mad camera skillz.

The girls surprised me with their resourcefulness; I thought orange would be hard, but my daughter peeled some orange-y bark off a tree, one girl scraped some orange-ish clay from a dirt trail, and another found an orange leaf (eek! fall is marching straight towards us).

They were quite pleased with their discoveries!

Dinner last night: seafood bisque, biscuits

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Garbage Day

What is this? you might ask. Why, a basketball, of course. And what are all those scratches in the leather? Why, the claw marks of a bear, of course. A BEAR?? Yes, a bear . . . 

Last week, the neighbor kids came running up to me all breathless and wide-eyed to tell me how their daddy, who was getting ready for work very early in the morning, heard a POP! from outside. He looked out his window to see not one, not two, but three black bears in the yard. The POP! came from the buoy swing that one of the bears had just bitten.

I was not happy to hear the words "three" and "bears" in the same sentence, because that can only mean one thing. Bears don't travel in packs. We have a mama bear and two cubs. Black bears are the least aggressive of bears, usually nothing to worry about . . . they're more scared of you . . . that sort of thing. But you don't have to be an Alaskan to know that a mother bear is to be avoided at all costs.

The neighborhood kids went on to explain that not only had the bears ruined their buoy swing, but they'd gotten into their trash and dragged it all over their yard. We don't keep our trash outside, so I wasn't worried. But then the kids ran into our backyard to discover that not only had the bears popped our big beach ball and one of the twin's little balls, but they had gotten into a garbage can that we keep next to the shed. And by "gotten into" I mean strewn litter throughout the woods along the back edge of our yard.

I had completely forgotten about that can. Anyone with children knows how quickly trash collects inside a minivan, so we keep a large garbage can near where we park, for the kids to deposit all their litter and junk from the vehicles. The can is sturdy, with a heavy-duty lid, and is hidden behind some bushes:

You'd think a bear would not be interested in a bunch of papers and the moldy grapes my kids drop on the floor of the van, but I guess that trash can will now have to go inside the shed. I do not want to attract bears with stale animal crackers and candy wrappers.

Because we live in the woods off a little unpaved road, we are the first trash pickup of the day. The garbage collectors travel first to the outskirts of civilization and then work their way inward, so they end the day close to home. I'm thankful that we are even on the route, because there are many other services we do without . . . like city water . . . and cable TV!

Now it's quite a process to transport all of our trash down the hill to where the garbage truck rumbles by at o' dark-thirty in the morning, but we're dragging our sorry heinies out of bed at the crack of dawn every Garbage Day to haul down to the road the significant amount of garbage that our family of six produces in a week. That way, it doesn't sit there through the night offering up a smorgasbord for the bears, who would then leave an unholy mess for us to clean up after they're through eating.


Dinner last night: angel hair alfredo

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

In the Spirit of the Upcoming Olympics

. . . I proudly present the future U.S. Trampoline Jumping Team:

Dinner last night: spaghetti with meat sauce, corn

Monday, August 4, 2008


Soccer season is over! The summer league finally culminated this past weekend with a large tournament. Fortunately, my daughter is "U-11" (under 11, or ages 9 and 10) so her team does not compete at state yet, which would mean an entire week spent somewhere—this year it happens to be in Fairbanks—playing one game per day. A mom mentioned to me that she thinks they start competing at state next year, but I don't think that's true. Please, dear Lord, don't let that be true!

I only had to spend three days living in my minivan, shuttling my daughter to and from the soccer fields and driving her crazy with my constant queries, "Do you have your water bottle?" and "Did you bring your sports goggles?" Throw into the mix a pouty 8-year-old who doesn't like tagging along and a couple of shrieking toddlers who hate their carseats even more than they loathe their stroller, and you've got yourself a fantastic weekend.

Here is a brief slideshow of my daughter's team playing soccer. You can watch in mere seconds what I had to sit through enjoyed all summer!

Dinner last night: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob

Friday, August 1, 2008

Things to Do with Your Kids This Weekend 14

Practice backbends, somersaults, and cartwheels. 

Dinner last night: rice, chili and cheese