October 31, 2008

I always have treats in my trunk

Trunk or Treat was a howling success no thanks to my black mood. I hate it when I do this. I put tons of energy and work super hard and then resent it and don't enjoy myself. It helped that I dressed up as a witch.

My mom made the fabulous fairy dresses with detachable skirts. Brilliant! The girls and I carved their pumpkins earlier that day. Not incredibly scary or spooky. You can see heart eyes, noses, and mouths if you look closely. As Jesse noted, most holidays end up looking like Valentine's Day around our house.

I made some chili for the cook off. It needed more beans, but I'm a novice at this. Our ward doesn't give out prizes like the Westchester 1st (very cool aprons). See Sara's post for all the pretty pics of their trunk or treat. How come we can't have designers on our activities committee?

Scary Lunch

I bet you were wondering where FUN MOM has gone. Well, she made an appearance this morning to make the spookiest lunch she could manage on short notice.
Can you tell it's a sandwich with a face cut into it? Boo juice and Witch Noses (mandarin orange slices). Thanks to whoever gave out halloween pretzels at the trunk or treat last night.

October 29, 2008

Get a Job

Or don't. J's on the market. For a job. Tonight we went over his timeline of when to turn in various applications. Then I mentioned that I did have other things to do, like my homework. He gets a little caught up in this job mania (he calls it providing for the future of our family. I thought that was why I was going back to school.)

As excited I am of the prospect of possibly getting a job (trust me, all your good wishes mean nothing in these horrible economic times) I've really come to adore grad student life. Ok. I really want a bigger house and something besides industrial carpeting. But leaving our life here is almost unbearable. Especially if we're moving to middle of the country, not close to any family, gun totin', red leanin', (but cheap housin') America. Oh. I forgot. That's where I grew up (did have family close by. Was that 22 in the closet loaded, Grandpa?) Jesse's excited about living somewhere new. I'm afraid I might be moving back to the 'burg, except it's in Ohio. Might be fun living in a swing state. ok. google professor, images and it comes up with this. Am I the only one who had one of these growing up?

October 26, 2008

Tour Newport Bay

I promised pictures. So here they are! On Friday, we did a tour of Balboa Island, Lido Island, and parts of Balboa peninsula. The kids were bored about 20 minutes into it, but they were stuck in a boat with nowhere to go. Mermaid resigned herself to her fate and Monkey took a nap. It seems fitting that we saw a loose seal (probably a sea lion) but in this area, they're all lucilles. I would hate to have that thing poo on my pretty boat. We stopped at the Lido playground. I haven't seen a merry go round in years. And there's a reason why. They are so dangerous. Nobody got hurt this trip, but I remember kids breaking their arms on them when I was little.

If you're dying to know about our boat, it's a 20 year old Klepper. The wood frame comes apart in pieces and the skin comes off of that. It stores in two large bags in our closet, which is how we fit a kayak into our house. They run a pretty penny $3000 new, but 20 years will depreciate even these lovely boats. We are looking forward to some longer trips; Catalina, Big Sur, a lake would be nice.
Thanks to Adam for the waterproof housing for our camera.

October 23, 2008

Picture Day

Here's my girl. First grade mug shot. I love how she looks so much like Jesse when he was a kid. Of course, she's way cuter. I don't have a picture of little J, but here's one of me in 2nd grade.

Heat Wave

I know it's autumn in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere. I've seen friends' blogs with pictures of snow. BRRRRR! I have this display on my table to remind it is October. But yesterday it was 98 degrees. WOW! Now I somewhat pine for cooler temperatures (I like sweaters but I hate being cold).

But...my lawn was reseeded a week ago and really needs this warm spell for optimal growth. So instead of enjoying the fall colors. I'm watching grass grow. (really. I check it every day. at dinner last night I couldn't stop talking about how exciting it was that the grass finally started growing.)

October 22, 2008

Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

The Pumpkin Patch cousins told me a couple of years ago the trick to making pumpkin puree. Throw the whole pumpkin in the oven at 350 for about an hour. When fork tender, pull it out. The skin peels off with a fork. Cut it in half and remove the seeds and guts. I put the flesh in a colander with a plate to weigh it down a bit to get rid of excess moisture. This Illumina is so sweet. I may just snack on it a little while before I make a pie.

October 21, 2008

Scout Bekah

Though I tried to lay low, I got a calling last week. I'm the Bear Scout's den mother. Don't they know I'm the kind of mother who eats her cubs?

So, I'm supposed to teach the boys how to do an outdoor flag ceremony and participate in that ceremony. I'm really hoping the whole ward is doing this because I don't have a clue.

Here's a confession. I'm not very patriotic. Here's another. By some odd coincidence, all the boys I dated were Eagle Scouts.

My mom said "at least you're not in primary."
I said, "I'd rather teach the Sunbeams."
She said, "Oh. . . good luck."

Week in Review

We've taken the kayak out twice so far. Super fun. Our next kayak adventure will be "Yachts of the Rich and Famous." Meaning, we're going to tour Newport Bay and this time I promise to take pictures.

Mermaid had a Fall Festival at her school. She wore her yukata anticipating a matsuri (festival). Sorely disappointed. "Festivals in Japan are way better."

I got a B on my midterm test. There were 100 multiple choice questions. I did not study that hard. I am unashamed. Maybe I'll study more for the final. Maybe. I will turn in a stunning paper. Next semester, I'm just taking one class. Not online.

Mermaid got her progress report back. She has several areas that "need improvement." I think everyone needs to take a step back and remember that she's only 6 and if she's anything like her parents has 15+ years of school left. I'm considering burning her grades for at least this year.

October 20, 2008

Borax-who'd have thunk it

It's funny how it takes Grist to tell Jesse to tell me to try Borax. I noticed a box of it at Target the other day and threw it in my cart. For $4, it's worth a try.

It's been around for ages, but I'm not sure if I've ever used it. WHY? I don't know. Because it works like MAGIC! Sprinkle in with your whites-gleamy sparkly clothes. Clean your tub and sink to glistening brilliance. This stuff is good.

Oh right. It's totally cheap and way less toxic than almost everything else we use to clean. Go get some. Go.

October 16, 2008

$3.35 a gallon

$62 a barrel. Really. I'm sorry that the oil companies bought at $142 a barrel. Sorry for them. But not sorry for the insane windfall profits those same companies made last year and are planning on making this year because you know they're buying, buying, buying right now.

So gas stations in orange county, better lower your prices real soon or people are going to get really mad.

October 14, 2008


I haven't had Birkenstocks since I was in high school and wore them paired with wool socks. Yes, I know, the 90's were pretty sad. But now if Jesse gets an interview at Linfield, I'm so ready. The economic downturn has done wonders for my wardrobe. So many stores are going out of business (including Shoe Pavilion on Barranca) so I got a pair of Birks (originally priced at 69.99) for $14. And a pair of fancy black boots for $16.99 (originally 169.99). Luckily, they're made of leather so I can boil them into a broth if J doesn't get that job.
Other stores that I've seen that are going out of business in the Irvine area: Mervyns and one of those home stores like linens n things by Old Navy near the mall. Any other deals out there? Do tell!

Little Bear

The Mermaid has started reading her latest trilogy, the Little Bear books. She and I think that Little Bear is pretty kawaii. And he has such great ideas. Mermaid is supposed to dress as her favorite literary figure for school on the 31st. I've convinced her to dress up as Little Bear when he goes to the moon. It seemed so much easier than Laura Ingalls or any of the Disney Princesses she so admires. I have a feeling that when her Rose Fairy costume comes, she'll prefer wearing that. But I'll keep a cardboard box and coat hanger on hand just in case.

October 12, 2008

Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Patch

Have you been? We went yesterday and spent hours on rides, three times on the pony ride, twice on the bounce house, twice on Rat Race, what felt like hours on the slides. The kids had so much fun! We met up with Kaity and Danny and kids to make it a cousin party, too. Nothing warms the heart more than to see your girl be the designated driver for Zekey. Or to watch your 3 year old on the Euro Bouncer. And nothing like your husband on the Euro Bouncer to get you hoping he doesn't throw his back out.

October 10, 2008

I Like to Ride My Bicycle

This is big! The Mermaid has learned to ride her bike w/o training wheels. This is her third bike, but it was worth it. What a huge accomplishment! Meanwhile, her dad has taken to salvaging (stealing, lock picking) abandoned bikes. You can hear Miles in the background. Telling her not to go too fast. It's pretty cute how he's looking out for her.

My Method-Grapefruit

I know there's so much more going on than keeping house, but if you must...
I HEART Grapefruit Method. I love to clean my sink with it. I use it in my kitchen and on my kitchen floor. I love the way it smells. And it cleans quite nicely, too. I love that it's gentle on the earth and on me. I also love that it's at Target. Convenient. And Yays to Big Boxes who put good stuff on their shelves. Love that!

Cousins in Cali

So fun to see the Mikey and Nami. It was actually hot at the beach! Yay for socal!

October 6, 2008

You gotta know when to hold 'em

Think of me as little miss silver lining, but what stock would you invest $1000 into right now? It seems to me like a darn good time to buy. I must have a bit of gamblin' blood in me.

October 3, 2008

I heart my blender

I know it's not an incredibly inspiring picture, but this is our 4 speed vintage Osterizer blender. It was made before chrome made a comeback. I'm not sure how old it is, but it's definitely not new. (you can see our vintage toaster in the background. I keep it unplugged because I'm afraid it's going to start a fire)

But it is oh so powerful. This is smoothie making, oatmeal grinding, pesto magic in glass. My mom got it at a yard sale and gave it to me probably 5 years ago.

We've been making smoothies a lot here since it's been 90 degrees! (what's up with that?)

Here's my favorite recipe thus far:
6-8 cubes of ice
a couple scoops of OJ concentrate
Can of peaches
Trader Joe's mixed berries
handful or two of spinach
fistful of baby carrots
enough milk or soymilk to keep you from burning out.

Read Mermaid, read!

Mermaid just finished The World of Dick and Jane. I've never read them before, but Mermaid LOVED them! They are super easy and about as sweet and innocent as the Mermaid herself.

Reading has been challenging to teach her because it has always been so easy for me. My earliest memories are of stories I read. It was never a struggle. So finding stories, even if they're simple and silly, that she loves is amazing. Her reading confidence improves every day. I love watching this girl becoming a reader.

October 2, 2008

Monkey: "Hey Mom. Since you don't read your scriptures, can I put them in this box?"
She meant the teabox on display.
The answer was no.

October 1, 2008

Got me a good one

Sometimes I feel like I'm just figuring out this marriage thing. Jesse brought these home on Monday just because he knew I needed them. I'm glad he's got it figured out.
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