Sunday, November 29, 2009


The elementary school that my children attend has been very proactive in trying to keep the kids healthy.  The teachers encourage the kids to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, and they discourage passing germs through "high fives" or other hand-to-hand contact.  The use of disinfecting wipes and sprays in prolific, and the proper washing of hands has been reinforced.

JJ has taken the hand-washing tips to heart.  His teacher suggested that an effective way of making sure you have washed long enough is to sing the ABC Song twice while washing.  We frequently hear this refrain as he sings along to the sound of the water gushing from the bathroom faucet.  Of course, it's interesting that the singing seems to be the only part of the lesson that took hold in JJ's head.  He totally missed the part where you apply soap and rub the hands together vigorously.  Instead, he clasps his hands together and holds them, unmoving, under the running water.  Sometimes, he even holds his hands as though they are around an invisible tube.  The water rushes through the nonexistent pipe and never even touches his hands.  He completes his hand-washing session having run the water, but having never actually gotten his hands wet!  

The funny thing is that JJ has become a hand-washing fanatic.  On several occasions I have heard him tell his brothers that they didn't wash well enough because he didn't hear them singing.  He then ushers them back to the bathroom where he insists that they wash and sing.  If they refuse to sing, he promptly starts the singing himself and accompanies their washing.

I wish I could convince all three of them to wash effectively and efficiently.  But I guess this is a start.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The pecan pie was awesome (if I do say so...).  The chocolate pudding cake was tasty.  The yams were as good as always.  The Marie Callender's pie stayed in the fridge at mom's house and nobody missed it.  All in all, a success!

I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends.  Thanks for contributing to this beautiful day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Food Assignments

Mom, if you're reading this blog post before my arrival for Thanksgiving dinner, please stop reading now.  Really, you'll be sorry if you don't exit this window...  Quit reading now...  Please!

Now I can finish my posting without causing undue alarm for my mom.  She'll be glad she didn't have this information.  Trust me.

My mom is a really great cook, you can ask anyone.  And lucky for me, she's willing to host Thanksgiving dinner pretty much every year.  While I can cook a turkey with all the trimmings, I'm ever so glad that I don't have to do it!  I do, however, have my assigned dishes to deliver.  I've been asked to provide the pies, ironic since I don't/won't eat cooked fruit, which typifies pie, but that's an entirely different subject.

So, I have spent the past couple of weeks searching (seriously, searching) for the perfect pie recipes.  After much deliberation, I have settled upon amending my assignment from pie to dessert.  Now, there's no need to worry.  I will fulfill my pie-providing responsibilities for those of you who are stubbornly traditional pie require-ers.  But this is my game plan.  I am baking a pecan pie and a chocolate pudding cake.  I have also acquired a lemon cream cheese pie (haven't found a recipe as good as Marie Callender's...).  My mom has a favorite pumpkin pie, so she has agreed to provide that customary offering.

Here's the problem...  I have all the recipes, and I have the pie from Marie's, but I still haven't made it to the grocery store.  And that is why I hope my mom isn't reading this before dinner--you aren't reading, are you mom???  We have non familial guests coming to dinner.  And I'm pretty sure that the fact that I don't have my desserts cooked nor do I have all the ingredients for them, will elevate mom's stress to an unhealthy level.  If she knew, she'd clambor back into the kitchen to make the desserts herself.  The fear of sending her guests home after a lovely dinner sans dessert would be inconceivable to her.  (I know, we'd still have pumpkin pie and Marie's pie, but I'm sure that wouldn't suffice...)

But the truth is that I am better under stress.  Although acquiring the ingredients may prove challenging, I will step up to the plate (ha ha) with desserts in hand when the time is right.  And hopefully I will be delivering desserts made to the exacting standards of my well-researched recipes.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  Wish me luck!  And I hope you have a fabulously delicious Thanksgiving--I'm sure we will!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

False Advertising

Creative license aside, can we just call it as we see it?  Hyperbole has become so acceptable, in fact even expected, in marketing today that advertising would be undone without it.  And there is no better example than what I witnessed just this evening.  The truth is that even the name defies accurate representation...  IN-N-OUT Burger...

I was on my way home from Provo today (no, I did not attend the BYU v. Air Force game, although if I did I would have been cheering for the losing team... )  I had the great misfortune of crossing paths with the throngs of people who were desperate enough for a burger that they had formed a line that completely encircled the block.

The cars were queued one zigzag after another, across the parking lot, and around the block, behind the strip mall, and down the next street.  What these people don't realize is that not only are they waiting for burgers to be served to those in the cars ahead of them, but burgers will also need to be delivered to those who are shivering in the cold as they form additional queues surrounding the building...  This is where the false advertising becomes obvious.  With a name like IN-N-OUT Burger there is some expectation that you might actually be able to get inside the joint.  And following that assumption is another that leads a person to believe that getting in to pick up your burger and then getting back out might be done in a timely manner.  Therefore the in-and-out reference.  I hardly believe that alacrity is a word that could be used in this situation, although that is what in-n-out seems to suggest. 

This is not to say that I don't appreciate a good burger.  I understand the desirability of a fresh burger with an accompaniment of salted fries and a thick shake.  Truthfully, I have previously enjoyed a hot IN-N-OUT Burger or two.  I have frequented several locations, the favorites being Las Vegas and Barstow.  And I'm sure that in due time I will take my turn at the newest IN-N-OUT Burger drive-up window.  But you can be sure that when I do make that detour through the drive-thru line that it will be done when the chances of a quick entry and even quicker exit are more assured.

IN-N-OUT Burger, welcome to the valley.  I look forward to your shortened lines and a quick lunch to-go!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dance out Loud

After three years of dancing with TDC, The Princess left the studio and is now studying classical ballet.  The move was a hard one, and we hoped we were making the right decision.  I worried that HRH would get bored with all the focus being on ballet.  I was sure she'd miss the other forms of dance, especially contemporary.

While the ballet is going very well, we recently had the opportunity to work on a contemporary group number with Nicki Loud.  It was a diversion from the ballet technique and a fun change of pace.  I think we made the right decision moving to a ballet studio, but it was nice to have a temporary respite.  What an awesome experience to work with such a great choreographer and with such an amazing group of dancers. 

HRH loved working with Nicki so much that we had her do a solo piece as well.  She'd such a great person to work with.  And the girls loved the evening we spent with her at Los Hermanos.

Darby, Jenny, Tiare, Nicki Loud, Courtney, Jorgen, The Princess

The girls competed their "Nicki Loud Number" aka Shirk at NYCDA.  They were nominated for Critics' Choice and other top honors.  Congratulations!

A Trio of Turtles

Sometimes something just hits you funny and you can't ever get it out of your head. 

At the beginning of the school year, we bought new backpacks for The Buddies.  Every morning, as I follow them up the sidewalk to the bus stop, I can't help but grin.  The image of my little boys scuttling along always reminds me of a little trio of turtles.  The backpacks are turtle green and a little large for the boys.  In fact, they are so large that they nearly hit the backs of their knees.  All I can see are these "green shells" with heads bobbing atop, and arms and legs flailing out from each side.

Now that the weather is changing we'll start driving to the bus stop so we can wait in the car.  I'm going to miss our little trek up the hill.  I'm sure gonna miss those little turtles!

Monday, November 9, 2009

When is a carved pumpkin not a Jack-o-Lantern?

We didn't carve pumpkins for Halloween this year.  Grandpa grew some fabulous pumpkins and even delivered them to our doorstep.  We had every intention of getting them done, but things just didn't go our way this year.  With The Boy being away at school, HRH being busy with dance rehearsals, The Mister suffering through H1N1, and other assorted maladies, we never did get our pumpkins carved for Halloween.  Of course, given that we didn't even get one trick-or-treater, it's not like anyone missed our absent display of glowing gourds... 

But this weekend The Boy came to spend the day.  He was distressed at the sight of whole (unadorned) pumpkins sitting atop our stoop.  He and his friend helped The Buddies to remedy our pathetic pumpkin predicament.

But the question remains...  If you carve faces into your pumpkins in November, are they still Jack-O-Lanterns?  Maybe we need to come up with a more appropriate term.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not a Halloween costume...

I only know that this Little Buddy was watching TV.  Why the goggles?  Maybe he was watching something questionable...  I don't really know...  Really...  I don't know...

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Un-Lost

After my little mishap with The Boy's dress pants (post graduation), I thought I would never again see The Boy all spiffed up.  As luck would have it, I have actually found his "missing" dress pants.  The only negative is that I didn't find them until after buying him a new suit.  Can you believe it?  Those pants have spent the last 5 months not in the landfill, but hanging in the back of my closet.  How do I explain this?  Simply said, I can't.

The Boy called me last week to inform me that he needed a suit.  This is the same boy who has never owned a suit...  Has never worn a suit...  Has never had need for a suit...  Actually owns a t-shirt that says "Suits Suck."

After much creative negotiating (on my part) I consented to buying The Boy his suit.  He is now the proud owner of a gray suit with pinstripes.  And I have to say it, he does look handsome in his suit. 

The Boy donned his new suit, put in his new contact lenses, and knotted his tie.  He looked so grown up!  Of course, he is in college now, maybe he actually is growing up...  What a thought!

But now, on any given occasion, he has his choice of dress pants or a full fledged suit.  Who woulda thunk...  And how many of those occasions do you think will come his way?  Plenty, I hope!

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