Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Creme Brulee - Mike did it!

Posted by Picasa

Creme Brulee Debacle

I was planning on making creme brulee for Mike and I to enjoy as a Happy New Year treat - I know, we're crazy!! Anyway, I am a little tired because I didn't get to sleep til 2:00 am because I was a little too keyed up after painting and also because two little boys kept wandering into my room for one reason or another. I informed Mike that I was not really in the mood to make creme brulee. Not that it is hard - I'm not up for cooking tonight. Mike graciously took up the job (because he REALLY wants creme brulee). I told him to scrupulously follow the directions, to which he responded that he always does - it's generally true.

HOWEVER, cream and buttermilk look a lot alike. It is easy to miss that big sign on the carton that says "Buttermilk". Mike suffers from an ailment called domestic blindness in which certain household items or chores become invisible. While I am dinking around on the computer Mike plops down to watch some TV while the "cream" steeps. He casually asks me if cream is supposed to taste sour. "Um, no. Only if the cream is bad and I am pretty sure it is not past it's expiration date yet. I'll go check it." In the kitchen I am confused by what I see - a saucepan filled with curdled, watery, sour, fluid with vanilla beans in it. It smells terrible. But the evidence is there - a carton of buttermilk. Problem solved. Of course I laughed - not at him, but well, ok, I laughed at him. Then I kissed him and said thanks for making Creme Brulee and here is the whipping cream. Back to the drawing board, my love.

My latest Painting

Don't tell Ethan and Amber, but this is what they are getting for Christmas - I am a little late, but better late then never!! It was fun to paint - I did it too late at night and I couldn't get to sleep because I kept thinking about all the other paintings I am going to do.
Posted by Picasa

Chirstmas Photos 2008




Posted by Picasa

Christmas Photos

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Photos

I thought Ben's faces were pretty funny in these pictures.

Clothing Drive - Dec. 6th

On my birthday we participated in a clothing drive for the members of the Philadelphia wards. It was a lot of work to get it going, but we did it and we had more clothes than we could have ever expected!! The members of our ward, the Valley Forge 1st Ward were so great and I really appreciate all the people who donated and worked with us.

On another note - I just have to tell about how un-helpful my children were. It was almost comical. When I put this activity together I thought it would be such a great opportunity for families to participate in a great service project. In my mind I envisioned the boys helping to put clothes on the tables and working along side us. But alas, there is a HUGE gap between reality and fantasy. The boys (and I mostly mean Ben) refused to help. Mike was organizing shoes and he dropped one on the floor and asked Ben to pick it up. Ben refused this offer most adamantly. Mike once again, more sternly, encouraged Ben to pick up the shoe. Again, Ben refused. Now it became serious. Voices were raised, tears were shed, and Ben ran away. I found him cowering outside the door, still refusing to pick up the dang shoe. How long are we supposed to fight our battles? This one would have to be discussed later.

Later on, I talked to Ben about the purpose of the clothing drive and how it is important to participate in serving others, in doing whatever we are able to do. Finally, I asked him why he would not pick up the shoe. Ben told me that there were germs on the shoe. OH NO!!! Ben has always been a cautious little man, but a germaphobe? This was worse than I thought! I told him that we were all touching the clothes and shoes and washed our hands later. The germs weren't going to hurt us. I couldn't help but think how when I was a kid the last thing I thought of was germs. I was probably covered in them all the time. Playing in the dirt, in the gutters, in city creeks. Have I done this to my child? Am I a germaphobe? I think I will encourage them to get dirty a little more often.

Posted by Picasa

More pictures from the clothing drive

There's me - with my backside to the camera. Not the point of the picture though - look at all the clothes on the tables!!! So much!
Posted by Picasa

Children's Museum

This had to be the boy's favorite exhibit. They would create some sort of airplane and then send it up via a pulley and hook and then it would drop once it got to the top and you could see how well it flew. Really cool.

Posted by Picasa

Children's Museum

After Thanksgiving we went to the Children's Museum at it's new location in Philadelphia. We met the Moyer's there and had a great time. It is such a cool building - very neo-classic architecture and all the exhibits were modern and colorful. Cool juxtaposition. The boys loved it of course and so we just had to get a membership. Below is Ben, sitting in his nest,warming some eggs. Below that is the three of us riding the carousel. The boys were terrified by the horses and refused to ride them. We had an exciting ride in the carriage.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ben's a genius, Dad's a sucker

The other night I made something for dinner that I knew would not be Ben's favorite, but he is still required to eat 15 bites. Little did I know the lengths that Ben would go to - he is extremely determined.

The meal started off with the usual whines and asking 20 times just how many bites he would have to take. Ben tried to negotiate the terms, but we (the parents - immune to manipulation - yea right) stood firm.

Ben took about 5 bites and then tried to delay finishing. It was Family Home Evening night and we planned on playing games. We informed Ben that if he did not finish his 15 bites he could not join our games. Then Ben stated that his stomach was hurting - which is a little bit confusing because he does have allergies and we have fallen for this before. My response to his complaint was, "Well, if you have a stomach ache and feel sick then you should go lie down in your bed for the rest of the night - ok?" Ben responded with a shrill scream, "But I don't want to go to bed!!!" Yet he still tried the stomach ache. He was clearly at odd with his desires.

Ben threw in the genius acting skills. Mike and I started to play Skip-Bo (which Ben loves) and Ben started to full on cry and grab at his right side - his non stomach side. "Mom, my stomach hurts so bad!!". My response, "Ben your stomach is on the other side so you are still ok to eat your dinner." Then he said, "But I hurt my side this morning when I was playing in the kitchen - I bumped it and it REALLY hurts." Then he fell on the floor in a display of complete agony. Mike fell for this act hook, line, and sinker. Mike looked at me and said, "I think he is really hurting." I scoffed at this. Mike went in the kitchen to comfort Ben and actually help him to finish his dinner.

After dinner, Ben seemed awful chipper. He turned on his fighting music and started to run around and play. He said (showing surprise), "Mom, my side stopped hurting before the last two bites!". Well Hallelujah!!! It's a miracle. Needless to say, Mike was suckered in and Ben is an acting genius.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Adventure with Flu Shots

Since winter approaches, the dreaded season of sickness, all of us got the flu shot. It is a bit more complicated for my medically challenged little boy, Ben.

I went to the doctor expecting to be there about 1 hour. I wish. They did two allergy tests on him - on one each arm. They basically poked him with some stuff that causes him to get really itchy and he is not allowed to touch it. I hold him while he screams, "It's itchy!!" Then the doctor decided that he didn't like the results of the scratch test and that he was going to have to get his flu shot in six doses with 15 minutes in between each dose to make sure that he didn't have a severe reaction. Ben looooved this. After the second shot he was ready to go. So was I. They had to give him 2 shots in each leg and 1 in each arm - they would have given him more in the arms, but they said his arms were too skinny. During one shot, he saw blood and Ben freaks when he sees blood. He will talk about that for years, I am sure. Ben was really great though, considering the situation. He colored on the tissue paper covering the bed - he drew a scary monster and then hid under the table til the nurses came in. He said, "When the ladies come in, they will be scared by the monster and their pants will fall off!!" He giggled with delight at the thought of it.

When we were finally done, I took him to Target and bought him a Lego set and then went to McDonald's. I think he deserved it!

My knee

Here's a picture of my knee (not the prettiest knee, but it works). The scars are so small!! I thought I would have this huge scar going along the side of my knee. I can't believe the doctor fit a ligament in there!
Posted by Picasa

Knee Surgery

I haven't really written for awhile about what is going on in our household so I think I'll update. Let's see - October.

Well, I am in recovery from my knee surgery. I still need to be doing physical therapy... haven't been too diligent about that. I suffer from "please can you watch my children" - itis. Lots of people have been willing and able.. but I don't know what my deal is. I don't want to inconvenience anyone, I guess. I do have a couple of friends that I swap with, though and I do rely on them. But, my knee is doing pretty well. Looking at me, you would never know that I had surgery 6 weeks ago. I just keep doing my exersizes at home, mostly building muscle - my right leg is a little flabby because of the muscle atrophy. Not pretty. Mike was great right after my surgery. I was in a lot of pain, on Percoset, and I couldn't get myself out of bed. He would heft my leg out of the bed and help me stand and he was taking care of the kids over the weekend. Thankfully, my mom was there to help the week following my surgery - I wouldn't have made it without her.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Playing in the fort

The boys were overjoyed when I made a fort for them in our front living room. I left it up for two days and then dismantled it - it is in our front room. It didn't stay picked up for long. I went upstairs this evening and when I came back, Ben had ingeniously put it back together in his own way. My front room has been overrun by little boy stuff!! Somehow, I will prevail and move the fort into the basement. There may be tears, but I will prevail!

Posted by Picasa


Halloween was a blast. We went to our good friend's house - the Anderson's, had pizza, played around a bit and then went trick or treating in their neighborhood. The boys were soooo cute and excited about going from house to house. Gabe was doing so great at first - he would only take one piece of candy. By the end of the night, he was trying to filch handfuls and I guess he is cute enough that everyone let him get away with it. Except for me and I was met with a screaming, rage-filled, candy denied two and a half year old - as I made him put some candy back. Gabe was a Jedi Knight and Ben was a Dragon Warrior Ninja. I admit, that I went a little overboard with Halloween. As soon as the Halloween stuff went on sale at Target, I went and had a little bit of a purchasing frenzy. 75% OFF!!! You can't beat that. So, next year we will be decked out with lots of skeletons and spooky stuff.

Posted by Picasa

Ben's school Halloween party

On Halloween, Gabe and I went to Ben's kindergarten class for a Halloween party. We did a craft, had some snacks, played Bingo, and listened to a spooky story. Ben was like a crazy, wound up toy. He kept jumping around and talking excitedly about every little thing in his class. It was cute. He was really happy we were there. So was I.
Posted by Picasa

We love Ott's

We just love going to the "Flower Mountain" at Ott's. It is such a beautiful place.

Posted by Picasa

Harvest Festival

In the beginning of October we went to Pennypacker Mills (a historic mill nearby) for a Harvest Festival. I hobbled around on my crippled knee pretty well. We painted pumpkins, rolled around in the hay, threw bean bags (as seen below), pressed some apples and made some cider, and drank fresh apple cider. Fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Posted by Picasa