How do you gauge “normal?”

November 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm (Doug Stuff, Family, Road Trips, What were they thinking?)

Date night at the Fair?

Date night at the Fair?

So, Doug decided that we weren’t going to waste another Saturday at home. It was time for some culture for our family, and nothing says culture like the Texas Renaissance Fair (or is it Faire? I can never be sure sure!).

Turkey legs & suasage on a stick

Turkey legs & suasage on a stick

I was expecting funnel cakes and turkey legs, but I didn’t know it would be a worldwide celebration spanning centuries!

After the funnel cake

After the funnel cake

 

My sister Jessica loves this stuff, and I have to say that after spending a day at the fair I am seriously worried about her! Maybe it was the fact that we were there for Invasion of the Barbarians week-end! You have to wonder how Shakespeare completely comes together with Luana from 1,000,000 years B.C.

Jessica's prom date?

Jessica

(Clearly that’s not Jessica. I  meant to write “Jessica’s Prom Date!)

There were lots of fun things to do. The boys enjoyed the bows and arrows, and Doug liked the axe throwing. There was also a maze and some jousting. The best part for the kids was the Children’s School of Swords. There was a hands on tutorial with a certificate of completion at the end. This was one of the rare free activities, and Samuel had a great time.

My little Robin Hood

My little Robin Hood

It was disturbing how many teenagers there were who dressed completely inappropriately. I can’t imagine if I was there on a date with someone I hardly knew(Doug actually took a girl there on a date once. It didn’t end well … for her!). 

I have no words

I have no words

 

There were some similarities with the French Quarter at Mardi Gras. For instance, just because you can wear a particular costume doesn’t mean that you should wear that costume; time affects everyone. Also, the fair is a fun day, it probably shouldn’t be a whole lifestyle choice. Some people were taking this whole thing very seriously! I mean complete leather outfits and dog collars seriously!

Sword School

Sword School

I’m trying to decide if this is something we’re going to do again next year. It might be more fun with a whole group of people, but then we would have to share the mortification! If we do go again I think we’ll choose the Celtic Christmas week-end.

At one of the many wedding chapels

At one of the many wedding chapels

P.S. Greg, this is why you need to move to Texas. Doesn’t it look like more fun than your week-end?!

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A Visit from Mom

November 20, 2008 at 12:31 pm (Family, Fun Stuff)

Grandma and the boys

Grandma and the boys

…. The lost month continues …

So, after a busy Saturday morning in Dallas, we headed home so that I could go pick up my mom from the airport. She was coming from the Seattle area where she had been visiting my sister and my new niece, Eliza (here is where I should post a picture of Eliza’s cuteness, but I’m too lazy! If you want to see how cute she is, just click on my sister’s link).

I think, sometimes my mother underestimates the toll that travelling back and forth across the country can take on a person. She was with my sister for a week, then she was here for a few days, and then she headed to Vegas, before heading back to Nova Scotia. That’s a whole lot of criss-crossing the nation!

But, we take whatever we can get. Now that my mom has moved back to Canada we don’t get to visit as much as we did when she was in Phoenix.

William and Grandma

William and Grandma

So, one of the problems with not keeping up to date is that I can hardly remember what we did! I know there was a Sunday involved, so that means relaxing. There was  a trip to the book store and lunches out. Samuel’s birthday was on the Tuesday, and there was a trip to Build a Bear for Grandma and Samuel. I think we headed out browsing at the mall on the Monday night after the kids went to bed. My mom even scrubbed my entry way floor where one of the boys exploded a can of ginger-ale!

Birthday cupcakes

Birthday cupcakes

Samuel’s birthday was definitely the highlight of the visit. He had been planning it for a very long time. This was the big 5. His idea was a day where he could do whatever he wanted. That included Chuck E. Cheese’s, Krispy Kreme (even if the hot light wasn’t on), a special lunch with just him and his dad, and ravioli for dinner. It was a full day, but I think he had a lot of fun. I know there were presents, but right now I can’t remember what we got him!  Also, Samuel’s big announcement this year was that, because he is now five, he no longer as to tell us when he has to go to the bathroom. He’s just going to go!

krispy kreme should pay us for this!

krispy kreme should pay us for this!

A visit from my mom always means late nights visiting. Unfortunately, I spent extra time after everyone went to bed trying to beat Ingrid at Tetris (hopefully I’ll be able to the kick the habit soon!), which meant that I was extra tired in the mornings!

William watching the doughnuts

William watching the doughnuts

 

We can’t wait for grandma to visit again. Stay tuned for the next installment of the missing month … a visit from dad!

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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

November 18, 2008 at 4:43 pm (recipes)

Stop drooling!

Stop drooling!

So, today is Doug’s Thanksgiving potluck at work, and he signed up to bring dessert. By signing up, I think it was implied that I would be the one actually making the dessert. Don’t worry about the “fairness” of it all. I may have ben up late ito the night baking, but he was responsible for all of the transportation logistics! Plus, he had to figure out how to undo the pan!

So, here is what I make when I’m looking for something that will appear somewhat fancy. Also, if there are leftovers, it tastes great the next day:

Sylvia’s triple chocolate cheesecake

 

 Crust:

1 cup Chocolate cookie crumbs

¼ cup melted butter

– combine and press into a 9″ springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes

 

cake:

3 packages cream cheese

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

¾ cup melted chocolate chips

¾ cup melted white chocolate chips

1 tsp. almond filling

 

– Cream cheese and sugar

– Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each egg

– Add vanilla

– Divide batter in half

– Add melted chocolate chips to one half, mix and place in the pan to make the bottom layer

– Add melted white chocolate chips and almond flavoring to other half. Mix and pour on top of chocolate layer.

– Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

– Reduce heat to 250 degrees for 45 minutes

 

Glaze:

¾ cup of cream

1 ½ cups chocolate chips

 

– Heat cream on low heat until hot

– add chocolate chips and stir until smooth

– Pour over cooled cake

 If you’re in the mood for a bit of chocolate, this should hit the spot. Also, if you happen to be out of almond extract you can use cherry extract. Apparently, no one can tell the difference (at least that’s what I hear, but I’m still in denial).

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Some bad football mojo

November 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm (Road Trips)

dallasblog005 

Originally we had no intention of going to the BYU-TCU game. If we are going to spend our hard earned money on football, then it will be of the LSU variety! Some people from the neighborhood were organizing a trip, but Doug said no. then, his brother called and asked if we should all go. When Mike calls, Doug listens!

So, we headed up to Dallas. For this visit we lesft the house at 6:00am. This is my new plan for traveling through Austin. I think early morning is the way to go. We made it to Dallas in record time, and the kids slept for the first half of the trip.

The happy family!

The happy family!

We ended up arriving in Dallas before lunch. We had hoped to go to the Dallas Bureau of Engraving in Fort Worth, but we ended up waiting for the rest of our group to arrive. (Note to self, always add a cushion to Mike and Ingrid’s arrival time!!!)

We ended up leaving for the game at 4:00pm … not exactly conducive to beating the rush hour traffic. It took us 2 hours to get from Richardson to Fort Worth. We missed the BYU tailgate, the close parking, and the kick-off, but it was all worth it … well, it was worth it until the Cougars lost the longest winning streak in college football. They didn’t just lose the game, I don’t even think they showed up to play the game. Now, I don’t want to blame myself for this loss, so I’ll lay the blame with Mike and Ingrid! I don’t think they have good football mojo this season. After all, LSU lost to Florida while Mike and Ingrid were there. Maybe it’s just Mike, because a Florida win isn’t exactly a loss for Ingrid!

Notice all the purple pom poms!

Notice all the purple pom poms!

Ingrid was also working her charms at TCU. While waiting in line for corn dogs she was chatting up a TCU fan, and he ended up buying her a corn dog! I don’t know why he didn’t want to purchase my funnel cake, but I was a little insulted! Maybe he thought we would share since I told him that Ingrid was my sister wife!

This was also the first football game for Samuel and his cousin Ashley. (A big thanks to Granny and Grandpa for taking care of our other boys while we were at the game.) They seemed to get into the spirit, and were only a little bit upset by the fact that the cougars lost! They came away with a lot of TCU pom poms and that seemed to lift their spirits. Plus, how can you not enjoy a game where you get to eat hot dogs, BBQ and funnel cakes?

This was also the where we taught Samuel the importance of being a true fan. There is no leaving early just because your team in getting crushed. We stay to the very end. I know there are many “fans” who were there at the start of the game who were not there at the end. I’m not judging you, but …. !!! Plus, if we hadn’t stayed until the very end, we never would have seen people from Louisiana! (They were much easier to see with the cougar fan section completely empty!)

Notice all the empty seats

Notice all the empty seats

The day after the game we decided to take in some culture and go see the King Tut exhibit at the museum. The only downside of this was that there was no touching, and it was very crowded. Also, Doug had to read every sign and description, and I had three kids in tow (wait, maybe I only had two, I can’t even remember any more!) So, I finished the exhibit about a half an hour before Doug, and I think we rushed him!

In the children's area of the museum

In the children

After the museum we headed off for lunch while the others headed to the American Girls store. Friday night we headed over to Dan and Amy’s for pizza and visiting with cousins.

On Saturday Doug and his dad worked on computer stuff and I took the boys to a yard sale! I also headed to the mall because the salesperson left the security tag on my $6 pair of pants. I probably spent more in gas because I got caught in Race for the Cure traffic! Oh well, all in all it was an excellent week-end.

We left after lunch on Saturday so that we could pick my mom up from the airport. Stay tuned for the rest of the story…!!

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Sorry For the Long Delay!

November 13, 2008 at 5:03 pm (Random Thoughts)

Ben Affleck

I thought about writing this whole long post of everything I’ve been doing since the last time I posted, but that would take about 2 million pictures, and I don’t have the patience. I also thought about making up some story about how I had run off with Ben Affleck (after all, I was the original Mrs. Affleck), but that seemed in poor taste seeing as both he and I are happily married. Although, I really think we could all be friends, and if you’re reading this, Anne, I would have Jennifer Garner play me, and Ben could play Doug. I like to think I’m super tough! Then, it crossed my mind that I could pretend that I had been posting this whole time and that the posts just got lost in the vastness that is the internet. I also considered some kind of finding myself pilgrimage story, but those who know me know I wouldn’t be trekking to Lourdes, I’d be trekking to Saks.

What’s a delinquent blogger to do? I’ll just come clean: I’ve been busy!

Here’s how it played out: A trip to Dallas followed by a visit from Mom, followed by a week-end at TOFW, folllowed directly by a visit from Dad, followed by a rocking SYKYCD party (if you have to ask, clearly you need lessons in cool!!),followed by a trip to Baton Rouge, followed immediately by a visit from big brother (my actual big brother, not some kind of Orwellian allegory!).  This was all mixed with birthdays, and day trips. Just to give you an idea, this past Monday we started the day at Senor Cheese’s, caught a free donut because the hot light was on, then headed to the Alamo, then to the riverwalk for a boat cruise, then to a BBQ place for lunch, then to the zoo. That was all before 4:00pm. I just don’t want you all thinking I’m lazy!

Now though, it’s been almost too long to recap. I’ll have to post some some pictures from the parties and the visits with the grandparents.

I promise I am now officially out from under the rock. I’m a slacker with thank you notes and phone calls, but I’m working on it!

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