Sunday, March 29, 2009

New reviews

The zoo and the Magic House are up. Hopefully, I'll get the Science Center done tomorrow and then St. Louis will be done, just in time for another trip to Indy :)

Zoo

Magic House

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It is probably time for bed

when I watch this repeatedly and LMAO everytime.

Book List so far this year

Since it is the end of March and it is unlikely I will have time to finish the current book and start another one, I'm calling this my first quarter book list. Last year, Ms. Lemonade requested that I review the books so most of these have a little blurb about if I liked them or not.

Tippy Toe Murder Leslie Meier Jan


Too Many Crooks Tamara Myers Jan Good book. Quick read. Interested to read more


Mom, Apple Pie and Murder Nancy Pickens Jan Boring. Several short stories. A few were good and made me want to look up the author but most I just
couldn't wait to finish


Star spangled Murder Leslie Meier Jan


High Heels and Homocide Kasey Michaels Jan This started off slow but wound up nicely and I'm looking forward to more


Crime Seen Victoria Laurie Jan Best VL book yet. Abby and Dutch weren't fighting the whole book and it was less creepy


Blue Blood Susan McBride Jan Took longer that I would have liked to read but it was decent. Read out of order but other than her relationship, I couldn't tell.


Just Plain Pickled Tamar Myers Jan Took a little to get into but it is quite funny once it starts


3 willows Ann Brashares Jan Continuation of the Sisterhood


Drop Dead Blond Nancy Martin Jan Anthalogy Well done books from good authors


Nothing to Fear but Ferrets Linda Johnston Jan Kendra Ballantyne mystery


Fine Feathered Death Linda Johnston Feb Much easier to get through than ferrets


Meow for Murder Linda Jonhston Feb More development of the story awfully predictable


Mail order murder Leslie Meyer Feb First book, many contradictions to future character development


A crazy little thing called death Nancy Martin Feb Not the best Blackbird book, a little crazy premise


Bubbles a Blaze Sarah Strohmeyer Feb Bubbles is quite fun.


Bubbles All the Way Sarah Strohmeyer Feb Good until the end, then it just got strange


Nursery Crimes Ayelet Waldman Feb Meh, decent story, bad characters


Murder of a Smart Cookie Denise Swanson Feb Totally out of order. Need to read the rest of the series to get a better handle on where things stand


Murder of a real Bad Boy Denise Swanson Feb Follows right after Cookie. Starting to make some sense


Death Perception Victoria Laurie Mar Good whodunit but a little predictable


Don of the Dead Casey Daniels March Slow to start but a solid base to an interesting series


The Chick and the Dead Casey Daniels March Further charcter development, she seems to be getting in to her role as Gifted


Are you there Vodka Chelsea Handler March Way Funnier than expected. LOLed in many parts


Plum spooky Janet Evanovich March JE. Laughed so hard at parts, I woke up Lizzie. Super quick read


Nip, Tuck Dead Lori Avocato Mar Took some getting into but then was fairly fast. Main character was a little annoying and the story was Predictable!


White Witch,Black Curse Kim Harrison Mar Resolved the mystery at the end of the last book. 500 pages, so took a little while to read


On What Grounds Cleo Coyle Mar Quick read, finally first in a series. Interested in further developments


Killer Cocktail Sheryl Anderson Mar Second in a series. Seems to really need the other book to make sense. Main characters whines about guy too much


Muder with Peacocks Donna Andrews Mar Currently reading, no comment yet

Friday, March 27, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Riding the Hog

video

Lizzie going for her first ride on the Harley. Paw-Paw took her a few laps around the parking lot to get a little taste.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fun in the sun

We decided to play outside yesterday since it was pretty decent.

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Here is TB riding his bike.

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Here is TB crashing his bike!

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MT riding her trike

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MT on the trampoline

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This would have been a great shot, if she hadn't been almost jumping on me.

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This is her favorite way to "jump" on the trampoline.

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TB doing a trick

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I'm falling!

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Flippy boy

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He is the most daring among us, by a long shot!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just say it

I'm reading this book that is pretty decent overall. The issue that I have with it is the main character is sort of maybe but not really dating this guy. Every other paragraph is her talking about how she doesn't know if they are a couple and doesn't want to say anything that might indicate that in case they aren't and he bolts because coupledom scares him but she doesn't want to ask either, blah blah blah.

Why, oh why do people not just say the things they mean and ask for what they want? Why do people beat around the bush, use double speak and agonize ENDLESSLY over insane stuff like that? I was NEVER that way so I simply don't understand the motivation.

If you like someone, you tell them. If they like you back, they should tell you. If they don't like you back, they aren't worth your time to begin with so why all the stress? If you don't like them, you need to tell them. Leading them on and trying to be "nice" only causes problems. You can be blunt and to the point without being a jerk (which was the other thing I was thinking about writing but they work together so you all get one post today).

Today on the radio the email was basically "I have a co-worker that is an Oprah nut. She insists on recapping the show for me, at length everyday. I don't like Oprah, what can I do" Many of the calls were suggestions like "save all your important work until she shows up and claim to be too busy to talk" "rat her out the boss for spending so much time not working" etc. Only one caller suggested watching an episode, then telling you aren't a fan.

My suggestion? Be blunt but don't be a jerk. The person could tell her "I understand that you a huge Oprah fan but I'm just not. I'm here to work, not to listen a description of a show I don't like". And walk away. End of story. You aren't hiding from her or lying to her (which will only bite you in the ass). Just say what you mean. No need to make anything more complicated than that.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Busy busy weekend

Friday was FunFest at school. I was part of the planning committee and was getting kind of stressed out toward the end. I had big fears that it wasn't going to go well (as I usually do for these kinds of things). My dad picked the kids up at 2, so I could help set up. I told him "I'll be home between 3:30 and 4, no biggie". At 5, I finally drug myself through the door. Just in time to change clothes (I was FILTHY from cleaning the rooms and setting stuff up) and head back in time for food. The entry way was awfully busy and as it turned out, I was glad we didn't have to mess with eating. Quigs and Looseyfur joined us and we sat with them for a few minutes until X-man decided he needed to go play games and Mr. Quigs got there to help with her kids. Then we went to play games. Some of the rooms were better than others. The Wii room seemed to go pretty well (big sigh of relief since that was my idea) and many of the other rooms were really fun. We ran around all night until 8, when everything closed down. Then the kids came home and spent the night with my mom.

Saturday, we got up and went to the free movie. After that, we had lunch, then I took TB to the kid's photography clinic at the library. He had a good time and came away from it with a lot more questions about how to take better pictures. We spent some time sitting out front on the wall, practicing using shutter speed on the passing cars. He was figuring out how to either freeze motion or pan and blur, which was kind of cool. After that, we decided the weather was too fab to stay home so we went to the park. I put out a call to everyone and Quigs and her fab fam joined us and the kids had a really good time. At least until MT had to pee and I couldn't get Quigs garage door opener to work. then MT Supermanned off the swing and landed on her face. I laughed a little, but then felt bad when she was laying in the dirt crying, picking wood chips out of her mouth. We came home, fed everyone KFC and put the kids to bed early.

Today, I got up and thought that it was nice, we should take the kids to the park. But while we were gone, I wanted to call my FIL and have him and my dad put up the trampoline. I called my mom and found out that my dad was planning to take the motorcycle out and wouldn't be around. I said "screw it" and I called FIL and asked if he would help ME set it up. He said he would and my mom and the kids and I set about cleaning up the yard and figuring out where to put it. We cleaned the yard for about 2 hours, then I started unpacking the parts of the trampoline and my mom and I started the basics of assembly. We didn't get far when MIL and FIL showed up and they started helping. We got the frame assembled (with much cursed and beating involved) and started on stretching out the mat, when my dad finally showed up. We finished setting it up (with more cursing and yelling and fending off the kids who demanded "is it done yet" every 2 minutes). Once it was done, the kids jumped on it and then got the adults involved. MIL and FIL both got on it and then they got me on. I had a really good time but it was kicking my ass! I promised the kids that I would jump with each of them for 5 minutes and after the first 2, I was ready to be done. My brother came over for dinner and had to have a turn and RF jumped on it as soon as he came through the gate.

I got up to get ice cream a little bit ago and it feels like I got beaten with the trampoline, instead of putting it together. Now I'm going to bed and read for a little bit. School for one but not the other tomorrow, which is a little crazy. TB is pretty excited that he gets to hang out here without his sister all morning. :)

Our new toy

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dinner Delish!!

I'm forever looking for new things to cook. I eat basically like a toddler with little variety. This causes RF no small amount of stress because he does not eat like a toddler and doesn't like over half of the things I cook. Truth be told, I don't like half of what I cook either because I have about 16 meals that I cycle through every 2 weeks. This means the same stuff over and over and I SICK TO DEATH of it all.

In my many hours on Facebook, I ran across an ad for Bust a Meal. I thought, what the heck, I might as well take a look to see if anything appeals even a little bit. When you go to the site, it offers you an option to sign up for the site or sign in using your facebook ID. I chose to use my FB ID because the last thing I need is another site to log into.

Once I signed in, it had me fill out a survey about my food preferences, including how often we eat various meats, allergies and things you just don't like. After filling out the survey, it generates a list of meals. I went through the list of meals and ranked them all either "yum" or "yuck" (there is no "meh" option for that might be ok but look a little dicey). In addition, you can quick list things that really look good so you can find them easily. I quick listed several items that looked tasty. Once all that is done, it emails 3 meals a week to try. Once you elect to try them, it emails you the shopping list and recipes. All of that can be found on the site, if you don't the emails, but I found it easier to have it in my email. With the shopping list, you can go through, on the site, and check off things that you already have so it doesn't send you things that you don't need.

Tonight I tried my first meal from them and it was super fab! It took longer than I like to cook (1 hour 10 minutes including prep and baking) but the end product was WELL worth it.

A few things to note, I don't eat chiles so I left those out completely. Also, 15 minutes to cook the chicken is a total joke. Try closer to 30 minutes. Of course, our chicken breasts are about 2 feet thick. I ended up cutting them up to help them cook faster. In the future I will cut the first so it doesn't take so long (this would be a really good dish for left over grilled chicken as it gets warmer). Because of the extended cooking time and the fact that I didn't add the chiles, I had to add some extra chicken broth (about a cup and a half all told and I wouldn't do more than that because it would have been soupy) and still had NO cooking liquid left over. Instead, I cooked the onions, and then the mixture, in the same pan as the chicken to the get the flavor. And because I believe there is no such thing as "enough" cheese, I used more than the recommended ammount of cheddar.

The only other thing I would do would be to possibly pre-fry the tortillas because the edges got crispy from baking but the middle was a little mushy. If they were a little crispy to start, that would make something great even better. I ate 3 pieces of it and am nearly sick from so much food but I'm seriously considering having another one. It is just that good!

In case you can't tell, this isn't Weight Watchers or other diet friendly. It could be better by using lower fat items but I'm not into that :)


Mexican Chicken Casserole
Active: 30 min Cook: 30 min Marinate/Stand: 10 min Total: 1h10m Serves: 8
Serve this casserole when friends are coming over or prep it before a busy week to cover two weeknight meals.
Click Here if you're going to cook this, so we can track it for you. That way, we won't suggest it again too soon.

Ingredients
1 cup chicken broth
2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, divided
1 3/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breasts
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 ounce tortilla chips, crushed (about 6 chips)


Preparation
Prepare Ingredients
Preheat oven to 350°.
Chop 1 onion to yield 1 cup.
Crush about 6 tortilla chips to yield about 1 oz.
Combine and Cook
Combine 1 cup broth and 1 can chiles in a large skillet; bring to a boil.
Add chicken; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning chicken once.
Remove chicken from cooking liquid, reserving cooking liquid; cool chicken.
Shred meat with two forks, and set aside.


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 1 can of chiles and onion; sauté 3 minutes or until soft.
Add reserved cooking liquid, 1 cup milk, 1 cup Monterey Jack, 1/4 cup cream cheese, and enchilada sauce; stir well.
Stir in shredded chicken; cook 2 minutes; remove from heat.
Place 4 tortillas in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole coated with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture over tortillas.
Repeat layers twice, ending with chicken mixture.
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and chips.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
.

Music suggestions

Ladies and gents, I'm asking for music recs.

This



is my new absolute favorite song. I LOVE it and I listen to it all the time. Angry (not angsty, which is totally different) girl rock makes me happy!

So I'm asking all of you for suggestions of songs along these lines. I know there are songs that I like but I'm drawing a blank and "angry girl" isn't a genre that is really searchable. :)

PS, this is the same band that did the Twilight songs, which are kind of "meh" and definately NOT what I'm looking for.

Thanks

Saturday, March 7, 2009

LMAO

TB went to the monster truck show tonight, with my dad. When he got home, he was telling us about it and RF asked him about the mega-saurus (or whatever name they gave the robot dino this year)and he says "yeah, it was there, but it was completely new, totally redone, refurnished, structured settlement..." That was when I got to laughing so hard I couldn't breathe and he couldn't tell us the rest of the story.

Then, I told him he needed to head for bed because we have a busy day tomorrow. I said "in the morning, we are going to the movie then we'll have lunch, then we'll go to K's party". He started dancing around the living room singing "I'm going to a party, I'm going to a party, I'm going to a party, at exactly 2pm" LOL

Friday, March 6, 2009

Too much Star Wars?

Tonight at our meetup, TB was talking to Special K about the Wondertwins and they had the following discussion:
TB: Hey, they look the same. Are they clones?
SK: Well, they have the same DNA so I suppose technically they are clones. They were one and then they split apart into two.
TB: *looking at her seriously and nodding* In a cloning machine?
SK: Well, I suppose, again, technically.
TB: Ok

I'm thinking her might be watching a BIT too much Star Wars LOL

Shopper moms

I'm reaching out to you. I'm looking for little big girl dresses (size 5-6x) with short sleeves, not sleeveless. I'm looking mostly for ply type dress, so nothing fnacy, just plain cotton or whatever.

I'm also looking for girl's sport style sandles (something that she can run and play in, tromp around in the mud, etc, nothing white or "pretty") in size 10 1/2 and boys sport type sandles in 12/13

If anyone sees any of those things anywhere in town, could you drop me a comment? I'm having no luck finding anything and it starting to get to the point that I NEED to find these things :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

You know they die, right?

So I like the song "Love Story" by Taylor Swift



If you don't know, the lyrics are
"Little did I know
That you were Romeo; you were throwing pebbles,
And my daddy said, "Stay away from Juliet."
And I was crying on the staircase,
begging you, 'Please, don't go.'"

And I said,
"Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone.
I'll be waiting; all there's left to do is run.
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess
It's a love story - baby just say 'Yes.'"


The other day, it was on the radio and RF says "Uh, how far do you want to go with this Romeo and Juliet theme? You know they die right?" But the thing about Romeo and Juliet is that it is supposed to be the ultimate love story. They were willing to die instead of be apart.

Personally, I think that it is the ultimate in stupidity. I remember reading it in high school and how all the girls were ga-ga over the the thought of someone loving them enough to kill themselves. I always just rolled my eyes at them and maintained my low opinion of the idiots I went to school with.

I never understood the motivation of R&J. Why did she take the fake poison? If she was old enough to marry, why didn't she tell her parents to suck it, she wasn't marrying Paris? Or why didn't she just suck it up and marry him and have a wild affair with Romeo like every upper class person in the world? (if you've read either "Sex with Kings" or "Sex with the Queen", you'll know what I'm talking about).

And when he thought she was dead, why was his only course of action to kill himself? Had he never heard of grief and maybe suffering through and getting on with his life? I get it. He couldn't bear the thought of life without her but dude, could he be anymore melodramatic?

The only death in the whole thing I even sort of understood was her actually killing herself after she took the fake poison and he died. It was totally her fault that he died (obviously, he did it to himself but if she hadn't been stupid and taken the fake poison, he wouldn't have felt compelled, thus her fault) Dying was an acceptable punishment for her stupidity in the whole thing.

Big thanks to Quigs for correcting my memory about the sequence of events in the story. It has been awhile since I read it (either Freshman or Sophomore year of high school) and obviously, I didn't like it much so I didn't retain the exact details