Tuesday, February 19, 2008

279 Pieces of Candy

Oh, wo is me.

We attended the Cub Scout's annual Blue and Gold dinner. They had a count-how-much-candy in the jar contest. Lester and I, with unusual self-control, said we weren't going to guess. However, Alexis did. She wanted to guess 78, but I told her there were way more than that. I wrote down 307 on her piece of paper, and she put her name on it.

Guess who won?

Guess which household, in addition to leftover Halloween candy, Valentine's Day candy, AND potty-training-reward candy now has an additional 278 pieces of candy? (Alexis ate one already.)

The only thing that made it worthwhile was the look of sheer joy on her face when she one. Oh, for a camera. Oh, that I were Mahina who practcially has her camera surgically attached to her hands. The closest reaction I can show you is the one she had two years ago when she got her Dora dollhouse for Christmas:

Maybe I should just remember whose candy it is.

But, then again, what parents have never helped themselves ("steal" is such a strong word) to the kids' candy after they were safely asleep?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Singing the Red Velvet Cake Blues

Happy late Valentine's Day to everyone! We had an adventurous holiday, as you will see. My goal was to bake a red velvet cake for Lester...from scratch. Not being a baker extraordinnaire, the results were interesting.

Alexis and I went to Winco to get the ingredients. They were out of red food coloring, so Alexis opted for blue. That was fine with me. Blue is Lester's favorite color, so a blue velvet cake, while not appearing very appetizing, would taste the same.

We started to make the cake. The recipe called for 1/3 cup of shortening. Not having shortening, I substituted butter. However, I thought that a stick of butter was only 1/4 cup, but as you all know, it is 1/2 cup. So, instead of 1/3 cup of shortening, I added 1/2 cup of butter.

The yellow butter and blue food coloring turned my cake batter teal, the exact shade, I kid you not, of our Maxima. Plus, the batter was thick and gloppy. Only somewhat daunted, I poured it into two cake pans and let my two teal cakes bake for 28 minutes.
That afternoon, we made the cream cheese frosting. The kids wanted it to match the cake, so it ended up a bright turquoise. We finished the damage by sprinkling it wth blue sugar crystals.
Here is the result:

(Er, thanks...I think.)

Lester said, "At least it came from the heart." I think that is his tactful way of telling me it didn't taste very good. But I really appreciate that he appreciated my effort. :-)

Here are a couple of cake close-ups.

(Put your sunglasses on for this one!)

(Note the eerie resemblance in color to our Nissan Maxima.)

The cake, however, was consumed eagerly by two little kids who, as far as treats go, don't have very discriminating palates.

(I can't decide if I like this or not.)

(See, Mommy, all gone!)

To be completely honest, after mixing the cake with Double Fudge Brownie ice cream, the cake wasn't so bad for the adults, either.

And this is what my thoughtful hubby got me. After what I went through this Valentine's Day, I deserve it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Goodbye, Yoggi

Lester took the cat to the vet last night and was told he was shooting clots. Basically, he was having the same problem that people have when they suddenly have an aneurysm and die without warning. The vet said there was nothing we could do, so after eight-and-a-half years with our beloved kitty, we had to say good-bye.

Here is a tribute to Yoggi, in pictures:

A relaxed Yoggi, BK (before kids)

No, really, people, you can't have my autograph. A picture is sufficient.

When I had my girlish (or boyish) figure, I could squeeze into tight places.

It's hard to say who's more relaxed...Yoggi or Alexis (Spring '02)

The staring contest
Um, hello, people, can I get down now?

I mean, really, how many pictures do we have to pose for?

Caring for Brandon is hard work!

We love you, Yoggi. Rest in peace.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Now My Cat is Broken

You've all read about my broken car. Now, on the eve of taking our car to be repaired, Yoggi breaks down. He meows and pants and he drags his right hind leg. So, after a few calls to emergency vets in the area (they are few and FAR between), my wonderful hubby stuffed our fat cat into his ancient cat carrier and is going to TUALATIN for me.

Just a word on cat carriers. Growing up, we did the cat-in-the-pillowcase trip to the vet. Now, however, there are some DELUXE cat carriers, such as this gem:

- It has a base that you can buckle in (I never even used a seatbelt as a kid.)

- An attached feed tray (My attached feed tray is my hand.)

- Small top door for feeding, comforting, or leashing your pet. (That would be the equivalent of someone sticking their hand through my moon roof, patting my head, and throwing me an animal cracker.)

- And last, but not least, a padded waterproof mat (If I need to go that bad, I will make a pit stop. Seriously, this could be a useful feature.)
No, our poor cat is in the cat carrier equivalent of a Ford Pinto. The color is even similar.
But no matter what poor Yoggi has to ride in, I just hope he comes home in good health (and that he doesn't cost too much to fix).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's No Contest...I Have the Sweetest Kids in the World

I had a late night. At a fabulous baby shower at Bridget's for Jen Crosby, someone referred to the Pioneer Woman's blog and how they enjoyed reading her love story. Then I came across the same blog on Darilyn's blog. So, needless to say, I was hooked.

After some fishing through the Pioneer Woman's blog, I found the first chapter in meeting the Marlboro Man and steadily read through the next six or so chapters. The clock on the computer kept ticking toward midnight, but I just couldn't stop!

I finally went to bed but couldn't sleep, so it was probably close to 1 a.m. before I succummbed to slumber. Anyway, I got up about 8:15 and fed the kids and the cat and tumbled back into bed. A persistent voice in my head said I should stay up, but I was SO tired.

So, I dozed off and on for a while. I kept hearing the microwave door slam shut. So I told the kids to stay out out of the kitchen. Then my annoying alarm clock beeped at 10 a.m. (I know, some of us have the rough life). The sun was streaming through my window, and I KNEW I should get up. But you know how it is when you sleep too long. You just feel gloggy and groggy and totally NOT wanting to get out of bed.

Then who should appear but Alexis carrying a cookie sheet with an almost-empty glass of milk (two-thirds spilled on the stairs, but I didn't care), a bowl of cottage cheese, and a bowl of oatmeal! It was breakfast in bed! My goopy, lazy bedhead feeling fled because of the goodness of my sweet little girl.

I love her so much!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Moment for Reflection

Yesterday Letser's stepfather passed away from health complications. Coming on the heels of President Hinckley's death, my mind has been somewhat consumed with deeper things. I only saw my step-father-in-law a few times during our marriage, and I never met President Hinckley in person, but their deaths make me think about my own life:

- Where do I focus most of my time and energy?

- Do I treat my husband and children with the same respect I give to perfect strangers?

- Do I make time in my life for real prayer, scripture study, and reflection?

- How will my children remember their mother? Bridget was laughing the other night that now her kids are at the stage that they can remember their childhood, so she needs to be a good mother. B, I think you're the best mom! But you did bring up a valid point!

- Do I make time to laugh every day? Mahina's my laughing buddy. Good thing I see her a lot! :-)

- Do I take time to share, like Sarah Smith?

- Do I take time to be grateful, for things like all my other blogging buddies, my family, my talents, my health, my warm house, my five senses, my cat, dark chocolate, and the gospel?

Whoa, it's getting deep in here.