Monday, October 25, 2010

Four Weeks Ago...

Four weeks ago, on a Wednesday, we had a big thunderstorm in the early afternoon.

"How can you remember the day of the thunderstorm from four weeks ago?" You might ask.  Don't rush me.  I'm getting there.

Wednesdays are Awana night at our house and many houses of the Alliance Church members.  That means once the boys get home from school and home work is completed, we refresh (okay sometimes learn on the spot) our memory verses for the week, grab a quick dinner, and tell the Big M hello and goodbye as we pass in the doorway on our way to the church.

But that Wednesday night four weeks ago, I received a phone call as the little m's were sitting down to dinner.  NO AWANA!  The storm had knocked the power out at the church.  One should not try to host 95+ kids between the ages of 4-12 with no lights.  We had an unexpected free Wednesday night!

"But how do you remember the specific week?  It was a month ago!"  Hang on, it's coming.

After playing games with all the M's, I asked my wonderful honey to put the boys to bed so I could exercise.  Sure no problem, was his reply.  I took my time getting ready.  You see, I really didn't want to exercise and was trying to come up with a good excuse just to sit on the couch and read my book.

But the Big M said, "Come on. You can do it!  You will feel so much better after your done."  I should know better after 12 years of marriage to listen to the man about exercise.  He loves sit-ups, push-ups, and jogging.  Thinks everyone (especially his loving wife) should exercise to the hilt as often as possible.

SO, mumbling and grumbling, I grabbed my earbuds, my iPhone and headed to the treadmill in the basement.
I began my slow walk to get warmed up and then turned on my exercise app.  It gives me instructions that switch between walking  and jogging.  The more I follow the app over the coarse of a few weeks, the amount of time walking decreases and the amount of time jogging increases.  By the end I an trained to run a 5K (a little over 3 miles).

Ten minutes into my exercise session, my left pinkie finger hits the arm on the tread mill.  Now I was running with my arms swinging at my sides instead of crossing in front of me like one would normally run/walk.  I had assumed this unusual habit so I would not catch the cord to my earbuds and rip them from my ears.  Those of you who have done this can relate: it hurts your ears!

Well, in order to save my ears the pain, my finger took the sacrifice.  When my pinkie hit the treadmill, it snapped.  I thought it was only dislocated due to the slight angle it now had,but the hospital x-rays showed a break from the top of the largest bone in my little finger diagonally to the bottom.  My left pinkie, people!  For those of you who do not know me so well - I am left handed!

For two weeks I had a splint on my left hand that extended from mid-forearm to just past the tip of my pinkie.  I had the use of my thumb and the first two fingers. after that I have had to "buddy tape" my little finger and ring finger together.

Today, I went back for a follow up visit, my finger is still broken.  It has begun to heal, but I still have to buddy tape them during the day for the next six weeks.  I am re-learning how to do many things one handed or at the very least with only eight fingers.  Typing this blog was no easy task.

I will try to post an entry with pictures on a different subject soon.  Right now I must go take an extra strength Tylenol!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Family Game Night

We love games at our house.  Baseball games (as you might have noticed from previous posts) of all ranks, in person or televised.  Football either in the backyard or on the TV.

There are also the individual computer games and competitive Wii games.  My guys are also discovering the fun of pencil and paper games.

But the most enjoying games we play at our house are the family night, old fashioned, low tech board games.  Card games like Uno and Skip-Bo also fall in this category.

Last night we played Sorry.  Now the little m’s get bored with the usual hoppers and that come with our games.  Even the wonderful uniquely shaped Monopoly pawns have lost their appeal for the younger set.  But my guys are thinkers.

Moments after the Sorry board is laid out on the table, they disappear upstairs to their rooms.  After much shuffling and sorting, deliberating and deciding, they reappear each carrying their team for the battle ahead.

 Mikey arranges his four Lego men carefully on the green starting circle to go over strategy.  

  Matt has chosen three Lego dudes and a Go-Go Crazy Bone for his small army and settle them on the yellow circle.  My hubby and I settle for the plain regular red and blue hoppers and the game begins.

I will say the little faces on the board brought an added level of entertainment to the game.  As opposing Lego forces passed each other on the board a miniature fight would break out.  The two would wrestle for a moment before each returned to their respective squares on the board.  At one point, one of the more mature plain hoppers had to break it up.  The poor guy caught a fist to the nose (as he had no arms to deflect the wayward punch).  When the dust settled and all hoppers returned to their squares, the game continued.

It was a fun night with much laughter.  Matt had a wonderful come from behind victory, while my plain hoppers just couldn’t keep up at all with the younger set.  The Legos returned to their rightful places in the guys’ rooms to discuss plans for the next outing.

From now on I am going to keep my eye open for some younger, faster characters to be my hoppers in the next game.  Does Barbie come in miniature?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Birthday Cake

Early August a friend asked if I could make her daughter's birthday cake for a September 12 party. I was thrilled!  I had just found a recipe online to make my own marshmallow fondant and wanted to try it out. I asked if this would be okay for her and since i could make it the desired color, it was a go!

The order: chocolate cake with butter cream frosting under purple marshmallow fondant with three "The Littlest Pet Shop" characters on top.  

Let the fun begin!

Did I mention the karate tournament we had on September 11? That is a post for another time, but it does factor in to the cake.  I didn't bake the cake until after the tournament because I wanted it to still be fresh.  We got home from the tournament around 7:00pm. 

You cannot decorate a warm cake so by the time the cake baked and cooled, I was just beginning to frost the cake at 10:30pm.

Once the crumb coat of frosting was on, it was time for the fondant.  It works a lot like pie crust except change the flour to powdered sugar.  I rolled out the fondant large enough to cover the half sheet cake with some to spare and realized I was going to need a few extra hands to move the purple sheet of sweetness onto the cake.  So at 11:00pm my groggy, wonderful honey comes in to help with the transfer from the counter to the cake.  I am really sorry I do not have any pictures of this, but we both had our hands full!

Once the fondant was smoothed into place, the detailed decorating began!  The requested characters were a bunny, a puppy, and a turtle.  The birthday girl had graciously let me borrow her small figures to act as models.

The final result (with models):

Here is a closer look.  Glad you had a fun birthday Olivia!

Monday, October 4, 2010

First Day of School

First Day of School for Mikey.

He is headed to the bus for his first day of 3rd grade.  The morning routine and getting on the bus is old hat for him.

The next day was Matt's first day.

He started kindergarten this year.  Full day.

This is the first year he has had to get up early, get dressed, eat breakfast, ready his backpack and catch the bus.  He was very excited to join his brother on the adventure of school.

Once all supplies were gathered and lunches were packed, my little men headed to the bus stop.
Like a well seasoned veteran, he followed big brother to await the yellow coach that would transport them to the wonderful land of learning.

I was so proud of my boys.  Mike made sure his little brother was informed, and Matt showed no fear or hesitation.  He was ready for school! 

As for myself, I was excited too.  I couldn't wait to hear the stories at the end of the day from both of my young men.