Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My New Go-To

I've spent waaayyyy too many hours icing cupcakes, decorating cookies, and making insane food projects. (Rice Krispie sushi, anyone?)

But as of today, I have the perfect school party food.
It was beyond easy, the kids loved it, and is now my new official go-to. 
I figure I can just change the candy out with each season.
popcorn, mini pretzels, and candy corn mix

As for JR's school party...I guess it was his ninja like prowess that landed him the coveted seat between two of the cutest girls in the class.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pink is so Their Color

Of course I love the color pink!
 
Except when it pertains to my children's eyes.
Yep.
We've got two raging cases of pink eye in our house.

But on a positive, and very Jan-like note, Kyle and Reed went to the doctor in full costume.
Their Halloween costumes came yesterday, and they haven't really wanted to take them off.  I seriously thought I was going to have to let them sleep in them last night.

And if you're wondering what in the world Reed is wearing...
Well, Poor Thing has a full outfit under his muscle shirt. Being he's Ayi's favorite, she wouldn't let him out of the house without two layers of clothing. 
(It all goes back to Yin and Yang. I'll give you a quick and easy lesson:  
Lots of layers- good. 
Flip-flop wearing - worse thing ever.) 
She thinks Kyle cries too much, so he was okay in a short-sleeved shirt.  Sometimes it's not so comfortable being the favorite twin.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

This One's a Do Over

Alrighty, so yes, I know I've already made you look at Great Pumpkin Patch pictures.
But seriously, the pictures my friend, Niki, took make my pictures look like a three year old took them.

Soooo enjoy.  Pumpkin Patch Photo Ops Take II 
This time by a professional:




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Mode Day #1

After looking at the calendar, I think we're in full on Halloween mode from here on out. That, and Kyle and Reed both begged to wear their train engineer costumes out in public yesterday.  Thankfully, JR was super in to trains, so I actually have two costumes!
Jason decided last night after dinner would be a good pumpkin carving night. Since I couldn't find our carving template book (and it was a school night) we just went with the ol' skool pumpkin design.  JR, and his dreams of pumpkin grandeur, was not happy with this turn of events, so I'm sure a more elaborate pumpkin will be carved...just as soon as I can find the cheat sheets  patterns.


JR is still firmly holding on to his irrational fear of pumpkin guts.

Reed and Kyle do not seem to have inherited the aversion to pumpkin innards gene.


Kyle was seriously excited about the situation.

Finished product
I call it "Simplistic Retro Chic".

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You'd Have Thought We Were Living on the Ice Pack

After a really warm fall (which this Texan appreciates immensely) the cool/cold weather showed up yesterday.  Ayi kept telling me, "Colorado leng! Colorado leng!" (Colorado is cold.) 

Now had Ayi grown up in Hong Kong, Shanghai, or even Houston, I'd understand that comment.  But she's from Beijing.  And I'm pretty confident Beijing hasn't been featured on Travel Channel's tropical paradise list lately.  Sure Beijing doesn't get a lot of snow, but that's because it has a desert climate, not because it's warm in the winter.  So how cold is Beijing?  Let's just say when we moved into our house the first week of February, the water in the toilet was frozen. Um-hum. 

But even better than her being from Beijing, she actually spent about 25 years in Harbin, China.
Never heard of Harbin?
Yes you have.
You know all the pictures you see all over the Internet of snow and ice carvings?  Yeah, those are done in Harbin.  Harbin, China: 300 miles from the Russian border and home of the International Snow and Ice Festival.

We all visited in 2005, and I can honestly say I've never been so cold in my life.  Jason and I paid about $10 a piece for a horrible cup of hot chocolate just to get inside a building to warm up.  (And at that point we'd have paid $100 a cup.)  It was so cold that my hand would ache the few seconds I had a glove off to try and take a picture. And all the while, she'd walk around wearing a jacket and no gloves.

(I actually have better pictures, but that would require search and scanning, and this one was conveniently on Facebook. And don't judge my boots. Ayi told me to buy them when we got to Harbin. They cost $5 and my feet were never cold. I switched to my expensive Timberlands one day and I thought my toes were going to fall off.)

So this morning when she came to me and said, "Outside. Very, Very, Very, Very Cold." I knew we were having some pretty serious weather if:
A. She was speaking to me in English. (She wanted to make 100% sure I knew exactly what she was saying.)
and
B. She was cold!

I layered and bundled JR the best I could, and searched frantically for a pair of gloves that matched.  I sent them out the door to the bus stop and went to check the temperature, fully expecting it to be in the negatives.

Temperature at 7:10 AM?
27

Now sure 27 is cold to a Texan, but the way she was carrying on I was fully expecting to see 7, or even 17.
And then I realized that, of course, she hadn't been cold. 
But she didn't want her baby, JR, cold.
His Chinese grandmother is still convinced I have no idea how to raise him. I honestly think she thought if she hadn't poured on the dramatics I'd have sent him out in shorts!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Power Play for the Photo Ops

We rode the Charlie Brown Express out to the Great Pumpkin Patch today, and I'm pretty sure I left no photo op unturned.

Reed and Ayi in the Narrow Gage Railroad gift shop. 

Kyle on the train, but in the wrong car since we didn't know how to read our tickets correctly.

Happy to make it to the right car.

Picture of Jason

 300 lb goat
(I actually don't think photo ops come much better than that!)

Picture of my child eating fruit.

Picture of another child belonging to me eating fruit.
(Proving I'm meeting the health needs of 2/3 of my children.)

Hay maze particiapant

 Pumpkin selection
And the winners are...



And hanging with our celebrity guest hosts.

(And FYI, these aren't their Halloween costumes. I was a neglectful mom and didn't order costumes until this week.  Kyle and Reed are sporting JR's hand-me-down dress-up clothes, which I threw on them at the last second.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm About to Pop

Here's what Jason, JR, and I have been doing lately. 


After what felt like a cross country drive yesterday afternoon to pick up all this Cub Scout popcorn, we spent the morning organizing it.  I am married to an engineer (by degree anyway), so the idea of just stacking it up and letting everybody come find their own stuff wasn't even considered.  Hope Jason doesn't want to use his car anytime soon!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cupcakes of Doom: The Final Chapter

Well it turns out JR did win a prize (actually some really nice prizes) for the cupcakes.  (You know the ones...the worst tasting cupcakes ever.)

I got an email this week that JR should come to the Area Builders Association dinner meeting (the sponsors of the Cupcake Wars to promote the Parade of Homes) at the Strater Hotel Theater to receive his award. (If you've ever been to Durango, then you know the Strater is basically one of the fanciest places we have.)

I was getting more and more nervous about revealing myself in public in relation to these cupcakes. (Especially at a big meeting at the schmancy Strater.) But I figured, ohhh surely they won't remember JR's cupcakes.

I was wrong.

The MC of the evening had actually been one of the cupcake judges, but she wasn't saying anything about any of the other winners. She was strictly calling out names and prizes. (At this point I was still holding on to hope and a shred of dignity.)

Now, you know I love a good embellishment of a story if it needs a little spicing up, but I promise you...this is exactly what she said:

And our winner for Most Creative Cupcake is... JR Ingersoll
(JR walks forward)
Now let me tell you something about JR's cupcakes.  They were baked inside ice cream cones, and each one had a little surprise inside for us (a mini MilkyWay).
I'm telling you, his cupcakes were really something......
(super long pause)
......interesting.

And there you have it.  The word "interesting" confirms that these poor people were very aware that they had tasted the worst cupcakes ever.

But JR, being JR (and exactly like me), was thrilled with his win.  He was telling anybody who would listen how he plans to be a chef and open a restaurant that only serves meat and desserts. (Because why would anybody want to eat a disgusting fruit or vegetable?)  And how he has big plans to enter the gingerbread house contest that is supposedly taking place in November.  Awe-some.

But seriously, this is one happy kid. 


Oh, and as for prizes, he won a free movie ticket (score!) and a gift certificate to the local candy store. Pretty sweet! (Yes, JD, I went there with the pun.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Funny Pages

I usually don't mix my Facebook updates and my blog posts.  I like to keep them in two separate worlds.  But one of my status updates has had me thinking. 

Here's what I said:
Not a fan of The New Scooby Doo's "upgrade" of Velma. Velma doesn't need (nor would she want) fringy bangs, new glasses, or a bow in her hair! I've always identified with Velma. Although, in college, a guy told me I looked like Peppermint Patty. (I think I still may need counseling for that one.)

Here's the new Velma

And here's the old Velma, as modeled by me, on two different Halloweens.


I'm a Velma, right? 
I mean, there's no way anybody would ever mistake me for Peppermint Patty. 
 Please, the girl wears sensible shoes...she doesn't even own a pair of platforms.

But, as we women sometimes do, I started to obsess.
I couldn't help but replay the Peppermint Patty Day over and over.

*Flashback* 
I was finishing up getting my teaching certificate (I was already teaching, just needed my certificate) in a summer school "technology class". (Which is now laughable. I think we learned how to do email and power point.) This was before digital cameras, so we had to take a picture of ourselves with the computer camera and then print it out.  There was a guy standing behind me in line at the printer, and when mine came out he said, "Wow. You look like Peppermint Patty." 
No laugh, no giggle, no sarcasm. Just fact. 
It was like he was thinking "This chick looks like a cartoon character that may, or may not, have gender identity issues."
 *End Flashback*

Now being that I'm such a mature adult, I knew there was no way I really looked like Peppermint Patty.
  Too bad I didn't have any pictures from that time to confirm. 
And then I remembered.
My opera singer buddy, JD, had posted some pictures of his birthdays past on his blog this year.  There was a picture of me taken the exact summer the Patty comment was made! 
With excitement I went to check out the picture again...knowing there would certainly be no Peppermintness in me at all.

Oh. my. goodness.

I did look like Peppermint Patty.
 Same hair cut, same baggy shirt, and since it was summer, I'm sure the exact same freckles. 
(Why did I ever think XXL was an appropriate T-shirt size for me?)

And besides my Peppermint Pattiness, I have two other things to say about this photo:

1. (And most important) Praise the Lord for highlights.
2. Is it just me, or do all of us in this picture look the same age?
JD is in the front and it was his 14th birthday. His brother, Matt, would have been 17ish, and I was 24.
(And yes, You're right! If I was 24 then the picture was taken last year!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And Now It's 'Beyond' Ridiculous

My friend, Cassidy, sent me a text picture today. 
Here's what it was:


So now it seems I have to add Bed Bath &Beyond to "my list" too. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soooo Close

I almost, almost, almost hit my half marathon goal and finished in "middle place".  I guess I could say I came in middlish place if I really wanted to stretch it. I came in 391 out of 721 females (I'm just leaving the guys out of the equation) with a time of 2:19:22. 

This half was way easier than the first one I did, but I'm not sure which of these major factors played in the most:
1. Was it that this one was at 5,000 ft and the first one was at 10,000 ft
2. Yesterday was absolutely perfect weather, while the other one was in 40 degree rain
3. And, Of course, the lack of mountains, much less a hill, was a huge advantage

Here I am about to leave the hotel for the race.  Reed wouldn't pose with me, he was too busy watching a deer hunting show on TV.  (What can I say, Kyle is mine and Reed is Jason's.)

My starting line self portrait.

My view from the starting line.  This is what it looks like when you're 5'2" in a crowd of 1,300 plus runners.

Here I come! Heading for the finish! 
When I crossed the finish line the announcer said, "Number 1350 is still smiling."

This is the first picture we took after the race, it was everything I could do to hold Kyle.

My parents drove all the way from East Texas to watch me run. By this time, Kyle and Reed were making me hold them both and I thought my legs were about to go out on me.

So we had a seat to take pictures!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Finished!

I've got my finishers pin and my congratulatory note from Kyle and Reed, so that must mean I'm finished. My handy dandy Garmin watch said I averaged 10:38 minute miles, which I'm happy with. I'm anxious to see where I finished. I'm really hoping for middle of the pack!

Distracting Myself

My run starts in about 20 minutes, and I'm inside the ABQ Convention Center trying to keep my mind off what I'm about to do. Doing races with friends is so much more fun! I have nobody to talk to about cute (and not cute) outfits. Speaking of outfits, check out my running sleeves that came with my new tank. My favorite part is the thumb hole. Loving these things!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nervous Energy

I'm in ABQ tonight since I'm running in the Duke City half marathon in the morning. I've got all my stuff laid out like it's a school night, and now I'm not sure what to do with myself. A margarita sounds fantastic right about now, but I'm pretty sure that's not the best idea.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Back in Business

In August we received heart breaking news.
Our favorite Chinese restaurant was abandoning ship to board the sushi train.  It was such bad news that JR cried.
Literally.
(The child has never asked to go to McDonald's in his life, but asks constantly for us to take him to eat Chinese.)
We've been making due with the other restaurants in town, but it just wasn't the same.

Tonight we were walking by our old favorite place and our Ayi recognized it from the last time she was here.  It was too difficult for us to explain that they weren't serving Chinese food anymore and was now a sushi restaurant, so we went in.
And then the heavens began singing...

Shanghai Pearl is serving Chinese food again!

It is now a Chinese/disco/bar/sushi restaurant under "new management".  (The same guy who used to own it still does.)

Just check out these happy faces back at The Pearl!



















And what a welcome back party we threw...JR acted like he was going to throw up because Ayi accidentally put a piece of sushi on his plate, Kyle broke a rice bowl in a million pieces, and Reed spilled soy sauce all over the table.  Woohoo, We love you Shanghai Pearl!