Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holidays 2012

As you may know, this is the only time of the year I really like to bake, aside from the occasional chocolate chip cookie batch.
My holiday baking this year was an epic fail. I burned the white chocolate I was melting, the caramel cookies were too hard, my toffee bars weren't sweet enough and the sugar cookies had seen better days. The only thing that worked was the Harvest Pumpkin Apple Bread...which should really be called cake, because it has three cups of sugar in it.

Here's a few photos.

Here's more entertaining posts from 2011, Baking by the numbers and 2010, Baking by the numbers, as well as "We can't all be Martha Stewart" from 2009.

Our house from the outside.

Grammy and Aunt Lisa traveled down a couple of weekends before Christmas, to celebrate an early holiday and also Aunt Lisa's birthday!

As for Christmas, It wasn't a white Christmas, like in 2009. (When we got stuck in the snow.)

Our furnace went out on Christmas Eve. With the help of handyman Uncle Steve, we were able to get it back on, and the house kept us warm throughout the night.

Christmas morning.
 Who doesn't need emergency underpants? What a funny gift!
 Legos, of course
We spent Christmas day at mom and dad's, since we knew it might get a little chilly at our house...and what furnace repairman was going to come on Christmas Day?

Our family photo.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First World Problems

Our house is full of First World Problems.

First World Problems is an Internet meme based on a nation of privileged whiners. One of Urban Dictionary’s definitions includes the term “White Whine.” Here's a video that might help explain what first world problems really are.

Here are just a few of our First World Problems:
  • “Mom! The Internet is slow and our videos won’t play right!”
  • “I'm out of coffee...”
  • “You didn’t buy any more Mozzarella Cheez-its at the store? All we have is the regular Cheez-its.”
  • "I don't like any of these pants."
  • "The refrigerator is too full."
  • “I have to unload the dishwasher AND put away my clothes?"
It's a First World Problem:
There is a Blog, a Reddit page and Twitter hashtag dedicated to these problems.

Here is my latest First World Problem:

Even CNN got in on the fun:

Because you see, these are not real problems. Real problems are hunger, poverty and homelessness.

Those of us who do not have to deal with real problems, often forget how much we really have to be thankful for.

As for a national first world problem?
This Telegraph article sums it up: “Obesity killing three times as many as malnutrition.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Resort, family style

We recently spent the weekend at a resort, complete with indoor waterpark, arcade, cool rooms and Magic games with magic wands.

We spent two nights and three days there, and we had a great time. The room was nice, the boys loved the magic game...who doesn’t love walking around with a magic wand that, when pointed at certain objects, unleashes magical powers and treasures?

But the main attraction...the waterpark.

As someone who is not a fan of indoor pools (give me an outdoor pool + a 100 degree sunny day and I could spend all day there), I have a few suggestions for the management of such resorts:

I’m talking air and water temperature. Warm it up. Enough said.

Is it a washcloth or towel? The free towels don’t cover my nine year old. How about forking out a few extra bucks for nice, big fluffy towels?

Adult only lazy river.
The adult only hot tub rocked. It was quiet, warm and you could bring drinks in there. A big sign read “no children allowed.” The lazy river was a different story. My idea of a lazy river is relaxing while I gently sway in the water. The sun is warm, a light misting of water here and there, and I just float along.

This lazy river had none of that. Children swam recklessly. They screamed. They tried to go “up” the lazy river. Cannonballs of water drenched me. And I was cold.

OK, OK...the water on the slides was bearable. And I did have fun going down them with the boys. And they had fun...and that's all that matters, right?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving at Grammy's house in Bates City, with Aunt Hazel, Oma and Papa.

In 2012, we are thankful for:
  • Mobie (Mah-bee) Doodles and Daddy Doodles. I'm thankful for Legos. I'm thankful for my family and friends. I'm thankful for my fish and my skis.
  • I'm thankful for our most precious resource: the refreshing, renewing resource-water.
  • For good health.
  • I'm thankful for weasels, bears and cats! But I'm most thankful for the people around this table.
  • Cameras to record our everyday activities; boys who use their eyes; laughter in the house.
  • I'm thankful for sausage, pepperoni and hot pineapple on my pizza.
  • I am very thankful for all the support of friends and family this past year.

A few photos...

Besides a picture of us skiing...this is the only family picture we have.
With the moms-in-charge.
We haven't changed a bit in 15 years!
 In the woods.
 Aunt Hazel.
 Adam's in charge of the turkey.
Zach is supervising.
A Thanksgiving bonfire is always fun. And jackets!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Soccer: 2007 & 2012

(This is similar to an entry I posted before, but somehow the pictures got corrupted and wouldn't display, so I'm reposting.)

We've been playing soccer for about five years. I ran across a few pictures from the early years. It's fun to compare them to now.

Adam, 2012
 Adam, 2007
Zach and Scott, 2012
 Zach (in blue), 2007
Halftime talk. 2012
Halftime talk, 2007

Oak Park 2007 and now...

October 7, 2007...Oak Park.

Same place...October 14, 2012. Looks to me like they haven't had a haircut since 2007. Or combed their hair. (Oh, and I had the wrong setting on my my pictures didn't turn out all that great.)

What a sweet picture of mom with her little boys...five years ago.

Hmmm...not so sweet anymore.

Walking the trails...2007.

 Mom...can we just go? 2012.

 And we're done...
Our visit to Oak Park has become an annual tradition. See more:
Oak Park 2011
Oak Park 2010

Monday, October 8, 2012

In town getaway

Sometimes it's fun to stay in a hotel...even if you never leave your hometown. Scott had a free one night we packed our bags and headed east...only 30 minutes east, but still!

Swimming...although I heard the water was cold. (This was taken with the new panoramic setting that comes on the iPhone iO6 upgrade.)

Eating at a burger joint we had never been to.

Picking out a movie from the hotel collection. 
And for breakfast...biscuits and gravy, pancakes, cereal, fruit, scrambled eggs, hash browns and sausage.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Zach turned nine this year.

We celebrated as a family with McDonald's hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and apples. He wanted a red velvet cake with white icing and mint chocolate chip ice cream. 

Zach celebrated with his friends too. Pizza...
and cake (this one is half chocolate, half white).

 All Star Sports.
 The next morning, after the sleepover. Biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and fruit smoothie.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Soccer Tournament

Our schedule was seven soccer games in two days, with an eighth planned if Adam's U10 team made it to the finals. Zach's U9 team had four games, three of which were played in 18 hours.

The schedule:

Saturday  11:15a
Saturday  12:30p
Saturday  7:00p
Saturday  8:15p

Sunday  10:00a
Sunday  2:00p
Sunday  4:30p

Monday  9:00a  (finals)

The forecast for Saturday was rain, 100 percent chance until 3 pm. Hurricane Isaac had made it's way up to the Midwest, so we spent three hours in the rain on Saturday morning. My hands were wrinkled from being wet. The van smelled like a wet dog.

Scott had to make a quick trip to Target to get rain jackets and ponchos for all of us.

Here's a photo of the crowd.

Zach and a teammate, watching the U10 game.

Zach, after his game.

Saturday night's games were nice...the rain had stopped and the sun came out.


Zach's team got to play under the lights. That's Zach in the red near the ball.

Sunday was hot. The 10 am game was not bad, but the 4:30 pm game was a furnace.
The umbrella was not for the rain this time...watching Zach's 10 am game.

Headed to the last game. Tired.

There's Adam playing goalie.

After this last game, Adam and I stayed in, while Scott and Zach went out to eat with teammates. 

The fields were turf, which meant they drained really well, but the heat radiated off of them, and they left little bits of tires all over the place. Our hotel room looked like a suitcase exploded...wet socks, uniforms, cleats, shorts, jackets, etc., hung everywhere.

Zach's team took second place in the tournament. Adam's team played great, but were up against some tough teams. Two of their games they lost by a mere one point.

Related: Memorial Day Weekend 2012