Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day

I only had one child taking Valentines to school this year so I went a little crazy.  I found some really cute printable cards and made some candy to go along with it. 

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We tried to make owl eyes, but they look more like mini cupcakes to me.  Anyway, they tasted yummy.  I got Snyder's peanut butter pretzel sandwiches and toped them with a Hershey Hug then popped them into the oven for a minute or two then put an M&M on top. 

Kyle and Lana brought these for their teachers.

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I found the idea here.  They were supposed to be homemade bath bomb.  Of course I didn’t start on it until the day before so I thought I could use store bought bath bombs.  Well after searching several stores I realized I wasn’t going to find them and switched it to foot soak.  Doesn’t go along with the whole bomb thing as well but I’ll get over it, I think. 

Since I was a kid I can remember pizza places doing the heart shaped pizza thing, but since I moved here this is the first year I’ve seen it advertised in Vegas.  A few years ago I called up a small pizza place (Seattle Dan’s Pizza)  and asked them if they could make a heart pizza for me and they agreed,  Here it is:

DSCF0049  They did such a cute job, I love the arrow through it, and I’ve never seen one as cute since.  I think I’ll have to call them up again this year for the kids valentine’s surprise.   This year the grown ups are going to The Melting Pot for our Valentine date.   As I was putting this blog together Ronnie has been emailing me and this is one thing he sent me:

Love is like a cheese fondue - as long as you stir it, it stays fresh. If you don't stir it, it gets hard and crusty. LOL. Just off the top of my head. I’m a genius.

I know what you are saying…what a romantic…and what a humble guy.  What can I say,  I’m one lucky girl. 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

LV vs MO

Well life has been a bit crazy this past month.  The whole family made a trip out to Missouri to visit some family for a week.  We left on Saturday and came home on Saturday.  Then when we returned home the kids had a three day week.  Normally this would be great, but when you have a week’s worth of makeup work to do in three days it’s not so great.  Now I know my kids didn’t have to finish all their makeup work in three days but I kind of had the feeling that I was going to be going back to Missouri before too long and I wanted to make sure everything got handed in. 

My feeling was right.  Thursday morning Ronnie’s Grandmother passed and we started looking at plane tickets.  We booked some tickets for 12:30pm that day.  The kids were going to stay with my parents.  So we needed to tell them why we were leaving before school that morning.  I hated doing that because Kyle is so tenderhearted and I just knew that it would effect his whole school day.  To my surprise he was ok, he said that he felt a lot better about Grandma’s situation since he talked to Sister Turner ( his friend down the street that is in her 90th year).  How grateful I am to her!  So we drop our kids off at school and head home to pack. 

We leave for the airport at 10:30.  We had an hour delay on the plane because of some light that wouldn’t turn off on the plane.  Haven’t these people ever dealt with a check engine light before?  You unplug the battery wait 15 minutes then plug it back in and your good to go.  It took them almost an hour before they turned everything off on the plane waited a few minutes then turned it back on and we were good to go.  I really didn’t mind too much, I was just glad we weren’t traveling with kids.  We had a 3 hour 15 minute flight then we had to get a rental car.  Then we had a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive to Ronnie’s parent’s house.  It was 9pm when we arrived in his hometown.  Long day of traveling. 

While we were in Missouri I noticed some differences in lifestyle. 

First off, what people consider “nice” cars are way different.  For example, in Vegas a think a nice car is one that has all the bells and whistles and is fairly new.  In Missouri a nice car is one that reeks of gasoline, vibrates the floorboard so much your feet start to tickle, and supposedly goes really fast. 

This is one of Ronnie’s old cars that his cousin now drives.  And if you wondering yes, I had to go for a ride in it.  What is it with guys and cars???


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The next thing that is different in these two regions is cracks.  I never knew this until I came back from Missouri.  The faint of heart please skip this part.  Sorry I have to share my experience with someone.  Ok, so we have all seen plumber’s crack before, right?  Well in Ronnie’s family there is this one habitual perpetrator of this crime to society.  I got to hear a story of what happened at the last family reunion, let me share.  I will change names in order to protect the safety of all parties involved.  Alisa was appalled by the plumber’s crack that appeared before her eyes and devised a plan to maybe make the perpetrator more aware of his heinous crime.  She told all the kids around that she had a fun new game.  She told them to try to flip a quarter in uncle Mock’s crack.  Sadly she had no takers, imagine that.  Now how this is different in Vegas?  Well a few days after we returned home I was in line at Sam’s Club and I saw what I’m calling a front crack!  Unbelievable!  Inconceivable!  This woman inline ahead of me had on the lowest low rise jeans I had ever seen and I had to do a double take to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.  Then I just wanted to run away, far far away.  Oh the horror, I will never be the same.  There will be no pictures for this section!

imageThe last difference that I’ll be pointing out in this post are biscuits.  I think what most people think of when they hear biscuit is a light and airy biscuit.  They are golden brown on top and light in the middle.  The bottoms are light brown and not too greasy.  They are easily split open with a fork and just sturdy enough to hold butter and jelly.  Unless they are from Europe. Something that looks like this:


11 27 08_0073  I don’t know if this is a family thing or Southeast Missouri thing but in Ronnie’s family biscuits resemble more of Indian Fry Bread to me.  The bottoms of the biscuit are fried.  Don’t get me wrong they taste good, but the first time I was served them I was looking for some honey or powder sugar to put on them. 

Even though we went back to Missouri for a funeral we did have a great time catching up with family.  Family make us whole, the good, the bad, the less desirable, they all have their place in a family. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gus What We Did


While we all look forward to Groundhog Day on February 2nd and the forecast for an early spring from the two greatest weatherhogs on the planet - Wiarton Willie in Wiarton, Ontario and Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the truth behind this 200 year-old tradition is oftentimes forgotten.

Long before the advent of Groundhog Day on February 2nd,  the Romans observed a similar event thousands of years ago on the exact same day. Rather than use the North American groundhog, the Romans used the hedgehog.

“If during hibernation, he (the hedgehog) looks out of his den on 2nd February and sees his shadow it means there is a clear moon and six more weeks of winter so he returns to his burrow.”

The only difference between this ancient event and the present day version (aside from the hedgehog, of course) is the fact that the Romans would look to see if the hedgehog saw its shadow under a clear moon at night.

Here in North America, where we have no indigenous species of hedgehog, we replaced the hedgehog with the native groundhog.  To this day “Punxsutawney Phil” and “Wiarton Willie” battle it out to see who is the better weather forecaster, but little do they or their handlers know that the original prognosticator of spring was a hedgehog.


Today (because we are big nerds) we celebrated a bit of the old tradition.   We made a hedgehog cake in honor of Groundhog Day. 

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We named him Gus short for Augustus in honor of his Roman heritage.  I don’t know, but I think we have all grown too found of him to slice him up and eat him.  I wonder if Duff from Ace of Cakes ever has this dilemma?