Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Aha! Use

One of my favorite magazines, Real Simple, has an article called "Aha! Uses", which gives readers ideas of different ways to use common household objects. For example, wrapping napkins around a paper towel tube when storing them so they don't get wrinkled. (Secure them with fabric hair elastics.)
For those of you not familiar with my Sunday cooking experiences, let me just say they must be cursed. Back when we prepared meat, I did fine most days, but on Sundays it was either raw or overcooked and tough. With beans, I can cook them all day on Sunday, and they will still be crunchy. Well this past Sunday was no different. I tried a recipe from my trusty bread maker recipe book, and the picture to the left shows what I got. I don't even know what to call it. Incidentally, I think I discovered the recipe for Grape Nuts. I double and triple checked the recipe, and yes, I had followed it, except that I also add dough enhancer. I'm pretty sure this isn't how the dough was supposed to be enhanced!
On Monday, #2 discovered a handout from her teacher that had been buried in her school bag. She was supposed to create a model of a habitat, complete with soil, animals, and plants...and it was due Wednesday. She thought a coral reef would be a fun habitat. So we started brainstorming materials she could use. I thought of tearing up and painting a sponge...and then I turned around and saw my "bread". It was perfect! She painted it with the colors of the rainbow, and it looks just like coral.
This was a really fun project for her. The picture on the bottom is kind of blurry, but the effect with the foil-lined lid on the shoebox felt very underwatery. This may be the first school project that I'm not inclined to throw away. Besides, it can double as food storage, right?

So there you go. My other aha! use for this bread was as cereal. And actually, my Grape Nuts "recipe" wasn't too bad with warm milk!

I bet my family can't wait to see the rolls I'm bringing for Thanksgiving!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Accruing My 15 Minutes

My kids think I'm famous!

This morning I tuned the radio to an FM station that I rarely listen to in hopes of waking up my kids with the upbeat, top 40s music. They were asking listeners to phone in with their favorite "bad" movie. Movies that we love in spite of the horrible reviews. I couldn't resist calling in for Kent. One of his favorite movies is Pee Wee's Big Adventure. We only own a handful of movies, and that is one of them. When I gave that title to the radio host, he just laughed a guttural laugh. I don't think he knew what to say! The conversation turned to the Tequila scene (see below if you have five minutes to waste), and I mentioned that Kent does a pretty good impression of Pee Wee with that dance. We talked for maybe 30 seconds.

Anyway, they recorded the conversation and played it on the radio a few minutes later. After my kids heard it, they were convinced that I am now famous--and so are they by inheritance I guess. It got me thinking. I've been in the newspaper once or twice, on radio twice, and on TV once. (It was a public service commercial on a very small, local TV station when I was a kid.) So how about the rest of you? Any interesting (or dull) moments in the limelight?

Now go ahead and waste five minutes. Enjoy--or not!

P.S. Did you know this is a Tim Burton movie? I'm glad he's improved through the years!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lowering My Expectations

A speaker in Sacrament Meeting today voiced an idea I've had lately, which is basically that people who expect perfection have little patience with others'--or even their own--shortcomings. I've been thinking that my expectations for my family members are too high and I would be happier if I changed those expectations. For example, if I expect that my youngest will make one mess each day that will require more than a few minutes of my time to clean up, then I won't be so upset when he pours spaghetti all over the first floor of our home and walks around on it to hear it crunch. (When he did this last week, I had to remember to be grateful that at least it was dry noodles.) And when the day comes that he doesn't make any big mess, I can be especially grateful for that! Of course there will be days like the day of the spaghetti incident when he will move from one mess to the next. That day I found him playing in the used cat litter box while I was vacuuming crushed pasta, and after I washed his hands I caught him sucking toilet water out of the bowl through a giant Pixie Stick tube. At this point I can't lower my expectations to three messes per day, and hopefully he'll lose interest in cat and people potties before I have to. But confronting the one big mess, and hoping it's the one and only mess of the day, makes it a lot easier to deal with and exercise greater patience.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Too Bad Halloween Is Over

This is hilarious! I wonder if I could get one of my kids to hold still enough to try this and then to jump or scream after two or three minutes. Enjoy!