The Year In Pictures

It’s that time of year again, and this year, I really hope to keep up with ThinkIt’s Year-End Blog Wrap-Up. The prompt for December 1st is the Year in Pictures. I had a hard time reducing it to one moment, so I collected these, in no particular order:

This year, I discovered Pinterest, and have spent a good deal of time trying out ideas from the site and blogging about them.

This year, I discovered Pinterest, and have spent a good deal of time trying out ideas from the site and blogging about them.

Met this guy at PetSmart.

Met this guy at PetSmart.

Met this guy in the back yard.

Met this guy in the back yard.

Over the summer, I spent a week as a counselor at a wizard-themed camp. It was really fun, like working in an acting troupe for a week.

Over the summer, I spent a week as a counselor at a wizard-themed camp. It was really fun, like working in an acting troupe for a week.

We also discovered Breaking Bad this year and got all caught up on all five seasons so far.

We also discovered Breaking Bad this year and got all caught up on all five seasons so far.

Some of the best moments of the year were spent looking at this.

Some of the best moments of the year were spent looking at this.

Aaarghhh.

Aaarghhh.

IMG_1174

Is it me, or has this been the "Year of Bacon"?

Is it me, or has this been the “Year of Bacon”?

Family vacation

Family vacation

I’m surely leaving out many memories of the year, but hopefully they will come back to me as we continue this process over the next few weeks.

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Dress to Impress Day

It’s Spirit Week at Edison’s school, and the theme for today is “Dress to Impress.” Yesterday was “Wear Orange” (It had something to do with an anti-bullying campaign), and Monday was “Dress like a Twin Day.” Edison pulled out his spiffiest duds for today’s occasion. Unfortunately, these include the sport jacket that he wore for his First Holy Communion four years ago. They are a size 8, and he is a firm 12-almost-14. I tried to dissuade him, to tell him that he looked silly, but then an argument began, and I thought, you know what, if he were The Princess, I would have given up at the first protestation. If she’s taught me anything, it’s to pick my battles, and what you are wearing is not worth fighting. So I let him go, even though he kind of looked like this:

Just hoping some of that anti-bullying rhetoric stuck to the ruffians in his middle school population yesterday.


Brave Themed Birthday Party

The Princess recently turned seven, and this year, she wanted her party to be Brave-themed.

So I came up with some ideas that went with the theme. First we got some molded plastic crown goblets, along with gold paper plates, napkins and forks.

Then, I made Will O’ the Wisps, like the one Merida follows into the forest, using battery-operated tea lights, double-sided tape, some blue cellophane wrap and streamers.

First I put the double-sided tape around the edges of the tea lights,

and then I sort of randomly attached the cellophane.

Using more double-sided tape, I attached thin strips of white streamers under the cellophane. This was also good for folding parts of the cellophane to get a sort of rounded, billowy shape.

And then I used some white lanyard (because I couldn’t find the fishing line that I KNOW IS AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE!!) and hung them in a trail to the door of the party. They looked really great blowing in the breeze, and after the sun went down they looked really cool, as the little tea lights flickered in the night air.

I also made crowns (using paper crowns from the craft store and glue-on jewels) for all the girls. For the boys, I got some ear-headbands, though at this time of the year, I had trouble finding inexpensive bears and had to settle for mouse ears. The kids didn’t seem to mind. For goodie bags, I used gold paper bags, and inside of each was a little teddy bear, bullseye cookies from snack bakeshop and a little bow and arrow set that I made using popsicle sticks and Q-Tips. (Directions for those on Practice What You Pinterest) tomorrow.

For cake, I made little cupcakes that looked a bit like the one Queen Elinor eats that turns her into a bear, and these were butterscotch flavored cake with vanilla butter cream icing. To make the cake, I started with a basic white cake recipe, and then I added a box of Jello Butterscotch Pudding mix.

The cupcakes were baked for 20 minutes,

and once they had cooled, I put a ring around the top with vanilla butter cream icing.

Once all the rings had been placed, I took what was left of the frosting and added red food coloring. (I think that the center-circle of the cake in the movie might be red, but I couldn’t justify using the amount of food coloring it would take to make the icing red, thus mine were pink.) The pink icing was used then to fill the center circle on top of the cupcakes.

For games, we had a tug-of war, and I bought a little toy archery set. The kids had a nice competition to see who could hit the target, though it turned out to be more fun than it was competitive.

It was a really fun party, and The Princess had a great day. Though one other thing I forgot to mention: During the party, I set my iPod to play some Bagpipe music via Pandora Radio to go with the theme. One of the guests (or perhaps more than one…) kept turning it off though. Go figure.


Finally, a field trip I wouldn’t mind chaperoning…

The Princess started first grade last week, We had this conversation this morning.

The Princess: Mommy, can you chaperone my field trip?

Me: When is it?

The Princess: Like, three weeks?

Me: What is it?

The Princess: It’s when you come along with my class.

Me: No, I mean, what is it?

The Princess: It’s when you get a group of kids from my class and you take them around and make sure —

Me: I mean, where are you going?

The Princess: Oh. France.


Happy Birthday!

The Princess says, “Mom, it’s almost your birthday! We have to get you a present.”

So, I said, “No you don’t. I don’t need anything. What do I need?” First of all I really don’t need anything, but more importantly, you know, I’m trying to teach her to be less of a Material Girl living in this Material World.

Her answer, proffered without a beat missed: “Make-up.”

Thanks, kiddo.

If The Princess had her way, and she could do my make-up regularly, this is how I would look leaving the house every day.


Stay Starchy, My Friends.

Recently, my oldest child, Edison has discovered the Internet meme. I have two favorites, the “Hey Girl” Ryan Gosling meme…

and “The Most Interesting Man in the World”.

I showed them to Edison, but he didn’t really get them, so we went to Youtube to look at the Dos Equis commercials and help him get the jokes. Yes, funny, he nodded.

Last night at dinner, I put some waffle fries on the side, and Clooney, who usually eschews potatoes of any kind, exhibited a rare excitement, claiming that waffle fries were his favorite.

Manfrengensen and I were, of course, suprised by his reaction, and then Edison, who is usally quite serious, said dryly, “I don’t always eat fries, but when I do, they’re the waffle cut.”  I don’t know, just tickled me for some reason.


Gay Pareeeee

This week Clooney had a geography project due, and he chose to do a Power Point presentation. I’m not much of a helicopter parent, so I let them do their thing and then give it a check the night before it’s due.

Going through his slides, I noticed that he hadn’t done a lot of in-depth research. On the slide marked “EVENTS” for example, he had listed two. One was the Fête de la Musique,  which is a music festival that features free concerts from all genres, though I had to help him fill in those details. Then there was something called Marché des Fiertés, so I asked him what that was. He had no clue, claiming to have just pulled things off the Internet through Google. So I did a little research myself. Turns out that it was the Parisian Gay Pride Parade. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it might be easier for him to field questions from the class about the Tour de France, so I suggested that he just go with that instead.

Okay then.