Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who Cares About the Leaves?

We have two smallish trees in our backyard.  They lost their leaves  this fall (as most trees do) and I did not do a thing to remove their fallen leaves from our yard.  

Today it snowed and the kids made a snowman.  

Because I love to take photos of everything my people do, I am sitting here kicking myself for not raking the leaves.  I believe that this snowman would have been far more photogenic without the hundreds of leaves poking out of his every body part.

Leaves aside ... this is the first snowman that my kids have ever built on their own.  They are feeling mighty proud right about now.  They do not care one lick about those leaves.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble Gobble (and ... My Dog Ate My Homework!)



You are looking at a dog with a plan.  
He might not look too crafty, but he's sly like a fox!


We celebrated our Thanksgiving in grand old style.  Just the five of us with enough food to feed all of you.  We liked being here alone.  We barely got out of our jammies in time for dinner.  

It was a good day.

We started the day with "Big Breakfast" (as we like to call it) with a twist ... 

Gobble Gobble!

After breakfast, Sarah helped me make the pumpkin pies.  She is a great helper.  She was surprised to learn that there are more ingredients than just pumpkin in a pumpkin pie.  

Her first comment about it? "I guess then we'd just have mushy cooked pumpkin in a pie shell."  Then, after we started adding the rest of the ingredients she said, "Now I know why pumpkin pie tastes so delicious!  It has TONS of sugar in it!"

After the pies were in the oven, Paige and Nate stepped in to help make the egg stuffing.  

Their job was to make bread crumbs.

This job had three steps:
1.  Tear bread
2.  Put bread into food processor
3.  Take turns pressing the button

After each of them had a turn at pushing the button they looked at each other with great pride and said, "We are really good at this!"

After the pies were out of the oven and the turkey and stuffing were in the oven we put the pies outside to cool down and the kids played ... as children often do.  

(Lots of pie for five people, eh?)

Because of our recently dead hamster, there was a lot of "let's pretend my name is Leo and I just died" kind of play happening.  At one point, the girls buried Nate under a Costco-sized pile of paper towels and prayed over his dead body.

 After the funeral they used the paper towels as play things in the moon bouncer.  I'd certainly recommend a huge package of paper towels for that kid-who-has-everything on your list this year.

We also squeezed in some time to play board games ... well ... actually ... I didn't play the board games.  Frank and the kids did.  I cooked.  I also failed at keeping up with the dishes and other random messes that were happening all around the joint.  (I'll be keeping those photos to myself, thank you.)

After all of our playing and cooking we needed a snack.  The tiny pies were calling our names.  The kids couldn't stand the thought that there were five tiny pies sitting around being lazy.  Five tiny pies that no one was eating.  I have to admit.  I agreed.  They did look tasty.  So ... we ate them.  They were delicious.  

That Sarah Gorman is quite a good cook.  She is right, you know.  All that sugar makes for a very tasty pie.  

We ate the tiny ones and left the big ones out there for our dinnertime dessert.

You'll never guess what Frank was talking about the whole time we were eating our pies.  

One guess?  

You are wrong!  (Unless you guessed 'displacement' ... in which case, I'm sorry to have accused you of being wrong ... in which case, I should say, "Good guess!  Right on, psychic friend!")  

Yes.  He spent our snack talking about displacement.  It was science hour in the Gorman kitchen.  We learned how to give new life to withering, months-old birthday balloons with just a little dab of scotch tape.  Yes, my friends.  It's all about displacement.  Easy peasy.

And.  At one point, the dog was whining to go outside.  That's how he talks to us.  He whines.  He stands by the door and whines when he wants to go out.  He stands by his bowl and whines when he wants food our more water.  He stands by the stairs when I stay up too late and he wants to go to bed.  He's a whiner.  

Add 'trickster' to the list because that's exactly what he is!  

Mr. Riley whined to go outside.  I asked Sarah to let him out.  She did.  That little rat went straight over to our pies and he ATE THEM!  He ate our pie!  He pretended to have to go outside just so that he could eat our pie.  Sly fox.

So, we yelled at him and sent him to the dungeon and we mourned the loss of our pie.  First the hamster and now the pie.  Oy.

Luckily, one pie was completely unharmed.  Dessert was saved!  Woo hoo!

Finally, it was dinnertime.  All of the cooking was done.  I made the smallest turkey in town (9.5 pounds if you're curious), both of my grandma's stuffings, and all of the good stuff.  I even went old school and stuffed some celery (because Nate loves celery and I thought he'd like it stuffed -- he didn't).  No one wanted any of it.  They would have preferred a dinner of only pie and sushi or maybe PB&J.  Argh.  No matter.  At least I have some yummy leftovers to much on at lunchtime tomorrow!

Oh, did I mention that the I used a couple of bowls that were handmade by Lizzie -- including one that she just sent me for my birthday?  Thanks, Liz!

Did I also mention that the girls made our tablecloth?  I gave them a big piece of white paper and they decorated it.  It was beautiful!

Gobble gobble!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Poor Paige.  She wanted to play with her hamster today and found the poor little guy dead in his cage.  It was a sad morning for sure.  We have no idea what happened to him.  He was just fine two days ago.  No one remembers seeing him at all yesterday.  Today ... well ... you know how we found him today.

Now, she has been greeting everyone at the door by saying, "Leo died.  He was as hard as a rock!"  It's not the merriest of greetings for sure.

Frank was the undertaker of the day.  He took her outside with the little guy and let her pick a spot to bury him.  She put out a little headstone (conveniently leftover from Halloween) and munched a little popcorn with Nate throughout the service.  

Now she's totally focused on the acquisition of her next pet.  I say 'pet' because she's already started angling for something bigger and better ....  She said, "I sometimes dream of a ferret ... or a parrot ... or something."  To which I replied, "as long as it fits in Leo's tank."

I'll keep you posted.  Until then, is it tacky to post funeral photos?...........................................

My Mostly Sad Lady

Daddy Digging the Hole
(Can you see the headstone in her hand?)

Having a light snack?  Yikes!

Applesauce Muffins with My Lady

Paige went online last night and printed a recipe for Applesauce Muffins.  

She can't really read so well so I don't know how she decided on this recipe, but she was very proud of her find.  

It came from a Holly Hobby website.  How could I resist?

Here's the recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1.   Preheat oven to 375 F.  Grease or line a 12 cup muffin pan.
2.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend.
3.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until just blended.
4.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared cups and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  
5.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 5 minutes.
6.  Eat ... and share with your friends.

We liked them.  Here's the photo evidence..................

Monday, November 24, 2008

Seven Teeth and Counting!

Paige just lost her SEVENTH tooth!  
She is a Tooth Fairy's nightmare.

Sarah pulled it out for her.  
It was a proud day for them both.

Now it's time for her to write the notes 
that remind the good Fairy to leave her some loot!
(We have a forgetful Fairy! .......................)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pasta Lady

Paige was in a really bad mood the other day.  It was making me have a bad mood.  Or ... maybe I was already having a bad mood.  I'm not sure.  Either way, I had to keep her away from the other kids.  I told her that she had to stay by my side.  She could not let go of me.  She had to stay connected to me.  This was her punishment.

We sat on the sofa for a little while and she seemed to calm down.  

She liked her punishment.  

I needed to make dinner.  She needed to stay connected.  

I decided to pull out the pasta press.  We needed to get messy.  We did.  
It worked.  Neither one of us stayed grouchy for long.  

Our dinner was delicious.  

Paige is delicious.

The Ghost Bike

Frank is always tinkering with his bike.  
I think he might tinker more than he rides.  
His latest project was to add ground effects.  
Yes.  He pimped his bike.

Honestly, I think it will make him super safe when he rides.  
He mostly rides at night and now the cars will not be able to miss him.

Here is a picture of his bike regular-style:

Here it is at night:

Here it is with the lights on:

Amen, Sistah!

Batter Blaster ... Yum

When I was shopping at the Whole Foods market recently I saw a crazy thing on the shelf.  It was called the "Batter Blaster".  It looked like a can of whipped cream but it was a can of pancake mix.  It was not cheap.  I think it cost $5.00 for the can.  Maybe $6.  I thought it was ridiculous but I also thought that it was something that the kids would think was very funny.  (Do you notice a trend at all of me buying things because I think it will make my kids laugh?  See here.)  I, of course, bought it.

Anyway, I got to the checkout lane and the checker girl got all excited that I was buying this silly thing.  She said that they had an employee taste test and that this thing made delicious pancakes.  I wasn't so sure.

I got home and tried it.  We loved it!  It really does make tasty pancakes!  AND, as a bonus, you can make all kinds of shapes and letters.  You can draw whatever you want (within reason, of course.  It IS pancake batter, you know.).   It also makes delicious waffles.

I have since bought two more Batter Blasters.  It is so simple and yummy.  And I'm extra happy to report that we do not have to pay the super-high Whole Foods prices any more.  I found a 3-pack at Costco for only $10!  Woo Hoo!

So now, my friends, go forth and make yourselves some tasty organic squeezy star-shaped pancakes anytime you want.  For an extra tasty treat, have them with some Trader Joe's Wild Maine Blueberry Fruit Sauce!  Yummy!

Swim Away From the Poop!

We have tadpoles.  You can read about them in an earlier post.  

Tadpoles, of course, need to have their tank cleaned occasionally.  Basically, the trick is to mix some of the old water with new fresh water and to get rid of all of the mucky-muck from the bottom of the tank.  It's easier than it sounds.  Our tadpoles do not like to come out of their tank.  They prefer to hang out in the murk at the bottom of their dirty tank rather than swim in the clean freshness of the new water.  

Paige was watching me trying and failing to dump the little critters from one vessel to another.  I was trying to be careful -- I wanted to dump some of the water water and all of the tadpoles but none of the muck into the clean tank.

Her solution?  She drew them a map.  She showed up beside me with this picture and yelled into the tank, 

She's quite clever, my girl.

(That little face is Paige yelling at the tadpoles.)

Seven New Pets For Us!

The kids and I were playing at our friend's house the other day.  Ms. Deb and I were happily ignoring our children as they played outside ... until we realized that the silence had been going on too long.  

You know the feeling, moms.  When the peaceful silence becomes alarming.  When you realize that the kids just might not be getting along as well as you suspect and that they might be getting into something?  When they might be sneaking into forbidden places or coloring on your walls or ... worse.  

Well, we started our hunt.  Deb and I.  She took the front yard.  I took the back.  

I found them first.  They were all there -- in the neighbor's back yard.  In the POND catching tadpoles with nets and buckets.  They were thrilled.  I'm not sure how the tadpoles felt.  I didn't ask them.   

I still can't believe how many tadpoles were in that tiny pond!  Every scoop of the net brought up at least ten tiny creatures.  It was amazing!

We made the kids put the little guys back.  Most of them.  I've always wanted the kids to have some tadpoles.  I always thought it would be cool to grow our own frogs.  I let the kids keep a small bowl of them.  We put the rest back.  

We took the little bucket back to Ms. Deb's house and divided the take evenly between households.  Each family got to keep seven tadpoles.  We still have ours.  It's been almost three weeks since we brought them home and they are all doing well.  Hopefully, we'll be good parents and soon we'll have a family of happy frogs.