Sunday, October 26, 2008

Alas, poor Jack! I knew him...


It seems that Jack suffered a mortal wound in the frenzied attack perpetrated upon him by Spice shortly after his creation Friday night. We're hoping he can hang in there until Friday!

What did one jack-o-lantern say to the other? Cut it out!

We carved our pumpkin Friday night. The girls are so excited to have it lit up on our mantle in the evenings, as you can see by the way Spice attacks it at the end of this video.

video

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bold as Brass, He Was...

He first made his presence known Monday morning in the predawn moments as I was in the kitchen preparing to go to school. Why he couldn't have waited a bit longer to dart from his hidey hole across the kitchen floor to the safety of the area beneath the refrigerator, I'll never understand. I alerted Paprika to the 'guest' in our home and left for work, confident that Ralph S. Mouse (that's a Beverly Cleary reference for all of you nonliterary types) would be enjoying his eternal reward by the time I arrived home. Naturally, I made sure that Sugar, Spice and I arrived home after Paprika....just trying to spare the girls the graphic image of their mother running back out of the house screaming, I mean, the image of a bloody little gray body lying broken in the trap. Well, there was no need to fear, I mean, protect the little darlings because Ralph had enjoyed a lovely lunch and was still sitting somewhere with his little feet up dreaming of his next meal. Okay. He might get lucky one time, but surely there would be a satisfying *SNAP* in the night that would put an end to this drama. Ummm, no. Not the case. So this morning I was forced to turn on every light between me and the garage in order to prevent any sneak attacks in the dark. Little did I know that Ralph was not one for sneak attacks. While we were finishing dinner this evening (after arriving home to find the trap once again empty), Paprika stepped into the kitchen to prepare his caramel apple. The girls and I were sitting at the table finishing our meal when suddenly there was a VERY LOUD crash behind us. I turned to see that Paprika had slammed a plastic bowl down on the floor upside-down. He then informed us that he had just captured the mouse. Yes, that is right. He captured the mouse WHO HAD COME OUT FROM UNDER THE FRIDGE WITH ALL OF US SITTING RIGHT THERE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, PEOPLE! Clever man that he is, Paprika slipped the little straw connected to his can of ether underneath the bowl and sent Ralph on to the next world. He also used a similar method to put our elderly cat to sleep when she became aggressive toward Sugar, but that's a story for another post. When he removed the body from the death chamber, Spice exclaimed (in her best oochy cooochy baby talk voice) "He's such a pretty little mouse." Yeah, right. Now that he's dead. RIP Ralph.

I'm FLIPpin' Out!



I purchased three Flip video cameras for my school this year and I have been playing with one for the last week or so to figure out how it works and such. Simply because I must be knowledgeable about the equipment the library owns, don'tcha know. Well, I'm IN LOVE with this little camera! It's SO easy to use! If you're not familiar with the brand, it features a USB connection that 'flips' out of the side to plug directly into your computer. And the software is contained inside the camera! It's! SO! Cool! It has 60 minutes of recording time on a flash drive and the software includes 6 different video 'styles'. The movie maker takes your video clips and combines them, edits them, and adds effects to create a great little video WITH music. You can use the music included with the style or add your own. Here's a couple of movies I made last night of Sugar and Spice working on our Halloween craft and making cupcakes.



video

video


So I'd just like to end by saying *ahem*...All I want for Christmas is a Flip camera, a Flip camera, yes, a Flip camera! Gee, if I could only have a Flip cameraaaaaaa...then I could make some awesome movies! And you know, in case someone (Paprika! Nana! Salt!) reads this and actually decides to buy one for me...I prefer the black case. It's got the very nice rubbery feel to it, you see.

And if there are any Flip executives reading this who would like to reward my product plug with a free camera....I would, of course, be very gracious!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Trust, As Displayed in the Hay Barn

On Saturday, we went with my brother, Salt, and my niece, Cinnamon, to Mainstay Farm, a local farm that celebrates 'pumpkin days' every Saturday in October. We have made a tradition of visiting this beautiful farm every fall. One of our favorite parts of the visit is getting an annual picture in front of the "Texas Grown Pumpkins" sign.



But, I digress. Our final stop of the day was the hay barn. They had numerous bales of hay stacked to create a play area that was about 4 feet tall at its highest point. The girls were having a blast climbing up the 'stairs' and running around on top. It wasn't long before they wanted to jump off and be caught by Salt and/or Paprika. While watching this display, I was struck by the demonstration of trust right in front of me and how it corrolated to my own faith. First, there was Spice. She's a risk-taker...within limits. She had the desire to jump off to her Daddy's arms, but she's not quite willing to put herself all the way out there yet. She still wants the security of knowing that someone's holding her hands before she makes a move. Next, there's Sugar....she's moved a little farther along the continuum. She's scared, that's obvious by the way she constantly bends down to touch the hay whenever she encounters any instability. But despite her fear, she knows that her daddy will catch her so she tentatively jumps to him without any contact before the leap. (Sugar has come a long way in the last year! Jumping out into space like this would have been unthinkable this time last year.) And then there's Cinnamon. The epitome of trust. Eyes never wavering from Salt's face, she launches herself off the hay without hesitation. It's as if the thought that he might not catch her has never crossed her mind. If her daddy says, "Jump!" she jumps. Simple as that. Oh, that I would learn to be like Cinnamon in my relationship with my heavenly father. If I'm honest, I'd have to admit that I'm much more like Spice...still wanting reassurance before I leap. Oh, that I would learn to fling myself into my Father's arms, knowing without a doubt that He will always catch me when He tells me to jump.

video

Grab Your Tissues as We Say Goodbye to an Old Friend *sniff*

Paprika and I 'celebrated' the end of an era Friday night. And I use 'celebrated' in the sense that means broke down bawling like babies and screaming, "NOOOOO!" Okay, it wasn't really that dramatic, but it was with a great deal of sadness and nostalgia that we enjoyed our final pizza at THE BEST pizza place in town and beyond. We're not sure how long Charlie's restaurant has been open, but we've been going there since shortly after we married 20 years ago. The thin-crust capicolla and meatball pizza was divine....so much so that we never ordered anything else. Shortly after we placed our order, the waitress announced that the meatballs were still being prepared. Did we want to order something else? Uh, no....considering this was the final supper, so to speak, we'd wait for the meatballs. So, as we sat there Friday night, musing over the fact that we'd not get another chance to savor the delicious, hand-made crust topped with an indescribable combination of sauce, meat, and cheese, we decided to order a second large pizza to take home and put in the freezer. We let the waitress know about our intention and she returned to the kitchen to place our second order....but, it was not to be. The meatballs, which were still not ready, would not be rushed a second time. So, after all these years, we ordered something different. When we got home and I was putting the pizza away, I remarked to Paprika, "It would be the saddest thing if this pizza was even better than the kind we'd ordered for all these years." His reponse: "I have no regrets either way." And that's just one of the many reasons that I love this guy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Love the Liberry!

Yesterday Nana and I took the girls downtown to the central library for Libraryfest. (Paprika stayed home to mow the lawn....he's awesome like that!)The organizers did a great job of providing activities for children of all ages...we stopped by the coloring table where Sugar took the opportunity to hit Nana up for some glitter crayons this Christmas,



Spice played with some foam blocks, then



tossed bean bags through the 'Rocky' board


while Sugar continued to work on her masterpiece.


Don't know where all this artistic talent came from.....must be the recessive genes coming into play! It's certainly not from her parents.

We also got balloons! We love balloons! Balloons are SO much fun! Until they fly away...which they always seem to do before we can get them home. Why is it that no matter how careful you try to be those little suckers always seem to escape???

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Our Little Picasso

All of a sudden, Sugar has started doing some really nice artwork. It's like she just noticed the lines and started coloring inside them without being prompted. Just look at this:



I may be slightly biased, but that's pretty darn good for a four-year-old in my opinion!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Fair to Remember

Everybody sing along: Our state fair is a great state fair! Don't miss it! Don't even delay!

Well, Paprika and I took Sugar 'n Spice out to the great state fair of Texas yesterday. As you can see from this photo, Sugar got her first 'professional' face painting done while we were there. Let's just say that I won't make the mistake of giving her free choice of any design that they offer next time. And I won't assume that the sign refers to tickets instead of fourteen. actual. dollars. Ah well, lessons learned. She basked in the admiration of almost everyone we encountered after she was adorned with her butterfly design, (which was well-deserved, if you ask me) so I guess there are worse ways we could've blown that amount of money.

Spice was a much cheaper date this time
around. She wanted to have her turn in the make-up artist's chair, but since I knew that she'd never sit still for the amount of time necessary to complete any design they offered, I told her no, that she'd get her turn next year. She gladly accepted this rainbow bandage as a consolation prize. What a little trooper! Somehow I don't think I'll be able to pull that off for much longer...

We sampled one of the 'new-this-year-fried-delicacies---chocolate covered strawberry waffle balls. OH MY! YES! They were an experience in tas-teee! Not what I expected, but YUMMY just the same. I also had a plan in place to also try this year's
winner (chicken-fried bacon), but was unable to accomplish that goal due to the fact that the very idea of chicken-friend bacon was apparently unbelievably appealing to hundreds of thousands of people who waited in line while they cooked the treat one or two slices at a time. Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it certainly seemed that way when I was standing in the hot sun with two cranky preschoolers while Paprika was off on a mission of his own. I know when I'm beat...
We had a great time at this year's fair...although I've threatened to leave the Sugar 'n Spice at Grammy's house next year...I'm sure memories of the aching back and utter exhaustion that goes along with the trip will fade and I'll relent when fall rolls around again next year.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Used To Be Smarter (Before I Had Kids)

On the way home from church last night, I had the following conversation with Sugar when we stopped to look at a neighbor's Halloween decorations:

Sugar: Where are the shooting stars?

Me: I don't know what you're talking about, baby.

Sugar: Well, Daddy knows about shooting stars.

Me: Yes, he does. Daddy is very smart. He knows about alot of things.

Sugar: Yeah, but you're not. Right, Mommy?