Pie Recipe

I am giving away one of my recipes from the family. It is so good, and I was reminded of that on Thanksgiving. I LOVE Peanut Pie and so does everyone that eats it, well you have to like the taste of peanut butter, but other than that...

The peanut butter taste doesn't over power the pie like you might think by the name. We used to get this pie at the Tale of a Whale Restaurant in the Outer Banks, when our family was small enough to all go out to dinner and have it be somewhat affordable. One year they had their recipe printed out for the patrons, we of course snatched it and it has been on every holiday dessert menu ever since.

You will need:

4 oz. cream cheese
1 cup 10x sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
8 oz. container of cool whip
1- 9" graham cracker pie crust, you can make one of your own like I do, or purchase it from the store, just make sure when you are done baking the crust, cool it completely.
1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts

-whip cream cheese until soft and fluffy
-beat in sugar and peanut butter
-slowly blend in milk
-fold cool whip into the mixture
-pour into your pie shell
-sprinkle with the chopped peanuts
-freeze until firm, and serve

Variations obviously can be done, some ideas:

-Oreo or choc. pie crust instead graham cracker
-choc. can be added to the pie mixture itself, I prefer to drizzle it on top, to get that choc. and peanut butter mixture going on.
-you can top with candy instead of peanuts

Its so yummylicious, make one tonight!


Ethan and his 'No's'

It's Thanksgiving tomorrow and in typical Ethan fashion when asked if it is in fact Thanksgiving he states, "NO!" Apparently this is his new favorite thing to say and as you will see in these two clips, it isn't merely the word and the control it has, but how you say it. I have to clips from 2 different days, apparently the only thing that may bring a thought of a yes to his mind is the chance to play with his big sister! Perhaps the fact that we laugh at him when he does this just eggs the jester on. But Ethan LOVES to laugh and have people laugh. I am telling you if you heard his belly laugh you too would want to come and play with him and would find it impossible to be serious sometimes with him.

Not Pleased

Brooke Burke's FAKE Ta-Ta's won Dancing with the Stars.


My Creativity vs. My Children

So Mom Mom comes over with the Wilton Do-It-Yourself Gingerbread House as a Thanksgiving present/activity for the family. I think, aw, oh sweet, Kendall will love to do this. I will let her be in charge of the placement of the piece of candy Ethan hands to her and Andy and I will oversee this. Typically that is how my thought process works, until the box is open, the contents spilt onto the table, and in my head pops the most glorious gingerbread houses of all time.

It starts something like this. Andy wanting to perfect the edges of the gingerbread house so that architecturally the pieces will fit together perfectly, and if anything, if we were magically shrunk and needed shelter, this would provide the most perfect accommodations. Kendall in the background, "Daddy, can I hold that, Mommy can I taste that icing again, hey what kind of candy is this...." and so on. An hour passes so that that sides can adhere themselves together and I get icing in the decorators bag, and I am off to embark on the first Family Christmas Activity of the season. Kendall picks up the first piece of candy and places it. It sticks and then begins to slowly slide down the side of the house, leaving a sticky, glupey trail behind it, and plops down on to the cardboard base. "oh that looks so nice Mommy." Andy immediately gives up and says, "well I think we should get another one, and have this one be the messy one."

I am not so keen on gingerbread houses to begin with, I mean they take up a lot of space, and lets face it unless you are a pastry chef for the White House, that gingerbread house isn't going to be something to put on a pedestal for all to see.

Ethan is not interested at this point at all, could care less. It is now 8 p.m. and the Dancing with the Stars Finale is about to start, dilemma. So we move the entire operation downstairs. The entire time we are decorating I am battling the urge to take the candy house and run upstairs to complete the masterpiece. I am terrible.

Ethan then takes notice of the beautifully colored treats, picks up the bag that of course contains the smallest of pieces and in an effort to help me, "here go ma," he dumps them all over the table. In the midst of me cleaning up the millions of pieces that have scattered all over the floor, Kendall seizes the opportunity to decorate the house on her own. "oh and mommy this icing is just so good!" 10x and water kid, its a secret recipe.What a mess. My creative juice is flowing all over the floor, and we just have to call it a night before mass destruction takes place.

So in an attempt to try and rescue the house, I begin to decorate and attempt to "flip" it so that it will take on some resemblance of a house for I don't know what,this morning while the children are watching Imagination Movers. It is as if they heard the energy or something, up the stairs, "Oh Mommy, good we are going to finish it." So I got to get my hands on it for about 10 minutes alone. Then the rest of the morning went so much better, since I had had my cup of coffee I was much more at ease to be the foreman and point to where things should be and get my hands on it if necessary.

Here it is our christmas project #1, really its nothing.

Just Kidding, perhaps since we are starting them young, one day they will construct a gingerbread house like that.Here is our shanty:

Ethan would not pose for a picture with the house, perhaps he was too embarrassed to call it his.


Ta Da!

I have specifically chosen people to do Mix Tape Monday that will creatively be able to have a full out conversation with me via email or whatever, not just letter form. If you have been a reader of my blog, I write like I would be talking...and my dear friend Cortney, across oceans and continents, is able to do this as well. There is a common theme threaded amongst all my dearest of friends, it is hard to put into words, but they are all very similar, and here is one of them.

US: Hi Cortney, thank you so much for being this week's featured DJ. I must admit, I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to your mix as I screen it for errors and compile this interview. It is a good mix of old and new, and is quirky, my style. Now before there was ipods, there was burnt cds, and before that there was mix tapes, and if I remember correctly, you were a huge fan of the mix tapes. Do you still make mixes? If so what are you listening to them on and where do you listen to them?
Cortney: I was definitely a fan of the mix tapes, and still have some of our WWC mixes at my parents’ house. Those tapes got me through a lot of road trips and long jogs. I don’t really make mixes anymore – part of the fun of mix tapes is making the tape and decorating the package, but now it’s just all digital. So sad. But I did just get an ipod last month and have gotten totally hooked on podcasts – mostly I listen to essays, news, and shows from National Public Radio. And I listen to them while I walk, jog, bike, rest, sit at a coffee shop, or wait for my oil to get changed. I love having a portable pick-and-choose entertainment box – definitely beats hauling the yellow Sony sports walkman around with 10 of my favorite tapes. Ah yeah.

US:Now I know the history of your musical evolution, and this mix, my dear, represents a huge process. Now for the readers...in the past, lets say 11 years, (wow I have known you almost 11 years), how has your musical taste changed? Who has been a pivotal influence in your musical taste? The readers want the goods, and its a good story, take the time.
C:Well, it’s been an interesting journey, and since you asked, I’ll make a long story long. When I was growing up, my family always went to conservative churches that shunned listening to rock music, anything with a beat or drums or electric guitars, or basically anything that wasn’t a hymn or written 800 years ago. My parents didn’t raise us quite that conservative – I knew my parents liked Chicago, the Eagles, Carole King – but my dad was a leader in the church and signed a form saying that he and his family would abide by the church’s standards. So we rarely listened to anything but talk radio, the occasional Christian artist, and sometimes Oldies. I grew up assuming that “rock music” was inherently evil, and got offended when riding in the car with my friends and their parents who were listening to such filth. And I felt it was my duty to stand up for my faith, so I would ask them to turn down/off the radio. No shame. I cried when my parents bought my younger brother a Michael W. Smith tape – it was too worldly. Don’t even get my started on how upset I was when they allowed him to listen to P.O.D. (a heavy metal-ish group with Christian words). Yes, my brother was rebellious, but how could my parents compromise like that?!All my friends in high school listened to REM, Green Day, Sarah McLaughlin, Blues Traveler, etc. and would sing them on the school bus or in the hallways. Since I am an auditory learner, I memorized the words to lots of popular songs that I never actually heard on the radio until years later. Most of my friends didn’t share my convictions, but they knew I was sensitive about music preferences, especially since I was still under my parents’ roof. It’s miraculous that I wasn’t completely mocked.Then I went to college.These new friends at Wisconsin Wilderness Campus listened to all kinds of eclectic Christian music that I never knew existed – I just thought there was rock music vs. hymns. Now I had to face whether music with Christian words AND electric guitars was acceptable to God or not. My friends were not afraid to probe deeper into my convictions and ask me why I believed what I believed – not just adopting my church’s and parents’ standards. I remember tear-filled conversations several times that year as I was sorting out my beliefs – not just about music, but about everything. I believe that this heart-wrestling is a necessary process for making your faith your own.So the songs we listened to that year (Caedmon’s Call, Jock Jams, ska music, Sixpence, etc) represent an important turning point in my musical history. After that, I widened my view of acceptable Christian music, but still was not crazy about secular music. It’s been a long process of learning who’s who in the music world, and making up for lost time. Today I don’t stay up with the latest trends in music – not that I opposed all of it, but I’m just not that interested. I usually rely on the recommendations of my younger brothers – they used to listen to really hard core stuff which I just haven’t ever connected with, but now they listen to more mellow stuff and I really like some of their findings.Of course, if I hear a catchy song that I like, then I’ll buy it and enjoy it. Especially if it makes me want to dance. But that’s a whole other story.

US: First song was chosen by the Producer, it is The La's, "There She Goes," I am sure you know it, Sixpence rerecorded it a few years ago. This song reminds me of you because you are CONSTANTLY on the go. Where is your favorite place to go and why?
C:I have always enjoyed traveling. Probably because we lived in so many places when I was growing up (Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Colorado, Pennsylvania) and I went to college all over (Wisconsin, Ohio, Israel) and grad school in Texas and North Dakota. I took short-term mission trips to Ireland, Romania, Mexico, and did backpacking trips in Canada. Now I live in Thailand and have traveled to lots of nearby countries (China, Nepal, Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia).But despite all this travel (or maybe because of it), if you gave me a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world right now, I would without a doubt choose to go home. Home = wherever my parents and brothers are, which now happens to be North Carolina. That’s where I can truly rest and laugh and be my silly self.

US:Next Song, "You're Smiling Face," by James Taylor. Now, if there was an artist that reminded me of someone every time I heard one of their songs, it would be James and you. He is classic, but got his start way before our time, who first introduced you to James?
C:My friend Alyssa Sawyer got the James Taylor Greatest Hits album in tenth grade, and I liked the sound of it. Plus, even though some of the words weren’t exactly wholesome, it did pass the qualifications for acceptable music. So I went and bought the same CD myself, and within months had every word memorized. I could sing the whole album to you right now – every word, every guitar solo, all in order. James Taylor is truly an old, old friend.

US:John Mayer 3X5, good choice, now I can assume why you chose this song, but why don't you go ahead and share with my friends. Please share where you are now, and what led you there in regards to your travels. Questions that follow that will be, where is your most favorite place you have visited? If you were to write on a 3X5 right now who would it be addressed to and what would it say?
C:I love this song because it expresses my feelings of wanting to share all these amazing things that I see as I travel – but often I’m by myself or can’t quite capture the amazingness on film. My life in Thailand is basically one photo-opp after another – there have been so many times that I wish my eyes were a camera – like the whenever a man zooms by on a bicycle carrying 4 live chickens upside down by their feet, or I’m sitting at a stoplight and there is a family of 5 squished onto a little motorbike next to me, or I see an elephant being led down the highway.That’s interesting, I always thought of 3x5 as the size of photograph rather than a notecard. But if I were to capture a moment in words or pictures, I would want to send it to my youngest brother Taylor, who is one of my favorite people on the planet. I would say, “Dear Tay-monkey. Get your butt over here and experience this with me!” (this = my favorite moments: a boatride in rural Laos, eating sticky rice with villagers in Northern Thailand, gathering linguistic data in the Himalayas, riding a camel in Egypt, etc.)

US:Cake, Short Skirt, Long Jacket. This one surprised me...because not even I thought your evolution would go all the way to Cake! You most definitely need to explain this choice. It, like most Cake songs, has a great beat, and the voice just adds to it. I like when Cake comes on when I am driving somewhere, its good car dancing music. And speaking of Cake, I LOVE to eat a good piece of cake. What is your favorite kind of cake?
C:I learned about this song when I went to Nepal in 2006 to help/learn from some colleagues there, who happen to be our age and really hip. I think they played Short Skirt Long Jacket at their wedding reception because Christy is the kind of gal that is all business on the outside, but when you know her well, you discover her inner party animal. I don’t think this song describes me necessarily, but I do really like the imagery and paradox. My favorite words of this song are “I want a girl who gets up early...stays up late...with good dividends,” “cupholder armrest, white Chrysler LeBaron”. And last year while driving through boring Indiana, I listened to this song about 54 times in order to memorize every word. Well worth it.Cake – I definitely love cheesecake. That’s what I would always request for my birthday when I was younger, but sadly I can’t really get good cheesecake here in Thailand. I also like anything that involves chocolate and peanut butter together. One year my friends made me a chocolate-peanut butter cheesecake. HELLLLO!

US:Shackles, by Mary, Mary. You must like to bust out your best dance moves to this song. Kendall started dancing as soon as this came on for me to download. So do you still have dance parties at random times, and if so, with who? If you could pick a style of dance to be spectacular at, what would it be?
C:Definitely shakin my booty to this one. My favorite dance partner is myself – I look pretty awesome when I dance in front of the mirror, and that way I can perfect my moves at the same time. But I had an excellent pack of roommates in Dallas last year who would join me for dance parties on a weekly basis. That was so therapeutic and fulfilling for me. Now that we’re apart, we have dance parties via video skype from one side of the planet to the other. Isn’t technology amazing?I’ve always idolized Napoleon Dynamite’s dance at the end of the movie – now, if I could just get a copy of D’Quon’s dance grooves from the thrift store...

US:The Safety Dance, never a bad pick when you go with a throw back 80's song. Did you know this band, Men Without Hats, was originally, Men With Hats, but then changed their names because they would throw off their hats into the audience at the end of their shows? Now there is some of the random music trivia I have stuck in my head for you. But this song is really strange, don't you think? I mean what do you think the Safety Dance is?
C:This is a strange song. But it fits in perfectly with the randomness that is Cortney. I’m picturing the Safety Dance to be somewhat robotic-looking, danced at a safe distance from your fellow dancers so as not to poke an eye out. And I have to agree with these hatless men that if your friends don’t dance, then they’re no friends at all. I do, however, make exceptions for non-dancers that are especially humorous or helpful.

US:Sixpence, Trust, again, another song chosen by the Producer. This of course being a reminder of the year we met at WWC and singing with Becca and Meggan, both readers of the blog, (Hi Ladies!) Personally I still enjoy popping in my Sixpence cd while in a mellow mood. And how many times did we practice singing to 'perfect,' this song to only cry through it in the end? Oh how we thought our world was coming to an end that day. I still have so many memories of that year. What is one funny memory that you have? I will share mine after you answer, I still laugh out loud at many of them, but this one is the best, I am sure you can guess. Also if you could describe that year in one word what would it be?
C:We worked so hard to remember the words ‘tough-tough’ and ‘rough-rough’! That song was a pretty good description of our year. Sometimes I just laugh out loud when I think of some of those stories – like when we had to cross-country ski approximately 300 miles, and we were so exhausted and cranky that when we lost control on a downhill, we just fell over in the snow and bawled our eyes out together.And of course there’s the time that we were chillin’ in the Eagle lounge after dinner. I had to go to the bathroom, but I didn’t want to miss a minute of whatever thrilling conversation we were having. So I told you guys to time me and I rushed upstairs to the bathroom. I came down like 1.17 minutes later, having basically passed my entire dinner through my intestines undigested. And that was the night I had eaten a few bowls of Lucky Charms. Good times.How can I summarize all the breadth of experiences of that year into one word? Maybe “beginning”. It was the beginning of lifelong friendships, beginning to understand God in new ways, and beginning to figure out who I am. And the beginning of my career as a professional snowshoe-er.I wish.
US: And one of my favorite funny memories, there are so so many from that year, but the one I still think is hilarious when I picture it in my mind is this one day I was just in a foul mood, no idea why, but I was annoyed with everyone and everything, and I was getting dinner ready and I look out of the Dining Room windows with a scowl because I hear this shouting, and what do I see? Joyce twirling her baton and throwing it into the air, marching with people behind her, like she was some grand marshall of the parade, and then there is you jumping and twirling like you were some majorette with the band, I remember just standing there at first in disbelief, I mean are we that sheltered and that desperate for activity that playing parade sounds glorious, and then someone else came around the corner and busted out laughing and I just lost it right there, and was laughing so hard I was crying.

US:Dave Matthews Band, #34. I too, of course, thoroughly enjoy this song. Did you know that the saxophonist from the band that is the main instrument in this song passed away this past year? Did you know I used to play the saxophone? I did, from 4th grade up through Jr. High, and then I quit because it was not cool to be in the Marching Band in high school, you were a Band Geek, or whatever. What is or was a secret talent you have? I don't think I have a secret talent now.
C: I never was a band geek. But since college, my secret talent has been my wicked awesome dance skills, which are increasingly not-so-secret as I have more opportunities to dance in public. Rather than just in my car or kitchen. You’re welcome, world.

US:And lastly, this song chosen by me before you even picked a James Taylor song, even though I knew you would. This is probably my second favorite James song, the first being,'How Sweet It Is,' because it is my wedding song with my love. I love this particular song because my favorite vacations are to the Outer Banks. I would think that this song is special to you because that is where your family is and since you are so far away from them, you must go to Carolina in your mind frequently. However, if you could write a song about going somewhere else in your mind other than Carolina, where would that be and why?
C:Yes, I love Carolina now that my parents’ little white house at the base of the Smokey Mountains is my homebase, and that’s where my mind does go most often. For me, my longing is not necessarily for a place, but for people. Sometimes my mind flashes forward to some big event (my birthday, my wedding, heaven) where all my friends from all over the world come together for a mega-celebration, complete with a non-stop dance party and chocolate peanut-butter cheesecake. Yes, that would be heaven.

US: And that concludes the interview portion of this post. Thanks so much again Cortney from Coney Island for sharing your mix with us and then by default a little tid bit of you and your life! We miss you here, come dance on our hardwood floors to some mixes with us soon.
C:Love you, Sauce. My song for you will always be G.Love’s My Baby’s Got Sauce – I almost put that one in, but who else would really understand?Wish we could hang out :) Miss you!

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Introduction to our Mix Tape Monday Featured DJ

I am going to have to break this one up into 2 entries, it is a long one, but she is worth it!

Now this mix tape comes all the way from Thailand.
I will let her explain how she got there, I will just explain how I know her.

Our featured DJ this week is Cortney Kirkland. Cortney and I met 11 years ago during our first year of college in Wisconsin. Cortney and I were instant friends with our personalities being quite similar. Through our year there we learned so many things from each other, we each gained a few of our positives from the other, and got rid of some of our negatives through example from the other. Cortney was one of those people to me that I could say any random thought to, a kind of random thought that would never say out loud because it was just too silly or random, but I would say it to Cortney and she would have had the same thought and we would laugh about it for an incessantly long time. For example, when frustrated while driving wanting to just bite down on the steering wheel, I know random and strange, but Cortney has done this just like me. And those my friends, are the ties that bind.

College brings late nights and late nights bring absolute goofiness and there was many a nights that a dance party would break out, much to Joyce's dismay, with one of our mix tapes as the soundtrack. Cortney and I made mix tapes to get us through many of the strenuous activities at WWC also, like cross country skiing up and down OO like a bunch of fools, exercises classes for gym points, and dish washing. I think if I dug deep enough into my storage boxes filled with memories I would find a mix tape, they were decorated so beautifully.

As you will read and can see Cortney is an amazing woman. She has an infectious laugh, a heart that has arms open wide, an awesome sense of style, a huge desire for adventure, an ability to try something new at least once (within the law of course), and an unwavering commitment to serve the Lord no matter where or when, and for all
of this she has been rewarded 10 times over.

I can hear her laughter through this picture!

Evidence of her sense of adventure!

Without further ado, Cortney's Interview and Mix.

Happy Mix Tape Monday, or in her case Monday late night, she is 12 hours ahead!

Side Note: when looking at the pictures Kendall asked who she was, since the last time Cortney was in the States, I was pregnant with Ethan and Kendall was just coming up on a year, so she would have no recollection, and I said, that is Cortney. She replied, Cortney? Cortney from Coney Island, doesn't that sound funny mom, ha ha Cortney from Coney Island? So it seems that this quirky sense of humor has been passed on.
Now I can only hope that Kendall finds a friend like Cortney during her first year at college.


Happy Friday!

and because I think he is the cutest little boy around...


Audition Tape

Kendall LOVES singing and pretending she is a princess. Maybe we should send her to Disney to audition. She has picked up that the princesses will sing about just about anything, from thingamabobs to cleaning, to their prince, about reading books. So Kendall sings about anything. Today I heard her singing about her Daddy and him coming home. When asked who her prince is she says Daddy, and when she dresses up like a bride, she often asks Andy to marry her. Super Cute. So when I heard her singing about her prince, I had to get it on video so that when he grounds her at age 16, we can replay this and say, 'Remember When?'


Fall Fun

Ok , so despite not having my USB cord, I still managed to take some pics this fall and will attempt to explain our activities.

I turned 30. yuk. there were no pictures to commemorate this event since in my head I am still like 21, I have no idea how I accumulated children, a minivan, and a marriage license. Things happen so quickly.

We had and participated in the annual bizarre. Our family has been running the White Elephant Table at this bizarre for 30 years, that is a long time. It is like a giant garage sale. We go through, organize, and price people's donations, things they would sell at their garage sale if they had one. All the proceeds go to the church that my family went to, my aunt still goes there. We just cannot stop doing it, every year its the same, we complain about the same stuff, yet we all can't seem to just stop doing it. I think it is because we all are so nosey, we love to look through the piles of things, and laugh about why this person had this or that, but also it is a great place to get awesome finds. I think I have gotten a large majority of my Christmas decorations there. This year someone who must have worked at Borders donated a bunch of children's books that were never read, they cracked when you opened them. Kendall also took home a children's suitcase full of Barbies. I got some great retro items for my kitchen, and Ethan got a bunch of cars and a mat for the floor that resembles a road. The best part is, is that when next year comes along, if my kids are no longer interested in the items, I give them back. The total amount of money I spend, is worth the year of entertainment. Not only that, it is a great time for the ladies of the family to spend time together. Kendall LOVED going through all the boxes and finding treasures.She brought some dress up jewelry home, here is some big clip on earrings that are just to die for... Ethan has been growing and growing in size as well as intellectually. He is just as big as Kendall, and people all the time whisper as we pass, 'oh look at the twins!' Some people ask, but they automatically think that Ethan is older.

He is now saying bunches of words, and will repeat all words that we ask him to say.
He is so excited that we are understanding him more. He loves to read, just like his sister, although, his attention span is much smaller. That is another boy/girl difference, he likes to flip flip flip through the pages and move on to the next, so most stories are made up real quickly as we flip through at rapid pace. But of course when we get to his favorite book, The Truck Book, it is complete analyzing and focus, so funny.

Ethan loves to help. He loves to help cook, clean, help his sister make her bed, he really is a caring boy under it all. But he also is all boy and loves to rough house. I have come to the conclusion that Ethan does not know his own strength and does not understand his size and mass. He will run in to Kendall kind of with the purpose to knock into her, and she goes flying. Sometimes they think this is hilarious, sometimes it is the end of the world, and Ethan just doesn't get those differences and also the girl moods that surround this type of play. I can clearly look at Kendall and know by her presence whether or not she would like to play with Ethan, he, like most boys and also men, does not get this at all and walks right into the Lion's Den to be met by an attitude next to none and is devoured whole.

Kendall is now 2 1/2 going on 13. She told me she would like Santa to bring her some lipstick in her stocking.And just last night she told me she would like me to get her a Crock Pot so she can cook a roast also. What?!?! Her conversations are hilarious. She loves imaginative play and just last night she was mimicking me doing my chores, huffing and puffing and all. She also likes to treat Ethan as I treat Ethan, for example by saying, "I am so proud of you little buddy, good job!"

Yesterday we went to story time at the Library, it was our first time in a long time and they loved it. Ethan was dancing and 'singing,' louder than anyone. So I will have to keep up with that. Because for as fast as Ethan is growing, his attachment to his Mama is just the same. Even in all the fun he was having yesterday, every 5 minutes or less I would see him turn and squat down and look for me and when he saw me would quickly smile and go back to his activity. I know that this is endearing and that I will yearn for this when he is older, but I also don't want him to miss out on all the social activities that Kendall loves. And quite frankly, sometimes I need a break. The subject was on Dogs and the Librarian asked, 'who here has a dog?' Kendall of course raised her hand because her new friend Abby did. When the teacher asked Kendall what her dog's name was she said loudly and excitedly, "Steve!" So apparently we have a dog named Steve. I can only think that she spat out Steve because she likes to play Blue's Clues and be Steve, and this is the first name that popped into her head. I said afterwards to her, 'Kendall we don't have a dog.' and she looked at me as if she was saying, 'DUH!', and she said, "I know that Silly."



Mix Tape Monday

So this week our featured DJ is my sister Meghan. At a random attack we have begun to reach outside the home to find people's musical tastes. What they like to listen, dance, and sing to in their rooms, their cars, their showers, their kitchen floor, whatever, ours works well because its hardwood, so at times it is an impromptu stage, but not only what but why, we ask the tough questions. :)

Our interview with DJ Aunt Meghan...

US:Thank you so much for being our chosen DJ this week. Just a few questions about some of your chosen songs. Who has been a pivotal influence in your music taste and style?
AM: My sister… Melissa

US:Oh, that is just so nice. I do really like music, and now so do my kids. How would you describe your music taste?
AM:Everything but screaming heavy metal.

US: Your first pick is 'Livin on a Prayer', did you know this song came out in 1986, you were 3 years old? Do you enjoy 80's Ballad Music, and also, do you like Jon's hair at the time he recorded this song?
AM:Bon Jovi is classic, but I picked it because it reminds me of nights in the bar my senior year of college. The bands would always play this song and everyone would sing along. I love 80s music! I don’t remember Bon Jovi’s hair at the time he recorded this song… I was only 3 (but you were only 8)

US: Yes, I was only 8, but once you saw his hair, you never forgot it. Next pick, Michael Jackson, hmmm? I also enjoy Michael Jackson, pre weirdo days. Probably the best pop artist of all time. This song, 'Beat It,' is from his Thriller album, by far his best, and my favorite of his albums. Is there is a reason you chose Beat It?
AM:I love Michael too. He has definitely gotten crazy. ‘Beat It’ reminds me of singing and dancing in Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop Lyons’ house with my Aunt Amy and Melissa. It’s a classic 80s song.

US: This is definitely his most hostile song. Have you ever seen the video? Do you have a secret desire to be in a dancing underground subway station gang fight? Because I could arrange that for you in Suburban Station, don't forget your pocket knife though, because they like to dance around in circles holding each others hands wielding pocket knives.
AM:I’d rather not dance around suburban station with a pocket knife, but I am not going to lie sometimes I want to break out in a dance down there. They have some great music sometimes.

US: OK, on to 'Yellow Submarine'. Did you know this was written by Paul Mc Cartney with the intention of being a kids song?
AM: I LOVE THIS SONG!!!! It was my favorite song when I was a kid. I would “rock out” (if that’s possible to this song) in my dads work van to this song.

US: Would you actually want to go on a submarine? You know that if you were in the Navy and you were stationed on submarine, you could potentially live in it for weeks if not months at a time? Could you do that? I couldn't.
AM:I think it would be fun to live in a submarine if it wasn’t totally underwater. Maybe halfway. I don’t think I could do it if I was in the navy and there were like a ton of people with me and of course if it was completely underwater.

US: Uh, yeah, but that is the purpose of a submarine to be submerged in water, hence the name, they are not all like the ride at Disney 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But, the song seems to say that living on a submarine is some sort of party, with a band and all your friends, I guess that would be cool. Alright, Sleeping Beauty. Is this your favorite Disney movie?
AM: I always wanted to be sleeping beauty.

US:I think it is funny that Princess Aurora just meets this stranger in the woods one day and they dance and sing and fall in love. Now if you came across a stranger in the woods, would you dance and sing with him bc you met him once upon a dream? Well I guess if you were talking and dancing with animals previous to that, you would be crazy enough to trust a stranger.
AM: Would I be in the woods in the time this movie was made or now? Not so much if it was 2008, because I would be afraid that he would up to no good. Maybe if it was 1960s.

US: I wish I could sleep like Sleeping Beauty, you want to call up an evil witch for me?
AM:Would you really want to sleep like sleeping beauty??? You would miss out on a lot!
US: Really I think it is only a couple of days, and I already told you before, I could sleep all day if I had the opportunity. But you are right, maybe not several.

US:If you could chose your dress color like the fairies were fighting over for her, would you chose pink or blue?
AM: Pink, of course

US: Moving on, 'Your Body is a Wonderland.i too like this song, did you know that this was once rated by some magazine as one of the worst songs ever? But yet, the song also won a grammy, what a contradiction.
AM: I love Your body is a wonderland. The song is catchy yet meaningful.

US:I don't know if i would put it on the list, i think the person that made the list was just jealous because he didn't have anyone in his life that had a body that resembled a wonderland. What do you think the worst song ever written is? I would chose Crash Test Dummies, 'Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm,' I mean what in the world is that song about and what does the chorus have anything to do with it anyway?
AM:The worst song ever that I can think of right now is the Macarena, but I am sure there are a ton others.

US: Hootie and the Blowish, speaking of worst things ever, this has to be the worst band name ever. If you were to make a band, what would you call yourselves?
AM:I will agree worst name ever. If I had a band I would name it…The Silver Lining.

US:As producer, I chose two songs for you. Living a wall over from you for many years, you had this thing when you were a adolescent of playing songs over and over and over again. Idon't know, maybe you were dancing in your room maybe you wanted to be in an N'Sync video, or maybe you thought you were Britney Spears, regardless, these two songs I know every word to because of your repetitiveness, thanks.And not only that, N'Sync is a little shot out to Lance Bass, who we want to win Dancing with the Stars, Go Lance, Kendall loves you!

US: Barry White, the man with the velvet voice. Did you ever meet anyone with a voice that deep? Did you know his daughter did an episode of Baby Story? Why did you pick this song? Do you like funk?
AM: Wow! That was a lot of questions. I can’t recall ever meeting someone with a super deep voice like his, but I will be listening to everyone’s from now one to see. I did not know his daughter did an episode of baby story. Interesting. I picked this song because I love singing along to it. I love this style of music – so you could say I love funk. Its timeless, I don’t think it will ever go out of style.

US: Michael Buble does a lot of covers of Frank Sinatra and those type of singers, like big band or jazz. Do you like that type of music or just this song? Blake Shelton, a country singer, covered this song, ironic, do you like his version better? He must get homesick a lot? Do you get homesick? I have never been homesick, I have missed people, they may or may not live in my home, but I don't get homesick I get people sick I guess. I am a homebody who doesn't get homesick, weird.
AM: You are weird. I like Michael Buble and I like this song. The song reminds me of when I was in Paris for 3 months. I loved being over there, but I was ready to come home and see everyone and leave a few strange teammates. I totally get homesick… for about a week or two, but once I get busy – I am fine! I have heard the country version and I must say… it stinks.

US:'Baby It's Cold Outside,' is in my favorite holiday movie, 'Elf', what is your favorite holiday movie, and if it is 'Elf', what is your favorite part?
AM: Watching Christmas Story is my favorite Christmas movie to watch year after year, but Elf is hysterical. The whole movie is my favorite, but if I had to pick one part it would be when he answers the phone and says this … “Buddy the Elf! What's your favorite color?”

US: And that concludes this interview, thanks so much for your time.
AM:Can’t wait to hear this mix!

Without further ado, Monday's Mix Tape, (note from producers: the songs are not in the order of the way Meghan chose them, we reorganized them to make the mix flow) by Aunt Meghan, our DJ:

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One of my most burning questions answered.

Thanks to Yahoo, one of the things I wonder about on most mornings has been answered today, and I thought I would share it with you. This is a great day!

Why Does Everything Taste Bad After You Brush Your Teeth?
by Matt Soniak - November 16, 2008 - 11:20 PM Buzz up!on Yahoo!

If you have no idea why we’re pondering that question today, go brush your teeth real quick and grab a drink (orange juice, iced tea, beer—anything except water). Awful, isn’t it?

You can thank sodium laureth sulfate, also known as sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) for ruining your drink, depending on which toothpaste you use. Both of these chemicals are surfactants – wetting agents that lower the surface tension of a liquid – that are added to toothpastes to create foam and make the paste easier to spread around your mouth (they’re also important ingredients in detergents, fabric softeners, paints, laxatives, surfboard waxes and insecticides).
While surfactants make brushing our teeth a lot easier, they do more than make foam. Both SLES and SLS mess with our taste buds in two ways. One, they suppress the receptors on our taste buds that perceive sweetness, inhibiting our ability to pick up the sweet notes of food and drink. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they break up the phospholipids on our tongue. These fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they’re broken down by the surfactants in toothpaste, bitter tastes get enhanced.
So, anything you eat or drink after you brush is going to have less sweetness and more bitterness than it normally would. Is there any end to this torture? Yes. You don’t need foam for good toothpaste, and there are plenty out there that are SLES/SLS-free. You won’t get that rabid dog look that makes oral hygiene so much fun, but your breakfast won’t be ruined.


Yeah! We can finally post those Halloween pics.

It was a lot of fun. Our neighborhood friends had a Halloween party the weekend before, so Kendall was all about Halloween this year.

And what were they...Cinderella and Gus, Cinderella's mouse friend. I was just about ready to order the crocodile and the monkey costume off of ebay because that is what Kendall said they were going to be, when she decided one day that they needed to be characters in Cinderella. Which was much more appropriate since she thinks that she is a princess. She has already said that she is going to be either Pocahantas or Belle next year.

Ethan though is absolutely terrified of masks or full body costumes where we cannot see the person at all, so something like Disney World would be his worst nightmare come true right now. So that is just fine.

One day our little friend and neighbor, Andrew thought it would just be hilarious to come to our door in his Darth Vadar mask because that what he was going to be for Halloween, so we hear this banging on the door, we go downstairs, and there is Andrew in his jeans and a tee shirt with this mask at my door, Ethan scaled my body screaming and pinching. Kendall on the other hand found it hilarious and said, 'Hey Andrew, that's a pretty cool costume.' How she knew it was him, I have no idea, and how she wasn't scared is beyond me. Andrew was beyond pleased because he scared someone, which was his intent, and also someone thought his mask was cool.

Kendall knew just what to do on Halloween night and they ran around with their friends from door to door collecting their goods. Ethan caught on by house 3, but I had to carry him bc you never knew what masked villan was lurking around dark corners.

Princess Cinderella, not being able to contain her excitement about candy collecting

Gus Gus, not sure what all the fuss is about,

but ready to follow along with the other kids.

Waiting for their buddies so we can go trick or treating!

Prairie Court Friends...Emily as Snow White, hence the reason Kendall also had to be a princess, Sarah as Dorothy, and yes, she had ruby slippers, but she will wear no other shoes but these black ones right now, it was also Sarah's 3rd Birthday, Andrew as Darth Vadar, and his little brother, Ethan's buddy Evan, as Yoda.

Baby Leah, as a cat, but also has the stroller resident beer girl.

The daddies got their own treats as we toured the neighborhood.

Phil & Sue, quite possibly the nicest couple I have ever met,

we are just so lucky to call them our neighbors.

Ethan examining his loot after his stressful night filled with worries about strange masks and scary people.

We found it!

After some good long detective work, and a ton of Blue's Clues
types searches, we have found the USB cord!

Lily is thrilled!


Mix Tape Monday

Today we are featuring
Kendall Anne Fink's
Favorite Musical Line Up.
Here are a few quick questions towards our featured deejay as to why she chose these songs out of all that we listen to on a daily basis:
Mama: Kendall, you chose a lot of princess songs, why?
Kendall: Because Princesses are pretty
M: ok, do you have a favorite princess?
K: um, Cinderella because I was in her dress at Halloween, remember Mommy, I wore make up.
M: We listen to Princess Music a lot in the van don't we?
K: Yeah, Ebee likes to sing too. You sing too Mommy, real loud!
(sidenote: Ethan is now 'singing' the prince parts in all the songs, I think he figures, I might as well join in and make the best of this, and I might as well pretend I am a broadway star since my kids aren't critics)
M:I see you chose N'Sync
K: What?
M: This silly dancing song, Mommy loved N'Sync
K: oh that's ok Mommy.
M: You like this song?
K: Yes, I dance to it all crazy
M: And a Yo Gabba Gabba song, this one is a great one
K: Yes you sing this all the time Mommy (laughter)
K: I like silly songs.
M: Me too, good pick.
M: A Backyardigans song, you don't watch them very much. Why did you pick a Backyardigan song.
K: Brynnie likes them.
M: Oh, you picked a song for Brynnie.
K: Uh huh
M: Is Brynnie your best friend?
K: Brynnie is my best cousin
M: Oh ok, I think she thinks that of you too.
K: she does.
M: And Banana Phone, you like that song?
K: That is E's favorite
M: Yeah E is a good dancer.
K: Me too, see my cool tricks?
M: Awesome!
M: I see you picked a Laurie Song, everyone loves Laurie.
K: mmm hmmm
M: but you wanted to end it early why?
K: to go back to the princess songs.
M: of course.
K: Mommy, do you hear that?
M: No, what
K: Pocahantas is on, I'll go watch it
So without further ado, Kendall's Mix Tape:

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Does anyone know where my USB cord is so that i can download pics from my camera...yeah lost somewhere, but in the process a lot has been reorganized.

pet peeve 763: looking for lost items


so no, i don't have a llama, but if i did, he too would rally behind our president elect. it's ok, if you voted for mccain, you get a week to sulk, but then remember that we are called to support and be behind the leader of our country.

there is a plan and a will behind him being elected, and we as american's need to gather behind that.

that's all i am going to say.

ok, and that i have gotten dogged by some conservatives that i will not mention in this blog so that they can just support the president elect without feeling like i am putting them in a corner, but you may be surprised to note, that i am not going to say, 'i told you so!' just so long as you stop thinking of me as a crazy socialist who has turned against her religion. :)


Tomorrow is the day...but today is Mix Tape Monday

I won't post Halloween pics unless you promise to vote...
Here is some easy listening to get you in that voting kind of mood.
Happy Mix Tape Monday.

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