Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween in Pictures

Lauren woke up today with an Abrasion on her nose and upper lip. I was shocked. How could she scratch her own face as such. She claims she didn't fall out of her bed but actually scratched her nose and upper lip on her own. What a bummer but she was still a happy girl today.

carving Lauren's pumpkin she picked out at school yesterday...if the pulp and paper industry doesn't pan out I think Daddy could be a good surgeon. Check out his technique with a scalpel.

size wise the pumpkin looks a bit sad

but with a closer look Ms. Pumpkin looks much happier

Emma and Lauren playing in the rocks while dinner is cooking

Dinner was a true Southern dish. Grab a bowl, add Fritos, layer with shredded VELVEETA, add cooked chili, top with diced onions and a dollop of sour cream. Yum.

After dinner we put on our costumes (well the kids and Matt did.) This year I dressed up as a dirt bike riders wife. [read: I didn't dress up y'all]

Here's Tyler as Thomas the Train.

the first batch of Trick-or-Treaters
we spent the evening Hanging with the Hancocks

princess Lauren (Cinderella) ready to go Trick-or-Treating

the set up in our drive-way

Mr. Nelson came by, all flower powered out, to say HI while the smoke machine was going.
Mr. Nelson and Ms. Dana

Mr. Nelson and the kiddos

Mr. Buddy in his costume.

After it got somewhat dark. Dana and I took Shep, Emma and Lauren Trick-or-Treating all long our street. (Tyler opted to stay at home with Daddy this year.) Lauren did a great job. Her, Emma and Shep would run up the LONG driveways in our neighborhood, ring the bell and get their treat all on their own. Dana and I stayed behind in the street. Lauren made it all the way to the end of the street and then all the way back home. What a trooper. Her bag was VERY heavy with candy by the the end.

Apparently, while we were gone Tyler munched, crunched and consumed a Large Amount of Candy.

Dancing in the smoke (from the smoke machine) back at home base.
It was a fun and very memorable holiday for us. I'm enjoying it as a kid again just by watching Lauren and Tyler.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Atlanta Thrashers

On Tuesday, the company who owns the building that Matt's company, Harris Group, leases had an available suite and tickets to the HOCKEY game. The Atlanta Thrashers got thrashed by somebody, I don't really know who they were...they were wearing ice-skates is all I know. In all honesty, I know nothing about Hockey but I really don't care. I'll go see anything live. Even the Jonas Brothers if the opportunity came up. And when a free dinner is thrown in...I'm there for sure.

So Tuesday, the kids and I loaded up and we drove into Atlanta during rush hour. Luckily the rush hour traffic was going the opposite way as us but that still didn't alleviate my anxiety. I'm a very anxious person in any sort of traffic. Especially the sort of traffic that goes with a metro area of over 5 million. Luckily we survived and we arrived at Philips Arena unscathed. The kids toted along their backpacks full of entertaining toys and we all trekked down to our courtside SUITE and FRONT ROW seats. (man if only we were watching a Kenny Chesney concert or the Hawks play basketball!) Regardless, it was a blast. The kids enjoyed themselves and Behaved and weren't too much worse for wear having to go to bed at 10 o'clock that night.
watching the game with Daddy
Matt and Christine
Me pinching some Hockey players TUSH

Lauren put on her princess outfit once again for her school Halloween/Fall Festival party today. It started with a hay ride which a grumpy (and sleepy) Tyler got to go on too. After the hay ride we went upstairs to the PE room and played some games and Lauren won some prizes. We were short on volunteers so I happily stepped in to run the hop-scotch game. Lauren did great and has matured so much since last year. She didn't cling to me but was more interested in her friends and getting prizes than in what I was doing. Yay for Lauren. Here are some pictures from the party today....

Lauren is standing...2nd from the right

some miniature golf

I thought this picture was pretty cool because Tyler is showing me his smile when when I asked for one. Not quite natural but I'll take it!

And that was pretty much our day. I have some shows to catch up on and then I'm off to bed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

funky burnouts

Lauren burst into the house on Saturday and told me Daddy was doing "funky burn-outs" on his motorcycle. (total tattletale style) So I went outside to see what was going on and Matt said he couldn't believe she told on him for doing "smokey burn-outs" in my drive-way. Here's is Matt's spare time and mostly eBay purchased project with the first coat of paint on it. It still runs...yay.

Princess Lauren and her knight in dull grey armor

Saturday afternoon we went to Abigail's Halloween Party at her house. Lauren was a princess and Tyler was going to be Thomas but he refused to wear his costume the entire time.
Here's Lauren all ready to go.

At the party:

ring toss
yummy food

drawing station

spider craft

tractor pulled hay ride

on the hay was a beatiful day

hanging out on a real southern front porch, just missing the mint julep and sweet tea

real princess extensions

and finally regarding Abigail's house, here is possibly the coolest appliance I've ever seen....a pot filler right over the stove. How cool is that?! Christmas Idea?

When we got home from Abigail's party we found this thing erected in our neighbor's yard so although we weren't officially invited to Shep's 7th birthday party -of course- we went over anyway.

enjoying the slide before the football kiddos took it over

another cool thing about Mr. Buddy's house: Zip Line

she's Ready

she's Set

and There She Goes
(she really is having fun and did this about 20 times) later there were s'mores at the bonfire

and when I got too cold we went inside and had a disco dance party with Mr. Buddy's party lights.

It was a lot of fun for everyone. Later in the evening I left the kids with Matt and stopped in at another neighbor's 40th birthday party. Lino and Nancy are from Colombia via Miami and 19 relatives and many many friends came to celebrate. I (again) learned to Salsa dance while I was there. I had a great instructor this time who told me perfectly what to do and in words I understood. She said, "pretend you are marching but that one of your knees are broken." I looked like a natural.

Currently Matt is playing poker with his last $40. Hopefully he wins so he can keep some money in his poker fund. He just came up to grab some of the kitchen chairs. He said there's 13 guys in the basement playing tonight...biggest turnout yet. Good thing the bathroom is finished.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekly Menu

I only spent $75 at the grocery store and that included a box of diapers. This weeks recipes are from the Everday Food November 2008 issue. I can't find a link for a lot of them.

Monday: l/o shredded pork
Tuesday: Rigatoni with Spiced Meat Sauce
Wednesday: Sauteed Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans
Thursday: Pasta with Sweet Sausage and Cabbage and Honey Glazed Carrots
Friday: halloween candy and l/o
Saturday: Lighter Chicken Enchiladas
Sunday: Shrimp with Scallions and Crispy Potatoes

lots of meat this week...maybe next week we'll do a vegetarian menu

Saturday, October 25, 2008

do you really need to spend that much money on your hair?

Here are some cute pictures to draw you in:

Tyler's new watch...

It's really cool...almost as cool as those calculator watches from back in the day.

When your watch is This cool you must keep your arm and said watch elevated at all times.

Ok...enough with the cute-sy stuff. On to Matt's passion and my pet peeve:
Since Matt has 10% more free time during the work week (remember previous posting about a pay cut?) He spent a good part of Friday in Quicken doing up a current pie chart of where all our money goes and then came up with a new budget so we can stay out of the red every month.
For those of you who don't know Matt, he is The Most Anal Person In The World. Every receipt is broken down. i.e. groceries, diapers, bath and beauty, home supplies, gifts given etc. etc. etc. He even goes back and itemizes where the money went from ATM withdrawals.
Well after the budget was complete some things were easily cut out from our lives:
so long weekly poker game of Matt's
so long YMCA membership
so long Chem Lawn (this $60 a month service keeps the weeds out of our acre or so of grass)
so long 529 plans for the kids...we will now depend on the GA Hope scholarship to educate our youngins
and then we came to the sticky subjects:
grocery bill
Matt, "I seriously think we need to cut back on our groceries. We really don't need to eat feta and goat cheese."
Me [sarcastically,] "fine, I'll just use Velveeta on everything." (here in the south Velveeta is used on's a delicacy.)
bath and beauty
(this includes all make-up, shampoos, lotions, serums, potions, manis, pedis, salon visits ...basically where I make the most expenditures...well next to groceries.)
Matt, "Do you seriously need to spend $150 on your hair every 7 weeks?"
Me, "Yes...did you forget my natural hair color is closer to black?"
Matt, "Do you seriously need to spend $150 on your hair every 7 weeks?"
Me, "Brown hair makes me look fat."
I always end/win all arguments with a convincing zinger.
So at my next hair appointment. I'll probably start adding in more brown and less high-lights. If I'm going to go back to my natural color it will have to be a gradual process.
Basically, we have a new budget that has zero allowance for anything fun...including baby-sitters. So If you want to sponsor our family send me an e-mail. Your donation of less than a bottle of King Estate Pinot Noir per day will make a huge difference in our lives. You will also receive personal letters, pictures and updates showing how your money is put to very entertaining uses from your sponsored family.
I suppose I'll have to cut out the semi-monthly Botox injections too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I can't be snarky tonight

Yesterday Tyler had a playdate. It was a good turn-out. 2 boys and 3 girls all within months of the same age. Here's a pic of Tyler "playing" with 2 of his friends. It may look like they are all having fun but Tyler and Sam (Samantha) are in a struggle to the death over control of the pink and purple tricycle. Tyler ended up winning this battle but only because Sam's mom came and pulled her off. Maybe next week we'll talk about taking turns.
When we got home from the playdate and from picking Lauren up from school we found a HUGE box waiting for us on our front step. It was addressed to Tyler and Lauren from Grandma Jan and Grandpa Michael. We immediately tore in and found some Halloween presents waiting. They each got a T-shirt from the M & M factory in Las Vegas and a Grandma Jan painted pumpkin which they have not let leave their sight since. Here they are posing with their presents.
And that about sums our day yesterday.
Now on to impressing the boss at dinner today:
So you know when you just hit it off with someone? When you feel as if you’ve known them your entire life even though you've only met 5 min. ago? Well that was how it was with Matt’s boss tonight. He was just a sweet sweet man. He commented on how much he liked my house. He said my dinner smelled delicious as it was cooking. He then went on to eat every last bite on his plate praising the food I made. How could I be anything but adoring to him. I wanted to be snarky…I wanted to be bitter…I wanted him to know that this 10% cut in pay was going to kick us while we’re down. But I just couldn’t follow through. I mean even this dear, sweet man is also taking a 15% cut in pay himself.

So anyway, dinner was great. I made my goat cheese and spinach stuffed chicken breasts with a Greek salad and some not quite home made Pillsbury refrigerated dinner rolls. Mr. Dave expressed his gratitude when I told him I selflessly substituted my originally planned brussel sprouts for the salad. He said his parents forced him to eat brussel sprouts as a kid so I’m glad I let them slide for this first impression.
Here I am trying to look my best as the cute little housewife. Check out the wee bit of cleavage exposed by my contemporary apron.
I don't normally buy "organic" but Kroger conveniently puts their granola section very close to the front door and so when I ran in there the other day I opted not to dive deep into the store and instead stick to product that was nearby. I bought these organic chickpeas. And I felt it necessary to say that I actually could taste a difference. They had a deeper color and a less slimy texture. These were much better than their store brand competitors.
(and Sorry Grandma Jan...Lauren is just heart broken that she played with her pumpkin so much that she actually dropped it TWICE and caused some of the paint to flake off....oh man did she cry!)

Well since Matt's home now I've assigned him bedtime duty and the kids are all in their PJs with teeth brushed so it's about time I start pitching in and read a bedtime story or 3.