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thisweekwasablur: David and Ashley's wedding was beautiful. We ate a filling portion of Mexican food at Papasito's after pictures at the temple, and then feasted on Rudy's bar-b-que at the reception that night. After a very full Saturday, we drove back to Lawrence from SA on Sunday, leaving at 5:30 am and getting home around 7:00 pm. Morning driving is proving to be ideal for the boys. It was a wonderful trip.

We're mapping out our next summer journey--to Canada! We're planning to drive through South Dakota to Mt. Rushmore, then over to Yellowstone, and finally up to Cardston, Alberta. Plans are still pending for our return trip, but we'll likely come through Utah on the trusty I-70. In the meantime, I've purchased a pass for the Topeka and Kansas City zoos, so we're all set!

[Comments] (3) Will Ferrell Does GWB: I have to share this Will Ferrell spoof. Dave played it for me last night to cheer me up, and it sure worked.

[Comments] (3) Confessions: I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I love the X-Men movies. I love them because they transform very real issues of racism and stereotyping into a context that is non-threatening: mutant versus non-mutant citizens. This way, the audience can work through issues of cultural, racial, and religious prejudice in a different setting.

I really liked the first two movies, but the third, X-Men: The Last Stand was disappointing. It lacked the character development that added depth to the first two. I also didn't like how the filmmakers portrayed Magnito's mutants; there was a lot of stereotyping going on there. I thought those characters were evidence of some lazy filmmaking. Couldn't Brett Ratner and his team of writers think of some more clever way to identify them than using body piercings and tattoos?

The movie was worth watching, but I'd give it 2.75 stars. If you do go see it, make sure to stay through the credits for a surprise clip!

[Comments] (3) Why not to use "don't" commands with children. . .: There we were, in my mother and step father's backyard pool, swimming. It becomes evident that Samuel urgently needs to pee. "Samuel, quick, go pee in the bushes!" I holler. He looks around, but the rough Texas grass isn't very inviting. "Well, pee on the grass, pee on the rocks (there is a nearby rock garden), I don't care, just don't pee in the p---!" Before I say the words, he turns, as if in slow motion, faces the pool, and whips down his pants. The deed is done.

Thank goodness for chlorine!

[Comments] (4) Anniversaries: Now We Are Six: Yesterday was Atticus' birthday; he is six. That means yesterday marks the anniversary Dave and I became parents, which is sort of a scary thing. Have we really been doing this for six years??? Last night we had a small group of friends over for cake with candles and singing. We made the same chocolate cake recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything that we've made for four out of six of Atticus' birthdays.

June 11th is now marked by another momentous occasion. As I was on the phone for a quick hello with a cousin, I heard cries of mob activity. The children, unattended, had begun a food fight in the kitchen! I walked into the room to find splatters of melted chocolate ice cream and icing on the walls, floor, and cupboards! There was grape juice spilled all over the floor (that I'd carefully mopped the night before in preparation for the get-together)! I would anticipate this kind of activity maybe at sixteen, but at six!! Yikes! At least I can console myself that the first globs of ice cream were thrown by the eight-year-old sibling of one of Atticus' friends . . . In the meantime, I'd better mop my floor now.

[Comments] (1) : I was turning my nose up at the sickeningly-sweet smell of the boys' Sponge Bob fruit snacks when Atticus responded brightly, "It's fit for a boy!"

[Comments] (3) Alyson's Tip for the Day: Do not trust children when they are quiet. Quiet = mischief. *sigh* This week is making me so tired.

[Comments] (6) Knead Bread?: Here is my very favorite bread recipe. I bake bread at least once a week, and my small family always eats all three loaves. Sometimes I share a loaf with a friend and bake twice in a week. It is a bit of work, since I don't have a mixer that can handle the volume of whole wheat flour the reicipe calls for, but I'm getting in touch with my pioneer heritage by hand kneading, right?

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cups mild molasses (not blackstrap) or honey (honey is obviously sweeter, molasses somehow keeps moist longer)

3 Tbsp. canola oil or soft butter

2 tsp. salt

2 cups lukewarm water

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast

8 cups whole wheat flour (or up to 2 cups all purpose flour and 6 cups whole wheat to help the gluten develop--though all whole wheat is fabulously soft and moist in this recipe)

Pour boiling water over the oatmeal in a large glass bowl and let stand for 30 minutes.

Add molasses/honey, oil/butter, and salt to oat mixture. Dissolve one Tbsp. yeast in 2 cups warm water and add to oat mixture.

Beat and work in enough of the flour to make a medium-soft dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth, about 15 minutes.

Place dough in a clean bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Turn onto floured board and knead again.

Divide dough in two for large (9x5ish) bread pans, or three for medium (8x4ish) loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake loaves five minutes, lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake approximately 40 minutes longer or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom.

Recipe from Nancy O'Connor, Nutrition and Education Outreach Coordinator and the Merc. If you live in Lawrence, Kansas, check out Nancy's classes. They are great!!

[Comments] (11) Moments: We had some funny, some thoughtful, and some crazy moments today. I thought I'd share a few . . .

While driving home from the library after a magic show early this afternoon, Atticus and Samuel suddenly fell apart. They had thoroughly enjoyed oooing and awing over the magician, and then picking some books, but once they were in the car, they wailed and moaned that they were too hungry to last the drive home. Atticus cried true tears over his starvation, and said, "Mom, we are going to die! And then you won't have any children! They'll all be dead!!"

Well, with that said, I turned the car around, and we went to Joe's Bakery for sandwiches and donuts.

But regardless, we did have a good trip to the library. I always laugh when we get to the check out and Samuel empties his book bag. Our routine is that each boy gets to fill a book bag with as many books as he can carry. Samuel always has a very miscellaneous collection of picks. Today he came home with a lighter load than usual, but an interesting mix nevertheless: Rabbit Raising from the Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Series, The New York Public Library Kid's Guide to Research, by Deborah Heiligman, two Star Wars books from the paperback display *bleah*, and a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book.

In another conversation, Atticus and I were discussing a play date invitation from his best friend, Connor. Let me preface: Atticus refuses to play at a friend's house without an accompanying parent. He seems highly traumatized by the very though of a baby-sitter, and nothing quite matches the happiness of knowing mom/dad are right in the next room. (BTW, this made for difficulties getting him off to school 60% of our school-day mornings last year.) This is sometimes flattering, mostly frustrating, but I love the kid, and I try to spare him the anguish.

So I told Atticus, with extra enthusiasm, that he could go to this special last play date before Connor moves all by himself!!! He looked at me, skeptical, and said, "But mom, you know that problem I have with my tummy . . ." And this problem is that he has psychosomatic stomachaches when he is nervous. Duh!

And the last laugh of the day came when Samuel announced his intentions of marrying his friend Lydia. Parker, my friend, you’d better WATCH OUT!!

[Comments] (3) : I'm catching a plane to Calgary in less than thirty hours. Can I be ready?? Yikes!


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