Friday, November 28, 2008

The afterglow of a well-prepared meal

I don't consider myself a good cook, so I was surprised at the feeling of overwhelming pride that came over me whilest I surveyed the bountiful spread of food on our Thanksgiving table.
So this is why they do it! This is why some people put so much time and effort and thought into their food. I now understand the mind of the Foodie. (Why do I feel like watching a "Top Chef" marathon? Has Anthony Bourdain always been that handsome?")
Thank you, everyone, for your recipes and encouragement. I will definitely try them over the holidays.
Here (above) is an example of Martha's Magic Rolls. Not "The" Martha, "my" Martha, my mom. It was the first time I attempted them on my own. They were wonderful.
I also followed some of your advice, my dear readers, and made my own cranberry sauce. I used Cranberry Sauce II from So little effort for such a big pay off. Who knew?!
And now on to the next holiday. I hope you like pictures. I am going to flood my blog with them. A little teaser for up-coming posts? How about, "Anniethology's Week of Humanity"?
Hurry back!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Anniethology Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving dinner at the House of Payne is going to be very traditional: Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, green bean salad, ect. Oh, and of course, pumpkin pie. But what I am missing is a way to show-off with food. I need a side dish or a dessert that will show my dinner guests that I put some extra thought and effort into the classic meal.
I invite you, my dear Anniethology readers, to give me your suggestions and recipes. Help me take my Thanksgiving meal from traditional to terrific!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturdays with Sam Payne

Here's a video from a talented singer, songwriter, and musician, Sam Payne. Yep, he's my people. Look for me in the slideshow. I'm the one with the gun.

Who needs sleep?

Guess where I was a 4:18 a.m. this morning? Where else can you get your Saturday's edition of angry cats and decorated cakes with spelling errors? Give up? Clickety here!!
"Hala Hala Hala"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Den mom's designer duds

I couldn't very well make smores and tie knots in this?! Well...I could, but I won't.

This uniform is way more practical.

Oscar believes you don't have to forgo style for practicality. He designed the scarf for the den mother uniform.

This will be the only time in my life I ever wear a designer item. I make the most of it every Tuesday afternoon. Thanks Oscar!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The crazy lady down the street...

...put her Christmas tree(s) up already!

She must really l♥ve Christmas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finders keepers, not as clear cut as it may seem

Mini Me ran downstairs the other night, pretty excited over something. She handed me a dictionary and said, "Look inside."

What I found was a ten dollar bill. She asked if she could keep it. I told her that it's probably someone's birthday money that they stashed and forgot about. I also said that if nobody claimed it, she could have it.

I called the boys down and showed them the dictionary. I said that if they could tell me what was inside the dictionary and why, they could have it. Boy #2 said,

"A lot of words and what they mean, so people can know stuff."

"Yes, that is true, but not exactly what I was looking for."

It became apparent that they had no clue. My questioning jogged no memory of using the dictionary as a piggie bank.

When I divulged the contents and the amount, suddenly the memories came flooding back, they all remembered putting the money in there. At that point I could not judge who the real recipient of the money was and why they put it there.

I invoked the Finders Keepers Rule and gave the ten dollar bill to Mini Me.

The groans of dispair turned into yelling about how unfair I was. That is when Secret Agent Man came out of his secret lair office to remind, Boy #2 in particular, that yelling at mom is never acceptable. I got a forced, but nice and tearful apology.

The next day Boy #1 brought me the ten dollar bill and let me know that Mini Me had left it on their computer desk. The Finders Keepers Rule turned in his favor and he became the new owner of the ten dollar bill.

To her 7-year-old credit there was no whining, wailing or gnashing of teeth.

Later that night, the same night we went shoe shopping (it was a long night), the boys wanted to spend their money. While I paid for my purchases at Sears, they ran ahead to Target to peruse the toy section. By the time I got there, they had not yet made up their minds and tried to negotiate for more money. I said "no" and told them we needed to get going. Boy #2 pleaded with his brother,

"Just grab something, anything!"

They wanted to drop that ten dollar bill like it was hot, they didn't care what they spent it on, just as long as they got to spend it!

When I told them that I was not going to give them any more money and that we need to leave, Boy #2 not having learned his lesson about yelling at the woman who carried him inside of her body for nine months, yelled at me again! In Target!

That's when he got the quiet, but harsh and deadly mad mom whisper,

"This trip is over. You are not getting anything. You are not going to say another word. We are going to walk out of this mall right now."

You can imagine the tongue lashing he received all the way home.

Mini Me was pretty upset with me too. She had her eye on a new Littlest Pet Shop that I refused to buy her.

Later that night, it was a long night, I saw Mini Me packing her bags. When I asked her if she was planning on running away, she told me she was just "arranging" her purses.

The next morning, the boys were looking for their money again. It seems that they had left it on the coffee table the night before.

Apparently, Mini Me learned the finders keepers lesson. She picked it up and put it in the safest place she knew, her Hello Kitty wallet inside of her giraffe print purse.

The boys knew they were defeated. There was no arguing the point. Their little sister took advantage of the situation and profited.

Later that day, Boy #2 came home "sick" from school. While he had the house to himself, he went into his sister's room, found the purse, opened the wallet and took the money. He then hid it inside the speakers of his stereo.

When the other kids came home, he pretended to find it, handed it to his brother and told him to come tell me what they had found.

Knowing that my daughter was not foolish enough to leave the money unattended again, I immediatedly knew that something was fishy. Upon cross-examination both boys denied taking the money out of their sister's wallet.

Boy #2 was not immediately forth-coming and to Boy #1's credit he did not rat-out his brother, but Secret Agent Man, as known by his associates as "The Human Lie Detector," procured a rapid, yet unremorseful confession. Boy #2 felt fully justified believing that this money was his to begin with.

I needed to take a break and have some time to think about how I was going to deal with the sneaking, the lying, and the stealing. I let the boy stew in anticipation of punishment for over an hour, when I finally announced to him that he and I needed some time alone to talk about his behavior. I told him to get on his shoes and wait in the car, I was going to get my keys and purse and we were going to go to McDonalds for some ice cream and talk.

He sat in the car for about five minutes before he came back in to find me at my desk and said,

"I thought we were going to McDonalds."

I looked up from my computer screen and said flatly,

"I lied."

I don't know what the tears were about. The disappointment, the realization of having been lied to, whatever they were for, it was the effect I was going for. I said,

"Feels pretty crummy to be lied to, doesn't it?"

This isn't the last time our kids are going to lie to us, or be sneaky, or perhaps even steal, so the lectures and lessons have continued over the last couple of days. This whole finders keepers business has been interesting to see the revealing of their characters and note what we need to work on.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The words you thought you would never hear me say

"If I never go shoe shopping again, it will be too soon."

It started back in July. We were in Phoenix on our way to Boston. We went to a mall in Scotsdale to buy tennis shoes for the boys. We went to Foot Locker and just let them pick out whatever they wanted. Mistake number one.

I usually have them choose shoes that are gray or black because white shoes look old faster. But, I thought, "Hey, we are on vacation, try not to micro-manage every aspect of their life for a change." Mistake number two.

Boy #1 picked out a pair of $55.00 shoes. I didn't even look at the price of Boy #2's shoes, assuming that they were a similar price. Mistake number three.

I didn't realize until we rang them up that they were $80.00 shoes! For a 9-year-old?! Are you kidding me? I went ahead and bought them. What has been long suspected was then confirmed, I do, in fact, have brain damage. Mistake number four.

Two weeks ago, Boy #2 gave up wearing his $80.00 shoes. He developed a corn on his little toe and it was rubbing against his shoe. He helped himself to my tennis shoes. He didn't seem to mind that they were ladies tennis shoes. I've medicated his corn and it is fading away, but I guess I will need a stronger medication to rid him of his penchant for ladies shoes. He even wears my tennis shoes to church, insisting that his church shoes are so small that he walks on top of his toes.

If you know me at all, you know how much it kills me to have my kids wear tennis shoes to church, let alone, my tennis shoes!

So, tonight, we went to the mall, the kids and I. This time around was different.

Boy #2 got ten dollar tennis shoes instead of $80.00. Both he and his brother, at my insistence picked out gray and black shoes.

But, I did cave on the "color rule" with Mini Me. She picked out a pair of black Skechers for $34.99. Again, she is only seven, what does she need $34.00 shoes for? We compromised on a white pair of "High School Musical" shoes for $16.99, with half off of that price for also buying Boy #1's shoes in the same store. I hate character shoes, I think they are lame, but for that price, I was willing to let Mini Me walk on Zac Efron's face.

We were able to buy three pairs of tennis shoes for under $80.00. I know my thrifty friends could out frugal me. They could get six pairs of shoes with pizza money to spare for that amount, but it's still a massive improvement. Don't ya think?

But, alas the boys still needed new dress shoes. boys dress shoes were $20.00. It felt like a conspiracy. I hated to pay that price especially since I cannot keep up with their ever increasing growth rate. We ended up buying shoes that are two sizes too big. It may look like they are wearing flippers for awhile, but at least I won't have to buy them dress shoes until their Senior Prom.

At one point during the evening, if you were in close enough proximity, you could hear me do that "mad mom" whisper, you know the one.

"This is a store, not your living room. Quit touching each other, stop making those noises, apologize for hiting your sister in the face with your shoebox, and stop laying on the benches. Is it too much to ask that we leave the mall with a little bit of dignity?!"

Apparently it is.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My inner females are fighting

There are three famous females that I idolize. Not just idolize, I consider them to be my close personal friends, even though they don't return my phone calls. I would even say that a part of them lives inside of me.

So when my inner females don't agree, it hurts.
When a couple of my inner females have thinly veiled contempt for one of my other females, how do I metabolize the loathing within myself?

I hate it when they gang up on each other. Two of the females don't want the other anywhere near the government. But if she is not in the government, where else is she going to go? TV, that's where! And they definitely don't want her in their realm, either.

I love all my inner females. I want them to love and respect each other, too. I can't turn my back on any of them, just like I could not turn my back on myself.

Maybe if one of them would call me, we could work this out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The word for the day is "resignation"

I have resigned myself to the fact that I am not good at picking winners. In the past year alone, I have picked these losers.
Korto from Project Runway

"Archie" from American Idol

Jason from the Bachelorette
And I believe that the world would have been a better place had they won.

At least I can feel good that I have done my part. I have had my say. I admit to getting a little teary-eyed in the line at the polls today. I am grateful to live in a country where little Annie Payne, wife and mother from Fruita, Colorado can vote for her leaders. It was done orderly, respectfully, and without intimidation.

One of these videos is not like the other. Come on, can you tell me which one?

*Pakistani election sponsored by Rubbermaid

Regardless of what happens today, we still live in the best country in the world.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Halloween too fun for pictures

Have you ever had so much fun that you forgot to take pictures?! Monkey Brain Meat Loaf, interminable rounds of Apples to Apples, and chasing the Schwains man for free ice cream kept us entertained to the point where we didn't even stop to consider capturing the moment.

I am having the kids put their costumes back on this morning so we can get some post-Halloween shots. Until then, here are some pics from a giant bug sculpture installment at a botanical garden near Boston we visited this summer.

Stop by later to see more!

It's later!

Palin protected by the force

Candy Snow Angel

Galatic Conservatism is alive and well.

Palin Action Sequence

Sarah is not afraid to "go rogue" against her own party for the benefit of the galaxy.