Wednesday, December 30, 2009

WW - Actual Sunday School Craft

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 in Review Meme

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Borrowed this from both Syl at Watching Paint Dry and Kashka_Z at Aunt Templeton's Theme Song. Looks like I did it at the end of last year, too.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Belly danced IN PUBLIC twice a month during the summer and into the fall at the Wednesday Green Bay Farmer's Market.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Some of them, and yes. Whole separate post there.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My youngest brother & SIL had the cutest little boy last March - my first nephew & the first grandson for my parents .

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.

5. What countries/states did you visit? Just MN, and that only from WI.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Exercise equipment. Oh, and motivation and willpower

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory and why? Girls' Adventure Weekend was very memorable, especially for poor Syl.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting rid of (more than) 365 things, and getting on board the Flylady wagon.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not losing weight. In fact, gaining a few pounds.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Only minor colds, stubbed toes, etc.

11.What was the best thing you bought?
Time will tell, but Mr. Kluges and I purchased a new TV & DVD player for ourselves/each other to be our birthday/xmas present, plus with gift money from relatives. Now we can move our only other tv, received nearly 10 years ago as a wedding present, down to basement where we should get our exercise room set up this next year.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Um, have you met our house? Probably there.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having a bike so I could get places faster than walking (esp. with the girls) in nice weather without having to get out the car for short distances. Also, you know, Girls' Adventure Weekend - the first night(s) I was ever away from Penguin (2) and (other than when in hospital to have Penguin) Pumpkin (5).

14. What song will always remind you of 2009?
This one.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? a) about the same, b) mumblemumble, c) I think a bit richer.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of? In hindsight? Exercising/practicing belly dance.

17.What do you wish you’d done less of? Procrastinating. But I'm working on that. Really.

18. What was your favorite TV program? Castle

19. What was the best book you read this year? Gosh, the best nonfiction was definitely Stiff, but I can't name a particular one of the many (usually light & relaxing) fictions that stands out at the moment.

20. What was your greatest musical discovery? Guitar Hero I & II! Ok, not a great new discovery to you all, but thanks to Jaysan & TSB, I've now got it and can play whenever I want to! Thanks again, guys! (Or maybe Pomplamoose. See #14.)

21. What did you want and get?
Tons of stuff from our generous families and friends.

22. What did you want and not get? Thinner. And I don't mean the book.

23. What was your favorite film this year?
I think the question might more accurately be, did I actually see ANY movies in the theater this year?

24. What did you do on your birthday this year and how old were you?
I turned 37, and Mr. Kluges built me a birthday igloo. :)

25. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A magic wand that would clean. Not declutter, 'cuz I need to make the choices on what to keep, donate, toss, etc., but one that would dust, vacuum, mop, etc.

26. What kept you sane? Reading your blogs, blogging (what I did of it anyway), and seeing progress on the tidiness of the house.

27. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I just saw the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so Mr. Depp is on my mind at the moment.

28. What political issue stirred you the most? I try not to discuss politics here. Polite company and all. I did dream this week that Mr. Obama came to see the House of 42 Doors, but it was completely different, built as a stack of rooms on top of each other, on the waterfront, possibly in San Francisco, and the brick exterior was covered in rows of lace valances.

29. Who was the best new person you met?
I really loved getting to meet M and R at Girls' Adventure Weekend. They're a couple of real peaches! And more recently, I think I'm going to make a mom friend. Her son and Pumpkin really get along well at school, are two of the 3 readers, she's also got a daughter (4) and another son (2), she's traveled overseas & has an Etsy shop.

30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. Thanks to the Flylady, I learned the power of 15 minutes. Setting a timer, focusing on a single task/area, and getting started can make a much bigger impact than you'd suppose. Then start doing it a few times a week and you'll definitely see progress!

31. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Kids' song, but "Step by step at an easy pace. An easy pace like a turtle in a race." because it reminds me of the Flylady's baby steps.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WW - More Holiday Fun

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WW - Oh, no! The igloo's got a sag!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

(Mr. Kluges's original post about his igloo over at House of 42 Doors)

Monday, November 30, 2009

NaBloPoNo Day #30! I did it!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Hooray! It's November 30th & I've posted every day! The first day was over at Recipeeps, but I did it!

Now, I'm off to keep unpacking, doing supper dishes, start a load of laundry, get at least some of the stuff from the car out of (or at least tidier in) the living room, and prepare for tomorrow. Glad to be back home after the long LONG drive back from MN, but we had a wonderful time & enjoyed seeing so much of our families.

(Oh yeah, and since tomorrow is December, I've got to remember to update the monthly theme & quote at Recipeeps and the goal here...)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

And once again, my thanks to Mugsy over at Drive Fast. Take Chances. for providing another meme I could swipe!

I’ve come to realize that my chest-size. . .will never stop traffic.

I’ve come to realize that my job. . .is wonderful, frustrating, and rewarding.

I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving. . . I like to sing along with the music.

I’ve come to realize that I need. . . to let people know what I need.

I’ve come that realize that I have lost. . . not enough weight.

I’ve come to realize that I hate it when. . . I do stupid stuff.

I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk. . . I'd better not keep drinking.

I’ve come to realize that money... ebbs and flows.

I’ve come to realize that certain people. . .won't change, so I might as well get used to it.

I’ve come to realize that I’ll always. . . have books on my nightstand.

I’ve come to realize that my sibling(s). . . are pretty great guys.

I’ve come to realize that my mom… does things with a logic I couldn't always see as a teen.

I’ve come to realize that my cell phone. . . probably has no signal here.

I’ve come to realize that when I wake up in the morning. . .before the girls, life goes more smoothly all day.

I’ve come to realize that last night before I went to sleep. . .I think I forgot to brush my teeth.

I’ve come to realize that right now I am thinking. . . I'm glad NaBloPoMo is almost done.

I’ve come to realize that my dad. . . knows a lot about a lot of stuff.

I’ve come to realize that today. . . will never come again.

I’ve come to realize that tonight. . . is yet to come.

I’ve come to realize that tomorrow. . . will be a really, really long drive.

I’ve come to realize that I really want to. . . work on toning up my tummy before the dance recital in March.

I’ve come to realize that the person mostly likely to repost this is. . . Syl.

I’ve come to realize that life. . .never goes quite the way you expect.

I’ve come to realize that my friends. . .are truly fabulous people & I'm so thankful for the internet as it makes it so much easier to keep in touch.

I’ve come to realize that this year. . . I did a great job with my declutter/tidy resolutions, thanks in large part to Flylady.

I’ve come to realize that my exes. . . aren't very numerous, and are of varying levels of google-ability.

I’ve come to realize that maybe I should. . .finish this up, and probably wake up the late napping two year old.

I’ve come to realize that I love. . .my family. And chocolate.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand. . . people who are mean on purpose.

I’ve come to realize my past. . . does not necessarily accurately predict my future.

I’ve come to realize that parties. . . are more fun when you've got fewer responsibilities.

I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified. . . of jumping off high things into water.

I’ve come to realize that my life. . . is pretty darn good, and I need to count my blessings more.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 28's Post

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

We've shifted grandparents now - from my parents' home to the in-laws. *wave* "Hi, Grandma Pet & Grandpa Pharaoh, and Grandpa Jem & Gramma Yori!" Finally got the kids down to sleep tonight - they were exhausted and are very out of schedule. Now we've got the Irish drink recipes book out. I figured I'd better post now. :)

Sorry these last NaBloPoMo posts haven't been expecially substantial, but I don't want to take much time away from family time, especially since we don't get back to MN that much. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to grab some time during quiet time (if it happens) and do a few more words than I have been.

Hope you're all enjoying the weekend!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lessons from a movie: beware, and practice at dodgeball

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Hoo-boy, sneakin' in under the wire on this one! Busy day with shopping in the downtown area, going back to the downtown with Mr. Kluges to visit an antiques store without the girls, a couple of brisk walks to work off some of yesterday's calories, playing with a remote control car in the cul-de-sac and a lovely early show, also sans girls.

Now, I don't know if you're planning on seeing 2012, which is the movie we saw (I'd link to it now, but with dial-up, it'd take a while & it's late), but if you've seen any of the trailers or previews, you'll know it's an end-of-the-world disaster movie.

I'll try not to be too spoiler-y, but feel free to stop reading if you're planning on seeing the movie... On the way back to my folks', Mr. Kluges and I started making a(n incomplete) list of some of the things with which characters had near misses.

Trying not to give too much away, but the list included:
  • cars
  • buildings (while in a car AND separately while in planes)
  • a cement truck
  • a train
  • airplanes
  • mountains
  • not-the-real Eiffel Tower
  • the Pacific Ocean
  • newly-formed volcanic stuff
  • fireballs from the above
  • more mountains
  • lots of buildings
  • hydraulics
  • sealing-things-off partitions
  • gates/ramps
Note: This list does not include things crumbling away beneath them, but that was definitely also a hazard.

So, things I've learned from this movie - play a lot of dodgeball & bumper cars to hone those avoidance skills; learn to fly a plane; crazies are sometimes right; once is chance, twice is coincidence, three times is conspiracy and several dozen times is this movie.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ok, briefest of posts to say "Happy Thanksgiving!" to all my fellow Americans and "Happy Birthday!!!" to my youngest brother. I hope you all had as much fun, family & delicious food as we enjoyed today.

And do take a minute, even if it's just before you hit the hay, to think about the many, many blessings you've got - I know I will, and I appreciate all of them.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I don't even play a mechanic on TV...

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

When in the course of running around to do errands, bringing 2 yo to her (with you) half-hour class, getting gas, picking up kindergartners, if you should happen to notice a largish puddle under your front passenger tire... the same area the brake line was leaking & needed replacement not that long ago...

...and you're supposed to leave on a 6 hr+ drive that very same day...

...and so you look beside the wheel at the brake line...

...and see liquid and drips... you quickly call the local mechanic (2 blocks away) and he kindly says he'll take a look at it for you right away...

...and so you load up 3 girls and drive down there ASAP...

...if you're lucky, like me, you won't have to deal with any big issues, since, as he so politely explained to me, it's water... from the defrost... 'cuz it like runs the A/C to remove the humidity or something like that...

...and you might feel a little bit (ok, maybe more than a little bit) silly, but a LOT relieved!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Plus, oh yeah, mind the kids

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Leaving tomorrow late afternoon/most likely evening for MN to see lots of relatives & eat lots of delicious and fattening food. Hooray! That means I've got a bit of a to-do list today, so that tomorrow I just have to worry about finishing up packing the suitcases with toiletries & things we need until the last minute, taking Penguin to her half-hour Tot Time class, buying a few last minutes things, gassing up the car, maybe stopping by big library for book/CD sets, & loading up the car.

So, that means today is:
  • finish up laundry, fold, put away
  • make trail mix and pack car snacks - done
  • pack car toys/books
  • choose/pack DVDs & CDs
  • charge car DVD player & make sure have all cords
  • wrap any MN Xmas presents we already have that haven't already been wrapped, load into box(es) labeled with which side of the family to which they'll be going
  • continue eating up leftovers
  • buy WI beer to bring along (already got cheese & wine) - done
  • do as much of my weekly home blessing as I can fit in
  • do NaBloPoMo post - done!
So off to work on some other parts of my list. Cheerio!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

See "other."

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

No real post here today, but I'll point you over to Recipeeps where today I did post the recipe Mr. Kluges cooked on the giant radiator puddle day - Fettucine with Garlic Scallops.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Papah Pharaoh!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Just a quick post today, but I wanted to wish my dad a happy birthday! I think he and Grandma are actually up babysitting for my youngest brother's son, so we left messages for him on their home phone and his cell. Looking forward to seeing you all soon for Turkey Day!

Happy Birthday,
Grandpa Pharaoh!!!

And many more!!!!!!

Love from your best daughter, mother of your best granddaughters, & wife of your best son-in-law!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My afternoon could've been better, not wetter.

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Yesterday was a bit of a crap day, with some lovely flooding of the living room and sun porch due to holes in the sun porch radiators. Which we knew about, because we'd accidentally frozen the pipes in them our first winter in the house, when we'd closed off that room, but assumed (wrongly!) that it would stay warm enough since there's just a French door separating it from the rest of the house. Yeah, with no foundation under that room, it got cold. So, frozen pipes in the baseboard radiators. Fortunately that's mostly a separate system from the rest of the house, so it wasn't a big deal to leave it off, drained out, and unfixed, until it made it to the top of the house-fixing-budget priority list.

But, imagine that, the heating guy who came out yesterday to check the system before winter didn't know that.

And some homeowners (*coughuscough*) hadn't thought to label the shut-off valves for those sun porch radiators with anything, let alone, "DO NOT OPEN!"

And, of course, in the process of checking everything, he turned those valves.

And when I walked downstairs with Penguin to get her a potty treat at the beginning of quiet/nap time, I thought, "How is there a puddle in the living room? There's no pipe or sink over there by the TV. And the kids aren't allowed water/drinks/food in there. Oh, wait, that's a BIG puddle! Oh, DA*N, the sun porch is flooded! ARGH! IT'S THE RADIATORS! WHERE'S THE SHUT-OFF VALVE!!!"

Quick call to the source-of-all-knowledge-of-our-house, aka my husband, some pipe following down in the basement, some "ARGH! Now it's SPRAYING out! Different valve!", and eventually the system was reisolated and off.

And the wrapped presents, unwrapped presents, wrapping stuff, rug, 2 boxes of books to get rid of, one of the two rocking chairs, giant candle stand, and a few more miscellaneous stuff were moved out of the sun porch, I spent about an hour mopping the corner of the living room and the flooded sun porch. (While quiet time was replaced by some video watching time.)

Which was rather icky since the water in the sun porch was mostly black thanks to the coal dust that had been embedded in the grout between the tiles and under the baseboards. But hey, it's clean(er) now!

And my hubby volunteered to cook the supper last night, which was a new recipe I'd picked out (Fettuccine with Garlic Scallops), and it was yummy! I'll try to post it over to Recipeeps soon.

I think Kashka_z was right when she twittered that I was maybe on some alternate version of the calendar where yesterday was actually my Friday the 13th. Especially considering that while I mopped, not 10 feet away from me Penguin swallowed a coin, probably a penny.

So, Happy Friday to you all and Happy New Day to me! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Looking on the bright side

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

The sun porch floor is the cleanest it's been since before we moved in (white grout, who knew?)...

...I don't think we lost any of the (wrapped) presents on the floor to water damage...

...and I now know where the shut-off valves are to the radiators in that room.

P.S. Oh, and also, that I'm pretty sure it was only a penny that Penguin swallowed while I was mopping.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WW - Us at the Colosseum in 2002

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

(FYI, yes, this was prescheduled, but I did post actually today over at Recipeeps.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

...and the rest of the questions stolen from Mugsy

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Thanks again to my favorite Star-Trek-rock-climbing, cute-boot-wearing, clapping-man-traffic-spotting fellow NaBloPoMo'er! Here's part 2 of the strange questions.

26. What color is your watch? I just bought one recently that's like clear plastic. Not that I wear it since I usually just check my phone.

27. What do you think of when you hear “Australia?” "Australia, Australia, Australia, Australia! We love you, amen!" I blame my husband for that.

28. Would you strip for money? No. Well, maybe I'd swallow my pride if we were talking 6 figures or over. Not that anybody's offered. :)

29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? We eat fast food rarely, and it's usually when we're trying to make time while traveling, so we go in to use the bathrooms, but get the food to go.

30. What is your favorite number? I'm partial to 6, but not strongly.

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone? The guy at the photo place who called about the estimate for repairs on the camera.

32. Any plans today? Well, since it's already 9:30 pm, to finish this, and do my Flylady Before Bed Routine.

33. In how many states have you lived? Just two, but three countries.

34. Biggest annoyance right now? The age of two. Many, many things about the age of two years old.

35. Last song listened to? Some Norah Jones one in the car.

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? Sort of, but I have to sing it and/or think really hard. Thanks, They Might Be Giants.

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house? Nope.

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? It varies, but I'm fond of my tan suede Simple Shoes sneakers, which I got on sale this summer. Something like these.

39. Are you jealous of anyone? Yes, various people for various reasons.

40. Is anyone jealous of you? I'd like to think that at least one somebody thinks my life is pretty good besides me. Not perfect, but pretty darn good, all in all.

41. Do you love anyone? Definitely.

42. Do any of your friends have children? Quite a few of them do.

43. What do you usually do during the day? Care for children; cook; clean; run errands; wear pearls while cooking dinner; bring my husband his slippers, pipe, & scotch when he gets home... Ok, mostly the first four.

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? No.

45. Do you use the word hello daily? Definitely.

46. What color is your car? Tan.

47. What size wedding ring do you wear? I think 7. It's not something I find myself shopping for often.

48. Are you thinking about someone right now? No, I'm thinking about answering these questions.

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags? No, I don't think so.

50. How did you get your worst scar? I accidentally stuck a pitchfork into the top of my left foot (but not through) while wearing sandals long, long ago, and I still have a small round scar, and probably will until I die.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reason #432 I wish I had my camera back

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

In Pumpkin's Sunday School class, they often do crafts. Makes total sense - lets them connect with whatever Bible story or concept they're talking about, fun, it's a fairly long time they've got them, etc.

Yesterday after the service we got her from class and I was completely puzzled by her craft.

No. I take that back. Actually, I was completely puzzled and taken aback by the fact that she'd apparently made the Flying Spaghetti Monster in Sunday School.

Yup, round plate, covered with glued-on off-white yarn in squiggly sorts of shapes, hole cut out for the mouth, 2 googly eyes. All it was missing was the meatballs.

My daughter, the Pastafarian?

Upon further questioning, turns out they'd actually talked about Daniel in the lions' den. She hadn't used any of the yellow or orange yarn in the mane of her lion, choosing only the lightest yellow.

I just so very much wish I had my camera back (got estimate today, called back and approved, maybe 7-10 days?), because, oh, I so want to share it, FSM or lion or whatever it is!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Warning: Earworms

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Lately I've ended up with a few songs stuck in my head. And since the surest way I know to get rid of an earworm is to pass it along, well...

These first two are kid songs via Jitterbug.
  • Polar Bear Over There by Uncle Rock (Penguin loves this one and will sometimes randomly point and say, "Polar bear ova dere!")
...and there was another one, but danged if I can remember it now. Oh well, if I do, I'll just add it on later. Gotta hit "Publish," you know, and move on to the second half of this NaBloPoMo month!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank God for Mugsy

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

If there were going to be a day for me to fall off the NaBloPoMo wagon, it'd be today. I just got nothing. Fortunately for me (and you! *grin*), Mugsy is also doing National Blog Posting Month this November and she just posted a lovely half-a-meme of strange questions. So guess what?! I'm totally stealing it and copying her. 'Cuz you know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? xoxo - Thanks, Mugsy!

1. What is the color of your toothbrush? Blue with pink and white
2. Name one person who made you smile today? Mr. Kluges
3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Sleeping in! Mr. Kluges and I traded mornings this weekend.
4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Putting the girls to bed on my own since Mr. Kluges had a quarterly outage this weekend.
5. What is your favorite candy bar? Mmmm! Candy bar! TWIX with Moro and/or Almond Joy coming in a close second. There are many, many third place choices.
6. Have you ever been to a strip club? Nope.
7. What is the last thing you said aloud? Good night; I love you; go to sleep.
8. What is your favorite ice cream? Any. If pressed, probably Mr. Kluges' coffee ice cream, or gelato in Italy, but really, any ice cream is good ice cream.
9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Red wine.
10. Do you like your wallet? I have no strong feelings about it, but it's fine.
11. What was the last thing you ate? Bellatoria Garlic Chicken Alfredo Ultra Thin Crust Pizza and salad
12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? No. My shopping tends to be maybe every 2-3 months if I'm lucky.
13. The last sporting event you watched? Parts of the Vikings-Packers game 'cuz the in-laws were here. No, not the most recent one, the one before that one.
14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? Salted, with butter. Or with garlic salt and butter. Yum.
15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? Either Mr. Kluges, one of the belly dancers in my troupe, or my neighbor. Not going to bother to go look now.
16. Ever go camping? Yes!
17. Do you take vitamins daily? Yup.
18. Do you go to church every Sunday? Not every Sunday, but now that Pumpkin's in Sunday School, we try to go pretty regularly. In fact, tomorrow I'm the reader. I had to look up how to pronounce "Elkanah" and "Peninnah."
19. Do you have a tan? Um, no.
20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? In general, pizza wins, but I do love me an eggroll.
21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? If it comes in a to-go cup.
22. What did your last text message say? I have no idea.
23. What are you doing tomorrow? Getting up first, getting ready for church, reading at church, brunch at home, I dunno what else.
24. Favorite color? Usually blue or green. Peaceful colors.
25. Look to your left; what do you see? An overflowing bookcase and a big toy organizer shelf.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thoughts on Cookie Baking With Multiple Child "Helpers"

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

I've baked with Pumpkin for ages. I've baked with both girls "helping" me - pizza dough, cookies, etc. Today I tried something new - I baked chocolate chip cookies with three helpers!

Yup, today, Pumpkin (age 5), Penguin (age 2.5) and "Rachelle" (age 5, Pumpkin's classmate & child I babysit) and I made chocolate chip cookies. Here are some tips, hints, and pointers.
  • Model the pre-cooking steps of making sure you have a cleared off counter/space to work, looking over recipe, and making sure you've got all the ingredients you need. Then, when you actually don't have enough vanilla, you'll know before you get started.
  • Even if the grocery store is only a half mile away, and your helpers are sure they want to walk/take turns in the wagon, drive anyway. The little bit of exercise you get from walking (slowly) and pulling the wagon will not compensate you for the time or hassle involved. Trust me.
  • Aprons are good. They make it fun, and official, and do help protect everyone's clothes. Also, don't just have the kids push up their sleeves; YOU roll them up past their elbows.
  • 3 kids = 3 batches of cookies. WAY easier if nobody has to share bowls or spoons or wait for their turn to stir. It doesn't really take any more time to measure or for them to mix up, and if you don't want to bake them all then, just freeze the dough. You'll be glad later.
  • We have two 2-step stools from Target (like this, but one's white & one's natural). One lives in the kitchen anyway so they can reach the sink, but the other one normally resides upstairs for reaching the laundry chute. They work great to get the kids to the right height at the counter. Plus, it makes them stay in one space so they're not interfering with each other. We used a smaller step stool for Rachelle since she's taller anyway.
  • I usually place myself between the two kids to minimize "bothering." That way I can also take a turn stirring as needed.
  • When you put them up at the counter, take a look at what they're near... Penguin does not get to stand on the side next to the knife block!
  • A bowl with a handle can be easier for a little one when the stirring gets tough. It keeps the bowl from turning and gives 'em some leverage. :) I've heard you can put a damp wash cloth under a bowl to keep it from turning, too, but I've never tried it.
  • Also under things I've heard of but never tried, I've heard that you can make temporary child-height counters by opening two cupboard doors and putting a board across them. Never tried it, but it sounds handy.
  • As soon as the first batch is out of the oven and cool enough, reward your helpers with the fruits of their labors! And while they have their warm cookies & milk, you can quickly wipe up the worst of the spills, throw any sticky/doughy bowls and spoons into the water to soak, and maybe do some of the other tidying up.
So there you go. Maybe something here will be helpful if you end up baking holiday cookies with kids - your own, nieces/nephews, neighbors, the babysat, whomever. If you've got any insights from baking with kids, please, share them in the comments!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Rain Forest comes to our town

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Pumpkin got to go to a special program at school today, put on by Understanding Wildlife, about the rain forest. I knew they were having it at school, but didn't mention it to her since I didn't know if the half-day classes like hers were going.

She came out the door at the end of her day calling to me, "Kinkajous, Mom! We got to see two, real, live kinkajous Their names were Jack and Jill and we got to see them!!!!" Definitely a hit.

They put on a program, which I think was pretty much identical to the in-school one, this evening, at a nearby elementary school. Pumpkin was so excited about it, they've got no school tomorrow, and Penguin had napped today, so we decided to go.

It was cool, but ran a little longer than we'd thought it would. I had guessed an hour, and it probably would have been, except that after 35 or 40 minutes they had an intermission... which lasted forever. That's because during the intermission, for five bucks, you could come up and get your picture taken holding the 15-foot long giant snake (um, an albino anaconda, I think?). So, of course, EVERYBODY practically did that. Plus, some of us (yes, us) also came home with new stuffed animals (monkeys, in our case) from their display. Then, finally, they did the second half, which was more like 25 minutes, and THEN you could line up to touch the small alligator on your way out. Which, of course, we also did.

It was cool. The first half was mostly birds - a scarlet macaw, a blue and gold macaw?, a cockatoo, a yellow-maned some-kind-of-parrot. They were all well-trained & the trainer had a very funny schtick, so it was amusing for the grown-ups, too. One talked, one flew in over the audience, one was trained to fly to an audience member who was holding up a dollar and retrieve it (and then return it), one nodded and shook his head - all very funny. Oh, plus the giant snake was shown... and even held by like 8 kids from the audience all together.

In the second half we saw two small alligators, a big one, a jungle cat-thing that looked sort of like a cheetah but smaller, the kinkajous, and a monkey. Obviously, most of those weren't as trainable/trained as the birds, but there was a funny bit with the monkey.

All in all, good fun, even though it ran later than we'd anticipated, and yeah, we did come home with two more stuffed animals, and a picture of Pumpkin and I holding a giant snake. Too bad it's not digital or I'd share it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WW - He makes a really good Bert, doesn't he?

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy 40th, Sesame Street!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

It's true - Sesame Street turns 40 today! We sometimes catch a bit of it in the mornings, if we've got 5 or 10 between getting all ready and before it's time for coats and shoes and heading out the door. It's interesting for me to see the mix of old and new characters, different features, occasionally a piece straight from back in my day.

I've always had a soft spot for my lovable ol' pal Grover, the personality conflicts of Bert & Ernie, and I thought the Twiddlebugs were neat with the way they used real life things differently in their small lives with cars made out of matchboxes, etc. I thought it was so funny that Big Bird was the only one who every saw Mr. Snuffeaupagus, so everyone thought he was imaginary. You know, I think I had my first "jump the shark" moment when someone else finally saw Snuffy and realized he was really real. I might even occasionally be heard to sing the "1, 2, 3, FOUR, FIVE, 6, 7, 8, NINE, TEN, eleven, tweh-eh-eh-el-elve!" jingle around the house...

So, how about you? Since we ALL watched Sesame Street, tell us about one of your favorite vintage Sesame Street memories?.

And then maybe join me and Bert in "Doin' the Pigeon" 'round the living room.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Monster Madness game

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Back in October, I was fortunate enough to win this fun Monster Madness Game from Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals. (Also, I highly recommend you follow them as the odds can be really great in their contests! *wink*)

We received it only a couple of days after I emailed Mary Beth our address & the girls were very excited to see it. It's so fun! Penguin at 2 1/2 doesn't get it at all, but Pumpkin can play very well and could even teach a peer to play.

Basically, you fill in a what's basically a small checkerboard with a bunch of one-of-a-kind monsters, spin a spinner to find out what color monster you need to get and how many spaces you must move to get it, and do so, refilling empty spaces as long as possible. Winner is the one who ends up with the most. Some good pix are here at BoardGameGeek.

I like that you can move in any direction, including diagonally. It's great for problem-solving and for planning on the various directions you can move to get your monster. Good fun and we've played it a bunch.

Apart from the game itself, which is fun, these monsters are GREAT for sorting. None are exactly alike, but there are 8 colors, and like 15 different basic face shapes, but you don't necessarily have one of each color for each face shape. Plus some have sharp teeth, some don't, some smile, some have horns, most have 2 eyes, but some have 1 or 3... So we've done a fair amount of sorting by different characteristics, comparing the results, predicting which will have more, and I even had/helped Pumpkin and a couple of her classmates that I watch use pictures and some letters to record their sortings.

So if you've got a kid who likes monsters, or even one who doesn't, maybe ages 4-8, I'd certainly recommend this as a great holiday gift. Throw in a stuffed monster or monster book (Where the Wild Things Are, maybe?) and you'll be the coolest gift giver!

***As mentioned previously, I received this game for free from Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals, but they never asked me to blog about it; it's just so dang cool I wanted to let you all know about it! Plus, you know, November is a long month sometimes when you're trying to post every day.***

Sunday, November 08, 2009


(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

A brief and incomplete list of things for which I felt thankful today:
  • The beautiful weather
  • A husband who is home and actively co-parents, as well as improves our house
  • That we take turns getting to sleep in on the weekends. He gets Saturday; I get Sunday. Not that I got to today thanks to sick and/or grumpy and/or overtired children, but I did crawl back into bed for an extra half hour after things were settled down.
  • That Pumpkin can read and enjoys reading. It's really helped keep her entertained while she's sick & has no voice.
  • The great book sale Mr. Kluges's work hosts twice a year to get rid of damaged books, samples, excess stock, etc. There's really cool stuff there, and at $2 an item, it helps stretch the Christmas dollars... plus lets us pick up a few gems for ourselves.
  • Flylady, for the (in general) decent condition and tidiness of the house, and helping me develop routines that make it easier to keep it so, even with a sick child.
  • Also for Flylady, for planting the idea of starting some holiday stuff now with her "Cruising through the Holidays" ideas. I'm not talking about decorating or anything like that (I firmly believe in Thanksgiving first!), but I'm actually wrapping some of the gifts I've already picked up for Christmas now, to help avoid having to do a marathon wrapping session the night before I need the gifts. Plus, I'm writing down what I'm wrapping so that I know what and how many things we've gotten for each person as we get closer to the holidays.
...and finally, for my children, for actually both napping at the same time for the first time in I don't know how long. Bless you, my sweets, I hope you find your naps restorative & happy-making. I know I'm finding them to be so! :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The plague has arrived.

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Poor Pumpkin is sick. Yesterday when I picked her up from school she sounded a little funny, and by 3:00 that day had mostly lost her voice and had a temp of 101F.

So we've hunkered down, pushing as many liquids as we can get her to drink, dosing her occasionally with children's tylenol when the fever makes her too uncomfortable, letting her rest as much as possible, and allowing unlimited eating of ice cubes. Poor thing. She's stopped talking, except when she absolutely has to, because it hurts to talk & she's got no voice to hear anyway. As Mr. Kluges had mentioned to me a few times today, it's a good thing she can read. We put her down for quiet time and she curled right up with Little House in the Big Woods and was content for more than an hour. We got her dressed and outside for a while, too, for a change of scenery and to get some fresh air, and she was really glad to be out - didn't want to come back in for a long time, even though all she was doing mostly was sitting on a chair on the porch with a blanket. Poor baby.

We've got a call in to Gramma Pet the Nurse, but she might be working tonight. We'll keep up with the fluids and rest and tylenol as needed, but if she stays sick past the weekend, we'll think about bringing her in to the doctor, or at least giving them a call to see what they advise. Poor thing. It's no fun when your kids are sick and you can't just make them better.

Friday, November 06, 2009

First, yet "Last" Theme of NaBlo

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Stolen from Mugsy at Drive Fast. Take Chances; can also be seen at Syl's Watching Paint Dry and Kashka_Z's Aunt Templeton's Theme Song.

Last Road Trip: Girls' Adventure Weekend '09, baby!

Last Bad Advice: "Go ahead! Have some more of that leftover Halloween candy!" (Received from my own subconscious, dang self-sabotager that it is!)

Last Movie I Saw in a Theater: Um.... I think it was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Last TV Show Watched: The Mentalist

Last TV Show I Enjoyed Watching: I don't usually watch shows I don't enjoy - waste of time - but I will sit through not-my-favorites while folding laundry

Last Book I Tried to Read: I tried Dante Club for Book Crack (well, actually, after Book Crack was done with it), but just couldn't get into it, and ended up returning it without finishing it, which I NEVER do. Now I'm reading Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things and enjoying it immensely.

Last Thing I Left Home Without: My husband. Usually it's the girls and I doing the school run.

Last Take Out Meal: A few weeks ago, on a Friday, I had neither kindergartner I sometimes/usually watch, so my own two girls and I hit the McDonald's drive-thru for an out-of-the-ordinary treat.

Last Celebration: I love Halloween, not that we did anything with anybody, but it was still fun!

Last Item Loaned Out and Haven’t Gotten Back: Oh, most likely a book. I think Siblings Without Rivalry. I would like to give honorable mention, however, to Sailing to Sarantium, which I'd lent to Syl YEARS ago... and got back at GAW. Thanks, Syl!

Last Package Received: A Halloween package from Gramma Yori, but it only beats out one from TNGreatAunt by a day or two. We're very lucky to get packages fairly often from generous souls. No, wait! Actually, I think this great Monster Madness Game I won from Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals came after those two. I've been meaning to write about how awesome it is anyway, so I'll try to do so tomorrow. Thanks, Mary Beth and Helen (and Rupert, of course!)

Last Web Site Visited: Um, the aforementioned Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals so I could link to it. Otherwise, probably Twitter.

Last Injury: I'm always bumping into things, giving myself paper cuts, bending back nails, etc. Yesterday I bumped Pumpkin's headboard with my wedding ring while making her bed, causing my ring to scrape the top layer of skin off a very small area on my finger. Whenever I even slightly bump my ring now, it pushes/bumps into that skinless part and hurts. However, it did not occur to me to, you know, take off my ring and put it someplace safe until Mr. Kluges suggested it when I was complaining about it tonight. *eye roll at myself*

Last Run In with the Law: Let's see... probably the last time I got a speeding ticket... which was before we went to Ireland... which was forever ago.

Last Place I’d Want to Live: Someplace super cold like the Arctic or Antarctic. But I do also have a somewhat irrational dislike of St. Cloud, MN.

Last Magazine Read: Bazaar, while waiting at my eye doctor appointment this week, which was rather bizarre, since I had to take my contacts out for his assistant earlier, so I was holding it about 3 inches from my face.

Last Thing I Broke: My replacement carafe for my French press coffee maker, which I'd had for all of 26 hours after waiting months for a local store to get them in. Not that I'm bitter or anything. (Note to those who might possibly be looking for Christmas presents for me - yes, an 8-cup replacement carafe would be great, or else an unbreakable or stainless French press will be mentioned on my wish list....)

Last Thing I Fixed: Ha. Not the carafe. I taped up a ripped book earlier today and also fixed half of my microwaveable scarf, which I'd trapped in the door late last winter and in so doing burned a hole through part of it.

Last Thing That Made Me Laugh: I'm sure it was either one of the girls or my husband, likely something about one of the girls, because I laugh at/with them multiple times daily.

Last Thing That Made Me Go Huh? One of the girls I sometimes watch, who we'll call Rachelle, said today, "Thanksgiving is just the same as Halloween." Um, no. Both are fall holidays, but otherwise, no.

Last Thought: Man, I just can't be brief at these meme things, can I?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's like Wild Kingdom around here

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Today we've seen, while going about our normal business...
  • 3 deer, while on our way to school
  • 1 hawk, sitting on a sign at the stoplights
  • 2 hawks, sitting in the oak tree in our backyard - 1 of which I can still see looking out the office window as I type this (I wish I had my camera back!)
  • a woodpecker
  • a blue jay
  • several other normal brown-ish birds, like a mourning dove, maybe some sparrows
  • quite a few squirrels, including two who were running around in the road in front of our house and I could have easily squashed with my car
  • a few chipmunks, or at least, in some cases, their tails sticking up above the leaves
  • several skeins of geese
Oh, and the neighborhood black cat, Zipper.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Management might be a good career choice...

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Scene: tonight, at the supper table

Pumpkin: I'm cold!

Me: Well, that's because you took your sweater off. Did you bring it downstairs like I told you to?

P: Um, yes. It's around here someplace.

M: (pretty sure I saw it earlier) Why don't you go look for it in the living room then?

P:(going just to the edge of the room) But it's dark! And I don't like it!

M: Hon, you can just go around the corner and turn the light on.

P: (whining) But I don't like it!

M: You've got two choices, hon. Either go in just -this- far and turn on the light or be cold.

P: (turning to her 2 year old sister) [Penguin], would you go in and turn on the light for me?

Penguin: Sure! (gets down from her chair, goes to LR, climbs 2 steps up, turns on light switch on stairway that's all of -this- far from the DR)

Mr. Kluges: (laughing) Or get somebody else to!

M: Or bamboozle somebody!

Monday, November 02, 2009

5 Things About Which I've Thought Today

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

  1. If I should do National Blog Posting Month. I did post yesterday, over at Recipeeps, and this is one for today, so, hmm.....
  2. How much I dislike the in-between stages of potty training, and how glad I'll be when Penguin's done with it.
  3. How fun it is that Pumpkin can read so well. Yesterday she came downstairs after quiet time, with Little House in the Big Woods in hand (Grandma Pet has been reading it to her when they visit), asking me if she could read me the part about Grandpa and the panther. So she did. Twice. And it was great.
  4. What sorts of things I should be thinking about putting on my own Christmas wish list & what the girls will want on theirs.
  5. "Huh. I didn't expect to be able to see a hawk poop that high up in the air."

Sunday, November 01, 2009

an excerpt from my Recipeeps post

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ok, just to make it easy to see that I DID post every day for a month, here's an excerpt from my November 1st post over at Recipeeps... I'm back-dating it so it shows up as a November 1st post here at Musings & Mutterings as well, even though I copied it over to here on the 30th, I still actually wrote & posted it over there on the 1st of November.

Happy November, everyone. Or, as we call it around here, try-not-to-eat-all-the-leftover-Halloween-candy month.

November's theme is, probably not surprisingly, turkey! We're talking anything turkey around here - from raw, using leftovers, or heck, even turkey-shaped things! Who knows, somebody around here (not me, thankfully) might even be hosting a Thanksgiving get-together, or just taking home a few pounds of leftover turkey from the in-laws.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Would that be "God or Eagle" then?

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Mr. Kluges is teaching the girls about flipping coins, in order to figure out who has to take their bath first tonight. We must start with learning "heads or tails..."

Mr. Kluges: Ok, who do you think is on this coin?

Pumpkin: Um, God?

K: No, but good guess. This is actually George Washington. I'm sure he'd be flattered.

...more explanation about coins, that if this side is "heads," the opposite side would be "tails..."

Mr. Kluges: Now, when I throw this up in the air, you say "heads" or "tails."

Pumpkin: Ok.

(coin is flipped)

Pumpkin: (excitedly) Heads or tails!

Eventually Penguin was brought up to take her bath first... and a foundation in gambling has been laid.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Not that I'd necessarily recommend it to the unwary...

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

This weekend we did something with the kids that could have proved completely disastrous.

We went to a glass and glass paperweight museum...

... with a 5 year old and a 2 year old...

... during (and therefore skipping) naptime.

There were live glass-blowing demonstrations going on that Mr. Kluges really wanted to see. And you know what? It went ok. It was one of those times when I was very, very glad that we have only two children so that we could trade off and each be in charge of one child of varying wiggliness and attentiveness. But yeah, we watched (a while) of the glass-blowing, we walked around most of the glass paperweight exhibits (amazing, some of them!), and we even toured some of the glass art exhibits.

Then we went across the road to the Rocket Playground and spent some much needed running/climbing/playing time. :) All in all, a fun way to spend Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WW - Long ago and far away...

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

WW - Soon, very soon!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

365 Things (and MORE!) GONE!!!!!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

I don't know if y'all noticed a ways down in the right sidebar (probably not and that's fine), but I managed to finish off my Get Rid of 365 Things Resolution a week or so ago. I know! Yay, me! Yup, I've gotten rid of (sold, donated, gave to somebody we know, tossed, returned, etc.) more than 365 things this year and it's only October! Hooray!

Things I've learned doing this:
  • A little at a time adds up. I keep a large plastic bag under my bed (handy place, not in the way, easy to get to) and as I come across an item I know I don't want anymore I just stick it in. Then, when it starts seeming fullish, I don't look in it ('cuz if I would have really wanted it back, I would have been thinking and thinking about it and would have pulled it out sooner), tie it up, throw it in the car, and bring it to Goodwill (or similar) the next time I'm out and about. Or, when a charity calls looking to pick stuff up, I can pull out that bag, find a few more things to add to it, and set it out for pick-up.
  • Do the easy stuff first. Really. Seriously. Chucking/donating/setting aside a few things that I KNOW I don't want/need anymore often makes it easier for me to get rid of a few more things as well. If I start with stuff I'm not sure about, I waffle about it for ages... and often end up just putting it back where it was and not looking at anything else. Even if there isn't carry-over that makes it easier to get rid of some stuff I wasn't sure about, I still have those easy things gone... and they count just as much as the hard ones.
  • Giving stuff (esp. nice stuff!) to somebody I know is way easy than just donating it. We're lucky enough to have two children of the same gender, which means most clothes get reused already. But there are some ADORABLE things the girls have worn and have now both outgrown, that I don't feel the need to save... (not that I'm not saving some of their cutest stuff, 'cuz I am!) but I don't just want to chuck in the Goodwill bag either. Enter Pumpkin's last year's teacher, who had a girl baby towards the end of the school year. I've been able to pass along grocery bags full of stuff to her. She's grateful (and uses it!), Pumpkin enjoys knowing their old stuff is being worn by Mrs. M's baby, and it's easier for me to send some of those cute little outfits along knowing they'll be enjoyed & appreciated by someone we know. I'd think if you had a favorite charity/issue to support (Epilepsy Foundation, women's shelter, animal shelter (they often need old towels/sheets), etc.), donating stuff to them specifically might also make it easier since you could focus on the good they (and you!) are doing.
  • You can try to sell stuff, but it's a lot of work/lots might not go/but the extra cash is nice. Decluttering has included bringing things to our local Once Upon a Child and selling stuff via Craig's List. I haven't wanted to keep stuff around for a rummage sale (or deal with having one, for that matter) but that could've been an option, too. Lemme tell you, you don't get much at OUAC, they only take some/a little and I usually end up buying at least as much as I get back, but it is a bit of change. With Craig's List, it's been interesting what gets snapped up right away and what just doesn't go. Which reminds me, I've got a few more things I should list pretty soon & see if they go...
  • It's still HARD! It's crazy, I know, but I sometimes feel bad for the things I get rid of. Like, I'm sorry for them that they didn't make the cut. Or, "Oh, I've had you for so long! I can't just cast you aside! Don't feel bad; you're not junk!" Between this resolution, and Flylady's "Bless somebody else with your stuff that you don't use/need," it's gotten easier, but it's still really hard for me sometimes.

If you struggle with clutter, too, are trying to simplify, or are wondering why in the world you've been keeping X around for so long, take heart! You, too, can rid yourself of 365 things in (less than) a year! All it takes is a little at a time (and a fair amount of self-encouragement!).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WW - "New shirt" AND two pairs of "leg-arm-ers" = fashion success!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

(If the title didn't make any sense,
go back and read here
about Penguin's latest fashion
choices, nay, demands.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Knock knock. Who's there? Butt!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Mr. Kluges: Well, they've reached that magic age.

Me: (hearing gales of giggles from the other room) What? When they can entertain themselves?

Mr. Kluges: No, when the funniest thing isn't "Jack in the Box," it's "Jack in the Butt."

Ah, yes. The age when fart, butt, poopy, naked, and other similar vocabulary becomes the height of hilarity. When, to be a comedian, all you have to say is "underwear!" Ah, subtlety.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WW - Our coolest cookie cutter

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Coco Penguin? Yves St. Penguin? Penguin Lauren?

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Penguin, at 2 years & 4 months, is at a stage I mostly love. She's got some reasoning, a great vocabulary if less than stellar pronunciation, and the best sense of humor. Her favorite way to justify things lately is, "I bigger!" Today at the playground it was even, "Do it mySELF! I bigger! Two-half!" Ok, Babes, you're ALMOST two-and-a-half, but go ahead and do that on your own... I'll just be right here behind you 'cuz that particular climbing thing is designed more for 6 1/2's!

But "I bigger!" is not the specific gem I got on-line here to record for posterity. No, that would be her particular fashion choices. That girl's got opinions on what she's gonna wear! I don't remember Pumpkin being so... choosy, other than also loving the same pair(s) of socks - a set of pink Dora socks and a set of matching-but-reversed-pinks Boots socks, which were turned into a two sets of "Dora/Boots" socks, which, you know, sort-of-basically-match well enough. Both girls wore/are wearing them WAY longer than they actually fit - the sock heel is mid-sole on Penguin right now - and I'm sorry to say that one of the Boots socks just wore a hole in its heel. But still, they are loved! In fact, if they were stuffed animals, they'd probably be real.

We've also got a specific set of shirts which are the favorites. They are, fairly much in order, I think, with #1 being the definitely most preferred...
  1. "Soccer ball shirt" aka a yellow MN Vikings shirt, which occasinally gets comments from Packer fans we know.
  2. "Dora shirt" (a) the pink camouflage background shirt with Dora, but (b) the other pink shirt with Dora being an acceptable second choice.
  3. (tie)"Blue's Clues shirt" Not that we watch much/any Blue's Clues, but at least this one is white with Blue and some pink and yellow in the design, so I can pretty much match it with anything.
  4. (tie)"Froggie shirt" Often chosen over Blue, this is a lime green shirt from Gramma Yori's latest trip to New Orleans with Penguin's name on it. Oh yeah, and a frog. :)
  5. "New shirt" Actually one of Pumpkin's shirts that Gramma Pet had laid out for my eldest, now appropriated by Penguin. It's a deep coral polo shirt with white collar with a few small "jewels" instead of buttons.
All the other shirts in the drawer? Yeah, apparently not so favorite. Will be worn on occasion, or under duress, but not favs. She wanted to wear her "soccer ball shirt" to church on Sunday, which, to all those fellow non-American-football-followers out there, was the opening of football season, but we told her that we only wear dresses to church. So that saved us a little grief there! :)

But oh, if you've read this far, I've got my favorite current fashion trend for you... legwarmers. For the past couple of weeks, Penguin's been obsessed with her legwarmers. Which she calls "leg-arm-ers." Which suits, since she likes to wear them on her legs AND her arms. We've got 3 pairs of them: pink, white with blue/green designs, various pink stripes (until today when I picked up 4 more pairs of Baby Legs). At bedtime now, she wears the pink stripe ones on her arms, and the plain pink ones (preferably, but white are ok) on her legs. Fine, it keeps her warm since she kicks off all the blankets at night. Also good, since I'm choosing to not fight the "out of your pjs; into your clothes" battle in the school mornings by just dressing her in clothes at night. Since it's been warm during the days, she mostly wears T-shirts (see above) & capris or skirts to bed, so leg- and arm-warmers work great. In the mornings, when she gets hot, she just peels off her arm-warmers and goes about her merry way.

We've gotten a few funny looks at school, when she's wearing legwarmers on a 80+F day, but I can live with it. Hopefully she'll like the 4 more pair we got today (plain off-white, pink/green small stripes, cherries/huckleberries?, larger blue/yellowish stripes) as we descend into more fall-like weather and struggle to stay cozy in our no-insulation old house this winter! Bonus is that her older sister can wear them, too, once it cools down a bit and they're actually, you know, needed for warmth!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Well, hello there!

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Wow. I'm just not blogging much, am I? I do have to say that, in my case anyway, less time on-line = tidier house, so just blame Flylady! ;) Also, Pumpkin restarted school last week, so we're still readjusting to the new routine & accommodating pick-up/drop-off times. Also, also, my parents came out last weekend & we had a lovely time and got a lot accomplished!

We (with the very helpful help of my parents, both as workers & as child minders)...
  • moved the pile of 1,000 bricks and restacked it as a lower, wider, somewhat safer "stage" since that's what the girls thought it was.
  • washed & put up 16 storm windows. (Still LOTS to go. We're maybe 1/4 done.)
  • de-painted-shut, washed & put in all more-than-100 little soffit vents & therefore the soffit is fixed & finished!
  • got to go on a DATE NIGHT! Hooray! Thanks again, Gramma Pet & Paahpah Pharaoh, for babysitting! We had a lovely evening, relaxing (long) dinner out, and enjoyed the couple time immensely!
Still catching up, decluttering, etc. Soon to need to go through the girls' fall clothes & get out some long sleeves and pants and put away the sleeveless shirts & shorts, but for now we're trying to really enjoy the last of the warm weather. In fact, supper tonight is going to be steak and salmon on the grill, sweet corn on the cob, salad mix (from our CSA) and some tomato/fresh mozzarella/balsamic vinegar/basil/olive oil dish. Summer on a plate!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

WW - Garden Bounty

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

WW - Yesterday

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A long and rambling post because I'm wiped out

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Our belly dance troupe was invited to participate in a festival in Green Bay this weekend. Not on one of the stages for a half hour or hour spot, but to have our own booth, like we do twice a month at the farmers' market, and perform both days there. They wanted us enough to wave the booth fee AND their usual 20% commission on any belly dance gear (scarves, veils, zills, that kind of thing) we might want to sell, so we figured why not.

It ran from 10-6 yesterday and 10-5 today.

I am so stiff! Already! 15 hours of belly dance in two days is crazy! Sure, I wasn't dancing the whole entire every minute of time, but there were only 3 of us on Saturday and 4 on Sunday to share the time, and when you figure we do a fair amount of songs together, that's a LOT!

All in all, it was fun. They gave us a booth right at the join of two streets, near an edge of the festival at the top of a T, so that the street coming in faced us. It was a great location; our tent looked fabulous; and we worked hard.

Saturday it also never hit 60F and poured rain the second half of the day. Like, as in, the front third of the rug we dance on, even raised up above the ground on plastic flooring, squished when we stepped on it, and water squoozed up between our toes. I forgot that at the end of the day when I was doing my sword solo, and rolled over right into it doing floorwork! COLD! WET!!! At least my harem pants were black and it didn't show!

So yeah, that part wasn't great, and there weren't many people there at all that day, but we stuck it out anyway. ('Cuz we're tough, dang it! :) )

Also not great - we'd been asked to do a 3 minute morning spot on live local TV... at 6:05 am today. (Not that that's bad - that's very exciting!) And to be there at least 20 minutes prior. So I got up at 4am, out the door on time, and walked up to the stage at 5:30 am on the dot.

To find nobody there. No camera crew, no on-air personalities, no NOBODY! No big lights set up, no cameras (rolling or not), no NOTHING! I was just pulling out my phone to call our troupe leader/instructor when it rang anyway - it was her. Turned out there was some big labor dispute with a local BIG business with sudden stuff happening overnight that they'd decided to cover live instead. They'd called her at like 2 am, but her phone was in the car (so she wouldn't forget it) and so she hadn't gotten the message until she was heading in.

So, back in the car, 45 minute drive home, and hop back into bed to snooze for just a tad longer. It would've been fun to do the TV bit, but such is life.

Today's weather more than made up for Saturday's. Cool for most of the day, but reasonable, sunny and gorgeous. We'd much rather have it cool than hot, because once we get dancing, we heat up right quick! It was HOT though, for about an hour when the sun shone straight into our tent and heated up the rug (dried, thanks to our instructor taking it to the laundromat & using an industrial dryer!) so that it was almost too hot to dance on! Mr. Kluges brought the girls, so they got to see the festival, and Mommy dancing, and I took a break and ate lunch with them. A good day.

But, MAN, am I stiff now! Too much floor work, and leaning back using the muscles in the front of my thighs. I got out of the car after the 45 minute drive home and almost couldn't walk I was so frozen up! I walk like I'm 50 years older than I am and I take each stair down with both feet like a toddler! So, a little tylenol, a glass of wine, and a hot bath are in order for tonight... if I can stay awake that long!

Here's hoping that helps and I can stand up out of bed tomorrow! ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009