Friday, May 27, 2011

A Scientist in the Making

Kyra was one of 2 7th grade students to receive the Science award at her school. Yeah, Kyra!

Me: Hey Kyra, I sent you an email today. It has some good links on stuff to do this summer.

K: Like places to go and stuff, or stuff to do online.

Me: Both. There are some sites you can visit and do educational stuff on. One teaches you the science and math behind softball and what hits a homerun, another is put out by NASA. I thought they would be good so your brain doesn't go dead this summer.

K: Cool.

Me: Also, I want you to look up what soy lecithin is.

K: What?

Me: Look up what soy lecithn is. It's in a lot of yummy stuff (as I'm looking at the ingredients on a delicious Utah Truffle that I'm eating). It says it's an emulsifier. That sounds scientific. Find out what an emulsifier is.

K: Why would I do that?

Me: Because you're the scientist in the family so you should find this stuff out.

K: But if it's bad for us you'll stop letting us eat candy.

Meanwhile... Payton is licking the chocolate off the underside of a Fiber One bar. I'm sure that's the part with all the soy lecithin in it, and not the part with any of the fiber. Now, the scientist in him is trying to determine how much licking and stickiness it will take to make that bar stick to the side of the leather ottoman. It's not working though, so he'll have to talk with his sister when she gets home from her last day of 7th grade... the last day at McKemy, ever.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

As We're Sitting Waiting for Sunday School to Start...

Me: That guy is grouchy.

Bill: Who? Why?

Me: That guy in the front. He has always has a grouchy face.

Bill: He's probably been married 18 years.

(Thunk on the head)
Nice. Happy Anniversary! Has it really been that long? Geez.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

18 Years...

Seriously, the only reason I know this song is from Glee, which I stopped watching after the first season was over. We have the first CD though, so the songs are still played frequently. After 18 years of marriage, this line from Gold Digger (hear Glee's version) makes me smile and want to recreate some lyrics. So here goes:

18 years, 18 years
She got three of yo kids, married for 18 years
I know he workin hard just to support all of his kids
His baby momma's at home takin care of the crib
You will see him watch TV Any Given weeknight
Playin with the kiddos dressed up like a white knight
She was spose to buy ya shorty drummer with ya money
She went to Home Depot got lumber with ya money
She usin plunger, called a plumber with ya money
Should go out a town for the SUMMER for ya moneeey
If you aint no punk holla We Want Vay-Kay!
It's something that you need to have
Cause when there ain't no school the kids make her nuts
18 years, 18 years
And after 18 years they ain't got in a rut

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Who are the Awards for Anyway?

This is the first year that Kyra has been at a school that gives awards, rewards, and even grades for that matter. It's the first year that the word "honors" has come up. The first year that placement in classes has been an issue. Testing has been stressed, achievements have been noted, and goals were being set. Now, fortunately for us and Kyra, she has excelled in these areas and hasn't stressed out over any of it. Is that just who she is, is the work not hard, or does she rise to the challenge?

I went to the 7th grade Honors awards today and chased Payton around the gym and outside for an hour and a half. I was very impressed with the cheering and kind attitude most of the students had for one another and for their teachers. They were attentive and really seemed interested in what was going on. These were all the kids, not just the ones receiving awards. In fact, it seemed like most of the students getting awards were coming from one side of the gym and I was on the other. My side was doing all the cheering. It really was quite impressive. Even the final awards, the ones based on GPA, were receiving quite the applause. I say "even" because that is available to all students who work to receive the grades. The kids that didn't get the grades were proud of and cheered for their peers that succeeded. Would adults be that kind to one another? Would we cheer our neighbor without making excuses for our lack of success?

It got me to thinking... who are the awards for anyway? As they called Kyra's name, I was astonished at how successful she had become in one year at this school. I was proud. I started to look at the program and compare my child to the others, but then I stopped. The question I had to ask myself was, "Why now? This is who Kyra is, she didn't TRY to earn these awards, she just did. Why haven't you been this proud all along?" Why does it matter to me or anyone else how she compares to other students? But then the flip side is, shouldn't she get recognized for going above and beyond? If a teacher looks at all his or her students and selects one that has excelled over the past year, isn't it a good thing to reward them? And isn't a little healthy competition, well, healthy? But then again, if you didn't know you were competing, did you really earn the award? If you just did what you thought you should do, do you really need the reward? Should self-satisfaction and self-appraisal be enough? And isn't that the ultimate goal, being 'proud' of yourself? Really, just having confidence in yourself and your abilities, knowing you've done the best you can not based on what anyone else can do should be what we teach our children, shouldn't it?

I don't know the answers to all these questions. They are the ones swimming through my head as I weigh the options of school choices for the next several years. Ugh, when did being a parent become so difficult? That's the real question!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Thank you for your Mothers Day 2011 page. I googled to find an idea to honor my mother and found just what I wanted. The odd thing is, I can't find it there again, just 5 minutes later. You must have a rotating set of ads on your right tool bar because there are now coupons for laundry soap where my great gift donation was. Ho-Hum.

The thing about Mother's Day and my mother is that I can't buy her gifts. It's not that she's picky or anything, she just honestly doesn't need anything. I can always get her a book that she will recycle back to me or get flowers or some such thing, but she really values our time more than our things. She wants a card, which I will send with a thoughtful handwritten note in it, but when she is out of town it's hard to know what to do.

So, what'd I find? Meals on Wheels Association of America. I made a cash donation in honor of my mother to feed hungry moms. There is meaning there because I used to deliver Meals on Wheels during my college years. I think I spent a morning once a week driving for about a year. That was my mom's influence, of course, to donate my time and energy to help others. I can't do the driving and time at this point in my life so what better way to honor than this? I'd hope that if she was some lonely old lady living alone somewhere that someone would feed her.

I love you, mom. Thanks for helping me become the person I am today. I hope I do you well.

Donate as little as $7 for one meal and print a lovely bouquet card for your mom at

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Not Even a Half of an Hour with the Sauers

No, not THOSE Sauers, the parents of THAT Sauer. (I'm going to talk in super secret code here so as not to divulge any names. If you don't know me or the people I know you will be completely lost.)

Upon her arrival home, Mama S. is on the phone talking the talk of a working woman. When she finally hangs up...

Mama: OK, I'm home now. (smooch, smooch) How are you?
Papa: You know, always busy. (or something like that)
Mama: There was a song on the radio today and I was sad because you weren't there to dance with me.
Papa: Oh, well, I'm sorry.
(More kiss, kiss, smooch, smooch)
Mama: I was on the freeway driving though so it wasn't the best time.
(I can't stop laughing. They know they amuse me.)
Me: Oh, that is so bloggable!

A few moments later, THAT Sauer takes a step over the gate to get to the door and his mom gripes about it. He forgot the fake sour cream (four cream) and needs it for J's dinner. Some talk ensues about when A will get home and when she rescheduled her flight for. There is also some discussion on what it's like to be in charge of the children 24/7, not getting a full 40 hours in and taking vacation time without getting a vacation (we played the silent violin for him), and something about bladder control. I don't follow all of this discussion because, as much as they amuse me, I'm trying to input some data here. All I hear is...

"Vagina, I have not."

I don't have to tell you who said it, do I?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An Afternoon with Bill

On the way to buy sunglasses:

Me: I don't know why you need sunglasses, those visor things the eye doctor gave you look pretty cool.
Bill: I'm sure they do. I'll tell you one nice thing about them though...I've been looking at your boobs this whole time and you didn't even know.
Me: Nice. That's why you want shades? To look at women's boobs?
Bill: Yeah. I keep getting slapped in the face for it.

While buying sunglasses:

Bill: How about these?
Me: They're ok, but a little small. Try these.
Bill: Huh, what do you think?
Me: Naw, you're not cool enough to pull those off.

After buying sunglasses:
(ok, this has nothing to do with the glasses, it's just after shopping)
Bill peels out of the drive thru area where we pick up Tasha and Justin. I yell at him to slow down, so he does... a lot. I give him the not-so-amused face and he speeds back up.

Me: I DARE you to go slow.

So he does. Really, really slow. I start to giggle. Then laugh. Then I can't laugh because it's too funny and nothing comes out. I'm sucking air at this point and the kids are wondering what's going on and why Bill is driving so slow. I seriously can't stop laughing and it hurts. We eventually get home.

Maybe you had to be there.

"Is that code for: get this lady in because she doesn't bring her son in enough?"

I've now seen my son sit perfectly still twice today. The first time was at the doctor's office while the doc examined the rash that spread from his leg to his tummy and pit over this last week. I waited for the dreaded news that he had the measles or was in the middle of a major allergic reaction to some food I had given him. Ugh, food allergies, the only thing I could think of this past week would have been eggs or dairy. But, the doc checked him out, as he sat perfectly still, and determined it was just a rash of unknown origin. Now, the second time he sat still was as his father rubbed the hydrocortisone cream all over that itchy rash. Sit, P.T., sit. Good boy.

The doctor pointed out that the last time I was in Payton was not walking yet. It's been that long? I don't remember. Dr. Curran has a great bedside mannor for both the kids and their parents. Including their negligent parents. You know, the ones that are supposed to come in for well visits, but don't. The ones that say they will come in every 4-6 months to get shots, but don't. He's a nice guy. He didn't yell at me. He did ask me to bring Payton in for his well visit and he added, "tell them up front we can see you anytime." I replied with, "Is that code for: 'get this lady in because she doesn't bring her son in enough'?" He laughed. He laughed hard at that. Even his med student laughed. I'm a riot, apparently. Then he said something about living in a commune and Payton was probably healthier for it. He's a good doc, with a good sense of humor, and I've never felt judged by him. I'm sure he'll be moving far away soon because that's just my luck.

Monday, May 2, 2011

NTS: All Ground Turkey is NOT Created Equal

You can pretty much tell when you buy ground turkey if it is super soft or more like ground beef. The problem comes when you plan on making burgers and you want to grill them. Seriously, if you can't mold it and put it on a plate, don't try to grill it. That just seems to make sense to me. This evening I could pretty much tell, as I flopped the turkey in the bowl, that there was no grilling these babies. Bill really wanted to, so he started the grill, but they never even made it out the door. I pretty much had to drop the sticky mess into the frying pan and hope for the best. And oh boy, were they the best.

I started with 2(ish) pounds of mushy ground turkey, added an egg and all the bread crumbs I had (maybe 1/2 a cup). I chopped up some fresh parsley I had from a weekend meal, added some fresh minced garlic, and a chopped green onion that I bought for a Cinco De Mayo meal on Thursday. Tasha wanted them plain, so I cooked 2 just like that. Then came the feta cheese. Mmm,mmm, feta cheese. I crumbled in a bunch (like a cup) of Greek Feta from Haji Baba's in Tempe. That's the place to buy feta- $3.99/lb and it's good stuff. I know. I'm Greek. I added a couple of these burgers to the pan while I cut up some kalamata olives. These stupid olives, if they weren't so good, would be on my never-buy-to-cook-with list. But they are yummy, so I spent the pan frying time cutting the meat of of these olives. The first 2 burgers came off, I flipped the ones with feta, added 2 more with just feta and then proceeded to add the kalamatas to the remaining mix. I ended up with 4 burgers with all the goods in it.

10 burgers total (leftovers, hooray!) and they were a hit! Deliciously juicy and tasty with a little Greek kick to it. I was surprised that Bill raved about them since he ruined my Greek Easter plans with a "I don't like lamb" comment. But, that's a whole other post in the making...