Showing posts from December, 2010

Year in Review

For someone who likes to read other people's Christmas letters but never feels like we have anything interesting to put in a letter I sure have managed to fill up the blogosphere-over 300 posts in 2010.

I'm making black eyed peas tomorrow. Can't hurt.


A year ago today we closed on this house. I knew I'd love having an extra bedroom. I thought I hated the glossy interior paint but, boy it sure wipes clean easily and three boys come with a lot of dirt. I thought the sloping backyard woukd be more annoying but so far the boys have enough room to play ball. Overall it's a good house and considering that we sold the old one for quite a bit more than we paid for this one, took advantage of a tax credit and let Allan's company cover our closing and moving costs it was a good move.

Easy Pizza Sauce III

This is my favorite pizza sauce recipe.  I don't know why I tried number three first but it's so good I've never been tempted to try one and two.


Our family hired a new employee this month.  David gets a check mark for unloading the silverware basket on the dishwasher, passing out napkins at dinner, getting dressed, brushing his teeth, picking up his room and putting on his pajamas.  At the end of the week I calculate his percentage and multiply by $4.  After he gives a dollar in offering at Sunday school he's adding around $2 to his cashbox every week.  Grandma Phyllis gave him a $20 head start and he's been collecting coins since he was old enough to pick them up.

He can be a reluctant worker, that's for sure but the money is helping to motivate him.  And I do have to say that the silverware has never been sorted with such attention to detail.  He separates the soup spoons from the teaspoons-something I never bothered to do.  I can hardly wait for him to be able to reach the upper cabinets.

Hell's Kitchen

We bought Thomas this kitchen set for Christmas and started assembling it at 9:00 on Christmas eve.  It took well over two hours!  Each piece had to be removed from the plastic and the nubs of extra plastic nipped off and I would guess there were over 100 pieces.


Originally uploaded by jsslotter Click here to see the whole set.

Spaghetti Ball

We had spaghetti for supper and Allan made the noodles.  He doesn't rinse them because Alton Brown told him not to so they are very sticky.  There were enough left to mold into a softball size ball and if I compressed it enough it retained it's softball shape.  And Alex was on the other side of the kitchen so a game of catch broke out.  We had so much fun throwing that ball around, Nugget was going crazy, David got hit in the face once and even Allan played along.  Hopefully that's as close to a food fight we will ever get!

Merry Christmas


A Good Idea At the Time

Last night while I was cleaning shrimp for our shrimp quesadillas I again kicked myself for buying the shrimp that wasn't ready to go yet whenever I'm in the store I always think to myself, "For $2 a pound I can clean it myself!"

And last week I ordered a gift for Thomas and used Walmart's site to store option so I wouldn't have to pay shipping and now I have to go to pick it up.  At Walmart.  On Christmas Eve.  What was I thinking?!
Oh, yeah, I got this for only $20 and shipping would have been $20, that's what I was thinking.


David's voice gets very high-pitched and patronizing when he talks to Thomas.  This morning Thomas was whining, "Mama!" and David informed him, "She's right there in the white suit!"!  I was wearing my white bathrobe.


Allan is taking a few days off and we both slept until eight o'clock this morning!  I took one look at the clock and jumped up as Alex's bus comes at 8:08.  He had eaten breakfast, packed himself a lunch, fed Nugget, packed his backpack and was standing in the entryway with his coat on watching for the bus.  Ah, Mr. Responsible nine year old.

Kid City

Originally uploaded by jsslotter Click here to see the whole set on flickr.


I was getting dinner ready and set a bowl of biscuits on the table in the dining room.  When I came back later I noticed the crown had been removed from one of them.  I asked everyone (suspecting David) if they'd eaten it and they all denied it.  I reminded David about lying and told him I knew he ate it and he confessed.  I told him his punishment would be that he could only have that biscuit and no others and as I walked away I heard him mutter, "Dammit, I want another biscuit."


The Christmas Gift



Alex is playing Joseph in the church Christmas pageant tomorrow. He was told by the director that it would be nice if he could at least stand near Mary and he turned beet red. They've now placed a four year old girl "donkey" between them to bridge the gap. I can't wait to see it. David is a reluctant cow.


The boys are pretty excited to see their grandparents today!  David has a stack of books near the chair that Grandpa likes to sit in and Thomas can't wait to show off his new trains.  Alex was up with a croupy cough last night so he stayed home sick today so he won't miss any of the action.

My Old Kitchen

My current kitchen is fine, functional and has more storage.  But it's not nearly as pretty as this one was...I miss her.

The Click of a Mouse

Have you spent all your holiday cash?  Here a a few ways you can help those in need by using your mouse.

1. Proctor and Gamble will donate a day's worth of clean water to a person in a developing country if you enter your email address in the field and verify it through the email they send.  Click here, you can do this daily until 100,000 days are achieved.

2.  'Like' Kenmore on Facebook and fill out the form to send a dozen cookies to a soldier serving overseas.

3.  Click to give to the hunger site,the breast cancer site,the child health site,the literacy site,the rainforest site, and the animal rescue site.  There is also an iPhone/iPod touch app that will let you touch daily to give to the hunger, breast cancer and animal rescue sites.

4. is a quiz that allows you to earn grains of rice for every correct response.  I think they've made it a little easier since the last time I played.


I took the boys to the grocery store this morning and it got to be close enough to preschool time that I didn't want to go home first.  Rather than stop at McDonalds I dug into the backseat, pulled out a couple of slices of bread from the bag and they ate that for lunch.  I felt a little guilty until David said it was so good he wanted another piece.  Perhaps I should keep a few single serve packets of honey in the glove box.


Nugget was missing for awhile this afternoon.  I assumed he was with Allan in the basement.  It turns out he'd been in the garage where Allan had left over an hour prior.  He was asleep on the third row of the van.

We've found him in the car before like this.  Once I had been in the garage a good twenty minutes before Allan came home and he discovered Nugget in his usual car-riding position and Nugget had the 'goin' for a ride!' expression and Allan had to coax him in the house.  I guess he assumes if he can make it into the car surely one of us will soon get in and take him for a ride.

Slip Slidin

My half marathon was over two months ago. My plantar fasciitis was really bothering me so I switched to the elliptical and I detest it. But I would hate to lose my all my ability because I'm hoping to be back on the road come Spring. So I did what I haven't done in 30 days-3 miles on the elliptical. And it was fine. If I can maintain this effort I'm good.


You should have seen Alex's basketball coach when he laid eyes on Alex at the first practice yesterday.  He's the tallest on the team and there were some seriously tiny boys there.

Sweet Sixteen

We put our tree up over the weekend and the boys and I put the ornaments up on Monday.  I came across our first Christmas together ornament dated 1995 and it struck me that this will be our sixteenth Christmas together.  Wow.

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

I made the New York Times recipe on Saturday and it was so good Alex and David have been asking me to make it again.  And today I found this link which has the video and recipe.  It couldn't be easier!

Maybe He's Jewish

We've been reading the Christmas story and trying to get David to regurgitate it. Tonight Allan told him he was going to wrap him in swaddling clothes and lay him in a manger unless he could tell us who was really wrapped and lain and David said, "Noah?"

Partial credit would have been given for Moses.

It Takes a Village

We were lucky to benefit from the kindness of others twice this week:  Alex wore his new winter jacket for the first time on Sunday.  By Thursday it was missing.  We checked lost and founds and retraced his steps.  It turns out his Scout had leader found it and brought it home.  I paid $29 at the end of last winter for it and I'm sure a replacement would have been twice that this time of year.

And last night we went to LEGO Kidsfest at the Hartford Convention Center.  We parked in the garage and it was a bit of a hike to the actual fest.  The boys were having so much fun (I highly recommend it if you have the chance to go) and I changed Thomas' diaper when we first arrived using my single purse diaper.  And then he pooped.  I found a similar sized child and asked his dad if he could spare a diaper and he did and even offered me wipes (I did have wipes) and that saved me at least a 30 minute trip to the car and it saved Allan 30 minutes of pain trying to keep an eye on three ki…

And Then I Died

Last night we had breakfast for dinner.  Allan has to have ketchup with his hashbrowns which is gross enough.  Until David started dipping his waffle in ketchup.  Repeatedly.

Two Year Stats

Thomas 37.25", 31 lbs  David 36" long 27.25 pounds, head 20 5/8" Alex 39" long 32.5 lbs head 20" Dad 36.5" long 29 lbs 13 oz


This is the calendar in the mud room that Alex uses to record when he feeds Nugget.  I gave him breakfast yesterday morning and he feed him dinner and changed his water yesterday evening.  I noticed this afternoon that he had written 'conference' in today's breakfast slot.  He did have his parent-teacher (student attends) conference this morning but for as much time as it took him to write that he could have fed Nugget.  Or told me that he didn't feed Nugget.  Poor dog, it's not his fault there was a conference!

Happy Birthday Thomas

I changed the #1 to a two because it's his second birthday I guess we'll see if it's the numbers that he's using to identify the trains.

Peter B. Metz

From the Minot Daily News:
Peter B."Pete" Metz, 86, Minot, died Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010, in a Minot nursing home.
Pete was born Nov. 9, 1924, at Minot, the son of Claude and Effie (Klungness) Metz. He was raised and educated in Minot and graduated from Minot High School in 1942. He enlisted in the Army in January 1943 and served in the European Theater of World War II until receiving his honorable discharge in April of 1946. Pete was united in marriage to Phyllis Roll on May 27, 1949, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Minot. He was recalled to active duty into the Korean conflict in 1950 and served his country again until 1952. He graduated from the North Dakota Agricultural College (North Dakota State University) with a degree in civil engineering on Dec. 19, 1953. He had continued his education at the University of Oregon at Eugene. Pete began his career as an engineer with the City of Minot. He later was named city engineer and worked in that capacity until 1965, when the family …