Sunday, December 10, 2017

What-What?! Week of December 10th

We're in full-on baking season now!

Next Saturday is Corwin's birthday, which he is super excited about.  I'll be making him a chocolate cake with marshmallow fluff filling and chocolate frosting.  Corwin is super excited.

The husband and I are starting to do baking for Christmas gifts, and the plan this year includes decorated cookies, which the kids are going to help with.  Hopefully that isn't a disaster; fingers crossed. xP

Other than that, not too much going on...  Osric has a bandage on his neck from a scratch, which makes him look like a newly-minted vampire.  The kids' homeschool PE class at the YMCA is done for the year, but we plan on signing them up again for it next year.  Might sign them up for swim classes, too.

It's very cold here; we've had highs in the mid-30s, lows in the high-20s.  It's icy and foggy in the mornings and commuting has been kinda miserable.

Still dealing with rats, darnit.  We thought we'd figured out how they were getting into the garage and blocked it off, but then they were in there again. :/

Sunday, December 3, 2017

What-What?! Week of December 3rd

This week was pretty slow; mostly just recuperating from the holiday.

The husband did cook a new recipe, though!

Alton Brown's Tuna Croquettes

We've been watching old episodes of Good Eats, and this recipe was in one of them.  Adding more fish to our diet has been on our list of things to do, but the expense makes it difficult.  Luckily, these are just fine with canned tuna (and good luck finding a 7 ounce packet of tuna anymore!  They are all tiny now...), and doubling the recipe worked out perfectly for our family meal.  It is a little bit fiddly, because after you create the mix, you have to divide it out and let it rest for 15 minutes.  Overall very nice, though.  Osric isn't super keen on them, but the other kids like it fine.  They are on the menu again for this coming week.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

What-What?! Week of November 26th

It's finally, actually, really Sunday.  I've been thinking it's Sunday since Friday.

We had a good Thanksgiving.  Pretty quiet with just us, as usual.  We're just now starting to run out of leftovers.  But that's fine; the kids are starting to complain.

Yesterday, we went full Christmas; bought a tree, a fancy wreath, and a poinsettia.  We didn't get Halloween decorations out until the last minute, and didn't want that to happen again, so we figured we'd get it done while there was plenty of time.






Sunday, November 19, 2017

What-What?! Week of November 19th

Not too much going on here in the past week; we've discovered that we have a mouse in the attic, so we're working on getting that taken care of.  As far as we can tell, it has not made it into the house itself yet, so at least that.

The docket for this coming week is pretty much go to work and then enjoy Thanksgiving; this is what our menu is looking like this year:

Main Course:
  • Roast turkey
  • Cornbread stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Homemade cranberry sauce (link to recipe)
  • String beans, sautéed in butter and garlic, topped with crumbled bacon
  • Broccoli for everyone that's not eating string beans (so, anyone not me)
Desserts:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What-What?! Week of November 12th

Yesterday, we headed out in the rain for a hike at the Saint Edward State Park in Kirkland.  The park borders Lake Washington, with trails leading down to the edge of the lake.  It was way more up and down than I had anticipated, and by the time we had finished hiking back up the hill to get to the car, we were all very worn out.


There were tons of trees with moss and these fern-things on them.

The trees were giant and very gnarly -- the growth in this forest dates back a century, so lots of older growth to look at.


This big mushroom was the only of it's kind that we saw.  All the other ones were little and white/tan or a shelf fungus.


Crazy roots were everywhere.  There were times these made for some slick walking, though.

Normally when you see a tree stump, the center is hollow.  This is the opposite of that.  Pretty interesting.


Saw tons of these mushrooms.

This is a tree that had started growing on top of the trunk of another tree, with the roots going down around it.  The tree itself is actually very tall -- it stretched up a good 20 feet or so.


In this picture, you can see all the roots from the trees -- this is probably the most we saw in one area that were along the surface.

Little stream heading for Lake Washington.

The view across Lake Washington was beautiful, especially with all the trees in different colors on the opposite bank.


Saint Edward State Park borders (or is part of? Not sure) a historic seminary.  This building is still in use by a local university, and was constructed in 1931.

It was nice to get out and see some nature, though by the end the kids were definitely done.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

What-What?! Week of November 5th

Okay!  Lots of pictures this time, on account of Halloween and Saffron's Birthday.

This year, the kids went as a popstar, a snowy owl, and Santa Claus:

Corwin's costume has real feathers on the wings, which turned out to be more work than I had anticipated in terms of getting them attached.

You can't see from this picture, but Saffron's vest has little heart-shaped sequins, and she's wearing glitter makeup.

Poor Ozzy kept eating his beard; otherwise, this was an excellent costume for Halloween.  Warm, comfortable, and easy to move around in.

Sunday, we celebrated Saffron's 10th birthday.  It was pretty low-key; we did an ice cream bar instead of cake, with tons of fixings.  She got tons of craft things and activities like that; unfortunately, this week has been super busy, so we haven't had much time to get started on them.  We also got her some disposable cameras, because she had been asking for a polaroid-type camera, but we're not sure she's responsible enough for it yet.


This is the book that goes with a sewing kit her grandma made; the rest of the pictures I have from this are all blurry, though -- kid spent a lot of time going through all the different pieces, though.

Yes, that is Christmas wrapping paper.  No, you can't tell from this picture.

She was way more excited about this one than I was expecting.

This is a needle felting kit to make small animals.

Serving the birthday girl her ice cream.


You see all that pink?  That's all sprinkles. O__O

Bonus picture of Corwin at Starbucks <3

Sunday, October 29, 2017

What-What?! Week of October 29th

Today is Saffron's birthday!  She turns 10 today; a very exciting milestone.


To celebrate, we hit the movie theater on Thursday to see the new My Little Pony Movie.  Overall, it was a like watching a very long MLP episode.  I appreciate that they kept the original voice cast, though I do object to the new animation style somewhat.  There were points in the story that retread on the same themes and events as the show, which was a bit obnoxious, but I did expect that from the film since they cannot depend on the people watching having the backstory of the world.

The bigger issue to me is the shoe-horning in of a popstar character who was totally unnecessary.  It would've been one thing if they had gotten any of the existing popstars of the MLP world to come in, but the film had this completely unknown character, then made this her out to be a much larger part of the story than she actually was.

Saffron totally loved it, and Corwin as well.  Osric was not very impressed; he gave one thumbs up and one thumbs down.

This next week, we have Halloween to look forward to!  We've already taken the kids to one Halloween party yesterday, and they had a good time playing carnival games and wearing their costumes.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

What-What?! Week of October 22nd

This week was horrible.  I caught a stomach flu on Monday, then was miserable the rest of the week.  I didn't take any time off of work, because we'd had a problem with one of the servers that needed to get sorted out ASAP.  So I worked from home... and spent a lot of hours fixing things.  Then I had to be in the office to help manage a set of complicated releases.

Then I went into the office yesterday, which was Saturday; one of the other departments needed help with one of their messes, and the issue is/was important enough to my department that several of us were there to help out.

Then I sewed some stuff.  And that's been the entire week.

With the kids costumes this year, I have hit the bifecta for types of fabrics that are obnoxious to sew; Osric's costume has this super fluffy fabric, which when doubled up barely fits under the presser foot of the sewing machine.  Saffron's costume involved sewing together two thin, very slippery fabrics -- I should have ironed on stabilizer onto one of them at least, but I didn't realize how big a problem it was going to be until it was too late.  Also, sequin hearts that melt when you get them too hot is not good.  Not good for iron, not good for fabric, not good for my fingers.

Blah.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

What-What?! Week of October 15th

Yesterday, the husband and I got to have a date night with just the two of us.  Since we didn't have any kids with us, we decided to go to the Funko headquarters, located in downtown Everett.  Funko makes collectable licensed vinyl figures, t-shirts, and other accessories.  The most common style they make generally looks like this, with the big square head:

(source: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0552/1401/products/4780_Avengers_2_Thor_hires_large.jpg?v=1417639793)

Funko recently moved to downtown Everett, and afterwards opened their headquarters up with a new store and what can only be described as attractions.  The outside of the building has giant-sized figures:

(source: https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/funko4-630x354.jpg)

Inside, there are various themed areas; superheroes, Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars...  There were tons and tons of people there, so we didn't take any pictures, but here's some from the local newspaper:







One of the coolest things they have is a full-sized Adam West-era Batmobile model that you can actually sit in:

(source: https://13thdimension.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Screen-Shot-2017-08-20-at-1.48.05-PM-copy.png)

Overall, it was much cooler than I had expected.  We will be taking the kids back at some point, though preferably sometime when there are fewer people.

Oh, and I bought myself an MLP -- Daring Do (essentially, Indiana Jones):

Sunday, October 8, 2017

What-What?! Week of October 8th

We haven't done anything too exciting in the last week; I'm starting to gather supplies to make kids costumes, and this week I'll start doing any sewing needed.  So far, it looks like I'm making Saffron a vest, Osric needs his red coat sized down (it's perfect, except for the fact that it's a women's size small), and Corwin needs pretty much everything.  Corwin changed his mind, and now wants to be a snowy owl -- this would be fine except for the part where finding warm white clothing is a turning into a giant pain; we went to three different stores yesterday looking for some.  I had picked up some white fleece from the fabric store two weeks ago, so I'm starting to look at making him a white fleece hoodie and pants.

Last weekend, we went to Ikea for the first time -- the Redmond store was just recently expanded, with both a larger building and a larger parking lot.  The store/parking lot are both absolutely cavernous.  While there, we picked up Saffron a new computer chair as an early birthday gift, some small bits and bobs (a $2 wall clock!), and I bought myself this rolling cart:
 
It now sits next to my desk and holds my current craft projects and supplies.  For $25, I think it's a very good value.  We might just wind up with another one, too; I came home, assembled it, and the husband was drooling over how nice it is.  I could see putting another one out in the garage to hold tools, actually -- just roll them where you need them, then out of the way when done.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

What-What?! Week of October 1st

It's October!  That means it's time to get ready for Halloween!

To celebrate this, we made sweet tortilla pumpkin thingers.  Basically, you take corn tortillas, paint them with oil, sprinkle with sugar, then bake.  In order to make the pumpkins more orange, we mixed food coloring into the oil.

The kids had a lot of fun making and eating them.  The pumpkin part turned out to be a bit chewy, rather than crunchy like we were expecting, though.  I think this is the pumpkins were actually kind of large, so we could only bake them so long before the edges were going to start burning.  Smaller cookie cutters would be better.









They came out SO orange!