Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let's show our unity

There are less than eight months until the election - an election which will decide the next President of the United States. The person elected will be the president of all Americans; not just the Democrats or the Republicans.To show your solidarity as Americans, let's all get together and show each other our support for the candidate of our choice.

It is time that we all came together, Democrats and Republicans alike.

So if you support the policies and character of John McCain, please drive with your headlights on during the day.

If you support Obama or Hillary, please drive with your headlights off at night.

I think this will make the world a better place.

* I stole this from the same serial E-mail forwarder. Thanks, Colonel.

The threats go too far

Bums are getting bolder and bolder in their demands for money. But now they have taken it too far!

I got this in a forwarded e-mail and thought it was funny enough to share with my faithful thousands. You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fun Games with Jenna

So I finally found a U.S.A puzzle where you can dump out all of the states and then put it all back together. I've been wanting to get one for Jenna for a few months but was unable to find one until a few days ago. It is quite obviously too advanced for the Schmenna right now, but I brought it into the playroom/living room last night to play with it and see what Jenna would do.

It turns out that instead of calmly doing the puzzle, it has become "how quickly can you do this puzzle whilst your one-year-old systematically sabotages you". In all honesty, I harbored no such illusions of calmly finishing the puzzle. I know my Jenna. :) So it was a pretty humorous sight, what with me putting Montana, Illinois and Minnesota (among many other states) in their places about, oh, 6 times. Jenna alternated between "helping" (read: dumping states onto the puzzle en masse) and actively hindering (read: taking states that I had already placed on the map and throwing them behind her OR sitting or putting her foot and half of her butt ON the puzzle while trying to grab more states and give them to me). So the game went a little something like this: "Oh, thank you. Thank you, Jenna. I don't quite need those yet. But thank you., can I have Montana back now? I actually wanted Illinois right where it was, but I guess you can put it behind you. Don't put Rhode Island ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR MOUTH." Ha, I kid about Rhode Island. I quickly take all the small states and put them on the map first just because they are so small.

And don't forget the "WOOHOO!" when I finally managed to beat the Jenna (twice, baby) and get the whole puzzle done.

It is actually a pretty fun game and a lot harder than you might think. :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Anniversary Tag

What is her name? Kerry

How long have you been together? Including dating about 3 1/2 years

How long did you date? If you only count from when we actually met each other, it was a little less than 5 months until we were married.

Who eats more? Braden, but when Kerry is prego watch out!

Who said I love you first? Me. She was REALLY commitment-shy.

Who is taller? Me.

Who sings better? Me, but I let Kerry think it is her.

Whose temper is worse? Kerry's. She gets irritated at dumb things sometimes. I'm really easygoing, and it takes a heck of a lot to get me riled up... unless I'm driving.

Who does the laundry? Nobody. That is the problem.

Who does the dishes? Braden. Okay, Kerry does every great once in a while. Okay, maybe about half the time, but that still means that I do it more often (new math).

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I sleep on the right side of the bed. Kerry sleeps on the wrong side of the bed.

Who pays the bills? ugh.

Who cooks dinner? When we first got married, me. Now, Kerry loves to cook. I love to eat. Match made in heaven.

Who drives when you are together? Mostly me. I hate being a passenger. Kerry prefers not to drive. Match made in heaven.

Who is more stubborn? Katie is a name. Kate is a nickname.

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Probably me.

Whose parents do you see the most? Mine, although much less now that we are two gallons of gas away from them.

Who kissed who first? Kerry kissed me to the romantic crooning of Garou singing Gitan.

Who asked who out? I think I asked her out, but she stayed in.

Who proposed? Me. Twice. But only after Kerry gave me permission... and the IHOP lady ruined it.

Who is more sensitive? That would be me. But Kerry can be sensitive, too.

Who has more friends? We probably have the same amount, but most of our friends now are friends with both of us.

Who wears the pants in the family? Literally: All of us. Figuratively: Jenna.


About Jenna's Sunday dress, which I asked Braden to put on her while I dried my hair:

K: Ooh, that's really short. You can see her butt. If she were just wearing panties, she'd be flashing everyone.
B: Start 'em early.
K: What, to be a prostitute??
B: Oh, she's little. It's cute. Besides, it was impossible to get on, so if you don't like it, YOU take it off.
She wore it to church. :) It was cute, though.

K: Man, if I would've known I'd get such a cute girl out of it, I'd have married you the day I met you!
B: You just married me for Jenna!!
K: Yep. I just didn't know it.

B (whispering in Gospel Doctrine class; the lesson was on the family): I want to raise my hand and say, "Kerry and I have made a goal to use our fists instead of knives", but I don't think anyone would appreciate it.
K: Yeah, don't say that. Don't.

B (in the same Gospel Doctrine class): "Well, I've never made any mistakes, but I know people who have..."

That's my husband, the class clown. :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

An Early Anniversary Tag

What is his name? Braden

How long have you been together? Including dating about 3 years

How long did you date? If you only count from when we actually met each other, it was a little less than 5 months until we were married.

Who eats more? Braden, but when I'm prego I might match him. :)

Who said I love you first? He said "I love you" for a while before I was comfortable enough to say it back. I was REALLY commitment-shy.

Who is taller? He is.

Who sings better? Me, but I'm shy about that, too. He likes to sing in choir, and I don't particularly like to.

Whose temper is worse? Mine. I get irritated at dumb things sometimes. Braden's really easygoing, and it takes a heck of a lot to get him riled up.

Who does the laundry? We take turns-ish.

Who does the dishes? We take turns with that, too, although I think it's fair to say whoever cooks doesn't have to clean up. Braden's pretty good about doing dishes, which I really appreciate. He has been awesome lately. Nothing makes me want to cook less than a huge mess in the kitchen.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If you're standing at the foot of the bed looking at it, I sleep on the right side. For some reason, Braden can't sleep if he's on the right...we tried a couple of times, and he had a horrible night's sleep both times. It doesn't matter to me which side I'm on; I can sleep on either side.

Who pays the bills? Braden.

Who cooks dinner? Mostly me. But Braden will occasionally cook. He makes a mean bowl of Ramen, baby.

Who drives when you are together? Braden. Pretty much I hate driving if I don't know where I'm going, and he doesn't like being in the passenger's seat, so it works out for both of us.

Who is more stubborn? Hmm...that's a tough one! I'd have to say we're both pretty stubborn about certain things, but they are usually not the same things, thankfully.

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Probably me.

Whose parents do you see the most? Braden's, but hello, we live many, many miles away from my family.

Who kissed who first? I kissed Braden, because he knew I had to be the one to make the first move, because of my commitment-shy-ness. I pretty much had to take things really slowly, because of previous bad relationships, and Braden was really, really patient with me, which is honestly the only way it would have worked out.

Who asked who out? We met online, so it wasn't that kind of a thing. I sent him a "flirt" message first, saying something like "Hey, do you want to chat?" because I thought his profile was funny, and it went from there. Basically, I had a free account, and I didn't want to pay to be able to initiate chats, so I sent these "flirts" and if the guy was a paying member, he could initiate a chat. Turns out Braden could and did!

Who proposed? Braden did, at the airport where we'd first met (baggage claim). I knew he was going to, but I didn't think it would be in such a public place, so I told him, "get up, what are you doing??" So he did, and I said, "wait, you can't propose to me standing up; kneel back down!!" Haha, poor guy! Anyway, he proposed to me with a cz ring (which was really pretty, btw) because he didn't have the actual ring yet (it was in WA), and then he surprised me a month or two later with the real ring. That time, I was definitely not expecting it; he took me to a quiet park and totally surprised me. He stopped the car at one point before we got there, and said he had to get something else out of the trunk (really the box with the ring in it), and I got out and came around, causing him to freak out hiding it again (I didn't even notice). Oops.

Who is more sensitive? That would be me. But Braden can be sensitive, too.

Who has more friends? We probably have the same amount, but most of our friends now are friends with both of us.

Who wears the pants in the family? On Sundays, Braden does. The rest of the week, we all wear them. :)

Germs on my keyboard

After sweating it out in that typing game, how convenient that I found this little germy keyboard gimmick:

2,516,640How Many Germs Live On Your Keyboard?


Typer Shark

So along comes Dan with a comment about a different typing game.

There goes a couple hours.

By the way, Dan, it is Typer Shark and not Typeshark. Don't worry, though, I have Google Fu.

I scored 1620783 in hard mode and made it to level 16. I typed 74 WPM with an accuracy of 95%

I hate the green sharks.

I hate a keyboard that does not always recognize the letter E when you press on it.

I love Kerry.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Think you can type fast?

Think again.

Go to typeracer and pit yourself up against a bunch of random people who can type faster than you and have nothing better to do than to make you feel bad about your own typing skills.

On my last race, I ended with 88 wpm. I came in third because first place typed 113 and second was 106.

Anyway, if you like typing this is kind of fun, but a little frustrating, especially if, like me, you always mess up typing "from" and "the" and the game wont continue until you correct your mistakes.

For those who get bored with the (yeah, just messed up typing that word three times) game, here is your challenge: try to win a race hunting and pecking.

A couple videos

I came across a couple interesting videos today.

First is at some kind of tech convention or something. It is a door that opens only as much as needed to let you through.

Second is how to get on the subway train in Japan. Remind me not to get on the subway train in Japan.

These two videos are from metacafe and are both family friendly, but this site sometimes has slightly suggestive video links on the sidebar, so be warned. Utah, no less...

I've heard of getting a fake ID, but for this?

Money line: wait for it... wait for it... yeah, you heard her right. That was important to note.

Braden's Favorite Foods

What are your top three favorite foods?
1. Anything Kerry makes
2. It usually needs to involve Chicken somewhere
3. Lots of starch always helps

What is your favorite meal?
1. Anything Kerry makes

What are your top three restaurant meals?
Okay, but they don't compare to anything Kerry makes.
1. Olive Garden - Zuppa Toscana and Pasta E Fagioli soup with breadsticks (go on your birthday for a special treat)
2. Mongolian Barbecue
3. Pretty much anything Mexican

For any pregnant or used-to-be pregnant peeps, what couldn't you eat during pregnancy and what did you crave?
tnangerp ton m'I

What three foods do you absolutely hate?
1. Anything not made by Kerry
2. Olives
3. Cheese Souflee

What restaurant meal/food, if any, would you like to try and make at home?
Please see the three restaurant meals question above

Do you have any bad memories associated with food?
Please see the absolutely hate question above

Friday, April 25, 2008

name that...

Here is an interesting site for you to try. There are a number of fill-in-the-blank type games.

I started off with the periodic table of the elements... that didn't go so well.

The planets was hardly even a challenge.

The 50 states was a little harder - especially since I couldn't remember Alabama and Kentucky for a while.

Disney Villains did me in. I can't believe I couldn't remember the villains from 101 Dalmations and the Lion King.

I breezed through the American League on the MLB Teams page, but I got stuck on the last National League team, because really, who cares about the national league? I take some comfort knowing that the one I missed was the third-most frequently missed overall.

American Idol winners proved easier than I thought, though I still couldn't remember one of the runners up (runner ups?).

And finally, my AP US History teacher from high school would be ashamed that I could only name 24 of the US Presidents correctly. It is interesting to see which presidents were missed most often. I don't remember ever even hearing #21's name before...

Have fun.

Angry old lady

As posted on one of the medical blogs I read (though not a medical video):

Don't mess with old ladies

Blakely's Development

I found a new pregnancy "ticker" that I have added to our blog. You can find it waaaaaaay down at the bottom, and it lets you know how old Blakely is, along with some current developmental facts. It's down there instead of on the side because the width would look strange with all the other side elements. I would like it centered, so if anyone knows how to do that, let me know in the comments. I should remember the HTML code for that, but it's been a while, and I don't want to look it up right now. Anyway, if anyone wants to add this to her blog (Carolyn? Maybe this will work on your blog since it's just html), just click on it, and it will take you to the website where you can enter your due date and get personalized info about your baby. Pretty cool.

A Shoutout To My BRO

I would like to hereby state that Ryan is the MAN. The reason why can be summed up in three words:

Imagine Whirled Peace

(click on "What's New" for the above link)

Okay, I do have more words. It is YUMMY!! I have found with this flavor, as with most other Ben & Jerry flavors, that it gets old after a little bit, so I eat a little bit at a time. I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised at how good it is. I got some while I was at the store on a milk run, because I remembered Ryan saying it was yummy, and it did not disappoint.

Odd side note: As I was checking out, the cashier (teenage boy) studied the label, read it out loud, and proceeded to ask me if it tasted like John Lennon. What am I supposed to say to that? This was the same kid who threw his "THIS LANE IS CLOSED" sign at me while I was busy unloading my stuff onto the conveyor belt, though. Seriously, I was putting my groceries on there, not paying attention to him because he was taking care of the person in front of me, and all of a sudden the sign clatters onto the belt right in front of me. I didn't actually see him toss it, and I'm looking around up at the magazines, wondering where the heck this THING had come from, and then I turn it over and see what it is. Um, why do you not, I don't know, GET MY ATTENTION and then hand it to me and ask me to put it at the end of the conveyor belt?? Weirdo. I was very, very tempted to ask him if he threw it at me just to see what he'd say.

Later he waxed poetic on how he realized that he sounded like John Lennon the other day because he was saying why can't all religions get along. Then, and this is the kicker, he says "...some people don't believe in God...they're weird like that. [blah, blah] I shouldn't really talk about religion at work, though, because I might offend somebody and get fired." You think? Now, he at least got the impression that I was religious, because earlier I had said that I don't agree with having no religion when he referenced the line in the song "Imagine", but that was before I realized that I was inadvertently encouraging a monologue. Anyway, he meant well, but yeah, these days you really have to watch what you say at work. All in all, a weird interaction. Just sell me my Ben & Jerry's and let me leave!!


I was reading some movie reviews this morning and again noticed some of the reasons why these films were given their particular ratings. Here are some examples: "abundant harsh profanity, crude language, a lot of nudity and sexual dialogue", "some profanity, many nude photographs, violent images, descriptions of torture", "some harsh profanity, some violent images".

As I was noting these reasons, I again wondered about film critics. Now obviously, it's their job to watch these movies and give their personal opinions of them, along with a kind of summary. Now some people might be like, what a sweet job!! And yes, it would be...some of the time. However, think about all the JUNK that goes into your brain, into your short term memory and into your long term memory. Especially with the church's view on immorality, profanity, vulgarity, etc. Now, anyone who has ever seen, read or even heard about something objectionable can tell you that it is often very difficult to erase those words or images from your mind.

I think it's completely false to say that watching every movie that comes out will not affect you personally, and I don't mean in a good way. For every "Enchanted" or "Horton Hears A Who", there are countless R-rated movies. I would not want to fill my head with all of that trash, because that trash will sit there and rot---and you don't have any means to get rid of it.

I should mention that I don't think that watching all of these movies necessarily makes or will make you a bad person, but I would think that it would be awfully hard to uphold your personal and moral standards if filth is such a constant presence in your life. The more you watch, the more desensitized you become...until what you used to consider immoral or objectionable is perfectly acceptable.

Poll Results

So in case anybody cares, it was a tie between Bruce and Blakely for the most disliked name. Our giant readership did not disappoint! :)

I am surprised that Blakely got as many votes as it did...I personally don't dislike the name, although like I said before, I wouldn't name my kid that. The first name of a particularly hated chemistry teacher of mine started with a B, and I remember thinking, "I JUST KNOW IT'S BRUCE!!!" ...And then I found out it was actually Brian, go figure. :) He does not look like a Brian, let's just say. He's probably still teaching, since Kevo had him, and speaking of that, here's an example of his supreme jerkiness: he wouldn't let Kev make up any of the work he had missed while he WAS IN THE HOSPITAL. Yeah, okay, that's fair.

And we all know that's not your real hair!!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Little Weird News #9

A Little Weird News for April 24, 2008:

1. Think what you want about Hillary Clinton, you have to admit that there are some funny pictures of her floating around. If you are feeling particularly stoic, go check out this compilation picture, but be warned: between the vomit and the laughter, you may end up with some problems.

2. Why do people get so excited about little fender-benders?

3. I already posted a few of these pictures of China a while back, but now I found the source, so if you like beautiful landscape photos, or if you happen to be going to China in 3 days, go check them out.

4. Speaking of China, check out this mother Panda sitting there minding her own business when baby decides to sneeze.

5. Speaking of Pandas, did you know that Panda and Piano share three letters? Okay, bad segue, but it works for me. Here is an animated video of an old man playing the piano while images of his life parade around him. Beautiful music and touching images.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pudding, Anyone?

I'm not sure what made me think of this, but when I was at a certain wedding reception (not my own) a few years ago, something really embarrassing happened. I actually don't think anyone even noticed, but it was still embarrassing.

We were all in a line to get our dinner from the buffet spread, and so everyone is filling up his/her plate. As an aside, it would be really nice if there were labels for this kind of setup so that you knew what everything was (I wouldn't be writing this if there had been in this situation). Anyway, I'm going along putting stuff on my plate and I get some pudding (at least if I'm remembering correctly, I thought it was pudding). So I finish filling up my plate and sit down. And I take a big ol' bite of "pudding". To this day, I'm not sure what it was exactly, but it was definitely NOT pudding. Instead, it was some sort of gloppy salad dressing (I really don't think it was near salad, but who knows?). You can imagine the expression on my face when I realized that it was a nasty salad dressing, and that I had nowhere to put it! I don't think everyone was back at the table yet...and I could not stand another second of having this in my mouth, so a couple of seconds later into the napkin it went! Sorry to the waitstaff there...I really do apologize, because these were the cloth napkins and not the disposable kind. YUCK!! So embarrassing!!

Airline Safety

Well I went through all the airline safety pictures on AirToons, and was amazed by how many of them are raunchy and inappropriate. I did find a few funny ones for your viewing pleasure, though. You're welcome.

Speaking of Fantasy...

Braden is currently mentioning the song "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey in his post over at A Million Percent Yes, so it remains to be seen who will post first. Anyway, every time I hear that song, I have a specific memory.

Background: It was my freshman year at BYU, and a whole lot of us were at a dance held in the Helaman Halls cafeteria. This was 1996, so the song "Fantasy" had just come out, and while most of us were probably familiar with it, it hadn't yet been overplayed to the point where everyone knew all the lyrics. I don't think many people yet recognized the beginning of it, anyway.

So, if you click on the link to the video posted above, you will note (if you care) that for about 25 seconds, there's a lot of "aaaahhhhhh ooooooh"-ing... my roommate just enough time to think, "Ooh, a slow song. I'm really, finally going to ask the hottest guy in our ward to dance."

So she did. And she thoroughly enjoyed about 20 seconds of slow dancing before BAM! The actual (fast) song started. At which point, various couples around the room stopped and awkwardly began to dance to a fast song TO each other, all the while pretending, "um, yeah, I knew this was a fast song. Totally!"

SO FUNNY. I mean, I did feel horrible for her...that would so stink! But it was pretty humorous to see so many people doing the same thing. She came back and said something to the effect of, "I had to choose THAT song to ask him!!!" When I told Braden about this, he said that that happened all the time at dances he went to as well.

The moral of the story is: Make darn sure it's a slow song before you ask your crush to dance!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thanks, Uncle Sam

In my internet wanderings, I came across a website that takes the simplified pictures that are being used more and more as instructions and adds captions to them to make them funny. The site apparently started by making fun of airline safety cards (see my upcoming post) and then added the department of homeland security's attempts at instructions in the case of terrorist attacks. Due to the occasionally offensive/suggestive nature of some of the pictures on the website, I am posting several of the funnier pictures here:

This made me think of a very funny collection that my brother sent me last year making fun of some of the same images, so for you, faithful reader, I collected them together and will post them tomorrow.*


* (or whenever I get around to it)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

kids are cute

In my websurfing, I came across a list of funny kid stories that had me rolling. Normally, I would just link to the article, but there were some of the stories that are not so family friendly, so instead, I just did what I'm so good at and plagiarized. If you aren't afraid of some language and innuendo, go ahead and click the link and read the ones that I didn't include here (there are also some other clean ones that I just didn't think were as funny). Also, be warned that the last one on this list may be slightly offensive to some, although it is certainly my favorite.

So without further ado (have you ever stopped and thought about the word ado? Just look at it for a minute and say it out loud a few times. Then pronounce it the way it is actually written. Funny, huh?) here are the money quotes:

A mother and her young son returned from the grocery store and began putting away the groceries. The boy opened the box of animal crackers and spread them all over the table. "What are you doing?" his mother asked. "The box says not to eat them if the seal is broken" the boy explained. "I'm looking for the seal."


A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.'" Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus."


A father was at the beach with his children when his four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore, where a seagull lay dead in the sand. "Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked. "He died and went to Heaven," the dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, "Did God throw him back down?"


When I was six months pregnant with my third child, my three year old came into the room when I was just getting ready to get into the shower. She said, "Mommy, you are getting fat!" I replied, "Yes, honey, remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy." "I know," she replied, but what's growing in your butt?"


A physician and her 4 year old daughter were in the car on the way to preschool. The doctor/mother had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it. "Be still, my heart," thought the mother, "my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!" Then the child spoke into the instrument: "Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"


A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, Would you like to say the blessing?" "I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied. "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said,"Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"


The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching." Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."


A kindergarten student told his teacher he'd found a cat, but it was dead. "How do you know that the cat was dead?" she asked her student. "Because I pissed in its ear and it didn't move," answered the child innocently. "You did WHAT?!?!?!" the teacher yelled in shock. "You know," explained the boy, "I leaned over and went 'Pssst!' and it didn't move."

That's Some Good Italian Food, Baby

I just finished a thoroughly enjoyable meal that I wanted to share with the masses. Or I just wanted to share it with the 7 people who read this blog. :)

Brooklyn Girl's Penne Arrabiata


  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 (12 ounce) package dried penne pasta
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound thin chicken breast cutlets


  1. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and saute for a few minutes. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes, and saute for another minute. Pour in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, and add the basil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne pasta, and cook for 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with a fork. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Stir the garlic powder, salt and pepper into the bread crumbs. Dip chicken cutlets into the egg, then press into the bread crumbs until completely coated.
  4. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until the coating is a nice dark brown color.
  5. Remove chicken, and cut into slices. Toss the chicken slices into the sauce, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked penne, simmer for a few more minutes to soak up the flavor, then serve.

Ker's notes: I usually add an additional clove of garlic, and I like it spicy, so if Braden's not eating it with me, I might even add more red pepper. HOWEVER, I recommend that everyone else cut the red pepper flakes at least in half, if not more. You can always add more later on if it's not to your liking. Also, I've only actually made it with chicken says that it takes 45 minutes to make, but I think that's complete and utter bull if you make the chicken as well, which takes longer. So a lot of times, I'll just make the sauce and pasta--it's still a great meal, AND it doesn't take very long. One more thing, I usually cut the oil amount in half as well; you really don't need as much as the recipe calls for (and the chicken is oily anyway, although really delicious).

Dessert, Glorious Dessert

Carolyn pointed out in my "Food, Glorious Food" post that I didn't say anything about dessert. I guess it's because I'm not really a dessert person. We only had dessert on FHE nights growing up, and ice cream or popcorn if we asked (getting a yes was a different story).

So yeah, I've never really been that into dessert. But, I do like ice cream and popcorn. Not to mention Baker's Square French Silk Pie. I LOVE FRENCH SILK PIE. Braden still owes me one for my birthday. I will cash in on that when I am craving something sweet. :) It's funny, though, I'm not much of a chocolate person, either. And yes, I am still related to my mother, even though she's a chocoholic and thinks that there is no such thing as too much chocolate. The thing is, I do think "too much chocolate" does exist. And that is sacrilege to some people, I know. But not everyone is totally crazy about chocolate.

Anyway, here is a little dessert quiz fa all ya'll:

What are your favorite three ice cream flavors?
In order: Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip and Breyer's Banana Chocolate Chunk. I do like pretty much any brand of MCC, but Breyer's is my fave. Also, the BCC must have been discontinued, because I haven't been able to find it for probably at least five years. It's a shame, because it's reaaaaaaaaaally good. As for Ben & Jerry's, after I visited Ryan in Burlington (home of B & J's, I believe, or close to it) a few years ago, I decided to discover which flavor I liked the best (waiting, of course, for them to go on sale...this project took a while). So, I have tried a lot of them, and Oatmeal Cookie Chunk wins hands down.

Cake or pie? What kind is your favorite?
Pie, all the way. I've never really liked cake, especially with frosting...although, strawberry cake right out of the oven (no frosting) is delicious. Like I mentioned above, I love French Silk Pie, and that's what I always want for my birthday.

What is your favorite cookie?
Hmm...I'm trying to think. I do really like fresh oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Also, I like those chocolate peanut butter oatmeal no-bake cookies. I used to love Nutter Butters when I was a kid.

What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?
Movie Theater Butter. HOWEVER, as good as that can be, I've never really found an equivalent for real movie theater popcorn. I LOVE IT. It's so expensive anymore, though, that I almost never get it, not to mention that movie tickets themselves are so expensive. I wish you could just buy the popcorn without seeing a movie. You could do that at BYU back in the day, and I went and just got some popcorn a couple of times. Mmm.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What Have They Done To My Buffalo Chicken Sub??

My last post got me wondering if Sammy's Subs in Tempe, AZ had a website. Alas, when I used my google-fu, I discovered that Sammy's is no more. Unless they have moved...

It seems that the Pink Pepper Express Grill (who was on the naming commission??), a Thai place, has commandeered Sammy's old location. So even though I have no immediate plans to go to Phoenix (although I'm always game), it saddens me to know that my absolute favorite buffalo chicken sub has gone the way of all the earth.

But Danny Boy's is still up and running!!

Food, Glorious Food

So Carolyn and I were talking this afternoon about food and kids. But forget the kids! I'm on the subject of food for us adults. I'm going to make up a food survey/quiz thing, and I would love to hear people's responses. 'Cause I'm nosy that way, and heck, I'm just curious. Plus, it's fun to share and learn things about each other.

What are your top three favorite foods?
Mashed potatoes and gravy, buffalo chicken and fettuccine alfredo

What is your favorite meal?
Hmm...fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and StoveTop stuffing

What is your favorite color? Oh, I'm sorry...stupid Monty Python...

What are your top three restaurant meals?
Blackened chicken alfredo from TGI Friday's, fettuccine alfredo and rolls from Danny Boy's in Rocky River, OH (just because Mom mentioned to me that they'd just had it, and I'm pregnant, and I CRAVE IT), and the buffalo chicken sub from Sammy's Subs in Tempe, AZ (I haven't had it since late '99, and it is sooooo good). It's hard to narrow it down! I also love me a yummy chicken burrito bowl from Chipotle.

For any pregnant or used-to-be pregnant peeps, what couldn't you eat during pregnancy and what did you crave?
I have found with both pregnancies that I cannot stomach broccoli. It's actually a vegetable that I've come to tolerate and even almost like....when I'm not pregnant. And then there was the "Strawberry PopTart Incident", but I blame that on nerves and the first trimester. Oh, and I don't like oatmeal in pregnancy, either. It just tastes weird. As for what I've craved, I was really craving a DQ Blizzard a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't get it. I cried. Dang pregnancy hormones!

What three foods do you absolutely hate?
Lima beans, beets and peas. Hmm, is anyone sensing that I'm not much of a vegetable person? I can manage to choke down a few peas, if it's with other stuff, but even then...
I can't even stand the smell of lima beans and beets.

What restaurant meal/food, if any, would you like to try and make at home?
Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup. Yummy.

Do you have any bad memories associated with food?
The "Stuffed Green Pepper Incident". When you make your kid eat it for breakfast the next morning because she couldn't choke it down at dinner, she will remember. Not that I'm bitter or anything... :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Traveling to China

In the last "A Little Weird News" segment, I shared some photos from Iceland. Now let's turn our attention to beautiful China for a few photos. I don't remember where I got these from. Anyone feel like traveling to China?

Today's top 10 list brought to you by...

Mitt Romney?

Nice to see him willing to carve a few chunks out of himself (along with a handful of others)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I should explain where the name "Blakely" comes from. We had a pet name for Jenna when I was pregnant with her (although it escapes me at the moment), so we wanted to do the same for this baby. We had just gotten a baby name book (for free, of course), and Braden opened it at random and pointed at the page without looking. He was specifically looking for a dumb name, and Blakely was the result. Quite honestly, I don't think it's as hideous as Braden seems to think, although I wouldn't name my kid that, just because there are so many other names I like much better.
So I don't mind it. It's better than Bruce.

Does anyone remember what we were calling Jenna? Keep it clean, folks...this is a family blog. :)

I'm famous!

The "Change of Shift" is the nursing blogworld's weekly roundup. Hosted by a different site each week, many blogs submit their posts to be included. This week I was included for a somewhat controversial opinion piece I wrote about free stuff. Yay me!

A Little Weird News #8

A Little Weird News for April 16, 2008:

1. Having just enjoyed a rousing game of wiffleball myself last weekend, I was interested when I came across a video supposedly showing an "amazing" wiffleball pitcher. It's a wiffleball. There is only so much you can do with it, right? Watch.

2. My sister-in-law is a whitey-white, but she has a black sister. How is that possible? Some strange genetic trick? Actually, it is a trick called "adoption". But what if you found twin sisters who were black and white? Do you think anyone will believe them as they grow up?

3. This is strange, but strangely amusing.

4. Ever considered a vacation to Iceland? Me neither. Perhaps you will after seeing these pictures, though. Unless you are like me, that is. Then you will appreciate seeing beautiful pictures but still dream of vacations to Tahiti.

5. So is it the law of averages (1 billion people are sure to produce some prodigies) or is it just that the Chinese are incredibly talented?

A Little Good News

Well, I have been meaning to post this for about a week now, but other things were going on, like birthdays and celebrations..and candles stuck to plates.

We are expecting baby number two! I'll be 13 weeks along on Friday, and the due date is October 24th. Ryan has given his permission for the baby to come into the world as long as it doesn't come a day early. :) Actually, the due date is Braden's Granna's birthday, so that's pretty neat.

I've had my suspicions about fetal movement since 10 1/2 weeks along, but I wasn't positive until last Friday at 12 weeks. I was grocery shopping with Jenna, and the baby definitely made its presence known! I guess he/she wanted some frozen vegetables? I actually did some research on fetal movement a couple of weeks ago, because I kept thinking, "I really think that's the baby, but isn't this way too early?" And I guess it's not unheard of, but it certainly isn't common. In contrast, I felt Jenna kicking at about 16 weeks.

Out of curiosity, oh those who have been pregnant, when did you first feel the baby move? Was it much earlier the second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc) time around?

The Glass Castle

I just finished reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It is a thoroughly engrossing and often disturbing memoir of what it's like to grow up with an alcoholic father and frustrated artist mother, neither of whom have the slightest inclination to get jobs. As a result, their four kids often resorted to digging through trash cans for sustenance and coloring their skin with magic marker to disguise the holes in their clothes. I was horrified so many times at what the parents would do and say. For example, 3 of the kids were saving up money for almost a year so that the oldest could go to NYC and escape (then the other siblings would theoretically follow once the oldest had a place there), and one day they come home from school to find their piggy bank smashed and the money stolen. The author knew her dad had done it to buy alcohol, even though he denied it (with a half smile). I GOT SO ANGRY!!! I cannot believe that parents would act this way toward their children. That's just one incident; there were many, many others like it.

One thing I will say is that this book has made me very grateful for my blessings, and for the privilege of growing up in a warm home with clothes on my back and food to eat.

All right! Jenna looks more like... wait a minute!

So I did the look-a-like test, and found that Jenna looks more like Dad!

But wait a minute...

Wait just a doggone minute...

Is that Tom Cruise?

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Pedigree - Free family websites

Kerry? Feel like explaining yourself?

Mom or Dad?

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Family history - Dynasty

Is it the Messiah or the Messiah?

See how well you can distinguish between Jesus and Obama by taking this test. I only got 6 out of 10 correct answers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Dynasty - Genealogy search

Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Family photos - Roots

Paying it forward

Inspired by this post from Stephanie at the Fat Lady Chronicles, we paid for the dinner of a military service member last night. It only cost us a few bucks, but it made us feel great to be able to give something back to those who serve us to keep us safe. So now I'm tagging you. You're it. Go find a fire-fighter or a marine or a missionary or someone who makes a difference and makes your life better and do some little random act of kindness for them. You'll see how great it feels.

(cross-posted at 20 out of 10)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Speaking of Restaurants...

Has anyone else ever noticed that Applebee's excels at mediocrity? Seriously, any time I hear about or see a new item from Applebee's that interests me, if I go and try it, it's just...meh. This happened to me about 3 or 4 times until about 4-5 years ago when I just decided that it's really not worth it to go, no matter how GOOD the food item looks on the commercial. I mean, I don't get how a restaurant can stay at a "meh" level so steadily!! Every single item I have tried there has just been okay. And I've never had a super bad experience there or anything; it's just not worth my money.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

And Now The Olive Garden Would Like To Wish You A Very Crappy Birthday

Before last Tuesday, it had been a very long time since I had seen someone (at my table) get wished a Happy Birthday from restaurant staff. However, back in the day, the birthday boy/girl usually got a little piece of cake or something, along with a tacky, weird rendition of Happy Birthday. I pulled the waitress aside and let her know that it was Braden's birthday, and she said that they would sing to him. So we're finishing up our oh-so-extravagant meal of soup and salad, and out come four OG employees to sing their weirdo version of the birthday song. Our waitress is holding a small plate, and another employee lights the candle that we can barely see, since they are holding the plate up above eye level. As our waitress hands the plate to Braden, she said something that I couldn't understand, but that I thought related to Jenna and not having it close to her, since she would grab it. Apparently, she told him to raise the birthday plate high, "so that everyone can see the birthday boy!" So he did, and they sing and then leave rather abruptly. The abruptness of their departure made sense to me after Braden lowered the plate to the table.

My friends, THIS is what we saw:

Um, thanks? Braden was insulted..."What does it cost them, like 20 cents for a crappy little piece of cake, and they can't even spring for that???" No wonder they wanted him to hold it high. It sure looked like there was a piece of cake on the plate the way they had him holding it. I didn't notice it was just a candle stuck to a regular plate until he put it down.

Jenna enjoyed herself, though. She had fun with her crayons, dropping them onto the floor about 4 times before Mommy refused to play that game anymore.

And here's a picture of Gina Grape. Goooooo, Gina! (Thought you'd get a kick out of that, Gina!)

Um, Say What?

Mom: "I don't have to teach this month, yay!"
Braden: "You're denying yourself blessings!"
Mom: " Yeah, I know. I'm such a slut."
Kerry: "...."
Kerry: "What?"
Mom: "I'm a slut."
Braden: "Spell it."
Mom: "S-L-U-T"

Kerry: "Um, I don't need to know about your practices." :)

You try having this conversation over the phone while driving in the rain! Apparently, Mom was saying "SLUG", which Braden finally understood when she spelled it out, but to me it sounded like "slut" every time. Hysterical. Thanks for the laugh, Mom!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mmm...Birthday Cake!

Jenna got the full birthday cake experience, complete with paper towel covering her legs, just a onesie on, and bathtime stuff all ready for afterwards. She didn't really know at first what she was supposed to do with her piece of cake, but she soon got the hang of destroying it.

In full effect:

Here's the video that shows just how much she enjoyed the taste of strawberry cake:


I'm a little behind on posting, since we've had a bunch of camera-worthy occasions lately, and I haven't downloaded anything onto the computer until just now. So there will be a mish-mash of stuff in the next few posts, if I get around to posting everything.

First off, Happy Birthday Jenna and Braden! And, in celebration of turning 1, Braden...ahem, Jenna got to switch to her big girl carseat, which faces forward. So now she can see a bit of the scenery. It is really weird to look back and see her staring back at us, but it is fun for us all. I think it certainly makes for less boring car rides for Jenna.

We strapped her in her "new" carseat and headed off to the mall for some good little kid fun. Jenna has a really good time at the play area there, so that was her birthday treat. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what a 1-year-old will really like, so when we find something, we do it a lot. Anyway, she had fun there, in spite of the territorial spats between a 2 1/2 year girl with a haircut like a Benedictine monk and a 3-year-old boy. Complete with hissing, pointing and shoving. The girl's two mommies did little to stop her brattiness. I realize that most/all kids go through a stage of brattiness, but this kid really took the cake.

Jenna in her "new" carseat

We forgot to bring the backpack into the Food Court, so Braden gave Jenna a little salsa cup, which she promptly destroyed

Nummy nummy

Jenna following the Benedictine Holy Terror up the slide, even though the latter was copycatting the former

Jenna actually managed to climb up this rocket ship all by herself!

Friday, April 11, 2008


I am as curled up as one can be with lemonade in one hand and a book in the other. I am content.

The dishes can wait till tomorrow. Besides, I am currently doing two loads of laundry so that's my pass to go up to bed and read until I fall asleep.

Life is good.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Little Weird News #7

A Little Weird News for April 10, 2008:

1. For a pretty cool glance at the World Population - or at least the electricity distribution, check out this nifty world map picture.

2. For those of us who have grown up thinking that Walmart has been around forever, this video should be a little eye-opener about how new the chain is, and how much it has exploded. It is pretty cool to watch how it starts with a US map similar to the one in item 1 above and pretty soon it is taken over by all the Walmart locations.

3. Autism can produce some truly stunning minds. I'll be honest and say I don't understand much about Autism... certainly not as much as some of my loyal readers... but what can you say about Steven Wiltshire, who sees something one time and then can produce a perfect replication of it. Go ahead, try this at home.

4. I have enjoyed Improv Everywhere's "Missions" for quit some time, but I think the most recent, where they take a little league game into the Big Leagues has to be my favorite, because it goes beyond the interesting and funny into the inspiring and kind. These kids will never forget what a great day they had. I'm jealous.

5. It seems like every animal is now "all-natural" or "antibiotic free" or "free range". What if that applied to humans as well?

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Little Weird News #6

A Little Weird News for April 7, 2008:

1. There are places that tall people should go and then there are places that tall people shouldn't go.

2. Warning: this video promotes violence against fruigtables (still not sure if it is a veggie or a fruit...). Actually, while watching the video again, I had Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz playing (from the post on Classical Music below) and it went along with it hauntingly well. Note: this video is safe for all audiences.

3. Next time you are tempted to park in the handicap spot because "I'm just going to be a minute", think of this video and be warned.

4. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

5. Ouch.

And a warm Birthday welcome goes to...

The editors at "A Little Good News" would like to wish a warm birthday wish to Dan, because, after all, the people must have him.

We are not so certain of his age in human years, but we believe that in dog years he is now 32 or so.

May all your birthdays be merry and bright, and may your toilet remain clean at all times.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Little Classical Music

Time for some classical music that you know and love and may not have even known that you know and love. Everybody knows Beethoven's 5th or Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto, but some of these pieces you may very well know from their use in popular culture, whether in advertisements, movies, or as inspiration for popular songs.

So here are a few that I guarantee you know (or your money back), in no particular order:

Johann Strauss - the Blue Danube Waltz (otherwise known as "At the Beautiful Blue Danube")

Aram Khatchaturian - the Sabre Dance from Gayane

Georges Bizet - The Toreadors from Carmen

Gioachino Rossini - The William Tell Overture - known for it's slow, evocative, beautiful, and famous introduction as well as the part that was ripped off by the Lone Ranger (go to 2:30 in the same clip) - from the opera of the same name.

Speaking of slow, evocative, beautiful, and famous introductions, let's take a listen to Edvard Grieg's Morning Mood from the Peer Gynt Suite - also famous for the piece entitled In the Hall of the Mountain King. Also from the aptly named video game "Mountain King" as pointed out earlier my eternal co-blogger Ker.

And as long as we are taking so much time on Grieg, let's pause and enjoy his amazing Piano Concerto in A Minor. (Often compared to, and believed to be inspired from the Piano Concerto by Schumann)That was lovely, was it not?

Carl Orff - O Fortuna from Carmina Burana. Turn your volume up and wait for it... wait for it... OH YEAH!

Amilcare Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda featuring two famous melodies.

I could go on and on, but alas, all good things must come to an end, and this post is no different. Let me know if you have enjoyed this, and I'll make some more like it.

Let us end on an up note with Gustav Holst. His Planets series is certainly what he is best known for, and perhaps no tune has been more ripped off for use in movies than his Mars: Bringer of War (John Williams for Star Wars and Hans Zimmer for Gladiator are most notably accused of borrowing (plagiarizing) this piece), but a lesser known but still enjoyable and much happier planet is Jupiter: Bringer of Jollity. And I can't think of a better way to go out.


I was going to include this link an one of my "Little Wierd News" posts, but I laughed so much with it, that I thought that it could enjoy it's own post. Check out this video from the Price is Right from April Fool's Day, especially the expressions on her face as they go over the features of her prizes, and pay special attention to how she is traveling and on what airlines. The first two minutes are worth watching... the rest is not funny, especially if you are Lisa

Some thoughts on General Conference

On D Todd Christofferson:

I knew the name, but really had very little background on the man before hearing him during the Sunday Morning session. In a nutshell: I'm impressed. His talk was one of those where you get done and don't really know what he talked about, but you are still touched and feel the power of his message. In fact, when he was done speaking, I turned to Kerry and asked her what he had talked about, and neither of us could find a specific subject. This isn't necessarily such a bad thing, because I think there are two things that make a talk great: 1. a powerful and clear message and 2. a feeling afterwards of being touched by the spirit. The best talks will have you walking away with both of
those, but at least having number 2 makes a talk successful in my opinion. Perhaps on a second read, I'll be impressed by a message thread that I missed the first time, but if he continues to deliver as he did today, and finds important and timely messages to pass on, I will welcome him with open arms to my list of speakers to look forward to.

On David Bednar's unfortunate speech order:

I like Bednar. I really do. I think that when I can make myself listen to the content of his talks, he has great things to say, and his talk on taking offense was a wonderful example of a timely and important message with great quotes for those who would pay attention. That said, I have a very hard time paying attention to him - at least for the first half of his talks when he is so obviously, and distractingly, reading from the teleprompter. This was only highlighted during the Sunday Afternoon Session, when he spoke immediately after the most charismatic and engaging speaker that the Apostles have to throw at us.

I don't want to sound unfaithful or critical (actually I do mean to sound critical, but not mean). As I said, I like Bednar. I really do. When you get right down to it, his words on prayer were inspired and helpful, and the tendency to just read what is on the teleprompter rather than speaking it is certainly not limited to him. In fact, nearly every Seventy or YW or RS speaker that comes up during conference does the same thing. The problem is in part the way each individual approaches speaking, but also largely due to the need for real-time translation. When a speaker does not stick like glue to what they have written, it makes it very hard for the 90 or so linguists who are, in real time, interpreting these talks into myriad languages. So I get it. Many of them really want to speak their speech, but are discouraged by this fact. Listening to conference in a foreign language, I have been distracted by the difficulty of interpreting effectively when a speaker goes off script and suddenly the interpretation is thrown off. I don't know if this is the whole reason, or even the biggest part of the reason (it may just be nerves or some other reason). But the fact remains, at least for this observer, that I have a hard time listening to someone who is just reading a talk. Perhaps this makes me of lower faith, but at least you know I'm honest. This same problem is one of the reasons I have been so disappointed by President Bush. 7 years of constant public speeches and he still sounds like a Deacon giving a talk at church.

My list of speakers to look forward to:

Jeffrey R Holland
Henry B Eyring
Gordon B Hinckley (RIP. He will be missed)
M. Russell Ballard
Dieter F Uchtdorf, if he continues to deliver speeches like the two I heard during this conference
The rest of the Apostles (just not as much)
Richard C. Edgley (of the Presiding Bishopric)
Sheri Dew (come back to us!)
Yoshihiko Kikuchi (of the Seventy - he came to the MTC and spoke and WOW!!! After his speech there was literally a new feeling at the MTC shared by all. The next day (Sunday) saw long lines to speak to the bishopric as thousands of missionaries felt inspired to be a little better.)
Any of the combined young adult choirs that they get together (okay, not a speaker, but I generally love listening to them)

Two talks that I will have to read again and file away for when I need the rich layers of knowledge that they present:

1. Dieter F Uchtdorf's talk on the Faith of our Fathers
2. Jeffrey R. Holland's talk on Continuing Revelation
3. Boyd K. Packer's talk on Apostles
4. Thomas S. Monson making fun of M. Russell Ballard

I had some other thoughts, but this is way longer than I expected already, so I'll leave it at this, with just a few brief ponderings:

1. Thomas S. Monson has to be the most kind-hearted and kid-hearted man in the whole world.
2. What I learned from Ballard: Women lift, twist, and bend. Thank you, women. (actually it was a good talk.)
3. Thomas S. Monson is starting to talk differently, and I mean that in a good way. I love the folksy stories for which he is best known, but I love even more that he seems to be more serious and more, well, prophetic now.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

David Todd Christofferson

For those of you who, like myself, know next to nothing about Elder Christofferson, here is a link to a couple of speeches that he has given, and here is a link to a biography about him.

You're Welcome.

Dance, Baby, Dance

Our baby girl showed those in attendance at the baseball game a taste of her supreme dancing skills. Actually, I doubt anyone noticed besides Braden and I, but we thought it was hilarious!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Bowling for Obama

Mary Katherine Ham of HamNation decided that she would go down to the Bowling Lanes and try to help Barack Obama feel a little bit better about bowling a 37 in a recent PR stop at a DC bowling alley. She tried to bowl worse than a 37 with the only rule that she couldn't purposely make a gutter ball. Check out the video here.

Frank J of IMAO muses, "It's actually an unimaginably bad score to the point you have to wonder
whether Obama has ever attempted to roll a sphericial object before."

More Pics

It was so cute to see Jenna holding onto the chains on either side of the big swing.

These next two are from the mall last night.
I took one look at this ad and said, "Look, it's like Steve Carell meets Fabio!" Seriously, are there any (straight) men out there who want to look like this guy??? That's not your trainer, that's a woman, baby!! Just look at the smaller picture to the left of him/her.

Here are Braden and Jenna in the mall play area. At this point, we were getting ready to go after being reprimanded by a mall guard for daring to take pictures inside the mall. Never mind that EVERYBODY ELSE in the area was taking pictures of their kids. "No picture-taking in the mall" my booty. You'll note that I heeded his demand....thus, the following picture.
Actually, the mall was closed, and that's the real reason we were leaving. It was sad times for baby Jenna, who had so much fun!

Jenna Gets Social

So lately we've been trying to get Jenna out more, since usually she and I are stuck indoors a lot. And I gotta tell you, it is addictive to watch her as she moves around and interacts with other kids. We took her to a nearby park the past couple of nights, and she just had a blast swinging, crawling around and watching everybody. It is so fun to see her having so much fun herself. As the weather (hopefully) starts to get nicer, we'll be doing that more and more, I think.

We also took her to the mall play area last night, and she was so funny! All the bigger kids (the next smallest kid was about 2 probably) were running around screaming, so Jenna thought, okay, I can do that, too! So she starting screaming and yelling her head off (in a happy way) so that she could compete with the older kids. She was LOUD! You can imagine the noise level with 10 kids all yelling at the top of their lungs, and I was still able to hear Jenna from 7 feet away (Braden was right by her while I was taking pictures). It was hilarious. I just can't get enough of seeing her have such a good time.

Here are some pics of Jenna at the park on Wednesday night. It was a little colder than we thought, so we didn't stay too long.

Poor Jenna looked so uncomfortable in the swing because she didn't know where to hold on. We helped her out...after this picture, of course! She looks like she's about to take flight!

Our dear one-armed Jenna

Hi, Mommy!

A Little Weird News #5

A Little Weird News for April 4, 2008:

Tower Defense Flash Games Edition (TDFGE for those in the military or in medicine)

Tower Defense (TD) games first came about as off-shoots of Warcraft III (a relative of the Command and Conquer series and made by Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the controversial, yet undeniably fun Diablo series), and involve creating gun turrets of various kinds to shoot endless parades of enemies who walk along a set path from one side of the screen to the next. The enemies usually come in waves and each wave gets progressively more difficult to defeat than the last. You usually have the ability to upgrade your weapens and research new technologies as the game progresses.

Certainly these games are a big waste of time, but what is A Little Weird News if not a series about how to best waste your time? With that in mind, here are some TD games for your perusal and time-wasting enjoyment*:

1. Vector Tower Defense was the first of this genre that I came across and is probably still my favorite. It's combination of simplicity and fun is infectious and it does a great job of walking the line between being easy enough to be fun and difficult enough to challenge you.

2. Flash Element Tower Defense is one of the simplest versions of the TD family that I have seen. It is fun for just a quick play when you have 15 minutes to kill, but it's lack of different levels or many of the add-ons that Vector TD has leads it to be just a cheap copy.

3. Onslaught is a close candidate for my favorite game because, despite the cheesy looking graphics and annoying sound effects, it is very user-adjustable. By that, I mean that you can make your own levels and manipulate how the creatures travel. When you have played a couple of standard levels, click on the maps tab at the top of the screen and try some of the crazy ones people have come up with. The other nice thing about this version is that once you have learned the simple tricks of the game there is a deeper level of play that involves connecting towers together for more power and other such shenanigans.

4. Finally, Random Tower Defense is the one I found this morning. In this one, the creatures that come out are all kinda cartoony. This is a very frustrating game in that the tracks are too short and the money too scarce. Not nearly as fun as the others, but if you have extra time and have already beat everything else, then wander over to play it.

5. If you are still hungry for more, then you can go to freewaregames' page that has a list of TD games (2 of which are reviewed above). I have not played all of them, but I tried the first four. Master of Defense is actually a game that you download to your computer and then subsequently freeze said computer, and Desktop TD is a version that I don't like where you build corridors with your guns for the enemies to pass through.

* Be warned that some of these games require a lot of computer memory, and you may find your computer slowing down considerably as you play. There, I warned you. Now tell your lawyers to back off.

So you need a high-chair...

Carolyn has a post about messy high chairs over on her blog. Here are a few thoughts on the matter.

Have you tried looking in the Dr. Seuss collection to see if the Calla chair is for sale? That seems to me to be the most likely place to find it.

On a more serious note, IKEA has some chairs that look a little like the first one you have listed, although I don't think they are high chairs. But even if you don't want to go for the egg carton look or the Seuss Baby look, you could check out IKEA's ugly, yet functional ANTILOP chair for just 19 dollars and you can even throw in an easily-washable plastic cushion that doubles as a flotation device for just 5 dollars more. You will note, though that it appears that a tray is an extra charge of 6 bucks. This brings your total up to 30. A little pricey, but still somewhat competitive with the 495 dollar urinal.

The last option is to phone up American Idol and see if you can strike a bargain for one of their stools. Otherwise you can go straight to the manufacturer and buy it. They call it the Al Bombo stool... somehow that name just seems appropriate. You will have to drive to Chicago to pick it up, but I'm sure there is
a county or two on the way that you've never been to. Call it a

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


This is really an uncanny Tom Cruise impression.

Kevin Spacey is the MAN. The very end has a couple of swear words, FYI.

Happy April Fools Day

I didn't have the time nor the energy to make an April fools day post of my own, but here is a link to the Top 100 April Fools Jokes of All Time.

Someone needs to help them with math, though.