Tuesday, December 30, 2008

sushi & salsa on tortilla chips

No matter how many times Chad photographed this culinary abomination, it looked inedible from every angle. Clearly a crime against taste buds.
Salsa on sushi = negligent culinary creation. Res ipsa loquitur: a Latin term meaning "the thing speaks for itself." Res ipsa loquitur is a legal doctrine or rule of evidence that creates a presumption that a defendant acted negligently simply because a harmful accident occurred. The presumption arises only if (1) the thing that caused the accident was under the defendant's control, (2) the accident could happen only as a result of a careless act and, (3) the plaintiff's behavior did not contribute to the accident. Lawyers often refer to this doctrine as "res ips" or "res ipsa."

happy birthday to my sweet ilsa ruth

Oh, I can't even believe it has been three years, my little darling.
Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Monday, December 29, 2008

new narnia fan

We rented The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian this last week. Ingrid has been begging to see both for months now, and we thought watching them would be a fun Christmas week activity. She loves them-- she has watched Caspian about 4 times now. Funny little fact: Chad and I saw LWW in the theater two days before Ilsa was born (that was an interesting movie viewing...lots of contractions); we hadn't seen PC, but had heard it was fine for her to see, and it was. Both were enjoyable, unnecessary but interesting plot changes aside. (I guess I'll have to read the books again to really get the stories, but the movies are good, wholesome fun.) They especially made some HUGE changes to the Prince Caspian story. Caspian is about 10 years older, has eyes for Susan, and there's a huge "let's storm the castle" battle scene.

But the funny part was this: Ingrid clued into the whole innocent romance plotline right away. She turned to me and said, "Mommy, would Prince Caspian like me?" She's not even five. Is this normal? I do have to admit though, she has good taste.
PS I just read a couple of days ago that Disney has decided to drop the Narnia series, even though #3, the Voyage of the Dawn Treader is already in production. But I can't imagine someone else won't pick it up...the first two did so well, so I'm not bummed about that at all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

our christmas eve adventure

Have we got a story to tell this year! We were driving home from Christmas Eve services at church and noticed a very poor driver in front of us. Ever since Chad's accident (he was hit by a car while riding his bike home from work), he has been observant of drivers who stray into the bike lane. Picture this: it is a mid-80's era big old white Cadillac, with a driver who is so short that we couldnt' even see her through the back window. Well, this driver wasn't just straying into the bike lane, she was going 20 in a 55 mph zone, drifting, braking constantly, weaving, and at one point went across 3 lanes of traffic on one of the busiest streets in town.

Chad called 911 to report the dangerous driver and kept close to her for about 8 miles southbound. Then she did a U-turn (legally) and headed back northbound about 8 miles. Then she U-turned again and headed back southbound another 8 miles. Chad called the PD a second time to give an update. At this point, it was about 7:00. Church had dismissed at 6:15, the girls are really hungry and anxious for Christmas Eve at home, but quite interested in "the emergency" that was happening (Ingrid's interpretation -- the girl loves drama). So we stopped and parked and waited. We live on a road that dead-ends at the desert, so if she was coming behind us, she had nowhere to go. Well, here she came. She pulled over in front of us. (Eeek!) Chad pulled up, rolled down my window and we asked if she was okay.

She said, "NO! I'm SOOOO lost! I'm not drunk, I'm not on drugs, I'm just really lost trying to find my cousin's house for Christmas Eve!" She appeared to be about 80. Chad introduced himself and disclosed that he was an Air Force major (this might have eased some of her fears that we weren't a family of axe murderers). She then, to our surprise asked, "would you drive me home?" So Chad drove her home, and I followed behind. Alllll the way back up north about 15 miles. To the ritzy side of town. The ____ Country Club Estates part of town. The part of town where it takes $1 million to make a down payment on a house. One house had at least 250 luminaria outlining their giant circular driveway and the roofline of their flat-roofed home. Another home was hosting a Christmas Eve party -- the kind where the home decorations have been professionally "installed" and everyone in attendance is in gowns and tuxes.

So, Chad called the cousin to let her know that her cousin was safe and sound at home. Turns out the lady is only 60, has lived here for about 20 years, and just doesn't like driving at night.

I'm glad it was us, and not some real axe murderer family that found her.

The Lord is good! I hope that we showed her the love of Christ on this Christmas Eve.

merry CHRISTmas to all of my friends!

I wish all of you a very Merry CHRISTmas. Take some time to reflect on what Jesus has done and is doing. Ponder Him as He IS...Wonderful, Counselor, Almight God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Luke 1:46 - 55

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.

Monday, December 22, 2008

wagon train 2

The train has grown to include an engine, a passenger car, a boxcar and a caboose. It took a little bit of assistance to turn the thing around.

Ingrid said goodbye to her best friend here in Tucson, Faith. Her family is moving this week. The part of military life we just don't love: saying goodbyes too often.
I took Ingrid and Ilsa to The Mall aka, the Temple of Doom, yesterday after church for Santa pictures. We're not a Santa family per se, but we have done this every year since Ingrid was a baby. The pictures are often humorous and do create a sense of continuity for the girls. This year, Ilsa decided, "NO!" She ran away crying. I think she has the right idea. To paraphrase Linus, "That's not what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Finally, a new Ingridism: Hippobottomus - a big bottom. Maybe she has seen me eating too many Christmas cookies.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

wagon train

This little activity lasted about an hour. Fun stuff.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

if anyone cares...toy decision

Surprising, but true. I craftily showed the picture of the castle dollhouse to the girls. Neither of them were thrilled. So goodbye dollhouse, hello....LEGOS! We decided to do individual gifts after all. Ingrid saw some LEGOs at the store and went nutso. I even found a set that had pictures of duckies on the front (bottom right, just from the center). That sealed it. The box is in Chad's trunk until I can wrap it.

from princess to pirate...back to princess

I was reading up on the emotional development from age 4 1/2 to 5 the other day, and found something out that I had suspected. My little princess can turn into a pirate at will. In the past few weeks, Ingrid has started growling, grunting, chasing, terrorizing Ilsa, and hiding around corners to scare the snot out of us. On one hand I'm excited that she is exploring beyond pink hearts, flowers and crowns, but along with this exploration of aggression, she has also developed a bad temper. This has been an issue at times.

Much of the day is spent bossing Ilsa around at the top of her lungs, thusly (I have always wanted to use that word):

Ingrid: "Ilsa, give that to me!"
Ilsa: "No, I want it."
Ingrid: "NOW!"
Ilsa: "Wahhhhhh"
Ingrid: "GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!"
Mommy: "Ingrid, treat your sister with kindness and gentleness. Ask again."
Mommy: "Discipline time...."

This isn't going to be a discipline rant. So bear with me, it gets funnier. Yesterday, I was washing the car. (Ahhhh, Christmas in Almost Mexico...I wore shorts and Chaco's.) She got bored with helping me, so she decided to create a fort in the garage (that's cool) from umbrellas. She used two little ones and one huge obnoxious blue and white diamond design golf umbrella from Munich. She added in the just-washed floor mats to seal up the cracks between the umbrellas. Then she announced, "I need priiiivacy." Here's the exchange:

Ilsa: "Can I come in Ingwid?" (in the sweetest, cutest high little smiley Ilsa voice possible.)
Ingrid: "NO! I neeeed priiiivacy! Just give me TWO MINUTES! That's all I need. Now go away!!!" (ok, I take credit dubiously for the two minutes crack)
Ilsa: "But IIIIII want to be with Ingwiiiid." (half whimpering)
Ingrid: "Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrggggghhhhhhhh!" (pirate voice)

And as suddenly as the pirate emerged, the sweet princess will re-appear, though not as often. Usually the sweet, gentle, quiet, timid Ingrid shows herself at pre-k, when she doesn't want me to leave. The other night I wanted to go to the gym to work out. She sobbed at the learning that I was going to leave (10 minutes before her bedtime). I stayed and comforted her for a while, and within minutes she was back to herself.

Is this split personality normal for almost 5 year olds? I want to know. Tell me! When is it going to end!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

shopping local

Shopping locally is all the rage for "socially conscious" shoppers this year, but economics has to play a role, too. For example, there is a local independent toy store here that I just love. They have stuff there you can't find anyplace else. The shop keepers sprinkle pixie dust on the children and blow bubbles (they're not weirdos, just a lot of fun). There isn't a licensed cartoon or movie character in sight. Stuff is built to last. And unfortunately, the prices will break your bank account, too.

See the poll to the right about Christmas gifting? I would love to get the girls this princess dollhouse/castle from Melissa & Doug. Amazon.com is selling it for $57 with free shipping and no tax. The sweet, independent toy store is selling it for $125 plus tax. I would consider it for $57 (as a gift to both girls). I can't and won't consider it for $125. I've looked for used ones on eBay and Craig's List, but they must be awfully popular -- only new ones are available, and Amazon's price was the best by far.

Online retailers seem to have the edge over "brick and mortar" much of the time. But I have found independent online stores with great prices, too, and I try to patronize them as much as I can. They're local to someone, I guess. So what do you do? Shop local or go for best price no matter what? Oh and by the way, I found it at my local We Be Toys (TRU) for $99...so they're not always the best price, either.
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