Monday, September 29, 2008

Busy in the kitchen!

I've been on a bread machine kick since the weekend. I make bread, and Hubs and the kids show up promptly to slice, butter, and devour it. A third loaf is in the machine now, to bake overnight so we can enjoy it for breakfast. I've made a loaf of whole wheat, a loaf of half white/half wheat, and this latest is a cinnamon raisin breakfast bread. I've made it before and can't wait to enjoy it in the morning.

Between tasks around the house and work duties, I haven't had time to share any recipes lately, so I thought I would take a minute, now that the house is quiet save the sounds of the bread machine and dryer, to share a few tasty ideas. These are taken from a cookbook that my church published in 1999, with all of the recipes contributed by church members. Many of the dishes in this book have made appearances at church potlucks, so I can attest to their deliciousness. Here are a couple of tasty appetizers:

Cheddar Cheese Olive Balls

2 cups grated cheddar cheese
6 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
48 olives, drained and dried on paper towels

Knead all ingredients except olives together until consistency of pie dough. Take off about a teaspoon to form a ball. Make a thumb print in the ball and insert an olive. Cover olive with dough and place on cookie sheet in freezer until firm. Repeat with additional olives and dough. Either remove from freezer and cook, or place in plastic bags until ready to cook. Take out of freezer. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes.

Sausage Pinwheels

1 stick margarine
8 ounce package of cream cheese
2 cups Bisquick
1 lb sausage

Cut margarine and cream cheese into Bisquick. Mix together to form dough. Roll dough into rectangular shape. Crumble sausage to cover rectangle. Roll up lengthwise into long roll. Chill overnight wrapped in waxed paper in tin foil. Slice and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes approximately 20, depending upon thickness of slice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Conversation, overheard

Hubs: Why did you do that, Big Girl?
Big Girl pauses, then says: Yes?
Hubs: Yes isn't an answer to Why. I asked you why.
Big Girl: No?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Am I the only one?

Am I the only mother who gets emotionally wrapped up in packing away outgrown clothes? I'm sorting through clothes that don't fit Big Girl and Two anymore, so I can resell and donate, and I get a little bit soft and fuzzy, even a little weepy, looking at some of these outfits. I remember how small and cute they were - they're still cute, but not so small - and what they could do when they wore those outfits. I have major "stuff" issues with my emotional attachment to objects, and the clothes thing is a big one for me. I have a hard time parting with things. My house is bursting, with way too many things, and actually Hubs is even worse about hanging on to things that a lot of people would consider junk. We watched some of the clean-out-your-house shows several months ago and we think some of those hosts and home organization "experts" are cruel, heartless people. Yeah, we know we have more than we need, and more than we can really store efficiently, but our emotional baggage often takes physical form around here.

I'm not keeping many outfits, just the most special ones. We may have another child at some point, but we just don't have anywhere to keep these things. And I'm sure my relatives will happily provide an ample wardrobe for any future progeny. They're good like that. I could get away with never buying clothes or shoes for my kids, if only I could resist the temptation to pick out cute outfits myself.

So that's today's naptime project: sorting through little people clothes of days gone by, and getting all mushy about how fast they're growing up. Surely I'm not the only sap who reacts this way.

Sibling violence

I guess I never noticed sibling violence as much growing up, since I was an only child. And now I see it everywhere. Last night I watched some kids during a speaking event hosted at our church, and I had a couple of brothers, ages 5 and 3, who enjoyed tackling and sacking each other. Big football fans, that family.

And my own sweet pair have been providing non-stop wrestling action in our den the last few weeks. I've had to scold Two on numerous occasions about pulling Big Girl's hair, and remind Big Girl not to be too rough when she pins her brother and sits on him. They're pretty evenly matched. He's shorter but the same weight, pretty much, and he's good at getting her off balance and dragging her down. She's a little more agile and can dance around him with increased coordination. He has figured out how to use her long hair and her dresses to his advantage, while she knows just how to pin and tickle him, because he is incredibly ticklish.

I stay out of it unless they get too rough or threaten to break or damage anything, and if they accidentally hurt each other, they're both quick to hug and kiss the other and apologize. It's really cute when they hug. I need to get a video of this so I can embarrass them with the footage in front of their prom dates some day.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I was just reading along, minding my own business, when this delicious-sounding recipe grabbed me and demanded my attention. I think I'll have to pick up the ingredients to make this delight very soon.

Pear, Apple, and Cranberry Crisp

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Why do those punks do it?

Why do some people drive like morons? What possesses them? Why do stupid teenage boys do ridiculous stunts while driving motorcycles through my peaceful neighborhood - when they're not wearing helmets, don't have any protective clothing, and don't have even have plates on their sketchy motorcycles - so that I have to work so hard to avoid hitting them?

Teens Are Hardwired for Risky Behavior (WebMD)
Psychologist Explains Teens' Risky Decision-making Behavior (Science Daily)
Teens driven to distraction: Nature or nurture? (USA Today)

On Alan Rickman

As the postscript on my last entry suggested, I will watch just about any movie if Alan Rickman is in it. I'm not sure when my fascination with Alan Rickman began. It's not a silly-woman-swooning-over-Brad-Pitt thing (although Mr. Pitt's just super as eye candy, tyvw, as is his woman - but that's another story). But I just love to watch Alan Rickman perform, in any role. It's as if I know it's him, and he's an amazing actor, and yet I almost always suspend myself totally and believe him in the role, as the character. And, well, his performance as Snape just really appealed to me on certain levels, in ways that I wish I could act sometimes as a teacher. While at the same time I got a lot of vulnerability from his depiction of Snape, too. Well, anyway, I could wax on for hours about Alan Rickman as Snape.

I enjoyed him in Dogma and Love Actually, endured Galaxy Quest for him, and loved Michael Collins, which you should see if you haven't (said the nerdy Irish-lit-loving woman), but I think my favorite is Sense and Sensibility. It's got Emma Thompson as a bonus, and I'm a big fan of hers, too (oh - The Remains of the Day!). Sense and Sensibility is a perfect storm for me - Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, AND Jane Austen. Good times, good times.

If you haven't seen Sense and Sensibility, that's your homework. Seriously. Alan Rickman's performance as Colonel Brandon was exquisite - he captured the emotional tenor of his character so well, and was an excellent casting choice. And after you finish that, you can come back and tell me how much you enjoyed the movie.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And now for something completely different...

Hubs has certain movies that he just loves to watch, again and again and again and again. Last night it was late, and we were tired, but he saw that The Right Stuff was on. So he fell asleep watching it. Tonight, he came out to the den and turned on the television - I'm on the laptop and wasn't watching tv - so that I could see Die Hard. And then he promptly left the den and went back to the bedroom, where he is watching Die Hard too. Die Hard, The Right Stuff, Patton. He has certain movies that inspire this strange reaction, this weird obsession. I don't get it. At all. And he's in denial, I think, about my failure to adopt his obsessions. Hmph. Time to turn off the den tv and go to bed, where I'll still be able to fall asleep to Die Hard. Is this normal man behavior, or is he just special? ;)

p.s. Die Hard does have many redeeming features - I don't dislike it. After all, Alan Rickman's in it, and it's a fun movie and all. I just find Hubs' quirks rather, well, quirky.

And on a much smaller scale...

I found a treasure in the hallway. A small unpopped kernel of popcorn, covered in snot, freshly expelled from the nose of a certain young man. His sister had revealed his transgression, sticking said kernel up his nose, a few minutes earlier. Two gleefully told me "nose!" and "stuck!" and I began freaking out. I tried to get him to blow his nose and he just laughed at me. Hubs said we should wait a while to see if it would come out before going to the emergency room, since Two wasn't in significant discomfort. I spent a while inspecting his nose in the bathroom, with Two perched on the counter so I could get a good view. Then he wandered off toward the den and at some point, in transit, shot it out. He wouldn't blow his nose for me when I asked and held a tissue for him, but he knows how to blow air out of his nose when it's on his terms. And now, his nose is "clean!" and the offending kernel is in the trash.

Hubs, Facebook, and Existentialist Questions

Hubs signed up for Facebook well before me, but I think he's finally hooked now, this weekend, after I pestered him to sign in and check out the flair I sent him. I've been sick with this ridiculous sinus infection for over a week now, so I've spent too much time messing around with Facebook and finding every possible feature with which to amuse myself. This includes too much time playing that addictive Word Challenge, making and sending flair, sending virtual beer/coffee/flowers, and posting a lot of family photos. I also stalked down a couple of cousins and added them as friends and checked out Causes, which is a pretty neat tool to raise awareness for non-profits. I've been sending invitations this week to tell more people about Rivers of the World...

A few weeks ago, Ben Mathes, the president of Rivers of the World, preached the sermon at my church. Ben is also an ordained Presbyterian minister, and his message that Sunday about being led to do Christ's work, particularly in ways that you don't always expect or that don't fit with the way you perceive yourself, really connected with me. The work that he does through and with Rivers of the World is truly amazing. The organization works with populations that live in river basins all over the world on projects to help them, in a respectful and productive approach that targets the needs of that population and location. With all of the questions and worries I've had over the past months about the direction my life will take from here, and with the way that I've been searching for guidance about where my skills and gifts can be used best - teaching college kids? working with kids at church? being a mom? - Ben's message encouraged me to worry less and just go with it. I'm not a particularly outgoing person, and particularly not so when it comes to discussing my faith, but I am trying to get better about turning over control and recognizing that I don't have to have all the answers and know the plan for rest of my life. I can do the work that I am doing now - and I find so much of it very fulfilling - and if I am led in another direction, then I can make a change later.

Anyway, I'm wandering far away from the point where this post began, but I do feel strongly about the concept of being led, of learning to relinquish some control (in a sensible, thoughtful way) and maybe listen more carefully for a call, or a nudge, to where I should be at any given time. And I think that so much of the work that Rivers of the World takes people out of their typical lives and lets them go to another place and use their unique gifts and skills to help others. I want to be able to do that, somehow. Maybe in a river basin in another country at some point, but for now, just here, in this town that sometimes drives me crazy, I want to feel like I'm doing something meaningful and productive that I enjoy and that somehow helps other people too. So I'll keep mulling over that in my worrying fashion but try not to get too stressed about it. Yeah, like that will be easy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A question

If you use twitter, how do you use twitter? I've been using it for a while now, and aside from keeping up with a few friends who send out the occasional tweet, and cyberstalking Anderson Cooper, I don't feel like I get a lot of use out of it. I like it, mind you - I just want to know how to make better use of it. So, wise readers, tell me if you know.

Shopping Alert! Clothing for Men and Kids

Talbots has discontinued their clothing lines for men and children, and I spotted some great deals in the Outlet section of their website. Some nice stuff for women, too, but I was particularly pleased with some good buys on kid clothing for Big Girl and Two to wear next year. There are some great deals in Men as well, but they're a bit harder to find for a cheapie like me. I don't mind so much that Talbots won't have men's clothes any longer - Lands End will work fine for my husband-shopping-needs - but I'm sad to see the pretty little dresses go. Big Girl has worn so many adorable outfits from Talbots in years past.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mmmmm, books! Yummy!

I'm still sick, as I mentioned in my post last week, but whilst laying about feeling like crap, I have devoured all four of the books in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. I think I'll take Avitable's suggestion and grab a copy of The Host on my next trip to Wallyworld, since my book buying options are so limited in this town. I really enjoyed the series - not perfect, but very engaging. I got kind of annoyed with Bella and Edward at times. But I'll post a more coherent review when I have less sinus pain and more mental strength to pull my thoughts together.

Threadless has reprinted one of my favorites!

I am so tempted - Threadless has reprinted The Average Bear, one of my favorite shirts, and yet I cannot bring myself to pay $18 for a t-shirt. Ugh. I'll just have to enjoy the graphic without buying the shirt...

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I finished reading Twilight. Good thing I picked up copies of New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn so I can keep going!

As expected, Hubs was very jealous of my close relationship with a book this afternoon. He thought my sinuses and I should be doing something more "productive." Whatever.
more animals

Currently reading...

I finally broke down. I've wanted to read it for many weeks, but I knew that, if I started, I would probably be hooked and have a hard time putting it down. So I didn't buy a copy until Friday. And now, this afternoon, since I'm sick anyway, I'm going to start reading it. Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)

Rosemary Wells' McDuff books

Big Girl and I went to the bookstore at the local dirt mall on Friday, and we picked up some new books for her and her brother to enjoy. Both of them are big fans of Rosemary Wells' McDuff series, which depicts the adventures of a cute white West Highland terrier named McDuff and his owners, Lucy and Fred. The illustrations are fun and well-executed, and the stories are accessible and cute. Both kids really love the McDuff character, and each story has a light-hearted message that we can discuss together. Big Girl likes to examine all of the details in Susan Jeffers' illustrations and discuss them, while Two prefers to focus on the "doggie" and read the stories again and again.

Totally Looks Like

william h macy, fargo, ned flanders, the simpsons
see famous look-a-like faces

Sinus pain:

I haz it. I think I'll have to break down and get sinus surgery sometime soon. Might as well do it now, since I've already met my insurance deductible for the year with the carpal tunnel surgery. I've got a new sinus infection, less than a week since finishing antibiotics for the last one. Thanks to an excellent genetic inheritance from my father, I have back-to-back sinus infections every spring and fall, and sometimes in winter too. And this will keep going until spring, unless I take drastic action. I suppose I'll call the doc in the morning and set up the surgery...

Friday, September 12, 2008

This dog

This dog escaped at some point this afternoon or evening - not sure exactly when - and ran feral about the neighborhood. Truly feral: he discarded his collar during the escape. When I went out late tonight, about forty-five minutes ago, to feed him and his punk companion, I noticed he was missing. I called, whistled, yelled his name - no dog. So I prowled around the house with a flashlight for a few minutes, and then got in my van. And drove slowly around the neighborhood with the windows down, whistling loudly like a fool. If any of the neighbors saw me (most seemed to be asleep, as their houses were dark), they probably thought I was creepy, given how slowly I was driving, and/or insane, given my persistent whistling.

I made two huge loops through the neighborhood and I was just getting ready to pull into the driveway when a big yellow goofball ran up next to the van, grinning and panting. I threw the van into park, hopped out, and for once he came nicely when I beckoned him. I put his collar back on and escorted him back to the back yard. Prodigal pup that he is, he enjoyed a big bowl of kibble and lapped up some fresh water with his dinner. Tomorrow I'll try to figure out how he managed this great escape...

Politics, politics, blah, blah, blah

See more Gina Gershon videos at Funny or Die

Cute things, Friday night edition

Four year old attempting to say "lasagna" and coming up with something like "ah-zahn-yeah!"


Today was payday, and so Big Girl and I went book shopping. First we went by the library and checked out a few, and then we went to the lame bookstore at the local dirt mall, which had a pretty pitiful collection, and finally we hit up the Wal-Mart, since my efforts to locate a copy of Twilight had been unsuccessful at the previous two locations (checked out at the library, natch). I've wanted to read it forever, and now I have my own copy. I'll likely read it this weekend, unless Hubs throws one of his you-love-your-books-more-than-me fits. Yeah, he gets jealous of books. Considering how I get wrapped up in books to the exclusion of all else, I kind of understand, but I still get really annoyed when he does this.

Big Girl has a couple of new McDuff books (he's a cute little white terrier) from the dirt mall bookstore, plus some interesting reads for the weekend. She checked out a book about building a barn for her brother to enjoy as well, thoughtful sister that she is. I only checked out one book - Mary Roach's Stiff, which I've wanted to read for a while - as pretty much everything else I looked for was checked out or not even in the library's collection. The library here is both a wonderful resource and woefully underfunded. Huge circulation numbers, but serious holes in the collection. It makes me sad. I'm on the board of directors, but since I'm not independently wealthy and prepared to fund serious solutions, I fear that any fix will be a long time coming.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Plug pulled: update

Decided to postpone aforementioned dinner party until next month. May go out to eat with some people this weekend anyway. Hubs bellows, so I must go now.

Today is September 11

and while I can't help thinking some about what happened on this day in 2001, I'm trying not to dwell on it. Instead I'm spending today thinking about my family, and how it all began twelve years ago on this day. On September 11, 1996, Hubs and I went on our first date. We went to dinner and a movie, and I knew then, as we were driving to dinner, that I would marry him one day. I thought the whole notion of knowing such things so early in a relationship was ridiculous until he came along. And it's not as though either of us was really looking for someone to marry just then. But we found each other, and we needed each other, and we just fit. My friends thought I was crazy. His friends may have though the same thing. Most of them probably thought we'd never last beyond a few dates, a brief fling. And here we are, twelve years, two kids, three dogs, and seven cars later - still together. We're a bit of an odd pairing in some ways, but then, we're both strange people, and it works. Today I'm thinking more about our past, and looking forward to our future. It's healthy and appropriate to remember, but we have to keep moving forward.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How do I know if I should pull the plug?

Hubs and I have been trying to start a new group for parents at our church, to get together once a month for dinner sans kids. We scheduled the first dinner for this Saturday and I began publicizing it about three weeks ago. I had already floated the idea in the abstract starting last spring, and lots of people expressed interest. However, after two weeks of having this publicized in the newsletter, on the backs of bulletins, etc. only one couple told me they would attend.

So on Sunday, I approached numerous people directly, and almost all expressed interest and wanted me to e-mail the information to them. So I did that, and now, most people haven't replied at all. Those who have replied have said they can't come - some are interested but have a conflict this month, and others aren't interested at all (I send out the message to most of the potential members in the congregation). So now, on the Wednesday before the dinner, it's still just Hubs, me, and one other couple.

Should I just cancel this thing? Try again next month? Forget the idea entirely? It's pretty frustrating, because I am making a concerted effort to get this thing going and right now it's going nowhere. I have a lot of personal energy and emotion tied up in this, as well as less personally-vested goals - I don't have a lot of close friends, and I was hoping to get to know some people better through this group - so I just don't know what to do. I feel like the kid who has a party but no one shows. I've been that kid, for real, in the past, and the feeling sucks.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quick post (sneaking on)

Hi! I was in a BzzAgent campaign a while back for Ziploc Big Bags, and I just got an e-mail about this: a website to print a BOGO coupon for the Big Bags. Just wanted to share - while I don't always love everything that BzzAgent sends me, I was a big fan of the Big Bags and I use them all over the house and even in the backyard storage shed.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Shhhh! I'm not really here!

Hubs and I are having guests over for dinner on Saturday and the house is a wreck. I told him I wouldn't "waste time" online until I got the house in better shape - so don't tell him I was here, okay? Off to clean...

Sunday, September 7, 2008


We watched Pearl Harbor on AMC, and, well...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Imposter Phenomenon

This evening's reading: "The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention," by Pauline Rose Clance & Suzanne Imes - while this particular article is a little bit dry, I'm very interested in the topic. If you would like to read it, the pdf is online. This was originally published in the late 1970's, but the topic is by no means outdated.

Fun toys for nerds

Among today's stuff:

The Oxford English Dictionary has a word of the day feed!

President McKinley was shot on this day in 1901 (just one of the tidbits from's This Day in History) - I've known about this forever but still enjoy checking it.

Project Gutenberg is amassing quite a nice collection of audio books, some read by humans and others computer-generated.

Far too easily amused...

I'm playing on the computer, as usual, while my children's minds rot in front of the television. And these recent additions at Pundit Kitchen amuse me far more than they should. Is my inner nerd showing?

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

Friday, September 5, 2008

old family joke

When I spotted this, I was reminded of one of my father's jokes. It never ceases to amuse him.

The scene: Family car, driving down a road, somewhere, anywhere.

The actors: My father, me, and sometimes others

The action: I'm doing something - anything - talking, fiddling with the radio, eating a snack, whatever (except reading, 'cause that makes me carsick).

Father: Oh, hey!
Gullible me: What?
Father: Hey!
Me: Yes, I'm listening, what?
Father: Over there - it's a load of hay on a (trailer, truck, whatever).
Me: (rolls eyes)

Isn't my dad the punniest? I know he's secretly waiting with eager anticipation until my kids are old enough to appreciate this one.

Famous English Majors

I'm on a frivolous quest to compile a list of famous and/or successful English majors (yes, I was one, too, but not famous or successful outside my own mind). I found this useful list from CWU, which includes such notables as Jodie Foster, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Steven Spielberg, and Garrison Keillor (naturally, since he loves to mock English majors on "A Prairie Home Companion"), along with assorted well-known writers. ISU has a good list, too, with some additional names (Joe Paterno, Sting, and Dr. Seuss, for example). But I'd like to find more. Particularly some good ironic ones, people you wouldn't expect. Let me know if you find someone interesting.

ETA: Aha! Found some ironic ones! Vin Diesel, Clarence Thomas, and Marty Shottenheimer! Most actors don't qualify for the "ironic English major" label, but I think Mr. Diesel does. ;)

As seen on tv...

Hubs will be traveling to China in the spring and is interested in getting the Rosetta Stone software to learn Mandarin. Anyone have any experience with Rosetta Stone? It's pricey, but is it worth it? Any other language-learning recommendations? He's thinking of going in with a couple of his classmates and sharing the software and cost between them.

Funny shirt...

A friend of mine is selling this shirt on zazzle:

You should see this!

It's Friday, and I'm in the mood for movies. If you haven't seen these, I highly recommend the following favorites:

Little Golden Books

I'm a big fan of Little Golden Books, in part because I remember loving them so much as a child. And now I love to get them for my kids! Unfortunately, sometimes they don't seem to be as well-made as the ones I remember, so that, combined with my kids' rough treatment of some books, can be problematic. But If you get the books that combine several stories in a single volume, the construction tends to be better, in my experience. With that in mind, I recommend:

Yeah, yeah. It's Friday, but I think I was sufficiently vague about posting book recs on or around Thursday...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My mother-in-law's award winning pie

Last weekend, my mother-in-law entered this recipe in a pie contest. She got rave reviews and won a prize. The woman knows pie, and I can't wait to try her recipe:

Karen's Best Upside Down Apple-Pecan Pie

l/4 Cup Butter Softened
1/2 Cup Texas Pecan Halves
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar

Spread butter evenly on bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Press pecan halves, rounded side down, into butter. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over pecans. Place first pie crust carefully over brown sugar.

1 cup Apple Cider
2/3 Cup Sugar
6 Cups Peeled sliced apples
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
2 Tablespoons Water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter

Combine Cider, Sugar and Butter in large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add apples and cook until tender. Drain saving the liquid. Add enough cider to liquid to make one cup and return to sauce pan with apples. Combine corn starch and 2 Tablespoons of water stir and add to apple mixture. Stir in cinnamon and cook till thick. Stir in butter. Spoon mix into pie plate on top of first crust and cover with second crust. Seal edges, cut slits in top, and bake for 45 minutes.

Cool and invert onto a large serving platter and serve with Whipped cream or Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

Monday, September 1, 2008

New show looks promising

I watched the first episode of Raising the Bar this evening, and I think it looks promising, if it can avoid being too formulaic. I was a little surprised at the ease with which I accepted Mark-Paul Gosselaar in a serious role, but, indeed, he did a good job at selling his character. His hair is somewhat distracting. I'm also interested to see what Jane Kaczmarek, who plays a strong-willed, somewhat biased judge, and Gloria Reuben, who plays the boss of Gosselaar's public defender character Jerry Kellerman, do with their characters. I think both have potential, and I hope that the writing and plot will allow Gloria Reuben to do some really good acting. Kaczmarek's judge seems a little flat so far, but hopefully subsequent shows will give her greater depth and dimension. If you're interested, you can read more about the show at CNN.

I get by with a little help from my friends...

Big Girl and Two are both super-keen to be helpers whenever I start doing housework. Considering how much I hate to clean house, this is a tremendous delight, because I can't complain quite so much when someone small is helping me carry laundry to the washing machine. Big Girl is getting very good at sorting lights and darks for me, too. And if his sister is doing it, well, that means Two must participate.

So this afternoon they've been helping me with laundry, standing nearby and discussing things while I do dishes (because I'm not quite ready for help with that task), and generally following me around the house. Except for Big Girl's brief lesson with her dad: I came upon him teaching Big Girl to say the first words of the Gettysburg Address. Not sure what inspired it, but she's pretty good! I think this is his way of getting her to work on pronouncing words correctly. ;)