Saturday, January 31, 2009

Snoball Dance

Nas went to the Snoball Dance tonight with a group of friends.
Before the dance with Fari & Mansour.

Obligatory photo for Mom.

The kids at Spaghetti Factory.

Friday, January 30, 2009


I am going public again. We were a little spooked by a comment Omid's sister left (by accidentally using someone else's Gmail account). It was weird...because the comment sounded like something she would say...but we were confused & worried as it wasn't her profile. is good once again and we can sleep easy tonight!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Going Private!

I am going to make my blog private in just a few hours. There are some people who I would like to refrain from reading my blog.

If you wish to have access, please email me and I will send you a link.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And the winner is...

Today Naseem stayed after school to participate in the Poetry Out Loud contest. She was the last participant and she did an amazing job. Naseem had to compete against 12 other kids in front of 4 judges. She was the last to recite her poem. Then the kids (& parents) had to wait for about 15 minutes for the judges to tally up the scores. Before the contest.
(Nas forbid me to take photographs during her recitation).

I was sitting in the back near the judges, so I heard many of the comments and was SURE they were talking about Nas. When Nas' English teacher, Mrs. Nyquist looked at the name and said, 'I'm not surprised!" I was certain it was Nas (I'm a I can shamelessly brag about my daughter like this! She did the best job...hands down!). The kids had to make sure their recitations concentrated on tonal shifts (from line to line), enunciation and emotional impact. Some of the kids over did it - it was almost comical. I wasn't sure if that was intended or not. Nas did just right. It was perfect.
Then Mrs. Nyquist announced Nas' name and you should have heard the applause (mine was loudest + the 'yays' I threw out)!! Naseem won a $25 gift card to Borders & also received a nice certificate. She will compete in regionals in February. Keep your fingers crossed!

Nas & Mrs. Nyquist

(Laurel: do you recognize this woman from the RTI inservice?).*She accused you of taking her pen!

**Also of Note: Nas, Omid and I went to watch Mateen play basketball this afternoon. SKY won their 2nd game!! 28-18! Go Hawks!

Monday, January 26, 2009

This morning Nas & I went over to Omid's parents home to put some faucet covers on the exposed faucets outside (it was 25* out this morning and cold!) and to call the gas & electric company from their phone. I disabled the alarm no problem (or so I thought!) and called the gas company. When Naseem and I tried to leave, the security alarm went off. That sucker was so loud!!! Immediately, the security company called and I gave them the password. I was given a phone number I had to call to disarm the alarm. I called and a man gave me instructions for the keypad. For some reason the alarm would not stop, it was just sending out this terrible piercing noise. The man asked me if I was alone or was someone "moving about in the house." I told him my daughter was with me, but she was by the front door. He told me to have her 'stand still.' Apparently, Nas was moving and kept setting off the motion sensor. Once Naseem stood still, I was able to punch in some numbers and the alarm stopped. Whew! My ears are still ringing. Nas and I locked up, pushed the 'alarm' button and got the heck out of there.

Meet Gracie

We didn't spend enough time with our friends the Kelloggs on Saturday, so we spent Sunday evening with them too. Omid smoked 3 chickens and some ribs and we took them over to Lin & Ward's for dinner. Ward make crispy green beans and twice baked potatoes. Dinner was tasty.

Kari & Francis came over as well and brought their new puppy Gracie. Gracie was an impulse buy right before Christmas. She is a Yorkie-Poo and soo cute. She is also really fast. Which is good - because Vizslas are super fast and Jack was chasing her all over the house. Jack is about 47 pounds heavier than Gracie; and several times Ward had to kennel Jack to keep him from crushing her. Gracie still isn't potty trained but didn't have a single accident. Jack had several. :(
Gracie. Just look at that nose!

This is a video of Jack & Gracie racing around the family room.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Catching up with Friends

We haven't spent time with our friends, the Kelloggs, in a quite some time. We spent the entire day with them yesterday. We had a lot of fun catching up and spending $. Everyone piled into Omid's big green monster and the dads dropped us off at the Woodburn Outlet Center. The dads continued to do some 'man stuff' = skeet shooting. Omid & Ward came back after several hours and shopped with us. We were exhausted after our day of good deals and headed to Spaghetti Factory for dinner.
After dinner, Omid was stuffed and took a siesta on the lobby sofa.

Ward trying to sit comfortably in the stiff chair...wishing he had claimed the sofa first.

Singing to Akon.

Singing along with Kanye West.
Now to some EXCITING news. I asked Naseem to "toot her own horn" but she is refusing- saying it's "no big deal." It is a BIG DEAL! On Friday, Naseem found out she won her English class' Poetry Out Loud contest. She has advanced to the second round and will compete schoolwide against 11 other sophomores. If she wins this, she will advance to the regional contest in February. The poem Naseem recited was called A Blessing by James Wright. Keep your fingers crossed for Nas!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sticky Buns

My family really loves to eat monkey bread. My friend Janet told me about the recipe below that is almost similar to monkey bread; so I had to make it.

I only used 1/2 cup brown sugar in this recipe and it was still really sweet. The buns were good and the kids loved them. Omid and I prefer the monkey bread (with it's bite-sized pieces) and we just thought it tasted better.

I was also worried about food poisoning (letting the rolls sit out for several hours)...but so far we are okay (we've also eaten several things off the peanut butter recall list- before we knew they were recalled). We must have stomachs of steel.


Sticky Buns

18 frozen Rhodes dinner rolls (FROZEN - DO NOT THAW)
1 3 oz package of vanilla cook & serve pudding (not instant)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
4 t. cinnamon
1 cube butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

The night before making these buns, grease a bundt pan. Place frozen rolls in pan. Sprinkle on pudding, then brown sugar. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle. Melt butter and pour over rolls. Put in a cold oven overnight. In the morning, remove rolls and preheat oven to 350*. Bake rolls for 30 minues. Cool 10 minutes in pan before inverting on a plate.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sam, Esther & Jane

Mateen had his first basketball game today. Naseem and I went to cheer for him and the team. Here he is waiting for a chance to play.
action shot

Go Matty Go!

Team huddle (notice he is the tallest boy on the team).

Running for the ball.

Sky won their game 33-20! Go Hawks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Price is Right...UPDATE

I spoke with my sister, Cynthia, yesterday and she has the latest news on Gisela's appearance on the The Price is Right.

Here is how Gisela won all her prizes. She was called down and bid on some luggage. She bid $1500 (the actual retail price was $2200) and so she won the luggage and a chance to get on stage. Gisela played the Tic Tac Toe game and won a dining room set.

After that, she got to spin the wheel and ended up with 80 cents. She was the 'high' spinner and so she go to be in the Showcase Showdown (& pass her showcase if she didn't want to bid on it). That is exactly what happened. Gisela's first showcase was a trip to Venice and a sailboat. She passed & the other contestant bid on it. Gisela's showcase included a car and some lawn furniture. She bid on it and came within $200 of her showcase. She won both prizes. The amount of both showcases was $61,000. Gisela said she got to sit in the car for a few minutes and wave until the show was over. After that, she was whisked away into a room and had to sign a stack of papers.

Apparently, the taxes on the prizes are very high. Gisela gets to take some time to think about if she wants to forfeit the prizes or pay the taxes and have them shipped to her home (shipping is free!). I can't wait to hear what she decides. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

What a fun morning I had a school today! Both of my kids were very excited to go to school and watch the Inauguration with their friends. I was looking forward to watching it with some of my students. I had a small lesson planned and was hopeful the kids would get something out of it.

Two sisters came in and visited with me around 8:30 a.m. They hung up their coats and asked what 'movie' I was watching. I explained that I was watching the news and it was a special day with special coverage on television because we have a new President today. One of the girls asked me, "What?! We have a new President? Really?" I told her we did and what his name was. I asked her if she knew who the old President was. She said she didn't know. So I asked her a few more questions and then she asked me, "Wait, is John McCain our new President?" :)

After the other kids arrived and we were watching the swearing in ceremony, one of the sisters turned to me and said, "This is really cool." I thought that was so sweet.

Afterwards, we talked a lot, I taught the lesson, we did an activity and the kids got to search the White House website. It was fun. I only wish I had thought to bring treats.

High point: We sat really close to the tv trying to look for a former coworker on tv (& a former teacher of some of the kids). Rachel: We were sad we didn't get to see you!!

Low point: The HS principal told me on Friday the kids would get to view the Inauguration. Naseem's English teacher had other ideas and refused to let the kids view the ceremony. Nas was very disapointed and caught up with videos when she got home. Matty said he watched the tv for about 2 hours today and saw a lot of the special programming.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Omid, Nas and I went to Olive Garden for lunch. We ate our fill of the soup & breadsticks so weren't hungry for lunch. We brought home our leftovers and before we could recycle the bag, Remy took off with it. Enjoy this video of Nas trying to chase him.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Highlights from the dog show!

We spent a good portion of our day at the Rose City Classic Dog Show. We had fun wandering all over and looking at all the different dog breeds. We ran into Remy's breeders and talked with them. None of Remy's littermates were in this year's show, but his sister, Dakota is set to have puppies any day.
This was a booth called "Animal Whisperings." The woman running the booth was a dog psychic. She had customers, too!
This boxer's owner was inside listening to the psychic. One look at him & we knew he was thinking, "Get me outta here!"
This cute boy is Cody. He just walked up to Matty and tried to climb on his lap. Then he gave Nas & Matty lots of kisses.

Going stir crazy!

Vizsla hug

Fluffy English Sheepdog

This Dobie had scars all over his face. Poor boy.

Omid and his favorite breed.

This is Owen. He was an Irish Wolfhound we met. He was so, so sweet and super kid friendly. His owner told us he is still a baby!

Making friends with Owen.


Doberman. Omid just loooooves these Red ones. I think Remy may be getting a sister some day.

We had a good chuckle over these handlers. They were so darn serious and reminded us of the couple in the movie Best in Show.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy 1st Anniversary to Me!

Today is the first anniversary of my blog. A whole year of Remy, my family, random thoughts & images, Remy, dinner parties, recipes, links to other sites and Remy. Here's what you can look forward to in the coming year: a whole lot more of the same!

Idea for a rainy day...

This sounds like fun idea for a rainy day: personalized note pads. I found this link on Rocks in my Dryer today. Maybe someday I will get around to trying this fun craft.

Friday, January 16, 2009

How Dew you get this trick to work?

A friend sent me a video this morning on how I could make a 'glow in the dark lantern' involving Mountain Dew, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Since we aren't MD drinkers here, I had to pick some up at the store. Matty and I were excited to try this. We poured out the Mountain Dew, just leaving a little in the bottom. Then we put just a tad bit of baking soda inside, followed by 3 capfuls of hydrogen peroxide. Then Matty shook it like crazy. We waited for the magical glow to appear and .... nothing. We went into the pantry thinking it needed to be really dark and still nothing. I have one more bottle of Mountain Dew, so we may try it again later. It's too bad it didn't work - it seemed really cool.

**After our failed experiment, I googled mountain dew glow lantern and all these posts came up saying it was a hoax, the guy added glow stick juice to the bottle. My kids were happy they at least got a Mountain Dew out of it.

You can roll a Rolo to your pal...

I have been wanting to make these pretzel/Rolo/pecan candies for a while now. Today was the day. I found the recipe on The Country Doctor's Wife's Blog during Christmas break. This afternoon I went to Freddy's to buy the ingredients. Warning: this is not a cheap recipe. For 3 ingredients, my bill was almost $12. Rolos & pecans are pricey! My New Year's resolution was to not 'impulse buy' anymore & to use coupons whenever I can. But - I needed a dessert to take to my inlaws tonight, so I went ahead and justified the purchase.

Notice my well-used cookie sheet. Omid hates this cookie sheet but I love it! I think the darker & dented the cookie sheet, the better the cookie. I have a nice new cookie sheet, but the baked goods just don't seem to bake as well on it. I prefer my old one.

The recipe is so easy. Preheat the oven to 250*, unwrap the Rolos, place pretzels on a cookie sheet with a Rolo on top of each. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 6 minutes. After the time is up, remove the cookie sheet and place a pecan on each Rolo. Cool and enjoy!
They are a little sweet and a little salty. Just perfect.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Great (insert sarcastic voice)!!

I just read here that Kelloggs/Keebler/Austin peanut butter & cheese snack pack crackers are being recalled due to a salmonella outbreak. I have been sticking those in the lunches all week. In fact, Matty ate the last one yesterday.

So far, none of us have any symptoms...but you can bet I won't be purchasing those crackers for a very long time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Come on Down!!!

My sister, Cynthia, called last night with some exciting news! I begged her to blog about it, but she said she didn't have time (Cynce has a blog, but has updated it once. Last July). So...I asked her if I could blog about it. She said to go for here I am.

Apparently Cynthia's mother-in-law, Gisela, went with several girlfriends to a taping of The Price i$ Right yesterday in California. Gisela was called to "come on down" and play. Her bid for an item (details are still sketchy, so bear with me) was the closest and she was called up on stage with Drew Carey to play a game (still don't know what she played or if she won/lost - but I hope it was Plinko). Later, Gisela got to "spin the wheel" and came close enough to be in the Showcase Showdown.
Here's where the story gets really exciting. Gisela bid on her showcase which was a trip to Naples, a car and a sailboat. Her bid was $61,000. She came within $200 of the price of the package!! This meant she won BOTH showcases!! How cool is that?! When I get more information on what kind of car she won, what was in the other showcase, and all the other information...I will update the story. I am still so excited for her! Gisela is the perfect contestant for TPIR - she's funny and very enthusiastic.
Congratulations Gisela!!!
PS - I'd LOVE to see Naples!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Last night we celebrated Matty's 13th bday. I asked him what he wanted for dinner. He asked me to make spaghetti. Usually we go out to dinner to celebrate a birthday, but Matty said he wanted me to cook instead. Omid asked him if he wouldn't rather go to The Old Spaghetti Factory. Matty said no, "Mom's sauce is better." Good boy! Then Omid asked him if he would rather have me make the sauce or Omid make the sauce. Matty again said, "Mom!" What a loyal boy!
Birthday Dinner! Look at the kids' faces...they can't wait to dig into my spaghetti. :)
I made this bread to go along with the spaghetti. It is delicious (& really impressive looking). I have another one right now in the oven for breakfast (but I rolled it in cinnamon/sugar instead). It's so easy and beautiful - try it!
Matty requested an apple crisp with homemade vanilla ice cream for his dessert, instead of cake. Nas made the apple crisp and it was really good.

This pix is actually from the other night. I took it to show how addicted Remy is to ice cream. He loves it - particularly the homemade kind. I moved the ice cream maker out of the kitchen (it was too loud for some people who were watching the news). Remy lay down next to the machine and just started whining (he knows what the red machine is for). Matty sat down to guard him, because we were afraid Remy would tip over the machine trying to get a bite of ice cream. After 20 minutes, Remy received a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream in his bowl.

Sunday, January 11, 2009