Showing posts from February, 2010

Another case of a focus-free afternoon

This is exactly what happened, without exaggeration. And while reading it, some of you might recall a similar email funny that has circulated, and then some of you might think twice about email forwards and think maybe they are absolutely true and that maybe that check from Microsoft is on its way right now? In any case, after hosting a family gathering one cold Sunday afternoon, I began to clean up the kitchen only to realize that the rest of my immediate family was fast asleep to the hum of a random afternoon movie. Including my husband. I didn’t want to wake them with the clanging of dishes, so I snuck upstairs to put away some laundry. But in my room I found a paper that belonged in my office which is really less of an office and more like the black hole of everything that doesn’t have a real place. So I ventured down to the office with socks still strewn all over my bed and realized that while the rest of the gang was sleeping, it’d be a good time to tackle this project. Sifti

What's for dinner? Meatless Monday (Baked spinach risotto with asparagus)

Because our eating schedule in this house is as random and varied as I could ever imagine, with running from here and there to a dairy allergy, there's just no way we could give up one single item for Lent. If I gave up coffee, I would probably die. Literally. And if the kids gave up candy, what would I feed them when they're really tired but we just need to press through a couple of more hours? If we gave up fast food, we'd starve. I can't deny this. So using this Lenten season as a time of sacrifice is really, really hard for us. This year, to make things attempt to go smoother, I decided that we, as a family, are going to eat our normal meatless meals on Fridays (fish allowed), and for the next 6 weeks are going to subscribe to Meatless Mondays. Heard of this movement? You can check it out for yourself at , but essentially the thinking behind it all is that if we ate meat one less day a week, we could not only improve our health, but also

Snowblowing the Martha MacGyver way

BEFORE... I have a friend whose husband actually turned my name into a verb. As in, “just go Karrie McAllister the thing, already!” For some reason, this family was under the impression that I was the one female that they’d met who knew no boundary when it came to what was “woman’s work.” I think it was probably because at a playdate I randomly fixed their toilet or their garage door or something, really impressing the husband with my handy skills. It didn’t help them to know that while she grew up in a feminine way, I took the tomboy route. I got knives and GPS’s as presents, and by the time I was in middle school I already had my own four-wheeler and rifle. My first job out of collage brought field mice, coal dust, and dynamite. Grrrrr. So feeling like an empowered woman is just a way of life for me. I pull start my own lawn mower, for Pete’s sake. But there has always been one area where I have lacked: the snowblower. Over the years it’s become an ominous beast, sitting serenely an

When nature calls, bring a friend

I pretty much have a love/hate relationship when it comes to public restrooms. Over the years I have been through a roller coaster of emotions that all pretty much lead to one thing: I don’t think I will ever be able to go to the bathroom alone ever again. Ever. It really all started when I was quite young at our neighborhood Big Wheel. I will never forget telling my mom that I had to use the restroom and after going, the stall door became stuck such that I thought I would be locked in that bathroom for the rest of my life, or at least until I turned five. My mother jiggled from the outside handle. I jiggled from the inside handle. We pushed, we pulled, and when it was all said and done, my mother said the most haunting words. “You’re just going to have to crawl out on the floor under the door.” Well. Having spent my entire life until that point being schooled in the way of germs and don’t-touch-that’s, I was pretty sure I would pick up some awful deforming disease from the floor of th

Mommy meltdown

In the midst of a major mommy meltdown this week (snowblower, kids, dogs, mess, little Valentine's all over durn house), I got this email from my 8 year old daughter that she typed on my husband's phone. And within a few seconds, my mommy meltdown turned into a mommy HEART meltdown... Dear Mommy I think you are very very very cool,EVAN when you tell to us to do something we do not do it so you yell at us. People at school like you,*Bob, Laura, and Peter and more people too think you are AWESOME!!!! I LOVE you so so so so so much that I can not even say how much!!!! One question :What is your favortive type of coffee? Your favortive daughter, Ellie Ellen F. McAllister P.S. You are very very very SWEET !!! You are also very very very NICE!!! *names changed... :)

The Hall of Crazed Animals

My youngest daughter has just entered the age when she is now able to attend the local story hour that involves making a craft. Week after week we will attend until the amount of painted and glued projects she has creatively designed rival that of the most prolific artist and, of course, her siblings. Even without her new additions, I have accumulated more pieces than the Smithsonian and the Louvre combined with two older children who are story hour and preschool graduates. And each piece of art is something special, something unique, and something truly and honestly kid produced. With their own tiny hands, they have concocted some of the world’s most disturbed art and not wanting to throw anything away, I have turned to slathering the walls of my basement stairs with their projects. We’ve got pumpkins with more glitter than pumpkin. There’s a cutout of one of the kids (not sure which one) that has one giant eye and one tiny one, like it’s winking at me each time I go downstairs. There

Shoveling snow, oatmeal bread, and the white chili of the day

There are few things better than waking up to 17" of snow like we did on Saturday. In fact, the only better thing would have been waking up to 17" of snow on a weekday, and wondering if the snow day dance really did work. But when you are snowed in, you naturally turn to homey warm things. I know this because it seems all of my facebook friends were making soup, taking naps, cuddling in with a good book, or for the unfortunate few, shoveling out their driveways. I figured if we were going to be in all day, the house better smell good, and at the first chance I had I whipped out one of my favorite recipes, Oatmeal Bread. (recipe follows.) The house was smelling sweet, we all ate enough warm bread and butter to overbloat our stomachs, and I thought chili would be the perfect end to a long play session out in the snow. And there was no way we could not go in the snow-- it was a picture perfect afternoon. When the forts were all built, the sledding hill completely tuckered us

The Bob Evans Rap

I can't tell you exactly why, but the kids and I love to eat at Bob Evans. My husband does not. So any chance we have to dine out when he's not around, it's where we go. Tonight was one such occasion and we all had a little case of the sillies. The result is below. Note that the "K" stands for me, the "T" for my son (6), and the "E" for my daughter (8). And Mr. Evans, if you're out there and want us to rap this for your commercial, we'd be happy to. The Bob Evans Rap by Karrie and Co. K: I was feeling kind of hungry with my family, So we made a beeline for the B-O-B. T: The what? E: The what? K: The B-O-B. 'Cause we like to eat at the B-O-B. T: The Bob E: The Bob K: At the Bob Evans K: We pulled into the lot and to tell the truth, They seated us right at our favorite booth. Lemonade with curly straws is their favorite thing, And Bob's hot fresh coffee makes my heart sing! T: It's time E: It's time K: It'

Last-minute Groundhog Day treat

Yep, it's as easy as a craft stick, some clipart, and a doughnut. The good part is that my kid has kindergarten snack on Groundhog Day, and I'm sending in enough giant doughnuts (and groundhogs) for everyone. The even better part is that they are going to have a sub. Haha! Nothing better than subbing a class full of sugar-high kindergartners! C'mon, shadow!