26 November, 2009

He's got a point!

Today was a regular school / workday here in Germany so we had an abbreviated version of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday is kids' cooking day lately, so B and I spent the afternoon preparing spicy sweet potatoes, turkey breasts with sage dressing, salad, and mini pecan-pies. The latter was a real treat-- pecans are scarce here, and once I'd finally scored a couple of bags I realized I had no way to shell them.

We actually had a lot of fun massacring them with a pair of M's pliers-- sometimes they exploded and spread shell and pecan shrapnel across the livingroom floor. Which is no problem when one owns a Labrador.

(Yet another thing for which I am thankful...)

Once we'd eaten I retold the story of Thanksgiving and M asked the kids what they are thankful for.

S nodded sagely and said: "you, Mama, D, our health, our family and our friends."

Then we turned to B, who was wiggling on his chair: "I'm thankful that my bed isn't made of nails..."

20 November, 2009

Good lord!

Throughout the course of today I have:
  • hauled myself to the bakery at the crack of dawn to pick up supplies that were ordered for a class field trip (*M was reading this over my shoulder and reminded me that I actually got there 1 1/2 hours BEFORE the crack of dawn. ;-) )
  • hiked 5k
  • somehow survived a grueling 1 1/2 hour yoga class
  • comforted a 1,000 year old woman at the nursing home and let her cry into my sweater
  • grabbed a shovel and plastic bag and followed the boys down the street to pick up someone's pet cat who'd been killed by a car
  • practiced handstands with S
  • learned how radio frequencies are transmitted at the Kinder Uni in Stuttgart
  • raced to school to bring books to a certain child who forgot them thereby heading off unmitigated disaster
  • taken that VERY SAME CHILD after school to a friend's house to pick up a copy of the weekend homework, thereby heading off unmitigated disaster
  • done laundry, cooked meals and oohed and aahed over a new rocket car design that this same sweet child thought up all by himself. (it had very nice mirrors!)
And now I am pooped and am ready to fall comatose on the couch.

Happy weekend, everybody!

16 November, 2009

This bag is not a toy!

The other day I turned around and found this lurking behind me.

I love how it says: "Danger of suffocation! Keep away from children!" across his right ear. I'm nothing if not vigilant...

08 November, 2009

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Made this on Friday and we LOVED it! I'm not a big cake-eater, but this is the perfect combination of sweet and sour and bitter. It's dead easy and is absolutely delicious!

Lemon Olive Oil Cake from Dr. Weil

While you might be hesitant to use olive oil in a dessert recipe, such fears are groundless. Olive oil gives this cake a unique flavor and richness that is balanced out by a little sweetness and the light freshness of lemons. Hesitate no more!

4 (organic) lemons, zested and juiced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups evaporated cane sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder

1. Combine zest, juice and olive oil in a small bowl.

2. In the mixer combine eggs & salt. Mix on medium for 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and continue to mix until pale and thickened.

3. Turn mixer to low and slowly sift in the flour and baking powder, followed by the olive oil mixture. Do not over mix at this point; just incorporate the ingredients.

4. Pour this mixture into a cake pan or muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for cupcakes and 35 minutes for large cakes. Poke with a toothpick to check for doneness.

5. Serve with Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries. Enjoy!

06 November, 2009

Life with boyz

My mom and dad asked for a recent picture to take with them when they visit my grandparents later on this month. Somehow I don't think these shots were what they had in mind, but this pretty much captures the essence of life with two lively (lovely!) boys!

05 November, 2009

Just don't bury them in the sand!

Poor B has a cold. Today he sneezed several times in a row, rubbed his poor chapped nose and said wearily:

"Ow! My nostriches hurt!"

03 November, 2009

Oh shit!: the sequel

(Note: This is a follow-up to yesterday's post. If you haven't seen that one yet you might want to read it first.)

"Hey S, do you know what happened to those condoms and the wrappers?"

It's the crack of dawn and S is wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa waiting for breakfast. He nods sleepily, crawls under the sofa and drags out a box of condoms and two wrappers and I feel relief flood through my body.

And then the humor of the situation hits me and I start giggling like a maniac.

Yesterday could have been so much worse. The poop? On the landlord's shoe? That was only the tip of our slumdog iceberg here! At least when he walked in the door S had the good sense to hide the goods and throw out the unrolled, slightly rumpled condoms that were lying on the dining room table amidst the Halloween candy wrappers and school books!

OK, I guess I should backtrack here:

S came home from school yesterday wanting to know what a condom is. Someone had made a joke about one and he had only a vague idea that it was something bad or dirty. So I gave S and B an in-depth explanation about birth control and disease prevention and I even brought out a box of condoms and gave them a couple so that they could unwrap them and see what they really look like.

There were a couple of remarks that had me stifling a nervous laugh: "Wait?! This is supposed to fit around my penis?! It's HUGE!??"

Afterwards of course they blew them up like balloons and let them fly around the room. I asked them to clean it all up and get back to their homework. When I left the room they were laughing about a greasy smudge the lubricant had left on the dining room window.

Shortly after that the landlord arrived....

Move over, Clark Griswold, you've met your match!

02 November, 2009

Oh shit! (literally...)

We have a tiny yard. I mean miniscule. It's only big enough to house a few good sized dandelions and an unidentifiable conifer. Consequently, the only one who uses the yard is the dog, if you get my drift. Which is fine by me-- it's an easy way to let her out at night before going to bed and every few days I get out there with a bucket and a shovel and clean it all up.

Have I mentioned all of the houseguests we've had lately? Two weeks worth of revolving door guests here at Chez V, which means I've been distracted from less visible tasks like scooping poop. That's what? 14+ piles of fragrant goodness clustered in a 2 x 5 meter space.

Today the landlord dropped by unannounced to read a meter. I hate it when he does this, because it's just embarrassing to have him sniffing around our place while we're in the middle of lunch / homework / sportsbag hell. I clean up in the mornings and in the late afternoon, but frankly at 3 pm this place looks like the projects!

So he read his meter and we discussed a neighbor's tree that's becoming overgrown and is blocking the view. He promised to check on it, said goodbye, and left.

I made a comment to S about the state of the house and was just saying "...but at least he didn't go out into the yard" when S spotted him walk past the back door! I got outside just in time to see him in the neighbor's yard scraping poop off of his expensive leather loafers...

Somehow I'm thinking we can kiss our deposit goodbye...