Friday, January 22, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday, #47

1. My girls were given the sweetest new shirts for Christmas, and I've been meaning to show them to you. However, on the first day the shirts were worn, they got good and stained and it's taken me this long to return them to wearability.

Cute, no? Even better is that they were gifts from my incredibly sweet and far-too-busy-to-be-making-gifts-for-her-blog-buddy friend, Lenae. Are you impressed with her craftiness and thoughtfulness?! I absolutely was. Thank you again, Lenae. I'd take you out for a milkshake and chat if I could.

2. Earlier this week, we were driving with the windows rolled down and the radio blasting the Beastie Boys. I sang (shouted?) along loudly, dancing the bucket-seat-dance while Justin eyed me suspiciously and the girls laughed from the backseat. We were fighting for our right to Paaaaaartay. Toss you outta this house if that's the clothes you're gonna WAY-er! I'll kick you outta my house if you don't CUT THAT HAIR! The lyrics are goofy and not something I really want my kids to listen to, but in the moment, we were rocking out and I had no worries. It had been years since I'd heard that song, but I was sure there weren't any bad words in it.

All was going well until... Man, livin at home is such a drag. Now your mom threw away your best p*rno mag!

Yikes! About the time they sang mom threw away, I remembered what came next. In my befuddled maternal way, I reached for somebody's mouth to cover up so the words couldn't be said, but...whose mouth can you cover when you're listening to the radio? Nobody's. I threw my hand out and waved it in front of the dashboard frantically, singing LALALALA! until the bad part was over.

Leave it to me in my panic to forget about turning the volume down, or better yet, pushing the OFF button. Sigh. Thankfully, my LALALALA's were distracting enough that the word wasn't heard by my innocent babies. Who won't be innocent for long if mama insists on rocking out in the car.

Do you have a guilty music-pleasure?

3. Do you remember when I canned my own tomatoes? It was quite the ordeal -- for me, anyway. I worked so hard and sweated and fussed....and only got 6 jars of garden tomatoes out of the deal. But man, was I proud. I stowed them in my pantry, vowing not to use them until the dead of winter was upon us and I'd be desperate for a taste of summertime freshness.

Now -- it's the dead of winter. But I'd been putting off using the tomatoes because...what if they were terrible? What if I worked so hard and it hadn't been successful in the end? What if they were poisoned by my lack of knowledge in canning, and would sicken us all?

Knowing deep down that the tomatoes would probably be fine, I gathered my courage and used a jar for a recipe last week. Or, I tried to. It took me a sweet eternity to figure out how to open the jar. First of all, the screw lid was, like, melded to the jar. I used elbow grease, jar grippers, core muscles, and entreaties to heaven, but the jars were NOT coming open. Eventually, I remembered an old-fashioned contraption stuck to the side of my fridge. Yep -- you guessed it -- the can opener. I stuck the pointy end under the lid and pried it all the way around the edge until the lid finally relinquished its grasp. It was off! Hooray! Next problem? The sealed inner lid. Before remembering the can opener again, I nearly flipped all of my nails backwards trying to peel off the lid. I'd never seen this done before! How was I to know!? (If you say common sense, I'll be mighty upset. You would, of course, be right. But still.)

Eventually, the jar was open, the contents were sniffed, the tomatoes were poured into the minestrone soup, the spoonful was carefully tasted (with eyes squinched shut), and the tomatoes were deemed...delicious.

And now I'm armed with another life lesson: How To Open A Home-Canned Jar Of Tomatoes. Be very, very proud.

4. I have an announcement to make: MY BROTHER STARTED HIS VERY OWN BLOG! He's the super talented and creative sort, and he's been working with leather and other materials to make custom knife sheaths. I know all of you lovely ladies probably won't be too interested in sheaths, but what about the men in your lives? My brother would love to make a custom knife sheath for them if they like that sort of thing, so send them over to take a look. And check it out yourselves to leave him some comment-encouragement!

5. Yesterday was a dull and dreary day at Heavenly House, and I had alot running through my head when I should have been paying attention to the kids in their after-lunch/pre-nap play time. To relieve the doldrums, I followed Lucy The Valiant's advice and Googled 'find Chuck Norris' (the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' way). It was so entertaining that I just stared at the screen and giggled for far too long. So long, in fact, that it took me a few minutes to realize the house was silent. Here's what happened while I Googled Chuck:

Marker up the nose. Sweet.

I'm blaming this on Lucy.

6. My Quick Takes have been so un-quick this week that I'm leaving number 6 with nothing. You're welcome.

7. And for the end, here's a sweet reminder to keep looking up:

Life is better when you're smiling.

Have a smile-filled weekend, friends, and stop by Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!


  1. Aw, the shirts look great! I'm so glad :)

    Your Beastie Boys story made me laugh a lot. I forget what we were listening to, but we had a similar incident happen recently and I was so shocked that I just sat there. And waited. For the dreaded repetition of the evil word. We lucked out that time :)

    LALALALA! Lenae out!

  2. Cute shirts. Good job, Lenae.

    I giggled over your jar opening adventure. I grew up eating home canned goods. Here are two tips: The ring is not supposed to be left on. 24 hours after you can them, you can carefully remove it. Store the jars with only the rubber sealed lids. That's how home canners do it. Then, when you want to eat what's in the jar, you can use that little pry thingie that's usually on the end of old fashioned metal hand can openers. I think the same thing works for beer bottles...I am not sure. Anyway, it saves your finger nails. I'm glad your tomatoes taste good after all that hard work!

  3. Those shirts are adorable!! Lenae did a great job!!

    Green Day. Yup, love them. Remember them?? A few songs must be censored, but they are easy to car rock to!!

  4. Those shirts are a-dorable!
    And yes, it is the dead....of .....winter. blah!

  5. I must admit, I've been lax about turning off the big girl music, because I figured Tori wouldn't understand. But now? Now she's becoming a real person. Does that mean I have to start listening to Raffi?

  6. I don't know if it is a "guilty" music pleasure, but I do listen to some of my south american music when I am by myself. I never listen to it when my wife is around. She doesn't get why I like it and comes up with some STRANGE ideas of why I like it. So, I just listen by my little self, real low at the office, so nobody else will complain about such singers as Bezerra da Silva, Jeito Moleque, Art Popular and other Brazilian artists that I won't mention for fear of incriminating myself.

  7. I LOVE when you include photos in your posts. Your girls make me happy!

  8. Oops! My bad! I solemnly swear to NEVER put markers up your daughter's nose again. I don't know what gets into me sometimes! I see a marker, and then I just go CRAZY. I am seeking help, though. :)

    Ariel, since the age of two months, has had a favorite band. Whenever I play their music, she is almost guaranteed to be in a good mood, even if previously she was hating the world. And that band, I am ashamed to admit, is ACDC. I try to explain to her that a highway to hell is a METAPHOR, but babies these days are so terribly literal.
    Conversely, she will start screaming and crying any time ANY country song is played. Especially "Friends In Low Places." Especially if Joey and I are singing along with much-exaggerated twang.

    And those shirts are TOO CUTE!

  9. Okay, so WHY did you have to get those Beastie Boys lyrics stuck in my head!?! Now I'll be singing them all day trying to stop before the "bad part" pops up. Growing up with 2 older brothers made me a little bit of a rap fan myself. "You don't know me, fool. You just call me cool"... that's all I'm gonna say... I should stop before you think I'm a complete dork. Or is it already too late?

    LOVE the girls' shirts and their adorable faces! Oh, and I checked out your bro's blog. If I EVER need a knife sheath... I'll definitely know where to go! Very cool.

  10. Do you read my blog? Yes. Then you do know that I have done a multitude of stupid things including parking in front of the cart corral, locking my child in the car with the keys inside and MISTAKING MY BROTHER IN LAW FOR MY HUSBAND. So don't feel bad about your lil' can opener escapade...and thanks for sharing that so I can feel a lil better about myself ;)

    The shirts? Adorable.

    Guilty music pleasure? I can't believe I am admitting this publicly but "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas.

    Happy Friday!

  11. My husband put on his old Weezer cd the other day so that the kids could hear "My name is Jonas" the real way since he often sings it to them as a bedtime song. I got really into the songs on the cd that I probably haven't heard since high school. So I was singing out loud and crazy while washing the dishes. My daughter was desperate to know why on earth someone would tell someone else how to destroy their sweater. :) They did have the D word in a song or two which I just skipped over in my own singing so I don't think it was noticed.

  12. Oh those shirts are adorable!

    No worries, my #7 was blank last week. We all have those weeks.

    And my guilty pleasure song is....Big Ten Inch by Aerosmith. Which refers to the size of a RECORD I tell you!

  13. I love your Quick Takes this week! Really, they're some of your finest. That last picture of Mia just keeps making me smile.

    And Lenae, Those shirts are GREAT!

  14. Hah, the music story killed me! Hilarious. Sorta like when our water filter in Indonesia broke when I was kid - we couldn't turn the faucet off, and the water was spilling everywhere, and my parents went running around in circles looking for something the water could pour into. I got up from the table and plugged my finger in the faucet. Hah.

  15. Very impressed with your home canned tomatoes...maybe I'll have to try that next. I made my own chicken broth for the first time thanks to you and it made all the difference in my chicken noodle soup! So I'm feeling empowered in the kitchen at the moment :)

  16. My guilty music that I shouldn't play in the car and always have to censor when I do is Alanis.

  17. I'm just wondering how you got the stains out?

  18. Emily G - Yeah, I wondered if those screw caps had any point after the canning process, anyway. I'll try that next time -- assuming there is a next time :) I might need some encouragement!

    Me In Life Em - Oh, yes. I LOVE Green Day! Brings me right back to high school. Wait...why on earth do I like them?!

    Amber Page - Dear lord, no. No Raffi.

    Lucy - Mia's favorite right now is Muse. Crazy kid. I mean, I agree, but still. Crazy.

    Gail - Weezer! I think I'm going to have to plug some new stations into my Pandora :) I forget about these bands after awhile!

    Debbie - Sure, sure. I'd believe you, if not for the fact that nobody knows what a record is anymore...

    Emily - I'm so glad! That picture was perfect, and I HAD to use it somewhere...

    Lori - GOOD JOB! I know, homemade broth is somehow amazing, right?

    Young Mom - I used a tide to-go stick when it first happened, but then...ugh. I put the shirts up so they wouldn't get thrown in the laundry before I'd contacted Lenae to see how they should be washed. Then I FORGOT where I put them. When I found them again, I used Dreft stain spray and washed in warm water. It worked. Notwithstanding the fact that the spots sat for at least a week :)

  19. These were great quick takes!

    I laughed out loud about the Beastie Boys. Just this week, Nick played Dynamite Hack's version of NWA's "Boys in the Hood" on Groove Shark for me while we were making dinner. We were cracking up until we realized we hadn't chosen the censored radio version and, well, you can imagine...much fumbling for the mouse ensued.

    Lenae--fabulous shirts! I bow down.

  20. Oh, man. I got home after a LONG day today and sat down to the blog world to unwind for while, and what do I see but some Heavenly Quick Takes! I forgot it was Friday, and I was so excited; it had to be the perfect thing, and it was! Between your stories about singing, and getting in to your canning and the marker up the nose, AWESOME (also googling Chuck Norris that way is hilarious). Of course, the pictures of your sweet girls also make the day a little better! :)

  21. I know exactly the song you're talking about. I haven't had one of those "crazy spontaneous music moments" for a while now. I think it's time. Thanks for reminding me that sometimes, "Moms just wanna have fu-un." :)

    Roxane - Peace Garden Mama

  22. I just found your blog--all of my friends just love you!
    My guilty music pleasure: a little download of Beyonce's Single Ladies. I don't know why I love it, but now having our four year old twin boys yell, "Mom, I wanna turn on all the Single Ladies" is sort of backfiring from the cutest of seeing them wave their hands and dance! "I love Single Ladies Mom!" Yes, I sure you do...

  23. Love love love the Beastie Boys story... Owl Poppa and I were jamming out to the flashback lunch on the hip hop station the other day... til I realized that there wasn't one song that was appropriate for the kids in the backseat. Poison by Bel Biv DeVoe, not so much of a kid song! I'm wishing I could crank up the music right now!

  24. Oh, and I also wanted to say, as an alternative to Raffi, you all should check out Elizabeth Mitchell (no I don't work for her and I'm not related). She does music for kids, but adults love it. I threw a baby shower today and had her playing in the background and everyone wanted to know who she was. You Are My Little Bird is my favorite cd of hers. My kids like it, but I usually play it for myself. YOu can find her on Pandora too.

  25. Oh guilty music pleasures! Gotta love them! My kids' favorite songs display my wonderful choice of guilty pleasures. Kenna's favorite since she was 6 months old has been Walk by Pantera, Randy likes The Beastie Boys' Girls (go figure!), and Riley likes Schism by Tool.

    I really don't know how this happened. 99 percent if the time we listen to VERY child-appropriate music (not quite Raffi, but really not much better) or talk radio. Then one day a song comes on that they just decide to love... I guess they're all just rockets at heart like their Mama!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?