Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Super Summer 2012 - Mission Log, Day 14

Our Super Summer 2012 mission is winding down. Only this week and next before it is back to school. Didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but I still think it has been quite a success. Today was one of those days where we didn't do anything I had planned because we were doing other equally fun and worthwhile stuff. Morning was the usual: breakfast, TV (he's on a Super Hero Squad kick right now), Wii (which is aerobic for him; will try to post some video), then lunch. After we ate, he wanted to play a game.

He periodically goes on Monopoly binges, and he's in the middle of a very intense one. So right after lunch, we started playing. That took up the entire afternoon until DH got home from work, but we were both laughing and having fun, *and* we were getting in his reading and math practice without him even realizing it. Doesn't get much better than that!

He can make change up to about $200 in his head, and he read most of the property titles and chance/community chest cards without much difficulty. *And* he beat me fair and square. That might just make monopoly the greatest game ever, in his book! LOL

Currently feeling: monopolized

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 2012 - Pinterest Inspirations

Actually had a few non-recipe inspirations this month! And one of my few true failures (the first one). Still having a blast on Pinterest, though! And I hear it is now open to all, no invite needed. Hope you enjoy.

Patriotic "Mocktail" - We couldn't make this work. The blue and red kept mixing and turning purple. I guess the sugar content was too close between the Gatorade and Hawaiian Punch.

Slow Cooker Asian Inspired Beef - This was just okay. I do think it would play well with cabbage, but neither DH nor I care for it, so we left it out. Not bad, by any means, but probably won't make again.

Roasted Garlic Chicken with Red Potatoes - This was pretty good. Think it would be better if chicken was marinated like recent pork recipe I made.

Raspberry Lemonade - This was pretty good, but more effort than I care to do on a regular basis. Definitely only 4 cups of water for me; I like it strong!

Sinful Colors- Bali Mist layered over Fig - Wouldn't have thought to layer these two without this blog, but really loving the look of it.

Straw Plane - Original pin said "flies better than a paper airplane," so we tested that. While we did have one paper design that was better in our very unscientific tests, it did come in 2nd out of four. The fun part was the skeptical look on my son's face, followed by delight when it performed so well!

Crock Pot Chicken and Gravy - This was just okay. Actually not as good as I anticipated. Fine, just not wow. Prefer other similar recipes.

Currently feeling: pinned

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Olympics - London 2012 - Opening Weekend

Not sure how much blogging will get done in the next couple of weeks. I am a complete Olympics junkie, and this is the first one Luke is really paying any attention to, so that should be fun. So far, he is really enjoying the table tennis, badminton (they apparently play this at his school during gym on rainy days), archery, and men's gymnastics (high bar especially; definitely my son, as it is far and away my favorite men's event!). Here are my Get Glue stickers so far (through the end of Sunday late night).

I feel I only "qualify" for a sticker if I watch two full TV segments of a sport (20-30 minutes), so the teeny tiny bit of soccer, basketball, and handball that I've seen (less than 5 minutes each) don't count. Yet; I'll get to them! I'm doing what I can to be able to say I actually watched at least some of as many events as possible. Might have to stream some live, since I (unfortunately) can't stay awake and watch coverage 24/7, and I can only record 2 channels at a time. (I know, first world problems!) I'm not sure I'll be able to sit through enough boxing to count, though. I've tried, and it makes me feel ill to watch two people try to beat each other to a pulp. ::sigh:: Anyway, Luke keeps asking about the 100 yard dash (yes, I know it is meters these days), so he's ready for the Track and Field events to start this weekend. Looking forward to it!

Currently feeling: olympic

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Super Summer 2012 - Mission Log, Day 13

With Luke sleeping so late in the mornings now, usually until 8:30-9 (boy, is that going to make going back to school in a couple of weeks even tougher!), we're really only getting to one "event" per day now. That's okay, he needs his sleep, especially since he seems to be in a bit of a growth spurt phase at the moment. The morning followed the usual routine: breakfast, Mythbusters, Wii/computer, and independent play (LEGOs downstairs and action figures in the living room). Since we eat lunch 11-11:30, that takes up most of the morning!

This afternoon's activity was something he asked about way back at the beginning of the summer (can't believe that was over 2 months ago!).

Oh yeah, Mommy has hidden talents! *I* made all four of these, with no help from Google, just my own memories from grade school. Well, except the straw one; it came from Pinterest. It claimed to be better than any paper air plane. We decided to test that.

Top L-R: Plane 2 and Plane 3. Bottom L-R: Plane 1 and Plane 4.

Ready. Aim. Fire!!

We did six tests; three throws for Luke, and three throws for me. Not the world's most scientific test, but it was fun!

Our results were interesting, in order from farthest to shortest flight, per throw, the planes landed:
1, 4, 2, 3
1, 4, 2, 3
4, 1, 2, 3
4, 1, 2, 3
1, 4, 2, 3
1, 4, 2, 3

So, the straw plane (Plane 4) wasn't necessarily better than *any* paper plane, but it was at least just as good. Luke predicted Plane 1 would be best, which didn't surprise me. He thought the straw plane would be last. I can't really blame him for that. It does look pretty odd, doesn't it? He played with the planes for a good hour after we tested them; they were apparently air support for the super hero action figure battle. Guess he liked them!

Currently feeling: like flying

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Super Summer 2012 - Mission Log, Day 12 (and my birthday)

Day 13 of our Super Summer happened to coincide with my birthday, so I've combined the two into a single post. For the most part, the morning went as usual: wake up, breakfast, Mythbusters. Star decided to lend a festive flair to my morning and "decorate" my bathroom. Streamers, right? (She's the only one of our cats who does this!)

Next, it was time for something really exciting: groceries! But first, a quick shot of my birthday nails on the way out. Walgreens is having a sale on Sinful Colors nail polish this week for 99 cents each. I might have picked up a few new ones. This is one coat of Fig (should have used two) topped with one coat of Bali Mist.

I noticed this new addition to our grocery store during our last visit, but I had no camera of any sort to take a picture (had left my phone at home). Since it's still very new, it is highly reflective. I'm sure it won't last, but it made for a pretty nifty picture.

Luke was very good while we were there, and they had their Hot Wheels cars on sale, even cheaper than their usual $1 each (only 89 cents!), so he added another to his collection. Small price to pay for being well behaved during one of his least favorite chores.

Part of the reason we went to the grocery store was so I could make a cake. This is Black Magic Cake with Betty Crocker chocolate icing. Yes, a scratch cake with canned icing! I haven't found the right homemade chocolate icing recipe yet, despite having tried 4 different ones so far. ::sigh:: I'll keep trying. Not the prettiest cake in the world, but oh so yummy. The plate is a white Anchor Hocking Fire King plate with a gold edge that used to belong to my great-grandmother. I actually have two of them. Part of me says I shouldn't use them, but part of me loves using them and remembering her.

Baking, frosting, Wii, and LEGOs took up most of our afternoon. When Daddy got home, it was off to dinner. YUM! Our usual favorite Japanese restaurant, Fuji Ya, next to Best Buy in Tucker. I tried to teach Luke to use chopsticks, but his fingers just aren't quite long/strong enough yet. I need to practice my "kids chopsticks" technique for him (the ones with the rubber band that turn them into giant tweezers).

After dinner, we did cards and my package that arrived that afternoon.

Wow! I'm not sure what I was expecting when I was told to be on the lookout for a box, but that wasn't it. What a great surprise! Thanks to my parents and brother!! This is the perfect type of gift, something I wanted but wouldn't have bought for myself, certainly not with the job situation in its present state. I've been happily downloading free books ever since, though they also sent a gift card for Kindle books. I'm trying to spend it wisely, though, so I haven't actually bought anything yet.

We thought we were going to have cake after we opened stuff, but Luke doesn't like chocolate cake (how can we be related?), and DH and I were both still super-stuffed from dinner, so cake will wait until tomorrow. All in all, an excellent day. We will return with a more "traditional" mission on Thursday.

Currently feeling: too full for cake

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Movie Muse Shorts - Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises

I can't believe I've seen three movies in a week! You'd think we were back to our old ways from pre-child. Here are some quick thoughts on them.

Image from iceagemovie.com

Ice Age: Continental Drift - I didn't overly care for this one. It had some cute moments, but both Ice Age 1 and Ice Age 3 were better, and maybe even 2 (though I haven't seen that one in years, as it also wasn't nearly as good as 1 and 3). Too much of the wrong type of humor, too many extra characters, not really fully following through with their own themes. Not a terrible movie by any means, just not one I especially care to see again.

Image from theamazingspiderman.com

The Amazing Spider-Man - Another case of "not bad, but not as good as its predecessor." I think the Toby Maguire iteration was much better. I know, it's a reboot, so I really shouldn't have been comparing the two, but it's so hard! I didn't feel as involved with any of the characters, and I didn't really consider the villain all that menacing. Again, far from a bad film, and if this one had come first, I would probably have liked it more, but it suffered in comparison to what came very recently before.

Image from thedarkknightrises.com

The Dark Knight Rises - Hmm, I'm sensing a theme here. Good, but both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were superior. It almost felt too big, if that makes any sense, and to be perfectly honest, I had a terribly hard time understanding Bane half the time, which both makes him seem less menacing and jerks me out of the "reality" of the movie. I know I'm repeating myself, but I mean it. It was far from a bad movie! I mean, come on, it's the weakest of a supremely excellent trilogy, which puts it well above many of the movies I've seen in the last 5 years. It was just a bit less awesome than I hoped.

Currently feeling: theatrical