Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jersey Boys

Will and I went to see the Broadway Across America production of Jersey Boys on Friday night at the Hobby Center. It was AWESOME!!! It tells the story of how the Four Seasons got their start and rose to fame. I laughed b/c there was a warning outside the theater saying that there would be 'loud gunfire and authentic Jersey language which some may find offensive.' I think everyone in the audience had a ball just hearing all those hit songs (Sherry, Oh What a Night, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like a Man to name just a few). It didn't necessarily take me back to a certain time or place like, say, a Guns and Roses song does (which, by the way, McIver loves now!), but that is definitely my kind of music. I still haven't found a radio station in Houston that plays that sort of 'oldies.' Anyway, if you ever get the chance to see Jersey Boys, do it! You won't regret it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pre Roast Roast

We are hosting the 2nd Annual ECW Oyster Roast again this year with some friends from church. To prepare for the actual roast, we had our 2nd Annual PreRoast Roast (which is probably even more fun than the actual roast) last night with all the hosts. We taste-tested a new Champagne Oyster, Oysters Irene and the standard roasted and raw oysters along with a pot of Beaufort Stew. I think it's fair to say that a good time was had by all (even when the lights went out in half the house).

Gay, Don & I were eager to have our first oyster of the night (to be followed by many, many more!).

These kids put AWAY some pizza in a hurry.

Stacey, Gay, Wendy, Julie, Mindy & me:

The Hostesses

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pirate Recipe

McIver said: I have a secret recipe for something in a pirate restaurant. You put one half of milk. Now we add a little bit of yummy M&Ms - you have to buy them first, but you're gonna put them in last. Then we mix in the bee cereal (honey grahams with the Bee movie ad on it); then a little bit of sugar powder. Then you eat it. And, then it's gonna taste good.

Step 1: Add the milk.

Final Step: Add the yummy M&Ms.

When O came home from a playdate, she joined in the fun. McIver watched over her very carefully to be sure she was following the exact recipe. Believe me when I tell you that the making was a lot more fun than the tasting!

Monday, January 14, 2008

"Jackson Pollock" painting

I found a great recipe for sidewalk paint (1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup cold water & food coloring) so the kids got to work on Saturday. We mixed up as many colors as we had tubes of food coloring and they set to work painting the playhouse.

Then we found some huge boxes and they started to paint. McIver's style was more Jackson Pollock than anything else.
Olivia was a bit more reserved at first, but then she let loose and started scattering paint all over the place.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The New Car

Even though Will has said that he thinks it will be best for him to drive the new car, the kids think otherwise. Will's desire to keep one car kid-friendly and one more 'presentable' only led to a major clean-out of the green car. Olivia, McIver and Grandma Myrtle worked hard for 2 hours on Monday scrubbing, cleaning out, windexing and vaccuuming the green car so that Daddy could have the 'presentable' car. They also came up with a few rules for the new car: no food or drinks, except for water b/c it just dries and doesn't stain; no markers only books; no yelling when someone is driving. We still have not made the change, but the kids are hopeful that they can stay awake long enough tonight to welcome Dad home, prop his feet up on the coffee table, bring him a Golf Magazine and then make the trade while he's not looking. Olivia said she'll move everything out of the red car into the green car. McIver will move our stuff into the red car. We'll see how that goes...

On the way to Los Tios with Grandma Myrtle, McIver shows off his clean hair and his seat in the red car.

Olivia working hard to get the green car sparkly clean, like new.

McIver is back to wanting to be a construction worker when he grows up. Here he is with Grandma Myrtle scrubbing the floor mats.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Biloxi with Grandma Myrtle

I flew to Atlanta/Macon last Friday to bring home the new (to us) car that Pop was kind enough to give us. After a brief visit to Stratford to watch Cacoo cheer on the B-team basketball game, Mom and I met Pop and Grandma Janet for dinner at Luigi's downtown. I'm embarrassed to admit that I was the one who asked the waitress to have the band turn down their music. Call me an old lady, but I had less than 2 hours to get in a good visit with everyone and I wanted to be able to hear what everyone had to say!

Saturday morning, I met Grandma Myrtle and we hit the road for Biloxi. The new car drives like a dream (despite the odd 'tic' it had every time the gas gauge flew from F to E and the 'low fuel' light lit up the dash - that lasted for just a few hours and then seemed to work itself out). We made it to Biloxi about 4pm, had a quick bite to eat and then hit the casino. Grandma knew her way around the Imperial Palace like the back of her hand. She pointed out all of her favorite machines and explained how the card works - you don't actually put coins into the slots anymore. And, you have to look hard to find a machine with a handle to pull; most just have buttons these days.

Since you can't take cameras into the casino (or at least cameras as bulky and obvious as mine), I was not able to take a picture of Grandma Myrtle sitting at a slot machine. (We took pictures in the casinos in Vegas when we went for my bachelorette weekend - I don't know if it was allowed or if we just broke the rules with reckless abandon - we took A LOT of pictures!) This is the only picture I got - the sign at the entrance to the Imperial Palace. I will say that I was horrified at the 'uniforms' worn by the waitresses. By uniform, I mean very skimpy lingerie. I was completely embarassed for the girls I saw walking in for thier AM shift. We also passed several groups of college-age girls who were also scantily clad. I tried to avert my eyes, but Grandma Myrtle wasn't the least bit phased. She's used to it, having been to Biloxi more times than she can count!

Bottom Line: It took me less than an hour to lose $40 (which was my absolute limit on how much I was willing to literally throw away) plus another $10 that Grandma gave me b/c clearly I was not lucky that night. Truth be told, I was happy for an excuse to go to bed - the smoke in that place was terrible!

Before hitting the road Sunday morning, we drove down the 'drag' to see a few other casinos and these very cool chain-saw sculptures made from trees that were destroyed by hurricanes in the past few years. Grandma also pointed out just how desolate and deserted Biloxi and Gulfport still are 2 1/2 years after Katrina. It was really sad, but at the same time, the beach seemed relatively clean and views are no longer obstructed by tacky t-shirt shops. I do realize that those t-shirt shops also represent jobs that are no longer available so it's really a catch-22. It's hard to believe that area will ever be what it was.

We made it to the interstate about 9:30 and had a great day for driving. We made it to Houston about 4:30 and were greeted by some happy yet tired children! Grandma Myrtle had mentioned along the way that she didn't know how to order Mexican food, so we took her to one of our favorite restaurants - Los Tios - for dinner. Olivia and McIver were happy to show her how it's done!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tasty Science

Ashby & John (O's godfather) sent Olivia the coolest "Tasty Science" kit for Christmas. Originally I had told the kids that we had to wait for a rainy day to open it, but the weather turned cold enough that we couldn't play outside for long - so we got into it yesterday.

EXPERIMENT #1: Fizzing Flavor-ade

First, we had to line up all the supplies on the counter: test tubes, measuring scoops, citric acid, baking soda, sugar and flavorings.

After mixing citric acid and baking soda, Olivia added water to watch it fizz.

Then, we added watermelon and raspberry flavoring (and lots more sugar than it called for!) until it tasted good. Olivia thought hers was tastier than McIver did.

EXPERIMENT #2: The Rise of the Cupcake

This experiment required more hands-on participation from Mom so there aren't any pics of the mixing of ingredients. But, the kids were anxious for 10 minutes to pass to see which cupcakes, side A or side B, would rise.

Olivia's hypothesis: The side with the most ingredients will rise.

McIver's hypothesis: The side with not as many ingredients won't rise.

(Yes, they had the same hypothesis, Mac just took longer to say it!)

Waiting, not so patiently, to see which side will rise.

They were both right - Side B, with the baking soda and vinegar, rose (and tasted better!).