Embarrassing Your Teenager 101

We were out shopping for the first-day-of-school outfit at a popular teenage outlet.  The sales were great so naturally it was a crowded place.

Anabelle and I were admiring some jewelery while waiting for Katarina to exit the dressing room.

I took a step back to examine a piece in better light and accidentally brushed shoulders with a teenager walking past.  “Oh, sorry,” I said, and took a step forward.  “It’s okay,” was the teenage reply.

“Oh, you BETTER be SORRY!” came a loud female voice a few steps behind me.

I turned to find a mom IN MY FACE.  A mischievous twinkle in her eye, she whispered, “I just LOVE embarrassing my teenage daughter.  Just go with me on this.”

Not quite registering what was happening just yet, I turned to see the horrified sixteen year-old daughter in question on the other side of the room, her mouth hanging open.  “Mooo–oommm!  Oh. My. GOSH! It wasn’t a big deal!”

The mom winked at me and turned and loudly said.  “Oh she’s SORRY!”

The girl was Bright Red.

At first I thought the mom was a bit mean until… my daughter interacted with me like all the other teendaughters in the dressing room.

Now, I’m starting to think I better take notes from that mom who got in my face.  I might need it in years to come.  After all, she was smiling the most out of all the moms shopping.

My Garden

I’m relatively new to gardening… okay, I’m very new to gardening.  And I’m even newer to the concept of organic gardening, but after watching Food Inc. I’m more eager than ever to learn more!

I’m also a couponer, which means I found myself on a site to get coupons for organic veggies. Before they let you print it you have to read a short article and take a quiz.  I ended up learning a lot about what pests farmers hope for, and suddenly felt immensely blessed. In my tiny raised garden bed, I have bees in the blossoms daily, and ladybugs crawling around the leaves, and finally… this guy (or gal)… the praying mantis.  I hope all these desired pests stick around and keep my garden happy (and my kids happy).

Kat and Mr. Praying Mantis act out a scene from Kung Fu Panda 2

(No praying mantis was harmed in the making of this photograph. Just mom’s heartrate who can’t BELIEVE her children like to pick up and hold pests… even if they are beneficial!) *shudder*

The Great Backwards Day 2011

Our annual backwards day was this Friday.   Instead of calling them by their rightful names, I dubbed them:  TaK, Mas, and Ellebana.  Our dog, Sugar, was called “Ragus” all day… she didn’t mind as long as we still had the treats.

I love this way of ending summer!  If you need ideas for your own backwards day, this was this year’s event:

8 a.m.  They brushed their teeth (for bedtime) and then had a bedtime snack in the form of a Fruit Smoothie.  Gather blankets and pillows for a pajama party.

10 a.m. With the lights out, blinds down, and curtains pulled, I offered the Pixar Shorts DVD as our movie, complete with popcorn.  I gave them the choice of adding a handful of M&Ms or Skittles since it was dessert.

11:30 a.m. After the movie, they hung out for a while and changed clothes before dinner time.  They could wear their shirts and shorts backwards if they wanted!  Katarina made homemade Mac n Cheese while I picked a fresh cucumber from the garden to serve as their veggie.  Hot dogs were optional.

12:00 Suit up for outdoor games and fun like a typical summer day but the fact that it was backwards day meant they could challenge each other to do everything backwards!  I had previously filled water balloons and they played ‘bowling’ by throwing waterballoons over their heads and seeing if they could hit the target. This was a riot.  Squirt guns meant holding the squirt gun backwards (squirting yourself).

The 'monster' bowling target they drew

2:00 We had to begin working on preparation for breakfast that night: cinnamon rolls!

3:30 Backwards geocaching!  Instead of searching for a cache, we were dropped off at a random location and had to search for our driver… their dad!  Luckily we had predetermined coordinates in our GPS to find him…

4:00 Found him! And what’s that he’s holding?  A homemade coupon for free slushies for everyone! On a hot day this hit the spot.

5:00 Head home to pick greenbeans for lunch, while hubby grills up homemade pizza crusts.

7:30 p.m. Time for breakfast!  Homemade cinnamon rolls cause the kids to rave and groan that it would be awesome if we could have this for a real breakfast (nope, too much sugar).

8:30 p.m.  Head off to bed with choruses of “good morning!” and “Have a good day!”

Black Bean Cake?!?

My son has an intolerance to wheat which usually meant spending the big bucks for a wheatless cake mix or baking mix UNTIL I found a recipe for Black Bean Cake!!  I am not joking.  The recipe makes it into cupcakes but we made sheetcake and used Nutella as the frosting.

Imagine, black beans instead of flour. And… the kids had no idea! I thought the appeal would wear off once they knew what they were eating, but… not so!

Turns out there are even recipes out there for white bean cake!  The brain is churning on this one…. maybe a chocolate/vanilla black bean/white bean layer cake?!