I had a baby! A baby jalapeno, that is. And I ate my baby in nachos! They were some GOOD nachos.


Two big cookie tins full of tortilla chips, ground turkey flavored with a bit of my baby and taco seasoning, black beans, refried beans, red peppers, tomatoes, red onion, cheese, and black olives and avocado on one of the trays. And, of course, little cubes of my baby jalapeno.


I have firsthand knowledge that my friend is an excellent cook. She keeps a blog all about what they eat and makes me happy, especially since she sometimes share recipes. As soon as I read about the insanely easy pasta sauce I knew I just had to try it. Boy am I glad I did.


We didn’t have any whole canned tomatoes so I used crushed tomatoes. Considering my weird aversion to chunky pasta sauce that was good with me (I’m slowly getting over my weird aversion to chunky salsa so there might be hope for me getting over the pasta sauce one).

The can of crushed tomatoes was 105 ounces (with 8 people living here, four of whom are adults, we go for the big containers). I put in a stick of butter and four peeled and halved onions. And then I simmered it for nearly an hour.

I felt kind of sorry for the onions after I fished them out. It seemed sad to discard them. The flavor they had added to the sauce was incredible, though.

I made a Greek salad to go along with the pasta and sauce (what made it Greek? black olives and feta cheese of course!). Nothing like incredibly fresh tasting sauce on your pasta and fresh veggies on the side. Totally yummy meal.

Cameron wrote his first paragraph!

He’s up to chapter 19 in Shurley English 1 and today he had to write a two point expository paragraph. Here’s what he wrote (I fixed his spelling because it would be hard to decipher otherwise – I told him not to worry about the spelling because that is very hard for him and just concentrate on writing his paragraph):

My Favorite Colors
I have two favorite colors. These colors are blue and orange. My first favorite color is blue. I like blue because it’s the color of the sky and I love water and water is blue. My second favorite color is orange. I like orange because I like to eat oranges and I like the sun. I like blue and orange because they remind me of happy things.

It was painless and written step by step sentence by sentence. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Shurley English?

A Trip to Six Flags, or How we got season passes

Saturday we went to Six Flags America for the first time. The last time I went there it was still called Adventure World and I was part of filming for a local cable kids’ show I was on. Ani’s been to Sea World in Florida and Cameron’s been to Disney World and Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA, all with my parents. This was the first time they went to an amusement park with us.

Last summer I got the idea that it would be nice if my uncle gave us a trip to an amusement park for Christmas. We planned to go to Sesame Place. He figured up how much it would cost and gave us $250 to buy the tickets. And then we waited until last week to get the tickets.

So we went to Sesame Place’s website and were going to get tickets but then Ani and Cameron started saying that maybe they’d rather go to Busch Gardens or King’s Dominion. Sesame Place is aimed at ages 2-7 so while it looked fun enough to them, more thrilling roller coasters were on their minds. We go to Williamsburg a lot and we pass King’s Dominion on the way and always say they want to go there.

So I briefly looked at Bush Garden’s website and quickly rejected that one. WAY too expensive. So then we decided we would go to King’s Dominion. It’s an hour and a half away so we could go and come back in one day (Sesame Place would require at least one overnight stay). With the money Uncle Ralph gave us, we could even have a picnic lunch at the park.

But then I was looking at a list my mom had of prices for tickets to various things and noticed Six Flags America on the list. I said I was surprised I hadn’t thought of it earlier. It’s only 40 minutes away from us. As a teenager I knew a few kids through church who worked there even.

So then I went on their website and we realized that, because of a sale going on this month, we could get 5 season passes (Adrian is free until he turns 3 next year) for the amount of money my uncle had given us.

The next morning I ordered our season passes (and added season parking – pays for itself in 3 visits). And so, on Saturday afternoon, we got our plastic season pass cards. With them we can go to Six Flags as many times as we want all through the summer and on through to the Fright Fest in October.

Hurricane Harbor (the water park) opens Saturday. Memorial Day starts daily operations which go on until Labor Day when it goes back to weekends only. Cameron and Ani are both tall enough for almost all the roller coasters. There are even a lot of rides Adrian can ride. Fritz can ride several rides all by himself. At the moment Cameron is 1/8 of an inch shorter than the maximum for the kiddie rides (only allowed on some when accompanying a small child Adrian’s size).

We have plans to go back on Friday since Jamie’s off. Cameron has already asked that we get season passes for next year, too… after going there just one time on this year’s passes.

Pizza Party!

Last night Cameron threw a pizza party to go along with the Pizza Party Download N Go unit he completed last week.

Cameron and I worked together to make everything from scratch, though Cameron is quick to point out that he did not make the cheese from scratch. As part of the Download N Go unit he learned how mozzarella cheese is made and watched a video about it so he knows now that there’s a lot more to it than just buying a bag of pre-grated cheese at the store.

Cameron made the menu and decided who he was going to invite. In attendance were the six of us and my parents, my aunt and her adult daughter, and two of Cameron’s friends from church.

We had old-fashioned lemonade to drink. Cameron and I juiced a bunch of lemons and added water and sugar.


We made six pizzas. The night before, Cameron and I made the crusts for five of them and baked them part of the way. I’ve never found a really good pizza crust recipe before, so this one made me very happy since it was quite yummy. We made sauce using cans of tomato sauce and added various herbs like basil and oregano to it. Super easy.

We topped one pizza with regular cheese, one with extra cheese, one with pepperoni, one with various meats (bacon, pepperoni, sausage, and ham), and one with various vegetables (bell pepper, mushrooms, and black olives). We also made a breakfast pizza topped with bacon, egg, and cheese.


For dessert we had what can only be described as sugar overload. We made giant cookies (one sugar, one M&M) and covered them in icing (vanilla on the sugar cookie, chocolate on the M&M cookie). Then we topped them with sprinkles, Butterfinger pieces, Nerds, chopped up Twizzlers, Gummi Bears, Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms, Skittles, and Hot Fudge Sauce. And as if that wasn’t enough, we served them with whipped cream and mini Oreos.


Cameron came up with the idea to have cards out labeling what each type of pizza was. He helped me make those, too.

It was quite a wonderful party. Everyone had fun and the pizzas were delicious. As we’ve done more of the Download N Go units, I am even more pleased with them and glad that I went ahead and got a whole year of them. They are really fun and Cameron’s learning a whole lot.

Crazy, Crazy Storm

We just had an insane storm come through here. It went through quickly, but left quite a bit of hail and standing water. I’ve heard of hail the size of golf balls before, but up until tonight I had never actually seen any. Now I have. Most were the size of marbles.



Our garden doesn’t look so good now. Our herb pot is very messed up. My little pepper plants (jalapeno and cayenne) lost a few leaves and I had to pull tree leaves and twigs out from among them, but they made it through okay and I have two baby jalapenos growing nicely (one is 1/4″ and the other is 3/4″ currently).


Knock Knock!

When I was 3 or 4 my favorite knock knock joke went like this:
Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Ida who?
Ida know I forgot my name!

And repeat. Over and over and over and over. I thought I was so clever. I was probably very cute. The first three times. Then I am sure I got incredibly annoying.

Know how I know that?

Because I currently have two little boys who love knock knock jokes. Fritz’s favorite goes like this:
Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Boo who?
Don’t cry!

At least he’s gotten to the full joke stage. Adrian loves knock knock jokes, but he doesn’t quite get the entire concept just yet. His go something like this, with variations every time:
Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Fritz who?
Fritz over there!


After a couple dozen knock knock jokes by Adrian and several boo who knock knock jokes from Fritz I start trying to ignore them. Fritz takes the hint, but Adrian doesn’t. Instead he starts saying “Knock knock! Knock knock! Knock knock! Knock knock!” over and over becoming more insistent with each knock.

Think I should teach Fritz the Ida know joke just to give him a little variety?