Saturday, December 22, 2007

Oh f.u.d.g.e.

As you can probably surmise, I'm a freak for peanut butter. As per request, here is the peanut butter fudge recipe. It's from the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar to Laura Graff to moi last Christmas in Iowa.


3 c. sugar
1 stick butter
1 sm. can evap. milk (5 oz)
1 c. peanut butter
1 jar Kraft marshmallow creme (7 oz)
1 tsp vanilla

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and evap milk. Bring to rolling boil on medium heat. Boil for FOUR minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Take off heat and add peanut butter and marshmallow creme, stir until melted. Add vanilla and pour into foil lined (I used parchment paper--you could also do wax paper I'm sure) 9x13 pan. Cool at least 4 hours.

Don't forget to either eat it all or hide it in the laundry room before your kids gouge the bejeebers out of it the next morning.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


From our house to yours! A delicious loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread with all the glaze licked off and a few bites off of all the tops. By a little mouse. Named Ellison. Kinda anticlimactic after a night of baking until 1:00 am to wake up and find the nibbled aftermath. So I got over it, reglazed them and took them to the neighbors anyways. Just kidding. You hope. Martha Stewart is horrified.

Next morning, it was the peanut butter fudge. Huge scoops carved out from fingers suspiciously E's size as damning evidence. This is the price I pay for trying to get a couple of extra Zzzz's in the a.m. And not putting the fudge out of reach. (I KNEW I should have hid it in the laundry room!) So I'm contemplating her fate: guillotine, the rack, Chinese water torture, etc. Marc settled on an appropriate mild verbal chastisement. Why am I obsessed with chronicling(sp?) my childrens' utter misery as of late? I'm not sure. (Reference previous post of Charlotte's breakdown). I'll have to get back to you on that one after I thoroughly overanalyze it. I suppose it beats corporal punishment.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Parade of Bob's Home Tour

Since I have about five Christmas decorations up (waiting for the sales to stock up since I ditched some tattered Christmas stuff in Iowa during the move), I have to live vicariously through my friends who have NOT abandoned all yuletide cheer. Like my friend Bob for example. A gal I've known for over fifteen years. I adore Bob's house like crazy. Not coveting, but close. The woman is the master (or is it mistress?) of details. I'm inviting myself over for another playdate.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


With bread.

Without bread.

With bread again.

Without bread again.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

So You Think You Can Take Pictures?

And a hearty congratulations goes out to photographer JSchomaker.

She just beat out all other contestants on "SYTYCTMFKATTGTTPFADPWAIVX". ("So You Think You Can Take My Four Kids and Try To Get Them To Pose For a Decent Photo Without an IV Drip of Xanax?")

For some, it's shoes. For others it's jewelry. Tupperware. Handbags. Dishes. Good makeup. Scrapbooking supplies. Kids' Clothing. Pricey haircuts. Whatever. We all have our weaknesses.

For me, it's fine photography.

Which is why I have about three pairs of shoes (you've all seen them and know the ones to which I'm referring), and I buy my jewelry at Claire's. I rationalize that I can always buy the jeans or shoes or end table, but in ten years you can't go BACK and take good photos of childhood.

I love a photograph that really captures the "happy days are here again" attitude of youth, (not that the happy days ever really left for them--HELLO how bad could life have really gotten as an eight year old?).

One day I'll get my own GOOD camera and learn some tricks of the trade, but right now, I'm at the mercy of the pros. I'm so jealous of people who can look through the lens and be creative and capture color and light and beauty just right.

I was scouring the greater metropolitan Phoenix area for a photographer, and I kid you not, I probably googled about 50 photographers before I stumbled upon J's website. Liked it. Emailed her. Set up appointment. Figured I'd have to drive like forever to downtown Phoenix or some other nether-region of the Valley with kids in frilly frocks.

Turns out Jenny lives two streets away from me and is Big Guy's Primary Teacher at church. Trippy. Anyways, I digress. I'm kind of a digressor if you haven't noticed. What can I say? I'm a verbose girl. See?

The point is: Yo, this chick can take pictures.

Are these pettiskirts not the fluffiest, funnest, marshmallowy puffs of chiffon froth that you have ever seen in your lifetime? It's fun to have girls, I must admit. My kids had so much fun at J.'s studio (yep, it's all at her house and even her garage).

The girl has amazing talent and captured my kids' personalities to perfection. She was like "Would you guys like to jump on my couch whilst I take your photo?"

{Dumbfounded, my kids are all slowly climbing onto her couch looking at me waiting for the maternal rebuke which never came}.

Happy days immortalized.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Lightning Strikes Twice

Brace yourself for the mother of all rants. Just when I had gotten back my false sense of security, it happened again. Somebody at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA, is spending our hard earned money with wild abandon. Somebody is having a very merry one on the Toblers. Several thousand dollars so far at Armani, Gucci, Bloomingdale's, and my personal non-favorite: Footlocker. What a waste. Haute couture is one thing, but high tops and sports paraphanelia?!

So I'm enjoying a satisfying and somewhat nutritional bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats yesterday morning, and I hear Marc holler from upstairs: "Karen, did you spend $1,600 at Bloomingdale's yesterday?" With less than subtle tones of irritation. Urgency. Panic.

Sure. I wish. On a Sunday when Marc was on call and I was sick at home with my kids alone except for the couple of hours I dragged my sorry rear to the church to teach 6 sweet but "special" 4-5 year olds. "Maybe a couple a' hundy at The Target last week combined", I'm thinking to myself. At this point the panic set in and we both knew exactly what had happened. Given how easy it is, we knew it was just a matter of time until we'd be scammed again. We've been on the phone all morning trying to minimize the damage, and have cancelled both our cards. (What will I use tonight for my Target run? A moot point.)

My mom was right again, blast it all to heck. Score: Mom 437 Karen 2. She had warned us that "those debit cards" are maybe not the best idea as a main source of paying for stuff, and that we should be careful.

WHY, in the name of all that is holy and good, does someone else get to shop at Gucci with our money and it's not me? I'm so hot under the collar about this, for obvious reasons. Apprently they actually counterfeited MY card. So when I'm at Chick-Fil-A (for example), and give them my debit card or one of the other 2867 places I use my debit card, some little nitwit copies my number and makes a fake card.

We've been S.U.C.K.A.S. before. Many of you may remember the "Great Break-In of 2004", where I actually found somebody hiding in my boy's (then four years old)closet while unpacking after we got home from vacation. We were living in Temple, Texas at the time, and I opened his closet to hang some stuff up and smelled her nasty cigarette smoke from her clothes and then I saw her feet under the Elmo chair. She had meticulously and ever-so-neatly folded up (in one of MY large Ziplock bags from MY kitchen) all our birth certificates, my passport, our social security cards, all our credit card statements with account #s, PINs, bank statements, etc. Every sensitive document that could've destroyed us financially. More embarrassing details on that episode later.

I don't want to feel like everybody is out to get us, but I've been left with no other choice but to obsess about my neuroses, which, according to Marc, are out of control already. Open to suggestions. Maybe I could use an extra lil' bit of "charity" in my stocking this year, because I ain't feeling any for the perps, and would frankly like to kick them in the nutter-butters if given the opportunity.