Thursday, December 2, 2010

A jewish Christmas

Let me preface this by saying:
I love diversity.
I think we can appreciate each other for our different beliefs, and if what you believes makes you happy--
who am i to tell you that you are wrong?
I also believe we all need to be more tolerate of each other-
and learn about each other and what we each believe--
i think being open minded is a good thing
i think it makes us more well rounded when we step outside our box--
So if any of you read this and are offended--
or if i got facts wrong
I am sorry--
just remember i am not perfect
and i am not above being corrected....
So with that being said....
Sometimes i wish i was Jewish.
I know, sorta random and ya wanna know why?
I mean i already play the stereo typed part at times--
like when i tell random children (sometimes not even mine) to put a sweater on, usually because i am cold.
Or how about when i make far more food than is humanly possible to eat in one setting.
(not that you find me cooking very often,but when i do it is in abundance)
I have been accused of nagging, being pushy, and on the occasion, laying on a guilt trip.
(but only when needed)
Maybe this is not so much Jewish mother qualities, as they are MOTHER qualities--
and since i am a mother,
i am required to have those qualities,
and use them any chance i get.
Call them the superpowers of motherhood if you will.

But honestly i find the idea of Judaism appealing.
Take Hanukkah
for instance.
The ornamental/decoration set up is at a minimum.
A candle holder is about it.
No tree to pick out--
or if you go environmentally friendly to fluff.
No boxes full of ornaments to pull out,unwrap and hang.
No Nativities to set up, stockings to hang,
or Christmas goodies/cookies to bake.
And there is no need to feel guilty for not sending out Christmas cards.

The last few years has found my Christmas spirit lacking--
just not enough time in the days and weeks prior to Christmas to get it all done. In fact one year I was so far behind I just bought a new tree and ornaments and we set it up on Christmas Eve. 8 days of present giving--
I like the idea of spreading out the chaos
OK, sure i know these are superficial reasons,
but I also like Latkes--
(food is never considered superficial)
Just today i was talking with a friend who is Jewish about them. I made the comment "Ya know what would make Latkes even better?" Being a good sport and giving a gentile an opportunity to chime in on her holiday she indulged me and said, "oh yeah what?" I replied
"Frying them in bacon grease--
everything is better with bacon"
She gave me a look--and then i started laughing...
but seriously, potatoes fried in bacon grease?
Is there any thought more mouth watering heavenly?
Maybe that would keep me from being Jewish--
I sorta like my pork.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


There is that old saying:
The more things change,
the more they stay the same.
I am feeling like that is my mantra right now.

Recently there have been some changes at work--
BIG changes...

13 years at the same job
same boss up until a year ago
same supervisor until today!
The one thing i really disliked about my job is gone.
She can no longer make my life miserable just for the fun of it.
She no longer has control.
And i feel a touch bit sad (sorta) for her,
but then again i believe you make your own bed
and you have to play nice with people
and she didn't.
Being competent helps too...

So i was hoping to get her job when she made her exodus.
But i didn't.
I would lie if i didn't say i wasn't disappointed.
I would lie if i didn't say i was ready for some change in my life, for some new responsibility.
Unfortunetly it it not going to happen like i wanted it to
so the question remains:
What am i going to do to make a change occur?
How am i going to step out of my comfort zone?
Maybe NOT getting this job is a good thing...
maybe it is the thing i need to force me to make my own changes
my own destiny....
lets see where this change will take me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pitty party

My proverbial half full glass has been turned over and SPILT.
But i didn't cry over it--cuz it was milk...
and we don't cry over spilt milk.

I am tired of looking at that half full glass
It has been taunting me.
Some days I swear it is half empty.
Some days i think the contents contained within the glass
are sour--
sorta like my mood.

Feeling a bit frustrated with the speed bumps in life right now--
tired of hoping that things will work out--
tired of being disappointed when they don't.
TIRED of being positive and looking on the bright side of things
Just plain tired--
the thought of staying in bed and pulling the covers back over my head sounds wonderful.
Especially due to the fact it is {{{COLD}}} outside, and dark...
and it is far earlier than i have any real desire to be humanly awake.
Shutting the world and all its demands out sounds even better...
I can't.
I have to pull my sorry butt out of this toasty warm bed.
throw on some clothes.
put a smile on my face and appear like all is well with the world,
when really right now i feel like...
life SUCKS.
But i do it, cuz i like having a roof over my head,
and a car to drive,
and that little thing called food i find rather attractive as well.

Tomorrow I will tip my glass up.
Find something to fill it with,
and try to think of it as half full.
I know i am blessed,
just right now I am not being blessed the way i want to be...
I'll get over it

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Not so "NORMAL"

Today is a NEW day...
things always look better at the start of the day,
that and good nights sleep help.

My lil' man just came and attacked me in bed--
He is such a sweetie.

Like take for instance when he took my cup of hot chocolate that my dear hubby just brought me, he made sure that i knew he had it and in his limited vocabulary told me:
"Thank you" before he slugged down the rest of it,
and then {{burped}} for boyish effect, and proceeded to laugh .

Just a normal little boy...that isn't.

At least not how text books define "Normal"
(but then really which of us are???)

So this week after nine years of trying to find answers as to what makes this boy tick i feel like we actually got one. For years i resisted the idea of having a conclusive answer that would place him in a box, that would define him and what he is or isn't.

What he is: a sweet little thing that wants to communicate.

What he isn't: is a normal boy who can communicate by normal means
i.e. sentences that contain words that you actually understand

Yet,he does communicate--he tries really hard to communicate. He loves to find the phone and talk away. He has entire conversations of which we understand little to none of what he is saying, and yet we often understand him and what he is trying to convey, just not specific details. It is the details that tend to get lost.

This sweet boy has had to work at pretty much everything that comes to others so easily. Any time spent with him you realize he is not your "normal" 9 year old.

We have seen many doctors over the years looking for answers. Many tests have been done all of which have come back "within the normal limits" and yet he is NOT--normal that is. We have left these doctors shaking their heads wondering what they are missing. I have almost given up trying to find out. If I had an answer would it change anything??? Probably not.

On our most recent visit to our geneticist she was reviewing an MRI that we had done a few years ago. She saw some things that gave her reason to pause and send us for further testing. Off we went to the Neuro-surgeon for a consult. After a new MRI and waiting for almost 2 hours to be seen, we were told that according to the textbook that defines this particular malformation, our wee one does not fit that diagnosis. The doctor said that even though according to the text book definition he does NOT have a Chiari Malformation
--he does.

So what does this mean to us?
Bottom line. His head which is small (microcephaly) is squeezing the middle/central part of his brain causing many of his problems. Nothing they can do about that--it is what it is. There is a surgery that they can do to alleviate some of the pressure that is on his brain, but at this time we probably would not see the benefits. We were given a list of things to keep our eye on in the future, and if anything changes we will address it then.

Good news: we have an answer of sorts
Bad news: it does little to change what we can do for him.

He will never be your text book "normal". He will have to continue to work harder than most to achieve what we take for grated. He continues to make progress--which gives us hope--it is just SLOW in coming.

And while there are many things that he has to work hard to understand, there are some things that are just innate in little boys--even special little boys--take bathroom humor. He gets that! No one had to teach him about that--He cracks up when gas is passed. He thinks it is a riot when his dad has him pull his finger--he has even learned to make bodily function sounds (the kid can't speak, but he can mimic passing gas?) He understands potty humor in movies and on TV--
i guess there is some parts of normal than no handicap can hold back.
He is my sweet love bug.

He is the child that verbally will not talk back to me when he becomes a ratty teenager

He is the child who still needs and wants a hand to hold on to

He is the child that will always give unsolicited hugs to anyone.
Even those who don't know they need one

including in-animate people at Lego land

He is the child that brings out the best in my other children

He is the child who will continue to believe in Santa
years after he shouldn't anymore.

He will be the kid that finds joy in the simple things
like blowing out candles on his birthday


(don't say this word around him if you have no intention of getting him some)

he has no fear of animals-

real or stuffed
he finds awe in the simple things like sand
and loves to share it with others

he loves all babies and wants to snuggle them any chance he can get

so who needs "NORMAL" when you have him?...

At least now we have an answer

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

hindsight thinks it's so smart

what a day.
I feel like i am drained...
like my life force has been sucked out of me...
maybe it is the headache--
or the roller coaster ride i have been on.
Not an actual roller coaster, but the emotional one.

Highs and lows today
and now i am feeling like hindsight is a B#*$%.
I have decided that I don't like hindsight
espcially when it shows up, raining on my parade.
Just when you think you did well hindsight comes in and undermines you.
So now i sit here doubting
wondering if i did what i needed to,
If i said the "right" things,
if i made the best impression...
It is like taking a test, and thinking you initially did awesome
only to ponder on it and question whether you did or not.
And the worst part is...
I won't know the results of this life test until next week.
So now i sit and wait and wonder,
and question everything i said and beat myself up.
I wish i didn't care.
Life is easier when you really don't care about a particular outcome
Unfortunately right now i do care
and i am torturing myself in the meantime...
tomorrow will be better...
I hope?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

mom's milestone birthday

Today is my mom's birthday
and I will add
It is a BIG one
Not the big ONE--cuz if she was only ONE i would not be here.
But this is a birthday that is a marker in the measuring stick of life...
one that is normally viewed as...
do i dare say
I know my mom is, lets say "taken back" by the fact that she has hit this milestone in her life. But the reality of it is, she has kids that are on the back side of their forties (not me though) and she has grand kids that are in their twenties--and unfortunately for her we waited until the year she turned 50 to give her those grand kids...

(this picture was from her birthday three years ago-- mom looks pretty much the same, but my how the kids have changed)

I don't think of my mom as OLD
--maybe just OLDER--
but then again she has always been OLDER than me--
that is sorta how it works when you are the kid.

Actually I think of my mom in her forties
I guess that is really how i remember her best,

since that was the age she was in when i was growing up--
but now i am in my forties--
I am the mom--
actually I have become my MOM--

well not as totally awesome as she is
but I am trying...
but this post is NOT about ME.
It is about my MOM

So what can I say about 70?
Yes mom is turning 70--
I hope she is NOT offended by the fact that i am posting this for the blog world to see....
--because the truth of the matter is--
she DEFIES the stereotype of what 70 is supposed to be,

or at least what i think 70 should be
She is amazing.
At 70 she still gets up (well actually most people get up, unless the are dead)
but she goes out and tries to instill some of her wealth of knowledge on the youth of today. And some of the youth of today think they know it all (they will soon learn they don't)--and i love the fact that she battles with them--It would be so easy to just give up--but what she has to offer will change their lives if they let it. I love that she is still excited about what she is teaching, and is constantly finding new ways to inspire and educate. Dare i say that most people her age are DONE with that part of their lives. Most are content to reminisce about the things of the past and gripe about the youth of today--but there is my mom on her 70Th birthday
--at work--
making a difference.

I will also go on the record as saying
for a 70 year old
she looks pretty darn good!
Many of my friends can hardly believe she is 70!?!?
She is also pretty spry for a 70 year old
(i think you have to use the word spry when you are talking about a 70 year old)
but perhaps i could use the words

Agile, Alert,Energetic,Full of Pep,Nimble,
On the Go,Quick,Spirited...

Any of the above words would fit...
Just last summer we hiked Multnomah Falls in Oregon--
(on the spur of the moment)

It was a blast.
She scurried up the mountain--
dragging my sad butt along.
I would almost say i was slug like,
but after seeing this slug
and seeing how ugly and truly slow it moved, i decided i did not want to be compared to a slug...

When i would get tired I would pause and take pictures along the way

It is amazing how you can use a camera to catch your breath...

or use your camera to take your breath away

We had a great time--
a beautiful day spent together
and in true teenage fashion we paused to take aim with my camera--
Pointing it up in the air and squeezing together
we were hoping for a shot with us and the falls in it
What we got was this....

Meet our new friend.
We call him random man.
It made for a great laugh.

I love my mom--
she continually amazes me.
She is a wealth of knowledge.
She is my greatest cheerleader--
She is ALWAYS there when i need her
or when my kids need her.
I know that the calender says 70...
but i say
Love you mom

Monday, November 15, 2010

giving blood--part duex

It is that time of year again--
you know, the time of year when the blood mobile comes cruising around my sons school campus encouraging kids to be civic minded and give of their red stuff freely.
He gave blood for the first time last year at this time--
this year he wanted to give again--
despite my reminder about what happened last time.
He proceeded to remind me that he was now 18
and could do what he wanted,
and that i didn't need to sign the permission slip.
(Oh how i hate when they get all smarty pants just cuz the government tells them that legally now they are an adult)
He then went on to say that he was going to take it easy at practice in the afternoon,(at least he learned from last years mistake)
and just ride the stationary bike--
So with that, he went off to school--
off to donate blood.

A few hours later i got a phone call from my son, but because i was working i was unable to answer it right away. I tried calling him back only to get a busy signal. Then a few minutes later I got a text from my hubby--it read something like this--
"Your son inherited your pass out gene"
I called the hubby. He had gone and picked up my boy.
Yes he gave blood--
No, he didn't actually pass out--just short of it.
Does anyone see the irony that my legal adult child
still needed his mom and dad?
It is nice to still be needed--
(even if he didn't need me to sign the permission slip)
He hung out at home for the remainder of the afternoon--
taking the day off from practice.
His coach told him that he is banished from giving blood during wrestling season anymore--
I think/hope he will listen this time

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Miraculous Lunch with the Lunch Lady

I should have titled this entry
"Miracles do Happen" or perhaps "Birthday Blessings",

But I prefer Lunch Lady, because in my mind that is what stood out about this day
One of my girlfriends is always good at getting us to laugh.
She is just plain silly and we get to giggling.

She is the lunch lady
Here she is showing us her lunch lady picture that will go in the year book.
Seriously I don't know why it cracks me up--
maybe it is her lunch lady dance.
A few weeks before my birthday I was strongly urged (by the lunch lady) or maybe it was a polite requested that I should pick "Crackers" restaurant for my birthday...don't get me wrong I really like/love this restaurant so it wasn't much of a sacrifice--especially when they told me why they wanted to go there--
Pumpkin Bread Pudding.
Mind you this is a seasonal item--new to our taste buds and i am here to say
It did NOT disappoint

This place is also known for their blackberry bread pudding year around

...soooo DELISH

Just thinking about it is making me salivate.

Now the reason this entry is entitled "Miraculous".
There are a total of six of us.

We have been friends for a mighty long time and have shared MANY birthday lunches together. It was far easier when our kids were little to get together, but as they have gotten older our lives and schedules have become just a tad complicated to say the least. Often we bounce around a dozen e-mails or so before we come to a consensus as to a time and date. Now enter in my birthday. It only further complicates because it falls right around Thanksgiving--not exactly a calm and UN-busy time of year. To add to the chaos this year one friend had a child getting married right after Thanksgiving. I thought for sure that i would have to forgo the birthday lunch.
You can imagine all of our surprise when a date was thrown out for the upcoming weekend and
EVERYONE could make it.?
We were amazed.
In awe.
We all decided we are much better planning on the cuff than too far in the future.

It was a great day with my friends.
You can guess what my birthday wish was ....
Well maybe you can't, and i am not really supposed to say...
but i will give you a hint...
It involves many more good times with all these girls
and laughing with the lunch lady.
Thank goodness for birthdays to bring us all together

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2 of Gratitude=Womans Right to Vote

I think this month of finding gratitude is just what i needed to kick start my brain.
As I was driving this morning i found myself thinking of gratitude
and what i was grateful for-can i just say
it was HARD!
All i was managing to come up with was all the things that were irritating me
and not grateful for...
  1. It started with a rough night sleeping and being woken up far earlier than need be.

  2. Then there were the the drivers who were going slower than the posted speed
    (come on people...pick up the pace, we all have places to go)

  3. Or those drivers that ignored my blinker,and felt the need to pass me even though i was trying to get over. (Really can you not see the big YELLOW bus)

  4. And then there was the sun that was shining in my eyes as i was trying to drive.
I then realized that I should be appreciating the wonderful sun
and the chance to have it shine in my life
for I know there are many who are not blessed with its abundance like I am
living here in the sunshine-y state of Arizona.
I tend to take it for granted.

I realized that this grateful thing is hard when your mind set is not where it should be i went with the basics hoping to change my train of thought.
I started with the big one
I am grateful
for the fact that i rolled out of bed
for that means one thing:

OK, that really puts it all in perspective
when you think about the option of being 6 feet under.

every day is a blessing,

and what you choose to with that is up to you
So, today I chose to fulfill my civic duty and exercised
(yes, I used the word exercise for this is the only kind you will see me doing)
my right to VOTE!

the chance to have my voice heard, is on that i do not take lightly,
especially as a WOMAN.
(I am woman hear me roar)

thinking about the privilege of the right to vote had me wondering so i did a little research.
(i think i might have slept through the details of this during high school)

Did you know that as a whole,
woman have only had the chance to vote as a nation for
90 years???
Yes, you read that right,
90 years!!!

on August 26Th 1920, the 19Th Amendment to the Constitution was changed
allowing all women in all states the right to vote.
(many woman -primarily in the west were already voting)

that is only back to my grandmothers generation that gained that privilege
CRAZY to think about it,
something that i have really take for granted.

It made me think of the scene from Mary Poppins where you see Mrs. Banks coming in from suffragettes march and breaking out in song:
One hears the restless cries!
From ev'ry corner of the land:
"Womankind, arise!"
Political equality and equal rights with men!
Take heart! For Missus Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again!

No more the meek and mild subservients we!
We're fighting for our rights, militantly!
Font sizeNever you fear!

So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters' daughters will adore us
And they'll sign in grateful chorus
"Well done! Well done!
Well done Sister Suffragette!"
From the movie Mary Poppins--Walt Disney 1961

I love the line
"Our daughters' daughters with adore us"

for it is true...we need to hold those woman in high esteem
that fought for our right to vote!

If you look back at history, often the right thing to do,
is not the easy or popular thing of the time.
So Sister Suffragettes,
Today I am GRATEFUL for you and your tenacity
to NOT give up when the going got tough!

i may not always like my options or the outcome--but i love the opportunity I have to vote and I will take advantage of my civic duty every time--for in not doing so, it would be like me telling my sisters who fought for my rights that it was not needed or wanted--And today i am grateful for their willingness to not give up the fight for my opportunity to cast my opinion...

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 2010

Today is November 1st!
Truly where has the year gone--
where has the FALL gone?
Were we not just starting school like say...

Last week?

Maybe the fact that it is too warm to wear sweaters past
9am, that has me in denial that it really is November.

But one look at the calender tells me the truth...
It really is November 1st, which means

It is my BiRthDaY month!

And thanksgiving.
Two of my most favorite things in the year...

So in honor of my birthday month I shall celebrate
all month long,like take today for instance...
today i shall celebrate by
I mean after all,
what is a birthday month if you don't get to do the things you want to do?
And since i feel like Thanksgiving is the overlooked holiday
I am going to do my best to make it the big deal it is.
I mean really...
who doesn't like a holiday that is
all about the food
well,except maybe a bulimic or someone who is anorexic
which is NOT me...

But more than the food
I love the idea of the THANKFUL part.
Too often in life we go about our day
not really appreciating the blessings we have been given.
Or we give thanks for those common things,the big things.

SOooo this month i am working on my gratitude
of the little things,the everyday unappreciated things
So here is to a month of giving THANKS.
Anyone with me???

Today i am thankful for:
The fact i can wear SOCKS and tennis shoes

You have to understand that this is a big deal to me
because for the last 7 months or so it has been too hot
to wear shoes let alone socks,
and on those days when i would my poor feet would scream out in a boycott.
I am not exaggerating here--there would be muffled screams as my poor feet would enter into the shoes..
But finally it has gotten cool enough...
and my feet are loving be wrapped up and warm and toasty.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I have missed you my baby blue background ed blog.
I have missed checking up on my friends in cyber-space
and I have missed writing...
I feel like my brain has become mush
with very few creative thoughts coming from it these days.
Have I mentioned "these days?"
Why no i haven't..
Because these days finds me BUSY,
I have always felt like i was busy,
but I guess I have been wrong,
or maybe the busy is different.
Yeah, I think that is it.
My busy as of late has consisted of the NEED to work.
I have always worked but it is different now.
My family is now dependent on me working--
for things that in the past that we sorta took for granted
like food,
air conditioning
and a roof over our heads--
just the everyday things of life,
that normally i don't think twice about not having,
but we do still have
because i am blessed with a job.
A job that makes me tired.
A job where i am working more hours than ever before...
but thankful for the job and the pay non the less.

I always said that we could never support our family on what i made
and we aren't--(thankful for the meager unemployment)
and other blessings that have come our way...
Dear hubby and i were talking the other day about our finances...
amazing how a year ago we could not have even fathomed getting by on what we are
maybe this is the lesson we are to learn from this trial--
truly the more you have
the more you spend,
and what were we spending it on???
We decided that we are now in a position to take a job
that does not have the income we were accustomed too--
I mean if we have to and all...
and if someone would offer....
but in the mean time i will continue to burn the candle at both ends
and one of these days i might even manage to come up with a creative thought or two,
and maybe even manage to find the time and energy to put the words down on my blog.

Don't give up on me.
I need your support and PRAYERS more now than ever.

Monday, June 7, 2010

just me ranting...

The anticipation is killing me
(not really)
I am sick of my life
I am tired of being patient
and this thing called FAITH
can be wearing at times....
And yet somehow,
I find a reason to get up in the morning--
which just for the sake of argument
is MUCH earlier than i would normally be getting up or want to get up at,
and yet i do--without an alarm!

Waiting can be tiring--
so I guess i should be glad that i have something to keep me busy
even if it does require that i am working out in the heat--
doing a nasty job--
one that i would not be doing except for the fact
that you do,
what you have to do,
to make ends meet...
and i am thankful that our ends have been meeting,
that i have a job
(even if i am not loving/liking it right now)
I am thankful for the food we have to eat
I am thankful for the roof over my head
that we are all basically healthy
cars to drive
I am thankful for a loving husband
and his desire to find a job
Now if someone else could see that and offer him one i would be really
and yes i am thankful for this trial
I am learning about strength
and more lessons on PATIENCE
than i really care for...
I also know that this is not
because FOREVER is a mighty long time
and i mean to tell you...
(Oops sorry about the prince reference)
but seriously,
sometimes i feel like this is how it has always been
how quickly we can forget
I guess that is why we are given trials
to remind us that we are NOT alone
to remind us to have FAITH
and with that faith comes PEACE
and i do have PEACE...
I don't know why I am at peace?
why i am not all stressed out?
but i just know that things will (eventually) be OK!
and I am OK with that
although i would like a magic 8 ball to confirm it--
but in lieu of the magic 8 ball i will accept a call from my hubby
(who is at a job interview in Cali)
just telling me that he did well--
telling me he had a job offer would be even better
but i will continue to work on that thing called
for a know that one day soon that call will come....
and prayers will be answered.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

the ladder of success

This little boy of mine is a regular sweetheart

He has had to work harder than most kids to do things that most people find and do naturally.

Like climbing a ladder for instance--

Not a big deal for most 8 year olds

but he is not like most 8 year olds--
but LIKE most 8 year olds he ignored me,
as i told him to get down.
I guess he figured if i had a camera in my hand and if i was taking pictures it was OK for him to continue UP on his ladder of success.
He got close to the top and gave me this look--

Since he cannot verbalize what he was thinking,
I am free for my own interpretation as to what he had on his mind.
I am thinking it went something like this
"What is your problem old lady?
See, I knew I could do it"

"I don't know what the big deal is.
Infact if i raise my arms I can almost touch the roof"

Or maybe that was in celebration of the fact that he has crossed another milestone off of his list of being a "normal" kid--the list of things to do to drive your momma crazy--one of those lists that usually involves blood and trips to the ER, or if it is not too serious just Urgent Care.

I guess i should be glad he is working so hard at being normal and driving me crazy and ignoring me like a normal kid would do--who knows what kind of opportunities he has now opened up with his ladder climbing? I mean the possibilities are endless--like using this new found skill to climb up on the roof and jump off onto the trampoline---YIKES--i need to remember to keep him away from his brothers and their "normal/evil" influence over this sweet boy.....

Saturday, May 29, 2010

international eats week

It is not a secret that i DO enjoy food--
food is more than just a necessity of life,
it is more than something just to keep me alive.

It is a pleasure,
something to be savored,
and i do ENJOY it.

Maybe it was the fact that i grew up with a mother who ran a cooking school and we were her test kitchen for various recipes--depending on the new lesson plan being written up determined what we would be eating. In my foggy food memory i remember tasting a variety of cold cherry soup? Dinner time was always fun with all gathered around the table and when she was testing a new recipe we were allowed to give constructive criticism--it helped us learn to distinguish the food that was placed on our palate--the varying spices and the way something was put together. I love the fact that i was exposed to so many different flavors at such an early age and that i was given the opportunity to experience different cultures through food. I think it also helped that I was raised in a home where picky eaters really were not allowed. Now that doesn't mean that we ate everything and that we liked everything. We lived by the two bite rule--you had to take two bites and then you could be finished with it. I have continued on with that rule in my life and i have found that some of my earlier dislikes are now tolerable or even likable. I have found that tastes do change as you get older....most significant example of that is my husband and his great disdain for asparagus--now he is the one picking it up and cooking it, when not to long ago he was snubbing his nose and making gagging noises when he would be confronted with it. We have tried to incorporate that same attitude toward food with our kids and for the most part they are adventurous when it comes to new flavors.

Now i will go on the record saying that while i know how to cook i am not the one that takes the role of chef--that would be my husband and my middle son is quickly following in his footsteps. Often you will find these two together in the kitchen

usually my son plays the role of sous chef--
(yes that is a micro planner he is using)

he will make some girl really happy one day.
He has been caught on occasions bragging to the "chicks" about his (to quote him) "mad cooking skills" He loves being in the kitchen--loves whipping up stuff--he is working on his knife skills--and i don't mean whittling--

even his dad wanted in on the mincing, dicing and slicing action.
They sorta had a knife off

in reviewing the pictures i couldn't help but notice my daughters face in this one

not sure if that is a look of disgust for what they were chopping up (shrimp) or maybe the way it smelled--or perhaps she was noting the competiveness of the male cooks in her household, whatever the case she didn't want a part of it until the poststickers were finished.....

to be continued......