Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's that time again ....

when I dig back -- sometimes way, way back -- in my comment section and answer questions from people who are kind enough to actually ask questions. In fact, kind enough to even read the blog in the first place, let alone comment on the drivel I've written!

Clearly I need to do this on a more timely basis, as I couldn't remember what a few of the questions even pertained to .... or maybe that's a sign I just need to start taking ginko biloba.

Either way, here goes:

Deb has left a new comment on your post "On an off note...what are meatloaf muffins? My family loves meatloaf and I am thinking this would be something they would love!"

Deb, a few months ago, a local group of ladies was fundraising for the LLS and put together a cookbook to sell. I love cookbooks like that, from "real" people with "real" recipes involving "real" ingredients. This one is a new family favorite:

1 - 1/2 lbs very lean ground beef (I normally cook with ground turkey, but this recipe is better with beef, in my opinion. Just buy extremely lean.)

6 oz package Stove Top stuffing

1 C water

2 eggs

Combine ingredients. Place in 12-cup muffin pan (spray first with non-stick cooking spray.) Bake at 350 for 35-40 min. Easy, and YUM!


lizinsumner asks: I don't know if congratulations is an appropriate thing to say for a baptism - but, I'll say it anyway. Brings back memories of my own baptism....and Kendrie treading water???!!!!! Love it! But, I'm curious - 173 baptisms?? How come so many at once??

Liz, the first baptism (with 173 people) was spontaneous. Our pastor was being baptized (I think our church does it two or three times a year??) and spur of the moment, he invited anyone who would like to also be baptized to come down and join him. People just started pouring out of the pews. Our church seats close to 2000 people, and we have two services, so there was a large group of people who took part in this fantastic event. Then, so many people asked for a second one because they missed the first (out of town, or whatever reason ....) that they offered a second. That is the one our family took part in.


Mom on the Run, with regard to my post about sensational citizen day, asked: "There were 392 character award winners? Did I get that right? That seems like a huge number. How big is your school? Or does the 392 include all the parents."

Well, it *felt* like 392, with all the parents crammed into the gym. But no, I was being sarcastic. The entire elementary school, Pre-K through 5th, only has about 700 students. But still, when you're the PTO person in charge of xeroxing skate night notices and distributing them, 700 is a LOT! (Not that I would know anything about that, ahem.)


Anonymous asks: "where are you cruising to this time? With or without brats?"

Dear anonymous .... the Caribbean. With.


Pam D has left a new comment on your post "SPT Challenge April 28": I have a totally unrelated question: how do you get your pictures in your post to be larger? (like the one of Alisa and the one of Ree in the cooking post)? Do you change up something in the HTML? just wondering.. my biggest frustration with Blogger is that my pictures are so small. Thanks!

Pam, to be completely honest, although I know uploading photos via blogger is possible, I have no idea how to do it. I store all of my photos on my personal web space, then use an html code to link them into my journal entries. I simply re-size them to fit the blog before I upload them. That's the way I had to do it on Kendrie's Caringbridge page, so that's the way I continue to do it with Blogger. I'm sure there are easier ways, but I'm like a stone ... or a rock .... or any kind of stubborn thing you can think of .... once I find a method that works for me, I don't change it. For anything. And RUE THE DAY the technology changes without asking my permission and I'm forced to learn new methods.


Renee has left a new comment on your post "Things I Learned Today":

I share the same love of "camping." The last picture is a keeper! Did you **ever** do the Carters Lake hike?

Renee, this comment hurts me. Deeply. Especially since you are one of my best friends and I feel betrayed by your insinuation that I am not particularly athletic and nature-y. To imply that I do not relish hiking and sweating and bugs and leaves and crap. That I would somehow try to weasel my way out of our annual scrapbooking hike, and sit in the cabin instead, drinking amaretto sours and eating chocolate. Hmmmph! (Psssst, I got out of the hike the first two years, but Kim was really giving me grief the third year so I went. I wasn't sure I would make it back up the hill without roadside assistance. It sucked. So glad we're going to Ohio this year, and hopefully no trails near Jodi's house!!)


The Running Girl has left a new comment on your post "Why Julia Child doesn't have to worry about me ste...":

"OH MY! That Death by Chocolate looks amazing. Please share the recipe. YUMMMMMM!"

Bri, it might very well be the best dessert ever made in the history of the universe. If I make it, I have to make sure it gets eaten in the first setting, or leave it with our hosts, or send it home with someone else, because if not, I have been known to sit down on the sofa with the bowl in my lap and a spoon and eat until I put myself into a diabetic coma. And I'm not even diabetic.

One family sized brownie mix

2 large boxes instant chocolate pudding

12 oz Cool Whip

6 Heath candy bars, chopped

Make brownies according to directions (13x9 pan). Let cool. Make chocolate pudding according to directions. Let set.

Layer in trifle bowl (or salad bowl, or whatever kind of clear pretty bowl you have):

1/2 brownies
1/2 pudding
1/2 candy bars (save small amount for garnish)
1/2 cool whip

Repeat layers with second halves. Sprinkle some of the chopped candy bars on top. Oh good heavens, I'm totally craving this now just typing the recipe. It's even better the second day when the brownies have gotten kind of smushy from the pudding in the fridge --- total goodness.


Hennifer has left a new comment on your post "Perfect Mother's Day":

"I'm not sure I'll ever get over quite how long your son's legs are. It is your fault of course for pointing it out but my goodness. How tall is he?"

Hennifer, he's about 5"2, I think. I'm 5"6 (if I'm standing up straight) and he can't quite look me in the eye, although it is becoming increasingly depressing when I hug him and he's getting closer and closer to catching me. He's actually not the tallest in his class, by far. He *used* to be --- he used to be freakish giant mutant tall compared to all the other kids. But he's slowed down, and some of them have grown, and he was actually caught and passed this year by a few boys in his grade (for the record, I don't think it counts when its boys who have been held back by their parents and should technically be in the grade above because they are a full year older .... no "tall" points for them.)


Mama Bear has left a new comment on your post "That makes no sense to me whatsoever":

"Inside lane? Outside lane? Don't any kids walk to school anymore or ride their bikes or ride a bus?"

Mama Bear, lest you think the kids at our school are a bunch of spoiled, pampered, lazy slobs who insist on being delivered at school in style each day (oh, wait! That's only my three!) ...... let me point out that our school is very small, and our school district is also small -- only one square mile. Only five or six blocks in each direction from the school. Therefore, busing is not offered to any students, even those that live "in-district". Many of the in-district students walk to school, my own included (when they're not demanding chauffeur service, of course.) Several ride bikes as well.

However, almost 80% of the students in our school are "transfer" students, meaning they transfer in from other public school districts. Clearly their district is not going to provide them transportation to our school. Ours is a public school, so parents must receive permission to transfer in and out (unlike private school, where you pay tuition to attend.) But, transfer students live all over town, and often live in neighboring towns. My sister, for instance, drives almost half an hour each way to bring her kids to this school every single day. Clearly, students who live miles and miles from the school, and who must cross many busy streets and intersections, are unable to walk or bike. So our car lanes are a necessity, and personally I think it's fabulous that the principal is out there opening doors and helping children in and out of cars.

I would also point out that even in Georgia, where busing for the students was available, many parents elected to transport their own kids to and from, for convenience. Ie, when kids are on the bus for 45 minutes on their way to and from school, when a parent can drive it in ten. Our local high school didn't start until 7:30, but our neighborhood high school kids were picked up as early as 6:10 by the bus. If you're a parent and are lucky enough that your schedule allows you to take your kids .... well, I think it's great.

I would also like to point out that I have rambled on for four paragraphs about this, and I have no idea why.


Musings from Me has left a new comment on your post "You can always find *something* positive ... even ...":

"What did you think of Paul Blart: Mall Cop? I thought it was a terrible film. Predictable. Poorly acted. Kinda felt like Kevin James was doing what the SNL guys do with their films -- ride the wave of familiarity by doing a mediocre film."

Bearing in mind I'm not a professional film critic by any means .... I thought the funniest parts were in the trailer, and the movie was mediocre at best. However! It was showing at the dollar theater, and by golly, if you can't find a few laughs to get your buck's worth, then you're in sad shape. But, it will definitely NOT be going on our "To Buy" list, or even on our "To Rent Again With Dad" list. (Why yes, we *do* have lists .... don't you?)


Sara has left a new comment on your post "Helicopter Parent":

"It's so funny to see the differences between families. I attended boarding school from third grade through twelfth grade in Rolle, Switzerland. Of course, I went home (to London, and later, Chicago) over Christmas, spring break, and the summer, but for the most part I was very independent. I absolutely adored being on my own, and am still so thankful that I was able to have such an amazing experience - I credit much of my current success to my old school."

Sara, thanks so much for sharing this -- I find the whole concept of boarding school fascinating!! Are they always all-girl, or all-boy? Does everyone get to wear a cool blazer? Is it only rich kids that get to go? Does everyone talk with a British accent? Are there all sorts of late-night shenanigans going on??? So many questions .....

I never wanted to attend boarding school, and know no one who ever did (I think it's more of a European thing, isn't it?) but I was always intrigued. At least until I read the Harry Potter books, and then I *DID* want to attend Hogwarts. Shoot, 'round these parts, going out of state to college at age 18 is considered adventurous!


lizinsumner has left a new comment on your post "SPT Challenge June 9":

"Okay, I like smoothies - although I like Starbucks frappaccinnos more - but there's one thing that I JUST DON'T GET about smoothies: what's the deal with the wheat germ? Is wheat germ, like, a totally REQUIRED ingredient in smoothies? And what the heck is wheat germ for? This just may very well keep me up all night tonight, pondering........"

Ummmm, wheat germ is .... ummmmm, wheat. I think. Which makes it a grain, which makes it healthy. Everyone knows that grains are good for you. And wheat grows in a field, which means it has fresh air and sunshine built into it, which is also good for you. And clearly it helps protect you against germs. Germs from the ... uh .... wheat germ ... things.

OK, well, obviously I have no idea what wheat germ is for -- folic acid, maybe? .... just that people put it in their smoothies, so I think I should, too! In fact, when Mandy mentioned flaxseed in an earlier comment, I made a mental note to pick up some of that, too, even though I have no idea what that does either! I can tell you that we use the whey (protein powder) in a transparent attempt to put some meat on my child's bones. I don't think he can technically build muscle until he begins to go through puberty and gets some testosterone in his skinny little body, but I figure until he voluntarily eats more meat, a little protein powder certainly can't hurt. Right? (Please, if there are any nutritionists reading this, and protein powder actually CAN hurt my son, would you let me know? Because I'm pretty sure I can always just give him more of that healthy wheat germ stuff to counteract it ....)


And thus ends this edition of "Answers to Comments". Please feel free to ask more questions in the comments so we can have more editions. Or .... don't. If you think this is stupid, and all.


Random said...

Kristie, I'm going to hijack your "answers" post in a blatant attempt to garner more answers from you. Your smoothie idea is brilliant - what else do you make for your family on a regular basis? You seem to eat pretty healthily, and since I'm about to move to the distant reaches of America on my own, I'd love to have some ideas for how to fit decent meals into a busy (and not particularly rich) lifestyle.
Thanks so much!

Cathy said...

I was sad you didn't expand more on the cruise details. We got 4 paragraphs about the drop off zone at school but only one line about the cruise. Or are you waiting and that will be a whole post? I love to travel and am really curious - I have been on Caribbean cruises too and it's one of the best vacations! Once with kids and once without :)

Renee said...

Sorry to hurt you, my friend, on the unathletic, lazy, "I'd rather stay and scrapbook" comment about Carters Lake. I can promise you that I will **never** go on the damn hike again. I thought I was dying.... Miss you!

Renee said...

Sorry to hurt you, my friend, on the unathletic, lazy, "I'd rather stay and scrapbook" comment about Carters Lake. I can promise you that I will **never** go on the damn hike again. I thought I was dying.... Miss you!

Anonymous said...

Call me next time you download a picture and I will walk you through the Blogger is easier than using html each time AND the pics last forever instead of ending up with a red X when the photo expires.
Happy Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was just wondering what you thought about The Last Lecture...I saw it in your reading list. I was skeptical at first because of all the hype about it but was totally awestruck by it. And if I can be greedy and ask another question, I am just curious if you have anything planned special for Kendrie while your other two are away at church camp? Will she be lonely?

Bridget from Canada

Julie Smith said...

Kristie, After reading your post, I promptly went out and purchased the ingredients for your meatloaf. I am happy to report that it was a hit at my house! Thanks so much. Julie

Circus Mama said...

Kristie - Just a quick note on the protein powder. You know I'm not a nutritionist, but I was forced to play one during the chemo years. Since Joshua wouldn't eat but four foods, and none of them contained any form of protein - I put the powder and other supplements in as much of his food as I could. A real nutritionist did give me the protein powder and insist I use it. It was either that or a feeding tube. I know it's not the same situation, but my point is he consumed that powder daily for years. So, I don't think it's going to hurt your kids . . .

lizinsumner said...

Loved it - don't stop! Your church sounds huge - mine is a relatively new start-up with under 50 people - but I bet that particular baptism service was really a sight to see! Also, thanx so much for being just as CLUELESS as I am about wheat germ. You're great, kiddo. As for height of growing sons?? Mine is 15 and in this last year has shot up to almost six feet. I am 5'3". He loves that he's taller than I am. He's got the testosterone going but I'm still waiting to see the muscles - he's still a string bean at around 130 lbs. But his shoe size is a men's 12 1/2 - so, I really identified with your comment about Kellen's height getting so close to yours. Jake flew by mine so fast, I didn't even notice it!

rsmdianne said...

Kristie, I make protein smoothies for my son all the time. I use frozen fruit - usually strawberries, blueberries, and/or mango. Add in a banana, a little oj, a scoop of protein powder, and a couple of scoops of vanilla yogurt. No ice needed. We tried a few different types of protein powder and settled on Designer Whey - we get it at Trader Joe's. He thinks it tastes better. We're trying to bulk him up for freshman football. He's 13 now, 5'10" and 145 lbs. Solid lean, not an ounce of fat. But he wears a size 30x34 in jeans, super skinny. I can't find 29x34s, which is what he really needs, (except at and they were $85), so I get them at American Eagle and get the slim skinny fit and they still fall off him. Tall skinny boys are so hard! My 10 yo dd is now 5'2" and just broke the 100lb mark. She also plays soccer and just joined her first club team this week - we're looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie,

A comment and a question for you. First, protein powder definitely will not harm your kids. Extra protein isn't needed for anyone except body builders in their initial stages of training. Like any other nutrient, if too much is consumed, it will simply be stored by the body as fat. Flaxseed is a FANTASTIC food to add to any diet. It contains omega-3's, making it great for your cardiovascular and vascular systems, and, it has been shown to stabalize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, decrease risks of several cancers, and I'm sure there are other benefits as well. Wheat germ is also great because it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. I don't know as much about wheat germ, but I through a tbsp in my cereal a few times a week because it's such an easy way to get in vital nutrients.

Ok, to my question. What's the purpose of being baptized as an adult? I am (probably obviously) not Christian. I had always thought infants were baptized to be welcomed to the faith/religion, but that's clearly not the case for practicing adults. So, I'm confused. What's going on here?


Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

my turn to hijack!

"Ok, to my question. What's the purpose of being baptized as an adult? I am (probably obviously) not Christian. I had always thought infants were baptized to be welcomed to the faith/religion, but that's clearly not the case for practicing adults. So, I'm confused. What's going on here?


having been raised Baptist, I thought I would answer your question as far as my own beliefs. :) We believe that baptism is an important step in your decision to follow Christ. 1st you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, then the next step is to be baptized. I personally accepted the gift of salvation at a young age (kindergarten) but didn't choose to be baptized and join church (I attended church throughout my life but this means my actual membership in the congregation) until I was 18. It is a decision one must make when they are able to fully understand what it means to be a follower of Christ. Hope this helps! :)

Amy - Canada said...

Your brownie recipe peaked my interest until I realize that I live in Canada and they don't sell Heath bars. Can you suggest an alternative candy bar that might be comparable?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Trish!


Anonymous said...

LMAO at the "no tallest points" for boys held back a year. And ITA, except I could care less about height, it is the "gifted" kids. One of my biggest pet peeves is for parents to hold their boys and girls back a year (and it is getting to the point of ridiculousness, where here where I live, with a cut off of Sept 30, anyone with a b'day in April or beyond is held back)then brag how "gifted" their child is. My son and daughter, both with late summer birthdays will turn 10 and 8end of summer and just finished 4th and 2nd grade. There are kids 12-15 months older than they are. And their parents brag how incrediably intelligent they are. Well, duh, if they are so smart, why did you hold them back?? No smartness point for kids starting school a year late, hahaha. I can't imagine how "gifted" my already bright 9 and a half yr old DD would look if she had just finished the 3rd grade instead of the 4th.

Katie said...

Death By Chocolate - it's even yummier when you substitute one cup of the milk for the pudding with a cup of Kahlua. Mmmmmmm.... booze in my trifle.... ;)

Sara said...

I've been on vacation (still on vacation!) and am very behind on reading my favorite blogs. Re: boarding school - most schools, especially these days, have a large percentage of students getting (full or partial) scholarships. My parents are actually American, but because my mom's job forced them to be slightly nomadic they decided to send me to boarding school. Fewer British accents than French ones - we had a choice of instruction in English, French, or a 50/50 combination (I went with the latter) so everyone had to know at least one of the two languages. So, a lot of kids from the middle east or Asia would end up with strong French accents! My school was co-ed, with separate male/female housing. No uniforms except on certain occasions, but yes, there sometimes were late night shenanigans. :) Maybe us boarding school grads just congregate towards one another, but a have quite a few friends in the states who also went away to school, although really only for high school. I think that in the US it might be a northeast thing?