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Family Dinner

August 14th, 2022 Comments off

The kids came over Friday (just them) for dinner. They were a bit late (we agreed on 5:30, they texted earlier in the day to say they’d be over closer to 6, but arrived around 6:10 (turns out K had been at Indiana Beach with her SO and they caught traffic getting home)).

E brought us another copy of Aggravation.

I’m not terribly fond of this version. It’s sweet how he always buys them for us, though.

He also got me a Cure vinyl import called Pillbox Tales I had never even heard of!

I made spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread for dinner, which they loved (my meatballs came out fantastic even though I haven’t made them in years) and we played UNO all evening. They left around 11 pm.

Yesterday I realized you can make public portions of your collection in Libib (a free app/website I use to track all our music, DVDs, and video games) so I published my vinyl collection and shared the link with E. He in turn shared his whole collection from the same app, haha! I wonder if he got the idea to use it from an Instagram post I made a few years ago when I started using it. I’ll have to ask him next time I see him.

Categories: Family, Food, Kids, Music Tags:

Thanksgiving 2021

November 30th, 2021 Comments off

Thanksgiving was very interesting this year. Not only did the kids come over, but their grandparents (on their mom’s side) did as well because we invited them. I am not going to get into the drama, but suffice it to say that none of them speak to the kids’ mom right now thanks to her horrible personal/political views. I mean, Joe and I knew she was not a good person, but it’s kinda refreshing for others to see it too. And that’s all I am going to say about that. We invited her parents because they’ve always been very kind to us and we hated the thought of them spending the holiday alone. They were wonderful guests, too; I have zero complaints.

Everyone arrived just before 2 pm and we worked to get food on the table since they came with an appetite. Other than the mac & cheese which I messed up (I later realized I mistakenly added 2 TABLESPOONS of ground mustard instead of teaspoons), everything was delicious. We had the usual fixings – turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, crescent rolls, and corn. For dessert we had homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (which I may have to stop making as I burned myself on the cookie sheet and will probably scar, just like the last time I made those damn cookies!), apple pie from Costco, and pumpkin pie from Mariano’s (which no one wanted, lol).

After dinner we played a new game the kids brought – UNO Flip. It was really fun! They had purchased two boxes so they left one with us. I’m sure we’ll be playing it for Christmas too. We played a game or two of Aggravation at one point, but went back to UNO Flip because it was so much fun. Even the grandparents played even though they aren’t into games like we are.

We took a family portrait before everyone left just before 10 pm. Such a nice holiday, other than Wookie barking at the new people. She eventually calmed down but every time grandpa went to the bathroom she had to bark at him for awhile again. Luckily they took it in stride.

Categories: Family, Fun & Games, Holidays Tags:

October Happenings (including Halloween)

November 2nd, 2021 Comments off

Sunday (10/10) we headed to St. Charles for their annual Scarecrow Festival. When we arrived at Lincoln Park there were no scarecrows to be found! We drove around the area but there wasn’t nearly as much as in year’s past, no doubt due to the pandemic so we drove to the other side of the river to Pottawatomie Park where they put up tents for the craft fair.

We parked in the lot by their community center and pool. There was plenty of parking since the festival hadn’t officially started yet. We didn’t end up staying long because there wasn’t much to see. Even the amount of craft booths was less than in previous years.

They did, however, surprise us with a new pavilion and area you can play cornhole near the miniature golf spot.

It looks really nice! I’ll have to keep it in mind for next summer when we’re looking for something to do.

Thursday (10/21) the kids came over for dinner. K had been talking about missing my spaghetti and meatballs so I made it for the first time in probably years at this point. E works two jobs so Thursday is his only day off. I put together a Halloween basket for them using these fake books I found at Dollar Tree.

I was happy they liked them so much! They only stayed a couple of hours since E was so tired. We sent them home with leftovers, cookies, fruit and veggies, along with the rest of my IZZE bottled cherry lime. They were getting close to expiration and I haven’t been drinking them much. I really prefer how it tastes in cans and now they are offering a 24-pack of them at Amazon I plan to order soon.

Saturday (10/23) We visited Sonny Acres and boy was it busy! The parking lot was packed when we arrived just before 11 am. They open at 10 but their kitchen doesn’t open until 11 am and I assumed that’s where they would be serving the hot apple cider I wanted to try. Turns out they have a special booth for it, and they were just bringing it out when we got there.

There’s second booth down by the kids’ rides where they have it too, so I will try to remember that for next year since it was way less busy than the main booth.

They have some of the best apple cider donuts around, but man do they keep raising the prices! A single donut will cost you $2.50 and they do get cheaper the more you buy but they are still very costly! The hot apple cider was just ok and it was annoying how the bees followed me around trying to get at it.

We enjoyed people-watching for awhile but there’s not too much to do if you don’t have young kids to take on rides.

The rides themselves are more plentiful than back when we’d take the kids there, and they even added a trampoline-like attraction that the kids would have loved. I read that the haunted hayride is $20 per person now which is kinda crazy. It used to be $10. I have mixed feelings about this. The new owners have definitely put more money into the place which is nice because the previous owners were ready to close the place down, but it’s so crowded and expensive it’s probably not as enjoyable to visit like it used to be.

Halloween (Sunday 10/31) was pretty interesting this year because we actually got trick-or-treaters, twelve in fact, which is the most we’ve had for well over a decade now. I’m glad I made up treat bags at Joe’s request even though I was certain no one would come. I’m happy to have been wrong, although with Wookie Crankypants in the mix, it was a bit frustrating as she does not like visitors to HER home.

Categories: Excursions, Family, Food, Holidays, Kids Tags:

Hulu & Bath & Body Works

September 15th, 2021 Comments off

My cousin has been letting me log into her streaming services so we don’t have to subscribe to them ourselves. She insisted, by the way, I would never ask! She said no one is really using them so it made sense to share. I have discovered SO many great shows on Hulu, in particular. Who knew? We cancelled it almost a year ago now because we weren’t really watching it but now they’ve stepped up their game significantly.

Some of the shows we’ve been watching:

Black Jesus – Does the title character just think he’s the messiah or is he really? It’s never clear, but the show is funny nonetheless.

Dave – About a white guy who’s convinced he’s destined to be one of the greatest rappers of all time, but no one takes him seriously because his songs come across as comedy. Dave’s character is funny, but I love GaTa even more. That guy is intriguing and I hope he shows up in more stuff soon.

Only Murders In The Building – I was hesitant to watch this because of Martin Short, who typically plays characters I absolutely hate, but luckily he wasn’t insufferable and the who done it aspect of the show kept me intrigued.

Shrill – Starring Aidy Bryant (SNL), I feel so-so about this one. I like it enough to watch, but there’s a lot of cringe behavior too. Reminds me of how I felt about Michael Scott from The Office which makes it tough to watch sometimes.

What We Do In The Shadows – If you enjoyed the movie, you’re going to like the show even more. Nandor is my favorite, followed by Colin Robinson, the energy vampire.

As a small token of my gratitude, I sent my cousin a gift from Bath & Body Works, and luckily she tagged me on Facebook when she received it because it never told me it was delivered.

So what does she do? Send ME a gift like a week later! Funnily enough, she didn’t order the purple wallflower, so I guess they threw in a free one. I don’t care for lavender, so I’ve been putting off trying it.

Now I have to think of a way to send her something without triggering her to send me something back.

Categories: Family, Shopping, TV Tags:

Father’s Day

June 21st, 2021 Comments off

A couple of weeks ago K reached out to me about coming over for Father’s Day. I thought it was a great idea, and we decided I would handle the food and she could make a dessert for Joe. She and E arrived around 1 (side note: I LOVED that she texted me when they left the house and also when they were five minutes away) and stayed until just after 6.

We ordered pizza, boneless, wings, and stuffed mushrooms and I made some toasted ravioli (side note: why did Aldi stop selling toasted ravioli? It was so much better than the stuff we got from Walmart). The kids brought some alcoholic drinks for Joe (Crown Royal Washington Apple Whisky Cocktail & Not Your Father’s Root Beer) and we made a new mixed drink that K and I had – Simply Limeade mixed with whipped cream vodka which tastes like key lime pie.

Key Lime Pie Drink

So good I had two drinks yesterday and a small glass of it this morning… don’t judge!

We had cupcakes K made – yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles – all of Joe’s favorite things.

After eating we played 5 games of Aggravation before moving on to video games where we played Mario Kart and Bomberman. I wanted to play Penguin Wars too but the game wouldn’t load. It’s a digitally downloaded one so I’m not sure how to fix that.

The kids were so generous – not only did they get Joe a $50 Starbucks gift card, but they bought Wookie two toys.

Wookies Gifts

E surprised me with a picture disc of Faith by The Cure from Record Store Day and a magazine with Robert Smith on the cover and a bonus CD cover version of Why Can’t I Be You. I was so touched!

Cure Gifts

I don’t actually own Faith on vinyl so it’s a great addition to my collection (and such a great album).

The evening ended with us attempting to go to bed early but the weather had other ideas. A little after 11 pm it started storming. The rain was coming down so hard it was deafening and unsettling. Then I heard an eerie whistling noise which scared the crap out of me because I couldn’t identify what it was. I later figured out it was a tornado siren a town over which is why it was so faint. Luckily we weren’t hit by any tornados but other towns in the area weren’t so fortunate.

Categories: Family, Fun & Games, Holidays Tags: