Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vegan Brunch, Variety Show, College Friends, and Sledding, Etc.

During the weekend of New Year's Eve, we did a little Missouri-Illinois tour to visit with a lot of family and friends. We headed up to St. Louis to spend New Year's Eve night with my sister and her family. For some strange reason, I didn't end up with any pictures of them. I'll have to make up for it with photos of the luxurious vegan brunch she served us - which included fruit and berries, yogurt, Chicago Diner muffins,
yummy smoothies,
and breakfast casserole, which we have renamed Cary Casserole. Here is the recipe; it was delicious. I've never had anything like it; it's definitely a repeat-er.
Next we headed over to Ryan's parents' house for 2 nights. After a lunch of veggie/tofu lettuce wraps, we engaged in our first (annual?) family variety show. Grandma Nona read a poem, played the piano and sang a couple of songs.
She was helped out by my kiddos and Cousin "K" who lent their "jingle-bell"ing talents.
Grandpa read the Christmas story from the Bible.
My kids, complete with "cherry noses" and "hats on heads," sang "Must Be Santa" by Raffi
and were even joined by Santa himself. After they finished singing, Dash whispered very sincerely (to Kristi or Jyldyz?), something like, "That was Daddy." One of the favorite moments of my life.
Scott sang and played "Edelweiss." Beautifully, of course.
Jeff, the scientist himself, and his lovely assistants conducted 2 experiments. First, they used vinegar and baking soda to make a "volcano in a bottle." (For the record, I asked Jeff what his talent was going to be about 30 minutes before the "show," and he said he had no idea.) Of course, my kids loved it.
He then talked about solids, liquids, and gases, then created and explained the exception to the rule, a non newtonian substance (cornstarch mixed with water). I learned a new word.
I am a little afraid of Ryan deciding to wear all of his Illini apparel at the same time.
Can you GUESS where Ryan is from? You can see he came by it honestly.
The next stop in our extra long weekend adventure was southwest Missouri, where I grew up and where most of my family and friends remain. We met with some of our very best friends from college: J.C., John and Erin, and Keith (and his wife, Jessica). John and Erin have two kids who are the same ages as Sissy and Dash; we have only gotten them together a couple of times. Sissy said, "I love my girl," after we left.
Dash and "E" are kindred spirits. They are very similar - sweet, smart boys with tons of energy. You should have seen Dash's eyes when he walked into E's room and saw the toy dinosaurs and toy cars, etc.

Our plan was to drive home late that night. Ryan was supposed to work the next day, and we were ready to be home. However, it was snowing, and 65 Hwy. is curvy and was slick. I called ahead to a few police departments who confirmed the roads were pretty questionable. (My brother: "Isn't that what I SAID?" Okay, sometimes I don't always listen to my brother's weather advice because he errs on the side of being too-overly cautious. My whole life, anytime he knows I am driving in bad weather, he calls me every ten minutes, whereas I probably err with being too optimistic.)

This situation explains a lot about me. Even when we KNEW earlier it was going to snow, I kind of shut that knowledge out of my brain. I'd rather just focus on the immediate fun and worry about the problems when the time comes. It sounds like this in my brain, "Everything's going to be fine. It will all work out fine." My husband gets annoyed at me for this, as do other members of my family. I'd like to think there could be a positive spin on this character trait of mine.
And it did work out fine, of course, because my brother lives in Branson, and fortunately, he loves us so much he doesn't mind 5 people, 2 dogs, and lots of stuff bombarding his house at 9:00 at night, with only a minute's notice.

The 3 big boys shared the trundle bed and were very sweet, cuddling up and reading together.
The next morning...the kids were in for a TREAT. I think this was the first time they'd ever been sledding for real. I can think of times pulling Tornado around on a sled with what little snow we get in Arkansas. I know they were glad we got snowed in.
Even laundry baskets make great sleds.
There was one unfortunate incident with Ryan, his tailbone, and the ice. I thought we were going to have to take him to the doctor, but I think he's okay now. Roni and Ghetti loved the snow, too.
The whole cute snow crew...we were grateful that the Missourians are well-stocked in snow gear (like Sissy's snowsuit here) so they were able to supplement our meager Arkansas-weather coverings. It was cold. I always forget how cold cold is.


Cary said...

So cute! All of it.
I call "non-Newtonian substance" oobleck. That shows that Jeff's a scientist at heart, and I'm an elementary teacher.

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

I was going to say the same thing Cary did about "oobleck."
Love the pic of the Illinois farm boys. Funny. I can picture them growing up together. How cute.
So...would that "incident" involving a tailbone and ice also involve slapstick humor? Because Paul would be all over a story like that. :)

Jenny said...

I'm right there with you on the oobleck. I was all Dr. Seuss-y about it, and it somehow never occurred to me to tell the kids it was a liquid and solid. Yes, Ryan's fall couldn't have been better choreographed. I was laughing so hard until I realized he was truly hurt. Then I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing.

Karie Lee said...

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Cary said...

I got on your blog to see what people were commenting about my vegan brunch. "Boo" to your blog readers for not recognizing culinary genius.

Jenny said...

I'm SURE they recognized it, Cary. Most of my readers are just not the commenting types.