Thursday, January 29, 2009

more news from the cafeteria

Apparently there's a lot going on in the ECC (Early Childhood Center). This time the big news is from Shetera. She loooves Nico from the bus. This was evidenced by the fact that she kissed Nico on the bus. She told Grace that boys are hot, but if you kiss them they are cool.

Anyone else surprised by this coming from a first grader?! I was thinking 6th grade maybe, maybe when this kissing on the bus would start (I'm hoping not to have bussers in my house!). Chasing boys on the playground seems more 1st grade material.

Shetera also thinks Nico is so strong, so she wants him to marry her. She's going to tell him/ask him soon. I told Grace that boys are the ones that ask the girls. She said, "Where did you hear that?" I said it was just one of those rules.

And I'm sticking to that one...

what's behind a name?

In the town I grew up in there is an amazing amount of people there who happen to be Italian. Lots of great people and lots of great names: Vinny, Angela, Mario, Guido, Guliana, Angela, Rocky, Angela, Angelo, Tony, Cristina, Dino, Dena, Angela, Sal, Flora, Luigi, Francesca, Anna Maria, Giorgio, Angela, Ines, Lina, Mario, Matteo, Angela, the list goes on and on. It is also rumored a more notorious name lives there (or lived there depending on the story you hear), 'No Nose DiFronzo.' I am totally not kidding.

For some reason while telling a story to Jimmy last night I was reminded of this. It started out:

"Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jimmy."
"I not a little boy!"
"Oh, I'm sorry, are you a super hero?"
"No, I Jimmy the Toe!"

This isn't a new thing. He sometimes is Jimmy the Superhero, sometimes Jimmy the Shoe, sometimes Jimmy the Sock, and then of course Jimmy the Toe. I finally realized this has to do with what is going on with his feet at the time of the story. If his Spiderman shoes are on he is J. the Superhero, if his orthopedic shoes are on he's J. the Shoe, if he's wearing only socks its J. the Sock, and bare feet he's J. the Toe.
Incidentally, he didn't like my story at all. It started with Jimmy the Toe running so fast and then climbing the tallest mountain. He was fine with running fast, but insisted he only climbs walls. It was just after midnight, so I decided to take his word for it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This post is sad, so don't read it if you don't want to. More cheeriness to come with a later post...

February 9, 2006 - two little boys entered this world. One came to me with broken feet and the other went to an amazing family in Iowa, only this little guy had a broken heart.

He and his family came to STL for his medical care, and we got to know them a little bit as they became a part of our church congregation. He had several open heart surgeries and then finally a heart transplant. Things have been up and down and up and down for months. He even was able to leave the hospital and spend Christmas Eve with his whole family! It didn't last long and back to the C-ICU he went. He fought hard. Sadly this tough, little guy left this world yesterday afternoon. It is thought his new heart had an attack that was just too much for his system to overcome.

We broke the news to Gracie. She was so upset. We've been praying for him and his family for months. They've become a constant in our thoughts. It is our firm belief that families are a forever entity, that when someone leaves this life we will get to see them and be with them again. Grace believes this too, but as usual she had her own perspective on the situation. I had been feeling so heartbroken for the family, that along with their belief and hope they must be full of grief and sadness. Grace felt so much for the little boy. After thinking about it for a minute she started sobbing. She said she felt so bad because he would be missing his mom and dad. I don't know the particulars of the eternities, but I do think he is in good company and that time there is not like time here. She felt better with my explanation. She decided she needed to draw a picture of what his heart must have looked liked. You may note she drew the heart inside his shirt. I thought that was pretty sweet.

Why do I feel it necessary to share this with you? I'm not sure. Its just been weighing on me. You know, when we found out about Jimmy's feet I was so upset. I remember Nate telling me at the ultrasound (when we waited for the final word from the radiologist), that it wasn't that big of a deal. I was so mad at him for saying that! I said it most certainly was a big deal. But now as I've grown up some in the last three years or so I realize Nate was right. Dealing with Jimmy's feet has not been a walk in the park, but it hasn't been so bad. And looking at him you'd never guess when he was born his feet weren't built for running and climbing and getting into all sorts of trouble.

Today I'm going to be thankful for what I've got, because what I've got is good (even if it means that the last few days have been full of snot, lacking in sleep, with an abundance of coughs - it also has had lots of marshmallows, goofiness only a 6 year old can provide, and lots of hugs).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

real love? already?

I am suspecting Grace might be smitten with "Real Love." My suspicions stem from yesterday's School Spirit Rally (yes, the school only goes up to 2nd grade, but apparently they have lots of school spirit).

Gracie was nominated by her class to do the big Class Introduction. This involved memorizing some lines and speaking into the microphone (two of Grace's specialties - she took it a bit further when she did not put the mike down during the class performance. It ended up being Grace and Room 204 instead of just Room 204). I digress. Okay, back on track.

After school she says to me, "Guess who was watching me very closely during
the performance."
I say, "who?" (knowing full-well who)
She says (as girly as possible), "Ethan!!!!!!!!"
And then she continues, "And I know he really likes me. Know how I know?!
Well, the black part of his eyes was shaped like a heart when he saw me!"

Either that is a sign of Real Love, or just a sign we need to cut back on cartoons around here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the key

I've discovered the key to my success is Partial Disorganization. There is a fine line between Partial Organization and Partial Disorganization and unfortunately I've crossed it. This means there are a few things that I just can't find! I knew exactly which (though be it 'interesting') locations they used to be and now I have no idea where they are! Can anyone else relate?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

dream big

As with most children, Grace is a dreamer. But this time I'd say she's more than dreaming, she's planning. She IS going to be the President of the United States and that is for certain. So, what are you doing January 20, 2040? Care to join us at her Inauguration?

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm a thief

This post was supposed to be entitled: Sci-Fi Friday, but now it is Monday so I've alluded to the fact that I've stolen the following. Its from a blog I stalk by a guy named Brigham. I'm sure he never visits mine, but just in case - "Thanks Brigham. This made me laugh and and laugh and so laugh. Visit me anytime and I'll make you that bean dip you couldn't get enough of on that one New Years Eve back in the mid-90s."

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

Brigham Esq., suggests you compare what you just watched with this one:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Yesterday, along with all the fabulous birthday cards (thank you everyone! and more details on the birthday another time) I received a summons to do jury duty. Yikes!

I've already had this pleasure in this fine city I live in and let me just say that as a stay-at-home mom, it is most difficult to do jury duty. Its not like I can just give Jimmy and Gracie a note from the court stating that I had to be at the courthouse all day (and possibly the next two) and so if they wouldn't mind, would they please make sure they get Grace to school on time, pick her up, eat lunch, get dressed, not fight, not talk to strangers, not have too much candy, change Jimmy's diapers (yes, still diapers), not jump on the bed, etc. It says (in very small print) 'jury service will not be excused except for good cause... Requests to be excused or postponed should be mailed or brought to the Jury Supervisor's Office... You will only be notified if your request is denied.'

Great. So I've got one shot to make for my good cause. Help me out here!

Friday, January 9, 2009

feeling blue?

Lately I've heard from friends and they are a bit down and out, cranky and flustered, moody and feeling that winter will last forever. Nutritionists claim we can pull ourselves out of a funk by eating right. Well, if butter is dairy, flour is grain, almonds are packed with protein, and chocolate is full of essential antioxidants - I have a fix for you!

I discovered this in a magazine, it called for espresso powder and not being a coffee kind of gal I substituted incredibly delicious and fine cocoa powder. The results are absolutely a pick-me-up, a potential PMS cure, and somewhat highly addictive.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brn sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325. Whisk first 3 ingredients in med bowl to blend. Using a mixer (because it is much easier this way) cream butter and sugar. Beat in cocoa and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing until just absorbed after each. Mix in chips and almonds. Dough will be really stiff.

Turn out onto an un-greased rimmed baking sheet. Press into a sort of 12-inch square with finger tips. Bake until edges are lightly browned and beginning to crisp (45-50 min). Cool on sheet for one minute. Cut into bars (I used a pizza cutter). Carefully transfer to cooling racks and cool (bars will crisp up while cooling). They may be slightly unattractive, but who cares. They are so very good for you!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

big news from the cafeteria

Grace just heard some big news in the cafeteria to day. Jenniah told her that her best friend, Tatiana, just stole her boyfriend. This is a big shame b/c she and "Jae-von" (not quite sure on the spelling of these names) have been in real love since Kindergarten. Quite a blow.

In other news, Grace is pretty sure a boy named Ethan thinks she's his girlfriend b/c he keeps staring at her but won't talk to her. This was also confirmed by a mutual friend named Armani.

These people are only 6 years old!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

a poem, by grace

This is the poem Gracie brought home for us today. She's been talking about our late Christmas present all through Winter Break. It turns out to be a well crafted poem she penned herself:

Kind, pretty
Cooking, driving, drinking
The Page Family is graceful.
Working, running, singing
Nice, kind
I was touched she said I was kind and pretty, that she noticed I cook a lot and she realizes all the driving around I do. But what's with the drinking?!!!!??

oh wow

It is cold here in STL, plus we had some nice freezing rain. I wished the car had ice skate tires this morning as we slid around town on our way to school. Fortunately we made it to our destination and back home safe and sound. Jimmy is celebrating this (and the fact that Gracie is back in school) by watching Cars. I find that I keep thinking about the incredibly delicious, fantastically decadent strawberry shortcakes Nate and I had last night. Perhaps it was because we decided to try and eat a bit more healthy this year, I don't know, but I found I purchased strawberries yesterday. Strawberries in January? Yep. These were a beautiful dark red and very sweet. We tried a new shortcake recipe and let me just say when you make it you will find yourself dreaming about it the next day too. The dough is super sticky and moist, so don't be afraid to flour your board and your hands. A lot.

Buttermilk Biscuits
adapted from Gourmet June 2005

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Rounded 1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 tbsp milk for brushing

Ensure rack is in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 425.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized bowl. Whisk to together to blend well. Using your finger tips, blend in the butter until mixture resembles course corn meal. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until a dough just forms (dough will be very, very moist).

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently 6 times. Pat dough out onto a floured surface into an 8x5(ish) rectangle. If you want to be fancy trim the edges, but really this is quite unnecessary. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise and then into thirds crosswise. Transfer cut dough biscuits to a parchment-lined cookie sheet, arranging them about 2 inches apart. Brush tops of biscuits with milk. Bake until pale golden, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.

For the berries: slice up a bunch of strawberries and sprinkle with some sugar. Squeeze in a bit of lemon juice and let it all hang out together while the biscuits are baking. Whip up heavy cream with a bit of powder sugar. To serve, slice the biscuits in half, lengthwise. Generously ladle strawberries and cream on top of each half. Try not to eat all the biscuits in one sitting.

These would be great for many things: biscuits and gravy, biscuits and anything, shortcake, whatever you can dream up!