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March 30, 2009

Chowder Weather

So far Spring has brought us fairly cool weather. We did have a nice day or two last week, and I was able to get my lawn mowed, but other than that it has been a little damp.

Saturday was especially wet, with almost an inch of rain in about 16 hours. Steph and Em decided to take Murphy for a walk in the rain, and upon returning Steph declared that it was Clam Chowder weather -- so she began searching through her cookbooks. She recently received the McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurant Cookbook as a gift, and was eager to try out a new recipe.

The recipe for New England Clam Chowder seemed most appealing, so we decided to give it a try, with one exception... we would do half crab and half clams, as I am more a fan of 'seafood' chowder than just 'clam' chowder -- is it wrong to change a recipe before you try it? :-) We were a little worried about the kids' reactions, but figured they would like the bacon, potatoes, carrots and celery. We told them about the seafood after they ate it.

Steph cooked up the soup for Saturday's supper, and served french bread with butter -- it was absolutely delicious. Noah, our adventurous eater, dug right in and declared that the soup was worthy of receiving 100 thumbs up and 100 stars. He ate a bowl and a half, and had three pieces of bread to go with it. Emily, who takes after my childhood eating tendencies, thought the bread was great, but wouldn't try the soup. We decided she would go hungry if she wasn't going to try it, because that was some darn good soup, and I wasn't about to fix her something else!

A little later, Steph frosted a chocolate cake (requested by the kids), and it was time for dessert. Emily said she was hungry, and wanted a piece... but we told her she had to eat her soup first. That was all the motivation she needed, and after the first bite, she decided that it was delicious, and that it made her tummy feel better. She ate all of her soup and then had chocolate cake.

Yesterday we had leftovers for Sunday lunch. Noah had leftover soup, and again ate a generous portion. This time he declared that the soup gets 199 stars! :-)

March 13, 2009

Koi Pond

There are a ton of different apps (short for 'applications') that can be downloaded to the iPod Touch or iPhone. Some are useful, some help pass the time, and some are just kind of fun. Noah & Emily especially like the app called Koi Pond:


I will never, ever, put in a real water feature on my property, but I thought it might be kind of fun to have one on my iPod. :-) With Koi Pond, the screen is filled with what you see in the image above, with full, realistic animation -- the fish even respond when you 'dip' your finger in the water. If you shake the iPod, it 'feeds' the fish -- little pellets appear in the bottom of the pond, and the fish eat them as they go by.

There are also sounds that can be added -- rain & thunder, birds, rushing water, frogs, and crickets. The other night when I was having trouble getting to sleep (because I have a cold and can't use my CPAP), I turned on the rain to help put lull me off into la-la-land.

If the kids see me on the couch with my iPod, I can pretty much count on them climbing on my lap and asking to play 'the fish game' -- it's not a bad way to spend time with my little rug-rats. :-)