Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Cartridge and a Prayer Free

So hey, where do you buy your printer ink cartridges? May I humbly suggest you try the Laser Monks, who sell these products at a reduced rate and will donate a portion of the proceeds to help fund various charitable organizations. They will even say a prayer for you, and who couldn't use a few more people praying for them? Personally I take all I can't get. Also, they will send you a pre-paid envelope for sending in your used cartridges so they can recycle them. And if you're in the mood, you can also order some preserves or honey mustard. You know, to snack on while you're printing pictures.

Anyway, Hope you all had a fantabulous Christmas and best wishes for a spectacular New Year. I will see if I can stay up at least until 11pm this time...Cheers!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Images of Christmas Past

Just a couple images of the kids from our one Vermont Christmas, two years ago. Too busy to write, but I wanted to wish everyone out there a very Merry and blessed Christmas.

And go easy on the nog.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Before The Fall

Candy Land
Originally uploaded by Ernesto and Kristen Burden.
A couple weeks ago the kids and I made this gingerbread house, from a kit, of course, as I am no Martha Stewart. It was very easy to do and David and Sofia especially enjoyed sampling the various ornamental candies. I can see now why they don't include chocolate and caramel type treats with these kits because it just wouldn't ever get made. Even the kids can only eat so many gumdrops before they say, "okay, I've had enough of these." Sofia did enjoy the icing, though, and I caught her aiming the pastry bag directly into her mouth a few times.

I should mention this is the "before" picture of the gingerbread house. It has since met with a few natural disasters, like landslides and while the foundation seems sound, we have lost a good deal of the gumball roofing tiles to what appeared to be tornado-like winds. Or at least that is what I've been told. And while Mr. Gingerbread Man did survive the storm, he seems to be missing an appendage or two. And someone swiped his candy cane, so I'm not sure how he's going to get around. We'll start some kind of fund.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Scary Poppins

We had our friends over for dinner the other night, and as tends to happen with us geekish types, the topic of You Tube came up and we shared a couple of our favorite videos. They introduced us to this one which I found particularly amusing. Ernesto had a pretty big crush on Julie Andrews as a kid, so that just made it extra enjoyable.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Are We Done Yet?

Hurry up already, Ma
Originally uploaded by Ernesto and Kristen Burden.
I don't think about having Christmas photos taken of the kids until it is way too late. But I'm also not really a big fan of the posed picture for kids anyway, because it just doesn't look natural. The best pictures I have of my kids are all just random shots. I'm not much of a photographer, but they're great subjects, so once in a while I get lucky.

Not so this time. I tried one morning to get the kids to pose for me in front of the fireplace and the tree and they kept giving me these really forced, cheesy grins, during which they would say "Cheese!!" really loudly and be looking out the window or down at their hands. I tried to keep it light, told them to just relax and think about fun things and Santa and presents and all that, but that only distracted them and I kept trying to put them back into their "spots" and hold their positions. I'm not sure what I was thinking. Needless to say it did not work out. This I think was the last picture I took before calling it quits. David looks as though he's listening to a tired old car salesman and he's ready to walk off the lot and Sofia looks like a despondent teenager. Somehow I don't think I captured their essence.

Next year I'll use professionals for sure. Just someone remind me during the month of October.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fire, Glorious Fire!

All the work has been completed on the chimney and the flues and we are now enjoying a new wood stove insert in the basement instead of an open hearth. We were initially disappointed with the chimney guys told us that they wouldn't be able to fit the right kind of flue for this fireplace due to the size limitations of our chimney, which wasn't built correctly for this number of flues and would have posed another safety issue. Instead they said they could get it set up for a wood stove insert and recommended a place where we could buy one now if we wanted. Once we began looking into it we realized that this was a most fortunate turn of events because so much more heat would be generated by this baby. And I have to say, since we got this I have definitely become a "basement dweller". This insert heats the entire basement quite easily and raises the temp on the first floor by at least a few degrees when we leave the door open. The kids and I are down here all the time now and they've got their art supplies and toys in one half and we've got the instruments in the other. This picture is the view I have from my throne at the drum kit.

Now all we need is a bar and a foosball table and we'd be golden.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Christmas Miracle

Okay, really two Christmas miracles, and you would not believe what they are.

My bedroom closet is clean. There is even room to hide presents. Unbelievable.

And even more miraculous...the garage too, is clean. There is even a car in it right now. There's room for a whole car! I know it may not sound like much to you, but this is huge. I'm still working it through my head. I don't even know how it all happened.

The only sad news in this is that now I've removed all the pre-pregnancy clothes from my closet, there are now only about seven items hanging from the rod. I'm going to be like the "Where's Waldo" of the pregnant class. You'll be able to spot me anywhere in my jeans and blue hooded sweatshirt. (Oh, there she is! Hmm...she really ought to lay off the peanut butter cups.)

I'm looking forward to the next miracle. Maybe it will involve the kids eating all their vegetables and one of them answering me the first time I ask them a question.

Oh, dare to dream.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Kingdom of the "Krack Butters"

My kids are big fans of the PBS show Zoboomafoo. In fact, it's one of the few that they can agree on to watch, which is great for me because they then are pretty much limited to that show and if they're going to watch anything, I'd like it to be pseudo-educational. Of course all kids' television has come a long way in that department. Remember when you were a kid, zoning out to the Looney Tunes shows? Let's what did we learn from those? That anvils are heavy? That you can cut off a limb and it will magically regenerate in the next scene? That if some TNT explodes in your face it will just get it dirty?

This morning they were trying to decide who was going to be which character from the show and inevitably I have to be one of the Kratt brothers, usually Martin because he's the one always falling in puddles of mud or slimy ponds. Sofia is either Zoboo or Jackie and David is either Chris or else he decides to be a "rescue hero" helping out. And this is happening at 7 AM sharp and I've still yet to take three sips of coffee. Our little kingdom is already in full swing.

"Okay," Sofia begins setting the rules for play. "You're Martin," (pointing to me) "you're Chris" (pointing to David who is dressed more for carpentry than playing with animals, with his low slung tool belt) "and I'm Jackie. So, you two are the Krack brothers."

David laughs, "No, Sofia, it's the 'Kratt brothers'!"
Sofia, getting flustered, "That's what I said, 'the KRACK brothers'!" but actually when she says it this time it comes out more like "Krack Butters", which of course David catches on to. He's laughing and shaking his head.

Ernesto pokes his head into the living room as he's getting dressed for work. "Did she say 'the Crack brothers'?"

Sofia, louder and face redder this time, hollers "KRACK BUTTERS!!" Poor kid. We know what she means, but we're all giggling now. Luckily she pays us no mind and goes right on playing her game. She's already planning which animals they will have come visit for the day.

So begins another day in the Burden household. Where wild animals hold court with Krack butters and toddlers alike. It's like a magical fairy kingdom and I am the queen, in my royal purple bathrobe, ruler of all I see.

It's good to be queen.