Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Today my heart is heavy. Yesterday my heart was heavy. April has just been one of those months. Off and on heaviness. I could write a heavy-hearted poem, but I need something light. Here goes my attempt at light...kinda.

I need a band-aid, said little Janie
One that will cover my leg and my knee
My arm hurts too, and so does my toe
My finger, my hand up to my elbow.
My tummy, my shoulder, my nose, and my eyes
My neck, my teeth, my ears, and my thighs.
My ankle, my lips, my hair, and my back.
Do they make a band-aid that covers all that?


I just received this in my comments but thought it's proper place was one of prominence...as a addendum to my post, swirlm.

Mentanna says,

a word from the author...

swirlm is a verb. round and round he went until he began to feel his head swirlm.

swirlm can be an adjective. his swirlmy thoughts could barely make their way out of his head and onto the paper.

swirlm could be an adverb but needs to be chosen with care. The drunkard walked swirlmily toward the metro.

websters is adding this word next year...

(oh...and i, natalie, was talking to someone else this morning and used the word, as a verb, in quite an appropriate place. that someone reads my blog and congratulated me on a word well placed. thank you, mentanna, for giving this word to me!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

science fair, shmience fair

ok...i know i've posted several little things today, but i have one more thing to share with you before my clock reaches midnight.

as you may know...if you've read my blog yesterday or today...we have been up to our ears in science fair projects. for what seems like months now. another mom, who is just as tired of the science fair as i am, sent me the following link.


i laughed. hard.


I just found out that April is National Poetry Month. What? I almost missed it! In honor of April and poetry I will write a little something for you. Because how can I not?

How do I begin to share my April?

April was rain
both from the skies
and from my eyes.

April was pain
a grandmother dies
a new baby cries.

April was strain
deep meaning sighs
and friendship tries

April was really long.

Ok...so I am not a poet. But I meant every word I said. I'll try to come up with something a little more poetic tomorrow.


anna grace was playing a game on the computer earlier this evening, and the background music was very familiar to me. it brought back memories...so i looked it up. and now i am sharing it with you. you're welcome. (somehow brian missed this during his childhood. how is that possible?)


that's it. someone typed that word by accident when i was chatting with them.

i looked at it. thought about it. and decided that i liked it.

swirl...swim...swirlm...my thoughts exactly.


For the science fair my boys made catapults. I had very little to do with this project. The majority of it was done while I was in the states for my grandmother's funeral. Here are a few pictures of their stuff.

Jacob built an onager. I have no idea why it is called that. I just know that is what he is calling it. I know I could look it up, but I'll just let him explain it to me this afternoon after he finishes putting his board together.

He flung a cotton ball...

a rock...

and a marble. The marble flew the farthest. (These pictures weren't take during the actual experiment. His actual experiment pictures were blurry so we staged these.)

Will built a ballista.

He shot a pencil...

an unripe plum (they eat these here)...

and a marble. The pencil flew the farthest.

Again...I didn't participate in the catapult experiments other than to help type a few things. If I had been there I would have taken more pictures. Pictures that actually had someone in them. Oh well. Who wants to see kids when you can see catapults and flying debris?

Oh...and Brian never did get to shoot that flaming cotton ball he kept talking about. I think he is waiting until after the science fair is over so that there aren't burn marks on the wood.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Which pancakes are the fluffiest?

It is science fair time at our school. I don't remember ever having to participate in a science fair. Not one time. My kids don't have a choice. Everyone in grades 3-6 has to do a science fair project. If you are counting that means that three of my kids were lucky enough to meet this requirement. And I use the term lucky quite loosely here.

Anna Grace decided she wanted to do a cooking experiment. Ok. Fine. Let's do that. We came up with the question "Which recipe makes the fluffiest pancakes?" We used three different recipes all with different fluffy making ingredients. Baking powder, yeast, and egg whites. I must admit I had never made pancakes with anything other than baking powder so I was pretty interested to see the results myself.

Here is Anna Grace stirring away.

Egg White Pancakes

4 servings

4 eggs, separated
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups skim milk
2 cups flour

Separate eggs. Beat egg yolks until light. Add in remaining ingredients, except egg whites. Beat egg whites until stiff; then fold into batter. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown.

Yeast Pancakes

6 servings

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages of quick-rise yeast
2 tsp. sugar
3 cups of warm milk (120-130F)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 butter or margerine, melted

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add milk, eggs and butter. Beat for 2 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown.

Baking Powder Pancakes

4 servings

1 3/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. Add milk, eggs, and oil. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown.

We made all three recipes in one evening. We did half them so that we didn't have too many pancakes to eat for dinner!

And our results. Which one do you think was the fluffiest?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A beautiful picture

We went to the bakery, and I just had to take a picture. Creamy and yummy. Well all except the chocolate covered banana one. It was creamy I'm sure, but since I loathe bananas I can't vouch for it's yumminess. You'll have to ask Anna Grace if you want to know how it was. OH...and I didn't eat all the rest of them myself. I just know they were creamy and yummy. Don't ask how...just trust me.


Yesterday I was talking to a friend about suburbia. Both of our families will be thinking about living in the states for an extended amount of time in the near future. I was telling her about some of the houses we were looking at living in. They are completely suburbia. In the Houston area...in established neighborhoods. Convenient, comfortable, safe. She commented that suburbia scared her. It meant settling down...establishing yourself in one particular place. I totally got what she was saying.

I think back to when we lived in the states before. Six and a half years ago. We were settled. We lived in the same house for 4 years. That was the longest we had ever lived anywhere since we were married. The days were routine. Easy. Predictable.

When we moved to Turkey everything was completely different. We do live in a nice place and have for the 6 years we've lived here. It is comfortable, safe, settled. It isn't always easy, and it isn't always convenient. Things are never predictable or routine. Well...I can pretty much predict that I never know what is going to happen. I like that. I like that I don't know what to expect all the time. I am pretty laid back about things most of the time. I did like to have some control over my day, but it isn't nearly as important to me as it was before I moved here. I don't have to be in control. I never know what is going to happen, and even if I think I do it will be sure to change several times before it actually happens. Here things like plans change like the wind. That has been refreshing as well as frustrating. I don't mind the frustrating nearly as much as I used to.

Thinking about moving back to the states does scare me. I have no doubt it is what we are supposed to do at least for a little while, but it still scares me some. I am of two minds about the whole thing. On one hand I am excited that my kids will have sports opportunities, church opportunities, life opportunities that they don't have here. However, I don't want to fall into routines that are safe, comfortable and predictable all the time. I don't want to only be a chauffeur to my kids' games and school functions. I don't want to only be involved in church activities and the PTO. I know we will have to pick and choose the things we are involved in. There are only 24 hours in a day after all.

I know my kids have had opportunities here that they would never have had in the states. I want that to continue. I want them to continue to be accepting and loving of people from all backgrounds and countries. I don't want them to buy into the idea that that stuff is important. I want to provide a safe, comfortable environment, but I also want them to see hardships. I think about the Iraqi refugees that we are good friends with here. I think about the girl who wears a headscarf on our basketball team. I think about the complete multicultural experience they have had here. I don't want them to lose that. I know Houston is a multicultural city so there will be opportunities to meet people from all walks of life. There are all kinds of places to see life happening. We just have to get out of suburbia once in awhile.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Something I learned recently.

Pumas are slender and agile cats.

This physique allows it great leaping and short-sprint ability.

The puma is best adapted for short, powerful sprints rather than long chases.

It is adept at climbing.

The puma is a capable stalk-and-ambush predator.

When the puma does attack, it usually employs its characteristic neck bite.

Copulation is brief but frequent.

Only females are involved in parenting.

Wikipedia is amazing.

Trying to correct my mistake!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Something I look forward to.

Something I am looking forward to when I get back to the states is the rodeo. I haven't been in years, and I can hardly stand it. Every time we have gone back to the states for a visit we've not been there during rodeo season. We even lived there for 7 months, but left a month and a half before the rodeo started. And yes...rodeo is a season in Houston. There's Thanksgiving, Christmas, then rodeo. The next big thing after Christmas is The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and it is a major production. I just missed it when I was home for my grandmother's sickness and funeral. I plan to be a full participant next year. March 3-22, 2009. I will be there.

Oh yeah...and I want a truck.

And some boots.

But I don't have to have them to attend the rodeo. Well, the boots would be nice, but a truck isn't mandatory.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


just because it made me laugh. thanks, friend, for sharing it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

my day so far

1. brian and i went to the grocery store this morning. we were busy yapping in the car about important things like the differences between an organized crowd of people and a chaotic crowd of people and how horns on little cars don't sound intimidating at all, and brian missed the turn. instead of turning around and going back the way he knew he decided to cut through neighborhoods. one hour later we arrived at the grocery store. while we didn't discover a back way to the grocery store we did go through a neighborhood called "sanatoriyum". i think an old mental hospital used to be there. i can't imagine giving my address to people from america and having to say i live in sanatoriyum. while my mental state may often be in question by some of my friends i certainly wouldn't want them to think i had been committed!

2. after looking around for the chicken and hamburger meat at the grocery store we discovered it behind some sliding glass doors. the sign said press the button to enter. we did and ended up in the huge walk-in freezer of the store. it was true...not only were there sides of beef and mutton hanging from hooks in the ceiling, but packages of meat were displayed for sale in there as well. i was wearing capris, a short-sleeve shirt, and flip flops. i'm pretty sure i froze my ovaries, but i don't plan to have any more children so i guess that is ok. after escaping the freezer i noticed some heavy coats on hangers right outside the freezer. i guess they were for customers to put on before entering. not freezing your ovaries is pretty important around here.

3. after spending $2018592.42 on groceries we came home, and i took a nap. the reason for my nap is noted in point number 4.

4. while at the store the headache i went to bed with last night officially became a migraine. a headache officially becomes a migraine when there are tears pouring from one or both of my eyes. while i could have blamed it on my ovaries freezing i knew it for what it was. it has been at least a month since my last migraine...longer even i think. i am still loopy on medicine and suffering other side effects as well. this medicine makes me extra sensitive to touch. if i touch any part of my body with any other part of my body i feel it more. kinda like i am slightly bruised there. mostly that is ok. the part i don't like is when i put carmex on and rub my lips together. that hurts. i would rather my lips hurt than my head though.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A food review...brought to you by 3 of the Dixon kids.

Doritos Muzik Rock. I love rock music. According to the small print these are biftek flavored. Basically that means steak flavored. Hm. We love steak. What do I think about steak flavored chips? I really don't know. It doesn't sound good to me.

What about these? Doritos in 3-D. They are just spice flavored. Not sure if that means spicy or just spices. There are pictures of peppers so maybe they are hot.

I think I should buy them and see what my kids think. Maybe they will love them! They are getting tired of the same ol' stuff in their lunch boxes.

Hey guys come look at the new chips I bought! Aren't these cool? Let's do a taste test just for fun. (And so mom can use you guys as guinea pigs since she isn't really sure what she thinks about them!) I opened the bags and was overwhelmed with the smell of...something. Hmm...steak and spices I guess. Hmm...I am glad I am not tasting these things!

This doesn't look like any chip I have ever seen.

The 3-D ones aren't bad. I'm not saying they are good, but they were much better than the steak ones. That is the worst chip I have ever tasted. It does not taste like steak!

Steak? I love steak! And how much more convenient than a steak-tasting chip! I bet I can put this whole chip in my mouth.

That was supposed to taste like steak? Ughhhh...nasty. Disgusting. I'm outta here.

Ok...let's give this chip a try. I need to close my eyes and concentrate on it's flavor.

Nasty, gross. Tastes like sand.

We think we'll stick with these! And yes...I purchased them at the same store as the above chips. We had to use them as a palate cleanser after the other chips. BBQ. Ahhh...that's much better!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


After my grandmother's funeral the family and several friends went to a luncheon prepared for us. Here are a few pictures from that celebration.

Me with my grandmother's two sisters. Actually there were 9 kids all together. I had the privilege of knowing 5 of them.

My grandmother's 8 grandchildren. We tried to figure out when we had all been together last and could only come up with an event from when I was 9. That is like 29 years ago. There may have been one other time, but I can guarantee it wasn't much later than that, because I hadn't seen one of these cousins since I was 15!

Me and my siblings with my dad's brother's grandchildren...my cousins' children. Um...does that make them second cousins or are they first cousins once removed?

Here we are again with my dad's cousin's daughter. Is she a second cousin? I have no idea how all that works!

Me and Michelle...I know this one. She is my brother's wife. My sister-in-law!

This is my cousin, Jason. The one I hadn't seen since I was 15. Brian had seen pictures but decided he didn't believe he existed so we had to take a proof of existence photo!

I must also point out that I am wearing a skirt in these pictures. Take note. It will be a long time before you see that again! (I don't want to hear the word frump in conjunction with this skirt. Do you hear me? Not a word about it! Good!)

Friday, April 18, 2008


Anna Grace participated in our school's version of Annie tonight. She was an unnamed orphan which was fine with her! She did try out for the part of Molly but didn't get it. She told me before they announced who got the part that she hoped she didn't get it. So I guess it is good that she was an unnamed orphan. Here are a few pics of her from tonight!

AG and a friend passed out programs.

Loving the dirty face and messy hair look!

In the middle of her performance of Hard Knock Life.

The main orphans. Our Annie had real red hair. Everyone did a great job!