This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:10 pm

{this moment (with special thanks to Darah)} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.


This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:29 pm

{this moment (with special thanks to Darah)} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:40 pm

Today was a Daddy/Miles morning, and they were still asleep when I left for work.  I decided to drive Denny’s car because mine would have required scraping, and his had been in the garage.  I left a note for them explaining the situation.

When I got home, it was clear that Miles had read (or had read to him) the note.

M:  Your car has frosting on it!


Post-Halloween Monster Cookies

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:47 pm

I wanted to use up the chocolate from Miles’s trick-or-treat bag, since he seems to have developed a preference for Smarties and Dum-Dums and the like (whoa, weird dichotomy).

This is adapted from a recipe I found at allrecipes.com; it’s also a half-batch, so feel free to double it if you really want a lot of cookies.  The amounts here yielded about 3.5 dozen.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/3 cups peanut butter
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt
3 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped-up chocolate candy (I used Snickers, Milky Way, M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Milk Duds, and some dark chocolate I had lying around)


Preheat oven to 350F.  With a stand mixer if you have one, cream together softened butter and peanut butter.  Add sugars and beat until well-combined.  Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix oats, flour, and baking soda.  Add to sugar mixture in several batches.  Stir in candy pieces by hand.  Make golf ball-sized balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets (important if you have any candy with caramel, as it will get pretty gooey).  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly underdone-looking (they’ll finish cooking as they cool, and this will keep them chewier).  Cool and enjoy.

This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:15 pm

{this moment (with special thanks to Darah)} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.


Early storm

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:51 pm

Denny was doing some long-overdue cleaning in our bedroom in preparation for some guys to assess our needs for some new windows.  Apparently he kicked up a good amount of dust.

M:  It’s snowing in Mommy and Daddy’s room!


Monthly Miles Memo #34

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:15 am

Dear Miles,

The other day, Mubby and I were talking about your increasing age, and we realized it’s more accurate to say now that you’re “almost three,” as opposed to the “two and a half” answer to that question that you’d previously mastered.  There’s a lot left to happen between now and your birthday—we just wrapped up Halloween, and Thanksgiving is next, and then Christmas.  We’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately, and you’ll cover many more miles before you turn the big oh-three.

We went out to Nana and Papa’s farm in early October, taking advantage of the unseasonably nice weather and hitting the Covered Bridge Festival.  You had a great time doing that, especially when Papa helped you play on the big fire engine and in the corn pit.  Things are a little bit tough for Nana and Papa these days, and having you around brightens their spirits.  They took you into Macksburg to a new playground, too, and anywhere there’s a playground is somewhere you want to be.

Another major adventure was a trip to Lincoln to see Uncle Tyler.  If I were a superstitious person, I might believe that our presence curses the Cornhuskers, since they’ve never won a game when we’ve been in town.  Really, though, I think they just weren’t very good at sports that day.  You had a great time at the Children’s Museum while Mubby and Skittergramps were at the game, and afterward, you cheered up Uncle Tyler by playing with him most enthusiastically.

Photo by Gary Clarke

On our way back east, we took a side trip to Storm Lake to visit Grammy and Pop-Pop in their (relatively) new residence, Methodist Manor.  It’s a pretty town, and their home is lovely, right on the lake.  We had fun at our visit, though it was disconcerting to see so many Steve King lawn signs around town.

As Skittergramps pointed out, it’s one thing to differ politically with someone, but Representative Steve King is downright hateful.  His anti-gay and anti-immigrant positions are an affront to anyone who believes in the basic value of humanity.  I don’t want to bog down your Monthly Miles Memo with political rantings, and I hope you know that no matter how your personal philosophy develops over your lifetime, I will always love and support you.  But no matter what you end up believing, I hope you see that treating any minority as though its members have no worth is abhorrent (that means super crappy).  Basic human respect needn’t belong to one party or another, and I deeply hope that hate-spewing extremists on the fringe don’t come to speak for our state.

Progress in Iowa took another step back this month when voters chose to oust the Iowa Supreme Court justices who deemed that denying gay people the right to marry is unconstitutional.  This saddens me so much.  Like it or not, this is the way our country is headed.  Just like Jim Crow laws and interracial marriage bans are an embarrassment in our national history, so too will be bans on gay marriage.  Iowa had an opportunity to be a leader in this area, and I sincerely believed that people would put aside their personal prejudices and realize that gay people getting married over the last couple of years had pretty much zero impact on their lives.

I was wrong.

It’s natural, I guess, to want everyone to believe what you do.  I think the world would be a lot better if everyone shared my opinions, which is why they are opinions I choose to hold.  Still, when people vote to force their opinions on others and fire well-respected legal professionals over one issue, I have to hang my head in shame as an Iowan.  I hope you never have to vote on this issue, Miles, because it’s well-established as an obvious right by the time you reach voting age.  That’s fifteen years and two months.  Do you think we can do it?

Photo by Gary Clarke

If the voters of the future are like you, I think we can.  You are such a kind and compassionate boy, generous with unsolicited kisses (though you balk at hugging on request—I think, like your mommy and your Skittergramps, you get annoyed by being bossed around).  You’re sensitive and tender-hearted:  you get nervous around aggressive people, especially children.  We’re planning to hold off on preschool for a while, so you have a little more time to develop socially and physically.  Yeah, potty-training is still not going so hot.  I think you get it, conceptually.  You’ve watched videos and live demonstrations enough times that I’m pretty sure you understand what to do.  You just prefer not to, at least not unless you’re fully clothed. You’d rather practice spelling.

Photo by Denny Crall

You take such a delight in words.  As a fellow word enthusiast, I love watching your face light up as you figure out w0rd-based jokes and puns.  We were visiting Mubby and Skittergramps over the last few days, and one morning you sneaked into Mubby’s room and woke her up by throwing your stuffed lion at her and yelling “‘Urprise!”  When she got up and recounted that anecdote to me, she mentioned that the lion hadn’t actually hit her, it just ended up lying on the pillow next to her.

Your head cocked and you pondered for a second, then you said, “Hey….lion sounds like lyin’.”

It’s hard to predict for sure, but I feel like you’re going to teach yourself to read before much longer.  You’re starting to parse out the sounds in words, though you didn’t believe me that P and B were different sounds.  I guess we’ll keep working on the voiced versus unvoiced bilabials.

A couple of recent colds have let you demonstrate your stubborn side.  Last night, because we couldn’t stand looking at your disgusting crust-bed of a nose anymore, your dad and I held you down forcibly cleaned it.  Oooh boy, that was a mistake.  You freaked out so wildly that soon you started your tell-tale gagging, and the next thing we knew, you had negated your dinner and we needed to do laundry.  Seriously, Miles?  Having your boogers cleaned is so bad that you have no choice but to go Linda Blair on us?  It reminds me of Uncle Tyler’s green bean “allergy.”

Photo by Gary Clarke

But soon, while your eyes were still bloodshot, you got back to your role of concerned citizen.  Your daddy took you to the park earlier in the evening, and you noticed that some rude people had kicked out a couple of the slats in the little bridge over the creek.  You were very upset about it, and you couldn’t understand why someone would do that, so your dad told you that when you got home, you could look up the number for the Parks and Recreation department and report the vandalism.  I guess you guys never got around to doing that, because the moment after you finished your last shaky, post-tantrum sigh, you wanted to look up the number.

I’m glad to know, my sweet Miles, that you can put your personal issues aside for the good of our community.  I hope others can learn from your example.

I love you so much.



Call of the Wild

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:58 am

Miles was playing with a toy phone at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house.

M:  Oh, it’s ringing.
Okay.  (hanging up)

That was a crocodile.


This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:10 pm

{this moment (with special thanks to Darah)} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

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