the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Good Zoo

Been a couple weeks now, but we met up with an old friend at the Olgebay Good Zoo in Wheeling. It was a nice day to get out, do some walking, and catch up with each other. I think Will might have a new girlfriend. He was talking about Sophia (who was also born in Guatemala) for several days after our zoo trip. I somehow missed out on getting a photo of Sophia's brother Grant that day.



The Job of the Policeman

We were at a birthday party recently and Marcus overheard someone telling a story about how she was involved in a minor traffic violation. I didn't even realize that he was listening until a day later when he observed some sort of wrong doing around our house. He responded with, "You're going to get stopped by the policeman." Two weeks later and Marcus is still keeping the local policeman very busy, coming up with reason after reason for them to be stopping people in our community. Just so you can't say you haven't been warned, here are several reasons Marcus has stated that you too can be stopped by the policeman:
- getting flour on the kitchen counter
- not being nice
- breaking a wheel off the monster truck
- not picking up your toys
- parking your car in the fire lane (he might be on to something here)
- not slowing down for a yellow light (oops, that was me)
- hitting
- coloring on the table instead of your paper
- not getting all the bubbles off your hands while you are washing them



Friday, May 28, 2010

Homemade Pizza

I recently came across this recipe by Jamie Oliver for "The Big Give Pizza". Due to many different factors that deserve a rather lengthy post of their own, I've been doing a lot to change the way we eat in our house for the better. We've always eaten pretty healthy around here but this new change is... well... different. Anyway, it sparked me to go looking for some alternative ways of preparing things, such as finding a better way to make pizza that didn't involve opening a cardboard box and putting it's contents into the oven for 20 minutes. This recipe is definitely a winner!

I've made this pizza twice now. The first time went a little better, just because I did a better job at following the directions and successfully made enough dough for two pizzas. (The second time around I totally screwed up the dough and made enough for six pizzas and now have pizza dough occupying a substantial amount of space in my freezer.) I was a bit scared of the sauce at first, mostly scared no one in my family would eat it because it is packed full of nutritious vegetables. Everyone loves it, even Greg who normally gags at the sight of vegetables. The sauce is missing a bit of the kick of traditional pizza sauce but I think throwing in some basil would fix that right up.

One of the reasons we have been changing the way we cook around here is because Marcus and Will LOVE to cook. They ask every day if it is time to cook. My normal dinner preparation routine involved turning on the television to distract them so I had a chance of getting dinner ready. Most days now they are in the kitchen being helpers and don't even realize it is typical tv time. During our last pizza day, Will decided to opt out of cooking and instead to rock out while Marcus and I cooked.

Marcus saw me rolling out the dough and immediately announced that it would be a good idea for us to take turns doing that job. He was really excited when it was his turn.

Then it was saucing time. Don't adjust the color on your screen. This pizza sauce is really orange.

Our pizza might not have come out perfectly round, but I assure you they were perfectly good.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Favorite Foto Friday #13 - First Time

Remember the first time you did something? Did you take a picture? Let's see it!

The first time I met Marcus was in September of 2006. He was 5 1/2 months old and being held by his wonderful foster mother. Also present was the foster mother's daughter. I was so excited, overwhelmed, numb, scared, oblivious, and in love. This meeting was also the first time Marcus met his best friend still to this day, Bear, who you can see flopping around in my hand.

Let's see your picture! Post your Favorite Foto on your blog. Don't forget to add a link back to this blog so your readers can enjoy other Favorite Foto Friday pictures! Then use MckLinky to create a link so everyone here can view your photo. Just click on the next number available and fill in the form to create your link.



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Favorite Foto Friday #12 - Party Animal

This week's theme is Party Animal!

Here is little Maya a couple days after we brought her home when she was just 8 weeks old. She slept a lot back then, and slept so soundly that she never noticed the world around her... and never suspected that Greg slipped a leftover New Year's party hat on her.

Let's see your picture! Post your Favorite Foto on your blog. Don't forget to add a link back to this blog so your readers can enjoy other Favorite Foto Friday pictures! Then use MckLinky to create a link so everyone here can view your photo. Just click on the next number available and fill in the form to create your link.



Thursday, May 13, 2010

Favorite Foto Friday #11 - Confused

One afternoon last summer Greg went to get Will up from his nap and just busted up laughing. He asked Will what happened and Will very innocently concluded, "I don't know!" I could probably take a guess but Will was most certainly confused.

Let's see your picture! Post your Favorite Foto on your blog. Don't forget to add a link back to this blog so your readers can enjoy other Favorite Foto Friday pictures! Then use MckLinky to create a link so everyone here can view your photo. Just click on the next number available and fill in the form to create your link.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Took Marcus for his 4 year well check up earlier this week. (Yes, I realize I am a little late.) He clocked in at 38 lbs (64th%) and 39.5 inches tall (26th%). The doctor said, "He might be the cutest kid ever, just not the tallest." Nothing I didn't already know.

Appointment went great. He got a hearing and sight screening and everything turned out fine. He passed his appointment with a clean bill of health. We just recently switched doctors and that was the first time Marcus had seen this man. What a great doctor. Marcus was excited about getting a booster shot that was recommended, only because he couldn't wait to get a band-aid. Then he actually got the shot. He cried such pathetic tears that he made me cry too. Poor guy.

Looking forward to Marcus staying healthy so I don't have to take him back to the doctor until he is five!


Thursday, May 06, 2010

Favorite Foto Friday #10 - Mom

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms around the world, but particularly to mine, who will always love me unconditionally, even when I post a picture of her on the internet with a bathing suit on.

Let's see your picture! Post your Favorite Foto on your blog. Don't forget to add a link back to this blog so your readers can enjoy other Favorite Foto Friday pictures! Then use MckLinky to create a link so everyone here can view your photo. Just click on the next number available and fill in the form to create your link.



It's a Wrap... Up

A few things we have been up to lately:

1. Decided pretty much spur of the moment that we should cook our dinner over a fire in our yard. Greg stopped for some supplies on the way home from work and the kids and I got everything else ready. We had hot dogs, coleslaw (which was a result of me buying a head of cabbage at the store that I thought was a head of lettuce), Veggie Straws, and strawberries. What meal cooked over the fire would be complete without smores?

We thought it would be funny to give the pup a marshmallow cooked over the fire. We figured the gooey-ness would be much like giving a dog peanut butter.

It didn't give her any issues though. That is unless you consider acquiring a marshmallow soul patch an issue.

2. We went for a little hike at Mingo Park. (The pup took a dip in the creek.) The kids had a great time playing in this hollow tree.

3. We took a bike ride on the Montour Trail. Will rode in the bike trailer and Marcus graduated to riding his own bike. It took him about half the ride to get comfortable riding. At the start, there was a very elderly man walking in front of us and we were biking slower than he was walking. I didn't take any pictures. (Hard to ride that slow and manage a camera at the same time.) I did take this shot a couple weeks ago when we went for a walk on the same stretch of the Montour Trail.

4. Marcus's school had their spring concert. Very cute, of course. He was in the front row this time so I could actually see him. At the Christmas show he sat slouched down in the back and really didn't move. This time around he did most of the hand motions. His lips were moving but I am not certain there was actually any singing being done.

5. Took the kids bike riding on the street where I grew up. We don't have any great places at our house to ride bikes. It was fun for everyone, but particularly for me to see my boys learning to ride their bikes right where I did. (That's my parents' house, where I grew up, pretty much centered in the photo.)

6. That same evening, we got these photos in my parents' front yard. There is a photo floating around (and in my senior year book) of me as a child in this same tree, different branch though.

7. Finally, we have been doing a lot of just hanging out and soaking up the sun.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Pirate Sighting

This actually happened a few weeks ago and I forgot I wanted to blog about it.

Had to make a quick stop at this little corner store/deli by our house for something. Actually, I used to work there briefly (and hated every minute of it) in high school. It was lunch time and a lot of people stop in to get something from the deli and, on nice days, sit in front at picnic tables enjoying their lunch. Not surprising, a large majority of these lunchers are construction workers, utility workers, or men performing other sorts of blue collar work that would land them on the road out this way come lunch time. I was not at all surprised when we pulled into the store and saw several trucks with ladders on the top. I got out of my car and turned to get the kids out of the back when I saw two men getting out of their pickup truck. They were headed past me and into the store. Both men were in their ratty work clothes and wore bandannas on on their heads. Both had full, unkept beards. Nothing out of the ordinary really... except that one guy had an eye patch. Yeah, I have two little boys that love all things little boys love like dirt and bugs and - what was that other thing? Oh yes, they love pirates.

I wasn't too concerned about Will. He spends most of his time in his own little world not paying too much attention to what is going on around him. But Marcus, he never misses a thing. Doesn't help that he is at that age where he asks all kinds of questions very loudly. This store is tiny. There was going to be no way to avoid passing these men inside. My mind was quickly predicting the future and I was already becoming embarrassed over the fact that my kid would soon be pointing and talking loudly about the pirate in the store. I made a plan.

As I was getting Marcus out of his car seat I excitedly whispered that when we went in the store, we were going to see a pirate in there. He got pretty excited. Then I let him know that he shouldn't say the word "pirate" while we were around the pirate. See, pirates get really mad when you say the word pirate around them. I asked him if he could please not say anything about pirates and he assured me that he could do that.

Into the store we went. I held my breath the whole time. We walked right past the two men who were waiting at the deli. Marcus was so busy looking for the pirates that he initially missed them. As we walked toward the cash register I knew Marcus had spotted the men. He kind of tugged on my arm and I did a little nod to let him know that I saw them too. I think I even put my finger to my lips to remind him that we most certainly didn't want to make the pirates mad by saying the word "pirate". We paid. We got in the car. I gave Marcus a big high five for not talking about the pirates. We saw the two men coming out of the store and figured I better point them out to Will since he had no clue what we were talking about.

Score for me for not having my kids completely embarrass me! Plus, the kids were super excited about the whole encounter. It was the first thing that they told Greg about when he got home from work. Will shouted, "Daddy! We saw TWO pirates today!" Marcus whispered quietly, "We don't want to say 'pirate'. They get mad."


Saturday, May 01, 2010

You Can Eat Cake!

A long while back my friend Dr. Mama Drama posted on her blog about a cake creation she had spotted. She provided a link to a rainbow cake. I instantly thought that someday that link would come in handy. I bookmarked it and thought about the cake over there often. Maybe I could make it for Will's third birthday? Nope, he requested Elmo cupcakes. The blog suggested I could make it for some one's coming out party. That event just hasn't presented itself. Then I noticed, it said right there on the blog that this cake would be perfect for "your mom's birthday". I have no idea when your mom's birthday is, but my mom's birthday was last weekend and I decided she needed a rainbow cake.

I made a somewhat last minute plan to take this on. (Last minute for me since I tend to plan insanely ahead for things.) I went out to get the ingredients last Friday, mid-morning, and was instantly reminded why I do my grocery shopping at the crack of dawn on Mondays. Wow, there were a lot of people at the store. At last I made it home with a box of white cake mix, a bunch of berries, and a huge amount of red dye #5 (among other colors). I was a tad apprehensive since I had only ever made any sort of cake one other time in my life. It wasn't so bad... since all I had to do was follow the directions on the box for the most part.

Mixed up the cake mix according to the package directions.

I decided to use five colors so I separated the cake batter somewhat evenly into five bowls. The original recipe calls for using gel food dye to get brilliant colors. I had no luck finding any so I just used regular food coloring and my colors were still quite vivid.

I dumped half of the cake mix into each cake pan, dumping right into the middle and no mixing! I did the colors in the opposite order in each pan.

Into the oven and back out again.

I had way too much fun decorating the cake. Almost as much fun as I had licking the inside of the icing container when I was done.

My mom and her grandkids might look kind of fuzzy here, but I assure you they were all pretty excited about the cake... and they didn't even know what it looked like inside yet!

What did it look like inside? Like this! (The red actually looked more red in person and not as pink as shown in the photos.)

Everyone enjoyed eating and looking at the fun cake. My kids were even pretty excited to find out a couple days later that all that food coloring turns certain things in their bodies interesting colors too...

Happy Birthday Mom!