Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Amazing Adventures of Toothless Tucker and Chicken Poxy

Once upon a time there were two brothers, Toothless Tucker and Chicken Poxy. These brothers loved each other very much. They loved each other so much that they plotted together to have incredible adventures without ever leaving their own house.

Toothless Tucker lost two teeth before his sixth birthday. Unfortunately, these little baby teeth enjoyed being in Tucker's mouth so much that he had to go the dentist and have them pulled. The baby teeth were soon replaced by bigger, stronger, grown-up teeth, and Toothless Tucker wasn't toothless anymore.

Chicken Poxy wistfully dreamed of the days when he would be five and his teeth would fall out. He even tried wiggling his little baby teeth to see if they wanted to come out before he was five, but they did not.

Upon his sixth birthday, Tucker had two beautiful baby teeth right in the front of his mouth, on the top. These teeth became loose a very long time ago, and Tucker would wiggle and wiggle them until they hurt and bled. Still, these teeth hung on to the party that is Tucker's mouth.

Finally, one Tuesday during Kids Klub, Tucker gave the unsuspecting loosest tooth a quick tug, and the tooth came right out into his hands! He was overjoyed! With the help of counselors, he immediately placed the tooth in a bag so he could take it home and leave it out for the tooth fairy.

That night, the tooth fairy took his baby tooth and left him fifty whole cents for it! More importantly, Tucker was Toothless Tucker again.

The other front tooth is quite loose and quite lonely for his baby tooth friend that now belonged to the tooth fairy. It's going to jump right out of Toothless Tucker's head any minute.

Not to be outdone by Toothless Tucker's accomplishment, Chicken Poxy began to develop tiny little spots all over. One of these spots he scratched and scratched until it became an ugly, disgusting thing on the side of his beautiful face.

Chicken Poxy's daddy made an appointment for him to see the doctor even though his mommy insisted the spot was just a bit of ringworm. It turns out that the daddy is a very smart man because the dots were chicken pox! Having received one of the two vaccinations for the pox, Chicken Poxy found himself with only a mild case.

Luckily, Chicken Poxy was no longer contagious and didn't find the dots to be too bothersome. Toothless Tucker had already received his two vaccinations, so he was safe from Chicken Poxy's germs.

After all of the excitement of losing a tooth and getting some pox, another special thing happened! Toothless Tucker received his birthday present in the mail from his Aunt Wendy. The present was everything he ever wanted - Bendaroos! So Chicken Poxy and Toothless Tucker spent the rest of their week bendarooing and making up new adventures.

And the mommy and daddy spent the rest of the week picking up bendaroos from the coffee table, kitchen floor, computer desk, chairs, and various other places throughout the house all while the daddy said ugly things about Aunt Wendy. ;)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Just another Friday night...

It was just another Friday night around the Hickman Hacienda. We played Guitar Hero, made pizzas for supper, played with toy tools, watched "Howie Do It" - just a night of hanging out with the fam.

When I was putting Keaton pajamas on, the shirt kind of got stuck on his head. He couldn't stop laughing about it, and he ran around the house in his underwear with the shirt on his head saying, "I'm the baker man!" Then he put on his pajamas without disturbing the new hat. He spent about the next hour making wheelchairs (that's what he said) out of plastic tools wearing his hospital gown, "Santa's reindeer pants" (his words), and his baker man hat. He must be working hard - look at that tongue hanging out!

And, of course, a posed one. The boy can't resist a great big "cheese" when he sees a camera.

Tucker must have played pretty hard today, because we looked over at him in the floor and found him like this. He looks like a grown man to me with his arms folded under his head, body all stretched out, feet crossed.

Just another wonderful Friday night!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Future President?

Could this be the picture of a future President?

Both of the boys were able to watch the inauguration of President Obama while they were at school. Tucker came home talking about how it was a very important day and that Obama was the first black president. He didn't seem too impressed by that little fact, which I perceive as a glimpse into where our future lies. To him, it was in no way unusual for a black man to be president, quite a contrast with those of other generations who watched in amazement, barely able to comprehend that this was possible.

Keaton also watched the inauguration. He was very excited about it, and he talked about it all the way home and all night during supper. He was a little confused about whether the President's name was Barack or Obama or Barackobama, but that didn't stop him from going on about it. He said, "When Barackobama was on the tv, Mr. Andre did this" and then he raised his hands in the air in a "gimme a what-what" kind of gesture.

Every time he hears the radio or tv say the President's name, he stops in his tracks. Then he says, "Hey! They said Obama!" and then laughs and laughs like he's in on some really funny joke on the tv or radio. This is usually followed by a little cheer - "O-Ba-Ma O-Ba-Ma"

I know he's only 3 1/2, but I hope he keeps some memory of this inauguration. Someday his grandson will be doing a report on Barack Obama and will ask him what he remembers about January 2009. I really want him to have some nugget of memory to share.

At dinner I asked the boys if one of them would want to be president some day. Of course, Tucker stopped to ponder the question. Keaton quickly replied, "YES!" Then Tucker wanted to be president, too (since Keaton did), and we talked about how they could be the first brothers to be president. Tucker offered that maybe he could be president and Keaton could be vice president.

Keaton had none of that. "No! I will be the president and YOU can be the ice president!"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

House Rules

For those of you not privileged enough to live in a house full of boys, I thought I'd share a few of our rules with you.

1) No batting in the house.
2) If you're throwing a regulation-sized football, you better make great throws. One wild pass and passing privileges may be revoked.
3) Boys may spray each other in the face with water. No boys are allowed to spray mommy with water (yes, that includes Trey).
4) Underwear must be worn unless you are in the bathtub.
5) No punting in the house.
6) Before you tackle a person and/or shoot him with a nerf gun, make sure he knows that he may be a potential victim. Tackling or shooting a person while he is eating or sleeping is not allowed.
7) If you spill it, clean it up.
8) If you are a willing participant in rough-housing, do not cry to mommy when you're injured unless there is significant blood or unconsciousness.
9) On weekends, you may earn up to one hour additional Wii or Nintendo DS time by reading books. One book earns 30 additional minutes. (I just made this one up this weekend. I like it so far!)
10) Everyone must be nice to Mommy at all times.

Welcome to my world! It's always fun here!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Birthday Boy

Tomorrow is Tucker's sixth birthday. I can hardly believe it! He's been so funny this evening that I had to jot down his last words of wisdom as a five year old.

First, he told us that he learned about Martin King Luther, Jr. at school today. It went something like this:

"We learned about Martin King Luther, Jr., no, wait, it was Martin Luther King, Jr. He tried to change the rules and some people didn't like it. One man who didn't like it shot him! Isn't that an ugly thing to do? The rules that Marting Luther King changed were rude laws. Did you know that white people had to go to one school and black and brown people had to go to another school? (he obviously cannot believe that anyone ever thought this was a good idea) And there were bad rules about buses, too. Black people had to sit at the back. Isn't that rude? When that man shot him, he died on December 5th. The same day as Shoeless Joe Jackson, I think. Can we look it up on the computer?"

We did look it up, and we learned that Shoeless Joe did, in fact, die on December 5, 1951. King, however, died on April 4, 1968. My little rainman had his dates mixed up. I'll not even mention the fact that he knows Shoeless Joe Jackson's date of death off the top of his head, and that is perhaps one of his more bizarre informational moments.

Then, we watched The Biggest Loser from Tuesday night. For some reason, Tucker has really gotten into it this season, and he watches and discusses it with us while Keaton makes transformer puppies/stores out of legos. (Yes, with the push of a button it can change from puppy to store. Keaton is quite the little architect. I think there were also little lego dog bones you could buy at the store, but I didn't quite get how that worked.)

On this episode, Jerry, a feeble, elderly man, had to go home. We knew it would be sad because we'd heard from several people who told us they cried like babies at the end. So in the sad moment, Tucker says, "Sometimes when I watch TV too much it makes my eyes water. That's what's happening now." It was so sweet. I remembered he really IS mine - overempathetic even at 5 years and 364 days old.

My baby will be six tomorrow. While it makes me tear up a little to think of him growing up, I sure do like the person he is. We're going to have so much fun with him for the rest of our lives. What a blessing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


While in the bathtub, Keaton got a dreamy look on his face then said, "Mom, how did God put our ears on?"

"I don't know, baby, that's a good question."

He thought for a moment, then decided "I think he used a hammer."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kitchen Tidbits

I was trying to talk about this at lunch today, but I failed miserably. So, I decided to give you this important list here.

According to Sir Anthony Bourdain's book Kitchen Confidential, (Yes, I've knighted him. Are knights "sirs"?) the following items should always be in your kitchen if you want your regular food to look at taste like gourmet, chef-prepared food.

1) roasted garlic. Never use the chopped garlic in a jar. It is a sin against garlic. (And it's also what we always use. sigh.)

2) shallots. Yes, Erin, you were right. Today at lunch I insisted it was "scallops," but I had confused this chapter with another, raunchier chapter involving many, many scallops. So go get some shallots. Do not go get scallops.

3) butter. Real butter. Not fake butter. Real Butter = deliciousness

4) chiffonaded parsley, or for non-chefs, parsley cut into long, thin strips. Use it as a garnish so your plates are pretty.

5) stock. chicken, beef, or any other variety

6) demi-glace. I had to look this up, mainly because it just makes me think of demi-moore who has nothing to do with food (she probably doesn't even eat). It's apparently a rich, brown sauce used alone or as a base for other sauces. Sir Bourdain says to make a whole bunch of it and then freeze it in ice cube trays. So make some, freeze it, and then give me half. There's no way I'm making demi-glace. I'm not even sure I know how to say it for goodness sakes!

Now you, too, can look like a chef. Well, if you have a giant chef's hat and one of those jackets.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oh, Uzzah!

Warning: long and perhaps rambly. It couldn't be helped - I'm feeling long and rambly! =)

In our Sunday School class, we're studying Max Lucado's book Facing Your Giants. It follows the life of David, applying his actions and reactions to situations in our lives. I wouldn't usually just pick up a book like this - the devotional part I like but the "self-helpy" part just isn't the kind of reading I choose to do in my leisure. Maybe I should read more of them - fix myself up a little. ;)

Okay, I don't pick up a lot of devotional books, either. I'll not kid myself.

This book, however, has come at a great time for Trey and me. I've found something enlightening on every page, and I've so looked forward to the conversations we've had in our small group regarding our "giants." It's been great for Trey and me to discuss the book and how it applies to our life right now as we find giants (or maybe the same giant) hither and yon.

We just read the story of a man named Uzzah and the Ark of the Convenant. Apparently when things were going pretty well, the Israelites kind of forgot about the ol' Ark. When David took over the city of Jerusalem, he remembered this special gift from God and wanted it in the city.

Uzzah's dad, Abinidab, somehow had the Ark all covered with hay in the back of his barn or something. He told Uzzah to load up the Ark and deliver it David. Uzzah loaded it up on the wagon and headed toward Jerusalem.

Along the way, the wagon hit a bump and the Ark shifted to one side and Uzzah reached out to steady it. I'm sure you can guess what happened next - God struck Uzzah dead, of course.

Now, if you're anything like me, you're a little confused at this point in the story. Uzzah was doing everything right. He was returning the Ark to Jerusalem just like his daddy and David said. Heck, he was trying to save the thing from smashing into a million pieces when he reached out to grab it. So why does he end up dead?

It turns out there were some very specific rules about how to treat the A of the C. I don't know them all, but there were some pretty strict regulations on who could touch it, and I think it was supposed to be moved with poles or something. Basically, when Uzzah reached out to "save the day" (so he thought), he broke all the rules.

Lucado's point (and God's too, I suppose, the Bible is His book, after all) is this: sometimes we treat holy things like ordinary things, and God doesn't appreciate it. Lucado often uses the word "reverence" in this chapter. I love this word.

This leaves me to wonder, what in my life is holy? church? family? prayer? job?

Better question: What in my life do I treat as holy? If you count smacking the kids when they're saying their bedtimes prayers in transformer voices as treating prayer holy, then I guess that qualifies.

Then there's the next place I go (hang on here - if you know me at all then you know my synapses make very interesting connections sometimes). I expect God to be there. I expect God to save the day, make everything okay, fix it - whatever it happens to be.

Truly, I believe that God cares for us in a way that we can never understand - greater than the greatest parent. But have we (okay, have I) turned God into a kind of friend-of-the-family plumber who shows up to fix leaks with a smile and hug, saying "no charge" on the way out the door?

Do I revere his benevolent care?

Do I jump up and try to save the day myself when I should just stop to remember that God's plan is holy and perfect? Am I Uzzah?

Uzzah. Ugh.

It's a shame that he had to get toasted to teach me about holiness and reverence, but maybe this time I'll learn my lesson.

You can check out the actual story in 2 Samuel 6. Please feel free to fact-check and correct me because I've given you a from-memory account here. That can be a scary thing!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

An Experiment

Here's an idea: Pray for something good to happen to someone else today. You can pray for us - we'd appreciate it - but also pray for someone else.

Two people will be blessed.

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Iron Chef Pizza Throwdown

The Iron Chef Pizza Throwdown, held on Friday, January 2, was a fierce competition filled with secret ingredients, smack talk, cooking, eating, and more eating. Competitors could spend no more than $15.00 and could include 5 or fewer toppings on their pizza. I am happy to say that every pizza creation was delicious - even the unique ones. First, here are the runners up:

Stormy's "Things I Like Thrown Together on One Pizza" - olive tampenade, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and diced prosciutto. This was a delicious blend of a bunch of things I like. In hindsight, I should have spread the goat cheese on first and then added the olive tampenade. It was a little salty, but delicious!

Courtney's "Veggie Delight" or, as an alternate title "Things Her Family Won't Eat on Pizza" - black olives, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onion. A healthy, delicious veggie pizza. The peppers had just the right crunch and the tomatoes were fresh. Yum!

Scott's "Man Pizza" - barbecue sauce, potatoes, seasoned steak, bacon, sauteed red onion. This meat and potatoes version of a classic pizza was a perfect combination. Using the barbecue sauce instead of traditional pizza sauce took this pie over the top!

Noah's "Firehouse Pizza" - Canadian bacon, spicy pepperoni, ground red pepper flakes, and red onion (I think). I loved this pizza! It was super hot and spicy, just like me! ;)

The winner for Most Unique Pizza! Chauncey's "Sauerkraut and Brats Pizza" - brewmasters mustard, sauerkraut, bratwurst, and apples. No one wanted to like this pizza. We all watched with trepidation as it was assembled, and I believe at least one of the judges had to work herself up for the tasting. The apples were added after the pizza was cooked, and Chef Chauncey indicated that the apples should be just enough sweet to cut the tanginess of the sauerkraut. He was right! Even those of us who don't like sauerkraut liked the pie. Definitely Most Unique.

And the Winner for Best Pizza! Tiffany's "Chicken Cordon Bleu." I know it had chicken and some kind of special sauce. This pizza was GOOD - a clear winner. If she really likes us, she'll post the recipe as a comment. If she really loves us, she'll make it again!

Overall, a great time was had by all! Here's more evidence of the frivolity.

What shall the next throwdown be? Tacos? Nachos? Enchiladas? Whatever we choose, you have to ask yourself, Are you ready for a throwdown?