Monday, November 30, 2009

48 Hour Bombshell Stamps Sale

Wooooooooo-hoooooooo! Did you hear that happy, happy sound? Bombshell Stamps, my favoritest, the most awesomest, the one-thing-I-really-really-hope-Santa-puts-in-my-stocking stamp company, is having a big, big Cyber-Monday sale.


Read the NEWSLETTER. Even better, subscribe then you can get coupons and the inside info too. In case you aren't a big link clicker, the gist is that you can get 25% off for two days only:

25% off! Use coupon code “CYBR30” at check out.
Coupon expires Tuesday, 12/1/09

Does Shannon rock, or what? Now go shopping.


Still here? Want further motivation to get some Bombshell Stamps? How about this:

Bombshell Stampers Flickr Pool

My Bombshell Flickr Gallery


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gauche Alchemy Sale

There's a huge Cyber Monday sale at the Gauche Alchemy ArtFire shop!

Here's a coupon code good from now through Monday, and get 20% off your entire order: CYBERMONDAY
P.S. You just may find an extra little something packaged up with your order.
Did you know you can add Gauche Alchemy goodies to your AMAZON WISH LIST!

You know your friends and loved ones like to be pointed in the right direction – help them out.

This button is located in the price box on the upper right side of each listing page. Simple as that!

GA has a lot of great stuff coming in December ( without me *sob*) so subscribe to the newsletter, RSS feed the blog, get excited :-)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to those who are celebrating. Hope you had a wonderful feast yesterday and are enjoying additional family time if your employer is generous enough to provide it.

Chris is working today. But we packed in a whole weekend's worth of family time yesterday so it's sort of like having two weekends this week - not bad at all.

We ate overly well. A hot, rich apple crisp for breakfast after a brisk walk in our mountainous neighborhood. Baked Potato and Greens (kale) soup with rolls for lunch.

After lunch we made acorns. We haven't done these since the boys were tiny but they were still a lot of fun. All you do is frost the top third of a donut hole with chocolate icing, peanut butter - anything sticky. Then you roll the tops in toffee bits (like Heath baking pieces or you can smash your own Heath or Skor bar). Next, break a piece off a pretzel and stick it in the top for a stem. The kids could make these when they were toddlers, in fact, Brayden was amazed at how small they are as he remembers them being fist sized. So cute!

After the acorns we goofed around. My back ended up being way, way too sore to make Thanksgiving dinner (which just killed me!) so we all made do with pie, punch, pomegranates and leftovers. The kids loved it and Chris had a mock salisbury steak on a roll with gravy and mashed potatoes so "leftovers" wasn't too large a hardship. Tonight *crosses fingers* we'll have the intended meal.

Brayden asked me to show him how to thread a needle on Wednesday. He took off with my scrap bag and returned with this:

In case you're wondering, it's a Hippocamp from Greek mythology. He is one cool kid. Since that picture he's redone a bunch of seams and added a bit more stuffing. Avery was so inspired by Brayden's creation he asked Brayden to show him how to sew and now he's up to something too. What was interesting is Brayden sewed and then turned the piece right side out and stuffed it.

I had no idea he remembered the little bit of sewing I've done in his presence. Proves children learn what they live. Scary :-)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Meal Planning

I'm working on our menu for the next two weeks. Since the start of our budget, we buy groceries twice a month (plus little trips for produce and soy milk) and I have to plan a lot better. Right now I need to lean heavily on easy meals because of my back. Plus, I have to include a few things so simple the dog can cook them for when I'm completely laid up. While this isn't completely "normal" for us, it is a little glimpse into our life

Here's my list:

1. Tofu Cacciatore: browned seasoned tofu, lots of veggies, spaghetti sauce
2. Faux Riccotta and spinach stuffed shells topped with leftover cacciatore sauce.
3. Curried Lentils and Potatoes with fresh chapati bread served over rice
4. Tomato, spinach, lentil curry soup: made from leftover curried lentils, tomato paste, broth and an immersion blender
5. Corn Chowder: with rice, tortilla chips and salsa
6. Bagels and Ramen with carrots and apple slices (easy meal)
7. Vegan pizza: homemade crust, canned spaghetti sauce, topped with faux spinach ricotta, mushroom "meat" balls and vegan parmesan. YUMMY!
8. Thanksgiving: Chickpea cutlets with red wine and shallot gravy, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, rolls and vegan lime cheesecake
9. Curried Tofu Sticks: They look like fish sticks and you dip them in peanut sauce.
10. Boca Burgers: with fries and gravy
11. Italian Style Homemade "Hamburger Helper": I love Hamburger Helper and didn't think being a vegan, whole food person should stand in my way; so I made a home version from scratch with tofu, tomato paste spices - it's amazing. Also made a vegan Hamburger Helper style stroganoff.
12. Baked Potato and Greens Soup: Tastes very sausage-y for a vegan soup. Delicious!
13. Thai Peanut Pasta:
14. Date Night eat out or sloppy Joes.

Here's the recipe for Thai Peanut Pasta. It's delicious and tastes great with chicken, shrimp, tofu or a combination of meats.

Thai Peanut Pasta

8 oz of udon noodles or linguine
2/3 C creamy peanut butter
2/3 C water (or more if you like it saucy)
4TBS soy sauce
3TBS rice vinegar (we use the one with garlic)
1 tsp chile paste with garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt (divided)

cooking spray

1/2 pound peeled deveined shrimp (Frozen is fine. If used, place in a colander under hot tap water until thawed- about two minutes. Little ones love this job!))
1/2 pound cooked sliced chicken breast


1-2 packages of tofu marinated (we use soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic) and baked or fried

1 red bell pepper
3/4 C chopped seeded cucumber
1/4 sliced green onions (optional)
3TBS chopped roasted peanuts

Lime wedges (optional but delicious)

Cook noodles. Drain, saving a C of cooking water. Set water aside.

While noodles cook, combine peanut butter and next five ingredients in a large serving bowl. Add 1/2 tsp of the salt and stir well.

Heat skillet, spray with cooking spray, toss remaining salt with shrimp and then saute the shrimp and chicken until done (about 6 minutes)

Add shrimp, noodles, and veggies to sauce. Toss well. If it looks dry add some of the reserved cooking water.

Enjoy with a squeeze of lime

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Embellish Magazine

There is a challenge going on at Embellish Magazine:

To be perfectly honest, I really don't like primary colors. Brads are nice, primaries... not so much. So of course, this challenge was irresistible to me as I love doing things I find difficult.

The Best Fishes card is for my Step Dad. He has terrible S.A.D. and he loves fishing so I thought a bright cheerful fish card would be right up his alley.

For this card I pulled out my markers and free-handed the scallops. I love adding some doodled touches to projects. It makes them more personal. The yellow ribbon was repurposed from a present wrapped by Amazon. I wasn't excited about the pale yellow so topped it with some Sassafras Lass DP. And I finally used one of the cool loteria cards I bought. It's about time.

Good Things:

* I won a GC at Elle's Studio. Yippee. Sending cards to Operation Write Home was reward enough, being chosen as one of the prize winners was icing on the cake.

* Bubby's pathology came back clean on his tumor. He's cancer-free. We are so relieved.

* Brayden was diagnosed with asthma. While not a good thing, as an asthmatic myself I feel a lot better with him having an inhaler and being under a doctor's care.

When he was wheezing Wednesday morning I gave him my favorite cure, a cup of hot coffee. My allergist and ENT(s) have all recommended it for asthma. He is the most hyper kid I know and the coffee calmed him right down. Just like me. He focussed on his school work, had it done in record time, wasn't disruptive - we were all stunned. I checked with the NIH and they said coffee doesn't stunt kid's growth etc. The worst thing they said was it was empty calories and they should be drinking something nutritious. To be honest, I was expecting something a lot more scathing. I was thinking about it though; many parents allow their teens and tweens to drink cola, rootbeer, Mountain Dew etc. It's interesting that there isn't a stigma associated with sugar-filled soft drinks like their is with a small cup of coffee. Next time he's wheezing, if it's early in the day, I'll probably offer him a half cup of my coffee again.

EDIT: I mistakenly posted the card without a brad. Oops. Not so great for a brad challenge. Fixed now :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Challenges

Have you heard about Everything But the Kitchen Sink challenges yet? Very cool, very fun - last time the challenge required TP. Gotta love that!

This challenge was to make something with this sketch:

I thought it would be fun to show how versatile sketches are and instead of making a card, make a layout and a gift bag. It's always good to remind yourself every now and then that these things translate so well from one project to the next.

Today is Bombshell Stamps Hump Day Hotties blog hop. The topic was buttons. I wasn't able to make a project for the hop but I am going to post one of my favorite cards:

Please check out the fabby stuff the gals have made:



Ms. November - Mary G.

Miss Magoo

Glittery Katie


Deer and Cookies

One of the things I love about living up here is that we regularly see deer in our yard. We have tall decorative grasses and they must be very tasty.

This year I managed to catch Deer on Film and I made this simple LO to remember them.

The boys and I have been searching for the perfect pumpkin cookie. We adore pumpkin. It's so delicious and pretty healthy if you don't match it ounce for ounce with sugar. We decided to try the two most promising vegan recipes we found and the winner was Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. WOW. Delicious, chewy, sweet, filling - JOY!

Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

prep time: 15 minutes | cooking time: 32 minutes | makes 4 dozen cookies

2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 2/3 cups sugar (I use 1 ¼ C and it is very sweet)
2/3 cup canola oil (I use 1/3 C oil and 1/3 C apple sauce)
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup canned pumpkin, or cooked pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla

optional: 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (these add nutrition and chewiness)

1 cup chocolate chips, walnuts or raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Have ready 2 greased baking sheets.

Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, oil, molasses, pumpkin and vanilla (and flax seeds if using) until very well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet in 3 batches, folding to combine. Fold in chocolate, walnuts and raisins.

Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. They don't spread very much so they can be placed only an inch apart. Flatten the tops of the cookies with a fork or with your fingers, to press into cookie shape. Bake for 16 minutes at 350. If you are using two sheets of cookies on 2 levels of your oven, rotate the sheets halfway through for even baking. You'll have enough batter for 4 trays.

Remove from oven and place onto a wire rack to cool.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time for Action

You know your life has digressed into a steaming heap of poo when you can sit crying in pain on the couch, unable to stand up and your husband - who loves you more than air and water, who adores and craves you - is able to kiss you goodbye and head to work.

Yep. Things are that bad right now. Sucks. Big time.

So, today I make all the necessary calls to find a surgeon. I don't think we need to double check anything anymore. This has been a five year battle. I've had a thorough going over. The problem has been found both visually, manually, via x-rays, with contrast dye... now let's fix it.

Good news, the two most highly recommended surgeons are in network. Hooray. They are both research physicians so I hear bedside manner is an issue. I don't want to have my hair done by them - I want them to remove my tailbone. So let's go.

I'm trying to scrapbook (non-artsy, mainstream, easy) to keep my mind on my family and to do something other than suffer. It's been pretty fun. Instead of learning new techniques, mediums and methods I'm revisiting old friends like the visual triangle, telling the story, using embellishments to draw the eye to the focal point. It's nice.

Here's an easy sketch based LO I did with bits of an old kit. Limited mobility means limited supplies - and that's okay :-)

Click here to see it larger

EDIT: Calls made. Now I wait. I am SO EXCITED at the thought of getting better.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Corn Chowder and Kit Killing

I made more stuff :-) Today ended very badly (from a pain perspective) but the day itself was almost back to pre-injection pain levels which sure as heck beats flare-ups.

Since I'm still working on simple things like sitting at the table, leaning forward etc. I can't access my scrappy supplies scattered throughout the house. Times like these are awesome opportunities to switch gears, do something a little mainstream and if you've got them, pull out your scrapbook kits.

This month-in-review LO was based on a recipe by Brenda Carpenter and uses a page kit from The Scrap-room (TSR). If you want a closer look please click HERE.

For dinner I made Vegan Corn Chowder from Vegan with a Vengeance. It is one of my favorite recipes; the sweetness of the corn, carrots and peppers is a heavenly match for the tartness of the lime and heat of the jalapeno. Rice has been such an issue since we moved to a high elevation. White rice cooks perfectly, but brown rice is always a disaster. I've tried baking, steaming, boiling, traditional stove top, crock pot - you name it. I finally settled for buying it at Pei Wei (a week's worth costs about two bucks). Now we are on our budget, driving to a restaurant for rice isn't our speed so I've gone back to white rice. Can you tell I feel guilty about it?

I found the recipe published on so here it is with my variations:

Corn Chowder
Makes: 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-size onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced; use just one if you like less heat. (We use a half and it's good for the kids)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
A few dashes fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups vegetable broth or water
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 5 ears of corn) (I use frozen corn)
2 medium-size russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch chunks
1 bay leaf
Pinch cayenne
Juice of 1 lime (To taste. I add half a lime and serve the rest at the table for people who like more lime)
1/4 cup plain soy milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup (I don't add this as it is always quite sweet from the carrots and onions)


1. In stockpot sauté the onions, bell peppers, carrots, and jalapeños in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.

2. Add rosemary, thyme, black pepper, and salt; sauté 1 minute more.

3. Add the broth, corn, potatoes, bay leaf, and cayenne. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

4. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes more to let the liquid reduce a bit.

5. Remove the bay leaf and puree half the chowder either using a handheld blender or by transferring half the chowder to a blender, pureeing till smooth and adding back to soup.

6. Add the lime juice to taste, and the soy milk and maple syrup, and simmer 5 more minutes.

7. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and serve. Tastes even better the next day.

We serve this over rice with crushed tortilla chips, (vegan) sour cream and lime wedges.

Back in the Saddle

Decided enough is enough and I tried the brick wall tutorial from Split Coast Stampers Weekly Inkling. (Can I digress and remind you to sign up for their newsletter? It's packed with awesome ideas.) I know I'm *way* under par, so I didn't use my beloved Bombshell Stamps or my precious Gauche Alchemy goodies. I even kept my Copics in the cupboard. Just a piece of unloved paper, some pencil crayons, chalk ink and my trimmer.

I did use my brand new Ginormous flower from Odd Bird Planet. I'm not sure if it's still available but it just screams "fall" to me.

Here's my simple, getting back to being me, card:

Thanks for all the support,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Health Update - All the Gory Details

Oh, how I wish this was a crafty post, spiced with humor and a touch of the goings on at Casa Maki. Sadly, all I've got for you is an update on surgery and procedures. Boring.

I was writing an email to a friend updating her on my condition and it occurred to me that I could save myself a lot of time by posting parts of it here. But first, thank you to all of you who have been so generous with your prayers, love and concern. This has been hard and scary and frankly boring. I know I want to go do something else. I bet you do too.

Health Stuff:

I saw one of the neurosurgeons last Tuesday. At that point they were talking about emergency surgery. The head of neurology reviewed my case and sent me to the back fusion specialist. Uhm... no! There was a space where I didn't know she was talking to me about fusion because I had been told I was getting a discectomy and laminotomy (shaving off disc and vertebrae). Once all the tests and pre-surgery diagnostics were done she and I had a sit down and we both agreed that treating less than 10% of the pain (from the herniated disc) but ignoring the 90% of my pain originating from my tailbone is nuts. She sent me back to radiology for a new work up and the radiologist said he's never seen a tailbone like mine in his 20+ years of doing x-rays; it is a tight curl towards my stomach. You can see a picture of it here, if you look closely you can see the next few pieces of tailbone after the part with the contrast dye.

Then I went back to the neuro. She ordered a new MRI and a coccygeal injection and then we'll decide on how to proceed. At the time, not having surgery - as early as the next day - felt wonderful. I was so relieved. But now as the time is wearing on I am starting to feel like, "get it over with already!"

So I got a new MRI and on Monday had the tailbone injection. When they injected lidocaine into one of the two fractures in my coccyx I had 100% relief. I jumped off the table (in spite of a horrible scary uber-painful needle just being stabbed into my joint) got dressed and jumped up and down to get my hose up for the first time in five year. My very concerned husband came back to the treatment area to help me dress and I was dancing around him. He starts to cry when he tells this part of the story because he hasn't seen me move around freely in over five years.

At home we were all rejoicing. The kids couldn't remember ever seeing me walk so well. I cooked, I cleaned. I was exhausted and oh-so happy. Then, about three and a half hours later, the lidocaine wore off and I was more or less crippled again. To make matters worse, I was also dealing with having done a bit too much and the painful injection site wreaking havoc on the nearby nerves. Since Monday night things have been horrible. I've been on the maximum amount of pain meds and still I cry all the time. I can hardly walk. My doc, who thinks I have the strength of a rhino, will be surprised this AM when he hears me sobbing into his answering machine. Just like last time, the flare-up from the injection is the worst pain ever. I would say it's worse than transition in labor. Ow.

So the nurse called yesterday for a report and I told her what happened. She said it's a textbook complete success. Amazing pain relief followed by horrific pain 2-5 hours later was what they were hoping for (her words, not mine). Now I need to hear back from the neuro today and get to work scheduling my coccyxectomy (tailbone removal). It has one of the worse recoveries of surgery - so says three neuros I've spoke with. It'll be weeks before I can even sit in a car! But, it also has a 90% success rate and nearly every person polled a year afterwards says it gave them their life back. A lot of these folks go from being very limited like I am, to running marathons, doing triathlons etc. It's like a modern miracle. It's just the getting through it is pretty hard.

So, that is where I am at.

The number of craft projects and writing ideas that are stacking up in my head are getting a little ridiculous. I think I'm going to start writing them down so when I'm fully recovered I can jump right in.

I hate to tag this on like a shout out, but Happy Remembrance Day (I always forget the US version... Veterans Day? Seems like it should be Memorial Day but what do I know?) to everyone. Thank you to all the veterans.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Neuro just called and I am going in for the coccygeal diagnostic injection at 3:00 PM today. According to all the medical professionals I've spoken with, it's awful. Last "less awful" injection caused a five day flare-up that was easily the worst pain in my life.

So... see you next week. I'll pop in as I can and let you know all is well.


Not. I'm the Queen of Not lately.

Not blogging.
Not creating.
Not participating.
Not answering emails.
Not contributing.
Not submitting.

I'd worry that I'm depressed, but it's not that. The bare basics - homeschool, home cooking, discipline and housework (HA!) take up every second of my day. Making lunch doesn't sound like a big deal, but when walking across the room takes four times as long and often leads to falls and or more meds ... I kind of have to triple my time estimates on every single thing. It's making me crazy.

What I am doing is readying our family to manage without me. I've been preparing my sweetheart for the rigors of a more active parenting role and am trying to standardize my "dash-of-this", "glug-of-that" recipes into something you can follow and then run Chris through making them so he knows what pots to use and where to find stuff. I've filled out homeschool forms, lesson plans, worked on making everything I can run as smoothly while I'm out as is reasonable to expect. No fun.

Now the postponement of my surgery feels less like a stay of execution and more like torturous waiting. Last week I was thrilled to not have it hanging over my head. This week - not so much. Just get it over with, please.

In other news:

* My FIL is in the hospital. He had another stroke or two last Thursday and we've been terrified that we're going to lose him. Dad is the sweetest, funniest guy in the family and the thought of life without him is too big to work through. Fortunately he's stable and might even get to go home in the next few days. Yay, Dad!

* T is signed up to write the SAT on December 5th. I've moved his school around to accommodate test prep and he got 72% on the online test he wrote this morning. It was the english section though - math will probably be a whole different story. 72% at 13 gives me great hope for him doing well when he's old enough that the test matters.

* I need to have a very scary coccyx injection before we schedule surgery. I'm calling about it as soon as I post this. I'm terrified. Hitting the bone during the nerve root block was one helluva nasty experience. I'm guessing punching right through the bone will be worse. Ick. Ugh. *faints*

* Bubby is tumor free and his surgery went really well. He's wearing the cone of shame until his stitches are out. Poor stupid creature. He keeps getting his head caught on things and then he decides those parts of the house are scary and he won't go there again. I had to make a trail of corn pops to help him realize he can go to his mat for food and water. He's such a wimp. The first day after surgery he'd cry if you didn't have your arm or hand in the cone so he could rest his head on a person. Since that isn't convenient for hours at a time I worked with him to get over it. First he laid on the cone with my leg underneath so it was warm, then we put his favorite blanket in it, now he's fine. It's going to be a long two weeks *grin*

* My MRI at the University Hospital was wonderful. They use Pandora so I could listen to great music, the blankets were soft, the staff friendly. I couldn't have asked for more. It makes me feel a lot better about having surgery there. To top it off, the hospital smelled like pancakes. I KNOW! Usually hospitals have that scary smell; pancakes are a huge improvement.

* I was one of the runners-up for the Crafty Chica Shrine Challenge. Woo-hoo! Making our Day of the Dead ofrenda was such a great experience. I'm mentally planning remembrance pieces for our other relatives who have passed on.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Best Gift of All

My teeny, tiny, sick little baby is now a robust, rowdy twelve year old!

All Avery wanted for his birthday was to be 60 inches. Since last year he's had us measure him often so that when his birthday rolled around this year he'd be tall enough to drive the adult go-karts. Last week he was still stalled at 59 inches. We hoped, we prayed, we watered and fed him - nothing. On Saturday we went to the Go-Kart place and measured him, still a ghastly 59 inches. Avery spent Sunday processing the fact that he'd have to ride along as a passenger on his birthday. He was disappointed but pleasant about it.

This afternoon it was finally time to buy our ride bracelets and the attendant asked Avery to stand by the ruler and he was a solid 60 inches - in fact, he was a noticeable bit over. He grew over night. I think that inch was his favorite present.

Avery and I made penguin cupcakes. I think there is a time to be "perfect" and a time to have fun. Baking with your kids is a time for giggles and goofing around - not a cover-worthy end result.

We decided to follow our recipe rule and make one batch according to the instructions:

And then make the rest however we like. What we like is crazy, mutant, monster cupcakes. Cute ones!

Cyclops, Mohawk, Pox, Twitter and Crazy Eyes:

Here he is with the flock:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Horrors this Halloween

In Canada you can only trick-or-treat until you're about ten, eleven if you are very short for your age. That's it. Then there are a few sad years watching scary movies at home with your friends until high school (grade eight-twelve) when you go to dances and parties. If you tried trick-or treating after ten people would simply tell you you are too old and get off their porch. Ditto if you weren't wearing costume. No costume - no candy!

As each of my boys reached ten we moved them to games at home, community activities etc. Like good Canadians.

Last night we had more trick-or-treaters than ever before. In fact, more than all the years we've lived here combined. I dutifully doled out 4-6 treats per kid, oohed and awed over their costumes and sent them scampering away. Here's my observations:

1. Some kids are appalled with 4-6 treat-sized candies. They stand there after receiving their goodies, bag open, angry entitlement etched all across their face. I counter with a cheerful, " Happy Halloween" dismissal and a look in my eye that says 'leave now if you want off my porch still in possession of all your limbs'.

2. Some kids ask for different candy than what you give them. Oh, please. I bet their moms cook them their own meals to order too. Not in my house or on my porch.

3. The parents that won't speak to us in the neighborhood, still will not speak to us as they send their kids up our walkway to get candy from the heathens. Nice. Recognizing kids that have specifically shunned our boys and are now asking for candy is not fun at all. Those same families also seem fine with the kids trampling our landscaping on their retreat.

4. This one boggles my mind. Seriously. Two MOMS came to our door. Confused, I said "hello" and they said, " Trick or Treat!" Neither was dressed in costumes and they were both in their thirties. I smiled back, wondering what on earth is going on. Noting my confusion (smart girls) the first mom said that she was trick or treating, her kids are, " So lazy they decided to stay in the car but she didn't want them to miss out on the Halloween candy." My jaw hits the floor. The second lady, noting my horror (I didn't hide it well) attempting to back up her friends position interjects, " You think that's bad; my kids are so lazy they stayed home watching TV and sent me out to trick-or-treat for them."

Then they both held their bags up higher in case I didn't get the gist of occasion and needed a context clue.

Yes, I gave them some candy. I felt bad for their kids that they'll have a hard time in life if everything is handed to them, work-free. If this is how these mothers treat Halloween, imagine how they'll manage teenagers. Oh, my.