Saturday, October 15, 2016

Robot cake

My little baby chose to grow up, the stinker. He went and turned 18. He's registered to vote, he sports long sideburns and some chin fur. He argues all the time about trivial things and we pretend debate and then it ends up as a "yes way, no way" back and forth. I wish I could remember what those debates have been about because they are really trivial and amusing.

Anway, he grew up, dangit.

As is tradition in our family, I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, and meant it not just flavor-wise. What theme or design did he want? He said, "I've had two Doctor Who cakes, an X-Files cake, and meme cakes in the past. How about robots. I'll leave it to you to interpret it."

So a robot cake. He's on the high school robotics team so that was not an off the wall suggestion. I did incorporate the KING TeC logo on the robot on the cake. I also incorporated lights! Flashing lights. When I was thinking about what to put on the cake, I searched LED flashing lights small on Amazon and sho' nuff, they had a product that would work with a cake!

Matt and cake

I googled robot font and found this one that I really liked. Maybe it's too 70s, but it says ROBOT to me.

If I'm going to put robots on a cake, I'm going to make sure Crow T Robot and Tom Servo are two of them. And Matt likes MST3K as well, so it was not wasted on him. 
And now, I am done making hideously time-consuming birthday cakes. I will still make the graduation cake for Matt, but other than that, it'll be cake and frosting and that's it. Maybe some icing flowers or something, but no more three-day processes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Last time watching the marching band at a football game

...for me as a parent of a band member. Katie, Paul, and Matt have all participated in marching band, although Katie and Matt are the only ones who stuck it out til they were seniors. I don't think Hayley ever marched except maybe as a 9th grader, and that would have been at only one game. And she probably played the clarinet for it. But I digress. 

We've reached the limit. Matt will no longer play in the Laker Marching Band at a football game. Later in November, they will have an indoor marching band concert (and that will be our last one of those, closing out our involvement with marching band). 
Fun times, and I could pick him fairly well.

Gotta face the crowd even if your lower body is marching a different direction
 Matt told me that the first day in Math this year, Mr. B called out his name and asked "Evans? Are you one of those Evans kids? Katie, Jimmy, Paul, and Hayley?" Matt said "yep, those are my brothers and sisters." Mr B said, "I've had every single one of them as a student. Are you the last one or are there more?" Matt said he was the last one, then Mr. B commented that there sure are a lot of Evans kids. (digression: Hayley and Matt were in the same Spanish class one year, but Hayley swears the teacher never guessed they were siblings)

Last one. Weird! I've been reflecting on this last kid: he looks so different than he did when he was little (of course he does, but also, HE LOOKS DIFFERENT). He acts different, and not just the difference that comes with maturation. And when did this all happen??? I swear I was here, at home with him every single day and at some point, someone switched him out with a different model of Matthew. He used to be huggy. He used to be a chatterbox. He used to love construction vehicles. Now he likes to annoy me, he is sarcastic, he talks politics with his dad, and he loves his fandoms and robots. Also, he will turn 18 in two days. EIGHTEEN.

Here is a bonus picture of Matt cuddling an unwilling Magic. Trust me, Magic does NOT want to be held. We do it to annoy him.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Halloween story

Magic the cat escaped the house last night. I came home from play rehearsal with a catnip candy corn mousie for him, but after clicking my tongue as a signal for treats for several minutes with no response, I saw that the deck screen door was open. Magic can open the screen door unless it's taped shut, and guess who didn't tape it shut last night? Not me. I was at play rehearsal.

So I went outside to track Magic down, using my flashlight app because sometimes I can spot the kitty's eyes with it, even into neighbors' yards. But after two circuits of the house and several literal cat calls, still no Magic. Jim even tried, although Magic probably wouldn't come in if Jim was calling him.

We went to bed, confident that a homesick kitty would be waiting at the bottom of the deck stairs in the morning (why he waits at the bottom of the stairs and not right at the door, I have no idea). He's escaped dozens of times before and the few times he's been out overnight, he shows up in the morning ready to come back in the house.

At 4:50 a.m. (I checked), I heard a hideous meowing, a true caterwauling. There was hissing and growling and low pitched cat crying, such as I have not heard from Magic ever before. I got up to let Magic in and turned on the dining room light so I could see what I was doing because it was still midnight black outside. I opened the deck door and called "Kitty!" Magic came speeding up the stairs and shot through the dining room and living room, down the stairs.

I looked back out onto the deck to see what could cause such fear (he was obviously afraid of something, judging from the caterwauling I heard and the speed at which he entered the house). I saw a grey kitty loping up the stairs and onto the deck. It had a bottlebrush tail. It looked like Servo.

Zombie Servo.

The zombie apocalypse has started--with cats.

I shut the deck door as fast as I could. Zombie Servo turned around and loped back down the stairs to parts unknown.

I haven't checked his grave for a hole yet.

True story.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

101+ Words for a Dead Cat

When I was a kid, my dad had a book 101 Uses for a Dead Cat that I found amusing. I'd probably still find it funny, except for last Saturday, when we found that Servo had gone to make his kitty Maker. Under the couch. He'd been sick for a while, skinnier than was good for him, in fact, on Friday, I petted him and thought him frighteningly skinny. He vomited later that evening and Jim and I discussed taking him to the vet on Monday to have him put to sleep. He vomited nearly every day for the last several weeks. He didn't seem in pain, but what do I know? Servo would just hide after he vomited, which I attributed to not liking our reaction to his vomiting. He didn't refuse food, but judging by his weight loss, he was not getting any of the nutrients into his system, but probably vomiting the food back up. Sigh. 

My tribute to Servo: You have been a good kitty. You were good around new people in the house, in fact, I'd say you were curious about them and liked to hang out where the people were. You certainly liked to hang around me, especially while I was working. You'd sit facing the door, and I attributed this to protecting me from anything that could come through the door. You were vocal about food and frequently the kids were woken up by your mewling for food at 6 a.m. (although not this past summer). Your cyst was gross, but it will be a part of what we remember about you. I enjoyed showing off your skill at catching cat treats to friends. You and Magic were very good at it, Magic still is, by the way, but I think he's kind of baffled as to why you haven't been there trying to catch treats with him. He's been searching the house for your and complaining about your absence. I've tried to explain it to him but he doesn't get it--he seems upset that you've left him. You two have never been apart. Your eyes were intelligent. Visitors claimed you were a beautiful cat, I'm glad you didn't let it get to your head. I'm glad I took the time to give you a good head scratch on Friday and that my last words to you weren't a result of exasperation. I miss you, but not the near-constant fur clumps you left behind everywhere you sat. Still, you were a pretty, grey kitty.

The last picture I took of Servo. Both he and Magic decided to sit on my arm. 

Servo sitting in his spot in the living room. Right in the middle of the room. 

He liked to be around us while we watched TV at night.

Just look at that face!

Hayley and Servo, probably nanoseconds before he bolted, since he never liked being held.

He liked to escape outside. He was not supposed to be an outdoor cat.
Both cats like sleeping on Matt

Last Halloween. Look at that fluff!


Wearing the shirt I made for him after his cyst removal

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A year of lasts

The baby of the family is a senior now. When I started this blog, he was a chubby-faced 9 year old in whatever grade 9 year olds are in--third? So now he's a senior, last one at home. The day after Labor day was our last day of the first day of public school. Last Friday was the last first football game any of our kids would march in. Pretty much anything related to school will be a last time. It's ok with me, but I can't help thinking all those years of raising naughty, loud, disobedient, and yet hilarious children went by pretty quickly.

Matt's last first marching band performance in pictures:
You have no idea which one he is, do you?

He's not on the ladder, directing. Think short, with a bunching of extra pant around his feet. 

It's obvious in this picture which one is  Matt.

Always making sure he's heard by the audience.
Jim and I were at the game and I was taking pictures right and left, hoping that one of them would have Matt in it, since at first I couldn't tell which one he was. Jim eventually suggested that we look for the one with sideburns and it worked. With Matt's dark hair, we could pick out (even sitting in the stands) his longish facial hair and correctly identify our offspring in a mass of uniformed and hatted trombone players. Sideburns--they do serve a purpose.

By the way, Prior Lake played Minnetonka (my alma mater) and I couldn't decided who I was rooting for. I ended up cheering for the good plays on either side. We left at halftime, since I don't really care that much about football. Tonka eventually won. Go Skippers!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota!

I have loved Weird Al's music since I was in high school (a long time ago). For a long time I had only one cassette tape of his music, and wasn't exposed to his other albums, so when the UHF album was released, even though I'd actually seen the movie, I was unaware that the song "Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" existed, until Jim and I went to a Weird All concert in late 1996. Of course Weird played a Minnesota song in Minnesota.

Ever since then, I have wanted to see the twine ball. And have been too lazy to do so, even though it is LESS THAN TWO HOURS from my house.

Thanks to Katie, (child numero uno), who suggested a fangirl trip to the twine ball, I have now seen it. Katie's mother-in-law, who lives close by, also wanted to see this product of one man's obsession with baling twine.

So we packed up Katie's kids and drove on Friday. We sang the Weird Al song on our way. We missed the last turn, had to turn around, and then, THERE IT WAS, right there on the side of the road in Darwin, MN, big as life. I didn't get a picture of the whole pavilion, As you can see, the ball is protected by glass so I could not lick the twine ball (darn).

Funny to me story: Emma (baby in picture beneath) had a major blowout soon after we got there and Katie had to strip her down. She didn't bring a spare outfit, but the souvenir shop had a pink onesie in Emma's size! So that was Emma's souvenir, which she was able to wear right away so she wasn't naked. La La (the other grandma) got Jackson a t-shirt, which he refused to wear that day, but I saw pictures from the next day and he was wearing it.

Jackson and I had our souvenir picture taken

Of course the rules are laughable 101 years later. I can't imagine a single woman teacher being told she couldn't hang out at Cherry Berry.

I have a thing for water towers and there was one right there at the Twine Ball site. The flags hang on the pavilion for the Twine Ball.

The actual Twine Ball. I couldn't get the whole ball in one picture without the reflection of the glass being really annoying.

Bucket list item checked off. 

Also the guy at the souvenir shop was very knowledgeable. He told us some stories from the history of Darwin, and was very personable. He was a guy who loved his town. There was a little museum attached to the souvenir shop and if I had ever had ancestors who lived in Darwin, I would have been in history heaven. Jackson enjoyed the doghouse, the model house, train, grain elevator, and church, and the old-timey school desks. He didn't want to leave. I could have stayed there longer as well. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gone to Korea

Joke told 'round the table recently:

Parent: What did you learn about in school today?

Child: Gone to Korea.

Parent: ??? What class was this in?

Child: Health class.

Think about it...

Anyway, we have a real live Gone to Korea child in our family, although right now, she's Gone to Canada and won't Gone to Korea for a few more hours.

Hayley started talking about studying abroad a year ago, pretty much since she got dropped off at BYU and started taking Korean. She's done all the work to make it happen. Applying to the program, applying for grants/scholarships, getting passport, getting visa, filling out all the paperworks that aren't applications, calling the bank, getting shots, amassing $$ to fund herself (working 2 jobs over the summer), buying plane tickets, getting a shuttle from airport to housing, and who knows what else (since she did it herself). Pretty much the only thing Jim helped her with (I'm no help) was assisting with printing her boarding passes.

And the time has come, the time is now, Hayley A Evans, will you please go now? (reference anyone? I'm pretty sure Jenni would recognize it)

She left yesterday, got to Vancouver, slept in the airport on her suitcase, and is now waiting to board the flight to Seoul.

I have butterflies, but I'm also excited for her. What fun! I hope she has much success and good times! Go Hayley!