Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall & Freaky Rodents


 We're attempting to limit television and IPad use on Sundays. I asked the girls what they wanted to do and they said, "Make a leaf pile!!" This is not something that I would have chosen as a child. This is chores. However, it is somewhat difficult to argue with three little blonde pixies begging to do yardwork.

We got a fair amount raked up. 
There are only a few left to fall. 
I swear to St. Ignatius: this is an albino squirrel we spotted down the street. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oktoberfest

My goodness, it's been a while. It's unfortunate that facebook and instagram have pushed blogging into antiquity. It's been almost a year since I posted anything here, though my Face Book is regularly faced. To recap the year:

 These three hooligans had a summer, then they started at Liberty's new charter school, EPIC, which stands for Even Poop Is Cool. It's a slogan meant to reduce bullying, because if poop is cool, so is the smelly kid that doesn't know the names of the boys in One Direction.
 We took another couple stabs at dog ownership. We first tried purchasing a very cute Doxie-poo puppy that weighed less than a meal at Chili's. It apparently came with a faulty liver because after several non-free trips to the vet, it went off to wherever dead dogs go. Oh, wait. There was a movie that explained everything. After Oscar's passing, we tried to repair the hole in our daughter's hearts by getting a rambunctious labrador/german shepherd mix that bit people and peed in the same spot in the crack between our tile and hardwood floors about 900 times. So we gave him back.
 Sam got a splinter in her foot.
 Jon stopped teaching for a while and started rolling balls of dung with his hind legs.
Lucy enjoyed our trip to Utah, in which we attended Jon's grandmother's funeral and presented the girls with the University they'll be attending in about 10 years.
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Nora is now in Kindergarten and reading, but reading is not as good as TV.


Monday, December 30, 2013

This Year

Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum, everybody! Merry Holidays and a happy breakfast of champions to all!
It's been an odd-numbered year for the Tolmans in 2013, and as tradition dictates, we now present to you a brief summary of our goings on during the past calendar. 
Nora Tolman is a sweet, gentle, kind-hearted soul, as long as no one has told her to do anything in the last couple hours. One weekend in August, she was making a bed for her My Little Ponies and singing a song about how much she loves her family, when Becky told her that she'd have to have her hair put up in piggy tails.  Nora promptly stabbed Becky in the neck with a crochet hook and bit off the finger of a state senator that happened to be walking by.  Luckily, during the court proceedings, she also scowled at the judge with sufficient vehemence to get the charges dismissed. 
Lucy is turning out to be vastly intelligent and remarkably creative, though she seems to have inherited her father's attention span.  This was plainly evident last Thursday when she penned a dissertation about the political motivations behind Tolstoy's collective works, but upon reading said dissertation, we found that she'd only read the first page of "Green Eggs and Ham."
Samantha is in the third grade.  We sometimes worry that she might be bored with the banality of traditional education.  She's just good at everything.  She's like Gwyneth Paltrow, except that Gwyneth Paltrow was in that awful movie about flight attendants.
Becky and Jon bought a house, but to be more accurate, they bought Becky's parents' house and now snuggle up together every night in Becky's parents' old room. They promptly ripped out the floors and a couple of walls to make it feel less like the home where Becky had her diapers changed, but it's definitely still the house where Becky had her diapers changed.  You can tell by the old people who live in this neighborhood who look at Becky with a mixture of suspicion and adoration. "Aww, isn't that? Oh, wait, did they? Why would would they? What are they doing?" 
Speaking of "what are they doing?", Becky and Jon have also started the process of adopting a baby.  It turns out that parenting was getting a little too easy and the amount of money in the bank was getting just a little too consistent, so changes had to be made post-haste.  If anyone happens to know of a particular little life that would do well with three doting older sisters, feel free to communicate. 
So that's about it.
May you all have more of what you want and less of what you don't.
-The Tolmans







Saturday, December 28, 2013

Our Vacuous Daughter

I knew there was reason we had gone through that training as a toddler.


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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Molotov

It's interesting how technology both evolves and devolves communnication.
Blogging has grown cumbersome. It takes too long to sit down and compose something for ten minutes. It's boring. Facebook and Twitter have become the new cultural standards for our attention spans. I fully admit that when I scan down my Facebook feed, if someone has written something longer than a paragraph, I will usually skip it.
This blog post has gone on for an entire paragraph without a picture, so it's likely that anytone who might have happened upon it by accident has probably already skipped down to the picture of a llama and won't read this paragraph unless the llama interests them enough to go back and figure out what's going on.
I don't actually know why I'm talking about this when I should be telling the 4 people that might seek out this blog about our family.
Samantha is steadily growing into a very poular girl. I worry sometimes if being smart is as important to her as being liked. She's both.
Lucy is going through a phase that involves passionate crying whever anything doesn't go her way. She's a model student according to her teachers, but her complete inability to cope with change has us wondering whether or not she might have some sort of attention deficit.
Nora is 4. She sometimes gets a crazed look in her eyes that shows us what her Grandma Sue will look like when dementia takes hold.
As promised:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Adoption

Well, we're at this lovely place in our lives. We have three lovely girls. All of them can talk, even if they occasionally give us substantial sass, we know what they're saying. They all poop where they're supposed to poop. Our youngest is learning to read and she'll be in kindergarten next year. Everything is getting… settled. 
So we're going to adopt a baby.  It's ridiculous.  We're almost done with our home study which has involved a mountain of paperwork, four very pleasant but long interviews, and some money and we're another step closer to bringing another child into our family.
The girls are excited about it.  They're aware that it might not happen for a while. I've already gotten some comments from people at work like, "You already have three kids. Why do you think you need another one?" I guess we don't "need" another one, but we want another one. We think that our home is a decent place for people to grow up. We both feel like it's something we should do, even though it's expensive and illogical. 

So there it is. 
Here's the picture we gave to the home study lady that says, "Hey, what cute little adoptive couple!"

And here's a picture of a cheese ball.

And here's Lucy losing a tooth.
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Monday, November 18, 2013

More Ketchup

Sam got baptised this summer. Her hair looked nice and everybody came.
 
 Nora gave a guest lecture at Concorde Career College on the dangers that giraffes pose to the human endocrine system.
 
Lucy went to a baseball game and took up chewing tobacco.  


Sunday, November 10, 2013

A little ketchup

So, Becky and I have been fairly engaged in the book-facing, and Becky has been pinning her life away on that other site.  As a consequence, the blog has fallen by the wayside.  I've decided to try and re-engage on tolmanitude, if for no other reason, then to keep a record.  If we had any regular readers, I've no doubt that they've headed for greener and more oft-updated pastures, but that's ok. Here's some highlights from the last several months.

Sam caught a frog. She named it mutton and then she chewed it up and made it into a paste and fed it to  some baby cardinals that were living in a fern on our front porch. Sweet girl.

Sam also sang a duet in front of a very large audience for her school assembly.  This video was taken just before Dr. Pawmer, the school principle, decided to streak across the stage.
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We dressed up like the power puff girls for Halloween. Becky stole the show as Mojo Jojo. She also stole my virginity, I'll have you know.


Lucy learned how to ride her bicycle without training wheels. We've decided to limit her performance enhancements to blood transfusions for the time being. 
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 She's also reading more than anyone else in the house.  We're trying to limit her to 14th century religious texts until she is ready to move up to vampire romances. 

 I had cellulitis on my face. 

We ripped out the floors in much of the main level of our new house. We love it, so we left it.

Just kidding. Ha ha.

A couple months were spent writing and directing a short musical based in the Star Wars universe using  songs from The Sound of Music. Seriously.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Structure Dynamics

Okay, so an angel came down into our backyard the other day and told us that we should dress up like the color purple for a halloween party.
 So we did.
 Then Sam caught a toad in the backyard
 and poisoned Nora with it.
 Lucy used Satan's influence to convince her parents to buy a minivan.
And that worked.
 
And surface tension is amazing.
 


Monday, October 7, 2013

A RECIPE!!!

Well, it's been quite a while. Since June, the girls have started school, Jon ate his first cricket on purpose, and Becky got a new hat. We've decided to make this our first RECIPE POST!!!! Perhaps that will motivate us to spend more time doing this and post less on the bookface.
So, here we go:
 
Tolman Seven-pan Stroganoff
Ingredients:
About a pound of relatively expensive beef
2 small cans mushrooms
1 medium onion-chopped
1 cup sour cream
5 cups water
2 cubes beef boullion
4 tablespoons love and tenderness
Some random spices
1 bag egg noodles
 
Step 1: Place expensive beef in crockpot with onions, mushroooms, and water. Cook for however many hours it takes to cook beef in a crockpot.  
 
Step 2: When the beef has finished cooking, add sour cream. Leave the sour cream in the crockpot long enough that it curdles.
 
Step 3: Get out two strainers. One wire strainer and one larger strainer with bigger holes. Pour the "juice" through the wire strainer into another bowl. Pour the remaining contents of the crockpot into the larger strainer in the sink. You will now have one bowl of "good" stroganoff juice that smells like a mixture of bile and hamburger and a strainer full of onions, beef, and mushrooms that resembles the android from "Aliens" intestines.
 

 
Step 4. Wash off the expensive cooked beef in the sink using the sprayer and the strainer. At this point, you'll be thinking that none of the curdled sour cream's taste has penetrated the beef which had been completely submerged in the liquid for quite some time. 

Step 5: Skim the little grains of sour cream curds off the top of the "good" juice.
Step 6: Put the now curd-free beef/mushroom/onion mix into a skillet to warm. Add the "good" juice, which should smell little bit less like vomit, some non-curdled sour cream, some water, and some flour to thicken. Oh, yeah. Add some flour to the ingredients list. Sprinkle in the random spices to diguise the still-lingering smell of barf.

 
 Step 7: Boil the egg noodles al dente. Eh? And smother with stroganoff mixture. Sprinkle with love and tenderness. This will now look like stroganoff.
 
Step 8: Serve to your family. If your children love stroganoff, they will eat it, and because they only hate things that they haven't decided they love, only your oldest will notice that somethign is terribly wrong. You will probably notice that every bite makes you feel like you're making out with a very sick cow.
Step 9: Put the leftovers away.

 Bon apateet!!!