Monday, November 19, 2012

Disney Trivia

 Rex pointed out a Disney character on his plate yesterday morning.  Can you spot it?
Can you spot the underbite(s)? I think we might need to start a Mullen dental surgery fund. 

 And now for the answer, let's take a closer look:
even closer, can you "spot" him now???
 Gotta love that Mickey Silhouette!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

This is Halloween, This is Halloween

I love surfing blogs in late October/early November because everyone posts Halloween pictures. What's cuter than kids in costume? Especially kids on top of the world because perfect stranger are handing them candy.  Awesome.

To add the blogosphere's orbit of Halloween pics,
Jenna was a ballerina mouse

Marielle was this excited when she saw me at the Halloween Parade.  How can I make this last through college?

Rex was the cutest gnome ever! I made his costume and I beamed whenever I heard, "How cute! A gnome!  Was that garden gnome that just walked by? Did you make that? He's so cute!" It was mom Halloween heaven.

Why is it impossible to get three kids to look/smile at the same time?

Marielle cut that pizza with her bare hands.  Just kidding.

Notice anything funny about that candy bowl?  We really gave Ramen away...
Our neighbor Christina actually choose Ramen.  (Was the large size a deception??)

This pic is to show off her long flowing black hair. 

I loved watching this guy run from house to house and pound on doors. 

Happy Halloween! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Guess What, I Just Started a Blog

Hey friends,

I know you love my blog that's why you are here reading right?  Well seeing as it's Christmas season and life gets really hectic, I thought I'd start a new blog.  Smart right? Especially since I have the lofty hopes of posting every day until Christmas.  It's not another blog showcasing how cute/funny my kids are, but rather a blog to help all of us with our holiday shopping. I'm calling it Give Twice and I plan to post the skinny on where to find gifts that give some or all of their proceeds to good causes.  I'm hoping it will catch like wild fire and lots of people will support good causes as they shop for the perfect holiday gifts.  What do you think?  There's just one post now, but it's a good one and every day I'll have something new to check out.  I hope you'll visit out and share with others if you find it helpful. 

Mary Karlee

PS In the meantime, how about a sneak peek at the Halloween post I'm working on?
Rex is a Gnome!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Dad's Dream

 My father has long wanted to grow his own pumpkins for Halloween.  After a few unsuccessful attempts, this year it happened and his bumper crop grew just enough pumpkins for his five (local) grandkids.  The kids got to pick their pumpkins from "Grandpa's Pumpkin Hill" during Mikey's b-day party. One by one they climbed the hill and chose their pumpkin proudly. We cheered as they brought the pumpkins down like trophies. Somehow the size of the pumpkins seemed to correlate with the age of the kids.

Here's the pumpkins all "jacked out" for Halloween:
Note:  Rex's Grandpa pumpkin did not last till Halloween. On day two Rex's pumpkin had several "wounds" from Rex biting into the pumpkin and also being dropped down the stairs twice.  The flesh wounds proved fatal, but Marielle saved the day and gave Rex her extra pumpkin that she got on a class field trip.

Marielle designed and did a lot of the carving with Ryan's help. Jenna told mom, "I want a ghost" and then watched while Mom got carried away and did all the work. 

Thanks Grandpa for awesome Halloween pumpkins!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Although one of the costs of  living in Santa Barbara is a tiny living space, that tiny living space comes with year round lovely weather that makes you want to sit outside as often as possible.  One morning last week I was soaking up some sunshine and leafing through a travel magazine as Jenna and Rex played on the lawn.  The two of them wandered around the corner and I continued to turn pages.  I stalled as long as possible, but finally I decided it was altogether too quiet and it had been altogether too long since I had heard any sign of life, so I closed my magazine and went out in search.  Here's where I found them.

Looks like Jenna was not thinking about equality when she "served up" the chips for herself and Rex.  It's good to know that these guys won't starve if I ever get abducted by aliens while Ryan's at work.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Pirate Ship that Should Have Sunk

Sometimes I blog to brag, and sometime I blog to find the humor in life when things go wrong.  This is a post about a cake that went wrong.  Marielle turned 6 recently and wanted a pirate party.  It was a family party with minimal frills, but I told her I would make her a pirate cake.  We got online the night before and started looking for our model.  There were far too many examples of parents who spend no less than 13 hours on their children's pirate ship cakes, but with gentle coaxing and reminders of "let's keep it simple for mom,"  she graciously chose this one.

Looks pretty do-able right?

Here's how mine turned out:

First, the cake baked flat.  That little ship has two layers of cake.  I didn't fill the middle with frosting, because it seemed like, what's the point?

Second, I didn't want to switch to a chocolate frosting recipe and waste using the ingredients I had already purchased.  Note to self, mixing every color of food coloring you have does not make brown.

My go-to frosting was a failure since the whipping cream I bought was grainy and didn't whip up right.  I was scared to serve this to my family since the texture was so weird and I thought we might all die from food poisoning, but... it didn't smell sour and the expiration date was a month away, so we ate it.  (Thankfully, no one died. Come to think of it, Ryan did mention some stomach "issues" later that evening.  Hmmmmm.)

After all my failures, I saw no harm in letting the girls have full reign on the candy decoration.  I blame Jenna entirely for the lopsided cabin window.

Marielle was completely oblivious to my failures.  She loved her cake.  She thought the "brown" color we mixed up looked great, the candy decorations quite lovely, and the cake delicious. I sure love that not so little girl.

 Happy Birthday Pirate Princess!