Friday, October 31, 2008

How to carve a pumpkin

The very first step is to pick one out either at a farm or the supermarket. We drove about two hours away and made it a day trip as a family. Reno does have a few pumpkin farms though. We enjoy the drive and the get away.
Then you pick out a design that will work with your pumpkin. My kids picked hard ones for me. They helped a little but not with the knives. I have special tools and a battery operated carving knife which is a life saver. Pravan insisted on helping with the knife and I let him but just for a short while.
You draw a circle on top of the pumpkin that will be the lid.
My kids love to pry it away from the pumpkin and sometimes it can be tough. I love when they pull it out and look at all the seeds that are stuck on it.
Then you spend some time scooping out the seeds. It is a long process when you are stuck with four. Hubby does not like crafty things and I love it so it is easier for me to help with this type of things. I do not scoop out too much of the flesh as I cannot be bothered and really do not like a pumpkin that is skinny. We all did our fair share to scoop out the insides.
Priyasha was freaked out as the strings were slimy and sticky. She could not get it off her fingers and started to scream. I thought it was so funny. She then looked at me and said " that ezzz not tunny " ( that is not funny ). I was even more amused as she was mad at this point. She calmed down after we took a break and the pumpkin princess was happy once again.
You then attach your pattern and poke lots of tiny holes with the special poky tool.Remove the pattern and you start carving. Use knife to cut away extra flesh from behind the design you carved.
Replace the lid and remember it is like a puzzle now and will fit just one way. The way to cut it out. Place a battery operated candle inside and watch it glow. To have your jack -o-lantern last longer you can place in the refrigerator. I do not do that.I never have room in the refrigerator and I have two. I love being stocked up with food at all times. I carve mine the night before Halloween.
Admire your hard work and place by the front door.
Thanks for looking at all the memories we create.
Hope you carved a delightful pumpkin. Please add a link to the one you have carved.

Happy Halloween

Today I am up in Truckee California at a friend's house. Our husbands work together and at lunch time we will go to the office with the kids all dressed up in their costumes. I made it through yesterday. I was so exhausted that I was falling asleep while watching CSI. I am such a tv junkie. I am so behind with the DVR recordings and I hope to catch up this weekend. Well I got my second wind and made it through watching Grey's Anatomy that was recorded as well.
Carving the pumpkins took me about two long hours. Pravan insisted on the hard patterns yet I was left to carve them out while they watched a Halloween movie. Well it was relaxing and I am impressed with the end result. I think I enjoy the end result more than the process sometimes.
Here are some pics for you to enjoy. I have so many more and will make a slide show out of it. Don't hold your breath though. Things will calm down after today. Have a wonderful weekend.
without flash on the front step. with flash on the front step.
Yes that is a white pumpkin that Pravan insisted on picking at the pumpkin farm. It was actually easier to carve than the orange ones. It was much softer.
In the kitchen with the lights off. Priyasha insisted on using her flashlight. The excitement on their faces is great. This is after I set the lights in the pumpkins and called them to see the end result.
Free Spirit !

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

on overdrive and lots of links

Okay this is a busy week. Friday is Nevada day and school is out so homework is due one day early. Normally that is no problem but this week we have had so many activities. Well last night was my date with hubby. I had a delicious uninterrupted dinner. Well except for the server. he kept asking if I was done as hubby was and I savored every last bite of my delicious rack of pork with mash potatoes and apple cabbage and bacon. It was out of this world and my drink was fabulous. I had a cosmopolitan with stoli raspberry and a sugared rim. Hubby had wine but a very smooth expensive one. We had a great time hanging out and talking. Well I won't tell you about the rest of the night. I will spare you.
On the home front I am working on making coffin boxes for Pravan's class and we are baking brownies today. Priyasha is learning how to read words at 2.5 yrs old and I feel like I am going to school all over again. It is a lot of fun but exhausting. I will post pictures later this week or maybe on the weekend.
I am getting help from so many wonderful woman about the postcards and Pravan is thrilled. He asks me about it every day when he gets home. I want to say thank you to Tracy. A cyber buddy of mine. She added a link to my blog and is helping me spread the word about the postcards. Check out her blog :
Also here is a link to the Splitcoaststampers site. Those woman are great and talented and always willing to help. I love you all for helping.
If you can be so kind and post a request on your blog. This is a link you would post on your blog.
Okay of to do homework and cook dinner. Still need to carve pumpkins. Maybe tomorrow. I still need to read a Junie B Jones book. The funny thing is that I really enjoying reading these books to him. I actually like reading now. I learnt this from my kid. Mixed up ahhhh !!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Postcard update

Following up on this link
I have received several messages letting me know that people will mail Pravan postcards. So far we expect to receive postcards from
Buffalo NY
Niagara Falls Canadian side
Peurto Rico
Scotland and
Thank you to all that will assist with his mission to get postcards from all over the world. Please feel free to post a link to my blog to get more people involved or to post this on your blog. Here is a link to the original post. Thank you so much for helping. The link below is the link you can post on your blog. Thank you for helping.

Happy Birthday to Hubby !

Happy Birthday honey ! I hope you are having a pleasant day at work. Todd is going out to lunch with his co-workers today to celebrate and I am looking forward to taking him out to dinner tonight. We are going on a date which is long overdue. The kids were excited this morning to give daddy his present. They bought him the new Jim Cramer book " Stay mad for life" He is the guy that talks about the stocks and gives advice on it. Todd loves watching his shows and does so religiously every night.
Yesterday the kids helped me make a card for daddy. Pravan enjoyed cutting and gluing the ribbon and Priyasha helped turn the handle on my cuttle bug. Pravan wrote in the card and Priyasha tried to tried. Well she is only 2.5 yrs old and did a beautiful job. Pravan however was not impressed. he has forgotten that he started the same way. Dad was happy to get his card and book. Tonight we will have ice-cream cake after dinner. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Diwali !!!!

Deepavali ! These seems to be words echoing in the distance at the back of my mind. It has been may years since I celebrated. Being int he US makes it hard and almost impossible to follow a culture. I have let go but will always long for something that once appears to be like a dream to me today. When I was a little girl living in South Africa I was mostly exposed to Indians. I lived in an Indian community but we were from different cultures and not all of us celebrated in the same manner. Some were christian, Muslim, some were from North India ( Hindi's ) and some were from South India ( Tamils, Telugu's ). We never had a car until I bought my first one when I was 21 yrs old. My oldest brother who was the father figure as my dad passed on when I was just four always took me on a long , long walk around the entire neighborhood looking at all the houses and how they were decorated with lamps.We must have walked about 3-5 km. It was the way of life and I never complained. He off course ended up carrying me on his shoulders for part of the way.He was the first kid and I was the fourth so we have a huge age difference.
We also lit lamps. It was a clay lamp filled with oil and a cotton wick made out of cotton wool. It was my job to make the wicks by rubbing them in between my palms. I also had to help mom polish all the brass ware in preparation for this big day. We baked goodies for a whole week and it was ll very involved complicated recipes. We then made little packages and on this special day we would give them to friends, family and neighbors. I also remember wearing new Indian clothes and taking a bath with three different kinds of oil to cleanse my body. I also had to drink Castor oil to clean the insides. that was not my favorite thing in the world.
So what is it ? Here is a description from wikepedia :
A row of lamps, part of the Diwali observance. Also called Translation: Row of Lights; Deepavali, Festival of Lights
Deepavali, or Diwali is a major Indian holiday, and a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism, [Buddhism]], and Jainism. [3] Many legends are associated with Diwali. Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe as the "Festival of Lights," where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being. Diwali is celebrated on the first day of the lunar Kartika month, which comes in the month of October or November. In many parts of India, it is the homecoming of King Rama of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile in the forest, after he defeated the evil Ravana.[4] The people of Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (deepa), thus its name: Deepavali. This word, in due course, became Diwali in Hindi. But, in South Indian languages, the word did not undergo any change, and hence the festival is called Deepavali in southern India. There are many different observances of the holiday across India.
Among the Sikhs, Diwali came to have special significance from the day the town of Amritsar was illuminated on the return to it of Guru Hargobind (1595-1644) who had been held captive in the Fort at Gwalior under the orders of the Mughal emperor, Jahangir (1570-1627). As the sixth Guru (teacher) of Sikhism, Guru Hargobind Ji, was freed from imprisonment - along with 53 Hindu Kings (who were held as political prisoners) whom the Guru had arranged to be released as well. After his release he went to the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) in the holy city of Amritsar, where he was welcomed in happiness by the people who lit candles and diyas to greet the Guru. Because of this, Sikhs often refer to Diwali also as Bandi Chhorh Divas - “the day of release of detainees." The festival is also celebrated by Buddhists of Nepal, particularly the Newar Buddhists. In India, Diwali is now considered to be a national festival, and the aesthetic aspect of the festival is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith.
Since I am not celebrating today thank you for letting me share my memories and I will also share some pics I have of the kids that I took a while back. I have so many more and I will make a slide show and post to the blog. Thanks for stopping by and remember to please send some postcards. See post below.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Help educate little kids

My kids are very curious about the world around us. We would like to see how many postcards we can get from people with some facts about where they are from. Can you please mail my kids some postcards and and spread the word. Let's see how many we can get. I will keep you posted and let you know when I receive them. I will keep this going for the rest of the year and try to spread the word around. Please help me with this. You will mail to Pravan and Priyasha Landry 8140 Willow Ranch Trail Reno NV 89523 USA Thank you for helping. Pravan will be taking these into the classroom as he receives them and will share with his class a little about the place that it came from and also point it out on the map. I will have a map in his room and will put thumb tacks on the place that we received one from. I really appreciate your help.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Photo Challenge # 22 S.O.C.C straight out of the camera

For all my buddies that are not part of the photo challenge group please feel free to visit. Okay ladies and Roland. Roland welcome to the group.Here are some shots I got earlier this week. Remember how I complained about mother nature skipping over fall. Well I did not have any good shots of the leaves changing color and displaying its beauty in all all its glory before falling off the trees. I used a snapshot of snow. Well that snowfall was just what the trees needed and we have a spectacular display of fall colors. This is the most vibrant year in Reno and the kids and I had a wonderful fall walk in my most favorite part of town. There is this one house as we walk along the path and these are the pictures of their backyard through a chain link fence. How I wish I could be a swan and live there too. Hope you like these. I will post more pictures of the walk later today.
Also I have one request. My six year old is on a mission to collect postcards and now my daughter is too. We have started a while back and i let them buy a postcard every time we got to a new place. I was wondering if any of you will be willing to mail them a postcard from where you are. I had another friend send one from Australia and my son took it to school and they looked it up on the world map. He was so thrilled and we had to read up on Australia. I want to feed his hunger for the knowledge of the world. Please help me with this. I hope it is okay to post this here. If you can and willing to send one please leave a comment with your e-mail and I will send you my address.
Thank you so much for another wonderful challenge. I loved this one. Let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Conversation with Pravan

Okay my husband spent Saturday with Pravan. They had a date and got ice- cream and did some fun stuff. Well said " Daddy I have a secret to tell you ... Sometimes I like you better than mommy and sometimes I mommy better. Today I like you better ! " Hubby smiled and was happy. When he got home he told me this. I think it is okay that he feels this way. When I tucked him into bed he told me the same secret. I told him that I love him and it was okay to feel that way. Then he said "I do not like you when I remember the bad things you did to me " "What bad things ?" I asked " Like when you yell, not let me watch TV, not eat candy and make me pick up toys." "Okay " I said nodding my head "Oh wait, also when you spank me, embarrass me and hurt my feelings by saying mean things " he added. " I am so sorry for hurting your feelings. Do you forgive me ? " I asked Yes , but I wrote it all down and I have a very good memory. " He said "Where did you write it down ? " " In my mind silly mommy " "okay " I said shocked by what he was saying. " I have also things about you written in my head" I added "Like what mommy ?" " I love when you pick up your toys without me asking, I love when you tell me you appreciate me and love me , I love when you wave to me from the bus. I love that you talk to me and love to snuggle .... " I was then interrupted and he said " I also have a good list for you. I have a bad list and a good list " Somehow my six year old has a balance sheet for his mom. "I have a bad list too " I said " Oh you do, I bet it is so long that you cannot tell me everything on it as I will fall asleep " Pravan giggled " No, honey do you know my bad list is empty" I explained " It is ? Why ? I do bad things and make you mad so your list should be overfilled." he said confused " Well I forgave you for all the things you have done because I love you and I try to focus on the good you do " " Okay but I am not sure if I can erase my bad list, I forgive you but I have a very very good memory so I cannot forget . I'm sorry " He said "It is okay I hope you know that I do my best to raise you and teach you right from wrong and sometimes you will not like my rules but it is for your own good and you will understand when you have your own kids " As a mom myself now I finally appreciate all that my mom did for me. I did not like everything she did or how she did it. Now I know why ? This was a great conversation and his maturity level blows me away and it is hard to remember that he is only six. I hear so often from other moms that they never know what happens in their kids lives. So please take the time to ask questions and be involved. I can only hope that my daughter will be a talker too. I do not always do things right and lately I am learning. I am learning so much more about motherhood. The trial and errors continue and I have chosen to grow along with my kids and as much as it is a very trying, emotionally painful road we will see the bigger picture and I will feel blessed and know my job was well done when they are both grown up and can be where I am today. When they can finally appreciate everything I have done and sacrificed that will make me successful in the most difficult, juggling act there ever could be and that is TO BE A MOM !!!!!!!! Tap yourself on the back and know that you too are doing a wonderful job and building the future of the world one child at a time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

When it rains it pours

No it is not raining in Reno. Well mother nature got a tap on her shoulder and was reminded that she skipped fall and it did not please too many of us. These last few days have been beautiful. We finally have fall colors. The trees along my street have lovely reds, yellows and brown. This is nothing close to the east coast display of colors but mother nature sure can out on one spectacular show of colors.
We walked about half a mile to the new playground that was just built in the golf community where we live. I pulled the wagon with Priyasha and Pravan rode his scooter. Hubby had the morning off to watch football. I in return got the afternoon off and escaped to the scrapbook stores to work on some layouts. Anyway for about a week now my washer has given up and decided not to work. This has happened before and I google the FL error message on my Calypso and gave my hubby directions on how to fix it. We had to tip the washer and look under it and then drain he pipes. As we did that the previous time we discovered that the under wire form on of my bras was stuck in there and created the flood issue. Well we removed that along with some little socks. So yes the washer does really eat socks. If you have some missing then look in the pipe in the washer. Well this time we tried that and we literally had water all over the laundry room. It took three hours to drain the pipes and the water tank. We had to unscrew the hose drain a little , screw it back on and then empty out the pail and repeat. It was back breaking work that sweet hubby took on. We then thought it would be okay and ran the washer again. Well we have the same error message. Now hubby is pissed and exhausted. Luckily for us we have another washer in the garage. We need to drain the washer tonight and make the switch. As if that was not enough today I discovered that the garbage disposal in no longer functioning. Last night I knew I heard a weird sound as I did the dishes. Well I realized there was a plastic fork down the drain and the crunching sound I heard was that fork breaking. Now I will have two issues to fix in order to have a working household again.
Also the gifted and talented group at the school district called and they are going to test Pravan in the spring. If he passes at 98% he will be a part of this intelligent group of kids. I am not sure if I should be excited but I am extremely nervous. I am so nervous about his success in school and life it drives me insane. I feel so consumed with the kids. Well I am so happy when they are happy and when they are successful. I also teach them that mistakes are okay because without them we can never grow or learn.
I did get my workout in this morning as well as hiked on a small mountain close to my house. It has been a busy day. I cooked Indian food for dinner tonight and will make some roti to go with it. All in a day's work. This will be a busy week so I will post more as I find time. Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Terrible, terrible, horrible, no good day very bad day !

If there was a day in my entire motherhood that I was ever completely crushed by my child it would be today. If this is how I get myself to be lazy and sip on a cup of tea then I no longer want a mellow morning. It has been my goal for the entire year to sit on the couch and do nothing after Pravan gets on the bus and every lazy day was an incredibly busy one. My friends all laugh as I seriously cannot relax and slow down.
This morning Pravan and I argued about everything. I was talking to him about making choices and picking the right one. He still can;t seem to get the naked images out of his head and I am scared. I am worried about him being disturbed. I am so freaked out and have no idea how to deal with this. On top of that he says that he cannot get things out of his mind. He can't stop saying bad words. So as I was talking to him he said I can't stop saying bad words in my mind. " Like what ? " He replied. " I can't stop saying shut up mommy !, stupid mommy, what the hell mommy ! "
I was completely devastated. My heart sank so low that I could not even look at him. He walked out the front door and headed for the driveway. I sunk into my chair and tears rolled down my cheek. I had to process all of this. I then got up open the front door and called for him. As he ran toward me he had tears rolling down his cheek and I could tell he was sad and bothered. I asked him why he was crying and here was his response. "Mommy I did not mean those things I was thinking, I just can't stop the mean thoughts and I know it was wrong, just make it go away. I am so sorry for hurting your feelings " I have always told Pravan that it was worse to disappoint me than it was to make me mad and finally he undestood what that meant. He melted my heart because he is a great kid and now has some issues after being exposed to a few rotten apples. Well it is a cruel world and I cannot protect him and keep him in a bubble.
He got on the bus and I just layed on the couch and let Priyasha watch cartoons. It was her lucky day. Finally she asked me " mommy why are you sad ? " I said don't worry about it. " Did brother hurt your feelings ? " she questioned. I gave her a hug and then we played for a little. That was so sweet and she is so in tune with everything going on. I could not stop feeling hurt and sad. I made an appointment with Dr Colombo and pulled Pravan out of school. Some may think I am over reacting and maybe I was but my friend Suzanne said " You are in shock as you have perfect kids " That was a powerful statement and I had to think about that. That was an incredibly wonderful compliment and she was right. She was so sweet and watched Priyasha so I could focus at the doctor's office.
The paediatrician talked with Pravan and told him that if he spoke his bad thoughts then no body would like him and that it would hurt peoples feelings as well. He also told him that body parts are private and we need to respect that and what he witnessed was a wrong thing and he was right in reporting it tot he teacher and to me. He also told him that he was not in trouble and that privacy is an important thing and we all have the same parts. It meant a lot coming from Dr. Colombo as Pravan looks up to him. I do not think I could have explained all this as well as the doctor did nor would it have carried as much weight coming from me. I knew seeing the doctor was the right thing to do.
Yesterday when we were int he grocery store Pravan commented loudly about a few ladies that were within hearing distance about the size of their butts. Another time I wanted to dig a hole and die. luckily the woman did not respond. They shot me dagger eyes though. I grabbed the kids and ran the other way. As we left the store there was a police car in the parking lot. I had a genius idea. If I scare my kid then he will stop this non sense. I walked over and as soon as I did I wished I had not . " What can I do for you mam ? " He asked in gruff voice. He was a big guy and was so stern. I quivered with fear and felt like a tiny marshmallow. " I have a problem with my son and if I tole you what it was can you talk to him ? " I asked with a shaky voice. " How old is your son ? " " Six " I said. " No mam, that is not a police issue, it is a parenting issue " All I could hear him say was " You are a bad mother , you need to deal with whatever the issue is . Well I did not know at that time but knew that if someone with authority could talk to him it would get better. Well the next person in line was hi doctor and I think it helped Pravan understand his feelings better.
The doctor also told me that he can see the fear and concern in my face and that I needed to relax. Any ideas on how I can . I swear i am going to get a heart attack as I worry more than I need to. He also told me to walk away with the positive from this and that was the fact that my six year old is so mature. He is mature enough to control his thoughts. We all have bad thoughts and he is normal, observant and growing. The doctor is right. Pravan is still a perfect wonderful child and he is normal. I feel better too. I will distract him when he talks about stuff he is thinking and when he talks about butts etc. It could be worse he could be yelling those nasty tings to me and mean them but he is not. Well it has been a long, trying emotional day. I treated Pravan to a fruit smoothie after the doctor and I re-assured him that I love him and appreciate his honesty. I feel blessed that I have a child that is so open and tells me everything. If this continues I will have to embrace myself as he will tell me things I may not want to know. Thank you for following my trial and error in motherhood. Please suggest ways for me to relax...

Album I created

Here is a sample of the album I made for Alexandra. I whipped it up on Wednesday morning. It was a lot of fun to create. I used several Technique Tuesday stamps, stickles, flowers, ribbons and a paper pack with great colors. Alexandra has two boys so I wanted it to look a little masculine for her to add pictures of the favorite men in her life.