LiNo’s Libros: Matilda

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Matilda. I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since I became an aunt. It claims the top spot on my list of favorite children’s books, and even made the cut of my top ten books of all time.

Lily is going to see the musical this week, so we read it together before she saw it live.

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Booh and Tim had already read it to her a few years ago, but that didn’t deter me. Or her. Or Roald — whose name I’ve apparently been saying wrong my entire life. Don’t mind me.

We sped through this one, faster than all LiNo’s choices before it.

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I still got the funny views during our Facetime sessions. This was the first time we used the same edition, which was also fun.

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Now on to our questions — perhaps her funniest bits yet.

Lily’s Questions:

1. Do you think Mr. Wormwood even got a degree?

M: Maybe he got a degree in sales?

L: That doesn’t explain why he cheats. Remember when he said “Why would you want to go to university?” My answer is N-O. Because he just cheats.

2. If the Trunchbull was your aunt, what would her aunt name be?

M: Instead of NoNo, it might be NO NO, or Auntie Aggie.

L: I’d just call her “Aunt” when she’s around, but with my friends she’s “The Bull” (note to self, find out what she calls me to her friends)

3. If you could rename The Red House, what would it be?

L: I picked The Rose House.

M: Happy Home!

4. If you had a magic power, what would it be?

L: I’d shape shift.

M: I’d multiply myself to get more accomplished every day.

L: Oh yeah, like 1% here, 1% in Miami and 1% that’s yourself. Like you’re a holographic image with a mind of its own. Or you’d produce huge gusts of wind to play instruments.

5. If you were Matilda, what would your pranks be? Pick 3.

M: I’ll tell you three real pranks I’ve done. First is when we were younger, your mom and I convinced Ubie that to become a fairy, we had to put magic in his hair, so we put weeds, dirt and bugs all over his head. Second…I like to tell lies that are jokes. Just ask Mikey Joe. Third, one time I hid my backpack when I got home from school so your mom wouldn’t know I was there. What about you?

L: For the first prank, I’d make the house haunted with loud sounds while I’m invisible as a shape-shifter. My second one is, when my parents are asleep, I’d put glitter glue in their hair just for the fun of it. Then the last one would be pranking my parents into thinking there had been a robbery. I’d leave muddy footprints in the hall and out the front door, draw tire tracks, hide something rare, and then take the phone so they can’t call the police. Oh, I’d also take the car keys.

M: Well, that’s elaborate.

NoNo’s Questions

1. Roald Dahl plays with words when naming his characters, like Wormwood, Trunchbull and Miss Honey. Based on the names I’ve made up, how would you describe these characters?

Agnus Mudhaven

L: feisty, middle-aged, messy, a reader

Caroline Sweetwater

sweet, kind, also feisty and likes to travel

Oliver Scabby

also feisty, good moods/bad moods, mostly in-between, angers easily

Boris Bearton

into hunting and a football fan

Lily C****** (her name)

smart, nice, a bit bossy, reader and loves school

2. *Spoiler Alert* What did you think when the twist was revealed that the Trunchbull was Miss Honey’s aunt?

L: Nothing, I was calm. My mom says I don’t have a heart.

Booh: I only said that because you didn’t cry when Sirius died in Harry Potter. (okay, another spoiler alert)

3. How would you have changed the ending?

L: I would have liked an epilogue of when Matilda grows up and goes to college and becomes a famous librarian.

M: I wanted her parents to have a change of heart and not abandon her.

L: I like them without a heart, in a good kind of way.

4. Give the book a new title.

L: The Magician

M: Brains and the Boss

5. How are you like Matilda and how are you different?

L: We both like books and libraries, but my parents like me. And I don’t live in England.

Next up: Fablehaven!

Past LiNo’s Libros:

Nancy Drew and the Mystery at Lilac Inn

The BFG

The Indian in the Cupboard

# seventh anniversary: caramelized rice krispies

Whew! Seven years. A lot has happened during that time, but I’m thankful to say there’s no itch — unless you count our mutual itch to get outta Wyoming.

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Our actual anniversary last month fell on a day when I was still reeling from a virus and drugged to the max, but it didn’t stop us. We made the most of it by once again trying to find the craziest burger in town. Last year we had burgers on doughnuts, and this year I found a veggie burger that used grilled cheese sandwiches (plural) for buns.

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It was decadent and fun and confusing and delicious. The brewery we visited also had homemade pretzel bites and Joe got to sample a few of their beers. Alas, they were all out of their peanut butter beer and I was too medicated to have any anyway.

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But, the best part of any anniversary is the dessert. I didn’t find any inspiration from our anniversary-year gift themes (cooper and wool), but did find incredible inspiration from a new cookbook my aunt had sent me the week before: Hello, My Name is Ice Cream.

One look at Blue Ribbon Chocolate with Peanut Butter Ribbon, Brownie Bites and Caramelized Rice Krispies and I was completely and utterly sold. Aren’t you?

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Lucky for me/you/us, you can make all of the mix-ins in advance and just assemble when you churn the ice cream. Perfect for any sickly wife trying to make it happen. First, a little layer of your extras…

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…until you have everything together. (With a little of everything left over to use as toppings.)

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It was pure magic. I always,Β always say this, but one of my favorite ice creams I’ve ever made.

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Here’s what it looks like on day three, when you scoop it right out of the container without any toppings.

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It was so full of flavor.

I’m a sucker for brownie bites in my ice cream, but these rice krispies stole the show. They are completely transformed by just a little sugar and salt. I couldn’t believe how easy they were to make and how much they added to the dish. They are like the world’s best ice cream croutons.

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Joe and I both agreed that we loved them more as toppings instead of folded into the ice cream. The longer they sit enveloped by the cream, the softer they become. They still taste good, but lose the edge of that crunch you covet. What’s awesome, is that you keep them in the freezer for a month, so they are ready whenever you need them. Β And, believe me, you need them.

Bonus: Getting featured on the author’s What’s Your Flavor site!

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Caramelized Rice Krispies

Source: Hello, My Name is Ice Cream

1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbs. water
1 tsp. salt
3 1/4 c. Rice Krispies

Place the sugar, water and salt in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar crystals dissolve.

As soon as the bubbles slow down in the syrup and it reaches 240-degrees on a kitchen thermometer, remove it from heat and add the Rice Krispies all at once. Stir gently to coat with the syrup. Remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring until the syrup around the cereal pieces begins to turn white and crystallize.

Pour the krispies out onto a sheet pan and spread gently with a spatula. Let cool enough to handle, about 2 minutes, and then gently start tossing them with your hands to break up any large clumps.

Allow them to cool completely, then gather them into an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to one month.

# tulsa trip – swim day

After Memaw’s party, I had fun-filled sleepover with Superman and his sister…

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…before we had a swim day at my Dad’s.

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Rowan is no stranger to his dad being funny…

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…but he finally witnessed one of our Les Mis sing-a-longs. I think the nose squeeze means stop singing.

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While my dad prepared the massive, delicious feast…

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…we had music lessons around the piano.

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And then it was time to eat and swim! Β I let Lily, the family fish, play with the GoPro.

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Linc’s a little guppy.

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Sisters from other misters.

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Loved my quick trip all of the family I got to see. Heart is full!

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# tulsa trip – memaw’s birthday

Last month I made a quick 48-hour trip to Tulsa to celebrate my Memaw’s 86th birthday. All she wanted was family and the best BBQ in Tulsa. Wish granted!

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That morning, Bryan and I made hummingbird cupcakes decorated like roses (her favorite flower) while having a major dance-off to entertain Rowan.

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When you haven’t seen the littles in a few months, you get attacked at the door.

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A happy birthday girl…

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…and a happy YaYa with all her grands.

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Before we ate, Bryan and Robbi gave Memaw the best gift she could have asked for and then we dug in. Didn’t take long to clear the decks.

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Here’s the hostest with the mostest.

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Love these ladies…

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…and LOVE going through old photos and hearing stories.

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It was so much fun just all being together. Lots of hugs from my favorite littles…

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…Rowan with his aunts sporting his Amber Alert face…

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…how is this one so grown up??

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Sibling love with a side of Aunt love.

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Happy cousins.

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Team Cupcake.

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A few group shots. We were missing some, but so happy to be together. Oh, the laughter when this group converges.

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Happy birthday to our matriarch, our rock. We love you!