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When I read this article, I feel angry. How's that for an I-statement? I think it's because I have encountered so many "christian" men who are sexist. And male martial artists who are sexist. And now this church is seemingly putting the TWO good ole boys clubs together! In one package! I mean, really. I wonder if this female martial artist who occasionally ventures into full contact sparring would be welcome at that school. Or that church. If the church has, in fact, been feminized--which I'm not sure is true--perhaps it's for the best and now the pendulum will swing to equality. I'm especially annoyed because one of those guys is an instructor at my school and is also, I'm almost certain, a member of my church which is normally a place that encourages diversity and equality. I don't know him except by sight or else I'd call him out on his matriarchy is what's killing the church crap. Seriously? Turn it around--weak men, not matriarchy. And, besides. Matriarchy is killing the church? I can think of a heck of a lot of other things that are killing the church.

I do have something fun to link. Most of you have probably already seen this but I also have an article in the paper. If you go to our family blog, you'll find links to both the short and long versions of the article. Ironically, my martial artist spotlight is linked on the same page as the I am Man, Hear Me Roar article.

holiday recap

Well, we had a good holiday! I hope everyone else did, too. Christmas Eve went better than expected with my family. We had low to no expectations (al-anon style!) so it wasn't hard to get over our bar, lol. Christmas was really great. My mom came over and we had breakfast together and opened gifts. Then Mike, Autumn and I lounged around all day and then we did Christmas night with Mike's family who arrived that evening and stayed until New Year's Day.

We got out like bandits again. My gift of awesomeness this year was from Mike's dad--he got me an HD Flip camera. Too, it's extra cool because he went out and got it for me, haha. I also got some clothes, the paper towel holder I've been wanting, and a bunch of makeup. I mean, I felt super spoiled. Mike and I went a little small this year because of the bed bug thing (did I tell you about that??) but still got me the best gifts: some books I've been wanting and some new chocolates to sample. I got him a plug in personal fan for his office and a Sigg water bottle. plus some black milk tea that I had to scour the city to find.

Our New Year's Brunch was possibly one of the best events we have given. Everyone found someone to talk to, the food got a lot of compliments, and everyone who stayed after ending time were people we like. My only notes for next year are:

-more bacon and sausage
-fewer biscuits and muffins by about a dozen each
-the muffins and biscuits froze and thawed on the counter overnight perfectly (recipes: 1, 2, 3)
-4 quiches is perfect for 40-50 people
-this hash brown recipe is AMAZING. People absolutely raved over it--I was able to layer it and use half milk and half cream in it. I had my doubts but tried it out over Christmas and wow.
-this apples and granola recipe was exactly what I wanted. Both recipes quadrupled to almost exactly the right amount we needed.

walk0nthe0cean  sent me an awesome looking breakfast casserole recipe that I might add next year. I ended up doing the hash browns because I wanted one more thing without meat but apparently we had more carnivores than I expected so having two potato dishes and one with meat in it might not be a bad thing.

So, all in all, a good holiday. I am a little glad to be back on schedule, though. Especially for Autumn's sake. Too many nights of staying up too late was starting to make us all crazy. :P


Looks like there will be a number of kids at the party. One baby. The rest will be between 5 and 12, I think. So, I believe I'll be bringing back two things that we have done at former parties--the media room and the kid room. We'll play movies in Mike's office and put a few chairs or sitting pillows in there--that can be for people either to get away from the group or for the kids to watch. And I think I'll set up a coloring table or something in Autumn's room. Mike's parents have a kid sized picnic table I can borrow for that. Some of you guys host parties with kids and adults mixed so I thought I'd check in and see if you had any good ideas for me on how to keep mom and dad and kids happy. Believe it or not, this is the first time I've had such a kid/adult mix...right now the evite count is at 15 adults, 1 kid. I'm pretty sure both numbers will be going up over the next week. I think we're still fine food-wise. Breakfast food is breakfast food. :P Well, some kids won't eat quiche, I guess. Autumn loves the stuff. But even if quiche isn't "kid-approved" I'm sure donuts and muffins are, lol.


The bank my sister works at was robbed today.


She fine, thank goodness.

menu planning

So I have my menu kind of planned because last year's was so successful. I changed a couple of things. Baked apples are new this year. I didn't like the hash brown casserole I made last year so it's gone. Do any of you have a good make ahead breakfast potato recipe? Even being able to make it the night before would be nice. Also, is there a kind of breakfast cheese you like? Other than cream cheese and cheddar?

How's this menu look?

quiche (x4) (pedestal/pie server)
apples and granola (chafing set/serving spoon)
fresh fruit (clear AC bowl)
biscuits (x60) (basket)
muffins (x84) (basket)
hash browns (chafing set/serving spoon)
gravy (chafing set/gravy spoon)
bacon and sausage (chafing dish/tongs)

juice, coffee, milk, cocoa, water, tea (3 pitchers, borrow carafe?, coffee pot, stove/ladle)

chocolate fountain—donuts, biscotti, fruits, pretzels, marshmallows, oreos (tower)

blackberry and peach jelly (crystal cups/spoons)
butter (AC plate, server)

I need to buy:
plate, cups, napkins, utensils (done)

I feel like I got the breads, meats, eggs, fruits thing covered plus the chocolate fountain stuff which we are doomed to have every year, lol.


I'm trying to think of cute wording for our new year invites. I think I went through this last year and ended up not writing anything special. I want to think of something along the lines of having toasted in the new year and now we get the new year off to a perfect start surrounded by friends. Any ideas? There aren't many new year's brunch invites out there, unfortunately.

Also, let me know if you want a Christmas card! I should have most of your addresses. If you think I don't or just want to confirm, email me at pocketninja80 at gmail dot com.

ps--I think we're going to do a photo booth this year!
We're going to do thanksgiving with mike's family like always. I asked my mom if we were doing anything this weekend because in the past we've gotten together on Saturday. Or she at least would let me know that they were doing Tday without me. This year I hadn't heard anything. When I asked, she told me she invited my brother and sister over to her house. She said, and I quote, "I didn't know what was going on so I just invited them for Thanksgiving." Wait, what? You didn't know what was going on? So why didn't you just ask? I actually don't mind not doing anything with my family. But it would have been nice to have been asked to come over.

I know I'm the least favorite among all my family members. I just hate being reminded.

I see the light!

This business thing has been incredibly consuming but the good news is that there's a light at the end of the tunnel! I've started listing things, at last. :P Right now I only have waterproof labels and return address labels but by Wednesday I should also have bag tags and note cards. Next week I am hoping to have family calling cards. Whew! Here's the store link:


Christy is working on an alphabet right now. I'm pretty excited about that. I'm not sure I'm going to get many wipes cases on the site before Christmas. I have one damask one that I am not happy with. I might list it for a discount just to recoup the supply costs. I'm halfway done with one that is really, really cute. I need to get the other side done. It'll probably be after Christmas before I get much sewing on the site but we'll see!


Aikido schools generally belong to associations to maintain the link between us and Japan. It's one of the cool and kinda hard things about being an aikido school.

Because of Stephan's rank, we have to have a sponsor to belong to our association. He isn't 3rd Dan yet. He ought to be but there's other stuff there and he doesn't care enough to wade through the politics to make it happen. I kinda wish he did but that's another story.

We've been paying our parent school and their dojo cho an unholy amount of money to sponsor us. I wanted to bail when he started what I consider extorting us but Stephan has history with the guy so Stephan decided to pay the stupid fee. Keep in mind that stephan and i barely make enough to cover rent at this stage in the school's development. Well. Got an email from the administrator of our association. Our dojo sponsor? He's left the association. AND DIDN'T TELL US. AAARRRGGHHHH.

I don't know what we're going to do. But I'll tell you what I told Stephan--this smells like freedom to me. Either we get into the association on our own merit or we go to another, like the one that has told us we could come in free and clear and that I know would not meddle as much as our dojo sponsor did.

A Dialogue

Hey, Mike, is there Animal Crossing for the DS? Can I have it for Christmas?

Uhhhhh, what?

Does that mean you got it for me already? Or that it's bad?


I walk to my desk a few minutes later and lo and behold, there's the game.

Whoa, how long have we had this?



Sharaze, you've
played it.

For real? It must not have been any good because I totally don't remember.