Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where are you Christmas?

Is Christmas over.... really?
How did it fly by soooooooooo fast?!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nutter Butter Santa's

First official day off school and my kids are already bored. I whipped out the melting chocolates & some goodies and we did these little cuties today to keep them busy! It was pretty fun getting covered with chocolate.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Just wanted to think about the traditions that my mom and dad shared with me and my older brothers at Christmas all during my childhood...
*Driving around looking at Christmas lights wrapped in blankets, singing Christmas carols minus any male voices who usually protested, then returning home to have egg nog and pretending I liked it because everyone else did.
*Making cookies while the classic Christmas songs blasted on our old record player.
*Hanging Christmas cards on the back of our front door.
*Christmas Eve at my Grandma's house with all my cousins.
*Christmas morning ritual... wake up mom and dad, wait at the top of the stairs while mom and dad "check" to see if Santa came (they turn on tree lights).

Now I am grown and married and creating traditions for my own children, some new, some recycled...
*Decorate a gingerbread house (my son gets to shoot it up with his paintball gun on New Years Eve, his favorite part).
*Mattress Surfing (no snow here for sledding).
*Hang our Christmas cards on the back of the front door.
*Christmas Eve... we eat a Steak dinner by candlelight/Christmas light. We drive around town wrapped in blankets looking at Christmas lights and listening to music (returning home for hot chocolate). Watch "Scrooge" and "It's a Wonderful Life" while baking and decorating cookies.
*Christmas Day... up before the sun with excited kids (tree lights on a handy timer). Open gifts, eat lot's of candy. Watch A Christmas Story then go out for our Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra Chinese Christmas dinner. Read the story of Christs birth from the book of Luke.

It's almost here!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas...

I love this plaque. Any idea's on how I could get my kids to agree with it?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Words of Wisdom...

Just to share a great quote I heard
from the movie KUNG FU PANDA as my kids were watching it in the car the other day....

Yesterday was the past, tomorrow will be the future, today is a GIFT and that's why it is called the PRESENT.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holy Holidays Batman!

Christmas because its so jam packed with activities! Holy cow. There is a love hate relationship there for me. Occasionally it gets a bit too busy but this year I am determined to find a balance.

Chloe's Christmas Choir concert is over (pictures). So fun, very cute group of kids 3-5 grades in that and one was the most fantastically unusual Scrooge. Good laugh and lots of holiday spirit. I am so grateful that its still ok here to bring up the birth of our Savior, our last school district forbid any mention of it.

It is most definitely December and busy busy busy! I am so excited and overwhelmed at this time of year but trying really hard to be jolly with a cold. I am trying hard to remember the real reason for the season and to make wonderful memories for the kids. Another memorable part of this season will be that we mark my father in laws 90th Christmas! Today is his 90th birthday, a pretty fantastic milestone.

Missing my parents this time of year! I am going to work on having them here next Christmas for all the festivities, I don't think I can go another year without my Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let the Thanksgiving recovery begin....


Thanksgiving was....well it is almost over, still have a few out of town stragglers for the next couple of days. I'm exhausted! I had to find my happy place a couple of times and went on a few hikes. Yes, there were paintball wars, irritating relatives, both serious and happy conversations, tears, singing, food maximus, puking, and pretty much nonstop chaos. Saw New Moon FINALLY!!!! So excited, I wanna go again!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This is a little episode I want to document because it's a memorable moment...

Sadie, 4 yrs old, is crying in backyard.
Chloe, 8 yrs old, is hugging her and speaking in that I WARNED YOU voice of hers.
Me: "Chloe, did you make her cry?"
Sadie: "Chloe was mean to me Momma!"
Me: "What? Your usually so nice to her Chloe, what is up with that?"
Chloe: "I'm sorry Mom, but I've been holding the mean stuff in for so long, I finally just had to let a little out."
Me... speechless (and trying not to laugh).
Thinking in my head... Oh honey, I understand. I often feel that same way with your Father.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A great little holiday video to watch if u have time...

"And ye shall thank the Lord thy God in ALL things..."!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Random Thought

These are just a few of the random thoughts going through my head today.... because it's cheaper than seeing a therapist.

1. Yes, I did forget the visit from the tooth fairy last night. My excuse to Chloe was that her room was so messy that the tooth fairy probably couldn't find the tooth so we should clean up tonight and try again. I do feel kind of bad for that little slip... because it's not the first time. Also, when did the tooth fairy start bringing a dollar bill plus a little toy? The neighbor got a Little Pet Shop animal when she lost her tooth so Chloe was sure to point that out to me. Seriously gonna thank that Mom for the over expectation she planted in my daughters head.

2. I don't want to go to the grocery store but on Mondays the kids have pretty much cleaned us out over the weekend and leave things pretty bare. It's cold, I just wanna stay inside.

3. Where did all this laundry come from? On Friday it was all done and I was so proud of myself. Now, the battle with the laundry beast begins again.

4. I need more friends. I need girls to do things with from time to time. I need girl talk and fun away from the kids on occasion. I seem to have them, just not close ones I can spill my guts to. I wonder why most of my friends are virtual these days, does that even count?

5. I'd like to stop sneezing soon. Really... this is getting crazy. Achoooo.

6. Why do I have such a bad attitude about the upcoming holiday? Oh yeah, it must have something to do with the fact that I've done it so many times before. I actually feel really good about being difficult this year and not helping at all with anything. Completely do NOT care. Like last year, all the planning I did and all the food I bought (not cheap) and then the last day of guests somebody lost their temper over something and all the effort I put forth to make things perfect came crashing down around me. My bubble was burst and still is. For some reason that really hurt me and I thought I was tough. I should forgive and move on but I think that is gonna take another year.

7. No Money... need I say more. What is Christmas gonna be like? Do I need to get a job? I haven't had an out of the house job since before my son was born 15 yrs ago. Not an impressive resume.

That's pretty much it. Nothing profound. I just needed to get that off my chest early in the week and move on. Here's to happiness!

Today I am grateful for:
A warm house
Healthy kids

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I received a call last week from my daughter Chloe's teacher telling me that she was going to be getting a "Hero Hunt" award at school. She wanted me to know so I could be there to watch and only a few kids from each grade get them. I was so excited for her. The school was assembled and grade by grade they called students up to get their honor. Kids were jumping up when their names were called, all very excited. (They do these assemblies once a month at this school).

When they got to 3rd grade, they called my daughters name as well as another little girls name that is in her class, but there was silence, no one jumped up. No Chloe. I'm thinking like a grumpy mom does, what is wrong? Isn't she listening, why isn't she going up there! Then her teacher walked over to her and grabbed her hand and lead her up to the front. She stood up and followed her and then I saw the reason.

Chloe's other hand, the one not holding on to her teacher, was attached to her friend who is handicapped & delayed. The same girl she helps all the time at school and loves so unconditionally. Both Chloe and that girl were called and Chloe was NOT going to go up without her friend!! This girl didn't want to go up front because she was being shy.

The gym was silent, everyone paused. I choked back tears. What a sweet thing to do, what a sweet and devoted friend, and how selfless of her to stay put until she had her friend along to accept this honor. I was so proud, but not that she was chosen... more about how she accepted. She truly is a hero.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pecan Tarlettes

Here they are... yummy. If you enjoy pecan pie, these are your new best friends. It made my house smell like Christmastime. Ahhhhhh..... love it!

This is my assistant, still in her pj's... that's how we bake at our house. She is holding our "tamper" which I never used before this recipe. It's so much fun to use!

First, you make a small dough ball and put it in our greased tart pan....

Then the assistant takes her FLOURED tamper and squishes the ball until the sides of it come up the the top of the pan. Flour after each press into the dough!

Then we bake the "shells" for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Then take the pan out of the oven.
Spoon the filling into each tart and bake again for 10-12 minutes .

Here is the recipe if you'd like to try!

Pecan Tartlettes:
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar............mix
1 egg white...........beat by hand to fluff
1 1/4 cup flour
Bake 325 for 10 minutes, remove and add filling:
2 eggs
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans.
Bake at 325 an extra 10-12 minutes.

***FYI: I double the crust batter because the filling goes a long way!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Big Day

My Butterfly....

My Dark, but glamorous fairy...

The Black Cat...

The bottles I made for halloween bowling with pumpkins (that we never used)

Trying to do a better face painting than I did for her the day of her school party...

Striking a pose...

On their way trick or treating.... Sprayed them all with sparkles, husband too.

My trick or treaters... only 3 this year. My oldest hung out with his gang of buddies :( He is not a fan of candy these days, not attractive to the ladies to have candy bar face! It was a nice warm evening here though which I am grateful for! The littler kids went out and had a good time. I stayed and passed out candy from home. The kids picked out really simple costumes this year. SO simple I almost felt like a bad mom! I have a whole box of fancy costumes and they just wanted wings and ears so I guess I got off easy but I'm not complaining! On to Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Spirit

A few pictures from my 8 yr old who definitely has the Halloween spirit. She LOVES to draw and oh baby does she love Halloween.

"Leave" it simple!

I love to decorate for the fall holidays. My big thing this year is to do it on the cheap so I chose things that do double or triple duty by covering autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. My way of doing this is by using fall things such as pine cones, leaves, acorns, squash, gourds, and pumpkins. All of that passes nicely for Thanksgiving well after Halloween is over. Makes sense to me! I do have a few things that I put on our porch for Halloween that are definitely only for Halloween because it's fun for the kids but inside I stay simple, just add and subtract a few things from the porch and our fireplace mantle. The above are just a few ideas that I put up around my home. Now I'm done until after Thanksgiving and don't mind these decorations at all for a few months.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I had a few ladies over today for lunch with my neighbor as a guest of honor. She is really going through some tough stuff. She has moved and it is just hitting me how different things are going to be without that little family down the street. She and her family are still in town but not as conveniently close as 3 doors down.

I was really struggling as to what I could do to help her. She has never asked for any help and does things quick and secretly so no one will figure it out and come to help. It just hit me that I needed to just get a group of her friends together and shower her with love. I hope she felt our love and concern today. I was left with a big rock in my stomach because of how worried I am for her. Once in a while we all have to endure a really tough farewell.

I made a good comfort food though! If you need comforting, try it. It reminds me a bit of the soups at Olive Garden but more home style.

Tortellini Soup:
2 tbsp olive oil
add 1 medium onion, diced.
1 Roll of mild sausage, such as Jimmy Dean. Then cook sausage and onion in same pan, breaking apart sausage into small bits then add:
6 cups of chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp each: dried basil, oregano, and black pepper
Bring to a boil, stirring often.
1 package of refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini (approx 19 oz)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach cut into small strips
Boil about 5 minutes uncovered before serving.

(I like to sprinkle cheese on the top of individual bowls also). Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fabulous Four

Sadie turned 4 years old yesterday! It's amazing how fast those years have gone by! We had such a great day. She had a speech test in the morning then I took her for lunch and ate outside by a fountain at a place she likes.

We came home and decorated and wrapped presents and then 4 of us took her to the Corn Maze and petting farm. We had lots of fun running through the corn and trying to lose Christian but that big brother always found us. We came home and ate dinner and then had cake and ice cream. WARNING: Never buy a cake with navy blue frosting (we all had blue teeth after which was pretty funny. Really funny to see 90 yr olds smiling with blue stains. Not so fun for any of us to get rid of).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Spooky Root Beer

If you want to try this I would advise you that it makes a lot of Rootbeer. It's a lot different than the rootbeer you buy on the shelf, not as carbonated, but we had such a fun time making it!

Added this whole bottle of extract (that we just bought at the grocery store) with 5 gallons of water and 5 lbs of sugar. We used our tall drink thermos container with the spout at the bottom. Then we added 6 lbs of dry ice, which you need to make sure to not touch or have the kids touch with their bare hands or it will hurt really bad (just a reminder). Also, when the dry ice is added it starts to bubble like crazy so do NOT cover until all the bubbling stops.
Bottoms up!!!
Oh, and if you want to try something different, we also did this with vanilla extract (same amounts of sugar and dry ice) instead of rootbeer and made some killer cream soda!


Six months ago my son undertook some community service to achieve his Boy Scout Eagle award. It definitely wasn't an easy task. It takes a minimum of 70 hrs of service and a bunch of paperwork. I think my son put in 115 hours on this project, almost enough for 2 awards. We received an invitation in the mail to a celebration of the completion of the Heritage Center. He painted the inside of the center which took a full week. It took a couple groups of people to complete the outside. All of those who worked on the undertaking were honored at a picnic the other day and my sons name is on a plaque inside the building. After doing this project with the forest service he seems really interested in working for them someday but must be 18 first I guess. Here are some pictures from the event.

In front of the Heritage Center.... brrrr.

These fine people work for the Forest Service.

The head of the area Forest Service presenting Christian with a book of the area.

This Forest Service guy (Jake) that helped Christian set things up with the Heritage Center. Please note the fine paint job in the background. He did all the rooms, cupboards, and ceilings.

The plaque with his name on it (that they mispelled as Christen instead of Christian).
Oh well, we know what they meant.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Frozen HOT Chocolate

What a delicious contradiction!
It's an icy, cold fall treat. I watched a review of a restaurant in NYC that specializes in this (the name of the place is Serendipity), so I had to try it for myself and now we are hooked. I'll post the recipe but just for your information, you can go to Dairy Queen and get these too. They are not on the menu but they make them and DANG they are good. HOT hot chocolate always upsets my stomach so I like it in the frozen form ALOT. Yummm....

There are a lot of recipes for this on the internet, but my version is simpler.
Try this...

Add to a blender-
2 scoops of powdered hot chocolate mix
1 cup of crushed ice
1 cup of milk
1 spoonful of hot fudge topping (from the jar)
1 cup of vanilla bean ice cream OR 1/2 cup marshmallow cream
(if its too strong add more ice, ice cream, milk til it's to your liking)

Blend it up and top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate if desired. Easy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Look what I found!!!

This book may not mean anything to most people, but to me it was my favorite book as a child. The pictures have stood out vividly all these years in my mind. I remember reading these books every time I got to the library when I was young. I loved them so much. I found them online after years of looking because I could NOT remember the title. I stumbled across them and ordered 3 of the series.

If you aren't familiar with these, and they are OLD so you probably aren't, but they are so sweet. They are books told with beautiful photographs of a doll and her adventures. It makes me so happy to read them with my girls. They are enjoying them too which is so much fun for me. Here is a look inside...The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Good Eats

My new favorite salad...
Try it!


Mixed Greens
Sliced Strawberries
Walnuts (sugar coated are good in this)
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Thinly Sliced Purple Onion (optional)
Any Pink or Red Wine Vinagaerette

Mix it all up with some dressing. YUM!

I wish I had a picture but I had to eat it ASAP!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rose Colored Glasses

Life has been kicking me in the backside lately. One thing to tackle after another. I am witnessing miracles among the madness however, which is the best I could hope for. In typical (goofy) ME fashion, when faced with gray times, I go on a quest of sorts, searching my life for SOMETHING, anything uplifting... and I always find some morsel of hope!

My daughter is doing better on some medication for her extreme anxiety. Never a fan of medication, yet there comes a point when you've tried everything else and it's time to bite the bullet. She has reacted marvelously to it... making me wonder WHY I waited so long to get my happy, singing, sweet, hugging, sleeping daughter back again. Man, how I missed her. The miracle of modern medicine.

Then there is my always eventful (almost) 16 yr old. He is always getting himself into situations. Sometimes he has NO idea how dangerous they are. On Monday, he was thrown off a four wheel ATV and into/over some barbed wire. He was knocked up pretty good, scratched and ripped, and really sore and miserable. In the car the other day he told me that he was still in shock from the whole accident. He had been on those machines (we do not own any) many times with his friends and had never had anything like this happen. Then he paused and said, "I should have landed on top of some sharp boulders, I came down on my back Mom. When I opened my eyes I was laying on the ground in a clearing, surrounded by those rocks and I was expecting to be paralyzed or broken, but I could move." To me, that is a miracle. He got UP and walked for help (he was the rear man in the line of boys on the machines). The boy must have guardian angels working overtime these days. You KNOW Mom is on her knees for my kids asking for that!

The picture at the top is not one I took but I saw those "God Ray's" yesterday... the sun breaking through a storm cloud, it's rays beaming down like long, golden fingers. My eyes filled with tears. Even in stormy times, light can always reach us, God's love can always reach us. I needed that.

The list of amazing things goes on and on. I have to search for the positive in day to day life. Sometimes it's overshadowed and stunk out by the garbage. We all have to stand up and walk for help when our problems are bigger than we can manage. This is why I value prayer so much as my life line. So glad I have never given up my prescription and use for those rose colored glasses as well. They keep perspective and I sure don't know what I would do without them.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Almost Sixteen

It's way more fun to watch my boy be almost 16 then to remember being that age myself.

My son and his friends are sophomores. The first year of high school here. It's also the year that all the buddies are starting to drive and get licenses, jobs, dates, and think about the big dances. Scary times in my own life as I remember back at that age, but also really exciting. Lot's of drama at that age weither your a boy or a girl... oh how I remember.

The boys come home and eat at our house every day. Thank goodness for frozen burritos. I look forward to it. I love to hear there conversations and get into their world a little. Yesterday they talked about punk rock and how it would be if our bodies were jointed like a barbie and how whacky we would move. That was funny to watch.

Today the conversation was way more serious, centered around President Obama. They discussed how they were going to have to listen to Obama talk on Tuesday at school and how they were all supposed to be Obama-bots from the "indoctrination talk". They also said how they were not keen on having that guy lead the charge in having the government take over their freedom. Interesting, I thought they were all ruled by hormones at that age, they still have a little room in their brains to contemplate anything that affects their future.

Good for you boys for caring so much and wanting a say in that future of yours and not just about the girls you'll see on the weekend. No matter what your political viewpoint, it is GREAT to see the next generation being concerned and wanting to be involved in a time when our country is in such fluctuation with things changing so quickly.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Great to Be 8!!

Chloe posing for her baptism picture. Tomorrow is her big day!