- Puking - well, not anymore. I had the flu, or ate something weird, or just had some sort of 24 hour thing. So, I'm no longer puking, just weak.
- Reading - I'm trying to read 18,000 pages this year for my second best year ever. I just started the new Harry Potter book (The Tales of Beedle Bard) in order to reach this goal.
- Ugly Betty: The Complete Second Season is due back at the library Saturday and I'm only about halfway through.
- For Christmas I got Jed three boxsets of movies: the Bourne trilogy, the Spiderman trilogy and the Oceans trilogy (or as Jed has been calling it, Oceans 36).
- Writing out a grocery list since I haven't been grocery shopping since before Christmas... I'm pretty sure.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
But then there's always the chance that you'll get one present for Christmas and birthday that should only be one present... not two. There's the chance that when you're a kid your mom will think it's a good idea to make you a Christmas tree shaped birthday cake. This will not go over well. Don't try it.
This year the kids seemed to think Jed should have a theme party. I helped steer them in the direction of maps and globes and they drew me a bunch as decorations. Then I created this, which is really just a round brownie, fudge sundae topping, and melted peanut butter.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Fancy Princess Sparkley
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Christmas Eve Dinner: eat out at a Chinese restaurant, possibly the one that Buddy thought was a Panda store.
Christmas Breakfast: Princess Sparkley asked to be in charge this year. She wants to have these knock-off apple jacks because they are red and green. With orange juice, because Jed's family tradition is that they have to drink a glass of orange juice before coming downstairs to open presents.
Christmas Brunch/Lunch: after opening presents, we'll have our real breakfast at lunchtime.
Cheese Potato Casserole (aka Funeral Potatoes)
Rolls (possibly homemade if I'm feeling ambitious)
sparkling Apple Cider (Jed's family tradition)
Christmas Dessert: I've debated on this. I know I can make whatever I want... last year I tried a candy cane cake that turned out horrible. So I'm wanting to stick to a traditional pie of some sort this year. I was going to go with this double layer pumpkin cheesecake recipe but I think I'll make my mom's Peppermint Ice Cream Pie instead (which as I look at the recipe card, she got from a friend of hers thirty years ago). Here's the recipe:
Peppermint Ice Cream Pie
2/3 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
7 oz. coconut
peppermint or candy cane ice cream
hot fudge syrup
For the crust**, melt chocolate chips and butter. Add milk. Stir in coconut. Spread on bottom of a pie tin and up sides. Freeze 20 minutes. Then fill with slightly softened peppermint ice cream. Freeze. Serve with fudge syrup and whipped cream on top.
*This menu is dependent that I made it to the grocery store at some point today... but I'm waiting for a UPS package to be delivered and don't want to miss it in case I need to sign for it. And, according to the UPS website, they normally deliver from 9-7 but due to the holidays, it could be later. And my grocery store closes at 5. So, we'll see. I'm about to explain how to sign for a package to my kids so I can take a shower.
**I'm personally going to buy an already made chocolate pie crust since I despise coconut. As a kid, I treated the crust of this pie like a bowl and just ate everything from inside of it, ignoring the crust.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
***Added a few minutes later.***
I remembered!!!! A recipe for homemade mac and cheese from my new Taste of Home magazine. I was going to link you to the recipe, but it's for subscribers only, like me. Although you should all subscribe... you can get it as low at $10 or $12 for 10 issues a year. And it is well worth it. Not that I pay, it's a gift from my mom each Christmas. :)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags - Usually wrapped. I love making a present look good. This doesn't always happen. Or I guess I should say, I love presents that look good.
2. Real tree or Artificial - It's pathetically artificial. When we live somewhere that a real tree can fit, I'm definitely having a real tree again.
3. When do you put up the tree - When I get sick of the kids bugging me about it... usually during the week after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down - Hmm... I don't know. A few days after Christmas.
5. Do you like eggnog - I don't know that I've ever actually had eggnog. I do not like the idea of eggnog, and that's why I've never tried it.
6. Favorite gift received as a child - Cabbage Patch kids... back when they were the "IT" toy of the season and hard to get a hand on. And I remember getting a radio/tape player one year that I was super excited about.
7. Hardest person to buy for - My dad. He has everything he wants and if he doesn't have it, he goes out and gets it. This is especially annoying around Christmas and his birthday.
8. Easiest person to buy for - The kids. Although I need to start catering a lot more to their lists and not my version of their list.
9. Do you have a nativity scene - Two. One is Fisher Price for the kids to play with. The other is a little wooden tole painted set. Someday I want a really nice one like this or this.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards - Mail. I love writing, sending and receiving Christmas cards.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received - My family always let us open one present on Christmas Eve, aside from PJs, and I chose this huge box from my brother. I was probably 5 or 6. Inside was a smaller box. And then another. And another. Until I got to this sandwich sized box and inside was a small stuffed animal dog. I guess the present wasn't so bad. I liked the dog. I was just so mad at him for tricking me.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie - I don't think I have one. I guess A Christmas Story.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas - Early. I've been done for several weeks except for the random item here and there.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present - I don't think so.
16. Colored or Clear Lights - Clear. Although my tree has green and red, so at some point, that must have been what I picked. My kids are disappointed that the lights in our window are just white.
17. Favorite Christmas song - It changes every year. I used to love "I'll be home for Christmas." This year I've really been loving "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home - We prefer to stay home... too many Christmases near both of our families that were nonstop other people's traditions with no time for our own.
19. Angel on the tree top or a star - Angel, I think because that's what Jed prefers. I always had a star growing up. If I ever get a new tree top, I think I'll try to talk him into a star.
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning - Family presents Christmas Eve, Santa presents Christmas morning... Jed's tradition.
21. Favorite ornament theme or color - Everything. We went to a party the other night and I loved that the people's tree still had all the ornaments their kids had made for them when they were little. It wasn't all Martha Stewart and formal, it was a real family's tree.
22. White or Warm Christmas - I guess a white Christmas is always nice, but every Christmas of my childhood was in California and warm.
23. Favorite Christmas Tradition - Aebleskivers Christmas morning.
24. Favorite Christmas Location - All of my Christmases have either been at my parents' in California, or at our house here in Kansas. So, I guess as long as I'm home and I'm with my family, I'm happy.
25. Who do you tag - Whoever feels like answering some questions.
Friday, December 19, 2008
The following is a combo of my mom's Aunt Thurma* and my brother-in-law's yummy clam chowder recipes:
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely diced
2 cups potatoes, finely diced
1 cup carrots, finely diced
2 cans (6.5 oz. each) clams, undrained
¾ cup butter
¾ cup flour
1 quart half and half
**1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Combine vegetables in small saucepan. Drain clams; pour juice over veggies; add enough water to barely cover. Cook, covered until tender – about 15 minutes. In meantime, melt butter in large heavy saucepan. Stir in flour until blended and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in cream until smooth and blended. Return to heat; cook and stir with wire whisk until thick and smooth. Add undrained veggies and clams; heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
*My only memory of my Great Aunt Thurma is when she visited my house when I was 6 or 7, right before my grandma and grandpa died and she would read and read all of my Care Bear books to me.
**Because my mom is pretty sure my great aunt used more heavy whipping cream in her recipe than my brother-in-law does. It was the olden days, people were less health conscious.
*This picture was also eliminated due to PS's underwear showing resulting in my having to crop the picture.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
On another note, well, not really, we have a new clock in our bedroom. I made it at a church function. It's ticking is not as loud as the Homer clock, but every once in awhile I lay in bed and all I can hear is TICK TOCK TICK TOCK. Last night as we were trying to fall asleep, Jed said, "Has that clock always been that loud?" And I realized maybe all ticking clocks need to find a new home elsewhere in our house. And then I wondered, how does my sister survive. She has a wall in her home covered with beautiful clocks. I'm sure they tick and tock, but most definitely not together so it would me more of a TICK TICK tock tick TOCK Tick TOCK TOCK TOck TiCk tOCk ToCK TicktoCKtockTOcKtickTICkTock. I think I would lose my mind.
*Last December, on a snowy day like this I had my ultrasound appointment to find out if Baby X would be a boy or a girl (and to make sure he was all okay), I had to drive up to the college campus (which, even by standards other than those set by Kansas is a hilly drive) to pick up Jed and the kids and I got stuck at a red light on the snowy slippery hill. Luckily we weren't the only car stuck... there were probably 6 of us stuck, but that made it so I couldn't just gun the engine because who knew where I'd go and I didn't want to hit one of the other cars. It was terrifying, being one of my biggest fears and all. In the lane next to me was a car with two college girls stuck but behind us there were cars that could make it up the hill and were annoyed with us. I finally maneuvered my way out of all this.
**Yesterday he snow shoveled right along with out complex's maintenance guy. It was so funny to watch, especially since he's normally pretty shy around adults he doesn't know. I asked him if the guy talked to him, he said, yes, twice. I asked if he talked to the guy to which he answered, "umm... I don't think so."
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
and it kept snowing all morning and after lunch.
"Santa" couldn't very well send the kids out to play in the snow knowing perfectly well that she (I mean he) had boots for them in her closet that they'd asked for on their Christmas lists. So Santa dropped off a special delivery due to the snow that came before Christmas.
We also got Jed this new yellow snow shovel which he's going to have to fight Buddy for. PS wanted to sled. Buddy wanted to shovel. I can't wait until he's a teenager.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Christmas Book Recommendations
Christmas Goodies to Share
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies - Christmas Style
Another favorite favorite Christmas song of mine is The Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan singing a medley of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "We Three Kings."
Can you look up how Santa gets around where it isn't winter?
Any ideas of an answer? In our house, the kids know the truth about Santa. And we pretend like he's real. So I don't technically need an explanation but thought this was a fun question. And I guess, in reality (pretend reality) the sled flies and doesn't function like a snow sled, so I guess that's the answer. The sled flies.
Me: What song?
PS: All the Single Ladies.
Me: [Cracking Up.]
Jed and I saw the Saturday Night Live skit a couple of weeks ago with Beyonce and Justin Timberlake singing and dancing to "All the Single Ladies."
I hunted down the video on YouTube while Princess Sparkley was nearby and if the computer ever starts making noise (music, videos, etc.) the kids come running to see what it is. She loves the song. So I made a Princess Sparkley playlist on Napster and she has her songs from Enchanted and this song by Beyonce. Oh, and also the David Duchovny song by Bree Sharp that I blogged about here.
She's just informed me that she'd like this video posted on her blog with the boys dancing funny as well. Oh, she says she likes the boys and she doesn't like the girls. And yes, she has her own blog. Scary what I give in to.
Monday, December 15, 2008
1) there were only 11 books to pick from
2) I don't think everyone (or anyone) read each book (me included)
3) Some people only read 5 or 6 books, so their choices were basically just ranking what they read
4) I just tallied up each book that got a vote not taking into account which number it ranked at for everyone.
Here are the books we read:
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Pope Joan by Donna Cross
Mafia to Mormon by Mario Facione
The Kite Runner by Khaled Husseini
E=MC2 by David Bodanis
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larsen
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans
Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Here are the results:
1. Hattie Big Sky
2. The Thirteenth Tale
3. Pope Joan, The Secret Life of Bees and The Sunflower
Here's the thing about my family's version of scones, and real British scones with clotted cream... they are way different. When I lived in London for a shortened semester, one of my top priorities was going somewhere for High Tea. I don't know why. But that's what I wanted to do. Not for the tea, I don't drink tea, but for the atmosphere and the scones. But British scones are more like a ... sweet biscuit for lack of any more coherent thoughts or descriptions. (See the wikipedia description here.)
My family's scones are basically fried dough. Here's the unofficial recipe. Oh, but first, here's when we eat it. Right now my church time is at 11 o'clock in the morning. Lunchtime. So when we return home at 2 PM we are starving. If I'm on the ball, I get everything in the crockpot before church for a roast or something of the sort that'll be ready when we walk in the door. And we eat a lunch/dinner at about 2:3o. For a dinner/dessert later that night we have scones. More filling and healthier (kind of) than an actual dessert.
Rhodes frozen rolls or Rhodes Sweet Bread Frozen Loaves
Thaw dough according to package directions. Let rise. Punch down and make ball of the dough tearing holes in the middle so they are donut-esque. Let rise again. Heat vegetable oil in shallow frying pan over medium heat. Place dough in pan. Turn. Once both sides are a nice light brownish color, place them on paper towels to soak up extra oil.
Serve with butter, honey, powdered sugar. Or with butter, jam, powdered sugar. And a big glass of milk.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Yes. I was one of those people. I was introduced to The X-Files by my freshman English teacher at BYU. I think her name was Glenda. And for some reason, Glenda Day pops into my head. So maybe that was her name. Or, if there is someone famous named Glenda Day, then it just sounds familiar to me. Like how when we had a cat named Tallulah, my dad kept calling her Tallulah Belle, after some movie star from his youth. Anyways, back the The X-Files. So I watched a few episodes as part of that class, or something. I'm not sure how it all worked out. My memory, as I've said before, sucks eggs. Well, maybe I didn't word it quite like that.
I think I watched it pretty regularly my freshman year. Possibly into my sophomore year. I really don't remember. And then my junior year, I moved into a house that 10 girls lived in and was next to a house with 12 boys. Heaven, right? Well, sort of. A few of my roommates and I became friends with the guys that lived upstairs next door (Natalie from 100% Cottam's brother-in-law lived upstairs, I don't think he joined us for much X-Files watching though, and Marta's (from Marta Writes) husband, Dan, lived there as well. And he was definitely in on the X-Files watching.) Anyways. Funny, blog connections. So we'd watch X-Files over at the guys house each Sunday after The Simpsons. This was towards the end of the show's run, 1998/1999 ish. Everything was leading up to the “tell all episode” of the whole alien conspiracy that the X-Files is all about. We decided we needed to figure it all out before they told us. Back then this meant find a Blockbuster Video or some other video store and renting the VHS tapes of each episode. I think there were three episodes per tape. But it was sporadic which episodes they were, and we weren't sure which ones dealt with the alien conspiracy*. So it was an adventure figuring out which ones to watch and trying to cram it all in. When the “tell all episode” finally aired, we were pumped and felt prepared. I don't even remember all of what they “told” us now. But we had fun leading up to it and watching it.
When the first movie came out I was also living in Utah. I went with a different group of friends. I think it was for my 21st birthday. When Scully announced that she'd been transferred to the Salt Lake City office, the audience went wild. Don't you love a Utah movie crowd? I thought it was only a Utah moviegoer thing until I saw Twilight here in Kansas and the audience reacted so much to everything I felt like I was back in Provo. Anyways, last night I watched the second X-Files movie... by myself. Scary! The first movie dealt with the alien plot line, this one was more the paranormal creepy scary stuff. This movie wasn't fabulous, but as a fan of X-Files and especially of Mulder and Scully, this was very satisfying. There were cheesey parts that you know they put in just for fans like me, and worse... when Mulder is eating sunflower seeds, the 'I Want To Believe poster,' the pencils stuck in the ceiling...all at the very beginning to remind us that this is the same Mulder we know and love.** They didn't ignore the romantic storyline between Mulder and Scully, but they also didn't spell it out. Skinner made an appearance. The only thing I'm left confused and disappointed about is about William, Mulder and Scully's son. They admit that he's their son, which the series sort of left to the audience to assume (if I'm remembering correctly), but he's gone. Dead? I can't remember how it all ended in the show. Maybe he was abducted.*** Now I'm going to have to start getting X-File seasons on dvd from the library so I can figure it all out. ***
*I saw on wikipedia that there is a list of all the alien plot episodes.
**When I get back online, I'll try to link you all to the David Duchovny song by Bree Sharp. So funny!
***I looked it up on wikipedia after my computer was fixed.
****Oh, and whenever they call for a CSM in Walmart I crack up because while it may mean Customer Service Manager, or whatever in store terms. In X-Files terms it stood for the Cigarette Smoking Man.
*I'm back online and I think it's all cleared up. Thanks to Jed's IT guy at work who sent out a helpful email to everyone about how to get rid of spyware/adware. Here's what he recommended and it found 58!!! virus type things on our computer and now we are running speedily with no pop-ups. Hoorah!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
*Somewhere here, if my computer didn't have a virus** and I wasn't having to email this post in, I would link to the last post about being frustrated because of the candy cane hiding from me when I needed it.
**And I would like here to the post about the virus my computer has and why I'm emailing posts in.
Baby X still wakes up a bunch during the night. Usually it's spaced so it's betwee 4-6 hours when he'd normally be eating. So while he does sleep from 8 PM until between 6-8 AM, eating-wise, he treats nighttime like daytime.
Princess Sparkley wakes me up at least once a night, usually during my REM sleep when I can't wake up enough to function. Her reasons are always: needs water, needs a tissue, is scared, needs a light on/a door open, etc. This has been going on for over a week and is driving me nuts.
M&M changed their Mint M&Ms from small, plain M&M sizes to the peanut butter M&M size. This does not bode well for my Chocolate chocolate chip cookies - Christmas style.*
Hannah Montana. Just because Princess Sparkley is 6 and obsessed with her even though she's only seen part of an episode once at Grandma's and part of an episode, with no sound, while we ate dinner at Pizza Street.
Colds. I keep getting them. And then they clear up and I get another one.
I can't get all three of my kids to smile and look at the camera at the same time.
Princess Sparkley has attitude. She's 6. Isn't she still supposed to be sweet and innocent and nice.
I had to scrounge together enough candy canes to make candy cane bark tonight to drop off to some people tomorrow and I only had like 5 of those tiny ones people had given to us. So I made it and it's fine, but now I just spotted one more tiny candy cane next to the computer... I could have used that!**
People who aren't responsible/dependable. I've always been pretty dependable. It was what teachers at school and church always wrote about me when they had to say something nice about me. I hated it then. Now I'm frustrated that other adults aren't.
*Search for it in my blog, the recipe is posted like two years ago. Mmmmm.
**Search for candy cane bark and you'll find my recipe.
*If I was logged into blogger and knew what I was doing, I would create a like to a long ago post about how Jed and I (but especially Jed) is convinced that technology and more specifically electronics, are out to get us. They break for us all the time. Also, if I was logger into blogger, I would have this asterisked section in a smaller font.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Kids' Tool Set from Restoration Hardware on sale for $26.99
Plush stuffed animals like this one at BabyStyle... mostly on sale for $13.99
If I was rich, felt like spending this much money, and my dad wore necklaces, this Ballpark Pendant Necklace from Red Envelope would be perfect. It is a piece of the original painted seat from one of America's historic ballparks (six choices).
These All-terrain Ballet Flats from Landsend are just $29.50.
These adorable slippers are $34.95 at LLBean.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
My friend Rachel is doing 365 days of self-portraits that are so beautiful they put anyone else to shame. And her friend, whose blog I stalk, Jen, challenged* us all to take a self-portrait. My first attempts were pathetic and immediately sent to the recycle bin on my computer. Today I put my hair in two braids simply because I'm sick of my hair, and then when I was hiding Christmas presents last night I came across this funky hat my mom bought me last year because it "looked like you" and I haven't worn it yet. It worked with what I was wearing and my hairstyle, so I tried it on. Then I thought that the corner of hat and my one eyeball I could see in the rearview mirror as I drove Princess Sparkley to school looked pretty cool, so I came home and gave the self portrait a second attempt. This is the only one I'll share.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Oh, and the smell. I wish I could capture the smell of my kitchen right now and post it for you. It smells so yummy and peanut buttery. Mmm.
Here are my notes on the recipe:
I used less salt - it calls for 1/2 a teaspoon of salt. I never put in as much salt as a recipe calls for. I used a little less than 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.
Vanilla yogurt - I didn't have a cup of sour cream. I had approximately 3/4 cup sour cream. And a sleeping baby. And I'd already been to the store today. And the batter was mixed and the oven was preheated. So, I also didn't have plain yogurt, which is a good sour cream substitute, instead I used about 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt. It seems to have worked out okay.
I set the timer for 15 minutes and started checking them then until the full 20 minutes just to be safe.
The batter is really thick... like a gooey cookie dough more than a batter. So it didn't rise much for me in the muffin tins. Luckily I took all of that into account and filled my muffin cups almost all the way full so the little bit they did rise finished it off to perfection.
Princess Sparkley's review: These are really good. I wish they were cupcakes.
Now I have to:
Do Princess Sparkley's homeschool work.
Take her to regular school.
Pay a bill at the grocery store.
Grocery shop for the essentials: milk, bread, diapers.
Figure out what to eat for dinner.
Get loads of mail out of our tiny little mailbox.
Hide Christmas presents we bought and that Grandma sent home with us.
Make something with the heavy whipping cream I bought last week and expires today.
Find recipe I was planning to use the heavy whipping cream in.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins... maybe?
Find other heavy whipping cream recipes since it's more than enough for one recipe.
Maybe my oatmeal cream pie cookies?
Catch up on over 100 blog posts I ignored all week/weekend.
To tide you over while I do all that:
Cahokia Mounds. Collinsville, IL
(Enlarge and you can see the St. Louis Arch in the background of the center picture.)
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
image from igourmet.com
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
*My kids are currently obsessed with Junie B. Jones, Katie Kazoo Switcheroo, Clementine, and Judy Moody books read aloud on cd. Junie B. Jones, hilarious, but a bit naughty. Jed and I have found that all of us, kids and adults, have started phrasing words and emphasizing sentences like we're Junie B. Jones, PEOPLE. (Except I'm not actually supposed to go there anymore!" - direct Junie B. Jones quote I heard from the other room as I was about to hit "Publish Post.")
Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins
adjusted from a Country Living (Sept. 2004) recipe
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
3 ½ cups sugar
3 ½ cups flour
¼ cup pecans (roughly chopped)
3 TBSP butter (melted)
3 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
2 ¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
1/3 + 1/6 cup vegetable oil
¾ tsp. vanilla
Heat oven to 375. Lightly coat 2 – 12 cup muffin tins with oil (or line with muffin liners). Mix the cream cheese, 1 egg, and 3 TBSP. sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Toss 5 TBSP. sugar, ½ cup flour, pecans, butter and ½ tsp. cinnamon together in a medium bowl; set aside. Combine the remaining 3 cups sugar, 3 cups flour, 3 tsp. cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl. Lightly beat 3 eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour the pumpkin mixture in and mix with a fork until moistened. Evenly divide batter in half. Fill muffin cups with about 2 TBSP. batter. Place about 2 tsp. of cream cheese fillling in center of each cup and fill with remaining batter. Sprinkle some of pecan mixture on top and bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean; about 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Makes 2 dozen muffins.
Monday, November 24, 2008
*It's sort of funny how huge Twilight has gotten. I read it when it first came out because Stephenie Meyer is LDS and went to BYU and I'm up on all those writers because I wish I was them. Of course I was skeptical about a book dealing with a teenage/vampire love story, but I read it, enjoyed it and tried to pass the word along. Mostly everyone thought I was nuts. At the time my book club was talking about possibly reading Dracula, I mentioned Twilight as a fun book about vampires. They all thought I was nuts. Now they've all read the whole series are are more obsessed than me. Funny.
Next July we will make move number one. Here are the high contender cities/states in no particular order:
St. Louis, MO
Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois
image from stepheniemeyer.com
This all being said, I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. I went with a group of friends and we were all surprised by how funny it was. Bella's clumsiness. The awkwardness between Bella and Edward when they first meet. The theater filled with laughter a lot more than any of us expected. And the characters of Edward and Bella really grew on me. Emmett was hilarious as was Rosalie. Alice didn't have as big a role in this movie but was cute. Jasper was funny and a bit weird. James and Victoria were wonderfully cast. As was Bella's dad, Charlie. I loved Bella's dad.
I thought the cameo of Stephenie Meyer was a bit cheesey and over the top obvious, but when I mentioned this to two of my friends on the ride home, they hadn't even noticed it, so I guess not.
Overall, I was very happy with this movie. It was good. I suppose it was worth the $8.75 I spent, although when I figured it out before the movie, this is only the third movie I've seen in a movie theater since we moved to Kansas over three years ago. And one of the other two was Cars. So I guess I was overdue for a little splurge in the movie going department. And I'll watch this again, especially since I just read that the second book just got picked up by the same movie company, so I'll have to watch Twilight again to prepare for the release of the new movie. I'm not crazy enough to read the books again, I'm too busy for that.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I just want to crawl back into my warm bed and hibernate until April or so.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
As Jed and my families have grown, we've become more and more creative about how to do family gift exchanges. For awhile we drew names out of an adult name hat and a kid name hat with my family. The past couple years we've just had cousins draw cousins, so only a kid hat.
With Jed's family we bought a Christmas ornament for each family one year. And last year we started buying a Christmas book for each family. We all liked this tradition and plan on continuing it for a few years.
Back to my family, what should we do this year? They are leaning towards each family buys one gift for each other family (I only have two siblings, so this isn't so big of a deal). And we'd pick some sort of theme. For example, the theme could be "outdoors" and someone could buy our family a sled or something. I don't know. These were the ideas handed down to me.
What does your family do? Do you have any good theme suggestions like the "outdoors" one above? Any other marvelous ideas for Christmas gift exchanges?
*My kids keep asking why houses and stores aren't decorated for THanksgiving since everyone decorates for Halloween and Christmas. I just keep telling them people are so excited about Christmas decorating they just skip right over Thanksgiving. Hopefully it's not that no one is giving thanks.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Jed and I are constantly amazed by how out there people are with their life goals, dreams and aspirations. I think I've always been private about these things. As has he. So I don't think we've influenced each other, but I'm sure we haven't helped the other be more open or vocal either. He fears telling people where he really wants to go for grad school, along with all sorts of other things. I try to avoid mentioning that I like to write. So when we come across people who boldly put out there the fact that they are writing a novel, we're a bit embarrassed for them. (Forgive me if you are one of these people.)
For instance, (do you like how I threw this new paragraph in there just to make this post look shorter since the paragraphs are all basically brief?) the other day we were shopping at the totally awesome toy store in our town's fun downtown area. As we were leaving, a man named James with a "Y," or more truthfully, Jaymes, stopped us. He'd had a class with Jed a few semesters ago, hence me knowing who "James with a Y" was when we were introduced. In the 1 1/2 minute conversation we had, he mentioned that he's writing a novel. Maybe he felt comfortable telling me because really, what are the chances that we'll see each other again (although I do love that toy store... if only I had a million dollars to spend there) and he wasn't worried about the embarrassment when he failed at said novel writing. Or maybe that's just how some people are. I guess maybe he doesn't even think failure is an option. Novel concept. I am not that way. So while I secretly still desire to write the next great American novel, keep it under your hat. Thanks. :)
On another note, Jed, who is a cartographer/mapmaker by profession, but not as a student, recently had some maps he made published in this book* that a former professor of his just published. Yea for Jed!
*The description says three maps, there are actually four... all Jed's. And he gets an acknowledgement at the book's start as well.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
According to my husband, they are kind of weird and taste better the second day.
Princess Sparkley loves loves loves them. But I'm not sure her taste in food is really trustworthy.
Buddy likes them okay, but again, he didn't inherit the sweet tooth the rest of us have.
1/2 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 14 oz can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
3/4 cup applesauce
1 bag chocolate chips
Cream shortening, sugar and egg. Combine dry ingredients. Add half of dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture. Add applesauce. Add remainder of dry mix. Mix well. Add chocolate chips. It will be sticky. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes.
For our first anniversary, I bought Jed a watch because 1) a watch is a nice one year anniversary gift, and 2) the main reason, I couldn't understand how a person could function without a watch. It was unfathomable to me.
More recently, I had a friend who didn't own a watch, a cell phone, and had no working clock in her car. She could tell whether or now she was on-time or running late based on the bank time and temperature signs she drove past. Luckily our town has an over abundance of banks, many of which have a time and temperature sign, so she was never too far from a clock. But still? I nearly bought her a watch just to give me a peace of mind.
Last Thursday my watch broke. I've had the battery die many times and have been without a watch for a day or two until I could get a new battery put in. But the clasp came detached from the face of the watch. I'm hoping it can be fixed. I could handle a new watch... but no watch. Yikes.
For the past few days, thanks to Princess Sparkley's generosity, I've been sporting this lovely watch:
Monday, November 17, 2008
Along with his troublemakerness, I can't get anything done with him around. Homeschooling has become difficult because every two seconds I have to jump up and retrieve something else from his mouth. A screw. A piece of paper. A rubberband. Etc. And stuff like filing away paid bills and other little household tasks that just keep the house in relative order, have become impossible. The dishwasher... his best friend.
So today I put baby locks on all of our kitchen cupboards. This is something that we only did on medicine cupboards and under the sink in the past. When we moved to our current home Buddy was 17 months old, yet I never had to baby proof the cupboards, just the stairs.
As I type, Baby X is napping and I have the two big kids doing my dirty work. They are sorting through this enormous box, from my side of the bed (that was starting to threaten tripping me over in the middle of the night), of their artwork (with other things scattered into the mix- ie: Baby X's blessing certificate, Baby X's 6 month pictures, etc.) so I can file the good stuff away in each of the file folders I keep for their milestone artwork (which has turned into everything we can't convince them to throw away). That was a long, probably grammatically incorrect sentence. Oh well. Baby X only sleeps so long. I've got a lot to do.
Today Buddy spilled his milk. As I cleaned it up, I thought, "we haven't spilt milk in quite awhile, we should have a reward or something for going so long without spilling milk." But then I don't want to punish them for spilling their milk. As frustrating as it is (we have carpet under our table), I have to remind myself that, according to my own mother, I spilt my milk at one meal every day for about a year of my life when I was three years old. So every time I get angry and frustrated at my kids for this, I follow it up by telling them about me as a three year old to help make them laugh and soften my angry response.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
When she was a newborn I was terrified of her being kidnapped. I'm guessing it had something to do with the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping that happened just a couple months before Princess Sparkley was born. I would just worry and worry. I can remember thinking "there's no way I went through all of that [labor, birthing, etc.] to have someone kidnap her. " This was very soon after she was born and I was still recovering from an enormously long and painful labor and delivery.
When Buddy was born, I wasn't as concerned about him being kidnapped. I know I worried, but not about anything specific. Probably I just worried that I was going to lose my mind with two kids so close in age (Princess Sparkley and Buddy are 20 1/2 months apart). At one point, Jed called from work to see how I was doing and I'd just changed the 7th poopie diaper in a row, alternating between the two kids. Ahhh.
With Baby X, Jed and I both worry that he'll die. Not because of his heart... well, yes because of his heart, that is a worry. But mostly we worry that he'll have survived his heart problem, had this procedure to fix it, be doing so well, and then die of something totally avoidable like choking on a Cheerio or suffocating under a blanket. I woke up this morning panicked because it was 6:30 AM and I hadn't heard from him since I'd put him in bed at 8 or 8:30 PM. He was fine, of course. But I lay in bed for a minute convincing myself that when I got up to look in his crib he'd be cold and unmoving. Does any other mom do this to herself??