- 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.)