Friday, December 28, 2012

Review Extravaganza--Final part of 2012

And now for the last review of 2012.  October, November and December are up.



  • Not a whole lot happened this month--other than you know Christmas, which I haven't even blogged about yet.
  • We went for firewood.
  • I shared what annoys me.
  • We put up our Christmas Tree, which we went to the mountains to get.
  • Which led to a large purchase.
  • I shared a good Christmas Memory.
  • And I reviewed the past year this month.
Well there you have it, the last quarter of the year.  Go see some of the other reviewers.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sort of Random Tuesday

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Christmas.  I don't expect much traffic today-really you should be with you fam and loved ones, that's where I'll be.
But I did want to tell everyone Merry Christmas and I hope the big guy in the red suit was good to you and yours.
Merry Christmas!!
See you on the flip side.
Go see Stacy for more Randoms.

Join Shawn and Impulsive for Talk to Us Tuesday.
Seriously Shawn

Christmas is Coming

So after a bit of frantic scrambling, we are ready for Christmas.  I am making cookies with the boys today.  Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Chip. We have to have fresh cookies for Santa.
Speaking Of Santa, are you tracking Santa today? NORAD is tracking him both on the computer and on an Ap for the smart phone.  My boys are constantly asking where Santa is.  It easy to check no matter where we are.
Saturday Nick and I got away from the kids long enough to grocery shop, go to the rec center and sit in the hot tub.  Then Nick made me a fantastic BLT and then he went shopping with the boys for Mom gifts.  He was so over the Christmas crowds by the time he was done.
We watched A Christmas Story Saturday afternoon.  I made ham and bean soup and it was a nice relaxing evening.
Sunday, we went for a drive in the new truck--didn't get stuck but had fun busting a drift or two.  Then we came home and had lunch and listened to Christmas music.  Then we headed downstairs, started a fire and watched Christmas movies as a family.  All in all a very nice pre-Christmas weekend. Now to survive the next two days.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review Extravaganza-July to September

Week Three of the Review Extravaganza.  July, august and September.  Very eventful months for us.

We redid our Kitchen floor.
I had a random post on things of a summer nature.
we enjoyed the fourth of July in town.
Nick had a reunion and there was a parade.
We had a birthday dinner for my mom that was probably less than successful.
This month was dominated by our trip to Michigan.  We went by train rather than try to drive. It was marvelous.  But before we went we had a nice day riding bikes.
Nick and I had our 14th anniversary.
We began the Kitchen remodel.
I got to recap the summer.
Toes in the sand.
We finished the kitchen remodel.
We rearranged Turbo's room and then Bruiser's room
I talked about my issues with exercise.
September was a short month that was pretty much all about home stuff.  A good month though.
My beautiful new kitchen.

Next week is the final review.  Be sure to check back for all the holiday fun.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Joy Times 9

I'm joining Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop this week.  Prompt #5 was 9 things that bring you joy.  Here goes:
  1. Little boy giggles. Nothing can make my day like hearing little boy giggling with glee.
  2. Uninterrupted time to read. I don't get this all that often, but when I do I feel so much better.
  3. Road trips. Nothing takes the stress away like passing the city limit sign and finding a road we enjoy driving down, or one we haven't been down before.
  4. Getting just the right gift for someone.  It fun finding that one thing that will make them light up.
  5. A book good enough to read again (and again and again).
  6. Sea food. I love seafood, but being very landlocked, we don't have it often--it's spendy.
  7. Chocolate. Enough said.
  8. Nick. I like him and I love him--two different and necessary things.
  9. Turbo and Bruiser. The lights of my life.  I love these quirky, funny, creative little boys.
With Christmas fast approaching, it's good to look at what I have and how much joy it really does bring me.
Go see Mama Kat and pick a prompt and link up.
Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Counting Me Down

I'm borrowing this from Kenzie at Life and Lemons.  She borrowed it from someone else.  These things do tend to make the rounds.
It's a count down all about me.  Here goes:
Five things I can't live without:

  1. My husband, Nick.  He's my rock.
  2. Turbo, my oldest.  He's quirky and fun and frustrating.
  3. Bruiser, my youngest.  Interesting, fun, delightful, frustrating.
  4. Books.  In any form, paper or on my Kindle.
  5. Chocolate.
Four things that terrify me:
  1. Spiders
  2. Insects, especially flying, buzzing, stinging kinds.
  3. Large social situations.
  4. Public speaking
Three things that annoy me:
  1. Drivers who go less than the speed limit in the mistaken belief that they are safer if they drive slowly.
  2. Migraines.
  3. Insomnia
Two things I'm working on:
  1. Exercise, regularly during the week.
  2. Meal planning.
One thing I'm grateful for:
  1. Weekends, even if they are too short.
There you have it, a countdown of me.  Not wildly exciting, but then excitement gets old after a while.
In other news we have snow today.  5-6 inches with more coming down.  White Christmas here we come.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Random Tuesday--One Week To Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas?  It's only one week away. I think we only need to get a couple of stocking things.  And take care of the Big Red Guy's stuff.  Now on to the random:

  • I really do love the classic kid Christmas movies.  Rudolph, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Charlie Brown.  These make it seem like Christmas to me.
  • We get to do a whole day of Christmas movies on Saturday. Well, that afternoon any way.  A Christmas Story, While You Were Sleeping, Donovan's Reef, Scrooged, The Santa Clause, we have so many to watch.
  • We will be doing Norad Santa Watch on Monday.  Turbo loves checking out the locations of Santa during the day.
  • I'm so looking forward to the winter break we have next week.  Gotta love working at a university.
  • It's supposed to snow tomorrow.  I had the boys do a snow dance.  It will at least look white outside by Wednesday.  With any luck.  Nick really want to figure out how his truck handles on snowy roads--he needs an excuse to use the 4WD in the new truck.
  • I need to bake cookies this weekend with the boys. Santa needs something to eat.  Wouldn't want him wasting away to nothing.
  • I need to get my annual viewing of White Christmas in.  Maybe tonight after the boys go to bed.  They are not huge fans of old musicals.
  • I'm looking forward to the dark chocolate turtles that I always get in my stocking.  They are one of the best things about Christmas.
  • Kmart is rushing the season, just a bit:
Yes, that is Christmas stuff next to Valentine's Day stuff.

So what's your random? Link with Stacy and check out more random.
And link with Shawn and Impulsive for Talk To Us Tuesday.
Seriously Shawn

Monday, December 17, 2012

Unexpected Weekend

Parts of this last weekend were unexpected, others were totally expected.
It all started last weekend when we went to get in the truck to head up after our Christmas tree.  Turbo did not fit in the back seat of our extended cab.  Nick had to move the driver's seat forward so Turbo could fit and then Nick we getting all kind of friendly with the steering wheel.  This really brought it home to Nick that we were going to need a bigger truck sooner rather than later.
So Nick spent his spare time last week checking out truck prices and choking over most of them.  By Friday, he had been excited, frustrated, and finally discouraged.  We left work early and went to look for shoes for me, didn't find any that I liked and then since we were close to a dealership, Nick decided why not go just look.
We test drove a 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500 WT.  It was a nice truck, but the bare bones model.  And it was white.  Not a huge fan of white for a truck we are taking to the mountains and that is going to get dirty. Nick called the dealership the next morning and told them we were interested in that type of truck, but if we were going to go new, we wanted a different color.  And we wanted some time to come up with some money to go with the trade-in.
About two hours later the used car guy up there called back and said they had a 2010 truck that was just what we were looking for--a bit nicer actually--would we be interested in looking at it.  Nick said sure.
About the time we headed out to look at it, it started to snow.  We always seem to buy our trucks in bad weather.
The upshot of all of this is that we have a shiny new crew cab Chevy Silverado 2500 LT sitting in our drive way.  Definitely did not expect that to happen.

The expected part of our weekend was the visit by the cousins.  The kids had a fabulous time.  Movies were watched, popcorn eaten, secrets told, toys played with and fun times had.  It was a good time for everyone.

Sunday was consumed with finishing laundry and getting ahead of the dishes.  We also wrapped presents.  Our tree had been looking sadly empty, with only a few gifts under it.  Now there are several,and we have plans to add a few more--already wrapped. but not under the tree yet.  Bruiser has been checking to see what he has under the tree.  It cute that he can identify the first letter of his name and he knows those presents are for him.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review Extravaganza--April to June

The Review Extravaganza is rolling on.  This week is all about April, May and June.

Nick went away for a long work trip.  I managed to keep us all alive and healthy--mostly.
I talked about the birth of our family.
We did random cleaning, reorganizing and meeting of babysitters.
We joined the 21st century and got smart phones.
The umbrella on the back deck

Nick brewed his first batch of all grain beer.
I did the Favorite Color Swap.
I talked about what I learned from my mother--those things you done normally think you are learning.
I got a wonderful mother's day gift.
Turbo had a school field trip.
He also had a birthday and we built him a fort for all the kids/boys in the neighborhood to hang out in.
We tried camping in hella wind.
Blowing Bubbles in the wind.

I talked about songs and the memory trips they can take you on.
I created a sort of bucket list for things to do before I turn 50.
I wrote up a father's day post for Nick.
We went camping with friends for Nick's birthday.
And didn't ahve much else exciting happen.
camping relaxation.

The best stuff happened in July, so come back next week.

Spin Cycle--Once Upon a Christmas

The Spin Cycle this week is about a favorite Christmas memory.  Most of my childhood Christmases blur together.  It was immediate family time and staying home mostly.  But for a truly memorable Christmas I only need to think back 19 years ago.  Nick and my first Christmas.
We had met in college in the spring semester in German class.  We moved in together when school started in the fall. I planned on spending Thanksgiving with his family and going home for Christmas.  My car had other ideas.
Nick and I were heading out of town to go shopping when my front axle broke.  Five days before Christmas, two days before I was supposed to go home.  A trip of about 300 miles.  So no quick trip. The part to fix it would not be available until after Christmas.
My step father would not let my mom come down to get me so I could be home for Christmas that year.  Nick had been planning on coming up the day after Christmas to spend time with us and my step father thought that it was OK if I came home then.  He was a prince of a guy.
So the up shot of all this was that three days before Christmas Nick's folks got the news that Surprise, I would be here for Christmas after all.
I was immediately invited to the family Christmas party and treated like a real welcome addition.  It was fun.  And Christmas morning they had gifts under the tree for me and everything.  I felt truly welcomed by his parents and that started several traditions that we still observe.  Christmas eve drive to look at lights, Christmas breakfast with the family, Christmas eve at Papa and Nana's house...
Now for pictures:
Our very first Christmas tree.  A bit Charlie Brownish, but lovely all the same.

Opening Christmas gifts Christmas morning.

Nick and I at his folk's house Christmas morning.  We look so young.
So that is the memory of Nick and my first Christmas.  Go see Gretchen for more Christmas memories.
Second Blooming

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When it's Cold outside

Since it's been cold outside here and outdoor activities have not been on the list of things to do, I thought I'd let you all in on what we do here when it's cold outside.

What do I like to do when it's cold outside? Curl up with a good book or movie, or bake like a mad woman.  Something about cold weather makes me crave carbs.  Not good for my waist line, but oh so tasty!
Favorite winter recipes. We love to make Pumpkin Pie Bread.  Chocolate Chip cookies are a big hit too.  I also enjoy making Spent Grain bread and buttery dinner rolls.  There's a recipe for cheddar biscuits that I add a touch of garlic to and they taste almost like Red Lobster biscuits.  Soups and stews and Chili also come into rotation when it's cold outside.
When I think of cold this is what I see:

What do I wear when it's cold?  Layers.  T shirt under a sweater or sweatshirt, a hoodie over a shirt, layers are my friend when it's cold out.
If you had the option of snow or no snow which would you choose?  Snow definitely.  When it's white it's way easier to deal with the cold.
What is your favorite winter activity? I like cross country skiing.  Sledding with the boys is fun too.  See we need snow to properly enjoy winter.

So what do you do when it's cold out side?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Let's Get a Little Bit Random

So after making it through what was most definitely a very Monday Monday, it's now Tuesday and time to get all random.
  • Last night Turbo spent the night with Grandma.  She had her annual batch of trail mix to make and she like Turbo to help.  It get's mighty quiet when there one boy missing from the mix.
  • We got more snow last night.  No a lot, but hey, more snow is more snow.  I like snow.  Makes it all white and seasonal looking outside. I really do prefer it when we get the weather we are supposed to when the season calls for it.
  • We are moving into a brand new building at work.  Literally a brand new building--so new that they aren't quite finished with the lab areas.  I get a decent office, better than what I thought originally I'd get.  But since the moving process starts Friday (maybe Thursday) things are disheveled at the office right now.  Thursday might be a work from home day.
  • After our cold snap, I'm so glad we got firewood when we did. A cozy fire makes those very cold nights easier to deal with.
  • Now that we have a tree up, I need to start wrapping things.  This will help me get organized on what we have and what we still need to get.
  • I like the Science channel show Oddities.  It's weird, but interesting.  Some of the side show stuff they've shown I can't watch, but I do like watching most of it.
  • Bruiser is still watching the PNP Santa video.  He loves it.
  • I think we are going to have to make the effort to get to the Hobbit in the theater this winter.  I need to find a sitter for Bruiser, but the rest of us would enjoy it.
  • Last week Turbo's school had try outs for the talent show.  Turbo and a couple friends came up with a comedy sketch/song thing (we think) and they got into the show.  We get to go watch the show next week.
  • In other Turbo news, he had a wonderful report card--the best he's ever had.  He's been working hard at school this year and it's showing.  His teacher is really got his number and is able to get lots of work out of him.
That's about it for my random.  Go see Stacy for other random.
And Shawn and Impulsive had Talk To Us Tuesday--no rules just link up what you got for a post.
Seriously Shawn

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Arrives

Well actually, there's quite a while until Christmas, but at least it looks like Christmas here at our house.
This last weekend was a nice mix of relaxing and family time. We didn't accomplish a whole lot, but we enjoyed doing what we did.
Friday night, we really just relaxed after a long week.  We ordered chinese food and watched I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown.  A good way to wind down after a surprisingly hectic week.
Saturday morning I picked up my mom and we headed out of town to do some shopping.  I didn't really get that much, but Mom found some of the things she was looking for and we had a nice time.  The drive home was not so fun due to the weather getting bad and icing the roads.  We made it home without incident, but it was slow going at times.
Saturday eveing we had a graduation party for the girl who has been an intern for Nick.  The kids ran around like idiots, made friends with the kids who were there and didn't want to go home.  So all in all a good time.
Sunday morning dawned cold--about 3 degrees of cold.  But after a trip to the grocery store, we bundled up the troops and headed to the mountain.  A Christmas tree was needed.  We found a really nice one not too far from the road, cut it down and were able to head home.
The only glitch was that I thought Nick had grabbed Bruiser's coat and he thought I had grabbed it.  We managed to get to the mountain without a coat for him.  Turbo had brought a hoodie to wear under his coat and we hijacked it so Bruiser could wear it. It worked OK since we weren't out for very long.  Both boys enjoyed hot cocoa on the way home.
Sunday evening we decorated the tree.  It looks great.  The boys had a ball putting on ornaments.  Nick even hung a few.  We put stockings in the windows and there are plan to put lights outside, once it warms up a bit.
In progress

Turbo hanging the bells.
Decorating is serious business.
A lovely tree.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Review Extravaganza-January to March

So there this big review extravaganza going on and there are several lovely hosts:

This frst review--anturally--is about January, February and March:
I made some promises to my self, instead of resolutions.
We started the year long process of potty training Bruiser.
I got nominated for Most Fascinating Education Blog.
Bruiser turned three.
Otherwise January was fairly uneventful.

I shared my rib recipe.
The microwave tried to kill me.
Valentine's Day was less than romantic.
The boys got haircuts and Nick brewed beer.

I talked about my phobias.
I talked about my hair.
We had a trip out of town for a Spring Break Road Trip.

There was lots of complaining about cabin fever, weather, and general blahness in all three months.  But then, here, the first three mnonths of the year are kinda blah anyway.

Now go see the lovely hosts and link up your own recap of the year.


Hot dog!  It's Friday!  After a week that seemed to go on and on, it's Friday, finally.  Since I'm really looking forward to this weekend, let's get the confessing out of the way.
  • I'm really excited to be going shopping with my mom.
  • It's going to be just her and me.
  • We haven't really had one on one time for a long time.
  • There's always a kid or friend along too.  
  • The other nice thing is she tends to buy stuff for me when I go shopping with her.
  • I'm not one to argue--if she wants to buy, I let her.
  • Now I only have to hope the weather lets us go.
  • I'm also excited to decorate for Christmas this weekend.
  • We are going to get a tree.
  • Decorate that tree.
  • Maybe put up a few lights.
  • Decorate.
  • AND I need to bake this weekend.
  • Banana bread, apple muffin/doughnuts. 
  • Maybe if I'm ambitious enough, more chocolate chip cookies.
  • I confess to finding the Elf on the Shelf really creepy.
  • I'm way happier with the countdown calendar we have.
  • The boys trade off moving a star from day to day and can see how far we have to go.
  • It works quite nicely.
So what's on your mind.  Does it need confessing?  Confess away and link up with Aubrey at High Heeled Love.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spin Cycle--What I Want for Christmas

The Spin Cycle this week wants to know what our letter to Santa might contain.  Or what our Christmas list is.  This is one I think I can do, so here goes:
What I want for Christmas:
  1. Bruiser to be potty trained--completely.
  2. Good Eats 3 by Alton Brown
  3. More time to read.
  4. A light for my Kindle
  5. Motivation to scrap book.
  6. Really nice smelling hand lotion.
  7. Wii Fit, or an exercise game for the Xbox Kinect
  8. Jewelry is always nice.
  9. A pedicure.
  10. Sunglasses--polarized and glamorous looking.
  11. A DSLR camera.
I know some of these things are going to be difficult to manage.  But hey, Santa has magic on his side, right? I really just want to have a nice Christmas with my family.  Plans are tentatively set for Christmas eve and Christmas morning.  We plan on decorating this weekend (not that we really decorate a lot).  So, I get to wait, much like the boys (only with more patience) for Christmas morning to come and to see what shows up under the tree for me.  Last year Nick managed to surprise me with my Kindle.  Let's see what he pulls off this year.
So what do you want for Christmas?  What would be in your letter to Santa?  Spin it up and get it to Gretchen, she'll link you up.
Second Blooming

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

That's So Annoying

Do you have things that annoy you?  They don't make you mad, they just bother you?  I do.
It's so annoying when:
  • Books don't give a description of what they are about. I don't blindly buy books just because they are written by a certain author.  I want to have some idea of what the book is about.  It annoys me when all I get about a book are glowing reviews and nothing else.  I don't care if so and so loved it, I want to know what the book is about.
  • Older drivers drive slowly in the mistaken belief that they are safer at slower speeds.  They aren't.  They are just annoying to those of us driving the speed limit, and occasionally a hazard.
  • I'm doing the dishes and turn around and find another sink full of dishes scattered around the house.  This one will probably plague me for the next 15 or so years. Kids are awesome at leaving dishes around the house. Right now mostly cups and bowls, I know later it will be plates and spoons and forks and...   
  • Finding half full cups, cans of soda, etc. around the living room.  Why can't the kids finish a cup of liquid, be it milk, soda, eggnog, juice, koolaid, whatever.  I inevitably find half full vessels in the family room, living room, attic--where ever the kids hang out.  
  • Allergies.  You'd think that with winter here the allergies would take a break, but no.  Since there is no snow on the ground, the dust just blows with the wind and stirs up all the allergens and I turn into sniffy girl.
I guess these could be called pet peeves.  But really they aren't pet anything, just annoying.  You have any of these?  Do tell.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Random Tuesday

Made it through Monday.  Now on to Tuesday!  Let's go with the random:
  • I had two moles removed from my back yesterday.  They were the raised kind and they are much better gone. 
  • I am sort of frustrated with Blogger.  Yesterday I went to upload pictures and it would let me.  Said I had reached my photo storage limit.  And wanted me to pay a monthly fee to store more.  And this is supposed to be a free blogging site?  I found a work around, but it takes more time.  Stupid blogger.  However, I am comfortable here and don't really want to move to another platform.  That's a big ol' pain and I don't want to deal with it.  Hopefully, they will fix the problem.
  • I recommended Portable North Pole last year.  I'm recommending it again this year--especially if you have younger kids--although older kids might get a kick out of it too.  Turbo thought it was cool, even though he knows who "Santa" is. Bruiser was fascinated and answered questions that Santa asked and it was really magic for him.  Really, go check it out and make a video from Santa for your littles.
  • And the potty merry-go-round is still spinning.  We don't spend nearly enough time on the winning side.  One of these days he's going to get it.  I keep hoping.
  • I get to defrost a freezer tonight.  My mom comes and helps.  It's a process, but since the freezer in our basement is old, it frosts up lots.  So we get the fun and wet of defrosting it.
  • Christmas has yet to really hit our house.  This weekend is going to be the big decorating push.  Nick may put lights out--if Turbo helps.  We are getting a tree and well, by Monday it should look like a nice Yuletide home.  We try hard to not let it look like Santa came and threw up all over our yard.
  • I can't wear head bands.  They give me a head ache.  It's sad because head bands are an easy hair style.
Well that's all the random I can come up with this week.  Go see Stacy for more random.
And go see Shawn and Impulsive for Talk To Us Tuesday.  No rules, just a fun linky.

Seriously Shawn

Monday, December 3, 2012

Firewood, Laundry, and Friends

So this last weekend was productive.  We are all set for cold weather--if it ever gets cold here.
Friday night Nick sharpened his chainsaw and gassed up the truck for his trip to the mountains to get firewood Saturday morning.  He posted an update to Facebook and got a response from an old friend who offered to go up with him and let Nick use his trailer to get wood.  Nick was thrilled to get a chance to get all the wood we needed in one fell swoop and to spend time with this friend.  We got about 1 and half cords of wood--6-8 foot logs--in about three hours.

I got to get the grocery shopping done, laundry started, and Bruiser got Turbo's present.  Then when they got back from the mountains I got to help move wood--the stove cut lengths into a stack that wasn't in the driveway.
Stacked by the garage, lovely, warmth making wood.

Saturday afternoon the boys went to Papa and Nana's to make a ginger bread house.  They also wrapped a couple of present to pt under the tree there.  Just a bit of torture for the boys in that they have to wait until Christmas eve to open them. Saturday evening a couple of friends form out of town came down to visit and we headed out to see them.
Sunday we made some sausage--pork/antelope mix.  It was really tasty.  Nick was very excited that it tasted good.  We have a bit of refinement to make on the recipe but we have a great start.
After everyone got dressed and bundled up, we went outside and moved more wood.  We got all the logs cut up and moved out of the driveway.  We have three good piles of wood, some split and some ready to be split.  Bring on the cold and snow.
Yes, bikes are in the way, but we do use them--until the snow and ice drive us off the streets.  Really, look at the wood split and stacked!
Another stack of wood waiting to be split.

Next weekend will be busy: a trip with my mom, a trip to the mountains for a Christmas tree--the permit is on the fridge right now--and then decorating said tree.
So how was your weekned?  Busy, productive, relaxing?  All three?

Friday, November 30, 2012

I Got Confessions

Friday is finally here and I couldn't be happier.  Well I could, if work wasn't a requirement.  But moving on, going home time will be here soon enough.  For now it's time to confess.

  • It's laundry dancing time again.
  • I need to do a bit better this time.
  • I sort of left the towels to wait for almost a week last time.
  • I got all the clothes washed, dried, folded and put away.
  • Just not the towels.
  • Stupid things wouldn't shut up about it either.
  • We are not putting up a Christmas tree this weekend.
  • Nick is heading up to the mountains for fire wood.
  • We need firewood, but I had been hoping we would go after a Christmas tree.
  • We will go next weekend.
  • A small part of me is a bit disappointed, but I'll deal with it and we'll do it next weekend.
  • I hate fractions.
  • Turbo is learning fractions in school.
  • This means we get to push, force, guide him though the homework.
  • I hated fractions when I had to learn them and I hate them now trying to help Turbo with them.
  • I think I'm ready to haul out the Christmas videos.
  • The countdown starts tomorrow at our house.
  • Christmas is coming!
So what do you have to confess?  Do tell and feel a bit better going into the weekend. Link up with Aubrey at High Heeled Love and see what everyone else is confessing.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spin Cycle--Swapping Cookies--sort of...

So this week the Spin Cycle is all about a Christmas Cookie exchange.  Sending actual cookies through the mail would be less than effective so we are just sharing recipes.
I'm not a huge cookie maker.  I try to keep chocolate chip cookes on hand, but we have a challenge here.  We are at 7200 ft above sea level.  Seriously, college teams are greeted in the locker room with welcome to 7220.  I always laugh at the high altitude recommendations on baking mixes--they list high altitude as 3500-6500 ft.  As if no one who would bake lives at higher altitude.
Anyway, the high altitude makes baking a bit more challenging.  Add to that the extreme low humidity we have here normally and the whole getting a cookie or bread to turn out right is a game of adding more flour and going for the longer baking time.
I had to hunt high and low for a recipe for Chocolate chip cookies that didn't spread into flat discs with chip bumps in it.  I found one, but am not going to share that one today--I don't think very many of you live at the altitude I do.  I'm going to share a cookie recipe I remember making as a kid.  Oatmeal Cookie Kings.  We loved making these because mom put m&ms in them and they made big cookies.  Mom liked them because they had oatmeal in them so they masqueraded as more nutritious than say, your average oreo.
Oatmeal Cookie Kings
1 1/2 cup sifted flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar                      Optional: nuts, chopped
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)     raisins, 1 cup shredded
2 eggs, well beaten                            coconut, Reese's pieces,
1 tsp. vanilla                                       M&Ms

Sift first three ingredients together.  In a different bowl, cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Add flour mixture.  Mix oatmeal and any other optional ingredients adn add to the cookie dough.  Mix well. Drop from teaspoon 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 oven 10-12 minutes.  Makes 6 dozen cookies (unless you make really big cookies).

I'm also sharing my favorite muffin/doughnut recipe.  They are called Baked Apple Doughnuts.  As a kid I loved these because they are topped with cinnamon sugar and they were so good.  Now I love them because they hide shredded apple in them.

Baked Apple Doughnuts
1 1/2 cup sifted flour                  1 egg beaten
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder           1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt                               1/2 cup grated raw apple
1/2 tsp. nutmeg                         1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sugar                            1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup shortening                     3 Tbsp melted butter

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar.  Cut in shortening until mixture is fine.  Mix together egg, milk, and apple.  Add apple mixture all at once to flour mixture and mix quickly but thoroughly.  Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. While they are baking mix sugar and cinnamon together and set aside  Remove from pans immediately. Dip each in melted butter, then in the sugar -cinnamon mixture.  Allow to cool and enjoy--if you can wait that long.

Now go see Gretchen for more cookie recipes.  We all need them so we have yummy treats for the holiday.
Second Blooming

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November Thanks--Holiday Traditions

So it's time for the last Thanksgiving giving thanks post.  this time I'm giving thanks for the traditions we have as a family.  I think I'll bullet these out for convenience sake.
I give thanks for:
  • Every year we go to the mountains and get a tree.  It's $10 for a Christmas tree permit.  Then it jsut costs gas to head to the mountains and then time to find the most perfect tree we can.  Sometimes they turn out to be a bit Charlie Brownish, but they are always beautiful once decorated.
  • I like to try to make cookies with the boys.  Candy cane cookies, oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, although this year I think I might need to expand the cookie choices   I'm thinking snickerdoodles or something like that.
  • I get a gingerbread house for Turbo to decorate the day before Christmas.  Bruiser needs to get a bit older before he gets one to decorate.  Probably next year.
  • We always enjoy watching A Christmas Story.  We can really identify with the story.  For me it's being mom to two boys.
  • We always watch Santa's progress on Christmas Eve on Norad's Santa Tracker.
  • I mentioned it before, but it is a tradition--we do an all day long seafood extravaganza for New Year's, either New Year's Eve or New Years Day, depending on if the kids are with us or the grandparents.  We spread out the courses--appetizers of shrimp and scallops at around lunch, main course of lobster tails around 5 or so and the final course of Crab legs around 8:30 or so.  Enough time in between to clean up from each course, let it digest, and move on to the next.  It's awesome!
  • We do a count down calendar for the boys.  It's a cute calendar with pockets for each day and a star that moves from pocket to pocket.  I got it when Turbo was four to help him know how long it was until Christmas.  It helped save me from the Is Christmas tomorrow? questions.
  • We spend Christmas eve with Nick's folks.  The boys get to open present from Papa and Nana then and we get appetizers and snack food and it's nice.
  • After Christmas Eve at the grandparents we go look at lights and then head home to scuttle little boys into bed so Santa can come.
  • We have Christmas breakfast at our house.  It way easier than lunch and lets the kids show the grands what they got and we don't have to go anywhere.
I am so thankful that I have a family that I can make these kinds of memories with.  Thinking about all these traditions really helps put me in the Christmas mood.  What are your traditions?  Are you looking forward to Christmas?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Random Talking Tuesday

We survived the Thanksgiving holiday.  Now Christmas has thrown up all over the TV and several houses in town, even the grandparents.  We are resisting until this weekend.
  • Hopefully we can head to the mountains for a tree.  It's a nice outing with the boys.  This year there isn't much snow up there yet, so the trip should be an easy one.
  • I have caught a cold.  Or maybe it's the flu.  All I know is that I feel like poop.  It's really not fair.  It could be worse, I could have gotten sick last week before the holiday.
  • The season of gimme has started. The boys want everything remotely boy oriented that they see on TV.  It really doesn't give us any good ideas on what to give them.
  • I'm almost ready to watch the Christmas movies we like.  Almost.  We did watch Frosty with Bruiser on Friday night.  He thought it was awesome.  It's almost more fun to watch him watch them than it is to watch them ourselves.
  • And the potty training goes on with Bruiser. And on and on and on.  I keep hoping that one day it will just click with him, but so far no luck.  It's a process, and there is hope in the fact that few kids have to have their diapers changed in kindergarten.  Maybe he'll get it and that will be my Christmas gift from him.  A mom can hope, right?
  • Bruiser has taken to scream/crying at anything he doesn't like.  It's enough to make you want to sell him to the gypsies.  But I don't think event hey would take him.  He's also telling us that he's not happy about a lot of things, especially when things don't go his way.  It's so hard to be firm, not give in, and not yell back at him. 
  • Why is it kids learn the buttons to push so early and push them so effectively?
  • Turbo on the other hand is doing pretty good right now.  He is having normal kid stuff but doing OK at the attitiude.  Of course with Christmas looming, he's trying really hard to be good for Santa. (Even though he knows who Santa is--on threats of no gifts for "non believers" he's professing belief.  The kid is no dummy and really wants his presents.  Greed is working in our favor right now.)
So what are your randoms this week?  Write 'em up and link 'em up with Stacy.
And go see Shawn and Impulsive for Talk To Us Tuesday--no rules, link up any post you want to, just link up.
Seriously Shawn

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend--Now That Was a Weekend

I had a fabulous Thanksgiving break. It was busy, family filled, productive and relaxing.  That's a lot to stick into a weekend, but since it was a nice long weekend, what we did was just about right.
I took Wednesday off to be home with the boys.  We lazed around, ran some errands, and I cooked/baked some goodies for Thanksgiving and then went swimming with our cousins.  After swimming, we went over to their house for a snack kind of dinner and to just hang out.  It was a very nice evening.
Thursday started early as we had to put our turkey on the grill.  It turned out fantastic, even if the grill did blow out at one point, due to the lovely wind we had.  We had a friend over for a while to enjoy some of the turkey and a glass of wine.  After Bruiser's nap we went to Nick's folk's house and had dinner.  It was nice.  They did all the work for a Turkey dinner and all we had to do was show up.
I got up at O'dark thirty to go brave the crowds for some shopping with a friend.  The crowds weren't that bad, except at Kohl's and since there was nothing there we really needed, we didn't need to stand in the ridiculous lines.  I got some good deals and we really only have a bit of shopping to do for the boys and we are ready for Christmas.
Saturday turned into an action movie marathon.  We watched The Expendables, both one and two, Red, Mission Impossible, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.  We were going to watch True Lies, but couldn't find it.  All in all it was a fun day.  I fit puzzles, the boys hung out, Turbo had a friend show up for a while, we snacked, and had a relaxing time.  With the minor exception of Turbo getting totally fed up with his brother.  Who knew a three year old could so effectively drive a nine year old up the wall.
Sunday the boys went to Papa and Nana's to make cookies and Nick and I went and wandered around Walmart, Murdocks, and Albertson's.  We shopped for the boys a bit, shopped for us a bit, and got steaks for our dinner--we both needed red meat after all the turkey.
When we got home, Nick and I started on the next big project we have planned.  The house we live in has no coat closet.  We are going to fix this, but first we have to clear out the room we plan on putting it in.  the fish tank has lived in that room for years.  We moved it into the living room yesterday.  After moving it we shifted just about everything in the front room around.  Played musical furniture, and have something we can live with until the Christmas break.  That's when we will get to move a few things and get going on the closet.
I am so looking forward to having a place to put coats, jackets, gloves, hats, all the outdoor wear that accumulates in a colder climate.  It's all going to have a home.
So, all in all, it was a great break.  I sure could use another one, oh right, just four weeks until we get winter break. Now to survive the time between now and then.
How was your Thanksgiving?  Good, bad, ugly or just so-so?  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November Thanks--Work and Hobbies

Time to do my third thanksgiving post for the month.  I really want to give thanks for all the good things I have in my life.  I've covered my family, and our lovely home.  This week I think it's time to say thanks for the opportunity to work--both at my job and as a mom.
I have always had work if I wanted it.  Some jobs were better than others.  Retail was OK, selling furniture and insurance definitely was not for me.  I enjoyed working as a chiropractic assistant, even if the days were beyond long sometimes.
Then I had Turbo and took about two years off.  Oh, I went back to school during that time but didn't really have a paying job until after my first year of school.  I went back for a geology degree.  I can blame thank Nick for that choice.  He did it and it was so interesting.  The math intimidated me but I got through it.
When I graduated with my geology degree, I got a job offer for part time work from home for a uranium exploration company.  It fit my schedule perfectly.  I really enjoyed the work and had the economy not crashed, I would still be working there. The economy did crash and I got laid off the day I had Bruiser.  Three months later I got a part time job using my degree and learning database management.  Since it was for a university, the hours are very flexible and after a year and half they took me on full time with benefits. 
I am very thankful that I have the job I have.  It challenges me and still lets me be mom to my boys. It's also pretty stable even if it's work with the energy industry.
I am also thankful that I get to be a mom.  It's work, it's never not work, but the rewards are so great that whenever it gets me down, all I have to do is think about the hugs, small moments of triumph, big moments of fun and laughter and they lift me up to keep on moving forward.
I'm also thankful for the opportunity to blog and the wonderful people I have met do this.  I've said before that I don't do the face to face meeting of people all that well. I'm fine once I know you, but the initial meeting, not so good at that.  Blogging takes that face to face uncomfortableness out of the equation.  I do hope to be able to meet some of the ladies I blog with regularly--Gretchen, Mimi, Stacy, Jen (any number of Jens, really), Myya, Mamarazzi, Alaina, Michele, and so many more.  I foresee lots of travel in my future, but is nice to know that I have people to see all across the country.
I'm thankful too, for a hubby who understands my need to get creative.  Nick is trying, with my help, to get an area to scrap book set up in the attic.  I have not scrap booked for quite a while --really since before Bruiser was born.  I am so far behind but I really need to do some work and get caught up.  With any luck I'll be all set up and can get started again over the Christmas break.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Talking Tuesday Randoms

It's the Tuesday before Turkey Day.  Let's get a lot random shall we?

  • Watching America's Funniest Videos really makes me feel smart.  There are some really silly people out there and they get caught on tape regularly. The kids love watching it.
  • Last week I visited Rachel and she was talking about convenience stores she had seen in Texas.  I mentioned that we have Kum & Go stores here.  I have proof:
I can't believe they named the franchise this. And yes that is currently our price for gas here.

  • Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  I think we are.  Let the food coma commence.
  • Sounds like most stores have given up on the ridiculous opening times and are just going to be open Thanksgiving night.  I plan on going shopping, but we are going early Friday morning, not Thanksgiving.
  • Went to the eye doctor yesterday.  My eyes have not changed since last year, so that's good.  Turbo also has dodged the eyeglasses bullet this year. Kid is probably going to end up with them eventually but not yet.
  • Bruiser has taken to turning the light on in his room so he can draw.  It's a cute reason to find him up, but really I'd prefer he go to sleep.  Having him stay up late means he gets up way too early.
  • Turbo has been reading.  I will wait while the collective gasps quiet down.  No really, voluntarily reading.  He really enjoys the Bone books.  I got them for him at the beginning of the year.  He's on book four of ten.  They are graphic/comic book style, but sort of a fantasy epic type tale.  He is reading and I'm not going to argue with it.
Here's to long weekends--may yours be full of family and good food!
Go see Stacy for more Randoms.
And go see Shawn and Impulsive for Talk to Us Tuesday.
Seriously Shawn

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Weekend That Was

So this last weekend was relaxing, but maybe a bit too quick.  And all told, I'm not sure I feel all that relaxed.  I guess next weekend will be for relaxing.  It's a nice long weekend but let's get through this last weekend first.
Friday I got to go with Turbo on his school field trip to the State Museum.  It was fun but exhausting.  Nick was wonderful though and had wine waiting for me when I got home.  It tasted fantastic.
Dressing up Railroad style.

Bugle them awake!

Saturday morning I was a bit slow.  Wine will do that.  Nick had to go to Cheyenne to help a friend bring a car back that he was buying. I got grocery shopping done and started the laundry.  Saturday afternoon was exciting for Turbo.  He had earned the money, done the chores and earned the Lego set of the Millennium Falcon.  We gave it to him on Saturday and he put it together in about 4 hours with only minimal help.
I got a migraine and Nick sent me to my room at about 6:00 pm.  I folded clothes and then crawled in bed.
Sunday, Nick and I straightened up our end of the attic.  We want to get an area set up for me to scrap book and Nick to draw and do his model trains.  We printed out some pictures and had a nice time with the boys up there.  I finished the laundry, we tightened the faucet in the sink. I attempted a nap, was mostly unsuccessful.
Nick got a wild hair for something Mediterranean for dinner.  He sort of made it up but it was a good dish.  It had pasta, tortellini, green pepper, italian sausage, mushrooms, olives, onions, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, a bit of marinara sauce, and all this was over endive and served with crescent rolls.  It was different and quite tasty.  Nick is very good at taking ingredients and making food out of it.
Hanging with my cutie.

Love my little man.

I felt sort of off all weekend and turns out I had another kidney stone.  It was just a small one, but enough to make me feel less than good.
So here's to a short week and very long weekend and Thanksgiving!
Monday morning can't be all bad if it can give me this.

How was your weekend?


Related Posts with Thumbnails