Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm a Mom wanting to build some New Year's traditions.

New Year's Eve and Day are fast approaching. On New Year's Eve we usually just hang out here play games with the kids, eat and watch a movie. On New Year's Day, we just spend it like any other day off. Watching TV, movies and eating. Sometimes I go to the grocery store or Target. They aren't very eventful, nor are they stuffed with tradition. Some cultures have traditions that welcome in the good luck, and sweep out the bad. Some have certain foods you are supposed to eat to ensure prosperity in the New year (black eyed peas anyone?) Do you have a particular tradition you observe on New Year's Eve or Day? Do you make sure you eat a breakfast of things made of rings to symbolize coming full circle and completing the year's cycle? Let me know your traditions, and we might just steal one or two of them!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm a Mom that finally got around to sorting pics too.

Here is the Christmas 2008 slideshow. Sorry it took so long...there were too many pics to go through!

Click to play Christmas 2008

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Friday, December 26, 2008

I want to share our Christmas with you.

Even though Christmas is over, the Holiday's aren't. We still have New Year's Eve and New Year's Day to look forward to. We don't have any plans, being parent's and all, we usually just eat snacks, watch a movie with the kids, and head to bed early. Sometimes we stay up until midnight, then fall asleep soon afterwards. Pretty lame, huh? It's OK, but just once I'd like to spend the night with friends, partying it up, and staying out late. Maybe in the next few years. I got off the subject...I was going to share our Christmas festivities with you. Christmas Eve night, we had a delicious Christmas Eve dinner with mashed potatoes, veggies, stuffing and deep fried Turkey. The greatest deep fried turkey I have ever eaten! Seth has started a wonderful tradition of Christmas Eve dinner, just the 4 of us, and I love being able to stay home and enjoy the company of my family. We then opened new PJ's and a Christmas DVD, a trio of Charlie Brown's Holiday Special. We watched one episode, It's Christmas Charlie Brown and the kids were so tired, they went to bed. I had a hard time sleeping that night, and just as I was falling into a deep sleep, I had a nightmare and woke Seth up. He couldn't get back to sleep. So obviously we were two tired parents on Christmas morning. I didn't wake up until 7, but Seth and the kids were up before then. It was nice to have a leisurely morning, we went to see if Santa came and the kids played with their toys, and opened their stockings and started to get hungry. We came upstairs and had eggs and bacon, and after a relaxed breakfast, we opened the other gifts under the tree. Colin got the Lego's he asked for (Santa messed up and didn't get enough) and walkie-talkies, and some stuff for his Leapster. Lilly got a new baby, and a cradle and carrier and stroller, along with a Sleeping Beauty crown, shoes and Tutu. They each got a new outfit, and games from each other. My Sis and BIL got them Crocs (Cars and Dora) and Grandma got them Harley Clothes and Colin a Matchbox car mat with cars, and Lilly a shopping cart full of play food. They were spoiled rotten, but ended up being pretty all day long. Seth got a cool poker chip set, some DVD's a Raider's pub glass set and from my parent's the Turkey Fryer. My sis and BIL got him some new darts (Guys night is in our future) and they got me some new makeup brushes. I got 3 Post Secret books, some DVD's, The Killer's new CD, a skin for my Laptop, and a Nikon D40 DSLR Camera. We were spoiled too....and very grateful. We spent most of the day at my parent's, eating and drinking and hanging out. We love being there, and spending time with family. The snow storm made things slow going, but we made it there and back without harm. We were also very lucky to have electricity Christmas morning, some of our friends went without for hours. Today has been spent playing with the toys, reading the books and just being home. I hope that is how the rest of our Holiday's play out, and I hope yours will be just as wonderful! (PS I took like 400 pictures with my new camera yesterday, so once I go through them, I will have a slide show to share!)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'm a Mom wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope you all found joy this beautiful day. Joy in watching your spouse/kids/ significant other/parents/siblings/neighbors open their gifts and be happy. And hopefully you'll find joy in remembering what this Holiday is all about: spending time with everyone, eating, drinking, playing games, and just being together. Merry Christmas! And now, in the words of a dear friend (Katie) Stop reading this blog and go spend time with your family! Like I'm doing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I am in a sharing mood.

Happy Christmas EVE! While I was growing up my Mom had the coolest kitchen tool, and we all loved to play with it. I think we might have even broken it (we tended to do that). Her cookie press was so awesome! It could make cookie dough into great shapes, and it was fun to watch her "press" the cookies. Because of this childhood memory, I bought myself a cookie press, wait, actually I think my Mom bought me my first cookie press. I started making Spritz cookies around the holiday's, and wore my first cookie press out. One Christmas Eve a few years ago, I got fed up with the old one and bought a new one from Wilton. The recipes that came with it, are pretty good, and my favorite Spritz cookie recipe is from them. Since I make 3 or 4 batches of these cookie every season, I thought I'd share the recipe with you guys. I don't know how this recipe works without a cookie press, but I am sure if you drop the cookies by rounded teaspoonfuls they will work beautifully! Classic Spritz Cookies 1 1/2 cups butter (margarine works too) 1 tsp. Vanilla 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 tsp. almond extract 1 egg 3 1/2 cups flour 2 Tbs. milk 1 tsp. baking powder Preheat oven to 375. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; beat together well. Stir together flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing to make a smooth dough. Do not chill. Place dough into cookie press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet*. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Remove cookies from sheet; cool on rack. Makes 7-8 dozen cookies. *Like I said above, try using a teaspoon to drop onto cookie sheet if you don't have a cookie press. I always sprinkle cookies with red or green sugars before baking...they are more festive that way!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm someone that didn't realize...

I enjoy classical music. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think I could listen to it all the time, but while I was baking cookies this afternoon, I listened to my CD's of Handel's Messiah. I wasn't stressed out, I took my time, I even got some laundry done in between batches of cookies. I know that some classical music is calming for babies, and kids. But I wasn't aware that I could be less stressed by listening to it. Truthfully if I am pissed off, I usually listen to KBER (heavy metal music) and that calms me down (weird I know). So my questions to you are: "Do you like Classical Music?" AND "What CD's do you recommend I buy for my iPod to help me de-stress?"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm a Mom finally getting some stuff done!

This is going to be a bullet post.....I don't have a lot of time or energy for a real one:

  • I am almost done wrapping the "non-Santa" gifts. After losing and re-buying two spools of ribbon and then losing and finally finding an almost essential roll of wrapping paper, I got started and close to finished wrapping gifts. I had a little help with the bows on the ones for my immediate family (read: 2year old=purple bows on red and green paper) and as I was getting ready to tell her she needed to stop, a very awesome neighbor called to see if the kids could play! Yay! Now I can wrap the gifts that need to look a little nicer, and not have mismatched bows.

  • I am officially done shopping for things other than food. I got the last little bit of shopping done with my SIL and niece yesterday, amidst the crazy "Saturday before Christmas" crowds. Whoo Hoo! Now I just need to suck it up and drag the kids to the grocery store, to finished getting the food gifts I need, and food for Christmas Eve dinner...oops hang on a sec....sorry, I just remembered I needed to get the turkey out of the freezer, or it wouldn't be ready to deep fry on Wednesday.
  • I still haven't made and delivered the goodies I want to, but when the other stuff above is done, I will have a lot of time. Muddy Buddies, Spritz cookies and Oreo Truffles, are in the future. I know I can get it all done quickly, especially if I can get a niece to come hang with the kids!

  • I also still need to make a gift for my FIL and one for my daughter, but as soon as I get the cutting done, they will fall into place nicely. I think I am dreading the cutting mostly because I am left handed, AND I didn't get enough tummy time when I was younger, so I don't do the most perfect job. I do my best though, that that is what handmade gifts are all about, right?
Even though this Christmastime has been full of stress, I think I am getting a lot done on my checklist, and that makes the stress just fall off my shoulders. Although, a massage from my step-niece wouldn't hurt either!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm a Mom that likes rare Christmas Music too.

Ever have the urge to check out something other than the mainstream Christmas Music? I've been listening to the SiriusXM satelite station Holly, and even though they have a wide variety of Christmas Music, they tend to play some of the same music over and over again. One of my family's favorite Christmas Albums is Christmas With Johnny Cash. Ever since Seth found it a few years ago we listen to it on Christmas morning as we open our gifts. We all know Johnny Cash is awesome, so why not listen to his Christmas Album too? There are a few songs over on the right from last.fm. Try some rare Christmas music this season, shake it up a bit!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm a Mom that still likes giveaways.

Just one more quick post for the day....chance to win $100 to Home Depot at Mommies With Cents. Looks like a great website to help you start pinching those pennies, or to give you tips on how to get things FREE! (We all like free right?) Check it out!

I found time to cook dinner too.

I finally had a chance to try out a recipe I have had in my files for a few months. I found it on All Recipes, after I saw someones picture of it in the Favorite Photos section. Handy Meat Pies INGREDIENTS 3/4 pound ground beef 3/4 pound bulk pork sausage 1 medium onion, chopped 1/3 cup chopped green onions 1 garlic clove, minced 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 1 tablespoon water 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 (12 ounce) cans buttermilk biscuits In a large skillet, brown beef and sausage over medium heat; drain. Add onions and garlic; cook until tender. Stir in parsley, water, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Heat through. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. On a floured surface, pat 10 biscuits into 4-in. circles. Top each with about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture. Pat remaining biscuits into 5-in. circles and place over filling; seal edges with water. Press edges together with a fork dipped in flour; pierce the top. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown and filling is hot. Handy Meat pies was a fairly simple recipe, but a bit time consuming actually making the pies. The recipe calls for pork sausage, but I used plain ground pork, and I had to improvise a few ingredients, but this recipe is one of those "base" recipes, that you can play around with a bit. I also used the larger biscuits to make bigger pies. Even though it says to use 2 biscuits to make the pie, I found it neater and easier to use one piece for each pie by folding it over to seal in the filling. The kids both liked these, and I served them with mashed potatoes and beef gravy to make a full meal. I also didn't bake all of them, and am going to try freezing the extras for a meal later on. I'll let you know how it works out! PS I am pretty sure these aren't quite as good as Grandma Dosbson's Meat Pies Katie and her family have every Holiday Season, but maybe they are close!

I'm the best!

I know I haven't been posting many (any) recipes lately. Maybe I'll get to one this afternoon, but I had to share a cute story about Colin. Today I read a Christmas book to Colin's Kindergarten class. The one he chose for me to read is called Auntie Claus. It is a cute story about a little girl learning that "...it is far better to give than it is to receive." Colin was so excited to see us, and he even got to make the other kids sit "Crisscross Applesauce" and fold their arms, and let me know that they were being a respectful audience. After I read the book, he was so excited, he said "Mom, you're the best!" which almost makes me cry every time I think of it. Those are the moments that make me remember why I had kids in the first place. Had to share!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm a Mom with hard to photograph kids.

We had our "photo session" this afternoon and I don't think I got even one good picture of the kids. Either Colin wanted to be funny, or Lilly wouldn't look at the camera. There were some shots that could have been cute, if only Lilly would have looked at me! So for those of you that will get a Christmas Card, just know that I tried. Here are some of the rejects.

Click to play Rejects

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I'm a Mom hoping to get some Christmas Stuff done today!

So as you know today is the 12th of December (or maybe you didn't know...surprise! It's the 12th) The 12th! I still have a few things to do before Christmas Day. I need to buy gifts for Seth's parents. I need to think of something else for my Mom, and for my brother. Seth needs to decide what we are getting his brother and his Mom. I have baking to do, and wrapping to start, and Oh My God! So many thing to accomplish! *sigh* Today though, my goal is to take a picture of the kids for the Christmas Card/Calendar. I've decided I have to get that done TODAY depsite whatever bruises, dry spots, paint marks, or boogers might be on my kids faces. I am going to dress them up and sit them down in front of the tree/couch/wall/front door and take a few pictures. They will get pictures taken, and even if they DON'T smile (which is the norm for Colin) I will pick one or two or three and finally, finally, finally, order Christmas Cards. (This year I wanted to get them from Snapfish, or Kodak, or some other fun online picture center, but that is not happening this late in the game, Costco it is!) Wish me luck, caffeine, and decent weather (just in case we DO go outside) and I'll post some of the blooper pics later today! Plust, just because I might get my Christmas Cards ordered, doesn't mean I will get them addressed and sent in a timely manner. Maybe that will be a Sunday project in between laundry and Ornament Exchanges, that is.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm a Mom thinking I am almost in the Christmas Spirit.

These last few days have been stressful. Between Birthday's, baby showers, and the first Christmas Party of the season, we have been busy. I think I am finally in the Christmas Spirit. Last night we went to This Is the Place Heritage Park and had my husband's family's Christmas Party. We rode the train around the park, and ended up at a reserved room with hot chocolate, and cookies. Seth's Mom read us a Christmas story in front of the fire and Christmas tree, and we made our own ornaments from pipe cleaners and beads (a craft offered by the park docents). The park was lit up with Christmas lights and lanterns and it was all in all a festive night. (BTW the ZOO looked soo cool from where we were...the lights are awesome there, thinking of going next weekend, I think the kids would LOVE IT, right Janice?) Today Seth put up our Christmas lights (they look so nice!) and I did about 6 hours of shopping with my SIL M and my niece M. I wasn't planning on going, but they stopped by and with the kids being sick, I knew it might be my only chance this week to get some stuff done. We ran around the valley doing some great shopping for her kids, and I found some stuff I was looking for. I think I even found a new shirt for the MNO Christmas Party on Wed (not quite sure about it though....have to try it on with my jeans). Together, those things helped get me in the spirit. I don't feel so stressed out, and I am so close to being done with my shopping that I can enjoy the season and do some fun things with the kids. (Gonna make cookies tomorrow if the kids are feeling better!) Hope this long post finds the rest of you in the spirit of Christmas, or at least on your way there!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm a Mom still trying to get into the Christmas Spirit.

OK...I got the Christmas version of Getting to Know you in an email from Katie. (I figure by now, you all know I have a friend named Katie, most of you guys are either a)related to her b)know her from her old work, or Bob's work c)her neighbor or d) in MOMS Club with us, so I am not going to put "my friend Katie" as a introduction when I talk about her anymore.) I decided to give you all my answers here, as an attempt to put myself in the Christmas Spirit. Here it goes! Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you......'Tis the Season to be NICE! 1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both 2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial 3. When do you put up the tree? My husband tries to do that the weekend after Thanksgiving. 4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime after the New Year. 5. Do you like eggnog? No, not even spiked. 6. Favorite gift received as a child? I don't remember 7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, the one from Fisher Price and Little People 9. Easiest person to buy for? The kids! 10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail 11. Worst gift you ever got? At the time, luggage....it was the year before I went to College, and I guess I needed it...now I see the practicality of the gift 12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas Vacation 13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Depends, one year I had a few gifts in July! 14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? yes 15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Honey Baked Ham 16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear 17. Favorite Christmas song? Don't have a fave 18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel, but just 30 miles south to my parents. 19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes 20. Angel on the tree top or a star? This year Santa, next year Angel, we rotate 21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning and one on Christmas Eve 22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Stress! 23. What is your ornament style? Anything that doesn't break~! 24. What's your favorite for Christmas dinner? Anything my hubby makes, although at our house it is Christmas Eve Dinner 25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A new Nikon D40 or D40X, Rock Band for whatever system we decide to get, a computer skin, and a few books.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I like some Christmas music too.

Since it is the first Thursday of the month of December, I feel it necessary to talk a bit about Christmas music. As all of us in Utah know, there are 2 local radio stations that play Christmas music 24 hours a day throughout November AND December. Two months of Christmas music. I tend to wonder how many times each song is played during that time period.....they play the "good" music and leave the "bad" out of the play lists....so it has to be a fairly high number. I like Christmas music....but I think that would drive me crazy! I have a hard enough time listening to my normal radio station when they play a Christmas song, an Alternative Christmas song every hour, 1/2 hour and 15 minutes (I think they play the songs more often the closer it gets to Christmas). I know everyone has their fave Christmas songs, so let's hear it! Tell me which ones you like AND which ones you can't stand. I personally like to listen to The Messiah a couple of times during the season, but I really like the A Very Special Christmas CD's. Not every song on every CD is awesome, but it is really nice to still listen to my fave artists sing the songs of the season. I've listened to a few of my all time faves on last.fm (are you surprised?) so you can hear some of them from the play list at the right! Can't wait to hear your faves!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I still don't want to open Christmas.

We decorated the tree last night, and tonight, and I am sure we will put more ornaments on tomorrow. Buying the shatterproof ones totally helped....I don't think I will worry as much about the "special" ones getting broken this year. It isn't pretty, and I am sure I could do more....maybe some red ribbon or something, but here is a pic:

Christmas Tree 2008 AND I did go buy some garland to hang on the front railing. I didn't put it up yet, but maybe tomorrow. Maybe. (If anyone knows where I can find a berry garland or a string of red small wooden beads...let me know...thinking of adding them to the railing)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I decided not to reply to comments on yesterday's post in the comments section, but to do it here: m0ck0bject- Don't you think one scrooge in a house is enough? Everyone- I'm glad I'm not the only one that is having a hard time this year. Maybe snow would help, or a Christmas party. My first one is on Saturday, although that one is sans booze, so maybe not. Barbi- I'd love for you to add my blog to your blog roll...I added yours to mine! You just need to post more often!

I'm a thief too.*

*OK so not really, but I didn't have any other ideas for post titles. And it got your attention didn't it? I tried a recipe that my friend Erin posted on her blog like 3 weeks ago. If I had my perfect pantry stocked and had non-rotten potatoes I would have tried it on the spot. Take a look at her post here: Our Favorite Fries:Tutorial. As soon as my hubby walked in the door, he was curious as to what I was making. We ate the fries with sloppy joes, not anything fancier, but it made the meal way better than it would have been without. I think I could make these a couple times a week, and eveyone would eat them (even Colin ate them, and he doesn't like potatoes!) I didn't use the orange infused olive oil, and I did have minced garlic on hand. I cut the potatoes by hand, but I think if I had a french fry cutter it would make the process a ton faster! Try them out....they are easy, and they made the house smell so good, and it makes your husband think you are making something other than sloppy joes and french fries!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm a Mom not wanting to "open" Christmas this year.

First off let me explain about "Open": When Colin was younger, the best way to explain to him the different decorations for each Holiday was to tell him that we "opened" that particular Holiday. Grandma always "Opened" Valentines before I did. Target "opened" any Holiday before the rest of the world could get to it. And subsequently, after the Holiday was over we called it "closed". I do not want to "Open" Christmas this year. The hassle of decorating does NOT seem appealing to me right now. The 4 boxes of stuff in my living room and the 2 or so more in the shed are overwhelming to me. Getting out the Christmas tree ornaments is always a fight to make sure the "special" ones are high enough for the kids not to reach, and that we have hooks or ribbons for every single one. My husband hasn't been feeling well enough to put the lights on the house or possibly fix the Grinch. The tree is up, the stockings hung, the Nativity out for the kids to play with (Fisher Price Little People). Isn't that all we need? I dunno what the deal is....maybe too much stress in my life. Maybe I just need to listen to Christmas Music all the time...and get in the spirit of the season. Or maybe I just need to suck it up and put the shit out and be done with it. Whatever....I guess I'll figure it out! BTW.....just made the decision to go buy a whole bunch of shatterproof ornaments, and we are decorating the tree with those and a few other ornaments. Hubby said I could...headed to Target as soon as Lilly wakes up from her nap!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm a Mom that enjoyed Thanksgiving this year.

This year for Thanksgiving, we went to Seth's sister M's house. She and her blended family live 3 miles away, if you drive the long way (she measured the mileage one day, but went the long way down Skye Drive instead of the short way by driving down Old Bingham). It was a nice relaxed Thanksgiving! The kids stayed at home as long as they could, so they didn't get too bored waiting for dinner to be ready. I was able to do as much as possible here, and bake things over there (they have 3 ovens). If we forgot anything, we could run home. At a few points in the day we threatened to take kids home if they didn't stop doing whatever horrible thing they were doing (that was so nice!) M's family is so fun to be around! We all get along fairly well, and my kids love hanging out with all of the older kids. It was not stressful...we were harried to get things on the table when it was time to eat (but than happens anyway) but it didn't matter that we were using paper plates, and not real ones, it didn't matter that we didn't all sit at the same table, it didn't matter that we didn't eat pie together at the end of the meal. It was so nice not to have that kind of stress! Hope all of you had a non-stressful Thanksgiving Day, you stuffed yourselves full of all of the good things on the table, and enjoyed the company of family and/or friends!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Semi-Silent Saturday

GO UTES~!
That is all I have to say!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I also try to support local bands...

...try being the key word. I wish I had more time to go see local bands perform, and help get the word out about how great they are! (Seth, remember Orange Crush? I loved those guys! And do you know where that CD is???) Anyway....my hubby works with a local actress/singer (she is an artist at Avalanche...multi-talented I tell ya!) that has filmed a music video for her band Petal. Emily Tyndall sent the YouTube link to her fellow co-workers so they could help spread the word about this video since the song and video were inspired by the book (can anyone guess???) Twilight. I thought I would share it with all of you. The music isn't quite the genre I normally like, but the effects in the video are pretty cool. She's got a great voice, and is gorgeous! So check it out....hopefully the embeding works!

I'm a Twilight Fan too!

So the Twilight movie is in theaters in....well check out the countdown clock at the right. In the spirit of the great weekend that is ahead for all you Twilight Fans, I have chosen a band that is not part of the Twilight movie but goes along with the whole Supernatural Theme: Vampire Weekend! Since for most of you it is a Vampire Weekend, being as you are planning on seeing the movie multiple times, why not take a break from the movie soundtrack without taking a break from the "Vampireness" of the weekend? (OK, that was cheesy) I've heard these guys a few times on the Alternative Sirius radio station. I even heard them hosting the Alt. Nation Top 20 (I think it was 20) Countdown when they had a song in the Top 10. They seemed to be pretty modest about their new found fame. I can listen to them. They don't make me want to change the channel when they come on. last.fm only has a sample of one song, so I can't make an informed decision. Check some of their songs out on their website music link: Vampire Weekend. (If you listen to them there, just know it isn't censored. So listen without the kids in the room!) Enjoy your "Vampire Weekend!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm a Mom that is relaxing after an eventful evening (updated)

No need to rehash the whole night in detail, but here are the "highlights".
Son comes upstairs saying his tummy hurts and he might throw up.
Son climbs into bed with a fever, won't let Mom see how high of a fever, and falls asleep.
Daughter eats dinner by herself.
Daughter needs a bath.
Daughter poops in bath.
Daughter cries and cries and cries because she has pooped in the bath.
Mom cleans the bathtub.
Daughter, still crying, gets bathed, dressed and candy to shut her up.
Son is still hot from fever and asleep.
Daughter is sent to bed, but won't sleep without Daddy saying goodnight.
Mom, exhausted from those few hours of chaos, has one of these at the suggestion of a friend:

White Russian Fixin's

Mom feels better and is glad Daddy is on the way home.

Daughter is still awake. UGH!

Update: Mom spills White Russian on lap and bed sheets...Mom is going to bed!

I love bringing things to potluck dinners too! (Updated)

Or "appetizer, salad, dessert" events too. I know I have posted quite a few recipes that can be taken to potluck type dinners (can you tell that is just about all I attend these days?) but this one is so good, and so easy AND my SIL "M" requested it for our Pre-Thanksgiving goodie table next week, so I just had to share! Artichoke Cheese Dip 1/2 Cup mayo 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese 1/8 tsp. onion salt (I am sure onion powder would work as well) 1 tsp. dried dill weed 1/8 tsp. lemon pepper 1/2 of a 14 oz. can artichoke hearts drained and chopped Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients, mix well, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve with toasted sliced baguette, crackers or pita bread. As always you can modify the recipe to suit your needs. Doubling it for a larger crowd is simple. Using low-fat mayo and 2% milk cheese would make it healthier. Even making it and heating it in a crock pot to keep it warm is perfect for potlucks! (I think I'm going to try to find a new little one with dual heat settings for Thanksgiving so I don't have to watch it as closely as the one I currently own) PS: I don't remember where I found this recipe. If someone out there reads this post and makes claim to this recipe, I'll happily give credit where credit is due! *Updated*....this is not the dip I brought to Bunco last night. That one was from Costco. THIS dip is still awesome though!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm a Mom that loves giveaway's...

and this one was found by reading Erin's blog, two seconds! (I love reading her blog....she is so creative and all around fun...wish she had more time for MOMS Club stuff!) Anyway...check out this Giveaway from Tip Junkie. I think I might start reading the blog, not just for the giveaway's but for the amazing ideas from amazing women around the blogosphere.

(I can just see the cute Christmas decoration sitting on top of my piano...I hope I win!) Oh, and PS...Pioneer Woman is giving away TWO (yes, that is TWO) Kitchen Aid mixers...hurry and enter! (I hope that didn't ruin my chances of winning!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm a friend too!

Check out the new countdown clock at the bottom of the page. If that doesn't tell you how good a friend I am then nothing will. I will adorne my blog with freaky clocks just to let you all know when Nicool is comin' to town. If Nikki T doesn't appreciate it then she can "suck it" (trademark line from Holly), cuz until she is in town and we can go to "Wing Ballz"* (sorry Rusty) I'll be bouncin' off the walls in anticipation. (Hence the freaked out bouncing ball things animating the countdown clock) *"Wing Ballz" is actually the new wing place in The District "Wing Nutz". I've heard it is good, but haven't actually been....BUT just so you feel sorry for me, my hubs went without me one Monday Night to watch football!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm trying to be a better cook-Wednesday's Wonderful Recipes/Tips

As you all know by now, I like to cook. I wish I had a little different kitchen to cook in, another oven, larger counter space to work on and to keep a few more appliances on (a Kitchen Aid mixer has been on my covet list for a long time...there is just no room to keep it) maybe a pot rack to keep pots and pans handy, the list goes on and on, and just gets more extravagant from there. Since I am destined to work in my current kitchen until either a) we win the lottery or b) hell freezes over, I need to just try to keep the counter top cleared off so there is always room to chop, slice, mix, and grate (I can hear Seth now "Yeah right! That isn't going to happen!). I subscribe to daily and monthly newsletters from All Recipes.com that give cooking advice and new recipes. Today's advice was how to have the perfect pantry (No Beth, I said Pantry, not Panty...you have enough of those in the leg of your jeans) I have come across many lists from many chefs with supplies to keep a pantry stocked with items that can help you make great meals for your family. I don't think I have ever taken any of those lists seriously enough to take it to the grocery store and stock my own pantry. When I got the email I thought I'd finally take a look at one and see what I might be missing. I was fairly certain I was going to need quite a few items to complete the list, and decided to start stocking a little at a time. As I went through the list, I was amazed at how little I have to buy! I only have to buy 5 or 6 items to make my pantry as perfect as it is going to get. They recommend buying canned beans as well as dry beans, and even though I have a few cans of black beans, we just don't eat many beans in this family (to the chagrin of me and the joy of Seth). Whoo Hoo! My first attempt to boost my basic cooking and baking skills was a success! Onto the next challenge (whatever that might be). PS I have pretty much abandoned the idea of a "Side Dishes" series. Which makes me ask "How many posts constitute a series anyway?" If I come up with anymore, I will post them. If I don't you'll just get random recipes, OK?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm gonna have to make a decision too!

It has been a week since the "vote for my next hairstyle" post and we have the results (drum roll please...........) IT'S A STINKIN' TIE! Now I have to "man" up and make my own decision between the Gwyneth and Particia cuts! I guess I'll take both pics to the stylist and see what she thinks. Thanks for voting and I'll stick the final decision pics as soon as I can make it to Spanish Fork to get my hair cut!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm a housewife too

The title should be "I'm a lazy housewife too". Today I vowed to stay home in the AM while the oldest is at school and do laundry and "tidy" the house. (I used quotations because if you saw my house, you would know tidy isn't the right word) So far there is one load of laundry in the washer, one load of dishes in the dishwasher and I have straightened the bathroom. I sat down to rest for a bit (a bit meaning few minutes) and I was sucked into a few blogs, and Facebook (it's addicting) and Twitter. And I decided to write a post. I've been on the computer for more than a "bit". Needless to say the rest of the house isn't becoming very "tidy". What is is about the computer and the need to be in the loop all the time? I check Facebook and Twitter every 10 minutes or so to see what everyone is up to. I check it so often that my job is suffering (in fact my daughter is tugging on my fingers wanting me to fix the moive as I try to tpye). Is it the actual want to make sure all is OK with my friends? (BTW...Katie, hope your headache is gone) Or is it a little bit of snoopiness? Although, if it were snooping, or spying, the updates wouldn't be so out in the open. Oh well...at least I know it isn't just me slacking on housework and some parental duties (I said duties) there are a ton of you out there that spend a lot of time on the computer too! OK...back to doing housework....I only have an hour and a half before Colin gets home....I can do a lot in that time!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I am a yard worker too

Today my family took the opportunity to clean up our yard a bit since the weather was fairly nice. Colin loved that we were having a family day! The kids had a ball helping Dad rake leaves and put the toys away for the winter (too bad we have a lot of leaves left on the trees...we'll have to rake again, and again, and again). I put my flower pots away (and took out the dead flowers, since I am not very good at remembering to water during the summer). The yard is ready for snow even if I am not! Enjoy the slide show of the kids in the leaves....they were both so cute!

Click to play Fall 2008
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Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm a woman with needs too~!

No, not those kinds of needs! (There are just some things I won't share on my blog!) Anyway....I totally agree with Mrs. Fussypants FTF post today. Shape your eyebrows! It isn't too hard, she'd got a great video to help you out. OR you can go spend a little $$ and get them waxed once, then keep them shaped well by using a great pair of tweezers! (Tweezerman makes some really spiffy ones and they sell them at Bed Bath and Beyond read 20% off coupon) I am one that needs to pluck even a little every day or my brows get unruly. Even if I get them waxed, I still keep a pair of cute pink tweezers handy for those stray hairs. So check out her post, and keep your eyebrows shaped! It's a small and easy way to Fight The Frump! Oh and for you guys out there (you know who you are) you can always get a Micro Touch Magic to keep from sporting a Bert style unibrow!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm a Cure Fan too!

But I didn't always used to be. Well, I liked their most popular songs during Jr. High and High School, but I didn't start really listening to specific albums until I married Seth. Come to think of it, Seth should be the one writing these music posts....he's the one that tells me about the cool music I listen to....I wonder if I could get him to do that for me...hmmmm. Anyway....The Cure has a new album. I didn't know this until I listened to Parker's show on Tuesday while he and Dallan were reviewing it. (God I am so out of the loop sometimes!) I like listening to The Cure....in fact two of my ring tones on my cell phone are from The Cure (Lullaby and Just Like Heaven). They invoke a bit of 80's/90's nostalgia, as well as some great 00's concert nostalgia. *sigh* From what I heard of the new album...I like it, but other people beg to differ. Each song is fairly reminiscent of another Cure song, but that is OK with me. Other's listening to the review weren't as impressed. I guess you have to be a Cure Fan to appreciate 4:13 Dream. I will most likely buy the album on iTunes, just so I have it as part of my music collection, but that is just me!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm slow at getting stuff done too...

but you already know that about me. If it is important, or something that weighs on my mind I get it done quickly....but if it is something that is not a pressing issue, I procrastinate. I have finally gotten the Halloween pictures of the kids in a small slide show, hope you enjoy!

Click to play Halloween 2008
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I am also ready to have YOU vote!

I thought it fitting to post my hair cut poll on election day. Most everyone I know has been urging everyone to Vote in our national election, and since they have all voted (I will tonight) I don't have anyone to appeal to.
BUT I do urge you to vote in a less serious election. Mostly because I am sick of the campaigning, and the last minute plea's for votes. But also because sometimes I have a hard time making a decision on my own. Please take a look at the hair styles/explanations below, and in the comments let me know which hair cut you think I should get. I will post results in a week and then get the hair cut within the next few weeks, and of course put the pics here.
Here are your choices:
Hair Cut #1- Gwyneth Paltrow's Medium Length Bob:
Hair Cut #2- Patricia Heaton's Medium Length layered cut:
Hair Cut #3- Slight A-line cut, same length as the Gwyneth cut, with the front pieces slightly longer (couldn't find a good pic to show you)
Hair Cut #4- Get the same Cut as you got a few months ago
Hair Cut #5- Just get your hair trimmed and leave it mostly the way it is now.
I'm not going to influence your vote by telling you which one I like the best. I already have a vote for #2...my SIL is a lurker and doesn't comment, but told me she likes #2.
Let the Voting begin!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm a Mom coming out of her funk with a little help.

So I am slowly coming out of my funk. Halloween is over, and there are still a few more weeks left until the food stress of Thanksgiving. I am pretty much done Christmas Shopping for the kids...we scaled way back this year, and it feels really good! Something arrived in the mail today that has helped me climb out of my hole of despair. I have been debating telling you guys about this, because...well....because I feel like there are some things I am allowed to be selfish about. But in the spirit of the upcoming Holiday Season, and to try to help out some of those very talented people that are awesome at hand making many cool things. The Little Black Box (LBB) is a company run by an innovative woman (Kim) helping get the word out about handmade goods. LBB is actually a bag full of handmade samples and even some full sized items along with some coupons for etsy shops and websites that gets sent to your mailbox just for you to enjoy! (that was a mouthful!) I have purchased three Little Black Boxes and each time something different arrives! It is just like opening your stocking on Christmas Morning. This month I got two different handmade soaps, quite a few handmade cards, an awesome mini pendant, a pair of earrings (last month I got 3 pair!) and many other really cool items that make me want to spend all day on the internet checking out the shops they came from. October's LBB is on sale now for $19 and that includes Priority shipping....it might seem like a lot, but if you count up how much each sample would cost you to buy and ship it, it is an amazing steal! Take a look, even if it is just to check out the vendors that are in October's LBB, OR November's LBB. PS Also check out Kim's LBB blog where she reviews things that she finds online, or things that will be in the next month's LBB. It's awesome!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm a Mom and wife of "Corn Mazers"

To help get me out of this funk...we decided to go to the Crazy Corn Maze near our house. Colin has been in love with mazes for the last 6 months or so (he had so much fun in the one made of boxes at the MOMS Club Halloween Party yesterday) and we thought this would be the perfect time of year to let him have some fun running around a huge one. It was a fun maze....hard to see once the sun went down (the flashlight wasn't helping much) and we didn't get all of the numbers punched....but we had a ton of fun as a family. Afterwards we went to dessert and got ice cream (I wanted something warm, but majority rules). Here is a small slide show of our eventful night, with a few of our "Mr. and Mrs. Potatohead Pumpkins" too!

Click to play Corn Maze

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PS "Corn Mazers" was Colin's term for us this evening. Cute, huh?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

that wants to give up.

Are you like me and some days you just want to give up? Give up cleaning house, give up doing laundry, give up trying to be social, give up everything all together and just stay in bed all day doing nothing but surfing the Internet and watching Gilmore Girls? (and possibly reading...I still have to finish Breaking Dawn, but I'm getting there!) I haven't had days like this in a long time. Usually I just chug right on through and keep at it. Eventually things get better and my urge to give up just disappears. Not this time. I just want to fall off the face of the earth and give all my responsibilities to someone else. I'm not sure why this is harder to get through this time. It's not the weather: "The weather in Utah right now is unseasonably warm. Highs in the low 70's all week." It's not the lack of social time with friends (don't even let me get into the week we still have ahead of us!). And it's not that I need a break....I just got back from Vegas for hell's sake! I just don't know what is keeping me in this funk. Anyway...I might not post on any of my regular topics for a little bit. I might post about a great episode of Gilmore Girls in season 4 (one of my fave seasons!), or how much farther I have to go until I finish Breaking Dawn, or I might not even post at all. Don't get worried, don't get mad....just know I'll be back as soon as I don't feel like giving up anymore. (Also check the Twitter box to the right....that is something I will probably keep up with!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm a Mom reminding you of a post!

Because I'm a Mom and that is what I do. And because I really DO want your opinion. Some of you may not have seen the post about me needing a change. I know when a blog I read does same day posts, I sometimes miss one. So check out my post and give me some ideas....voting begins soon! (And thanks to those that did read the post and commented!) PS Katie sent me an email with some styles she liked (thanks Katie!) Here are the links so you can check them out too! Gwyneth Marcia Maria Patricia

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm a Mom that has been tagged again!

Katie tagged me again, this time with a Google Images Meme. Here we go!
My favorite vacation:
Kauai, Hawaii, my fave island. A little known fact about me:

I'm left handed. Some people know, but forget. My favorite color:

My favorite treat:

Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie from Chili's! My favorite fruit:

My middle name:

I don't have one. Where I live now:

Where I grew up:

Orem, UT Where I'd like to vacation:

Amsterdam! (Or all of Europe) My first name:

My pet peeve:

My favorite animal(s):
My Past Love:
My greatest wish:

I used the double happiness sign because I wish is Happiness for both my kids!

WOW! That took me three days (on and off)...so I'm gonna poop out and not tag anyone else. BUT if you want to do this meme...go ahead...let me know if you do it, and I'll check it out!

I'm a Mom that has a hard time expressing herself...so others do it for me!

As all of you that read this blog know, I do am not the greatest of writers. I can write an essay for school, or a research paper, or maybe even a short, short story....but only with ample time to write, and re-write, and write yet again. In the blogging world, that kind of writing is not ideal. In the blogging world, you type up a quick post, maybe check it for spelling errors (I always try to do that.....it's the perfectionist in me) and put it on the Internet. After I publish a post, I don't usually read it on the actual blog, I don't want to see the imperfections (or the perceived imperfections) and have to make updates, or add more to the post. That is why most of the time this blog is fairly shallow, and well, FUN. I don't DO deep and meaningful very often, for the reason above (I don't want to write and re-write) and because I still have a twinge of insecurity, and I think that what might be deep and meaningful to me, might be taken the wrong way, or I might get made fun of, even if it is not to my face (or comment section). That said...in a long, round about way...I read Clever Girl Goes Blog on a daily basis, and a post in particular kinda hit home with me. When Did Everything Change? talks about Tia's life changing all at once. She is trying to get pregnant with her first kid, and she is thinking about the changes having a child will bring to her life. She wonders when she became an adult......an adult with a career, an adult that sits at the adult table at Thanksgiving, and an adult that other people actually take seriously. I also often wonder why people see me as an adult, when quite often I see myself as still a kid. I wonder how I came to be a Mom, and even though I know it is where I want to be, sometimes it takes me off guard that I am the "Mom" my kids are asking for. If you read Tia's post, and read the comments, mine is toward the end, you will understand a little more of how I related to her post. If you read it, and can relate also, let me know....I'd love to hear from you! PS...Katie...I got your tag, and I am working on it, I promise!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm finally continuing my mixtape of life.

So as you all know I was in Las Vegas for a great weekend of friends and fun! This week's songs are two from that weekend. I couldn't come up with a third...since there were really only two songs we heard all weekend. 7-Shake It-Metro Station: We saw these guys in concert on Saturday evening. It was kinda weird to see 12 year old girls screaming over a band, knowing that if I would have seen NKOTB when I was young, I would have been one of those girls. 8-Space Oddity- David Bowie: This is the first song on a CD that Nicole played over and over in the car. The CD is what she will walk down the catwalk to in the 2008 Hair Wars competition at the Hard Rock at the end of this month. Not only did we listen to it over and over again.....BUT we all had it in our heads the entire weekend! On more than one occasion Beth or Nicole would serenade us with the correct lyrics, or the incorrect lryics, or even the dirty ones (or was that just in my head?)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm a Mom, ready for a change!

I realize that title could mean many, many different things. But today I am being shallow. I have decided I need a change in my hairstyle. I love the cut I got month's ago....I just haven't kept it up. My hair dresser is 50 miles away, and it is hard to get down to her for maintenance. (I know, I know, I should find someone closer, BUT I have had bad experiences with stylists that don't know how to color red hair correctly) So I have decided that in order for me to get my hair done on a more regular basis...I am going to get it cut shorter. I just don't know what style to go with. This is where you guys come in. I need some help deciding which hair cut to get. First, I'd like you to find some pics of some medium length hairstyles you think I would look good having and send the link to me in the comments. Then I will choose my faves from there and eventually end up with a poll....we bloggers can't do anything without having a poll! There are only two rules: 1) No bangs-it is sad to say that with bangs, my psoriasis crawls down my forehead, and it gets scary from there. 2) No shorter than just above shoulder length- I am a sissy, and I am scared to go any shorter than that. I might have a great face for a certain cut that is shorter, but I just don't think I can do it. At least not this time! So submit your "entries" and soon I will have the poll up and running!

I'm a side dish whore too!

OK...so maybe not exactly a "whore" but I love, love the side dishes people bring to pot luck's. Some one always comes up with something new and interesting and most often, something delicious! This recipe was shared with a playgroup years ago, by my friend Cara (hi Cara...how's FL treatin' ya?). It is the most wonderful version of Scalloped Potatoes I have ever had! Most of the recipes I had tried, were dry and flavorless, but these are awesome! I don't make this recipe very often, it has lots of cheese, lots of cream, and the Yukon Gold potatoes are more expensive than Russets so it can be pricey to make, but it is a perfect dish for the Holidays! Take a look at the recipe below, and if you make it, let me know! http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Three-Cheese-Garlic-Scalloped-Potatoes/Detail.aspx

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I missed things while I was gone!

Lilly grew up while I was gone! She is now talking in more of a sentence structure. My favorite word she can say is "Awesome". She said "Wow this is so awesome" and I then asked her what is Awesome here are her answers: My hair Me My Room-(then she said "My room messy, clean it up, do my chores" ) Jannell and Javin Grandma's House Bubba Bubba Grandma and Grandpa Daddy It was so cute....it looks like she learned some things while I was gone,I totally missed it!

I'm a Mom back to work!

OK, so I am back from my trip! I'll have an almost full update soon, complete with some pics of the trip! Hey...what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm Fighting the Frump in Vegas!

*Since I am on a weekend trip, this post was written before I left.... There is no better way to Fight The Frump than to hang with girlfriends...OUT OF TOWN! Hopefully at this moment I am sipping a glass of wine either by the pool, or looking at the awesome view...and just being me, the un-frumpy me. I haven't given you an update on the products I have tried so here we go: I am still loving the brown sugar scrub. I haven't used up the 1/2 recipe yet, but it will be gone soon. I still highly reccomend you make it, and make it with cinnamon, or cloves instead of the ginger, AND I even reccomend you even use it on your kids....my son has horrible dry skin on his knees and ankles and he loves it when I use the scrub on his legs! The Fashion Forms Breast Petals work beautifully! I just need to remember to actually use them. Try 'em out and see for yourself! No nipples! I'm still telling you the Soothing Care Chafing Relief Gel is awesome.....if you haven't bought some....DO IT NOW! John Frieda's hair glaze still makes my hair soft and shiny. I have only used it 3 or so times, so the bottle has lasted me quite a while, but it is a product I will buy time and time again! Even though the summer is over here in Utah..Certain Dri is still something I will use every night. If you aren't embarassed to tell your spouse he needs it (or even your extended stay guests, hope they are gone Cindy!) stick it in a stocking....it will fit nicely! I guess that is it for this week. Mrs. Fussypants might have a post.....check it out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm struggling with my music choices!

I know I promised a new set of songs that depict my short life...but I am struggling to come up with something that A) isn't too cheesy B) My husband would be OK with me sharing* or C) a song that actually means something to me, and I didn't just throw on there to make the list complete. So here is a little confession: Last night I imported a few of the CD's Seth made for me onto iTunes so I could sync them to my iPod (do I sound like I know what I am doing or what!?). Because they are homemade, the song names don't automatically import along with the music. I had to go through about 40 songs and name them and the artist so they would be organized on my iPod. I had a hard time remembering the names of most of the artists! Like Beck, and the Thompson Twins, and even Led Zepplin! I suck! There were a few obscure artists like Elastica (I totally got that one) and Chantal Kreviazuk (didn't get that one) but these songs were one CD's I have had for years! I would have thought I could have named more of them without the help of the Internet (google and last.fm rocked for that purpose though!) So my confession is that even though music is a huge part of my life, I am horrible at remembering names of songs, and who sings them. The worst part, I am pretty good with names of people and details in everyday life....why can't that trickle on over to my music knowledge? So hopefully next week I will be able to remember the names and artists of songs that aren't cheesy and that mean something to me. Maybe this weekend full of Rocktober fun will bring some new ones to light! *To be fair, I haven't asked Seth if I can share any of the songs I want to put on here....I just haven't gotten around to it....he may or may not say it is OK..so stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I steal great craft ideas too!

This was so hilarious! I don't know how many of you read "White Trash Moms" (link on the right) but if you don't read it....you missed out on the perfect craft for Halloween. Take a look at the cute little ghost that is waaayy easier to make than the tissue over a sucker ghost we are gonna do for the MOMS Club Halloween party. Do you think Jenni would go for it? (Please keep your comments on the clean side....we don't wanna get gross!)

I'm starting a new recipe series!

Even though I am going out of town.....I still have a recipe to share with you! Thanks to everyone that voted last week, and the winner is clearly the Side Dish Series. We all get to bring some kind of a side dish to the many holiday parties that are headed our way! I will be highlighting some of my faves the next few weeks starting with this: Cheesy Veggies- From the Neighborhood Recipe Book, submitted by Greg Miles 2 pkg. California Veggies (Broccoli, Cauliflower and Carrots) 1 stick butter 8 oz. Velveeta 1 can cream of chicken soup Topping: 1 stick butter 1 tube crushed Ritz Crackers (or similar cracker) Cook Veggies. Melt Cheese and 1 stick of butter. Add cream of chicken soup. Mix with veggies. Spread in 9x13 pan. Melt second stick of butter and mix with crackers. Spread topping over mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until light brown and bubbly. This is such an easy dish to make! You can use the 2% Velveeta, a light soup, and the reduced fat Ritz to make it a little less fattening. You can also make most of it ahead of time, then finish baking it when you get to your pot luck dinner. If you make it all ahead of time, I recommend sprinkling a few crushed crackers on top just before serving, to give it the crunch the topping needs. Next week: Awesome Scalloped Potatoes