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 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 " 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, was the year before I went to College, and I guess I needed 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 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 (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!