Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey day around here

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Every year the kids go to grammy's house and make place mats of some sort to use on the table. This year we had more like place cards. They hung very sweetly on everyone's chair.

Around here we try to keep it as fun as possible. Note the napkin rings that quickly became eye wear.

And, of course, since napkin rings are very multifaceted they quickly turned into this jenga type game. This one held everyone's attention for quite some time and there were lots of ohhhhh's and ahhhh's.

After all the dinner stuff was done and things were all cleaned up.....G asked to break out the bubbles. Of course, you cant blow bubbles unless you are in the proper attire.

Then we had a little knitting lesson. Grandma loves to knit. K showed interest a few years back, but it didn't really now she is at it again and this time seems to be very dedicated. I told her to keep on tight as her stitches are....she ought to be able to make mama a really warm blanket just in time for her
birthday.....hint hint.

Not to be left out, of course. G has to learn how to knit, too. He went right up to grandma and said, "I want to learn how to knit, too, grandma."

So, we all spent a very cozy evening knitting, reading, sitting by the fire, playing some games, and of course, enjoying some pumpkin pie.

Monday, November 24, 2008

In the kitchen

On cold and dreary days we like to bake. It makes us feel happy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Award Fest

It appears that there is an award fest going on right now. And let me just say that I am totally speechless that I am a part of it all.

From Ang:

Mostly, I think she gave me this because it really is hot in here. And not because I shoved a duck down my coat! I keep my house at a balmy 68 degrees.....except for when I have my fireplace going...then its more like 73. The other part of it, the part where she REALLY thinks my blog is hot, well, (blushing), Thank you, Ang. Coming from you, who writes a really great blog, that means a lot.

From Penny:

Penny is new to my blog. Hi Penny. Thank you for the award. I love that you came and read my blog. Even more, I love that you found it funny. I like funny.

And from Greywolf(Gergo)(Gary):

I will never be able to express in words just how much it means to me that you made me a Perfect Patty award. Right now, I am verklempt. Seriously.

And to my great pal, Danni, just knowing that you can appreciate a perfect patty....that just takes our friendship to a whole new level. I never knew when I left those perfectly proportioned patties in your particularly posh place to perserve, well, I never knew that you would find them so perfectly perfect. That warms my heart. Thank you for that.

However, sadly, I must decline the gracious offer of the Cleanest Fridge award. I am so sorry to have to say that, but I feel it is better placed in Danni's hands. As I was just fibbing that I cleaned her fridge. And I shall not take credit for that which I have not accomplished. But I can with very fond memory, say that I did, in fact, partake in her neatly placed cherry pepsis and her cleverly contained organic milk. Not to mention, the brilliantly bagged baby carrots that I had to rush to get for the sweet, loveable, huggable, amazingly, gorgeous donks.

Thank you again for the awards. I am truly touched.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lazy Sunday morning

Around here Sunday seems to have become my day to make breakfast. Which works out well because Sunday is also my morning to wake up early with the little guy. The weekdays, well, they are normally pretty busy and revolve around last minute school readiness. And Saturday? Well, Saturday is Pancake Day. It has been pancake day ever since the kids were little. And Daddy always makes them. It was one of those...he was really good at it and the kids loved now pancakes are your thing, daddy.

I have to be honest and say that I'm not a big breakfast fan. I like breakfast....just not really at breakfast time.
I mean, I like breakfast for dinner. But those big breakfasts like pancakes and french toast and all that....its not really my thing. Gimme a bagel and cream cheese, or a muffin...maybe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.....

This morning the little guy and I set out to make some cinnamon streusel muffins.
He loves to help in the kitchen. Totally loves it. He's a very methodical chef. Everything needs to be just so and things all happen in a very orderly fashion.

This is very serious business.

Making sure to get everything out of the bowl.

Now we have moved onto the streusel topping...I was very impressed that more of it didnt make it into his mouth along the way.

20 minutes later, we have these. Yummy.

Every good chef has to sample his work.

Friday, November 14, 2008

what not to do

I have a confession to make. I have never had a fireplace before.

Okay, I take that back. When I was growing up we had this big, black monstrosity
that sat in the middle of the living room that was called a pot bellied stove....or at least thats what I remember calling it. I have no recollection if it actually burned wood or coal...all I know is that it did burn something and you had to know what to do and when to do it or else it really didnt work that well. Oh, and I seem to remember that the best place to be was right there next to it....all cozied up with a pillow, blanket, and a good book.

As an adult, the only thing close to a fireplace that I have had was a in a rental that we were just recently living in while we had our current house built. It was a little gas fireplace. So, all you had to do was flip a switch and then there was a burst of flames that magically appeared. Ohhhhh....Ahhhhhh....and they stayed there, all pretty and flickering. You never had to open the fireplace door or add any wood. You never had to get rid of any ashes. Cmon, tho....really...thats not a real fireplace. You cant get in there to make smores if you wanted to, you cant hear the popping and snapping of the wood, and you for sure dont get that great fireplace smell....the one that makes you think of snowy days and hot cocoa.

So, when we built this house we had them put in a "real" fireplace. The kind that you have to use wood in. The kind that you have to tend to every once in a while. The kind that can be a little finicky and doesnt always start up right away.

That part I mentioned about not having a fireplace? Well that also means that I had never had the opportunity to light one either....or keep one going or clean one out....nope....none of that. Good thing S knew what he was doing. Or this coulda spelled trubble.

Knowing all that, it shouldnt come as a surprise that we also did not have any of the appropriate tools or equipment necessary to maintain a fireplace. This is what we had.

Yep, thats it. This was our multi-purpose fireplace friend. It removed ashes, stoked the fire, helped to rotate name it....this little thing did it.

And even tho I really like the little guy, it seemed logical that the next step in fireplace 101 would be to go out and get a fireplace set.....right? That makes sense, doesnt it?

Im making progress....Im learning! And did I mention that it has been kinda cold here....little stretches of cold....perfect time to use the fireplace. So, we get it going...were enjoying it, its very the fire burns down....the next day comes around...hey! Lets start another fire.

S brings in a bucket to remove the ashes. Do you notice anything about the bucket? I mean, I do. I look at it, look at S....look at it...look at S. I sorta cock my head to the side and look at it some more. Hmm. In his defense, its not like we have anything else to put the ashes in. Nothing. So, this will have to do. Load the ashes up.....go set the bucket outside on the back step. Get the fire going again....go about our day. Its fantastic. This fireplace stuff aint half bad. Lots of people said we would hate a wood burning one. Not me, I said. I will love it.

A couple days later, I go out to retrieve the bucket. I have been taught how to make fire now. I know what Im doing. And even if I forget something, well, I can always reach back to the really dark and cobweb filled corner of my memory and pull out my Girl Scout lessons. I earned badges, you know.

I step out on the back steps and reach down to get the bucket.....lift it up and, what the hell? I have the bucket, yet ash is blowing all over, in my face, in my spitting ash outta my mouth and I look down to see the bucket.

Then I look at the step.

Thats part of my bucket on the step. That cant be good. In fact, I know thats not good. Because I am now officially covered in ash and I have a bucket that has a huge hole in the bottom. And I also have a step that now has bucket melted to it.
NO, not good at all. This for sure will not do. It just will not.

Back to the store I go! Excuse me, nice Mr. Home Improvement man....could you please show me where the metal pails are? Thank you so very much. I went home with this.

And now it has this in it.

And, Im pretty sure I dont have to worry about this one melting to my step. If it does, well, then I for sure have much bigger problems!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy 10th Birthday

It for sure doesn't seem like you should be in double digits now. I'm pretty sure it was just the other day when I was laboring for 28 hours so I could finally meet you.

Looking pretty cool as you show off all the tricks that your robot friend can do.

The party was a fun, yet busy time. Hey Mim....Mim? Do you think you could help me a sec? Where the heck did she go? I'm thinking this wasn't so much fact, I think you managed to get the whole room to yourself.

Handmade cards. Those are the best.

Presents, of course, manage to be the most important part of the birthday celebration. Especially when you are 10. Books, games, cash, gift cards, and whats this? Peanut Butter? Yes. That's peanut butter. (And there is G...and his signature, OH MY GOODNESS.)

There is a little running joke in our home about peanut butter. I bet you didn't know that peanut butter could be funny, did ya? As a mom I try to feed my kids only the healthiest foods.....that's why I would like to introduce you to....Ha! That sounds like the beginning of a really bad infomercial. Really tho, I buy organic peanut butter here at home. The kids eat it. Its not their favorite thing in the world. But they don't complain. At least not so that I can hear them! There have been years in fact, where Jif peanut butter has made it on birthday and Christmas lists. Along with its good buddy, Smuckers strawberry jam.

We had our cousin, Rebecca stay
with us for a time over the summer and you would have thought that my kids had died and gone to heaven when she brought in her pantry basket and it contained Jif. They rationed that jar of peanut butter out and I think it may have lasted a good month or so....careful monitoring and strategic spreading of the peanut butter. Its all about moderation. So, needless to say, as funny as it was to see the Jif appear in the form of a wrapped birthday wasn't all that unusual! Even funnier is that now every time G sees the jar in the pantry he has to mention that J got that for his birthday and we have to ask J if we can have some because it was his present(and it had a red bow on it. )

G is happily in charge of the trash. Surprisingly, it did make it to the garbage can.

Our cousin, Rebecca and her new "friend".

Little did he know that he was being tested during this visit. The results are still being reviewed. But it is very clear that he knows how to enjoy play doh. And that is
an important thing. I believe this is the Stonehenge. Look how well they are playing together.

Going in for the traditional candle extinguishing.

And doing it one. at. a. time.

Nothing like getting some great grandpa time.

Rebecca and I wanted to get some snapshots know, because we like each other. I'm pretty sure this looks like a pretty serious conversation....if let go on long enough it may have gotten a little expressive.

But before we knew it we were being hollered at to say, CHEESE! So our conversation would have to wait. No, no, I say...don't scrunch down like that. I know I am short....but, that only makes me seem even shorter when you do that.

There. That's much better.

All in all, it was a great time. Everyone ate and laughed and just had fun. We even managed to find some time to teach Rebecca's sister how to make Jello.

And you thought we didn't know how to party.