Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Eve

We spend Christmas Eve with my husbands side of the family. We love getting together at Grandma & Grandpa's house. There is always lots of food, fun and chaos!

Did I mention that there is always LOTS of food? Prime Rib, Ham, Shrimp, Rolls, Yams, Salads, and hey, Cheesy Potatoes anyone everyone?

One of the kids' favorite traditions takes place at Grandmas house on Christmas Eve....The Money Tree! Yes, I know, money doesn't grow on trees. But apparently at Grandmas house it does. My fabulous mother-in-law continues this tradition that her parents used to do when her kids were young. (It may go back even further, but I don't know.) Either way, the kids LOVE it. And I can't really blame them. Grandpa spends a few days rolling up $1, $2 & $5 bills in tissue paper with the ends of the tissue twisted like a piece of taffy. Then the bills are placed on a small tree (the same one that's been used for umpteen years).
According to age (youngest to oldest) the kids come up and draw from the tree. If they get a $1, they keep drawing til they get a $5. If they get a $5 right off the bat, they are done. This usually takes a while because there are enough $5's for each kid to have one, but there are also a bazillion $1's and $2's. Grandma & Grandpa aren't skimpy with the money tree!

Easiest money a kid ever made!

Grandma's know how to make teenagers smile!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Say Cheese!

During the holidays....

doesn't everyone....

enjoy a little CHEESEBALL.....

with their crackers?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Nativity

Every year on the Sunday before Christmas our family gathers at my parents house for good company, good food and the Christmas Nativity. All the kids take part in the story, from narrator to costume designer to actor/actress.

Here is the star of Bethlehem. She's very serious about her role, you know. There are NO small parts, only small actors.

There must always be a chorus of angels to sing "Hosannahs".

There are wisemen and shepherds. The line between these two roles is sometimes blurred in our production. Our cast members often have a mind of their own.

There is never a dull moment in our production. Shepherds wrestle, angels teeter, frankincense doubles as a tambourine. What is Joseph eating and why does Mary have a magic wand?
But in the end, songs are sung, stories told and memories made. Good times.

Is there room?

Early in December as I decorated for Christmas, I came to the box where the nativity scenes had been carefully wrapped and packed away since last Christmas. I began to carefully unwrap each piece and set it in it's proper place when I came upon a stray. Literally. A stray puppy had found it's way into the box. He sort of matched the rest of the pieces, but not quite. Here is his story.

Once upon a time there was a little lost puppy. He was lonely and afraid. Somehow he found his way into the Christmas box that held the nativity.

The puppy loved be near the people. He loved to look at the baby Jesus. He felt right at home with all the animals. But could there really be room here for a little lost dog? Maybe there would. After all he was made of porcelain just like the other figurines. But the polished wooden base was awfully full already. Would they really let him in?

He promised to be good. He'd help watch over the manger. And every little boy needs a puppy, right? Could he stay? Was there room?

Of course there is room. Isn't that the message of the Christmas Season? Let him in.

So from now on this little puppy will have a home with our nativity. I think he looks happy. Don't you?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Being a kid is hard work

It's tough to be a kid. Especially a 4 year old. You're too big for naps, but too little to stay up late with the older kids. And there's SO much to do every day.
You gotta get dressed, make your bed, pick up your toys, watch Go Diego Go. And that's all gotta happen before lunch! After lunch you gotta pet the dog, draw a picture, watch a little Spongebob, build a lego car, fight with your sister....and the list goes on!

What's a kid to do? There are cookies to eat and hot chocolate to drink. So much to do and so little time to do it!

It makes me tired just to think about it.

Friday, December 19, 2008


When I was a little girl one of the highlights of the Christmas season was going to see the Nutcracker Ballet. My Grandma Mac would invite all the daughters and granddaughters to see a matinee performance done by Ballet West in Weber State's Austad Auditorium. It's one of many special memories I have of my grandma.
I was blessed with 5 great kids. All of them are girls except 4. (Did you catch that? Yes, I have only 1 girl.) Anyway, she is 6 and I wanted the two of us to have something special to look forward to at Christmas time. (Besides, my husband would rather have his teeth drilled than go to the ballet.) So this year my little girl and I started our own tradition of "Nutcracker Day" (she named it).

She was eagerly anticipating spending some "girl-time" with Mom. We had lunch together and headed for the Egyptian Theater in Ogden.

Here she is posing with our tickets by the gigantic Christmas tree at the theater.

She sat on my lap for the first half of the ballet and she kept whispering in my ear, "How do they DO that?" She was not only watching the dancers, but she was keeping an eye on the scenery, the curtains, the twinkling lights of the theater ceiling and also the sweet little (very well behaved) baby in the row in front of us. She loved the ballet and said this was "the best day ever!"

And of course, you can't go to Ogden with out stopping at Farr's Ice Cream. Even if it IS snowing!

He's a genius. He gets it from his dad.

Build a better mouse trap? How 'bout a faster sucker? This kid is always on the move. He simply doesn't have time to eat a sucker the way normal people do.

By the way....did you need a close-up of that shirt?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Look what came in the mail

Last Saturday I received a lovely present in the mail!
A few weeks ago I joined in Tiburon's ornament swap and my new blogging bff Shelley sent me some love!

Hmmmmm....looks kinda cold out. I think I'll send a kid to get the mail today.

A present?.....for me? You shouldn't have. (But I'm glad you did.)

I can hardly wait! (patience is NOT one of my virtues)

Bubbles! Enough for everyone! (That's really all they care about. Go, go! Leave me to my presents!)

A very nice card.....and......two BEAUTIFUL ornaments! They each have a nativity scene inside. I LOVE them!

And although my photo is a little blurry, can you see that this one is a music box? How cool is that?!? It plays "Away in a Manger". In fact, I'm listening to it right now.

I know they are technically "ornaments" and that means you're supposed to put them on the tree. But they are so lovely that I'm putting them with my Nativity Collection!

Thank you Shelley! I think this was meant to be!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Teacher Gifts

Every year I wonder what to give my kids' teachers for Christmas. I don't want to get them some little trinket that will inevitably clutter their classroom/closet/house. So it's usually a stress coming up with something.
Here's what the kids are giving their teachers this year:
Chocolate Covered Giant Pretzels (I had you at chocolate...I know.)

It was totally son #2's idea. He went shopping with me to buy the stuff we needed, then tonight he dipped and sprinkled and drizzled like a champ! We tried really hard not to lick our fingers and I think we were successful. They should be safe to eat!
I think the teachers will like them!

P.S. We have lots of dipping chocolate left. We've been brainstorming other things we could try dipped in chocolate. I heard Kristina over at Pulsipher Predilictions likes chocolate covered bacon. Hmmmmm.... Chacon anyone?

Saturday, December 13, 2008


You may have already seen this through email, but it's great! (Thanks Chelle)

A gynecologist had become fed up with malpractice insurance and HMO paperwork, and was burned out. Hoping to try another career where skillful hands would be beneficial; he decided to become a mechanic.
He went to the local technical college, signed up for evening classes, attended diligently, and learned all he could. When the time of the practical exam approached, the gynecologist prepared carefully for weeks, and completed the exam with tremendous skill.
When the results came back, he was surprised to find that he had obtained a score of 150%. Fearing an error, he called the Instructor, Saying, "I don't want to appear ungrateful for such an outstanding result, but I wonder if there is an error in the grade.
"The instructor said, "During the exam, you took the engine apart perfectly, which was worth 50% of the total mark. You put the engine back together again perfectly, which is also worth 50% of the mark." After a pause, the instructor added, "I gave you an extra 50% because you did it all through the muffler, which I've never seen done in my entire career"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pocket Change

I've been saving my pocket change for a few weeks to get my hubby something special.

A Maserati Quattroporte. What do you think? Did I do okay?

They all look happy with my gift. Don't they?

Ready to take it out on the open road, Honey?

Buckle up boys!

Enjoy it while it lasts honey....

Actually I'm a big liar and this car belongs to....well, let's just say it was on 24hr loan from a friend. I had NOTHING to do with it. My husband just showed up after work and called me on his cell to tell me to come see something outside. I, of course, grilled him to find out what the heck was going on. I asked him to please not wreck it, or we would have to sell our house to replace it. I'm not really that into cars. But I could definately get into this one! VAROOM!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Calling Earl. Shouting Groceries. Making Street Pizza

We had a lovely few days of celebrating with family. Our family shares everything. Unfortunately that sometimes includes sharing the things we'd rather they didn't.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning I heard a sound that every mother dreads. Hoooaaah! The words just don't do it justice. I've heard it described many ways. Puking, Up-chucking, Ralphing. But my favorite description (and the title of this post) comes from a past episode of NCIS.
* * *
Gibbs: Where's McGee?
Tony: (standing outside the bathroom) Calling Earl... shouting groceries... making street pizza...
* * *
Yep, three of my kids have spent the last 48 hours calling Earl, shouting groceries and/or making street pizza.
Stomach flu is the W.O.R.S.T. But whattaya gonna do? I hauled everyone out into the family room with pillows,blankets and bowls, covered the couches and floors with various flat sheets (makes for easier clean-up) and that's how we spent the night.

This morning I drove the healthy kids to school and went to Maverick for supplies:

I prefer to serve clear Gatorade in situations like these, but light colored Gatorade and Sprite will do just fine. By the way...The Dr. Pepper is just to get ME through the day.

I'm praying that no one else in the family gets it.

Since we are on such a lovely subject. What's your favorite euphemism for throw-up? Just wondering.

A better use of Black Friday

Each year on the day after Thanksgiving my Mom and my sisters and I get together for "Craft Day". Usually we make some sort of holiday decoration but this year my Mom got each of us a "kit" to make an apron. We all brought our sewing machines and let our kids run wild while we sewed, talked, laughed and ate left-overs. Good times!
Here's my finished product. My 4-H leader would be proud. (Thanks Mom!)

Black Friday First Timer

I said I wouldn't do it. I mocked those who did. I did it. I may never do it again.

The alarm went off at 3:45am. We were out the door by 4:15. Arrived at Sports Authority at 4:40am. Apparently the line had begun to form at about the time my alarm went off. It now stretched around the corner. (The above picture is not the store we went to, but if looking at it gives you a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, then it has served it's purpose.)
We were one of the first 100 people in line and each got $10 Holiday Cash to spend, but I was amazed at the sheer number of people crazy enough to wake up before dawn just to save a buck. I was in awe. And a little uptight. (I don't like crowds or people. I especially don't like crowds OF people.)

After we got the few items we needed, we decided to go to Kohls.

Oh.My.Heck! (I'd have used a stronger word, but there are pre-school toys present.)

There were 4 different check-out lines stretched throughout the store with at least 100 people waiting in each line. We walked in one door and out the other. I still haven't been back. (And that's saying a lot since I have almost $200 worth of Kohls gift cards burning a hole in my pocket!)

I was done. We went home. Our kids weren't yet awake and didn't even know that we had gone anywhere. I climbed into bed and took a 3 hour nap. The mister went to work.

This post was brought to you by the number 3 and the letter C...for CAFFEINE.


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law never disappoints when it comes to producing a fabulous spread of food. We all try to help out a little but some things are best left to the expert! She is also generous with the left overs. Bless her.
We were assigned Jell-O and Yams. I was in charge of the Jello so we had Ribbon Jello. It's 10 layers of wiggly jiggly goodness!
I didn't take a picture but I found this one online.

I didn't use a Jello mold because I don't own one. Mine was just done in a 9x13 glass dish. Then I smothered it in whipped cream. Yum!

The mister was on Yam duty. Until this weekend I had never even seen a real live Yam. (Only the dead ones in the can.) I remembered seeing a recipe on Sprik Space so I printed it off and tried to be subtle about giving it to him. He is quite opposed to following recipes, but I think he took a few pointers and they turned out yummy.

By the way...what's the difference between a Yam and a Sweet Potato?