Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The truth comes out.

Tonight, as we were playing cards, the kids started listing all the things "mom always says"

Here is a list for your enjoyment:

You can do anything you set your mind to
(this is the one that started the whole thing...and it went downhill quickly)

Clean your room.

Will you empty the dishwasher?


Can you get me a drink of water?
(with hand outstretched and a pathetic voice apparently)

They are right.
I do say all these things and I say them a lot.


I told them to save the rest for my 50th anniversary or something.
Hearing yourself from your kids' perspectives is painful.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Felt Food

I made some felt food for the girls for Christmas but didn't want to post it until after they got it.

My first attempt was strawberries.
They turned out really cute but way too small...choking hazard!

I finished up the following foods just in time to ship them for Christmas.

Pancakes with butter and syrup

An apple, a pear, a banana and 2 larger strawberries

2 chicken legs, a hamburger with tomato and lettuce and a baked potato with butter.
The baked potato can come out of the skin.

Oh and some fried eggs too

Here are the veggies:
lettuce, tomato and 2 carrots.

and for dessert, some sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles of course.

I still have  a few more I'd like to make but that's all I got done for Christmas.

It was fun!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day 2015

First of all
and more Snow

It snowed a lot overnight and all day long 
I think we got about a foot but I don't know the official measurements.

It was gorgeous to watch through the window as I stayed inside my warm and toasty house.

Carter and I woke up first at about 7:30
so I put in the breakfast casserole that I had made.
(first time I have ever made a breakfast casserole and this one is made with toasted croissants so I had high hopes for deliciousness)

By 8:15 the food was done and we roused Dad and Ryan.
Breakfast was delicious, if I do say so myself.
Casserole, oranges, orange juice and almond milk.

Then we opened presents.
Frank got:
 a selfie stick that he thought was a bike pump
other accessories for his go-pro
a waffle maker
A Christmas tie from Carter

Debbie got:
a computer for her bike
a back scratcher
and a trip to Alaska!
( I cried when I opened that)
I leave on my birthday and we are there for 6 days.
And since I am always worrying about money, Frank made sure to inform me that he got the trip and hotel with points!
So happy that I get to see Branden, Amber and the girls.

And Frank's parents got both of us a Roomba!

I'm so excited to try it out!

Ryan got:
a membership to the dollar shave club
voice lessons
A Bernie Sanders shirt

Carter got:
a record player
some records
A Jayne Cobb hat (from Firefly)

I told the boys that they were in charge of our stocking this year.
We got tons of candy!
Seriously...so much candy.

After gifts we were relaxing in the living room when we noticed our neighbors shoveling our walk.
That gave us just enough guilt to get the warm clothes on and go out and work on it too.
Well, the boys did.
I stayed in my jammies and watched them.
Plus we only own 3 shovels.

They did a good job.

We had fondue for lunch.
It was super yummy.

I realized when I planned what to eat on Christmas day that the whole day was basically cheese and bread.
I'll get back on the "eat right" wagon tomorrow.

We talked to the Alaska folks on video chat
and got to see the girls open their presents.
I really hope they remember me and aren't scared of me when I visit!

Then we talked to Austin and the rest of Frank's family a few hours later.

Ryan has a cold so he took some medicine that zonked him out.
He slept through the video call with Austin.

In the evening I talked to my parents.

Now we are relaxing and watching tv.
It's been a good, relaxing, cheese-filled, family day.

Christmas Eve 2015

My sister, Diane, invited us to her house for a Christmas Eve dinner this year.
I am always glad to be invited anywhere because it means I don't have to cook!
Diane's house is extra fun though because she has lots of activities for people to do...
kids can entertain themselves on pool, ping pong, movies, video games and even swimming!
No chance of anyone claiming boredom at her house.

Both Ryan and Carter had to work so Frank and I went up alone and they came up after work.
We are feeling more and more like empty nesters these days.

I made my homemade pita chips to go with my "amazing party dip" (yes, that's the name of the dip) that I make every year...
and could not find the recipe for the dip.

I know basically what goes in it but not the amounts.
So I found a similar recipe online that I decided to try.
It was also quite tasty but we arrived at the party a little late and everyone had already been gorging on artichoke dip.
So I had quite a bit leftover which I will have to "force" myself to eat.

We talked and laughed and exchanged a few gifts.
Diane's kids opened their Christmas pajamas.
It was a nice evening together.
We missed our parents and our other siblings though.
Someday I hope we can all be together for Christmas!

Doneen gave each of us a beautiful loaf of homemade bread
As Dion took this picture he said, "That's creepy. Don't do that"  So I had to include it here. Of course.

Trying to be normal.

This is my niece Jenna.  She is awesome.  We both look a little insane here.

Diane is in her Christmas pjs. I was jealous. I was in my too tight jeans (darn party dip).

The men doing dishes.  I love it!

The snow was coming down as we headed home and was quite heavy on our side of the mountain.

It made for a pretty, if slippery, ride home

I made Frank stop in front of our house so I could get this picture.

Then, we had our traditional Christmas Eve activity
of reading the Christmas story from the bible
and opening new pajamas.

 Carter wouldn't model his pjs but Ryan was game.

I tried to get a few pictures of the gorgeous snowy neighborhood without actually leaving my covered porch.
This was at about 11:30 PM

The lights along my walkway are totally buried and look pretty cool glowing under the snow.

As I was taking the outdoor pictures, Carter informed me that I had a "gift" under my outdoor tree.
It is sitting just outside our back door on our covered porch...so not exactly a normal spot for an animal to go.
Nevertheless I have a lovely pile of poo on my tree skirt!

One last picture of the tree and the snowy outside in the wee hours of the morning.

I enjoy sitting by myself by the glowing tree in the early hours of Christmas day.
It's so peaceful and beautiful! 
And the snow makes it even more gorgeous.

Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gingerbread 2015

Last year Carter wasn't that excited to do gingerbread because we didn't have our friends, the Petersons, here to do it with us.
It's hard when all of your traditions are mixed up with certain people,
and then you move.
But we did it anyway
and, of course, we had some new people to include...Branden's little family!

This year
The Petersons have moved to Utah but they got strep on the week we had planned to get together.
Sad Face!
Branden, Amber and the girls have moved to Alaska.

We decided to invite my brother's family since he has kids that we thought would enjoy the activity.
I thought about inviting my whole family
but decided it was more gingerbread and mess than I could handle...
so maybe next year, family!
I will try to be more on the ball.
Carter also invited his girlfriend, Harley, over.

Somehow my week got away from me and I hadn't actually made any gingerbread when the day arrived.
I ended up spending all day on Saturday cooking the little houses.

I went with a much smaller pattern than I've used in the past few years
because Frank said he can't do a whole "big" (I always do a fairly small house pattern) house...
he gets bored.
So he usually ends up with half his house looking good and the other half, well,
he gets all sloppy and weird.
He was hoping that a smaller house would be more manageable for him.

But ok.

I cooked for hours and hours on Saturday.

Frank kept coming in and commenting on how much time I was spending in the kitchen cooking...
he was so surprised at how long it took me to make those houses.
I had to let him in on the secret that it takes me this long every year but I usually do it during the week when he's working and apparently doesn't notice.

We had a good time decorating though.
I made enough icing (whew)
and even though I didn't get quite as much candy as I have in the past, we had plenty.

One of Dion's kids and one of mine decided not to decorate a house.
(So I still have gingerbread sitting on my counter if anyone wants to come make one!)

Frank still got, ahem, creative
but his house is at least completely finished, unlike previous years.
And even Carter's house was more decorated than in the past.
So I guess the small house worked out.

Frank put what I think is supposed to be Santa on his porch.
He's kinda creepy though.

He also has a sleigh on the roof, which is cute

On the back he wrote F+D
and kept trying to write it on my house too.
But I was going the more traditional route and didn't let him.
No graffiti for me, even if it is romantic.

It was a fun night!