Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Snicker Snicker

If you are looking for something yummy to make for tonight, I've got another quick recipe for you. I first got it from my friend Tiphaine in Washington. We use to have it at all of our girl's nights and family get-togethers. The husband's really enjoyed eating it too. Since then, I've brought it to many a gatherings and it's always a huge success.

It's called Snicker Salad and it's so simple to make. It has three ingredients: Apples, Snickers, and Cool Whip.

The ratio is one apple to one snickers bar. So I usually use about 5 or so apples and 5 or so snickers, and I use the largest tub of cool whip available.

Cut up your apples into bite size pieces. Cut up your snickers into small small pieces. Dump it all in a bowl and smother it with cool whip. Serve immediately.

Now, if you happen to have any leftovers (which I doubt), it won't last long in the fridge. So don't be waking up the next day, hoping to have a big bowl of it. The whip cream will separate because of the juice in the apples, and it won't taste very good after that. So this is a one time serving, but you won't be disappointed.

We are making snicker salad tonight, along with These Meatballs, and our standard tradition of pizza rolls. See ya'll next year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Some more Gifts

Hope you aren't getting bored with all the stuff I'm posting. I'm doing it more for posterity, so I can prove to my kids that I made them stuff!

However, these were gifts that I made for others. I made 5 dolls for 4 of my nieces and one nephew.



Two purses for two of my sisters.





Some aprons and potholders and a few flour sack towels for all the parent figures in our life, and for my little brother.

This little pouch and bracelet for my youngest sister.


A Name Sign for another sister. Yes. Her last name is my husband's first name. Weird.


If you ever need to make a purse, or a doll, I've become an expert at it!! All in all, I really enjoyed our homemade Christmas. I hope you try it sometime. It was so rewarding. That, and a few months ago, I could barely sew a straight seam. I've come a long way. Next thing I want to learn...how to crochet and knit.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Watch out for FIRE BOY!


Well, I'm not sure what his name is. Maybe Son of Sun, or Flamethrower, or Lava Kid.
Whatever you want to call Kolby, it'll be short lived because this cool costume isn't for him. Kolby was invited to a birthday party for one of his friends that is in his class at school, as well as his class at church. It will be a superhero party.
Kolby already has a cool cape that my mom made him a few years ago. I thought it was about time I learned how to make a cape so we could give it to Kolby's friend for his birthday present.
We went to the store today, in search of a cool spiderman, batman, or superman material. We could not find anything. I was almost ready to just get him a toy, when I saw the flame material. I thought that would make a cool cape. Not every kid has a flame cape, afterall!
So Kolby is modeling it for you, but it will soon be wrapped up to give away. I think boys have it made. I wish I could walk around all day in my supercape. I'd leave out the spandex leggings, though. Not very flattering, even with a cape to hide my backside.

Happy Birthday Shavonne!


Today is my sister's birthday. I have 6 sisters. Shavonne is the one born right after me. She is 2 and a half years younger than I am. Today, she is 30 years old.

When I was in high school, and taking Spanish class, I was soooo good at speaking Spanish, (I jest) that I told Shavonne that her name translated to "Savonay" in Spanish. The name stuck, and most of us call her Savonay now.
Everyone in my family knows that I love Oldies Music. One day, when I was in my teens, I was listening to the song "I only have eyes for you" (Follow this link to hear it) and during the chorus, when they sing "Shu-wap-da-vap) I convinced Shavonne that they were really singing "shut-up sha-vonne!" And so it became our special song. It is still the ringtone I use, when she calls my cell phone.
Growing up, I usually shared a room with my older sister Kimmie. Shavonne often wanted to join us in our super cool room, but we hardly let her in. During the rare occasions that she wormed past our defenses, she would stand in the doorway of our room and let her eyes roam over every detail on my side of the room. I would yell "Stop taking mental pictures of my stuff!" and then I would kick her out, for I knew her plan. She would memorize where everything was, so that later, when I wasn't guarding my room, she would come in and quickly be able to take what she wanted to in a matter of seconds and sneak away to enjoy her spoils of war.
Now that was my claim. She said she just wanted to be with me because I was so cool. Well, she had one thing right! (again, I jest.) However, she continued to tease me, by coming into my room and then making the ch-ch noises that a camera would make as it's taking a picture. Wickedly evil!
During my final years of college, and her beginning years of college, we both went to BYU and really enjoyed hanging out. We use to take pictures by the statue of the Naked Indian on campus (I'll have to see if I still have one of those pictures) and we shared Thanksgivings together, eating all the side dishes hours before the turkey was done, because we didn't time it right.
So on this momentous day, when you enter a new decade, and join us old-timers, I wish you the very best Birthday ever! Love ya Savonay!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Gifts For The Kids


I made Georgie (and Kamy) a tutu, and this was the preferred way to wear them, according to her. Slung around her shoulder is her "Curious George" purse, which contained some flat animal pieces that I found at a craft store. Georgie calls them her "puzzles".



I also made Georgie a crayon roll, which she has constantly carried around everywhere, and I made Kamy a journal cover, which contained lots of colored pens. Kamy wrote all about Christmas in her new journal, including when she woke up in the middle of the night, saw a bright red flash, and just knew that it was Rudolph.



Out of some extra material from Kamy's journal cover, I made her an apron. She was really excited about that.



I made Keaton and Kolby some crowns. They, too, have been wearing them everywhere. However, when I went to get a picture, they were using them as houses for their Star Wars figurines that they got from my brother's family.



I made the boys a few other things, including a Memory Game for Kolby, and a Bowling Bunnies set for Keaton.




When I was making Orange Rolls for our Christmas Breakfast, I had just pulled them out of the oven, and was preparing the frosting, when George became very interested in eating them. Heath told her she had to wait a little bit. This was her "don't touch my orange rolls!" reaction.



Later, Kolby replaced his crown with a new Fresca hat. Who needs Christmas gifts when you can make your own super cool hat out of a empty box of Fresca?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas by ourselves. We started off Christmas Eve with our traditional candlelight ham dinner. The kids loved the Sparkling Cider that we had.

After dinner, we all got into our jammies and took our Christmas Eve picture. We only had two that came out nicely, and this was one of them.

Then, because the kids were good for me all day as I was cooking, everyone got to open one gift on Christmas eve. Kamy and Georgie got a tutu. Heath got a new cell phone. Keaton got a bowling bunnies game that I made, and Kolby got some Star Wars Action figurines. I got an interchangeable wall hanging for every month of the year.

Afterwards, we talked about the true Christmas Story, then we tracked Santa and had pie and hot chocolate, Kolby sprinkled out food on the lawn for the reindeer and we set out some cookies and milk for Santa....the kiddos went to bed. They actually fell asleep rather quickly.

In the morning, the kids were pleased that Santa left them a note. They were just as pleased by the book sets that each of them got in their stockings.

We spent the rest of the day playing games, watching Mama Mia, and eating scones at our friend's house. It was a really nice day. I'll show you pictures of what the kids got later.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Tree Cloth Napkins


Yesterday I made some cloth napkins for our table. Every Christmas Eve, we have a nice candlelight dinner with the kids. Sometimes we invite friends over, and sometimes we just have our own dinner.

This year, I had some leftover green fabric with the words "Christmas" written all over it, and I thought they would make cute Christmas Tree Napkins. So I copied the idea for the napkins from This Site. Don't know where I stumbled upon it, but I thought it was a great idea.

So tonight, these napkins will accompany our cranberry red candle holders, garlands, and other Christmas decorations for our candlelight dinner. After, we will have dessert and hot chocolate with candy canes. Then we'll get on our Christmas Pajamas and take our Christmas Eve picture.

Hope you all have a beautiful Christmas! I'll be back in a few days to share our Christmas with you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Frightfully Funny Christmas Sweater Picture

My kids wore these sweaters to church on Sunday. I found them at Old Navy, seriously clearanced, and thought they would be fun for church. So before we left that morning, I propped the kids up on the sort of half wall that goes along the staircase, to take a few pictures....and this is the picture I got.

First off, Keaton looks comically possessed. Kolby looks like he's struggling not to show the awful pain he must be in. Georgie looks like her jaw is wired shut, and Kamy's head looks unusually large in comparison to everyone else.

So from our Christmas sweater to yours...Merry Christmas!

P.S. Thanks for all the support over the "What's for dinner?" question. I've just accepted that he just doesn't want to choose. Oh well. I don't give him a choice about taking out the garbage, so I guess some things just need to be left alone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ongoing Conversation Between the Husband and Me

Rarely does my husband ever offer a solution to the never ending "What should I make for dinner?" question. Most of the time, I choose what we will have, and then, when he asks, I tell him. Sometimes, albeit rarely, he will not like what I have chosen to make, and will eat enough to be polite, then sneak into the kitchen later and make a sandwich.

You'd think that he would tell me what he wants for dinner, thus avoiding the dinners that seem so unappealing to him. But answering that simple question seems to have escaped him. Refer to this conversation earlier yesterday.

Wife: "Babe, what do you feel like eating for dinner tonight?"
Husband: "Whatever."
Wife: "Come on? Do you want chicken, sausage, or ground turkey?"
Husband: "Whatever."
Frustrated Wife: "It's not hard. Just tell me what you want to eat."
Husband who still won't answer: I don't care! Just make something! Stop pressuring me!"

Now I seriously can't understand why he doesn't have an opinion on dinner. He certainly asks me later in the day what I'm making. He certainly gets hungry enough to care about what he's eating. He certainly has an opinion about whether he really likes it or not. So why can't he have an opinion about DECIDING what to make? It doesn't seem difficult to me. However, it's a running battle of a conversation that we have ALL THE TIME.

Of course, since he doesn't offer up his ideas for dinner, he can't complain about what I serve. Heath is just as interested in food as I am. He likes when I find new recipes. We enjoy watching the Food Network together. It seems strange to me that he won't suggest something for dinner.

So do your husbands contribute to the meal planning? I really want to know. Heath says "Men just don't care as long as you put food in front of them." I beg to differ. What's it like in your houses? (By the way, the husband totally knows I'm posting about this. He thinks he is right, and men just don't care. I just don't think it's nagging, to ask what he wants for dinner. I think I'm trying to be a good wife and cook things he wants. What do you think?)

Friday, December 19, 2008

I think Kamy might've overheard me reading the TWILIGHT books to Heath.


Baking Cookies

Last night I had a cookie exchange to go to, so I made peanut butter fudge. Yummy.

I also made a few other cookies for Heath to bring to work. Apparently, another wife brought a big plate of goodies for everyone and Heath said "My wife can top that!". So I spent the day "topping that!".

The kids helped me make the goodies. Here's a shot of Keaton when it was his turn to stir the cranberries into the dough. I guess it was a bit tough to stir! But no worries. He "used his big muscles."


I made oatmeal cranberry cookies, Russian tea cookies, and the peanut butter fudge. I also made some sweet and spicy nuts. They are really good and really addicting. I didn't worry too much about making many varieties because I knew I would get some good sweets at the cookie exchange to help fill up the platter Heath took. And I did! Along with a cool bell ornament that is totally going to be my Cow Bell to call the kids to dinner. I'll keep it next to my roosters in the kitchen.


And, Yes. Kamy is totally a poser when it comes to pictures lately.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Eve Tradition

Every Christmas Eve, we put on our new red pajamas and we take a family picture. We started this tradition in 2001, when I found these cool Santa Pants pajamas for Heath and I. I thought they were too cool to pass up. So Heath and I wear these every Christmas, and we get new pajamas for the kids every year. (Yes! We still fit into them!)

After we take our picture, I print it out, put it on a tile board, and they go up every year with our Christmas decorations. I am in the process of re-making these, because they were ruined with mold, along with most of our Christmas decorations. So after I get them done again, I'll give ya a little sneak at how they look on our wall. For now, here are our Christmas Eve pictures since we started the tradition, in 2001. The first few years were spent at my parents house. Then we moved to California. This years' picture will be the first in Colorado. Enjoy.























Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's better than Chips and Salsa?

Tonight, my homemade refried beans were the dip of choice for these tortilla chips. What's so cool about these beans was that I actually made them myself. From scratch. There were no can openers involved in this recipe. I'll tell ya how I did it. It's so easy.



Take a 1 pound bag of pinto beans. You'll find these in the grocery store, usually on a shelf level with your ankles. They should be by the pastas or beans. Grab 1 bag. It makes more than you think.


Pour your beans into your crock pot and pour enough water into the pot to cover the beans twice over. I probably added about 4 cups of water. (you know me...I never measure.)


Ok, so now dump in some seasonings. I put in about 2 tsp each of salt, pepper, chili powder, and minced garlic. Turn your crock pot on high. Cover with the lid, and let it cook 5 hours.
Intermittently, check your beans and give them a stir. Within an hour or two, the beans will start to float. Make sure there is enough water in there to cover them. The beans will soak up the moisture. Add additional water if you need to, to make sure they are always covered. I added at least another cup of water.


After 5 hours, your beans should be done cooking. Strain the beans from the liquid BUT DON'T DISCARD THE LIQUID! Put your beans in your food processor (or blender) and puree them until they resemble, well, refried beans! I added some of the reserved bean liquid until my beans had the consistency I was looking for. Blend some more. This only takes a minute. Now, you get to season some more. I added an additional tablespoon of chili powder, cumin, and salt. Now, taste again. Add more salt if needed, or any other additional seasonings you want. You can even add in some sour cream and/or cheese. Yum.


There ya go. We had tacos tonight, so that is why I made the beans, but in truth, I've always wanted to learn how to make refried beans. I had a friend in South Carolina who, before I moved away, told me how to make them. Today seemed like the perfect day to try.


By the way, these were really the best refried beans I've ever tasted. Kolby said "Mom, I don't just like these beans, I LOVE THEM!" Heath said they were the best he's ever had. Keaton and Kamy were too busy shoving their mouths full of chips loaded with beans to reply, and Georgie said "It's good, momma!"


So there you have it. Five stars from this family. Go make some. Oh, and it makes a big bowl. I would guess it's equal to about 2 and a half cans of refried beans, if you were to compare. So invite a few friends over. Tell them to bring the chips. You've got yourself a party!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Have you heard of the Snow Fairy?

Keaton came home from school yesterday talking nonstop about the Snow Fairy. According to his teacher, he had to wear his pajamas backwards to bed last night, so that the "Snow Fairy will tell the sky to snow SO MUCH, that we won't have to go to school tomorrow, and it will be a snow day".


Sounds to me like his teacher just didn't want to work today! (that's Kolby in the background, realizing his mistake, and turning his pajamas backwards.)

On a totally unrelated subject, I found these roosters at Goodwill yesterday for two dollars each. I'm thinking that I love roosters now. The colors go so nicely with my decor. These bad boys are ruling the kitchen roost right now. Aren't they cool?

By the way, school is open. No snow for the Snow Fairy, or for Keaton's teacher.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby it's COLD outside!



Last night, after having dinner with some friends, we went outside to our van and wondered what the temperature could be. It felt a bit chilly. So when we got home, we googled our zipcode to get the forecast and whatd'ya know....it was 2 degrees outside.

However, once you live in cold weather for a while, the colder it gets....well, it kinda all feels the same. So no worries about us freezing our little noses off. We have jackets, hats, scarves and gloves. The husband built us a roaring fire and we all sat around it and...folded clothes. Yes. I brought up baskets and baskets of clothes and made everyone sort them. What a great family activity. Oh, they moaned and complained, but I got the clothes folded and put away. I am a happy mom.


Today I have to go back to the DMV to get the car registered. It happens to be in the mall, so if I swing by Old Navy, it might brighten my spirits.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cookies with Mrs. Claus


You may remember our Santa Train Ride we took last weekend. I mentioned that on the way back down the mountain, Mrs. Claus sat with us. She was really a lovely woman. We could tell that she enjoyed being Mrs. Claus.


So after we took pictures with her, she started talking about how Santa makes the reindeer their favorite cookies, oatmeal and raisin. Then I asked what Santa's favorite cookie was ("He likes all kinds", was her reply) and then she told the kids that she would make some cookies for them. They got really excited, and Heath and I wondered if she really would make them cookies. She asked for our address, and said she would send them. We wrote them on a coloring page, with a crayon. She folded it up and put it in her pocket.


Well, fast forward one week, and when Heath opened the door Friday morning to leave for work, he found a lovely wrapped gift waiting for him on the front porch. He yelled for the kids, who were getting ready for school, to come down because Mrs. Claus had brought them a gift!
They were so excited as they opened it.
We all ended up having cookies for breakfast.
We had oatmeal after that.
Today, the kids all wrote a thank you card to Mrs. Claus and I will mail it to her, care of the Pikes Peak Railroad. What a generous and lovely lady.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Heartbreaker

Last night, as I was carrying the mashed potatoes to the dinner table, Keaton turns around and casually says "Mom, I am in love with a girl in my class".

Whoa. I tried to be casual as well. "Oh really? In love, huh? That sounds pretty serious. Who are you in love with?" He replied with a heartfelt sigh. "I am in love with Chloe M. in my class. She is just so beautiful."




With a bit of amusement, I say "Oh. She sounds lovely."



He sighs again, rather deeply. "But you see momma, I love her so much, but she doesn't love me. I mean, I just love her so much."



Oh my. His first heartbreak.



So after Kamy chimed in and said she liked somebody too, I decided that now was the time to talk to them about how it's ok to be friends with boys and girls, but we shouldn't say they are "boyfriends" or "girlfriends" until they get much older, when they are sixteen.



Last night, after telling Heath the story, he said "That's so funny. You are putting it on your blog, right?" So I pulled Keaton aside before he left for school this morning, and told him I wanted to take a picture so I could tell about him being in love with little Miss Chloe, and he said "But mom! You said I couldn't talk about having a girlfriend until I was sixteen!" I told him I just wanted to tell his story. He was still a bit heartbroken when I took this picture, but he was trying to be happy. So sad, having to give up his first love. (sigh)