Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bad Blogger

I've been a very bad blogger lately. It's been weeks since my last real post (the tag doesn't count), so I thought I'd better put something on! There hasn't been anything very exciting going on around here. Joel is done with school for the semester! He finished last week, and is happy to be done, but doesn't know quite what to do with himself. But we are beginning to enjoy the time off, and we're trying to get ready for Christmas.


Last week for FHE Joel did some plaster cast hand print things. The one below is something I've had for years but have never pulled out. This is Jenna's hand. You can't tell in the picture, but the detail of her hand is really great. She actually had to leave her hand in a gel for a few minutes, then when the gel was set we poured plaster into it so her hand is sticking out. Anyway, Joel painted it, and the finished product is below. :)


I finally hung up our Christmas stockings last week. My Mom made these for us. I actually got mine when I was 5 years old! I love them, and it's nice that they are so big; lots of stocking stuffers! :)


We have been getting lots of packages lately, because of the time of year of course. Jenna and Will had a fun time playing in this box, with all of the packing chips. Jenna actually got all of the way in and Will closed her in. What a cute package!


We got our Christmas tree last Friday from a place here in town. I saw the biggest dog of my entire life while we were there! It was a Saint Bernard, and he scared the absolute crap out of Will! Will is not too keen on dogs anyway, and such a huge dog trying to knock him down didn't go over well! He was a nice dog, just trying to play, but I think Will may have been permanently traumatized. :) When I picked him up he had a death grip around my waste with his legs. I felt bad for him, but Joel and I both got a good laugh out of the whole thing. Seriously, it was a huge dog!

We are looking forward to Christmas, even though we aren't totally ready yet. :) But we will be, like always. We've had a ton of snow lately, so that helps it feel like the Christmas season. And I absolutely love having a Christmas tree. It smells great, and it's so pretty. The day after Christmas we are taking off to Mesa, AZ to see all of my sisters and their families. I'm excited to see everyone! And it will be so great to have us all together for the first time in so long!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Husband Survey

This fun survey was on Emily's blog; I thought it would be fun to do for my own husband. :) Feel free to do it yourself!

5 things he loves:

Me
Jenna
Will
Adam
his Mom

5 things on his to do list:

study
take one last final
finish his bachelors
go to grad school
get in better shape (he's been talking about a possible marathon)

5 foods he enjoys

Spaghetti
chinese food
carne a la tampequenia (sp?) from Corona Village
Tony's pizza (yes, the cheap stuff from the grocery store)
Steak
(this list could go on and on...)

5 things you may not know about him

He's very shy when you first meet him, but he's pretty talkative around people he knows
He actually used to have lots and lots of hair
He loves to "fight" with his brothers
He likes to dance, but only at home
He can manage to break almost anything (he says things aren't made tough enough)

5 quirky things about him

*He leaves his dishes in the sink even when the dishwasher has plenty of room (he's trying to be better on that one)
*He really hates to be late
*He doesn't like talking on the phone (like to order pizza, call the cable company, etc.)
*He can tune people out so that he doesn't even know they are talking
*when he brushes his teeth he taps his toothbrush on the sink in a certain rhythm, then goes "Chh" (like making the sound a cymbal makes)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Vacation

Just a warning to all; this is probably going to be a long post! Good luck to you! :)

Well, Thanksgiving was last week, of course, and we went up to Lovell for it this year. Last year we stayed at home because I was mucho pregnant and couldn't travel for fear of having a baby on the side of the road. No such worries this year, I assure you! Tuesday afternoon when Joel got done with his clinicals in Cheyenne we picked Jenna up from school about an hour early and hit the road! The trip was uneventful, except for the fact that Adam didn't fall asleep until we were 30 minutes away from Lovell. We arived safely Tuesday night.

Not much happened on Wednesday. Joel went hunting with his brother Dane, and I think that "hunting" became the theme for the vacation. He was only hunting rabbits, though, so they were only gone for a few hours. The rest of the day we pretty much just hung out and relaxed before the big day.

On Thursday morning the Robertsons do a "Turkey Trot". Some just walk, and some actually trot. We weren't planning on going, but the walking group stopped at Brenda's house (that's Joel Mom for you who don't know. That's where we were staying) and told us to get our walking shoes and get out there! So Brenda and I, and Jenna and Will went along for the 3.6 mile walk. Jenna did great, but she could have used a hat (she kept complaining that her ears were cold). And Will did okay, but he could have used some longer legs! After 5 blocks or so I think he got tired and from then on he rotated on shoulders of various family members. After the walk I felt a little tired, but completely justified in planning to eat as much pie as I could manage! At 12:30 we took family pictures in front of the church in Lovell, then we ate at 1:00 in the church gym. I heard he had a crowd of 70, so we definitely needed the space! It was a great dinner, with tons of delicious food. Joel's grandparents on the Asay side joined the Robertson crowd, as well as my sister Cindy. It was great to have our family all in one place and not have to run around to different houses to see everyone. After the yummy dinner we hung out at the gym all afternoon. Some people played basketball, and there was a Scrabble and Boggle tournament. Later they took down most of the tables (and pushed the ones that were being used to the side) and set up the volleyball net. Now here is the big difference between my family and the Robertsons. Exercise before dinner! Exercise after dinner! Exercise the next day! Exercise for fun! They are amazing! And so active! Anyway, I forgot to mention that after dinner Joel took off to go hunting with two of his brothers (the theme continues). When he got back he went to play volleyball as well. After he was done with v-ball he and Dane played some b-ball, and really worked up a sweat. But they had fun.

Later that evening I went over to my aunt's house and played a few games with some family, which is always enjoyable. Unfortunately I didn't get very many pictures on Thanksgiving, and no good ones. I'm sure other family members got a few, maybe I'll be able to post some later.

On Friday Joel went hunting with his brothers (again), and then in the evening they participated in a town volleyball tournament. Joel's team was a little slow to start, but after awhile they got a little better. They didn't win the tournament, but they did okay, and I think that had a good time. :) I know I had a fun time watching. I can watch Joel play almost any sport, and it's interesting to me. He's certainly the only person I can watch play volleyball that can make me care about the outcome of the game!

The tournament continued Saturday morning. After it was over we ran to Powell to eat at China Town. The food was okay, and it was a buffet so how can you go wrong with that. :)

When we got home from Powell I got to work on Adam's birthday cake, since Adam's birthday was that day! Unfortunately he was pretty cranky for a lot of the day because of the way naps worked out, plus I think he just wasn't feeling well. (He still isn't).

After dinner Saturday evening Adam opening his presents. Of course he had no idea what they were about, and probably couldn't have cared less about what was going on. :) Below is Adam actually working on one of his presents...



Here is the cake I made for him. You can't tell too well, but the frosting is actually a baby blue color. I liked the way it turned out...

Here is Adam with his first piece of birthday cake.
Not quite sure what to do with it.


Is this where I put it?


Now I know what's going on!


Yum!


He definitely liked his cake, and he even had seconds. He was messier than he looks in the picture, but he was definitely one of the more efficient b-day cake eaters I've seen. He wanted to eat it, not play with it!
He got a fun card from Grandma Flash that played music. He had a blast opening it and groovin' to the tunes...



A few times over the week we would wonder where Will was, and we found him here. Under the kitchen table, eating Spongebob Cheez-Its!
We had a great vacation, and we were sad to leave Sunday morning. Our trip home was uneventful, except that Adam slept a lot more than he did on the way up! When we got home our house was freezing! Five days without heat will do that, I guess. We had to really crank up all of the heaters to try and make it warm before bed. We are happy to be home. No matter where we go, or what we do; if the trip was two weeks or two days; we are always happy to be home, together, as a family.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Primary Program and Messiah

You are invited to attend the 6th Annual Community Performance of

Handel's Messiah

Friday, December 5th, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Building,
3311 Hayford Avenue, Laramie, Wyoming
No charge for admission
Sunday attire is encouraged


So this year I am singing in Handel's Messiah. I've wanted to do it every year, but I've always had a reason I couldn't; too busy with school, pregnant, nursing, etc. Well, this year all excuses are gone so I finally got to do it! I'm really injoying it, and I will be sad when it is over. (I was going to scan in the little invitation card, but our old scanner doesn't work with the new computer. So I just had to type it in; it's not nearly as pretty, sorry:)


Our ward primary program was today. I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but I am the Primary President in my ward. This year one of my counselors was basically in charge of the program, and she did awesome, so that took a lot of pressure off myself.

All of the kids in the primary did very well. Jenna, of course, did great. She knew her part and sang the songs. She is a girl that knows how to shine, and does a wonderful job at it! William, on the other hand, was another story. From the time we started practicing he was not on board. He wouldn't even ever go up to the microphone to say his part, he was glued to his chair. He also wouldn't even stand up for the songs, even though he knows most of them and sings them wonderfully at home. During one song the kids went over to the side and marched, and during practice he would have nothing to do with it. So basically his plan was to sit there and do absolutely nothing, except wiggle and squiggle in his chair.
Well, today he surprised me just a little. He didn't go so far as to say his part, but he did get off his chair and go to the microphone. When he got up there he immediately said, "I don't want to do it" and turned around and went back to his chair. But at least he got up to the mic! Then, during the marching part he actually went with the other kids and marched! Holy Cow! And when we sang I am a Child Of God for the closing song, he sang with all his heart! So he didn't do perfect on everything, but I am taking what I can get! I was really proud of him for those little steps.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Haircut

Last night I gave Jenna a haircut. For a day or two I've been thinking of cutting it really short, and Jenna really wanted me to, so last night after bath time we took the plunge. I didn't have any good before pictures that showed how long it actually was. Her hair is also slightly curly, especially the hair underneath, so it gets very snarly and tangled, and it's no fun to brush. I probably cut off a good 7 inches or so, I would guess. Here's how she looked this morning before school

Here it is from behind


And here's one with Will, he usually likes to be in the pictures, too. He's really not that short compared to Jenna, I think he must have been bending down or something.

I wish the pictures really did it justice. She looks so beautiful with her fun new hair!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today was Joel's 25th birthday. We are officially getting old. :) Actually, we've been old for some time, but now our age is starting to catch up with us just a little bit.

Joel had to start out the day with school, of course. But he got done a little after noon, so that is nice. We ran a few errands this afternoon and just hung out. While Joel was still at school Will and I each painted him a picture, and Jenna painted one when she got home from school. We went out to Chilli's for dinner; it was the first time that we've been to the one here in Laramie. It was better than I expected, so I think we were pleasantly surprised. After dinner we came home and had cherry cheesecake, Joel's choice for his birthday cake. The kids helped him blow out his candles...


Before we cut the cake I surprised Joel with some presents. He thought his only present was a nice, new stethoscope that he got a few weeks ago, but I think you should always have something to open on your birthday. So I just got him a big Toblerone bar, and a new tie that can go with all of his dress shirts.

In other news, Adam has been taking steps lately. He usually just takes 2 or 3 steps at a time, but this evening he really outdid himself! Check out the video!

video
He will be one year old in a little less than two weeks. He seems to have grown so much in the last few weeks. He's also been trying to say a lot of different words, and that's fun to hear. It's always hard to believe when your baby starts to grow up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sleeping

Adam has been having some strange sleeping habits lately. He hasn't been taking great naps, but sometimes he's so tired and cranky. Yesterday he didn't take an afternoon nap, but after dinner Joel was holding him and he just layed his head down and went to sleep on him! Joel layed him down on the floor to see if he would stay asleep, and boy did he. He must have been very tired!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Toyota or a Porsche?

Not a whole lot has been going on with us lately, just living life. Last Friday Joel and I went to the Nursing Job fair they had at the University for all of the nursing students. We walked around, learned about different hospitals and possible employers for the future. There was some very interesting information that we got from the VA (Veteran's Affairs), which was the possibility of them paying for Joel's continued education. He has always known that he doesn't want to be a nurse forever; he would like to go on and become either a PA (Physician's Assistant) or become a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). He has really gone back and forth between these two career choices over the last year or two, seeing the pros and cons of each. The biggest pro for CRNA is that they make more money, but the actual job of a PA seems to be more interesting to Joel.

Skipping to a slightly different subject for a moment; we had Stake Conference this weekend and it was a Regional Broadcast. There were a lot of good talks given, and one in particular talked about a friend who made a lot of money in his new business. He bought a nice sports car, a Porsche Boxster, but his friend, who was even richer than him, had a nicer sports car. He wanted the nicer sports car for awhile, and was getting caught up in the lifestyle. Anyway, to shorten the story, the man ended up selling his sports car and buying a Toyota. He was happier for it because he changed his focus from money and possessions to simply being happy with what you have. He said that when you have a Boxster, you then want a nicer Porsche, and when you have the nicer Porsche, you want a Ferrari.

So, this prompted some thought for Joel and he said to me, "Do I want to be a Happy Toyota or an unhappy Porsche?" PA being the Toyota, CRNA being the Porsche (not that we could actually buy a Porsche, it's just a metaphor people). :) I don't think he would be unhappy as a CRNA, but it's probably more likely that he would be happier as a PA. cJoel has seen CRNAs and PAs in action, and from his observation PAs do so many more interesting things. Also, PAs can go into many different areas that the possibilities are nearly endless. So after saying all of this you may be wondering what the question really is? Well, we then come back to the fact that CRNAs do make quite a bit more money, and that's a hard fact to ignore.

So these have been our questions lately, and I can tell that Joel is really feeling the pressure about choosing. I will be completely happy no matter what he chooses. I just want him to be happy in whatever job he chooses to have for the rest of his life. PAs certainly make enough money to support a family on, so that is not a concern of mine. But I know that it's a lot of pressure for Joel to feel the weight of his entire life in front of him. I never had to make the choice he is making. I always knew I would be staying at home with the children, and if I have to work now and then that's fine, but it's not like I'm making career choices that will effect my entire life and the lives of my family. Joel, since I know you read all of my posts I just want to tell you that I love you! And that no matter what you choose I know we will be a happy family! I only want you to be happy, and I will help and support you through anything!

As you can see that has been the main thing on our minds lately! On Sunday after conference we went to Joel's Aunt Gwen's house for lunch/dinner with all of Joel's cousins and their families. We had a great time, and I always love hanging out with family and friends! Gwen also gave us a couple of boxes of clothes that her daugher Mary has outgrown. Every so often she will hand down some clothes to up that are usually perfect for Jenna. It's so much fun to go through the boxes, and last night Jenna ended up wearing quite the outfit that she put together from the box. It's too bad I didn't get a picture of it. The best part was that there were snow boots that fit Jenna perfectly, and since her old boots just came apart at the soles last week, the timing was perfect! I'm glad we hadn't bought more yet.

Since this has been such a long post, I will throw a picture in. We got Jenna's school picture back last week, but our scanner doesn't work. This is just a picture of the picture, and it didn't turn out well. But you get the idea. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Almost

Well, it's ALMOST the Christmas season. According to Walmart I guess the Christmas season started a few weeks ago, but I think you have to wait until it's a little closer to Thanksgiving. Christmas time is my favorite time of the year, hands down. I love the music, the food, spending time with family, the decorations, and most of all the feeling I get. Christmas comes with a very distinct feeling for me; my heart is full, I feel a childlike happiness and love for all. However, I live with Scrooge. Joel likes Christmas, but he won't listen to Christmas music with me, and whenever I say anything like "Oh, I just love Christmas!", he usually rolls his eyes or something else implying that I'm just weird. I've asked him why he's so "bah humbug" about Christmas, and he blames me. He has rebelled in the opposite direction because I love Christmas so much, and I would tell him all of the time because he's my best friend, and I always tell him what I'm feeling. Well, this year I've already stopped myself many times from saying how much I love and am looking forward to Christmas and everything that goes with it. I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, if I keep these thoughts to myself, he can see that Christmas is the BEST instead of being bugged by my own Christmas enthusiasm!

It's not just the actual day of Christmas that I love. Even more so I love that general holiday merriment that comes before hand. I love that the checkers at the store will tell you "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays". I just think that people are basically happier and maybe even more polite during the holiday season. I love to look at the beautiful lights and decorations that people put out, and I love to hear my kids "ooh" and "awe" about them. I love putting up a beautiful tree with presents underneath (even if I am worried about Adam pulling off all of the decoration, or tipping the tree over). I love having all of us together, not worrying about school, just spending time as a family. I love the music that speaks to my heart. There are Christmas songs that make me laugh, cry, and feel the spirit stronger than any other music. To steal a line from a Christmas song, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What have I done?

Copy and paste, then highlight the ones you've done.The idea is to highlight the things you have done out of the 200 items on the list to show everyone another side of you. ENJOY!

1. Touched an iceberg 2. Slept under the stars 3. Been a part of a hockey fight 4. Changed a baby's diaper 5. Watched a meteor shower 6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Swam with wild dolphins 8. Climbed a mountain 9. Held a tarantula 10. Said "I love you" and meant it 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise 15. Seen the Northern Lights 16. Gone to a huge sports game 17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty 18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables 19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope 20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment 21. Had a pillow fight 22. Bet on a winning horse 23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill 24. Built a snow fort 25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Taken an ice cold bath 28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar 29. Seen a total eclipse 30. Ridden a roller coaster 31. Hit a home run 32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking 33. Adopted an accent for fun 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment 36. Loved your job 90% of the time 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 38. Watched wild whales 39. Gone rock climbing 40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach 41. Gone sky diving 42. Visited Ireland 43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 44. Visited India 45. Bench-pressed your own weight 46. Milked a cow 47. Alphabetized your personal files 48. Ever worn a superhero costume 49. Sung karaoke 50. Lounged around in bed all day 51. Gone scuba diving 52. Kissed in the rain 53. Played in the mud 54. Gone to a drive-in theater 55. Done something you should regret, but don't 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business 58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Been in a movie 60. Gone without food for 3 days 61. Made cookies from scratch 62. Won first prize in a costume contest 63. Got flowers for no reason 64. Been in a combat zone 65. Spoken more than one language fluently 66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone - verbal not physical 67. Bounced a check 68. Read - and understood - your credit report 69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy 70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did 71. Called or written your Congress person 72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over 73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge 74. Helped an animal give birth 75. Been fired or laid off from a job 76. Won money 77. Broken a bone 78. Ridden a motorcycle 79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph 80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon 81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing 82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days 83. Eaten sushi 84. Had your picture in the newspaper 85. Read The Bible cover to cover 86. Changed someones mind about something you care deeply about 87. Gotten someone fired for their actions 88. Gone back to school 89. Changed your name 90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands 91. Eaten fried green tomatoes 92. Read The Iliad 93. Taught yourself an art from scratch 94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt 96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language 97.Been elected to public office 98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream 99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care 100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you 101. Had a booth at a street fair 102. Dyed your hair 103. Been a DJ 104. Rocked a baby to sleep 105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four 106. Raked your carpet 107. Brought out the best in people 108. Brought out the worst in people 109. Worn a mood ring 110. Ridden a horse 111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap 112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe. 113. Buried a child 114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play 115. Been inside the pyramids 116. Shot a basketball into a basket 117. Danced at a disco 118. Played in a band 119. Shot a bird 120. Gone to an arboretum 121. Tutored someone 122. Ridden a train 123. Brought an old fad back into style 124. Eaten caviar 125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn't need 126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant 127. Published a book 128. Pieced a quilt 129. Lived in a historic place 130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage 131. Asked for a raise 132. Made a hole-in-one 133. Gone deep sea fishing 134. Gone roller skating 135. Ran a marathon 136. Learned to surf 137. Invented something 138. Flown first class 139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite 140. Flown in a helicopter 141. Visited Africa 142. Sang a solo 143. Gone spelunking 144. Learned how to take a compliment 145. Written a love-story 146. Seen Michelangelo's David 147. Had your portrait painted 148. Written a fan letter 149. Spent the night in something haunted 150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane 151. Ran away 152. Learned to juggle 153. Been a boss 154. Sat on a jury 155. Lied about your weight 156. Gone on a diet 157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget 158. Written a poem 159. Carried your lunch in a lunch box 160. Gotten food poisoning 161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission 162. Hiked the Grand Canyon 163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks 164. Gone to the opera 165. Gotten a letter from someone famous 166. Worn knickers 167. Ridden in a limousine 168. Attended the Olympics 169. Can hula or waltz 170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books 171. Been stuck in an elevator 172. Had a revelatory dream 173. Thought you might crash in an airplane 174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert 175. Saved someones life 176. Eaten raw whale 177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint 178. Laughed till your side hurt 179. Straddled the equator 180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing 181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival 182. Sent a message in a bottle 183. Spent the night in a hostel 184. Been a cashier 185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 186. Joined a union 187. Donated blood or plasma 188. Built a camp fire 189. Kept a blog 190. Had hives 191. Worn custom made shoes or boots 192. Made a PowerPoint presentation 193. Taken a Hunter's Safety Course 194. Served at a soup kitchen 195. Conquered the Rubik's cube 196. Know CPR 197. Ridden in or owned a convertible 198. Found a long lost friend 199. Helped solve a crime 200. Responded to a NJP newsletter

The prettiest, the coolest, and the cutest

Let me show you the prettiest queen, the coolest racetrack, and the cutest pumpkin you will every see!
The finished racetrack

Will, in all his glory

My little pumpkin


The beautiful queen


Joel and Adam, waiting for the action to start.


Will wanted to take his racetrack off because he was tired of waiting.


Our stake trunk-or-treat was last night, and boy was it busy! We got there at 5:30 and the trunk-or-treating was to start at 5:45. When it did start, it felt like a madhouse. There were SO many kids there, and everyone was going different directions, so it got very clogged up and crowded. At first Will was getting pretty upset because he couldn't move well, he was a pretty wide load! But once things thinned out a little we had an easier time. Will got a lot of compliments on his super-cool racetrack, and of course everyone thought Jenna was beautiful. Adam came with us for awhile, but when the candy ran out from the back of our van, Joel came and got Adam. There were some fun costumes, but my favorite was a guy dressed up as a vending machine, handing out candy! It was definitelly the coolest thing I've ever seen. The candy was behind a piece of glass (or plastic, I didn't touch it), and there were buttons on the side, and when you pushed a button a piece of candy fell down into the little tray where you could pick it up. Now that is creative! It must have taken a long time to make, and after making a simple racetrack I have mad respect for people that can pull of something like that! All in all it was a very good night, the kids had fun, and they have the loot to prove it! :)


Enjoying the spoils...



Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkins

We carved pumpkins last night as a family; actually Joel and I carved pumpkins (mostly Joel), and the kids watched. Jenna did clean most of her own pumpkin out, but Will wasn't loving the goo, so Joel cleaned his out.

We were cleaning them out and I told everyone to look and smile; that face is what I got from Jenna. What a stinker.

So I made her take another picture with a better smile. :)

Our pumkins: Will's, Joel's, Jenna's, and mine.

All lit up

The kids posing by their pumpkins. Jenna designed her own pumpkin and was very happy with it.

Recipe

Here is the chicken pot pie recipe.

1 Package (10 oz) frozen peas and carrots
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
Pastry for 9-Inch Two-Crust Pie

Rinse frozen peas and carrots in cold water to separate; drain. Melt margarine in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in chicken and peas and carrots; remove from heat. Heat oven to 425. Prepare pastry. Roll two-thirds of the pastry into 13-inch square. Ease into ungreased square pan, 9x9x2 inches. Pour chicken mixture into pastry-lined pan. Roll remaining pastry into 11-inch square. Cut out designs with 1-inch cookie cutter. Place square over chicken mixture. Arrange cutouts on pastry. Turn edges of pastry under and flute. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Two-Crust Pie

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or 2/3 cup lard
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Cut shortening into flour and salt, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until particles are size of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary). Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured cloth-covered board. (For Two-Crust Pie, divide pastry in half and shape into 2 rounds). Roll pastry into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

I basically followed the recipe, the only thing I really did differently was the vegetables. I boiled some potatoes and carrots, and used frozen peas and frozen corn. But I pretty much just followed the rest of the recipe, and it turned out great. I even made the dough the day before and stored it in the fridge in waxed paper and plastic wrap. It was so yummy, and the leftovers were just as good!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!

A few weeks ago my sister Mary gave me a recipe for a chicken pot pie that she made and said was really good. I've never made a chicken pot pie before, so I thought I would try my hand at it. It felt like a little bit of a saga (even though it wasn't, really). I made the dough for the crust yesterday because I was planning to make it for dinner last night, but then Joel and I had a big lunch, and weren't really hungry at dinner time. So I made a smaller, lighter dinner yesterday. I wasn't sure how the dough would hold up in the fridge for so long, but it ended up tasting really good. The recipe just calls for a frozen veggie mix, but I wanted potatoes in it, so I boiled potatoes and carrots to put in. Well, after I started them on the stove, Joel came home from Cheyenne. We were sitting on the couch talking, and an hour later I realized I had forgotten about my potatoes! Well, they were pretty much mush, so I had to peel, cut, and boil more potatoes. Not that big of a deal, but I really didn't feel like it. Anyway, it did end up being a little more work than I thought it would be originally, but it was worth it! It was the best pot pie I've ever had, and my family loved it. I think I might look for some little pans so I can cook individual pot pies.
Here is the whole pot pie, fresh from the oven.



Here's my piece. It tasted better than it looks here. :)

(This little chicken pot pie story got long, sorry. I think I'm strangely proud of my pie!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Will's idea

I'm doing the dishes, Will is eating oatmeal.

Will: Mom, what if we just lived upside down?

Me: How would that work?

Will: We would just glue our feet to the ceiling.

Me: But how would we move?

Will: We could just walk around with our sticky feet!

(I get crazy propositions like this every day. What if we just.....?)

A letter

A few days ago, Joel gave Jenna a clipboard/folder thing that he used for one day and broke. He got a new one, and gave her the old one (which was only about 2 days old). It's only a little clip part that is broken, so for Jenna it works wonderfully. After he gave it to her, she wrote him a letter...


"Dear Daddy, I love you a lot! I wish you can come to my class some day. Can you please? You are nice and fun Daddy! I wish you are my teacher in all my classes. I love to see you at home. It is fun Dad. Do you think I am fun? I think you are fun. Do you like flowers? I like flowers. I miss you when I am at school. Do you miss me? I like your room Daddy! Love Jenna"
*I corrected all spelling*

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Brrrr...

Brrr! We woke up this morning to a light layer of snow...





We usually walk to school, but when it gets cold, I pull out the car keys! The temp this morning was 21 degrees, but the wind chill was 5! I'm definitely too wimpy for that! The kids bundled up, and Jenna was excited to get to wear all of her new winter stuff. New coat, new mittens, new hat. And Will put his hat on all by himself, can you tell! :)

I can't begin to describe how much I feel like making warm, yummy goodies! When the weather gets cold, Sarah gets cooking! I don't love the cold weather, but I will admit that I love the cozy feeling I get when it's warm inside and you can cuddle up with someone. The hot chocolate and warm cider, anything warm in fact! I think there is definite logic in the fact that animals in general bulk up for the winter. That must be where my instincts come from! Bring on the goodies! :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting Older

Will is four! It seems crazy, and yet it's like our family never existed without him. That's how it is with all children. Once they are there, you can't even remember what it was like without them! We basically started out the day with presents. I was going to have him wait until this evening when we did cake and ice cream to open his gifts, but Joel thought he should do it in the morning. He pointed out that then he would be able to play with his new presents all day. Good idea Dad! So after breakfast Will got to open his presents. It was a lot of fun, and he is finally old enough to do it totally on his own. We had to continually remind Jenna that Will could do it on his own, and that she needed to keep her hands OFF. That wasn't easy for her. Will was very happy with his new toys, new clothes, and his very own sleeping bag.
A slinky from Jenna

A toy gun from Mom and Dad


Opening the one from Grandma R.

The race track cake, not quite done


The finished product! (Those are Lightning McQueen cars on the track)


On the phone with Grandma R. She was singing Happy Birthday.



Lighting the candles

Right now Jenna and Will are having a "sleep-over" on their bedroom floor, each with their very own sleeping bags. They are watching "The Bee Movie". When I checked on them last they were both still awake, even! I wonder how long they will make it?

Happy Birthday, William!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Costume

We have had the hardest time deciding what to be for Halloween this year. Jenna has been set on being a princess, even though I've tried to talk her out of it. (She was a witch last year, but she was a princess the TWO years before that). I've given in and am looking for a costume for her that isn't $30 or something crazy like that. We've had the opposite problem with Will. "What do you want to be for Halloween?" we'll ask. "I don't know." He replies. Helpful. We've given him ideas, and he usually just says, "No." So I had a brilliant idea. :) His birthday is on Saturday and I'm making him a race track cake. So I asked him, "Do you want to be a race track for Halloween?" I was actually serious, but I wasn't sure I would be able to talk him into it. He was unsure at first, I think he thought I was kidding, that it wasn't really possible to be a race track for Halloween. But he agreed, and today we started working on his costume. When I told Joel what he was going to be he looked at me like I was absolutely mad. But I was bound and determined to figure out some way of making a racetrack that Will could wear, and that wouldn't cost very much. Today we pulled out some cardboard boxes, and after some mussing and fussing this is what I did...
Now picture straps that will hook over his shoulders and hold the track up about waste height. The cardboard will be completely covered in either construction paper or paint. There will be supports under each side to hold it level. And of course the track will go around that edge and we will somehow stick cars to it. Can you see it?