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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Photos

Twas the Night Before Christmas
Frank reading the Christmas story
A gift from the boys
Thank you so much! I love you!
The boys in there new Christmas Pajamas

Roman was happy with his gift; especially the
pacifiers in his stocking.
Santa came through with the DS Lite this year

The other day my mom was singing the song I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and Winston got so upset. He said,"Nana, that is not true. My mom would never kiss Santa Claus." My mom tried to explain to him that it was just a song, but he did not believe her, so when he got home he asked me if I ever kissed Santa, and I told him no. He then turned around and said to my mom, "See, I told you mommy would never kiss Santa." I thought this was pretty funny.

Best Friends

My best friend came to town last week. She lives in Colorado now with her family, but we grew up in Alaska together. She is the best. We have known each other since we were 15 and at one point I think we were almost Siamese twins. We went to college together in Portland. She was here for 4 days and during that time we had so much fun catching up. We ate out just about every night and now I am going to have to spend a few weeks making up for this and the holidays didn't help but I will get it off. We shopped just about until we dropped and some of that was actually for ourselves and not Christmas presents. We watched movies and we got our nails done. I can't wait until the end of April when I get to see her again at Women's Conference. Thanks to my mom who watched the boys and thanks to our husbands who banked rolled the whole thing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Heaven




Tonight I think I died and went to Heaven. I had the best meal in my life. We at one of the best restaurants here in Atlanta called Chop-Lobster Bar. The atmosphere was perfect. We also went a couple of good friends. The decor brings you back into the 1920's and make you feel as if maybe you are in an old library with its dark wood paneled walls. Unlike some restaurants, we were actually able to talk with our friends without having to shout over the other customers or music. We all started out with this amazing spinach salad covered in crispy little chunks of bacon, candied shitake mushrooms, pine nuts with a ward Dijon dressing. After that I choose the 3 inch cut prime lamb chops with sides of maple glazed carrots, steamed broccoli, and thin sliced potatoes that were roasted with onions. Last but not least dessert, I had the chocolate toffee tort with vanilla ice cream and Carmel. Now you know why I think I have died and gone to Heaven. Can you say yum?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's for Dinner!

My New favorite recipe for Beef Stroganoff. In the past I had always used strips of steak, but this was always a little tricky because the meat can be a little tough if you are not careful, but not with this recipe. I had also heard of Beef Stroganoff using hamburger meat, though never tried. So if you don't want to go through the steps of making the roast you could always use hamburger meat and sprinkle over it the Lipton's packet. Trust me though my husband almost fell out of his chair with this recipe.
Roast Beef - your favorite cut
2 packets of Lipton's Onion Soup mix
1 1/2 cup water
Cook roast on low in crock pot for 6 hours until no longer pink and cooked throughout. Remove from drippings and drain off fat. You can also cook the roast in the oven.
Shred beef which is yummy but doesn't look as pretty as chunks.
Add to below gravy.
1 cup Beef stock
1 Cup milk
2 Tbl flour
2 Tbl brown gravy mix
1/2 tea pepper
1 Cup sour cream
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 tea garlic salt
Pinch of Bay Leaf
8 oz sliced mushrooms
Whisk together until smooth and then add meat.
Heat on med/low heat until lightly bubbly stirring occasionally.
Serve over wide egg noddles.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Nutcracker

Everyone should go see the Nutcracker once in their life. Last night I had the opportunity to go to the Atlanta Ballet. It was wonderful! It is also neat to see how each production can be different and very much alike. The production here in Atlanta has the opening scenes set in Russia. The costumes were beautiful and very colorful. I once went to see the Nutcracker in Seattle where the set design was done by Maurise Sednak. He is the guy who illustrated the book Where the Wild Things Grow. I am not sure which I enjoyed more the ballet or the reaction of the little girls behind me who were oohing and aahing over each new thing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What is for Dinner Wenesday!

This soup was a hit with my family except for one member who complained that there were carrots in it. I do not know why he would complain since he loves carrots with dip, but then again I do not understand children and their picky eating habits. One thing is to be said is that more is not always good. I thought that adding more pasta would only make it even more tasty. Wrong! The extra noodles soaked up all the broth. Also, if you do not have a beef bullion cube you can replace the water with 4 cups of beef broth.
Hamburger Soup
1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained/ you can also use ground Chicken or Turkey meat
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
4 cups hot water
1- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon beef bullion
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup diced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup macaroni
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Mix everything but the macaroni and Parmesan cheese in a med pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the macaroni and simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the vegetables and pasta are tender. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese and a slice of homemade bread. I know I am always looking for new recipes that my family will love. I hope your family enjoys it as much as we did. I think it was the first soup my husband actually begged to take to work.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Traditions

The nice thing about being married to someone from a different culture is that you not only get to celebrate your Christmas tradition but theirs. On the night of December 6th the boys put out their shoes for St. Nicholaus, and then when they wake up sure enough he has filled them with treats. We also celebrate Advent which is the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. We begin Advent by lighting another candle in our Christmas wreath and singing a the German song that goes along with it that says Advent Advent ein licht brent jetz. First eins dann zwei dann drei dann vier dann steht das Christkind vor der tuer. Translation is Advent Advent a light burns now. First 1, then 2, then 3, then 4 then the Christchild stands at the door. Then we follow it by listening to Christmas music, eating cookies or cakes, reading stories, watching movies and sometimes we do a craft. We do these activities throughout the week too, but Advent is even more special because we spend our whole afternoon focusing on our preparation for Christmas to come.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Caught


A couple of days ago, I was in the other room doing chores when I realized that Roman was being really quiet. I thought he was in the TV room playing with his toys, but when I looked there he wasn't to be found. It didn't take me to long to find him and this is what he was doing, and this is why he was so quiet. He had found the bag of holiday candy that I had hidden. When I asked him what he was doing. All he could reply was "Umm Umh." He was in heaven.

A holiday favorite

Every year we prepare for Christmas by watching and reading our favorite stories. I find that it really brings in the holiday spirit. Christmas just isn't Christmas without these traditions. I
love the story of The Littlest Angel and how he gets his wings. I also love the story called The Three Trees. It is a beautiful story that reminds us why we celebrate Christmas.
This year we added a new book to our collection called The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes. The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes is a moving story about pure love, anonymous service, and the sometimes unexpected gifts we receive from the Savior, who above all others knows what we need.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Project Christmas

The Christmas tree and all the decorations are out, now it is time to begin the baking and finish the Christmas cards. Thank goodness, I am just about finished with all shopping. The stores are a mad house. 25 days until Christmas!!! Did you know that the Christmas tree orginated in Germany and is ment to symbolize Gods eternal nature? The lights symbolize the light of Christ.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Minature Golf




After cleaning up the aftermath of Thanksgiving, my mother and I took the boys to Stone Mountain. We enjoyed riding the Christmas train and getting ourselves into the Christmas spirit as we rode around the mountain listening to Christmas music. We ate kettle corn, watched a shortened version of Polar Express in 4D, and enjoyed a round of putt putt golf. We had so much fun with our guest yesterday the McCarthy's who are from Ireland that we didn't get any pictures. I guess that means that Thanksgiving was a success.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Parade of Turkeys


I found this really cute recipe for Oreo Turkeys on the Internet. The boys had a blast making them. Now it is time for the mash potatoes, gravy, turkey, corn, rolls, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple pie, and pumpkin cheesecake. Yummy!! Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oldies but Goodies

This fall here in Georgia has been unusually cold. Normally, we have a few cold days, but then it is warm again at least up till the beginning of December. Anyway, this cold weather has kept me inside and I have been watching oldies but goodies. My favorite is Lorna Doone which was an early Christmas gift to myself. I bought the whole Romantic Package by A&E. It includs Pride and Prejudice, Ivanhoe, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Emma, and Tom Jones. I have also seen a few good movies on the movie channel such as With Six You get Egg Roll that featured Doris Day. New Movies are good, but there is some comfort to be found in the oldies. What are your favorites?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Children's Books

My children love this Thanksgiving Book called the Know-Nothings. It is fun, silly and worth the adventure as Children learn what Thanksgiving is or isn't. We read this book every year because it is just so silly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

News

OK, it isn't really that spectacular news, but I just wanted to write that my 21 month old baby has gone potty in the toilet 2 times. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a good trend. Given that the other two didn't potty train until they were three. It would be nice to have something be a piece of cake for him. He isn't talking much. This worries me a little. He has about 3 to 4 words if you want to count them as words. He says mama, papa, baba, and more. He also signs more and eat. He shakes his head for no. He also has started doing this really cute thing before he eats which is saying his own prayer. He folds his arms, bows his head, and mumbles a prayer. You can't understand anything he is saying. I am sure Heavenly Father understands. I am going to try to get this on video. I also got my camera back today. Yeah!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Count your Blessings

Count your Blessings is one of my favorite hymns at church. Do you count your many blessing and name them one by one? I find that when I count my blessings and look at the cup 1/2 full I am much happier. It would be so easy to look at life from the other side with a 1/2 empty cup and sink into the never ending pity party pit. I know that this would not be what my Heavenly Father would want for me. He wants us to be happy. It is only Satin who lies to us and tells us that we would only be happier if we had more, or if a situation would be different. There will always be people out there who have more money, bigger houses, nicer cars, prettier hair, skinner bodies, better talents, the list goes on. I think age has taught me at least one thing, and that is no one really cares except me/you. Let me explain, When I got married I was so proud of my wedding ring. It was/is really beautiful. I knew that my ring had more stones than other women's', and while initially people made comments on it's beauty the comments have stopped. Really no one cares! Personally, I am glad they don't care either, and those who do really should get a life. There are just more important things out there to be concerned with than how many stones and the size of the stone. Another lesson I have learned is that life is fragile. We don't have time to waste. We need to live life to the fullest as if each and every minute could be our last. While I can list more than a hundred things to be grateful for, I think I will just list the top five because they are the most important.
1. I think it goes without saying my family. My sweet husband who is a wonderful father, and works so hard to provide for us. Our children Harris, Winston, and Roman who are patient with me as I learn how to be a mom. My parents who are always there for me.
2. My testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ who through his sacrifice allows me to make mistakes and repent. His gospel and never ending love. The opportunity to pray and search the scriptures in times of need.
3. The opportunity to live in a country that allows me to worship how I may, and be treated as an equal.
4. I am grateful for medical advancements that allow me to have my son Roman. Think about it just a little over 60 years ago the doctors could not do anything for him. He would have died most likely by his 3 months of age.
5. I am grateful for chocolate. It brings me a little piece of joy each day. It might be trivial, but it makes me happy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flashback Friday

Do you know who this little boy is?
Harris on the Oregon Coast age 4

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trouble

I have not one, not two, but three boys which spells trouble; however, this little boy who is wearing a shirt titled Little Monster learned how to push a chair up to the counter,and get on top of them. He is only 20 months. I thought I had a while before he learned this trick. Life as I know it has changed once again. JOY!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Goblins OH MY!

I still do not have a camera, but thanks to my mother I am not missing on of the events of life. The other night for family home evening the very family home eveningwhere I broke my camera, we made these really fun Goblins. Aren't they cute! My only suggestion is to make half of the recipe unless you are taking them to a party because they are really sweet. Enjoy!
Goblin Recipe
24 circus peanuts
24 1 inch pieces of licorice
string licorice if you can find it
24 candy coated candy pieces
12 drops of green food coloring
4 cups of miniature marshmallows
3 Tablespoons of butter
6 cups of Kix cereal
Mix the butter, food coloring marshmallows, and cereal together just like you would for Rice Crispy Treats. Then create balls. Lye the balls on top of 2 circus peanuts for feet. Stick on the candy pieces for eyes, and add the licorice for antennas. Now you have an alien.

V is for Vampire

Last night we went to the church Halloween party called Trunk or Treat. It is so much fun seeing everyone dressed up in their costumes. This year we all dressed up as vampires. We even won the creepiest costumes. The boys had fun eating hot dogs, playing games, watching "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", and then going from car to car getting Halloween candy. I think they may have even gone two rounds. Roman is even starting to understand this candy thing and he loves it. He has such a sweet tooth. He even has his favorites. Chocolate like his mom.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So So Sad


I am so so sad! The other night, I went to take a picture of these really fun treats called Goblins made out of Kix cereal and marshmallow that we made for Family Home Evening, and broke the camera. I was rushing to take the picture before the kids devoured them and I dropped my camera. It is now broken and being evaluated on to whether it is worth fixing. The lens is damaged. I am so so sad. How can I live without a camera?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Spooktacular Dinner

This week, I thought I would make dinner fun. I made Mummy Dogs. They were a big hit with the kids. It is nothing spectacular really just a hot dog wrapped in a Crescent roll. The recipe for this an many other fun Halloween ideas can be found in the Pillsbury Halloween addition magazine of recipes. Have a Spooktacular Weekend. We are off to the school Fall Festival and the ward Trunk or Treat.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween Fun




It is always fun to see what the boys will come up for faces. They still don't like to pull out all the seeds, but I make them since I don't like to do it either. I figure it is apart of the deal. I can't wait to dress Roman up for Halloween. They are all going to look so cute in their costumes.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mixed Review



Well, I just got home from seeing Wicked. I have wanted to go for two years after hearing everyone talk at church about how great it was. I am a fan of the Wizard of Oz. You have too know the story in order too understand the play. Though, I have to admit I have avoided watching it the last few times on TV because I am terrified of the flying monkeys. Plus the music at the beginning where the witch is riding her bike scares me too. I think watching this movie is just as much apart of being American as apple pie or baseball. I am not sure what to think about the play. I feel like I should be loving it because everyone else did, but I just don't know. The verdict is out. A couple of things I can say is that the costumes are great. The music is good, and the story line has had me thinking since I left. I am going to maybe regret it in a few hours when I have to get up to put the boys on the bus. So for you who are not familiar, Wicked is the story behind the Oz story told from the wicked witches perspective written in 1995 by Gregory Maguire. The storyline while entertaining enough explores several topics. The first being: are we born evil, or do we become evil in response to our circumstances and environment. This is not a new subject. Scientist, theologians, and writers have been asking this very question from the beginning of time. Mary Shelley asked the same question in her book Frankenstein. If we are to go along with Gregory Maguires view, then we are supposed to feel sorry for the wicked witch because she wasn't truly evil and merely misunderstood. I am not so sold on this because this leaves out the choice to rise above ones circumstances. Are we purely victims? He said when he came up with the idea for this book that he had just read an article on Saddam Hussein which compared him to Hitler. He wondered on what effect the very word Hitler or evil plays on how we judge someone or label them. He also explores the idea of how much value we as a society place on beauty (the good witch) and our need to fit in. I guess the one thing I came walking away with was the question: What price do I or we pay in our need to fit in? In the case of the wicked witch she paid a very heavy price. So, if you haven't zoomed out yet I want to know am I missing something? Should I read the book? Would it make me love this play more. I guess I just wasn't expecting to walk away with thinking about it so much, and was expecting to enjoy it merely for entertainment value. I am not so sold on the friendship between the good witch and the wicked witch. I did like the song towards the end where it talks about how much we can learn from one another.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I have a confession


I have a confession besides being a chocoholic and total sugar addict, I haven't had a Pap smear in over 2 years. I think the last one I had was around when I got pregnant with Roman. You are probably wondering why I am telling you this because this isn't something one talks about. I think we try to avoid this topic, and if you are like me put of going to the Doctor. That is going to change today. I am going to make the appointment today because I know it can save my life, and I have a life worth living for. The other reason I am writing about this is because I have a childhood friend who was young and beautiful who just died in July of Ovarian Cancer. Her name was Carrie and she was only 38. It just doesn't seem possible that someone so young can die. Our mom's were co-workers and friends. Carrie and I took ballet lesson together. When we would visit our moms, who were dental assistants, in the office we would give the dentist a hard time. We loved to color and play little people. We saw the Movie Top Gun together. I loved to sit in the kitchen and talk with her and her mom while drinking the most killer chocolate chip banana milkshakes that her mom would make for us. We played on the beach, and when we were teenagers we went to Mexico. I wanted to be just like Carrie. Everyone loved Carrie. She had beautiful wheat colored hair that was straight unlike my curly hair. Most importantly Carrie was smart. When she graduated from high school, she went to Pepperdine University. Later on she opened her own business, and was successful. It just doesn't seem real. I still regret that I didn't make a bigger effort to visit her last year when I was in California. I didn't call because I was still a few more pounds than I wanted to be and didn't want her to see me that way. I thought I would be able to see her the next time I go to California. Now she is gone. So, I guess there are two lessons from this story. The first go out and get a Pap smear if you need one and the second is don't put off visiting those you care about.

To find out more about Ovarian Cancer you can go to www.ovariancancerawareness.org

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Worth Reading


I just finished this book called the Witch Child. It was excellent. I love these type of books even if it is just fiction. Some of the facts are taken from history. I think it is a great way to teach history to children without being dry as history books can be. I think this is the way we should be teaching history. It is a great Halloween read.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

F is for Fall



I use to think nothing of Fall. Didn't really like fall because I know what comes after Fall, and that is Winter. Winter equals cold weather. Now that I have children, I am starting to love Fall more and more. Children go back to school in the Fall, and then there is the beauty to be found all around such as the leaves and the pumpkins. Fall means Halloween, pumpkin bread, and apple cider. Hip hip hooray for Fall.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

E is for Emergency Room



Once upon a time there was a silly, happy, dirty face little boy named Winston. He loved life and always seemed to find the best in every situation. When he was 3, he thought he was funny by telling jokes. His favorite was, What has 8 holes and eats cheese? A mouse was the answer. Didn't make any sense at all but he thought he was very funny. His favorite color is blue and is proud that his middle name is Thomas like his dad. He loves to play computer,watch Ben 10, and his favorite food is Pizza. However, one day he went hiking with his mom. Well, they really didn't get to go on the hike because he and his brother were playing tag while mom was getting the stroller out of the car. This is what happened. 8 stitches and a trip to Children's. At least he got a green Popsicle and a Webkinz out of the whole ordeal.