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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.