Monday, December 28, 2009

Einen Guten Rutsch ins Jahr 2010!

Ein Guten Rutsch ins Jahr 2010! I love how Germans say Happy New Year; however, it kind of translates to a good scoot into the New Year! I don't know why, but this saying just makes me happy. I hope you all scoot into the New Year will everything that is good to come. We are going to take the next couple of days getting better. It seems that just about everyone is sick here at my house. Frank has pneumonia, and the boys have sinus infections.

We had fantastic time in Salt Lake! Before we left we visited Temple Square, you can't help but be amazed by the Temple's beauty. Then we went to Heritage Park where Brigham Young declared that this was the place for the Mormons to settle. We watched a nice film about the early settlers and learned more about the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express which my older son is learning about this year in school. We walked around the old time village, but didn't get to go into the buildings since it is winter. The attendants said to come back sometime in the summer because that is when everyone dresses up in period costumes. Then we made it back to see the lights at Temple Square while munching on gummy cinnamon bears. Boy was it cold! We listened to the Nativity story and to a choir sing. We are grateful for all the friends we were able to visit. The Burtons -Thanks for the lasagna dinner! Yummy! The Homer and Nielson families. Also the Price family, where we met their new addition to their family Aiden.

Once again wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point, Utah

While the boys were skiing one day Roman and I went to the Dinosaur Museum. I wasn't too sure it would be age appropriate for Roman, but I didn't want to lock him in the hotel all day. I was very surprised by how they had something for just about every age group. While most of it was over Romans head he still enjoyed looking at the giant Dinosaurs and playing with all the hands on exhibits. What is also cool is that you can watch the Paleontologist work!!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nine movie Review

We take a break from our Utah vacation to bring you this movie review on the movie NINE. As far back as I can remember I have gone to the movies, and today as an adult I love going to the movies. Movies take you on journeys to distant lands, ancient times, and tell you stories. They allow you to escape even just for a few moments. While not all movies teach you life changing lessons that inspire you to be a better person, they can make you laugh and even cry. Movies are art! Tonight I went to this movie with my mother. I had it marked on my calender for months as a go see movie. I was not disappointed in the least. This movie was stunning, gorgeous, sexy, and not for the lack of better words it is eye candy for the senses. Why this movie received bad reviews I do not know??? Were the film critics watching the same movie as me? This movie is reminiscent of old Hollywood musical film with an all impressive all star cast of Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, and Kate Hudson. The story line is based on the life of a famous Italian film director (Guido) whose failure to grow up hence the name NINE comes to the conclusion that through his infidelities he has lost that which is the most precious to him his wife. The sound track is amazing! I still have the songs playing in my head. There was not a dull moment in the film. Perhaps had Tiger Woods seen this film earlier he wouldn't be where he is today. I think to fully appreciate this film you need to go see it on the big screen for the cinematography. The only thing I wished that there had been more of was more Italien landscape.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sundays in Utah is a perfect opportunity to hear one of the worlds best choirs the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and on top of that it is free. Just about every Sunday they tape a program called Music and the Spoken Word. You need to be there around 9 am at the LDS Conference Center. It is also suggested not to bring small children; however, our boys did just fine. The choir performed Dance and Sing which is a French carol, O Holy Night, A Festival of Carols, Once in Royal David's City, Ring, the Christmas Bells, and Hallelujah from the Messiah by George Frideric Handel. You don't have to be Mormon to partake of this wonderful opportunity.

Temple Square as seen from
the Historical Joseph Smith Building
The Wasatch Mountains
The State Capital
our family
an original sculpture from the Navoo Temple

Reindeer Crunch!

Reindeer Crunch
9 cups of Chex cereal
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 powder sugar
In a bowl scoop of the Chex cereal and set aside. In another small bowl place peanut butter and chocolate chips and melt in microwave at 30 second intervals until almost melted. Approx 60 seconds. Add vanilla and then add chocolate mixture to cereal mixture. Mix together! In a plastic bag add powder sugar and add cereal to bag and shake up. Now serve to the reindeer. Store in an air tight container any crunch mixture not eaten.

This recipe will definately feed Santa's eight reindeer or a herd of small children. It is crunchy and sweet!

Christmas Day 2009

Amazingly the boys slept in this year and did not wake up at 5:00am! We started off the morning by reading the Christmas story from the Bible and then it was time to open presents. Roman thought they were all for him and had a hard time letting anyone else open a present. He was so excited! Harris received Pajamas, A Harry Potter Video #4, Guitar Hero, a DSi, some games for the XBOX and DS, and a book. Winston received some book collections (He loves to read), Bakugan collection box, Star War Lego special edition collection, Pajamas, a Harry Potter video #5, some games for his DS, and games for his XBOX, Roman loved his Lego's, t-shirt, books, remote control car, and Winnie the Pooh computer. The gifts were a success. Afterwards, we sat down for a yummy breakfast of fruit salad, scrambled eggs, tater tots wrapped in bacon, and yogurt. The boys spent the afternoon rocking out to Guitar Hero even Frank rocked out a little to Eye of the Tiger and Kung Fu Fighting! Frank and Roman enjoyed a walk in the woods while Nana and I watched White Christmas. The only thing missing from such a perfect day was our family in Germany and Mesa.

Tulie Bakery

Tulie Bakery is the best! Who needs to fly to Europe when you can munch on a tasty Sopresata sandwich or a yummy cupcake. Located near the University of Utah on 863 East and 700 South this bakery is not to be missed if you are visiting Utah. We loved it so much that we ate there three times in nine days. This bakery is really a cut above when it comes to it's pastries. Who would have thought that the owner is self taught. The only bad thing about this bakery is that the seating is limited. Where else did we eat while we were on vacation? My new found favorite burger place called Five Guys. While it is a chain restaurant, and I try to stay away from chain restaurants they sure do no how to make a burger!!! Be careful if you order the fries because a regular feed my family of five. Another chain restaurant not to be missed, but unique to Utah is Cafe Rio. See my April visit to Utah for pictures of the yummy salad. What ever you order try the sweet pork. I think this is what makes the food the best. Another new find is a cafe called Kneaders. I had the Chicken Pesto sandwich on Country French bread. Yummy is all I can say! Before I go on vacation, I like to check out the Internet to see what is available in terms of restaurants. There is nothing worse to me than driving around with hungry and grumpy children. Also, keeping it simple doesn't mean you have to eat at McDonald's every meal. Unfortunately, after a long day of skiing my husband was not interested in eating out at any fancy restaurants. Next Time! Oh, I almost forgot about the yummy lunch we ate at Siegfrieds Deli! It was like being in Germany at least for as long as we savored our Schnitzel and warm p0tato salad. It was all we could do not to buy out half the store. This place has been around forever and if you like German food it is yummy. Besides getting lunch you can purchase many German grocery products. The place was jammed pack!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Alta, Utah

Alta, Utah
My boys love to ski! Winston took to it like a natural. He spent six days in ski school and is now on level 4. Mostly, they had fantastic weather. The last run the boys made was Sugarloaf. It is 10, 500 feet. The weather was bitter cold with 10 degrees fahrenheit, but despite all of this he made it down. We are so proud of him! This was Harris fourth trip to Alta and he has now graduated from ski school. He is ready to ski the black diamonds. Frank has realized he is no longer a spring chicken and needs a break between ski days. He can't wait to ski with the boys all day. The boys love to ski at Alta because they do not allow snowboarders. The resort is also pretty much empty the week before Christmas which means no long lines and plenty of individual attention at the ski school.

Home in time for Christmas

We arrived back in Atlanta around 4:30pm after a very bumpy ride over the Rockies and a not so happy two year old, but thanks to his papa he calmed down. The children are all snuggled in their beds after eating a dinner of Chick fil-A while dreaming of Santa's visit in a few hours. Frank, my mom, and I had the most delish dinner of beef fondue. Then my mom and I watched It is A Wonderful Life while wrapping the rest of the Christmas presents. Photos will come soon! We had the most wonderful time in Utah. The boys are excellent skiers now!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

corner view "books"

Tomorrow we are heading off to Utah for a long needed vacation. The boys are so excited to ski! I am excited to meet up with old friends, and meet up with some new friends. The stack of books will be coming along with us as I am sure there will be plenty of time to curl up by the fire and enjoy some reading time. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.
a. The Best/Worst Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
b. Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans
c. Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs
d. The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson
e. The 39 clue series

Evolution of a Christmas card photo!

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
Wishing you all the best to come in 2010!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weinachten Performance

Way before the boys were ever born we made the decision to speak German with our children. When my oldest was little I joined a German play group. There were many Germans in the area, so it was not hard to form a playgroup. When we moved to Atlanta we couldn't have been more excited that our boys would have the opportunity to attend an actual German School. Our oldest has now been attending for 6 years, and we couldn't be happier. I love that he can talk with his Oma, and that he can share in his father's culture. When our middle child was three we enrolled in in the preschool program that the school offered, and when our youngest turns three we will also enroll him in the program next fall. Going to German school does not come without it's challenges. It is on Saturday mornings. It means we can't just go out of town when we want too. It also means that the boys can't be in an organized sport that would require them to be at Saturday games. It is a bit of a drive to the school. All in all the benefits out weigh the disadvantages. Today was the annual Weinachten program. The boys did great! It is so much fun to see the little itty bitties dress in angel costumes recite a poem or sing a song. Then to see the other children perform skits that they wrote with their classes which can often be very funny. Afterwards, we gathered together for Kuchen (cake) and drinks. Froeh Weinachten!

New Trick!

There is a saying you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I am proof that is not true. I learned a new trick and though it is 2:00am and I should be asleep I have to post about it because I am so excited. I learned how to make my photos larger on my blog without using Flickr. Yahoo! It doesn't work for photos that are that go sideways because I end up losing some of the photo due to the width of my blog, but it works for photos that are tall from top to bottom. Basically, you just go into your edit html section and then change the s400 number to s576 or larger. I learned to do this through a blog called Clover Lane. You can find her here - http://www.memoriesoncloverlane.blogspot.com/. Now that I have shared my new trick with you I can go to bed.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Play Dough

Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of salt
2 tablespoons of oil
orange food cooking
bring to a boil so that the salt will dissolve and then add dry ingredients- stir until combined
1 1/3 cups of flour
2 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons of cream of tarter

This play dough is so yummy smelling !

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Corner View "Evening"

"O Holy Night"
to see more corner views visit Jane at Spain Daily
just go to my blog roll and click on her link.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Reindeer Cookies

One cannot have Advent without cookies, and when a friend of mine showed me the recipe for these Reindeer cookies I couldn't have been more excited! They are so simple to make. They work better if you use peanut butter cookie dough, but since my children don't like peanut butter cookies I used sugar cookie dough. What ever dough you choose to use prepare according to directions. Then roll dough in a ball, roll in sugar, and then flatten with the back of your hand creating a circle. Then in the center of each ball pinch almost together creating what looks like a 8 shape. Add the pretzels and the nose (red hots). Bake until golden brown. As soon as you take out of the oven place on the eyes. You can use raisins or chocolate chips. My children had so much fun making these. Enjoy! On another note, Only one week until we leave for our ski trip to Utah! Yahoo!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Festival of the Nativity

We have had a fun filled weekend that started off with dinner with our good friends from Italy. The food was fabulous! Then on Saturday, we went to a christening and adoption celebration of some friends of ours who adopted twin baby girls. They are so happy now that they are officially a family of five. The party was fabulous! Then from their we went to the Festival of the Nativity where we heard the Chords of Faith choral group sing. I love looking at the different Nativities from around the world. Then St. Nicholaus visited bringing the boys chocolate and books. Sunday night I made Roesti for dinner. I am missing the German Christmas markets. Too bad it cost a gazillion dollars to fly over to Germany with 3 children and all.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thumbprint cookies

I love Thumbprint cookies during the holidays. I love them so much that I make them for everyone. Teachers, friends, the postman. If you know me then you will most likely receive these from me during the holidays. There is something about the buttery dough, raspberry jam, and nuts. I can't think of a better combination that doesn't include chocolate. I mean chocolate does reign. To make these cookies you will need 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter or 3 sticks, 1 cup of light brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 2/3 cups of sifted all purpose flour, 2 cups of finely chopped nuts, and 1 egg white. I use either pecans or walnuts. 1 cup of jam. I used raspberry. Combine wet ingredients in a bowl then add dry ingredients. Then form into balls and roll in egg white and then nuts. Place on cookie sheet and with thumb great a little well in the center of dough fill with a 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until dough is golden around the edges. Bake at 350 degrees. Cool on rack before eating. This recipe came from Martha Stewart's cookbook Christmas

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chicken Tetrazzini

Seriously, this is such a yummy meal! My children gobbled it down. You can use turkey, but since we didn't cook at our house this year I didn't have any left over turkey. I used chicken.

Chicken Tetrazzini
2 large chicken breast with skin and ribs, 2 tablespoons olive oil,salt and pepper for seasoning chicken. Rub chicken with olive oil, and seasonings and roast in oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. The chicken will be much juicer than if you just use deboned chicken breast. Remove skin and once cooled shred into bit size pieces.
In a skillet saute in 2 tablespoons of butter 1/2 pound of sliced mushrooms. Once sauteed remove from pan and add 8 more tablespoons of butter adding 1/2 cup of flour to create a rue. Once it becomes a light golden color- add 1 Tablespoon garlic, 1 cup cream, 3 cups milk 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 cup of leftover gravy from turkey dinner or 1 cup store bought gravy, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of peas. Do this over low heat once it begins to simmer take off heat and serve over noodles. Heaven is what this should be called.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Traditions

The first day of Advent always falls just right after Thanksgiving. We always begin our Advent celebrations by decorating a gingerbread house. I was smart this year and hid some of the Halloween candy and now it adores our lovely house. The rest I finally threw away. I was going to send it to the troops, but just couldn't get on the ball this year. Maybe next year! Do you have any special Christmas traditions?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Corner View" corners in your house"

This weeks corner view theme was "corners in your house". The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas will soon be there, and visions of sugar plums dance in there heads. Hope everyone has a happy week!