Thursday, January 27, 2011

Places I Should Avoid

I had to run a few errands last week.
Had to get a birthday present for my nephew.
He loves dinosaurs, so I found this cute little Triceratops at Toys R Us.
I may have spent a little too much time looking at toys there. But I exercised amazing restraint and only purchased what I went for. 

I also wanted to get a dinosaur of course I had to to go Barnes and Noble.
I already know that I should avoid book stores!

 Found the perfect book...I might go back and get myself a Triceratops! I think he is so dang cute!

I was doing fine in the bookstore...I looked at a few books but then put them down and headed for the children's section.
That's when things got a little dicey!
I love children's books!!!
First book that caught my eye was "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Wright Penn. I have these on my list to purchase~ but not right now. I contemplated...picked it up and looked at it...set it back down...walked away.
Came back...thought about it some more.
Nope! Not today!

Then I found the paperback section.
Oh my!
This is the alternate dinosaur book I had picked out.
I guess I accidentally forgot to put it back!

Then there was this little book. I used to sing this song to Shane when he was little.
"I Love You a Bushel and a Peck" from the musical "Guys and Dolls".
I didn't know it had been made into a children's book~ so of course I had to buy it!
Shane is still young enough that he'll let me read stuff like this to him.
He did roll his eyes at first~ but then he got right down on the floor with me as I read to him.
Fun memory for us!
(He was my fussiest baby, so I sang to him A LOT!)

This book also caught my eye.
I read it last night. To myself!
It's really a cute little story.
Maybe I can get Shane to read it with me.

I have boxes and boxes and boxes of books sitting in my garage, waiting to be unpacked.
I love books!!!
Maybe I should just stick with the library from now on?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie...Cupcakes!

I made these cupcakes last week.
I saw the recipe a while back at Kevin and Amanda and knew I wanted to try them!

The recipe is pretty easy.

Most of my cupcakes turned out pretty good:

But a few turned out like this:
I'm not an accomplished enough baker to know why. Altitude perhaps?
No worries, I had plenty that did turn out!
And...just like my last cupcake experiment~ I had lots of cake batter left over. Really...lots! 

 (I have a few pictures that look like a freaky alien face~ I left those out!)

I found a few of these...frosting caps?
My family obviously does not like frosting.
Poor topless cupcakes!

The cupcakes tasted really good. Be warned~ they are pretty rich!
I made them for an object lesson for our Family Home Evening last week.
(Feasting on the Scriptures/Hidden Treasures)

Here's what we liked even better than the cupcakes...
The leftover cookie dough! The recipe contains no eggs, so it is safe to eat.
I kept some in the fridge and I froze some. I really liked the frozen ones!

 I have another recipe for "raw" cookie dough that I am going to try this week.
I'll let you know how they turn out & which recipe we like best.

(P.S. Two basketball games down with no embarrassing incidents! Things are looking up!)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making a Good First Impression

No pictures for this one.
You can thank me later.
You will thank me...And uh, proceed at your own risk!

Shane had his first basketball game last week.
There I was, sitting on the bleachers, minding my own business when I noticed a cute, little, dark-haired girl, maybe about 4 years old, staring at me. She watched me for a minute, I smiled, she wandered off.

Pretty soon, she was back. She sat down by her mom in front of me. Next thing I know, she has turned around and slid really close to me. She leans in and in a whispery voice asks me...

"Do you have a baby growing in your tummy?" (Gulp, really? I look pregnant to this little girl? What the heck???)

*I make a mental note to add a girdle body shaper to my shopping list.

Swallowing  hard, I hesitantly answer;


Then, she reaches up, touches"chest" and quickly quips back;

"Then why are your boobs so big?"

I'll wait until you finish laughing.

Good news, I guess I don't look pregnant...?

And now I know what kind of first impression I make on people. I mean, 4 year olds pretty much call it like it is, right?

The little cutie's brother is on Shane's team.
You'll understand what I mean when I say I am not looking forward to attending Shane's games for the next 8 weeks.
I'm just thankful no one else overheard our conversation.
I think I am scarred for life!

By the way~ my answer was;

"I don't know".

I thought it was a pretty good comeback!
This week, I think I'll just send Rick to the game...I'll be busy trying to find a plastic surgeon.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas 2010~ Favorite Things

Some of my favorite things!

This candle: Holiday Wreath by Gold Canyon Candles
I've made the switch to "Scentsy"~ but I'm so happy that this candle comes in the wax tarts form too!

 This song: It's Willie Nelson (don't be hatin'). I hadn't heard this song in years~ but I really like it!

The Jackson Family Christmas Party on Christmas Eve (whew, that was a mouthful). Favorite moment was going to the cemetery to light luminaries for Amy & Nathan. 13 years ago, Amy was pregnant with a sweet little baby boy. Sadly, he died 2 months before he was born.  His birthday is December 23rd. Every Christmas Eve, Amy & her family did luminaries at Nathan's grave. Our family usually participated as well.
We lived in AZ for a few years~ so this year was our first Christmas being able to go to the cemetery since we moved back. I was amazed at how lit up the cemetery was. 13 years ago~ there were maybe 1 or 2 other people who did this, but in true Amy fashion, she told a few people who told a few people and the tradition has grown. Amy and Nathan are buried by each other~ we lit luminaries and sang "Silent Night".

Other favorite brother-in-law taking a bit of something that didn't taste so great! The look on his face was priceless & Emily and I got a kick out of watching him try to spit it in the trash without anyone noticing (especially the person who brought it!)

Christmas morning: Stockings are always the first thing the kids want to do.

This may be because Santa always hides one gift for each of the kids. They have to go on a Treasure Hunt to find their gift. Santa leaves the first clue in their stocking.  This is a tradition from Rick's family~his mom always did this for the kids when they were growing up.

Our kids love it too!

Sometimes, the clues are really difficult. The kids have been known to cry in frustration when we won't help them figure out the clues! :) They got off pretty easy this year! I think this is probably one of their favorite traditions.

Christmas morning breakfast:
I always make this casserole, Frying Pan Omelet. I've tried a few other things over the years, but this has become the traditional favorite. I like it because I can make it the night before & then just pop it in the oven to bake while the kids are opening presents. The picture is hideous, I know. The green stuff is a hot pad that the pan is sitting on.

Frying Pan Omelet

1-16 oz package frozen hash browns (I prefer the shredded kind for this recipe)
1 onion-diced
1 lb bacon, sausage or ham (I do 1/2 bacon and 1/2 sausage) chopped
6 eggs, beaten
grated cheese

Cut meat. Brown, drain and set aside. Brown the potatoes and onion in grease. ( I skip this step & brown the onion w/ the bacon once the bacon is almost done cooking). Press potatoes in to a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Pour beaten eggs over potatoes, sprinkle with meat and top with cheese.
Refrigerate overnight. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until eggs are set.

I also make these: Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

Christmas afternoon at my mom & dad's house. I got sick a couple of days before Christmas, so I was a little behind. We didn't get to bed until after 2:30 on Christmas Eve and the kids had us up at 5:00. Two hours of sleep didn't quite cut it for me~ so I pretty much don't remember much about being at my moms! I was just trying to stay awake!!! We always have lunch there, and exchange presents.  Mom made my favorite clam dip...which I only ate a little bit of (was still on the BRAT diet for the most part).

Most the pictures I took at mom & dad's didn't turn out so great. Although I do have a great one of my brother playing air guitar. He's 40. Air guitar. 40. It cracked me up!

Only 356 more days until Christmas 2011. Maybe if I start now I won't be so behind???  (Yeah, yeah~ I say that every year)!

Happy 2011!