Thursday, December 22, 2005

Gingerbread Houses

As my friend, April, pointed out, Christmas is only 3 days away. And while I can sigh a breath of relief that the presents are all wrapped, except 1, it still puts me into panic mode, knowing that I have only 3 days to make things perfect around here. I of course, want the house to be all sparkly clean and then I want to make- chocolate covered pretzels, maybe Rachael Ray's 5 minute fudge and then all the food for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.

We are having Grilled Salmon, Cheesey/Funeral Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole and Rolls for dinner, Christmas Eve. Dessert will be rice pudding, warm from the oven with meringue on top. Yum! Christmas morning we always have almond coffee cake rolls, so I need to make those as well. Then for Christmas Day at Troy's sister's house, I am bringing Chicken Tortilla Soup, complete with Red & Green Tortilla chips, a relish tray, spinach artichoke dip, 7 layer taco dip and then something sweet- probably just some of the candy I make.

Anyway, I shouldn't probably waste any more time at the computer. But I did want to post a picture from the cool Gingerbread houses we saw on display last week. The details on this one were amazing. You'll have to click on the picture to make it bigger and check them out. The gum sled, the little shovels and pumpkins. It was very fun to look at.

Anyway, I am sure I won't get a chance to post again, so Merry Christmas one and all! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Reflections on Christmas

Yikes, has it already been a week since I've posted? I will get my camera down to the computer soon and post pictures from our trip up to see the Gingerbread Houses at the Winter Quarters Trail Center.

I am excited that my friend Holly tagged me with these Christmas questions- it is always fun to do a little reflecting over how you feel.

Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? If I had to choose one, Egg Nog. Wouldn't be Christmas without it!

Does Santa wrap the presents or just set them under the tree? Santa usually brings the bigger stuff so we don't have to wrap it.

Colored or white lights on the tree/house? Jameson is always complaining about the lack of color when we put up lights. So this year we went out on a limb and changed out every other white bulb for a red one on our house. We still have just white lights on our Christmas tree.

Do you hang mistletoe? We used to when I lived with my parents. But I am not sure what happened to the fake ball of mistletoe.

When do you decorate? We almost always decorate for the first Family Home Evening after Thanksgiving, which is always Sunday or Monday at our house.

What is your favorite holiday dish? Another dish it just wouldn't be Christmas without, is Broken Glass. It is Christmas colored jello cubed and mixed with cool whip, in a graham cracker crust, yum!

Favorite Holiday memory as a child? I think it was putting up the tree each year. I loved looking through the ornaments then, almost as much as I do now. One year my Mom made little teddy bear ornaments for us all out of clay. I remember they were really fragile, but so very cute!

How and when did you learn the truth about Santa? Whachyou talkin' bout, Willis? Ok, so I have thought a lot about this and I don't really remember believing or disbelieving in Santa all that much.

Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? Yep, we always have the kids open their new Christmas jammies!

What kind of cookies do you set out for Santa on Christmas Eve? Sadly enough, the past two years, it has been store bought bake your own, you know the kind with snowmen or reindeer in them. Well, Santa expressed that the kind we put out last year, with the edible sticker, weren't ever to be left again.

Snow! Love it or hate it? I like snow just fine if I don't have to go any where. Definitely love a white Christmas too!

Can you ice skate? We used to skate all the time on the pond in the park behind our house. But I remember going once in Provo at 7 peaks, and man, did my ankles kill after just a short time of skating. So sadly, probably not very well anymore.

Do you remember your favorite gift? Maybe not my necessarily favorite gifts- but some memorable ones were, a Mork & Mindy board game, Strawberry Shortcake bathrobes and the year the rubik's cube came out. I am pretty sure, it wasn't my gift, but we all had a lot of fun with it. I think my favorite now, is watching other people open gifts I am giving them. I could do that all day.

What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? While subbing in 4th grade this week, we watched the original Dr. Seuss' Grinch cartoon and talked about how you can't really steal Christmas because it is what is in your heart that makes Christmas special. And truly in my heart, I know it isn't about presents or decorations, but it is all about a tiny baby who came into the world more than 2000 years ago and set the perfect example for us. She Daisy sings a song about the Secret of Christmas is not all the things we do at Christmas time, but the Christmas things we do all year round and I love that.

What’s your favorite holiday dessert? Warm rice pudding with meringue on top.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Besides decorating the tree and drinking eggnog when we are done, I love delivering goodie plates to our neighbors and friends.

What type of tree? Artificial. I would love to get a larger pre-lit one for our living room upstairs.

Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? While it is always fun to get presents, I definitely enjoy seeing other people open gifts that I have put time and love into preparing or picking out for them.

What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Traditionally it is O Holy Night, but another close favorite is Mary, Did You Know, preferably sung by Donny Osmond.

Candy Canes, YUCK or YUM?If they are stirred in to hot chocolate, then yum. But I can't really remember the last candy cane I just ate plain.

I guess it is my turn to tag someone else- hopefully April and Marilyn are reading this.

Friday, December 09, 2005

For the Birds

Birds- they are such simple little things, but they really do bring a lot of happiness and joy into my life. In the spring and summer I love watching my bluebirds out my kitchen window. Now that the snow is here, these little snowbirds and sparrows are regulars at our patio cafe. It has been fun the mornings after we get snow, to look outside and see hundreds of tiny tracks as they dig through the snow, searching for the seeds.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. Chinese Proverb Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Lords A Leapin!

I just had to post this picture to tease my cute husband! We had our Ward Christmas Party on Saturday night. We had a yummy turkey and ham dinner and a fun program afterwards. Connor and his cousin Ethan sang "All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth", we had another gentleman who sang 2 original Christmas songs that he wrote that were just awesome and then there was the 12 days of Christmas performance. Our Bishop's wife had the great idea of having someone try to sing the song seriously and then have a representatives of the different days try and interrupt as their part was sung. So for 3 french hens there were 3 ladies with a french chef's hat on, 4 calling birds were 4 ladies with a feather boa and cell phones, 7 swans a swimming were represented by our Missionaries in swim caps and snorkels, 8 maids a milking by our YW's president in overalls and pigtails walking Trey, Troy's 6'2 nephew dressed in a cow costume and then of course, 10 Lords a leapin were these 3 brave souls who donned their first pair of tights and Ceasar Crowns. I wish I could figure out how to get the video on here, but take my word for it, it was HILARIOUS! They really leapt across the stage and everything. I think the Bishop hit the nail on the head when he said how important it was for us to get together and laugh. We did do a lot of laughing and it sure felt great! Cindy asked Troy if he wanted to take his tights home and can you believe it? He said NO! Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 02, 2005

Project of the Day

This was today's project. I brought it completely upon myself when I volunteered to make a cake for the 3rd grade's cake raffle. I went to Lincoln today and bought the gumballs, chocolate coins and red frosting. I know it is not a professional job by any means, and I stand in awe of their talents, but I was satisfied with how it turned out. Hopefully they were able to raise some money for new playground equipment.

Well, now it is on to tomorrow's project- decorating Santa's workshop for our Ward Christmas party. Not sure how it is going to all work out yet, but I spray painted a cardboard tube white and I am going to attempt to make it look North Pole-ish with some red ribbon. I let you know how it goes. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Feels like Christmas

They have been playing Christmas music on 106.3 since October 15th. I made my first Christmas purchase on my sorority shopping trip on November5th. Troy and I have been hanging Christmas lights together since November 7th. Despite the early start to our Christmas season this year, it just hasn't felt like Christmas until Sunday, when we got our tree up.

Oh sure, there is always the standard fighting with the lights. You would think after working with lights for several weeks, we would be pros, but we still have our share of tangles and sets with sections that just won't light up. This year we realized we had forgotten to get eggnog, which is traditionally drunk at our house after decorating the tree. But regardless of the mishaps that sometimes go with the process, I think that putting our tree up is one of my favorite parts of the whole Christmas season.

I love searching through the box of ornaments. It is such a walk down memory lane. Each year I buy the kids a new photo ornament and it is amazing to see how much they change in even one year's time.

I also love the quiet moments that we enjoy after turning all the lights down, when we sit back and see how the tree has turned out for the year. I don't know how it happens- but each year the tree gets more beautiful, despite the fact that we really haven't acquired any more ornaments and it is the same artificial tree that we had in previous years. I love the whole idea behind the tree- the symbolism of everlasting life that our Savior provides for us. To me, it also represents the memories of so many happy Christmases that have past, as well as the hope of many more to come. I hope I never get to the point in my life where I don't want to have a tree because without one I am not sure it would really ever feel like Christmas. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

3 Years Old


It is just crazy to think that my baby is 3 already. The boys were asking yesterday, what time she actually turned three and that caused me to do a lot of reflecting. I remember the exact moment that she came into my life, 3:53 am, November 22nd, 2002. She was quite anxious to arrive and was born before the Doctor could even make an appearance. It amazed me again, as it did with the boys, the incredible amount of love and joy that I felt when they laid her in my arms. And since that day, 3 years ago, those feelings have only deepened and gotten sweeter. That little babe that I fell in love with is now a big girl who hasn't worn diapers for 8 months, who loves to read, who is incredibly stubborn about doing things for herself, who adores her big brothers, who loves baby dolls and painting fingernails and who thankfully isn't too big yet to fit on my lap.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oh Brother!

Yesterday we were coming home from school and Genna was making silly faces. All of the sudden Connor gets very excited and says, "Mom, Genna just made crosseyes!" He started giving her high fives and coached her onto several more performances! Silly brother!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Girl Who Cried Bobcat

I got an email this morning from the Game and Parks Warden. It turns out my "bobcat" is just an unusually large and trim domestic cat. When we saw the badger, I went online and found the pictures to back up what I saw before actually calling it a badger. I should have done that yesterday as well. I feel pretty silly for not getting my facts straight before getting all excited over it yesterday. Today I will try not to let myself get too worked up as I clean the closets and do the laundry. At least this fairy tale has a happy ending. It is supposed to be in the 70's today- sounds like great weather for playing outside after school!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wild Animal Kingdom





Remember the days before Discovery Channel and Animal Planet? Over the last month, we have had quite the wildlife show right in our very backyard. It all started with what I thought was a squirrel in the top of one of our evergreen trees that turned out to be 2 sleeping RACCOONS. Then the Sunday before last, we were cleaning up from lunch when we thought we saw another raccoon by our electrical box. It turned out to be a BADGER. Now that was a littel scary, because I've heard they can be pretty mean animals. We had just went downstairs to verify on the computer that it was indeed a badger that we had seen, when Connor comes down exclaiming that now there was a FOX out in the field. Wow, we had lived in our house for almost 2 years and not seen even a deer.

Anyway, cut to today when I was getting ready for lunch. I was looking out the window and happened to notice something moving in the field. I thought at first it might be my neighbor's dog that often gets out. With closer inspection, I realized it was a cat, but definitely not any of the ones that typically roam around here. I was excited and terrified to recognize that it was a BOBCAT. I was able to take a few photos. I didn't dare go out to the edge of my property to get a better picture. It hung around our area for about 2 and a half hours more. My neighbor was able to get within 15 feet of it before it saw him and ran away. I was able to talk with the Game and Parks Warden and he said that we didn't really have anything to worry about unless it hung around for a longer period of time. He said that they are typically very shy, low profile animals. He said we should count ourselves lucky to have been able to get the glimpse of the one that we did. Reasurring as it was, to talk with him for a while, I still have to admit, I am a little leary about sending the kids out to play.

I truly do love nature and I feel blessed to have been priveleged to see some animals from my kitchen window that most never see even when traveling down the road. However, I hope I don't seem ungrateful for wishing that the next Wild Animal Kingdom episode that takes place in my backyard will be a deer or some other species without sharp teeth and claws.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Belated Halloween



Sorry this is a day late, but I wanted to share some pictures of my cute kids from yesterday and the pumpkins we carved. My mom took these photos and I have to give her alot of credit, especially for the pumpkins because they had flashing lights inside which made it difficult to photograph. Thanks for all the fun pictures, Mom!

Just wanted to add a few random thoughts from my day also:

*Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice donuts are DELISH!

*Tom Osborne said, instead of focusing on what life can do for you, focus on what can you contribute to life.

*I really miss my kids when I don't see them all day long.

*I thought I was anti Mary Kay, but after going to a party at my friend Wendy's tonight, I can honestly say my skin feels great! And I think we all deserve to pamper ourselves more than we do.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Enter the Kingdom of Reading



Woohoo!! I am more than excited to have the book fair done this year. For some reason it seemed like almost more work than last year to me, but I guess that is because we added a few new programs than we had done in the past. We are going to try hard to recruit a few more volunteers to be on a committee, so my friend Tami and I don't have to do so much of the work ourselves before hand. After a strenous day on Tuesday, standing on my feet from 10:00 am to 8 pm, I was about ready to throw in the towel. But a good night's sleep and watching my children get excited over the books we purchased, helped me realize it really was worth all the hard work. Plus we raised an additional $256 that went towards buying books for the school library. So if I can be cheesy for a minute, I'll share my hope is that lots of children in our school, including my own will truly enter the kingdom of reading. Reading is something I am so passionate about and I hope that my kids will someday feel that same way!

Monday, October 24, 2005

That is me sighing with huge relief that our Sacrament Meeting presentation is finished for another year. The kids all did such a great job. For his part, one little Sunbeam was asked, Timothy, what do we come to earth to get? He quickly replied, "a happy birthday." Jameson and Connor both did a wonderful job giving their parts! I am very proud of them and all the other children. Grandma and Grandma Koski were able to come down and watch and I know that meant a lot to the boys and to me.

I was reading in a book I got recently about contentment. The author spoke about how she would pass by this beautifully manicured lawn and how she saw the owner sitting on his porch looking so content. Now obviously his lawn did not look the way it did by him spending all his time sitting on the porch. One reason he probably looked so content, was because he had put a lot of hard work and effort into his lawn and now he was able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. That is how I felt after this day was over. The program was the beautiful fruit of all of our hard work and efforts of this past year in Primary. I am so grateful for my calling. The children truly teach me every week. And even though, I am taking a moment to sit back on the porch and be content for a moment. I look forward to getting back out there next week and starting the work all over again.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Almost 3


Life with an almost 3 year old is never dull. Today I had to get the magic eraser out b/c there were lots of green and red scribbles underneath the bannister going downstairs. That artwork was actually created on Wednesday. This afternoon while Connor was painting upstairs she decided the counters would look nice in purple crayon. The crayons have always lived on top of the fridge where she can't reach them. I think they will be taking a little sabbatical.. And obviously, parental supervision will be required if she is going to use them again any time soon.

Despite her unsatisfactory canvas choices, she really is quite fun to have around. She always makes me smile. The other morning we had been listening to nursery rhyme songs and at lunch along with blessing Daddy at work and the boys at school, she made sure to bless the muffin man. We have had the sickies around our house for almost 2 weeks now and so when Connor was sick the other day, she got the big honkin' candy thermometer out and put it under her arm to check her temperature.

It is crazy to think of what life would be like without her around our house. I love my sweet little, Genna girl!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Lucky



I have always known that I have a great husband. He is a very sweet guy! He is not perfect and there are times when I grumble about things that he does or doesn't do(like the garbage last week). But all trash talkin' aside, I definitely need to thank my lucky stars and my Heavenly Father for the wonderful companion I have! I have been having an incredibly stressful month and he surprised me today with the most beautiful flowers. Thanks honey, I love you!
Sarah MacLachlan sings a song titled "World on fire" and I am pretty sure the lyrics aren't about the changing leaves. But I can't help but think of that phrase as I drive around seeing the trees ablaze with color. I am also doing a little shopping as well, I need to find a tree that I can plant in my yard. This spring I was resolved that it needed to be a non fruit bearing dark pink flowering crab apple tree. This fall, I am almost convinced that a red maple might be a better choice. Oh well, I am not in a rush to run out and plant a tree. For now, I will be satisfied with all the gorgeous trees I get to see as I drive around town. To borrow from another song, I am so glad that I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father's created for me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Fall is one of my favoritest times of year. The colors are so vibrant and bright. I drive around literally oohing and aahing over the gorgeous trees. I took pictures of these pumpkins at the patch in KS this last weekend. Autumn would not be complete without a batch of homemade pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. I made some on Sunday. Alas, the pan is already all gone. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Is this thing on?

You know, I actually have a million and one other things I should be doing. But here I am, setting up a blog. It is not contributing in any way towards my progress on the book fair. I am not printing any scout information out right now. And I am not currently surfing for more 3rd grade halloween party ideas. However, there are many days when I seem to get lost in the laundry, webelos awards and whatever else is topping my to do list. Today seems to be one of those days. I think I need to do this in my life. I need to be able to vent. I need to be able to look at my day and find those small but meaningful details that I might not see if I weren't blogging. So, if you don't mind, I think I will turn this thing on.