Saturday, December 30, 2006
Christmas Eve- Grandpa & Grandma Bennett and the Missionaries came over for dinner. We had lasagna, garlic bread, green bean casserole, salad and rice pudding. I was just starting to make the meringue for the rice pudding when everyone arrived. I panicked when I realized I was out of cream of tartar. Messed up and added the sugar before stiff peaks formed. Sent the kids on a wild goose chase around the neighborhood to find cream of tartar. Borrowed some from the Hendricks, dumped it in the meringue and sent it back to Hendricks, before realizing the error of my ways. Sent kids and Troy back to Hendrick's to borrow cream of tartar again. Note to self, buy new cream of tartar for Hendricks. Anyway, I was frazzled enough that I didn't take any picture of the table set with our special tablecloth and candles that only come out for special occasions. After dinner we put on the Nativity play. Starring roles included: Grandpa Bennett as the Angel of the Lord. Troy & Elder Barfield were Shepherds abiding in the field. Jameson, Connor and I were the totally blinged out Wise Men. Elder Belnap was Joseph with a very reluctant Genna as Mary. Grandma Bennett read the story from Luke 2. There is always a bit of humor that accompianies the home version of the Nativity, which I hope will help my children remember how important it is that we do recognize the real Christmas story. We exchanged a few gifts, the kids opened up their traditional Christmas jammies, we watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance on PBS, put out the cookies for Santa and then sent everyone to bed.
Connor woke up early, but was kind enough to let us sleep in until 7:00. We opened presents and had a fun time just relaxing together. We didn't have to be anywhere until 4:00, which was heavenly! All the kids loved their new bean bags. Santa also brought Genna, a Genevieve Barbie and 12 Dancing Princesses DVD. I spent a good portion of my relaxing day downloading Disney songs for the boys to put on their new MP3 players. I then scrambled upstairs made chicken enchiladas, a chocolate chip cream cheese dessert and failed at an attempt to make broken glass. The red jello was all grainy and runny, so that was one tradition that didn't happen this year.
I did make it out of my pajamas and we headed over to Troy's parents house for dinner. There was way too much yummy food, as we were all supposed to bring our favorite casserole and a dessert. Shane, who is serving in the California Santa Rosa Mission, called at 5:00 and we all enjoyed talking to him on the speaker phone. We ended the night watching Deal or No Deal and 1 VS. 100. We were all shouting at the TV. It was great fun!!
The next day we got ready for an impromptu trip down to KS. We had planned to see a movie before heading down and we were not at all disappointed in We are Marshall. In fact, I would say that is the best movie I've seen all year long. Troy and his brother Todd were attending a stocks & options seminar in Overland Park and so it worked out perfectly for the kids and I to travel down with them and stay with my sister in Olathe. She has been sewing up a storm and so in another post, I will show you all her cute stuff. But we had a great visit. Genna and Ethan played dress up a lot. The bigger boys all were addicted to the GameCube. They grumbled that we made them turn it off to decorate Gingerbread houses. Lorilee and I had a great time finding good deals at the after Christmas clearance sales. It really was such a nice time.
Did I say quick recap? Ooops! I guess I got a little long winded! I am just so thankful for such a wonderful family, so many rich blessings and for a loving Heavenly Father who shared His son with us.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Please allow me to get all sappy for a moment. Tonight, Cheryl, Tami and I got together. We ate some yummy treats, exchanged presents, visited and even had a good little cry together. We were just discussing how/when our friendship started and developed. We know for sure, it was because of Tiger Cubs that we met. But when and how we got to be such close friends, we can't pinpoint. But I am so thankful for their sweet friendship. We all love to scrapbook, but I think more than anything, I love just getting together and chatting. They truly are dear to my heart. And aren't all of Tami's snowmen so darn cute? I love all her decorations- everything just feels so homey and comfortable! And no, those aren't snowmen in the middle photo- but I think they are pretty darn cute anyway!!
Someone please beat me upside the head, if I ever try to blog using Picasa again. Last night I typed up a long recap from our Ward Christmas Party. Watched the little thumbprints say it was uploading my post. Wake up this morning again, no post!
Anyway, here are the photos from our Ward Party. It was a wonderful evening! We started out with a yummy dinner. I brought a double chocolate candy cane trifle using my overbaked cake from Genna’s birthday that I threw in the freezer. I layered the cake, white chocolate pudding, cool whip and crushed candy canes. It was delish- if I do say so myself. It was pretty too, but I forgot to take a picture!
They had a Nativity re-enactment for the entertainment portion of the evening. The Primary Children were all dressed as animals and the YM/YW as Shepherd and Angels. The children all gathered around a really cool manger that someone built that was filled with hay. You can see from the picture of Genna that hay and her don’t get along too well, this was a pre-sneeze shot. She ended up with asthma before the night was over. Anyway, back to the Nativity. There were others of us dressed in costumes, sitting on blankets in our tiny little gym. Mary and Joseph walked through asking each of us, if we had room for them. It really hit me last night as I was typing this the first time, what a poignant question that is. Do we have room for Christ in our lives? Do I make time to learn of Him, teach my children of Him and let His example guide me? I strive to do these things, but still I know I can do better.
After singing a few Christmas carols we then got a visit from the Big Guy. I have to say, I am so thankful my Mom is lending me her camera. I downloaded these pictures last night and there is no picture of Genna on Santa’s lap. I had taken one, but my old camera decided it didn’t want to recognize it. So, sniff, sniff, pictures of the just the boys will have to do. Genna must have noticed how often Santa had to keep adjusting his beard, because she asked me while we were doing cards the other day, “Mom, was that the real Santa at our church?” So, we had a little talk about how Santa has helpers all over the world.
4 sleeps to go!! I can hardly wait!!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The gingerbread house decorating at Jameson's school today went well. It was pretty cool b/c the high school sent down their home ec kids to help out the kids whose parents couldn't be there. I think Jameson's house turned out really cute! It is hard as a parent sometimes to sit back and let your kids do it their way, but it is definitely important. Next year when it's Connor's turn to decorate a house, I think I will suggest that less types of candy is better with more repetition. Not that he will listen necessarily, but hey, I'll feel better offering that bit of advice.
I am reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I love this book. I love my copy even more because it has written on one of the first few pages a little note by my Grandma Olson that says, "this is a real good read".
I think I knew this before- but boy, sometimes I am really good at wasting time when there is a lot of work to do. I guess I know where Connor gets it from :P On a positive note, I got 15 of my 30 handmade cards done and the infamous Christmas letter written and printed.
One last thing before I turn into a pumpkin- my friend Cheryl and I did the OAMC thing last week and I am LOVING the results. It is so nice to just take out a meal the night before to thaw in my fridge. When 5:30 rolls around I just reheat, add a side and woila, dinner is served. Seriously, even though it was a ton of work, I will definitely do it again.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I am not usually big fan of forwarding the story emails that come along, but I got this story from one my sister in law sent me yesterday and it was too good to not share! I think it totally exemplifies the spirit of the Christmas season!
Adventures with Grandma
I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!" My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true. Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go." "Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous, cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!
I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes," I replied shyly. "It's .... for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it -- Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the tag tucked inside: $19.95.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Last night for FHE we made our annual trip to see the Gingerbread House Parade at the Mormon Trail Visitor's Center. We were amazed as usual. Connor kept walking around saying, "This had to be made by a professional." Have you ever tried making a gingerbread house? We have done a few here at home and it is no easy feat to keep it nice and neat, or standing for that matter. So I tend to agree with Connor some of these people are truly Gingerbread artists. We took lots of pictures this year since Jameson and I are going to be making a gingerbread house at school on Thursday. We'll let you know how it turns out, we got a ton of great ideas. One thing I am going to do a better job of next year is saving all the yucky halloween candy for Connor's gingerbread house. I tossed a bunch this year and now I am kicking myself since I am going to have to go out and buy some candy for Jameson's house. By the way, I got that great idea from the lazy organizer's blog- check her out her son's gingerbread post.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Like I said, it was late on Friday when we got in and so Saturday morning driving from our hotel over to Linda's house, I was awestruck for a moment because of the beauty of the mountains. I really do think Nebraska can be beautiful, but we definitley don't have anything as majestic or breathtaking like these snow covered mountains.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
It wouldn't be Christmas around our house without a yummy peppermint candle on the warmer, lights hung from the children's curtain rods, a basket full to the brim with Christmas books we've collected over the years, garland & bright red bows on the bannister, and last but, definitely not least a carefully arranged nativity. Our favorite Christmas CD's from years past add the perfect accompianment to our holiday splendor!
This really is the most wonderful time of the year. I am so thankful for our dear Savior whose birth is the reason for the season!
Friday, December 01, 2006
PS. This was taken last night when we did a photo shoot in our basement for our Christmas card pictures. My goal is to have the Christmas letter, stamps and address labels all ready to go when they cards come in next week.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Next is last night's attempt at a cake. I put the cake in and sat down at the computer to finally relax for the day. I completely forgot all about it and it was in the oven about an hour longer than it was supposed to be. Amazingly, it wasn't burnt when I finally remembered it. It was a bit dry on the top and so it will be a trifle for next week's Ward Christmas party. I think I might try and crush some peppermint candies and use chocoalte pudding and whipped topping.
And finally it was 65 degrees here today without any wind. The kids had a half day of school and so we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves outside this afternoon. The boys played football, Genna rode her bike, I finally got the tent that has been hanging in the garage for a month put away. It was all good.
Tonight we are celebrating by going out to eat with Grandpa Bennett, coming home and having cake and watching Curious George. I hope it will be the end to a perfect day for my sweet little girl!
Last Friday evening we had a pack meeting where our Cubmaster, graciously agreed to take a pie in the face for each den that had scouts who sold over $650 in popcorn sales. In our pack of 32 boys, we had 12 who met that goal. We are extremely proud of how hard the scouts worked to raise money for our pack. Lynn was such a great sport and made the pie throwing event, even better, by his funny facial expressions. Jameson had a blast when it was his turn! We are also having a pizza and swimming party next week at our local Sleep Inn hotel. Who knew popcorn sales could be so fun?
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
I have been doing a lot of online research on organizing lately. Ok, so I've actually been reading a lot of great blogs. http://www.laragallagher.com/blog/ and http://orgjunkie.blogspot.com/ are two I have gotten a ton of good ideas from. Anyway, I think on Lara's site, I read about getting all the paper clutter off your fridge and into a binder. So that is what I worked on today. I used some old scrapbook paper and a bunch of page protectors. My catergories are: Calendar, Phone Numbers, School Stuff, Scout Stuff, Church Stuff, Finances and Meal Planning. I am really excited to be able to corral all these loose papers into one place. Right now a lot of them get put on the fridge until something else gets put on top of it or it falls down between the crack of the fridge and the cupboard. I print out a lot of recipes to use and so that in and of itself is another organizing project. But for now, I can at least throw in that page protector, the recipes I print out for the menu the week.
Another thing I did today and I didn't take a picture of was to make a lunch center in my fridge. I bought a cheap white mesh baskety type thing at Dollar General today and put it in the fridge. I filled it with carrots and celery that I put into baggies, cheese from a big block that I cut up and also put in baggies, apples and some pudding that I made up the other day. We struggle constantly with getting our boys to make their lunch and so I am hoping this will make it a little easier. The pantry- another organizing project, will also get a lunch bin like this with baggies, peanut butter, crackers, etc. I can't remember what site I found this great idea at, but thank you to whoever it was!
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Menu for the week of November 13
*Baked Potatoes & Banana Nut Muffins
*Bacon Cheeseburger Pie & Green Beans
*Chili & Cinnamon Rolls
*Chicken Stir Fry & Rice
*French Toast & Bacon
*Hot Chicken Salad & Fried Green Tomatoes
*Chicken Noodle Soup & Bread
I haven't gone so far as to figure out what I am making which day- I should probably do that as well b/c we have any evening committment every night this week. When planning my menu, I wanted to use up things from my freezer and cupboards as much as possible. This week's plan required the following purchases : potatoes- they were on sale for $1.58 for 10 lbs., celery, soft butter and croutons, which were actually on sale as well. The croutons are for the hot chicken salad which is baked. I wasn't sure how my homemade croutons would hold up during baking.
I still managed to spend a good chunk of change at the store- but I did a lot of stocking up and replenishing of items.
Ok, I think I have rambled on enough for today. I probably will be doing more of it as I strive to be more frugal and organized.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I really enjoy the shows where they fix up a house, remix a room, or give someone a makeover. For me it's all about the before and after. Knowing how someone or something looked before a journey to something different and hopefully better. I know this may sound pretty dramatic when all I really did was clean up my closet- but hey, I had to have something to blog about, right?
Anyhoo, the second set of pictures are my BEFORE (still figuring out this new blog). I have a nasty habit of taking something off and if a hanger is not readily in sight, just laying it on the shelf. My shoe area is a mess b/c 1)currently both summer and winter shoes are out and 2)I get lazy and don't fit the ones that go on the shoe rack, back where they belong. I won't throw any stones Troy's way because my side definitely rivaled his side as far as messiness goes.
So this was today's project. I figured it might take me a couple of hours to get it all taken out, organized and put back together. Well, it ended up taking about 8. Of course, it didn't help that while working I was watching show after show on my favorite HGTV of the previously aforementioned makeover shows.
Despite the long day of watching, I mean working, I finally finished. I know it isn't as pretty as the reveals on TV, but this project came in right on budget- FREE. I did try to move things around a bit. I color coded the hanging clothing as well, as changing our every day wear from the top racks to the bottom. Neither Troy or I have a dresser in our bedroom and so everything,except our undergarments(we store these in the bathroom) goes into the closet. Now I know it would have looked more like one of those shows if I had went out and purchased matching bins and moved some of the things we store in our closet out- but this is real life, folks! Besides clothing and shoes, on my side I store purses, school supplies, seasonal items- including our swim towels and beach bag, as well as gift items. Troy's side has shoe care, back braces, a little hunting paraphenelia and his briefcase for church.
I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into my latest project. I have many more projects like this to tackle all over my house. The pantry and my food storage are one of the next tasks on the list, as I am going to attempt the OAMC thing at the end of November. I know being organized will be key to making that endeavor a success. So if you don't mind, I will probably track my progress, as I attempt to get my house made over, my way.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Anyhoo, we had a chilly but fun Halloween. We had our little princess, a skateboard dude and army man.
Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!
Monday, October 30, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Anyway, the past Sunday morning, I asked her if she would like to have bangs like her friends' Elizabeth and Emma. Yes, she would. So, I cut them. I forgot that wet hair is longer than dry hair, and so they are a bit shorter than I would have liked. I hair cutters remorse for the first few days until I finally started getting used to the bangs. She wasn't too keen on them either when she first looked in the mirror either. I did have to explain that we couldn't put the hair back on.
But I think we are all adjusted and loving her cute new look. Mealtimes are better. Mornings are better- if she doesn't want to have pretties in her hair- no big deal, we just comb it and call it good and it looks much more finished than before. And finally, my favorite benefit of this new cut- getting a much better view of my little sweetie's face!