Wednesday, December 31, 2008
1. We made it to Utah in just under 25 hours. That's driving time, people. We encountered 100 slide offs in Des Moines, and just after passing through the city, realized they had closed the highway behind us. Good times. But we made it. I have a picture of what Diesel fuel does when it gets too cold. You'll see it soon.
2. Christmas was good. The kids had a great time, got too many presents, and ate too much junk food. Just like Christmas should be. We were all dreading the holiday without mom around, and it turned out just fine. All the grandkids got teddy bears with outfits on that are made from Nunn's clothes. They are so adorable, and we all had a good cry. Then TroyBoy pulls out purple hand made bracelets for us girls, and they all have little sterling sliver ribbon charms on them. Another good cry ensued. You'll see pictures of those, too.
3. Yesterday, the 30th, Sugar Daddy and I celebrated 11 years of wedded. Bliss, okay, wedded bliss. And Meg also go married yesterday. Yes, she went through with it. Nevermind the shackles and gags that were involved to get her to say "Yes" at the appropriate time. Kidding people, kidding. Fear not, there will be oodles of picture of that day to follow.
4. We saw Body Worlds today. So cool. The science behind it is amazing, but to see how delicate life is reinforces to me that God is in everything. There is just no doubt after seeing that. Not that there ever was, but you know what I mean.
5. Tonight is New Year's Eve. We are spending the evening with Troyboy and Kelli making home made pizza with artichokes and olives. Mmm Mmm good. Do you think I could get sued for using that as my motto? Oh well.
6. Which means that this year is almost over. If someone had told me last year what 2008 would hold, I would have laughed. Now, I know there are no limits to what life can bring. So, in keeping with that frame of mind, my resolution for the year is to work on enhancing my food storage. Before you start sending me links to places to buy powdered water, and ways to preserve chicken hearts for 100 years, let me explain that I don't plan on doing that kind of food storage. I mean the kind that entails extra supplies of things I use deliberately, daily even. Not stuff I will shove in a corner of my basement and forget about until my 14th child needs a bedroom down there.
So, I hope you are fully prepared for the onslaught of pictures that are to follow. Life has been good to me for the last two weeks, and as much as I hate to leave my family, I'm ready to get back to reality.
Friday, December 19, 2008
So please forgive the tardiness of this post, I have been outside snow blowing my little heart out all morning. And without further ado, I give you this little beauty:
I love it. I laugh every time I drive by it. It's a sign posted at the Catholic church where Maggie goes to dance class. Oh, and the church bells ring every hour. It's so beautiful to hear them, and to see the birds fly out of the belfry. With the snow, and the boughs and the Nativity, it seems so very "Home Alone"-esque, which by the way was filmed somewhere here in Chicagoland.
So there you go. I hope to be able to get a few more posts in before Christmas, especially one last True Meaning Tuesday, but with the storms coming, and a 2 day drive ahead of us to the Promised Land, I can't make any guarantees. So if I don't see you before, have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Santa with some neighborhood girls. Excellent babysitters, these girls. Look how excited they are!
Who knew Santa had such big beautiful blue eyes?
And here he is telling a sweet story of the symbolism of the candy cane. He did an excellent job. He knew most of the kids by name, which is always a plus when you're playing the part of Santa. The only "oopsie" moment, was when we realized he had on brown shoes, and not black. Eh, small details.
All in all, it was a great night. We had plenty of potatoes, ran out of side dishes, and had to make an emergency run to Jewel for more cookies for dessert. But everyone had a good time, and we fed and entertained about 165 people for 2 hours. Not bad. And our Bishop gave us a count, saying he thought we had at least 40 non-members or investigators present. Wow. That's unheard of in Utah. I don't even know 40 non-members in Utah! It's refreshing to see the community all come together to celebrate a common thread, regardless of religion.
That was our one big party, and now we're pretty much taking it easy until the Memorial Day picnic. I think we are planning a Spring service project, but we have to wait until the ice melts (around May) before we decide exactly what it will be. Now, it's all about getting us to Utah, through our first Christmas without Mom, and having the best wedding ever!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child."
~ Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), American author and humorist.
Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas."
~ Peg Bracken.
The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung."
~ Phillips Brooks (1835-93), American Episcopal bishop, wrote 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'.
Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given--when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes."
~ Joan Winmill Brown, American author and editor.
This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone."
~ Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985), English novelist.
Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree."
~ Charlotte Carpenter.
There are no strangers on Christmas Eve."
~ Adele Comandini and Edward Sutherland. Michael O'Brien (Charles Winninger), Beyond Tomorrow, after proposing that the partners invite three strangers to dinner (1940).
To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world."
~ Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), American president. Presidential message (December 25, 1927).
Monday, December 15, 2008
3. Yes, 3. With the wind (which is blowing at 50 mph) chill, -14.
But I still say I'd rather be cold than hot. I hate being too hot. I don't sweat pretty, but I like to be bundled up with a pretty silk(like) scarf and a warm down(ish) coat.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I rip it open, and what do I find inside?
This little beauty. Courtesy of Barb, over at Terrill Connection. She also included the sweetest little note, and totally made me cry, which under normal circumstances is hard to do, but lately, I'll cry just about anywhere. But I would have cried regardless. She is so sweet to send this to lil ol' me. I love it. It's adorable. And I will wear it with pride.
So thanks, Barb. You made my day. And having my day made, well, that's fun.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
You see, a few days ago, I noticed that I had pretty limited hot water when I was taking a shower. And by limited I mean it only lasted 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes at boiling hot temperatures. I mentioned this to Sugar Daddy, who promptly fixed it. Well, Tuesday comes around, and suddenly, right there mid-lather, no.hot.water. None. And when it's 6 degrees outside, that water is freaking cold. I rinse, all the while my nipples are etching the glass doors (TMI? Yeah, but it's funny, huh?) , and I head to the basement to check it out. Uh oh. There is a flashing code on the thermostat. Uh oh. I don't know my water heaters, but I know this isn't good.
So for 2 days now, I've been making do with limited (at best) warm water. The kids are getting a little funky, and I'm not one of those that can go more than a day without a shower. Hopefully our water heater is still under warranty, because I already spent our cruise money on my dog's uterus, and I don't have much Christmas money left to spare. I mean, I may be okay with getting 2 generators for my birthday, but a water heater for Christmas is just over the line.
Also, I ate 5 Hershey's Nuggets for breakfast. Hey, they had almonds in them. Healthy, no?
I'm reading sTori Telling by Tori Spelling, which has a very clever title, don't you think? It's a very easy read about her life growing up. Wow, it's "hard to have sympathy for a girl that wants a certain car for her 16th birthday, and her parents buy her a newer, more expensive car instead". It's not a bad read, just kind of "blah blah blah, I'm so picked on, blah blah blah". But then I find out she has issues with certain lifestyles, and now I have no desire to finish her book. I just hate the thought of supporting someone that is so narrow minded. So we'll see.
And finally, remember when I tried to give up Diet Pepsi? I've done it! I'm totally off the diet. But now I'm on full strength. Yep, I've crossed back over, Jill. I'm sure my mom is cursing me right now, since she was kind of the proponent of Diet that I needed. But I just like me some sugar first thing in the morning, know what I'm sayin'?
So that's pretty much it. I'm heading to neighbor Kate's for a shower, and then it's off to dance, unless water heater fixer dude can make it over this morning. Then dance will have to wait.
Wish me luck!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I'm writing you in regards to your various styles of childrens dress-up shoes. You see, I own a couple of pairs of these, or rather, my daughters own a couple of pairs of these. They are wonderful accessories to the dresses and wings and wands and such. And as a woman who never learned, I thank you for teaching my children to walk in high heels at the age of 2, because it is a life long skill that cannot be learned too young.
There is a flaw to your dress up shoes style, however. Something I know you'll be grateful I am pointing out. If you could please make the shoes a little narrower and possibly a little more ill-fitting, as to facilitate a more rapid sprain or break of the ankle, I would be so happy. You see, I know eventually my dear daughters will fall and break something important, and I feel that your current design is just prolonging the inevitable. Perhaps you could just remove the flimsy ankle straps with the barely functioning buckle? Or maybe make the toe box just a little more awkward, so the pinky toe and the next toe have to hang out of the side together, rather than just the pinky toe alone. That would probably do the trick, since it would throw off the delicate balance just enough.
Finally, I wish you would make the bottoms even more slick, since the hard plastic sole against wood floors is far too much traction for a 2 year old balancing on 3 inch heels. If you could maybe have a silicone lubricant applied to the bottom, so they could just slide along the flooring surface and cause the child to fall backwards onto their head, that would be a much better scenario than having her feet slip sideways out from underneath her and causing her knees to fold laterally. I mean, tearing an ACL is such an easier injury to recover from at a young age, no sense in waiting until adolesence.
Thank you for your time in reading this letter. Please feel free to send me any prototypes you may have in the works already, as my children are fully prepared to sustain serious injury in the hopes of bankrupting other families with your overpriced dress-up accessories. They're just such givers.
A mom who thinks the balancing act can never be learned too young.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
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After I found this story, and without me even mentioning it to him, Sugar Daddy brought me home a dozen red roses. The only time I've ever gotten flowers from Sugar Daddy is when I've given birth. I don't recall giving birth in recent days, so I guess he was just inspired. It makes this story that much more special.
Monday, December 8, 2008
But there is a more sinister reason behind my slacker ways. You may recall that I don't like Christmas much, and that is what sparked True Meaning Tuesday. It's hard to want to play the role of a Holiday lover when truly I'm a total Scrooge about it. I know, I suck. Another reason is that we leave for Utah in a week and a half, and we'll be there for 2 weeks. Do I really want to decorate for the 10 days we'll be here? Not really. And I certainly don't want to come home from Utah after all the celebrations there, and have to take down Christmas stuff I never wanted up in the first place. Do you see my logic here? I knew you would.
What's a mom to do? I'm thinking tree, minimal other decorations, and it all comes down the night before we leave. Sound like a good compromise? I thought so.
Friday, December 5, 2008
So what is the coldest temperature you've ever been in? And where were you?
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
- You can fix anything.
- You watch "Ice Princess" just to see the ending.
- You have an immense love for jackets and coats of all styles.
- You snore like a fog horn.
- You are always thinking of the girls and I, and ways to make our lives easier.
- You take out the garbage cans every Thursday.
- You like your sleep time.
- You can make friends with just about anyone.
- You do all the ironing.
- You love me and the girls more than anything else.
- And we love you too!
There's also a sweet blurb about Sean over at Terrill's blog, so you can check that out here.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
So here we have the beginning product. Yes, it's a Butterball. That was my only hope of it turning out half decent, I've always had good luck with a Butterball.
Here it is in all of it's bagged glory. Why a bag you ask? I really don't know, except for that is how my mom always did hers, so that's how I do mine. No basting, it always turns out juicy, and it's just the way it is. Obviously I need to spring for the bigger roasting pan, as my scale of turkey to pan is a little off.
Here you see the temperature set at 320. The instructions say 350, but my oven is a total over achiever, and likes to cook a little hotter than it should. So I have to compensate. And you also see the timer set at 1 hour and 46 minutes. It should be 1 hour and 45 minutes, but I overshot it a little. I usually do this when I top off my gas tank too. I always get that 1 penny over. Dang penny. Also, I apparently have no use for that "Auto Clean" button. For I have never to this day cleaned any oven I have owned. Perhaps I should.
And here is the lovely finished product. Looks okay, right? The caramel color seems to have done a nice enough job. The juices were flowing, and the meat was tasty. I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised. Like so pleasantly surprised, that I'm thinking about going and buying another one to freeze and keep on hand just in case. For .89 a pound, it's not a bad deal. And considering that we've eaten turkey in some form or another for 3 days now, it's pretty economical.
So even though Sugar Daddy had to change up our routine, he proved me wrong, as usual, and came out on top. It ended up being a nice, simple, fairly easy meal to cook, and I was happy to be all together as a family again. Thanksgiving just isn't the same without Sean around. Nothing is.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Editor’s Note: This is a true story that is provided to us by the family of the author. Even though Nancy passed away two years after her article first appeared in Woman's Day Magazine in 1982, her family continues to keep alive the tradition of the white envelope. This article has also inspired The White Envelope Project and web site.
Please visit the White Envelope Project website for more information about how you can implement it in your Christmas experience
Thanks to Nurse Heidi for this story. She posted this on her blog a while back, and this is what got my gears aturning in the direction of True Meaning Tuesday. Heidi is a special friend, and belongs to a very special family. They have all seen us through some very difficult times, and have had their fair share as well. They are all the kind of friends that only come along once in a lifetime.
Monday, December 1, 2008
This was a bittersweet Thanksgiving. You know, another first without Mom. It's that sick sad time line we all keep in our heads, and I'm starting to resent it. And it was less another person this year too. Sugar Daddy was here in Illinois all by his lonesome. He managed just fine, though. He caught up on his sleep, and even cleaned up the house! He's such a good husband. He did forget to buy a turkey for our Sunday celebration of Thanksgiving, though, which warranted a trip to Jewel on a Sunday for a "fresh" turkey. Remind me to tell you the story about Sugar Daddy forgetting to buy a turkey, and then getting stuck with all that the store had left, a fully cooked whole turkey. Really, I'll go into more detail about that one tomorrow, and I even have pictures.
I know Mom would be proud of our Thanksgiving, though. It was perfect. Crowded, loud, too much food, naps, football, roll ups, cheese tree, chips and dip, and lots of pies and cheesecake. And I think we all took away more than just pot bellies and L-Tryptophan hangovers. We got renewed as siblings, and as daughters and son. We learned that no matter where we are, we have fun together. We learned that Dad is stronger than we (I) thought, and that he is doing okay. We also learned that being in the temple all together is one of the most special things a family could ever experience. We're all very excited to have Josh join our family next month. I know mom would be proud of that, too.
So all in all, it was a good holiday. I always feel like I get more out of Thanksgiving than I give. I guess that's what Holiday's are supposed to be. Family, friends, fun, food, and growing a little.