THE END

I have run out of room. My blog is finished.
You can now find me at
Too Many To Count Two

lanamarieblog.blogspot.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

He's here!!!


Anna and Amadeo welcomed their sweet son into the world this morning. Joneaux Porter Nevares. He was 7 lbs 4 oz and 18 1/2 inches long. What a beautiful boy!!

He is doing great. Anna had a complication, her placenta fused to the uterus and that caused some trouble but it seems to be doing well and she sounded great when I talked to her.

I can't wait to meet him.

Congrats sister, now you're a mommy:)


Sunday, November 29, 2009

home

Home again. It was a long drive. There was a lot of traffic and we took an "alternate" route which hopefully was shorter, but I am not confident it was. Anyway we made it. So that is good. We found all well here.

Yesterday we went to the Air Force Museum and to Rauschs for dinner. It was nice to spend the day with family and to meet Harriet's daughter and her family. They were all very nice.

Friday night we had take out from PF Changs. One of my favorite restaurants.

It was a good trip.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Uncle Brian

I love this picture of Uncle Brian and Lucy Ballerina. She loves him and spends her whole day talking to him and showing him stuff and he is always so nice and patient:)

New Moon

After a full day of shopping, where among other things I got the new "Pioneer Woman Cookbook"! that I have been wanting so much, we went to see New Moon.

It was Abba, Beloved, Jen and I and of the four of us I was the only one who loved it. Abba had not read the books or seen the previous movie so of course he thought it was so silly. I knew it was going to be, even when you say the plot out loud it sounds ridiculous to the ear. Knowing what to expect helps a lot. I love the books and I thought this movie was much better than the first. I thought it did a great job showing the story. Edward and Bella were both much much less annoying than the first movie. I liked Jacob so much and could really see his appeal. I think they also did a good job showing Rosalie's angst and dislike of Bella. The wolves were cool. I just liked it. I would see it again and I would buy the DVD. If you go in expecting a vampire story and are totally prepared for the silly parts then you will love it too:)

Can't wait for the last two!

Friday, November 27, 2009

black friday

we did our part.

'nuff said :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Before the race...all ready to go!
Abba and Jenna ran in the turkey trot this morning. There were about 7000 people running.

It was a lot of fun. Nana and I went to watch (and freeze)


We saw fun costumed people running. My favorite was the Dayton SWAT team. They ran in formation while chanting then hopped in their giant black SWAT van and drove off.




After :)



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

over the river and through the woods again

early this morning I woke up to the sight of a girl standing over my bed. After I jumped out of my skin and she saw my eyes open she said "I feel better, can we go?"

She is not well, but she is a lot better. Great new meds finally. So we packed again and drove.
The drive went well. Everyone is excited and now we have three days of family fun ahead of us:)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

almost trip

what a busy couple of days we've had. I had to take our car in for repairs, several times, and we were cleaning and packing and I am helping Nicole with our ward Christmas party so we had to find time for that.

This morning I ran to McKay's for some trip food and as I was walking through the aisles I was so happy that I wasn't filling my cart with Thanksgiving dinner stuff.

Meanwhile Beloved was taking H back to the doctor. She has just not gotten well. Last Thursday she went to her concert and had already been on antibiotics and we thought she was on the mend, Friday she went to school. Friday night she felt awful. The weekend found her laying on the couch not wanting to eat and just not feeling good at all.
Yesterday I called the doctor, I just didn't feel like she was getting well as quickly as she should. Today she went in and sure enough she still has strep and she is very dehydrated. They almost sent her to the ER to get an IV but she promised to drink a lot and we got a stronger antibiotic.

We hoped she could watch movies and sip Gatorade on the drive to Ohio and all would be well.

We were in the car about half an hour when she said she felt nauseous and we pulled over and got the window down just in time for her to throw up all over the road. Then she felt good so we headed off again.

...half an hour later we were in a gas station bathroom and she was throwing up. Poor Baby:(

At that point we decided we had to head home, she's just too sick and we couldn't have her throwing up in the car when really she was about ready to spend the night hooked up to IV fluids anyway.

So amidst much crying and upset we headed home...and I headed back to McKay's to fill my cart with turkey and fixins.

I have a very small hope that she might do so well tonight that we can head up in the morning (with all the day before Thanksgiving nightmare traffic) but just in case we are prepared. And the important thing is that she feel better and get better. She's been sick for 13 days now :(

over the river and through the woods

to Nana's house we go!

We are excited to live "only" 8 hours away:) and to be able to share holidays much more easily.

I am thankful

Lu made a cute "thankful turkey" at pre-K. She was thankful for her family, her pets, going to school and candy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Super Saturday

Today was our super Saturday. I was asked to teach a class on fun holiday foods and snacks. I think it went well. It was a lot of fun to prepare and try some fun recipes!

I also had time to make one of the cute crafts.


Snowman Cheese Ball

2 packages cream cheese softened
1 package dried beef, chopped
½ cup finely chopped green onions
1 t horseradish
½ t garlic powder
½ cup dried parsley
2 cartons spread able cream cheese
5 dried cranberries
1 baby carrot
2 pretzel sticks
Crackers

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients until blended. Shape into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Roll each in parsley. Cover and refrigerate over night.
On a serving plate, place the smaller cheese ball on top of the bigger one forming a snowman. Set aside 1 t spread able cream cheese. Carefully cover the snowman with the remaining spread able cream cheese.
Arrange cranberries for eyes and buttons, insert carrot for nose and pretzels for arms.
Make a hat out of crackers or constructions paper.
Serve with crackers.






Christmas Sandwiches

Make your children’s favorite sandwich.
Use holiday cookie cutters to cut into fun shapes.

Snowman Potatoes

Make mashed potatoes.
Place mashed potatoes into a pastry bag and then swirl them out into individual balls to make a little snowman head. Add peas for eyes, a baby carrot for a nose and a half and olive for a smiley mouth.

Peanut Butter Christmas Mice

1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup butter softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
1-½ cups of flour
½ t baking soda
½ cup peanut halves
2 T green and red mini M&M
4 t miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
Little leafs and candies from holiday sprinkles
60-66 red shoestring licorice (2 inches each)

In a large mixing bowl, cream peanut butter, butter , sugar and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Roll into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Pinch each ball on one end to taper. Insert two peanut halves in the center of each ball for ears. Add one M&M for the nose and two chocolate chips for the eyes. Arrange holly and berry in front of one era.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Gently insert on tail into each mouse. Cool and serve.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Make your favorite hot chocolate and hang a mini candy cane on the side of the cup. It melts into a warm pepperminty drink and it’s fun to stir!

Holiday Wreath

1 stick of margarine
1 package large marshmallows
1 t vanilla
A few drops green food coloring
6 cups corn flakes
Red hot candies

Melt the margarine in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in marshmallows, a few at time and gently stir until completely melted. Continue stirring for about another minute. Add vanilla. Add food coloring drop by drop until green color appears. Stir in corn flakes. Place a scoop of mixture into a greased cup cake holder. Poke a hole in the middle of each green ball to make a wreath, press in candies. Cool and serve

Fruit Turkey

Apple
Clementine or navel orange
Pear
Dried apricot
Peanut butter or cream cheese
Mini chocolate chips
Nut
Dried cranberry

Arrange apple and Clementine or navel orange slices on a plate in a rainbow patter
and lay a cored pear half on top.
Use scissors to halve a dried apricot, then snip small triangles from each half and tuck
them under the pear to form the feet.
Finally, use peanut butter or softened cream cheese to attach mini chocolate chip eyes,
a nut beak, and a dried cranberry snood.


Christmas Bites

Bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels
Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's Hug
M&M's candy

Heat the oven to 170F. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's Hug.
Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M's candy into the center of each Kiss.
Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes. Place handfuls of the candies in clear plastic bags and tie on colorful ribbons

Bagel Wreaths

To make them, spread mini bagel halves with cream cheese (plain or tinted green with herbs or food coloring), then sprinkle on red, yellow, and green bell-pepper confetti.

Peppermint melt ways

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
FROSTING:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Shape into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
In a small bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, extract and food coloring if desired; beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

Veggie Christmas Tree
1 bottle (8 ounces) fat-free ranch salad dressing
4 cups broccoli florets
1 broccoli stem
3 to 4 cups cauliflowerets
4 to 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 medium carrot, sliced

Cover the bottom of a 13-in. x 9-in. glass dish with dressing. Arrange broccoli in a tree shape, using the stem as the trunk. Place cauliflower around tree. Add tomatoes and carrot slices as ornaments.

Cheese Things

Cheese
Mayonnaise
Green onions
Worcestershire sauce
Pumpernickel

Grate a couple cups of cheese, add in just enough mayo so it sticks together. Add chopped green onions, a couple big splashes of Worcestershire sauce and spread on pumpernickel bread. Toast in the oven until melty.

Cranberry Chicken
4-5 chicken breasts
A can whole cranberries
1 package onion soup mix
1 cup French dressing

Mix bottom three ingredients and pour over chicken. Bake. Serve over rice. It is a beautiful, tasty dish perfect for the holidays.


RUDOLPH'S PUNCH
You will need:
1 -16 oz. bottle apple juice
1- 16 oz. bottle lemon-lime soda
1 -16 oz. bottle cranberry juice
3 cinnamon sticks


Optional: Small candy canes
Instructions:
1. In a large saucepan, mix the apple juice, cranberry juice, and lemon-lime soda with the cinnamon sticks.
2. Heat through allowing the cinnamon to fuse the liquid.
3. Remove cinnamon sticks.
4. Serve in a mug with a candy cane hanging over the edge.


Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Ingredients (from Pioneer Woman)
2 sticks Salted Butter, Slightly Softened
1 cup Powdered (confectioner's) Sugar
1 whole Egg
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2-½ cups Flour
½ cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
4 ounces, weight (4 Squares) Almond Bark Or White Baking Chocolate (almond Bark Works Best And Is Cheaper)
Large Handful Of Red Or Green Peppermints
Preparation Instructions
Cream softened butter with powdered sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix together until dough comes together. Place plastic wrap on surface of dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.
In the meantime, unwrap candies and place them in a plastic bag. Beat with a mallet until finely crushed, leaving larger chunks if desired.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll cookie dough in walnut-sized pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Gently press balls flat with a plain, smooth surface. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, being careful not to burn. Cookies will remain the same general size and shape after they bake. Remove from oven and place cookies on a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely.
Place crushed candies in bowl. Melt almond bark in the microwave. Dip cooled cookies into almond bark, coating half the cookie. Immediately sprinkle crushed peppermints over both sides of the almond bark. Gently set on parchment paper or other nonstick surface and allow to cool before serving.

Reindeer Cake Pops (copied from Pioneer Woman)
*1 box cake mix
* 1 container of ready-made icing.
* Candy Melts or Chocolate Bark
* Waxed paper

You begin by baking the cake in a 9 x 13 pan according to directions. Let it cool for several hours or overnight. Then you crumble the cake in a large bowl. Then you dump in the tub of icing (a little less than the full tub, actually) and stir the mixture together. Slowly but surely, the icing will totally incorporate into the cake and the mixture will be totally uniform in color.
Grab pinches of the mixture and roll them into balls.

Then: IMPORTANT! You place the cake balls into the fridge for a couple of hours OR into the freezer for a little while. You want them to be nice and firm. Not frozen solid, but not mushy.

Now, just before you pull them out of the fridge/freezer, you need to melt your chocolate. Chocolate or Almond Bark from the baking aisle at the supermarket works well. Melt it in your microwave.
You can also melt the chocolate on a double boiler. The key when you’re melting the chocolate is to begin using it just after it fully melts and not to continue heating it. Under constant heat, it can dry out.

Once it’s thoroughly melted, just plop the cake ball right into the chocolate. Since it’s cold and firm, it should hold its shape and not crumble. Notice that you’ll want the melted chocolate to be deep enough in the bowl to allow the cake ball to be almost submerged. So tall, deep bowls are better then wide, shallow bowls.
Don’t stir the cake ball around in the warm chocolate; just drizzle chocolate over the top with a spoon.

Retrieve the cake ball from the chocolate with a spoon, and—this is Bakerella’s trade secret—tap the spoon on the side of the bowl.

Tap-tap-tap. Bakerella’s tapping motion, in effect, forces the chocolate to sheet around the sides and drip off. This contributes to a more smooth result, which makes for a more attractive cake ball.


Carefully transfer the cake balls to a sheet of waxed paper and allow the chocolate to set, which usually doesn’t take much time at all.
Neat trick: if too much chocolate pools around the bottom of the ball, just take a toothpick and score a line around the base of the ball. When it’s dry, the cake ball will separate from the extra pooled chocolate.

Antlers: ABC Pretzels I found at the World Market chain. The E, F, and Y letters work great. (If you can’t find these, just use regular or mini pretzel twists and break them in half for a pair of antlers.)
Noses: Red lemon heads, red m&ms, or anything red and round will work, brown m&ms
Eyes: Mini Confetti Sprinkles (the white ones)
Expressions: Americolor Edible Ink Pens (Black)
Paper Lollipop Sticks
Make the reindeers: Make regular cake pops using the chocolate candy melts. You can adhere the antlers while the reindeer pops are still wet or wait until they are dry and then apply a small dab of chocolate to the head to glue the antlers on. Once dry, you can also add the eyes and noses by gluing. Then using the edible ink pen, draw the mouths and dot your eyes.
(recipe from Bakerella. com~ she has a tutorial, as does Pioneer Woman if you want to see it step by step)




Other Christmas Time Favorite:

Oranges with cloves~ the kids love to make these and they smell sooooo good!
Gingerbread houses~ milk carton, hot glue it onto a red plastic plate. Use frosting to “cement” graham crackers onto the sides. Give kids a bowl of candy and a tub of frosting and let them loose!
Wassail~ Williams and Sonoma. Easy and Yumm!


Magic Reindeer Food
Mix up a batch of magic reindeer food to leave out for Santa's reindeer. This is a great gift idea for school parties. Magic Reindeer Food leaves a glittering path to Santa’s reindeer to your home on Christmas Eve.
In a small zipper food storage bag mix the following ingredients:
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 glitter
Print the poem below. Cut it out and staple the tag to the top of the magic reindeer food baggie
Be sure to take this magic food and sprinkle on the lawn,
On Christmas, Santa's reindeer travel miles before the dawn.
The smell of oats and glitter path will guide them on their way
And you'll wake up to Santa's gifts next morn on Christmas Day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Choir Concert

H's concert was supposed to be last week but it got rained out. They rescheduled for last night. I was worried when I found out because she was so sick all week long.

Yesterday was the day that "officially" she could go back to school but I kept her home, she was still tired and pale and just not herself.

Nothing would keep her from attending last night though:) and it went really well. The kids looked great and sounded great. It was a fun evening.

Good job H!



video

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Papa!!

Today is my dad's 70th Birthday! Happy Birthday Popsicle. Here he is with his childhood friend. Doesn't he look like a Frenchman? Most of my family looks like this, not dad though, he always looks like a missionary, even before he was one :)

Here he is with his sister and brother, Mado and Laurent. They have another sister as well but she lives in the U.S. and wasn't at this little cafe lunch.

Here he is with one of the young elders he serves with.
Dad is a wonderful man. He is the most kind, gentle, wise, fun, Christ-like person I know. I feel very blessed to be his daughter and am so proud of him and the life time of good works and great example he's lived.
Have a great day. Love you.

why did I just spend $$ on gifts?

This morning we were walking to the bus stop and Lucy told me she hoped Santa would leave a plastic spoon in her stocking.

Brother found one a couple days ago and has been using it as a catapult while waiting for the bus. The other boys love it as well and they take turns shooting little rocks. (at each other, or in the air..in cast you were wondering)

I guess Lu wants one of her own :)

Tri County Honor Orchestra

Last night I went to hear J play in the orchestra. They did such a great job. It was wonderful.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

diagnosis


She has the flu and strep throat. Poor Baby.

side effect of missionary service:


apparently when a senior missionary couple goes out to serve their family reproduces like crazy and they come home to a whole new little patch of pumpkins. Since mom and dad have left on their mission a year ago Emily had baby Talia, Dani had Tatum, Anna is having Joneaux (in two weeks!) and last night we got the fun call that Andrea and Yoho are expecting too!!!
yeah for babies babies every where!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tatum

Dani updated her blog this weekend with the cutest photos! I had to copy some :)
This is my darling niece Talia and cutie patootie Tater-tot.
Here she is looking all fancy for church and smiling so big with her daddy.

Last night we had a wonderful opportunity. Sister Dalton was here in Washington DC giving a fireside for YW and their mothers. Michelle and I drove up together with our girls Jenna and Alexis and with friends Robin, Hannah and Heidi. We got there moments before it was to start (because of traffic) and then had to park at the temple and run up the hill. When we got there we found the seating was all taken so we went back down the hill and watched it in the visitors center theater, which was very lovely. Her talk was powerful and relate able and inspiring. I hope the girls really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.

Just two things I want to jot down
"one righteous girl, following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, can change the world"
she said that many times and I was so impressed with that statement. I hope the girls really take that into their hearts and learn to always stand for what is right and make a difference.

She also committed the girls to pray twice a day, read the Book or Mormon for 5 minutes a day and smile every day. She called it "spiritual intensive training".

She talked about virtue and how special the girls were.

After we walked around the visitors center and looked at all the beautiful Christmas trees. I can't wait to take the family up there next month to see everything in it's splendor. Then Robin asked if we could walk around the temple so we did. It was a nice evening. I enjoyed hearing the girls giggling in the back seat and talking with Michelle and hearing Sister Dalton. We are very blessed to have great leaders and guidance as we try and live our lives.

*bad photo taken on my camera phone

dinner story

I roasted butternut squash and made rice

Beloved made pork roast on the grill.
It was yummy.
The kids didn't like it.
Story of our lives :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

H has been sick for several days. On Thursday morning she woke up with a sore throat. She still went to school but didn't feel great. Friday night she came into our room in the middle of the night crying that her head hurt and her stomach and she felt like throwing up. I gave her some medicine and a drink and tucked her back in and she was able to sleep. Yesterday she didn't go play with friends and spent a lot of time laying around. I hoped she was getting better but last night she felt really sick again and woke up in the middle of the night. She is also coughing:( I stayed home from church with her and she's drinking and eating okay. Is this swine flu? a cold? who knows. Hopefully it will just run it's course and she will be well soon...and no one else will get it.
In other news we see the sun today!!!!
Yeah!!!
Last night Beloved and I went on a date to Olive Garden and to Christmas shop. I've been doing some for weeks now and last night we pretty much finished up! Yeah again! I love to shop for Christmas gifts if I do it early. When I wait until December it is much less fun and way more stressful. The little kids are always so fun to shop for because they love toys and cute little things. The teens are harder. They want stuff but it's all too expensive. For example J wants a car, a lap top, an electric violin. She also has several big outings she wants to take: a $300+ trip with the orchestra to Philadelphia in April, $300+ to coast guard camp this summer, EFY, venturing summer trip. Cha Ching.
S just wants money, for school, car repairs, life. It's less "fun" but I try and find thoughtful, useful gifts that they will like and feel loved.
This year it's my turn to buy for Anna. I am excited because with little Joneaux coming that is extra fun:)
Last night we did some wrapping and we are right on schedule to start decking the halls and having holiday cheer with out the worry of shopping hanging over our heads.


Friday, November 13, 2009

my little bard

Brother came into our room early this morning, we were sleeping in because school had a two hour delay in start time due to inclement weather, and showed me what he spent his morning working on. He wrote a very lovely poem. I love it!

WITH YOU

Search the sky for land.
Search the sky for sea.
As long as I am with you, I'll be in glee.
In a lighting storm or a tornado
As long as I am with you, I'll be in glee.
Swimming in the ocean
Climbing up a volcano
As long as I am with you, I'll be in glee.

by E

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Baltimore Zoo

We had several days of sunny, dry weather that was so lovely. Today is Veteran's Day so a few days ago I asked Colleen if she wanted to go to the Baltimore Zoo with me. We agreed it would be fab-u-lous and were looking forward to it. Yesterday the forecast was for rain. I was talking to her and said what should we do. "Let's go" she quickly said, and I just as quickly agreed (this must be why we are friends, we are both nuts). This morning it was pouring, and cold. We bundled up and headed out.
The whole drive was miserable and I thought "oh no, what have I gotten us into" but when we arrived it was only drizzling and it turned out to be really great. There was one other family at the zoo that day, and a group of students:) We got front row views of everything; no crowds, no waiting. It was awesome!

This tundra mobile is in the polar bear area. So fun.
The children's zoo was really nice. They had caves to explore, a giant tree slide, animals to pet and lots of neat hands on things to do.
My favorite thing was the giraffe house, it was really neat and the giraffes were so cute peeking their heads over the walls to see us. The okapi was beautiful and the otters were fun. It was a little wet and a little cold but a lot of fun! Mike had the day off so he got to come with us, I wished that Beloved got to come, other than that it was perfect.


After we stopped at the conservatory to see the mums on display. The kids got to feed the fish and we enjoyed seeing the different flowers.




Monday, November 09, 2009

weekend

We had a fun, fun weekend. Saturday Emma and Jenna wanted
to go to the mall in Annapolis, H and I went with them and had a lovely day. The mall was huge with every imaginable store in it. We browsed and had lunch. H and I went to the movies and saw "Christmas Carol", the girls shopped til they dropped. The 3-D animation in the movie was amazing and I enjoyed the whole thing. H thought it was scary, I was surprised by how dark and intense it was. It was a good movie, but not for kids.

While we were gone Beloved took the little two to Brother's soccer game and then they got to go sailing. They had a blast and all came home saying "we need to buy a sail boat!"

Saturday night the girls went to Ledo's and had dessert.

Sunday we went to church, grilled, hung out.



Sunday, November 08, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

better than christmas...

Emma is here!!! Jenna could not wait and we are all so excited to have her visit.

The girls drove to California to shop and eat at Panera, hung out around the house, explored the woods and froze at a football game...and that's just day 1 :)

california, maryland is the closest "big city" where we go to Target and Walmart and church, etc.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

leaves

Today we had a minimum day. After school a bunch of our neighborhood friends went to the park. The moms sat and talked, the kids ran and played, the weather was very fallish. It was a fun afternoon.
Brother, Sarah and Lucy playing in the leaves

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

perspective


as much as I don't enjoy the blocked roads, piles of dirt, blowing dust and 6am wake up call made by the start of the construction equipment right outside our window
my small boy loves it. He loves to climb the piles, wallow in the mud holes, watch the "brilliant" workers drive the huge backhoes and cement trucks and climb up to the top of the frames to make roofs and down in the holes to dig basements. He LOVES it.
I guess it's all about your perspective, he thinks it's the best thing in the world to live with such a great show just outside our window...I do not.

Monday, November 02, 2009

solution: read longer

Problem: how to keep your children reverent during family scripture reading.

"every night" (which is more the goal than the reality, sadly, but we keep on trying) we gather the kids in the living room and read the scriptures together out loud. Right now we are reading the four gospels. Our Bishop has challenged everyone in the ward to read them together before the ward Christmas social. It has been such a treat. I have loved reading the stories of Jesus out loud with the kids. We have always read the Book of Mormon before, and I love that, and of course it is all about the Savior too, since it is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The stories in the NT, about his life are special though and I am enjoying this very much. The kids are enjoying it too.

As we are trying to meet our goal we realized that our regular reading pace was not going to do it for us so we've had to read more each night. There has been a surprise side benefit, unexpectedly the wiggles and whispers start to tone down the more we read. The first chapter is our usual struggle and then they settle down and listen more. We sometimes read two chapters, sometimes three or more and it's been lovely.

Lucy fell asleep last night listening, which was so cute. What is sweeter than laying by the fire with your family listening to the stories of Jesus while you slip into a sweet, peaceful slumber with dreams filled with images of his gentle life and ministry?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Trick or Treat

We had a wet Halloween. In the morning brother had a soccer game. We stood in the rain and watched him score a goal and lead his team to defeat. It wasn't there best game ever, I do think they liked playing in the wet though :)
I made dinner in a pumpkin, again, this year everyone liked it. We had some friends over for dinner and then took the kiddos around the neighborhood begging. It was dry and nice out and we had a fun time.

When we got back to our house the kids ran amok and ate candy and we played Killer Bunnies.
Today I am very happy to welcome our month of thanks.
Dinner in a pumpkin, the winning recipe
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork sausage
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken stock
1 1/2 cups long grain and wild rice mix
1 sugar pumpkin
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 (4 ounce) cans mushroom stems and pieces, drained
2 (14.5 ounce) cans French cut green beans
Directions
In a large skillet over medium heat, mix ground beef and sausage. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Mix in salt and pepper, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar.
Drain meats, and mix in chicken stock and rice. Cover, and cook 25 to 30 minutes, until rice is tender.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Remove and reserve top of pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and stringy pulp.
Mix cream of celery soup, cream of mushroom soup, mushroom stems and pieces, and green beans into the beef and sausage mixture. Spoon mixture into the pumpkin, and replace pumpkin top.
Place pumpkin on a large baking sheet, and bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until pumpkin is tender. Scoop out portions of filling and parts of the cooked pulp to serve.