Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas number 3

My parents arrived yesterday and today we celebrated Christmas with them.

The kids got many wonderful presents. We had fun opening the last of the presents today.

There is not much to report at this time, so this will just be a picture post - something my grandma will love!

This is Arlington's new Webkinz from Aunt Renee and Uncle Phil.

Cainan opening a present from Aunt Jess and Uncle Tom

Arlington is opening presents from Aunt Jess and Uncle Tom

By the way - Mat and I saw Sherlock Holmes at the movie theaters today. Mat says it was good. I thought it was fine, but too much fighting. But, I did get popcorn ou of the deal, and then went shopping afterwards.

Finley got a Webkinz from Aunt Renee and Uncle Phil too. Can you tell she likes it.

Cainan also got a Webkinz from Aunt Renee and Uncle Phil

Finley got an Ugly doll from her grandparents. She loves this thing. And I have to tell you - she picked it out before Christmas. Honestly - for a girl who likes skeletons, are you surprised she likes something called an "Ugly Doll"?

All of the kids go these blocks from friends of our family - Larry and Marge. Finley built a tower, but before I could take a picture, godzillaFinley kicked it down for fun!

Cainan got this Thomas from Aunt Tricia and Uncle AJ. It was a favorite, that is for sure!

Arlington got a few science things from her Aunt Jess and Uncle Tom. Here she is working on digging out a fossil. She is also growing some gross animal. Jess - thanks for that.

Cainan got this Batman thing from my parents. He played with it all day. And the Spiderman chair behind him is from his Uncle Zac. He LOVES it! His favorite things - superheroes, and lounging.
Finley got this bank from Santa. She has been dying to paint it for several days. She painted most of it and then declared that it needed some money. Her Papa bought into that one.

We had a nice day. Tomorrow we are going to take the kids to a local museum. They haven't been out of the house in days, and it is starting to show.

See you Saturday!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Making Meals Monday

Hi all! So this week, I am having company. I didn't get to make two of the recipes last week (due to us eating way too much junk and not being hungry for large meals), so I am going to use my garlic shrimp recipe and my ham ball recipe this week while my parents are here visiting.

So this week, I am making the above two dishes, and then a pasta dish with my grandmother Appolonia's homemade pasta sauce recipe. Here is the pasta sauce recipe if you are interested in ever trying it. It is easy and SO yummy.

Spaghetti Sauce

1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 28 ounce can of tomatoe puree
sprinkle garlic powder (although, I like my sauce garlicky, so I put a bit more in than a sprinkle)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 12 ounce can tomato paste
3 paste cans of water

- you can also add a sprinkle of basil or oregano - I don't like either, but my grandma does.

1. Melt margaine and oil in large sauce pan (large - it makes a lot)
2. Add tomatoes, garlic powder, salkt, pepper, sugar and chicken bouillon cube
3. Cook above slowly for about 20 minutes (my grandma likes to bring it to a boil, then turn it down to low)
4. Add tomatoe paste and water
5. Cook about 1 1/2 hours continuing to add water as it thickens - but not too much because you want it somewhat thick. (I personally only use about 2 cans of water instead of three)

**like I said, it makes a lot - enough for at least 2-3 meals of a 5 person family like I have. If you aren't planning on using the sauce within 1 week, then it needs to be frozen. Once you make sauce, you need to put it in containers and refridgerate if you are not going to use immediately.

**you can also make meatballs right in the sauce - they taste VERY good once cooked in the sauce! My grandma uses 1 pound ground chuck that she browns well in a pan before dropping them into the sauce. Do not put in the sauce raw!!

We also make homemade hot chocolate at this time of the year. Here is the recipe for that as well!

French Vanilla Cocoa Mix

1 (1 pound, 10 ounce) package nonfat dry milk powder (8 measuring cups)
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
2 (8 ounce) jars french vanilla non-dairy powdered creamer (I don't recommend getting store brand - get the good stuff for this ingredient)
1 (1 pound) package chocolate mix (Nestle Quick)
1 (11 ounce) jar non-dairy powdered creamer (Creamora)

1. In a VERY LARGE (really big - really, really big) bowl, combine all ingredients slowly. Stir until well blended
2. Store in air tight containers

This is the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted, but it makes a ton!! But it is fun and easy.

Next week, I will be back to work, so back on track for my weekly meals. So stay tuned!

I will probably not blog tomorrow because I don't have any pictures. we will be opening presents with my parents on Wednesday, so blog will be updated again this Wednesday! Take care!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Another wonderful Christmas has come and gone. After all the planning and building up in excitement, I cannot believe Christmas day is over. We had a wonderful Christmas day - just our little family.

Christmas eve was fun. Mat had to work for a little while (well, that wasn't fun.) and so the kids and I spent the morning dancing to Christmas music.

Arlington and I made a cake and she got to lick the spoon.

Isn't that the best part of baking?

We were making a cake to sing happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas night. Here is the finished product:

I don't have a future in cake decorating.
I got this idea from my sister in laws who live in Florida who do this at Christmas time. I have always liked this idea.

We did track Santa's path all day on the computer - it was the neatest thing. The kids all got into it. We left the page up all day for them to watch Santa move from place to place.

We had homemade pasta sauce and spagetti for dinner (my family's tradition from when I was growing up) and then went to church. The kids did very well at the candlelight service. They sat through the whole service without a fuss. (I did bring snacks and crayons, so that did help).

We had hot chocolate and cookies when we got home. We had made gingerbread cookie dough in the afternoon and then realized it needed to be in the refridgerator for 4 hours. Should have read that sooner. But the dough was ready after church, so we made the cookies.

And then ate a few before leaving a few for Santa.

The kids didn't get up until after 7am Christmas morning, so that helped a lot. Mat and I didn't got to bed until 12:30pm. We were up late helping Santa put presents together. We hit a few snags - Cainan's airplane GeoTrax didn't come with an airplane, the scooter handlebar was dented and wouldn't go together, the robot cat would not stop meowing and drove us crazy.......

Anyway, where was I.

Christmas morning. The kids waited patiently at the top of the stairs until we were ready for them to come down.

Cainan was the first to round the corner.

Arlington and Finley were not too far behind.

Finley was very happy to see her elephant. I was very happy Santa did not bring the 2 ton version.
Finley also got a walking baby doll. She is as cute as she is creepy.

Arlington loved her scooter the best of all. She has been riding it all over the house. Now I am kind of wishing we lived in Florida. Or that Santa would realize that we don't live in the south any longer and outdoor toys don't make the best Christmas presents.

Cainan is very excited about his batman car. He sits on it all day long. He loves it.

He even went and got his Batman costume and put it on to ride his bike.

We had a great morning opening presents. The kids were overwhelmed with all of their new things.
Arlington gave Mat and I her present she made in school. It was very sweet.

The kids played with their presents all day. Bargain girl got a new outfit.

Santa really needed to get her a gift certificate to get a new hairdo.
Cainan was the only one who took a nap. Finley was too excited to sleep, so she stayed up with Arlington.

We had a great afternoon spending time together. The kids stayed in their pajamas all day, and they really loved that.

(She is such a weirdo. She is an original!)

We had a nice dinner here at the house - just us. I cooked. :) Aren't you proud?

Another wonderful Christmas day has come to pass.

Saturday we spent the day shopping. We wanted to hit some of the after Christmas sales on the Christmas decorations. Us, and everyone else around here. It was busy! But we had fun. We got many new Christmas goodies to add to my growing pile. Don't worry, I won't bore you with the pictures.

But we did get two little trees. Ah!! I have joined the "more than one tree" ranks. The girls have wanted a little tree in their room, so Arlington and I found this little pink tree.

Isn't it cute? I let the girls pick out the little ornaments they put on it, plus the bow and the skirt. And the little presents. The tree was only about $10, and the ornaments a few dollars more. We couldn't resist.

Of course, Cainan needed one as well. His is a little smaller, but has these really cool lights. We decorated it and put it up as well.

I know that Christmas is over, but the kids really wanted to see the trees up and we still have our company arriving to visit. So, it was worth putting the trees up. :)

So there you have it!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday! Here are a few more pictures to enjoy.

Update: I want to say congratulations to my sister in law, Teen, and her husband, Frank on becoming first time parents this evening to a BEAUTIFUL baby girl they named Reese. Congratulations to the both of you! We love you very much and cannot wait to see her in person!

Postponed post

Hi there! I will post either tomorrow or Monday our Christmas photos and info. We were out shopping all day for after Christmas sales, and we just finished some Wii playing and movie watching, and I am tired.

So, until then......


Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Goodbye grass - see you in March

21 inches.

All in one night.
We love snow - don't get me wrong. It is pretty - much prettier than the brown grass.

But this is a bit much. It is going to be months before it melts. We have snow drifts up to 4 feet tall, and now very, very large piles of snow where we had to dig out the driveway.

Our very nice neighbor used his snow blower to do our driveway.

Isn't it cool looking - how it cuts the snow like that?

The kids loved it. Cainan scared me half to death in the morning when he looked out of his window and then proceeded to come screaming in our room "It's Christmas!" at the top of his lungs. I was sound asleep.

We have to work on "how to tastefully wake your parents" with that boy.

After swallowing breakfast, and spending 1 hour getting all three kids in their snow gear, we went out to start digging out.

It was still snowing lightly when we went out, but it didn't last long. The damage came all in the hours while we were sleeping.

Finley likes the snow - for about 10 minutes. She went out, ate some, and then wanted to come back inside.
No way - after getting her all dressed up - was I going to allow her back in the house after a few minutes.

She settled and did stay out for an hour playing around. She went back and forth between playing and sitting in the van watching.

Cainan had a great time. Last year he didn't want to be outside hardly at all. This year, he didn't want to go inside!

He did fall forward a few times, and proceeded to get stuck face down in the snow. He couldn't budge in all of those snow clothes.

Arlington had a blast, of course.

She spent the longest outdoors. She wasn't cold at all.

She ate a ton of snow. I didn't have to feed her lunch.

Just kidding.
She went down the slide because it was covered in snow and it just. looked. fun.

And of course we broke out the boogie board sled. Arlington went down the driveway over and over until we finally made her come inside.

Yes the snow is cold and wet and annoying. But to the kids it is beautiful and fun and it never lasts long enough.

That is how we spent our Sunday!

Monday it was back to school and work. Arlington's school had a 90 minute delay. Mine, however, went right on time. The roads were clear, so really there wasn't an excuse, but it would have been nice.

This morning the kids were playing with an old train set that we have before school.

They are funny about old toys - they can be under a bed for a year and then all of the sudden, they are the most exciting toy we own.

Today was our last full day of school/work this week. Very exciting to know that vacation is near! Arlington's class had a breakfast this morning for their Christmas party.

Mat went to the party and Arlington was thrilled to have a parent there to share the party with.

They had all kinds of yummy breakfast foods. There was even another dad there, which I am sure made Mat feel better.

This is Arlington's teacher doing something with the class.

She is a wonderful teacher and we are thrilled Arlington is in her class. She is a perfect fit for our girl.

Tonight was my nurse's Christmas dinner/get together. We had a great time. We tried not to talk shop much, but usually when we are together, we have to talk business as well. But it was nice to see them.

So that is all. May all of you have a wonderful holiday. We are all looking forward to being together here at our house for 11 days without interruption. It is going to be great.

See you Saturday!