Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Swap

I've been looking forward to swapping out all the fall decoration for the Christmas stuff. With the painting project, I had to line everything against the wall for it's protection. En mass, it looks like a lot, but I've determined that what I think I have and what I actually have is a very different.

Fall lasts around three months and Christmas get one month.
It used to be shorter, the life of a "real" Christmas tree in California is about three days, if you're lucky. We'd usually get a tree after Jack's birthday and cross our fingers that it would last until Christmas. Now that we have a fake tree, I'm putting it up as soon as Thanksgiving is done.

Off to put a tree together...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

It's not Black Friday at our house. I went and got some paint at Lowes and painted the living room a Churchill Hotel Wheat.

Today was a case of "If you give Suzanne a Christmas Tree", she'll end up moving the furniture, if she moves the furniture, she'll want to paint the room. If she goes to get paint, she'll forget to get a paintbrush, and then she'll have to do all the prep work before she cuts in. Once she finished the bulk of the room, she couldn't very well leave it 90% done. Went to Lowes to get a paintbrush, then I had no excuse to not finish the room. Then I couldn't stop with the living room, I had to start the hallway.

I didn't get the Christmas tree up like I planned, but I did get the living room painted.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Things I am thankful for;

-Family, near and far
-Health (When you haven't got your health, what else have you got?)
-Leaves to rake, grass to mow, driveway to shovel (Even if I grumble, I am thankful to have a house to care for)
-Our Country, the freedoms we have

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Begining to Feel A Lot Like Thanksgiving

It's the day before Thanksgiving and I have started the long process of Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey sat in a cold bath for a few hours today in hopes that it's completely defrosted for tomorrow. I started the sweet potatoes and just need to heat them up. Rolls are being mixed as I type. I decided to do them today, mostly to have them done and not wimp out making them.

Admittedly, I am making a "lean" dinner. I am going to forgo the mashed potatoes (probably the gravy as well) since the kids are barely interested in them. I wouldn't mind cutting out the stuffing, but Michael requested that. I asked the kids if they wanted green beans, I got an emphatic NO. Jack will be helping me make broccoli instead.

As for dessert, the traditional pumpkin pie was made today. I called Debbie for pumpkin pie assistance, but she was the wrong sister to call for pie questions. The directions called for the pie to be in the oven for just over an hour, mine was in for an hour and twenty-five minutes. It looked jiggly when I took it out, but it managed to firm up nicely. As for the taste? Well, nothing a lot of whipped cream can't cover, right?
I was going to make an caramel apple pie, but I'm afraid that I don't have it in me. I went to the grocery store this morning and forgot to buy the caramels. Being resourceful, I decided to make
dulce de leche but that takes a long time and I might make a back up dessert. I'm not sure that I want to make a whole pie, perhaps apple crisp with the dulce de leche drizzled on top. We'll see how tomorrow goes. I might just cut up apples and dip them in the sauce.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brag List

It's a little early in the day to be done, but I feel like I've conquered the world and I should stop while I'm ahead.

My laundry list of things I've done;

Went to Lowes
Put up outside Christmas Lights
Raked leaves (four bags full)
Pulled weeds
Cleaned out the basement window wells

I'm fighting a cold and I decided to muscle my way through. I just keep repeating "I'm not sick"...hopefully it will be a self fulfilling prophecy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

No School Today

I woke up @ 4:30 AM and thought; "Ugg, it's Monday. I have to take the kids to school."
Well, it was definitely Monday, but the kids have the entire week off. On one hand I am happy to not be running around, on the other...well, the kids have the ENTIRE week off.

In a spirit of cooperation and desperation, I'm enlisting my kids to "deep" clean the house. We made a list of things that need to get done and they get to earn money for doing these extra chores. I am selling them on the idea that they get to earn this money for Christmas. I must have done a good job selling the idea, they were actually excited to do a few of the chores. So far, Jack is in the lead with $.75 followed up by fifty cents for each girl.

Tomorrow we'll be working outside once it warms up. Who wants a rake?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wish Lists

The lists have begun. Emma and Jack are writing their Christmas "wish lists". I may have to decipher them for you.

hareklips=hair clips
Santa Dell= Santa doll
miny cowch=mini couch
pollys=Polly Pockets
vityoi camera=video camera (they want to catch Santa leaving presents)

A simple list for a girl that is very girly. I'm wondering when I'll see the skateboard and ramp on her list.

Jack's List;
Crisil reaper=Crystal Reaper (Lego something)
miny bacererlyrda=mini base or alien mothership
modil shutill= model shuttle

Lily is browsing all the toy ads that have been in the mail lately. She'd be happy with everything.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dress of Choice

The kids wear "uniforms" to school which is good for me, a bit boring for them. The last school day of the month is "dress of choice" day which all the kids look forward to. Emma was so excited to get to choose her outfit that she started laying out her outfit last night. Jack just wants to wear comfy clothes.

Emma went boho chic with a hounds tooth dress, pink peter pan collared shirt, black leggings, and a new blue hat. I love that she looks a little like Punky Brewster.

The weather has definitely gotten colder. Lily is sporting her new winter coat, which I had been putting off getting. She had opinions about pink...I wanted something that wouldn't show dirt. She was pleased as punch that the jacket had pink flowers on it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mr. Postman

I had a pile of things to get in the mail and I've been putting it off as long as I could. For some reason I could never remember to get the padded envelopes when I was at the store. That was the first of many hurdles. I wanted to find cute funny cards to go with the packages...that didn't happen. Who wants to browse through the card section with a three year old?!

Finally I could put it off no longer. Birthday gifts were going to turn into Christmas presents, and I don't want to go there. Thankfully Michael had taken the day off. He must have known that staying home sick would mean that he'd get to watch Lily. Lucky him, lucky me.

I had a brief hour in which to go to the Library and the post office before I needed to pick kids up from school. The trip to the library was not for pleasure. I had turned in a movie case, but not the movie. Rookie mistake.

Then it was off to the post office. The long line didn't scare me, I had no kids to wrestle with. I was able to get three packages in the mail. As for the funny cards, nice wrapping, and perfect presents...well, that didn't happen. I hope everyone that gets the packages enjoys what's in them. I figure it's the thought that counts, right?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Zoo Trip

I can count on one hand how many times I've been adventuresome and ventured to the "big city". The big city, Denver is only 45 minutes away, but it seems like an eternity. I find that if I can't get it in my small town, than I must not need it. Monday was such a nice day that a friend called to ask if I wanted to head to the zoo on Tuesday to take advantage of a summer like day. By summer like, the temps were in the low 80's. Perfect!

We got the the zoo just as it was opening. Waited in what seemed like a Disneyland line (really long, but goes fast). I think that everyone had the same idea, enjoy the warm outdoors while we can. I don't want to knock the Denver Zoo, but if you've ever been to the San Diego Zoo, there's no comparison. Lily seemed to enjoy the day, the favorite parts were the carousel and the train.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ice Skating

We have an outdoor ice skating rink in town and today was the opening day. We never went last year and I figured a "free" day was a good way to try it out. By free, you end up paying in other ways.

Surprisingly we were able to find hats and gloves for everyone. The weather was holding at a balmy 55 degrees. Perfect weather to slide around on the ice.

Because it was a free day, everyone in town was there. Meaning, you were lucky if you got a skate in the size that is close to your actual size. Jack nearly freaked out when he discovered that he couldn't move his toes. Lily was ok until I had her stand on the skates, then she wouldn't let go of my leg. Emma was the first to get her skates on and was on the ice before I even had on my skates.

Jack lasted about 25 mintues, only because he had a friend that was there, otherwise he would have been off the ice in under a minute. Emma had a blast, right up until she fell on her face and get a little banged up. She lasted the longest of all of us, I might just taking her next time.

Lily and I went halfway around the rink. She was SCREAMING and crying so hard that I'm sure other parents were in disbelief that I would take her on the ice. I thought that getting one of the "walkers" for her would help. No go, the walker made it worse.

Pretty much Lily and I sat on the picnic bench watching Jack and Emma. Then when Jack was done, Emma was the last kid standing. If there's a next time, bigger skates for Jack and leave Lily at home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Case of THe Drafty House

No wonder I was so cold yesterday. There was a spot in the house that had cold air moving and we thought it might be from from the basement.

Well, upon further inspection, "someone" (probably me) had left a window open. It was behind the couch and the window panes lined up just right to look like it should when it's closed. The air seemed to be spilling into a low point in the house. I'm just glad we discovered the source of the draft.

Monday, November 10, 2008


It's changed. You know, the weather! It was decidedly chilly today and I actually wore socks and shoes. I think that it's time to put away the flip flops and break out the mittens.

You can tell what frame of mind I'm in by my shopping list;

hot chocolate
apple cider
new winter coat for Lily
gloves for Jack
socks (for sliding around on the floors)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Is A Special Day

It's the day that my children DON'T sleep in. Of all the days of the week, this is the one day they choose to wake up super early. I swear that one, or all of the children, is hiding an alarm clock under their pillow. There is a conspiracy to wake up before the crack of dawn to try and get in as much cartoon time as possible.

The one good thing about getting up early is being able to start "dough" related breakfast items. I figure in about an hour and a half I'll have hot cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Right about the time I should be getting out of bed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's Like Sleeping In A Sauna

It's that time of year when the furnace starts to kick on in the middle of the night. I never knew that Colorado was so dry (until we moved here), but try and add forced heat, and you're got REALLY dry air.

I'm sure it didn't help that I had a slight cold the last day, but when the heater turns on, I wake up in a hot flash with my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. That's never fun. To top it off, my nose is making weird squeaking noises when I breathe in and out. Slightly annoying when you wake yourself up to your own snoring.

Guess I need to break out the humidifier.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Going to the Polls

I have my "I Voted" sticker to prove that I made it to the polls and cast my ballot. It was fairly painless, no lines, but I did have Lily in tow. She thought that we were going to look at boats. When we left the polling station she asked why we didn't see any boats. I'm still not sure that she knew what we were doing, but she likes the sticker she got.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Dinner

I had the best of intentions for a nice EASY Sunday dinner. I figured that I would throw the ingredients in my bread machine and have hot fresh baked bread just about the time we came home from church. I know the bread baked in the machine isn't as pretty as it is when baked in the oven, but I was going for convenience.

When we got back from church I could smell the bread in the garage. Love that smell! When I went to check on it, it had a couple minutes left on the bake cycle. I looked through the tiny window and noticed the top had collapsed sometime during the baking cycle. Bummer. It tasted fine, but it looked like a square loaf of bread with a deformed top.

Not to be deterred, I went ahead and started soup to go with the bread. My mistake was walking away and forgetting to turn down the temperature. Who knew that soup could burn so quickly?! I was outside when I could smell soup, but when I walked in the door it was obvious that the soup would NOT be edible. The good news is I didn't ruin my pot, the bad news I totally ruined dinner.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shark Attack

I wasn't going to dress up for Halloween. Then I was going to put a name tag on with "Chad" and be a dimpled Chad. I went with what I had, a recycled "flapper" costume from a couple years ago. I was pleasantly surprised at how many parents were dressed up with their young trick o' treaters.
"Shark Attack by friendly neighbor"
"Bee, Doctor, and Clone Trooper"
I had the kids empty out their bags before they went out. They didn't understand the reasoning behind taking candy out of their bags. (No, I wasn't trying to keep their candy!) When they got home, they understood why I wanted them to start with an empty bag. Emma kept saying "I got a jackpot!" Thankfully, she didn't really hit Jackpot, parts of her discarded costume were filling up the bag and made her loot of candy appear larger.