Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanks Giving Bloat

Well Thanksgiving is over and I am left feeling bloated and unhealthy, and also craving sweets like crazy.  "No brain, down, stop you can't eat an entire bag of chocolate chips!!"  Oh well such is the aftermath of days filled with wonderful food and glorious deserts.  I am embarking on a new mindset, one in which I don't beat my self up for days over the extra slice of pie or the late night pizza of the holidays but instead just go right back to eating as healthy as I find possible.  Yesterday may have been a calorie overload but today I am going to make sure I get my four to five servings of fruits and vegetables, I am going to make myself eat something healthy like an apple before I indulge in the chocolate chips, maybe then my brain will begin to rewire itself.  I feel like I can make small changes which hopefully will add up to bigger losses when it comes to the scale, but my new mindset also dictates that I think less about scale numbers and more about the health of my body, the vitamins and minerals and antioxidants that I am putting into my one and only body.  And thankfully my wonderful husband doesn't seem to notice my bigger thighs and sagging boobs, he thinks a big butt is more butt for him to ogle.  Praise God for that man and his blurry vision when it comes to me!!!

Thanksgiving was wonderful and visiting with my parents was great.  I love and miss them so much the only problem with their visits is it makes it so much harder being away from them.  The one thing that I hold on to is the fact that we'll be going out there in a month for christmas (oh crap christmas is in a month!! How will I ever get everything done!!)  I have so much to be thankful for.  Remember that object lesson from when you were a kid and you would trace your hand and make it into a turkey?  Then you would right something in each finger space that you were thankful for?  Well I have way more then four or five things but I will give you five anyway:  God and my spirituality, my husband and sweet sweet boys, my mom dad and sisters who bring me comfort and laughter, my friends who listen to me jabber on and on, my grammy and papa who delight my heart...I have amazing aunts and uncles and a great church, I get to stay at home with my kids and watch a dear little girl, I have a cozy home and a little spending money, couple that with the fact that the christmas season is upon us and I am overwhelmed with gratitude.  Thank you Jesus for all you've given this pretty unremarkable person.

One last little thought to bring this blog fully into the christmas holiday.  When you see the words "happy holidays" plastered on signs and cards don't get bent out of shape.  The word "holiday" means "holy day" and that is a great reminder that christmas isn't about presents and stress it is a holy day set aside to celebrate the birth of our saviour.  Also it isn't a bad thing to respect the other holy days of jewish chanukah; in a way we christians are their offspring, jewish spiritual history is our spiritual history, after all Jesus would have celebrated chanukah as well as his birth day.

Last year christmas morning

Monday, November 23, 2009

Welcome back to the Land of the Living

Well the flue is finally behind us.  I hate getting sick because it doesn't just end with you no matter how careful you are, no matter how many times you sanitize someone else is going to get sick and then someone else after them.  Brian ended up catching it at almost the same time as me so there we were sick as dogs with no one to watch the children.  Although we did have a couple of friends and neighbors who ended up taking a kid here for a couple hours and making us dinner there, thank goodness for the kindness of others.

Hunter watched way too much television and ate way to many weird dinners, poor kid.  He was the only one who managed to come out of it almost clean, he ran a very low fever for a couple of days but I don't think he even noticed.  Conner ran a fever for a good five days and they both ended up with runny noses which was a little strange since that's not what happened to Brian and I.  We really missed Maddie because apparently she is a baby entertainer, Conner was sooooo needy and now today she's back and he's his happy little self again.

Now it seems to finally have ran it's course and while I'm still getting tired easy I think we're finally back to normal.  Of course I had to dig our way out of the house, especially the bedroom where we had been living, and since we had done nothing but lay around I finally was inspired to get out the christmas decorations which I know is early for some but late for me.  I like to get it out because I always dust really well, so everything seems clean and it's just a nice break from my regular decorations.  I love Christmas anyway but it's good because when I take christmas down in a couple of months I'll have a greater appreciation for all of my other decorations, books and tea pots etc.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Things I love about White Christmas

Oh man this movie is good.  It's romantic, cheesy and funny a perfect combination.  Don't you just love all the dancing and awesome costumes?  And I love that the women all wear pearls, even the granddaughter susan wears them.  There is this one scene where Betty is wearing the cutest shoes ever, I mean they look totally uncomfortable but man are they cute.  And I love the scene where Davis and Betty's sister, Judy, are dancing out side in Florida, it's hilarious.  they dance on a pier with a convenient slidy thing and do a tap dance on top of an upside down canoe!!  It seriously does not get better then that.  I am convinced that if we sang and danced our way through life it would be a lot more fun and way more romantic.

Then in the end when the general walks into the dining room and all of his men fall to attention...I cry every time.  He does inspection and goes on about how they're "sloppy and unruly etc." then he says "it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen" tears running down my face!  And of course then at the very end it finally snows saving the major general's ski resort, and a horse and sleigh go by... and you really can't beat Bing Crosby singing White Christmas can you?

Judy and her dance partner look so happy when they're dancing, man I wish I could dance (I can fall really well, dance not so much) They do not make movies like this any more.

I've got the flue

Oh I should have added a bottle of Canadian Dry to this picture.

I've got the flue, or something broncial/ fever/ my hips are aching sooo bad.  Plus of course if I'm sick (or tired, or thirsty, or have watched too much tv) I also have a headache.  Please don't feel too bad for me, I feel a lot better then I did yesterday and I'm hoping I'll feel even better tomorrow.  Really the worst thing with being sick is the paranoia that every one else in the house is going to catch it.  I hate hate having sick children, it makes me feel so completely helpless and super on edge because they aren't old enough to get to the bathroom on time, or tell me what's wrong.  Then there's the problem of wondering "should I take them to the doctors?" it's just horrible.  I would rather be sick ten times then have my kids get sick.  I don't like it when Brian's sick either, he's hard to take care of and then I get tired from dealing with the kids (isn't that horrible to say?) all by myself.  All this to say that I know a lot of women who's husbands aren't that good at managing the house with out them or realizing when they're wives really are ill but my husband is so good at taking care of me, which is probably not that easy because I am a baby when I'm sick (our roles must be reversed in this area) I am a winer when I don't feel good, and if I'm running a fever I cry a lot, it's like my body temperature is directly related to my tear ducts.

Today we had planned a youth event that we were going to take Hunter too and already had a babysitter lined up for conner, so that ended up working out as well as it could.  I get to be at home a lone with a big pile of christmas movies.  I'm hoping that they'll finally get me motivated to decorate and sew (I love christmas but it's been so warm here I keep forgetting that it's already November).  And Conner's babysitter, a friend of mine from church just called to say she's making us dinner isn't that so sweet?  I mean for someone that's not even your mom or grandma to take care of you like that?  That's the church family in action.

So now, after sanitizing all the toys, books, door knobs, and surfaces, after putting all the pacifiers, bottles, and sippy cups through the bottle sanitizer I have to decide what to watch.  I'll probably go with Irving Berlin's White Christmas because I can get Brian or the kids to watch the other ones with me but he really hates White Christmas and I love it.  I consider the movies in the above photo to be the best Christmas movies ever (I'm even having a hard time accepting that there is a new Christmas Carol coming out because I love the muppits so much).  What are your favorite christmas movies?  If you haven't tried The Muppits Christmas Carol, you really should it's brilliant and I think that It's a Wonderful Life is actually one of the best movies ever made.

Well I'm exhausted it's off to a cup of ginger ale and a nap, then a movie, I hope all your days are germ free!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Am I Crazy?

Let the crazy begin!!

Maddie is always such a good helper

The answer is yes I am crazy in a million different ways but today's query centers on one issue.  I have a scheduling problem and while I love quiet I must subconsciously love chaos because I keep adding more and more to my life.  I am not complaining I am actually quite happy right now but I can tell you one thing for sure I am super glad I never had twins.

Let me explain, first my neighbor recently decided to quit her job and be a stay at home mom (good for her I mean this is the one of the best things she'll ever do for her kids) but she needs someone to watch her daughter (a baby younger then Conner) one day a week.  The are offering amazing pay and I think it will be great for Conner...eventually; right now it's just crazy.  I mean I seriously do not know how mothers of twins could do it, let alone bigger multiple births.  They aren't being bad but it's just hard, you have two non-walking babies who want to eat, burp, cry and be held at the same time.  And on top of that I offered to let my other neighbor's new puppy out once a day not really thinking how all of this would collide at the same time.  It's like the perfect storm of crazy.  (And yesterday I totally offered to babysit while forgetting I was having guests for dinner, seriously what is wrong with me?)  But you know what it all worked out and it's only once a week when it all happens at once.  The extra money is going to be really nice, just for fun, "mad money" God really watches out for us doesn't he I mean after complaining about the grocery budget "bam" he provides with the extra money.

I have a couple of things I keep meaning to write about:
conspiracy advent
the jar on my dresser
and coffee club

maybe this list will remind me when I can't think of what to say and hopefully wet your appetite to stay tuned or at least make you wonder what goes on in my brain.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This is a magic truck box, and tasty  fingers.

It is sooo warm here!!! I know I keep going on and on but any of you that have lived in Michigan or the upper midwest states know how wonderfully strange it is.  I mean it is Nov 10 or 11th (I'm not really sure) and I was sweating outside at noon.  The sun it out, the sky is blue, I mean this is just such a blessing.

I've been wanting to have a tiny garden (veggie)  for the last couple of years but always put it off until it's too late to start.  Really I bought a book about organic gardening with children and it freaked me out so much,  I was like "What how on earth can I remember all of this?" plus the part on pests was way too scary for me.  So I thought, why don't I start small with just a couple of things, sort of ignore the book and do it the best I can and see what happens.  We took down this playskool house of the kids and it was a perfect square of dead grass so I got inspired while we were outside and dug it up!! I am going to add in some coffee grounds for texture (lome?) and go to the store and just buy some fertilizer and grub killer sort of get it ready for the spring (we'll just pretend it's organic), and oh I am going to plant strawberries there because we LOVE them and if it works out and there is enough I can make some jam.  I also have another square of dead grass and started to dig that up for carrots and radishes or something only to find electrical lines; oops!!! I've been thanking God that I didn't go up in flames or short out the neighborhood (really how stupid even after all the advertisements about not digging I still didn't think about it).  I'm also hoping to get raspberry bushes in the spring because those are my absolute favorite and they're just so darn expensive in the store. But I feel like I can handle that; bushes and one square patch of strawberries...

This is what my flower garden looks like today in NOVEMBER!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Indian Summer

This is what Conner did during "Indian Summer"

What do you think?  Pretty dapper in his glasses, am I right?

Oh my goodness it is absolutely heavenly here.  I mean it was so warm saturday and sunday I was outside without a jacket!!!  I think it was in the sixties, can you imagine it's November and we're outside running around like it's May?  I know the ick and snow is coming so this was wonderful it felt like such a huge blessing to be outside and using the new swing set.  We used the opportunity to get the leaves bagged up and then I did the yearly climb to the roof to clean out the gutters (Brian is afraid of heights and I kind of like the challenge).  The part that scares me the most is the climbing off the roof it's just a little frightening taking that first step onto the ladder.

Hunter got his glasses Friday and every one says he looks totally cute.  He's been really good about keeping on them his face so maybe he can tell that he's seeing better.  When you get a new eye prescription everything looks weird Hunter dealt with this by stomping around the office, falling down (on purpose) and totally entertaining everyone there.

Here's a question for you what do you do with a kid who starts punishing himself?  Saturday Brian was in the shower and I was laying in bed trying to get up when I heard Hunter say "Dad, I'm in the naughty chair!" he kept calling him until Brian went to him "dad I ripped that" pointing to a envelope "so I'm in the naughty chair." And then today he had two accidents he looks at me after the second shrugs his shoulders and says "Oh well, no wii." (which is his punishment if you wee in your pants then no wii for the rest of the day).  It's pretty funny, although, the accidents themselves are getting old.  Hunter loves the show Kipper the dog.  Kipper is an english dog and today Hunter comes up to me and says "I'm packing to go on holiday." I thought that was hilarious!!  What would Hunter take on "holiday": a wooden box, a stuffed bear, a red mat, one cymbal and one maraca.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


This apple was huge!!!  And look at these cute helpers, they kept sneaking apples out of the pot when my back was turned.

Isn't my red dutch oven thingy so pretty and fall looking?

Finished product, I used those tongs to get them out of the water, it worked but not well I totally stuck my finger into boiling water.

I did it I canned something successfully!!!  Oh I can see how canning could become totally addictive especially with the right tools (which I did not have).  I made my holiday spice apple sauce out of some awesome and huge apples from Gull Meadow Farms, but since it's homemade I wanted it to keep and thought hey why not try canning?  My only other attempt years ago was a disaster but this worked out great.  I love that little "ping" when the seal took to the jars.

The secret to my holiday spice apple sauce is the right kind of apples (spys and jonathans) cinnamon, sugar and cloves (just a bit a little cloves goes a long long way) yummy.  It's like a grown up version of apple sauce although, my kids liked it too.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Today I made pie. I love pie I think that is the principal reason that I finally buckled down and went through the hell it is to learn to make pie crust. I don't care what pillsbury says there is something off about their crust. My Grammy has always been the alfa pie maker in our family followed closely by my Aunt Debbie, who, I'm told, once spent two days in the kitchen making and throwing out pie crusts until she got it right (I also imagine there was a lot of swearing going on during those two days) but she like me was able to look into the future and think that someday someone else beside Grammy would need to know how to make a decent pie (not to be dramatic or morbid). Also as good as Grammies pies are, I like pie so much that in order to get my fill I had to learn to make it myself because there are never enough family get-togethers to warrant getting Grammy to make me enough pie. Plus this gives me a skill that makes cool and invaluable to my dad and sisters.

My favorite pie is raspberry, which has two crusts and tons of raspberries which are more expensive then gold at the grocery store.  Grammy always made me at least one a summer (my Grandpa had raspberry bushes) and would cut my first initial out of the top crust so it could vent.  Oh mama there is nothing better tasting in the entire world then a warm piece of raspberry pie with vanilla ice cream!!  I went years without getting a raspberry pie, then last summer my dad and I discovered wild berries where they live while Grammy was visiting; jackpot!!  I managed to get one this summer as well.  After raspberry it's hard to choose between dutch apple, pumpkin (my sister heather's favorite), pecan (my mom's favorite) peanut butter (my dad's favorite or is his favorite key lime?)...Oh how I love pie!!

Luckily, or not depending on how you look at it, my husband does not like pie (I think it's lucky or I would weigh a lot more) so I only make them if I'm having company.  Today is a potluck at church and I always sign up to bring desert (because beyond pie I love dessert and baking in general) so since it's fall and my fridge is full of apples I am taking apple and pumpkin.

below is my recipe for pie crust, it's a good tasting recipe as long as you use the off brand crisco because it still has trans-fats which must make the crust light and flaky.  Since crisco changed their recipe their crusts are horribly tough.  Some things are just better with a little trans-fat.  I wish I could say that you will never have problems with a pie crust if you follow these instructions but it's just not true.  You will swear and stomp your feet as your learning and you will piece crusts together (at least I still do) but I think it is well worth the pain.  You will be an enigma if you make your own crust, I'm pretty sure I'm one of like only three people my age that can make a pie crust.  Don't worry about how it looks at first it's the taste that really matters I've been making them for four or five years now and mine are only just now becoming consistently pretty.  And remember the number one rule is don't over work it, stir it less then you think you should.

Simple Pastry
makes one 9 inch double crust pie
2 1/2 Cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 stick of butter chilled
1/2 Cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 Tbs vinegar

In a food processor (if your lucky enough to have one) or with a pastry blender or your fingers combine the flour salt butter and shortening until you get crumbs that are about the size of peas (don't over think it).  Break the egg into a measuring cup and beat in the vinegar add enough cold water to equal 1/2 cup.  Stir into flour mixture until a soft dough forms (don't over stir you will still have flour hanging out on its own on the bottom of the bowl). Divide dough in half wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk, refrigerate for at least one hour. (The vinegar and refrigerating will make it a little easier to work with and roll out, and allow you to store the crust if you only use one half; you can store the other in the fridge for a couple days or in a plastic bag in the freezer for three months, partially thaw before rolling it out.)

I have a theory that a persons favorite pie can tell you a lot about their personality.  I'm sweet, a little tart and full of crazy (the seeds), so what about you are you spicy and warm like pumpkin, a little nutty like pecan or just plain weird and alien by not liking pie at all?  Let's see if my pie personality idea is correct.