Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Mall

When I was a kid my parents would take my sister's and I to the mall, dinner and a movie about twice a year. It was a big deal and we each had five dollars we could spend, but the toy store was the last place we would stop otherwise we would want to go straight home and play with our toys (best thing I ever bought was a plastic green house that came with a gardening book). I guess this is the type of special outing you do when you have three daughters and a limited budget; it's like training or something.

Any way it was really fun and special except that we were always there when the mall started to close. I can still here that female voice "Attention Customers The Mall Will Be Closing in Fifteen Minutes." when I heard that I freaked. I wanted us to drop what ever it was we were eating, browsing, buying and run (not walk) out of the mall.  My stomach would be in knots until we were safe in our car. My mom always looked amused and I still remember her saying "they are not going to lock us in here, and if they did wouldn't that be fun?" No. That would not be fun.

All this back story just so you can understand this dream I had last night. I was running through this very huge fancy Sears being chased by Tracy Morgan (why couldn't it have been Jason Stathum?) trying to get out of the store before it closed for the night. My Grandma once told me that in her dreams she can run so fast and never get tired; that is so cool, in my dreams I always feel like I'm running through jell-o it's awful. I did notice, as I was racing through kitchen-wares, that they had the most beautifully green-blue and melon colored shake makers I'd ever seen.  I woke up as I was sticking my leg through the first set of outside doors and could see the lady (smiling, I might add) locking the second set.

The End.

for those of you who don't know
this is Tracy Morgan from SNL.

This is Jason Stathum.
He has really nice muscles.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What a Souper Day!

Today was one of those wonderful rare days where you feel warm and cozy and you don't have to go anywhere.  Thursday is my favorite day of the week because that is Brian's day off and I love having him at home with me. It's not like we spend every waking minute together it's just that I love knowing that he's here, like his presence somehow makes me feel happy, calm and peaceful.  Couple that with the huge quiet snowflakes tumbling past my window and my very wise decision to stay in my pajamas/work out clothes and you have a recipe for the perfect kind of cozy day. I made soup, home made bread pudding talked to my baby sister on the phone and sewed.   The only thing that could have made the day better would be a fire place in my living room but we have to have some goals for our futures.

Speaking of recipes I made bean soup today.  Soup is one of my favorite things to make because there's about a million variations, you get to chop stuff and drop it in the dutch oven (mine is red and pretty) and leave it on the stove all day until your ready to eat. A tiny bit of work yields a huge amount of food that's ready whenever you are.  I have blogged about my bean soup recipe before but today I thought I'd give some extra step by step pictures.

First heat a little oil in your pot and chop an onion (drop it in) then chop a bunch of celery (include the leaves they add a crazy amount of good flavor) and then any other veggies you have laying around. I happened to have carrots today, but you could also add peas or beans (see, that's why soup is so amazing I would not be surprised to find out that soup comes from the latin word for "clean out your fridge").  Stir them around add some salt and pepper and let them sweat a bit.  At this point you want to add your ham I just buy the diced packages you can find by the pre-packaged lunch meets; it's very economical.

Next add the beans. I insist for good bean soup that you have to use Randall Beans The Northern Bean Variety. If you don't use Randall beans the Soup Police will come and arrest you! (Sorry, I'm in a mood today).  Randall Beans are already seasoned or something and you add the juice and every thing just dump it in. I may or may  not have lots of relatives that work for Randall Beans in Tekonsha Michigan "the small Town with the big Fart." Oops, there I go again, geesh! They are the best for bean soup, though, even if I am biased you'll just have to trust me.

Next add chicken stock (stock is better then broth, it's richer and has more flavor) until every thing is just covered add a little more pepper put a lid on it and let it simmer on low all day until your ready to eat. Enjoy the wonderful aromas and feel a sense of pride that dinner is done. Now, go read a book or take a bath but do NOT do the laundry your husband told me that he wanted to do it.
It's not the prettiest most glamorous soup
but it is GOOD and hearty.The perfect thing for a snowy day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Have A Secret.

I do indeed.  You see I am a HUGE dork. Most of you know this but some are happily unaware that there neighbor/friend/relative/co-server is a huge giant uncoordinated nerd. You see I am good at hiding it... sort of.  I wear semi-normal clothes, I have great wonderful normal friends, I leave my house, I bathe regularly, I can carry on pretty decent conversations and I do not know how to program any thing with buttons. Because of those things I am able to hide behind a seemingly normal facade and go about my business interacting with people in a pretty normal way.

But here's the problem. When you are a dork eventually it will begin to ooze out of you. It's not even that your trying to hide it; it's more like you forgot that you were a nerd because those around you are normal, ergo, you began to think of yourself as normal. However, eventually something will happen and it will begin to creep out of you wounding innocent bystanders.

No really people around me can get hurt. You see Brian and I have become quite close to our neighbors. They're super fun and nice and have a little girl Conner's age. Plus she's a stay-at-home mom which means we can visit during the day and partake of adult conversation while the chaos rages around us.  Last week her and I were carpooling to a crocheting event (o.k., I know that sounds a little dorky any way) I stepped into her entry way with my new Converses which have no traction took a step toward there daughter slipped slid across the floor landed on my butt with a very heavy very un-lady like thump in front of them both and knocked the 18 month old down in the process.  "Sigh" they now know what I truly am.

I one time caught myself singing through a menu in front of a church friend (you know something like "eggs and toast or do I want an pancakes?" to the tune of some random nineties ballad). That's when she found out. Sometimes I forget to hide my fantasy novels or turn off my Greatest Disney Hits CD when I stop to pick some one up in my van.  It can happen in so many different ways.

You know? The most amazing thing about the leaking of nerdiness is, despite people eventually finding out my true nature, they usually still hang out with me, love me, marry me (well just one time did the marrying thing happen), and befriend me. I guess we should just accept that God made us individual and unique and while I won't ever figure out how to properly apply makeup I am really good at making four year olds laugh so I guess it's all good.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Memories From Childhood.

Isn't this cool?

My uncle Carl made this for me for my ninth or tenth birthday. It was commissioned paid for by my Grammy.  Think back to when you were nine or ten, what little girl isn't obsessed with horses at this age? All I could think about were horses and riding lessons (which I never took).  I had been collecting horses for a while and I guess my Grammy thought they needed a home.  Did you notice all the tiny individual floor boards? The roof has shingles, each stall has a window and a door that opens and closes! You could not ever find something this cool at a toy store.

Most of the horses are from when I was a girl, one was added by my sister Heather when she was nine, one has lost it's saddle and this one here in the front "Santa" gave Hunter in his stocking, it's old from an antique shop in Marshall.

While I have countless memories of these super cool toys I have one in particular that I keep thinking about. We lived in the Upper Peninsula and I took them outside in the winter and made this huge elaborate tunnel and bridge system for them to travel in. It was so cool and complex I didn't come inside until my legs were completely numb.

They live on top of Hunter's book shelf now.  He and Maddie had to wait until he turned four to play with them so you can imagine the excitement that surrounds them. They only play with them at the table under supervision because I know, from experience, how easily these horses lose legs and hoofs. But some day it will be completely he and Conner's and it makes me so grateful that I have something like this I can pass down because they are less then enthused about my one-of-a-kind doll house, and I already sold my American Girl collection; but horses, they'll play with. Thank you Grammy thank you uncle Carl for loving me so much that you would make me something this unique this awesome.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Christmas was a blast and also very crazy. I know it seemed weird and strange for my sisters who are feeling the grown-up blues this year but for us it was so fun and magical. This was the first year that Hunter had a frame of reference for what Christmas was. He was so excited for months and every thing was exciting. It sort of brings back some of those feelings of when you were a kid. How awesome that we get to re-live some of those things through our children!

That coupled with the fact that I crocheted two stuffed animals, four pairs of gloves, seven scarves, embroidered two pillow cases, played my trumpet in the church cantata and kept up with all the fun baking and shopping etc. made for a busy holiday. Surprisingly it wasn't that stressful which is just wonderful. I think having two boys so into it this year helped keep it all in perspective.

I went out to mom's and when I came home I just looked around and thought "blah Christmas needs to come down." which is strange for me I usually leave it up until well into January but it just felt like a new year a new look in my home. And while I have gotten rid of some stuff and am in the midst of hanging new picture arrangements it's not as different as I would like. I don't know, I may paint the walls... Time for a change any way.

this barn is just like the one my Grammy had for us while we were young. I found it an an antique shop (how old am I again?) and after such a struggle thinking what to get Conner it turned out to be a perfect choice; he loves it.

Well I hope your holidays were great and I hope your 2011 finds you doing really well. Enjoy the pics of the boys and some of my handi-work (why didn't I take more pics of the stuff I made for postereity? Oh well.)
I made these using Alicia Paulson's book on embroidery for my grandparents whom are always difficult to buy for. They turned out very well and I was pleased with them. I cross stiched right onto pillow cases I bought from TJ Max
This little guy was made for my nephew who's nursery is an ocean theme. He's too little to care buy his mom  loved it!