Friday, November 30, 2007

Woof, woof!

One of Leah's favorite games is to pretend that she is a dog, as she crawls around on her hands and knees, barks, and plays fetch. She then proceeds to jump on the couch, stick her tongue out, and lick me on the face.

Does it make me a bad mom to say that this totally grosses me out?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Simple Things...

This past weekend was no doubt a crazy one to be out and about, as we "kicked off" the Christmas season. I chose to ring in the day by sleeping in (Leah was at her grandparent's house) and going out to breakfast with my husband. It was a lovely, lovely day, and I wasn't dead tired by the end of it. However, on Sunday I was in the grocery store with Leah, fighting the crowd there as well. I wanted to just get in/get out, and Leah wanted to look at everything. I was trying to rush her along, and admittedly became frustrated with her lack of rush. All of a sudden, while I was trying to maneuver my cart through the aisle, Leah stopped dead in her tracks, and said, "Mommy, it's my song from church!". In my rush, I hadn't even heard the music playing overhead. "Away in the manger, no crib for a bed," sang Leah, complete with actions, in the middle of the grocery store. Suddenly, I too was stopped in my tracks. A lesson of peace learned from my four year old daughter. How quickly we get swept up in the insanity, and forget to focus on the Christ-child. For a few brief moments in the middle of busy day I was able to re-focus myself, and enjoy the simple things of the season.

Thank you, Jesus, for muzak. And thank you for a child who still hears you above all the noise.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's the snow's fault!

Today, I broke my hard and fast holiday rule, and I listened to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

Whatever, I blame it on the snow.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wanna Bet?

I have a bit of a competitive streak. Mike knows this well. I like to make little bets with him, and I like to win. However, Mike does not like to take my bets unless he knows he will win. Usually they are stupid little things where we both think we are right, so we bet on it, and have a little fun with it. I apparently haven't learned my lesson yet, since Mike is usually the winner in the bets that he takes. I haven't figured out how to trick him yet! Anyway, this week we bet on something rather silly, but the terms of the bet was that the loser would cook the winner breakfast on Saturday morning. Of course, I lost. So.....this morning I woke up and started on the breakfast. Saturday morning breakfasts are one of my favorite meals to eat together because it just has the feeling of vacation, and of taking a moment to spend time together. Mike was still in bed when I started frying the bacon. I also made really delicious coffee, a flavor called "Autumn Nights". How good does that sound? I made some eggs to go with the bacon, and then started in on the "special treat" of the morning. I had seen this week Paula Deen make fried cranberry fritters, so I thought I would give it a try. Basically, they were cranberry sauce dipped in batter and deep fried, so it was like a cranberry donut. It was so good! I was going to take a picture of mine, but I forgot, so you can check it out
here. They were delicious, and kind of a fun thing to have for my lost bet of a breakfast.

Mike is now outside mowing up the massive amounts of leaves that we have in our yard, and I'm getting ready to frost a cake we're bringing to a get-together tonight with friends from church. The cake is called "Country Bumpkin Pumpkin Torte", and it looks wonderful! I realize so many of my posts lately are about cooking...this time of year just makes me want to try all sorts of new recipes! If the cake is a hit I will post the recipe up here later.

So, in the spirit of the great Southern Paula Deen, Happy Fall, Ya'll!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Talking Turkey...

(For those of you who also read/know about my other blog on xanga, I will be cross-posting for a little while until I phase over here for good, so if you go there and think you are seeing double, you are!)

As I mentioned a few days ago, Mike and I decided to take advantage of the pre-Thanksgiving turkey specials and buy a big one to cook up and use to make several different meals. Kind of like using turkey leftovers, without the firstover, I guess! So I bought a 15 lb. turkey at .57/lb. and Mike graciously made it on Sunday. I have been making turkey dinners ever since, but I think we have a great variety of meals for really very little money. For under $100, I have made six turkey meals, one pork roast meal, and two non-turkey soups. All of the meals are good for at least two meals for our family, so we are set for at least 18 meals!

In case any of you are interested, the turkey meals I made came from either cookbooks that I have or from googling "turkey leftovers". I ended up with the following meals: turkey chili, turkey a la king (to be put over rice or pasta later), turkey/cranberry wraps, turkey crescent roll pockets, white bean and turkey stew, and turkey santa fe soup (kind of a taco-type soup). All this, and I have two bags of turkey left that I've frozen to pull out for a soup or other dish. If you would like any of my recipes, just leave me a comment and I'll get them to you.

I think I'm going to buy another turkey while the prices are still good to use for later on in the winter. I just hope that we're not all turkey-ed out by Thanksgiving!

Gobble Gobble...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Getting involved...

Mike and I have been making a renewed effort to get more involved in our community, specifically the neighborhood where we live. We moved here a little over 2 years ago and time and time again are amazed at the community feel that this neighborhood has. We have summer picnics, Christmas parties, Easter egg hunts, babysitting co-ops...good things to get involved with. Mike is going to start with the citizen patrol next weekend, driving around the neighborhood one weekend night to make sure everything is what it should be. We are excited for the chances to get to know our neighbhors, and be a real part of this place.

One thing that started up last week was a wine club involving about 12 people from our neighborhood. We plan on meeting at least bi-monthly to taste different wines, which is something Mike and I enjoy very much. Last week our theme was "Holiday wines", so each couple brought a bottle that they thought would go well with a holiday meal. We brought a red zinfandel made by Cline of California, and it was really good. We tasted each of seven wines, and then rated them. The winning wine was a 2005 Cabernet from California as was really delicious and seemed to please a variety of people. The evening started off just about wine, and ended up with everyone having great conversation. I think a glass or two of wine helped us along! We are looking forward to getting together again, this time bringing a wine with the theme of "funky labels". It's nice that we don't take ourselves too seriously! You can expect more wine reviews as the club continues...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Busy day...

I just finished making my grocery list for the day, and I'm going to be heading out here this morning to brave the grocery store in the hopes that I can cook the afternoon away. Last fall Mike and I started making a month of meals at a time, since I work in the evenings and it was just getting hard to figure out a quick, nutritious meal. We loved it but due to a variety of things we got away from doing it for the last several months. Well, I decided it's time to get back to it, so this week I've been gathering things up to do it again. It's quite a production on the day of cooking, but it's so worth it when we're all done. I don't know how many meals will get made today...we're all still getting over the cold/flu junk that has plagued our home for the last few weeks, so we do what our energy allows us to do. I also picked up a turkey that we're going to bake either today or tomorrow and then cut up for a bunch of meals. It's nice to do when they are so cheap, and since we're not having Thanksgiving at our house this year we won't have any turkey leftovers. So that's on tap for the weekend.

We also have a backyard full of leaves which need to be dealt with today. A friend of mine who lives in a neighborhood with very few trees remarked to me that driving through our neighborhood makes her feel like it really is fall. We love our neighborhood because of all the trees, but in the fall our four big ones in the backyard create quite a lot of work. It's worth it, and they are so beautiful as they change colors.

Alright, enough procrastination....I should get stuff done this morning before the stores get too crazy. Gotta love the holidays!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A tip for sick kids!

With all the cautions in the news these days about cold medicine and children, I have been very careful with the things that I give to my daughter to battle her cold. Last week I was talking with a friend who mentioned that she wanted her kids to get a cough so that she could try out a new idea to combat it. She had read, and someone from her church confirmed, that putting Vick's Vapor Rub on the bottoms of the feet would help a cough. Now, I'm a bit skeptical, but it sounded like something reasonable to try should the occasion ever arise. Well, last night it did. I was doped up on Nyquil (a lovely, lovely invention), but still woke up to Leah coughing in the middle of the night. I went over to her bed and tried to soothe her with a back rub, some water, etc. She still coughed and coughed, for easily 20 minutes. Finally, somewhere in my brain I remembered the Vick's idea, so I went scrounging around and found some with the help of my sleepy husband. I rubbed it on Leah's feet, doubting that it would work since the cough was really really bad. But....within a minute her cough had stopped completely and she was sound asleep! I was amazed, and very thankful. I quickly succumbed to the powers of the Nyquil once again.

Why does it work? I have no idea. But, in a desperate moment it was worth a try, and now it's worth passing along. Here's hoping it's something that you never have to use, but in the event that you do, here's hoping that you can remember it! :)