Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the season. . .

Tis the season for pulling taffy. . .

And pulling some more taffy.  My kids love to make homemade taffy with their dad.  It is a dad thing at our house.  Love it.

Tis the season for jammin' to Christmas songs

Tis the season for visiting the big man--love Mr J's expression, not quite sure about this guy in the red suit, is he?

Tis the season for a  5K "fun run" and 3K walk, but honestly I don't know how anyone can call running fun especially on a below freezing and extremely windy day (or any day for that matter).  Notice their mother is not with them.  Their grandmother is.  Their mother, father, and little brother stayed warmly in the car and watched.  :)  I know I am a wimp.

Tis the season for my girl to run her first 5K, and she finished 5th overall and 1st of the women on that below freezing and extremely windy day.  Way to go girl.  She has no problem with fun running--just her mom does :) 

Tis the season for school Christmas programs where no one has a problem when the kids sing "Silent Night" "Mary Had a Baby" and "Joy to the World."  We know what the season is all about, and it is so important that our kids do too. 

And tis the season to take a break, relax, and enjoy it, so I will be taking a blog break until after the holidays. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to all my readers! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gingerbread men cookies

My kids love decorating anything with frosting, especially when they can use the frosting bags and all the different tips.  Gingerbread men were on our Christmas countdown chain the other day.  So they got busy.
Miss O shows lots of concentration.  She was working hard.

I think the cookies tasted pretty good too-YUM!  This poor guy already lost a leg.

Everyone decorated some.  They looked really cute.

I think Mr J did about 10.  He was whipping them out like you wouldn't believe.  Here is the recipe I used.  I got it off of, and it was good.  Not too overpowering--a more mellow gingerbread cookie. 

Gingerbread Men

1 small box butterscotch pudding
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tes baking soda
1 1/2 tes ground ginger
1 tes cinnamon

Cream together dry pudding mix, butter and brown sugar until smooth.  Add egg.  Combine the rest of the dry ingredients and then add into the pudding mix.  Mix well.  Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until firm.  Roll out, cut shapes and bake 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Cool before frosting.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

And the winner is. . .

Today was extra exciting, and I will tell you why. . .
This guy came to our middle school.  Who is he?  He is the Kansas State Treasurer, and he came just to see my daughter.  Why you ask?  Well a few months ago she entered an essay contest--the Kansas Learning Quest essay contest.  The topic was "If you could have anyone in history be your teacher, who would you choose and why?"  The essay was limited to 200 words.  Miss A picked Anne Sullivan, who was Helen Keller's teacher.  72 schools in Kansas participated, and over 1,500 essays were submitted, and guess who won out of those 1,500 essays?

Yes!!!  Miss A!!!!  She was the best in the whole state!  They had a special all-school assembly today with the State Treasurer just for her.  Miss A read her essay. . .

Then she got one of those Publisher Clearning House sized checks--so cool, because the prize was $1000 in an education savings account.  Totally cool, huh?

Then she got a cool framed plaque.

That's my girl.  BYU here she comes (in 5 1/2 years!)  Yes, I am a very proud momma!!!  Way to go Miss A we are sooooo proud of you!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The monster has arrived

Santa came early for my hubby this year because this just wasn't going to fit down the chimney or under the tree.  He has been wanting a big flat screen TV forever.  We've had our nice big boxy one for a long time, and I thought it worked well, but you know--it's a guy thing.  I just said "get what you want honey," because I really have no clue when it comes to LCD/LED/plasma (huh???),  and so we ended up with this 55" monster.  Oh my.  But I must admit it is pretty cool watching Blue Rays on it.  We are so high tech now, and I have to rearrange all the pictures on my wall.  Thank you Santa.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How long can this last?

Almost every day after school Mr J has gotten off the bus and grabbed the rake.  He wants to "Wake the weaves"

He does a good job

He sings while he does it.

I just wonder how many more years he will actually enjoy raking the "weaves" and want to do it?  2? or 3 if I am lucky?  I will take what I can get.  Saves me a lot of work :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last week

Since tomorrow starts the crazy of December, I wanted to share some photos of last week which was just full of fun stuff because we had family here.  Family is always fun.  So, on the last day of November memories of the last week. . .
Piano recital--yes I played in it--a duet with Miss E.  We were sensational :)

We had family night with my sister's family and my parents and made our tree of thanks.

Every year we make a Tree of Thanks where everyone gets 4-5 leaves each and write on them things they are thankful for.  

In Kindergarten they have a big Thanksgiving feast--the kids peal the potatoes, churn their own butter, make their costumes, then eat, eat, eat--turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, etc and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  So yum!  I was the potato lady that took the potatoes and cooked them after all the kids peeled them. 

Then I got to serve these pilgrims and Indians. So much fun!

We decorated graham cracker "gingerbread" houses.  Making them from graham crackers is about 100 times faster than making them from real gingerbread.  This is my nephew, my mom and Mr Baldy--aka Mr. J.

The girls and Ben work on their houses.

Aunts got to do hair this week.  They always enjoy it much better when someone else besides mom does it :)

We always decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  That is Miss O under the tree on light patrol :)

There are rail road tracks that go through our town, but they have taken the tracks out and converted it into a walking/biking trail.  The whole things stretches about 50 miles. One day last week my mom and Miss A wanted to walk into town from 10 miles out on the trail, so I dropped them off one frosty morning, and 3 hours later they walked back.  They say they had fun :), and then to celebrate their walking, we took the older kids to see Harry Potter. Oh. my.  It was intense.  Not my favorite HP movie, but it was good.  So, that was our week, and now we are ready (I hope) for December, so bring it on!

Monday, November 29, 2010

My prize

Several months ago I won a $60 gift certificate from the blog You asked for it by T.  It was for the stores.  I could not decide what I wanted, decisions, decisions, too much good stuff, and then today I found it!!!  I have been wanting a dutch oven for a while, and I found this Lodge one on their site and ordered it today!  Love the green color. Yeah! Thanks T!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Well, we survived Thanksgiving 2010.  We had 30 for dinner which was rather insane at times, but it turned out well--plenty of yummy food and lots of friends and family.  What more could you want?
This is the adult table, and 3 people were out refilling when I took this.  So much good stuff to eat!!!

We had small, medium, and large kids' tables this year.  This was the large.

The medium kids' table

And the super cute small table. 

Played football after to run off all the food.  It was rather cold--high of 32, but everyone enjoyed it--that is the dads and kids enjoyed the football outside in the 32 degrees, while the moms enjoyed the heated and quieter house. 
Thanksgiving dinner at my house usually consists of more friends than actual blood-related family because said family lives very far away, so it was extra special to have my 2 sisters and their families here at my house this year.  That was a treat.  And, we are officially sick of turkey left overs here.  Pizza is on the menu now.  Can one ever get sick of pizza?  How about your house? 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So Thankful

Gratitude and thankfulness are on my mind as I am sure it is on everyone else's too.  I have so much to be thankful for.  Here are just a few. . .
Family jam--so grateful for music and a family that enjoys it.

So thankful for a little guy who is willing and happy to rake my leaves :)

Girlfriends--what can I say more?

The most handsome man in the world that willingly puts up my Christmas lights when I tell him.  :)

Library and books--what a blessing! 

A dad who reads to my kids--what a treasure!

The country where we live.  My Savior and redeemer and His Gospel, and my amazing family.
May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember we have so much to be thankful for!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This was NOT on my 'to do' list

It was a Saturday, and specifically the Saturday before Thanksgiving where I will be having 30 to dinner, and I had a huge 'to do' list--clean the house, till the garden, put up Christmas lights, check dishes, make pie crusts, etc. etc. etc, but. . .
this was NOT on my 'to do' list!  I was vacuuming the stairs while my hubby was tilling the garden.  The kids were supposed to be cleaning their rooms, when my husband comes in and see Mr J and yells at me, "Jen, did you see his hair?!!??  What did he do to his hair?"  Well, while everyone else was occupied the kid about scalped himself with some scissors in 3 different places, the most prominent being right down the middle of his head!   Now I have 3 older girls, and each of them in turn cut their hair at one time or another.  My 3rd daughter actually never cut her own hair, her older sister coerced her under the kitchen table to cut her hair for her, but that is another story. . .Anyway, I kind of expected this catastrophe from girls, but my boy???  My boy tried to cut his hair?  I didn't see that coming, and 
this new look was NOT on my "to do" list.  Oh. My.  Thank heavens we already got family pictures taken.  This kind of a look is generally accepted in June/July/August, but November?  I think the kid is going to be wearing lots of hats.  Thank goodness he is a boy, and he seemed pretty happy with his new look, but  scissors are permanently banded from my house.  Apologies ahead of time if you get a gift from me because all your Christmas presents will be wrapped in ripped paper. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The joy of a tree swing

What is not to love about a tree swing?  We are lucky enough to have 2 in our yard and Mr. J loves them!
Round and round he goes

He screams, "Mom!  I am going to crash into the tree!!!"

Safe!  No tree crashing.  :)  Happy swinging from our house to yours!