Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It's that time of year again. HGTV starts their annual Dream Home giveaway tomorrow! I LOVE to watch the show & fantasize about winning. Of course, I'm the type of person who never wins anything, so I know it is just a fantasy, but it is soooo FUN! The last few years the houses haven't seemed very conducive to raising a family, I'm hoping this year's house will be better.
California wine country is one of my favorite places to visit & seems like it would be a very nice place to live (expensive, but nice). Since we don't have cable anymore, I'll have to wait for the tour to be available on the website. This year I'm planning to enter every single day!!!
Since this is one of my favorite fantasies, I'll probably be talking about this a lot over the next couple months. I'd love to hear everyone else's opinions on the house. Be sure to enter, I'm sure just about anyone has a better chance at winning this than Me.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Gramma (my Mom) made pink tutus for all the girls. We tried to get them to sit together for a picture...it didn't work too well.
Speaking of fighting, this is how my 19 month old daughter & my 15 month old granddaughter spent the afternoon. Baby Daughter is a bit of a bully.
Everyone had a really good day. The kids let us sleep until almost 9 & other than tired babies we didn't have any crankiness all day.
Pictures will be coming, but I need to find the card reader, suggestions on places to look greatly appreciated.
Friday, December 19, 2008
My Friend Janet at The Money Jar has given me the Lemonade Award!!! I'm so excited!!! THANK YOU Janet!!!! Janet has two GREAT blogs that I LOVE!!! Her strong faith and positive outlook are inspiring. I'm going to pass this award on to the blogs I read that I feel present great attitude and gratitude.
Life in Focus
Five Times Blessed
Musing, Rambling & All Around Blathering
Adventures in Learning
Sometimes We Do
My Love Knot
I Love this Circus
Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The babies were happy to see us when we got home, they had been busy writing on themselves & the walls while Gramma thought they were playing with dolls.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I've been keeping busy in the kitchen. Yesterday, I handmade 5 1/2 dozen tamales. Hubby has been selling them at work. They are a bit labor intensive, but not overly difficult. Authentic tamales are very hard to find in this part of Tennessee, there seems to be a pretty high demand for them. So far, I've only made pork tamales, but next week I plan to make up a batch of shredded beef & after Christmas (or maybe for Christmas) I plan to make a batch with shredded chicken.
Today, I'm making a crockpot of stew (taking some to a family from church who had a baby last week), a big batch of my homemade bread (some for the family from church, some for us), sugar cookies & cranberry nut bread. My kitchen smells soooo yummy!!!!
Cooking used to be one of my favorite hobbies, but over the years of fighting with my picky eaters, it has become more of a chore. The cooking I've been doing lately has been FUN again & I've finally figured out why. I've just been making what I feel like making & whoever wants to eat it can, those who don't like it for one reason or another can go without. Unfortunately, this plan wouldn't work for dinners, but at least I'm back to enjoying most of my time in the kitchen.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Miraculously Hubby, Baby Daughter & I were spared.....we thought. Baby Daughter started with the very ugly diapers this past Sunday. The bug has evolved with her, she also has a cough, green snot & runs a fever off & on. It isn't going away. The 3 yr old now has the green snot and a cough. Hubby was running a fever when he got out of work on Tuesday, his stomach is "iffy" & he feels congested. I spoke with our oldest on the phone Wednesday, he & his wife & baby all have a cold/stomach thing too.
I'm the last one & so far it hasn't gotten me *knock wood*. My stomach is feeling a little "iffy" though & today I noticed I was having trouble catching my breath after carrying Baby Daughter up the stairs. If you don't see me for a couple days, you will know why. Hopefully the 18 yr old, 10 yr old & 8 yr old are recovered enough to take care of the rest of us if I do succumb.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Our church had free Advent calendars on a table the first Sunday of Advent & I picked up 5. On the back they have a Bible verse, under each door they have a complimentary verse. 10 yr old, 8 yr old, 3 yr old & 1 yr old each have their own calendar....the 5th one is a spare for when the 3 yr old or the 1 yr old destroys theirs (I know it will eventually happen). Each night the 10 yr old reads the verse on the back for that day, they all open the appropriate door & 8 yr old reads the corresponding verse under the door. Then we count how many more unopened doors we have & finally they each get to pick a candy from the special present bag (recycled Christmas gift bag from last year). I bought a Hersey chocolate assortment & a Wonka assortment...spent about $6 for all the candy. Hubby asked if it was left over Halloween candy.....he knows me too well. Unfortunately I threw that all out before I hatched this ingenious plan.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
2 mini loaves and 6 bigger muffins with 1/2 cup of raisins added into their batter.
cooking time for the regular muffins was 20 minutes & the cooking time for the mini loaves & the bigger muffins was 35 minutes!
The puree in the ziplock bag was from one not very big pumpkin, I am amazed that there were 6 cups of puree!!! All together I ended up with 8 mini loaves, 12 regular muffins, 6 bigger muffins with raisins & 2 pumpkin pies!!!!! The kids will make short work of the muffins & the pies. Poor Hubby doesn't like pumpkin, I guess I need to get busy making something special for him next.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Thank you to my friend Janet for starting this today....it was just what I needed to brighten my day!
Loreena McKennitt-God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The logistics of getting everyone there were complicated. 18 yr old had to be at work at 4. 8yr old and 10 yr old had to be at church to get into their robes by 4:45 and then I had to get to Hubby's work to pick him up by 5. It was a bit on the frantic side, but I managed it all & Hubby, Baby Daughter & I were even on time for the 5:30 start.
This is the first time I have ever been to a service like this. There were at least 7 bible readings, no sermon and lots & lots of singing. Baby Daughter is still under the weather, so she nursed most of the time. After the service there was a very nice reception in the parish hall.
Getting dinner made & eaten and the kids to bed on time was a challenge. Everyone is sleeping soundly now & tomorrow will be another busy day.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I lived in the California Central Valley for 30 yrs. We got actual snow ONCE in those 30 yrs. I can count on one hand the number of times we got snow flurries. The week after Christmas in 1990, the temperatures were in the teens all week & our pipes froze, but it had never happened before.
The website we consulted told us that the average winter low in our California town was 38 and the average winter low for our new Tennessee town was 36....only a two degree difference. The average high for both was 46. Sounds like a good match on the computer screen, but now that we are starting our 4th year here I see that looking at averages can be a very flawed way to determine what the ACTUAL weather is like.
Our California winters were cold, rainy, grey & foggy. The cold was a damp wet cold that soaks into your bones & makes you feel like you will never be warm again. It would rain for weeks at a time & everything would be covered in mud starting in October or November. Some years you wouldn't see the sun for a month or more. When it wasn't grey & raining it was so foggy you could barely see the front of your own car while driving. We didn't have snow or ice delays, we had FOG delays and even a few FOG days in particularly bad years. I remember one Christmas that the temperature was in the upper 60's & we took pictures of ourselves opening presents at the park in shorts to taunt our New Jersey relatives....but usually it got cold & wet and then stayed that way until mid March.
Tennessee winters are FROZEN....it is a dry cold & doesn't sink into your bones in the same way as the dampness, but it is soooo much colder. We frequently have ice on our car that won't let us open the doors in the mornings, the roads are icy & snow flurries are so frequent they are no longer even worth mentioning. We have to leave the water dripping in our bathrooms to prevent the pipes from freezing & the pipes outside the house are all wrapped in thick foam stuff to keep them insulated against the cold. The most actual snow fall we've had was about 2 inches the first year we were here, but it is early in the season this year & a BIG snow has been predicted before the season is over. Every year we've been here we've had at least a week when the HIGH temperature didn't get out of the mid teens. Night time temps frequently dip below 10. But every year we've also had a week or two in January or February when the temperatures suddenly jump into the mid 70's and the night time temps are in the 50's or even 60's....those dramatic swings must skew the average. Spring is not predictable here either. Some weeks will be nice and warm with temps in the 50's & 60's but just when you think it's ok to pack up the winter coats & gloves it will suddenly drop back into the 30's or even 20's for a week or more just to keep you on your toes.
I don't miss damp, grey, foggy winters, but I do wish it wasn't quite soooo cold here. Thinking about it, weather is one of those things I seem to rant about the most. Be warned when summer gets here I'm sure to rant about the horrid humidity.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The cold, gray, damp weather really doesn't help my mood, neither does the sick baby who not only is teething, but is also still fighting the stomach bug that the rest of the kids had earlier in the week. I need a break in a big way & it is not going to happen.
I'm trying to get started on decorating for Christmas. Unfortunately, even that is being depressing this year.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Check out the other great tips on this weeks WFMW.