Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: I miss this girl.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Today Husband and I celebrate our leather/crystal/glass wedding anniversary.

It's been a fabulous three years. and I hope for at least three more! [that's a funny little joke Husband and I share, we hope to have a happy healthy marriage for at least 300 more years]

Seriously, I can not have even imagine a person who is as perfectly suited for me as Husband is. He's an amazing man, husband, father and best friend.

These are the flowers I made Husband for our anniversary. One for each year. He was pretty excited because no one has ever given him flowers before and he can keep these forever without having to dry them first.
Here's a closer shot. Luckily, I already had everything in the house to make them.
items list if you're interested:
construction paper
acrylic paint
paint brush
tissue paper
empty Sake bottle
pipe cleaners

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Adventures of Daughter: craft time

Allow me to set the stage for you:

Daughter and I were sitting at the desk in the office. We had construction paper, crayons, pencils, and pipe cleaners. Daughter was entertaining herself with a craft project of her own, as I was feverishly drawing out various sizes of flowers.

"Ma, look," as she smiles and points to her picture.

"[Daughter] did you eat your crayon?"


"[Daughter] are you lying to Mom?"

"no, Ma."

"[Daughter] how did crayon get on your teeth?"

"aaahhh kneeee" {Daughter speak for "I don't know."}

so how did crayon get on Daughter's teeth? examine the evidence and decide for yourself:

nativity scenes: wood carved

This nativity scene is wood carved, yet I have no idea what kind of wood. it is VERY light weight and made in China ... any deductions?

This one also got a mantle spot for Christmas 2009. I got it half priced at Kohl's also. see a trend? Kohl's seems to have a nice range to choose from at very reasonable prices. It's completely Caucasian and 8 pieces. a little smaller than normal. just the holy family [Mary, Joseph and Jesus], an angel, the wise men and their camel. one camel for all three wise men. or maybe that was Mary and Joseph's camel? as I've mentioned before most nativity scenes have very little to do with the Biblical story of Jesus's birth. so who know where the camel came from. on the box, the camel is arranged by the wise men, so my bet is it's theirs.

I just noticed I have a wise man positioned between Mary and the Angel. sheesh. I remember the year that I went to the trouble of getting a compass and figuring out which way was East, so the wise men could be coming "from the East." that was also the year I put out EVERY nativity scene. the year before Daughter was born when Gracie was still living downstairs. boy, those days are gone!
Baby Jesus. smiling and not really swaddled -- his arms, anyway.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Dinner: the update

wow. We had a great meal.

Since the goose dinner turned out so fabulous, I decided to post the recipes Husband used from

Christmas Goose, Dickens Style -- cooked per directions except we brined it overnight and used fresh roasted chestnuts because we couldn't find canned ones. the stuffing was seriously amazing. I think if we ever use it again, we'll add more bacon and onion. The goose was so moist and had a really great flavor. It was all dark meat though ... that was sort of weird - looks wise. taste wise, it was great.

Goose Liver Toast -- I tried it and will probably never eat it again. My mom thought it was fabulous. she also loves to eat liver.

Fried Potatoes -- this recipe is exactly how I make fried potatoes normally except I use olive oil, instead of goose fat (of course) the taste difference was amazing. goose fat is where it's at.

I forgot to roast the asparagus until it was time to sit down to eat and there were no vegetables! luckily, those cook fast!

We drank Beaujolais Nouveau 2009 -- say it out loud -- it's a fun name. It's a great red wine from France that's released once a year right before Thanksgiving and is meant to be drink/drank/{drunk} immediately instead of sitting around for months or years. It's 12.5% alcohol and we really enjoyed it. It was definitely better than the 2008. (I'm already thinking about 2010) :-) definitely check out the website. there's a neat facts and tips section.

A Christmas wish, fulfilled a year later

This is a blog entry I posted in my livejournal on January 16, 2009:
guess what's in my freezer ...
no, but good guess.
nah, try again.

ok, fine.

a goose.

remember how it was [Husband's] Christmas wish to have a Christmas goose? and we went to Whole Foods, Bruno's, Food World, Publix, Winn Dixie, Wal-mart and [Husband] even checked online for one? the cheapest one we could find was close to $60. so no goose for us.

even after Christmas, [Husband] has still been checking the meat department on every grocery trip. tonight it paid off. Goose was on sale at Wal-mart. not just on sale, but apparently on clearance.

we bought a 10.5lb goose that was originally 4.98 a pound for .99 a pound. yes. we bought a 53 dollar goose for $10.42.

and the best part of the whole deal: the sell by date on the goose is 9-26-10 so it is double wrapped very tightly in aluminum foil and is currently in our freezer awaiting Christmas 2009 to fulfill [Husband's] Christmas wish.

when we got home he said, "I've never started looking forward to Christmas so early before."

Today, Husband is cooking a Dickens Style Goose with Wild Rice and Chestnut Stuffing. [Stuffing as in putting it in the goose to cook, not dressing that cooks alone in a casserole dish] I'm making fried potato cakes with the goose fat. and to throw in the token vegetable, we're roasting asparagus. I also have apple cider in the crock pot for all day sipping.

I'm excited for Husband. After sitting double wrapped in aluminum foil for 11 months, our clearance goose finally is going to be enjoyed. My mom and dad are coming over to eat and give Daughter and Son their presents. so it should be a day of fun and food.

with fresh baked pecan pie and coffee for dessert.

yum yum.

nativity scenes: St. Nicholas Square


This is one of what I call the "classic" nativity scenes.

The barn with fake moss? check
loose figurines so you can change the scene? check
white people less one dark skinned wise man? check
2 barnyard animals? check
shepherd holding a lamb and an extra sheep for good measure? check
angel? no. wait, NO ANGEL.

I love it. It's 11 pieces and I got it at Kohl's after Christmas one year for half price. This is one of the lucky ones that made it to the mantle for Christmas 2009. I love the colors, the dark reds and greens with just a little gold.

the baby Jesus. fair haired and legs crossed. hand opened and out stretched, inviting.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a new series: my nativity scenes. the bears

Earlier today when I was taking pictures of the random ornaments on our tree, I also took some of the mantle with our stockings and a few of my nativity scenes. I have a few dozen [nativity scenes, not stockings]. Only one is out year round, the others take turns as to which Christmas they get to be seen.

You see, I've learned that with a toddler that loves touching things that she shouldn't and a cat that believes she has a right to sit on any surface in the house she can get on, the number of nativity scenes I can have out at one time is lowLOWlow. this year, I only have 8 out, counting the year round one.

And really, no one has been to my house in months. so the only people who even see those eight are me, Husband, Daughter and Son. that makes me a little sad. For the main reason, that I seriously love these nativity scenes. I love seeing the different interpretations of the birth of Christ. I love the three "wise men." I love the barnyard animals. I love nativities made out of all sorts of materials [I have one carved out of bone]. I love baby Jesus [every one of them]. I love the whimsical ones. I just love them.

so, now I'm sharing them with you.

First, the one that stays up year round. It stays in the bottom shelf of my china cabinet. Husband bought it for me on our honeymoon in Alaska. It was so ridiculously expensive. I choked a little bit when I went to look at the three boxes it came in to verify maker of it and saw the price tags. but it's amazing and it's just a great memory [and I probably couldn't get much for it at a pawn shop anyway] ;-)

This one is bears, dressed up as whatever character they are playing. It's 14 pieces in all and is called Bearitivity I, II, and III in the Bearfoots collection by Jeff Fleming. He's based in Montana.

This is the collection. I love the drummer boy. and the costumes of the wise men. the bears dressed as a camel, a cow, and a sheep.

Jesus Bear. you can't tell from this angle, but he's grinning. and definitely not wearing swaddling clothes.
a view of one of the wise men. bringing gold, frankincense, mirh, or honey
One of the two angel bears
this wise man is sporting a turban and carrying trinkets.
more nativity scenes to come [and they'll keep coming after Christmas]

the slightest glimpse of our Christmas Tree

our Christmas tree isn't artificial with evenly spaced branches. it isn't prelit with evenly distributed white lights all over it. it doesn't have a lot of coordinating ornaments on it. it definitely doesn't look "put together."

It's real and uneven and sparse in some places and sheds. It required water and our tree stand leaks (goal one on December 26: buy half priced tree stand). It has three strands of lights wrapped around. We got a bigger than normal tree this year and could've really used 4 or maybe even 5 strands. It has a hodge-podge mismatch of my ornaments, Husbands ornaments and ornaments we've bought over our three Christmases together. It doesn't even have an angel or star on top. it's true.

our perfectly imperfect tree. Daughter loves it. She routinely kisses the tree, pets the tree and of course, pulls off ornaments and breaks them. I don't mind so much about the ornaments because the ones of mine she breaks have been easy to super glue back together and put away for the next few years and the ones of Husband's she breaks, I didn't like them anyway.

This is one of 100 blue assorted {shatter proof} balls I got at Sam's Club two Christmases ago, when I wanted a blue themed tree. There are only about 8 on the tree this year.

Husband and I bought this at Rock City a couple of months before Daughter was born. It was one of our "last day trips by ourselves." It was such a fun fun day.

This is the top of our imperfect tree. The blue icicles are also from the blue theme. The ones that are low enough for Daughter to touch, she pretends that they are horns and blows in them. notice how sparsely decorated the top is. We have a 10 feet tall tree and were clearly to lazy to get a chair for higher decorating.
This was one of my ornaments from the mini tree in my bedroom when I was little. I was obsessed with the Smurfs to the point that my mother put up Smurf wallpaper in my bedroom. I use to have more but of course only a couple have survived my ownership.

This is one of the ornaments Husband inherited from his parents when they apparently didn't want them anymore. We got rid of most of them last year but this one made the cut. it photographs well and luckily, I hung it high enough that it survived Daughter.

This is one that I seriously have no idea who gave it to me. I found it in my mail box my freshman year of college. I love it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Adventures of Daughter (and Son): the laundry basket

One of my favorite things about Son growing up is that Daughter is rediscovering things she loved to do but lost interest in overtime. Case in point: laundry basket rides. I remember walking around and around and around the house pulling the laundry basket while she giggled, but in time she grew tired of our game. now that Son is getting laundry basket rides, she is more than eager to join the fun.

Daughter, when she was about 9 months old. She loved standing up in the laundry basket and being pulled around like she was in a chariot. notice the grey yarn that I used to pull her.

Daughter and Son enjoying a double ride. Son is pulling up sporatically in his bed, but he's not ready for the standing laundry basket ride. Daughter wanted to join him. They held hands for most of the ride and Daughter hummed along to the silly made up song I was singing.
These kids are fun. I'm more than blessed.

Monday, December 14, 2009

not me - a couple of weeks coming

TWO WEEKS AGO: I was not so lazy that instead of washing Daughter's cloth diapers or even going to the store to get some disposables, that I actually let her wear swim diapers around the house for a whole day. nope, I didn't do that.

TODAY: now that Daughter is using her potty on a very regular basis, she only uses two diapers a day. even less incentive for me to want to wash diapers every other day. with Son the only person who wears them, I have even less desire to wash them.

I don't have a case of the laundry lazies. nope. definitely not me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spirits Sunday: my Christmas time favorite

I wish I could tell you 12 different places where you can find this wine, but sadly, no. I've only found it at World Market. if you decide to venture out to World Market to find it, the picture is a little deceiving. the bottle actually is green and not blue like the picture shows. I found this image on the wine website Schmitt Sohne (that distributes Gluwein in the USA)

Husband and I discovered it last year and really fell in love. Augsburger Christkindlmarkt Gluwein is a spiced red wine. and it's meant to be drunk hot. yes. heat it up.

we pour a couple of glasses in a sauce pan on the stove top and when steam starts rising, it's perfect. and it's great with gingerbread.

Gluwein is produced and bottled in Germany and imported and distributed by Schmitt Sohne

It's a screw top with 9% alcohol. I'm pretty sure it's under $6 a bottle.

seriously, I love a glass of this on a cold right before bed.