Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Randomness

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We're here at home today. We'd normally be at preschool, but Jadyn is sick with fever. She became sick on Sunday night. We've watched plenty of TV and movies. Mulan, Pocahontas, Milo and Otis, Sponge Bob, and the list goes on. She loves it, but I'm beginning to need a little break. Escape to the blogging world! :) Hopefully Jadyn will be well soon.

I cooked her an egg for breakfast, and she was able to eat most of it. Before I cooked it, she made sure to remind me, "I'd like it without all of that runny stuff. I don't like the runny stuff." We recently cooked some fried eggs for a meal (over-easy style) and she did not like those. Now every time I cook her eggs she feels the need to remind me that she doesn't like the runny stuff. With little ones, why does it take such a long time to undo something that we've done just once?

On Saturday morning, Jadyn and I had a little playtime here in the basement. Accessories are very important to her. Check out these photos.....
She must be doing something right, since she has that little "pop of color."

She LOVES these red shoes. We got them from a friend. They're a little big for her yet. One day she insisted that she should wear them when we visited the doctor's office. She made sure that everyone we saw that day noticed her shoes. :) The shoes were falling off in the hallways of the medical building and in the car. So that was a mistake. She will only be wearing them at home for play for awhile, until her foot grows.

Next, she decided that I should wear some of her shoes. Too bad they were much too small for me. They did go nicely with my pajamas.
Then here are more accessories she thought I needed. I cropped the top of the photo because, well it was a Saturday morning and I looked it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

Wishing each of you a very happy Chinese New Year. We wish you a healthy, prosperous and happy Year of the Ox.

We started celebrating today by visiting our favorite Chinese buffet restaurant with family and friends.

Later in the week, we will have another buffet lunch with our Chinese playgroup families. Then on Saturday we will go to a CNY party at the home of friends. We look forward to these activities very much.

On the second Sunday in February we will attend our local FCC's Chinese New Year festival. Can't wait! This will be our 3rd time to go and we are excited about it.

I'm sure there are probably lots of websites out there with information about Chinese New Year, but I happened to notice this one tonight, by accident really. It's on Yahoo! and has some useful stuff, such as e-cards, recipes, Chinese zodiac information and etc. Just thought I'd share.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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Friday, January 23, 2009

What I've Forgotten

I was doing a little thinking this morning about getting older and well......memory loss.

I was scheduled to meet a friend, to pick up her daughter. She called to see if we were all still on schedule. I said, "Were we planning to meet at _____ or _____ intersection? She said, "Remember, we decided to meet at the ______ restaurant near your house?" I could not believe I had let this slip my mind.

How can a person forget something like that after only a couple of days? It is a strange phenomenon, let me tell you!

It's not like this is the first time something has slipped my mind. I am after all, in my mid forties. Eeeek! I don't like to admit that, but I have to face the fact that on my birthday next month I will be smack dab in the middle of my forties. My husband has tried to tell me, for the last couple of years, that I am in my mid forties. I tell him it's not true! But, knowing that I'm going to hit the birthday that is between 44 and 46 soon, I guess it is true.

Several years ago - I forget how many (ha!) I started to forget about things that happened years ago, when my older children were growing up. It really kind of came as a shock, so unexpected.

I have conversations with my children, and they say something like, "Do you remember when we did such and such?" Sometimes I remember, and sometimes I don't. I don't like this at all! How can there be pieces of their childhoods missing from my memory? Sometimes I can't remember which child used which cute baby word, etc.

I am glad that my children will be around to tell me the stories from their childhoods. But, what will I do when they hit their mid-forties?

I do so wish the brain and how it works was something we could control. I'd like to be able to just open a file drawer and take out the memory folder I'm looking for.

What happens after the mid-forties? Tell me it's not all down hill from here!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sincerely 'Fro Me To You: The Glasses

This is my first Sincerely 'Fro Me to You. I thought it would be fun to do.

The purpose of Sincerely 'Fro Me to You is to link up a post about something from your past. You can reach back all the way to your childhood and bravely post pictures of your 'fro or post something from last year. It should be a photo that will never see the inside of a scrapbook either because it's not worthy or because you can't find your fancy crinkle cut scissors.

Here's a photo which was from sometime in the '70s. I am on the left in the photo, and on the right is my sister. Look carefully, and notice that I am wearing glasses. This may be one of the only photos in existence, of me in these glasses.
They were my first pair and I got them in 5th grade. Due to finances, it was necessary for us to buy a pair of glasses that I definitely did not like. The stylish thing to wear at that time was wire frame glasses. Unfortunately, I had to get a pair that were made of dark blue plastic. I detested those glasses and was embarrassed to wear them.

Here's a funny story: One day, I was outside playing. I was playing basketball and I decided to take off the glasses so that they wouldn't get damaged. I put the glasses on my dad's police car. I thought that was a good, safe place to put them.

Wouldn't you know, I forgot to get them after I finished playing basketball. My dad had to go to work later. You guessed it! Those glasses (which I detested so much) rode down to the police station with my dad. Only the glasses probably never made it to the station. They were lost on some country road, never to be seen again.

Well you know I got into so much trouble with my parents! Can you believe they accused little me of letting the glasses go for a ride on purpose? Ha ha! They knew that I hated those glasses. It really was an accident though. Really!

I did get the cool wire frame glasses that I wanted, when we went to replace my glasses. I will always remember this story, anytime I see a photo of the blue glasses. :)

By the way, notice the short shorts and knee socks in the photo too. That's lovely.

For more 'Fro Me To You Stories, visit We Are That Family.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Battery Required, a Visitor, etc.

Resolutions? I don't really make New Year's resolutions. I don't like to call them that anyway. It seems too formal and I might just be putting too much pressure on myself if I refer to it as a resolution.

I did decide that I want to lose weight. I've been dieting for 3 weeks now, and it's going well. Alan is also dieting and has recruited a small group of men at church who also want to lose. I'm really proud of them. Alan bought a scale, took it to the chuch, and they will be weighing in each Sunday.

Now we've discovered that our scale here at home is broken. How did that happen? I want to laugh really. I wonder which one of us in the house is so heavy that we broke the scale? Maybe our scale was trying to send us some sort of message? :)

Now it is suddenly driving me crazy! I must know what I weigh. You know how it is, you never need something so much until it's broken or gone. We think it only needs a new battery. Maybe there will be a huge and noticeable difference in my weight by the time the battery is replaced. I can hope!

A Deer Visitor

We recently had a visitor to our home. We had to smile about it and of course it required a photo.

We often have deer and other animals in the yard or surrounding areas. Our house sits by a pond and there's a wooded area near, so we see lots of animals. Usually we only see the deer in the back yard areas.

Well apparently we had a deer who came to the front door. I hope you can tell from this photo. These are deer tracks, coming up onto our front porch steps. It's almost as if he or she thought about coming onto the front porch and then thought, "Oops sorry, wrong house!"

Here are some other photos that I had on my phone. A couple are from when we were at my parents' house at Christmas.
This is Jadyn with my mom, petting the horses at a nearby barn. This was one of our Top 10.
This is a silly photo that I took of Jadyn in the bath at my parents' house.
Here is Jadyn with her dad at Palo Duro Canyon in Texas. We made a quick stop there on the way home. This canyon is huge. It's sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of TX.
Here is Jadyn, at lunch on the way home from TX. She was having "a moment" and was not pleased with what I ordered for her lunch. Mostly, she was probably needing a nap. Mean mom that I am, I snapped a picture with my phone. Only a mom could think that a crying child is cute.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Make Something Monday - Chili

Make Something Monday is hosted by Go Graham Go and Jolly Mom. Today, I'm sharing a recipe for chili that our family enjoys. I've been making it for a few years now. It's a recipe that I originally received at a Weight Watchers meeting. So the good news is that it's healthy, low in fat and high in fiber. We love it, and it's very good leftover as well. It's a very easy recipe and you can have it ready quickly.


1 lb. lean ground turkey

2 cans light kidney beans

1 can chili beans with sauce

4 cans diced tomatoes

1 cup chopped onion

3 Tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

In a large soup pot or dutch oven: Brown the turkey and onion. Drain the meat mixture if needed. Add all of the canned ingredients, no need to drain them. Add the spices and salt. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes 12 cups

I'm linking with Diana, at Diana Rambles today. She's shared an easy way to make panini sandwiches. You know your George Foreman grill is getting dusty. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

That First Winter

Wow. Can it get any colder? This morning's low temp was negative 16. That's negative 16, people!

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Just kidding about the crying part. Really, all you can do is grin and bear it when it gets this cold. We just try to keep our sense of humor about it.

I do silly things like send text messages to Kaitlyn (in Missouri, lucky girl) and let her know how cold it is here at home. I'm sure she wishes she was here. :)

Everyone probably remembers the song, "Over the River and Through the Woods." I'm pretty sure it was probably written by a Minnesotan. The wind does blow and it stings the toes and bites the nose!

All of this cold weather has made me remember our first winter in Minnesota. That was the winter of 2000-2001. We had arrived here from Texas at the end of September. Not knowing what the winters here were really like, we were kind of nervous.

We had no idea how cold it might get or how much snow might fall. What if our cars won't start? What if the weather gets so bad that we can't go to the store for food? Those thoughts seem so silly now.

We felt a little conspicuous that winter. We almost felt paranoid that the neighbors were probably watching "Those Texans" to see how we handled the winter.

Alan was traveling a lot at that point in time. He left instructions for me, for how to run the snowblower. I literally lived in fear that winter, wondering if I'd be able to run the snowblower correctly if I had to. I'd get knots in my stomach when a winter storm was on the way. Oh dear Lord, please don't let it snow enough that I have to get the snowblower out.

The first time I had to use the snowblower, I had a little trouble. I looked at my checklist and thought I'd done everything correctly. I was so frustrated because I couldn't get it started. The next thing I knew, a neighbor showed up at our house and helped me. He quickly found the problem. I'd forgotten to turn the key on! At least now I can look back on it and laugh.

On another occasion, that same neighbor gave our van's battery a jump-start. Our battery had died, refusing to survive it's first MN winter.

We had winter coats, gloves, hats, etc. when we moved here. That Texas stuff just didn't cut it here in MN. We had to buy warmer gear!

That first winter here certainly broke us in well. It was very cold! We thought we'd lose body parts due to frostbite. Just kidding, but it was really cold! I believe the snow total that winter was 72".
The Minnesotans who've lived here all of their lives say things like, "Oh we don't even have REAL winters anymore." I just want to say, "Hello! This really feels like winter to me!"

This is our 9th winter here in Minnesota. We still don't love the winters here, but we've learned how to deal with it. The best way to get through it is to stay inside and blog!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Let It Snow

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. We're able to stay inside today and just watch the snow falling. I'm sure if we had to be out in it, I wouldn't be too thrilled. It's 12 degrees and the snow is coming down. We'll just watch and enjoy. Here are some photos of what we did over the weekend. On Friday we went bowling with our playgroup friends. We all had a good time. It was fun to see our friends again. We hadn't seen them for 3 weeks. The girls actually hugged each other. Very cute!

Jadyn and I spent time out in the snow on Saturday. It was nice to have "warmish" weather to be out in. Nineteen degrees was pleasant. Imagine that. You know you live in MN when 19 degrees feels pleasant. Apparently the shadow adds a lot of weight as well as height. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

See What I Have to Deal With?

This is our son Bryan, gaming headset on, eating ice cream straight from the carton. I gave him a look which said, "How disgusting, I can't believe you're doing that." He said, "Just trying to save you dishes Mom. Just trying to save dishes." - Right.
Here is Sophie, up to some of her usual antics. Alan told me that she's waiting to have her belly rubbed. Oh great, I'm so glad he's taught her that the computer desk is the spot for this.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thanks, Ladies!

I want to say thank you to a couple of my blogging friends.

My friend Lea had a give-away before Christmas and I won this little figurine. Lea mailed her to me and she was waiting for me when I arrived home from our TX trip.
She's actually a keychain, but I thought I'd really enjoy her most if she was sitting with me while I'm at the computer.
Thanks so much, Lea!

Also, my friend Diana has given me a blogging award. Thank you, Diana. I'll enjoy displaying this award. By the way, check out Diana's designs at her design blog. She does very nice work!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas Vacation Top 10 List

I'm finally back to blogging after a long break. It feels good to have a new beginning of sorts. The holidays are behind and we wonder what the new year will hold.

Our Christmas break has officially come to an end now. The kids are back in school. Kaitlyn went back to Missouri for college today as well.

I thought it would be fun to blog about our Christmas vacation as a Top 10 List. Here's some of what we did on our vacation.

Christmas Vacation Top 10

1. We celebrated with 4 of our children here at home on the 21st. We opened gifts, and enjoyed stromboli, soup, and Lauryn's peanut butter fudge.

2. We had wonderful driving conditions for our annual Christmas trip to Texas. That was such a gift! Last year was a little treacherous, due to snow.

3. We enjoyed Christmas day with our family at my parents' house. We had a fun time, and what a full house it was! Twenty-six of us were there for gift opening, meals, and games. Lauryn and Aaron arrived that night and then we were complete. 28!

4. We visited with Alan's family on Friday and Saturday. We had a nice gathering at his sister's house and it was good to see everyone.
5. Food! Seriously, we did eat a lot of good food and I so appreciate everyone's hospitality. I should also mention cookies and various other desserts. Dear me! I was actually ready for a break from sweets. Why are they so tempting?

6. Warm weather! We had some windy days, but all in all it was much warmer than what we have here at home. Some days were in the 60s and 70s. Wow!

7. My parents have been married for 50 years! We celebrated their 5oth anniversary on Sunday the 28th. What a wonderful party it was. How awesome it was to have the 28 of us under one roof for this wonderful milestone. I know that all of us realized what a blessing it was that we were all together to celebrate Mom and Dad. Our parents were really touched by it and that was the best thing about the whole day.

8. My siblings make the list, because they did such an awesome job making this wonderful celebration come together. Great planning, great food, great DVD, etc, etc. Thanks guys!

9. One afternoon, my parents and I took Jadyn to see the horses who live down the road. That was fun and Jadyn loved it.

10. Shopping for Kaitlyn's wedding dress with both Kaitlyn and Lauryn on January 2nd. It was both fun and memorable. She picked out a beautiful dress and will be a lovely bride in July.

Things that did not make the Top 10 list:

~Sharing viruses with other family members. Not fun. Alan said we should call our Christmas trip the "Annual Virus Exchange." :)

~Our son-in-law's car is now in the shop to have it's fender and bumper repaired, again. Two accidents, and neither were his fault. I think Aaron may be wondering if there's a target on his car.

~Jadyn's doll from Grandma and Grandpa will soon be on it's way back to the store. She no longer coos, cries or talks. :) Her face is stuck in a permanent scowl. Not good.

Our family

50 years!