Friday, December 28, 2012

How to Eat an Ice Cream Cone

-by PT

"Yes!" My Favorite Christmas Present

One frustrating evening I told my kids, "You know what I really want for Christmas?  I want you kids to just be agreeable.  Just once a day I want you to tell me 'yes' when I ask you to do something.  Give me a bag of 365 'yes's' for me to use throughout the year."  And you know who did it?  Tasha.  She wrote a page up, copied them, cut them up, stuck them in baggies, and put them in my stocking. 

Individual Ornament Boxes

Every year we have the same argument as the girls set out to decorate the Christmas tree.  Even if I sit there doling out the ornaments, there is a heated discussion on whose ornament is whose and who gave what to who in what year.  It is seriously my worst Christmas nightmare.  I'm pretty sure that's why we didn't put up a tree one year.
Payton and Snoopy's butt

This year I vowed that would not happen again.  Somehow I banished the kids from the room, set out 3 boxes and divvied up the ornaments into the boxes.  I handed them each their box and it was sheer bliss.  No harsh words.  No pulling on ornaments.  No crying.   

At one point Bill was trying to get Payton to place the many Pooh bear ornaments on different branches instead of all on one.  He also wanted the ones with faces to, well, face out.  How silly is that?  Wouldn't the snowmen and Snoopy want to see the tree?  I assured Bill that I would fix things once the kids went to bed.  Then I didn't.  It was cute and made me giggle.
Well, I don't imagine that things will go that smoothly 2 years in a row.  It only made sense to pack those ornaments up in the boxes according to who should put them up.  The thing is, I don't typically do what I want to do and the tree stays up into the new year and I'm so frustrated that I don't care any more.  This year however, thanks to IKEA, things were completed.  I'm in love with their clear SAMLA boxes.  I'm also in love with pretty colorful tissue paper.  Here's what I came up with:
Happy decorating next year!  Hoo-rah!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Carols by Candlelight at Clark Park

Inspired by an Australian Christmas tradition I found via Pinterest and this Australian mom's blog site, I bring to you...

Carols by Candlelight at Clark Park
This Sunday, December 23rd @ 7pm

Come one, come all and join us in song as we gather to sing Christmas Carols at Clark Park.  Dress warm, bring blankets or chairs, and have a candle, flashlight, or the glow of your cell phone to illuminate our park with joy.  Neighbors, their friends and family are all welcome!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Happy, Happy Christmas!"

They're kind of cute.  I think I'll keep them!

Catching a Break

I went to TMobile this morning because my phone was stuck on it's home screen.  I had actually tried to reboot the thing myself to no avail (thanks for trying google, YouTube, and some Q&A dialogue in the comment zone).  The customer service guy was actually impressed that I had done as much as I did and then said we'd have to replace it.  He looked up my contract.  The warranty on my phone expires on December 26th.  He was shocked and said something like, "that almost never happens.  It is always right after the warranty is up that a phone breaks."  That kind of sounds like a cell phone breakage conspiracy, doesn't it?

Anyway, I'm awaiting my new phone, without a working old phone.  Life is quiet this day.  Probably the next day too.  He said it should be here tomorrow, but the text they sent Bill said the 29th.  YIKES!  That's a LOT of quiet in my future.

That might be nice.

Does anyone know how to "break" a 3 year old's voice for about a week?  That would REALLY make things quiet.

Oh, and thanks to google, YouTube, and more Q&A dialogue, I can confidently use the words SIM card and factory reboot.  Go ahead, laugh away.  The problem is I still am not capable of finding the pictures on that dumb card when I plug it into a Walgreens picture kiosk or the dumb computer at Costco.  My picture life sucks and I have some really lame Christmas cards to prove it.  I did get them at 40% off though.

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

I didn't realize that cream of mushroom soup was a comfort food until this past Thanksgiving.  I was making a gluten-free potato dish that called for a can of cream of mushroom soup, and of course, regular Campbell's is quite glutenous.  It was about 1pm and I realized I had not eaten yet, due to the number of dishes that I was preparing for dinner later that evening.  As soon as they were all prepped, I prepared another bowl of this yummy soup and sopped some up with one of the whole wheat rolls that didn't quite rise like it should have.

I started with this recipe , but simplified it because I don't always need it to be gluten-free or dairy-free.  All I know is that it is just plain yum!  The following will substitute for one can in a recipe.  I'd use chicken broth in place of the milk (and omit the mushrooms, of course) if I needed a can of cream of chicken soup instead.

Melt: 2 TBLS of butter in a small pan
Add:  1/4 cup of chopped mushrooms

Cook until the mushrooms are soft and season with onion salt, if desired.

Add:  1/4 cup of flour

Whisk it in and cook slightly so the soup doesn't have a floury taste.

Add:  1 cup of milk

Whisk it in slowly so you don't get lumps.  Cook and stir constantly until desired thickness.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

PT's "Ball Patch"

I saw a fun idea on Pinterest and pinned it to my "for PT" board.  I found it while searching for things to do with cardboard over at the  The thing is, sometimes PT sits up in my lap while I am on the computer.  More specifically, he sits in my lap and looks at what I am looking at while on Pinterest.

"Wait mommy, wait!"  he jumped and pointed to the computer screen.  "Go back."  He's now learned how to work the arrow keys to get to the pictures that he wants to see.  Oh, this sweet kid kept longing for that cardboard ramp for some balls to zoom down.  He was begging, but not in that annoying-no-way-in-heck-will-I-do-this-for-you way. So, I found this giant piece of cardboard at Costco, took it home, grabbed some extra cardboard and duct tape and set to work.  Then I called in my 14 year old back up because my husband refused to be a part of something he didn't understand.

It's been fun, for about a month.  I can't wait until Santa brings his next Pinterest creation and takes this big cardboard contraption with him.

Monday, December 3, 2012

"What I Just Did?"

To play Chutes and Ladders with Payton is not a game of numbers and counting.  It is a game of being good and bad, and doing stuff.  EVERY SINGLE space that Payton lands on he asks, "what I just did?" to determine if he has broken a cookie jar and has to slide down the chute, or if he has helped a woman find her purse and then gets to go to the movies.  No, I didn't have to look that up on the game board.  I know them.  I know them ALL.  Don't skate on the ice, it'll crack and you'll fall.  Bake a cake and you can eat it, climb that ladder!  Saving a cat from a tree gets you a big reward and you climb a huge ladder.  But to win the game the easy way you get first prize in the pet show.  This is so like real life, isn't it?  Anyway, between my moves and Payton's moves and the "what I just did?" and "what you did?"'s I was going crazy by space number 35.  There isn't anything on space number 35 and he just doesn't accept "nothing" as an answer.  "I DID NOTHING!  THE SPACE IS BLANK!  SEE... NUH-THING!"

I really wish we had played Blockus instead.