Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A New Game!

Anyone willing to play, "Write a funny caption"?
I'll tell you tomorrow what's going on in this picture!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Two Snowmen

November 21, 2010. Sandy, Utah:
December 21, 2010. Dallas, TX:
Hope that wherever you are, and whatever your weather, you're welcoming winter with a smile!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Elf on the Floor

For our family, this is the first year that the children really understand the Santa aspect of Christmas. Blue has known for a while that he's a guy in a red suit, but the idea of a naughty and nice list and not beating up your sister equaling presents is just sinking in.

To help the "elves are spying for Santa" story along, we've made a big deal about rustling bushes in the backyard, and have even had a couple of elfin visits. Our first elf visitors took away the letters to Santa that we left in our stockings and replaced them with candy canes and books. This morning, we had another reminder that the elves are watching.

Sometime during the night, small, pointy footprints appeared on our windowsill and floor, and little packages of candy were placed in our shoes. When Red went to put on his work shoes this morning (poor guy, he's the only one not on vacation this week), he couldn't find one, and everyone was very shocked to find it in front of the fire place.

Here's Pink admiring what a midnight frenzy and some washable markers can do:

I think Blue might have been onto me, but once he saw his beloved York peppermint patties, he forgot to delve deeper into the mystery of the footprints:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Feature Presentation: Christmas Letter 2010

"My Mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get.'"

The constant search for unique Christmas letter themes ended with this series of famous movie quotes. What can we say, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a %$&*!"

Pink turned 2 in January of this year, and has developed a bit of an attitude. A pint sized cutie with a Texas-sized attitude. She likes to speak in complete sentences, annoy her brother, and dress up with accessories. We love her spunk, we’re not so in love with her ignoring us when we ask her to do something.

"Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

We’re still adjusting to life in Texas – this year we had a run in with the local pests. While planting a garden this spring, Red was bitten on the hand by some fire ants. Normally, this would lead to a couple of uncomfortable, itchy welts that go away in a few days. Unfortunately for Red, these fire ants hadn’t brushed their teeth, so the bites got infected, and he had to go to the emergency room for intravenous antibiotics. We were also fortunate to have Oma and Opa visit for Easter – they were smart enough to get out of town before the 110 degree weather hit in August, although Oma’s visit in September was still mighty toasty. For a change of pace, we took the kids to Utah for Thanksgiving and got snowed on – over and over again. They got their wish to go sledding and build a snowman, but after the excitement of owning snow boots wore off, they were done with the cold weather.

"Go ahead, make my day"

Blue had a friend birthday party this year, and what a day it was! Blue turned 5, and had a marvelous time dressing everyone up as a pirate and eating pirate ship birthday cake. Green had a great time planning the party, and can’t wait to have another birthday. As an added bonus, Blue’s great-grandparents were able to be here for the party, and did their part to make the event a success.

"What we've got failure to communicate."

Green attempted to spiff up our communication by attending the BlogHer Conference in New York City this summer with Vermilion. The conference was a whole lot of fun, but whether this blog is actually better because of it is debatable. Green also keeps busy with her church calling in Primary, and loves working with the kids and watching them learn and grow.

"Houston, we have a problem."

Well, not so much of a problem, but certainly a frequent visitor. Red continues to work with the Department of Justice, and spends a good deal of his time traveling back and forth to Houston. He is grateful for the opportunity to work in a field, and at a job, he enjoys.

"I feel the need—the need for speed!"

For the first time in 10 years, Red bought a new car. His Volvo, dubbed “Meatball” by the kids, is providing much commuting enjoyment. In other speedy news, Green has been experiencing the true suburban mom commute – running Blue to preschool five days a week and Pink to various activities and classes.

"Have fun storming the castle!"

We introduced Pink and Blue to Cinderella’s castle this spring at Disneyworld, and all had the time of our lives. The kids had a great time on the rides and meeting characters, and the parents enjoyed themselves too!

"There's no crying in baseball!"

There is, however, crying in soccer. Blue played summer and fall soccer this year, and after the first game, where about 80% of the time was spent crying, he finished the year really enjoying himself. Pink has started taking ballet and tap class, and although her dancing skills are pretty minimal, she loves having a big girl activity to go to every week. Red continues to improve his golf game every chance he gets. Green has started taking piano lessons, and feels like she is making good progress.

"I'll be back."

Wishing you all the best for a joyous Christmas Season, and wonderful 2011.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Please share your best EASY recipe!

Friends who love to cook! Friends who hate to cook! I need your help. A friend of mine is trying to give a wonderful gift to her very deserving sister. Here is her story:

My sister has a goal to have 10 dinners she can pull off. I want to help her with this as a Christmas gift.

It is more difficult than it sounds. Her family was T-boned in a car accident in the 90's and she has had terrible back pain ever since. It has gotten progressively worse. So when she prepares dinners she can't stand there chopping or stirring. Even opening can's and jars is a problem. Her husband is a great guy, but is a busy Dr and the bishop of their struggling ward. He would like her to invite the missionaries to dinner and others but she is overwhelmed by the idea. So here is where you come in.

Everyone has one or two throw together meals don't they? I hope that you do! Would you share yours with me? Money is not an issue. I tried a list of 10 I thought of and when I got to more than 3 or 4 ingredients she almost cried. (And most of those were spices or soup mixes-no chopping involved.) She can pick up any prepared or pre-chopped or frozen items needed. The only caveat being that she can't lift anything heavy-as in she can't lift a gallon of milk. Her husband thinks he has not had dinner if meat has not been served. She told me one of her current recipes is to put a pot roast in the crock pot with some water and then cook it all day.

Do you have any recipes that might work? Please leave them in a comment or email them to me!
Thanks so much!