Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Family's Christmas

I don't think these pictures need much commentary...we did our Christmas a little differently this year...had it before all the other "Christmases"...just got the kids a few things and each other a few things had a quiet night around the tree...boy was Nathan excited though...










I got boots.  These suckers are warm to -140 degrees.  Rock on.

Ribbon Sandwiches...the final product


The best compliment was from my dad:  "Renee, you can make these for me any day."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ribbon Sandwiches

Today I made Ribbon Sandwiches - my Aunt Jeanne always made these...but they way she taught us to make them was WAY too difficult.  After some research, I realized these were much simpler (albeit the overall process did take two hours) and I am so excited to try these tomorrow night!  I will have to remember to take pictures of the final product.

Ribbon Sammies

First you make egg salad and ham salad.  Because both of these are going in sandwiches that will have layers, you want to make the salads more on the "dry" side.  I stuck with about 1/4 cup of salad dressing for both.  And, as you can see, I made half my ham salad "spicy"...those are ground up fresh jalapenos...


So, then you take your bread, four slices that stack up as square as possible..I used soft rye and pumpernickel...You spread butter on each side of the bread that will be touching the spread...so, first you put your bread down, butter the top, spread on your ham salad, butter both sides of the next piece of bread, and move onto your next layer. 

The next layer is the cheese in my sandwiches...you can use cream cheese or any soft cheese...I know CheezeWiz is kind of gross but honestly it is quite delicious in these sandwiches and is the only time I ever buy it...
 The almost finished product is below...you wrap this up and let it rest if the fridge for 12 - 24 hours, and then slide them into pretty ribbon sandwiches.  I'll take pics of the final product. 

My helper is below.  Causing trouble as you can see.  He is NOT supposed to be on the chair or have the phone. 

I miss you Aunt Jeanne!

My Aunt Jeanne used to invite us over for a Christmas dinner before Christmas every year.  And as kids, we didn't go many places or do many things, so this was a big deal for us.  She passed a few years ago and I miss her.  And her food.  Honestly, I do.  I think she would be proud and happy though I said that.

Anyways, I made:

Ham,
Cheesy Tot's (four pounds worth of hashbrowns people!)
Cherry Bing Salad (a true classic...I don't like, but the kids do!)
Rolls
Pillsbury Rolls hot from the oven for Karen
Corn with red and green peppers
Olives/Pickles/Carrots/Celery

And that's it!  Mint chocolate chip ice cream and brownies for dessert.  Aunt Jeanne would have served vanilla ice cream with a topping, Christmas cookies, and Divinity.   My ham turned out...not that it is that hard to screw up a ham, but sometimes you get a bad one...I cooked it low and slow baby.  Oh, and my potatoes were great last night too...it was pretty funny seeing me try to mix up four pounds of potatoes in the biggest bowl I had...

Here are some pictures from the  night: 
Didn't get my camera out until Evan was ready for bed...I quickly took one!

The kids downstairs playing.

Everybody loves Uncle Kevin

Yum.

I find it amusing that kids find the oddest things and places so fun (crawl space).

Nathan was so good..sharing all his toys and setting things up...he loved having his cousins over!

Okay...time to cut them off I think!

What an interesting day...

So I woke up with a doosy of a headache.  It was bad bad bad.  Christopher was headed off to go fishing, and brought us back from breakfast and a coffee for me before he left.  Then, about halfway through breakfast, I did NOT feel good.  I kept eating, thinking it was a fluke, but it got worse.  I tried to play with the kids and just relax, but I was pretty close to running to the bathroom....

I called around to see if anyone could come grab the kids for a few hours, but no one was free...so, I called Chris then and told him if he could come off the lake early that would be great, because I felt horrid. 

I put Evan down for a morning snooze, it was about 9:45, and then grabbed some Ginger Ale and rested.  About an hour later...I felt fine.  Very odd.  I still have my headache lingering, but I am so thankful that horrid sickness is gone (and no, I am not pregnant). 

After that I made egg salad, and ham salad (with the leftover ham from my successful Christmas dinner party last night!) and then made ribbon sandwiches.  I am going to take the ribbons sammies over to my mom's tomorrow night for Christmas Eve...I am very excited for these and hope they will be delicious!   My Aunt Jeanne used to make these and I would just gobble them up like nothing. 

No pictures right now.  Camera is charging.  Since both kids are resting/napping, I am going to try to grade a few papers...only 45 more and I am done for the year! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

So...the house is pretty clean...

and now I am confused...my brother and his family sent me a rather cryptic message so now I am not sure if they are coming.  how am I supposed to know whether or not to make two batches of cheesy potatoes?

And dang this throat of mine...I want it to go away!  go away sore throat!  hopefully it will be better by tomorrow.

Oh, and a courier came, and I am still in my nightgown, so I had to throw on a robe and answer the door.  I bet I looked just lovely.

oh well.  at least the house has had a good scrubbing...and I am going to go get the dust and dust a few things I never dust...like the ceiling fans...and then I plan on going and gluing the leaves onto our fake bush that have fallen off.  It is an old bush, and has seen better days.  I really need a new one.

Anyways, here are some pics of the before and after of our fridge!  I redo the pictures once a year:

Before

After!

Clean like you have never cleaned before day!

Because the Speltz family is coming over to dinner!

This morning I was bad.  I did not get up when Chris got up to go to work and to take the kids to school.  I stayed in my bed.  It was warm, and my throat was kind of hurting, and Evan had been up twice during the night and therefore I didn't feel like it.  Also, it is going to be the only day probably during break where I can sleep in and have it be...QUIET.  Let's face it, kids are loud.

But, currently I am boiling eggs, looking at my to do list, and starting with the master bathroom.  I clean one area at a time, very methodical, and then I close the door as a sign it is finished (unless the cats are in there).

Speaking of cats, Roary and Gigi are obsessed...OBSESSED with the water faucet.  It has gotten so bad, that if I don't turn it on the moment they run up here in the mornings, they start  howling at me and licking the bottom of the sink as if they had been stranded on a desert for two weeks or something.  (they have water 100% of the time)

Since I like pictures in my blog, here are pictures from two weeks ago - the kids Christmas program...granted, my camera doesn't take good pics far away. 

Evan ringing his jingle bells!  he was so cute up there.

Then, when it was time to dance, he was the only one to actually dance, but he turned around and watched his friends to do it.  too funny.

Nathan's class.  He was the "naughty" one up there that kept going up to the top riser.  It was like it was calling his name or somethiing.

His teacher finally gave up and let him be up there (other kids had by then gone up too)..here you can really see him singing!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oh crap...it has been almost a week since my last post!

So much or keeping up on my blogging!  oh well, I am sure everyone is just as busy as I am and doesn't have time to read posts anyways...and I am doing better than last month, so huzzah to me!

Lookie at what I finished *rah rah rah* 


My sister told me the other day she thought I was amazing -- that I work, raise two kids, and still find time to do projects.  I don't find myself amazing in the least...each time I examine myself and my life I find there is so much room for improvement it almost always overwhelms and depresses me.  I want to be like my mom in the way that she is completely self-less...rarely thinking of herself...but dang, do I have a long ways to go... 

Look at the close-up though on this quilting!  (My MIL did it...she is amazing as well!  I also want to be like HER in more ways than one):
Can you see the Christmas trees?  And the "Noel" in the brown?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

a few pictures...

you know, blogger is so weird.  It uploaded my pictures tonight in like 2 minutes, but last night refused to.  annoying!  anyways, here are some pics from the weekend!

amazed at everything...

Nathan and I trying a ride...he got scared...can you tell?

The house was totally decorated...this was just one room...they got it up on the FAN!!

Even Roary was decorated...totally cute!  (he hated it)

Got to see good friends!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday surprises...part duex...

but, alas, with no pictures.  My sister has been pretty sick and she had most of them, and my camera is currently downstairs with hubby as he is wrestling with the furnace...which has been on the fritz for the past few days and has now petered out.  The frickin' thing is only six years old...can't they make anything that lasts anymore?

Back to Friday...so, in the car Daddy tells me that we are going to Dave and Busters...that Nathan will love the games afterwards and Evan will just be watching all the lights and I thought that was a great idea...when we get there though, there are friends/family there with a little birthday surprise party for me!  I got so nervous I could barely eat...then after dinner we played games, came home, and he had gotten me a buttercream cake!  Plus, his parents had stopped by and totally decorated teh house...there were streamers and stuff everywhere...it was totally cute...even Roary had a bow made out of streamers around his neck...I think there are pictures, but again, I wasn't in charge of the camera and so I am not totally sure. 

Anyways, I was really surprised...and honestly, I always thought I would love a surprise party but it kind of made me nervous...I was wearing my grubs from the day, and I hadn't done my hair or put any makeup on...and the fact that people were then over I was like, "thank goodness I didn't leave out my laundry or something....!" 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday surprises...

I woke up yesterday morning and started to get the kids ready for school...Nathan asked if he could stay home with me, and I thought, why not?  It's been a while since I spent a day with Nathan, healthy and with no errands to run..so we did! 

About 9:30 I realized I should have brought my work computer home because I had about 50 emails and it would have been nice to some of that cleaned up since next week is fully booked almost with no time to breathe!  So, Nathan has been begging to go to work with me and see inside "all those buildings" so we went.

I brought my laptop from home and a movie and that was smart...I worked for a couple hours while Nathan watched the Chipmunks.  He got to ride on his first escalator (which he kept calling "alligator") which was pretty funny.  He said he wasn't scared and was ready to step on it but when I took a step he didn't!  I started to go down and had to run back up and pick him up and put it on it.  He insisted he wasn't scared and would do the next one "all by himself"...which he did.  We went up and down a bunch of them, so he got a lot of practice.

He loved all the decorations out for CHRISTMAS...all the Christmas trees, the lights, the music in the skyways...he loved the water fountains...just fun.  We were going to head to McDonalds to lunch, but we walked past this one area where there are a bunch of food shops and Nathan goes, "what smells so good?" and I was like, "it's food!  they have all sorts of stuff down here...there is a hotdog place back there that I like..." and then he said he really wanted a hotdog.  It was a Friday special...two dogs for like $3.25, so that's what we got.  It was so wonderful to sit downtown and eat a hotdog with my son and share that with him. 

After that we headed home...we had parked at Target since it's the cheapest way to go if you are only downtown for a few hours.  We came home and then it was a naptime...I got all the laundry done (well, done and laundry is a relative term), the cleaning down (mostly!...no vacuuming) and my toes were FREEZING so I took a bath and read a book.  I am reading a book about a blind cat called Homer.  It's starting to get good.

Then, Chris came home and we all headed out for what he said was a "family dinner" night...which I thought was a really nice idea of him.  The moon was beautiful and I was excited.  More to come later on what he surprised me with...I need the pictures!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I feel like the Grinch today...

Today was a day.  Work was crazy. 

a kid at daycare punched Nathan.  So, Nathan got mad and bit him.  Nathan never bites so it was out of character, but, of course, just another thing we have to hear from his teachers.  we have been struggling with some things at daycare for a few months now. it sucks.  it beyond sucks.  it stresses me out.  later on in the day, the kid scratched Nathan on the face.  he now has a big scratch across his left cheek. 

but, you can't do anything about the other kid, and have to focus on your own.  and many times you can't even do anything for your kid because you aren't there.  daycare sucks.   Evan has been sick, and I am tired of hearing negative  things about Nathan when the kid I see at home is awesome (granted, he's four, he has his moments...definatley.)

So, yeah, I am in a Grinchy mood.

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel,
You're as cuddly as a cactus, you're as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch,
You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel!

You're a monster, Mr. Grinch,
Your heart's an empty hole,
Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul, Mr. Grinch,
I wouldn't touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch,
You have termites in your smile,
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile, Mr. Grinch,
Given a choice between the two of you I'd take the seasick crocodile!

You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch,
You're the king of sinful sots,
Your heart's a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots, Mr. Grinch,
You're a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!

You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch,
With a nauseous super "naus"!,
You're a crooked dirty jockey and you drive a crooked hoss, Mr. Grinch,
Your soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful
Assortment of rubbish imaginable mangled up in tangled up knots!

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch,
You're a nasty wasty skunk,
Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Grinch,
The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote,
"Stink, stank, stunk"!

everyday wonderfulness...


So, I found this post that I didn't post!    I drafted it September 19 apparently...which makes sense on why I forgot about it...because the SHTF on September 22....

I kind of wish I could go back to this day on September 19th a little bit...much more innocent and peaceful back then...maybe things will settle down here in the new year...here's  hoping!






Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rut roh.

I just realized that I need 62 more posts by the end of the year to tie to the number of posts I made in 2010.  Dang, I really dropped the ball this year. 

But, I was on maternity leave for 4 months out of the year in 2010.   So, yeah.

Well, now I am down to 61 more.  ;-)

Oh, and seriously, modern Christmas songs suck (i.e., Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, etc.), except for the ones by Michael Buble (except for the "baby baby" one..he says "baby" in a weird way too many times).

Visit with Santa....

A quick post tonight - but I am definately on track for more posts this month! 

Before Thanksgiving we went to see Santa...we don't like lines and there is never a line before Thanksgiving....Nathan looks "scruffy" in this picture...but honestly, that is how he is 95% of the time around me, so I can't help but think he is adorable. 
Nathan was shy at first...but then warmed right up!
Evan wasn't bothered by Santa last year...but he was this year!

I guess Evan forgot that he had "better NOT pout"...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quilting I haven't forgotten you...

I got this kit in August and seriously thought I would have it finished prior to Thanksgiving.  However, things happened in September, October, and November which caused to not "feel like" quilting.  But, last Friday I suddenly had the urge again, and this was a very quick quilt top to make...I just finished adding the borders (boo) today and now it goes off to the quilters!


I bought this kit because it was the first time I really enjoyed a Christmas quilt in "non-traditional" colors....I am partial to pinks...so that is probably why.  :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Goal for December: Most posts!

I meant to post the last post days ago...I think I wrote it on Tuesday!  Whoops!  With Nathan now using my computer, I get less time on it each night.  Today I finally said to him, "go use Daddy's computer for a bit...Mommy really needs hers!" 

I got some more Christmas shopping done and I think I am pretty much wrapped up (ha ha!). I need one more small thing for my dad, but the rest I dare say is Christopher's problem...his brother, his brother's kids (I have his wife done much to my delight, and she is tough!) and his dad.

I am writing this on my birthday (the 4th) but since I just posted a post I probably won't post this post today.  I wonder how many times I can use the word post appropriately in a sentence?  I probably maxed it out right there. 

Oh -- I had to get a new driver's license this year again, and for the first time in 12 years I actually wrote down my ACTUAL weight...which was LESS than what was on my driver's license before.  Yee-haw!  Plus, the picture was great...I don't want a new one.  Ever. 

My birthday means there are 20 days left before Christmas...whew.  And I got things to do, people to see, places to go...who knows how I am going to get it all done!  The good thing is, the busier I am, the less time I have for selfish concerns or worries and the more time I am giving to others...so, schedule me up Lord, I am getting ready for your birthday!  My biggest concern is keeping the family healthy..November was so rough, as you know....!

I thought I would share these three pictures I just received...I just love them all: 

Nathan and me at my niece's baptism this summer....

Little Mr. Bigshot getting on EVERYTHING now...this was at Thanksgiving.

Ignore the dead birds...that man is totally HOT in this picture! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Card Outtakes

These are always fun, aren't they?

Whoops! Mommy and Nathan = not ready!!

Evan = adorable!  Nathan looks drunk. 

Almost made the cut!  But Chris' hand weirded me out and my eyes were so squinty!

Evan starting to get ancy...pushing his brother!

AND we're done.  Cause Evan says so. 
Update:  Gigi either has cancer or IBD.  We will never know for sure since the diagnostic test for cancer costs $2K.  So, they are treating her for IBD now with sterroids to see if that helps.  Poor girl.  I am hoping she puts on some weight soon!