Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas recap and other "big" news

I figured it was about time I posted about Christmas since it's been almost a week! Oops.

Christmas was great. Instead of boring you with details, I'll just give you a quick run-down of how the day went. We were able to spend Christmas morning at home, just the 3 of us and eat cinnamon rolls, open presents and hang out together. After that, we left to go to the airport to meet my dad, who was flying in from Iraq. After the airport, we drove to my dad's wife's family get-together and spent the afternoon there. Jack enjoyed opening presents ALL day long and got some really great gifts. THANK YOU to everyone. We missed the family that we couldn't be with very much. Here are some pictures....

Slide from mommy & daddy

"Jack-a-roo" Teddy Bear from Nana (it had her voice recorded on it)

"Cars" Quilt for his bed from Grandma

Waiting at the airport (the only picture we have of him in his "suit." Ugh.)

Opening presents with Abuelo (Abeeyo)

He got very tired.

For the other "big" news...Jack has moved his way up into a big boy bed. The night after Christmas we made the transition and it has been rough. He has slept great at night for two nights in a row, but refuses to nap in it. Hopefully that will change with time.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Why having a kid is fun

Lately, we've been struggling with the reality that having a toddler makes life difficult sometimes. Jack demands our attention at all times and loves to throw some awesome tantrums. Yesterday, there were several things that made us realize why life would be so boring without a toddler around.

We watch the movie "Toy Story 2" at least once a day. Buzz and Woody are as much a part of our family as Lightening McQueen now. (Which, if you knew how obsessed Jack was with would understand that this is a huge deal.) Jack is in love with it. We, however, are extremely bored by it. So, we've made it our new hobby to find interesting things in these animated movies. Yesterday we were at the part of the movie where Hamm (the pig) is flipping through the channels to find the commercial for Al's Toy Barn. He is flipping extremely fast and we decided to slow it down to see what all of the commercials were on the tv. I knew there had to be something interesting in there. You won't believe what we found!

They put boobies in "Toy Story 2"! I was shocked. This clip goes by sooooo fast though. How's that for movie trivia! (Really, we have way too much time on our hands.)

We've also discovered that things that we thought were junk can be re-purposed for hours of entertainment. Take this cat toy/scratcher-thing for instance...

The cat has never used it. Never even smelled it. I was ready to toss it. But, then Jack found it. It is now his SPACESHIP and it is SO COOL.

He walks around with it and scares the dog.

And he sits in it to watch tv.
He loves it. I don't even know why we buy the kid toys anymore. Just find some random junk in the house and name it something cool! :)

Last, but definitely not least, Jack makes us laugh. Here is what happened last night that had us both cracking up.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fake 'n Bake

It is a strong tradition in our family to decorate sugar cookies for Christmas. If we didn't follow this tradition, it might as well not be Christmas at all. It is an EVENT. The last two years, we have had the joy of being able to decorate cookies with Josh & Shanna. It was a lot of fun and we missed them so much this year. But, this was the first year that Jack was able to get in on the decorating fun. He did really well for 20 minutes or so. The sprinkles were, by far, his favorite part.

Doesn't he just look thrilled?

A sampling of Jack's cookie art.

I usually use homemade sugar cookie dough, but it never turns out right. I use my mom's recipe (which has been proven successful for 20-some-odd years), but I just can't get them right. So, this year I did the unthinkable - I bought sugar cookie dough. Oh my. I felt guilty the entire time. Until I tasted them. Yum. They are delicious! I think I might continue using that in years to come. Just don't tell anyone, OK? :)

The aftermath (it might not look that bad, but you should've seen the floor - THOUSANDS of little sprinkles. Thank goodness for a good vacuum.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

What makes YOU smile?

THIS makes me smile! :) Jack "made" this in Sunday School. Even though I know he probably didn't think of the words to write on the page, it still makes me smile every time I look at it. I looooove that he's at an age where he makes things at Sunday School to bring home. When we pick him up from the nursery, he is soooo proud to show us what he made. I just love it. It makes me happy.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Catching up...

Several things have happened the last few days that I've been wanting to blog about, but haven't had time! The latest "big" news with Jack is that he is back to wearing an eye patch. He had a follow-up appointment last week and the doctor would like him to wear a patch 4-6 hours/day for one month. I was "reprimanded" by the doctor for not putting the patch on him for the first 2 weeks (um, when he was sick with an ear infection, bronchitis and had a fever of 102-104* for 5 days...which I explained to the doctor), but he said that he saw some improvement just from the few days that Jack had worn the patch. Thankfully, I found a website for a patch called Framehuggers and we ordered one for Jack. It is blue with a picture of Woody (from Toy Story) on it. He fought us the first time we put it on, but he has done awesome with it since then. He left it on for a whole 6 hours this morning without complaining! Praise the Lord! It is such a relief to know that we are doing something to help his vision...but we don't have to torture him in the process. Here's a picture of the little man with his new patch on.

He was complaining in this picture because we were out getting our Christmas tree and he was tired of waiting in the car. Which brings me to my next topic...our Christmas tree. We have made it a tradition to go out and cut down our own tree every year. This might possibly be the last year of that tradition. For starters, it was 5* outside when we were looking for our tree. That is so cold. It hurts. Second, the closest tree farm (that we know of) was 30 minutes away. Third, the tree was still over $50. Fourth, Jack refused to walk through the snow, so we had to carry him the entire time. Holding a 35 lb. toddler while trudging through the snow is a quick way to wear yourself out. Fifth, by the time we drove out to the farm, found the tree we were looking for and loaded it on the car, it was lunch time. Jack was hungry and cranky (and he wasn't the only one!). So we had to eat lunch out. So...was the real, live tree worth all the hassle? I don't know. I think we might browse the artificial trees while they're on sale after Christmas. I might have to eat my words. Here's a picture of our tree at the farm.

Oh, another thing about buying a Christmas tree when it's 5* out....there was ice all over it. I mean...our tree was encased in ice. Not like an icicle here and there. No. Every needle had ice surrounding it. We had to bring the tree inside, put a bunch of towels under it and let it thaw out. Nice big puddles on the floor. It was kind of weird. Anyway, here's the tree after it was all prettied up. (I know, it's dark...but I couldn't get a good picture with the flash on.)

Here's how I survived the morning...

and how I passed time while Lonnie was loading the tree onto the van...

Here's my strapping young husband tying the tree onto the van. He did an awesome job. It didn't fall off once.

Oh, there is more I want to write about, but it is getting late. I hope you all are having a wonderful time preparing for Christmas. Stay warm! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Taco Pizza

I made this last night and it turned out soooo yummy! A local pizza restaurant in town makes a taco pizza that we just love. So, I thought I'd try to save us some money and make it at home. :)

Taco Pizza
1/2 can enchilada sauce
1/2 can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
Salt, chili powder, and sugar to taste (I just played around with these until I got it right)
1 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
3/4 c. water
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce
Doritos chips
Any other toppings you would enjoy!

Make your favorite recipe for pizza dough, or use the premade pizza crusts. My recipe for dough is below. :) Brown ground beef until cooked through, add taco seasoning packet and water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Roll out dough into desired size. Mix together enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and seasonings. Spread as much as you want over the pizza dough. Put ground beef on top of sauce. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of ground beef. Bake according to dough recipe instructions or premade crust instructions. When done, top with lettuce, crushed Doritos chips and a little more cheese. Sour cream, salsa, tomato, or other taco toppings would be yummy too! Enjoy!

Pizza Dough
1 packet active yeast
3 cups flour
2 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 c. warm water

"Proof" yeast in 1/4 c. warm water and 1 tsp. sugar. Let it sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in mixing bowl. Add oil, 3/4 c. warm water and yeast mixture to dry ingredients. Mix together with your hands and knead until combined. Let rise for 30 minutes. Roll out to desired size. Could easily make two medium size pizzas or one very large pizza. I used it to make one pizza and it was a little too much dough/crust. Next time, I will make it larger or make two pizzas. Also, I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil and you could definitely taste it in the dough. Next time, I think I will use vegetable oil. :)

I hope you enjoy it!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

This is what I'm talking about...

Here's the best picture I could get of the ICE that is on top of the snow. (I broke a chunk off of the garbage can lid!)
The ice is on everything. The driveway, the sidewalk, the ROAD. So, there's about 1/4" of ice on top of about 6" of snow. This is definitely a new adventure for us!!!

Our first "big" snow

So it begins. Our first "real" winter. We got about 6" of snow today, on top of the inch or so we got yesterday. In Washington, this would be BIG news. We would hear about it for would be the only thing on TV...the only thing on the radio...the only thing people talked about...the power would be out for days...stores would run out of batteries and other essentials...they would call it "Winter Storm '07" or some witty name. Here...not so much. It's snow. It happens. Yes, it was on the weather and they talked about it a little. They let us know what was coming. And, it came. After the snow fell, the rain fell. Freezing rain. I always thought that freezing rain was rain that was freezing as it fell (like hard pellets). But, my meteorologist husband has let me know that freezing rain falls as regular rain, but it freezes once it hits the ground. I have been corrected. :)'s proof...

See how nice and shiny the snow looks? And how there's a little shine on the sidewalk too? Yep, that's ice folks. Ice from freezing rain. Lonnie went out and tested the slickness of any 12 year old boy would do. :) Speaking of my husband, check out what he GOT to do today...

Our (well, HIS) first shoveling experience. Like any good wife, I greeted him at the door with a cup of hot cocoa when he was done. But, then I learned that shoveling snow makes you HOT and HOT cocoa isn't necessarily the best thing to drink when you're sweating. Maybe next time I'll greet him with a cup of ice cold water. :) He's the best. Shoveling snow. What a man, what a mighty good man.