Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This Day was brought to you by...

The Letter
and the Number
Today I had the pleasure of watching 4 kids that belong to dear friends of ours. In addition to my 3, this makes quite the bunch, but we sure did manage to have a fun time.
We had popcorn at snacktime, and pizza for dinner, hence the LETTER P and 7 kids total, hence the NUMBER 7. At dinner we were talking and laughing about our time together and the old Sesame Street line popped out.
Kids are funny people, especially when they have cool parents that pass on a sense of humor!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Egg Nog French Toast, A Christmas Breakfast Tradition

We received this loaf of bread (well, not THIS loaf, that would be gross and stale, but another one exactly like it) from our dear neighbor 4 years ago and it has been a tradition ever since. If you can find a Cinnamon Bread at a local bakery, you may want to give it a go while stores still have egg nog in stock. Yum yum!

Christmas Egg Nog French Toast

1 loaf sliced cinnamon bread
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups egg nog
2 Tbs vanilla

(We 1/2 the recipe for our little family)

Wishlists Granted

Santa brought movie cushions and a DVD for each child, and filled stockings with blow up punch balls, (2 of which popped promptly when punched into the tree), horns, bubble tape, arctic animal shaped chocolate, new undies (even Syd, Santa must know her Mom wants her to potty train this summer) and shapeable bath soap! The kids were beyond excited.
Savannah and her Cabbage Patch Kid. I was her age when I received my 1st one, and this year is the 25th Anniversary edition....she smells just like the ones I had as a child, it takes me back..and makes me feel OLD at the same time. She introduces her as "the newest member of the family, Dinah Carma, born on Nov 8th 2008." (who comes up with these names, anyway?) Another notable gift was the Hannah Montana Guitar...more on that in a later post. :)

Gunnar and his Speed Racer set. He and Dad set this up and he's spent many happy hours with it already. He also loves his "treasure box" from his sisters and his Operation game.

Sydney with her play makeup. This girl spends hours painting nails, putting on eyeshadow and blow-drying her (and her doll's) hair. The kit came with a battery operated dryer that makes noise and blows, ever so slightly. She also received her own baby along with a stroller, bassinett, diaper bag, and travel seat, and is busy being a little Mommy. I've never seen her play with any toys with such an attention span before now. WOW.
Mom received a new camera among other things, and is thrilled to have this new tool to document our many adventures. Dad received some new noise cancelling headphones, a ripstik, and some PC games (thanks to our EA hook up, love ya K!).
We are so blessed to have all that we do. We are especially grateful for each other and our family and friends near and far. We know that the greatest gift we have been given comes from Jesus Christ, and we are tremendously grateful for his birth and the time of year that we have to celebrate it so abundantly!
We hope you and yours are enjoying the season!

We Believe

The kids went all out to make sure Santa was welcomed and FED when he arrived at our house this year. Savi especially wanted to make sure that Santa knew she appreciated her gift from last year and was still using it (the art easel). Hence, the picture. We decorated some snowman faces for him and left the reindeers some yummy rainbow carrots. Sydney had to sample some of each to make sure they were OK. :)
Santa was sweet and left a nice long note and even signed his picture. The kids were glad that he mentioned that he noticed they'd made some bad choices this year, but he knew they were sorry so he kept them on the NICE list. Lucky them. Gunnar says he thinks some people who are cold would like to have coal to burn and keep warm though. Classic Gunnar.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa, Baby

Oh, the excitement of Christmas Eve-Eve, as we call it around here. It's palpable. The kids are home from school all over each other. Dad is home from work and we are having holiday fun, including the annual building of the gingerbread house and neighborhood gift delivery on Sunday afternoon...followed be jib-jabbing ourselves into dancing elves that evening. We laughed so hard we just about cried!

Yesterday we called a sitter and Mom and Dad escaped for Sushi lunch at Mikado (best I've ever had!), followed by a Matinee showing of Twilight (my 2nd time, Chris' 1st...am I the only one who didn't notice the author's cameo the first time around??)

This morning the kids had so much energy we decided it was time for some extreme sledding in Dimple Dell (for you non-locals we have a large ravine with horse trails about 1 block away that provides some excellent runs). We dragged our sleds out there all bundled up and went whooping down the trails. We all stayed warm despite the falling snow. Although we had a couple of close calls, none of us fell over the drops of the trails. A handy scrub oak saved our bacon a couple of times. So, we've dragged our tired out legs back up the hills and back home and are now in for some holiday relaxing.....together......(contented sigh)..

Happy Christmas Eve-Eve!!

Room Parent

Sadly I don't get to volunteer in the kids' classrooms as much as I would like, with the baby (toddler, now) around. I keep telling myself that when Sydney is in school, that will be my time to help out. This year I told the kids I would help with A party in each of their classes. I helped for Halloween in Gunnar's and the "Winter" Party in Savannah's.

I found a cute idea online at Betty Crocker to make Sugar Cookie Snowmen Faces. They looked pretty simple, and yummy! The kids loved them and were so excited. I was really glad I bought 2x the amount of Gummy Lifesavers that I thought I would need because they were gobbling them left and right. They are really yummy!

I was so tickled at all the creative ideas they came up with. I made a sample and told them they could copy that or come up with their own plan. One girl made an alien with 3 eyes, and licorice cords connecting them. Another boy just stacked mounds of mini M&Ms on his until they wouldn't stick anymore. One cute boy asked if he could make an extra one for his little sister....this melted my heart, so I let him....only he proceeded to eat that one too about 5 minutes later. Oh well!

I just loved getting a look at Savi's world and spending time with other kids her age. I think I really like 2nd graders, there is such a frank honestness about them that pulls you right in.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"Holiday" Program

At Savi's school each year, the 2nd grade classes put on a "Holiday" Program. They used to call it a CHRISTMAS Program but apparantly that offended someone somewhere, so they changed it. Hey, at least it's not a "Winter" Program, it could be worse I guess!

They have been practicing these cute songs since September and she was SO excited. We did her hair "extra fancy" in anticipation! This girl is a performer I think. Between her dancing, church and school performances she's had a lot of practice.
Mistletoe was my favorite song, I'd never heard it before. Here are the lyrics:
In the doorway of my kitchen, you might get an awful itchin’
To give somebody a big holiday smooch
For if you would look above your head
You’d see the green and white and red and put that little plant to use
It’s a fearsome, old tradition in the doorway of my kitchen
And there’s hardly anyone who can escape
(Let me out of here!)
If you stand inside the doorway, someone’s bound to make it your way
And unless you duck real fast
Smack, Yuck, Too Late!

I want no part of this holiday kissing!
I know just what I’m missing and it’s fine
When my uncle kissed his fiancée
I thought they would be there all day
I don’t want any part of mistletoe! No, no, no, no, no, no
I don’t want any part of mistletoe

Well, Aunt Bertha nearly drowned me when she put her arms around me
And said, “Fancy that! Why, there’s the mistletoe!”
It was most unpleasant, but I knew she had my present
So I let her kiss me while I held my nose!

I want no part of this holiday kissing!
I know just what I’m missing and it’s fine
I don’t want a smooch or kiss or peck
Not on my cheek or on my neck
I don’t want any part of mistletoe! No, no, no, no, no, no
I don’t want any part of mistletoe

Get this!
Once the kid across the street came to our house for a treat
Hoping for a cookie or some pie
In the doorway he was standing when old Rover made a landing
And licked that kid until I thought he’d die

Everyone’s into this holiday kissing!
I know just what I’m missing and it’s F-I-N-E fine
From Aunt Bertha to Rover when will kissing time be over?
I don’t want any part of mistle toe! No, no, no, no, no, no
I don’t……..well maybe…..nah!
I don’t want any part of mistletoe! Smooch! Yuck!

Sweet and Sassy, just like my girl!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yo Queiro Enchiladas

My sister K loves this recipe. She's asked me for it on more than one occasion, including today. I've made it for my family countless times, taken it to church gatherings and even served it to friends from Sweden when they came to visit. They'd never had Mexican food before, but it was a hit!
I've never written it down before now, but I thought that for the sake of posterity, I'd better do it....and while I'm at it, I should share. It really is the season after all!

While this is a chicken enchilada recipe, I've mixed it up and done it with ground beef as well...the only change is to make it as though you were having tacos...season accordingly. Enjoy!

Nat's Blond Enchiladas
Serves 4-6

3-4 chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
chili powder
6 flour tortillas (soft taco size, I use Mission)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (you can also use Pepper Jack, if you like it SpIcY!)


1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 small can diced green chilies

Preheat oven to 350.

Sprinkle chicken breasts liberally with chili powder and sauté in pan sprayed with Olive Oil Pam, or something like it. Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from heat. While chicken rests, combine all 4 ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl and blend well. Heating the sauce is not required. Spread some sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Also spread a small amount of sauce down the middle of each flour tortilla, then add chicken, some cheese, roll and place in dish . Once all tortillas are in the dish, spread remaining sauce over the top, making sure to cover all of the tortilla (or they will harden). Top all with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

Serve with Spanish rice or black beans....or both! Also delish with cut up fresh tomato and/or green onion garnish.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Adolescent Humor

The kids and I took a quick trip to Wally's World the other night. On the way back to the kid's dept. you have to pass the Women's undergarments area. I noticed that my 2 older kids had slowed down and were whispering and giggling to each other. (we have passed this area many times, and they have NEVER had any reaction)

Me - What's so funny guys, did I miss the joke?

S&G - (pointing) - THAT's funny... hehehehhehehhhehehhe

Me - Why? It's just underwear.

S - EVERYONE knows underwear is FUNNY, Mom!!

Me - Oh, I thought it was JUST underwear, silly me....

S - It's FUNNY because if someone pulled off your clothes you would just be standing there in your UNDERWEAR!!! hehhehehhehehhehehhehe

Sigh....I guess they are really getting to that age.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Parenting is FuN

...especially now that they're getting a little bit older. We have a lot of chaos still, but I'm starting to see the light on the horizon. Just this last week I had the opportunity to spend some one on one time with my oldest daughter who is becoming quite mature (with more emotionally charged melt-downs which I'm sure will only become more hormonally enhanced within the next few years, but I digress....) and increasingly fun to be around.

Last Tuesday night I was invited to a Lia Sophia party by a long time friend (we're talking San Jose days) that I hadn't seen in about 3 years. I jumped on the opportunity to shamelessly steal jewelry design ideas and catch up with my girlfriend....and it was a great time to spend with my girl too. She listened to the presentation, ohhhed and awwwed over all the jewelry and confirmed that yes, my friend, still HAS IT in the kitchen. She's a fabulous cook! (Suz, if you're reading this, I NEED your Artichoke Dip recipe! It's my own personal brand of heroin. ;P)

On Friday, we again had the chance to hang out together in honor of her friend's 8th birthday party, ice skating. Savannah has never done this, and I only have rarely, so I'm not the greatest.... Nonetheless, I told her I would do my best to keep her from bailing. We went around and around, she on the right hand (her other hand clutching the wall) and one of her other friends on my left. A few rounds in my poor arm sockets were getting a quite the workout! And by the end of 2 hours she was skating on her own, and even went out into the middle of the rink. We laughed, joked and got to know each other on different terms than the normal, "how's your homework?". I have to say, she is really growing up fast. I enjoyed talking to her with a group of her friends and getting the inside picture of her world and how she feels about what's going on. One of her BFFs was so funny, she was doing the "Bambi on ice" impersonation (not on purpose)....and I said, "Are you alright?, you look like you're about to do the splits"....says she, "That's OK, I'm CUTE when I fall!" And I have to admit, she was right!

Savi is turning 8 next month and already has plans to throw a movie night pj party for a FEW close friends. We only do a "big effort for Mom" party every other year but she talked her way into it...she takes after her Aunt Kasey that way, she's a great negotiator! She'd already made the invitations on her own, how could I refuse?

I've really been pondering how quickly it all goes lately and trying to absorb all of the fun and discovery of watching her become her own person. I think we're going to be great friends, and that's my fondest hope. I pray that I can be a good Mom AND a good friend to her.

This was her birthday last year....we did a dress up party, all the girls arrived with their favorite dress-ups in hand and I had a couple of other Moms to help me do hair, make-up and nails. It was a blast!