Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new

I'm busy making chicken broth, spaghetti squash, brine for a turkey, overnight french toast, and chili. You know being the domestic goddess that I am. Bwahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahah!

That was funny, I must be delirious from running around trying to get everything done before my brother-in-law, his wife and their four children arrive this afternoon for a couple of days visit.

Since I'm always doing things I shouldn't, here I sit, typing a blog post for all of you, my cyber-friends. You know being the compassionate, caring goddess that I am. Bwaahahahahahah! Hahahahahahah!

Really, it might be five o'clock somewhere, but I'm not starting till after the divine service this evening.

I think I need a nap.

I want to wish all of you a happy, healthy new year. Thanks for being around, reading my ramblings, and commenting every now and then making me think I'm a terrific writer.

I also wanted to point you to Dave Barry's end of year review column. It is so funny, I printed it off last night and read it to David. We had tears in our eyes during parts. We so enjoy Dave Barry's humor - he is a funny man. So, go here and read his article. It is long, but well worth it.
(ht to Father Hollywood).

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good Reading

RPW has a good post. Go here and read.

My in-laws told us of a young couple who found themselves unable to resist and the girl became pregnant. They are 14 years old. The parents took them to MO, had them get married and now they are living with one of the parents, going to school, and raising a baby. Some in my in-laws neighborhood are shocked and disturbed that the parents had them get married. I think it was a good idea. My prayer for this young couple is that the parents around them and even in the neighborhood will support them, and help them make their marriage last their lifetime.

I'm under no illusion that it will be easy, but I am fully aware that the same media and world and sadly even many Christians RPW speaks of in her post are also the same ones that will say things like this to this couple, "You had to give up so much, now it is time for you to do something for yourself, " or "If you don't love him/her anymore, go ahead and get a divorce," or other garbage.

I have other thoughts, but they seem to want to stay jumbled up in my brain. I think I'll go do some more cleaning before this becomes even more unclear. If you didn't before,
This post.

Christmas Gifts

The children use their allowance money to buy both their father and I a present, usually with the help of the other parent. This year was no different.

The children gave me some Jane Austin novels.

The one is a beautiful hardcover with 7 novels included under the one cover: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Lady Susan. The other book is titled, Love and Friendship, A Collection of Juvenile Writings. Only Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan and Love and Friendship are the ones I've never read. Even so, I'm simply delighted that now I don't have to borrow any from the library, I can walk to my bookshelf and pick one up to read whenever the desire hits.

For David, the children couldn't decide what to give him. At first they thought about a Whirley Pop, but he bought one himself because we desperately needed a new popcorn popper (We eat popcorn at least once a week, usualy twice or three times). Then they thought about a dvd of either Monk or Psych, but they were too much money (now those links show they've come down in price, oh well). They kept asking him and he would always say, Captain Morgan, but they didn't think that seemed liked a good gift. However as time drew near, I told them, really, that would be a grand gift for your dad and you can buy him a case of Coke to go with it. They finally agreed and once it was wrapped and under the tree, they couldn't wait for him to open it.

On the days proceeding Christmas, David commented that their weren't any bottle shaped gifts under the tree. This made the kids grin in secret. I had purposely told them to put the Captain in a gift bag with tissue, because if we wrapped it liked a bottle, then he would know. I also wrapped the case of Coke with wrapping paper, so he had two gifts.

On Christmas Eve as he opened his gifts, this is how it turned out:
He pulled off the tissue and paper and saw immediately what it was.

Grinning ear to ear.

Yea, it is the Captain!

Then they handed him his second gift. He commented, "Wow, what is this? It is so heavy."

I thought for sure he would know since he had just opened the Captain. But he really didn't. Once again, surprise and delight.

Now he once again can enjoy a Captain Coke with popcorn.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kicking myself

I hate it when I wait around and around and around to get something I know I want, but am hesitant to either
a. spend the money
b. force husband and kids into doing something they might not want or
c. both

because what always happens is that item is no longer available! UGH!!!!!

It has happened again. The Vienna Boys Choir was going to perform at Shattuck-St. Mary's in February. I really wanted to go and take the family. But I waited and waited until last night when I asked David again, "I've mentioned I wanted to go to that concert but I'm not sure you want to go or that you think it is a good idea." "No I would love to go," he replied.

So today I called, and the tickets are all sold out. I'm quite disappointed and mad at myself.

Oh well, my only consolation is that now David has to take us to Vienna to hear the Boys Choir, but I might be waiting quite along time for that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Melting Moments

No, it isn't all the snow, especially since the temperatures are below freezing with wind chills even lower.

No, what are melting moments then, are these little delicacies:

A few years ago, when we lived in Illinois, my sister-in-law and I would get together one day and decorate sugar cookies for Christmas. She would often bring another kind of cookie to share and I would give her something if I had happened to think about it in time. She has always been much more thoughtful than me.

Anyway, one year, she brought these mouth-watering yummies. I loved them and gobbled them like crazy. Years have gone by and I had forgotten all about these yummy, yummy, cookies, until I looked through my recipes to make a list of what goodies I wanted to make for Christmas treats.
That is when I saw it, the recipe card for Melting Moments.

I knew immediately they would be on my list. They can be on yours too, I'll share the recipe.

Don't worry, you still have time to make them, they're easy and quick. You can even make the dough one morning and bake in the afternoon, or make the dough one day and bake another.

Melting Moments
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Sift flour once and measure. Add cornstarch and sift again. Set aside. In mixing bowl, cream butter with vanilla. Add powdered sugar, cream until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture, mix until smooth. Chill dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop dough from teaspoonfuls or form small balls (my choice). Bake for 10-15 minutes. Frost when cool with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting:
1.5 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
(I add a little milk)
food coloring of your choice

Cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beat until blended. Divide into bowls for your color choices. Frost cookies, allowing it to set before storing or serving.

These cookies are fragile and tend to fall apart if handled carelessly. But boy oh boy once you put one in your mouth, it really does melt away. The recipe made 37 cookies for me. I rolled the dough in small walnut shape balls, and they do flatten somewhat as they bake. The original cream cheese frosting was double what I wrote above, but I only needed the half batch to cover the cookies.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Never Fail Toffee

Doesn't this look scrumptious?

Come on over and I'll share.

Oh I know, the weather is frightful today, so go ahead and stay home and make some yourself.

Never Fail Toffee
1 cup sugar
2 sticks of butter
3 Tbsp water
1 Hershey chocolate Bar
Walnuts chopped fine

Cook the sugar, butter and water on medium high heat until it reaches hard crack stage (300 degrees).
First it starts out all pretty and buttery...

then turns tan, pulls away from the pan and sometimes smokes.

Once it reaches the hard crack stage, pour it into a buttered 9x9 pan. Let it set for 10 minutes.

Then add 1 Hershey's chocolate bar on top,

let it melt, then spread it out evenly over the top.

Now sprinkle walnuts all over.

Let it set until hardens, usually overnight. I often stick it in the refrigerator. Use a knife to break it into bite-sized pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, for future snacking.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Flute Talent

This is neat. David found it in searching for our first-year, flute-playing daughter to hear someone playing the flute. I use to play flute, maybe she and I will have to practice together to imitate, although I think we'll start with something more simple than Bach. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Try these

If you want to try a new recipe this year, try this one, Honey-Spice Cookies:

3/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup dark honey
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp powdered ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Beat the butter and sugar toghether in a large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in the beaten eggs, honey, vinegar, and vanilla extract, until all the ingredients are well combined. Sift the flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together over this mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large baking sheet.

Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll them by hand into small balls, about 3/4-inch in diameter. Place them on the buttered baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake on the middle rack of the oven, one baking sheet at a time for about 15 minutes. The cookies will puff up at first, then flatten out as they bake. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Roll the remaining dough into balls and bake. Store the cookies up to one month in a tightly covered container.

These taste especially yummy on cold, snowy afternoons dipped in coffee. Besides that, the house smells wonderful as they're baking, like mine does right now. Guess what I'm enjoying for a snack tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2008


means I have a ton of stuff to do today and instead I sit here typing.

Melanie, if you're reading, we simply have to get together next year, otherwise I put my cookie baking and decorating off way too long and am faced with trying to get them done the day before the ladies' bake sale.

I also need to finish several loads of laundry today that have piled up somehow.

Sometime I have to put together the hotdish for tomorrow's luncheon at church.

I really want to put up some more Christmas decorations today before my Pampered Chef party Sunday afternoon. Anyone want to come - you're all invited.

So I suppose I should get to doing what needs to be done.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Hmm, Not sure what I think of this or that I think it is me

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!


You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be direct and clear

  • * Listen to me carefully

  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety

  • * Work things through with me

  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us

  • * Laugh and make jokes with me

  • * Gently push me toward new experiences

  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn

  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends

  • * being responsible and hardworking

  • * being compassionate toward others

  • * having intellect and wit

  • * being a nonconformist

  • * confronting danger bravely

  • * being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn

  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself

  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often

  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn

  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents

  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt

  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Handbook for Mothers

This afternoon I made a double batch of sugar cookie dough to stick in the fridge in order to make Christmas cookies in the days to come. As I scraped the dough from my mixer into a bowl with a lid, the 6 year old daughter came in and requested a taste; I handed her one of the paddles. Moments later, the 12 year old daughter came in from practicing her violin and requested to lick the bowl; I told her she could have the other paddle.

12 yr old: "Who gets the bowl? You?
Me: "Yes"
12 yr old: "That's not fair."
Me: "Of course you would think that wasn't fair."

She then exits to put away her violin. I call the 11 yr old daughter to take the dough to the basement fridge and upon her return to the kitchen, I give her the spatula to enjoy. There we were then, gathered in the kitchen, each enjoying the sugar cookie dough when...

12 yr old: "Moms aren't supposed to lick the bowl. That's for kids."
Me: "Oh really? Who says?"
12 yr old with glint in her eye: "I read it."
Me: "In what book did you read this?"
12 yr old without hesitation: "In The Handbook for Mothers."
Me: "Where did you find this book to read?"
12 yr old: "In the library."
Me: "What page did you find it on?"
12 yr old: "512"
Me: "What page?"
12 yr old thinking she is winning this battle: "12"
Me: "Then I know you've been reading the ersatz Handbook for Mothers, because you gave me the wrong page and paragraph number."
12 yr old, not willing to give up quite yet: "Then what page? How do you know you've not been reading the ersatz book."
Me: "Who is the mother? When you get to be a mother you'll have the real book too, but till then mothers don't allow their children to read their handbook."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Seven Things from a Kreativ Blogger who can't think of anything else to write about

AmusedMomma gave me this award:

And since I haven't lived up to this award with any creative posts for awhile, I'll do the meme that goes with it.

Seven things I did before:
(AmusedMomma did "before kids," I'm going to do "before lunch today."

1. I dragged myself out of bed at 7:20.

2. I read with David the Treasury of Daily Prayer for today.

3. I shipped the oldest two off with Latin vocabulary and books on Lincoln and Douglas with their dad as he drove to Rochester for a hospital visit.

4. I read emails and blogs.

5. I taught the youngest three their math lesson for the day.

6. I did the dishes.

7. I fixed lunch.

Seven things I do now:

1. I make our bread.

2. I make our granola.

3. I make our yogurt.

4. I drink coffee.

5. I check email and blogs to the detriment of housework and childcare.

6. I count down to the one week vacation with my best friend and her family, starting the day we leave from the current year's vacation. (9 months and 11 days)

7. I say "yes, I can do that or help with that" way too many times.

Seven things I would like to do:

1. Travel around the USA with my family. (Here I'm the same as AmusedMomma.)

2. Travel around Europe with my family.

3. Be more disciplined.

4. Learn how to better use my camera.

5. Be more loving and caring.

6. Lose weight. (Once again, I'm right there with you AmusedMomma.)

7. Spend more time scrapbooking, catching up with all my pictures.

Seven things that attract me to my husband:

1. His handsome good looks.

2. His belief in and defense of Lutheranism.

3. His persnicketyness when it comes to knowing where every single penny we spend or receive goes.

4. His twinkling eyes.

5. His humor.

6. His liberalness in giving to charities.

7. His ability to make me think I'm the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen or cares to see.

Seven favorite foods:

1. Good Hamburger

2. Good Beer

3. T-bone Steak

4. Greek yogurt with homemade granola and strawberries

5. Ribs

6. Riesling or Gewurztraminer wines

7. Baked Potato

Seven things I say most often:

1. This is maddening, simply maddening.

2. No!

3. Who's suppose to.......?

4. What?

5. Just a minute.

6. Get your work done.

7. No!

Seven people I am tagging:

1. Karen

2. Erin

3. Kristi

4. Jenny

5. Polly

6. Wendy

7. And anyone else who wants to play along.