Wednesday, December 31, 2008

workout log

worked out today on the eliptical trainer for 20 min...although someone kept calling me! didn't die.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

wrappin things up...

We didn’t do much at all on Saturday just hang around the house. Put away some Christmas gifts zzzz.

But Sunday was much more interesting.

First Darly had to acolyte at Church. Unfortunately due to Darly’s age that means we had to attend the early service at 8am. Darly hasn’t had to be up that early in a very long time. I haven’t had to be up early enough to be ready for 8am service in a long time either. DH scoffed at both of us. @@

Fortunately everything went smoothly that morning and we made it to Church on time. It was a small service and was over before 9am.

BTW: We normally attend the 10:30 service and go to Sunday School at 9:30.

After Church service I had an exciting engagement to attend. I was going to meet my very first out of town blogging buddy. I got to meet Ladybug!!! What makes this so incredible is that Ladybug lives in Virginia and of all the places in the world for her sister to live, it just happens to be near me!

Yup, I was a bit nervous meeting for the first time someone I had only read about. But everything turned out just fine. We had seen pictures of each other so we knew how to find each other. But I have to be honest, I recognized LLB first.

We met up at Panera Bread and had a lovely lunch together, talking just like old friends. In virtuality we have known each other for a few years now. So everything just flowed as if we had been friends forever for real.

Ladybug is actually taller than I am, but I’m in a chair and she’s kneeling on the floor. LLB did the honors of taking the pictures. And oh yeah, I’m trying out wearing my hair wavy now.

After lunch we were there talking for at least another hour. The manager cleared our plates for us. Ladybug doesn’t have much internet access while she’s visiting here, so once she gets home I’m sure she’ll have some serious internet withdrawl to recover from. ;)  Oh and guess what.  Ladybug has a ladybug on her Discover card! 

I thought that was way cool! 
here's my card.  I swipped these images from the Discover webpage. :o
After lunch with Ladybug I had to get home so that I could take Darly to go and see her friend B. B and her family used to live here in town (we met B at Girl Scouts) but they now live in North Carolina…oddly enough not too far from BIL#1’s house. (nope, we haven’t made a trip there to visit!) Lucky for us B’s family come back here around Christmas for a visit. And even luckier B had a Harp Recital for us (and her other friends & family) to enjoy. B played beautifully, and except for her dog Zoey forgetting that one of the guests had been there and deciding that he needed a good barking at everything went really well.

Darly was a bit intimidated by B’s other guests. They were too loud and crazy for her. But once the boys left she joined in all the fun. We ended up staying until after 8pm chatting and the girls played. Unfortunately B’s family was heading back to North Carolina on Tuesday so Sunday was our only chance to visit with them.

oh and before I forget, I should tell you some of the goodies I got this year.

I signed up to do Kailani's Ornament Exchange this year.  I got paired up with a really neat gal...MEL!  So now I've added her blog to my google reader so I can keep tabs on her.  LOL!  but lookie at the pretty ornament she got for me...
Mel lives near the beach, so she sent me a beachy ornament!  How cool is that?  I love it!

And then being a glutton for punishment, I signed up for Leanne's Homemade Gift Exchange.  For that one I got paired up with Jane.  I'm reading her blog now too.  Here's what she got me ...

she made me this one!and she bought this one that was made by someone else!  Isn't it pretty!  I love them both very much!

Since Sunday, I've been hiding out at home mostly.  It's been nice to not have to do much of anything.  I need to make sure that Darly doesn't have confirmation class tomorrow and we should probably scrounge around for some groceries and stamps.

Everyone have a great New Year's safe!

Please don’t forget to check out my give-a-way post below for your chance to try out some Vaseline Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy lotion.

workout log

worked out today on the eliptical trainer for 10 minutes...didn't die.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion - Giveaway!

So far this year it seems as if Winter is going to be very cold and miserable here in Colorado. We've got low temperatures and high winds...a great combo for dry skin. I first started noticing that my hands were getting very dry a while back. And poor Darly has had dry skin on her hands pretty much year round. So I was very interested in trying out Vaseline's new Clinical Therapy Lotion.

I checked out some of the videos of the folks in Kodiak, Alaska who have tried it...

There are more videos to check out here and here. So I'm thinking that if this could work for them...perhaps this is what will work for me and Darly too. I just received my sample today. I'm impressed with how it feels. I'll keep you posted on how it's working (gotta give it some time though!)

Here's the fun part! I've been given 5 extra bottles of Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion for me to prescribe to my friends (that's you!)

So how can you get me to prescribe a bottle to you?

Visit the Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion website (hey! There's a chance to win a trip to Alaska there!)
Come back to me and let me know if you would like to try the unfragranced or the lightly fragranced.

I'll pick 5 folks to get a 6.8 fl.oz bottle and send them out. (your names will be put in a hat by type you requested and drawn by Darly in about a week.)

Want an extra shot at one of these? Put a link to my post on your blog. The more the merrier! thanks!

This sponsored post brought to you by Family Review Network

More Man training

In my continuing effort to promote harmony between the sexes, I offer a bit of Man training.

I first have to say that my MIL did an awesome job in bringing up her sons to be self sufficient and her youngest son (my DH) did not need much training at all. So to that end, this training applies to children as well.

After all of that you're wondering what in the world I would be talking about...right?

Today's topic is getting your roommates to put their laundry where it should go. I have an acquaintance who requested some help with this very topic not long ago. It seems that her DH had a maid when he was growing up, so he never learned how to put his laundry where it should go. I offered up the following tips that I used for training my child in hopes that she might get some relief and perhaps they may help you as well.

1) Place laundry hampers in areas of your home where changing of clothes takes place. For example in our house we have laundry hampers in our closets and bathrooms. (Our one closet is located in the bathroom)

2) Make known the acceptable locations for the leaving of dirty clothing. In our home clothing can be left in one of the hampers located in convenient clothes changing areas of the home or in the laundry room located downstairs. (My daughter has and aversion to sweaty socks and likes to remove them downstairs. She was quickly able to learn that the laundry room was an acceptable receptacle and the couch was NOT.)

3) Use gentle reminders to get the offender to put discarded clothing where it belongs. i.e. "Darly, the couch is not a laundry hamper." Note: this tip is also useful for getting coats hung back up by changing the wording a bit... "Darly, the couch is not a closet." Other reminder versions "Is the couch/ floor/counter a hamper/closet?" Oh and most important! Do NOT under any circumstances move the dirty clothing yourself...make the offender move it. Otherwise you've taught them that if they leave the clothing there it will somehow get put away by magic. But if you remind them to move the clothing it will become easier to put the clothing where it belongs in the first place to avoid the reminders (which they refer to as nagging.)

4) If it seems that your roommate has chosen a different location for the depositing of dirty clothing, like the middle of the floor perhaps, leave a laundry hamper in that location as a reminder of where the clothing should go. After enough times of tripping over a laundry hamper they will get the hint!

And that concludes our lesson for today. I would really enjoy hearing your tips or comments about this lesson. Success stories would be most welcome!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

how our Christmas went...

DH, Darly & I spent the better part of Christmas Eve morning cleaning up the house in preparations for MIL's visit. We got most everything in ship shape, cleaned ourselves up and headed over to MIL's house.

*I need to add that Darly was sporting quite an attitude. She had an issue about what clothing she was going to wear, and what shoes to wear with it. But telling her that Santa could always skip our house worked really well.

DH took a Christmas card over to MIL's neighbor (who has been a HUGE help since MIL hasn't been driving) and got fuzzed by her dog. So when he got back to MIL's house he needed to use a lint remover on his pants.

We went to the 3pm Church service at MIL's Church. The lady who sat in front of us had two small boys who were "full of beans" and no I don't mean gassy. They were just very wiggly. There were several times when I wanted to smack them. But I could tell the mom was doing a bang up job with her boys...teaching them just how to annoy everyone.

The lady who was behind us decided that she needed to sing every Christmas carol loud enough to drownd out the choir. Which made it okay for Darly & I to sing at the top of our lungs too! hee hee It didn't matter how bad we did, cuz loud lady drowned our voices out too. That was fun and loud lady gave MIL loads to complain about for the rest of the evening. MIL did a lot of complaining about her Church. She barely knows anyone there anymore and the pastor that she really likes left there a few years ago. Yet she won't leave to another Church.

After Church we had a nice dinner and then opened up our gifts at MIL's house. Then we loaded up the car to drive to our house. On our way home we passed by several homes in our neighborhood to see the light displays. We also opened a few gifts at our house.

Then it was time for bed....for everyone!

DH & I got ready for bed and I waited for Darly to go to sleep. After everything had been quite for about 30 min, I was getting ready to sneak a few gifts I hadn't put nametags on and one that was too obivious to leave under the tree under the tree when a dog starts barking! That dog must have barked for 10 min! great!

I waited about 10 min and headed downstairs with my gifts. DH said I was very noisy, but no one stirred.

Finally I get to bed, but I couldn't sleep. I had a very fast Christmas song stuck in my head and couldn't calm down. I tossed and turned, I went from freezing to sweating, I must have gotten up a bazillion times to use the restroom! I have no idea how Santa made it to our house...he had to be very quick cuz I don't remember sleeping at all.

Next thing you know it's almost 7am. So I hop into the shower and get dressed.

When I'm done, DH wants more sleep and says I shouldn't wake Darly.

I peek in her room, well first the door that was closed was wide open...and as soon as I stepped into her room she sprung from the bed. She had been up for 20 min she said and was just waiting. So then she goes to wake up MIL.

I rush to get the coffee going!

Then it's time for presents! We had quite the haul! Although there was NOT a new American Girl Mia doll under the tree. That was a disappointment for Darly, but I think the new camera might have made up for that.

After presents, I made scrambled eggs, baccon & toast for breakfast. We had left-overs for lunch and I made Ham, Mac & Cheese & veggies for dinner...then more pumpkin dessert & Grasshopper pie. I need a tube to pump out my stomach! I'm too stuffed. And I need a diet...BAD!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas from all of us here in the Fefyfomanna house. May the blessing of Christmas be with you the entire year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

a reminder

Just in case any guy who happened to come through here's a gentle reminder of the rule about power cords

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Well I needed something to post anyway. LOL!

So here is the rules of this Meme...
Bold it -- if you’ve done it.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (Highschool band, we never performed)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (we give lots to charity but never more than we can afford.)
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (so low you can't hear me! ;) )
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (actually it was over the Gulf of Mexico)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (crosstitch, sewing & knitting)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (there's still carrots & broccoli in the garden right now!)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (I didn't have my thumb out though...I was mad enough to walk the entire distance.)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (well the Venice Hotel in Vegas ;) )
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (most of mine were born in the US!!! and I still haven't gone there.)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (in general)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (in Vegas!)
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (twice!)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (I went to Highschool with him)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Monday, December 15, 2008

8 Things about me

8 TV Shows I Watch

1. Good Eats

2. Dirty Jobs

3. Mythbusters

4. Cash Cab

5. How it’s made

6. Food Network Challenge (doesn’t matter which challenge!)

7. Ace of Cakes

8. What ever movie happens to be on


8 Favorite Restaurants

1. Steak & Ale – now closed  :(

2. Black Angus – now closed :(

3. Black Eyed Pea – now closed by us :(

4. Panera Bread

5. Giant Panda

6. Jason’s Deli

7. Olive Garden

8. Quizno’s


8 Things That Happened Today

1. I found an idea for my homemade Christmas present! (so I didn’t have to buy it!)

2. I made the homemade Christmas present.

3. I finished my Christmas cards.

4. I packed up my Mom’s Christmas present.

5. Went to the post office and waited in the automated line to mail the packages.

6. Found out my package to Mom was actually too big…I lied to the machine anyway!

7. I waited in the regular line for about 20 min to buy stamps because I didn’t want the Nutcracker stamps for my Christmas cards…only to find out that the only Christmas stamps they had were the Nutcracker stamps that I could have bought in the machine. :eyeroll!:

8. Annoyed Darly. She wanted to go buy her dad a present for Christmas when all he wants is for her to clean her room! I told her she could clean her room. She’s annoyed!


8 Things I Look Forward To

1. Summer

2. Spring.

3. Weather with temps over oh 40* would be nice!

4. Getting the Christmas lights hung on my house if #3 ever happens before Christmas.

5. Finally getting a new car. I like that I have reliable transportation, but I’m really tired of driving my beater car!

6. Vacation alone with DH.

7. Getting through this holiday.

8. Seeing my friends, maybe tonight.


8 Things I Wish For

1. Healthy and happy family & friends.

2. Everyone I know and don’t know to be in heaven.

3. A vacation

4. Tickets to a Newsboys concert

5. Peace on Earth

6. Better nuts in Washington DC.

7. My neighbor to not have so many cars or MOVE to a house with a place for them all.

8. More wishes. ;)


8 People I Tag

no tagging here.

I've updated my Things post

Five Lucky Moms Win a $100 Lands' End Gift Card!

I don't know about you, but I'm so totally in love with Lands' End clothes. I really love that they have little girl clothing that looks like it was made for a girl! Darly's closet is full of Lands' End clothing. So when the opportunity to win a $100 of free Lands' End clothing came up, I couldn't resist! And now I am sharing the opportunity with you too, cuz I know how much we all love a great find.

WIN A $100 Lands' End Gift Card!

Lands' End is one of those companies that really value moms' opinions. Here's a way to have your voice heard and really make a difference when it comes to summer clothing and summer safety.

Please take a few minutes to complete the Lands' End Sun.Life 2008 Survey. The survey consists of 22 multiple-choice questions. Upon completing the survey, your name will be entered to win one of five $100 Lands' End Gift Cards. To be eligible to win, you must complete the survey by midnight (CST) on Friday, December 19th.

Take the Survey Now!

I wish all of you the best of luck!

This opportunity brought to you by Your Friends at

Sunday, December 14, 2008


to do:
buy Christmas ornament for SIL & Brother
buy gift card for MIL <- I was going to get her something else too.
buy something else for my Mom too (got her gift card)
speaking of cards, I need to get Christmas Cards for the moms.
finish up Christmas cards
buy stamps and mail them
pack up Mom's stuff and mail it to her
buy a homemade gift for my homemade gift exchange pal and mail it.

figure out what kind of gift to get for my neighbor! Get it and deliver it cuz we're already eating the yummy cookies she brought for us.
WRAP Gifts!!!
Fix sewing machine if it needs it (I don't know what's up with it!)
Sew American Girl sized doll clothes for Darly
Hope the gift cards that I ordered from Discover for JCPenneys get here soon so I can buy the stuff I've got in my basket there!
Almost all my ordered gifts have arrived, except one...It is supposed to be here Tuesday.
remember where I hid all the gifts!
if it ever warms up, hang our Christmas lights...right now I think it's about 3 degrees!
Clean my house top to bottom...MIL is staying over on Christmas Eve!
clean frig!
clean my coffee pot!
Figure out Christmas Dinner and buy the food for that, along with food for all the other days.

Done: (by the way, I'm adding things to both lists as I remember them!)
finish up Christmas cards
buy stamps and mail them
pack up Mom's stuff and mail it to her
buy made a homemade gift for my homemade gift exchange pal and mail it.
figure out what kind of gift to get for my neighbor - she's getting the same as my homemade gift exchange pal!
Ordered gifts I needed
Bought gifts
hid gifts all over the place
I ordered an ornament for my ornament exchange's on it's way Mel!
I went out to the garden today in 6 degree temps to dig up some carrots for the soup I made from the leftover turkey...yummy! (the soup, NOT the weather!)
Worked the Scholastic Book Fair Warehouse sale
Took the kid to the gym
Darly & I were both in the Wednesday night performance of the Christmas Program. This time went a bit smoother as we didn't have to wait quite as long beforehand. However, one of the Angel moms asked if her child could wear Darly's wings and then without waiting for an answer, she took them! The wings were too big for her kid! They had pinned the straps to fit on Darly. :eyeroll:
Bought a bunch of books with all the vouchers I got for working the book sale. Darly is in heaven with all the kits I bought. Even DH was happy with some of the stuff I got.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Toilet Seat Rule

Or how Men & Women can live together in harmony.

I know we've all heard the great debate on whether the toilet seat should be left up for the men or down for the women.

Well I've got an answer that solves this once and for all. It is very simple really.

Remember that other piece of the toilet seat that's on there? The lid?

The simple solution to every one's problems is to KEEP THE LID CLOSED when not in use.

Now before the men come and argue this... Some things to remember:

Men - you need that seat to be down sometimes too. I know that you don't want to sit in water any more than we do.
Keeping the lid shut avoids having to see what might not have gone down when you last flushed the toilet.
Keeping the lid shut avoids the toilet aerosol that can spread all sorts of yucky stuff.
Keeping the lid down helps to keep certain odors contained for a while.
Keeping the lid down means that everyone has to do a bit of (not so hard really) work when using the toilet.

and more importantly... there is a point in a baby's life where they are exploring everything. Keeping the lid down (and sometimes locked for some) keeps the baby from playing in the toilet, which is not only gross, it can be dangerous.

I used to have a very cute cross stitched sign behind my toilet. It said:

Lower the lid please
Ladies present
a wet behind
is most unpleasant.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I didn't take home the extra chili on Sunday...I could have. But seeing as I still had a ton of turkey and DH & Darly won't eat chili it seemed like the church was a better place for it.

But for those of you who offered to eat the chili for's the recipe

Church Supper Chili

Servings 20-24 Time: Prep: 15 min Cook: 50 min

2 -1/2 pounds ground beef (yes you can use a substitution here!)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (46 ounces) tomatoe juice
1 bottle (32 ounces) V8 juice
2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinced & drained


In a large dutch oven or soup kettle, cook meat over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the green pepper, celery, onion and garlic; cook until tender. Add the spices, tomatoes and juices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add beans and simmer 20 min longer. Yield: 20-24 servings

Renee's Family recipe for Mac & Cheese

1 pound of macaroni noodles cooked and drained (make sure to salt the water when cooking!)
1 pound of cheddar cheese (we like sharp or extra sharp! but go with what your family will eat) cut up...the smaller it is the faster it melts.
4 tablespoons of butter or margarine
4 tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup onions diced (you can also sub 1 tablespoon of onion powder)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
2 cups milk (I'm not really sure how much milk I use cuz I pour it directly from the bottle until it looks right...sorry!)

You can make this all in one's how.
Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package and drain into a colander. Leave the noodles in the colander while you make the sauce.

You will first be making a white sauce
melt the butter in the pot that you just drained the noodles out of. If you're using chopped onions cook them in the butter until soft, if you're using onion powder it will be added with the flour. once the onions are soft, mix in the flour, salt & pepper and stir with a whisk until all the liquid has been absorbed. your flour mixture will look a bit like playdough. pour in about 1/2 cup of milk and stir like crazy to combine it with the flour mixture until it has smoothed out and then turned back into the playdough. Now pour another 1/2 cup of milk and repeat. Keep repeating this process until the mixture thickens but doesn't turn back into playdough.

Now add the cheese slowly giving each handful a chance to melt into the sauce. Stir this constantly. Check the seasonings now. I like to grab a noodle and dip it into the sauce so I can get an idea of how it all tastes. Adjust according to taste if necessary. Once your sauce is all ready add the noodles back into the pot and mix to coat the noodles...yes, it is suppose to look like there's too much sauce.

You can serve it right now...or you can transfer it into a baking dish and bake for 20 min. The baking will make for a less creamy mac & cheese, but if it gets too dry, you can add more milk.

Note: this cheese sauce is really good on potatoes and other items too! I use a variation of it on my creamed spinach w/cheese.
Here's my turkey recipe: I've left the bird in the brine for longer than he suggests and it comes out just fine...once the bird & the brine reach an equalibrium (same amount of salt in each) it quits absorbing the brine.

This is almost my stuffing recipe:
The differences I use are I chop the veggies much finer and I add the turkey giblets chopped very fine too (they resemble baby food when I'm done with them! and the dog usually gets at least half the liver.)

I'm pretty sure that I've posted the pumpkin dessert recipe before.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

and Sunday...

Sunday was our first Christmas Pageant (we do it again on Wednesday night.) The program went really well (as well as it could have...) I mean it was cute and a pretty good idea and would have worked perfectly...if it weren't for children. LOL!

The kids were really great but whomever came up with the idea needs to get it through their heads that you can't make kids sit still and wait for that long! I mean even Darly at age 10 & 1/2 was getting bored and ready to quit.

The first part was that we had to be ready to go 15 min before Church service started. Okay you've now got a bunch of kids waiting in a room with nothing to do all in costume.

Once Church service started we then had to wait another 10 minutes or so (it sure seemed so much longer!) for our part in the service. The kids were barely keeping it together at this point. Oh and someone in their infinite wisdom decided to set up a table for the luncheon with plates, forks, cups & napkins along the wall where the 3 & 4 y/o kiddos were supposed to wait. I had to throw out a plate and move them out of grubby hands and directed someone else to save the cups.

Then we went in. And everything went almost perfect...I was expecting the row of chairs that we were sitting in to be empty, but instead there was a family who weren't in the pageant (kids were in, parents were not in) sitting toward the end of the row where we wanted to get in. YIKES! Luckily the girl I had put in the front was thinking quickly and directed everyone to the other end of the row and there was enough room for us. Whew!

Now the next part of bordom was during the pageant. About 15 or so kids who had non-speaking parts who were all supposed to just stand by the manger and look cute... through about 20 minutes of the pageant. Luckily today I didn't see any kids rolling on the floor like they were yesterday. Yesterday I was getting the EVIL LOOKS OF DEATH from my 10 y/ if it were my fault.

However when it came time for my evil 10 y/o to come back from the manger to do her speaking part, I couldn't get her attention! I was waving, rattling paper, snapping but she was looking everywhere but at me. Then when she finally did look at me (after another gal had to almost go up to her!) she was like "what?" and another angel came with her. LOL!

Other than that, everything went very well. Wednesday should go much quicker...I'm hoping at least.

After the pageant the kids all went to sit down, some back to their parents...all the angels sat with me. I then got to take them all up for communion. That was interesting, but the kids who went (one chose to not go) all knew what to do, so no big deal.

After the service it was time to enjoy the chili & Mac & cheese. Only my pot of chili wasn't out. It turns out that we had way too much chili and I didn't need to bring any. sigh! They did serve all of my mac & cheese though...and Darly & I got some too. YAY! The gal who coordinated the lunch told me that she only wanted 6 pots of chili, it was the pageant director's idea that we have at least 8, she asked for 10...I don't know how many total they had, but there were at least 4 pots that were left in the kitchen. We also asked all the parents who had kids in the pageant to bring something. It was set up by last a-k bring something and so on. Folks who brought something all brought CHIPS. We didn't get any cheese or other toppings for the chili (but they made sure to ask for it!) we barely got any desserts (of which I saw a lot going up for extras!) I don't know who all didn't bother to bring anything at all...but seeing as I brought two dishes I wasn't a happy gal.

I'm so glad that I borrowed the church's crock pots cuz I didn't have to take anything home at all. Yippee!

We got done with everything by 12:20. I told Darly that I could take her home, but she wanted to come to my cookie training. We got there very early cuz it was just down the road. And by the time things got underway, Darly was bored. If she had gotten bored about 10 min earlier than she did, I could have drove her home...but nope! She had to get bored about 8 min before start time. sigh.

Training went very well. I didn't notice too much new other than we can now deposit all of our checks into the Council's bank account, so we have less risk of bad checks (the council will eat the cost and send them directly to collections.) And this year the younger girls can choose to have the incentives or a council credit. The council credit can be used for field trips and such, but the money has to go directly to the venue...not through the troop. I think it's a clever way for the council to earn some interest on that money. ;-) Unfortunately for council, this year's incentives look too cute for the younger gals to choose the credit option. hee hee

That's about it for Sunday.

I hope that you had a fun weekend...and share all the details.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Restful Saturday? HA!

Today we had to get up early to be at Church to practice for our Christmas Program tomorrow & on Wednesday night. (not sure why we're doing it twice, but DH can see it! He has to work this weekend.)

So at Church it is confirmed that I will have to make a pot of chili for the luncheon...they needed 10 pots and were having trouble getting folks to offer to do it. I offered a pot of Mac-n-Cheese cuz my kid won't eat chili...but when she wasn't getting anyone to make the chili, I offered that too.

I also had to make my turkey cuz I thawed it out!

So we go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for the chili...I've never seen a recipe like this...but it turned out very tasty...although I added some cumin to it. ;-) I also chopped the veggies and then ran them through the food processor so you can't find them in the chili. I thought it might make more kiddos willing to try it.

So the chili is simmering and I try to get the Turkey started. But my oven decides it is going to give me something to worry about! It send up some code that means the control panel needs a service call and shut off. But I think I've figured out my oven's problem. See the thermostat for the oven is on the left side, which is also where my simmer burner is. This stove has a burner where you click a button and it holds the temp cycling on & off. However the extra heat from the simmer button was bothering the oven thermostat. Being the very smart person that I am, I decided to see if cooling down the stovetop would help with the oven.

So I put a pot of ice on the stovetop over the burners where the chili had been cooking...and what do you know? It worked!!! For a bit there I thought I would have to see if I could cook this bird in my neighbor's oven. :p

So then I had to transfer the chili into a crock pot for tomorrow. I borrowed one of the Church's crockpots so then I don't have to worry about getting mine back. but I didn't want to dump hot chili in the crockpot... so again, thinking quickly... I take the pot of chili out to the garage. I put ice under the stock pot and under the crock pot and slowly transfer the chili as it is cooling. It wasn't entirely cold when I put it all in the frig...but close enough. Gotta love mother nature for providing a free frig system! ha ha

Right now my turkey is still roasting, should be done in about an hour. I should go make the mashed potatoes here soon. Then after dinner, I'll make up the mac-n-cheese. Nuttin like making 3 dinners in one day! Too bad only one is for me!

I think I have another great idea... tonight there is a Church the building is open. I could take my already finished chili and put it in their frig. Then I'll have one less crock pot to carry in tomorrow...AND I could borrow another crock pot to make the mac-n-cheese in tonight and not have to take that home either! Woo Hoo! I'm so smart today...I wonder how that happened? hee hee

Friday, December 05, 2008

Read Kiddo Read!

Oh Wow! I'm just so excited about this website that I have to tell you all about it! I was asked to check out about a week ago and I am in total LOVE! I even showed to our librarian! The website (you'll read more about it below) was originally to encourage kids to read more. And I think it's totally a step in the right direction. However, I love it so much because Darly & I have been trying so hard to find new books for her to read. As you know, you can't get Darly's nose out of a book. She brings at least one with her everywhere we go and I currently have a stack of about 6 books to return to our library. WE LOVE BOOKS! And this website has so many great recommendations on what books we should read next. It is AWESOME!
As avid readers (and bloggers!) ourselves, we all appreciate the value of the written word. Yet convincing kids that reading is not just meaningful – but actually fun – can sometimes pose a challenge, especially as they get older and start to believe they read enough in school. In fact, according to the 2008 Kids and Family Reading Report by Yankelovich and Scholastic, despite 80% of parents wanting their kids to read for fun, most kids claim there aren’t enough really good books for their age group.

James Patterson has taken this issue to heart. A father himself, he knows that one of the main obstacles for young readers is a lack of books kids can truly connect with, those rare stories that draw you in and keep you reading until the very last word. We can all remember the joy of a great book from our own childhood; begging to stay up ten more minutes to finish a chapter, then hiding under the covers with a flashlight to read “just one more.” Patterson has made it his mission to give this experience to children everywhere and instill in them a love of reading.
To that end, he recently launched a new website,, in order to give kids of all ages access to truly great books. Whether you are still enjoying picture books with your baby or have an older child reading at an advanced level, ReadKiddoRead acts as a resource for finding the best books. Each featured book, hand-selected by Patterson, includes a synopsis, related themes, quotes from critics, links to find the book in any number of locations (including local libraries), and even similar suggested reads. In addition, the website provides resources for finding book discounts and promotions, features interviews and contributions from authors and celebrities, and even allows members to connect with each other via a Ning community.
Providing kids with a love of and appreciation for books gives them something that will remain with them throughout their lives, and this resource helps make that possible. Plus, if anyone can get even the most reluctant readers interested in great stories, it’s James Patterson.

This post was sponsored by my friends at

Love Your Veggies

Like me, there are moms all over the world who are trying their hardest to get their kids to eat vegetables. You've all heard my tales of how I have not one picky-eating kid, but two with my DH being just as picky as Darly. However, I'm pleased to tell you that with the help of some ranch dressing Darly and DH are eating more veggies. AND that the makers of Hidden Valley Ranch have heard us!...
Hidden Valley® Salad Dressings
Love Your Veggies™ Mom Retreat

In partnership with renowned Chef, Art Smith, the makers of Hidden Valley® Salad Dressings want to identify, help and reward moms who are true vegetable advocates through the Love Your Veggies™ Search for Veggie Champions Contest. For 10 lucky moms, Chef Smith will lead a two-day retreat aimed at learning and sharing tips and tools on planting, harvesting, cooking and eating vegetables with children. These moms will also receive $5,000 to start or maintain a community vegetable garden in their hometown.

How to Enter: Parents can enter the Love Your Veggies™ Search for Veggie Champions Contest by completing and submitting an official entry form at between October 30 and January 15.

Judging: Ten (10) grand-prize winners will be chosen by careful selection from all entries received. Judges will select parents who best demonstrate a commitment to eating well for themselves, their family and their community and interest in learning to engage kids in ways that increase vegetable consumption.

Prize Details: Winners will get a respite from their busy schedules to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to one of the country's premier cities -- Chicago.
The prize package includes:
  • Two days of fun and educational classes, field trips, cooking demonstrations and tastings with some of America's most notable food and nutrition experts. Workshops to include: vegetable gardening with children, grocery shopping for the healthy child and vegetable selection and meal preparation with little helpers.
  • Personal instruction from Chef Smith, who brings a personal commitment to helping children find an appreciation of healthy foods through his work with Common Threads, a non-profit he established in 2003, as well as the release of his third cookbook, Back to the Family.
  • Round trip airfare and hotel accommodations for three nights and two days in Chicago, Ill.
  • Dinner at Chef Smith’s Chicago restaurant, Table Fifty-Two.
  • Dinner with the children of Chef Smith’s charitable foundation, Common Threads.
  • A spa visit to experience another great way to enjoy organic plants.
  • $5,000 prize money to be used by each winner to start or maintain a vegetable garden in her community. The winner must designate a non-profit organization to which the $5,000 prize money will be awarded and with whom the community garden will be planted or improved.

About Love Your Veggies™: The makers of Hidden Valley® Salad Dressings’ Love Your Veggies™ campaign offers parents tools to help children develop a life-long love of vegetables through activities at home, at school and in the community. In addition to the retreat, the campaign offers a Web site that encourages parents and children to work together to grow their curiosity and love for vegetables, a school grant program to provide students with better access to fresh produce, and more.

The makers of Hidden Valley® Salad Dressings created the Love Your Veggies™ program after a study found that children consumed 23 percent more vegetables when paired with a moderate amount of ranch dressing (2006 study of two Northern California elementary schools conducted by the University of California Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Butte County Cooperative Extension comparing vegetable consumption with Italian and Ranch dressing flavor enhancers).

More Information: To learn more about the Love Your Veggies™ campaign, the Search for Veggie Champions Contest and official rules, or tips and recipes from Chef Smith, please visit Or, contact: Dianna Mangiantini / Current
415-449-0122 /

A sponsored post from my friends at Mom Central.

Mom Central Holiday Gift Guide

Are you like me with one or two really hard to shop for people on your Holiday gift giving list?  Well, Mom Central is here to help us all out!  Check out their Holiday Gift Guide which highlights some really cool gift suggestions all divided into categories to make your shopping easier.  I'm a bit new to the Mom Central Testing Panel, and I'm always amazed with the cool stuff these ladies find!  Just today I found this really cool Ecolight by Sylvania for your shower that would solve a bunch of early morning issues we've been having.

In addition, they're also hosting daily giveaways for some really cool prizes.  Every day is a different prize so check back every day to see what's new.  To enter, you must register on Mom Central, log-in, and leave a comment on the post.  If you tweet or email friends about the giveaway you can earn another entry!  In order to earn the entry, they simply go back to the Mom Central Review blog and leave a second comment letting them know.

How simple is that?  Ideas for gifts and a chance to win something for yourself!  It's gonna be an awesome Christmas! :D

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Disney's High School Musical: The Ice Tour!

Hey Denver readers! If your kids are crazy for High School Musical then this is the deal for you!

Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour
Announces Kids’ Ticket Discount
Kids Tickets are $10!!!

Denver, CO (December 3, 2008) – Today, Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour, coming to Broomfield Event Center Dec. 5 – 7, and the Denver Coliseum Dec. 10 - 14, announced an early holiday gift for families: Tickets for children age 12 and under for all performances are only $10 with the purchase of an adult ticket at regular price.

There is a limit of up to four children’s tickets with the purchase of one adult ticket, and ticket buyers must use the code HOLIDAY to receive the discount. The discount does not apply to front row or VIP seating, and is not applicable to previous purchases.
This special offer is available at, all Ticketmaster retail locations, including Macy’s at Cherry Creek Mall, or by calling Ticketmaster at 303-830-TIXS.
Disney's High School Musical: The Ice Tour features a cast of world class skaters in the one and only live celebration of the smash hit movies High School Musical and High School Musical 2!
The fun begins with the High School Musical 3: Senior Year Special Bonus Experience, exclusive to Ice Tour ticketholders. The Experience features behind-the-scenes High School Musical 3: Senior Year footage and a one-of-a-kind sing-a-long pre-show dance party. Emmy Award-winning director Kenny Ortega introduces this exciting feature via video screen, and families are treated to an interactive experience as movie and Ice Tour choreographer Chucky Klapow joins Ortega on screen to provide a High School Musical 3: Senior Year dance lesson. Fans will be encouraged to dance along in the aisles to the new movie’s anthem song as skaters demonstrate the hot new steps on ice.
Show times for High School Musical: The Ice Tour are:

Broomfield Event Center:
Friday, Dec. 5, 7:30 pm
Saturday, Dec. 6, 11:30 am, 3:30 pm., 7:30 pm
Sunday, Dec.7, 1 pm

Denver Coliseum:
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 7:30 pm
Thursday, Dec. 11, 11 am, 7:30 pm
Friday, Dec. 12, 7:30 pm
Saturday, Dec. 13, 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Sunday, Dec.14, 11:30 am, 3:30 pm

Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour is just one of the many Feld Entertainment productions touring the globe in 2008-2009. With a growing roster of more than 30 Disney On Ice and Disney Live! spectaculars, Feld Entertainment brings the magic of Disney to fans all over the world, right in their own hometowns! To learn more about Disney On Ice, visit
Feld Entertainment is one of the worldwide leaders in producing and presenting live entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment's productions have appeared in more than 55 countries on six continents and include Feld Motor Sports and Disney On Ice, and Disney Live!
I know a certain little girl who just can't wait to see this!

Ultimate Party Meatballs

Having friends over to watch a game? Hosting a dinner? With just three ingredients,
Ultimate Party Meatballs are bound to be a hit with your guests.

Now that we are in the middle of the holiday party season, I wanted to take a minute to share a super easy holiday party recipe with you. I recently got the chance to try this recipe and first I couldn’t have had an easier recipe to make. Look at this!

Ultimate Party Meatballs
· 1 16-ounce can Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce
· 1 12-ounce bottle Heinz® Chili Sauce
· 1 2-pound bag frozen, pre-cooked, cocktail-size meatballs
Combine sauces in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Add meatballs. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally.
Makes 30 appetizer servings.
Slow cooker Preparation: Place meatballs in a slow cooker. Combine sauces and pour over meatballs. Cover and cook 4 hours on HIGH.

I popped the meatballs into my mini-crock pot (mentioned in the power cord post) and let that go while I worked on getting the rest of our dinner done. By the time our guests had arrived I had a tasty appetizer that took me no time at all!
Then I hopped over to and found a bunch more recipes that I can’t wait to try.

Want a little something to get the fun rolling? How about $3,000? The Grand Prize winner of the Heinz & Ocean Spray Ultimate Party Meatballs Sweepstakes will win $3,000 in gift cards to get their party started. And 20 lucky second-prize winners will receive a Rival Crock-pot 4qt. Slow cooker – just the thing for heating up your next shindig. To enter, just hop over to and fill out the form. How easy is that? ;-)

A sponsored post from my friends at Mom Central.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dryer update

It turns out that it wasn't the heating element that had gone bad on my dryer. Instead there was a wire that had shorted out and melted the insulation. Oops! DH went to the hardware store and bought some new wire and couplers. All better!

Power Cord rule explained

This post is for you guys out there...cuz us gals already know this.

When a guy gets a tool with a power cord they are happy and think about all the cool things they're going to build with it. And these new tools with the batteries are just ultra cool! Guys love them! Shoot I love them. If DH got me a drill or a saw for Christmas I would be happy. Power tools can be used to be creative, or to fix something where someone will show you gratitude for fixing it.


Not all things with a power cord are gifts. Stoves, refrigerators, washers & dryers or vacuumes, etc are NOT something that makes a gal happy. And you may be asking "Why?" Yes, these "tools" do make our lives easier. However, these tools are also a symbol of our "enslavement." These tools help us complete our day to day tasks that are always taken for granted. I often do you notice that the floor has been vacuumed. There's a nice dinner on the table, but do you realize all the work that went into getting it there? No one says "There's milk in the frig. Thanks!"

So to avoid any confusion on my DH's part on what I would consider a gift...I just told him to NEVER buy me anything with a cord that you plug into the wall and consider it a gift. Instead if we need say a new dryer, it will be a purchase for the house...NOT FOR ME. Please note that I did add a disclaimer to this rule...if I ASK for this item with a cord, it is then okay to buy it as a gift.

And believe it or not, this simple rule has worked out very well. DH is never confused about what to buy me as a gift (probably because I leave him a very detailed list). In fact two years ago I did ask for a gift with a power was a mini-crockpot. DH almost didn't allow Darly to get it for me. She had to argue with him in the store "NO dad, it's okay! She said to get this for her." And when it came time for me to open the gift he had to announce his disclaimer that this was NOT from him. ...what a good boy! ;-)

next week's topic: The Toilet Rule - or how Men and Women can live together in harmony.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dryer is broke...AGAIN!

Yesterday while I was trying to do our laundry we noticed that the heating element in the dryer has gone out again.  I had noticed back when we replaced it that it wasn't working as well as the previous element.  And the previous element hadn't lasted as long as the first element.

See we bought this dryer in October of 1992.
We replaced the first heating element in June of 2006 (we kept the receipts!)
We replaced the second heating element in April of 2008

When we replaced the element in 2006 - the heat was awesome!  The clothes got dry really fast and I was luvin this machine and my wonderful DH who figured out how to replace the heating element all by himself!

However, when that element went kaput in 2008 I was highly disappointed with it's replacement.  The new element didn't get as hot as the previous one...DH said I was overloading the dryer...but I could tell it just wasn't putting out as much heat.

So when it went out again last night I was very upset.  So much so that when DH suggested getting a new dryer I jumped online to go shopping.  But as I was waiting for the website to come up...I remembered that it's Christmas shopping season... So I hollered at DH that a new dryer would NOT be my Christmas gift!!!

(we have a standing rule that he is NOT allowed to buy me anything with a power cord and consider it a gift!!!)

We found some really good deals, but realized quickly that had this dryer gone out a few weeks ago...we could have gotten an even better deal with our Veteran's day discount. 

Then I did some math...  The first replacement element cost us $20 and about half a day in man hours.  The second element cost us $21 and another half day in man hours.  Even if we have to replace the elements every 6 months, that's only $40 per year to keep this one running.  That is much cheaper than a new dryer.

So we decided to get another heating element...oh and DH is going to mention to the guy at the parts place that this one only lasted 6 months... perhaps he'll cut us a deal.  At the very least we would like some sort of answer as to why the original element lasted over 10 years and the replacements haven't made it all that long.

And if it looks as if this element isn't cutting it...we'll hope it lasts until the next Veteran's day sale and get a new dryer then.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Meet Sox!

Isn't he handsome?  We just love his "helecopter" ears.  Well most of us.  DH says his one ear is broken.  But his ear is clearly NOT broken...when he is hopping around and investigating things both ears are up and alert.  So the down ear is just a bit lazy.
At any rate, Sox's family is back at home and eager to come and get him.  I need to call them to let them know that they can come.
I think that Darly is going to be heart broken.  She's been having a blast playing with him.