Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lydia waiting for turkey. Bo made an absolutely delicious turkey this year. Jane said she thinks it may have been the best turkey she ever ate. He brined it overnight in a mixture of pineapple juice, Hawaiian soy sauce, garlic and salt (and some other stuff), then rubbed it all over with olive oil and spices and grilled it outside. It was SCRUMPTIOUS!

Here's the rest of our dinner. Fresh yeast rolls, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole and 8 lbs of mashed potatoes. I also made 2 pies -- a pumpkin pie and a cranberry pie. I also made gravy from the drippings, but apparently didn't get a picture of that.

Here's our table. The boys made the centerpiece decoration earlier this week. Lydia made it through the entire dinner without breaking her glass, but it ended up broken anyway. Nate declared sparkling grape juice the most amazing wine he ever tasted and insisted on sipping it slowly throughout dinner.

Here's Lydia during grace. She's not rubbing her eyes, that's the way she holds her hands in prayer. Isn't it cute?

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Fresh Christmas Wreaths

You all know how much we love decorating the outside of our home for the holidays. I was lucky enough this year to receive a beautiful wreath from Wreaths Direct to display on our front door. The picture you see above is our front door, with the wreath hanging on it.

The wreath arrived in a large box, and when I opened it both Bo & I looked at each other and said "It smells like Christmas!" The fresh pine boughs were a little flattened, but fluffed up wonderfully after an hour hanging on the door.

It adds a festive touch to our home, and on Friday when Bo puts up our Christmas lights, the door will be framed with rope lights to add to the look. We've already received a number of compliments on the wreath, and I have been passing along Wreaths Direct's information to our neighbors.

Wreaths Direct has been growing, caring for, and harvesting northwest noble and douglas fir trees for five generations in Oregon. They would love to help decorate your home this year with a beautiful 24" wreath or a 20" table centerpiece. You can contact them via their website or by phone at 888-449-9485.

As a special bonus to readers of this blog, you can receive FREE UPS GROUND SHIPPING by mentioning the code W0834.

And, one last picture of Nate's favorite part of the wreath. He can't wait until the season is over and the wreath comes down so he can add these to his pinecone collection!

Many thanks to Wreaths Direct for the beautiful wreath for our home!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Encouraging Kids to Wash Their Hands

Just a few tips to help your kids wash their hands, and maybe avoid some illness this winter! My latest Prevention post: Encouraging Kids to Wash Their Hands

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Crustless Cranberry Pie

Are you looking for something unique for a holiday dessert? Then you have to try this Crustless Cranberry Pie!

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The boys have been having a wonderful time playing flag football this fall.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Save Money by Shopping from Your Pantry This Week

Thanksgiving week may not be the best time to try this, but keep it in mind! I posted over at Prevention about how to Save Money by Shopping from Your Pantry This Week

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

National Diabetes Awareness Month

Did you know that 95% of all diabetics in the United States have Type II (or adult-onset) Diabetes? I didn't either until I wrote this post over at Prevention -- National Diabetes Awareness Month.

It's important that we continue funding research for all types of diabetes -- so we can help Kraig's niece (recently diagnosed with Type 1) and much of my family living with Type II (and probably me before long.)

Edited to Add: The dear friend I refer to in my Prevention post is Kraig -- he wrote about his niece's diagnosis of Type I Diabetes here. I understand she's doing well, but it's always hard to be a kid and be different.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

And He's 8!

My sweet, oldest boy turned 8 today. He outgrew his bike months ago, but I kept telling him that a new bike wasn't in his future.

So, this morning, we headed out for our morning walk. Bo asked for his help finding a tool that he thought he left in my folks' garage. Colin headed over to help look for this mysterious tool. Bo encouraged him to lift a blanket to see if it was on the shelves behind the blanket.

He lifted the blanket and said "There's just a bike here. A brand new bike."

I said "Hmmm, who do you think the bike is for?" at about the same time he was saying "It's a bike that is just my size."

Finally it dawned on him that it was HIS new bike. He was thrilled. I hope you can see his excitement in the pictures!

He had a lovely day of bike riding, eating off the birthday plate, receiving many fabulous presents, and having his requested birthday dinner. He requested ham -- and real ham, not that stuff you buy to save money (that would be turkey ham), and fresh -- not leftover!, with scalloped potatoes -- from a box, not from scratch, but from a box like Grandma makes, and cooked carrots -- but plain cooked carrots -- not with anything added to them, and garlic bread. With a bakery cake, because Basha's was kind enough to send him a birthday card along with a coupon for a free cake. He declared it a wonderful dinner.

Our boy is intelligent, kind, thoughtful, considerate, friendly and a joy to be around. He's an eager student, and a joy to teach. He's a great big brother to his siblings and a steadfast friend to his friends. He loves to read, build with Legos, ride his bike and spend time outdoors. It's hard to believe that in 8 more years we'll be taking him for his learner's permit!

(For those curious, this is the bike Colin got: Mongoose 20-Inch Gravity Games BMX Freestyle Bike (Gunmetal))

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Milk and Sugar Scrub

Did you know we go through about 3 gallons of milk a week at our house? And that doesn't even count the weeks I indulge in the Milk and Sugar Scrub that I posted about over at Prevention.

Show me some love over there, would you, and leave a comment? Bloggers without readers are bloggers without jobs. thanks ;)

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Think She Needs To Be Older

Lydia Likes the Comics

Love and Teamwork

Over at Prevention, I compared our marriage to a team. Bo likes to call us a championship team and I agree :)

If you have a moment, head on over and read my post. If you could, I'd love if you would leave a comment over at Prevention. They've recently revamped the site, and hopefully it's a bit easier to navigate now. Thanks!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Colin's 8 Birthday Party

Colin had a Lego-themed birthday party this year. Unfortunately, most of the guests couldn't come at the last minute, but fun was still had by all! (I guess this is one problem with severely limiting the guest list.)

I made an orange Lego brick cake, which went over well. When I was asking Colin what color cake he wanted, Nate responded "Clear! Cuz that's the coolest brick color!" Thankfully, Colin was a bit more realistic and went for orange.

We had goody bags filled with Lego bricks chosen from the open bins at the Lego store. We were going to play games with the Legos, but the kids ended up playing Wii instead.

To see more cakes I've made: Colin's Volcano cake, Nate's pool cake, Nate's bulldozer

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Don’t Forget to Play

Over at Prevention, I wrote about playing along with the kids at the park -- Don’t Forget to Play. And now I realize I have no current pictures from the park. Check back next week and I'll have a current park photo to share :)

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

Looking for a good dip for a holiday party? Try my Creamy Pumpkin Dip recipe posted over at!

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Boys' Haul

The boys had fun last night, but brought home the smallest haul in the years we've lived here. Bo said that the number of houses handing out candy was fewer than years past. We had fewer kids coming to our door as well.

Even though it was less, they still have plenty!

Lydia's Loot

Bo took the kids trick or treating last night. He said Lydia was a bit confused at first, but quickly caught on to the fact that people were handing out candy. She especially loves lollipops and won't let you take the paper off in fear that you won't give it back.

She only trick or treated one street, and was ready to come back when they circled home. She enjoyed checking out her loot peacefully while her brothers headed back out and ate both lollipops she received, 3 mini bags of M&M's, a chocolate bar and something else before I put her Elmo bucket away.

Trick or Treat 2008