Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

It's a really big -time New Year's Eve here.......the dogs are in the chair watching football. I told the children that they could stay up as long as they wanted tonight, and already the girl is talking about laying down and how tired she is. I asked her if she was not going to make it until the new year, and she said, " Mom, I just can't hack it. I'm going to bed." Such a funny little thing.

Here they were at about 8 pm. Go ahead, tell me how cute they are. I love to hear it.

Maya at work

Maya has been having an excellent time playing with the other puppies at work. Here she is with baby Bella.

They're HOME!

The family made it home safe and sound yesterday. They were as excited as a pack of hungry puppies when I got home after work. I had to hear all about what they did with the cousins and about how much fun they had. They were pretty tired after dinner, so both got a nice shower and put on their jammies and went to bed by 9. I sat up doing an online CE couse for a couple of hours, then headed off to bed to read some more of the Edgar Sawtell book. I don't know what time I finally turned out the light.

Anyway, it is off to work for me today until noon, then back home to finish putting away all the Christmas Decorations. I would imagine that we will have some rousing Wii competition this afternoon and I am going to try and sort out the freezer a bit so I can know what to buy at the grocery.

My fish tank looks crystal clear today.......the fish are OLD, but they still look pretty when the water is clear. How can it look so murky one day , then be clear the next without anything being done to it? Guess it is one of the mysteries I'll never figure out.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Night - 9:25 pm

I officially have nothing to write about tonight except for the fact that the family comes home tomorrow. I posted this picture of this baby I know because it is cute and he is cute and I used to have a couple of fat babies like this one.

My fat little toddler babies have turned into real miniature people with opinions and stashes of secret stuff all their own. I cleaned out a bunch of that secret stuff this weekend while they were gone. I'm hoping they don't notice and decided to give me their opinions on the situation. I am ready for them to be home. These dogs are great, but they won't go get the remote or bring me the phone. ( Isn't that what kids are for?)

They should be home mid-afternoon tomorrow unless they decide to stop at some roadside attraction and loaf a while. I'm sure I will be busy at work when they hit town, so I'll have to wait until I get home to hear of their adventures. They told me today that they are SO ready to come home and play Wii games ( him) and see the dogs ( her). Oh well, so much for missing old Mom!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Maya Report

Today has been a day of cleaning up and cleaning out. I have been tossing out the bits and pieces from the children's rooms and washing their bedding and moving things around. The little dogs have been having a fabulous day just hanging out, playing, eating and sleeping. Maya has been playing with the crew and seems to be enjoying herself.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Going to the Movies

I have done the PetSmart shopping and am now sitting here with my last cup of coffee of the day waiting until time to leave to go to the movies to see "Marley and Me". I read the book a LONG time ago, so I know the story. I just think it will be interesting to see what the filmmakers do with it. Of course, you know what happens in the end ( think Ol' Yeller), but heck, he was old and sick . I am sure they remember him VERY fondly, especially since he has made a be-jillion dollars. Makes that chewed up sofa and all the broken doors just a little easier to take, eh?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Guitar Hero

My little hero is now a Guitar Hero. He sat (in his too short pajama pants that he refuses to give up) and played "Slow Ride" for about an hour until he got it "right". I had to admire his persistance.
Check out the tongue action. I think that indicates extreme concentration. ( Pretty good for an ADD kid, huh?) Or it could just mean he has a fat tongue from eating so much sour candy.
They have been gone a day and I am ready for them to come home.

Maya TV

As you can see, Maya is not having any adjustment problems and is fitting in just fine. She is eating very well and seems to be making friends with all the other girls.

Maya Report

As you can see, The Lovely Maya is being loved and cared for by my able assistant. In fact, she held or played with her all evening last night. ( That is NOT a longhair chihuahua puppy that you think you see in her right arm. I photoshopped it in there)

Sometimes, you just have those days

Mine was today. Work was not so great, nobody but dogs here when I got home. Now it is so quiet that it is spooky. I guess I could take some dog pictures. Lordy knows there are plenty of those around here. Stay tuned.

Boxing Day

Good morning.....sort of. I'm sitting up drinking coffee.....can't sleep because my head is all stopped up and yucky. I hate that feeling. The rest of the family leaves today for their Christmas trip to East TN, so I am about to pack up all the stuff I made and see them off.

Just in case you were wondering what Boxing day is, it is a British holiday where they give gifts to service workers. I always saw it on the calendar, but never really knew what it was.
So, Happy Boxing Day!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Santa did indeed take heed of the notes left on top of the Christmas boxes we decorated last night.
Each kid wrote their letters to Santa and drew pictures and taped them to the top of the big plastic storage boxes we saved from last year. That way, Santa was sure to know what each one wanted and WHERE to put the goods. We wouldn't want any mixing of the merchandise, now.

New sets of wheels waiting to go for a spin. The new bikes came with the condition that the old ones be given to an inner city church which supplies bikes to an after school program.
The first out of the bed...... was the girl of course, but by the time she had alerted everyone, the boy made it over the gate ahead of her.
Here's the sleepy-headed, but smiling little ballerina.

Hanna Montana was a prominent part of the contents of the girlie's box. That is not a long-hair chihuahua puppy that you think you see. It was not a Christmas gift from Santa. It is not there. I photoshopped it in. Just a figment of your imagination. Disregard it.

Overall, it was a satisfying Christmas for all. And we are CRAZY for the Wii! We have golfed, bowled and played baseball already this am. Right now I am hearing "Slow Ride" from the Guitar Hero game for the eleventy-dozenth time this morning.
Now I have to open the bakery back up and get to making stuff for the trip tomorrow.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Passing of a Friend

Today was supposed to be one of anticipation and fun, but instead, we had a sad ending. Old Clairesse, my strange-o standard poodle, developed gastric dilatation/torsion syndrome and was bad enough that I had to euthanize her. I pretty much knew the jig was up when I saw her inflated belly after I woke up from my little afternoon nap. I had not noticed that before I laid down. Not many things can cause that so quickly. Anyway, a quick trip to the clinic and a few x-rays and a gastric lavage later, we just couldn't get the twist out enough to relieve it. The surgery to correct it is not only pretty intense, but there are often cardiac arrhythmias and such that follow and often the dogs have trouble for the rest of their lives. Clairesse was old and weird and scared of most things, so I thought it was kindest for her ( and the rest of us) to just end it for her so she wouldn't hurt.

Even though she was freaky, she was still quite lovable in her own way once you got to know her.
We will certainly miss her.

Another talent

My precious Porkchop has been busy practicing his basketball tricks. He said that he learned them from som big kids at the Y.
I am not sure he is ready for the big time, but he does surprise me with his determination to learn new things like this.

That sneaky Little Elf.......

"Bolt" the Elf has been really busy watching all the activities around the house for the past week. Tonight, he will make his final report to Santa, then he will go back to the North Pole until next year. Last night, he decided to try and ride the Santamingo. Poopie cat always wants to get in the picture.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Night....Christmas Eve Eve Eve

Man, I am pooped. I just got a couple of BIG loaves of banana bread out of the oven, and I made the "refrigerator fruitcake" earlier this evening. That fruit cake was fun to make because the kids like to help measure and pour stuff in the bowl. If it turns out, I'll post the recipe.

Tomorrow night I am making rum cake, and maybe some Peppermint patty brownies if time allows. I have to sort of plan this out so the stuff will keep until the kids and dad get to the other end of the state on Friday. I will be here babysitting dogs and working. And spending some quality time with my remote. And going to see Marley and Me. And reading my new book. And not cooking. Or doing laundry ( except my own.) I'll be bored silly.

The family spent the day at home today while I was at work. In fact, all three of them stayed in their pajamas all day. Buncha bums, I say. I'd have been right here with 'em making the same fashion statement had I not had to go to work!

More fun and games tomorrow! Good night!

"Bolt" the Elf

Our "elf on the shelf" is named "Bolt". So far he has hidden in the candle mold, on top of the shower rod, in the girl's room amongst the dolls, and between the nutcrackers in the living room. Bolt is not really into mischief like some other elves. I think he is probably a nerd elf like the fat one on the Santa Claus movies.

Thanks, Gaga, for turning us onto the elf. He has been a great incentive for god behavior this week!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Three days before Christmas and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ( ok, the hamster may be up, but they are nocturnal , you know).
I sat in my chair , computer in lap ( along with three chihuahuas)
While everyone else was deep in a nap.
The dogs all piled up, sighing and snoring.
My cats were elsewhere, they found me too boring.
I studied and looked , over recipes I pondered.
"What to send to Bristol?" I sat there an wondered.
"Send me a recipe"....I wrote on my pad.
Maybe this way, it won't turn out bad.
I need something simple, easy to haul.
It has to be packable, not too big or too small.
I have in mind cakes and other delights.
At the rate that I'm going I'll be up all night.
So send me some ideas to look at and savor,
Then when you are in need, I'll return the favor.

I'm serious....I need ideas for tried stuff that is easy to carry on a 9 hour car ride. I am thinking this rules out any thing with frosting or whipped cream ( dang it) and I just am NOT baking a bunch of cookies. Cookies make me jumpy. Too much timing involved.
Anyway, if you have a favorite that would be easy to pack up and could stand a ride on the chuckwagon for 9 hours, send it to me. I need all the help I can get.

Kindness Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;

Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;

Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;

Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;

It was never between you and them anyway.

Mother Theresa

Walmart Photo Crisis

The lady at Walmart called and said that they couldn't print the dance pictures because they needed the copyright release. I explained that they were taken by my mother, and no release was necessary. No go. They didn't believe me. I am sure it was the talk of the photo lab because I sort of laid it out for them, then several calls followed, including one from my mom to the photo lab. Bottom line...the pictures were good enough to fool them, Walmart is doing their job to protect the copyright laws, and I have some really good pictures. Thanks again, Kiki.

As long as they keep coming......

I'll keep posting them. You know, it was worth every sweaty minute sitting in there waiting for her turn to shine!

Another, even better, one

Go ahead, smile a little. You can almost smell the sugarplums can't you? I have to say that I am really not sure what a sugar plum smells like. Thanks for the pictures Kiki.

Ballerina Princess

Go ahead, say "Awwwwwwwwwww!"

Spinach Quiche, Sort of

My little dancer got up wanting spinach pie again today, so I just made her one. I have never really seen a kid who eats stuff like this, but she is sort of a strange-o that way.

I made creamed spinach ( recipe somewhere back in the archives) and took out three cups , then put the rest in a casserole dish to have later. Then I added three eggs and 1/4 cup milk and mixed it up really well. Then, since Ididn't have a pie crust, I popped open a can of crescent rolls and pressed them into a greased pie plate. You will likely have to mashe it around with your fingers to make it fit the pan. Then I just poured the spinach/egg mixture into the plate and baked off at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. It was trying to get a bit too brown, so had to cover with some foil for the last 10 minutes or so. Just check it and take it out when the center is pretty much set.

Now all I need to do is make a little crispy salad and it will be ther perfect girlie lunch!
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

I forgot......

The bowling pictures were outright lifted from "Life with Rae and Rob"....just gotta give credit where credit is due. Hey, it's the only kinda credit that isn't scary these days! Besides, you wanted to see yet another picture of my ballerina, didn't you?

Good night folks!

Bowling night, aka the Christmas Party

Here we are playing Dirty Santa. The treachery and mean-spirited stealing just didn't bloom this year as it has in the past. It was really a fairly tame little exercise. Cool stuff though. We got a helicopter ( watch out for the ceiling fans) and a Sonic gift card.

Veronica and Archie came straight to the bowling alley from their ZOOM appointments. Not really - that is a popular teeth whitening procedure. Their smiles just looked especially white in this particular picture.

Here's Cindy ( brunette) and Lucy ( blonde with dark roots). Hey, what's with the gang symbols? Oh, and I have dark roots too...just so ya know I ain't dissin' ya, Luau ( or whatever your name is)

Archie was such a good bowler, we decided that he needed a handicap. You know how they put a boot on your car sometimes? Well...a kid on your ankle does the same thing.
We had a great time on our outing. We bowled, we did the very clean Dirty Santa, went to Red Robin, then went home. I am thinking we need to go bowling more often. When they start making 8 days in a week, I might join a league. Maybe then someone will show me how to make the ball roll instead of just skid down the lane.
( Helpful hint: bowl with little kids on your team so you get to use the inflates your score and covers up for your ineptitude .)

Pictures from Papa ( and Nana)

These are just in from Nana and Papa. I wasn't expecting any pictures tonight at all!
This particular dance was a Lyrical Ballet done to "My Little Corner". Lyrical means that the dance interprets the lyrics of the song. There are only four in the class, and I believe that she is the only 5-year-old. The other three are long-sixes I think. Just gotta love it.

Christmas Coffee

I love fancy coffee drinks, but since I became diabetic, well.....they are pretty much off limits except for the OCCASIONAL "Skinny Vanilla Latte with 2 splendas" that I get from the fancy coffee place ( you know, the one that is CLOSING near my house!) I have to blame my latest craving on one of the girls at work.....Roberta. She brought this delicious peppermint mocha creamer to work and well.....I used a bit of it and it was so good I nearly fainted. Of course, I can't have it very often and because I like it so much, I shouldn't have it here in my own house. I was thinking about buying some this am when I was at the Walmarts ( at 6 am), but they were out of it. I took that as a sign to just make it. I cruised over to the baking and spice aisle, which of course was in utter disarray because they were stocking all the stuff that was gone from Friday night's frenzy. I was looking for peppermint go on that one either. I did score some Watkins Double X vanilla though. I can always use that.

So, to the candy aisle. I got some of that old- fashioned, soft peppermint ( yes, it has sugar). It is only 11 carbs per stick. That really isn't too bad. I figure it is so low because it is "puffed" and full of air.

So here is what I did:
1. Set up coffee pot to make 4 cups of moderately strong coffee. Don't turn it on yet.
2. Break 1 peppermint stick into three pieces. Put two pieces in the coffee basket with the grounds. I put the other piece and two more sticks into a plastic container with some splenda- gonna see if the splenda will pick up the peppermint flavor like it will vanilla bean.
3. Turn on the coffee pot - let'er drip.
4. Put 1/2 package of sugar-free , carb control, diet hot chocolate in a big cup.
5. Fill cup with the peppermint- flavored coffee.
6. Add a splash of milk ( skim, 2%, whole, half/half, cream, whatever ) until it is the right color.
7. Taste it and if it isn't sweet enough, add some splenda or pink or blue stuff.
8. Sit down and enjoy it. I figure there is less than 15 carbs in it ( 4 for the peppermint, 2 for the milk, 5 for the hot chocolate)

There was enough peppermint flavor in there for me to know it was there, but not so much as to make my glucose all wacky. Of course, if you were having this with people who don't want peppermint, just add the piece of mint to your cup , not the brew basket.

I would bet that sugar-free peppermints would work, but they are pretty hard and might not dissolve so quickly. As it is above, I can have it once in a while.......

Now I am gonna have to make a Paula Deen Peppermint Pie with the rest of the mints!

First Installment of The Dance Recital- Winter 2008

The diva took a little time for photo ops just after the performance. Unfortunately, my camera was just not fast enought to catch anything but blurs, so we will have to wait on photos from Kiki to show you some action shots.
My lovely niece came along with the grandparents and really enjoyed the show. She is a cheerleader and basketball, soccer, and sftball player.

Here they are up a bit closer. Have you ever seen two prettier girls....or a more handsome boy?

And here we are after dinner and a shower.....having a bit of a post-recital reward.......chocolate silk pie.
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Another one

Love the baggy tights............
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Recital recap......2006

Here's how my baby looked at the winter recital, 2006.
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