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Archive for December, 2008

A brief critique

I’ve never made gingerbread dough until this Christmas. I chose Martha Stewart’s recipe from her website. I was really disappointed with the recipe and the results. I followed the instructions to the letter. The dough was very fragrant with a nice texture. I was excited to taste the finished product because the taste and smell of the dough.  It was difficult to roll and cut the dough and very time-consuming. The cookies lost much of their flavor and smell after baking. This recipe was kind of a dud.

If you have a great gingerbread recipe, please share. And pass on any tips you feel are worthwhile.

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Gifts of the Season

In honor of this joyful season here are some of my favorite gifts of the season:

1. listening to Swedish Christmas music, understanding the words and enjoying the memories that came with the melodies

2. seeing the looks of surprise and delight on the faces of my neighbors as we sang Christmas carols and delivered homemade cookies

3. hearing the delighted expressions of my children as they unwrapped their gifts

4. watching my boys discover their big gift 3 hours after we had unwrapped presents

5. having a white Christmas

6. hanging out in pajamas for two days in a row

7. listening to the Christmas story as recounted in Luke 2

8. creating four mini albums of my children as babies while watching Jane Austen films

9. cuddling with all my children on the couch

10. spending all day cooking while the rest of the family cleaned

What are your favorite gifts of the season?

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Husband Tag

Julie, this one’s for you

1. Where did you meet your husband? when I was about 5 at primary

2. How long did you date? 2 weeks (in my defense, we had been good friends for 5 years and had known each other for 15 years before we started dating)

3. How long have you been married? 11 yrs in February

4. What does he do that surprises you? gifts–he always gets me a surprise gift for the holidays

5. What is your favorite feature of his? his smile

6. What is his best quality? honest, hard worker and selfless

7. Does he have a nickname for you? not really unless you count “dear” as a nickname

8. What is his favorite food? tacos

9. What is his favorite sport? he doesn’t really care for sports. He likes playing soccer, but doesn’t like watching t.v. games.

10. When and where was your first kiss? After he asked me to marry him, he kissed me. We were at an elementary school yard after a nice long walk in the evening.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? snuggle and talk when the kids are in bed.

12. Do you have children? Yes 3 boys,  1 girl

13. Does he have hidden talents? He can pretty much fix anything in our home.

14. How old is he? 33
15. Who said I love you first? He did.
16. His favorite music? country

17. What do you admire most about him? See my post about 33 things I love about my husband.

18. What is his favorite color? I don’t know his favorite color. But I love blue on him.

19. Will he read this? probably not
20. Who do you tag? Trisha, Lori, Jenna

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I’ve spent a lot of time in long check-out lines. The only thing to do is to scan the magazine headlines. But since one must stand quietly waiting for one’s turn, one can’t exactly express the thoughts one has when reading the latest gossip. And since I have a tendency to indulge in shallow thoughts, here are my offerings for you.

1. So Brad and Angelina are getting married. Somehow that doesn’t seem like big news. I mean after how many kids, they are finally making it official? Because they think it will stick?? And I am the only one that worries about Angelina having more babies? She admitting to not bonding as much with her natural children because they didn’t need her as much as the adopted children.

2. What woman really finds Marc Anthony attractive? I mean, we all wondered when J-lo married him, but I think she just wanted to get married and he was the best offer she’d had. He kind of looks like a very freaky vampire–and not the Twilight dreamy Edward kind but more like something from Mel Brook’s Dracula. He looks like a very dead man with a very bad post-mortem makeup job.

3. So Jennifer Anniston has more to say about Brad and Angelina. I’m tired of her complaining about the relationship. We all felt sorry for her. But now she just sounds whiny.

4. Does anyone else feel exhausted by the all the optimistic New Year’s resolutions that magazines push you to make? It wears me out and we haven’t even celebrated the new year yet.

5. I saw this sign at the mall advertising the Christmas memory of the year: pet photos with Santa. Because nothing really says Christmas like your pooc licking Santa’s jolly red cheeks. Okay, so I made that part up. But isn’t Santa for kids? Pets don’t even know or care who Santa is. Although I like the joke factor if you think of kids bringing in goldfish, frogs, lizards or tarantulas posing with Santa. Now that is a Christmas memory to cherish.

May your day be lovely and the lines be short. Share your gossip magazine musings with me. I would love to dish with you!

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We had our first snow of the season. I found myself, rather unexpectantly, enjoying the beauty and force of the snow. It transformed the sparse bones of the trees to lines of elegance and interest. We took a day to enjoy the comforts of home while the children played games and made cookies.

I put up the olive wood nativity set I bought in Israel. It is even lovelier than I remembered. My children have spent a lot of time moving the figures around, telling the story of the Savior’s birth. Even Brooke, likes playing with the beautifully carved figures.

The boys and I actually made sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies. Okay, we haven’t actually rolled them out yet, but we did make up the dough. And this is where I reveal that I never made sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies when I was a girl. The only cookie allowed in my home was the chocolate chip cookie. I discovered on Friday that it is best to have a mixer to mix the dough. It was a lot of work for my poor forearms to mix the stiff gingerbread dough. I really hope that Santa brings a mixer for me this Christmas!

And my final note of the day is that when New York state issues a winter weather warning, it is best to heed said warning! We had a winter storm watch on Friday. I scoffed at it. When school was cancelled, I mocked the decision, saying there wasn’t any snow on the ground and the temperature had not dipped below 0. Hours and quite a bit of snowfall later, I discovered that the winter weather warning is serious business.

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Happy Birthday Darling

Today my beloved celebrated 33 years of life. I would like to share 33 things I love about my husband in honor of each year.

1. I love the way my husband makes up silly songs about everything during the day. Today he sang a song about gaining 5 pounds on his birthday because I kept insisting he eat dessert and all sorts of fattening foods today.

2. I love the way my husband studies out issues by reading about them. For instance, my husband did a lot of research on what precipitated the financial crisis our country is in. His research yielded some surprising information. Because of him, I have a much better idea of what is happening.

3. I love that when we married, my husband disliked politics and the news intensely. Living abroad changed his opinion and now he keeps abreast of current events and politics.

4. I love that dh is interested in a wide variety of genres. While he really loves fantasy, he is willing to branch out. I choose books on tape for him to listen to while driving. I love the discussions we have about what he is “reading”.

5. I love my husband’s conservative nature–even though it drives me crazy at times.

6. I love that my husband starts a fire in the morning so that I’ll be warm during the day.

7. I love that dh plays with our children.

8. I love it when dh cooks.

9. I love it that dh helps out with the household chores.

10. I love dancing with dh.

11. I love the way dh sings all the time.

12. I love dh’s persistence and diligence.

13. I love that my husband shops for groceries to spare me the torture of going into grocery stores.

14. I love dh’s honesty.

15. I love dh’s faithfulness in living the gospel.

16. I love dh’s willingness to serve others.

17. I love the way dh supports me in my musical endeavors.

18. I love dh’s perfectionist tendencies, even when it requires spending 30  minutes making the Christmas tree perfectly straight.

19. I admire and love dh’s patience with others–especially the children and me.

20. I love dh’s interest in lots of things: sports, books, music, etc.

21. I love dh’s inquisitive nature.

22. I love the way dh likes to surprise me.

23. I love taking naps with dh.

24. I love how dh always guesses the end of books, movies and television. He is usually right.

25. I love watching dh play games. But I don’t like playing games with him because he always wins.

26. I love that dh worked so hard to learn Swedish.

27. I love dh’s adventurous spirit.

28. I love dh’s sense of humor.

29. I love the way dh kisses me.

30. I love the way dh teaches our children.

31. I love the way dh adjusts to new situations. I envy his ability to adapt.

32. I love the way that dh sees his work as a way to understand how the world works.

33. I love how hard dh works.

Happy Birthday dear.

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Blog Fodder

What are life’s events if not fodder for the blog?

Yesterday, after a long day of nursing my oldest son through an ear infection/bronchitis/stomach flu, the other two boys came home from school. Trent and Josef were fixing instant oatmeal when I heard a loud crash. I ran into the dining room to find Trent holding his head, Josef crying and the large glass cupboard door on the ground, intact. Trent moved his hand and blood started squirting out of his head. From what I could see, he had about an inch long cut on the crown of his head. Josef was fine, just scared about the glass falling. I called our pediatrician to see if we should go to them or the emergency room. They advised us to take Trent to the emergency room. Walter was a huge help, getting Brooke and Josef ready and into the car while I was helping Trent and gathering the things I needed for the hospital.

Our emergency room visit was surprisingly pleasant. The staff was great, very caring and compassionate. They put Trent at his ease immediately. They cleaned the wound and sure enough he had a gash in his head. They opted to staple the wound as opposed to stitching it because stitching would have required shaving his head.

Trent was exceptionally brave and calm. The other hoodlums behaved very well and I got a lot of compliments on my crew.

I must have had delayed shock because once we fed the kids and got them into bed, my mind started imagining how bad the accident could have been. It is a miracle that the glass didn’t shatter. Also, considering how heavy the glass was, the gash was relatively small. I went to bed feeling grateful for miracles.

Trent is fine and I have a little fodder for my blog. (Although I don’t encourage this type of blog fodder.)

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