Saturday, December 31, 2016

~2016~

I can't say 2016 was a bad year, nor was it exceptionally great.  We've had our share of ups and downs, but such is life.  Health wise I am feeling better than years past.  I feel like kids kept me busier than ever.

I remember staying up until midnight on NYE when I was a kid expecting something big to happen.  We'd watch the ball drop at 11 our time, then wait.  There was a KC Hall around the corner, and if my Dad and I stood outside at midnight, you could hear all the noise from the big party held there.  Fireworks were illegal, but there were always a few firecrackers going off somewhere anyway.  It always seemed like those people were having a ball and it made me wonder what I was missing out on.  Finally at 18 (the drinking age was 18 in Louisiana for many years) I got to see what the fuss was about.  It usually wasn't much different than a regular night on the town.  Sometimes it was fun, but a lot of times it was just too hyped.  Still, I remember feeling like I HAD to go out on NYE.  It just seemed so sad and boring to sit at home and I felt like I was going to miss something.

Now I'd rather not go anywhere at all.  Tonight I will ring in 2017 with my little family of four at home. Clint went fireworks shopping yesterday.  We're supposed to get lots and lots of rain over the next few days, so we're hoping for a break in the weather to burn some money in the driveway.  Midnight is not looking dry at all, but it should be dry enough right after dark.  Valerie has requested fried chicken - Popeye's specifically - for our NYE dinner.  I don't have to cook so that's fine by me!

If you are going out, be safe!  Happy New Year's Eve, everyone.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

The no-carb life

Yes, we are "those people."

No rice.

No bread.

No pasta.

And hardest of all - No sugar.

We are 'those people' some of the time.

It's not something you can do forever, but when I'm in the right mind set, I can keep it up for weeks.  The hardest is no sugar.  It works though and you don't realize how eating those things affects you until they are gone from your diet.  I can say I feel so much better with out the carbs.  I feel lighter and have more energy.  It takes about 3 days to get past the cravings, but after that you don't really miss the sugar.  Eating protein makes you feel fuller and less hungry also.

All it takes is one cheat though, and it's like starting all over.  Eat a piece of bread or a couple cookies, and you are starving.  Craving more sugar, more carbs.  Hungry all the time and eating more than you should.

Until I'm ready to begin again.

It's a vicious cycle.

I've been off track for a while now.   The months between Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are hard , especially as much as I like to bake.  It's not Christmas with out cookies and homemade candy.  We've had numerous kinds of cookies, cake, pie, pralines, fudge, and bags of candy laying around for weeks now.  I've had more than my share of junk and I feel it.

January 1 though, it will be back ON.  It's back to the gym and back to eating better.
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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Disney scheming

Once again, we are all set to head on over to Disney World!!   We'll be driving this time since flying has just gotten ridiculously expensive.  Our trip is mostly planned out and I've been waiting for my Fast Pass 60 day window to open to make our ride selections to plan our days.  That was today, so I got up much too early to camp out in front my laptop waiting for 6am.  We're only going to Magic Kingdom and Epcot this trip to maximize our park time. I like Animal Kingdom okay, but Disney Studios doesn't interest us much at this time.

A few weeks ago, Disney threw a big wrench into our plans.  Last year they introduced a new money making scheme:  a ticketed private after hours event at Magic Kingdom.  There were only 3,000 tickets available which is small beans in comparison to the 60,000 guests in Magic Kingdom on an average day.  Can you imagine the Magic Kingdom a ghost town??  I read reviews.  I saw picture after picture from people who attended these events and it was like they were all alone.  No one in sight, or maybe 3-5 people here and there.  All the rides were walk on.  Some were the only people on the ride.  Walk off, walk right back on rides that normally have a 120 minute wait.  Plus "free" ice cream and drinks.  Whoa.

If you need a visual...

THIS:


Turns into THIS:




How much would you pay to spend three hours in a deserted Magic Kingdom??

The day after I bought our park tickets, Disney announced the return After Hours Event for 2017, and they lowered the price.  There's one of these events smack in the middle of the week we are going.  Again, Whoa.

I'm a sucker.  I may have fallen for said scheme and bought four tickets for this three hour private event to the tune of $507.

Disney logic:  My kids are Disney nuts.  It will be Veronica's birthday while we are there.  It's only money and it's probably the only time we'll ever get to experience an empty Magic Kingdom.

I would imagine an empty theme park is a bit.... creepy.  But the Magic Kingdom is one of my most favorite places on earth, so being there with nearly private access to almost the entire park is something I just couldn't pass up.

Our trip is still a while away, but I will be sure to post a detailed update on the after hours event once we're back!!



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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Un-Christmasing

We were up early today for a dentist visit.  The kids, not me.  Veronica was nervous, so I went back with her.  Valerie went by herself, so I really don't know what they told her, if anything.  Veronica has not one, but two small cavities.  Ugh.  We are very diligent with teeth flossing and brushing, but I know it's bound to happen anyway.  She's still doing better than I ever did because by age 10 I had a bunch of filling already!!  She's scheduled to go in Monday afternoon for the fillings, so I hope she handles it well as this will be her first experience with dental work.

I started un-Christmasing the house this afternoon.  I know, it's still Christmas until January 6, but it can be Christmas with out all the clutter around.  My Mom usually started picking up Christmas afternoon and by December 26 not a bit of Christmas was left.  I do like my pretty decorations and it makes me a bit sad to put them away, but the 'stuff' all over can be a little too much.  I packed just about everything away except for the tree, and I'll start on that tomorrow.  There are some people around here who leave their trees up and turn them into Mardi Gras trees.  Nope, not me....

The outside lights will be up for a while longer.  January 1 is our scheduled last day for the light show, but it looks like it may be sooner.  The show just does not run in the rain.  Even light rain trips the GFCI, and we are forecast for a "rain event" over the weekend.  I guess our NYE will be a rain out, so Friday may end up being the last day.  It will take some time to take down the lights and label everything so we know where it goes next year!

How about you?  How long after the holidays do you leave your Christmas stuff up?

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

It's a major award!

Our local power company has a holiday lighting contest each year.  It's probably a ploy to encourage people to decorate excessively so their bills will go up!  We've been decorating and entering for many, many years.  Every year we'd put up more lights and we'd get the usual consolation prize in the mail - a calendar.  We've suspected it was rigged because the same people win almost every year.  You can't win two years in a row, but family A wins one year, family B the next, then family A again, and B... and so on.  They put up the exact same decorations every year and still win.  The guy that won for our district last year had plenty of lights, but he also had one of those Star Shower things.  A Star Shower won - really??  Clint's theory was that we didn't have anything on the roof (too high) or anything religious (not our style.)

Well, Christmas Eve I was poking around online with my new iPad and what do I find but an article in the paper about another local family who has a big Christmas display.  The article mentions that they were winners of the lighting contest in their district.  The article went on to list the other winners -  and guess who was first on the list?

US!!

The prize is $100 cash.

After all these years of entering we finally put up something worthy of winning.

I felt like the old man on "A Christmas Story."

"It's a major award!  I won it!"

video
 
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Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Re-cap

Christmas Eve! 

I spent most of Christmas Eve day doing dinner prep.  We usually take the easy road and order a dinner to go, but we decided to cook Christmas dinner this year.  I brined a turkey and made some of the side dishes ahead of time.

Veronica has been sick with a stomach virus since Thursday, and now she had this nasty sounding cough.  Constant cough.  Clint took Veronica to urgent care in the morning, and they said she had a virus that was going around.  By the afternoon we thought she was on the mend since she said she was feeling much better.  Maybe it was the Christmas excitement that made her feel better.

We always have party food on Christmas Eve - finger sandwiches, BBQ meatballs and sausages,  chips and dip, and deviled eggs.  We took pics in front the tree and then it was present opening time!


the aftermath


Everybody was in bed super early. Veronica usually is too excited to sleep, but she said she wasn't going to stay up this year.  I knew something was wrong.   Santa was able to pass before 11pm.  Santa brings the good stuff:




About 1:15, Veronica woke me up and wanted me to go to the bathroom with her.  She peeked into the living room and Santa had passed!  Of course she had to get Val and have a look at their stuff.


It took some convincing but I finally shuffled them back to bed.

Christmas Day

Clint got up first and started on cooking Christmas dinner.  I had just gotten up when I heard Veronica coughing. And coughing.  She said her stomach hurt or maybe she was hungry, she didn't know.  She took about 5 steps down the hall, and ran to the bathroom to throw up.  She barely looked at her Santa stuff again and didn't even ask to open any of it.  She didn't even have interest the laptop she had been pining for. My poor girl spent the whole day laying on the couch, vomiting off and on.  She tried to eat applesauce and it came up.  She'd drink water, and it came up too.  Ugh.  We thought about an ER visit, but who wants to be at the hospital on Christmas Day??   We just let her rest.  I basically cooked Christmas dinner in between tending to her.  By then with so much done already, it was past the point of postponing it.   I felt so bad, but me, Clint, and Valerie had Christmas dinner with out Veronica.

Finally very late in the day Roni was able to keep down some apple sauce, then some Power Aid, then much later some chicken noodle soup!!!   I sat with her in bed and showed her a few things on her new laptop and she was almost her normal happy self.  I sure was happy to see that smile.

I still feel awful that she missed most of Christmas.  She was so excited about Santa and I spent so much time planning, and it was a bust.  Valerie is too old and doesn't seem all that interested in the magic anymore.  For sure we'll have a do-over of Christmas dinner once she is 100% well.  I usually start taking down my inside Christmas decorations on the 26th but this year I'll leave them up for a few more days.
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Our Merry Christmas needs a do-over

Merry Christmas from us to all of you....



Can we just get a pass for a Christmas do-over?  Veronica is sicker today than she has been the past few days.  Clint took her to Urgent Care yesterday and the doc there said it was a stomach virus.  She was better in the afternoon and ate a small bit of food Christmas Eve.  We took pics and opened gifts, and she said she wasn't going to wait up for Santa.  She was just going to sleep and she did, which she is the kid who normally can't sleep at all on Christmas Eve.  About 1:15 am, she woke me up and wanted me to go with her to the bathroom in case Santa was here.  So I did and Santa had already came, so Veronica got Valerie up and they had to look at all their stuff!!  Back to bed we went for the night, but when she woke up this morning she was sick again!  She's been sick, sick, sick all day, unable to eat and not keeping anything down for very long.  We thought about an ER visit, but she fell asleep.  Poor girl hasn't even opened any of her Santa gifts, not even the laptop she pined over for months.  It's not Christmas-y at all when you have a sick kid.
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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve!

It's a wintry 80 degrees here in South Louisiana.... Ah, Christmas weather.  Or not!  It's hard to feel like Christmas when the a/c is blasting and we're all in shorts.

Veronica slept through the night but still isn't quite over what she has.  She's better, but not better.  She's got a nasty sounding cough now and says her stomach still hurts.  I gave her a slice of bread and after two bites, she said she couldn't eat anymore.  After listening to her cough for a while, Clint brought her to urgent care.  They said they've seen a lot of the same thing and gave her Zofran and Imodium.  I guess we'll have to wait it out.  With Christmas falling on a Sunday, her pediatrician won't be open until Tuesday, and that seems far away when your little one is sick.

I feel bad because I have this whole yummy menu planned out for tonight and Christmas Day.  Veronica has been looking forward to Christmas Eve for weeks now, and being sick will surely put a damper on things.  She's still in a good mood and excited, but tummy troubles means she can't eat much. Valerie has been looking forward to it too, so I can't just nix the whole plan.

I've always opened gifts on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day was for Santa.  We've kept it that way, so tonight we'll have our little party foods and open the gifts under the tree.  I usually give the kids small useful things they need.  Santa brings the good stuff.  And DOES Santa have some good stuff this year!!  No doubt it will be a sleepless night for all while waiting for Santa to pass.

Merry Christmas Eve to all my blogging friends out there....
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Extra, extra! Read all about it

Yesterday I walked out to the street to check if the mail had come and pick up the newspaper.  I really don't read it much, but I like getting an actual newspaper.  To my surprise I saw a very familiar sight when I unfolded the rolled up newspaper:


That is MY house.  On the front page of our local paper.  Under it is just a short paragraph saying who we are, where we are, and to like us on Facebook for more info.

Just wow WOW wow.  Front page news!!!!

I guess our 15 minutes of fame has been extended!  Traffic was steady and a little worse than usual last night.  There were seven cars parked on the street at most, and we had TWO big limo buses come by.  Because of the way people parked on both sides of the street, the street was completely blocked so no one could pass.  A few times I could hear the music inside, so people are still cranking up their radios much too loud.  There's plenty of cigarette buts on the street.  We may have to shorten the show a bit because the longer it is, the longer people stay parked.  I know there will always be a few bad apples, but it looks like next year we'll have to set forth some rules so we don't piss off the neighbors.


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Friday, December 23, 2016

Santa on the Fire Truck

Every year, usually the weekend before Christmas, Santa and Mrs. Claus pass through neighborhoods in a fire truck parade.  They usually throw junk candy, but one year we got toothbrushes!!  We can hear the sirens long before it is here, and it's hard to judge how far away it is.  From when we first hear them, it's usually a couple of hours before he actually passes.  Last weekend wasn't any different.  We waited and waited and the sirens would grow louder then fade away again.  We'd think he'd was just around the corner, and nothing...

Finally they turned into our neighborhood!!



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The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry

Rotavirus: 1.

Veronica: 0


It seems Christmas Fest was also a GERM Fest, as Veronica has come down with a nasty, nasty stomach bug.  Late yesterday she told us she felt like she was sick and her stomach hurt.  I gave her a dose of children's Pepto.  Moms, I'm sure you know how things went downhill from there.  We have been up all night.

We were all set to attend a Christmas party tonight, too.  We never get invited to such things.  Literally never!!  My cousin invited us to their Open House Christmas party, and we were really looking forward to going to a grown up thing for a change.  Sigh.  Isn't that how it always goes???

I sure hope this is just a 24 hour bug AND that no one else comes down with it.


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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cookie Day!

I spent part of the morning mixing up dough and most of the afternoon cutting out, baking, and decorating cookies!  These will most likely be the cookies we lave out for Santa.  This recipe comes from a 1990 Crisco cookbook that we got for free from somewhere.  I've made them every year ever since.

Y'all think I have enough cookie cutters?!






Veronica takes a different approach.  After she helped me cut out some cookies, she modeled her own 'cookie girl' and a dog bowl with bits of kibble.  (huh? We don't even have a dog?)





Valerie did made some cookies too but she ate most of hers before I got a pic.   Annnnd I believe that concludes my holiday baking.  We have way too much junk food around as it is.

Here's the recipe for the cookies:



Kringle Cut Outs

Ingredients

2/3 cup Butter Flavor Crisco 
3/4 cup sugar
 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 1 egg 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Cream Butter Flavor Crisco, sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix into creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll half the dough at a time to about 1/8 inch thickness on floured surface. Cut in desired shapes. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugar and decors or leave plain to frost when cool. Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove to cooling rack.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

NOLA Christmas Fest!

What a great day we had celebrating Valerie's 12th birthday!!

Everyone got up with out much fuss, ate breakfast, and got ready for the hour drive to New Orleans to attend NOLA Christmas Fest.  We knew it was going to be a good day when we got to the parking lot and it was mostly empty!!  We walked across the street to the ticket window, and we were the only ones buying tickets.  I had read on Facebook that if you brought in an empty Coke product can, there was a $5 discount on admission.  Instead of it being $80, it was $60, and by buying at the venue we avoided all those crazy Ticketmaster fees.

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is gigantic!  Inside there were characters, decorations, lights, Christmas trees, carnival rides, a maze, a snow ball fight area, an ice slide, and a great big ice rink.  Ice skating is unheard of in South Louisiana, so the rink is a big draw.  Valerie headed to get ice skates first thing!  She held on to the wall and slowly made her way around.  Veronica watched for a bit and decided she wanted to try.  It turned out to be her favorite thing.  I would have loved to try, but I hit the floor a few years ago at the roller rink and never forgot how much it hurt.  

The best thing was the crowd was so low.  There was little to no wait for anything, no lines, and no crowds.  Both girls had a blast and spent just about all day riding the carnival rides.  The Scrambler and Tilt-a-whirl were favorites, and they rode them over and over.  It was well worth the $15 a person to get in.

The only downside was food choices were very limited and way overpriced.  Just four chicken tenders, fries, and a drink were $11!  The prices I expected, but more variety would make it better.  There's no re-entry, so you can't really leave for lunch and go back.    

After we got home, we cut Val's birthday cake.  Every year she gets two cakes --  one at her party and a red velvet cake on her actual birthday.  

Anyway, here's a ton of pics from our fun adventures today!




















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Just a quick....

Happy birthday post!!  I've fallen behind but we've been busy!!

My little girl isn't so little anymore.  Happy birthday to my winter solstice daughter.  Valerie is officially twelve today!!  I'm taking bets on when she will be taller than me -- less than one inch to go!!


We have a busy day ahead.  We are heading to New Orleans to check out the big indoor Christmas Fest at the convention center.


Happy Birthday, Valerie!!  Happy Winter Solstice to everyone else!!















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Monday, December 19, 2016

Cha-ching

Have you finished all your Christmas shopping?

This time of year, I gladly admit to having a bit of a shopping addiction.  Not just shopping but bargain shopping.  I can't pass up a deal especially if it's something I can use.  I mean, have you seen the cheap things you can buy on wish.com and ebay.com from China??  Sure, sure, they're knock offs sometimes and occasionally you get China junk, but the majority of the things I have gotten were surprisingly nice.  It just takes forever to get here.  Like weeks and weeks.

How about these $6 dresses from wish.com??



Sizing is crazy off (those are XL) and there's loose threads galore.  They're not designer quality, but for a cheap, cute outfit, you can't beat it.   A tip:  quite often the things you see on wish.com can be found on ebay.com for less!  Always check feedback and read reviews before buying also.  And give plenty of time for arrival, as China Post is very, very slow.

Internet shopping is the best.  I'm not one to just make an impulse purchase.  I always look for a deal.  A discount coupon.  If I can get free shipping and the price is the same as in store, I'll buy it online if I can wait a few days.  Target Red Card rocks with 5% off and free shipping all the time!!   Kohl's cash is fabulous stacked with coupons.  Discover deals gives you extra cash back, as does Ebates!!!  See, I told you I always look for a deal!!

Going out of business sales are the greatest also.  Our K-mart just closed, and I swear I stopped by every week.  At first it wasn't much of a discount, but I found out every Thursday was mark down day.  Every Thursday some of the departments were marked down more.  I stocked up on make-up essentials and gym clothes at dirt cheap pricing.

Now that I'm done with Christmas shopping.....  next is the BEST day of the year.  December 26!!  Have you been to Walmart at 6am on December 26 when everything is half price?  Or Target a week later when anything Christmas-y is 90% off??

Oh, I have... and I will....


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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Oh fudge

We're all familiar with the line from the famous movie, but fortunately I am referring to real fudge candy.   Yesterday was hot (80ish) and humid, but I had planned to make fudge so I was going to make fudge.  I guess I thought I could make fudge invincible to the elements.  I got out my largest sauce pan and got busy cooking sugar, evaporated milk, and butter.   I stirred and stirred as it all melted together in creamy goodness.  I stood there stirring until my handy candy thermometer read the magic number: 236 degrees.  I did the usual soft ball test of placing a small bit in a bowl of cold water.  It's supposed to form a ball when you pinch it together, but it did not.  Instead, it just washed into nothing.  So I got a clean bowl of water and stirred the pot a little longer.  I tried a few more times, and even though it was at soft ball temperature, it still would not firm.  I eventually said to heck with it and blended in the vanilla, milk chocolate chips, and marshmallow creme anyway.  I poured it into my buttered pan, but I knew it was a flop.  Usually the fudge on the sides of the pot will began to harden fairly quickly.  We loved to scrape the sides of the pot and eat it while it was warm!  Instead I had a sticky mess.  A fantastically good sticky mess, but no where near fudge consistency.  I waited a while and decided to dump it back in the pot and cook it a little bit longer.  Then, back in the pan it went.  It firmed up somewhat, but not where I could cut it into squares.  I told the kids they might get to eat fudge soup with a spoon, which Veronica replied "I like fudge soup!"

The pan spent the night in the fridge, and thankfully today I can cut it into squares!!  It tastes fab, but it isn't quite fudge consistency.  It's more of a yummy chocolate candy.  I don't think anyone will complain.

I also made a batch of my Mom's Christmas cookies.  Now those came out just perfect!  I may or may not have had a few for breakfast this morning.


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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Student of the....

Veronica came running off the bus with a bunch of stuff in her hands.  I thought it was stuff from her party at school, so I greeted her as I always do.

"Hey baby girl, how was your day?"

She stopped a few feet from the door.

"I got.... student of the month?"  she says looking very confused and handing me a certificate.

What.  You got WHAT.

I just grabbed her and said "Oh baby, nobody told me.  I didn't know.  Nobody called.  I'm so sorry."   She starts to cry.  The whole time I'm thinking WTF???  Angry momma surfacing.

See, the school does this award ceremony for Student of the Month.  The parents secretly gather in the cafeteria.  Many bring gifts - flowers, balloons, etc.  At 9am, the office makes announcements calling one student from each class who is getting the award.  The students all walk in together and the parents all clap and cheer.  Then each kid is called on stage to get their award and take pictures.  Then the child goes to sit with their parents to eat donuts.  SIT. WITH. THEIR. PARENTS.

No one called me.  No one told me.  I knew nothing about this.  I wasn't there.

Veronica gets this award every year, so she knew the drill.  All I can think is my sweet girl proudly walked into the cafeteria believing that we would be there to cheer her on.  She must have scanned the crowd and looked and looked for us.  I'm sure her heart sank when she couldn't find us, then she realized we really weren't there. I know she was hurt and confused.  I know she cried.  The principal took a few pictures and printed them out for us.  Someone pulled her BFF from class so that she had someone to sit and eat donuts with.  I am glad she wasn't alone.  I still know my girl had to be incredibly sad, and that hurts my heart so much.

Veronica's teacher said she sent me a text through this service they use to send out test and homework info.  I never got it.  Veronica's BFF said the teacher told her that she forgot to call me.  Either way, I know it wasn't intentional but I am so sad that I missed it.  I NEVER would have missed it had I known.  NEVER.  This was the very last Student of the Month ceremony- ever.  She won't get it again this year.  Veronica will be moving to the middle school next year where they no longer do this.   Sad face.

Of course, I am still super proud of my Veronica.  Clint picked up donuts for our breakfast today so we had our own little make up celebration at home.







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Friday, December 16, 2016

On to Christmas break

This past week was a busy one filled with all the usual holiday activities. Tuesday night was Valerie's dance class's party.  Wednesday afternoon there was a parent activity in Veronica's classroom.  Wednesday night was Valerie's Christmas band concert AND Veronica's turn for her dancing party.   I was only able to stay for two of Val's band songs, then I had to bring Veronica to dancing.  I was worried I would miss the band concert completely, so I was happy to at least see some of it.

Today begins Christmas break!  Two whole weeks with no set schedule.  I know the kids are glad but this Momma is glad too!!  I need a break from the routine sometimes as well.  Clint is on vacation until the end of the year also, so all four of us will be home for two weeks - yay!!  What will we do??  Who knows.....  we may take a trip or two to New Orleans, see a movie, we'll definitely do some holiday baking and cooking, but beyond that....  we'll see what comes along.

Only five days until my Val Gal officially turns twelve....

Only 9 days until Christmas....

And only 15 days left in 2016!
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cookie season

I've always liked to bake, so Christmas represents cookie season around here.  My Mom always had numerous colorful tins of goodies around the holidays.  Fudge, pralines, candies, and several different kinds of cookies.  It was quite a lot for just the three of us, but somehow we managed to make it all disappear.  I don't make quite as much sweets as she did, but I keep the tradition alive!  I'm planning to have a cookie day with the kids sometime next week...   Santa will need cookies after all!

For today though, I decided to try my hand a big, soft, gingerbread cookies.  Oh my, these are fab!  They are soft and have just the right gingerbread flavor.  I'll share the recipe below...

How about you?  Do you plan on doing any holiday baking?








Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Directions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seamingly a seamstress

My Mom was quite the seamstress.  She was self-taught using sewing books,  My Mom tried to teach me to sew for about five minutes.  She wasn't a very good teacher and I probably wasn't a good student.

This is her very old Kenmore machine.  She had several over the years, but this was her 'good' machine.



I must have soaked up some of what she taught because somehow I know how to thread the machine, how to thread the bobbin, and wind the bobbin.  I can adjust the stitching and even change out the needle.  Maybe I just watched her enough that it sunk in.  I can do a few basic things, but I'm far from a seamstress.

Veronica has been asking about learning to sew for a while now.  She wants to make doll clothes for her Barbies and American Girl Dolls.  She's even said she is going to learn how to sew watching YouTube tutorials, and surprisingly that is a possibility.

Veronica's first 4-H event was in November, and one of the contests was to sew a drawstring apron.  I looked over the pattern first and saw it was with in my skill level, so she signed up.  I took her to JoAnn's and she picked out  the cutest fabric.  I have a couple hundred spools of thread already thanks to my Mom, so I knew I likely had a close match.

I did all of the cutting and pressing.  I started the seams and Veronica finished them.  She did about 90% of the sewing all by herself.  It isn't perfectly straight, but she did a great job for her first try.  I even found some rick-rack in my Mom's craft supplies stash that matched the fabric to give it a little detail.  Roni did not win anything as there were hundreds of aprons to pick from.  That's ok.  We spent time together and accomplished something.  Who knows... maybe this will spark her interest in sewing and she will teach herself like my Mom did.







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