Monday, December 29, 2008

Good days

Christmas was wonderful. It was just the four of us, which was fine. For Christmas Eve, we stayed in (the weather was yucky) and Pete had picked up some things at the store for dinner. Very different from the Christmas Eves in my family. My family has their big meal that evening and then they open presents after dinner. Santa would then come Christmas morning. So far, our little family has been waiting until Christmas morning to open presents and see what's from Santa. I'm still trying to figure out some kind of tradition for us.

Kendall was up first Christmas morning. Usually, she is the sleeper but not that day. She's of the age that knows to get up early on Christmas. Santa got her a real guitar this year (and other things). It was precious when she said, "Daddy, Santa got me a guitar like yours!" Then she said, "I prayed to God to tell Santa to get me a guitar like Daddy's." I was feeling a little proud at that moment. :)

Clayton woke up complaining that it wasn't a real Christmas because there wasn't "wots" of snow. It kept bringing that up all day. The kids played all morning with their new toys.

That afternoon, we went to our friends, Lou, Peggy, and Michaela. We had a nice meal with them. I took my Buche de Noel cake.

I worked Friday and Pete took the kids to the movie. They saw "The Tale of Despereaux". I think it was a hit. Saturday, we went ice skating for the first time. I had been lots, but the kids had never done it before. Sunday, we went to church. There was one service at 10 am. I think that time agrees with me. Anyway, the kids sit in church for about 20 min before they are dismissed to their programs. Kendall and Clayton doodle during that time. Here is what Kendall came up with. This one is Baby Jesus.
Clayton drew this one but I don't know who it is.
Kendall drew this one and it's Mary with baby Jesus.
And this is the best one of all. Kendall did it and I just had to keep it! I didn't have the heart to correct her.
Sunday afternoon we actually flew kites. It was so windy and warm here. I loved it! For a moment, I was back in elementary school on our annual Kite Day. A perfect day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

So, what did you do today? I accomplished something I wanted to do this year. I wanted to make a Buche De Noel. It's a yule log cake with marzipan mushrooms and leaves, etc. Pete had to work today and the kids were home. I'm finished with shopping and tomorrow we are eating at some friends' house. I'm responsible for the dessert. What do you think? I hope it tastes as good as it looks! :)

Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris

I remember the first time I heard this story on the radio. I think I laughed so hard I cried. For a good laugh, click here. "Oh Little Elf, Little, Elf!" Be sure to scroll down to the original 1991 segment. It's hilarious and I really like the part at 6:55.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas songs for this year

I saw this on Cheryl's blog. It is too funny. Thought I would post it here in case you missed it.

Monday, December 22, 2008


A big box was on the doorstep today. My mom's presents for the kids arrived. Clayton understood that they went under the tree and we couldn't open them yet. Then Kendall came home from school and hasn't stopped pleading with me, "Can I please open just ONE?" I remember feeling like that as a kid. Wondering what's in all those beautiful packages with bows. I may have to give in and let her open one before Christmas. It's such an exciting time for kids. I can't wait to watch them open all those gifts Christmas morning! I guess I'm experiencing anticipation, too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shortest Day of the Year

It's the shortest day of the year, or Winter Solstice. Yay! Starting tomorrow, the days will start getting longer.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Christmas Tree that almost wasn't.

We set out to get our Christmas tree today. This was the first (and last) weekend we could get it since Thanksgiving. We have been out of town or Pete has been out of town every weekend, so this was it. We left after lunch and drove to the village of Julian to Pearson's Tree Farm. Pete grabbed a saw and we headed up the hill a bit to scout out our tree.
The ever-prepared-husband is measuring the tree to see if it will fit.

Here is Clayton enjoying some ice. I hope it's not yellow.
And here is the tree. Pete cut it down with ease.
My mom still puts ornaments on her tree that were on there when I was a kid. There's the homemade ornament from my kindergarten or the Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer from my mom's childhood. I have some special ornaments that will be up every year. Here is "I Dream of Jeannie" with her magic bottle. My sister gave this to me because as a kid, I loved "I Dream of Jeannie". I only saw it in reruns, but would run around the house pretending to be her. I even had an old perfume bottle that looked like her magic bottle. It's still at my parents' house. (Do you see the bottle by Jeannie?)
This ornament was made by a friend of mine years ago. She had visited a mutual friend in Prague and liked the egg ornaments so much she made some. It's amazing that this egg has lasted.

Here's the tree. I took the picture without a flash. It looks like it's glowing here.

But, here's the real story. After we came home with the tree, Pete decided we needed a new tree stand. The old tree stand I had was metal, and the trunk was too small so that it wouldn't stand upright. We went back to the shops after dinner. (had a great meal at Cozy Thai Bistro). Anyway, we checked Lowe's, no stands. We checked Target, again, no stand. The lady there suggested Home Depot and, of all places, CVS Pharmacy. We checked Michael's since we were close by, nothing. We knew Wal-mart was sold out, too. We went to Home Depot, nothing. So, off we went to CVS. While Pete was in the pharmacy, I called a friend to see if they had an extra stand. They didn't.

Meanwhile, Pete is looking around CVS and doesn't see a tree stand (he's a man and didn't ask for help). On his way out, the employee asked if he needed any help. "I was looking for a tree stand, but didn't see any," he replied. The clerk asked if it was for a real tree. Pete said yes. She then pointed to a display and said, "There's one over there--it's our last one!" Hooray! We got the sturdy new tree stand. We could put up our tree and decorate it!

After we had our tree all decorated, Clayton said, "It feels like Christmas." Yes, Clayton, it finally does!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stir crazy...

The kids were out of school today due to weather. It has been a long day. I sort of feel like I used to when they were very young and I would stay home all day because it was the easy thing to do. Too many days in a row of staying in is very isolating. Tonight is my Girls Night Out, but I'm not going because of the weather. I know I could use the company. It's OK. It's kind of nice not putting on make-up for a change.

I made cookies last night. I think these could be the most perfect cookie ever. The peanut butter and chocolate are so satisfying. Dare I say a perfect food group? There's protein, carbs, ahhhhh.

We are getting our tree tomorrow. I hope the weather is better for trekking around outside. I know it's supposed to be cold. It is December, after all.

I can't believe Christmas is only 6 days away...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More pictures from NYC

I liked the picture of the building looming overhead. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the windows this year. I guess I was busy keeping an eye on the kids.

I'm almost ready for Christmas. I need to wrap presents and we still haven't put up a tree. That is a project for this weekend. Pete likes to go out to a farm and cut one down. So, it will be a big outing for the family. I'm a little worried about the puppy and just how much damage she will do to the tree. I will need to put my good ornaments up high....

I'm off to the post office to send presents to Arkansas. My family draws names so it's not like I have to buy for a bunch of people. I really need to get into the Christmas spirit.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend in New York

We went to New York City for one night this weekend to see Pete's sister and her family. We got there around 2 Saturday afternoon. After visiting for a while, we headed out to look at some of the Christmas decorations and then on to eat at a restaurant called Artisanal. The restaurant is a bistro that specializes in cheeses. We saw Rocco Dispirito dining in the restaurant. Here are the kids on the subway.
Here we are at Artisanal.
The Christmas tree at Rockefeller center.
Here is one of the windows at Bergdorf Goodmans.
The kids on the bus.
Sunday, Anne sent me to the Mandarin Oriental for a massage at the spa. I definitely got the royal treatment. Afterwards, we all went to Chinatown for Dim Sum and then for a quick walk around to look at the markets.

We then headed back to midtown. Pete, Clayton and I started walking back to Anne's place. We noticed two automobiles that looked like they were dignitaries or something. It turned out that it was the Secretary General of the U.N. and we walked within 10 feet of him! Pete's sister lives one block from the Secretary General residence. The cars drove up and he got out and was standing there talking with someone. We crossed the street and walked by him.

That's about it for our weekend. It was a quick visit.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No School for the kiddos

It's Thursday. Schools were canceled because of the weather. I got an automated call from Kendall's school at 6:30 in the morning. My first thought when the phone rang was who died, but relieved when I didn't have to get up so early! I went to bed at 9 pm last night. I've started a new medication and it makes me really sleepy. I slept so long my hips were hurting.

I have no clue what we are going to do today. I could bake and I know I need to tidy the house. Other than that, it's up in the air. I really need to Christmas shop for the niece and nephew in New York City.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Kona is in the house!

Our Kona arrived today. Actually, I think it was in town last week, but Pete picked it up today. I am so looking forward to that cup of joe tomorrow morning. Yum.

We buy it from the son of a retired Penn State Professor. The son lives on the big island of Hawaii. We order every year.

Last year, the coffee didn't taste as good as I had expected but, to be fair, our coffee pot was old and it broke not soon after the new year. I think it wasn't working too well and didn't deserve to brew such wonderful coffee as Kona. This year we have a new fangled fancy coffee pot that my sister-in-law gave us. I think she felt sorry for us because of the crappy coffee pot last year when they visited for Christmas. I don't mind being pitied if it results in having a nice coffee pot.

Speaking of the sister-in-law, we are going to take a quick trip to "the City" (New York City to all of you outside of the Northeast LOL) this weekend. I really want the kids to see the Christmas decorations in the store windows. And we have a dog sitter! woo hoo. Life is sweet.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Here's the Beef

Our cow was ready this week. We bought 1/4 of a beef cow. We went in with 3 other families and split a cow 4 ways. Now, this is what I call local. We bought it from a couple who live about 2 miles down the road from us. This cow was grass fed and finished off on corn so that the meat would be marbled. The next day we had New York strip and I have to say it was so tender and full of flavor. We had rosemary potatoes and green beans along with it. I dare say, one of my favorite meals.


I found my camera! Yay! It turns out that my sweet, lovely daughter had put it under a pillow on a couch for "safe keeping." I was about to vacuum the dog hair off the couch (it never ends) and picked up the throw pillow and voila, there it was. I'm so happy that I'm not mad at Kendall. Whew! I didn't want to spend $100 bucks on a camera and I really like my old one.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I think I'm going to be sick

I've lost my digital camera. I guess there will be no Christmas cards this year...

Gotta go and throw up.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Our Thanksgiving.

I worked today at the hospital. It was slow, which is good since I can't remember when I worked last, and felt like I had to think about stuff twice. I always feel so out of it at work when I haven't been there for a while. Good thing they are understanding.

The Thanksgiving holiday was nice. We drove to Boston on Wednesday and while the traffic was heavy, it wasn't unbearable. We made it in 8 hours--with two kids and two dogs. Not bad, if I have to say so myself.

Pete's mom was a little worse than the last time we saw her. She can't see much now and forgets who is sitting right by her. Pete's dad can't take her on business trips anymore since she requires someone to watch her 100% of the time. So sad.

Thanksgiving day was a busy one with too many cooks in the kitchen, if you know what I mean. Nana arrived around 10 am and was busy giving orders and double-checking everything. She's still got it at 95. And we all know better than to argue with her. :)

My pecan pie turned out nice and I also made cornbread stuffing/dressing. Since I couldn't go home to the south, I had to make a southern dish. The rest of the food was delicious, too. Everyone agreed that Pete's sweet potatoes was the favorite. (except for Nana's turkey, of course.)

Friday night Anne (Pete's sister), Thomas (her husband), Pete, and I saw Quantum of Solace. It is the new James Bond movie. We really liked it. And it wasn't too long. (With that said, I would like to see Australia anyway). Pete's dad and Nana watched the children. Pete and Anne were walking around Harvard Square saying things like, "remember the shop that was in that building?" and "dad used to go to the barber in that building." I can just imagine how fun it was to walk around there as a teenager.

Saturday we left Cambridge with all the intentions of driving all the way home. We stopped about 4 hours down the road near West Point, NY. Pete's old HS and college friend, Ben, was visiting his parents. He and his wife and daughter were in the country from Taiwan and we wanted to see them. We ended up staying the night. One of Ben's brothers is in a band and we all went out to a dive bar to see him--5$ cover. I think Ben paid for us. Ben and another brother wanted to show their support. The band was actually pretty good. We had left the kids at Ben's parents house. So, two dates two night in a row. Wow! We stayed up until 2 am which didn't seem like a bad idea until Sunday morning around 7:30 am. Ugh.

I got up, didn't shower, drank some coffee and ate some breakfast. We woke up Kendall (Clayton, aka alarm clock was already up) and loaded up the car and drove another 4 hours until we arrived in good ole central PA. Needless to say, we were tired. I mean so tired it was impossible to be nice tired.

So there you have it. My Thanksgiving in a nut shell. And how was yours?