Goodbye 2005

My last post for this year.
I remember when I was younger it was always the biggest joke to say things like "I haven't brushed my teeth in a whole year" or "I haven't slept for a year!" Amanda, Alison and I would always try to out do each other on that one, and it always ended in fits of giggles.
Or Elizabeth, always chasing me around for the first kiss of the new year. Those memories go back a long way! I haven't seen Alison or Elizabeth in years.
More recent New Year celebrations involved big parties, hundreds of thousands of people in down town Toronto, dancing, singing, streamers, fireworks- then calmer parties after, watching movies and talking. Or the party in Nigeria. On top of the "hill" with a bonfire, a cheap music box, and very poor quality music blaring out to accompany some highly entertaining dancing.
This new years eve is a lot different than most. We're going to hang out with Nathan and Anita for a bit of the night, to play games, and then it will be just us. It'll be fun. We're loaded up with movies and junk food and games. We meant to buy fireworks, but never got around to doing that.
This past year has held some pretty incredible events for us. It's been fun to remember some of those special moments today;
- Our wedding
- The bridal shower from the ladies at Markham, and then the surprise shower from "Grandma" and Ruth
- Our long drives together, from OK to OH, and from OH up to Stouffville
- Our three days in Niagara Falls
- The road trip with Manda and Spen to visit Paul, and then the trip to Texas =)
- Lawton House Church - we miss you guys so much!
- Our first apartment in Lawton
- J.V.
- Cooking together
- Our first Christmas
- Our "escapes" to OKC to the zoo and the water park

Those are some of our special moments... 2005 has certainly been a full and busy year and full of many changes. Who knows about 2006? We're not really sure where we'll end up, or what we'll do... maybe we'll speculate on that this evening.

Oh yes, last night was amazing! If you have never seen the Harlem Globetrotters it is worth seeing them!! They were hilarious! The seats we had were amazing too! It was a great night out together. We got home at 10:30, then decided to make poutine... ah! That took four hours to complete... never again! I'd rather pay for them from New York Fries anyday!


My Hubby. My Hero.

Last night we won tickets from 94.9 wqmx for the Harlem Globetrotters playing tonight. I was caller number 7, and had to tell them how I would rate a new song they were playing. Ike, the DJ, told me I couldn't do it since I had won a prize from them on the 31 of October. I asked if Paul could do it instead. He said sure, that wouldn't be a problem.
So Paul listened to the song, and then rated it ("99.99 out of 100"). Then he asked if it was alright for me to pick it up this morning, as the tickets needed to be picked up between 8:30 and 12:00, and he had to be at work then. They said that was fine.
I drove the 35 minutes out there this morning, only to be told we weren't allowed to have the tickets since someone in the same house had won something in the last 90 days!! I told the receptionist that Ike had said Paul could play, and hadn't mentioned it just being one win per household. The receptionist said I could talk to the producer if I wanted to. So Judy came down. If I were three I would have stuck my tongue out at her when I left. She was horrid. She told me I was wrong, they couldn't do anything for me, and the tickets didn't exist. What is that about!?! The tickets were there last night, and they hadn't given any out last night or this morning. I know, because I was listening. She got flustered, and told me that they were planning on giving them away. I told her it wasn't fair, we'd been told we could have them, and I had driven all the way out there to pick them up. She basically said "Too bad." I was so angry with her. She wasn't curteous at all. She wasn't sorry about what the DJ had said.
I called Paul and told him what had happened. I was so upset. I had been looking forward to this evening.
Paul told me not to worry about it, and he'd fix it for me. Five minutes later he told me to go in and pick up our tickets. Woohoo. He'd called Judy and had argued with her on the phone. She isn't our favorite person. She refused to admit that they'd made a mistake in telling us that. She accused us of lying. He told her to listen to the show from last night and she would hear that Ike did indeed say we could have them. She told him the tickets were gone. He told her that it wasn't true, they hadn't given them away yet. She was furious when she walked into the front lobby to give them to me. She didn't talk to me, just thrust them at me and walked out. Why did she do that to us? Who knows... Paul is my hero though. And we're going to have a grand night at the game tonight.


Boxing Day - part 2

We had a wonderful meal that Aunt Polly had prepared for everyone.

Andy had a great idea - let's straighten Kevin's curls! He has gorgeous curls, but we all wanted to see it straight. Angie had brought her hair straightner, so we used that.
Here he is with it straight:

Boxing Day - part one

Boxing Day - Angie, Esther, Spencer, Caleb, Paul and myself met up with Craig, Amanda and Jessica to do some boxing day shopping. It was a fun time together - great to see Manda and Craig again. I wish we could have had a little more time together!!
After that the six of us went to Uncle Frank and Aunt Polly's house for Christmas. Uncle Rick, Aunt Laurie, Andy, Kevin and Tanner were all there too. Oh, and mum and dad too =)
It was such a fun time together!!

We played an Auction game for the gift exchange.

It was lots of fun!!

All the cousins together

*Our feet*

Andy Dibble.

Playing SWAP

Spencer laying down the SLAP card - Uncle Rick caught moms hand sliding in on the bottom - a first!

Christmas evening

Christmas evening we played games, and then the guys went and played with the X-box and the girls went and had a hair party. It was a grand time! =)
We gave Angie rag curls - they were so pretty!!
Essie got her hair straightened and done up... she looks a bit like Ashley Simpson!!
My hair was straightened, but no pictures were taken of that!

Christmas Day

Christmas morning - I was up at 6am. The excitement of what was to happen throughout the day was just too much for me!! I very graciously didn't wake Paul up until 8!! I waited TWO HOURS. Marrage has taught me patience. =) There is hope for me. We opened our stockings first, then ate breakfast and collected everything we needed for our trip up to Canada. Then we opened gifts. I don't have any pictures of that!! When there's only two, it's hard to take pictures!! Ah well, here we are under the tree on Christmas eve:
At ten we left our apartment and headed up to Canada!! Hurray!! It was a quick six hour drive. We did stop for a short visit with the Stiefler's to wish them a Merry Christmas and to drop off their gift. We arrived home around 4:30. Mrs. Nicols joined us for dinner. So there were ten of us that evening. We forgot to take pictures around the table!! Oh well. Gift opening came soon enough, and we got plenty of pictures of that!
Here's Mum and Dad opening part of theirs:

The five of us:
Paul enjoying mum's trifle . . . mmm! Yes, it was good mum!
Who do ya think won?!


Christmas Eve

Our first Christmas Eve together =) It's exciting. We were up until three in the morning watching a Christmas movie. Why? I don't know. Neither of us have to work for a while, so why not?
I kept waking up this morning, 6:30, 7:00, 8:15 - looking at my clock and getting that happy fuzzy feeling knowing it's almost Christmas day! I finally got out of bed at 10:00. I'll wake Paul up at 11:00 if he's not up on his own before that. He probably won't be up. He hasn't been getting much sleep lately.
We were going to go sledding today. But the sun is shining, and the snow is melting. We'll have to think of something else. Maybe Cheesecake Factory, as mentioned by Lyndy. Good idea =)
We're going out to the stores - just to watch the crazy people frantically trying to buy those last minute gifts.
Then we're going to Church on the Rise for their service.
We also have to pack and have everything ready to leave early tomorrow morning for Canada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so excited about that! =) WOOHOO! Canada, here we come =)
We both hope you have a wonderful Christmas remembering the very best Gift that was given to save us.


A Rememory

I just finished watching FINAL CUT last night. Fascinating movie. They had an interesting thing in it - a chip inserted in your brain that "saw" everything that you see. Then when you die a "cutter" takes the images you saw and makes a "rememory" for the family and friends to watch any time they wanted to remember the deceased person. The cutter edits out any bad things that the person said or did in their life, making them look like wonderful people. But the idea is still very interesting. At least to me. It had me thinking throughout today - if I had a rememory, what would I want to be played?

-the first things I saw when I was born
-the reaction on my parents face after my first word and step
-the first time I saw each of my siblings
-the first time I saw
* Chrissie Barham
* Amanda Kearon
* Heather Tonneslan
* Paul Morris
-what I sounded like when I first learnt to ride a bike
-clips from my first and second trip to Nigeria
-My first day of kindergarten
-hearing my feeble attempts to read
-Some of the times with the Sr Girls
*the C'mas plays - especially the dancing one!!
*the group pictures
*the debates
*the makeovers
*the lingere shower
*the hot tub
*the goodbye party for Aunt Della
-My wedding day
-Our first apartment

There... that's all I have thought of, in no particular order.

On to other things. I have finished work for the YEAR! :) Kinda cool. I have presents to wrap tonight, along with a Christmas movie to watch.

Two interesting people I saw tonight:
Person number one - the guy who works at the laundromat. He's probably 18, pimpled face guy. He hates his job. He is just miserable. I have seen him 3 times a week for the last month. He never remembers me from visit to visit. Tonight as I was leaving he told me the clothes would be ready tomorrow after 5 for pick up. I was surprised, as it's Christmas eve, and said "Really?" He got angry and defensive; "Yes they'll be ready. I told you they would be."
I was half way out the door at this point, but turned around and said "Well, I just think it's funny, because the sign says you guys close at four tomorrow." It was funny. He, thankfully, found it funny too. He laughed, then got nervous, not knowing when the shirts would be ready. I told him it wasn't a big deal as I wasn't working for another week and Michael wouldn't need the shirts till I was available to pick them up. He asked me about my work. He seemed to cheer up a bit. Then he wished me a Merry Christmas. I hope he had a happier evening.

Person number two - A six month old baby in Marcs was actually baa-ing from his stroller. Throughout the whole store. It was hilarious! Brightened my already marvelous evening. I love Christmas time. I love baa-ing babies.


It's killin' me

These ten hour days are killing me... I can't wait till Saturday - no work!! And then Christmas!! Hurray :)
I can't complain too much about yesterday though... we went to see Cheaper by the Dozen 2. It wasn't all that great. But it was fun and entertaining.


Happy family memories...

This song came to me last night right in the middle of a bubble bath :) It made me so happy... I sang it for Paul... he wasn't so impressed.
I think mom taught us kids this song... I'll have to find out for sure. I want to know where it came from. We use to sit at the kitchen table and sing this song when we were waiting for someone to come to the table.
I always found the song hilarious because our last name was Crowe, and it's about birds... ok, here it is:

"Here we sit like birds in the wilderness,
birds in the wilderness,
birds in the wilderness,
here we sit like birds in the wilderness -
waiting to be fed.
Waiting to be fed waiting,
Oh waiting to be fed.
Here we sit like birds in the wilderness -
waiting to be fed."

On to other things now; I have been in the kitchen alot lately... between yesterday and today here's what I have cooked up:
* Hot and Spicy cashews
* Mini Cheesecakes
* Brownies
* Mints
* Strawberry-jello-ed-coconut "things"

I want to do more baking now too... but I must clean the living room first... it has wrapping paper and tape and scissors and bags and clothes everywhere. Kind of a resemblance of Esther's room... it is in honor of her :)


...you know you have a boring life when you are posting about your eggs...

Last Thursday I bought 24 eggs... I didn't get home till 11:30 pm, and we didn't eat any that night, plus we had 4 in the fridge already... so that is 28 eggs. This morning -only four days later - I realized there are only THREE eggs left! How do two people go through 25 eggs in the course of four days?
I have been doing a lot of baking... I think that's where most of them went. But 25 eggs?!

Anyways, Christmas is just around the corner!! HURRAY!! Christmas Eve is our day... we'll go sledding, maybe build a snowman. Maybe even a fort and have a snowball fight. :)
Then we're going to a Christmas eve service, then drive around to look at Christmas lights. Then we'll go to sleep with Christmas music playing... if we sleep at all. I am notorious for keeping my room mates up most of the night trying to convince them to tell me what they bought me... hehe... Esther... good times, eh? "You tell me first, then I will tell you..."
Paul's pretty good at sleeping through anything though, so it will probably just be an excited me, with a sleeping husband. I'll be talking to our ceiling... which happens to be a nicely decorated ceiling! As an "early" present I bought Paul some ceiling star stickers :)
Anyways, Christmas morning we'll get up and open stockings! Then the presents under the tree... hmm... I don't know what we'll eat. I haven't thought of that yet!! Oops!
After all that excitement, we'll jump in the car and drive HOME!! Yay!! A six hour drive :-p Yuck!! Oh well, it'll be fun.
Hopefully the weather will be good.
Momma is holding the Christmas dinner till we get there. Angie and Nathan will be there, and some "orphans" from the chapel... I wonder who?!
The 26 is Boxing Day... mad sales at the shops... crazy people... the hustle and bustle... so exciting :) We'll be there for sure!! That evening is Christmas at Uncle Frank and Aunt Polly's - Uncle Rick and Aunt Laurie are coming along with my awesome cousins. I am looking forward to it!! Then, depending on when Paul has to be back at work, we may leave on the 26... but hopefully we can stay till the 27... because we have a lot of people to see!!! Amanda, Craig, Natalie, Chrissie, Nummey's, Bev and Ken, Dave and Gail, Andrea, Amy, Steven... it may not all happen. We love you all though!!

The Seven Sevens:

1. Seven things to do before I die

1. Have a honeymoon :)
2. Have some babies
3. Go back to Nigeria - with Paul this time!
4. Write a book (or several!)
5. Become a great cook
6. Make my house look really nice-nice enough to have people drop by unexpectedly without me being totally embarassed by the "yard sale chic" look.
7. Win a prize off of the radio station here in Ohio...

2. Seven things I cannot do.

1. Win a prize off the radio station
2. Change the oil in the car

3. Use the computer for less than 1 hour a day
4. Math
5. Remeber to remove my dishes from the computer area

6. Paint
7. Iron =) Stay strong Anita!! The ironing rebels!

3. Seven things that attract me to my husband

1. He loves the Lord wholeheartedly
2. He loves me in spite of my faults and foibles
3. He is hard working
4. He is hot

5. His muscles :)
6. He has gorgeous eyes
7. His voice

4. Seven things I say most often

1. Honey, can you do {insert task} for me please?
2. I love you!
3. Uh-huh
4. What's up?

5. Ummm
6. Baby boy
7. I want to go home

5. Seven books (or series) I love

1. The Bible
2. Gone with the Wind

3. Mark of the Beast
4. Redeeming Love
5. Love has a Price Tag
6. Stepping Heavenward
7. Any of Mary Higgin Clark's books

6. Seven movies I could watch over and over again

1. Gone With the Wind
2. I am Sam

3. Pride and Prejudice
4. The Notebook
5. Nicholas Nickleby
6. The Importance of Being Earnest
7. Scarlett Pimpernelle

7. Seven favourite foods

1. Cheesecake
2. Chicken Noodle soup
3. Cheese
4. Bacon
5. Lasagna - if it's made right

6. Chicken breast
7. Steak



I am so excited about my bonus from Michael, my boss. It's just marvelous... I have to brag. He is getting a new tv. A huge, flat, wall mounting tv. I am sure it has a special name, but I don't know what it is, so my description will just have to do! Anyways, so he is getting this new tv, and is giving me his perfectly good (Sony - I know that much!!) 42 inch tv! He had told me that a little while back.

But then earlier this week he told me that he is so pleased with me, that he is giving me his dining room table! Hurray!! He is redecorating his whole house, and originally he'd said he would sell it to me for a couple hundred bucks (which would have been a real deal on its own!) But then he decided he would give it to me as part of my bonus.

He decided to give me the table as a bonus because I helped him with the selection of furniture he is buying for his redecorating. He had hired a professional decorator, and she had picked out all this fabulous stuff for him. He showed me some pictures, and told me the cheapest thing on the list was an $800 wine rack. I told him shopping at Peir 1 or -the name has eluded me at the moment of the other store - or Ebay would be much cheaper. I looked around for him, and found near replicas of everything he had wanted... he told me this week that I had saved him 75% of what the designer would have charged him!!

So, anyone else want my help? I had lots of fun helping someone else spend money!!


Pinata fun

This dude took us SO long to complete!! We took lots of pictures of our baby!

Maddy taking a whack at him.

There was a mad dash for the spoils.

Fun was had by all.
Good times.

Why doesn't it ever look like the book?

Strawberry and Almond Dacquoise

What it should have looked like:What it did look like:


Mmm, yum!

Last night we had a draw to see who would go to the Reader's home to eat the lamb that Mrs. Reader had prepared and talked about. Two names were to be drawn. Guess who got picked?! Anita and myself. The two co-ordinators of the evening events!! Slightly embarassing. But it wasn't rigged! And we did have someone else draw the names out - so we didn't have to read out that we'd won!!
It was such fun this evening. The food was marvelous. Mmm, so yummy! Roasted lamb, corn, potatoes, asparagus, salad, and hmm, am I forgetting anything? For dessert she had pie - and just for me she'd made pie crust cookies!! That made me smile. I had told Mrs. Reader that my favorite part of the pie was the crust. So she had it for me.
We played Cranium and chicken foot. I like that game. I'd forgotten how to play. But now that my memory has been refreshed I will be playing it alot more! And lucky for me, Paul likes the game too!
It was so nice to go out and spend the evening with others and get to know them a bit better. That was our first invitation to dinner since we got here.
Sigh... I still have my cold and am feeling pretty rotten still. I got a card from Nat in the mail today, that made me smile. Thanks for it Natalie! (If you still check this)


Last night

Last night was a lot of fun. There was lots of good food, and fun stories. I am very proud of Karlyn and Christa for demonstrating and preparing their dishes - Karlyn did bread and Christa did green cake. Great job!

The movie afterwards was good too. The soundtrack was terrible for some reason, so we all got free tickets to go back another time! :) Hurray!

Interesting new news: I have a job interview tomorrow. I might get a second job. It's part time work too, and the mom is very flexable. (Another nanny job.) I hope it goes well!

Here are the recipies that were used last night:

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 15 oz can artichoke hearts (not marinated)
1 10 oz package chopped spinach, thawed and drained
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ripe pitted olives
1 small jar pimento drained and chopped OR 1/2 diced red pepper

Drain artichoke hearts and cut into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Spoon into greased 1 qt glass casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm with tortilla chips. Serves 12-20 depending on what else is served.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

1 T active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 T molasses
2 T honey
1 T coarse sea salt or 2 t table salt
1/4 cup melted butter or safflower oil
2 T wheat gluten (optional: I find it helps the bread rise better)
4 cups wheat kernel ground or 6 cups whole wheat flour*

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Stir in the molasses, honey, salt, butter or oil, gluten, the remaining water and the flour, cup by cup, until the dough becomes too hard to stir. Turn the dough out, using the same flour to dust your work surface. Let rest while you clean out and grease your bowl. Knead the dough, adding more of the same flour as required, until it becomes smooth and loses most of its tackiness--about 8-10 minutes. Return to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or towel. Let rise until almost double its volume--about 2 hours or more. Punch the dough down, then shape it into two 8-inch loaves and place in greased bread pans. Cover lightly with a towel and let rise until the dough almost reaches the top of the pans --about 1 hour or so. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove the loaves and cool on racks.
*4 cups wheat kernels ground will make 6 cups flour
Yield: two 8-inch loaves, 12-14 servings

Broccoli Salad

One large head of broccoli, washed and dried, cut into small flowerets
¼ cup diced onions
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts
10 slices of bacon, crumbled

Mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

½ cup sugar
1 cup mayonnaise

Mix sugar and mayo together until sugar is dissolved. Take 2/3 of mayo mixture and combine with broccoli mixture. Pour the rest of mayo mixture over the top.

Lemony Leg of Lamb – Greek Style

1 leg of lamb, boneless
1 T grated lemon zest
1 T oregano
1 T rosemary, coarsely crumbled
3 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup flour
6 T lemon juice
¾ water

Combine dry ingredients. Add lemon juice to form a paste. Make ½-inch deep incisions all over the leg. Rub paste into the leg. Pour water into roasting pan. Place lamb on rack and roast for 30 min. at 425. Reduce heat to 350 to finish cooking until button pops up.

Chilled Strawberry Drink

Serve this sweet drink as a starter or light dessert.

2-10 oz packages frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
½ cup half-and-half
¼ cup unsweetened white grape juice
¼ sour cream

Place first three ingredients in a blender or food processor; mix until smooth. Cover and chill. Pour into mugs and top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Yield: 4 servings of 3/4 cup each

Variation: Use recipe as chilled strawberry soup and ladle into bowls instead.

Green Cake

1 lemon cake mix
1 lemon jello mix
1 lime jello mix
½ cup oil
¾ cup water
4 eggs, separated

Beat together cake mix, jello mixes, oil, water and egg yokes for 4 minutes. Beat egg whites and fold into batter. Pour into 9x13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Mix ½ cup lemon juice and 2 cups powdered sugar. Poke holes into the cake and pour the mixture over the cake while it is still warm.

Caramel Stripe Cheesecake

cups vanilla wafer crumbs

cup butter, melted
pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
Tbl. whipping cream
cup sugar

Tbl. flour
cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
tsp. butter
Tbl. whipping cream
tsp. whipping cream
tsp. vanilla extract

Whipped cream and coarsely chopped pecans, optional

In a small bowl, combine wafer crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2” up the sides of an ungreased 9” springform pan. Bake at 400° for 10 mins. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Combine the sugar and flour; add to cream cheese and mix well. Add eggs, beating just until combined. Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour into crust. Bake for 40-45 mins. or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 mins. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hr. longer. Cover and refrigerate until completely cooled. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir caramels and cream until melted and smooth. In another saucepan, cook and stir the chocolate chips, butter and cream until melted and smooth. Drizzle caramel and chocolate toppings over cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and pecans if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

It looks sick

Here are some pictures of the pinata that the JV group is creating for the Awana Christmas party. The finished results will be shown soon.

The beginning efforts of our snowman pinata. He looks like he's already taken a beating!!
He looks a little better here... I need to decorate him now.

Good times - oh the memories!!

Esther has inspired me! Here are some wedding pictures!

Our tree


We have our tree up!! It is beautiful. I just love it. It took a long time. And I am not looking forward to pulling all the tinsel off of it and unfluffing the branches when it is time to put it away... but that is weeks from now, so I won't think about it. There are presents under the tree!! And there are few enough ornaments that I can count them with my fingers. But it's beautiful. My first tree as Jessica Morris =) Paul's first tree. Our first tree. So exciting!!! I love our star on the top of the tree. It was a challenge to keep on the top. It kept wanting to bend over to one side or another. But we finally managed to keep it right where it should be.

I have a cold today. It isn't much fun. I have so much to do this weekend. It's a busy schedule.

Tomorrow: finish the plans for the Ladies Time Apart in the evening, which involves, making lemon curd as prizes, putting the game together, and setting up the tables. Then in the evening it is the ladies time apart - Christmas meal prep samples and tips. After that Christa and Lyndy are coming to our place till midnight, then we're all going to see The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe!! Woohoo! The girls will spend the night, then be late for school Friday morning.

Friday: Go to Jennifer's for lunch and crafts. I am *hoping* I will win tickets to the Nutcracker for that evening. They want caller 5. I have been caller 1,2,3 and 4 multiple times each. I am bound to be 5 sometime... tomorrow... right?!?!

Saturday: Christa and Lyndy are in a school play of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, so Paul and I are going to see it. We are not going to the Sonic Flood concert. Kinda sad about that. It would have been fun!

Sunday is Paul's parents birthday lunch, and I have to do the dessert. That evening is the Awana Christmas party. The JV group is in charge of the games, and one of the games is a "pinata"... why me?! It's sitting in the living room right now, I just finished the second layer of newspaper and water and flour. I'll have to work on it each day till Sunday.

I am missing things. I can feel it... there is something missing from my schedule. Oh well... hopefully it's not too important!! =)


Some things are worth the money

Don't buy cheap straws!! Yesterday I bought 280 straws for $1 at the Dollar Store - I thought I'd gotten such a great deal!! )
But no... definitely *not* such a great deal. The straws are so thin and cheap and almost paper tasting. They ruin the whole drink. So now I have a bunch -279 to be exact- of straws to dispose of. And I have to go out and buy new straws.

For anyone who is interested, they equalled about 0.004 cents each.


Bonding moments... literally

Group picture - at least those in the group that got their hands dirty!!

You two look like you're having way too much fun!!

They look like they're enjoying themselves too!

The culprit who started the flour paste war!! (We didn't capture that on camera though!)

In the eye of the beholder

It's GAME TIME!!! Can you guess who is who?!?! These are the four fabulous sets of eyes that appear faithfully each week at Awana:
Karlyn Meng
Jacob Meng
Lyndy Markovich
Christa Doane
Plus Paul and myself!
Can you guess who is who?!








Underneath the mistle toe...

Brr! It's chilly outside!! But with Christmas music blaring, the whir of the dishwasher, a cozy blanket and six dozen cookies all surrounding me... ah, just perfect.
Exciting news: We are getting a Christmas tree tomorrow! Hurray. God is so good =) I was quite willing to live without a tree, and just buy one on sale after Christmas... but someone here has TWO trees and asked me today if we could use one. Hurray, hurray, hurray!! It's a monster of a tree though, at least for our apartment!! 6' 5", and 4-5 feet wide... I am so excited!! The tree will look quite naked with the few decorations that I have acquired. We all have to do without sometimes... now it is a trees turn. At least will have a nice, loving, welcoming home =) I can't wait to get that tree! Darling hubby has drill all weekend, so I am *hoping* I can surprise him with the tree - get it all set up before he gets home from drill. Lets hope he doesn't read this between tonight and tomorrow morning!
I am waiting to win a contest on the radio for free tickets to Sonic Flood... do you think I'll be caller number 5? Last hour I was caller 3.... SO close, yet not close enough.


It's too early to be up! I have two minutes till Anita and I have to trapse down the stairs with THIRTEEN dozen cookies - a dozen per plate... 13 plates... what do ya know... even in the early morning I am good at math!


Tis' the end of the day

Tis' the end of the day,
And here in my house,
Us creatures are up,
Sipping from our cups,
Hot chocolate and teas,
Those are our specialties,
This rhyme is stupid,
Has anyone met cupid?

Uh-huh... that's what happens after a long day with kids. My brain is fried. My head hurts. My legs are tired - and I write bad poetry. Actually, the bad poetry comes at any time of day, but I will blame it on the lateness of the night.
Work was good today. I had a three hour break as the kids were at their aunts house having a snowball fight with their cousins. I did some shopping (for them!!) and then met up with Paul. He came back to their house and we watched The Apprentice (Donald Trump NOT Martha Stewart!!) When the youngsters got back to the house we played charades together and then played the "talking game." Paul out talked everyone! I got the kiddos into bed just moments before their dad got home. He was impressed and pleased I had gotten them in - points for me... maybe a raise?!?! Ah, I can dream...
I am off to bed now (to dream of that raise) and to be prepared to be up early tomorrow morning... whoever thought having a cookie exchange at NINE IN THE MORNING was fun has definitely never lived in my shoes. The day doesn't even start till then... let alone be up, dressed, looking good, out the door and at a home half an hour away by that time!! And to top it all off our cookies look AWFUL!! 'Nita and I did them together, and ya... maybe we can blame Levi for the way they turned out?!?! They will not be my claim to fame.

My family

Here we are!! Aren't we a gorgeous family? Uh-huh.... a spaced out Caleb, and Spencer... hmm... what girl is he dreaming of?! Or maybe it's his next meal he's dreaming of? Ah well, Esther's looking beautiful, mom and dad cute, and Paul and myself? Sigh... we should be models, eh?

Cookies in the oven

Mmm, nothing like a snowy day with cookies in the oven =) The cozy feeling of being indoors with the wonderful smell of baking cookies all around...
Except for the fact that it is a blizzard outside and I need to go to work in an hour, and the cookies in the oven are 3 dozen of the final 13 dozen for tomorrow morning. I am so sick of cookies!!
But oh well - there is still the warm fuzzy feeling . . . I love it.
December is such a hectic month- things are getting busy! Christmas parties, work, shopping, baking, planning a trip back up to Canada - HURRAY!! I can't wait til then - we're going to spend Christmas morning here on our own, then drive up to my parents. I am very excited!




Great movies

Christy has inspired me... a list of great movies - great being defined by *me* - no room for rude comments from Paul or Noel!

Girly movies:
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Senseability
Jane Eyre
Gone with the Wind
While you were Sleeping
Princess Diaries
The Importance of Being Ernest
The Prince and Me
Anne of Green Gables
Little Women
Ever After
My Fair Lady
Cinderella Story
Return to Me
Seasons of the Heart

Fun Movies:
Herby Fully Loaded
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang
Princess Bride
Cheaper by the Dozen
Yours, Mine and Ours (the old one)
Father Goose
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad world
Ice Age
What's Up Doc?
Finding Nemo
Freaky Friday
The Wizard of Oz
Five Children and It
Series of Unfortunate Events

Other movies:
Fiddler on the Roof
Sound of Music
Batman Begins
Indianna Jones
The Great Escape
The Notebook
Finding Neverland
The Man who would be King
Pirates of the Carreabean
The Jacket
Anna and the King (or The King and I)
National Treasure
Jack and the Beanstock (The Jim Hensen version)
The Ghost and the DarknesS
Hotel Rwanda
The Hiding Place
The Inn of Sixth Happiness
Four Feathers
Sarah Plain and Tall
Little Lord Fauntlaroy (I butchered the spelling of that name.)

Paul's movies: (I have not watched these)
The Matrix
War of the Worlds
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Fight Club
Interview with a Vampire


I wish he were here in my arms

So how pathetic am I? My darling left today for a men's retreat in West Virgina and I am missing him SO much and moping around. It's two in the morning and I can't sleep. I miss him. I can't wait till he gets home later today.
I did have an enjoyable evening, though that empty, lonely, longing feeling was there throughout it. I went over to Nathan's and Anita's (directly across the hall!) and played airplane and spit wars with my one year old nephew. I had pizza and coke there. It was lots of fun.
Then I came back to our place and watched girly love movies and worked on my scrapbook till I was sick of looking at it. I can't say that I am enjoying this "break" from Paul because it gives me the chance to watch girly movies - because he happily and willingly will watch them with me. (But shh! Please don't tease him about it, I don't want it to stop!!) Watching mushy romance movies WITH a mushy romantic man is absolutely wonderful!! =)
Five weeks and it is Christmas eve. Isn't that crazy?! I am so excited!! What do ya'll do for Christmas? Any special and unique traditions?


I am so excited!!

Christmas is coming =) And that means there will be lights and egg nog and wrapping presents, and singing Christmas carols, and snow and Christmas baking . . . call me shallow, but I love these things. All of those things make me so happy - and this year they will all be shared with my husband. Our very first Christmas spent together.
Last night my darling helped me hang garland and berries in our apartment, and then helped me hang garland and lights on our door. It looks so festive and wonderful. I think he secretly likes it too. I think he is as excited about Christmas as I am. He would just never admit to it.
We still have more decorating to do for Christmas. And of course baking. And Christmas presents need to be completed and wrapped. We do have a nice size pile of wrapped Christmas presents... so exciting!!


Figuring this out

I am suppose to do laundry, dishes, clean the living room, wrap presents, respond to several emails, make bill payments, go grocery shopping, return things to the library and take my husband lunch... but I am sitting here at the computer trying to figure out my blog. Talk about priorities!!
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