Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas and What-Not

***Caution! Pictures are not necessarily organized.***

Christmas at our house was pretty laid back. We woke up early, well, early for Nik and opened presents and ate breakfast. Nik got me a Nintendo DS with the game Big Brain Academy. Awesome game. He also got me the new Fall Out Boy CD, which I love. I got him a bunch of little things. A blue base ball T shirt from Old Navy, a U of U hoodie, (probably the hit of the bunch) new shoes for work, red plaid slippers, some uncirculated Presidential Dollar coins (they are in a vault tube and everything. If you do not know what they new Dollar coins look like click on the title link), and some stocking stuffer toys. *Cause he did't get many toys for Christmas, we agreed to let him buy Rock Band the next day.* We took our time getting ready, knowing that it would be the last time it would be chaos as soon as we stepped outside.

First we went to my parents house to see the haul over there. The boys were spoiled as usual, but I can't say much because mom and dad got us a new digital camera. Which I love! It is possibly the bestest camera in the whole wide world. We got the parentals a new board game called "Urban Myth", we have never played it before, but it looks like fun. I am hoping to play it tonight at the Shindig.

After a couple hours at the Dumas household we trecked to the Thelin watering hole. All the kids were meeting at Al and Jeanne's at 2:00 for food, gifts and fun. We were all spoiled by each other and our hosts. Nik and I got a gift card from Emilee's family along with a very accurate depiction of Nik and I sitting on our red couch. This was sculpted out of clay by Em and her kids. It is really awesome! We gave Audrey and Danny "The Simpson's Movie", Kara a Barbie doll and a Snow White puzzle, and Christopher some cool blocks that connect easily. He is only one and a half.

Al made all the kids (and me) these amazing keepsake boxes for pictures. Mine was filled with pictures my parents picked out of me growing up. Some of them are really cute! The rest of the boxes will receive installments of "The Photo of the Month Club" from Al and Jeanne. They are great photographers and I look forward to seeing the pictures. We also got these great pottery pitchers done by a friend of theirs. Lou made this comment too, but its true that even though they were handed out at random, everyone seemed to think that theirs fit them the best. Mine was the skinniest. More straight up and down. I love it. It also missing the artist stamp, cause, you know, I can't be branded :)

After the festivities winded down, we went to visit Talina and David at her parents house for a few minutes before they headed back to Provo. It was good to talk to them. I am hoping they make it to the shindig tonight too.

Christmas with Charlie and Kaytee was held a couple days early at the Flurer residence and involved much spoiling. We all got Pj's as usual and the girls got the Willow Tree Nativity Shepherds. They are so beautiful. I hope I have a place to put them out next year. Nik got some tools and a calendar. It was a crazy fun time. Oh, and Gerald brought the best BBQ sandwiches I have had in a long time. And some great sweets from Schmidt's Cottage. Great place.


Nik and I both had to work the rest of the week, so it was back to the grind stone pretty quickly. Friday night Nik and I went on a search for a new frog, but the efforts were fruitless. No new frog yet. That same night we had a few friends over to play some games. Of course Nik wanted to show off Rock Band so we played a couple songs then got to the Mutant killing. We have a long standing tradition of playing these X-men games with Jake and Lisa when Jake is in town. We play other times, too, but we make it a point to play with Jake. This time it was Jake, Lisa and Brock that came. Brock is a new comer to our house and to the games. It was interesting to play with someone new. We missed Fat Jeron though.

We got together again on Sunday, this time at the Slade's. There was a bigger group of us this time, so we played Werewolves. If any of you have played the game Moffia, it is very similar. It is so much fun. I think Nik and I might get it for ourselves soon. You have to have at least 8 people to play though, so that might be a issue. To me the game feels kind of like a Murder Mystery, and you all know how I feel about those! We had a blast last night and were there WAY too late. Probably not a good idea since we have to stay up late again tonight. At least we don't have to work tomorrow morning.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New addition!

I know this is old news by now, but I just had to brag about my beautiful new niece, Sofia Caroline. She was born Friday morning and was a healthy 7 lbs 11.5 oz. and 21 inches long. She is possibly the most beautiful baby in the whole world. Nik and I were just dying to see her all day on Friday and had to wait till after 6 o'clock when we both got off work. Luckily we were able to sneak in and hold her for a few minutes each amongst the mob of visitors. This baby is definitely loved. We were teasing Kersten at the hospital that this must not be his child, it was just too cute, but then Lou pointed out that that would entail infidelity on her part, and we couldn't sully her good name, so we took it back. Great job Ten!
I love this baby so much already, I can't even imagine what her parents are feeling. I feel so blessed to be a part of this child's life, right from the beginning. I was going to post more pictures I took at the hospital, but Blogger is fighting me, so I just got the two. I am sure more pictures will be posted soon. If anyone is anxious for more Sofie action, check out the links to Amy, and Lou on the right hand side of my blog.

Congratulations Laurie and Kersten!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My attempt at Christmas treats

Ok, it's time for another update.  I mentioned earlier about Mom and I making Christmas cookies, but I have made some treats of my own in the last few days.  Mom gave me the idea, and even let me sample a finished one.  I don't know what to call them...maybe Pecan Toppers.  Yeah, that sounds good for now.  So, to make these Pecan Toppers, (oh, mom got the recipe from her mom, and I think Grandma got it from Aunt Tammy, before that, I don't know) you take the square waffle pretzels, lay them out on a foil covered cookie sheet, place the little square bite sized Dove Bars on each pretzel, then a pecan half on each of the chocolates.  Heat the oven to about 250 degrees and put in your pan.  Make sure you watch them so they don't get all liquidy, but they do need to be nice and soft.  When you can smoosh the pecan into the chocolate just a little, they are done.  Take them out and let them cool.  When they are solid again you can move them to another location, like a zip top bag or a Tupperware-esque container.  I made these candies to give to my neighbors and visiting teaching ladies.  The ones I visit.  Only I made them a little different.  I used Rollo's instead of Dove Bars.  Its the caramel addiction, it gets me every time.

The first batch turned out great!  The melted just right and look spectacular!  So much so that I decided I would make another one.  This one didn't work out quite as well.  The oven was just as hot as it was last time, they were set up the same as last time, but for some reason, they would not melt right.  When I checked on them at the time they should have been done and checked one to make sure, the chocolate just cracked and the carmel spilled out.  Bummer.  So I put them back in.  A few minutes later I go back to check again, with the same results.  Double bummer!  Frustrated, I turn the heat up by a miniscule amount (just enough to make myself feel like I had done some thing) and return the pan.  Now, maybe what follows could have been prevented if I had been keeping a closer eye on the candy.  Maybe not.  While I am sitting with Nik watching TV I suddenly realize that I smell something a little burn-y coming from the kitchen.  Shoot!  I race to the oven and grab my pan out (safely of course) only to find that I am too late.  Every one has melted to the point of pecans sliding off and caramel oozing all over the pan.  I am crestfallen.  I just ruined all these candies!  I let them cool on the pan and later that night I pulled one off to try.  Surprisingly, not bad.  I can taste a slightly "dark" essence in the caramel, but other than that, no harm done.  They do not look pretty, but hey, beauty is only skin deep.  

So I put them on the bottom of the bags I have given out.  This allows me to give out way more than if I had scrapped that pan.  Plus, I can just eat any left overs.  That is the best part.  

Ok, I have to go to Tithing Settlement now.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Job!

Hello all!  I just wanted to share my good news with everyone!  Today I got a new job!  I had an interview with Granite Credit Union this afternoon and by the end of the interview I was offered the job.  Now, I know this sounds a lot like the last time I got a new job, but I am hoping this is different.  

I heard about the job through Mason's girlfriend Ashlee, but I don't know if I will work at the same branch as her.  The pay isn't as high as I would like, but it is a good start.  The best part is that the benefits kick in much sooner than the last job.  And I get all those great bank holidays!  I was thinking when I got out that Noah must have prayed for me too.  He has some pretty strong prayers.  Thank you to everyone who helped me keep busy during my down time and prayed for me to get another job.  I am really glad to be employed.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Cookies!

Yesterday I was able to do something that I haven't done in years.  Make Christmas cookies with my mom!  When I was little, it seemed like mom made these traditional cookies every year, but their production has slowed in the past years.  

The day started with talking ourselves in to actually making the cookies.  It's always easier to say you want to make cookies than to actually start to do it.  But we did, and started with the Almond Lace Wafers.  These are made by melting butter (lots of it) in a sauce pan with sugar, almonds and a tiny bit of milk, cream and flour.  When this is a syrup you spoon it on to very greased cookie sheets and bake for 8 minutes.  Remove and let cool till you can lift the edges with our ripping, turn out on some paper towels and VERY carefully roll up on the handle of a wooden spoon.  They are still very hot at this point.  if you cook them too long (which we did at first) or if you let them cool too long (which we did) or not long enough (which we did) they will crack and shatter.  At that point the only thing you can do is eat the pieces.  Oh well!

In between batches of ALW we mixed up a double batch of sugar cookie dough.  This is the same recipe we have always used, and surprisingly, it is the one from the Cookie Press book.  Don't mess with a classic.  We decided to put these through the press, as opposed to chilling and rolling them out (may not have been easier in the long run).  We used the Christmasy designs and did many variations on them.  I brought mint-chocolate Kisses and mini chocolate chips which we used on the Wreaths and Trees (respectively).  The wreaths look like Thumb Print cookies.  Its pretty cool.  

We stopped at two types of cookies for the day, the sugar cookies took most of the day!  Mom says she wants to make Mexican Wedding Cakes too, but that will be later.  I was sent home with a tupperware of the finished product.  I considered giving them out to my neighbors, but I think I will just eat them myself!  I really wish we had pictures of us making them, and since I don't have my camera yet, I don't have any pictures of the finished ones either.  Oh well.  They taste amazing, so that will have to be enough.  

Thanks mom for letting me help you make cookies this year!  It was so much fun!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

I've Been Christmas Tagged!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
It is always more fun to open wrapped gifts, plus, I LOVE to wrap them, so I go for paper!

2. Real tree or artificial?
We had a real tree for a long time when I was little, but eventually got into the fake stuff, and we inherited a fake tree, so thats what we use now.

3. When do you put up the tree?
When ever we get around to it.  This year it was the first week in December.

4. When do you take the tree down?
When ever we get around to it.  

5. Do you like eggnog?
Not at all.  I even tried some Eggnog ice cream to see if maybe I had grown out of my distaste for it...nope.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Well, I don't remember the big gifts, my mom says i had to have a Popples when I was little, and I still love that Popples, so that was probably my favorite as a small child.  When I was in high school mom and dad gave me some Mall gift certificates and I bough a sweet-awesome winter coat. That I still wear.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, as of last year, I have two. I was given my first one last Christmas from my Step-mother-in-law, a Willow Tree one with a cool metal stable and star.  Shortly after Christmas last year Jeanne gave me her Chile Nativity and that is the one we put up this year.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
This year it is Nik, but normally he is easy to buy for.  And he got my present weeks ago, and everyone says it is so cool, I am nervous for the little things I got for him!

9. Easiest person to buy for?
My mom is pretty easy to buy for.  I can always think of stuff to get Mom.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I do neither.  I love receiving the cards, so I guess Mail.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Muppets Christmas Carol, hands down.  I also enjoy The Year Without a Santa Clause ( "They call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch, turs to snow in clutch.  I'm to much!  Da Da Da-Dum!)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
When ever I find something good.  I try not to do it too early though, cause what if they get it for themselves before christmas!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Um...I cant remember.  I have been told I have received recycled gifts before, but usually its from my girl friends, and I asked for them.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
I am really looking forward to mom Almond Lace Wafers this year.  She hasnt made them in a long time, and they are to die for!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
I really like clear on the tree with lots of colorful ornaments, but I like the colored ones on the windows.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I love the Christmas Hymns, and it never seems like we get to sing them all.

18. Travel for Christmas or stay home?
I really like to travel, but only to St. George, which is filled with family.  I like staying home with Nik now, but the day before and the day of are filled with running around the valley to visit all the family here.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph, Olive.  I love how people think they are all original when they mention Olive.  

20. Angel on the treetop or a star?
Mom had an angel, we have a santa hat.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
We get to open Grandma's on christmas eve, but everything else is Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
I HATE being cold.  And it can't be helped.

23. What I love most about Christmas?
Being with my husband no matter what we have going on outside the house.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Giving Thanks a Month Late

For those of you who don't know already, I lost my job last Friday. Merry Christmas.  Well, I am on the fence about what to do now.  Get a temp job over Christmas because everyone is hiring, or do I hold out for something that might be a little more permanent.  Decisions.  
This time at home, reflecting on the finances has made me realize how much we already have.  Now, not having a job is going to make the monthly payments a little tight, but it could be so much worse.  
For example, we both have coats, hats scarves and gloves to get us through the cold.  
The light in the kitchen burned out yesterday, and we had light bulbs in the pantry.
I amy not like cooking, but we actually have the makings for quite a few good meals.  Even if it is spaghetti a few nights a week.
We have plenty of blankets so we can turn the heat down. Save a bit of money on the bills.
I have great parents who are willing to let me do my laundry over at their house a couple times a week.  And feed us all the time.  Lots of food coming from my parents.
There are lots more things, but those are a few of the ones I have been thinking about recently. Oh, and I am very grateful that Nik got that raise a couple months ago, so at least we know we can survive off his income if we have to.
Thanks to everyone who has helped us out so far, and to those who have prayed for us!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Fasion A-B-C's

I stole this from Lou's blog, and I hope someone steals it from me!

A: What accessories do you wear everyday? Wedding ring and CTR ring I got at 16, a Nightmare watch my brother gave me (almost everyday) and usually my pearls, to Nik's dispair.

B: What is your beauty routine? Face wash, day solution, moisturiser (the TimeWise set from Mary Kay, my salvation), straighten hair, goop hair, makeup  in the car.

C: What was the last item of clothing (for yourself) that you purchased? I got a couple new shirts from Down East Clothing, at Seagull Book.  I love them!

D: Do you use a dresser, closet, or both? Both, I guess.  Most of my clothes are in the closet, and I keep my unmentionables in a dresser drawer.

E: What type of earrings are in your ears right now? small diamond ones I got for my high school graduation.

F: What type of figure do you have? Relatively short, skinny, but well proportioned. 

G: Do you wear glasses? Only at night.

H: What type of handbag do you carry? Its a messenger bag that has the Muppet Show logo, Nik gave it to me.

I: What is your ideal of style? alternative trendy

J: What jewelry are you wearing right now? afforementioned rings, pearls and earings

K: Do you wear knee-hi stockings? I dont wear stockings

L: Do you *have* to wear matching lingerie? underware yes, lingerie, no.

M: Do you wear makeup? Every day.  If I dont have time to the whole shebang, I just put on mascara. 

N: Do you wear nightgowns? Nope. I wear an oversized Utes sweatshirt and my favorite pajama pants.

O: What outerwear do you put on when going out on a typical winters day? My coat, scarf, little gloves.

P: What is your favorite perfume?Little Black Dress from Avon.  You cant get it anymore. :(

Q: Is your motto "quality over quantity" when it comes to clothing and accessories? Um, yes? I only buy both if they are on sale, so sometimes its quality, and sometimes its quantity

R: Do you wear rain boots? No, but I would love too

S: Do you wear socks or slippers when your feet get cold? I like slippers, I have a great pair that Vivian gave me years ago that I have just about worn out.

T: Do you have a set of travel luggage? We use Nik's mission stuff, and it works just fine!

U: What is your daily uniform? Jeans and a tee shirt.  If I can find a shirt that is cuter than the standard Shade, I will wear that, but its usually a shade.

V: If you are married, did you wear a veil with your wedding dress? Yes, I considered not wearing one, and truthfully, probably the only reason I wore one was because we found it cheap at D.I.

W: Do you wear a watch? Everyday. If I remember!

X: What item of clothing always makes you feel eXtremely beautiful? Not a lot right now. As long as my pants are not falling down and my shirt covers my whole belly

Y: What is your favorite type of yarn? The soft kind.

Z: Do you prefer zippers or buttons? Zippers on jeans, buttons on Blazers,