Thursday, December 22, 2011

around here

Around here, we've been fully into the Christmas spirit.  I swear with a 4 year old and a 2 year old, there is no other option but full-throttle.
Here's our December (so far) run down.
Started off the season with Miss A's much anticipated dance recital.  
 We were both worried she'd become really shy preforming in front of so many people, but she surprised us by being really anxious to get up on the stage.  Such a fun moment.  Mr B was super into the music, and danced his heart out the entire time.  Maybe next year we'll enroll him?  (Oh wait, Bug says: never.)

That night we hit up the ward party.  It was beautiful!  (who knew an LDS cultural hall could be?) And the main event for our family was the big guy who made his appearance at the very end.  Miss A was really, really nervous.  Bug took her to say hello at our local pharmacy, Jolley's, and she was not interested.  She said she'd "tell him what I want next year."  But after a lot of prep work and coaxing, she said, "Mom, I'm ready.  Let's go do this" and marched up on the stage to put her order into Santa.  Which for the record this year is a unicorn pillow pet.
 Bug and I made it to our first experience of the Christmas Carol at Hale Theater.  It did not disappoint.  I see why its a family tradition for many.  We are on & off season ticket holders and usually love what Hale does, but what can I say when you work with a classic to begin with?  We were both touched and felt the Christmas spirit(s).

Also, the house has put up a good effort to make us all feel a little more cheery.  I swear we kill at least 30 minutes every day with all the advents and countdowns.  Love it.

 If you look closely, you'll see our family elf riding the reindeer.  He's not tricky or naughty like some other elves we hear of (thank goodness), but he's brought some fun gifts randomly along the way.
 On top of my hutch is one of grandma & grandpa Myers nativities.  Another result of us inheriting the house & all that was in it.  Couldn't bring myself to watch it ship off to the DI.
 The tree: in which miss A adds to daily with homemade ornaments and mr. B subtracts from daily.

Apologies for the horrible picture.
 This year I finally decided to get different Christmas Stockings.  Ours previous to this were horrible.  I knew what I wanted: something skinny and classic.  Skinny because, so sue me, I don't really understand the hype over Christmas Stockings.  It just seems like another excuse to spend more money.  So this year, I am hoping old St. Nick himself will address letters to the kids.
Also in the stockings my kids are going to find these.  (You may have seen the squirrel made from a glove floating around pintrest ) Here we have a raccoon and a fox.  I finally caved and made something homemade this year after wholeheartedly swearing it off.  These 2 only took an afternoon, and everything else on the to-do list was under control.  

And we are obsessing over the new baby on the way.  Can't wait for Christmas morning to officially talk it over in detail with the kids.  
which one will it be!?!
 We've also celebrated by driving through the cemetery to look at the beautiful luminaries and visit our well-missed loved ones. (being pregnant during the holidays sure brings on a lot of tears)

Our Christmas present from Bug's parents was to go see "Annie" the play, and so we took our Ms. A on a date night while Mr. B had his own fun with Grandma Hammond.  Ms. A didn't know how to act with so much attention.  We talked about polite behaviors on a date, asked each other how our days were, and enjoyed a great time at the theater.

We've also been back to Christmas Street, and it's redeemed itself somewhat in our eyes, though not entirely forcing us to scout out "good Frosty's" within a 7 mile radius.

And that's about it.  We've partied, sang out to rockin' Christmas tunes, ate seasonal delicacy's, reserved our Christmas Eve movie tickets, have plans to go see the lights at Temple Square, and get our exercise delivering the 12 days each night.

And our fingers remain crossed for that pillow pet to arrive...

Friday, December 16, 2011

To Santa with Love

This year Santa is in for a real treat at our house.  Instead of finding the usual sugar cookie laid out for his arrival we are making Southern Rice Krispie Date Balls. (worst name for the best little treat)  Our family is going to start calling them Snowballs.

I got this recipe the other night from a friend, Natalie, in our old neighborhood.  She commissioned me to do several paintings for her for Christmas last year, and when I stopped by to drop them off she had a batch of these Snowballs on hand.  I pride myself in being somewhat adventurous in my eating, willing to try it all once, and found myself in heaven when I tried these.  Ever since I have had them on the back of my mind and asked for the recipe (& was promptly good friends).

And for the record, I have never, ever bought dates before until yesterday let alone cooked with them until this afternoon.  But there was nothing to fear.  If you are unfamiliar with this fruit: familiarize yourself with it.  
You won't regret it.  


1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 pack of chopped dates (8 oz) (I chopped them myself, but make sure you get them pitted)
2 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1 teaspoon vanilla
confectioners sugar (enough to coat balls)

Put butter, sugar, and chopped dates in a sauce pan. Cook on medium low heat until dates are melted. This takes about 8 minutes.

Take off heat and stir in Rice Krispies and vanilla.

You can also add a cup of chopped nuts if you like. Pecans are good.

Pour date mixture in a pan and let it cool. You don't want it totally cold, but you don't want it so hot it hurts your hands.

Take pieces of the mixture and shape into balls. It helps if you put a little butter on your fingers to do this.

Roll balls in confectioners sugar.

That's it. Very easy. Very tasty.  And even your four-year-old will love helping you with this one.

I am taking mine tonight to my family party...thinking about not telling them there are dates in it at first to see their reaction?

Happy Snowballing!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

on my mind

  • So prepared for Christmas this year it's scary.  But this, however, could be largely related to the fact that I have banned myself from any homemade gifts.  That's right, bring on the thoughtless commercialism over here.  
  • Spent the night outdoors at Zoo Lights in the subzero weather with my side of the family.  Got a little awkward when random people assumed our mass meant there was free hot chocolate and donuts for all.  And then it just got really, really cold.
  • Met with our potential doula last week.  Went relatively well.  Okay, I admit that when she was talking about tender moments she's witnessed in other births I totally started crying.  I blame it generally on my raging hormones, but must admit I am so ready for a good birth experience.  And the third time WILL be the charm.  
  • Speaking of pregnancy the 4 year old hasn't officially been told that number 3 is on it's way.  Sure, shes suspicious especially since we brought the bassinet home and are storing it in the spare bedroom.  Christmas morning will be the big announcement.  In fact we are going to have the ultrasound tech wait to inform us if its a girl or boy and all discover together Christmas morning.
  • I'm just going to say it: telling the 2 year old boy "don't touch the Christmas Tree" 50 times a day and then some is getting a little old...and it's only the 7th.  Sigh.
  • Found three potential holiday go-to outfits yesterday while out shopping with a friend.  Everything about this is a plus.
  • Neighbor gifts (or lack thereof) were officially all delivered last night.  We have always lived in a neighborhood that supports a local charity instead of gift-giving.  As far as I know, this neighborhood doesn't have the same deal going, so we decided to deliver cards that explain that's what we do.  Stressed forever about how this might come across, but it is done.  
  • And if there's room for total negativity in my thoughts today: Christmas Street has been a bit disappointing this year.  There used to be a huge inflatable Frosty in one of the yards and he is not to be found anywhere.  And this family has two young very dedicated Frosty groupies that are severely disappointed.  Any suggestions?  
  • Although I profess to be all squared away for the 25th, I'm still debating about Christmas cards.  We failed to get family pictures this year (thank you pregnancy fog) so it'll be just a kid picture, but can't make up my mind if I should crank one out or not.  Seeing as how we have yet to get a picture that I will endorse sending to 100 of my closest friends, we might opt out this year.  And yet...
  • The 4 year old commented that we have 3 different nativities (she referred to them as Jesus's) in our living room right now.  "Mom, we are SO lucky!"