No Excuses

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and enjoyed spending it however it turned out for you. We had a great time, and Maiby especially enjoyed being able to spend two days at each grandparent's house last week.

No Christmas card this year, though, and I have no excuses (although a good one could be that we never did get a family picture taken). Better luck next time!

Enjoy your New Year's celebrations!


Eggnog-Frosted Nutmeg Sugar Cookies

These cookies are delicious! They are a great complement to any holiday party - the spices give them just a hint of traditional holiday treats. Sorry, no picture; I don't want to find the camera and put it on the computer.

2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c butter, soft
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 Tbls eggnog
3 1/4 c flour

Beat butter in large bowl with mixer 30 seconds. add sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, eggnog, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divde dough in half. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough portions to 1/4" thick. Cut with a cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are slightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. Spread with Eggnog Icing (recipe below). If desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar. Makes about 24 (but I ended up with 41).

In a medium bowl, stir together 3 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Stir in enough eggnog (or milk) to make an icing of spreading consistency.


An End to the Cookie Parties

Tomorrow, Wednesday, will be our final cookie party. Come on over at 315 to try a recipe that uses Egg Nog...should be tasty!


Latest Cookie Recipes & Tree Pics

Today's cookies were Christmas Sandies. They turned out pretty good. I sent them with James to his test tonight, and they were all eaten, so I guess that's a good sign. Another good sign is there are no eggs, so if you're pregnant, you can taste the dough without any fear!

1 c butter, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 c finely chopped dried cranberries (use a food processor, and I would cut this down to 3/4 or 1/2 cup)
2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
white, red, and green nonpareils

Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Beat butter with a mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar. Beat until combined, scraping bowl. Beat in vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in berries, lemon peel, and any remaining flour.

Shape mixture into 1/2-, 3/4-, or 1-inch balls. Roll dough in non pareils. Arrange balls 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake 10 minutes for 1/2" balls, 13 for 3/4" balls, and 15 for 1" balls (although mine were 1" and I only baked them for 13 minutes, but my oven runs hot), until bottoms are light brown. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

Ooey, Gooey, Chewy S'more Bars - these were delicious! I think they would have been a little softer at the end if I would have used the 9x13 pan as suggested, but it was in the dishwasher, so I improvised with 2 smaller pans, so my crust was a little thinner that it would have been.

3/4 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c quick oats
1 c graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 c mini marshmallows
1 1/4 c semisweet or milk chocolate chunks (I used both types of chips)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13x9 pan with foil that extends over the edges of the pan. In a large bowl, beat butter on med speed for 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour. Stir in oats and cracker crumbs.

Reserve 1 c of the oat mixture. Spread remaining oat into pan (use back of large wet spoon). Bake about 15 minutes until lightly browned. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over warm crust. Top with chocolate chunks. Dot remaning oat mixture over chocolate and mallows.

Bake about 20 mins more until top is lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using edges of foil, lift uncut bars out of hte pan. Cut into bars. Here's the finished product before cutting:

And just for good measure, here is Maiby and James putting her special ornament on the tree.


Free Bed

If anyone in the Moscow area is looking for a toddler bed, we are giving ours away...it is a blue race car bed and includes a mattress and a Winnie the Pooh sheet/comforter if you want it as well. We will be putting it up on craigslist next week, but we figured if we knew anyone that wanted it, you can have dibs.


Cookie Party

So we took down our desktop to make room for the Christmas tree, and with James' schedule being extra busy and school is ending, it's a little more difficult to find time to use his computer, so I haven't posted last week's recipe yet. But I have a couple minutes right now to let you know that this week's party will be on Wednesday at 315 again. We will try out Christmas Sandies, and I will post both recipes together before Sunday.


Picture with Santa

Walmart is doing their free pictures with Santa again this year! I think today is the last day, at least for the Moscow Walmart...just go before they are done (I think it's at 5) and head back to the restroom area. Your kids can talk to Santa and then get their picture taken and you can pick the finished picture up later.


Cookie Party

This week we will be trying out some Ooey, Gooey, Chewy S'more Bars. Wednesday, 315.


I Was THAT Guy

Early Saturday afternoon I found myself enjoying New Moon with a couple in-laws. It was great; I enjoyed it all. Although there was one part that was not my favorite and caused a few dirty looks and I'm sure numerous bad thoughts to be directed at me.

I turned off the volume on my phone before the previews - all the way down, not even set to vibrate. And then, what happened? Near the end of the movie, my phone started singing!! I couldn't believe it. The people next to me did a few huffy breaths "How DARE she!" And as I struggled to open the zipper pocket that held my phone (and conveniently, it was stuck and took me several minutes to get it unstuck). Of course, I didn't try to answer the phone - I turned it off before I got the pocket open - and then decided that I had better turn it off all the way to avoid any more ringing. Too bad I didn't remember that my phone sings as it powers down!! Ridiculous!!

After the movie was over, I looked and guess what?! NO MESSAGES, NO MISSED CALLS!! I couldn't believe what was going on!

So I did a little investigating, and what did I find? I had an appointment on my calendar, complete with an alarm set so I wouldn't forget the note that I left myself. Too bad I didn't know that silencing the phone only silences the ringer - not any other alarms.

If you happened to be in the Lewiston theater for the 1 pm show, I apologize for the interruption, and have turned off the extra ringers permanently on my phone.


Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Filling

Sorry, no picture today - I forgot until it was too late. But the cookies turned out to be delicious, and the red color was very pretty.

1/2 c butter, soft
1 c packed brown sugar
2 Tbls unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour (I added an extra 1/4 cup after the 1st batch came out of the oven)
1 1-ounce bottle red food coloring, or 2 Tbls

Preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Alternately add flour and buttermilk in several increments, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in red food coloring.

Spoon dough from a rounded measuring teaspoon 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on sheet 2 mins, then move to wire rack.

When they are cool, spread Peppermint Filling on flat sides of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down, pressing lightly together.

Peppermint Filling -
In large bowl, combine two 3-ounce packages of cream cheese**, softened; 3 Tbls butter, softened; and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. Beat with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 3 cups powdered sugar. Add milk, 1 tsp at a time, to make a filling of spreading consistency. We also crushed up some peppermint candies and added it to the filling (the recipe says to put them on top, but we liked it inside).

**I think this is too much cream cheese - our filling turned out pretty good, but you could definitely tell there was cream cheese in it. I think next time I would use 1 1/2 packages of cream cheese.

To store, layer the cookies between sheets of waxes paper in airtight container. Store in fridge up to 3 days. Let stand at room temp 15 minutes before serving.


Next Cookie Party

This week we will be making Whoopie Pies!! Isn't that a great name for a cookie? My magazine has about six recipes to choose from, and the one that won out this week is Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Filling.

Come on over Thursday at 330 to play, talk, and enjoy some delicious cookies.


Latest & Greatest

We've got great things happening at the Grossman house!

James has been offered and accepted a job for after graduation in May!! We are super excited to know what we are doing and where we are headed.

Where, you may ask? Michigan! We've never been there, but hear it's a great place. And next summer we will know what it's like to live there.

And who is this great job going to be with? Leprino Foods, a major mozarella cheese manufacturer. We have heard and seen great things about them, and James is looking forward to working for them.

Woohoo!! What a great feeling.


Mint Crinkles

Obviously I messed up the name in the last post, BUT the cookies are pretty good.

3/4 cup finely chopped layered chocolate mint candies (about 24) - I used Andes mints

1/3 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c flour

extra mints for the tops, chopped (I think I used 12 or so, but next time I would use a few more, probably about 15-17)

In a heavy small saucepan, heat and stir the 3/4 c chopped mints until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and cool about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on med to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat until well combined. Beat in cooled chocolate, eggs, and vanilla.** Beat or stir in the flour. Cover and chill 3 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

(** So my bowl is kept in a cupboard that stays really cold, and it was still cold when I was using it, and it made the chocolate get hard pretty fast when I added it, so some of the cookies had big chunks of chocolate when I was rolling them into balls - just something to watch out for)

Preheat oven to 350. Roll into small balls, about 1 1/4". Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, or until edges are set (the tops should crackle - hence the name). Sprinkle a few pieces of the remaining mints on top of each cookie and pop them back in the oven for 1 minute. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 36 cookies (this is pretty accurate - I ended up with 33).

Store between layers of wax paper in tightly covered container. Store at room temp 24 hours or freeze up to 3 months.



Cookie Party #2

It's about that time again...we will be doing Mint Crispies (or something that is really close to that) on Friday at 330. Come on over and bring your kids if you've got them!


Thankful Advent Pieces

I know a few of you wanted to get the list of "We are thankful" activities for my fall advent calendar. If you are interested, you can get the list HERE.

Even if you don't put together a calendar or a book like I did, it's still a fun list of things to do during each November.


Ginger Cookies

Thanks to everyone who came over yesterday to make cookies; Maiby and I had a great time, and the cookies turned out really well. I had to change recipes because right before people showed up, I looked at it again and saw it was supposed to be chilled for 2 hours, but I had another Ginger Cookie recipe that I'd never tried before. They are delicious! (We didn't use the glaze.)
Frosted Ginger Cookies
3/4 c butter, softened
1 c white sugar
1 large egg, beaten
3 Tbls molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 c flour
1/4 - 1/2 c white sugar for rolling
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350
In mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
Mix in beaten egg. Add molasses and stir until the mixture is uniform in color.
Add the baking soda and salt, and stir well.
Sprinkle in the spices. Stir until they're thoroughly incorporated.
Stir in one cup of the flour, mix it all up and then mix in the 2nd cup of flour.
Measure out 1/4 c sugar and place in small bowl. When it gets low, add more as needed.
Break off pieces of dough and roll into 1" balls. Roll in sugar and place on greased sheet.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on the sheet and then move to wire rack.
When they are cooled, make the glaze.
Combine the sugar and juice. If it's too thick to drizzle, add more juice. If it's too thin, add more sugar.
Drizzle the glaze on the cookies.
Let the glaze dry before you store them. It should take 20-30 minutes.
YIELD: 6-7 dozen (although we ended up with 4 1/2 dozen yesterday)
This recipe came from one of my favorite authors, Joanne Fluke. She writes murder mysteries about a lady that runs a cookie shop in Minnesota, and after every few chapters, there is a recipe. I have copied down about 30, but only tried 3 or 4, but all that I have tried have been delicious. I definitely recommend the books. So far there are twelve, and she has a website: HERE.
This recipe was found in her latest book, Plum Pudding Murder.


Christmas Cookies

I have a magazine that is filled with a ton of recipes for different Christmas cookies, and I have decided to attempt making a new kind each week to test them out. If anyone is interested in coming over tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) at 315, you are welcome to chat and have the kids play and test some cookies fresh from the oven.

This weeks cookie: Gingersnaps


Halloween & an old project

So, almost 2 months later, here is a picture of the project that I was asking for the fabric scraps for. I made a doll blanket for Maiby, using yoyos and buttons to sew them on. I have never quilted a blanket before, so don't look too closely; it was made with love.
For Halloween, Maiby and I dressed up as Thing 1 & Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss. I figured that since she likes matching so much that the only way to get her to wear a wig was to wear the same thing. I made the wigs from some yarn (and if anyone in Moscow wants the remaining yarn, I don't crochet, so it's available). We had a great time at the ward party, but we didn't take any pictures there.

You can see a bit of the baby bump in this one.

Such a cheesy grin!


My Girl

So I finally got the camera and computer to cooperate, and here are a few pics of stuff I've been working on. I finished my Thanksgiving Advent Calendar. I can't remember where I found the list of activities and tried to find it online again, but I don't know what happened to the link. Sorry to whoever you are, but thanks for the list of activities!

Each page has two or three leaves on it, and then the daily activity is on a small strip of paper. Each one starts out with "We are thankful for _____" and then has an idea of something to do that goes along with what we are thankful for.

Here is my cutie wearing her Halloween dress (finally). The first time we put it on her, she cried and cried, so we let her take it off. But I convinced her one day to put it on, and now she loves it. And it is a lot cuter on her than it was on the hanger.

Here's the dress coat that I made. It took some convincing to keep it on, but then she looked down and noticed that it looks like a dress, and immediately liked it.

And two Friday's ago, our neighbor invited us over to decorate Halloween cupcakes. Here are three of Maiby's five. She had so much fun, I had to make her stop, which means her last cupcake was covered in candy since she didn't want to get down. It was a lot of fun. Thanks Hannah!


Catching Up

So I have been busy sewing and sewing and sewing the last little bit. I made 2 wigs out of yarn for Halloween, which turned out great. And I am excited for their debut on Saturday! Hopefully Maiby still enjoys wearing hers then; I have been telling her it's a hat, and since mine matches, she has been agreeable to wearing it.

And I have started a Thanksgiving Advent Calendar. As I was looking for fabric in my closet, I came across some yellow felt that was from a project that didn't end up being finished, and it was cut up into book size, so it's going to be an advent book. I have almost finished putting the leaves on, and then I need to put on small pockets on the leaves and sew the pages together. Then the picture will be posted.

I also made a super cute coat for Maiby...after she put it on, she really liked it because it looks like a dress. For those of you in the area, she will be wearing it on Sundays to church.

Besides the sewing, we have been enjoying the fall weather and the chance to go to the indoor park a little more often. I love that place.

And we had our book club meeting this week, where we discussed the book "Follow the River". And I just want Ashley to know that I really, really, REALLY love my husband, and my daughter, too; I just think they are the greatest people around!!


Mysterious Noise

In the spirit of Halloween, and at the suggestion of my husband, I'm going to share a mysterious noise that I hear just about every day. Every afternoon, between 12:30 and 4, something sounds like it hits the back of our house. Sometimes it is loud, and other times not so bad, but it doesn't fail - it reverberates either on the window or the a/c cover. So strange. And it's not a new thing - it's been happening basically since we moved in. There have been a few times that I have jumped over to the window as soon as I heard it, but there was nothing in the back to explain the noise.

Talk about strange...



I LOVE change. Have I mentioned that before? A new haircut or color, clothes, furniture arrangement, book, recipe, season, holiday, calling (usually) - I love them. I love moving, having a new place to live, figuring out how we are going to cram all our stuff in a small location without it feeling crammed.

And lucky for me, a change - I guess several - have arrived:

---- It is getting cooler, it is now October, so HOORAY for Halloween decor! That's right - it's out and up and looking great. We also rearranged the living room, so it feels like a totally new place. I am not a big fan of putting everything up against the walls, but it feels so much bigger now with how we have it set up. I love it, even if the tv is all the way across the room from the couch. It's not like it's much more than 10 feet...

---- We are adding to our family. Some of you know, and some don't, but we are going to have another baby in the spring. It looks like we will not be finding out what it is, so you will just have to wait 6 1/2 more months like the rest of us.

---- I have been feeling a lot better. I'm only getting sick 3-5 days a week instead of 7, which is great, and it's not lasting as long, which is also great. I'm certainly looking forward to the next trimester, because it's usually the best (says the woman with prior experience of 1).

---- Everyone is invited to stop by and make their own tombstone. That's right, it's back. The pens and black cutouts are waiting for any visitor to make a tombstone to hang in the front window for everyone to see. It was so much fun last year - we had the bishop, many friends, sister missionaries, and came very close to getting a man running for the state senate - up on the window with their self-made paper tombstones. Don't worry - you don't have to put your name on it, as long as you color it somehow. It was so fun we continued it with stockings at Christmas time last year.

---- I spent my birthday money. That's right, the wait is over: I bought a game. It's "Carcasonne" - a tile-building game. We played it once with some friends and had a great time. If you like Settlers or games like it, you would enjoy this one. And the great thing is that it didn't use up all of my money, so I also bought a Christmas Cookie magazine today. So fun, and such delicious-looking, tempting goodies from BHG.

---- And in a few weeks, we will celebrate our 3rd anniversary! Woohoo!

Hooray for October!!


Bringing out the big guns

My daughter is a hunter. Well, at least she has a little practice on the shooting range.

Yesterday we went down to Lewiston, had lunch/breakfast at the (family) restaurant, walked around the fair a little, and then went back to James' parents' house. Maiby took a nap, I sat down with Grandma to relax, and James and Grandpa ran some errands. Then when Maiby woke up, they took her shooting so we didn't have to worry about taking her to the women's broadcast.

And James helped her fire a .22 - twice. That's right, my little darling girl has shot a gun at the ripe old age of 2 (did I mention she's only been 2 for 2 1/2 weeks?). But she had fun. And she was wearing noise guards on her ears, so her hearing is still great.

But we need to work on telling the truth - when I got back last night from the broadcast, I asked her if she shot the gun and she said no - twice. At least she wasn't being purposefully dishonest.

I wish we had a picture, but we left the camera in Moscow yesterday, so we'll all just have to imagine it.


Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

Okay, it wasn't chicken, and it wasn't dinner, but I got the call tonight - I won a cupcake from the Cupcake Company. I had never heard of them before Lacey posted about the giveaway (thanks, Lacey!!), and then Heidi called and I won! It was delicious - Banana Carmel flavor. I got home, took a picture to show you all, and then James and I split it right down the middle. Woohoo! Thanks, Heidi!

You can check out her cupcakes here.

Exciting Nights Ahead

Well, the time has come, once again, to let everyone know how very much we like tv at our house. I know I have mentioned it at least once on here before, but tonight starts the BEST week of tv since last spring, with all the season finales...that's right - it's season premiere week. So turn off the phones and don't try the doorbell - just kidding - you're welcome to come join us if you want, just don't wake the sleeping girl upstairs when you do.

It all starts tonight, with the 2 hour premiere of everyone's favorite doctor - House. But this is not just any cranky night at the hospital, oh no - it's the first day of his stay at the loony bin.

And tomorrow it's NCIS and the start of NCIS: Los Angeles; if you follow this show, the last I saw is that Ziva is left behind in Israel. And tomorrow is also the first episode of the Good Wife, but it's at ten, so we will be in bed. But if you watch it, let me know how it is.

Wednesday is Criminal Minds - is the boss dead? The highway killer was in his house and we heard a gun shot...is everything about to change?!

Thursday is one of my all-time favorites, the original CSI, and if I saw the face correctly on the one preview I have seen, Sarah is back, and the whole office gets shot up everywhere. Following that is the Mentalist, which has been moved from it's convenient night of Tuesday to a time that is inconvenient for those of us who love it and have an early bedtime...so we will be watching that online (hopefully, since DVR is not in our budget).

Writing this out really makes us seem pretty sad, but it is what it is. There is only so much you can do when you have a child asleep in bed and all your favorites are available. And I won't get in to Friday or the weekend, because generally speaking, there aren't superb shows that we watch consistently - it's just a 4-day obsession with us.

So if you're interested, come on over, but if not, expect the ringers to be off on the phones.


It's All Over - Now What?

So our week of birthday's is over, and so now I am wondering what to do...we had a great time at Maiby's birthday parties (one at my mom's, one at our house - not planned that way, but that's another story). And then James and I both had our birthdays, and they were nice, quiet days. But the question is what to do with the money I got. Our parents are so nice, and now we each have a small amount of cash to spend on ourselves, but the dilemma I have is that I have NO IDEA what to spend it on. Maiby and I spent some time at the mall, Walmart, and Hastings this week and I thought of the possibilities: shoes, new book, movie, clothing, game, next installment of Gilmore Girls, among others. But I can't make up my mind. So the reality is that I will probably hold on to it for a month or two and then finally make up my mind - that's how it's gone in the past. Any suggestions?


Cheapies Galore

Do you have a Rosauers? Is it still Thursday before 7 (I think) where you live? Head on over for some great cereal - at 1.69 a box!!! That's right, it's the big cereal sale today, and I just got back with 3 bags of cereal - 17 boxes for under $30. Can't beat that. My receipt says I 'saved' 2.30/box, which I say depends on where you normally shop, but for a few hours today, you just can't beat it...and I'm not doing this to benefit Rosauer's in any way - I usually have a difficult time remembering when the sale is.


Back to How it Was

Well, our poor little sleepy head has had a relapse, and it's going much better for everyone. That's right, Maiby is back in the crib. We will try for the big girl bed again in a month or two. After her waking up one night and refusing to go back to sleep for almost an hour, I finally put her in the crib, and she fell asleep soon afterwards. That was 3 or 4 nights ago, and our nights have become peaceful once again, with everyone sleeping as long as they should and Maiby waiting until 8 to get up. And her naps are back to at least 2 hours. I don't know about your kids, but mine has a difficult time being happy if she doesn't get at least 12 hours sleep at night and a 2 hour nap. I love it, since it makes for a happy girl (and happy mom by extention), as well as predictable time to get projects done that I don't want her involved in.


Wishes for Chaffee

Here's to the birthday boy:
Hope your day is superb.


Big Girl Bed

Maiby has used her big girl bed for 2 nights now, and I'm wondering if we should continue...she just wakes up SO EARLY and then is whiny all day long. If she is out of bed again at 730 this morning, she will be getting 2 naps today. She needs more sleep than she has been getting, and since she went to bed late last night, there is no way we will be able to function well this morning without her sleeping until after 8.

We thought it was so great yesterday, even though she got up a little early, because she doesn't know how to open her bedroom door, so even though she could get out of bed, she would still be stuck in her room until I got her out. Well, that was true for just that one night; yesterday I was catching up on some sleep, since I didn't get to sleep much on vacation and got to bed almost 2 hours late the night I came back and up early so I could do laundry and have clothes to wear...so I was taking a nap on the couch yesterday afternoon when Maiby was napping, and then I heard "MOM!" So I bolted awake and told her to stay put. Where was my darling girl? At the top of the stairs; apparently, the door is no longer a problem for her. So last night we put the baby gate up right outside her door, just in case she decides to get up in the night, so she doesn't go down the stairs in the dark.

Hopefully we can stick with this...she really likes being out of the crib.


Running, Running All Around

Poor little Maiby - she has caught the bug and her diapers are running all over the place. It is SO GROSS!!! And we are about to make our next trip to the laundry room to wash everything a 2nd time; I'm hoping the OxiClean does it's job, as well as the Shout, so we no longer have brown blankets and onesies...we went in to ReadyCare today and I guess it's going around, along with a little projectile vomiting, so beware. No fever, though, so that's great.

I will be honest - we have been really lucky with Maiby and this is basically the 1st time we have had to deal with diarrhea. And if I had my way, it would be the last FOREVER. Poor girl didn't even eat her dinner, or breakfast. Hopefully she starts feeling better soon and enjoys her BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples, toast) for the next couple of days.

So I suppose we will watch a movie or two tomorrow.


'Tis the Season

Does anyone else feel a 'money bug' at this time of year? There are so many big purchases for students right now - tuition, books, clothes, supplies, and a variety of others, depending on your circumstances. And we are feeling it. We sat down earlier this week and went through our budget of how to spend the money coming in and going on this semester - if our previous decisions are working out and what we need to save to meet our goals. But we are sure feeling the spending bug. There is apparently no problem in our heads with the economy; this semester is the most we have spent on books - ever! Even my graduate books were not as much money as we just forked out for James.

All I can say is I hope this is a temporary bug and we can get back to feeling normal and that our budget is not too effected by this sickness. (And I also hope you don't catch it, too!) Wash your hands, I guess, and keep on smiling as you swipe your card again and again for the major school purchases.

Going Big

Yesterday James had the day off, so we went down to Lewiston in the hopes of spending some time on the water. We were not disappointed, and Grandma even volunteered to watch Maiby so we didn't need to take her on the boat and worry about the sun scorching her. It was great. I went on the slightly-flat tube - it has been determined there IS a hole somewhere, so we felt every bump and skimmed the surface on one side while dipping down on the other. But luckily, the first time around when we almost tipped, Josh fell off and the tube corrected itself. But the 2nd time, we were not so lucky. I am the only one that got injured all day, but it's not too bad. I have a bruise on my rear from Josh's foot, and a scrape down my nose, which we are blaming on Josh, but in reality I'm pretty sure it was me. We had a great time, but after the crash I was done, so I got back in the boat and just enjoyed riding around the rest of the time. James got up on one ski for a while; it was a great day, and a nice time before he starts school next week.


Wanted: Your Leftovers

No, no - I am not begging for food. But I am wondering if anyone in my neighborhood has a fabric scrap or two they would be willing to give up. I need 8 pieces that are approximately 6x12 inches. I am working on a b-day present for Maiby and have gone through all of my fabrics, but didn't quite have enough. So if you have some you are wanting to ditch, throw them my way. We could even make a trade - but you could have a larger piece of a leftover of mine, since there's not a whole lot one can do with a couple 12x6 pieces.


A Little Idiosyncrasy

So over the past few weeks, I have become aware of a small oddity that I do without even realizing it or meaning to, but now that I know it happens, I have realized it is often.

Every time I go upstairs (which is at least 20 times a day), I don't put my whole foot down. I tip-toe up the stairs; even when I am carrying Maiby. It is not something that I mean to do; for some reason it is natural. The only times I don't (unless I notice and make a conscious effort to put my heel down) is if I am carrying something really heavy or burdensome, like a full laundry basket.



What's wrong with this picture?

On Monday, I opened a new box of cereal, and as I was pouring, I noticed something was wrong with it. Can you tell?
No red or purple berries!! And it is not part of a contest, darn it - but at least it was delicious.


Weekend of firsts continued...

Maiby had her very first camping trip this weekend, too! She loved it, of course - what little kid doesn't like the chance to play in the dirt all day long and not get in trouble for repeatedly hitting trees with sticks or banging the top of the water cooler? Not mine, that's for sure.

Here's James using our tent for the 1st time - it was a wedding present, I'll admit, but at least it has been used before our 3rd anniversary that's coming up soon...

Maiby really enjoyed having fun with Uncle Jordan - they pounded on the top of the water coolers together...
...and played with a squirt gun for at least an hour! He would squirt her, and squirt it into her mouth, and when it was empty 2 minutes later, they'd head over to fill it up. Again and again. And he had fun, too!

We were camping at Dworshak Reservoir, which was really fun. James' parents brought their boat, so we went out, of course. And I went out on the tube, which is the first time in about 10 years, and I liked it a lot. It was the type that you sit up on, and can have 3 people together, which I liked a lot better than the kind that you lay on your belly and kill your arms by the time you are done.

And the last first happened yesterday, which technically isn't the weekend, but since we were camping on Monday, then Tuesday is pretty much still the weekend, right? James and Maiby built a fort!! Outside view:

And inside:


Weekend of Firsts

Maiby and I took a quick, unexpected trip up to CdA to visit my mom today after we dropped James off for this Army weekend. And it was worth it; mainly because Maiby just adores my mom and can't get enough of her - she gives her the best and longest hugs ever. But she also got to experience a few new things:

Grandma finally talked Grandpa into putting in a swing in one of their trees. It was a hit.

And Maiby got to help Grandma make cookies! Chocolate chip, of course.

Mixing it up.

Having fun.

And Grandma loved seeing the many taste-tests that went on.


Casting Call

This is an open casting call.

The roll: Running Partner

Days: MWF

Time: 6 am, duration of 30-40 minutes

Location: Indian Hills area and/or Latah Trail

Experience not required - I just started Amby Burfoot's beginners program, which mixes running and walking until you are running for 30 minutes at a time

Direct inquiries to Missy, by phone or email


Pioneer Day Celebration

Last Friday night we went to the stake primary pioneer activity. Here's Maiby in her pioneer dress. I did not even have to unpick ONE STITCH of the zipper - it's a first for me. (Of course, that one stitch only applies to the zipper and not necessarily to any other part.)

James took Maiby around to the different stations, and he made her a handkerchief dolly. Did you even know that my husband is crafty, too?


Beating Jade to the Punch

I am surprised, since Jade is always so willing to share in disgusting-ish stories of family life, that a small tidbit has been left off her blog. So I will sweetly share:

Friday night, we went to the stake primary party at the church, and as it was winding down, I went to find James. He was talking to Ben, who was holding his sweet daughter in his arms. While we were talking, Tonnelle reached up and wiped something on Ben - a booger - right on the edge of his mouth!! Eeewwww. But really, really funny. We all (including Ben) had a good laugh, which James and I continued to enjoy on the car ride home.


I'm On a Roll

So I have been getting projects done this week like no other...and it feels great. Most of them are crafts, and a few have been ideas/in the works for a while, so this feels really great. Yesterday I made a pioneer dress for Maiby to celebrate the 24th; we don't party quite like the 'Days of '47', but the primary activity should be fun. Look for the picture later on. I also learned a super easy way to make a pioneer hat out of a sheet of plain white paper.

I also started a new craft blog last week, so I can have my ideas and projects in one spot. Feel free to drop by: http://www.neatosquito.blogspot.com/ - so far there are not too many posts, but if I can keep the momentum I've got going right now, it will fill up soon.

Here's a question that's totally off the subject: has anyone else been disappointed with Winco's bananas in the last month or so? They are not turning yellow at home - just an ugly green-brown and going mushy from the inside out. The one I cut up over my cereal this morning was half mush (purchased Monday), and the one I gave Maiby didn't look too good, and she didn't finish it. I think I will have to stop buying them there, since it's been the last 3-4 times that they've been bad (and since I buy them every Monday, I think that says something).

And here's a picture of my favorite girl just to round it out. She is starting to like the camera.


Pics of Maiby

Here is Maiby at Uncle Sam's birthday party at the beginning of July...learning to pick cherries off Grandma & Grandpa's tree with my cousins girls.

And having fun on the 4th with her new friend Elvin in his pool.
Boys are such a mystery!


2nd Attempt

Here I go, off to bed...again.

Still not feeling tired.

Wish me luck.

Tomorrow we will know, as long as I'm not down here in another hour, right?

No Sleep Tonight?

Well, it's an hour past my bedtime, and I cannot sleep. And apparently, neither can my daughter. Since going to bed four hours ago, she has woken up at least twice every hour. Luckily, I have only needed to go in twice, but it does not bode well for tomorrow, especially since James is out of town and it's tough to keep her happy during sacrament meeting as we wait for nursery.

Do I just have too much on my mind? It's hard to keep track of everything that zooms in and out of that place, it's hard for me to decide. Sometimes I find it interesting to trace back my thought process; you would not believe how thinking about the dishes one minute somehow leads to joining the circus two minutes later. I don't know how I get these crazy ideas, but a few will stick and not leave for a long time.

Not that it is so easy for me to fall asleep every night, but I am usually at least tired, and am generally unable to keep my eyes open after 1030; it was almost tough to get through Harry Potter on Thursday, and I didn't have a chance between 11 and 12 when James was packing for his Guard weekend. Oh, well, I will just have to grin and bear it, or frown and be grumpy (but let's all hope for the first one, since I am teaching sunbeams tomorrow and a grin would be very helpful!).


Cooling Down

I need to cool down my posting; yesterday I was over-excited about my last post and I hurt someone I love. That was not my intention, and I apologize. Nothing about your family or your experiences offends me; I hope you understand that. I am having a hard time seeing the president trying to push things through congress so fast that no one has time to figure out what is going on before it's done, and I can only think of a few ways to get my opinion out there (blogging and writing my representatives being the main ways), but that doesn't mean I necessarily think before I do.

So that's the end, for a short time, of my government posting, and I promise that the next time I post about it, I will not aim it at someone I care about.


more of the same... (last post edited)

And where do you propose the money should come from? Should hard-working millionaires foot half of the proposed cost? That is ridiculous; most people who make that much money a year worked hard to get to where they are and should not have to pay for everyone else. And do you really think that the $1 trillion estimate will stay that (dare I say it) LOW? I don't think so. Look at how the bailout money got out of hand so fast; wasn't there an initial limit on how much money we were going to give away to help the failing companies?

And do you know what kinds of things are in that bill? Sure, they say we can keep our private insurance, but as soon as they start the national healthcare, it will be illegal for private insurance companies to change their policies - they won't be able to fix any problems that they have. I am not saying that healthcare doesn't need reform, but this is not the way to do it. Do you ever listen to Glenn Beck? Sometimes he is a little too far gone, but I think he is right on the money about national healthcare, and he's not afraid to say how crazy everyone is sounding.

We pay for our healthcare every month, and I know how hard it is (even for a young and healthy family) to make those payments. We are lucky enough that James gets scholarships every year that will cover those costs - that money goes into our savings account so we can pay our monthly premiums. It's tough, but we don't want to have to go without it, just in case we end up having a problem. Don't think I couldn't put $200 a month to good use, but I won't risk it.

And I know that we (the general public) will be footing the bill in taxes or in higher premiums. But we can't make healthcare part of the bill of right's, which is being proposed. I am not saying that people don't need help, and that I have a problem taking care of the poor. I AM saying that the government should not be in charge of it. It is a big step on the way to communism. Ezra Taft Benson, as the secretary of agriculture, said (of speaking with Nikita Kruschev): "As we talked face to face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his and all other grandchildren will live under freedom, he arrogantly declared in substance, 'You Americans are so gullible. No, you won't accept communism outright, but we'll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you'll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won't have to fight you. We'll so weaken your economy until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.' (My source here).


psst...Universal Healthcare is NOT the Answer - pass it on!

Obama and other proponents are trying to pass universal healthcare - please contact your government representatives to let them know how you feel. Tonight I sent an email to my senators and house rep; if you live in Idaho, here's the contact info:

Walt Minnick (house of rep): www.minnick.house.gov/contact/index.shtml

Mike Crapo (senate): www.crapo.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm

James Risch (senate): www.risch.senate.gov/webform.cfm

Look up universal healthcare and get some facts and tell them that it's not the answer to the problems with the healthcare system. If you're interested, you can read my letter HERE.


Like Father, Like Daughter

We love tv in our house. A little too much. But we do try to limit the amount that Maiby watches. There are always times when you get a little bored watching tv, no matter how much you like it. Admit it, you know what I'm talking about.

This is what happens when James gets bored:

If you don't know from experience, let me just say that it's REALLY entertaining to look over at your husband and see his belt strapped around his head like a crown or around his foot. But on the day of this photo, it was too difficult to get the belt out. So the phone became the boredom distraction.

I wasn't able to get a picture of it, but I will try next time she has it, but the other day Maiby and I were watching a movie and I looked over and she had a slinky around her neck, like a multi-colored, really wide necklace. It was so darn cute. She had put it there and then forgotten about it, much like the phone on daddy's head.

But she really likes the pirate eye patch that came with the slinky in a birthday party favor bag:
That was a smile, really; the elastic kind of makes it look like a drimace, but she was happy.



Poor little Maiby had a tough time this afternoon. We took her to the mall to find a new pair of shoes because I discovered last night that she has blisters on the top of her pinky toes from her old ones. And I haven't been able to find the same style in the bigger size for the past month or so that I have been looking for them; apparently everyone else in town needs girls' size 6. BUT our trip was not successful. Whether due to hunger or not a long enough nap or some unexplained change in her natural behavior, she had 3 meltdowns at the mall. So we all left empty-handed and not so happy. Better luck tomorrow...


This is Getting Ridiculous

FYI- This is going to be a bit of a ranting post, so please forgive me; if your time is not worth reading about someone else's ranting, I won't feel bad if you hit the back button on your browser now. Seriously...I wouldn't ever know you did it, and it won't hurt my feelings one bit. Here goes...

James has not been paid by the Army since March. MARCH!! Can you even believe that?! We didn't realize it for a little while, since we have direct deposit and somehow about a year ago, we no longer get a hard copy of his checkstubs (but that's another rant for another time). Here's the deal: at the end of May/first couple days of June, I was looking at some financial stuff and realized that I hadn't paid tithing on our Army checks in May and April, so I went online to look at the paystub and noticed that WE DIDN'T GET PAID!!!! How does that even happen? So I told James and he called the guy you call about these things, since the Army is all about the chain-of-command, and he said he'd take care of it.

Well, James also mentioned the problem when he was in Boise for drill a couple days later, to a couple of Major's. That may not mean much to you, but being a Major is a pretty high (the rank is O4, so they have some pull when it comes to stuff like pay). And supposedly, pay problems are a BIG deal in the Army, but apparently not to the 4 people that James has contacted. He was told to give it a week and a half by one guy, and then to contact him. Well, it's been three, and here's the kicker - James doesn't have his contact information. I know, I know, it won't be too hard to get it, just call the sargeant that is involved and get the number from him....I would think that the captain who has been trying to recruit James to a special program would feel like it would be a good idea to make sure the pay goes through would be an added incentive to sign up for what he's offering, but no.

So my big idea came to me one night as we were getting ready for bed. I suggested that I contact the lady in Lewiston who is the family support person; she would know who to talk to, and I'm sure she wouldn't mind helping me out. James said it's not a good idea, since she works across the hall from a colonel (2 ranks above the majors), and so many people would get into trouble. We are not out for blood here, just the money that's due. (Did I mention that our life insurance is taken directly from our paycheck? So that hasn't been paid, either. I had to write a check for that from our savings to cover an expense that I've never had to worry about before.) I told James I would wait another week before contacting this magical source, and I did. That great day came today. I was really excited, thinking that we would be rolling in the money, until Wednesday comes and the rent is due. So I got up and ate breakfast, watching the clock and trying to decide if she goes to work as early as the Army personnel (being a civilian working at the armory, it's a valid question), and finally made the call directly to her line.

But a man answered, and it sounded like he was speaking Spanish. So I asked for her, and was put on hold for 3 or 4 minutes. Really; this is not an exaggeration. He finally came back on and said she's out of the office, and it may be a vacation for the rest of the week - he didn't know. NNNNOOOOOOOOO!!! I had no idea who he was, so I just left my name and number and said I had a question for her. I was devastated. Everything I was hoping for disappeared. So it's back to the waiting game. James has again contacted the same 4 people that he has approached before, and I am waiting until tomorrow to see if she is really on vacation. If so, I am just going to ask my question of whoever is on the phone and see if they can refer me to someone who can get the problem solved.

If worse comes to worst, does anyone know if Legal Aid is willing to take on the Army National Guard??


Hero of the Day...

So I went shopping tonight at Winco while James put Maiby in bed, and then he went to go play bball at the church. Then I heard her crying a little later, so I went up to give her a hug and say goodnight. Imagine my surprise when I found her standing up and had her poor little knee sticking out between the bars, unable to pull it back in. I couldn't help her by myself, so I hurried over to the neighbor's house. Thank you, Janette, for helping me get Maiby's leg out!! The funny thing is that as soon as she was free, Maiby reached for Janette and gave her a big hug, and then I took her so Janette could go home, and she tried to get back in her arms....is that really my daughter? My shy little girl who ignores people who speak to her?

Thanks, Janette, for being home and willing to help me in my time of need!


House Party is AWESOME!

Thanks, houseparty.com and Domino's Pizza for letting us host a great party. I was selected to receive the American Legends House Party on Saturday. If you don't know about houseparty.com, you should check it out. You can register to win a party for you and your friends. Here's how mine went:

--register to try to win a party

--get selected to host the American Legends Party

--receive a party pack in the mail containing: $75 gift card to purchase domino's pizza, coupons for friends, the 'you gotta be kidding!' game from zobmondo, pen and paper pad

--order pizzas and invite friends

--enjoy FREE pizza and get to try the new American Legends flavors

It was a great party. A bunch of people came; we cut up the pizzas into 16 slices, so everyone could sample whatever flavor they wanted without having to eat a whole pizza to do so. It was fun. Thank you, Domino's and Houseparty!! I am definitely going to stay a member and try to host other parties for free.


Do You Store Food?

Check out this fantastic giveaway from ShelfReliance! They are starting to do regular giveaways, and what better way to start than with a BIG ONE....check it out here for your chance to win.


Yardwork & Baby Shower

We were pretty busy working on a few projects. The first one was just outside our front door. We had an ugly area that had 2 plants and numerous weeds, but mostly dirt. The problem was that whenever it rained or snow melted from the roof, it would drip in the dirt and splatter our front window and door with mud, so our house always looked dirty. Now we (hopefully) have solved the problem. What was this grand, and not-as-cheap-as-I-wanted solution? See for yourself:

Ugly pugly,

but with good structure.

Small bag of weeds I pulled.

Tools used:


Making sure it's level.

It sure is great to know that I married such a handy man!

Completed, but needing another plant.

That will come later (if at all)...

Close-up of the 'patio'; we love it!!

The next thing on the agenda was a baby shower for James' sister. They didn't know if it was going to be a boy or girl, so we waited until after she was born to have a party. The theme was "A Star is Born." After I made the prototype invite, it wasn't my favorite. I really wanted to continue the theme, but it was kind of bugging me because it didn't have the right feel to it. James suggested putting on the sunglasses, which totally made the invite, since that's the type of star I wanted. (Otherwise, it felt a little sacrilegious, since that's the name of a Nativity movie).

You're invited!

The star of the show, Katherine.

We put an 11x14 blow up of this on the wall.

Star diaper cake as table decor.

And a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting,

all decked out for the star.

Here's the spread (right to left, since that is how they went):

green salad & the best ranch dressing ever

rolls for small meat and cheese sandwiches


meat and olives

yellow m&m's in star dishes

mini cupcake star pops, sans the stick (basically look like brownie bites)

star cake

It was a great party. We had a lot of fun, and Katie was passed around and around. Next time I try the cupcake pops, I will try the actual cupcake shape like in the demo. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of my finished project! Oh, well. I guess I will just have to make them again. They were a big hit, though, if you're looking for something delicious and simply adorable. Find directions here.