Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two Reasons Why I Sucked at Blogging this Month

A couple of things have happened during the month of December that have taken precedence over blogging.

#1- My son and daughter-in-law had another beautiful baby boy the week before Christmas.

Asher and Uncle Cody

#2- Don had hernia surgery three days after Christmas.

I'm going to confess. I sort of like my husband a bit drugged up. Not only did the Lortab keep Don awake (a terrific thing since he has MS and is always tired), but I found he was quite amusing.

Upon arriving home from the hospital, I situated Don in the recliner, turned the television on, then plopped down on the sofa with my laptop and permitted Don to entertain me, albeit unintentional...

8:00 p.m.-

Don- “Do you ever wonder what happened to the girl’s dad?” 
Me- “What girl’s dad?” 
Don- “The Brady girls.” 

I have NO IDEA why Don was suddenly concerned about the Brady girl's real father. All I know is he wasn't talking about Mike Brady. What really baffles me, however, is Don was watching Dateline NBC!

10:00 p.m.-

Don- "I'm not tired, AT ALL!"
Me- Could it be the three Cokes you chugged since we got home at 5:00?" 

10:05 p.m.-

Don waddles into the kitchen, picks up a Tangerine and goes on and on about why Cuties are sooo much better than Mandarin Oranges.

10:30 p.m.- 

Don- “You like bread pudding, don’tcha?” 

WTH? We have been married for 30 years. He should know that I HATE bread pudding! I'm still scratching my head about that one.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fireflies from the Jubilee Project

The Jubilee Project makes videos for a good cause. This particular short film was made to raise awareness for autism. The little girl in the video said she acted the part because she has a brother who is autistic. Please watch. It is precious.

Behind the Scenes...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Katelyn's Blog

My daughter has started a blog! It was actually an assignment in one of her college classes, but I hope she will keep it up. If you have a minute, click on the link below and take a look. Be sure to check out each of the pages and read some of her work. She's a very talented girl and I am so proud of her. 

Katelyn Lancaster Professional Blog

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Very Special Twelve Days of Christmas

A few years ago, a very kindhearted person did The Twelve Days of Christmas for Cody. That individual (or individuals) will probably never know how happy their actions made my son. It only took a couple of nights for Cody to get into the swing of answering the door and finding packages left specifically for him. Each evening until Christmas, Cody greatly anticipated the sound of the doorbell. To this day, I have no idea who Cody's secret angel was, but I do know from the gifts and poems left each night, Cody's giver knew him rather well. 

Regrettably, I did not save every message/ gift that was left during those memorable twelve days, but I did keep half of them. They were...

Day 5- Five Christmas Stories
Day 6- Six Symbols of the Lord (all I kept was the Legend of the Candy Cane)
Day 8- Eight Candy Bars
Day 9- Nine Chocolate Chip Muffins
Day 10- The Ten Commandments
Day 11- A Bar of Ivory Soap

This is funny, however, I used to threaten my kids with dish soap or pepper. ;)

And this note was left for Cody on the last day...

If only I could speak with this anonymous person(s), I would thank them for remembering my son during that holiday season. Considering whom our Savior spent His time with during His mortal ministry, I would say Cody's friend was undoubtedly following Christ's example.

(See Matthew Chapter 9).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Out of the Archives/ Looking at Christmas Lights NASCAR Style

I wrote the following post last December. After looking at lights with Cody and Don again this year, I decided it's worth re-posting because some things never change.  :)

Cody likes to "look" at Christmas lights, so Don and I decided to grab some holiday CD's and take him out this evening.

When I was a child, I use to enjoy looking at Christmas lights, but my parents knew how to go about it. They would bypass commercial areas and drive up and down residential streets, slowing to a crawl when coming to a home that had lights. 

My husband, on the other hand, does not do that. Don's idea of taking in Christmas lights is to drive down the main roads, which are usually non-residential, to a particular destination. Then, when we arrive in the neighborhood he has in mind, he drives 30 miles an hour (I'm not kidding. I looked at the speedometer). Now, I realize 30 miles an hour is slow IF YOU'RE ON A HIGHWAY OR FREEWAY, but not when you are in a residential area tryingto catch a glimpse of homes that have been decorated for the holidays. 

Year after year after year, I have tried to help Don understand the process of looking at Christmas lights and year after year after year, he forgets and does the same thing. I don't get it. 

This is what I see from the passenger seat when Don is driving...

...unless I blink and then I miss the display in its entirety.

Photograph by David Wagner @

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bah Humbug My Butt

Don has always acted like he doesn't enjoy Christmas, but after working in the garage this morning, he came in the house looking like this...

You can't see it in the photos, but under the tiny cap it says "Santa's Little Helper". I think Katelyn bought this headband a few years ago when she wanted to be Santa's Slutty Little Elf for Halloween.

I'm thinking Don is not as scroogie as he wants us to believe.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kindergarten Bulletin Board for November

Mrs. B. does the cutest bulletin board for the month of November. She pins up a large turkey and then gives each child a feather to take home and decorate. As the children bring their feathers back to school, Mrs. B. has them come to the front of the classroom and do a show and tell about their decorated plumes, then she adds each one to the bulletin board. By the end of November, our board looks like this...

Here are a few of the embellished quills close up...

Not bad, right?!

I'm thinking there are a few beans and Goldfish crackers in 
the bottom of at least one child's backpack (top-middle).

I don't know the story behind the ornamental crayon on the bottom 
feather, but it's ingenuously creative, don't you agree?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free Online Library for Children

We Give Books is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online.
We Give Books combines the joy of reading with the power of helping others, providing a platform for caregivers and educators to inspire children to become lifelong readers and lifelong givers.
We Give Books also helps some of the world's best, most inspiring, literacy organizations by spreading the word about their great work and by providing books to the young people these organizations support.

Watch the following clip to learn more...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Honest Housekeepers at Crowne Plaza Hotel

Don went on a business trip to Phoenix last month and stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. He didn't realize until he got home that he left a brand new pair of Levis hanging in the closet of his hotel room. After kicking his own butt about it for half a day, Don decided he would call the hotel and ask if the housekeepers had turned in a new pair of jeans with the tags still on them. We didn't think there would be a snowball's chance in hell that they would say yes, but they did! The desk clerk took all of Don's information and returned the Levis via FedEx.

The Phoenix Arizona Crowne Plaza Hotel on Peoria Avenue will definately be getting a 5 star rating on tripadvisor from Don and I.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Clam Chowder

2 (6 1/2 oz.) cans minced clams
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups diced potatoes
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 qt. half & half

Drain juice from clams into a large pot, adding enough water to just cover vegetables. Cook approximately 15 minutes or until tender.

Make a white sauce using the butter, flour and half and half.

Add clams and white sauce to undrained vegetables.


Salt and pepper to taste.

This yummy comfort food makes a delicious meal on a chilly winter day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ghostly Impression

A couple of days ago, I pulled back the drapes on my family room window and saw this...

At first I was dumbfound. The first thing I thought was, "That must have hurt!". Then I became concerned that the bird was probably laying under the window dead, so I went outside to have a look. There wasn't a bird in sight, dead or alive, so I went back in the house, grabbed my camera and took a picture.

I've heard of our feathered friends flying into windows, but always visualized small birds. This print is BIG. Don thinks it must have been a Dove.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Asher's Baby Shower

Katelyn and I hosted a baby shower for my daughter-in-law, Talitha. Here are a few photos of our owl themed decor...




 We used a custom printable kit that I purchased from Emmie Cakes on Etsy.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Do You Think They Are In Trouble?

This is my niece and nephew...

It's hard not to laugh because...

#1- They are so stinkin' cute!

#2- My brother (their dad) use to do the same thing when he was a little boy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

San Diego Anniversary Trip/ Part 3

While in San Diego, Don and I stayed at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa. If I were to rate this hotel, I would give it a 3 out of 5. Our room was a little dated and dark. Other than the bathroom vanity, the lighting was horrible, even with the drapes wide open.

The other negative was parking. The Hilton charged us $35.00 for parking per night! Don and I were under the impression that $35.00 was a one time charge. Needless to say, we were not happy when our final bill was slid under the door on the morning of our departure.

On the plus side, there weren't any bedbugs in the room. (Those who know me well are aware of my bed bug phobia.) Believe me, the two of us combed the mattresses, baseboards, chairs, carpet and under the bed before our luggage ever left the car. Also, the resort has a nice pool and there is plenty to do including a fitness center, tennis courts and boat dock where you can rent a variety of water toys to enjoy on Mission Bay. However, I think the most appealing thing about the Hilton Resort and Spa is location. Not only is it minutes away from San Diego International Airport, Old Town, the USS Midway and Seaport Village, it's so close to Sea World that Don and I could see their Sky Tower and Bayside Skyride from our hotel balcony.

On day two of our vacation, the first thing we did was visit the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier. We arrived about a half hour before the museum opened and watched literally thousands of service men come off the ship.

I don't know what they were doing, but it was an amazing sight. The USS Midway is massive! I would advise anyone interested in visiting the Museum, to go on a guided tour. Don and I didn't and unfortunately, even though there were many volunteers throughout the museum to give assistance, we missed seeing many areas.

Upon leaving the USS Midway, Don and I walked a short distance to Seaport Village. By this time we were hot and thirsty and hungry so we found a nice little deli and plopped down at a small table beside an open window, where we could feel the breeze and watch people on the

Afterward we shopped for a bit...

then headed to catch a ferry to Coronado Island. While on the island, we did more souvenir shopping...

and cooled off with some Cold Stone Ice Cream.

Boarding the ferry back to San Diego Harbor...

Don and I met a nice gentleman who insisted on taking a picture of us.

Once back on the main land, we returned to our hotel, changed into our swimsuits and lounged around the pool for a bit.

(No picture. You are welcome!)

Lastly, before returning to our room, Don and I walked along the beachfront taking in the sights and sounds of the bay.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Craisin Cookies


3 1/4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla chips
1 cup Craisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter, brown sugar and sugar in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla.

Mix in baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Slowly add flour (give or take a little depending on consistency).

Fold in oats and Craisins.

Bake for 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool and enjoy.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies

This recipe was inspired by Jamie at My Baking Addiction. Her Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookie recipe calls for white chocolate chips and dried cherries, but because I had neither, I adapted the recipe using ingredients I had on hand.

 Also, I found the cookie dough too gooey using Jamie's measurements, therefore my recipe calls for a bit more flour and oatmeal. I live at 2880 feet above sea level and because elevation plays a part in baking, you may need to adapt the recipe accordingly.

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