Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last night I did...

...this.  For a couple of hours.
And I am pretty much done wrapping.  I haven't taken a picture of all the gifts under the tree but I will.  Two weeks from today...!!!  Time flies...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Randomness...

...because I am on a roll and Jake is doing his math.

 Sadie is an in your face kind of dog. 

Review time.  This is going back several years to recall information to fill in the map....

 And done.  This is a review.  He forgot to 2 but got them with hints. Next step drawing it free hand, adding the capitals and order of statehood.  All from next Friday the end of the 1st semester of 8th/9th grade...Time flies.  He's got this.  Next semester (and into actual 9th grade next school year) the whole world.  Drawn and labeled by memory.  This will take some time.  It will be mastered by the end of the 9th grade.  One continent at time.

Okay Walmart....?  A train of buggies in the middle of the parking lot and no one in sight doing anything with them...I sat in the car for a few minutes (at least 6 or 7) jotting down what I needed to get and still no one.  When I was on my way in a cart guy was coming out but going in a different direction so I mentioned the "train" to him and it turns out the guy before him just didn't finish the job and he had no idea it was even there.  And this is one reason why you don't, and shouldn't, make $15 an hour at minimum wage jobs.

Well hello painted nails.  It has been far too long.  And why?  Something that takes such little time, looks so lovely, and makes me happy should be a priority.  I feel another resolution coming on....
   We are part of a homeschooling group called "Just a Bunch of Friends".  It is a "private group" that you have to be invited to (groups get big fast because there are so many HS families in our community).  It sounds fancy but really it is just a social group that started when some HS moms wanted to get together on a more regular basis (once a month definitely..sometimes there are a couple of activities a month) to have fun with other homeschoolers.  This particular group started with smaller homeschooling families (the trend in HS is to have large families. Hahaha! It isn't really a trend it is just that we are all Christians!) that had tween and teenagers (with just a couple of younger thrown in because of siblings) to get together. It is harder to get together with friends when you have one or two older kiddos and your friends have kids in that age range...and then all the way down to babies.  We got invited to join back in October and have fun with the activities so far (more on that later). 

 Yesterday was the Christmas party and it was pretty fun (small turn out this month).  I took a couple random pictures.  We were supposed to go ice skating yesterday also but the people that were supposed to open the skating rink 2 hours early for homeschoolers didn't show...That was a bummer but we will do it another day...sooon.
 This is over Nee and Papa's bed-their grandchildren.  The pictures are in need of updating so we decided to surprise them with a new one of Jake so it would be up before they got back last night.  We went over to their house (on the way to the airport to pick them up) to run the vacuum and touch up the bathrooms...and of course to complete mission:  new picture of Jake.

This one is from January.  It seems like forever ago!  
   When we opened the frame to put the new one in we found a whole bunch of Jake pictures.  He has changed so much but at the same time he looks so much the same.

And here is the new one which as of right now they have not noticed.  I know this because we put our Christmas card photos on their fridge and they did notice that.  Should we point it out or see how long it takes for them to notice?
 And this is what our Christmas tree looks like with all the lights out. 

I kind of like how little it is.  It doesn't take up too much of the room.  We may just keep the Charlie Brown tree.
 A moment caught in a picture.  My computer and list book.  I am going through pictures on my computer to see what I have and haven't posted.  A mini figure(Lego's are every where), Atari borrowed from Nana that Aaron and Jake have been playing to see what games were like from our childhood, candles in white birch made by Grampa Smith, our Charlie Brown tree on a box to make it look taller, that is covered by fabric from Aunt Gloria that I will sew into a tree skirt, and the Savior in Gethsemane.  This is our life in a moment.  The bowl is Aaron's snack bowl from last night. :)

Sadie likes to distract Jake when he is doing school and yes we let our dog kiss us right on the face.

The school room is still a Christmas workshop and lets face it more often than not we do school in a million different places.

And he is back to it....and I need to get back to it!!!  I just crossed a whole lot off my list of things to do before the end of the year...Now I need to get to the list of things to do today!...It isn't as fun though..

Leaves, Family Dinner, Pizza, etc...

This may be better titled "November Randomness"  but I have more November to post so I went more general....Now on to the radnomness...

 My favorite color is Fall.  But I wouldn't want it year round because then it would be normal and I wouldn't love it as much.

There must be a picture taken in the leaves every year.  These are 2014's.

You are wrong Aaron: You are never too old for a picture in the leaves....Wait it feels like I have posted this already...but I didn't see it looking back on my blog.  I did post it on Facbook though.  This is one reason I don't like you FB.  You make me forget if I blogged it or FBed it.  Ugh. 
  We had everyone over for dinner one Sunday back in November.  The baby Harmon's had sick kiddos so they couldn't make it.

We had lasagna, and chicken alfredo roll-ups, salad and garlic bread.  I have realized I miss hosting things and I am glad to have our own home to do it in again (not that we couldn't have while renting but it makes me feel less guilty for not having done it if I have an excuse).  In 2015 we will have some one other than family (they can come to we just need to have friends over too) over once a month for dinner.  I am making resolutions.  I usually frown upon that type of thing (because I am a rebel at heart and when I put my mind to something I feel the need to rebel against myself and not do it...I know that sounds crazy.  It is) but it is happening this year.   While I am at it:  WE WILL TAKE A FAMILY PICTURE EVERY MONTH NEXT YEAR.  All caps makes it even more serious of a resolution.  I said this for 2014 and it happened maybe 4 times.  It is not hard to snap a quick family picture of 3 people once a month.  It will happen in 2015.

   The next few are self explanatory.  Same jump, different day.  It is kind of our thing.  We are awesome like that.

 Jake was taking a few minutes to jump on the trampoline after we took Sadie on a walk.  She thought we should go again and was trying to steal her leash back.

 YUM!  Homemade pizza is sooo good.

And look at this low carb version I made for myself.

It looks good right?

Well it ins't.  I gave it a try and it is a no go.  The crust is basically cream cheese and egg.  It actually wasn't a bad flavor it was just too heavy.  It said to put it in a 9x13 pan, but when I put it in it didn't even cover the bottom so I put it in a 8x8.  It did kind of rise so maybe it wouldn't be so heavy if I had put it in the 9x13...

But I don't know if it is worth trying again.  That will be a lot of pizza for just me to eat...especially if it still isn't great!  I am going to try the cauliflower crust next time.  I have heard that is really good.  I kind of think regular pizza is really good and it may be a food you just eat and not worry about the carbs!

But a low carb alternative that I can live with is: Spaghetti Squash.  I am capitalizing it because it is just that good.  I mean it is technically a proper noun but you really don't see it capitalized...that may be more because you just don't see it very often rather than the fact that it doesn't have to be...either way it is correct so I can stop rambling on about it! 

I didn't cook it quit enough-I got a little nervous and took it out too soon.  But I just threw it in a pan for a couple of minutes to finish it up.  

Yum.  It is like buttery noodles of deliciousness.

I want some right now.  My new quick friend is also frozen meatballs from Sam's Club.  They changed brands and I really like the new ones (my homemade are better but quick and cheap it good at times).  They only have one carb a piece.  In this picture I only added butter and garlic, but I have had it with Alfredo sauce since then and it is awesome.  I am going to try zuccinni (sp?  too lazy to look it up and spell check isn't responding so we will go with it) noodles too.  A friend of mine told me they are better with marinara.  I am a huge spaghetti fan (it is probably my favorite food) so finding alternatives that are something healthy that you could literally eat every day is an amazing thing!
 Aaron this will be a Christmas spoiler if you read this so don't.  My guys would love these but there is no way I am spending $9 on one ornament.  I have an alternative that I will post another time...because it hasn't happened yet...but will.

This is another ornament I wouldn't buy but would love to make and will...I love Christmas time for so many reasons.  One of them being a great excuse to CREATE!!!!

We had to go buy camo for our family pictures with the Harmon's.  That paints a picture of how unredneck (new word) we are.  My guys didn't have camo to wear in the pictures...We had to buy it.  

Obviously we just bought cheap t-shirts but Jake was amazed at the options. :)

And here is a bigger version (than what I have already posted) of that family picture...just because:

And pretty November clouds...just because.
 This is a picture of my kitchen on Thanksgiving when I was getting ready to make pies, stuffing, and gravy (I cooked the turkey the day before).  I love this kind of mess.  It is a happy mess.  I was happy even though I tried to run the dishwasher the night before and it wouldn't work.   And we thought it was broken.  We called the manufacturer who also thought it was broken.  Friday morning (the first chance Aaron had to take a look at it) it was fixed.  By Aaron.  Who discovered something had come unplugged.  He is handy like that.  And it saves us a lot of money.  Ranee was convinced we should buy a new one on Black Friday.  I am so glad we didn't.
 And I guess I took one more from a different angle.  Oh yeah.  I forgot I made green bean casserole in the crockpot for the first time and it was delicious.  Thanksgiving is the once a year I make it since no one really likes it but me.  I need to make it in smaller servings for myself more often!  I have a tiny crockpot and I am sooooo going to do that ASAP!

 I have an heirloom.  I wish I had pulled it out to decorate the month of November with it!  It was Ruby Mae Smith's.  My grandmother I never met.  It is on my shelf in the kitchen right now....In fact I am going to go take picture of it right now and post that too.  It will be a new tradition to decorate with.
 But before I do are some more Thanksgiving prep pictures.  My garbage bowl (thank you for the genius idea Rachel ray.  She was also one of Jake's first crushes when he was 4ish) is a bowl that my mom used when I was little.  I guess that makes it another heirloom in a way.
 See that Stove Top stuffing.  That is right I will say it loud and proud:  I am not a stuffing snob.  I love Stove Top.  In the bird stuffing I like Pepperidge (sp?) Farm.  Maybe some day I will make it from scratch.  I know it isn't hard but when you love the cheap and easy version why bother?  I guess so you can say you did it.  So I will at some point.

The pies all done (homemade minus the crust), on a tray that I have painted and repainted a thousand times and one a placemat I made.  This picture makes me feel very domestic.  I guess next time I could make whip cream instead of buying it.
 This is the reason I need a girl.  Seriously.  It is too adorable and I have no little girl to buy it for.  No niece...Wait I do have one friend who has a little girl that may just need me to buy this for her because I need to buy it for someone!!!!  (It is from Target so it isn't expensive)

I am done with the November randomness and there are just a couple of events left that require posts of their own.  November is almost done.  I am getting close to being caught up with almost half the year!  And it only took until December to do it!  Go me!

And here is the platter in my kitchen. :)