Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. The day was actually very relaxing, and I reflected throughout the day on my good fortune to live in this time and place, and especially for the people God has given me to love. Thank you, God. :-)

We cooked the turkey in the crock pot this year, at the suggestion of my friend Tammy, and it turned out delicious! Moist and tender. I had made the sweet potatoes (yams with apples and cranberries) the night before, and everything else was pretty easy - green beans, glazed carrots, and berry cobbler. Buzzmeo brought the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and delicious Pumpkin Gooey Cake that is better than pumpkin pie. We also enjoyed having two Korean university students, Hyejin and Mira, who are here for the year studying elementary education. Their favorite menu item seemed to be the stuffing. :-) I told them, "Sorry, no kimchee today" and they laughed. They also introduced us to a new Korean snack, sweet potato chips with a glazed coating - kind of plain, but good (and Sam ate handfuls.) We enticed them into playing a game of Settlers after dinner, and they were quick learners and seemed to enjoy it. The kids are really changing and growing, as evidenced by the fact that we could get through a whole game without having to referee much, although I'm sure the videos helped, and the playroom seemed to have endured a small tornado. Still, it was a LOT better than years past. Alex and Ava play together SO well now.

Sam continues to give us scary moments and reasons to be thankful he's still alive. Last night he heard John go out to start the car, and ran out the front door after him yelling "Mommy!" (I guess he thought it was me). John did not notice and was backing out the driveway in the dark with Sam outside, but luckily he had the sense to stay out of the way. I heard him yell and ran for the door, reaching him in time to grab him. Then today he saw me squirting OxiClean on Alex's coat and grabbed the bottle and squirted some in his mouth - ack! This is the second "Poison Control" moment we've had in 2 weeks, the first one being his sampling of one of my thyroid pills. Good grief - I try to be careful but it seems I am often 2 steps behind him. Give him one chance at a dangerous situation, he'll grab it. I'm glad for the grace we get as parents - and hope it continues - even as I try to keep ahead of him instead of behind him.

Monday, November 24, 2008

the silliest thing

Alex: Mom, do you know what the silliest thing is?
Me: No, what's the silliest thing?
Alex: Getting up in the morning when it's still dark outside!

Yup - pretty silly, all right. Too bad the world still expects us to go to work even if it's dark. I love the 4-year-old insights we're getting these days.

The other day she told me she wants her eyebrows painted like rainbows. Where do they come up with this stuff?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

pre-Thanksgiving stuff

Alex and her preschool class presented us with a cute Thanksgiving program yesterday. Here she is in her "Indian" outfit (OK, Native American) which she decorated herself. Alex loves to sing at home, but apparently does not think much of singing in groups. Mostly she just stood there and watched while the other kids sang. This surprises me because she tends to be outgoing, and she sings the songs for me in the car, but I wonder how much of it is just stubbornness/nonconformist leanings...anyway, it was a cute program and I was impressed with how much the teachers got 24 3- and 4-year-olds to do!

Last night I shopped for Thanksgiving dinner at WalMart, with no kids. I'm finding ways to avoid taking them with me to the store anymore - Sam climbs out of the cart and both kids are getting bolder about fighting in public and/or grabbing stuff off shelves. What a pain! Now I know how my mom felt when she took us to the store. :-) Anyway, I was pleased with all the bargains I found. Wally World will match prices of any local store's ads, so I got lots of stuff "on sale" at one place. I felt like such a savvy shopper and even remembered to bring my own bags. :-) I love my heavy-duty, insulated canvas bags but half the time I still forget to take them in. I do better without 2 little monkeys.

I'm going to try new recipes for crock pot turkey breast and stuffing from Tammy. Her recipes have never failed me yet, so I'm looking forward to these. Except for the green olives - those will just have to be omitted from any stuffing of mine.

And now - if I can get rid of this horrible, awful virus that is attacking my entire respiratory tract lining, I'll be ready for cooking, feasting, and hopefully good times with friends and family next week.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

yummy way to eat yams

I tried a new recipe this weekend - it was yummy!

Yams, apples, and cranberries are a good combination.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

end of an era

November 8, 2008 - today we said goodbye to our crib. Wah!

For the past three years, five months and fifteen days it has been in use every single day and night. When I think about it, it's been such a haven of security and rest for both Alex and Sam. The past few months, however, it has become just another jungle gym for Sam, something to climb up and jump off of. So, away it went today to the recycled-kids'-stuff store - I hope it finds a good home.

I'll miss it. I can't believe my babies aren't babies anymore!

On a different topic: we made two yummy things this weekend. One was a fruit cobbler (thanks to Shari Kawashima) - just dump frozen berries, a box of yellow cake mix, and a can of diet Sprite into a pan and voila! I will use this one again!

The other was more laborious to make, but yummy and nutritious AND both kids ate it up and asked for more. And it's all made of vegetables! See
for this recipe for stuffed spaghetti squash. I did not steam it, since I don't have a steamer large enough, but baking it worked just as well. Again, time-consuming enough that I won't make it often, but it was very good.