Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I took a bloggers break over the holidays. It has been awesome to have the entire week with the kids and The Mister (aka: The Hubby.)

We celebrated Christmas with lots of food and presents and some of the traditions we have made as a little family unit. We made cookies and drank hot chocolate. We read the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke. We wore our matching Christmas Pj's and laid around a lot on Christmas Day. It felt great to relax and rest and appreciate the Holy Day.

After all the R & R, we decided to go visit the nations capital since we are now operating in "crunch time" here on the east coast.
We weren't allowed inside the Capital as they were preparing for the state funeral of President Ford. We did pretty well for a whirlwind 48 hour trip with two kids in tow. We used Metro to get around so the kids experienced their first subway ride. Grace loved it. As a matter of fact I think it was her favorite part of the whole trip. We visited the Natl Aquarium, the White House, the Vietnam, Lincoln, Korean, Washington and WWII Memorials the first afternoon. Then we came home and collapsed. On Thursday we went to the Natural Science and History Museum, walked around the outside of the Capital, walked to Union Station for lunch and then took the Metro to the Zoo. We had tentatively decided to visit the Aerospace Museum on Friday but when we woke up that morning we were all ready for less people and our own bed. So we went home.

The following pictures are from our trip. And, as usual, given The Misters request to not be named or pictured he is not shown, but he was there.

La Vida Dulce!
Look kids! The White House!

Inside the Lincoln Memorial

Vietnam Memorial

Inside the Rotunda of the
Natural Science and History Museum

The Korean Memorial

At the National Zoo

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Uno Loser

One of the great things about having school aged children is their ability to play board and card games without our help. Now that they both can read we can actually play with them instead of playing for them.

Several weeks ago we had told the kids that if they got their evening "stuff" done (brushing teeth, pj's on, etc) in a timely manner and without being goof balls then we would play a couple rounds of Uno. Since then we have played just about every evening. It has been really fun except for one small thing...

I never win.

At first I was OK with it. But night after night I began to get paranoid. Were they hiding cards? Were they not shuffling properly? Was The Mister in on the plot?

After awhile I began to take it personally every time one of them would hit me with a Draw 2 card, or worse, the dreaded Draw 4. I can't even talk about the skip cards.

One night, after losing to a 6 year old three times in a row I couldn't take it anymore. I cracked. I crossed my arms and began to talk more smack than any 34 year old stay-at-home-mom should be allowed to do. The Mister put his arm around me, looked at me with love in his eyes, and gently told me that in one night I had ruined years of teaching on how to be a good loser. He also said that talking smack is usually done when one is undefeated or has even a remote chance of winning.

That night I was determined to win. I wanted to play "just one more", but the kids were begging to go to bed.

The kids think this is hilarious. I, of course, am so glad to bring joy in their lives. They love to bring it up when we are driving to school, or standing in line at the grocery store. They look at me in an impish way and say, "Mom, that was so fun last night when we were playing Uno and you kept losing." They were keeping track, but now the number of losses is so great that would need a scientific calculator to keep track of them.

Actually it was pretty cute the other night when I had visited Loser-ville for the billionth time and The Boy looked at me and said "Mom, I still think think your a winner."

Thank goodness for soft hearted boys.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Random Poll- December....or

Do you like Gritty Fudge?

OK, I tried really hard not to bring this up this year, but The Hubby and I had the same discussion we always have around this time of year and so it can't be avoided.

If you have known me for more than one Christmas you have heard this before...but hold on a minute, I need your help.

The topic for this Poll is:

Christmas Fudge.
The Hubby and I agree on so many things but this is one that we just don't see eye to eye.
When I told him that I was going to make it it a random poll on the blog he said that I rig the random polls so the outcome will turn out in my favor. Which is totally not true. For example, the M&M Poll. But anyway...

Last night I had made a double batch of fudge. I love making candy at Christmas time and giving it away to people. For the record, I like eating it too. Especially fudge. This year I was especially hopeful when making my Christmas fudge because I had gone out and bought a candy thermometer. In all the years of baking I have never used one, but two years ago when we bought this house it came with an electric stove which made making candy a bit tricky. When you cook fudge too long it isn't happy. After cooking with gas for over 8 years I had years of successful fudge making. What makes fudge a "success"? Glad you asked.

Successful fudge is fudge that is firm, and yet creamy. It melts in your mouth and you shouldn't think about anything else while you are eating it. Nothing makes me more crazy than when I overcook my fudge and it comes out gritty. It happened last year and this year I thought I would solve the problem by having a thermometer and cooking it precisely to the right temperature.

This year the fudge was better but still a little gritty. I hate it when you bite into fudge and you can feel the grit on your teeth. It's like nails on a chalkboard for me.

I have always teased The Hubby 'cause he prefers gritty fudge. Or what I like to call "sub-standard" fudge. Not to influence you or anything. He actually thinks that that is how fudge should best be enjoyed and I, quite frankly, completely disagree.

With that said here is the poll: Are you a smooth and creamy fudge eater? Or a gritty fudge eater? Wait. Perhaps I should say overcooked fudge, so as not to influence you or make you feel bad.

Don't be shy...I won't hold it against you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Big Mistake

I have just sent out 75 Christmas cards with the wrong blog address. So now, those people with whom I communicate only through Christmas cards are going to go to (I'm coffeegal) and see some weird person who hasn't posted since August 2005.

If you happen to know someone who gets my Christmas card, casually bring it up in conversation. Because i know y'all have nothing else to do with your busy lives than sit around and talk about my blog.

I am uncertain what to do about this little problem other than to wait until I send out my next batch of cards in the Spring which will be : NEWSFLASH: Change of address cards.

Yes, we are moving and I have yet to mention it on the blog because I wanted it to be official, and if you got my Christmas card you will certainly be in the know soon. But you will never find me at this blog, because I sent you the wrong address.

i just hope that coffeegirl doesn't suddenly get into nudity or something bizarre...because she's about to have 75 hits to her site.

Oh well....La Vida Dulce!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not So Much

Lately my favorite Snack/lunch/dinner has been Wheat Thins, an apple (thinly sliced) and a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter smeared on a plate.

This tasty combination all happened accidentally. Being a huge fan of the apple dipped in peanut butter I decided, one day, that I needed something more. Bread. No... to much trouble. Chips. Not really my thing. But there was a box of Wheat Thins and I thought to myself: Wheat Thins are carbs much like bread. So I went with it. Plus it was quick and easy. Which seems to be what i go for the most these days.

One afternoon, while making my way to the table to eat, my crackers slid into the peanut butter and I found an enjoyable sweet salty type meal/snack that I enjoy several times a week.

Last week I ran out of Wheat Thins. So this weekend while I ran into the store I found that there were Reduced Fat Wheat Thins. On Sale.

Being temporarily seduced with $1.50 price tag, which led to temporary insanity I began to think thoughts that buying the reduced fat version of my favorite cracker would be a great idea. Especially since I am looking forward to taking in a few extra "holiday" treats....Cause, you know, those extra 10 calories you save by consuming crackers made to taste like pieces of cardboard can allow one to feel so much better about oneself while eating her weight in Christmas fudge.

Anyway, it isn't often that I buy Reduced Fat items anymore. There once was a day that you couldn't find Crisco in my house that hadn't had part of it's fat removed. That's not so much the case anymore. I'd like to tell you it's because I am not one iota concerned about my waistline, the truth is I was tired of eating bland cardboard and pretending to be happy.

So, back to the point. Reduced Fat Wheat Thins are stupid. And they taste bad too.

Luckily I i have been making my kids eat through this box with me so that we can be done and start over with a new Full Fat box because quite frankly, my Peanut butter, sliced apple and Wheat Thin lunches/snacks/dinners have been lacking this week and it makes me grumpy.

Although today I had a little bit of PB left over and I also had a couple of mini Hershey's bars that were calling from the kitchen...

So maybe it all works out in the wash.

La Vida Dulce

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sweat Shop

I am desperately trying to get my nieces and nephews gifts out on time. I am hopeful to get these things out by Wednesday but at this point I am uncertain.

Pictured are my projects for the gang.

I am am very excited to see my Texas Peeps in 72 short hours...which adds to my need to finish this project on time.

I am hoping that my cold that I have had for 9 days now is soon to go away...The rumor is that it lasts 10 I have one more day.

OK...I've had a little break. Now i have to lock myself back in my sweatshop to finish up!

La Vida Dulce!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Cookie and Me

Just a quick post to let youknow that when I woke up this morning at 6 a.m. it was 16 degrees.

Yes, you read that right....16 degrees!!!

How is that possible?

I want to tell you that I have spent my day hanging out in Cookie- the blue heating blanket. But the truth is that I have been busy, busy busy, feeding my Christmas card paper through our ridiculous at a time, by hand. It took me 2 hours just to get the cards printed. I also wrapped some gifts and finished the sewing part of 9 dolls I am making for nieces. And strted addresses the afomentioned Christmas Cards.

I found the cutest robot pattern that I ordered through the mail...It has yet to arrive and I am starting to panic because all this sewing, baking and happy Christmas joy has to be finished and mailed off by next Wednesday or it will have to wait until the new year....which isn't any fun.

Have I mentioned it's cold outside?

Hey! The Hubby just came in with the mail and my pattern has arrived!

Gotta Go!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I went shopping about a week ago with my friend KHB. We were looking at the sale rack at Ross. I was trying to find some cute little items for my secret santa recipient at work, when KHB approaches me with a look of serious disbelief. In her hand she carries a little plate with cute little penguins bedecked with santa hats.

Cute, i say.

To which she turns it over.



But it's not the price she is showing me.

It's the sentence in tiny black lettering that says:

Serving foods on this plate may poison them.

Well then.

Maybe not so cute after all.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Random poll - Christmas Style

A dear friend of mine called yesterday and said she had a question for the blog. I think it was her way of saying "You haven't posted in so long that I am feeling the need to give you some inspiration." Which I totally love since i have had a bit of bloggers block.

So here is the random poll:

What is a good White Elephant gift for $10 dollars or less?

And while we're at it:

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen/got at a White Elephant gift exchange in Christmas' past?

Comment away...the Christmas parties are starting!