Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy First Birthday!

Remember her?

We just hung these pictures in the laundry room.  We've all commented how we can't believe Sadie's gotten so big and how we wish she could go back to being this small.

But, the girl's growing up. Yesterday was her first birthday.  As you can guess, Maddie was the first to make note of this special day.  By 6:30am when we got downstairs Maddie had already prepared Sadie's birthday cake:

That is dog biscuits covered by peanut butter with Honey Nut Cheerio filling.  Maddie wanted a candle, but we declined.  Then she went to feed the entire thing to our dog and Mike and I both vetoed that.  Still, we all sang to her and Sadie did get a bite or two of her cake.  By 7am she was one crazy dog.

Sadie also received a new toy which she loves and which, in one day, she has almost managed to destroy.  I would show you a picture, but I fear loss of my hand in trying to take it from her. 

She's grown a lot in one year and she's learned a lot as well.  While we are still struggling through the puppy phase (which I hear magically disappears at age 2...11 months, 29 days to go) we do have to remind ourselves that we do have a pretty smart puppy and for the most part, a pretty lovable one.

Here's a little video of her recent accomplishments.  Maddie hopes to teach her how to shake next. 

Happy first birthday, Sadie!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We Have Found Jesus

Last night we spent the evening putting up our Christmas decorations.  Mike and the kids were working on the tree and lights.  I was upstairs putting things on shelves and banisters.  Everything was running smoothly.

After we all worked together to put up the ornaments, we started packing the boxes back up and I realized there was a nativity scene that I had forgotten to set out.  It's a nativity scene I picked up in Mexico when I was a sophomore on a high school band trip.

I just love these little figures.  Year to year I question what Joseph is wearing.  Is that a sweater and khaki-type pants?  Which one is Mary and which ones are the kings....they're all wearing turbans.  Whose the kneeling girl with the miscellaneous animal?  Is that Mary?  Consequently each year this manger scene is set up a little different.

This year was turning out very different because as you can see - a key piece was missing.

Mike came upstairs and I said, "We are missing baby Jesus." 

After that it was probably just a comedy of errors as we all tried to find Jesus.  Mike yelled downstairs for the kids to "Start looking for Jesus."  "Make sure the dog didn't eat Jesus."  "Where's Hay-soos?"

My favorite was this:

Jake: Mom, I know I saw Jesus when I was unpacking those figures.
Me:  Are you sure, Jake?  Baby Jesus?
Jake:  Mom - I'm sure.  I saw the little dude.
Me:  The blue baby in a tiny manger?
Jake:  Oh.  No.  I saw the big dude with a cane.

He referred to a completely different nativity set in both size, scale and participants.  And clearly we have to work on the Bethlehem story when he's describing a shepherd or Joseph as compared to baby Jesus.

We were down to our last box of newspapers and miscellaneous packing bags.  I was starting to get a little nervous when Mike held out his hand and there in the newspaper was the upside down baby Jesus.  We all started getting a little Baptist at that moment, "We have FOUND Jesus!" "Here's Hay-soos!"

His is the only placement I'm certain of each year.  But to avoid frustration next year we'll have to double-check that all parts are packed in the same box. 

The "other dude" will have to go in a different box altogether.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


1.  PASS:  We survived hosting our first Thanksgiving.  Actually, everyone survived; we didn't hear of any stomach poisoning so we are considering it a success.  The turkey was delicious - the dry run was a good thing.  We learned we had to find a recipe for a gravy that didn't require turkey drippings.  Mike did not freeze heading in and out on the deck all afternoon and Jake was co-grilling so it couldn't possibly have gone wrong.

2.  FAIL:  I didn't take a single picture the entire night.  I WILL take pictures next year.  I'll have my new camera by then if I have to scrimp and save every last penny that crosses my sweaty palms.

3.  PASS:  We have no more leftovers.  Last night my parents came over and helped us finish off the remaining amount of food.  The kids were excited because we left the tables up in the family room so they were able to eat in there.

4.  FAIL:  My third dessert was going to be cheesecake.  I was being selfish in making this because I do not like apple or pumpkin pies which happened to be what the other desserts were.  After the mad rush from 11am-Noon in getting everything started cooking, I was talking to Mike and saying how excited I was to eat cheesecake....CHEESECAKE!!!  I had put it in the oven to cook for 10 more minutes and suddenly realized - at least 30 minutes later - that there was still a cheesecake in the oven.  Needless to say it was hugely overcooked.  I pulled it out yelling, "What happened to my timer!?!" and threw it on a cooling tray and issued some choice words (right after I checked to make sure Jake was gone).  I ended up going to our room, slamming the door, and sitting there for 10 minutes to cool down.  When I realized life was going to still go on, despite my not getting dessert that night, I went downstairs and threw it away.  I'm still trying to decide if it was a good decision on Mike's part to ignore me during this time.

5.  FAIL:  I have tried in every conceivable way possible to drop hints to Mike that I didn't get any dessert for the last two nights when everyone else did.  He has ignored them in every way possible.  I have until Sunday night, then it's back to eating sensibly.  There better be some freaking ice cream in this house before then, is all I have to say.

6.  PASS:  Mike and I did the "Black Friday" shopping thing.  We really only had one item to get and that store didn't open until 8am so we didn't have to be up crazy early.  It was also a tiny store and there were maybe 20 people in line outside and they opened 10 minutes early.  We were in and out in under 10 minutes. 

7.  PASS:  The kids did not kill each other all morning or explode the house while they stayed home and we were gone. 

8.  FAIL:  The kids did not do the dirty dishes while we were gone.

9.  PASS:  We are going to be buying a new mattress today.  You can actually feel the springs in our current one when you lay or sit on it.  I think if we have this one any longer I will require hip replacement.

10.  PASS:  I am looking forward to the large bowl of ice cream I'm planning on eating at some point today.  At this point it will have chocolate sauce, chocolate chips and maybe a little cool whip on top.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I give thanks everyday for these pilgrims...

And most days this turkey makes the list as well...

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family!  We are thankful for you every day as well!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dry Run

This year we are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever.  Translation: we have never cooked a turkey.  We've never thought about how to cook a turkey.  We've never even purchased a turkey.

So, while discussing our options Mike and I rolled around the idea of him grilling it.  The conversation went something like this:

Me:  I think you should grill the turkey.  I was thinking rotisserie.
Mike:  Okay.  What recipe should we use.
Me:  I have no idea.  That's your job.  Just let me know what you need me to pick up from the grocery store.

So, over the course of last week he narrowed down the options and we actually did both sit together to figure it out.  We figured we didn't like any of them and he searched again.  That resulted in a recipe for a paste that went in, under and around the turkey the night before.

Just from the paste, our kitchen smelled delicious.

And for those lucky enough to be here on Thursday...here's a preview of what the bird will look like:

Please keep in mind: this was used with a flash.  It doesn't have near the glare in real life.  It was beautiful in color and once we sat down to dinner, it tasted great too.  I made sweet potatoes because I've only made those once.  Mike and Maddie loved those; Jake and I will be dining on the regular potatoes come Thursday.

And for a special treat for my family, today I tried making these from scratch...

Anyone recognize them?  These are my grandma's "Butterhorn Rolls" that she made for every holiday meal.  They were placed next to the lefse.  These were extremely delicious.  Except her rolls looked like cresent rolls - not little Michelin Men.  But, whatever, I think they are edible - Mike passed them.  In the future I'll make some tweaks, but I don't anticipate that happening before Thursday.

As for Thursday's bird?

Step one is well underway.  19 lbs. of goodness will be heading to the grill on Turkey Day.  And don't worry -we know this bird will fit on the spit.  I was the crazy lady with the measuring tape at the turkey freezer measuring their diameter.

The grill will be moved a mere step - literally - away from the back door.  Thursday's forecast calls for snow and for it to be one of the coldest Thanksgivings in 40 years according to the meteorologist a few days ago.

I think we'll be drinking spiked cider.  I'm pretty sure Mike will, at least.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This morning I got dressed quickly and was out the door earlier than normal due to a lot of errands I wanted to get done before lunch.

I drove to Edina, which for those not from around these parts, stereotypcially is one of the more affluent communities.  I happened to be shopping in one of the areas that has - stereotypically - a more upscale clientele.  Stereotypically they probably don't do 90% of their shopping at Target and Kohl's like I do each week and where I just happened to pick up a super-cute pair of jeans on the cheap.

I ran to four different stores there.  One being in a large mall where, as an example, there is a baby store that sells teeny-tiny baby sweaters for around $90.  You get the idea?

I was extremely proud of myself for getting my errands run and even making it to the grocery store to pick up some items for our turkey-day-dry-run happening tomorrow.  I also got to the liquor store to pick up more items for next week.

I walked in the kitchen just as Mike was finishing up his lunch and getting ready to head downstairs for some meetings.  As he walked away I heard him say, "Kerry..." then I heard him chuckle.  I looked at him with a distressed face wondering what I possibly forgot on his list.

He reached down behind me and pulled off the 12 inch long sticker stating what size jeans I had bought from Kohl's. 

As stated: classy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Snow" Happy to Meet You

This past weekend we got some snow.  Some = multiple inches.  Mike was not a happy camper on Saturday morning when we woke up.  When I said, "You have to admit...it's kinda pretty coming down," he responded with a grumble and some words that would not be appropriate for this family friendly site.

But, the kids loved it and they were out a lot of the weekend.  Right after I got back from the 9am trip to Target where I bought eight pairs of snowpants and three pairs of boots to make sure I was absolutely covered in something that would work. 

Maddie, our artist, went to work on Sunday and created our greeters for anyone who visits our humble abode...

Meet "Bingle"...

...and his companion, "Jingle"...

I wish I could make this big enough and shadowed in such a way that you could easily see the "circle birthmarks" around each eye, the tongue wagging out and all four legs...plus the tail sticking out the back.

I'm not sure how long they'll be sticking around, but they make me smile everytime I leave or return.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Catch Up

It's been a bit since I last posted.  We've been running around or not running around.  Whatever the reason, this blog has taken a backseat, so here's our week in review:

1.  Happy Birthday.  Again.

The kids had Friday off due to the end of the first quarter.  Because Mike's birthday fell on a Tuesday (a crummy day for a birthday) he took Friday off as well and we had a day to celebrate him.  We ran a couple errands and returned and/or purchased new items for his birthday.  Then in the afternoon he decided we should play ball.

We headed to the baseball diamond where we each got to hit some balls a few times.  Mike informed us we each got five hits before we switched.  I asked what the prize was for getting the most hits and he informed me it was just for fun.  Bah. 

I don't know if you can see her stance, but Maddie stood hands on hips for 90% of her field time.  She wasn't overly enthused to run after the hits.

Afterward we headed home where we played two-on-two basketball.  Girls against the boys.  I honestly don't remember the score...actually it was "just for fun" so I don't think we kept one.  But, I have no pictures because I couldn't stop guarding my man for fear of getting left in the dust.

After that we played a round of volleyball in a circle.  Our goal was to hit the ball between us 10 times.  But, we had to get to an 11th hit to make the 10th legit.  This took awhile.  The kids declared we couldn't go to dinner until we'd made our goal.  Finally, Mike popped up #11 and I was so stunned that we'd reached it I forgot to hit it for #12.  Exhausted and starving, we were able to go to dinner at Champps. 

Next up was hitting Cub where Mike requested a Boston Creme Pie because he liked the one on my birthday.  However, they were out.  After I almost started crying in the bakery section, the nicest lady came out and offered to just make one on the spot for him.  Caroline is my new favorite baker at Cub.  It was delicious!

2.  The Shingles

This wasn't really part of last week, but I keep forgetting to update it.  Back story:  our roof sucked.  It was made with biodegradable shingles.  Awesome.  Over the last three years they have broken down, warped, curled and lost most of the pebbly stuff on shingles.  Every single day we were sweeping up piles of this stuff dragged in from students or kids.  Think I'm exaggerating?

Here's an example of a shingle that was found on the ground:

This is what our roof looked like:

When Mike was in Chicago a couple weeks ago we had our roof redone.

They did a great job and even took my garbage down on Friday morning when I completely forgot! 

The results:  LOVE it.  And we LOVE that we don't have nearly the amount of sweeping inside to contend with!

3.  Skol, Vikings!

On Sunday Maddie attended her first Vikings game.  She got a shirt for this special occasion.  Just to note: she knew nothing about football; less about the Vikings.  She wasn't sure who #28 was - just that the shirt was cute and sparkly.  (That's my girl!)  We assured her #28 was a good number to have.

She had an awesome time.  She said football games were way more fun to attend than baseball games!  This was a great game to attend - and will probably be hard to live up to in the future.  The Vikings managed to tie the score in the last eight minutes of the game and it went into overtime where they won.  Mike came home hoarse.  Maddie came home slightly embarrassed.  She said the little five year old in front of them kept turning around and staring at Mike and, in her words, "looking at him like he was crazy."  Mike said the entire place was insane.

Good memories for both.  Jake heads to a game in early December and I finally get to go in late December.  Mike's the lucky guy attending all three, but he definitely deserves them!

That catches you up.  Until next time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Guess who turned 37 today?

He asked for a haircut.  It's his way of getting rid of gray.  I think I might leave the top long and style it as above to bring back yesteryear.  I guarantee Jake would be next in line in a heartbeat if I did!

Happy Birthday to the glue that holds this crazy house together!  We love you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween '10

This year Maddie and her friend dressed as twin rag dolls. 

The only difference was their hairdos.

Her friend's hair was black with purple streaks.  It was also in two braids.  Maddie wanted her hair straight.  However, she is very much not used to straight, LONG "hair".  Mike said she had taken off the wig during trick-or-treating because it kept blowing in her face and she was getting annoyed. 

And I'm kicking myself for not getting their pictures together.  We were going to when they stopped at our house to get candy, except the rest of their group took off and we didn't want them to get behind.  They were pretty cute scary.  They were going for scary...

Jake's costume was a little more troublesome this year, but luckily it all fell into place.  He originally was going to be the banker from "Monopoly" which was awesome because all we needed was a top-hat and to make a mustache/goatee.  We were about to purchase the top hat when I knew something in his voice was wrong.  He told me he thought he should be a viking instead.  Five days before Halloween.  So, as we searched high and low looking for a Viking costume (and I don't mean the football team costumes...) I suggested he come up with a back-up plan.  He said a soldier would be a good backup.

Well, hallelujah!  Soldier we can do!  Until I realized we had sold off almost all Mike's army stuff in the last couple garage sales.  Luckily when Mike got home from Chicago last Friday he found a bag of stuff he had saved in the attic that I didn't know about.  Inside was an old t-shirt, a hat, and a rag of some kind. 

Jake informed me that army men don't smile in their pictures.  I knew this all too well; it really irritated me when we took group shots all those years ago.

As for the camo?  I don't know if Jake was more excited to wear it or if Mike was more excited to apply it.  They were both in their element.

And the greatest thing?  They got to wear their costumes twice!  Saturday night our friends had their annual Halloween party.  Mike and I didn't get there until late - we came dressed as wedding crashers.  Maddie and Jake had a blast there though!  I know this because the first words out of their mouths when we got home were, "That was the best party ever!"

Now my stomach's growling...off to steal some candy.