Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WFMW, how to make your candles last longer

I really hate it when the inside of the candle burns, but the outer edges don't. What a waste! Especially if it is an expensive one like a Yankee Candle. A few years ago, I had an idea... Why not buy my own pre-waxed wicks at the craft store?

*A. To start:

  1. If you have recently burned a candle and notice that the center is burned out, but you have excess wax around the sides, use a butter knife while the wax is still soft and warm to scrape down the wax from the sides of the candle container (jar). Your old wick will now be covered in wax.

  2. If the wax begins to harden, you can use a sharp knife or scissors to chop the wax up to fill the center better.

  3. I buy long wicks, probably 6 to 9 inches, then I snip off the length that I need. Take a tooth pick and make a hole for the new wick.

*B. If the wax isn't soft:

  1. Take a tooth pick and make a hole where you want to burn down the wax and stick the piece of wick in. Sometimes I also dredge a little so that the wax can run off to the center easier. Keep an eye on the candle and check it occasionally to make sure the wick isn't extinguished by wax.

  2. When the wax has melted a bit to the center and has softened, go back to *A.

Usually I try to make the wick short because it is hard to make a hole the whole depth of the candle, and also because the wax is going to shift to the center of the candle while the candle burns. Using shorter pieces of wick instead of one long one will help cut down on waste since you will probably be changing the location of the wick depending on how the wax shifts.

Click on the WFMW banner to check out other Works For Me tips.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Carve me up like a turkey, why don't 'cha.

Last spring, I found a small lump in my right thigh. I had it checked out by my family physician, but he thought that it was probably a fatty mass (or a lipoma) and said I could see a surgeon to have it removed. It doesn't really bother me, it was a little unsettling to find a bump though. I also have a mass in my right bicep that bothers me a lot, that causes me pain, numbness and tingling down the outside of my right forearm. Couple this with the tennis mousing elbow that I already have had for the last 3 years, and the hours I spend blogging, ect... it makes for a mess of fun! I wrenched the cucamunga out of the mousing elbow on Thanksgiving lifting the turkey in and out of the oven, the pain is almost unbearable. I say almost because I refuse to give up my quality time with my mouse and keyboard.

Anyway, I had to cancel my procedure that was scheduled for this summer because there was a possibility that we were going to move. I have been putting it on hold (read sarcastically as procrastinating about it, and neglecting myself, and trying to ignore the pain), but since i will have to get a job soon, I thought the sooner the better. Besides, who will want to hire me if they know I will be out soon after because of arm surgery. All of that is well and good, because I would rather have a frontal lobotomy and arm surgery rather that start a new job in retail this time of year.

My surgeon is hoping that removing the mass will help, but the pain might not be related to the mass. He is thinking that my elbow problem is related to me *jumping out of a car when I was a teen, landing on my right side. This might also explain the "mass" in my right upper thigh, it could be my muscle protruding from the the muscles protective sheath.

*If you are curious why I might jump from a car going 40 mph... I ran away from home. When my mother found me, she forced me into my brothers car. While I was getting in, I noticed a sawed of broom handle in the back of the car. She then proceeded to beat me, mostly by grabbing my hair and beating me around the front of the car. I was pretty sure she had plans for that broom stick, and I was certain that she would kill me when we got home... so as soon as she let go of my hair for a moment, I opened the door and jumped. It was as if all I could hear was my own breathing, and a calmness came over me, and I just jumped from the car- onto a freshly graveled road. To this day, I still have rocks embedded in my left elbow, and luckily the scars from my torn up hips are now covered with stretch marks.

I had a large mass removed from my right thyroid (catching a theme here yet? What the heck is wrong the the right side of my body?) about 3 years ago, measuring about 3x5 inches *gasp!*. The mass in my bicep has grown from the size of a pea to the size of a cherry tomato since then, and since the summer I have found 2 more masses- one on each of my upper thighs. I am one lumpy broad.

So, I had a re-check up yesterday because it had been a long time the surgeon had seen me. It would seem that they like to at least have a peek at you before they slice and dice you. He decided to remove the mass in my bicep, and the small one mid thigh. He wants to do a small biopsy of the upper thigh before he cuts it open because it is so large (roughly 3 inches x5 again). Because of the thigh area being very vascular, my penchant for dropping my already low blood pressure at inopportune times, and my reactions to all the good drugs/anesthesia, he has decided that he will do the procedure at the hospital. If he feels I am doing ok, or has the time, he might take out the mass in my left thigh also... for a grand total of 4 incisions! Hooray for me!

My outpatient surgery will be next week *gulp*, Wednesday December 6, at 0945 am. I have to be there at 0745 for all the fun stuff like filling out 10 different forms- all asking the same information, the stealing of various body fluids, and having a ginormous IV needle put somewhere very uncomfortable, like my thumb or my eye lid.

If you would be so kind, please send prayers, positive thought and good vibes my way that day. I really appreciate it. BTW, this makes surgical procedure #8 for me. Yippee.

On the lighter side, as I said in one of my older posts when joking about having some "work done" while they were at it:
If I had all the fatty masses removed I would just be left with the top of my head and my toes, so I think I will just have these done for now.

Friday, November 24, 2006

An Apology

It seems that I may have once again stuck my blogging foot in my blogging mouth. Yes, believe it or not , I have yet again stepped in it.

I want to say sorry to any of my readers whom I may have offended recently. If you read my Thankful post, you know that recently my spirits were down a bit. In my blithering idiot-ness, I switched my blog to "only people I choose" instead of "blog authors", not really paying attention to or caring if there was a difference. I wanted to get my head together, and thought that until I had decided whether or not my blog would bite the dust, I would leave it unreadable.

One of my new readers Bond brought it to my attention that the message on my blog appeared as if I was blocking certain people, and this is what I emailed him:

I was thinking for a bit that I might quit blogging, the post before the last one was a bummer. I am feeling better now. During that week, I had my permissions changed from public to "only people I chose", no one was actually on that list. I knew if I checked that option, everyone would be blocked from reading it while (during my funk) I decided what the heck I was doing. It was nothing personal, I assure you!

I thought about it tonight and realized that a some of my readers and friends might have gotten their feelings hurt. I am really sorry, and that was not my intent at all.

Please send complaints, snarky comments about (my chins and grins in) my new avatar, and thorough tongue lashings to my email address. :D So, I officially remove my foot from my mouth, or at least for the time being. This blog will live to see another day, and I will continue to bore you with the tedium, and the circus that is me.:O)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Call me anything but late for supper!

It's Thanksgiving, but I know that some of us will not be able to resist the urge to see what is going on in the blogosphere, once the rest of the family has slipped into their turkey induced comas... so I thought I would share a bit of this last week in hopes to relieve a little boredom. Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy.

On Monday we went to Anna's parent/teacher conferences. Anna's teacher does it a bit differently and asked that the kids come with their
parents. Each child had an appointment with their parents alone with the teacher so that they were able to do a little presentation. Anna suddenly became very serious and soft spoken, is was really very adorable! John and I gave each other a secret grin and wink.

Anna told us that this was a drawing of herself, hair clips and all. At the bottom, we read some of things she likes to do at home to be helpful, such as cleaning up her toys on the porch and feeding the cats.*cough-sometimes-cough* Her teacher is very impressed with her artistic abilities.

Anna told us about this paper she did with one of the assistant teacher's stamps. We are very proud of the progress she is making with her handwriting.

In these 2 pictures you will see tha
t Anna was able to correctly show the life cycle of a butterfly, and the name the body segments. John and I told her how proud we were, after a brief moment of jaw drops and gasps. We both were surprised that she knew what a thorax was.

Anna's kindergarten teacher went over recent Iowa tests results with us and let us know that Anna is above average and did very well. We weren't surprised that our kid is pretty smart, but we were surprised that she did so well on the tests, she can become flustered at times and often complains that something is too hard.

At the end of the conference, we got a chance to leave Anna a
happy note and I told her how proud of her we are, and that we are blessed to have such a beautiful , smart and funny daughter. The teacher said that they will get to open them next week in class. I told Anna that i wrote something really embarrassing like she had really bad toe cheese... her eyes got really big, I laughed and assured her that it was something really nice.

On the way home John asked Anna to go over some of the life cycle again, and said, "You know, the butterfly isn't the only one that has a cocoon, Anna."

Anna replied, "No, you're thinking of a moth. A moth makes a cocoon, a butterfly makes a chrysalis."

*snort* I nudged John as if to say,
"Remember when you told sassy butt back there that she is smart, but it will be a while before she is smarter than you? HAH!"

John's mom was at home with Emma, and when we got home from the conferences asked how it went, and what her teacher had to say.

"Well," I said, " her teacher told us that she is smart."
Nana grinned and said, "Yeah, really? like we didn't know that already."
Anna made her presentation over again for her Nana, she was as stunned as we were that she knew the name for the thorax of a butterfly and actually showed it's proper location.

While I am sharing pictures and anecdotes, a few days before Anna made this. On the back she wrote ,"Dad, mom, Emma... I love you." She showed it to me, and I gave her a big hug and told her what a sweetie she was. Unbeknownst to me, later she added a little something, then left it on the table for us to find.

When John got home, he read,"... You R A... sicko?"
As Anna giggled in the background, I replied, "No dear- well yes- *snort* but no, what she meant was psycho."

John and I agreed that she is getting better at spelling words out phonetically, and that we have been called worse. :O)


I have been a little burned out with the whole blogging thing, I honestly don't feel like I have anything that is too terribly interesting to say. Maybe I am a little depressed, with the past recently rearing it's ugly head...

I sit, type, then delete. Maybe my life isn't that interesting. Maybe I have nothing to contribute. Maybe all my natural resources are gone, my oil has run dry. Maybe my blog has had a short but sweet life and it is time for me to move on. I don't know... Maybe it's the holidays getting me down. Again.

After I wrote the first few lines, I decide to make the title of this post Thankful. I am going to get myself out of this funk and write about the things I am thankful for, I thought to myself.

I am thankful for my Husband, I honestly don't know where I would be without him in my life. He loves me so much... I know I annoy the crap out of him sometimes, but I haven't been served any papers yet, and the fact that he is still here despite all of the stuff... Well, I am so lucky. I am thankful that we can still make each other laugh, and that he still finds me attractive. :O) The fact that he loves me for me is a wonderful thing.He is my kindred spirit, and I love him for it.

There were so many days before we became pregnant with Anna, when I didn't even want to get out of bed. Not being able to have kids for the first 11 years of our marriage was really hard. I am surprised that we made it. We definitely had our rough patches and almost called it quits a few times, not so much because we didn't have kids but because we were self centered and immature. God must have known that weren't ready. Having children has helped us (and forced us, LOL) to love each other so much more. We were definitely missing something in our lives and marriage, we both wanted kids.

I am thankful for my daughters. I am so happy that God saw that we needed them. Again, I don't where we would be without them, they bring so many things to this family, I don't know where to begin! They are both funny, can be sweet, can be giving, are mostly feisty and unabashedly stubborn. All of those things make us laugh, some of them make us very annoyed, but we wouldn't have it any other way. That's our girls, Anna and her Mini Me, Emma. I am so grateful to have them in my life, and they have brought me so much joy, and have helped me to want to be a better person.

I am thankful for my brother Ben. We don't talk everyday, or week but we know that we are going to pick up right where we left off, which is usually laughing so hard we are crying. My brother accepts me for who I am and vice versa, and I love him more than anything. It doesn't matter where we are, or what we are doing we both know that we will drop everything just to talk. He is kindred spirit #2.

I am sooo thankful for my friend Effie. We are so much a like, and have fought like sisters at times. Man have we made each other steaming mad! We have had some doozies! It doesn't matter though, we always gravitate back to one another. We can go for months without talking and like my brother, pick up right where we left off. She is my third kindred spirit.

I am thankful that despite all the bad things that have happened to me, that I am still here.

I am thankful that I am still learning, that I am willing (and trying) to change.

I am thankful for the my blog and the opportunities it has given me to meet new people, express myself, and to challenge myself.

I am thankful for everything I have, and what God has blessed me with. I am grateful that He thinks I am worth it, and despite a spiritual dry spell that He is still with me.

I don't know how much longer I will be able to blog, but at least I had my say. My thankfulness is out there, and that's good enough for me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Her Kryptonite

Thanks to everyone who gave their encouragement about Anna getting her ears pierced, it went much better than expected. Let me just say that I spent way more time in Claire's Boutique this weekend than I cared to. We had a return due to malfunction the next day, than another return because of a broken necklace on Sunday. Claire's is her new obsession, since she has so many more jewelry options. It's a good thing that it isn't in walking distance, because it has become her new dollar store. She can't resist the dollar store, and can always find an excuse to go in. The problem is that she can't earn enough allowance to support her new habit, and she isn't due for her review and raise for awhile. :O)

I fully expected my 5 year old to change her mind at the last minute. Nope, she hopped right up into the chair and waited in a slightly pale and clammy patience. As we waited for the sales person to get everything ready- which, by the way is a bit like waiting to have surgery done while the OR nurse examines every single sharp and pointy instruments right in front of you, or maybe watching the ax man sharpen his blade- and judging from her particular shade of greenness, I waited for the moment in which she would bolt.

Again, I misjudged my girl. She sat there like a champ, with a gun pointed at each ear lobe... Two simultaneous clicks, a flinch, an whimper, and that was it. There was a second where she considered crying, but decided it didn't mesh with her new big girl status. We topped the whole experience off with a shiny new pair of dragonfly earrings, with a CZ accent and a tiny, movable, beaded tail.

My daughter is such an intricately woven person, I can barely predict the outcome to most situations anymore. She tends to run hot or cold, and there is no in between (or convincing her otherwise). I told John that I don't remember meeting a more stubborn person other than his dearly departed dad. Once my FIL set his mind to something, he could not be shaken, moved, tackled... They both remind me of Penny Wharvey McGill in the Movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, when she says, "I've spoken my piece and counted to three", then proceeds to walk away with her head held high and her nose in the air. They are/were both the kind of persons that can be very loving one minute, then frustrating in a "fists and jaw clenched" sort of way the next.

So, when she told me that she never wanted to have her ears pierced at the age of 4, I believed her. I had thought that eventually there might be a remote chance that she would change her mind, but not likely. All I can say is there is nothing more motivating than impressing your 5 year old friends. She told me that she wanted to be part of the cool girl club. I am thinking that we are going to have more talks about peer pressure, and eventually talks about how self mutilation shouldn't be necessary to fit in.

On another note, Anna came down with a cold the very next day. It turns out that Super Girl is afraid of cough medicine because, you see.... it tastes bad. Saturday morning she all but coughed up a lung, and despite feeling like she was going to throw up every time she coughed, she refused for about an hour to take it. This is where the jaw and fist clenching come in. Oh, she finally took the dang medicine, but not without saturating the room with her unwavering drama. 45 minutes later we hear a cheerful, "I feel better!"- shortly followed by John and I biting the backs of our dining room chairs to keep from stringing her up by her thumbs. ;O)

No matter, this morning it was back to square one. Coughing, tears, pointing at a teaspoon of medicine in horror as if it were a gallon of vile purple-ness, more coughing, threats (by us, of course), drama, drama, tears, yelling by us to "take it, or don't and suffer at school all day, but I don't want to hear later how you felt horrible all day!", and "this is the same, exact medicine you took yesterday... and amazing, yesterday you miraculously felt better after!", more tears, then gulp-sip-gulp, the sound of a small plastic cup hitting stainless steel, and finally "Mommy, I love you, can I have a hug?".

*Cue heavy sighs, internal growls of frustration, the usual clenching, and consumption of large quantities of coffee*
I am so glad that Emma tends to sleep in and I get at least an hour of quiet, coffee time.

Every super hero has his or her weakness. Saying what I am about to say in no way diminishes the fact that I love my daughter with every fiber of my being, and I would gladly give my life in place of hers...

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Or just whiny and really annoying.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Profound, disturbing...OK, just profoundly disturbing.

So, I had one of those days yesterday. It wasn't really a bad one per se, actually it was just weird. Kind of fitting since yesterdays Thursday Thirteen was 13 Weird Things About Mary.

My day started off as a normal week day: Get up, get Anna up, feed her, dress her, send her off to school, blog a little, hear Emma wake up at 9:30 and start her routine, clean, clean, blog, clean, nap time,...

Around 12:30pm , after I put Emma down for a nap I hear a chirping on my phone. Since getting my phone about 3 months ago, and after having to get an Illinois number (because there weren't numbers available for Iowa), I have had a lot of walkie talkie alerts and even some strangers trying to talk to the previous owner of the WT number. Numerous. I am thinking the previous owner was very popular, possibly for unsavory reasons, one being- dare I say it... booty calls. Well, either that or distribution of Mary Jane.

Anyway, I was taking a break on the couch while Emma babbled herself to sleep and I hear the chirping. I ignored it like I usually do. A few minutes later my WT chirped again, this time I looked at the phone and recognized the WT number as one that has been paging me for the whole 3 months I had had the phone. This person mumbles something on my walkie talkie. GARH! I suddenly became annoyed with this persons persistence despite me turning my phone off, usually after repeated alerts/pages.

I grabbed my phone, and sternly said, "Hello... you have the wrong number."

He says, "What's going one, so and so?

"This is Mary, you have the wrong number!"

He then mumbled something again, and I turned my phone off. After a few minutes I turned it back on, so that if Anna's school needed to get a hold of me for some reason, they could.

Chirp."Hey Mary..."


"How you doin'?"

I started to giggle uncontrollably, and shut my phone off immediately. How absurd! I later told John that I know for a fact that I have the least sexy voice on the planet, and that I believe I sound like Kermit the Frog. John laughed and said that wasn't true. I laughed back and said it was, and I just didn't get why a stranger would want to talk to me. Then I remembered my theory.... Ahhhhh yes, the good old booty call.

Oh, but wait there's more! After Anna came home from school, we played 6 games and she beat me at every one of them. Even after I declared that one round wouldn't be counted because she cheated. Honestly, this was not my desperate attempt to win just one single game, she really did cheat. Try as I might to salvage some dignity, she beat my butt again at dominoes. "See mommy, I still wo-on, I sti-ill wo-on..."

Later, Emma would watch a tape of Sesame street and point to Big Bird, calling him momma. I guess that is just plain good luck because I would rather be Big Bird than The Beast.

Speaking of good luck, since John was working some serious overtime last night I decided to order Chinese food for us gals. At the end of dinner, I opened my fortune cookie and fell back into my chair with more uncontrollable giggling. My fortune was this:
"The greatest danger could be your stupidity."

The day ended perfectly with me telling Emma that I loved her as I was lying with her to put her to bed. She looked at me and scrunched up her eyes, and with a puckered smile she said one word. Poop.

"Poop? What do you mean, poop?"

Then she laughed at me.You know the laugh where you aren't so much laughing as much as trying to stifle a laugh, in the process making a "pppttttt" sound and spitting a little? Yeah that one. She answered me with another word. Momma.

So, to summarize:
I got hit on by a desperate stranger, via walkie talkie.
I was humiliated by my 5 year old.
My cookie insulted me.
And my 19 month old referred to me as a humongous, yellow bird... and poop.

I did have a proud moment though, Anna decided that she wants to have her ears pierced. In the Mexican culture it's not uncommon to have your child's ears pierced as a baby. I thought about it, but decided that it really should be her choice. When Anna heard at 4 yrs old that it was going to hurt like a big dog, she said she was never going to have it done. She also decided that she wouldn't have kids either. :O) Last night she told me that 2 of her friends at school have pierced ears, one had them done recently.

We are going to have them done tonight, when there will be 2 sales ladies available to do her ears simultaneously. I know my girl enough to know that she will freak out and not want to go through with the second one. I have filled her in on all of the particulars, sparing nothing - including that it will hurt. A lot. She is still excited though, because my plan to distract her from the pain is to take her earring shopping afterwards. It's a big decision for her, and always told her it is her choice. Say a prayer for her, will you? She doesn't do pain very well. What 5 year old does?

My baby is growing up.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thirteen weird things about Mary, TT #10

Thirteen weird things about Mary

OK, I am sure there are more than 13... if you can think of one, let me know! :OP

1. I have almost died 3 times in my life. I was close to drowning twice, and went into shock after surgery. The third time was really weird, I could hear everything going on (the doctor and nurses working on me) but couldn't open my eyes. I felt very peaceful and I thought to myself, "Oh well, I guess I am going to die."

2. I have to have something sweet- usually chocolate- after eating spicy food.

3. It never fails, I always get a little depressed at the beginning of spring. Knowing why helps, I finally figured it out about 9 years ago.

4. I love mac and cheese, but most of the time with hot dogs cut up in it. This really grosses my husband out. :O)

5.I obsess about new things and get burned out on it quickly because of this. I am trying not to do this with blogging.

6. I obsess about things in another way, I have OCD. I am not the kind that can't function normally, but I do tend to obsess until I take care of whatever it is. It could be something silly like fixing a crooked picture.

7. I have to make lists, otherwise I will forget something I want to do. If I forget my grocery list, I am a mess and usually can't remember half of it.

8. I can wiggle my ears.

9. I can pick things up with my toes.

10. I have had 7 surgeries in my 37 years of life.

11. I have a horrible need to be accepted, and it really bothers me when I know someone is mad at me or doesn't like me. I have known this about myself for a long time, and I am working on this. I now do things for people because I care about them, not because it will make them like me.

12. I wouldn't relive the first 18 years of my life if you paid me all the money in the world. Seriously.

13. This is something that I think is weird yet wonderful: When we first started dating, I told my husband every bad thing about me and my past (my parents, ect). You would think that after knowing in my heart after 2 short weeks that John was the one, that I wouldn't do something that would have him running scared in the opposite direction... I just wanted to know if he was going to stick around, and didn't want to invest myself if he wasn't. He didn't blink an eye- even after I told him that if we ever got married and I found out that he hurt our kids, I would kill him. :O) 18 years later, here we are. Shoot, the fact that he stayed with me after he got to experience all the drama for himself is a miracle. He must really love me.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pass the Torch Tuesday!

I have been wanting to write about this little guy for awhile...This is Gabriel, my nephew.

Gabe's mommy and daddy are recently divorced, and Gabe and his brother Matty stay with their daddy half of the week. Ben really misses them when they aren't there with him, and he tries really hard to spend quality time with them. They love spending time with their dad, and daddy's girlfriend Tammy too. Tammy is just as much a part of his life as his parents, and she loves him like her own. :O)

Gabe is not a big fan of getting his head or face wet. Bath time , my brother Ben tells me, can sometimes be a doozey because of this. He loves taking a bath, he just really dislikes the hair washing part!

Recently Gabe has discovered the joy of swimming classes. Ben had the opportunity to sign him up, and they went for it! Gabe seems to have taken a liking to his new fun time with his daddy, and is really enjoying himself. Ben said that Gabe's swimming teacher let him know that if he (Ben) looks like he is holding Gabe back at all, she would be sure to let him know. Ben laughed and said that was fine.

What makes Gabe's new swimming classes so much more special is that Gabe is autistic. If you know anything about autism, you know that children that have autism often don't take to change well. Gabe is refusing to let a little thing like that stop him, and every day his progress amazes us! He is an amazing boy, with three wonderfully loving, proud and supportive parents (including Tammy, of course).

I hope that he knows he has a proud auntie in Iowa, that loves him very much, too.

Edit to add: On Wednesday night Kelly from Pass the Torch emailed me to let me know that my "post was the spotlight post this week at Pass the Torch"! I am very honored to display this award on my blog. Thanks Kelly, I am glad that you enjoyed reading about my nephew.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

TT #9, 13 things I love about November 1st to January 1st

Thirteen Things Mary loves about November 1st to January 1st

1. Sweaters, sweaters, sweatshirts and sweaters! I am a fall person, but I love the comfort that sweaters bring- not to mention all the stuff that sweaters can hide.

Making John's Aunt Issy's famous *PB&J Coffee cake*. OK, it's really a Bisquick recipe... but it's a tradition. I always put extra pb, and everyone raves. :O) See below for recipe

Putting up the tree on Thanksgiving. We have a 3 day cycle: the tree goes up (along with our door wreath and misc. Christmas decorations), the next day lights, and the day after ornaments.

Making gifts. I love crafts and making something with my hands really relaxes me.

Making cookies with Anna. October officially marks the beginning of cookie season for us, and lasts until about Valentines Day.

Christmas shopping. I know most people hate it, but I love to Christmas shop, especially at night. I don't know why, but coming out of store with my arms full of crinkly bags on a cold night always brings me joy.

Sharing the anticipation with my kids. Emma isn't really into it yet, but I love the itchy, squirmy, can't sit still moments that Christmas brings. Anna is flying by the seat of her pants with giddiness and excitement.

Guessing what's under the tree. This is a new game Anna likes to play, but obviously we never tell her if she is right.

Sitting with the top button of my jeans undone with the ones I love. There is nothing like the satisfaction of a well made and eaten meal.

Left overs! need I say more?

Making Gingerbread houses. Last year we started a new family tradition, and we all had a lot of fun coming up with creative ideas for candy decorations.

Taking time out of the a busy holiday to watch the parade with Anna and John.

The uncertainty and promise of the New Year. Every year I am alive is like winning the lottery. :O)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

*** Aunt Issy's PB & Jam Coffee Cake***

2c Bisquick
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c creamy pb (I usually use 1/2 c and it comes out more moist)
3/4 c milk
1 egg
1/2c jam (I use apricot, but you can use your favorite)
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Grease round or square pan.
  • Mix Bisquick and sugar.
  • Cut in PB.
  • Beat together in separate bowl milk and and egg.
  • Stir milk/egg it into the Bisquick PB mixture, dont over mix. You still want to have clumps of PB.
  • Pour into pan, and spoon jam in rows over top of mixture
  • Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, or until browned.
  • Drizzle the top with glaze.

1c sifted confectioners sugar (I am too lazy to sift, I never do)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp water (1 at a time to thin, repeat until you get the desired coconsistency)

Remember that the glaze will melt and run on the warm/hot coffee cake. I usually make it about the consistencyf honey. I usually double the glaze recipe and leave a bowl out as extra glaze for whoever wants it. This helps in case it comes out a little dryer than expected.

Ok, this is strange

I saw this at Pensieve and thought I would give it a try... A face recognition collage. I took this photo, which isn't the best but the best I could find on my computer. Notice the smile that says, "Were late for church, take the picture already!" Just so you know, I have short hair that I am growing out, and have no bangs now. I got it all whacked off about a year ago because I decided to go gray at the temples... so now I look a bit different.This picture is about 17 months old.

...and this is the results of the celebrity match.

Kind of interesting... Who do you look like?

I had a previous post where I admitted that I thought I looked a lot like Fozzie Bear. *shrug* Ya never know.

You Are Fozzie Bear

"Wocka! Wocka!"
You're the life of the party, and you love making people crack up.
If only your routine didn't always bomb!
You may find more groans than laughs, but always keep the jokes coming.