Saturday, November 29, 2008

Have you ordered a turkey that's a whopper?

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Jeff's family and then went with Erin, Brian and Ellie and Brian's brother Craig and his wife Cammie and their three girls to cut down our Christmas tree Friday morning. When we got home early that evening we began cooking for our "Chinese Thanksgiving" meal with my Dad and Sharon. (Can I just say, "YUMMY!" We had won-tons, lettuce wraps, tiny-spicy chicken, and beef and broccoli and then had pumpkin pie for dessert.) We especially enjoyed having it at our house since we were able to put our kids to bed and didn't have to drive home. We all slept in this morning and then got to work putting up the Christmas decorations. Max and Emily were both so excited while we were decorating the tree. Emily danced to the Christmas music (that girl sure loves to wiggle and shake!) and Max made mischief and mayhem all day long.

I love Christmas decorations and am so excited to spend the next month enjoying our Christmas lights. I asked Jeff if we could move one of our couches into the living room while we have out tree up. I can't wait until we can buy furniture for our living room. Sigh. We've hung our "holly on the door" and I've "got a crazy feeling that I'm gonna hit the ceiling". I guess we're bound to have a Christmas like we've never had before! (Can you tell we've been listening to Ruth Lion? If you're not a member of my family, I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about - sorry!) I hope everyone else in feeling happy and in the Christmas spirit. I just love this time of the year!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

All That Jazz!

Jeff and I got invited today to go to the Jazz game. Can I just say that it was SOOOOO fun!?! We got to watch the game from one of the luxury suites, we ate yummy food and some REALLY yummy white chocolate covered popcorn, we got to hang out with friends, and the game was very exciting! The Jazz did end up losing, but IN THE LAST SECOND! Come on, how excitting of a game is that! What a fun night out. (Oh, and we had such a cute babysitter who I felt so good about leaving my little kiddos with. Thanks for letting us borrow your daughter for the night, Lesley! And thanks, Candie for a wonderful night!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Talk Is Over!!!! Yeah!

Just an update on how the big talk went today. I actually feel really good about how my talk went. I was really nervous all morning and couldn't eat much breakfast and then felt sick when we got to the church and sat up on the stand. We had a few minutes before the meeting started, so I went into an empty room by myself and said a prayer. I felt a lot calmer after that. It wasn't as scary looking out at the whole church as I thought it would be. It was actually calming to see so many faces of being that love and care about me and my family. I was nervous when I started speaking, but I felt calm pretty quick and was able to say what I wanted and was even able to wing some parts instead of just reading the whole thing like I had planned on. My hands were still shaky the whole time, but I don't think anyone but the bishopric could really tell. It was so nice to have early church and be done with my talk by ten. Jeff did a great job on his talk and it was nice to be able to relax and enjoy it since I was done speaking. Unfortunately, Max was in a "mood" today and ended up sitting on the stand with us even though my neighbor had said he could sit with them. (Jeff said, and I agree, that it would have been easier to dress a badger this morning.) He wasn't too bad and my good friend had Emily so I was able to enjoy Sacrament Meeting more than usual. It was very nice to get home from church and take a good nap this afternoon. Now I can get back to stressing about all the Christmas crafting that I've got going on.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Confronting My Fears

Well, the dreaded day of reckoning has arrived. For the first time since Jeff and I have been married I've been asked to talk in church, next week, on thankfulness and giving. I'm having a hard time being thankful right now. I haven't talked in church since I was about fifteen. It was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. I've turned down speaking in church ever since. Honestly, if I didn't have a testimony I would quit going to church because you're always being asked to give lessons, talk in church, be the enrichment leader, all stuff which makes me VERY nervous. I'm trying to blame Jeff for making me say yes. When we got engaged our bishop asked us to talk in church and I, of course, turned him down. Jeff was so disappointed in me that I felt extremely guilty and promised to talk the next time we were asked. I could just feel him looking at me when they asked us to see how I would respond. Stupid promises! (By the way, none of you are invited, even those of you who are members of my ward!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

Mondays tend to be this weird combination of lazy day and work day at our house. I know a lot of people clean their house on the weekend, but I prefer to do it on Monday. This is because it seems like it gets the dirtiest over the weekend, so if I clean on Saturday, by Monday it feels like I need to clean again anyway. Since I plan on cleaning on Mondays, I tend to put off taking a shower and getting ready for the day, making me feel like it's a lazy day. Today we got a very late start to the day. Emily didn't wake up until 10:00 and then I woke Max up at 10:30. Before you get all jealous, this is not the normal time my kids get up, we just had a late night last night and Max woke up around three and screamed for about an hour for who knows what reason, so I feel I was justified in having my kids sleep in today.

It was a gloomy, dark, rainy day which put me in the mood for a little extra homemaking so Max and I made homemade granola bars. I don't know why I've become such a from scratch kind of girl lately, but I love making things on my own that most people would normally buy from the store. This is probably part loving to save money and part loving to create something. These are very easy to make and I think they are pretty good. Of course I got the recipe of Allrecipes, if anyone was wondering. Oh, how I love Allrecipes!

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour (I used wheat even though it calls for all-purpose)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1-2 cups chocolate chips (or raisins, nuts, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients but the chocolate chips. Stir in the chocolate chips. Press the mixture into the pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes and then cut into bars. Wait until they are completely cool before serving or removing.

I used only 1 cup of chocolate chips even though it called for 2 and I think it was plenty. The first time I made these I used raisins and I thought they turned out really good even though I'm not a huge raisin fan. I also pressed down the mixture halfway through baking and again when I pulled them out of the oven. There was also a suggestion on Allrecipes to add Rice Crispy's to give them that crunch that Quaker granola bars have. I think this sounds like a great idea, but we don't eat cereal and I didn't want to buy a box just to make a batch of granola bars. Maybe next time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Family Pictures

A few weeks ago my high school friend Natalie took family pictures for us while she was visiting her family in Utah. I got my disc in the mail today with our photos and I am so excited! I just LOVE these pictures. Natalie is an amazing photographer. I wish I knew a bunch of people in San Antonio so I could spread the word. If you look in some of the pictures you can see that it was snowing. Crazy Utah weather! Because of the weather, Max wasn't being too cooperative, yet she still got some great shots of both him and Emily. Can I just say that these are my favorite family pictures I've ever gotten!? Thank you so much Natalie! (You can check out Natalie's website here.)

Nine Month Old Baby Girl

Our beautiful little Emily turned 9 months old on Halloween. She is so much fun right now. She crawls all over and pulls herself up on things. She makes some very funny growling and huffing noises. She gives the cutest and sweetest hugs and kisses, although the kisses tend to be a bit on the slobbery side. I just want to eat her up she is so stinkin' cute! She had her well check visit today and she weighed 17 lbs 1 oz. (20%) and was 27 inches long (25%). She seems long and lean but apparently she's a little on the small side, which suprised me a little. I mean, look at her parents. We are anything but small. Her head on the other hand was 75%. I told Jeff and he said, "That's my girl!" Now if only she would stop growing for a while.