Sunday, August 31, 2008

We Interrupt this Diet....

For Our Cookie of the Week!
Outrageous Double Chocolate-White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I started making cookies every Sunday afternoon with the boys because A) they were bored and like to help me in the kitchen and B) I like yelling at my children on Sunday afternoons.
OH I MEAN....B!!!) I enjoy practicing patience with my children. It's something we've done for a long time and I enjoy doing it with the kids 99.9% of the time.

1 pkg semisweet chocolate chips (I used the chunk kind)
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg (6 oz) white baking bars cut into 1/4-1/2 " chunks
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Heat oven to 350. Heat 1/2 of chocolate chips in saucepan over low, stirring constantly until melted. Cool to room temp. Don't let become firm though.

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed till light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and melted chocolate, till light and fluffy. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in remaining chocolate chips, nuts and white chocolate.

Drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets (about 1/4 cup scoops) 2 inches apart. Bake 12-14 minutes or until set. Centers will appear soft and moist. Cool 1-2 minutes. Eat.

Dan and the boys gave them a thumbs up. I say an 8 out of 10. They look yummy, but need more pecans this time (I only had a handful left.) I would make the smaller also.

We broke out and went crazy. I want to expand my repertoire. And what better chance to use one of my garage sale finds from Saturday? I got a Betty Crocker Cookie Book for $1!!! She wanted $5!! No way. I had to talk her down, who pays that much for a book at a garage sale? People here in Utah seriously expect full price for their cast offs.

The star (.50 cents!) is going to turn either red or gold for my front door this Christmas and the finial ($3.00) is just a fun little find to put on my desk. A little pricey but I've been looking for a little one just that size. All in all $4.50 spent.

No clothes for LuLu though this time. Poor thing is going to have to go naked from not having any clothes! Look at how cute she was in her capri's this last Friday night. All dressed up for her cousin James first birthday party.
I was SO dumb. I gave James cute mommy lots of Graham and Greg's old clothes. He happened to be wearing a shirt of Graham's for his party. Those boys are just built the same and I glanced over and from behind I swore I saw my little Graham toddling and trying to walk across the lawn! James looked JUST LIKE HIM when he was that age!! I felt like someone had zoomed me back 5 years for just a few precious seconds. I got all teary eyed.
Now I know I am a lame mom.
Then I saw my almost 6 year old Graham trying to throw apples at the house and quickly snapped out of that one.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I cannot WAIT!!!!

I grew up pretty close to Disneyland so naturally I have been waiting waiting and doing more waiting to have kids old enough to take there. We used to go about once a year growing up and it truly is the Happiest Place on Earth. I got my very first kiss ever there on the Haunted Mansion. My college friend Miss Fritzi even got proposed to at the Wishing Well. How cute is that?

I've never had to plan an all out trip there though, we would just drive up and go. So thank you to Natalie and Heidi for your advice and opinions on hotels, etc. I feel like I got a really good deal for what we are doing. I finally booked our trip and I am beyond excited to see our little ones faces when we drive up! They know what it is, but when they see it?

They will FLIP OUT!
If they don't I'm out some serious cash. But I think I'm safe on assuming they will!!
Counting down the days!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

After Days of Deliberation..

I know you are all dying to know what I decided to do. I thought about this long and hard (seriously, I DID!! At baseball games.) and I have come to this conclusion:

Go ahead and be snoopy.

If you know me personally and read my blog. Fantastic. But I am what I am on here and this is the real me so if you don't like it or it offends, then don't read.

If you know me personally and read my blog to be Snoopy, then you must think I'm fantastic! Whatever, because I assure you that even though I've had over 6,000 hits to this blog in the last three months, 5,990 of those were me. I am really not a cool girl but a pretty lame one. So I'm happy to have you read, just don't get your hopes up too much.

This blog is a huge money maker for me and I intend to keep it up and running. The .75 cents I have earned since June has me eyeing a set of wooden spoons at the dollar store.

I cannot do two blogs. I'm on here way too much as it is. My kids would be whining even more than they already do if I was on here more.

It's my fault. I got excited when I started this and opened my big mouth and told everyone. But going private isn't what I want to do either.

Is this confusing or what? Good thing politicians aren't making major decisions like this over 3 year old t-ball games. Crimeny. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not changing a dang thing right now. Making these non-decisions was exhausting.

***My sweet friend Cori moved today. Snif. Snif. I am now planning a trip to Mississippi this spring because I miss her already. Who besides LouLou is in?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Hate to Admit It.

But I am a really lame blogger these days. It's been crazy around here and I'm trying to go 100 different directions. I am also deciding what to do about this blog. I love blogging and have really found some amazingly talented ladies whose blogs I love to read. Especially when it comes to decorating. I want my blog to be more like that.

Then I am also a bit bugged about all the people that I am finding read my blog. But never comment. So...are you reading to lurk and just be snoopy? It's ok, we all love some Charlie Brown and Snoopy. But just being snoopy? Makes me feel a bit weird. I really don't want to go private though. But when it's people who live within my own neighborhood or state? Odd.

So I am up in the air about creating a second blog and then making my family one private to my friends and neighbors that DO comment. What to do, what to do.

Any advice anyone? I'm really stuck on this one.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Um

Graham's soccer coach just called. We now have soccer practice once a week.

Can someone say "Overscheduled?"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oops I Did It Again


Aren't these garage sale signs the funniest? I love them.

The point is, I had my SECOND garage sale of the summer today chicas.

You must think that I love sitting out on a driveway and listening to people haggle over some piece of my unwanted junk that is marked $1.00. (HELLO people, it's A DOLLAR!)

The answer to that is not really. But some people in my mom's neighborhood were having some so we decided to mooch off of their hard work and signage. We put up maybe 8 signs ourselves. My mom put out a half a dozen things and I put out most of my children's toys.

Call me a mean mom if you will, but the basketball hoop (purchased at a yard sale for $2, sold for $5) GONE. Train table. GONE. Tool Bench with 800 pieces I picked up or stepped on daily - see ya sucker. All of Lauren's 0-3 sleepers and onesies that still looked they they belonged in the package? Snif snif....gone. At least I got to watch some cute pregnant moms walk off with great deals on those. I get so sentimental about clothes, not sure why!?

I didn't think I would have much success since I only made $100 at my May neighborhood sale. But thanks for an early bird or two - I cleared out all the big stuff and was left with hardly anything!! $149.00!!! Sweet. And my boys still have not noticed a singe toy is missing. Even better!

I decided GOING is so much more fun than sitting and selling though.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Boys in Baseball Hats

I think nothing is cuter. Except maybe Lauren.
Baseball season started this week. Call me crazy but I signed both boys up so we have a games FOUR NIGHTS A WEEK FOR THE NEXT MONTH.

I know, I know!!! That is why I told you to call me crazy - because I AM! But how could I sign up one and not the other? Graham is coach pitch and Gregory is t-ball. Both are doing great and loving it.
If I am a bit cranky and look like I need more caffeine this month, now you know why.
GO TEAM!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

LL Cool G

Yes, that's right. Ladies Love Cool Graham. Or so I've heard. I've dropped Graham off at Kindergarten and noticed a few little girls in the corner whispering and looking at him.
He does not notice. Good boy!!

Today when I was picking him up I started talking to a mom. Who's child is yours blah blah small talk small talk.
"Graham, the tall brown haired one"
The one mom perks up suddenly and proceeds to tell me, "Oh we've heard a LOT about Graham."

Apparently my son and her daughter were selected for a High Five award of sorts last Friday.
(I thought everyone got one, good thing I made a big stinkin deal over a piece of paper and had it on the fridge front and center all weekend!)

Turns out it was just for 2 students and they were it. And apparently some girls thought that her daughter was "So super lucky" to walk ALL the way to the office with Graham. Which is about 20 feet since his room is right next to the office.

I was shocked. Yet not surprised (really, would YOU be? You all think your kids are the cutest ever, just like I do) Interested - since she had had this whole conversation with her daughter and all I got was "Here's my backpack. There's lots of stuff in there today."

Thank you for being so oblivious Graham. Give mommy 10 more years to worry about YOU noticing the girls!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why I Love My Bookclub

I love my book club. I do. I really, really love it. I love to read.

I especially love the girls in Book Club. They are really the funniest group of girls I have ever met. I always get a much needed laugh in on Book Club night. Maybe because it starts late and we are all a little loopy and tired by then. I love that I get to send out the lame emails for book club and no one makes fun of me attempting to be funny at that.

But the bestpart is getting to see everyone else's house.
Because I have had this problem for the past four years:
The fear of committing to window treatments.

So I've done this instead:

"Oh, Kristen, that is soo cute! You have NOTHING on your windows.
Your creativity astounds me!"
(This what you, the reader (singular) would be saying.
)

And none on your bay window either? How did you know to do something so interior designtastic for your home? Your non finished windows make your house look, so well, like it did four years ago when you moved in.

(I do have a Ballard Chandelier in case anyone was coming to tar and feather me. That counts for something, right?
RIGHT!??) Which for some odd reason looks dwarfed in this photo, as well as my plate rack. I assure you that they are not and the scale of these pieces perfectly suit the room. I was not born under a decorating rock mind you.

But then I show up to lovely Keysha's home for Book Club and I notice something I had never noticed before in her house - her perfect window treatments. Ones that I don't have to buy (I have a hard time finding store bought ones, duh.) and simple enough that I might try reconcilation with my sewing machine. (Remember we were "on a break.")

I hope she knows that imitation is highest form of flattery, or something to that effect. Because by the time it is my turn to host the Dinner and Book Exchange in December, my house will have window treatments similar to hers! Wish me luck!!

Any advice on colors? I'm thinking a black with something gold in it as an accent maybe?

Monday, August 11, 2008

What Does This Need?

I've had this 1950's TV cabinet that I have used for storage. It used to be my grandparents. My mom hates it.
It's a square (the tv's were big and boxy then so that makes sense)...and I've got it in my entryway hallway right now across from my kitchen.
Dan even built some shelves in there for me so it could function as a home for my kitchen linens. Which works great.
But I'm thinking I want to change the color, re-stain it and maybe change out the handles. I like the piece, it's just looking TIRED. Any bright ideas on what to do with this?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ha!

I think it's really funny that on the day of my "No one writes thank you's anymore" rant that I got TWO!!!! I hope no one thought that I was fishing for one. I was just sayin'....

But Keysha sent her cutie Carsen over with a sweet note and then I came home to find Miss LouLou on my porch delivering cookies (oh YUM they were good!) and the sweetest note I have ever read. It made my day, maybe my whole month. I'm saving it though for days when I feel like crud, it was that good.

You girls are the best!!!

Got some great deals at yard sales this am...Gymboree dress and sweater for.50 cents EACH!! They are so cute. Brand new shirt for Graham, $1. New toys for Graham and Greg, $1 each (and they have been playing with them all day, priceless)

I LOVE yard sales. I'm such a nerd, but the thought of bringing home armfuls of clothes for Lauren that are like new for less than $10 total? How cool is that? She'll never wear the same thing twice!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dear Kristen....

I just got an thank you note in the form of an email.
This sort of makes me sad. There is no letter in the mailbox, just the inbox.

I think letter writing is becoming a lost art form. I can't remember when I sat down to write a letter (a real one, longer than say 4 -5 lines) to mail. It seems so lazy. Almost like someone is saying, "I just sort of appreciate what you did so I will just quickly type this out and be done with the whole event." Or they don't even bother at all. Like (do I dare say it) the kindness or gesture was almost expected even. Rude.

But at least they sent one, right? It's better than nothing. A thank you. I've been known to forget a time I'm too I'm sure but oh...I was a busy girl after my wedding showers, baby showers, etc. My mom taught me that I should have those out quick. And she meant QUICK!

You should all be so lucky to receive a thank you from my sister, Kelly. I don't know how she does it but that girl has a talent beyond compare. She will make a thank you note read like the earth would've stopped and her life would have never been so wonderful had you not sent her (fill in blank amazing item that I gave her.) Which, (and maybe she knows this) makes me want to start thinking of her next big gift receiving event. Smart girl, that Kelly.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Latest Obsession

My food storage room, or the location of my hot date with Dan Friday night 2 weeks ago.
He put together another CostCo shelf so now I have 5 in there and now they all seem empty!
Yikes, I have nothing as far as toiletries for food storage. We will have lots of soup but rotting teeth if something terrible was to happen where we needed to live on this!
So I've been setting aside $25 a week along with our regular grocery money to add to our food storage. I think it's sort of fun and I like having my own little "store" downstairs for when I really don't want to haul 3 kids to the store (especially in the winter, in the snow!) I'm proud to say I rarely pay $1 for anything that is on these shelves. I can't help it, I like a deal!

Anyone else completely lame like me and think that this is fun? Or do you think I'm crazy for just doing it at all?!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten!

Ready to go - SO EXCITED!!!
"Did you get a picture of my backpack?"
In line, ready for school! He was really happy to be there and I was proud of myself for not crying until I left the building! Graham loves to learn and has really been coming out of his shell lately. I know this is going to be a great year for him. But our home is so quiet this morning that it makes me sad!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I've Been Busy...Really!


So I walked downstairs the earlier last week to find this...
and this...
And this!! Seriously. Gross. How much junk can 5 people have? Apparently, a lot. And I've already had a garage sale this summer! Dan's computer graveyard, kids clothes, Christmas and other holiday things, 18 bins of misc. size clothing (this is not including clothes that I have loaned out...so a LOT of old clothes)

You know. JUNK!

So it was really really really hot here last week and I somehow found a sweet spot with the kids in asking them to help me clean it. Lauren also obliged by sleeping in her bouncer for her morning nap downstairs the whole time we were working. Three hours and 6 trips to the trash upstairs and it looked like this:

So, still not perfect but I think I did pretty good for having three kids down in that basement with me!

Wait till you see my food storage room. It's so nice now too - I did that on a hot Friday night date with Dan. He knows nothing is more romantic to me than facing cans all the same way and categorizing everything. Hot date I'm telling you!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

We Survived!

I know, I can be such a drama queen. We really had a great time, the kids especially. I just always dread the work of getting there and getting home. I'm still doing laundry and the washer has been going non -stop since late Saturday night.

As always, the family picture was a total mess requiring my fearless brother in law, Tim to flag down a trucker to take our picture. I'm thinking an investment of a $25 tripod for one of our cameras is a must for next year. Which I can say since Mindy, Julia and I are somehow now the Reunion Committee for next year!

There were no injuries, lots of fun on the 4-wheelers and at the lake and Lauren and I had the privilege of sleeping at my sister in law, Julia's family cottage. Except the cottage is nicer than any of our own homes. Monogrammed towels, granite counter tops with 2 tone cabinets and tile in-lays, super cute decor...and the BED! Oh..I have to find out about that bed. I've never slept so good in my life.

Did I feel guilty about that while I was helping Dan pack up his tent and watching spiders crawl out?

Not one little, teensy, weensy bit.