Sunday, November 29, 2009


Wow! What happened to November? It took me so long to catch up with October.... Big Daddy and I hosted Thanksgiving again this year. We kinda have an agreement with HRM Momsy. We do Thanksgiving and she does Christmas. Fair enough. Only last year it took them 3..THREE hours to get to our house. Mind you, they live 77 miles and all on state/local highways. No driving through twisted mountain roads, no snow...just cars and people. So, we decided to celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday. No bad traffic and everyone arrived calm and happy.

Big Daddy is a Kindle fan. It's that electronic reader from Amazon.
He downloads all kinds of books, some for free. When he first got it, he downloaded the Cooks Illustrated somethingarather. He was browsing on Thursday whilst I was creating about 60 "Best Rolls Ever" and 3 pies. He found some kitchen testing on turkeys and decided we should try a new approach. So at 11 pm after playing 2 1/2 hours of Monopoly (which, of course, I won) we began to "brine" our turkey. We used a clean,orange Home Depot bucket, filled it with water and 2 cups of table salt, dropped the turkey in, snapped on the lid and set it in the backyard. I know...sounds scary. But botulism never entered my mind. Im a positive thinker when it comes to food. Big Daddy got up early Friday morning with Drama who wasn't feeling tip-top, and checked on the turkey. It was 37 degrees outside, so we were pretty safe. By the time I got my lazy can out of bed, he had rinsed and dried the bird. We stuffed it with carrots, onions and butter, shoved it in a cooking bag and plopped it in the over. 5 hours later, we had the MOST delicious turkey we have ever cooked.

Puppy, aka Oliver, waiting for turkey to hit the floor.
It was mosit and tender and yummy. It even made the best gravy I have ever created.
This is me, sans makeup, pouring gravy into a thermos carafe. This is one of the most ingenious ideas some told me. It kept the gravy nice and hot for over 3 hours. And it's easy to pour and easy clean. Just a tip.
Here was the key...of course SALT. I am so bad when it comes to salt. I salt food before I even taste it. Salt green apples and watermelon....yumm! So when the bird came out already salted and spiced, not all dried out like pioneer food.
So...Big Daddy scored big in the kitchen this year.

In addition to the turkey, we had mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (note to self: make only 1 batch next year. 2 was too much), gravy, sweet potatoes (also note: we could probably do without since I am the only one who eats it) and of course, cranberry sauce. Not out of a can though. I found some deliciously made sauce at Henry's when getting produce. It was also delicious with Brie on crackers., glorious food.....

Here are some happy campers. I think Lazy Boys was the only one of this kids who ate a little of something. Next year, mashed potatoes and rolls only.
Oh, and HRM's Almond punch.
Forget the rest!

Monday, November 23, 2009

October recap

Well, I finally got part of my iPhoto library restored so that I could post about 6 weeks worth of stuff. Thanks for being patient and taking a gander.
Princess Danell

Trick or Treating

Our school, mine and Drama's, has a Harvest Festival each "Halloween Carnival". I had a thousand and one things book for this week, and the last was Drama's costume. Now bad of the stress is my fault. I want to do too many things, including creating a costume based on a cartoon. I thought of this costume months ago, even planning the hair. This was important because I knew Drama was going to win an award and I didn't want his hair all weird for his award ceremony. So we had to wait until after school Friday and SHAVED his head. Yep, I am that mom. It was awesome. He acted as if it was killing him, but he loved it. This was our results after throwing together his outfit, shaving his head, and painting his makeup....Aang, the last airbender. Don't worry if you haven't heard of it yet, it will be a big movie next summer.

Sweet Pea was there to put the artist touches on

How'd we do?

Reflections 2009

The PTA sponsors a local, state and national art contest. This year Drama took first place in Photography in the Intermediate division, grades 3-5. He now moves on to represent his school at the district level. Cross your fingers. Last year he made it to County.
I suppose it doesn't hurt when your mother is the program chair. Hey, I don't judge or have anything to do with his art. I just promote and get it turned it.

Pumpkin Time

Big Daddy was out of town...again....when we decided to carve pumpkins. We carved them for Family Night on Friday they were disgusting, molding, and gross. Hey, it's California. I think it was over 90 degrees that week. Oh least we don't have to wear jackets when we trick or treat.
Our finished masterpieces

Here is the psycho mom!
I hope my children are financially well off in the future.
They are going to need lots of therapy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

San Francisco

I was lucky to score a spouses invite to Big Daddy's company meeting in San Francisco again this year. Her Royal Highness ( Mom) was gracious enough to come and tend the kids, mostly manage Drama, while I was away. I flew to San Fran, took the Bart to the city, then a trolley to the hotel we stayed at, The Fairmont.
That night we got to see Wicked, the musical. It was fantastic. We saw it in L.A. about 3 1/2 years ago. This time we knew all of the song to sing along and had much better seats. Big Daddy said we were so close we could see the actor's blemishes.
Kendra Kassebaum beautifully played Glinda. She was no Kristen Chenowith, but lovely in her own interpretation of the role.
The next day I got to shop all by myself, yeah! I walked around Market street with money burning a whole in my pocket. Nordstrom..nothing. Anthropology...nothing...Macy's, Gap, H & M..nothing. Sweet Pea was having a heart attack at home. She couldn't believe I didn't buy anything at H & M. I decide those aren't "my people" meaning, not my style.
I tried to use all of the available transportation the city has to offer. So I took a bus across town to the King Tut exhibit at the de Young Museum at the Golden Gate Park.
It was very interesting, although I was very tired. I think I fell asleep in one of the exhibit rooms for a few minutes. I remember Popsicle taking me to see part of this exhibit in the 70's. So much more technology now, the experts have figured out relationships through DNA. How about that, Family History.

After lunch, and some more museum and art exhibits, I headed back to Market street to make a purchase. I bought a terrific pair of Merrell shoes. I have been eyeing these shoes for months on the internet, and I bought them. Those of you who know my foot/shoe frustrations, you can appreciate the fact that I have to try on shoes before purchase. They are not the most attractive, but DANG, they are comfortable.

Big Daddy and I spent the evening together at the company dinner. I was beautiful. It was at the top of the Fairmont Hotel with a spectacular view of the city at sunset.

Big Daddy participated, rather willingly, in a group dance of "Single Ladies". Whoooaaaa! You should see him shake is can! Baby!! I've got to track down that video and post it soon.
Friday, our last day in the City, we went to Ghirardelli Square by trolley.
It was Big Daddy's first ride.
He has been in SF a few times, but always takes taxis. Boo! Taxis are for whimps...
or when you have a lot of luggage.

We met a friend for lunch and then walked around Ghirardelli Sqaure,

along the bay to the Green Marina. It was the perfect day... sunny but not hot. I think we walked about 3 miles, all in my brand, new shoes.

After a cupcake, we waited at the Hyde/Powell turntable to take the cable car back to the hotel. There are a lot of.....hum..strange people in San Francisco. Two of them tied themselves with chains and locks to a post. When loose, one of them play "Stairway to Heaven" on his guitar. Oh, no, not the Stairway. Ugggh! These are not young artists, the were performing hobos. Badly, performing hobos.
I wanted to give them money to stop playing and go away.
Once back at the hotel, we picked up our luggage, took a death cab to the wharf. I was talking to Lazy Boy on the phone and told him the ride was like being in his video game Need for Speed. But, we made it just in time to take a ferry across the bay to a little town called Larkspur.
Larkspur is a little town in Marin County, actually right next to the San Quentin prison. No convicts were seen. We spent the evening at a delightful dining outdoors at an Asian fusion restaurant, listening to an 80"s band. It was a great end to a great day. Oh, and I forgot, ice cream. That was pretty great too!

The next day, reality set in, we took a shuttle back to San Fran airport, flew home to be with our kiddos. Don't tell them, but I missed them.

BYU vs. SD Football

We took the kids to the BYU football game in San Diego to watch them beat San Diego.
We started with a tailgate party in the parking lot with some of our
True Blue friends.

It turned out that we had spectacular seat for viewing...not so much for listening.
Our seats were next to the Aztec cannon and the first three times it scared me I swore. Sorry. We also had a great view of the team when they came out.

Here is a picture of quarterback Max Hall, nephew of virtual friend The Queen.
He is pumping his fists in support after I yelled positive and motivational slogans to him and the team. I am pretty sure I single handedly helped the Cougars win the game 38-28.
You're welcome.
Because we were sitting on the Aztec side, we had a front row view of the ancient cheerleaders who had come back for Homecoming. I was so impressed by the 2 old (older than me), fat (and much fatter than me) guys doing cartwheels throughout the game. Very inspirational

Sweet Pea and her friend ...future Cougars?!
And...One of our little Cougar fans who sat behind me. Man, could her mom yell!
After the game...more tailgating.
Our friends helped us surprise Big Daddy with a brownie cake for his birthday.
Thanks gang!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Happened to October?

Serious! What Happened? Well, a lot. Here are the exciting adventures of our October. Enjoy!
First weekend we spent with General Conference listening to the teachings and council of our church leaders. Good Stuff!
The following Saturday we spent in San Diego. I told everyone to be ready to spend the day in San Diego, but didn't tell them what we were doing. It was a lot of fun. It's about being in control, I guess. First stop, the San Diego Temple.
I can't believe Drama had never been there! Hum! The big kids had just been there the week before to do baptisms. Awesome! When it came time to taking a group snappy, Drama was a pill. Fine! We are not even going to Photoshop you in, you turkey!

Next stop, lunch in La Jolla. We found a yummy burger place in the village. They had wicked onion rings.

After that I took everyone to the Scripps Aquarium.

It was a lot of fun looking at the crazy fish, jelly fish, sea horse, and other aquatic life. The kids tried to catch a lobster. No luck!

Next stop....Old Town. I wanted to take a look at the newly remodeled Mormon Battalion. Surprise! It's not done yet! Oh well.

We found some fun things to look at, bought some rocks for Drama's "collection" (that's what we call a pile of rocks in his room) and a fiberglass parrot for my friend Wendy. Wow! The junk you can find!

Last stop, we headed back home and stopped for dinner at Roadside Grill in San Marcos. Yummy rolls. That's all I have to say. I guess I am becoming a dinner roll connoisseur.