Usually, I love hosting all of our family gatherings. This year when my mom said she would like to do it again I thought a change would be nice for all of us. I really had other motives in mind for not hosting. I love decorating my house for the holidays, and I thought if I didn't have Thanksgiving I could spend the week before turkey day decorating and organizing. I had visions of waking up tomorrow morning to a spotless house, decorations perfectly placed everywhere, perhaps making Christmas goodies with the children to freeze and then share with friends and neighbors. Unfortunately this was not to be.
The week was chaotic. I had four of the five children home from school and they wanted to play, not help decorate for Christmas. I forgot I had told them they could each have a friend spend the night the last week of vacation (what was I thinking?). So, we spent the beginning of the week hosting sleepovers, going to the movies, and just hanging out having fun. This left me two days before Thanksgiving to get some stuff done. My wonderful husband made dinner Tuesday night on the grill and it was delicious. Unfortunately, within an hour of eating I was violently ill. My first thought was food poisoning but no one else in the family got sick. I was sick all Tuesday night and Wednesday and woke up this morning feeling better but not quite 100%.
So, needless to say, my house is not perfectly clean and beautifully decorated for me to wake up to tomorrow morning. I am two days behind on all of my regular chores and a huge pile of laundry is waiting for me in the hallway. My highschooler has a baseball tournament an hour away all weekend long and we usually try to go as a family to as many games as possible. The Christmas photo did not get taken on Wednesday as planned so this must still be done, and instead of being all most done Christmas shopping I have only bought a few things. My youngest son wanted to know if we were going to the mall tomorrow to see Santa as he thought it was best if we hand delivered his Christmas wish list? So much for being ahead of the game.
I think next year I will host Thanksgiving again.
1 Deep Dish Pastry Crust for a 9" pie (home made or store bought)
1/2 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp. flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. salt, 6 cups
thinly sliced peeled apples (I usually use a mixture of fugi and granny smith),
1 recipe crumb topping (see below), 1/2 cup pecans, & 1/4 cup caramel topping.
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter
Stir together brown sugar, flour and oats. Cut in butter until topping is like
course crumbs. Set aside.
1. In large mixing bowl stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.
2. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated.
3. Transfer apple mixture to the pie shell.
4. Sprinkle crumb topping over apple mixture.
5. Place pie on cookie sheet so drippings don't get in your oven.
6. Cover edges of pie with aluminum foil.
7. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 25 minutes. Then remove foil and put
back in oven for an additional 25-30 minutes.
8. Remove from oven. Sprinkle top of pie with chopped pecans then drizzle
with caramel on top.
You can serve this pie warm or at room temperature. It is umm umm good either way. Hope you enjoy!
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~
Love is having a Dad who takes you out on a special date with just the two of you. Love is having a Dad who doesn't get upset when you tell him you have been invited to a special event with a friend later in the evenning, and you would like to cut your date short to go. Love is having a Dad who drops you at your friends house after dinner and then races to the ball park to get to his sons baseball game in time to coach the team. Love is the look on his sons face when he sees Dad racing up to the ballpark, pulling off his tie, and quickly changing into baseball coaching apparel. Love is having a dad just like yours.
I took the four oldest children to Knotts Berry Farm yesterday along with a few friends. My wonderful husband went into work super early so he could come home by 9:30am to spend the day with our three year old. I thought their was no way he would actually make it home by 9:30 in the morning but he did. The kids friends showed up on time, the children figured out who would sit where in the car without any yelling and screaming and off we went. It seems L.A. traffic is always awful so I was dreading the drive to Knotts. I got to the freeway and to my amazement it seemed to be moving along smoothly. We drove 65 all the way their and made it in record time. So, I thought to myself, things are going much to smoothly. Their will probably be thousands of people at the amusement park today and we will have to wait in very long lines making the kids grumpy and exhausted. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN! When I pulled into the parking lot their maybe were 30 other cars. I thought perhaps they had built another parking garage I was unaware of. We walked up to the ticket window (did not have to wait for even one minute) purchased our tickets and in the gates we went. Their was no one in the park. My initial thought was that their had been some sort of terrorist threat I was unaware of and therefore may be putting my children and those of others in great danger. So, I asked someone. No, they assured me everything was fine, every once in a while no one shows up at the park and we just happened to be lucky enough to come on one of those rare days. MY CHILDREN WERE ECSTATIC! Each of the three oldest children and a friend ran off in different directions and I took my youngest and a friend on the rides they wanted to go on. Their were absolutely no lines! Even for the most popular attractions the kids did not have to wait, and as an added bonus they could ride them over and over without having to get off.
The older kids would find us and hang out for a while and then off they would go again to find a sibling or another friend. The most remarkable aspect of this day is that my kids did not fight. They were considerate and kind to each other (one exception: My daughter Samantha absolutely freaked out on this one ride that shoots you up 200 feet and it looks like you are going to go off the tracks; I couldn't even watch the thing was so freaky, her brothers thought that was a hoot and teased her for a little while after). Samantha quickly got over her irritation with her brothers when the oldest won her a giant stuffed teddy bear at one of the game booths. Things were wonderful once again. Were these actually my children?
We stayed until closing time which also coincided with the children becoming ravenously hungry. Should I risk tarnishing this beautiful day by taking all of these kids to a restaurant? After all, they had been riding roller coasters for 8 hours and were exhausted, their evil twins might emerge to change everything. Weighing the risks I decided to try it. We dedicded to go to TGI Friday's and when we arrived their was a small line. I let the hostess know how many we had and as we had such a large group I figured we would have to wait a while. The hostess informed me that a large booth had just opened up and they could take us immediately. Was this really my life? Our drinks came promptly, we ordered, and our food was out within ten minutes. It was delicious, everyone liked what they ordered, we had fun and good conversation, and we were back in the car within an hour. Yes, one hour.
The traffic on the freeway was not bad even though it normally should have been. We dropped off friends and headed home. Once in the house the kids went upstairs to shower without argument, and then told me they were really tired and they were going to go to bed if it was ok with me? At this point I knew I was really dreaming, or had entered some version of a real twilight zone. I took a shower, read a magazine, and played on the computer for a little while before drifting off into a wonderful sleep.
You will be happy to know that things have gotten back to normal. Two of the kids fought over who would get the last waffle this morning, my oldest over slepped and was going to be late to school (somehow this was my fault he forgot to set his alarm), and someone was already in time out by 9:00am.
My wonderful life is back to normal and I really wouldn't have it any other way. I am so thankful God gave me five beautiful children who are able to scream and yell, as well as a hard working loving husband who goes out of his way to make his wife and children happy. But, it was really nice to have that One perfect day.
Does anyone else have a story about their perfect day? If you dont, I'll be wishing yours comes real soon.
Here is the front of our house with all of the pumpkins on the porch. Samantha and Garrett made Halloween sugar cookies for their friends who were coming over that evening. I think they had more fun making the dough and eating it than actually decorating the cookies.
Paige was adorable as a bumble bee, Samantha was Elizabeth Swan in her wedding dress from Pirates of the Caribbean, Garrett was a Ninja, Tyler was an 80's guy with a crazy afro, and Zach was Bill Clinton (he had the mask and it looked freaky, Paige was afraid of him). I didn't seem to get any pictures of the boys in their costumes. Zachary had several of his friends from high school over and Tyler had several of his junior high friends over. I guess I forgot to tackle them and have them pose for pictures. I am sure they were very disappointed.
We had a house full and it was loads of fun as usual (plus the kids got lots of great yummy candy!)
Paige's favorite treat were all the suckers she got in her bag. The other kids had to hide theirs or they knew she would swipe them. She insisted on sleeping with all of them, and as she was so tired by the end of the night, I let her (to avoid the inevitable screaming I am so tired tantrum). I had every intention of going into her room and taking them out of her hand once she fell asleep. I forgot. When she woke up they were all still firmly planted in her hand. Of course most of them had been sticking to her hair all night, that was a real joy to deal with at 7:00am while trying to get children ready for school. My own fault.
The elementary children are off track this month so we
decided to take a trip up the mountain to visit Aunt
Stacey and Uncle Barry for the day. We have year round school in our area which means that the children go to school for approximately three months and then get a 4-6 week vacation. I absolutely love this schedule! Just when you think you can't take one more science project, mission report, or history day extravaganza you get a break before your head explodes and you seriously think you might actually have to hurt someone! Oh, sorry....I didn't mean to rant...Back to the mountains.
down it was. I had to chuckle when I saw grandma holding on tight to the door handle (presumably to jump out if it looked like we were going over) They need not have worried, I had no intentions of going off the side of the road. God answered our prayers and we arrived safe and sound.
We had a fun day playing outside and visiting. Aunt Stacey was a good sport and played hide and seek with the kids outside where their are hundreds of places to hide. The kids thought that was the best. Grandma really liked playing shuffle board and so did I. It was the table top version and great fun! Our three year old Paige had a blast climbing the boulders behind the cabin, picking up leaves, and chasing squirrels.
Grandma, these pictures are for you. Hope you enjoy!
As you can see he is very enthusiatic! He would play every day of the week if we would let him. He has this in common with his big brother Zach.
I have visions of my family being so proud of my bravery for branching out and getting a new and updated hobby. Unfortunately, then it will happen! My children will realize that I intend to talk about our family and life on this site and they will be appalled. Sorry kids, you said mommy needed to get a life, and I am really tired of my 2nd grader knowing more about computers than I do. So, I intend to learn and have some fun doing it.
I hope to meet new friends, stay in contact with others, and help keep my extended family updated on the goings on in our neck of the woods.
I cannot make any promises on how exciting this site will be (after all I am a beginner) but come along on the ride with me and I am sure we can have some fun and laughs along the way.