Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Activities

We're gettin' in the spirit of the Christmas Season around here. The presents are wrapped and stashed....Kate, don't bother snooping around. The house...well, I'd like it to be clean and sparkly, but it's mostly cluttered with boots and dripping scarves that got left outside overnight, tied to the sled. (Ask Wade and Isaac, I have no idea why Isaac's scarf was tied to Wade's sled). And the kitchen floor is sticky from all the sucker-making we've done in the past few days! For our neighborhood gifts, we make suckers. Usually we just do the basic flavors, you know, cherry, cinnamon, butterscotch, bubble gum, peppermint....but after about 200 suckers, Dennis and Kate started getting bored of the basic flavors. Kate suggested chocolate. I was skeptical...not of the flavor, mind you, but of how the chocolate syrup would change the consistency of the hot sugar mixture. But Dennis and Kate begged and whined until I relented, as usual. Here is a photo story of our adventure!

Here I am cooking the chocolate suckers. I look extra short and extra fat because I'm sort of leaning down.... (that's my excuse, anyway...)

Here is the chocolate syrup...waiting....

Here's me and Dennis kissing while we wait for the suckers to cook.

Dennis suggested cooking the suckers a little longer than usual to compensate for the added syrup. I am skeptical. That's my skeptical face.

Pouring the chocolate suckers. The consistency was totally different!

Kate was the taste-tester. Her look suggests success!

The face of a defeated skeptic.

"Mom, I was right, they're delicious!!"

I don't know what this is. A sucker monocle, perhaps?

Kate does it better, as usual!

A pile of butterscotch suckers.

Kate loves making suckers. I love it that Kate loves to make suckers.
Now, inside the sucker flavoring packets, there is a little recipe book. Kate liked the looks of the recipe for Salt Water Taffy. I was skeptical (!!), thinking it would take too long and be more work than I felt like doing. So I put her off last year, but this year I felt bad for putting her off last year, so we tried the taffy recipe. Blueberry. Yum.
Here is the taffy (Kate is looking on lovingly), cooling and waiting to be pulled.
But wait, what is this?!! The taffy is as hard as a rock! We can't get it off the pan!
Complete taffy failure!!
So we ended up with sharp, hard "taffy" bits. And lots of little cuts on my hands....
Not to be defeated by the taffy, we tried again. Watermelon. Yum.

Clearly soft enough....

Pulling the taffy!!

Taffy pulled!

So the taffy turned out yummy, and Kate is reluctant to share the pink taffy. You may have all the blue taffy you would like.
In other news, Wade wiped the cocoa dust from his truffle on his face. He looked like Hitler. And Isaac, after his bath, combed his hair straight up. Wade said, "Cool hair, Isaac!" And Isaac said, "Mom, can I wear my hair like this to church tomorrow?" I said, "Sure, Isaac!" So the next day, when it was time for church, I told Isaac to come let me do his hair. I got out the gel and the hair dryer, and Isaac ran from the bathroom crying, "No! Not the hair dryer!" (What the heck?!!) After some cajoling on my part, and the promise to not let anyone see and to lock the bathroom door, he let me use the hair dryer on him. The result was so CUTE, but he suddenly decided he didn't want to wear that hair to church. Fickle little man!
Hitler's chocolate moustache (there's skeptical Mom again!!)

There's the cute hair he wouldn't wear to church!
Well, that ought to satisfy even the most desperate news-seekers. Merry Christmas to all, and God bless us, every one!!

Winter Wonderland

Baby, it's cold outside!! We've had several wonderful wintery days, and we're looking forward to a very White Christmas! Here's a few pictures for those in warmer climes who don't get to enjoy the season the way I do!!

This is looking East, up the street, from my house.

Home sweet warm cozy home.

Mickey's cozy house....look at how much snow!! Don't worry, he comes in the people house at night when it's REALLY cold!!

The snow is almost up to the bottom of the swings!!

That's an icicle!!

So we're having fun sledding and shoveling and snow-blowing...and we're going through lots of hot chocolate!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A WICKED Anniversary!

Today is our twentieth wedding anniversary. The day we got married, it did not snow, like it did today. The day we got married, I weighed less than 100 lbs. Dennis weighed like, 5 lbs. less than he does now. The day we got married, we were both still in college. The day we got married, Dennis's mom was still alive. Lots of things have changed since that day, but today we are celebrating the wonderful life we have (Zuzu's petals!!!), and hoping for many more happy years together. And we'll take the good with the bad, just as we have the last twenty years!
SO....for my anniversary gift, Dennis handed me an envelope. Inside was a paper with the picture you see above, and this statement:
January 24, 2009
8:00 p.m.
At the Ford Theater
Chicago, Illinois
(Kiss me if you'd like to go)
Well, I did NOT kiss him, at least not right then! First I screamed, then I burst into tears, scaring Wade and Isaac who were watching, and THEN I kissed him!!!! Do I, or DO I, have the BEST husband EVER?!!!!!
Happy Anniversary, Dennis!
(And just so you don't think I'm a total ingrate, you should know that I gave him an all expenses paid trip to Yellowstone in June, staying at the Old Faithful Inn.... :-) )