Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Aftermath

my house is a mess. It's not because I haven't been cleaning it. I've cleaned every room at least twice every day. Christmas makes it's own messes.

We had boxes in the livingroom and no space for them in the garbage. Those are out on the carport now, but not until after a discussion about and an attempt to build a playhouse with said boxes in the previously messed up livingroom. That party ended with the first fight . . . five minutes after playhouse construction began. I do hope my children do not try to become home contractors.

We also have many new books. Joshua got two, Sarah got three, Rilla got one, Matt got two and Libby got five. We already had no space for the books we do have on the bookshelf. I know it's time to do some thinning out, put some away until we have room for a second (or third) bookshelf, but it's hard to bring myself to do it. We love all our books.

We now have a house full of dinosaurs as well. Matt got five. He likes to make them roar. Because Matt likes dinosaurs, Libby does too. She makes them roar. It's a cute, small roar, though. We got her two Little People dino sets. Those are dang cute.

All in all though, my house is in chaos. This isn't a new thing. I will be glad to get the peace back when the older three go back to school. I am enjoying them now though. It's fun to see them playing together and the crazy stuff they come up with. I had no idea there were that many themes you could choose for a club. They have a new "club" everyday and the only members are themselves. That is a good thing in my mind. They think of themselves as a group. All together and working toward a common idea. Which is exactly what we wanted when we decided to have a large family. It's nice to see it coming to pass.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

adding to the candy repetoir--Penuche

I have no idea how to pronounce this (and a little help would be apreciated on that, lol), but it's good stuff. Penuche is a brown sugar fudge. It has the flavor of carmel and the texture of fudge. If you are a carmel lover, or if you have a hard time getting carmel to the right texture, this would be a great recipe to try.

If you've used my recipes before, you'll recognize this as a modification of my grandma's vanilla fudge recipe.

3 T butter
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c lt corn syrup
1/2 t salt
1 c cream
1/2 c milk
2 t vanilla
1 c chopped nuts

If you like a less intese flavor, use 2 c white sugar and 1 c brown. To make the fudge: combine butter, sugar, karo, salt, cream, and milk in a 4 qt. heavy bottomed pan. Cook over med heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Cook and stir occasionally to stoft ball stage (236 degrees.) Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. add 1 t vanilla. Cool to luke warm (110 degrees) beat until it loses its gloss. knead in the nuts. Press into a 9x9 buttered cake pan. cut, then cool. makes about 1 1/2 lbs.

if you haven't made homemade candy before you may want to check out the full series in my sidebar (it's under the "what we're reading" section.) There are posts on many different kinds and lots of tips on how to get good results the first time you try. Have fun!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Maybe he's not dreamy but he is a lot of fun

On Wednesday nights I help out with my church's youth group. This last Wednesday, we had a game night. Playing Apples to Apples with a group of 12-14 year old girls is a very intresting thing. They do not vote for the cards you think they would and they say insane things like "who's Sean Connory?" (a sure sign of the degeneration of the educational system in this country, along with the non vote for "Victorian England" played on the "unnatural" card.)

The best part of the night happened after a play of "dreamy" for the green card. A discussion was started as to whom is truly dreamy. The 12 year old next to me looked through her cards and declared that two of them were, in fact, quite dreamy.

"I really like this one, he's totally cute." she said, showing the card to another adult.

The adult looked at the card and replied in the nicest way she could, "Um. That's not a person. That's an event."

The girl had been crushing on "Mardi Gras."

Can't say dreamy is an adjective I've heard to describe that . . . .

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Secret Desires Fulfilled or how I got over that dream

This last Saturday, Steve spent the entire day somewhere else. It was rainy and cold and I was in charge of children who had too messy of rooms and too much energy not being put to clean said messy rooms. I also had 12 loads of laundry to do. I'm not kidding.

It wasn't a good day.

late in the afternoon, I was stressed enough I needed a break. I headed for my room (um, stormed might be apropriate, but I'm not admitting to it.) I shut my door forcefully and collapsed onto my bed to read. I had a nice relaxing couple of chapters with Miss Woodhouse who was still getting over her embarrassment for misreading Mr. Elton's signals. After a few more deep breaths I was ready to enter the fray again.

I turned my door knob. Door wouldn't budge.

Turned the knob a little harder and tugged harder. nothing.

Pulled and tugged. nothing.

Kicked it. nothing, but then I wasn't expecting that to help.

Pulled again.

Tried to pull the door knob off and it was pretty firmly attatched.

The door knob, 50 years old and original to the house, had finally broken. I had asked Steve to replace it over a year ago and even bought a door knob which has since disapeared because it wasn't used and that's what things do when we buy them and then don't use them for a year. It's like a time activated black hole.

Steve's points value was swiftly plummeting in concordance with the rising screams of contending children from the other end of the house. The end of the house I couldn't get to because I was locked in my own dang bedroom.

It was at this point that I realized I had the best excuse in the world for spending the rest of the day in bed hanging out with Miss Woodhouse as she trips through her pebble-y social life (not rough enough for rocks.)

Then Libby screamed. again.

It suddenly occured to me that I have two ground floor windows in my room and the locks are conveniently on the inside.

I did wonder as I pushed out the screen what my neighbors would think of seeing me climb out my own window. Were they looking for smoke from the roof? Checking for bruises and an angry husband? Thinking I finally went mad?

I spent the next hour completely ignoring the last five loads of laundry. I was not about to go climbing through my bedroom window again just to get the laundry baskets.

Steve was a smart man and sent me out alone to buy a new door knob while he did laundry. I bought a pretty one.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I could save them time with a repeat button

The other night we were at Walmart buying gifts for cousins and I snagged a Blue's Clues DVD out of the bargain bin. My hope was to add some variety to our tv watching. Libby has reached the Blue Obsession stage of her toddlerhood. We have two VHS and one DVD with Blue and I was getting a bit tired of the constant repeats. I don't know what I was thinking because what has happened is exactly what I should have expected to happen: they watch it constantly. The thing gets over and they hit the play button again. At the current rate of viewing the DVD should be worn out in 2.3 weeks. I'm starting to miss Rugrats. (Babies! Repar! raaarrr! says Libby.)

I do have to admit it is cute when she does the Blue impersonations, though. "bo-bo-bo!" All my kids have done that. They got it from me. Blue is the only "voice" I can do and I do it well. It's such a common thing to hear for them that most of them have called Blue "bo-bo." Yes, it's cute. Have you ever met a 2 year old who wasn't cute?

On the present front: nothing. I'm two days behind on the schedule I made out so I wouldn't stress out anymore. However, the cousin presents are all wrapped. that's something isn't it?

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Why the primordial scream? It's December! This year I decided to be a creative mom, a crafty, cool mom. Why am I speaking in italics? Because I'm that stressed. Deciding to do two home made gifts each for five children and a sister tends to stress you out when December 1st rolls around and all you've managed to complete is the one thing for your sister (who you are hoping desperately isn't reading your blog and thinking "she made something? Oh crap. I'm getting a scrapbook." because even if the gift isn't a scrapbook, and I'm not saying at this point whether it is or isn't, you don't want someone thinking that about your scrapbooks.)

I have left to make: two twin bed quilts. two red velvet dresses, five pairs of pajama pants, although I would love to have time to do seven, a necklace for my oldest daughter, a Gameboy case for my son, 14lbs of candy for my in laws, 5 more lbs for friends, etc.

See, I'm stressed. Wouldn't you be stressed too? Especially when you add on an unfinished website that I'm designing myself because I'm too freaking poor to pay someone or even buy a crappy template. ( please be aware that I don't have my portfolio active yet, because I don't even have the photos chosen and resized yet.)

Why do I let December stress me out? Why? I always do this. I get grandiose plans and then crash harder than the Red Baron.

My high school graduating class voted me most organized. HA! (This of course speaks volumes about how much my graduating class really knew me, but that's beside the point today, although it would make a good blog entry . . . in January.) The point is, I'm not organized. I just talk big and dig myself into big, deep, dark pits that are impossible to get out of while still maintaining a full head of hair. Which begs the question: how did my husband manage to go bald when he never, ever does this to himself?

Ok, I've used up my italics quota for the next two years. You can now get them over with in one post and you don't have to suffer through them again. Isn't that a nice, homemade gift? Merry Christmas.