valancystirling: (Default)
butter 8+2T stick
half & half 1 c
heavy cream 1.75 c + for whipped cream for pies!
milk for mashed potatoes
buttermilk 2 c
eggs 8

baguettes 2

turkey wings 4 lbs

oil 2T
brown sugar 1 1/2 c
sugar 1 1/3 c
pecans 1.5 c
maple syrup 2/3 c
bread flour 5 c + for gravy
small mason jars x 12-24
salt 2T
french fried onions

cranberries 4 c
onions 3 med
celery 8 stalks
herbs--lots fresh parsley, sage, thyme
carrot 2
bay leaf 1
pumpkin puree 2
fresh green beans 1 lb
mushrooms 12 oz
garlic 2 cloves
valancystirling: (Default)
So we were originally going to get the kids a little wood barn and start them off with a few Ostheimer animals. But now Jake seems not as enthusiastic about it, so I'm trying to regroup. I thought I had done all the thinking for this, now have to start all over.

I want to get them each an easel from IKEA because they're so simple and cheap. But I'm also torn about the tabletop easels here. More expensive, but more portable and maybe more practical? I haven't decided. Pros and cons to each. Thoughts?

I want to get Jake a little toy toolbench, but Jake thinks he's too young. I don't know, I spend half my day watching Philip take things apart and put them back together.
JAKE!!! look at this one.

I really want to get them both some dress up clothes. But high quality ones made of nice materials. Where should I be looking? Tell me where you get your favorite dress up clothes!

Also, I'm totally counting on you guys to share coupon codes as you get them, and I'll be posting all the ones I get.

I would love to get them a big building set, like the Haba Little Amsterdam city blocks--

And just in case, the barns we were thinking of...[]=tags&includes[]=title

Maybe Topie will wear tights if they're these?

For Philip, a little backpack like the one we got Topie for her birthday--they have boy colors too.
valancystirling: (Default)
I'm on disk 5 of Doctor Who season 4. OMG WTF etc. There are two more episodes and they look pretty violent/scary, so I have to wait till the kids aren't around, but again, OMG WTF? This show is like a really exciting soap opera where dead people can come back and nothing is impossible. I must have said to Jake 20 times that in another life I would want to do nothing but go work on that show. I always wanted to be involved in making movies/TV shows (I know, how ironic that now we don't even have our TV hooked up), but there's just so much I would love to know how they come up with for this one.

ANYWAY. Thrilled to death about Obama's picks for, oh, everyone. Jake says he's going to laugh his ass off when the country sees they've (okay, let's be honest--we've) elected someone who's worse than Bush.

The above was written yesterday. Since then, Jake and I got up in the middle of the night to finish watching season 4 and laugh at the dumb that was the last two episodes. Seriously, people, NO SHARK JUMPING PLZ.

It's snowing. A LOT. Jake stayed home today, which means IT'S CHRISTMAS VACATION!!!

I was feeling a bit adventurous after all the doctor who, so I decided to go out and brave the snow to mail Christmas presents and pick up some oil and vanilla. Total for shipping came to $67 and did not include Taylor's because I am not 100% sure if I have her correct address. Next year I'll just go hand deliver stuff instead because shipping is insane. I really screwed up and should have only had things sent directly to everyone. Never again.

It's fun sliding around in the snow, when you've done it enough times to kind of know enough how to handle it.

I'm making more cookies today. We had no chocolate represented in any of our previous cookie baking, so today that is remedied. Brown sugar chocolate bars, mmm.

Last night we all bundled up and went to all the neighbors to drop off cookies. I felt like one of Those People, and I have no idea how to explain what I mean by that, but maybe you get it. WHATEVER.

Today we have to choose a calendar for the year. We've always made a thing of choosing every year, but this year Topie has opinions to consider, too. Fun.
valancystirling: (just mom)
While mixing my fourth batch of cookie dough this morning, after countless interruptions, I had the following thought.

Maybe when my kids are older, and they're asked what they remember most fondly about Christmas in their youth, I doubt very much that it will be the endless hours of mixing cookie dough. I would like to imagine that instead they will think of me mixing cookie dough, and abandoning it repeatedly to have pretend tea parties and give horse rides around the house.
valancystirling: (Default)
This weekend was actually great. Unbelievably productive, and aside from a brief screaming fit yesterday morning--which my family informed me was unacceptable and which I realized was true--the whole weekend was really enjoyable. I don't even remember specifically what we did. I know there was a family trip to the grocery store which went SHOCKINGLY well (usually when Jake comes with us it ends up being a disaster, something about stepping all over my territory or something), miscellaneous errands. Then yesterday I couldn't take the mess anymore so got a huge amount of it cleaned up, washed wool, Jake helped wring it all out, got laundry done, Jake made scratch pancakes (even ground the wheat for them--YUM) both days, I got the kitchen closer to ready for massive cookie baking, got the computer room a bit neater, moved a bunch of old pics off the old computer and onto the laptop, sorted through ALL the kids' clothes and pulled out al tagless stuff and things I didn't care for to begin with, and odds and ends all day long. Then we went to Clayground and Jake and the kids painted a coffee cup for Jake's dad's Christmas present. Then I sorted out Taylor's gift, then we came home and I made a really good dinner with more leftover turkey. Then I made homemade hot chocolate. And then the kids got baths, ear drops, and they were asleep at a reasonable enough hour. Exhausting! The best part, aside from the productivity, is that I realized again how much I sometimes let myself act as badly as my dad always did, and I don't want to do that. I made a lot of apologies to my family and started again. I will NOT let myself be the person in our house who makes living unbearable for everyone else. Just see how that ended up in MY family, and I don't want that to happen here.

So many projects going on today.

Just got a call from the dr--I don't have mono.

Anyway, projects. Topie is doing art stuff, Philip is examining every toy in the living room. I've made copies of a bunch of cookie recipes I want to make, so now I can return that stack of library books. Getting close to finished with Philip's little hooded jacket. Then I'll start on some legwarmers for Tope, then file a bunch of stuff floating around in here, then start wrapping presents so they're more organized. The one thing we didn't do this weekend was get a Christmas tree, so we're going to do that tonight, I HOPE. Then decorating the house, then we'll start on making the gingerbread house from scratch. Kitchen is still in need of some work before that, though. So much to do, why am I online??? I was going through the local food buying club catalog trying to decide if the prices are better than I get at the grocery store. Not sure yet. We want to get a lot of stuff in bulk to stock up for the next 6 months maybe. I think we're really serious about saving 50% of our income. But even if it's cheating, if we can get stocked up on a bunch of stuff in advance, that's just less we'll have to spend in the next few months. Anyway, it's always a good idea to have a surplus of stuff like soap and toothpaste and wheat and beans and rice. We have a bunch of stuff already, but I want to get a big shelf for the basement and keep all our stuff organized so we can see at a glance what we're running low on.

TRYING TO BE ORGANIZED!!! I feel like I've streamlined a lot of household stuff this past year, but there's always more to do. I want to not have to think about all these mundane details constantly--it's so much nicer to have a system in place that you just maintain. No more reinventing the wheel over and over.

So we're done with Christmas shopping except for Jake's sister, and we need to get a hold of her to get their official wish list.

I also want to call some of the local Christmas tree farms and see if they use pesticides/chemical fertilizers or anything. So much to think about. I would hate to not get a tree this year, but in order to not be a hypocrite, I would go without one than buy one full of poison that contributed to destroying the planet. ugh.
valancystirling: (Default)
Philip is gazing adoringly at his sweet self in the full-length mirror. Wait till you find out that bundle of cuteness is you, little one!

Currently both my kidlets have cotton balls stuck in their ears to keep the garlic oil in. Poor things. They're both so good about it, though. I still can't figure out how Topaz isn't in any pain if the infection is as bad as the doctor says. Makes no sense.

The dollhouse is here, the hanna order is here, and the only other gifts I've got for the kids are a bunch of playsilks through lj_coop that I'm counting on being here by Christmas. It seems weird not to have tons and tons of presents for them, but that dollhouse was over $200. I'm kind of choking on that seeing it--I mean, yes, gorgeous, but already I'm picturing it covered in drawings and dinged up and otherwise abused by kids who don't necessarily understand that HEY $200! Also, I have no dolls or furniture for it, so I'll be brainstorming for stuff to go in it for now. Topie won't know the difference because she's so inventive anyway. I could give her pine cones and she'd call them people. Am I seriously considering carving some wood furniture?? So am.

Um...AC Moore has carving tools for so cheap. And it looks like our public library has tons of books on woodcarving. I have only ever whittled simple things when I was a kid, but I always wanted to learn more and make useful unique things. Fun!!

Seriously, if I'm ever tempted to think of my children as limiting, I should think of all the cool things I've read and learned and tried on their behalf.

Today is the day we are GOING to get a decent picture of the kids for Christmas cards. It's been gray and overcast here for quite a while, and the only sun we've had has been at the times when I couldn't possibly get them outside or ready. Today it's nice out, sunny and not freezing. I am determined. I wanted to have this done a long time ago.
valancystirling: (Default)
So far this day is totally bloggable. I could take pictures of all the cute--my adorable apron, Philip standing up pulling out every pot and pan I own, Topie running around pantless and eating grapes that she's calling plums, beautiful cranberry sauce complete with popping cranberries, pureed pumpkin and sliced sweet potatoes...and coffee out of my favorite chipped cup. BLOG-WORTHY.

I'm actually getting a lot done today. All my errands took a whopping 45 minutes start to finish, and yielded cat food, a deposit into my bank account, two bottles of wine and some Christmasy paper to print all my cookie recipes on.

Less picturesque would be me digging lord knows what out of Philip's shrieking mouth every ten minutes, Topie peeing in her pants and insisting she doesn't need new pants, mold all over the condensation-soaked windowsills, dust everywhere, my aching back, and wishing my mom was here so I could impress her with my mad kitchen skills. Skillz? Something.
valancystirling: (Default)
Each day will have an activity, a song, a poem or story, and a food/drink.



gift making--lots of ideas in the martha stewart books i have from the library
decoration making--ditto; ornaments, cards, wreaths, yarn wreath, pine cone and acorn projects, felt toys/dolls, pompom garland, paper chains, papier mache lanterns
baking--gingerbread men and gingerbread house, assorted cookies, yule log, etc.
activities--write out Christmas cards, make display for Christmas cards we get, paper snowflakes, decorate tree
watch Christmas movies
wrap presents
food/drink--hot chocolate, eggnog, mulled cider, cookies, candies, buy Christmas tree
set up seasonal table
take cookies to neighbors


assemble craft materials
decide on recipes
assemble ingredients
make advent calendar with bags/cards for each day's projects
netflix movies
get books on amazon or at library
choose poems and stories

Give me some ideas for all these categories! Do you have family traditions I could borrow? Favorite books/movies/stories/songs/recipes/crafts/decorations?


valancystirling: (Default)

December 2010

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