Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

This has been such a crazy year, I really felt like we did a ton of nothing. It wasn't until I went through all of my pictures for the year that I realized all that we did. I think it's important to realize how much we really accomplished this year, and celebrate the milestones. Here's just a few....

  • I Graduated!!! I finished my AA that I started 14 years ago, a goal I had for years. (And got all A's)
  • I rejoined the work force. This was a scary transition for me, being a stay a home Mom for 9 years. I hope that I will get better at balancing work and home.
  • We welcomed a nephew and niece to the family this year. What a joy baby Drew and baby Ashlyn have been to the family.
  • We survived a 10 day camping trip down the coast. That was a long trip for us, but we all survived and had fun.
  • I survived a camping trip and a road trip without Dan. This was a challenge for me. I don't like to do these things without him (and still prefer to have him with).
  • Grandma Dennison endured a torn aorta, getting a pace maker, hip surgery and shoulder surgery. The family held strong and was by her side the whole time. With love and support, Grandma is home and healing.
  • I started my Scentsy business and had a great first year. I'm still learning and growing, and have a great team of consultants now!
  • Dan finished his schooling to get his Mate's license. This was a challenge considering his classes were in Oregon and he had to fit it in on his time off. We are very proud of his accomplishment.
  • Lily had her first ballet recital. She remembered every step and gave great effort.
  • Nate got glasses and adjusted with no problems. He managed to not break his glasses (my fear) the whole year!
While we had many struggles this year, I resolve to remember how much we overcame and grew this past year. Our family was rocked with miscarriages, cancer diagnoses and many other health problems. I pray that 2010 will have less struggles and more joy.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Battle

Christmas with my Dad is always crazy. I tend to host because he lives out of state. Christmas with my Dad means 22 people this year, and this is just immediate family. So along with Dad and my step-mom Marsha, it's all 6 of us kids, spouses and families. Really it's an easy crowd, everyone is laid back and we all get along great......until Dad brings out the toys. Every year he finds a "toy" for all the boys. In the past it's been airplanes, zip pulley wheels, and air guns. This year he pulled out 8 nerf dart guns. He had pulled them all out of the boxes, put batteries in them (Oh yes, they make noises)and had them all ready for war. Once he handed them out, the battle began. Darts are flying everywhere, and we are trying to protect the babies. My step brothers are using chairs as sheilds and Nate is collecting darts to refill his gun. I tried to get pictures and video, but you really can't understand the chaos until you have lived through it. This year Jessica and Tiffani got tired of getting hit and stole a couple guns and fought back. Dad has been warned that it is no longer acceptable to dicriminate against the girls. We need our own weapons to defend ourselves. Great, 20 people with guns next year........I think I may need to hide the breakables before Christmas!

Here's one of the video clips.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

More Christmas






Done! We are finally done with Christmas. Here's a few of my favorite pictures.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a very Merry CHRISTmas! May you be blessed, surrounded by family and friends!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas #1





Our first Christmas celebration was yesterday. We have a total of 6 this year, two being at our house. This is normal for us, so I'm not stressing out.....yet. Yesterday was the whole Stauffer clan. It was great so see most of my cousins and we all were shocked at how big the great grand kids are getting. Grandma wanted a picture of all the great grands together......that was a big job. Here's a couple of my pictures. I love the first one of Grant crawling away and two fingers pointing him back!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Great Gift Books

Last December I did a blog post on some of my favorite childrens books. Click HERE to read that post. I would like to add a few more books to my list of favorites. Books are a great gift, and really encourage the love of reading.

Toddlers/Preschool

Dinosaur Roar by Paul and Henrietta Stickland

I'm a Little Teapot by Iza Trapani

Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles

5-7 years

Pigs Can't Fly by Ben Cort

Bedhead by Margie Palatini

Fancy Nancy series by Jane O'Connor

8-10 years

Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney

Calvin and Hobbs series of books by Bill Watterson

Priceless

New Christmas dress for Lily: $6.47 (Seriously!!)

New Christmas shoes for Lily: $8.00

The look on Lily's face and the "Oh my gosh" when she saw her new dress: Priceless!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Praise Report

Thank you everyone for your prayers!! Thank you Lord for answered prayers! Grandma Dennison is now home and doing well. We, along with the doctors, are impressed at how well her hip is healing. She still has her shoulder in a sling and needs to regain strength in her arm, but is learning to do everyday things one handed (Also very impressive since it's her left arm and she's left handed).

Yesterday the ladies of the family (along with some of the guys who drove the ladies in the snow) had our annual lefsa making party. This is a traditional Norwegian food that my Great Aunt Laurel always made for the holidays. A few years back she taught the next two generations how to make lefsa and a new tradition was started. We had this gathering at Grandma and Grandpa's house and helped them decorate the Christmas tree. The whole time there the snow was coming down, giving us a little more Christmas spirit.

So remember to pass on family traditions, and cherish the family you have this Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's Begining To Look Alot Like Christmas!


You know it's almost Christmas when I'm getting daily boxes from UPS filled with Scentsy! I'm placing my last order this weekend, so contact me if you want a Scentsational Christmas gift! Also, if you place an order online, you must have it in by December 15th to guarantee delivery by Christmas. Some of my favorite scents right now are Snowberry, Cinnamint and Satin Sheets. Click on the link on the side of the page to visit my Scentsy website and see all of the products.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jingle Bell Run

On Saturday Dan and I will be doing the Jingle Bell Run to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Click here to find out more info. Tonight we are having a benefit dinner with all donations going to the Arthritis Foundation. We will have a spaghetti dinner at the Everson Fire Hall from 5:30 to 8:00pm tonight. Dinner is $5 a plate or $8 all you can eat. Dan has been working on evergreen table arrangements that he is donating tonight. We will sell them and all money will go towards the Jingle Bell Run. Here's a couples pictures of his arrangements. If you would like to support this cause and buy and arrangement, we will deliver it anywhere in Whatcom County.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh Christmas Trees....

This is MY Christmas tree. It's an artificial tree that we have had for 10 years. It's nothing spectacular, but Dan has always complained that I don't decorate it the "right" way. He likes lots of colors and colored lights. I'm a white lights kinda gal. So this is the first Christmas season that Dan is home the whole time. We have always wanted to go cut down a tree with the kids, but it just never worked out with Dan's schedule. So this was the year! While talking about cutting down a tree, the kids decided that it would be fun to have two trees this year. So I put up my tree and the kids and Dan decorated their tree.
We found the perfect tree at Noon Rd trees. They have a great place, beautiful trees and great prices!
Here is Dan and the kid's tree. They love it, and I have to say it turned out pretty nice. We may have to do this every year.......there is still no way I'm giving up my white lights!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When a great idea......turns into a fire!

This summer I had the great idea of making Scentsy samples for the fair. I bought cute summer themed candy molds and proceeded to melt wax, pour it into the candy molds, chill, pop them out, then repeat.....like a million times. I then thought that cute themed samples for each season would be a great idea.

So here we are at Christmas and I have snowflake candy molds and a brick of snowberry wax. I started making my samples, and the wax just would not come out of the molds.

Plan B: Melt the wax in an aluminum foil pan, let it harden, then cut out with small cookie cutters. Great plan. It worked great........until I put the pan back in the oven to remelt the leftover wax. I guess the cookie cutters cut through the pan, and wax dripped in the oven. Next thing I know, the house is all smoky. Yikes.

So tonight I turned on the oven to make dinner and not long after I have flames in my oven. I'm yelling fire, the kids are running out of the room screaming, and I'm trying to figure out what to do. I turned the oven off, then threw water on it (my hubby later tells me that water was a bad idea....oops!) and the fire is out. Once the oven cooled down, and Dan came home, we scraped the bottom of the oven to get all of the wax out. Right now the oven is on cleaning cycle, and we have a door and window open to get the smoke out of the house. Did I mention it's only 30 degrees outside? BRRRRR.

So the lesson is, put a cookie sheet under the pan of wax. And clean the oven in the summer!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Black Friday Shopping

My sister in law Tiffani and I decided we need to teach a class about Black Friday shopping. We really are the seasoned pros and are now famous after my Mom was interviewed by the local paper about our Black Friday traditions (and interviewed on the radio Friday morning).

Really the best advice we could give is don't go alone. Go with friends and family and keep a good attitude. Seriously, if you are grumpy, STAY IN BED! So here's a few tricks of the trade we have learned over the years.

  • Don't get a cart unless you really are getting more than you can hold. A cart will slow you down in Target and make traffic flow much worse.
  • Expect that the people behind you will laugh if you buy a snuggie for your dog! (We were the one's laughing!!!).
  • Must have caffeine.....and lots of it! We have my Aunt Ruthi call in our coffee orders and pick them up for all of us. She always gets two extra hot chocolates for the people around us. This year a lady walked up to Ruthi and asked for two lattes and a hot chocolate (joking of course). Imagine her surprise when Ruthi hands her a hot chocolate and says Merry Christmas!
  • Combine your purchases with family to get the most discounts and coupons. By combining our purchases at Target, we were able to use a $15 off coupon, plus they gave us a $10 gift card for spending $100.
  • If you have a coupon code, share with the people around you! We shared a coupon code at Old Navy with a complete stranger and she saved an extra $15.
  • Don't be afraid to wave down a stock boy who is walking by with a stack of DVD's that you were looking for!
  • BE NICE! Just because it's Black Friday and it's 4am, don't be rude! Help others and be kind!
  • Have a plan!!! Tiffani makes a notebook, I have a list, and we have a plan on where, when and what we need.
See you next year, bright and early!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving #1 and #2 and #3

I hosted Thanksgiving on Thursday and it turned out great. My Mom did a turkey in her oven, then I did one in my roaster. I also did a ham in the crock pot. We were expecting 35 people, and we like leftover turkey, so we thought we planned it well. The rest of the family brought the rest of the traditional food and we were set. So Mom carved her turkey, we all ate......and never touched my 21 pound turkey.

So tonight we are having Thanksgiving #2. Dan came home yesterday and my Dad and Step-Mom are visiting, so we are having another turkey dinner. The whole gang is coming over and we are having dinner of hot turkey sandwiches, and all the other left overs.

Tomorrow we go to my Mother in law's for Thanksgiving #3. I think I will be sick of turkey soon!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankfulness Day 7

Today I am thankful for my ugly house. I have been complaining about how much cleaning I need to do to get ready to host Thanksgiving tomorrow. Instead I need to be thankful that I have a house to clean, and family that will be invading....oops.....visiting tomorrow. While I have ugly wall paper from the 70's in my kitchen and orange shag carpet in my office, I am thankful that I have the room to host family gatherings. What's funny is that one of the reasons I liked this house was that it's lay out is great for entertaining. Then I turn around and complain about all the entertaining we do. Please forgive me and know that I am grateful for what I have......and the family and friends who ignore the ugly wallpaper!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankfulness Day 6

I am grateful for my wonderful friends. They are the most supportive and caring group! They will help me out when needed and not get mad when we leave toilets on their porch. The will give a listening ear, and not get mad when we foil their house. They will have bon fires and BBQ's and not get mad when we sneak over to their house for a pool party while they are gone. They have chili cook offs and poker nights, and can keep secrets! They will play tricks on me, throw suprise parties for me, and know that I will still love them (Although revenge is coming).

Thank you to my "BB" girls, I can't wait for girls night! Thank you to my friends from school who are so kind to take my children when needed. Thank you to my far away friends who I miss greatly!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankfulness Day 5

I am thankful for my siblings and their families. I have two wonderful brothers, a sister, three step brothers and a step sister. Then I have two brother in laws on the Snow side. Add all of those up along with spouses and children, and you have a funny farm! I really wouldn't trade any of them. I love being the big (smallest but oldest) sister and I adore being an auntie.
Thank you Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful family......even the one's I didn't choose!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankfulness Day 4

I am so thankful for my wonderful hubby who sacrifices so many things for us. He rides a tug boat and works on oil barges, away from home for 40 days at a time. He misses holidays, birthdays, and more to provide for our family.

Thank you honey for all you do! We love you!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankfulness Day 3

I am thankful for my healthy children. We have been blessed with two great kids, and I am extremely grateful for how healthy they are. I am praying that we will stay healthy over the holidays.

I am also very proud of my children. Both Nate and Lily had their teacher conferences yesterday. Their teachers said that the kids are doing great and are wonderful students. Nate is very creative and artistic and Lily is reading a whole grade level above what is expected.

Great Job Nate and Lily!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankfulness Day 2

Mom says today should be called Blessing and Bummers.....so here we go.

Blessing: Grandma was moved to a Rehab facility and her spirits were up.

Bummer: For some unknown reason, her shoulder that was cleared on Thursday by Doctors, is now broken in 4 places (was 3) and she will be going back to the hospital for shoulder surgery tomorrow.

Blessing: Grandma is eating better and her blood pressure is stabilized.

Bummer: Grandma will be drugged up again for surgery and afterward, and that leads to many other complications.

Blessing: When Grandma gets out of the hospital again, I will be able to take the kids to see her (The hospital does not allow kids to visit right now).

Psalm 77:14
You are the God who performs miracles, you display your power among the peoples.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankfulness Day 1

I am thankful for my loving, DEDICATED family. My grandparents raised four wonderful, beautiful daughters who have been at Grandma's bedside every day for the last 5 weeks. I am also thankful for answered prayers. If all goes well today, Grandma is getting released from the hospital to go to a Rehab facility. Thank you to all the prayer warriors who have kept Grandma in your prayers!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Projects

Yes it's only mid November.....but I'm getting a head start on Christmas projects. I started a draft of my Christmas letter, and have the family photo picked out. I am working on photo calendars, and just picked up the photos from Costco yesterday. (Calendars were picked up at Michael's for $1).

Today my project was photo books. I have been wanting to do a book for my niece who lives in California. We don't see her often and I thought it would be fun to have a book with her cousin's in it. I was struggling with the general concept of the book when I remembered that my sister Amy has always wanted to do an ABC book for the kids. Of course she's so busy with photography that she hasn't gotten around to it. She's just a little mad that I stole her idea, but she will get over it (Love you sis!!!). I totally lucked out that Shutterfly is offering great discounts right now. Shutterfly makes photo books so easy, I love their quality and how user friendly their site is. I spent this afternoon going through all of my MILLIONS of photos, and trying to find something that would go for every letter of the alphabet. A is for applesauce, B is for Bear's Birthday.......the one that I never did find was X. So when the kids got home, they made a giant X out of lego's and I took a picture of them in front of it. X marks the spot!

I ordered 5 books, and with the discount and free shipping, my total was $56. Not bad for 5 gifts! I'm super excited for them to arrive, they will be here within two weeks.

So maybe you don't need an ABC book, but there are so many ideas! I did a book this past year from our camping trip. My sister made an album for my Grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. Get creative and have fun!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thankful for our Veterans

I am very grateful and thankful for our Veterans who served our country. I have a personal hero that I wrote about earlier this year. Click HERE to read about Joe. Since that post I read his book about his service in WWII. He has an amazing story of how he was a fighter pilot shot down and captured. His time as POW is heart breaking. While it was troubling to read about what he went through, as the same time I grew to admire (even more) a man that I knew as a kind, loving, and caring person. I highly recommend his book, A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald by Joseph F. Moser. Thank you Joe for your service to our country.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays!

Tonight we are having Cheesy Potatoes and Ham. I thought I had shared this recipe before, but I can't find it. So here we go. This afternoon I made the casserole and divided it into small disposable pans. Grandpa is liking TV dinners because he doesn't have to clean up any dishes afterward. And people have been bringing him so many containers, he can't keep them all straight. So now I can bring him dinner in small portions in disposable containers. I take mailing label stickers and write the heating instructions on it, then stick it to the foil on top. This is also a great freezer meal. Most of the time I double the recipe so that I can put one in the freezer for later. Enjoy!

Cheesy Potatoes and Ham

1 28oz package frozen potatoes O’brien

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded cheese

2 cups cubed ham or turkey ham

1 tsp seasoning salt of choice

Mix all ingredients in a 9x13x11 baking dish.

Bake, covered, at 400 for 1 hour.

May also be frozen before baking.

Awards

Lily received a Pioneer Pride award from school last week. She was recognized at the monthly assembly, and she was so proud. The note her teacher sent home said she was awarded for "bringing so much enthusiasm, positive energy, and delight to school activities and work!".

This same bright little girl posted a sign on her door that read:

Boys keep out uf my room. Girls sae in my room.


What's really sad is that I was very impressed with her writing and spelling.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Don't Open the Door

Yesterday I had another chat with my kids about opening the door and letting people in. They have been told many times that they are only to open the door for Grandma and Amy Jo. The reason for this is that I have been scared many times by a deep male voice saying "Hello" because my kids just let them in the door. It freaks me out every time. It happened again yesterday while I was in the bathroom putting on makeup. Hence, the talk about not letting anyone in the door.

Today when I got out of the shower I found this note on the window next to the front door.

Sorry! Me and Lily can only open the door for owr Grandma Lori or Amy. Come back later when Holly's out of the shower. thank you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Heart Ache

This is Grandma and Grandpa Dennison. This picture is from the Everson Parade just this past July. Grandma and Grandpa celebrated 60 years of marriage this past August.

My heart is breaking today at how difficult Grandma's health issues have been. The short story is that Grandma had heart surgery in September for a torn Aorta. 10 days later she had a pace maker put in. After a long recovery, she was home briefly before she went back in this last time. Just last week they were seeing small signs of improvement. Then Grandma fell and broke her hip and her shoulder. She came down with pneumonia and is too weak for them to do surgery to fix her hip. So since Saturday they have kept her highly drugged. Today they couldn't even get her to wake up. It's been a hard road for Grandpa and his four daughters (Mom included). I went and visited today and my heart ached to see Grandma so frail, broken and bruised.

Sunday Pastor Grant spoke about pain. He talked about how God will carry us and cover us in our pain. I'm asking all you prayer warriors to keep Grandma and our family in your prayers. While we can't see God's plan right now, we ask for comfort and strength to endure this long road. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays!

Tonight's dinner was going to be spaghetti, but then I received an e-mail from my sister that we will be doing birthday dinner for Mom on Thursday, and we are having spaghetti. So instead of giving you my runner up spaghetti sauce from our Spaghetti cook off (that's my nice way of saying I lost the spaghetti cook off to my hubby), I will give you a few tips. I shared some of these the other day with my cousin's wife Katie. We were talking about how to get the kids to eat more fruits and veggies and I shared with her some ideas. So enjoy, and please share any other great tips you may have!

  • Cut up zuchinni in very small peices and sneak them into spaghetti sauce. (Maybe that's why I lost the cook off?)
  • When you bring home whole fruits and veggies, chop them up right away. If they are easy and accessible, you are more likely to use them. I cut up a whole cantaloupe, and store it in a Tupperware container in the fridge. I also cut up a whole head of celery and put it into snack bags that are quick to grab in the morning for the kid's lunches.
  • Applesauce in pancake batter is a great way to sneak in some fruit.
  • My kids love peanut butter on celery. I'm not a fan, but they love it.
  • My Mom always put fruit in jello. We loved it!
  • Muffins!! Blueberry, Banana, Applesauce, Zucchini.......
  • And don't forget dip! Most kids will eat fresh veggies if they have ranch to dip it in.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Family Photos



A BIG thanks to my sister Amy for taking these wonderful family photos. We met up with Amy at Hovander Park in Ferndale to catch these great fall colors. I purposely left out the picture that will be in our Christmas card. You will have to wait for that one. Check out Amy's website on the sidebar and give her a call for all of your photography needs!

Friday, October 30, 2009

When a good idea backfires

Nate has been cracking my up lately. He's turning into a typical 4th grade boy. Sometimes I don't like it, but other times it's been fun to see the new things he comes up with. Now that the tooth fairy myth has been busted, he's starting to catch on to other myths (I see the end of Santa soon!). But he's also a good sport about playing along for his sister.

So tonight at Costco we were trying to keep Lily near the cart and after the third time telling her not to wander away, Nate tells her, "Lily you have to stay by the cart or the aliens will abduct you". He then looks at me and puts his finger to his mouth like a "shhh". So we keep shopping and then Nate walks off to look at something. Lily tells him, "Nate you have to stay by the cart or the aliens will abduct you!" in a very serious tone. Nate and I started laughing. He might be growing up, but he will have to watch out for the smarty pants on his heals!

Lessons Learned

Things I have learned this week:

  • Don't sponsor your child per lap in the jog a thon. When you do that, it will rain and the kids will jog inside the gym, doing 29 laps in 30 minutes. That's $1 per lap, per kid. YIKES!
  • If you teach preschoolers to make worms out of play dough, they will then put the worms down other student's shirts.
  • Don't wear white to preschool!!!!
  • If one child signs you up to bring cookies for their class Halloween party, don't think that making pumpkin shaped sugar cookies is a cute idea. Because then, the other child will want you to do the same for their class and you will end up making 4 dozen pumpkin shaped sugar cookies with orange frosting and sprinkles.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

Wow, I actually remembered Tasty Tuesday.....on Tuesday! Here's a quick crock pot soup that I made on Saturday. It was so nice to come home from the hospital with dinner done and smelling wonderful. I sent the leftovers to Grandpa along with some homemade rolls. Yummmm.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 jar garlic salsa
1 can cooked chicken (or leftover chicken)

Dump all ingredients into crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Update

I'm sorry that I haven't' been blogging much. Life is crazy and right now I'm just trying to keep up with the basics. Grandma is still in the hospital and the doctors say that they have exhausted every test they can do. They still have no answer as to why Grandma is in pain and has no appetite. Grandma is on a feeding tube right now, and they won't discharge her until they can take it out. Please keep her in your prayers. We are all pretty frustrated that we have no answers. Thank you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Crazy Friday

What a crazy week. I still am trying to figure out how to balance work and home life. Canning is finally done, and right now everyone is healthy (knock on wood). Dan left for work this week, so we have another adjustment there. I finished my temporary sub job in Kindergarten this week. I will really miss that class. Yesterday I actually got to lead the class for 20 minutes while the teacher was in a meeting. I had an audience of adults, which made me nervous, but I had fun. So today was my first day off of work in over 3 weeks and what did I do? I went back to the school. Why? Because I'm crazy, that's why. Nate was supposed to have a field trip today, and it got canceled because of the rain. So I still went to his class and helped out, then went and helped Lily's teacher.

The other crazy part of the week is Grandma. She has been back in the hosptial for a week, and they still have not found what is causing her pain and her stomach problems. We are getting very frustrated watching her shrink away. Please keep her in your prayers. Specifically we want answers and solutions to her problems. Also, please pray for the staff at the hospital. We are getting frustrated with the lack of care Grandma is getting, and the slow response time when there is a serious problem. Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Pictures

The 2nd annual chili cook off and pumpkin carving party at Little Bearfoot Farm was a hit. We all had a blast. Who knew that 8 different chili's could be so different. The winner for the night was Brad Neitling, and the boobie prize when to Jennifer Roosma. While I really liked my own chili, I think I was near the bottom on the votes. Oh well, we all had fun. The kids carved their pumpkins (Nate on his own, Lily directed me on what she wanted). And the pigs at the farm were happy with all the pumpkin guts. Thanks everyone for a fun night.....I will keep working on my chili until I win!



And of course, it wouldn't be a gathering without cupcakes. Here is my annual "Sierra with a cupcake" picture. To see a history of other pictures click Here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chili Cook Off

I was told today by my hubby that I haven't blogged since Monday. He told me to get on top of it. Cuz really, I only had a sinus infection this week. That's all. So I feel like I am playing catch up all day, trying to get the house back in order. Last night I made my chili for tonight's chili cook off. This is the famous Little Bearfoot Farm chili cook off. Last year we had a blast eating chili and carving pumpkins. This year the competition is on and we have all been tweeking our chili recipes for months. While I talk a lot of smack, I really don't think mine will win. My goal is to NOT get the boobie prize. Wish me luck, and go check out the plaque I'm hoping to win! Littlebearfootfarm.blogspot.com

Monday, October 12, 2009

Calendar Girl

Lily is our calendar girl. Meaning, she schedules everything and has it all in her head. Today she came home from school with the notice about school pictures on the 23rd. She is already planning what she will wear that day, even remembering that she has PE that day and will have to wear her tennis shoes.

So the other day Dan and I were discussing how old our dogs were. We finally agreed that Lacey is 11, born in August and Bandit will be 11 in February. Just so we wouldn't forget, we told Lily. She now has those dates in her little vault and it will never be forgotten again. Who needs a palm pilot when you have Lily?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Contribute 2009

Don't forget that tomorrow is Contribute 2009. The idea is that 100,000 people spend $50 at a local family owned business. We will be doing our part and I encourage you to pledge to do the same. You can find out more details by clicking on the link on the side bar. Thanks!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Train Show




It's tradition that we take the kids to the train show in Lynden every October. Here's a little trip through time.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Uncle!

I give up, I'm crying Uncle! All week I have been fighting a cold (thank you for sharing, darling little kindergartners). Dan helped me make salsa on Wednesday night while the kids were at kids club. The salsa was disappointing, edible, but not worth all the effort put into it. I had hoped to do one more batch of applesauce because I have two boxes of apples taunting me from the garage. I can hear them talk to me every time I walk by them. They are saying things like; Hello, are you ever going to finish all your canning? You know we won't last forever!
Today after I got home from school I finally had to give in and admit that I am sick. To most people this is not a big deal. For me, I don't like to be slowed down. So I had to cancel the PTO board mtg that was scheduled to meet at my house, and I crawled on the couch with Dan's big fuzzy blanket. I was truly feeling guilty about not getting the applesauce done, until Dan went and counted how many jars of applesauce we already have. 27 jars! Ok, so I call Uncle and am not going to feel guilty anymore. I'm sending the apples to Tracie's tomorrow to be pig food. Now they can't taunt me anymore!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things you hear from Kindergartners

I'm working in a kindergarten class, and I tell you they crack me up every day. If you ever need a good laugh, just go eat lunch with the kindergartners. Here are a few things I heard this week.

  • I can't go line up, my feet won't let me.
  • My brother got kicked out of this school.
  • My Dad bought a GMC today and it cost $100, and then he bought my Mom a Porsche for $200.
  • Knock knock jokes that make no sense and include the words banana wana.
  • My Dad has a computer but I can't play games on it or it will get little bugs in it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tuna Time

You can tell that I do a lot of canning. At this point of the year, I am ready to put the canner away for the year.....but there is still more to do. Some of my friends have been giving me a hard time about all the canning I have been doing this year. I have done more than normal, but some of it has been for Grandma and Grandpa. And then there was the tuna.

Dan went on a charter fishing boat with Uncle Marv two weeks ago. He brought home 300 pounds of tuna! We were told that frozen tuna is only good for about two months, so we decided to can some of it to make it last longer. Ok, so we had never canned tuna before, and had 300 pounds of tuna. My brother in law David canned some tuna last month and told me that you put about a pound of tuna per pint. Did I mention that we had 300 pounds of tuna? So, first we had a canning party at Uncle Marv's and Aunt Ruthi's house. (Thank you again for letting us stink up your place!). Then the next day Dan canned tuna while I was at work, then we vacume packed and canned more when I got home. The next day, more vacume packing and Dan decided to go deliver fresh tuna to whoever would take some. The day after that Dan smoked some of the tuna, and we finally finished vacume packing the rest. We ended up only canning 54 pints of tuna, but seriously, we will be sick of tuna, let alone the smell! I am still trying to get the tuna smell out of the towels we used when canning! Yuck!


I have actually ran out of pint jars, and am running low on quart jars. This is a first for me! The biggest problem right now is finding spots to put all of my filled jars! I would like to do one more batch of applesauce soon, and I picked up tomatoes today to make some salsa (Thanks Ron!). Wish me luck......and lots of energy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Grandma is home!

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers. Grandma Dennison is finally home. While she is far from recovered, we are happy to see progress. My hope is that Grandma will take it easy and let everyone take care of her. This is a difficult thing for her to do when she is home.

For example, when we have large family gatherings, you won't find Grandma sitting. She will not sit down until everyone has eaten and has a drink in their hands. I give warnings to friends when I bring them to Grandma's house: just take a drink and hold on to it. Doesn't matter if you want a drink or finish your drink, just take it and hold it so Grandma will leave you alone.

While I don't see Grandma hosting gatherings soon, I'm hoping by Thanksgiving that she will be back to her perky self.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays!

Yipee, Tasty Tuesdays is back. Every year I want to try something new to can. Last year Dan found this sweet and spicy salsa that looked heavenly. I had never canned salsa before, but gave this a shot. The whole two hours it was cooking on the stove, I was stealing bowl fulls of this salsa. Dan loved it, but since it only made about 6 pints, he hoarded it! He asked me to send him a care package over Christmas, and I sent a jar of this salsa. I paid extra for priority mail, but the box got smashed, along with the salsa. (He said it was a very messy box!). I promised him I would make more this year, and today that is what is on the stove top. I'm giving you my version of it, but it's close to the original recipe. So if you have a chilly afternoon, give this recipe a try, you will LOVE it!


Peach and Pear Chili Sauce (From Better Homes and Garden's New Grilling Book)

4 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
4 medium pears (peeled, cored and diced)
4 medium peaches (peeled, pitted and diced)
3 medium green sweet peppers, chopped
4 small onions, diced
1 med. red sweet pepper, diced
1-3 seeded and chopped Serrano chile peppers
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Blanche tomatoes, peel and remove ends and cores. Cut into chunks, then combine the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered for 2 hours until thick, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Process in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes, remove from canner and cool on towels.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Back to work, 3 lost teeth, and a tooth fairy talk

Tuesday I received my first phone call to sub as a Para Educator. This is why I finished my degree last year and busted my tail for. The hope was to get a position at the kid's school, but there wasn't one open. So I filled out the paperwork to be put on the Substitute list. From there it's just a waiting game, hoping to get a call. Sometimes the subbing is prearranged, so I have advanced notice, sometimes it's a call at 7:20am the morning of. So Tuesday morning I got a phone call asking me to sub at the kid's school. I jumped at the chance. I have been volunteering in this building for the last 4 years, so I am familiar with the staff and procedures. Of course it's different when you are actually working, but it was nice to have knowledge of how things run at the school. I loved my first day at work. I worked in the Life Skills class with the special needs kids. Wow, what a learning curve for me! The kids were great! I got called to work in the same class on Wednesday, and had fun. Thursday I was asked to work in a kindergarten class, and then Friday I worked both kindergarten and Life Skills. I really am enjoying the work, and know this is what I want to do. What a relief!

So during this busy week, the kids lost 3 teeth..... AT SCHOOL! Nate lost two, two days in a row, and Lily lost one on Friday in the lunchroom (while I was there!). I knew Nate was getting suspicious about the tooth fairy, asking to set up surveillance cameras to really see if she was real. Then this morning he came to me, and this was our conversation.

Nate: Mom, can I talk to you in private?

Me: (freaking out) Ok. Lily can you go in the other room please.

Nate: Mom, what do you do with the teeth?

Me: What do you mean? (playing dumb)

Nate: I know it's you that puts the quarters under my pillow.

Me: How do you know this?

Nate: The kids at school say it's the parents and not the tooth fairy, and I saw you the other night. (He soooo did not!).

Me: Well...........You are right Nate, there is no tooth fairy. Thank you for having this talk in private, because Lily still believes in the tooth fairy.

Nate: So, what do you do with the teeth? (Like seriously Mom, that's all I wanted to know!).

Me: I keep them in the bathroom in a little bag.

Nate: Ok.

I'm fine with this, but now he's questioning the Easter Bunny! I knew this day was coming, but it's so much more fun when they don't question these things!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When it rains, it pours

Seriously! Things have been so crazy, that I missed Tasty Tuesday last week, and I can't think of anything today. Update on Grandma, she was getting better and they moved her out of ICU, then she coded during the night and they put in a temporary pace maker. Today they are hoping to put in a permanent one. Please keep her in your prayers today.
I have been canning away, finishing peaches for Grandma and Grandpa. Dan went tuna fishing over the weekend and brought home 300 pounds of tuna.....and a squid. Last night we had our first canning party and got a bunch of it vacuum packed and canned. Today Dan and I were going to bust out more canned tuna, but I got called to sub for a Para Educator at the school. (Whoo hoo, my first day of work!). Canning will have to wait until this afternoon.
Wish me luck and please keep Grandma in your prayers!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Peach Queen

I can't believe the price of fresh peaches this year! Back in the old days (when I managed a fruit stand) I sold peaches for $12 a box, and people thought that was high. My sister in law, Tiffani, went searching for peaches and the best deal she found was $22 a box. I always try to get peaches from Idaho because they are cheaper. One year we planned a trip to my Dad's over Labor Day weekend, and were fortunate that Dad's peaches were ready to can.

So these last few weeks I have been asking family and friends to pick up peaches for me if they are over on the East side of the mountains. I lucked out this week when a truck driver friend of mine called and said he was going through Idaho. He brought me 3 boxes of beautiful Hale peaches, and they came to $15 a box. (He will be rewarded with canned peaches!). The boxes were mostly green, but had a few peaches that were ripe, so I did a canner load last night, and then another tonight. (Note to self, make sure you have enough lids BEFORE you start canning!). Canned peaches on the counter are a beautiful thing!

Back in my glory days at the fruit stand, I sold hundreds of boxes of peaches each year. My produce supplier was amazed and started calling me the peach queen. Because I still can peaches every year, the nick name has stuck. My mom ordered me the labels for the canning jars, and I have a few different kinds. I love these big old fashioned labels. I have others that are small and say "from the queen of the kitchen".

So I'll be busy for the next couple of days, finishing all the peaches. Maybe I should save a few for peach pie! YUMM!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Contribute 2009

Contribute 2009

Scentsy has come up with a fabulous idea to help small businesses. They tried this in their own community this summer and had a tremendous impact on their local economy. They wanted to share this with the whole nation. The idea is that 100,000 people pledge to spend $50 on October 12th at a local family owned small business. This would put $5 million dollars into small business that are struggling right now.
I have made a pledge to do this, and I encourage all of you to do the same. Click on the link in the sidebar of the blog, and it will take you to the site to make your own pledge. Scentsy is also offering tee-shirts for $9 that promote Contribute 2009. In return for purchasing a shirt, Scentsy will send you a $10 coupon on your birthday to be used for Scentsy products. I hope you will help make a difference!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What about the pears!

Last Saturday we went over to my Grandparent's house to pick pears. We were a little late for the pears on the bottom of the trees, so Dan got Grandpa's tractor and put me in the bucket to lift me up to the top of the tree to pick pears. Now I have to tell you that I am afraid of heights. So why was I up in the bucket and not Dan? It's not because I couldn't drive the tractor, I have driven many a tractor. Dan had started some new medications that morning and was feeling a bit woozy. I didn't need him falling out the bucket (and then kicking the bucket). So I was stuck picking the pears, and I didn't get very many. After a bit I decided it really wasn't worth it.
Grandma had already gotten my cousin to pick pears for her, and they were almost ready to be canned. Grandma had just gotten home from the hospital the day before and still wasn't feeling like they found the issues that were causing her pain. I offered to take her pears and can them for her, but she wouldn't give them up. I didn't want to offend her, but in hind sight, I should have put my food down and stole the pears.
Early Monday morning Grandma was rushed to the hospital and they found she had a torn aorta. She was rushed into open heart surgery. We went into the hospital that day and had lunch with the family. Grandpa turned to me and expressed great concern about the pears. REALLY? Grandma was in the middle of an 8 hour open heart surgery and Grandpa was worried that that pears wouldn't get canned. I told him not to worry about it.
So yesterday morning I went over to Grandma and Grandpa's to get the pears. Grandpa had told me he put them in the fridge. Problem is, they have like a million fridges, in different buildings. It took a phone call to Poppa, but I found the pears in the blue fridge (blue fridges are a whole other story) in the barn.
I was elbow deep in pears yesterday when Grandpa stopped by. He wanted to make sure I didn't need his help, or jars or anything. He told me that he had been to see Grandma in the ICU that morning and asked her where the extra jars and lids were. REALLY? I finally convinced Grandpa that I had it all covered, pears, jars and lids.
The pears were a little overripe, so I only got 14 quarts for them, but at least they feel that the pears didn't go to waste. Maybe Grandma will get better more quickly if they both aren't worried about the pears! Please keep them both in your prayers. Grandma is in a lot of pain still, and Grandpa is still in pain from his back surgery.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Please Pray

Please pray for my Grandma Dennison who is having open heart surgery right now. Also, Grandpa just had back surgery last week, and is still in pain. Please keep them in your prayers. Thank you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another reason we love fresh corn on the cob


Fresh corn on the cob is great for knocking out that loose tooth! We told Lily that she looks like a Jack O' Lantern.....she didn't agree. Her other top tooth is loose, so she'll be singing, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth".

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Applesauce, Day 1

Day 1 of applesauce last Wednesday and I got 13 quarts (plus a bowl for dinner). I love the feeling of accomplishment when I look at all the jars lined up on the counter. The kids actually like to help with applesauce, so I will be doing more another day when they are home. In the mean time, I picked pears today, am on the search for peaches, and have salsa on the horizon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Like my new dress?


The kids have been helping put away their own laundry. Sometimes clothes get mixed up.....it happens. The other day Lily came out with this on. She asked if I liked her new dress. After laughing, I told her it was my tank top, not her dress. "But Mommy, it was in my pile of clothes!".

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays!

Yes, it's Tuesday. It feels like Monday, because of the holiday. The whole week is going to be messed up! Oh well, I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.
Today's Tasty Tuesday is a quick dinner idea that a friend of mine suggested when we were camping. It's a great thing to have for a busy night of Awana or soccer. Hope you enjoy!


Quick French Dip

Hoagie Rolls
Sliced, deli roast beef
sliced cheese
Au Jus mix

Follow package directions on Au Jus mix. Once heated, add the roast beef until heated through. Take beef out of Au Jus and place on hoagie rolls, top with cheese. Heat rolls in microwave for 30 seconds to melt cheese. Serve with bowls of Au Jus for dipping.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Welcome Gardners!



My step-brother and his family just moved back to town. Not only do our kids go to the same school and ride the same bus, but they live right down the street. We are SUPER excited to have them back and look forward to many holidays, parties and camping trips!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Great first day of school

The kids had a great first day of school. Lily was super excited and told me every detail (although she couldn't remember any details on how she fell and scraped her hand and knee!!). I had to pull teeth to get any details out of Nate.
I had may annual coffee time with the Mom's from school. It's now tradition that I have my Mom friends from school come over for coffee the first day of school. It's like a little celebration. I need a catchy name for it. A friend of mine told me at her school they meet for Bagels and Boo Hoo's after they drop off the kids. There was no boo hoo's at my house, more like Whoo Hoo's. Anyone have a good name for me?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dear DirecTV

Dear DirecTV,

We have been loyal customers for 9 years now. We took you with us when we moved, and have referred your service to others. So my question is why I am getting letters asking us to come back to DirecTV? And not just a couple, but one every other week. Also, please stop calling me! I don't appreciate getting your sales calls at bedtime, two nights in a row. No means no, please take me off your list.

Thank you,

The Snows



Sorry, just venting!!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of School




It's the first day of school for the kids. Hip Hip Horray! (Sorry, I'm just a little excited!!) Lily was super excited and literally ran all the way to her classroom. Nate and I stopped along the way to say hi to a few people, and by the time we got to Lily's classroom, she had all of her stuff put away and was playing traffic director, pointing other kid's to their desks. I gave her a hug and said goodbye, and she could care less that I was leaving.
Nate was Joe Cool and played it calm. He said goodbye in a "Yah, whatever" kind of way. I have to say that I'm glad that they are enthusiastic about school. (Nate's just too cool to admit it).
I am amazed at how fast the last few years have gone by. It seems like yesterday that Nate was starting Kindergarten, and Lily was crying as we walked out the door because she wanted to go to school too. Now I have a 4th grader and a 1st grader. I got the giggles as I walked out the door this morning because there was a little boy crying about leaving his big brother at school. Time may fly.......but I don't miss those days!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Giggles and Hiccups



Since Nate was a baby, if he got the giggles, then he would get the hiccups......and it makes me laugh every time!

Tasty Tuesdays!

Wow, it's September 1st already! The kids are going back to school tomorrow, and I don't know who is more excited, me or them! I will miss summer and but I love fall.

A few years ago I came up with this Mocha Mix that was great for giving as a gift at Christmas. This makes a big batch, so have storage containers ready.

So here's to all the Mom's who are getting kids off to school this week......may you be caffeinated!


Mocha Mix

3/4 cup instant coffee granules

2 cups hot cocoa mix

4 cups powdered milk

1 cup powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients, put into food processor or blender and mix until powder fine. Sore in airtight containers.

To serve: Mix 2 tbsp mix to one cup hot water.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sandbox






Lumber.......$80

6 Yard of Sand......$120

Hours and hours of creative play....... PRICELESS!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Things heard this week

Here's a few things that I heard that cracked me up this week.

Lily: Grandma, YOU know how to make popcorn too?

Lily: That little man wants to ride the scooter. (About her cousin Indy who is 5).

Lily: Mom, first grade is going to ROCK!

Nate: Mom, I can see under my bed. (I made him clean his room and it took long train tracks for him to "sweep" everything out from under his bed).

Nate: Mom, can we build a tree house and then I can live in it? (Good thing he asked me this before I saw what he found under his bed. I might have had a different answer).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Watch out Seattle Prime Outlets....here we come!

Shopping day tomorrow! Whoo hoo! My Mom, two of her sisters, my sister, and sister in law and I are heading south to the Seattle Prime Outlet Mall. I'm really excited to get some last minute back to school clothes for the kids. And of course a day away with the ladies in the family is always sure to be a blast.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You've Been Foiled!











You all have been following the little pranks that my friends and I have been doing on each other. Friday we went and "foiled" Stephana's house. She's on vacation with her family and her sister was kind enough to get us into the house. Tracie, Tarah and I took aluminum foil and covered all of her decorations, wall pictures, pillows and more. I gotta say, this was a good one! Great thinking Tracie! I'm a little scared to see what paybacks will be for this one! The hardest part has been waiting for her to go home and see it. I've had the giggles all week! He he he he he.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays!

Welcome back to Tasty Tuesdays! Tonight I am going to a meeting and was asked to bring some sort of dessert. I love to bake, so this should be easy right? Actually, WRONG! Because I love to bake, it's hard for me to decide what to make. I have so many options, it's hard to choose. So, I finally decided on the most simple dessert that I learned from my Aunt Ruthi. One night a few years ago Ruthi came over for a coffee with the girls. She brought all the ingredients for this and assembled it at my house. It took just a couple minutes and we had a hot yummy dessert. My Mom makes these also, but puts her own twist to it, adding walnuts. I like the original the best, so why change it? This is great to do if you have unexpected visitors, or want a hot treat in a hurry. Enjoy!

Ruthi's Crescent Rolls

1 can crescent rolls
raspberry jam (or other jam of your choice)
mini chocolate chips
powdered sugar

Open the can of crescent rolls and lay out each perforated piece. Top each with a tablespoon of jam. Sprinkle a teaspoon of mini chocolate chips on top of the jam. Roll up dough into crescents. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. After you take them out of the oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Birdhouse



My friend Val who is also a Scentsy consultant, had her Dad make her a birdhouse with electrical outlets on it. She uses it to display her plug in warmers at Scentsy shows and parties. When I saw hers I knew I had to have one. So I payed her Dad make me one (I think he ended up making 4 more!). These pictures are the before and after my paint job. I think it turned out stinkin cute!