Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

 The kids had a blast at their Halloween parties at school. Their school has a fun tradition of parading each class through each classroom, so everyone can see all the costumes. I was a bit sad that this is the last year for Nate! This first picture is when Nate came through Lily's class.
 This is the first year we have all four dressed up. Nate wanted to be Commander Cody and he talked Lily into being Ahsoka. (Star Wars, Clone Wars). Then Dan said we should be Anakin and Padme. I had to find the costumes online, but after some research, got the right costumes, with the correct weapons. Our Trick or Treating is a trek across the whole county to see friends and family. It takes all night, and we only hit 9 houses. Here's our first stop at Aunt Ruthi's.
 As we headed out tonight, Dan remembered that we needed to stop for gas. There was NO WAY I was getting out in my costume, so Dan had to pump gas. Some Canadians drove by and waved, and got a good laugh at us. The kids popped up through the sunroof in the car and were "protecting" it while we got gas.

 Our nephews were waiting all night for Nate and Lily to stop by.
 We always get a picture of the kids together at Grandma and Grandpa Dennison's house. We had to move them to the big couch this year because the kids are getting big! Big props to my sister in law Tiff who made all four kid's costumes!
The last stop of the night was Mom's. I had to get a picture of Dan's dress (or fairy princess dress as he called it). We had a great time tonight, but I'm not making a habit of dressing up every year. I'm fine with going back to my "costume" as the paparazzi of the night.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Who are you today?

A couple weeks ago I was subbing at school as a Para Educator. I was in the cafeteria telling kids to eat, stay in their seats, and sneaking a bite of cookie from Nate's lunch (I was hungry!). Our principle came up to me and asked in all seriousness, "Who are you today?". Some people might get offended by the question, since he's known me for 5 years now. But I knew what he was getting at. What he wanted to know who I was subbing for that day.

That question stuck with me for days. Who am I today? When I am at the school, I wear many hats. Some days I am a substitute. Some days I am a volunteer. Some days I am PTO Vice-President. I am always Nate's Mom and Lily's Mom. Some kids call me Holly, most call me Mrs. Snow. (They can get away with calling me Holly if they are kids who come visit my house).

Those are just the hats I wear at school. Everyday I wear the hat of Mom. Everyday I wear the hat of Wife. I'm also a daughter, sister, sister in law, Auntie, Scentsy consultant, and friend. Don't forget, cook, maid, chauffeur, baker, shopper, bookkeeper, and keeper of the calendar.  That's a lot of hats to wear.

I struggle with juggling all those hats. I like to keep everyone happy, and sometimes wear too many hats at once. Holidays are the worst. Seems like I need to have every hat on at once, trying to make everything work. I know this is a struggle for most Moms. I was talking to a friend the other day who said she's having hard time wearing the working Mom hat.

When I went back to college two years ago, I put on the new hat of student. Other hats had to be put aside for that year, and some hats just were put on less. It was necessary for my sanity (and GPA) to leave that student hat on and treat myself as a student.

Next week I have to put on the hat of patient. I'm not good at that hat. Other hats will have to be put away for a couple weeks while I recover from surgery. I'm feeling guilty about this. I just need to keep telling myself that it's temporary.

What hats do you struggle with?

Who are you today?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Offical

We officially have the plaque on our wall. We get to keep this for the next year.....hopefully two because my name is going on it next year!!

Here I go again!

Today starts all the pre op appointments for my surgery next week. I am having surgery on my right ear this time. Same surgery as last May. I was telling my sister in law that this is kinda like childbirth. I know what to expect this time, I know I can handle it, but I know it will suck! The pain isn't the problem, it's the 14 days of being super dizzy. And the throwing up. And the loss of taste. Speaking of.....the surgeon was telling me that they have to move the nerve that affect taste, and that's why I lose my taste buds for a couple days. I'm trying to stay positive, but I know it's a long road before I feel better and notice a difference in hearing (last time it was 6 weeks before I had pre-surgery hearing back, and 3 months before I really noticed an improvement). Please keep me in your prayers. Thank you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Word From My Sponsors

Ok, so I don't really have any sponsors, but you will notice the friendly faces on the side of the blog. Amy Parsons is my sister. My very talented sister. I like to brag about her talents, but you really have to see them to believe. She is an amazing photographer. She knows how to get the natural smile out of people. No, she does not pay me to say nice things about her and put a plug on my blog (she does take my family pictures every year for my Christmas cards though!). Click on the link and take a peek at her website!

Next up is my brother Marty Stauffer. Marty is a great insurance agent, who truly cares about his clients. He looks out for your best interest. Marty saved us a ton of money this year when the insurance company raised our premiums 85%. He found ways to lower the cost without hurting our coverage. Give him a call for a no hassle, no obligation quote. (Note, Marty will take me to lunch for sending him referrals, so keep that in mind!).

Wayne Gardner is my step-dad. He's the owner and broker of Valley Land and Homes. He is a hard worker who will help you find exactly what you want in a home. He also does property management and will help you find a rental or renters. He's an honest friendly guy who will help you with your real estate needs. Give him a call, or check out his website.

And don't forget to check out my Scentsy website. We have new warmers and scents each month, so there is always something new to see. Silver Bells is November's scent of the month. I made up samples yesterday and will mail them out to anyone who is interested! There are only 7 more weeks to order before Christmas! Book your party now to earn Christmas gifts. Scent circles make great stocking stuffers. Too busy for a home party? I have basket parties ready to send out.

From my family and I, thank you for your support!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Sunday I finally gave into the apples that were taunting me in the garage. I LOVE homemade applesauce, but it's the most time consuming of all the canning (and the messiest). My kitchen needs a top to bottom cleaning after doing applesauce. I did most of it sugar free, since I was using mainly Jonagold apples ( I had a few apples from my tree added in). The kids always love to help turn the squeezo. Two big boxes of apples are now 14 quarts of yummy applesauce. I'm hoping to be done with canning for the year, but may have some more apples coming......maybe I'll finally try apple pie filling?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pictures from the chili cook off

The first picture is of Dan's award winning chili. The second is my chili, and I still think it was pretty good! The last is the lineup of chili in crock pots, all labeled (it's a blind testing, nobody knows who made what chili) and ready to be tested. Each family also has a food assignment to go along with chili. When I asked Tracie what my food assignment was, her answer was, " Loser chili and cookies". Very funny! I made pumpkin shaped sugar cookies and Lily did the decorating. What a fun night!

And The Winner Is.......

10 different chili's were entered last night. Each one of them was VERY different. There were sneaky ingredients, like chocolate and veggie crumbles (had no idea that it wasn't meat!). When the votes were tallied, the winner was.........DAN! Seriously! He just got home the day before, and I bugged him enough that he decided to enter a chili at the last minute. He has NEVER made chili before. He had me running to two different grocery stores yesterday in search of his secret ingredients. I really thought his chili would be so unusual that he wouldn't win. I guess we all have different tastes, because not only did he win, he almost took the boobie prize as well. So you either love it or hate it.  Dan's chili was made with pork ribs and Asian flavors.....not your typical chili. It was really good though! And the winner of the boobie prize was.....Gordon!

We had a great time last night. The kids had fun carving pumpkins and playing in the hay. And of course, I'm thrilled that we get to take the trophy home!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chili Cook Off Day

It's finally here. Our friend's 3rd annual chili cook off and pumpkin carving party. This is an event we look forward to all year long. The chili competition is fierce this year. I hear that my friend's 9 year old even made his own chili! Everyone has been working hard on their chili recipes, and I can't wait to taste them all.

I decided that chili #3 was my best. I let my sister and her hubby take some home and try it and they agreed. The trick is to find someone who is not in the competition, yet is still a chili expert. Case in point, I sent batch number two of chili to my mother in law. When she called to thank me, I asked her how the chili was. Her reply, " It was chili" . Not much of a help.

My brother called yesterday while I was making the chili (chili is best the second day). He was trying to sabotage me by telling me to put mushrooms in the chili. Mushrooms and other veggies (besides peppers and onions) are the mark of death in our chili competition.  His wife made Rachel Ray's Harvest Chili for the first cook off and got the boobie prize for last place. (Note, that is a great soup, one of my favorites, it just should not be called chili!).

The trash talk on facebook has gotten pretty bad this week. Yesterday we were all posting about our chili and how each one was the winning recipe. My friend Amy posted this link, saying I should bring a bowl of these jelly beans to the cook off. Seriously, she has a great point and I will be looking into that next year!

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tasty Tuesday (a day late)

I was busy in the kitchen yesterday. I had volunteered to take a meal to my friend who just had a baby on Sunday (10-10-10). Really, this is just my excuse to go smooch on a new baby! Anyways....I made my famous cheesy garlic pull apart bread and it smelled so good, that I made another batch for myself. Soup always sounds good with fresh bread, so I made homemade chicken soup. I had a request to post both of these recipes, (HI Kristen!)  so Tasty Tuesday is a day late. The soup is nothing fancy, just plain good comfort food. Enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

4 large carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 package egg noodles
10 cups water
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp granulated garlic
3 chicken boulion cubes
1 tsp Mrs. Dash
1 Tbsp Costco's no salt seasoning
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (leftover chicken works best!)

Bring the water to boil in a large stock pot. Add the carrots, celery and noodles. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 more minutes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Names

The kids in our family are going through a faze of renaming their stuffed animals. I think this is wrong, a name should stay the same, but the kids disagree. First Emma (my niece) decided that her cat Mow, is now Meow. He's been Mow for 6 years, you can't change that! Then baby Drew (her 20 month old brother) decided his Woof is now Puppy. It's really cute to hear him say "puppy", but it was also cute when he said, "woof". Today Lily joined the movement. She informed me that Day, who she has had since she was a baby, is now a girl and her name is Petals. REALLY? Not only do I think that you can't change names, but changing sexes......we won't go there!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pink Bug

When I was 15 my Dad bought a wrecked Toyota truck, and fixed it up for me. I had to help with the sanding and masking of the truck. He taught me how to maintain the truck, check my oil, and how to change a tire. These were all good lessons, and made me appreciate my truck more.

Nate is starting to notice cars. Not just any cars, but mustangs. He bought a hot wheel car last month that was a '92 mustang. He loves that car and wants a real one. I told him to tell Grandpa. Grandpa goes to auctions and can find a mustang that needs work, and Nate can go help him fix it up. It's a great project, and hey, they have 5 1/2 years to work on it.

So when we called my Dad to tell him this, Lily decided to put in her request also. She wants a pink VW beetle. Yes, a pink bug. With Barbie stickers. And purple and blue racing stripes. She knows that Grandpa can paint anything, so this is what she wants. I tried to tell her that Barbie will not be cool when she is 16, but she didn't believe me. Everyone help me remind her when she's 16 that her dream car is a pink bug with Barbie stickers and purple and blue racing stripes. She will NEVER believe me!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Houston, we have a problem....

10 days until the chili cook off. There is one more chili I want to try before I decide on my winning chili recipe. This is serious competition! But, I have a problem. My freezer that is full of beef, froze over. It's so frozen, I can't open the freezer door. So I have about 100 pounds of ground beef (and I need at least one) is stuck inside my freezer. I refuse to go buy ground beef when I have 100 pounds of it here. So any ideas? Blow dryer? Or am I going to have to unplug the freezer? Yikes!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Parent to Parent

My heart has been hurting for a family in our community. Last week a toddler was hit and killed while walking in a school crosswalk with her Mother and siblings. This is a horrible tragedy and I can't imagine the pain the family is feeling. While the driver that caused this is being charged, it truly was an accident. The problem is that these accidents are preventable.

This all hits too close to home for me. I'm the Mom in the crosswalk everyday. I walk my kids to school, and most days, have extra kids with me. Both before and after school, the lights flash on the sign saying 20 mph in a school zone. Still, EVERY DAY, I see people speeding. I see many distracted drivers. Just last week the crossing guard saw a lady speeding through the school zone, while brushing her teeth. I see people talking on their cell phones. I really don't care if you are late. That's your problem. Slow down and watch the road. It's kids lives that are on the line. My kids, your kids, your grand kids, your nieces and nephews. They are WAY more important than that call, or text. They are more important than being a couple minutes late.

So from one parent to another, I will be more diligent in my driving. I will slow down, and watch more carefully for kids on the road. I just ask that you will do the same.