Monday, January 30, 2017

Fill the Stock Pot to the Top Day

January 29 was National Corn Chip Day.  We used to fill our huge stock pot to the top with taco soup to eat with corn chips on that day.  Then we'd have plenty to freeze and eat later.  Yumm.  We nicknamed the holiday "Fill the Stock Pot to the Top Day."
The last few years, however, we haven't been making enough to fill the stock pot all the way to the top. There's definitely not enough room in the freezer as we have a bigger family now and we keep more items in the freezer since we use more with more people.  A couple years ago we only made the amount of the regular recipe instead of 7 times that like we used to.
This year we did 4 times the recipe.  It didn't fill the stock pot completely so that we had to hold to the very end of the spoon to stir it.  It filled quite a bit of it, though. 

I was mentioning to Jeremy about how it was actually National Corn Chip Day so it didn't matter that we didn't fill the stock pot all the way to the top and he told me he didn't realize Fill the Stock Pot to the Top Day wasn't an actual holiday.  We always call it that.  Ha Ha Ha Ha.  He's cute.
He's also cute because he got silly while labeling the freezer bags of taco soup.  Here are some of the names:
El Taco Soupo, Fill My Stomach to the Top Day Soup, An Excuse to Eat Fritos Soup.

January 29 was also National Puzzle Day so we got out our puzzle box and all the kids all took some time to do puzzles.
Pleasant activity.
None of the kids complained about the soup, either.  Well, once they tasted it anyway.  Lucky was upset at first because he just wanted corn chips but he was happy to eat soup when he knew he could have sour cream in it.  One of our children suffered in silence and the other two expressed how tasty it was.  After most of us ate our fill, there was still plenty left over to freeze and some to put in the fridge for leftovers to be eaten up probably soon.  It's yummy.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chinese New Year 2017

Welcome, Year of the Rooster- the fire rooster.  January 28 this year was Chinese New Year.
While Jeremy was at work, Jr. Jr. taught his siblings how to make lanterns.  They had fun with that.
I spent some time making food (Jeremy and I had made some things ahead of time, but there was still plenty to do).
Jeremy brought a big fire rooster home with him from work
"He's a chicken, I tell ya'.  A giant chicken."
Name that TV show- the kids got to watch some earlier in the day.

Jeremy also brought home a Chinese knot so we had plenty of decorations.
He also helped me finish up the food which was yummy... again.  Thanks, Jeremy.
Lucky also helped.

We had Orange Chicken and Not Orange Chicken, Ham Fried Rice, Egg Rolls, Chow Mein.
Of course we had fortune cookies at the end.  Here are a few of our fortunes.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Day Off

I took a day off yesterday.  January 25 is A Room of One's Own Day.  I look forward to that holiday every year.  I even put on the menu plan "Fend For Yourself, Mom's Day Off."  Jeremy was so wonderful to do dinner for everyone, including me.  I didn't have to fend for myself.  He's so sweet.
It was nice to have some time off.  Lucky did come in a few times and watch a little of the movies I was watching.  And after school, some kids kept having questions for me.  For the most part, though, I was able to have uninterrupted time to go through some papers I needed to organize (still have so much to do) and I made a nice dent in my mending box.  I didn't take any pictures but it was nice.

Here's a picture of a pumpkin pie I made for Pie Day, January 23, though.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Saturday, January 21, 2017

One is the Loneliest Number

Jr. Jr. (singing):  One is the loneliest number.  Two is almost the loneliest number.
I'm not sure where he got it.  It's possible he heard me singing, "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do.  Two can be as bad as one.  It's the loneliest number since the number one."  I haven't sung that song often, though.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Cheesy Penguins

Celebrating in January is great for menu planning.
Since January 20 is National Cheese Lover's Day, we decided to have cheese fondue for dinner.  We had plenty to dip in the cheese sauce including fish sticks since today is also Penguin Awareness Day.
After dinner, we turned on a penguin documentary from BBC Earth, Penguins  Spy in the Huddle.
It's a really fun one.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

More Food Celebrations

January 17 was Popeye's Birthday.  We had themed food with our dinner.
Spinach Lasagna
Salad with spinach leaves and "Olive" Garden dressing
After the kids went to bed, Jeremy and I started watching the old "Popeye" movie with Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall.  That movie is weird.

January 18 was Winnie-the-Pooh Day.  Jeremy introduced us to a dish from his childhood.  Milk Toast.  I was not familiar with that food.  Now I am.  We put honey on it because of the holiday.
Earlier in the day, Jr. Jr. and Lucky watched Winnie-the-Pooh.

January 19 is Brew a Potion Day.  We didn't do themed food for this, but Lucky got to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the rest of the kids got to watch part of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Appreciate Hot Chocolate

January 16 is Appreciate a Dragon Day.  We had fish sticks for dinner since some dragons like fish (How to Train Your Dragon).  We didn't do a lot else to celebrate the holiday.  Most years we watch Pete's Dragon or How to Train Your Dragon.  This year since it was a day off school, I asked the kids what they wanted to do.  Some of them gave their opinions. 
Jr. wanted to play Minecraft and let anyone else who wanted to play play. 
Jr. Jr. wanted to try out his new recipe for hot chocolate (which he came up with for a homework assignment).  Take as many flavors of hot chocolate as you want and combine them then add toppings such as ice cream, whipped topping, marshmallows, and candy canes (the candy canes sink so they're not really "toppings").  We had 5 flavors of hot chocolate to choose from.  It was fun.

The kids all did get to play Minecraft.  I watched Alfred Hitchcock movies.  I wasn't planning on introducing my children to Alfred Hitchcock movies so soon, but when they came in just in time to see the death scene with the scissors in Dial M for Murder, I figured they could handle it.  So we watched To Catch a Thief and later The Man Who Knew Too Much with James Stewart and Doris Day.
Jeremy did some birding and shopping.
In the afternoon/evening we went out for a drive.
Now it's the end of the day.  Kids are going to bed and Jeremy and I are going to see if we can find a dragon-themed movie to watch.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lovely Flowers

Today we had a special stake conference where our ward choir sang.  Our stake presidency was released and we got a new stake presidency.
Later that day, our new stake president and his wife stopped by our home and told me the choir did a good job.  They gave me a vase full of flowers.  That was so sweet of them.
Oh boy, those flowers smell so nice.  While I was wiping down the table, every time I leaned over to reach a spot on the table, I smelled the flowers.  So lovely.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Cheeseball and Pastrami

My friends and I decided to do Girls' Night for Friday the 13th and watch a scary movie- well, suspenseful movie.  An Alfred Hitchcock movie.  I thought it would be fun to bring cheeseball and crackers and you know I like making shaped cheeseballs (I've made death star cheeseball more than once, for example).  So I couldn't resist when I thought about Alfred Hitchcock's famous profile.
My friends got a kick out of the cheeseball and we had so much fun talking that we never even got around to watching the movie.

Saturday the 14th is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day.  We ate them like we usually do for the holiday.  It was a busy day so it's great we had something simple on the menu plan.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Date Night... Sort Of

Jeremy and I took Nichole and Jr. out with us to a birders' dinner tonight.  It was fun to see some people we knew and it was neat to meet some new people.  It was also nice to have that time with Nichole and Jr.

Nichole couldn't resist it.  After dessert, she just had to draw a dragon with her chocolate sauce.  That girl is awesome.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We are Birders

Sometimes people will ask me, "What have you been doing lately?"  I tell them, "Birding."  They don't quite hear it the first time.  I have to repeat myself.  Finally I say, "Bird watching."  "Oh, bird watching."  Then they get it.  To me, birding is different than bird watching.  I explain it to people this way.  Bird watching is going out looking at birds.  Birding is driving down the road, seeing a bird, and turning the vehicle around so you can get another look at the bird.
The other day, Jeremy, the two littlest, and I went out searching for a rare bird, one not often seen in Utah- the Eastern bluebird.  Other birders had told us where they were and Jeremy had gone a few days before to see them.  We had to go down a bit of a hill to get to the trail to walk along to find them.  When Jeremy went before, there was snow on the hill.  When we went, the snow had melted so it was a hill of mud.  Jeremy held Lucky's hand through the mud, but Jr. Jr. would not set foot in it.  To make a long story short, I gave Jr. Jr. a piggy back ride all the way down the muddy hill to the paved trail.
The bluebirds were not in the spot Jeremy found them before, but we did find them a little bit farther down the trail.  Hooray!  There was a male and female and they were beautiful. 
It was worth it, especially since we had to hike back up that hill in the mud again- Jeremy helping Lucky up, and I giving Jr. Jr. a piggy back ride. 
When we got back to the van, Jeremy, Lucky, and I found a snow bank to kick to get some of the mud off our shoes and we had a towel in the van to wipe our feet because this is what our boots looked like when we got up that hill.
It's a good thing Jr. Jr. didn't get his boots muddy because by the time we got home, it was time for him to go to school.  No time to clean his clothes.
As I was washing muddy pants and socks, and later, as I was scrubbing boots, I again thought it was worth it.
And that is why we are birders.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Don't Step on My Blue Kool-Aid

Yesterday, January 8, was the birthday of Elvis Presley.  To celebrate, we had blue kool-aid with dinner and sang songs about having a "blue kool-aid without you," or "I'll have a blue birthday without you."
Lucky is a ham.  But he was a big help stirring up the kool-aid.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Old Rock Day 2017

We now return to your regularly scheduled blog post. 
Old Rock Day today, January 7.  While I was menu planning a while back, I asked the kids what we should have for dinner for Old Rock Day.  Jr. suggested we have squid pups (what the kids now call squid dogs) but call them squid fossils.  Sure.  Jeremy picked up some chocolate rock candy at the store so we had some of that, too.
Simple celebrating or as Jeremy would say, "Almost... elementary."  Which goes along with Sherlock Holmes' birthday yesterday.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Blah Post

I should do a blog post, but I don't feel like it. I am tired. Instead this is now a blah post. BLAH.

If you want to know the holiday today you will have to figure it out yourself. Search for the clues. Make deductions. Seriously. It's elementary.

I shall continue regular blog posting tomorrow... or the next day.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

National Bird Day 2017

National Bird Day is on January 5.  That was the day last year that really got us going with birding.  This year... we had the weather.  Cold and slippery.  And we were busy.  But we had to take Nichole to dance class this evening anyway, so after we dropped her off we headed down to Salem Pond to see if we could see some things before it got too dark (it got dark quickly).  There wasn't room to park in the parking lot because of the unplowed snow.  Someone had made a path to drive through the parking lot, though, so we parked the van in the path and took turns walking over to see what was on the pond while the other person scraped ice off the windshield wipers.  There was a lot to see.  Jeremy went out and took a few pictures then hurried back so I could go over and see what he saw before the light completely faded.  I missed a few things that he saw because of the light, but that's okay.  All the things I missed were common enough that I'll get to see them again soon.
Here are some of the things either he or both of us saw:
Bald eagle (flew right by us when Jeremy first got out of the van), Canada geese, a snow goose, an American coot, common goldeneyes, buffleheads, common mergansers, Northern shovelers, and mallards.
Not bad for losing light on National Bird Day.  Here's to another great year of birding (starting in the cold Winter- Brrr).

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ice Castles

Last night I didn’t write a blog post.  It was J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday so we put on one of the Lord of the Rings movies but I was celebrating a new holiday my mom told me about.  Festival of Sleep Day.  I slept on the couch while the movie was on.
Today, however, our whole family celebrated National Trivia Day.  We went up to the Midway Ice Castles to visit our friend, Brent.  Oh, it was so good to see him.  
He showed us around this year’s ice castle and told us some really neat information about it.  Perfect for the holiday.  We even found a spot that had a piece of trivia on a sign so we could take a picture.  
This was our first time seeing the ice castles at night.  It was so cool with the lights in the ice.
After exploring the ice castles, we got to visit Brent and his wife and youngest daughter.  Oh, it was so good to see all of them.  Brent used to be our home teacher while at the same time his wife was my visiting teaching companion.  Such great people.  We still remember when Brent built an ice castle in his backyard.  After that it really took off.  Now there are massive ice castles in several different states and even one in Canada.
Lucky had never been to an ice castle since the last time our family was able to go was when Lucky was a newborn so he and I stayed home while Jeremy took the other kids.  That was not long after The Piano Guys had filmed their Vivaldi’s Winter/Frozen video there. 
I mentioned that when we went this evening and Lucky kept asking where The Piano Guys were.  He was just sure we were going to see The Piano Guys there.  I had to let him know that they weren’t there but they had filmed a video at another ice castle like this one.  Then when we told him we were going to visit Brent’s house, he latched onto that idea.  “We’re going to visit our friends’ house,” and wouldn’t let us forget it.  He got upset a few times when he thought we weren’t going to go to their house.  We reassured him and he kept mentioning it.  He didn’t want us to forget to go there.  He was so happy.  He even gave Brent a hug when we were about to go home.  It was cute.  He definitely had a good experience tonight. 
I enjoyed it, too.  The last time I was able to visit these friends and go to the ice castles was before Jr. Jr. was born.  That was the first year they were doing it at Midway.  Wow, that was a while ago.
It was a great evening.  And the weather cooperated for us to head up there.  We got some snow yesterday morning and we’re supposed to have a winter storm, but we didn’t have any problems traveling to Midway today.  On the way home, we got a lot more snow through Provo Canyon, but we made it okay.  We just went somewhat slowly.  Jeremy and I both remarked how glad we were that we were able to go.  The ice castles are great and all (read: amazing), but what we really love is to see our friends.