Sunday, November 30, 2008

You were right!

I followed YOUR advice and the turkey was fantastic!

Thank you very much.
Even the dog thought it was doggone good!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Activities

Here is a quick summary of some Pre-Thanksgiving activities that have been going on around here.

As part of her Confirmation Class, Mikayla is encouraged to participate in "Service Activities" throughout the year. Mikayla helped to serve an early Thanksgiving Feast to a a large group this last Sunday in order to fulfill one of her service activity requirements.

She did a marvelous job of serving our table, but hopefully she won't give up her Veterinarian career path just yet.
Here she is, taking Tanya's order.

Here she is, delivering my food. I had to temporarily relocate just to take the picture.

Here is a picture of the first group of diners... there were a lot of people, and more were coming.

The funds earned from this feast go toward the Youth Ministry program at Salem Lutheran Church (our church).

Here is a picture that Alexia helped create after being shown a few tricks in digital photo editing. How many Mikayla's do you see?

After only a half day of school, Tanya was able to spend some time in the kitchen today working on our favorite Lemon Angel Pie and a Mandarin-Raspberry Jell-O concoction. Thanks honey - we can't wait!!

Alexia and I went to the store for a few more Thanksgiving necessities: Cool Whip, California Rolls and a Never-Ending Jawbreaker.

Walking through the freezer section Alexia poses a question:

Alexia (A): "Why would somebody want a huge ball of butter? Hey! That thing is really hard!"
Eric looks toward her to realize she is knocking on a Butterball Turkey.
Eric (E): That is a frozen turkey, not a ball of butter. The company that provides those turkeys is called "Butterball".
A: That's weird.
A: I'm not eating animals. It's mean. I'm having pizza on Thanksgiving. So is Aryana.
E: Ok honey.
E ponders the pros and cons of discussing tofurkey with an 8 year old and decides to wait for another day and drops the topic entirely.

This evening, with our bird awaiting it's fate in the 'fridge, I made some phone calls and consulted some expert turkey chefs... in real life, on the phone and via the Internet, to find out just how the heck I'm supposed to cook this thing.

It seems that every one's method is different - and yet every one's method is the BEST way to cook a turkey. So... if you ask me, of course I followed YOUR advice and yes, the turkey was fantastic! Thank you very much.


P.S. to Cookbook Authors: You need to incorporate "Juice Box Math" in your next edition. If a recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of Apple Juice, it's actually 2 juice boxes. Sure, it may cost more, but it saves me another trip to the grocery store with the kids in tow asking for every piece of candy in the checkout aisle.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Entertaining Ourselves

On Sunday we drove south to visit Ami, one of Tanya's friends and coworkers in the hospital as she just gave birth to twin daughters (Congratulations Ami!).

Mikayla, Alexia and I got to hang out in the Lobby of the hospital while Tanya went up to visit them. In this situation, "Lobby" actually means a place with wobbly tables, uncomfortable chairs, a closed coffee shop and nothing to do.

Despite the severe conditions, we managed to keep ourselves mostly occupied to pass the time, awaiting Tanya's return from the 'privileged' areas that we weren't allowed access to.

Here is a list of our "Waiting Room Games":
1) Each person selects their own row of floor tiles. Race from one side of the room to the other, staying in your own row. One foot must touch each tile, one at a time. First one across the room wins.

2) Play "I spy". I spied a big nasty spot of a spilled white substance on the only cushioned seat in the area. That grossed everyone out and ended that game.

3) Sent the kids to find the "hidden library". In this case, the Hidden Library was a stack of pamphlets and brochures about cancer, laying on top of a counter just above their eye level.

4) Sent the kids to find the "hidden garbage can". It was next to the library.

5) Convinced the kids the face masks were mandatory.

6) Figured out how to share one chocolate chip cookie between 3 people.

7) Made an instructional video.

Please excuse my videopgraphy skills. I'm doing the best I can.
**This video may be muted by the hosting service... sorry. If you didn't already know, it was to Walk Like An Egyptian, by The Bangels.

I was actually pretty impressed... they did at least as good as the people in the real video by the Bangels. LOVE that hair!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2008 4-H Awards

Wednesday evening we attended the 4-H award ceremony for Mikayla's 4-H group: Kids-N-K9's

Mikayla won a number of awards and was recognized for a variety of accomplishments. I think she had a great year in 4-H and am glad that she really enjoys it.

Alexia was also recognized as she is just now starting in a new 4-H club for Cooking. They had their first meeting on Friday where they made Pumpkin Bars and Applesauce.

This is, of course, great news!
Thanksgiving dinner just got a lot easier (in theory)!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bake Sale!

I was forewarned that I'd get to play Chef-boy-ardee this weekend while Tanya escaped to her Scrap booking event. Specifically, I was to do whatever was necessary to end up with some 'baked goods' for a bake sale/craft fair fundraiser that was occurring on Sunday.

No big deal. Piece of cake (no pun intended). Run to the store, grab a dessert mix, bake it up and be done.

Unfortunately, this simple task ended up taking almost all day.

On the positive side, there was a nice view from the kitchen for a few minutes, before the rains resumed. Admittedly, I was rather relieved that my hike date was postponed to next week.

The good news, for the kids, is that they convinced me to buy a second dessert mix for the family to consume. Even better, for the kids, is that they have been rather ill this week so I refrained from making this a 'mandatory participation' event.

In case you aren't aware of this... you should be advised that if you are buying baked goods at a bake sale or some other fundraiser function, there is a high likelihood that someones kids were recruited to 'help' bake the goods being sold.

If you happened to buy some brownies this weekend at a Bake sale in Mount Vernon, please rest assured that your goods were deemed to be finger-licking good!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

2009 Hiking Calendar

The moment you've all been waiting for!

My 2009 Hiking Calendar is now available on my other blog.

Well, maybe you weren't ALL waiting for it, but you should put these dates on your calendar anyway. That way there's a better chance someone will notice if I'm missing.

Also, it might help prevent some conflicts with scrap booking or other wildly exciting events that may arise.

- - - - -

In other news, the three girls went to the doctor today and came home with an armload of prescriptions. They're coughing, aching and hacking, but will surely be better by the weekend (it's a scrap booking weekend ya know)!

It seems that scrap booking and hiking have wonderful healing capabilities. Miraculous!

On a related note, I'm moving into a plastic bubble until Saturday.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Rockets, Ice Skating & a Date

Thursday night we went to the Harvest Festival at the kids school. For Halloween the girls dressed up as a Vampire & a Cat. Friday night we went trick-or-treating up and down our street and discovered the houses 'up' the street offer much better treats than the houses 'down' the street.

By the time we were done Trick-or-Treating, it was already Thanksgiving. No, we didn't have a Thanksgiving feast (unless you count Candy as a Thanksgiving feast) but Tanya managed to remove all the Halloween decorations and replace them with the Thanksgiving decorations.

In case you didn't already know, Tanya's not one to procrastinate.

Saturday morning Alexia, along with her Girl Scout troop, got to be a Rocket Scientist during an "Introduction to Rocketry" class up in Bellingham. They learned a little about physics without hearing the word physics and got to participate in some fun experiments. She even got to wear safety goggles.

The finale involved creating their own rocket using 35mm film canisters, water and Alka Seltzer. The gas from the Alka Seltzer + Water mix, contained in a sealed film canister sent the canisters flying into the air. No pictures of this - I was protecting my camera from Alka Seltzer Rocket debris.

I highly recommend this class if you are interested in Rocketry.
Or if you have a headache, indigestion, heartburn or an upset stomach.

After the Rocketry class we met the Torgeson's at the Bellingham Sportsplex for Taylor's birthday party and ice skating.

Tanya helped chaperone the kids back to the Torgeson's house and then Tanya and I hooked up for a date.

Kids - Stop Reading Here!!!! Go play Club Penguin.

Now that the kids aren't listening, the real reason I didn't want them to read this isn't because it's hot and steamy... but mostly because it's so embarrassingly lame.

Our date went something like this:

Tanya (T): (On cell phone to Eric): "I'll be home any minute and then we can go. Did you take the dog out to pee?"
Eric (E): "Yep. ... ... Where are we going?"
T: "On our date... but we have to hurry because the library closes in 30 minutes."
T arrives home, we grab 30 of the 52 Library books and rush out to the car and drive toward the Library.
T: "I'm bummed because I have to return this book but I'm not quite done with it. Maybe I can finish it before we get there."
E: Takes this clue to not talk for the rest of the journey.
E&T arrive at the Library. T's still reading.
T: "Hey! I forgot... we're on a date!"
E: "Oh yeah! We'd better get a picture for the blog!:

E: "Did you finish your book?"
T: "No. I still have (flips through book) 60 more pages to go."
E&T rush in to return Library Books (no fines!) and check out another stack load and return to the car after being reminded by the Librarian that the "Library is now closed".
E&T rush off to enjoy dinner at a local Chinese Restaurant.
E&T dine enjoy an uneventful dinner.
E&T get in the car to drive home.
T: "Oh! We should have stopped at the Dollar Store to get some more Thanksgiving decorations."
E: Contemplates quietly, but keeps driving.
E&T arrive at home.
T talks on the phone.
E starts downloading above pics to the computer and typing this blog.
T starts reading.
E rubs T's back.
E gets T's medicine out of the car.
E gets T two pieces of taffy.
T: "I finished my book!"
T picks up her next book.
T: "Will you read my book to me? That would be a perfect date!"

Well, now I know.
Thanks Tanya!