Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Breakfast, Or Any Time ;D

Oh my.  It was good.  Something online caught my eye, and I ended up combining a couple of recipes to get this:

1/4 C Butter - melt in 9x13 casserole in 375F oven while you prepare the rest...

2 Cans of Cinnamon Rolls - cut each roll into six or eight pieces.  Save the little cans of frosting for later.

In a bowl, mix
6-8 eggs             with three teenage boys, I put in more
1/2 C eggnog    or milk, or heavy cream
1 t vanilla
1/4 t nutmeg
1-2 t cinnamon
You could add in a half cup or so of maple syrup, but I'm not overly fond of it so I didn't.

When the butter is melted and starting to brown, take the casserole out of the oven and pour in the pieces of cinnamon rolls.  I stirred them gently to spread the butter all over them.

Pour the egg mixture over the top.  I added

1 C chopped pecans   but nuts are optional.  The boys aren't crazy about them, so I clustered them at one end - more for me!

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Warm the frosting cup for a few seconds in the microwave, and drizzle it over the top.  I only used one of the two cups because I didn't want it too sweet.

Serve with syrup.  And we like the sausage links on the side - love that mix of sweet and savory :D

This was SO EASY.  If I was ambitious, I could have made my own cinnamon roll dough the night before, and I may try that sometime.  But for a Christmas morning breakfast?  Easy prep, not much clean-up, and quick!  Win-win!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

And There Was Christmas, And All That That Implies...

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in The Hobbit that...

"Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to..."

And isn't that the truth?  I could tell you all about our Christmas (and I will, mostly because I want to remember it later myself), and it really won't sound like much, but it was all quite wonderful.

Of course, Wyatt and Tate were working a lot of hours at their grocery stores, because we all know how holidays and food are linked, do we not?  Gunnar volunteered (with some other CAP buddies) to help the Salvation Army with their annual gift distribution.  All the boys have helped with this on various years, and they really enjoy doing it.

They have quite the organizational system, with numbered gifts and boxes, and various sizes of food boxes for variously sized families.  Well done, Gunnar :D

Since my brother married (and has two sets of in-laws to manage) we see his family on alternate Christmases.  This year we had them Christmas Eve.  Or rather, my sister did - that is, she hosted.  Here's my brother and my mom...

... and Wyatt, my dad, my sister, Gunnar, and my SIL helping my niece.  Tate has to work until 6pm, so he and Kerry joined us a little later.

My sister really goes all out with decorating... very festive!

Her Christmas tree has all white lights, and mostly red and white decorations, unlike our anything-goes tree.

The boys were quite pleased to get the new, extended-version, Hobbit Trilogy of movies from my bro and SIL.

I think my dad was equally pleased with his array of hot cocoa mixes!

Tate... obviously glad to be off work!

And Naomi, in all her Princess glory.  Apparently she gave herself a haircut about a week before Christmas.  I think it's absolutely adorable short, if rather uneven.

Dave and his family had to head back to Seattle, and we were all ready to head home as well, to get ready for...


I know this pic (above) isn't fabulous of Wyatt or Gunnar, but I love how cozy the house looks with all the pretty lights and candles.  *Happy Sigh*  The boys opened their stockings before breakfast.

And in their stockings?  Warm socks for everyone!

Wyatt would be very distressed if I posted the series of pictures leading up to this one.  Suffice it to say, he was still waking up, but having a good time :D

Yes, Gunnar was happy with the chocolate "coal" in his stocking ;D

I think we've discovered a new Christmas breakfast favorite.  They may look stoic, but they were just waiting to dig in!

 I made a cinnamon-roll-french-toast casserole... and there were no leftovers.  Win!

Hmmm, hadn't had his coffee yet, I think, but he was enjoying his sausages :D

Ah, now he's fully awake!

And this was the view out the window, toward my parents' house.  The hill is forested, but the wide white swath is the Bonneville Power Lines (probably about a hundred yards across), just to give you some perspective.

This has become a tradition... the Outhouse Calendar.  Yes, photos of outhouses.  And with out-of-context quotes that take on new meaning along the photos, like Eleanor Roosevelt's "You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

Kerry always gets the boys a "fun" gift - i.e. a toy. Like an action figure...

... or a car...

... which sometimes turn out larger than he thought when he ordered them!

And of course, Kerry gets a great deal of chocolate and - his favorite - Candy-Cane Joe-Joe's.

He found this for me, in Mexico.

I've been slowly, over Christmases and birthdays, building the boys a basic toolbox.  This year - hammers, and allen and hex wrenches.

Then, on up to my parents' to get together with the extended family.  My boys and my cousin's girls get along great, if sometimes (okay, often) goofy!

This is absolutely classic of my dad... with a camera :D

What were they laughing at?  No idea.

Teasing back and forth with Gunnar about something or other.

Here's the five of them :D  Gunnar, Mikayla, Tate, Raelynn, and Wyatt.

The boys and Kerry gathered together to open their joint gift from my cousin's family...

... movie tickets, treats, and t-shirts - WIN!

I called her today to tell her we all went to see Star Wars this morning.  With the boys' work schedules, we were glad to find a NINE A.M. SHOWING, because that's what worked for everyone.  No spoilers.  We all liked it.  Undeniably, the boys are more "into it" than I am, but I enjoyed it too.  The previews nearly killed me, though.  What?  Are there only two movie plots in development anymore?  I think we saw about eight previews and they were all either
A.  Superheroes tricked into fighting each other (Superman/Batman or Captain America/Iron Man).

No thank you.

Back to Christmas...  It can be hard to get a good photo of Wyatt.  He tends to look so serious!  And he's really a fun guy!  (Not a mushroom.)  So here's another one of him laughing.

Oh, my mom cracks me up.  You'd think she'd never seen a frying pan before, though this is the exact set she asked for.  She looks so surprised, like we'd found the Ark of the Covenant.  Merry Christmas, Mom!

And this picture... well, this is apparently the ONLY photo I got of my cousin, who was sitting directly across the room from me.  I'm sorry, Ryan!  She's a nice looking person!

And somehow I didn't get a good one of my sister, but you saw her in the Christmas Eve photos.

Also, note my dad, opening a new pair of slippers.  I know some people get all formal and fancy for Christmas.  But there's my dad, wearing the "pants" my mom bought him - otherwise known as "pajamas".  Because we're all about comfort :D

And this is my cousin's husband, Mike.  Mike is fun to have around, because he's fun.  (Like that circular logic?)  Because he nearly always has that happy expression on his face, in spite of mostly likely being so exhausted he'd probably rather be in bed.  (He works for UPS - if I understand right, he's in charge of all the mechanics from Seattle to Canada - so this is a crazy-busy time of year for him.)

I don't believe in taking photos of people eating, but fret not, there was good food aplenty.  We practically ate ourselves into a food coma.  Merry Christmas.  But in defense, I give you this, which has been circulating the interwebs:

I would much rather err on the side of Nigella!

Happy New Year :D

Monday, December 21, 2015

Because Shepherds in Bathrobes and Angels with Tinsel Are Adorable

We had our annual Wiser Lake Chapel Kids' Christmas Program.

It was awesome.

It's awesome because ALL the kids participate.
The little ones are adorable in their tinsel and bathrobes,
the middle kids get speaking roles (note the "scientists" in the center back),
and the older kids are readers.
And just in case you were wondering,
the two on the right, in the grass skirts?
Adam and Eve.

And what's even more awesome is that -
being in charge of the littles (preschool/kindy-ish) -
I spent my whole evening trying to get them to walk
in a line
on and off the stage
a total of SIX TIMES.

And they're not even all homeschoolers,
but still,
walk in a line?
When we all want to hurry?
Because we're all Very Excited?!?!

But it's awesome,
because it's the chapel.
There's no pressure to be perfect.

Heck, I had one little angel that had only been to one "rehearsal",
and another little angel that just showed up that night and wanted to be in the program.
Why not?

And the whole thing was hilarious.
In a good way.
Because working with preschoolers and kindergarteners
(and some a little older) is awesome.
I mean, when else do you get to say things like:

Yes, you need to keep your shoes on.
Yes, really, you need to keep your shoes on.
Put it back on.

Stop picking.
Yes, you, get your finger out of your nose.
Thank you.

Please don't chew on the tinsel.

Give her halo back.

I know you want the longer angel robe,
but her robe isn't actually longer than yours -
she's shorter than you.

When you're singing the songs and you don't know the words,
stop staring up at the lyrics projected on the rear wall.
You can't read yet.
Watch Mrs. T, and do the motions she's doing,
and just sing the words you know!

They did it :D

They forgot how to walk in a line.
Their shepherd head-dress-things slid down over their eyes.
They left a trail of tinsel wherever they went.
They managed NOT to tip over the rickety, wobbly old manger.
They "sang" the songs and did the motions.

And it was lovely.

But I think my favorite year of all was
THIS year ;D

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Did you catch it?

Yah, that's it.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Note To Self...

... and any other sewing friends,


It's from the devil.

One normal wash, and three hot washes later, and the color-catcher is STILL coming out pink.

Fortunately, I didn't buy it.
My sis gave me a big (new) fitted sheet she didn't want,
so FREE :D

So far, I've made a table cloth - 
the only one I own that will fit our table with ALL the leaves in-
and as long as I remember to wash it ALONE,
I'm home free.

But I had in mind to use a big chunk I have left as the backing for a baby quilt,
but on second thought...


Back to the drawing board...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Jolabokaflod, Or Something Like That

Let's see...

* my warm, comfy cozy bed with flannel sheets
* a new book
* chocolate

Sounds about perfect to me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cyber Patriot

Our CAP group competes in the national Cyberpatriot program,
and both Gunnar and Tate are participating this year.

We're all fairly new at this, so I don't think we're going to be
anywhere near in the running for the trip to Baltimore...

... but it's so cool that the boys get to do this!

Big thanks to our Senior member (Mr. Clausen sp?) for teaching and leading,
and WWU for letting us use their computer lab.