Sunday, January 11, 2015

Senior Pictures

Dancer needs a picture for the homeschool graduation program.  Since she only needs one we just took some at home instead of having an expensive photo shoot.  Besides, it makes sense that homeschool kids would have "home" senior pictures right?

These are some of her favorites.  It is hard to pick just one.

A fun but cold one.

The whole time we were battling the cats trying to photo bomb the pictures.  Most of the time they were trying to get Dancer to pick them up as she usually does when she is outside.

We even had Spark call them to the house, but when they figured out he didn't have a treat for them they were back.

We finally gave up and just let Pancake get in a couple pictures.  That seemed to make him happy and he did wander off after that.  

Honey Bear giving her a kiss.

She wanted a picture with Nora, but of course she wouldn't come over, just Honey Bear and Marcelline.

It was overcast today and she wants to try a couple more locations before picking the final one, but at least we got a start on this project.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Caught a t-shirt!

We got season tickets to the local universities home basketball games.  At every game they throw t-shirts into the crowd and none have ever been thrown in our area.  Last night the guy came out and right away I said to Spark to stand up quick and raise your hands.  It worked, the guy threw one right to Spark!  I think the guy in the background is thinking, "hmm, why didn't I think of that."  Then to make it even better, there were some co-ed girls sitting in front of us and the guy threw one to them, but it went over their heads and landed at Dancer's feet.  So oddly enough we went from never being close to a t-shirt to getting two in one night.  Now we just need to get some of the pizza they hand out.:)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Funny Penguins

Enjoyed an afternoon at the movies watching Penguins of Madagascar.  Super funny, we laughed through the whole thing.  I don't know why but movies usually seem funnier at the theater.  Is it the big screen or because I can't get up during the movie to do other tasks? Afternoon movies are the best, the theater is usually empty.  There were seven people there, us being three of them.  Plenty of elbow room!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dean's List

Super excited for Dancer that she made the Dean's List fall semester.  Seemed like all she did for months was study, so was happy for her that it all paid off!  Congratulations Dancer, so proud of you!!!

Happy Place

If Dancer could, I swear she would live at the library.  Our nearest one is about 15 miles a way and she still goes a couple of times a week.  I also imagine her during a stressful situation (child birth perhaps) and someone will tell her to go to her happy place and, instead of warm beaches, she will imagine herself in the stacks at the library.

Here she is coming out of the library where she picked up a pile of movies and books she had ordered.  We waited in the car when she ran in.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

The start of the new year

Started off with a few traditions.  The first is watching Robin Hood.  What we use to watch a couple times a week when the kids were small has now been reduced to once a year.

Ice cream sundaes.  Reese's shell, chocolate topping and peanuts.  If you are going to eat ice cream you might as well make it good!

Nikki didn't make it to the new year.  Her big day of napping wore her out.

 Flipped back and forth between the new years ball drop and the movie Click.  Didn't want to miss any One Direction performances.

2015!!!  We can go to bed now right?  Nope, we partied on until 3:00.  Well, partied if you call watching t.v. and eating graham crackers and diet Coke a party.

Two dip recipes for new year's day snacking.

Jimmy Dean Dip

One pound of regular Jimmy Dean sausage browned.  Put in a pot and add one can Rotel and a package of cream cheese.  Heat until cream cheese is melted.

Ham Spread

Run ham through the food processor until minced, add onion and mayonaise.  Simple and also makes good sandwich spread.  Even Dancer, who doesn't eat ham, loves this.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day

Grandma and Grandpa came over and we had make your own pizza.  

Every year we put together a new puzzle.  Dancer's goal for Christmas was to watch musicals all day, but we didn't get to them until rather late so we only watched My Fair Lady and Chicago.

Christmas Eve Presnet Opening.

Dad slept all day after working a five night stretch.  The kids and I went to a Christmas Eve service in a barn and when we got home Dad was up and ready to open presents.  

Nikki wishing everyone Merry Christmas.  Getting a dog to pose is no easy feat.  She wouldn't put her ears up, I think she might of thought she was in trouble because we kept telling her to sit.

So Dancer hopped in the picture with her and then her ears popped up.  They are so cute together.  After we cleaned up a gift the cat had barfed up in front of the tree we were on to the gift opening.  

Yep, that is a "It's a Wonderful Life" paused on the t.v.  Can't really have Christmas without watching it at least once.

Dancer enjoying a krumkake after she opened her presents.  

Christmas Cookie Exchange

First we had to find our way to the cookie exchange.  There is a town in front of us in this picture.  It was a so foggy we couldn't see any houses from the road.

Over a hundred dozen cookies on the table and who know how many calories.

Round and round we went and 20 minutes later the table was empty.  

Christmas Party!

Another tradtion, again because we did it last year, was the Helmets Required Christmas party.  They were barely in the door before the present opening begain.

We made pizzas in various Chirstmas themed shapes.  This is a snowman in case it isn't obvious.

This is how boys celebrate.  Three chairs lined up playing games for hours on end.  A good time was had by all!

Mall of America Christmas Field Trip

Last year we took the boys to Mall of America at Christmas time and we were informed that now it is a tradtion.  Funny how that works.  As soon as we got there they high tailed it to the game store,  About an hour later they emerged victorious.

Until Spark gets his driving permit he will have to stick to this kind of truck.

The day we went there were protestors laying on the freeway.  We still aren't sure how no one got run over.  Dancer is ready to protest something, she just needs to find her cause.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Kissy Pies Christmas Cookies

These I saw somewhere on Pinterest.  We have a cookie exchange so I was looking for something that was fast to make since we needed so many.

Only two ingredients: pie crust and kisses.

I bought pie crusts, but I think with homemade crust these would be even better.  Roll out the pie crust and cut as many circles out it as possible.  If you made your own crust you could reroll, but that doesn't really work with premade so get them as close a possible.

In the center of each circle place a kiss. 

Pinch them up on four sides so it makes a little parcel.  Be sure that you get them well pinched or they come apart while baking.

Bake at 350 degrees until brown.  These are little so they are very easy to keep popping in your mouth and pretty soon you wonder where all the cookies went.  That is my only warning with these cookies ;)

Christmas Hot Chocolate Snapple Bottles

Loved the Snapple bottles we decorated for Halloween so I made a couple with a Christmas theme.

Paint the tops red.  It is now too cold to spray paint so I painted them with those acrylic paints by Apple Barrel.  When dry it was really flat looking so I put a layer of clear nail polish over the top to make them shine.  Then I hot glued on a red ribbon and put a plaid one with a tiny bow tie over the top it.  

Inside the bottle, I filled it about 4o% with hot chocolate mix, a layer of crushed candy canes (make sure the bow is on top of this layer or it won't show), and the rest of the bottle with mini marshmallows.  The first one I put all the contents in the bottle before decorating it and some settling occurred as I was rolling it around to get the ribbon on and I had to add a few more marshmallows.  The second one I had the hot chocolate mix in it, but not the rest so that I wouldn't have to add more marshmallows when it was done. The hot chocolate mix rolled around on the inside so when I put the marshmallows in a few had a dusting of mix on them from the side of the jar.  I didn't think it looked as nice as the one where the marshmallows were pristine white.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014


 We went out to eat for Thanksgiving and took these pictures before we left.  Now seeing how well they turned out I wish we hadn't had our coats on.

Dad and his parents.  I never realized how much he looks like his mom.

Dinner was good, Spark needed a nap afterwards.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

White Bean, Spinach and Rosemary Soup

You need to like rosemary to like this soup.  

I made this on a day when I was making six other soups to freeze and so the amounts are not set in stone, just throw together these ingredients and everything will work out.  This soup froze beautifully.  In fact, if you didn't know it had been frozen, you would think it came straight from a pot that had been simmering for hours.

With a little oil, saute some onion, carrots and celery until they are soft.  Add some chicken broth and a can of white beans.  Add a few handfuls of spinach and about a teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves.  The leaves I roll in my one palm with my thumb of the other hand to make them powdered.  Cook until it is hot and it is ready to eat.  Of course, the longer it cooks, or let it sit in your fridge until the next day, the more the flavors will meld together.