Sunday, December 31, 2006

Let her eat CAKE

Want Red frosting? Got 1 1/2 bottles of red food coloring??

Not so sure what to do......

Finally something more my size!

Where has cake been all my life?
And is there any more?

Are you missing a monkey? You can borrow mine.

A very Happy New Year to you all. Go Packers!!!
Blessings, K~

Friday, December 29, 2006


Since I have a little time before Kyra's birthday cake comes out of the oven (She is 1 today!!!), I thought I'd get caught up from my last post--warning, long post as we have several days' activities to cover.

My birthday on the 23rd was great, in spite of turning another year older :(

I was awakened by our beautiful little girl, who was holding a gift in her hands, and saying, "Mama". She could have come empty-handed, and I still couldn't have asked for a better birthday gift!! Anyway, it turned out to be a travel mug, so I can transport my much-needed Starbucks.

And speaking of Starbucks, my parents pulled off
the gift coup by locating 2 giant bottles of real Starbucks Valencia syrup, AND I got an espresso machine. So I now I can make my own Mocha Valencias. BWHA HAHAHAHA!!

The Birthday festivities then continued that evening when David took me to Caprial's Bistro in Westmoreland for my Birthday dinner. We ate so much, they had to roll us out of there. But it was sooooo delicious.

Sunday the 24th came, and we went to the 9am Christmas Eve service at SPC. The music was wonderful, Macy McKenney was too cute for words, and the candlelighting breathtaking as usual. As tears were streaming down my face, I realized this was the first Christmas in a very long time that I was crying for JOY, and not grieving for the one thing I wanted more than anything--to be a parent. Our God is SO good!!!!!

That evening we had my parents over for Christmas dinner, a new tradition for us, as in the past we've always had Christmas Eve dinner at their house. We decided to have it at our house this year, so Kyra could go to bed if necessary. David fixed a Beef Tenderloin that was to die for, and I made glazed carrots, an amazing risotto with fennel and mushrooms, and homemade dinner rolls. Dessert was Christmas cookies, which was just fine, because no one had much room left.

After eating, we read the Christmas story, although we lacked the great illustrations from Sunset's version. Then we opened all the gifts. Kyra made out like a bandit. I was surprised, though. I was expecting her to be more interested in the wrapping and bows, than the gifts, as that's what everyone had been telling us. Not our daughter! The more it lit up, or made music/noise, the better! Forget the boring wrapping paper.

We gave my dad the Apples to Apples game that has become THE game in the Worship & Creative Arts department, so of course we had to play. I won quite handily, and it was pretty fun, although I think it would be more so, with more people--it was just the 4 of us.

The next morning, Christmas Day, we opened our presents to each other, and Kyra got more TOYS. Then we went over to David's parents for Christmas dinner, and yet more for Kyra. David's folks also got us the neatest gift, an annual Zoo pass! Kyra loves the zoo, and it will be fun to have play dates there when the weather gets nicer.

Which brings us to today. Kyra's 1st Birthday :) Right now the birthday girl is napping, so we are trying to take advantage of that and get some things done, like wrapping her birthday gifts--MORE toys, and decorating her cake. Tonight is her party, with our families. Menu: Garlic Jim's pizza and Ladybug cake--homemade I might add, and most likely MORE toys. I will post pictures later--you know, the inevitable "face covered with cake" pictures.

Blessings to you all, and Have a Very Happy New Year~~

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

525,600 minutes x 30-something....

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I've decided that I'm not having a birthday this year. In our house, we'll just go from the 22nd of December, straight to the 24th, and skip right over the 23rd. That way I won't turn another year older. In fact, I think birthdays should just be for the under-21 crowd. After all, they're the only ones I know who actually look forward to getting older. The rest of us just seem to put up with them as an a Fact of Life, like Change and Taxes.

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As it seems birthdays are inevitable, I've decided to adopt the approach to aging that I learned from a wonderful woman I met recently in a retirement home. (Speaking of retirement homes, you should read Matt's take on them and be sure to read the comments!)

I was attending a great Christmas concert at Cornell Estates, put on by the JuST trio, three very talented musicians who attend Sunset Pres. Afterwards, many of the residents, who had been encouraged to dress up in their Christmas finery, as the concert was part of their Holiday party, came forward to thank them for coming. One lady, in particular, looked absolutely stunning, in a purple and green silk jacket and pantsuit.


I complimented her on her beautiful jacket, and she said, "Well, it keeps me feeling young." I said, "That's very important." She then said, with a twinkle in her eye, "Especially when you're 91." I said, "You're kidding me. You can't be 91," as she didn't look a day over 70. She said, "Well, if it helps, everyone says I'm really immature!!" Then she said she needed to go as her friends were waiting for her :)

What a great attitude! So I guess if I have to have another birthday, I hope I can choose to be as full of life as this lovely woman was.

Blessings, K~

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Singin' in the Rain!!!

Besides this being one of my favorite musicals of all time, I love the concept! Since we live in the beautiful state of Oregon, where it rains 9 months of the year, if you don't make a pact with the rain, to at least get along, you won't survive :)

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Today is one of those Liquid Sunshine days, and as I look out my window, I realize I can respond one of 2 ways: I can moan & groan, and say, "When will the sun come out again? Am I starting to mildew?" or I can say, "What opportunities does the rain give me?" As for me, I'm choosing the second! So here are some rainy day activities to keep you singin' in the rain:

Puddle Jumping: I borrowed this one from a great book called, "Creative Dating", by Doug Fields & Todd Temple. It's described in the Cheap Dates section, and goes like this:
"Rather than let a rainstorm drown your fun.....(go) for a walk through the streets, seeking puddles of water to play in. You can do many things with a water puddle. Have a splash war, splash for distance and height, or try to splash out all the water. Stand on a street corner and wait for cars and buses to douse you as they dash through the flooded intersection. For more fun, let the driver think you were caught unaware; fall down and send the culprit away with a great laugh. If there's a playground nearby, take advantage of the slide, which, in addition to being very slippery, is bound to have a juicy puddle at the bottom to cushion your landings. For more adventurous thrill seekers, get a flexible, plastic toboggan and try your luck on a wet, grassy hill. When you return from your puddle-jumping excursion, recuperate in front of the fireplace with some hot liquid refreshment."

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Library Exploration: For some people, the idea of a library brings up memories of school & homework, and always being told "SHHHHH", but if you open your mind to the possibilities, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Your local library, in addition to having a multitude of different books to check out, all for the low, low price of FREE! with a library card, also has DVDs, music CDs, as well as many community events like Children's Story times, and Book & Poetry Discussion Groups. The Main Branch of the Multnomah County Library, located on 10th street in Downtown Portland, also has special events from time to time, like local theater groups presenting free sneak previews of upcoming plays, and even an Art Gallery located on the third floor!

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Did someone say Cookies?: Kids love to help out in the kitchen, and you will find the messes they make are nothing compared to the memories you will make together. I can still remember making Christmas cookies with my sister & my mom when I was younger~~I think we ate more cookie dough than actually got baked, but isn't that half the fun! And if you're not one to collect cookbooks, the Internet has thousands of helpful websites, right at your fingertips. Some of my favorite sites are Epicurious, Top Secret Recipes (where you'll find all the "secret" recipes from your favorite restaurants) and Caprial & John's Kitchen.

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Cleaning/Organizing/Decluttering: Although this would not be my first choice for a rainy- day activity, we do have to do this occasionally!--Or if you're like my friend, Jenni, done a lot!--Love you, friend! :) Anyway, besides being Biblical~~Ecclesiastes 10:18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks~~it's just necessary. Luckily, there is a website for people like me. It's called FlyLady and it's amazing! It gives daily tips on how to gain control of your house and home, while avoiding the overwhelming factor. She is also very down-to-earth, and has helped thousands overcome their CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). So, check her out, and you'll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

Blogging: Enough said. And since I've managed to burn most of an rainy afternoon doing just this, I think I'll stop for now.

Blessings, K~

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blog Bites

Have you ever been in a conversation or situation, and something happens, and your response is, "I feel a Blog coming on!" or "Wow, I need to Blog about that."? Then you have been bitten by the Blog Bug, my friend.

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This happened to me yesterday. My husband and I had just gone to Starbucks, where I was told they no longer served my absolute favorite drink in the whole world, the Mocha Valencia--something about not selling enough of them to keep the syrup from going bad in the requisite 30-day-period. If you never got the chance to experience one, they were like a Chocolate Orange in a cup!!

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Anyway, as I settled for my second choice, the Peppermint Mocha, and was mourning the end of an era, my husband said, "That's okay. Orange syrup is orange syrup. You can always go somewhere else. They're all the same."

In that split second, I was bitten by the Bug! I said to my husband,"You are going in my Blog! Would you care to repeat that so that I make sure to quote you correctly?"

Orange syrup is NOT orange syrup. I don't care what anyone says. I've tried orange mochas at other coffee places, and they are NOT the same. In fact, most of them taste like someone dipped an orange Otter Pop in coffee! EWWW!!

I guess from now on, I'll have to find a new Starbucks favorite, and just buy out all the Chocolate oranges this Christmas for my year-round Orange Mocha fix :)

Blessings, K~

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Imminent death

I think my microwave is dying. By the way, the picture below is not my microwave, but a free image from Google--Just wanted to point that out, as my kitchen walls have geese on them (left over from my grandmother), not this nice tile~

Anyway, I was making Kyra's lunch today, and the plan was to reheat the carrots from last night. I put them in a Rubbermaid container, like always, entered 15 seconds and hit start. All of a sudden, snap, crackle, pop, and FLAMES were shooting around inside the container. I immediately opened the door, and took the container out, thinking there must be some metal on it somewhere that I didn't see. A second look didn't find anything obvious, so I put them in again. Yep, you guessed it--More Flames.

At this point, I called my husband and asked him if he knew what was wrong with the microwave. He didn't, so I thought it must be the carrots. They were cooked in a pot on the stove last night, so maybe they had picked up some of the metal flakes from the bottom of the pot???? Needless to say, I was not going to feed Metal-filled carrots to my daughter, so I dumped them in the sink and went to vegetable option #2--reheated squash, which had originally been cooked in the oven.

In the meantime, Kyra is crying, because she's hungry, and no food is appearing. I gave her her sippy cup with some milk, to tide her over, and went back to tackling the microwave. This time, I put the squash in a container that I know has no problems, and tried again. Although there were no visible flames, the same sizzling sound and a new player showed up: a burned-hair smell. Although I'm not a big fan of squash, I Know it's not supposed to smell like that!

So I gave up trying to use the microwave, and Kyra finally got to eat---Mac and Cheese and applesauce, which she probably preferred anyway :) And David said he'll look at the microwave when he gets home. Isn't it funny how we can take something like a microwave for granted, but then when it doesn't work, we suddenly realize how much we rely on it? How am I going to reheat my coffee? Maybe I'll have to go to Starbucks instead?!?!??! :) Blessings, K~

Saturday, December 2, 2006

The Christmas Tree Hunt

Today our mission was to locate the perfect Christmas tree. And in my family, that doesn't mean a Parking Lot Tree, although for some people I realize that arrangement works well for them. Not us! Unless you're covered in mud, and/or have hiked for several acres, over hill & dale, you've not had the True Christmas Tree Hunt experience--Think Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when they hike through the backwoods---classic!

The journey began at our front doorstep....Daddy & Kyra wait for Mommy to grab her warm coat, gloves, etc.

We loaded up the car, and met my parents, who were also on a Tree Hunt, for breakfast at Elmer's. After filling our tummies & stocking up on hot coffee, we all drove out to the Reichen Christmas Tree Farm, where the weather was absolutely glorious, and NOT RAINING!! Wow, I just realized, what are the odds of Pumpkin & Christmas Tree Hunting, both not with umbrellas?!?! Kyra won't know what to think when we have a typical Oregon Fall/Winter....

Princess Kyra then climbed aboard her chariot, and the search was on...

We found our tree, in what must have been a New Family Speed record, and while Kyra & Mommy stood by and offered plenty of moral support,

the mighty hunters felled the tree. After also helping my parents find & cut down their tree, we loaded both trees onto the truck, and headed for home, with Kyra checking out during that short drive. Sweet dreams, little girl!

Now all that's left is to decorate the tree & then put all the loot, as David calls it, under it. I'll be sure to post those pictures, as soon as we've finished. Although, I think we'll leave all the decorating for tomorrow. I think tonight we'll just relax with a cup of hot cocoa & watch a movie, or something. Blessings to all! K~