Wednesday, January 05, 2011

DONE #20. VanderWal Family Reunion

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IMG_5617_2 O D letter O S

It's taken a while to get these blogged.

We went back to North Dakota for my mother's father's family reunion. It is always nice to see our cousins and spend some time on the family farm. We got to do so many things... hay ride, fireworks, fishing, games, playing farmer (feeding cows, counting buffalo and checking the crops), visiting and lots of eating.

We are already looking forward to the next reunion.

12 down... 89 to go.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011







I took Grom and his buddy to see A Christmas Carol at the beginning of December. We had some fun taking pictures before the performance. I loved the metal backdrop.

These pictures and lunch were the best part of the day. The performance was a BALLET! Somehow we missed that detail. And because it was a matinee for school kids, they started the story in the middle. I know the story and I was lost. I don't know how the boys behaved so well. They did amazing and totally deserved dessert with their lunch.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Daybook January 3, 2011

FOR TODAY Monday January 3, 2011

Outside my window... it's dark. I've got nothing more to say.

I am thinking... about finding some friends to start a freezer cooking group with. Anyone want to make and exchange meals for the freezer. Let me know.

I am thankful for... our Sunday night fellowship dinners. We eat at 5:30. Join us.

From the learning rooms... Grom has been plowing through worksheets. School starts again tomorrow.

From the kitchen... I made a really yummy Mexican Pasta Sunday night. I'm excited for the leftovers.

I am wearing... comfy clothes... my felted slippers, yoga capri pants and a tee.

I am creating... photos. That's about it. I was given a DSLR for my birthday and Christmas. I'm having fun learning how to use it.

I am going... to do a little internet shopping when I'm done with this. here I come.

I am reading... nothing. I need a good book. Anyone have a recommendation?

I am hoping... Gogo's soccer team wins tomorrow. They really need a win. Gogo gets a bit moody when they lose.

I am hearing... the chime on my iPhone that says "It's your turn for Words with Friends".

Around the house... the Christmas decorations are put away and the house is CLEAN! Woo Hoo!

One of my favorite things... freshly sharpened pencils.

Vocabulary word of the week:
cahoots - (noun): questionable collaboration; secret partnerships
synonyms: alliance, collusion, league, partnership
used in a sentence: Grom gets a certain look on his face that tells me he's in cahoots with his Dad.

A few plans for the rest of the week: cheering at a soccer game, teaching at Kids Club, celebrating with family.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


Check out other daybooks at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Books Read in 2010

My reading list from 2010.

Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers (unabridged audiobook)

Jimmy Buffett
Swine Not (unabridged audiobook)
and again read aloud with Grom
I hope someone makes this one into a movie.

Jennifer Chiaverni

The Christmas Quilt

Charlotte Connors
How Dolly Parton Saved My Life

Diane Mott Davidson
Dark Tort (unabridged audiobook)
Sweet Revenge (unabridged audiobook)
Fatally Flaky (unabridged audiobook)

Ted Dekker
Green (abandoned - not my taste)

Gene Edwards
A Tale of Three Kings

Sue Grafton
U is for Undertow - content warning

Neta Jackson
Where do I go?
Who do I talk to?
Who do I lean on?

Kevin Leman
Have a New Kid by Friday
Sheet Music

Julie Powell
Julie & Julia (abridged audiobook) - extreme language warning

L.E. Romaine

Lisa Samson
Apples of Gold


One of the fun things about having a blog is the fun opportunities that present themselves. This week we got to make cookies. I received a prize pack through My Blog Spark. It contained a package of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, a set of Gladware disposable storage containers and a gift card for Safeway Stores (we have Vons around here).

One day last week it was time to break out the fun.


The mix was easy enough... add some butter and an egg... and...


stir it up. I love the look on Grom's face as he supervises his buddy's turn at stiring.
Next time I'd use my Kitchen Aid. It would've been a little quicker.
And the little boys had some trouble getting all the butter incorporated.


I used my cookie scoop to portion it out. To get the kiddos involved, we added some M&M's. The Girlies did a great job of pushing the candies into the cookies.
A few M&M's got pushed into their mouths.


My sister has been decorating cookies with the girls.
Their cookies were cooked and they could eat them straight away.

It was a little hard to convince a 2 1/2 year old to wait 12 minutes
before they could enjoy their sweet treats.


It made a batch big enough to eat immediately,
give some away, and stash a few in the freezer for later.




These cookies Grom and Surferman took to our neighbor Connie.
She crashed her bike and broke her femur (ouch!).
We were hoping these would cheer her up.

So here are my thoughts on the products...

You don't see the Glad containers. They are in the freezer or fridge. They were put to use immediately. They sent the large size. It's a great size for leftovers and putting meals away in the freezer. They are inexpensive so I don't get upset when they get stuck in the freezer for a while.

The cookie mix was good. The mix sped up the cookie making process, which is important when your sous chefs are 2 1/2 and 6 year olds. We baked some sweet memories.

disclosure: I was given a prize pack by Safeway, Betty Crocker and Gladware through MyBlogSpark. My opinions however are my own and are independent of the BlogSpark.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

What's for Dinner - January 3, 2011

~family dinner~
~Gogo - pre-game pasta feed~
my folks cook

~family house cleaning~
~Gogo - local soccer match~
bacon & swiss strata

~Kids Club / Bible Study~
Outlaw Chicken Sliders (dream dinners meal)

~Gogo - away soccer match~
~travel to San Francisco~
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed French Bread (dream dinners meal)

~day in the City~

~Family Christmas Party~
take appetizer
dip and chips
crackers and cheese

~fellowship dinner~
spaghetti with meat sauce
garlic bread

Polar Bears

If it's New Years, it's time for our town's Polar Bear dip.
It draws quite a crowd.
Our family took the plunge... well... most of our family...
SOMEONE had to take the pictures.
I volunteered.


Here's a "Where's Waldo" for you... can you find Surferman, Grom and Gogo?

There were so many people that I lost the guys a few times.
I was so worried that I wouldn't get a good picture.


It started raining hard right before they were supposed to go into the ocean.
The crowd didn't wait. They rushed on in.


Here's Gogo before.


And here they all are after.
Cold and proud.


Everyone gets a certificate.
Proof they've done it!

It was a fun way to welcome 2011.