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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust


Now that the packages, boxes, and bags have been unwrapped, unpacked, and emptied we are settling down for our long winter's nap. Ha! We had a whirlwind of a day, but that makes them more interesting I suppose. I woke up early with Kyle today and went to work with him...sort of. I dropped him off at his work, then headed over to mine to put in a few hours getting ready for the work week next week. I got a ton done. I worked 5 hours uninterrupted (minus a few phone calls from my hubby, and one to make a dinner date for tomorrow.) I got my entire classroom rearranged moving the trouble makers to the far corners so that they won't be as tempted to act out. I have my lessons planned for the first week back, and my lessons altered for those who need extra help and for those who need a more challenging road. Whew!Then I got to have a bite to eat with my hubby before we went home to tackle the undecorating of the tree, despite my friends theory that taking the tree down before New Year's Day is bad luck. I have never heard that theory before. You know we break the pork roast and sauerkraut on New Year's Day for good luck too! We both hate sauerkraut, except Kyle likes it on a Reuben sandwich.


So out with the Santas, tree, garland, ornaments and poinsettias and in with the snowmen. I have a small collection, but each little piece makes me happy when I put them out.
We ended the evening watching Kayla cheer at the basketball game. We watched the JV lose again. And the varsity win 69-40 against the Northwestern Huskies. Kayla is getting better at her side-line dances. She did all but 2 tonight. Much better! I'll have to remember my camera to get another video. She got her pictures tonight.

I have had fun posting my journal and meeting new blogging friends. I hope to meet many more in the year to come. Thanks for introducing me my friend chatty Kathy!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas Weekend

We started our Merry Making Christmas Eve by having Kyle's sister Kim and her family over. We ate well on the raclette machine and then we played games.

This was the yummy feast. You know there is something rewarding about grilling your own food, melting cheese and feasting on great food. We got to share a lot of good conversation too.
The cousins got to dance on the Wii. It was fun watching them bust a move. Little Kole-Kole was quite funny trying to keep up with the big boys.
I don't remember the last time Kyle and I played Euchre, but it's been a long time. We lost two games in a row. But it was fun playing.
You know the teens still wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. They were up and ready to go at 6:20 ish Saturday morning. You know they are never up before their alarm on school days....
They were both excited to open their presents and then try them out. Kayla is becoming a digital camera pro. I even stole a couple of her shots for the post today. We spent lunch with Mom and Tom and had some more raclette. I made a very rich chocolate cheesecake. I usually tackle a more delicate dessert for Christmas. It's kind of fun for me to bake so I try new recipes every year for Christmas day. I think this was just a bit to chocolatey. (never thought I'd say that)

We spent the afternoon playing the new Wii. It was a lot of fun. We laughed a lot.
My brother Mike enjoying Christmas dinner at my Dad and Kathy's house.
My sister Amy and her husband Carlo. Mike's wife Hannah and the granddaughters Maddie, Malea and Riley. We got to eat ham and my grandma's famous (in our family) potato salad. We always have pickles and olives which for some reason is craved by me only at Dad's house. Isn't it interesting how sometimes a setting makes certain foods more appealing than others.
Carter was unwrapping presents while we were eating dinner. He couldn't wait any longer. He unwrapped the present he had picked out for dad. That's the great thing about grandparents, they don't mind whether they get to unwrap their presents or if their grandsons do it.
Dad and Cathy passing out gifts to everyone. Christmas day was very relaxing and fun for us. I really enjoyed every thing we did this weekend. I really felt like I can come around my dad more often. I think it's time to let bygones be bygones and move forward forgetting the heartaches of the past. I think it will be best for both of us. I can tell he misses my family. I really feel like my days will be merry and bright for awhile. Maybe it's just the perspective. Who knows, but I like it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Stockings were Hung by the Chimney with Care


Most years there is so much hustle and bustle that Christmas sometimes is a nuisance. It requires more time and energy than I want to give. I decided that I was going to have a happy Christmas this year. I've had a few snags, but all in all, I am enjoying time with family and friends. Today, Kyle is home and were are preparing to have Christmas with his sister and family. Out of all his brothers and sisters; they are the only ones in Ohio. I'm excited to have the nephews and niece here to have some little pitter patter of feet and the excitment of santa in our home. I have the buffet all prepared with goodies. The best part about this is I didn't make hardly any of it. I was focused on getting cookies ready for people in our church I gave most of what I had made away and was planning on baking yesterday. I got so many gifts from my students and people of the branch that I didn't have to bake at all yesterday. I just dipped a few pretezel rods because I had bought all the stuff to do so.
The next thing I am excited about is a new tradition that we are starting with our family. We are going to use the raclete machine to make a great meal that everyone does their own, while we sit around the table and chat and share what's going on in life. That's the best part of being in a world-wide church you meet people that have been around the world and bring traditions to you that you never knew exisisted. The raclete machine is a European tradition (Swiss?) where you grill meats and veggies then pour melted cheese over what you just grilled. Thank you McDonald's for sharing this tradition with us last Christmas.
I made fresh bread and we have our potatoes baked, and will heat up broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for later. You put your cheese under the grill and it melts while the other food is grilling. We have chicken, shrimp, steak and ham to grill. Yummo! Of course we have the Crawford family tradition of pizza on Christmas eve too. We can't forget the egg nog (not my favorite, but the family likes it).
This has been an exciting Christmas for me. I've actually taken time to enjoy people and decorating and get into the real meaning of Christmas. I've let Christ's spirit touch my heart. I needed the spiritual boost! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Surprise

I have been wanting to sing the Hallelujah Chorus for several years now. When I was in choir in High School it was tradition to end the Christmas concert with that song. It is a difficult piece and is not something that we would be able to pull off with our little and most of the time non -exisitant choir at church. I haven't had time to dedicate to the community choir at AU, so I've just been wishing the opportunity would present itself. Well, at Kayla's Christmas concert last night the choir director said, it's Hillsdale's tradition to invite anyone who has sang the Hallelujah Chorus in the past to come up and sing it with the choir. I was so excited! I got to do it, and it sounds like I'll get three more years of it! We weren't as majestic as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but it sure was fun!
It's funny how little things can make you happy. It didn't cost anyone anything to get me that little Christmas gift, but so far it's my favorite one, ...... next to my new kitchen-aid, of course!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I thought I'd share some of the things that I heard from my students this week.

student: Mrs. Crawford I really got my homework done, I just left it at home. Can I get another copy in case I lost it?

me: Did you forget or did you lose it?

student: both

My favorite for the week:

Student: I couldn't do my book report because my dog "pooped" on it.

me: I would like for you to bring in the book in a ziploc bag so that I know that really happend.

student: okay, but it had diahhera all over it!

me: okay, I'll let you borrow another book to finish up, but I want you to bring me the book tomorrow.

(He brought the book the next day. It really was "pooped" on).

Public education is a hoot!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Begining to Smell A lot Like Christmas

MMMMMM...sugars and spices and everything nices. I worked on Kyle's favorite cookie for Christmas tonight. I sent him to get me molasses at the Amish bulk food store it's way less expensive than in the store. I can get a quart for $2 instead of a pint for over $3. I also like to have molassess on hand for my baked beans.
Kyle even helped with the scooping and rolling in the sugar. I usually don't make these much because I don't like having mulitple steps, I just like to drop and bake.
Kayla worked on her cream cheese mints tonight. I have a little snowman cookie cutter that I usually use to make these, but it went missing in action so she started out with a pumpkin...I mean Christmas ornament (if you squint your eyes and look just right.) She gave up on that and went to the rolling and squishing with a fork.
Squint your eyes and look just right, you could hang these on a tree.
 We ended up with a snow day today. It's a bittersweet thing this time of year. I have so much material to cover before next week. The students don't learn much the week before break. (We learned in our seminars that this stage is called emotion, critical thinking can't happen when you are in emotion, good or bad.) I was up and out of bed at 5:30 this morning and left with Kyle to go to work at 7:00 this morning because I thought I'd get some work done before the kids got their at 10:15. By the time he dropped me off at school, school was closed. It was quiet in the building, I got a lot done. That was nice. I came home and started the tackling of the piles that get ignored when it's just us in the house. But, we have a Christmas dinner at our house Saturday with friends so, I have to make sure all my papers are filed and that kind of stuff.
The kids didn't liked being worked all morning with mom home, but they survived and got to snuggle up for a movie afternoon. It was nice to have the weather slow down my family. I really got to enjoy a quiet evening at home...I can't remember the last time we did that? hmmm...nope still can't remember. Thank you, Heavenly Father for the little blessings, they bring big smiles!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rebound that Basketball

Last night was the first home game of the season, the Falcons faced the Dalton Bulldogs. The JV cheerleaders are all pyched up for the game. They have their smiles all warmed up ready to get the crowd involved in the game.

Here are the lovely Freshman Kaylas. Yep, they are both named Kayla. Tonight was jersey night for the cheer girls.

The JV lost in the last few minutes of the game. The varsity lost 62-65 in overtime. What an edge of the seat sort of game. It's been along time since I watch basketball at the high school level. The crowd was going crazy. The Sheriff's deputies actually had to go to the student section of the Dalton side of the gym and settle down the crowd.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Let the Candy Making Begin

We decided this year to only make one of each of our favorite cookies/candy and one item that the family likes. So I decided on Buckeyes. Yes, I made my favorite first...well sort of...Last week I made a pan of fudge that we already devoured. I guess I'll have to make another one.

We are going to collect cookies and candy from Relief Society sisters to make plates to deliver to our shut-ins for Christmas. We are teaming up with the youth to make the deliveries. So making a double batch of buckeyes in my new kitchen-aid is going to the greater good...if they make it through the week....

Kayla bought her goddesses a new collar. The collars have a little bell on them. The kittens had a hilarious good time figuring those out. We got a good laugh from them. They were running around all frantic and trying to get the bell. Jolly good show that was. Hope you laugh as much as we did.


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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Let It Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow


It has been snowing for the last few days here in Ohio. I am really enjoying the beauty of the snow. I'm actually glad that there has not been enough to cause snow delays and snow days at work. It seems that there is never enough time to get through everything that you need to teach.


Plus, I always wonder when we have snow delays about those children who don't have much...are they getting food today? Are they getting their needs met? Those were questions I never had to ask as a child. Sometimes you don't realize how blessed you are.


On a more humourous note...be glad you aren't the one in the car with the practing driver on these days. The boys had a fantastic time at the cold weather campout. They even stayed warm sleeping with hand and feet warmers distributed evenly throughout their sleeping bags. They always enjoy a good hearty breakfast casserole they make in a dutch oven over the fire. I guess now we'll have to get them I survived the cold patch.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Devotional


Each year at Christmas time the First Presidecy talks to the members of the Church about the importance of the season. (You can view it at www.lds.org) I always enjoy watching, especially from the comfort of my own home! I really enjoyed the messages and how they relate to our lives today. I liked how President Uchdorf told of how we can sometimes be like the Grinch character and be annoyed by the packages, boxes and bags. But are we going to let our hearts stay two sizes to small or are we going to find the real meaning of Christmas.
I hope we all slow down enough to enjoy the subtle influences of the Savior on our lives. I hope that I can come to understand and become more charitible so that it's a habit or condition in which I live and not a planned activity.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Girls Night Out

The boys went cold weather camping with the scout troop tonight...(dumb boys)....so we are having our traditional girls night out. Only tonight we had a few flaws in our tradition. Dakota was out driving with his instructor tonight so we had to take him up to the camp site. He signed up for the 5-7 pm slot...so we had to wait for him to be done in prime shopping and eating out time. We made a mad dash to Kohls to spend our Kohl's cash before it expired from Black Friday. We made it back in time to get Kota and dinner and the whole milk Kyle forgot to get (and couldn't take the 1 % we had in the fridge for fear of ridicule from the boys). We decided to go home and have a Twilight marathon...we have to pick up Eclipse tomorrow.

Here are the girls.....

All the makings for chocolate fudge......

time for PJ's.......

...and the studs! Me: Team Edward....Kayla: Team Jacob.....I'll have to teach my daughter rippling muscles and good looks aren't everything!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teen Drivers, Gray hair, and Mother's Curses


I thought I was doing pretty good getting to 35 with little to no gray hair. I only have to color my hair if I want a color change, not to hide grays. Well there must be some truth to your teens turning your hair gray and I want to blame it on my teen driver.

It's amazing all the things you can do while your driving that you don't even have to think about...all those things start blaring when your son's behind the wheel. Like the pressure of a foot on the gas pedal or brake for instance. The passengers should not have to be held in their seat by a seat belt to start and stop a car under normal driving circumstances...I think I might have to see my friendly chiropractor for having whiplash!

What about taking a right turn on red. You stop, inch up until you can see, then go if there is nothing coming. Inch up, not get half way in the intersection so if there was something coming they would hit you anyway.

Oh, I have another one...Get in the left lane. Get in the left lane. THERE IS THE DRIVE, GET INTO THE LEFT LANE, as we are sitting in a diagonal across the driving lane and turn lane in the middle of State Route 42 (on the way to driving school ironically).

Or stop, stop, STOP! The amazing thing is that he says quit yelling at me it makes me frustrated...like he didn't hear the two times I said it in a normal tone. He only hears when I have to yell it....talk about be frustrated.

We haven't had any real mishaps, just some heart stoppers or accelarators....

Did you know the speed limit in Hayesville is still 35 and not, oops I'm doing 45?

I'm sure we all looked like this when we began driving...this is when you hear your mom's curse in your head....just wait until YOU have kids. Yep, they frustrate me as much as I frustrated her, but I still love 'em!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Traditions

I've always sworn off the Black Friday Shopping day. I'm not really interested in being out in the crowd and hustling for savings. It's worth it to me to pay regular prices as to not have to be up before the sun is shining. Well, this year my husband said, Walmart is having some really good deals, let's try it. Being a shopping sucker and liking the fact my husband wanted to spend some money, I took the bait. We dragged our daughter with us, while Dakota chose to stay at home sleeping where I should have stayed. We witnessed a fight at Walmart over a laptop. We ended up only getting one of the great deals because it really wasn't worth it to me to fight over electronics. We went to McDonald's and had a nice hot, quiet breakfast. We moved on to Home Depot to get our $0.99 poinsettas and then ventured into Kohls. We bought some more gifts and then ended at Sam's Club finishing off the kids' list. Christmas isn't as magical when Santa isn't involved; meaning you can have your daughter try things on first.

Later is when the real magic for me started. We started several years back going to Grandma and Grandpa Beninghof's to cut a live Christmas tree. I told Kyle since it was so biting cold that when we found a good one, I didn't want to look for one better I just wanted to take that one. I found a tree right away and he cut it down.

Tada, this is not a Charlie Brown tree at all. It's nice and full all the way to the top!

They always look smaller in the outside, but when you bring it in, they really fill up the space we put the tree in the house.
It really fills up the bay window where we like to put our tree.

I really like live poinsettas. I really like the reds. I'm not sure why I like them, but I always have to buy some at Christmas time.
Athena's first Christmas and she is really checking everything out. She got herself stuck inside the box of the ornaments came out of. Silly kitty.
Kyle and Kota worked hard at setting up the outside decorations in the bitter cold. We haven't had lights and decorations outside for awhile. I convinced Kyle to put things out this year.

Happy Birthday Carlo. My Brother has Thanksgiving for my dad's side of the family the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year we celebrated my nephew Carlo's birthday too. Every scout-aged kid needs a multi-tool don't you think?

Baby Malea is getting so big.
Carter and Kota decided to trek around outside for a bit, but came back in shortly since it was so cold outside.

Not too bad of spread for the second Thanksgiving Dinner.

My sister Amy.
Carter attacking the birthday cake with a butter knife to eat it...too cute!

Kota enjoying the birthday cake too. Kayla missed out on the dinner, she was at a friend's house, partly my fault since I thought the dinner started at 5 pm not noon. Oh well, we had a good time anyhow.
I love our traditions.