Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Dinner

I decided to try a new tradition this year for Christmas Eve. We tried to have a meal that would have been similar to what Jesus would have eaten. After doing some research I came up with the following menu:

Dried dates and apricots
Dried meat (beef jerky)
apples, grapes, pomegranate
rustic bread
Pita bread
olive spread

It sounded kind of funny, but it was amazing how well all the flavors went together. The kids really enjoyed trying some new foods, too. And since it was an easy meal to prepare, that helped us think about the Savior, I think I will make it again next year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gingerbread House

We finally got around to making a gingerbread house. And by finally, I mean finally. Just so you know, gingerbread house pieces can successfully be frozen for a year.

I had attended a gingerbread workshop given by this wonderfully creative person. We had a great time decorating a house there and I learned a new couple of tricks, like how to make glass looking windows out of candy and put a string of lights inside to make it look lit up. Loving Architectural history, I decided I wanted to create a classically styled house. Believe it or not, Bob Villa has a few different home style gingerbread house plans posted on the web. I swear, you can find anything on the internet! So, I made all the pieces for a classic colonial last year, only to not have the time to put it together. So, after a year in the freezer, I thawed out the pieces and we made it this year.

Notice Cyrus using chopsticks to help hold up the walls.

The kids had a great time, even Marv joined in at the end.

Unfortunately, our decorative pay load on the roof was too much, and shortly after finding a home out of Cyrus reach for our finished creation, the roof caved in. We were able to patch it all back together, but I think it would have been better if the house assembly had occurred at least a day before the decorating part began. Just writing that here so that so I will remember the next time we make one, in about 10 years.

I never got a picture of it with the lights on. It made a nice cozy glow, especially when all the lights in the room came from it, the tree and the fireplace. And the best part was the gingerbread smell it made!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


We like to take the whole family to the XC meets. I think its good to have siblings support each other in their activities when they can. Plus, I am hoping they all want to follow each others examples and become runners. So far, it is working, with Emily doing XC after Marvin did. Maddy loves to run the races, too. Even though she has to stay behind the last person, and often the ATV who follows the last runner. Elsie seems to be expressing interest already, too:

In fact, I got inspired and decided I wanted to try running, too. Actually, I had already tried it once, back in 9th grade I ran the mile on the track team. But, after admiring so many of my friends who are runners, I decided I would try it again as an adult. I started a Couch to 5k program and got several weeks into it before cold weather and crazy busyness undermined my efforts. I actually got to the point of running 20 minutes at a time. Impressive, I know. Ha ha! I have to be honest, though, I didn't like it. Running just wasn't fun. I half suspect that it could be, sometimes, if I put enough into it so that I actually was fit enough to be doing it. Not sure I am willing to do that, though.

(By the way, that is me in the middle of the picture. Click on the picture and you can catch a glimpse of my very amateur running form.)

While running itself basically sucked, doing it outside where I could enjoy nature was actually quite nice. I found a gorgeous trail to run near my home, around this open field area, bordered by woods. It's the same place where we took our fall family portraits. I wasn't able to get there for all my runs, but if I could have and the weather had stayed nice, I might still be running. I'm thinking that I might start again when things thaw out a bit. Staying fit for the warm portion of the year is better than not ever being fit, right? Still, I'd probably much rather be sitting on a rock, sketching sights like these, rather than catching quick glimpses as I whiz wheeze past.

And just for fun: