Despicable ME?
Thursday, December 30, 2010

When she can spell she'll enter a whole new level of taunting.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The kids recently realized they could "chat" with each other by sending messages using their Nintendo DS's.  (What's the plural of a Nintendo DS?  DS'?  DSs'?  DSes?)

Lauryn was very excited about this new "chatting" development.  The only problem is she can't really spell yet.  So when she's chatting with her brothers [i.e. bugging them while they try to play their games] I get a lot of questions like,

"How do you spell 'you're stinky'?"


Muffin Trickery
Monday, December 27, 2010

My kids can put away some muffins.   I generally buy "just add water" muffin mix.  But I decided over Christmas break, when things go a little slower in the mornings, we would cook ourselves some muffins from scratch!

I found this basic recipe and made plans to cook our way through several variations: lemon, blueberry, chocolate chip, cinnamon-fig.

Wait.  CINNAMON-FIG?!?  Yep.  Cinnamon-fig.  I was given a large quantity of figs, and seeing as how I can't get anyone to eat them, I concocted a plan to sneak them in a batch of muffins, and try to pass the muffins off as "cinnamon-raisin".  Parental trickery with full intentions of coming clean AFTER they ate them.  (My Uncle Craig performed the same style of trickery on me when I was their age and I insisted I hated deer meat.  He told me after my 2nd helping of "roast" what I was actually eating.)

So I cooked them up....slapped on a generous amount of butter....and the kids scarfed them down.  Not gonna lie.  Trickery feels good. 

Merry Christmas
Saturday, December 25, 2010

That Christmas spirit stuff. It's contagious.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My amazing friend Anne organized a Christmas caroling expedition, and me and the kids joined in the fun.

When I told the kids we were going caroling, the news was met with excitement from Lauryn (who immediately began to plan her outfit), general indifference from Ryan, and defiant "I will go but I will NOT SING" from Dylan.  He continued to remind me in the days leading up to the event, including on the drive to our destination:  "I am NOT singing in front of people I don't even know."

That he would protest this whole "caroling business" was no great shock to me.  This is a kid who will barely even sing along in the car...and if he happens to be singing and catches me glimpsing at him in the rear view mirror his vocal cords lock up tight.  So, I didn't have high hopes he would actually participate in said caroling.

As we assembled our merry tribe of carolers and knocked on the first door, Dylan was standing in a cluster of kids from church.  We waited....the door opened...we all started in with a hearty (if not perfectly executed) rendition of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"...and would you believe it....  my little 7 year old Grinch was singing right along! Loudly! It brought happy tears to my eyes.

It seems the spirt of the season swept him right up.  I love it.

That would be Lauryn there in the front, in the aforementioned outfit.  Black and white hat.  Striped jacket.  Polka dot scarf.  That's all her doing.

We all had a blast.  Ryan's assessment of the evening:  "That was really fun.  And people in their 60's and 70's think we sing really well."

Omelets. We can make 'em. Good ones.
Saturday, December 11, 2010

So this year, for what's become our "annual-girlfriend-Christmas-dinner", we all brought ingredients for an over the top, gourmet, breakfast for dinner.

We had a lesson on how to make omelets.  Given that I had never attempted to make an omelet (unless you count boiling them in a bag which totally doesn't count), I was considerably nervous.

The night unfolded as such:  Our "master omelet maker" first gave a demonstration (she watched a lot of Alton Brown to prepare), then after her lesson we each made a rockin' good 3 egg omelet that we cut into 7 pieces and shared.  It was awesome. Bacon, cheese, hash browns, green chiles... these were just a few of the ingredients at our disposal to wield as we wished.

Okay.  So. Reading back over those sentences I just wrote.....this doesn't sound as cool as it was. Obviously the greatness of omelet night does not transfer to the written word. Just trust me - it was awesome.  Gather your friends and try it!

We're cute.  And we make omelets.  Our men should be well pleased.  We also had fruit salad with roasted almonds, french toast, and freshly squeezed orange, apple, and carrot juice. Thank you Jack LaLanne!

(My beautiful friend Terisa, front and center, is about to have a baby any day.  Which therefore made it acceptable to talk labor, delivery, and babies all night.  Even more than we normally do.  So for that we thank her. What is it with women and birth stories?)


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Friday, December 10, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My beautiful mom has a birthday this weekend.  In celebration, I present this Haiku I wrote in her honor:

wish I was like her
because then all my laundry
would be put away


From left to right, that's me, my mom, my grandmother, and my great-aunt.  It's noteworthy that three of these women fold and put away away their laundry IMMEDIATELY upon hearing the dryer buzz.  One of these things is not like the other.  

photos courtesy of Jubilee Photography

Stocking Stuffer Idea
Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jonathan recently made an online order at Gap, and because he loves me he added these great Cozy Mary Jane slippers to his cart for me. Or maybe it was mostly because he needed to spend $5 more bucks in order to use a coupon and get free shipping. Either way - they are indeed cozy and very cute too!  Great gift for a girlfriend or other gal in your life.

On clearance for $5.00 
(Mine are pink and brown, but it looks like all they have now is purple.)

So I made Christmas Stockings. And they're adorable.
Thursday, December 2, 2010

In a hasty moment last year while putting away Christmas decorations, I threw away the kids stockings. Just threw 'em right on out.  I decided I had never really liked them and I would just sew them some new ones.  Except I didn't remember that hasty decision until a whole year later, when we unpacked the decorations last weekend.  "Where are the kids' stockings?  Oh wait....oops."

Wouldn't you know that same day I saw an adorable pattern for Christmas Stockings on Prudent Baby.  Decided to give it a try, and I think these stockings are so stinkin' cute.  I may or may not have texted a friend throughout the sewing process with pictures of my successes and captions like "I'm so proud of myself right now."  That might have been mildy obnoxious of me.  Apologies.

click to enlarge

I quilted diamond shapes in two of them, as seen on Prudent Baby, then I got all wacky and brave and quilted squares on the third one. I know.




(And for you frugal mamas like me, the best part is that these "custom made" stockings only cost me about $3 bucks each.  Christmas fabric at Hancock's is 50% off right now, and it only takes 1/2 yard per stocking.)


Hand Crafted

Click here to read my post on Prize31 - a story of a 4th grade girl teaching me a lesson about uniqueness.

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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