Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day of Thanks Giving

There wasn't a part of this Thanksgiving Day that I wasn't grateful for! Not the aliens and their spaceships or all the activity in the kitchen during the last frantic moments of dinner preparation or the company or the sunshine or the house or the memories and especially not the good food {specifically the desserts!!}.


Joseph prides himself on his innate ability to assist! But Mandy and

I successfully created turkey vultures for everyone. Some of them

had a little more personality than others!

Turkeys or vultures??


Mandy hopes to graduate the to big kid table but...well...

You have to have a plate to put the food on so while everyone was waiting for the food to finish cooking, they got to put the finishing {and colorful} touches on their plates. Definitely works of art, don't you agree?


Some of us were busy mashing potatoes and thickening gravy

and had to eat on blah plates

Scott and Joe had to satisfy some hungry little girls by

giving them a head start on lunch.

The roast and the turkey were done on time {always frightening for me since the year I cooked the turkey the allotted 20 minutes/pound but went off the cost instead of the weight}. Betty's sweet potato casserole was delicious. Mandy's rolls were to die for {inspite of all her stress and worry}. The potatoes were mashed and the gravy was thickened. Yummy broccoli salad {thanks to {Nellie} and vegetable trays {thanks to Amber and Betty} and a fruit salad {thank you, Me}. A spread definitely fit for royalty! Recipes are coming {ahem, Betty and Mandy}.

I think we're ready to eat! Looks like LOML is

circling making sure he is first in line!

Scott and Adam's choice of the turkey. Sorry it wasn't smoked,


Garrett, Jodi and Colton enjoying their feast.

Hunter, Brian, Carter and Mariah happy to finally be eating!

Reagan definitely in food heaven.

The one time our family is quiet is when we're


Looks like Joe caught Betty stealing food from his plate. She

looks innocent enough, right???

Somewhere between finishing dinner and starting in on the table decorations, aliens and their spaceships were spotted. I guess everyone should be allowed to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, Hunter and Brian were sure the aliens were invading us.

The aliens' "Light" spaceship was flitting all over the outer borders

of the room. I guess trying to locate a safe landing spot. Evidently

the mission was aborted before they could land or disembark. Either

that or Uncle Allen quit moving his watch hand around.

Some of the guys got involved in a game of Blockus to combat

the effects of the serotonin. Joe didn't eat turkey, though, so I

think he just needed to be busy to avoid kitchen duty.

Scott just gave into the serotonin. Probably the

smartest one of all.



Aspen is learning quickly about the importance of staking your

claim on the ads you want to keep for yourself.


It was such a nice day outside, some of the kids helped Grampa

pick his carrots. There was some serious chewing going on for

awhile before we broke out the dessert.

I was either too stuffed or too involved in the ads to snap pictures of the desserts but they were eaten up just like the meal!

Nathan and Krisy and family were missed, of course, but we saved them some table decorations!

What a great day we had! So many things to be grateful for. I need to learn to be aware of all the tender mercies that Heavenly Father so generously blesses me with. This Thanksgiving Day was certainly full of them!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Heavenly Day!

Happy Birthday to my safe, protected, perfect little girl, Stephanie!

Love you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Date Night Old People Style

It all started because LOML had the day off {which is what he calls the days he doesn't have to go to work}. On his days on {which is what he calls the days he does go to work}, customers tend to share lots of information with him, although perhaps not as much as he shares with them. The particular customer in question here happened to mention he had apples for the picking, so . . .

. . . LOML was hit with an amazing idea!

He decided to pick a peck {or two or three} of precious pickable apples.

 After the dastardly deed was done, he turned on the charm and, putting his best foot forward {as only LOML can do}, and in his most unquestionably enticing manner, he preyed on my weaknesses in an effort to convince me to join him in his undertaking.

I, of course, was overtaken with indescribable shock, surprise and emotion and succumbed to enticements and blindly {as in 'with my eyes shut'} accepted his invitation.


And that's how our date night began! Still reeling in how well we multi-tasked the evening away to Jim Croce singing, "If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd want to do . . . " {Seriously, we were serenaded by my selections on Pandora and Jim Croce actually sang that song for us!}

Drying some of the apples was one of the activities.

Applesauce was another part our date.


We wrapped up our evening with dessert,

apple pie filling to be exact.

Tell me again why I never get

as much as the recipe says

I should?

The lesson I learned: When hot syrup is dipped out of a hot pan and poured into a jar, it is still hot. When that same hot syrup overflows over the top of a jar onto your thumb, {see picture above} it is still hot. And sticky. And did I mention it's hot??? Well, thank goodness Krisy had given me these awesome, soothing rice packs and I had them in the freezer! They are amazing!

The lesson LOML learned {Hopefully}: There is more to picking a peck {or two or three} of precious pickable apples than merely picking them! Alas, I'm afraid he had too much fun, though!

So another hot date at the Christensen house comes to an end. Hard to believe it will be 35 years in less than a month based on these romantic getaways, huh?

Building an Attitude

So, I got to play with Hunter and Aspen for a bit. The storms hadn't hit and the apple date hadn't materialized yet so I was having fun outside with them. Grampa had given Hunter a little hammer and some nails and he was working on the scraps of wood left out on the patio.

Then Grampa gave Hunter a different hammer, one that you had to have 'big muscles' to use. Hunter only had three bandaids on three separate fingers when he was finished. Don't panic. Nothing major. However the whole point of even sharing these is the attitude that Hunter has regarding the 'big muscle' hammer and the fact Aspen couldn't have cared less because no boy {brother or not} is going to tell her which hammer she is supposed to use.

Hunter working. Aspen was in the sand box.

As soon as she realized there were cool tools

to be had, she came running.

Aspen helping with the smaller hammer.

I am Woman, hear me roar!!

I am Man and have big muscles so I will use the big hammer.

That's paraphrased from what Hunter really said. The meaning

was the same.

 When all was said and done, Hunter had built himself a bridge. And he was proud of it, too!

Testing out the final project - the Bridge.

Aspen may be testing out the bridge, but she's

still got her eye on the Manly Hammer.

 Amber and Scott: I think you've got a girl with some spunk!

Life's Lessons Locations - 4th in a multi-part series

I was watching a couple of grandkids play this afternoon and decided to start sweeping off the patio since LOML was cleaning up stuff, too. Yup. It's that time of year when the patio gets turned into the boat dock.

The wind was blowing. I started sweeping. Nothing really happened. Then I realized I was sweeping into the wind and everything I was sweeping off was being blown back. Then I chuckled because I remembered one of the many of life lessons I learned from our stint as yard work workers. I decided it was time for another installment in that infamous collection.

No one believes me when I tell them that when I was a little girl, I had to mow the lawn with a mower that didn't have an engine mounted on it. I was the engine. I don't think they doubt that there were once mowers without engines. I just think they're amazed that the wheel had been invented when I was a little girl. I'm happy to report the wheel had been invented and there were two of them on that mower.


There are the basic lessons that, for the most part come quickly. Of course, there is always the refresher course at the beginning of each new season. Common sense things like don’t stand on Nellie’s blind side while she’s raking, remember to take a wide path around the hitch on the truck, check the weather forecast before setting out, give Joseph plenty of space for his antics on the rider, ask what beverage is in the Hart's mug BEFORE you take a big swig and last but not least, make sure everyone has gone to the bathroom before setting out.

  1. Contrary to popular beliefs, fads, fetishes, etc., it is possible to have too many lawn gnomes {and squirrels and rabbits and various other cute little plaster animals}. Too much clutter to maneuver around definitely makes the job more difficult.

  2. The amount of time it takes to push, scrape, shovel, or sweep grass clippings out of the truck bed at the dump is directly equivalent to how many times {and how many people joined you} as you jumped in it, packing it down so just one more lawn's clippings would fit in.

  3. The length of time it takes to empty the truck bed of clippings is not only equivalent to the amount of tromping that took place but the longer it takes to empty the truck bed is even more equal to the strength of the moldy grass odor which will permeate every pore of your skin before said truck bed is empty.

  4. No matter how much maintenance is performed at home before taking off, at least one piece of machinery will break, requiring the CEO of the business to 'tinker' until, wallah! Said broken piece of machinery will miraculous be fixed at precisely the same time the other employees have finished the immediate job.

  5. Going around the outside of a section makes mowing it a lot easier. You have established boundaries and know precisely what your responsibility is. The younger the kids were, the more LOML and I had to establish these boundaries. It kept them from mowing down flower beds and flipping gravel and other oddities that may injure them.

  6. Piggy backing on #5, don't eat the whole elephant in one bite. Tackle one section of grass, one dump of the bag at a time.

  7. Don't be afraid to dance in the rain. It doesn't make the grass any easier to cut but it sure keeps everyone entertained and keeps your mind off of how wet you're getting.

  8. Wind will blow the heck out of the best made plans. You can either sit down, do nothing and wait for the wind to stop or you can just duck your head and plow into the job in an attempt to ignore the wind or you can pause, study the wind and figure out how to work with it and use it to your advantage. {the power raking memories the wind blew up while sweeping the patio}.

  9. It's easier, takes less time and is less frustrating to mow a lawn once a week than fight your way through overgrown weeds, clogged lawnmower chutes and broken weed whacker line when mowing it on a not-so-consistent basis.

  10. If it's important to you to fertilize during the winter, don't complain when the lawn needs to be mowed in March!

So, there you have it. Lessons learned, memories made.