Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello again.

1. This afternoon I made bagels.  Yes, all by myself.  You see, though Switzerland has a plethora of delicious breads to choose from, bagels are not one of them.  So the other day I saw someone had posted about making bagels on their blog and said it wasn’t very hard.  They sounded good to me, so I printed the recipe (found here) and made them.  And you know, they were delicious.  The only problem I had is that they stuck to my pan and so I had to really scrape them off to turn them over and bake on the other side.  I think next time I’ll try to use baking paper (kinda like wax paper) underneath.  (The thing is, the recipe says let them dry a minute after taking them out of the boiling water, but I didn’t know how to accomplish that—I tried putting them on a towel, but the dough got stuck.)  Anyway, as I said, completely delicious—much better than cheap bagels from the store.  I made 16, and we now have only 5 left.  But here’s maybe the most important part:  you must all try a bagel with a layer of cream cheese topped with a layer of Nutella.  DO IT.  Goodness gracious it’s fantastic.  How could it not be?  It’s cream cheese and nutella. 

2. Yesterday Hazel was taking off the apple stem by turning it and saying a letter of the alphabet with each turn.  Supposedly, the letter that you’re on when the stem comes off is the first letter of the name of the person you’re going to marry.  (Do any of you do that?)  So we were all saying boys names that started with K for her, but then Ethne said, “But you’re going to marry Jethro and I’m going to marry Talmage.”  And Hazel said, “But you can’t marry your brother,” and Ethne asked why, and Hazel thought for a minute and said, “Because then your kids would only have one grandparents.”  Which sounds like good reasoning to me.

3.  I think it is hilarious when Talmage bonks his head on something, like the corner of the table, and then turns around and makes a really angry face at it and punches it a bunch of times while making punching noises.  Ha ha ha!! 

4.  Speaking of Talmage, that amazingly cute kid of mine, I took some pictures of him the other day because we bought this traditional Swiss shirt for him at a second-hand store (Score!—those things are bank if you buy them at the gift-shop type places), and he looks really cute in it.  REALLY cute. IMGP2636 IMGP2638 IMGP2642 IMGP2643

I think the following one is so funny.  He has a big head, doesn’t he?

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5.  It snowed all day long today.  It was kindof nice, since I didn’t have to go out in it.  I just got to watch the pretty flakes blanket the ground.  There has been snow for several days now, and Jethro and Hazel and Ethne have gone out sledding most days.  See how it looked out my window? 


Here’s the view from my front room/kitchen


and from my bedroom.


6.  On Saturday we drove to France and our friend Jenny watched our kids for us so that Brett and I could get all the Christmas shopping done, all at once and in France where prices are (supposed to be) lower.  It snowed all that day too, and we saw plenty of cars off the road.  It was good for us that Brett had put on the snow tires the week before.  It was good to get pretty much all of our Christmas stuff done.  By the way, shopping at garage sales and thrift stores for several years kindof ruins other shopping for you.  Oh well.

7.  Speaking of Brett working on the van, he also had to sand and buff the area that I uhh… accidentally scraped (they shouldn’t hang signs on the garage door or people might have little accidents when they’re trying to read them as they’re raising up (even if they can’t read German)).  He was kindof mad at me at first.  I don’t understand why I have to be all apologetic if I do something to the van, but he certainly isn’t apologetic to me if he does something to it.  Oh well.  I told him he should be glad I scraped it since it gave him some car work to do—and he loves car work, and he has very little to do here.  He said that he doesn’t like body work.  Beggars can’t be choosers.

8.  On Sunday for FHE we read this story- Straw for the Manger- and all the kids were really interested.  We drew names and every time we do a secret nice deed or service for our person, we get to put a (raffia) straw in the manger, to make a soft bed for Jesus.  The kids have been so excited, and the good deed-doing has been abundant (but we’re on day 3 you know).  Hazel is so cute putting little drawing under Brett’s pillow (so much for her person being a secret) and Ethne was sooo excited when I whispered in her ear to go put Jethro’s clothes in the laundry basket for him after his bath.  Today, Jethro was pretty much incredible.  He came home and without being asked picked up the entire front room (which was a big mess), and made Hazel and Ethne’s bed so nicely:


and asked me if there was anything he could do to help.  I don’t want this to EVER end!!!!  And you know what’s kidnof funny?  I actually have had a very cheery three days myself.  Instead of getting annoyed when kids haven’t done the things they were supposed to, I find that it’s easy for me to do it for them as a little service and then go put a straw in the manger.  

9.  This is my husband working on a skull with his robot.  Okay, actually he’s not working on anything, he’s posing for a picture.  I guess some pro photographer came to do pictures of their research project for some sort of a publication and Brett got to be the model.  Only this is not the picture they’re going to use, they’re going to do it over for some reason.  Which is cool because now I get to show the picture to you.  Doesn’t he look weird?  Who is that guy?


10.  I found this really cute felt advent calendar at the second-hand store and I think it is so perfect.  (It is also our only Christmas decoration.  Christmas decorations didn’t come in the airplane with us.)  You can’t tell in the picture, but the thing hanging down from the string is a little wooden tree that you can slip into the correct day.  I decided to put a little slip of paper with an activity of some sort in each day, so we’ll see how that goes.


Today’s activity was to make magazine Christmas trees.  You can find the tutorial I used here.  Also, Martha spray paints and glitters hers.  This was quick and fun and I think the final product is cute.  And Ethne could even do it by herself, but she had the biggest magazine so got tired after a while and I helped her.  Hazel put the star on top and the little bow around hers.  She was going to cut out more ornaments, but got distracted by a show.

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11.  Ten years ago, I was close to wrapping up my first semester at USU.  America still didn’t know if Bush had officially beaten Gore for the presidency.  There was no economic recession.  My family still lived in North Dakota.  And on this day, ten years ago, I first stopped thinking Brett was boring, and started to like him, and flirted with him.  Sigh.  Happy anniversary to us. 


12.  These pictures are from a long time ago (Oct.), but for some reason never got posted.  I think that’s a shame, since they’re so adorable, so I’m posting them now.  Hazel was riding our neighbor’s skateboard down the little ramp thingee in front of our apartment.

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13.  The other day I started the movie ‘Claymation Christmas’ for the kids while I was getting dinner ready, and it was amazing how I suddenly was transported back to my own childhood Christmases.  I honestly could smell the wintergreen and cinnamon glass candy, could feel myself snuggling down on a couch between a bunch of my siblings with a blanket, saw my mom beating a pan of chocolate centers or fudge—all from just hearing the familiar songs.  Tender, I know.   We watched it every year (that and Miracle Down Under—another fabulous Christmas movie).  So if you haven’t ever watched this cute and funny little Christmas show, do it this year, and make it a tradition.  You’ll like it.  For some reason I can’t get it to embed, but just go to youtube and search for Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas.  Start with part 1.

14.  Here’s how Talmage was reading a book yesterday morning.  I thought it was very cute.  I’m glad that he loves reading books so much.  Because, you know, the other part of the time he’s awake is spent making enormous messes and beating up his sisters and running around like a crazy man.

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By the way, I finally gave him a haircut.  It was getting out of control.  I mean, he needed a haircut since the first part of October, but I wanted it to stay long for Halloween for Friar Tuck, and now it’s been another month.  But last night all the men got a haircut.  Sometimes I think I’m getting worse at giving haircuts instead of better. 

15.  Speaking of Talmage being a crazy man, today he scared me half to death.  He woke up from his nap right when Jethro and Hazel were getting coats on and going out the door to gymnastics (I didn’t feel like driving in the snow, so I had them take the bus).  He was in the hall with them, and I went back to boiling the bagels.  After a few minutes, I realized I hadn’t heard from him for awhile, so I quickly looked in the front room and called for him, but he didn’t answer/make himself known.  So I had Ethne run down the stairs to see if he was in the basement where he sometimes plays on the scooters or skateboards.  But she came back and said he wasn’t there.  So now I was worried because there’s really no other place for him to be.  If he’s not in our house and he’s not in the basement then he has to be outside, so I thought maybe he followed Hazel and Jethro out.  But I figured Jethro and Hazel would have brought him back, but I just didn’t know.  So I ran downstairs and checked everywhere, and no Talmage.  I came back up and I was quite worried just because there was nowhere else for him to be but outside and I couldn’t see him in the vicinity.  So when I came back up I started checking room by room, and lo and behold, he was in my bedroom taking everything out of my purse and all of the cards out of my wallet.  No wonder he hadn’t answered—he knew he wasn’t supposed to be in there!  Tsk tsk.

16.  I played the organ on Sunday (normally no one plays the organ, they play the piano) because it was a special invite-a-friend meeting, and one of the missionaries called me later in the day to thank me for doing it.  I thought that was nice.  And when I was doing it, I remembered how nice it is to be sitting at the organ during the sacrament and how you can actually read the hymn and think about things other than trying to keep your kids quiet.  Ahhh, nice.

16.  And this was me playing with my clementine this morning. 

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And that’s the end (finally).


Tracy said...

I love to read your thoughts and comments. I'm glad you share them with me.

Andrea said...

About time you returned to life.

Kami said...

I wish I could play the organ--just for sacrament.

Lindsay Ann Rasmussen said...

I used to do the apple stem thing. Its a hard thing to make it last to "W"...unless you say the alphabet backwards. ;)
And the pic of Brett, he should have done like a mad/evil scientist laugh/smile. That would have been AWESOME!

Jenifer said...

When you dry the bagels try putting them on a lightly greased wire rack (or no grease but I've found they stick if you don't put something on it).

Lynn said...

YAY! Loved catching up with you. But now I totally forgot most of what I was going to comment on.

Oh yeah...there is one thing.....

I totally remember making Magazine Christmas Trees when I was a kid. In fact, I think my grandma STILL has a couple of magazine trees from WAY back when. So fun. I gotta show my kids how to have fun like that.

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