I want you to take a look at something I've found, passed on to me by a friend with a sincere interest in children and education. I think that it's safe to say that this is something that most people who follow my blog are interested in.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Posted by Carissa Mason at 4:26 PM
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Posted by Carissa Mason at 8:56 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
...the coolest quilt ever!!
For someone who is a tad OCD and a tid-bit of a perfectionist, this quilt drives me insane. The colors clash and it is the farthest thing from being "beautiful". But for someone who is so extremely sentimental and addicted to making my kids happy, it is absolutely perfect! It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Posted by Carissa Mason at 9:32 PM
They're nothing fancy. I mean, they'll use them for sleepovers and special occasions and that's probably it. Again, the perfectionist in me is cringing but if the kids love them, that's all that matters.
Monday, December 22, 2008
There's no pictures for these yet because they can't wear them until Christmas Eve. But I promise pictures will be posted soon!!
In the meantime, here are some photos from tonight's caroling rendezvous for your enjoyment!
This was before we left...while we could still feel our fingers and toes.
Just getting started.
First wind chill.
Mike had a good idea but I think his outfit was picked apart but the other frozen bodies on board.
And Brady's hat rocked!
We rocked the neighborhood, we did!
Ok, Matt was being a pansy.
Not sure what was going on here.
Me and Jesse found new uses for our hand warmers. They actually kept your entire face warm when you held them here.
Miss Photogenic and myself.
Look, it's Jack Frost himself!
Posted by Carissa Mason at 9:03 PM
Posted by Carissa Mason at 12:42 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
...family ice skating!
I was the first of the 2 parental "role models" for our children to try going around the little rink full of teenagers and 5 year olds who could spin pretty little figure 8 circles around me. This was me and the little ones just before we ventured out on the ice. The older ones were already out on the ice working on their triple axles.
Just checking to make sure that wall is secure. Don't need any little kids knocking it down or anything. "Hey Julia, wait for me!"
And round and round we go! I was just beginning to get comfortable in the skates.
Now, it was time for the old man, I mean my husband, to try it.
I love this shot. The blind leading the blind.
Another great shot. Garrett said he wanted dad to teach him to ice skate. At this moment, Garrett had just spun a 360 plus some while still holding on to dad's hand who I think was holding on to Garrett's hand for his own support while confident teenagers whizzed by. Little man was holding on to daddy's leg for any form of steadiness he could find. How this didn't turn out totally disastrous, I don't know.
I was so proud of Daphne and Abby, neither of which had ever been ice-skating and they picked it up so fast! Like pros!
Here's Abby just being Abby. "I'm free! Free like the wind!"
Look at little Julia go! She was so proud of herself for doing this!! She even fell twice and still kept going.
And Garrett had such a good time skating with the wall!
This was the only shot that got all the kids (and wall-hugging mom) in one frame.
Aahhh...This was fun but it's so nice to have our comfy shoes back on!
Posted by Carissa Mason at 8:52 AM
I don't know about your kids, but my kids love to take pictures. So, I thought what a great idea...to give them their own non-breakable, non-expensive, non-make-mom-and-dad-really-mad-if-you-lose-or-break-it camera to take pictures with. There was only 27 pictures on each camera...that should last about a week.
Posted by Carissa Mason at 8:44 AM
Friday, December 19, 2008
...movie night with popcorn!
What could be better for 4 young children than getting to stay up late?
Getting to stay up late on a school night watching Miracle On 34th Street whilst eating popcorn and stuffing themselves full of Christmas shaped marshmallows!!!
Tell me I don't love my kids!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Yummy! *staving off the gag reflex*
Seriously, I want to know who ever looked at this stuff and thought, "I bet this righ' c'here would be downright good-eatins' in some Plum Puddin'."
Every place I looked said I could use real butter instead but "it's just not the same" or "you'll be sorry you didn't go with the suet".
Me: "Yes, do have something called beef su-wet?"
Me: *giggling nervously because I'm already feeling like an idiot.* "Um, I have a recipe that calls for beef su-wet. Do you guys carry anything like that?"
Looong pause. I felt like hanging up to save myself the embarrassment. Of course she didn't have su-wet. This is Durant, America!
Lady: "Oh! Su-it! Sure 'nough, we got su-it! How much you need?"
Me: I was so giddy with excitement I sounded almost shrill. "2 cups, shredded!"
Lady: "Ok. Well, we don't shred it but you can come by and pick it up anytime today, hon."
Me: "Thank you!"
I should have known - of course they have su-it! This is Durant, America!
When I went to pick it up the lady came out to greet me and gingerly asked if I was certain my recipe called for beef suet. (This did not give me hope.) I assured her I read it correctly and asked her how much I owed.
(On a side note, had I known how very laborious and time-consuming actually trying to shred that stuff was going to be, I would've begged on my hands and knees, maybe even cried, for that lady to shred it for me or to at least have saved me the trouble and heartache and shot me right then and there! 1 1/2 hours of trying to shred hard, fatty tissue is not my idea of Christmas cheer.)
I drove home and skimmed over the directions for the recipe. They were not long instructions but they hid major details in seemingly innocent casual words like "boil", "mold", "foil", "steam", and "hours". I decided I needed to start immediately for it to be done by dinner time.
That was at noon.
It is now 5:30 pm.
I can't see the pudding under the layers of foil that are so carefully tied around it.
I have no idea whether it's actually making anything worthy of eating or perhaps planning to destroy the country by turning into the next generation Blob.
And the make shift rack I made turning a small plate upside down in the bottom of my "kettle" (i.e.: big red stockpot), shattered 2 hours ago.
At times it smells really good.
Other times I get a whiff of something burning.
So I can stop biting my nails to the quick, this might be a good time to share the recipe for any of those who dare try this at home.
Sugar Plum Pudding
4 slices of bread
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. mace
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped dates
2 slightly beaten eggs
6 oz. (2 cups) beef suet
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla
Tear bread slices into pieces. Soak torn bread in milk; use a fork to break up well. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and the rest of the spices in a separate bowl; add raisins and dates. Mix well. To the bread/milk mixture, add the eggs, beef suet, brown sugar, orange juice, and vanilla. Stir bread-suet mixture into the flour mixture. Pour into a greased 2qt. mold; cover with aluminum foil and tie securely with string. Place on a rack in a deep kettle; pour in 1 inch of boiling water and put the lid on the kettle. Steam 3 1/2 hours, adding more water when needed. Cool about 10 minutes before taking pudding out of mold. Serve warm with Fluffy Hard Sauce (recipe to follow). Serves 12.
Fluffy Hard Sauce
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 stiffly beaten egg white
Cream together butter and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Cream together until fluffy. Fold in egg white.
Here's a picture of the "mold" (i.e.: my 2 qt. glass Pampered Chef bowl) steaming in the big red "kettle".
Here is a slice of the finished product.
Drum roll, please...
TA-DA! It worked!! It came out perfect and I came out of it all alive!
(I didn't realize it's not like a creamy pudding at all, but more like a cake).
Despite the fact that I spent my entire day wrestling with a fabulously fatty and finicky pudding, it was all worth it in the end. It was amazing! The entire family and even our missionaries enjoyed it! I hope you do, too...
...because I'm NEVER making it again!
Posted by Carissa Mason at 7:22 AM
...a night on the town!
Posted by Carissa Mason at 4:03 AM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
...an ornament craft!
...and put on one of these...
...then one of these...
...and this is what you get!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Posted by Carissa Mason at 6:12 PM
Saturday, December 13, 2008
When asked what they wanted for Christmas this is what my children had to say:
Daphne: "I'm good with whatever." (I was surprised to find myself a little misty-eyed watching her stand there talking to him this year, what with her discovery and all.)
Abby: "I'm good with a new little puppy." (As if the 2 dogs and 3 cats we have at home aren't enough.)
Julia: "Can I please have some real make-up and a fake baby doll and a fake puppy? Thank you." (FAKE. She is such a good girl!)
Garrett: "I want some clean Spider Man shoes." (At this point, I'm certain I saw Santa look at me in my $100 jeans and American Eagle top in my suede boots and crinkle his nose. My stocking may very well be full of coal this year.)
I do have to mention that while we were standing in line, there was one of those big blue donation things where you put a coin into the slot and it spins around and around and around in this funnel before falling into the very middle, like this one...
Julia and Garrett were mesmerized watching the coin turn in circles getting faster and faster until it dropped into the middle. Garrett asked me where the money went. I said it went in the middle of the big bucket. Then, he wanted to know who gets the money. I told him it would be donated to some people who really needed it.
He paused for a moment and said, "But, mom YOU need it."
With that said, any donations may be sent directly to my home. Make checks payable to Carissa Mason: Foundation For the Financially Frivolous.
Posted by Carissa Mason at 3:52 PM
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Posted by Carissa Mason at 2:16 PM
Thursday, December 4, 2008
We washed his hands and I gave him a reassuring pat on the back and sent him on his way.
Posted by Carissa Mason at 4:03 PM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I love this time of year! Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas magic!!
Here's a couple shots of our Turkey Day Delight...
A turkey has never looked so good...at least not one that I have ever made. (Poor thing last year looked like an anorexic Angelina Jolie on diet pills after a tummy tuck. Apparently that's what happens when you leave it in the oven at 325* for oh, 3 or 4, ok 7 hours.)
This is my living room as of yesterday. After fishing through 2 attic storage spaces (where I found Halloween stuff I could have put to good use 2 months ago), the garage (where I found that smell, finally) and numerous closets (where I found Waldo, in case any of you are still looking) I finally got it all in place and created my own little winter wonderland in whites, creams and silver...
Close-up of my fabulous Christmas tree...
Yes, that is a disco ball as my tree topper!
Look at these darling little ice skates, (1/2 off at Target last year!)...
...and my cute little clip-on birds...
...and all the packages!!
Maybe one of those is for me?
Posted by Carissa Mason at 7:58 PM