thanksgiving feasting



We were so blessed to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with our dear friends, Brian & Babette and Jeff, Gina & Chris. It was such a relaxed, fun day. After eating we all rolled ourselves into the living and family rooms. The guys watching football and us ladies gabbing. I had meant for us to all play a board game together later in the evening, but the food put me in such a stupor that we never got around to it. I love a holiday that revolves around good food!...uh, I mean being thankful.
Lord, I am so very thankful for good friends and all the overflowing blessings in our lives. amen


thanksgiving decorating



Just for fun I thought I'd show you some of my Thanksgiving decorating. The display on my kitchen counter was left over from Halloween I just added the little turkey and put the craft acorns in the pedestal dish. I have to do pumpkins in the house now because Grant only wants scary Halloween decorations outside. Although I'm pretty strict about not allowing anything creepy. But skeletons are o.k. and Frankenstein. Anyway back to Thanksgiving.....We bought a new dining room table this year and this is the first time we've actually used it. So I had a lot of fun decorating it for the first time. What's ironic is as much fun as I had decorating for Thanksgiving. I am just dreading having to decorate for Christmas. There is just so much stuff! Yesterday Tom brought all of the Christmas boxes out of the garage into the house. While I was very busy doing important stuff (like putting my Shrimp Delight recipe on the blog) Grant kept coming up to me with random Christmas things and saying "where does this go?" I'd say I don't know, I'll worry about it later. Then 5 minutes would go by and he'd come to me with something else "where does this go?" Just give me a chance, I'll put on some good Christmas tunes and I'll get in the Christmas decorating spirit soon enough...I hope!


shrimp delight







I made these for Thanksgiving and they were a hit. I thought I would share the recipe with you in case you were looking for something to take to a Christmas party. They are a little time consuming, but easy to make. For the little cups that your shrimp filling will go in, you just need some Pillsbury Crescent Dough (I used the reduced fat ones). Roll out the dough so it is thinner and use something to cut it into circles. I used Grant's Spongebob cup, you may actually own cookie/biscuit cutters. Place the dough in your mini muffin pans and form it into a little cup. You do not need to grease them first. Bake at the tempature on the Pillsbury container for 10 minutes. Place on a rack to cool. Mine became a little to puffy and I had to use my fingers to hollow them out some after they had cooled.
Shrimp dip
a large handful of cooked, cleaned, tail off shrimp
1-8oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 c mayonaise
1 tb lemon juice
2 tb minced raw onion
1/2c minced raw celery
cayenne pepper and garlic salt
freshly ground pepper
Chop up the shrimp. Mix everything together. You can use reduced fat cream cheese and mayo. You can garnish with a sprinkle of paprika or some chopped chives or parsley or whatever strikes your fancy. ENJOY!
Tom doesn't care for Pillsbury products (crazy huh!) so I put some of the dip out in a bowl with crackers. So if you don't want to go to the work of making the little cups, just make the dip and that's good too. I've also seen pre-made philo cups sold at some grocery stores, so you could use those. I just had alot of crescent dough in the house that I bought when it was on sale so I decided to go for it and made the little cups myself.




happy thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving !!!!
(thanks for the help Ava)

To all my family and friends reading this: "I thank my God every time I remember you" Phil 1:3

things I enjoy 2



I love this thingy. I don't know what it's called. It looks like pruning shears for the garden, but it's not. I got it in the kitchen section at Ikea. It is for cutting meat. You can debone a chicken with it or just cut off all those gross blobs of fat that pieces of raw chicken have. It's super strong and easy to use.

haircut

I got my hair cut short this week. Well shorter. It's something I've been thinking of doing for a long time, but I had to work up the nerve to do it. It actually ended up longer than it was sopposed to be, but that's o.k. I like that all the fried ends were cut off, so my hair feels much healthier. I also like that it takes me less time to fix it. What I don't like about a new hair cut is trying to figure out HOW to fix it. So here are two styles I've tried so far. Straight hair and poofy hair that I back combed quite a bit. I'm sincerelly hoping my skin is not quite as white as it appears to be in these pictures. Either it's just bad lighting or I'm a vampire and I just don't know it yet.

things I enjoy


You know that really famous lady who's name starts with O. She has her favorite things. Well I am not copying her...at all. This is totally different! I'm just going to occasionally share with you things that I enjoy. I have my sister to thank for this one. Clinique's eye liner pencils. They twist up on one end. The other end has this thing that lets you smudge your eye liner for a nice soft look. I usually do not buy expensive make-up and these are pricey. But in Las Vegas your eye liner stays soft so when I would go to sharpen my eye liner pencil I would lose half of the pencil in the trash can. I thought about keeping it in the fridge, but I don't want to have to go into the kitchen everyday when I put my face on. A lady at church suggested getting the eye liner that twists up. I bought a cheaper brand but it didn't work that well. I can justify spending a little more on my eye liner for these reasons: I don't spend a lot on my other make-up, these last a long time, they work really well, they have the smudgy thing at the end which is hard to find and well, I just really like them. My favorite color to use is slate. It's a nice dark gray and looks good with any color that you wear.

pedicure


I got a pedicure yesterday (I know, whoop-dee-doo for you). The thing is I never, ever got pedicures before living in Las Vegas. I wear flip flops soooo much that they are almost an essential. Alright, I know they're not essential like buying your child milk, but trust me no one wants to look at your nasty, crusty heels. Since living here I usually get my last pedicure in October, then it cools down enough that I can wear socks and clogs and my feet don't come out again until late February or March. But this year it won't cool off for more than a couple of days! It's still 78-80 degrees here. I have some special occasions coming up and I want my feet to look nice. So I went ahead and got what I hope is my last pedicure until spring. What did Tom say when he found out? "Must be nice!"

laughlin

After our one day of camping our family drove over to Laughlin, NV and spent the night at Harrah's Hotel. It is on the Colorado river and there is a man made "beach" in front of the river. We had never stayed at Harrah's before and I was very impressed. It was so pretty. The grounds of the hotel had a tropical garden/Spanish style to them. The only downer was the weather. It was a rare cold day in Southern Nevada so we couldn't swim or enjoy the beach which was the whole point of going there. But at least we know a place to go in the future. Grant tried making a sandcastle but his hands started feeling like icicles so we had to go back inside.

camp food









Wow, is she really still talking about that camping trip of hers? Yes, she is. Do you want to know what is really funny, we were only there for 1 day. One day and she can't stop talking about it, that girl needs some help.
When we first got to Needles I knew I wanted to eat at the Burger Hut. Last year it was closed this year...open!!! When Grant looked around he thought the place looked like "a dump". I told him that I thought it looked charming and that places like this often have the best food. Mommy was right. We had excellent hamburgers, fries and onion rings and Grant really loved his root beer milkshake.
We had some fun snacks while camping, one was Inside Out S'mores. You take a marshmallow, hollow it out a bit in the middle, fill it with a small piece of cookie and chocolate chips, then you roast your marshmallow. It was very sweet and rich. The other snack was Summer Sausage S'mores (http://www.johnsonville.com/). You place a slice of summer sausage on the grill. The heat from the grill will make it curl up into a cup shape. Then you turn the cup over and place a piece of cheddar cheese in it, let it sit there until it melts. Then place on a cracker and eat. You can put your favorite mustard on the cracker if you like. All three of us really loved this and we definitely want to have it again.





viva las vegas






















We went to a basketball game today. It was UNLV vs. USD. Ha, ha, ha I know girls read this blog and you don't know what I'm talking about. Allow me to translate. The University of Nevada Las Vegas (Rebels) vs. The University of San Diego (toreros). What is a torero? I have nooo idea, but what I do know is we beat them!! The final score was 65 to 60. GO REBELS! It was a very exciting game and we had so much fun. Our throats were a little sore afterwards from screaming so much.
My wonderful husband also took me to my most favorite fast food restaurant ever, Taco Time!!! In Washington, where I grew up there were Taco Times everywhere. But when I lived in California and Illinois there weren't any ( there is a little tear in my eye right now thinking about it). There are Taco Time's in Las Vegas, but they are pretty far from our house. We had never been to this location before and it totally rocked. Kudos to you Russell rd Taco Time.





random scenes from our camping trip

Downtown Needles California

Our kamping kabin at the KOA. It's very kozy.


Grant and I went for a hike in the desert.
"Treasures" we found on our hike


Grant listening to tunes on Tom's ipod. Grant has his own
playlist of parent approved songs.

cannonball!!!!







Grant showing me a bug he found in the pool, aah boys!!
Remember when you were a kid and swimming was so, so fun. Even if the pool was freezing cold. You quickly got used to the water and swam around and life was good. Remember when you didn't have to worry about what you looked like in a bathing suit!!! Grant had so much fun swimming when we went camping and the water was FREEZING cold. He was the only one in the pool so he got to do as many cannonballs as he liked because there was no one there to splash. I love these pictures of Grant so happy and carefree just like every kids life should be.



camping in needles, ca











Do you ever get that feeling that you MUST GET AWAY! That's how I've been feeling. When you try to relax at home you can't help thinking of all the things you should be doing, pulling weeds, cleaning out closets etc. etc. So when you get away there is nothing between you and relax-aaaaaa-tion. We decided to go camping in very glamorous Needles, California. Why Needles? Because it's the closest KOA to Las Vegas that has camping cabins (cuz mama don't sleep in no tent!) No there's not much to do in Needles but that's o.k. we were there to relax and enjoy time together as a family. When we first got to town we took a little drive and I was very surprised to find out the Women's Club was having their Book Sale. When we camped in Needles last Fall (on a different date) they were having their twice yearly book sale. There's not much I like better than getting books at bargain prices and I wasn't disappointed (two books for a $1.00). As you can see from the pictures there was a train running through town. I don't think I'd like to live by a train station, but it is charming when you are on vacation to hear train sounds in the distance. Grant and Tom enjoyed the swings, Grant learned to jump off of the swings. I kept cringing waiting for him to break his wrist, but the good Lord looked after him and he was injury free. I will post more on our little family trip soon.....




recipe time!!


I got this recipe for Monterey Chicken from Cooking For 2 magazine. However this recipe is easily adapted to serve as many or as few as you like. It is so fast and easy to make. The amazing thing is all three of us actually like it!! This is a rare occurrence in our family. Today I took the left over chicken, chopped it up, wrapped it in Pillsbury crescent dough, baked it and ate it for lunch. It was super yummy.
Monterey Chicken
boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
BBQ sauce
cooked bacon (you can use turkey bacon)
shredded cheese (you can use reduced fat)
Salt and pepper the raw chicken on both sides, (everything tastes better if you use kosher salt and freshly ground pepper). Saute chicken in a frying pan with some olive oil, until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Place chicken on a baking sheet. Spread some bbq sauce on the chicken. Lay a piece of bacon on top. Sprinkle some cheese on top. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts. Presto....you have dinner!!!