Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Traditions

For Joyschool yesterday (at our house), we made cinnamon twists as a way to share our Christmas tradition.

I made the dough the night before, so it was drooping over the edges.

Prepared the dough with all the kids there . . . but only one of them would touch the stuff.

Rolled them in butter and cinnamon sugar.

Then placed them on the pan to rise.

And would you believe it? They were gone so fast I didn't have time to take a picture of the finished product. :)

But for any ambitious person out there looking for a yummy treat (or for my family if they ever lose the recipe), here is the recipe: 

Mom's Famous Cinnamon Twists

Caution: Read all the instructions before adding any ingredients. This is a touchy recipe.

1 C.     warm water
1 T.      salt (and yes, this is really a tablespoon)
1/3 C.  oil
½ C.    sugar

2 T.      yeast (dissolved in ¼ C. warm water---separate from that listed above)
2          eggs
approx. 5 C.      flour

mix all the ingredients together except the flour.  Add  ½ the flour to the mix, stir well, then stir in the remaining flour.* DO NOT KNEAD!

*Use the least amount of flour that you can, you want the dough to be light.  Basically, use just enough so you can work with it---it should still stick to your fingers a little bit.  The amount of flour that you add makes or breaks the recipe, so use caution.

Let raise 1 hour or more (it usually takes more).  Turn out on a well floured surface.  Roll the dough 12" long and 5" wide or there about. Spread melted butter over the dough and sprinkle about ½ C. sugar then cinnamon (not mixed, it sticks better). Fold dough in thirds (like folding a letter only longwise) and cut in angled strips about 1" each.  Give them a twist then dip them in melted butter and then in a cinnamon sugar mixture.  Twist again, and place on an ungreased, sided pan. Also, it makes a big difference if you use real butter instead of margarine.

Let the twists rise again in the pan before baking them.

Bake about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Claus!

Tonight was our Ward Christmas Party and Santa Clause made a visit. We were first in line (on a total fluke), so it was perfect!

London decided he was too big to sit on Santa's lap, but he smiled big for the picture.

Brandt was not shy. He jumped right up on Santa's lap and told him what a good boy he'd been all year.

But Khyah, on the other hand, was not about to let go of Daddy.

Merry Christmas to our Santa-loving, Santa-believing kids! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Tree Hunt!

This year we decided to start a tradition of going to a Christmas tree farm where we could cut our own tree down. Overall, I'd definitely call it a success. It took an hour of driving to arrive here:

The kids were all excited to find the perfect tree.

Khyah found the tree just her size, but I'm afraid we all vetoed it.

After about an hour of searching, we all agreed on this tree. (At first, Brandt refused, but Rick adroitly convinced him that this was the tree he chose earlier. Brandt agreed on the condition that he got to saw first---note London's sour expression.)

So here he is, working hard with Daddy.

Then London got a turn.

And voila! We successfully cut down our future Christmas tree.

Rick even managed to tie it to the top of the car, and we didn't lose it on the way home. :)

The end got a little rough with the cold and hunger setting in. And London, I think, expressed our frustration best.

But hurray! We have a tree, and it's perfect, just like we planned.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The National Zoo

London had Monday and Tuesday of this week off for teacher work days. Tuesday, we went to the zoo with our friends.

The Lion was out, and roaring up a storm. I have to say it was impressive. Everyone, even the kids were silent, and the sound echoed in your chest. If there hadn't been a lot of water and high walls between him and me, I would have been running for my life.

Can you tell how excited the boys were? Actually, they were crazy excited most of the time, but the tiger was sleeping, so I guess they got the crazy urge to sleep, too.

They thought the stone bear was the bomb. Lots of screaming to get them off. Fun times!

One really cool feature of the zoo is the monkey house. They have two separate locations that are connected by these tall towers and ropes. Basically the monkeys swing/climb across them right above you (hopefully they don't poop up there, right?)

Khyah was cute as a button, and everyone kept oohing over her coat, wanting to know where we'd gotten it. How cool did I feel to say, "My sister brought it back from France." (Thanks Kim!)

My camera stinks, so this is the best I could do of the panda. The bear was eating while we were there which was very fun.

In short, we had a fun time. We got to see lots of unusual animals: pandas, armadillos (which are surprisingly cool!), hedgehogs, and an octopus. We definitely need to go back. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


October 31st was pretty laid back for us. We carved some pumpkins (at least, the kids and I since Rick had to work).

Brandt dressed up in the Jedi costume, and London chose to stay low-key, but they both enjoyed the candy.

London was a wonderful candy giver. He waited by the door with the bucket and kept watch for the next trick-or-treaters. I had to remind him to let them say "trick-or-treat!"

For joyschool, Brandt dressed up as Batman, and Khyah was little red riding hood.

And wow, I don't have one of London in his costume. I'll have to add a post just for that.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fat Lip!

Today, Brandt slipped on the tile on landed smack on his face. Poor kid.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yes, I'm the worst mom ever, but I didn't even think about taking pictures on the first day of school. Luckily London's friend lives next door, and his mom had out the camera. So she documented the momentous day on film. So here London is, his first day of first grade.

As for Brandt, I happened to be the teacher on his first day of Joyschool, and I took pictures of all the kids for the "schoolhouse." He's such a cheese. He loves getting his picture taken.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mommy's Little Helper

As parents, Rick and I do our best to instill a good work ethic in our kids. We give them chores, and teach them to clean up their messes, etc. Though London has been taking his dishes to the sink for a while, Brandt is just getting the hang of it . . .

Guess we better teach him how to set the dishes down gently next. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Soccer Season

I finally got my act together and signed London up for soccer. And it just so happened that they had added a new division for 3-year-olds. Brandt begged, and I couldn't resist. So here they are on their first game day:

They couldn't have been more proud. Brandt's "game" was first. He's the biggest of the bunch.

He was especially proud that Daddy let him use his water bottle.

London's game was next. Here comes the pack! Unfortunately, it was only 4 on 4 so he didn't experience the thrill of being run over by a mob of 20 like his mom did at her first game. But he did manage to score a goal, so I guess he had a good time anyway.

Just look at him go.

His daddy was so thrilled that London scored. He jumped up, punched his fist in the air and shouted, "That's worth a shake!"

So of course we had to go out for ice cream afterwards.

London enjoyed his plain vanilla. But Brandt. He knows how to truly appreciate good ice cream.

We had a great day, and it brought back a lot of good memories of game day when I was a kid. Definitely worth the effort.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Late Pictures from the Waterpark

In July, Rick had a day off, so we headed to the Water Mine. London kept calling it "The place with the guy from Toy Story." We couldn't figure it out until we got there:

Yup, Stinky Pete. Turns out his name really is Pete. They had attractions like "Pete's Mine."

The boys loved the slides.

Even my biggest boy. Just look at the concentration.

London loved swimming and going under the water.

And Brandt loved the lazy river. Though the tubes were almost too big for him.

They had a zero entry that Khyah splashed around in. But boy, we'll have to talk to her about that swimsuit.

Rick loved playing with kids, as did I.

Then after a quick picnic . . .

. . . we went for a ferry ride.

And topped it off with a carousel ride.

It was a great day, but alas. Time to go home.

Even though they were exhausted, no one wanted to go home. The boys are already asking when we can go back.