Friday, December 10, 2010

Seven winter shorts

1. The's getting better. Or more manageable. The key is constant parental persistence in insisting on obedience, behavior, etc. And calm tones. It has been a challenge, friends. But then there are shining moments where Olivia voluntarily does (and explains that she has done) something she is supposed to do without being asked twice. Those are nice moments. Maybe she's just an overly active three-year-old. Maybe.

2. So, St. Nick brought us snow on Monday. A dusting, really, but it was enough to make Olivia want to go out and play. It lasted all of twenty minutes, until I was so cold I couldn't stand it anymore. But she did get to make this...
3. Olivia perfected her head stand in gymnastics this week, so she's been practicing it all week. This morning, she shouted from her room, "Come and see, Mommy." This is what I came and saw. Olivia and her barbies, all doing head stands. Silly girls.

4. Christmas shopping is 95% finished, and now I'm waiting on all of my deliveries. I have decided that I am in love with online shopping. So easy! Trying to shop with a three-year-old in tow is treacherous, at best, and trying to find time to shop FOR her, without her, is darn near impossible. This is a great alternative.

5. My husband has a job that requires a bit of travel at various times of the year. These two weeks of December are one of those times. Next week, he'll be gone for most of the week. This is hard. On the bright side, however...he just accepted a new job, starting in January. Same employer, different department, very little travel, working for a guy he really likes. And...AND he is asked to attend/facilitate an annual retreat which takes place on a cruise!! AND he gets to bring me along. FREE CRUISE. Salary-wise, it's a lateral move, but the fringe benefits are kind of awesome.

6. We've been sort of lax on the Advent crafts. I've been busy with a bunch of other things this week. I'm hoping to pick up some supplies, though, and ramp up the crafty activity next week. It will be our last full week with the babysitting kids, then two days the next week before Christmas break. Let's see what creative ideas we can find...

7. This is the time of year when soup sounds really, really good. Here's a recipe I came up with for Lentil soup that is pretty darn good.

Crockpot Lentil Soup

1 1/2 c lentils
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 c. onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
4 c. beef broth

Boil 6 cups water, add lentils and simmer 1 hour. Drain. Add lentils to beef broth in crock pot.

In skillet, brown ground beef. Add to crock pot. Saute veggies and garlic in skillet. Add to crockpot. Add spices. Cook on high 5-6 hours.

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