Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just yesterday I was discussing Christmas with the kids and Isaiah was telling me that it was all about baby Jesus' birthday then he said, "But He's a big boy now." Merry Christmas from the Arnolds.

Friday, December 19, 2008


What can one make with 7 pounds of rice, 6 bags of mozzarella cheese, 1 carton of heavy cream and salmon? And 32 cans of cream of mushroom soup. Ew. No food, no idea what to fix for lunch. I guess the kids will have peanut butter crackers and oranges for the 5th day in a row or pretty close to it. I am having a cup of coffee and the last Aldi brand swiss cake roll for a late breakfast. I should be eating eggs, but I chose sweets and caffeine because I was a zombie this morning. Oh! Eggs! I can make the kids eggs for lunch! If you couldn't tell, it's grocery shopping day.

We just made a cute little craft for Nannie and Pop for Christmas. It's a little box made of craft sticks. I have some more crafts to make before Christmas. We are probably going to make a gingerbread something. A couple of years ago we made a gingerbread train and it was really cute, and easier, I think, than a house. I do want to try a gingerbread house sometime though... Maybe after I get the kitchen sparkling and sanitized I will get the ambition to go forward with the ordeal. Hence the coffee.

Oh and we had hamburgers on homemade buns this week and they were awesome! I don't know if we'll ever buy buns again. We already don't buy bread, but I have been really slacking off on making it, so we have just been doing without. But one night this week I wanted burgers so I had to make buns, and YUM! The recipe was from allrecipes and the bread only had to rise once which was nice, but I think I could actually make buns with any of the bread recipes I already use and I could probably only let it rise once too. Especially my whole wheat bread, it rises so well, I could probably just let it rise once. Okay, here's my whole wheat bread recipe. Usually I just write down the ingredient list and MAYBE fragments to get me through the recipe, but I will try to be thorough for you who may actually try this:

8 c. whole wheat flour
2 packages (5 tsp.) of active dry yeast
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. veg. oil

Although I would feel comfortable substituting some water for some milk or sugar for honey if I was out, or some white flour for some of the wheat or melted butter for oil... I'm getting pretty adventurous with my bread making!

Okay back to the recipe

I use the kitchenaid, but I have made it by hand because it is past the capacity for our mixer.

1. Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour undissolved yeast and salt

2. Heat milk, water, honey and oil until very warm (not boiling!) about 120-130 degrees. Sometimes I use the thermometer, sometimes I just wait until little bubbles form around the rim of the mixture. It's usually pretty close.

3. Gradually add the warmed mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl already.

4. Beat 2 minutes

5. Add 1 cup of flour and beat 2 more minutes.

6. Stir in rest of flour and knead 6-8 minutes

7. Let dough rise until doubled 45-60 minutes

8. Shape dough and rise again until doubled, 30-60 minutes.

9. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until it looks and sounds done.
Although if you use all whole wheat flour the bread is really dense so it takes
a bit longer than you might be used to if you use a mixture of white and wheat.
If it looks done, I usually give it a few more minutes. Sometimes I slice into
it and it's just not quite done in the middle, but we usually just eat it

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Favorites

Christmasy stuff
Tagged by Kristin

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. I try to wrap at least part of the gifts the kids open, but we do a lot of bags. Last year we used some leftover baby shower bags. It's more about what's inside that counts, right?

2. Real tree or Artificial? I've never had a real one, but we thought about it this year since the state apparently decided to cut down anything within 20 feet of the road and that included a LOT of perfectly sized Christmas looking trees...ah well, eventually.

3. When do you put up the tree? Sometime the week after thanksgiving usually, although I ask Nathan if we can put it up before Halloween almost every year.

4. When do you take the tree down? Pretty quickly after New Year's day, but what about the 12 days of Christmas? That would put us to at least the 5th.

5. Do you like eggnog? Never tried it because it looks GROSS

6. Favorite gift received as a child? a pretend camping set with a lantern and a canteen and other great stuff. My sister spoiled the surprise that year, but it was still the best gift ever.

7. Hardest person to buy for? brothers in law. all of them.

8. Easiest person to buy for? my kids!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes a hand me down ceramic one and a beautiful small Fontanini set that I got as a wedding gift. Ooh and I love the willow tree kind but I don't have any of those yet

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I wish we were the mailing type, but email all the way.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I cannot remember any one specific bad gift, but I definitely remember being disappointed at least a couple of times

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas Vacation--it's a yearly event

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes. Is that really so bad? I mean really who can use 4 bottles of bath and body works lotion in a lifetime, let alone one Christmas? (now you know! don't get me lotion! even though I am extremely dry)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? chocolate covered peanut butter crackers made by my Great Aunt Elsie and also her white chocolate covered pretzels. And all the other awesome candies at my granny's house on Christmas eve

16. Lights on the tree? Well, yes. White and colored. We try to find a new interesting set of colored lights every year when the Christmas stuff is marked down 90 percent.

17. Favorite Christmas song? We Three Kings. And the yellow disc of WOW Christmas 2002. Esp. Sing Mary Sing by Jennifer Knapp

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? travel close-by. Nothing out of state. Barely out of county, but still full and busy.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet Cupid Donner Blitzen Rudolph... but ask me in June and I will have no idea. I have just read them too many times in the past week.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither. We have nothing at the top. Isaiah says we need a star, though, so we might make a star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas eve at my Granny's and Christmas morning at home and then at my parent's

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The unending annoying "Christmas" songs like frosty the snowman and jingle bell rock, although the kids really love stuff like that so it's much easier to tolerate it when it's my kids singing.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? No theme here. I would like to have a beautifully put together tree with all coordinating ornaments, but what would we do with all the ornaments we love?

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Not turkey! We have tacos at Nathan's mom's Christmas get together and I really look forward to that.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Money for our trip to Texas!

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? ? No Idea!

27. Does Santa wrap your gift or leave them unwrapped? Both. Some unwrapped for the WOW moment but some wrapped so we can enjoy the moment longer. and because kids like to un-wrap stuff.

Okay! I tag Jud, Jamie, Teresa, and especially Nathan! What IS your favorite Christmas song? And if you read my blog and I don't know it, let me know so I can tag you too!