Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings

The kids were off this entire week and we have spent the time playing, cooking and finishing up a few things for Thanksgiving. A wonderful family in our ward, the Wards, invited our family and another family who are missing their daddy over for a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast! And because we all had kids about the same age, after the chaos of eating, they all went downstairs to pay and the adults got to visit. Thank you for the wonderful day, Clay and Laura!!

After the Thanksgiving feast (and before the inevitable bedtime crash) we also went to a neighborhood pie fest where there was MORE to eat, lots more playing, and some more MUCH needed adult conversation. This is the pie that was my contribution...Eggnog Pie.

Bateman Family Eggnog Pie Filling

1 9" pie sell, baked and cooled
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (like Knotts)
3 Tbsp. cold water
2 cups eggnog
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup heavy cream
nutmeg for garnish

Combine the gelatin and water to soften gelatin. Warm eggnog over low heat and add gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved and the eggnog is warm. Chill until partially set. Then beat the eggnog until it is smooth and add salt, sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Mix until smooth. Beat the heavy cream in a separate bowl until still and then fold into eggnog mixture. Pour into the pie crust and garnish with nutmeg. Chill until ready to serve.

Despite all of the craziness this week, I found myself in those rare, quiet moments in awe of my many blessings. I have a wonderful family. We are strong and healthy. We live in a country where we can practice our religious views in freedom. We are protected daily by men and woman who sacrifice everything to do so. How blessed we truly are.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Purse Invitations

Since I don't have an official calling in the ward yet, I get to "meddle" in anything that needs a little extra help. So last week I offered to make these darling invitations for our upcoming relief society meeting. Our enrichment counselor found the pattern online here and with Lena's help, we whipped out about 65 of them.

The reason I'm sharing is that they turned out so.dang.cute. And I thought how fun they would be to use for a get together or a little girl's birthday invitation. They were a little work intensive, but the work to cute ratio was way high...

Have a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fun, Lena Style

I have always admired the way my sister-in-law Lena lives life to the fullest, and sometimes on the fly (something I don't do very well). So when that spontaneity worked in my favor (in the form of a visit) I was so excited!! But since there isn't a whole lot of, well, excitement to be had in Spokane in November, we made some of our own. With a little help from my friends. Here are some of the highlights:

On Thursday evening, I took Lena to my spin class. However, it was far from normal. Our instructor Melanie had decided to make that night an 80's theme night with music and outfits and everything. So Lena brought some of her gear and we spun out to old 80's tunes. Too bad the photo cut off my totally rad legwarmers...

Then on Saturday (between swimming lessons and book group) we went to New Moon with a group of my girlfriends. We figured that between the six of us we had 17 children. In other words, we're a little tiny bit old to be obsessing about vampires and werewolves. But we didn't look nearly as silly as the random row of guys sitting behind us. And as for the movie...I've always been firmly planted in camp Edward, but after New Moon? Let's just say the match is tied.

Thanks so much for the fun visit, Lena and baby Cora, and for all your help. We love you!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Doin' It

My sister-in-law Lena and her little girl Cora are here visiting with us from Salt Lake this week and we're having a great time...more on the visit to follow. This explains my complete and utter blogging absence, but I'll be back on the bandwagon soon.

Back to the post. Yesterday, Anna and Lena were watching the end of the movie Sharkboy and Lavagirl on the Disney channel. As Sharkboy and Lavagirl go off into the distance together, Anna turns to Lena and says,

Anna: "They are going to do it."

Lena: (long pause) "What?"

Anna: "They are going to do it."

Lena: (another long, apprehensive pause) "Do what, Anna?"

Anna: "Save the world."

Whew. That was a close one. Not sure if I'm ready to have THAT talk yet...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Attitude of Gratitude

I have a confession on this Tuesday night, my friends. I have no idea how single parents do it. I am constantly one step behind and two hours short on sleep. But we are finally finding a groove and adjusting to daddy's absence.

One of our sisters that we visit teach just PCSed so we are down to two. And one of those ladies is expecting her first baby, a little boy, any day. So I made this little baby blanket for her to keep him warm during the cold winter months. I think my favorite part, though, is the darn tag!! The little onesie is a Quickutz die and I use it constantly.

And for our other sister, I wanted to do this Pumpkin Granola that Laurel over at Ducks in a Row shared. We tried it and LOVED it, but wasn't up for another half a batch to eat ourselves so I fell back on the old tried and true Cherry-Berry Almond Granola in a mason jar with a gratitude quote. I love this stuff...

Cherry-Berry Almond Granola

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups mixed dried cherries & dried mixed berries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp. cinnamon

Toss oats, coconut, almonds, and dried fruit in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the mixture and stir until coated. Add cinnamon and stir to coat evenly. Pour into rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a nice even brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ice Cold & Ice Cream

We had our first snowfall today. It is beautiful and chilly and makes the whole neighborhood look lovely.

We are also having a wonderful time with my parents. Banana splits for dinner?? Grandpa's idea.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Shirt

The first time Tony deployed was about 10 years ago to RAF Mildenhall as an Intelligence Officer in support of the Kosovo conflict. And being a young Air Force wife and new to the whole deployment thing, I made a rookie mistake. The day after he left (in an attempt to stay busy, I suppose) I did every piece of laundry. Including sheets and pillowcases. It didn't take me long to realize that I had completely obliterated anything that smelled like him. He had taken his soap and shampoo with him and I had just washed away everything else. So now every time he deploys, I make him leave me the shirt he wears the day he leaves...just to have something that smells like him for a little while. And it helps me not miss him so much.

And this helps too...a huge stack of books all ready to read. If I ever get through Robinson Crusoe, that is.

And every so often, a little of this doesn't hurt either. (I know you're drooling too, Camie...)

My parents come tomorrow to keep us company for a few days...hooray for visitors!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pumpkin Scones

Holy pumpkin yumminess! I found this recipe a couple of months ago and it has been my favorite new reipe this Fall. As good as coffee cake for breakfast with a cup of hot chocolate.

Pumpkin Scones

3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chopped crystallized ginger
4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3/4 cup regular or golden raisins

Heat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking-sheet liner. Combine flour, 2/3 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the crystallized ginger in a large bowl. Add butter; mix with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, buttermilk and egg. Gently stir into dough, along with raisins. Drop dough by 1/2-cupfuls onto prepared sheet, about 2 inches apart. In a small bowl, stir together remaining tablespoon sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon chopped crystallized ginger. Sprinkle sugar-ginger mixture evenly over dough. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

**Just a hint...I found that it is easier to use a bit of sugar and the back of a spoon to break down the crystalized ginger than to chop it.**

Have a wonderul week!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mourning With Fort Hood

I couldn't believe it when I heard the news about the attack on Fort Hood yesterday by a fellow Army soldier who was preparing for imminent deployment to Afghanistan. My heart breaks for the families of his victims and our family's prayers are with them.

I don't always (well, almost never actually) agree with President Obama on anything. But yesterday I must admit he got it right.

"These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to the rest of us on a daily basis," the president continued. "It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil."


Tuesday, November 3, 2009


How did I get lucky enough... be your mommy?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Frailty, Thy Name Is Robinson Crusoe

About two weeks ago, I ran out of books on my nightstand. So I headed downstairs to our family "library" and tried to pick out something to get me by until my next order came in. Well, Robinson Crusoe caught my eye...mainly because I have never read it and I thought it might be a fun to read a classic tale of shipwreck and woe.

Now, I have a different opinion. Robinson Crusoe will cure even the worst cases of insomnia. I can't get over this guy and his ramblings. You'd think for a guy with a limited amount of ink, he might be a little less generous in his wordage. Give me a page and a half of this guy and I'm out like a light. That's why after two weeks, I'm still only a little over halfway done.

And seriously?? Please. You land on a beautiful deserted island where it is quiet, and you get to take a nap whenever you'd like. Your biggest concerns are taming goats, drying grapes into raisins, and making baskets. And yet you spend pages and pages griping.

Try doing what I do for a week.

Frailty, thy name is Robinson Crusoe.