The Thirteen Days of Christmas

Thirteen days.

A house full of kids.

Four gallons of Chex mix.

Chocolate dipped everything.

An entire ham devoured.

Hundreds of games of Dominion.

Epic Minecraft battles.



Inside jokes.

Time with special friends.


Late nights.

Lazy mornings.

Pots of coffee.

And now it’s over.

Matt flew out yesterday.

Pedro’s back at work today.

Dagmar’s preparing for next semester.

Christmas is put away.

The snowmen collection is out.

My house is quiet.

My couch is waiting.

My heart is happy.

And it is good.

Trend Setters

We had quite an interesting discussion at the lunch table yesterday. (I should say that the kids had quite an interesting discussion because it was one of those times that made Jan and I feel a little like a ping-pong ball as we tried to keep up.)

Dagmar, freshly home from her wonderful week at TeenPact Endeavor in Colorado, was trying to inform her siblings what was hot – and what was not.

Just in case you were at all curious about what the newest trends are among the youth in our country – here is the lowdown as I understood it. (But be advised – this could change at any minute!)

Planking is out.

PlankingPlanking – quite popular at our 4th of July get-together – is when you lay face down like a plank on something, take a picture and post it on Facebook for all your friends to see. The object is to find the most obscure thing to plank on – like a tree limb or the wing of a bi-plane.

Also out is  “Toothpicking” – when you take a picture of yourself standing on your head next to something – like by a telephone pole or street lamp. Of course – you put it on Facebook so all your friends can see how creatively amazing you are.

“Owling”, however,  is in.Owl“Owling” is when you crouch down, preferably in weird places like the roof of your car or the mailbox, use your arms as wings and pretend to be an owl. And – you guessed it – you put these pictures on Facebook to impress all your friends.

I’ll have to admit that it’s hard to stay on top of all this, let alone participate. I mean – really now- I get dizzy when I put my head down to tie my shoes, how in the world would I put my feet above my head to “toothpick”?!

And honestly – even if I could get on top of my mailbox – I’m afraid that my “owling” would look more like a chicken trying to lay an egg.

Let’s face it people -the only way we’re going to be “with it” is to beat these kids at their own game.

So I propose that we come up with our own “ing” activity. Something easy to do for all ages. Something that can be done anywhere – in any obscure or random place.

Something like ….


Seriously people – just think of the possibilities!

There’s napping in the recliner, on the couch, in the hammock, at the table, while waiting in line at the grocery store…

Napping…mouth open, mouth closed, sitting up, laying down, inside, outside!

Then we can take pictures of each other and post them on our Facebook pages and all of our friends would be impressed at how cool and hip we were!

Finally – we would be the trendsetters.  🙂

Homemade Refried Beans Part 2

Still basking in the glory of my first attempt at homemade refried beans, I decided to attempt a second batch.

Again I measured 8 cups of beans.  Then I sorted, cleaned and soaked them overnight. The next moring I put them on to cook and this time I allowed lots of cooking time! Those beans bubbled the entire morning and some of the afternoon before I had time to deal with them.

They were so soft that I was afraid to drain the cooking water for fear I would lose most of my beans. So I improvised!

I grabbed my immersion blender and began smooshing the entire thing together in the cooking pot. Forget about the “re frying” part- my friend Cinnamon said I didn’t need to do it anyway!

So I just smooshed them all together and added some powdered garlic and onion and salt.

Yum! I like it even better than my first batch!

But what about my toughest critics?

Since the texture was more like the canned variety, two of my three boys gave them a thumbs up.

The third boy simply said, “They’re better than the first batch- a little.”

Six “yes” votes and one “maybe”- I’ll call this batch a success!