Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Well, I tried to keep it super simple last year...

let's see...still focusing on the first two...always working on the second two and I completely failed the last one. BUT I did blog more regularly than the previous year.

So this year:

  • Continue to get healthy and lose weight
  • Expand the Kelly household (a baby would be great...but moving would technically count too!)
  • Focus on my family and being the best wife and mother I can be
Good riddens to 2008 and HELLO 2009!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

I can finally see my floor!

I love going home to see family and spend the holidays...not necessarily because its GI town- but because its where I was born and raised and it holds a certain sentimental place for me.

I also love coming home to Lincoln...wasn't quite sure when we first moved here, but now I wouldn't truly want to live anywhere else!

Christmas was superb this year! The only downer was not seeing my brother's and their some ways it just didn't feel like Christmas with out the traditional argumentative chatter! :)

I made some super yummy cheese soup for Christmas Eve and it was a great evening with my mom and grandparents. My mom gave a me a super awesome gift- a bunch of old photographs. Like pictures of when I was a baby, and some even before I was around. And when I say a bunch- I mean like 150+...I quit counting after that. I love them and will treasure them forever!

Christmas was spent at the Kelly house with grandparents and cousins...such a great family! We really had a lot of fun! We were spoiled with wonderfully awesome gifts there as well! The cousins even went out on the frozen lake...a test of courage if you will.

After stopping few other places, we finally made it back to Lincoln...and then UGH! we had to unpack! Seriously - we could not make it through our dining room for two days...and I still have a suitcase that has yet to be unpacked...maybe today.

The girls are super excited about going shopping with some gift cards they received and really want to use their rock polisher and the week off is filling up quickly with activities!

Here's the Cheese/Wild Rice Soup Recipe I used:

Wild Rice and Potato Cheese Soup

1 box Reese's wild rice 1/2 -3/4 cup uncooked rice
1 small yellow onion chopped finely
1/2 lb bacon chopped up into bite size pieces
2 cans (10 3/4 oz) cream of potato soup (diluted with one can of liquid: 1/2 milk and 1/2 water)
1 qt milk
2 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese

Cook rice according to the box (45- 60 minutes). Cook onion and bacon in a pan until bacon is crispy. Place onion and bacon mixture on paper towels to soak up the excess grease. Place potato soup and liquid in a large pot. Stir until smooth. Add bacon and onion. Add drained cooked rice and cheese. Cook on low-med until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Birthday GMA!

John's gma turned 93 last Friday. To celebrate we played Bingo!! Nancy had suggested it might be fun to play Bingo with gma and some of her friends- complete with fun little prizes. So Sunday afternoon- the girls and I braved the frozen tundra and headed off to see gma. We stopped on the way to get prizes- the girls had so much fun picking things out...such thoughtful little sweeties we have!

It was so much fun! Gma lives at a small assisted living facility- so she went around inviting her friends/neighbors to the Bingo party. All the ladies were great- the girls had a blast and it was so much fun getting to know the ladies  and friends gma shares her days with. By the end of the 'party' - I had learned some Bingo lingo...which I found out is really really important if you are playing with serious Bingo lovers! :)

Gma and Kwynnie are little bummed that they aren't winning...who knew Bingo could be so serious!?  :)

No worries though... we played so many games- by the time we were done everyone had won at least twice!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Memories...Part 4

Chili and Cheese Soup...

Christmas eve is all about the chili and cheese soup. It started out with just chili- for as far back as I can remember. Then when I was about 11 or 12 a lady from church made this amazing cheese soup for a pot luck...she kindly gave us the recipe and we have been serving and savoring it ever since!

For a few years in there we also had cheese frenchies (super YUM)...but it just didn't catch on. So we are strictly chili and cheese soup people come Christmas Eve. This year I'm making the cheese soup (trying a new recipe)...and I super excited about showing off my soup tureen! wa-hoo!

Here's the traditional cheese soup recipe (actually their just guidelines- add or subtract whatever your tastes dictate!)

4-6 med russet potatoes (washed and can skin them- but we leave it on)
2 cans of corn; drained
2 cans of green beans; drained
2 cans of carrots; drained
**I usually add 1-2 cups of frozen cauliflower ( thawed and chopped up super the soup some thickness and its healthy!)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 block of velveeta

peas, broccoli, ham or bacon are other possible additions.

Boil the potatoes until fork tender. Drain just enough of the potato water so that the water level is 1 inch above the potatoes. Add the chicken bouillon cubes, stir until infused. Then add all the veggies and the cream of chicken soup. Stir. Cube the velveeta and start by adding 1/4 of the block. Simmer pot over med- low heat. Once cheese is melted- add another 1/4. Repeat until the cheese soup has your desired 'cheesiness'. We usually use about 3/4 of a block...but depends on how much water you left in the pot...

If cheese gets to thick- you can always add chicken stock to thin it out!

Servings: make a whole heck of alot!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Memories...Part 3

Christmas Eve Fashion Show!

Following the gift unwrapping (actually it was more like a shark feeding frenzy lasting only about 15 minutes)...we would gather up our loot to better examine each piece. Being the only girl...clothes were pretty much a guarantee! And I mean actual clothes...whole outfits - not the socks and underwear that everyone gets. :)

My mom and grandparents would always 'beg' me to put on a fashion show...but in actuality- I'm pretty sure it was mom's ingenious way of getting me to try on all my new clothes (making sure they fit and what not). Now being a girl in the middle of two brothers...and who more often than not was treated as 'one of the boys'....I LOVED this opportunity bestowed upon me! A chance to be an attention-grabbing fashionista was perfectly OK with me!

Secretly there was another reason I loved these fashion shows... because it urked my brothers to no end when I acted "girl-y"... so it ended up a situation!

Christmas Memories...Part 2

Here's one from John...

" I remember one year waking up in the middle of the night because I heard something. So I quietly came down the stairs so I could find out what it was. I saw a light on in the back room."

I asked him if he 'saw mommy kissing Santa Claus'

He said "NO- but she may have been swearing at him!"

Seems the Santa man brought a bike but didn't put it together...he left that for mom!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas memories...Part 1

All this week I'm going to share some favorite Christmas memories, mostly mine- but there are a few from John as well.

One of my fondest memories at Christmas - was waiting for my grandparents to arrive on Christmas Eve. My family always did Christmas Eve- dinner, presents, dessert. The festivities would start as soon as my grandparents arrived...which usually wasn't until about 6 or 7pm.

I'm not sure what it is about December 24th- but it is the SLOWEST day of the year. It seems to drag on for way more than 24 hours...waking up completely ecstatic that the day is finally here! We're finally going to get to open our gifts...we just have to wait until gma and gpa get here....ughhhh! I swear some years- the clock actually stopped!

Around 5pm we would start waiting by the kitchen window, watching for headlights to come down the road. My brothers and I would sometimes take shifts to pass the time. I'm quite certain we drove my mother nuts! All of sudden you would see some headlights coming down the street and you hoped with all your might it was them. Because that meant it would soon be gift time. I'm sure all that anticipation aged us and the crushing disappointment that followed as the headlights drove on by..but it was always well worth it when the headlights pulled up and stopped at our house!

I loved watching my gpa get out the car with his black plastic trashbag full of gifts slung over his shoulder like Santa man. And no matter how much bickering and arguing my brothers and I were doing- it always stopped right then- with one of us running around the house shouting THEY'RE HERE!!! THEY'RE HERE!! The excitement was contagious and the merryment soon commenced.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Singing dancing bakers

Yesterday afterschool I decided to make the fam an apple pie. Partly because it sounded wonderfully yummy and partly because of my OCD. You I see I have this need to perfect my recipes...and until they are perfect (by my standards) I just keep making them.

Last year I found this super delicious Apple Pie recipe in a magazine. So I decided to make it... it ended up being too complicated and after four or five tries in a week and half...I gave up. Partly because I didn't want to peel another apple and partly because my family started to sicken at the site of apple pie- and we can't have that!!

Fast forward to this year- Thanksgiving to be specific. I offered to make dessert, pies- one apple one pumpkin. So I scoured the internet trying to find an easier apple pie recipe and ended up finding one! It was a great recipe and the pie was fine- its just that it didn't call for enough apples and my pie ended up being super thin...ughhh- nothing worse than a skinny pie!

So that is what spawned my apple pie baking lastnight.

Whenever I bake or cook in the kitchen- I always play music by hooking my ipod up to the speaker. My Christmas music playlist was blaring through the house as I started peeling my granny greens. Pucca quickly came into the kitchen upon hearing the music...knowing full well that loud music=mom's baking. She decided to join me...she pulled out her playdough and cookie cutters and made some holiday cookies.

After running through my Christmas playlist we skipped down to the Disney playlist (all the songs from the Disney movies)...the recipe doesn't really take that long to do, but we kept stopping to dance and twirl to our favorite songs...and those little moments started adding up!

We finally finished the pie just as John got home...and stuck it oven! I LOVE the smell of apple pie...just heavenly!

It turned out fairly well... I think next time I'll add a little flour to the filling so its not so runny. Don't worry honey- it was sufficient and there will be no more apple pies this week!

Here's the recipe:

6 cups thinly sliced apples (I use granny smith or a mixture of GS and Braeburn)
3/4 c-1 c of white sugar (depends on if you use all GS or a combination...need more sugar for the GS apples)
1 tbs butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 recipe for a 9 inch double crust pie ** or store bought pie crust

Prepare your pastry for a two crust pie. OR us a store bought pie crust (pkg of 2). Wipe, quarter, core, peel and slice apples; measuring 6 cups (I used 8 medium apples for a fuller pie)
Fill a bowl with 3 cups water and some lemon juice to keep apples from browning while preparing.

Drain apples from water mixture, add sugar and cinnamon- toss until fully coated.

Place apple sugar mixture in pastry lined pie plate. Top apple mixture with butter slices. Cover with top pie crust. (An idea for the venting is to use small cookie cutters...overlapping the cut out piece with the main crust or a simple circle in the middle- tons of creative ways!) Brush top crust with egg wash (one egg and a little warm water).

Place on lowest rack in oven preheated to 450 for 10 minutes. Then reduce temp to 350 and bake 30-35 minutes longer.


2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. buttermilk
2/3 c. vegetable oil

Measure flour and salt. Add milk and oil. Stir only until dry ingredients are blended in. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion between 2 pieces of wax paper. Remove top layer of wax paper and transfer crust into pie plate with bottom wax paper still intact and on top. Remove wax paper from crust and shape edges as desired. Repeat with second portion of recipe. So easy and delicious.

NOTE: I like to chill my completed pie shell in freezer 1 to 2 hours before baking for extra crispness of a 1 crust pie. Yield: 1 double pie or 2 single pie shells.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


4 the number of books I read this weekend...and the condition of my house was proof!

5 is the number of gifts I have yet to buy...then I"M DONE!!!!

3749 is the number of days John and I have been married

4228 is the address of our first apartment in Lincoln

328.5 is the number of hours until Christmas

14 is the number of apples I've yet to start to peeling for an apple pie

16 is the number of minutes I have to get Pucca dressed, hair combed and out the door to school....

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Silly goose!

Last weekend John and I were lazily sprawled out in the family room watching football when Pucca came running in and jumped on John...he braced himself just in time for her uninhibited leap. As he carefully put her down he jokingly said "You better not do that again...I may fart!"
Pucca leaned in towards his face, looked him straight in the eye- and in all seriousness said "Go ahead- make my day!" in a classic Clint Eastwood expression. John and I looked at eachother and started laughing. Pucca then skipped back to her room humming some children's song- completely unfazed by the whole situation.

Where do kids get this stuff?

Mother's intuition

Once dinner was done, I went and cozied up to the superb fire my husband had roaring in the fireplace. It didn't take long before I started to nod off...and it was only 8 o'clock!! I tried my hardest to stay awake- but for some reason my body was saying - NO WAY, girl! Its beddy-bye time! John noticed me curled up in our super sweet big red chair...he shut off the lights and shut the door so I could rest and enjoy the fire.

Finally around 9:15pm I decided to make a conscious effort and get my lazy bones to bed. The kids were all in bed and the house was quiet- so off to sleep I went. Wow! I thought...this never happens... getting to bed early and not having to put the kids to bed! Saaaaaa-weeeet!

2:30am...creeeeeekkkkkkkkk (our bedroom door creeks). "What?!" I manage out in all my grogginess- eyes still closed, knowing full well there's a child standing right next to me needing me for something.

Kynna was sick and throwing up...she needed help.

Its so good that I went to bed early...because I was up for two hours with the poor thing- cleaning up and comforting her.

So chalk one up for mom super powers!

Monday, December 08, 2008


One of my nephews was baptized this past weekend. They moved to Utah earlier in the this is the first big family 'event' that we haven't all been at! Kind of sad...because eventhough we argue and fight - we're family and always support eachother.

(The man of the hour is in the gray shirt)

Since we couldn't be there- I wanted to let him know we were thinking about him!

Here's everyone's thoughts:

That is so cool! Wish we could have been there! - Kynna

Wow! You're 8 already?! Just growing up so fast! That's really neat- Kwynn

When is it my turn? 'My friend' didn't get baptized- did he? Cuz I'm older! (I had to remind her this was a message for N and she got back on task) That's nice- did they have cake or cookies? -Pucca

Congratulations, N! You took an amazing step this weekend- one that's full of responsibility and accountability, but you'll handle it well because you're a great kid with a loving family. Wish we could have been there to show you our support- we love you! - Aunt Audra

Friday, December 05, 2008

Beginning to look alot like Christmas

Our home is getting in the holiday spirit...almost every room! I strung Christmas lights in the girls' rooms. Pucca has white ones draped around her window in the curtains...its really pretty- almost fairy-pixie-ish (you bet that's a word!)

The twins have bunkbeds- so I stapled some up underneath the top bunk (in the slats supporting the top mattress) and pinned Kwynnie's (top bunk girl) to the ceiling. I really like the bottom bunk, though- drape a sheet over the side and its a super cool hideout!

Still working on my stockings...sewing machine issues...hopefully this weekend!

and here's a few other rooms...

We alternate tree decorations every other year. A kid's tree complete with homemade decorations and vintage ones from John's and my childhood. And on opposite years we do an old fashion Christmas tree with pinecones, popcorn garland and antique metal ornaments...this year is a KID tree!

( this ornament is one of John's - a pic of him when he was like 4 or 5...super sweet!)

Kitchen....actually the only holiday inspired goodies in there are this super awesome plate and a poinsettia...but give it another week and it will be filled with Christmas goodies. I love baking Christmas much fun!

NO its not messy...there is some organization going on in there! Its actually the staging place for gifts. I do most of my shopping online. So when the fedex/ups santa man drops of my cargo- it goes in here so I can sort and get them wrapped before kids get home from school! I leave all the wrapping stuff out in this room- and then just shut the door to hide the mean "present beautifying tools"!

Only 20 more days until Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thanks and blessings

Thanksgiving was so busy that I never specified what I was thankful for! The list is LONG and I mean long...but at the very top are my children and super stud of a husband! WOW- I love these people!

John is the bestest friend/husband ever! He's an awesome provider and father and my closest friend!

And my children- I love everything about them! Especially that they are normal and well adjusted... actually I'm really thankful they are not like him. (check out this link)

Crazy little freak... :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sick day

One of my favorite parts about being a mom are sicks days...but there is an exception- throwing up....ya, not so much!

Anyway- today around 12:30 I got 'the call' from the school nurse- fever and not feeling well, come pick her up.

So I headed over to pick up my sick baby.

Symptoms include low grade fever (100.2), sore throat and a little cough.

Remedy: laying in bed, reading our favorite books, playing memory, sipping slushies and watching cartoons!

Sure to cure almost anything!