we have pets…

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…just not in the traditional sense. Sadly, I have to report that our-well-beloved as a Beta can be, Dorie Sleeping Beauty, went to the big fish pond in the sky. We had a family night to discuss the Plan of Salvation and death and then broke the news to Megan. She immediately asked if we could get a new fish that is blue with a fancy tail. Grief can be tough on a 4 year old.

We have been kicking around the idea of getting a dog. (Actually, we have been kicking it around for about 5 years.) However, we already have dog and cat that roam around our house for awhile pretty much every day. Megan is always a dog, Emily is usually a cat. They certainly love to crawl around the house and beg and play with me. Silly girls.

dinner: quick and delicious

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After talking with a group of friends, it seems we are all in need of meal ideas. I am thinking about doing a dinner recipe post each week. While I mull the idea over, let me share a favorite of ours that is so easy to throw together you will love me for it.

french dip sandwiches with steamed veggies

For each sandwich you will need:

Sub or bollio rolls (we like the whole wheat ones at Smith’s bakery)

~1/4lb. sliced roast beef (It is worth getting the good stuff at the deli)

2 slices provolone or havarti cheese

butter

Au Jus gravy mix

For the veggie mix:

a few potatoes (I really like Yukon Golds–they have a buttery flavor naturally.), in 1″ cubes

a generous handful of carrots, in 1″ rounds

1 bunch broccoli, cut up

butter

lemon juice

shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Put it all together:

1. Cut up veggies and place in a steamer basket* in a pot with about 2″ of water. Turn element to high and allow water to boil.

2. In a saucepan, mix Au Jus according to package directions.

3. Slice rolls and butter on each side, then arrange with beef and cheese. Set on plates.

4. Pour Au Jus into small bowls (Those take and toss toddler bowls are ideally sized for this.) Add to plates.

5. Pull the steamer out of the pot and dump out the remaining water, then pour veggies back into the pot, add butter to taste and a few squirts of lemon juice, then gently mix. Plate the veggies and top with cheese and a little salt and pepper. Often, I skip the butter or use butter spray–however healthy you want to be here, just do it.

That’s it, super easy, less than a half hour total prep. and it just tastes so good on a cold day!

*Allow me to extol the virtues of the humble vegetable steamer. The are around $5 and easily found at the grocery store. It is such an easy and healthy way to prepare a variety of vegetables. While it cooks quickly, things tend to stay a little crisper than boiling. I just love steaming veggies. Buy one. Thank me later.  =)

kids love frosting–i mean cookies

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We had a cute friend over tonight. I think we all enjoyed a little more testosterone in our house. We have got to get us a boy! Back to the subject at hand…

The kids had fun chasing each other around and screaming. Then we settled in for a little sugar cookie decorating. Hehe, “settled.” Well, it was fun. They ate a lot of frosting, then had a bite of cookie and licked a little more frosting.

After we were done, we had these lovely cookies to-er-throw away and frosting pretty much everywhere. Which lead to a group shower with even more screaming and giggles. (We were a little hesitant as to whether Megan is too old for coed showers, but she didn’t seem to notice any anatomical differences. So, we dodged that bullet for a little while longer. Phew.)

Megan made a “hill of frosting-like snow-that we can sled down” on her cookie. Yum.

a few random cute things from 2 cute girls

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Yesterday, Megan was showing my parents the carpet sweeper and broom that Santa brought them. (He is one smart cookie) When my Mom asked “Did Santa bring you that?” Megan smartly replied “No, he just got them out of our garage.” (I guess I’d better try harder for hiding places next time.)

Everyone in our family enjoys a trip to Sportsman’s Warehouse

At Grandma Lu’s tonight, Emily was playing with a little nativity set that Grandma has. As she pulled out a figure, she named them, “Here’s baby Jesus. Here’s Mary” etc. She pulled out a wise man and Grandma Lu said “That’s a wise man.” Emily said “He built his house on the rock!”

These foam pads are so luxurious!

wink, wink

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I am a winker–I don’t know; it just happens. My tinies have noticed. They have been working on their own winks. I have to admit that I love it. We’ll be eating dinner and I’ll wink at Megan and she gives me a totally dramatic wink back. She’s got it mastered, but only on the right side. Emily started doing it too in the last couple of days. They are so cute!

check out this funny face:

snow much fun

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Okay, that was cheesy. We have had a wonderful Christmas day. Here are pictures from our sledding trip with the Jensens yesterday afternoon. Emily loved “slipping” down the hill and eating the snow. Megan loved sledding down with dad. This is the ingenius method they came up with after a few trips.

Looks like fun (and cushy for Megan.)

Some of the kids heading down.

My favorite people.

’twas the night before christmas…

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The stockings are hung…

The treat for Santa is out…

(Megan requested water and an apple for him…cute.)

Mom is done wrapping, so we’re ready for the fun (and bed-woohoo!)

a little dirty love

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Today we suprised to receive a box from our postman that we weren’t expecting. Who would send us something? What could it be? We opened it up…

…and found some potatoes from our fun friends in Idaho. As previously blogged about, we enjoyed visiting the Schwendimans so much this summer, that we went back a few weeks later. They are so fun to e with, we even thought about moving to Idaho. Seriously. They are fun people. Megan talks about going back to see our friends “what have the farm with the potatoes” often. :-D

I have to say, I was so touched. It felt like a box packed with love and happiness. You guys are the best, Schwendimans!

how sweet is this?

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I really don’t think I need to say any more. One of the very best moments in my day is checking on the girls before I go to bed. Who wouldn’t love to gaze down at this little cherub? I think I’ll go catch the live version now…

our little newspaper girl

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Megan gets very excited about fetching the newspaper. It is one of the things that gets her out of bed in the morning. (And if you know Megan, you know it takes quite a bit to get her out of bed in the morning.) You can note, again, the “princess smile.”  While it does crack me up, I’d rather not have all of her pictures feature this funny face.

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