Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008--Let's review

Overall, I would say 2008 was a good year. We did say goodbye to Nala in March and my Uncle Ed in August.

We have enjoyed living in Montana and being closer to family. Grandparents have had several opportunities to visit and we have been able to travel back to South Dakota on numerous occasions that we wouldn't have before. We've sent our baby on to preschool and been serenaded by many new songs (several that take us a few hearings to decipher). It has been a blessing to watch Maggie grow in the past year. She's no longer a baby nor a toddler, but a little girl. She even sat still for me this morning and allowed me to put pigtails in her hair. She is a little girly-girl and loves to play with make-up and jewelry. She loves to play with her babies and wrap them up. She also loves animals -- all kinds. She watches "Go Diego Go" and remembers the facts about animals she learns there. She can tell you what sound a pygmy marmoset makes.

Rocky continued working on his Ed.D and I continued to work! I like my job and the flexibility I currently have to be able to not take work home with me. I do hope to go back to school someday and move up the career ladder, but I'm happy being a simple working mommy right now.

And Otis, well, I think Otis enjoys his only dog status. In the recent bitter cold days, he stayed in the house at night and was finally allowed to sleep on the couch. He hasn't tried to runaway since Nala passed and has become such a patient dog, especially when it comes to Maggie. The other day, Maggie decided to feed Otis and piece by piece, he gently took the food from her. Of course, I discovered she was taste testing the food for him! You would think we never feed her.

I'm looking forward to the new challenges that 2009 will bring. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to do resolutions this year, but I think I will let 2008 slip away first.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A very very Blessed Christmas to all!


I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carol play. And wild and sweet, the words repeat of Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.

We had a nice, quiet Christmas, just the three (four if you count Otis) of us. Otis kept to himself most of the morning, but carried around his "red cannycane" bone that Maggie picked out for him. Santa was awfully good to all of us and the present part of Christmas lasted most of the day as Maggie took her time opening gifts and to savor and play with each gift before moving on to another. Santa was able to find Maggie the pygmy marmoset she had asked for and the humpback whale she had requested for Daddy.


It was a beautiful white Christmas -- the first we had seen in 5 years and the first Billings has seen in many more (according to the locals). Maggie and I took advantage of the warmer temps to spend some time outside. We walked around the backyard, made snow angels and ate a bit of snow. There was a crust about 1/2 an inch deep on the snow, which made for good eats! It was light enough that it didn't make very good snowballs, but that may have been my gloves as well.


A very merry Christmas and blessed new year to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, love Otis


Ah, Otis, you put up with so much! You let us put Santa hats, reindeer antlers, socks and the occasional T-shirt on you, even briefly. You let Maggie hand feed you your breakfast, and even
shared it with her the other morning. You let Maggie brush you, sit on you, love on you. You have come so far in the 5 years you have lived with us. Merry Christmas you old dog!

Monday, December 22, 2008

SANTA!!

We got to see Santa on Saturday. The Gazette threw it's annual family Christmas party and had Santa there for the kids. The whole trip to the Gazette, Maggie talked about Santa "I shake Santa's hand. Santa wants a Wonder Pets toy for Christmas. " But when we got there and it was actually time to talk to him, she was no longer so sure. We did get her to sit on his lap, and she was just about to bolt when they brought her present. She was happy to sit for a quick photo then!

We also had our family photo taken and went to lunch with some friends of ours. Maggie had fun playing with Stephanie and the balloons and the hunting video game that was right by our table.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Preschool Christmas

Maggie's class didn't have an official Christmas pagent, but did manage to sing a few songs for all the parents on Thursday:

video


The words are: Father Christmas, Father Christmas, he got stuck! He got stuck! Coming down the chimney, coming down the chimney. What bad luck! What bad luck!

They also sang "Three Sad Christmas Trees." I think most of the kids in Maggie's class are closer to 4 (or are already 4) and she looks so small in this video. Her teachers tell us that she is right there with the others as far as development.


video

Friday, December 19, 2008

Go Griz! Go Ducks!

We are not big college football fans. But even so, this time of year, with the Bowl games and playoff games, I can't help but get a little excited. This year, we have a little more to be excited about: The University of Montana Grizzlies are in the title game of the Football Championship Subdivision. The game is of double interest to me as the Griz are taking on the Richmond Spiders -- the one college football team in Richmond. We never attended any sporting events for the Spiders; we were VCU fans and they didn't have football, much to Rocky's chagrin. We've watched one or two games of the Griz this year, but even so, you can't help but get excited for the game. It seems like the entire state is excited about the game -- even the MSU Bobcat fans are cheering on the Griz.

We also try to follow the University of Oregon Ducks in honor of my late Uncle Ed. Last fall when we went out for a visit, he took Rocky to the opening game of the 2007 season and they had a blast. The Ducks take on #13 Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl on December 30; fortunately it is an evening game, so we should be able to cheer them on. Live Green, Yell - O!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Maggie's Christmas Medley

Maggie sang us her medley of "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and "You're a Mean One, Mr Grinch"

video

Saturday, December 13, 2008

BLIZZARD!

Rocky was out this morning, right before the storm really hit. When he got home, he decided to get some video of the storm. It's been a long time since I've seen blowing and drifting snow like this: Billings Gazette website.

It's been a good day to stay inside and make a big pot of chili, attempt a batch of fudge (Grandma's recipe, didn't turn out) and try to keep clothes on Maggie. Maggie seems to think it's fine to run around during a blizzard wearing nothing but underpants. I guess I should be happy it's underpants and not a diaper/pull up.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Maggie's verison of the Christmas Story

Last night, Maggie was watching one of her Christmas movies while I was trying to do a Bible study. We haven't yet found a church we like, so I decided to do a few Bible studies in the meantime. Maggie was very curious about the Bible I was using and asked to "read" it. She paged through it a couple of times. I asked her if she wanted me to read the Christmas story. She said yes, so we turned to Luke 2 and I started to read. She didn't seem to like that version, so she took the Bible from me and said "I read it. Once upon a time, baby Jesus. The end." She closed the Bible and said "That's a good Bible." Yes it is, Sweet Pea.


video

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Cookies

I love this time of year. It is a very close 2nd to fall for me. I love the cold, the snow, the cheeriness, the lights, the packages, boxes and bags! But I really love the baking. I love baking Christmas cookies and goodies. This year was very special because Maggie is just old enough to really have fun baking Christmas cookies and one of my cousins, whom I haven't seen in at least 15 years, moved into town and we were able to bake cookies together. Christy and I were part of the "look-a-like" cousins growing up -- 4 of us favored our grandmother. We didn't stop to take a picture on Sunday, but the resemblance has faded a bit (in my opinion), though you could still pick us all out of a crowd! Christy has 2 older children and they enjoyed the cookie baking as much as Maggie. Though, Maggie and Ethan seemed to enjoy eating more frosting than anything else!
Maggie adds sprinkles to the cookie dough:


Ethan pounds/rolls out the dough:


Christy gets them ready for the oven


And then we frost!



The final result:

Tonight, Maggie told me that she wants to go to Christy's to make more "Cwistmas Cookies." It's supposed to be bitter cold this weekend, so we'll probably bake some more and I think I'm going to try my hand at my grandmother's fudge recipe. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Symbol of the Dailey Family Christmas

"The most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith ond kin. This tree is a symbol of the spirit of the Griswold family cwithmas." Clark W. Griswold, "Christmas Vacation"




"Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff, with Bingle-balls and Who-foo Fluff!" The tree trimming song from "How The Grinch Stole Christmas".

Friday, December 5, 2008

All I want for Christmas

Rocky has class this weekend, so I thought I would use the time to do some Christmas shopping for him. I told Maggie we were going to get Daddy's Christmas present and asked her what she thought he needed. Maggie replied "Ummm, I know! A humpback whale!" To which Rocky replied "Wouldn't be the worst gift I ever got."

Then we asked her what Mommy should get for Christmas. Maggie replied "Ummmm, a boat, a chicken and a box." The boat makes sense with the humpback whale gift, but not sure how well a chicken and a box go with that.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Scenes from Thanksgiving

Maggie's preschool class celebrated Thanksgiving with a Stone Soup Lunch. We were all asked to bring in 2 cans of some part of the soup (we brought in chicken) and an extra can of something for the Soup Kitchen. Maggie very proudly and happily shared her "Stone Stoup." On the turkey below, all the children had what they were thankful for on their hand. Maggie is thankful for Momma (aww) .


Maggie and I spent the week working on potty training and spending a lot of quality time together.

We played with her babies.

We played on the Wii Fit (Maggie loves the Ski Jump, especially when she falls).
We did some crafts.

And we snuggled.

And then . . . The Feast!
Maggie helped with the apple pie.




Rocky carved the Hutterite turkey. It was one big bird! Over 19 pounds and the smallest they had. It was really good, but that may have a little to do with the cook! I used an apple cider brine: 8 cups apple cider, 3/4 cup kosher salt, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 T black peppercorns, 1 T All Spice, 4 cloves garlic, 6 whole cloves, 1T ginger. Boil for 5 minutes and allow to completely cool. Take thawed bird, remove giblets and neck (save for gravy). Rinse and pat dry. Stuff cavity with 2 oranges cut into fourths. Put bird into a basting bag (2 if you are worried about leaks) and then into a large bucket (I use a 5 gallon water cooler). Pour cooled brine over bird and then add 6 cups of ice. Put in a cool place for at least 6 hours -- overnight if possible.

I've used this recipe for the last 3-4 years and every single time it's a nice, juicy bird!


We also had Parmesan mashed potatoes, giblet gravy (which actually turned out! Yay me!), green beans with caramelized onions and almonds, and homemade buns. All served with a Chilean Pinot Noir, which I really enjoyed!!

And then Maggie and I relaxed while Rocky cleaned up.

Eventually, Maggie did take a nap, her first one of the week.