Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I have many things to be thankful for. I will probably expound on them tomorrow and have pictures to show as well. I hope all of you have a very good day and spend it being with family and friends. I want us all to remember and be thankful for what a blessed people we are to live in the best country in the entire world!

p.s. Mom, have a happy turkey day. {smirk}

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shave and a haircut, two bits!.....My foot.

I kind of took a few days off of blogging. I am really gearing up for this Thursday. I love Thanksgiving. Some of my best memories are of Thanksgiving. As a grown up, I like to think of it as the Olympics in cooking. I am excited for it. I will most likely do another post about it later. So anyway, I had parent teacher conferences at the school today. Really, not so painful this year. I usually have one that is stellar and one that I feel like I have to explain what is wrong with my child. They seem to switch every year. This year is Abbey's year to be good. Oh, and it was. She is doing really well. She has all A's and B's. She even got and "E" in P.E. That's exceeds expectations people! I did a double take at it. "In P.E. you say?" This is the child that usually gets a "N" for needs improvement. I was shocked and pleased.

Oh, Lindsay. My little Lou Lou. She is doing really good in everything except math. I don't know what went wrong. Last year she was so ahead of the curve they were thinking of putting her in an advanced class. This year, DUD. Her teacher thinks that she just needs to apply herself more and she will do better. Isn't that always the answer? What store sells apply? I know that she is very smart. Her tests and teachers tell me she is very smart, but she needs to apply herself. (Sigh) I will do what I can. What that is, I don't know yet. So a little improvement is needed there.

I am realizing that they are under more stress than usual this year. Their Dad doesn't have a job and they are worried about it. Also, if Jeff gets a job, they are worried about moving away. So maybe that could be a contributing factor. On a side note, I saw a sample of her writing and I was blown away by how good it was.

OK, so afterward I am heading to the store to get them some flash cards to bulk up on their basic math skills. I am in line getting ready to pay and Abbey wants to know if she can get her hair cut. She has been bugging me about this for quite a while. At this point I just want to pay for the cards, go home, and relax. My first answer to her is no. Then it starts. The little voice in my head. It starts telling me things like, "She might really need this for a little confidence boost" or "She did do a really good job in school so far" and also "Her hair has been looking a bit raggedy lately" I do this all the time. I really need to think it through before I just give my gut answer.

So, there is a hair cutting place in this store. I try not to ever go there. I just have a feeling that it won't end well, but I just have a feeling that it's really important for Abbey to do this. We go in. We are ignored. I walk around to find the women that work there. I let them know that someone wants them to do something other than drink coffee and talk about dancing with the stars.

Alrighty, Abbey hops up and the lady asks me if we want her hair shampooed. Since it's included you betcha I want her hair shampooed. As she's walking her back she stunned me by asking, "Do you want her hair conditioned? That's a dollar extra."
WHAT? How cheap are you to charge for conditioner? It would have served her right if I had said no! Abbey has famously snarly hair that is impossible to comb through without the aid of conditioner. I was going to say no just to make it harder for her. Yes, I really would have too, if Abbey didn't also have one of the most sensitive heads on the planet. I grudgingly agreed to be robbed of my one dollar.

The haircut went quickly(thank goodness)and she asked me what I thought. I really couldn't tell. Her hair just looked wet. I pointed this out and she informed me it would be 3 bucks if I wanted her to dry it.....uuuhh WHAAAT? Does this include you styling it or is that just you making it not dripping wet? I asked her that very question. She informed me that if I wanted it styled it would be even more, the 3 bucks is just to get it dry. I just couldn't believe this place. Are you kidding me? Not to mention that it's cold outside and probably not a good idea to send clients with wet heads out there.

At this point I just wanted to pay and go. I felt violated after I did. It's the kind of violation you feel when you are trying to turn left and you have a red arrow in your lane, a green if you go strait, with no one coming in the opposite direction and you are STUCK waiting there!

Not to forget to mention, Lindsay wanted a bang trim. I asked how much a simple children's bang trim would be, 9 dollars! That is one big reason I HATE bangs! I am really trying to convince her to go back to the good old days of no bangs. I just can't make myself pay for them to be cut right and I do a really crappy job.

I think I need to have some me time and relax.

My next post will be happier. I promise.

stress toy Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute!

This year has been a good year for our family. The last month and a half however, have been stressful and hard. Now, I know it will only get better. I have received very good advice and insight from people that are older and wiser than me and that have also gone through this. If you don't know what I am talking about, Jeff was laid off at the beginning of October. It's been scary, depressing, and disheartening. Through it though, we have become closer as a family, become closer friends, learned some great life lessons, and I think that within six months of this, we will be thankful that it happened. I believe that this will be a change for the better, I really do. I believe that Heavenly Father is watching over me, blessing me, and this is what was supposed to happen. I am feeling like I have built an even better relationship with the Lord through this process.

Now back to the tittle of this post. I felt like I needed to preface it with a bit of background. As a tradition in our family, we put up all of the Christmas stuff and go full tilt into the holiday the day after Thanksgiving. I feel that gives us enough time to really take in everything that it has to offer. I look forward to going to church each week to sing Christmas hyms and listen to Christ centered lessons. I love to make many different treats and goodies for us to eat and pass out. We also like to have a service project as a family. The girls look forward to getting a name off of a giving tree so they can buy a needy child a present. All of our family home evenings are about Christmas as well. Oh, and let's not forget the music! Every kind of Christmas music get played around here.

With all of this to look forward to in a little over a week, the waiting was getting kind of hard. Last Monday, we were finishing our family night, when Lindsay asked when we could start listening to Christmas music. I told her we could do that pretty soon. Maybe after Thanksgiving would be a good time. She just kind of smiled her little pirate smile that she has and said she would like some now. Later on in the evening, Jeff let it be known that he would like a little bit of Christmas to start early. "I just love the feeling, and I could use some of that feeling." he said. So I instantly start to hear Angela Lansbury start singing in my head:

Haul out the holly;
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stocking,
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute,
Candles in the window,
Carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute.
It hasn't snowed a single flurry,
But Santa, dear, we're in a hurry;
So climb down the chimney;
Put up the brightest string of lights I've ever seen.
Slice up the fruitcake;
It's time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough.

So, I sang that to him and he just turned and smiled at me a said, "Exactly!" That means that the DeCoursey's are doing it earlier this year folks. We have already broke out the music and made our first batch of caramel corn. I don't think we will decorate till we usualy do, but the spirit is getting strong. The girls are making their Christmas lists, drawing up plans for gingerbread houses, and watching for the giving trees to appear in the grocery store. I guess I am wondering if anyone else has felt this way this year. When do people generally start their traditions for the holidays. When does the official gauntlet drop? For our family it was the 9th of November. (I have to say I saw someones tree up already on Halloween, that's pushing it)

For we need a little music,
Need a little laughter,
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter,
And we need a little snappy
"Happy ever after,"
Need a little Christmas now.

Disney Christmas Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All I wanted for Christmas was an EZ Bake Oven

I don't know why, but even as a child I was very interested in baking. I think it might be genetic or something. I know one of my favorite things in the world as a child, were the few times I got to have real homemade bread. It tasted better than anything else. I knew for sure you couldn't buy that taste. I was always interested in how to make cookies, cakes, breads, and cinnamon rolls. Which not to toot my own horn, I make the best I know of.

So you can imagine my delight when I saw a commercial for the EZ Bake Oven. Little pans, little oven, and big fun! You could make all sorts of things with it. I know I bothered my mom for a while about getting one. I really don't remember when I got it (Christmas, Birthday, Arbor Day ect) I'm pretty sure it was Christmas because of the story I am about to relay. I do remember the excitement however and wanting to try it out. I would constantly ask my mom if I could use it. The answer was always,"I have to help you with it so you will have to wait for me." I was incensed! The kids in the darn commercial didn't need any stinky adult lurking around to help them! I was a very capable kid. Why can't I don it my self? Well I was good and waited. Looking back now, I should have just opened it and went it alone and took the consequences after. I made the mistake of going to play at my friend Kristy's house all day. She had a yard with lots of untouched snow and we spent most the day playing in it. Before I left, my mom told me that we could do the EZ Bake when I got home. Yes! Today is going to be a great day! So after lot of playing and fun at Kristy's house I make my way home just before it gets dark. I came into the house with red cheeks, sniffley nose, and great baking expectations. Our dining room was just off to the left of the front door. What do I see on the table? My oven. Not just my oven, but all of the packages of the cakes and cookies and frosting packets open. And to my horror, the pans with baked on remnants of batter and dough, just sitting there, EMPTY! Tears sprang to my eyes. I ran to find out WHO DID THIS! I found my mom, I thought for sure she would feel as upset as I was. There would certainly be justice dealt today in the Sorenson house! I told my mom of the circumstance. Before I had even finished, she told me something along the lines of, "Well I was ready to do it, and you weren't home. We didn't know when you were coming home, so Donald and Kelly did them."......TRAITOR! THIEVES! RUINER'S OF CHRISTMAS PRESENTS! I was full on crying and spittin' mad at this point. I did try to look on the bright side, there might be some left for me to eat. So I asked where the rest of the goodies were. Then my mom let me know that they had eaten them all and that I didn't miss out on much, they weren't that good. Oh, sadness and bitterness filled my little heart. I was so disgusted over the incident that I didn't want anything else to do with the oven. Not that I really could do much anyway. The mixes were gone, but so was my desire.

(I want you to know though, I have been through this with my mom and she has since apologized and I have forgiven her. I know that experience has made me a more sensitive mother to my children's feelings and things. So, good things can come from bad things.)

Well, it wasn't until quite a few years later. I think I was 11 or 12 and it was Thanksgiving time. My mom was making pies for Thanksgiving. I think my mom makes wonderful pies. She does a great pie crust. Anyway, she was making an apple pie. She had some left over crust she was about to throw away. I asked if I could have it. I told her I wanted to make a pie too, with the EZ bake. She didn't mind, so I fashioned a pie pan out of foil, peeled and sliced some apples, and she told me how much cinnamon and other such spices to use. I don't remember if I miss heard her, or if I just thought it needed more, but that little apple pie had a LOT of cinnamon. I showed it to my mom and she told I should probably start over. I was confident it was going to be great! I took my little pie up to my room and popped it in my little oven. It took forever. At least an hour and a half.
This pie wasn't just for anybody. This pie was for my mom's dad. My Grandpa Brinkerhoff. I think out of pity for her father, she tried to get me to throw it away. I was determined that he was going to love it and thank me profusely for making such a flavorful pie. After dinner, I presented him with his pie. He was very thankful and told me how delicious it looked. Now, I don't remember if he ate it strait or if he put ice cream on it, but he ate it! All of it. He told me it was delicious. Even with my mom telling him that he didn't have to eat it. He probably said something like,"Oh Susan, don't be silly. Of course I am going to eat this delicious pie Heidi made me." That little moment of triumph for me, really encouraged me to pursue my love and interest in baking again. My husband is very great full as well.

Now, guess what Abbey and Lindsay want for Christmas this year. Yup. EZ Bake Oven.

easy bake oven. Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, November 17, 2008

Insanity runs in my family.... It practically gallops!

I love movies. I watch more movies than anyone I know of. I average about six a week. I also have movie Friday. I go to what ever is opening that Friday while my kids are in school. We have an AMC Cinema. The nice thing about them is that you get 5$ movies on the weekends before noon. They also have a free V.I.P. card. I get anything from free popcorn and candy to a night out at the movies for two! I haven't been able to enjoy movie Friday as much since we've been trying to save money. Never fear! I have Netflix! I have developed a system that allows me to turn my 3 at a time movies into 6 a week. It takes coordination and determination and sometimes doesn't happen. :)

Now, I watch ALL sorts of movies. Any genre, black & white, and rating is usually only up to PG-13. I do watch some that are R. Not many. I think some are very noteworthy. I am completely aware of the naughtiness that it is too. Since this can be a hotbed of a topic among people I will just let it be.

One of my movies I watched last week included a gem called "Arsenic and Old Lace". This is a really funny black comedy made in 1944 and directed by Frank Capra and staring Cary Grant...(swoon) It was originally a stage production.

arsenic and old lace Pictures, Images and Photos

The basic plot is Mortimer Bruster (Cary Grant) , a seemingly confirmed bachelor, is secretly getting married at city hall to his sweetheart. After getting hitched he heads over to his dear old aunties house to tell them the good news. We soon learn that old Martha and Abby have a very serious secret. They do a "kind" service to lonely old men that come to stay at their boarding house. They poison them and bury them in the cellar! Now, it's a public service mind you. They are doing it out of the utmost respect for the poor and unloved gentlemen. Oh, not to forget Teddy. He is, I believe, Mortimer's brother. He believes he is Teddy Roosevelt. This is a little snippet of line from the movie about that:

Reverend Harper: Have you ever tried to persuade him that he wasn't Teddy Roosevelt?
Abby Brewster: Oh, no.
Martha Brewster: Oh, he's so happy being Teddy Roosevelt.
Abby Brewster: Oh... Do you remember, Martha, once, a long time ago, we thought if he'd be George Washington, it might be a change for him, and we suggested it.
Martha Brewster: And do you know what happened? He just stayed under his bed for days and wouldn't be anybody.

Well, good old Teddy is in charge of digging the graves for the poor fellows. He of course believes them to be yellow fever victims. All of this is going on and no one suspects a thing. That is until Mortimer comes by and accidentally discovers a body! Trying to get down to why they would have a body in the house, they have this funny interchange:

Mortimer Brewster: Look, Aunt Martha, men don't just get into window seats and die!
Abby Brewster: We know, dear. He died first.
Mortimer Brewster: Wait a minute! Stop all this. Now, look, darling, how did he die?
Abby Brewster: Oh, Mortimer, don't be so inquisitive. The gentleman died because he drank some wine with poison in it.
Mortimer Brewster: How did the poison get in the wine?
Martha Brewster: Well, we put it in wine, because it's less noticeable. When it's in tea, it has a distinct odor.
Mortimer Brewster: You mean, you... You put it in the wine!
Abby Brewster: Yes. And I put Mr. Hoskins in the window seat, because Reverend Harper was coming.
Mortimer Brewster: Now, look at me, darling. You mean, you mean you knew what you'd done and you didn't want the Reverend Harper to see the body?
Abby Brewster: Well, not at tea. That wouldn't have been very nice.
Mortimer Brewster: Oh, it's first-degree.
Abby Brewster: Now, Mortimer, you know all about it and just forget about it. I do think that Aunt Martha and I have the right to our own little secrets.

So now he is saddled with what to do about this predicament and what to do with his new wife. Of course hilarity ensues and we even get a surprise guest. Mortimer's mad man brother Johnathan has come back, and he has something of his own he needs to hide.

It's a twisted and crazy movie with some of the best lines I've ever heard. I think finding a dark comedy from the 40's is a rare and great find. The actors are really wonderful and great to watch. Cary Grant delivers a stellar performance. I don't think he got enough credit for his comedic abilities. I suggest you pick it up and watch it if any part of this has appealed to you. I think I will leave you with one last quote from the movie. It happens when Mortimer is at his wits end with his aunts, he just can't seem to communicate to them that what they have done was wrong. Grant drops this line with great comedic timing and prowess.

Look, you can't do things like that. Now I don't know how I can explain this to you, but it's not only against the law. It's wrong! It's not a nice thing to do. People wouldn't understand. He wouldn't understand. What I mean is, well, this is developing into a very bad habit."

I hope you enjoyed my first movie review. I will list the other movies and give them a grade rating. I think I will only review the ones that are really noteworthy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fall Colors

I know that I am not alone when I say that I love Fall. The cooler weather, the warmer comforting food, holidays, pumpkin edibles, and of course the colors. I feel really lucky to live in a place with loads of trees that turn from green to Technicolor.

I think people have an impression of Spokane as being ugly, industrial, and cement covered. I had that opinion too, but that's because I had really only been up and down devision and that is a really ugly and looooong street. If you go to the outer edges of Spokane it really is quite pretty. I especially like where we live and the South Hill. Our area is all pine trees, but the South Hill is lot's of little neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and parks. One of the parks is the Japanese Gardens in Manito park. I love to photograph it every year. The colors are amazing, and sometimes hard to believe. One of the trees is so bright red, I just stare at it for a good 5 minutes before moving on....hey, you would too if you saw it! Anyway, I didn't get many pictures of the girls in them this year (not being very cooperative) but I did get some great stunners. So, I am mostly making this post a picture post. I hope you enjoy my pictures of this beautiful treasure in Spokane. Man I sound sappy don't I... ; c P

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DeCoursey's Halloween Treat!

Oh, Halloween, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways....

It's a lot, trust me. We take Halloween very seriously in our home. Jeff takes it off from work every year. We get our yard really spooky, get some really good candy, make the girls whatever costume they desire, and plan out the most strategic trick or treating route you've ever seen!

I don't know where my fondness for this holiday came from, all I know is it was always there. I love the surreal and I enjoy the macabre. I thrive on theatrics, so why wouldn't I love Halloween? I count myself lucky that I married a man with the same fondness for the holiday. Here is his costume. He loves the reaction he gets from it. Now don't go thinking that he runs after little children trying to terrify them. He would never do that...he just has to walk by and that does the job. All in good spirit, I promise. Abbey and Lindsay like to pretend that he is their own personal monster that they have beaten into submission and made into a guide for their night of fun. They will say, "Where to now monster!". Jeff will simply raise his hand in a direction and the girls will follow, they love it. (he has two different shrouds, he could only find the lightweight one this year, hence the clothes underneath showing. Really, I think it was only because of the flash.)

I make their costumes most years. My mom is a great seamstress and she does the ones that are just to complicated for me. I am just learning how to sew. Most times it's not even with a pattern. I just wing it. Usually because I become frustrated with the pattern and I think to myself, "I can do better on my own!". If I can buy it, I do. The girls and I can never seem to find just the right one, and I end up having to make it to suit their specifications. This year I made Abbey's witch costume all by myself! I am so proud! I used a pattern and everything. Lindsay's princess costume was made by my mom a couple of years ago as a Christmas present. It usually serves as her party dress, but she decided that it would be acceptable as Halloween attire.

We went to the Tri-Cities this year for Halloween. My mom really wanted us to go. She pointed out that if we move away, she wont be able to see the girls, and she wants to spend as much time with them as possible until we leave. So sure. Why not? They missed a day of school, we packed up the pumpkins and we had a great weekend with the old family. I even helped hand out candy from my parents garage.

Our pumpkins turned out really great. Jeff did a perfect Charlie Brown face. Mine was very sly and the girls did happy faces (kind of boring, but they have room for improvement.)

The nice thing about maybe moving to Vegas, costume wise, they will be able to wear what ever they want. If Lindsay wants to be a fairy, she wont have to wear a bunch of layers underneath. I always wanted that when I was a kid. I felt awful having to put a coat on over my really cool costume. I refused the year I dressed up as Jem. I froze, but I looked TRULY OUTRAGEOUS!

Jem Pictures, Images and Photos

I have developed a layering system under my girls costumes. They have never been cold and they have never needed to wear a coat.

Well thanks for reading. I need to go take some more dayquil and get something to eat. Stupid flu.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A new post. Overdue....really overdue.

My sister in law Lisa has loved to tease me that on her sidebar everyone else is updating their blog. So, some people are anywhere from one hour to maybe 2days....I think I was going on something like 11 months. (sheepish grin) Although not completely my fault. My husband started the blog with all intentions of having me take it over. I was totally not interested. I mean, who has time for all of that? I've seen how obsessed and stressed my mom and other family members have gotten to be over it, blah : P no thanks.

Then, my dear sweet mother, asked me if I would please read hers and leave a comment once in a while. So, being the loving and devoted daughter that I am, I decide to fill her request. It didn't end there. I would look on the side bar...."oh, Mike (uncle) has posted something. Maybe just a peek." That's not the end. I then started to look at Lisa's, then Jan's, then all of my Mathews cousins (most of which don't know this because I am a chronic lurker!) I was even looking at people I had never met just because they were on that tempting little sidebar. I started doing it everyday! I would check out my usual blogs of interest like clockwork. So with many months passing, and with many proddings, I have decided to do a little upkeep on the ol'blog....after swearing never to do it. My resolve is usually strong. A person is able to change their mind without appearing flakey right? RIGHT?!? (Sigh)

Another side reason: Jeff has been forced into a new job opportunity. Which means we are most likely moving. Which also means that if I had a blog like everyone else in the computer world I would be able to keep in touch.

I hope I will be able to make some friends and keep some through this process. I know that we are also supposed to be keeping journals of our lives to pass on to future generations, and this may just be my only shot at that. (I've tried the writing in the journal thing, I really have!)

Ok, so thanks for reading (if you made it this far ::smile::) and you can expect things like family updates, random thoughts, crafty stuff I did, photos I took, and movie I watch A LOT of movies. So please come back and visit again.

p.s. That is a picture of ma babies. I took that picture on the 4th. I will write of them very often, and pictures, with their faces showing.