Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's the Little Things

Daddy is out late tonight, so the boys and I had our first official movie night.

I saw Rudolf was going to be on TV tonight. I try not to have too high of expectations with the boys (they are only 2 1/2 and 1 1/2), but I sure was envisioning us all snuggled up together on the couch. We got lots of blankets and pillows out. I was bummed we had no popcorn left! As I sat between two little boys, both with hands full of cars, there was no place I would have rather been. It was wonderful. (At least until Shep got wild and banged Conner on the head=) Would it really have been a boy movie night without a little chaos? I love my boys.

I've really prayed that God would give me more and more joy in just being with them. I've asked friends to pray and God has really answered. Yes, we still have bad days and my situation hasn't really changed, but my heart has changed. I can truly say that I am very glad God has allowed me to be a Mom.

Today we made lots of fun memories. We went to Hobby Lobby. I'm happy to report that the boys broke nothing=) Conner was beyond excited. He has talked about it all day...who would have thought Hobby Lobby would have been that exciting to him? It reminded me that it's the little things that mean the most...things I don't even think about. We listened to Christmas music and had snow man shaped grilled cheese for lunch. We went for a walk and got some hot chocolate. It was a good day.

Conner quote of the week: They have kiddie hot chocolate at Starbucks in the short cups. When I handed Conner his cup, his eyes were shining to have his own Starbucks cup. He marched right over to the table with all the fixins' and exclaimed, "I need to fix my drink." I couldn't convince him that we didn't need to add anything to it. We emptied a bag of raw sugar in and then stirred it up nice and good. Guess he's seen Mom and Dad "fix" their coffee a few times. His Dad was quite proud!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

I'm doing my first turkey this year. Thank goodness I don't have to do it alone! Here's a peek at the menu my friend and I planned. Along with one of the recipes, if you want to try them yourself.

  • Maple Glazed Turkey with Reisling Gravy (my friend found this recipe...let me tell you, she is an amazing cook!)
  • Cornbread stuffing
  • Sweet potato casserole (a must have at any southern Thanksgiving)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Rolls
  • Some sort of veggie
  • Spinach salad with toasted pine nuts
  • Butternut squash risotto
  • And last but not least, Chocolate Pumpkin Tiramisu

I'm a big fan of risotto. Here's the Butternut Squash Risotto recipe compliments of Rachel Ray.

  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (10-ounce) box cooked frozen butternut squash
  • Nutmeg, grated, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 7 or 8 leaves fresh sage, slivered
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano


Bring 1 quart stock plus 1 cup water to a simmer in a sauce pot then reduce heat to low.

Heat a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat with olive oil. When oil ripples, add the onions and garlic and soften 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and toast 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and cook it out completely, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle in stock in intervals, a couple of ladles at a time. Allow liquids to evaporate each time. Risotto will cook 18 minutes, total, from the first addition of liquid. Defrost the squash in your microwave in a dish to collect any liquids and stir in squash the last 3 minutes of cook time, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. In the last minute of cooking time, stir in butter in small pieces, sage leaves and cheese, serve.

What's on your menu this year? Happy Thanksgiving from the Stanton Family!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.
Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

Stole this from facebook and thought I'd put it on my blog for fun! What have you read?

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (all)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (On my list!)
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (have this, but haven't read it yet)
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (I've read The Idiot, but Dostoyevsky, but not this one yet)
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina –Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Willaim Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - dan brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabrial Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far from the Madding Crowd _ Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martell
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love in the time of Cholera - Gabriel garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On the Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson
74 Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylivia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - Charles Mitchell
83 The Colour Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree collection - Enid blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie & the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (This is my favorite book!)

Wow, this list gives me some great book ideas. So many things I haven't read yet. I will say that almost all of these books were read pre-baby.

Conner quote of the day: Last week as we were getting ready to leave for the grocery store we had this conversation. Conner: "Mom, I'm going to help you pick out fruits and vegetables at the store". Me: "Oh, good. What kinds of fruit do you want to get?" Conner: "Chocolate. That is my favorite fruit." Me: "That's my favorite fruit, too"

Then, as we were driving there he said, "Mom, I don't want to go to HEB!!!! I want to go to Whole Foods!!!!" What have I created?=)

Happy Monday everyone!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Decorating with Boys

We set our Christmas tree up this afternoon. We had hit the 4 o'clock hour and needed something to do. (Anyone with kids will understand=) We didn't decorate it yet. I'm thinking I may decorate it alone this year or maybe leave a few ornaments out that the boys can add.

I left the room for a minute and this is what I found when I came back in. Conner was wearing two stockings on his feet and one on his head. Life with boys is never dull.

Shep had to join in. Yeah, he still doesn't like clothes, but he's getting better.

The sheer tree skirt always provides endless fun every year.

I think this one ended in a fight.
I guess Conner won this time=)

Playing with Mom.
Conner had to show Dad how he could wear the stockings.

Shep is only about 4 lbs lighter than Conner. He is catching up quickly! He is 35 in tall, which is how tall Conner was at age 2. Looks like they'll be the same size before I know it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall is Here!!

Today it not only looked like fall outside, with blustery skies and wind, but it felt a little bit like fall. The high was only 68 today...woohoo!!!! It was just one of those cozy afternoons that begs for one to make banana bread and curl up with a book and coffee. That is just what I did. Conner napped a little while today, so I got some "me" time. It was nice.

You can't beat coffee, Tim Keller and cozy slipper socks. I'm definitely not whining today.

Yes, I'm happy. I've been dying to wear my new GAP thermal under ware shirt. Excuse the picture...I'm terrible at self-portraits.

A few Connerisms: Last night my hair looked a little nicer than usual, since I was going to my bible study dinner. Conner was staring at me with a funny look on his face. He said, "Hey, Mom, look at you!" I said, "Look at what??" "Look at your hair! It looks silly." Thanks. It made me remember how my brother-in-law Eli, now almost 9, always had an opinion about my hair. He didn't like it when I had it in a pony-tail, or if I tried a new style. He would tell me point blank he didn't like my hair. When Zack and I started dating, Eli was Conner's exact age now. Wow...time really flies. I'm going to turn around and have an almost 9 year old.

We walked around our block on Sunday night for some goodies. It was Conner's first time to trick-or-treat. We don't eat candy at all, so Conner was beside himself. At the first house he very a-matter-a-factly told the man as he held up his little bag, "Just fill it to the top".

My Nikon is getting repaired. I really don't take a whole lot of pictures right now, but I'm major bummed because I won't have it back until the very end of November-at the earliest! I just have my fingers crossed that I'll get it back in time to take a picture of the boys for our Christmas card. Talk about a bad time to have your camera die. At least, it takes all pressure off of me making a solo trek with both boys to the pumpkin patch. There is no way I'm going to attempt that, if I can't even take pictures to prove I went=P

Here are some pictures from our "camping trip" to the kitchen.

We had to bring a lot of the stuff on our back porch into our house while the porch was painted. When Conner saw the wagon and the picnic table he informed me that we were going camping. We packed food in the cooler.
Shep was being silly and just wanted to lay on the little bed we made. Conner wanted him to help gather things for the bonfire, but he wasn't interested.

Whenever we go on these excursions, Conner just keeps getting more and more stuff out. I'm trying to find the balance between letting him develope his imagination and teaching him some boundaries, so he doesn't completely destroy the house. As you can see here, the train set came on the camping trip and he is getting puzzles and coloring books out to make the bonfire.

Ok, this has gotten pretty long. Off to watch some more election results. I must say, I'm smiling tonight=)