Thursday, December 25, 2008

We are having too much fun. We'll be back to regular posting soon, I promise. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

here's your christmas card!

Ben's gonna like that title. haha it's his favorite seinfeld.

We are terrible people this year. All these wonderful people have sent us Christmas cards and now they sit patiently by the mailbox, just waiting for a lovely card from us, as is the tradition. Go back inside, friends. Warm your hands by the fire and know that it's not that we don't love you. We just didn't send out Christmas cards this year. But we still love you. And we really think we'll be sending them again next year, so if you can take a chance on us we'd love to get one again next year even though we don't deserve it.

Merry Christmas to you anyway!
The Tracys

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

all I want for christmas is a pine cone house

Benson: Mommy I think what I really want for Christmas is a pine cone house.

Me: Hmmm ok can we just make it out of this brown blanket?

Benson: No, mommy you need to make it on your sewing machine. And I want a little door, and a hall, and some stairs, and a bed in it. Ok, Mommy? Let's go look for some fabric upstairs.

Me: Ok, but if we don't have the right fabric we'll have to wait until we get to Nana's house to make one.

Benson: Ok, but that's what I want, Mommy, so I need you to make it on your sewing machine. Is that a deal?

Me: Deal.

Just a heads up there, Nana. Here's hoping he gets over the pine cone house obsession reeeeeal quick. I'm still recovering from the Optimus Prime costume.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

family pictures turned ugly

Yesterday we learned a very important lesson for our family: Do not try to take photographs of the family by yourselves. Ugh. It was seriously the most stressful outing and we have nothing to show for it! hahaha At one point I'm shouting at Benson to quit hitting his brother and Banks quit climbing on that and Ben I quit I'm not doing this anymore and I look up to see a bunch of teenagers laughing at me from across the square. sigh. At least maybe it will keep them from wanting kids too early (as is the epidemic these days). None of the pictures turned out well, but a few did have us all looking at the camera at the same time, which is apparently all we could have hoped for. Anyway I figured since I hadn't blogged in a few days I should post something.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"my personal moon" credits here

Last night I got 13 glorious hours of sleep and this morning my little peepers woke up before the children and my now non-migrained brain thought, "Well good morning Thursday!"

Apparently asleep by seven and up at eight are the magic numbers for me.

Have you slept a long slumber recently? You really should try it. It's amaaaaazing for your outlook on life.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

a few more

Just thought that I would share a few more delightful pictures of my beautiful wife for all of her fans to admire!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2 days smorgasbord

If I were to combine my yesterday and today I would have close to the perfect day:

Making Christmas cookies and paper snowmen with Benson yesterday

Yesterday's best ever(!) baked potato soup and homemade pitas with tuna salad

Today's joy school party with the children SO CUTE as they were singing

One more step in the yearly add-something-to-the-stockings project (last year was making the stocking itself--- this year was the embellishment, hopefully next year will be the names) done while the children slumbered today

Gazing at the Christmas tree in wonderment after watching A Charlie Brown Christmas last night for FHE

sigh. perfect.

And I don't mean to be one of these bloggers who paints a ridiculously perfect life for others to feel badly about so you should know that as I type this Benson is pulling on my arm, crying for me to help him clean up his toys, and yesterday I was VERY glad when the little darlings went to bed. I've just gotta write down the good stuff so I can remember these little things that are so easy to forget when everyone is crying and everything is a mess.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

best friends

I have found the perfect friend. He is funny, sweet, snuggly, playful, cute cute cute, helpful, totally obedient, and always up for conversation. And you know what else? He's three.

As Benson gets older, although granted only slightly, I am beginning to catch a vision of having another best friend in my household. Ben is a great friend to me already, but he's in for some competition. As we were laying in bed last night, Benson came and hopped in for a bit, just for a little snuggle before going off to his own bed. And while Ben was too tired to talk, Benson and I had a great conversation, even as he was beginning to snore he was still trying to add to the conversation. And another thing that I love about my friend Benson is that he is so quick to forgive me it's like instantaneous. As quickly as he is upset he is saying, "Mommy, I need a hug so we can be friends again." And if he finds me crying he will always come sit on my lap, give me hugs, and wipe my tears. And the most important thing Benson does for me as a friend is that he truly has unconditional love for me, and he never quits showing me that.

This morning I woke bursting with love for the little men in my life. Banks is still a sweet little baby to me, but Benson is becoming less a baby and more my little best friend, and I hope that as he grows, he stays that. All those challenging days of meeting the many needs of a completely needy person are beginning to pay off tenfold. This motherhood thing is awesome.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

red is the color of

carlsbad caverns/exploring the homeland

30 second exposure here so that little blurb of light is Benson.

This one is our favorite. Look at how happy Banks is! Hey, maybe his nightmare was about being stuck in the backpack.

Last weekend we took off and went to Carlsbad Caverns down in the southern part of our great state. I didn't really know what to expect, but it was awesome and nothing like the experience with the infamous nutty putty freak out of 6 years ago. And Benson had a great time until his little leggies got tired and I'm pretty sure it gave Banks nightmares because the night after that he fell asleep in bed with Ben and I, only to wake up screaming, and I mean SCREAMING in terror. That was fun. Not really, but the trip was. Whew. The end.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

black friday on the other side

Have you ever worked retail on black friday? No? Well let me tell you what it is: It's tiring. It's infuriating. It's tedious. It is not fun.

Have you ever shopped at 4 am on black friday? No? Well let me tell you what it is: FUN! Not that I would know because I was in my kerchief, dreaming of sugar plums at that hour, but my dear husband ventured into the cold morning at 4 am to battle the crowds for guitar hero at a serious discount. And his report? "It was fun. I'm taking you next year." Like it's a trip to bermuda or something. But anyway he was victorious and we've been playing guitar hero nonstop since then (excepting our road trip to be documented next) and we are all glad he went.

ode to thanksgiving

Oh thanksgiving, we loooooved you...

We aaaaate some chiiiicken because tuuuuuurkey is busted and our napkins looked like lotus flooooowwwerrrs....

Aaaaand our stuffing was littered with arrrrtichokes...

And we had the yuuuuummiest pies and hoooomemade ice cream with our friends the Fiiiiiiiicklins but we didn't take a picture because we were too busy devooooouring...
Ohhh Thanksgiving, we are thaaaaaaaankful for you!

Did you sing that in your head?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

this morning

I woke to snuggly Benson, who crawled into bed with me, curled into a ball right by my side, and softly stroked my face.

I went to collect a cooing Banks from his crib and found him sitting mermaid-style, with both legs in one pant leg. It was awesome.

The children now sit, gleefully watching their Grammy read books to them on the t.v.

I blog for a moment, and then it's off to the kitchen to make pies and cranberry sauce and pretend my nose is not turning into a faucet. And for those that will eat said pies; Don't worry! I'll be completely sanitary, promise.

And tomorrow is Thanksgiving and today is Steve's birthday. Huzzah to both!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

cinnamon goodness

mmmmm k if I could photoshop myself right outta this photo I would but I guess now no one can accuse me of only putting photos of me all done up and pretty on my blog. This is the only photo we have from the night's festivities so it has to work.

Last night we decided to make cinnamon ornaments for FHE. They were really fun to make, and quite simple, and you can't beat the smell. Benson really loved helping cut them out with cookie cutters, and he would have liked to do the whole thing himself if I would have allowed him.

You can get the 411 here from my best gal Martha.

I think I forgot what a busy signal sounds like. I'm getting a series of beeps that sound vaguely familiar from my junior high days but it has been so long since I've heard a busy signal I'm worried it actually means something else. Call waiting killed the busy signal.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh goodnes this is cute

Downtown Holiday Jacket and Pant GIVEAWAY!!!!

So click on the link above to see how completely adorable this woman's designs are. She only makes clothes for little girls, I think, but OH they are cute. Anyway by sharing this I will be entered to win the clothes. Which I will not win because I never win anything but it's fun to try nonetheless.


*If you get queasy over lovey-dovey-ness you'll probably want to quit

Today I am most grateful for a lover who leaves me love notes in the morning, as he ventures into the cold cold world to earn money and better our lives.

I am grateful for a patriarch who leads by example, leaving the page open to the scriptures he read that morning so I will remember to read them too.

I am grateful for a partner who plays with our children tirelessly and as a result they have a love for him that's almost as intense as mine.

I am grateful for a He-man who can carry all the groceries in at the same time, and looks super hot in that brown shirt he was wearing yesterday.

I am grateful that some miracle happened upon me in my immaturity at 19, and I was given the most incredible person to spend all my days with. I thought I loved him then, but as it turns out, I didn't know what love meant at the time. I understand now that this feeling that literally makes my heart feel full and takes my breath away is more than a feeling or a declaration. It is just a way of be-ing. It is intense, but simple. It consumes me, but fills me up. It almost hurts with it's force, but comforts me with it's gentle glow.

I love you just doesn't seem like enough. But I do, Ben.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

kung fu

"Yes, Master Kung Fu Daddy."

"Yes, Master Tigress."

The other day on the phone I talked to my mom about the kids watching Kung Fu panda lately, and her first question was, "Doesn't that make them want to run around and kung fu things?"

Well yes, mom, it does!

Fortunately they have a kung fu daddy who is always willing to run and wrestle and kung fu with them whenever they ask (which is usually as soon as he walks in the door). It's pretty cute to see them all get so excited about kung fu, and for a few days Benson was known only as Tai Lung (I don't know how to spell that) and I was Master Tigress. And every time he would talk to me he would address me as such with the little hand thing and a bow. hahaha He's so funny. And the best part is that Banks started to do it too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

fallish photos

It's beginning to look a lot like fall around here. Which is funny, because I've already started listening to Christmas music, so I'm ready for winter. I won't complain about the general lack of frigid temps, though. It is still nearly perfect out most days.

Um, has anyone ever tried to get two cranky children to look at the camera at the same time? It is nigh unto impossible.

Friday, November 14, 2008

it's only fair

Since we freaked out so much when gas prices sky rocketed, I think it's only fair to point out that today I saw gas for $1.99.


How did this happen?

Remember how everyone hates president bush so much for not doing enough to help with gas prices? I'm beginning to think it is unfair.

Are gas prices this cheap where you live?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

go quick!

My lovely mom-in-law sent me this info this morning so I though I'd pass it on because it's awesome! If you want to get a free 20 page photo book you can go here. I just got mine done and I think it's going to be so fun! It ended up costing me 7 bucks for shipping but for a whole photo book with captions, I think that's pretty awesome. Anyway this ends soon so go quick if you want to do one!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

hey ladies

I have a Martha offer to put on the table. I have an offer from the mag to buy one subscription and get one for a friend for free. One subscription with shipping and tax and all that jazz is $30 so i was thinking, if someone wanted to split it with me, we could each get a year of Martha for $15 and that would be awesome. So if anyone is interested, leave a comment. If no one is, that's fine too!

Monday, November 10, 2008

it took me a year but it's finally done

"In all living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

And although it was mostly endurance that got me through cross stitching this thing for a year, I did very much enjoy finishing it tonight. Finally.

Sorry the scan is kinda lame. I'm tired and I don't feel like fixing it right now. I swear it looks pretty good in real life.

It's coming your way, Mom, just as soon as you are home.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

about the cake and header

Okay well just kidding! I had this whole schpeal about not wanting to post the recipe and I couldn't find it on Martha's site, but my genius friend Chelsea found it for you. You can get the recipe here.

In other news, the silhouettes are actually pretty simple. I took a photo of everyone in front of a white wall (distraction is key, steph! we had banks sit on ben's lap and look at a toy at the right level). Then I just edited out the background and filled in the head in gimp shop, or photo shop, or whatever program you have. You can get gimp shop for FREE here and although I've only used it for a couple of days, it seems to be really great. Anyway, if you have any other questions about the silhouettes, just leave a comment and I'll answer it as best I can. And although they were simple, they weren't quick. It took me a couple of hours to do all of ours.

What a post of good free things! Thanks again, Chelsea!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

let them eat cake

best.birthday cake. ever. Seriously, this one is not for the faint of heart. One and a quarter pounds of cream cheese and 3 sticks of butter are in the frosting alone. But MAN is it good. The recipe comes from the November issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. You should know, though, that there is no danger of you eating the cake by yourself. I'm a sugaraholic and Ben is forever scarred by the clean plate club, but neither of us made it through our slice. It's just a 9" round, but it would probably serve 25 people easily.

sorry the photos are kind of blurry. I was too lazy to get out the tripod and the photo was taken in complete darkness (excepting the candle light, of course).

Friday, November 7, 2008

to ben

Oh hunky husband. Today we celebrate that you have enriched the world for 28 years. What an incredible husband/father/hunk/future doctor/home teacher/bmet/student/you-know-what/ man you are. I love you from the very tips of my toes, and I find myself somehow loving you more each year. Someday I'll surprise you with a porsche for your birthday, but for now you have to settle for an enthusiastic HAPPY BIRTHDAY, this lovely dedication, and an amazing cake.

your adoring wifey

Thursday, November 6, 2008

in the oven right now...

acorn squash all together.

Soon to go in the sauna to join it: side of salmon.

Hopefully I'll have photos and reports and recipes to follow.


It turned out okay. Mine had too much garlic but I loved the idea of it so I'll probably try it again. You can get the recipe in progress here

And the salmon, which I didn't get a picture of turned out also okay, but I tried a new high temperature way to bake and I have to say I think the tented in tinfoil and baked on a lower temp is way better. We like it smothered in italian dressing, put in a loose tinfoil dress, and baked at 375 for, oh I don't know, 20 minutes maybe. And by "we" I mean "I." obviously. I cooked a chicken breast with mushrooms and garlic for everyone else.

And as always the couscous was amazing. We just buy the Far East brand of garlic and olive oil couscous. Soooo good and it goes with everything. You must try it.

And let me just assure all of you that there are NO other buns in the oven at the moment and as much as I'd love to keep it to myself for a while when there is another bun, I am HORRIBLE horrible at keeping exciting secrets. I'll last about 5 minutes before I announce it to the world.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

on realizing my child is only three

Sometimes it's hard to remember that this smart, lovely child of mine is indeed a child. Banks is still a baby. A full-on baby. I guess that's how it goes with the second child, because when Benson was that age I thought he was so big! Funny. Anyway I had this conversation the other day to remind me of Benson's real age and innocence;

(I am standing at the sink washing dishes, Benson is playing with the cabinet doors)

Benson: Damadam (slamming the cabinet door)

Me: Uh Benson, what did you just say?

Benson: (silence)

Me: Benson you need to tell me what you just said.

Benson: um damadam, mommmy?

Me: Where did you learn that? (because I am obviously thinking he is swearing)

Benson: I don't know mommy I think I just thought of it in my head.

Me: Well, okay but you need to be careful of what you say because that kind of sounded like a swear word.

(Long pause)

Benson: Okay but Mommy, is it okay to say
round words?

And then I started laughing. Poor thing. He has no clue.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

haveaho evening

Sadly, Benson has started to say "haveaho evening" now. At some point he's going to connect all the dots and say it the right way and I'm going to be sad. He gets to be bigger and smarter every day and I often find myself missing the babyish things he not longer does. sigh.

Anyway, now that it is November (!) we get to think about being thankful around here. And not a moment too soon, either. Last night Ben and I were both a bit ragged and worn out and I kinda didn't really a whole lot feel like giving the lesson for FHE (I know! How could I?!) but luckily duty won out and I gave it after all. Which was good, because seriously, nothing changes my attitude like a good "I'm thankful for..." chart. This is a tradition that Ben's mom has done, well I don't know how long but at least since I've been in the family, and I LOVE it. It is now hanging in our kitchen, ready to be so covered in thankfulness until you can't seen the paper's color anymore. I really do have so very much to be thankful for.

And Banks just climbed onto my lap with the mintyest fresh breath. Hmmmm.... I think he's got a secret stash of gum from the raid of Ben's backpack the other day.