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Friday, December 31, 2010

Nightmare Before Christmas… and On and After

Twas the night before Christmas and all the through the house every creature was stirring at the Wray house. Were the stockings hung by the chimney with care? St. Nicholas, who? Would soon be, where?

I think this photo of my brother sums up how we all felt on Christmas.

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Tuesday Ethan got sick. Thursday Aaron was sick. Friday I was sick. Saturday 11 out of the 12 of us were sick. And by Monday the last of us had fallen. We didn’t have our fun Christmas breakfast. We had to postpone my Dad’s famous Christmas dinner. Since the family that is sick together-sticks together, we didn’t even get to see any of the Hunt’s for fear of getting them sick too.

Somehow we managed to get through the day, and even bust out a few smiles.  Screen Captures

Luckily the kids were quick to forget. They had fun playing together with their new toys.Christmas 2010

We did eventually get to that yummy Christmas dinner, just not on Christmas. Screen Captures1

We all survived Christmas and with everything considered it went alright. Ethan even got to be a present or at least blend in with them.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

It is only three days until Christmas. I still can’t believe how quickly this month went. I feel like Christmas just snuck up on me this year. I’m bummed that I didn’t get more into the Christmas spirit. I have resolve to take full advantage of the month of December next year. So what does this mean for Christmas Cards? Didn’t do them. If I had they may have looked something like this:

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or this:

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So here’s me wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Enjoy one of my newer favorite Holiday songs.


And my new favorite Christmas message found HERE.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making Me Smile

I am in a blogging mood, but I really don’t have much to blog about. For the last three weeks one of the three of us has been sick. Sickness has kept our lives pretty low key as of late. There are a few things that have gotten me through our sick days. I thought I’d share a few of those things that have been making me smile.

This face.
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These moments.
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This row of houses at the end of my street. I just noticed how well their paint jobs represent Christmas. Now all year long they are going to make me smile everytime I go for a walk.
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A day at the Zoo in the middle of December with no coat on. It even makes Ethan smile. Although it has been hard to get into the Christmas spirit without any snow on my front yard, but who cares? I am loving this weather!
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Breckenridge’s snow report. 43 inches in the last seven days. And the forecast for the rest of the week… SNOW! SNOW! SNOW! SNOW! SNOW! I can’t wait to hit the slopes!
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These flowers. Aaron surprised me with these beauties last week!
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This Song. Who am I kidding? Anything Glee puts a smile on my face!


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A son who is conquering new milestones…
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…and discovering new places to hang out.
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I could go on and on! What are you smiling about these days?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What College Football Means to Me

Now I have to be honest about a few things here…

First, I graduated from a college that does not have sports. So I don’t entirely grasp the concept of college sports. Sure I attended my fair share of flag football games, girls basketball games and the occasional other intramural game, but that was about it. I have found pride in my alma mater for other reasons besides sports.

Second, I am in denial about how old I am. I swear that I am still college aged. I feel like I could walk back onto the BYU-Idaho campus and just fit right in. Then I come in contact with college students and see how young they actually are and I am brought back to reality that I am not as young as I once was. I’m not saying that I am old, just not as young as my mind leads me to believe. I mean my brother is going to be in college in less than a year. Woah! Plus, I have been out of college longer than I was in college. It has been almost 5 years now. Wow!

Why am I sharing this information? Well last Saturday Aaron wanted a live viewing of BYU crushing CSU (which they did 49- 10 final score!) I tagged along to learn more about this college sport culture and for a good reality age check.

We met up with friends. And even though we had to bundle up because of the snow, we still had a blast! I think mostly because by the time the game was over there were more BYU fans then there were CSU fans.

And Ethan stayed warm and cozy with Grandma and Grandpa Hunt.

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Maybe someday I will get this college sports thing down. I mean, who knows? I could have a future BYU quarterback napping in the next room ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Favorites

I failed at my non blog book week. I really did have 5 posts in mind to share with you, but I only found time to get 2 of them out of my head. I guess I’m just not motivated enough to blog about this kind of stuff. Oh well.

Somehow the Fall season was completely skipped over in my mind. I feel like we went from Summer to Winter in just one day. I missed the Fall transition. Just because it didn’t feel like Fall outside, I made sure that it felt like it in our home.

Here is what a little of Fall/Thanksgiving looks like inside and outside our home. (And I know I said that I don’t decorate for Thanksgiving, but apparently now I do.) I was at my mom’s last week so I decided to take advantage of her cricut (love that little machine.) I made myself a “give thanks” banner for our dining room. Also, I forgot that I had been collecting pumpkins throughout the year. I made sure to put those out. I sewed some Fall pillows for the front porch . And of course I put out my Thanksgiving mat. And finally our tree decided to shed it’s leaves this week. It looks like we have a lot of raking to do in our future. Until then I get the joy of stepping on the crinkly leaves!

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More importantly then what Fall looks like in our home, I want to tell you about what Fall tastes like at our home. There are a few recipes that are staples or are becoming staples in our home during the Fall. I thought that I would share a few of them with you.

Pumpkin Bread. This is the most delicious thing that I have ever tasted-especially if I add chocolate chips!

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Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups flour
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 eggs
2 1/4 cans(small) pumpkin
2 1/2 cups oil
3 pkgs. instant coconut cream pudding

Directions:

  1. mix dry ingredients together(minus the instant pudding)
  2. mix wet ingredients together
  3. mix wet and dry ingredients together
  4. then add 3 packages of instant coconut cream pudding
  5. spray bread pan with cooking spray
  6. fill bread pans half full
  7. bake at 320 degrees for 50 min

Makes 5 loaves.

I have made Pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and with the left over pumpkin I made some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

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I have the easiest and most delicious pumpkin cookie recipe.

  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 spice cake mix
  • a whole lot of chocolate chips

Mix together. Plop down on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. Yum!

 

Another favorite of ours is chili. My mom has the most delicious recipe that we make every year for Halloween. This year I decided to step out of the box a little and instead of the traditional chili I made Chicken Enchilada Chili. So good and easy- I’m all about easy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared enchilada sauce
  • 2 chopped celery stalks
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans tomatoes with seasoning
  • 2 (15 oz) cans pinto or kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 onion, diced 1-2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


Directions:

  1. Pour enchilada sauce and canned tomatoes into the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Add beans, celery, onion and spices. Stir to combine. Place chicken on top.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until flavors have combined.
  4. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

 

Last recipe that I will share is a new favorite of mine. It is broccoli cheddar soup. I have always enjoyed a good broccoli cheddar soup, but not if I make it. I finally found a recipe that I love make and eat!

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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups  chicken stock or bouillon
1/2 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar

Directions:

  1. Sauté onions in butter. Set aside.
  2. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half.
  4. Add the chicken stock whisking all the time.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions.
  7. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
  8. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree.
  9. Return to pot and cook over over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended.
  10. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

Now you have a little insight into Fall at our house!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Inspiration

After Ethan was born and we settled into somewhat of a routine, I realized that I had a lot of time on my hands. The kid naps a lot! (Well napped, teething is no fun!) So I decided to get back into reading what I wanted to read, not what a 6th grader wanted to read. I was so excited! Except there was one problem. Once I start I can’t stop. Of course I could put a book down to take care of my baby. But anytime he was asleep I was reading. My husband soon made it known how much he disliked this hobby. (Outrageous! Right?) Actually, it was because he missed me(Awe!) Can you believe that I was ignoring him for the make believe? I am ashamed. But I can’t help it. I enjoy a good fiction novel.

So I had to find another hobby that wouldn’t consume me so much, but that I still enjoyed. I decided to pick up sewing again. I used to sew when I was a kid. (Who sews when they are a kid? Well, I did.) I had actually started to get back into it right before I got pregnant with Ethan. But then I got pregnant… and well we all know that story. But now I am officially back into it.

Today I thought that I would start out this week of unusual blogging(for me) with  what I have been working on lately. Now I wont throw it all at you at once. I’ll start you off with just a few simple things.

Lately I have been inspired by one particular blogger. The day that I discovered this blog, I came across two things that I wanted to make. I was so excited about them that the second I came across them I went to the store, bought the fabric, and made them all in the same day. 

Take a look:

First is my new Fall skirt:

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Inspiration and Tutorial found HERE.

Second are my new fall scarves: (Actually the purple one I didn’t make that day. I made it a few days later, because I was so in love with the first one that I made. )

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Inspiration and Tutorial found HERE.

Both were so fun and so easy to make!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Family Pictures

Ok my non-blog book week is officially postponed. I know you have all been dying to see what's been cooking in our kitchen or what has been passing through my sewing machine. But this turned into quite the week. A sick baby and that same baby splitting open his forehead on our coffee table. Yea, it has been one of those weeks.

But I wanted to post a few pictures that I received today. A few weeks back we got some family photos taken. I cannot say that I am in love with them. I guess you get what you pay for (we didn’t pay a lot.) Some of them were worth sharing.  And at least we now have some pictures of the three of us.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Costumes

I know this is supposed to be a non-blog book week, but it was just Halloween and I have to show off my baby boy. I promise fun non-blog book posts to come! (and I know I promised 4 costumes, but I narrowed it down to 3. He will still have the opportunity to wear his 4th just not for Halloween.)

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More pictures and details on our fun Halloween can be found here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Recipes

Our blog is titled A-Squared Adventures, because I like to blog about Aaron and I’s adventures. The main purpose for this blog is so that I can remember what those adventures were. (I am not very good at remembering things- especially post pregnancy.) At the end of every year, and by year I mean year that I have been married, I print a blog book and give it to Aaron on our anniversary. Then we get to look back on all of our adventures together that year. I highly enjoy this tradition. That is what inspires me to keep up with the blog.

Recently, very recently, like today recently I have been inspired to blog about a few things that may not make the blog book , but some of you out there, whoever you are, may be interested in anyway. Crafty things, food things, that sort of stuff. I think I will devote next week (well most of next week- I don’t know if I will blog everyday) to fun non-blog book posts.

I will go ahead and start you off with the recipes from our little Halloween get together, since Halloween comes before next week. And I have gotten A LOT of requests- emails, comments- blog and in person on how to make these. (I know I am so popular, right? haha! Actually I forget that people read this blog. Except for Honey and Carla- thanks for being my consistent commenter's :)

Now I cannot take credit for these recipes. I am really not that creative. I just like to take ideas from other peoples creativeness (is that a word? hey! at least I can make up my own words ;) –ok looked it up- already a word. dang!) Below I have listed the links to the recipes as well as the actual recipes that I used.


Mini Mummy Pizzas-

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I found the recipe here.

I changed up the recipe a little. I used mini bagels instead of English muffins. I just used olives for the eyes, I did not use scallions or peppers. I sliced up pieces of mozzarella cheese instead of using a cheese stick.


Spooky Chips and Guacamole-
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I found the recipe here.

I just used their idea to make the chips. I cut out witch faces, cats, ghosts, pumpkins, and bats. I did not use their guacamole recipe. I used my own, which consists of avocadoes, lime juice, onions, tomatoes, and some salt and pepper.  I guess if you want the actual step by step recipe I can come back and add that later, just let me know.


Monster Carrot Fingers-

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I did not use a recipe from online for these. I did see a picture of this done somewhere. I can’t remember where though. Then I just kept it in my memory bank of easy recipes (oh look I can remember things!)
Ingredients:
  • Bag of carrot sticks
  • Sliced almonds
  • Cream cheese
  1. Peel carrots.
  2. Slice carrot sticks down the middle. Then cut those two carrot slices in half. (Making 4 “fingers” per carrot stick)
  3. Dab cream cheese on the end of each carrot stick.
  4. Place one sliced almond(finger nail) on top of the cream cheese.
Simple, fun, delicious Halloween recipes. Enjoy!