Friday, December 4, 2009

The Johnson version of The Christmas Story

This story starts on a cold December morning, the day after Parker turns 8. I guess the subject of discussion on the bus lately has been about the scene pictured above from the all-time favorite movie The Christmas Story. As I am about to get ready for the day, I hear a pounding at the door. When I get to the front door, Madi is yelling "Momma, you have to help Mrs. Igo, Parker's tongue is stuck to the pole!"
(I must add that I was still in my pjs while all of this is happening. I was mortified!) So, without thinking I run outside. I ran out to the front yard and looked down the street to the bus stop. Mrs. Igo yells, help me, I need something to thaw out this pole so he can get his tongue off!!" At first I am thinking, Is this really happening to me. I can't believe this. I run back into the house and grab a cup and fill it full of hot water. I head back out the door to the frigid temperatures. Yes, still in my pjs and run down to the corner to where Parker is most definitely stuck to the Stop sign. I can laugh now but when I got there his poor little tongue was bleeding where he had tried to pull it off to get on the bus. I still can't believe this all took place. As soon as I got there I started pouring the water down the pole. It never crossed my mind, what if this doesn't work?, I guess I just thought that it would, and thank goodness it did. As soon as the water fell over his tongue where it was frozen to the pole it came off.
I can laugh now, knowing that he is ok and he is not scarred from this. Well at least no physical scars. I am sure that all the kids on the bus watching this hysterical site will never let him forget. After all of this took place, I felt that he should go back to the house with me so I could make sure he would be ok. I drove him to school and on the way he was very inquisitive. He wanted to know that if he stuck his tongue to wood if it would stick? He then asked about several other things, car metal, plastic....etc. I just gave him a firm verbal warning to keep his tongue in his mouth. That is where God intended it to stay. So far no more incidents...Although I am sure I am in for more along the way.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rum Raisin Bread Pudding Recipe : Patrick and Gina Neely : Food Network

Rum Raisin Bread Pudding Recipe : Patrick and Gina Neely : Food Network

This is the most delicious bread pudding recipe out there. I have tried several and this one was the easiest and everyone loved it. It was so gooey and moist and I added a rum sauce and a scoop of ice cream. I would recommend this recipe.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sooner Soccerfest

Parker's soccer team Storm played recently in a tournament in Norman.  Storm was undeafeted going into this tourn.   They di come out with only one win out of three.  We may have lost but the boys really did play well.  They have lots of talent but had some tough competition.  The team they played from Mustang actualy plays U10 during regular soccer season.  But played down in U8 for the tournament.


The Cat

The cat has moved in and has made her self right at home.  She has found her way into all of our hearts and Madi is so relieved that she is getting to sick around.   Ally has even made room for her in the house. 


Coconut Cream Pie


The next day at work the apple pie was quickly gobbled up and Mike made the comment that he had some extra coconut and pecans at the house that he was wanting to give away.  I think he was trying the same trick that R.B. had use with the apples.  So after work the next evening, I made my very first Coconut Cream Pie.  This was a little more difficult that the apple pie.  Making the crust is always simple.  I use a family recipe passed down from my Nanny.  It just uses Crisco, Flour, and a little water.  The trick is to mix it without over mixing it.  The filling for the cream pie is also made from a recipe given to me by my Nanny. 

Pie Crust

Single 8-9" crust

  • 1 1/3c. sifted flour
  • 1/2c. Crisco
  • 1/2tsp. salt
  • 3T. water

Coconut Cream Pie Filling

  • 2c. milk
  • 3 egg yolks beaten
  • 2/3c. sugar
  • 2T. flour
  • 1tsp. vanilla

Cook until thick and then add 1/2c. coconut.

The meringue is the part I can't give instructions on.  I had to look on the Internet to find out how to do this.  This part want' in my recipe.  I had to double the filling  because I have a deep dish pie pan.  So I had 6 egg whites.  I whisked them in the mixer until I thought they were stiff peaks before adding 1/4c. sugar.  I think that I should have waited longer before adding the sugar because they didn't seem to turn out right.  Edible, definitely but pretty, I didn't think so.  I do think this filling could use some more flour or cornstarch in order to be a little thicker.  It was a little runny for me but I think that it must have tasted pretty good because the pie was gone before noon.  Chris and Mike said that it was delicious.  I myself tried to stay out of it.


When given apples, Make a pie!

Our really good friend, R.B. came by the pharmacy one day and said, "Look at these nice apples that someone gave me!"  So we all look at the apples and sure enough they were a really nice basket of granny smith apples.  He then says, "Hey Cat, I'd give 'em to you if you'd make me an apple pie!"  So that night after work I tackle the task of an apple pie. 


It turned out pretty good.  I am never happy with the way the filling turns out.  The apples were really crisp and tart.  Perfect flavor but the filling never thickens.  I think it was more like a cinnamon roll flavor and it was kind of goopy.  I'm not sure that is the right description but it did taste very good. 

Field Trip with Madison

Roll One Room Schoolhouse 


This was the first field trip that required true participation.  We all had to dress up, eat our lunch from a can and to actually eat food prepared as if it were 1910.  We went to the Cheyenne park where the one room schoolhouse was moved to from its original location in Roll, Oklahoma.  The one room school is very authentic.  The day we went it was foggy, rain drizzle, and cold.  We had no heat and all of needed blankets to stay warm.   The stove in the center is a coal burning stove but can't be used until after November 1.  This field trip was also interactive.  The students were treated as if they were students at the school in 1910.  They had to use quill pens and ink to write and chalk and chalkboards for arithmetic problems dictated from the teacher. In the picture below, Madi was showing me that she had the right answer!IMG_2516

  We learned some about the history of teachers and one room school houses.  I have so many pictures it is so hard to choose just a few.  The one thing that really made an impression on me was the reading of the daily bible verse.  It is amazing how much things have changed in that area.  The verse is recited by a student and discussed with the whole class.  I had a wonderful time and I am really glad to have had the opportunity. 

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Here in the last picture the kids are washing up for lunch in the back of the room while the rest of the class is going over spelling words for the day.   Water is brought in daily by buckets from the well pump. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Paula's Birthday

In September, Paula came to visit for her birthday.  We made her a delicious Lemon Cake.  It is a recipe from Pampered Chef.  I am not usually a big fan of anything lemon but I tasted this at a party and really enjoyed it.  Paula loves Lemon Meringue Pie so I knew this would be perfect for her birthday.   It is really good.   This recipe is a little bit more involved than I like but if you love lemon it is worth every second!

Mock Lemon Meringue Cake   by Pampered Chef

  • 5 lemons
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1c. sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2T. plus 1c. powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 pkg. instant lemon pudding and pie mix
  • 1/2c. milk
  • 1 16oz. Cool Whip thawed, divided
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  1. Preaheat oven to 350*.  Spray Torte Pan with nonstick cooking spray.  ( This pan helps by making a well in the center for the pudding to go in later.  I guess you could make this without the pan but it does help.)  Place an 8 in. circle of parchment paper over the center circle of the pan.
  2. Zest four of the lemons to measure 1/4c. ( I zested all 5 lemons,  just made it easier to get enough zest.)  Juice the zested lemons to measure 2/3c. lemon juice, set aside.  (I also had to juice all five to get enough.)
  3. In bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, egg, and 1T. of the zest, whisk 1 min.  Pour batter into pan and spread evenly.  Bake 10-12 min or until center is firm.  The batter is pretty thick but the cake is the consistency of a pound cake. 
  4. Remove cake and allow to cool approx. 3 min then invert onto cooling rack.  Remove parchment paper and cool 10 min.   While cooling prepare glaze.  Combine 2T. of the lemon juice and 2T. of the powdered sugar and heat in microwave 15-20 seconds or until sugar is dissolved.  Transfer cake to serving platter, brush with the glaze. 
  5. For filling, combine pudding mix, milk, 1T. zest and 1/4c. of the lemon juice; whisk briskly until smooth.  Fold in 1c. of the whipped topping until very thick.  Spread this into the well of the cake. 
  6. For the topping, whisk cream cheese, remaining 2T. of zest and 1/4c. lemon juice until smooth.  Slowly add remaining sugar; whisk until smooth.  Add remaining whipped topping all at once; fold just until combined. 
  7. Garnish can be sliced lemons or zest which ever you choose.



Soccer Season

Most of my free time has been spent at either soccer practice or soccer games.  Both of the kids are playing this season. 


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Most Saturdays we have four soccer games.  We only had to travel to Clinton for regular season but the games are usually staggered and that means choosing Madi's or Parker's games.  I can never see them all but I make arrangements to get the kids to their games.  My mom is a lifesaver in making this all possible. 

First Day of School

August 17, 2009

The kids actually missed the first two days of school this year.  We were still in Colorado on Thursday and Friday, so they actually didn't start til Monday.  They were both excited to go, just a little nervous. 

Madison started the Fourth Grade and Parker is in First Grade.  Madi actually rotates classes this year between two teachers.  Mrs. Merkey and Mrs. Wedel.  Parker has Mrs. Regier. 

The kids have now finished the first full nine weeks and are both doing really well.  Both have really good grades and are loving school.

Blog Slacker

Well, I have been a little busy and blogging once again took a back seat.  I have been called many things but until today never a blog slacker! 

I decided that I would try and catch up a little.  I always wanted to be a person that kept a journal, but I know now that it would probably be the same.  I love to look back on my blogging but when our family gets too many things going the first thing I neglect is my blog.   To get caught up I have to go back to August to the first day of school!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009



The kids were so excited to dress up this year.  Parker couldn't wait to be a cowboy.  Madi couldn't decide what to be for Halloween.  Do to the huge swine flu scare going around, I talked Madi into being a nurse.  She carried an empty box of Tamiflu and wore her mask.  She thought that was pretty fun.  We had a good time that evening.  Visiting Nanny is a must on Halloween.  She is always waiting to see the kids. 


The kids also look forward to seeing all their friends.
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Cowgirls and Cowboys


Madi and Parker are just loved the mountains.  They are both begging for dad to buy them both a horse.

Neither one of them had even spent much time around horses until about three weeks ago.  But to see them with the horses now is so different.  Chris even looks like he fits right in to the ranch lifestyle, well kind of.  You wouldn't know it to see him at work but he really did fit right in on the Lost Trail Ranch by the end of the week. 

Madi was just working so hard to show Chris that she could take care of a horse.  Walking, brushing, and helping to saddle the horses.  One evening she even put Dusty in hobbles all by herself.  She was so proud.  She left the poop scooping to Parker, Chris, and I though.  She said that it really should just stay where it is!  She said it doesn't hurt the ground, "It's just good fertilizer!". 

Maybe there is a chance for a horse in the future!  We'll see!

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

God's Creatures


Nature is alive in the Valley!  Hummingbirds, Stellar Blue Jays, Chipmunks and of course Horses.  I'm in heaven.  The mares had two colts within the last month or so and they are adorable.  You can't imagine how tame they are.  Their names are Elf and Cricket.

Elf is the darker one, he is about two weeks old.  Cricket is the rusty brown one and he is about 5 weeks old.  I am so sad that  tomorrow is our last day.  Time here is definitely different.  It is so serene.  I wonder if I could just adapt to a different life style and just stay here.  No pressures, no phone ringing, no television blaring.  Life here is so simple. I find it hard to imagine going back to the world we live in after a week here.  I understand why people come here and never want to leave.  

Hiking in the Wilderness

On Tuesday, the kids and I went hiking in the Weminuche Wilderness.  We left the campground and headed across Ute river.  We hiked along the Ute trailhead.  We had a good time.  Didn't see much wildlife but I really didn't expect to with Parker and Madison making so much noise.  We hiked for about three hours.  We stopped up in the mountain long enough to eat lunch.  

When I say that we crossed the river, it isn't as easy as it sounds.  The river is colder than cold.  The water comes from the melted snow in the spring.   Water continues to flow down the mountain throughout the year.  The kids had been begging to go swimming in the afternoons when the temperature gets up to about 80 degrees.  They really thought that it would be just perfect for swimming.  To change their way of thinking, I decided that it would be a good experience to cross the river when we were hiking.  As we approached the river, they kept asking, "Mom,  how are we going to cross the river without a bridge?"  I told them maybe we can cross by using the rocks and stepping across, knowing that there wasn't any way that the kids would make it without getting wet.
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Parker wasn't as brave as he always talks.  He made it about half way without crying.  He started crying and saying "my feet are freezing off. Mom you shouldn't have made me do this, I'm never doing this again."  After that, I knew going back home would be more of a challenge.  I could hardly keep from laughing.  He was so mad. 


When we got back to the river from our hike this is what happened.   

Parker made it to the first big rock and sat for the longest time.  He kept waiting and begging me to come out there to get him.  He was refusing to go any further.  He wanted me to go back to our cabin and get Chris to go get him.  I just kept encouraging him to come across.  Finally, he put on his boots and waded across.   We made it back to the cabin and laid out all of our clothes to dry.  After walking and laughing so hard we all needed to rest.  A moment to remember!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life in the Rio Grande Valley



Life is good here.  We're loving our time in the mountains.  Quiet, Beautiful, Relaxing, Restful.  On second though maybe not so restful.  I say this laughing.  The first night Chris was restless.  Tossing and turning, and keeping me awake.  So we played a little musical beds the second night.  Parker and Chris slept in the living room on the two sofa beds.  Madi and I slept in the bedroom.   I thought oh, this is going to be better.  I am finally going to get to sleep.  Nope,  Parker woke me up in the middle of the night with a stomach ache.  He startled me out of a deep slumber to my disliking.   When he turned on the lamp, I discovered that there were bugs in my bed.  Can this get any worse?  (LOL)  I finally got them all out and got back to sleep.  I did sleep well for awhile but woke up cold.   I could practically see my breath in the cabin.  Chris quickly got the fire going to appease me.  I hate to be cold.  The temperature was 32 degrees yesterday morning.  It was so cold that the guys had to break ice  on the horse's water.  The guys got off a little later the second day.  After the guys left the kids and I left for fishing a little before noon.  IMG_2089

We headed back down the valley to 30 Mile Campground, to catch a little fish.  We had no luck.  The trout evaded our hook every time.  They are hard little rascals to catch.  Parker said that he had several little nibbles but he is the ultimate fisherman.  A story to tell every time.  He enjoyed every minute of it.  We hit several areas.  We also fished the Rio Grande Reservoir.  It is hard to believe ho high the water level gets during the runoff season.  We headed back to the cabin about 4:00.  The guys got back late, it seems that the tour guide (Jerry) took a wrong turn up in the mountains and they went farther than they had planned.  They rode about 9 hrs.  They were beat when they got back.  The horses were sure glad to see camp.  We cleaned up, had dinner, and headed to bed.  After getting things ready for bed, I realized that the bugs were back!  Oh no!  Tina and I quickly began extermination and moving the beds around.  After this I decided that I would be sleeping on the couch!  First nights rest!! Yeah!!   Chris was even so sweet by setting an alarm to get up this morning and start me a fire at 5:15 am.  I slept until the sun came up this morning. It was wonderful to sleep in! 


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Trails!

Day One: August 8th


We left Cordell, Ok. at 3:30 am this morning to drive to Colorado.  When we left Oklahoma it was already 80 degrees and humid.  We finally arrive in Colorado to Lost Trail Ranch this evening at about 6:00 pm.  We unpacked and had a wonderful dinner with an unbelievable view from the dining table.  So far so good.  Loving the beautiful scenery God has layed out for us here.  It is breathtaking.   We were all really tired by bedtime from the long days travel.   As we lay down to sleep you can't imagine how quiet and still it is.  It was so quiet Chris could hardly sleep!IMG_1980


Day Two:  August 9th

We got up early this morning to freezing temperatures.  It was 30 degrees on our front porch and not much warmer in the cabin until Chris and Tina got the stove going with a big fire.  Waking up to such cold weather made me question the shorts I packed.  I don't think I'll be needing them now.  So thankful for the firewood the caretakers have left for us to use.   As we sat eating our breakfast, I was thinking about how grateful for the opportunity we've been given this week.   This is the view from our front porch.  It is indescribable!  There aren't words to express the beauty of this place. 



After breakfast the guys started gearing up to head out on the horses for the day.  They left about 10 am and were gone for about 5 hours.  While they were gone the kids and I walked down the pasture to see the Rio Grande river that lies just below the mountains. The water is crystal clear. 

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