This is your life...

Monday, November 29, 2010

I have been married to Kenneth for 15 years and I don't know what his birthday is. Yes, I know, I have it written down in my old fashioned Franklin Day Planner and often have to flip to it in a panic on the odd phone call with the cable or credit card companies as I try to verify that I know his birthday and social security number.  It's not that I'm stuck up (O.K. I am just a little bit) and don't care about when his birthday is. It's that we always celebrate it the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  And his brother has a birthday the day before or after or something... so I just always get confused whether Kenneth is the 27th or 31st or even if the month of November has a 31st  (I'm also a little bit blonde!).

So this year after we were stuffed with a big dinner and a giant chocolate cake (which may have been laced with Rickies!) we all became quite silly. Which led to many jokes about the King of the Nerds that aren't even worth retelling as they didn't even make sense... but we all spent a good hour or so laughing to hard we had belly aches... and finally I Googled to find out what really happened on the day Kenneth was born...

Kenneth D. Hardy
On the day you were born
November 29, 1972
 Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari) releases Pong,
the first commercially successful video game,
in Andy Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale, California.

How fitting to know this was the day our little computer nerd was born!

Video Games have come a long way baby... and so have you!

Happy Birthday! 

I love you... well, just a little bit anyway!

WIRED magazine says
Pong is the game any drunk can play!
(To play PONG click here!)

I can't make Jello!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Reason 219 why I will never be a perfect Mormon woman. I can't make Jello. I don't really even know what exactly I do wrong.... but it's never pretty and always has a funny film on it. Remember when they came out with that Sparkling Jello?  I was so excited to try this out and imagined glasses filled with perfectly cut cubes of red Sparkling Jello with a perfect dallop of cool whip as a refreshing dessert after a dinner party... mine  looked more like some sort of plasma.  So, I gave up and I haven't attempted Jello for many years. I will just stick to pudding.

But there is something I have mastered - turkey and stuffing.  Because my father and I worked for the same company, who always sent home turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was stuck with more turkeys during the holiday season than I knew what to do with.  Those first couple years were the worst.  There was the time that I started the turkey so early  in the morning (on the advice of someone with a stove that probably didn't work properly!) that we were ready to eat dinner at 10am.  After the year I tried the cooking in the bag method, which I decided was really just steaming the turkey and not for me I found myself harassing old ladies in the grocery store asking them advice about what type of pan they used, etc.

Martha Stewart's Perfect Roast Turkey saved me and after a decade of practice I have my routine scheduled down to the minute!  And of course with the threat of salmonella and campylobacter I run a pretty tight ship and require a special sous-chef  (OK, he's really just a kitchen slave!) to help me avoid as much nastiness as possible and bleach the sink and countertops once I get that bird in the oven!

But the best part of my thanksgiving repertoire is my recipe for sausage sage stuffing.  If you are still using a boxed stuffing (GAG!)  once you try this you will never go back!

Traditional stuffing recipes usually begin with cornbread, rice or stale bread  dressed up with onions, celery, herbs and spices or dried fruit.  The one you prefer is usually determined by what part of the country you grew up. 

Traditional Sausage and Sage Stuffing (serves 12)
10 cups white bread cubes, 1/3 to ½ inch thick
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
2 tbs chopped fresh sage
1 lb sausage (pork or chicken)
½ chopped fresh parsley
3 large eggs
1 tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground black pepper
7 oz roasted chestnuts, chopped
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread bread cubes on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown. Transfer to large bowl. Melt butter and oil in large skillet. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add sage and sauté 1 minute.

Add sausage and cook until brown cooked through, breaking up with back of fork. Cool slightly.

Stir sausage mixture, parsley, chestnuts and pecans into bread cubes.

Whisk eggs, salt, nutmeg, pepper in bowl. Mix into stuffing.

Loosely fill main cavity with ½ of stuffing. Add enough additional broth to remaining stuffing to moisten lightly (about ¼- ½ cup), place in generously buttered baking dish. Cover with buttered foil. Keep refrigerated until ready to bake.

Bake covered about 30 minutes, until heated through. Uncover and bake until top is just crisp about 15 minutes.

And what would Thanksgiving be without my usual rantLIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME

This year I am thankful for the woman I love to hate - Martha Stewart, without which I would never have been able to cook the perfect roast turkey!  But even more, I'm thankful to my husband who made reservations at Daniel's so I don't have to contaminate my kitchen with raw turkey!  (The funny thing is that whenever we go out for Thanksgiving Dinner, I still end up cooking a full Thanksgiving spread later on that weekend! LOL!)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

That's it - we have reached our limit.
Awsumb has TOO MANY TOYS!
And there is absolutely not ONE THING
I can think of that he wants for Christmas.

And although Awsumb is conscious of growing up, I know he really wants to be a kid and believe in all the magical mysteries of childhood.  Do you remember being that age?   When you begin to learn the truth about the world around you. Not just Santa, but everything... yet something inside you makes you want to keep believing...

So what does Santa bring for the little boy that has everything?  That would still be super exciting, memorable and something that would just WOW my little bookworm?
An ENTIRE bookcase FULL of BOOKS!  That's right.  This year Santa will be leaving a full bookcase stacked with books in front of our tree.  I know he will love it and I can already imagine his face... the excitement and wonder...  Whether it's how did Santa get that down our fireplace or where did Mom and Dad hide this - I don't care!  I just know my little guy will remember this Christmas forever.  This little guy has been carrying books around, tucked under his little arm since he was a baby. He never ripped or ruined books, but carfully turned the pages one by one.  We often find him alseep covered in books.  Awsumb simply loves to read.

I have already been stashing books away.  I hope to fill it with classics, childhood favorites and books that maybe he isn't even ready to read just yet. This will be the gift that keeps on giving... a library full of exciting adventures!

So, if Awsumb is on your gift list this year... my plea to you is - help Santa fill the bookcase!  Awsumb has his own wishlist at and if you need any other ideas about what he already has or wants ask Kenneth or myself.  Santa will place your wrapped and labeled book on the bookshelf for him to discover on Christmas morning.  Don't forget to write him a message in the front of your selection!

(Awsumb Kenneth Hardy Wish List at  Look at the left hand side there is 3 wish lists - Books, Classics, Toys and Games)

Just Talk!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I received an email just before noon on Saturday that said, "Awsumb has been asked to give a talk in Primary (Sunday School) tomorrow at church, is he ready?"

My reply went something like this, "What?  This is the first I have heard about this, let me talk with Awsumb about this."  (Because normally we  would talk about the subject, look up a few stories or scriptures, maybe even gather or color a picture for him to show and of course, practice the talk!)

So, with a  full Saturday of events planned,  I try not to freak out and go find Awsumb to figure out what is going on.  Awsumb confirmed he was asked to give a talk.

"When were you planning on telling me about this?" I asked him.

And his calm, cool and collected response was, "I was just planning to get up there an talk!" 

Yep, that's my son. No preparation, just stand up and talk.  Where does this kid come from?  The funny thing is that I am sure he could get up and just talk and probably even about something relavant.  It's sort of a gift and a curse he has all in one.  At school his teachers report that he often takes over the lesson.  An although he often has great info to share on any subject, it's something he has to learn, something his mommy has not ever learned... that it's not always his time to talk!

At this time his greatest struggle is to just be a kid. And that also means humbling himself enough to listen and learn. To not talk, to not talk back or argue.  I know that my son may feel the expectations of perfection that we put on him. He has always been such a good boy. And we are so proud of him and all that he is. I hope that his precocious ability to be able express himself will become an asset to him as an adult.

Veterans Day - A Day of Thanks

Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to our country.  Veterans Day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military either during times or war or peace. 

From the US Department of Veteran Affairs:

WWI or  “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

I celebrate this day with thanksgiving and prayer to all those who have served and are serving today with the intent to spread peace and good will to all!

Thank you to our Grandfathers, Fathers, Uncles and Friends!

Have you seen Lego Man?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This is one of Awsumb's favorite LEGO MINIFIGURES and he is missing in action!

Apparently he is about to go on a wild adventure!  Awsumb is worried about how he is going to get him back.  He keeps asking if he is going to Cairo?  I don't think he won't go too far away for his first trip outside in the big wide world!

Check Where is Lego Man Blog off an on this weekend to help Awsumb track one of his favorite little toys!
Legoman's crew was a little worried and had to bring out the big guns to open and read the note!

Adventures in Babysitting

Saturday, November 6, 2010

There's nothing worse than coming home from a well deserved night out with my husband only to find a sink full of dishes.  Yes, I know the most important thing is that the babysitter keep my child safe and entertain him.  But the dirty dishes thing always makes me a little mad.  Or to find food wrappers all over the house. Once I found a doritos package in Awsumb's bedroom. He said the babysitter gave him a snack before bed  - in bed? DORITOS?  You have to be kidding me.  Actually we have pretty much been blessed with great babysitters.

On the flip side, we only have one child and I am sure don't pay as much as other families in the area.  And we almost always call last minute.  Because we don't get babysitters very often it's a party when we do.  I usually let Awsumb have Kraft Mac and Cheese on babysitter nights.  And for him to have a playmate to hangout with all evening... someone paid to listen to him talk, talk, talk.... well, he's in heaven.

After hearing about a few babysitting disasters from friends, and because I know a babysitter probably doesn't remember all the stuff we tell them as we are running out the door, I created this little Note to the Babysitter.  I hope you find it useful.  I have this printed on 1/2 sheet of paper and just fill it out and leave it with the sitter.  Some things seem obvious, but I feel it's just better to make sure everyone knows the rules.

Note to Babysitter…

Dinner and Snacks_____________
• Awsumb can only have snack/treat if he ate his lunch/dinner.
• Please rinse and load dishes.
• No food upstairs or in the family room.

TV & Video Games____________
• Awsumb may watch ONE movie after dinner.
• He may only select a movie from HIS movie collection.
• Only “E” rated Xbox or Wii games.
• The computer/internet and office are off limits.

Activities and play______________
(sometimes I suggest games, activites or even homework that needs to be finished)

• Please help Awsumb clean up any toys left out.
• Brush teeth, Potty, PJ's
• Awsumb should put his clothes into the laundry sorter.

Thank you for babysitting for us tonight!
• Please help yourself to any food or drink you like.
• If the family room is cool in the evening feel free to cover up with a quilt.
• No need to answer the phone unless you recognize the number on caller id.

We will be at________ Until____
Please call if you have any questions or concerns…
Daddy's Cell 867-5309
Mommy’s Cell 867-5309
Neighbors Phone 867-5309

In case of emergency call 911
House Address 123 Cherrywood Lane, Anywhere USA
House Phone 867-5309

Tonight we were blessed with a great babysitter. The first ever who DID THE DISHES!  I guess she's a keeper.  Didn't you just love that old movie, "Adventures in Babysitting?'  Though none of my babysitting jobs were quite that exciting, I sure had my fair share of odd situations - inlcuding: the little boy that I had the hide the kitchen knives from, a family that lived on the wrong side of the tracks (literally), and a little girl who choose to share a little bit too much family information with me!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Welcome to my shortest blog post ever!