Saturday, November 27, 2010

The yams did it!

There's an old Daffy Duck cartoon where "Tom Turkey" begs Daffy Duck to hide him from Porky Pig who is hoping to kill a nice big turkey for Thanksgiving. Daffy promises the turkey he'll hide him from Porky and never tell where he is. Well, Porky Pig begins telling Daffy Duck about all the yummy things he would have eaten if he had a turkey to go with it. By the time he mentions candied yams, Daffy's mouth is watering and finally he can't stand it any longer and shouts, "The yams did it! It was the yams! The yams did it!" and he breaks his promise to poor Tom Turkey and tells Porky where he is. Anyway, our family always thought this was so funny and to this day whenever we do something we said we weren't going to, we'll say,"The yams did it! It was the yams that did it!" It's one of our bizarre Thanksgiving "traditions" I guess... I love how my Mom says it. Anyway...
Kaia got to have a Thanksgiving Feast at school on Tuesday.
This was the Indian costume she made.
(No our windows aren't frosted... they're covered in SNOW!)

Well, our long weekend started out pretty exciting I guess. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Logan. They closed the children's schools at noon and even closed the University at 2pm in anticipation of the big storm. We sat in the living room and looked out the window and waited... around 3pm the first few flakes began to fall. By 3:15 the wind was blowing so hard it was a total white-out and by 4pm, all our windows were covered from top to bottom with snow. It was very pretty, but kinda freaky at the same time.

The kids and I were quite antsy until Zeke made it home from work. I put a movie on and made dinner. Zeke called around 5pm and said he was on his way. Normally it takes him less than 10 minutes to get home... but he didn't pull up in the driveway until 5:45! It was crazy out there. He got stuck a few times and said at one point a guy got out of his car and jumped on Zeke's back bumper to give him enough traction to get going (this is pretty normal for people in Logan and everyone's pretty cool to help one another). It continued to snow and blow through much of the night. I went to bed thinking we'd be snowed in (this has only happened once in the 9+ years we have lived here). However, we woke up the next morning and it was just another day. The wind had stopped and there was only about 5 or 6 inches of snow. The blizzard itself was the scary part... it came down fast and hard. I'm thankful we're all okay and the power didn't go out or anything.

On Wednesday, Gabe went sledding with some friends, Beck took a nap (THANK YOU!!) and the girls and I made pies. This was a definite highlight of my holiday. Do you remember back in June when Zeke made the portable island for our kitchen? Okay, Wednesday just made it all worth it 100 times over! It was so nice to have room for everyone to work (and play). I really felt like I could get the pies done at the same time I was playing with the girls and teaching them how to do things and letting them do their own thing too. Lots of room and great traffic flow... oh, how I have waited for that. Thanks, honey, for doing it MY way! :)

I made 5 pies (yeah, for 6 people.. you might think that's a bit much, but we are 6 people who REALLY like pies!) And the girls each made 3 mini-pies of their own. We listened to Zoe's practice CD for her TaVaci performing group and we wore our matching aprons and drank hot chocolate. It was really great. They are my little girlfriends in every way. I feel so blessed.

I had a good Thanksgiving really. I'm just one of those silly people who get these great expectations in my mind of how special a holiday is going to be and then when it turns out just normal or a little chaotic or even a bit depressing, I get super bummed.

Right after breakfast, everyone wanted to go outside and play in the snow. I was busy fixing dinner. Zeke helped the kids get ready and went out with them. Zoe came in and was really cold. She was building an igloo and you know when the sleeves of your coat are too short to cover the bottom of your gloves so the snow keeps coming in? Anyway, I figured since I was inside cooking, she could wear my coat and it would cover her arms better.

I dug out my heavy winter coat and started cleaning out the pockets... I found a whole stack of church permission slips from one of the last Young Women activities I went to. We went sledding in February. I started crying. Gabe and Zeke said, "What's wrong? What is it!?" I cried through the words, "It's permission slips!!!" (like that should explain why I was so upset) Oh man, I was a mess! For those of you that don't know, I served in the Young Women's in my ward for nearly 4 years and was just released this May.

It's been a strange grieving process, not unlike losing a dear loved one. Really. The feelings come and go quite strongly at times. Some days I'll be totally fine and other days, something will hit me: like a song, or a fun memory, or in this case, a stack of old permission slips, and I completely fall apart. This was one of those days. Oh how I miss it! I am overwhelmed with sadness sometimes... those youth are so awesome!! I feel rather lost without them. I love them dearly... okay, now I'm crying again. I guess that unexpected event set the mood for my day. I really tried to enjoy everything, but I just felt this aching loneliness that wouldn't go away.

I had to get out of the house. I went to the store with Gabe to get some ice cream (it is NOT okay to eat pie without ice cream at our house!) We can have a lot of fun together. We were just laughing and joking together. I think it was the highlight of the day. I am so thankful for laughter! It keeps me going. We saw a guy in sweats jogging through the store with a can of "Reddi-Whip" in each fist... he was on a mission and no one was stopping him! Actually, he looked like a guy who was in the middle of a really great football game while his wife was in the kitchen slaving away at the big dinner and she said, "Honey, I need you to go to the store right now and get some whip cream, I forgot to get some!" And he was grumbling about it JUST a bit. It was SO funny, really. Gabe and I waited until the guy was about 5 feet away and we just exploded laughing... good times. We tried to imitate him for everyone when we got home, but they didn't laugh too much. Well, you just had to be there!

I really wanted to spend the holiday with some of my extended family, especially my Mom and Dad, but with finals just around the corner, Zeke really needed to be here to study and couldn't spare the time to travel. I sent an open invitation to my family at the Northern end of the state for anyone who might like to come for dinner... homemade pies, people! I couldn't help myself... I kept looking at the clock and looking out the window hoping someone would pull up. I know the weather was bad and people already had other plans... but I just wished this year would be the year someone would come to our house. By 2:30, I had to tell myself out loud that nobody is coming so I'd better get over it. I am a big baby.

Our dinner was good. Zeke and I both worked really hard and fixed all the classic stuff even though it was just for the 6 of us. We waited for the yams to be done and debated about starting without them, but we both agreed we love yams enough that dinner will have to wait for them. We got the table set and all the food ready. I checked the yams and they were pretty much done, so I turned the oven off and left the yams in while we said the prayer and such. And then I didn't even think about the yams until the next evening... (shows you how much I really like them!) Beck was being Beck and well, he's very "flusterating" sometimes... my mind is pretty much gone with this kid.

Zeke told the kids the night before he wanted them to think about something really special they are thankful for. Before we ate, we went around the table and told everyone what we were thankful for:

Gabe -- Thanksgiving (and all the good food)
Kaia -- Heavenly Father
Beck -- POPCORN!! (it sounds more like "Pa-kern!")
Zoe -- doctors and medicine
Me -- the Atonement (where would I be?)
Zeke -- me and the sacrifice I make to stay home with the children
(okay, I was crying again, I don't think I deserved that,
but it was very sweet)

Then, about 20 minutes later... dinner was over! WOW! All that time and effort for 20 minutes?! But I will say, the Rainbow Jello from my friend's food blog was a huge success! It was so AWESOME!! Here we are posing for a picture, while our beloved yams are sitting in the oven completely forgotten:

On Friday, Zoe got to perform with her TaVaci group at the Novemberfest (like a big arts and craft fair thing). It was really fun to watch her. She gets better every time. One of my favorite songs she sang goes like this, "Santa is the man and he's got a plan! I'm his biggest fan and he's comin' on Christmas!" kinda like a rap... it was so cute! And I can't get it out of my head. I was going to put up a little video of it, but I felt a bit seasick after previewing it... I need to have at least a 3 foot barrier from Beck if I'm trying to video anything... he kept bumping me and sitting on me and saying, "Mommy, I want more candy!" (yeah, I was trying to bribe him to sit still)

After lunch on Friday, I declared it was "Christmas decoration time!" I have been waiting! Zeke had to study, Gabe went sledding again... (oh well?) So it was the girls and Beck (aka The Ornament Destroyer). But we had fun anyway... I love to watch my children decorate the Christmas tree. They always seem to gather as many ornaments as they can on just one branch. I love our little old Christmas tree. It's nothing fancy, but I think it's beautiful. Every year, we take turns having one child put the tree topper/spire thing on... don't you love Zeke's face? Kaia does.
We were still putting up decorations around 5pm and I thought I'd better start some dinner. I chose a crowd-favorite: pizza. So while I was mixing the yeast for the dough, I turned the oven on and went about making the sauce, letting the dough raise, and putting away storage bins from the Christmas stuff. Well, about 15 minutes later, I noticed a strange smell coming from the kitchen... something was burning! I ran to the oven and opened it to find yesterday's YAMS burned and yucky. DANG IT! (like Kip on Napoleon Dynamite when he drives over the plastic bowl and smashes it) I should have taken a picture I guess... do you really want to see a pan full of burned yams? I've seen some pretty weird pictures on blogs... like string cheese that looks like jerky (ha ha ha). Anyway, it wasn't anything too serious, but I had to laugh! I cannot believe we forgot all about the yams...

This morning while I was doing dishes, some of the clean ones began to topple over. I tried to grab them, but they crashed to the floor. One of my baking stones shattered and my electric griddle broke in 4 places. :( I was pretty bummed. I was mad at myself. I was trying to hurry and just get them done. I guess I stacked them too high. But I thought, at least no one got hurt. Well, I guess I'll be getting a new griddle for Christmas...sigh.

What I really want for Christmas is for Zeke to graduate. I don't want to feel guilty anymore when I ask him to help me when he should be studying. I don't want to live our lives by the semester calendar anymore and change plans or not make any plans at all because Zeke has a test or a project due. I want to have more time to just be together and not always be rushing through dinner and scriptures and everything. Anyway, I don't want to have unrealistic expectations... maybe it won't be that different. Maybe it will. But I want to be done. Say a prayer for us, please?

Here's a great scripture I found this week:
1 Nephi 18:16: "Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions." (Nephi is saying this while his wrists and ankles are very swollen and sore from being tied up by his brothers and they are mocking him... yeah, I really shouldn't complain!)

One more important thing, last night, I had the yummiest creation: Razzleberry Pie with Spumoni Ice Cream. Okay, I think it beat the Pecan Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. Well, maybe they tied. Mmmmm!


  1. It looks like you had a wonderful holiday! And I am sure the yams story will go down in history, too funny!

  2. Mmm, pecan my mouth is watering like Daffy Duck's. ;)

  3. I always love seeing pictures of your cute little family! FUN!


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