Thursday, January 27, 2011

The big snow

We always get one or two really good snow storms each winter. This one was not exception. They actually called it "thunder-snow." I guess that is like how in Seattle they have different terms for rain --drizzle, misty, spotty, light shower, etc. Well, this storm started out with thunder, freezing rain, hail, sleet, then finally big wet snow! We got around a foot or more of snow. It all started around the time school got out. I heard of some really bad commutes, like 5, 6, 9, even 11 hours. Some people (the lucky ones) got a hotel room and waited it out. It only took Clay an hour to get home (compared to his usual 20 min), so I am grateful.

Thursday and Friday became snow days. Here are some pictures of the girls playing in the snow. You can see for yourself how much snow we got.

Clay had just barely gotten out of the driveway to go to work when the snow plow finally came and shoved all the snow back into the driveway. There is now way Clay could have gotten out. I started working on it so that Clay could get back home. Then our awesome neighbor, Scott Hansen, came walking up with a snow shovel. He heard that I was sick (really bad cold with fever) and came to shovel us out. :) Rebekah was done playing in the snow by then, so we went back inside and I was able to lay down on the couch.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Curly Hair

I have naturally curly hair. Got it from my dad. The question always comes up "curly or straight?"
Most of the time I just do curly. It takes WAY less time. And no matter what I use or do, it never seems to get totally straight. Still kind of "fluffy-straight" not sleek and smooth. I have tried the CHI from my friends. In college I used to get my roommates to iron my hair. Always the same result.
My sisters and I all have various types of curly hair. Holly takes time to use large rollers for big bouncy curls. Heather used to get spiral perms (when those were big) but now just goes straight. Me, still doing the natural thing.

I was getting to the point that I really needed a haircut. I DREAD haircuts. Do you remember this_hair_cut? It is pretty typical for me. I've lived here for over 8 years and haven't found a place I like... until now.
I ran into another curly girl in the waiting room who had just moved here. We were taking about hair and she told me about where you can find a salon that does curly hair. Wow!! What a great resource! I found a gal a few miles away who had great reviews. I called and made an appointment. Turns out she has been Deva_Trained. It is a whole new way to style, cut, and care for curly hair. First thing she told me was to get rid of the towel. A towel works like Velcro on your hair. Just use an old t-shirt on your hair and gently squeeze the water out of your hair.
Next, use the Deva Curl products. Their shampoo is sulfate-free (sulfates dry your hair) and are water soluble. I use the No-Poo, One Condition, AnGel, and Set if Free. My stylist taught me how to care for my hair, but here is a video link for you: Do_the_Deva_3-Step. I actually have watched all their videos to learn more tips.
I've been doing this for almost a year now. The results are in:

I love it!! And no, I did not use a curling iron or anything. I styled everything with my fingers. That's it. In the summer I let my hair air-dry. During the winter I kneel in front of the space heater in my bathroom. It couldn't me more easy! If you've got curly hair, you have got to try this!

Ice Skating

After Uncle Jay left we took the girls ice skating. Grandma did not skate with us, but she did take pictures. Emma loves it. She takes a little while to get warmed up again, but then she does great. Clay and I keep switching off taking Rebekah around. It is hard to skate with your legs spread apart and your back hunched over holding on to her hands. But Rebekah enjoys it too.

Circus Show

On Friday we had ANOTHER birthday dinner for Clay with his Uncle Jay. This time I made vindaloo. We played Seafarers of Catan (thanks Jay!) after the girls went to bed. The next morning the girls decided to put on a circus show for Grandma, Uncle Jay and Clay. Here is what the room looked like:

Emma surprised us all with her mad hula hoop skills:

*Vindaloo is basically a type of curry dish from India. I just buy the spice mix from Penzeys and follow the directions on the bottle. You add oil, onions, meat (I used lamb and chicken), and potatoes. It is served over rice (basmati). It is pretty good.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Clay

Clay's birthday didn't go as planned. He usually volunteers at school on his birthday as part of the Watch Dogs (Dads of Great Students) program. However, Emma was very sick that day. Since Emma wasn't going to school, Clay rescheduled and went into work. He was bummed about it, but still came home early.
We had just finished my birthday cake a couple of days ago, so we didn't feel like more cake. I bought his favorite ice cream, chocolate chip, and made Tuscan Beef Stew for dinner. That made him much happier. Also, his mom was in town to help us celebrate.
*Tuscan Beef Stew
1 can Tomato soup
1 can beef broth
1/2 c water
1 tsp dried Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs (I use plain diced tomatoes + Italian seasonings + onion salt)
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 lbs beef for stew, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
2 cans white kidney beans or cannellini, rinsed and drained
Stir all but beans in a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours (or on HIGH for 4-5 hours) or until the beef is fork-tender. Stir in beans. Increase heat to HIGH. Cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture is hot. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Birthday

The day before my birthday Clay took me (and our friends Melinda & Jeremy) to dinner at Lightfoot followed by a local improv comedy show, Last Ham Standing. It was a great evening!

The actual night of my birthday was my regularly scheduled night to host a scrapbook group. Since I love to scrapbook, I decided that is what I wanted to do. So we had an early dinner and a quick celebration before all the ladies came over. Clay bought me these beautiful tulips. They always make me happy. And I made my favorite lemon cake.

Yes, I can have my cake and eat it too!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Runway Stars

After watching the Rose Parade, the girls announced that we were going to have a fashion show. Gotta love those girls!