Friday, December 24, 2010

Huckleberries? Easy as 1-2-3!

Dads can be tough to shop for. There's not a whole lot they need and usually if they want something they just go out and get it (women are different...we think to ourselves, "Hmmm...Christmas is coming up, I'll wait and see if someone buys it for me first!"). Plus, fathers are the type of people you don't want to get just anything for...they're special. They're one in a million and after everything a father does during his lifetime for his children, most gift ideas seem trite, simply not enough for someone who deserves so very much!
My wonderful dad is diabetic and works very hard to manage his blood sugar through his diet. Unfortunately, that means usually cutting out sweet stuff, including jam and jelly. He is fond of huckleberry jam and syrup in particular, maybe it's because he grew up near the Tetons in Idaho where huckleberries grow wild and abound. I searched and searched, but struggled to find sugar-free huckleberry jam. What's a girl to do other than make some from scratch? A month ago, I got online to see where I could purchase huckleberries as they are not in season in November. I found a website (Wild Harvest) that does one-day shipping for frozen huckleberries. I was so excited at the thought! It did in fact arrive in only *one day* in an insulated package loaded with dry ice - good thing I was prepared with all the other things I'd need to make the jam!
Here was the process in 3 easy steps:
1. Order 7 pounds of huckleberries and jump
for joy when the delivery man leaves them on my doorstep!
(Step 1 1/2. Sneak a few frozen huckleberries before officially starting! We once drove to Idaho to pick wild huckleberries. I had a small tin cup but hardly any berries were making it in there. My dad offered me $10 if I could just fill my cup. I couldn't do it - they were just too tempting!)*
2. Mash berries by hand and add sugar-free pectin (you should have seen how purple my fingers were after holding the messy masher!):
3. Pour jam into jars and seal in hot water.
Look at those beautiful purple-red bottles! And there you have it: "No Sugar-Added Huckleberry Jam". Can't wait for Dad to open his gift tomorrow morning - maybe he'll have it on some toast!
Love you,'re the "BERRY BEST"!!!
Hope Sig1

Eleven Diapers Piping...

"Why would any kid ask for 11 Diapers Piping for Christmas?"
(says Carson after listening to "The Twelve Days of Chistmas" on the radio today)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Longfellow's Christmas

I've always loved "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day". In fact, I believe it is my mother's favorite. But I never knew the story behind it until two years ago when the talented Edward Herrmann recited Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I'll never be able to sing or listen to this Christmas hymn again without weeping.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

my sister-in-law went to Hawaii and all she brought me was:

....Awesome t-shirts, sarongs (sp?), coconut bras, grass skirts, and Hi-Chews! (Is she the best or what?)

Hope Sig1

Monday, December 20, 2010

busy, busy, busy getting ready, ready, ready!

What have we been doing these 20 days of December?

1. Mistletoe,
our elf from the North Pole who reports daily to Santa about our behavior, returned December 1st. He keeps us guessing each morning when we find him in a new spot. One night the kids asked him what kind of cookies are Santa's favorites - his answer was a clue he was hugging. What do you think it means?

2. Parties, Parties, Parties!

Here we are celebrating with our Wasatch Front family members - we missed Calvin & Wendy, Nathan, Chris & Cassidy, and Joey & Rayna; your absence was definitely felt! But we still managed to have a great time playing Wits and Wagers, watching clips from Christmas movies and guessing which one they were, and of course the highlight of any proper party: White Elephant gifts! Here's Wyatt's face when he opened up his marshmallow mug:
Tracy & Sydney

These were seriously cute!

Christmas spatulas, tongs, and dish brush.

Way to go, Sydney - Raquel loved it!
We all got a pretty good chuckle out of the gift Mark opened... got milk?

Yes!!!!! Spam!!!
Onto the Ward Party,
where Halle got to play Mary in the Nativity Pageant

We couldn't decide who
we were more excited to see:
Cindy Lou Who,

or Santa Claus!

Taking a break from Christmas parties,
we headed over to Grandma Dixie's to help
Avaree celebrate her 1st Birthday!
Halle had fun decorating Daddy with the wrapping scraps,
but got bent out of shape when all the
boy cousins decided to "open" Uncle Brett!
Christmas isn't Christmas without the Bauerle Party!
This is the only opportunity each year we get to see some of these cousins, so it was great to catch up. Each year more and more little ones are added to the family and this year you could tell -- lots of kids running around having a great time!
Here are some of the prizes from the white elephant game:
A "beautiful" rainbow hat with the tag still attached,
and a ceramic Nativity!
We sure do love this pretty lady -
she throws a mean party (so did Aunt Vickie!).


3. School Progams - Here are pix from

Wyatt's Christmas program @ LPA:

Can you see him? He's in the middle of the

middle row in his navy vest & tie. Nothin' better than a bunch of

kindergartners singing "All I Want for Christmas

is My Tooth Front Teeth"!

These are two of his teachers,

Ms. Merrill & Ms. Pearson


4. Christmas Outfits


5. Wrapping, wrapping, wrapping!


6. Gingerbread houses,

which we loved making even if

it wasn't structurally sound!

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson