Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Football Cookies

You know those pre-made, ready to bake cookies you can buy?  We got some football ones a few weeks ago.  They were not great, but Esme has been asking about them very often ever since.  I decided to have some fun on Sunday night and try to make some better tasting football cookies from scratch.  I chose a chocolate sugar cookie recipe and we got to rolling.  This was the first time Esme and Parker have been interested in actually helping.  Both kids liked using the cookie cutter and Esme kept wanting to "roll again."
 Once they were baked, I made a simple icing of milk and powdered sugar to add the laces.
 They were super chocolatey, but not super sweet.  I think Esme might still prefer the store bought ones, but Parker and the rest of us enjoyed these!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Jimmy Weekend 2019

Our semi-annualish "Jimmy Weekend" just concluded.  As you may recall, this is a weekend where the kids and I scram and let Jimmy have some time to himself at home.  It's kind of like his version of going hunting or fishing for a weekend.  We stayed at Le Chateau de Buxtoronio again (aka: Grandpa and Nana's house.)  Saturday morning started with a soak in the hot tub, followed by pancakes, eggs, and bacon for breakfast.
 My dad's birthday was earlier in the week, so I made a small version of his favorite German Chocolate cake and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Next year will be the big 6-0 for him!
Even with the chilly temps, the kids got a twister ride in.  Full disclosure: this picture is just for show since I forgot to take one of the actual ride.  I would have been freezing in just a t-shirt!
 After lunch, Nana came with us to go swimming at Lifetime.  We get a couple of guest passes each month and this is the first time we've actually used it.
 Both kids love swimming, but Parker REALLY loves it.  He is getting more adventurous with each visit.  He enjoys the water slides and I am working on teaching him to swim independently.  Right now, I have him jump from the edge in about 5' depth, and let him paddle and kick towards me for as long as he can stay up.  He can usually do this for 5-10 seconds before reaching me or needing some help to stay afloat.  He is getting more comfortable with each visit.
We went to our friends' moving party Saturday evening.  Esme hadn't had a really nap and was pretty crabby, but we made it through.  We grabbed a quick breakfast Sunday morning and headed off to church to meet back up with dad.  He was able to relax and enjoy some time alone at home, which is good for all of us.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

2019 Chili (and more) Cook-Off

My work hosted their second annual Chili Cook-Off on Friday.  I took a new position over the summer that focuses on training and employee engagement, so I help with internal events.  I made the suggestion to expand the cook-off to include soups and stews as well, so it was officially a "Chili (and more!) Cook-Off."  We had 15 entries last year and 12 this year that included 4 soups. I forgot to take a picture of the #2 sign, but that was my entry of Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Soup.
We seems to have a much higher participation rate than last year and actually ran out of tasting cups right near the end of the judging period.  Couple that with a few less entries and there was almost nothing left at the end of lunch.
This year's prize was a tote bag, chili pepper salsa bowl, a variety of spicy snacks and a gift card.
Justin was the winner with #6, "Don't Try This At Home."  It was a sweet and spicy chili that included mango and ghost pepper.  The competition is really heating up and I can't wait to see what comes out next year! Extra bonus, nothing was stolen off my vehicle this year. ;-)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

A Concert Filled Weekend

Over the summer, I was invited to a for KING & COUNTRY concert with some folks from church.  I am not a hardcore fan, but do enjoy their music.  I also thought it would be a great chance to get to know some people a little better.  We met at church for dinner, then loaded all 12 of us in the van and headed down to the Target Center.
 There wasn't any opening act, so they took the stage just after 7.  This is the tour for their most recent album, "Burn the Ships." It was derived from the idea of explorers burning their ships when they arrived at a new land, so they had no choice but to stay, unable to return home.  The stage was reminiscent of a ship and had sail shaped video screens.  It was a great show.
 Late last week, my work raffled off K102 Fan Jam tickets and I won.  My mom is a huge country music fan, so I took her along.
It was at Myth Live, a smallish concert and event venue. Gabby Barrett was the only artist I knew since I had seen her season of American Idol.  Most of the acts played more popular cover songs, so I was able to keep up a little.  
 I shared my four pack of tickets with one fo our estimators, Jordan, and he brought his friend.  It was fun being in the less crowded VIP area on the upper level.  We stayed for most of the show, but left a little early because we were getting tired.  They use this concert as a fundraiser for St. Jude Medical, which provides free medical care for children.  A great event for a great cause.