Monday, December 29, 2008

Crandall Christmas

The month of December kind of sucked me under. I've finally re-emerged to the surface and am ready to join the blogger world once again. I wrapped up my classes on December 10th and I felt such an immediate sense of relief and freedom that my feet couldn't help doing a slight skip every few steps as I walked away from the testing center. I know bragging is unbecoming in a lady, but I'm going to do it anyway:). Drumroll........I received a 98% in my anatomy class! Jonah has been pretty proud of me for the last nine months. This past summer, his favorite way to introduce me to people was, "This is my mom. She is the best "human body describer in the world!". I still have 2 prereqs to go, but I've decided I deserve a break so I'm not taking classes next semester.

We bought our tree a little late this year. Todd loaded up a hatchet and the little boys in their winter garb and headed up to the Blue Ridge mountains to find the perfect Christmas tree. (Okay, maybe they didn't drive all the way to the mountains. Maybe, just maybe they found our perfect tree behind the Seven-Eleven).

Jonah and his pals helped all of the Hyde Park neighborhood get into the Christmas spirit by Caroling from door to door. I wasn't aware of this delightful activity until I answered my door to this:

I was impressed. Especially with little Stella playing her heart out on her violin.

I wanted a wreath for my front door this year. I found the perfect one at TJ Maxx (love that place!) for the right price and promptly hung it on my front door from a length of ribbon per Martha Stewart's intructions. I was so enthralled with it that I would run out to the sidewalk and look at it several times a day. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy (maybe you think I am too?). I was enthralled with it right up until the day it started to rain and my perfect Christmas wreath began to bleed rivers of red down my front door.

Apparently, there are two categories of wreaths: the indoor kind and the outdoor kind. I wonder how I missed that important fact in my 30 years of living.

The night before Christams is my favorite part of the whole season. We have some really special family traditions centered around Christmas Eve. We eat gooey cinnamon buns for supper (Great-Grandma Jensen's secret recipe), we open Christmas jammies;

Someone's a bit excited.

We act out the Nativity Story:

Apparently, Mary needed to stretch her legs, so she let Joseph have a turn on the donkey.

And we sing Christmas songs—both sacred and secular: PRESENTING Yonah serenading us with his own rendition of "Mamacita, Where is Dee Santa Claus?" with his back-up dancers Ezerita and Ruvane! (It is at times like this, I wish I had a digital video camera to show you how truly awesome this performance was).

Then, we tuck the childlings snugly away into their respective beds so Santa can begin the long, laborious night of preparation.

The hit of Christmas morning was the GBOP--the Great Big Outdoor playball! It took Todd all of an hour and half just to pump up this ball (with an electric pump, no less). But it was well worth the effort. The ball was too big to push out the front door so we had to open both of the french doors in the family room, take it through the backyard, and then out to Hyde Park in front of our house.

The boys took turns climbing inside the ball while the other two rolled them around the park at high speed. It was hilarious!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

High Walmart!

What is black Friday? Having never experienced this monumental morning, I decided to venture out at 4:30 am to see what all the hype was about. Destination? Wal-mart. Goal? to leave the store with one ride-on power wheels jeep.

Ezra has been begging for one of these jeeps for almost two years now. Walmart's black Friday flyer was advertising them for $88. The small print underneath the picture: "Quantities limited. While supplies last", tipped me off that the chances of actually getting one of these jeeps was very slim, but I had to try, right? So the night before, I laid out some warm sweats and set the alarm for 4 am. Todd rolled over in bed, grinned at me, and predicted that I would still be snoring away when the sun came up.

Of course, I had to prove him wrong. Four hours of sleep, and a couple of snooze buttons later, I washed the sleeps from my eyes, threw on the sweats, ran a brush through my hair, and headed out into the cold, black morning--a girl on a mission. I pulled into the Walmart parking lot at 4:30 am on the dot. The first thing I saw? A line, hundreds of people long, stretching from one side of Walmart to the other. Apparently people had been camping in line all night. Now what could be worth a night on a cold, hard sidewalk, I will not venture to guess. I was tempted to just keep on driving--back home to my warm bed, but then I thought, I'm already here so here I'll stay.

As soon as the clock struck five, everyone started running. Running in a long line was definitely a first for me. As soon as rolled into the door, I bee-lined it straight for the toy section. Halfway there, I ditched my cart (for greater speed and mobility of course). At 5:05 exactly, I arrived at the toys. Alas, no power wheel jeep. Then someone tipped me off, "They're in the garden section". So up and away I went. I clocked in at the garden section entrance at 5:09. Of course, no powerwheel jeeps. A Walmart associate informed me that there was exactly four blue powerwheels and four barbie powerwheels and that they were all gone in the first minute the door opened. Bummer.

Since I was already there, I decided to stick around and see what other deals Walmart was offering (I know, I'm the typical sucker who gets pulled in by the door buster only to stay and shop). I bought a few things, stood in line for close to 45 minutes to pay for these purchases which really were not that good of a deal, and headed out to the parking lot. Once in the car, I looked over my receipt and noticed a few price descrepancies. I debated whether to just go home and come back later when the Walmart madness had died down, but ultimitaley decided I'd rather not make an extra, unneccesary trip. So back into the chaos I headed, purchases in hand.

After waiting in yet another line and taking care of business at customer service, I started to leave the store at 7:00 am, when I spied one of the lucky consumers who had nabbed a blue power wheels jeep standing in a check-out line. Now I have a problem with striking up conversations with complete strangers. I just can't help myself. I've always been like this. Even the weirded-out, "are you talking to me?" looks don't deter me. So, I approached the woman and asked her how she had managed to be one of the "lucky" ones.

Well...this woman told me that some Walmart associates had found a few more jeeps in the back of the warehouse that they'd accidently missed and she'd just picked hers up. As soon as I heard the news, I broke out into a full run toward the garden section. And there, surrounded by a Holy Light were two power wheel jeeps! At the same time, me and another woman placed our hands on the last two power wheel jeeps. Emotions were running high. I kind of felt like I'd just won the lottery. The other lucky winner was standing across from me with actual tears in her eyes! By this time, I no longer had a cart and didn't dare leave my precious treasure. I was in a quandry..what to do, what to do? At this moment, some Christmas spirit kicked in and a Walmart man offered to push the box along the floor to the hardware counter and keep it there for me while I ran to grab a cart.

To make a long story even longer, I left the Walmart store victorious! I was one jeep powerwheels toy richer (or $88 dollars poorer, however you prefer to see it) with the happy assurance that I had just made my little boy's Christmas. And so ends my marvelous black Friday adventure!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Colonial Boy

Jonah was invited to a revolutionary war birthday party this past weekend. This family is known for their huge, elaborate parties and this party was no different. When I dropped Jonah off, I noticed that all four kids and the parents were dressed in colonial period costume right down to the powdered wigs. Jonah informed me five minutes before the party that he had to dress up, so this is what we threw together.

We wrapped the gift up in brown paper and I had to laugh when I read what Jonah wrote on it:


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bedroom Bandits.

I have been very tired the past couple of weeks? WHY you might ask? Because of the BEDROOM BANDITS.

They slip into my bed in the pitch black of night without a sound. I continue to doze peacefully until a kick in my stomach tears me out of a deep, deep sleep. I remove a leg, sidle away, and fall back into dreamland. Then comes the little arm slung across my face. I remove the arm and move over a bit more. By three in the morning, I find myself clinging to the very edge of the queen-sized bed. at this point, I migrate to the couch. Usually, an hour or so later, I hear a shuffle as Todd stumbles to another couch to get one hour of undisturbed sleep before it's officially time to wake up. Night after night, the BEDROOM BANDITS usurp our rightful places in the parental bed. Any Advice?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Goodbye, crayon marks
and dirt obscene.
Hello! White,
and sparkling CLEAN!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Family Pictures!

My sister-in-law Angelique (who besides being an incredible person, just happens to be the most amazing photographer I know) was kind enough to take oodles of pictures of our family this summer. Thank you Angelique! I'm pleased beyond measure with "the results". Here is a sample of her handiwork:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dinner Doldrums

I have a few friends (Heidi, Teresa) who are true gourmands. To them the terms ART and FOOD are synonymous. You know food is art and art is food (I guess not all art is food. Have you tasted Monet’s Water Lilies? A little soggy, but on the whole delicious and full of vitamins). I am not a gourmand. Unless a love for EATING delicious food counts. My eyes don’t light up when I see a kitchen. Oftentimes, my heart fills with dread when I notice the dinner hour is fast approaching. Last week, I bought a fun cookbook and some colorful cooking utensils—hoping to combat my dinner preparation doldrums.

Is my plan working? Surprisingly, yes! Last week I whipped up homemade donuts (with Reuben's help)

Mediterranean Pork skewers with Taboli:

And Triple-smoked Pasta (Eet waz so gouda!)

On next week's menu: Cobb salad, Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce, and Chipotle Salmon Tacos. Who knew a brightly-colored cookbook purchased at TJMaxx for $6.99 and one brave blue spatula could bring so much joy to the Crandall family!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How I wish....

What I am doing right now:

Studying for my anatomy practical. Blast the pericardiophrenic artery and the left recurrent laryngeal nerve!

What I wish I was doing right now:

Reading a good that yellow dress......with that very pillow to rest my back against.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


We had our ward camp out this weekend. I love camping. I love the smell of woodsmoke and crushed pine needles. I love getting the end of my stick red hot in the fire and waving it around in the blackness of the night. I kind of love sleeping in the four man with my five member family (never mind, I don't).

We woke up this morning to the tat tat of rain on our tent. We waited for the rain to stop so we could get up and get breakfast going. It didn't. The rain came down harder and harder, and pretty soon, we found ourselves in a deluge--the last remnants of this week's nor'easter. Whenever I hear the word nor'easter, I feel like I should be out in my yellow rain slicker and cable sweater checking my lobster pots. A rain slicker would have been helpful at this camp out, also maybe a canoe.

No, this isn't a beautiful river meandering through a scenic is our campsite.

After several hours of rain, things did clear up for a bit. So while Todd was fishing on the pier with Jonah, I took the two littles down to the beach. Check out the boardwalk:

When we arrived at the beach, Ezra found a nice family of horse shoe crabs all lined up neatly from biggest to littlest taking a quiet nap together.

Of course, we weren't wet enough, so Reuben bee-lined it straight for the waves

Isn't it idyllic?

After a beautiful half hour on the beach, the rain picked up again, so back up the boardwalk we went.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Hello, fellow blogger friends! I'm always the last to do anything even slightly related to technology, but here I am--no longer a shadow on the wall that silently reads your blogs and tip-toes away without a trace. This better be as easy as everyone keeps telling me.

So today, I learned a fabulous new French word--FAUVE. A "fauve" is a person who loves color. I am a fauve. I hunger for color. I actually salivate when I come across a perfect hue. I have a binder in my nightstand completely dedicated to and stuffed full of paint samples. The colors around me affect my sense of well-being. I love the french language. Why don't doesn't the English language have a word for we fauves?

Be patient with me as try to figure out how to post photos and all the other tricky blogger things (tricky to me!).