Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

For family night this week we invited the Swensons over for pumpkin carving and pie (we do this every year). This year we decided the boys (except Noah) would have to clean out their own pumpkins (because a mom and dad can only do so much). They did a pretty good job. Here they are busy at work.

This year I picked very easy patterns for the kids to do, thinking maybe this year they can do some of it on their own, not much luck with that. Kevin got busy doing his own witch, I started with Noah's Mickey, then moved on to Isaac's Bat and then Tanner's ghost (thanks Kev for all the help). Finally when it was time do to my own I chose one of the easiest patterns (skull and cross bones) because I was tired of it. We topped the night off with some pumpkin pie and donuts and called it good.

Sorry it is hard to take pictures of the pumpkins all aglow.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Happy Halloween from Mickey and the gang. This is one of my favorite days of the year. I just love having the kids dress up, and they are still young enough for me to influence their costume choices. All the kids in my 6-year-olds class are being super heros or monsters and I am glad that Tanner thinks it is great that he gets to be Goofy. This may be the last year that I can really influence his costume choice, so I enjoyed it while I could. Already they are saying that they want to be Star Wars characters next year, that could be fun, but chances are they will not stick to it.

Goofy, Mickey and Donald

Monday, October 27, 2008

So this weekend I helped my friend with another catering job. This was a dessert and fresh fruit buffet at a local art museum. We had brownie chocolate mouse tarts, brownie peanut butter kiss tarts, chocolate dipped strawberries, lemon-vanilla fruit tarts and fresh fruit platters. I was in charge of the fruit and the chocolate dipped strawberries. We planned for 500 people, so just in case you ever need to know how much fruit to serve that many people her you go.

I spent 4 hours on friday cutting 3 watermelon, 8 pineapples, 12 cantalopes, and 6 honeydew. This ia what that looks like. Those are the 4 major fruits that I typically and then I garnish with red and green grapes, kiwis, strawberries and blueberries. Here you see the finished product.

So on Saturday I started doing the strawberries at 9 am. I thought it would take me about 5 hours, instead it took 7 but that's okay. They looked pretty, one of the guests even said they were exquisite and the father of the bride said they were the best he ever had. So how many strawberries does it take to feed 500? 4 flats. Here they are drying on my kitchen counter. Don't they look pretty. I unfortunatly did not get a great picture of the strawberries all finished, but the one I have here will have to do.
Here are a few other pictures of some of the other food. Everything was yummy. It was a long weekend and now I am tired, but the house is a mess and I need to get up and start cleaning. so here I go...

Sorry I had some major picture issues with blogger. Still have not figured their system out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Baking Day

So being pregnant I have not been in the mood to bake or even cook, but this weekend I went a little crazy. I had to make a dessert for a party we went to, so I decided to try out a new recipe for Mellow Pumpkin Creme Brulee. Since I was making that I also decided to make some normal creme brulee (my hubby does not enjoy anything pumpkin) and since I had left over pumpkin I decided to use that to make Downeast Maine Pumpkin bread. Here is the recipe.
Now a little bit about the recipes, the pumpkin creme brulee was good, but in all honesty I prefer normal creme brulee or pumpkin pie. It was pretty easy to make and it sure did look pretty, so if you want a fancy fall dessert why not give it a try.
The pumpkin bread is a very yummy recipe. I have made this for years and it is always a hit at the Jacobson Family Thanksgiving (except when I forget the baking soda). The recipe makes 3 large loaves, so you can make some for yourself and some for a neighbor (this time I made it all for myself, sorry neighbors). Although bread tastes great right out of the oven, this bread actually tastes even better day 2 or 3. Make it and enjoy.

I've Been Published

Okay not really but...a few months ago I posted about the Super Mario birthday party that I threw for Tanner. I also summitted the idea to my favorite birthday party source, Today I looked and apparently my ideas are now on their web site and I recieved an honorable mention. Check it out here. Also, if you google Super Mario Birthday Party my blog comes up first, fun huh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ward Christmas Party?

I am the activities chair for my ward and this year we have a very small budget to work with for the Christmas party. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what to serve, what sort of theme, etc.
I really wanted to do a breakfast (because it was cheaper) but we could not get the church for a Saturday. Is it cool to do breakfast for dinner? I was thinking of a waffle bar with some other stuff.
For a theme I was possibly thinking of A Storybook Christmas. Decorating tables with different Christmas stories, that sort of thing. But I have no clue what else to do.
Please if anyone has any suggestions please let me know, I have to make some decisions soon. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I am not one that normally response to the tags, but since I have been tagged about 7 times on this same tag, I'll go ahead and do it.

8 TV Shows I Watch
(what only 8?)
1. Heros
2. Chuck
3. Dancing With the Stars
4. Amazing Race
5. Biggest Loser
6. Greys Anatomy
7. The Office
8. Survivor

8 Things That Happened Yesterday
(it was not an exciting day, this will be boring)
1. Did 1 load of laundry
2. Watched a session of General Conference (we were out of town)
3. Blogged
4. Thought about what to do for Ward Christmas Party
5. Helped kids with homework
6. Sort of made dinner
7. Did not leave the house (don't like days like that)
8. Watched myself some tv

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To
1. Finding out if I'm having a boy or a girl
2. Next trip to Disneyland
3. Holiday food
4. Parents visit
5. Decorating for Christmas
6. Seeing my kids in their Halloween costumes
7. Twilight (the movie)
8. Feeling less tired

8 Things On My Wish List
1. A camera that takes decent pictures
2. A maid
3. My 20-month-old to start talking, so I can tell what he wants
4. New maternity clothes
5. Someone to come decorate my house
6. Cheesecake
7. To have a healthy and safe pregnancy
8. A commercial kitchen

8 Restaurants That I Go To
2. Red Robin
3. Winger's
4. Mimi's Cafe
5. Dell Taco
6. Los Hermanos
7. Tepanyaki
8. Cracker Barrell
(we are pretty fancy)

8 People I Tag
1. Any
2. One
3. That
4. Would
5. Like
6. To.
7. No
8. Pressure.

Mama Mia and Friends

So before I left for Disney my friend Jaime came into town from Washington. She was a friend and roomate of mine from Ricks College. So me, Kate (a local friend from Ricks), and Jaime decided to have a girls night out. What better to do on a girls night out then to go see Mama Mia at the movie theater. Now we did not go see any old version, we went to the sing along version. That's right we had a blast rocking out to a little Abba. There were some hardcore fans there that even got up and danced, we were a little more mellow then that. After the movie we went to eat at Wingers (pregnant or not I am always craving Winger's wings). It was fun to sit and catch up with old friends. The next day we spent some time together and then ended our fun with a little late night Rock Band session (Kevin and Byron also joined us for this).
I had a great time hanging out with my old roomies. Thanks Jaime for giving us a reason to get together, also thanks for the CD, now I can sing along any time I want.

Please forgive the picture it was taken at 1am after many hours of Rock Band

Monday, October 13, 2008

To Disneyland and Back

Well we just returned home from Disneyland. Of course it was another fun and magical trip. And yes we are the cheesy family with all the Disney shirts.
On the way we decided to stop by the Hoover Dam. We had never taken the kids there. Apparently they are building a suspension bridge over the dam and that in it self was worth the drive. It was so cool to see the process. Apparently it takes a lot of work to build a bridge over the dam. The kids enjoyed seeing it (especially because I told them Megatron used to live there), but tours were $30 a person. So we skipped that. It was a quick little detour.

We got to Disneyland Monday morning. That day was insanely crowded and it was hot (I don't do hot and crowded). We stayed till about 4:30 and went to dinner and to bed earlyish. We stayed until Friday morning, spending Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thurday in the park. The rest of the time was more crowded then I'm used to, but it was managable.

We always do Disney on a budget and people are always asking me how. So instead of giving you a play by play of what we did, I will tell you how we do Disney on a budget.

First of all we drive. It is a 10 hour drive from here, long but managable. We have a place to stay in St. George so we stop there to break up the trip. Why drive? It is cheaper, plus you don't have to rent a car, you are also not limited on how much more you can bring with you.

Next since we go so often we bought season passes. If you plan on going at least 2 times a year, the season pass is worth it.

Hotel: We have gone way ghetto as far as this goes. We stay at a Ramada Limited that gets you 2 rooms and free breakfast for about $60 a night. It is obviously nothing fancy but the sheets are clean and there are no bugs. The downer of this place is that it is a long walk to the park, we did try it one day and it took us 20 minutes to get there, which in the morning was fine, but after walking through the parks all day the walk home seemed to take forever. There is a shuttle that you can take for about $10 a day. If you want to stay a place a little nicer, we have stayed at the Howard Johnson, it is right across the street, so definetly walkable. For about $100 a night you get a large room with 2 queen beds and a fridge. It also has a fun pool area for the kids.

Food: Our hotel has breakfast, so that is free. We pack a lunch (Lunchables, Uncrustables, Chips, Apples, Cheese, Drinks and snacks). Bring your own bottle water, sodas, etc. They cost a fortune in the park. As long as they are plastic bottles, they do not mind you bringing them in the park. When the weather is hot we will buy ice cream in the park, it is pricey, but when it is hot it sure is nice. For dinner we will eat at fast food in the park or leave the park and eat at a sit down place somewhere close by. If you are not eating in the park, you are not missing out on much, the food is not that great.

Characters: There are some pricey character meals that you can go to to meet some of the characters, we've done then, but to me they are not worth it. There are other ways to meet characters. One day we were at California Adventure and while Kevin, Tanner and Isaac were riding Tower of Terror, Noah and I saw Mickey, Minnie, Captain Hook, Mr. Incredible, Goofy, Queen of Hearts, Pluto, and some wolf (that was all within 30 minutes). It is not always that way but charaters are around in Toon Town, Main Street (when the park opens) and Sunshine Plaza and Hollywood Backlot area.

What to do when the park is busy? Use FastPass. You do not need to return in the hour time frame they give you, they don't care. We get to the park first thing in the morning. We get a FastPass right away and then as soon as we are able, we get another, etc. We do not use them in the morning when it is not busy, we wait till the afternoon and evening when the lines get long. Ride Peter Pan, Dumbo and the Matterhorn first thing in the morn. Those lines get long and do not have FastPass and trust me it is not worth it to wait 30 minutes for Dumbo. If it is a real busy day, typically California Adventure is not as busy.

Parades: Disneyland and California Adventure both have a parade that runs everyday. Disneylands parade is insanely crowded and it is hard to find a spot to watch at the last minute. It is a fun little parade and the kids love it, but California Adventures parades are not nearly as crowded and are just as fun. The DL parade features more of the classic disney characters and the CA parade is more of the Pixar characters.
Anyway we had fun. We are going back in January (we want to sqeeze 1 more trip in before the baby comes) and are looking for someone to go with, so let us know if you are interested.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

We took the kids to the pumpkin patch last night. They had fun picking out their own pumpkins. Of course they all picked one that they could not carry. But they were excited for their pumpkins, isn't that all that matters.