A yummy Rum Cake waiting to be eaten. Now it is sitting in our freezer, wondering about its demise.
Due mostly to the bad weather, my dad and step-mom could not make the trip this weekend. We were all a bit bummed, but have rescheduled our get together for January.
Due entirely to the bad weather, my mom and step-dad will not be making it for Christmas (unless a miracle happens and we have a thaw). I-84 is closed in the Gorge and who knows when it will be reopened. We'll miss them, but would rather have them safe at home than living dangerously on the road.
And now we anxiously watch the weather to see how the roads will fair. Right now Amanda, her man, and Curly Mop will NOT be making it for Christmas unless the roads clear up in Portland. With another huge winter storm approaching, Interstate 5 from Portland to Salem will be a mess.
The bad weather stopped just 20 miles North from us. We miraculously missed the snow that has fallen on the rest of the state. It is hard to believe that a mere 20 miles North a foot of snow has the region closed off, and yet here we sit with rain. Good fortune for us, I suppose - but it sure will make for a very quiet Christmas around here.
Jammin' had one day of school this week. Thursday. Their classroom party was scheduled for Friday. I had volunteered to bring some food and I remembered reading on Ree's cooking site about Cake Balls. They had looked easy to make. So, I made them hoping the kids would go to school. Friday morning's snow closed classes and now I have 3 dozen cake balls to eat.
I have never made anything from the Pioneer Woman Cooks. I have flatly refused to try her cinnamon rolls or chocolate cake or anything else. Why? well.... (don't begrudge my silly little petty jealous hostility toward her cooksite. It's Christmastime, Karmyn....let it go) let's just say I decided to make the cake balls because they intrigued me.
Here is the finished product.
I stuck toothpicks in the balls thinking the kids would have fun eating them that way (and they were a lot easier to dip into the chocolate - especially with Buttercup "helping" me).
Then, I added some green and red decorations for Christmas holly.
I stepped back and took a really good look at my creations and felt a bit silly. What was I thinking putting in toothpicks? Some of them look a bit....um.... phallic
After assessing the situation I decided a cancelled school party was for the best. I promptly removed the toothpicks and bundled the remaining into the freezer for Christmas.
Oh, and by the way - yes, they are quite tasty. I would make these again in a heartbeat.
On Monday we tried to make a Gingerbread House but one of the walls somehow disappeared. I knew it was Zeus. Anything left on the table is fair game to him, even though it results in a severe scolding. (Skunky would punish the dogs when I raised my voice. I need to find another form of torture).
I had just finished reading Robinella's post about making cinnamon-applesauce ornaments and remembered Jammin's were on the tree. His were made 2 years ago during Kindergarten.
Here is what they USED to look like - a cute little bell hung with red yarn.
Here is what they look like NOW! Red yarn and crumbs. I swear they didn't even have any scent left....at least any scent a human could detect. What am I going to do with that dog?
The first storm blew in on Sunday, leaving us covered in compact snow and ice. We had no reason for concern. Normal Western Oregon weather patterns dictate that snow only stick around for a day or so and then wash away with the oncoming winter rain.
But December has decided to play tricks on us and sucked down that cold from Canada. We've not had temperatures over 28°F (-2.2°C). Last night the weatherman predicted more bad weather with another storm front headed our direction, loaded with more cold, snow, and ice. We might luck out. Seattle could get the brunt of the storm. But, temperatures of 35°F (1.7°C) during the day and a very chilly 13°F (-11°C) at night leave me to doubt the possibility of the storm missing us. (This is far below our normal of 45°F (7°F) this time of year.)
School has been closed since Monday. With another storm surge Wednesday and Thursday I am doubting the kids will ever return. Jammin' thinks Christmas vacation is starting early. We Oregonians....wait, let me rephrase that....we Western Oregonians can't handle this type of weather. We aren't used to it. (the colder Eastern side of Oregon gets snow almost every winter). 1979 was the last time Oregon faced such a lengthy winter.
To make matters worse, Tuesday night's much anticipated Christmas program was canceled. And worse, the annual Love Offering was not collected. We parents donate money for a Teachers Holiday Bonus during the program. Private school teachers earn much less than those teaching at public schools. I feel sad and will be contacting the school administrator to see what is to be done.
The snow is too dry and icy for anything fun except falling on ones butt. Two teenage kids put the family minivan in the field just down the road. I carefully drove by and saw them; one boy, one girl slowly get out of their car, cell phones in hand calling parents, I suspect. The car was not damaged. Neither were the kids.
Buttercup and Jammin' tried to slide down our meager hill. Fifteen minutes was the maximum time before both were tearing back into the house for warmth and hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course). The Caboose felt a bit of snow and looked on in wonder. But, he laughed watching his sister throw snow at the window.
And through it all, we'll keep the fire going, the hot chocolate simmering on the stove and the hummingbird feeders thawed. I just hope the roads clear in time for my company to make it safely here during the Holidays!
OH - and on top of it all....I'm having a birthday.
The Caboose slept through the night. I slept for a 7 hour stretch. This is the most sleep I've had since BEFORE he was born...so, I figure its the most I've slept in a good 9 months or maybe even a year (if I count how many times I had to get up to urinate while early pregnant.)
I'm giddy....I think I might break out in song.
I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel prety and witty and gay and I pity any mother who isn't me today.
Of course, over the past few months, as I have pleaded, cajoled, and begged the Caboose to sleep I keep hearing about those OTHER babies....
Mom, "Oh, I ran into so-and-so at the store. Their baby is a few weeks younger than the Caboose and he is sleeping all night."
Amanda, "My friends told me last night that their baby has been sleeping through the night since she was 6 weeks old."
Well, now I can officially join the ranks of all the lucky parents who have babies sleep through the night.
Geez, I hope this isn't just a one time thing.....