Monday, December 13, 2010

Preston the graduate

Today the doggies found a glass bottle somewhere in the yard. This is getting dangerous! No more bones have been found, but I am still holding on to the theory of a murder victim. Bill says I watch too much CSI.

However, the real reason for this post is to commend Preston on graduating from puppy class! He can sit, stay, lay down, "leave it," and "take it" most of the time. He only pees in the house about once or twice a week, and sometimes he will even "drop it." (I feel like I am writing Liz's monthly updates for sweet Trey!) He will even run into his cage when we say "kennel," as long as there's a treat visible :) I also measured him just for fun the other day, and his back isn't even 12 full inches off the ground! Such a short little guy.

Our first true family portrait. At PetSmart.
That's about it for today. There was a lot going on this weekend, but I am mentally exhausted. That, and I don't feel up to the challenge of going through the 398 pictures I took at the karate test to find some blog-worthy ones. Maybe tomorrow!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Update

So it turns out it was not a dog bowl Bill saw sticking out of the ground. No, it was actually a frying pan missing the handle. (Which I later found in the middle of the yard this afternoon). More bones have yet to be sighted, so my current theory is that someone killed someone with a frying pan, and buried the evidence in our backyard.

Seriously, though, I think that someone just used the back corner of our yard as a trash pile in the past. I found a rope and part of a cottage cheese container today, too. I showed Michelle the two bones today, and she doesn't know what to think either... So we'll see if anything more turns up.

Warning: This is gross.

Remember how I told you all Bill and I built the dogs a sandbox last weekend?

They love it! We hid some treats throughout the sand, so they immediately run out there to dig when we let them outside, which is great! It beats all the holes they were digging in the yard (especially that one I fell in).

But it just so happens that, of course, the spot where we put the sandbox is also where our previous neighbors buried their dog. The sandbox is really just a frame, so it doesn't have a bottom. When Preston brought a bone back inside with him the other night, we were a little confused where it came from... shouldn't he just be digging in the sandbox? We didn't notice any other new holes in the yard? And what the heck is this a bone from? But this morning when he brought back another one, Bill decided to take a look... There's a new (very deep) hole in the sandbox, and at a glance, Bill didn't see any more bones, but he did find a buried dog bowl. So chances are, that's what we're dealing with. Save me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pull up yo pants.

I love this. Catch up, NC!

 

Monday, December 6, 2010

This one's for you, Michelle.

I can't believe. In all my posts about holiday tunes and Christmas music, I forgot one of my favorite songs. Really. Nothing gives me more joy than to hear this song come on the radio and sing along loudly. Especially if Michelle's in the car...

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

... in our home!

In case I hadn't made it clear before now, I LOVE CHRISTMAS. Our house is slowly but surely getting decorated for the holiday season. As of an hour ago, I finished my last assignment for the semester, so now I will have more time! Unless Bill and I continue to get distracted by the Firefly DVDs... yep, it's SciFi (for Bill) and Nathan Fillion (for me). It's addicting, as you may be able to tell from the 5 hours we've watched in the past 2 days. Anyways. I wanted to give you all a little rundown of how we've Christmas-fied our home recently.

First up, we have the dining room:
Perhaps it's a little more "Winter" than "Christmas," but it's seasonal nonetheless. And I cannot begin to count the number of times I have been thankful that Bill let me choose the color scheme for the room. (Okay, for almost the whole house, but especially this room!)

A little close-up of the table. Aren't the salt and pepper shakers cute? My mom and I each scored a set at a Ben Franklin for $2! The reindeer is actually a tealight candle holder.

I cannot get over these picks. They are huge and glittery and shimmery and wonderful! They're from ZGallerie, and I will warn you - they were a little messy to unpack. (The crystals and glitter got everywhere!) But it was totally worth it. I think they might be my new favorite decoration in the house.

I don't have holiday napkin holders, so I made my own! The ribbon has ornaments on it, and the little silver ornaments match the hurricane in the middle of the table - it's filled with large silver ornaments!
Moving on, to the living room:
I came home one day, and Bill had decorated in his own way! Lights inside the house... LOVE it!

More lights on the banister :)

Our homemade Advent calendar... It's not sitting on the floor anymore, but it is in the living room! Above it, you can kind of see our gingerbread house frame, Christmas tree collection, and our Jim Shore musical Santa. Why oh why didn't I take pictures of these?
The main event: the Christmas tree! Every year I can remember, my grandfather and uncle would go up to the mountains one day and get trees for the whole family. I never knew when it was going to be, but I would come home from school one day and there our tree would be, leaning against the house! It was always so exciting! I know some people like to pick out their trees, but this is just the way my family always did it. Now that Bill and I are in our own house, we get our own tree! So Friday, my mom, aunt, uncle and grandpa went to get the trees and then drove around dropping them off for everyone. Needless to say, Friday night was spent decorating by Bill and I! (The tree is actually in our basement, in a dog-free zone, so we had to move some still-as-of-now-unpacked boxes!)

Hubby hard at work, trimming the bottom branches so we can put it up!

It was my turn to put the star on top!

Batman hangs at the top of the tree, keeping watch over Gotham... Er, wait, our basement.

I know I showed off Sensei's ornament last year, but I bought a matching one for Preston this year!

My new favorite ornament... I actually dropped it when decorating the tree, and it broke, but Bill was kind enough to put it back together - you can't even tell!

Our tree, all lit up!

Our stockings... Preston's, Bill's, mine, and Sensei's. They have little name tags to help us remember :) Our garland is just more oversized silver ornaments (you can see the rest in the dining room!) and branches from our tree.
And finally, outside. We haven't finished putting all the lights out front, so there are no pictures of that yet... Surprisingly, though, our little town got SNOW on Saturday (So early!) which really made our house look Christmas-ready!

Our lovely home in the first snow of the season!

We decided to skip the traditional wreath, and instead, I got a personalized door ornament!

Backyard

Mini shoot in the snow with the pups!


I'm sure you can all imagine how much I love this photo! They never sit still together like this!
So there you have it. The Fischers are now in a holiday-friendly home. The Fischers are also very tired after the weekend we had... The dogs now have a sandbox in the backyard, so maybe they'll stop digging huge holes that I fall in! Bill and I have some houseguests coming in less than two weeks, so we also finally tackled the guest room Saturday. The painting phase is over, so here's hoping that the furniture-moving and decorating phases will be done by December 16! I'll have a post on that once the whole room is finished... But here's a little teaser of what's to come.

The before:
Stay tuned for the transformation!
Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this post, faithful readers. And Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More Holiday Tunes

It's time for Round 2 of my favorite Christmas music! I just couldn't contain my list to only 10 songs. So here are my second 10 favorite Christmas songs... Maybe I'll burn all 20 onto a CD and promote it as the World's Greatest Holiday Mix CD.

I've included youtube links again, so you can all have a listen! Enjoy!

1. Christmas in Dixie - Alabama
This song always makes me think of Christmas and my mom... When I was little, she bought a Christmas CD from Dillards, and this was one of the songs on it. We both still love it to this day, and I can remember getting so excited when they said "Charlotte, Carolina," because, hey! They were singing about my state!
And on a semi-related note, the band Alabama is from Fort Payne, which is where Bill's dad works, so we all went down two summers ago... So I've been to their hometown!

2. Please Come Home for Christmas - Jon Bon Jovi
Another JBJ song... I know you're not surprised, but this is a good one. I love this song, so of course I love his version. And if you're looking for another JBJ Christmas song, here's one that's not actually that good. But it is his first professional recording.

3. Elf's Lament - Barenaked Ladies and Michael Buble
I love BNL and I love Michael Buble, so why wouldn't I love this? I like that it's not traditional, and it makes me laugh. However, sadly, there is no video out there on the world wide web for this version, so the link is to a live recording by BNL. That just means you need to go download the real thing!

4. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
A classic. What girl doesn't love this song? I love to belt it out in the world's worst falsetto when I'm by myself in the car...

5. Jingle Bells - Frank Sinatra
This is my favorite version of Jingle Bells! My grandma loved Frank Sinatra, so it reminds me a little of her. Plus, I love to sing along with the "J-I-N-G-L-E  B-E-double L-S" part.

6. Love Came Down at Christmas - Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay is fabulous, and this song definitely shows that. It's a nice reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. It's not all stockings and ornaments, people! It's about love and our Savior, too!

7. Up On the Housetop - Jackson 5
Every time I hear this song, I think of my mom and I laughing hysterically whenever we hear Michael sing "Too late, Jermaine, he's bringing you mistletoe!"

8. Silver and Gold - Burl Ives
Burl Ives is the epitome of Christmas music to me. (well, and Bing Crosby, too). This is from my favorite Christmas movie, Rudolph! I even have the pajamas. But that's beside the point. This song rules. That's the point.

9. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
Another classic. It makes me long for Christmas Eve night!

10. Run Rudolph Run - Brian Setzer Orchestra
A little unconventional, maybe, but the Brian Setzer Orchestra is awesome. Both of their Christmas CDs are great! Bill and I listen to them a lot - big band type music is one category we are both always in the mood for. I want to have a Christmas party, just to play these CDs in the background.

So there you have it! Ten more Christmas songs everyone should know and love!

that darn dog part 2

This is what it looks like when Preston pees in the house. Maybe this is too gross to put on a blog, but seriously... The world needs to see this. He might be the only dog in the world that does this. Is it too much to ask him to just sit still while he does his business?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Adventures in Dog Treat Land

Note: this is going to be a picture-filled post! Woohoo!

Anyways, my class tonight lasted barely an hour, and I found myself with a free evening ahead of me! No papers to write, Bill was gone, it was too cold/dark to take the boys on another walk... So what did I do, you wonder? I decided to try my hand at homemade dog treats.

I got this great little holiday cook book by the Bubba Rose company recently, because I had been wanting one and I had some Borders Bucks. 
My supplies for the foray into the world of dog treats. You can see the cute little book!
I decided on a recipe called Grandma's Apple Crisp... It actually sounded pretty good to me, despite being directed at dogs.

Ingredients: old-fashioned oats, unsweetened apple sauce, honey, cinnamon, an egg, and rice flour.
My favorite - honey! A heap of love's worth... aka a tablespoon.
The dough was a little tricky... it said to add water until it was doughy and stuck together. But then it was pretty wet, so I had to add flour when I rolled it out.
My kitchen ring holder! Now I never have to worry about losing a ring (again) while being messy in the kitchen.
As I was rolling out the dough and cutting out shapes, I realized I have a really bad baking habit... I like to sample my treats as I make them! This usually isn't so bad with cookie dough and cake icing, but this dog treat dough wasn't exactly delicious. And I will say this: the book came with a gingerbread man cookie cutter that was pretty crummy. It was much flimsier than my other cookie cutters that I used, so next time, I will just use the gingerbread man one I already own.

Ready to go into the oven! They looked pretty much the same after being cooked, so I'll spare you the photo I took of the cookies on wire racks cooling.
The book said to cook them 20-25 minutes, but I ended up cooking them about 30. They were still a little chewy on the inside, but Sensei and Preston love them! I don't have any pictures of them chowing down, mainly because they run away to eat their treats in their "spots." But Bill and I tried them, and I do have photos of that. They were made out of food we eat anyways, so we figured, why not?

I was *thisclose* into tricking Bill into thinking they were people cookies!
They were not as bad as my face makes them appear... I was just very nervous about eating a dog biscuit!

So there you have it. The cookies are now in a super-cute Santa cookie jar (Thanks Michelle! You gave it to me for Christmas about 100 years ago), with a few in a baggie to take to Teddy tomorrow (Carol at work's sweet dog!) I will definitely be trying some more of these recipes over my winter break... the recipes each make so many, but some involve peanut butter and cheese (not at the same time, though - separate recipes), which are two of my babies' favorite foods, so we'll definitely be giving those a shot!