Thursday, December 28, 2006

You Be the Judge

The Temple of Gingerbread and Doom

The Palace of Confectionary Excess


The Swiss Chalet de Fructose and Corn Syrup


The Bungalow of Bliss and Sticky Sweetness


Christmas Eve brought sugary goodness to our home in the form of some lovely, creative and adorable (or not) gingerbread houses. You decide for yourselves which one should receive the "Hansel and Gretel Award" for 2006. And before you judge too harshly, bear in mind that some of the building supplies were lacking in quality, although the work crews did labor with integrity and diligence.

Let the voting begin!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

"That's What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown"






Sean portrayed a very humble and faith-filled "Joseph," while Christian portrayed a shepherd who was in search of the Christ child in our ward's youth's presentation of the Nativity story. The night was frigid cold with snow in abundance, but the young men and young women were very sincere and earnest in their parts. We were touched by the simple story and came away feeling a little closer to the true spirit of Christmas. Thank you Sean and Christian for reminding us of what Christmas is truly about.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

That's My Boy!


Christian showed up the other day with a nifty certificate, some cool swag and the news that he has been selected as "Student of the Month" for the eighth grade class at Mountain Ridge Junior High. By my reckoning, only nine eighth grade students receive this honor during the entire school year, and gee whiz, I am ding dong darn proud of Christian! The process of selecting the student of the month falls to the teachers who nominate a student for the honor and then they collectively decide on the student of the month.


Just indulge me a moment (this is like payday for mothers--and no taxes are taken out of the paycheck!) as I share a couple of comments made by Christian's teachers about him: "Christian is an excellent student and a fine person. He is one who comes to class and does all the work that he should. He does an excellent job on his work. Christian is one who others really like. He is fun to be around and is a person with good ideas. He is aware of others' feelings and is a great person to have in class."--Jacque Peterson; "Christian is a top notch student. Before I got to know him better, I thought he was in ninth grade because of his talent and abilities as a percussionist. It's unusual to see an eighth grader play percussion as well as he does. Christian works hard, is a great example to all those around him and is a great asset to the band."--Mr. Bateman.


Can you blame me for being as proud as a peacock?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

. . . and a DIET Sprite with that please

Just in time for the holiday festivities--a pumpkin pie to beat all pumpkin pies. Please take special note of the "trans-fat-free shortening" called for in the recipe. I appreciate the author of this recipe looking out for my health by including the "good" kind of shortening, but call me crazy when I hesitate to jump to the conclusion that it will make any difference among the rest of the artery clogging goodness within. But then again, I'm not a dietician so I may be wrong. Check it out:

Crust
3 cups flour
1 cup trans-fat-free shortening!!! Yea!
1/4 t. salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 T. white vinegar
6 T. ice water


. . . and now for the fun stuff . . .


Chocolate layer
2/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 T. butter
3/4 t. vanilla
3/4 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts


. . . keep going . . .


Cream cheese layer
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg, beaten


. . . and then . . .


Pumpkin layer
1 15oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups melted vanilla ice cream
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. ground nutmet
1/4 t. ground cloves


. . . oh, here is some more . . .


Topping
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
1 T. confectioners' sugar
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 cup sugar


. . . not done quite yet . . .


Chocolate drizzle
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1 T. butter
1/4 to 1/3 cup crushed macadamia nuts


Holy moly! Just when you've gotten to the end of the recipe, SURPRISE! There is yet another 1500 calories to add to the previous layer. And just think of how fat ladden this would be with "regular" shortening! Luckily, the macadamia nuts, whipping cream, vanilla ice cream, blocks of cream cheese, chocolate and a small mountain of sugar won't even count.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Blessings from Above

Christian had to make a little trip to the dentist today to have two small cavaties filled. How fun for him. However, he did get to watch "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" during the procedure. Just as an aside, that is one of the BEST movies ever! I absolutely adore Luther and his big boat of a car screeching down the street. The theme music alone is worth the price of the DVD, not to mention all of the great lines in the film: Who doesn't love "atta boy Luther!" and "let me clarify this," and "they even used bon ami!" They just don't make 'em like they used to.

So back to my original thread of thought (sorry for the detour). The receptionist at the dentist's office was asking me how Ashley's wedding went, and how the newlyweds are doing, etc. I was reminded once again of how proud I am of Ashley and the choices that she has made in her life up to this point. She is such a good example as she is working so hard on her schooling, she has chosen her eternal companion very wisely, and she made the very important decision to marry in the temple. And those are the things which will make all the difference in her future. How very blessed I am to be her mom!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Uh, So Yeah. Can We Get Fries with That?

First let me tell you that I am not really mastering this blogging program. That's fairly obvious I think. As a result, the spacing and placement of pictures turns out all screwy and wrong. When you read the previous blog, "It's a Birthday Bonanza!" be sure to continue to scroll through the entire thing to the bottom or else you might miss something witty (yeah, right).

Anyway, I love reading the newspaper. Love it. For it is through reading the newspaper that I am assured that there are human beings out there who are dumber than me. Whew!

The latest in dumbness comes to us from a couple of guys in Boise, Idaho. (Shout out to the spud state!) These two guys are a couple of cards short of a full deck because, as reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, these two clucks decided to take a break from their jobs as ice-groomers for the city of Boise. Their empty stomachs were getting the better of them, and they decided to make a midnight run to the local Burger King . . . wait for it . . . yep--in a pair of Zambonis! An anonymous tipster reported seeing the two big machines chug through a Burger King drive-through and return to the rink around 12:30 a.m. The huge vehicles have a top speed of about 5 mph, and these two nuts drove about 1 1/2 miles to make their burger run and had to negotiate at least on traffic light. The result? They had their burgers AND got fired on the spot.

Even I wouldn't dare to attempt that.

Friday, November 24, 2006

It's a Birthday Bonanza!

It's birthday time for Jordan, Ashley, Judy and Dustyn!



I don't know if anyone is admitting their age--especially old man Dustyn, but don't they all look so great!











Birthday boy Dustyn, his brothers Bretton, Kason and Nathan all played a mean game of Bozo Buckets earning them some fun swag: Silly Putty, Hot Wheels, Paddle Ball/Bouncy Ball toy thingy, and lots and lots of candy (with apologies to Judy). Kason who is just three worked out a grand secret password system with Sean to snag himself some extra candy. Try as we might, Kason wouldn't spill the password to the rest of us. He knew he had a good thing going.

























We enjoyed another celebration for Ashley and Jordan at the Hard Rock Cafe in SLC. The visit brought back great memories of our Chicago Hard Rock Cafe, as well as the London Hard Rock Cafe for the honeymooning Ashley and Jordan. We struck gold and sat at the table right under The Beatles' wall of awesomeness.


























Yummy food! Loud music! Great company! What more could you ask for?


















Grandma Bea was a great sport to put up with the crazy music and wild videos.


















Marian (the kids' second mom) always makes a party feel more like a PARTEEEEE!























"Heavy, heavy hang over thy poor head. What do you wish this person with a bump (ouch!) on the head?" Yeow! Look at Ashley--she's loving it!























Can my little girl actually by 22 years old? Holy smokes where was I when THAT happened?






And the birthday girls get a big "shout out" from all of the restaurant patrons while she stands in the place of honor atop of the birthday chair!





















Friday, November 17, 2006

Can You Post My Bail?


So, as Sean tells it . . . (big inhale here--brace yourselves), he was out with his AP English buddies (read: brainiacs), filming a version of Chaucer's Cantebury Tales, of all things. Sean's car has a belt problem. When the weather turns cold the car makes an earsplitting screech which is loud enough to rip your ear drums right out of the sides of your head. Anyway, during the filming of the movie, a woman who is apparently so high strung she could be a stand-in for Richard Simmons runs out of her house demanding to know if Sean and his gang have been speeding up and down her street. (See, the screeching fan belt sounds amazingly similar to a car pealing out in order to show some machismo.) But, no, none of that was happening. The speed limit was being obeyed, and the only law being broken was Sean's passenger standing up in the topless convertible hanging on to the front windshield for dear life as he screamed "I'm king of the world!" (Not really, I added that part about the king. But he really was doing the impersonation of a ship's masthead thingy.)

The next thing the boys see is an unmarked police car pulling up behind Sean's car. Wouldn't you just know it--the complaining Richard Simmons/woman is married to a cop! More cops are called and records are checked. Sean tries to frantically wipe off the dayglo pink lipstick he is wearing for his part as "the wife" in the movie before the cop has time to come up to his window and wonder why his gender on his driver's license doesn't match the person he is shaking his night stick at. Meanwhile, one of his buddies is asked by another cop, "Uh, why do you have all those guns?" Oops. Well, the guns were actually little pink and blue fake guns, but to someone who wields a big shiny gold star on his chest, IT IS NOT FUNNY BUSTER! Apparently teenagers waving guns in the air while riding in a motor vehicle is not acceptable behavior in this particular city.

Fortune smiled on the boys when a sherrif pulled up and recognized one member of the gang as a kid in his neighborhood. This boy must have kept his nose clean and didn't ever T.P.
this guy's house because the sherrif vouched for him and got the other cops to climb down from their high horses, put their tasers and their handcuffs away, and let the kids go with only an obligatory lecture. And the boys listened. Because they were scared out of their minds.

And so the moral of the story is reading Chaucer can actually get you in a big ol' heap of trouble!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice,
Three blind mice,
See how they crash!
See how they crash!
They all got stinging drops put in their eyes,
None can see much to save their own lives,
They hold their breath as Dee crazily drives,
They're three blind mice!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Too Cute for Words



Our baby boy is growing up! Having been asked to the girls' preference dance at his school, Sean got all gussied up in all of his awesomeness and had an extremely fun time going to the Spaghetti Factory, strolling the mall, and then hoofin' it at the dance. Thankfully (and a very smart move on the girls' parts) there are six other couples in the group so the dreaded "awkward silences" are almost non-existent. This is one lucky girl, wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Poor, Poor Jack!


















Poor Mr. Jack-O-Lantern met his doom at approximately 5:30 p.m., Sunday, November 4, 2006. Let us all take a moment to reflect . . . .

At first glance, one would think that this was the malicious work of some of those "juvyniiiiile dolinkents" we hear so much about these days. (Look your doors! Close the curtains! Heaven helps us all!) But no, actually, it was our wholesome FHE activity marking our annual "Pumpkin Pitch." The idea is to hurl each jack-o-lantern off of our third-story balcony into the neighboring vacant lot causing the pumpkins to say bye-bye. The contestant to pitch their pumpkin the farthest and cause it to splatter the most is the big winner. This year Dave took The Great Pumpkin Prize. Congratulations to all of our contestants!

Note: We doing R & D on a pumpkin catapult for next year's competition.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Comfortably Numb


An unwritten and unspoken rule about being a part of the Sagers family is the requisite love for all things Pink Floyd. I don't know, it's just like we all came out of the womb with an involuntary affinity for Pink Floyd's indescribable music--it's sorta psychadelic, sorta wierd, sorta hard rock, sorta ballad-ish--it is hard to put their music in a specific genre. Whatever it is, it is truly spectacular, and we love it!

I'll never forget when Ashley was about 12 years old, and she put the ol' rumored legend to the test by playing Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wizard of Oz. (Click here to get specific directions.) And guess what? It works! IT IS SO FREAKY! Anyway, we love the fact that she married Jordan who also shares our passion for PF (at least to a certain degree . . . . Okay, he likes the band enough that he isn't completely annoyed with us going on and on about it all).

Sean and Christian are way into Pink Floyd too (understatement), so we thought it would be a grand outing for our entire family to go to the Australian Pink Floyd concert. And we did! We had a blast. We especially loved the giant inflatable pink pig with red eyes. Too cool for words. I made the silly mistake of thinking I could take my camera into the arena to get a cool family group shot in front of, oh I don't know, maybe the concession stands, the staircase, the restrooms? I don't know what I was thinking. Anyway, I was told at the door that my camera would not be allowed into the building so Dave had to high-tail it back to the car to put my camera away. We did accost some poor guy in the parking lot after the show to take this shot of us all in front of the E Center. Then it was " . . . home, home again. I like to be here when I can." You gotta love it. Really.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mummies, Zombie Toes and Worms! Mmmmm!



Since the creativity gene wasn't really kicking in for me on Halloween, I copped out by making an easy meal and assigning creepy names in the hopes that the family wouldn't notice that it was merely hot dogs, fries and jello. To be truthful, I really like jello, but sometimes jello creeps me out regardless of its name if it is made with too little water and devlops that "glucky" texture that seems to appeal to certain people looking to eat those jello jigglers, which, by the way, qualify for admittance into the "nonfood" category if you ask me. (Can that be good for our constitution to eat such a concentration of gelatin at one time?)




On to more Halloween fun! The feller and his band of merry-makers went trick or treating throughout the neighborhood and came home with enough candy to last him until he is winding up his master's degree in college. Here is what will happen with the candy: the Snickers, Three Muskateers, Reeces and Butterfingers will be eaten within the first 48 hours, and not just by Christian. Ahem. All of the rest of the stash (suckers, hard-as-concrete bubble gum, Tootsie Rolls, and toothpaste(!)) will sit and sit and sit in the bowl until I finally realize that, "Hey! I didn't pay for this stuff! Why do I need to feel bad about throwing it away, especially now that it has an inch of dust piled on it?" So out it will go. But only when Christian isn't looking. Although he will never in a million years eat any of it, he would certainly feel violated that I unceremoniously tossed his suckers into the "circular file."

I know I should just do the dumping deed right now and get all of that high fructose corn syrup out of my sightline. To be truthful, there is a little part of my brain that always nags at my conscience whispering that there are sure to be some needy kids somewhere in China who might love the rootbeer flavored DumDums that I so callously chuck in the garbage, and how dare I be so wasteful? Yeah, maybe I'll just hold off for a few days, and then dump, just to make me feel a little less guilty for depriving some little Chinese kid of some unneccessary cavaties . . . .

Monday, October 30, 2006

Go Broncos!


Shermy Paul made the news! You can watch him at http://www.ktvb.com/s/VideoPlayer/showVideo.php?vidId=95548. I can only image how much those little kids enjoyed hanging out with these big football players for a couple of hours!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Oh. My. Stars!

Heaven help us all because it looks like our world is going you-know-where in a handbasket! I wish this was a joke, but unfortunately, I guess this is ligit. The whole sordid story can be found at http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=2459718&page=1. Be afraid, be very afraid. And I mean it!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What a Difference a Day (or two) Makes!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
I had been basking in the stunningly gorgeous blue skies and sunshine that have been ours to enjoy during October, so much so that I took a picture of gorgeous Monday. Then, as Gomer from "The Andy Griffith Show" would say, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE! Wednesday brought not just ferociously strong winds but a poignant reminder that time marches on and life doesn't stand still. Once upon a time, I had this poem memorized, and with a little diligence I could probably get it back up to speed. Anyway, it sure spoke to me yesterday:
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Many interpret this poem to mean the sadness of time passing, the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, etc., but I choose to think of it as an affirmation of the blessing of Adam's fall. For we are blessed because of the fall, and we will indeed increase as we go through the cycle of change which God has designed. "So dawn goes down to day" doesn't necessarily mean the loss of dawn (going down), but rather something even better, beyond it brings full daylight, brightness, hope. So with winter coming, I must remember, remember that with change beautiful things can come. (I might still complain about the cold, however.)




Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Super CTR Girls!



(To be sung to the tune of "Mighty Mouse")

"Mister Trouble never hangs around when he hears this supergirl sound:

'Here we come to save the day!'

That means that the Super CTR Girls are on their way. Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right the Super CTR Girls will join the fight. On the sea or on the land, they get the situation well in hand!"

Monday, October 23, 2006

Thanks for the Yummy Memories!

Needing to clean out my fridge of odds and ends, I decided to make a treat for my family using the same recipe my mom used when she made after-school snacks for her six rugrats. The very complicated and involved recipe uses all of two ingredients: graham crackers and left over frosting. Yum! I love this recipe not just for its ease in preparation and the guarantee of no burns from the oven (I'm going on two weeks of being burn-free!), but it looks like I have actually made an effort to make something homemade. In actuality, this is easier than opening a package of elfin magic cookies with all their perfectness and symmetry. The memories are dear and sweet.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Buddy Rich Reincarnated


When I was a ratty little kid, my mom would sometimes let me stay up and watch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Sometimes Johnny would have a guest on his show who would perform a drum solo and cause Johnny and the audience to go absolutely nuts! It wasn't until I was quite a bit older that I realized the drummer was Buddy Rich, a legend in his own time.

Last night at his school's jazz band concert, our little Christian morphed into a modern-day Buddy Rich as he beat on those drums like a pro. In Sean's words, "Christian, you were really tight!" It is amazing to see kids who are 13 and 14 play sophisticated jazz music with such heart and soul, rather than just by the notes from the page of their music books. I was really feeling the bee-bop bee-bop! Christian was spectacular on percussion in the symphonic band's performances as well. It was truly a lovely musical evening.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It's the Small Things . . .

My mom, having taken pity on me while I was suffering from severe homesickness soon after Dave, Ashley and I moved to Naperville, sent me a few cassette tapes of classical music to make me feel better. (Pre-MP3 player technology--you know, waaaaaaayyyy back when.) One of the tapes she sent was Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. From that time forward, this piece of music has been my absolute, stop-me-dead-in-my-tracks, make-me-weep, favorite thing to listen to. So it was with much glee and satisfaction that I wandered past Sean's room late one night last week and heard the beautiful notes of Scheherazade coming from his pitch dark bedroom as he was drifting off to sleep. Oh, we love our rock n' roll, that's for sure. But it certainly felt good to know that our horizons are wide and broad and deep.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Muy bien, Kimmosabe














So, to cap off what turned out to be a low-key yet fun UEA weekend, Sean, Christian and I decided to go to lunch at a very popular Mexican restaurant. The food was great, the service was friendly, and a good time was had by all. Only one glass of water was spilled, the burn on Christian's hand from the scorchingly hot plate didn't actually require medical attention, and the request of no cheese was honored on the first try! Woohoo! That waitress received a hefty tip from our table.

We did, however, pause for several moments to try to reconcile the abundant and plentiful American Indian decor so curiously displayed throughout the entire restaurant. We were even honored to dine with a lovely deer head looking at us out of the corner of his eye. I swear, he never took his eye off of us the entire time we were there. Anyway, do those two cultures go hand in hand in some way? Who knew.

Friday, October 13, 2006

We're here for ya!




One of the most wonderful characteristics which we have quite successfully fostered in our family is to support each other in one another's efforts, activities, accomplishments, etc. Last night was no exception. Sean, Christian and the other members of the band played a great show at Wooden House Pizza. (You were awesome, guys!) I was so pleased that Ashley and Jordan would take time out of their busy work/school lives to come support the boys in their performance. As I sat there watching Ashley and Jordan watching the band, I was reminded of the many choir and musical theater performances Ashley participated in during her four years at Naperville Central High School in Naperville. If I remember correctly, the whole family went to each of her events, and we were so happy to do so. I'm sure that most preteen boys would not care to sit through a musical production of say, "The Secret Garden," but our boys happily attended that, as well as many, many other shows and concerts to see their sister. That is part of being a loving, generous family. I am so happy that my kids love each other and have such a wonderful relationship with each other, for it is those relationships that will be among the most satisfying, comforting and enduring relationships of their lives. I always tell my kids, "Your friends will come and go, but your siblings will always be your siblings."

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Welcome to my blog. Personally, I think that blogs are rather self-indulgent. Having said that, I'm going to indulge and try to keep this blog up and running as a way to "journal" (well, sorta, kinda) the cool things that our family is doing, and also use it to share some fun photos of us. Please be sure to comment because I would love for you to respond/share/ridicule/heckle my rants! Love you tons, Dee/Mom

His Boy Elroy


Well, the lads are playing a show tonight at Wooden House Pizza! Let's give them a great big "good luck" shoutout and hope they really rock!