My Beamish Brood

My Beamish Brood

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sugar and Spice

'Tis the season!! My mom recently set the boys up with a gingerbread house kit, and they went to town decorating and munching until the candy was all but gone. Lucian, lover of all-things-glue and all-things-sugar, was pretty excited about the prospect of gluing candy to gingerbread using frosting. Just too good to be true! The poor kid, though, has asked to eat his finished gingerbread house every day since he made it. I have tried to explain that they are just for decoration now, but what kind of sick joke is that? Gingerbread cookie with frosting and candy is... a decoration??

I think he'll be OK, though, because... 'tis also the season for Christmas cookie baking! We whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies a few nights back to start things off, and some time next week we will hunker down and make our annual treat, pecan tassies. Combine that with St. Nicholas' gifts earlier this month, treats from other families, and many cashiers' habits of giving out sweet snacks to kids in the checkout lane, and our kids will be well-sugared for weeks to come.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Oh! Snow!


I kind of forgot that Minnesota usually gets a major snow pile dumped on us in December... we missed out on it last year, but this year did not disappoint! Last winter, we were able to scrape together enough snow for one snowman once, and we never even made it sledding or skating because it was just so darn warm. But I think things are looking up this year. We got about a foot of snow this weekend, and Max is spending all of his spare time rediscovering our backyard. He was outside from 7:00 to 9:00 pm last night while Paul and Megan worked on shoveling.  (Poor me, I was stuck inside the dry, warm house with two dry, warm children and in my own dry, warm clothes...) As of yet, the snow hasn't been ideal for snowman making, but Max has taken to carrying a carrot around with him in the backyard in case circumstances suddenly change.

I remember loving the snow as a kid, and I never minded the huge hassle of snowpants, boots, mittens, hats, and jackets. But now, I'd just as soon stay inside and watch from a warm kitchen as Max tromps through waist-deep piles of white. Thankfully, he doesn't mind as long as I'm available to help in an emergency situation. Actually, as I was writing this, I heard a scream from outside. When I went to investigate, I found that he had managed to wedge himself between the deck and the railing. In the summer, he can easily climb through the space, but he just learned the hard way that winter gear adds quite a bit of bulk!

Welcome back to Minnesota, snow! We missed you in our yard last year... but we've got enough to last us awhile. You can take a break now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rest in Peace

We said goodbye to my Great Grandmother on Monday. At ninety-nine years old, God called her home peacefully in her sleep with her daughter (my grandma) and two of her grandchildren (my mom and uncle) at her side.

Great Grandma Martha Lanoue was a firecracker with a great sense of humor! When we were kids, we would get to go see her whenever we went to visit my mom's parents in Marshall. We would make a beeline for the etched glass candy jar that she kept stocked for us, and then we would entertain ourselves with dominos (in the winter) or paintbrushes and water (in the summer). My mom credits her with teaching her how to cook; she was famous for her slickers (kind of like dumplings) and Belgian cookies.

Years later, Grandma Lanoue was able to attend our wedding at Holy Redeemer, the same church that she and my Great Grandpa Buck were married in... along with my grandparents and my parents! She also got to meet all three of our kids, even Audrey just a few months ago.

As she got older, she did start to get a few things mixed up- she was an avid Twins fan, and she was thoroughly convinced that my mom had married pitcher Brad Radke. She sometimes didn't know what year it was, and she had been telling people she was 100 years old for about a decade. But she always knew who my mom was. Whenever we would go to visit her, she would take one look at my mom and her eyes would fill with tears. "Oh Lori!" she would say as she pulled her close.

At the wake and funeral, there were tears of course, but there was such a spirit of joy since we all knew Grandma had left behind her wheelchair and was now dancing in Heaven with Jesus. I was on the program to sing a solo during the Communion meditation, one of Grandma's favorite hymns, but the morning of the funeral my dad mentioned that maybe- just maybe- my Grandma Moorse would like to sing with me! "Ohh, no I couldn't do that!" she said. But after practicing a few times with her and my mom, we decided to make it a three-generation trio! I'm sure Great Grandma loved it!

After the funeral and reception, we all ended up at the Wooden Nickel- a local watering hole that we also visited the night before my wedding- reminiscing about the old bowling alley Grandma and Grandpa used to own, the cheap wine they used to drink, and a life well-lived by a woman well-loved.

Grandma, we will miss you, but we know you are at rest now. Max keeps telling me he can't wait to see you again when he gets to Heaven!

Grandma's 99th Birthday