Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 year in review

It’s been quite a year for us here in the Carbaugh house. We started out the year with finding out Sunshine was pregnant, only to find out she miscarried in March. It was a little tough to get through, but we survived and continued on with our year.

In June we adopted our second dog Duke, from the Puyallup Animal Rescue. He was a rare find, in that he was 16 months old (still young enough to teach new tricks), he was a Rottweiler mix (which is what we both wanted) and he was a male dog (male dogs are bigger!). Duke took instantly to both Pippin and Josephine, so we decided right there on the spot to take him home with us. Taking in a dog was a huge change for us, especially a young dog who needed exercise and training. We were even a little leery about his behavior, like would he turn on us at any moment that we were not expecting. Lucky for us, that never happened. Duke is a great dog, and is now bigger then Pippin and takes up a space in our house and our hearts.

We also started work on our home improvements with the arrival of Spring. . . . well, we never did get a spring around here, let’s just say, that when it didn’t rain, we did some home improvements. First up, we added raised beds, to the side of the house, for our garden. Next, we moved the fence to the front of the house, instead of the back of the house, giving us more yard space in the back. Our garden did not turn out as nicely as we would have liked this year. We tried to grow many things and failed. We started composting over the summer as well, and added that to the soil for the winter, hoping to give the soil the much needed nutrition for the next growing season.

The summer was filled with Camping and trips to the Ocean. We completed 3 full camping trips of 4 days or longer. We were a little nervous with how Josephine would take to it, but she loved every minute of it, and we will be doing more of it this coming summer. Our big summer vacation trip was postponed many times, and ended up getting canceled due to gas prices. $4.50 a gallon was just too much for us, and we ended up just staying local and camping instead of a road trip to California to see family and friends. Maybe this year, we can make the big trip, if gas prices cooperate.

In August we found out Sunshine was pregnant again, only to find out at 10 weeks that she had miscarried again. We have forgotten who we told, and didn’t tell. So here is the notice, Sunshine is not pregnant at the time of this posting. We went through numerous tests to see if there was a medical explanation for our losses, and the only thing they found was Sunshine was a healthy woman. We are currently trying to get her knocked up again, hoping the odds are in our favor now.

Josephine started getting old enough to enjoy and participate in classes offered through parks and recreation. She started in Toddler Gym, which is more of a play and music type of class. Then Sunshine got her into gymnastics, which she absolutely loves. Starting in 2009 she will be taking 3 classes, Toddler Gym, Gymnastics, and Music and Movement. If Josephine drops her nap then she will be doing Soccer with Doug.

Overall we have had a very full year, full of family and friends. We love all of you, and thank you for all the support you have given us, and we hope to return the favor in the years to come.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Peter and the Wolf

I came upon this little gem while looking through Netflix one afternoon. Josephine and I have watched it over and over, and still can't get enough of it. The film is by Suzie Templeton, and she won an oscar for her short film.


Jim's Birthday!

We celebrated Jim C's birthday last night at their house. Doug and I cooked, and Josephine entertained. On the menu: Gyro's, and it was yummy.

Just in case you are interested. We did Lamb Souvlaki for the Gyro meat. I found this recipe over the summer and loved it.

Doug and I got this recipe from a cooking class we took at the Y. In order for the sauce to be right, you have to use Greek style yogurt. The only place I have found true Greek style yogurt is at Trader Joe's. Our nearest TJ's is in University Place (not close to our house at all!), but for Jim, we went there anyways just for the yogurt. I later learned, through the Internet, that you can strain regular yogurt in cheese cloth, to get the thicker texture of Greek style yogurt.

Tzatziki Sauce (Niko's)

This yogurt dip is great for breads, vegetables, and can kick up any appetizer. As a traditional Greek dish, this dip is usually eaten with fresh bread. The cultured yogurt, raw cucumber and garlic also aid as digestive components to a meal. The quality of yogurt used in this recipe determines the entire outcome of the tzatziki's texture and taste!

1c. Greek Yogurt
¼c. shredded cucumber
1tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Several mint leaves finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground pepper

To make our Gyro's we used pita bread (NOT pockets), lettuce, chopped cucumber, chopped olive, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese (Trader Joe's), souvlaki meat, and topped it with Tsatziki sauce.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Recipes

We like to cook, oh how we like to cook!

The Internet has helped us expand our horizons, in the cooking world. Doug and I have also taken cooking classes through the YMCA over the years and learned some more about our exotic tastes. A friend of mine also has a food blog with fabulous recipes, that I have tried many times. If you were wondering where I get these fantastic recipes, here they are:

Christmas Eve Dinner:

Poached Pear Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette Dressing
Scalloped Potatoes made with Gruyere Cheese (I used Betty Crocker's recipe)
Candied Yams (I cheated and used S&W candied yams)
Green Been Casserole
Favre Family Bread Roles

Dessert - Chocolate Crunch Cake

For our Christmas Baskets I made:
Snickerdoodle Muffins
Pumpkin Scones
My secret recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies (I can't share everything)
Cranberry Infused Vodka


Friday, December 26, 2008

Snow (more of it!)

Tuesday morning (December 23rd) we woke to a layer of ice and snow on top. It was very beautiful outside and I had to take my artistic skills and get this shot.

Our Snow man started tipping, but her also is berried waist deep now.

You can compare this picture with some of the previous posts to see how much snow we have.
Our poor garbage can is full, and no one will come dump it. The garbage trucks can't make it into out neighborhood.


Josephine is 2!

Josephine's second birthday was on December 18th. This year we decided to have a small family gathering at Jim and Gerry's house in Puyallup. I made Josephine's cake again this year. I used different size muffin tins, and came up with this design.
Josephine enjoyed everyone singing to her and blew out her candles.
Josephine didn't want a hat this year, so we went with the headband crown.

Josephine got the big cupcake this year.
From Kelly, Josephine got a large package of play food for her kitchen.

Grandma and Grandpa Carbaugh gave Josephine her very own vacuum cleaner. Now, Josephine vacuums along side of me everyday.

Grandma Jody gave Josephine a the book, The Frog Wore Red Suspenders.
Great Grandma Sally and Frank sent Josephine a toy she already had. I was able to exchange it for this little set of cupcake play food.

We gave Josephine this book/sketch pad set. Josephine loves to write so, this little number is definitely keeping her busy.
Jerry and Karisa gave Josephine this cute little doll. Josephine loves it.
Josephine had to test out her vacuum cleaner, and did a very good job helping us clean up.


Christmas Eve 2008

Christmas Eve was at our house this year. The only person missing was Steve (Doug's brother) who ended up stuck in Spokane because of all the snow we had prior to Christmas.

From top to bottom, left to right.....Jim C, Jerry (Doug's son, 18 years old), Josh (Kelly's son, 17 years old), Gerry, Rick, Jaesen (Kelly's son, 10 years old), Kelly, Doug, Sunshine, Josephine (2 years old) and Jim S (who is a Carbaugh, whether he wants to be or not!)
Josephine was not happy any time someone went to the bathroom. I caught her trying to get under the door while someone was in the bathroom.

Josh and Josephine. We don't get to see Josh as often as we would like, so it was nice to see Josephine getting to know her cousin a little more.
We opened presents after dinner. Josephine was more interested in sitting on her present then opening it.
Then we showed her what to do, and she had to study the box for a minute to make sure she knew what she was doing.

Then Josephine got to work. She wasted no time getting this box unwrapped.

Jim got Josephine this tent, which is supposed to fit over a twin bed. Since Josephine is still in a toddler bed, they put the mattress in the tent and she was very happy with it.

Doug's parents got him a Scrabble game. Doug LOVES to play Scrabble.

Josephine was very Thankful for all of her gifts and went around and gave everyone a hug.

Doug and I made some homemade Cranberry infused Vodka for Jim's Christmas present. This was some very good stuff, and it help end a very good evening.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

On Wednesday Dec 17th, we got our first snow fall of the season. It doesn't usually snow this much here, but it is cold enough that the snow kept coming and the snow has stuck around. We are on day 4 of snow, and more is expected. We are under a storm watch tonight and could get as much of a foot of snow tonight and freezing rain in the morning.

3 day old snowman. He has tipped a little, but so far he isn't going anywhere.
Our neighbors have been doing a good job at keeping their sidewalks clear. I think they are sharing a snow shovel between the three of them. Sadly, they don't really sell snow shovels here, so we are making due with a flat regular shovel.
Duke (Black Lab/Rot Mix) and Pippin (Shar Pei/Shepard Mix) are LOVING the snow. They get out to play in it every chance they can get.

Josephine will only go in the snow if she is in this sled. Doug takes every chance he can get and runs down the street with her.

Again, I need to thank Laura and Tori for the wonderful snow boots and coat. They are perfect for this weather, and I would have never thought of buying them myself this year because, well . . . . it doesn't get that cold here. I even went out and got myself a pair of boots yesterday, since I can definitely use them.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Day Continued

This is the only video camera that we have that will upload to our computer. No sound and the quality is not very good.

Here's a look at Josephine and Doug playing in the snow.


Snow Day!

We hardly ever get snow here in Western Washington, but today has been a great snow day. Thanks to Laura and Tori, Josephine sported a parka and boots to go out and play in the snow.

Since it is a snow day, all activities have been canceled.

Instead, we made play doh and played in the snow.

Josephine has also watched the entire movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

3 Years!

It's been 3 years now, that Josephine has been able to visit Santa.

The first visit to Santa was on Christmas Eve 2006. If you are good at math, Josephine was less then 10 days old. This was one of our first official outings.
The second visit to Santa was before her birthday, in 2007. We went to the South Hill Mall in Puyallup for this one. Josephine was not exactly pleased to be on this guys lap, but we got a picture of them together without her crying. Josephine was barely 1 in this picture.
I am not the mom who tortures their kid at Christmas time to get the Santa picture, well I am, but I don't want to see Josephine crying. So we were prepared for the worst, and decided to get a family picture. Josephine was scared of Santa the minute he walked in. I have been talking him up for the last month, but Josephine wanted nothing to do with him.

In the end, Josephine said "Thank you" for her toy, and "bye-bye" as we walked away. So, it wasn't too traumatic for her.


Some things just have to be shared!

This story is priceless!

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman


Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 6th was our first Christmas Party of the season. It started out at Mandy and Steve Sheet's house in Covington. Instead of a Christmas Tree, they had a Holiday Palm Tree (which is not a bad idea, because all the presents fit under the tree). We left Josephine at home with her brother Jerry for the evening.

The party had contests, and one of them was "Festive Holiday Costume." Here is Santa, this guy was dressed like this all night. Once in a while he had a PBR in his hand. (For those of you who don't know, that stands for Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer).

This little guy is Tegan. He was the youngest party guest (15 months old). He was stuck to me like glue the entire night.

There was a gift exchange, and one of the rules required the receiver to wear what ever they opened. Sunshine was lucky enough to open Batman and Stewey underwear.

Sunshine modeled her gift.

There was tons, and tons of food at the party. Most foods had a theme, like food on a stick and food inside a food.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time to get a Christmas Tree

This is Josephine's first year to hunt for a Christmas tree. I dressed her in the warmest outfit she would let me put on her, and away we went.
We went to Hunters Tree Farm off of Yelm Highway. Inside the barn there were pgymy goats, pot bellied pigs, and one Turkey. Josephine now knows what a Turkey is supposed to say!

The tractor ride dropped us off in the middle of all different kinds of trees. Too bad we don't know a what kind of tree we were looking for. So we wondered around for a while.
And kept looking for something we liked.
We got this little beauty. A 6 foot spruce. Here is Doug trimming the bottom.
We decided to walk back to the main area instead of wait for a tractor. Josephine had to help.

The next morning Josephine helped us decorate the tree. She studied each placement of the ornaments.

The finished product!


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