Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Preparation

We've spent the past 3 days madly preparing for our trip to the Valley. We hope to be on the road by about 10:00 tomorrow morning.
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We took down the Christmas tree yesterday. The ornaments were packed away this morning before we dusted, vacuumed, and swept the entire house.
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Last night I spent some time in the kitchen. Planning ahead helps me be a little wiser when faced with holiday goodies.
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Our favorite sugar-free treat each Christmas is the ever-popular MacTurtle.
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It begins with little mounds of quartered macadamia nuts, usually 3 nuts per pile.
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Next I melt 8 Ross dark chocolate bars in the microwave. Ross chocolates are a bit pricey, but I wouldn't use anything else. Not only are they made of the best Belgian chocolate, but the sweetener doesn't cause the gastric distress created by most sugar-free candies.
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Then I drizzle chocolate over each pile, coating the nuts well. Each bar makes about 3 MacTurtles.
Allow the chocolate to set for a few hours and voila! You have 2 dozen beautiful MacTurtles!
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We plan to spend New Year's Eve with Karla's family in Mesa, and the annual Butler family Christmas party will also be held in Mesa this year. After the party on Saturday, we'll return home quite late that night.
I also made a pan of roasted walnuts last night. Melt a little butter in a saucepan, add 1 tbsp cinnamon and 3 packets of Splenda, and stir in 4 cups (12 oz) of walnuts until well coated.
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Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. It made the whole kitchen smell yummy!
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With the MacTurtles, the sweet walnuts, and the sugar-free cheesecake still in the freezer from Thanksgiving, we are prepared to face the barrage of sweetness we will meet in Mesa!
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Today Jacob and Sarah spent a couple of hours out in the cold, wiring our fence. Diego learned to jump the fence last year, until we bought him a shock collar. Sad, but it worked like charm.
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Yesterday he rediscovered his jumping skill, so we dusted off the shock collar and replaced the old wiring.
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As soon as he approached the fence and the collar gave its warning beeps, he remembered last year's lessons and backed away. Now we won't be worried about losing him while we're gone for 3 days.
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Today Jacob couldn't wait to set up the GPS.
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I told him we don't need it. I lived in Mesa for 10 years, and we've made multiple visits every year for the 20 years since we moved here, so I know the locations of all the places we'll be going.
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Still, he's a technology junkie and he insisted we needed to try it out. I guess that's wise.
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(Notice the footprints in Sarah's freshly mopped kitchen floor above? Funny!)
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Now the laundry is done, the suitcases and totes are almost packed, and all that's left is to set the alarm and go to bed.
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I will be taking my laptop along to blog our visit, so stay tuned!

2 comments:

Nicole said...

We also had to get a shock collar for my dog recently. Jeff fixed the fence several times, the collar was the only thing that would keep our dog in our yard. It is sad though.

Jill said...

I was hoping you were taking us with you on your trip today so I was pleased to find that out at the end of your post. I love the details of your trip you share which is odd because usually I don't like to hear about trips...maybe it's the way you write about it complete with pictures, and your detail...you know I have always loved your detail!