Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cliff Hanger

We haven't had much time to blog lately, so I thought I'd get a small posting out there for those of you who are wondering if we'll ever post again. Our Christmas trip to Maryland was quick and pleasant, and now we have good friends visiting tomorrow until Saturday. Sunday is New Years eve of course...but what shall we do? We will spend it with Mike and Michelle, but does anyone out there have ideas for us in Chicago? Everything I looked into is $150 per person or double that! Yikes! Michelle and I have to do everything in our power to not let it turn into a night of Xbox, Halo, 360, Gears of War, HD dvd player, and...did I mention Xbox?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Penchant for Stockings

Flurries, ice, bitter cold, and lots of hot chocolate mark the Christmas spirit. But despite the overwhelming holiday barrage, one item eclipses all others--the stockings. I'm not sure exactly when or where I became fascinated with them, but it happened sometime in my youth. At around 5am, my brothers and I would scurry downstairs and tear into our stockings that were filled to the brim with all sorts of treasures. Usually, I would find cd's (Ron Hamilton or the like), gum, chocolate, small games, and sugar pops. We had hit the jackpot. I suspect the most valuable of all the items was silly putty, an ingenious invention that conforms to almost anything and can mirror newspaper text and cartoons.
Such holiday euphoria was too good to last forever. Sometime during my high school days, things changed. Christmas was, to a large extent, forgotten. You see, though my presents remained glorious, my stockings began to crumble. Candy was replaced with toothpaste. CD's were substituted for pens and pencils. And, most of all, silly putty was superceded by oranges. Oranges!
Now maybe, just maybe, my stockings will return to their glorious state. It could be this
Christmas or at the eschaton. If any of you have been victimized by a similar unfortunate event, please, by all means, share you heart.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pizzelles, Florentines, and Gingerbread Boys

I wanted to start this posting about an hour ago. Now I'm extremely tired and will give you the short version. Maybe I can convince Ben to elaborate on my post later. But, I do have a lot of pics...and you know that pics are worth a lot more than my words. Maybe.

We had a really good weekend, which is nice after experiencing a bad week at work. Saturday night we had dinner with our friends Brian and Tiana, then we all hopped in the car to make a Starbucks run so we could drink coffee while driving around looking at Christmas lights. The houses around here are so beautiful! I should've taken some pictures, but regretfully did not. You must use your imagination, however, I do not have the energy to even give you any details to help that imagination of yours. Then we came back to our home and watched Sum of All Fears...back in Ben Affleck's good ol' days.

Sunday was church, then the rest of the day was spent baking, baking, baking! We made Italian holiday cookie that is becoming a family tradition. For those who do not know what a pizzelle is, it is a very thin, round, delicate cookie with various designs. The Italian version is anise flavored, however, I'm not fond of that licorice I made three other flavors instead. Vanilla, Orange, and of course... Chocolate! yum yum!

Here's the background: My grandmother has a pizzelle maker from the late 70s or early 80s made by Vitantonio. It's a vintage now since Vitantonio no longer exists (Villaware is the new name). She is letting my mom borrow it right now. So when I was home for Thanksgiving, my mom and I made some pizzelles and I fell in love with the pizzelle maker machine thingy. Right when I got back to Wheaton, I decided to try to find that pizzelle maker and buy one for myself. Little did I know that this Vitantonio brand is no longer around. I also found out from my research that this brand was the best pizzelle maker made! They were selling on Ebay for no less than $100, so I decided to research other Villaware (which is really Vitantonio...but not as good) and were half the price. I didn't find ones that I liked as much as the Vitantonio. Then a bright light went off in my head! There is a website called that is a free online classifieds and pretty popular. So, with little expectations, I posted a "want" ad for the Vitantonio pizzelle maker model #300. A few days later I received an email from a guy in Naperville (nearby town) who had one and would sell it to me for $40! yay! So Ben and I met him at a strip mall that week to do our exchange.

Anyway, all that leads up to the day we spent baking cookies. We also made Florentine Cookies which I made of honey and pecans, with a layer of semi-sweet chocolate on one side. I was inspired to try making these cookies after my trip to the Gas Light Village in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. My family and I stopped at a bakery where I tried my first Florentine cookie. Ooooh boy was it fantastic! So, again, I used the most useful resource (the Internet) and found a convincingly good recipe. This recipe has proven itself indeed.

And, lastly, we made Gingerbread Boys. This has been and always will be a tradition for the Gladds. Ben's favorite baking memory (and probably only one) is making Gingerbread Boys every Christmas. Of course, he had to mention that when he was just a young tad, he and his two brothers would sneakily use the frosting to make the Gingerbread Boys anatomically correct. haha! Boys will be boys I guess!

And to top off our Christmas themed weekend...we bought our stockings for this year. Actually, I like these so much that I believe we'll keep them until our family grows. They're more decorative than Christmasy, but Ben even really likes them, they are keepers. They also have this Italian feel to them... Check out the pic and see for yourself. :)

This posting became a bit longer than I proposed it would be in the beginning. Goes to prove that blogs (or "blobs" as my mom would say) are quite addictive.

May your Christmas be full of yummy cookies, beautiful stockings, and anatomically correct gingerbread boys.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Ben Gladd/Roethlisberger

Since the Super Bowl, I have received comments on a regular basis that I look like the Steelers' QB, Ben Roethlisberger (note his first name). At first I was skeptical, so I did some googling and lo and behold, he does slightly resemble me. I'm going to let you be the judge.

Monday, December 04, 2006

London Fog

My ever-so-tired self did not realize that our first blog deceived our readers into thinking we will be moving to London next year. While that may seem like an exciting adventure, the real adventure will only last two months. We will spend two months next Fall at Cambridge University in the Tyndale House so Ben can finish some researching for his dissertation. So, Kristin, have no fear...we'll still be here before and after.

Dan and Erin are already planning a visit, along with possibly my sister and my parents. Come one, come all if you are willing to sleep on the floor in our tiny one-bedroom flat. :)

Now to give some details of this last weekend. Chris (why is it that I always type "Christ" instead of "Chris" then need to backspace to delete the "t") and Vicki drove to us from Detroit with their gorgeous little baby, Genesis Nicole (who I have to add is name after me!). hehe We visited the King Tut exhibit at Chicago's Field Museum. This part of the trip was more for Chris and Ben since Vicki, Genesis, and I would have rather spent the $75 at H&M (yes, they have baby clothes, too). However, it ended up being a pleasantly intoxicating experience. Not really... but I thought using the word "intoxicating" would spice up this blog a little. I honestly did find the exhibit pretty interesting none-the less (how is the spelled out?). Josh and Kara, we missed having you with us!

Then, of course, Friday evening we had to give the virgin-Lindseys their first Claim Jumper experience! So, we filled our appetites with yummy potato cakes, chicken pot pie, tri-tip dip, shoe-string fries, some sort of exotic sweet potato, and berry pie! Unfortunately, when we left our front left tire was flat! So Ben and Chris had to change it in the freeeezing (and I mean FREEZING) weather while Vicki, Genesis, and I sat comfortably in the back seat of the warm car. So, we had Vicki changing diapers this weekend, and Chris changing tires.

Saturday morning we met up with my parents and lil' sis to spend the day Christmas shopping in Chicago. wasn't much of shopping, more like a day of hanging out together trying to brave out the freezing wind and falling ice from the skyscrapers and pushing people out of the way to try to get in line for a free trolley that didn't arrive until after 45 minutes of shivvering, wiping my nose, covering my dad's bare ears, and almost brawling with a spanish lady in front of me. :) It's not as dramatic as it sounds... but there was definitely potential.

I've attached some pics of the weekend. Now I'm going to sign off to enjoy my season's favorite show, Heroes!


Thanks to Emily, I have decided to start a blog for my family...which so far consists of just me and Ben. Nope, no plans to expand any time soon. :) We (yes, Ben has agreed) plan to practice getting in the habit of journaling on this site so that by the time we go to London in the Fall, we will be faithful at keeping our friends and family updated on our happenings. So at first we might not too good at this, but as time rolls on we should have it down.

I would post more tonight, however, I had a delayed start since friends were over and we watched Ice Age - The Meltdown (which is very cute and I highly recommend for your laughing pleasure).

In the future we will have pictures and more postings. Until then, keep busy and the time between the next posting will seem to fly by!


Sunday, December 03, 2006

How Many Since 3/19/07?