Thanks, Santa and ALL your little helpers. (The little specks in the napkin are pieces of green glitter... Santa's pixie dust!)
Monday, December 31, 2007
Thanks, Santa and ALL your little helpers. (The little specks in the napkin are pieces of green glitter... Santa's pixie dust!)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly wrapping paper under the tree. I think there is something so satisfying about RIPPING off the wrapping paper to reveal a surprise. Gift bags are so handy, however, so I do use them occasionally.
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. Our first Christmas my dh and I spent the whole Christmas decoration budget on a fabulous tree from Canadian Tire. It is full and huge and that first year it sported only 17 ornaments.
3. When do you put up the tree? Growing up we only decorated for Christmas after my mother's birthday, December 12th. Now we put it up early in the month before the schedule gets too busy that we can't enjoy the "atmosphere".
4. When do you take the tree down? January 6th is Epiphany and the tree HAS to be up until then.
5. Do you like eggnog? Absolutely! I also like to make eggnogg milkshakes.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember the Christmas my brother and I got bikes. In our family we opened gifts right after Santa left (or my parents finished wrapping...) so in the middle of the night my brother and I were riding our new bikes around the neighborhood.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Several. My favorite one is the Willow Creek one given to me by my sil.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My dh.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My boys? But, then again, they can be tough to buy for, as well.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't really have a worst Christmas gift ever, but I did win the award for worst Easter basket ever. In college, my mom mailed my Easter basket to me... complete with dyed Easter egg!
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail... and they turned out so cute this year!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I'm not trying to sound hard and heartless, but I really don't care for any Christmas movies other than funny ones like Christmas with the Cranks or Christmas Vacation. I'm already overworked and stressed and it doesn't take more than a few minutes of an emotionally abused reindeer or a crippled donkey at the manger to turn me to a puddle of tears.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? When I find "it".
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so...You didn't like what I sent?
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies!
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored, dh's choice.
17. Favorite Christmas song? You mean you are going to make me choose? Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant is beautiful.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We used to travel. One year we would go to dh's parents'
and then the next year we would make it to my parents'. Now that dh is a pastor we really can't leave until after Christmas, if we travel...
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? *scratching brain* Does it count that I can say all the Commandments?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A star. Kinda looks like white stained glass.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning. My dh thought that opening gifts on Christmas Eve in the middle of the night was bizarre. (He's just jealous that I got my presents before him...)
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The gazillion people shopping while I'm shopping.
23. What I love most about Christmas? Decorations and cookies!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Hey, Look! I found Jess Jingle, our little elf. I'm going to hide him for the next person to find and rehide.
D, where should we put that Rudolph?
Does anyone know where the Christmas tree skirt is for under the tree?
D, it is your job to update the Santa counter.
A, don't eat all the treats!! Oh, you are boxing them up for gifts? Alright. Can you put a few on a plate while I brew some gingerbread tea? Let's put out a few Rolo cookies and a couple of those chewy oatmeal cranberry toffee cookies. I'll have to get the recipes. Everyone keeps asking for the recipe for those!
S, You've got to help me put this new jingle bell wreath on the door.
Okay, okay! Look cute, guys. You were hard workers and I think I hear our guests coming up the walk!
Merry Christmas everyone! May God pour out His blessings onto you today and always!
Chewy Oatmeal Cranberry Toffee Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup toffee baking bits
Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in flour, baking soda and salt. With a wooden spoon, stir in the oats, dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and toffee baking bits.
Using a cookie scoop, place dough balls on a parchmant lined-pan. (They spread, so don't place the cookies too close together.) Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the pan and then move to cooling racks.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
My older brother, my younger brother, me (the pretty one!), and my dad.
All 6 of my dad's grandkids at the zoo.
Thanks to the sitters who stayed with the kids so all 7 of the adults could go out for dinner. :)
My neices and I went to the store by ourselves. I got to go down the PINK aisle!!
More pictures to come...
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Pumpkin Dip (ginger snaps, apple slices, and cinnamon graham sticks for dipping) and cheese and crackers for starters.
"Casa Salad" (If you live in Fort Wayne, Indiana this is as close to the house salad at the Casa restaurants as I've tasted since eating there.)
Mushroom and Sausage Stuffing (Jim is going to make this. He makes it just like Mom did, only better. :) Don't feel obligated to tell her I said that.)
Mashed Potatoes (My plan is to sweet talk Jim into making these, too. I just like his mashed potatoes. You would, too.)
Corn or a Baked Corn Casserole (Sometimes I think we try to make so many fancy dishes at a special dinner that we overlook the simplicity of uncomplicated open-the-bag-and-heat veggies.)
Some Other Vegetable (I might make creamed peas)
Raw Carrots and Dip
Praline Sweet Potatoes
Buns (store bought)
Jellied Cranberry Sauce (Straight from the can, without any bits of real fruit in there)
Turkey and Gravy
Dessert is always the hardest for me to plan because I find it very hard to make a choice! So many good things that I can bake. How to choose; how to choose?! I think I am going to make an apple pie and a gingerbread trifle. I'll also have an assortment of Christmas cookies available. (Mom's thumbprint cookies, Mom's Buttercake, chocolate Rolo cookies, peanut butter kiss cookies, and I'm going to try making the Almond Joy Balls from the Paula Deen show.)
Wine, Kiddie Cocktails (see previous post), and soft drinks
Assemble a salad using the following ingredients. Use amounts that please you.
lettuce (1/2 iceberg and 1/2 romaine),
Place the following ingredients in a blender:
1/2 t oregano
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
To make a "Kiddie Cocktail" I used clear glasses, colored ice cubes and Sprite. (I pre-made the colored ice cubes using water and red, yellow and blue food coloring.) To assemble the cocktail, each child placed two different colored ice cubes in the clear glass. I then muttered a string of magic words while slowly pouring Sprite over the ice. You should've heard the oohs and aahs as the colors mixed! Who would've guessed that a yellow ice cube and a red ice cube would make an orange "Kiddie Cocktail"?!
A preschool science/art lesson and a cool party beverage... that Works for Me! Head on over to Shannon's for more WFMW.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
and a cute pooch.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
No, we didn't take a trip to the pumpkin patch, I'm just totally infatuated with all things pumpkin. Pumpkin-flavored, that is.
I do love that pumpkin ice cream from Edy's. I stirred in a handful of chopped pecans and it was absolutely wonderful.
Little Debbie is charming me with those little pumpkin snack cakes. They even have that cute little Jack-o-lantern face.
Ottis The Muffin-maker-man is my muffin hero with huge, extremely high calorie pumpkin walnut muffins.
Seeing as I'm so wild for pumpkin you might be surprised that I can't bring myself to try the pumpkin milkshakes at McDonald's. I'm not sure why. Just can't.
Here's a recipe for pumpkin cobbler that I found on a blog. I made it this morning for a church potluck and I had people begging for the recipe. I'd love to give credit for this pumpkin goodness, but I can't figure out from which cool blog I lifted this recipe. If this is your recipe please let me know, if you can tear yourself away from the cobbler pan, that is.
Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9x13 pan.
3 eggs, beaten
15 oz can pumpkin
12 oz can evaporated milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1 T vanilla
1 boxed yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup pecans, chopped
Mix the eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, salt, sugar, spices and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Pour the dry cake mix over the pumpkin mixture. Drizzle the melted butter over the cake mix. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the cobbler and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
(I adjusted the recipe just a bit... I added a bit of ground cloves to the pumpkin mixture and I found that it had to bake about another 10 minutes, so watch this while it bakes!)
And if you've managed to keep the drool off of your computer, here is another of my favorite pumpkin recipes.
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding (powder)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 container whipped topping ("lite" works)
Mix all this stuff in a bowl and use graham cracker sticks, ginger snaps and green apple slices for "dippers."
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
I got this recipe from the Holiday Grand Plan Listserve. It is from "Gramma Connie". Apparently it was posted a few years back and posted again recently.
Give it a try!
Cinnabon Rolls for Bread Machine
Yield: 12 large rolls
Dough:1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup water
1/2 of a 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding
1cup milk1 egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
Place ingredients in bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select Dough setting and start machine. Keep a close eye on the process, helping to incorporate all ingredients, if necessary.
Once the cycle is complete, remove dough and on a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to approximately a 17 X 10-inch rectangle.
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
Combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon, mixing well. Spread softened butter over rolled out dough. Roll, as for jelly roll, pinching edges closed when completely rolled.Slice rolled dough into 1-inch slices. Place into three 9-inch greased baking pans or a baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Bake at 350 * F (175 C) for 15 or 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Do not over bake.
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Well, a few weeks ago I cleaned out my cupboards and came across a few packets of yeast. I used one packet to make pizza dough. I don't quite have the hang of how thin to roll pizza dough, but my family is willing to work with my not-so-perfect pizzas.
After the kids went to bed I used the other packet of yeast to make cinnamon rolls. Into the wee hours of the night my bread maker made this fabulous dough. Then I rolled out and filled the dough and set them aside to "double in size" I baked these incredible rolls and while they were still warm, topped them with a cream cheese icing.
Boy, were they good. Good really is an understatement. They were delectable.
Now, you're wondering what Tracy and cinnamon rolls have to do with each other. So, I'll tell you. When Tracy and I were kids, like so many little girls, we would spend the night at each other's house. We actually lived a distance away (but went to the same school... go figure) so we would stay the whole weekend. (We had fun from the bus ride over on Friday night through church In Town on Sunday morning.) We always had a blast (and I loved her family) doing all sorts of stuff. When I was at her house (in the middle of an orange grove) our traditional Friday night supper was hamburgers (1.5 for me) and Saturday morning we would eat warm cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk for breakfast. Just the kind of fortifying food we would need to play Barbies All Day!
So, Tracy, I will eventually get to calling you, but until I do, These Buns are For You!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Well, things are busy here and I'll let you in on my Secret Little Helper. Clifford. Yup, the Big Red Dog. Totally.
I go to bed way too late and get up way too early. Clifford gets me through.
I pick up the children from school and then we come home and I say, "Hey, Let's watch a little Clifford." READ: Hey, kids, let's all sit on the couch while the tv goes on with that PBS show about the enormous dog and I will take a nap.
Friday, September 7, 2007
I've been so busy that I've hardly had a chance to update my blog, but I've been wanting to post about this "funny" that happened on Wednesday.
S and I had gone to McDonald's with some other teachers from my school. We all enjoyed lunch together and the kids loved playing while the grown-ups chatted.
As S and I were leaving to pick up my other boys from their school I said to s, "No, you know A and D are going to be unhappy that they missed McDonald's. We'd better destroy the evidence."
S replied, "Yeah... and we'd better get rid of this cup!"
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Find more fun at her website, http://snappinsummertime.blogspot.com/
20. family pet
35. messy hair
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Thanks for the fun, ScrappyDea.
6. bare feet
7. bathing suit
9. beach towel