Thursday, December 30, 2010

We Have Snow!

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

This is Brady after being outside for 4 1/2 hrs!  We finally got some
 snow Sunday evening.  We only got about 2 1/2 inches...but
 there was also a lot of drifting.  On Monday, Brady decided to go
 outside about 10am to shovel.  It was freezing out there.  It was so
windy...and I kept calling him to the front door to see if he wanted
to come in and get warmed up.  Nope!  He wanted to suprise
Daddy and finsh the driveway before he got home from work.  I finally
demanded that he come in for some lunch.  I threw his hat, gloves
and coat in the dryer to get warm.  As soon as he ate, he hurried
back outside.  He did nothing but shovel the entire time!  He came
to the door once with a Christmas package that the mailman
brought with his name on it.  I tried to get him to come in and open
it..but he said he would do it when he was finished shoveling.
Such a hard worker!  Daddy made a huge deal about it when he got
home...and Brady was so proud of himself!  He fished all evening
for compliments!  I wish this attitude of always trying to please his
parents would last forever!
And, would you believe, that his hands and shoulders were sore
the next day from all that shoveling?!  I thought that only happened
to us older people! 

Have a safe and happy New Year's weekend!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Highlights

Christmas Eve

Heading out to sprinkle reindeer dust!

 Christmas morning.

Brady woke us at 4:48am Christmas morning.  The poor guy couldn't help being up early....he went to bed at 7:30pm and fell asleep right away.  He wanted to go to bed around 5pm...but we had to draw the line somewhere!   We cut way back this year on Christmas gifts.  Brady didn't even notice.  He has never been about all the gifts.  Santa could have gotten him the three things he asked for and he would have been happy with that.  It took him almost two hours to open everything.  Halfway through openining, he said he wished he was done.  I need to remember that next year!

We didn't get snow for Christmas...but it was still wonderful. Eric's parents and his brother came over for lunch and spent the day with us.  

I am loving Brady being off from school this week and Eric being off a few days too.  We are lounging around in our pajamas, watching movies, reading and playing games.  The other night we had a BIG Wii tournament...we even had a bracket schedule! 

Looking forward to the New Year!
Enjoy your week!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And This Is The Reason....

I want an artificial tree!

We took down our tree today.

Our tree is so dry you can see through it.
It might be the worst tree we've ever had!

This is just a "little" of what had to be cleaned up after my husband took the tree to the curb!

We usually keep our tree up until New Year's Day.
But, not this year.  I couldn't take it anymore.
Usually by the following Christmas, I forget about the mess,
and I'm ready to go out in the freezing cold and cut one down with the family again.
But, the older I get...the more and more I really wish
I had an artificial tree! 
Now, if I could just talk those two guys that like to cut down a tree every year
to get on board with me!

We'll see!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours...

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all the little joys of this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Cutest Party Mix I've Ever Seen!

When I saw this the other day on one of my favorite baking blogs Cookies and Cups,  I just knew I had to try it!  I actually had trouble falling asleep that night because I was so excited to get the stuff to make it.  I know...get a life, right?!

You can read how to make the mix if you want at Cookies and Cups.  I couldn't find the little balls for the brim of Santa's hat, so I just dipped them in white chocolate.  The hats are caramel bugels dipped in red chocolate.

Here's how mine turned out.  Not as nice as Cookies and Cups...but they're the experts!

I made some for Santa too!

We're busy over here...getting the last little bit done.
Still no snow...but I hear there's a chance for us on Christmas Eve!
Two more day until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Joy

One of the things that has brought me JOY the last eight years is........

Every year our family and three other families (friends of ours) take turns hosting dinner and SANTA.

The kids of course know him as SANTA...but me, I don't even know his real name.

I know where he lives...because I have dropped off packages for him to deliver to our house. 

Along with our packages (each child gets one small gift), we leave SANTA a note about a couple of things we would like him to know about our children. This year I wanted SANTA to know that Brady is in 2nd grade, he is an awesome student and that he made the rankings in our state in tennis (I knew Brady would be impressed if Santa knew this!).     SANTA calls each child up one at a time, and mentions the things we've secretly shared with him.  SANTA has a fantastic memory...he never forgets a thing about all 8 children.  I am always amazed. 

The kids are always so excited...and we often have to keep them away from the
 door so they do not see SANTA drive up in his car!

SANTA gets us all to sing a couple of Christmas songs with him and he always
has a message for the kids about believing , keeping the Christmas spirit going
thoughout the year, and the true meaning of Christmas.

(My camera was not cooperating with me on Sunday!)
I'm always amazed by the grandness of Santa's's beautiful.
He also has a huge white sack with a big red letter "S" embroidered on it.
And, a little tiny red one filled with candy canes.
And, he is JINGLY all over!

Brady asked if I would help him type a list for Santa this year.
He picked the clipart out all by himself!
At the bottom he wrote Happy Birthday Jesus.
I was a little proud of him (to say the least!) for including that in his letter. 

 SANTA is retired and does not charge for his services.  Our group takes turns getting him and his wife a gift certificate.  I always write SANTA a letter to thank him for being such a memorable part of our family's Christmas.   I don't know that he goes around to many houses anymore.  He continues to visit us because he has done it for so many years.  He has seen our children grow.   I know that SANTA is not what Christmas is all about.  And, our children all know the real reason we celebrate Christmas.  I love this letter that Dana at Bungalow'56 wrote to Baby Jesus.  She assures Baby Jesus that we are not replacing him with all this santa and reindeer stuff...but celebrating his birth and waiting for His return.

I know this could be our last year of the whole believing thing....maybe not.  Brady hasn't questioned it at all.  It makes me a little sad to think that the magic of believing in SANTA might not last forever.  There are already a couple of kids in the group who know...but keep it a secret for the younger ones.  We will carry out this tradition to the last believers.  Then again, when this very kind spirited man makes his entrance  through the door each year....I get a little teary and become a believer myself all over again.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Sharing Some Gingerbread Men

These guys are from Le Gourmet Chef.

I bought 6 of them last Christmas and 10 of them this Christmas!

Brady gave one to his teacher last year and he'll give one to his teacher this year too.
  I put different kinds of Christmas candies and cookies in them.

I also bought one for myself!
And gave one away as a hostess gift.

The gingerbread men in the top picture are for my friend April.  She is going through
chemo right now and I offered to put something together for her girl's teachers and bus drivers.
  I was really excited to give them to her last night....and she was
thrilled.  April and her husband have three beautiful daughters.
They're such a great family. April takes a lot of pride in being a good mom...and it shows.
Anyway, these last few months have been very difficult, but my friend has showed nothing
but courage and grace through this whole dumb cancer thing.  I'm really proud of her.

The ladies at Eighteen25 made this
super cute tag.
If you want to download a copy of
it, you can find it HERE.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Truffle Trick

Many of you commented about how nice my truffles look...thank you for your kind words!
I just wanted to share with you a little trick that I do that gives them this look.
It's a little time consuming...but well worth it.
Unless your not giving your truffles away as a gift...then it's okay to leave as is.
You know when your dipping your balls  truffles and you sit them on the wax paper?
The bottom of the truffles usally have dried chocolate spilling over the balls on the bottom.
I take a little paring knife and trim off the excess chocolate....all around each truffle.
This gives them a much cleaner look.
There you have it!
Happy beautiful truffle making!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Baking (non-baking) At Our House

I thought I would share some of my holiday recipes.
I have a few things I bake every Christmas because my family would be disappointed if I didn't make them.
For me, I love to try new recipes. 
So, I make a few of the tried and true ones...and then I choose a couple new ones each year to try.

The first recipe, I have been making for the last 13 years.  It's definately a favorite of friends and family.

These truffles are the real deal.  Very smooth, rich and creamy.  If you like mint, you will love these!

This will be my 4th year now making this next recipe.  Oreo Cookie Truffles.  You've probably made them yourself.  So easy, only three ingredients and they make a ton.  Too bad they aren't fat free!  Brady has already been asking when we are making these.  I have to package these up quickly for otheres before we eat them all!  Last year I found little clear paint cans (added a bow) and put 5 or 6 cookie truffles in each....that way I could give more out!  Very easy.

Here's what you'll need:
1 pkg. Oreo Cookies
1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese
2 pkg. semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

Put cookies in a food processor and mix until they are fine crumbs.
Place crumbs in a big bowl.
Add cream cheese and mix until well blended.
The last step burned enough calories for at least 2 cookie truffles....
Roll cookie mixture into 1 inch in diameter balls.
Freeze balls for about 10 minutes.
Dip balls in chocolate & place on wax paper.
Refrigerate until firm.
Cover & store leftovers in fridge.
Makes about 42 balls.

This last recipe is a super easy one.  Another non baking one.  I'm noticing a pattern here!
These have a light orange flavor and are really tasty...I love them!

Orange balls really aren't that messy to make...I promise!

I just realized that not only are these recipes non bake...but they are all balls.
My husband will think this is funny.  It's like he's still in middle school.
He will probably count how many times I said balls in my post!
Sorry about that...back to a little more maturity here....

I'm linking up with Jen over at Denton Sanitarium.
Go check out what everyone's baking!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Magical Reindeer Dust

When Brady was 3 and in preschool his teacher gave everyone in the class magical reindeer dust. 
We had never heard of it before.... it's such a cute idea.  The magical dust helps the reindeer find our house, and also gives them a little something to eat!
 Every year since, Brady has looked forward to sprinkling
 the magical reindeer dust right before he goes to bed on Christmas Eve.

All you have to do is:
mix together oats and glitter.

Last year Brady had to put something in his classmates stockings at school, so we put
together these bags for everyone. 

Sorry the poem is hard to read from my picture.  I wish I knew how to make it a "printable" for everyone...maybe I will learn how to do that in the coming year!  If you would like a copy, send me your email and I will send it to you!

site design by designer blogs