Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009

We have had a wonderful past few days celebrating CHRISTmas! Here are our pictures from the last few days:
Here was the BIG surprise! Marla had asked me if the girls needed something pratical like a sheet set for Christmas. Knowing that they like all other kids don't need more toys. Then I told her that we really didn't need sheets, but she could make them a pair of pantaloons to play dress up in. Then when we went there for Thanksgiving, she had gotten the pattern and material to make a complete outfit! The girls were so estatic when they saw their dresses!

Anna thanking Dad and Marla for her new dress!

Her outfit was so pretty too!

Christmas morning!

Holly wanted a bow and arrow. Gladly they had a pink one :D

Daddy teaching her how to safely shoot her new weapon toy!
Ready. Aim. Shoot!

Anna practicing her BB gun skills. (Not a present, she just wanted a little practice too!)

Ready for old fashioned day!
We got a Honeybaked Ham for lunch on Christmas day and Nana brought some yummy potato salad and joined us!

Opening goodies from Nana.
We had a very blessed week celebrating our Savior's birth with our family and look forward to this new year serving Him!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
I pray you all have a very blessed day celebrating our Savior's birth!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December Randomness

This post is gonna be a little chaotic :D So bear with me!
It started snowing Friday night and this is what it looked like the next morning (YAY!):
The girls could NOT wait to get out and play!
I opted to stay inside and make some yummy soup, while Daddy ventured out to play!
Here is the yummy soup I concocted:

Tortilla Soup or as Anna calls it, "White Bean Soup."
Super easy and super yummy!

3-4 Chicken breast cooked and shredded
4-5 cans navy beans
1 can cream of chicken
2 cans chicken broth (or you can use bouillon cubes with water)
1 jar chicken gravy
Tall jar of salsa (We don't like it chunky, so I make my own salsa with Rotel, diced tomatoes, cilantro, garlic salt, chopped onion, cumin, salt, & pepper chopped in the blender!)
1 packet of chicken taco seasoning
If I have time I let my chicken breast cook in the crock pot all day in some broth and then after shredding it I add it to the soup mixture. Simmer for 30 minutes and serve with tortilla chips.
I doubled this recipe on Saturday and we had leftovers for a few days.

We went over Saturday afternoon to visit with Nana, Aunt Trish (visiting from FL), and Amber. Trish was decorating Nana's tree and the girls helped a little!

Brian has been on the hunt for a set of Lincoln Logs and we finally found some on sale at Meijers Friday night! Sunday afternoon he and the girls did a little cabin building.

Here is what I have been doing so far this week:Baking some goodies!

Oreo truffles (YUM!)
Grind up 1 package of Oreo cookies and then mix with 1-8oz. cream cheese (softened), then roll into small balls (set in fridge for about 15 minutes) and then dip into melted white chocolate or almond bark. Easy peasy! I added some mint extract to half of my batter and those were really good too.

Peanut Brittle

Peanut butter crackers and pretzels dipped in chocolate!

This year I have a helper!
I also made some peanut butter and chocolate fudge and I've got buckeyes chillin' in the fridge ready to be dipped in some chocolate!
We are getting excited to celebrate the birth of our Savior on Friday! Shopping is finished and now we can just sit back relax and concentrate on what this season truly means!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chocolate Chewy Cookies

Chocolate Chewy Cookies = Yummy! (Pics below!)

1 1/4 c. softened butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
3/4 c. Hershey cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips (or peanut butter or white chips) (optional)

*Heat oven to 350 degrees.
*Cream butter and sugar in large mixer bowl. Add eggs and vanilla then blend well. In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Blend into creamed mixture. Add chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
*Bake 8 to 9 minutes until done - do not overbake. Cookies will be soft.
Cookies will puff during baking and flatten when they are cooling. Cool on cookie sheet until set, about 1 minute. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Makes approx. 4 1/2 dozen.

Frosting is optional :P

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter, stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Makes about 2 cups frosting.

Aww....chewy goodness :)
I didn't use any chips with these, instead I opted for the chocolate frosting!
But both are absolutely fine!

What are chewy chocolate cookies without a little homemade chocolate frosting anyway?!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Remembering the Ice Storm of 2009

Saturday morning we woke up with a covering of snow on the ground. I personally love snow and the first few snowfalls that we have each winter are so exciting! I immediately remember being a little girl watching it pour down huge flakes and staying up late to see if our school had been cancelled.
Last January when we had the big ice storm and our electric was out for four days we had mixed emotions about it. The part we enjoyed was being all cozy in our make shift beds near the warm fireplace. The part we didn't enjoy so much was the limited hot water in the shower! By Wednesday night we were completely out of hot water and thankfully our electric came back on Friday morning. We were very blessed to have a wood burning fireplace and we prayed for the many families that had to go without that week.

Here is our back yard the morning the ice fell:

One of our dogwood trees.

The first night Brian pulled out the propane fryer that we got for camping. This was our first time using it and it was an absolute blessing! Nothing like a boiled hot dog!

The chef! A country boy can survive!
We had some hamburger that was going to ruin, so we fixed it for our vegetable soup to eat on Wednesday.

Yummy vegetable soup by candlelight for supper!

Our source for heat!

Our source for light!

Brian and I both agreed that if we had a way to have hot water we believe that we could survive if we needed to without electricity! Not that we want another ice storm to come any time soon, but we are much more prepared now than we were last year!

You live and learn! :)
Although I still need to pick up a few candles..........

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Show Us Your Life ~ Christmas Tree

We usually put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving. Every year I dread pulling all of the stuff out (who doesn't?), but once it is up and finished I LOVE it!

We got this tree in 2001 (the year I was 7 months pregnant with Holly) and I still love it! Sometimes I complain about the 100 layers I have to endure, but it is worth it :D And now that the girls are old enough to help, they did most of the work this year! Nice.

It is definitely a country tree!

I do have some pearl and lime green ball ornaments to dress it up a bit. But stopped using them because I LOVE the mixture and the memories of all of the different hodge podge of ornaments!

Here are some of my favorite ornaments:

I got this one several years ago from an artisan here in town. I love the wooden silhouettes.

Anna's Baby's First Christmas. I heart Precious Moments!

Holly's Baby's First Christmas

Brian and I have had this one since before we got married in 1996.

My best friend made this one a few years ago.
(Please say a prayer for her?! She and her family have been serving in South Asia as missionaries for the past 2 years and are coming home in about 2 weeks. Her MIL has cancer and they are coming home to be with her.)

These are painted gourd ornaments that the girls got for Christmas one year. Their names are painted on the back.

My country cow!
We made this crazy looking ornament a few years ago.
It is a styrofoam ball stuck with tons of toothpicks and then spray painted silver!

I love ornament exchange games, because you always walk away with some very interesting items! Example: The above ornament! I love it!

Hope everyone has a blessed and very merry Christmas!
Can't wait to see everybody's CHRISTmas trees!
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