Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas

We had house guest over Christmas this year. Ryan's parents retired on the 18th of December, and are planning on spending the winter in Florida this year. (When they are not on vacation. Sounds nice doesn't it? ) They closed up their home in Mid-West Michigan, packed up the truck, and stopped by our house for a few days on their way to Tampa. Christmas Eve we had a few friends in for dinner, and then to the candlelit service at church. Christmas Eve service is a family favorite, Ryan and I have been going together since we were dating. A long, long time ago. The kids think they are pretty cool, us allowing them to hold fire and all.

Christmas Eve, after Church, ready for bed.

Isabelle, with her wooden vegetable/slicing set.



Isabelle and Daddy, discussing what gift she wants to unwrap, while Jackson helps himself!



Most days, his bottom does not offer a gift I like to receive.
And Ryan's feet really are that big. No photo re-touching here...we shoot & post raw!


With their stockings...
wonder how this photo will change over the years?
We had a fabulous Christmas with family and friends, God has filled our cup to overflowing!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Week Before...

We've been really busy the last few days, and I have lots of things to share, but I'm going to start with my week before Christmas.
One day on the way home from work, I decided to go hunting. In my cream-colored wool coat.






And dress shoes.





With my van.


Not to bad for my first time huh?

I'll post more photos when I decided where to mount it...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hallelujah!

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”






AND HE SHALL REIGN FOREVER AND EVER...



God's peace to you and yours this Holiday Season

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's the most Wonderful Day of the Year!

Today is my favorite day of the year. It's the one day I make a great meal, friends are invited, and the candlelight service at church wraps up our night. The house is warm, the food is good, the conversation is stimulating, the wine is flowing, and the *feeling* is FABULOUS!

I have a few gifts left to wrap, finish up the food for tonight, a wee bit of house cleaning, and for the first time ever, I am making a birthday cake for Jesus. Red Velvet of course. The menu for tonight; to start: wine. cheese/meat/olive/pickle tray, sausage sandwiches, ham/pickle/cream cheese things, main course: ham, garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, rolls, garden salad. dessert: birthday cake, cheesecake, sugar cream pie, grape salad. hmm. I think I need to get out of my jammies and get busy!



Christmas 2008
Have a Silent, Holy Night....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Breakfast

On Christmas Day, I prefer to stay in bed until noon, take a long relaxing shower, have a cup of coffee, and then open the diamonds Santa brought me. That's what I prefer. This is what happens: the kids wake up at the crack of dawn, we send them back to bed, they get up again, and Ryan says: "do you want to watch these kids open their gifts?" to which I reply: "No. I know what they are getting, I just saw them like 3 hours ago when I was wrapping them". And then he tells me he does not know how to use the camera, and maternal guilt takes over. I'm doing so many other things wrong, I don't need these kids to say: "You NEVER took any photos of us at CHRISTMAS???" And since I get drug out of bed against my will, and have yet to receive a big fat diamond from Santa, the last thing I'm gonna' do is COOK.

I have our Christmas breakfast ready to pop in the oven!




Breakfast Casserole

1 pound sausage, bacon or ham ( I use sausage)

1 cup grated cheddar cheese ( I used more. alot more)

4 slices white bread ( I use wheat)

6 eggs ( I use 8)

salt & pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard (I used wet)

2 cups milk ( I used 1 1/2 cups)

Fry sausage into crumbles, drain well. Break 2 slices of bread into small pieces and place in greased 12x8x2 inch casserole dish. Put half the sausage over the bread, then add half the cheese, Repeat layers of bread, sausage and cheese. Mix eggs, salt, pepper, mustard and milk. Pour over casserole ingredients. Refrigerate overnight, bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

I never layer it like they say. I don't have the time. My layers: bread. sausage. cheese. eggs.

It's a winner!




Blueberry Coffee Cake
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups blueberries
Mix sugar, shortening and egg. Stir in milk and dry ingredients alternately. Blend in blueberries. Put in greased 9x13 pan.
Topping:
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup soft margarine
Combine ingredients and sprinkle on batter. Bake at 350 degrees about 50 minutes.

A piece is missing...not because I couldn't remember if I put in the baking powder... it's missing because I was hungry.
As for the rest of the day... every man for himself!

Christmas Program #2

Last Thursday was Elizabeth and William's school Christmas Program. I would tell you what it was about, and that everyone did a fantastic job, but I can't. I was busy entertaining two little people, going to the bathroom, and trying to make sure the people around us could hear. So, sorry. They did look cute!

Here they are, in the center photo, Elizabeth is right behind William in the stripe sweater.



And this is Sidney. Contrary to what the photo portrays, William is smitten!


Monday, December 21, 2009

GIVING

Every year I try to come up with some fantastic idea for little gifts to give to friends, neighbors, people we do business with, and have on hand to give when we need a quick gift! I did not come up with anything earth - shattering this year, some times the old stand-by's work just as well.

A few of the gifts we'll be giving this Christmas....



Cappuccino Dry Mix
1/3 cup dry milk
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup dry creamer
1/3 cup instant coffee
Mix together and put in a cute little something...
Directions for card/label:
Mix 2-3 Tablespoons with 8-10 ounces of hot water
There are lots of recipes on the Internet for "Cookies in a Jar", this is the one we chose.
Butterscotch Chip Cookies
1 1/8 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup flaked coconut (I omitted)
1 cup rice krispies
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup pecans ( I left these out as well)
Layer the ingredients in a clean, wide mouth canning jar. Firmly pack each ingredient. It's a tight fit! Trim out the jar with a festive fabric and attach a card with a coordinating ribbon or raffia.
Directions for the card:
Empty cookie mix into a mixing bowl, add: 1/2 cup margarine or butter, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix well. Roll into walnut size ball and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with palm of your hand. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Chocolate Cake in a Mug
4 Tablespoons of flour
4 Tablespoons of sugar
2 Tablespoons of cocoa
2 Tablespoons of chocolate chips
I put the mix in the holiday bags that I already had, and popped them in these plain white mugs, decorated with a little bow.
Directions for the card/label:
Add the following to the contents of the mug:
1 egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons cooking oil
2 - 3 drops of vanilla

Stir the dry ingredients in the mug. In separate container, mix egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients in the mug and mix well. Put your mug into the microwave oven and bake for 2 – 3 minutes on high. (Depending on the wattage of the microwave.) The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed. Allow to cool at little, and tip out onto plate if desired. Eat!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Beware of the Sleep Deprived Mom"

Not only did I forget to go to two Christmas Parties last night, I also forgot to post the last winner in my week- long Favorite Things giveaway!





and the winner is......... Elizabeth! Congratulations!
disclaimer: Yes, this is a signed copy. No, I did not get to meet Ree. I called a book store where she was signing in Los Angeles and reserved two copies. And had my favorite person pick them up!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Early Night

I think I'm going to make it an early night. It's 11:30 and I'm wiped.

I've been up until at least 2:30am every night this week, and it seems I have not accomplished anything. Tonight, I'm not going to bother starting any projects.

"MORE MORE MORE'


Lucky Winner #4!


Tracy!

The pink pashmina is yours!! don't bother emailing...I know how to get it to ya!



Guess what? This was the BONUS giveaway!! (insert*** confetti) Everyone who left a comment gets a pashmina!! I'll honor your color choice in the original comment, unless you changed your mind, and then it's first come, first served!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Decking the Halls

Elizabeth, William and Isabelle have been so anxious to get the Christmas decorations up it's just about drove Ryan and I plum mad.

We've flopped several times between a real tree, artificial, real, artificial... you get the picture. Last year we had a real one at Elizabeth's insistence, and this year she wanted an artificial. We have no idea who this person is running our home. It might not be so bad if she did the dishes, laundry and paid the bills, but she doesn't. She just tells everyone else too. (Sorry. Just needed to vent a wee bit.)

Anyhoo.... Last Friday, Ryan took the big kids to a local tree farm and cut down the fattest tree I have ever seen. They backed the truck up to the porch and rolled the porker off the truck. According to William, they left the perfect tree there.

Saturday I picked up a new tree stand, and Saturday night Ryan squeezed the fat tree through our front door and we attempted to stuff it in the stand. A few choice words, and a chainsaw later, the fat tree was back on the front porch. And again, William reminded us that the perfect tree was still at the farm.

Sunday morning Ryan stopped at the local MARSH grocery store and bought the skinniest tree I've ever seen. William wondered aloud why the perfect tree was still at the farm. Ryan quickly brought it in, easily put it in the stand, and now, the skinny tree is nicely in the front of the window in the living room.

Monday night we grabbed the Christmas tubs out of the storage room and the kids went to town. They had so much fun looking at all their ornaments, talking about each one. Who gave them what, when they made that one... fun to watch. Until they started complaining about the needles poking them, and William reminded us again that the perfect tree is still at the farm.




This is how Jackson felt about the whole thing:


Maybe it's because he has the fewest ornaments, or that his mommy decided she could not hold him and put lights on the tree at the same time...

And the Winner Is......

Nikki!


Congratulations Nikki!

email me and let me know how to get the gift card to you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's with the Gangsta?

Sunday evening Elizabeth and Isabelle were in our church's production of "Camel Lot". William wanted to be a camel, turns out there was not a camel in the lot. ha ha aha. sorry. But really. No camels.

Elizabeth had a speaking part and a singing solo. She was Fabulous! It amazes me how she can remember so much stuff. And the singing? We have to credit the catholics for that!



She's in the front row, in the tan colored garb.





Isabelle was a donkey. They colored donkey faces last week in Sunday school, someone cut them out and they wore them on their heads with brown fabric costumes. She got to stand next to her friend Olivia. They kept their hands crossed the entire time. Crossing and un-crossing in typical "gangsta style". With not even a hint of a smile!



I'm pretty sure we'll be saving this video for a special occasion!

Winner #2!!



And the winner is: Lisa!!
Congratulations! Let me know what book you would like, and I'll get it on it's way!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jackson is ONE!

One year ago today, this is the sweet baby I put to sleep in the hospital bassinet...


And tonight, this is the sweet boy I rocked to sleep...all grown up!



Jackson has had a very busy month. He learned to walk:


video


Sleep in his big boy bed,




And last night, he blew kisses to William!


He had so much fun at his party! He did not know what to do with the candle so daddy had to blow it out for him.




He was not to cracked up about his own little cake,



He wanted the cows that were on top of the big cake!



He was delighted with all his gifts. Christmas is going to be so much fun!





Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Boy!
We Love You!


Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!


And the winner is: Frog Princess!


Congratulations Tiffany!


Let me know the best way to get the cd to you.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

SHOPPING SHOPPING SHOPPING

If you haven't heard "Straight No Chaser" sing the "Christmas Can Can" you should. It's going through my head right now, and has been since about 10am this morning when I arrived at Toys r Us with all four of my people. How did I make it out alive? You may wonder.... My dear friend Pandora came along! You may think I owe her an extra-special gift this year, but really, she owes me. For providing her with a years worth of birth control.

Not only did I get 90% of my Christmas shopping done, I purchased birthday party supplies for our Jackson who will be ONE on Monday.

Now to get the tree up and the cards out!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Favorite Things Day 5






I love new gadgets.

Especially ones that I feel naked without.



Sewing





I love creating new things.

I also have a mild fabric obsession.



Canning





Nope. not really.


But I do love the feeling I get when canning is finished.




Monday Morning Coffee




Most Monday mornings I meet a few of my friends for coffee, after we drop the kids at school and before we go to work. I cannot thing of a better way to start the week.

I love you guys!

The above photo is my Bunco sisters at our "Hotties in Holiday Sweaters" party. Needed a photo, this is what I had.




The Internet

I love google. I've mentioned that. I love that anytime I want, I can get on the computer and find out what has been nagging at my brain. What time does the movie start? When is my package going to arrive? How do you up cycle socks? How do you make carpet cleaner?


Most of all, I enjoy reading other blogs.


These are a few of my favorites:




Whitney


Amy


Melissa



Jennifer



Kathleen




Lisa




Fii



Ree

See, we are all on a first name basis!
Now, for the giveaway. You've suffered through a week of my favorite things, I think that is long enough!
If I was Oprah, I would give you all new little Blackberry Pearls, brand-spankin' new new sewing machines, (Elnas are my favorite!) gift certificates for your local fabric store, and canning supplies to your little hearts content, new touch screen computers with high-speed internet!
I do have ONE Pioneer Woman Cookbook autographed by the author herself!




To enter this giveaway, leave a comment.
Really it's that easy.
Tell me you already have a blackberry.
Tell me sewing is for the Amish.
Tell me only your grandmother cans.
Leave your name.
Easy as Pie...
winners will be randomly drawn next week!