Wednesday, December 23, 2009

oooooooooorious in x chelsea daya

The kids had their church Christmas program on the evening of Sunday the 13th.  The older elementary kids performed a play about how BUSY we can get during the holidays.  Following that was approx. 40 of the cutest 2 – 5 year old singers making up the preschool choir.  This was Aidan’s first & Emma’s last year in the preschool choir.

This year they sang:

Dashing through the snow in a “one whore hoe-pen sleigh” or the fields we go laughing all the way. hahaha “on ba tatas ring” making spirits bright what O fun it is to ride JINGLEBELLSJINGLEBELLS JINGLE ALL THE WAY"…


Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing o the plains & the mountains in reply echoooooooooooooo  ooooooooooorious in x chelsea daya

All I have are some pathetic poorly lit photos.  Matt took video, but Vista hates our camcorder so no luck getting that posted yet.

Pretty sure you can tell what song she’s singing here…

Emma Sing

Aidan getting ready to jingle some bells…

aidan sing

Mrs. Becky the choir director.  My kids LOVE Mrs. Becky!! There have been many a nights & wee mornings where my kids are requesting Mrs. Becky songs to go back to sleep.

Ms becky

Emma (my lil’ social butterfly) & her friends Avery & Becca


Bake Day 2009

Bake Day 2009 was held on Saturday, December 12th.  I attendance were 4 moms with a total of 9 kids (I’m counting April’s bun in the oven :) ) Here’s a math lesson 4 moms baking + 9 kids playing = 4 crazy moms.

My college friend Karra runs a bakery out of her home (this is were I’d insert her web page…we need to get you a blog girl!) and has all the equipment & a mighty big oven that makes baking a breeze…well maybe not a breeze, but much easier than at home.  Last year we got together to make holiday goodies and deemed it was definitely something we wanted to make an annual tradition.  So, the 2nd weekend of December I gathered up my recipes with loads of butter, sugar, chocolate & anything else bad for you  and departed for her house.  We each pick a few recipes of treats to make and then split each treat 4 ways so we each come away with an huge assortment!

Here’s a portion of my goodies.  We made: Chocolate Truffles, Jell-O Sugar Cookies, Trio Cookies, Chocolate Crinkles, Peanut Butter fudge, Chocolate fudge, gingerbread mini loaves and chocolate covered pretzels.

Cookie Day My Share

One of my contributions was Jell-O Sugar Cookies.  It was a treat my mom made around the holidays so it is just doesn’t seem like a holiday with out them.  I also made the Chocolate Crinkles, again it just screams holiday cookie.

This stuff right here could make me gain weight smelling it! The one and ONLY thing to make it better…dip it in chocolate.  Yes my friends.  Super rich peanut butter fudge coated in chocolate.  One bite would send one into diabetic shock.  But you’d be happy as you went! :)

Cookie Day Fudge

Here’s her dining room table with all the treats laid out.  Wow!

Cookie Day Spread

Now you’re about to see the SWEETEST treat of Baking Day 2009…

Cookie Day Isaac

This little man was such an angel the entire day!  He slept very little, but was well entertained in the bouncy seat with the coming and goings of the other 7 active kids!

Despite the truck breaking down on the way home (thankfully with in a couple miles of home) it was a great day to “kick off” the holidays.  The next day I continued the sugar rush making Oreo Balls, Nutter Butter Balls, Cookie Dough truffles, Peppermint Brownie truffles & Peppermint bark. All the baking and candy making brings fond memories of my Grandma Burnett.  That woman could make some of the best candies!  Toffee, peanut butter balls, coconut balls and hard cinnamon candy were my favorites…oh & peanut brittle…OK it was ALL good…I had one exception though…chocolate covered cherries.  They WERE good.  Before my brother and I overdosed on cherries one year helping Grandma in the kitchen and to this day neither one of us likes cherries!!

Thanks or hosting Karra!  Already looking forward to next year!

Cookie Cutter Wreath

In preparation for our annual bake day at my bakery- owner- friend’s house I made this little gift for her.  I couldn’t think of a better gift for a baker & cookie maker!

To Make You Need:

Spray paint, metal cookie cutters, metal adhesive & ribbon.

Cookie Cutter Wreath 4

I got the cookie cutters at Hobby lobby for 1/2 price.  (I have several left over to either use to make cookies, individual ornaments OR there were several mini cookie cutters that I thought I could make a “mini” wreath with as well! I’m leaning toward “rust” treating some to make ornaments for the small tree in my kitchen.) Ok…back to the project…one can spray paint color of your choice and an adhesive that works for metal.  I wish I had a good suggestion.  I tried what you see pictured as wasn’t have the best luck.  So, I tried my E-5000 glue and it seemed to help, but I’m convinced there’s something better out there.  My husband actually recommended JB weld.

Chose your cutters and lay them out and rearrange until you get a shape you’re happy with.

Cookie Cutter Wreath 3

Once arranged start gluing cutters together. I did a section at a time allowing 2 to bond together before attaching a 3rd.  Once glued and dried time to spray a little paint!  It only took me 2-3 coats to have a good coverage.  Once the paint was dry I make up a bow, tied it on and wha-la!  An adorable Cookie Cutter Holiday Wreath!

 Cookie Cutter WreathCookie Wreath 2

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

In a previous post I had mentioned that while home for Thanksgiving we made gingerbread houses.  Well here’s the proof in pictures!

Ahh…the sweet decorations.  (BTW we’ll be saving Valentine hearts, Easter and Halloween candy to prepare for next years!)


Making the frosting glue.  I used this recipe:

2 large egg whites, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.

I’m not sure why my niece Madison enjoys cooking with me so much NOR do I understand why my sister doesn’t like it???


Emma and I starting the building process.  This was my first gingerbread house EVER!!

   Emma & IDSC02052

The results…Emma’s house…nice and orderly.  Noticed the patterned roof line!

Emma's GB house

Then there’s Madison.  I think she enjoyed herself despite the hand gesture she’s showing. (she was licking her finger!!) hehehe.  She LOVED adding and adding decorations to hers.


Madison’s results…Whew…purdy…


This was Marcia’s gingerbread tailor.  Complete with a replica of her dirty white van.  I believe the cow is making messes in the yard, there’s a hole in the roof and the lean to carport is a bit cadywhompus.


The big girls joining in the fun! Brooke, Diane, Beth and Megan.

Big Girls

Brooke took the “small cottage with attached garage” I made and turned it into a beautiful looking train!!  I think the Aidan & Dallen would love to make trains next year!


Then there’s anal-retentive Beth working diligently to line up all the sweet tarts in color order…   

Beth   DSC02062

I think we all had fun!  I’d love to do them again next year and perhaps join in the fun…given enough time.  I think Beth and I could have a contest!  One lesson learned is to construct the houses maybe the night before and decorate once they’re set the next day.  AND I’ll be on the look out after Christmas to buy the $10 kits on clearance to stock up for next year!! 

Dear newborn 8 pound 6 ounce baby Jesus…

I’m not particular on my Jesus.  I’ll take the bearded Jesus with a white robe and scarf welcoming children on his lap, newborn baby Jesus with straw all over him…any Jesus is fine.  It’s a good thing we’re not particular around our house. Matt & I were joking last night that our nativity seems to be alive this year.  Every time we walk by a Sheppard has left to find a sheep, an animal has grazed beyond the stable or a wise man has lost his way. Figurines seem to relocated OR be replaced by a figurine from another nativity set.This is the Jesus that came with my Fontanini nativity… 

aidan nativity

wrapped in a cloth in a manger of straw. Or this one…


plasticy Jesus.  Wrapped in a white cloth surrounded by very yellow plasticy straw.

AND from what I recall there were 3 wise men, not four…


I dunno, maybe one of the wise men brought along his son?!?

Our first (& most important) Christmas decoration made it’s way out before Thanksgiving.  The kids were super excited!  They love to hear where or from who we got each piece as the nativity has grown each year.  Emma, for those that don’t know, is obsessed with the nativity.  She has a snow globe nativity & glass nativity in her room.  She plays regularly with her Fisher Price nativity.  If given the choice to watch a movie there’s a good chance she’ll pick The Nativity Story.  She had come up with on her own & has believed for several years that Mary brings her presents- not Santa.  At Christmas Eve service she gazes upon Mary like many small children do Santa!  One year we got “back stage” passes to see Mary after service!

Aidan appears to have a similar fascination.

aidan nativity

For about 2 days after setting it up I could hardly get him to leave it alone! Aidan does however seem to be ok with Santa as well.  No interest in seeing or getting hear him, but he said last night “Santa door knock knock come in bring me presents” in his cute little choppy way of talking!

Personally I think it’s quite cute.  I hope their fascination with the nativity grows as they do.  Grows into a realization of the true meaning of Christmas.  Jesus.  Not so much newborn baby Jesus, but brutally died on the cross Jesus. And not just that he came as a baby, but WHY he came.  For them.  For me.  For you.  That His birth was the beginning of the path that leads to their salvation.

I once heard that the catchy phrase “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” is actually not correct.  It actually should be “YOU are the reason for the season”. Not quite as catchy. Doesn’t rhyme- guess God’s not a rapper! :)  But the truth is that YOU are why God chose to send his son as a baby to an ordinary peasant girl.  YOU are also why He chose to watch His son die. May we all find the awe and fascination of the nativity that innocent eyes of children see. 

*I linked above to a site that carries the Fontanini nativity.  I just LOVE my nativity!   A bit expensive, so that is why mine has grown each year as it is a big amount to buy it allll at once. It’s super nice quality and best of all PLASTIC but totally doesn’t look plastic!  I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t plastic we’d be a few sheep short and down a wise man by now! Check in to it…

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Family. Food. Fun. & More Food!

My sister joined me this weekend since I was a Big 12 Football widow.  We started out our weekend confirming our status as “crazy”.  That process began with our traditional dinner at Tallionos – pizza buffet – with 4 kids. (would have been 5 if Dallen had been with us!) Nope not feeling totally crazy yet.  I know! Let’s go to Wal-mart!  With our carts loaded with everything sugary AND the understanding why those kiddie leashes were invented we headed home.  It was around 8 or 9 when we started all our creations.  On the agenda: Peppermint & Cinnamon Bark, Oreo Balls, dipped pretzels, puppy chow and fudge.

Our first 2:


-Peppermint or Cinnamon Bark-

.: one package almond bark

.: approx.3/4 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint disks (or cinnamon candies if making cinnamon bark)

(reserve any larger pieces of candy for sprinkling on top)

Melt almond bark in microwave safe bowl according to package directions.  Stir in finely crushed candy pieces.  Pour onto wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Spread mixture evenly out onto the waxed paper.  If making peppermint bark and want to sprinkle the coarser pieces of candy on top it creates a nice look. 

Now on to the…

-To Die for Treats That If Left In Your Home Will Call Your Name Until You Consume Them All OR A.K.A Oreo Balls

.: one package oreos

.: one block cream cheese, softened

.: one package almond bark

.: 1 cup chocolate chips, melted

Crush entire package of oreos using food processer, mixer or all your holiday frustrations with meat tenderizer & ziplock bag.  Once crushed add cream cheese & mix together until all incorporated.  Roll dough into balls & place on wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Chill in fridge or freeze until set.

Melt almond bark.  Dip balls into almond bark to coat & place back on waxed paper.  Place balls back in fridge or freezer to set.  About the time you think you need to eat them ALL because you dipping job looks super sloppy…melt chocolate chips. Stir in 1 T shortening & then pour chocolate into a small sandwich baggie.  Snip a tiny point off one corner of the baggie squeeze drizzling chocolate over dipped oreo balls.  Super yummy & very fancy!

We also made fudge. A first for me.  While at Wal-mart we gathered the ingredients to make the recipe of fudge on the back of the marshmallow fluff jar.  HOWEVER, as we were leaving I found a fudge kit…


I’m here to tell you THIS is the way to go! It has ALL the same ingredients as the fluff jar recipe premeasured and comes with a cute little “paper” pan you pour it in (wrap with cellophane and bam! a gift!).  This kit cost $5. We bought 2 for a total of $10 (impressed with my math skilz aren’t ya!).  The baking chocolate and chocolate chips following the jar recipe were almost that much and that didn’t include the 2 sticks butter, 6 cups sugar, 2 jars of fluff, etc, etc!  I’m telling you! This kit and 2 T butter are the bomb! Fudgetastic!

It was about 2 am when we called it quits on our candy making for the night morning.  Of course Isaac woke up as soooon as my little head hit the pillow, so it was closer to 3 when I got to bed. That might sound terriable, but NOTHING is terrible when THIS is what’s for breakfast…


Us sisters love us some bubble bread.  Neither one of our husbands appreciate the glorious wonder of bubble bread.  They’re more meat 'n’ tater kinda guys.  Needless to say this didn’t last long…you know…it was the kids…they love it to…well kind of…they had some and yeah we ate a bunch in little helpings as not to appear that we were eating it all. And we would NEVER just start eating it off the platter, because ,you know, it doesn’t reheat well and there ARE starving children in Africa and it’s senseless to waste food in that event!

After breakfast the sitter was summoned and sis and I headed with Isaac to the craft shows here in town.  Our craft show attendance goes something like this…oh, bows our girls are getting a bit old, yum that ______ tastes good.  I think I want a bit of that.  Oh, that is cute- I could sooo make that.  Hmm…there’s the lady with the cookies…it’s tradition to get one…this year should be no different.  Wow.  Like that cross.  Not for $100.  We could make that too.  Oh, yeah! Here’s the woman that makes popcorn drizzled with all sorts of sugary, sweet, sinful toppings.  It’s only once a year we see her.  Better get a little.  And on it goes that we leave 2 craft shows with only food. (Well  I did buy a set of burp rags for Isaac that are sooo cute and I bought so I can make some like them!)  We headed off to JoAnn’s to purchase fabric to make crayon bags for my sister to give her kids for Christmas.  We only found one at the craft show for my niece, but nothing for my nephew.  I’ve got 2 weeks to whip those up.

I returned the sitter and it was time or my sister to head back home.  My older 2 were naughty so in true Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe fashion I scolded them soundly and sent them to bed.  All kids in bed by 8…wish I could say I was more productive, but the 3 am night before took it’s toll (and still is!)

Great weekend.  Glad for hubby to return.  Now on to the next weekend.  Bake day with my friend Karra who does things BAKERY style!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Need a Christmas gift idea?

Calling all women & children!! My super crazy (& super sweet) friend Colleen paired with a few of her friends started a cool T-shirt biz a while back.  AWESOME shirts with an even better message!  They have all sizes & a classic or fitted style.  Would make a great Christmas gift! Go here to check them out!


Wild Olive Tees

Timing. It’s all about the timing.

Let me set up the video you’re about to view.  I’m cooking dinner the other night & Isaac is chillin’ in his bouncy seat cooing at me.  When I think “I need take some quick video of him cooing all his new sounds”. I start recording.  You’ll hear a bit of cooing courtesy of Isaac, but listen carefully & watch Aidan as he steals the show!  America’s Funniest home videos material?  I can assure you this was NOT rehearsed OR planned!


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