Monday, December 31, 2007

Party Poopers

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Yep, that's us!

We didn't really have any super, exciting plans to ring in the new year. Just pizza and a movie. Mark even ordered a few slices of my absolute favorite pizza--pineapple! We rented Ratatouille and even let the kids stay up past their bedtime. Mullin tried to make it to midnight with Daddy, but I am told he fell asleep before 2008.

We did have a couple of "party" invitations from lovely family and friends, but what can I say, I guess we're fuddy duddies! A nice, quiet, relaxing evening is what we desired.

Plus, New Year's Eve is one of my least favorite holidays. The other is July 4th. I dislike them entirely for selfish reasons--I HATE staying up late, I HATE hearing fireworks go off late at night, and I HATE spending the next day exhausted from not getting a good night's sleep.

No, I didn't stay up until midnight. I believe I have only done that twice on New Year's Eve since I have been married. Once was to see the lighting of the 3 crosses at Bellevue Baptist Church in 1999 . I am glad I was there to witness that amazing sight, but it was a bit difficult with a 4 month old!! Oh my, and that was the time when everyone thought the entire world was going to lose electricity or something due to the date changing from 1999 to 2000. Mark and I made a few preparations but nothing major. I think I even filled the bathtub with water before we left that night. What funny memories!

Here we are having a smashing good time on New Year's Eve! Really it was fun. Good movie, good times.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gelid Temps

Pin It Now! We actually had to bundle up about a week ago when we all decided to take a walk around our block to look at Christmas lights. I just couldn't resist taking yet another picture of this cute thing before we strolled through the neighborhood--look, her passy even matches her pants!:) It was a lot of fun until we came home. Shiloh threw a horrible fit b/c she did not want to come in.

We may not be snowed in or anything, but it has been pleasantly cool here. The night temps have been freezing, and we have had to turn the heat on so Shiloh's room doesn't turn into an igloo. (Heat only comes on when it gets down to 67--I don't want to roast to death) I love being able to actually use covers at night and wear long sleeves during the day.

The leaves on the trees are finally changing colors here. It is still weird to see it happening now instead of in November. Better late than never!

Friday, December 28, 2007

7--The Perfect Number?

Pin It Now! Well, for me it's the perfect number to LOSE!!

I was pleasantly surprised with a few gift cards to a couple of clothing stores this Christmas!! My closet desperately needs an update, but unfortunately I have gone over my weight limit. :( I know by the world's standards, I would not fall in the overweight category or anything, but I don't feel good. I wish I could tell the extra fat cells to please visit my calves and bony knees or even my feet for goodness' sake! But they have a mind of their own,and for some reason they all like to settle in my middle. Yes, it is the ugly frog thing!!

So anyway, I have told myself that I cannot spend my gift cards until I have lost the 7 pounds. Yikes. What an incentive!! It is oatmeal for breakfast, fruit and nuts for lunch, and a portion-controlled dinner. So far I have done a very good job. I didn't get whip on my Venti Green Tea Frappucino yesterday, and I bought the Tear N Share M&M bag instead of the FAMILY size! Yea me! Well, ya gotta start somewhere.

Oh, my how am I going to resist all of those pretty Valentine candies already beginning to line the store shelves??

I will try and post Christmas pics soon. Been busy putting away all of the decorations. Only thing left is the Memory Tree for hubs to shove in the box. Oh, and the outside lights.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Everybody!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Pin It Now! Well, it seems that one of my comments on this post has caused quite a stir.

Truly there was no jiggery-pokery here to incite a bloggy cat fight. It was purely written in a joking manner. Carrie is one of those real-life friends of mine who hopefully sensed the fact that I was for the most part, kidding. Of course I wanted to win--that is why I entered. If I didn't win, then it was my opinion that Carrie should have. I honestly thought her picture captured pure "Holiday Cheer" at its best. Also, one of my very best friends is a HUGE cat-lover, so I never meant ill will towards anyone or their cat.

Anonymous believes I need a slice of Humble Pie for my big head, so I offer my sincerest apology to Amber and to anyone else whom I have offended over my comment.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Worst Christmas Songs of All Time

Pin It Now! To view the 5 worst Christmas songs of all time go here. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Pin It Now! This is the kind of world we live in. I don't mind calling myself an alien at all.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Pin It Now! Okay, it is time to vote for the best Holiday Cheer photo!! I hope you all will take a moment and vote for me!!! Thanks. :)

Please vote for me at

Scroll down a couple of posts to see which photo I entered, then go and vote!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Baking With Mom

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Last Saturday my mom and I slaved in the kitchen from 7:30-4:30 to bring forth many, yummy, Christmas goodies! Here I am making our traditional Prize Sugar Cookies, and I am holding up 2 very sentimental cookie cutters--they used to be my grandma's. And the apron I am wearing was given to me by my mom after my grandma passed away over 2 years ago. This apron is also very special to me because my mom made it for her mother when she was about 14.

Thanks, Mom for taking the time to bake with me. We really missed not having my sister or my sister-in-law there this year!

While filling the kitchen with sweet smells, we listened to Christmas music and talked about everything, of course. It was a cloudy, rainy, yet very, refreshingly cool day!

Just a photo of some of the fruits of our labor. I actually sent this plate to work with my husband. The only treat not pictured was the amazing toffee my mom made--I wasn't about to share any of that!! In fact, I ate the last piece today! YUM, YUM!

Just a little reminder--vote for my Holiday Cheer picture tomorrow!!! (Only if you think it is the best one, of course.) I could really use the prize $!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Cheer Photo Contest

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Photo Contest at

Write From Karen is hosting a Holiday Cheer photo contest! Stop by her blog between 5pm central time on Dec. 14-8pm central time on Dec. 17 to vote for me!!!!

Choosing from the gazillions of Christmas photos we have was tough, but I finally settled on this one of my 2 precious boys taken back in 2005. I had several really cute ones picked out, especially one of my sweet, little girl, but this one just felt right for the moment.
Now, not then, it makes me laugh every time I look at it. Stockings are hung by the fire, Christmas tree is all aglow, gifts galore are piled beneath the tree--it truly is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and this is the best they can give me. It is what I call one of those "Mom moments". All because I made them put on their Christmasy looking sweaters and pose together for the camera. By the looks of it, you would have thought the Grinch had paid us a visit! Yes, Mama was gettin' frustrated!
In a matter of moments it went from Holiday Cheer to Scrooge is Here. Again, I look at this picture, and a huge smile spreads across my face. It's one of those moments that I will never forget as long as I am here to celebrate Christmas!
I love you boys!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday: Clear Skin

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If I had my very own genie, I would wish for a beautiful, clear, olive complexion! Unfortunately I must have inherited my Norwegian ancestors' fair, slightly freckled skin. That, coupled with the off and on breakouts I have experienced since I was about 17 make for a not so lovely face. The Maybelline Cover Up Stick has been my companion for far too long!

I am one of those "use as many natural products as you can freaks", so I have definitely tried countless natural solutions to help clear up my skin. Many have helped a little, but not to my complete satisfaction. Just when I was about to throw up my arms in desperation and give up, I decided to beg my husband to buy me Proactiv for Valentine's Day last year. He did just that, and my life hasn't been the same! Seriously, I don't want to sound like a big cheese ball here, but this stuff has been a lifesaver. My skin looks and feels better than it has since I was two. I have been using it for 10 months now, and I am very pleased with the results. Forget cover up, I rarely even wear foundation anymore!

I could go on and on, but I will stop before I bore everyone to tears. I just thought I would share how this product has worked for me because surely I can't be the only 30-something struggling with breakouts. If only I could have had this as a teenager!!!!

For more insightful tips, visit Rocksinmydryer.

Christmas Past

Pin It Now! Christmas 2003--First Christmas to have a digital camera. Look at how tiny our Memory tree is!! Now our Memory tree is bursting full at 7 and 1/2 ft. Have I mentioned how much we adore ornaments?? I love gazing at the tree and soaking up all of the memories!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Larry the Cucumber's Christmas Countdown

Pin It Now! Well first of all, I guess there just aren't many Christmas bakers out there!! For me, the food, like decorating, presents, music, family get-togethers, etc. is all part of creating those wonderful, nostalgic feelings we love to experience at Christmas time! It is neat to hear how each unique family creates their own Christmas memories. Please feel free to add a recipe even though I will no longer have the Christmas Recipe Exchange at the top.

Now on to the real reason for this post: I recently posted about how we love to count down the days until Christmas starting on December 1st. I just found a new one--one the kids can do online. Go here to count down the days until Christmas with that wacky pickle (I mean cucumber) we have all come to love!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas Recipe Exchange

Pin It Now! Scroll down to see new posts. I will leave this one at the top for a while.

It is almost Christmas baking time again!

Although spending countless hours in the kitchen isn't exactly my favorite thing to do, I absolutely love baking up lots of holiday goodies. There are a few favorites that stay on the menu no matter what, but I try to make a few new things, too. So, I am asking all of you to submit your very favorite Christmas recipe by either leaving it in my comments section or by using Mr. Linky at the end of this post. I am really looking forward to getting some new recipes to try, so don't let me down!!

Every Christmas, my siblings and I would look forward to decorating my mom's sugar cookie cut outs. I now know from experience that making these cookies is no easy task, but I am glad she put forth the effort year after year. It was a tradition passed down from her mom, and ever since I have been on my own, I have made these cookies every December as well. I even use the very same cookie cutters my grandmother used. Lots of great memories! Now my kids look forward to making these very same cookies.

Prize Sugar Cookies
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 cup butter
1 TBS vanilla
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 c. milk
4 c. all purpose flour
1 heaping tsp. baking powder
1 level tsp. baking soda, dissolved in a little water

Mix in large bowl, sugar, butter, eggs, milk, vanilla and baking soda. In small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to large bowl, stirring thoroughly until all flour mixture is added. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, overnight is better. Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake @ 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. ( I do not like mine very brown.) *When rolling out dough, you will need to add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.*
Frost and decorate. Taste best with home made frosting, not store bought. We just use powdered sugar,butter, milk and vanilla.


Several years ago a friend gave me a Christmas goodie bag filled with Oreo Cookie Balls. I was totally hooked just after one bite! They are so delicious, and I have made them every year since then. Everyone who tastes these delectable truffles just has to have the recipe--oh, and it's soooo easy! (The photo in upper left corner shows the Oreo Cookie Balls happily resting in a bowl of Christmas M&Ms) I bet Paula Deen's mouth would even say, "WOW!" to this recipe.

Oreo Cookie Balls
1 package regular oreo cookies, crushed
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 lb. white bark candy coating, found in baking isle
chocolate jimmies, optional

Mix crushed cookies and softened cream cheese to form a stiff dough. Form into balls. With a fork, dip oreo balls into melted, white candy coating covering completely. Place on waxed paper and sprinkle with chocolate jimmies. Let dry at room temp.

Another favorite I have enjoyed since I was a little girl! This is the best fudge ever!!

Fantasy Fudge
3 cups sugar
1-1/2 sticks butter
1 5 oz can evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup)
1 package chocolate chips or 12 squares semi sweet baking chocolate chopped
1-1/2 cups marshmallow crème
1 tsp vanilla
1cup walnuts chopped if desired

Heat sugar, butter and evap. milk to full rolling boil in heavy saucepan on med. Heat, stirring constantly. Boil on med. Heat until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in chocolate and marshmallow crème until melted, stir in vanilla and walnuts.
Spread immediately in foil-lined 9 inch square pan. Cool at room temp. at least 4 hours, cut into squares. Store in airtight container. (Fudge can even be stored in freezer.)


Now it is time for you to send me your yummy Christmas recipes. If you're not familiar with using Mr. Linky, here's how it works. Post your recipe on your own blog. After that click on the time at the end of your post to get the exact URL of your recipe post. Copy that URL by right clicking. Come back to my blog, type in your name and include the name of your recipe, then type your URL in the correct box by right clicking your mouse and choosing paste. Then press enter. That should do it! Thanks!! This feature will enable lots of folks to read and hopefully make your recipe!!

**Make sure you link back to my post :)

Christmas Countdown

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What kid doesn't love to count down the days until Christmas? I know I did and actually still do! Ever since I was a wee girl, I have made a Christmas chain. Every night before bed I would tear one chain off until Christmas Eve when there was only one left. I have now passed this tradition on to my kids. This year I had to add an extra color for Shiloh. It helps us all keep track of whose turn it is to tear off the chain each night!

About 5 or 6 years ago we started creating lasting memories with Adorenaments from Family Life. The set includes 12 ornaments with each one containing a story about a distinctive name of Jesus.

This year, a very generous lady at Mark's work gave our children a beautifully made Advent Calendar. So, now we can count down the days in 3 different ways!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday: The What Do I Fix? Edition

Pin It Now! So, what do I do when my cupboards are as bare as Old Mother Hubbard's?

Well actually this was me yesterday. 3:00 pm rolled around, and I opened my pantry door. Hmm, was about all I could manage to say. Smoked Vienna Sausage and Pork N Beans didn't sound too appetizing, so I went to the fridge, which was almost as bare as my cupboard. Well, I decided dinner would have to be the leftover box of chicken nuggets, frozen peas and butter noodles. That is until my thoughtful husband called and asked if it would be okay if he brought home Kentucky Fried Chicken. I am sure you can guess my answer!!

Well, I better get on with this b/c I have to go to the store in just a bit with all 3 kids! Yippee!

Just like Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer, Tomato Soup and grilled cheese are great stand- bys for me. I also make eggs and home made pancakes when the pickings are slim. My kids think that is a treat, anyway. If I have tortillas, cheese and salsa on hand, then making quick burritos will fill our tummies until I can get to the grocery store.

Head on over here to get more tips on what to fix when your in a pinch!

**I am looking for new Christmas recipes to make this month, so please stop by over here to participate in my Christmas Recipe Exchange. Thanks!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Is That a FREE Candle I Smell?

Pin It Now! Heather is having her monthly candle drawing again!!

The winner will be able to choose one of these wonderful scents!

HOT CINNAMON ROLLS ~ Warming aroma of gooey iced cinnamon rolls.
WHITE RAIN ~ Pure, clean fragrance reminiscent of long-awaited morning rain.
WARM MAPLE SUGAR ~ Rich brown sugar swirled with delectable golden maple syrup and pure vanilla cream.
COOKIES FOR SANTA ~ Warm butter cream cookies iced with powdered sugar frosting and holiday sprinkles.
VANILLA SPICE ~ Exotic vanilla beans wrapped in fresh ground spices.
MOM'S APPLE PIE ~ Recipe of a variety of apples and cinnamon with a touch of nutmeg.

Go here to enter.


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