Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Love at first sight!


That's what I felt yesterday when I unwrapped the BIG box with my and dh's name on it under Mom's tree. I think he kind of got cheated on that end of the gift department, but he'll benefit from the process of my using this new baby. AND, he was delighted that she got it for "us" because he knew I'd been wanting one, plus we "almost" bought one recently, but I said to wait a while longer. hehe.... Mom took me seriously when I said if I ever bought one, I'd buy a red one for everyone to see it! LOL Now I'll have to plan to decorate my kitchen to match my KitchenAid mixer. lol

If you were to ask me to list my favorite colors, red, green, black and silver would be at the top of the list. Those were the colors of my Christmas presents this year. My red mixer, some beautiful antique Jadite dishes from MIL, my black lens for my camera and some silver jewelry that dh picked up in Kuwait on his way home from Iraq.

I feel very spoiled this year with Christmas. Either I've been a really good girl this year or everyone thought I deserved a little something special this year. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Baking Cookies


It's that time of year isn't it? Have you ever wondered why it's ok in December to bake so many different kinds of cookies, but yet all throughout the year, you only bake one batch at a time? LOL I've been good this year, I haven't gone overboard. The last batch we baked was because of a Scout function, so I had an excuse. ;)

What are some of your favorite cookies to bake during the holidays? My old standby is your basic chocolate chip cookie, but that's rather boring since I bake those throughout the year. I made snickerdoodles the other night for the scout thing and those were good! They disappeared quickly - even the ones that were left at home have disappeared.

One cookie that I love to bake every Christmas season is Gingersnaps. There's just something about the molasses and spice combination that makes this a Christmas cookie.

I decided while I was making these the other day to share them with you, Pioneer Woman style, so, you get to see the recipe and photos of the process. ;) I'm no Ree, but hey, endure me today, ok? LOL

Recipe:
Gingersnaps
2 c. all purpose flour (I usually just use self rising flour and skip the added stuff ;) )
2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. molasses
1 TBsp ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. shortening (or softened butter)
1 egg

Mix all the dry ingredients. Cream shortening and sugar in a separate bowl. Beat in egg and molasses and then add the dry mixture. That's all the above photo.

Now, form into balls 1 inch in diameter. I never measure to make sure they are one inch in diameter. Do people really do that? Roll in granulated sugar.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet. I used to always use my Pampered Chef baking stone for my cookies. But then, I discovered these regular baking sheets from Sam's suit the cookie baking need just fine - plus you can get more done on the larger sheet!

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

I like to sprinkle them with just a pinch more of sugar when they are straight out of the oven and still warm to accept the sugar.

Yield for the recipe is about 4 dozen dependant upon whether or not you have perfectly sized one inch balls to start. :)

I'm not sure if I'm finished in the cookie baking department of December or not. There are still some favorites on my list I haven't gotten to yet. Wedding cake cookies, gingerbread men, MORE snickerdoodles and the list goes on and is added to when I pick up a recent magazine. lol

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fun Getaway

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We left on Monday for a few days away. We went to the Great Wolf Lodge and spent two nights just hanging out and having fun in the waterpark of the hotel. We did some shopping while we were over that way, but it was too cold to do much. On our second day there, the snow came and made the trip that much more exciting. It was extra nice sitting in the hottub while we looked out the window at the falling snow. :)

The boys had a blast and we did too. We're already planning to go back sometime!

I didn't take my bigger camera. Since dh is back, I have access to my old Sony point and shoot. Man, how it's different from my Xti. I used to love that little camera, now I'm finding it hard to even like it. LOL Oh well, at least the memories were captured one way or the other. ;)
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And finally, another family pic of us in the lobby. I'm loving having my family together again to actually get pics like this. :)
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas photo

I toyed with the idea of a family photo. We actually got one the other day at the tree farm, but it didn't meet my standards (some blur and didn't print well). I decided that I wasn't up to trying the tripod and begging for cooperation from the guys in my house, so I just decided the classic kids in front of the tree would do.

And of course, I needed a reason to try my new lens before dh takes it away from me and forces me to wrap it and put it under the tree. *waahhh* I still say I'm going to put the old one in the box. He'll never know....... until ds tells him. I need to pay ds off to be quiet. ;)

Anyway, the photo:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

O Christmas Tree


A few weeks ago in an instant message chat with dh, he asked what we were going to do when he arrived home from Iraq. Since the boys had been asking me a dozen times a day when we were going to put the Christmas tree up, I told him we were waiting on him to put the Christmas tree up. Then I mentioned to him that we should go to a tree farm and cut our own tree for the first time ever. He loved that idea, so held to it and we made plans to find one in the local area. In the next few weeks, the boys continued to ask me when we were going to put the tree up and I continued to remind them that we were waiting for Daddy to come home before we took on that task.

Kim helped me find a local farm as all the ones I found online were near Topeka or Lawrence and too far to drive for just a tree. Thanks, Kim!

So, last Thursday afternoon, after we'd picked dh up late Wednesday night, we headed out for the tree farm. We chose the cutest little tree. It has a perfect shape and smells so good. But, it's too short. LOL Well, not too short, but shorter than our large artificial tree that's sitting in its box in the basement. Hey, we're novices when it comes to tree farm tree choosing. ;) When we were young, if we got a live tree, we did so by going out in the fields around the house and cutting down a cedar regardless of its size.

You can tell we're in Kansas. Look at that KS skyscraper in the background of this photo. ;)


The tree looks great in the living room. It's overloaded with ornaments and is just waiting patiently on the big fat guy to bring the loot for underneath it. ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Seven

Today was a happy day. A happy birthday day! I have been thinking all day that there's no way my "baby" can be seven years old. But, it's true. 2008-2001 is seven.

We had a small celebration this afternoon with just the four of us. We spent some time at ChuckECheese on Saturday celebrating. This year was not a creative year in the cake department - just wasn't feeling it. He opted for an Omnitrix cake from Ben10. A shaker of green sprinkles and a shaker of white sprinkles made that possible with very little creativity on my part. Gosh, I'm a slacker... He loved his cake though, so all is well!

Showing it off with dad:
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Posing with the Ben 10 action figures standing guard:
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And this? Well, this is what I got when I said, "show me seven fingers". I also got shown the bite of cake in his mouth. *rolleyes* He's such a little goof. LOL
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Worth the Wait

I just wanted to take a minute and post before we're off catching up on some much needed family time. For those of you who knew he was coming home, he made it! Safe and sound! Yay! We were and are so excited! Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers during these last fifteen months. Wow, what a long time!

He's home for the holidays and home for good!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

cute little metal tree

I found this a few weeks ago at Alco, but decided I didn't want to pay full price ($15) for it. I went in the next week and they were 40% off, so it came home with me. This morning I put some of the cheapie dollar store ornaments we bought last year for something else on my cute little metal tree and put it on the hutch in my laundry room. We walk through my laundry room every day on the way to the backdoor, so it's not your ordinary boring dining room. I've tried to make it a nice part of the house with just a washer and dryer as the furniture pieces. ;)

Anywho.... I love my little metal tree. :)

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Card

I decided over the weekend as I was cleaning off my desk downstairs that if Christmas cards weren't going to come out of a box from the store this year, I should probably get started on them. I knew I had a zillion other things to do, but well, I tend to have attention issues when it comes to focussing on stuff that really needs to be done - like cleaning the house, etc.

So, I did what any other person with attention and avoidance issues would do and sat down to start on my Christmas cards. LOL The house will get cleaned this week. Really, it will. ;)

These cards will get finished too. I have around six assembled and the makings of some more already stamped waiting for assembly.

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I used some Stampin Up stamps and other bits of stuff lying around. I have finally come to love the paper razor thing we got at CKU-M Nashville 2005. I don't know the official name for that little gadget, but I have been using it lately and like it. I just don't like the mess it makes when you shave the paper. (especially a lot of white paper - your lap looks like it's survived a snowstorm afterward LOL)