Archive | December, 2008

Christmas Memories

29 Dec


Hi, I’m back! Sorry I haven’t updated for a while. I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Christmas!

{I had been fighting a cold for a few days before Christmas but thought I had a handle on it (as I took mega vitamins every day hoping it would go away). The day after Christmas I crashed. I finally went to the doctor’s to find out that I have strep throat — that was yesterday. Now I am feeling much better and my voice is starting to come back. Tonight Ella came in and laid on my lap. She felt hot so I took her temperature — 102-degrees. So, I guess now we’ll wait while it makes the rounds through everyone else…}

Making Christmas Eve Rice Pudding…

I am feeling so lucky and grateful for all of the blessings in my life. We had a festive and snowy Christmas Eve at my Mom’s with a beautiful dinner. Then my Mom came and spent the night at our house on Christmas Eve. It was so fun to have her with us and the kids loved opening presents on Christmas morning with Grandma. We had a nice brunch and some down time and then went over to Jeff’s parents and celebrated with them and their cousins on Christmas night with another yummy dinner. And even a family picture!



The cute quilts my Mom made for each of the kids…
Santa even brought Trixie some presents. She was a pretty good girl this year…Last night my sister, Wenderful and her family came and we celebrated again with the other cousins. So fun!

I hope everyone had a joyful Christmas! Have a safe and wonderful day!

XOXOXOXXOXO
Jen

Merry Christmas!!!

24 Dec

It’s Christmas vacation, and I don’t know about you, but we have been trying to squeeze as much holiday cheer out of these last few days as possible.

Sunday night we watched this classic:

Yesterday we went to this:



Then today we braved the crowds to do a little holiday shopping…

And tonight we are cuddled up with this:

eating:

and drinking:

We send our warmest wishes to you and yours at this special time of year. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


 

Fudge, oh Sweet Fudge…

22 Dec

I spent yesterday afternoon making fudge — thanks to Prudie! She inspired me to make some for the kids’ church teachers. I ended up making Chocolate Fudge, White Chocolate Oreo Fudge, Butterscotch Fudge, Candy Cane Fudge and Peanut Butter Fudge. It was so much fun and easy!!! Go check out Prudie‘s recipe if you need a quick, easy gift for anyone this Season! I also found a wonderful Peanut Butter Fudge recipe from Alton Brown on the Food Network that I made — it is delicious! Here it is: Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

  • 1 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound powdered sugar

Directions

Microwave butter and peanut butter for 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Pour into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with waxed paper. Place a second piece of waxed paper on the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Have a wonderful day!

More Christmas Pics

20 Dec

Now that we’re out for Christmas break, maybe I can get the rest of my Christmas decorations put up…

And, I’m going to make fudge using Prudie’s recipe. Thanks Prudie!

Welcome…

Our living room mantle…

On top of the cabinet by the front door…

My cookie sheet advent calendar. Someone has taken the sled #5 marker…

This is the cute sign my friend gave me when we went to lunch this week…

The “kids Tree” in the basement (along with the Rock Band guitars)….

The mantle in the basement some of my snowmen…

More basement…

My family room tree. I found these really cool giant orange ornaments on sale the other day…

Eating area…

I finally got my garland put up going up the stairs in the family room…

The eating area…

The kids play table in the basement where Ella plays house…

My amaryllis is blooming!

Thanks for visiting and Merry Christmas!

Keeping it Real: A Different Kind of Holiday Open House

19 Dec

This week has been so fun going over to Kimba’s and BooMama sites and seeing all of the open house tours. Kimba has over 300 and BooMama has over 800! How cool is that? Everyone’s homes were so festive, shiny and CLEAN. I started to get a complex.

Why is my house always such a wreck?
Why aren’t my kids always perfectly behaved?
Why are there always dirty dishes piling up in my sink?
There were over 1100 homes on those tours and I did not see one dirty sock on the floor. Waaahhhh!

Plus, remember I told you about that Rachel Ray Italian Wedding Soup that I was going to make this week? Well I did and my kids refused to eat it, saying the meatballs tasted like plants. And, I had all of those plans to bake wonderful treats too — well, we still haven’t baked ANYTHING. So…

I went back on Kimba’s site last night and saw her post about “keeping it real” and how her house is not always clean and her kids do misbehave. It made me feel so much better. I think it is so easy for us to make our lives appear perfect in this format through careful editing and camera angles. But, to me, the most important thing that I have received from this world is the gift of meeting new friends who accept me and like me, I hope, despite my flaws.

So, keeping that in mind, here is what my life REALLY looks like today:

I have been so busy looking at everyone’s incredible Christmas decorating that the laundry is now taking over my entire house…

(If you want to see the post I submitted of my decorations when my house was clean clicky-click here.)

Also, yesterday was Ella’s pre-school open house. She made a very cute elf.

Just keeping it real! Have a wonderful day!!!

"How Santa Was Made" A Tale by Hannah

18 Dec

Here’s the little book Hannah made the other night. She is going to leave it for Santa when he comes. She loves to draw and make up stories.

.
To Santa.
How Santa Was Made
illustrated and written
by Hannah 2008

Once upon a time there was a peddler that had a beard as white as snow and a nose like a cherry. Cheeks like a rose and a mouth that was drawn up like a bow and a little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. Whenever he stopped to give a present he opened a chest that had what they needed!

Little girl: “thank you! You’re an angel!”
Santa: “You’re welcome.”

So he met lots of new people on his way back to his home and every time he opened his chest there was always a new surprise!

But at home he found his own surprise. It was a red suit. He wore it every day now and he still does. This is how a man became Santa.

Jingle. Jingle. Jingle. Jingle. Jingle. The End.

Have a wonderful day!

We have a winner!

17 Dec

Thanks everyone for your comments. Ella picked the winner this morning and it’s Amber of {ae filkins}. Congratulations Amber! I will send your prizes out as soon as I have your address.

And also, a few pictures from Hannah’s piano recital last night:

She did such a good job…

So relieved that it’s over…

Hannah and her piano teacher at the end of the recital…

Thanks for stopping by and have a safe and wonderful day!

Kimba’s Holiday Open House and a sweet award

16 Dec

There are some really fun parties going on in blogdom lately. Today, Kimba at A Soft Place to Land is having a Holiday Open House. Go over and see all of the great ideas that people have come up with for Christmas! So fun!

Also, the other day, Miranda — The Blond Duck, gave me a wonderful award. She is one of my most favorite friends in blogdom. She also published a really cool book. She is a wonderful writer and I love to go over and see what story she has written. She also cooks and has the sweetest husband and cutest little dogs.

Thanks Duckie!

Also, my 100th post giveaway ends tonight 11:59! So leave a comment if you haven’t already to be entered!

Mondays: The Simple Woman’s Day Book

15 Dec

I am trying something new. I have tried journaling in the past and thought it was just not for me. I always thought I was too busy, had nothing to say or was not a good enough writer. Now as I am older, I see that my kids or grandkids might someday want to see what my life was like and my thoughts.

My friend Marie at Oak Cottage is a real inspiration to me and I discovered A Simple Woman’s Day Book through her. On Mondays I love going over and seeing what she is going to do for the week, how she is feeling and what she is looking forward to. There is an entire group of women who follow The Simple Woman’s Day Book on their sites.

Outside My Window…
The day is overcast, cloudy and cold. On Saturday it snowed ALL DAY LONG. At my house we received over 12 inches of snow. We went out to dinner Saturday night and the Christmas lights glowing underneath the snow was beautiful. Then yesterday the sun came out and reflected off of the snow. That is my favorite part of winter — the beauty of the snow in the sun. All of the tree branches were covered with snow. They say it might snow again today so we’ll see…

I am thinking…
I am excited for Christmas! I can’t believe that Christmas is just a few days away. We took our neighbor gifts around last night. Jeff is a music fanatic and loves to collect Christmas music. He made CD’s of some of his favorite Christmas music for our friends. He loves finding really old recordings of Christmas songs. Some of the songs and recordings on the CD he made were from the early 1900’s. Then I went to the dollar store and found some old fashioned hard candies with chocolate inside that we packaged up with the CD’s and we put old-fashioned (50’s looking) tags on the top. I think they turned out really fun. We wanted to do something for our friends but not spend very much with the way the economy is right now. One of my friends in the neighborhood is having a potluck dinner on Tuesday and is collecting donations for our local food bank so I am excited about helping her with that.

I am Thankful…
I feel thankful for so many things — especially at this time of the year! My family, friends, the area I live in, the people in my ward, my blogging friends. I am also thankful that Jeff is still employed. He just left for a Canada and won’t be back until Friday. It is hard having him gone so much but I am thankful that he loves his job and he still has one. So I am very grateful for that.

From the kitchen…
It seems like I have been so busy the past week that I haven’t made much from my kitchen. Just the usual things. I am going to the store today and I printed off a copy of a soup from Rachel Ray’s site. It’s called Greek Wedding Soup and it sounds really warm and tasty. So I will let you know how that turns out. I am also looking forward to making some holiday favorites with my kids like candy cane cookies, fudge, gooey caramel corn and some sugar cookies. So that is on the agenda for this week.

I am wearing…
I am still in my pajamas. I got my kids off to school and then thought I would just “check” on a few of the blogs I follow and of course I became mesmerized. I need to get in the shower and get ready for the day. I am excited because today I am going to lunch with one of my oldest friends. We were roommates in college and are still close. We are meeting to exchange Christmas gifts.

I am creating…
I think I made 18 jumbo clothespins in the past few days. I discovered some Amy Butler paper and have been going crazy decoupaging and adding embellishments to them for my etsy store. I am also making some for Christmas gifts for some of my family members and for teachers. So that has been really fun. I just love it. I also bought a few cookie sheets on Saturday and I am going to make some of the cookie sheet calenders to put on my shop after the holidays.

I am reading…
I went to see Twilight about a month ago with my son and daughter and of course I had to re-read the books again… So I am on the third one, Eclipse right now.

I am hoping…
I am excited to see a wonderful friend of mine today. We were roommates in college and are still very close. She is very busy with her job and life so I am hoping we can get together for lunch and to exchange Christmas gifts…

I am hearing…
Yo Gabba Gabba. Uuuggghhh. Ella is here with me as I am writing this. Yo Gabba Gabba came on and this episode is about Not biting your friends. I hope Ella has learned not to do that. ha ha ha. Everyone else is at school so the house is pretty quiet. I am also listening to Christmas carols — which I love.

Around the house…
I love this time of year. The decorations are all up. The trees are lit up and so pretty. My office is a wreck with wrapping paper everywhere and maybe I will be able to get to that later. I love wrapping presents and listening to Christmas music…

One of my favorite things…
Friday Hannah stayed home sick. I spent the day with her. She is such a funny little person. She brings so much laughter and happiness to our family. She is always leaving me little messages on my nightstand. One she left the other night said “Dear Mom, am I your favorite little girl? Please check one of the boxes and let me know!” and then below was a yes or no box. She also loves to write and draw and the other night made a “How Santa Claus was made” book. I will have to share it with you. We ended up watching Elf and laughing through the whole movie.

A few plans for the rest of the week…
I am excited to have lunch with my friend today, and then tomorrow I get to spend time with my mom. We are going to finish up some Christmas things together. Tuesday night is my friend’s potluck to benefit the food bank so that will be fun. And it’s also Hannah’s piano recital that night. I also get to go work over at the elementary school with their reading program. I am hoping to make holiday cookies with my kids this week. It should be a busy week but also a fun week getting ready for Christmas…

Here is a picture I would like to share with you today:

This is what our neighbor gifts look like.

Have a safe and wonderful day!

PS — Don’t forget to enter to win my giveaway for my 100th post!!!! It ends on tomorrow night!

My 100th Post Giveaway!!!

13 Dec

Hello my nice virtual friends! I can’t believe that I have reached 100 posts. I feel so blessed to have met all of you and I have learned so much from being in this blogging world. Thank you for your sweet comments, helpful tips and encouraging words.

To thank you I am giving away a jumbo clothespin that I have made especially for you. I decoupaged Amy Butler paper and accents with a little bird on the bottom. I also have some big Christmas pine cone candles and a ruby red and silver necklace that I made.

If you want to be in on the giveaway, leave me a comment anytime between now and 11:59 PM on Tuesday (the 16th). I will announce a winner on Wednesday and ship it out that day to you. Thanks again!

Also, my sweet blogging friend Sarah has me as her “celebrity interview” today. She is the nicest girl, best mom and gives the most wonderful advice. So go check out her site!

Have a great day!