Thursday, December 30, 2010


The packers are here today.  They arrived bright and early.  I wish I had slept last night and that my body wasn't doing its time of the month thing.  I am tired, cranky, and cramps...lord the cramps!  Not sure if it is worse today since this is my first period since the miscarriage but man I am laying in bed while the packers are down stairs.  So thankful for friends who take our child and dog in while its packing time.  Hubs has been wonderful and keeping an eye on the packers. 

One packer laughed and said I have a lot of serving dishes.  This is when she has only been in the kitchen.  Wait till she gets to the garage and hall closet!  We move into TLF tonight for a week and then start our way to Pope.  I think I am finally ready to move on and start the next chapter.  Find it interesting to have the new year and new adventure starting back to back, 

Will post more.  Just needed to make a quick vent to get it off my chest and in hopes of getting out of the bed!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Catch up with lots of pictures....

I am snuggled under a blanket, looking at the mess of the house, all the while I really should be getting things ready for the movers.  Instead I want to Blog about our Christmas.  Especially since I know I won't have time tomorrow.  Shoot I probably won't be able to Blog till we get to Pope (January 8th).  So I will finish our story of Christmas (it will be short and sweet with lots of pictures).

In case I do miss Blogging for the next two weeks don't leave me completely!!  I will be back and blogging from a new state and home.  Will have a lot to blog about I am sure.  I might even take sanity breaks with my laptop at Panera Bread during the move, TLF, road trip, and the glorious unpacking....oh I am dreading the unpacking! 

Christmas Eve Family Photo - Tradition to
be dressed in new PJs on Christmas Eve.  This year
we did the Sock Monkey theme.

A true Christmas miracle!! My husband caught my son
smiling and I don't have too many double chins

Making our cinnamon ornaments

Snowflakes and Mickey Mouse

Playing in the snow - water bottles filled
with colored water

Part of the master piece till the dog came through

My two guys making their 1st ever
Ginger Bread house

Taken right before the whole thing
toppled over

Dance Star Mickey - huge hit

Opening presents with my side of the family
via web cam.  Gabriel showing off his trains

What to do after all the presents are open...wrestle

2010 Ornaments
Mickey Mouse and Sock Monkey

Christmas Day night went driving to look at Christmas Lights
This entire neighborhood lined the streets
with these luminaries

Clark Griswold house - our favorite in the neighborhood
and we want to do the luminaries next
year in our yard

Christmas this year felt very rushed.  We ended up not giving two of Gabriel's gifts to him because of the move.  Instead we will unbox them and put them together in the new house.  Will have Christmas part 2 so he can actually play and enjoy the presents.  It was also the first time for us to not have family with us.  It was sad but this is just the case at times for the military family.  We made the best of it though.  Had many laughs, had friends over Christmas Eve, and were thankful for at least being together.  Besides, I just don't believe in dwelling in the negative because things could always be worse. 

I am truly looking forward to 2011.  It is my last year in my 20s and we already have great things planned for our family.  I even have my New Year's Resolutions.  However, I won't rush and skip ahead to 2011.  For 2010 isn't over yet!  

**Sorry the photos are out of order but I think I am finally ready to pack.  Wait, Nigella Feasts is on so maybe in 30 minutes I will be ready....really!**

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blink of an eye and its over.

Christmas was wonderful!!!  Will post the stories and pictures soon.  However want to catch up on some sleep.  Then get a few things in order for the movers come Thursday!!!  Our time in Ohio is closely to an end and we are making the most of the last two weeks here.  Hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Crackle Top Cookies - Recipe

A friend from FB, Krista, was talking about these Crackle Cookies.  Me being nosy, my love for cookies, and won't pass up a chance for a new recipe, asked what in the world is a Crackle Cookie.   People all I can say is once you make and taste these cookies, you will Thank me for being nosy!!!  Krista - I love you and despise my waist line already.

Christmas Crackle Top Cookies - Krista, fabulous Christian woman/friend, mother, and wife!
-2 cups all-purpose flour

-2 tsp baking powder
-2 cups sugar
-1/2 cup butter/ margarine
-4 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
-4 large eggs, lightly beaten
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 3/4 cups M&Ms mini baking bits (don't be like me and snack on these while while on the dough to chill, you will want all the M&Ms!!)
-Additional sugar

-Combine flour and baking powder in large bowl; set aside.
-In 2 qt sauce pan, over medium heat, combine sugar, butter, and chocolate.
-Stir until butter and chocolate are melted - a smooth mixture (as much as possible); remove from heat.
-Blend in eggs and vanilla (I slightly cooled the chocolate mixture and slowly added the eggs so I didn't get scrambled eggs in chocolate).
- Stir into flour mixture until well blended.
-Chill mixture for 1 hr.
-Stir in M&Ms; chill from an additional hr.
-Preheat oven to 350.
-Line cookie sheets with foil.
-With sugar-dusted hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll into additional sugar.
-Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
-Bake for 10-12 minutes - I found to let cool on my baking sheet for a little bit before removing or I had some cookie left on the foil.
-It made about 40 cookies

*Krista's note - I have also used regular size M&Ms because it's what I had on hand (and I decrease the amount to 1 1/4 cup). I always double the recipe because these cookies seem to evaporate.**

I suggest to slowly add not dump but when you have
a 2 yr old attached to your leg......

I stopped here but Krista suggests keep going till
the mixture is smoother

Cooled and now slowly adding the egg mixture

Forgot the flour shot but flour has been added
as well as the M&Ms

I ran out of time and ended up chilling the dough over night
Also made bigger cookies too

Roll into sugar

"No-Nuts" - what Gabriel calls donuts funny
little guy!!

You are now ready to taste the chocolate goodness!

All ready for Christmas Eve
(These cookies are crunchy on sides and chewy in middle)

These cookies are truly wonderful and will stay on my hips for awhile.  But it is Christmas and I can worry about the weight loss with the New Year!  Bake away my Blogger friends bake away!  Then let me know what you think.

*Krista later told me that she found this recipe in the following cookbook - Best Loved Cookies'

It's Christmas Adam!!!

As my Best Friend calls it.  Also known as the Eve of Christmas Eve or just plain old 23rd of December to others to. That being said my Christmas Cards have been mailed. Man this year was just not easy for me to make a final decision on a Christmas card. As you readers know I blogged about Shutterfly's 50 Free Christmas Cards. Well somehow the 50 Free cards excited me so much that I ended up creating 5 different styles and made my husband choose the card that would be mailed out. Oh, I also was so excited about the Christmas cards that I had skipped like 3-4 sections of my address book and ended up NOT having enough Christmas cards. So I ordered some more from Walgreen's and used the Christmas cards I made at a card party a few weeks ago. I like to think that my mishaps were due to all the celebrations this month, added with our move in two weeks.

On to our family Christmas cards!!! Which by the way, I am thankful that Walgreen's has the option to print and pick up at their store within a hour because they truly saved me. However, there is no doubt the difference of quality between Shutterfly and Walgreen's. My Shutterfly cards were printed on thick card stock and the envelopes, oh the envelopes were nice and thick to.  The cards from WalGreen's were printed nicely but I still prefer Shutterfly.

Below are the cards I designed on Shutterfly with the "winner" hubs chose as our Christmas card this year.  I forgot to scan our Christmas card from WalGreen's but it was a really cute single 4x6 card that said Merry Christmas and a couple of pictures added.

I am off for a few days to finish baking/cooking for Christmas Eve and of course to celebrate Christmas with my hubs and son.  I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays of what holiday you and your family celebrate!  May you celebrate Jesus and keep the love He has for us in your hearts!

Christmas Card - THE WINNER!!!!

Most Wonderful Story Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shutterfly has classic, elegant Christmas invitations for your party.
View the entire collection of cards.

Christmas Card - Style 4

With Love Chartreuse Christmas 5x7 folded card
View the entire collection of cards.

Christmas Card 2010 - Style 3

Wonder Of Wonders Christmas Card
Shutterfly has classic, elegant Christmas invitations for your party.
View the entire collection of cards.

Christmas Card - Style 2

Keep Believing Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Christmas Card - Style 1

Gift Tag Story Christmas 5x7 folded card
Create modern Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chili Cheese Log - Recipe

I have started my Christmas Eve baking today.  First thing made was my MIL's Chili Cheese Log.  It is one of my favorite cheese balls...ever!!!  One day I will learn how to roll it out perfectly like my MIL does.  Until then, I am just thankful it taste so yummy so that no one notices how weirdly shaped my log is.

Chili Cheese Log -
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1lb. Velveeta (block)
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional (I never use)
Chili Powder (full bottle)
Tabasco to taste (1/2 to 1 t. - I tend to add more because I like spice)

Mix all cheese by kneading together
Add pecans and Tabasco
Split cheese mixture in half
Using wax paper, roll each half of cheese into long, skinny logs
Coat evenly with Chili Powder (I coat till no cheese can be seen)

Place in frig to chill and harden
Eat with Ritz crackers or Butter Toll House crackers
**Your hands will be extremely sticky with cheese.  So don't do what I normal do and forget to open all the caps to the bottles before you dig in to mix the cheese**

Finished look

The next picture is one of my favorite treats from Dorothy Lane Market.  It is the Carmel covered popcorn drizzled with milk and white chocolate AND more caramel.  It is just pure bliss in my mouth!!  I will miss then when we move but thank goodness DLM ships.

DLM's Carmel Popcorn

Wordless {Wordful} Wednesday

This Christmas should be fun!!  Maybe he won't notice that two of his three presents will stay in the boxes since 5 days later the movers come.


Find the child....

Where has he gone???

Action shot - sorry for the blurriness

Whole roll of wrapping paper - now time to rip!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

See how they twinkle!!

One of my favorite Ohio places is Clifton Mill.  It is a real working mill that we have visited many times to have breakfast.  Then we have hiked the Gorge area and find Heaven here on Earth.  At Christmas time, the Mill puts up several million Christmas lights, sets them to music, and serves Hot Chocolate.  I have always wanted to go at Christmas time and we finally did Sunday night.  We froze, took a ton of pictures, and realized again just how much we are going to miss Ohio when we move. 

Front of the mill

Merry Christmas!!

Covered bridge to cross the river

Not a ghost just their breath against the cold air

Watching the train in the winter village

Back side of the mill

Twinkling lights down a hill to look like a water fall
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