Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time Capsule Ornament!

I am number 7 out of 8 children,
so as you can imagine there is hardly any journalist or photographic evidence of my existence...
until high school.

As I watch my children explore the world around them,
I hope to preserve for them what helped shape who they are and develop their passions.

I always wonder what I was like when I was AJ or Abby's age.
Do they come by this stuff naturally?!

This project helped me take a snapshot of each kiddo's personality and
hold onto what they love in an ornament.
I picked up some huge clear glass ornaments at an after Christmas sale...
gathered up some stickers and small items that captured a few of AJ and Abby's faves...
cut thin strips of scarpbook paper...
wrote out a few little things I want to remember...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Double Turn Corner Trick

For Christmas this year I made Andy's family a tea towel
to go with some yummy freezer jam.

My corners used to be kinda bulky and hard to sew flat
until a great friend clued me in on a little corner hem trick.

I love a good crisp clean corner.
Don't you?!

I found an awesome on-line tutorial for how to perfect the double turn corner,
so you can bask in crisp, clean corner happiness too!
Check it out HERE!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Morning

Andy and I went to bed at 2:15 in the morning...
only to be woken up 5 hours later by a very eager little boy.
Yes Abby's PJ's are on backwards.
Chick only had to play in her poop twice before a master plan was devised and immediately put in place to keep her diapered all night.
Love at first sight....a mother and her baby.

Here it is my friends.

$230 later plus overnight shipping from Canada...
Santa brought AJ Thomas at Action Canyon.

This toy retailed for $64.99 when it came out...

two freakin' years ago.
But you see,
when AJ fell in love with it on You Tube two months ago,
it was no where to be found...

except ebay or Craig's List...
for anywhere between $200 to $400 folks.
This is not a joke.
This is my reality.

Seriously, I. hate. you. for. this. You Tube.

All old toy commercials should be banned,
never to be seen again by young,
prone to tantruming,
that believe in Santa.
We tried the Santa sent an email trick
saying that he didn't make that anymore, how about one kinda close to it...

only to be faced with a melodramatic four year old
holding his head and moaning in a painful tone about how much this news
"stressed him out and broke his heart".

Are you freakin' kidding me?!

So here we are Christmas morning with a boy that
truly believes Santa is magic...
and will be eating a lot of Kraft mac 'n cheese...for a long time.

Girlfriend didn't really get the stocking concept...
until AJ so gracefully showed her there was stuff inside.
Chick got three pairs of shoes, two purses, and lots of bling this year.
She is a happy girly girl.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve

Here is Girlfriend is her Christmas dress...
and pink cowgirl boots.
Such a girly girl this one.
Check out AJ's new hair cut.
He told his stylist he wanted to look just like Leo from Little Einsteins.

I can see a resemblance.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Trifle

Wait until your smallest helper friend goes down for nap and let the baking begin!
  • 9 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Divide the egg yolks and whites with a handy dandy egg separator tool...or just tip them back and forth between a broken shell. Place the yolks in a separate bowl. In your super cool Kitchen Aid mixer beat the yolks and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Slowly pour half the milk into the egg mixture and beat until blended. Pour the mixture into the remaining milk in the pan. Over medium heat, bring the ingredients to a boil while whisking constantly. Allow the custard to boil for 1 minute as you continue to whisk. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Let the custard cool about 5 minutes. Poke about a dozen holes in plastic wrap. Then cover custard with the plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Make sure the plastic wrap is touching the surface of the custard directly. Let the custard cool about 10 minutes, then refrigerate it until ready to use. It can refrigerate for about 3 days.
Let your eldest helper friend take a lunch break, therefore maintaining blood sugar levels and circumventing even the slightest brush with any form of melt down trauma.
(back in business)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark molasses
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
Heat the oven to 350°. Spray some PAM for baking spray in a 9-inch round cake pan. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.

In your super cook Kitchen Aid mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the butter until it is soft and creamy...about 1 minute. Add the sugar and molasses and beat again until the mixture is well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and beat well. Reduce the mixer's speed to low and slowly add half the flour mixture to the bowl and beat until blended. Repeat with the other half.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap until ready to use. It can be stored in the pan at room temperature for up to two days.

  • 3 (12-ounce) packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar and
    2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
In a medium bowl, toss the thawed raspberries and sugar. Remove the gingerbread from the pan and use a serrated knife to slice it into four equal wedges. Turn each wedge on its side and slice it into three equal pieces. Stack them, slice the pile in half, and cut off 1 1/2 inches from the tips, reserving the pieces.

Arrange a layer of six cake wedges over the bottom of a 2 1/2-quart bowl. Fill the center with a few of the trimmings. Spoon and spread 3/4 cup of the raspberry mixture over the cake, then top the fruit with 1 cup of custard. Repeat the layering three more times with the remaining ingredients. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours to let the flavors meld (the dessert can be stored overnight).

Before serving, make the whipped cream. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Use a spatula to spread the whipped cream on top of the trifle, and garnish it with the fresh raspberries.
Eat after dinner...
and again for breakfast the next day...
and for snack time...

In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, this recipe is from Family Fun Magazine:
Farrell-Kingsley, K. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Whoop! Whoop!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Goody Goody Gumdrops

I crafted it up with my BFF Wednesday.
The kids crafted for an entire whopping 10 minutes,
so we momma's had to jump in and create!
Girlfriend is pondering whether she will get caught if she sneaks yet another gumdrop.

Seriously, only Abby would enjoy eating those things.
This sweet little gumdrop ball could double as a weapon if an intruder were to enter my house.
It weights approximately seven pounds.
It could do some damage if thrown at someone's head...
especially after a couple days of hardening.
(I'm just saying.)
That sucker is heavy.
Merry Christmas Eve Peeps!

I'm currently frantically cleaning my house like a mad woman
for our big hosting event tomorrow.

Now, what should I do with the children so that the house will stay clean?
That is the million dollar question.

Wish me luck...or send over some Prozac.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Before & After

I decided a couple months ago to make Girlfriend's Christmas dress this year.
I know I could have bought one at Costco...with a sweater...for $18...

& I almost did until Andy said,

"Why don't you just make her one?"

Right...let me just throw that together before the busiest time of year...sure.

I took the bait...
I mean...
Come on!
Andy was giving me permission to just go out and buy all the fabulous Christmas fabric I wanted...
well that is what I heard him say when he asked,

"Why don't you just make her one?"

So here we are 2 days before Christmas, and it is finished.

I struggled...
searching for the most fabulous pattern...
finding nothing close to as fun & funky to what I had envisioned.

So, I decided to just make it up as I went.

You never really know how these kinds of projects are going to turn out...
but in my crazy head...I was out of options.
I had invested a little chunk of moolah into this project
with all that fabulous Christmas fabric Andy said I should buy.

Girlfriend was getting a handmade dress.

Long story short:
I used the bodice pattern from a dress pattern a friend had
and just winged the skirt part.

It worked out, & I was finished a month ago,
but I felt like it needed something.
Like a double apron...
some pom-poms...
& some ruffles.
So I went to town last night.
Much better!

Now can't you just imagine
Mrs. Claus running around in a dress like this as a toddler?!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Photo Booth

Just finishing up some Christmas gifts around here...
getting ready to start wrapping...
and enjoying these cuties every minute!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One Of The Wisemen

AJ had his preschool Christmas program last week...
He pretty much just played with the kid's costume next to him the entire time.
Well...he did bust a his own soundtrack at one point...
and make up his own sign language to Silent Night.

The picture below is mid-moment as he screamed, "HI DADDDY!" at the top of his lungs.
(Notice the children around him are being quiet at this exact moment.)

This is my child.

And if there was ever a doubt in our minds...

We are waiting on Kindergarten for one more year.

He is a nut.
And I love him.