Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Little One!

My little guy turns 6 years old today! Time has gone by fast. It seems like just yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital. We were so blessed that your birth mom found us and we found her. I thank God all the time for blessing our family with you!

All the fun times, all the daredevil stunts that you love to do and that have given me more gray hair. Oh, what fun these past 6 years have been! Happy 6th Birthday my son!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Joyeux Noel, Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad!

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

We are Blessed!

Today my cousin, Holly and her husband are coming for a visit. My boys are jazzed! We try to see each other when we can, but this Christmas visit has become a tradition. Last year when they came Dave brought a whoopee cushion and a remote control fart machine. Yes, you heard me right , a fart machine. Dave is quite the jokester and my boys love it. They kept hiding the machine around the house and would remotely make it sound like the person nearest the machine was expelling gas. Oh how I love having a house full of boys. There is never a dull moment! I love days like this when we get to spend time with those that are dearest to us. An impromptu visit with a dear friend or a visit from a special relative are what I especially treasure during the holidays. I try to keep the focus with the boys about the true meaning of Christmas. They are good about understanding that this holiday is not about how many gifts they get or what they get, but about God's love for us and the blessing he gave to the world with the birth of His Son.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

We are done Baking!

After a 3 day marathon of baking, we are finally done. In hindsight, I realize that doing a face lift on your kitchen and getting a new oven is probably best not done during the holidays. I had been without an oven for about a week and a half and had not been able to use my kitchen for a couple of weeks because the painters have been busy at work in there. Finally, they have finished and I have finished our Christmas baking. The goodness you see is our lemon bread, orange yogurt cake and my famous chocolate toffee. Now I know why I only make this once a year. The stirring is 30 minutes long. You get a workout making this stuff. Which of course negates all the calories. LOL

Chocolate Covered Toffee

1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, divided

1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided

2 cups of butter

2 cups of sugar

1/2 cup water

Spread 1/3 cup chips and 1/3 cup of pecans in a single layer on a lightly greased 15 x10 inch jelly roll pan. Melt butter over low heat in a 2 quart saucepan. Gradually stir in sugar and 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until a candy therometer registers 310 degrees (hard crack stage). Pour over chips and pecans in pan, spreading to edges of pan. Let stand 1 minute. Sprinkle with remaining chips and let stand 1 minute or until slightly melted. Spread chocolate evenly over toffee. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Break into bite size pieces.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Soooo Cute!

I was rummaging though my craft stash and found a bag of old costume jewelry. What do I do with all those gaudy clip on earrings? Why not turn them into fun magnets? I clipped off the earrings backing and glued magnets onto the them. They make fun magnets and are fast and easy to do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

I love these cookies! They are from Martha Stewart's Christmas Book. I used four fruit preserves instead of the raspberry jam she calls for. The boys love to make the thumbprint in each cookie. Martha's cookies in this old book are terrific . It was one of the few things in this book that didn't intimidate me. Her gingerbread mansion is insane!

Jewel Cookies

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 larges eggs, separated

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour

2 cups finely chopped pecans

1 cup preserves (your favorite kind)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt, then the flour. Refrigerate dough until firm, about 1 hour. Shape dough into 1 inch balls.

Brush each dough ball with beaten egg white and then roll in the chopped pecans and place 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheets. Press the center of each ball with your thumb and fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until just golden around the edges. Cool on rack.

Makes 5 dozen.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I love crafting! I have three boys and too much testosterone in my home. Working on my crafts is my sanity keeper! About a year ago I took a class on making books from my favorite paper/stamp shop, The Paper Garden Stephanie is amazing and has terrific ideas. Anyway, she showed us how to make books and I took what I learned in a little different direction. I started embellishing comp books and adding my own hand sewn bookmarks with them ( I do not claim to know how to sew, so don't look to close!) I really like how they turned out. I attached a hand stamped label with a quote from Longfellow.

Our family has really been striving to make most of our Christmas gifts. We have been busy trying to get all of our gifts made. I am really pleased how they turned out. The boys and I painted terracotta pots with chalkboard paint. We then filled them with homemade gardener's salve, bulbs, chalk and some of our homemade pebble magnets.
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