Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cookies & Candy Day 2

Here's my baking from last night & today. I made peppermint patties. Here is the inside of them. I rolled them between parchment paper with rolling pin & then cut with cookie cutter. A lot nicer looking than doing them by hand as the recipe says.

Here they are after I dipped them in chocolate. The rack helped with the dipping but I need to take them off after they have dried a little bit instead of waiting till they are completely dry. They stuck to the rack.


This morning I made snowballs. These are very similar to the Russian Tea cakes but I decided to go ahead & make them as the kids love the Tea cakes.


The kids helped me make chocolate mint crunch cookies. It was very easy. Melted chocolate, crumbled oreos, rice krispies & a little peppermint. Mix & drop on wax paper & let dry!


I made chocolate mint bark too. It is so yummy. It was pretty easy. Only problem I had was over mixing the two colors so it's not as pretty as it could have been.


This is another easy treat the kids helped me with. Take large marshmallows & dip them in chocolate coating or melted semi-sweet chips & crisco. Then roll them in crushed candy canes. Not sure if my chocolate wasn't the right thickness or what. But the candy cane pieces didn't stick very well. So we only did a couple dozen with candy cane pieces. The rest are just dipped in chocolate.


The last treat of the day is chocolate snowballs. Here they are baking. They will look like regular snowballs after rolled in the powdered sugar. Only difference is they have cocoa powder in them. Yum!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cookies & Candy

It's Christmas Baking season! The kids & I went through recipes & settled on 18 different ones to try & make. Here's our list. The stuff on the left is things I'll have them help make if they get their rooms cleaned up. But it's looking like I'll get all the fun of cooking by myself.
 Last night I made 5 batches of Easy Fantasy Fudge. That's 15 pounds of fudge!!
Today I tried nut-free Russian Tea cakes for the first time. They are delicious! I don't even miss the nuts!
 I made oatmeal cookies. 1 batch without raisins & 1 batch with raisins.
I also made Chocolate covered cherry cookies. These are a favorite of mine but they are very rich. 
 This is a new recipe I tried called Chocolate Mint Brownies. It's pretty good.
That's all I've made so far. I'm may try 1 or 2 more things today but I'm on a break so I don't over do it. Tomorrow I will hopefully bake with the kids. I'll post more pictures as I cook! Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More Christmas Decor

Over the last week, I've added more outside decoration & lights.

Here's a view of the front of the house.


To the left of the garage are 4 deer my Aunt Linda gave me plus a

Christmas tree that used to be my Mamaw & Papaw's. The star is from my Mom!


This is my favorite part of my decor. My Papaw always had a nativity

in their yard. This is similar to his & I always think of him when I see it.

You have to love Snoopy!

This is my patriotic tree. It & it's decor are from my Aunt Linda also.

It fits perfectly next to my front porch!

Another tree from Aunt Linda. The Peanut's gang is skating below it.

This is my Redbud tree in the backyard. On the lower left

of the tree you can see my finch feeder.

This last picture is of my bushes in the back of my yard.

When I tested them, all these blue lights worked. But now they don't.

An hour of work for nothing. So frustrating!


I hope you enjoyed my lights!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Last week I asked my Twitter & Facebook friends to pray for Hubby & I as we made a big decision. I couldn't say anything more about it until now.

Out of the blue Jeff got called for an interview. He gets these from time to time but usually they don't amount to anything. After interviewing on Tuesday last week over the phone, he received a call a few hours later offering him a job.

All week we have been in a cycle of waiting as the new & old jobs went back & forth with offers & counter-offers. After lots of prayer, Hubby took the new job & resigned from his current one. The new job is very similar to the old one. He will still be traveling a lot doing training, but the pay is a big increase.

One of the things we have been praying about is getting out of debt. When we were younger, we made bad decisions on spending money. We've been trying to rectify it, but it's been very hard. We are so excited that God has provided this new job so that we will be able to finally get out of debt & be able to more freely give & help those in need. Also, we look forward to getting out of debt so that Hubby can take a lower paying, non-traveling job in a few years. 

I'd like to thank you all for your prayers for us this week. They are deeply appreciated.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An exciting thing happened this week...

Jessica would like to share with you all something she did this week!

This 2nd video is of her sharing her great news with our church family today.
 Well, Daddy had to do the talking!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Christmas already??

I know some of my friends think I'm crazy, but we have already started decorating for Christmas! I love Christmas. My Papaw started me in my love for all things Christmas. He always had lots of lights up & a life-size manger in his front yard. I do have a manger scene similar to his to put up in my front yard but will wait a little closer to Thanksgiving to put it out. 

Here is our downstairs Christmas tree. The decorations on this tree are more fragile. I decorated it. The stable under the tree was made for me by my brother many years ago.

 Here's a close up of the mantle with all our stockings hung.

 This is the "window" in the middle of the living room. 
(Rockband equipment is not part of the Christmas Decor!)

This is Jessica's Christmas tree. It is in her room & was decorated by her.

 This is David's Tree. It is in his room & decorated by him.

Here is Jamie's tree, decorated by her & in her room.

This tree is in the loft upstairs. I put the lights on it, but the kids did rest of the decorating themselves.

 Here they are in front of their handiwork.

On Tuesday, we had a very warm day so we put up our outside lights. David convinced me to use my rope lights to outline the playground.

He was a big helper & helped me wrap them around the playground.

The kids also had fun laughing at me as I threw the light strands up over the big cedar tree behind the playground.

It took several tries to get the strands to go all the way across the
 top of the tree as my throwing was not very good.  

In front, I put lights across my garage & down the porch post.  I also zig-zagged a few strands across my bushes. I think I need to get a few more strands for the bushes.

The kids were enjoying being able to run around out front while I took pictures. They keep begging me to turn the lights on at night but Hubby has a rule that before Thanksgiving we only turn them on to test them. But if other houses in neighborhood turn theirs on early, then we can too.

I thought this last picture was really cool. It is of the skinny window right beside my front door.
I have crocheted snowflakes that my Mamaw made hanging on the window.
The light glowing through the paper shade made a very cool effect!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thanksgiving? and Halloween!

This has been a busy few days. On Thursday we went to the in-laws for an early Thanksgiving since they will be in Florida on Thanksgiving & this was Hubby's week at home.

Here is Jamie & Grandma hanging out watching TV.

Here are David & Jessica playing with Grandma's Halloween decorations.


My Mother-in-law took this picture of Hubby & I. (Yes, you are seeing a pic of me!)

Here's a family pic!

Hubby & Jess were being a little goofy.

Then Monday was Halloween. The kids posed for a few pictures before all the fun started. We had friends come and trick or treat with us, but I did not get pictures. We had a lot of fun.


Hope you all had a great Halloween too!