Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas, Christmas time is here!

This has been such a wonderful Christmas season thus far. Joshua is loving Christmas lights everywhere and I just love how excited he gets. I feel so behind on posting about all the fun things we have been doing, but here are a few pictures to whet your appetite.

Morgan was wearing this cute little outfit and taking all of the bows off the presents. A cute story is that Joshua saw me put the headband/bow on Morgan and he said, "How Cute! She look's just like Christmas."

Here are the kids before Church on Sunday. They aren't much for standing around together for a family picture, but at least they are both smiling!

Lastly we have sweet Miss Morgan admiring the Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Laugh or Cry

So I had one of those moments today with Joshua where you don't know whether to laugh or cry. I had taken the kiddies to my Mom's house and left Ryan home for some R&R. As we were leaving Grandma's I told Joshua we were going home to see Daddy. His response was, "I want to pick a new home."
I chose to laugh. In fact, I laughed rather heartily.
I think it's because every night when Joshua hears it is bed time, he immediately starts whining that he wants to pick a new book to read. I'm not sure why he whines because he gets to read whatever book he wants every night, but that is how it goes.

In other laugh or cry news, Morgan was exploring the house and it got quiet. I tracked her down and she had her hands in the toilet water. Ick! We are usually very good about keeping the door closed and I guess I need to work on keeping the lid down too.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Morgan's Party #3: The Cake

The purse was pound cake with a butter cream icing. I made the hearts and monogram by heating Tropical Starbursts in the microwave, rolling them out and cutting with some tiny "cookie" cutters that I have. The nail polish and lipstick were Now and Laters which I formed into those shapes. For the purse handle, Ryan drilled holes in Strawberry Milkshake Whoppers which I strung onto some purse hardware that I already had.

The crazy looking bear was Morgan's special Non-DairyChocolate Cake with Dairy and Gluten-free butter cream frosting. Despite the limitations they were both delicous and I would make them again in a heartbeat. One word of warning is that the butter cream is not as stiff as a traditional buttercream, so be careful of how much water you add if you would like to do fancy icing with it. I tried to use some different tips and it just sort of ran.

I don't like to pass up an opportunity to show off what a GIGANTIC nerd I am, so I will also include my to-scale mock-up of the cake. I was using Costco pound cakes, and I wanted to make sure I knew exactly how this whole thing was going to go together before I started. It did save me a lot of time and stress by already knowing how I wanted the finished product to look. The red part is what I was having to cut off the bottom and add to the top to get a trapezoid shape. The dimensions on there are the size of the individual pound cakes.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Morgan's Party #2 - Food

We did breakfast/brunch for Morgan's party and it was good. So good, that I got lots of recipe requests. Here are the recipes for the Cinnamon French Toast Bake and the Impossibly Easy Breakfast Bake. I am going to post them how I actually made them since there were a few tweaks.
Click on the name of the recipe above to get the original. I forgot to take pictures, so I'm borrowing recipe photos from the Pillsbury and Betty Crocker Websites.

French Toast Bake
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 (12.4-oz.) cans Pillsbury® Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls with Icing
6 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup
Icing from cinnamon rolls
Powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease a 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with the butter. Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each roll into 8 pieces; place pieces over butter in dish.
2. In medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in milk, cinnamon and vanilla until well blended; gently pour over roll pieces. Drizzle with 1/2 cup syrup.
3. Bake at 375°F. for 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove covers from icing; microwave on Medium (50%) for 10 to 15 seconds or until drizzling consistency.
4. Drizzle icing over top; sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with additional maple syrup if desired.

Impossibly Easy Breakfast Bake
2 packages (12 oz each) bulk pork sausage or chop up some link sausage
1 medium bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs
1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Cook sausage, bell pepper and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir together sausage mixture, potatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in baking dish.
2. Stir Bisquick mix, milk, pepper and eggs until blended. Pour into baking dish.
3. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes.

I just used some link Turkey sausage that I cut up into chunks and followed the rest of the recipe as written.

Morgan is 1!!

What a crazy and hectic last week we have had. I got a nasty horrible cold, Morgan turned one, and we had a rocking birthday party.

Usually I get real stressed out and am in full perfectionist mode for parties, but I felt pretty relaxed and had such a good time. This was in spite of some last minute cancellations, Ryan's tire blow-out en route to the park, and not a parking space anywhere because of a suicide prevention walk. We probably started like 45 minutes late, but it was all good.

I'm going to do a separate post about the cake and food, because I had many recipe requests and questions about the cake.
Here is one of my favorite moments from the party in Photo Essay format.(Click to enlarge)
The boy is Morgan's cousin Taisei. It was the sweetest thing ever to see.

Here's our happy birthday girl eating cake!
More to come on all the fun things Morgan can do, a MONDO slideshow of all the party pictures we took, and of course the FOOD.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


We had a truly wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We were able to spend Thanksgiving Day with everyone in my immediate family. True, it's only my parents and my sister's family but with their hectic work schedules we usually only get EVERYONE together on Christmas Eve. It was a lot of fun getting to eat, visit, and watch the kids play.
We were also fortunate enough that my Dad had the time to do a little Photo shoot with our family. We were able to get out between showers and got some good pictures.

Ryan's family had Thanksgiving on Saturday and it was a blast too.

I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family, both by birth and by marriage.
We love them very much and of course we love our happy little Family of four.

Tim Tam Slam

Oh glorious day. The DELICIOUS cookie found only in Australia is being sold in the US at Target by Pepperidge Farm.
Having never been to the land down under myself I am thankful to have friends that travel and let me taste this wonderful little cookie.
Lest you think I am over exaggerating this sweet little delicacy, I'm hoping that Monica can add a comment and tell you how much she likes them too.

More info about Tim Tams can be found HERE and HERE
May I also suggest checking out a Tim Tam Slam HERE

Happy Cookie Eating!! Tell your friends!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Happiest Shopping Day of the Year

I'll get around to posting about Thanksgiving, but first I want to talk about Black Friday. I love it. I was talking to Ryan and I think I came up with the reason behind it. I am a pretty competitive person. I love to shop. So competitive shopping is the best in my book.
This year had a few stumbles, but overall a great success. Here's how it went down

3:30 am - alarm goes off
4:00 am - End of the line at Fry's Electronics. I was standing at Wendler Dr, which is the back of the parking lot

View Larger Map
5:03 - Enter Fry's
5:08 - Discover at the check-out that I had the wrong phones
5:15 - Discover at the check-out that I have the right phones and no wallet
5:25 - After hounding a few people; recover wallet from Fry's Safe
5:45 - Exit Fry's with the right phones AND my wallet
6:00 - Staples
6:15 - Home Depot
6:30 - Back to Staples to verify I got the correct item
6:40 - Drive-thru breakfast
7:00 - Game Crazy
7:40 - Radio Shack
8:10 - Target
8:45 - Home
12:00 pm - Big Lots while I was waiting for my free pizza at Papa John's. Which free pizza I got for signing up for some club at Game Crazy.
1:30 pm - NAP!!!

The results were that I got 95% of my shopping done. Next year I am going to be recruiting shopping buddies. It is a lot more fun that way.

Dinner Calendar