Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chesapeake Lights

Quick post of the lights this year at Chesapeake! So pretty and fun! I don't think they spend much you :o)

And these two are for the Griswald's out there who haven't realized that sometimes less is best :oP (If you look close, you will see the stars which explain why there are lights "shooting" out across their yard from the stars...he he!!)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thanks for the help Leb!!!

I have to include the pics of Caleb helping me this year...he actually helped make a couple things...peanut clusters and the oreo bon bons.

Can I tell you that I could not get one picture of him being serious...he is 16 (almost 17 now :o( ) and he makes me insane sometimes! ...asking him in my most desperate and sad voice..."please just one good picture?"... "sure mom this one will be good"...snap....Caleeebbbbbaaa!!!

Oh well now we can just laugh at him :o) silly boy who I am most grateful to for the help since this is no where close to his "thing" :o)

Such hard work...

This year I used the Great Value brand of oreos and ... no difference ... tasted just as wonderful! So I've heard anyway :o)

Oh oooooh so amazing!!! Thanks Leb!!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Okay - so here's the spread of baked goods and let me tell ya, I don't even want to think about the calories involved concerning the necessary taste testing :o)

Why oh why can't I just graze to my heart's content without having to buy new pants...well, I digress! The funny thing for me about baking is that even though I do taste test (for fear of delivering yucky icky food as a representation of my culinary aptitude :o) whatever!!) I am not a big eater of what I make afterwards...I think it is just too much...I am sick of it by the time it is done. Well that is aside from fudge, of course!! Fudge is my absolute weakness and I do make a mean fudge if I do say so myself. But of course as things get harried and I am rushing to get things done, I took a short cut this year and doubled my the way...that doesn't work well with fudge and this year it did not sit up the way it should. It still tasted heavenly but unless it was kept in the frig...quickly got pretty soft. So of course, I had to make another batch after the Christmas hullabaloo settled...peanut butter this time...just to prove that I am still more than capable of making really yummy fudge!! And so now I am stuck with a whole platter of divine tasting sin on a plate! (can something be divine but sinful...I don't think so! anyways...) That is all I can say about it! Please come over and help me eat it or I may just expand 10 sizes by New Years!! Okay...well back to topic...

This a close up of some of the fun that included toffee (ok - so that is really a weakness too...I forgot...really I did), fudge, coconut bon bons (tasted like a mounds...melt in your good! Of course...that all comes from the taste testing...not because I actually ate one...okay so maybe I ate one! gesh!!) The plates were fun but very flimsy...oh well...pretty is more important that functionality...right? We also had Christmas candy, chocolate chip cookies and oreo bon bons (absolute heaven!!! not that I tried one!) oh and peanut clusters!

So here is the finished product and I hope all our neighbors enjoyed...I wished I could send a plate to everyone!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Wanted to take a quick minute to put up Ashtyn's basketball pics. Just love watching my kids play sports...haven't really taken many basketball pictures of school ball this year but I will definitely remedy that after the break. Isn't she a cutie??
She really hates this one but I love it!
This is her daddy's fav...
Awww - love that girl!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

That girl's a bakin fool...

I love baking for the bear with me cause the next several posts will be about just that. My daughter told my husband that I am gonna be a grandma that always has something baked for you when you come visit. Man, I hope so...I just wish I could bake all the time without us all being fanny fanny 2x4's who can't fit through the bathroom door :o) Oh well...probably when I am a grandma...I just won't care and will bake all the time for everyone...

so gonna share some pic's of what we like to do every year...
I made my own peppermint hard candy for the Christmas candy I make. A girl at work got me started on this several years ago and now Christmas just isn't complete without it!

I use Lorann's peppermint oil and just let me tell need your sinuses cleared? Nothin better...
here are a few pics of the process...

This makes the house smell so nice!

You just let it cool and then break it into small can buy this premade at the cake/candy supply store but it's pretty pricey.

Then add it to your chocolate mixture...and spoon them out onto parchment paper and let cool. My kiddos don't really like the way these look but they are so yummy! I have thought about trying to find molds to put them in to make the presentation better but oh well...they are still wonderful!

So this is a pic before the baking began...and this doesn't even include most of the frig stuff...sometimes I think I am crazy in the head but I just love it and hopefully my neighbors and associates at work with love it too!

More pics to come later as I have much more to make...probably won't bore you with all the details but will let you take a peak at the end result :o)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pioneer Woman

Well I just love love love The Pioneer Woman (thanks Steph for teaching me to link :o) ...I could get lost on her web page for hours. I didn't even know who she was until one of my facebook friends mentioned her and since then I have been hooked.

There are so many things that she talks about that are right up my alley. Cooking, photography, name it. I could read her stuff for hours and as I was just meandering through and looking at her pictures of their horses and it just struck me as how sad it is that my children have not been able to have the same experiences as I have. And that they have not even been around horses since my parent's last one died and that was when they were little ones...

Those memories are some of the best I have of my childhood. I remember waking up on summer mornings and saddling up my dapple horse...Misty...we would be gone all day. I would pack a lunch and tie it onto the saddle and just ride as far as I could go on the Indian land next to our house. Or I would always barrel race/jump (stacked up hay bales :o) her on the makeshift courses I would set up in our pasture. Do you know when I went to college and my parents sold her that she won multiple competitions...I always chalk that up to all my training :o)

I do miss those carefree days but then again I don't miss the work that went with it which is probably why I have never owned large animals since I have left my parents house. Constantly running new fence out the barns...feeding...medicating...well you get the picture. And the saddest part is that I think my daughter would be a natural with horses...she just has never been given the opportunity. Of course I can pay for lessons or board...but it's just not the same as being a horse owner and actually caring for them day in and day out. Having the relationship that is borne out of caring for them on a daily basis. Especially busting up ice covered water troughs in sub degree weather...I would so have heaters on those dudes if we owned horses now!! Okay so back on track...because it has always seemed like a sad substitute...we have never boarded or let her take lessons. My son could probably care less but I have guilt when it comes to them never being allowed to experience what I so often took for granted!

But anywho...this blog was just to reflect on those times that were so fun and also say that The Pioneer Woman is a super cool chick!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas evolution...

When you look back on Christmas seasons of your life...isn't it funny how much it evolves. From when you were a child and couldn't sleep because you just knew you were hearing the tinkling of sleigh when you were a bit older and even though you were suppose to be big and grown up...somehow the excitement of Christmas would still sneak in...and affect even the coolest teenage heart?

Then comes the years when you first become independent and able to purchase your own gifts with the money you earn and begin to really start to see the bigger picture and what it means to give to others and bring joy through simple gifts. How awesome that felt...

The first Christmas with your spouse when you are so excited for them to see what you found them...them opening the horrific sweater you bought them and smiling like it was the best thing they had ever received. Such a sport... :o)

And probably the best years of Christmas that I have and will ever experience have been those with my children. As they get older the excitement is still there but it is changing each year. They are growing up and even though there is still eagerness to find out what is in those boxes under the tree, some of the awe fades away each year. Which does make my heart heavy but at the same time understanding that we are making new traditions that could not be shared when they were younger. And no matter how old they are, we can still watch Rudolph and Frosty at least one time during the season. Of course, the preference now is to sit down and crack up at the Griswalds together which is just fine with me.

And even though the true meaning of Christmas can become overshadowed to the point of sadness...I love the act of giving to one another!! And I am so thankful for all the blessings God has given me throughout these many Christmas seasons I had been able to experience so far!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Get there!!

Have you ever faced something that you dreaded and wished so desperately you could change? I was thinking about things we experience on earth and how many of those things we so adamantly fight against...not understanding that they can become the very things that eventually set us free from our worldly chains.

I also sometimes wonder about Jesus and how it must of been for Him when thinking about what His future held and more specifically having to endure the cross. When He knew what was to come...the pain...the heartache...the aloneness. What were his thoughts? In those weeks before, did he wake up during the night in a cold sweat thinking about what was to come...did He sleep at all? Did he constantly try to figure out ways he could possibly make things different so it didn't have to end that way? Were His days constantly consumed with thoughts of what He was to face...rolling over and over in His mind? I think it is safe to say, He probably had a hard time when thinking about the cross and what was to come. Yet, He didn't change it! Even though he pleaded with God, asking if there was another way, the answer remained. He chose to walk the path that lead to great suffering and eventually His death.

I think we sometimes want God to show us the path He wants us to be on but only if it fits in with our agenda. If it doesn't, then all of the sudden we want the control back and to be the one navigating again. I think we are so limited in our sight of the future that we fight the very thing that He is trying to orchestrate in order to bring us peace. I am glad that Jesus did not try to take over and veer away from God's plan. The funny thing is that if anyone would have been Him. All He had to do was call out for the angels to take Him away from all the pain...heartache...aloneness! But He knew that we all would need His sacrifice in order to see Heaven. He knew that He would have to be our Savior if there was any hope for any of us. I am so grateful that he saw the storm coming but chose to continue on in spite of the pain it would bring. I pray that I can also have the strength to march headfirst into the storm and completely trust God's will in spite of my fears~to know His plans are laid out for me and in the end it is all about spending eternity with Him!! Not so much about the easiest path that leads me there...but that I do get there!!