Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shake rattle and roll....

Not really but we had an earthquake here last night(or early this morning). It was a 3.3 magnitude. Now for many of you in CA this is not a big deal but for us, it was huge. We live in South Central PA.We were standing in our bedroom and the entire house shook and rumbled. And it did seem to go on for a long time. Longer than a shake made from say, teenagers wrestling in the living room. (which is what we thought it was). So pretty crazy huh?

Anyway, we are still in the middle of Christmas parties and visiting so this weekend will be a busy one for us. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

It's Christmas Eve!!! I have a couple of errands to run and woke up with freezing rain and icy streets. Figures right? But it will all be OK. We plan to spend a quiet evening with the kids tonight. Planning to have their favorite finger foods for dinner and hopefully they will go to bed and actually fall asleep within a reasonable amount of time so we can play Santa.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and a new year full of good health, happiness, love, joy, and everything your heart desires. Many of us will be traveling over the holidays and I pray for your safety as you travel. My niece had this video on her facebook page and all though my children are all past the car seat stage, I know many of yours are not. Please take a minute to watch the video because it could save the life of someone special in your life.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just for Leeann

Since Leeann was nice enough to drive me crazy with the hamster song(keep reading to post below this one) I thought I would repay her by posting this one.(you have to watch the first 3 minutes before you get to the song) This is the other song that my kids tortured me with this weekend while I was held captive in their rooms cleaning and sorting and throwing out a ton of crap.

Crazy dreams and a menu

My friend Kathy keeps emailing me to tell me all about these crazy dreams she has been having about me lately. They are very strange dreams that make no sense to her or me. So in response, I have been having some crazy dreams of my own the last couple of nights. They are very strange and wake me up several times through the night. I cant actually remember anything of them except that our cat apparently was sick in one of them and shrunk down to the size of that darned hamster here

(which thanks to Leeann, I can't get out of my head).

Monday: Cheeseburgers, fries
Tuesday: Spaghetti, meat sauce
Wed:Shrimp, crab melt aways,potato skins, veggies and dip(Christmas eve finger food)
Thursday: Christmas day-we will be going to Baltimore
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: going to a wedding
Sunday: Party in Baltimore(husbands side of the family)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Cookie Palooza

Last weekend the kids and I made some Oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate chip cookies,butter spritz cookies and ginger molasses cookies. Well, all of the oatmeal raisin cookies are gone, half the chocolate chip cookies are gone and the ginger molasses cookies are still around.- but, they liked them it is just that we have a lot and they pigged out on oatmeal raisin. So the problem is, I am assigned the task of bringing cookies to my parents on Christmas day and now there are not enough cookies left so today, I baked. I baked, and baked, and baked. All. Day. Long. But I am done! We have cookies!

First let me again say that I made butter spritz cookies over the weekend and they are cute and little bits of buttery goodness.

I also made these ginger molasses cookies. They are yummy if you like spicy cookies. We apparently do.
Today I made your typical toll house chocolate chip cookies-about 5,963 of them.

Then I made Pioneer Woman's chocolate candy cane cookies. I saved the dipping candy coating part until the kids got home from school and Brooks helped me. He enjoyed decorating and eating them. I thought the chocolate cookie tasted OK. Not great but not bad at all. Just sort of bland.(I think I may have mentioned that I like spicy cookies). But the candy cane crunchies were a nice surprise.

I also made more (crazy) oatmeal raisin cookies. This is the recipe I used. It is pretty much your typical oatmeal raisin recipe with the addition of ginger to the dough. Yum! Spicy! See? I told you.. I also reduced the amount of white sugar to 1/3 cup instead of the 1/2 cup and I added some craisins just to be crazy.Crazy oatmeal raisin!

Next I made snow balls which are kind of a pain in the ass but they are delicious and look good on a cookie platter.

Next I made something completely new Honey Peanut butter cookies. ( saw the movie The Secret Life of Bees over the weekend and it got me thinking honey..) I liked them. I added some chocolate chips to some of them and it was a good addition. I also put less sugar in and more peanut butter because I tend to like my cookies less sweet and when you are putting 1 cup of honey in I don't think you really need a full cup of sugar too. Right? RIGHT? Oh and instead of white sugar, I used brown sugar. I don't know why. I just felt like it. Rebel? Maybe...
So, I think that is it? I usually make sugar cookies because the kids like cutting them out but I don't think I will this year. We have a boat load of cookies and really, we don't need any more.
So what kind of cookies did you make this year?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Sweet Italian sausage with sauce and pasta
Tuesday: homemade chicken nuggets with seasoned potatoes
Wednesday: Roast beef, cole slaw
Thursday: Hot beef sandwiches, fries
Friday: Dinner with friends (kids get pizza)
Saturday: Breakfast for dinner(french toast or creamed chip beef)
Sunday: crock pot chicken, potatoes, spinach

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Secret Life Of Bees

We went to the movies this afternoon and saw The Secret Life of Bees. It was really good. I think a great family movie that will most certainly open the lines of communication among the members of your family who are not growing up during a time when such extreme and repulsive racism exists. I would suggest you all go see it or rent it when it comes out. It was really good.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Eating Tips

This list found its way ino my email box and it was too good not to share!
These tips will enhance your holiday!

Holiday Eating Tips
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holidaybuffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you seecarrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving chips & dip.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can'tfind it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that ithas 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turninto an "eggnog-aholic" or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it!!!! Haveone for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the wholepoint of gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcanoout of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano.Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made withskim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's likebuying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effortto control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party isto eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello???

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between nowand New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else todo. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling thebuffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat ofeggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffettable, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa,position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you canbefore becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pairof shoes. If you leave them be hind, you're never going to see themagain.

8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and sweet potato - have aslice of each. Or, if you don't like apple, have two sweet potatoes andone pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more thanone dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded withthe mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean,have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.

Reread tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive andwell preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways,
chocolate in hand,body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO what aride!"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Almost there

Finals are finally over. Thank you lord! And I am almost finished shopping. I have just a couple more things to pick up and of course I still need the ingredients for holiday baking and a few special things we like to make around the holidays. Santa shop at school is finished. I just dont know what I will do with all of this free time? Oh wait, I guess I will be wrapping the gifts, shopping for special items for baking and such and cleaning. Yea, sad to say I never got around to going through the kids rooms this year. I have done that every year for, well, as long as I can remember. I go through their rooms, change their clothes over and purge the toys, etc. that they have outgrown. But I have not done it yet this year so that is what is on the agenda for next week. Hopefully I will get it all done before the new year!

Monday, December 8, 2008

How many days until Christmas?

Am I the only one feeling like this month is just flying by? Holy crap! Just 16 days until Christmas! That is just a little bit more than two weeks! Are you ready? I am kind of ready. The halls are decked and most of my shopping is done. I need to do some baking and wrapping sill but for the most part I am feeling pretty confident I will have it all done in time, without feeling like I am in the middle of a hurry up frenzy.

So, on to more important stuff...

Menu Plan Monday! Exciting right?

Monday: Chicken parm
Tuesday: hot dogs, mac and cheese, sugar beans
Wed: chicken tacos, red beans and rice
Thursday: meat loaf, mashed potatoes
friday: homemade pizza
Saturday: tomato soup and grilled cheese
Sunday: Who the heck knows?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Whatever you like...

OK, I have to admit I like this song. Granted, I only like the censored version. The uncensored version is crazy nuts. But I like Weird Al's version 1000% more. I mean, who doesn't like weird Al? Check it out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Worth a second or third or fourth look...

I swiped this from Lori at the Simple Life at Home. She is awesome and you should definitely check her blog out. This video is very touching and definitely something I needed to be reminded of. To stop ignoring others in need. To really look at them and remember that they are our brothers and sisters and we should be there for them just as Jesus would be. When we ignore those in need, we are turning our backs on Jesus. Really. I needed this reminder. Too often this time of year especially, we are too wrapped up in how to obtain stuff for our loved ones while walking right by people in genuine need. Or even just walking by someone ringing a bell outside of a store. I am going to try to shift my focus a little bit more to how I can help others.I am not sure exactly in what capacity I will do this or how well I will do at it, but that is my goal. I suppose an early new years resolution.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Menu plan Monday

You know how the days before Thanksgiving, all you can think about is turkey, and stuffing, and pumpkin pie? And then the day arrives and you pig out on all of the above? Then even though you totally pigged out, you still think about and yea, go ahead and indulge in a nice yummy turkey sandwich or three over the next couple of days? Oh and dont forget all the leftover pie, you cant let that go to waste. Well before you know it, it is five days after Thanksgiving and you have eaten turkey in some form or another just about every meal since Thursday? And, and, you are sick of turkey? And you wonder how in the world that happened? Well, yea, that is pretty much how my family is feeling right now. In fact, they were pretty ticked off when I put hot turkey sandwiches and french fries on the table for dinner. So, even though we still have turkey left, there will be no more hot turkey in the menu for a few weeks. I cant guarantee there wont be cold turkey on the menu though. You know, nothing like a yummy turkey sandwich on white bread with mayo. Yum!

But before I get to the menu, I will share that I took the kids to the movies today. They were off school today because hello, first day of hunting season and of course school closes for that! Anyway, Brooks was at a friends house so he missed out but I took Caitey and her friend and Mikey. Caitey of course wanted to guessed it, Twilight. Mikey wanted nothing to do with that so he and I saw Four Christmases. It was OK. Pretty funny most of the time but nothing to write home about. The girls enjoyed Twilight. I guess all in all a nice day off. OK, onto the menu.
Monday: Hot turkey sandwiches, fries
Tuesday: French toast, bacon,eggs
Wed: roast beef, cole slaw, mashed potatoes
Thursday: chicken tacos, red beans and rice
Friday: homemade pizza
Saturday: manwich, fries
Sunday: oven fried chicken, spinach, potatoes