Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Opening Gifts...

Landon helped pick out the goodies in Ty's stocking. It was a little hard to get him to understand the "giving is better than receiving" concept this year, but he did enjoy seeing that Ty liked his gifts.

Ty had to help Landon out too.

Landon has this gift unwrapping thing down.
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Finally, Christmas at our house

We had decided that we would wait to open gifts with the boys at home on the Saturday following Christmas. We had a wonderful day just enjoying each other. It started with cinnamon rolls (see below for link to recipe...they are yummy) and fruit salad.
What's funny is that Ty eats his fruit first...
and Landon goes for the cinnamon roll.
After breakfast, Eric went through the "What God Wants for Christmas" book with the boys. Landon found the boxes, Ty opened them and Landon placed the figures. Mostly Ty just wandered around, but I think Landon is really learning the story of Christ's birth.

Cinnamon rolls...I made them the night before and took them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking them. I used King Arthur's Baker's Cinnamon Filling, but otherwise followed the recipe.
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Easy Dinner...soup and bread.

Here's an easy, quick, and super yummy dinner for you. Most of these ingredients I keep in the pantry. If you want to make a heartier soup, you could add chopped cooked chicken or turkey. I adapted these recipes from originals on allrecipes.com

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup salsa (spiciness of your choice)
1 can vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup frozen or canned corn corn
Shredded cheese
Sour Cream

If desired, set aside 1/2 cup of beans.
Place remaining beans, salsa, broth and cumin in a food processor or blender and puree til smooth.
Pour the puree into a saucepan, add reserved beans and corn. Heat through.
Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Whole Wheat Beer Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 (12oz.) bottle or can of beer (use a light lager or cider beer)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly spray a 12-muffin pan.
Combine flours, sugar, and baking powder. Stir in beer and cheese. Batter will be lumpy. Divide evenly between muffin cups and drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon butter over each muffin.
Bake for about 18 to 21 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool.
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Christmas Lunch with the Comer's

At Granny Dorothy and Papa Jess's house, we usually enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner with all the fixin's...turkey, ham, potatoes, green beans, and lots of pies. Don't let me leave out Aunt Karen's rolls. Back in my younger days, I could eat a plate full! Well, I still could, but I'm maybe a little wiser now.
Ty's "one finger touch".
Landon says thanks for the cool block set and Ty loves his pj's and dump truck!
Papa Jess had just gotten out the hospital the day before from having a stent put in. You can't keep him still for very long!
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Christmas Morning at Mom and Lee's

For as long as I can remember, we've had monkey bread on Christmas morning. At least I think so...I guess that's where the remembering part comes in! Heath, Whitney, and Cedric came over. Anthony was there, but Bailey and Shelby were with their mom this year.
Christmas pj's. Too cute.
This was Landon's favorite gift...he loves race cars and says he wants to drive one someday. His loot also included a Radio Flyer scooter, some pj's, books, and other fun goodies. Bob the Builder underwear were another big hit.
Ty received a really cool eco-friendly jeep push toy. He wanders around the house with it all the time. He also came home with lots of other neat toys and books. Another favorite is a John Deere tractor and trailer.
Thanks Nana and Papa!
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Christmas Eve with the Giffin's

After a nap for the boys at Nana's, we were off to Stop 2, my Granny Gertrude's house. There's not many of us left on my real dad's side. It is always good to see Uncle Gary, Aunt Sharon, Kody, Kentrina, and Chris. Granny Gertrude was especially excited about Anthony being back from Iraq.

My Granny Gertrude.
All of us. Thanks, Eric, for taking this picture. It's a special one for me.
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Christmas Eve with Papa Jim, Granny Faye, and the family

Our first stop on the whirlwind Christmas tour was the the Clifty Firestation...it actually serves as more of a community center. We enjoyed lunch and catching up with all of my mom's side of the family. It's quite a crowd...lots of cousins. The boys enjoyed the attention from their older second cousins.
All of the kids draw names and exchange gifts.
Ty was really enjoying the treats being snuck to him by a certain Papa.
My Papa Jim and Granny Faye. Love ya!
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Sorry, no Daring Bakers Challenge for me this month.

Due to the craziness of sick kids, holiday travelling, and the general madness of December, I'll not be trying the French Yule Log this month. It does look yummy, and since it's a frozen dessert...I may have to make it a July French Yule Log.
Til next month...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Parade of Christmas Goodies begins here...

There's still a couple of weeks til Christmas, but it's time for me to start making some yummy treats for our coworkers and friends.

There's a big goodie making extravaganza day planned for next week, but I needed to make a couple of treats for work tomorrow. I won't be back to my home store before Christmas, so here we go.

These are a favorite at my Grandma Faye's dinner. My Aunt Stevie usually brings them and I have to stay far far away!

Horney Toads (aka Cornflake Cookies)
from "Recipe Hall of Fame Quick & Easy Cookbook"

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
3 to 4 cups cornflakes (I used 4 cups)

Blend sugars, syrup, and salt in a saucepan. Let come to a boil. Reduce heat to warm and add peanut butter, stirring til smooth. Blend in cornflakes and drip by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.
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More Christmas pictures. Part 3. Finished.

Yeah, I was a glutton for punishment. I just couldn't put the camera down. It's a good thing though...I would have missed these.

Okay...this one is for my mom who has never seen the Christmas tree at our house. Here ya go, Mom.
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Christmas Pictures continued...Part 2 Brotherly Love

After a short little break, I decided to try for both boys. More of a challenge, but I was up for it. I offered up a short prayer for patience and a minor miracle to get both boys looking at the camera. Then the fun began.
Again, you see, it started off pretty well. Aahh, aren't they cute!
They do love each other.
Okay, mama...times up! This looks more like normal.
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The saga of the Christmas pictures Part 1

Well, it was a lovely Saturday morning and I decided we would take some pictures for Christmas cards. It started well. Ty was pretty cooperative...then not so much.
To be continued...
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