Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

May your 2010 be as carefree and joyful
as this precious little one

December Recap

Just like everyone else, my December flew by. There were a lot of things I did not do, I didn't make treats for my neighbors and I didn't blog much, I didn't have family pictures taken and I did not mail out Christmas cards. Yes, there were things I did not do but there were a lot of things I did do. This year I focused on my kids, every single day we did an activity or craft together. At the beginning of the month I made a list and we stuck to it. It was nice to put all things aside and just enjoy the holidays.

We played a lot of games, did lots of puzzles and spent many nights sleeping

near the Christmas tree watching Christmas movies

We did a few crafts with food. Our rice krispie night was my favorite, I like Addie's anatomically correct snowwoman and of course James made a football.

We did some service

We visited Santa Claus
We had a good ol' time at Grandma Susan's annual Christmas party. Delicious food, gifts galore, scavenger hunts, a visit from Santa Claus, reindeer and Santa crafts, white chocolate nativities (thanks Amber!!), singing Christmas carols with a great serenade from Uncle Jeff on the trumpet and new pillowcases from Aunt Dawn with names embroidered on them. Oh, the excitement of Christmas eve, I wish it would last longer. I get as excited as my kids to to see the look on their faces on Christmas morning.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

If at first you don't succeed

I attempted making a baked Cheesecake for the first time.

My first attempt was a failure, a big failure:

When I released the spring form pan, it collapsed and turned into a big pile of cake and crust and I wanted to cry. I was in charge of dessert for Sunday dinner and wanted it to be just right.

Instead of giving up I stayed up all night trying and trying again. Here are my second and third attempts and the recipes following.

Ta Da!

Ta Da Ta Da!

Have you ever made a baked cheesecake? It was pretty easy and so worth it. The Oreo one comes from my friend Jill, she made it one time and I think I made a fool of myself at how much I loved it so she brought me one for my birthday. Best birthday treat I had. She is a fabulous cook. The plain cheesecake which we topped with strawberries is adapted from My Kitchen Cafe which she adapted from Tyler Florence. I changed up the crust and was glad I did. I added brown sugar instead of white and doubled it and then added 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.! I absolutely adored this one. My sister is in town and she said it was one of her top three favorite desserts ever. The Oreo cheesecake is so rich and chocolaty and the other has a hint of lemon and is more of a refreshing taste and it also has twice as much crust as the Oreo one. Both delish.

P.S. If you make a baked cheesecake -spray the spring form pan well with cooking spray and let it refrigerate OVERNIGHT!!! I wouldn't release the spring after 30 minutes like the recipe says. I would suggest keeping it all tight in the pan until it has been refrigerated long enough to set and firm up. The next morning I ran a sharp knife around the pan and the cake came out nicely. I learned the hard way and ended up in the kitchen well past midnight and again the next morning trying to do it the right way. Live and learn, right?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Now THAT'S a Gingerbread house!

When my sister-in-law (many of you know Dawn) told me she was entering the Gingerbread Festival at Thanksgiving Point this year, my first thought was, "Oh how fun! I should do that one of these years." I didn't realize just how hysterical that thought was until I saw what she created. I really had no idea just how amazing (and BIG) it would turn out. The store windows really light up and even the little cakes stands are edible! Doesn't it make you happy?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

James, sports fanatic

I think it is safe to say that James is obsessed with all things sports. He LOVES to watch, play and talk about football and basketball. When he was offered $70.00 to sell his football ticket to his favorite team he, without hesitation, said, "NO WAY!" I love that he values the experience more than money. He will always remember going to sporting events with his dad.

Today was his first basketball game and he shoots . . . he scored!!!
My favorite part was watching him get into the game from the side. He was up then down then up and back down again, calling all sorts of plays, fouls, rebounds, out of bounds, you name it. Here is a very small sampling of him from the sidelines, all stressed out, energetic and having fun. The boy could not sit still.

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