Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas happenings...


I got to make Peppermint Bark for our church caroling party. 

The bark turned out very pretty.  I probably could of spread the chocolate a little more evenly.

Three of the places we caroled at were fire stations. At the last station, one of the firemen let us all climb in the truck cab. 

Hannah, Julia, me, and Abby decided to get a picture in front of one of the trucks. Having the lights on made it look kinda funny.  Thankfully no one decided to honk the horn AGAIN while we were standing there. 

Julia and Abby were my car seat mates for the evening. The other people in the car probably got tired of all the LOUD talking going on in the back. Oh well, friends are great!!

Two cute people having fun in the driver's seat.

Ice Skating with Cousins

 My cousins from St. Louis, who were staying with us, wanted to go ice skating while they were here. There was a nice size of people skating. Meaning, is wasn't too crowded. 

Titus and I had a ton of fun playing a major game of tag with cousins Caleb and Josiah.

Christmas at our House

 We had my Dad's-side-of-the-family-Christmas on Sunday evening. As usual, we played around-the-world ping-pong. 

I can play that game for hours!! Have you ever played before?

After supper and before opening gifts, we sang several Christmas songs. This is my cute little cousin, Anna, singing Away In The Manger.

Our Christmas was great, but I better quit now or I'll go on forever. Anyway, I have to get ready for tonight. A awesome friend of mine is having a big blowout New Year's Eve party. At least, that is what she said. Can't wait!!!

So, what was your Christmas like?


Friday, December 30, 2011

church christmas banquet

A couple of weeks ago our church had the annual Christmas banquet. I love getting to help prepare for these banquets. Most of the youth in our church get together on that day to decorate and make the food.

Titus, the dish washer, getting all the dishes ready.

Strawberries before...

...they were made sweet. Aren't they beautiful?


One of the MANY pies.  This one appears to be blueberry.

We had an awesome meal which included brisket and everything that goes with it.

Thousands (literally) of awesome-tasting Pfeffernüsse  were made for a snack bar. It felt like we were chopping them up all evening. :)  But they taste was worth it!!

Someone was good enough to bring all of us Starbucks while we were at work. It was a greatly wanted (and needed) treat.

People at work cutting out stars for a game we were going to play.

Sorry, but we didn't really take any photos during the banquet. You're going to have to be satisfied with the preparation part of it.
This is what the decorations on the table looked like. We mixed coffee beans with cranberries and then set a candle in the middle.

I thought these photos were very interesting. I didn't know this was going on outside until I looked at the camera that night. A guy was in charge of putting up a great, big, lit-up star on the roof. Meanwhile someone was having fun with the shadow effects from the sun.

The banquet turned our successfully, at least I thought so. Everyone who helped went home tired and happy.

So, did you go to a Christmas banquet/dinner this year? If you did I'd love to hear about it.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Awesome-Tasting Food!! (GF)

Oh boy, I forgot today was Wednesday, but its not too late to post my recipe yet.

I decided to do a gluten-free recipe because I felt like it. I've been on a gluten-free diet several times and we've finally found food that tastes good!! If you've had to go gluten-free before you will know what I mean. Anyway, I love this brownie-in-a-mug idea even though I've only tried it twice. Even if you aren't gluten-free some recipes still taste good and this might be one of them. Give it a try.

Also, this recipe is dairy-free and mostly sugar-free.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake
takes lass then 5 minutes and serves 1-2

  • 1 large microwave safe coffee mug
  • 4 tablespoons gluten-free flour mix (such as Pamela’s or homemade)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional add-ins: pinch ground coffee, dark chocolate chips, coconut flakes

Grease a coffee mug with oil or cooking spray. Place all ingredients in mug and mix with fork to combine ingredients, but don’t over-mix. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds. The cake might look like it is overflowing from mug, but it will settle. Cooking time depends on microwave strength, but the standard is 1 minute and 30 seconds; with 3 minutes being on the higher end. Final product should be moist.
Note: If using a homemade flour blend, make sure the blend contains baking powder and salt.



happy birthday mom!!

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Thanks for going shopping with me today. I had a good time. 

Thanks so much for everything you do for me!!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

happy birthday titus!!

Happy 15th Birthday Titus!!

Stopping at OrangeLeaf before seeing Courageous

The older you get the more fun you are to be with. 
Thanks for being my brother!!


Monday, December 26, 2011

happy birthday isaac!!

Happy Birthday Isaac!!

Me, Isaac, and Charis at my sister's wedding last fall.

playing ping-pong in the garage last night.

Thanks for being such a great brother even though I don't get to see you most of the year.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

christmas is coming...

...and my "m" key isn't working right now. meaning I have to push the "m" key as hard as I can and then instead of one "m", I get 24 of them. oh well.  
yeah, that was random, but you never realize how much you use certain keys until they quit working.

Anyway, I'm excited about Christmas coming. Some cousins from St. Louis are staying with us right now and then on Sunday (after church) we have my Dad's-side-of-the-family-Christmas-celebration at our house. I can't wait!!!

Meanwhile I'm...

1. enjoying starbucks;  the Caramel Brulee Latte has been awesome

2. just did some of this last night; caroling is the best

3. thinking reindeer noses are cute this way; even though they don't have red ones :) the packaging is a good idea

4. wishing I had more time to decorate and then I would do this to the stairs...

5. doing a BUNCH of wrapping;  usually I start earlier in the month, but this year that didn't happen until yesterday. got a lot to do

6. wanting these;  I need black boots...badly. doesn't have to be this style

7. loving this Christmas/winter pin board; if you like it, you're going to have to tell me (please!)

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas celebrating Christ's birth! I hope you all enjoy it, because I know I will.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Awesome-Tasting Food!! (Christmas)

I'm sure you all have seen or heard of Peppermint Bark before. I made this terribly easy stuff a couple of years ago and loved it. The nice thing about it is that it's not something that has to look perfect. Meaning, you aren't going to mess it up if you accidentally touch it with your spoon or something.

Peppermint Bark

~ 2 cups dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
~ 2 cups white chocolate, chopped or white chocolate chips
~ 8 peppermint candy canes


Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a food processor. Pulse on/off several times for 5-10 seconds each, until the canes have been crushed into small pieces. Or you could place the candy canes in a large Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Use a rolling pin to smash the candy canes until they are the size you want.

Cover a cookie sheet with foil or wax paper.

Melt the dark chocolate. (I use the microwave, but you can also use the stove.) Pour the chocolate onto the prepared cookie sheet and use a spatula or knife to spread it to an even thickness, a little more than 1/8" thick. The chocolate does not have to reach all sides of the sheet, as it will be broken up later anyhow. Place the tray in the refrigerator to firm up while you prepare the white chocolate.

 While the dark chocolate hardens, melt the white chocolate. Stir in most of the candy cane bits, reserving about a quarter of the mixture to put on top.

 Remove the tray from the refrigerator and spread the white chocolate in an even layer over the dark chocolate.

 While the white chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces over the entire surface evenly. Press down very slightly to ensure they stick. Place the tray back in the refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes.

 Once the peppermint bark bark is completely set, break into small, uneven pieces by hand.

Here is some pretty peppermint bark made into snowflakes.

I hope you all are having a great week before Christmas!!


Monday, December 19, 2011

this is so awesome!!!

Last Saturday night I tried the technique of curling my hair with no heat by using a headband.


I was shocked (pretty much) because I've tried other ways and nothing has worked. I think that is because my hair is terribly thick and hates curls.

Anyway, I got early on Sunday because I was going out to coffee with my brother before church. I pulled the headband out and it was actually curly!! That has never happened before.

  Now, I'm going to warn you that these aren't tight curls, but bouncy, light, and bigger curls. Oh and I forgot to take a picture of it, but next time I will so I can show you.

Hope this works for some of you!!!  I'd like to know what you think...comments?


Saturday, December 17, 2011

best 5 things in december so far

meaning december is long from being over and with christmas ahead, the best is yet to come.

1. making christmas-light-gift-boxes. these things are so, so, so pretty when you light them up.

 2. playing christmas music with friends.

3. Isaac!!! my brother (he lives in N.C.) came home for christmas!! we've had a ton of fun with him already.

4. ice skating. something we do every winter. the more you go, the better you get. this picture was taken before many people got there.

5. church christmas banquet, which happened last night. more on that later.

merry christmas and have a good weekend!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Awesome-Tasting Food!! (Christmas)

Today you're going to need your crock pot for this recipe. Well, it's actually a drink, so I don't know if you consider it a recipe or not.
Anyway, Wassail is one of my favorite things at Christmastime. When wassail is in the process of mulling together, you can smell it throughout the whole house. Every year, when we watch Charlie Brown Christmas, that is something we've always had to sip on. So go get that crock pot...


~Apple Cider
~Cranberry  Juice
~1 Orange
~Cinnamon Sticks  (optional)

Take your orange and the cloves and go all around the orange pushing cloves into it. (You might want to do this part on a paper towel because it can get messy) Here is an example.

Next, take equal parts of the apple cider and cranberry juice and pour into the crock pot. Add the orange and broken cinnamon sticks. Turn the crock pot on to low for at least a couple of hours. If it is still not hot enough for your taste, turn on high for a little while.  Enjoy.


Friday, December 9, 2011

1. pins of the week...

I've got some very pretty pictures this week and some neat ideas from pinterest. Hope you like them.

1. table decor...these are so cool.

I love all the jars. We have so many I know it would be easy to do.

Had never seen something like this before, but I kinda like it.

2.  outdoor prettiness...

Doesn't this look so neat with the mountains behind it.

3. wedding...

 This is so cool. They hung a parachute at the top of the building, which made the canopy.

4. goodies...

...and awesome looking cookie dough!!!

5. places to go...

Heaven's Stair in China. I want to see this!!

6. paper boxes...

I thought this box was a ton of fun to make.

 That's it for today. Which one did you like?

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