Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Sleepover Party!

The other night a friend of ours gave us 2 tickets to the Charlotte 49ers basketball game. It was going to be hard for me to go because of Jake, so Matt called up a special buddy of his...our nephew, Corban. Corban was thrilled to be able to go and then after the game spend the night with us. It did leave us with a small problem though...our other nephew Riley wanted to come too! Matt went and picked them both up along with my sister Allison and they all headed over to our house!
This is how the afternoon started...
Matt and Corban taking each other down.
Looks like Corban has Uncle Matt pinned to the ground! Uncle Matt and Corban headed to the game! They had such a great time!

Meanwhile, Riley, Allison, Jake and I stayed back at the house. We cooked some dinner and watched a movie. Riley helped take good care of Baby Jake!
I heard little footsteps early this morning! Riley was up and at em! He jumped in bed with Matt and I. It wasn't long after that, Jake decided to come in too!

Everyone woke up happy and enjoyed some yummy Krispy Kreme powdered doughnuts!
We all had a great time! Can't wait to do it again!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Chips and Salsa Anyone?


This year I decided that instead of making cookies to give as gifts to my friends and family, I wanted to come up with something a little different. A lady that I teach with made some homemade salsa for a party at school and it was delicious! I asked for the recipe and decided to give it a try. I thought it turned out great. I thought I would share the recipe with you in case you want to try it too!
Be careful...it's an addicting snack!!


HOMEMADE SALSA


3 cans (15oz) diced tomatoes drained

8 cloves of garlic (I use the kind in the jar)

2 jalapenos (I cut out the seeds and the middle)

3/4 of a bunch of cilantro (leaves only)

3-4 green onions

salt to taste


Put all of the ingredients in a food processor! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snapshots Of Our Christmas 2008

This Christmas was extra fun now that we have our own little guy. Of course he didn't really know what was going on, but it was fun to have him around! We were busy as usual spending time with all the family. Our family always has a big get together Christmas Eve. We have always done it this way. We look forward to it every year. This year we met up with my mom and dad, brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and exchanged gifts with them in the afternoon. After the gifts were open, we loaded up and went to the Christmas Eve service at their church.

Here are all the cousins! Corban, Riley, Sophie and Jake!
Of course Matt had the brilliant idea to buy Corban and Riley boxing gloves.
I am sure my sister appreciates them so much:)

After the Christmas Eve service, we all went to my Uncle Bill and Aunt Karen's house for a delicious meal and LOTS of Christmas treats! Everything looked so pretty! We ate and visited with the whole gang!

Some of the family...there is a bunch of us!

A quick family picture!

Here is Jake and I with my Grandpa! I love him so much! He is the absolute BEST!

My BIG little brother, Steve and I.

Matt and I together in front of the Christmas tree.

Corban enjoying some of the Christmas treats!
Looks so yummy:)
Here is my cousin Sugie with Matt and their HUGE dog Buck...not to be confused with one of Santa's reindeer!
Christmas morning we were supposed to have Matt's parents over for a yummy Christmas breakfast, but we got the call letting us know that Matt's dad got the flu! We have all had it, so it was just a matter of time before he got it too. So, we made a little breakfast for ourselves and helped Jake open his present!

Matt got a sock monkey when he was a little boy so we decided Jake might like one too!
We named him Marley because Matt and I went to see the sweet movie "Marley and Me" later on that afternoon.

I think he likes it!?!?!

Yes...he does!
We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas too!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's Off To Bake We Go!

Today was one of my most favorite days in preparation for Christmas! We all got together and had a big day of baking Christmas cookies! We all brought the ingredients to our favorite cookies and got to work. I decided to make chocolate dipped pretzels and mint thin cookies. We also made sugar cookies (loaded with icing and sprinkles of course) and peanut butter blossoms (everyone's favorite)!Here is Kelly and Allison hard at work decorating sugar cookies! They did such a fabulous job!
Here is everyone baking, icing, decorating and of course taste testing! Grammy mixing up her peanut butter blossom cookies!
Of course this little guy knew just what he was doing. He loved decorating, but he liked eating them even more. Actually he would decorate them and then lick the frosting off... the best part of course!
These are my Mint Thin cookies that I blogged about earlier. I LOVE these! They taste just like girl scout cookies and they look so pretty!
We had such a fun day! Now we get to enjoy all of our sweet treats!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas...Round 1 and Birthday Fun

I am officially on Christmas break! Yippy! We got out of school this past Thursday! Of course the two days that I did work this past week were full of Christmas fun in my classroom as well as throughout the whole school. Monday was my first day back from maternity leave. It was fun to see all my kids again! It was very hard leaving Jake (even though his daddy took great care of him), however he was with me most of the day because we were asked to be Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus at a very special breakfast. Every year the school puts on a "King of Kings" breakfast for the kids. They make a special breakfast and share the Christmas story. It is so fun!
Every year when I read through the Christmas story, I always think about what it would have been like to be Mary. Such a young girl. What was going through her mind? How in the world did she tell her parents? Would people believe her? What was her pregnancy like?

Jake did a super job being Baby Jesus! He was wide awake during the first show. He just looked all around! The second show he slept throughout the entire thing! We didn't get any great pics, but this is what we did get.
I have been trying to get a cute Christmas picture of Jake in his big boy Christmas jammies. This is the best I have so far. We are all ready for Christmas to get here! All of our shopping is done, well almost. We had to be ready a little early this year because we celebrated with Matt's family this past weekend.
Matt, Jake and I ready to open presents with everyone!

Lily couldn't wait to see what was inside this one!

Abby and Jake will celebrate their first Christmas this year!


Matt loving on Rebekah.
Not only have we been busy celebrating Christmas, we also have a very special birthday to celebrate today too! My nephew Riley is 3 years old today! We had a birthday party over at my mom's for him last night. The gang was all together (except for Matt, who has been sick) to wish a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this sweet guy!

Matt picked out this race track especially for him!
Poor Jake had enough partying this weekend. It wasn't long before he was knocked out in Grandma's arms!
Well, tomorrow is our annual cookie baking day! We are all meeting at my sister Jenny's house for some baking, baking and more baking! I am trying to decide on what cookies to make.
What are some of your favorite Christmas cookies?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

These Are A Few Of My Favorite (Christmas) Things...

I love getting a great deal! Last year at the end of the Christmas season I really wanted to get Matt and I some stockings. I knew what I wanted, I just had to find them and they had to be at the right price. So I ended up on Pottery Barn Kids and actually found just what I was looking for and of course they were on sale. I picked up 4 stockings, so as our family grew, we could still match. I wanted to get them monogrammed with our names on them, so after Jake was born it was on my to do list! I called up my friend Faith and she did a marvelous job!
"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care"...well not so much in our case because we don't have a fireplace, but this was a great place for them. I am so pleased! They look just beautiful hanging up waiting to be filled with goodies!

Have you ever tried this?... Your holidays are not complete without some peppermint ice cream!
This is one of my favorite holiday treats. You can only buy it during this time of year. Don't let another year go by without some!

What are the holidays without baking...lots and lots of baking! Every year my sisters, mom and grandma all get together for a HUGE day of cookie baking! We all meet together bringing the ingredients for a few different kind of cookies and we go at it. It is always so much fun! We end up with quite a spread! This is a cookie that I made last year and I am planning on making it again. It came from of course the Kraft Food magazine from last year, but I am bringing it out again. They were so quick and easy and of course delicious!

MINT THINS
Prep Time:20 min
Total Time:20 min
Makes:3 doz. or 12 servings, three coated crackers each
What You Need
1 pkg. (8 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1 sleeve RITZ Crackers (36 crackers)
1 peppermint candy cane (6 inch), crushed
Make It
MICROWAVE chocolate in small microwaveable bowl as directed on package. Stir until completely melted. Blend in extract.
DIP crackers in melted chocolate, completely coating crackers with chocolate. Carefully scrape off excess chocolate. Place on waxed paper-covered baking sheets; sprinkle with crushed candy.
REFRIGERATE 30 min. or until chocolate is firm.
Only 14 More Days!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Let The Christmas Fun Begin!

This weekend was full of Christmas fun for us! Saturday morning I went to an ornament exchange party. There were several girls from my Sunday school class there. We had a delicious brunch together, exchanged ornaments and had a small Christmas devotional. It was so nice! After that party, I headed over to my mom's house and we went to the annual Christmas tea at her church. We have been the last three years! I always go with my mom, sisters, grandma and a close family friend. Each table that is set up is decorated with Christmas china and gorgeous centerpieces. We have yummy food, hear wonderful Christmas music and hear from a speaker. It is always a great time! I forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures to share:(

This is an ornament that is on our tree this year. Neither Matt nor I like pickles, so why in the world do we have one on our Christmas tree? My Grandma, who lives in Michigan, sent us this a few years ago. This is a tradition that German families celebrate at Christmas time. I don't know that much about it, but families hide the pickle somewhere in the tree and on Christmas morning whoever finds the hidden pickle, gets an extra gift! Each year we hang it in our tree too!
Our "Christmas Pickle"
Before I left the ornament exchange party, the hostess gave us each another special ornament. This is such a cute Christmas craft idea that I am going to steal. This ornament is made out of lifesavers. All you have to do is place the lifesavers in any shape you like on parchment paper. Bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until the candy has melted together. As soon as they come out of the oven poke a hole in the top so you can put a ribbon through them and hang them on your tree! I think they would also look really cute if you used red and white peppermint candy! I am going to give it a try!

I thought I would add this picture too! This is what is going on at our house this afternoon! I went to a consignment shop a few weeks ago and found this little Steelers jersey for Jake! Can't pass up a great deal! What a find it was! Little twins!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What A Week!

This week has been very busy with lots of Thanksgiving activities! We spent lots of time with Matt's brothers and their families since they drove all the way up from Florida to visit. This is a picture of all the cousins (Rebekah, Jake, Abby and Lily). We found out this weekend that Josh and Katie are expecting another baby in July! That will make 5 grandkids on this side of the family. Maybe Jake can get a boy cousin to even things up a bit:)! Poor guy!

Matt and I also had fun picking out our Christmas tree. Actually, if it were up to me, I would wait a little while longer. I don't like it up quite this early. I know, I know...call me Scrooge. To me, it just gets in the way. We really don't have a great place to put it, so it just sticks out. Here we are with out tree! We always go to the same little place down the road to get our tree. This Christmas will be a little extra fun with Baby Jake around! I did have fun today getting some of the Christmas decorations put out around the house. I really want to hang our stockings up, but I am getting them monogrammed so I have to wait.

Getting our tree the day after Thanksgiving does have special meaning. This is how Matt and I got engaged. We went out and picked out a tree and were going to decorate it together. Just as we were finishing up Matt told me that he had one more ornament to put on the tree. He went back into his room and brought me this... I can't believe how fast time has flown by and now this year we have a baby to celebrate Christmas with! We always have fun hanging this special ornament on the tree and remembering that special day!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Happy Thanksgiving To You and Your Family!
2008

Give Thanks

Bless our God, O peoples,
give Him grateful thanks
and make the voice of His praise be heard!
Psalm 66:8
It is Thanksgiving morning and I am very excited about all the things that we are busy with today. Matt and I both have families here, so it will be one jammed packed day! We are headed to my sister's house first and then to the Trent's house for round two! Both of Matt brothers and their families came up from Florida so we will spend time with them.
While I was up for a 2am feeding this morning, I was thinking about ALL the things that I have to be thankful for this year. There are so many! God has BLESSED us BEYOND what we could have ever imagined and for that we are THANKFUL. Many of you posted things you were thankful for everyday this month. Here is just a few of the things that are on my list...
1. I am thankful for the salvation I have received through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
2. I am thankful for my husband who loves the Lord and loves his family. I am also VERY THANKFUL that he arranged for me to stay at home on maternity leave a little longer with Jake than what was originally planned!
3. I am thankful for my sweet, sweet, sweet baby! He is the love of my life! I could just eat him up!
4. I am thankful for my BIG family! What a blessing it is to see how it is growing by leaps and bounds!
5. I am thankful for the home God provided for us this year. It was a need that we had and God led us right to it!
6. I am thankful for my job. I am blessed to work in a Christian school where I can talk openly about the Lord and share the love of Christ to my students.
7. I am thankful for how God has provided for us financially through Matt's job, even when the real estate market has been slow.
8. I am thankful for our health.
9. I am thankful for my church and a great Sunday school class where I can be encouraged by other people.
10. I am thankful for my girlfriends who encourage me in my walk with the Lord, who laugh with me and are always there for me.
Wow! So much to be thankful for. The list could go on and on. I think we often miss so many of God's blessings because we are so busy running here and running there. It is so important to stop and take the time to think about all the ways we have been blessed!
Now on a lighter note...
Are you planning to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? It is one of my favorite things to do today! It is about to start in just a few minutes! I heard they are having a few new floats this year! Watch for Buzz Light Year and a smurf will to be flying high!
And I can't leave without telling my favorite Thanksgiving Day memory...
Several years growing up we were head to Maryland where my Uncle Ray, Aunt Kathie and my cousins, Heidi and Keven lived to spend Thanksgiving with them. Well, one year we got up early Thanksgiving morning and decided that we would spend the day touring Washington. We would spend the day out and about and then come home to a delicious turkey dinner. Well, things didn't quite work out that way. After we got back home we were all ready to walk in the house and smell the aroma of a turkey dinner, but we didn't smell a thing. My Aunt Kathie realized she forgot to turn the oven on and not a thing was cooked! Of course, not a restaurant was open so we ended up eating pancakes and eggs for Thanksgiving that year! She felt horrible, but to this day we look back and just laugh! What a great memory!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Am 6 Weeks Today!

Turning 6 weeks old is a very hard job!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

Well, I am on my last week of maternity leave. I can't believe that it is almost over. This week is going to fly by. I am trying not to think about it and take in every moment I can, but it is very hard. I have tried to do lots of things that I won't be able to do once I am back to school. One of those things is to have lunch with my grandparents. We are so very close to them and I love them more than anything. Jake makes their fourth great-grandchild! Last Friday Jake and I headed over to their house for a special lunch. Grandpa loves Baby Jake and takes such good care of him! Jake slept soundly in his arms! Grandma made us yummy sandwiches and baked us homemade oatmeal raisin cookies! She also loves Jake! Jake is learning how to eat out of a bottle. Grandma fed it to him while we were over there and he ate every last drop! He loves to cuddle with Grandma!
Saturday night our Sunday school class celebrated Thanksgiving with a great big delicious Thanksgiving dinner! Everyone brought something to share. We had a great time hanging out with our friends! We are blessed to be in such an awesome class!

This Thursday we are going to spend time with both of our families. We are looking forward to lots more Thanksgiving fun!

Did you watch this last night? 24 is our most favorite show. Last night was just the "intro" to it. The show will begin again in January. I am not much of a T.V watcher, but this show has me hooked. Matt and I have all the previous seasons and we have watched them all! We actually made a night of it and had my sister Kelly and brother Tim over for homemade chili!
If you haven't seen it...beware...you will become hooked!
Today Matt and I went out and ran a few errands together. We stopped for a little lunch at Shane's rib shack.It is pretty chilly and wet outside today, so I was ready to get back home and stay warm!