Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas In Review

I've been checking out everyone's Christmas posts, looking at your Christmas photos and I loved reading the stories. It sounds like everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday like we did.

Of course, Katie and I continued our Christmas tradition, sleeping under the Christmas tree. As a child, I slept under the Christmas tree every year in hopes to catch Santa Claus in the act. I don't know what I would have done, if I did catch him other than help him unload his sack. HA! I've tried to pass along this tradition on to my Katiebug and she loves it. Last year, we were not able to sleep under the tree together because I was 6-7 months pregnant with Colton. I did ask Katie if she wanted to sleep under the tree by herself and she just isn't comfortable enough to do that right now, I'm sure she will when she is older. This year, she was so excited. I made a pallet of blankets and placed her princess sleeping bag right by the tree. This mama threw a sheet and blanket on our couch, it was comfy enough for me. We used the Christmas lights as our nightlight. I finally got her to let me turn the television off at 11 p.m.

Christmas Eve

We spent our Christmas Eve at Tim and Susan's house. We had such a good time and pleasantly surprised to see Chase sitting on the couch, as we walked in. As you know, he survived a very serious car accident not too long ago. He still has to watch every step he makes, so he doesn't fall or cause any more stress on his liver. I asked him if they put him in a big bubble in order for him to come over. He has a great sense of humor.

Katie and Colton received so many nice gifts from their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. I think they loved everything. Katie had to sleep with her new Barbie Hairdresser and wear her Princess Tiana necklace on Christmas morning. Colton received the cutest black Converse tenny shoes. They are adorable.

The dirty santa was a lot of fun. My Bama blanket was in more of a demand that I first thought. This year's rules were that the third person that possessed an item, automatically froze it. This rule caused our game to end short because it wasn't long before all the good gifts were frozen. It was still fun. In the end, Tim froze my blanket and he gave it to Chase because he knew what a big Bama fan he was. I thought that was sweet because Chase was sick knowing the blanket was frozen before he had a chance to get it. There were all kinds of nice prizes like gift cards to Academy, Victoria Secret, Cracker Barrel and Smith Farms Meat. Every nice gift I picked out, Victoria Secret and Cracker Barrel, everyone kept snatching it. I still got a nice gift - a houndstooth boggin and an Alabama Football ornament.

Christmas Day
We got up Christmas morning to find all sorts of neat gifts under the tree. Santa was good to us once again. Katie and Colton's presents from Santa were nicely displayed by the tree, greeting them on Christmas morning. Of course, Colton didn't know what was going on at the time. He just knew there was something different. He tried his best to get a closer look at Katie's Barbie Camper. HA! I had an awful time keeping him away from it (little stinker).

We waited as long as we could, but I knew the time we were facing. If we were going to get to Millard and Peggy's by noon, I had to get the ball-a-rolling and get Katie out of bed. She would sleep every morning until 9:00-10:00 AM, if I let her. I don't care what time she went to bed the night before. She is so much like me and a lot of my family members, we love to sleep. As soon as Colton and I woke her up, surprisingly it didn't take much persuading her to get in the Living Room to see what Santa brought. Santa was too good to her this year. He remembered how she loved to watch the cuckoo clocks at the German store in town and he brought her one. It doesn't cuckoo, thank goodness. It's sweet - a little dutch girl swings back and forth, while a blue bird rocks to the beat. She loves it! She loves music boxes, so I got her a manual music box to "The Silent Nutcracker." It's one of her favorite songs. I'm really hoping next year to be able to take her to the ballet. Of course, she received what she'd been begging for a Barbie Camper. It's pretty cool. Both of the sides open for lots of room. There is a dining area, bed, kitchen & bathroom. It comes with all sorts of accessories including campfire sticks with marshmallows on the top for Barbie. The toilet makes a flushing sound when you press a button. Another button makes all kinds of noise like crickets chirping and crackling fire. So neat! Colton likes his toys as well. He is all the time swiping dad's remote control, so we got Colton his very own Sesame Street Remote Control. He loves it! He and I played with the barn. I noticed that everytime, I put his animals in the loft of the barn, he would knock them off. I guess he didn't like them up there. Who knows!

Santa was good to Doug and I as well. I received my favorite perfume, Beautiful Love; makeup; "The Proposal" and "Gone With The Wind" Blu-Ray DVDs; and a new cell-phone. Doug received a Nick Saban autographed Alabama Football book; Polo Black cologne; and new TV. More importantly, God has blessed us so much this year. We have Colton in our lives, Doug received his degree, his job is doing good, we've all been very healthy and happy.

We finally got to Millard and Peggy's a little later. It was nice to sit back and just go with the flow. Katie's eyes lit up as soon as she saw what grandma and paw-paw got her for Christmas. It was the Polly Pocket Roller Coaster that she also asked for. How nice! She was fired up, ready for daddy to put it together on kitchen table.

You talk about a challenge for Doug and Millard to put this thing together. As you can, there are a lot of pieces, but it's pretty cool. The cart cranks up the ladder just like a real roller coaster. It comes with SEVERAL accessories including a tiki bar & disco ball. HA!

Millard and Peggy found at the "Tractor Supply" store the cutest John Deere ATV Scooter for Colton. At home, he likes to get on his knees and push the four-wheeler all over the Living Room floor. He seems to really like it & he looks so darn cute.

The Twilight Saga
As you may know, Leslie and Susan were talking to me awhile back about the "Twilight Series." They were telling me how good these books are and in fact Leslie was on the fourth novel. I never picked it up because I figured it would be the same ol' same ol' vampire story. I was very mistaken! After great deliberation, I got the book and read it during the Christmas weekend. Yeah, I read the book within three days. Oh my my my! What a great book. I had the hardest time putting it down. Doug even allowed me to spend a whole day on my book, kind of a "me day." It was nice to just get completely lost in this book.

When you mention vampires, I think of blood and obscene gestures. Not at all! It was a sweet romance between two very shy people that will do anything for the people they love the most. How the head of the coven, Carlisle, was the son of a minister from London. He was bitten and he had the hardest time accepting the fact. He tried his best to fulfill his father's footsteps just to be given this curse. After great depths of ridding his life to finally accept what he had become and making something that is so evil into good. He realized how he could survive off of animal's blood rather than human. He became a doctor to heal the sick. His companions were only those who were on their death beds, waiting for their turn to pass on to another life. I was surprised how Carlisle tells Bella that he believes in God. What a refreshing new look on vampires and their life. I loved the romantic scenes, it melted my heart several times and absolutely nothing immoral. I applaud Stephanie Meyer for the way she delicately embraced these two teens, absolutely nothing obscene. It's a very innocent and beautiful story. When I finished the book, I was thirsty for more. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into "New Moon." So, Katie, Colton and I jumped in the truck yesterday and headed for the Movie Gallery. Yes, they had the movie "Twilight" in Blu-ray. That night, I watched it and still loved it. Yeah, the movie varied somewhat from the book, but it pretty much stayed with the book (no big variations). I also stopped by Walmart and grabbed "New Moon." Last night, I read ten chapters. I can't force my hand down, I had to find out what happened next. I didn't go to bed until after 1 AM this morning. While I took a break today from daily chores, I killed another chapter. This book is so emotional for me. Last night, I teared up a few times. Oh, I feel so bad for Bella. The questions keep piling up in my head. Like, has Bella really lost Edward forever? Will she ever get over him? Will Edward have the strength to stay away from Bella, knowing that her life could be in danger? Will Bella fall for Jacob in order to fill that void in her chest? Will Edward & Jacob be able to protect Bella before Victoria is able to avenge her mate's death? What will happen next? PLEASE DON'T TELL ME! I plan to read a few more chapters tonight before going to bed. I can't wait!

Movies In Review
The Hangover
Doug read reviews about this movie. He thought it would be such a good movie to watch. Please don't waste your time even renting this movie. STUPID! Unfortunately for us, Doug bought the Blu-ray. Ugh!

The Proposal
I love this movie. It is such a good romantic movie with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Let's not forget how funny Betty White is in this film. This is one reason I wanted Doug to buy me this movie for Christmas. It is so good!

Gone With The Wind
Some of you know that one of my all time favorite classic movies is "Gone With The Wind." Well, Doug found one on Blu-ray and it's awesome. I couldn't believe how clear it was! If you like the movie, you've got to see it in Blu-ray.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas Greetings!

I hope you don't mind, but I took some time off from blogging. I'm back and ready to share stories, recipes and lots of pictures with you.

Wow! We've had a very blessed Christmas week. We spent a lot of time, shopping, and preparing for our traditional Christmas parties with our familes. We seem to have a tradition to have our photo taken in front of the Christmas tree every year, since Katie was born. This year was very special because we got to include our new little addition to the family photo. Colton seems to be a natural in front of the camera.

Katie and I have been the Betty Crocker cookie makers this year. (lol!) Katie has discovered, she likes to help mom in the kitchen. I let her do a little more to help me out this year compared to last. I'd measure out all the ingredients and let her help me pour them into the bowl. On a couple of occasions, I'd bake the cookies and she would decorate them. Laura - you and Alise hit the nail right on the head by getting Katie an apron. She loves it! I let her open Alise's presents the day before Christmas Eve. Of course, she had me put the apron in the wash right away. She wants it to be clean and ready for the next time, we make cookies. HA HA!
The snowflake sugar cookies, we made, seem to be the hit at the parties. God bless him, Chase, told Leslie they were too pretty to eat. I knew I liked him for some reason. (HA HA!)
I'd never used Meringue powder until this year instead of my regular recipe for Royal Icing, which calls for egg whites. Wow! It really opened up my eyes because I only had to use 3 ingredients in order to create the icing. I flooded the cookies with a Winter blue icing. The pearly looking balls are made of sugar.
We cut out all sorts of different designs of snowflakes and piped even more creative patterns. I had lots of fun making them. I think we ended up with close to 3 dozen or more.
These are the "Holiday Cake Bon-Bons," I'd talked about before. They were delicious! The batch, we made, ended up being a little over 2 dozen. I was afraid Kevin and Pat would make fun of the small size bon-bons that's why you see them a little bigger than normal. I created them and Katie put the sprinkles on them. She had lots of fun doing the sprinkles. Below is the recipe:

Holiday Cake Bon-Bons
1 box cake mix (any flavor)(water, vegetable oil & eggs called for on cake mix box)
1 container frosting
3 oz. vanilla or chocolate-flavored candy coating

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9" pan with baking spray with flour. Prepare cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil & eggs. pour into pan. Bake 30-33 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, crumble the warm cake; stir in the frosting until well blended. Refridgerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Shape into balls. (If mixture is too sticky, refrigerate until firm enough to shape.) Freeze 30 minutes.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave candy coating on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until smooth. Dip the balls, one at a time, in candy coating using a wooden skewer or fork to hold them. Place on aluminum foil-covered cookie sheet. Decorate as desired. Refridgerate cake balls about 10 minutes or until coating is set. Serve at room temperature. Store in airtight container.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Katie's Personal Message from Santa

Katie recieved a very important video email from Santa Claus. It is so sweet. Just click on the link below, if you would like to see it.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Joy To The World

Did you ever know that it could be painful to be joyful to the world? According to Katie's version of the famous song "Joy To The World," it's painful to see the king. HA HA! Have you ever just sat and listened to your children singing the traditional Christmas carols? Katie had her School Christmas Program this morning. She did great! We didn't get to sit too close to the front, but I could see Katie's mouth just as wide as she could, singing those songs. A little later into the morning, she was still into the Christmas spirit, singing Christmas carols. As I was folding clothes, I was listening to her singing "Joy to the World." I had to control myself as she was singing the verse - Let earth receive her King, instead her version was It hurts to see the King. You know, I didn't have the heart to correct her because I thought it was precious. She kept singing this version to the song over and over. If your child has a cute or funny version to one of the Christmas Classics, please share it with me. I'd love to hear them.

Katie's School Christmas Program

As mentioned above, Katie had her Christmas Program today. The children did great and seemed to have a lot of fun. Overall it was a very nice production. Afterwards, we all met in the gym for refreshments. Katie and her little friends went straight to the Christmas cookies. All she ate was the icing off of it. Later, she told me the cookies didn't taste all that good. Mrs. Krenkel announced once everyone got inside the gym, Santa was making his way into the room. Some children looked concerned and others were excited to see Santa. In fact, it was my old boss. I couldn't mistake his voice for a second. Sure enough, it was him. He was great with the children and he even coaxed Katie to sit in his lap and I could actually see her talking to him. I couldn't believe my eyes. I couldn't watch her a lot because I was talking with a lady, we use to work together. She was helping Santa line up the children. She came over and asked me if Katie was mine. Tasha said she couldn't mistaken Katie as being mine and she won over Colton. Thankfully, Doug took lots of pictures of Katie on Santa's lap.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Christmas Tree

Can you believe Christmas is one week away from tomorrow? I can't hardly believe it! Time just flies by so fast for me. Sure, there are days when I'm having a bad day and want it to go a little faster just so I can get to the end of that day, but I wish time would slow down. It won't be long before I'm preparing for a little boy's first birthday party. Oh, I'm so sad! In order to watch "The Christmas Tree" video, CLICK HERE.

Visit With Ol' Saint Nick
I got so much done today. Of course, I had my meeting with ol' Saint Nick and we talked about Katie's behavioral problems, what we need to work on. Because I was gone most of the day, visiting Santa Claus, I took Katie and Colton to visit with Peggy and Millard. Katie was really sad and didn't want to see me leave. She kept begging me to stay with her at Peggy and Millard's house. It didn't dawn on me until much later that Katie really didn't care if I stayed with her or not. She was worried because she hasn't been the greatest little girl this year. I've been telling her about Santa's elves are every where, watch and reporting back to the Big Man. She didn't believe me and continue to take toys away from her brother and act ugly to mommy. I kept warning her about me meeting with Santa Claus and how he will be talking with me about her. Will she be on the naughty or nice list? Katie's always been kind of greedy with her hugs and kisses, but this year she added a little ugliness to it. It's really made me sad (mad) to see her act this way to other people that care about her. In the past, I've tried to guilt her into showing a little love. In the past, it worked pretty good. Now that she's older, it's not so good. I hope my family doesn't loose heart with her because she is beautiful on the inside and loving. She is just having a very hard time showing it right now. I'm having to use a little more discipline when it comes to the loving and whining. I can't stand the whining. Anyway, on our way home from Peggy and Millard tonight, the first thing out of Katie's mouth was "did you see Santa today?" I told her that I did. "Well, what did he say?" she asked all concerned. I told her that he and Jesus met and they've seen how she's been treating everyone and that she needs to work on doing better. If she makes mistakes, she is to say "I'm sorry and I'll try better" a lot more. Daddy even added that she is to hug and kiss people more. I agreed that Santa and I discussed that as well. If someone in the family wants a hug and kiss, she is to do it. She is to share and be nicer to Colton. I added that Santa said, he could see she is trying to do better and she is to keep it up. If she tries to do better and be a good little girl, he just might come by our house and give her the Barbie Camper, she's been wanting. She was so sad, she put her head in her lap. I'm sure hoping she will try better, so she can get her Barbie Camper for Christmas. She'll be one sad little girl, if Santa has to pass by our house.

Katie's School
Katie has her Christmas Program tomorrow and then she'll be off the rest of the year. Yay! I don't know whose more excited over a holiday break, me or her. I'm just ready for a short break from ballet and school. She's excited about her program because she knows daddy, baby Colton and I will be there, cheering her on. With camcorder and camera in hand, of course.

Katie's best friend, Claire, has a birthday the 22nd (I believe) of December. I didn't tell Katie, but Claire will be having a birthday party on New Year Eve night. I didn't tell Katie because I know she'll aggravate me until time for the party. She'll be so excited when she finds out. Now, I've got to figure out what to get Claire.

Prayer Request
Chase is still doing good, just taking it easy. I spoke to Susan last night and she told me that after the doctor viewed his CT scan, he noticed the laceration to Chase's liver was much deeper than first thought. He said a simple fall would kill Chase. He is to be very careful for 2 whole weeks. He has to walk because he has a partially collapsed lung, but he can't trip and stay in complete control, so he doesn't jar his liver. I don't know what Leslie or Chase's mom is going through, but I'm so nervous just thinking about it. Sue said that his bedroom is upstairs and the bathroom (to take baths) is downstairs. Yes, he is going up and downstairs. Ugh! I told her, if I was Kellie (Chase's mom), I'd put that boy in a bubble and make him lay down for 2 solid weeks. Susan added that overall Chase is in really good spirits and still has his sense of humor.

Shannon's body was being viewed tonight at 5 or 6 PM. His funeral is tomorrow. Please continue to remember his family.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Party, Party, Party

I've got lots to update you on, so hold on or you may have to read this in two parts. HA!

Horton Christmas
I didn't get to enjoy the party as much as I normally would because Colton was gracious enough to give me his cold. I had a terrible headache, nearly the whole time I was there. I hated it for the people that had to look at me. Trust me when I say, I tried to hide my illness. By the end of the day, I was apologizing to people for not feeling well.

I know Katie had a great time, playing with Ty and Trey. Poor kids, I know they wanted to go outside and play, but it was miserable most of the day. They did good though, playing in the house. She absolutely hated it when Trey and Ty had to go. Shawn and Anthony had another party to go to, so Trey and Ty went home with Horace and Joyce for the evening. Katie was mooping around the house. She finally told me, she was bored and wished Ty and Trey didn't have to leave so quickly.

Colton had a ball being passed around like a sack of potatoes. That is right up his alley. I think he did real good for not taking a long nap. He took up to Anthony. We don't know if it was because Anthony was sitting in the rocking chair or if he just really liked him. Colton would crawl up to Anthony and act like he wanted picked up. As soon as Anthony picked him up, Colton would start rocking. As to say, please rock me. Anthony would start rocking him and he acted all content. If Anthony stopped rocking, Colton would go right back to rocking back and forth until Anthony started rocking once again.

Joyce made it okay during the party. I think she was giving out on us after dinner. As soon as Dirty Santa was over, it wasn't long before her and Horace were packing up. Bless her heart, she just can't make it long at all before she begins to wear out.

Here's a picture of Henry's Alabama Football Christmas tree. It turned out really pretty. I like it!

I had to take a picture of this elephant head, sticking out of Henry's wall. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this before in my life.

Katie's Christmas Performance
Yesterday, Katie's class dressed up in their special reindeer shirts and sang Christmas carols to all the lunchtime customers at Berkley Bob's Coffee House. It was cute, they had a stage in the corner of the restaurant for all the children to stand on for the BIG performance. I believe the classes went from Preschool to 1st Grade. All the 1st Graders played Christmas songs with their recorders. I could tell they practiced because it was nice sounding and didn't sound like fingernails to a chalkboard. Once the older children were finished, the younger kids stood up and began singing their songs. They did so good. Us parents went on and on about how well they did. I couldn't get over how Katie stayed up there for so long without going berserk. I took pictures with my camera phone, but can't show them to you right because my connector is in Colton's room and he is asleep. Ugh! I'll try to get it tomorrow.

Katie's Class Christmas Party & Ornament Exchange
Katie had a blast at her party. I think I did good, juggling Colton, taking pictures and passing out food. He was getting so squirmy in my arms that I decided to just let him down. Oh man, it was a whole new world for him. He couldn't crawl fast enough and check out everything. From time to time, I had to go get him and hold him. Boy, he didn't like that idea. Not one bit! He was on an exploring mission and I was the road block. As you can tell from the pictures, there was a lot of food. Katie and I made all the children small goody bags. I think they were a hit because kids couldn't get their suckers in their mouths fast enough and the Christmas poppers were flying through the air. It was fun! Mrs. Katie loved her gift. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of Mrs. Katie with her sign. Instead, I took a picture of her and Katie with her card. Ugh! I don't know what I was thinking. To give you a visual, I went to a local craft fair. At one booth, they were selling wooden signs. I found an apple sign with a satin ribbon that could hang on the wall. I asked the women, if she could personalize it for me and I was so excited that she could. I had her paint "Mrs. Katie's Class" on the front. It turned out good and Mrs. Katie seemed to really like it. The children gave us parents Christmas presents as well. On a glass ball is Katie's handprint and on the opposite side is her name and year, written in red glitter paint. The other ornament is a stocking made out of construction paper with Katie's picture in the middle and decorated with glitter paint. Thankfully, Mrs. Katie had it laminated for safe keeping. So precious! I will treasure them always and have them hanging on our tree for years to come or until Katie tells me "okay mom, it's time to put these away."
Katie did such a good job decorating her cupcakes for her party. She's been quite the little helper in the Kitchen. She helps me mix all the ingredients together. She even tells me if I didn't put in enough of a specific ingredient. I've been using this as a learning tool (too much or not enough and which is greater).
By the way, Mrs. Katie gave a little semester test to all the students and she was happy to report that Katie is doing great. We've been working on her letter recognition and Mrs. Katie can see a huge improvement since the beginning of school. I've been quizzing her (making it a game) about her letter sounds with pictures. I quizzed her one time in front of Millard and she got them all correct. I've been teaching her small words like "at, cat, bat, mat, pat, etc." She liked that game "what words can you make out of 'at'?" I'm thinking about purchasing a new fridge magnet that helps you spell out words. I'll wait until closer to Easter before getting it because I think she'll be ready by then.

Mrs. Katie posing with Katie and the Christmas card she gave her. I hate it that I forgot to take a picture of the Apple sign. She's got it hanging up in her classroom where she can see it.
Colton all bundled up on a cold 33 degree morning, heading to Katie's Christmas party. Poor baby is still trying to get over his cold.

Nicholas' visit
Nicholas is home from school and wanted to come by and visit with me and the children for a little bit. Unfortunately, I had just put Colton down for a nap. Poor thing, it sounds like he's life is one big book in front of his face, most of the time. He'll be home for the rest of the month. I told him, Katie and I would be making sugar cookies next week. He said (laughingly), he'd be over to "help." Honestly, he needs to help me eat the cookies because he is sooo thin. Hopefully, he can get fattened up before leaving for school next year.

Y'all I'm soo tired, I'm falling asleep as we speak. I've had a huge two-three weeks. I'll have to blog some more a little later.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Quick Note

I can't do my usually blogging tonight, but I had to mention a few prayer requests.

Saturday, my niece's boyfriend, Chase, survived a bad car accident. He was a passenger in a vehicle that the driver lost control and struck a tree. The tree hit on the same side Chase was sitting. The blow from the tree, knocked him out. He suffered broken ribs, punctured lung, lacerations to both his liver and lung. Where the tree knocked out the glass, cut his ear and caused several other cuts to his arms and (I think) legs. Poor boy is in bad shape, but it doing fine. I found out on Sunday and kept in contact with Leslie about his condition. He has been a real trooper, according to Leslie. When I talked to her today, he was on his way home. The only really big concern is his liver. Doctors want him to take it easy for the next couple of weeks. They are afraid if he takes one bad blow, even a fall, it could land him right back in the ER. God sent his angel to look over this young man. Please continue to pray that he will take the doctor's advice to the letter and he will have a fast recovery.

Shawn called me today before we left for ballet. The guy, I've had on our prayer list for some time, Shannon Privett, passed away today. Susan told me the other day how he had tumors all over his poor body. I know Shannon isn't suffering anymore, but his family and friends are missing him so much right now. They need your prayers. All they need right now is God's comfort. Shannon, I believe, is the same age as my sister, June, so I would say that he is around 47 years old. He has left behind, a beautiful wife and two special boys. Matt, I think is around 20 years old and Adam is still in high school.

I have an unspoken request. There are just some things that are going on in my life, I need God's direction and guidance. I'm usually the one, He has to drag kicking and screaming to follow his directions, so I need his courage to accept as well.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mark Ingram wins the Heisman Trophy!

How exciting to watch Mark Ingram, Bama's Running Back to receive the first Heisman Trophy for The University of Alabama. I got a little choked up listening to his acceptance speech. Wow! I was so happy for him. What a trip, he must be going through right now.

MARK iNGRAM Pictures, Images and Photos


It's been pretty painful, but Colton finally cut his 4th tooth. YAY!

We've been really getting into the Christmas spirit around here. We've been making crafts, lots of baking and decorating. Being the somewhat perfectionist, I've lost my temper a time or two. It's really hard for me to remember that Katie is only 4 years old and still hasn't fully developed her LISTENING skills. I keep telling her that I'm going to have her hearing checked because I'm afraid something's wrong. Of course I know what it is because I had it up until I was about 17 years old. It's called "selective hearing." In fact, I still practice it from time to time. Shhh! Don't tell Doug. (tehe)

Katie and I made snowflake ornaments for her classmates & our own tree. I kept getting on to her because she wouldn't spread the glitter glue out. She puts big blobs. I tried to help her out and spread them out as best as I could. I have to say, after they all finally dried, they turned out pretty. I wrote the year on the back of them for her. She loved making them. I'll have to buy more glitter glue, so she can make more.

This is one of three Bama football no sew blankets that I've made this year. I think it turned out nice. Doug doesn't want me to give it away, but I've already decided to put it in our family "Dirty Santa." I forgot to take a picture of the back of the blanket, but it's a checkered pattern with the script "A." I got a little side tracked because of the children wanting to get in the picture. Colton wanted you to see how big the blanket really is. LOL! If I can remember I'll take a picture and get it posted.

I finished putting together Katie's classmates goody bags. Each child will receive a homemade snowflake ornament, pencil, a bag of snowman sugar cookies (Katie made), Christmas poppers, Candy Ring Pop, Reese Cups, Strawberry flavored Candy Cane, Chocolate Crisp Santa Claus and Christmas Greetings from Katie. Her party isn't until Wednesday, but I still have Christmas cupcakes to make.

Katie got Mrs. Katie a large painted wooden apple sign that reads "Mrs. Katie's Class," she can hang on the wall or door. I think she'll like it, especially since she is a fairly new teacher (still working on degree).

At the party, they are suppose to have an ornament exchange and $5 was the limit. You know, ornaments cost. The only child's ornament that we could find was a "Frosty The Snowman" ball within the limit. Yeah, I know. I should have taken her to Hobby Lobby, but we really didn't have that kind of time. Plus, every time I go into HL, I always come out with much more than budgeted. Get this, Katie is just as bad as me when it comes to Hobby Lobby and Walmart. Currently, they are her top 5 favorite stores. Walmart is a close tie with Target.

Katie's class is collecting items to put in Senior Citizen's gift baskets for the Nursing Homes. Katie was suppose to bring socks. My goodness, I didn't realize how expensive Diabetic socks cost. A pack of two pairs of socks cost $6 from Walmart.

As soon as the cupcakes are made, I think we should be ready by Wednesday. SHOO! We've got one busy week to look forward to.

Monday, Katie and her class will go to a local coffee house for a little caroling to all of the customers there during lunchtime.

Tuesday, is our last ballet practice for the year. Did I tell you that Katie's ballet instructor is expecting? Mrs. Anna is approximately 3-4 months pregnant and I'm wondering if the baby will be due around the recital, which is May 29th. Please mark it on your calendar! They won't have a big production like last year. Mrs. Elaine told me, they do the big production every other year. Mrs. Anna wanted to do something that represented all the different countries. Katie's class will be representing France. The costumes are adorable! I'm so tickled and excited to get them, which won't be until around April or May.

Wednesday, Katie will have her class Christmas party. This should be a sight beings I will have Colton with me. I'm just going to take my time and hope Colton's in a good mood. He did real good for me during Katie's Thanksgiving Day party. I need your prayers!

Thursday, Peggy will watch the children for me, so I can get some last minute things done. I told Katie about me having a meeting with Santa. She wants me to tell Santa that daddy needs to be on the naughty list because he was aggravating us today. She kept telling him that he was on the naughty list and he would fire back saying "no," he wasn't on the naughty list. Instead, he was on the nice list and he was going to get everything. Of course, this fired up Katie and they ended up bickering back and forth.

Friday, for Katie's last day of school for the year, she will be in a Christmas Program. I don't know what to expect. I suppose it's going to be a surprise for us parents. I just know that we will be let out early.

Last week, she made a Christmas shirt to wear both Monday and Friday. It's really cute and I remember my nieces and nephews doing this when they were little. It's a painting of a reindeer. The antlers are of her handprints and the face is of her footprint. It has two squiggly eyes and a red pom-pom nose. I haven't had a chance to take a picture of her wear it yet.

Doug had to take a picture of me baking more Reese Cup cookies. I think I got a little carried away with my cookies because I ended up making 3 batches of these cookies.

Katie helped me make the Apricot-Pineapple Salad, so she wanted her picture taken with it. We made this for the Horton Christmas. My cousin, Allen, made it for Thanksgiving Day and Peggy seemed to really like it. It's my Grandma Godfrey's recipe and according to Allen, he's always loved it and has kept it going within his family. Normally, you wouldn't expect to see pecan's in this recipe, but Peggy wanted me to see how it would taste with them in it. I guess we'll see. My grandma made this recipe a lot when I was a small child. It's very simple and inexpensive to whip together.

Grandma Godfrey's Apricot-Pineapple Salad
1 large can apricots, drained & chopped
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1 cup apricot nectar juice (need approx. 2 cans(usually found in Mexican food aisle))
1/2 cup pineapple juice

Mix the above ingredients together until blended.

1 large box orange jello
2 cups hot water

Mix until powder is desolved and add next to the above mixture.

3/4 cups small marshmallows

Add next. If you like marshmallows, I'd probably add more to the top. Cover & put in fridge to get firm.

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Mix the above ingredients together until blended

In a saucepan, mix the following ingredients:
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 1/2 cup apricot juice
1 tablespoon butter

Add the above dry ingredients to the wet and set on the stovetop. Heat (approx. medium heat) until all ingredients are completely blended. Stirring constantly. Set aside to cool. Once cool, pour into a container and place it into the fridge to chill.

Once the topping is chilled, fold in 1/2 pint of the Cool Whip. If the jello mixture is completely firm, spread the topping onto of the jello.

Note: the topping will seem a little thin, this is okay. I added a little more Fat Free Cool Whip than suggested.

Optional: sprinkle chopped pecans on top for a garnish.

Makes 3 quarts


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So Much . . . In So Little Time

As promised, here's the beginnings of our little snow village. The people move around the lighted Christmas tree. Every now and then, I catch Katie playing house with the pieces. I can't get on to her too much because I did the same thing when I was her age. The only difference is the pieces that I played with when I was a child were plastic. I remember playing house with a plastic Nativity scene, wax candle lamp post and other miscellaneous figurines like a candle snowman and plastic Santa Claus. She hasn't played with it lately, maybe the new has wore off.

After a few hair pulling, sleepless, drooling days, Colton has finally cut his top front tooth. This tooth makes number 3. You can see the fourth tooth, but it still hasn't broke through yet. Poor baby, his gums are all swollen, red and he seems to be in pain. I'm hoping it won't be long before it breaks all the way through.

2009 SEC Championship Video - Bama vs. Florida Gators -
Hear Saban's speech to the team,the players getting motivated before the game and clips of the game. According to Doug, it's an awesome video.

Our First Fall Snow Day

We really were not expecting any snow this day because chances were so slim, but we got a delightful surprise the next morning. Katie stayed the night with Peggy and Millard. I knew the snow wouldn't last long, so I called Peggy and see if they had the same white stuff. Sure enough they did, but Katie was still in bed. After I hung up, they went ahead and woke her up to see it. Would you believe, she told her grandma and paw-paw that she didn't want to go outside? Little stinker.

We've had some crazy weather the past few days. Yesterday, we had some storms with a lot of wind roll through here. The highs were 65 degrees. Today the high was around 47 degrees and they are saying it will be 27 degrees in the morning. It's so wacky that Colton has caught another cold. Honestly, I think it's my fault because I cover him up with his big blanket to go to the car. Once we get in the car, I'm still afraid he might be a little cold, so I leave the blanket on him. I think he get's too warm and begins to sweat. I'm learning now to keep the blanket down around his feet and not cover him up.

Natalie's Ball Game
Last weekend, we had a chance to go see Natalie play basketball before the big SEC Championship game between Bama and Gators. We were glad to see Nat play a little college ball. I was so busy watching Katie that I forgot to look at the final score, but I do know that Wallace State won. By the way, Doug and I are both Wallace alumnus.
Katie loved watching the girls play basketball, but she was making me a nervous wreck because it was a big drop off right in front of us.
The lion was going around, greeting the kids. Katie kept a close eye on him because she didn't want him to come up to her. Doug thought they could have picked a better costume because this lion costume was too scary.

Reese Cup Cookie Recipe

I made these for the Horton Christmas. It's such an easy recipe and so good.

1 box Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
1 Large Bag Reese Cups (miniature size)

Mix up cookie mix according to directions on box. Roll up a ball about 1 inch round, put in mini muffin pan mash down and put a thumb print in middle. Bake according to directions on box, while hot put a reese cup in cookie. Cool some before you take it out of the pan.

I'm also planning on taking to the party: My grandmother's Apricot-Pineapple Salad, Sugar Cookies, Cake Bon-Bons and rolls. I'll post pictures and recipes at a different time.

Katie's World
Well, I've given you the latest activities for Katie's school. Today, her class made their Christmas t-shirts. She told me this morning, she wanted to paint Mrs. Claus on her shirt. When I picked her up from school, she was disappointed that she didn't get to paint Mrs. Claus. Instead, they made reindeer from their handprints. I remember my nieces and nephews doing that when they were in elementary school. I haven't seen the shirt yet.

I think I've gotten in over my head with Christmas goodies. Katie's suppose to bring cupcakes, $5 ornament and socks for the elderly on Christmas party day. I thought it would be a neat idea to make all the children little goody bags from Katie. It's nothing much: pencils, homemade ornaments (Katie & I made), holiday poppers, Snowflake sugar cookies and Christmas candy. I haven't made the cookies yet because the party isn't until next week. I really hope I'll be able to make them.

Great Finds
Doug and I have come across some great finds. Here's a couple of good ones, we found at our local Walmart.

Old Fashion Dinner Rolls

During a family get together, I found these rolls at Walmart and decided to try them out. They were really good. In fact, they are very similar to the yeast rolls I've made in the past called "Lighter-Than-Air Overnight Yeast Roll." I made these around Thanksgiving or Christmas time. I pretty much stopped making them as soon as I had Katie. I got tired of trying to find a warm spot to help my bread to rise. I had a difficult time because we like for it to stay around 70-75 degrees year round in our house. In order for these rolls to rise nicely, you need to get them up to 80 degrees. The one thing that helped me is placing them fairly close to the register. The bread still rises if you can't get your temperature up to 80 degrees, it just doesn't rise as nice. The rolls are so good, they melt in your mouth. Here's my recipe:

Lighter-Than-Air Overnight Yeast Rolls
2 (1/4 oz.) envelopes active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
2 large eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour

Combine: yeast & warm water in bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
Place: shortening, sugar & salt in bowl. Add boiling water; beat medium speed until smooth. Add eggs & yeast mixture, beat low speed until blended; gradually beat in flour. Cover & chill 8 hours.
Shape: 1 inch balls; place 3 balls in each greased muffin cup. Cover & let rise in warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Bake: 400 degrees for 12 minutes or lightly brown.
Makes: 3 dozen rolls

Dove Peppermint Chocolates

These are delicious! Normally, Doug doesn't like peppermint flavored chocolates, but he really likes this brand. They are a special edition, for the Christmas holiday. So don't waste time, go out to your local Walmart and pick some up.

More Recipes
Oh, I have to give you my Mexican Wedding Cookies recipe as well. I love these cookies, especially around this time of year. They are delicious and so easy to make. I got this recipe from Paula Deen and recommend it to anyone, who loves these cookies.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for coating baked cookies
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting hands
1 cup pecans, chopped into very small pieces

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar at low speed until it is smooth. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed gradually add the flour. Mix in the pecans with a spatula. With floured hands, take out about 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a crescent. Continue to dust hands with flour as you make more cookies. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle but still warm, roll in additional confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks.

Guess Who's Going To Be In Concert
Man, I heard on the radio this afternoon that my favorite Christmas group will be in Birmingham on January 2nd at the BJCC. TSO aka Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be in concert again, without me. Oh, maybe one year Santa will be nice enough to leave me a ticket under the tree. They were in concert last year and I wanted to see them, but I was too sick. We were afraid that I would have been miserable, which I'm sure I would have been. However, if you are interested in going to the TSO concert, you'll have to check out the BJCC website.

Here's a snippet of this year's concert tour.

I've got so much more to share with you, so you'll have to check back at another time.