Sunday, November 30, 2008
I've been encouraging Bree to say her own prayers. I'll start her off, and give her an example of "I'm thankful for _____," then I'm quiet and let her take it from there. It's always interesting to hear what she says. Some days, she says a sweet "bless Daddy be safe, bless gramma and papa, bless Mason," etc. And then, for instance, after Halloween, every night for a week, she would say "Thanks go trick or treating, get candy." Last night, she said, "and Santa Claus come down the chimdey, decorations the tree, and be Christmas time. Name Jesus Christ, amen."
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Since Chad never gets the holidays off, we celebrated Thanksgiving a little early so we could visit my parents. Bree gets insanely excited whenever I mention grandma or papa. She loves visiting their house, playing with all the toys, riding the tractor and the wheelbarrow, petting Patches, and taking full advantage of her grandparents' love. Mason is now old enough to get excited about it too. He wiggles and reaches for my parents now, and does a lot of that ridiculous grinning (see video). Chad and I were so eager to escape to the middle of nowhere. We ate a delicious turkey dinner, played games, watched movies, I did some quilting (I'll post photos soon), and enjoyed knowing that we were out of cell phone range and unreachable! A true vacation.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar, plus
1 tablespoon sugar
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and 1 T sugar in a medium bowl.
3 Stir well enough to coat all of the crumbs with the butter, but not so much as to turn the mixture into paste.
4 Keep it crumbly.
5 Put foil partway up the outside part of an 8-inch springform pan. (I didn't do this)
6 Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about two-thirds of the way up the sides of the springform pan.
7 You don't want the crust to form all of the way up the back of each slice of cheesecake.
8 Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then set aside until you are ready to fill it.
9 In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, 1 C sugar, and vanilla.
10 Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
11 Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue beating until smooth and creamy.
12 Pour the filling into the pan.
13 Bake for 60-70 minutes.
14 The top will turn a bit darker at this point.
15 Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool.
16 When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator.
17 When the cheesecake has chilled, remove the pan sides and cut the cake into 8 equal pieces.
18 Serve with a generous portion of whipped cream on top.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Tomorrow is my birthday, and I thought I'd commemorate it by posting myself a birthday card from the Relief Society presidency (I don't think my secretary will send me one in the mail from myself). There we are, from left to right: Judy, my amazingly organized and on top of things secretary; Amy, my 2nd counselor and one of my best friends and co-young-moms; Marsha, my totally experienced wealth of knowledge 1st counselor; and me, a RS president who feels like she'll never get things totally together. So this is the adorable photo (taken at one of our meetings at my house) that we send to our sisters on their birthdays along with a message that my secretary photo-shopped on there. I could not function without you ladies! Thank you!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Yes, I realize that I'm like 7 months late in posting these. But when my camera was still fairly new, I took a couple videos sideways like a dummy, and couldn't figure out how to rotate them. Well, just today I installed the CD that came with my camera (I'm usually right on top of those things; I've had this camera 11 months now...), and I discovered how to rotate my videos! I didn't think it could be done! So now you get to be reminded of how cute Bree was at her 2nd birthday/Easter (they were within a couple weeks of each other). Enjoy!
If you want to play, go here and copy your birth month. Then strike out stuff that doesn't apply to you (I tried to put strike-out instructions here, but it just kept applying the command instead of showing it. A simple google search will provide instructions)
NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Fran, you're going to love this! Don't cry. Whoops, too late. Remember July 21st, 2005? When your children and grand-children started moving away in droves? Well, you thought it would be funny to pack your granny-rocking-chair in Mike's truck so they'd take you with them to Missouri, Beverly Hillbilly style. And then Chad and I moved to Arizona a few months later. We swear, it was nothing personal! It seems so long ago that we were all in Vegas together. But don't worry, we won't forget you! We're very loyal, and show our kids pictures of you on a regular basis so they'll know who you are. We love you!
I tag anyone who is curious as to what's in their 5th folder!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Here's the recipe:
1 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sifted flour
1 T soft butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
sm. chopped pecans added at final step
Pastry: Mix room temperature cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter. Blend in flour. Chill an hour. Shape into 2 doz. 1" balls. Press dough against bottom and sides of mini-muffin tins.
Filling: Beat together everything but nuts. Place sm. chopped pecans in bottom of crust and add filling. Sprinkle top with sm. chopped pecans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins.
On a side note, today's get-together was slightly hindered by the fact that my oven's bottom heating element is broken, and I didn't find this out until my gorgeous hand-made rolls made from freshly-ground wheat flour (I was so proud) came out of the oven nicely brown on top and soggy and disgusting on the bottom. So. Sad. Heather suggested I flip them over to cook the bottoms, which I did, and so they were edible with a nice flavor but chewy/crusty texture. Luckily I have several friendly neighbors, so at least I was able to take the tassies across the street to bake!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
On Thursday, we had night number two of Halloween festivities, when we went to our local Fry's grocery store's Midnight Madness event (not sure why it's called that; it started at 4pm and ended at 11...). This was a neat little bonus, since I needed to do some grocery shopping anyway, and when I have to take the kids with me they're not always thrilled or cooperative at the store. So I dressed the kids up and off we went. It turned out to be really cute. All the Fry's employees were wearing costumes. There was trick-or-treating all around the store at the many booths: ring toss, beanbag toss, cookie decorating (this was the one Bree was interested in), and free donuts and cider. So, the kids happily ate their sugar while I got my shopping done, we enjoyed some delicious caramel apple and pumpkin donuts (both of which were surprisingly delicious!), and I got a killer deal on some Halloween candy. Oh, and I got some adorable pictures!
Last night we had our big Halloween finale. Bree got to trick-or-treat at actual houses, which was a whole different experience. We started with a few of our close neighbors--just the ones we know, and they thought Bree was so cute, she got whole handfuls of candy. Then we drove over to our friends the Huishes for dinner and more trick-or-treating (our neighborhood doesn't have many houses that hand out candy; plus it's really hilly). Bree and Calan had a blast running around from house to house, while Mason and Cora were content to ride in the stroller. That neighborhood was packed with people! I've never seen anything like it in real life; it was a zoo of trick-or-treaters. The Huishes actually ran out of candy long before the night was over. Well, by the end of the night we were all hopped up on candy and pumpkin donut holes that I made (yummy!). The kids were exhausted and hysterical when I loaded them in the truck to go home, but they fell right asleep when we got there (no energy for a bath, so they went to bed slightly sticky!).
What a fun few days of festivities! It's silly how much fun I have watching my kids experience these things. They are growing up so fast, but I truly am "enjoying while it lasts" as everyone and their mother likes to instruct me! Now Halloween's over; next stop: Christmas! Oh, wait, no: Thanksgiving. Sorry, got a little over-excited there!