Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years! Wow, is another year already gone? I'm getting far too old.

Howie and I enjoyed a nice quiet evening and candle light dinner with crab legs. Candice is at work tonight.

I have some illegal fireworks compliments from my good friend and neighbor LaRae. I plan on staying up just long enough to light those babies off and then head for bed. I get to work on New Years Day in the ER. I've sure enjoyed having two weeks off.

Hope all of you have a wonderful celebration and look forward to great things this year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Christmas to Remember!

We had the crowd here and it was fun! On Christmas Eve we opened our Christmas jammies and had a fashion show and then after the little munchins were in bed and asleep we had the exchange of the white elephant gifts among the adults. Who knew that Chia pets were so cute? We certainly had a white Christmas with snow and wind non-stop! Matt had to go with his Excursion to see if he could get stuck...and he didn't.
Lynsey got her White Christmas and lots of pictures to prove it to the people in Houston.
Nate built the kids a sledding "mountain" in the back yard and that kept them entertained for hours.
Candice enjoyed taking pictures with her new camera and was a good sport when she got the bamboo plant at the white elephant exchange. She said she loves it.
Now the house is empty and I'm trying to decide where to start....laundry or dishes. I think I'll take a nap instead.

I'll post pictures when I can find the cable to my camera.........under the laundry or the dishes.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Things are SWEET!

And so it begins. I'm making candy and getting ready to dip. I kinda dread doing it every year cause it's a lot of work, but when I get into it I have so much fun. It's kind of amazing that it works out at all. Candy making is for the professional isn't it?

Well, this year I've ventured into unknown territory. I've made my first ever English Toffee. I search on the internet and found a recipe that says it's the best English Toffee in the World. I checked out several, but this one did sound the best, it called for 1 pound of butter! I made a couple of batches (EASY) and then smeared them with Peter's Chocolate (the only kind I will me a snob) and this is the result. It is soooo gooooood!

I'm currently making Peanut Brittle. Once again looked on the internet and found a recipe that is called Buttery Peanut Brittle. However, I'm using cashews because I think it tastes better.

I got up at 0500 to start on all this today. I made two batches of toffee last night and a batch of caramel. I need to make another batch of carmel this morninig. I also did two batches of fondant for my orange centers and my vanilla centers, dipped in chocolate and rolled in toasted coconut.

This is the nut brittle cooking:

And this is the finished product. Looks pretty, hope it tastes good.

So this is the fruits of my labors this morning.

Before I poured the carmel over these nuts I had to take a picture. I love turtles. That requires pecans. I thought that maybe a menagerie of nuts would even be better, so in addition to the pecans, I added cashews and almonds. So this is what it looks like before the carmel is poured over it:

Then I poured carmel over the whole mess. This is what it looks like now:

I have a little dipping to get going on!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Walkin' in the Winter Wonderland.....

OK, it's finally here....the snow! The Christmas Wreath candles are burning (4 in case you were wondering) The fire is going in the fireplace, making the house toasty. Outside it's a mere 2 degrees above zero and the lights in the tree are going. I guess Christmas can come now. Except I haven't dipped my chocolates yet (tomorrow I hope) I haven't done any shopping (tomorrow I hope).

For Lynsey's benefit I'm posting some pictures of tonights snow...she's worried she'll come all the way from Texas and not have any.

So, here' proof of the snow....look at poor Elmer....he's cold. (Elmer was Howie's idea since he was a Chinese Elm tree....maybe it should be Elmer San...kinechewa)

The snow today was very fluffy and pretty. It's always pretty if I don't have to drive in it.
This past Thursday and Friday we went to Salt Lake to be chaparones for the Bel Cantos Choir and High School Orchestra. It was fun to stay in a hotel and wander around the Gateway Mall and Temple Square. We went to a Kurt Bestor Christmas Concert on Thursday night. However....Friday night we left Salt Lake at about 9:30 at night. We got to about Malad and then the snow hit....ferociously! It was a white knuckle drive for me all the way home. So, as long as I don't have to drive or be in a car in the icky weather I love the snow.

Temple Square is beautiful at Chirstmas time.

Snow is beautiful at Christmas time.

But.................this is NOT beautiful at Christmas time!

Arent' there laws against this? Save the planet and global warming? Come on! This is obscene! Maybe I won't be dipping chocolates or shopping after all....I have a room to bulldoze!

Has she no pride? Can't she give me a Christmas present? A clean room!

What's a mother to do?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is it really December 9th????

Augh! OK, so now I'm hitting the panic button! I don't have the house decorated, the lights aren't up and I haven't dipped any chocolates? OK, I'm working on the decorating the house thing, but I'm not sure the lights are going to get put up this year. Is that OK? The man of the house is way too busy and has been on too many business trips. Now he is actually trying to finish the bathroom...yes the bathroom.

The one that was torn apart to the studs, no tub, no toilet, no sink. That happened on January 1st of this year. He's determined not to let an entire year go by, so this is priority #1 right now...behind work, church things, me, sleep....well, you get the picture.

This is the man of the house trying to get done with the bathroom! Kinda cute isn't he? (I can hear my children gagging now)

The guy came today to measure for the tub surround. Can I tell you how much I love tub surround? So clean, so pretty, so.....nice.

This tub surround is from the bathroom that we finished 2 years took a day to tear it apart to the studs and only 7 months to get it done, well actually there is still some trim that needs painted....

When and if we ever sell the house, the tub surround comes with us!

I did finally get a few trees up in the house and hung the stockings by the chimney with care.

My fireplace mantle needs some decorating, but I can't decide what to do. I love my fireplace mantel. When and if we ever move I'm taking the fireplace mantle.

The man of the house did that about 5 years ago when we remodeled the kitchen and dining room. He did the fireplace too. He's kinda awesome. He's a jack-of-all trades. He's the "fixer man" as Candice said when she was about 3 years old.

I did put up my trees this year. I have scaled back, I only put up 6 trees this year, I'm OK with that.

I did go a little crazy with snowmen...but I'm OK with that too.

Uhm, he's not a snowman, but he looks like one. He's doing the part of remodeling that he loves most...sanding...yuk, what a mess. I'm outta here before he makes me start working!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Is it realy December 1st?

Could someone pinch me please? It's now OK for me to be playing Christmas music? (Some people in this house think Christmas music in July is a bit much)
Is it really OK for me to be burning the Christmas Wreath candle I love so much? Thanks to a great Porters sale I now have 8 of them....hopefully that will last me for the month.

I love Christmas. I love the smells, the baking, the dipping, the lights, the decorations. I love the snow! I love Christmas cards............I'm so excited!

I really have got to remove the fall decorations and get busy!