In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets---some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage.
Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.
" You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." Psalm 23:5

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The girls love to be read to. Alyssa is reading a little by herself and Madelyn recieved a" tag pen" for Christmas so she can read books by herself now. I am hoping I can get Hunter to sit long enough to read to him when he comes here for a few weeks while the daycare lady is having a baby. Eleanor and I read at least one book everyday. I got the Fancy Nancy Christmas book at half price so we read that one yesterday.

Alyssa loved her Fancy Nancy Doll From her Auntie Mary
The cap and gloves are from Grandma
Carter had a train theme from us, these are the pants from Gymboree

Madelyn would not give up her baby doll, she also got a cap and gloves from Grandma it is cold here and they are from Washington State where there is lots of rain and not so much cold

Elenor recieved a "wobbie" from her Grandma for her security blanket

Hunter's favorite toy from Uncle Michael and Auntie Karla ( talking toolbox)

The lights and sound rescue truck was from Grandpa we thought that might be his favorite.

Only a few of the many things these children recieved. Next year will be a much smaller group but Hubbys sister is moving here from California so we will probably be spending the Holiday with her or her with us. It will be fun either way.
We will be heading to the airport at 3:00 am on January 1 so I think when I return home I will be taking my long winters nap, then clean up begins and more furniture planning and buying. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL
( thanks to everyone for a wonderful year of sharing)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Christmas dinner with the family. The babies were napping but fed earlier. The girls have their own table and the menu was...Roasted Turkey Breast and a Beef roast, Green beans and Glazed Carrots, Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Green Marshmallow Fruit Salad and Raspberry Pretzel Salad, Potato rolls and dinner rolls( the bread looking ones you get here in the mid-west) I had them for the fist time after moving here from the west-coast.
Alyssa and Madelyn enjoying their dinner. The tins are a puzzel and filled with grandmas special sugar cookies. You twist it and match up the picture, they had fun. (no mess,they were very careful) nice young ladies.

Christmas Eve dinner
Garlic Bread
Caesar Salad
Christmas goodies

Hubby was in charge of picture taking and didn't get the food (sorry)
But also managed to miss most of the mess the kids were creating so THANKS HONEY
WE all enjoyed the food and had a great time

Monday, December 28, 2009


When I was little my parents always left a gift open under the tree from Santa Claus so when my grandaughters were able to stay overnight Christmas Eve we did the same. Here we are in our Christmas PJs after seeing what Santa left.
This next tid-bit is for my family members. I had to get up early to put the roast in the crock-pot and get things started for Christmas dinner. Guess who I found sitting on her bed at 5:30 in the morning??? A girl after my own heart, little Madelyn. I always got up around 5am to see all the presents ..she was the cutest thing I just couldn't let her not get up. She is so much like her mother, very shy, but so excited to see what santa had left her. She loves baby dolls and this one seemed to be perfect for her.

The vanily was for her sister who was very bent out of shape when she found out her sister was up before her. After seeing the vanity she forgot all about it. Madelyn did take a nap before Christmas Dinner.

Grandpa and Carter settling in for a long winter's nap.

It was a beautiful Christmas. The snow was falling in big flakes all during dinner and we watched it while eating. We mostly get little flakes because it is so cold but the temps were above 20 so we had beautiful snow. I was a good time.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


My grandaughter Alyssa wanted to help with pie making. She is 5 years old and wants to be an artist. She made all the pumpkin filling and her own little pie crust.
Teaching her to roll from the center so it is even, not thick on one side
She was catching on very fast. It was quite funny later when she was playing with her play-dough as she rolled it out she kept saying " roll from the center then out"

She said "Grandma yours looks better than mine." I told her it was years of practice. She is crimping the edges and did very well.

Waiting for the filling

Job well done and she thought maybe she would be a baker instead of an artist. I replied you can use your artist talent to make beautiful desserts. She thought that was a great idea.

Enjoying the fruits of her labor on Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I just had to share this photo being the proud grandma that I am. I was watching the girls while their parents went christmas shopping.( they took Carter the baby) They had to take a nap first while I baked cookies and when they woke up we crafted on the coffee table. No glue or anything that would mess up the carpet and it was so fun to watch. Madelyn is two and when she does anything she says" Grama? Grama? Look what I did, in her little two year old voice. She will copy her sister Alyssa who is five. ( that is not always a good thing) this time is was great fun for grandpa and I to watch. We didn't fix their hair because they were going to go swimming after craft-time. I hope their mommy forgives me.


I am trying to bake in-between grandchildren visits
We made snowman soup[
candy kisses or chocolate chips
mini marshmallows
peppermint stick
hot cocoa mix
there is a cute poem to go with this I will try and post later

I made my chex mix using pretzel fishy crackers, fishy cheese crackers and the original fishy crackers as well as the chex...the grandkids love it and then they are not snacking on sugar all day it has the nuts also but I make sure they don't get any

Here is my caramel corn with the drizzeled chocolate...another big hit. I made it for my daughter who is visiting, she loves the moose munch from Harry and David and it turned out just as good. I love it when a plan comes together:)

Peanut brittle, my dads recipe and sugar cookies of course

I hope to get back soon and share some of the recipes but the grandkids keep me hopping
they are having a great time and so are we...MERRY CHRISTMAS

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I tried to take a picture from the screened in porch but the flash reflects off the screen. The sun was setting and it looked so cold I was trying to capture that. Well on to the cookies I made today

I am not sure what these are called I started making them about 3 years ago. I never had them while I live in Washington but they are popular here in the mid-west and so-so easy.

you will need Ritz crackers, peanut butter and almond bark

lay out your crackers, I usually get 3 1/2 dozen
apply the peanut butter and top with second cracker

now dip in the melted almond bark or you could use real chocolate or any chocolate
I use two forks and shake a little before putting them on the wax paper lined cookie sheet

they really are quite good. My son-in-law likes them so I make them for him, but we all enjoy a few. I was thinking of trying Oreo's next year with different kinds of chocolate and maybe some mint or flavoring. I really like the chocolate covered Oreo's at Christmas time

I also made choclate drizzled caramel corn but it wasn't quite ready to show so I will post tomorrow. After shopping at Harry and David (a gourmet store) I thought I would try and copy some of the things they have that my family likes. The store is 90 miles from where I live so I don't get there often and you can save a lot of money if you do it yourself, which I enjoy a lot.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Have you tried any of the new creamers that are out? Here are a couple that were good-Vanilla Spiced Rum if you like rum flavor and the Pumpkin Pie Spice is a lot like a Starbucks pumpkin latte without the cost. I like creamers but they don't like me so I use in moderation mostly I drink my coffee black but my hubby wanted to try these and I bought a few more kinds for the holidays when all the company comes.
We did a lot of shopping this weekend. Being in a new place you have to almost start over because everything is different and not all the old things fit in. I gave almost all my santa stuff to my son and decided to go with a more snowman theme. Winter is a long time here and it lifts the spirits a bit when you can keep up the decorations a little longer than Christmas.

Above the fireplace we put a few snowmen and women with some greenery, pine candles will be tuck in and around to give it a little fragrance. Cinnamon candles near the trees if the grandbabies allow, saftey first.

We bought the items for this centerpiece at Michaels and put it together also the little white pitcher at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I might use it for the gravy. We have to settle on last years table cloth because the one I went to get was sold out and the runner to match the pillows I bought for the new sofa. OPPS I flashed in the mirror ..sorry.

Here is a close up of my handiwork

We have not decide on a new entertainment center yet so this is where I currently have the stereo. the snowman is from my dad..he is carrying a lantern also:)

The snowman pillows I mentioned earlier
We may also get two more with snowflakes on them.
They are cream colored and I think they will go nice together.

A snowflake plate for goodies on the coffee table bought at Shopko on clearance

And we can't forget Mister Moose
a gift from my sister after a trip I took out to see her.
He has a Christmas bell around his neck

I have really enjoyed all the food blogs and book blogs but I think the ones I like best are where you all share your Christmas too!! I hope you enjoy a little bit of my world as much as I enjoy what you share with me. Now off to make the Chex Party Mix (with a twist) I will share this tomorrow. Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


It was a long week of babysitting here at the cottage. I had Ellie all 5 days this week and my youngest daughter asked if I could watch Hunter on Saturday..I reluctantly said yes. I love Hunter more than anything but he has one speed go, go, and go. He does not sit still so you can see after a whole week with Ellie I wasn't sure what energy I had left for him. It has been very cold here so Ellie and I decided to have a day of reading first it was the Snowy Day which she seemed to enjoy...
Then we read the Night Before Christmas. She chewed on her fist the whole time. She is either teething or the thought of sugar plums where dancing in her head. She is still on mothers milk, no solid food yet, so Grandma didn't give her any sugar plums:(

Saturday swimming with Hunter was a big hit. Grandma needs to go buy a new swimsuit so Grandpa volenteered to do the swim. He is feerless so the need for a life jacket was mandatory. He also enjoyed running around the pool which Grandma had to remind him, a lot, was not safe.

Getting out to run a few laps

trying to teach a little swim stroke

Everyone had a good nap after that

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The temperature is 15 degrees and falling The snow started around 11:00 this morning and dusted everything it has picked up and we should get around 4 inches along with 40 hour a mile winds. I wonder why they don't consider that a BLIZZARD I am a greenhorn here in Minnesota but when it blows like that you can't see on the freeway so to me it is a blizzard. I went to take some pictures but it is too dark I will try in the morning if I can manage the cold. I decided to throw together a quick APPLE CRISP for dinner.

It helped me not to think how cold it will be getting in the next few weeks and I really love the smell of apples and cinnamon. I tried baking it in a cast iron pan and it turned out well.
Then I remembered I had some hot caramel ice cream topping, you know, the thick kind so I decided to turn my apple crisp into CARAMEL apple crisp. It was so if I could only get myself to the gym to work off all those holiday calories...maybe in January I should start. Enjoy your holiday baking..I am.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I am testing out the new oven for my Christmas cookie baking. I have found over the years if you don't use the same oven you are use to the cookies do not always turn out. These are shortbread, pecan shortbread and almond roca cookie which I was experimenting with. I did not have any almonds to put on the top of the chocolate , that will be saved for Christmas.
It began snowing today just flurries but the temperature has definately dropped below freezing. I have started to heat the place full time now, nice and toasty warm inside cold and freezing outside. I need to get outside and take some pictures to share but I really don't like it cold so I will need a little coaxing:)