Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!
























May you all have a Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
What a difference a year makes. I can't believe this time last year I had just gotten out of the hospital (again) and was still feeling pretty sick. Having the baby out and big enough to crawl and pull up and laugh and be so amazingly wonderful seemed so so far away. Yet, here we are!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!! Today Katie, Emma and Grace went with some neighbor children to go caroling (in 75 degree weather). This has become a holiday tradition for these kids. They stopped at the home with the neighborhood light spectacular,complete with Santa on Saturday nights. Santa (aka Jeff) snapped this picture.
See his website at La Vernia Lights

Monday, December 15, 2008

More pics from this weekend












We had a wonderful weekend with Chris's sister, Melissa and her husband, Tim and their boys Gabriel and Dominic. Gabriel's graduation was very moving and we are very proud of him and all his fellow graduates.
Saturday we went to Sea World. Jack went to Ft. Sam Houston Nat'l cemetary to lay wreaths on veteran's graves and a senior member was nice enough to drop him at Sea World to meet up with us when he was done. Sunday was a nice slow day with Mass in the morning and just rexlaxing and visiting at home.

There is nothing like a 5 year old boy to keep you humble

Ben asked once why I was putting on make-up. I replied, "To look pretty."
He tilted his head, looked puzzled then said, "Hmmmm....it 's not working."

Ben slept on our floor the last few nights as we had overnight guests for the weekend for our nephew's graduation from AF boot camp. I was informed this morning:

"Mom, you snore! You sound like a cow. I had to sleep with my hands over my ears!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Next Top Gun?

O-flight #4



1 hr of flight time and 4 touch-n-go's






Friday, December 5, 2008

Virtual Christmas Cookie Swap

Joann over at Creamer Chronicles is having a virtual Christmas Cookie Swap. I'm trying to decide which recipe to post.
Creme de Menthe Squares?? Rum Balls?? Toffee?? Meringue Kisses? Triple Chocolate Fudge?? Canteen Bars??

Decision made.














2 cups butter
2 cups white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds or pecans)

Directions:
1.In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color and the temp has reached 285 degrees. Stir occasionally. This step will take a good 5-10 minutes. Be patient.
2. While the tofee is cooking cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
3. As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate and press in slightly.
4. Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.


Creme de Menthe Squares

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. creme de menthe
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bottom layer: In a saucepan combine 1/2 c. butter and cocoa. Heat and stir well. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir in graham cracker crumbs. Mix well; press into bottom of ungreased 9x13 pan.

2. Middle layer: Melt 1/2 cup butter and add creme de menthe. Mix well. Add 3 cups powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Spread over bottom layer and refrigerate for 1 hour minimum.

3. Top layer: In saucepan, combine 1/4 cup butter and chocolate chips. Spread over mint layer. Chill for 1-2 hours. Cut into bars


These are very rich, so cut into small squares. They need to be kept in a sealed container in a cool place, even the refrigerator. You can change it up by using clear Creme de Menthe, dyeing half of the creme/sugar mixture with red food coloring and swirling it, or using different chocolate for the top layer. It's chocolate and mint, you can't mess it up!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008