Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We got snow!

We actually got some snow! Maybe it'll even stay on the ground for Christmas! That would be lovely. In 42 years of living here, we've rarely had snow on Christmas.

I like this picture. I think I took 20 pictures of the two of them, and this is the only one that turned out!

My pictures are terrible...blurry. It was about 5:15 when I took these, and so on the dark side. Jacked up that ISO, and got acceptable, if not good, pictures.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Artichoke recipes--two of my favorites

I made artichoke dip for Thanksgiving Eve this year. My niece, Catie, loved it. This is pretty unusual for her...she is quite the picky eater. Her mom is wanting the recipe for Christmas Eve. So here are two, and I think the first one is the one Catie liked best.

Artichoke Dip

1 8-z package cream cheese softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 grated parm cheese
1/2 tbsp granulated garlic (I use either fresh garlic clove or minced garlic)
1/2 tbsp white pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill weed
salt to taste
1 14-oz can un-marinated artichoke hearts, drained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Using a mixer (I used my food processor because I'm not into big chunks of aritchoke), blend all ingredients well. Place into shallow, ovenproof bowls or serving pans and bake for 45 minutes or until top is brown. If you are in a hurry, you can microwave for a minute or two and then bake in the oven until brown.

Second favorite:

Cheesy Artichoke Dip

1/2 bunch green onions
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
Pinch of ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Mince white and green parts of green onion. Combine all ingredients and mix well with whisk until thoroughly combined. (again, me with the food processor). Heat in 375 degree oven until mixture is hot to the touch, about 30 minutes.

Enjoy! These are my two new favorite 'take to a potluck' type of dish.

Build a Bear with Auntie Tina and Kaisha!

Build a Bear was Auntie Tina, Uncle Jamie, Jaron and Kaisha's presents to the kids for Christmas! They got the CUTEST little animals, with all the works (they spent too much on them! Spoiled kids!). They've got clothing, sounds, hearts, whatever else they could possibly get! Breccan's even has a little gun case (big surprise...see earlier post!). They also got to see Santa and got a Christmas ornament, and ate a pretzel. And for me, my gift was that I got two hours alone to make cookies. It was heavenly. And another present was that the kids were GREAT for Tina and Jamie. That made my day too. Cuz usually shopping with my two kids together can be a royal pain. Alone, they're great. Together.....ummmm... not so much.

Breccan was tired and was in a mood when he got home and wouldn't let me take his picture.

Thanks, Auntie Tina and Kaisha. What a great gift.

Breccan is ALL BOY!

Man, is he ever! He's obsessed with guns, knives, tools, and keys. This is a darling little building set that he got for his birthday. I love it. I even bought more of the little tubes, and parts to make instruments out of it. However, the ONLY thing my boy wants to make out of it is guns. Great big guns. Great big guns with scopes and handles!
One of his cousins showed him how to make a scope with it.
Here he is just hanging around, looking cool, with his gun.

Uh oh, must fix gun! Gun must be in one piece! Maybe he'll shoot a cheeto (that's his word for Cheetah...it's hilarious!)
And then there's my girl...this little smile is because I told her to say a boys name that she likes from pre-k. Yes, the crushes start at 4 and 5! Oh boy.

Tea Party and Candy Cane Hunt Party at Micah's

BayLea and I were invited to Anne and Micah's house for a tea party and candy cane hunt. BayLea was sooooo excited to get this invite in the mail. She was so cute! She couldn't wait.
We decorated cookies and little ornaments. There was hot cocoa and snacks.
The girls played for a little while. BayLea is posing here for me. It's hilarious. Not sure what the pose is, or where she learned it, but she looks cute!
Micah and her candy canes.
BayLea and Micah planning another little hunt, I think. They recollected some of the canes, and rehid.
BayLea's loot.

And this little girl is a friend of Micah's. I just love this picture.

The Buckets Ornament Exchange

When I worked at Rocky Mountain, a group of us got together every month. I've never had so much fun. We would laugh, and giggle, and talk about everything under the sun. We called ourselves the Pluckin' Buckets. One of our members was our music teacher, and two of the other girls were taking music lessons (guitar and banjo). So we decided we should have a band. My instrument was the ashtrays (don't ask!). So each month we had 'band practice' which consisted of going to a bar, having a couple drinks, and talking. We did have song titles of future releases, and we took minutes on napkins of everything we discussed! (Captain, do you still have them?) It was soooooo much fun. I know it sounds really immature, but man, it was great. We also had nicknames. Jugs, Captain Nips, Niles, Yeasta, Baby, and MaDamn LePottymouth.

Anyway, we've all moved on to different schools now, but still at Christmas we get together for our annual Christmas Tree Ornament Exchange and Breakfast. Two of our members weren't able to join us this time, and we missed them very much!
This is Captain and Niles getting their morning drink prepared! Tequila Sunrises.

And then we moved on to Mimosas. (Okay, this sounds really bad, but no one had more than two drinks).
We drew numbers for the ornament exchange. Jugs here, our hostess, had number one. I think she cheated!
The presents to choose from.
We also decided that we would write one of those surveys that go around on e-mail, but this one would be Bucket-Style questions. You know that some were probably NOT appropriate to send aorund to strangers!
My ornament was CUTE CUTE! (see below). It was from Captain Nips, there in the background!
There it is.

And everyone else's ornaments.

And here's our mini-group. Curry (Baby Bucket) and Yeasta weren't there. I'm not sure why Yeasta didn't come, but Baby is now a principal (we're soooo proud) and she had something going on this morning at school. We have other group pictures from some of our earlier band practices...I'll have to hunt those down and post them later!

I love these gals. Thanks for a great morning!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm on a roll posting recipes these days...Here's a GREAT salsa recipe

and it tastes like you worked all day on it. It's so easy!

10-Minute Zesty Salsa

1 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 tablespoon seeded chopped jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro (I use more cuz I love cilantro)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.

Very tasty!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

BayLea's Pre-K Christmas Party

BayLea's preschool teachers had an Ornament Making/Polar Express evening for their party. We spent an hour there, snacking on a potluck appetizer table, making Christmas ornaments, and enjoying watching the kids have a blast! BayLea has made some REALLY nice little friends. I'm so thrilled that she makes friends easily, and that her friends are nice girls.

BayLea is making a snowflake out of beads. The finished products were really pretty, although BayLea was totally sidetracked with her friends, that she didn't actually finish hers.

My dear little boy was able to go too, as were all siblings.
He made an airplane out of a stick of gum, two lifesaver type candies, and a smartie. It was a cute little thing. He ate it later I think!
There it is, although it's out of focus. But I still like this picture of him!

The party also included babysitting services. Joy, Brandi and Brittani and others let the parents leave for two hours while they conintued their festivities! That was great!
***Some of my pictures are grayish. Sorry! I forgot to change some of them to web color!***