Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Danish Butter Cookies Made Simple

When winter's chill sets in and you don't want to head out why not bake some from-scratch Danish butter cookies?

They're super easy, and most of us have these ingredients on hand.

Perfect with a cup of hot cocoa!


We sugared ours with pink...think Valentine's Day!

Basic Butter Cookie
1 stick of butter
1 cup of flour
5 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine softened butter with sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Gradually add in the flour.  (If mixture is too soft, place in refrigerator for a few minutes.)

Roll into quarter-size balls and place on cookie sheet.  Press down with fork.  Sprinkle with crystal sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (Gifts #11-20)

Welcome to Multitudes on Mondays hosted by Ann at a Holy Experience where we share those little things in life that matter most...you know, those things that we sometimes take for granted, but what "living in the moment" is really all about.

I look forward to sharing with you each Monday those special blessings from God that make my life so rich...so full.

Today, we experienced our first TRUE accumulating snowfall this winter season in Kansas City. (Two prior "snowstorms" managed only a dusting of snow in our neck of the woods.) My two little ones went to bed last  night with the anticipation of their first "snow day"! They weren't disappointed. So...


#12 Belgian Waffles and Crisp Bacon

#13 Warm layers of winter clothing...hats, scarves, mittens, gloves

#14 Snow angels

#15 Crystal blue sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks

#16 Hot chocolate...and marshmallows

#17 Soft, downy comforters and lots of snuggling

#18 UNO...for beginners

#19 Softly falling snowflakes

#20 The glow of candle light and warmth of a roaring fire

Is it too much to ask for another snow day? 

Wishing you all a good night!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Open Mouth...Insert Foot & A New Area Rug

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's foot that is!

Seems this little guy can't get enough things in his mouth to help alleviate the pain of teething!  (He's gotten his two bottom teeth to cut through!)

In addition to teething, this little guy has done a lot of laying around today.  We all have!

You see, mama got a new rug!

Benjamin doing "the worm".
And no shoes allowed!  My husband thinks I'm insane for purchasing a winter white rug!

My living room transformation is coming along nicely!  Next on the agenda are end tables so that my guests actually have a place to put their drink.  Probably will not do a coffee table again.  (Our current one is in the basement kid zone.)  While the storage was nice, the square footage of this room is small and the table in the middle takes up too much room...not enough room left over for playing on the carpet!  Or taking a nap.

I know you want to!

And that big empty space on the blue wall.  Well, I've got big plans for that space.  Just has to wait on my SAHM budget!

I promise to post the total before and after pics soon!

Friday, January 7, 2011

"Swagger Wagon" Video

First off, thanks to all of you that left such kind and supportive comments regarding my book donation post!  Some of you shared some amazing stories with me.  Children and families are such a blessing from God, whether we have been given the gift of one child or nine!

That being said, have you seen the You Tube video Swagger Wagon?  Hilarious.

Only because I drive one.  A mini van that is.  Chrysler Towne & Country, not Toyota Sienna.  But it doesn't matter.  It's still funny.

Mary Catherine and Benjamin (my own little toe- heads) could soooo play the roles of the brother and sister)!  I'm not quite as hip as the mom, but I do make a mean cupcake for the school bake sale! 

Enjoy.  And for all you SUV drivers, it really is cool to drive a mini van! 

P.S. Don't forget to turn off my music player at the bottom of the screen!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

So Long Infertility...You Were NO Friend of Mine!

I'm joining Courtney over at Women Living Well this week for her Living Well Wednesdays link up. 

Our road to family-building has been long and not without loss.  Despite this, my husband and I never lost faith that God knew what He was doing.  So, to honor Him and thank Him for all of his blessings, I'm doing a bit of decluttering this first week of January.

It's a new year.  A new decade.  And I am SO done with you...

My personal library collection...
I know you thought we would always be best-ies, but I think it's time we parted ways.  We weren't good for each other.

You see...I've moved on.

Suffice it to say...I just don't have time for you anymore.

But don't  fret.  I wouldn't leave you hanging out to dry.  I give you...a new friend to take my place...

You two are PERFECT for each other!

Looking forward to what 2011 and the decade ahead brings! I just know God's blessings will continue to be poured out into our lives.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (Gifts #1-10)

 Welcome to Multitudes on Mondays hosted by Ann at a Holy Experience where we share those little things in life that matter most...you know, those things that we sometimes take for granted, but what "living in the moment" is really all about.

I look forward to sharing with you each Monday those special blessings from God that make my life so rich...so full.

1.  Enjoying the beauty and peacefulness of my Christmas tree and decorations after December 25th.  As is our family tradition, we do not take down our Christmas decorations until the Feast of the Epiphany or the visit of the Biblical Magi or "Wise Men" to Baby Jesus.  Wise men still seek Him!

2.  Appreciating the wonder and awe in my childrens eyes as they get up close and personal to the Nativity at church each Christmas season.

3.  Fudgy Peppermint Cups (get recipe here)

4.  The February issue of Country Living magazine.  I love all things blue and white.

 5.  Discovering new blogs!

6.  Two wonderful, uninterrupted weeks at home with my kindergartner!  My heart breaks just a little when I drop her off at school each day even though I know she's LOVING going to school.

7.  Listening to my kindergartner read aloud.  It warms my heart...and maybe even heals it just a bit...to hear her reading books to her father and me.

8.  Hugs and kisses from my sweet four-year old who loves dressing up in his "Captain" Halloween costume, and that he has worn almost every day since December 26th.  My own little personal "Officer and a Gentleman"!

9.  Waking up, chest heavy and aching, to the early morning hunger cries of this newest blessing...
10.  New week, new month, New Year!  Looking forward to all the blessings that 2011 will bring.

Christmas Eve 2010 with my three miraculous blessings!
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead with a multitude of blessings.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fudgy Peppermint Cups

Yesterday, New Year's Day, we celebrated Christmas with my husband's family.  Besides opening presents there was noshing on appetizers of all sorts, a chili cook-off, and of course, desserts!

My mother-in-law brought her fabulous "cut-out" cookies.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot duplicate her sugar cookie recipe.  Must be her 40-something years of practice that have created near-perfection!

So, my contribution was a dessert recipe that I tried out of the December/January issue of Country Living magazine...Fudgy Peppermint Cups.  Enjoy!

Fudgy Peppermint Cups
Makes 12 cups.  Working time:  20 minutes  Total time:  1 hr. 15 min.

Basic Brownie Batter (Follows)

4 ounces Peppermint Patties

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

3 (5 3/4-inch-long) candy canes crushed

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Combine Basic Brownie Batter and Peppermint Patties.  Pour into a buttered and floured 12-cup muffin pan.

2.  Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 25-28 minutes.  Let cool for 30 minutes.  Remove from pan:  ice tops with chocolate and sprinkle with candy canes.
Fudgy Peppermint Brownies
As you can see, I did not pour my batter into muffin cups. Because I needed to feed more than 12 people, I opted to use a 9x13 baking dish.  I figured I could cut smaller pieces and make the dessert go farther that way.  This worked, but the presentation wasn't nearly as cute as the muffin cups pictured in Country Living.
 Basic Brownie Batter
 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for pans
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
3 tablespoons for unsweetened cocoa

In a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt butter.  Add chocolate and stir until melted.  Remove bowl from heat and set aside.  In a large bowl, lightly beat together sugars, eggs, vanilla and salt until combined.  Stir in reserved chocolate mixture.  Add flour and cocoa and stir until just combined.

Wishing you all a blessed start to your new year.  May 2011 bring you peace and happiness.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

An American Girl Doll Kind of Christmas

I'm not even gonna lie.

To you or myself.

We spent waaay too much on gifts this year. Not meaning that we broke the bank, or even spent beyond our means, but our little ones did get some very special gifts this year.

As my title explains, it was an American Girl Doll Christmas at our house. And while I do find these dolls to be ridiculously expensive, I have to agree with my girlfriend's assessment that they are made of quality.

Mary very much wanted Felicity. For those of you not familiar with American Girl Dolls, Felicity is from the historical collection (or as Chris might feel after seeing the bill...hysterical collection) and represents an American Patriot family from 1774. (Cousin Elizabeth represents the American Loyalist family.) Mary also received Felicity's tea set and also a special outfit (tea dress).
Her expression is priceless!

Ben only wanted one toy and one toy only...Stinky the Garbage Truck. I can't even tell you how many stores I visited to track down this hot ticket item. But it was really the only thing he wanted. At least, the only thing he asked Santa for!
What could it be...
Buzz Light Year Ben with Stinky the Garbage Truck.
Sweet Pea got his very own Pillow Pet just like big brother and big sister.

And the fun is not over yet! Today, New Year's Day, we have one last Christmas Celebration. Christmas with my husband's family at our house. I am so excited about hosting and have some special deserts to share with you that I prepared for today.

Tomorrow, Sunday January 2, will be the start of my New Year as I begin to get myself organized for 2011. After receiving the gift of bearing a new life in 2010, I'm not sure 2011 can get much better!

Wishing you all a Blessed 2011,