Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

We had a great Christmas this year. My nephew's birthday is on Christmas Eve and this year he tuned 18. So we went over there to have dinner and celebrate with him. (kind of a day that you're not going to be spending with your friends....) After that as usual my mom came and spent the night with us. Each year on Christmas Eve evening we go to the cemetery and put candles out on our grandparents graves. Our city and our neighboring city have had that as a tradition for many years now. It is really pretty to drive through the cemetery at about 9:00pm and see hundreds of glowing candles. After we came home and put the kids to bed and went to bed ourselves. Then the Old Fat Man showed up! Miss Molly got the cutest little Pinkalicious bike.

Jens got the new mitt he wanted.
And Sidney got the minke blanket that she so desperately wanted. I don't have a clue how to sew but thankfully I have friends and family who do. They did a great job!

Two words: PILLOW PETS
Who ever came up with this idea has had to make millions! Every kid I know loves them. Why? To me they are just one big obnoxious stuffed animal and I will never find closet space for it. My kids have wanted one forever and Santa didn't let them down. Cade got the dog he wanted.

I don't know if you can tell but Molly was so excited when she realized what she was opening up. Yes. A Pillow Pet!

Cade got this really cool Land Shark knee board. Or at least it seemed really "cool" at the time. It says to always wear protective gear while riding it. Helmet - knee pads - elbow pads. I half serious, half jokingly said to my mom that he should probably wear a mouth guard too. Well later in the day on Christmas while none of us adults were really paying attention, Cade took his Land Shark outside to ride it. He was still in his pajamas. He certainly did not have a helmet on. Heck, he didn't even have on shoes! My driveway is on a slant, so he started at the top of the drive and went zipping down the drive, hit the crack where the gutter meets the road and face planted. The knee board totally stopped where the two meet and he kept on sliding. Only on his face instead of the board.
His poor little face is all road rashed. He even has road rash on the inside of his lower lip. He had dirt all over in his teeth. I felt so bad for him!
So long story short: If any of your kids received this fabulous little toy, make sure they ALWAYS wear protective gear with it!

As for us, we decided that we aren't going to keep it! Tomorrow it goes back to the North Pole!

Friday, December 24, 2010

My FAVORITE Breakfast Casserole

I love this recipe because I prepare most all of it the night before. Then when we wake up in the morning, I add the soup on top and pop it in the oven. It bakes the perfect amount of time while we open presents. When we are done opening presents, it is done! So easy and yummy!

6 or so slices of bread
1 lb Link sausage, bacon, OR ham. BROWNED AND CUT UP!
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 dozen eggs - beaten
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 tsp. mustard
1/2 green bell pepper - chopped
3 green onions - chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 to 2 ounces mushrooms
1/4 c. milk

300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours

*Butter a cake pan and line your bread in the bottom.

*After browning your meat (I like to put both sausage and bacon but you can use just one or all 3!) Sprinkle it over top of bread. Then sprinkle your cheese over that.

*In a separate bowl, beat your eggs and add the milk, mustard, pepper & onion. Pour over top of your bread/meat.
*Cover and put in your fridge overnight! The bread will soak up all the egg mixture. Just before baking add: 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup mixed with the 1/4 c. milk and the mushrooms. ( I usually just use a small can of canned mushrooms). Drizzle the soup over top of the casserole. Bake uncovered on 300 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours.

You'll love it!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh Snow!

I woke up last night at 4am to a beeping sound. I couldn't figure out what it was. I realized that the power had gone out and it was my fridge beeping because the temp was too low. We reset our alarms and went back to sleep. Then Jens came in my bedroom at 7:09am panicking because his alarm had not gone off and the school bus was supposed to be here in just a few minutes. We realized that the power had gone out again! We opened the blinds and saw this!
So I went and checked the school district web site and it said that all schools in our district had cancelled the bus services. Just a few minutes after that the news said that all the schools in our district had cancelled school too. WOW! A first for me. I have lived my whole life in this state and I don't remember the school ever closing for snow......... Everyone here has 4 wheel drive cars, or at the least they have front wheel drive. We know how to drive in snow! But I will tell you what, it took us FOREVER to dig out! FOREVER! Several of my neighbors got stuck. My neighbor's truck was covered!

The kids were all so ECSTATIC! No school! Yeah! Today was supposed to be their last day of school before Christmas break. But instead it starts now!

This picture shows how much snow is out there. Molly was sitting down by my mailbox and she was having a hard time getting up. She kind of reminded me of the movie "A Christmas Story". Remember when Ralphie's brother falls down in the snow and he can't get back up because of all the snow clothes he was wearing......
Look at the snow on top of my mailbox. We got about 20 inches of new snow.

All the neighborhood kids were out playing all morning. They played for a couple of hours and by 10:00am, they were all cold and ready to come in for the day. 10:00 AM! I wanted to turn them around and tell them not to come back in until 5:00pm! They are excited but as for me? I think it is not only going to be a long day but a long break from school.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Season fun!

I had two gingerbread making kits so we decided that the boys would do one and the girls would do the other. They both turned out cute....... well I have to admit that the girl one was better,(he he) but the important part was that the kids had fun. I did too!

The boys did the multi colored one and the girls did the red, white and green one.

Jensen Family Christmas party

We had my family Christmas party last night and it was so much fun. It is the first time that I have been with my entire family all at the same time since last years Christmas party. It always seems like one or two......or three people are missing each time we get together.

My mom kept attacking my nephew Alec. Every time he would relax and turn his back to her she would get him.

We played a bunch of games after we ate.

Then we had a banana eating contest. The trick was to eat the banana THROUGH a nylon that was on your head. It was hysterical! Glen tried forever to get the nylon over his big head. It was even a plus size nylon too! Once he got it on, we all laughed SO hard because his face was really smashed!
Jeff, Brent, Brian, Glen and Darren all ready and eating. Once they all finally got the nylons on we all were laughing so hard that it took forever to actually EAT the banana.

I love this picture because you can see how smashed Brent and Brian's noses are! SO darn funny!
Brent looked like a sumo wrestler!
Jared - Kaitlyn & Brittany
Me and Jens

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

When Jeff and I first got married I thought cake was cake. It was all the same to me. It didn't matter if it was from a box, the store bakery or homemade from scratch. It was all the same. But his whole family, I'm talking everyone - parents - aunts - grandma's - siblings - everyone makes their cake from scratch. Well I learned the difference in taste and now I only like cake from scratch. It is more dense and just tastes yummier to me. Well this cake is from a box....with other ingredients....from a box. While I wish it was as moist as a cake from scratch, I still like it. It is great!

1 chocolate cake mix
1 small box of instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 bag of chocolate chips

*Mix all together at the same time. Add the bag of chocolate chips at the end. Pour into a well greased bundt pan. Bake on 350 for about 55 minutes or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean, or the top of the cake is spongy. Let cool and turn out on a cake plate. You can either dust it with powdered sugar or drizzle a chocolate glaze on top.

Shiny Chocolate Glaze
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. cocoa
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

*On low heat, melt the butter in a sauce pot. Add cocoa and whipping cream. Stir until it thickens. (Don't Boil!) Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups. Just enough to drizzle over the top of a bundt cake.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

They take after their DAD'S side of the family.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Skillet Cheese Enchiladas

I love to cook in the winter time. During the summer I hardly ever do, but during the winter, there is nothing better to me than warm, comfort food. These cheese enchiladas are cheesy, creamy, heart attack goodness! I saw them made on a TV show a couple years ago and we have loved them ever since.

*Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on a flour tortilla and roll it up. Repeat until you have enough to fit in your pan. Set aside.
*In a deep skillet, brown 1 pound of hamburger.
*Add one can of Cream of Celery soup (yes cream of CELERY. I know it sounds odd but just trust me)
*Add one small can of diced green chili's
*Stir all together
*Stick your rolled up tortillas down in the meat mixture.
*Cover pan with a lid and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or so until the cheese is melted in the tortillas.
*Top with a dollop of sour cream, lettuce, tomato, olive, green pepper or whatever you like.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Easy Curly Hair Bows

These hair bows are so easy to make! And you can make them for pennies! Once you have curled them, they stay that way. A couple of times I have forgotten to take the bow out of Molly's hair before she went swimming and it has stayed perfect. (the bow in the lower right hand corner is the one that has been in the pool a few times and it looks great still!)

You will need: tape - pencils - scissors - a hot glue gun - ribbon - hair clips - and a needle and thread

-You can buy really cute ribbon at scrapbooking stores and craft stores. Most of those places will sell the ribbon by the yard too so you don't have to buy the whole spool. WalMart also sells a selection of ribbon by the yard, but the really cute ones you can only buy by the spool. But if you are looking for solid colors, they are the best price.

-You can also buy hair clips at any beauty supply place. There are about 100 clips per box for like $5.oo
*Pre-heat your oven to 350. Make sure it is completely heated before baking the ribbon!
*Secure the end of the ribbon with a small piece of tape to the pencil and wrap it around the pencil. Don't overlap the ribbon.
*Then bake on a cookie sheet for 3 to 5 minutes. After 3 minutes look at the ribbon. If it looks okay, let it go 1 or 2 more minutes. But if the color of the ribbon is discoloring, then take it out.
*Let the ribbon cool and take it off the pencil.
*After the ribbon is off the pencil, trim the ribbon to be about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long.
*You will want to have a minimum of 20 ribbon pieces.
*Then start to put the strips of ribbon on a threaded needle in an X pattern.
*After it is all on, put a couple of stitches through all the ribbon to hold it in place.
*Then glue some ribbon on the hair clip. You can cover the top of the clip and the part of the clip that you pinch to open, but don't put it on the bottom of the clip. It makes it too hard to slide through your hair.
*Put a good size dollop of glue on the top of the clip.
*Then stick the curly ribbon part on top of that.
*And WAH LAH! So cute huh! This girl is 6 years old so you can tell how big the hair bow turns out to be when it is just a little 2 1/2 inch piece of curled ribbon.