Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas with Nemo

We were planning to drive to CO Springs on Christmas day, but Ellie came down with the stomach flu on Christmas Eve. It continued through last night, and we're waiting today to see if she's really better. We had a great Christmas in spite of the change of plans, and I'm so thankful Luke's home so we can take care of Ellie together. She's pretty happy most of the time, even though she's sick, and she's been able to enjoy lots of presents. When she's a little less happy, we throw in "Finding Nemo," her favorite movie (the turtle scenes). I now have most of the movie memorized. Maybe we should have given her some more movies for variety this Christmas...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome Home!

Luke arrived home yesterday afternoon. Ellie and I met him at the airport, along with many friends from church. We are so thankful that he's home with us. We thank God for protecting him and bringing him home safely. We thank you for all your prayers and love during his deployment.

Ellie was excited to see Daddy (she brought her "Daddy picture" to the airport) and by the time she went to bed last night, she sat on his lap for stories and let him hold her. He is so proud of his little girl and all she's learned in the last 6 months. We are so proud of Luke, and SO thankful that he's home with us.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So close...

Luke's in Baltimore! He called tonight from a hotel there. We look forward to seeing him at the airport tomorrow afternoon. Only one more sleep!

Baking: Round Two

Well, I ate all of the cookies we baked a few weeks ago, and I figured my husband would be disappointed to read all about the cookie extravaganza on the blog and then come home to find the handful of buckeyes still in the freezer. So Ellie and I spent Saturday baking more chocolate mint cookies and also some peanut butter kiss cookies. Here are the recipes:

Chocolate Mint Cookies
12 oz semisweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tbs water
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (2 3/4 cups for higher elevation)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 (4.67 oz) pkgs chocolate covered mint wafer candies (Andes mints), broken in half

Melt chocolate morsels and butter in saucepan, stirring occasionally
Combine chocolate mixture, brown sugar, and water in a large bowl; beat at low speed until blended.
Add eggs, beating well.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture, beating well at low speed.
Cover and chill 1 hour
Shape dough into 10inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Place half a mint on top of each warm cookie, remove cookies to wire racks, and let cool 1 minute (until chocolate mint melts) Gently spread melted mint over top of each cookie. Cool completely.
Yield: ~ 8 dozen

Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Candies
1 cup butter
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour (~3 cups for Albuquerque)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
16 oz chocolate kisses (I use some chocolate kisses, some peanut-butter-filled chocolate kisses, and some hugs)

Combine butter, peanut butter, and sugars; blend until creamy
Add eggs and vanilla; blend
Mix flour, salt, and baking soda, add to cream mixture; stir well
Roll dough into quarter size balls
Roll ball in bowl of sugar
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes, place kiss (or hug) in center of each cookie. Bake an additional 2 minutes.

Makes ~ 5 dozen

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Busy Bee

So here's what I've been working on since I picked up crochet again this fall:

 is where you can find the cable sock pattern. The pattern for the orange/yellow/purple socks (the lady who sold the yarn to me on eBay called the color "Meow Mix") is at

The pattern for the cream colored bag is at
The pattern for the green is at
I "designed" the red bag. The picture's aren't great, but I've already wrapped everything, so this is all there is to see. The good news is, all my must-have Christmas crochet projects are done, so if you send me some foot length and width measurements, and perhaps a color preference, there may be a Valentine's Day or Easter sock headed your way!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Yesterday was the cookie baking extravaganza of 2007. I didn't take any pictures, but I'll post one as soon as one of the other blogger-bakers puts one up and I can steal it. I did sample several of the cookies today, and I have to confess that there's no way I'll be able to make them last until Luke gets home. Maybe we'll do a second, smaller round of baking closer to Christmas.

Some of the cookies made and shared were: chocolate mint cookies, snickerdoodles, buckeyes, chocolate-white-chocolate-chip, jammy-white-chocolatey-cookie strips, and nutella-filled-chocolate-dipped sandwiches. (I made up some of those names). I can tell you that I've tried them all, and they are all delishy-mo MO MO!

In other news, I committed to swim 15 km this month. It isn't really that much, if I actually get into the pool 2 or 3 times per week. If I keep devouring these cookies like I have been, I may need to swim way more than 15km to make up for it! Oh, cookies. So tasty, but so calorie-laden... oh, well. No sense getting fat and feeling guilty. Might as well drop the guilt!