Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009! Hello 2010!

My husband looked at me over dinner tonight and told me it had been almost a month since I updated my blog. It made me smile. I think he has missed reading what we've been up to!

I do admit that I spend very little time on the computer these days and it seldom occurs to me that I should be looking for things to blog about. I've just been enjoying time with family and friends and looking forward to a new year. Let's see.... here is a brief recap of the last few weeks....

We hosted the main meal for a progressive dinner with some students from the university here in town. What a FUN bunch of young women. There were several international students who came as well. I LOVE connecting with students from other countries and hearing about how they came to study here.

Snow has been a major factor in our lives in the past weeks, and has led to the cancellations of many key events. Christmas Eve service was cancelled; Steve had his first 'snow day' from the office in the 14 years we have been here; and the most devastating for me, is that it prevented us from making the trip to Minnesota to spend Christmas with my family when they celebrated. That day is always such a highlight for me and it saddens me to think I have to wait another year for it to roll around again!! Sumo is somehow managing to make the pilgrimage around the back field each day, but it is pretty slow and go.

Steve and K took a surprise trip to New York City one weekend and even took a helicopter ride over Manhattan! They had quite the view!! They packed a lot into their weekend and have lots of fun memories. I'm excited to get there someday...

They did go to M&M world and brought me back this fun sweatshirt for Christmas! It is my new favorite!!! The really fun thing about this picture is that I took it with my phone and just learned how to transfer it to the computer via bluetooth. :-) I LOVE learning new (well, at least new to me) technology!

I loved having time with everyone home over the weekend! We played lots of games; ate lots of yummy food; laughed a bunch and just enjoyed being together! I just happen to be blessed with the best kids on the planet.

I did get the fingerless mitts done in time for the girls and they loved them. The next pair I knit will be for myself. I just can't decide which yarn I want!

K made this photo frame for R & M with pictures she took in and around our house. They were really excited about it. They may have to keep an eye on it when I come to visit because I have the PERFECT spot for it to hang in my house!!!

I will leave you with a final recipe for the year ..... Strawberry and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast. I made it for the kids for breakfast this morning; and for Steve when he got home from work. Everyone gave it two thumbs up!

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

2 slices Texas Toast per serving
fresh strawberries, sliced
cream cheese frosting*

1. Beat eggs (1-2 per serving) with a splash of milk until well mixed.

2. Melt 1 tsp or so of butter in fry pan over medium heat.

3. Spread one piece of Texas Toast with cream cheese frosting.

4. Layer with fresh strawberries and top with second slice of Texas Toast.

5. Dip in egg mixture and coat each side really well.

6. Place in fry pan and cook until each side is golden brown.

7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and ENJOY!!!

Cream Cheese Frosting:
(This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before making French Toast)

8 oz Cream Cheese
1 cup butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Allow cream cheese and butter to get to room temperature

2. Beat butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl with mixer

3. Slowly add in the powdered sugar.

4. After all the powdered sugar is added, mix for 12 minutes. (Do not mix less than that)

5. When almost done, add in the vanilla and lemon juice

Happy New Years to all of you! May God richly bless you in the coming year!

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Snow Day!!!

It started yesterday. The predictions were for lots of snow. I hoped they were wrong. But it was not to be. 15 inches at last report. We kept a close watch on this happy garden guy in the front of the house, watching as the snow accumulated up all around him. Poor guy!!

Sophie has been pouting all day because she didn't get to go on either of her field walks. She won't even look at me. Maybe tomorrow Sophie......

Sumo loves to go out and eat the snow. I have been thankful for his sake that the snow has held off as long as it has. It is going to be hard for him to navigate these deep drifts. I think it is safe to say that his walks in the back field have come to a halt, at least for now.

K took this picture of our winter wonderland out the back window. It is pretty and certainly does get one in the Christmas spirit!! For Steve, it was his first SNOW DAY that he has had since we moved here 14+ years ago!!! Pretty crazy!! It was fun to have him around all day.

Since it has been a few weeks since my last post, I will do a quick 'catch up' of what we have been up to. We had a great Thanksgiving day. K invited some good friends to spend a few days with us, which was so fun. I love these two!!! And am happy to be their American 'mom' while they are studying here in the U.S.

We played games; ate turkey; went 'Black Friday' shopping; and played more games!! R & M were around Thanksgiving day, but A & CB were at her folks. We'll get to see more of them over the Christmas break.

This past weekend, K and I made a quick trip to Chicago for a 'girls weekend' with Sheri and her knitting daughter. Shopping; knitting; catching up and eating at fun restaurants are all important components of a girls weekend. We found a GREAT pizza place to have Chicago style pizza. Very yummy! They even ship over 250,000 pizzas a year all over the states!!!

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals to eat out, and we found a GREAT breakfast place just a stone's throw from our hotel. These are my yummy yummy crepes that I had. I think I may have to make crepes some time this weekend!

We stayed right by the IKEA store and took K there for the first time. I LOVE this store and made many very fun purchases! Several things for our living room which we are in the process of redoing. Sure would love to have an IKEA store closer to home!!!!

In knitting news, I have finished the first of CB's mitt and hope to cast on the second one later this week. I just can't say enough about this pattern. My friend Sheri has mentioned it so much on her blog that the gal who wrote the pattern made it available on a blog post as well as on ravelry. You can get the free pattern here.

I also started an alpaca tubular scarf with some yarn that Sheri gave me when we were in Chicago. These are probably the warmest scarves on the planet!!!! You cast on 70 stitches onto a size 5 - 16" circular needle and then just knit away. I am striping mine, changing colors every 5 rows. When it is as long as you want, you seam the ends; add some fringe and enjoy it's incredible warmth!!!!

Until Next Time....