Monday, December 31, 2007

Oink Oink


That's how I feel after a week and a half of nonstop eating. I've been traveling for the holidays and it seems whenever I'm away from home I can't control myself.

I am responsible for the consumption of two entire loaves of Swedish coffe bread as well as a whole bag of Lindt chocolate truffles and three maybe four pints of Brigham's vanilla ice cream. The sad thing about this is that I was not even remotely hungry when I ate any of this...none of it!

Lucikly I will be home tommorrow. and luckily it's the new year so I can get my eating back on track. I guess this little piggy will be starting 2008 with the resolution to loose weight...or at least to only eat when I'm hungry! Oink! Oink!

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Don't you hate it when....

you walk into the bathroom at Target to pee and all the stalls are full except for one. You then proceed into the one stall to do your business while trying not to breathe in because someone in one of the other stalls is really stinking up the joint. Then all the other people leave and you come out to wash your hands and a really old uptight lady walks in and looks at you in disgust because she thinks you are the one that caused the horrific smell?

I just hate it when that happens.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pray for me people everywhere!

Forget praying for peace people, pray for me! I am at my in-laws house and they have... dial-up.

Gasp! The horrors!

I really consider myself lucky that they even have an Internet connection since they are in their late 80's. So I guess I shouldn't be complaining at all but, well, it's me, so I'm gonna complain...just a little.

I have forgotten how really, really, really s. l. o. w. a dial-up connection can be. There's no hopping around from blog to blog, site to site. And I definitely dare not open more than one Internet session at a time. Normally when I am blogging I can have as many as three or four open...but not with dial-up.

So, I am asking for a little patience over the next couple of days. I am still going to post but it's just going to take me





to get the posts up so please bear with me. And while you are waiting, please say a tiny little prayer for me....patience is not my strong suit.

And I guess you can go ahead and pray for peace while you are at it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I'm up to my eyeballs in...

wrapping paper and Christmas cookies and last minute trips to the store.

Just wanted to take a minute away from all of the holiday "fun" to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and to ask that you please remember why we go through all of this craziness every year. Because ultimately His arrival is all that should matter to us.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. -Luke 2:11

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's the little things that count.

A couple of evenings ago our doorbell rang. There was silence for a minute as the kids and I were shocked that someone might be at our door this late in the evening. (It was only 6:45 but it was dark and felt late.) After about two seconds the kids started screaming Is it Colton and Cheyanne? Are they here to play? and I started screaming Don't open the door! Remember, no one opens the door unless Mommy is standing there!

We all raced to the door. My heart started to pound a little because no one ever comes to our door in the evening. There has been a string of burglaries in our area and the perp's MO is that they ring the doorbell and if you are home they ask for directions and move on to the next house. If you aren't home, they proceed to break in and take all of your valuables. (Can you tell I like to watch CSI, Without a Trace and Cold Case? Where else would I learn terms such as perp and MO? O.k. maybe I picked those up on the Andy Griffith show and maybe they aren't as cool as I think.)

Anyway, I headed to the door with my heart pounding. I just knew I was going to find a big burly stranger there who wanted to know how to get to the highway. But what a sweet surprise I got. Standing on my front porch was "Miss Virginia".

Miss Virginia is a sweet little lady who attends the church I went to as a child. She is probably about 85 now, maybe older. She was dressed to the nines wearing tasteful earrings, lipstick, a dress and sensible heels. She was with her daughter who I could tell did not want to be standing there. Her daughter, I think, felt uncomfortable because they arrived unannounced.

I invited them in but they only came a few steps in the door. The house was a mess but I didn't care. I was just glad we all had our clothes on! Many times at this point in the evening, one or both of the kids are running around in various states of undress.

Miss Virginia wanted to thank me in person for sending her a Christmas card. The Christmas card we sent had our family photo on it and she wanted to let me know that she thought the card was lovely and that she truly appreciated the card. She even came bearing gifts! She brought four of the cutest cupcakes I've ever seen and a box of delicious oatmeal cookies.

What a sweet treat! And what a true southern belle, Miss Virginia is. The whole thing made me wonder about the little things we do. I sent her a Christmas card without thinking twice about it. She was on a long list of people we send cards to every year. But for Miss Virginia, receiving the card was special. Maybe it even made her day. I know her visit certainly made mine. She went to the store and purchased treats for my family to thank us for sending her a Christmas card.

I am going to try to be more mindful in the new year of doing more little things for people. I think that will be a better resolution than trying to loose those same old 5 pounds...that I never seem to loose anyway. And after all, don't they say It's the little things that count?

Here are my kids getting ready to enjoy one of the little things...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Festival of Lights

Last night we went to Tanglewood to see the Festival of Lights. Tanglewood has been putting on this display of lights for 16 years now and they claim it is one of the "most spectacular light shows in the southeast". Having never been to a light show I think I would have to agree!

As I've mentioned before I have been trying to institute some new family traditions this year now that the kids are a little older and might actually enjoy them. So we decided we were going to take them. But my husband has been really busy at work lately and we kept having to put it off and put it off. (We didn't want to go on the weekend because we heard the lines get really long.) Last night was our last chance to go before our Christmas travels and we finally made it!

The kids were in awe looking at all the beautiful light displays. Peter would say, "Cool! That's awesome!" and then Sarah would pipe in with "Yeah! That's the most awesomest!" We like to call them "Pete and Repeat" because she loves to imitate her older brother!

Since we got a late start we weren't able to stop at the hot chocolate stand or roast marshmallows but next year we are going to leave early enough to do that. Peter declared this is the best place ever! He even said he wanted to come back next year. And so a tradition is born...

I tried to take pictures of some of the light displays but my camera just doesn't have what it takes...

So, here is a picture I took of me and the kids as we were driving through the park. (We let them sit on my lap so they could have a better view of the lights. They may have enjoyed that just as much as the lights.)

If you would like to see some good pictures of the light display go here and click on the link at the bottom of the page. Most of the lights were animated (guess that's the right word to use...anyway...they moved) so it's hard to get a good idea even from these pictures of how cool the displays really were.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday

Today is Wednesday so of course, Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting Works for Me Wednesday. She is asking for tips that make Christmas easier.

Every year at Christmas, since my son's birth in 2002, we have travelled by car 15 hours away to spend time with my in-laws. And with kids, that 15 hours easily turns into 19, but we do it any way because we don't have the money to fly and how would we have gotten the Pack N Play and the swing and all the other baby necessities kids need while they are away from home, there, had we flown?

So every Christmas we pack up the car and spend two days travelling. When my son was first born I started to mull over my options about what I was going to do about Christmas gifts. There wasn't going to be any extra room in our mid-sized SUV to pack a lot of gifts and now that the kids are older we don't want to risk them seeing their gifts from Santa. We also weren't going to have time to go to the mall once we made it to our destination. So I turned shopping.

I buy almost all of our Christmas gifts online. To minimize my headaches and the shipping charges I try to get as many of the gifts as possible from as few stores as possible. This year I did almost all of our shopping from Wal-Mart, Target and

I used to decide on a gift item, check 5 or 6 stores online to compare prices and then put the item I chose in my shopping cart. This took forever and many times I would go back to my shopping cart only to find it had been deleted. I have also realized that the cost of most things aren't going to vary that much by store so it's not worth the hassle. Also, if you maximize the amount of money you spend at one store you will minimize your shipping charges. In many cases, if you purchase enough from one store you will get free shipping.

Over the last 5 years, I have realized that I shopping online is so much easier and more peaceful that fighting the crowds at Christmastime. And all I have to do when I get to my in-laws is wrap the gifts. And we have found that getting the presents home is a lot easier than we thought as well...It's much easier to pack a toy that has already been removed from the box!

I know this seems like a no-brainer but it works for us! Now head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more Works For Me Wednesday tips!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Random Christmas Hoopla!

Jennifer has tagged me to play . . .The Random Christmas Hoopla!Here goes:

1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas

2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word (which, for you bloggy newbies, is meme)

3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.

4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.

12 Random Christmas Things About Me...

1. I love Christmas and it really annoys me that everywhere I look I see Happy Holidays. I am a Christian and I will always proudly say Merry Christmas. According to a 2001 American Religious Identification Survey, 80% of Americans are Christians. If there are so many Christians in America then why are we all saying Seasons Greetings?

2. I must confess that I had to do something this Christmas that I am not proud of. We had to send out Christmas cards this year that said Seasons Greetings on them instead of Merry Christmas. Every year we use Portrait Innovations to get our Christmas picture taken and we have them print up our Christmas cards while we are there. There are about 25 backgrounds you can choose from for the cards and only TWO of them...TWO! said Merry Christmas. The two that said Merry Christmas were really had a lime green background and the other was blue with a snowman (I think).

I know. I am a hypocrite. I caved and went with Season's Greetings because the background went really well with our picture. My husband was so distraught over this that we printed out stickers that said Merry Christmas and put those on the envelopes. Next year, I think we are just going to wear lime green so that our outfits will match the Merry Christmas background.

3. I was raised as a Moravian and one of my favorite memories as a little girl is the Christmas Eve Lovefeast and Candle Light service. It is a beautiful service and I highly recommend anyone living near a Moravian church to attend this year. I am a Catholic now and a little part of me will always miss the Moravian service.

4. When I was a preteen our church had a live outdoor Nativity pageant for maybe 4 years. It lasted for 5 nights each Christmas and we performed it 6 times each night. I loved participating in that. I was always an angel. I guess some things never change!

5. Opening the gifts in our stockings was always something that we did last in our house as a child. It was almost like an afterthought. My husband's family always opens them first and the presents in the stockings are almost as good as the "real" presents. His sister, especially, puts a lot of time and thought into picking out special little gifts for each stocking.

6. When I was little Santa always left our presents wrapped. I was horrified when I grew up and learned that in many households he leaves the unwrapped. My husband's gifts were always unwrapped and he is very annoyed when I insist on wrapping the kid's presents.

7. I love Christmas decorations. I love to look at them in the store and in magazines but I don't have a lot of them at home. We have a tree and the outside of our house is decorated but that's about it. It seems like sooooo much work and expense for just a few weeks out of the year to do much more than that. It 's because I'm so practical...or lazy....

8. I like to see snow on the ground on Christmas day but growing up in the south it never happened. But now that we visit my husband's family in Massachusetts there is always a good chance! Last year it actually snowed on Christmas day and right now they have at least a foot or more on the ground! I bought mittens and hats for the kids today because I know we will be playing in it!

9. I prefer gift wrapped presents to gift bags but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do. And I would never turn a down a Christmas gift because it was in a gift bag. I just think it is more fun to unwrap something than to pull it out of a bag.

10. I always put money in the Salvation Army bucket every time I see one at Christmas.

11. My husband and I both love the smell and look of a real tree but for practical purposes have had a fake one for the last 7 years. My husband has said, at least 100 times this year, Geez, I sure wish we had a live tree. I've got a feeling we may be getting a live tree next year.

12. My favorite Christmas song is The Little Drummer Boy. It gives me chills whenever I hear it.

I'm glad I'm at 12 because I can't think of another thing to say!

All right Honey , and Page you guys are next!

Be thankful they are there.

"Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way."

These words stopped me in my tracks and tears begin to form in my eyes. I was reading yet another poem I had received through email. I get them all the time. Usually I read them and delete them from my inbox as well as my mind. Their messages are always sweet but for me fleeting. Until this one.

This line comes right at a time when my daughter always seems to be under my feet. She always wants to help me and she always wants to be right by my side doing whatever I'm doing. Several times a day, it seems, I am turning around to get the laundry, prepare dinner, make a bed and she is underneath my feet causing me to stumble. And every time I curse silently and tell her to get out of the way. And every time I immediately feel sorry that I have just told her this and every time I silently pray to God to forgive me for being a bad mother and to please, please give me extra patience.

Since the day this line stopped me in my tracks, I have been trying to be more mindful of how lucky I am to have this little one underfoot. And every time I want to say get out of the way, instead I find myself reaching down to give her a hug and saying a prayer of thanks to God for her and asking him to please, please give me extra patience.

In case you are interested, here is the complete text of the poem. Maybe a line in it will touch you.


If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies,preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity,
but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata,
but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another ones home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Conversation with a 5 year old boy...

As he was getting ready for bed tonight, I noticed that Peter was holding himself. The following conversation followed:

Me: Go pee, Peter.

Peter: I don't have to go.

Me: Oh, ok.

30 seconds elapse and he begins to hold himself again.

Me: Go pee, Peter.

Peter: I don't have to go.

Me: You are holding yourself so it looks like you have to go pee.

Peter(in an exasperated tone): I don't have to pee Mom. I'm just holding myself because it's fun.

Me: Oh. Well, o.k. then.

I didn't really know what else to say.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ham and cheese, please!

My husband is very cheap and he tends to prefer his own company to the company of anyone else. So on most days during his lunch hour, he drives to a nearby park, eats a lunch that I have packed for him and listens to Rush Limbaugh. This makes him very happy. My husband is a simple man. Thank goodness...

I dislike packing lunch for my husband. I haven't figured out why I dislike it so much but it probably has something to do with the fact that I'm lazy. But even though I don't like to do it, I love him so I do it anyway.

My poor husband gets the same thing for lunch every day...a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich with mayonnaise and a can of Diet Mountain Dew. He eats this every day. Bleh. And as much as I hate packing this for him, I feel sorry that he has to eat it. But that's what he says he wants and I'm too lazy to figure out something else for him to eat so that's what he gets. Every. Day.

While my poor husband is eating the same pathetic sandwich I begrudgingly pack for him day after day after day, there is one lucky family out there who gets to eat like this every day. This wife and mom strives to make her family tasty and visually appealing lunches every day using the Bento method. She wants to do this for her family and she's doing it quite well. What a good wife!

Look back through her archives at all the gorgeous lunches she has packed for her family. If I weren't so lazy, I'm sure I could get some great ideas for my husband's lunch here. But knowing him, he would come home asking where his ham and cheese sandwich was.

Like I said, my husband is a simple man. Lucky me!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm finished...

...Christmas shopping that is! I think anyway. My goal was to be done with all my shopping by December 1st. I failed but at least I am finished now.

I cringe every time Peter or Sarah mention something that they are so sure they are getting from Santa Claus because of course, it's not something that I have bought for them.

Christmas morning could be grim around these parts. The kids better appreciate everything they get and they better not moan and groan about the things they didn't get or I may just take their toys and give them away. So there!

Next up? Christmas cards.

Will the fun ever end?


But do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all? It's Donder!

My husband and I have the same argument discussion every year right around this time. He will ask me if I can name all the reindeer. And every year, I rattle them off . And every year, I am kicking myself for not remembering that we have this same conversation. Every. Year.

Beth: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. And of course, Rudolph!

Dan: It's not Donner. It's Donder!

Beth: Donder?! That's ridiculous! It's Donner ! Everyone knows it Donner!

Dan: No! It's Donder!

This goes on for a while until I can take no more. My husband unfortunately is usually right when we have an argument discussion and he argues discusses things with such conviction, that I normally just end this like any cool teenager would..

Beth: Whatever.

I definitately was not on my high school debating team.

So this year, after we had our little argument discussion, I went to my friend Google and discovered that for a change...we are both right! Although, he would argue that he is more right than I am but again...whatever.

Apparently in Twas the Night Before Christmas the reindeer was named Dunder (or Donder) but it was changed in the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to Donner. Also, according to this article Blitzen was originally Blixem in the story. Donder and Blixem were Dutch for thunder and lightening and then changed to Donner and Blitzen which are German for thunder and lightening. The reason for the change is unclear but wow! Who knew? And I am sure you are saying at this point who cares? Well, I care!

I can hardly wait until next Christmas. When my husband and I have this same argument discussion, I am going to enlighten him with this new found knowledge on Blixem/Blitzen and for once, I am going to be right!

It's the little things, people!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sugarplum Drops

Karla over at Looking Towards Heaven is hosting a Holiday Party Recipe Exchange. I am all for holiday party recipes because usually that means "appetizers". I hope there will be lots of appetizer recipes because I can totally eat my weight in apps!

That being said, you would think I would be posting a delightful little holiday appetizer recipe. But no. I have decided to post a holiday cookie recipe. And before you start groaning and saying
Oh no! Not another holiday cookie recipe! please take the time to check this one out.

I made these for the first time last week for a MOPS cookie exchange. I had to make three dozen cookies and the last thing I felt like doing was baking. I saw this recipe in the December issue of Family Fun Magazine and it sounded perfect for me. No baking, no kneading, no rolling out cookie dough. Just throwing some stuff in the food processor and then rolling it into balls. This was my kind of recipe. The cookies were quick to make and they looked very elegant in their little paper cups. These cookies would look very nice on the dessert table at your holiday party.

Please note... kids DO NOT like this cookie...must be all the fruit. It has a very grown up taste too it. I can't explain it. You will just have to make them for yourself.

Sugarplum Drops

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup pecans
1 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup orange juice (no pulp)
1/2 cup granulated or sifted confectioners sugar

Combine the dried fruit and nuts in a food processor and pulse until you get a coarse mixture, about 1 minute. Add the orange juice and pulse again until the mixture sticks together, about 15 seconds.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll them in sugar for a sweet coating. For a nice presentation, place each ball into a mini-cupcake paper/wrapper. Refrigerate. Makes about 2 1/12 dozen. (Please note - I made mine a little bigger than 1 inch....they looked better in the paper cups this way.)
So, now that you've got plenty of free time because you won't be baking cookies, head on over to Karla's and post your own holiday party recipe or at least go check out all the great ones that others are posting!

Monday, December 10, 2007

I knew today had to be Monday.

Know how I knew? My pants were very tight this morning.

I ate way too much this weekend, as usual. But the real reason my pants were so tight this morning is that I did laundry on Saturday. So my jeans got their weekly tightening and shrinking in the washer and dryer.

But never fear. They should be loose enough and baggy enough by this weekend (when they will get their weekly washing) that I will think to myself, Ooohhh! I must be loosing weight!

This weight loss technique will work great...until next Monday...

I am sooooo immature.

My husband loves gingerbread cookies. He has been asking when I'm going to back a batch of them for several weeks now. When I told him I had no intention of baking any he started sniffing around the gingerbread house wondering out loud when and if he could eat that.

I decided at that point that I needed to be firm and tell him that in no uncertain terms was I baking gingerbread cookies. I've made them before and they didn't turn out very well and I hated every minute of making them. I do not like to roll out dough. In fact, I hate rolling out cookie dough and if I see a recipe that says, "flour your surface and roll out the dough", I run from it.

So my poor husband asked me to get the ingredients and said he would bake the cookies himself. I dutifully purchased all of the ingredients for him and since we had a free afternoon on Saturday, he and Sarah set out to baking gingerbread cookies. Peter was not interested in helping as he had computer games to play and Bionicles to build so it was just Daddy and Sarah in the kitchen.

They were absolutely adorable to watch. Dan took to baking like any good engineer would. He went through the recipe and gathered every single ingredient in front of him. Then he precisely measured each one before he let Sarah dump it into the bowl. And when I say precisely, I mean precisely. He used a knife to insure that each measuring spoon was exactly full of the exact measurement the recipe called for. And he poured wet ingredients so slowly you would have thought he was pouring liquid gold.

Now don't think I wasn't participating. I was sitting nearby reading my People magazine and offering up such helpful advice as, Geez, you don't have to be that exact when you are measuring and No, we do not have a marble rolling pin you'll just have to use the crappy one that we do have.

Many men out there are leg men or even boob men, but not my husband. He is a frosting man. He would eat any thing if it were covered in frosting. So he was not content just to use left over royal icing from the gingerbread house to put buttons and eyes on the cookies. He wanted to make frosting for them. So he also made a big ole batch of cupcake frosting for the cookies so that when he is eating them he can cover them with frosting.
He did not tell the kids about the frosting knowing that if he did it would get eaten up very quickly. I guess he should have hidden it from me because, while I do not like gingerbread cookies, I love me some frosting. He has caught me on several occasions with a spoon eating out of the frosting bowl. least I wasn't using my finger!

Here is a picture of my sweet daughter (who was a great helper, by the way) and her daddy making cookies. I did manage to put my magazine down long enough to snap this picture.

And here they are, so proud of this pan of cookies....(Aren't they cute all covered in flour? Did I mention that flour flying around is one of the reasons I hate making cookies that have to be rolled out?)

Sarah wanted to roll our her own little ball of dough so Dan gave her a little piece of it to work with. She rolled it with the little rolling pin her Aunt Cathy gave her last year at Christmas and when she got tired of using the rolling pin, she rolled it with her hands. Then Peter came in and gave it a few squeezes and then Sarah played with it some more. Dan wisely decided not to use the dough so it got discarded on the counter top. When I saw it laying around on the counter near one of the gingerbread men, I could not resist taking a picture of it.

Because I am a 13 year old boy.....

I am so immature like that.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Megan, this one is for you!

People find my blog every day by doing searches on Google.

For instance, just yesterday, several people Googled "pirate treasure hunt" and were taken here...

Many people have Googled "Popsicle drip catcher" and have found themselves here...

Lots of people have Googled "chocolate covered pretzel" and have landed here...

Yesterday, however, I found myself with a new Google search that landed someone here, which was the post I wrote wondering if anyone else's pee smelled like asparagus if they ate too much of the lovely vegetable.

The search they used to find my post was "If you eat a lot of fried okra will your pee stink?"

Hmmm. Seeing as how I don't eat okra, fried or otherwise, I'm not sure. Megan. I am going to have to leave this one to you to answer.


Does it?

The Internet is waiting....

Editor's note - My blog is the number one result when Googling "If you eat a lot of fried okra will your pee stink?" Should I be pleased or not?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday (Better Late than Never)!

I know that Wednesday is almost over so I'm a little late to the party on this Works for Me Wednesday post, but when I saw that Shannon wanted quick and easy recipes AND that her recipe contained Rotel AND that there were people out there who had never heard of Rotel, I knew I had to post this recipe.

I originally got this recipe off of a can of Hunt's diced tomatoes but the second time I made it, I substituted Rotel for the Hunt's tomatoes and have been making it this way ever since. My husband loves this recipe because it's tasty. I love it because it's easy and quick and I normally have all the ingredients for it on hand at any given time. So without any further rambling, here's the recipe:

Tomato Bacon Quesadillas

8 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 can Rotel with lime (any flavor works but we prefer the kind with lime for this recipe)
10 pieces of cooked bacon (I always use the microwave much easier than frying!)
2 T vegetable oil

Combine cheese, Rotel and bacon.
Spread 1/8 of the mixture on half of a tortilla and fold in half to make a circle.
Cook each quesadilla over medium low heat until cheese has melted and tortillas are starting to turn brown...a couple minutes on each side.
Serve with sour cream.

It is really easy to whip these up and they are super yummy! And if you have never used Rotel tomatoes before you don't know what you are missing.

My favorite Rotel recipe is this yummy dip:

Brown a pound of sausage and drain the grease off.
Put a block of cream cheese in a pot over low heat.
Stir in a can of Rotel (drain the liquid off first).
Stir in the sausage.
Cook until warm (continuing to stir) and serve with corn chips or tortilla chips.

If you have never had this before, you are probably turning up your nose but let me tell you...this is some good eating! Take this to a party and you will come home with an empty bowl...I promise!

And with that, I am off to bed to dream of fattening dip...but hey it's got tomatoes in it so it can't be all bad. Can it?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm glad I got to hear this...

Dan and I overheard this conversation at bedtime last night:

Sarah: Good night, Peter.

Peter: Good night, Sarah.

Sarah: I love you, Peter.

Peter: I love you too, Sarah.

Dan and I just looked at one another and smiled. My heart melted and I wondered to myself, Are these the same two kids that just argued over who was going to get into and out of the bathtub first? Are these the same two kids that fought over whether they were going to watch Little Bill or Little Bear? Are these the same two kids who are constantly yelling, fighting and screaming at one another over every little thing?

I guess they truly are brother and sister because after all the petty bickering is put aside, at the end of the day, they really do love one another.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The house that Royal icing built...

Last year my aunt gave the kids a gingerbread house kit. We had lots of fun gluing candy and decorating the house. I had decided that we were going to do it again this year but had not gotten around to buying a kit yet when I noticed in our church bulletin that they were hosting a gingerbread house decorating workshop. I signed us up and off we went!
There were three sizes of houses to choose from. We opted for the smaller one since the kids are younger and we knew their attention spans would be short. We picked out our house...

And then we got to choose 6 bags of candy from this table...
There was every imaginable decorating candy available. There were gum drops, Mike and Ike's, Chicklets, peppermints, Necco wafers (which my husband reminded me several times stood for New England Candy Company),gum balls, M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls and Reese's cups.

There were also pretzels in multiple shapes and sizes, shredded wheat cereal and Wheat Thins. I could go on and on. Clearly, the people running this workshop had built a gingerbread house or two.

We paid for our little house and got our big bag of Royal icing and we started working...

And working...
And working...

Until our little house looked like this...

The kids had fun and when we left they had a little sugar buzz from sampling the roof "shingles" and the "bushes". I had fun because I was able to relax and let them make a mess because I didn't have to clean it up! And I think Dan had fun because he got to "build" something. (I am using the term "build" loosely because he was really decorating the house instead of building it but shhhhhhhhhhh we aren't going to tell him that!)

But the best part of the afternoon...we had fun as a family! We will definitely be doing this again next year!

And now for more pictures of our little house. Isn't it cute?