Saturday, December 31, 2011

Is it too late for a Christmas wrap-up?

I have been off work since December 23rd, and while I haven't just sat around the house, I haven't been especially busy either. So ye old blog has been neglected. I do have some pretty great Christmas photos to share with you though. We were so blessed by our family with wonderful gifts again this year. Dylan LOVED opening presents, writing a "letter" to Santa, leaving out milk and cookies and opening what Santa brought on Christmas morning. We also had lots of great food and had visitors from Iowa for a few days.

Here's the re-cap:

Dylan came to work with Dave on the 23rd, he had lots of fun helping set up the range and hitting golf balls. But he also came down with a fever, so around lunchtime I picked him up and we headed home. 
The most delicious peppermint bark ever. So wonderful I made it twice! I gave it to our friends in their Christmas goodies and made another batch for our family. 
Dylan seemed to be feeling better on Christmas Eve so we did some yard work in the morning since it was  such a nice day. His fever came back though during his nap so we decided to wait and go to church on Christmas morning. 
As you can see he started to feel better when it was time to open presents! But first he helped Dave start a fire in the fireplace. 
Dylan's 2011 ornament from daycare.
Girl, our elf on the shelf in her last spot of the year!
Dylan and his stack of presents. Nice pants huh, he put them on after his nap when he wasn't feeling good.  Oh well, at least they match his shirt!
A monkey pillow pet!
Dad got new running shoes...
Mom got a cookbook stand
Dylan modeling his ISU jersey on his new Cars mat getting ready to put on his Cowboy boot slippers!
Prime rib for Christmas Dinner!
Done writing a letter to Santa
Christmas Dinner, Duchess potatoes, prime rib and green bean casserole with crispy shallots, yum!
Santa brought Dylan a train table! Grandpa Dave also visited Christmas week and brought Dylan more trains for his table!
Grandma Carolyn and Granny B came to our house on Christmas Day and we opened more presents! Dylan got this great cape and mask from his cousins in Minnesota!
Grandma Carolyn opening one of her presents.
We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner on Christmas Day since Granny B and Carolyn were visiting. It's Cedar Plank Salmon, roasted asparagus and wild rice. Dessert is Chocolate raspberry torte cake. 
Kobe and Peek-a-boo worn out after a long week. I can't believe they are sitting this close!
Perfect weather today to shoot off the rocket from Kyle and Amie!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A visit with Santa!

We took Dylan to see Santa on Saturday! We went to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa, why Bass Pro Shop you might ask, not because we love guns and camo, because the photos are free and we are cheap. The Santa was pretty great though and we did get a good photo. Also, you can buy photos, the most expensive package was $19.99 which I thought was a good deal. We still just got the free photo though.
They also have a whole winter wonderland area with a carousel, remote control cars, shooting games (it is Bass Pro Shop) and a train. Dylan loved riding the moose on the carousel and driving the remote control cars. He also got to meet Smokey the bear and the chicken mascot for the Tennessee Valley Fair (random I know). Dylan loves mascots so he was very excited to say hi.
He also loved Santa, he was a little shy at first, but Santa was very friendly and had lots of questions for Dylan. Dylan told Santa that he wants a remote control car and a train for Christmas. Hopefully he's been a good boy this year and Santa will grant his wishes!

DSC_0011 DSC_0009 DSC_0006 dylsanta2

Peanut Butter Blossoms

I started my Christmas baking this afternoon! I was going to start by making peppermint bark, but I realized that I bought regular graham crackers instead of chocolate, doh! So instead I started with a favorite of Dave's, Peanut Butter Blossoms. I used the recipe from our family cookbook and my Aunt Janet. The recipe is perfect and the cookies always turn out great! I love that the recipe calls for chocolate stars. I remember when my Grandma would make these cookies she always used chocolate stars. They were perfect for the cookies because they are flatter so you got more chocolate and cookie per bite. I always look for the chocolate stars at the store, but can never find them. I need to remember to look at Mast General Store next time we go and see if they are in the "nostalgic" candy section.

I will be baking all this week, so stay tuned for more recipes!
The recipe
What you will need + salt
Butter vanilla isn't required, but it's awesome for baking. I got it for my birthday from Melea  along with some truffle oil  I have yet to try. If you see this Butter vanilla buy it, you won't be disappointed!
Do you like my mixer? My mom gave it to me when I was in college and it was old then, it's old now, but it still works great. I do have a kitchen aid standing mixer (thanks Mom!) but I can't keep it on my counter top, so I don't use it very often. Which is what my Mom said would happen, see, Mom IS always right!
The finished product! I love how the kisses get all shiny after being in the oven for a few minutes! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santa Hustle!

Dave ran in the Santa Hustle this morning, he did the half marathon in his Santa shirt (sans beard and hat). It was a cold start, about 28 degrees, even at 9am. Dylan loved seeing the Santa's everywhere and thought just about everyone was Dave. It was cool to see everyone dressed the same at the start of the race, even though I'm not very happy with my photos, they don't do the real scene justice. In a sea of red and white,  Dave was wearing a white hat and not the Santa hat so we were able to find him much more easily.

Ready to go!
Dylan had fun waiting for the race to start too...
The Fleet Feet Group
Santa's ready to start the Santa Hustle!
Where's Dave?
There he is!
A few more steps to finish the race!
Dylan loved his pony ride!
Dave's shirt and metal  medal, way to go!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Over the river and through the woods

Is exactly what we had to do to find our Christmas tree late yesterday. Our usual Christmas Tree farm, TnT, was closed this season, but we didn't know that until we got there! Luckily, we had seen a sign for House Mountain Christmas Tree farm on our way to TnT, so we got back on the road to find it. They had quite a few signs out, so that was helpful, but the signs led us to a house, which had additional directions to finally take us to the Christmas Tree Farm. House Mountain Christmas Tree Farm is on 20 acres...that's right 20 acres. I am pretty sure we walked at least half of that in the quest for the perfect tree. I can't really complain though, there were a lot of beautiful trees, some too big, some too small and some priced rather high, others priced more reasonable. It was also perfect weather to go look for a tree, 50 or so degrees and still a little sunny while it dropped lower into the sky. Last year we picked out our tree in the rain, the year before it was freezing, we couldn't of had better weather this year. Or a more beautiful sky and views!

DSC_0019 DSC_0023 DSC_0030 DSC_0035 DSC_0039 DSC_0043 DSC_0045 DSC_0051 DSC_0053