Thursday, December 23, 2010

Question about the last post answered

When adding the ingredients to the jar, be sure to add them in the exact order listed.  And even though the ingredients add up to about 5 cups when the jar is only a 4 cup capacity, there is no typo.  Be sure to push down on the ingredients VERY hard with your finger tips as they begin to fill up the jar.  The idea is that the flour mixture will filter down a bit in between the oats and chips.  The key is pushing down on the ingredients as they fill the jar.  The jar will be filled to the brim.  No space needed at the top of a mason like when you are canning.  Hope this helps anyone who tried to make this and didn't have great results!  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gift in a Jar

If you are looking for a last minute gift for someone here is a recipe that I used as a gift for a few friends this year.  Or you could always just make the cookies!
Oatmeal Scotchies

1 wide-mouth quart (4-cup) canning jars with lid and rings
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup white sugar
3/4 Cup butterscotch baking chips
2 Cup rolled oats
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon salt


1. In large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Layer ingredients in order given in canning jars, layering flour mixture last.
2. Cut appropriate amount of 7-inch circles from cotton fabric. Top each jar with fabric circle, and tie with ribbon.
3. Be sure to write the directions out on a gift tag and attach to jar with a pretty ribbon.

Recipe Instructions (include on gift tag):

Empty mix into large mixing bowl, mix thoroughly.  Add 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened, 1 beaten egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Mix until completely blended.  Form 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees until edges are lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Playing in the Snow

We have had snow covering the ground for a couple weeks now and have taken a couple of short trips out to the front yard to play.  We avoid the back because of too much dog poop buried beneath the snow.  Anyways, Magnolia got some new snow pants and a snow coat and was dying to be all bundled up so out we went.  Boothe wears Magnolia's old snow suit well so the kids are plenty warm in the freezing temperatures.  My only problem is gloves for little ones.  They stink.  I have yet to figure out a good solution to gloves/mittens and toddlers.  So I spend the 20-30 minutes we are outdoors worrying about their hands getting too cold.  If you have this figured out please pass the info along...

 I'm especially fond of our house in the winter time.  I just love it decorated with Christmas lights and wreaths and snow covered bushes.
 Magnolia and Mushmouth (see Fat Albert if you don't know what I'm talking about).
 I remember eating snow as a kid so I'm not too concerned that Boothe spent 75% of the time outside bent over shoveling mitten-fulls of the stuff into her mouth.

 Magnolia has discovered the wonders of the snow angel and has left her print all over the front yard.  Boothe wasn't too into it.  Her main concern was the eating of the snow.

I finished the last of the Christmas shopping today and actually went to the mall.  That was dumb and an experience I will not forget and will not repeat.  Next year my shopping will be done much earlier.  I love to have wrapped gifts under the tree and just realized as I was wrapping the last of the gifts that in 6 days we will be opening some of these and in a week it will all be over.  Presents are only pretty for such a short time...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Prep

We went downtown to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, saw Santa and got our Christmas tree a couple weekends ago.  Every year we get a real one and want to cut one down ourselves at a tree farm, but with little ones, we always end up getting a pre-cut one.  This year we got ours from a little stand set up downtown for the holidays and the funds raise go to the United Way.  If we're going to spend money on a tree anyways, we may as well support a charity.
 We went with a Frasier Fir this year.  We've had a Douglas Fir and a White Pine in Christmases past and feel that we have found the BEST type of Christmas tree with the Fraiser Fir.  It's the perfect amount of stiffness and softness.  The branches support the ornaments well and aren't prickly.
 We spent the evening decorating the tree, watching Elf and drinking hot chocolate.  Perfect.
  I love having a Christmas tree up.  A darkened room with only the lights on the tree lit.  I like a traditional tree with red tinsel-like garland and candy canes.  I wanted to string popcorn to add to the tree, but decided to wait until next year with Magnolia will be a little older to help with the project.
And for all you "It's a Wonderful Life" lovers like myself, Ms. Katherine Grimes also known as "Zuzu".  Yes, Zuzu visited the South Bend Chocolate Company and we couldn't turn down an opportunity to meet her.  Maybe in the future the girls will think this was really cool.  Check out to learn more about what Zuzu is up to these days.
So the Holiday Baking Extravaganza has begun.  I love it!  So far we have made a tray of fudge, a tray of peppermint bark, no-bake oatmeal cookies, Corn Flake wreaths and Oatmeal Scotchie Gift-Jars.  I was planning on making some chocolate chip cookies (the same recipe that I posted a couple days ago), but ran out of brown sugar.  The girls and I are headed to a cookie exchange playgroup in the morning.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Healthworks Kid's Museum

For South Bend's size, we have a great number of fun places to take kids all year round.  Here are some pictures from our last playgroup outing to a local kid's museum.  The kids always have a blast and for most of the morning we are the only people there.  This museum does a lot of class field trips, but when the schools aren't visiting, it's pretty quiet.  It's filled with awesome activities for the kids to explore.  We'll visit here often this winter.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanksgiving {Part 2}

The day after Thanksgiving we head to my aunt Cris and uncle Bill's house because we haven't quite eaten enough.

 The kids settled down at night with popcorn and a movie before heading downstairs to bed where they shared a bed sleeping cross-wise which was perfect for their short little bodies.  Magnolia is still talking about her friends Sydney and Max!

Ok, that's the last of the Thanksgiving pictures.  Now I have to get organized to share more about what we have been doing to get ready for Christmas tomorrow!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Magnolia and Boothe are playing in a fort they made and I overheard Magnolia singing to Boothe.

"Hey, Boothie, you're so fine.
You're so fine you blow my nose."

In the tune to "Hey, Mickey", obviously...

Thanksgiving {Part 1}

I wonder how many years this family has been coming together on Thanksgiving day.  This was my 30th, Magnolia's 4th, Boothe's 2nd and Dan's 8th maybe.  But I would guess this tradition spans over 60 years and maybe a lot longer.  Children grow up and have kids of their own and our family always seems to have our own little baby booms.  In the last 3 years we have had 12 babies with 1 on the way!  It's grown so much that we have been renting out a hall at a church to have our feast.  Here are some (well, a lot) of pictures from that day.