Sunday, November 28, 2010

O Christmas Tree!

We are very  happy with our 7.5 foot, prelit, garage sale $20 Christmas Tree. :o)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Week: Food Art

Thanksgiving Turkeys

How To:
2 Chocolate Oreos
1 Whopper
1 Reeses Peanut Butter cup
7 Candy Corns
Frosting holds it all togeher; 
White, Chocolate, Orange

Cute, huh?  :o)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Week: Pumpkin Chiffon

The last 2 months of the year, I am making this recipe at least once a week at the request of my husband who finds a way to work it into every conversation we have.  Here's some real-life examples that I kept track of this month:
Greg: I have a surprise for you
Julia: What is it?
Greg: Now if I give this to you now, you have to make a pumpkin chiffon for me today, ok?
another example:
Me: I want something to snack on.
Greg: Like Pumpkin Chiffon?  Hmm?
last example:
Greg: I've had a headache since this morning.
Julia: Did you take any Excederin?
Greg: No, but I think Pumpkin Chiffon would help it go away.
Since I've made 3 Pumpkin Chiffons already this month, I am sharing the recipe so that maybe someone else can share in my misery.  Happy Hullidays!

Pumpkin Chiffon 

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
2 (3 3/4 oz.) package vanilla instant pudding mix
3/4 cup milk
2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
dash of ground cinnamon
1 (8 oz) carton whipped topping, thawed and divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Combine first 3 ingredients; press into a 12 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.  Set aside.

2. Combine cream cheese, eggs, and 3/4 cup sugar; beat until fluffy.  Spread over crust.  Bake at 350 for 20 mins; set aside to cool.

3. Combine pudding mix and milk; beat 2 minutes at medium speed.  Add pumpkin and cinnamon; mix well.  Stir in 1 cup whipped topping.

 4. Spread pudding mixture over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining whipped topping over pudding layer.  Sprinkle top with pecans.  Store in refrigerator.

Recipe published in 1982 by Jacqueline Dorn of Leesville, South Carolina. Thank you, Jacqueline, the end of year just wouldn't be the same without the constant heckling of my husband to make your recipe.  Perhaps you could send me your number, Jacqueline and my husband could call you to make Pumpin Chiffon every week.  I hate you sometimes, I really do.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Lady Celebrates Eighty!

I love to address this lady by her full title of "Grandma Mary Edith Esau" and a week ago, she celebrated her 80th birthday with her entire family and a good number of friends.  We were so honored to attend and join the celebration.  We all watched a touching video presentation, sang a few hymns, ate some cake and visited with friends we had not seen in years, it was a really special time.

If I had to describe this lady in a single word, it would be 'Spry', the definition being "active and brisk".  She totally fits the bill; she regularly exercises (something I can't seem to manage), she is rarely sick, she's at every family function, she's active in her church, active in her community and she still travels all over the country visiting her kids and grandkids. Get this, she recently complained that her computer was...too slow!  So her family pitched in and got her a new computer for her birthday.

She also has a quick wit and the best sense of humor.  At the time this picture was taken she said "Make me look good, ok?".  She totally cracks me up and I don't think she needs any help looking good - she's beautiful as is!

Even though, she had all of her fraternal grandkids around, she had time to hug and pose with her foster grandkid, which really touched my heart.

During the birthday celebration, Nathan got to hang out with his new friend, Evan.  It was the best day ever...until he was running and then fell down..and then scraped his knees...and then screamed bloody murder for an excruciatingly looong time...and then we had to leave from painful embarrassment...but that's ok, it was the end of the party and we needed to scoot out anyway.

One last picture, captioned, "Really?"  As in, am I really making that goofy face and letting someone take a picture?  What a dork-wad.  Nice picture of Nathan, though.

Happy Eightieth Grandma Mary Edith Esau!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Honor of Veterans Day 2010

"We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost..."  ~Felix Frankfurter 

 In honor of two important Veterans in my life; my dad, Gary and and my father-in-law, David.
Thank you both for your service to the United States of America.

 This picture was taken the day my dad reported for his draft notice - he was 19.

 He was a tank driver.

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily
earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. ~Author unknown

Unfortunately, I could not get pictures of David while he was in service.  
Although, I had this picture of David, which I can't help but wonder how close in
time it was to when he served.

Dad, David, Uncle Carroll, and Uncle Jimmy -
Thank you for serving.
Honoring you this Veterans Day 2010.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Friends Before We Met

So often technology can be so frustrating when it doesn't work as it should.  Like when my phone won't sync up with Outlook.  Or when I can't access programs recorded on the DVR.  However, sometimes, technology has it's redeeming qualities.

Case in point. Lori and I have been friends for close to a year.  We've exchanged information about photography, software, parenting, etc.  We have encouraged one another in our successes and sympathized in our failures. We have laughed at each other's most scatterbrain moments.  But we had never met face to face until recently.  We became friends online by following each others lives through our blogs and Facebook. 
 (I forget how short I am, then a picture reminds me)

We finally met face to face last weekend.  Lori and her family stayed with us while in town for a family reunion and the short time we were able to spend with them was precious.  There were many highlights, like getting to know her family and and liking them too.  hahaha!!

Another bonus was Nathan's immediate friendship with their little boy, Evan.  They played and played  but my favorite part was hearing them wake up in the mornings and whispering conspiratorially in the dark while the rest of the house slept. SO CUTE!

Both boys are train lovers, so how could they NOT be instant friends, right?

Okay, how cute is this picture of these toddlers gathered around a laptop?!  Baby Geeks.  Hahaha!!

I have to sneak this in.  If you heard Dan speak you'd swear Peter Gibbons  from 'Office Space' was talking.  Dan sounds just like him and maybe it's just me but I think he sorda looks like Ron Livingston to. We really enjoyed getting to know Dan, he has a knack for providing funny quips at just the right moment, so funny. 

Our friends left on Monday and it was sad to see them go and the sentiment was shared.  Nathan made this craft at school the same day.  It reads, "Nathan is thankful for:" and the first feather says "Evan".  Seriously.