I stole this post.

True story.  I stole this post from my brother’s blog without asking him for permission.  Sorry, Ted.  (I’m not really that sorry).

Family Night… or day.

(written by my little brother, Ted)

Greetings and salutations!  Going back a little more than 7.5 years now, we decided early on when Robby was a baby, that we would have an open invite to family members, once a month where we would cook up some good (hopefully!) kibble and just enjoy each other’s company.  That way, Robby grows up with a good support cast around him and knowing the family from the immediate surrounding area.

As time has gone on, we’ve missed a few months, but for the most part, we’ve been pretty consistent.  We’ve also added a few “traditions”, if you will.

That brings us to the subject of this post. It’s December 2012, and we’re decorating gingerbread houses.

This time, the boys picked who they wanted to be partnered up with.  Robby and Aunt Doris (I got picked FIRST for a team!  First time EVER!!!) were a team, as were Samuel and Aunt Molly, Caleb and Aunt Dianne, and last but not least, Jonah with his Aunt Lesley.  Not one boy picked his Mom!

A shot of the troops at work, getting dirty and having fun.
Molly, Sammy, Robby, and Me….

Team Lesley/Jonah modeling their creation; ]onah with a mouthfull of candy.

Team Molly/Samuel.  Sam, unlike his brother, could show teeth in his photo.
Team Dianne/Caleb with their house o’ candy.  Caleb hopped up on sugar.
And team Doris/Robby with their crafty craft (note the rainbow doorway!).
After the gingerbread houses were done, we had lunch, then decorated cutout sugar cookies.
3 of the lads at work.
The Four Horsemen pose with their creations.
…and again, just to relieve a little sugar pressure.  And thus wraps up another family night!

I posted about last year’s Gingerbread House day here, which was in November, and before my brother, his wife, and Robby travelled to China in December 2011 to adopt Caleb.  See how well he fits into the family already?!?

Merry Christmas!





Some college friends and I try to get together monthly for a Girl’s Night Out.  This month there were only three of us, and our night fell on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so we stayed in, and had a pie-making night. 

We made TWO pumpkin pies with pre-made roll out dough, and the recipe from the Libby’s Canned Pumpkin label… I had a helper when mixing my pumpkin pie:

The baked Pumpkin Pie looks so much better than the “raw stuff”–and it tasted even better!

and we made FOUR oatmeal pies with “from-scratch” crust (recipes for both Oatmeal Pie and our Pie Crust, below)  What?!  You’ve never had Oatmeal Pie?  Tastes a lot like Pecan Pie… and the recipe was adapted by my best friend after trying Oatmeal Pie at a restaurant, Mondo’s.  It also doesn’t look so good before baking:

..but after?  Yummmmm….

Recipe for Pie Crust:
3 C flour
1 C Crisco
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
5 Tbsp Ice Water
1 tsp vinegar
Work Crisco into the flour with pastry cutter or knife/forks.  Add remaining ingredients, mix well with fork.  Divide in two and roll out.  Makes two 9-inch pie crusts.
Recipe for Oatmeal Pie:
3 eggs
1 C Sugar
1 dash salt
1 C Dark Karo Syrup
1 C oatmeal
8 Tblsp margarine, melted
unbaked Pie Crust
Mix all ingredients together, pour into unbaked pie shell, and bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees(f). 
Delish.  It is best served with Blue Bunny brand Cinnamon Ice Cream (only available at the holidays!) and, yes, Blue Bunny brand is the best!
I’m getting excited to decorate for Christmas… at last week’s Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I received these fun towels and picture frame from Marny in our Holiday Swap.  Just my kind of Christmas colors, bright, with pink and lime green included! 
Marny provided a simple tutorial for making these towels (using 5″ Charm squares!!) on her blog, Modern Quilt Relish.  Thanks, Marny, I really, really, like them!

Two little monkeys…

I showed you my Curious George birthday shirts on Friday, and thought you might like to see a few shots of the party…the gift table (I should have gotten a much better shot of this as there was much more to it):

My sister (the Momma) and I decorated monkey cupcakes and yellow hat cookies the night before the party (and sampled WAY too much icing)…

Don’t you just love those Apple Jacks for ears?!? My sister had a Ziploc bag she brought out full of cereal, on it in Sharpie was written “Do Not Eat: Monkey Ears”; that really tickled my funny bone. The cupcakes didn’t turn out as well as our prototype, and the black icing ran on the hats by morning…but did anyone care? Of course not…

Least of all these two little monkeys…

It’s hard to photograph these two together, what with them being 13 and 24 months old, every shot is an action shot! The biggest hits in the gift pile were two wooden puzzles and a hammer and peg set from my brother and his family (way to go, Lesley!) who gave the big brother there directions not to use the hammer on his brother…

I just love that chubby little paw holding the peg!

And I LOVE you, my sweet little monkeys! Happy first and second birthdays!