Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cooking Thursday

I made these ham and cheese rolls for our Christmas Eve supper. I had to work that day and these worked out great because they can be made ahead of time and  then thrown into the oven when you need them.  And - they were really good!

Hot Ham and Cheese Party Rolls

1 can Pillsbury refrigerated Classic Pizza Crust
¾ lb deli ham (thinly sliced, but not shaved)
12 slices Swiss cheese (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Unroll the pizza dough onto a cutting board and press into approximately a 13x18-inch rectangle. Top with ham and cheese slices. Starting on the longer side of the rectangle, roll up the edge tightly. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. Cut into 12 slices, approximately 1-inch wide. Arrange in prepared baking dish.
Next combine the butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and poppy seeds in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until the butter is melted and the glaze is smooth and combined. Pour evenly over the rolls.Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or bake, uncovered for 25 minutes until golden and browned. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

(we got snow...  and ice too!)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Day

I hope you all had a nice day on Christmas.  I had a full house,and a fun day!  We had my whole family over, which meant there were 24 people here.  Here's a "few" pictures of our fun day.

 My Dad was surprised and happy to see Andy was here!

 Here's the whole group, enjoying a wonderful ham dinner.  We filled up the room with 4 tables end to end.

 You've probably heard of the saran wrap game.  This is my Dad, stepmom and niece taking their turn.

My brother got the last thing from the center of the ball - a bag of candy coal.

 We do an auction every year.  People bring gift cards and $5 items and put them in this bag.  Everyone gets the same number of tickets which they can use to bid on items with.  Bob is always the auctioneer.  You never know what item is going to get bid up!

 Heather and Andrew - I've given up on getting a "normal" photo of him.  He's always goofing off.

Ruby had fun just walking around and charming everyone!

 The kids had fun opening a few gifts.

My family loves joking and pulling pranks.  This year it was Laura who got pranked by my sister Cheri.  Laura and Aaron have pulled things on Cheri, so don't feel too bad for her.
Cheri gave gifts to several couples to throw off suspicion, but Laura and Aaron's was a little different.
Check out these photos and pay attention to Laura and especially Alaina's face in each one!

It was a badger skin!  (did you know you can get things like this from Amazon?)   Yuck!  Laura was a good sport and showed it around, but used the bag to hold it.  The rest of us had a good laugh.  Cheri better be careful though - paybacks can be rough!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we always have our kids for supper and our family Christmas celebration.  Laura and Aaron and girls, and Heather and Andrew were planning to come.  We sent gifts to our son Andy in Kentucky and were planning to Skpe with him after supper.

When Laura and Aaron arrived, Ruby noticed the bells on my Christmas pillow, and promptly pulled one off.

She was quite happy with that little bell, and wasn't too happy when we took it and the pillow away!

We started the evening with supper - too much food, but it was good!

 While we were eating, I heard a noise and when I looked up I saw Andy in the doorway! What a wonderful surprise!  He and his girlfriend Nikki had driven all day from Kentucky to spend a few days with us over Christmas.  Laura and Heather knew they were coming, but they all kept the secret from Bob and I. 

After supper we read a kids book about God giving us Christmas, before we opened presents.

 Ruby doesn't care much about presents, she just likes to climb on them!

 Alaina showed her how it's done!

Alaina got a kids camera.  Now we can go picture taking together!

 Here's Alaina checking Grandpa's ears using her new Dr kit.

Isn't this beautiful?  It's one of my gifts from Bob.  I always wanted a plaque with this Bible passage for our room, and I love the way this is done, with the different fonts and sizes.
So much to be thankful for this Christmas - the gift of Christ, and having my whole family together!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I won't be back until after Christmas, but wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas. I hope you have blessed time with family and friends, and many reminders of the real reason for the season!

Monday, December 21, 2015

My Nativities

My friend Bonnie, at White Lace and Promises posted about her Fisher Price Nativity Set and asked about her readers sets.  I told her I would post about my sets, so here they are.

I have 3 Nativity sets.  The first one is very simple.  It's new this year, one I made with my MOPS group.
A simple Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.  I needed something to put on my old scale, and I thought they fit there. 

The next one is in our family room, next to the tree.  This Nativity set was Bob's family's set while he was growing up.  When his Mom downsized last year, it was passed to us.  It's a treasure!

When Alaina was here last week, I was talking to her about setting it up.  I told her it was something that had Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in it.  She replied "and Jonah!"  I had to tell her that was from another Bible story.  She tried to tell me it was Mary and Jonah...

This last Nativity set is very special.  It's been set up in our living room for about 16 years.  Our daughter Laura made it when she was 16 years old.

 She made each part of this from clay.  It's very detailed and is quite small.  The little people are about 4 inches tall.

Here's a shot from another angle.  This set has a horse, a donkey, cows, sheep and even chickens!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Alaina's Christmas Program

Last week we got to go to Alaina's Pre-school Christmas program.  These programs with young kids are so fun.  They are always so excited, and proud of what they did.

 Here's Ruby before the program.  She didn't last long.  She likes to move and squeal, so she spent most of the time standing in back with Aaron.

 Here's Alaina, the last in line, walking onto the stage.

 Here's a shot of the whole stage.  It was also where I realized I was going to have a problem.  This was a program involving kids up to 3rd grade, along with a 4th and 5th grade band.  Alaina was behind the band and we couldn't see her at all.  I walked to the back of the sanctuary and used my telescopic lens to try to get a few pictures of her.

 But - my problems continued! Once I found her, I saw that she was standing behind this little boy, and I could only catch peeks of her.

 Like this...

 and this!

 On the other hand, this little girl wasn't going to blend in with the crowd.  She stepped out and was dancing to the music.  It gave us all a laugh!

It was a cute program though. Alaina was proud of herself and we were glad we were able to be there!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

How to wrap that odd shaped gift!

Yesterday I saw this video on facebook that showed how you could easily make a gift bag to wrap an odd shaped item.  We had a Christmas gathering tonight with our small group from church, and we had to bring a wrapped white elephant gift.  My gift was a snowman candle holder, which wasn't going to be easy to wrap, so I thought I would try making a gift bag.  It was very easy and it made a cute bag.  If you want to try it yourself, here is the video with the instructions:

And here is my finished bag:

I'll be using this trick again!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cooking Thursday

A few days ago, I showed you some cute reindeer candy I made with Alaina.  They were so easy to make, I hesitate to put them on a cooking post, but I thought some of you might like to try them out, so here you go!

Pretzel Reindeer Candy

Mini pretzels twists
25 Rolo candies
50 candy eyes*
25 round red candies - any type*

Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and preheat oven to 250.
Place 25 pretzels on the cookie sheet.  Put 1 Rolo candy on each pretzel.
Break or cut more pretzels in half, so you have 50 antlers.  (This is the hardest part - my pretzels kept breaking!)
Place cookie sheet with pretzels and Rolo's in oven for 2 1/2 minutes.
When you take them out you have to work fast.  Place pretzel halves into softened Rolo, then press in eyes and red noses.
Place into refrigerator for about 15 minutes to cool, then enjoy the cuteness!

*I got my candy eyes and the red candies at Hobby Lobby in the cake/candy decorating section.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Baking with Alaina

Last week I had a vacation day off and I thought it would be fun to do something with Alaina.  I picked her up the evening before so she could spend the night too.  Bob had a meeting at church that evening, so Alaina and I started some baking.

 Here she is, quite proud to be helping with the baking!

 She kept reminding me that she could put things in - "I can help you, Grandma!"

 Here's some of our finished cookies.  Quite a few of those M&M's made it into her mouth.

We were making the cookies to bring to people, so she also made some cards to bring with them.
When she was done with that we watched a cartoon show before bed.

The next morning we did another fun project.

 We made these Reindeer candies.  She loved doing this - setting out pretzels, unwrapping Rolo's and putting noses on them!  (I'll share the "recipe" later this week.)

 When everything was done, we packed up goody bags to deliver.

 One of our stops was at my work. We brought something to the business office manager and 2 aunts who work there.

Here she is with my Dad and stepmom.  We also stopped to see Bobs Mom, our church office, another aunt and Alaina's other grandparents.  By the time we finished she had had enough of deliveries!
It was fun though, and she was pretty proud of her products.  She took some to her house too.
What a fun way to spend a day off!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I'm back!

I've been on a blog break for about 3 weeks - the longest I've ever been away from here!  I've visited most of you, but in trying to limit my computer time, I've not commented much.  Thanks to those of you who checked in to be sure I was ok.  :)
It's been a busy 3 weeks, but I still have lots to get done.
We've had several Christmas parties, and I bet most of you have too.  Here's a few photos from them.
The first party was my Dad's family party.  He comes from a family of 10 kids, 7 are still living.  My Dad is 84, he has one brother older than him, the other 5 are younger.  As you can imagine, when this family gathers, it's a big bunch!

 Alaina was enjoying supper...

Ruby was happy to see everyone and was hamming it up!

 All the kids enjoy playing ball after supper.  Alaina was really getting into the game.

 While she was playing, Ruby was relaxing.
It was good to see all the relatives again - we had a nice evening!

A few days later we had Bob's family party.
 This is Bob's Mom and step-dad.

 Bob enjoyed a little time with Ruby.

 Here's Laura holding the newest addition to the family - baby Marcus who is not even 2 weeks old. Alaina loved him and wanted to take him home.

Here's the rest of the great-grandkids, minus 3 little ones.
It was another good day, with time to reconnect with family!