December 26, 2011

Oh What a Christmas!

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve morning Nugget suddenly seemed interested in the tree.
Checking out Maemae and Papa's tree.
Daddy and Ding helping with dinner.

Playing cars while waiting for dinner.

Opening the first gift of the year.

Christmas Day
Santa was here!


Checking things out.

Nugget's favorite thing to do is check out the pictures on the back of the package.

Taking a cookie break.

After he opened 'Mack',  Zac was done opening gifts.

All he wanted to do was play.

and play...

This is Nugget's favorite activity, lining up all of his cars.

Center of attention at Nannan's

The girls are all lined up waiting for the gift passing to begin.

More cars!

December 22, 2011

The Tree

Surprise!  A post from me!   I have several posts I want to share, so you may get a couple in the next few weeks.  No promises.  :o)

A couple of weeks ago we put up our trees.  We put up two trees this main one in the family room and one in the dining room.  The family room tree is definitely my favorite.  This year it was fun to decorate with my little helper.

Nugget wanted to add the beads himself.

I wish I could have left it like this.  Too cute!!
Looking for the right ornament to add to the tree.

Isn't he the cutest?

Nugget added some ornaments of his own.

More of Nuggets personal ornaments.
(They were gone by the next morning.)

Nugget is all about 'tars' this year, 'ehrow tars'  are his favorite.
When I saw this 'ehrow tar' at Hallmark I knew it was the ornament for him!

Nuggets picture from day care.

Our tree.
It won't win any decorating awards,
but it's the best tree I've ever had.

October 11, 2011

A Busy Saturday

One event that I always looked forward to when we were waiting to go to China was a trip to a pumpkin patch with our polar cub.  Last year Z was sick so much during the month of October we never made it pumpkin picking.  This year we finally were able to make that dream a reality.

On Saturday we had a packed, fun-filled day starting with the pumpkin patch.


Hey Buddy!  Look through the other side!  ;o)

Daddy, YOU go through first.
At first Z did not want to go through the maze.  He was so funny. 
Eventually he did, though and he loved it!

Our pumpkins.
Daddy carried all of these pumpkins out of the field. 
It was all you could carry for $25.

Having a snack after all that pumpkin hunting.

After the pumpkin patch we drove just a little bit further north to Columbus, Ohio to a horse show.  Z's grandparents had been at the show all week long and we thought he would enjoy seeing them and the 'Joes'.  (Z still calls all horses Joe.) 

Z loves cows so we thought he would enjoy watching the cutters.

He enjoyed the popcorn more.

He did watch the 'moo-cows' for a while.

Then we went back to the big arena to watch more reining.

We walked back to the camper before dinner.  Z walked in and crashed on the sofa.
He was a tired boy.

After a full day and a full belly Z slept most of the way home.

October 6, 2011

Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies

Last week I saw several blogs posting about a Christmas Cookie Blog Hop.  For 12 weeks bloggers are going to post cookie and candy recipes in hopes of having a full freezer of goodies for the holiday season.

I LOVED the idea.  If you have read my blog in the past you know that Christmas cookies are my thing.  I love to make cookies for my family.  The problem I have is there are so many favorite cookies that have become tradition in the family that I never get a chance to try something new.

For the next 11 weeks I can try some new cookies.  Who knows maybe a new favorite will pop up.  Best of all I will have cookies in the freezer for when a last minute cookie tray is needed.

My first cookie for the Blog Hop is a Pumpkin Snickerdoodle.  I saw this cookie a couple of weeks ago on one of my favorite blogs Annie's Eats.  Z has loved snickerdoodles from day one.  If you add in some pumpkin how can you go wrong?  The only change I made to the recipe was to bump up the spices by at least half.  It was perfect.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Annie's Eats

3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup granulated sugar 1heaping tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
Dash of allspice
In a bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together; set aside.  Beat the butter and sugars together until creamy.  Mix in the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla until well combined.  Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.  Don't over mix.  Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to350*.  Line cookies sheets with parchment paper.  Combine the remaining sugar and spices in a small bowl.    Roll approximately one tablespoon of dough into a ball, then roll into sugar mixture.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool slightly on tray before moving them cooling rack.

Makes approximately four dozen cookies.

Please check out Annie's Eats for a well written recipe.

These are my new favorite cookies.
My little cookie monster LOVES them, too.  He calls them Mama's Cookies when he asks for one.  :o)
I'm looking forward to the next 10 weeks of baking.  I have some plans already.  Stay tuned.

Be sure to check out all of the other cookies and sweets others are sharing.