Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tasty Treats

I just figured I would share this little gem with you. It's quickly become a favorite in our household!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies

You will need:
1 bag of melting chocolate
A box of Ritz crackers
1 jar of peanut butter
A pair of tongs
Waxed paper
Cookie tray

Line cookie tray(s) with waxed paper. Melt the chocolate according to directions in a bowl that you will be able to dip the crackers into. Once chocolate is melted spread peanut butter onto two Ritz crackers and put the peanut butter sides together to form a sandwich. Put the sandwich in the tongs and dip into the chocolate. Allow excess to drip off for a few seconds and then place cookie on waxed paper to cool. Repeat until you run out of chocolate. It is best to let the cookies cool in the open. The refrigerator will cause the chocolate to seize and they won't look nice.

Store in an airtight container. I usually get about 20 cookies from a bag of chocolate. So yummy!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pic of the Day

The kids love their uncle Billy!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chase's Birthday, part 2

Cake for lunch? All right!!! We sang to him and gave him a leftover piece of his birthday cake with a candle in it because we were taking him out for dinner.
Demonstrating "three" not two!

I had to get me some cheese with my boy. :-)

We signed up for the Red Robin birthday club for our whole family, which means every birthday the birthday boy/girl gets a coupon for a free burger meal and ice cream sundae! So we took Chase to Red Robin (they have an egg free menu for our boy, which has been amazing!) We didn't realize that Tuesday night was family night and that Red, the mascot, would be there. Chase has an incredible fear of all things costumed. Wouldn't you know that as we were walking to our seats Red walked right out of the kitchen next to us. Chase's shriek could be heard everywhere and sent Red scuttling right back into the kitchen! For the rest of the meal Chase thought Red was cool if he stayed at least 100 feet away from our table. In the picture above Red came out with the rest of the crew to sing Happy Birthday. If you can't tell our little man's eyes are locked on the bird. It took a little while to assure him that he could eat his ice cream and that Red wasn't coming back!

I'm three!!!
Oh, by the way, we were sitting on the wall next to the kitchen. All through our meal we heard them calling for runners. At one point someone yelled loudly for runners a seond time. Chase piped in as loud as he could "Runners!". Howard and I busted out laughing as Chase calmly went back to eating his meal. Kids are the best!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Do you...

...know a child who really annoys you? Have a nephew or niece or grandchild you need to buy a gift for? Have a son or daughter who you want to get back at for all their childhood hijinks? I have just the toy for you...

...I present to you Mater the Funny Car!!! Let me make this as clear as possible. He is NOT funny!!! Shortly after hearing him play his maddening song and rock back and forth across the floor flashing his lights and bumping into things you will start coming up with ways he can "accidedentally" become broken!

This unassuming little truck was a gift from my mother-in-law. She did not hear the music or even know that it played music. It is believed that the display where she saw them had cut all the speaker wires for these sinister little toys. :-) Believe me, all four grandparents swiftly came up with ideas on how to make the music stop, when Mater began blaring his obnoxious little tune louder than is humanly neccessary.

We tried tape over the speaker, doesn't help. We tried finding a way to get it to run without the music, not possible. My dad resorted to sitting against the wall with his fingers in his ears so that he wouldn't have the tune stuck in his head! (I'm sorry I can't stop giggling when I think how ridiculous we all were acting Sunday night over this toy!)
Chase, of course, loves this little guy, music and all. Mater is banned from running in the kitchen unless we are all FAR, FAR away. And yes, we are already plotting which of our friends/families kids might enjoy one of be very, very nice to us or it might be you! :-)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chase's Birthday, Part 1

We celebrated a little early so that Chase's grandparents could spend some time with us. There will be a part two when we celebrate his actual birthday Tuesday!

Chase requested a chocolate cake with almond buttercream icing and cookies and cream ice cream. (I sense there may be a career as a pastry chef in his future?)

This is my latest cake creation, Elmo.

The story behind the cake is that Chase came downstairs to the basement after his nap on Friday afternoon and announced that "Mmm, the chocolate cake tastes good". Howard tore upstairs where the cake had been cooling on a rack to find that Chase had pulled Elmo's foot off and proceeded to munch away. Chase is sooooo three!
He was super excited to finally be able to eat Elmo and blow out his candles.

Does it look like he enjoyed it?

The family enjoying cake and ice cream.

A new Thomas the Tank Engine book. Wahoo!!!

Mugging it with Me-Mom and Pop-Pop.

Chase puts the "cheese" in cheese with Nee Nee and Poppy.
He and we had a great time. Birthdays are so much fun, especially when somebody breaks out the cake and ice cream. Yummy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Improvements

Every year when Howard is laid off we try to plan a few home improvement projects that need tackling. This year Howard informed me that he was going to tile our backsplash. It's something we've talked about for a long time and something I really wanted done. The first picture is the beginning of the project...

Chase set up his Jimmie Johnson chair to keep an eye on his dad. :-)

Howard had never done tile before so this was a learning experience. We're not known for making things easy on ourselves. Is it any wonder that I fell in love with one inch tiles! They were on a sheet which made them easy in large areas but the entire half wall that he is working on here required 1/8" cuts with a wet saw. Not fun!

I LOVE glass tile and when I saw this stuff it was love at first sight. (Happy sigh)

Howard did such an awesome job and I am so proud of him. It looks beautiful! If you need a before and after scroll back up to the top and then back down. What an improvement!

Yay!!! I love how new a house feels just with a little updating.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Christmas Story

Okay, I know this is a little late but I had to share what happened on Christmas morning in our house. No, no BB guns were involved! Sorry to everyone who loves A Christmas Story, I hate that movie.

Growing up in my family we always had Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and orange rolls for Christmas morning breakfast. They would be baking while we were opening Christmas presents. Yum! (My mouth waters just thinking of the smell...) It's a tradition that Howard and I have carried on with our own family.

This year though, I had a new recipe I wanted to try out on Christmas Eve morning. I baked cinnamon bread, we had a great breakfast and forgot about the oven. Come Christmas morning I pre-heated our oven in the midst of gift opening and before long a slightly smoky smell began to permeate the house. I got up to get the rolls ready and instead found a nice toasty fire burning away in our oven! The flames were high enough that they were reaching the bottom rungs of the oven shelves. I quickly turned off the oven and Howard and I watched until the fire burned out (which it did quickly or we'd have been calling the firehouse!). We left the oven to cool, continued our gift opening, although, now the house had enough odor that we kept wanting to choke on the acrid smell!

From what we can figure the bread I had made the morning before dripped some of the sugar/butter mixture onto the bottom of the oven and ignited. My wonderful husband cleaned out the oven, we ate leftover cinnamon bread and had our Christmas morning breakfast the day after Christmas and now have a story we can look back on and laugh about!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


She loves riding her bouncing zebra and her brother's rocking horse. Do you think there's any chance she's been bitten by the same "horse bug" as her mommy? Only time will tell...In the meantime she learned how to get on and off this thing by herself!