I had some leftover cream because I had originally planned on making fudge before Christmas and it didn't happen. Well, what does one do with leftover cream? I make ice cream of course! I made a base of vanilla ice cream and have some Candy Cane Joe Joe's from Trader Joe's to crush up and mix in at the end. As you can see, I had a couple of little helpers who are quite mesmerized by the whole process. I'm just hoping they don't contaminate the ice cream with their cold germs.
The most exciting part of my day was the trip to the library to drop off books and pick up a couple of books I had on hold. I took a class back in September and have been waiting patiently for the book by Scott David Plumlee. The other book I found online and it's all about metal, which is a passion of mine in the jewelry world. Of course, getting these books only makes me want to go shopping for supplies so I can do some of the projects.
Oh, and I'm almost there. :)
Today we joined some friends at the Seattle Children Museum to spend some time playing together. One of the reasons we went was the festival, Los Posadas. Our friends attend Puesta del Sol which is the Spanish immersion elementary school in their school district and Los Posadas is the Spanish Christmas festival. It was fun to learn about a new Christmas holiday celebration and we received an activity book about several different festivals that are celebrated in the month of December throughout the world.
Tonight is movie night and since I received a popcorn popper for Christmas and the boys received the movie Up from Uncle Kyle and Aunt Robin, it was a movie night in the making.
We did enjoy the movie and made 3 bowls of popcorn. Andy didn't care for the salted popcorn, but enjoyed the popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Aaron liked the popcorn too and left me a nice mess to clean up on my red couch. We might have to start having movie nights more often.
This is how I described myself on my Facebook status tonight. Unfortunately, there isn't a way to capture these feelings in a picture, so you get a picture of the wire jewelry magazines I received for Christmas. It was a lite Christmas for us this year and it's been one of the best Christmas' too. Mike and I have been teaching out boys that life is not about stuff and it seems that we have been successful in planting those seeds. After Andy opened up two gifts, he declared himself done opening gifts and was completely content with his game and matchbox car set. Aaron was more than happy with his Cars semi truck and spent the day clutching his truck like someone was going to take it away. Don't worry, we did open all the gifts from nana and papa and aunts and uncles. The boys are thrilled and excited and tomorrow we begin our thank you notes.
Three stores later, I have finally secured these little pods of star anise. One of my friends had a little get together and made the best drinks, so I got the recipe from her and decided they would be great for Christmas dinner. The recipe calls for a simple syrup with star anise steeped in the syrup and it's amazing how difficult it is to find these pods. I found them at whole paycheck in the bulk section and was thrilled to have located them at a really good price.
I figured since we were nearing the end of the year, there should be a little updated photo of me and all my glory. This morning I went to the grocery store to finish up my shopping for Christmas day and of course the comments are beginning because I am not due for another 14 plus weeks. So here I am at 25 weeks and 5 days pregnant.
Here's to another 9 pounder!
This week with Andy being out of school for the Christmas holiday, I figured we should have a few crafts to keep us busy instead of running back and forth to school. Since I pulled out my stamps the other night to make labels for Christmas presents, I got the idea to pull out a few stamps and let the boys have some fun today. Aaron had more fun stamping himself with the ink pad than stamping the paper. Baby wipes work wonders on clean up.
WooHoo! Vista has been purged from my computer, Windows 7 has been installed and all my programs are playing nicely together. Mike spent the last couple of days backing up my files and then installing 7 and downloading everything I need. He wins the best husband award for this kind act.
This afternoon, my guys and I headed out to do a little Christmas shopping. This year, Mike and I wanted the boys to pick out gifts to each other to start planting the seeds that Christmas is about giving to others and not all about ourselves.
As I was wrapping the gifts, I discovered I didn't have any labels and with my pregnancy brain of late, I needed to figure something out because two of the gifts are practically identical and even though I wrapped them in different paper, that doesn't mean I'll remember whose is whose. Lucky for me, I did remember that I have these really fun stamps that my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago. After digging all of my items out of my stamping box that hubby retrieved from the top of the closet, I got busy stamping away. I think I'll be making my labels from now on.
Bless those little preschool bakers. This week, the kiddos have been baking up a storm during preschool for the bake sale they held today. Andy had fun going through the goodies and picking up the items he made that his name were on, but also general cookies and candy canes.
Now comes the fun part for dear ol' mom who is the preschool treasurer for the 4's class. I get to be the lucky person who counts all of the money. The children will be donating the money to either the food bank or to the pet store to help out pets in our area.
Going to the library takes on a whole new meaning for a few weeks as my little city is getting a bigger library and it's moving time for them. I went into the old library to pick up books I had reserved and was disappointed that one of the books I have been waiting on and was an inter library loan was not there, only the resin book, which I'm excited to be getting anyways. I look forward to looking into another medium for jewelry and possibly dappling in it a bit too.
It was fun to pull out my sewing machine again and create with it something my little guy is going to love. He loves any type of car or service vehicle that makes noise.
This evening our family spent some time with our bible study fellowship group celebrating the Christmas season. The kids were all in the basement with the baby-sitter while the adults were able to chat with one another without being too interrupted by the little ones.
We also had a book exchange with both the children and the adults. The kids, with lots of help from the parents, chose numbers and then went in order to pick out a book. My boys are very excited about the new books they received and spent some extra time tonight reading them before bed.
I received these really fun foam letters and numbers blocks when I was pregnant with my oldest. For some reason, they really drive me nuts. The blocks end up scattered every where and it for the most part drives me batty. With this pregnancy, I have finally just let it go if all the blocks are scattered and out. The important part is the boys enjoy playing with them and if it helps them learn the alphabet or their numbers then all the better.
This evening's date, my husband and I along with his brother and wife went out for a double date to see the Seattle Symphony. We went to see Holiday Pops with Cirque de la Symphonie where the symphony is accompanied by aerial artists, jugglers and dancers. It was such a fun evening and I'm a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil so it was a nice combination of the symphony with a little bit of cirque thrown in.
This year we are having an actual live tree for Christmas because we aren't traveling during the holiday season. Mike found out through a coworker that Costco was selling trees this weekend for a really good price.
You gotta love how Costco sells just about anything. We went inside to pick up a few items and purchased our tree. Right across the street from the warehouse at the corporate office are two large truck trailers filled with trees wrapped up ready to be picked up and taken home. I had quite the time people watching while Mike took our ticket and receipt to pick up our tree and attach it to the top of our SUV. It must be a requirement of those who drive minivans to shove the tree inside the vehicle between the rows of seats all the way to the front. It was just funny watching several minivans of families doing this.
Our church is very blessed to have kitchen facilities and a wonderful lady who has a fantastic team that made our very delicious dinner. Our theme was blue, white, silver with snowflakes and the evenings gift was a ceramic loaf pan filled with chocolate topped shortbread cookies. After our meal, we were entertained by The Three Wisemen and one of the wisemen is our very own worship leader, Timothy James Meaney.
It was a wonderful evening of seeing various tables decorated, seeing friends I hadn't seen in awhile and meeting new people as well. The evening is usually one of the first parties of the season and I'm glad I get to be a part of it.
Today the teacher had brought out the work bench for curious little minds to practice swinging a hammer into nails. The children wore safety glasses and little aprons to work in. Lucky for me, I got to see Andy in action since I was snack mom today.
I have a budding chef in my house who likes to assist with making dinner if he is in the mood. It's pizza night and we are making calzones. I'm the one in the family who likes mushrooms so those were on my side and Andy was being very meticulous on where the cheese needed to be placed. I enjoy my help and hope this assists him in making good nutrition choices and developing a love of cooking.
While Mike and I were enjoying our quiet evening together, I spent my time wrapping wire and beads into a bracelet. It's my trial pieces from the berry vines class and unfortunately it's too big to be a bracelet, so I'm thinking it will have to be transformed into another piece, but I like the bright copper with the blue green beads.
I have so many things to celebrate and am extremely thankful and grateful to God for all of the many blessings our family has been given this year. As our country sets aside one day to be thankful, I feel we need to be thankful each and every day of the year.
My first posted recipe: Pumpkin Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (if using make sure there are no spices or sugar added)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich tangy buttery taste that makes baked goods tender. It is now commercially made by adding a bacteria to whole, skim, or low fat milk. However, in the past it was the liquid left over after churning butter. You can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the raisins and pecans, if using. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 8 scones
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
TO MAKE THE PLAIN GLAZE:
Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth
When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.
AS THAT WHITE GLAZE FIRMS UP, MAKE THE SPICED ICING:.
Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.
This afternoon I received a very unexpected surprise in my mail. One of the gals I follow on Twitter was giving away some of her extra beads and I responded saying I would gladly take any extra beads off her hands. She had sent the first package to someone else and I honestly wasn't expecting anything later on, but I do appreciate my gift today.