Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Ten in Twenty Ten

How is it that we're already slipping into 2011. Weren't we just worrying about the Y2K bug?
2010 was filled with milestones and good memories.
And in no particular order, here are a few of the things we'll remember from the year:

1. Getting to meet my niece who was barely a week old. Jack and I went back to the East Coast 2 months later for an even longer visit.

2. Cayucas. We fell in love with this Central California beach town.

3. Moving on...moving up. Garrett completed middle school and is on to high school. And Morgan's days at elementary school are behind her as well.

4. Our ten day family vacation to Cancun. The amount of travel we did both to and from was ridiculous, but we enjoyed our time together there and it could not have gone smoother.

5. Not exactly a happy memory, but 2010 was definitely the year of injury for Morgan. A cast for her arm and a boot on each foot.

6. Look at this smile from my preschooler! He loves school and enjoys his new friends. He has learned many sounds and can spell his name. Not bad for 2 mornings a week. (A little side note-he's also wearing big boy underwear here~woo hoo, we are diaper free at last!!)

7. With newly retired grandparents we made two trips to Palm Desert. The temperature in this pictures was around 110 degrees, but visiting with great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins-definitely worth it.

8. We enjoyed Morgan's last season as a competitive gymnast. She ended up changing gyms, met some wonderful new friends and had a very successful season that culminated at the State Championships and her personal best on both vault and bars. We are very proud!

9. And another soccer season this year for Garrett. He ended up playing on a more competitive team with his club soccer and ended the year playing for his high school. I think this makes 10 years that I've been a soccer mom!

10. And our latest trip to Palm Desert to enjoy Thanksgiving for family. Always grateful when we can enjoy time with family.

Here's wishing you the best in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Christmas vacation + a dreary day=a perfect day to stay in and bake. I know people bakes dozens of varieties. We managed three:
Frosted Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
and a new to the mix-now the favorite-Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies that we modified.

Move over Toll House, you've been replaced. These cookies are the top rated cookies on my favorite recipe site All

There is no reason to mess with a great cookie recipe until I saw a bag of Andes Baking Mints at Target and it kept saying, "buy me." So I did.

We love all things mint over here-Andes mints, Ghiradelli Mint Squares, Hersheys Candy Candy Kisses, Starbucks Mint Frappucino, Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Mojitos (okay, maybe that's just me), anyway you get the picture.

So I decided to substitute the Andes candy bits for the chocolate chips and omit the nuts and mmm, mmm, mmmm. To quote Morgan, "that was the best cookie ever!"

And not that I would know or anything, but the cookie dough might be better than the cookies.


  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Bag Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Have You

Elfed Yourself this year?

Lots of new dances to laugh at. I'm still partial to the original, but Jack liked the Hip Hop.

Now that you've laughed at my family go ELF yours.

***Well there seems to be some technical difficulties-this video shows up in the preview, not sure why it didn't once it published. Oh well, go check it out, good holiday fun.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

November Scrapbooking

Busy month, but was able to get some scrapbooking done earlier in the month.

I actually finished 3 more Halloween layouts, but the rest have just a bit of journaling to add. Will share later.

Crate Paper Restoration. This is another one inspired by Ginger Williams. I love that picture of Jack with Nana (his great grandma).

Crate Paper
This was a lift of a layout by Nancy Damiano.

Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934. This was a lift of Ginger Williams-I knew exactly what pictures this would work for and went together in a snap.

More Crate Paper.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dioramas and Other Educational Dinosaurs

Morgan is in sixth grade, her first year of middle school. She has transitioned easily and loves it.

Every year I find myself saving a shoebox or two thinking surely this will be the year one will be needed for a diorama. I remember being in a panic when I was a kid because we never had one on hand. But never fear, I'm prepared for it now. Oh trust me when I tell you there's been no shortage of projects. In fact, she seems to have one every couple of weeks, but the need for a shoebox is apparently so outdated, Morgan probably could not define the word diorama

Here's a look at a recent science project:

She used stop animation to create this.

I'm afraid when I say that I can no longer help my middle schooler with math homework this also extends to these projects. Her knowledge of technology is lapping mine on a daily basis. However, the teachers have taken that into consideration and have apparently found that parental help is as outdated as, well, dioramas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Decorating?

A peek into our closet.

And a peek into our room :-O

Not what you had in mind?
Me neither.

Sunday-Take all items out of closet (big purgefest here)
Monday-Demolition of old closet
Tuesday-Repair gaping holes left in the floor by removal of closet that won't match new closet design.
Wednesday-Repair and paint walls. Shop for closet accessories.
Thursday-Installation...well that was the plan, but it's 1:00 and I'm still waiting.

Growing weary of the disaster in our room and regretting starting this when I would much rather be getting ready for the holidays.

Hope to share an "after" soon (crossing fingers).
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