Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Party

Yesterday was our preschool Christmas party. We played lots of games, made something to take home, and I sent them home with a wrapped gift I made for them. I found this pattern via Pinterest, and thought the kids would love them. What I didn't contemplate is the amount of work that it would take. I got emails from a few moms after the kids opened them at home, and the LOVE them. My nephew (almost 2) had the same reaction when I gave him one a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Productive Day

Today felt so great! I got so many things done before noon. I LOVE those kind of days. I made Christmas presents for friends that I cannot post yet because they haven't opened them yet :) I spent a fair amount of time making some blankets for our baby. My neighbor's twins love dinosaurs, so when I saw this material I couldn't resist.
 See, isn't it adorable!
 I found this argyle pattern on a trip to the fabric store with my sister.
This one doesn't look like anything super special. I bought muslin, surged the edges, then died it this teal color. It will be perfect for swaddling :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Cake

I love this local bakery called Kneaders. I was there with Brett a few weeks ago, and they had something called a Chocolate Peppermint Cake. I am not a huge cake fan, but I LOVE peppermint. I decided it was worth a shot. Ever since that first one I have been in  love with it. Brett and I both agreed that we could likely make it ourselves. We did, and here is what we came up with.

The filling in between each layer is whipped cream infused with peppermint. There is also some crushed candy cane in it as well. The top is a layer of ganache. I had never made that before, but it's much easier than one would think. I sprinkled it with crushed candy cane as well.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Very Busy Week

This week has been so busy. I guess that is somewhat expected with the Christmas season, but I seriously don't feel like I've had a moment to blog. We've also had a friend in town visiting this week. I didn't talk to her about posting about that will have to wait.

Mondays are always super busy for me. I teach 2 preschool classes, then piano lessons. I usually don't get done until 4ish. In preschool we are talking about Christmas traditions around the world. Today we did Sweden. That evening we got together with our friend, had dinner, and visited. We was nice to just spend time at home.

Tuesday Brett's sister had asked her dad and brothers to come sing for a Christmas activity at church. She was nice enough to send a photo...I forgot my camera.

Wednesday I taught 2 preschool classes again. We learned about Christmas in Africa. I talked to the kids about how far away that is. One girls' grandparents live in Alaska and her dad is a pilot so they fly there often. I told her it was farther away than Alaska, and she (for reasons I don't know) mentioned she had been to "St. George Washington". It made me laugh knowing that she meant St. George....then added Washington to it knowing about George Washington. That evening we went with our friend to dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory (I haven't been there since my mission, and it didn't disappoint). Then we went to see the lights at temple square. The lights are one of my favorite things about Christmas.

Thursday I worked on making some Christmas presents during the day, then spend the afternoon with our friend. Brett and I had a quite dinner together that night, and put up Christmas decorations....I know that should already be done, but life has been a bit hectic. I love the nativities we have :)

Now we are to today. I did preschool this morning. I got a text from a friend right after preschool, and she told me to not turn on the TV just come with her on an outing. We both needed a trip to a craft store, and I willingly obliged. She told me that there was something horrible happening and it was on every channel. Today there has been a horrible shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut...or so I hear. There is so much sadness it is something I really didn't feel like I could listen to right now. We picked up the items we needed, grabbed lunch to bring home, then caught a show we had DVR'd together. I need to get busy on Brett's Christmas gift (we always make something for each other). I feel a bit behind, but and hopeful to catch up :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Casual Baby Shower

Last month I was able to get together with my roommates from college. It has been years since all of us have been together at the same time. Michelle is having a baby in Januray, and we all got together for dinner and gifts. It was great to see everyone again and be able to catch up.

sorry it's not a great quality picture.

Monday, December 10, 2012

An Anual Tradition

All the girls in my family get together every year at Christmas time for a baking day. This was a much easier dynamic when we were single or married without kids. This year, we did things a bit differently, and it worked out really well. Everyone brought something to make that the prep work was done for. I brought a delicious peanut butter cookie dough that you cook then dip in chocolate. I made the dough at home, then we made the cookies together. I didn't bring a camera, and my sister just used her ipod for pictures...thanks Jess :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What's Your Favorite Thing About Christmas?

That is one of the first questions that I posed to my preschoolers yesterday. I would say that at least 75% of them responded with something related to them receiving presents (either from others or from Santa). I really made me kind of sad that things have become so "me centered". So, I started posing questions to them: What about Christmas lights? What about playing in the snow? What about making fun treats with mom? get the idea. One girls eyes literally lit up when I asked about Christmas lights. In an effort to help them see beyond themselves (I know that's not something that comes naturally at this age), I have given them a daily homework assignment for December. I gave them paper ornaments that they are to decorate and bring back with something nice written on it that they did for someone else.

Brett and I had this conversation this morning as well. He said his favorite thing about Christmas was family. He had lots of favorite things, but they all revolved around family. I would say that I have to agree with him. I love making those Christmas memories together.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Festivities

We love Christmas! Yesterday Jenny had a Christmas dinner and program with women from our area. We had volunteered to bring a treat. There was a particular one that she remembered her mom making when she was younger. Thank goodness for the Internet and google. Things are found so easily :) They are called Chocolate Revel Bars and they are heavenly.

Here is the recipe if you're interested.
Chocolate Revel Bars
Recipe type: Dessert, Cookies
Prep time: Cook time: Total time:
Serves: 30-40
 You will take great pleasure or delight in eating these rich, gooey and chocolatey bar cookies.
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can (1¼ cup) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup chopped nuts, optional
  1. Cream the butter and the sugar.
  2. Beat in the eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, baking soda and 1¼ cups flour.
  3. Stir in the remaining flour and then the oats.
  4. In a medium saucepan, cook the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and 2 Tbsp butter over low heat until the chocolate has melted.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in 2 tsp vanilla and the nuts if desired.
  6. Pat ⅔ of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 10×15 pan or the equivalent.
  7. Spread the chocolate mixture over the oat crust.
  8. Dot the chocolate with the remaining oat mixture.
  9. Bake the bars at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden. The chocolate will still look moist.
  10. Let the cookies cool and then cut them into small bars. {They are rich and gooey so a small bar goes a long way.}

Monday, December 3, 2012

Decorating the Tree

We spent the evening putting lights on the tree and hanging ornaments. We both absolutely love Christmas time! It is nice to see so many people have such good will towards others. It seems to just bring out the good, and help people see the good more often.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


These two started off with a rather rough morning. I was going to work out with their mom, she went to change clothes, and Sophie (right) decided to bite Lilian. Huge crocodile tears, and I felt awful. I put Sophie in the corner in timeout because I know thats what her mom does, then snuggled Lilian. Sophie got to spend a fair chunk of time in her room, and I went to help her calm down more than once. I was worried she might hate me. I went back over later to visit and Sophie came running to me with arms in the air. I was grateful she wasn't mad at me. They ended up both wanting me to hold them at the same time. This is what it turned out like.

I started talking to them about Jenny having a baby. I said, "Sophie, Jenny is going to have a baby." To which her quick response was, "Noooo." (with a little attitude). I said the same thing to Lilian and got the same response for a bit, but she then started saying, "Jenny baby." and  brought me a small baby toy. Sophie wasn't sold on the idea before I left, but the next day the first thing she said to me was, "Jenny baby." I'm sure they'll see a lot of our little one :)