Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Both couples had plans after the dinner hour, so I did a little mix & match with the place settings. Yes, we used paper plates and napkins (easy clean up, since we were having ooey, gooey cheese!), mixed with glasses and real silverware (easy clean up-straight into the dishwasher!), and added a splash a crystal (handwash only) to round out the table.
Our dinner was amazing. Anne made the cheese portion of the meal, and we dunked bread, apples and sausage in it. I took care of the chocolate portion of dinner, and we dunked fruit, marshmallows, graham crackers and cheesecake. I'm surprised to say that we had leftovers of the chocolate!
New Year's Eve starting out with Anne and Jason was a wonderful way to end 2008. What more can you ask for than to have good friends over, sharing a good meal in our new home. We toasted to that with a little Martinelli's (thanks to Grace) and then headed out to our repsective parties.
I pray that your 2008 was a filled with many friends, many happy memories, family to love and cherish, and hope for the coming year. May your 2009 be blessed beyond measure.
Happy New Year!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
So this edition of Love Thursday arrives a day late, because I didn't get the picture below until 5 minutes ago. In my life, Love is having the group of amazing women below (minus one who was on a cruise) to surround me with love, prayer, friendship, accountability, and support. For this and much, much more, I am so thankful...and so loved.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
In January Bakerella took a recipe from the Kraft Food & Family magazine and modified it slightly and created what looked to be these yummy Oreo Truffles. I bookmarked the site, promising myself that I would make them one day soon. 11 months later the promise came true! I made these today while the boys were napping. Start to finish, I'd say it took about 45 minutes. The recipe (Bakerella's version, not Kraft's version) is super easy.
Based on a conversation I had with Katie after she made them yesterday, I made a couple of modifications to the process. Katie suggested that I chill the truffles before dipping. I didn't do it with the first half (the white half), but I did with the second half (the green ones), and I could definitely see a difference in how the bark set up.
Here's a picture of my creation, with the recipe and my modifications to follow.
1 package Oreo cookies (divided)
1 8oz. package Regular Cream Cheese (softened)
Chocolate Bark, White or Chocolate flavored
1. Open package of Oreo cookies and reserve 7 from the package. With your food processor, finely crush remaining cookies.
2. Mix softened cream cheese with the crushed cookies.
2a. If flavoring truffles to be minty, add a few drops of peppermint extract in this step.
3. Roll the mixture into 1" balls and place on a plate.
4. Get out a cookie sheet and cover with parchment paper. This is important. If you don't use parchment paper (or wax paper) your truffles will stick to the cookie sheet and not come off easily.
5. Crush the 7 reserved Oreos, if you desire, so you can use them to dust the tops of the truffles. I crushed all seven of mine and used about the equivilent of 1 Oreo on 16 truffles. If I were doing it again, I'd crush two and give the rest to Dan to eat. :-)
6. Melt bark as directed on the packaging and then dip balls into chocolate bark. I used a fork and a spoon to accomplish this step. I rolled the balls in the melted bark, let the excess drip through the tines of the fork and used the spoon to transfer to the cookie sheet.
6a. If you are adding color to the white chocolate bark, this is the time to do it. For the mint Oreo truffles I also added a little bit of peppermint extract.
7. Refrigerate any leftovers. (You want to do this because of the cream cheese in the truffle.)
Makes about 36 truffles.
I made these to take to my Thursday night Bible study. I'll let you know how they were received.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Jason's words, in italics: Street cred is the amount to which you have a right to speak into someone's life. You have people who have a ton of street cred with you, and others don't have as much. There may be a correlation between a person's integrity and the amount of street cred he has with people. There is a correlation between a person's street cred and their closeness to Christ.
Who do you allow to speak into your life? Do you allow people to challenge you? Or do you just get people that agree with you all the time? With whom do you have street cred--does anyone look to you to speak truth and wisdom into their life?
I've pondered the words above since I first read them late last week. Often they come back to me at the most random of moments, and I have to think...who do I let speak into my life? Who do I let challenge me? I do believe as we grow and change with each passing year the answers to his questions change with us, just as God would have it to be.
As I consider my own answers to those questions I can't help but think about my children. Right now Nicholas and Matthew look to me (and to Dan) to speak truth and wisdom in their lives in everything they do. They look to me for comfort, safety, warmth, food, clothing, shelter and entertainment. They depend on me to meet all of their needs. It's a lot of responsibility. Responsibility I am not always sure I'm ready to handle! But really, what parent is fully ready to take on all of that responsibility at one time?
I am thankful, so very thankful, that I am surrounded by people who speak truth, love and wisdom into my life. I find it in my parents, in my husband, in the women I share my heart with on Thursday nights. I find it in relationships I am building in my local Twins Club...friendships created with women who understand what it's like to raise twins! I am blessed to even find it in old friends from elementary school and college. I could not be more thankful for each and every one of those relationships.
And yet I find myself turning my thoughts back to my children. I want them to form relationships with people who will challenge each of them as individuals. I want them to have relationships that are encouraging to their spirit. Relationships that will push them to one day become men of God, to stand for what they believe in and fight for what is right, and pure, and holy. It is my prayer that while Matthew and Nicholas are young, that Dan and I have "street cred" with them. And as they grow older, I pray that they find and form those all important relationships with other kids, teenagers, young adults and finally adults.
And as Jason asked me in his blog, I now ask you. Who do you allow to speak into your life? Who challenges you? Does anyone look to you to speak truth and wisdom into their life?" What does this look like in your relationships with your children?
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Improved product features a newly designed foot pedal and a newly designed hinge, both developed to make the gate stronger and longer lasting. (Launch date was 2/1/01.) Also improved were the pressure-mount pads for increased durability. (Launch date was 6/02.)
Watch out for smart kids!
Pros: Easy To Use
Cons: Less than 35 lbs pressure, Poor Construction
Best Uses: Infants, Crawlers
Describe Yourself: Parent of Multiples (Twins etc)
We have three of these gates in our home, set in strategic locations to protect our twins from the home office, as well as keep the dog contained in the kitchen when we are away from home.
This was a great gate until just a few days ago. We used them all with no issues for 17 months. However, now that our twins are 22 months, they have figured out how to open the gate, thereby rendering them useless for most of our purposes.
You see, the gates are rated for 35 pounds and our twins weight less than 24 pounds each! We assumed that with a gate that needed 35 pounds of pressure/force put on it, that these gates would last us until that point. Sadly, we were wrong.
On Friday, one of our twins stood with one foot on each side of the foot pedal and jumped/bounced until he freed the pin that keeps the gate locked. The first time he did it, it took him a good 30 seconds to get it undone. Now? He can walk up to the gate, place one foot on each side, jump once and the gate springs open. Before you go and say that we need to tighten the pressure mounts, please know that we did that just to rule that out as the reason he could open the gate.
With this product and all other safety products, remember to use them with caution. Just as a pool float comes with a caution of "Not a lifesaving device", baby safety equipment should say the same thing. Baby gates are a deterrent for while, but will not make your child stay put forever.