Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Day

We started off Christmas morning with gifts from Santa at Grandma C's house. Our kids were awake before 7, so we distracted them with food until people woke up.
Here, Owen is signing "more."
Trying out his new phone from Santa

Ponies!! Exactly what she told Santa she wanted!

Around noon, we headed up to Grandma E's to celebrate with that side of the family. Here, Sophie and cousin Katie are doing make-overs with one of Katie's gifts.
They did Andrea too!
Katie got more and more beautiful as the day went on.
All the fun wore Owen out.
The girls had such a good time together.

Lunch! Cousin Wendy & Sug.
Katie & Sophie
Me & Aunt Diane

Uncle Marlow, Cousin Denise & Jason

Russ & Grandma E (his mom)
Greg & Andrea (his mom)
Playing Santa Claus...guess who was Santa Claus...

Sophie with her homemade gift for Grandma--snowflake window clings

The traditional family pictures--The M's

And the E's. I put in both pictures that we got. No amount of photoshopping could get me to one picture where we all looked good. Try not to notice that I screwed up both pictures.

Great Grandma with the Great-grandkids

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Green Turtleneck

It's me again. I was just scrolling through all of my latest posts and noticed something. In at least the last 3 posts (where there's a picture of me), I'm wearing my new green turtleneck. I just wanted you all to know that I don't wear it everyday. Evidently just every day that I've been photographed. I really do go days in between wearing it, and I've even washed it.

I just realized I'm wearing it right now....

Hmmm...maybe I have a problem...

Christmas Eve

This post is really to help our Florida family to feel like they were at Christmas this year!

We travelled to Greg's Grandmas' town to celebrate Christmas with both sides of the family down there. These pictures are from our traditional Christmas Eve celebration with Grandma C's side of the family. We have soup (this year, my white chicken chili--so sorry to steal your thunder, Russ!) and hotdogs (this year, Tracy's pigs in a blanket).

Mary, Tracy, Megan & Bill (aunt, uncle & cousins)
Russ, Grandma C & Andrea (Greg's parents & grandma)
We were all drinking non-alcoholic, sparkling juice, in case anybody wonders...

Carey, Sophie, Greg, Owen (try not to notice the nose-picking)

Owen basically stuffed his face full of food the whole weekend. After a week's worth (plus some!) of no appetite, he had some major catching up to do. He can sign "more" now, and he pretty much does it at all times. Whenever anyone got anywhere near the kitchen area, they were his new best friend.

The whole gang at the Christmas Eve church service.

We open the C family gifts on Christmas Eve. It's a crazy time! Here, Owen is doing what he likes best...climbing on top of the presents.
Owen & Grandma

Cousins Tracy & Megan
Owen needed some assistance to get his presents opened. And then he pretty much just wanted what Sophie had anyway.

This is a throw-back to a picture from long ago, evidently. Janelle will appreciate it.

When Sophie finished (very patiently and nicely) opening her presents, she looked over at me and said, "I'm tired. I want to go to bed now." Okay!! But not before leaving out cookies and carrots for Santa and the reindeer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Carey's Favorite Sugar Cookies Ever

I am about to share my very favorite sugar cookie recipe with you. I'll give you the recipe and then I'll share some comments/suggestions at the end.

Sugar Cookies
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and extracts in a large bowl until well blended. Add flour and baking soda and mix well.
Form dough into a disk about 1-inch thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator until firm enough to roll out (about 1/2 hour).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut out with 3-inch cookie cutters.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are starting to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Frosting (this is all approximate because I just dump stuff in until it's the way I like it)
3 T butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
milk (enough to make it the consistency you like)
Food coloring, optional


  • It's correct that there are no eggs in this recipe. You can eat the dough!! Yeah!

  • When I add the flour & b.p. to the cream cheese/butter mixture of the cookies, I mix it with a wooden spoon at that point. I don't have a fancy mixer or a huge enough bowl to deal with that kind of dough. It mixes just fine with a spoon.

  • This year I had a bazillion cookies to make, so I tripled the recipe and rolled the dough into 3 logs which I wrapped in waxed paper and chilled overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, I just sliced the logs into 1/4-inch rounds, which was sooooo much easier than rolling and cutting out that many cookies.

  • On years when I do roll out and cut the cookies with cutters, I keep putting the dough back into the fridge after each rolling/cutting session so the dough stays easy to work with.

  • I like to take the cookies out of the oven just before they start to brown on the edges. They are softest this way (the way I like them!). If you like yours more crunchy, bake them a little longer.

  • If your cookies smush up and contort when you try to take them off the hot pan with your spatula, let them sit on the hot pan for a minute or two before taking them off

  • I use a baking stone to bake my cookies--perfect every time! They don't get too dark on the bottom while being undercooked on top.

That's it! Sorry it's too late to make these for Christmas. I've been sick, people! Make them for Boxing Day instead. (It's the Canadian holiday after Christmas. Duh!)


Sophie and I baked and decorated cookies (and some other goodies) to send in little packages to the neighbors for Christmas. She worked very diligently with me on the decorating this year. She would have kept going, but we eventually ran out of cookies.

After the cookies had time to dry, we packed them up with some homemade hot chocolate mix and dipped pretzels. Greg took Sophie and Owen around to deliver the boxes to the neighbors. It was crazy cold out, so they really bundled up.

Greg dragged the kids on one sled and the boxes on another. Owen wasn't too thrilled to be sledding. His last (and first!) experience on a sled left him face-down in the snow, remember? He only made it to the nearest neighbor's house on the sled, and after that Greg just carried him. Nothing like spreading a little holiday cheer with a wailing baby outside your door!!

A Day in the Life of an Elf

We've been ill around here, as you already know, and it's not over yet!! Greg's on his way to the Target Clinic as we speak. But we did have about one good day over the weekend where we all at least felt and appeared healthy. So, we got out of the house! Woohoo! We braved some major snow to head downtown to see the 8th floor Christmas display. We had a great time together as a family.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

My friend Heather has done this list on her blog a few times, and I really enjoy reading what she's up to so I thought I'd do my own list.

FOR TODAY (December 22, 2008)

Outside my window...snow, snow, sparkly snow! And -4 temperatures.

I am thinking...about which load of laundry to do next.

I am thankful for...healthy kids (finally!) and just in time for Christmas!

From the kitchen...I will be trying out a new butter-pecan fudge recipe later and will be making white chicken chili for Christmas eve supper.

I am oldest jeans that fit (I'm doing laundry, remember?), green house-shoes, a black "Hard Rock Cafe: China" shirt (also old and hardly worn anymore...laundry!!)

I am creating...tags for the packages of treats Sophie and I made to pass out to the neighbors.

I am work out at the community center after Greg gets home from work.

I am reading...the Harry Potter series again. I'm on book 5 right now. I got sick of trying to find something good to read at the library (I bombed on the last one!), so I went with old faithful and already on hand.

I am be healthy myself soon. I'm on penicillin for strep right now.

I am hearing...the buzz of my computer...because my children are asleep. Ahhhh.

Around the house...not a creature was stirring.

One of my favorite frosted sugar cookies. I'll post the recipe later! Why do we only make these at Christmas?

A few plans for the rest of the week...spending time with the inlaws for Christmas.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

If you'd like to do your own "Simple Woman's Daybook" list, check out this website

Monday, December 15, 2008

Disney on Ice

As I mentioned earlier, we've had the plague here at our house. Still do. It caused us to miss our Disney on Ice date on Friday. But the lovely people at the big stadium allowed us to transfer our tickets to Sunday. Wasn't that nice of them? We were all set to do that, but the storm of the year and the plague prevented us all from going. So, Greg and Sophie went and a had a lovely, magical Disney time!
We tricked Sophie into getting her picture taken while putting her coat on.
This is the one and only special treat that Sophie wanted. A an Ariel cup. Greg was so disappointed.

But he promised to get it for her only if she'd let him take her picture with it. He's no dummy.

Her lips were still blue when she got home later.
Guess the storm of the year (and maybe the plague!) prevented others from attending as well. They eventually moved down into the crowd for a little closer look at the show.

They had a great time and got home safely, even in the wild weather.