Thursday, December 31, 2009

And a good time was had by all...

Lots of fun celebrating Christmas -- as usual...Here are some pictures to prove it!
Christmas Eve Dinner

Our Family Christmas

Daisie wants to join in...

Annual Family Pic

Jess' Ironing Board/Check for WWII in HD...

Cait loved her record player!

Jess teaching Mom MarioKart...

Likkel Cousins

BIG stockings!



Antlers from...
...the Grandparents!!

We seem to have a theme...

...going on here!

No comment...

Cait studies how to draw Ugly Doll

Jess w/ Office Essentials (?)

Honcoop Christmas...


...was all about...

...the Little Kiddles! FUN!

Dad says I can't wear these : (



Little Monkey!

3 Little Monkeys! Such cuties!!

Sorry Honcoop adults -- you just don't rate for pictures anymore!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

REJOICE!!

Of all the peoples of the world, we who know Jesus have the most reason to rejoice and enjoy all the good things that come with the Christmas Season.


Hoping that today, this week, you are rejoicing and enjoying those you love.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Somebody cares...

I got this in the mail a couple days ago:



I am glad to know that the US Postal System cares. They care, but they can't stop your mail from being ripped to shreds sometimes.

This is what was inside:


A sliver of envelope, and a shred of photo card. Fortunately, our return address was preserved so they could send it back to us to let us know...Yes, so helpful...Except, there is no way to know who was supposed to get this card...no names, no partial scrawls of greeting to solve the mystery. Our only clue is that the shred of stamp left on the envelope indicates that there were 2 of them -- so this card was for one of our Canadian family or friends.

SO -- WE CARE TOO!! We're sorry that you didn't get your card, dear nameless family or friend. I hope you check my blog to know that you were not forgotten!! Of course, the only way you would know about my blog is from the Christmas letter...sigh...
Merry Christmas...we care...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Leslie's Baking Show...

I have some friends who post recipes, and pictures of their baking on their blogs. It always looks so good! So -- inspired, I decided to document for you all my first batch of Christmas cookies. I always start with Spritz Cookies. They're easy, yet special...You can see I've assembled the ingredients, and creamed the butter, shortening and sugars...


...You may notice that things are beginning to deteriorate...not quite so orderly at this point...

Here I am putting the dough into my Super Shooter Cookie Press. Randy bought this for me on our first Christmas, and I've used it ever since! See the voids in the columns of dough...yea, those aren't supposed to be there...


...The tube is in the press, and I'm noticing that the drive rod is protruding too far out of the top...Hmmmmm....

Here I am trying to dig out the dried dough that is causing the rod to protrude too far. Apparently, I forgot to clean this area well after last year's use...Hmmm...

This is a shot of the now stuck toothpick I was using...Hmmmm...how to get it out without leaving a piece of it behind...A lot of hand-smacking on the back of the press releases the toothpick, and the dried dough...I really need to remember to clean that before I put it away for a year...

We're in business! This is how the appliance SHOULD look! Yay! Time to press out some cookies...


...and there you have it! Somewhat tree shaped blobs of dough, meticulously decorated with a shake of green sugar...


Here I am applying blue sugar on the flower shaped cookies, because I just realized I forgot to buy the candied cherries that usually go in the middle...(I prophecy that the first comment I will hear is "What? No cherries???" from the boys.)...And why blue sugar you say? Because I don't have enough green to do it all...

...I also want you to note the Half Tree...not everyone can do that, people!! I'm not even sure I can do it again...so special!!!


Here are the completed cookie trays, waiting on the counter because I forgot to preheat the oven....


Here I am, eating a banana, 'cause baking makes me hungry, and I can't do anything until the oven is heated anyway...


Now it dawns on me that I should have made a double batch, so we start all over again...


...in a hurry, I spill sugar on the counter...



...and the floor...


But finally! The end result is, well, special! Note the beautifully baked Half Tree...I've been making these cookies for 30 years, and it's always like this...And my family, who have not ever had high expectations because I have never raised them in the baking department, are thrilled to eat them...even if they have to ask me what shape they are supposed to be. However, I think this will be the last baking blog I do. It's probably better that there are no witnesses...



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009...

I'm tired...but it's a happy kind of tired. My mom's family(the Vanderwalls)came from near and far to share Thanksgiving Day with us. My uncles live in Seattle. My aunt lives in Portland. There are teens in these families from these metropolitan areas, and, bless their hearts, they love to come spend the holiday with us in Hicksville! (insert sigh of grateful wonderment here) This year, we were blessed to also have cousins(or should I say "cud'ns") Kris & Krissy from Alabama, Zach & Cori and heart-stealing sons from Montana, and Sam & Kasi, newlyweds from Salem,OR... The family grows!! For the first time in 3 years, Jess was home for the holiday...(insert happy mom sigh). All in all, 37 people with good attitudes crowded into our home, finding seating in some unusual areas of the house. Everyone contributed to the menu, and we feasted and visited all day long...laughing, playing games, enjoying having 3 little boys to entertain us...It was quite wonderful.

I made one pretty turkey...

...and one pretty ugly turkey! But they both tasted delicious (whew!).

Tables were everywhere! The study...

The white carpeted living room...(I'm happy to report no spills -- though, ironically, this is where the teen boys chose to sit. :D)



The entry, the family room, and -- oh yeah -- the dining room too...

Visiting...


Visiting... and the remains of the buffet...



This is just a small portion of the buffet line...It went all around the kitchen!


People everywhere...

Erin came up with a great group game where each person had to share their favorites on a few topics.

Hmmm...I think Grandpa is saying Grandma is one of his favorites...We knew that!!! :D

Lots of laughter...


Let the games begin!! We had some diehard "Nerts" (??is that the name of the game) fans...serious gaming going on here. They even hired Linda to keep score (They needed a neutral party, you know).

Conrad and Josiah create with Lego in Jess' former room. It was such fun to have younger kids around again, and these boys are really great kids!

Their little brother Brenden (3) taught Caitlin (25) how to box on the Wii...

Then he decided he needed more of a challenge and took on Nate (14, but man-sized!)

Boys of all ages enjoyed the Wii...


PDQ played in the study...(you must be Pretty Darn Quick for this game!)

The day ended with a couple of rounds of Apples to Apples. Daisie lies exhausted after spending the entire afternoon making new friends, and getting attention from 37 people...heaven!
It was indeed a little slice of heaven to spend the day with people we see once a year, or even less often, but whom all love each other dearly. I've said it before...I'll say it again...FAMILY -- it's a good thing!

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)