Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Note to Self

"Don't throw the candy canes away."

You'll need them in February to 
Make These:
 Remove the cellophane wrapping from the canes and form hearts by placing them hook to hook and tail to tail on a nonstick baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on the canes’ size) or until they stick together when you pinch the ends lightly. Cool thoroughly and remove with a spatula. If you want to make flat hearts with psychedelic stripes, bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Did you Know...

Shabby Apple 
is having a
Great Sale

Enter coupon code 
to receive 20% of your order!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Silent Monks Singing Halleluia‏

My dad sent this to me and I just have to share it!
(Creative high schools students give a great rendition of Halleluia!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Concert Season

Last week Hope had two Holiday Concerts.

Thanks to Marci we have the video of the 
Taylor High School Symphony Orchestra Concert.
  Hope's favorite number was the
"Hungarian March, Op. 24"~Hector Berlioz 
Directed by Mr. Bailey

We were amazed that we were listening to High School kids!

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

 Momma Reiner's
Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
From The Martha Stewart Show, December 2007
This wonderful recipe for sweet chocolate-covered marshmallows is courtesy of 
Kimberly Reiner of Momma Reiner's Fudge


Makes about 30 chocolate-covered marshmallows
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • Momma Reiner's Chocolate Fudge


  1. Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle gelatin over a small bowl filled with 1/2 cup cold water; let stand to soften.
  2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture reaches the soft-ball stage, about 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly add sugar mixture. Add vanilla and continue beating for 10 minutes until the mixture looks like marshmallow.
  4. Transfer marshmallow mixture to prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Spray a piece of parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray and cover marshmallow. Let stand overnight.
  5. Remove parchment paper and invert marshmallow onto work surface. Trim 1/4-inch from edges of marshmallow. Cut marshmallows into 1 1/2-inch squares. Pour cornstarch in a bowl; working in batches, gently add marshmallows and toss to coat.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Working with 1 marshmallow at a time, insert skewer into a marshmallow and dip in fudge until coated on all sides, removing any excess from bottom of marshmallow; place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining marshmallows (you will have some marshmallows left over). Let chocolate covered marshmallows stand at room temperature overnight before serving or transferring to an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cute Cupcake for the Kids!

Sweet T.O.M. Turkeys
via Family Fun 
almost too cute to eat
Just couldn't resist these adorable Thanksgiving Cupcakes from Family Fun Magazine!

Their candy corn plumage and shortbread wings guarantee that these irresistible Treat of the Month Turkeys (T.O.M.s for short) will be gobbled up as soon as they land on the dessert table.
  • Cupcake
  • Chocolate frosting
  • 3 oval shortbread cookies (we used Keebler Sandies Right Bites Shortbread)
  • 6 to 10 candy corn pieces
  • White icing
  • Black decorators' gel
  • Red fruit leather (we used strawberry Fruit by the Foot)

    1. Frost the cupcake, then press in a cookie head and 2 cookie wings.
    2. Press in a row or two of candy corn tail feathers.
    3. To make an eye, add a small dot of white icing to the head, then add a dot of black decorators' gel for a pupil.
    4. For a beak, cut the white tip from a piece of candy corn and press it in place.
    5. To make the wattle, cut a 1-inch square of fruit leather. Roll it into a tube and stick it in place over the beak.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cream-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

via Taste of Home—Ali Johnson, Petersburg, Pennsylvania

Here's a deliciously different use for pumpkin. Bursting with flavor and plenty of eye-catching appeal, these sweet and spicy filled cupcakes are bound to dazzle your family any time of the year.


2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands®, All Natural, No Corn Syrup Added, Pure Vanilla Extract, optional
Whole cloves, optional


In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, pumpkin and eggs. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and beat until well mixed.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For filling, combine cornstarch and milk in a small saucepan until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla if desired. Gradually add the cornstarch mixture, beating until smooth.
Using a sharp knife, cut a 1-in. circle 1 in. deep in the top of each cupcake. Carefully remove tops and set aside. Spoon or pipe filling into cupcakes. Replace tops. If desired, add a clove "pumpkin stem" to the tops. Yield: about 1-3/4 dozen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mindful Monday

"I believe we uncover the place of rest deep inside us when we allow a space in our hearts for gratitude, when we open ourselves to the realizations of life's abundance. We are never truly prosperous until we realize that our lives are full of riches that money can't buy."
                                                                                     ~Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Inspiration

Talking Turkey
(photo from Williams-Sonoma)
Celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse, shares his expertise for the big day! Carve that turkey to perfection with these great tips:
First off, make sure you have a very sharp, long, slender knife, and a 2-pronged, long-handled fork to easily grip the turkey and keep it from sliding. Having the right tools will definitely help you remove the meat in attractive slices.
  1. Place the turkey on a large platter or cutting board where it will not slide or shift while being carved. Cut the string and remove the contents of the carcass.
  2. Remove the drumstick and thigh from the carcass by inserting the point of the knife into the leg joint and what looks like, and what commonly is called, the oyster. Cut the dark meat completely from the body by cutting along the carcass.
  3. Cut through the joint between the drumstick and thigh. Lay a drumstick flat on the cutting surface and hold it steady with the fork, and slice parallel to the bone. Cut the thigh in a similar manner.
  4. Cut through the wing joint and remove it from the breast as you removed the legs. Leave the wings whole and place on the serving platter.
  5. Carve the breast by holding one side of the breast with the fork, and slicing full-length slices of meat by pulling the knife down through the meat, parallel to the breastbone.
Handmade Cornucopia (Martha Stewart Living)
A raffia cornucopia filled with fall produce looks bountiful when set on a sideboard or chest.  
Get the Step-by-Step Instructions

Harvest Wreath
Now is just the moment for a crisp-as-fall wreath made with artfully layered dried cornhusks.
Give THANKS by GIVING! Blessed are those who can give without remembering, and take without forgetting.  
~Princess Elizabeth Asquith Bibesco 
We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse.
~Anne-Sophie Swetchine

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thank You Thursday

Tomorrow is
November 5th

Frog's Birthday!
Happy Wishes

Lots  of Lve

to my
Dear Dad
My dad is an amazing guy. A career in the U.S. Navy meant that he was often gone for months at a time. Even so, I was "daddy's little girl" and I knew that always, if he was home or away. Being the only daughter in the middle of two boys could be frustrating to a girl, especially when we were voting for what TV show to watch! It could also be pretty wonderful and that it was most of the time.
When I was tiny my dad called me his "sweetie pie" and I repeated, "I'm daddy's Wheetie Pie". To this day, I still sign my notes and cards 
~Love, Wheetie Pie.

My dad has many attributes and talents. I admire his strength, integrity and compassion just to name a few. He always made me feel safe when I was a child and he knew the answer to EVERYTHING. I'm still learning from him even today just by the life he leads.
I love you, Dad!

Wheetie Pie

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WHooooo Wants a Cupcake?

I saw these Owl Cupcakes 

on Heather's blog.  

I thought they were so cute and just had to make some! 

Next year I will definitely follow the tip I found Here.

I'm positive that when I have shared Oreos with the kids in the past and split them in half they separated perfectly but that just wasn't happening for these cupcakes.

If only I'd known the secret tip...
(microwaving a few cookies at a time for several seconds helps to keep the cream side solid)

We had our annual Halloween Dinner and it was lots of fun.

I'll have to steal some more pictures from Marci.  
I was too busy to get them this year.

Princess (Tiana ) Ella and  Frog Preston and of course,  Addie Cat

pictures via  Marci
Creative Cupcake
 in the Works

Scott & Kassandra
Addie & Little Cat from Grandad
Great Frog and Little Frog

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tickle Ghosts

Nana's Tickle Ghosts

Last week Addie, Preston and Taylor did a little project at Nana's house.  I actually got this idea years ago when I taught at a Montessori Preschool.  We did this every year with black construction paper.  I still have Marci's but the paper has faded. 

I decided to use canvas instead since it was on sale at Hobby Lobby.  I painted the canvas black ahead of time so we'd be set to go.

Addie did not want to have anything to do with painting the bottom of her foot white.  Taylor thought it looked like great fun.  She was giggling the whole time so Addie agreed to join in and of course Preston wanted to keep up with the gang and was eager for his turn.  Hope and I got Ella's after school.

Freeman Family Ghosts

Taylor's Ghost

Didn't they turn out cute?

Friday, October 15, 2010


Tuesday was
October 12th
and that is a reason to
31 Wonderful Years with this guy!
Happy Anniversary Mark !
repost and update:
"31 reasons why I lve Mark"
(in no particular order)
  1. I love that you have a great sense of humor. It was one of the first things that attracted me to you. You are hilarious. You kept me laughing when we first met and you still keep me laughing today. I love it.   
  2. I love your beautiful blue eyes.  
  3. I  love that you are an amazing father. You are involved in their lives, show them affection, lead them, teach them, and always love them. I couldn't have dreamed of having a better man to raise children with than you.   
  4. I love your kind heart. You have a genuine love for people and a have always had a spirit of generosity. 
  5. I love that you are gifted at ironing clothes and still iron everyone's clothes for church.
  6. I love that you are a very hard worker. You do so much for our family. 
  7. I love your eternal perspective.  You help me to see the big picture when I start to worry about the little things.  
  8. I love that you are the patriarch of our home. You are a protector.    
  9. I love that you are a wonderful granddad. I love to watch you tenderly rock a sweet baby to sleep.  I love the way you are playful and fun and always make time to make little ones feel special.
  10. I love that you honor your priesthood.
  11. I love that you are understanding and know when it's been a crazy week.  You never complain when I let things slide. 
  12. I love your cute legs.
  13. I love how you drive all the carpools you can when you're in town to lighten my load.
  14. I love how you are the life of the party. 
  15. I love the way you support me in all of my endeavors.  You are always my biggest fan
  16. I love the way you look in your suit every Sunday.  
  17. I love that you are a family man.  It is always so exciting when you manage to get an earlier flight.  I love that you'd rather be home with us than away.
  18. I love watching YOU watch football.  
  19. I love to talk to you.  Thanks for listening to me.  I know you are always there for me. 
  20. I love that you want to provide opportunities and experiences for your kids to learn and grow. 
  21. I love that you have sacrificed things you wanted so your children could have what they wanted. 
  22. I love the way you float in the pool after doing yard work on Saturdays. 
  23. I love that you always know just what to say when I am teary. 
  24. I love how you sing Christmas carols all year long.
  25. I love how you think everything I cook is delicious. 
  26. I love that you are proud of your children and are always their advocate. 
  27. I love your voice. 
  28. I love that you love me. You are the first person I want to talk to everyday.  You love to make me smile. You really are my best friend.
  29. I love all of our memories together.  I love them all. The sad ones, funny ones and sweet ones. We have learned so much together and I love who we have become together.
  30. I love, love, love DATE Nite. You are so fun to be with and I always look forward to "OUR" time
   31.  YOU.  I love you. Simply YOU

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank You Thursday - Friendship

  friendship  and  flowers

Last month one of my sweet friends dropped by unexpectedly and brought me these!

We both have been so busy that we hadn't spoken for awhile.  How did she know?  
How did she know my heart was heavy that day?
Her thoughtful visit lifted my spirits.  Just seeing her would have been enough. 
Her timing was impeccable.  
Those sunflowers were like sunshine in my kitchen so that's where I kept them. 
Everyone loved them!
Our garage is detached so we usually come in the back kitchen door.
They were the first thing to catch your eye when you came in the house.
from the Back Door 

They did their magic for days!
from the Front Door through the dining room

"Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.
It's what sunflowers do."
by Helen Keller

 They reminded  me of our ward's Relief Society theme a few years ago. 

"Sisters and Sunflowers"

We gave all the sisters this poem:

Follow The Son

Sunflowers always follow the sun,
From early morning, 'til the day is done.
They follow across the sky until night
eagerly soaking in the warmth of its light.

Like this loyal flower we too can be
Fed by His light spiritually.
As we follow His son, Jesus Christ
Becoming like Him as we soak in His light.

In most any soil their seeds will grow
With plenty of water and sunshine galore.
Small buds soon appear, then the protecting leaf
And thick stocks to support the head full of seeds.

We too can grow where we are sown,
By studying the scriptures and learning of home.
Our parents, teachers and leaders protect us
As our testimony grows stronger of our brother Jesus.

When the sunflower crown forms, it's a royal gold
The blessings of it's growth are beginning to show.
The seeds you share; love, kindness and testimony too
Will help others see the Golden Crown in you.

So follow the Son, open your heart to His light,
Seek Him first thing each morning and last one at night.
Follow Him through the heat of each day,
Live your life to become like Him -- It's the only way.

I hadn't read that in a long time.  
I love it.