Wednesday, December 30, 2009

{Christmas Card Ooops...

Merry {late} Christmas


Seriously. So. Embarrassed.

OK, so this year I had no idea where my brain went to but it was no where near the rest of my body. At a recent birthday lunch for one of my friends my Christmas cards came up as a topic of conversation. Apparently this "birthday friend" gets a note in her mailbox from the post office that she has a package and needs to pick it up. So she goes down and waits in some crazy long Christmas lines to pick up her 'package'. Well, her exciting 'package' was my Christmas card. I totally forgot to put a stamp on it and they made HER pay for it! When I heard this, I thought I would die! How embarrassing?!? Just to defend myself a little I had planned on hand delivering cards around Colorado Springs and had them in a separate pile. Then, knowing myself and that I wouldn't find the time to go and make personal visits, I just put them in the mailbox -without stamps-! So, I sincerely apologize to anyone else that had to head down to the post office during a super busy Christmas season and pay to receive our Christmas card!

I'll be reimbursing those that I inconvenienced! :o)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

{The Polar Express...

Grammies, Semi and Tanner came down last weekend to surprise the boys with a ride on the Polar Express!! Our trip was complete with PJ's, hot chocolate, cookies, fun little elves that got the kids all worked up, Santa Claus and brass bell ornaments. It was a night to remember! My boys LOVE the movie and they LOVE trains so it really could not have been a more perfect surprise! They are still talking about it. Thanks Berry's!
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Saturday, November 28, 2009


What a fun holiday! We had the Berry's, Grandma Gege and Scottie for Thanksgiving this year and it was so much fun. We even enjoyed a little visit with my Rossell cousins from CA (apparently Broc moved to Denver this summer... who knew??!). It was wonderful to be with so much of our family! The boys played in the annual turkey bowl and the girls had some crazy success with desserts in the kitchen (recipes to follow...). What did people do for Thanksgiving prior to Seriously.
Here are a few snapshots from our time together.

Grandma Gege stuffin' the bird.

Our place settings on my newly painted table!

Thanks to Carolyn Draney for finding these awesome hand pie molds. They were darling and this combination of recipes for apple pie can not be beat. I challenge anyone to a throw down!

Carolyn Draney's Pie Crust

2 ½ c flour
1 t salt
1 c butter
2 T sugar

Mix until crumbly

1 beaten egg
1 T vinegar (cider)
¼ c ice water

Mix but do not over work. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

Makes 2 pie crusts (or 1 top and bottom pie)

Grandma Opel's Apple Pie (from

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Our Pecan Coconut Pie was a smashing success as well...

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add the sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla and salt; mix well. Stir in pecans and coconut. Pour into pastry shell. Make a domed cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Last but not least we made these mini Pumpkin Cakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting... delish!

Pumpkin Cake

2 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups canned pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 12x18 inch pan (or a mini muffin pan). Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine sugar and oil. Blend in vanilla and pumpkin, then beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread batter into prepared 12x18 inch pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes (or 11 minutes for the mini muffins), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon honey

Directions: Melt butter and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer. When mixture starts to stiffen, stop mixer and add honey.
Continue to beat until light and fluffy. Do not over mix, or it will collapse.
Spread immediately and store cake in refrigerator.

*Feel free to add 2-3 cups of powdered sugar if you want the icing stiffer to pipe on top of mini cakes.*

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Thursday, November 12, 2009


I've got a few Thanksgiving designs put together on my new vinyl blog... check it out!
I hope to have some fun Christmas projects posted in no time!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I found this idea on one of my favorite blogs and decided to implement it for the month of November in our house. Last night we had a few friends over for FHE and talked about gratitude. We are going to add leaves of Thanksgiving all month long. As usual, Jackson got completely into it and has been writing leaves at every spare moment....

I was up ALL night with a super sick Sammy so Todd took the bull by the horns and got Jackson off for school. When I finally rolled out of bed around 8:15 I came down and saw that he had been busy making more leaves this morning. I about fell on the floor laughing when I read his most recent leaf! You gotta love 1st graders...
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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

{Elvis Revealed...

So I had this grand plan to get the boys in their costumes early and have a real photoshoot before we went Trick or Treating. Well, it didn't happen then and it still hasn't happened, so this is as good as it gets and I'm okay with that! To be honest they're lucky that they had any costumes at all... I finished them up just 15 minutes before Jackson's school party!

I have to say that they looked pretty rockin' in their matching Elvis costumes. As you can imagine, Jackson was eating it up and started singing and shakin' his booty at every chance he got. It took Sam a little while to get used to the idea but after a while he even got into it (except that he kept telling me that he DID NOT like the wig!). For a holiday that I absolutely love, I have to say that I was glad I could put away the temporary sweat shop I had set up in the basement and the candy disappeared!

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

{Studio T...

A couple of months ago Tina Johnson and I decided to combine efforts and start a little side photography business. We've swapped taking each other's (and a few other families) pictures for Christmas cards for the last few years and Tina took some photos of clients for her husbands dental practice. We've had a good response so we decided to make it official! I love being behind the camera and Tina is a wonderful photographer so it just seemed like the natural thing to do. I feel like I've learned a lot and it's something I can see myself being passionate about. Maybe when the boys are older I could be a little more serious about it? Anyway, I thought I would share our photography blog Studio T here on my personal blog... Let me know what you think?!?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

{Thank you, Thank you very much...

Just a little teaser from Jackson's school party...


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

{Art in the Suitcase...

I love, LOVE, love going into Jackson's classroom to help with Art in the Suitcase! The kids have grown up so much in just one year, it's unbelievable. This year they look and act like little students. They are polite. They raise their hands and they totally get into the art projects. I don't think I could be a teacher but I thoroughly enjoy my time in the classroom with J-Dawg.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

{Fall / Thanksgiving Pumpkin Craft...

This morning a few mom's from Jackson's school came over and we put together these super fun pumpkin centerpieces! They didn't take very long and I think they pack a punch for any dining room table. Happy Fall everyone and thanks to Buffye for the inspiration!

P.S. Gotta love those white faux pumpkins at Target! Go gettem' while they're hot!
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Monday, October 12, 2009

{Fabulous Fall...

I love fall and I love family photos... here's one of our latest. (Thanks TJ!)

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

{Recession... what recession?

Sam must think that we are rolling in it because unfortunately the above picture would have been a better use of our "cash stash."

This week I watched Sam grab a dollar bill off of the counter in the kitchen and high tail it to the office. Out of curiosity I followed. He went straight over to the shredder and proceeded to shred the one dollar bill! All of the sudden I got a pit in my stomach and went over to the drawer in the office where I kept a little stash of cash for babysitters, little emergencies, etc... well it was gone. All of it, gone! I lifted the lid on the shredder and found tiny bits of green bills mixed in with shredded bank statements and the like. An hour and a half later, I can only estimate that between $150 and $300 lay shredded in this little bowl. I think I might puzzle piece it back together and give it to him for graduation!
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Thursday, October 01, 2009

{Color Run...

As part of Sammy's birthday weekend, we drove up to the mountains to take in all of the fall colors. (I will never forget driving up to Vail to get Sam and just taking in all of my surroundings. How fun is it to have a birthday to celebrate during the prettiest time of the year?!) We stayed the night in Buena Vista and woke up for a fun family day of racing! My dad, Todd and Jackson all ran the 1 mile fun run and to my complete surprise Jackson kicked some serious trash! He placed third (not that anyone's counting at his age!) over all and was running with kids twice his age. I'm pretty sure that he ran a mile faster than I can run a mile... Mom ran the 5K and Julie B and I ran the 10K. It was so much fun, a definate repeat for next year!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

{Not a baby anymore...

Last Friday our little Sammy turned two! He seems like such a big boy now... He even blew out the candle on his cupcake all by himself. His vocabulary is growing by at least 10 words a day and now that he can communicate he thinks that he is the family boss! He worships the ground that Jackson walks on and wants to be just like his older brother. -no pressure, J but you've got to pick it up a notch! He loves to run and jump and scream at the top of his lungs. He is most definately ALL BOY! I love this little guy!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

{Vinyl Halloween Craft Party continued...

Here are the other two crafts as promised. I'm sorry this is cutting it close, my computer was out of commission all weekend... Considering a Mac (any thoughts on that?!) Anyway, hope you like these...