Friday, December 24, 2010

Brad's First Teeth

Brad has two teeth. I don't know if you can see them very well in this picture, so you might have to zoom in on it. It was actually pretty hard to get a picture of him with his mouth open. The process went something like this: Brad would smile, I would click the button on my camera, two seconds would pass, Brad would stop smiling, and then the camera would process the click and take the picture. Annoying.
This picture was taken a little late, so we didn't get his teeth. I thought it was cute though, so I included it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Making Christmas Cookies with Grandma

This Christmas season, my mom and Katie decided to revive the Christmas tradition we had in years past where we would go to my grandma Bills' house to make Christmas cookies. It was fun to have all the kids at the house. Mckinley was very good with Brad.
Brad is four months younger than Laynee, but he's about her size. Laynee is pretty petite, and Brad...isn't.
We made some sugar cookies, and Mckinley had a cute frosting mustache.
We made Oreo truffles that tasted really good. Mckinley had a good time spreading sprinkles on top of the truffles.
Brad didn't help much with the cookies, but he was very good throughout all of the activities.

Making Christmas Cookies with Grandma Continued

I love the combination of the two previous pictures. In the first, Laynee is approaching her prey (Brad). In the second, she's about to devour her prey (still Brad) Poor Brad was trying to eat his bottle and had no idea what was about to hit him. Honestly, Laynee didn't hurt him at all, and I think Brad really liked watching Laynee because she's about the same size as him. She moves all over the place, and I think Brad is fascinated by the things she can do.
We made chocolate covered Oreos, and they tasted pretty good.
When we made cookies with my grandma, we would also dip marshmallows in chocolate and then cover them in nuts and coconut. We had Mckinley and Clay dip the marshmallows, and I think they had a good time getting messy.
Abby and Mckinley made "Squeeze Fudge." It tasted good, and it was really easy to make. All of the ingredients were placed in a gallon-sized bag, sealed, and then "squeezed" for 10-15 minutes. We all had a good time making and eating the goodies, and I'm glad we revived the tradition of "making Christmas cookies with grandma."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cookies

Last week, I persuaded Phillip to help me make some Christmas cookies for our neighbors. We made some sugar cookies in various shapes including Christmas bells, gingerbread men, candy canes, and mittens. Phillip decided to get creative, and the above picture is what he came up with: a bearded gingerbread man (or is it the abominable snowman?), a balding man with a strange grin (made out of a sideways bell), and a guy with a weird hat and frown (upside down mitten). While Phillip was laboring over his three cookies, I frosted about 40 other cookies, and I have a picture of some of them below. Phillip was overly creative (he even dabbled in food coloring to make fleshy pink skin for the men), and I probably wasn't creative enough, but I think they tasted okay, so that's what really matters.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chocolate Truffle Recipe

I thought I would post the chocolate truffle recipe I used for the Christmas party we threw for the young women in my ward.

Chocolate “Ornaments”

1 pkg. (8 squares) semi-sweet chocolate
½ package cream cheese, cubed, softened
1 tub (8 oz) whipped cream, thawed
Assorted coatings such as powdered sugar, finely chopped nuts, toasted coconut, grated semi-sweet chocolate, cookie crumbs, or multicolored sprinkles

Microwave chocolate in large bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring halfway through heating time. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add cream cheese; stir with wire whisk until smooth. Cool 20 minutes or until room temperature. Gently stir in whipped topping with wire whisk until blended.

Freeze 1 hour; scoop into 1 inch balls. If necessary, freeze balls 30 minutes longer or until firm enough to roll. Roll in assorted coatings as desired. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve.
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"Brad's Mom"


This is a long story, and I hope it makes sense to everyone in the end.

Phillip is our ward's mission leader, and he is in charge of the gospel essentials class that takes place during Sunday school. I often sit in the back with Brad during the class. Some Pacific islanders live in our ward boundaries, and a lot of them come to our ward even though most of them are in college. The Pacific islanders also sit in the back during Sunday school, and a couple of them always want to hold Brad. They just love him. Claudia, one of the Pacific Islanders, even tried to get one of her less active relatives to come to church by telling him he could hold Brad during Sunday school if he came.

I am a member of the enrichment committee, and I have to help put together the Relief Society Christmas dinner. I volunteered to ask the Pacific islanders if they would perform a musical number for the dinner. The girls have performed a musical number in church before, and they have beautiful voices. I wasn't sure how to get in touch with them, so I went to their house (this was before Thanksgiving). A lot of Pacific islanders live in their house, and I was directed in and out of all sorts of rooms as I tried to find Claudia or Reese (I know them the best). They weren't there. I got Claudia's number from one of the guys, but when I called her, no one answered.

At our ward Christmas dinner last Saturday, Reese came up to me and asked me if I had come by her house. I was surprised she knew I had come by because I hadn't given anyone my name, and I hadn't recognized any of the people in the house. Apparently, one of the guys had told her "Brad's mom" had come by to ask her a question. So that's it. I am already considered "Brad's mom." I don't know who recognized me, but they didn't really know me. They just knew me as "Brad's mom." Great.
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Cheapest Decorations Ever!

I am a Beehive Advisor for the young women in our ward. We decided to throw a Christmas party for the girls. I was in charge of the decorations, and I wanted to make it special, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money. I had Phillip make a template for me to house some holiday truffles I made. I made the boxes out of poster board, and I got the ribbon at Wal-mart for a buck. Very cheap.

Each plate contained a truffle box and some candy cane sugar cookies I made. I thought they made a nice presentation, and the sugar cookies were also very cheap to make.
I made 3-D snowflakes to hang from the ceiling. They were made out of poster board as well. I bought glass vases from the DI and filled them with red Christmas ornaments and pine cones I picked up off the ground. I tied the vases with red and white/sliver ribbon I got at Michael's for a buck a piece. The poinsettias were only four dollars at Wal-mart, and the red tulle was only a $1.29 a yard at Jo-Ann's.

I think it turned out pretty well, and I think the girls had a good time. That's the most important thing. I will be using the same decorations for our ward's Relief Society Christmas party, so I will be getting more use out of the decor. Meanwhile, I am using the poinsettias and pine cone vases to decorate my house.
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