Everything you never wanted to know about our family and various other subjects.

Saturday, December 31, 2011


I decided to post my favorite fudge recipe because I can never find it when I need it (which is frequently).  I originally saw it on this blog and have used it for the past few years.  Did I mention that I love chocolate?  This fudge is delish and I have to fight the kids to get my fair share.  Clare made the batch in the picture below and my one and only beef was that she didn't lick the bowl when she was finished! What good, law-abiding chocolate-lover doesn't relish every last taste?  To quote Pooh Bear, "I wasn't going to eat it.  I was only going to Taste it!"

Photo courtesy of Matthew

(I have sinced tracked down the owner of this hand and he has been duly reprimanded!!)

3 cups chocolate chips
4 tbs. butter
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 t. vanilla

Line 9" square pan with wax paper.  Melt chips, butter and sweetened cond. milk in pan or microwave (Did I mention this was easy?) until smooth.  Add vanilla and pour into prepared pan.  Chill 2 hours, turn out of pan and cut.  Store in refrigerator.

Friday, December 30, 2011

{this moment}

{ a single photo capturing a moment from the past week via soulemama.com }

A Different View of Marianna

This photo and caption brought to you by Clare.

Baby Angel Feet

Joseph's Accident-Waiting-to-Happen

Just couldn't resist the opportunity to show off Joseph creativity (or is that stupidity....) in heating his VW.

For SOME reason our insurance guy wasn't terribly impressed.  (Aren't you glad to know the Honda is back on the road?  I know I am!)

Favorite Christmas Gift

Since I did a really lousy job of describing this lovely present:

Quick, blurry picture

Thank you Jeremiah!

Must be That Time of Year because Sickness has arrived at our house.  The post-holiday cheer always brings this dreaded guest.  This year It comes in the form of fever, runny nose and croupy cough, but only seems to be affecting the little's.  Marianna is in the worst phase of It and so I have not had much time to post.  We did wake to this lovely sight this morning

and so I forced recommended those not coughing up a lung head outside to play, since rumor has it the 40's will return tomorrow with rain (yuck!). 

Gabriel was absolutely miserable.  His nose was sooo raw looking, I finally told him to just use his shirt instead of tissue (It is the idea behind handkerchiefs, right?  The shirt he's wearing is just too convenient to pass up!)  Here he is at one of his least crabbiest moments

and Marianna at her epic worst


working on a lack of sleep.  Oh yeah!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Only Clean Spot in My Entire House

A Most Practical Gift

Tim and Stephen went Christmas shopping with their church youth group.  They were supposed to be choosing gifts for those in need, but apparently Timothy just couldn't pass these up.

Yes, you're seeing the picture clearly....I received a handful of nail clippers for Christmas.  Because I can never find one of these handy little gadgets when I need one and because I still happen to clip a lot of little nails, I actually think this is a very thoughtful gift.  (Dan's betting we won't be able to find them within a week....we'll see!)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Here's Matthew's version of sliding without snow (or a sled, for that matter)!

Christmas Day on the Lake

Sorry for the 1970's video quality!

Clearing off the skating rink
 Tim proves you can look totally "cool" and still get the job done (but is he warm? Hmmmm, that is the question.)

The lazy man's ice-fishing-mobile.

Hard-core fishing dudes.

OK, so you know me (the all-time MN cold weather wimp)  I'm getting chilly and heading for home and a cup of cider!

Prayer before a Manger Scene

(I know this is kind of long ... I even edited it quite a bit , but Dan read it first thing this morning before we opened gifts and it was really meaningful to us.  It was written by Fr.  Peter John Cameron, OP and printed in the December Magnificat.)

Lord Jesus, as I kneel before your manger in adoration, let my first Christmas word be: thank you.  Thank you, Gift of the Father, for coming to save me from my sins.

You come as a baby because babies are irresistible and adorable.  You come as a baby because you want our first impression of God incarnate to be that of one who does not judge.  How I long to be united with you in every way.  May I never be attracted to the allurements and charms of the world.  May I love you always, at every moment, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.  May the tenderness, the dependency, and the mercy that you reveal in your infancy become the hallmarks of my life.

Word become flesh, you make your dwelling among us.  Yet you do not live your life for yourself, but for us.  And you enable us to live in you all that you yourself lived.  Help me to embrace this truth with all my mind and heart.  Come and live your life in me.  Empty me of my willfulness, my petulance, my hardness, my cynicism, my contemptuousness.  Fill me with your truth, your strength, your fortitude, your purity, your gentleness, your generosity, your wisdom, your heart, and your grace.

O Emmanuel, may the assurance of your unfailing Presence be for me the source of unending peace.  May I never fear my weakness, my inadequacy, or my imperfection.  Rather, as I gaze with faith, hope, and love upon your incarnate littleness, may I love my own littleness, for God is with us.  Endow my life with a holy wonder that leads me ever more deeply into the Mystery of Redemption and the meaning of my vocation and destiny.

Oh, divine Fruit of Mary's womb, may I love you in union with the holy Mother of God.  May my life be filled with the obedience of Saint Joseph and the missionary fervor of the shepherds so that the witness of my life may shine like the star that leads the Magi to your manger.  I ask all this with great confidence in your holy name.


Merry Christmas!

Twelve Days of Christmas (Therese-style)

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me.....3 FRENCH MEN, 2 turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

It takes intense concentration to decorate the perfect cookie.

In search of the perfect Christmas tree....

Everyone has their own personal favorite........

We searched high.......

We searched low.......

And then.....there it was....the perfect Christmas tree.........

Well....that's not really the tree we chose, because we got this tree instead for half the price (I guess it pays to shop two days before Christmas).

Then everyone OD'd on candy canes.......

and look who we found on Santa's sleigh!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Wise Men have it all wrong.......

because look where I found Baby Jesus.

Poor guy has been relegated to the butter dish!

A Kiss for Grandma and Grandpa!

Let's Give Johnny His Due

As I'm taking the sugar cookies off the pan, a certain little boy says he especially likes the chicken.  The chicken?  Oh, you mean the snowman.  (I think we're in big trouble!)

Cookie Baking Chaos

 Hope your "baking" went well yesterday.  Here's a taste of ours.

Pretzel Dots

Clare making the "turds"

Man on an spritz mission

Then a mean game of apples to apples broke out.

Just wasn't quite the same without you!

An Early Christmas Gift

Dan picked her up on Wednesday.  Father Elmer had blessed her with his relic of the True Cross, so he says she's fully-loaded and ready to go!   What a great way to start the Christmas season!

The Real Marianna

This is what she looks like when I'm trying to use the computer.....minus the smile.

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.....

..... in the meantime, we 're celebrating ICE!