blur

in my last post, i was SO joking about the 500 calorie liquid diet! darn winkie face ~ i forgot him! i consume 500 calories in my morning coffee creamer, so that would never happen. i am leaning more towards the breaking bad diet method! ;) JUST KIDDING ~ insert a dozen winkies! 

bennett's christmas gift to me was the final season (which is not on netflix) of breaking bad. we finally finished! jeff and i were fascinated with this show. i cannot tell you how many conversations we have had about it's perspective on the consequences of sin. so many that our kids (who do not watch) have said enough about walter and jesse! we finished feeling unlike many shows, it did not glorify sin, but instead show it's devastating chain reaction consequences. i read this article comparing breaking bad to a christian parable. 

the last couple of weeks seem like a blur. family and friends were in town. i tried my very best to cram as many  fun and crafty things in before christmas. mid-term exams! the days after christmas tend to be some of my favorite days of the year. december 26, our little family leaves the grid. we have burned two tanks of gas for the fire, eaten our way into a sugar coma, watched mindless tv, taken bike rides... just enjoyed a break. it's been glorious!
 today is the first day back in my office and i must say it feels nice! so here's my lame attempt to catch up the last few days. (a mix of iPhone and camera pictures)

kelly was in town. she hosted an art safari party.
they are as fun as they look. 


molly mittenbritches made a trip to the vet's office.
she had her noodles removed.  ;)

the vet declawed a few of her extra toes that do not retract. 
she returned home sporting the cutest cast.

we spent a day shopping. 
thieves market in florence is the coolest place!
JUSTICE, that store makes my head spin. thank goodness for our school's dress code. which makes it easier to say no. but this kitty shirt... so tacky it's fabulous! i wish they had her size!
i have a few more christmas pictures and that's it! 
pretty lame photo-journaling, i know. 

{just because blondies}

because yuletide clean up can wait another 15 minutes.

because we can't let all this christmas sugar go to waste!

because i still have 31 sticks of holiday butter calling my name!


because my all liquid 500 calorie diet starts january first-ish.


so really... just because!

 recipe found  here

No-Fail Blondies Recipe

  • 1/2 cup  unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 cup  lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (after tasting, I will opt for 1tsp.) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used cup-4-cup gluten free flour)

Optional Extras (Add one or a combination to customize)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips (white, milk, semi-sweet, dark, etc.)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped and toasted nuts
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped dried fruit or shredded/flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup liquor (bourbon, whisky, rum, etc.) Note: Increase flour by 1 tablespoon to accommodate
  • 1/2 teaspoon favorings or extracts (coconut, mint, rum, raspberry, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F . Butter or line an 8-inch by 8-inch (20 x 20 cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in egg, vanilla, almond extract (optional) and the salt.
  3. Add flour and stir until incorporated then mix in any extras such as chocolate chips, nuts or dried fruit (amounts above).

Merry Christmas


my family


sunday was christmas with my family. it is the biggest blessing to have a family where everyone, all the time gets along. really! except a few cousin fist fights now and then, it is harmony! that goes for jeff and stephen's family too! the greatest blessing!



 last night i would be willing to bet my sister's house was  the loudest house in town! my mom prepared a fabulous dinner ~ as usual. it was a scorching 80 degrees so we enjoyed dinner outside... in shorts! cause we're fancy that way ;)

 i discourage my children from posting about gifts on social media. not that they are overly privileged, because i guarantee it would appear the opposite. there's a fine line in bragging and bragging is tackybut i need to mention a few gifts that were ginormous hits! 

honey had been on a waiting list for this fancy hair curling machine. plug it in, insert your hair, it sucks it up, guarantees not to burn it off,  steams, beeps... and out comes perfect ringlets. anna katherine was over the moon! every female left the party with a curl or two!

and evie's little zooming rabbit. i wish i knew the name and brand!  she wouldn't step foot off or let anyone touch it! 
"my rabbit!"
pretty darn cute!
roger loves all things boy! which warms my husbands heart.
just like bennett back in the day!
he also spent the entire evening with one shoe on and one shoe off!

jeff will not feel loved unless he can fix something for you! 
love this man!
on to the white elephant gift exchange.
the volume goes up several decibels! 
the kids LOVE it!
i scored BIG time! the heisenberg t-shirt was from my sister. while buying it in the mall a man stopped crys to say how addicting the series can be. 
have you seen it? i am almost done!
two more days!
merry christmas!

48 hours

christmas is at the peak of perfection at the graves plantation. we are singing christmas carols,  cuddling up with cups of hot cocoa, watching christmas classics, stringing popcorn, dressing in our finest reds and greens, the elf if off the chain fabulous... and our christmas cards. well they are AMAZING...

Christmas card 2003

are you rolling your eyes?  because that's what i do when i read posts about perfect people! i might be slightly exaggerating! we have baked a batch of semi-edible cookies and drove through a few neighborhoods to look at lights. to be completely honest,  our christmas to do list has more items unchecked than checked! we even opted out of christmas cards for the first time ever. thanksgiving falling late messed me up. here's a few christmas activities that are checked off:


the girls and i baked peanut brittle for teacher gifts
our GA's went caroling at the nursing home. 
man this is so sweet!

 jeff played the guitar, mary claire loves to flip his music. i accidentally printed the lyrics to the hippie version of silent night which made for a good laugh!


  jeff and i then scooted over to the youth room for party number two  party. our youth leader, kevin, has been called to serve at another church. while we are very happy for his family, he is SO missed by these kids.   

for the time being we have a phenomenal interim leader! he threw one heck of a white elephant christmas party!

next up... i was in charge of crafts for mary claire's christmas party. it makes me happy that christianity is welcomed in the classroom! 


mary claire and i spent an afternoon wrapping gifts for a mission program our church sponsor.


here's to the next 48 hours of marathon of christmas memory making!






birthday girl

yesterday was my niece's birthday. not this niece, but her baby sister evie... i am that behind on posts!
the baby of the clan turned two and the oldest will soon turn eighteen! surreal.
i will see baby evie this weekend for pictures... maybe i will have the posted by valentine's day ;)

liza and her bff celebrated the big number nine at the new trampoline park. it is the coolest place around. if only they had a vending machine that sold sports bras!







edidble, maybe / maybe not.


picture perfect it may not have been... 
edidble, maybe / maybe not.
clean up... took longer.
but our annual christmas cookie baking was a whole-lotta-fun!















the clean up...
ohh the clean up!
this picture was half way through the clean up.

their attention span wained...
more sprinkles were scattered than on the cookies...
a gluten free batch burned...
but again... 
 it was a whole-lotta-fun

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