Saturday, December 20, 2008

What was I thinking?!

What was I thinking that I could make 8 different kinds of cookies in one day after a week of being laid out because of my back? 

Let's start with the beginning of the day.  I slept in until 8 and Tim  slept in until 9:30.  He earned it after a rough week.  We all went outside and played in the snow for a while.  It was crazy cold out (14 degrees) but we had a lot of fun...up until I had snow go down my neck.

Tim was launching some pretty big snowballs.  Luckilly, this one didn't hit me.

Patchy had a lot of fun catching snowballs.  

After frolicking out in the snow for a bit, we came in and the kids had hot cocoa (thanks Deb for the super yummy Raspberry cocoa) and Patchy had a bath.

Not a particularly happy dog.  He's a really good boy getting baths though.  We don't have to wrestle with him like we did with Corky.

I don't know if you can see it in this picture or not, but when Patchy's fur is wet and in the process of drying, it looks like he's crimped it.  It is so funny and cute.  He's the softest dog I think I've ever seen.  I really thought when he lost his puppy fur it would get more coarse, but it has stayed so soft and cuddly.  He smells much better now too.

While Tim was bathing Patchy, Aidan and I were starting our cookie day.  The first dough we made was the sugar dough for the cut outs.  They had to chill for a while so we got those done so we could throw them in the fridge.  I didn't get any pics of the cutouts yet.  I will get them tomorrow after the boys (and yes, Tim is included) do all the painting.

Aidan is a great helper in the kitchen!

I got this lego timer for Aidan when I was in Florida and it has become a favorite fixture in our kitchen.  Aidan is my lego maniac!

Better Than Store Bought cookies

After the dough was in the fridge, we started working on the "Better Than Store Bought" cookies.  It made six dozen cookies and they are tasty.  After this batch was done, we made a batch of Peanut Blossoms.  It was supposed to make 4 dozen, but only made three.  I might have to make another batch of them tomorrow.

Peanut Blossoms.  These were Aidan's favorite cookies of the day.  Soft peanut butter cookies with a kiss on top.

The next batch of cookies we made were the mocha mudslides.  These were Tim's favorite cookie of the day.  I kept catching him sneaking them.

Mocha Mudslides

Once the mudslides were done, I made the dough for the Soft Molasses cookies.  That dough had to chill for an hour so we dragged out the sugar cookie dough and started rolling it out to cut.  We made candy canes and trees and the kids each made a couple of their own creations.  Aidan has a huge Kirby ready to paint tomorrow. 

Once the cutouts were done, I baked the molasses cookies (will have pics tomorrow) and then made dinner.  I will have to finish the last three cookies tomorrow and decide if I have to make any more.   Tim keeps telling his friends at work that I'm going to make them cookies so I'm probably going to have to make a couple more batches.  I should make Tim make them.

That about sums up my day.  A good day I think.  We are supposed to get up to three more inches of snow tonight so that will be fun.  My day tomorrow will be finishing the cookies and I think Tim is going to take the kids shopping.  They each want to get me a present.  They are so awesome!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Three inches.  That is what our ruler said at 11:30.  It started snowing here at 9.  Not too shabby.  It's 2 right now and I just checked again and it's at a little over 5 inches now.  The snow has turned into raining ice right now though.  Thankfully, our awesome neighbors shoveled our sidewalks and used the snow blower in our driveway.  My back thanks you!  I made him a batch of cookies as a thank you.  I hope he'll go inside and dry off and enjoy some warm cookies.

I love little baby pine cones when they are nestled in snow.  When I have time, I think this will be my winter banner.

Patchy loves the snow.  He was leaping through it and pushing his nose down in it.  He's funny though because when there is a layer of snow he loses where he does his business.  Usually he has one spot in the backyard where he piddles.  He's killed off all the grass there and that is his spot.  When there is snow on the ground, he forgets where he's going and he just piddles anywhere.  Watch out for the yellow snow.

The fort in the snow.  The kids love to climb up there and launch snowballs down.

Connor was ready for some serious snow missions.  And yes, he had a hat, he just didn't have it on when I took this.

Mid snow angel.  He wanted me to help him stand up and I started to pull him up and felt my back pull a little bit so he got dropped.  He didn't drop that far, but he got some cold snow up under his jacket and the cold made him jump up faster than I could have lifted him.

Aidan loves to taste snow.  He's also is wearing the very first scarf that I ever knit.  That was my learning project.  I didn't think it was still around but we found it today when we were digging out snow boots.  He loves it but still wants me to knit him a black scarf with a Kirby on it.  I'll have to finish Tim's scarf first.

Yes, I got hit with that pile of snow.  

All in all, today is a great day.  We are inside now watching the ice rain outside and looking at the beautiful white snow plastered over everything.  Tim had mentioned taking the kids out to the dike for sledding when he's done working.  I guess we'll see how thick the ice gets.  I don't think sledding on ice is too much fun. 

Aidan has a monopoly game all set up so I guess that is what I'm going to go do now.  I have to make a pizza dough in about an hour, so he'll get an hour of monopoly time.

I hope everyone else is having a great day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cookie preview

Yesterday Aidan and I scoured the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion book.  We have compiled a list of eight different cookies that we are going to attempt this weekend.  I think all of them we have made at one time of the other, but we still had fun looking through the book and deciding what to do.

The list of cookies are:  Chocolate Pixies (this recipe is one from Tim's paternal grandmother), Monster Chocolate chip cookies, Peanut Blossoms, Almond Crisps, Mocha Mudslides, Lemon Coolers, Soft Molasses cookies,  and then sugar cookies for cut out shapes.  

Every year we make up cookie tins for our neighbors and Tim's team and I was worried that this year because of my back problem that I would not be able to do it, but I am happy to report that I am slowly regaining mobility.  I've just made up a list for Tim to go to the store and get all of our supplies.  I told him to make sure he has his phone with him because I can see him now, lost in the baking aisle.   The cashier is going to know what is going on when he goes through the line with 4 big packs of butter and 15 pounds of flour and assorted sugars and chips.  

I think it's going to be a perfect weekend for cookie baking too if the forecast stays the same.  We are under a winter weather watch.  They are saying that starting tonight and through tomorrow we will have between 5 to 10 inches of snow and ice.  If it doesn't ice, then it could be 12 inches of snow.  I can't think of anything nicer than being in our warm, cozy home with the smell of cookies baking. I'm sure Tim will take the kids out sledding if we do, in fact, get that much snow.  I don't think my back will be up for it yet, but he's already been talking about getting a snow tube for the kids to take over to the park.

So it appears I have a herniated disc.  I've been doing some research on it and basically I'm going to have to slowly get back into moving around and not stress it too much.  I found some exercises to strengthen your spine and I will start doing those probably over the weekend.  I'm also going to get back to doing my Wii Fit.  There were a lot of balance and core exercises on that and I think that will help me.   I don't think I'm going to be able to hit icy sidewalks on dog walks for a while.  One slip and tug on my back and I'm going to end up in bed for another week.  I have been able to get out of bed today and do a couple of loads of laundry and sweep the floor so I'm pleased with that.  

That about sums up today.  If all goes well we will have a regular cookie factory humming here on the weekend and I'll try to get some pics of my little helpers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


We have a feral cat that is in our yard every day looking for unsuspecting squirrels and birds.  We can pretty much tell what time of day it is when we see him slinking around in the back yard.  The other day he/she did something I had never seen before.  (S)he followed a squirrel up into the kid's fort.

We are still debating what to name this cat.  Connor wants to name it Mittens, after the cat in Bolt.  Aidan wants to name it Mark because, well, I don't know why.  Me, I want to name it Killer.  We've yet to see it get any prey but we have a lot of fun watching him/her.

The fort.  It will get some work done on it in the spring.  You can see our lovely compost next to it.

Killer on the prowl.  Watching and waiting.

Note to self.

Self, when you get into the car to go food shopping with your kids and you feel and hear your back pop, you should get out of the car and go back in the house and lay down.

I should have done that but I didn't.  I figured I would be ok to drive to Wegmans, shop the whole store for a weeks worth of groceries, drive home and then unload heavy bags.  Half way through the store I had problems walking.  My lower back was screaming pain and pain was shooting down my left leg.  I grit my teeth and kept on going.  I called Tim as I was driving home to tell him that my back was out again and that I had concerns about carrying the groceries inside.  He told me to leave them in the trunk until he got home.  A couple of days earlier and that would have been fine but on Monday it was 60 degrees out and I didn't want anything to go bad in the trunk.  

Fast forward to today.  Wednesday.  I have been on my back since Monday afternoon barely able to get up to go to the bathroom.   Thankfully Tim's job is flexible and allows him to work from home.  He's been great in making sure Patchy gets outside for his duties and making sure the kids are fed and happy.   I am getting tired of laying down all the time.  I have things to do and places to go.  I get to feeling a little bit better and get up to make dinner.  Then I'm back at square one.  Tim has told me not to move out of bed today and I'm trying really hard to do that.

I'm glad I have Frank.  He's the only thing that is keeping me sane.  Who is Frank you might ask.  Frank is my new laptop.  Tim got me a beautiful 17 inch screen laptop and I've named him Frank.  I've been working on getting my things transferred off of the old computer and onto Frank.  All has been pretty good so far.  Photoshop is up and running.  I'm trying open office instead of Microsoft office and that appears to be a good program.  My camera program is on Frank.   My skype is up so that I can video call my bro and parents.  The one thing that is giving me the most headache is my stupid Itunes.  What a pain in the arse.  I'm trying to transfer my 5000 + songs, videos, books, podcasts over to the new itunes on Frank.  I figured out how to get most of it over but am having duplicates show up now.  I'm trying to figure out whether to go one by one and delete the duplicates or just uninstal and then reinstall.  I think I only have the capability to have itunes transferred a couple more times and then I'm stuck with it on the old comptuer.  I suppose since I have nothing else to do while I'm in bed I'll just play around with it for a while and do it manually.

The kids are doing well.  They have inherited the other computer and they will use that as their school computer and gaming computer.  They are very happy with that.  They also enjoyed doing school in bed yesterday.  I guess a change of scenery was fun for them.  They are also being very helpful with me being down...that is until they forget that my back is out and they come in and jump on top of me.  Ouch.

Not too much else to report.  I will post some pictures on here pretty soon.  I haven't really been out taking many pics lately.  I have to play around with my photoshop some because some of my settings on the other computer were lost in the transfer and I'll be danged if I can remember how to do a couple of simple things.  Again, I have plenty of time right now to play around with the program. 

I'm hoping I'm back on my feet for the weekend.  This weekend we had planned as our massive cookie baking weekend.  I've been trying to figure out whether we are going to do our cookie marathon and make tins up for all of Tim's team or not.  I guess we'll see how my back is on Saturday.

Interesting fact. I just had to look up and make sure I was spelling whether correctly or not.  Usaully my spellcheck will pick up mis-spelled words, but for some reason it's not...something else I will have to look into...Anywhooo, I couldn't remember if it was spelled whether or wether.  It is spelled whether.  A wether is a castrated sheep.  Yikes.

Ok, I'm going back to either my Itunes or my photoshop.  I hope all is well in the world out there.