Monday, December 31, 2007

Melancholy...

Feeling melancholy tonight...feeling tired.....feeling spent....packing to leave for my Grandpa's funeral tomorrow....feeling blessed by kindness from others that is in my life.....remember the unconditional love I talked about?....feeling loved all over....Happy New Year....2008....it is going to be good...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Our Star...

video

Ella loves this song. I did not teach it to her though, she learned it from her nursery teacher at our church. She sings this usually followed by Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star...but I was lucky to get this one...

(Don't forget to pause the playlist at the bottom of your screen before playing the video.)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

January Class

Be Happy
This is a six-page envelope mini-album. We will be using the new Bind-It All machine, Urban Lily paper, punches, embellished pull-outs, etc. The class will be held January 26th, 4-6 pm. Please call Scrapaganza if you would like to sign-up! (563)391-0099
This class will also be taught at the Davenport Parks & Rec. All Day Crop on Jan. 19th. Please make a comment if you are interested...Thanks!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Birthday...

Nine today...Getting so big, and doing his own thing. He is 'into' several things right now: reading, piano, video games, basketball, playing with friends, etc...the regular nine-year old stuff, I guess. Happy Birthday, buddy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

When you come to the end of a perfect day...

This post has been out there for a week or so. I am just trying to find the words....to tell my Grandpa that he has had a wonderful life. He has given so much to my family. There are so many memories, but of course the greatest memories are through the example that he has brought to us by just living his life. The Burton heritage is a story full of amazing people, my Grandpa is one of them. This man was hard-working in everything he did for his family, his work, and his church. One of the strongest memories I have is when he was there to witness Craig and I be sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. That meant so much to me. I know that he is going through a very difficult time right now, trying to find his way home to his wife and other loved ones. He has always given his family, each and every one of them his love. I just want him to know that I love him and I will try to always continue his legacy of love, unconditional love, with my own family. I love you Grandpa!

A PERFECT DAY (1909)
Words and Music by Carrie Jacobs-Bond (1862-1946)
When you come to the end of a perfect day,
And you sit alone with your thought,
While the chimes ring out with a carol gay,
For the joy that the day has brought.
Do you think what the end of a perfect day
Can mean to tired heart,
When the sun goes down with a flaming ray,
And the dear hearts have to part?
Well, this is the end of a perfect day,
Near the end of a journey, too,
But it leaves a thought that is big and strong,
With a wish that is kind and true.
For mem'ry has painted this perfect day
With colors that never fade,
And we find at the end of a perfect day
The soul of a friend we've made.

Yummy!



If you ask Craig what was the best part of the past three days, he would say the food. And I would have to agree! I cooked up a storm for Christmas and wanted to post some recipes here:
A few treats:


Pretzel Hugs (Becky Higgins)
1 bag pretzels
1 pkg. M&Ms
1 pkg. Hershey "Hugs"
Place pretzels on baking stone or sheet. Place a Hug on each pretzel and bake at 200 degrees for about 8 minutes (just watch for the Hugs to melt). Remove from oven and promptly place a couple of M&Ms on each pretzel, pressing into the melted chocolate. Allow to cool before serving. At room temperature, this takes SEVERAL hours. I would recommend making these the day before you plan on eating/delivering. Or you can put them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.

Never Fail Sugar Cookies (Kim Nelson)
1 cup margarine (I used butter and it worked just perfect :)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder

Cream together margarine and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and baking powder. No need to chill. Roll dough out and cut with cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will not look browned. Let cool, frost, and enjoy :)

Hot Artichoke and Crab Dip (Pampered Chef)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed (or a dash ofgarlic salt)
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) imitation crabmeat, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
3/4 cups grated fresh parmesan cheese
1/3 c thinly sliced green onions with tops (can be omitted)
1 tsp. lemon zest (or I just used a tsp. lemon juice)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cream cheese and mayo; mix well and add pressed garlic. Chop artichokes and crabmeat. Grate parmesan cheese. Slice green onions and zest lemon. Add artichokes, crabmeat, parmesan cheese, green onions, lemon zest/juice and black pepper to bowl. Mix well. Spoon micture into small pyrex dish or deep dish baker (pampered chef). Add a little extra parmesan cheese to top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Sprinkle with red pepper and additional green onions.

Breakfast Casserole (Debbie Ohlson)
3 eggs (beaten)
1 cup half and half
1/2 tsp. season all
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup butter
24 oz. shredded hashbrowns
1 cup swiss cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup diced ham
Set oven at 375 degrees. Bake hashbrowns with butter for approx. 20 mins. Mix remaining ingredients and pour everything else on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes (middle should be firm when you jiggle it.)

Cafe Rio Recipes (A favorite restaurant in Utah)

Pulled Pork
2.5 - 4 lbs. pork (any cut)
garlic powder
onion powder
chili powder wrights liquid smoke (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Cut pork into large cubes and place in slow cooker. Season with powders, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until meat is well done. Remove from cooker and drain. Shred meat and place in a bowl. Make sauce and add back to pulled pork and heat through. Serve
Sauce
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. tabasco
1/2 cup ketchup
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. mustard
1 oz. dark chocolate
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. salt
broth from pork
2 dash worcestershire sauce
5 tsp. chili powder
pepper to taste

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
1- 7 oz. can Salsa Verde (Herdez brand)
4 to 5 fresh tomatillos, chopped
1 1/2 packets hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1-2 jalapenos (usually seeded, but can leave seeds in to vary hotness)
1 Tbsp. sugar
juice of 1 lime
handful or cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. If desired, flavor with more cilantro, salt, and pepper

Rice
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups minute rice
handful of chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
garlic powder

Bring broth, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic powder, to a boil. Add rice and cover until done. You can use 'real' rice if desired just vary your broth to amount of rice and add remaining ingredients.

I also heat up black beans and add some garlic and onion powder. With a pinch of cumin and a dash of tabasco. I have the real black bean recipe, but it wasn't very successful for me when I tried it two years ago, so I just used the canned beans and add some seasoning.

When you serve Cafe Rio style. Heat up your tortilla, layer pork, beans, rice, and grated cheese. Add tomatillo dressing to the top and enjoy!

Merry Christmas To All...





...And to All A Good Night! We have had a wonderful Christmas Season....filled with friends and our little family. We had some friends, Ben and Cindy, over for dinner, and their son was the star of the night with my kids! Craig and I started a new tradition of opening gifts from each other on Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed. It was nice and quiet and we could just sit and talk while the kids settled into their beds to sleep.
Christmas morning was full of surprises. The kids woke up at 5 am, Dad sent them back to bed until 7 am. Then we had a relaxing day in our pajamas until about 5 pm. A few neighbors came over for our traditional Christmas Bingo game. Which ended as a game of bowling and pool. We went to bed 'early'....just leaving everything for the next morning to get up and play with again!
One last thing: my kids were very blessed to receive gifts from all over Utah and England, our tree was filled with post boxes, instead of wrapping paper. Thanks to all that sent something, there were very many unique surprises. I especially love the handmade gifts and the books, we can never have enough books.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Last Minute Day...

This morning, we got a call from a friend that was going caroling to a home for senior's. She invited us to go with her and some other families from our school. We got out our Santa hats and headed over. I was amazed by what I saw that day. All of these people who have lived wonderful lives, done so many things for others, we could now do something to make their day better. Christian and Sydnee sang christmas carols and gave out ornaments, kleenex, handmade christmas cards, and candy canes. When we got back in the car, Christian made a comment that "it was really fun". I told him that great-grandpa wasn't doing very well, and even though we couldn't be in Utah to see him and make his day better, we had done something to brighten the day of many other people that were in his same situation. I knew that he would be proud of them. I was proud of them.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What Christmas Is All About

Because I have been trying to get SO MUCH DONE I was starting to forget the true meaning of Christmas. It is not about the teacher gift's, the treats, the presents, the house being clean, etc. Tonight, I was reminded what this season is really all about.

One Reason This Whole Blog Thing Works....


I didn't know if I should use this title or High School Musical: The Reunion...
It all started about a month ago, when an old friend from high school, Amanda, made a comment on my blog. She had started a blog, and wanted to say 'hi'! So I went to her blog and I check it every week or so to see what her little family is up to. Well, from Amanda's blog, I find another high school friend, Jackie. I haven't seen or talked to Jackie is several years. We were great friends, went to church together, and I knew her family very well. So I look at her blog, every week, to see what her little family is up to. Last week, I was looking at Jackie's blog, seeing how her 'bun in the oven' is, and noticed she had a link to two other friends from high school, Bridgette and Trish. Wow! All these girls that I adored in high school, and now I have a little glimpse into their lives.....through their weblogs. I also connect with several other friendships from high school and beyond through the internet: Sandee and Rochelle, just to name a few. It really is amazing that all this started with just one little 'hi, how's your life?' And now I share my thoughts and feelings, pictures and videos, with all those friends and more...
*Edit: Yes, that is me, next to the '9' in '93'...pink converse, Girbaud (sp?) shorts, it is all me.....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I can never remember
if it snowed
for six days and six nights
when I was twelve,
or whether it snowed
for twelve days and twelve nights
when I was six.
-dylan thomas

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Things To Do....

Sometimes when I am completely stressed-out, I make a list of the things I need to do and I start to feel a clear mind instead of scatter-brained. So here is my list of things that I need to do:

*Preparations for our church Christmas party. Make signs, set-up tonight, food prep. tomorrow, party all goes down at 6 pm Friday night
*Finish addressing and mailing my Christmas cards to England family and friends
*Finish making and mailing my Christmas cards....to the rest of family and friends
*Two uber-creative gifts for my 'creative friends'.
*Pictures printed in B & W and finish mini-book project
*6 layouts for a secret gift....
*Another mini-album that I want to make for someone...got the idea and pictures...just need to put it together
*Finish shopping for Sydnee and Christian (as they get older, the shopping gets harder)
*Make neighbor treats and deliever them (Have all the supplies and groceries)

That is all I can think of right now, but I am sure there is more that needs to be done. I know that this is not the true meaning of Christmas, we haven't forgotten that, and maybe that is why a few things have been put to the side until now. I love all the making and creating, so it is going to be a few fun, late nights! Wish me luck....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice...


Kids are home from school.....it is a thick layer of ice outside everywhere.....keeping my fingers crossed that we don't lose power....feeling in the mood to bake and scrap.....I guess I will start with the baking and if we lose power, I can move to the scrapping......keep warm everyone.....

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday Morning




"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup." - Elf

It's A Marshmallow World...



I couldn't get Sydnee's performance video to load...so here are a few pictures. She did great at the recital. Sydnee likes dance, especially when Ms. Shelly plays creative games and reads stories that they dance to. She also has a friend there, Alysa, that she doesn't see at school. Her costume this recital was so cute! Check out those tattoos from Chuck E. Cheese the night before....oops!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Recital Saturday

Yesterday, we had Christian's Christmas piano recital and Sydnee's winter dance recital. It was a busy day, but so much fun to see the kids perform.
video

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Six Years....









Of Christmas Cards. Thanks to Ali Edward's new book...I have now completed 7 scrapbook pages including all of my christmas cards and photos for the last 6 years. (2001 to 2006, excluding 2002 because I had already made a layout using those cards.) This took me about 3 hours....I used the christmas paper and supplies that I had, so all the paper is different...but I love it...I love that it is done and this is another pile from my basement that is gone! This project is easiest with a 2" paper punch. I punched each of the photos and sections of the cards that I liked....it was so fast and fun to put together.
The other reason that I loved doing this little project is I was able to look back over the years at friends and family, these are the true blessings of life! I also saw a few friends' pictures that reminded me to reconnect, call or email, and not let our friendship fade. I loved this reflective project.
**This book is available at Scrapaganza for all those who are reading this that live in the Quad Cities (or close).

Is It or Isn't It?


This is how I remember it...I know it looked like a wood barrel....brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles.....does this look like Grandma Zella's cookie jar?
*Edit* It is ceramic, but the inside isn't yellow, it is just off-white. I have cookies in it, but they are store-bought.....it is on my counter and the kids are loving it. We might only be able to keep it there until after Christmas....

Monday, December 3, 2007

Junk Store Finds....





**Edited: I only purchased this plastic santa and two metal baskets...oh! and I think my mom and I found my grandma's cookie jar. To all the Burton relatives who read this blog, be on the look out for a picture very soon and you can tell me what you think. Is it or isn't it?

My creative friend would be proud! Went to the junk store today, and found many things that I would love to have, or things that I could have bought for my friends. Sometimes the junk store can be a love-hate relationship. Some days are very good, and other days there will be nothing but a 50-cent Golden Book for Ella. Today was very, very good....

There is nothing that I love better....

than changing into comfy clothes after church and when it is midnight, being able to just brush your teeth, read a chapter or two, and hop into bed.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ah Christmas!



Last night, during a huge ice storm; Grandma Pattee, Sydnee and I gathered around the kitchen table to make ornaments and Christmas cards. Grandma and I started and then Sydnee was really interested and made ornaments for her friends. I only got 20 cards made (60 to go) but I felt we were really getting into the Christmas mood. Ella even glued an ornament or two. Craig and Christian also got into the holiday spirit by sitting on the couch watching football! It was a great night, enjoying the time together, and preparing for the holiday.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

5 Fat Turkeys


video

Sydnee and Ella's premiere performance on Thankgiving Eve.

I just want to be the first...




To wish my friend, Candi, a Happy Birthday. Since it is 1:19 am on Saturday, I thought I would stay up a minute longer and wish her a wonderful day. Candi and I go way back....our friendship is all because of Oprah! She got us together....hee hee....Candi invited me to go to the Oprah Show in Chicago last February...and we have been friends ever since. Candi is so creative and she also is an amazing mom! I am so glad to have her as my friend here in Iowa (even though she lives in Illinois.) Love ya Candi! Happy Birthday
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