Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Magic with Friends

We invited friends over to our house for hot cocoa and christmas cookies.  The cookies and peppermint hot cocoa were delicious and got the kids nice and hyped up.

Jonathan gave Luke a ride to the first house.

We love this guys house in Rohnart Park.  He decorates his house like this and all the rest of the neighborhood too.

Riding in the sleigh with Luke.

I love seeing the lights and beauty of Christmas through the eyes of my kids.

Kelly and Evan enjoyed spending time with us too.  Evan loved seeing the bubbles coming down from the castle.

Snow white can not compete with these beautiful women.
Renee, Kellie, Sarah and Kelly

Luke looked at Wonder Woman and said, "Look at the naked super hero!"  So funny!  

We don't always leave the house with the right number of coats, but our kids will never walk around cold.  Hannah stayed like this the rest of the evening.  At the last house, she came to me and fell asleep in my arms.  It was so precious.

I so love the quaint beauty of this house.   So of course I made my family take a picture in front of it.

I love the simplicity of the nativity.  This is what Christmas is all about.  I am so thankful that God came here to earth to save us.  He gave us the best gift there is, a relationship with Him and forgiveness of 
 our sins.

Watching the cool light show.  

I am so thankful for friends that will do fun stuff with us.  We had an awesome time tonight.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

I grew up eating Cottage Cheese Pancakes.   I loved them!  They were always good and buttery and filling.  Now as a mom, I still love them.  When I have nothing defrosted and no other ideas for dinner, I turn to this quick, easy and delicious dish.  My kids love them and normally will eat the whole batch.  We normally serve them with apple sauce and hot cocoa.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

From the kitchen of Rhonda  Trevethick.
Prep time: a few minutes

Mix together:
      3 eggs
      1 cup cottage cheese
      1/4 cup flour (whole wheat, white or GF)
      2 Tablespoons melted butter
      Dash of salt

Cook large dollar size cakes in frying pan with butter.   I have found that in certain pans, they will stick.  I used my well seasoned cast iron griddle with some butter on it and they had no problem.   Enjoy them hot!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Giving the Gift of Experiences

My sister and I have been discussing how to give gifts of experiences to our children.  Kids get so many toys during Christmas and birthdays.  They play with them for a few days, then many break or they loose interest in them.  However, an experience is something that a child will have with them forever.  You can't take that away.  It can impact them in ways that no toy ever can.

So this year Aunt Megan gave the gift of a trip to the ice cream shop and a pedicure to Hannah.  Since Aunt Megan lives in Texas, mommy got to spend a fun Mommy/Daughter day with Hannah as part of her Christmas present.  

Today was a very special day for my littlest girl as it was her Mommy/Daughter Day.  We dropped Bekah off at school, then headed to Peet's Coffee.  My daughter got a hot cocoa with whipped cream.  We sat at a window seat and read a children's story together.  

After getting some work done at home we headed out for a wonderful day.  We went to Toy Works in Sebastopol.  Hannah had fun playing with the trains while I finished up my shopping.  (Megan, I got the best Checkers Board for Bekah for Christmas from you.)

Then we walked a few doors down to Screamin' Mimi's Ice Cream store.  Hannah got a DOUBLE ice cream cone with chocolate and vanilla ice cream.  I got mint.  Yummy!  On the way there, Hannah told me that she wanted marshmallows on top of her ice cream.  She forgot to ask when she ordered, so she went back to the server.  She asked for marshmallows all by herself.  They didn't have any, so she got sprinkles instead.  While talking to the server, Hannah looked at me and told me to go eat my ice cream so she could take care of it all on her own.  It was so cute!

I got chocolate sprinkles!!!!

Then we headed to a local nail salon.  Hannah wasn't so sure about getting her toes done.  At first she said that she would go if I would do her toes.  I said," No, the nice ladies would do our toes."  So after a long, hard choice picking out the color we settled in to our chairs.  I loved every minute of my pedicure.  It was a very new experience for Hannah.  She was super quiet and kept whispering to me.  She told me that next time she wanted my nice lady, since her lady hurt her toes a little bit with her fingernails.  The high light of her trip here was the lolly pop at the end.

Snuggling with mommy was so nice!

Cute toes!  What a fun and special day we had.  After our pedicure, we went home and had lunch while Hannah got to pick a special show to watch.  There is nothing like spending one on one time with someone you love.   Thanks for a wonderful experience Aunt Megan.  What great memories we made today!!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Michelle's Pamper Party

We are so excited to celebrate the life of Ruby Louise, Michelle's baby that she will be bringing into the world in just a few days.  A few of Michelle's friends gathered together to pamper her and help her get ready to welcome her baby into their family.

Love that baby bump!!

We had tons of yummy (and almost all GF) food.  It was amazing! The spread of food was so good it brought tears to my dear friends eyes.   I actually finished off all the rest of the Caramel Toffe Apple Dip on the way home.

Kelly and Michelle

Alexandra found some darling Ruby shoes for Baby Ruby.  Kelly put together this cute diaper cake for Michelle.  

Amazing food!  Just for the girls.

We soaked our feet and relaxed for awhile, while enjoying our treats.   Kelly thought it was too relaxing so she started washing her socks.  :o)  You make us laugh, friend!!

Madeline was such a good helper.  She took all the tissue paper out of the bags so Michelle didn't have to work too hard.  It was too cute!

Such a beautiful dress for Ruby!

We so enjoyed celebrating her babies life!

Missing Our Friends

Our good friends, Jeremy and Stephanie, moved to Kansas last March.  They were a big part of our lives and we have missed them very much.  Chris and I had been married for a few years when Jeremy moved to California.  Chris picked him up from the airport the first day and that was where our friendship started.  Awhile later he married Stephanie and she moved here too.  We watched just about every episode of Survior together after having a delicious dinner.  We worked with the youth with them.  We spent many, many evenings playing Catan, Killer Bunnies, Dominion, and more.  This was always followed by some delicious ice cream, brownies or Stephanie's amazing caramal corn.  Our family's have welcomed all our children into each other's homes.  They are best of friends and love each other.
We were so sad when they left.  It felt like close family had just moved across the US.  They are family to us and so we were so glad to have them visit us this last week.  We had a chance to have them over for dinner and Jermey made us his famous BBQ wings.  During one of our Bobby Crocker Cook-Offs Jeremy had made Spicy Wings with Alabama White Sauce.  I loved them!  Jeremy would not give me his secrete recipe.  What a stinker!  No amount of begging or pleading got me the recipe.  The night they told us that they were moving we were all in tears.  I told him that the only way I would let them move is if I got the recipe for the wings.  It wouldn't make it ok, but it would help.  He sent me a tiny copy, but I couldn't read it.  So when I heard he was coming to visit, I made him promise to make them for us.  So he did!! They were just as good as I remembered.

Making the finger licking wings!

Jeremy and I are very competitive.  I know just how to outwit, outplay and outlast Jeremy.  I always play cut throat with Jeremy and Stephanie and I can usually get a rise out of Jeremy.  When Chris found these shirts on line, we couldn't resist.  It says, "Catan: Destroying Friendships Since 1997".  Happy Birthday, Jeremy! 

The night before Jeremy and Stephanie flew back to Kansas, we headed out to Sonoma for dinner.  They were the only ones who had been to a cool restaurant that served Tapas.  After an hour drive we got to the restaurant.  They had the perfect table that fit all of us.  I was thrilled that they had quite a few gluten free dishes.   Everything that I tasted was amazing.  They brought lots of different dishes and everyone sampled what they wanted.  

I finally got a good picture with Stephanie.  We always forget to get pictures together since we just want to hang out.  

It was great getting to spend time with Jamie, Josh and Christine as well.  Good friends are blessings from God.  They bring smiles to our faces and joy to our hearts.  I thank God each day for all the many friends I have.

Christine doesn't like fish at all, but her favorite dish was the brick (picture below) that had crab meat in a pastry that was fried with an egg in the middle.  She actually ordered another one to eat.

We got triple chocolate moose and a caramel apple empanada for dessert.  It was so good Stephanie licked the plate.  I have the picture, but she would kill me if I posted it.

Then we braved the cold to get a few photos by a beautiful tree outside the restaurant.

On the way home, we stopped by a few beautiful homes that were all lit up.