Sunday, December 28, 2008


As much as I love the Christmas season, I have to admit that I am glad that it's over. I feel like we had a very long, full, fun time and I am ready for life to get back to normal.

I feel like I have been running a bit behind ever since a little before Halloween (actually, I think since a little bit before September - holy cow!) so I am looking forward to some time where there are no big events or holidays planned. It will be nice to know that our money isn't spent before we get it and to be able to spend some time on some small projects around the house.

Ahhh...I feel like a huge burden has been lifted :)

(Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas and already have some thoughts about next year which I am writing down so that I don't forget.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Oreo Truffles - An update to my Nunya Cookie story

In a different post I mentioned that I was going to make some cookies for my husband to bring to work. Well...a couple days before the cookie exchange, he forwarded me an email with the "directions" for the exchange. In the email, it clearly stated that copies of the recipe were to be brought and shared. My husband wasn't keen on the idea of bringing the cookies and not the recipe, no matter what little story (excuse) I thought of to go along with it.. As far as I was concerned, this meant that I had to find another cookie to make. With a recipe that I didn't mind sharing. So...I made Oreo Truffles. They only have a few ingredients and are very easy to make.

Oreo Truffles

1 package (1lb. 2 oz. ) Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 package (8 oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
2 packages (8 squares each) Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

Mix 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well, blended. Shape into 42 (1 inch) balls.

Dip the balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs (or other sprinkles).

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Once I started making them, I remembered that I had made them last year, but that they didn't turn out too well. Then I realized that I crushed the cookies by hand last year. This year I have a little food processor and I used that to crush them. That made a HUGE difference.

I will gladly share this recipe and I suggest that you give it a try. They are very yummy! But, the nutritional information says that they are 100 calories EACH! Yikes!! I've had quite a few and I made them bigger than 1 inch because I didn't end up with 42 for each batch. My husband said that they are even better than the Nunya Cookies. Enjoy :)

Menu Plan - Christmas Day

I missed Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie this week because I was just too busy with Christmas related things. I was visiting her blog today and decided that I would go ahead and at least post our Christmas dinner.

One of the things that I was working on earlier this week was what to eat on Christmas Eve and Day. My mother usually hosts Christmas Day, along with every other holiday, but since they just arrived home from their Alabama/Florida trip on Saturday, I thought that I would offer to host our small gathering(us, my parents, my brother and niece).

I honestly never know what to make for a group of people outside of our own immediate family. I like to make sure that there is something for everyone so I decided to do a buffet style meal with a bunch of easy types of food. This also insured that there would be some easy food for my kids to eat which would make things easier for me.


Celery and carrots with dip
Cheese and pepperoni
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Taco Dip


Italian meatballs in sauce
Popcorn chicken
Italian chicken sandwiches
mini hot dogs
Corn Salad
pasta salad

(I was hoping to get a good before shot, but by the time I remembered, it was too late.)


Oreo Truffles
Sugar Cookies (the easy little Pillsbury ones)
Jubilee Roll (ice cream roll from Friendly's)
Mini cream puffs and eclairs (Sara Lee)
Peppermint Pig


It was all very simple food and maybe some day I will make a more traditional type Christmas meal, but for this year, it worked out well for us.

The Day After

'Twas the day after Christmas
and there's a bit of a mess in the house,
because I'm still not caught up
from our visit to The Mouse.

Our Christmas was wonderful.
It was grad. It was great.
But I ate and I ate.
And I ate and I ate.

So I'm ready for things
to get back to the norm.
I hope to go for a walk later
because it will be slightly "warm."

I'll be washing and cleaning
and organizing and working.
And playing and posting
and blogging and lurking.

There's new toys to play with,
dolls to dress and thank you cards to write.
There's really lots to do
before I call it a night.

It will be a great day
and hopefully I'll get some things done.
But it will be ok with me
if it's only just one.

It's a day to have fun
and enjoy being here.
But I won't be surprised, if later,
I feel like I need a beer!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fridays Fave 5 - My Disney Edition


This week we are lucky enough to be in Disney World. I have some down time right now and some things that have made my life good this week, so here is my Disney edition of my fave 5.

1. This wonderful trip to Disney - I wasn't sure how much fun I/we were going to have because this is the first time that we have been here with more than one child, but we are having a blast. I love Disney!!! Thank you to my dear husband for all of his work in planning this and making it happen. Next time we plan a Disney trip, I will really be excited. I promise!!!

2. Tupperware sandwich keeper - I have had this for quite some time and will use it on occasion, but it has proved it's worth this week. I can carry snacks in it, in my backpack, with no worries about them getting crushed. It's wonderful!!

3. Ginger - I get motion sick pretty easily and am usually popping Dramamine when I think that I am going to be doing anything that will make me sick, such as rides, boats, different forms of transportation. I really wanted to find some sort of more natural alternative because I didn't want to take Dramamine several times a day for many days. I read about taking Ginger and it has been working great for me. I haven't gone on any extreme rides like Mission: Space, but for what I have done, it's worked very well.

4. My new Tervis Tumbler - this is a 10oz one compared to my 20oz smiley face that I have. I am thinking that I may get one of these for each of the girls and then get a 20oz for me. We'll see. Space and money are always a consideration!

5. Pop-up storage cubes, hampers, etc. - these are so very, very handy!!

For more Friday favorites, visit Susanne at Living to Tell The Story.

Our Disney trip - the first half

This trip was in the planning stages for what seems like a long, long time. I think that we had been talking about going before I became pregnant with our twins, but the planning really started happening once we found out that we were having twins. In a way, I think that it was a coping mechanism for us. We were scared about what our lives were going to be like going from 2 to 4 children and we needed this lurking in the future to help us think that we were going to be able to have fun again.

I have to admit that I was very nervous about this trip right up until the very last minute. I was nervous about flying with children. The last time I flew, we had one child and that wasn't such a great experience. How would we manage with 4?? Also, our children are very prone to random meltdowns and on good days, I don't always have the patience to deal with it. How would I manage with the stress of traveling?

I figured that I would have one thought when we leave here. Either I would be ready to plan our next Disney vacation or I would never want to return again. Right now, we are a little more than half way through our vacation, so it may be a little early to say this, but...I am ready to plan our next trip here :) We are having a fantastic time. Not that there haven't been little bumps in the road, but it's been great!

Our trip down was fast and uneventful. Once we got to Orlando, it was a little tedious getting to our resort (Disney's All Star Music), but there were no major problems. My girls and I took the bus to the hotel while my husband went to get our rental van and stop by Babies R Us to buy a double stroller. Can you believe that it was cheaper for us to buy a stroller than to rent one from Disney for the week? Plus, we will probably sell it once we return home and maybe recoup a little money from it.

Our hotel room is fantastic and is probably part of the reason why I am still sane! It used to be two rooms that has been converted into a suite. We have a little kitchenette, two bathrooms, and separate sleeping areas. I was talking with someone who was complaining about the size of the suite, but for us, it's perfect. I would definitely stay here again.

We didn't end up going to a park on our first day here, but instead rested and then went to dinner at The Boardwalk. Our first park of the trip was Disney's Hollywood Studios and we started off with Voyage of The Little Mermaid. We were waiting in line, about to enter the attraction, when one of my little 4 year olds fell and split her head on one of the turnstiles.

She was bleeding pretty good and we have a history with head wounds and stitches, so the Disney cast member at the attraction called the paramedics. Holy cow! This meant that Disney staff came out of the woodwork. We were very well attended to and Maddie and I were even given new t-shirts because we both had blood all over us :( The paramedic said that he thought that she could use one or two stitches, but that it most likely wasn't needed. I don't know at this point if it was the right call or not, but we opted to not get the stitches and save her the trauma from that. The cut is pretty high up on her forehead so I don't think that it will be too visible.

We were very lucky. It could have been much, much worse, but my little Maddie was a trooper and wanted to go in and see the Ariel show once she was all bandaged up. It wasn't the best way to start the day, but, like I said, it could have been worse.

My girls are having a fantastic time. My parents are also here, but are staying in a condo off-site. All of the girls have had a chance to spend the night with them at their condo (two at a time), so that has been a nice break for them and a chance for us to take the other two to do different things.

The weather has been great, although we did get soaked yesterday at Animal Kingdom.

Today we are taking a break from the parks, but have dinner/shopping plans at Downtown Disney and then a fireworks cruise with my husband's parents. I think that my little Sydney and I are going to miss both of those because she has a cold and is feeling very miserable. She is napping right now, so we'll see what happens.

There are so many details to share, but I know that they would probably be boring to anyone but us. The trip is being well documented in photos, that's for sure!!

One last thing, if anyone has any ideas on how to bring a new Toyota Sienna home with us on the plane, that would be great. It is our rental vehicle and I love it!! I am trying to figure out how to bring it home with us as a souvenir!

Monday, December 8, 2008

We made it to Disney!!!

We're here! We arrived yesterday and on Saturday, I honestly thought that we would never make it. I didn't think that I would ever finish packing.

I will be back with more details later, including the start on the day today which almost included stitches :(

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fridays Fave 5 - December 5th


Wow! This past week went by fast! It was a challenging week for me for a number of reasons, but I still have my Fave 5 :)

1. My husband - he has been very understanding and patient with me this week. I don't think that he likes me to talk about him here so that's all that I'm going to say about him. For now :)

2. See's candy - I was looking to send something down to my parents and family in Alabama just as a little long-distance hug, so I sent them a box of See's candy. We don't have this here locally but I was lucky enough to try some one time and I loved it. My Dad said that it was a big hit. Excellent! It sounds like it served its purpose.

3. Our advent calendar - We have had this for several years and I always enjoy it, but I am really enjoying it this year. It is able to hang peacefully on the wall without having all the pieces taken off and put all over the house like it has been the past few years. Plus, our little four year olds started asking if it was Christmas, the day after Thanksgiving. This seems to be helping them understand when the actual day is.

4. My reality tv shows - I love reality TV and the break from my own reality that they provide (not that my own reality is bad, but sometimes a little break now and then is good!). My favorites are: The Amazing Race, Jon & Kate Plus 8, and The Biggest Loser. There are more, but these are my top 3. I have to admit that I am a big TV watcher!

5. Target photo/Shutterfly - I have a Shutterfly account which is where I keep all of our photos online to share with friends and family. We can also order prints (among other things) through Shutterfly or there is an option to pick up photos at Target using their 1 hour service. Twice this week I needed to get some prints of photos quickly and that was very handy. I know that you can order prints online through a number of places, but I love that this is linked to my Shutterfly account. It saves me a step which I appreciate. And, I almost always enjoy a reason to go to Target :)

See more Friday favorites at Living to Tell the Story.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I know - why even bother, right? I have been meaning to do this for days and would like to just do it and move on.

Again, another week of easy meals. They don't get much easier than this!

Monday - Beef tips and noodles

Tuesday - Chicken patties

Wednesday - Spinach and feta cheese chicken sausages (These are great! Much better than they sound!)

Thursday - Turkey, cheese and bacon grilled sandwiches

Friday - whatever we can find while cleaning out the fridge (before you make a face, my dear husband, just remember that in a few days, we are going to be eating very well!).

Saturday - pizza night

Sunday - We'll be in Disney!! Woohoo!!

For a bunch of great menu ideas, visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Nunya Cookies

There are two pieces of background information needed for this post.

Background piece No. 1
- Prior to the birth of children #3 and 4, I worked as a School Social Worker in an Alternative High School. We worked with students who were unable to be successful in a traditional high school setting. The students could be very difficult at times (or all the time, depending on the student), but a lot of times, the students were great. One of the little gems that I picked up while working there was the use of "nunya" (I have no idea how to spell it correctly - if there even is such a thing). In case you're not familiar with it, like me at the time, here is an example of its proper usage.

"Joe? What are you doing?"

Hmmm...not the best example. Translated into proper English, it's "Thanks for asking, but I would prefer to not tell you!" Or something close to that.

I like to treat my husband by using this cute little phrase every now and then. He's a big fan (right Chuck?)!

Background piece No. 2 - I have a recipe for cookies that I have had for many years. It is a very, very simple recipe but the cookies usually turn out great. For a long time, I made these cookies any chance I got. For any occasion or get-together, I brought these cookies. They always got rave reviews and people would ask for the recipe. One of the great things about this recipe is that I can make many different variations of it.

Here's the part I hate to admit. I wouldn't give out the recipe. I would put it off until people either forgot or gave up. I know that it wasn't very nice, but I don't have that many recipes that go over that well and well...I guess that I'm a little selfish like that. Not proud of it, but not ashamed of it enough to share, even now.

I did get burnt out on making the cookies (I can't even eat them now except for quality control) and don't make them nearly as much as I used to, but it's what I make in a pinch.

So here's the story:

My husband emailed me today and asked if I would mind making cookies for a work thing a couple of days after we return from our trip. I told him that I wouldn't mind at all. He then asked me what kind of cookies I'm going to make. Ok - while I don't mind actually making them, I don't want to commit to what exactly I'm going to make and I don't even really have a name for them except for "My easy cookies" and I wouldn't really want to see that on paper.

So, just joking, I said if he really needed that information, could he just put "Nunya cookies." Like I mentioned, he loves it when I used that little phrase (hehe) and this put the burden on him to actually come up with a name for them.

It turns out that he did need the name of what he was going to be bringing and he actually did put "Nunya Cookies" down. When his coworkers asked about it, he replied " wife doesn’t share the recipe, so she calls them nunya business cookies…"

Shoot! Now I'm feeling a little bit of pressure! Hopefully they will come out ok and someone will consider asking my husband for the recipe. But, the good thing is, I now have a new name for my cookies. I think it's perfect!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A sad day

Yesterday, my dear Grandmother, Ruby Jo, passed away. I heard that she was very peaceful in the end and I am thankful for that. I am also very thankful that my parents made it down to Alabama in time to be there for her final days. My Grandmother was surrounded by her children, a lot of her grandchildren and other loved ones.

I am very sad for my mother, but I am glad that she is able to be with her family and that they can all support each other. I wish that I was down there too, but logistically, I'm just not sure that it's an option. I'm waiting to hear about the funeral arrangements before I make my final decision. I have to admit, I feel very lonely up here right now :(

I love you Grandmother and I will miss you.

My mother and grandmother - November, 1994 (or '93)