Tag Archive for holiday

A Sweet Little Valentine Dessert

Yes it’s a few days after Valentine’s Day, but I wanted to share our sweet dessert with you all.  Travel Man was lucky enough to be home for this Valentine’s Day, and cooked me a great dinner that included steak, shrimp, au gratin potatoes, and green beans.  A yummy treat.  The food was great, and I’m sure tasted so good because  I took a back seat in the kitchen.  Travel Man made the dinner, and I made the dessert.  A great team effort.

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Our dessert was some brownies I baked from a box mix.  I watched the pan carefully while it was baking because I wanted the brownies to turn out extra ooey and gooey.  And they did.  I made these in the morning right after breakfast so they had plenty of time to be completely cooled.

For serving, I dug out my little heart-shaped cookie cutter and  sculpted the brownies that you see here on the plates.  Then we added some creamy, delicious, french vanilla ice cream, and enjoyed a sweet dessert feast.  Just a simple little dessert made with love, and lots of  chocolatey goodness.

Did you bake any special treats for your Valentine?

The Party House – Our Year in Review

??????????????????????????????????????Today is New Year’s Eve, and tomorrow will start the beginning of a New Year, 2013.  This is the time of year I love to reflect back on everything that has transpired at the Party House in the course of just one, short year.

We have had numerous birthday parties for the family members who live here locally.

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Had a great family event in April at Angels Stadium.  Almost everyone in the family was able to make it to an Angels game together.  I honestly cannot remember if the Angels won or lost that day, but we  had a great time.

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Hosted a great dinner party when my sister and her husband were here from Montana in May.  Laura showed us how to make her red sauce enchiladas.

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A special birthday was celebrated for our baby boy in July.  He turned 21.

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We actually got to celebrate Travel Man’s birthday on his actual birthday this year.  That was a fun, fun time.

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October brought us the baby shower celebration for my daughter, Naomi.  We had such girly fun that day!!

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November brought the arrival of Miss Madison Kay, our second grandchild.  What a delight she is.  I know I’ve said that before, but I’ll say it again, because I’m her Grandma.

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And of course we celebrated Thanksgiving together, and for the first time in a long time my sister, Laura, was able to join us at the dinner table.

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Christmas Day was celebrated here with the family.  We were delighted to have our nephew, Jim,  here for the days festivities.  It’s always a little more casual on Christmas Day for us.  Dinner was buffet style, with tons and tons of goodies and cookies.  A wonderful party ending to 2012.

My parents with almost all of their grandkids!

My parents with almost all of their grandkids!

We are always grateful to be able to host the family events.  It’s always a wonder that we can get so many of the kids and their significant others together in the same place at the same time for the same event.

Every year I am equally amazed that even though my husband (aka Travel Man) is on the road for a good amount of time during the year, we are still able to sneak in as many short trips as we do.  And before I get to the trips – do you know that my Travel Guy was in the air for well over 160,000 air miles this year?  I could not believe that number, I’m still in shock as I am writing this.  That’s a lot of travel.  I am ever so grateful that he takes such good care of us, and always keep us laughing with his travel stories.

Our trips together this year included-

A trip to the Reagan Library.

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A trip to Reno to visit my parents while my Dad was going through some chemo treatments.

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A trip to Las Vegas in June (this was the second time), so my daughters and I could attend a Celine Dion concert.  Travel man drove us there and home.

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A trip to New York in August to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

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And a trip to Montana to visit my sister and her husband.

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More trips than I could have imagined we would could possibly take this year.  Thank you Travel Man.  You never cease to amaze me.

1-DSC01296And finally, I would like to give a standing ovation to my Dad.  My Dad is battling lung cancer (actually he’s kicking it in the butt!).  He was told in January of this year, that there were no additional,  conventional methods of chemotherapy or radiation available to him that would be helpful in diminishing his tumors.  My Dad, he’s a fighter, and he never, ever gives up.  He got on the computer, researched some alternative therapies, found a doctor first in Reno, and then in Carlsbad, and never gave up on living.  My Mom keeps telling us that since my Dad was an engineer in his working life he just has the mentality that this problem he has needs to be solved, and he’s going to solve it.  And by the way my Mom, she’s a rock star.  She definitely deserves the “Stand By Your Man Award” for 2012.  The love and compassion she shows for my Dad is a priceless gem.

I am completely elated, overjoyed and ecstatic to tell you that because of my Dad’s hard work, perseverance, and his never give up attitude in this year of 2012, his tumors have diminished over 40%!!  It is hard to express in words what a wonderful feeling it is that my Dad has seen such a tremendous improvement.  It’s happiness, relief, joy, and a great big WHEW!  This man, my Dad, has redefined the word perseverance.

It reminds me of my favorite Winston Churchill quote: “Never, never, never, give up.”

From the Party House to yours, wishing each and every one of you a very Happy New Year, and may all good things come to you and yours in 2013.

How can it be December 3rd already?

Hello dear friends and fellow bloggers.  It’s been awhile since my last post, and I felt the need to just say hi, and get back into a good writing groove.  My writing was definitely sidetracked in the month of November.  I have a few stories to catch up on with you all.

Did you have as wonderful a Thanksgiving as my family did?  We were fortunate to have my sister here from Montana for Thanksgiving dinner.  That does not happen very often, so we were especially happy to have her smiling face as the table.  My Mom was beside herself with emotion that day.

MadisonWe also celebrated the birth day of our second grandchild, a baby girl.  This is Evan’s baby sister, Miss Madison.  Welcome to your Grandma’s blog, Madison.  It was a special day, I’ll give you all of the details in another story.

And the past few weeks have been a rare treat for Travel Man and myself.  He has been  working from his home office for a few weeks, and it looks like we’ll have him home through Christmas.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed please!

Now could someone, anyone explain to me how it got to be December 3rd already?  My son will be celebrating his birthday this weekend.  How did that date come up so fast?  It’s the age-old adage, “Time just flies when you are having fun!”.  Or in Renee’s terms,  when you’ve been so busy the past few weeks that you finally look at the calendar and it’s time to turn the page to December.

So if your busy getting ready for Christmas, or baking, or making your list and checking it twice make sure you stop and have a latte, or maybe a nap.  Happy Monday to you all.

*Photo credits to Hilary and Zachary Juedes.

Halloween’s Past

This being the last day of October, and Halloween I thought I would reminisce just a little with a few photos from the past.  My kids have always loved costuming up for Halloween, and now Evan continues that tradition.

This is just a little mix of pictures from the past few years and beyond of our Halloween good times.

Evan loves to dress up and Halloween for him is such a treat.  Here’s a few pictures of him from the past few years.

And some of the kids famous pumpkin carvings:

Some of my guys in their costumes:

And my favorite fall picture taken by my Travel Man a few years ago:

For me,  Halloween is the first real signal of fall, which leads us to Thanksgiving, and of course the Christmas holiday season.  To all of the ghouls and goblins out there have a fun Halloween evening.

Christmas Tree Follies – Part 2

There is a part of Christmas that is more enjoyable for me than any other.  I love, love, love putting up the Christmas tree, and getting it all lit up for the first time.  And then we just add ornaments, nothing more.  As a matter of fact most of the ornaments on my tree are the annual ornaments that I bought for each of this kids that are still living at home, from the time they were born.  They really fill the tree quite nicely.

Anyway, remember early in December when I told you all the story of buying my artificial tree. If this is your first time here take a look at this story: Christmas Tree Follies.  I think this is my fourth or fifth Christmas with this tree.  It has been a rock star.  Just take it out the box, assemble correctly (which is a story in and of its self), and plug it in.  There you go.

So the tree should look like this when it is all decorated:

But about 10 days into December my tree looked like this:

I asked Travel Man what we could do to repair it and he said we would have to take the ornaments off and pull it apart so he could check the wiring.  Well that wasn’t happening before Christmas so I just lived with it, and without the lights for about a week.  Then I dug around in the garage and found and extra string of white lights, plugged them in and strung them around the tree.  They weren’t quite the same as the real thing, but they filled in the gap a little bit.

We took down our beloved tree on New Year’s Eve, and Travel Man was able to check the wiring.  Lo and behold it was just a blown fuse.  So he replaced the fuse for me, we tested the lights, and packed it all up for Christmas 2012.    Hopefully, this tree will last us a few more years, or until they come out with an LED version that Travel Man and I can agree that we like!  Did you have a real or artificial tree this year?

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