Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Desserts

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! It went by way too fast, but it was definitely wonderful to get to spend time with family.

We spent Thanksgiving Day at my grandparent's house, and even though it was a smaller crowd than normal it still consisted of two big fried turkey breasts and one whole roasted turkey. We were actually able to convince my grandma that we didn't need a roast too since normally we have multiple turkeys, plus roast, and the occasional ham! So, yes, there was a lot of food to eat, but I stuck mainly to the turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, and corn....yum, that actually sounds really good right now too! :)
For dessert, we tried to keep it smaller too.

Pumpkin Pie...
LIBBY'S® Famous Pumpkin Pie
  Which I just use the recipe from the LIBBY'S Pumpkin can, but I made the crust gluten free (since my grandma can't have gluten) and it's such a good crust people don't even know it's gluten free!

And, Pecan Pie...
Classic Pecan Pie
 Again, I just use the recipe from the back of the Karo Syrup bottle and made the crust gluten free, and people loved it!

Then, because there are so many chocolate lovers in my family we had to make something with chocolate, so we give this Mississippi Mud Pie recipe a try....
 I thought it was amazing! It's very rich because you use darker chocolate, but it was sooo good. It's actually all gluten free except for the oreo crust, which if you can find gluten free chocolate cookies it would be completely gluten free.

We also whipped these little Rolo cookies up real quick just to have something a little more kid friendly.
I didn't try them...yes, I only had eyes for the Mud Pie....but they went pretty fast and the kids seemed to like them. I think they probably are best warm, but for being a 4 ingredient recipe they were definitely worth making.

 Needless to say we were all very full from our Thanksgiving meal, and I think Ella enjoyed the turkey dinner, so I might have to do a mini version soon! :)

I'll be posting pictures of some of our Thanksgiving activities soon!

***For any of you that might be interested in the gluten free pie crust I use, whether for yourself, family, or friend, here is the one that I use...
 You can buy it at a lot of Wal-Marts, most health food stores, and online. It's only about five dollars, so it's a good buy since it makes 4 pie crusts for 8-inch pie plates. It also tastes good and people won't even know it's gluten free!

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Monday Everyone!

Only three more days until Thanksgiving! And only two days until we head down to spend the rest of the week with my family! :) This week will probably go by so fast, but it'll be so much fun to get to spend it with family.....and I'm going to try to remember to take lots of pictures...oh, and videos!
Yes, I'm definitely excited, if you couldn't tell. :) There's going to be lots of:
girls coffee time, 
Black Friday craziness (who cares if all we have is a Wal-Mart...we make it fun!),
random, silly videos,
and of course, lots of good food! :)

So, as I was looking back on pictures from previous Thanksgivings I came across this one...

This was taken 6 years ago...just a couple weeks before Jacob and I got married!
 That seems like such a long time ago, and I can't believe how young some of my siblings look...lol, well, I guess we were all 6 years younger! :)

Now for the more current picture of us all with the addition of grand-kids.
April 2012

 The family has definitely increased in numbers, although the girls still outnumber the boys, but it's starting to even out a little, and I Dad has enjoyed having more guys around. :)
I think Dad looks exactly the same, and Mom actually looks younger in this picture....I don't think most people would guess they've had 10 kids and 5 (with one on the way) grand-kids. :)

I am definitely blessed with an amazing family, and I love them all so much!

I hope everyone is having an amazing Monday-before-Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin & Cream Cheese..it's on my mind

Well, today is just one of those days where I don't really feel like doing anything. I feel like I should be motivated to do something, but I just can't get myself going. Ok, well I did do dishes and things are picked up around here (for however long that lasts before another Abigail-Bethany storm hits), but that's about it.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner I'm getting the itch to bake....ok, ok, I almost always have the itch to bake, but sometimes it's worse than other times. I'm going to blame it on the pregnancy. I mean really, the one time I would like to not want to make all these yummy things I'm, of course, really wanting to try them all out, and there are far too many yummy looking things out there just waiting to be made!
LIBBY'S® Pumpkin Roll
Libby's Pumpkin Roll (recipe on pumpkin can)
These kinds of rolls look hard to make, but they're actually pretty easy. I've never done a pumpkin one before, but I'm thinking now would be a good time....plus, it just sounds really good. :)

As for these....
pumpkin spice muffins!
Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting
they sound so good! The recipe is from the Pioneer Woman, so I'm thinking they will be good....and, seriously, it's pumpkin and cream cheese! Those two things just taste amazing together!

I've made this Pumpkin Cream Trifle before...
but it's easy to make, looks beautiful, and it's amazingly good. Family and friends will love it, so if you're looking for an easy and delicious dessert to make for Thanksgiving I would highly recommend this one!

I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but for those who are, I think these are super cute and would be something fun and different...and maybe, just maybe I'd give them a try. :)
Mini Pumpkin Pies...perfect for Thanksgiving!
Alright, just one more and I'll be done with my craze on pumpkin and cream cheese....besides you're bound to be wanting something with pumpkin and cream cheese now, aren't you? Ok, maybe it's just me...it's the pregnancy remember! ;)
I like whoopie pies a lot, and these have pumpkin and........

......oh yeah, you know, cream cheese. It's a deadly combination, but don't blame me, blame these people that come up with these mouth-watering recipes....I mean really, what were they thinking!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans' Day

I don't usually post on Sundays, but today is a special day for those veterans who have served and are still serving these United States of America.

I think some people don't realize the sacrifices that these men and women have made since we're able to sit safe and sound in our homes, but read your history and know that we're where we are today because of those who've sacrificed everything to give us the freedom's that we enjoy today.

We should pray, not just today, but everyday for all those who are serving in our military, and  for their families.

I'll never forget how hard it was to say good-bye to Jacob when he left for his deployment. Abigail was 9 months old and I was over 5 months pregnant with Bethany.
Abigail with Jacob the day he left for his deployment.
 There are families that are constantly saying good-bye to loved ones. They don't always know when they'll come home or if they will, they miss out on parts of their kids lives and have to hope their kids will remember them when they come home. Talk about what a huge sacrifice these men and women make just in having to leave their families, let alone knowing they might be sacrificing their lives in the battle zones to keep them safe. Even those that stay in the States are giving their lives over to the military everyday, so just take some time to pray for all those who have, and are still sacrificing everyday, to keep your family safe.
Abigail and Jacob getting to know each other again.
Getting to see Bethany for the first time in person.
I can't ever think about these men and women deploying without thinking of those that they're leaving behind and how hard that is. I'm thankful that Jacob only had a 6-month deployment, but the normal is generally 12-18 months, and so many things can happen during that time. I mean, when Jacob left Abigail was crawling and I was pregnant...when he got back Abigail was walking and starting to talk, and Bethany was almost 3-months old...talk about an adjustment.
I'm thankful for Jacob, and all that he did while he was in the Air Force. There were definitely some hard times, but we have some many good memories of those years in the military too. I'm very proud of you, Jacob, and....

I love you the very MOST!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pregnancy Update

Hurray for pregnancy updates! :)

Things were looking good this time, especially the iron. Three weeks ago it was 7.8 and today it was up to 10.1, so hurray for that! Of course, it still needs to go up at least another point or two, but at least it means we're on the rise. :)

I was measuring at 31cm, which I was excited about since I've been thinking I've been measuring smaller than I am and it seems like Ella's starting to catch up (maybe due to my iron going up). Of course, I still don't know for sure if it's accurate because with Bethany I was measuring 31cm when I was actually 33 weeks.....so, we'll just have to see. :)
No matter what though, I'm down to around the last 10 weeks so I'm excited!

The downer for my prenatal visit....having to get on the scale. Does anyone like that part, cause I sure don't. I have to work to see the actual numbers on the scale now that the belly hinders my view and I guess I could just not look, but for some reason I choose to torture myself and make the effort to peer over the belly to the ever rising numbers. Yep, I'm up a total of 29lbs for this pregnancy....and I still have weeks to go. :( I'd like to say I have these huge babies.....but unfortunately I have small babies because I believe my body is a fat hogger and doesn't like to share.
Seriously though, I guess I'll have to pass on the majority of the sweets this holiday season.....being pregnant around the holidays are not the best combination....talk about the most tempting time to eat lots of desserts. :)

Well, that was about it for my prenatal visit...everything really looked good and I'm officially down to every two week visits from now on! Exciting! :)

I better get back to making my potato soup or we'll be having no dinner tonight.....um, actually it might be bacon-less potato soup since I tend to eat about half the bacon. I mean really, how can anyone pass up crispy bacon just sitting there? Actually nevermind, I might be the only one.....and here I am complaining about weight gain.

Honestly though, it's the bacon's fault....and the cheese....ok, and the bread, I seriously love bread!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Random Thursday

It's the first day of November everyone! 

That means I only have 2 months to go till Ella's here....maybe less, which is what I'm hoping for! :) I already feel like I've been pregnant forever...and I'd totally forgotten how frustrating it is to try and bend over and pick something up off the floor. It's a workout just going around the house to pick up things off the floor...not to mention trying to bend over and put on the girl's shoes(or mine for that matter)! 
Ella seems to be doing well, although she's definitely getting crowded in there and stronger because she can sure make me jump when she starts pushing. I mean it actually hurts when she starts pushing really hard! I'm thinking it's probably a foot since it's always near the top of my belly and towards the right, but man, she must have some long toenails or something!

Abigail and Bethany keep asking when Ella's going to come, and of course, making plans for what they're going to do with her, so they're definitely excited. :) 
Here they are this morning as we were having our 'morning talk'.

 It's always entertaining to sit and talk to them because they're usually both wanting to talk at the same time but then getting mad at each other for interrupting. So this morning Bethany got into her preaching mode with Abigail (because Abigail kept interrupting her), and it was funny because she had to tell me how Aunt Kayla told them they're not suppose to talk when someone else is talking and that they have to wait till the person is done talking! Then she went on to tell me that Abigail was being wild, but when I told her she was too, she said, "I am not being wild, I'm just sitting here talking to you!"  And, yes, when she told me that she was looking very serious like she is in the picture...hehe, it's hard not to laugh when she gets all serious! :)

Well, I really need to go make my spinach smoothie, but instead I keep thinking how yummy this Chicken Alfredo we had last week would be!
Yum! I know this picture doesn't do it justice, but I was starving so I had to eat first and then take a picture when I was putting the leftovers up....I'm pregnant so give me a break! :)
This stuff is so good though....I used whole wheat, whole grain pasta (so a little of it was healthy), and then I made the alfredo sauce using the recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook, and grilled up a couple of chicken breasts (cut into strips). For the mushrooms (they're what makes it!) I cooked them up separately with olive oil, a little salt and pepper, garlic powder, and Tony's Creole seasoning (which is a must when cooking mushrooms). Then you mix everything together, including the liquids from the cooked mushrooms, and you eat it....trying to only stick with one helping! Yes, it's that good, plus reheated leftovers are amazing too, and I'm not a big fan of leftovers. :)

Ok, I'll quit procrastinating and go make my green smoothie.....

Oh, and I wish I could have gotten a video of the girls just now because they were dancing around with their big teddy bears, which they were calling their husbands! Life is never dull around here......

and yes, I know that was totally random, but hey, it's a random day. :)

Alright, I really am going to go and make my green smoothie now, but can I just say first that I prefer pink smoothies.