Monday, December 29, 2008

A Yummy Treat

Okay, first of all I have to give credit to my friend Kelly, for this delicious treat recipe that I now whip up for most "gatherings" throughout the year, especially during the holidays. I am not a person who loves to cook, but I do love simple recipes that get great reactions from people :) This is one of those! Trust me, if you make these you will not be let down. They are absolutely rich, addicting, and everyone will ask you for the recipe.

Chocolate Truffles
1. Crush (finely) one package of Oreo cookies (I like to use the Pampered Chef food chopper)
2. Mix the crushed Oreos with one 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese (I use a dough mixer for this task)
3. Roll the chocolate mixture into small balls and place on a cookie sheet - put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes to harden
4. Melt Chocolate and White Almond Bark according to the directions on the packages
5. Dip half of the Oreo balls into the chocolate candy coating, and half into the Vanilla - the balls should be completely covered in the candy shell
6. Place the dipped balls back on the cookie sheet and give them time to harden (putting them back in the fridge or freezer is a good idea)
7. Drizzle the opposite flavor of almond bark on to the top each truffle, using a fork - this adds a great decoration!!
8. Again, let it harden - put in fridge for awhile
9. Enjoy!! You better give some away, because you won't be able to stop eating them.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

30

So it actually happened... I turned 30. It doesn't seem very real that my age now begins with a "3," but nonetheless, I had a great day celebrating. Having a birthday on December 26th was kind of a bummer growing up, but now I tend to like it because I never have to work on my birthday (perks of being in "education"), and often get to enjoy a day of shopping during awesome clearance sales :)

I started my day early, at 4:45am to be exact, and went to meet my mom and sister at the mall. We made out pretty well at a few department stores, had a wonderful breakfast at Paradise Bakery, and then went to mall #2! We hit quite a few more sales, and ended our shopping trip with relaxing pedicures/manicures and pretzels with cheese. We then zipped home to pick up the rest of our families and met up again in the evening for a couple competitive games of bowling, and a very yummy dinner at Joe's BBQ (mmmm...). To top it all off, my awesome husband even let me sleep in this morning! Thanks babe!

So here are 30 things I'm thankful for on my 30th birthday:
1. God's grace and promise of salvation
2. My husband and my son
3. Wonderful parents who gave me a strong foundation for life, and two amazing siblings who were my favorite playmates when I was young and who I am fortunate to remain close with today :)
4. Micah's family (it's awesome to have in-laws that you enjoy being around)
5. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended relatives who regularly keep in touch and remain supportive, no matter the distance between us
6. A fun-loving beagle named Petey (did I mention naughty?)
7. A job that allows me to do what I love, working only 4 days a week
8. My co-workers (who are also my friends)
9. An amazing church family
10. Long-time friends who remain loyal
11. The internet, I'm so glad this was invented during my life!
12. Really good dessert
13. Regular date nights with my husband
14. The opportunity to adopt a child
15. Living in beautiful Arizona
16. Summer Vacations
17. Digital cameras and pictures
18. The art of scrapbooking (and digital scrapbooking!)
19. Fast & easy recipes that turn out yummy!
20. Spending quality time with friends
21. Iced Mochas and Frappacinos
22. The ability to play the piano
23. Music
24. A beautiful home with a yard
25. Nature, and all its majesty
26. Difficult times in my life, that have made me stronger
27. Laughter
28. Cell Phones
29. Movies that make you laugh and cry
30. A bright future, and a lot to look forward to

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thinking of You... (Cross-Post from Adoption Blog)

A Christmas Letter for My Child:

During this busy Christmas season, I have been thinking a lot about you. You are living so far away, and I wonder what you are doing today, Christmas Day. Your daddy, your brother, and I enjoyed our time together this morning opening gifts and having fun, but something was missing... YOU! We have been working diligently to bring you home as quickly as possible. There is so much paperwork and so much "red tape" involved, but we are making progress little by little.

Your daddy bought me a special gift for Christmas this year, it's a Prayer Box necklace. The idea behind it is that you "place your prayers inside" and then wear the box close to your heart to remind you to pray. Inside the box, he placed a small picture of Ethiopia, to remind me to always be praying for you. I think it's also a reminder that even though we don't even know who you are yet, you are already so close to our hearts.

Today, on this Christmas Day, we pray that you are happy and healthy. We pray that you have enough food to eat, water to drink, and a roof over your head. We pray that you are surrounded by people who love and care for you. We pray that you will be home with us for Christmas next year. We love you!

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge, his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day... no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways." (Psalm 91:4-5,10-11).

Hutchison Christmas Postcard

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Making Cookies

Today I tackled a few backing projects, and Eli enjoyed helping out with the frosted Christmas cookies this year. His favorite part was sampling the frosting, toppings, and of course eating the cookies!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Eli's Rendition of "Jingle Bells"

Eli is really enjoying the Christmas season this year, and even taking the time to learn some Christmas carols! Well, sort of. Besides the song, my favorite part of this video has to be what he is wearing... topped off by the chocolate cookie all over his mouth. Ah yes, two-year-olds... where would we be without them? Enjoy watching!


Monday, December 8, 2008

LifePoint Ground Breaking!

Yesterday we had the joy of participating in our church's groundbreaking service and ceremony. Almost 700 people attended, and it was AMAZING to say the least. We were the first couple that joined our pastors, David and Lissa Hinman, as part of the core team to plant this church. I remember the first meeting we had in David's office at Word of Grace church in Mesa, and they were still trying to figure out what the name of the church would be!! That was back in 2004, and here we are almost five years later breaking ground on a new building. It will definitely be nice to not have to set-up and tear-down in a school every week once this building is completed :)