Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gearing Up

We've been busy these days gearing up for the holidays. Our weekends are filled with parties, family and friends.

This might be the last post for a few weeks for me here. We have our annual holiday party at our house next weekend and I have nothing really ready for it yet. I also picked up a shift at work this week so my "free" time is quite limited. Whatever time I have it'll be spent baking, cooking, and cleaning for the party.  After the party, we have about 5 days until Christmas. Wrapping presents hasn't begun yet so that'll be a big chore after next weekend. And I would like to take the kids to see some lights in the area at some point before then too. The list this time of year just never ends. Throw into the mix the fact that all of us have been sick with some sort of cold or something for the past 10 days as well. I just want it out of here very soon!

Anyways, in preparation, we've done a few things....

Garden Factory

We go every year for Christmas time. We do the rides, buy poinsettias and see Santa. The latter of the 3 didn't happen this year because my kids have zero interest in seeing the big man. ZERO.
Ready to shop

Daddy and Avery on the slide!

Mommy and Avery on the slide
This is my favorite picture we've taken recently. I have no idea what Avery is doing-is she protecting her little sister or trying to beat the crap out of her? Hmmmm

Avery and Cassie on the train

Ferris wheel!
Cassie has these cute holiday outfits that my Dad bought her but she refuses to wear them for some reason. Probably because all she wears lately are dresses-that's it! But somehow I convinced her to wear it and it's so stinkin' cute!
The girls and I went into the light show there. It was Cassandra's first time joining us. As soon as it was over, she screamed "AGAIN!" I think she liked it!

Houses

My Dad and Colleen brought the girls some gingerbread houses last week and they were chomping at the bit to do them. We assembled them on Friday night and let them dry overnight. Then last Saturday they decorated! They really enjoyed it this year! Of course they ate more candy than you can imagine, but I guess that's part of it right?! So you're missing a few jewels on your roof! It's all good!


Avery's house

Cassie's house
Tree

We had everyone and anyone with us to get our tree this year. Typically Gabe's Dad takes us so that we can use their van to haul it home. My Mom had slept over Saturday night, so she came with us. And Gabe's Mom came along too. So we had quite the party there to pick out our tree. And again, I think this tree was the first one we looked at, which tends to happen almost every year. We always have to take it to the candy cane to make sure it's big enough!
Typically I take a lot more photos at the tree place. They have a living nativity, etc. But things got cut short this year when a donkey decided to bite the living hell chomp on Cassandra's hand. The biting happened as soon as she went up to the animals so we didn't stay long at all.

After Cassandra's nap, we did the lights on the tree and started hanging ornaments. The kids really enjoyed it!

Voila!
If I don't make it back on here, I wish you all a very happy holiday! Enjoy the time spent with family and friends, as that's what really matters. And take a step back and enjoy the magic of it all. It's the most wonderful time of year!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thanksgiving-finally!

Life around here has been crazy. It's December 10th-yes, only 2 weeks from Christmas. This time of year is just so hectic with Thanksgiving and then Christmas and all of the preparation in between.

I honestly haven't had time to look at my blog at all so I'll probably do a few quick catch up posts and who knows when I'll check in again. We have our holiday party next weekend and I'm feeling the pressure of having nothing ready for it.  Well, besides being decorated!!

Anyways, we had a great Thanksgiving.

We started our day with our tradition of cinnamon rolls and fruit followed by watching the Macy's parade. Although this year we didn't watch much due to some poor behavior by the little ones.

After Cassie's nap, we headed to my in-laws' house for Thanksgiving dinner. 
Avery

The best pic we could manage

Avery and Owen
We had the usual crew-us, my in-laws', my sister-in-law and her family, my Mom and Aunt. We also had another Aunt and cousin join us this year and my SIL's in-laws also came. The food was great, the company was great (as always). We had a really wonderful evening!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday Bianca!

Our niece's birthday was recently and we've had a few parties to celebrate!

On her birthday (the 14th), Gabe's whole family (parents, sister, etc) went with us to a spaghetti dinner that our girls' daycare was holding. We met at our house, drove there and had dinner and then came back to our house for the celebration.

Of course there were presents:
and a yummy ice cream cake:



The kids had a great time playing awhile after too!

Then this past weekend was Bianca's friend party at one of those indoor bounce places. They had a lot of free time to run around and play and then they did a few organized games....hide and seek, tug of war, and the huge parachute!


Then we went to the party room for pizza, cake and presents!
Cassie and Avery

We stayed for awhile longer and let the kids play some more and it was quite the chore getting them to leave! They were having too much fun!

Happy 7th Birthday Bianca! We hope you enjoyed your special days!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Salted Caramel Dump Cake

How about a recipe?

Since Thanksgiving is next week and all! Yes, NEXT week folks!

Day to day life has been busy and nothing Earth shattering has been going on so I don't have much to update about.

So to fill the blogging void, here's a new recipe I tried out about a month ago. I think I saw this going around on Facebook-although not 100% sure. Anyways, it caught my eye somewhere, I jotted it down and decided to try it.

Delish. (and easy too!)

Salted Caramel Dump Cake
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup milk
1 box Devil's food cake mix
1 1/2 cup chopped caramels
1 cup chocolate chips
sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13" pan.
2. Whisk pudding and milk for 1 minute.
3. Stir in cake mix-it will be thick!
4. Spread into pan
5. Sprinkle with caramels and sea salt (a little goes a long way)
6. Bake for 30-40min
7. Melt chocolate chips and drizzle on top

Ready to bake!

Ready to be eaten!
(Notes:  This came out really good. The only problem?  Once it cools, the caramels get pretty hard. So this is best served warm. Once I realized they hardened, I microwaved a slice for a few seconds and that also did the trick. Maybe next time I would try a caramel sauce/topping in place of the candies?  I also could have used more sea salt as I really couldn't taste mine. I was afraid of using too much and I don't think it was enough.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday Leigha!

The day after Halloween we went to Buffalo for the day. We were due for a visit and had a birthday party for Leigha to attend.

We went to my Mom's and hung out for a bit-had lunch, played, etc.  Cassie took a nap and then we headed to my friend Megan's house for Leigha's 3rd birthday party!

We got there and the kids did some games and we had some food. Then it was gift time!

After gifts was another game:

Cassie
And then time for cake! 
Yes it was as good as it looks!
Cassie checking out the cake!
Singing Happy Birthday:
And a swipe of frosting for fun!
After cake, we hung out a bit longer and visited while the kids played. Then we headed home!!

Happy 3rd Birthday Leigha! We had so much fun at your party!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trick-or-Treat

We had a really great Halloween.

The girls are at such great ages-each year they get more excited and more into the holidays. It's just awesome.

Avery had school on Halloween and got to take her costume to school with her. They did a school wide parade and then a classroom party. I didn't get to make it to the parade because it was right in the middle of Cassie's nap time.  But I heard it was a lot of fun!

Once she got home, we waited for Gabe to get home. Then we had some dinner and got them all geared up for trick-or-treating!  Of course around here, Halloween has to have the crappiest weather possible. Earlier in the week it was in the mid 70s!  Halloween was in the 40s with rain. Crappy.  So as usual, the girls wore multiple layers under their costumes. They even stopped back home for gloves!
 
Elsa and Anna

My little Anna
Gabe and his Mom took the girls out for a bit. They went to see a house in our area that really goes crazy with the decorations and they hit some houses along the way. They stopped home and Avery decided she was done! Cassie pitched a fit because she wanted to keep going! So Gabe took Cassie out for more and Avery and I stayed with Gabe's Mom and handed out some candy.  After about 20min or so, the crowds died down and then Avery decided she did want to go out some more. So I took her out around our house for a bit. Then we all met back home and called it a night. They had so much fun!

And our pumpkins this year?! They rocked. My husband has some carving skills y'all!
Anna

Elsa

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Fun!

We've had some busy and fun filled days here gearing up for Halloween!

We went to our local rec center for their Halloween family night. We've been there the past 2 years and it's always a good time!  We started our night in the arts and crafts room....


Cute sister pose!
Then we went trick-or-treating!

We played some games in the big gym then headed out for a hayride!
They also had a fire truck there that the girls got to climb in!
This past weekend we were quite busy! Saturday morning we were up and out early to get our pumpkins!  We go to a local farm every year to do all of the fun things there!
Avery and Cassandra
Cassie was having a ball climbing on the pumpkins and trying to maneuver around them! It was pretty funny to watch her!
We went in the huge tee-pees they have set up and then went on another hayride!
Gabe and I
Of course we couldn't leave without doughnuts and other goodies!

Once we got home, we got ready for our neighborhood Halloween party! Gabe made up our fun dish to pass:
They brought in a fire truck for the kids to check out and lead us in the parade:

Then it was back to a neighbor's house for lots of goodies!  After Cassie's nap, we went to a friend's house for dinner and lots of playing!  It's been a busy few weekends here gearing up for the start of the holidays!! Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween tomorrow!