Archive for 2009

Natalie’s “Ginger House”

Posted Friday, December 18th, 2009 by Mollie

Last weekend was a rainy one, so this was a fun indoor activity.  I made the first batch of icing way too thick, it was more like fondant… so it was a challenge to get the house to stick together.   But Natalie didn’t care, she was sooooo excited.


We were halfway done by the time she realize everything was edible,I thought that was funny.


Natalie named some of the candies Mommy, Daddy, Natalie and Baby, and put them in “beds” in front of the house.  She had a whole story going on there, she is quite imaginative.


Must. Stop. Baking.

Posted Friday, December 4th, 2009 by Mollie

I forgot how much the cooler weather makes me want to stay indoors and BAKE!  In November I made no fewer than 4 batches of Ginger Chewies (the best ginger cookies ever, normally I am not a fan), 2 batches of Peanut Butter Bacon cookies (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, they’re amazing), a giant pan of brownies, a pot full of pumpkin butter, and two Cranberry-Pecan Tarts… not to mention countless rolls and loaves of bread  from the bread machine. What should I try next??  All I can say is thank goodness for marathon training, which allows me to eat moderate portions of all this goodness and not gain weight.

Natalie and I had so much fun cutting up her pumpkin and turning it into pumpkin butter!  We used this recipe.  But honestly the best part of cooking pumpkins from scratch is roasted pumpkin seeds.  They are so easy and delicious!  Nata is such a great helper in the kitchen.


Every year I try a new dessert for our family holiday parties.  Past desserts have included a 6-layer spice cake with homemade coffee toffee, maple pumpkin cheesecake and last year’s 2-layer pumpkin chocolate cheesecake.  The Cranberry Pecan Tart I made this Thanksgiving was definitely another winner.  My uncle said that pecan pie is his favorite, and this was the best he’d ever tasted… I’m pretty sure there is no higher compliment!


It’s really pretty, too.


As I type, there is yet another tart baking for Andy to take to a party tomorrow, as well as some Maple Pecan Muffins which will be breakfast as I drive to Las Vegas tomorrow morning with my marathon buddies for our big run!  I should probably take a break from the butter and sugar until Christmas, but I doubt that will actually happen.


Posted Sunday, November 29th, 2009 by Mollie

This year we spent Thanksgiving with the McLaughlin side of the family.   Mom and I had fun looking through magazines, coming up with ideas for the menu this year, and dinner was delicious!


Here’s a fun Thanksgiving activity.  It’s a box of questions related to gratitude, family, history, and traditions.  Everyone took a card and we went around the table with our answers.  It was fun to hear what everyone had to say.   Andy somehow managed to mention Linux in his answer!!



Ben LOVED Thanksgiving dinner:  Laura’s roasted sweet potatoes and apples, especially.  Also stuffing and pumpkin pie!


Natalie was much more interested in playing with her cousin Kate than eating.


We finished up the evening with talking and games.


We have so much to be grateful for this year (as always!), it would take way too long to go into all the many, many reasons.   I’m sure you can see from our blog just how blessed we are.  We are just so thankful for our life full of incredible love and provision from God, which we have seen more clearly than ever in the past year!

Psalm 107:1
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Halloween ’09

Posted Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 by Mollie

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This was the first year that we did anything on Halloween, since Natalie is finally old enough to appreciate it!  She dressed up as an elephant, her favorite animal thanks to The Jungle Book.  Natalie gets REALLY into character, too.  She makes her elephant noises and if you call her Natalie, she will say, “I not Natalie. I am baby elephant!”

We went Trick Or Treating on Ventura Boulevard, where our church has games and the businesses give out candy.  It was really nice because it was during the day and didn’t have any of the gross or scary parts of Halloween!  It was also hard because that morning I had been on a long run, Andy had thrown out his back, and walking didn’t sound so great.  But it was worth it because Natalie loved it.  She was shy but so amazed that people were putting candy in her bucket.  She would go into each store and whisper “Trick or treat!” and then “Thank you!” in a tiny voice.




The “soccers” (suckers) are her favorite.  I like how the costume is all wrinkly like a real elephant.  Thanks to my mom for finding it!


She refused to wear the hood part of the costume while she was trick or treating, and I can’t blame her– it was 85 degrees out!  There’s a picture of it on in case anyone was wondering. 🙂

Because We Can

Posted Sunday, November 1st, 2009 by Mollie

(Enjoy the beach in October, that is.)

We are wishing for some more fall-ish weather, but taking advantage of the benefits of living in a temperate climate and near the beach!



I need photography help… not sure why I was getting the weird glare circles in a lot of my photos?


I can’t complain too much, though, we’ve had several scarf-worthy days in between the 90 degree ones!