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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Grammie's Famous Almond Ring

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I posted this picture a while ago and I had a few people ask me for the recipe, so I thought I would post it.
These almond rings are AMAZING! I'm not going to lie. The recipe is from my Grandmother, who always had a bunch of them in her freezer ready for us to eat every time we visited her. She sent the recipe into Taste of Home and her recipe is actually in one of the year books!!! So we're famous! :) It's in the 1999 edition. It brings such good warm memories to any of my mom's side of the family b/c it's an iconic item in our family! Grammie always had it at her house. And many of her heirs have kept up making the recipe. I make it a few times a year.

Here is the recipe copy and pasted from the taste of home website! Please note: any of my family that makes  this always doubles the recipe then makes 3 rings out of it! (otherwise the ring can be too big and overflows the pan)
Almond Ring

Ingredients

  • 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup Imperial Sugar® / Dixie Crystals® Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • FILLING:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Imperial Sugar® / Dixie Crystals® Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Sliced almonds, toasted, optional

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour and yeast. In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter, sugar and salt to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat until moistened. Add egg; beat for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Turn on a lightly floured surface; roll into an 18-in. x 12-in. rectangle. In a small bowl, beat filling ingredients until smooth. Spread over dough to within 1 in. of edges.
  • Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet, sealing ends to form a ring. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
  • In a small bowl, combine milk and almond extract; whisk in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Drizzle over coffee cake. Sprinkle with almonds if desired. Yield: 8-10 servings.

There you go! Please go make it! It's amazing!

Christmas Recap

Well things have gotten slow around here in this here blog land for me! :( and that makes me so sad. It's such a good thing for me to have, and write on and record - but when we don't have our computer and I only have Richard's work one accessible to me in the evenings - creativity and ambition to write just isn't there :(.

But I do want to recap our Christmas Season for my own records.
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Richard's parents decided last minute to join us here in Fort Collins and we were so thankful to spend the holiday with some family. (We couldn't travel anywhere b/c you remember that huge trip we took for thanksgiving? :) )

This year was so special for me b/c the boys truly were excited about it and anticipating it.  We did a little advent calendar the whole month and they looked forward to it - and I couldn't believe how much stuck in their little minds and it was all scripture - I love that.
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Christmas eve we had homemade pizza and salad. Richard and I also attended our church's Christmas eve service and that was so special to us. It's so wonderful for my soul to have friends, almost like family here now - people who I deeply love and get to celebrate Christ's birth with and what that means for my life. There's something about the sweet communion of our fellow church family. It's been over a year now since we've been here and we truly have sweet friends who we love deeply and who love us. And it was fun to celebrate Christmas with them.  Then we drove around the town to see lights - but I will admit - Fort Collins does not have good lights! We were rather disappointed. And one of the only  bad things I have to say about Fort Collins.  But it was snowing - how perfect for it to snow on Christmas eve, while driving around looking at lights and to have a white Christmas.

Christmas day was wonderful, low key and overall just a great time. We opened stockings, and presents. We had a good hearty breakfast. We got to go sledding. And thanks to an awesome family friend the boys had cool new hats, gloves and sleds. What a perfect activity for Christmas day! Came home and we cooked an awesome meal. Roasted turkey (with bacon on top, a very awesome family tradition, try it one time. Just put bacon on the turkey and roast it. it turns out perfect every time. and eating the bacon off the turkey is awesome!!! try it! I dare you), roasted veggies, mashed potatoes (with cream cheese and parmesan cheese) sweet potatoes, gravy and stuffing! It was awesome and so good.!  In good fashion I think we ate all day long between sweets, appetizers, and the meal and dessert then left overs all over again! YUM it was good.
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The boys loved the whole day. They got nerf guns and shot those around our tiny apartment all day long. They got special attention from their grandparents. This is definitely one Christmas I do not want to forget. It's so fun being a mom to kids who start understanding the excitement of Christmas.
And one thing I realized was that it doesn't matter how much we have or don't have, or what kind of presents we get. The kids pick up on my excitement about the holiday. The kids just want to feel loved and special.
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It was a good time for me to reflect on God's promise to redeem his people - and even though life is hard sometimes (something I've experienced more recently) God loves us enough to give his Son, to redeem people who don't even love him back! and what a joy and hope that brings us!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Garden of Lights

Yesterday marked the 2 month mark since my tiny baby went to Heaven.
My heart is healing and I'm having more good days than bad days, for which I am very thankful.
Facing this holiday season is a little bitter sweet to me. The excitement that I had for a few weeks with looking forward to being pregnant during this season and the hope that we had for our family is no longer there and in it's place is extreme grief and sorrow. But God is faithful. He is holding me close, caring for my soul. and I will praise him during this season. I will cherish the moments with my family and my two beautiful boys and wonderful husband. I will thank Him for giving up his Son to be born into this world to provide a way for us to be reconciled to himself.
The people around me move on and I will remember forever. Life goes on and I am figuring out my new normal and how to handle these new emotions that pop up.  Many people in our church are pregnant now and I would've been pregnant with them all, sharing in their excitement of new life being formed. Many babies around me are being born and there is such joy in this - but in my heart is heightened the loss that I have experienced. It is a mix of emotions that I have not experienced before - such joy and true happiness for them - but also a distinct sadness in my heart. But I still know without a doubt that He holds me in His hand. This affliction in this world is momentary and the anticipation of Heaven and praising him perfectly with my perfect baby is sweeter than ever.
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We enjoyed our day yesterday going to the Garden of Lights with some friends from Church. Something else for me to focus on and enjoy. I enjoyed seeing things through the eyes of our boys and doing a fun holiday activity with them.




They even had a cookie decorating station. :) The boys had fun.
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Catch Up

Our computer broke down about a week ago, and we think it's gone for good so we will probably be without a computer for a while until we can figure out how to buy a new one. Thank goodness for smart phones and kindle fires. :) (right now I'm using Richard's work computer hehehe). But that does mean my pictures won't be exactly how I want them b/c I can't spend time on them on my own computer and editing program.

Our days have been filled with Christmas celebrations and holiday season festivities. And there are a few more to come!

We had a fun morning of decorating sugar cookies with a good friend. It happened to be her first time ever decorating! So the boys showed her the ropes and we had a fun time. That is a tradition that I always want to keep.
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We decorated our real tree. That is always a fun time for me. I love getting the real tree and the smell of the house when you first bring it in. This year the boys really got into the ornaments and the lights. It's so fun to see things through their eyes.
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We had a morning of fun making cookies with a bunch of ladies from our church too.
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I'm almost ready for Christmas - I have a few more details to finish out but overall it's been a fun season

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Solid Rock


What a joy it was to be in church again this Sunday. The Crossing really has become our family and we could not be more thankful for it. We sang the old hymn "the Solid Rock" this past week and boy was I struck with the words. It brought me to tears. I claim these words and cling to the Solid Rock, when darkness veils Christ's lovely face, or in every high and stormy gale - My anchor Holds within the veil.
His oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the whelming flood.

I am clinging to the Solid Rock - my hope is built on nothing less. Without Jesus' blood and righteousness this life has no meaning or worth, and pain has no meaning - but b/c he shed his blood for my sinful soul - I can lean on his name! These are words I claim and strive to fight for in my heart. As I move along in this life and God heals my broken heart slowly - I cling to this hymn and the truth of Christ in it.


  1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    • Refrain:
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
  3. His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wow, what a trip

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Most of you have seen all of these pictures on my instagram feed or on FB - but I love to have record of it on this here blog.
It was a whirlwind of a trip with little rest for boys or us adults - but we packed as many memories and things in as we could.
This trip was such a healing time for me and I came back to life here in Fort Collins refreshed and ready to face the holiday season and the responsibilities that I have. It was just what I needed and I'm so thankful that it worked out. It was worth every hour of sleep lost and every penny spent. Here is a run down of the trip.

Thursday AM (thanksgiving day) we flew out of Denver at 12:45 AM and got into Boston at 8:30 AM. It is a lot nicer traveling that time of night b/c it was so quiet and not busy at all and very easy. Just wish it didn't mean losing sleep. Our boys always travel really well and I don't stress out about that - but they did lose a lot of sleep that night. My wonderful Aunt cooked a great meal for all of us and we packed her house out more than once with all the people that we had. but we were so grateful for her opening up her house and feeding us so much. The rest of the day was spent eating food and spending time with my immediate family and some cousins. Photobucket Photobucket
Friday I got to see a great friend from elementary school. She is dear to my heart and I cherish every moment that I get to spend with her. Our families are growing and it's fun to see each other and how much we've changed as people but still have a great friendship.  That evening my parents decided to take all 5 of the 6 grandboys to a christmas lighting place. Photobucket
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It was fun for the grandkids - but also fun for us adults that we could have a dinner out and talk and catch up on life without the distraction of kids. My two sisters are my best friends even though we will probably always be spread out in the world we are close in hearts and I love them very much. Plus we did my parents a service letting them spend quality time with their grandkids, right? :) hehehe (no, really we were grateful that they did that for us) Photobucket
Saturday was the big 90th birthday bash for my grandfather. It was a packed day - but I think everyone had a great time. And we were honored to be able to help him celebrate and to see the legacy he leaves behind.
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Sunday was church and happened to be our 6th anniversary also. Richard gave me a wonderful gift of a nest necklace. two blue pearls to symbolize my two boys and one white one to symbolize my baby in heaven. Precious and wonderful and I love it!!!!  We also got to hear my father preach at Sunday night church and I am so thankful for that. Photobucket

Monday the whole gang (all my immediate family) headed into downtown Boston to visit the Children's Museum. It was such a fun day! Perfect for the boys and we all had a wonderful time. Photobucket
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Tuesday we found a local indoor play area for the boys to run off energy. And finished out the trip eating at the Rainforest Cafe. Which of course the boys loved. Then everyone started leaving and heading back home.
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Wednesday we woke up bright and early at 4 AM and headed to airport to come back home.
We are home now recouping from the loss of sleep and colds that we caught while traveling. But we are reminiscing in the wonderful memories that were made and the great time together. We couldn't be more thankful. I was given a gift by God of an awesome family and one that I love dearly and who loves me. and for that I am thankful.

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