Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

December 31, 2010

A Year in Review:

The big thing in blog-land is to re-cap the past year, highlighting favorite posts from our personal blogs. I have a feeling this will be most interesting to family, but here goes anyway...

:: January:  No posts.  Hmmm.  Guess I was still getting this blog going and had no ideas of what to focus on in the Recke household.  Sad.  I'd put a little blurb about what I *remember*, but the trouble is, I don't.  Moving on...

:: February:  Same as January.  C did turn 6 years old, so there's that!

:: MarchOne Post.  Improvement! :)

:: April:  A month of ups and downs.  A funny post about the death of "Ollie the Otter 1.0".  And then there were Easter pics of the kids.

:: May:  Again, one post.  As I reflect now, we were so naive (more about that later).

:: JuneE's 2nd Birthday and a new swing-set and visit from Grandpa Al

:: Julywhen our camping naivete was explored (aka, possibly the worst camping trip EVER).

:: August:  C's first day of Kindergarten (one down, one to go). ;)

:: SeptemberOur family trip to South Dakota.  That was a lot of fun!

:: OctoberA Family Hike and Halloween pictures.

:: NovemberRaking up playing in the leaves.

:: Decembertorture a visit with Santa and of course, Christmas!

Hard to believe another year is over.  Crazy how fast it all goes.  And lucky me, I'm ending it with a killer head cold.   Yay!

Have a very Happy New Year!!

December 25, 2010

We pray this holiday finds you happy, joyful and blessed! 
Thank you to all of our dear friends and family who make each year so memorable, 
it's an honor to have you in our lives.

Love and Blessings,
The Recke Family

December 16, 2010

'Tis the Season...

A Crafty Soiree 
for crafts and treats...and tutorials!
I've had a couple events over the past week that allowed me to use *some* creative energy.  I'm pretty happy with how things turned out so I thought I'd share the tutorials on my blog.

Felt Rose Bouquet

For a Ladies' Christmas Dessert function at my church, I made a centerpiece to go on our table, along with a pin as a take-home gift. The centerpiece was essentially a knock-off of the one found at "Creative Jewish Mom", but with my own touches (like adding leaves).   The roses are the same as the ones I used for my yarn wreath a couple of months back...
 I used a 6" foam ball for the bouquet (size isn't clear in the tutorial) and would not recommend going any larger...unless you want to go insane and wipe out the felt in every Michael's store withing a 25 mile radius.  Making these flowers is a tedious (albeit not hard ) process!  I also chose not to glue the roses to the ball, and instead used long straight pins with a pearl end so that I could re-arrange as necessary (and it was necessary).

 Here is a picture of the pins I made as gifts for the eight ladies at the table
(they matched the bouquet even though they look like different colors in the photographs):

Melty Snowman Rice Krispy Treats

For my son's school Christmas party I put these treats together.  I have seen something similar on other blogs where the snowman was on top of a sugar cookie, but I thought this version would be better for the kids who had gluten allergies (disclaimer: not sure how gluten-free these truly were since I didn't take the time to research the chocolate I used.  You CAN do it though!) 
Melty Snowman Treats Recipe
Make single batch rice krispy treats according to package instructions, and let cool before adding snowmen (yield: 12 treats).

Snow man ingredients:
   White Candy Melts (one 14oz package makes 16 snowmen)
   Mini Chocolate Chips
   Light Cocoa Candy Melts
   Rolos Candy
   Candy Corn

For each snowman, you’ll need 6 mini chocolate chips, a light cocoa candy melt, and a Rolo. To make the nose, cut the orange section from a candy corn, then slice it in half lengthwise.  Roll the piece between your fingers to form a carrot shape.

To assemble your snowman, melt the white candy in a bowl according to the package instructions, then scoop a rounded tablespoon onto the *cut* rice krispy treat. With the back of a spoon, smear the candy into a puddle. Working quickly, stick on the light cocoa candy melt, add a dot of white melted candy, then place the Rolo on top (side-note: if you assemble the hats beforehand, it makes for faster assembly). Finally, add the candy corn nose and mini chocolate chip eyes and mouth (I used tweezers for accuracy in placement).  Let treats set and enjoy!

What crafts and special treats are you making this holiday season?

This post has been linked to:
MakingThe Girl CreativeSumo Sweet Stuff

Fun version of "12 Days of Christmas"

I love this take on "12 Days if Christmas" by Straight no Chaser. This is a talented group (not to mention I like just about anything a cappella).  Enjoy!

December 11, 2010

A visit with Santa

Today we took the kids to a Realtor office where Tom has clients for a visit with Santa Claus. We got the kids all dressed up, drove 40 minutes to the office, and hoped for great pictures...this being E's first time seeing Santa and C's second time since 2007. It didn't go quite as expected. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves (by the way, these are not the professional shots that will come to us later):
As you can see, E is a bit upset about the whole thing.  I asked her later why she was scared of Santa and she informed me that he looks like a bear.  Okey-dokey.  I do know that all of the hair on this Santa was 100% his own though, so perhaps I see her point.  A little.
C, on the other hand, looks a bit devious and conniving.  Perhaps he feels this is his chance to bypass mom & dad for whatever toy he has his eye on these days.  Not sure but it freaks me out a bit.

This by far is the best picture of the day :
I love the look on Santa's face.  And perhaps this better explains C's devious expressions, as he is clearly keeping it a big secret!
E improved quickly and accepted a candy cane from Santa.  Amazing what candy from a bear can do.

December 4, 2010

Holiday Recipe Cards

One of my favorite online digital scrapbook stores is Little Dreamer Designs. I absolutely go nuts over many of their kits, and have amassed quite the library on my computer...with the hope of someday assembling the scrapbooks I want need to make!

But that is a blog post for another day.

In the spirit of Christmas giving, LDD is offering *free goodies* for each of the 25 days of Christmas (you can sign up here to start getting them daily via e-mail).  Today I received these adorable recipe cards that can be printed and written on with favorite holiday recipes for friends and family: 
Fun and festive!  Unfortunately I am not able to redistribute these for downloading (I pleaded asked).  BUT if you sign up now, there will be more in the future...along with other fun items you might like. 
Oh, and for the record, none of this shameless promotion benefits me.  I just like to share the things I get excited about! :)

Happy Holidays!

December 1, 2010

Totally Random Christmas Questionnaire

I found this little ditty at one of my favorite blogs.  Seemed like something fun to do, and it helped distract me from dealing with my crazy, running-a-muck kids...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?   Egg nog, yuck!  Hot Chocolate is a year-round beverage in my opinion (a MUST for camping), so neither of these fall into a holiday beverage of choice for me.  I will say that Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte is a fall fave in our household.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  Wrap…unless it’s a huge heavy boxed item or a really weird shape…then forget it b/c Santa has better things to do than struggle with uncooperative wrapping paper.
3. Colored or white lights for tree/house? White all around.  The tree is already pre-lit with hundreds of tiny lights.  As far as lights on the house, the anal part of me says, “it will be too bright shining into the kids' bedroom windows at night.”  Thus, we end up with nothing at all.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? My husband needs no more incentive. 'Nuf said.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Black Friday, or there about.  I need an excuse not to shop with all the other crazies.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Sweet potato casserole (is it considered a casserole?  You know the one:  where we take perfectly healthy sweet potatoes and add sugar, sugar, and more sugar so that it becomes an excuse to eat dessert in the main course).
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Reading the *true* Christmas story as a family around the tree on Christmas Eve.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? When I saw two santas in the mall…and one was having a cigarette break. (jk, I don’t think I ever believed since my folks didn’t care for that particular part of Christmas).
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yeah, but just one.  It makes the 12 hours until Christmas morning much more bearable.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?  "I take an ornament, put a little hook on it, and hang it on the tree."  Is there any other way?  I’m still waiting for the tree that you remove from the box already decorated…the pre-lit fake trees are only halfway there.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it…for the first couple of hours and then I wonder when we’ll roshambo to see who shovels the driveway.
12. Can you ice skate? Just waiting for the phone call to participate in “Stars on Ice”!  (NOT)
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?  Back in the day when employers had money, my Dad’s company gave the employee’s kids age-appropriate toys.  I got a huge Tippy dog that I loved. 
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family togetherness (within reason) and baby Jesus!!
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? It’s a toss up between pecan pie and the aforementioned sweet potato casserole.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I would like it to be decorating the tree as a family with soft Christmas music playing in the background.  But considering my fear of the kids breaking the fragile ornaments and my husband not feeling the love, it’s usually a one-woman job (i.e., me).  This would explain my answer in question #10…
17. What tops your tree? A big bow
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Do you want the PC answer??
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?  I readily admit I looooove Christmas music.  I am the annoying one who is so excited when the local easy-listening radio station starts playing them ad nauseam from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  That said, my faves are usually by Christian artists…who truly celebrate the reason for the season.
20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Mostly yuck.  But the fruity ones can err on the side of yummy once in awhile.
21 Favorite Christmas Show?  Purely from a nostalgic standpoint, "Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer".  Who did not watch this classic as a kid?!  I am still shocked that it is only a ½ hour show though…it seemed so much longer back in the day.
22. Saddest Christmas Song?  Is "Same Old Lang Syne" (by Dan Fogelberg) a Christmas song?  I seem to hear a lot at this time of year, at any rate.  That is a sad song for some reason. 

In the Christmas spirit of giving, feel free to copy this post and fill it out on your blog! :)

I also can't resist putting this in here...I heart her!

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010!

 "For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank thee,
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank thee,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Special Thanksgiving wishes to all of our dear friends and family! 

November 6, 2010

Leaves, leaves and more leaves...

There is a downside to having mature trees on our property. 
But while it's a bit of work for us adults, the kids sure have fun!

Orphan Sunday...

is this Sunday, November 7. My prayer is that many churches take the opportunity to shine a light on the almost 150 million orphans around the world. Whether it's a small video clip, an insert in the bulletin, or (bless the church that is actually willing to do this) a whole sermon dedicated to the plight of the orphan.

At the very least, I ask you to please pray for those who are fatherless around the world...the ones who wait daily for their forever family...

November 5, 2010

"To be (Daphne), or not to be?"

Today there was a blog post that went viral.  It was talked about on all of the news shows, both locally and nationally.  It was a post about hate and intolerance.  But not because the author was the victim of hate, rather she was inciter of hate.  You see, she has a son who chose to dress as Daphne from “Scooby Doo” for Halloween.  While that is a tad disturbing in of itself (to me), I find her behavior to be even more so.  She opted to post a picture of her son in his Daphne costume on her blog and write “My Son is Gay” across the top of it.  Her next sentence in the post is, “or he’s not”, but by then she has garnered the attention she so desperately desired in that dramatic caption.  The damage is done.  That poor boy.  Has he any idea that his mom has made him (inadvertently or not) the poster child for cross-dressing and homosexuality?  That by using his image she has managed to exploit him for her own agenda?  That this is now on the internet to be later pulled up by anyone and everyone for years to come?  What was she thinking?!

So that is all disturbing in its own right, but the even more disturbing part?  The majority of people out there praise her behavior as heroic and brave.  She has become the icon of social acceptance…all at the expense of her son.  I know she does not get it.  I know that she is basking in the glow fame and adoration.  But I wish she would step back a moment and realize that her 5 year old son is just a child, and not an activist.  When he picked out his costume, he was thinking as a child who simply wanted to be a character he liked on TV.  He was not thinking of the statement he would make, or how much discussion his choice would garner.  He was being a kid…a kid who made a choice to be something that generally does not align with his gender.

But was his choice a wise one?

That’s where mature parenting comes in.  I firmly believe that this child needed guidance.  He needed a parent to sit down and, without ridiculing him on his costume choice, discuss the appropriateness of the costume…and what the possible consequences of his choice might be.  Maybe despite it all, he would have stayed the course and insisted on the costume anyway.  Or maybe (heaven forbid) he would have seen that the consequences and apprehension that he later encountered were valid and it was ok to rethink his first choice.

I can’t help but think of what I would have done if it had been my son who wanted to be Daphne.  Admittedly, I would not have liked it.  I would have struggled with it.  But I would have talked about it with him.  I would have pointed out that he is a boy…wouldn’t he like to be in a boy costume?  Wouldn’t he like to be Scooby or Shaggy…or Fred?  You see, I do not see anything wrong in showing kids the distinctive line between girls and boys.  Society wants to call this close-mindedness (just read the comments to the blog post).  The masses want to blur that line so that everyone is essentially asexual, with nothing distinguishing a male from a female and vice versa. 

The trouble with that is, people are now more confused than ever about who God created them to be.   

Blurring the lines of sexuality breeds insecurity and indecision.  Life is hard enough, why do we insist on making it harder by advocating homosexuality and trans-gender acceptance?  Why is it wrong to tell a small child that he is a boy and should dress and act accordingly?  Why is it a disservice to raise him up to be who God created him to be? 

The ironic thing in all of this is, the mom speaks disparagingly of the way other moms in the (Christian) preschool reacted when they saw her son.  She was quick to judge and demean them in her blog post…the very thing she said they did to her son at school.  But these ladies cannot defend themselves, and no one has stepped up to verify that this did occur that way this “mom” described.  My take?  The mom more than likely knew there would be issues with her son’s costume and was prepared for the battle even before she walked in the door (as a matter of fact, she mentions that her son was having misgivings on the costume just before school, but she "blew it off" and made him wear it to school anyway).  She wanted it to be a big deal.  She was ready to fight, and knew what she was doing.  As I’ve said before, that poor boy.  He deserves better.

All that said, I am disappointed in how many people out there think that this mom who exploited her kid is some kind of hero.  As I’ve said before, it’s very disturbing.

October 20, 2010

Mini-candied apples!

I recently went to a party where someone made candied apples.  Yum, right?  I love candied apples, especially in the fall season.  BUT I just don't like how big and messy they can be.  Not only that, but I like to have the coating with every bite of apple and end up wasting much of the apple.

So, you can only imagine how excited I was to find this recipe for (wait for it) mini candied apples!  This would be a great activity to do with the kids, or even for a Halloween party. 

You will need:
4-inch lollipop sticks
Melon baller
Granny Smith apples (one apple makes about 8 mini apples)
Butterscotch, chocolate, or peanut butter chips*
Chopped nuts, nonpareils, sprinkles, shredded coconut (or whatever your heart desires!)
Small paper candy cups

   *caramel may not adhere to the apple without the peel, per a comment on the website
First, cut the lollipop sticks in half at an angle (the pointy end will go into the apple pieces easier). 
With the melon baller, scoop little balls out of the apple. Each ball should have a section of apple peel. 
Push half of a lollipop stick into the peel of each ball. Pat the apple pieces dry.
Melt the chips according to the package directions. 
Dip and swirl the mini apples in the melted chips, then roll the apples in nuts, sprinkles, nonpareils, or coconut, if desired. 
Place the mini apples in paper candy cups to set.


p.s. Ok, so I read the reviews and found that many had problems with the coating sliding off. Someone recommended using caramel sheets instead. At any rate, this is definitely a "trial & error" recipe!
Site design by Tami Recke, header Art by "C" Recke. Copyright 2008 and beyond. All rights reserved.

Back to TOP