Saturday, December 22, 2007

Jeana's Balls of Magical Goodness

I think sometimes Ben wishes Jeana lived at our house. One reason is her homemade bread. Another is her awesome dinners - you can count on them to be good. And the most recent reason is her Oreo Balls of Magical Goodness aka Oreo Truffles.

Jeana and I went visiting teaching the other day and she made them to take along. They were really yummy and I thought everyone should know about such an awesome treat, especially around the holidays.

The ingredients are:
1 package of Oreos
1 8oz. block of cream cheese, softened
chocolate - milk, dark, or white

Put the Oreos in the food processor until they are fine crumbs. Add the softened cream cheese and mix until fully combined.

Refrigerate for about an hour. Then roll into balls and place them on a wax paper covered cookies sheet. Freeze the balls for another hour or so and then dip them in melted chocolate.

I tried a few chocolates - milk, semi-sweet, and dark. Jeana used Bakers chocolate. After she dipped them the first time, she froze them until the chocolate hardened and then dipped them again. So they had a lot more chocolate and were harder. I just dipped them once and then I put little chocolate stripes on them. You just have to put some chocolate chips in a Ziploc bag and melt them in warm water. Then, you cut a tiny hole in the corner and drizzle the chocolate on the balls.

Aside from using different kinds of chocolate, you can use different kinds of Oreo's. My favorite were mint Oreos, but I also tried peanut butter. They would also be cute with plain Oreos and white chocolate with dark or milk chocolate stripes.

My other favorite holiday treat was a sugar cookie with yummy fruit filling. Click here for the recipe. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Grouping, Stacking, Moving, Organizing

I was a really nice mom this morning and let Lucas in the pantry, which is usually off limits. He had a great time taking all the food out and moving it around. He made a huge mess, but it was worth the time that it kept him occupied. Lucas loves to take things, put them in a pile, stack them, move them to a new place, and stack them again. He's so silly.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mom of the Year Award

The past couple of days have been stressful and bizarre. We had car problems, a stranger stay at our house (one point for charity!), and I stupidly burned a bunch of chocolate while making candy.

Last night I went to pick up a rental car because the Honda dealership forgot to fix our car yesterday. I decided to hit the HEB on the way home so I could get more chocolate and some diapers. The store was packed because it was 6:30, so my shopping cart options were limited. I managed to grab a shopping cart with no belt to strap around Lucas. I was talking on the phone to Ben and made note that I needed to be careful because now Lucas could fall out.

All was fine and dandy until I got to the kid aisle. I was looking at Crayons on one side and Lucas was looking at (and really wanting) the balls on the other side. I had just decided on the twisty Crayons when CRASH - I turned around and there was Lucas on the floor between the balls and the shopping cart. My poor little man tumbled out head first onto the HEB floor. He was screaming bloody murder and this lady came up to make sure he was okay. I assured her that everything was fine, but she went and got the manager anyways. He came over with an ice pack and got my name and number so their corporate office could contact me if need be.

I felt really guilty for not watching Lucas better so, like all good parents, I bought him a toy to make up for it. I was deciding between the sweet dachshund and a lion (Lucas likes to make lion noises these days). Of course, I had to get the dog because it looked just like Oscar (but doesn't bite), plus it was half the price of the lion.

Here's to Lucas and his Oscar doll. If you ask Lucas what a lion says, he says "Uuuuhhhh", if you ask what a dog says, he says "Uhh-Uhh."

Ben and Suzy's Dirty Video

Warning: The following video has been "flagged as inappropriate for some viewers under 18" by some freak on YouTube. It's a video Ben and I took after working in the yard on a hot and steamy day in Austin.

To that mean, mean person I would just like to say whatEVER. There are some freaks on YouTube who do post dirty videos of pregnant ladies, but not ME. Now, when you go to my video, the videos featured next to it are videos that have been flagged too. Ugh.

Sorry if you find our Lucas fountain offensive. We think it's a thing of beauty and we always will.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas time?

Here in Austin, Texas it was 72 degrees yesterday. It just doesn't feel much like Christmas when you break a sweat walking a few blocks to the mail box.

Another reason it doesn't feel too Christmassy is perhaps the lack of a Christmas tree at our house. We do have our wreath and a few other decorations... all in Hanukkah colors, but red and green just wouldn't match!

And I have lights on one tree outside, so that's kind of fun, too.

The other thing I miss is the shopping. I haven't really done much at all this year because we are on a shopping diet. But, I just want the Cutchen girls to know that I miss the endless hours of hitting the mall, the aching feet, annoying crowds & traffic, and being forced to try on more, more, and more. I'll see you at the after-Christmas sales.

We're excited to go spend Christmas in Arizona and New Year's in Albuquerque. And of course, we're most excited to spend time with family. See you soon! Lock up your breakables, barricade your tree, and get ready for some exercise. LucaD is coming to town!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How Many Licks...

There are two types of people in this world: those who suck on a sucker all the way to the middle, savoring every last bit of sugary goodness (me), and those who bite the sucker at the half-way point, thus ending their sucker experience sooner (Ben).

Well, we found out last night that Lucas, like me, enjoys to suck his sucker all the way to the middle, where one might find a tootsie center or a bubble gum center. Last night Lucas found a bubble gum center in his sucker. He chewed on a little piece of the gum for a minute until I got him to spit it out for me.

You may ask what would drive two sane parents to give a sugary Blow Pop to a 15 month old child before bed time? The answer is simple: a haircut.

We decided that Lucas was looking way to scrappy to visit his grandparents in Arizona for Christmas. After all, it's only their second time meeting and we want him to make a good impression. Normally this means putting him in clothes other than his pajamas. But, for this special occasion we took out the scissors.

Last time, Lucas had his hair cut by a real barber. This time Mom and Dad took over (but Mom was very scared). He just needed a little trim, so we figured we might not butcher the poor kids hair too badly. Ben wanted to buzz it, but luckily I won that battle. Lucas is just a little baby and plus he has a horrible cowlick. He needs his hair.

Anyhow, the results were acceptable. I think the grandparents will all be pleased. The cleanup afterwards proved more difficult than the cutting. Ben took Lucas straight to the shower. (Imagine a kid with sucker slobber all over his body, PLUS hair stuck to the slobber). I took Lucas' chair out to the hose and then proceeded to clean up the hair/slobber in the kitchen.

It was an interesting experience. Hopefully Lucas can go back to a real barber some day...

So, how do you like your suckers?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I know it's late, but I have to share the story of Thanksgiving 2007 because it was so magically delicious...

My mom and dad decided that it would be fun to make the drive to Austin for Thanksgiving this year. They got into town the day before Thanksgiving just in time for the horrible weather to blow in, but that didn't stop our fun.

For Thanksgiving a big group of us went to Wendy and Blair's the break in the new house. Everyone brought lots of yummy food and we had lot of fun. My parents proved themselves to be very useful in the gravy making and turkey carving departments! I think they were quite popular among the group.

Lucas was such a good boy for dinner. I put a big sheet on the floor so he could throw his food on the floor just like at home. Luckily he didn't toss that much overboard. AND he sat in his chair tasting and listening to conversation long after most of the adults! I think it was partially due to little bites of Jamie's sweet chex mix...mmmm. It was nice to just have him sitting there and not wandering around breaking the new house.

After our lovely dinner we had about 5 pies to choose from and we all ate too much and felt fat, but it was a nice fat.

Friday was my and Ben's 5th anniversary! I can't believe it's been 5 years. When Ben talked to his mom that day he mentioned that it was our anniversary and the conversation went like this:
Nancy: "I can't believe it's been 2 years already!"
Ben: "Um... higher"
Nancy: "Three???"
Ben: "Um... more."
Nancy (louder): "Four???"
Ben: "more..."
Nancy (loudest): "Five years? I can't believe you've been married 5 years!"

It was really funny. Time sure does fly! My mom thought it seemed like more than five years... maybe because we lived in her house for two years.

That night my parents babysat Lucas and we went to the Melting Pot with Wendy and Blair, who also had an anniversary, as well as someone small and sweet to celebrate. It was lots of fun. We ate more cheese and chocolate than any human should ever eat, but it was yummy.

THEN, Saturday was my birthday. I turned 21. I can't believe I'm only 21!
On my birthday my phone rang bright and early at 6:45. I saw it was Jamie and didn't answer the phone. Then I thought, "Oh, something could be wrong..." But, before I could finish my thought, she was calling back, so I answered. She said, "Suzanne, you need to put on some clothes and come outside." I asked who she was with and she said it didn't matter. So, I put on some clothes, and told Ben I was being kidnapped, to which he replied, "yeah, I know" and I made my way downstairs. Then I saw my mom at the front door talking to all my friends outside. To my surprise, my mom was all done up and ready to go out. So, we all got in the cars and drove to Andrea's to pick her up and we made our way down to South Congress and ate at the Magnolia Cafe. It was really fun. I hadn't been kidnapped since I was in high school, so it was quite the surprise. Thanks Jamie, Jeana, Wendy, Dani and Andrea! You guys are the best. I'll always remember our breakfast with the delicious love butter.

Later than morning, my mom and I went shopping for high boots and a Cuisinart, then headed home to meet up with the boys. We decided to go to The Salt Lick for dinner/late lunch. It was way far away in the boonies, and it was packed. The Salt Lick is famous in Austin for BBQ and I'm glad we went, but I don't think we'll make the drive again for a while. It was really yummy, though, and Lucas loved the bread and the beans.
That night we had birthday pie and were going to stay up and play games, but we were all too tired. That's what happens when you turn 21.

Then next day my mom and dad headed back to ABQ. It's always sad when they have to go home and I have to get back to reality, but I'm grateful that they could come visit. I love having family around. There are more people to entertain Lucas and he has fun showing off and getting all that extra attention. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for all the fun times. I'm glad you made the crazy drive and battled the wind, sleet, snow, and dead car batteries. You guys are awesome! Love you.