Puppies, Christmas cookies, and musings

Hello once again! I have not blogged in awhile, but today I decided to share another post with you all πŸ™‚

We’ve had a puppy explosion over here, and it’s fun watching them grow. And a little stressful πŸ™‚ They are ready to go to new homes, and I find myself torn between happiness about that, and also feeling a little sad. These are theΒ  mini labradoodles, and they get played with the most, because they have taken up residence in the garage πŸ™‚ I will miss my welcome committee every time I come home πŸ˜‰

There are 5 in the litter, but “George” is my favorite!There is lots of chaos here πŸ™‚We also have a litter of mini golden doodles. They are so sweet and cuddly.

This is “Rosie”This one is “Oreo”And this is “Joe”We have more, but this post might get too long πŸ™‚ It will be nice for the children to be home from school this week to help more with them.

We had cookie exchange here with my mom and sisters, and made some candy. It was a full day, but went too fast πŸ™‚These oreo truffles are a favorite here!

Then we had the “helpers”And the snitchers πŸ™‚His face when we slide the goodies out of reach πŸ˜‰Cousins..So many yummy treats! The chocolate are a favorite at our house!! Here is the recipe!

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

  • 1 3/4 flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 24 large marshmallows, halved

Glaze..

  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tblsp. hot, strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine flour, soda, salt,& cocoa. Cream shortening and sugar, beat in egg. Add flour alternately with milk, beating well. Add vanilla. Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 350* for 8 min. Top each cookie with a marshmallow half, pressing gently onto partially baked cookie. Bake 2 min. more. Cool and Glaze. Yields 4 doz. cookies.

And the taste testers πŸ™‚I think it’s safe to say they were quite tasty πŸ™‚It is nice to have a big selection to hand out cookie plates! So glad we do this every year!

Now for the musings part πŸ™‚

My children came home from school the last day before ChristmasΒ  vacation, with reports of all the school festivities, and who all was going to Florida over vacation. I could see the jealousy in their eyes, and I admit I joined them in their jealousy for a bit πŸ™‚ Somewhere warm and sunny sounded quite divine, and we have never gone on any big family vacation. My mind went to how hard we work at farming, the low milk prices the past while, and how it seemed unfair that we can’t do more “fun” things πŸ™‚

But my mind didn’t stay there long, as I thought of ALL my blessings!! Good health, my family, plenty of food, a home, a farm that we are working on buying, my home business, and so many more things that I can take for granted!! Life shouldn’t be all comfort and ease, should it? Because worthwhile things take hard work, and faith, and patience. Ahh, that last one is something I lack πŸ˜‰

I admit to being extra stressed in December, allowing the STUFF to get the best of me at times. I think it was last Saturday night, after another round of cookies were being finished, and I was cleaning up yet another mess, the children heard me say, ” Well heaven is looking sweeter all the time!” πŸ™‚ As it should be, right?

It is far too often I allow the daily things to weigh me down, and let that spirit of discontent in.

Friends, I challenge you to count your blessings this Christmas season! And share a bit of that Christmas joy with others!! Blessings, Jo

It’s Christmas morning, and our house is loud and jolly. The children were bursting to open their gifts! Giving gifts is something that we keep pretty simple at our house. The past few years we have not spent much on gifts, simply because they have too much already. This year we did buy the older 3 a bit larger of a gift. Kirsten really wanted a camera, so she was tickled with that. I figured with her being 12, she should be responsible enough to take care of one πŸ™‚ Devan got his LOOOng time wish of a bb gun. I have to say, it was so fun to see his face! And Tristan is loving his truck and cattle trailer to haul all his animals. Jenna got a play doh set that made her very happy. It’s worth cleaning up the mess, as much as she loves to play with play doh! She got little containers of play doh from her Sunday school teachers on Sunday, and she played and played some more with them. With this dreary weather, it was so nice for her to have that to play with!

While we try not to focus just on giving gifts, there is so much delight in seeing the happiness on your children’s faces as they tear into the gifts. And our sweet daughter blessed us so much today. She went around and handed out cards to everyone. That’s so her, she loves to make cards and notes! But I opened my card, and there was money in it.Β  Same in Dale’s. And $1 for her sister, and $2 for each brother. I said, ” Kirsten! That is too much!” I felt wrong taking it, but I also could tell she really wanted us to have it. So I said thank you, as my momma heart swelled and the tears came rolling down. You know those moments when you feel so proud of them? πŸ™‚ Because this is something that we want our children to learn from Christmas. That giving is so much better than receiving! It humbled me and taught me a lesson that I need to be more willing to give. She doesn’t have a huge amount of money, and was still willing to share. I’m just so happy she has a giving heart!

It’s time for this lady to get ready for our family get together. I’m so grateful we are all well today! Devan threw up during the night on Tue. night, and I was hoping and praying we could go today.

Well, we are back home again after a lovely time with family. The children are in bed, and things are winding down. We sure missed my sis and her family this Christmas! Merry Christmas, you dear people in Haiti! πŸ™‚

Mom had a wonderful meal! It was loud! Their was intense games of Dutch Blitz πŸ™‚ Good times!!

A few pictures of our cookie exchange day. We did candy as well.cookie bake, christmas, etc 002 Working on the peanut butter cups. Tristan was the ever present helper. He had no one to play with, since Cody and Owen couldn’t be here, and Karen couldn’t make it because of sick ones. That was disappointing 😦cookie bake, christmas, etc 005

cookie bake, christmas, etc 008 Above are mocha truffles. It is very good these are not around much! Dangerous to your health πŸ˜‰cookie bake, christmas, etc 009Peppermint patties. These were hard to coat. We weren’t sure why.cookie bake, christmas, etc 013Yum , yum! cookie bake, christmas, etc 015This was after school. Everyone wanted a taste πŸ™‚

And I’ll share a favorite recipe of ours. We call them chocolate marshmallow cookies. They are also called Amish Hats, depending what cookbook you have.

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Large marshmallows, halved

Combine flour, soda, salt, & cocoa. Cream shortening and sugar, beat in egg. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating well. Add vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 min. Top each cookie with a marshmallow half, pressing gently onto cookie. Bake 2 min. more. Cool and glaze.

For the record, I adhere to the baking time pretty strictly. Some of your ovens may vary, but this worked good for me.

Glaze:

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 cups 10x sugar

3 Tbsp. hot coffee

1/2 cup butter, melted

This recipe doesn’t have instructions for making the glaze, but I will tell you how my mom does it. She melts the butter on the stove, then adds in the cocoa till it’s dissolved. Remove from heat, and whisk in 10x sugar and coffee. The reason I gave her instructions is because I made them, and my glaze looked terrible πŸ™‚ See below.cookie bake, christmas, etc 034_edited-1 cookie bake, christmas, etc 036 cookie bake, christmas, etc 037I almost didn’t include pictures of this lumpy icing, but this thing happens sometimes πŸ™‚ Betty Crocker I am not! I was going to hand them out on cookie trays, but these will not be going to anyone else. I was disappointed as they do take a bit of time to make. The good part. They still taste good, despite their looks, and we will enjoy every last one!! πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend! A few more days left to enter the giveaway πŸ™‚