Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Party Central

I just love getting together with friends and family during December. Celebrating the season is the best ever! We kicked off December with the Carling Family Christmas party down at my Aunt Marilee's place in Liberty Park. She owns and runs the concession stand and rides, and the new little restaurant was a perfect place to hold a party. We ate grilled burgers and hot dogs, popcorn, soda, sweets and a ice cream sundae bar..yum-yum. Even Santa came and payed a visit to all the little boys and girls. The kids went sledding and warmed themselves by the fire. Heber's little hands were so cold! It was great seeing all of my aunts, uncles and cousins...even Grandma made it.

Another fun tradition with the Bernhisel side of the family is the annual cookie party! My aunt Jan had the party over at her newly remodeled house, and what a gorgeous house indeed. The kids decorated gingerbread houses with piles of icing and every kind of candy imaginable. Heber was a professional gingerbread house designer that day. He spent hours making sure his house was just right! It looked wonderful. Matt, Sarah and I made gingerbread mobiles (from the December issue of Martha). We rolled out dough, cut shapes, baked and decorated. My finished mobile is hanging in our living room. I plan to keep it year to year. It's so special to have such fun aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of my family.

The Eve of the Eve party is another Bernhisel Family tradition. My aunt Suzanne has the party over at her house. Everyone brings something delicious to share. There are piles of wonderful food, kids running and playing, lively conversation, and this year there was a serious game of bingo! Next Christmas will be so much fun...4 new baby boys under the age of one. Carter Theurer, Jack Stewart, Colter Allred & baby Felix. So fun!! Even with G-G having her hip replaced only a short time ago, made it to the party. It wouldn't be the same without her and Grandpa Ted.

My darling Kappa girlfriends always have a fun Christmas party celebration. This year April hosted the party over at her house. Lots of fondue and peppermint schnapps. Wish I could have had one of those! Sassy won the ugliest sweater contest. The sweater was not that bad...but with the addition of chocolate drips down the front it won hands down. April sported a lovely jacket and bedazzled/begangled golden corsage...a look for any holiday party. I seriously have the best friends in the world. Everyone is so different, yet we all get along so well. These women are so talented, beautiful and amazing.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Southern Splendor

We just got back from a quick trip down to Southern Utah. Southern Utah is one of my favorite places. I just love the red cliffs, cactus and blue skies! I think that is why I wanted to get married down in St. George. We did a day trip to Zion National amazing! Matt and I were with my mom and dad, and we all had a great time. We did the river walk and hiked to the Zion overlook...we even saw Big Horned Sheep! Never have we come across any in Zion before.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Recipe & Arrangement Of The Month

I thought it would be fun to blog about some of my favorite recipes once a month. Please try them out, I promise they are tasty! I also put on a favorite arrangement by La give you inspiration to order one for yourself.

This months recipe is a delicious cookie native to New Mexico called a "biscochito". It's Matt's favorite, so I whipped him up a batch. Yum-Yum!

Makes About 4 Dozen
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Whole Aniseed
1 Large Egg
2 Tablespoons Water
2 1/2 Cups Sifted flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cardamon *try this spice, it's amazing. If you don't have it just leave it out of the recipe.
2 Tablespoons Sugar Mixed with 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1. Cream together butter and sugar. Add aniseed and mix well. Beat in egg and water. Sift together dry ingredients except cinnamon-sugar mixture, and stir into batter; beat well. If dough looks a little dry, and a few Tablespoons of water to help it pull together.
2. Wrap in plastic & chill dough until firm.
3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes. I usually just do a simple round shape.
4. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
5. Cool for a few minutes and then dip each side of the warm cookie in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until it has a nice thin coating.
6. Move to wire racks to cool.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dang you Martha!

Okay, so I thought I would get really crafty this year and tackle a small holiday project. I bought the glitter snowflake kit from the Martha Stewart line at Michael's. The snowflakes looked so darling, and I'm a sucker for glittery things. I will advise you NOT to do this project. It takes forever. I've already put in 30 man hours trying to get these snowflakes glued and glittered. I would have much rather bought some already finished. When I finally am finished, I'm going to hang them and leave them all year, so I can remember all the hard work it took.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Kris Kringle Tradition

In the Bernhisel family we have the greatest Christmas tradition. On the Eve of December 5th, Kris Kringle comes to fill the children's shoes with small presents and sweets. This is how the tradition began.....St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children and his feast day is December 6th. Gradually in Germany, a custom grew up where on the eve of St. Nicholas' feast day children would place their shoes or boots out for St. Nicholas to fill with candy and fruit, with the bad children getting twigs. I have the fondest memories of waking up on the morning on December 6th hoping that Kris Kringle had made it to our house. I've carried on the tradition with Matt, and I can't wait to teach my own children about this special day.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Festive Decor!

We went to the best Christmas tree lot this year! The Robinson Family tree farm from Montana. We just had to buy our tree from a fellow Robinson. Matt has been stringing lights, the Christmas music is on, mugs of hot chocolate are ready, a crackling fire is roaring....finally we are ready to fill up the tree with all the ornaments. I love getting out all my Christmas decorations! It's so fun to unwrap all the tissue and see what little treasures have been hidden all year long. I also enjoy making fresh wreaths this time of year. The smell of fresh pine & bayleaf fill the house, and I can't help but smile.

Giving Thanks 2007

Thanksgiving this year was spent in Denver, Colorado with Matt's family. We had such a great time! We cooked, feasted, relaxed, shopped, and just spent time hanging out. We always appreciate seeing the Robinson side of the family, who we don't see enough! Spencer and Sophie (almost 6 year old twins!) are the cutest niece and nephew. Sophie just adores Matt. She is always in his lap giggling with him. Spencer is really into Star Wars was all he could talk about. Bill and Barbara are seriously the best parent-in-laws. It felt like they were always cooking and cleaning up after us. Their home is so lovely and comfortable, it always so nice staying with them. Matt and I are so thankful for such wonderful families. Love to you all!