This recipe is a family favorite. Especially because it is so easy to make.
1 box of Graham Crackers
2 small packages of vanilla pudding (cheesecake is good too)
3 cups milk
12 oz cool whip
6 T cocoa
4 T butter
1 T light corn syrup
3-4 T milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or until desired sweetness)
Beat pudding with milk fold in cool whip. Set aside. Line 9 x 13 pan with whole graham crackers. Add 1/3 pudding mixture. Top with layer of graham crackers. Repeat ending with graham cracker layer. For frosting, melt butter and corn syrup. Mix in cocoa, then powdered sugar and milk. Spread over graham crackers. Refrigerate overnight.
On the way home from AZ, we decided to detour through the Grand Canyon and it was so worth it! It just takes your breath away to see such amazing grandeur. I loved how silent it was up there. We just about froze our fingers off, especially since we had packed for the 70 degree AZ weather. The best part was seeing the sun set over the canyon. It was just so completely silent out there with the rays of sun breaking through the clouds casting golden light across the rocks. It was such a reverent moment to see the glory of the Lord in the beauty of His creation. But that is enough talking, enjoy some of the picture.
It seems this year that we are cursed when it comes to vacation. Well, not vacation itself, but coming back home. 3 or 4 days after we got back from our cruise last summer, my sister had an accident and was in the hospital. Thanksfully, she is fully recovered.
So, true to form, not a week after we got home from Christmas break, we were headed to AZ. My little niece was born after 7 minutes without oxygen and things just didn’t look good at all. We headed down to AZ support my brother and sister-in-law in such a trying time for them and our family. When we left Utah, the outlook was not good, but by the time we got their, Bailey was still fighting and there were lots of great signs. Phoenix Children’s is taking great care of her and it seems all the prayers and faith are paying off. She really is such a miracle baby in so many ways and what a blessing already. To see the hand of the Lord in healing her and helping our family has been a wonderful blessing.
She is such a trooper and we just loved seeing her react to to touch and voice. Bailey and her parents still have a long road ahead of them, but the Lord is there every step of the way and is watching over them and sending an outpouring of blessings. I am so grateful that I have a great job and understanding boss that makes it possible to support my family in times of need. Though, I think she might not ever approve vacation time again!
One of the things we were looking forward to the most in going to Texas for Christmas was warm weather. So, fitting that Texas had the first white Christmas in 80 years while we were there. And of course, it didn’t just snow once, but TWICE! Thus making our trip to Texas just about as cold as Utah. Either way, we had a wonderful Christmas. It was wonderful to be home.
Over the break we saw The Blind Side (amazing) and Avatar (way cool.) We spent a lot of time in the hot tub, sleeping in and playing Super Mario Brother’s Wii. Now that is a fun game. They did a great job bringing in all the old-school stuff and then adding lots of new stuff. It is actually quite hard. Especially considering we had four people who grew up on the first Nintendo.
We also got to hang out with Ruthie and Camille and head back to high school days for lunch at Golden Chick. There really is only one Golden Chick. The best chicken, fries, and a roll with a yummy gravy for dipping! The New Year rang in in a 103 degree hot tub with some Martinelli’s to sip on.
With Kevin’s family here, we went up to Temple Square to see the lights. It was cold and beautiful. Here are a few pictures.
Kevin’s parents and grandma came out from California to spent Thanksgiving with us. It was great to have them here and spend some time with them. They spoiled us beyond belief. But before we get there, I want to brag about the best Thanksgiving we have had. The best part?? Smoke turkey! Kevin’s Christmas present from him grandma was a new smoker. We brought it home just in time for Thanksgiving and enjoyed a delicious, juicy turkey with a beautiful pink tint. And even better is that we only ate about 1/10 of the turkey we had, so we are and will be enjoying the leftovers for a while. I am so proud of Kevin for cooking an amazing turkey. Aside from the turkey, we had all kinds of other Thanksgiving classics. And for dessert, Kevin’s Mom’s famous Pumpkin and Lemon Meringue pie.
Today has had a couple of themes for me today. First, I will admit that I have been listening to Christmas music for a while now and love it. I can partly say that it is due to the fact that I am singing some of the pieces in a choir I am in, so I need to hear them to learn them. Well, I tell myself that anyway:) Today, I was thinking about why I get so excited for Christmas. When we are children, we are excited to see what Santa is going to bring us. We hardly sleep in anticipation of the gifts under the tree. But why, when I am 27 years old do I still get the same giddy feeling? Some of these pictures come to my mind and I think this is why. I picture my house, decorated and festive, with a Manheim Steamroller CD playing in the background. I see the Christmas tree with the colorful lights and lots of ornaments, purchased and homemade by 6 children. I think of the family room with my whole family crammed in there in our pajamas just excited to be together and sharing in each other’s happiness. I see the excitement on my little sister’s face when she was the last to hang on to the fantasy. I think about how excited I get choosing gifts for my husband knowing that he will love it or how it will be such a surprise for him. Driving around town looking at Christmas lights.
And the music…ah the music of Christmas. It is the music more than anything that can bring the spirit of Christmas. I am filled with light and love and joy. Especially when I listen to music about the reason we have Christmas: Christ. How He came to this earth to live as a man to teach us light and love and truth. He was the perfect example of giving. He overcame sin and death so that I can also follow in His footsteps and live with my family forever with Him and our Father. This is the true message of joy and Christmas. And how can we not be giddy and happy knowing it!
Now for an abrupt change of subject. Have any of you ever experienced the pure relief just from rearranging a room? It just feels so good to make a change and reorganize. I was cleaning our living room this evening and just decided to try a few new arrangments. With the help of Kevin, we completely changed everything around and it feels amazing sitting here on the couch with a fresh, clean, organized room. Change can be good. Especially when it involves taking chaos and creating something good from it.
I posted previously of the new bathtub that my dad and brother helped us install. We have been working tirelessly over the last week to tile the surround. Not to mention that we have had to take baths all week so as not to get the tile wet. It was a lot of work, but has paid off. It looks great and we are so excited to take showers again!
Click here for a free Snuggie. Ya know those funny blankets with arms that are the huge craze right now. Yep. Free, you don’t even pay shipping and handling.
Along with my parents and brother, another brother and his family came up from AZ and we all got together for a BBQ at our house. My brothers kids are so cute and we had a ton of fun playing with them. The best line came from my 6 year old niece who looked up at the ceiling and said ” Aunt Heather, you have carpet on your ceiling!” I made sure that she climbed the stairs and touched the “carpet” herself before she left. We also played the Wii a little. Here are some pictures: