Christmas Recap, Money Giving Idea & A Rolo Cookie Recipe

Hi All!  I hope you had a very Merry Christmas with family and friends.  We had a whirlwind of Christmas Celebrations, but loved every single one of them.

Money Giving Idea!

Clint wanted to give his nephews cash for Christmas.  What kid doesn’t enjoy receiving money, right?


We taped each bill together, placed them in a wrapped container, attached the last bill to a bow with directions to pull carefully.


I was so excited to see their faces as they pulled the string of money out!

Christmas Eve Celebrations

Our first celebration on Christmas Eve was with Clint’s mom, step-dad, siblings and nephews.  Debbie always cooks SO MUCH FOOD and it is always so very good.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling real well that day, so I didn’t get to enjoy the yummies.  😦  However, it was still a great day being with family.

And, the boys faces, say it all with their gifts:




Good luck getting through that maze:


What a fun first Christmas Celebration!

Our Second Christmas Eve Celebration was with my dad’s side of the family.  I enjoyed chatting with my grandpa, aunt and uncle and cousins.  Always a good time with them. 🙂

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My Gr’pa and I

DSC00592 BW My Cousin Megan and I

Totally wasn’t feeling very well and the pictures definitely show that.  So much for thinking I was doing a good job of hiding it!  Yeesh!

After our  Christmas Eve celebrations we headed back to the city so that we could be home on Christmas morning with Kyle!    We do a LOT of driving during the holidays.  We racked up a total of three trips to Clarinda, IA and back in four days.

Oh hello crappy gas mileage!

Christmas Morning:


Kyle and his pile.  It should be noted that some of those were also from his grandparents.  He was unable to make the Christmas Eve dinner due to his work schedule.

Who remembers High School retail hours?  Thank goodness those days are behind me!

DSC00602Fake smiles anyone?  At least they obliged. 🙂


The aftermath.  Even Champ was exhausted!


Clint spoiled me ROTTEN!  I mean, seriously.  A Kitchen Aid Mixer and the Yamaha keyboard I had been wanting.  This thing is legit!  Super excited to play again.  🙂  I have a piano in Clarinda at my dad’s house, however, who wants to haul that thing around?  No thanks.  He can keep it as a clothes hanger.

After we finished our Christmas Day Celebrations at our house, we headed back to Clarinda to spend the afternoon with my mom, step-dad, Bro and Gr’ma.

Mom had a delicious spread of snack foods, lasagna soup, desserts and of course champagne and beer.


We snacked, sipped, opened gifts and shared a lot of laughs.  It was a perfect Christmas Day afternoon.


Paige.  My mom’s baby.


My Bro, Gabe and his lifeline.


Clint and Gabe


My mom and step-dad.  They have the coolest back porch.  My mom has a knack for decorating.  It’s like a little cottage setting back there.  So cute.

DSC00634Yours Truly

I am going to leave you with a Rolo Cookie Recipe that I again, only make once a year (like my Caramel Chex Mix), but these cookies only go to my Uncle Craig.  Well, they are made with the intent of just going to him, but my grandpa, aunt and cousins seem to always anticipate their arrival as well. 😉  I found this recipe originally on   Those chicks are my recipe heroes.


Rolo Cookies

1.  Unwrap Rolo’s and Mix together cake mix, oil and eggs.

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 2. Wrap dough around one Rolo

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3. Bake for 7-8 minutes at 350

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4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar

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Merry Christmas to You From Me!


Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas!

My gift to you is the recipe for my most requested treat, Caramel Chex! I only make it one time a year for a very specific reason:

It’s ridiculously addicting.

Consider yourself warned.


Step 1: Heat sugars and butter over medium heat. On a prepared baking sheet spread out cereal, nuts and coconut.


Step 2: Coat cereal mixture with caramel mix. Try not to drool.


Step 3: Stir well, place in oven for 24 minutes, stirring every eight minutes to assure every cereal bit gets equally coated.

Step 4: After the 24 minute baking time spread mixture out on greased parchment paper making sure to create an even layer.


Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, stir and break up with your fingers, continue cooling until caramel has set.


Step 5: Try to keep your significant other out of it


Step 6: Store as desired. I place mine in Gallon zip lock bags and add M&M’s. As the Chex settles it will stick together, creating clumps, so keeping it stored in baggies allows you to massage the chex mix to break it up.


Printable recipe:


I hope you enjoy family, friends, food and drinks over the next few days.