December 2009 Archives

More Spokane Carousel

Grandma treated everyone to Carousel rides after the family get-together in Spokane:








Kopczynski Christmas 2009

Some highlights from the Kopczynski Christmas day at Uncle Don and Aunt Dena's house.

Grandma Theresa gave cousin Jill a fabulous set of personalized graduation gifts:


Dena gave out updated family cookbooks to everyone. It was the highlight of the day:


The youngsters didn't get cookbooks, but thank goodness for small handheld electronic devices to prevent them from going insane with boredom:


The Nintendo DS is the only thing that kept Colin from snacking on chocolate peanut clusters.


The "Theresa Branch" family photo!


Christmas 2009

Christmas eve we drove to Grandma Theresa's house down in Lewiston. Shortly after arriving, we realized that we forgot to bring our big jar of Grandma Tillie's Shrimp Cocktail that I made the night before. So Dad drove back to Moscow to fetch it. In retrospect, I don't think it was worth it. Note to self: next time don't use frozen shrimp!

We went to Children's mass where Bradleigh sang, Jacob read, and all the kids sat up near the altar. They were quizzed by Fr. Les. Colin said he hopes Santa doesn't bring him a bag of rocks. A reference to the Great Pumpkin, I believe.

The lasagna dinner at the Oshaugnessy's was sooooo good. Even got some "to go." Aunt Karen made some perfect Wessels Tom & Jerry.  It was wonderful on my scratchy throat.  Also got my fix of Grandma's traditional christmas desert: Graham cracker crust, marshmallows, ice cream, chocolate. I should know what its called, but I'm too lazy to go look in the family cookbook. I think I need to learn how to make this.


Opening of the gifts went about as well as could be expected with a 5-year old hopped up on Christmas cookies. Colin got a very nice Idaho Vandals hat, and a Hot Wheels track set. Daddy got some warm coveralls so he can be just like Uncle Larry. Mom's gift was a bit of a trick. She was very surprised to unwrap an Ipod touch case. After getting the tape off, she gasped at the sight of a new wedding ring with three stones. Look for the video on youtube. But she should know better to think that I'd buy her any type of jewelry without prior approval. The ring's a fake and she got neither an Ipod or ring. But, hey, what about that nice kitchen composting bin, huh?



Santa found us at Grandma's house and left a Nintendo DS for Colin. Mom and Dad still aren't sure about Santa's choice here, but for now we defer to his years of experience and good judgement. It came with Super Marios Bros and Scribblenauts (thanks to Santa's Clarkston helpers), but I think his favorite is just the built-in chat/draw program.

One of my favorite Colin gifts is this homemade hooded towl from Grandma Theresa. The old blue Monster Towel hits him at about the knees now!


More Like This

Such a good helper. C was a little sad that I quickly cleared most of our own driveway. He decided to sweep the snow off the neighbor's walkway, all by himself!


Grandma's Chocolate Mint Cookies


These are my favorite Christmas cookies -- chocolate mint. I haven't quite matched the perfection of my Mom's baking, but I give it a try every year. Here's the recipe from our family cookbook:


¾ cup butter 1 cup sugar
1 egg ½ tsp vanilla
2 cups flour ¾ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt ¼ cup milk

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Then the remaining ingredients, alternating with milk. Refrigerate for two hours, then roll flat and cut out small circles. Bake at 325 °F for 8-10 minutes.


3 tbsp butter 1½ cups powdered sugar
3+ drops green food coloring 2 drops peppermint extract
1 tbsp milk

You might have to double the filling recipe, depending how thin the cookies are, etc. Use "red hots" candies and leftover filling to decorate the tops.

McChristmas Lights

I took some time at lunch today and finished the lights along the tallest part of the roofline. Anne suggested I take a photo with the lights and the moon!


2010 Update: Wow, look what a little photo editing can do!