Counting my Blessings…..

It has been a good holiday season for our family.   We were lucky to be able to be with much of our family and enjoyed our time with them greatly.   Our hearts ache for our family and friends that were faced with tragedy this holiday season.

Our second event of the holiday season is Coyan Christmas!   We have the entire Coyan family to our home to celebrate the holidays together.   We are blessed to be able to be with family for the holidays each year. 


Paul’s Mom and Dad.  


Julie (SIL) and Dale (BIL)


My nieces – Kristen and Lisa


A new guest to Coyan Christmas, Chrissi (Bob’s GF) and my nephew Bob.


Joe introduced his GF, Jennifer to us as well this holiday season. 


Cousins hanging out in Josh’s room.


My Sister in Laws – what blessings to me.


Christmas Eve – what a blessing to have all our children with us for Christmas Eve. 

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Our Tree and Gifts..


My Boys….


The Appetizer Buffet..


The boys love sparkling juice!


Kaleb (nephew) and Steve (BIL) celebrated Christmas with us!




Goofy boys with full tummies!


All my Boys….what a blessing!


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Blessing – brothers spending time together!


Blessing – a wonderful hubby to cook with!


Learned how to make Pork Crown Roast!


Son and Dad spending some time together.


Though this might look like a usual Holiday season at our house, I am especially thankful this year for the blessings of family!   This year over the Christmas break many people around us experienced tragedy and loss.   One of Tommy’s school mates, lost her father and one of the children from Tommy’s soccer team also lost his father over Christmas.   A friend of mine lost his granddaughter at the age of 3-1/2 to the battle with leukemia.   My hearts go out to each of those families.    My thoughts and prayers have been with them throughout this holiday season. 

Hug those close to you and remember how blessed you are!!

Happy New Year….


I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed the last few days getting caught up with everyone’s blogs.  I sure miss being able to post and socialize with everyone.  I hope to make more time in 2010 to blog.  It is a great way to document our lives and memories as a family.

I am looking forward to ringing in the new year this evening in the comfort of my home with those I love, my hubby and children.   I think we might play the new computer game we received for Christmas while we wait to ring in the New Year. 

I need to think about my goals for 2010 and will post about those later I am sure.   We have had a good 2009 and look forward to creating a wonderful 2010.  

As with every post lately, I am thinking about what to make for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  Our lives are so packed with traditions around food, so my kids are already planning what we should have tonight!  So I guess that means I need to go to the grocery store, after I plan some special treats for tonight and tomorrow!


New Year’s Eve (appetizers)
Pizza Dip
Shrimp Cocktail
Popcorn Shrimp
Egg Rolls
Honey BBQ Wings
Cheese Sticks
Hawaiian Bread/Spinach Dip
Veggie Tray with Dip
Sparkling Juice

New Year’s Day

Crab Legs

Parmesan Potatoes
Pull Apart Garlic Bread from Frugal

Veggie – use up rest of squash



Wishing you a wonderful night bringing in 2010 with those you love!!


Happy New Year!


Christmas Eve Recipes…..

We tried a couple of new recipes this year for Christmas Eve.  The following were hits and will be added to our online cookbook.


1/2 Cup Butter, melted
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 round loaf sourdough bread
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, cut into thin slices

In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients; set aside.  Cut bread diagonally into 1 inch slices to within 1/2 in of bottom of loaf.  Repeat cuts in opposite direction. Arrange cheese slices in cuts.  Drizzle butter mixture over bread.

Wrap loaf in foil; place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 

*Taste of Home Simple & Delicious – January/February 2010


3/4 cup red currant jelly
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
3 Tbsp. prepared mustard
2 pkg (1 lb each) miniature smoked sausages, drained. 

In a large saucepan, combine the jelly, barbecue sauce and mustard.  Cook, uncovered over medium heat, for 15-20 minutes or until jelly is melter and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. 

Add sausage; stir to coat.  Cover and cook 5-6 minutes longer or until heated through, stirring occasionally.  Serve with toothpicks. 

(I did cook my sauce on the stove to melt, but then put the sausages and sauce in the crockpot for a few hours on low)

*Taste of Home Simple & Delicious – January/February 2010


1 lb ground beef
6 bacon strips, diced
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 pkg (8 oz) process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
1 tube (16.3 oz) large refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard

In a large skillet, cook the beef, bacon and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add cheese; cook and stir until melted.  Remove from the heat. 

Flatten each biscuit into a 5 inch circle; spoon 1/3 cup beef mixture onto each biscuit.  Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.  Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. 

Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  In a small bowl, combine ketchup and mustard; serve with roll-ups.   Yield:  8 servings.  (I made these with 2 cans of the little buttermilk biscuits. They turned out more appetizer size)

*Taste of Home Simple & Delicious – January/February 2010

Great appetizers!  Hope you enjoy them!

Merry Christmas………..



While I enjoy Coymas, I love Christmas!!  My favorite day of the year is Christmas Eve.  I love attending Christmas service with my children and celebrating the real reason for the season, the birth of our Savior!! 

We have traditions of how we celebrate Christmas Eve each year, that have become very special to us.  We always attend Christmas Service together.  The plow has gone by our house and we are nearly dug out so we will be able to attend service at 4:00.   I am so looking forward to the service.  

After church we come home and start making our feast of apprtizers.  Each person selects one favorite they want and I try a couple of new appetizer recipes too!   My children love shrimp so there is always alot of that!!  So we snack on appetizers in the living room.   We have a great time!   After eating, we exchange gifts between ourselves and watch a Christmas movie.  This year we will be watching The Nativity.   It is a quiet evening with the family celebrating the birth of Christ!     There is nothing better……

Christmas Eve Appetizers -2009

Deviled Eggs
Shrimp Cocktail
Popcorn Shrimp (Stovetop – fry)
Smoked Little Sausages -Pg 19 NEW (Stovetop – 25 minutes)
Mozzarella Sticks (450 – 8 minutes)
Bacon Cheeseburger Roll-ups – pg 56 NEW (400 – 18 minutes)
Crispy Noodle Shrimp (Bake at 400 – 15 minutes)
Party Bread – pg 19 NEW (350 for 15 mins/uncovered 10 more)
Hot Artichoke Dip – (350- 20 minutes)

May the Lord bless and watch over you and your loved ones this Christmas and upcoming year. 

Merry Christmas!! 


I received the new cookbook put out by The Pioneer Woman!  It is amazing.  While looking at it we saw a recipe for Sangria.  I commented that I wish I knew where to find a container like that, as I want to make sangria.  On Saturday, we went shopping and I saw the perfect container at Sam’s Club, so we bought it so we could make sangria!!   It was great!  We plan on making it for our holiday get togethers – but had to try it first. 


Sangria Recipe

2 granny smith apples, cored and cut into cubes
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup seedless red grapes
2 cups pineapple Chunks (we used canned)
1 small unpeeled orange, thinly sliced
2 unpeeled lemons, thinly sliced
2 unpeeled limes, thinly sliced
1.5 liter of red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Pinot Noir), chilled
1.5 liter of dry white wine (such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio), chilled
1 cup orange flavored rum
1 cup orange flavored vodka
1 cup sugar

1. Chop up all the fruit and place into a large container.
2. Next pour in the liquids, red wine, whie wine, rum and vodka.
3. Finally, to add a subtle sweetness, disolve the sugar in 1 cup water and add it to the mix.
4. Stir well, then cover and refigerate for several hours (more the better), giving the fruit and liquids time to meld. Serve in glasses over ice, and have tongs nearby so guest can help themselves to fruit.
(From:  Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond- 2009 Harper Collins Publishers)
Happy Sangria!!

First Day of School…………………..

 We are up and ready for school ahead of schedule.  I hope that is a good omen for our year.  I woke up and made monkey bread for breakfast.   I used the wrong kind of pan and made a mess all over the oven…oopsy!!  But it was still a tasty breakfast treat for the 1st day of school. 

Tommy’s First Day of 2nd Grade




We are off to 2nd Grade.  Here is to a great school year!



Wishing you a Happy First Day of School!