Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Littlest Skiers

I love to watch the tiny skiers here at Beaver Creek. They are 3 and 4-year olds who are dropped off in the morning to attend Ski School. From their facial expressions I can tell most of them would rather be somewhere else. But they will be thankful someday when they can zoom down black diamonds.

Our kids started to ski when they were 6, 4 and 3. I'm sure they don't remember how miserable they were as Mini Mice and Mogul Mice.

Here's what I imagine the little ones are thinking.

"Can someone help me with my skis?"

"It's all about the outfit."

"Can I get on the sled too?"

"I want my mommy!"

"Hey...what happened to my outfit?"

"I'm having a bad hair day."

"Wake me when it's over."

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Beaver Creek Once More

Daniel and I went out for about an hour yesterday morning to take photos of people and scenes at the base of the mountain. There is color everywhere...on jackets, pants, hats, mittens, skis, snowboards.

Josh & Katherine getting ready to go snowboarding.

A mom helping her little boy get his boots on.

Josh & Katherine on their way to the mountain.

A row of colorful skis.

A woman getting off the Haymeadow gondola.

 Two brothers waiting for their snowboard lesson to begin.

A Beaver Creek Ski School instructor.

A dad helping his daughter get her snowboard on while holding his phone in his mouth.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Practicing Photography

Daniel gave me a great gift for Christmas. It is a journal in which he wrote one photography assignment for me to do each week. This is supposed to get me motivated to practice taking pictures. He says it is the only way I will get better. He is right.

Yesterday I just did a warm up by going outside on the deck to take some photos of Mr. Riley, my favorite subject. He doesn't complain when I make him sit for the camera, especially when I have a morsel of food in my pocket.

In between photos, he ran down the deck steps to bark at our next door neighbor's dog, Milo.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

4 years old

24 years old

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

Our Christmas celebration began last night at my brother Patrick's house. We had a marvelous time with an amazing spread of food and treats.  This is a photo of all the youngsters (those under 50...actually those under 30) which included my children plus Josh and all my nieces and nephews on my side of the family, and Lindsay's boyfriend, Tony.

Then we took a photo of the over 50 crowd. The under 50 crowd outnumbers us.

We slept in this morning and then had a nice breakfast in our pajamas before opening gifts.

Riley helped us open our presents.

Peter got some UGG slippers and a Nike sport watch...Daniel got wireless earbuds and an Oregon hoodie amongst other nice things.

Katherine and Josh (especially Josh) were excited to receive a large flat screen TV.

Riley's gift was a Santa pull toy. He loved it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Riley is Six

I'm such a bad mother! I forgot today was Riley's birthday. Peter pointed it out about 2:00. So I quickly ran upstairs to get his present.

Riley didn't care that I forgot. He was just glad he got a present.

He's really good at unwrapping presents. He does it all the time.

What did he get? A ball that holds food morsels. He has to roll it around and throw it to get them to come out. This ought to keep him busy tonight when we go out.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Who is Jesus?

He is...

The Son of God
I Am
Son of Man
The Resurrection and the Life
The Word
Man of Sorrows
Anointed One 
Lamb of God
The Door
The Way, the Truth and the Life
Root of Jesse
The True Vine
The Bread of Life
Morning Star
Sure Foundation
Chief Cornerstone
High Priest
Holy One
King of Kings
Lord of All
Righteous Judge
Light of the World
Alpha and Omega
Wonderful Counselor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cookie Day 2014

Today was the 5th annual Richards Cookie Baking Day. Every year there has been a different cookie crew. It was Josh's first cookie day, and it was also a first for my two nieces Rachel and Laura.

Kendall participated by making her cookies the night before with Peter. She left with her family on a trip today.

Daniel made the same cookie as last year (Bailey's Irish Cream cookies). He's becoming an expert at it. Mostly he took pictures.

Katherine and Josh worked together to make Dipped Ginger Snaps.

Laura made frosted cut-out cookies, and Rachel made Swiss Treats.

Peter's cookie this year was called Hot Cocoa Cookies.

Don was the judge. It is difficult job, but someone has to do it.

Riley just hoped something would fall on the floor.

He also helped with the dishes.

We used the deck as a spare refrigerator.

It was so much fun to have the whole family together in the kitchen!

The winners of the 2014 Cookie Baking Day are.....

 Most Creative: Peter Richards (Hot Cocoa Cookies)

Most Festive: Kendall Petno (Nutter Butter Reindeer)

Best Tasting: Marianne Richards (7 Layer Bars)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Toffee Bites

I've never made toffee before this batch here. Becky had posted a link to it on Facebook, and I thought it looked so yummy I had to try it.

I even went to Michael's and bought a silicone brownie bite pan for the job. I left my coupon at home, but the cashier was nice enough to scan a 50% off coupon for me. The $9.99 pan ended up being $5.00. Never buy anything at Michael's without a coupon.

The recipe for the toffee is modified from

Toffee Bites

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
12 oz. milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

In a heavy bottomed pan, combine butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until butter melts. Continue to stir constantly as you bring mixture to a rolling boil and continue cooking for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to turn a light brown color (about 300 degrees on a candy thermometer). Add vanilla. Pour mixture into brownie bite pan using small scoop or spoon.

Let toffee cool completely, about two hours.

Melt chocolate chips and spread a small amount on top of each piece of toffee in the pan. Sprinkle with ground walnuts.

Let chocolate cool completely.

Pop toffee bites out of silicone pan (just like ice cubes) and store in an airtight container.

You can also make this in an 8 x 8 inch pan lined with foil and cut the toffee squares when cool.

At first I thought these toffee bites would break my teeth, but as they sat in the container for a day or two, they softened enough to bite into.

Very tasty, if you like toffee.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On Santa's Lap

Christmas 1991
I was good this year, so Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told him I didn't want anything.

But Santa wasn't buying that line. So I told him he could get me a spare battery for my camera and some heavy duty Yak Traks that have spikes for ice.  I added a bottle of perfume to the mix so he'd feel like he was getting me something romantic.

I know Santa will think of something better than those three gifts. There will be a surprise or two under the tree for me.

Santa has been pretty good to me the past 28 years. I'm very thankful for that.