Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Rewind

I was looking back and last December the same thing happened, I got too busy to update my blog.  Christmas is so overwhelming, so much to do.  Each year, after its over I say the same thing “next year I am going to get all done early.”  Each year its like we rewind to the last and repeat the performance.  February maybe the shortest month, but December is the fastest! 

So here is our quick review of Christmas this year!

It started off at the town green for the tree lighting and Santa visit.  Emma wanted nothing to do with Santa that night but was very happy with the cookies.


The next day we had Christmas at the farm.  Emma wasn’t afraid of Santa that day..go figure!


What is Christmas without cookies?  We did our normal cookie exchange at Aunt Laurie's plus made some sugar cookies at home.  Tyler did great, he is very artistic!  Emma she was a mess!


The tradition continued again this year, as we went with the Hull’s to get our tree!




And then a few weeks later, Santa came!


It was a great Christmas!  Even if we had been Naughty and Nice this year!


Friday, December 30, 2011

The Szarek’s Run on Dunkin


Well I can not say it was an easy decision.  After Wyatt passed it was hard to decide what to do next.  I knew we needed another dog, but the thought of a puppy was, well, to be honest overwhelming.  If I had it my way we would of adopted 2 adult labs, however the kids and David won.  We went down the puppy road…{deep breath}

Puppy Power

A lady at work’s dog had puppies, so we decided that we were going to look at them without the kids.  In other words, we were going to pick one out. Lets be real, do you really think I could play with puppies and not get one?? – If you said yes you really don’t know the real me!

It was a hard decision, they had a female black lab, and the rest were male.  The males  were not dark as the female but not light chocolate like the one chocolate female (that was spoken for or she would have been mine!).  So how did we pick when I had 3 super cute puppies on my lap?  We picked the one that was the biggest, and I mean big, big head, big paws, big love!  Want to see what he looked like that night:


So cute isnt he?  Well we had to wait a few weeks till we could bring him home.  We didn’t tell the kids a thing but they almost found out.  We ran a facebook pole asking for name suggestions but not everyone read the part that it was a surprise for the kids!!

The Name Game

Speaking of his name!  We wanted a name that would match him, since he was going to be a big ole lab we didn’t want anything cute sounding.  It need to be a strong name, the same way that Wyatt was.  We had several name suggestions.  We tried to find names that were tied to the Adirondacks but nothing fit.  David really liked Bruin and so did I.  He means bear and he did look like I bear cub but I didn’t want people to think he was named after the Boston bruins hockey team.  Then Carla suggested Dunkin.  I think she said it jokingly but it stuck and that was his name!

One Saturday Morning

Then one Saturday morning I told the kids I was going to get milk and a surprise.  I think they expected either donuts or chocolate milk!  David had the kids standing by the island when I walked in.

It didn’t take long for everyone to fall for this little guy!


How can you not love him:


Big brother and sister

He adapted really well. He would cry for his mom and bothers/sisters the first few days but the kids would run right over to him.  They would pet or play with him and he would be fine.  He loved Tyler right away.  Here is Dunkin chasing Ty outside:

He didn’t know what to do with Emma (surprise surprise!). She was loud and bounces everywhere.  Eventually he got use to Emma.  He realized that she would throw his toys!  but she had to put a twist on it! listen to her telling him what to do:

480oz Dunkin to go!

He is growing fast.  That first week we brought him home (Nov 6th) he was about 10 pounds, he was over 30 pounds by Christmas. Here’s a quick timeline of photos

Nov. 20th


Nov 27th



Dec 10th

082 103

Dec 24th


A Lab is a Lab, is a duck dog

You can tell Dunkin is a lab, Rain and Snow do not stand in his way from being outside.  He loves to be outside, he loves to go with the kids to get eggs, he loves to attack my burning bush.  He is a nut job!  Any given morning from 5am to 7am I bet you he goes outside 6 times, 2 of them are for potty and 4 of them are to “fart around”!  David and Tyler want him to be a duck dog.  I have to admit this is pretty cute…..


However, I really want a mamas boy!  I hate the idea of wet mucky dog smell of a duck dog. I want a house dog that lays on my feet and keeps them warm!  that follows me around!  I guess I still miss my old chocolate love, Wyatt.  Dunkin is good, he loves attention! He isn't that much of a jumper so far! I hope that doesn’t change!  He does get jealous of the kids on my lap!!  And he thinks its funny to be walking by my foot and attack it.  The boys may take him rabbit hunting this weekend.  We will see how he does, maybe I will bribe him with treats to stay home with me and Emma!

Foot print on our heart

So there you have our new addition Dunkin.  He has left a big footprint on our heart, mainly because his feet are bigger than Emma's!  No because he is cute, loving and 100% lab. He is not Wyatt (and we didn’t expect him to be) but he a definite keeper


Camo Brownie Bombs

You can find more details about Tyler's Army Party here. I wanted to break down the desserts in another post.
Brownie Bombs
You need:
  • Brownie mix and ingredients listed on package (yes I took a major short cut)
  • 1 container of Vanilla or cream cheese frosting
  • Melting Chocolates in white, green and dark chocolate
So simple.
1) You prepare the brownies as instructed on the packaging (or from scratch).- I usually follow the cake like instructions (and I use store brand)
2) Bake and let cool
3) In a food processor, chop up the brownies into brownie crumbs!
4) Add the Frosting to the food processor and pulsate till everything is blended
5) Roll into bite size balls and place on wax paper covered baking sheet
6) Let the Brownie balls (yes I said BALLS) cool and set in a fridge or freezer
5) Melt white chocolate in double boiler and dip each ball into the chocolate
6) after the white chocolate is set, melt the dark chocolate, using a spoon or fork drizzle each ball with dark chocolate
7) repeat step 6 with Green chocolate
8) let the chocolate set and then enjoy!
*For the dark chocolate and green chocolate you will only need about 1/4 of the bag melted
**I said balls several times in this posting!

General’s Star for Army Party


You can find more details about Tyler's Army Party here.  I wanted to break down the desserts in another post.

General’s Star

You need:

  • Sugar cookie Mix and ingredients listed on package (yes I took a major short cut)
  • Star cookie cut
  • Melting Chocolates in white, green and dark chocolate

So simple.

1) You prepare the cookies as instructed on the packaging (or from scratch). 

2) Cut them into stars and bake!

3) After they are cooled, melt the white chocolate.  Dip the front of each cookie in the white chocolate and let set up.

4) Melt 1/4-1/2 of a bag of the dark chocolate.  Dip a fork into the chocolate and drizzle it over the cookies

5) repeat step 4 with Green chocolate

5) let the chocolate set and then enjoy!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

“6th infantry” Army Birthday Party

I really expected Tyler to have a pirate birthday party this year.  He was really into Jake and the Neverland pirate this spring.  In the middle of October he told me he wanted an Army Party.  We had already booked Rough N tumble for the kids party.  I waited a few weeks before buying anything to make sure it wasn’t just a random thing.  Well sure enough it stuck.

I quickly searched on Pinterest for ideas, when I found this blog.  I loved it. I really wanted to make the cake but I didn’t have time and I knew I would have enough food with the other ideas I came up with. But you have to admit it’s a genius cake!!

Since we were having kids with allergies attending the party I had to rule out anything with egg, peanuts and red die.  So what do you serve?  I decided on Tyler's dirty battlefield cakes:


Super Simple!  pudding, Cool whip, Crushed Oreos!  I topped each one with Army guys,  Tyler wanted gummy worms in them.  He’s the bday guy!

To go along around the dirt cakes, we made Brownie Bombs (left in the photo below) and the General’s Star (right in the photo below)


The favor bags were super simple. Just brown lunch bags, sealed with an Army sticker.  I wrote on each one “Tyler’s Army; MRE.”

  Each guest’s bag labeled with there name as Sgt. Emma or Sgt Tyler.003

The favor bags had just basic favors from Hobby lobby (who is stocking Army theme party supplies!) 

Since the party was at Rough n Tumble,  We didn’t do any real decorating. I did get camo bowls for the tables and used camo napkins


Everyone seemed to have a good time and were super tired from running around!