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Hearty and Delicious!

Dear Grandma,

When I was a kid Mom used to make Chili Over Fritos, and it was so good I had a friend who requested it whenever she came to spend the night!  I make it now for my family and we all love it, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you.  It's awesome all year round, even if it's base is chili.  It'd make a really fun menu option for a concession stand, kind of like Walking Taco's, but with chili and fritos instead.  Here it is:

Chili Over Fritos
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 pint tomato juice
1 small can tomato paste
1 can chili beans
2 T chili powder
1 bag Fritos corn chips
cheddar cheese
pickle relish

Add the juice, paste, beans and chili powder to your drained beef and bring to a boil.  Reduce to low and let simmer for 1 hour for the flavors to marry together.  When ready to serve crush up a handful or 2 of Fritos into a bowl.  Pour a heaping serving spoon full of chili over the top, then a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.  The pickle relish is optional but man does it add some good flavor to this dish.  Eat and enjoy!  So simple and delicious!

Here's the chili simmering -- mmm!

I add the cheese before the chili so it gets all melty and yummy!

Here it is, sooo good!

I hope you give this a try, it's so simple to make and tastes amazing.  My mouth is watering for it, wish I hadn't sent the leftovers with Andy to work!


Good Rule Of Thumb

Dear Grandma,

Do you remember how I always sent you a thank you card for any gift you gave me?  Writing thank you's is something I have always loved to do and so I am passing this kind gesture down to my boys.  This morning Aiden made a thank you for everyone who gave him a gift this Christmas.  With all of my scrap booking supplies I had plenty of material for him to use.  Then I wrote out a short, simple thank you for him to write on the back.  I should have taken a picture of his finished product to show you, they were funny.

I'm making a roast for supper tonight.  I usually either throw it in a roasting pan and roast it for 3hrs at 350 degrees or put it in the crock pot for all day with a little water and a packet of dry onion soup mix on top.  These methods work great because I think to make the roast the day of when it's frozen solid in the bottom of my freezer.  But today I planned ahead.  Today I am going to brown the meat in a skillet first, then cook it in my roasting pan "low and slow", the way  you're supposed to cook a roast.  Can't wait til 6:00 when it's ready!


Post-Holiday Let Down

Dear Grandma,
Every year after Christmas there's always such a let down feeling of "Wow, that went fast. It's over already."  You plan and plan all month (or, like me, for several months) and the anticipation builds and builds and then Wham!  It's over.  Kind of a like a wedding.  Which is why every year I can't wait to take down my decorations that day after Christmas -- right after I get back from shopping for 50% deals on wrapping papers, bows, ribbon and tags.  Aww, it feels so nice to have it all put away and to return to some normalcy.  The shelves are bare (yay!) and the floor feels bigger without the tree taking up space.  It feels like January.  I can't wait to start burning my 'January scents' in my Scentsy warmers. 

We had a wonderful Christmas, though.  The boys ended up with so much stuff!  Every year I tell myself that next Christmas I will hold back and try to buy only a couple of things, but then the next year comes and I go overboard again.  But that's what Christmas is all about, right?  It's fun seeing their faces light up when they look over their pile of un-opened gifts wondering what could be inside. 

It always drives me nuts when kids tear open a gift, barely look at what it is, then toss it aside to go on to the next one.  We've drilled it into the boys to open one gift, really look it over and play with it if they can before opening another one.  It doesn't matter how many pieces the gift has, we let them open it right there on Grandma's floor and play with it in the middle of all the wrapping paper to show the gift giver how much they appreciate it.  And really, how can you teach them to appreciate the gift if you say, "No, you can't open it until we get home, you just have to look at it longingly through the plastic that is containing it into a nice, neat, easy to carry home package."? 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Grandma.  We still carry on the "Wehr Tradition" of wadding up the wrapping paper and throwing it at each other.  It wouldn't feel like Christmas if someone didn't get beaned in the head by a wrapping paper missile!


Christmas Stress?

Dear Grandma,

I don't understand why people get so stressed out during the Christmas season.  Andy and I were talking about it last night.  We wish we had more going on during the month.  Two weekends ago we had our annual family Tree Hop (on my mom's side of the family we go to each aunt/uncle's house to see their tree and eat snacks, a fun tradition started over 15 years ago) and that's the last Christmas event we have until this Sunday when we get together with Dad's side of the family for Sunday dinner.  We don't exchange gifts so it's more about getting together as a family, which is awesome. 

I don't go Black Friday shopping, which I know would cause me holiday stress.  I get all of my shopping done early because I love picking out gifts for family and friends.  I usually get those gifts wrapped fairly early, too, because I hate to see a beautiful Christmas tree with no presents underneath it.  I get together with my sister and mom to make cookies and candies early in the month.  Hmm, I'm sensing a trend here -- I get my stuff done early!  Even so, if I waited until later in the month I don't think I'd be stressed out at all, because it's such a happy, joyous season! 

The Friday after Thanksgiving our hometown has a lighted Christmas parade, and the last float in the parade always carries Santa in to town.  After the parade we hot-footed it over to Santa's house and were first in line to see Santa and give him the boys' wish list.  It was a fun evening, and the weather was outstanding (nice and mild)!  It's such a nice way to kick off the Christmas season. 

Here are a couple of pictures I thought you'd like to see, Grandma.  This first one is of us at the Christmas parade. 

The second one is the picture I put in our Christmas cards this year.

Merry Christmas!