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Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31st ~ Year End.

Tomorrow begins a new year.  I have been a blogger for two short months.  My blog statistics show me that I have had visitors from all over the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Russia, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Greece, Brazil, Israel, and Norway.  I'm so glad that each of you have found your way here, and I hope you'll return again in the new year.  Blogger statistics show the "top ten" for various time periods, so if I did not list your homeland, please give yourself a "shout out" in the comments.  I'd love to know you were here.  Thanks for stopping by.  See you in 2011!



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December Daily ~ Day 22

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December 29th ~ Still Not Mother of the Year!

On Sunday, we were out making holiday visits to family.  We parked on a slippery hill.  When my daughter got out of the van, she lost her footing, and grabbed for the door frame -- at the same time that I (oblivious to her difficulty) slammed my door.  My door bounced off her arm - her wrist to be exact.  Of course, she howled, and said it hurt -- but that she was okay.  We took a look at it, and it did seem to be okay.  She could move it.  She mentioned it a few more times during the evening, and then again on Monday -- when we decided to call the doctor for an appointment.  Of course, the doc is swamped with all the post-holiday ailments - but his nurse promised to fit us in on Tuesday if we came around 11.  She also promised that there would be lots of waiting involved.

So, by 10:30, we were off to the doctor to "wait."  We're good at waiting.  Here's an example:  My daughter stepped in a hole in June, and twisted her ankle pretty good.  We kept thinking it was better (according to her reports), and waited to go to the doctor until August, when it was still bothering her.  They told us it was broken, but 90% healed already, and looking good.  Can you see my jaw hanging open at the news?  The tear in my eye?  I told the doctor, "I don't think I'll be receiving the "Mother of the Year" award this year.  He told me "no harm, no foul!  Things like this happen all the time!"  Hmmm, why doesn't THAT make me feel better?

On Tuesday, we arrived at the doctor's office a few minutes early.  The waiting room was busy.  By 11:00, they called us back, and the doctor was in the room in a matter of 10 minutes.  He checked my girl's wrist, ask her a few questions, and ordered up some x-rays.  Nobody was waiting in x-ray, so we were taken care of right away.  As I waited there, I really began beating myself up.  I was screaming at myself inside my own head, full of guilt - even though I knew it had just been an accident.  And then, there was a gentle tug at my soul - and the Lord was there beside me saying, "Let me carry that for you.  I've been here the whole time, you know."  {Do you ever get so far ahead of yourself that you think things are as good as they're gonna get, and you forget to even go to the Lord?  He's there the whole time, you know.}

As soon as x-rays were completed, the doctor was called, and he came back to look at them.  After checking from every angle, he said that he could only see swelling -- no fracture.  Can I just tell you... relief flooded my soul.  I knew what my sweet daughter had gone through with her ankle, and I didn't want that for her again.  I may never win "Mother of the Year" for my timing, or my judgment -- heaven knows!  But, if my kids are safe and healthy -- that is reward enough for me.


Of course, we are still waiting to hear for sure from the radiologist, but it seems that all is well.  A little ice, a little ibuprofen, and things should improve.  I'm so thankful.  I'm also thankful that the Lord tugged at my soul, and reminded me that I wasn't alone.

Psalm 46:1
"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble."


Afterthought:  As I think back through the day, I realize that God knew I wouldn't be "up to" a lot of waiting.  That was probably the fastest visit to the doctor that we've had in a long time!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December Daily ~ Day 21

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December Daily ~ Day 20

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December Daily ~ Day 19

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December 28th ~ Packing Up


I felt like such a scrooge this year, as it seemed that everyone in the blogging and tweeting world was decorated for Christmas by Thanksgiving.  I have never decorated for Christmas before or even by Thanksgiving.  For better or worse, I like to still have my fall decorations in place when we carve the turkey.  


Now that we are on the other end of Christmas, I have noticed that many of my blogging and tweeting friends are saying that they have packed Christmas away.  Turns out they start early, and end early.

It has been our family's tradition to put the tree up the first weekend in December, and the decorating continues from there.  Then, on New Year's Day, the tree comes down -- and so does most everything else.  A few snowmen might stay around if I'm not already too overwhelmed by the thought of winter.

So, I am CURIOUS...
When do you put up/take down your tree?
Do all of your decorations go up/come down at the same time as the tree?

Obviously, there are no right or wrong answers.  Sometimes though, we may find that we don't really know WHY we do things the way we do.  We just carry on the way our parents did things, for example.  That reminds me of the story of the roast with the ends cut off.  Do you know it?

A new bride cooks a roast for her husband.  In preparation for the cooking, she cuts off the ends of the roast.  Her husband is mystified as to why she has done this.  She assures him that it's her mother's recipe and this is the way it's done.  The next time they visit her family, the husband asks his mother-in-law WHY she cuts off the ends of the roast.  She assures him that it was HER mother's recipe and that this is the way it's done.  The next time they see the grandmother, he asks her the same question.  Her answer to him:  "I never had a pan large enough for the entire roast, so I cut the ends off!"


Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27th ~ Going Home Again

Christmas Eve 
The day started with one of us having a migraine, and another of us having had an absolutely sleepless night.  The result?  Two of the four of us went back to bed for several hours.  Immediately, I adjusted my expectations for the day.  The ice skating and pretzel baking - new traditions started last year - would have to wait.  I'm glad that I "released" those things early in the day so they did not rob me of any joy!

{Note: I feel like I've grown up a little this Christmas.  To those of you who blogged about JOY -- thank you for your insight.  It changed the way I approached this Christmas season.}

We arrived early for the 6PM Christmas Eve church service because our son was in a skit.  His costume?  Full camo.  A faithful church lady met him at the door and asked him if he was a soldier boy.  Even at 16, he looked the part.  I observed the scene, with a tear in my eye... 

Afterwards, we enjoyed a quick dinner at home. Then it was off to my in-laws for a wonderful family time with my husband's family - giving the gift of time - time that seems so fleeting during the year.

Christmas Day
The "Want.Need.Wear.Read." gift ideas worked again to give us a clutter-free Christmas morning, helping to keep our hearts in tune with the things that really matter.  It was a quiet morning -- each one enjoying their gifts, watching movies, playing games...

Then, it was over the river and through the woods...  We had an amazing time at my parents' with my sweet sis and her family too.  Just like always.  No need to ask, or wait to be invited.  Peel the potatoes and bring the brownies.  Sweet memories were made - yes, more of them.  Just when we think our hearts are bursting at the seams with all of the memories... there are more.  Ever thankful for them, we find little empty corners to stash them in.

I paused to wonder: Who was it that said, "You can't go home again?"  I think they were wrong.  You CAN go home again, and it's never better than at Christmas-time.

 After dinner, and before dessert, we go around the table and read our assigned scripture passage
relating to the Christmas story.  This has been a precious tradition through the years
-as each of the five grandchildren has learned to read.


The Day After Christmas
We enjoyed another gathering with my husband's family - relishing the homecoming of a nephew, a sister, a brother-in-law.  We were glad for another reason to be together.  There was TONS of laughter.  We're so thankful for relationships that have been healed over the years, and hearts that have been changed.

What was the best part of your Christmas?  Was it something that is a tradition for your family -- something it would not be Christmas without?  Or, did you do something new this year that was a success?

Either way, I'm hoping that your Christmas was filled with joy!  Feel free to share in the comments.  I love to read what you have to say.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 26th ~ Pipe Dream

Just for FUN!  Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day!



Friday, December 24, 2010

December Daily ~ Day 18

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December Daily ~ Day 17

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December Daily ~ Day 16

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Left page (not shown) is a Christmas letter from our Pastor.


December Daily ~ Day 15

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December 24th ~ Christmas Coffee Cake

Merry Christmas -- it's almost here.  I've been baking up a storm.  I don't know how many batches of cut-outs I've done.  Funny, but they keep disappearing...

I'm gearing up for Christmas morning, and making one of our family favorites: Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake.  The recipe originally came from a cookbook compiled by a "Mom's Club" that my mom attended when my sister and I were little tikes.  Our entire family loves it.  It can be made ahead, and frozen, and the recipe can also be doubled for a 9 x 13 pan.  Now, let's get to it!



Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
1-1/2 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. margarine
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375F.  Grease 8" square pan (or round cake pan).
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Using pastry blender or knives, cut in margarine until mixture is like coarse cornmeal.  Blend in well-beaten egg, milk, and vanilla.  Stir just enough to mix well.  "Sprinkle" streusel topping mixture (below) evenly on top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until middle is set.

Topping
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. melted margarine, slightly cooled

Mix dry ingredients.  Add melted margarine.  Mix well.  {I use a fork to flake off small pieces of this gooey mixture.}

Wish I had a picture to show you, but it's never around long enough at our house for picture-taking!  Enjoy, and Merry Christmas to you!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23rd ~ Last Minute Gifts...

Need a last-minute gift idea?
Below are some sites that I have visited and given to over the years.
You can review the catalogs, and find a gift that grabs your heart.

* a goat for a poor village family  * a bicycle for a girl student  
* a sewing machine, table, & chair
* clean drinking water  * a drip irrigation system  * Bibles  * winter coats
* backpacks & school supplies  * teach a child to read & write
* save a child from exploitation   
* buy an airline ticket to save a child's life
* fruit trees  * livestock  * dairy animals

The ideas are really endless.  Your donation can be in any amount of course.
We recently purchased 2 rabbits for a loved one through Gospel for Asia,
and a goat from The Chapel's gift catalog.
In the past, we have purchased fruit trees,
and contributed towards clean & safe drinking water for a village.

You can show Christ-like love to those you may never meet,
but who are intimately known by God.
 




Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22nd ~ JOY


I've been reading a lot this year about JOY.  Specifically about things that bring you joy vs. things that rob you of joy.  As a result, I've been trying to recognize those things in my life as they relate to the Christmas season.

For example: one of my least favorite seasonal tasks is putting up the Christmas tree.  It is a frustrating process for me, at best, and I have come to realize - robs me of some joy.  My daughter is usually glad to do it, as she is the one most excited at the thought of the tree.  So, I am glad to hand that task over to her - and have learned to keep my mouth shut if she doesn't do things just the way I would.  Afterall, it always turns out beautifully, and I wouldn't want to be the one to rob her of her joy.


And then...I really wanted to make iced cut-outs this year, but wasn't sure if I'd have the time.  When I was at the store, I noticed the Pillsbury rolls of cookie dough, and couldn't help but think that those would make the process much easier for me.  So, I did a nice thing for myself.  I bought three rolls.

I rolled the Pillsbury dough out, and got started with the cookie cutters.  My daughter soon took over, and we worked as a team rolling out, cutting out, putting the cookies in and out of the oven.  It was kind of awesome, actually.  I love it that she is old enough to really participate in the process without a lot of chatter about the "how to."  We just quietly work side by side.  When all of the baking was completed, and the cookies had cooled, we got my son involved. He and my daughter got all of those cookies iced and decorated.  It was a nice stress-free process.  There was much laughter (and joy!) involved.  And there were rewards at the end!


I'm so glad that I took the time to realize the things that would rob me of joy - and took another route instead.

What seasonal tasks rob you of your joy?
* Do you have a "tradition" that you think you must follow - but it really means nothing to you? 
* Is there a task that someone else in the family would gladly do - if only they knew how you felt about it?
* Do you just need to change the way you do a particular task, and find an easier way?

Praying that you will think about the things that rob you of your joy this season, and consider what things you can do that will bring you joy instead.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21st ~ History

Several years ago, our family had some dear friends over at Christmas-time.  A seventy-something couple, their two grown daughters and their husbands, and their combined 5 children.  My parents, and my sister's family were also present.  It was just a Christmas get-together while friends were in town.  We served dessert, and spent the evening enjoying one another's company.  We asked one of the husbands (a pastor) to pray before we ate.  He prayed a lovely prayer and uttered words that I will never forget.  "Thank you Lord, for the HISTORY that our families share."  We were all so struck by that, and spoke about it long after the "Amen."  A few years later, one of these dear friends went to be with the Lord - after struggling with breast cancer.  What a difficult time this was for us all.  Our lives were so intricately inter-woven.

Just after Thanksgiving this year, we learned that her dear husband of 50+ years was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Stunning.  Again with the history.  Rich, rich history.  Today, we learned that his time on this earth is short.  I am overwhelmed by the thought that my dear girlfriends (whom I grew up with) will soon be without their Mom and Dad.  It's unthinkable.

And yet...the Christmas Season swirls on around us.  I am reminded that Christmas is not a good season for everyone.  It is often a time that causes us to remember loved ones lost - or difficult family situations.  We don't always know people's stories.  

This year, I will tread gently - remembering that not everyone feels the joy...no matter how much they want to.

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20th ~ Finished!

Tying up all of the loose ends...

I am happy to report (because I know you've been dying to hear) that I am finished with my Christmas shopping.  I even made 2 pre-Christmas exchanges, and took each child out to shop for the other.  Taa-daa!  

Did you do a lot of on-line ordering?  I ordered three gifts on-line, and 2 of the 3 have arrived.  Hopefully the third one will arrive today.  This week, my hope is to just stay home and bake cut-outs and Peppermint Patty Brownies.  I see some potato-peeling in my future, too.

{Note: The brownie recipe in the link provided above does not say to melt the margarine.  My original recipe (from a York ad in a magazine some years ago) DOES.  Just wanted you to know.}

Time to clean up the house a little.  It has started to look more like Santa's workshop or Mrs. Santa's scrapbook room than a home decorated for Christmas!  Time to fix that.  Afterall, we wouldn't want Santa's workshop to be visible in the Christmas morning photos!

Over the weekend, I told no less than five different people "Merry Christmas" when they wished me "happy holidays."  I was happy when they all responded positively, and said it back to me.  One by one I am retraining those retail minds!  {My daughter even took note that it made people happy when I said "Merry Christmas" to them!}

Speaking of my sweet daughter... She gave me a big hug yesterday, and told me that sometimes, she wishes she was still little so that I could hold her close, and she could fall asleep in my arms.  She knows just how to turn me to mush!


Last year on Christmas Eve we went ice skating at our local outdoor rink, went to church, and came home to make pretzels (one of my husband's specialties).  Our plan for Christmas Eve is different this year.  Although we will still go to church, I'm hoping that we don't lose the ice skating and pretzel making altogether.  I want to work hard to fit those in on another day!

As we approach the birthday of our Savior, I pray that we can all put the hustle and bustle behind us, and recall the real REASON for the season.  Jesus Christ. 

"And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6



Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 18th ~ Christmas Survey

I found this survey on Claudia's blog, who found it on Melissa's blog who found it on someone else's blog.  And they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and...you get the idea.  This was actually a lot of fun to do.  It made me think about what some of our traditions really are.  We often take them for granted!  What are your answers?  If you blog it, leave me a link in the comments!  I'd love to read your responses.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Whatever is on hand and fits the gift!

2. Real tree or Artificial?
We bought an artificial tree the first year we were married ('92).
Tree #2 was for downsizing.
Tree #3 was for pre-strung lights (hurray!)  

3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually the first weekend in December.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually on New Year's Day.

5. Favorite gift received as a child? 
Probably my dolls.  I remember getting "Betsy Wetsy" one year.
My dad held her as I fed her her bottle, and then she "tinkled" on his lap!
Good times.
  
6. Hardest person to buy for?
My dear husband.  He did not grow up making wish-lists.  I did.
I have trained our children from a young age to be "helpful" by making lists.
My Gram would be proud.

7. Easiest person to buy for? 
Definitely my daughter.  I usually over-buy for her, but her birthday is
in February - so the Christmas overflow goes towards birthday!

8a. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I've done both, but I don't necessarily do cards every year.
This year, I'm mailing.

8b. (My addition)
Christmas card enclosure:  photo or family newsletter?
Usually a photo.  I've never done a newsletter.

9. Favorite Christmas Movie? 
Home Alone (the first one).

10. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I don't have a set shopping schedule.
I shop "as the spirit moves." (ha!)  Every year is different.

11. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Only those from "white elephant" gift exchanges!
{Oh my - I should clarify... I may save one to use
in a white elephant exchange NEXT year!}

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? 
#1 My Mom's Christmas dinner - always beef.
{If she ever stuffs a goose, I may leave home.}
#2 Iced cut-out cookies.

13. Lights on the tree (colored or clear)? 
Clear.

14. Favorite Christmas song? 
"White Christmas" by Bing Crosby.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay home.

16. Angel, star, or ribbon on top of tree?
Our angel sort of gave up last year, so we used a plush Santa hat.
It looked so cute -- so it's up there again this year!

17. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas morning.
 
18a. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
When snow/weather gets in the way of getting things done.

18b. (My addition)
Least favorite "traditional" task?  (Be honest now...)
Putting up the tree.

19. What do you want for Christmas this year?
A new Pandora charm.

20. Traditional colors (red and green) or other colors? 
Traditional colors - um, can't you tell?

Don't forget, if you post the survey on your blog, leave a link in the comments section.  It's so much fun to read about other family traditions!


Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17th ~ Random Musings

* I am still rather new to the blog scene, so I was really excited to see a link to my December Daily project HERE.  And, might I add... it is right next to pictures of (gulp) Ali Edwards' pages!

** Do you know Susie Davis...the good news girl?  Today, she shared an awesome photo of "coming home for Christmas," as well as great poetry (on the same subject) by Elizabeth Bowen.  Go take a look.  It will put you in the Christmas spirit, in case you're not already there. 

*** And, just to keep things in perspective during this busy time of year, here is a song that brings me to tears every Christmas.  It may have something to do with that little person's voice - there is nothing like the sound of children singing to Jesus!  Enjoy.



Check this out. (Love it!)
If you follow this blog, you know I admire just about everything that Ali Edwards comes up with.  She is one creative soul, and I love her style.  She has come up with a way to save your Christmas Cards (specifically the photograph ones, but you can add a few other decorative ones for good measure.  Click HERE to see what I mean.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

December Daily ~ Day 14

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December Daily ~ Day 13

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Our Christmas card photo - taken on our recent Disney Trip, thus the Mickey...

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This guy was simply for "filler" since I didn't really have anything for this spot.
He came from a JoAnn Fabric's over-sized sale postcard
that we got in the mail just the other day.
I really like him.  Timing is everything.


December 16th ~ Simple



Simple: having few parts; not complex, complicated, or involved;
without additions or modifications.

Simplicity seems to be a popular theme all around the blog-world this Christmas.  I have found, though, that there are as many ideas of what "simplicity" means as there are bloggers.  I have been astounded by "simple" Christmas posts showing vast collections of ornaments, and high levels of decoration.  There have been relatively few blogs that I've visited that seem to envision Christmas simplicity in the way I do.

Our Christmas decorating usually begins right after Thanksgiving.  This year, we traveled for Thanksgiving, and returned home to the flu.  And so, on top of all our laundry from the trip - well, let's just say I had LOTS of extra laundry to do.  Christmas decorating sort of got put on the back burner, you know?  Slowly, I pulled out the favorite decorations - the things that just HAD to be out.  As I encountered things that didn't have significant memories attached to them - I did a little purging, adding them to the Goodwill pile.

The end result is a house that is significantly under-decorated compared to previous years.  As I sit here in our home, I'm mostly okay with that.  Yesterday, however, a little ?guilt? started creeping in.  I was on a bloggers' Christmas home tour, and started feeling bad that I went with the simple approach this year.  I wrestled with it all day yesterday, and even this morning - that feeling was still there.  I did a little blog-reading over at simple as that and felt better when I read some of the thoughts there.  Aby Garvey from Simplify 101 has a guest post there today, and shares some thoughts on simplifying Christmas.  I love this quote from her:

"The best gift you can give your loved ones this holiday season 
is your own joy and happiness."

Hello, my name is Sally, and I have issues about "keeping up with the Jones'."  THAT is the real problem.  When I sit here at home, I am totally okay with how things are, and with the level of/lack of decoration in our home.  It's just when I start looking at all the beautiful pictures of what everyone else has done that I start to second-guess myself.

I have come to realize that simplicity means different things to different people.  Some people deck the halls, but order their cookies & holiday baked goods from a bakery.  Other people may only have time to put up a Christmas tree because they are so busy preparing for and participating in the Christmas concerts at church.  Get what I mean?  We all have different things that give us joy -or- steal our joy.  I would rather sit together with my family & enjoy stirring a mug of hot chocolate with a candy cane than stress out about having every decoration hung, or in place.

The bottom line is this:  Our Creator has made us all to be different -- and THANK GOODNESS!  How boring would things be if we were all alike?  Aaaah - did I just type that out loud?  Note to self:  We are not cookies - all made from the same cutter.  We are individuals.  As such, of course our different styles and priorities will show.  My house does not need to look like my neighbor's house, or any of the on-line beauties that I have spotted.  As long as my family is comfortable here, that's all that matters.  Amen?

If you've gotten this far...thanks for reading my rambling thoughts this morning.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Feel free to leave a little love in the comment section.  I hope this Christmas season is filled with much joy and happiness for you and those you love!


Just for fun:  Check out this classy memory plate made by Sandy at The Reluctant EntertainerIt's an amazing way to commemorate a loved-one's handwriting.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December Daily ~ Day 12

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December 15th ~ The Party

Last evening we enjoyed a Christmas party involving all of the Childrens' Staff at church.  What an evening we had.  It's always a great gathering of people that really love one another AND the Lord -- and boy, do we know how to have fun.  (Some people think those things are mutually exclusive, but noooo, I assure you!  They are not!)

We always have a small gift exchange (under $10), and everyone brings a dish to share.  This year, the idea was to bring a dish and a white elephant gift that brought a Christmas Carol to mind.  For example, I brought a Mexican 7-layer dip -- and my Christmas Carol was Feliz Navidad.  What was my gift, you ask?  It was a Christmas-red fleece blanket.  Use your imagination now... It was for a SIESTA.  You get the idea.

For the gift exchange, we drew numbers, and in numerical order we either picked an unopened gift -or- we could "steal" an opened gift from someone.  If you wanted to steal a gift, you had to sing the Christmas Carol that went with that gift - at least a few bars of it.  It was rather hysterical, and we had a wonderful time, as always.

The highlight of the evening was something different for me though.  One of my dear friends has been trying to get together with me for a couple weeks now -- to pass along a Christmas gift.  She was so anxious and excited to give it.  I just couldn't imagine what she had gotten or made me.  Last night was finally the night to find out.  As she handed me the gift, I must admit that I had a few butterflies.  Afterall, there had been a big build-up for this gift.  

Much to my surprise, MY FACE was the first thing I saw when I pulled the wrapping aside.  It was on the cover of a BOOK.  What on earth?  As I flipped through the Shutterfly book, I realized that my friend had taken many of my photos (mostly floral, some winter) from my "Project 365" (a photo a day), and compiled them into this book.  She then proceeded to hand-write scripture around the photos.  You think there were any tears?



I have never received such a precious gift - such a validation of who I am, and the things I enjoy (like photography).  After all, who doesn't appreciate a little validation from time to time?  I should mention that the book was set in a lovely Christmas bowl filled with candy.  Beautiful.

I said it once (to her), and I'll say it again.  Thank you Marie.  You've outdone yourself.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 14th ~ An Adventure

As I awoke this morning...silence.
Even now, as I sit here in my kitchen - the world is silent.
Covered in a mantle of white.

I'm thinking back to our day yesterday -- a snow day for most.  Since we homeschool, we don't really do snowdays.  My reasoning is that we take enough random days off for travel or adventures.  But, halfway through the day yesterday, my husband and I decided that this day would be an adventure.  While reading the paper, he found a theater that has $5 tickets on Mondays with free popcorn.  Doesn't that just make you want to pull out your mukluks and tramp through the snow --wondering if the theater will even be open on the other end of town?  Well, that's exactly what we decided to do - much to our kids delight.  We were off on a Harry Potter adventure.

Oh, the theater was open when we got there.  There were three girls working behind the counter who looked at us as if we were nuts.  That was okay, because we were feeling a little nuts, actually.  We had the theater almost to ourselves (what a shocker).  When we exited, we were greeted by darkness -- and more snow.  The ride home was long and slow, but we were lucky enough to be able to sail through the Little Caesars' drive-through -- a nice treat since I was wondering what kind of unprepared meal would meet us at home.  Our evening ended on a sweet note with some spur-of-the-moment tollhouse bars.

I'm thankful for my husband's spirit of adventure -- 
and that he is teaching that to our kids.
These are the days we will remember.


Freebie:  Yoplait is giving away 1 Million FREE cups of Yogurt!  Go HERE and click on the "get your free cup" tab.  A coupon will be mailed to you.

Just for fun, check out this Christmas Front Porch Party.  This makes me want a re-do.  Oh well, maybe next year.  For now, I'm checking out all these links, and taking good notes.


Monday, December 13, 2010

December Daily ~ Day 11

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December 13th ~ A "Baked House"

Well, who wouldn't love to come home after a "hard" day to the smell of baking, and dinner being prepared?  Now I know what my husband means when he says, "I love coming home to a baked house!"  On Saturday, I put in a full day of Christmas shopping.  I really got a lot accomplished, and when I got home, I was surprised to smell something baking.  (Well, okay not baking just yet, but rising, and well -- I wasn't really surprised.  My husband loves to bake - and he had the kitchen all to himself while I was gone!)  Anyways...he was on a mission to bake "Pesto Spirals"  - a recipe from Father Dominic - of PBS fame.  This is what came out of the oven.


Yum-my!  Boy, were these ever good!  We had lots of laughs over them, though.  Before my husband opened the pesto, he thought he might add some garlic.  Upon opening the jar, he realized that probably wasn't necessary.  And then while they were baking, we joked that at church on Sunday, they will do an intervention on our behalf and tell us we need to lay off the garlic.  It was THAT strong.  (Excuse me while I flick the icicles off my eyelashes - can you say "airing out the house?")  The finished product, however, was truly wonderful, and not overwhelming at all.

To top it all off, my husband then made dinner: Parmesan Chicken (not to be confused with Chicken Parmesan, my daughter tells me).  Yes, he is that good.


Check this out. (Love it!)
Scrapbook.com commercial & adorable aprons!
Today, I saw the cutest commercial on YouTube.  I'll link you to it in a moment.  But first, I want to tell you to watch for the CUTEST EVER aprons.  I spotted them right away, and thought of my Mom who is a huge apron fan.  Watch the video.  If you love the aprons too, you can come back here and click on the link to scrapbook.com, where you'll find a nice collection of colorful & "flirty" aprons.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

December Daily ~ Day 10

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December Daily ~ Day 9

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December Daily ~ Day 8

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December Daily ~ Day 7

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