Monday, December 31, 2007

Free...again!

You may remember that in August we obtained a free play kitchen for E from our local rEcycle group (it made for the biggest hit Christmas present of the year!).....well "cousin" site Freecycle helped us score the jackpot again....look what hubby picked up last night for sweet E:
I especially love the little bell! And it's just so vintage and cute and classic!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Order restored...

There's just something about getting the house back in order after Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas decorations...but there's something refreshing about packing up those dear treasured items, clearing the clutter, tossing the trash and getting back to the sweet simplicity of "normal" life. I've been going through my "end of the year" organizational frenzy... it's something I do each year....getting the next year's calendars in order, collecting items to donate to the needy, cleaning out unused, unwanted or outdated items and setting things straight....so refreshing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

You know you're in trouble when...

...you walk into the master bathroom and wonder....hm, what's that dripping noise?

...only to realize the toilet has not only overflowed, but is well on its way to flooding the bathtub and sink area....ack! water is starting to seep into the carpet!

...some quick thinking and many towels later, the carpet was spared and the tile floor is actually much cleaner than it's been in a while

...but that is not what I originally had in mind to do during E's naptime today!

Some days are like that.....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Hark the herald angels sing

"Glory to the newborn King!

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled"

Joyful, all ye nations rise

Join the triumph of the skies

With the angelic host proclaim:

"Christ is born in Bethlehem

"Hark! The herald angels sing"

Glory to the newborn King!"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve!


(E is making a mean face to show her displeasure about the last few days....we've had a break in blog postings and a break from "normal life and holiday hustle and bustle" due to a nasty bout of food poisoning for Mommy - ew! Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!)

Merry Christmas Eve! We are looking forward to our wonderful, fun family traditions...

...Christmas Eve candlelight service

...presents and stockings with family

...a Christmas Day gathering with family, good food and relaxing

...taking time to be thankful for the gift of God's Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A new baby to love!

We pause to congratulate my best friend Jennifer, her husband Paul and their little ones Colleen and Matthew as they welcome a new little one into their family ... Anna Louise was born December 20 at 7:20 PM, weighing in at 7 lbs. 13 oz.

An additional blessing? This sweet little one will be our god-daughter! Baptism will be in early January. Praise God for His wonderful gifts!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Traditions: Holiday Baking, Part 2

These little goodies are so easy to make, pack up wonderfully for gifts, and are yummie, too!

I make them every year...


Crockpot Peanut Clusters

INGREDIENTS:
2 pounds white almond bark or white chocolate for dipping
4 ounces or more dark chocolate

1 package semisweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)
24 ounces dry roasted peanuts


PREPARATION:
Put all ingredients in crockpot; cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Do not stir. Turn Crock Pot to low and stir every 15 minutes for 1 hour longer. Drop on waxed paper and let cool. Store candy in a tightly covered container.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Traditions: Holiday Baking, Part 1

Most members of my extended family have a very prominent sweet tooth....so baking and enjoying a wide variety of holiday goodies is a given. I've experimented with a plethora of bars, cookies, cakes, candies and treats since B and I have married...some items were only prepared one year...others have become "must-haves"....these cookies top the list and are one of hubby's favorite things. This year, we've discovered that E loves them, too! I made these this morning, and the house smelled so good while they were baking!



Jumbo Molasses Cookies
Yes, this recipe makes a ton of cookies...great to share!
Or, the recipe can easily be halved.


INGREDIENTS:
3 cups butter
4 cups sugar
1 cup molasses
4 eggs
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 2/3 tablespoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Additional sugar

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add molasses and eggs; mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and ginger; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
2. Shape 1/4 cupfuls of dough into balls; roll in sugar. Place four cookies on a greased baking sheet at a time. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until edges are set.

Remove to wire racks to cool.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Engaged!

We're taking a break from the holiday traditions posts to say CONGRATULATIONS to hubby's sister Lucy and her fiance Alan. On Monday afternoon, Alan asked Lucy to marry him!!!!!!!! (Complete with big ol' ring, down on one knee, candles, the whole bit -- you go, Alan...)

He unknowingly proposed to Lucy on the same date in December that B proposed to me....how's THAT for a holiday tradition!?

We're looking forward to all of the festivities to come! And I finally get a brother! Welcome to the family, Alan! I love you, Lu! Wahoooooo!

Monday, December 17, 2007

To my sweet hubby...

To my sweet hubby B - thank you for making me the luckiest gal around....eight years ago on this day, you asked me to be your wife - I'm so glad you did! I love you so much.

Traditions: Christmas with "Aunt Laura"...




Last year, we set aside a weekend night to "do Christmas" with our dear friend Laura. It was a dear time of good food, warm fellowship, and much fun with our then little baby E. We kept the tradition alive this year with a similar get-together....my look how E has changed from last year's gathering to this year's!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Traditions: Getting together with family friends...

Tonight some dear friends of ours came over for a sweet holiday visit. It was a fun time of gifts, fellowship, wine and together-ness. These dear friends of ours introduced us to their "Christmas cheer" visits last year....it's so nice to take a break from the busy times of the holidays and focus on what really matters -- relationships with dear ones like these. The beautiful presents are just an extra bonus....a sweet topping to the blessing of friendship!

We love you, C and E!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Traditions: Christmas Cookies...


Who doesn't love colorful, beautiful Christmas cutout sugar cookies, decorated with heaps of frosting and colored sugar and sprinkles? My Granny used to make huge batches of these cookies, and my mom still uses her recipe. Each year, Mom and I get together to ice and decorate these treats. Last year, E slept through the festivities, but this year, she supervised! What fun! And good eatin' too!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Traditions: Christmas Lights

We took E out to look at Christmas lights last night for the first time -- we toured a community that has some big, beautiful homes and amazing light displays....we saw not one but two homes that had light shows synchronized to music....you can check them out at

http://youtube.com/watch?v=iMiCNFYL0tI

http://www.gordonlights.com/Videos.asp

These people have too much time on their hands! But it was neat to watch!
We all really enjoyed the fun!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Traditions: Christmas TV Classics


We've been having so much fun introducing E to the Christmas classic TV shows that are on every year. In fact, my parents bought her the DVD set of Charlie Brown classics for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and a big gift pack of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, etc. Currently, E's favorite is Charlie Brown. If you ask her, "do you want to watch Charlie?"...she'll say "yes!" in this cute, sweet little voice. My favorite part is still Linus telling the TRUE meaning of CHRISTmas in this show...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Traditions: Online shopping...

Did you know that C*ldwater Creek has an outlet section on their website? I've been having tons of fun browsing and doing a little shopping here. What fun!

Traditions: Holiday Decor

I love putting up our Christmas tree each year. The decorations are not all "matchy matchy," instead we have a collection of ornaments that are special to our family....a St*rbucks coffee cup ornament, baby's first Christmas and much more. And I love multi-colored lights on a tree...it's just so home-y and old fashioned to me....


Another Christmas decorating tradition is my lighted Christmas village. My mom had one of these that she started when I was young...she expanded it each year until she ran out of room to display it on the top of her entertainment center...in fact, I have a few of her pieces...and I've run out of room too. My little lighted town has two churches, a pub, an apartment building, a Victorian home and a few little shops....and plenty of people and snowmen to bring life to the arrangement...so fun!
.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Traditions: Holiday Baking...

One "must have" Christmas baked item each year in my parents' home and now in our home is cranberry nut bread. This year, with supervision from sweet E, I baked a few loaves of my own. I've yet to sample them, but they smell heavenly! Here's the recipe I used this year:


CRANBERRY-NUT BREAD
Grease bottom of bread pan.


Mix and set aside:
2 c. cranberries, rinsed and cut into halves

3/4 c. chopped pecans

2 tsp. orange rind

Melt 2 tablespoons butter--set aside.

Sift together:
2 c. flour
1 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
Set aside.

Combine:
1 egg, well beaten
1/3 c. orange juice
1/4 c. water
Stir in melted butter; add this to dry ingredients.

Stir only enough to moisten dry ingredients; add nuts, berries and rind.

Bake 350 degrees for 70 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Traditions: Prized family objects...


When I was a little girl, my grandparents (my dad's parents) had this light-up snowman in their house every year at Christmas time. I think one year I was afraid of it...but I after I got over that, it's something I looked forward to seeing every year. It was just part of Christmas-time to me. Now my dad's parents have gone on to heaven, and my own dear parents have this snowman in their home. My little E got to meet this snowman this year....and my brave little one wasn't afraid at all! She thinks he is too neat! See how she's checking him out and saying "hello"...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Traditions: Christmas Decor...




Last year when E was a tiny baby, I completed a project that's been years in the making...I finished the nativity tree skirt I'd been working on for over five years. It's such a joy to use this tree skirt for the second year in a row...the start of a beautiful family tradition. My parents still use the felt tree skirt my mom made when I was small, and now we have a special tree skirt, too....such a neat thing to weave into family memories!

Holiday Fun...

Last night, dear hubby and I relaxed with a glass of wine and this movie...
what a fun way to spend a Friday evening!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Little reader...



When I look back, I am so impressed again
with the life-giving power of literature.
If I were a young person today,
trying to gain a sense of myself in the world,
I would do that again by reading,
just as I did when I was young.
~ Maya Angelou ~

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Childlike faith...

Tonight we were doing our usual bedtime routine...after several story books, we do prayers with E and say a version of "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep..." E has managed to fold her hands or sort of bow her head during parts of this ritual in the past, but nothing very specific. Tonight, she folded her hands before we even started, a sign that she knew it was time to pray. She kept her hands folded for the entire prayer, and bowed her sweet little head. It brought this Mommy to tears to see a little one learning how to talk to Jesus...

Simple joys...

... a new wreath for the front door...
doesn't this cute little guy spread some holiday cheer?



...seeing my daughter enjoying Christmas lights!
It's going to be a fun Christmas with her this year!

Monday, November 26, 2007

You know you're tired when...

...you WAY oversleep and never even heard the alarm...or hubby's blaring clock radio!
...you shower, but forget to wash your hair...so you have to get back in and get that taken care of!
...you drop your makeup "tacklebox" on the bathroom floor, and makeup, brushes and a million little items go flying everywhere!
...you are making instant oatmeal for breakfast and almost pour the oatmeal packet contents into your full coffee cup instead of your empty bowl!

(Needless to say, it was a several-cups-of-coffee morning around here.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1


And yes, I did make these pies - one pumpkin and one pecan - by myself!

Can't wait to taste them!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Big girl....

I had to take E back to the doctor yesterday to get her ears re-checked. Sweet girl had an ear infection two weeks ago, and still has nasty congestion, so they wanted to check her again. The nurse had E stand on the "big kid scale" instead of laying down on the baby scale. E was very proud of herself. She stood very still and grinned at the nurse. Too funny!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Popcorn!

E tried popcorn for the first time today...mmm, what a yummie snack! Her eyes lit up with the first bite, as if to say "hey, mom, this is good -- you've been holding out on me all this time!" Sweet times with my girl...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sweet memories...

Last night we went to the mall for a mini date night. We got Chick Fil A for dinner and did a little window shopping. (E ate almost half of my sandwich....and I'd fed her dinner before we left!!!)

Right before we left for the evening, dear hubby and I stopped to get Starbucks. While we were waiting for my peppermint mocha latte, I was showing E how you can toss pennies into the water. My sweet girl liked holding a penny, and didn't understand why Mommy would want her to throw it away! Finally, we convinced her to toss her penny (with help) into the sparkling blue water. Then she held my hand and marched down the mall in her new big girl tennis shoes, pleased with herself and having such a fun time.

Sweet times with my girl and my dear hubby....I love it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Chuckle of the day...

Like most children, E loves to go outside. She constantly tests the front door to see if it will magically open, allowing her access to the great world beyond our little home. When people ring the doorbell, she is thrilled not only at the prospect of guests, but at the opportunity to step outside to greet them.

To indulge her new-found love of the outdoors, E and I have been taking walks around our cul de sac after her afternoon nap most days.

This afternoon, the wind was blowing pretty hard, bringing in much cooler weather. Instead of our usual long walk, we just went to the mailbox and back. Not long after that short trip, two Mormon missionaries rang our doorbell. Not inclined to answer the door to greet strangers (or to get into a theological "argument" at that moment) I decided not to answer the door. This did not sit well with my daughter, who proceeded to bang on the inside of the door, wiggle the doorknob and peek through the blinds of the window next to the door to see what was outside.

The missionaries' incessant knocking and doorbell ringing only furthered E's efforts. Finally, frantic that she was missing something very important, she burst into tears! It took me quite a while to get her calmed down.

I'm going to have to teach her that Mommy doesn't always want to talk to everyone that's on the other side of that door! :-)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fun family weekend...



Hubby's sister Lucy and her boyfriend Alan visited this past weekend....such fun to relax and spend time with family! And E was spoiled rotten of course! Special memories...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Update on 23-month-old Rachel

Rachel was able to come home from the hospital this afternoon. She still has a lot of recovering to do, but her fever is gone, and her condition can be managed at home.

Praise God for His goodness!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Update on Amy and Frank and the babies...

We offer a prayer of thanksgiving with family friends Amy and Frank. Amy was stabilized at the hospital earlier today and allowed to go home. She will be on bedrest until doctors determine what caused her bleeding earlier today. The twin babies are doing great, but we are still concerned, as they don't know what caused this episode and are still really unsure what exactly is going on.

We praise God that Amy was stabilized today and ask that God keep her and the babies in His loving care and protection!

Prayer Requests...

Please pray for Wes and Jill -- Jill is Ben's cousin. Their 23 month old daughter Rachel is very sick with a double ear infection, bronchitis and pneumonia and is currently hospitalized. Please pray for this family (including three year old daughter Rebekah) that God will grant them strength to deal with this situation and that He would grant healing for Rachel.

Please pray for family friends Amy and Frank. She is 18 weeks pregnant with twins and this morning was rushed to the hospital due to cramping and bleeding. Amy and Frank have a three year old son named Christian. Please ask God to keep this family in His loving care, and to protect the lives of Amy and the babies.

We ask for God's good and perfect will in both of these situations!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Special memories...

Tonight we took E to our church's fall carnival. It's the same carnival I went to every year when I was growing up...the name of the event is the same, most of the games are the same...it's a quirky, sweetly familiar event.


It's so neat to be able to take my own little girl to an event like this - she can build her own memories of these fun times...and I have my own new memories of my daughter's fun at these events that layers beautifully over my childhood recollections of the same things.

My parents met us at the church for the fun, and our friends Ethan and Mommy Britney joined us for a hayride, the duck game (a favorite!), the fishing game, muffin tin surprise and more. Such a fun time!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Calgon, take me away....

It's been a little "too exciting" around here lately. The cat got sick on the carpet three times yesterday, did something else unmentionable on the carpet once, and then proceeded to get sick on our bed not too long before I was hoping to crawl in and pull the covers over my head.

Sweet E fell and cracked her noggin' really hard on our bathroom tile floor and has a big, purple goose egg. This evening she scratched her face on something (still trying to figure that out)....and I'd been contemplating doing Christmas pictures this week! (maybe not...)

And now, this evening, the kitchen sink is plugged up. I don't mean sort of, I mean NO WATER DRAINS OUT. Fun. So hubby has been working on that this evening.

This scary situation took place only blocks from our home -- right next to our pediatrician's office. We could hear the news helicopters during dinner. A very sad situation.

On a completely brighter note, I've really been enjoying reading this blog. Check it out.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Paging the tooth fairy...

Looks like the tooth fairy doesn't get a vacation from the Crawford house after all - we finally have TOOTH NUMBER TWO! The top tooth that matches E's lone bottom tooth broke through today. ... and E has quite a few other teeth that look like they are going to pop through at any time ... although with this baby girl, that could actually take a while. It's been six months since her first tooth came through! Unreal!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fun fall festival...


We went to a fall festival this morning with our friends Brit and Heath and their little one, Ethan. The festival was held at the preschool where Ethan goes to school. Our E especially enjoyed the duck pond and the petting zoo!


Our little fairy was NOT happy when Mommy told her it was time to leave! Many tears!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sweet Times with My Girl...

Today after library story time, E and I took advantage of the beautiful day. We took a walk around our cul de sac. E is a trooper and managed to stay on the sidewalk most of the time, without even holding Mommy's hand! She loves to be outside (what child doesn't?) and chattered the whole way around while walking. At one point, she found two pretty oak leaves, and was very proud to present them to me as a "gift"....these sweet times with my girl bring my heart such joy! I pressed the leaves between sheets of waxed paper after we got home -- gotta save that sweet memory!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cool weather...warm drinks...


I always love my coffee and hot tea....but those two passions are even more special when the weather turns cooler! The past several mornings, my coffee has been extra welcome as I try to find my fuzzy slippers and warm up! Autumn is definitely here!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside...


You can tell it's cooler outside -- E donned her first footie pj's of the season tonight at bedtime....it's hard to believe my girl fits in those big girl pj's! I remember when I bought them last year (on clearance on super sale, of course). I remember thinking my girl would NEVER get big enough to wear them - surely she couldn't grow so much, right?

Wrong! Poor Mommy! Baby girl is growing up, fast!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Zzzzzzzzzzz...........


I.....am......so......tired.


Sweet baby girl has had a bad cough and congestion since last Thursday.


Sweet baby girl is teething madly (yes, people, there is still only ONE tooth).


Mommy catches bad cough and congestion from sweet baby girl - as a result Mommy sounds like a bullfrog with a bad bark!


Mommy has several big work projects going - usually exhilarating, but in this case, rather exhausting, when all you want to do is go to bed and pull the covers over your head and SLEEP! (but you can't sleep because you keep bark/coughing and your sweet baby girl does too...)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Blue eyed girls...


Question: How hard is it to get three blue eyed cousins to stand still for a photo?

Answer: Nearly impossible! (But they sure had fun playing together, regardless of Mommy's thwarted photo efforts!)