Monday, December 31, 2007


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the next year's calendars in order, collecting items to donate to the needy, cleaning out unused, unwanted or outdated items and setting things refreshing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

You know you're in trouble when... walk into the master bathroom and, 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

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

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 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.

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

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


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'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 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'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 can check them out at

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'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 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 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:

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.

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 ~