Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fun Things

One week from today and the kiddies will be waiting for the night to come, finding it hard to sleep, and being so excited for the fun and presents to come the next day.  I truly can't believe it!  I truly am unprepared! But I am trying to get ready and be excited for my girls sake.  I have never quite felt so "off" during the month of December.  So not to bore you with the details and to be completely honest, I am looking forward to December 26th when the mayhem is behind us and then to December 27th when my hubby and I will celebrate 10 wonderful years of marriage!

I have asked and prayed for the ability to find the joy of the season in even the smallest of things.   I have thankfully been able to see many small occurrences that brought a smile.   A couple of examples...While sitting in the dreaded Dentist office yesterday morning, I watched a small toddler just learning to walk play with an ornament and peer around chairs to smile at me.  And I found a little glimmer last night as my daughter asked if we would still have our tradition on Christmas morning.

I had to ask her which one she was talking about.  She went on to describe our Christmas mornings.  We go and get the girls from their beds.  We cover their little eyes so they can't see the surprises that await them. We snuggle in the bed while Daddy reads Luke 2.  Then Daddy goes ahead of us and waits with the camera to capture every smile and delight!

"Yes my darling, we will still do this."  And she was excited.  She didn't sigh, like in all honesty I might would have done at her age; she was genuinely excited.  I am so glad she likes our tradition, and I am so glad we can focus on our Savior before the ripping of presents ensues.

Don't forget to read the true Christmas story at some point during the craziness.  Don't just listen to the preacher say it, or Linus say it, or the Narrator of the Cantata say it...read it yourself.  Soak in the meaning. Reflect on the importance, the prophesy, the unimaginable sacrifice, and the miraculous events.  Make  reading the real story a priority in all the fun things that December brings.

Here are some of the new fun things we have done this season...

Donut Snowman...This was an absolute hit in my oldest daughter's class!  I wish I could share some of the hilarious pictures of her classmates while we were making these little treats, but I will just share our practice snowman.


Cookie Cutter Ornaments...We used craft beads and poured them in metal cookie cutters.  Then we baked at 300 for about 10 minutes. We tied with pretty ribbon and it is a beautiful homemade ornament.

M and M Christmas cards...These have been the treats for my daughters' classmates and teachers.  Really cute!  We used double sided tape to attach the cards to the MMs.

I do hope you all have a Marvelous and Merry Christmas!  

Today's Verse
Luke 2:16
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What's Cookin'

Now don't be afraid to try this!  I have always thought if I were to try to make these little tasty things I would have a messy kitchen, frazzled nerves and a burnt mess.  But I have to say this was so easy and soooooo tasty!  My daughter had asked me the night before Thanksgiving could we try to make crepes over the break.  So I found some bravery went searching for a recipe and this is what I landed on.  I wanted something festive and fallish, and this was exactly perfect.  We also tried with chocolate chips and with nutella and banana.  Delicious every way we tried it.  The crepes did keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.  We layered them with papertowels and placed in a ziploc bag.  Another tip was using my immersion blender.  The batter has to be very smooth so using a blender of some sort is recommended.  I used plastic chop sticks to help with flipping and a ladle to put the batter in the pan.  So much fun, not hard and so worth the effort.  We will be trying savory crepes soon and I'll let you know how that goes.  I hope your family enjoys!

Pumpkin Spice Crepes with Pumpkin Butter


Today's Verse
2 Corinthians 9:15  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A sliver of blue

After four days of nonstop cold, mist, rain, drizzle, fog and just plain grey... my spirits are down.  It's not just the weather, or the anxiety that is building from the endless to do list, or the busyness of this time of year, or the wrapping and spending and etc. and etc.; it's much more.  But the weather has definitely not helped the situation.

As I was driving to pick up my daughter, I thought  a lot about the grey around me.  About others feeling grey this time of year.  It is not always the happiest time for everybody.  There are people who are missing loved ones or dealing with so much pain that its hard to find the joy we sing about.  As the grey seemed to be stuck around me forever, it happened.  I crossed a bridge and looked over the lake...and there...small as could be...a sliver of blue... through the thick dark grey...it smiled at me.  A sign of hope to come.  A sign the sun and the gorgeous blue skies are still up there.  They may not be visible, but they are there.  A sign the grey would go away.

I thanked the Lord for the sliver.  For the remembrance that just as the sun is behind the clouds, He is still there as well when I am grey.  We may not always feel Him, but He is always watching.  We may be thinking He is not answering or listening, but He is always working.  We may not understand the circumstances, but He always has a plan.  A plan bigger than we could imagine.  A plan better than we could ask for.

Just like the saying goes, out of the blue, the sun appeared.  As if God just blew the thick dark clouds away the sun appeared and the warmth was so refreshing.  I smiled and thanked Him for the sun.  I prayed for those who are hurting right now and can't see past the grey.  I pray that something or someone will be their sliver...the remembrance that God is there and there is hope.

Today's Verse

Psalms 34:17
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Broken Things


That is one word to describe our Thanksgiving Holiday.


There were several things broken over the time off, but thankfully, we did not let it break our spirits.

It started with our family traditions being broken.  It in turn broke my heart.  I spent a better part of Wednesday morning in tears and prayers.  What was happening?  How could everything I had known for my whole life, just not exist anymore?  Slowly, the Lord sent peace.  I decided the holiday would not be ruined. New traditions could be started.  The girls would still have fun, we would still have delicious food, and most importantly, we still had an immeasurable amount to be thankful for.  So by mid morning, we were making turkey cookies and turning my breaking, sad heart into a grateful, glad heart.

But the breaking didn't stop there.

Other things broke. I really think the devil was trying to break me into throwing a pitty party.  But instead, I figure all the breaking will be stuff we can laugh about later.

The next broken thing was actually my youngest daughter's face.   No laughing matter to begin with.  But once the tears were done and the black eye had appeared, we laughed at how she would tell people so frankly, "My sister hit me in my face."  Truth be told they bonked heads while playing a hide and seek game, but she loved to tell everyone just the short version.

An hour later I managed to break my tooth...and I mean I broke it BAD!  So there was a sign I was not suppose to eat so much :-).  We built a temporary tooth...and yes my teeth are so bad I keep that stuff on hand...and yes I am still in pain and will be having a root canal and crown in my future...but it is still funny to think about breaking my tooth on a piece of pizza the night before the biggest eating day of the year!

The next morning, Thanksgiving morning, when I dropped my wedding band and the diamond flew out, I was scared to leave the house.  What in the world would happen next!  But thankfully that was the last broken thing, and thankfully we remained positive and thankful!

We did celebrate my hubby's birthday over the days off.  We skipped the normal evening "surprise" party for a breakfast party since it was on Saturday.  And instead of the traditional cookie cake, hey why not break tradition and shake things up every now and then, I made my first homemade from scratch Chocolate Meringue pie.  And I have to say, it was pretty tasty.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and I wish everyone a happy next few crazy weeks as we prepare for all the fun and hopefully focus on the Christmas season and everything it means!  Try to stay sane and if traditions are broken, just remember new ones can be super fun!

Pie recipe can be found at link below.  I made a simple crust of 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 stick of butter, 4 oz of cream cheese (room temp), and 1 Tbsp of sugar.  The crust was very good, but it was a little thick.  Hope your family enjoys!


Today's Verse
Matthew 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins."