Monthly Archives: December 2008

Christmas 2008

My niece and brother made a beautiful cheese, sausage and cracker tray!
My mom got a new couch and it got delivered by my BIL  on Christmas, so she got that set up! T. must have been eating something good as he is licking his lips!
K. my niece, loves to cook and was enjoying putting the trays together.
Our veggie tray! Notice the dip in the elegant dish in the background!
Those are also my homemade pickles, which vanished very quickly!
My sister Mishael, who made some delicious garlic french bread for us to go with our dinner. The bookworms curled up together with a fuzzy blanket and books for some quality aunt and niece bonding time! i felt like joining them, but know better now as a wise adult!

All of my mom and dad’s grandchildren! It was hard to get them all looking at me though!

Moriah contemplating deep things……….

Moriah, Fred and Dad…….
Moriah and Joe happy about their matching hats from Peru, that my sister Gina brought for  us! She bought me  a beautiful, really soft scarf  from there! Fred opening a gift……

Lastly, not Christmas, but I thought it was interesting to see how much snow was stuck on our street in front of our house…..if you can even see it.
It makes it a bit difficult to drive! i had a slow trip home yesterday, but i was sure glad I left then rather than now as there was much more snow today!

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Caroling, coroling, caroling……

It was very cold so  myself and the middle two boys  went Christmas caroling. We went to several houses and it took us about 3 hours and i could not feel my toes when we were done!
The rest of the group, getting out of the car! There was not many of us so we had to sing loud!

Get those hats on good and snug…..and try to jump in the snow before it is time to go quick!

We sang at two fire stations and L. loves fire trucks so he pestered the firemen with questions and they remembered from all his questions from the time before he had visited the fire station!  They patiently showed him all the nooks and crannies on their new ladder truck. <p>
When I went to my moms house we had  some boxes of treats to hand out to friends and families, so we put them together with cheese, candies, cookies, homemade caramel corn, crackers, (I just realized that is all stuff that starts with the letter "C") and headed out of the warm house to deliver them in the snowy weather!
My sister  Monica with the box to take to the car, ready to go!
P. ready to go by the front door!  Notice the snow on his head!!
The first stop was an old friend of ours whom had his quirks, that is for sure! He showed us some interesting picture of his relatives, but sadly you could not see any of their faces as it was just their gravestones. i have some pictures, but it may not want to load them!

<p> Next we stopped at another friends house, who was actually the Mayor for the last several years, but he is thankfully going to be county commissioner now and is looking forward to it. He lost his eye in a freak well (for water) accident last year and when the children asked him what was under his patch, he showed them, much to their delight! The boys enjoyed the visit as his wife also used to come to my house and teach the older two little preschool lessons while  back as well as her teaching Fred ESL. <p>

We dropped off stuff at various places and came home for some hot tea and finger foods for dinner!  I think next year we will branch out into some more exotic finger foods. This year we had a cheese ball, tortilla pinwheels, calzones, caramel corn,  and some other things! It was good though!

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Catching up on normal life/Blessings

November and December always end up pretty busy, with all the holidays, birthdays, caroling, cookie exchanges, get-togethers, programs,  and other things that go on plus  there is just the normal stuff  we all have to do. So, now, I am relieved to have everything go back to normal! Well, as normal as my life ever is! <p>
I was thinking about some of the goals I had for 2008 and one of the biggest ones I had for the past year and half was to buy a house. i was thinking about how blessed I am to  have that goal come true!  Yes, owning your own home has it struggles, but with owning a mobile home, that has it’s struggles  as well as renting has many more struggles!  What a wonderful blessing to see that  we are owning our own home before I was 30!
<p> All the packing, which I struggle with, and tearing up a home is difficult for me so  i figure this better be the last move we make in a long time, which having a grant that  will go away if we stay here long enough gives us good incentive as well! Our Home!

In our new home at last!
<p> We also struggled last year with losing my grandmother, and this year, since this was the time of year she died, we have talked and had memory times remembering good things and times we shared! Here she is at my wedding, almost 12 years ago!

This was taken a short time before she went to heaven, taken with my sister and cousin.

This year  my  boy who was afraid of water, learned how to swim fairly well too! That was quite the accomplishment, for not only him! Me, too!  It has bolstered my courage and  i did attempt some swimming as well, although I am not sure i am ready to go out in public and try! <p>
 I am sure 2009 will be full of just as many blessings!

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Hard time of year for me…

Whatever happened to Peace on earth, goodwill toward men?

I wonder this as I am going through my daily chores and feel pressed up to meet certain expectations, the busy people pressing in to get the deals and the sales, when all I want is to get  our normal groceries and not slide off the road.
This time of year is a struggle for me as I try to stay patient with little boys who have better things than to sit still and listen to their mom try to teach them long division, measurement or even just vowel sounds.
I often wonder why so many people plan so many things this time or year and  make it so we cannot just spend time at home with family or friends, which I know, the plays, the programs and all are so nice,   but sometimes it is so hard for me to be going, going, going.


I thought about it as I had a really nice visit with a friend the other day. Sometimes life can get so busy   with these things, we forget to take the time to read a story to our children or have tea with a friend. Someone gives us a call and we are too distracted with other good things to really pay attention.
I am not really a grinch, I am just not a person who enjoys all the busy, busy, busy of this and it has been really getting to me and I hate it that I look forward to  this holiday being over with, because I really do enjoy seeing family and spending time with them and all the other stressers just make it so it is hard to enjoy that.

I have probably  run into more rude people in the last few days that I ever do in a month normally!  It has been terrible!  I know there are great people still around, but still, why do some people have to be really rude?

Anyhow, more pleasant thoughts,  in spite of things being a mess right now, I have so much to be thankful for.  I have a warm house, warm clothes, wonderful children and I have family, when many people do not and we love each other.


We made raviolis today which was fun, although very tiring for some reason for me. We made a few hundred, but I think we still need more. All of our faults tend to come out when ravioli making, the bossy side of me, my other sister who likes things a certain way, my mom who likes to get things done  in short order, but we all love each other and compliment each other… spite of our faults.


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If you like Jane Austen’s books

Check out this new book by Linore Rose Burkard (I love her name!).  I have not read it yet, but go and enter the drawing on Louise Gouge’s blog
She needs ten entries to have the drawing and so far she needs more!
<p> There is a great review for the book there too!

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My nephew’s program

My sister and some other moms started their own little coop preschool in the church next to her house, so last Fri. they had a little program with all these cute 3-4 year olds!
One of the wise men…..= )
Gathered around the manger, while the Christmas story was read aloud!
They sang some really cute little songs and E. made some cute comments interspersed! He is sometimes too smart for his own good!  We are all very amazed at what he can come up with…..Of course, his mom was pretty smart too and amazing  when she was his age too! When she was little, she always was saying  really smart things to make us all wonder where she got it. Of course, her older sisters were not as thrilled then as now…but that is another story! She is an amazing mom and teacher!

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Winter Wonderland!

H. in the street, shoveling our driveway! <p>
We finally got winter! We are so excited! I could not wait this year as it seemed like it was just wet and yucky and the boys get so stir crazy, but then it snows and they have something to do outside! Yay!
It has been snowing now for a bit, and we got about a foot last night and it snowed more all day! It is so beautiful. It is all dry and fluffy so it almost looks fake! The roads are not the most fun to drive on though!
<p>P. waving at the camera!  This was day before yesterday, so now the van is practically buried, well, not really! = )
The other two boys inside where it is toasty and warm, playing with their airplane!
I made a big pot of spicy potato soup today for supper….it warmed us all up through and through! It uses up all our potatoes we have too! It is really easy!
In large pot brown 1/2 pound ground beef with 1/2 c. diced celery, 2 cloves garlic, minced fine and 1 T. italian sausage seasoning. Add 6 c. chicken broth, 6 diced potatoes and cook until soft. Use a masher to break up the potatoes and stir in a big scoop of sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
We served it with a bit of cheddar cheese  and  whole wheat bread. Yum! The sausage seasoning makes it spicy, but if you like it spicier you can add some cayenne too!
<p> Yesterday, I baked a big batch of oatmeal cookies. They were really good and healthy too! I took our regular recipe and added some ground up persimmon someone gave us as well as flax seed, whole wheat flour, oats so the only things bad were the sugar and chocolate chips! I froze some so they will last awhile as otherwise they vanish! <p>
I actually did go to the store today as yesterday I did not feel like it and did not today either, but  I ventured out and  figured I need a menu plan.  It  is like another world out there in all the snow! Tomorrow we go caroling, so I hope it is not too cold! <p>

Wednesday: Broccoli and chicken stir fry and rice
Thursday: Spicy potato soup, cheese and bread
Friday:  Leftover soup, homemade bread, Caramel corn or apples and caramel dip, not sure which
Saturday: Broccoli/Cauliflower soup, crackers
Sunday:  Baked potatoes, steamed broccoli
Monday: Beef stew, bread
Tuesday: Beef pot pie with leftover stew

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My niece on her 9th birthday…..
Her birthday is  the day before mine and my husband’s is the day before that! We have a whole week of birthday celebrations!
All the children enjoying themselves, waiting for food, patiently!  This is not even all her cousins, but she had quite the gathering with only a couple extras!
For my birthday my mom, my sisters, my aunt and my cousin all took me to this fancy tea house. It was really neat! It was expensive, but so much fun! They had fancy hats you could wear if you wanted, beautiful gifts all geared toward tea and everything was dainty and small, even the food! This is  a picture of my plate. It was a turkey sandwich with cream cheese and cranberry curd on it. <p>
My cousins little baby who joined us! Isn’t he a sweetheart?
Well, then later that day I was supposed to go to my sister’s for a family gathering and some pie.  I got there and they shouted surprise! I  looked up the stairs and saw  my cousin and my sister’s and thought, "Oh, how nice! They decided to have a little party." But then I walked up the stairs and was shocked, really, really surprised, because there in the room was friends from MOPS,  some wonderful friends from my childhood, our real estate agent,  (who had become a friend), and others! I was so surprised and blessed that they did all of that for me! It was so much fun too, to visit with all those friends! I was still all shaky from being surprised though a couple hours later!
It was a wonderful evening! They gave me lots of funny cards and beautiful gifts and my sister Moriah, had bought all these lovely decorations that said 30!! on them. When the evening was over, I was not as scared to be so old! <p>
I know this is late, but I wanted to still share with you!


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Great giveaways!

Check out Donna Moore’s blog for some great giveaways! 
Write By Faith
<p> Also, Tina  Forkner has a great one giving away Christmas music CD’s and books! There are lots of ways to get entries, so take a look!
Big Holiday giveaway!


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Chili and cornbread

3 cloves garlic- finely minced
1 lb ground meat  $1.25
2 (12 oz) cans whole tomatoes .19 each
1  (8oz) can tomato sauce   .20
1 (8 oz) can jalapeno hot tomato sauce .20
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans .50 each (I usually cook my own, but I am out of dry pinto beans)
1 cup cook black beans- free as I was given the beans ages ago
cumin- pennies
salt- pennies

In dutch oven brown ground meat and garlic. Drain grease. In blender grind whole tomatoes with juice and  homemade black beans until sauce. Add to pan with cooked meat. Rinse blender with water and add to pan.
Add tomato sauces and rinse can with water. Add beans and spices to taste. Add more water if too thick as it will cook down. Simmer on low for a couple hours. (I actually did not add any chili powder as it was fairly spicy with just the jalapeno sauce, but if you like more spice add some chili powder.)
Serve with cornbread.
(We had this with cornbread last night and then tonight over cooked rice)

I use a stone ground cornmeal  I buy from a bulk store, so the texture is crumbly, but it is good! I know that you can make one with only cornmeal and sometime I will try it. Anyhow, I take a regular cornbread recipe and  add more cornmeal than flour, leave out the oil and instead cut it in half and melt it in the bottom of a cast iron skillet  in the oven. Then pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake until tests done. It makes it buttery tasting on the outside and crisp on the edges!
<p> The boys loved both meals!  We had applesauce with them both as well.

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