Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Favorite post of 2009....?

The Nester asked what our favorite post of the year was......I have several, but based on the number of comments received on this post, I figured it was great to re-run this one, and count it as my favorite one. It came at a time when I was close to giving up on blogging, actually. I felt dry, I felt uncreative, I felt like I had NOTHING. Nothing to offer, but some thoughts...that deepened as I wrote. Conviction grew as I uncovered the layers of what I had been thinking about. And apparently, my thoughts were common among many of you, thoughts that you had also considered and resonated with. So once again, and truly it is a good post to reconsider before the new year.......perspective about what truly WILL be important for 2010. Enjoy and be inspired.

This post was originally posted on 11/12/09 and received a huge number of comments! Only giveaways have drawn more comments on a post......

Perspective: a Gift you give yourself!

I was over visiting the Nester's blog this morning, and her blog post today was about perspective--something I've been mulling over in my head for the last few weeks....a coincidence, perhaps? Nah, I don't think so. We get nudges all the time from the most unexpected places to remind us who we are, who we belong to, who we are called to be, and who we show others we are and/or portray ourselves to be......yea, especially that last one. In the blog world, it's easy to show the side of ourselves that looks good, looks crafty, chic, or crazy organized. It's easy to show the one decorated table or buffet that looks really good and have others assume the rest of my house looks just as good, or that the rest of my food is just as awesome as the one or two recipes I just shared. It's easy to show the good and pretty yet sweep the rest under the proverbial oriental rug. What's for real?????

In reality, I'm just a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a church goer, Bible believer, wanna be decorator.....just to name a few. I'm really not even a writer, nor a photographer, and there are days when I'm hardly even a cook. Sometimes I'm lazy and can spout great ideas, but not follow through with any of them. Somedays I forget to pray, yet I find myself promising to pray for many others. Somedays, I get discouraged and want to just run away. Does that make me any different than anyone else? You answer that.......I'm thinking it makes me just like you...and you, and you. Now, maybe you don't have a lazy bone in your body, and I certainly don't mean to offend anyone, but surely you get tired. So tired you just.can't.move. Sometimes I read blogs, books and magazines and wish my home were something that it isn't....something that looks like a magazine, when in reality PEOPLE LIVE HERE, and it will never look like a magazine. Then I remember how God has provided a place for us to live, be warm and full, and to offer in hospitality to others. Yep, then I remember that it's really not about us, NOT ABOUT ME.......ouch. OUCH......sometimes the stick of reality hurts. But in the same turn, it is refreshing. To realize I am so abundantly blessed is such a comfort. My perspective turns from pain to prosperity, knowing that if all the material things were stripped away, I have riches untold that are sure and will never go away. My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and will indeed provide for me what I need. It's just that need sometimes gets a little turned around in my head......yep, you know that feeling.

The reality is that the Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease; they are new every morning! Indeed, great is HIS faithfulness, no matter how wobbly and inconsistent mine may be. I am SO VERY THANKFUL that it doesn't depend on me...that His gift is just that....a gift. Were it dependent on me, I would lose out every stinking day. I would be just a few hairs short of what I need......

.......and so back to the perspective issue. I know what keeps me grounded. I know what makes me real.....I know I need daily reminders of "it's not about me"......because I so easily get side-tracked. I need a double dose of that before the holiday season kicks in.....to remind myself what truly is important. Whether I have a Christmas tree that looks like that one I drooled over may not be the most important issue. It may not be worth the energy it will take me to "OVER- deck" the halls if it means that something important doesn't get done. This may be a year that I need to decide it's okay to scale back a little if it means I have a little energy left over for the people in my life........ouch. So really what this means for me is a little more planning of what is reality for me this year, this season. A realization that my expectations may be too big is really a gift to myself. I can only do so much and to dwell on it and be sullen because I cannot do it all and have it all, truly hurts those around me. So perspective, while sometimes it reveals what may initially be disappointing, is in truth a gift we can give ourselves. It is helpful to remember we are human and have limits. It means, in my case, I have to be less idealistic and more realistic. But the cost of that gift is worth it to me and my family. And I also have to remember there are others with bigger battles to fight, who need me to come along side them and gird them up for the battle. That is worth a whole lot more than a lovely tree, my friends.
Perspective......it's what's real.

Also, be sure you check on Stellan updates here......awesome reports of what God is doing for that family!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ahhhhh....................................


all those checklists.........checked twice and gone.
all those gifts...........purchased, wrapped and given.
all those food items.....bought, cooked, served and enjoyed.
all those preparations.........finished and checked off.
all those decorations......well, no not put away yet, but will be soon.
A new year, right around the corner.
A fresh, new start, right here upon us.
A quieter house to enjoy, another week with family home but few deadlines or actual responsibilities
Joyful, fun memories, looking ahead, and the grace and mercy of new starts.....
LOVE it...it's priceless!

What about you? What does 2010 hold for you and your family?
We will have our last child graduate from high school and head to college! Oh, am I ready for that?
We will have a few trips in the new year....a few home projects, hopefully a family vacation that could be one of our last while we still have our kids at home.......it's going to be an eventful year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mary did you know???


Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.



Pondering what Mary must have thought.......gee, what a
pregnancy. Those of us that have been pregnant have had
those long months to "consider" how pregnancy would change
our lives. We pondered logistics, worries, concerns, details,
nurseries, etc. But what if we had been
told such weighty matters as she was told?
What must she have thought and feared?
What must she have treasured???

I've been busy this last week, and the house
has been chaotic...not much time to ponder....
and when I have, it's been about meals,
shopping, wrapping, who's going where when...
..I find myself a little short on
the time I've pondered. Let's take some time
to ponder this season. The gift,
not the ones under the tree,
but the one GIVEN by the Heavenly Father,
who knew full well that SON He gave would also
be the one He would sacrifice
on our behalf.
But what HE gave us....now THAT needs some pondering.
Enjoy the time
to ponder what this means for you
and yours. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday thoughts and the WINNER!!!


What a week this has been.....it calls for a moment of relaxation and enjoyment.....that's what fueled this giveaway anyway. I thought it would be nice to send something to someone that would cause them to pause and reflect, to pause and be inspired, to pause and celebrate the joy, peace and good cheer that Christmas is supposed to be about. Instead we scurry around, and in my case, take on TOO MUCH. I am making notes to myself and putting them on my November 2010 calendar to NOT overbook December, so that I will have some time to do the simple things I would like to get done, and then to enjoy.

But the BIG deal of the day is the WINNER of the giveaway. I called my friend, Mr. Random Number Generator, and he came up with a number that led me to Marla of Always Nesting, as my winner! Congratulations, Marla. I will be mailing out a package of goodies to her early this week, so that one day this week or next, she will be able to prop her feet up , sit by the fire and be inspired. If it happens after Christmas, then that's okay, too, because we all can use some relaxation time after the holiday, right? I'll get that right out to you, Miss Marla...I hope you'll enjoy!

Oh, and I did get groceries purchased for my family.......two sons and daughter in law will be arriving tonight! And you'll never believe what crazy, odd-brained notion came over me in putting my groceries away. A project that I was crazy to begin, but did anyway. I'm changing out my pantry, which is not nearly big enough, and is so hard to manage, so that it holds all my dishes and the cabinets where the dishes were, now holds all my food. I couldn't really see what was in there, so consequently you'd think I was planning food for an army OR that I was preparing for a Hurricane or Snowstorm of the century. Part of my new year's menu will be using up all that food!!!!!!!!!!!! I am cleaning out and throwing out, too. I thought I was well, but now am sure that the virus knocked me off my ROCKER!!! LOL...
Enjoy your day, friends, and may the PEACE of Christ rest in your hearts today.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

giveaway day and a brand new day!!!


After having a relapse yesterday afternoon of this awful crud, I woke up today feeling so, so much better. The first thing on my list is to buy groceries for my family. They will appreciate that! And then start the arduous list of things I want to do for our Christmas celebration. Whatever gets done is what gets done. I'm really ok with that.

So I will do the drawing for the giveaway this evening.....so if you've not left a comment on this post, please go and do so! I look forward to seeing who is going to win. I think it's much more exciting to DO the giveaway than to win a giveaway!!!! LOL......

So go leave a comment here to be entered in the giveaway, and I hope your Saturday is a day full of joy and merry......whatever that means for you and yours. Treasure your health because there are many who suffer! That much I have learned thru this crud.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hello Sunshine!!!!!!!!


Giveaway will be tomorrow!!!! If you haven't entered go here!
I am beginning to feel much better.... I've got lots to do to catch up and get done for next week!!

And guess what??? The SUN is shining!! Wahoo......I don't know how many days it's been since we've seen the sun, but enough to be tired of gray and gloomy! Cold and sunny, how I like it!
Loads of laundry, lists to make and check twice,


a Christmas tree in place and YET TO BE DECORATED!!! The fairies didn't do that last night! We've NEVER waited this late......hopefully it will look similar to this tomorrow!!

I need to decide what my menus are going to be and what I need to buy....so many good ideas, so many items to buy.........I must get organized.

I'm learning flexibility this year for sure. In so many ways........
And I'm thinking about the things that Mary must have pondered in her heart.......come back for a post related to that. Until tomorrow, blog friends, have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Giveaway......


I just keep getting waylaid with things to make me more flexible....as I lay here in the bed recovering from ugh, the dreaded dish rag virus (it is hard and fast and leaves you feeling like a dishrag!!!!) I am reminded of those who face illness this Christmas and feel badly. I know that this is going to pass. Thankfully, it isn't the flu like I had one Christmas....oh, it was awful and lasted for about five or six days! This is over fairly quickly. Fortunately, I got a long list of my ta-das done yesterday! So it doesn't hurt quite as badly to sit here and lay still. This is post 298, and it makes me marvel that I have been fairly consistent with this blog for so long, as I am the master of starting something and not finishing, of wanting to journal but never being consistent at it. It's because I get such encouragement and joy from all my blog friends that makes it so easy to keep it up. I thank you for regularly reading.......never would I have believed that more than five or so would want to return time after time to read what I have to say! Thanks.
So I want to host a giveaway...........something for you to enjoy as you sit and ponder. As you take a break, whether it be to read or to blog, just something to add to relaxing for you. I have no pictures of the giveaway, as that would require me getting up to find the camera, take a pic, find the cord, upload the pic and then put it on here......sorry, y'all, I just don't have the energy for that. I want to go ahead with the giveaway so that on Saturday, I will post my 300th post, hopefully as the winner for the giveaway! I hope y'all don't mind no pics. I will find something already on the computer but it won't be of the giveaway, ok?
thanks! So all you have to do to be entered is leave a comment telling me how much you've accomplished and what you have left to do. I will NOT say that Christmas is only so many days away, for that only adds stress.......I just want to know what's left on your list......so comment away and I'll be back to pick a winner.
I'll be doing a post later on about the Southern Lady Celebrations periodical....it's SO, SO fun to sit and read. I hope you have seen it. Toodles for now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the giveaway delayed .....

I will still have it...I just have a minor delay! I had to bring two babies home yesterday since their mommy had the stomach bug......we got the girls out and left the boys with daddy, now daddy has the bug.....ugh. Hopefully girls will avoid getting it!!
The giveaway is going to be put off another day......but it will happen by the time I have my 300th post! Wahoo!
It will be a few Christmas magazines, a Christmas craft book, some tea and a mug....just right for snuggling by the fire to relax when it's all done......um hum...it will ALL get done at some point, right???? I am learning flexibility this Christmas.....in a major way. All the while, Christmas has NOT been cancelled and we still celebrate the birth of the King, the Saviour who is Christ the Lord!


and visions of sugar plums will dance in our heads!! ;)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

all wrapped up.....


The parties that is.......everything was so lovely. I haven't even had a chance to look at the pictures a friend snapped on my camera......today was the first time to stop for a breather. It all began last Thursday when we shopped for the dinner for 80 people......4 spiral hams, 5 cans of green beans, 40 pounds of potatoes, 3 industrial sized bags of romaine, 8 lbs of butter, 2 quart of half and half, 5 bags of rolls.......sounds a little like the 12 days of Christmas song....but no pears or partridges! We delivered it all to the church kitchen and then after decorating my two tables, I came home to finish up the desserts and would you believe my family wanted to eat??? Then on Friday, did a little of my Christmas shopping {no I am not finished--I have a few more days!} and went to the church to start the cooking....There were three of us cooking and the meal turned out to be most delicious! Our menu was Spiral Ham, Green Beans (made with garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and bacon pieces). My friend Renee and her daughter had made two lovely Buche de Noel cakes, another friend had made Layered Hazelnut Cheesecake (search for the recipe on Taste of Home) and I had made the luscious trifle that I gave you the recipe for. The tables were set in our multi-purpose room and with only the sconce lighting and 10 beautifully decorated tables, it was like a wonderful, fine dining restaurant. The meal was a hit, we had such fun making it, and it was a nice night of fellowship. It was just a little bit intense on the effort it took to pull it all off, considering we are all trying to take care of our own Christmas things. Nonetheless, it was a very fun night. We also had an ornament exchange as part of the evening, as well as my talented friend Renee entertaining us with a touching skit about our Christmas attitudes.......sweet, my friend!
On Saturday afternoon, I went to my friend's house to help her set up for her Open House, which has become a HUGE party....I could only stay a little while as I needed to come home and get ready for Saturday night...........still partying to be done......
My daughter Allison had planned her PALS dinner where we hosted 19 of her friends who all brought a covered dish. They all came with their dishes and were all dressed up. It was loud but very, very fun. They ended their evening after dessert with a rousing game of Taboo! It was a fun-filled weekend.
Today after church, it was time for all activities to come to an abrupt halt and take some time to recoup. David got home from college and we enjoyed snacks and family game of Scrabble....and now what's left to be wrapped up is a whole pile of presents!!! It was a great weekend!

So tomorrow is the Giveaway announcement....I know there are all manner of parties going on to link to for tree decor, Christmas tours, gift ideas, etc. Well, all I've got is a giveaway, so send everyone you know over here.........It's going to be all about RELAXING......some magazines, some craft books, some tea bags, some cookies, maybe a jar of fresh clean air to take a deep breath of !! LOL!! A chance to stop and take a quick break .......Come back tomorrow for some pics and the chance to sign up for the giveaway itself....I appreciate YOU coming by today and would love to hear all about your parties and weekend activities. I appreciate YOU for your blogging encouragement and friendship! I am continuing to gain followers, which just totally amazes me....but thanks! See you tomorrow!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A giveaway is coming up...

Um, no I am not giving away a trifle, silly.......but I wanted y'all to know about the giveaway coming up for my 300th post!!!
Can't do it today, as I am on the go. A friend and I are preparing the food for our church's Adult Christmas Dinner (80 adults!!!). It sounded easy enough and a good idea back a few months ago when we said we'd do this. {Note to self: don't take something like THIS on in December}. It's so very fun, and so inspiring...and we will have so much fun. I also agreed to decorate and set two tables...so really I guess I should have chosen one or the other. Oh, well, tomorrow I will hit the other lists hard and come up just fine. After all, I have a whole 2 weeks before Christmas right???? :)
I am going to be putting this trifle together after I post this....it is one of my friend Renee's recipe.....which are always yummy!
And I will hopefully be back tomorrow to begin the giveaway for my 300th post!!! Geez, how time flies. Oh, and we do have our tree to get and decorate. Since we get a real one, we usually wait until the second weekend to do it. I am ready to get it and be done with that part!! I hope y'all have a productive, fun-filled weekend.

Trifle

1 frozen pound cake, thawed (10 ¾ oz)

Raspberry preserves

½ c. orange juice + ¼ c. alcohol (sherry, amaretto, brandy). OR – increase juice to ¾ c. and add a tsp. of extract (almond)

Coconut macaroon cookies crumbled to make 1 c. crumbs (about 10 or so)

1 pkg. frozen raspberries (10 oz) thawed and drained

1 small pkg vanilla instant pudding mix

2 c. milk

1 c. whipping cream, whipped

¼ c. sliced toasted almonds

Cut pound cake lengthwise into one-inch slices. Spread preserves over each slice. Cut slices into one-inch cubes. Place cubes in bottom of 2 quart trifle bowl. Pour sherry/juice mixture over cake cubes. Sprinkle cookie crumbs over cake and top with raspberries. Prepare pudding according to package using milk, then fold in whipped cream. Spoon over raspberries. Chill. Before serving, garnish with toasted almonds. Serves 8.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sanctuary....


I visited BooMama early this morning and read her post about Sanctuary, then I read Richella's post telling of a sweet, sweet story about her mamma......then I took some time to think. I was thinking about what we DO to provide Sanctuary for those whose resting place may be our home. Family, friends, even strangers leave our homes regularly with a memory of what they felt like in our homes, what they smelled in our homes, what they ate in our homes, what they were encouraged about in our homes, and what they enjoyed in our homes, or did.not.enjoy. Did they feel loved, did they feel enveloped like a cocoon, did they feel nourished and satisfied, did they feel joy?

I pondered what kind of environment my own family feels in our home. My husband NEEDS order and non-clutter. Do I work to keep things in line and in some sort of array? It's very hard for me to do so, but I am learning how it adds peace and calm.

Does my home smell clean and fresh and maybe even fragrant? Windex and Pinesol smell clean to me, but I know my husband also appreciates the smell of good food to welcome him home. Others appreciate that as well. My family won't succumb, even though I've campaigned!, to a faux tree because they love the smell of a fresh one. Those Balsam candles at Bath and Body works smell just like a live tree is my contention....still working on that!

What is the conversation of in my home? Do those who find refuge here feel dragged down by the cares of the world or filled with hope because we talk of the hope that our Jesus offers, we talk of the blessings the Lord has given in abundance......do we whine of what we want or rejoice over what we've been given????????????

Are you a hugger? It takes some perception really to know if others are comfortable with receiving hugs. I love to give them freely, but sometimes it's a little threatening. So in that case, a touch on the arm or a side hug is enough of a touch......but DO reach out to touch someone. We sometimes just need to sprinkle our conversation with grace and that may be the touch someone needs. Take time to perceive.

Take time to unwrap the gift of haven, of sancturary, of restfulness and peace, of calm and silent night. It's a gift you give to those who enter your home. No tinsel really needed, no shiny paper or bows. JUST DO IT.....just give it, just live it.
I'm linking to Emily's chatting at the sky Tuesdays Unwrapped today.....go enjoy some inspiration!

Monday, December 7, 2009

You'll want to make these for Christmas morning!


The original recipe for these biscuits I found in the 1984 Southern Living annual recipe book. And I've been making them for a long time. They freeze well, so we'd both do well to get some in the freezer and then forget about them until Christmas morning. If we don't forget about them, we'll be too tempted to pull them out and eat them EVERY MORNING from now until then. They are THAT good.

So dear reader, here are my (well the original recipe came from Martha Martin in Vardaman, MS....If I knew Martha, I'd send her a thank you note!)

Sausage Biscuit Bites

3/4 pound hot bulk pork sausage (or just regular is what I use)
2 2/3 c. all purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
1 pkg. dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 c. buttermilk***
Melted butter or margarine

Cook sausage in a skillet until browned, stirring to crumble; drain well and set aside.
Combine the next 5 ingredients, mixing well; cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until mixture looks like coarse meal. Dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes. Add yeast mixture to buttermilk, stirring well. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Knead in sausage. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 3 or 4 times.
Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness; cut with a 1 3/4 inch round cutter. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 3 dozen biscuits
Note: To freeze, place uncooked biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet; cover and freeze until firm. Transfer frozen biscuits to plastic bags. To bake, place frozen biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet ; bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Thanks, Martha!! These are one of our favorites!!!
***I always keep Buttermilk Powder in my fridge, but don't always have real buttermilk. Many times I have substitued dry buttermilk powder mixed in the dry ingredients and add the appropriate amount of water to the liquid ingredients. Also I have doubled this recipe many times and it always turns out great! Enjoy!!!!

Here is what my brand of Buttermilk powder look



Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Birthday of a King


An old melodious hymn, the origins of 'Birthday of a King' is not known. However, its cheery tune makes it a popular number on Christmas.

I will be singing this song in a ladies trio tomorrow night, along with several other choir selections. I just love this song, and thought I'd share the words with y'all.


In the little village of Bethlehem,
There lay a child one day,
And the sky was bright,
With a holy light,
O'er the place where Jesus lay.

Alleluia!
O how the angels sang!
Alleluia!
How it rang!
And the sky was bright,
With a holy light,
'Twas the birthday of a King.

Twas a humble birthplace,
But O!
How much God gave to us that day!
From the manger bed what a path has led,
What a perfect holy way.

Alleluia!
O how the angels sang!
Alleluia!
How it rang!
And the sky was bright,
With a Holy light,
'Twas the birthday of THE Savior!
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Twas the Birthday,
OF THE KING!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, December 4, 2009

We interrupt this program to tell you....


It's snowing here in Houston TX....this is neaux faux sneaux, Y'all......it's the real thing. Mark it down in the books as the earliest we've ever gotten the few times of snow in history! It is mixed with rain, but it is so fun to look outside and see snow flakes!!! And the children are still in school, missing it. I hope they get out soon before the roads get bad. Our high is only supposed to be around 38...this is REAL winter for us. Granted it won't look like the above picture, but for us, it's fun.....I know you that have feet of snow will chuckle at us, but hey, we're excited....

And I'm only ten posts away from hitting 300 posts.....wow, what an accomplishment......so I'm going to have a giveaway soon to celebrate....I'm working on what will be in it. It's going to be a "sit by the fire and relax" kind of giveaway, so stay tuned. Right now, I'm working on the garland around the front door, but I'll be back with some pics hopefully of my simple Christmas decor. Have a good day, and enjoy .

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Do you hear what I hear???

I am slowly getting some things decorated for the holidays, but I have a story to tell you.....and it's affecting just how much decorating I am actually doing this year.....
Sunday night, I had successfully taken down all of my fall decorations and made way for the Christmas decorations to come out in full force. It was time to dust and straighten and then out would come all the boxes of Christmas decor my son had pulled down from the attic for me before he left to go back to college.
My husband walked thru the house and came to me and said, "hey this is nice.....there are areas that aren't cluttered, nor decorated to the hilt.....I LIKE this."


Did you hear me....did you read that??? I have to say things have been a little stressful at work for him....things are cluttered everywhere with ugly details that he has to pay attention to. Things are mentally challenging as he faces his world. He comes home every night (for which I am ever so thankful!!!) and this is his haven, his safe place from a world that bombards him with stuff. So at that very moment, I vowed to simplify my Christmas decor this year to make it a restful place for him. It is my little secret sacrifice (well, except that each of you now knows it...how secret is THAT??? LOL)...It is MY GIFT TO HIM......I will still do some decorating, but all the snowmen will stay tucked away in the box, the village will not be placed on the table; I will not have as many chotskes (sp?) this year. I will work to make it as uncluttered, yet festive as I possibly can. I will work to make our home a place of peace and rest for him, rather than the commercialization of a miracle. Now, I LOVE Christmas decorating and the way it makes the holidays special. But this year, we are going simple and next year we'll see if we're ready for more.....one step at a time......
Merry Christmas, honey.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas treats!!


I have a sugar cookie recipe that always comes thru for me in a crunch......need decorated cookies in a flash? Well this recipe is great because you don't have to chill the dough! And the icing recipe will dry shiny and hard so that the cookies are stackable even though they are decorated! I don't have a picture to show you because I haven't made any yet, but I am sure I will be making some.....remember Google images is my best friend!! ;)

Here's my favorite sugar cookie recipe:
Easy Roll Out cookies

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 t. vanilla

2 t. baking powder

2 3/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. (may add butter extract here if using margarine) Add baking powder and flour (mixed together first) one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. The dough will be very stiff; blend in the last flour by hand. Do not chill. Dough may be tinted with paste icing color for colored cookies. For chocolate cookies, stir in 3 oz. melted unsweetened cocoa. If dough is too stiff, add water a teaspoon at a time.


Divide dough into two balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball in a circle about 12" in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased sheet on top rack of oven for 6-7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. If you like cookies that are more like tea cakes, make the cookies a little thicker.


Cookie Icing Recipe (dries to a glossy, hard finish and tastes good, too!

1 c. sifted confectioner's sugar

2 t. milk

2 t. light corn syrup

Place sugar and milk in a small bowl. Stir until mixed. Add corn syrup and mix well. For filling in areas, use thinned icing (add small amount of corn syrup until desired consistency). Tint with paste icing color or very small amount of food coloring.

This is a Wilton recipe and I've used it for years.





Also a fun treat to make for kids is Snowman Soup. Psstt, it's really hot chocolate mix.


Mix up some hot chocolate mix or open envelopes of pre-made mix and add to a ziploc bag. Add in a few miniature marshmallows, a few hershey kisses of your choice (remember those bad, bad peppermint ones??? mmmm.....) and add a peppermint stick or candy cane for stirring. Attach this poem, and decorate package as you wish. Ok, I didn't have time to take pics or make a tutorial, so you're on your own here. We call this YoYo at my house, especially when it comes to fixing your own dinner night. YoYo= your on your own, get it???? ;)



So here's the cute little poem for Snowman soup. You can package it with cute snowman stickers, stamps, cute ribbon, etc. Even when it's yoyo night, mom has ideas for possibilities!



Snowman Soup


I was told that you’d been good this year
Always glad to hear it.
With freezing weather drawing near
You’ll need to warm the spirit
So here’s a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Add hot water, stir it slowly
It’s sure to do the trick!

Ingredients: Hot chocolate mix,
Snowballs, Snowman kisses and
Stirring stick





Ok, I'm a lazy crafter and time-crunched, so I googled Snowman Soup and there are all manner of graphics to use for this recipe. Does that me an expert if I can refer you to all the right references??? hmmm.....i doubt it.


Some examples:


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm NOT away from my desk today....


I am busy working the SLaHOME Winter Sale!!! We are cleaning out the warehouse with around 90 items marked way, way down. Seventy -ish new items are on the way to the new catalog!
To see the Sale Flier, copy and paste this link into your browser:

http://www.southernlivingathome.com/pne/pdf/announcements/200912_DecemberSaleFliers_112409_1518.pdf

I'll be back to regularly scheduled posts tomorrow...thanks, friends. If you see something you want, you can click on our products and add my name when it asks you for a hostess name....Suzanne Joffrion. Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday magnificence....





Woke up this morning to a gray day, but oh the temperature is amazing.......50's all day. I know that's not a big deal to some of you, but yesterday afternoon was like soup......lukewarm soup. Warm and humid. So I am so loving the overnight change.

I am reading blog after blog of holiday transformations....astounding cuteness and great ideas. Me? Well, I did manage to get all the fall out and back in the attic and the Christmas boxes down, thanks to my son before he left to go back to college.

It was a wonderful week and weekend, relaxing and visiting with family and friends. Not much shopping happened here, but I have three weeks to get it all done, right????? um, hum, I do work best under pressure. So the hours will be full for the next three weeks. I don't need a blinking reminder or even a paper calendar to remind me just how many days are left before Christmas! I can only take one day at a time anyway. It's good for me to plan, though, and I will be doing LOTS of that, so as to be efficient in my "only three weeks or so" left. But again, I can only do the twenty four hours in one day at a time, so I MUST be reasonable. Remember my post on Perspective? Um, hum, I'm going to be reading that post regularly to keep me in line!! I am continually telling myself, "It's only November 30th, not even Dec. 1st yet, so ease up, self. "
And keeping all those expectations in a reasonable frame of reference.....yep, that's a big job. We can encourage one another to remember what's truly important, and realize we are all in different places.......yes, I need someone reminding me of that.
That's why it's so good to have friends all over the place, of every age and ability, of all frames of mind....so we can encourage one another.
Wouldn't it be better if Thanksgiving were in EARLY November??? I would sure like to have a week or two extra after Thanksgiving, wouldn't you?

Well, today is my day to go visit my little quint friends, so decorating will wait for tomorrow here at my house........it's going to be a great day! I hope yours is as well. I'll celebrate December 1st with Christmas decorating, as I am sure many of you will........I am just so thankful to be able to do so......see you tomorrow, and perhaps I'll have a few pics of progress being made around here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Psalm 100


Enjoy your Sunday, before December really gets off to a rip-roaring start.......relax, breathe, and worship.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our gang to yours!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

My son's favorite...of course I will make it!

Carrot Souffle

1 pound carrots, peeled, chopped
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla extract
3 T. flour
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter or margarine (softened)
Confectioners sugar

Combine the carrots with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil; boil until very tender, drain. Combine the hot cooked carrots, sugar, baking powder and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Beat until smooth. Add the flour and mix well. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the margarine and mix well. Pour into a 9x9 inch baking dish coated with nonstick spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is a light golden brown; do not overbake. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar (I skip this as it is already sweet enough!). Serve warm. Yield: 6 servings

I usually double this and there are hardly ever leftovers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Some words of wisdom and fun!


Subject: Notes on dusting

Remember...a layer of dust protects the wood beneath it.

'A house becomes a home when you can write 'I love you' on the furniture.'

I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect - 'in case someone came over'
Finally I realized one day that no-one came over; they were all out living life and having fun!
NOW, when people visit, I don't have to explain the 'condition' of my home They are more interested in hearing about
the things I've been doing while I was away living life and having fun. If you haven't figured this out yet, please heed this advice.

Life is short. Enjoy it!

Dust if you must ....... but wouldn't it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake cookies or a cake and lick the spoon or plant a seed, ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time ...with shrimp to eat, rivers to swim and mountains to climb, music to hear and books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead..

Dust if you must, but the world's out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age will come and it's not kind.

And when you go - and go you must - you, yourself will make more dust!

Share this with all the wonderful women in your life.
I JUST DID.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.





Mammograms

Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, but there is no need to
worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam and
doing the following exercises, you will be totally prepared for the test and
best of all, you can do these simple exercises
right in and around your home.

EXERCISE ONE:

Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast in door. Shut the door
as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure.

Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again in case
the first time wasn't effective enough.

EXERCISE TWO:

Visit your garage at 3AM when the temperature of the cement floor is just
perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one
breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back
the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn
over and repeat with the other breast.

EXERCISE THREE:

Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist.
Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your
breasts.

Smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Set up an appointment with
the stranger to meet next year and do it again.

YOU ARE TOTALLY PREPARED!

AND, just a thought for all the women out there.......
.
MENtal illness,
MENstrual cramps,
MENtal breakdown,
MENopause............

Ever notice how all of women's problems start with
men?.........And

When we have real trouble it's HISterectomy!!!!

Send this to all women to have a laugh AND, don't
forget to have a mammogram!!!!!!

A Friend Is Like A Good Bra...
Hard to Find
Supportive
Comfortable
Always Lifts You Up
Never Lets You Down or Leaves You Hanging
And Is Always Close To Your Heart!!!

Share this with a friend!
I DID

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sassy, you say??????

Oh, how fun is that???? I've been awarded such a prestigious award, I just had to share. Somebody thinks I'm SASSY!!! Wahoo! I love being called Sassy and Southern! Thanks to my friend at the Sweet TN biscuits blog, I am blessed with such an award and hopefully some new friends. If you are visiting I hope you will find a cozy little spot here and visit for a while. I don't blog about any one thing in particular.....but I sure do love blogging! Thanks so much for the inspiration and the award! Go check out her cute, cute blog and see the silhouette header she has that is just adorable!

On to other things......what do you have going on this week? I suggest we all make our grocery lists and get there asap......who wants to shop with EVERYONE on the planet? Let alone, before all the cranberry and pumpkin is gone!!!!
What about you? Do you prefer to shop in a relatively quiet store or do you love the hubbub of the holiday season joining everyone else shopping? I just do better when I can think about what I need to buy, so I do better in a relatively quiet environment.

Remember my post about turning my to-do's into TA-DAs???? Well, this morning I was playing around in Google and guess what I found?? A place to help make your ta-da list......ok, so apparently, I wasn't the only clever individual that thought of this....so I'll share.....but click here for a place to find a way to make your lists.....it's up to you to do the checking it TWICE, though....I don't think they will do it for you.

And what about Black Friday, which I heard they were going to rename GREEN Friday....I guess because so much money is spent on that day???? Or to get away from the darkness idea?? Will YOU be up at 4:30 with the die hard shoppers waiting in line? Um, not me........I may do some online shopping, but I just don't think I'll be among them.....

And lastly, I'll leave you with a few more recipes for the upcoming holidays......it's always nice to have options for company coming over, isn't it? Or for the guys that will be watching the football games endlessly....keep those men happy by feeding them......and they won't mind you blogging all the day while the games are on!! ;).......hey did someone call me SASSY??????


Cranberry Meat Balls

2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. milk
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/4 t. onion salt
1 pound ground beef
1 can water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
1 16 oz. can cranberry sauce
1 12 oz. jar chili sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice

Combine bread crumbs, milk, soy sauce, garlic salt and onion salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the ground beef and water chestnuts and mix well. Shape into 1 inch meatballs. Place on a 10x15 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Combine the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Cook until the mixture is smooth and the cranberry sauce is melted, stirred frequently. Add the meatballs, stirring to coat. Spoon into a chafing dish or crock pot. Serve with wooden picks.

This sauce is also good with premade meatballs you buy frozen. Easy and good!



Smoked Gouda and Apple Stuffed Mushrooms

The flavor blend of apple, pecans, and Gouda cheese is wonderful in these mushroom caps. Serve them as an appetizer or a side dish.

2 lbs. very large fresh mushrooms (about 30)
2 T. butter
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 c. shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1/4 c. soft bread crumbs
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
3 T. ground pecans
1 T. butter, melted

Remove and chop mushroom stems; set caps aside.
Melt 2 T. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushroom stems, onion, and garlic; saute for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and next four ingredients. Spoon evenly into mushroom caps; place caps on a rack in a broiler pan.
Combine pecans and 1 T. melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over each filled mushroom cap.
Bake at 350 for 15 to 17 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Change oven setting to broil, and broil mushrooms 1 to 2 minutes or just until browned on top. Yield: 30 appetizers

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanks to my mother in law who sent me this cute little poem this morning. She must be onto me!!!

Cleaning Poem

I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been 'computering',
And I had to answer 'yes.'

He told me to get off my fanny,
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.

I wiped and shined the topside..
That really did the trick.....
I was just admiring my good work.

I didn't mean to 'click.'

But click, I did, and oops - I found
A real absorbing site
That I got SO way into it -
I was into it all night.

Nothing's changed except my mouse.
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess.......
While I sit here on my hiney.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Giveaway winners!!!!




Oh I must apologize for the delay in picking the winners....yesterday was a full day. Lots of kisses and laughter from five of the sweetest toddlers I know, as well as normal routine, and then a prospective college dinner with my youngest. This college choosing has become quite the challenge. My middle son filled out ONE application. He knew where he wanted to go and filled out the application! Not so with my daughter! I am praying lots over this decision!

So with such a busy day, last night I was just too tired to pick the winner from the giveaway. So that leaves us with a task for this terrific Tuesday.....pick a winner!!!!!!! It is my joy to do this giveaway....after last week's post on perspective, so many of you said kind things, but it made me realize how we all struggle with this. We all need daily reminders to keep the balance, to juggle what we do and still remember the important things! Thanks friends, for the encouragement and the honesty in which you commented. Sure made me feel better!

So the giveaway. NOTHING scientific was employed to do this giveaway. Not surprising to me, as I haven't a scientific bone in my body...just ask my hubby! =)

I took my white paper and wrote each of your names on there, and cut them into little strips, then I placed them in my butter colored SLaHOME ruffled bowl, and drew out two names. The first one was the winner of the AllModern.com $50 gift certificate,

and that winner is APRIL, !!! Congrats April......hope this makes your day a happy one! April is facing some of the same issues I am with her daughter college shopping as well as marking some very sentimental milestones in her senior's school life. She has her last sports banquet coming up, as her talented daughter is a cross country runner. You know that's going to be emotional! Good luck April, and I hope you find something you love! I'll get you set up with Jamie, via email, to use your $50 gift certificate from AllModern.com! Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!! You can visit April to congratulate her at Straight from the Heart!


Then the winner of the SLaHOME products is Wendy from RelativelyUnique...... a new reader and follower! Congrats to Wendy; and here's what Wendy wins.......drum roll please.....A SL Everyday Grilling Cookbook, a Evanston Table topper for a small table, a set of Gail Pittman Hand Painted Coasters (Wendy can choose whether she wants the green or yellow ones), a set of Abingdon Votive Holders and a pair of Somerset square bowls, which were once a part of the Somerset Trio.....sorry but the third sister left the trio! Wendy, if you will email me, we can set you up to receive your SLaHOME winnings. I'll also throw in a few of our small cookbook that I use for giveaways at parties!

What a fun day to share with my friends. I hope your day is blessed whether you were a giveaway winner or not. You've all surely blessed MY life! thanks!







Monday, November 16, 2009

it's a full day, but a grand one.....


I'm off to see my favorite quintuplets friends...I haven't seen them in nearly three weeks! I'll have a fun and busy day...what about you?
Oh, and the drawing will be tonight....if I get a chance; I've got a dinner to go to with daughter and I will draw when I get home or in the morning! Good luck, and go enter if you haven't done so!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Faith.....a gift God gives to us....

I have had more responses to the Perspective post than ever before, perhaps. Seems to have stirred hearts and for that I am ever so grateful. I only wrote my convictions, but it seems that many others could so relate. See, we are all so similar; don't feel as though no one would really understand you, that no one would like you if they saw what you were really like. I love about blog friendships that our common beliefs ,convictions, passions and delights are what knit us together. Our friendship is based on things we have in common; and based on getting to know one another without the trappings of the world of what we look like, what we have, etc. And that post just stemmed from some of those feelings.
Take care and relish in the fact that you are TRULY loved by our Heavenly Father, who lavishes on us His love and many, many things that we cannot even begin to imagine! Happy Sunday!

If you didn't sign up for the giveaway, go back to Saturday's post and sign up! Drawing happens on Monday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A giveaway.....a gift I give to YOU!


Well, yesterday's post on Perspective really struck a chord with so many of us, right? We all seem to be able to relate.....it's worth the investment put into it to decide what we want to value, to pursue, to concentrate on, and to spend our time on.

Alas, but now I find that I've thought deeply enough for now, and I am ready to lighten things up.....so I decided since it's Friday the 13th, noted by some to be a superstitously unlucky day, that we can make it a lucky day! I'm going to make it a LUCKY GIVEAWAY DAY! I've got several things to give away today.

FIRST UP: I was contacted by Jamie at AllModern.com who suggested..."Perhaps your readers would be interested in a giveaway for modern kitchen or office accessories, wall art, lighting, etc..."
So I thought.....well, maybe they would!!! There is a huge selection of kitchen or office accessories from which to choose, so really all you have to do is head over to allmodern.com and browse to see what you would like for free. All Modern sells modern furniture and house wares from brands like Vitra, Alessi and Knoll......you'll want to check them out today!

Jamie is willing for a lucky reader to pick out something with a $50 value and let you try it out for FREE....who doesn't LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a giveaway????? After all, we are starting our shopping for the holidays, right? So browse a little and come back and tell me what you would choose if you are the lucky winner. Here's a link that will take you there: Vitra

SECOND UP: I had a few samples left over from my sample sale last week, and I thought perhaps a few of you might just want to win a few SLaHOME products???? Perhaps someone would find themselves interested in a few little pieces from SLaHOME???? I'm deciding at the moment just which pieces will be in the giveaway, so bear with me....

So to say thanks to all my blogging friends, especially y'all that left such sweet comments on yesterday's post, I am offering you a Lucky day giveaway. Please pass along the info to any blogger who wants to join in......I'll be back with pics of the SLaHOME pieces up for the giveaway...in the meantime, let me know what you'd like to win from Allmodern.com..
And become a follower if you aren't already. The drawing for this giveaway will be Monday morning, the 16th......good luck! Go blog about it for an extra entry, and tell your friends.....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Perspective......a gift you can give yourself!



I was over visiting the Nester's blog this morning, and her blog post today was about perspective--something I've been mulling over in my head for the last few weeks....a coincidence, perhaps? Nah, I don't think so. We get nudges all the time from the most unexpected places to remind us who we are, who we belong to, who we are called to be, and who we show others we are and/or portray ourselves to be......yea, especially that last one. In the blog world, it's easy to show the side of ourselves that looks good, looks crafty, chic, or crazy organized. It's easy to show the one decorated table or buffet that looks really good and have others assume the rest of my house looks just as good, or that the rest of my food is just as awesome as the one or two recipes I just shared. It's easy to show the good and pretty yet sweep the rest under the proverbial oriental rug. What's for real?????

In reality, I'm just a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a church goer, Bible believer, wanna be decorator.....just to name a few. I'm really not even a writer, nor a photographer, and there are days when I'm hardly even a cook. Sometimes I'm lazy and can spout great ideas, but not follow through with any of them. Somedays I forget to pray, yet I find myself promising to pray for many others. Somedays, I get discouraged and want to just run away. Does that make me any different than anyone else? You answer that.......I'm thinking it makes me just like you...and you, and you. Now, maybe you don't have a lazy bone in your body, and I certainly don't mean to offend anyone, but surely you get tired. So tired you just.can't.move. Sometimes I read blogs, books and magazines and wish my home were something that it isn't....something that looks like a magazine, when in reality PEOPLE LIVE HERE, and it will never look like a magazine. Then I remember how God has provided a place for us to live, be warm and full, and to offer in hospitality to others. Yep, then I remember that it's really not about us, NOT ABOUT ME.......ouch. OUCH......sometimes the stick of reality hurts. But in the same turn, it is refreshing. To realize I am so abundantly blessed is such a comfort. My perspective turns from pain to prosperity, knowing that if all the material things were stripped away, I have riches untold that are sure and will never go away. My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and will indeed provide for me what I need. It's just that need sometimes gets a little turned around in my head......yep, you know that feeling.

The reality is that the Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease; they are new every morning! Indeed, great is HIS faithfulness, no matter how wobbly and inconsistent mine may be. I am SO VERY THANKFUL that it doesn't depend on me...that His gift is just that....a gift. Were it dependent on me, I would lose out every stinking day. I would be just a few hairs short of what I need......

.......and so back to the perspective issue. I know what keeps me grounded. I know what makes me real.....I know I need daily reminders of "it's not about me"......because I so easily get side-tracked. I need a double dose of that before the holiday season kicks in.....to remind myself what truly is important. Whether I have a Christmas tree that looks like that one I drooled over may not be the most important issue. It may not be worth the energy it will take me to "OVER- deck" the halls if it means that something important doesn't get done. This may be a year that I need to decide it's okay to scale back a little if it means I have a little energy left over for the people in my life........ouch. So really what this means for me is a little more planning of what is reality for me this year, this season. A realization that my expectations may be too big is really a gift to myself. I can only do so much and to dwell on it and be sullen because I cannot do it all and have it all, truly hurts those around me. So perspective, while sometimes it reveals what may initially be disappointing, is in truth a gift we can give ourselves. It is helpful to remember we are human and have limits. It means, in my case, I have to be less idealistic and more realistic. But the cost of that gift is worth it to me and my family. And I also have to remember there are others with bigger battles to fight, who need me to come along side them and gird them up for the battle. That is worth a whole lot more than a lovely tree, my friends.
Perspective......it's what's real.

Also, be sure you check on Stellan updates here......awesome reports of what God is doing for that family!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

homemade gifts?




What are you working on this year to give as gifts? Will you be making personalized gifts to put under the tree, or to share with friends and family? Will you be scouring the malls for some inexpensive, yet personal and fitting gifts? What's your plan?

Well, for my neighbors, (rather than give them MORE cookies than they actually need), my tradition is to give them Christmas morning breakfast goodies. I try to do a selection of things, not all sweet, so that there is something for everyone! I deliver them on Christmas Eve afternoon or evening, depending on when they are home. Some things I've included in the past are my Sausage Biscuit bites (they are simply angel biscuits with crumbled sausage in them, but one of my family's favorites; then there is the Cheese Strudel, and I love the recipe because it makes four pastries. I usually include some kind of muffins, because I love muffins--easy and quick. I also have a recipe for butter rolls that I sometimes include........I need to start planning so that I am ready. I make several platters to share with my neighbors.....they seem to enjoy it. Do you have a special tradition you do for your neighbors??? Please share in the comments so we all can gain from one another's ideas! Thanks for coming by!

Monday, November 9, 2009

praying for Stellan

UPDATED TO ADD SOME GREAT, FABULOUS, OH SO TERRIFIC NEWS.....READ:
Praise GOD!!!!




I was just over here, at the Sunny Side, and she reminded me how critical Stellan is right now and we can be sharing with one another to pray....so would you stop right now and pray for Stellan?????
Thanks!


For those of you that follow McMama from My Charming Kids,
you probably already know that baby Stellan is having heart
surgery in Boston at this very moment.
He is critical, and this surgery is extremely dangerous. He
needs every spare prayer you have.

Pray for Baby Stellan.


For updates on baby Stellan
go HERE.

For a more detailed account of Stellan's story go HERE.

(photo borrowed from My Charming Kids)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Have a thoughtful, thankful Sunday!


image from www.dailyencouragement.net

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Whew.............

The Open House is over and I am ready for a break......unfortunately, I cannot take much of one, as I have a million other things to do. BUT, the pressure to have everything done for the party is off, and I am relieved. It was a fun party, with lots of visiting and friends who came by, although I would have liked to have more traffic coming through. My dining room was set up like a store, and actually still is! I have to put all of that away......but not at the moment! :)
I have accumulated many things and got rid of some, but still have way too much that I don't want to put away. If there is something in the pics you are interested in, please let me know....we can strike a deal perhaps! Or if you'd like a typed list of what is still available, I can email it to you. This is not pics of everything, there's more. I have a stack of books, too available. I'll post more pics of what is available tomorrow.

The food all turned out wonderfully, and my dear friend Barbara was here all day helping me in the kitchen. She is such a great sport about helping, and a gracious hostess as well. I loved the way the set up worked this year. I had all the eats and drinks set up in the kitchen rather than the dining room and the "store-front" set up in the dining room. In previous years, I had the reverse, but this seemed to work better. So I was very pleased with that. The food table looked beautiful and the food was all good. Hmmm, lots left though, but I cannot seem to scale back enough--perhaps its in my genes to prepare to feed an army! My stepfather is like that, too, and always makes enough food to feed the multitudes.
So I took lots of pics to share...hope you don't get bored, but I'll share. It was a fun time, and I wished each of you could have been here. So maybe you'll get a feel for how things were through looking at the pics. Enjoy. Oh, and I'll share more of the recipes tomorrow.