Thursday, December 30, 2010

~ Recipe for Happiness in the New Year ~

Take a couple of whole months, clean them thoroughly of all Bitterness,
Rumours, Hate and Jealousy; in other words,
make them as fresh and as clean as possible.
Now cut each month into 28, 30 or 31 different parts...
But don't make up the whole batch at once..
Instead prepare it One Day at a Time.

Mix well each day:
One part of Faith,
One of Patience,
One of Courage,
One of Work,

Add one part each of:
Hope,
Faithfulness,
Generosity
Kindness;

Blend with:
One part Prayer,
One part Meditation
Good Deeds.

Season the whole with:
a dash of Good Spirit,
a sprinkle of Fun,
a pinch of Play
a cupful of Good Humour.

Pour all of this into a Vessel Of Love,
Cook thoroughly over Radiant Joy
Garnish with Smiles
Serve with Quietness, Unselfishness and Cheerfulness

And you are bound to have a Happy Life.

source


Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

~ * ~ Christmas 2010 ~ * ~

This was the first Christmas that Pauly set out cookies for Santa Claus.
He was very excited that night and it took him a whole hour to get to sleep.
We got to spend Christmas at Ben's mom's house.
With Granny and Grandad.
This is her Christmas Tree.
I LOVE the blue and green lights.
&
then there is Pauly's Doctor Set and William's toy
from Santa.
So fun!
Stockings stuffed.
I just love Christmas night.
I love setting out the presents and arranging them, stuffing the stockings,
and setting out the toys that "Santa" left for the boys.

My mama always left one or two presents unwrapped with a bow - so I like to do the same thing because I remember it being SO fun to see the toys when we went out to peek before we woke up Mom and Dad.
I LOVED that.
Doctor Paul.
and please look at the look on his face...
this was about when he noticed the cookies and milk were gone -
come to find out, he didn't really understand that Santa was going to drink his cookies and milk -
so he was upset a little. It was hilarious.

It's funny how kids end playing with each other's toys and it's funny what toys end up being their favorite.
Turns out the favorites for these boys were little Toy Story figurines - Buzz and Woody.
My boys LOVE Toy Story movies
&
Mimi and Papa got them all three of the Toy Story movies.
Talk about a movie marathon.

These doctor glasses crack me up!

One of my favorite things is watching my husband play with my boys.
He adores them
&
they adore him.
Then, we ate.
and ate.
and ate.
Granny is a GREAT cook!
and my husband made the majority of the pies.
The chocolate pie was my favorite but this pumpkin came in a close second.
He's a pie genius.
Granny makes all her own bread
AND
she made 3 different types of dressings!
She
SPOILED us ROTTEN!
There was a gal and her family who also joined us for Christmas Dinner
&
she brought this beautiful dessert.
It was SO good.
It was like a yummy custard like pudding inside
and she said she painted egg whites on the outside
of the oranges and rolled
them in sugar.
So Pretty!
We played lots of games
I LOVE playing games!
Ben and I were on the same team playing Pictionary.
And we won! We rocked it!!
And I was also on the winning team when we played Password.
THAT is a fun game!

Christmas is over and now we are gearing up for New Years.

My sissy is here to visit for a week and we are having a ball!

I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures of her visit and of our New Years Party!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

who could imagine a King...


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Monday, December 20, 2010

~ a peaceful place to rest ~

This is one of my favorite cookbooks. My mama got it for all of us girls a few years back.
It is packed full of fun recipes, and I love how they are a combination of easy recipes that you can make by throwing together a few different cream o' soups and this and that and then there is also the "from scratch" recipes. It's a really good combination of both. 
I tend to cook more from scratch but on occasion I get a hankerin' for an easy throw-it-together type of meal. You know the type where you just open cans and dump it all together and it turns into a beautiful delicious casserole. You know, the type that you find at a "Church Supper". Ehem!

The last couple weeks my husband has been working late LATE nights and I'm the kind of wife whose house isn't precisely perfect at all times BUT I really like for my a few things to be "put together" when my husband gets home. I like for him to be welcomed home by a peaceful environment after a hard day of work. He is an excellent provider and awesome daddy and my goal on a nightly basis is to make our home his opportunity to refresh, re boost his energy and rejuvenate his spirit.  Sometimes I fail miserably but most times if I've put any effort into it at all - a peaceful home is exactly what I accomplish. 
So in order for me to accomplish this peaceful place of rejuvenation. I start at about 3:30 pm (after naps) - I make sure that all my daily projects are cleaned up for the day, make sure my dishes are in order - kitchen counters are wiped down and I have dinner lined out. I usually turn on some music and if I didn't make beds earlier I get those made-up and sometimes I'll run the vacuum through the house. Sometimes, I might even light some candles and make sure I don't look like a total wreck and the boys are "in order" (you know, clean and not too stinky/sticky :).

Sometimes I also like to have a dessert cooling for after dinner and last week I made this.
This recipe came out of the "Church Suppers" cookbook I just was telling you about. I chose this recipe because #1 - I had what ingredients it called for and #2 - I am a huge fan of that apple/cinnamon smell simmering through the house. I knew that smell would add to the comfy welcoming home of our daddy that I was hoping for after his long day of work.
 
 It is a pretty easy recipe but there was one thing that was kind of challenging and that was the fact that there was no time given on how long to bake it. So what I ended up doing was I put it in the oven for 20 minutes and would check it and I just kept adding 20 minutes to the timer when I checked it - after I finally got the color I wanted on the top I covered it with tinfoil so it wouldn't get any darker... I ended up cooking it somewhere between 45 - 60 minutes total and I think I put the tinfoil on it after 30 mintes. I think it will depend on your oven and your location for how long you should bake yours - so, maybe just do the same check it every 20 minutes thing and keep track that way. I wish I would of kept better track of how long it baked for so I could recreate it for next time because it came out perfect this time!
 I baked it till it was just perfectly golden brown on top and till I could stab it with a butter knife and it came out clean and there was no resistance with the apples and I could tell they were cooked through. It turned out so delicious and beautiful!

Plus it made my house smell so scrumptious!!
I hope that you try this recipe and I encourage you to grab this cookbook if you ever see it for sale anywhere. It's a goody!


So, I'm so curious - is there any other cool ideas that you have that you do to
make your home a peaceful place to rest for you and your family?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another Beach Cottage Giveaway!

Heads Up! Just wanted to let you know you can go over to A Beach Cottage and sign up for a $150 Beach Cottage Christmas Amazon Gift Card!!! So many fun things there!!! Go sign up!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

~ On Morning Wings ~

Lord, you look at me and know me,
Every step I take, you show me.

When I rise, and when I rest,
You will always know me best.

Where I walk, or sit, or stand,
You still hold me in your hand.

And if I don't know how to pray,
You understand me, anyway.

Once when I was lost, you found me.
Then I felt your arms around me.

When I'm afraid and want to hide,
You are always by my side.

When I'm lonely, you are near,
When I'm angry, you stay here,

High as heaven bright, you greet me,
Down in darkness, too, you meet me.

You are with me everywhere:
In light and shadow, fire and air;

In every tiny grain of sand;
And in the desert, vast and grand;

On morning wings, in oceans deep;
When I'm awake, and when I sleep.

In my secret self, you made me,
In the blazing sun, you shade me.

Know me, lead me, guide my way
Through every hour of every day,

For all my life, in all I do,
Let me always be with you.
by Reeve Lindbergh, based on Psalm 139

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

~ blessed me ~


I have a couple of friends that started a
Mama Stocking Swap
 this year -
 Misty and Nikke.
These gals - I tell ya, are SO SMART!
This is right up my alley and I LOVE the idea of making another mama smile and focusing on something other than the stresses of dishes, laundry and whiny kiddos.
Did I say whiny?
My children?
NO!
 (yes, he is "stuck" an inch from the floor - he screamed and screamed and then he stepped down...Silly boy)

Anyhow, so I was given a gal's name and I've been strategically planning a nice little bundle of fun for her which I mailed today!
(Today was the deadline - I'm a procrastinator BIG TIME!)

I wanted to let you in on the fun and you can see what I enclosed in her stocking.

1. Stocking - handmade by Moi. It is the first stocking I had ever made. When I was making it I definitely made some errors but I think it turned out pretty darn cute and I'm excited to try another one soon.


2. I made her 2 pennant garlands - her favorite colors are in the purple and aqua families - she also likes silver so hopefully she won't think these are completely juvenile and will
see my vision for pure bunting happiness.

3. I made her 2 paper pinwheels - she is actually a paper-crafting genius.
shhhh... I snuck over to her blog and saw that she is working on opening her own Etsy store and wow! Amazing!


4. and a paper wreath - this little wreath was so fun to make - again I learned some things and I'll hopefully try this again and hang a few in my house -
Adore.

5. She collects teacups - so this was a teacup and saucer that we actually found in my mama's basement - I wonder if she has a matching friend for him.

6. A little devotional book encouraging specifically to mamas.

7. A Jetty Rae cd - Hello! Gotta share the love for Jetty!

8. A pencil starfish.
{sigh} 
I lof starfish.

9. a journal - I just love all the words in the different fonts and the colors made me happy :)

10. and then a mosaic glass nightlight that is in her favorite colors. 
 shhhhhhh... don't tell her but I had to plug it in to see how it looked!

11. One of her most precious Christmas memories is singing Christmas Carol's with her Oma (German for grandmother). Since, her Oma has passed and she finds herself missing her a lot especially during Christmas - So, I jumped on Ebay and found a German/American songbook to send her. 
Maybe she'll be able to flip through this book and recognize
some of the songs her grandmother would sing with her.
 I just loved the design on the back page.
 ... and the previous owner had wrote in it so there were a few notes...
 ... and little personal messages...
 ... I wrapped it up gently... so. very. gently.

 Well there you have it - my goodies for my Mama Stocking Swap... 
I stayed up last night wrapping it up with lots of love and prayers for her and her family. 
 This morning I went to the Post Office and got it on it's way.
It really blessed me to do this for her.
 
The stocking I made was actually too small for any of the things I had for her to fit in it - so I just included it in with the gifts. I thought that was funny though - it was supposed to be a "Stocking Swap"
 and NOTHING would actually fit in my stocking...
I'm definitely a first-timer in the stocking making department. Lol.

So tell me...  what kind of
giving
 have you been blessed by this 
Christmas Season?

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