Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From our family (including Rosie) to yours, a very Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:11: "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Family Night

Last Friday was the first time in a long time that all of us were home together. We let loose and jammed for about 90 minutes! Jack brought down his amp and microphone and everyone took turns doing karaoke and picking out songs. We listened to Taj Mahal, Johnny Cash, U2, Audio Adrenaline, Super Chick, Black Eyed Peas, Herbie Hancock, Carl Douglas, Cornershop and Dave Boyer. The kids were sweaty from the frenzy they worked themselves into playing air guitar and jumping off the couch. It was what we needed for bonding as a family. The kids have already asked when we can do it again.

I know that weekly family night is a healthly, relationship building event. Whether it's game night, or movie night or open mic, spending time together, everyone, as a family is great. I highly recommend it!

Have a great weekend! We are officially on Christmas break! No school till 2010!
Take care,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday John!

Today is my sweet husband's birthday. In honor of him I'd like to take a moment and wish him a very happy birthday. The kids and I are so fortunate to have such a wonderful father and husband who lovingly provides and takes care of us so well. He's my best friend and I would be lost without him.

Happy birthday babe! I love you lots!
Take care,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Mud of Japan

Last spring Pete's Mom's Day Out class held a program. As it was getting closer to the day of the program I would often hear Pete singing some of the songs as he would go about his day. One day I listened carefully and started cracking up once I realized what he was saying. The song he was supposed to be singing went like this:
"There is power, power, wonder working power in the blood of the lamb." He changed it to: "There is power, power, wonder working power in the mud of Japan!" I think I could use some of the mud of Japan! How funny!

The other day the kids sang the song "O come let us adore Him" in their school Christmas program. On Sunday in the car on the way to church Pete sang it like this: "Do not let us annoy Him!" and another time he sang it like: "Do not let us ignore him!"

Love it!
Take care,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Recipe

I don't know about you, but I love to bake desserts and candy, especially during the holidays, if time permits. A few weeks (maybe a month?) ago I bought Martha Stewart's "Holiday Sweets" magazine containing "100 recipes for the season". There is some great stuff in those pages! Cookies, cakes, pies and candy. If you haven't bought a copy and you love desserts (what woman doesn't?) go out and buy a copy. I'm sure you can find some if not all of the recipes online as well at . Here's one recipe I can't wait to try:

Pecan-Sour Cream Pralines:
(page 79)
2 tbl unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tbl granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbl packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbl sour cream
1 tbl bourbon
1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups pecans (about 5 ounces), toasted

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in both sugars, salt, and sour cream. Raise heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking frequently, until sugar has dissolved. Raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping sides of pan with a heatproof flexible spatula, until mixture reaches 240 degrees (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Remove from heat. Carefully stir in bourbon and vanilla (mixture will spatter). Let cool, without stirring, 2 minutes. Add pecans, and beat vigorously with a spoon until slightly opaque but still creamy, about 2 minutes.

3. Drop spoonfuls onto prepared sheet. (If mixture in pan begins to harden, stir in 1 tsp hot water, as often as needed; if it becomes runny, stir until firm.) Let stand until set, about 30 minutes. Pralines can be stored up to 3 days, between layers of parchment, at room temperature in airtight containers.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Dad of the day, Christmas program and the ballet

Hey there!
Lots going on around our home, although I'm sure it is like that everywhere. (on a side note...I accidentally wrote "lost" instead of lots a minute ago and that reminds me...I saw my first preview for "LOST" last night. You know the one with Willie Nelson singing "Amazing Grace"? Is it technically a preview if they don't pre view any of the upcoming season? It really doesn't matter to me. I'm just excited to know when it will be on!)

Last week found us at school for the kids Christmas program. Pete was a cute thief. Ellie was an adorable Christmas tree and Jack was a great looking present. The show was fun and the kids did a good job. The school was also hosting an auction for a fundraiser. Jack won the chance to follow his P.E. teacher around for the day. Nothing could have made him happier!

Friday found Ellie and I at the "Nutcracker" ballet. I must add that thankfully it was a condensed version of the ballet. Did any of you think of soup when you saw the word condensed? I did. Maybe I'm just getting hungry. Anyway, the ballet was fun and the kids were very well behaved.

Friday also found John at school in Ellie's class as the dad of the day. He came in and talked to the kids about being an ER doctor. The kids were hilarious with their comments. Somehow the phrase, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" came up and the kids thought it would be funny to change it to things like "1,000 apples a day keeps the doctor away 1000 days" and stuff like that. You would have thought it was the funniest thing ever. John gave each of the kids a tongue depressor so they could pretend to be a doctor and check each other's throats. Fortunately no one threw up their lunch from sticking a tongue depressor too far down their throat!

That's all for now! More to come!
Take care,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2 Christmas Traditions

The holidays are a great time to introduce family traditions. One tradition we started at our house involves Christmas books. At the end of the season when I'm packing up all our Christmas stuff, I find all our Christmas books. I wrap them in left over Christmas paper and pack them away in a box. At Christmas time the next year I pull out the box and put all the wrapped books around the Christmas tree. Each day for the month of December the kids each take a turn picking a book for the day. They open the book and then we read it together or the older kids who can read will read it to us. It's so much fun when we're getting out the Christmas decorations to see a whole box of wrapped books! We have no idea which books are where (a year is a great thing when it comes to forgetting!) and it's exciting for the kids to open up a book. I might get a new book through the season and wrap it as well. This is an inexpensive way to fill your tree with gifts you already have and provide specific reading time at night!

Another tradition at our house involves the Advent Calendar. (On a side note... has anyone else noticed these are getting harder and harder to find each year? Please tell me stores aren't doing away with the calendars!) I probably have almost 10 advent calendars from the past 10 years. We save them and use them each year. The kids enjoy each picking their own calendar for the month. Each morning before school (if there's time) they'll open up their day and read it to us. If it's too chaotic in the morning, and it frequently is, we'll read it at night.

I know we have lots more traditions than just those two...decorating the tree, making and decorating cookies, gift for their classmates that we make, watching certain Christmas specials, etc. but these are two I really enjoy.

Take care,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Christmas! I've got a lot of catching up to do!

I knew there had to be something to pull me out of my blogging absence. Don't get me wrong, I love blogs. I love to read blogs and I do , daily. It's just that I've had trouble keeping up with my blog. I guess I just haven't figured out the balance of 3 kids, husband, house, school stuff, activities and how to blog consistently. So I haven't. That's me...all or nothing. But Christmas? That's something different entirely. I love Christmas. Love the decorating, love the shopping, love the wrapping of gifts, love the music and I love all the TV specials I get to sit back and watch with the kids. Ultimatly, that's what did it. I want to write about the season and our lives and that is what I plan to do. I guess I'm not sure how to capture the last 7 months into words, so I won't. I'll just pick up where we are today.

It's a List:

1. We got our tree on Thanksgiving day. I would have gotten it sooner, but it's south Texas and we do a real tree so that means waiting til there out. I don't want to brag but I think this is our best.tree.ever. Why? It's huge and fresh and from Oregon. What more could you ask for? The man who sold us this tree was the owner of the tree farm in Oregon. It took him 21 days to travel from Oregon to Texas and get settled and set up for the season. He was so kind and even though he technically wasn't opening until Black Friday he met our pleas of "Can we buy our tree today?" with a gentle smile.

2. Thursday night our kids have their Christmas program at school. I need to go out and finish getting the items needed for their costumes. Pete's preschool class is dressing up as theives. (I know...what kind of Xmas program involves theives? Ours I guess) He has to dress up in all black with a bandana across his face with holes cut out for eyes. Should be amusing. Ellie's class is Xmas trees. They're wearing green t's all decorated. Jack's class is presents and they're wearing big bags to look like presents.

3. I was in a craft store the other day, unfortunately, trying to find items I need for ornaments the kids want to make to give to their classes. (I'm sure I looked completely overwhelmed because I was...the bright lights, shelves overflowing with "stuff", etc!) I happened to see some stuff for scrapbooking and the thought that came to me was...if you take the s away from scrapbooking you're left with crapbooking and I started to giggle and it's all I could think about for the rest of the day! No offense intended for those of you who love to scrapbook. I don't.

4. I was at Target the other day and they have the cutest Christmas pillows. One pillow is red with the word "joy" across it and the other one was light green with mittens. They were even on sale. I love Target. Speaking of which, they are the only store I know that sells the seasonal collection of fresh vanilla trashbags by GLAD. Have you seen these? I picked up 4 boxes and may go get more. They smell so good. Check them out.

5. Strange things happen whenever I go away and leave the kids with John. A couple of weeks ago I went to San Antonio with a friend. We went shopping, got massages, ate great food and spent the night at La Cantera Resort. It was perfect, except for the fact that lightning, yes, lightning struck our yard and knocked out our power. What are the odds of that?

6. Next week I'm getting braces. I don't have a lot to say about it except that not very many 38year old women have braces. I'm ok with it though. I'll have them on for about 12-14 months. Maybe I'll post pictures next week. I'm using it as an excuse to revert back to jr. high behavior. Hence, my fascination with...
7. The Twilight Series. Yes, I am and I'm admitting it. I've read the first three books and saw the movie "Twilight" (I rented it on DVD) and I've seen "New Moon". Oh my word..."Eclipse" was great. I read it like a crazy woman just to see what would happen. I have "Breaking Dawn" and I can't wait to read it either. It's fun though. See, my older sister is into them as well so I'm sending her the books when I'm done and then we read and talk about them! Hopefully we'll be in Ohio when the movie comes out so we can go see it together just like all the other teenage girls!
8. On Sunday our pastor preached an incredible message from Isaiah 11:6-9 about Jesus our Prince of peace. His main points were that Christ brings peace to all creation, peace from the ancient curse and peace on earth. It was such a timely message and reminded me that even though terrible things may be going on around us, all is not lost. We have hope. And today? Jesus is my peace from my words and actions that I regret but have been forgiven from. He's my peace in the present when I'm surrounded by crises and disturbances and He will be my peace for the unforseen future. It's a comfort I can't afford to be without.
That's it for now. I want to post about Christmas traditions, recipes and music later on! It feels great to be back writing!
Take care,