Thursday, December 23, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
We had so much fun this weekend! One of our family traditions is to have our extended family gathering the Saturday before Christmas. This way we’re all able to get together and have a wonderful time while keeping the actual Christmas holiday more low-key.
My mom and sister-in-law Michele came to town and the three of us took Brooklyn and headed out to my cousin’s house for family fun. We loved on new babies, marveled at how the kids had all grown, ate wonderful food, exchanged gifts and sang carols. Really it was great.
When we got back to my house on Saturday night we found that grandpa had gotten the original cartoon Grinch movie for us to enjoy with Brooklyn. We ran out for sub sandwiches and set up in the living room to eat and watch a movie, which turned into a real treat. Brooklyn laughed and laughed at little Max, the dog in the movie. As soon as the movie ended she was bouncing up and down and wanted to see it again. Grandpa happily obliged.
On Sunday my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and the rest of the kids came over and we all had a fun lunch together. Little Bit, Brooklyn, was truly in her element having so much family here. Ah …. so blessed …
Knowing that my 3 year old granddaughter would be here this weekend I set out to find some fun crafts for us to do together. Since we were so busy with family and making memories we only got one craft done, which is quite ok as the others will wait until next time.
I had found a tutorial for a handprint snowman ornament on a blog and I just happen to be partial to any craft involving handprints.
These were so easy and so fun to do. I painted her palm (she did tell me that ‘paint goes on the paper, not on fingers’ so I’m assuming they hear that in school) and she said it tickled. She would wrap her palm around an ornament and when she opened her hand and saw her handprint she would grin and giggle each and every time.
They are the cutest ornaments ever! This is a great project to do with littles and the best part is that you have a handprint ornament afterwards to treasure. The full tutorial is at the link above, but my biggest hint if you decide to make these is to not spare the paint on their palm. The first couple we did just had a light coat of paint and those snowmen didn’t turn out nearly as cute as the snowmen that had a thicker coat of paint.
I put her name and year on the bottom of the ornament and we’ll be giving these gifts to all the relatives.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Last night was Mission Crafts Ministry night at church and since it was our last meeting before Christmas I wanted to do a little something to make it a bit more special.
I had gotten these little Coke tins at Walmart after Christmas last year at a super low price. I didn’t want to fill them with standard cookies or candy, so Keith and I put our thinking caps on to come up with something. We decided that along with your Coke you would want something salty, so I cooked up a batch of Chex Mix.
I lined the inside of the tin with some plastic wrap, filled it with Chex Mix, then folded the plastic wrap over the top to seal it.
In keeping with the Coke color theme I used red gift bags with white tissue paper. Each gift had a Coke tin with Chex Mix and a little bottle of Coke with the red curly ribbon. Very well received and it was a fun gift to make!
I also brought a tray of these Peppermint Brownies and sighs of delight were heard all around. This will now be my holiday go-to brownie.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Isn’t this beautiful? Keith and I did quite a bit of Christmas shopping this weekend and were happy to have stopped at 3 different malls. We thoroughly enjoy seeing all the decorations and seriously, watching the kids and families will always bring a smile to our faces.
This particular scene was inside Macy’s at one of the malls and housed their Christmas décor. The room was tucked into a corner of the crystal and china section and it was almost magical walking down the red carpet between all the gaily decorated trees.
Did you notice the 60% sign at the lower right of the screen? We managed to buy one new stocking:
…cause we’re proud of Texas y’all…. The only other thing we bought inside Holiday Lane was our Christmas Cards.
It really was a great weekend. We ended Saturday having our traditional dinner, well really we go for a particular appetizer and salad, at our favorite steak place. The last 3 or 4 years we’ve done this while out Christmas shopping and I suppose it might be kind of a gift to ourselves. We’re able to stop, regroup and focus on what’s important rather than get caught up in the wrong things. And for that I am so thankful.
“May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!” ~Author Unknown
Friday, December 10, 2010
This has been the fasted week EVER! There’s really something a bit exciting about the speed with which this time of year passes though. It becomes almost a game to see if we can get things done in time!
Now let’s look at some of the blessings of the top week. Thank you to Susanne for providing us with this opportunity to focus and share on a weekly basis – and it’s open to all, so join in!
1. Without a doubt the Christmas Tree has to be number 1. The amazing peace of sitting in the room lit only by the lights of the tree is beyond description.
2. Christmas Shopping with My Beloved – We enjoy this time together so much and try to go shopping at different malls or different parts of town just so that we can see the decorations. The hand holding, the smiles and laughter, the excitement of finding the perfect gift for somebody is absolute bliss.
3. Knitting Guild was Tuesday night and it’s so good to see friends. The knitting group that I used to play with now meets on a night that I have church, so I haven’t seen them in forever. Now I get to see them once a month at least and catch up on what’s going on. And the guild program that one friend was teaching came to an end this month and I learned so much from her. So glad to be a part of this group.
4. Brooklyn – Even the weeks that I don’t get to see or love on my granddaughter I love that I’m now able to talk to her and see her at the same time using iPhone’s Facetime. We chatted on the phone one night this week and in 3 year old fashion she was zooming around the room and gathering up things to show me. One that she came back to time and time again was an ornament she had made in school and it was darling to see how proud she was of her creation. I love that we’ll be able to craft together very soon. She also dug around under the Christmas tree until she found my present and ran over to show me. LOVE this age she’s at right now!
5. Worship Opportunities at our church are abundant this time of year! I love being with the ladies and lovin’ on them and getting to know some of the other people better as well. And the sermon series right now is spot on what I happen to need to hear. Don’t you just love when that happens?
“Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind”
Sunday, December 05, 2010
In the sermon today, called The Tree, our pastor started off by talking about some of the current “in” Christmas trees. Now I’m totally not passing judgment on these because truly beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, I can confirm after seeing these that not only do I need to get out more, but I really am a traditionalist at heart.
The Black Christmas Tree (this one seems sad to me somehow):
The Upside Down Christmas Tree (I’ll admit this one could be fun):
Beer Can Christmas Tree (not sure even what to say about this one!):
There’s not a photo of our tree in this post as we just started doing our decorations today. The tree is assembled, but no ornaments have been placed yet. I think this year I’m going to go back to a traditional tree and use all the ornaments that the kids made and that we’ve received as gifts through the years. Our tree the last two years was picture perfect, but it seemed rather cold somehow. I’m thinking the memories associated with this year’s ornaments will bring the warmth back.
I’m also looking forward to sharing ornament origin stories with my granddaughter. I know my kids will roll their eyes because I tell the same stories every year, but I’m going to look at it as me being dependable instead of me forgetting I’ve already told the story!
Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all. ~ Betsy Cañas Garmon
** All photos found through Flickr Creative Commons
Friday, December 03, 2010
Even though it’s going to be 70 degrees where I live today I decided to change my FFF graphic to the snowflakes. I’ve been seeing all the snow pictures on our news and it’s kind of getting me into the spirit of winter.
Head over to Susanne’s for more Friday Faves and prepare to be blessed!
1. Peace Within the Holidays – Thanksgiving came and went without my usual panic this year and Christmas season is shaping up to be the same. I think what happened is that I finally “gave up perfect.” What I mean by that is that so many of the expectations of the holidays are thing we put on ourselves and when we let that go we can relax and enjoy ourselves and others. Although perhaps part of that peace is because I’ve done the holidays so many times now that things just happen as part of routine and doesn’t require as much effort as they did in the past. Who knows? But I do know that I am loving the peace and calm, comfort and joy.
2. Holiday Decorations – And we don’t even have ours out of the attic yet! Decorating our home is on the list for tomorrow and I am so excited about it. We also have gone to two shopping malls already with the sole purpose of just walking around and enjoying their decorations. The season is a much slower pace this year and walking along holding hands with my Beloved is such a joy.
3. Partially Remodeled Master Bedroom – We did get our bedroom painted the Saturday before Thanksgiving and ended up going with a greenish color (pictures to follow soon). I’m so happy we went with this color as it is so peaceful for a bedroom. My sister-in-law declared it to be “spa-like” and that’s a great description. Most evenings, and some mornings, will find me sitting on my chair and reading or knitting, a cup of coffee or hot tea close at hand.
4. Peppermint Hot Tea – My word I’m hooked on this stuff! I’m using Peppermint Tea by Timothy’s for my Keurig and it is so perfect and soothing at the end of a day.
5. Family and Friends – Nothing can make a person feel more content than getting a phone call, text or email from family and friends. Even a quick hello, how are you doing lets you know that you’re being thought of and loved. Tis the season!
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Even though Santa doesn’t visit our house anymore since the kids have grown up and moved out I still find myself thinking of cookies this time of year.
I keep thinking that I want to learn how to do cut-out cookies and the amazing icing that people are able to do. One of the most gorgeous examples I’ve seen is at The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle – look at the cookie cookbook she’s giving away and then scroll a little farther down and be thoroughly in awe of the platter of cookies.
I’m feeling a bit lazy this year though, so I’m hoping that Santa might like one of the following:
And I keep going back to that blog and looking at her cookies. Wonder how much weight I’d gain by trying to perfect my cookie making abilities???