Thursday, December 30, 2010

Recipes, Y'all, Recipes!

So I wanted to get these recipes out in case any of you wanted to use them for your New Year's Eve celebrations tomorrow!

The first is super easy.

Put these...

Plus this...

Plus a jar of grape jelly in a crockpot and let it cook for a couple of hours. 

 I made these exact meatballs the day after Christmas (in my super cool new triple crockpot wonder) and they were yummy!

The next is compliments of the one and only Paula Deen. I was flipping through one of Paula's magazines at my mom's house and on the very last page was something called Jezebel Sauce.  The name intrigued me, and so did the fact that it was pictured being served over cream cheese with crackers (I love the whole pepper jelly/cream cheese appetizer thing).  I made it and it makes a huge batch...I served it at a dinner party and one of our friends kept eating it, and asked for more of that "Delilah" Sauce.  I laughed and told him it was actually Jezebel Sauce (but I suppose we could just call it Bad Girls of the Bible Sauce like that one Bible study that was published a few years ago!!).  I think the idea behind the name is that this sauce is "sinfully delicious!"

At a party it really is terrific served over cream cheese with crackers, but it would also be good with meats or on turkey sandwiches.  The recipe is as follows...

       1 (18oz) jar pineapple preserves
       1 (18 oz) jar apricot preserves
       1/2 cup orange marmalade
       1 5.25 ounce jar prepared horseradish
       1 TBSP dry mustard

Cover and store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

It makes a ton so you may want to put some extra in little jars to share!

Forever May You Reign

Santa brought the kids the coolest Super Why learning board game this year.  (I think Mrs. Claus found it at Target it anyone is interested, by the way.) The kids and I had fun playing it today!

Santa also brought the kids Hungry Hungry Hippos.  We played that after the the Super Why game and let me just say it is just as cool as it was in the 80's!

  I think one of my New Year's Resolutions will be to stop more often to take a few minutes to sit on the floor and play games with the kids.

After our board games Madi got out some new Twistable crayons and a Rapunzel coloring book.  Trev pulled out a favorite car.  They are relaxing and playing and watching a Care Bears movie.

Long Live Christmas Break.  Forever may you reign.  :)

He Loved Us First

I John 4:19

We love Him because He first loved us.

John 3:16-17 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Ephesians 3:17-19

 ...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Can You Believe This Is Actually Mine??!!

Me neither!!  But for a girl who finds great joy hosting friends and family in our home, this was a very exciting Christmas present!  And as you can see, it was already put to good use the day after Christmas!

(And yes, that is a triple crockpot/buffet warmer with separate heat settings of low, high, and keep warm for each crockpot.)

THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!!!  You guys rock! (I know I told you not to get me anything but I'm glad you did, lol!)


Snapshots From My Christmas Kitchen

Hot Cocoa tray out for the season.

Gingerbread sundaes and cocoa with dear friends in town!

Lots of gifts from the kitchen this year.

Paula Deen's Jezebel Sauce was a hit!

Dinner party with good food and good friends.

Baking memories made with my favorite cookie tasters!

They don't skimp on the sprinkles.  :)

I could call this one possibility...

Because I believe even ginger-girls need pearls!

Santa prefers my homemade chocolate chip cookies in our house!

Making gingerbread pancakes and other Christmas morning treats.

The plates and napkins tell the story.

Birthday cinnamon rolls for Jesus.

So much love in my Christmas kitchen!  These are the moments I will cherish and long for all year.  Homemade goodness and homespun memories!

Christmas Break

Christmas Break has to be one of the absolute best times of the year.  For a week or two life actually slows down.  People take off work.  Friends gather.  Families nestle in at home.  For the most part everyone just seems less pressed and stressed.

We have had little on our agenda, and my goodness have I been thankful for that.

Last night after going to my parents' house for Christmas leftovers, the four of us came home, put on our pajamas, and watched Up for the first time.  Between the pillow pets and wonderful movie, snuggling on the couch with the Christmas lights twinkling, and lack of rush to bedtime, I had this wish that Christmas Break could last forever.

I have had a bit of a cold the past few days and a pesky, tickly cough woke me up at 5:45 this morning.  When I realized that it was just not going to stop with me lying down, I went ahead and got up to sit in my green chair with a cough drop and cup of hot tea with honey.  It was freezing cold and pitch black outside, so I turned on the Christmas lights and snuggled up under a blanket.  I considered doing my Bible study or blogging, but instead I simply sat, taking in the moment and thanking God for it.

I eventually stifled my cough and dozed off.  When the first light of dawn was breaking through the windows, I heard little footsteps.  My son squeezed in next to me on the green chair, nestled in, and we both fell asleep for another hour or so with my face against his soft brown hair.  We were in no rush to get up, and together we rested by light of the Christmas tree.

When he stirred later, I woke up shocked to find that it was almost 8:45.  Best news of all?  Everyone else was still blissfully asleep!  When else does that happen?

Christmas Break is magical.

I think it is the perfect way to end a year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh, Christmas Trees!

I hope you all had the merriest of Christmases!  We had a marvelous Christmas day, Christmas week actually!  Honestly, the whole month of December has held many homespun memories filled with family and friends.  My son has been saying all month that Christmas is his favorite season.  On Christmas my little four year old also said, "This has been the most wonderful Christmas ever." I know how he feels!

I just love this time of year.  And I like to let it linger.  So if you stop by in January, don't be surprised if you still see our Christmas trees around the house!  My husband and I both love the sparkle they lend to the dark winter evenings when they are lit and the regular house lights are off.  They make our home more cozy, romantic, comforting, peaceful.  So it will probably be a few more weeks until we take it all down.

I have cherished every one of our Christmas trees this year!  They have brought such joy.

Our living room and entryway trees evoked calm and simplicity.

Our playroom tree was fun and cheerfully covered in memories.  Most of my trees are hand-me-downs; this particular one was my family's very first artificial tree, probably from around 1990.  This will probably be its last year.

Our "bonus" tree, a little tree my mom wasn't going to use this year, was simply and sparsely decorated.  My kids deemed it the "White Christmas Tree" after our favorite Christmas movie!

Our guest room tree, also a little one my mom wasn't using this year, was sparsely decorated as well.  Two sets of Christmas balls that were 4 for a $1 at Walmart, a snowflake on top, and of course...cloth napkins. :)

Our music tree got a new strand of red and green lights and once again conveyed our family's love of music.

My kitchen tree, which some of you who read regularly know stayed up this whole past year decorated with various themes, lent a cozy glow to one of my very favorite places in the house.

My daughter did a fantastic job decorating her little pink tree in her bedroom.  It was magical and covered with everything a five year old girl could love.

My son broke his little tree last year, and the fact that it was lopsided and smothered in ornaments that caught his attention just seemed to fit him perfectly!

And my newest addition, a little black tree I found on sale at Kohl's, gave a cozy, romantic Christmas glow to our bedroom.

Oh, Christmas trees, oh, Christmas lovely are you all to me!  We will let you add your sparkle to our home for a few more weeks and then bid you farewell until next December.