It's like the aftermath of a toy tornado! We got back last night and I actually managed to do 2 loads of the new clothes we got, but the new toys are scattered all over still. I have a goal of putting them kind of all in one corner before Sunday--my daughter's 5th birthday. A little stressed and overwhelmed about it all, like I am every year since we've had kids. It all started on December 31, 2001, when I had GREAT plans to wash and put away all the new baby things we got for Christmas that day before our firstborn arrived, but she decided to grace us with her presence on THAT day, instead of her due date three weeks later. We did 2 loads of laundry and packed bags before we went to the hospital. What a day! Now, she's almost 5 and I don't know where the time has gone. My firstborn, my first daughter, my little girl. Growing so fast, loving Strawberry Shortcake and Barbie. I love that kid!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Joan Lunden, in Healthy Living Magazine
The biggest gift we might give ourselves and our loved ones is to let go of resentment, bitterness, and anger and forgive. Is there anyone that you're resentful of right now? Let it go. It isn't worth it. Life is too short.
I'm blogging at 12:22 AM on Christmas Eve, because I can't sleep. I can't divulge why but it's not really because of resentment :) I had actually planned on talking about that yesterday, but just was too busy to blog. We've had a nice couple days as a family. Went out for a date Friday night. 3 Fridays in a row now for dates--that is a record! Saturday, we took the kids to an IMAX theater to watch The Polar Express in 3D. Awesome!!!! Even Zoe loved it. She couldn't keep the glasses on well because they were too big, but when they were on, she was fixed to the screen, and would even take her little hand and try to touch things that she thought were in front of her. It was funny!
I hope you all have a great Christmas. I probably won't be blogging much if at all next week, but I'm sure I'll have lots of pics to share. Be safe, be loved, and God bless you all!
Friday, December 22, 2006
I don't know how many of you are familiar with the FlyLady, but she has a radio show on the internet on World Talk Radio every Thursday from 1:00-3:00 pm CST. I actually called in yesterday! I had kind of a lame question, and had the "first time caller, long time listener" nervousness, but if you want to listen to the segment, here's the link:
Go to segment 6, about halfway through the segment, you'll hear the emcee say, "Here's Misty from Kentucky." There's my 2 minutes--hope I can keep the papparazzi away :)
Cooked up by Mysti at 10:57 AM
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
My fave today: My hubby! I just dearly love him. He got me a new 1 GB memory card for my new camera, so now I can take more than 8 pictures at a time :) That's not the only reason I love him, by the way. I have loved him since we were 16 and he's a great husband, provider, and daddy. I love the way he makes me laugh and I love how his eyes light up when he smiles. His blue eyes are gorgeous, his smile is infectious. I'm blessed to be his wife.
*PS--No, I'm not trying to score an extra present either :)
My flop today: Caffeine withdrawal. I'm beginning the cutting off the caffeine process. I have a constant dull headache and I'm draggy. I miss caffeine. But hopefully something good will come of it soon :D
1. Preheat oven to 325. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together coconut, flour, and salt. Stir in egg whites and almond extract. Drop coconut mixture by teaspoons 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets, making 3/4 to 1 inch mounds. Lightly flour your thumb and press into the center of each mound to make an indentation.
2. Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes or until edges are golden. If necessary, use the rounded side of a teaspoon to press indentations again. Cool cookies completely on cookie sheets. Carefully remove cookies from cookie sheets.
3. In a heavy small saucepan, heat and stir chocolate over low heat until melted. Carefully dip the bottom of each cooled cookie into the melted candy coating, letting excess drip off. Place cookies, chocolate side up, on parchment paper; let stand 30 minutes or until chocolate sets. To fill cookies, just before serving, spoon about 1/4 teaspoon of the jam into the indentation of each cookie. Makes about 40 (I only got about 24 out of each batch).
Saturday night and Sunday night, our church presented a children's musical entitled "Miracle on Main Street". My daughter, Megan, was one of the preschool choir. Here are a few pics from Saturday night:
Monday, December 18, 2006
I got this from Jules.
Check me out! This is hilarious. You can do one of yourself too. Just upload a head shot (crop an old photo if you want) and you can even call a number and record a message--free!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
We dressed up. We took photos. It is a rare event. I thought I'd share before I hit the hay. My feet hurt :)
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Sorry I'm late with this. I'll explain in the next post.
Wednesday's Fave: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
My girls and I got to watch it on Monday night, I think it was. I love it--the original Dr. Suess TV adaptation. Great stuff. Catch it if you can.
Wednesday's Flop: Santa Baby
I'm getting this review from another source, since I actually didn't view it. I didn't really want to, either. I usually like Christmas movies, but this one just didn't appeal to me from the previews. According to my friend Maggie, it was a disappointment and included lots of taking the Lord's name in vain. I think the story itself was a cute idea. Santa is sick and his estranged daughter is called in to take over. But his estranged daughter is ex-Playboy model Jenny McCarthy. Not really sending me warm family vibes here. But I'm not going to add any more opinions since I didn't watch it and can't give it a fair enough review. If you've seen it, let me know what you thought. The movie premiered on ABC Family Channel.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Red Beans and Rice
1 big smoked sausage link, sliced thin
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can red beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup instant brown rice
1 cup chicken broth
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Salt and pepper
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and brown a bit on both sides. Remove sausage from pot and set aside. Add pepper and onion and saute in pot until tender. Add beans, rice and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to slight boil and cover. Simmer over low heat for 7-9 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed. Stir the sausage back in and add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and tabasco. Serve and enjoy!
Monday, December 11, 2006
- Most of you have probably already decorated, but if not or if you're in the process, do you really need 5 trees in your house? Do you even need lights outside? Simplify to one tree, one wreath, some candles in the windows perhaps? Decorating should be fun and meaningful, not a way to impress or outshine the neighbors.
- Wrapping gifts--do it simply. Do you have to make handmade bows/ribbons? What if you just leave the bows off altogether? We end up traveling with many gifts and the bows just get squished in the trunk, so why bother? I have slowly come to terms with this over the years, and am going bow-free this year.
- Gift giving--don't over-do it! The kids don't really need 50 little things. What's wrong with 2 or 3 nice gifts and some stocking stuffers. If they have grandparetns or other family/friends, they'll get plenty of stuff.
- Handmade gifts are great, but does EVERYONE have to have one? If you've decided to crochet scarfs or ornaments for everyone on your list, you will be pulling your hair out trying to get them done unless you started in January. Pick a person or two to be creative with and buy the other folks something at Wal-Mart.
- Christmas cards--have you even seen great-Aunt Pat in 10 years? Or Larry, the third-cousin once removed? Send em out to close friends/relatives, and send a family pic to the other folks later.
- Christmas cooking/baking--don't over-do it. If you can't give it away very soon, it'll sit on your counter getting stale or sit on your hips making you fat. Pick a few recipes and know where/to whom you'll be taking it and stick with that. Save a few pieces for the family each time of course :) If you're like me and love to try new recipes, you may want to try them early so you'll know if they're worth making again.
I hope I've given you some food for thought about not letting perfectionism take over this Christmas season. It's really hard to let go of our own or family's expectations sometimes, but when we struggle to over-achieve and make everything Norman Rockwell perfect, we'll be frazzled and stressed and that will not bless our family at all. Better off to have a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree and spend a little extra time with the kids than to sacrifice our precious time for perfectionism.
Friday, December 08, 2006
After the faith discussions this week (see Wednesday's post), I decided to share some quotes about faith that I found so we could ponder them.
Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Seoul Mates, 1991
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Ok, so I know it's supposed to be Laugh Out Loud today, but I'm having trouble coming up with funny stuff, so I'm going to indulge you with another new cookie recipe. These cookies are heaven. You will need a moment alone with these cookies. I even took the pic above of my finished product. The recipe was featured in Better Homes and Gardens "Christmas Cookies" 2006 magazine and it came from a bakery called Doughmonkey in Dallas, TX. I have even e-mailed those folks to ask a couple questions and to compliment them on their recipe. Mr. Michael Lima was so kind to respond so quickly and nicely. The only thing I might do differently is grind the beans myself (at the grocery since I have no grinder) so I can get a finer grind. The pre-ground espresso I bought left gritty pieces stuck in my teeth a bit. Or you could even leave the coffee out if you wanted. However, the taste was so decadent!! It's fudgy and gooey and scrumptious. Check out Doughmonkey's website where you can order some of these along with other delicious-looking stuff or try this recipe:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
½ cup butter
1 ¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp finely ground espresso beans
1/3 cup sifted cake flour or all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate pieces or chips
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, and ground espresso beans; beat with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 2-3 minutes or until well mixed and color lightens slightly. Add cooled melted chocolate, beating until combined. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Stir in chocolate pieces. (The dough will look like brownie batter.)
3. Cover surface of dough with wax paper. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes (dough thickens as it stands).
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil. Using a 3-ounce scoop (or big heaping spoon), scoop dough in mounds 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
5. Bake in preheated oven about 13 minutes or just until tops are set and the cracks on top do not appear moist. Let stand on cookie sheet on a wire rack for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. Makes about 24.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
In addition to thinking about the birth of Jesus and his job as Savior (don't get me wrong--very important), let's try to think about His legacy. What He did while he lived here on earth. He came to be a servant, to humble himself and show love and mercy to others. Let's see what we can do to be His hands and feet this season. I'll bet your church or community has some good outreach ministries going on that you can contribute to. I donated some canned green beans and corn and Little Debbie cakes for our food drive at church yesterday. I made up a shoebox gift for Samaritan's Purse a few weeks ago, to be sent to a child in a developing country who may not get a gift otherwise this year. It doesn't sound like much, but to the people who receive these gifts, it could mean the world to them. Until Jesus comes back, it's our job to pick up here where He left off--let's be Jesus to somebody this Christmas.
What are some ministries you are involved in right now? Let me know.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
19The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time." Luke 1:18-20
Megan put on a lot of decorations this year. She is almost 5 now, so she's getting into the Christmas spirit. We had a lot of ornaments with special meaning, like some my mom had made for me, some I had made when I was a little girl, our first ornament as a married couple, and some that Meg has made. Not the greatest tree ever, but the meaning is what counts--and playing Christmas music in the background helped too :)