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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Dinner

No Word for Wednesday, but here's the update on Christmas dinner...

I wasn't really thinking to do anything too fancy for Christmas dinner. I had originally planned to put a pot roast in the crockpot and make sweet potato casserole...

Well my arm was twisted I was convinced to cook a standing rib roast and then Pop Rocks got us some shrimp as well. That encouraged me to fancy up the table...


I changed out the vase on the table (the tall one makes it hard to talk to each other) and used a bowl that my maternal Grandmother gave us for an engagement present. I added my China to the table. Then I added the silver from my paternal Grandmother. The glasses were a gift from Pop Rock's paternal Grandmother and the dessert plates on top were a gift this year from his maternal Grandmother via his mom this Christmas.


It made for a really pretty place setting. Oh, and see that extra fork? To the top left of this plate? It was from my mom's house when she gave me some flatware for my first apartment in college. This little fork never made it home and now lives with our other flatware. It makes me smile whenever I see it.

Nothing was deterring me from sweet potato casserole. I generally only have it at the holidays and I didn't want to miss out. I used my mom's recipe.


It was in a cookbook that was from my church growing up, but I must have gotten the book from my Grandmother's house because it isn't my mom's copy.


If you haven't had this casserole, in my opinion, you haven't lived. Or at least haven't celebrated the holidays with me.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sunday's Songs: Happy Christmas!


I want to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas! May you find the One King, if you have not yet.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve Eve


Two days until Christmas EVE!
I wanted to show you my Christmas Decorations - before it gets too late.

So we have a 4.5 foot tree! To get a tree to fit in the space we have available, we had to have a narrow tree (I don't remember the exact measurements) and this was as tall as I could find and still leave room for walking.

Here it is all lit up...



Here it is lit in the daylight....




Next up is our Nativity. I set it up on the banquet top of our china cabinet. This was a wedding present from my Aunt and Uncle. I was so excited to finally get to pull it out last year.



You can see what I mean about where its placed better in the next shot. Last year I bought these green ornaments on clearance and I filled this large vase with them for the kitchen table....

So as I was preparing for our Christmas guest I was rearranging things in the top of the china cabinet and decided to use this bowl for our Christmas cards...



Then I put it on our coffee table for a holiday decoration. Also, growing up my mom always had a bowl of green and red M&Ms for Christmas....

 

This cookie jar found its way to our house. I put left it on the counter for a fun Christmas touch.


Finally, we got this cute mailer from a church in the mail. We've gotten a few of them and I was inspired by Sherry at YHL to turn it into festive art. I couldn't find a frame around the house, so I just reorganized our fridge and added a cute festive touch.

                          
I am off to finish cleaning! Thanks everyone for your help yesterday. I am going to take a break for the rest of Advent and this Christmas season to spend time with my loved ones! See you when I get back!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Meal Planning

So I am hosting Christmas more officially this year than last. Last year my parents came for Christmas Eve and that was easily taken care of with our traditional meal of stuffed shells.

So this year my parents will be here for Christmas and Christmas Eve. Plus a few days before. So I'm trying to figure out what to serve and when. We are going to my in-laws for one meal so that will be fairly taken care of. I am thinking to make pot roast for Christmas night. I think I'll make chicken one other night.

I also would love to make some kind of killer dessert or maybe cookies...

Do you have any suggestions for me? Please, help! I would really appreciate it!
baked,Christmas,cookies,food,holidays,special occasions,treats
(Via)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Mary Monday: Blanket Monster

I know that, this doesn't quite fit with the Advent theme I've had going on, but it was too funny not to share. Yesterday Mary was cold. She got under the blanket, but sat there looking at us. It was very funny. The picture doesn't quite show it, but I wanted to share it anyway!



In case you've missed it some of my favorite Christmas songs can be found here, here and here.

Some of my deeper Christmas thoughts are here and here.

A very horrible Christmas song and my least favorite Christmas song have made it to the blog as well.

Also some last minute gift ideas can be found here, here and here!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday's Songs: Pure Christmas Bliss

So I didn't get a post up yesterday, but I did manage to get my tree up, finally!!! I also managed to get the bulk of our Christmas shopping done.


So I've heard this song several times on the radio and each time I fall more in love with it. So grab a cup of hot chocolate and settle in near your tree for a few minutes of pure Christmas bliss:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Have you met a Grinch lately?

(Via)

So I ran into a Grinch a few days ago. Have you met one yet this year?  If so what did they do?

You can post anonymously... we won't judge.

I'm participating in Company Girl Cofee today...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Least Favorite (Regular) Christmas Song

So I am sure there are people out there that love the song I am going to talk about today. Much like I am sure there are those that might actually like the worst Christmas Song ever that I posted last week.

Without further introduction here is my least favorite Christmas song.


That's Right Happy Christmas (War is Over) is pretty much my least favorite Christmas song. Not just this version... any version.

Maybe I don't like it because the war my generation is fighting isn't over yet or something, but this song just really bums me out. I am sorry if it is your favorite song, but thats the way I feel.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Word for Wednesday: Adoption

The theme of our Christmas program this year was adoption.

Maybe it seems like a funny theme for a Christmas program.

Christ's birth at Christmas allows us to be adopted into the family of God.

If Christ hadn't come as a baby that first Christmas, we couldn't be saved.

He wouldn't have died for our sins.

He wouldn't have given up heaven to save us.

He wouldn't have completed God's plan for our salvation.

BUT HE DID!

He saved us!

He gave us the chance to be adopted into the family of God.

Adopted. God's child. A miracle for our live.

We are saved!

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chris-Myth Busters

Say that 10 times fast.

That was the name of our program this year. It was wonderful! I so enjoy spending time with kids to put the program together each year. 

We had dress rehearsal Saturday and the performance was Sunday morning. The program was phenomenal. Our kids do an amazing job each year and I am always so proud of them. 

The only glitch this year was when there was a power surge in the middle of one of the scenes. It caused the mics to go out and the kids had to be really loud. It only lasted a few lines. 

There were no forgotten lines this year which is awesome. I am always amazed by the kids in the programs at the way they memorize their parts, but this years group blew me away. They had basically the whole thing memorized by the second practice. This meant we got to spend more time on the acting part rather than learning the lines.

All of the kids did a great job. It was funny and had a great message too! I'm going to dig into the message tomorrow.

I'm in the Christmas spirit now!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Mary Monday: 12.12.11

Hey guys, its Mary!


I'm taking over Mom's blog today to talk about what I want for Christmas.

Did you know that mom has a whole pinterest board dedicated to me?

Some of the costumes are scary. I don't want to look like a turkey. I want to look like my adorable self. (Has mom told you what happens to me when she makes me wear a shirt? Oh she has.)

I most definitely don't want to be dressed up like a chia pet. There are plenty of other dogs that look like that anyway. But if I got that superman costume I wouldn't complain. I wonder if it would really give me super powers.

Mom says she wishes it was a Batman costume... cause I already have the ears.

Also, lets talk for a minute about those doggles. Um... no thanks!

I will tell you what I do love - that nesting blanket. Oh, it just looks so amazing. I wouldn't even have to work to build my cave.

What I really want for Christmas is a new collar from Needle Dee Needle Dum. Oh and they have new designs too! I'm getting giddy with excitement just thinking about it. I need to go run in circles, so I'm gonna sign off! Have a very Merry Mary (ha!) Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday's Songs: Last Years New Favorite Christmas Song

So this song was released last year by Francesca Battestelli. Its amazing. It has the elegance and mystery that I love in a Christmas song. I love elegance, because it makes it timeless and the mystery because I feel like there is a lot of mystery around Christmas and thats what makes it so special. I couldn't find an official video on Francesca's YouTube site, so this will have to do.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dress Rehearsal Day

I am covered up in dress rehearsal today so I hope you and yours are enjoying this Saturday!

What are you doing today?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quick Question

Do you have your tree up yet?

I plan to get mine up this weekend.


I am linking up with Company Girl Coffee today!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Worst Christmas Songs Ever: A random old one

This post includes a song that probably isn't something you want your kids to listen to quite yet.

So I thought it would be fun to think of some of the worst Christmas songs...

I heard this the other morning on my way to work. It was on a station that plays all Christmas music all day and Deliliah in the evening. (BTdubs.... I LOVE DELILIAH!!!)

I listened to the whole thing because.

1. Traffic was really bad.
2. I couldn't believe this song made it to the radio.
3. I couldn't believe this song was considered a Christmas song.
4. I was getting more and more depressed.
5. Traffice was really - it took me an hour to get to work - bad.

Without further ado, my first entry into worst Christmas songs ever....



So if you are work and can't listen to the song or don't want to for the any or all of the reasons listed above. (There are subtitles or you can just google the lyrics: Dan Fogelberg: Same Old Lang Syne.)

This guy runs into his old flame at the grocery on Christmas Eve and they get to talking and she is married to someone else that takes care of her but she doesn't love. They want to get a drink, but all the bars are closed (must be a 24 hour grocery) so they get a 6 pack and share it in her car....

All it has to do with Christmas is the day of the year it happens.

FAIL!

Oh and if you are really bored, go read the comments on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Word for Wednesday: Peace

Each year, about this time peace becomes my greatest desire for Christmas. The song that I shared on Sunday invites the Carolers to, "come and join with the angels singing, 'Peace on the Earth.'" The kids are singing this song in our Christmas musical on Sunday and their motion for peace is to make an X with their arms and bring them down in a calming motion. To watch them do it, shows you exactly what peace is.

I sometimes have a hard time understanding the deeper levels of particular themes. For example, I never totally got why Christmas was a time of peace. It would seem to me that it would be a time of turmoil.

For Mary, turmoil that she was unwed and having a child miraculously. She would have to travel from home on a donkey's back while pregnant.

For Joseph, turmoil that he believed Mary and her story about a miracle (I'm sure a visit from an angel helped him to believe) and he would still marry her.

For the couple, turmoil that they were going to deliver a baby on their own in a STABLE!

For the nation, turmoil that Herod killed every baby under two.

For Herod, turmoil that a new King was on the scene.

For the Shepherd, turmoil when a multitude of angels just showed up.

For the Wisemen, turmoil that a mysterious star in the east that drew them to follow it. (And that they were following a star for no quickly apparent reason.)

For us, turmoil that the Christmas season is busy. And hard. And filled with drama. And we're busy. And expectations are high. And we're busy. And expectations go unmet. And we're busy.

But yet it is a season of peace. I think this relates to Peter walking on the water. He just jumped out of a boat when the sea is in turmoil. He was walking on the water towards Jesus. But the reality of the situation sunk in, rather than the miracle and he took his eyes off of Jesus. As soon as he did, he began to sink. Jesus saved him they made it to the boat
 beaches,clouds,nature,oceans,Photographs,seas,seascapes,seashores,skies,surfs,waves
Like Peter, when we take our eyes off of the miracle of Jesus' birth we are filled with turmoil. But when we fix our eyes upon Jesus peace that doesn't make sense fills us. We are focused on what matters and we are calm.

I hope that you are able to find peace admist the bustle of this holiday season. If you have a hard time, focus on Jesus. See if you can find him where you least expect him!

Love,

E

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Your Personal Christmas Season


I had a fun conversation with some friends yesterday about your own personal Christmas Season kick-off. My one friend mentioned that it was one of two events (a holiday breakfast and the the Christmas parade, whichever comes first). Another said it was when she gets her relatives house for the holidays. 

Mine is made up of two parts. First, there is a rather important meeting that I am in charge of organizing at work and it happens to fall in late November or early December. That has to be complete. The other is for the Children's musical to be done. The meeting is tomorrow and the musical is on Sunday. I'm taking a Monday off to clean and decorate the house! Christmas can finally start! 

What kicks-off your holiday season?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Merry Mary Monday: Couponing Edition

Couponing is fun for Mary too!
Don't worry... No coupons were harmed for this picture...
Also, sorry this is so late.... Long day.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday's Songs: My New Favorite Christmas Song

This is one of the songs in our Children's Musical this year, but I heard it on the radio this week and really fell in love with it then. The motions that the kids are doing with it are really awesome as well.


(via)

Do you have a new favorite Christmas song this year?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Another thought for Christmas

I know that yesterday I talked about the things on my Christmas list, but there were somethings I didn't mention.

I would also really like a goat or a chicken or even a cow. No, not for me, or in Farmville, but for someone in need.

Goat
Click here to get Images  & Goat Pictures

Did you know that for as little as $70 you can send a goat to a family in need this Christmas. The family can use the goat milk for their own nutritional purposes as well as sell the excess to generate income. Baby chicks are only $14. Check this online catalog out. It is from Samaratin's Purse so I know it can be trusted. There are items for as low at $5 (milk for a child for a week) up to $10,000(a filtered water well to provide safe drinking water for a community.) But its the low cost of things that is incredible.

$6 - a blanket for a child
$9 - food for a baby for a WEEK
$100 - a household water filter for a family

You can also share the cost. So for $20 you can pitch in to that well I was talking about above. This is part of the high dollar items. The ones that make a difference in a community not only an individual life.

What a cool way to spread the love of God and the true spirit of Christmas this season.

So yeah, feel free to give me "sports gear" or "clothes and shelter" I would understand you heart. Besides if you put it that way, there is nothing I need.

Friday, December 2, 2011

All I want for Christmas

So there isn't much on my Christmas list this year. In fact, I've only come up with two things of note and one for fun Cheer and Joy.

1. An air mattress. If you ever come to see us and you bring more people than will fit in our guest bed (2) and our couch (1) you will be glad that I asked for this. This would be helpful as it would allow for my whole family to come visit and hopefully stay comfortably.


Also... I chaperone on preteen retreats, maybe you remember. I need an air mattress on those nights. Thankfully this year I was able to borrow one for each the retreats I attended, but concrete floors are no good once you are over the age of 12.

2. A travel tumbler. The ones with the lid and the straw....

Custom Personalized 3 Color Tumbler    Paisley Initial Acrylic Travel Tumbler CUP


Yeah that one!

So these are on sale right now at Squiggly Doodles. Its my cousin's store. She has them personalized for $10. Amazing deal right! You can also find her on Etsy.

3. Blackout curtains. There is a streetlight in between our yard and our next door neighbors. It shines in our window and onto our bed right across my pillow. It has been super bad lately. Also if you get me this gift, please know that I will also need someone to come hang said curtains, since I don't know how.

I am writing this on Thursday night and there is a miniature dog laying across me wanting nothing more than to be held, so I guess I better go... What do you want for Christmas this year?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent: My Favorite Christmas Album

So my all-time favorite Christmas Album is getting older. It is Point of Grace's album A Christmas Story.

(via)


Let me tell you, one of my best friends and I will rock this CD all year long. Christmas in July - Check! Rough day in October - Just the cure! Mid-winter blahs in February - Only 10 more months til Christmas! Perfect spring weather in May - Seems like the perfect accompaniment! we also have hand motions at just the right parts. My actual copy of this album has been played so many times it is worn out. It skips and jumps but I just sing right along. I have finally had to resort to the Spotify version.

When I have a little extra Christmas money I like to buy another Christmas CD to add to my collection. I think its time that if I buy one, I replace this one.

This is my favorite song from the CD:



Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit faster than popping in this CD. What gets you in the mood for Christmas? Whats your favorite Christmas CD?

By the way, if you are keeping track at home, this is my 100th Blog post! Thanks for being such amazing readers!