Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I need your help. I'm speaking at a Mom to Mom group at a local church in a couple of weeks. I've read, I've studied, I've pondered and prayed and I think I've finally kind of, sorta narrowed down what I want to say. But I would love your feedback. If you are a mother - I know you had visions of what being the perfect mother would be like. Share with me how that vision and the reality of motherhood differ - and what are your goals this year to be a better mom? Will you take more time for yourself? Will you say no less often? Will you 'not sweat the small stuff'? I would love your feedback.
...and the women at Mom to Mom thank you also!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The best gifts of all!

Sometimes - the best gifts don't come in a box, or a bag with pretty tissue paper. They aren't found under the tree or hanging in a stocking. The BEST gift is the gift of family ~ of being able to spend time together. To laugh ~ to cry ~ to pray. To enjoy His presence in those relationships is truly the best present! Christmas 2011 brought the BEST gifts to our house - our family! What fun we had!

Millie and Casey were able to skype with Casey's family on Christmas morning and visit with his siblings who are serving missions for our church in Russia and England. Technology can be such a blessing.

It seems that elves were busy a lot at our house the week before Christmas!

Millie learned how to cut Casey's hair. Don't you agree that there is a lot of trust in a relationship when you let your spouse at your hair with scissors and clippers when they don't know what they are doing? She did a good job. I bet he lets her cut it again!

Dusty was loving having company and lots of attention. She was always hoping for a bite of someone's food from the table.

Don got a remote-controlled helicopter for Christmas.

Playing games is serious business at our house. This Christmas lots of the old favorites were pulled out. We played Twister, Aggravation, SPLAT, Pass the Pigs, Farkle, Mormon Bridge, Dominos, and Five Crowns - plus some new ones that Santa brought this year.

We had a wonderful evening at the Smokebox Cafe in Kansas City. Dustin was able to cross KC BBQ off his bucket list! It was quaint - the food was served on styrofoam plates with plastic utensils - but it was AmAzInG! When we go again - I plan to have the burnt ends and the pulled pork...soooooo good!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I had such grand plans to share a few favorite recipes, favorite songs and such. But instead - we've been enjoying our grown children and their spouses who came to spend Christmas with us. So suffice it to say - not much time for blogging! We have enjoyed some good Kansas City Barbeque, movies, games, LOTS of good food - oh - and did I mention games? Pictures will come - but for today and tomorrow - the focus is going to be on on Savior - on Christmas - and on our family.

So to each of you - Merry Christmas! In whatever circumstance you find yourself in - know that there is a Father in Heaven (God) who is aware of you - who loves you - and who wants you to come back to His presence. He has given his Son, Jesus Christ that this might be fulfilled. Moses 1:39 says: "This is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." Through the atonement of Jesus Christ - His suffering for all of us in Gethsamane, being crucified and giving up His life - then claiming it again after three days when He rose and created an empty tomb - we truly do have the opportunity to return again to His presence.

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus - OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

This is one of the sweetest Christmas songs I've heard in a very long time. It helps put the meaning of the season in perspective.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Preparations

Christmas! Just saying the word brings with it so many feelings, thoughts and desires! I want to do things for other people - I feel so grateful for our blessings - I'm thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ; His birth, His sacrifice and His resurrection. I desire to be like Him. I want to have our family around us. I enjoy the sweet feelings of peace and comfort that exist within the walls of our home. Christmas!

This Christmas Season so far has been a bit of a blur. Right after Thanksgiving my hubby had some major back surgery. He has healed incredibly fast and well - a tender mercy from a loving Father in Heaven! But there was still stress and worry and some sleepless nights and I'm still working almost full-time. All of those things I traditionally do the first couple weeks of December didn't happen. We did get the tree up and decorations in place Thanksgiving weekend - everything else was put on hold. This week I started baking. And sewing. And making lists ~ lots of lists! And slowly crossing things off of my lists. And making more lists! :) I know you know what I mean!

So - here are the cookies I made last weekend. Gingerbread. Fabulous, soft, yummy gingerbread cookies. I love how the kitchen smells when I make these cookies. I copied the snowmen that were featured on Bakerella's site a couple of weeks ago. It's very obvious that she is a professional.... hmmmm - just don't look too close!

And this - the directions said: "15 minute table runner." I was skeptical. It actually took - from beginning to end - 25-30 minutes. Not bad though! It wasn't the fabric choice I really wanted, but when you procrastinate sewing projects at Christmas-time, you get what no-one else wanted either! Oh well - This was a practice one - the ones I make this summer for next year (yea, right) will be fabulous! I had to laugh because the project I left out after Christmas last year to work on over the summer never did get be perfectly clear....never got started! Oh well - there's always next year - Right?!

1 c. molasses + 1 c. shortening
Put in a small saucepan and just bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes - remove from heat and cool.

1 egg
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda + 1/2 c. warm water
6 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger

Cream egg, sugar and vanilla together. Add molasses/shortening mixture and mix till blended. Add soda water and mix well. Slowly add dry ingredients and blend until mixed well. Dough will be quite stiff. Roll 1/4" thick, cut out and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Remove immediately to a cooling rack. When completely cool decorate or store in an air-tight container.

What's your favorite Christmas beverage? I think ours is slush! Recipe coming soon.
Christmas music and Christmas you have a favorite? Coming to a post soon!
Merry Christmas!