Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy (almost) New Year!

Even More Family!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The world must see this!

Luke 2:8-14:
...there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Friday, December 24, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kings and Queen of the Hill

Today's December Photo Project pictures are from the Christmas card photo shoot.  The closer pictures are better, but do not do justice to the size of the snow pile next to our driveway.  So I felt compelled to include the out take so you can see the mailbox and the driveway for a bit of perspective.  You can also see that even though the kids are older now, the let's-look-happy-with-no-hat picture plan still has its difficulties...

Friday, December 17, 2010

This Train is Moving Fast

Well, there is much to say, including a full description of the Train concert Edwin and I went to, along with how very Minnesotan we were to stand outside for an hour and a half before said concert, but I have no time to say it.  We've had a fun week!  But Christmas is only one week away, and today we really have to buckle down and get it all done or at least planned so we will have time to enjoy our special days and our guests.  So I will attempt to keep the December Photo Project going, but continue to have little to say!

Merry Christmas, and may we all remember the reason for the season...

Luke 1:68-70
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old..."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Disco Santa

Disco Santa has been on my Christmas tree all of my life that I can remember.  And that is saying a lot, considering that my family did not have a Christmas tree ornament tradition, or not one that I was aware of, anyway.  We, like many families, had some old ornaments, some new ones, some that my sister and I made at school or church, and some that people had given to us.  Now and then there was a year that Mom would decide to do something more trendy with the tree and buy new, coordinating ornaments of some variety.  But for the most part, there were a few ornaments that were always there, and this was one of them.  I'm not sure how Disco Santa went with me when I got married and left home, but he did, along with a few other ornaments from my childhood.

Edwin's family, on the other hand, has a Christmas ornament tradition.  While growing up, Edwin and his sister, Amy, received an ornament from their grandparents each year.  Most of them are dated, so we have ornaments on our tree that go back to 1968.  Many of them are hand-painted, and they all hold great memories.  Getting married in December means that we also have a few cherished "first Christmas together" ornaments from thoughtful wedding guests.

The Christmas ornament tradition has continued in our own family, as now Edwin's parents give each of our children an ornament every year.  As you can imagine, our tree is filling up quickly with five new ornaments added each year, but we do cherish those ornaments.  When we decorate the tree, we divide the ornaments into groups for each child and they admire them a bit before hanging them on the tree.  Then they proudly point out their ornaments to any and every visitor who walks into our home.

I'm not sure what will happen to our Christmas tree when the kids leave the house with all of their ornaments, and I am not going to think about that now.  But I have a feeling that one day, Lord willing, we will be buying Christmas ornaments for our grandchildren, too!

Psalm 144:12
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

All That Deep, Deep, Deep Snow! All That Snow Has to Go!

Children's Choir Concert

Last night the Good Shepherd Children's Community Choir Concert took place, a whole five hours before the blizzard began.  (It was originally scheduled for last Friday night but was postponed due to a big snowstorm.)  All children did a great job!  I love to be able to actually hear my kids' voices (Anna, James, and John are in the choir; David has moved on to the adult choir with a deeper voice, and Daniel is anxiously waiting till next year to be old enough.) among the small crowd.  Our church has been blessed with very talented choir leaders and the kids are learning so much, and they really enjoy singing to the Lord!

[Choir photo to come...]

Meanwhile, I think we may be seeing our first real blizzard.  Wow! the snow is deep and flying sideways.  Stay tuned to find out if we make it to the work Christmas party, which is tonight at a fancy downtown hotel...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December in Minnesota, reprise

My grumbling about the temperature this  morning has led me to remember when life was not as easy.  Well, that, and the fact that one of my children has been practicing the 12 Days of Christmas on the piano all week!

I wrote this on Dec. 19, 1999. David was 3, Anna was 2, and James was 7 months.  We are now living proof that God carries you through the rough spots, and children do get older!
Reflections on a not so great month...

You know the tune...

December in Minnesota means lots of things to me:
A slight case of pneumonia.
December in Minnesota means lots of things to me:
Two sinus infections,
And a slight case of pneumonia.
December in Minnesota means lots of things to me:
Three infected ears,
Two sinus infections,
And a slight case of pneumonia.
December in Minnesota means lots of things to me:
Four inches of snow,
Three infected ears,
Two sinus infections,
And a slight case of pneumonia.

I Don't Want to Get Up...

Today's December Photo Project photo is Edwin's alarm clock, which projects both the time and the outdoor temperature on the ceiling. (I've written about it before, as it is one of the winter thorns in my side - seeing the temperature flashing on the ceiling while I am in my cozy bed. )  Thankfully it rounds the temperature, so what I saw on the ceiling was not -0.9 but just a big. fat. zero.  Time to get up!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Does It Look Cold?

I looked out the office window and saw a big, beautiful, pileated woodpecker in the tree right outside.  I nearly froze to death chasing it around for a photo, but it finally got mad enough to fly across the street out of range.  The only picture I got with the bird actually in it did not do it justice, hence the tree, alone.  I guess I need more bird-watching experience, or more photography experience.  Probably both!  That's what is great about the December Photo Project!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Slowly but Surely

We bought our Christmas tree today, and it was covered in snow.  (The picture was taken after much of the melting had occurred.)  This leads to melting in the house, which is pretty much equivalent to raining.  Oh well, at least it's here!  The rain is over, the carpet is drying and we hope to have it decorated by the end of the week.  I'm not kidding, it will take that long once you add all the other things that have to be done this week! 

The December Photo Project has lots of great pictures, all of them much better than mine!  Click on the link and look around at all the images of December.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lego Day!

Today's Photo Project picture is the kids' First Lego League team, known as the Cavemen.  The tournament was today and they did a great job, after working hard over the last four months.  Now they are on their way to the state tournament in January.  Great job kids!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Groovy Cookie

Anna, 13, took today's December Photo Project picture!  Another edited phone photo, but I like it!

Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

There's a first time for everything, and this is my first time to participate in a blog link up.  (Though, in reality, I guess the December Photo Project is that sort of thing too.)  If you want to participate, or just get some awesome cookie recipes, hop on over to the Raising Olives blog.

Here's my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe, slightly adapted from a cook book that, if you are from Alabama, you will know as the "Yellow Phone Company Cookbook."  The kids love to open this book to this page because it has a note  from about 19 years ago slid in the book there, telling Edwin where to find things and what to do so he could bake these cookies a long time ago.  I think someone was coming to visit and he was going to be finished with classes before me.  Fun times!

Oatmeal Cookies 
 *Believe me, if you have anything close to a large family you will want to double or triple this!

1 c shortening      
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
1.5 c flour
3 c oatmeal
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped nuts (optional)
1 c chocolate chips (optional)

Cream shortening and sugar; add eggs. Add flour, salt, and soda (I never pre-sift these - just mix well!).  Add vanilla.  After this point, you may need to stir by hand, depending on the size and strength of your mixer.  Add the oatmeal, nuts, and chocolate chips and mix well.  You could form the dough into a log and refrigerate over night or wrap well and freeze for later, treating them like slice and bake cookies.  Or just cook them now without chilling in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the cookie size.

Enjoy!  And please leave a good cookie recipe in the comments or join the 4 Moms cookie exchange link-up!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Twice as Nice

Well, I must admit that Daniel, 7, took the first photo for the December Photo Project this year. He took it with my phone and edited it himself. And yes, there are two trashcans in the picture, but that's ok. Maybe he has a future in photography...