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Monthly Archives: December 2008

New Years…Do you make promises?

What is it about a New Year that makes us decide the time has come to make promises?
In my mind…I know I can make myself promises any day of the week but somehow a new year makes it seem more important.
And on that note why do I make the same promises every year?
Like for the past 15 years I decide that I will lose those extra pounds I gained during November and December.

It’s standard….I always know what my New Year’s resolution will be.

10 pounds by swimsuit weather….which gives me lots of time here in Indiana. Cause we know that to break out anything like that until the first of June is just a fantasy.
It does help if I plan a trip south during February.
Swimsuit weather comes sooner.

The whole thing…making promises…slipping back into old habits….realizing I’m in a rut….and therefore making a new promise, is a very frustrating cycle for me.

I like to think of myself as more mature than that, and yet I make these trips far too often. I make resolves to spend more time in the Word, to really grow in my spiritual walk, and for a season I feel especially close to the Father and than I cycle into distractedness or distrust and I find myself wondering “how did I get to this place?”

I don’t know all the answers to cycles. I am not educated in Psychology, but I do know that to “give up” is not the answer either!

I can’t.

It’s part of the journey.

Peeks and valleys

Victory and defeat

Summer and Winter

All I know is that my God says “my mercies are new every morning”….

That is reassuring to me…that tells me that he understands I will need his mercy. I will need to be pulled up from the pit and given a 2nd chance or maybe 365 chances to make it through each day.
So instead of waiting until January 1 to make all these great promises maybe I should thank him each day that I have a new beginning. A fresh start. A place to try again.

So it begins today on December 31….
I resolve….to believe…..that He is able!


More Christmas fun

The Fun just kept going….And the hips keep growing! We had Christmas for 3 days with my family. Jason’s brother and his family came on Sunday…
We have had horrid weather this week! It was cold, cold, cold. And than on Christmas day it warmed up and started raining. We left the kids at grandpa’s overnight thinking we would all go out in the morning for breakfast but all that rain turned to ice. The roads were so ice covered the toll road was closed and when we finally did risk our lives to go retrieve our children it was like we were driving on a lake! In fact we met a skater. Yes, a skater! Someone passed us skating down the road! Bizarre!
On Saturday we had a high of 63 and than the wind came. It blew so violently it knocked out our power around 2:30 am. Jason was supposed to preach and I was leading worship so we were pretty much on edge about oversleeping. Very little sleep was to be had! The church also lost power. So church ended up being canceled. Strange, strange weather!
I wanted to show off this sweet picture of my son Jalen.

What a week~ now back to normal life and hopefully normal weather.

Our Christmas celebration

I am a big romantic. No question! Don’t even ask how many times those dreamy, unrealistic expectations have been disappointed over the years. Not just by my sweet guy but by life in general. When you live in a world where things are ideal it can sometimes make the real world somewhat dull.

But Christmas changes all that.
It’s okay to believe.
It’s applauded.
The more delusional you are the better you fit in.
I think that’s why I adore this time of year.
I love the whole thing.
I love the dreaming.
I love the lights!

There is something that is so completely breath taking and magical when eating by candle light!

We had a great time eating, singing, laughing and talking. Lots of that. God blessed this family with the gift of gab! Everyone seems to have plenty to say. Which makes table conversation anything but dull.
It means we give time allotments for each child.
And than we attempt to teach the character trait of sitting and being respectful when it is the next persons time to “share”.

I think Jason and I both like to thank the other ones family for this very special gift.

So without further ado here is a peek into our little Christmas.

The main course was Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp. Along with Crab legs.

Do you want the recipe for the Alfredo? Well, whatda ya know, I’d love to give it to you!

Alfredo Sauce:

1 stick butter

2C. Cream

In medium saucepan melt butter and add cream. Bring to boil. Add

1 C. Parmesan Cheese.

1tsp Garlic salt

let simmer for 12 minutes.

Sooooo yummy!

Serve with Fettuccine noodles.

It’s an art form…eating these noodles!

I think the crab is my guys fav… He is feeling very good with himself in this picture! He gets very braggy when he pulls out pieces this size. Oh yeah, braggy he is!

Yes, I feel blessed. I have so much to be thankful for!

Some of my thankfulness lies in this….My children are such an important part of making this family tick. My Husband works very hard to provide for the 6 of us. And I have a chance to give each day to these 5 people I hold dear. Here is Christmas Morning…. We should have posted a road sign: Clean up crew at work.

Oh yes we did! Sophie’s first American Girl doll.

And the socks are so much fun! Don’t let this picture fool you…These kids are Such serious children. I can hardly get them to ham it up for the camera. I just had to show you this sweet gift to daddy. When you’re 5, chex mix is a treasure. Why not share it with a very special person?!

And here are the kids making their special cards for our special friend in Africa. They were very eager to participate in this activity!
I am so grateful for the gift of his love. Aren’t you?
I feel blessed beyond compare.

Merry Christmas!

The fires have been burning much this week. Oh how I love the smell and warmth of the fire!
We have been sitting next to it to eat dinner all week. Chili soup and Hot ham and Cheese seem to taste better sitting next to the blazing fire.

We will sing and remember the baby in a manger who came to save us from our sins. He is the one and only. The king of kings. The Prince of Peace. The one who will come again. Not as a baby but as the reigning Lord.

And tonight as we celebrate the birth of our Lord we want to wish you and your families a very wonderful, Merry Christmas.

"Mini Van Express"

So I told you we were going to try something new this year.

Let me just say it was a HUGE success!


Our kids were so excited in the beginning and so grateful in the end!

I Got the idea over at Sandy Toes.

We changed just a couple things but this is what we did:

On Friday night when it was time for bed we put a “ticket” for the mini van express on our kids pillows. I also bought them each a new pair of warm flannel PJ’s. This was also placed on their pillows. We were playing games with them and afterwards told them to go check their pillows, change and come back down.

Since this was the first time we have done this they had no idea what was happening. They were giggling and squealling about the new PJ’s and “what in the world is this ticket for”?

“I wonder what we’re going to do?”
Daddy was the engineer who waited to punch their ticket. As they climbed into their seat there was a bag of party mix and a water bottle waiting for them.

“Where are we going”? Was the question they kept asking. And, “We’re leaving in our PJ’s?”

We turned on a Christmas CD. And told them to pay special attention to the all the cool lights.
One really neat thing that happened as we traveled into town. We passed our old home and the kids began talking about their memories from that house. Sophia had not yet been born but the others remembered really random things and it was so fun to hear them bringing those things to life again.

We drove into a subdivision to look at lights. And then we ended up at Dunkin Doughnuts for hot chocolate and Doughnuts. (The Chocolate was too hot so most of them decided to save it for breakfast:)

On the way home Sophie was falling asleep. Micah told her she better not cause if she misses her stop she may end up in Canada and then she would have to eat Canada Bacon….. They were so grateful they hugged and thanked us countless times and even in their prayers were thanking God for this night.

Such a little thing but I bet they don’t forget it!

I love that!

I love knowing that a small part of shaping took place as they felt special tonight!

I love that the wonder of Christmas was alive in the eyes of my kids!

What a wonderful time of the year!

Christmas Fondue

Christmas starts early…

This year for my family Christmas we had our fondue a little earlier than normal. My brother Jerry and his family are spending Christmas in Sunny Florida so we wanted to include them in at least some of our Christmas traditions.

This year my mom and dad did something really special. They are donating money for each grandchild(17)to Gospel for Asia. It is a very worthy organization that helps families recieve an animal. If you want to watch the presentation you can go here.

We included several of the kids into the adults table this year. They are now teens or will be soon so they made the big trip up….

We always do Cheese with cubed meats and bread along with vegetables.

The Cheese Fondue

1 1/2 C. Butter- melted

3/4 Cup Flour

1 tsp. Salt

4 C. Milk

4 tsp.paprika

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire

1/2 lb. box Velveeta cheese

1 16 oz cheddar cheese whiz

melt butter, add flour, slowly add milk. let cook 1 minute stirring constantly; add rest of ingredients. Stir until cheese is melted. You can keep this in the crock pot on low until ready to serve.

Then for dessert we have Carmel sauce with fruit. This year we also had Chocolate…Yummy!

The Carmel

1/2 C Butter

2 C. Sugar

2 C. Whip Cream

3/4 C. Light corn syrup

1 tsp. Vanilla

Jar Carmel topping

Melt butter, sugar, light corn syrup and 1 cup cream, Stir constantly. When it comes to a boil add rest of cream. Heat to 240 on candy thermometer. Add jar Carmel topping and vanilla at end.

This is the baby of the group. She gets lots of attention….She is way cute! I believe someone dressed her up in their Christmas gift, Cory?!

Here is my firstborn son Jalen. Look at those blue eyes!

Waiting ever so patient for his gift.

And here is my sister, Cindy with her husband Allen.
And this picture shows just how secure I am.

What a bunch of weirdos we are!
Here I am with my brother Jerry.
It wasn’t my idea!

Just keeping it real!

A little Naughty but Nice

When I find something I love I am compelled to share it with you. Secrets like this I cannot keep to myself.

My friend Julie makes this yummy dessert and I am very naughty when she brings it over!

Recently I acquired the recipe myself so I could be naughty more often….

I took it with me to one of our Christmas parties this week. And now to relive the guilt I have from eating it too frequently I want to pass it to you.

So, here it is:

Chocolate Cappuccino Trifle

1 chocolate cake mix – bake as directed

Mousse Pudding:

2 tsp cappuccino mix

2 tsp. hot water

1- 14 oz can sweetened, condensed milk

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tbsp. butter

2 cups cream; chilled

1 16 oz cool whip

Combine sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, butter, dissolve cappuccino in hot water and add in medium saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool.

Beat whipping cream until stiff. Gradually fold cocoa mixture into whip cream.

Cube cake and put on bottom layer of glass bowl. Add layer of mousse, cool whip, cake, mousse, cool whip, cake, mousse, cool whip. On top you can drizzle chocolate syrup or I like to shave some chocolate. You can also add bit of chocolate chunks around the sides if you want some texture. This is such a light chocolaty dessert!

I will be posting about our Family Fondue dinner tomorrow. It will include the recipes for cheese and carmel fondue.