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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Dance


Over the holiday break we have been kind of hanging low.  Today, Winston was able to hook up with his friend Rohith who he doesn't get to see that often since they go to different schools and Rohith lives in the town where we used to live.  Anyway, today I picked up his friend and we went to lunch.  Addy, Roman, and Harris stayed home with the Babysitter Amanda.  It was nice to have lunch without miss trying to climb out of the high chair or on the table.  She doesn't seem to get that when you eat you are suppose to stay seated.  Afterwards, Winston's friend came over to our house to hang out.  They had a blast.  Minutes before his friend was suppose to go home it began snowing.  The boys ran outside and began doing a happy dance.  They were so excited.  They hoped it would stick.  Sadly no fluffy snow is lining our driveway.

Later on I was doing a happy dance as Harris decided he was going to make dinner for the family. He made Spaghetti Marinara and garlic bread.  He did an excellent job.  I guess I am going to have to put him in charge of making dinner more often.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 12




Signs of Christmas are all but gone today.  I woke up with the urge to put it all away and clean.  Not standard for me since I usually wait till New Years day to put all the decorations away; however, I just couldn't help it, and within a few hours the decorations were packed away and I had moved on to purging the house of it's clutter.  The storm raged outside and inside as each bag of trash was filled or bag to go to the Goodwill was filled it was Hawaii for me.  My mother would like to say I am a little OCD, but I would rather like to say I like everything having it's place.  

Christmas was perfect this year!  The boys gave us the gift along with Addy of sleeping in until after 8 am.  Harris read the Christmas story before Roman handed out the presents.  Harris was thrilled with all the money he got and a new pair of headphones.  Winston was thrilled with his new video games.  Roman was over the moon with his Batman castle and Angry Bird Star Wars game and Addy loved pulling the wrapping paper off the packages.  Santa even left a present for Avery, so when she comes over from China she will have a baby doll that looks just like her.

This year we invited a co-worker and his family over for dinner.  It was wonderful to be able to share our home with them.  This year we had some new additions to our food menu and they were  a big hit!  I made from scratch a green bean casserole for dinner.  No can soup used to help make it!  It was yummy!  I also made stuffed mushrooms.  We filled them will pimento dip and then baked them.  Yum!!!! Christmas music was listened too, lots and lots of food was consumed, a few games of ping pong played, and later when the little's were tucked in bed Winston and I cuddled in his bed and watched  Santa Paws.  Oh, I also finished my Christmas quilt with the help of my mom. Pictures coming on that soon.    I hope your Christmas was filled with lots of joy.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve










The Stockings are hung, the presents are wrapped, and the children are snuggled in bed.  Clarence has gotten his wings (It's a Wonderful Life) and we are ready to celebrate Christmas.  Are hearts are full and we are grateful for we are truly blessed.  Come let us adore him Oh come let us adore him, we sung at church this evening.  My family wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  May 2013 bring you happiness and joy! Love, Frank, Kelleyn, Harris, Winston, Roman, Addy, and soon coming from China this upcoming year Avery.

Cheesecake
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 packages of softened cream cheese
12 crushed  graham crackers or 1 package
6 tablespoon of melted butter
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 large can of fruit topping or fresh fruit.
I medium container 16 ounces of sour cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

In a bowl mix crushed graham cracker and melted butter along with 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Then press mixture into your spring form pan.  Bake crust for 10 minutes.

In a bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Pour onto crust and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Should be slightly golden and spring back to the finger touch.

The combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla and pour onto cake and bake for another 10 minutes.  Allow to cool for about a 1/2 hour and pour fruit on top.  We always have cherry at Christmas!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Light "Corner View"


There are no words to describe or to explain the events that occurred on Friday.  I wish I could almost say it is unbelievable, but that would not be true.  Events like this have occurred 37 times in my life time.  Once is to many.  I grew up in a home where we had guns.  We used them for protection as we owned property on the border of Denali National Park.  Guns were a necessity  to protect oneself from bears, wolfs, and a charging moose.  So, I understand the argument very well from those who wish to have the right to bear arms.  What I don't understand is why anyone would need a semi-automatic weapon.  I don't understand why anyone would have these guns in a home where there are children.  They never talk about the accidental shootings that occur each year from a child's curiosity, or the husband or wife who in anger loose their temper and take it too far.  When are we going to say enough. 

Across town a friend who lost her 10 year old son three years ago to cancer, is now battling to save her husbands life from pancreatic cancer.  How will she survive?  She is a stay at home mother.  Who will look after her children when they come home from school.  How will she pay the bills!  It seems almost too much to ask of anyone person.

In another home a husband and wife grieve the lost of their 6 year old daughter.  She died this summer to Mitochondrial disease.  There will be no squeals of delight on Christmas morning.  Even the poor dog is grieving. 

The grieve is so thick!  The pain is so real!  I hug my children closer.  I put down what I am doing to listen more patiently, and despite all this darkness I have to choose the light.  The light of goodness!  The light that Jesus is the Christ!  That he lives !  That through him everything will be all right in the end for in Psalms 147:3 it says "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." I choose to follow the light for it says in 2 Samuel 23:4 "And he shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain."

I choose to let my light shine to share all that is good in me and with others. In Mathew chapter 5 verse 16 it says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  While I am only one I can make a difference. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christams Card fiasco



With Christmas just 10 days away, I thought I better get my act together and get my Christmas card made.  Usually, I have my cards out by the 1st of December but this year we have been way to busy.  This week I came up with an idea and purchased the children beautiful sweater vest and Addy a holiday sweater.  This morning rolled around and the weather  was just blah.  However, I have heard many photographers say that they perfer the over cast day.   I got the littles bathed and dressed and told the bigs if they weren't dressed they could forget about having Christmas.  One 13 year old insisted his hair despite sticking up looked fantastic.  We got in the car and went to the location.  I first took individual photo and then proceeded to try to take a group photo.  No one would cooperate.  Out of 60 shots in various configuations not one worked out.  Addy really didn't want anything to do with the whole process.  She would not sit on their laps and she wouldn't allow them to hold her.  We tried having her standing, but she would not look at the camera.  It just wasn't meant to be this year.   In the end this is what I came up with and it is what it is.  To tell you the truth, I knew it was going to be difficult and I would  perfer a root canal than to try an re-shoot the photos!  That being said, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12 and other events


I guess we all survived the end of the world and we are now on the other side.  I like the other side.  My house smells amazing as I just pulled out a batch of molasses cookies.  It smells like Christmas!  These are my favorite holiday cookies.  I forgot a few people in my operation cookie and so I found my self baking, but that is no big deal because it really makes me happy to know someones belly will be filled with something I made. 

Heard at my house today a little girl saying baby.  A middle age mother belting out holiday carols as she folded laundry.  It made her so happy.  A teenage boy declaring he was happy his mother could cook. 

Discovered a little boys writing declaring he would be a good elf because he is a good boy. 

One happy father as his little girl squealed as she saw him.  Someone has become a papas girl.

Excited because I am almost done with the Christmas shopping and just maybe I might get a card out if the vest I ordered arrive tomorrow.

Are you finished shopping?  What is on your agenda for the weekend.  We don't have really any grand plans.  The boys are excited to go see the Hobbit.  One will go with him grandmother the other for a friends birthday party.

Looking forward to going to dinner at Nan with our friends Matt, Lisa, Marco, Simona, Michaela, and Olga.  I hear the decor is fabulous and the food is amazing.  I am not a big Thai fan, but Frank loves Thai.  I am sure he will be in heaven.   

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Corner View "White"


One of my favorite holiday memories is going to the Christmas market in Germany with my husband.  There is nothing more magical.  The twinkeling lights hanging from the wooden huts in the dark northern skies. Fluffy white snow crunching below boot laden feet.  Craft booths selling everything from homemade honey to wooden toys, but a Christmas market wouldn't be a Christmas market without food.  Gingerbread hanging in heart shapes on red ribbons, roasted almonds covered in vanilla sugar, wurst, and potato pancakes. Traditionally in Germany they are served with applesauce. Our house it divided: my husband loves them with applesauce, I love them with sour cream, and the children love them with ketchup.  They really are so simple to make. 

4 large potatoes shredded
2 eggs whisked to break the yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 leak chopped finely
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
6 Tablespoons of flour

Oil for frying.  I used olive oil, but you can use vegetable oil.  Just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.  We aren't deep frying these.

In a bowl combine everything but the oil.  With a 1/2 cup measurement cup scoop mixture into your palm of your hand and form a small patty as if you were making a hamburger.  Then gently lay in your heated oil.  Oil should be heated on medium.  Too high and you will burn them and they will be raw on the inside.  Cook until golden brown then flip and cook until golden brown on other side.  I like mine extra crispy, so I leave in pan just a little longer.  The trick really is to leave them alone as long as possible because if you flip them too early they will fall apart. You can place these on a paper towel and place in your oven at 200 to 250 degrees until you have cooked all of them to serve everyone at the same time.  My family just steals them as quick as I can get them out of the pan.  Enjoy! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Operation Cookie and Other Events Snap Shot Sunday

St. Nicolas visited us this week.  He comes on the 6th of December per German tradition.  The Children  left their shoe by the fire place and when they woke up they found that St. Nicholas had brought some new books for our collection this year: Olivia helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer, How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, How Many Miles to Bethlehem by Kevin Holland, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, and the Miracle of the Wooden Shoes by Deborah Rowley.  He also gave the bigger boys i-tune cards and some candy for everyone.

Yesterday after taking Winston and his friend Matt to see The Rise of the Guardian (Roman stayed home with the babysitter.  He loves her), I spent the afternoon in the kitchen baking and baking.  I made three types of cookies.  The first was a cherry white chocolate shortbread, the second a peppermint blossom, and the third cookies are my favorite double chocolate chip.  Now our teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, Dr. Gifts are complete.  It feels so good to have that checked off our to do list!  Yahoo!

Well, Frank and Addy are out delivering cookies and the sun is starting to dip into the sky.  It was a beautiful day today.  Loved the message at church today which was Do you have room for Jesus in your life.  It has me thinking that while I do many good things with my family, is all of it necessary.  Could we cut back on some things to make more room to include the Savior in our lives.  Soon I will put on Michael Buble on the stereo, the Advent Candle will be lit and we will begin the celebration of second Advent.  Hope you are having a great weekend! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Serendipity "Corner View"

image borrowed from google images

In August of 1992, I was living in Provo, Utah attending a small community college.  A couple of weeks before the semester was to start I went to the financial aide office to make sure everything was OK for the upcoming semester.  When I got there the lady in charge of grants and loans told me that I could not use both my loan and the Pell Grant that I had to much money.  I think I probably looked at her with a sign of questioning on my face along with a face that she had horns coming out of her head.  What do you mean I have too much money?  The combination of these two grants would barely pay for my school year.  Their had been some change in the rules and I could no longer use both loans.  I could use one or the other, but not both.  I left the office not knowing what to do.  The job market in Provo was horrible and with a minimum wage of $4.25 even if I were to work 20 plus hours there was no way I would be able to cover my expenses.  My parents were in no position to help me.  I could move to my father's in Massachusetts and go to school in Lowell.  My mom had moved from Anchorage, Alaska to a small town in Nevada and there were no possibilities there for me.  Later that day, I spoke with my girlfriend and she said I could live with her and get a job and go to the community college there.  I am not sure why that spoke to my heart in comparison to living with my father, but it did.  Two weeks later, my mother picked me up and drove me to Portland, Oregon.  I arrived on a Saturday and the next day I went to church where I met a guy whose co-worker was looking for a part-time Nannie   It was perfect!  I interviewed for the job and go it!  The best part was not only was the salary enough to help with my tuition, but I could live with them and had a car that I could use to get around.  The job didn't start until noon when their five year old got home from school which meant I could take classes in the morning.  Call it Serendipity, call it fate, or call it God a door was closed, but another one was opened.  I know it was meant to be!  To be honest, I was actually unhappy with living in Utah.  I missed the ocean and I missed the green.  Portland was perfect!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Weekend in December "Sunday Snapshot"







Tomorrow is the the beginning of Advent.
You seriously need to make these brownies! They are to die for! I am not joking!
We made cookies for the neighbors! 
 I should have shared the brownies,
but they were so awesome we ate them all.
Haven't caught the Christmas spirit yet?
You will after you download this free Christmas music!
Hope you are having a great weekend!
Now it is off to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas.