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Christmas 2013 recap

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Well ---Christmas 2013 has come and gone.  A fun time was had by all. 
I wanted to do a quick recap of our Christmas festivities.
On Monday, Rebecca, Jacob and I baked cookies for Santa.  Rebecca helped me make the sugar cookie cutouts, and Jacob helped me make M&M cookies.  Both kids had a blast decorating the sugar cookies. 
Tuesday, Christmas Eve, Hubby had to work in the morning, but then was off from noon until Thursday morning. After he came home from work, we all got dressed up and went to my in-laws house for Christmas Eve lunch and opening presents. We had a fun time and were spoiled by my in-laws. The kids got a lot of clothes, toys and fun stuff. Bill got a brand new coat! And they bought me a beautiful Nativity set that I can't wait to put out next year.

After Christmas Eve festivities, we headed back home and arrived back in our town around 6. We stopped at McDonald's as a treat for the kids for dinner and brought it home to eat. When we arrived home, we foun…

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Gratitude Sunday #8

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Life is so precious and I have been feeling overwhelmed with everything that is going on that often I am not taking the time to be grateful for what I do have and the good things in life.

Now is the time to change that.

I hope to come back here every Sunday and tell things that I am thankful for....

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This week I am grateful for: 

CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS AT WORK

BEING ABLE TO BLESS OTHERS WITH BAKING

THAT MY CHILDREN GET IT--We gave gifts for the first time to a needy child in our church. Rebecca helped to pick out the gift. I also have been diligent about having my kids put coins in the Salvation Army's red kettles. The other day Rebecca explained it to a friend why we did that.

THAT WE FIGURED OUT WHAT HAS BEEN CAUSING BILL'S STUFFY HEAD IN THE MORNING-- apparently my hatred of dusting has led to an aller…

Christmas presents from work

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This week has been kind of a blur---as the last week before Christmas vacation usually is when you work in a school. Tuesday night, Rebecca had her school Christmas play performance and it was beautifully done. Each year the music teacher writes and directs a new Christmas play. Last year, the play was loosely based on a Harry Potter type of theme. This year, the play was centered around WWI and the fact that the soldiers stopped fighting on Christmas Day. It was called "Christmas in the Trenches." It was very well done, and Rebecca's class was the choir of children and they did a great job!

Typically there is only one day of school after the play, but this year there was 3 days of school to get through. It was a very busy 3 days, with a LOT of kids in our after school program but that is okay. Job security right?

Part of the reason for the business, was that I decided to make kolacky for my coworkers. Kolacky is a Czech cookie. The recipe I use was passed down from my G…

Cookies and Christmas Play preview

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A short sweet post today as life is crazy busy....

Made over 300 cookies with my mom on Sunday and am making more today for work....



Rebecca's school had their Christmas play last night and it was awesome as usual!


Will be back with more info about each of these hopefully tonight or tomorrow, but for now I must get cookies in the oven!

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Gratitude Sunday #7

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Life is so precious and I have been feeling overwhelmed with everything that is going on that often I am not taking the time to be grateful for what I do have and the good things in life.

Now is the time to change that.

I hope to come back here every Sunday and tell things that I am thankful for....

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This week I am grateful for: 

FOR BLESSINGS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR THAT ALLOW US TO BLESS OTHERS--This year we were able to pick a name off of our church giving tree and bless a child with a couple of gifts for Christmas. We were able to show our kids that giving back is important as we have been shared many blessings.

FOR YUMMY TREATS---On Monday, we had our rescheduled staff luncheon....and there was yummy treats (veggie pizza on crescent rolls...so yummy!) and good conversation and just a feeling of goodwill. 

FO…

Christmas Yumminess!!!

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Each year around Christmas, I start to find some of my favorite seasonal foods in the stores. Well today I thought I would share with you some of that Christmas yumminess!


I re-discovered the Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash last week and I LOVE it! It is so yummy and reminds me of Christmas.

The Hershey Kisses are their peppermint ones. OH SO GOOD!!!!

And the Clancy's dipped peppermint pretzel stars are a new find. I had to take desserts to my staff Christmas luncheon. I make pecan tarts, peanut butter cup tarts and then filled the tiers with these dipped peppermint stars and iced gingerbread cookies. Well I took the leftovers home and these pretzels are so addictive. I bought them at Aldi's on a whim and they are SO GOOD!!!

So there you have it. Just a sampling of Christmas yumminess!

Do you have any special treats you only eat around Christmas?

Christmas decorations

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Over the weekend, I was able to finish decorating the inside of our house. Really it is mainly decorating our living room.

We put the tree up on Friday.



Then Saturday I set out to put up our knicknacks and other Christmas themed items. I started working after we got our new to us furniture set up.

I made the nativity scene the focal point of our mantle, as I do every year. I would love to one day have a larger one, but the one that I have is the first one that dear Hubby and I got when we were married.


On one end of the mantle, is a lighted Christmas tree that we have never been able to use because the light was stuck in the inside. Well this will be our 10th Christmas together and this is the first year we were able to get the light out and actually use the tree. I love it, as it reminds me of one that my Grandma had at her house. Since we do not have end tables anymore, I set all of my Santas on the other end of the mantle and I love how the grouping turned out.


I also put our wreat…

New to us furniture

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A couple of months ago, Bill and I were talking and we decided that in early 2014 we were going to use some of our income tax return money to buy a new set of living room furniture as ours was showing it's age. It was Bill's before we met, and then has had to withstand kids! One of the cushions no longer zipped closed and has to be held together with safety pins, it was sagging a little, the foam cushions weren't as sturdy as they used to be, etc.

Fast forward to last week.  I received a text from my mom asking if we wanted their living room set as my parents had just bought a new set.  This question could not come at a better time. So of course I said YES!

This is what we had before: 
Well Saturday my brother loaded up the couch and love seat and brought them over to our house in his truck. And hubby and my brother took our old set out to our garage and brought the new set in.


And this is what we have now: 
We now have more seating and furniture in better condition! I thi…

Gratitude Sunday #6

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Life is so precious and I have been feeling overwhelmed with everything that is going on that often I am not taking the time to be grateful for what I do have and the good things in life.

Now is the time to change that.

I hope to come back here every Sunday and tell things that I am thankful for....

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This week I am grateful for: 

MY IN-LAWS-- They set up an activity for the kids to take part in, where they got to meet Santa and have some fun. We may not always see eye to eye and may live differently but I know that they love my kids. 

FOR THE COLLEGE GIRLS AT WORK--- Where I work, we have several work study students from a local university who work for us. They are all great to work with and a couple of them I have come to know very well over the last 2-3 years. We are getting ready to lose most of them beca…

Cakes, St. Nick, weather and putting up our Christmas tree

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So I got all 10 of my cakes baked and frosted....took 8 of them into work with me yesterday and put them in the walk in cooler in case of bad weather today. Last night I frosted the last 2. Then I made peanut butter tarts to take in to my work party today......



Well don't you know that Mother Nature had other plans. Got a text this morning at 5:40 that school was closed today, meaning staff meeting was cancelled as well. Our surprise luncheon will now take place on Monday....Got an email that said that the St. Nick dinner (were the 10 cakes needed to be) was going to be decided around 2-3pm depending on weather. Most of the day we just had light snow showers, although there was a thin layer of ice this morning, which I believe is why they cancelled school. Got the call a little after 3 that they were postponing the St. Nick dinner for a week until next Friday, so I really hope that these cakes will freeze with little problem.

So instead of working and taking cakes into work, I got…

I'll be in the kitchen....

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For the next day or so, if you need me I will be in the kitchen.....




I have 10 cakes to make for my daughter's school's St. Nick dinner Friday night. And yes I volunteered to make them out of my own free will. It is an easy way for me to get volunteer hours and I really don't mind.

AND I have to make pecan tarts and peanut butter cup tarts for a surprise work party on Friday. My boss and I are throwing a surprise Christmas lunch for our staff during our regularly scheduled in-service time. I am in charge of desserts....

Yes I know that I am insane, but that is okay I guess.

So if you need me in the meantime...I am up to my elbows in flour, sugar and butter in the kitchen!

Have you done any baking lately?

Meeting Santa 2013

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On Sunday, we had the opportunity to go to my In-laws community and to go see Santa Claus. Every year, their community hosts a get together for the kids where they can do crafts and things and then see Santa. Well this year every time slot filled up in less than 3 hours. We are fortunate that my sister in law is on the community board of directors and signed the kids up early.

You first went into a building that was all decorated for Christmas and the kids met Frosty and Rudolph.


 They were able to do crafts and get some snacks while they waited. We also took a family photo on a sled.


Then we went on a sleigh ride to the other side of the park where we were to see Santa. The kids loved riding on the horse drawn carriage sleigh.


As we were walking up to see Santa, the kids were greeted by "Scotty Pine" the talking Christmas tree. They had it set up with video and a microphone where the adult could talk to the kids and interact with them while being completely hidden from view…

Thanksgiving Recap 2013

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On Thursday, we spent Thanksgiving morning at home watching the Macy's parade on TV. The kids LOVED it this year. Jacob and Rebecca loved seeing the balloons and the different floats. Jacob keeps talking about the different floats he recognized. LOL

In the afternoon, we went to my mom and dad's house for dinner. There were 14 of us there this year...our 5, my mom, my dad, my sister and brother who are still young enough to live at home, my brother, his wife, and their 3 kids. We had a great dinner cooked by my parents with a lot of good conversation and laughs. 
We also celebrated Rebecca's 7th birthday that day, and my niece Lacie's 9th birthday which was a couple of days before Thanksgiving. I made each of them their own cake....so we had birthday cake for dessert :)

We took a lot of family photos! 
Hubby and I during dinner! I love this photo of us! 

Benjamin LOVED his food! Especially the sweet potatoes!  

Birthday cousins! 

The 4 kids...we took almost 10 pics of …