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October 2011
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December 2011

menu for december 2011

my daughter ashley and her two boys (my grandson's) will be visiting from the middle of december through the new year. my mother-in-law will visit for a couple days around christmas. my mom will make her annual after christmas visit. and my other daughter will be home from the air force with her hubby and daughter (my granddaughter) (although they won't be staying with us). i'm hoping for a stop-in visit from my surragote family Mel, Mark, Sidnie, Blake, and Selah.

this means food will be needed. i'm dipping into my recipe box for our meals this month. no new recipes!!!! some of my planned meals i've already catalogued here on my blog and others i find i still need to. here goes:

Roasted Chicken, Red Pepper, Pesto Fettucine (one of the boys' favorites)

Boston Butt BBQ Sandwiches

Brunswick Stew with the leftover Boston Butt; and probably homemade bread

Chicken Parmesan served with spaghetti of course. We'll probably have this when Ash is here.

Broccoli Salad. i'm planning this as a side with christmas dinner but i might have to make it twice.

Tacos - of course!

Homemade Pizza. when family is here

Barbeque Chicken Pizza. at some point i want to make this again, also

The boys have had a hankerin' for Jambalya. This will be a good Journey meal for hoosier man and the georgia boys who are all serving for the Journey (hoosier man is working traffic and the georgia boys are in the marketplace doing various jobs)

One tuesday well do Chicken Enchiladas instead of tacos. again, probably while family is here.

while my mom is here i'll make a pot of Carrot Soup with some type of grilled cheese sandwich or better yet a panini with my new panini grill (maybe i will need to make a new recipe!!!)

i'm definitely making Zesty Sausage Bundt when Ash is here. we had this last summer when she was staying here for a month or so and everyone loved it.

christmas ham using Mel's recipe. gonna have to drag it out for the ingredients. mashed potatoes. broccoli salad. sweet potato casserole. pickle tray. cranberry sauce. deviled eggs. yummy ham gravy

probably serve this up with some some grilled pork steaks: Garlic Zucchini Pasta

the cold weather has me in the mood for soups like Homemade Tomato Soup and Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (with homemade egg noodles - absolutely yum).

of course pepper pie

and we haven't had spaghetti fest in ages. might do that when mom joan is here.

some sides are Cucumbers and Onions Salad, Zesty Broccoli, Sauteed Zucchini

some grilled smoked brats and grilled hamburgers for ease.

don't have every day covered but this is a start for december. i think i'll include this list in my december daily album.




10 things i've been thinking about...

1. i heard about four minutes of a 'focus on the family' broadcast on my way home one day this past week. i heard just one simple idea how a grandparent can connect, stay connected to her grandchildren. it was in fact a call in from a grandma. she said she sent a card of hello, thinking of you every month. for years. when her grandkids grew up they really looked forward to getting those cards and letters of hello.

2. christmas music. i asked the georgia boys what christmas songs they knew. jingle bells. rudolph the red nosed reindeer...i asked them what christian christmas songs did they know...mary did you know, silent night, o holy night...ok, now we're gettin' somewhere. it made me think about all those songs we used to sing when we went carolling. i remember going carolling in oklahoma with my church ('90); our last stop was for hot chocolate, fondue, appetizers, yummies...the boys and i are ready for christmas music to be playing throughout the house.

3. cleaning my scrap table off. in fact i didn't just think about it. today i tackled it. well, almost. but the top is clean...

4. my december daily for the month of december. can't wait. really looking forward to bringing christmas into our every day.

5. redeeming the season. it's a book. when i straightened our bookshelves i found my copy. i'm gonna read it again. my thoughts are to incorporate one thing into our lives this season that redeems christmas for jesus...

6. what christmas cookies am i going to make this year. cherry walnut bars definitely. brownies. butterscotch brownies - hello! ash is coming home. mexican wedding cakes. chocolate chip (homemade, not the bought kind). pecan tarts (tassies). i would love to make filled cookies this year (those were an old favorite growing up that my mom used to make). and snickerdoodles.

7. when oh when are we going to be able to go to brewers tree farm and get our tree. with journey starting at savannah christian church and hoosier man and the georgia boys both serving from wednesday to sunday for two weeks that leaves saturday afternoon period, and not until next sunday (the 10th). yikes! we might not find a great tree then.

8. homeschooling rocks!

9. i really can't wait to decorate for christmas. i've got a bunch of lovely handmade things i've been making these last couple years and just can't wait to put them out. the beginning of this year we made a nativity scene that will find a home this glitter snowmen ornaments in a bowl...can't wait to get all my snowmen out and arrange them by color. of course.

10. swimming and desperately need to. moving more. thinking that just might be my one little word for next year...move...more

stocking stuffers

santa fills the boys' stockings each year and usually fills hoosier man's also. he's usually nice and rarely naughty. well maybe sometimes. but santa still fills his stocking.

mine remains empty. maybe this year if i am good and if i make a stocking stuffer list santa will decide to fill mine too.

american crafts precision pens for scrapbooking

Canon Battery

Stainless Steal Measuring Cups; while i do already have a set i would like another set. i can sometimes use multiple cups in one go and it would be nice to have another. set. i'm just saying.

Stain Steel Measuring Spoons

You Don't Know Jacques - O.P.I nail polish - love this color!

Teal the Cows Come Home

You're a Doll

i'd also like a 1 1/2 inch circle punch and

some of those extremely soft ankle socks. i have two of them from a couple christmas' ago and i love them - although they shed - but still love them

another leather bound journal would be nice too.

so i'm thinkin'...

that i'm going to tackle project life this coming year.

the mind behind project life is becky higgins - a long time favorite scrapbooker. my other all-time favorite scrapbooker, ali edwards does project life too. it is a great way to document everyday life and easy way with photos + words. with our busy lives that seems doable. the good part is i've already purchased a 'project life' kit from last year (or maybe it was the year before). it's outdated in terms of 'what is out there right now' for project life but it will work for me - so no new cost.

what this means: pictures everyday + journal everyday. daunting, i know. ali edwards puts her album out on the kitchen counter so she sees it everyday as a reminder. i could probably find a spot for it in the living room on a table - just for it - with pens for journaling. as that reminder.

i'll need to pull out the binder and cards associated with the project and prep it all before january - organized is best.

simple is best.

so i'm thinkin'...

maybe i could do this. 

happy thanksgiving, 1000th post, so thankful

so thankful to my Lord for:

my family

my hoosier man

my georgia boys

my girls

my grandbabies (although they aren't really babies anymore)

and even more...

His grace

His love

His blessings

His gifts

His Spirit

His sacrifice

His provisions

His armor

His hands

His salvation

His worthiness

His purity

His perfection

His kingship

His priesthood

His mightiness

His Lordship


and hoosier man if you're reading this thank you for cooking our turkey.

december daily

i've been steadily plannning my december daily album and getting into the mindset of documenting a whole month of our lives surrounding christmas. searching out ideas and inspiration on the web has been fun. i keep going back to simple is best for this season.

i found this album that i'll use to hold a month of december memories 2011.

it is a leather bound, 3-ring binder that i'll be able to use multiple size page protectors. while my primary pages will be 12x12 i got some unusual size document protectors to store my

long journalers i'll be using to handwrite our stories.

i'm using primarily ali edwards digital template collections from various packs.

i have begun putting together the base templates with paper (going simple here too using one color to flow throughout the album with patterned paper as embellishing) with some date embellishments, journal tags, and words - again keeping it simple.

this is my first year doing a december daily so simple is best. especially since we'll be surrounded by family by mid month, but that is also the reason this is an awesome year to begin a december daily.

so my plan is shaping up and i'm getting in the groove. looking forward to the documentation as well as pictures.

and hoosier man if your reading this be patient with my picture taking and - please pick up the camera too!

quiet birthday

it was this past saturday. i'm 48. gettin' up there in age. it passed uneventful. but i received some lovely gifts.

i got this. it was on my christmas list. check.

and this...

but better. because ash gave me the grill press too - for panini's. oh, yeah can't wait. mine is a pampered chef. it rocks but good.

yes! love it. a ladle you say. you betcha!

for soups

and stews

and the little catch at the end of the handle means the ladle won't slip into the soup

or stew.

so that's a check, check, check off my christmas list. not to shabby.

and if you're reading this hoosier man - you done good!

yesterday i...

worked the midnight shift

did bible study for a couple hours in zechariah 

wrote an atmospheric science chapter 5 test 

made french toast for hoosier man’s birthday breakfast 

wrapped up birthday presents 

sang happy birthday to hoosier man...celebrated his birth 

watched the delight in his eyes when he opened his gifts 

washed clothes 

put away clothes...huge milestone here 

handmade a baby gift for a neighbor who had twins 

hosted a small group low country boil 

made homemade salsa

drank coffee 

contemplated my december daily album – made a beginning

took a muscle relaxer and strong pain reliever for muscle spasms in my back...and stayed awake somehow 

watched a couple episodes of bones, season 6 with the georgia boys 

ate an awesome dinner...sneezed

more bible study in genesis

early night

pumpkin crunch custard

another small group dessert served up and everyone liked. even those who didn't like pumpkin found this to be mild in pumpkin taste; very much like a smooth custard. the crunch of the topping only heightened the yumminess.

Pumpkin Crunch Custard
For the topping:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons cold butter or margarine
1 cup chopped pecans

For the cake:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a small bowl, combine sugars for topping. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans; set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the sour cream, pumpkin and vanilla; mix well.

3. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture. Beat on low just until blended.

4. Spread the batter into a greased and floured 8x12 glass cake pan. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

garlic spaghetti

delish. i did it simple and served this recipe up with a hot brat. the spaghetti was slick and smooth and although the recipe calls for alot of garlic it was not overpowering in any way. i think this would make a nice side with a steak for an unusual twist. however served this was different and delicious and way easy to make. in fact, the boys did all the work since i'd had a muscle spasm and couldn't move very well.

Garlic Spaghetti

10 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup olive oil

5 tablespoons butter

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

In a small saucepan, cook the garlic in the olive oil for 30 minutes on low heat. Shake the pan occasionally to keep the garlic from drying out. In a medium saucepan, add the butter and tomatoes, and stir until well blended and the butter is melted. Stir in the garlic oil and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Allow the flavors to meld for 10 minutes. Toss with the spaghetti and serve.