Thursday, December 23, 2021

Last Minute Dessert Idea


Peppermint Dessert

Hi ladies!  Just dropping in again really quick to give you a dessert idea if you need something last minute and is quick and easy to put together.  Literally, this takes about 10-15 minutes of your time and we think it's very good.   Here it goes!


First, I'll need to tell you that this calls for a 9 x 13 pan and you make your own crust.  But I always make it into 2 ready-made crusts, so I'm going to give this recipe the way I do it (you can certainly do your own crust).

*Two, ready-made Oreo pie crusts (or you could do two ready-made graham cracker crusts)

*The filling:  Whip 1 pint of whipping cream until stiff peaks (do not use Cool Whip), add 1 package of mini-marshmallows, and 9 crushed candy canes (I also add a bit of red food coloring to make it pinker) and mix until everything is incorporated.

*Pour into ready-made crusts and refrigerate overnight.  As you can see, because I used the Oreo crusts, I drizzled a bit of chocolate sauce on top (actually it looks like I did a bit more than a drizzle).  ; )

And........that is it!!!!  I hope you can give it a try


Monday, December 20, 2021

Two Quick and Easy Gift Ideas


This is a sign our son made when he was about 9 years old.  Just out of plain cardboard and a set of lights.  He cut out holes and poked the string of lights through.  We just plug it in every year!  : )

On Saturday I wanted ideas on a couple of last-minute gifts.   I also kind of wanted them to be something that I could make (other than food).  Well.........on Saturday morning, I noticed an ad that popped up in my e-mail and it was from a mail-order company that I have shopped from before.  Usually I just delete the ads or just don't take the time to open them but on Saturday I did.  And THAT is where I got the two ideas I needed!!!!  In their ad, these two ideas were very expensive but I loved the concept and just knew they were something I could easily do here at home.  The two ideas are:

*The Twelve Teas of Christmas - the concept is that for the 12 days of Christmas the recipient would open a little box that has a teabag inside - one for each day.  I could do this!!!!  And do you want to know what is even more amazing?  I had exactly 12 different kinds of tea in my tea drawer!!!!

Now, before I go any further, I want to tell you that I pray about this kind of thing.  I REALLY do!  Every morning I ask the Lord to give me ideas on how I can be a blessing to someone.  There is NO way that I could have thought of this idea on my own.  From not opening those ad e-mails at all to opening that specific one on Saturday is a Christmas miracle.  : )  

This is how I made this gift - Instead of small boxes I took 12 small envelopes and decorated them.  I had a lot of Christmas stickers left along with pretty washi tape and snowflake stamps and just had fun being creative to make them look pretty on the outside.  I then slipped one tea bag into each envelope and then I also added a Bible verse written on 12 notecards and slipped one notecard into each envelope as well.  They all fit into a pretty Christmas tin and I was able to present this little gift this morning.

SO much fun to do!!!!!!!!!  I really want to remember this idea for next year.  : )

*The Twelve Candles of Christmas - I don't think I will do this one this year (because I really don't have anyone to give this to at this time) but, again, I think it's an exceptional idea!  In the catalog, this particular gift box was very expensive so I knew that this is something I could do very inexpensively.  The concept for this gift is that you buy one pretty little votive candle holder and then buy 12 differently scented votive candles - one for each of the 12 days of Christmas.  You then buy a pretty gift box to put them in and what a wonderful gift!  Think of how inexpensive votive candles are and the gift boxes at the $ store are beautiful.  What a wonderful presentation!  I would love to receive a gift like this.  I am SO going to do this next year (Lord willing).

That's it!!  I just wanted to give these ideas to you just in case you still have one or two people on your list that you want to do a little something for and there is still some time left in which to do them!  : )

And........just a bit more Christmas:

a bit of our backyard - the snow melted last week - we got some more - getting more tomorrow!

another puzzle done and framed

and another.

handmade ornament from an old friend

God bless.  Have a wonderful week ahead!


Friday, December 17, 2021

One More Week to Go!


A vintage ornament given to us by my husband's mother.

It's kind of been a week of emotions.  I think that's pretty normal for Christmas.  Even with very little things I found myself tearing up.  My husband's 75th birthday (there is a big age difference between the two of us) started this week and thinking how much time has gone by.  Looking at old photos sure didn't help much!!!!  I should have NEVER done that.  But I did and I walked down memory lane.  Oh boy, the Lord brought us through some tough times.  Grateful for that.  It was kind of a birthday WEEK which was nice for him.  I asked people to send cards so they streamed in throughout the week.  Our son had us over for a celebration last Sunday and that was fun.  A few people from church surprised him with a cake and card.  Very thoughtful.  He and I went to Red Lobster today for lunch (his favorite place).  So, I think all in all it was good for him, but I could tell there was a bit of sadness in him as well.  It really is kind of a milestone birthday and I think he was walking down memory lane as well.  

Then we had such odd weather in the middle of the week.  Starting out with cold weather after the snow last weekend and then by Wednesday being in a Tornado Watch area with temperatures close to 60 degrees (in December?).  And then waking up on Thursday morning to snow again.  Seriously strange.

Last week, after I posted on Saturday, my husband told me about the tornadoes in Kentucky so I didn't know at the time what had happened or I would have mentioned it.  My heart goes out to them and prayers are lifted up for them as well.  It made me think of how I would feel in losing everything and how it would be to literally start all over again.  I've heard stories of great faith and that when they found a loved one who had died, they KNEW the loved one was with Jesus which, even in their sadness and loss, brought them great comfort and joy.  We can lose everything, but in Jesus we have everything.

I've been thinking about losses and provision lately.   Just in the past 5 or so years, we have experienced loss in many ways.  Difficult family dynamics, death of loved ones, parting friendships.  But the Lord, in His Love, provided new people to come along beside us to fill in those lonely places.  God knows what we need and He knows who we need and at just the right time and we are extremely grateful for that.

We went to our small group at church tonight and studied Isaiah 9:1-7.  The prophecy of Jesus coming in to the world at just the right time.  Again, God's timing is perfect.  Jesus is our "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace".   Isn't it wonderful that we get to celebrate that next week?!

Because I'm ready for Christmas (except for the timing of who is coming over when), it's been a rather quiet, calm week.  And that was very nice.  I made candy and cookies and that is that.  In all honesty, I'm actually quite tired of sweets already!!!  We've had a tray of candies and cookies on our table for a couple of weeks now and I just can't eat much of it anymore.  I guess that is a good thing!!! : )  So, I've been taking plates of goodies just about every where we go so I can give them to others and get them out of the house.  LOL

So.......this post isn't anything wonderful and exciting but I thought, once again, that I'd drop in and give you what I have.  I'm sure next week will be on the busier side with more of the cooking to be done for the holiday meals.  Maybe I can share a recipe or two.  

A few more photos before I end:

Our new ornament this year.  Good old Charlie Brown.  : )

Cutie snowman.  They all just make my day.

I found this old world Santa (St Nick) at a thrift store a few years ago.

Our miniscule "village" - just a house and church and a few people.  I keep thinking of adding to it but it would just be more to try to store - so I'm happy with what we have.  : )

That's it for tonight.  May God bless each of you as you go through this weekend and begin to plan for the next week.  Thank you so much for spending a little of your time with me.  I appreciate you so much.  Hopefully I'll "see" you next week!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2021

The First Full Week of December


Our first significant snowfall.  : )

Fortunately for us, we didn't have anything going on yesterday so we were able to just stay in our house and watch the beautiful snow.  UNfortunately, it's going to be around 50 degrees by next Wednesday so pretty much all of this will be gone!  : (   Oh well. We'll enjoy it while it's here.  Now for the shoveling out!  THAT part isn't so enjoyable!!!

Well, again, I just wanted to pop in and say "hello" to all of you and just take a look back on the week.  It was kind of a busy week for us.  Others would say it was nothing compared to what their week was, but for us it was enough.  There were the dailies that always need to be done.  There were Christmas programs to go to (and help with) and a Celebration of Life service (funeral) to go to and lunch with our son.  Each thing we do and go to and help with is meaningful to us.

I had a revelation yesterday - again, nothing significant but was interesting to me and I knew immediately that the Lord is helping me this Christmas.  It came to me when I had the feeling of not being scattered in my "doings" for Christmas.  This is the very first year where I have done one thing at a time instead of trying to do everything at once.  God has definitely been in the details.

*First, a couple of weeks ago we took out all the decorations (inside and out) and put them up.   We didn't do anything else until everything was in place.  That is different for me because I tend to just randomly grab a decoration and put it somewhere and then have to change it later which means I have to change another thing because of always changing my mind.  What I did differently is that when we took the decorations out, I set up a couple of long tables in a room and set everything out on them according to what they were - snowmen, Santa's, manger scenes, holiday village sets, etc.........and that way I could see everything we had and "shopped" from those tables.  And then I decorated one room at a time.  I did the living/dining area first, the kitchen next, the bathroom, the bedroom, and the basement last.  We did the same outside - we took all the "light-ups" down and put them on the patio and then decided where everything would go instead of just trying them in different spots.  This worked out SO well and saved so many steps it was amazing to me.  : )

*After the decorating was done, it was then that I took care of all the presents (buying and wrapping).  I forgot how much time it takes just to wrap everything!!!!  But they were (are) done and under the tree.  I don't have to think about it anymore.

*On to the next thing.  The family/friends Christmas cards and the Christmas letters to the elderly.  This is what I did yesterday while it was snowing outside!  This, too, is now finished.

*Beginning today is when I will concentrate on cookies and candy and work on this throughout the upcoming week.  

This is the difference for me - usually I am a bit scattered.  I will decorate a little and then bake a little and then work on a few cards and then get back to decorating and then wrap a little and so on.............

Working on one thing at time until it's done before moving on to the next has made this Christmas so enjoyable - more so than ever before and I will definitely not take credit for it.  I truly believe the Lord directs our steps in everything and He knew that this would work for me and I consider that a great blessing from Him.  VERY thankful!!!!  Because in the past I stressed out about not being able to get it all done or having the energy to do it all or even the motivation.  Again, I always felt scattered and overwhelmed.  I'm the kind of person that wants it all to be nice for others.  I love it too, but I want others to feel good and comfortable and cozy.   So.........praise the Lord!!!  : )

Before ending, I just wanted to mention that I've been seeing a couple of blogposts where they are, in a way, upset with those of us who don't talk about what's been going on in the world and our country as though we don't care and are choosing instead to talk about the homey things as though all the awful and difficult things around us don't matter.  I think we always need to be careful with that.  In past posts I have given my "homemaker's thoughts" on a lot of things that have happened, but there are times when I choose not to as well.  And it's not because I don't care anymore.  We cannot say, because we do not know, how the news of this world and country is affecting others because in the privacy of our own homes we weep and pray over all of this.  It's just not seen (or written about).  I mourn about the state of our country - the shootings, the evil, the injustice.......but........there is absolutely nothing I can do about it but bring it to the Lord.  We have to stop shouldering things that were meant for the Lord.  If we believe that He is in control and that He is Sovereign over all, then we have to step back and let Him take all the wickedness we see and trust that He will take care of it!!!!  

Maybe for some right now, the above things that I had mentioned above seem meaningless.  But I know that Christmas is about God sending to us His Son - our Savior, THE Savior of the world and that it is what we are celebrating.  But.......God also cares that we are trying to do our best in the little things too.  The families and friends and other people in our lives are important to us and are important to Him too.  He truly is in all the details.  I honestly think that he delights in it.  So, we do what we can and we care deeply, and we pray whole-heartedly and we give it to Him.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  God bless you today and the upcoming week!!!!!
Sent with love.  : )

Saturday, December 4, 2021

December is Here (Just in Case You Didn't Know)


From our house to yours.  : )

I just wanted to pop in for a bit and say "hello" to all of you.  It seems like, since Thanksgiving, it has been non-stop decorating, shopping, and wrapping gifts!  Which IS a good thing.  Usually I don't get this much done so early so it's been a pleasant go of it.  I can actually say that I'm done.  I think I have mentioned this in past Christmas posts but when purchasing gifts and other Christmas items, I get to a point where I just feel (know) that enough is enough.  That I need to stop and now enjoy.  It happens all the time and I'm very grateful for that.  And, early in the week, I got that feeling.  Now I can just keep up with the daily housekeeping and get into the kitchen for the holiday baking.  

I always have to bake sugar cookie cutouts - I can't imagine Christmas without all those stars, bells, trees, Santas............  I don't make gingerbread men but I do bake Molasses cookies - they make the house smell SO good.  In the good ole days, we used to go and look at the Christmas display in a department store downtown and at the end, they would always bake Molasses cookies and people couldn't help but purchase them because they smelled wonderful and made it feel like Christmas.  So, I try to emulate that in our home too.  It's what I have in the oven when anyone comes over - nothing like it and they taste amazing.  : )  I make my mother-in-law's candy too - it's quite time consuming but it reminds us of her and how she used to make a big batch so that all of us had a tin to take home.  My husband does his Chex Mix throughout the month - some for us, but mostly for giving.  I've read that husbands almost always feel out of place at Christmas because the wife does most of the getting the house ready for Christmas so whenever a wife can find something meaningful for him to do it means a lot.  Around here, my husband is in charge of the outdoor decorations and his Chex Mix!!!!  : )

I'm looking through a lot of my Christmas recipe books and want to try some new recipes this month.  I treated myself to a new cookbook yesterday and the recipes sound great and they are do-able.  You know how you have a cookbook and it has all those recipes that you just know you won't even get around to?  I used to have those and gave them away.  I know myself - if it's too complicated, I won't go there.  But these actually sound great so I'm hoping I will be able to try a few.  : )

When we were taking the boxes down last weekend, I couldn't wait to get to the box with the books!  I am beginning to read all the Christmas books that I love.  There is something about sitting down with a good Christmas read, a cup of hot something, in a rocking chair...........such a calming affect.

I also wanted to remind you of my "Christmas by the Book" series I wrote last December if you want to go and check that out.  I, myself, re-read it and was reminded of how important it is to keep Christmas simple and beautiful and meaningful and cozy.  It reminded me that I don't have to do it all - if something doesn't get done or baked, it's going to be okay.  It reminded me that this is about the Lord Jesus and how thankful we are for God's plan of salvation through Him.  It's about loving others.  

That's it!  Just quickly dropping in and hoping that through December I will drop in on a weekly basis to see how you are doing and letting you know what's going on at this end!  : )  Before I let you go, I'll share a few more simple decorating photos (nothing amazing, just us):

the reason for the season - my mother-in-law gave this to us a long time ago and we cherish it


by the front door

just a small little scene

to say I love snowmen is a total understatement  - SO cute!

on the coffee table

I won't bore you with any more!!!  LOL  

I hope to be with you again next week.  God bless your day and upcoming weekend.  Thank you for stopping by.