Tuesday, December 28, 2010

White Christmas!

Grandbaby's first Christmas was a white Christmas!

Snow Cones

 New bird feeder works great!

Never too old for Mr. Potato Head or Elmo!

 Why is it they only want to play with the packaging - never the toy?

Peek a boo!

Beautiful snow.

This is the first time in over 60 years NC had a white Christmas.  We got 10 inches where we live.  It is so pretty.  The weather has been sooo cold, 18 degrees when I got up this morning.  Of course in typical NC fashion it is supposed to be 60 degrees on Saturday - go figure.  We had a wonderful Christmas.  Very busy and crazy at times but wonderful.  Grandbaby's first Christmas was almost overwhelming.  Too much, too fast, enough to wear a little one out (and the big ones too).  Being with family was the best part.  Having everyone together laughing, teasing, fussing, eating, opening gifts - the works.  It was so much fun.  I wish we could have those times more than just once a year.  Maybe with the new year we can try to do that.  I would love to have family gatherings more often without any purpose other than to be together. 

I am on vacation this week with lots of plans to do things around the house.  The list is pretty long.  So far all I have accomplished is watching a few movies and knitting.  That wasn't really on the list but it works for me.  Maybe today will be more productive.  I'll let you know about my progress. 

Hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas.  Make the most out of the next few days and make plans for the best new year. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Luke 2:8-20

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Almost here

Can you believe it - Christmas is almost here.  I love this time of year and the excitement that builds as the day approaches.  I love that I am on vacation until next year!  I love peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and coffee for breakfast.  I love surprises and small heartfelt presents.  I love family gatherings and sharing laughs.  I love neighbors and friends smiling and exchanging baked goodies.  I love the excitement that little kids have and how they could almost burst at the mere thought that Santa is on his way.  I love Christmas music and lights. I love the glittering of the Christmas tree at night. 

I love that no matter what our worries and troubles are they seem a little lighter this time of year.  The worries aren't gone, trust me mine are still here, but I think the anticipation of Christmas and all that it holds makes our load a little lighter in some small way.  There is a hope beyond our belief.  There is a peace that dwells within us. There is a great love that is more than we can ever imagine.  There is Christmas.

I hope as the day approaches you find hope, peace and love in all that you see and do.  I hope we all remember what Christmas really is and can enjoy it for all that it can be. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting Ready

Sleeting and snowing.

Goodies all around.

Presents being crafted.

Some presents are done.

Candies cooling on the table.

Christmas will be here before we know it.  I'm getting ready - are you?  Our weather is crazy as usual.  We've had the coldest December in history here in NC.  We have had 4 "snow events" this month alone.  That's just not heard of in these parts.  I have been busy getting things together and trying to get some presents finished up.  I'm not in panic mode (yet).  I know what I have to do and what is left to get.  I just need the time do it all.

This afternoon we will be enjoying our neighborhood Christmas party.  Should be a ton of fun because we have the best neighbors.  I can't wait to try all the goodies.  Oh that reminds me - the candies in the picture above are chocolate covered peanuts - one of my favorites.  The recipe is crazy simple and you make them in the crock pot.  You've got to give it a try.

Chocolate Covered Peanuts

2 - 16 oz jars lightly salted dry roasted peanuts
8 blocks white bark (found in the baking isle)
1 - 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1 - 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips

In crock pot:

Pour peanuts into crock-pot making a little well in the center.
Pour chocolate chips in center.
Place white bark on top of chocolate chips.
**Do not let any chocolate touch the sides or bottom of the crock-pot

Cook on LOW for 1 1/4 hours until chocolate begins to melt.

Stir well to coat peanuts. Spoon onto waxed paper in the size you want the peanut clusters to be. They will harden in about an hour. Can put on cookie sheets and place in refrigerator to speed up the hardening process.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sweet Santas

Oh how I love Santa Claus!   I do!  I have several Santa's throughout  the house and I thought I would share just a few of my favorites.  The one above is a gourd that my mom painted several years ago.  It is my favorite Santa.  It is a little piece of my mom that I can have every Christmas and it is so special to me.  I love the details that she painted and how loving he looks.  

This Santa is from my favorite Aunt.  It is a pill bottle that she painted.  She is also a detail painter and I love his eyes.  (Sorry the picture isn't that great.  My photography skills aren't up to par this morning.)

This is another Santa my Auntie J painted on a wine cork.  Isn't he cool.  I love his sweet face and he looks so happy.

This Santa I have had for a long time.  A lady at my church made him and I had to have him.  He sits in a chair with his friend and patiently waits for the big day. 

These are just a few of my Santas, but special ones.  I love that they were made by very special people in my life and they are treasures.   That is one of the reasons I love this time of year - memories and sharing. 

I hope you have special people and wonderful treasures that make your Christmas beautiful.  Make the most of what is left of the weekend.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Catching Up

So a lot happened while I was away from blog land.  I am going to use this post to kind of catch you up on what I've been up to. 

I participated in our church's 1st real craft show.  It was great!!!  I made candy arrangements and they were a hit.  I love making these things.  Kind of like flower arrangements, but with candy.  Folks really seem to like them.  I was very pleased with how many I sold and the number of orders I got.  The candy Christmas trees were a big hit.  I even made topiaries with dumb dumb suckers and they turned out nice.  I wish I had pictures of everything to share with you - sorry.

Another BIG thing that happened was Hubby and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.  Isn't that awesome!!!  That's a mighty long time to put up with someone.  There is no doubt in my mind that man loves me.  It has been an amazing 25 years and I can only hope the next 25 are even better.  There is a lot to be said for marrying your soul mate.   He really is the love of my life.

Thanksgiving came and we had all of my family over.  It was so nice. We enjoyed each other and had too much to eat.  I love those family times.

Well I know that was a quick update but I think I hit the really big things that happened on my time away.  I did miss you all and hope to be able to start back to my regular posts.  I do have some new things to show you that I have made recently and so many things to tell you.  Thank you again for checking in on me and know how much I appreciate you time.

Talk to you soon!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Major Award

I'm still here.  I hope you haven't given up on me.  I've been plowing through a rough patch but can see a clearing just ahead.  I have so much to tell you.  I'll start with a post I drafted a couple of weeks ago and will work really hard to get you up to date on things over the next few days.

I am so excited to announce that Hubby won 2nd place for his Cream Ale in the Piedmont Brewers Cup home brew competition!!!  Ain't that crazy!?!  (Yes I used the word ain't.)  I don't really understand everything about it but I will tell you what I think I know. Home brewers can send in their best beers to compete with other brewers from 5 states, NC, SC, TN, GA, and VA (I think).  There were 19 flights (categories) and a best in show.  Hubby submitted 4 of his brews.  He was SHOCKED when they called his name for 2nd place for his Cream Ale.  He didn't expect to place at all.  I am so proud of him.  He now knows that he really is good at this brewing thing.  The Cream Ale is the lightest beer he makes and is a great summer time beer.  It's what they call a lawn mower beer.  You know - you've been out in the yard all day, it's hot and you just want to drink a beer and cool off - this is the beer.  I'm not sure what it would compare to in retail beer.  Really home brew just doesn't compare to retail beer - it's so much better.  The judging was held at a new local brewery called Roth Brewing Company.  These boys have got it going on.  We ventured out there to try some of their beer and to check out what the competition was like.  Let me just say Hubby was in heaven.  He was thrilled to be at the brewery and checked it all out.  The guys there are awesome.  We walked in to the tap room and were immediately greeted by Eric, the head brew master.  He made us feel right at home.  They had 3 beers on tap and they were all GREAT!!  I think our favorite though was the cinnamon porter.  This is an awesome beer that we will definitely go back to have more.  I even asked for the recipe which Hubby told me was not proper in brew world.  I told him I thought it was a compliment.  Usually if I cook something and am asked for the recipe I take that as a complement.  Hubby said it was different (I guess it's a brewer thing).  

So now we address Hubby as "Awarding Winning Brew Master", he's not just a brew master anymore.