I like knowing that what we choose to do with each day, how we act or react is a choice.
What a blessing the ability to choose is.
I came across this picture I took a couple of summers ago and I thought I'd make myself a little reminder.
I am grateful for the choices that lay before me each day.
Today I choose........
I strongly believe that traditions are one thing that help bind a family together.
They are something to look forward to.
And something to look back on fondly.
Yep, I love'em!
I celebrated my birthday this past weekend and according to my 4 year old I am now 80 years old.
Because I'm, "Really, really, really old." as she so kindly put it.
I'm choosing to take it as a compliment because I think she means I have a lot of wisdom and experience;-).
When I was young my mom started a tradition of giving me a Christmas ornament on my birthday.
When I was little she'd put them on my birthday cake. My 5th birthday was amazing, she had a bunch of ice skating and sledding figurines and she made my cake look like an ice skating rink and a snowy hill. All edible of course. (I'll have to dig out the picture and scan it -- she's amazing).
My husband and children have continued this tradition....well they pick me out new ornaments, they don't put them on a cake however. That's okay with me.
I love how they (the kids) pick ones out that they like and it usually applies to what they're into at the time.
My youngest picked out the little Snowman baby pictured above.
We also have a tradition of getting a Christmas ornament when we travel places.
I have a set of Wedgwood Nativity Ornaments that we purchased at the Wedgwood Factory in Stoke On Trent England.
This summer we picked up a carved wooden whale in Friday Harbor Washington.
It makes decorating the tree so much fun.
As we pull each ornament out of the box we get to smile and remember what we were doing when we got that particular ornament.
It's one of the things that makes this season enchanting to me.
So we decorated our tree last night.
Every Monday night is Family Night (another tradition I guess you could say)
We have a lot of fun at family night.
Seriously never a dull moment at our house on Monday evening
Start with a prayer
show and tell
Even our teenagers look forward to it.....I think.....
Everyone gets to take turns being in charge of a different part of the evening.
Lately we've been on a Simon Says for game kick.
Yeah, the teenagers don't like this so much.
The elementary age kids think it's hilarious to make us do funny things.
"Simon says, stand on one foot, pat your head, rub your belly, stick out your tongue and sing the ABC's"
When the teenagers complain we had to remind them that, once upon a time, when Grandma and Grandpa joined us for family night they had them dancing around the room like octopi.
Funny how they tend to forget things like that.
We did have to tell the younger kids that Simon Says it about trying to trick people to get them out not to make them look foolish for your enjoyment.
We all ended up laughing anyway.
I was on treat last night.
It was a hit, if I do say so myself.
This recipe comes from another Sister-In-Law (I have 10).
It's so simple and delicious and perfect for holiday get-togethers.
I thought I'd share.
Creamy Carmel Fruit Dip
8 ounces Cream Cheese softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream together and serve with fruit.
Apples are my favorite.
It's never too late to start a tradition!
P.S. I have a couple more holiday traditions I'll be sharing over the next couple of days.
What are some of yours?
This time I learned that you shouldn't spray paint when it's colder than the recommended temperature.
The cold also does weird things to the paint.
Good to know, right?
Okay so this little wooden "vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true"(name that movie!)
Is my favorite. Here's what I did.
First I did a coat of red spray paint, then I did a couple of coats of metallic Carmel latte, then I sanded it down in spots so the red would show through and the wood, then I went over it with walnut stain finally I wiped the stain off and let it dry.
It turned out to be one of my favorites!
This red "flagon" (know the movie yet?) I wanted the wood grain to show through so I did two very light coats of red spray paint and then went over it with the stain as well.
I wanted the grain to show through so I could have it match this.
This.....is what we lovingly call, "the red thing" and was purchased as one of the best deals of my life.
Someday I'm afraid I'll grow tired of the red but for know I love it!
It stands proudly in our entrance way and as you can see it's a great place to drop keys and mail as you come through the door.
I'm in the process of switching out shelf decor so it looks a little hap-hazard in the pic.
Anyway, I wanted the red flagon to match this so I could bring a little more of the red into the living room.
Here's my green one. I used the same green enamel I used on this project and it had the hardest time going on in the cold. Plus it took For-ev-er! to dry.
I glued the candlestick on upside down on this one and I"m wishing that I hadn't.
To save a life the doctors are
giving my father poison.
It sounds wrong.
I pray it's right.
But that's what they do when your
body is full of things that shouldn't be there. Things that they don't know how
or why, exactly, started growing. They just did.
It feels wrong to set and watch
your father's face grow paler by the second as the poison slowly drips through
the tube, through the needle and into his vein.
It is wrong.
But I pray that it will become
He was the first man in my life.
I adore him.
He is strong, resourceful, patient,
loving, thoughtful, honest, handsome, intimidating (at times, if he needs to
be), courageous, peaceful, smart, fun, funny, studious, kind, doting, clean,
And he's sick.
I'd rather it be me.
He's glad it's him. That's just how
I've wondered if it's easier to
loose your hair when you don't have much.
He claims that it will be, with a
smile and twinkle in his eye.
From where I stand he's facing this
challenge much the same as I'm sure he has all of the challenges of his life.
With quiet resolute strength.
I haven't heard him ask why. May be
Without a doubt I have.
In my minds eye I see him 34 years
ago, black wavy hair and gray blue eyes opening the door for me to climb into
our old red Volkswagen.
It was a Saturday and we were going
to put gas in the car. Somehow I talked him into taking me to the toy store. I
walked out of the store with a new dress for my Barbie doll, it was pink and
lace and he thought it was just as beautiful as I did.
Then it was off to the gas station.
A trip to the gas station wasn't complete without a bottle of orange soda pop and some crackers.
Arms full of treats and Barbie
dresses I remember setting next to him and looking up in awe at how handsome he
was. I told him thank you and how much I loved him.
I remember I was sure he didn't
understand exactly how much I loved him because I didn't know the words or how
to arrange those words so he could understand.
Now here I am three decades later
and I feel the same way. I haven't learned the right words to properly express
my love, adoration, appreciation and gratitude in a way that truly
encompasses my feelings about and for my father.
His life has been spent in service
to his family, his neighbors and his country. It has given him understanding
that is spoken in the kind depths of his eyes and the soft curve of a smile
that never completely leaves his face.
Time and experience have made my
dad even more handsome than he was when I was 3 or even when he was 30.
When the air is crisp with change and as sharp as the crunch of the fallen leaf under foot.
I love this time of year.
I love walking in the door and having the warm smell of homemade apple sauce and spiced pumpkin tickle my nose.
I even love the uncertainty of not knowing if today will be a sweater day, a coat day or an umbrella day.
I love that this is the time of year my love and I fell in love or at least admitted that we'd fallen in love.....oh, that was scary and wonderful!
So, in honor of all of these things I love I thought I'd share a fall recipe I love.
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Not a diet food but oh so worth it.
And the thing I like most about the frosting recipe is that it's just the right amount of frosting for the cake.
I got this recipe from my sister-in-law who told me she always gets rave reviews when she makes it.
Over the years as I've made this same recipe for different functions I've found her words to be true.
I'm sure you will too.
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 2/3 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Oil
2 Cups Pumpkin (from a can)
2 Tble. Cinnamon
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
*Lightly grease and flour a large jelly roll pan. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Combine eggs, sugar and oil. Mix well.
Add pumpkin and again mix well.
Add dry ingredients that have been sifted together, mix.
Pour into baking pan and cook on center rack for 25 - 30 min. When done will spring back when lightly touched.
Let cool and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Cube Margarine or Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 oz. Cream Cheese.
Soften butter and cream cheese, beat all ingredients together to make frosting.
*If fat free cream cheese is used it will not beat into a smooth frosting. It remains lumpy.
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My Family Confections
Family is the sweet life.
Things We Never Thought We'd Say But We Have. (We meaning mostly me and my dear husband.)
If you smile a lot now, when you're old you'll look like you're smiling all the time. Even if you're not. It's really much better to have people think you're always happy than to say, "She's not mean that's just her face."
Pickles are nature's way of saying, "Enjoy a cucumber this winter."
The science fair is not called "The Evil Science Fair" for a reason. We really should avoid blowing things up. That means no dry-ice bombs even if you claim to be doing research on greenhouse gases.
Mold doesn't grow that fast! If it did we'd all be covered in it and/or be dead. (Said in response to a daughter thinking mold had grown on her ice-cream in less than five minutes and she was going to get sick and die from it.)
Lift your arms so I can hit you. (A sister said to a brother)
Don't eat the cat food.
Don't eat dog food!
Fair is fair. If you get to shoot an apple off your brother's head, he get's to shoot an apple off your head.
Take the fork out of your nose!
Bubba-nick? Do you mean Bubonic? As in Bubonic Plague?
No you won't get bubba-nick, I mean the bubonic plague.
You should name your first child Bubba-nick!
You can not get botulism from drinking out of your cup that has been setting on the counter for 2 minutes.
You don't have throat cancer.
You don't have leprosy.
It's rough when my fans don't adore me.
It's all fun and games until someone gets hypothermia.
Mountain men don't wear short shorts.
Do you REALLY HAVE to talk like Tarzan at the table?
DROP the monkey!
There IS a striking similarity between the "Cowboy" dance and the "Potty" dance. It's easy to get them confused.
How do you spell "Mohican"?
Buffalo gives me gas.
Don't gargle your jello!
We do not throw snowballs at other people's Christmas decorations.
Get off your little sister, she is not a horse!
Take your underwear out of your mouth!
No singing with your mouth full.
Just don't lick the couch. Okay?!
Don't stick your nose in your sister's mouth.
That's what happens when you stick your nose in your sister's mouth.