Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I think we'll all agree that 2008 was a hard year for most everyone in one way or another. I am personally so glad to see 2008 come to an end! There is something wonderful about starting a new year. A new year filled with so many hopes, dreams, plans and a fresh start for us all!

Once I put the Christmas decor away I decided I wanted a little fresh winter decor to enjoy until February.

My pretty Evian bottle I bought in the Target Christmas section.

A tea cup filled with ice skates

Although here in Ga we rarely have any kind of winter wonderland, these items all make me think of snow and the calm beauty that it brings.

Happy New Year to you all and may God bless you in 2009!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Sweet Girl's Christmas

My Sweet Girl has this Nativity in her room and she lines all the people and animals up and plays with it.

Her Christmas tree we leave up all year.

Some of my favorite ornaments...


Friday, December 19, 2008

Joy to the world!

Here are a few Christmas shots from around my house.

Edited to add: If you haven't already, check out Kimba's post today "Being real". It really hit home with me!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Apple Dip

I promise the remainder of my house decorations are on their way. Yesterday I spent most of the day getting Christmas cards ready to mail and making my grocery lists and checking them twice. I shopped Walmart and Aldi and bought enough to get me through till after Christmas. Today it's off to work, then a haircut and the list goes on and on...

If you are looking for an easy recipe to make this Christmas you may want to try this recipe for apple dip.

Apple Dip

1 pckge cream cheese (leave out to soften)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 package Heath Bar Bits 'o Brickle

Mix all ingredients in small bowl and refrigerate.

Cut Granny Smith and Rome apples (or whatever you have and prefer) into wedges and soak in Pineapple Juice.

Very easy, very yummy!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christina's Christmas Decorations Part Two

Come on in. Chloe and I have baked some cookies.

Until today our Santa mug was filled with cough drops.

We have a very traditional tree with tons of ornaments. Lots of snowmen, homemade things, gold bows, plaid bows and poinsettias that are so old that they lose flowers every year.

I hope to paint the wooden tree at some point, but here is what our mantel looks like.

Hope you enjoyed your visit. We are also participating in Kimba's Holiday Open House and Rhoda's Deck the Halls tour today. If you came by to visit us from either of these lovely blogs--Welcome.

For more holiday:
go here for Christina's decorations part one
go here for Victoria's Santa post
go here to check out Vic's adorable snowmen
go here for a little touch of Christmas and a yummy recipe
go here for some easy recipes get supper on the table quickly during this busy season.

Come and see us again soon. Victoria is working on a post to show us all of her lovely decorations. I hope (hint, hint) that she will show us her sweet girl's pink Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Virtual Cookie Swap

This weekend Cottage Magpie is having a virtual cookie swap. It just so happens to coincide with Victoria's annual cookie swap, which I'm sure she will share pictures of this week.

For all of you ladies, enjoy a virtual bite of a Berry Sage Thumbprint. I found this recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens December 2001 issue. We have made multiple batches every year since. My hubby just loves these cookies.

Berry Sage Thumbprints

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow corn meal
1 1/2 tsp. dried sage, crushed (mine is a powder)
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup blackberry preserves

preheat oven to 350 degrees

combine flour, cornmeal, sage and baking powder. Set aside.

Beat butter for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat until combined, scraping sides occasionally. Beat in egg yolks, lemon peel, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour.

Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly press the tip of your thumb into the center of each ball. Fill the centers with about 1/4 tsp. of the blackberry preserves. bake about 10 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool completely. Makes about 60.
From Better Homes and Garden's December 2001

Oh, so yummy. Hope you enjoyed your virtual taste and hope you will make them for your family this Christmas season.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Christina's Christmas Decorations (Part One)

Slowly but surely we are getting our decorating done. After fighting with my "pre-lit" (yes it is in quotations on purpose) tree today, I really wanted to cancel all decorating. So for part one I am sharing a few things that we have mostly done.

At Thanksgiving I was talking to my sister-in-law about the Jesus tree that we decorate each year as part of our Christmas traditions. I thought it might be fun to share it here for her and anyone else who might be interested.

When the kids were younger we felt that we needed to add some more things into our yearly traditions to help us be more focused on the reason that our family celebrates Christmas. There are various ideas on the web and this is what we came up with.

Here are some things that are portrayed on our tree. We mostly use things we have or make. I think that the finding and using things that are around the house helps to get them thinking.

Here is a list of the things that we have on the tree this year.
Lion of Judah (plastic toy lion)
Lamb of God (plastic toy lamb)
My strong rock (a rock)
Bright Morning Star (old mini tree topper found at garage sale)
Righteous Branch (Jesus)
King of Kings (made crown w/glitter)
Light of the World (chandelier bulb w/ribbon-may not be appropriate for very young children)
My hope (word found at Michaels)
My lamp (a Coleman lantern key chain)
Good Shepherd (shepherds crook made out of clay)
My Shield (lego knight's kingdom shield)
Sun of righteousness (made of paper)
Alpha and Omega (made w/paper and glitter)
Pearls for Pearl of great price (dress up necklace)
added this year:
Strong tower (chess piece)
Bread of Life (made of clay)
Some of the ornaments haven't made it out of their tubs yet this year. We also have small nativity ornaments on this tree and really the kids are welcome to put anything that they can think of and we have had various thing come and go over the years.

Our Nativity (Fontanini)

My cake plate.

A sneak peak at part 2.

Stay tuned for more holiday cheer.

For more holiday:
go here for Victoria's Santa post
go here to check out Vic's adorable snowmen
go here for a little touch of Christmas and a yummy recipe
go here for some easy recipes get supper on the table quickly during this busy season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Old Saint Nick

Growing up we never believed in Santa. We knew of the legend but we never believed he was real or brought our presents. Dad would say "Ho ho ho and a Merry Christmas" in a deep voice and some of our presents over the years were from "Santa" (aka Mom & Dad) but overall it was just never a big deal. Christmas was still a magical experience and we were always so excited to see what Mom and Dad had gotten us.

My husband and I have chosen to carry on the tradition of gifts being from us rather than the jolly old man in the red suit (that Sweet Girl is deathly afraid of) but I do love the look of a vintage Santa and pick them up whenever I come across them at yard sales.

I don't even know where these mugs came from except for the little one that I bought last weekend for a dollar.

These snowglobes came from the Goodwill last year. I believe they were 55 cents each and were too cute to pass up.

Love this old pop-up book I found for 25 cents.

Some of the pop-ups are broken but Sweet Girl and I had fun going through the book and seeing the ones that were not. For instance, this chimney scene where Santa is fixing to go up the chimney...

pull the tab and voila...he is up the chimney!