Thursday, December 31, 2009
Isn't pretty! I just love all of it. Ruth and Kathy you two are such treasures. Thank you so much! Every time I use a piece (which I have used pretty much everything already) I will think of both of you, and how you thought of me this Christmas.
Have a safe and fun New Year's eve friends! In all seriousness, if you are unable to drive please ask someone to drive you home. Your friends truly care!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Jen and I survived Haleigh's sleepover. I'm so glad that I have her in my life! Our whole crew dropped my Mom off this afternoon. Please pray that she would have a safe trip! It is a very long flight with layovers and time changes. It is pretty hard, and she is by herself. Although she has done it many times, it is exhausting!
Now on to Christmas. I woke up on Christmas day very excited. My family was coming over and we always have such a great time! We had planned out the menu. Our home was clean. The tableware was ready to be set and the candles to be lit. Then I looked out the window, and I felt like my head was going to explode! One of our neighbors had friends over the previous evening, and they had left their car parked right next to our driveway. You see they had plowed the night before, and because their car was in front of the driveway. There was a huge pile of snow in front of our driveway. Great! Just great! This was the last thing I wanted to deal with. So I quickly changed, and Brian asked what I was up to. I told him I was going to go clean up the mess. He said he would take care of it, but I knew he needed to get started on dinner. So out I went. At this point slush was falling from the sky. I decided to tackle the walk and such first, before the mountain. The snow was heavy, and I was getting drenched Brian kept telling me to come inside and get warmed up. I wasn't cold though, I was so hot! I went onto the front porch and took off my sweater and went back outside. Then I started to tackle the mountain. I was mad and cursing under my breath. Who would do such a thing?! How thoughtless and selfish! I feel like going and banging on their front door "Why don't you go and clean up the mess that you made in the front of my driveway!" Don't they know I have people coming over! I was so frustrated. It's Christmas I don't want to feel this way! I was about 2/3's of the way done when I decided I should get a drink of water. I started to head to the door. When another one of our neighbor's came out. She said "Merry Christmas, I thought I would come help you with this pile of snow." I told her don't worry about it. She insisted and I thanked her over and over. We chatted and finished tackling the mountain in no time. What a thoughtful gesture. It really helped change my attitude, and put everything in perspective.
Here are some photos of our day together.
Raspberry Royales, place one tsp. of chambord into each glass and fill with sparkling white wine. Everyone loved these!
Ron, Susie, Tyler, and Mira
Ian and Harry snuggling.
Here are the recipes if you are interested
Beef Bourguignon (This is Brian's speciality for Christmas. He doesn't use the tomato paste or the pearl onions.)
Mashed potatoes with olive oil and garlic (Barefoot in Paris, Ina Garten)
Rosemary roasted cashews
Cafe Latte's Turtle cake
Monday, December 28, 2009
The fun just keeps on going this week. Katie and are going to Haleigh's (Jen's daughter) slumber party today. She is turning 13...I can hardly believe it! Tomorrow we drop off my Mom at the airport. Then New Year's eve and most of New Year's day will be spent with the Buckman's at their home.
This week will be a recap of last weeks festivities. I hope to post lots of photos and recipes as well.
Christmas eve was a nice relaxing day for us. We were hoping to go to the Christmas eve service, but with all of the snow we got and the weather conditions we decided not to. I was a little disappointed. I love the singing and the scripture reading. The church is always decorated so beautifully. The service always ends with a candle light ceremony...it is so beautiful! It always focuses me. But alas it was not meant to be this year, and I wasn't going to let it get me down. So instead I focused on the blessing of my sweet family and how much I love them.
For dinner we had sparkling cranberry juice, potstickers, Brian made Kung Pao chicken, and for dessert we had gingerbread cookies that we had made the day before.
Katie's spiritual gift, a wild olive tee.
Katie's practical, fashion boots.
Don't forget the stockings! Ornaments, little toys, games, socks.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Our festivities start on Wednesday this year. "Uncle Shaney" and Jen will be in town, so they are coming for dinner. Thursday we will attend the Christmas Eve. service, and then have a special dinner just the four of us. Friday we are hosting my family for Christmas, and then Saturday we will be with Brian's family. Then I think we will take a long nap on Sunday.
This will be my last post for Christmas gift giving...only four days left!!! I hope these suggestions have been helpful. Here are a few last minute ideas.
1) i tunes gift card
3) gift card to a restaurant (some place local for the receiver)
4)gift card to a Bed & Breakfast (offer to watch the kids too)
5) Harry and David gourmet gifts
6) TARGET ( you can always find something for everyone there)
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I have many fond memories of my Ammachi. She lived with us for a number of years when I was young. I remember when one time the three of us girls sitting in the family room with her playing around and giggling. She was wearing white and sitting on the sofa. The sunlight filled the room with it's rays. I could feel the love she had for her eldest son's daughters. My Ammachi is a very petite woman. She is under five feet, and probably does not weigh 100 pounds. Even though she is small in stature, she is a ROCK!! I have a memory of her when she was in her seventies. We were visiting India and staying in my parent's home. The property is very lush. I tell Brian that the backyard is a jungle. It was a very hot and sunny day. I was in the backyard looking around. In the distance, I could see a small women pulling a cow through the "jungle." As she got closer, I noticed it was Ammachi! I couldn't believe that this small woman, my Ammachi was pulling this cow around the backyard! The greatest gift that she and my Appachen have given us is our Christian heritage. This is a gift that I do not take lightly. India is a Hindu nation. I am sure that my Grandparents had many hardships to overcome to bring their children up in Christ. My Ammachi is in her 90's now. She still visits the sick and prays with them. She still wakes up at the crack of dawn (literally) every day to worship and pray. She still attends church every Sunday. What an amazing faith she has. Talk about a Proverbs 31 woman! I asked my Mom if some day when she is gone if I could have her Bible. Not that I will be able to read it, but somehow having it will make me feel close to her...to feel her faith in Christ.
Thank you Ammachi for giving your family such an amazing gift. The gift of Christ's endless love for us. A gift that will pass on through the generations.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Cooks of Crocus Hill
The Red Balloon book shop
Stems and Vines
Saint Paul Cheese shop
Gold N' Treasures
Creative Kids stuff
Garden of Eden
Bread and Chocolate
Dixies on Grand
Grand ole Creamery
Salut Bar America
Click on the Grand Ave link above and click on business. You can get further information on each store there. Have fun!!!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I hope you guys are staying warm! Did I tell you that I am in the process of reviewing a cookbook? My dear friend Colleen who was one of my roommates in college asked me if I would be interested in doing so. I said I would love to (although I am a little intimidated). Her husband Nicko owns a website called cheftalk.com . The website is filled with great information for people who love to cook! There are great recipes, articles related to cooking equipment, cookbook reviews and much more. Go check it out, you will really enjoy it. I still have to finish making some of the recipes that are on my list, and then write the review. Once I'm finished I will let you know. It has been really enjoyable so far!
Now on to my indoor herb garden. I've always dreamed about having a herb garden in my kitchen. During the summer, I enjoy adding fresh herbs to dishes from our herb garden outside. Whether it's basil for a salad or mint in our iced tea, it makes my palette smile. I asked Brian if he would be able to make me a "shelf." Basically he took a piece of wood and cut it to fit over our radiator in the kitchen and stained it. We decided to try transplanting all the herbs from the garden to pots. So, Brian scrounged around for spare pots, and planted the herbs in them. They have done good so far. They don't seem to be growing, but just maintaining themselves. We did lose the large basil plant, that was the one we were worried about. I do have tarragon, sage, oregano, rosemary, and thyme though. I have put them in soups, pasta sauces, and on roasted meats. It has been a fun taste of summer in the kitchen.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
What a pretty holiday dress!!