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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas is a state of heart

Christmas Day has come and gone; the tree that once boasted piles of gifts underneath is now lonely and bare just as it was at the beginning of it's seasonal tour.  Some things are having trouble reverting back to their normal states, tho, like Madame Waistline.  Will I ever see her again?!  Some things would be better off staying in 2011.  Ha!  But as the end of 2011 draws near [very near!] there is something we do need to carry with us into the new year: the season of Christmas in our hearts.

One night last week Jeff and I went on a late night Kroger run for some last minute shopping.  If I recall correctly, I had already been on four other 'little' shopping trips that day!  [Before work, at lunch during work, & after work!!!]  Needless to say I was worn out and ready to get home.

As we entered the grocery a worn-looking lady was being escorted out by the police/LP.  With her hands cuffed behind her back, she pleaded with the officer and repeatedly screamed, 'I already had those in my purse.  I got them from my house.'

How fortunate am I?  How fortunate are you?  That on December 23 you & I can run in the grocery store and pay for the last 4 items needed for the perfect Christmas dinner?  That I am going to have the perfect Christmas dinner.  I only saw the woman for a split second and as I didn't get the chance for a sit-down interview with her I have no idea if she has house or home, bed or blanket, nor food or water.  Regardless, she had a reason for taking a risk and whatever the reason was, it was big enough to warrant the risk of getting arrested.

It is very easy to remember the needs of others' during the month of December.  From radio stations broadcasting giving trees and Toys for Tots Christmas Angels to grocery store donation brown-bags and Salvation Army red buckets, society is constantly in our face to give to someone in need during this time of year.  But what about the other 11 months of the year?  Last I checked, I need more than one brown paper bag worth of groceries to last me an entire year.

Don't leave Christmas in December!  I challenge you to take the spirit of Christmas with you as you enter into the new year, reminding people that while Jesus is the Reason for the Season, He is also The Reason for the Joy in Our Hearts Year-Round!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

dashing on thru

A song; sung to the familiar holiday tune, 'Jingle Bells'
In the key of Ab

Dashing through the mall-
I've four more gifts to buy,
But keep wasting time
Standing in these lines!

I'd rather be at home,
I could just shop on-line
But I can't afford the cost
Of shipping over-night!


Christmastime, Christmastime,
Why can't I get a grip?
I'd like to sit & rest a while;
Wassail I'd like to sip.

Christmastime, Christmastime,
We've left no time at all
To celebrate our Savior's  birth,
The Christ who paid it all.

Now that I'm at home,
I've still no more gifts bought.
The ornaments need hung,
Complete with star on top.

There's cookies baking now
Tomorrow's cookie swap...
Or in a week from now?
Oh, dear!  I have forgot.



On Friday night we sing,
Carols at The Hall.
How will we hit them all?!

Sunday should be slow,
I'll be at church all day
Where I will play, direct, & sing
The Christmas morning play!



December.....Target's shelves are picked over, Hobby Lobby is down to only one-half of an aisle's worth of ornaments, and driving anywhere requires an extra 18 minutes due to traffic [at least this is the case where I'm from].   Why is December the craziest month of the year when, as a Christian, it is the most special time of year?!

I hope that you are able to take time and remember the Reason for the Season.  After all, we wouldn't be here if it weren't for the birth of Christ.  Well we might be here but it wouldn't be pretty I can tell you that much.  Reflecting on His birth we are reminded that....

It's the most wonderful time of the year.....

Actually, I don't have time for another jingle today.  I just wanted to remind you [and myself] to find some time to stop, grab something warm to drink, and thank the Lord Almighty for this gift that He sent to us; the greatest gift that has ever been given.  To Him we owe it all.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

two recipes: strawberry pretzel salad & pumpkin dip

For more delicious holiday recipes check out Kelly's Korner where Kelly hosts a 'Show Us Your Life' every Friday!!!

I am not The World’s Greatest EasterThe World’s Pickiest Eater would be a much more suitable title.  I’m not proud of this characteristic—especially as I get older.  My favorite restaurants are those that allow you to order from the Kid’s Menu no matter your age.

That being said there are very few dishes that I LOVE. Strawberry Pretzel Salad is one of them.  It is not a Holiday Dish per se but it is RED in color!

For the first year or so after we were introduced to this dish, Emily would not touch it.  This frustrated me to the tenth degree; very rarely do I eat something that the next person won’t.  The salad is so good and I hated that my little sister was missing out.

One Christmas I decided to resolve this issue once and for all and I cornered her.  I then proceeded force fed a tiny bite [more like a taste] of each of the three layers.  Said layers consist of the following ingredients:
1) pretzels & sugar
2) cream cheese & SUGAR
3) strawberries & SUGAR!!!
Now I wish I hadn’t tried to help a sista out.  Prior to this intervention, I could have two or three pieces everyday for a week.  With Emily taking more than her fair share, rarely do I get leftovers!

2 c. pretzels, crushed
2 T. sugar
1 stick butter, melted
8 oz. cool whip
1 c. sugar
12 oz. cream cheese (softened to room temp.)
1 (10 oz.) package frozen strawberries, thawed
1 (6 oz.) package strawberry Jello

Crust: Mix pretzels, sugar and butter. Place in bottom of 13”x9” pan and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool.

While crust is baking and cooling, mix Jello with 2 cups of hot water. Chill in refrigerator until Jello begins to thicken, approximately 1 hour.

Middle layer: Mix softened cream cheese, cool whip and 1 cup of sugar. Spread on cooled crust.

Top layer: After Jello begins to thicken, spoon into blender along with thawed strawberries. Blend until mixture thickens and froths. Spread as top layer. Refrigerate before serving
The other recipe that I LOVE is a Pumpkin Dipthat was served on a recent New Year’s. Dip a Ginger Snap in it and Mmmmmm, mmmmmm. It is delicious. I’m pretty sure I ate ¾ of the entire bowl of dip that night [I didn’t look at the recipe until after I had worked my way to the bottom of the ginger snap box.]  I’ve yet to make this for myself but plan to do so real soon.  And take my word for it: It is DELISH!!!

recipe | PUMPKIN DIP
4 c. powdered sugar
2 8 oz. package cream cheese
2 9 oz. can pumpkin
1 tsp. ginger

Cream pumpkin & cream cheese until no lumps.  Add other ingredients & blend. Serve with ginger snaps.
bon appetit!!!