Friday, December 15, 2006

A Christmas Game of Tag

I've been tagged by Kelli!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Mmm...I like both, depending on my mood...but I love hot chocolate with whipped cream on top!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa gifts sit unwrapped under the tree!
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I love white lights the best!
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.
5. When do you put up your decorations? Since we usually travel over Christmas, we decorate the week after Thanksgiving...I love decorating for Christmas!
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Sweet Potato Casserole...the kind with pecan streusel on marshmallows for me.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Okay, I have two: when I was six or seven, Mom and Dad built this fort in the living room out of the large waffle blocks that were part of my brother's presents...our Santa gifts were arranged in and around the fort. It was magical! And then for many, many years (I'm the oldest of four children) all four of us would secretly stockpile blankets and pillows and stuffed animals in our front coat closet so that we could hide there at night to watch for Santa. I don't think we ever did sleep in it, but the anticipation and planning each Christmas Eve day was so much fun. Even now as an adult, I miss doing that!
8. When and how did you learn that Santa isn't real? I don't remember exactly, although I think I held on for a long time so that it was still special for my little brother and sister.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Well, we celebrate Christmas Eve with my husband's family, so we open those gifts Christmas Eve and then gifts with my family Christmas Day.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Together as a family...hopefully with a fire and egg nog and Christmas music!
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love the snow. I always wish for a white Christmas!
12. Can you ice skate? Yes, but only forward :) When I was little I wanted to be a figure skater!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Growing up, I loved getting clothes and accessories for my American Girl dolls.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending time with my family and teaching our children about the greatest gift ever given--Jesus Christ.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? My mom makes a delicious dessert: Peppermint ice cream served in a pink meringue bowl, topped with homemade hot fudge and sprinkled with crushed peppermint candy. It's SO good!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? This year, we have started Advent devotions and I think that is becoming my favorite tradition. And growing up, we always read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas before going to sleep Christmas Eve, then wake up early, open stockings first without peeking at the tree, then read the account of Christ's birth before opening gifts. I love that tradition.

I am tagging Hilary, Marianne, and Jillian!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Yes, that is plural! It's Christmas, after all!

The winner of the Cottage Living subscription is Jillian Marie! And the winner of an assortment of scrapbooking goodies is Juli! Ladies, please email me your addresses!

And thanks to all who shared their traditions...I had lots of fun reading them! And I got some good ideas :)

This was fun...I will have to do it again soon!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Around our house...

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! (By the way...this is a long post...but if you make it to the end, you could be a winner!)

This is a picture of the first Christmas tree Brent and I decorated together! I love this picture even though it's a little blurry because I have such wonderful memories of our first Christmas married! That tree doesn't have as many ornaments as ours does now...but I love the way it looks against the red walls in our first home (I miss our red walls!) I love thinking about how I strung cranberries for the first time...but gave up on stringing enough for our tree and settled on making a garland along the curtain rod (which stayed there for many months!) I love remembering how many pictures I made Brent take with the self-timer and tripod...SO thankful for our first digital camera that let me know I needed to change sweaters and socks to get a good picture! :) (That might not be Brent's favorite memory!) I can still remember the taste of the Steak and Lobster Bercy Christmas meal that we made...a tradition we began that we have tweaked a little since. (We still have a special meal with "our family" before leaving to celebrate with extended families...but we haven't done lobster since our second Christmas...might have to change that next year!) Special memories!

Our house is decorated...although I have to admit that our luck with trees in Texas is not so good. While still green and twinkling, our tree is very dry, which makes me sad...I think it is the time it takes to ship fresh trees all the way here...a friend told me about a tree farm nearby (who would have guessed it?) and I think we will try there next year if we are still in Texas. Last week we received the wreath that Mom and Dad ship us every year from the mountains of North Carolina...{sigh} is fresh and green and smells absolutely wonderful! I love to open the door just to smell it...for a few minutes I am transported back to the Appalachian Mountains.

Today we got a bunch of Christmas cards...I love getting Christmas cards...I am so glad that even with email, people still take time to send personal cards in the mail! And for those of you expecting cards from us don't worry, I'm almost done with our Christmas cards...just waiting on the pictures to arrive!

We are spending lots of evenings driving around looking at the lights...this is Hadleigh's request every evening! Her favorites are the big inflated snowmen...and we are on a constant search for them...ready for the next one before the last is out of sight. She also likes to look for Baby Jesus when people have a nativity in their yard. She and Nathanael have had so much fun playing with the Little People Nativity we got this year...a good teaching tool as we've been reading our advent devotions!

And in the spirit of giving, I thought I would do my first blog giveaway...tell me what one of your favorite Christmas traditions is and tomorrow, I will randomly select a winner to receive a one year subscription to Cottage Living, one of my very favorite magazines! (Please leave your email in the comment and make sure to check back Tuesday night so that I can get the subscription registered before I leave for Christmas (less than a week now!)) Can't wait to read about your traditions!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Day Late

I hope none of you were too disappointed to not find a post and recipe yesterday :) I've been trying to cross things off my to-do list...and I'm slowly (if not steadily) making progress!

I'm having fun working on making some gifts for Christmas...getting organized/decorated/menu-ready for a Christmas Coffee that I'm hosting next week...thinking about the Christmas cards I need to get started on...thinking about being with family for Christmas (and meeting my almost one-year old niece for the first time!)

Of course, I keep seeing all these great crafts that I want to make and there are pages I want to scrapbook and activities I want to do with the kiddos and SO many yummy-sounding recipes I want to I have resolved that next year (I know, I know, easy to say now) I will be done shopping, card-making, etc. by the very beginning of December so that I can just enjoy these days without the crunch of time!

In honor of the 27 degree weather outside (whooo-hooo!) here is a recipe for a Hot Chocolate Mix that will last you a LONG time! My sister-in-law gave it to me and it is yummy!

Hot Chocolate Mix

one 8-quart package Carnation Dry Milk
1 1/2 lbs. Nestle Quik (dry mix)
10 oz. jar Coffeemate Creamer
1/2 lb. Powdered Sugar (I usually use the whole box!)

In a VERY large bowl, mix all ingredients together.
Store in an airtight container.

For each cup of hot chocolate, stir together 4 Tbsp. chocolate mix to 1 cup boiling water. (You may need to adjust the amount of chocolate mix and water to suit your taste.) Top with marshmallows, peppermint sticks, etc. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Snow Day

This was my little girl last Thursday...she was so excited about the snow! I guess this was the first time she has been old enough to actually play in the snow when we've gotten snow (and it's been hard for us to come by!)
But Thursday...what a wonderful day. I love the cold. I love the snow. We had a wonderful icy morning with a pancake breakfast with Brent before he went into work on a late schedule. And then we watched the tiny dots of snow become flurries and then big genuine snowflakes! After playing outside, Hadleigh informed me that we needed hot tea, so we sat by the window watching the snow fall and drinking our Earl Grey!
I asked Hadleigh where the snow came from and she told me, pointing to the sky "Up, up, up, then down, down, down!"
The snow stopped falling down, down, down around 5 pm and by then we had a beautiful blanket of snow...and that night, with the moon shining on the snow...just beautiful. So peaceful and quiet and still.

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