Friday, December 21, 2007

SuperHero Fever

Last night, we sat down with the kids and watched SuperHero videos on YouTube. It was their first exposure to the classic Superman, Batman, Robin, and the defense of good on behalf of the universe. As I greeted Jacob this morning, I couldn't help but notice his outfit of solid blue T-shirt, blue pajama pants, and blue socks with a hole in one of them. His first words to me were, "I'm Superman today and tomorrow I'm going to be Batman!" Clearly, "superhero fever" has overtaken our house. This was evidenced in the parade of Superheroes down the hallway as I called my children for breakfast. First, Jake the Superman, came flying down the hall. Next came Savannah the BatGirl prancing along on tippytoes as only a BatGirl can. Last, but definitely not the least, marched Elijah with a stuffed animal stuck under his red pajama shirt. In his deepest superhero voice, he was bellowing, "Ho,ho ho, Mewwy Cwistmas!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mini Rescue Hero

Just in case you happen to be under a pile of falling sticks and you were wondering who would save you, Elijah has declared that "I am a wittle reckue hewo, and I will save da beple that have sticks falling on dem". But be forewarned that he might also poke you with a very sharp toothpick. Like he said, "I am a reckue hewo, and I will boke you with my sword."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas at the Parsonage

Last night we hosted a huge Christmas party for our church family here at our home. Jacob, Savannah, and Eli helped us clean the house on Saturday in preparation. Savannah was so excited about the party; we realized we had neglected to tell the kids that they were going to be at church for AWANA during the party time. But I hastened to assure them (especially Savannah) that there would still be a little party left when they got home. Sure enough, the party was a blow-out success. Everybody brought tons of food, and we had a great time of fellowshipping, eating, singing, and remembering the Reason for the season. Chris brought the kids back home after AWANA. The party was still going strong. As soon as Elijah walked through the door, he saw all these people all over his house. Quickly assessing the situation, he walked straight up to a lady holding a plate of food in her hands and demanded, "Why are ya'll eating our food?!"
Ha, ha, ha! Everybody got a good laugh out of that one, and Savannah and Jacob ate M&M's and cookies to their hearts' content. Elijah and Seth pigged out on apple slices and snowflake crackers. And there are plenty of leftovers to go around!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Baking Delight

Since I was so graciously asked to share cookie recipes, I'll give you the one for Peppermint Cookies. I cut this recipe out of a magazine - and boy, is it good!

Peppermint Cookies
2/3 c. shortening
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. crushed peppermint candy
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars; beat in egg. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in the candy. Drop by teaspoonsful onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350* for 10-12 min. or until cookie edges just begin to brown. Yields 3 1/2 dozen.

To make these cookies Elijah-proof (egg-free), just substitute the egg with 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil, and 1 1/2 Tbsp. water. Mix these together in a little bowl and then use in place of the egg.

My family loves these cookies! And they're not even mad that I had to use every one of the real candy canes hanging on the Christmas tree to make them...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

I just poured fruit punch down my ear. I was trying to get the very last sip out of the travel coffee mug (filled with fruit punch, not coffee), and I poured it down my ear. It does take a lot of talent to pull that off; and you know, I am talented that way! Now I need to wash my hair while I re-evaluate my next speech to the kids when they spill their cups...
I'm sure ya'll have heard about the controversy of whether or not we as Christians should patronize places of business that refuse to say, "Merry Christmas", choosing instead to use the ubiquitous saying, "Happy Holidays" so they won't offend the minority of their customers. It doesn't bother me a whole lot if a store says one thing or another; don't get mad yet, let me explain. When I meet someone who doesn't know Jesus, I understand that he will act in a manner that reflects his lack of relationship with Jesus. I know that he needs a heart change before his lifestyle will be genuinely changed. The same with the world...I expect the world to act like the world. I am supposed to be the light, not the retail store. I am supposed to be spreading the good news of Jesus' birth, not the grocery store. I am supposed to understand the reason for the season; I don't expect the industries to understand. If I want to impact my culture, it starts with me. And you. And my church. And your church. It starts with the body of Christ - not demanding stores to say, "Merry Christmas", but with us saying, "Merry Christmas - hey, do you know why we celebrate Christmas? I'd love to invite you to our church's cantata! In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven?" If we say that to our neighbors, friends, co-workers, employees, I bet that would make a bigger impact than if the K-Mart checkout girl mumbled, "Thanks for shopping, have a nice day, merry christmas..."
p.s. Here's a cute video along this subject...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Elf Dance

My kids have been practicing on a holiday dance that they would like to share with you. Just click the link and you will be able to see them in all their glory!
My Children's Elf Dance

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Cookies

The Christmas baking starts today. Ever since I was a little girl, making cookies has been an integral part of celebrating Christmas. And let me tell you, we don't make just 2 or 3 kinds of cookies. Oh, no. At the least, we make 10-12 different kinds of cookies. At the least! Half the fun of baking the cookies is going through the stack of recipe cards beforehand trying to figure out which ones we are going to make. There's the sentimental cookies, "Grandma cookies" (pizzelles); the decadent cookies, Hello Dolly bars (which as a kid I could never understand why my mom cut them into such little pieces - give me a big piece of pure sugar!); the classic cookies, molasses double deckers; the cookies the children make, thumbprint cookies and cookie cutter cookies; the favorite cookies, oatmeal raisin; the coconut cookies, Santa's beards; the allergy-free cookies, date pinwheels; the new kinds to try, peppermint cookies and eggnog logs; the cookie press Holly Wreaths; and I didn't even mention the cherry mocha balls, lemon snowflakes, and the apple leather yet!
Today was the peppermint cookie day. It was so much fun to turn on some Christmas music and start mixing up the batter. Little Eli wandered into the kitchen and kept me company by telling me how much he loves cookies and by licking the beater "helping". By the end of the cookie making, all of the kids had found their way to the kitchen and were rubbing their fingers on the counter looking for any dropped sugar or crushed candy cane powder!
Traditions are so important to celebrating the holidays. It doesn't matter if it's a big tradition (like making all these so many cookies), or a little tradition (like drinking hot chocolate on Christmas eve). Every little bit has a part in making this the most exciting part of the year for the children, heck, even for me! It's the traditions that I remember when I think back to my childhood, and it's what I want my children to remember when they are all grown up.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Brain Splat

I've been cooking a mess of greens, so the house stinks. But the greens taste good, and there's aplenty to freeze for later... Our calendar for December is top-heavy. It seems like everybody wants to get their event over with/out of the way in the beginning of December so that our schedules won't be too busy the closer it gets to Christmas. So that means that we're running around trying to make it to every event by the skin of our teeth up through the 16th. But after that, it's just white snow on the calendar... anybody wanna do something then?! I've gotten so busy, that I can't think straight - so I've taken to making a list of the things I need to do that are out of my normal routine (I mean, really, it's hard to ignore the floor to ceiling laundry pile, but I just might forget to sew the new patches on the AWANA vests). Me, the unorganized and anti-list girl, has a notebook with a half a dozen very important lists going on in it. I remind myself of my Grandpa who used to carry a little notebook in his shirt pocket; he called it his "brains". Yep, I feel like my notebook is where my brains have gone splat.
I miss blogging on here more frequently. I will try to post more often. What with surfing for freebies and soy milk coupons, and trying to get the best fantasy football players in order, and making my picks for the Yahoo! Pro Football Pick 'em (which by the way, until last week, I was ranked #9 in my state, and #22 in the Fans of Dallas - but now I'm trying to get back up there because I made bad picks last week), it's been hard to find a spare moment to blog. But now that the greens are all cooked and I've established that there are no soy milk coupons currently available online, my blog is beckoning me to come and splat a few braincells on it...
(By the way, I have been keeping up with reading ya'll's blogs, and DE Reviews is hosting a giveaway this week that I really hope to win. So ya'll don't go signing up for it now, b/c that prize has my name all over it! Just really should check it out!)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Party Hardy

Whew! We just completed a whirlwind weekend which included 5 separate parties. We partied at a birthday party, Chuck E. Cheese party, Christmas party, surprise 40th birthday party, and a church fellowship after the Hanging of the Greens service. Needless to say, we got the kids tucked in bed tonight as fast as we could, and now we are collapsed on the couch catching our breath and planning to zone out for a few hours while we watch some mind-numbing football (ha ha)! This was the first time our kids have been to Chuck E. Cheese, and let me tell you, there were stars in their eyes as we walked into the place. We were there for four hours! Even Seth loved riding on the carousel and the Bob the Builder tractor ride. Elijah was so excited to be drinking Coke - I usually don't let him drink caffeine, but hey, it was a PARTY, and he couldn't eat the pizza! There is one of those booths at Chuck E. Cheese that you can try to cram as many people in as possible and then the booth draws a picture of everyone, so I thought it would be neat to get one of all the kids. The bench to sit on in the booth is too low for little kids, so we told them to sit on their knees. Eli decided to stand, and then he started leaning, and leaning, and leaning, and he leaned Savannah almost out of the picture!