Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mikasa's Brava Rooster ~ Oh What a Fun Christmas!


A fun and playful tablescape

Dear Faith ~ dear family

even the pups gathered 'round
{Rachael & Juan rescued a puppy this fall ~ his name is Timber!}

Couldn't resist Brava Rooster!
Ever since I saw them on Anita's blog, "Far Above Rubies"
I've been wishing for them.
I ordered 8 dinner plates and later, 8 soup bowls.
I picked up four Brava cream mugs for smaller gatherings.
Mikasa and Pfaltzgraff had great sales just before Christmas!
Someday, it would be fun to get a few more and a fun Rooster centerpiece!
Thank you for the inspiration!


The little ones have their fun too!

I loved every minute of our Christmas gathering!
Bless you ~ one and all ~
I hope you had a wonderful and peaceful Christmas
filled with comfort and JOY
and a
Happy New Year too!

Enjoying Tablescapes Thursday at Susan's "Between Naps on the Porch"
My other dishes are a winter favorite:  Sango's Silent Night.
My sister and I split three sets many years ago.
The sweet little "gift" plates are from Harry and David.  They were great for my little nieces.

Friday, December 24, 2010

~ I will honor Christmas in my heart ~

Great little One! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth.

~Richard Crashaw

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
~W.T. Ellis
 Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.
As we cook, bake and put the final touches to our packages
let us remember to honor Christmas in our hearts.
 ~ Peace to you, dear friends ~

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Off to Amanda's for a Christmas Visit

 I saw this photo

 {for her two little dogs}

then, this one
{for her cookie exchange}

and then this!

...and I knew I had to go visit
my daughter, Amanda.
I'm looking forward to coffee, baking watching a fun movie
and chatting all night.

What fun it is to ride and sing sleighing song tonight!

*   *   *
*   *

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Easy Peanut Butter Kisses

 I just LOVE chocolate and peanut butter!
Put them together in a cookie and I'm on cloud 9.

These are the
e a s i e s t
peanut butter cookies ever.

~ A favorite of all for Christmas ~



  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter {I use all Natural Jif - with 0 hydros in it}
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups biscuit baking mix  {Heart Healthy kind}
  • Sugar -for topping  and the KISSES go on right after they come out of the oven.
 What is the first cookie do you take from the cookie tray?
Which ones disappear first!?
Dear family and friends,
I hope you are enjoying everything that leads up to Christmas Day.
Wonderful Christmas moments can happen every day.
Sharing the love of our Savior, even in the smallest of ways, 
makes Christmas real all year long.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nooo... Not Jury Duty!

That was my reaction to the call for

After all,
I'm busy teaching,
my father's been with us and will return in a few days
{He's home for some check-ups and is coming back for Christmastime}
...oh yea...
and... It's CHRISTMAS!
I was at work until 6:40 on Friday preparing for my substitute.
{and making my room pretty for Christmas}
I didn't want to go downtown for jury duty;
what was it going to be like anyway!

This morning, the roads were greasy...traffic on the interstates was rush hour thick.
To find parking, I had to use the ginormous parking garage of a major hotel.
Security confiscated my camera until I left the building.
{I see this rule as very archaic since all of us still had our cellphones}.

There were 125 of us in one of the courtrooms.  We filled out all the paperwork
...and waited...
for our numbers to be selected for a jury.
...we waited some more...
{Was this a good sign?}
It was!
A jury was not needed since the people settled out of court.
We were all dismissed.
I had the afternoon off.
Another Christmas surprise.
Sometimes God's gifts come in unexpected packaging!
Heaven knew I needed a break.
Our group was dismissed.
But there was another jury there today, in a different part of the building,
determining someone's fate.
The news teams were all there.
Such a different day for me.
It was a real learning experience.
There's quite a process to justice.
 And,  it's so much better to be on "this side" of the law.


Jury duty in America is not optional.
If you are called, you must go.
What does your state or country demand of you?

Have you ever been called for jury duty?
I hope your week started out well.
It's very cold here ~ keeping warm under lots of wool!

Wishing you all
peace, joy and warm hearts

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Surprise

My sister-in-law sent me this photo recently.
To me
it's a metaphor for a
sweet and simple faith.
A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard. During the night people walking by came across this scene: An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort. No one had the heart to send him away so he was there all night. We should all have the good sense of this dog and find comfort in Jesus. God is smiling as we realize that the dog's breed is a "shepherd!"

I read this psalm this morning and it's another wonderful 
Christmas Surprise.
This psalm adds even more to what I think of and feel as I see the photo of the shepherd puppy.

Psalm 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the Lord, who is my refuge—
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Dear Friends and Family,
May you all find lasting comfort and shelter under His wings
dwelling in the shelter of the Most High.

ps.  I hope the puppy found its home ♥

Friday, December 10, 2010

Broccoli Pizza Night

I cook soooo much more when my father is here.
Earlier this week I realized that we had eaten a lot of chicken dinners.
...What else can I make, let's see...
and a pizza stone.
Time to make garlic and broccoli pizza!

I used the pizza blend flour that I bought this summer at the King Arthur Flour store.
It is fantastic!
The Pampered Chef chopper is perfect for chopping the broccoli and garlic.
Susan demonstrated it at last year's party.
I had always just used it for walnuts and pecans...never thinking to use it for broccoli.
It makes it so that every pizza slice has broccoli and garlic all over it!
The pizza stone cooks the crust evenly and it comes out sooo crispy on the bottom!

I really need to look around in my pantry.
I wonder what other meals are waiting for me in there!

I hope you all have a great weekend.
It's freezing here tonight.
{around 8° F.}

Stay warm and cozy my friends.
I think it's a baking weekend for me!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Precious Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
(Matthew 5:9)

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
(Isaiah 55:12)
Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
(John 14:27)    
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
--Psalm 119:165

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
--Isaiah 26:3      

Trying to keep His peace in my soul during this season when the world shouts at us to rush, rush.
Wishing to slow things down and listen to His whispers instead.
Peace to you dear friends and family
{The photo today is of our Christmas card from daughter, Amanda.}

Thursday, December 2, 2010

{A Hometown Sky Watch}

They really do a wonderful job decorating in my hometown.
I love how every streetlamp has a lighted wreath.

Every flagpole is another reminder of the long but pretty winters in Central New York.

One of my favorite flower shops, Pires,
welcomes everyone with great cheer!

I just love this tree with its rustic flare and
of course,
all the little birdies!


A wish for a wonderful weekend to all my
magnanimoose friends!

Happy Sky Watching
* look out for snowflakes *
Happy Merry watching too!
~ Have a sweet and lovely weekend my friends ~



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