Coupon Gift Tags

December 3, 2010

This is what I did all day yesterday. I mean ALL day! I’m a painfully slow scrapper, but I found this idea HERE and modified it to make gift coupon tags for my son for each of the eight nights of Channukkah. Here’s what the inset tags look like

They say things like: “One Room Cleaning,”  “Go-Cart Repair,” A Night of Ice Skating”… They’re not very fancy – just decorative paper, but I may throw some embellishments on today to dress them up. Later I’ll use them to decorate my December Daily.

That takes care of my son. Now, about my other two in town…


…a YEAR Later…

December 2, 2010

Bear with me, I’ve forgotten everything I learned (about Blogging) LAST year! But it’s almost ANOTHER new year and I’d like to begin again.  I’m challenging myself to participate in two daily activities during the month of December. First, December Daily by Ali Edwards.  You can read all about it here.      What a fantastic way to record your daily life throughout the holidays!  

I had hoped to sign up for another December documenting class, Journal Your Christmas by Shimelle, but it just didn’t happen this year. 

I have the jist so I’ll create my own prompts, but I’ve taken a class with her before and she’s fabulous! I highly recommend her classes! Here’s some info on JYC if you’re interested. 

 I’m still contemplating the second commitment I may make, so I’ll wait and tell you about it tomorrow. And hopefully I’ll post the first page of my December Daily as well.

Oh, I wish you all a very HAPPY CHANNUKAH! Today is the first day.  Shalom

Almost a New Year!

December 29, 2009

Don’t you just love new beginnings?! I do. I’m so excited to begin a new year – a new start. I’ve been puttering around this morning – since 4:30! making lists, packing up our Channukah decorations..  We had the most wonderful holiday this year! Perhaps due to Lisa and her memory, and the reminder that each moment is precious and to make them count, but i can’t ever remember a more peaceful, relaxed Christmas season. The only regret was that my oldest daughter and her boyfriend couldn’t be with us. But heck, they’re having a blast spending the winter in the mountains of France! She’s living her life and doing it with gusto, which is fabulous, just as long as she eventually settles here in the states and raises her family where I can visit (babysit?) 🙂 OK, OK, I’m jumping the gun – after all she’s only 21!  Anyway, the rest of our family was together; the men spent the day on the shooting range having a blast – literally – while Jess and I lay around in PJ’s watching sappy movies – Family Man to be exact. That’s one of our traditional “must sees” every Christmastime. I cooked a turkey and the works, and as the sun set we lit the last 9 candles of Channukah. Oh, and we blew off a few fireworks too, which is a first for us. I have always been an adamant “I AM NOT spending good money on something that lasts only a moment and explodes!” kind of  Mom.  Welcome Anthony to our family.  He is J’s boyfriend and a treasure! He dotes on the boys, and bought them a whole bag of fireworks this summer when he went to Atlanta -ssshhhhhh!  They’ve been saving them all for New Years Eve at the farm, but decided to try just a few since we were all together.
  But back to new beginnings! Each year I start anew, and it’s almost always the same – resolutions? – I’m sure you can guess: weight, organization, keeping in touch, scrapbooking, blogging….  Are they yours too? 🙂 Each year I’m confident that THIS will be the year I succeed (with a smile!) And I inevitably start off strong and fizzle out shortly thereafter. But my sweet cousin Jeanne gets a birthday card EVERY year (’cause her birthday is in January and I’m still going strong!) I still love it – the promise of a fresh start, the hope of ultimate success. And though I look forward to beginning again on the first of each new year,  The Bible says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23.  Every morning – I’ll go one better. His mercies are new every moment! What a relief! When i mess up, when i blow it- and I do, more than i care to admit – I can go to God and have a new start right at that moment! At that instant!  What a wonderful promise – continual fresh starts!
So tell me, what are your resolutions, your “intentions” for 2010? How do you plan to succeed?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Maybe we could encourage each other – be accountable to one another to achieve our goals.                                                                                              

  Here’s to a new year, a fresh new start!  To 2010!!

45 Thoughts in Memory of Lisa

December 20, 2009

My blog has been silent for too long.

My brother’s daughter-in-law died very unexpectedly last week and it affected me quite profoundly. She was 36 years old. The same age that my husband Ed was diagnosed with cancer. This was different. I didn’t know Lisa well; we had met once or twice briefly and had exchanged yearly holiday cards with pictures of our children. This was so unexpected. My heart aches for my nephew and their daughter and I feel so helpless. I want to be able to take away the pain, but i know that only the passage of  time will do that. I am reminded once again how temporal this life is. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, and that just a phone call can change your life forever. Our time together is so very short – we must make the most of it.

Yeshua (Jesus) said, “I have come that you may have life and that you may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

My prayer this holiday season is that you know this abundant life. That you make the most of it: Love passionately, forgive completely, and thank God for every day He gives us to be with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors…

Here’s an e-mail I recently received that says it better than I can

 45 Thoughts Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

 My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

 1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past, so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood…. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you..

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive every one everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Sweet Memories of Chanukah Past and a Prayer for Every Chanukkah to Come

December 14, 2009

This is a treasured photo of my late husband Ed lighting the candles at Chanukkah with the twins

And this is my prayer each and every Chanukkah written by Marty Goetz:

Make my life Your temple
Lord, at this season start
To pull down every idol
I have raised up in my heart.

On this Chanukkah
On this Feast of Dedication
I dedicate myself to You.

Take my defiled altar
Come and cleanse and come repair
So every time I falter
I can run to meet You there

On this Chanukkah
On this Feast of Dedication
I dedicate myself to You.

And with every candle on the menorah that illuminates the night
Comes a prayer you’d kindle in me, Yeshua,
A desire for Your fire, for Your Light.
Make of my mortal body
A house worthy of Your Name
Rid me of what’s ungodly
And every hidden thing of shame

On this Chanukkah
On this Feast of Dedication
I dedicate myself to You

And with every candle on the menorah that illuminates the night
Comes my prayer that you’d kindle in me, Messiah,
A desire for Your fire, for Your Light.
Take my supply of oil
Not enough to burn long I fear
But oh how I pray I may one day say
A great miracle happened here

On this Chanukkah
On this Feast of Dedication
I dedicate myself to You
My Yeshua
I dedicate myself to You.

Happy Chanukkah!

December 11, 2009

Tonight is the first night of Chanukkah. We’re all supposed to be home together lighting the candles but we’re not. I’m in town at the high-speed computer. Levi is back at work. Tonight is his first night back after having to take 6 weeks off to recuperate from surgery – his second this year! Thank goodness for an understanding boss! J is also at work tonight, while Bob, Joel and Tim are undoubtably nearby a cozy fire. The weather is nasty! Cold and drizzly. Perfect winter “get in the spirit” holiday weather.  Tomorrow is Sportsman’s Day and it’s supposed to rain. What a disappointment! The boys sold $2000.00 worth of popcorn for Boy Scouts this year. If they sell $700. worth of popcorn, it pays for a week of summer camp and for admission to Sportsman’s Day, which is a day set aside for those scouts who sold at least 600 dollars worth of popcorn.  The council opens the camp for a fun-filled day of fishing, archery, shooting sports, slingshot target shooting, tomahawk throwing..  all kinds of fun activities for boys. Levi was hoping to win a trophy this year, but according to the radar it’s not looking so good. Here they are last year with their new Scoutmaster and friends.

So, as I said, tonight is the first night of Chanukkah, but we’ve decided to postpone the holiday for a week. There’s just too much going on this week with school finals, work, doctor appointments, our Boy Scout Christmas party, running back and forth from the farm to town… I want to be able to relax and enjoy the season with my family, so for us, the 18th thru the 25th works well.  We’ll light the first candle NEXT Friday night. It’ll also give me a chance to write cards and do some baking. So, for those of you celebrating the “traditional” first night of Chanukkah, I wish you a wonderful, blessed week of joy and Light.  May you know “the  true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” John 1:9

Shabbat shalom.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

December 9, 2009

Here’s a funny e-mail I received – I’m not sure where it originated:

The Greatest Christmas Decoration Ever

“Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas  decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn’t realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn’t take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard.”

Homeschooling During the Holidays

December 2, 2009

For me, anything after Thanksgiving is “the holidays.”
I love this picture: you can see the pies and wine leftover from Thanksgiving. The boys are schooling. Bob is enjoying the end of a book. There’s a cozy fire in the fireplace and I’m making treats to bring to scouts tonight. They are WONDERFUL, so easy and oh so tasty!

Here’s how:
Fill a cookie sheet with Mini pretzels with a Hershey’s Hug on top.
Place cookie sheet into 250 degree oven for 2 minutes – just long enough for the chocolate to become soft, but not to melt completely.
Press a peanut M & M into the “Hug”


November 29, 2009

I messed up. All this is very new to me: Blogging, Cookie Trains, Dial-up Internet, GMT… What the heck is GMT anyway? Uh oh. Just found out what GMT is, and I’m due to post RIGHT NOW! And I haven’t made my Chocolate Caramel bars yet. My sincerest apologies to my “train gang.” My only consolation is that we’re due to air this at midnight. If you’re anything like me, you’re definitely NOT on the Internet at midnight! You’re sound asleep! So, while my cookie swap pictures are still in the oven, i’ll get my post ready. my biggest frustration with dial up is that each picture takes about 30 minutes to load, and I hope to post several in this blog.

So now, here is my Cookie Swap contribution.

2 1/2 Cups flour – divided
2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 1/2 Cups packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Cups cold butter (3 sticks!)
2 Cups Chocolate chips – semi sweet
1 Cup chopped pecans (I used Walnuts)
1 Jar (12 oz) Caramel ice cream topping

note: the caramel sauce is the only ingredient you may have trouble finding in the UK – maybe not. This is what it looks like here in the U.S.

2 Cups flour, 2 Cups rolled oats, brown sugar, baking soda & salt.
Cut in cold butter until crumbly.
Set aside 1/2 of this mix.
Press 1/2 crumble mix into 13 X 9 in. greased baking pan.

Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle on nuts and chocolate chips.
Whisk caramel topping and 1/4 cup flour and drizzle over top.
Sprinkle remaining 1/2 crumble mix on top.
Bake 350 degrees 18 – 20 minutes until golden brown.
Cool 2 hours before cutting.
Serve in small pieces – Very rich!

There now, three pictures and 4 1/2 hours later…

I’m so glad you stopped by! Be sure to check out another delicious cookie recipe  on this “Cookie Swap Blog Train” at:

Hope to meet with you again soon!

And You Thought I Was Kidding!

November 29, 2009

Nope, I wasn’t kidding. Here’s to the new goat shed!