Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours

Hope you have a marvelous time celebrating the birth of our Savior with your family and friend! Merry Christmas!

Rod and Laura

I'm taking Jonquils & Ladybugs up on her challenge to fast from technology from December 26th through January 1st. I think I've become a little addicted to facebook, blogs, etc so I'm sure this will be good! I'm actually going to start early, as in tomorrow. I've decided not to post to the blog, not to check facebook, not to check my google reader, and to limit my checking of gmail. We will see how this goes. When I come back I hope to have a list of goals for the coming year. I've done it for the past couple of years, but have never posted them. Therefore, they are rarely accomplished. Hopefully posting them will be the encouragement I need!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Simple and Delicious Christmas Goodie

My Mom made this recipe up several years ago. Every time I make it I always get requests for the recipes so I decided to share it with you all. It truly is simple and relatively frugal (especially if you use coupons for the peanuts). Makes about 3 dozen clusters or more if you make them smaller.
It requires 5 ingredients - 6 counting a little touch of powdered sugar.
Would make a great gift as well, as it's doesn't spoil quickly and looks pretty!
Peanut Clusters

1 regular bag caramels

1 Tablespoon milk

1 lb jar of salted peanuts (approx. 3 ½ cups)

Approx. ½ -1 lb chocolate coating

White chocolate coating for decorating- optional

Powdered sugar

Lay two pieces of waxed paper on counter. Lightly powder one with powdered sugar. Place unwrapped caramels in microwave safe bowl. Add milk. Microwave on high until melted for 1-2 minutes (checking every 30 seconds). Stir. Add peanuts and stir again.

Drop by spoonfuls onto powdered waxed paper. (Might need another spoon to help push out the caramel/peanut mixture). Let set while you melt chocolate coating.

Melt chocolate coating in microwave for 1-2 minutes checking every 30 seconds. Stir after every 30 second interval as the chocolate may be more melt than it appears.

Remove caramel clusters from waxed paper by sliding a fork under them. Dip in melted chocolate. Lift and let excess chocolate fall back in bowl. Place on un-powdered waxed paper. Let rest until set until solid.

When set, put small amount of white chocolate in zip lock bag. Melt in microwave. (approx. 30 seconds) Make small cut in one of the corners of the bag. Pipe lines of white chocolate on clusters. Let rest again until set. Remove from waxed paper and break off any excess chocolate before placing on serving plate.

Note: Watch microwave processes carefully. Both caramels and chocolate coating can burn if over melted.

Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 Christmas Tour

I love joining Nester's annual Christmas Tour every year. This year I don't have as much  decor done as I usually do. Here's my previous year's post 2008 & 2009 if you want to see decor in every room.
Well, without further ado here's our Christmas decor so far... I may do more, but I may not. Simplicity is nice sometimes!
I love the polka dots, red, and lime. It makes me happy and I often find myself staring at it! I also find I have loads of pictures of it!!
The reason for the season! What a wonderful gift God gave us... His perfect Son who came to pay our great debt and give us Salvation! 
The stocking are hung on the bookshelf with care....
Made this wreath with supplies from the dollar store, ribbon that was on my present from my mother-in-law last year and a lovely ornament from my mom! (cost all of $2 to make!) Here's where I got the idea from Nester.  Looks much better in person, I promise!
Another wreath from the dollar store. This one cost a little more as it took about 4 bags of peppermints. I loved this one much better...not sure I like the shape or the green showing through, but it will stick around at least for this year.   

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our home at Christmas time. If you are not coming from there go check out Nester's links...there's a lot of beautiful homes this year!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Colonial Christmas

The church gym was transformed last weekend into a Colonial wonderland. We have some really creative  and talented ladies! They even covered the poles in "brick."

26 different ladies decorated tables complete with china and favors. So many different idea. Here are a few of my favorites....although, it was really hard to only pick a few.


My project was getting all these wonderful cookies together with their recipes. Every lady now has a wonderful collection of 20 different Christmas cookie/treat recipes!
So many great giveaways. Lots of great gifts were handed out, but the best was the "giveaway table." Yep...the whole table went to one lucky lady.
The focus was on fostering gospel relationships among our ladies. Each lady was encouraged to invite their friends and family. We had over 50 guests! Our pastor's wife gave a wonderful gospel centered challenge. I know of a couple of ladies that accepted the Lord as their Savior as a result of the event! Certainly made all the work totally worth it!
May your focus be on Christ and the gospel message this season!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

What a wonderfully full {and tiring} Christmas weekend!

Started the weekend with preparations for our ladies event, "A Colonial Christmas." The Lord gave me strength and I was able to help out and be a part of the event. It was such a neat event, I think it deserves its own I'm sure you'll see more about it tomorrow or sometime  later this week. After the event though, my body was totally spent and I slept on the couch for several hours!
After my wonderful nap we went out for one of my favorite Christmas treats...peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks. We used a gift card we earned from searching the Internet with Swagbucks. {If you haven't started using this search engine yet I highly recommend it. In the last year we've earned 10 plus gift cards to Starbucks and Amazon for everyday searches. I love free things!} Snow was  even falling very lightly. It's rare for us to see even a single flake so I was thrilled to see it.
 Later I looked out the window and was greeted with this....

Now that's a VERY rare treat here in VA! I stood out on the deck basking in the beauty of the falling snow.
This morning a few signs still remained. The kids in our Sunday School class were thrilled {all three of them}. We usually have quite a few more, but life around here pretty much shuts down at the slightest sign of snow so we were not surprised there were so few.

I'm enjoying the little things this Christmas. Our decorations are not as elaborate or as finished as they usually are by now, but I'm thankful to have the energy to put some of them up! Life is beginning to look more normal for us. I'm now on auto-immune drugs...not sure whether they are working completely yet. One things is for sure I don't have any canker sores {I've had them almost constantly for years. Often 10 - 30 at a time!} and that is wonderful Thankful to be getting better, but can't wait until my energy level is completely returned. {Currently I'm fine to a point and then the energy suddenly goes completely away. At which time I have to sit down wherever I am...which has definitely been on the floor a couple of times!} Thankfully if I rest for awhile I get energy back again! So happy to be able to do the little things again!
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