Thursday, December 10, 2009

Delightful December Dailies

So I’m a little behind on my December daily class stuff, but I’m getting caught up, so all is well. _MG_5734 These are some of my favorite ornaments on our tree. This one with shells is from the Bahamas when we stopped there on our cruise in Nov. 2007. We weren’t supposed to go to the Bahamas. We were supposed to go to the cruise line’s private Caribbean island and have a true “Island Paradise” type day. You know, bikinis (okay, maybe not bikinis), snorkeling, cocktails, hair braiding, sun worshipping, etc. Unfortunately, our cruise was at the tail end of hurricane season and old Hurricane Nell (I think) destroyed their private island. The Bahamas was nice, too, but I was looking forward to that Island Paradise, that’s for sure.
_MG_5736 This ornament is from…that’s right! Kauai! How ever did you guess? As you can maybe tell by now, I’m in the habit of buying ornaments when we go on vacations. It started in 2003 when we went to Yellowstone. Don’t worry, I’m not about to show you every ornament. But this one is also one of my favorites and is from one of my favorite memories – our second honeymoon to Hawaii. Our first honeymoon was to Seattle, so don’t go thinking we go away to exotic locations all the time. It was our first trip anywhere exciting and we had the time of our lives.
_MG_5737 My beautiful blown glass ornament from our recent family reunion in Oregon.
_MG_5740 Never have I had a child so attached to a stuffed animal as Elise is attached to her stuffed lamb. She got lambie when she was six months old and I don’t think she has spent a night without it in 3 years. So, when we found a lamb ornament FINALLY last year, I couldn’t resist. It’s even cute!
_MG_5748 I’ve had this one about forever. I know I got it from someone. Someone very special I am sure. I just don’t remember who. If it is you, I am sorry I forgot you gave it to me. But I still love it, so that makes it OK.
_MG_5754As promised, pictures of our tree._MG_5756 
I love cut-out Christmas cookies. I’m not a big fan of actually making them, but I do love them, and in particular I love the recipe I found a couple years ago in Taste of Home. They are DeLiSH. We made them with the girls last Friday night and we all had a good time decorating them.
_MG_5542 Look, see! Becca’s smiling and look how I’m being all laissez-faire and not showing her what to do or anything. I was a good mom that night._MG_5551 Good dad here, too._MG_5552I had great hopes for those bottles of decorator icing, but they were not all that fantastic. Not worth the $9.99 minus the 40% off coupon at Michael’s. _MG_5553 Here’s the recipe for those of you that are interested:
Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
1 cup shortening (better with butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
9 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tsps vanilla
2/3 – 3/4 cup milk
paste food coloring
In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with desired cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for one minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a large mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Add enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Tin with food coloring. Decorate cookies as desired.
This Nativity Set I got from my parents, I think the first year we were married. They added pieces each year until I had a complete, but small set. It has a place of honor in our living room._MG_5767 _MG_5770 And I still have this reindeer my dad made years ago. He’s pretty cute. Every year I think maybe I won’t put him out since I’ve had him so long, but then I set him up there and I’m so glad I did.
The last thing I must write about tonight is this book:
_MG_5731 It is called “One Wintry Night” and it is by Ruth Bell Graham. If you do not have this in your collection, it is a must-buy in my opinion. The illustrations are gorgeous._MG_5733 The story begins with a little boy who gets caught in a storm and ends up with a twisted ankle and in the home of a grandma who takes care of him until the storm passes. As his stay continues, she tells him the story of Christmas. She begins with Creation and goes through every major Bible story that is pivotal to the birth of Christ. Again, I love the illustrations, but the story is beautiful, too. I used to read it as a devotional to my students every morning in December when I was teaching. They were always enraptured with the story and begged for more. I usually read it to my girls now and we LOVE it.
I started chapter one tonight.

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