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Monday, December 30, 2013


It's been a day full of making decisions!  First at the car dealership.  You have to decide so many things and it takes so long. After a lunch break we decided on a silver Avalon Hybrid and were off to see our eye doctor where new glasses called for more decisions. 
Then a stop at Walmart made me feel grateful for being able to spend the day making these decisions.  We ran into an old friend who is now living in Thailand.  She is a missionary and lives in conditions much less desirable than we take for granted each day.   This girl did not hesitate to sell her home and possessions and move 10,000 miles away to help establish a church.  So, I'm going to feel guilty for even thinking that being able to buy the luxuries we did today is a chore. It's a blessing to be able to afford them.  My friend is doing great things and giving up things like hot water and she does it with joy! I need to be more like her--and that is the best decision I've made all day!

From my phone today
This is the world's happiest girl.  She really loves to smile.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dreary Winter Weekend

What a dreary winter weekend it has been.  It makes me more lazy than usual!  The sun did shine for just a few minutes this afternoon, otherwise its been cloudy and dreary.  I'm not very productive in weather like this.  It makes me want to play Bejeweled Blitz and read books. Tomorrow I will try to attack the day with enthusiasm and get more accomplished.  I did try to collect the Christmas decorations to be boxed up for next year. Somehow, they seem to multiply. When I take them down there seems to be more than I put out!

On my phone this weekend:
One girl with a train stuck in her hair

One girl enjoying her bath
One little guy eating  the last Christmas cupcake

Cousins having an after Christmas gift exchange and some serious playing
And a text from a speeder!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sometimes Christmas looks a lot like this!

Our Christmas card photos are beautiful.  Everyone is looking at the camera and we just look perfect.  Of course having a photographer that can make us look our best helps! She knows how to make a good photograph--one you will want to frame! This photo says Christmas is great and everything is perfect and everyone is happy.

I make a lot of pictures at Christmas. Some are great and may even be worthy of a frame.  Like these:

But as I was reviewing the photos on my camera for the last couple of days, I realized that sometimes Christmas looks a lot like this!

 Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Another warm but cloudy winter day!  After church we stopped for lunch at the Subway and enjoyed eating and chatting with friends.  This afternoon consisted of some Christmas cleaning and some maintenance at the Visitor House.  Supper was soup and grilled cheese and just a while ago we decided to have a popcorn snack!
I had purchased this at the Mennonite store last week while in Kentucky.
(I find a couple of things about this popcorn strange.  First of all the Mennonites are selling Amish popcorn and why are either of them packaging a product that has to be used in the microwave?  I thought most of them do not have electricity.) Anyway I put this in my microwave and hit the popcorn button!  In a few seconds it began popping and I thought it sounded funny like there was a huge amount popping all at once.  I opened the bag and could not keep from giggling.  It is tiny little popcorn that looks like a bowl of snow!
This is the bowl we use (almost every night) for our popcorn and a regular bag would fill it over the top.  It is quite delicious and the best thing is that it has no hulls!  It's now our favorite, we just don't have anywhere close to buy it!

On my phone today:
This handsome dude lost his second tooth today.  He will be getting five dollars for it because of change issues involving the tooth fairy and unexpected loss!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice

On this first day of winter, the shortest day of the year, the temperatures set records for warmth but the gloom stayed around all day.
The only thing shiny on the Ponderosa  and at the Visitor House were the Christmas decorations. . .

And all the sparkly,  glittery stuff that I am using to finish the wrapping and bagging and tagging.
We're now ready for Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

An unexpected blessing

Since it was unseasonably warm again today we decided to take advantage of the weather and drive somewhere for lunch! We did this yesterday too, but who is counting?  As we left home our first stop was at the mailbox where we collected today's mail and looked to see who had sent us Christmas cards.  One was from our friends in Frankfort, KY.  I thought about how much fun we had when we visited them a couple of years ago and how much I missed them.
 We had decided to drive to one of our favorite eating places, Bread of Life.  I was driving so, Peanut, could look around.  When we arrived in Russell Springs I started to pull over at the Mighty Dollar Store where we always stop first but today Peanut said, "Let's go eat first, I'm hungry."  We arrived about 15 minutes later, and were seated near the buffet. 
I looked across the table to say something and who did I see, sitting right there in a cafe in the middle of the farmland of Casey County Kentucky?  It was our friends from Frankfort, Cloyd and Judy! They were on their way to Tennessee to visit family.  We probably caused a minor disturbance with our enthusiastic greetings.  We were able to enjoy lunch together and then we all made a stop at a store in the nearby Mennonite community and at the Mighty Dollar.  It's funny how all the little things that happened this morning brought some people together in the right places for an unexpected blessing!

On another bright note I was able to get some orange slices and chocolate drops at the Mennonite store because everyone knows you can't have Christmas without those in your candy dish.  At least my grandmothers always had them!
Besides candy I also bought some raw peanuts and made this treat tonight.
Candied Peanuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups raw peanuts (skin on)
  1. Preheat oven to 300. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add peanuts to sugar water and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the peanuts are completely sugar coated and no sugar syrup remains, about thirty minutes.
  3. Pour out onto ungreased cookie sheet and spread out a bit. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet and then store in sealed container.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

And four months went by!

Sometimes life just takes over and keeps you from doing the things you enjoy or you just get lazy and don't make the effort!  I'm not sure what happened with me but I neglected and ignored my blog for four months!  I would use the excuse that I didn't have time, but I just ranted about people on facebook this week making posts about not having time to send Christmas cards.  My rant was if you post about not having time to do something--get off your computer and use that time to complete your task!!  I'm going to try to do better no excuses!!

Let's get right to it!
Here's the best thing that's happened in the missing four months.  This is little Bailee Mae.  Well, she's not very little, when she was born on September 12 she entered the world weighing nine pounds!
This picture came to my phone today.  She is playing with her hanging toys in her Christmas outfit.  She has time for stuff like that!
 Also, on my phone today were these two going to preschool for pj day.
And there was this handsome dude with Santa.
What was I doing while all this cuteness was showing up on my phone?  I was out on this beautiful December day having lunch with the husband in Rugby. We ate at the Harrow Road Cafe and then walked around the church grounds enjoying the warm sunshine today!  Here's some pictures I made today.