It’s almost a new year! And I am going to be super-productive…or at least very good at playing words with friends, angry birds, and bookworm. My wonderful husband knows how much I LOVE technology and he gave me an iPad2 for Christmas.
I’m wondering if he realized if I had this I would leave him alone during every single football game?
So this is a post about making memories, almost forgot that! Me and my iPad are going places this year. Might just be to the front porch I don’t know but I can see us swinging on the porch swing and creating all kinds of worlds.
This is the last post for the Jolly Daze Meme. This morning after reading an email from Patty, I realized how easy these are to do. Next week is not going to be easy! I’m doing a vlog post. Yep, trying the video thing again. Am I freaking out? Yes! Who does a video blog the week after Christmas goodies?
So if you think you’re eyes can take it come back next week to see how this turns out.
Where the Wildflowers Bloom is what I call a couch, blanket and a cup of cocoa book. From the first page you want to snuggle under a quilt and read all day–even better if it is a rainy day. Faith Lindberg dreams of the day Royal Baxter returns, and if he doesn’t come home soon she’s leaving Nobel Springs, Missouri. She’s taking her grandfather and heading west to Oregon–far from the painful memories of family that were killed in the war, or died of disease.
Shorey adds details to the setting in such a way you feel that you are in the Lindberg Mercantile while she dusts the merchandise, and when she walks home at night you can see it. That’s it! This book felt like I was watching a moving take place rather than reading it.
Back Cover: The Civil War stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg–as well a Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. With only her grandfather left, she dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri, and traveling west to Oregon to start a new life, away form the memories that haunt her.But first she must convince her grandfather to sell the family’s mercantile and leave a town their family has called home for generations.
when Royal Baxter suddenly returns, Faith allows herself to hope that she and royal will finally wed. but does he truly love her? Or will another man claim her heart?
I’d love to post a photo of the cover, but I’m still without my computer. Instead I’ll leave you a link of where to preorder this charming book. Where Wildflowers Bloom get it here!
First let me apologize if this blog post turns out odd. My laptop caught a nasty virus so I’m working on my tiny netbook.
This is my hometown. After Thanksgiving my brother and I would beg to drive buy the cliff to see if the nativity scene was up yet.
Nativity Pacific, MO
Here it is up close. Ed and I drove through town a few weeks ago and I was so happy it is still being set up.
Now Ed and I have a new tradition. Our church has lists of families in our community that are in need. At Christmas the church has a list of what food to buy to provide an nice Christmas dinner. The families range in sizes from 1-5 or more. We get a printed sheet of what and how much to purchase.
We like to pick a family of 5 because before some of our kids married we were a family of 5. It’s so much fun to pick up the groceries because we never can stick to the list. We do get what’s on the list, but then we start adding, “Wouldn’t it be fun if we put ? in the bags too?” It’s one of my favorite church activities.
Once I was able to help deliver the bags to one family. The hope and joy that showed on their faces makes me want to continue every year.
Attending a book conference means you get to bring home free books. SMITTEN was one of them.
I loved this book. It’s written by four authors but reads like one story. Best part for me was reading about Natalie–who must eat gluten free! Be still my heart there is a character I identify with!
I asked one of the authors, Colleen Coble to send me two of her favorite gluten free recipes. You’ll find them under the book blurb. I recommend this book even if you can eat gluten. The story is a fun filled romance.
Four friends devise a plan to turn Smitten, Vermont, into the country’s premier romantic getaway-and each finds her own true love along the way.
With Smitten Lumber closing, residents wonder if their town can stay afloat. Then four friends and local business owners-Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese–decide the town is worth saving. How will they do it? They’ll turn Smitten into a honeymoon destination!
As Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese work to save the town, each discovers romance in her own life. Meanwhile, the faith of a little child reminds the whole town what it means to have real faith in the God who is the always and forever Love.
Discover a novel written by four of Christian fiction’s most popular romance novelists- friends in real life who’ve drawn an amazing story of four friends! Includes a Reading Group Guide as well as “Conversation over Coffee with the Authors”.
And here are two of my favorite gluten free recipes:
Mug Cake (tastes like a brownie but you have to cook in a newer microwave)
2 Tlbs. Almond flour
1 1/2 T xylitol
1 Tlbs. cocoa powder, heaping
1 1/2 Tlbs. half and half or cream
1 Tlbs. Butter or coconut oil
Splash of Vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug
Mix all dry ingredients in mug, add egg and blend thoroughly. Add milk, oil and vanilla and mix. Place in 1000 watt microwave for 90 sec. Do not cover mug. Cake will rise. Let cool and place on plate. Add a little whipped cream to top.
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
1 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy – either one)
1 tsp. gluten free baking soda
1 tsp. gluten free vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream peanut butter, sugar and egg together. Mix in baking soda and vanilla. Stir until dough is consistent (it will be a little stickier than usual cookie dough). Roll dough into balls (about 1″ dia.) and place on baking sheet. (Criss-cross top of dough balls with fork tines for a true “peanut butter cookie” look. Dip fork in sugar to prevent sticking to the dough.) Bake for 10-15 minutes. They should be a little softer than “normal” flour cookies when you take them out of the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet a few minutes before transferring them to a cooking rack.
This recipe only makes about 12-16 cookies. I always double it (at least) when I make them. Thanks Colleen! You can read more about Colleen here http://www.colleencoble.com/
Mary happened to be one of the best cooks in our church, until they moved. (Now it’s Janice!) I digress, sorry.
Mary made the best baked goods and contributed recipes to the church cookbook.
The one I made wasn’t in this book though, she gave me her special recipe on an index card. I no longer have it so I can’t share it with you.
I can tell you there were Rhodes buns, caramel and then I’m lost. Now I had tasted this yummy bliss (before being gluten free) and knew it would be perfect for Christmas.
So while the boys played with their new toys, Ed cleaned up the papers and tags, I put this special dish in the oven and went upstairs to get dressed–okay I took a nap, too. I had plenty of time! Don’t judge me! This dish had to bake for 45 min.
There was a bit of yelling downstairs–something about fire? I have never been so alert after a nap.
Smoke rose up the stairs as I came running down.
Smoke was everywhere and there were flames in the oven. Yep, my own little Christmas fire.
The wonderful yummy sauce that made itself had leaked out of the angel food pan and snuggled up tight to the oven coils. I was supposed to use a bundt pan, but didn’t have one and thought it wouldn’t make a difference.
Ed put the fire out, breakfast went in the trash and windows were opened to clear the smoke. A new tradition was born. Cinnamon rolls from the store or cookies for breakfast became the Christmas breakfast.
And that recipe? I’m not sure what happened to it. I think someone threw it away.
What kind of cooking surprises have happened in your kitchen?
When you blend two families together holidays can be–okay the truth is they can be over-the-top stressful.
My first husband, John had grown up with Dec. 6 being a day to wake up and find candy in his shoes.
I woke up as a child on Dec. 6 with nothing in my shoes!
When we married I learned about St. Nick’s Day. We chose to celebrate it by hanging stockings and putting in chocolate coins and a few small toys.
After John went to live in Heaven, and I married Ed, I introduced the joy of St. Nick’s to Andy. He didn’t mind adding an extra tradition that brought surprise goodies in the morning. His stocking is in the middle. It’s the one his mom, Debbi, picked out for him. I think it blends in nicely between Ben and Josh’s.
After the first year of being a blended family we began giving each boy a small ornament to hang on the tree. Those ornaments would go with them when they married, or moved out and began putting up their own trees. Later we began adding pieces to a Nativity scene.
It didn’t take long for 3 small boys to realize St. Nick’s day meant it wouldn’t be long before the Christmas tree would be decorated and cookies baking.
Do you celebrate St. Nick’s?
* from Wikipedia St. Nicolas comes primarily in Alsace, Lorraine and Nord-Pas-de-Calais (French Flanders). St. Nicolas is patron of Lorraine. A little donkey carries baskets filled with children’s gifts, cookies and sweets. The whole family gets ready for the saint’s arrival on December 6, with grandparents telling stories of the saint. The most popular one is of three children who wandered away and got lost. Cold and hungry, a wicked butcher lured them into his shop where he attacked and salted them away in a large tub. Through the intervention of St. Nicolas the boys were restored to their families. This story led to Nicolas being recognized as the protector of children. In France statues and paintings often portray this event, showing the saint with children in a barrel. The evil butcher became Père Fouettard, who has followed St Nicolas in shame ever since. This story is also a popular French children’s song. Meanwhile bakeries and home kitchens are a hive of activity as spiced gingerbread cookies and mannala, brioche shaped like the good saint, are baked. At school children learn St. Nicolas songs and poems and draw and paint St. Nicolas pictures and crafts. Saint Nicolas visits nursery schools, giving children chocolates and sometimes even a little present. Though Père Fouettard carries switches to threaten the children, what they really fear is that he may advise Saint Nicolas to pass them by on his gift-giving rounds.
When you are a child the arrival of snow is a good thing. School gets canceled, sleds come out, and cookies get baked. Sometimes it even comes before Christmas.
Heavy snow meant the car wouldn’t be able to climb either the gravel hill or the blacktopped one. We would be stranded.
Being stranded meant no cars coming down the street where we liked to sled.
Snow was a joyous experience.
My mother somehow knew when the snow would come. At the signs of the first flakes mom would call us to come look. My brother and I would be press our noses against the front picture window. Our questions came rapid and high pitched. “Would there be enough to cancel school? Can we stay home even if it isn’t enough to play in it? Would mom make chocolate chip cookies? “Would it stay long enough that Santa would use his sled?”
The answer from mom was always the same, “We’ll see.”
Then she would disappear and come back with the special glasses used for company, and they would be filled with 7up. The sparkles would pop and fizz against our noses then mom would say, “Let’s toast the first snow of the season.”
I’m not sure she did that every year, but it seems like she did. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized she knew there was a probability of snow so she purchased that special 7up and chocolate chips in advance and hide them on the shelf we couldn’t see.
I had so much fun doing the a2z meme I decided to join Patty’s newest Jolly Daze 4u & me. If you have a blog head over to her site and find out how it works. You don’t have to be a writer to play along.
Today it’s abut THANKSGIVING MEMORIES!
This is one of those times I’m really glad my mom doesn’t use a computer.
Yep, it’s one of ‘those’ stories.
Before D&D (death and divorce) came to our house we spent Thanksgiving at my grandparents home–my dad’s side.
I was so small I had to tiptoe to see all the yummy pies on top of the sideboard. Chocolate and lemon meringue, pumpkin, mincemeat, cherry and apple. I couldn’t wait for the dinner part to be over. I wanted my mom’s pies. Chocolate was the best and favored by many of this group so you had to get your piece fast.
The moment arrived and those of us with Mom’s pie dove in and got a surprise. She’d forgotten to bake the pie shells! We didn’t care. We ate the meringue and chocolate anyway and left the shell.
Mom was and still is embarrassed by this story. I love it because it is a solid memory for me of laughter and good times. After the kitchen was cleaned we’d sit, some of us piled up on parents, some on the flour and sing Christmas carols with the grown-ups before hurrying home to plug in the tree lights to see how many needed to be replaced.
Now we’ve come to the end of the alphabet and the a2z meme that Patty Wysong created. It’s been fun thinking of a blog post for each letter.
Z is for Zandini. On our mini vacation to St. Joesph, Michigan in August I found this guy in a corner of the carousel building.
I couldn’t help but remember the Tom Hanks movie Big, in case you don’t know the movie, Hank’s character puts in his money and wishes to be big. His wish is granted and he wakes up with an adult body.
I had .25 cents but not a wish that would/could be granted by The Great Zandini, he may have been predicting futures I’m not sure. The idea of know what lies ahead creeps me out. I’d rather let each day come to me the way God wants it to.
Then again if he were granting wishes…just one… I would have wished for more days to spend walking the beach with my husband.
I’m pretty sure no one else will use this for their ‘Y’ in the a2z challenge from Patty Wysong.
YardLines is our family business. There used to be a brick and mortar store–okay it was a concrete building. When Illinois regulations began to cost us to much money to continue hiring people and running trucks we downsized. A lot.
Not everything needed to run a paver business is inside this trailer. We rent space to store other trailers, stuff and the bobcat. Unless it’s going to snow then the bobcat goes in our garage so we can get to the main road.
I keep saying WE own YardLines and on paper that’s true. The real story is that Ed is YardLines. He has an amazing skill and talent for laying pavers. YardLines (ED) lays pavers at an amazing speed, he’s put them in driveways, horse barns, patios, visitor centers, metrolink stations, roundabouts, and even an outdoor stage. Most of the time he works alone. YardLines (Ed) is a bit of a perfectionist. When I get to help I carry bricks, pick up trash from the paver pallets and find tools.
Here’s a few photos of what YardLines (Ed) has done. Because he does this I can write. I’m very blessed.
Amphitheater in Alton
Paver Circle Package
YardLines, (Ed) also builds walls. If you want to see more of what YardLines does, visit Yardlines.