Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Brown paper packages tied up with string...

Can you guess what this Gram and Papa 
are giving their grands for Christmas?

These are a few of my favorite things!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A little embroidery for a little boy's first Christmas.
(Can you tell his parents are Broncos fans?)

Find some really adorable Christmas children to embroider

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Little Will....

Sunday, December 14th on the 3rd Sunday of Advent
A new baby was delivered.
He is perfect in every way.
Thankfully, no difficulties or health issues.

Will has come to live 
in the Great Big World
with us.

Mommy & Daddy are so happy.
We are too.

Thanks be to God!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies...

This cookie passed my New Christmas Cookie Try-outs.   Generally, I don't veer far off our traditional Christmas Cookies Trail, but when I saw this recipe, I had to put it to the test.  We had a few guests at our house today, and the cookies were gobbled up alongside mugs of hot coffee.  Delicious!  Definitely a do-again.  They're so good that they wouldn't have to be  a Just for Christmas Cookie.   The original recipe can be found on Simply Recipes.  I made a couple little change-a-roos from the original.

Chocolate Crinkles  

(my version)

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (opt. - I used it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup good chocolate chips

1 In a bowl beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, and butter until it comes together into a shiny, gritty, black dough of sorts.
2 Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds each. Add the vanilla and beat in thoroughly.
3 In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder if using. Mix into the chocolate mixture on low speed until just combined. Do not overbeat. Fold in chocolate chips.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill the dough for four hours or overnight.
4 Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioner's sugar in a wide bowl. Using a rounded teaspoon get clumps of the chilled dough and roll them into 1-inch sized balls using your hands. Roll the balls in the powdered  sugar and place on the cookie sheets (you should be able to get 12-16 on each sheet). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool a minute or two on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 50 cookies.

These cookies would be wonderful served with an ice cream sundae.  They almost have a brownie texture and taste.

TIP:  Wear a bib when eating to prevent powdered sugar from dusting your shirt unless you can pop a whole cookie in your mouth at once!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Advent silence....

Silence is God's first language;
Everything else is a poor translation.
In order to hear that language,
We must learn to be still and to rest in God.

~Thomas Keating
20th Century Cistercian

Thursday, December 04, 2014

The Grinch ...

It's not that I don't like Christmas a lot
It's that I'm not fond of all the stuff that is sought:
The balls and the bells and the ding-a-ling-lings
The battery toys and the soap pump that sings.
Plug-ins for this and batteries for that
Blow-up Snowmen, Santas, and reindeer at that!

The stuff in my basement is just as bad
It's been there forever, a coming-out to be had.
It wants to escape and clutter up my shelves
The doo-dads and thing-a-ma-bobs
That think they are elves.

Well, elves they are not, and out they must go
To somebody else
To their shelves
Or to stow.

It's not that I don't like Christmas a lot
It's just that I'm sick of the stuff that is not
(to my liking)
Like the red plastic bells and the ratty old greens,
The Santas, the stockings, the broken light strings.
The red and green boxes are packed with such things
And now is the time for it all to take wing!

I feel like the Grinch who has cleared Christmas cheer
And shoved up the chimney everything that is dear,
But I'm  thinking it is not that the stuff is so good,
But the stuff is just stuff, and I'm misunderstood.
It's love that makes Christmas so merry and bright
And the stuff doesn't matter compared to the Light
Of the One who was born on that First Christmas night.

So up the chimney goes stuff
Up, up, up and away!
I'm clearing away Christmas,
so don't get in my way.
It's just that I need a little less obstruction
To make room for the Love-in-the-Heart Construction

So up the chimney goes stuff
Up, up, up and away!
I'm clearing my heart
To make room today
For the Love that makes Christmas merry and bright,
For the One who was born on that First Christmas night.

"Joy to the world the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room...."
~Joy to the World


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