Month: December 2007

I’ve noticed a trend lately. People are visiting my blog — not to read anything I have to say, mind you – it’s all because of an entry I posted about Logan’s Calf a month ago. Fifty-five percent of my traffic is from that and the other forty-five is all about the sweets – and as Megan likes to say, I’m “bringing the haystack back” because it’s my second most searched item. I’m all about revival, folks.

I have one more little recipe to share with you before the brouhaha at my mother-in-law’s house Christmas eve. It’s something from my childhood…much like the haystacks. I like to have a handful of this while I vigorously clean the house from top to bottom sit on the couch and watch movies with my kids while we are out of school this week. I also like to have a cup nearby while I’m goofing off on the internet researching important topics and analyzing my blog statistics. It doesn’t hurt to have a cup of it when I leave the house to finish my last minute Christmas shopping go to our office. You get the idea…basically, as Martha would say, “it’s a good thing.” Plus, it’s easy – if you can boil water, you can make this. You don’t even need a candy thermometer.

Easy Caramel Corn
Makes 18 cups Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes Bake: 1 HR Cool: 20 minutes

1-1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 (3.3-oz) pkgs microwave popcorn, popped (16 cups)
1 (10-oz) can salted mixed nuts (optional)

-Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in baking soda.

-Combine popcorn and nuts in a lightly greased large mixing bowl. Pour sugar mixture evenly over popcorn. Using a lightly greased spatula, toss well to coat. Pour popcorn mixture into a lightly greased roasting pan.

-Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spreak on wax paper, and let cool 20 minutes, breaking apart large clumps as mixture cools. Store in airtight containers up to 1 week.

Speaking of things from my childhood, last night we all piled into the van and looked at Christmas lights. I remember sitting on my daddy’s lap when I was just 5 years old, pajama-clad and starry-eyed, steering the car as we drove around looking at Christmas lights. It was such a magical time — Christmas music playing on the radio, hot chocolate in the Thermos…ahhh…those were the days. —-Screeeeeech!—-(cue up circus music) It was not as fun as I remember. The kids were whining and complaining about their thermostatic differences, they were hungry (we had just eaten dinner), they had to go potty, they were thirsty…sigh. I’m not sure if it’s the age differences, or because there’s three, or both – but by the time we pulled into our driveway, I had a migraine. I know I’m not the only mother that experiences this, but there were definitely tears of frustration on my part. How did my parents do it with seven of us? I don’t remember acting this way — it wasn’t allowed and there were serious consequences if we did.

What I really want to know is how do I train these responses OUT of my children? They are so focused on self that they are barely able to see when a brother or sister is in need. Gah! Any ideas are welcome. Seriously.

I’m NOT taking a bloggy break, unlike many lovely ladies I read. So you can just feel free to return any old time and any given day during this holiday season and expect to see the same sporadic and spotty posting as you’d see any other time of the year. Only three days until Christmas eve!

Merry Christmas, y’all.

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$MART = Save money and reduce tension

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got sick and the doctor said she might not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside.

She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents. “When we were to be married,” she said, ” my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me
that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.”

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

“Honey,” he said, “that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling all those dolls.”

So my question is this – how much money have you put aside?

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Stress Free Wrapping

As Christmas morning nears, (my kids count down daily – I am informed practically on the hour) cookies, candies, bars, and the like are being baked; the house is getting a good cleaning; and the presents are all wrapped under the tree presents are all hidden throughout various parts of our house, awaiting the frenzy of discovery on Christmas morning.

We don’t wrap our Christmas morning presents, no-sir-ree. Years ago, I made giant stockings (about 3-1/2 feet tall)for everyone in our family. We have a lovely tradition that on Christmas eve, we each get to open our one or two wrapped presents, and the rest go unwrapped into or under our stockings for Christmas morning. The kids love not having to unwrap 10 gazillion things and mom loves: 1) not having to wrap said presents; and 2) not having to stuff three Hefty garbage sacks full of wrapping paper. It truly makes for a Merry Christmas for all involved.

So that is what works for our family…what works for yours? See more WFMW tips at Rocks in my Dryer.

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Use caution when reading this post…

Rambling post alert!
Reading this post may cause drowsiness. If affected do not drive or operate heavy machinery.

1. We had our annual church Ladies party last night – it was so much fun! I didn’t remember my camera, but I know a certain friend who took lots of photos…including one of her in the bathtub! (fully clothed, but you should see this bathtub — it’s seriously delicious!) We had what I have always called a “Chinese Gift Exchange”, but others (in the interests of political correctness?) call it a White Elephant party. So for all of you Chinese folks that have ever heard me call it a “Chinese Gift Exchange”…please don’t be offended, I was, up until now, ignorant of the fact that I was being offensive. Instead, I’ll just call it a “Chinese White Elephant” gift exchange. Because I’m wierd like that.

2. AJ got SAVED Wednesday night! Yours truly was blessed to be able to walk him down the good old Romans Road at 9:52 pm and ask him all the important questions to make sure he understood. I wish I could say I had more to do with the whole process, but his daddy has been answering a lot of important theological questions that his 5 year old mind comes up with (such as…”if I get saved, will I get a new body?”)This is of UTMOST importance to him – because he really wants to be like Jesus and get a NEW body. Not that there’s anything wrong with his – it’s only 5 years old. I keep telling him to “wait until you are 38! Then you REALLY be ready for that new body!

3. We are so. far. behind. on our handmade Christmas items. Sigh. I really should have started about 3 years ago to complete all the things I want to do for this year. I’m thinking I’ll have a few nights where I don’t sleep much so I can get it all finished. I’m making a bundle of these criss-cross coasters from All-Sorts, a couple of these lovely offset pincushion wristlets from Planet June for my crafty friends, fridge magnets and pushpins from Creative Outlet Designs for some of our agents, the grocery bag dispenser from Dioramarama, patchwork pincushion from from BHG, mama backpack from happythings, and about 50 other delicious goodies I don’t have time to find the links for. That should do keep you busy for a while.

4. I am in the process of weeding out toys that the kids currently have in preparation for Christmas. Our church has a “Christmas store” coming up this Sunday, plus our Nursery is in dire need of some new playthings, so we are sorting through what is scattered all over the bedroom floors. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth thus far – too many items I never see played with are now “my FAVORite”. Note to self: next time schedule a playdate with daddy and do this without help. Sigh.

5. My mom gave us a beeeeautiful Haverty’s Mayfair leather rocking recliner for Christmas! My husband is almost beside himself at the thought of having something other than a glider rocker for those late night study sessions he is so fond of.

6. I think I am catching a little bit of the holiday happies. I am most thankful for Jesus, even though He wasn’t born at Christmas, and the origins of Christmas are pagan, I can still rejoice that we have a Savior who came down to save us and loved us enough to die for us. Mostly…I am thankful He is God and didn’t stay dead – that He’s sitting at the right hand of the Father today, and I am eagerly anticipating His return. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. That would be the second best Christmas present I could imagine.

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Feeling Silly…

I elfed the kids here. Check them out. AJ is in the middle and he’s the one elf who can really bust a move. How appropriate.

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