Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Great Gift!

I received something very special from my mom. Not a Christmas gift or birthday gift, a gift just because she thought of me!

I received a bag that had recipes from her mom, Mom Donohoe. It is a collection of recipes clipped from the newspaper, magazines and written on whatever she had. Some of the things she has written on includes: the back of her children's school work, old calendars from the 1940's and even on the back of letter dated in the 1940's. I am so blessed to have this!

My plan is to scan the items and use the re-productions to create a scrapbook. I will try to include pictures of recipe owners along with some history of that person. My grandmother was great about putting who she received the recipe from. I have recipes from my great-grandmother (her mother-in-law), along with several cousins and aunts that I have never heard of.

Once the scrapbook is complete I plan to copy the scrapbook pages and make a book for all of my family members. As I sort through my goodies I will share with all of you. I am so grateful for this goodie bag!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours! As we stress over last minute gifts and the perfect ham, let us remember the reason for the season.... The birth of our saviour, Jesus Christ! What a wonderful gift He has given us.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gift Card Holders

I made these easy gift card holders using scrapbook papers. They were simple to make and inexpensive. I purchased the paper $0.25 each and then used a coupon for 40% off. I already had the tape and ribbon

This is 7 1/2 in long and 3 inches wide. The top corners are cut at an angle about 1 inch down. Then the bottom corners are cut at a slight angle.
I then folded it in half so that the cut corners meet. I used double stick tape along the outside edges. Punched a hole in the top and then attached a ribbon.

Once complete I hang these on the tree until Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Shelves made for FREE

We made this shelf (2 of them)for my sister's Christmas.... for FREE! My sister recently re-decorated her bedroom. When we were done putting up the wallpaper, I snuck off with some of the extra. Here is how the shelves were made:

Chuck cut a 1x4x8 into 2 foot sections (he had an extra one in the shed.)

I then painted the boards with left over paint.

Chuck drilled out two holes on two of the boards for the pegs.

I wallpapered two of the boards with border - wrapping it around the edges of the board. While the wallpaper was still wet I cut slits where the peg holes are.

The pegs were then inserted. (These were left over from another project.)

The two boards were then screwed together.

Ta Da - Shelves. Even if you had to buy the board and pegs this still would be fairly inexpensive. The bonus to this is that it is customized to your decor!

The Blessing of Family

"For many families, Christmas is a traditional time to come together, bounce the babies, exclaim over how much the kids have grown, welcome new nembers, and carry on with traditions. It's a gathering of love. It's the blessing of FAMILY." ~T.J. Mills

The Blessing of Giving

"Don't you just love to watch the look on people's faces when they open a fift from you? You become the bearwr fo a happy oment for the folks you care about, and it just couln't feel better! When their happiness brings you great joy and satisfaction you are experiencing the blessing of GIVING. ~ T.J. Mills"

It is so easy to give this time of year, but we need to remember the other 11 months of the year. Years ago I use to work in a nursing home. During December it was overwhelming with all the request we had to bring in food, come in and sing etc. It was really sad when we had to turn down these request. What was even sadder was the fact that the other 12 mos of the year many of the resident had no visitors.

I know that it is hard for some people to visit a nursing home, but there are many people we can show the blessing of giving. Remember the shut in neighbor, the widow at church and anyone else who may not have many visitors all year long. Let's show them the blessing of giving all year long, not just at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Blessing of Love

Sometimes the special emotions we feel at Christmas time inspire us to do great things. And from this greatness is born the blessing of LOVE.

Our love for each other is one of the greatest gifts we can give. While we are used to opening our hearts and giving love to those who share our daily lives. Christmas is the time to share the love with others too. Become a Christmas hero to someone in need of this great blessing. Do something for that person in the Name of Jesus. He's what the Christmas season is al about. Everyone is blessed with the loving support of a family, and you may be able to help fill the emptiness in a life that needs some loving care. Keep your heart open to opportunities to do good. Touch lives, touch hearts! Become involved where your are needed. Let the blessing of God's love inspire you to so great things! ~ T.J. Mills

Monday, December 18, 2006

Are We Sure It Is December?

Are we sure it is December? If it weren't for all of the Christmas hustle and bussle I would think it was March or April instead of December. It is currently 45 degrees in central Indiana! Last night when we were heading home about 7 pm the car temp gage was reading 62 degrees! We are walking around without coats the week before Christmas! Now I am not complaining. I am not a cold fan, but this is just strange. I like snow for Christmas, after that bring on Spring!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Blessing of Friends

Christmas can be such a festive time of year and a great time to gather together for merrymaking! Surrounded by special people at this special time, you find yourself experiencing a glad heart and grateful spirit for the blessing of FRIENDS.

Sometimes friends are our family and sometimes family are our friends. It really doesn't matter so long as we have them in our lives to cherish.

The Blessing of Beauty

For most of us the main blessing of beauty is the Christmas tree. Many of us spend lots of time picking out the perfect tree, making sure the lights are just so and then pulling out all of the ornaments that mean so much to us.

I really enjoy outside decorations. (Well, most anyway!) A tradition we have is that when we are finished celebrating with family on Christmas Eve we go on a driving tour. I especially like this if there is some snow to top off the scene. I really like how quite and peaceful the night is.

The Blessing of Faith

When we walk through the doors of the church, we feel wrapped in the comforting arms of our faith. The warmth of prayer and worship serve spiritual nourishment to our souls and provide with with strength for our daily lives. The "reason for the season" seems to be in every corner of this blessed House of God." ~ T.J. Mills

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas At My House!?!

Well, I recently found out that my MIL wants to have Christmas at our house. Gulp! I have had a hard time getting in the spirit this year. With our adoption taking so long and my office closing, I really have been down. We thought for sure our baby girl would be joining us by this time. I am feeling better now, but I really scaled back this year. I put up the tree and the stockings. That is it. Normally I decorate to the nines. Yes, I know decorating is not the reason for the season!

So, with my uncompleted living room (we still need to put up the closet door and put up all of the trim) I will be hosting Christmas! We celebrate with Chuck's mom, stepdad and family on Christmas Eve. The plan is to attend church on Sunday morning and them come back here to celebrate.

I have a full weekend, including my mom's annual day of baking. Yummy! Stating Monday I will be cleaning like crazy!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The TRUE Meaning of Christmas from the Mouth of a Babe

This afternoon I was at my parents and so was my sister and her two youngest girls. I was sitting on the floor playing legos with Lauren who is 4 years old. Here is part of our conversation:

Me: I really love Christmas!

L: Me too!

Me: What is your favorite part of Christmas?

L: (Thinks for a minute) It is not about presents or even Santa. It is about Jesus Birthday. (Then she leans in and whispers) And Grandpa gets to share his birthday with Jesus! (Dad's birthday is actually Christmas Eve.)

All I could do was smile and think your are so right, that is the best part!

The Blessing of Memories

Oh the great memories I have of Christmas! I love to unwrap all the tree decorations, each one is so special! We started a tradition of getting an ornament each place that we visit. It is like walking down memory lane each time that special ornament is placed on the tree.

I have too many memories to list each one here. Many from my childhood and many that Chuck and I have created together, and will continue to create as our family grows and the years pass.

I hope everyone stops to remember the special things!

The Blessing of Kindress

Charity has been a part of Christmas for centuries, but many credit the writing of Charles Dickens, (especially "A Christmas Carol") for increasing public awareness and interest in Christmas charity. There are any different ways to show kindness during the holiday season.

*Be cheerful to strangers - they will notice

*Give up your place in a line to someone who looks like she needs it

*Participate in any or all of the community efforts around you.
The mitten tree at school
The food drive at church
The Angel tree at the mall


*Clean out your closets and let the kids clean out their toy boxes. Donate to the Salvation Army

The options are endless and easy to find. ~ T.J. Mills

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Blessing of Music

We've all known this feeling when the joy of a Christmas carol swells in our hearts and rises through our senses. It brings a lump to our throats and a tear to our eyes. We begin as small children learning these wonderful songs. Each year we bring them out to dust off and tune up, and soon realize that, like a fine antique, they have become more priceless with the passing of time. ~ T.J. Mills

One of my favorite carols is

Silent Night by Franz Gruber written in 1818. Here is the history of the song:

It's hard to believe that the quiet, calmng refrains of the peaceful "Silent Night" were actually composed under pressure! A broken organ on Christmas Eve was the inspiration behind it's creation. The church's priest quickly penned some verse and asked his organist to compose accompaniment. That night, to the gentle strains of a single guitar the song was first performed and the little Austrian church was not silent. ~ T.J. Mills

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Blessing of Greetings

A merry little greeting in a merry little way, for a merry little Christmas and a merry New Year's Day!

The American history of the greeting card goes back to 185, when a German immigrant named Louis Prang of Boston produced the first line of printed Christmas cards for the public to buy. They were an immediate hit! It's not too surprising to know that soon after this, arount 1880, the post office was urging one and all to "post early for Christmas!" ~ T.J. Mills

Christmas cards are one of my favorite things about Christmas. I especially like the cards with the letter or a quick note. It is such a treat to go to the mailbox and find a Christmas card!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Twelve Blessings of Christmas

I received a delightful book as part of a Secret Santa exchange. It is The Twelve Blessings of Christmas by T.J. Mills. I thought I would take the next twelve days to share this book with all of you.

The Blessing of Warmth

Christmas is more than a span of time on the calendar; it's a place in our hearts. Each year we welcome this season of splendor like a much anticipated visit from a cherished old friend. We embrace its advent with a flurry of Yuletide activities that reflect the sprirt of our deep faith in this celebration of God's love for us. The arrival of Christmas is the blessing of WARMTH in our hearts.

A homespun Christmas filled with simple pleasures (and the time to enjoy them) can be the greatest blessing of all. So, be a kid again, get excited, make projects with glitter and glue. Bake cookies until the aroma fills every corner of your home. Sing Christmas songs with "The Chipmunks" and stand outside without a coat in the cold night air to look at the bright twinkling lights on the houses. Enjoy every warm minute and have a merry little Christmas! ~ T.J. Mills

FREE Jiffy Mix Recipe Book

A fellow adoptive mom in waiting, Magi ,posted a link for a FREE Jiffy Mix Recipe Book. I have to agree with her that Jiffy Cornbread Mix is the tops! It is sweet, quick, inexpensive and most of all delicious! I love new recipe books, especially when they are FREE!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Card

All of the cards have been mailed. Yeah! There is also a scripture on the inside top of the card. The print is so small that I could not get a good photo. It says:

Happy are the people to whom such blessins fall! ~ Psalm 144:15