"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Next Week ... Next Year ...

I just love when January rolls around. A fresh new start. A clean - unmarked calendar. Vacation plans that are for 'this year' .. instead of next year. This is the month that I start my really deep cleaning. Washing walls. Pulling furniture away from the walls. Cleaning under the washer and dryer. Washing and storing seldom used china so it will be clean and ready at a moments notice. Polishing furniture with oil instead of just using a feather duster. The lazy end of December will be just a memory of .. well, just that ... a lazy memory that needs to be shoved into a mental closet and forgotten for a long, long time.

In between all of the household chores will be some bright spots. Looking at the seed catalogs and plotting my garden on paper. Hubby has promised to buy me a 'mulcher' .. although I know he means rototiller as a birthday present. He's so practical, eh;)

This time next week there will be a spring to my step. No more gloom. With or without mountains of snow, I will take a few winter walks; I'm prepared with shoe chains and snow shoes for ice and for powdery snow. No more excuses! No more resting on the couch recovering from Christmas. And did I mention that the kids will be back in school? Aaaah.

Image from here

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas At the Macs

This year has come to a close and just about slipped into one of the many photo albums stored down in the basement. Here are a few impromptu pics taken on Christmas and at a local fire station charity breakfast with Santa, soon to be added as well.

Mr. Mac was able to get the day off work and the entire clan was home for Christmas. We had a nice breakfast ... mid day snacks ... and a sit down dinner with all the trimmings. Nathan made an appearance for the gift exchange .. then withdrew to the safety of his room. He wasn't too cooperative about getting in the family pictures ... hence the misc. pics of him from the fire station. Ann's birthday dinner pics that include her beau, Greg, on a break from his fireman duties ... she's now a 'un-teen' ... hip, hip, horray! (sigh of relief;)

Have a memory filled last week of the year as we wait for a brand new one filled with many possibilities.

Thank you Jesus for giving us reason to hope and celebrate!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Menu Traditions

Traditionally for breakfast we have:

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Breakfast Sausage
Orange Juice

I never serve lunch because we eat our dinner early

This year's dinner menu:

Locally Raised & Smoked Ham
Local Natural Turkey
Cranberry Relish
Sean's Potatoes*
Steamed Broccoli
Green Dinner Salad with Homemade Basalmic Vinegar Dressing
Home Baked Dinner Rolls
Sparkling Apple Cider
Birthday Cake**

*Sean's Potatoes: This is Sean Patrick's favorite side dish his Grandmother Betty would make for family get-togethers. When he was stationed in the Army for eight years away from home, it was comforting to have a family meal with his favorite dish. In our family, this dish is known only as 'Sean's Potatoes'.

8-10 medium potatoes, boil with skins on until barely tender
2 cups sour cream
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus additional for topping
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped green onions
salt and pepper

Chill the boiled potatoes in refrigerator, peel and shred (grate). In a small saucepan, melt butter and cheese. Mix in sour cream. Together in a large bowl, gently mix the shredded potatoes, cheese mix, green onions, and salt and pepper (to taste). Pour into a 9x13 in. pan. Top with grated cheese. Bake 45 minutes at 350F

** In honor of remembering Christ's birth, we are having a birthday cake for dessert.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Minimizing Christmas Stress

This Christmas season I've baked, perhaps, one or two batches of cookies. We no longer feel the need to go overboard in the baking area. It's too easy to grab a cookie on the long way around to the kitchen ;) ... out in sight .. on the mind. Years past I would bake beautifully decorated cookies. Pack gift tins for each of my older children's teachers ... they were in Jr. and Sr. high so multiply 7x3 and that adds up to a lot of cookie tins. It would take a week to properly clean the kitchen floor from all of the spilled flour and ingredients. Hubby's motto .. Keep It Simple Sweetheart ... has become a way to survive the holy days ... and reflect on the simplicity of Christ's Mass.

Monday, December 07, 2009

... On Being A Keeper At Home

I have to confess, since we got rid of our cable TV, life has taken a much slower, less hectic pace! Either silence or beautiful Christmas music fills the air ... and the pitter patter of my grandson's little feet. Reading books, knitting, writing letters, baking and occasionally watching an old movie have been rediscovered. A friend and I get together once a week for prayer time as well. Then there's my weekly trip into town for perishable groceries. Exciting life, eh? But it suites me well. There's no place like home, aaaah!