Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas!


The stockings are stuffed and hung, the gifts are wrapped, the food preparations are underway and family is beginning to arrive.. such a busy time of year. But full of so much. 

 Full of love, laughter, excitement, joy, a bit of sadness for those that can be with us this year, and the quiet moment when we remember a baby, a manger, shepherds and the humble birth of our Lord and Savior. 

The reason the we gather, the reason we celebrate, the reason we are saved! It's now time to breathe, celebrate, and find joy in God's gift of salvation.

Merry Christmas!!


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
One word best describes this week.. busy! It's been a week of getting gifts together, organized, wrapped and under the tree. I just got my Christmas cards out today and did grocery shopping this morning (which is why this WSS is so late today) to purchase items for not only our Christmas dinner but the days before and after that I'll have family here.

Other then that, I had a checkup for my ulcers (the ones that put in the hospital in July) and was happy to hear that they are completely gone now. My efforts to reduce and eliminate foods that are acid producers and take my meds has done the job.

My daughter Emily and I had a nice chat on the phone this week as well. She and her little family won't be able to make it for Christmas this year. Just too much for them to make happen. I understand completely, but they did promise to be here next Christmas.




On My To-Do List
Right now, it's late afternoon and I'm working on laundry and dinner preps. After that I'll do a little clean up and spend some more time on my gift baskets.


Projects I'm Working On
I've had a lot of fun with my baskets. I purchased small red plastic baskets from the dollar store and began to fill them with goodies.



In this basket you can see I have, a jar of my strawberry cranberry jam, some fuzzy socks, a sample bottle of lotion, hot cocoa with a bag of marshmallows and little candy canes, tucked over to the side is a bag of peanut clusters that I made last week and some Madeline cookies that are individually wrapped, and a few bars of homemade soap and a little red Christmas tree ornament. 

 

Some of the other baskets have similar things and with a couple added items geared towards the person I'm giving it to.



Today's Weather
It's really been a beautiful day. The sun has come out off and on and the temp is in the high 40's or so. We've had no snow fall yet, and I'm completely good with this! I hope the winter stays just like this. But, since it's only started it may not.

Today's High,45 Low,28



The View from my Deck (or window)




What I'm Reading
My reading list has not changed. This week I found it hard to get my usual reading in.


What I'm Listening To
The clock is ticking, my fridge is running, and I can hear my hubby outside doing some chores around the house


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
This time of year is hard to be frugal. I'm hoping to get better organized for next year. I say that every year and I don't do it. But, I'm going to make a section in my notebook for Christmas planning. If I see things that are on sale, or just a really good deal I can put it away for the holidays. And of course, write down where I put it so I don't forget! :)


Fitness and Health for the Week
It's also hard to be healthy this time of year. Temptations are everywhere. The best way for me to deal with that is to not bring things into the house that tempt me. Most years I don't gain weight during the holiday, I don't buy sweets or treats when I know I'll be tempted to snack on one here or there. This helps to stay on track with good eating.



That is all for this week!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Menu Monday!




So hard to believe it's only one week until Christmas. I've not figured out my Christmas menu yet so that is on my mind. But for this week I'll keep it simple again as I'm trying to finish up all the other Christmas related tasks.

The only meal from last week that we did not have was meatloaf. So that will be tonight's dinner. I'll serve it with baked potatoes, acorn squash and salad.


The rest of the week is looking like this...

Chicken Soup
I've been doing a little twist on my chicken soup lately that has been a big hit. Instead of noodles I add pot stickers at the end and add a little soy sauce or Yoshida's sauce to the soup broth. This is really yummy. I buy my pot stickers frozen from Costco. I plan to make biscucts and a salad to with the soup.

Crockpot Pork Chops
I'm thinking of using spaghetti sauce to cover the pork chops and adding a little mozzarella cheese on the top towards the end of cooking time. I will serve buttered pasta and green beans on the side.


Green Chile Pork
It's not authentic, but it's good. I don't use a recipe. I make it in my Instant Pot. I use a pork roast, green chile salsa and a little water. Pressure cook it and shred the meat up in the yummy sauce. Goes great in tortillas with all the typical trimmings of tacos.


That should keep us fed for the week and give me time to work on my projects and getting my home ready for family that will be here.



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
It's an early morning (here on the West Coast) WSS. Hubby and I have errands to run, grocery shopping and a visit with his brother on our to do list this morning.

The week has been busy with Christmas preparations. I made a batch of what I call my Christmas Jam. It's Strawberry Cranberry Jam. I like the recipe because it uses frozen strawberries (which I buy from Costco) and cranberries. When the cranberries come out around Thanksgiving I always make sure to buy an extra bag so I can make the jam. I like having it to put in gift baskets and to be able to give to people who come by for a visit. 

 

Over the weekend I did my first Christmas shopping that was not online. It wasn't to bad but there were lots of people and traffic as everyone is trying to finish up their shopping on time. I was reminded of how much I prefer online shopping. I have one more package coming soon and maybe one more trip to wrap up lose ends and hopefully I'll be done. It's a big job to shop and prepare for as many children and grandchildren as I have. I should be smarter and work towards this all year, but so far that has not been my style. :)

My dining room table has been overtaken with gifts, wrapping paper, bows, and such as I'm working to get it all wrapped and under the tree. So far it's all looking pretty and festive.

 

On Friday my daughter Hannah and her children came for a visit. It was a fun afternoon with them.



On My To-Do List
Other then the errands mentioned above I plan to come home and keep working on wrapping up gifts and assembling gift baskets.



Projects I'm Working On
Christmas seems all consuming right now. I need to start planning our Christmas family dinner next. I don't have anything that I traditionally make. Right now I'm thinking lasagna, saucy meatballs and letting everyone else bring the sides and dessert.



Today's Weather
Goodness it's been windy and cool lately. The constant wind blowing is driving me nuts. It's been going on for over a week with gusts up to 100+ mph. Surprisingly we've not lost power, so that is a good thing. The weather man assures us it will die down by the end of the week. I hope so as they said that last week! :) On the bright side we've had no snow. I'm not a fan of snow (or winter for that matter) and decided to look at the good side of it all.

Today's High (not including windchill) 43   Low 34


The View from my Deck (or window)
It's so early that it's still dark outside and so there will be no pic today. I'll be gone as the sun comes up.



What I'm Reading
Almost finished the book of Mark and I made more progress in Pride and Prejudice.


What I'm Listening To
The wind blowing, my wind chimes making a lot of their “happy noises”, hubby getting the fire going.


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Once again I scored some good deals while out Christmas shopping. I was pretty happy with the deals and then got to the register and (unknown) to me there were coupons in the paper and the checker lady gave me those deals and I saved another $25 off of my items.


Fitness and Health for the Week
This has not been my best week for getting my steps in. Had a couple days I was not feeling 100% and time focused on my projects has left my exercise time at the bottom of my list. That will change soon. I'm doing very good at keeping my diet in line. Lots of fruits and veggies and not much if any junk food.


That is all for this week!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Menu Monday!



This month is moving right along. I'm working to stay on top of my game in regards to Christmas planning so my weekend was all about Christmas prep. We survived on leftovers, fresh fruit, salads and wraps. So tonight I'm making chili for dinner. It was on last weeks menu and is being bumped over to tonight. I'll make some corn muffins and a salad with this.


The rest of the week is looking like this...


Meatloaf
I have one in the freezer so that will make an easy meal. I'll serve mashed potatoes and a veggie or salad, or both on the side.


Chicken Tacos
There easy to do in the Instant Pot. I cook the chicken, shred and add salsa and sometimes cream cheese. Then assemble the tacos just as you would regular ground beef tacos. I plan to serve black beans and a salad with this meal.


Pork Roast
Sometimes simple is the answer and this week I'm all about no fuss and simple. A pork roast cooked in the IP with spices will be simple. I'm thinking pasta (of some sort) and a salad will be the sides.


That should do it for the week!


Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas and Family Traditions

When my daughter Sierra was here a couple weeks ago we put up our Christmas tree.  She really wanted to do this while she was here and I was happy for the help and company.  It made us reflect on our long held family tree trimming tradition.  All my children remember it and what precious memories these things are for them to carry into their adult lives. 



Family traditions... how do they start? I once said.. if you do something once with your kids.. it will be a tradition and every year after that they will say.. Remember mom.. when??... Traditions are like glue.. they hold families together. Christmas is a great time to reflect on family traditions.

We had for many years a Christmas tree decorating tradition. I would make cheap store bought frozen pizza, have cocoa, eggnog, candy canes, Christmas cookies. Then we would decorate the tree. This tradition had its start very simply.

One year, we had 5 or was it 6 little ones?? We went out and bought a tree and brought it home. The kids were so excited. But the reality was that dad needed to get the tree in the stand and string the lights on before the kids could put the decorations on. But they all just stood there when the tree was brought in looking at dad and waiting for all the fun to begin. He felt a little stressed by it all. 

I jumped in and told the kids.. lets have some cocoa! Then I looked in my cupboards and freezer to see what else I might have to keep them distracted while dad did his thing. Here is what I found: Frozen pizza (the cheap kind.. bought for those “just in case” times in life), Christmas cookies, eggnog, candy canes, and hot cocoa mix. So.. I cooked the pizza and the kids enjoyed the cocoa, eggnog, cookies and candy canes.. and by that time dad was done with his job and the kids could decorate the tree.

After that, the tradition was started. Every year we'd bring in the tree, dad would set it up, put the lights on and we'd feast on frozen pizza, Christmas cookies, candy canes, eggnog and hot cocoa and then decorate the tree.

This year we put up the tree and my daughter Emily messaged me from California.. .. mom.. don't forget the pizza, eggnog and hot cocoa!

Family traditions are like glue.. they make memories, they hold us together and we never forget them..

Make some memories this year.. start some family traditions!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
Wednesday Snap Shot is late today. Hubby and I got up super early and headed into town. We wanted to be first in line to get an oil change and then went to Home Depot, the grocery store, Costco and the bank. We were home before noon, which is great timing considering we live 45 minutes from the city.

Groceries are now unpacked and I have a hot cup of coffee sitting next to me and am ready to roll.

It's great to be back to blogging this week. I wanted to thank all those who left me a comment, here on my blog or on FaceBook, on the loss of my father in law. I so appreciated the thoughts and prayers. It was a busy week and I've only now had time to get back to things online and have not responded yet to everyone.

My father in law was a veteran and was buried at the National Cemetery not to far from our home. It was a very honoring service, not only of his military time (he was Navy), but also of his life. He was 84 years old and will be missed. 


This is a picture of Leanne and Grandpa, taken several years ago..



We had our family Thanksgiving on the Sunday after the holiday. It was wonderful. Of course I always enjoy anytime my family gathers together. It was a great time of lots of food and family fun.







On the actual holiday we celebrated Sierra's birthday. She and her boyfriend, Rex, came and we enjoyed the day together. We put up the tree and had lots of birthday goodies to munch on.



I also got the socks hung up. Even tho I don't fill them anymore it is a precious reminder of Christmases past when all the children where home and the socks were something they loved and looked forward to every Christmas morning. So I continue the tradition by hanging them each year.




On My To-Do List
Grocery shopping has already been marked off my to-do list.

Other then that I need to:

~do 2 loads laundry
~vacuum
~dust the living room
~finish putting up a few Christmas decorations



Projects I'm Working On
I managed to get almost all my Christmas shopping done in the last couple of weeks. So far I've done it all online and all but 1 package has arrived. My next project is to sort and wrap the gifts.

I'm also getting ready to start putting together a few things for gift baskets. Nothing fancy, just a few homemade goodies to give to people who come to visit us. While out grocery shopping I picked up the needed items to start making a few things this weekend.



Today's Weather
Oh it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! :) After so much rain and gray skies it feels like a wonderful blessing to soak up some sunshine.

Today's High, 47 Low, 35



The View from my Deck (or window)
With the sunshine has also come a lot of wind. I need to remember when the weather gets windy like this to put my hair up when I go out. I came home a big mess, ha, ha... :)




What I'm Reading
With all that I've had going on finding time to read has been a challenge but I have made a little progress. I finished Matthew and have started Mark in my Bible reading. I've not been able to get back to Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. This is at the top of my list now.

I was looking for a new classic book to read and started reading Cathcher in the Rye. I have to say I was not enjoying it. The attitude of the book, the language used, etc.. It was just not my style. So, I set the book aside and started reading Pride and Prejudice. I'm about 1/3 of the way through and enjoying it much more.



What I'm Listening To
Hearing my hubby start up the tractor outside and the wind blowing against the house.


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
I took advantage of a few Cyber Monday deals while Christmas shopping online. I found Old Navy had 50% off everything on that day. I was able to get a few gifts for some great deals.


Fitness and Health for the Week
I continue to be excited about my exercising and getting more steps in each week. Some days have not been what I would have wanted, but that was expected with all we have had going on in the last couple weeks. Overall I've been getting 7000 to 10,000 steps more days then not. My goal is to get back to 10,000 steps or more each day. That is where I use to be.



That is all for this week!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Menu Monday!




It was a busy week last week for our family. I was thankful to have a lot of leftovers from our Thanksgiving dinner. We had the main dinner leftovers and I made soups and casseroles from the rest. I am however equally thankful that we have eaten all of them. I will be quite content to not see turkey or ham for a while now :).


Tonight we are having hamburger rice enchiladas. I'll make a salad and serve tortilla chips and salsa with them.

The rest of the week is looking like this...


Asian Braised Pork Shoulder
My daughter Emily recommended this recipe to me. You can find the recipe HERE. I'll serve rice and a salad with this.


Chili
I love my Instant Pot Chili. I don't think I've shared the recipe. I'll do that soon. I plan to make cornbread and salad to accompany this meal.


BBQ Baked Chicken
Chicken pieces baked and smothered with bbq sauce.. yum. Macaroni & Cheese and green beans will be served on the side.


That should do it for the week!