Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year Wishes

"And now let us welcome the New Year,
Full of things that have never been."

~Rainer Maria Rilke

Wishing you and your family a very bright and happy New Year!!! I will talk to you all in 2007!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Looking back on 2006

Dawn from 4:53 a.m. has a fun way of looking back on 2006. Post the first sentence of your first blog post of each month.

Here are mine, along with the first picture I ever posted.

Morning Glories
Originally uploaded by Kelli.

I grew morning glories from seed this past summer and they climbed very quickly up my fence.

As you can see from the birthday photos Grace had a great day!

The March wind roars, like a lion in the sky, and makes us shiver, as he passes by.

We started our living Easter baskets today.

May is here.

What are some of your favorite things about June?

It is my youngest brother's birthday today!

The layout and general clutter of our schoolroom finally got on my last nerve.

I grew up out in the country.

It is 1:30pm on this Sunday afternoon and I am still trying to process all of my thoughts regarding these past two days.

We had lots of fun last night and got a ton of candy.

I have always loved Advent Calendars.

Thank you, Dawn for the fun idea!

Lazy Vacation Days

We have been enjoying these quiet days after Christmas. Sleeping in late, watching movies, playing with new toys, eating fudge for breakfast...I mean wholesome bowls of oatmeal. ;0)

I managed to clean the kitchen yesterday and even do a little laundry.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Today, I'm hoping to get the other rooms cleaned and vacuumed, along with doing the rest of the laundry. It is nice to start the New Year with clean clothes to wear!

Grace got Monopoly for Christmas and I have had lots of fun teaching her how to play. I have great memories of playing Monopoly with my cousins. Our games would last for *days!*

Monopoly is one of those games you either love or *really* don't like! I heard a few interesting conversations while shopping for games this month. "Don't even think about buying Monopoly. That is the worst game ever!" How do you feel about Monopoly?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cherry Pound Cake

As requested, here is the Cherry Pound Cake recipe. We didn't eat it all on Christmas, so I sliced the cake and froze the slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then transfered them all to a freezer container.

Cherry Pound Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup maraschino cherries, drained and halved
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch tube pan (I used a bundt pan). Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extract. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Dredge cherries in 1/4 cup flour, then fold into batter. Spread into prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 80 minutes (this will vary), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar when cool, if desired.

Recipe found at


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Our Christmas Day

Christmas Day began around 8:00a.m. when Grace and Emily woke up. Benjamin woke up 15 minutes later and we read the rest of our Advent story, followed by the Christmas story from Luke 2.

We lit all 5 candles on our Advent wreath.

While stockings were being opened, I made a pot of coffee. :0)

Emily loves these velvet coloring pages.

This photo cracks me up. I always put an orange in the toe of each stocking, but Benjamin seems confused by it this year!

After the stockings were opened, we made our way into the office to open presents. We all took turns opening gifts and there were lots of oohs and ahhs and thank yous!

Grace loves her Horse Ink Stamp Set. She also recieved a new wallet, Monopoly, American Girl books, and a new stuffed puppy.

Benjamin was very excited about his new bathrobe, knights and horses toy set, Tinkertoys and Legos.

Emily has had her eye on this Angelina Ballerina doll all year and was thrilled to get it! She also got some new books, clothes, and a Polly Pocket Car Set.

Phillip and I set a budget of $50.00 for each other. As you can see by this new laptop he went way over!!
It took most of Christmas morning for my shock and surprise to wear off and then he was in big trouble! ;0) My brother-in-law pointed out that this should be my Christmas present for the next 40 years! I agree!

We had a very relaxing morning together. I had done most of the food prep the Saturday before Christmas. I put the already cooked ham into the oven around 1:00pm. Phillip's family and a friend from church arrived for dinner.

Honey glazed ham hot from the oven.

I ordered sweetly requested that my three brother-in-laws help me clean up after dinner and my kitchen was sparkling clean in less than 30 minutes! We set out dessert and once dinner settled we enjoyed Christmas cookies, fudge and hot buttered rum.

I also made a cherry poundcake for dessert.

Lastly, I want to share one of my favorite Christmas decorations. Grace drew this picture for me and it hangs on our fridge. It sums up what Christmas is all about!

Good news from heaven the angels bring,
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a child is given,
To crown us with the joy of heaven.
-Martin Luther

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Our Christmas Eve

Happy Boxing Day to all of my Canadian friends! We had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you all did too! I thought I would share some pictures from our Christmas Eve.

We went to our Christmas Eve service in the late afternoon. Poinsettas covered the front of the church.

Grace and Emily sang in the children's choir and we sat in the front row so we could hear their sweet little voices.

Every year we have a guest harpist join us for Christmas carols. Such a beautiful sound!

After the service we came back home and wrapped a few presents. Benjamin is already a better wrapper than his mommy!

We soon got busy making reindeer food. They love oats and cookie sprinkles!

The girls and Benjamin sprinkled it along our walkway.

Then we all headed up Nana and Papa's house for chicken chili and eggnog bread. I got a bit of a migraine but I took some Ibprofin in time so it wasn't too bad.

We got home around 10:00pm and quickly put out some milk and cookies.

Dad er, I mean Santa likes double stuffed oreos. ;0)

Fern in definitely getting coal in her stocking!

Tired girls off to bed. What a yawn!

We put all the presents under the tree after everyone was sound asleep.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, December 22, 2006

~Merry Christmas~

May the love that came
that holy night
light all your days
with hope and joy.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Friday ~ December 22, 06

Three more days until Christmas! I went grocery shopping last night and I have one more gift to buy, which I will do today. Almost all of the doors on our Advent house are open and the girls and Benjamin will miss their morning piece of chocolate. Tabitha's Travels is getting very exciting. She just met Mary and Joseph and they are on their way to Bethlehem!

One of the highlights of this week was decorating a gingerbread house with Nana. Everyone added their own creative touches.

We have recieved so many wonderful Christmas cards from family and friends. They are displayed on our livingroom bookshelf.

Even our Holly bush is ready for Christmas. The normally green berries have turned a deep red.

Old fashioned ribbon candy is almost too pretty to eat!

Naughty kitty on the table!

Here is what our table will look like for Christmas dinner. I found the satiny red table runner for $2.61 last night!!

The placecards are made from floral berries and leaves. I attached the paper tag with silver embroidery floss.

I hope you all are enjoying these last few days before Christmas with your family!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

~Christmas Dinner~

~Celebration Punch
~Sparkling Apple Cider
~Hot Buttered Rum

~Cheese Ball and Crackers
~Spinach Dip with Vegetables
~Spicy Sausage Balls

~Glazed Spiral Ham
~Scalloped Potatoes
~Baby Carrots with Herbed Butter
~Corn with Red Peppers
~Romaine with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
~Sauteed Green Beans
~Yeast Rolls

~Assorted Christmas Cookies
~Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge
~Pecan Pie
~Cherry Poundcake

Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

Did I hear it was only 1 week until Christmas?! I spent most of the weekend baking cookies. They are used for gifts and the rest go into the freezer. Between now and New Years Day, they get eaten up.

I made Rice Krispie Squares, Gingersnaps, Peanut Blossoms, Shortbread and Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The Scottish Whipped Shortbread recipe came from my friend Heather, at A Quiet Place of Rest. They really do melt in your mouth!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

These Peanut Butter Butterscotch Marshmallow Bars have been named a new Christmas tradition at our house. I took them up to my in-laws for dinner last night and my brother-in-law was quiet for an entire 5 mintues while he ate them. ;0) For all your holiday baking needs visit PEA's Corner. She is the holiday baking queen!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I still have a big pile of Christmas cards to send out. I just picked up our Christmas pictures yesterday.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

My livingroom is the gift wrapping station right now. I have 5+ boxes to take to the post office this afternoon. I hope it's not too busy.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I always end up with a big pile of garbage when I wrap gifts. Looks like someone is getting Butter Lovers Popcorn for Christmas! Actually, all the single guys in our family are getting a package of popcorn, candy and a $5.00 Blockbuster gift certificate. Nice and easy and something they can use.

Wrapping paper
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

We don't wrap the kids' presents until Christmas Eve. Maybe not the smartest tradition but if I wrap things early, I forget what I got them and then stay awake all night wondering if things are even. (Did I just say that outloud?!)

This is my system for hiding gifts. Put them into a heavy duty green garbage bag. Double knot the handles and lay 3 hairs across the top. Check every hour to make sure they haven't been moved. ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Phillip does not trust this system with me. He takes my gifts into his office and brings them home *wrapped* on Christmas Eve. Humpf!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

~Christmas Tour of Homes~

The day is finally here for Boomama's Christmas Tour of Homes!

Welcome to my home! Feel free to click on the pictures to make them larger.

On the front door are my ice skates from when I was a teenager. I grew up in Canada and remember spending entire winters with my skates on! Let's go inside where it is warm...

Here is our Christmas tree, all lit up. This year we used white lights, lots of ornaments, candycanes and red bows.

"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there."

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is my "Rustic Woodland Scene" on the coffee table. A sweet family of deer are nestled in the greenery.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Even my bedroom has a little Christmas sparkle. I've been trying to get up early in the mornings, but my warm flannel sheets are not helping!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is my diningroom, feel free to pull up a chair. Our second Advent candle is lit and the kettle is on.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

It looks like everyone is having fun on the icy pond!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Before you leave, let me get you a hot cup of tea and...

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

a slice of Eggnog Bread. Here is the recipe in case one slice isn't enough. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Eggnog Quick Bread

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup eggnog
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 1 bread pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, stir in sugar, eggnog, butter, vanilla and almond extract. Add mixture to flour and stir just until moistened. Bake 45-60 min. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Frosting: Mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg in small bowl. Add enough eggnog to reach drizzling consistancy. Drizzle over bread and serve.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

A big thank you to Boomama for hosting this Christmas Tour. Be sure to visit her and see all the beautiful homes!

Thanks for looking and come again soon!