Wednesday, December 31, 2008
That was funny, I must be delirious from running around trying to get everything done before my brother-in-law, his wife and their four children arrive this afternoon for a couple of days visit.
Since I'm always doing things I shouldn't, here I sit, typing a blog post for all of you, my cyber-friends. You know being the compassionate, caring goddess that I am. Bwaahahahahahah! Hahahahahahah!
Really, it might be five o'clock somewhere, but I'm not starting till after the divine service this evening.
I think I need a nap.
I want to wish all of you a happy, healthy new year. Thanks for being around, reading my ramblings, and commenting every now and then making me think I'm a terrific writer.
I also wanted to point you to Dave Barry's end of year review column. It is so funny, I printed it off last night and read it to David. We had tears in our eyes during parts. We so enjoy Dave Barry's humor - he is a funny man. So, go here and read his article. It is long, but well worth it.
(ht to Father Hollywood).
Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
My in-laws told us of a young couple who found themselves unable to resist and the girl became pregnant. They are 14 years old. The parents took them to MO, had them get married and now they are living with one of the parents, going to school, and raising a baby. Some in my in-laws neighborhood are shocked and disturbed that the parents had them get married. I think it was a good idea. My prayer for this young couple is that the parents around them and even in the neighborhood will support them, and help them make their marriage last their lifetime.
I'm under no illusion that it will be easy, but I am fully aware that the same media and world and sadly even many Christians RPW speaks of in her post are also the same ones that will say things like this to this couple, "You had to give up so much, now it is time for you to do something for yourself, " or "If you don't love him/her anymore, go ahead and get a divorce," or other garbage.
I have other thoughts, but they seem to want to stay jumbled up in my brain. I think I'll go do some more cleaning before this becomes even more unclear. If you didn't before,
The children gave me some Jane Austin novels.
The one is a beautiful hardcover with 7 novels included under the one cover: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Lady Susan. The other book is titled, Love and Friendship, A Collection of Juvenile Writings. Only Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan and Love and Friendship are the ones I've never read. Even so, I'm simply delighted that now I don't have to borrow any from the library, I can walk to my bookshelf and pick one up to read whenever the desire hits.
For David, the children couldn't decide what to give him. At first they thought about a Whirley Pop, but he bought one himself because we desperately needed a new popcorn popper (We eat popcorn at least once a week, usualy twice or three times). Then they thought about a dvd of either Monk or Psych, but they were too much money (now those links show they've come down in price, oh well). They kept asking him and he would always say, Captain Morgan, but they didn't think that seemed liked a good gift. However as time drew near, I told them, really, that would be a grand gift for your dad and you can buy him a case of Coke to go with it. They finally agreed and once it was wrapped and under the tree, they couldn't wait for him to open it.
On the days proceeding Christmas, David commented that their weren't any bottle shaped gifts under the tree. This made the kids grin in secret. I had purposely told them to put the Captain in a gift bag with tissue, because if we wrapped it liked a bottle, then he would know. I also wrapped the case of Coke with wrapping paper, so he had two gifts.
On Christmas Eve as he opened his gifts, this is how it turned out:
He pulled off the tissue and paper and saw immediately what it was.
Grinning ear to ear.
Yea, it is the Captain!
Then they handed him his second gift. He commented, "Wow, what is this? It is so heavy."
I thought for sure he would know since he had just opened the Captain. But he really didn't. Once again, surprise and delight.
Now he once again can enjoy a Captain Coke with popcorn.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
a. spend the money
b. force husband and kids into doing something they might not want or
because what always happens is that item is no longer available! UGH!!!!!
It has happened again. The Vienna Boys Choir was going to perform at Shattuck-St. Mary's in February. I really wanted to go and take the family. But I waited and waited until last night when I asked David again, "I've mentioned I wanted to go to that concert but I'm not sure you want to go or that you think it is a good idea." "No I would love to go," he replied.
So today I called, and the tickets are all sold out. I'm quite disappointed and mad at myself.
Oh well, my only consolation is that now David has to take us to Vienna to hear the Boys Choir, but I might be waiting quite along time for that.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
No, what are melting moments then, are these little delicacies:
A few years ago, when we lived in Illinois, my sister-in-law and I would get together one day and decorate sugar cookies for Christmas. She would often bring another kind of cookie to share and I would give her something if I had happened to think about it in time. She has always been much more thoughtful than me.
Anyway, one year, she brought these mouth-watering yummies. I loved them and gobbled them like crazy. Years have gone by and I had forgotten all about these yummy, yummy, cookies, until I looked through my recipes to make a list of what goodies I wanted to make for Christmas treats.
That is when I saw it, the recipe card for Melting Moments.
I knew immediately they would be on my list. They can be on yours too, I'll share the recipe.
Don't worry, you still have time to make them, they're easy and quick. You can even make the dough one morning and bake in the afternoon, or make the dough one day and bake another.
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Sift flour once and measure. Add cornstarch and sift again. Set aside. In mixing bowl, cream butter with vanilla. Add powdered sugar, cream until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture, mix until smooth. Chill dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop dough from teaspoonfuls or form small balls (my choice). Bake for 10-15 minutes. Frost when cool with cream cheese frosting.
Cream cheese frosting:
1.5 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
(I add a little milk)
food coloring of your choice
Cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beat until blended. Divide into bowls for your color choices. Frost cookies, allowing it to set before storing or serving.
These cookies are fragile and tend to fall apart if handled carelessly. But boy oh boy once you put one in your mouth, it really does melt away. The recipe made 37 cookies for me. I rolled the dough in small walnut shape balls, and they do flatten somewhat as they bake. The original cream cheese frosting was double what I wrote above, but I only needed the half batch to cover the cookies.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Come on over and I'll share.
Oh I know, the weather is frightful today, so go ahead and stay home and make some yourself.
Never Fail Toffee
1 cup sugar
2 sticks of butter
3 Tbsp water
1 Hershey chocolate Bar
Walnuts chopped fine
Cook the sugar, butter and water on medium high heat until it reaches hard crack stage (300 degrees).
First it starts out all pretty and buttery...
then turns tan, pulls away from the pan and sometimes smokes.
Once it reaches the hard crack stage, pour it into a buttered 9x9 pan. Let it set for 10 minutes.
Then add 1 Hershey's chocolate bar on top,
let it melt, then spread it out evenly over the top.
Now sprinkle walnuts all over.
Let it set until hardens, usually overnight. I often stick it in the refrigerator. Use a knife to break it into bite-sized pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, for future snacking.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
3/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup dark honey
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp powdered ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Beat the butter and sugar toghether in a large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in the beaten eggs, honey, vinegar, and vanilla extract, until all the ingredients are well combined. Sift the flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together over this mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large baking sheet.
Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll them by hand into small balls, about 3/4-inch in diameter. Place them on the buttered baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake on the middle rack of the oven, one baking sheet at a time for about 15 minutes. The cookies will puff up at first, then flatten out as they bake. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Roll the remaining dough into balls and bake. Store the cookies up to one month in a tightly covered container.
These taste especially yummy on cold, snowy afternoons dipped in coffee. Besides that, the house smells wonderful as they're baking, like mine does right now. Guess what I'm enjoying for a snack tomorrow.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Melanie, if you're reading, we simply have to get together next year, otherwise I put my cookie baking and decorating off way too long and am faced with trying to get them done the day before the ladies' bake sale.
I also need to finish several loads of laundry today that have piled up somehow.
Sometime I have to put together the hotdish for tomorrow's luncheon at church.
I really want to put up some more Christmas decorations today before my Pampered Chef party Sunday afternoon. Anyone want to come - you're all invited.
So I suppose I should get to doing what needs to be done.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...
You Are a Marilyn!
Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.
How to Get Along with Me
- * Be direct and clear
- * Listen to me carefully
- * Don't judge me for my anxiety
- * Work things through with me
- * Reassure me that everything is OK between us
- * Laugh and make jokes with me
- * Gently push me toward new experiences
- * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.
What I Like About Being a Marilyn
- * being committed and faithful to family and friends
- * being responsible and hardworking
- * being compassionate toward others
- * having intellect and wit
- * being a nonconformist
- * confronting danger bravely
- * being direct and assertive
What's Hard About Being a Marilyn
- * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind
- * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
- * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
- * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger
- * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right
- * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations
Marilyns as Children Often
- * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
- * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger
- * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
- * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel
- * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent
Marilyns as Parents
- * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
- * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
- * worry more than most that their children will get hurt
- * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries
Friday, December 05, 2008
12 yr old: "Who gets the bowl? You?
12 yr old: "That's not fair."
Me: "Of course you would think that wasn't fair."
She then exits to put away her violin. I call the 11 yr old daughter to take the dough to the basement fridge and upon her return to the kitchen, I give her the spatula to enjoy. There we were then, gathered in the kitchen, each enjoying the sugar cookie dough when...
12 yr old: "Moms aren't supposed to lick the bowl. That's for kids."
Me: "Oh really? Who says?"
12 yr old with glint in her eye: "I read it."
Me: "In what book did you read this?"
12 yr old without hesitation: "In The Handbook for Mothers."
Me: "Where did you find this book to read?"
12 yr old: "In the library."
Me: "What page did you find it on?"
12 yr old: "512"
Me: "What page?"
12 yr old thinking she is winning this battle: "12"
Me: "Then I know you've been reading the ersatz Handbook for Mothers, because you gave me the wrong page and paragraph number."
12 yr old, not willing to give up quite yet: "Then what page? How do you know you've not been reading the ersatz book."
Me: "Who is the mother? When you get to be a mother you'll have the real book too, but till then mothers don't allow their children to read their handbook."
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
And since I haven't lived up to this award with any creative posts for awhile, I'll do the meme that goes with it.
Seven things I did before: (AmusedMomma did "before kids," I'm going to do "before lunch today."
1. I dragged myself out of bed at 7:20.
2. I read with David the Treasury of Daily Prayer for today.
3. I shipped the oldest two off with Latin vocabulary and books on Lincoln and Douglas with their dad as he drove to Rochester for a hospital visit.
4. I read emails and blogs.
5. I taught the youngest three their math lesson for the day.
6. I did the dishes.
7. I fixed lunch.
Seven things I do now:
1. I make our bread.
2. I make our granola.
3. I make our yogurt.
4. I drink coffee.
5. I check email and blogs to the detriment of housework and childcare.
6. I count down to the one week vacation with my best friend and her family, starting the day we leave from the current year's vacation. (9 months and 11 days)
7. I say "yes, I can do that or help with that" way too many times.
Seven things I would like to do:
1. Travel around the USA with my family. (Here I'm the same as AmusedMomma.)
2. Travel around Europe with my family.
3. Be more disciplined.
4. Learn how to better use my camera.
5. Be more loving and caring.
6. Lose weight. (Once again, I'm right there with you AmusedMomma.)
7. Spend more time scrapbooking, catching up with all my pictures.
Seven things that attract me to my husband:
1. His handsome good looks.
2. His belief in and defense of Lutheranism.
3. His persnicketyness when it comes to knowing where every single penny we spend or receive goes.
4. His twinkling eyes.
5. His humor.
6. His liberalness in giving to charities.
7. His ability to make me think I'm the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen or cares to see.
Seven favorite foods:
1. Good Hamburger
2. Good Beer
3. T-bone Steak
4. Greek yogurt with homemade granola and strawberries
6. Riesling or Gewurztraminer wines
7. Baked Potato
Seven things I say most often:
1. This is maddening, simply maddening.
3. Who's suppose to.......?
5. Just a minute.
6. Get your work done.
Seven people I am tagging:
7. And anyone else who wants to play along.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
|What Glenda Means|
You are intuitive, brilliant, and quite introverted. You value your time alone.
Often times, you are grumpy with other people. You don't appreciate them trying to interfere in your affairs.
You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.
You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.
You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.
You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.
People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic “Type A” personality.
Friday, November 28, 2008
This is the first year we are way ahead on all our Christmas shopping. Our kids receive two gifts, one from us and one from Santa - those are purchased, some, though, are still en route. I still need to buy a few more stocking stuffers (they get one each day for the 12 days of Christmas), gifts for my mom and my in-laws and help three of the children buy a gift for their sibling (they draw names).
I finished my scrapbook of Germany -yee haw! It is so nice to have it complete. In reading over it, I noticed I made several grammar mistakes; I have a tendency to write where for were. I must not notice it when I'm in the middle of writing, but boy of boy it sure reads funny later. Any bets on how long it will take me to correct them? Or does it add character to the book to leave them in?
It was neat to see the joy of a neighborhood boy who came to service with us on Thanksgiving Eve. He said, "I"ve not been to church since I was a little boy." He was well-behaved and quite courteous.
Reading the lessons prior to the start of service always helps me to listen more closely during the service when Pastor reads them. At the Thanksgiving Eve service I was struck by the words in the epistle, "In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4) I was pondering on those words "the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need" that I didn't realize came before the more popular and oft-quoted passage of "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Then lo and behold, Pastor preached on those words. I really learned from that text and sermon where I sin much in worrying about needs, when I already have an abundance I don't see clearly.
Even though most are taking a day to shop or hang Christmas decorations, or lounge around, MLLA is back in session and David is at work with a funeral this morning and other pastoral responsibilities this afternoon.
Hope you're enjoying your post-turkey day.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday Noon after the meal and during devotions:
Dad after finishing reading from Genesis 44 looked up and said "yes Nathan" because he had raised his hand to ask a question.
Nathan: "Why did Jacob love two sons and not the others?"
Dad: "He did love all the rest, but apparently he loved Jacob and Benjamin more because they were the two sons of his favorite wife, Rachel. Remember Jacob had 4 wives with sons from each."
Dad, speaking to all the kids: "You all are lucky, because you are all children of my favorite wife."
Friday Noon after the meal:
Hannah: "Aren't there Advent services?"
Dad: "Yes and go ahead and ask me what I'm going to preach on."
Ellie: "What are you going to preach on?"
Dad: "I have absolutely no clue."
Ellie: "Well couldn't you just preach on Christ's coming and Christmas?"
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
....that I'm so lazy in the morning to get out of bed and then kick myself later for not getting out of bed and on with the day?
....that everything seems to happen in the months of November and December and school work always gets pushed back, even though I try *every year* to plan for the chaos?
....that I always want to be liked by everyone? (I really am an Emma.)
....that there is always one child I have no idea what to get them for Christmas?
....that I'm sitting here doing this when I have laundry to finish, granola to make, schoolwork to do, supper to start, a possibly sick kid to look after, and many other things patiently awaiting my doing?
Sunday, November 16, 2008
It is simply beautiful. (The picture does not do justice to its beauty.)
A new silver chalice with engraved vines and grapes on the outside and gold-plate on the inside. A matching ciborium with engraved wheat.
New individual trays and glass individual cups (no more plastic).
New glass cruets.
New credence table.
Now my husband has the altar guild set up in such a way that he can use all of the elements during a service and consume what is left. That makes it so much easier for the Altar Guild to clean after the service.
I love nice things. But I especially love that the precious gift of forgiveness, life and salvation found in Christ's body and blood are now served in such beautiful vessels.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Then we were free to walk around Munch. We simply were amazed at the outdoor market.
The first time we heard a polizei siren, both David and I turned to each other and wondered where Jason Bourne was, but confident he would narrowly miss being caught.
David and I joined Paul and Lori for an Avantinis (Paul's all-time favorite) at the brewery right off the Marienplatz.
Then David and I walked to the Augustiner brewey and enjoyed another delicious beer.
Then we walked back to our hotel, and enjoyed some snacks we bought at the Aldi store and Rewe store right across the street.
After a rest, we walked on to the Lowenbrau brewery and yes, sampled yet another delicious beer.
Finally, for supper we walked along with about 30 of our group back to the Augustiner brewery for our last meal in Germany (this picture from my sil, Mary)
and of course, more delicious beer.
Oh yes, we had a wonderful day.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwnagau (originally published here).
On the way up and down we saw views like this lovely fresh mountain spring.
At the top you're greeted with amazing views of the castle itself.
They don't allow pictures taken inside so I bought an inexpensive guide book that has all the pictures of the inside rooms and the descriptions. Well worth the cost.
Back down in the valley we had time to get a bite to eat. Unfortunately everything was closed except for one or two very expensive restaurants. We didn't choose that option because a. we didn't want to spend the money and b. we didn't want to spend the time it takes to eat a restaurant meal.
But do you see that white building down the way? There, just beyond the yellow building? That is where you buy your tickets; inside was a pretzel case, we bought one of those and ate it. That was enough to keep us going until supper. If you were to look right while standing here you'd see Neuschwanstein, and if you would look left, Hohenschwangau.
Here is Hohenschwangau. We didn't tour it but the parking lot where our bus had to park was right below it. Beautiful places these were.
Ad this is one of my my favorite pictures. There were still roses blooming and then the snowfall on top was simply beautiful.
The Church in the Meadow:
It is in the middle of the countryside of Germany near Neuschwanstein Castle. We had a brief stop to visit this church after visiting Newuschwanstein on our way to Munich. It was a cold day, and being a very big, stone church, it was quite cold inside too.
The inside was quite over-the-top I thought. Very, very ornate and busy, everything was painted, even the ceiling. I didn't even desire to take any pictures as this was my least favorite church in Germany. (Here is my favorite church.) This picture (above) of the outside was taken by my brother-in-law Mark. But if you want to see a picture of the inside then pull out your current Gottesdienst issue (Trinity 2008). The cover picture is from the inside of the Wieskirche.
What? You don't subscribe to Gottesdienst? Then go here, and and do so. If you can't wait that long, then find someone who does subscribe and borrow their issue. Besides the beautiful cover art, the articles on the inside are absolutely superb. I always learn a thing or two from them.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
One year ago today we spent the morning in Innsbruck, Austria.
Oh wow - the beautiful snow-topped mountains with the city nestled below. It was so pretty.
We walked all around and through many neat shops. I bought a beautiful Christmas table linen for my side table, and in that same shop we loved seeing the thousands upon thousands of eggs decorated in any way you can imagine.
We also enjoyed our first slice of mouth-watering pizza and glass of Coke since we had left the states. Yum Yum! Then we found a neat candy shop, Barenland. It was full of various flavors and shapes of marshmallows. The nice lady at the counter offered us samples, we gladly accepted. We then bought a bag of Christmas tree and snowman shaped marshmallows for our children to enjoy in their hot chocolate. They loved them all winter-long.
We also saw the golden roof (and I don't remember now why it is famous) and then headed back to Oberammergau for the afternoon.
On the way back we stopped in order for everyone to have an opportunity to take some pictures of the beautiful mountains.
We spent the afternoon walking around Oberammergau, admiring the murals on the buildings, (picture from my bil, Mark)
the many wood carvings, (picture from my sister-in-law, Mary)
and the other beautiful things offered. Our youngest son's birthday was the day we were flying home, so we brought him a gift from Oberammergau - a wooden walking stick just his size. He loves it and plays with it every day.
At one point in the afternoon while David and I were walking around, the sun peaked through, shining on the hillside. It was a beautiful sight.