Sunday, December 23, 2012

scenes from the cabin

Another weekend before Christmas spent making memories, playing Scrabble, cousins, aunts, uncles, Mee Mee, Minnie Mouse slippers, lots of laughing, lots and lots of food, shopping, catching up, and Christmas wishes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a weary world rejoices

I ignored the school shooting news on Friday.  That was something I couldn't listen to while my kids were still at school. I eventually gave in on Saturday and cried with the rest of the nation for those children, their parents, their friends, the teachers who acted so heroically.  I watched as their faces were displayed and names were read, and they looked just like Ben and the kids in his class.  I thought of the mothers, and the anguish they must feel that they couldn't have been with their child when their children must have been so scared.  I thought of the Christmas presents they had so carefully picked out, and the hole they will have in their hearts for the rest of their lives.  I ache for those mothers.  But, it is with a tight throat and slightly swollen face, I say there is hope.
I've been reading Max Lucado's No Wonder They Call Him Savior and the chapter I opened to on Saturday spoke directly to my thoughts that day.  I wish I could post the whole chapter, but that would be really long so what spoke to me most.... "Choosing not to be neatly categorized, life has opted to be a tossed salad of tragedies and triumphs, profanity and purity, despair and hope.  The bad is perplexingly close to the good.  The just is frighteningly near to the unfair. And life? Life is always a clock's tick away from death....God is not stumped by an evil world.  He doesn't gasp in amazement at the depth of our faith or the depth of our failures.  We can't surprise God with our cruelties.  He knows the condition of the world...and loves it just the same.  For just when we find a place where God would never be (like on the cross), we look again and there he is, in the flesh."
So this Christmas I'm remembering that God sent His Son to be here with us (with us!!), Emmanuel.  He felt the ache we feel.  He understands.  I can give my burdens to Him.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Or the Message version...
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

***Also this is pretty cool.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

no llama drama

Hallie and I are posting together.  She's pretty crazy about these pics of her and this celebrity!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

christmas crafty

We happened to all of the supplies for this ornament on hand, and it was something Hallie could do.  Plus it occupied her for about 30 mins. which is really fabulous!  Ben made an alien, and I have a really huge smile on my face when I look at it. Yeah, that's a notebook paper gun in his hand/foot.

oh martha! oh christmas!

My sister and I say that to each other when we're at a loss for words.  Oh Martha! Ohh Christmas!  And then we dissolve into giggles.  It's from the Grinch- poor guy.
Anyway, I went to this brunch with one of my friends and our lovely speaker was talking about simplifying Christmas and making room for Him during the season (as in Let every heart prepare him room and heaven and nature singgg)... Anyway, as we were saying our goodbyes and closing our doors I laughed and said something like "Don't worry about me.  No more making gingerbread houses or candy canes (that ended in a real disaster, the kitchen looked like a murder had occurred recently) from scratch".  Laugh laugh... fast forward a few weeks.  She calls me while I'm in the midst of candy chaos- toffee, caramels, peppermint bark and I was in the process of making homemade marshmallows.  She says, "Ang, I thought we talked about this."
It all started really innocently with my grandmother's recipe for brownies (also known as Maida Heatter's Palm Beach Brownies-they are amazing), and then I don't really know what happened.  So to help you guys out (and myself b/c this will serve as my reminder to not make candy again...ever) I will tell you that I am a horrible candy maker b/c I am not patient.  The apple cider caramels are yummy, but I boiled them for an hour (an HOUR!) while I stirred them and looked longingly at my children fast asleep wishing I was too.  So if you like fast results just buy some at the store.  I mean how much are toffee and caramels anyway??  I turned the temp. up too fast with the toffee and it wasn't right but still not bad. The marshmallows I did really like.  The were pretty easy and so fluffy and fabulous in our hot chocolate.  The peppermint bark we do really love, but I got unsweetened chocolate for some reason and added sugar and it was really grainy and not even sweet.  Anyway, I seem to have a knack for making something easy a bit more difficult.  If you are interested check out the recipes, but just so you know the way that each person describes them on their blog will make you want to make them.  You've been warned.
*I had to upload the photo of the caramel because it makes me laugh.  You are not imagining it. I somehow made it look like a hot dog.  I'm not a food photographer!

Friday, December 7, 2012