Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday - December 31, 2018

Good morning, Sweet Ladies! Happy Monday and Happy New Year's Eve! 🎉🎊🎉

How was your week and weekend? Did you have a nice Christmas? Our week here was good, but busy! 

All but two of our children and their families were able to join us for Christmas Eve lasagna this year. It was a bit crowded (27 people in all), but, oh! What a blessing it was to have so much of the family together again on Christmas Eve! Did this mama's heart good! 💗

My new Christmas plates adorned each table. Adult tables had real candles, but,
 for safety, on the children's tables, I used battery-operated tea lights.
Tuesday, of course, was Christmas Day. It was quiet here...just John and I and our neighbor lady. After lunch, John and I took a plate down to my cousin and visited with him for a bit. Then, spent the rest of the day at home just the two of us. It was nice. 💑

On Wednesday I took a friend to do her grocery shopping and I had a doctor appointment on Thursday. I know that, to most people, neither one of these things sound like a big deal, but, where we live, the nearest grocery store is 20 miles away and our doctor is an hour away. That means that driving time alone round-trip is 45 minutes to two hours, so, really, we can only plan for one major thing a day. Sometimes we can double things up, but, generally, everything we need to do is in opposite directions (for example, there is a small Walmart on the way to the doctor's office, but, to get to Aldi's we'd have to go an hour and half in the opposite direction), so it really only pays to plan different trips for different things on different days. Otherwise, it just wipes us out! How many of you can relate?

I worked Friday and Saturday, then, Sunday afternoon, I got started on taking down a few of the Christmas decorations. We'll see how far I get with the rest of it this week. 😉

Okay...enough about last week! Let's get on into this week, shall we?

Today I am joining Sandra and the other ladies over at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom
for Happy Homemaker Monday. Please be sure to go over and check it out! 💗

Right now I am...

...finishing up breakfast and enjoying a cup of tea while working on this post. 

Am thinking...

...about the new year ahead and all the hopes and dreams that it holds.

On the breakfast plate...

...cinnamon swirl muffins, Triple Zero Greek Yogurt (vanilla), and cup of hot tea.

The weather...

...cool, windy, and rainy! It's 38 degrees right now with a high of 47 expected this afternoon. From the look of things, I'd say we got quite a bit of rain overnight and, according to the forecast, the rain will stick around through the noon hour today. After that cloudy skies and falling temperatures down to a low of 22. After that we have a couple of days in the mid- to upper-30's, then highs in the 50's and lows in the 30's after that. Overall, we can't complain. For the tail-end of December and the first week of January...not bad at all! 

On my reading pile...

I haven't made a whole lot of progress in the reading department lately. Am still reading The Great Buffalo Hunt by Wayne Gard, and Dear Kitchen Saints - Letters from an Iowa Housewife by Connie Hultquist.

On the menu this week...

Monday - dinner at dd and sil's
Tuesday - potato soup and grilled cheese sandwich
Wednesday - creamy turkey and wild rice soup
Thursday - Guatemalan red beans and rice
Friday - broiled salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli
Saturday - homemade pizza (freezer)
Sunday - chicken chowder and refrigerator rolls

On my 'to-do' list...

Monday - Weekly "home blessing", do laundry, set up 2019 budget, spend New Year's Eve at dd and sil's
Tuesday - Celebrate the New Year
Wednesday - ??? (this is really unusual, but I'm determined to have more of these in 2019)
Thursday - Take grandson out for lunch on his birthday
Friday - Work
Saturday - Work
Sunday - Church; get together with the cousins for an evening of food, fellowship, and fun


In the craft basket...

Finished my infinity scarf and am working on an order for baking soda fridge buddies. 

Baking Soda Fridge Buddies
Am also collecting old Christmas cards (fronts only) for a project, so, if anyone has any to share, please, contact me! Thanks!

Looking forward to this week...

Just having some down time to work at home and celebrating family birthdays...son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.

Something interesting that I watched this week...

A video on how to make laminated snow globe ornaments and this video on how to get organized in 2019 from Jill at Living On A Dime.



From the camera...

Even though the whole of winter lies before us, with the coming of the New Year, my thoughts turn toward spring. It is these that I look forward to next...

Tiny Purple Crocuses Growing on the South Side of our House
Scripture passage...


Well, Ladies, that's it for this week! I pray that each and every one of you have a blessed and beautiful New Year, and I'll see you next week! Blessings!

Until next time,
~Rebecca

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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Good SATURDAY Morning!

Image result for december 29 image

Good morning, Dear Ones!

Just a quick note before running out the door for work on this last Saturday of 2018. How are you and yours this morning? 

Everything is good here...quiet after all the holiday hoopla. I've not had time to start taking down the Christmas decorations yet, but am looking forward to doing so. It's time to get everything back to normal and back in order. 😉

I worked yesterday, but on a late schedule. Didn't go in until noon, came home at 4:30, and was back at 6:00 for our first ever 'popcorn and movie night' (Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo). It was good! 

Now, today it's work...not a busy day (nature bingo at 10:00, then, in between visitors and whatever else happens to come up, working on 2019 program ideas the rest of the day) and tomorrow it's church. Beyond that, there is nothing else planned at this point. 

How about you? How are you spending this last weekend of 2018?

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Good THURSDAY Morning!




Thursday, December 27, 2018

Good THURSDAY Morning!

Good morning, Dear Readers! 💗

I tell you what! With the 25 days of Blogmas 2018 following right on the heels of 30 Days of Thanksgiving, I felt like something was missing yesterday when I didn't post anything all day long! 😧 Of course, you all probably enjoyed the break of not hearing from me for a change! 😆

So, how are you spending this time between Christmas and New Year's Day? Have you started taking down your Christmas decorations yet? Did you get in on any post-Christmas shopping yesterday?

I haven't started taking any of our decorations down yet, but only because I haven't had time. I'm chomping at the bit to get started on it, so I can start deep-cleaning!

I did get in on a little post-Christmas shopping yesterday. I had taken my friend grocery shopping, and she and I both needed birdseed...and, of course, to get to the birdseed, I had to walk right through the middle of the Christmas shop...and, of course, I got sidetracked there, but only momentarily. The only thing I really needed for next year was Christmas cards and a couple of packages of bows...both of which I ended up purchasing at 50% off. 

While looking at Christmas cards, someone bumped me with their cart. I looked up to find one of my daughters-in-law standing there. I said, "What are you doing?" She said, "Same thing you are!" and we both laughed. We both liked the same two boxes of cards so she got one and I got the other and we agreed on which ones to exchange in 2019! It was hilarious! 😆 

I love hitting the post-Christmas mark-down events like that. Last year I bought enough wrapping paper to last us, literally, for years and I keep it in one of those containers that is specifically designed for wrapping paper (it looks like a big, red trashcan). 


Wrapping Paper Container
Anyway, I just wanted to stop and say, "Hello!" before taking off to today's appointment. I missed visiting with you guys yesterday! You all have a great day and I'll see you again soon! 😉

Until next time,
~Rebecca

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Blogmas 2018 - Day 25 - Christmas Day



Blogmas 2018 - Day 24 - Christmas Eve



Happy Homemaker Monday - December 24, 2018



Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 25 - Christmas Day

Christmas Flowers From My DH
Twenty-four people joined John and I last night for Christmas Eve lasagna and, even though it was super crowded, we had a great time! As a family we are extremely blessed! 💗

This morning was spent exchanging Christmas greetings over the phone and online with various friends and family members. At noon a friend joined us for lunch, then we took leftovers to a family member down the street and spent an hour or two visiting. We just walked home a short time ago. 

Now, it is mid-afternoon on Christmas Day and all is quiet. John is asleep in his chair and I just made myself a cup of hot tea. I thought I'd sit down and write this post, then...well...I'm not sure what I'll do after that. I need to clean house and get things back in order after last night, but I'm just not up to it. I'm determined to let it go until tomorrow or, perhaps, Thursday, and just rest...something I rarely do.

How about you? How are you spending Christmas Day?

Wherever you're at and whatever you're doing, I pray that this has been your best Christmas ever and that you are enjoying it to the fullest!

Until next time...
~Rebecca

P.S. - As this is the last post in my Blogmas 2018 series, I want to give a big shout-out to Tamy over at Chasing My Life for introducing me to the idea and for allowing me to link-up with her and follow her lead. I'd also like to thank Jean over at So Not Organized for linking-up, too, and making the experience all the more pleasurable! Perhaps we'll do it again next year, Ladies! 😉

(To find all the posts in this series click HERE.)

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Blogmas 2018 - Day 24 - Christmas Eve






Monday, December 24, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 24 - Christmas Eve

It's 9:30 a.m. Christmas Eve morning. The laundry and housework are nearly done, two large pans of lasagna sit atop the kitchen cabinet, prepped and waiting to be baked. One loaf of French bread is done and another is rising, while yet a third is being mixed up in the bread machine. 

All the while Alexa quietly plays classic Christmas songs in the background and I await an expected visit from a couple of  "unexpected" Christmas Eve visitors who plan to stop by while in the area.

The music is soothing. Many of the songs take me back to Christmases long, long ago to days of childhood. Sweet memories pop into my mind. So many sweet faces that I miss.

After the bread is done, I will pop the lasagna in the oven to bake while I run out to the park to do a couple of things that need done before the holiday. 

After that it will be time to come home, set up the tables, pull out the Christmas linens, and put all the finishing touches on everything before the family arrives for our annual candlelight Christmas Eve dinner.

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. It is with much anticipation that I look forward to it year after year. And, then, after the busyness passes and the midnight hour approaches, it is with childlike wonder I press into the real meaning of Christmas. It is then that I go outside, look up, and observe the heavens. 

As my lungs drink in the frosty, crisp air of a cold winter's night, I gaze up at the stars. They hang there, large and sparkling against the inky blackness of the winter sky, and I wonder. 

I wonder what it must have been like that first Christmas night. I think of Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger...of the shepherd's tending their flocks on the hillside when, all of a sudden, a host of heavenly angels appear...heralding the birth of the little Lord Jesus our Savior and King! What an amazing and wonderful thing it must have been to witness such an event first-hand! 

Then I think...what an amazing thing it still is! To KNOW beyond the shadow of a doubt that what happened that night, 2,000 years ago, was real and that, we today, if we will receive it, are able to bear witness of that same Gift that was given to a hurting world so long, long ago.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16)"


How about you and yours? How do you spend Christmas Eve? What's your favorite part of it?

Until next time, 
~Rebecca

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Happy Homemaker Monday - December 24, 2018






Happy Homemaker Monday - December 24, 2018

Good morning, Sweet Ladies! Happy Monday and Merry Christmas Eve!!! 🎄 

I pray that this last week before Christmas has been a great one for you and yours and that it has been filled with many blessings. 💗 

Our week and weekend were good here and filled with lots of holiday happenings! 

On Monday my daughter, Amber, and I got together with our friend, Sarah, for our annual Christmas movie night. This year we watched The Man Who Invented Christmas. It is, without a doubt, one of my absolute favorite Christmas movies of all time!

On Tuesday my friend, Pat, and I got together to bake Christmas cookies. Pat is 85-years-old and had never made a cookie in her life. She seemed to enjoy the experience very much! I made the dough, then, together we cut out the cookies with Christmas-shaped cookie cutters (stars, bells, candy canes, gingerbread boys, snowmen, angels, stockings, and more); I baked the cut-out cookies and Pat helped ice and decorate them. 

Pat Decorating Christmas Cookies

That evening my husband and I delivered them to all the neighbors on our block, as well as a few extended family members.

On Wednesday I had library programs (a condensed version of 'A Very Prairie Christmas') at the local library and on Thursday I took our granddaughter, Sarah, out to lunch for her birthday. Poor baby! She ended up doing all of my last-trip-to-town-before-Christmas running with me, but, before it was over, we ended up at the mall in Pittsburg (Kansas) in search of some wonderful Christmas-scented lotion AND she got ice cream, so, in the end, I think it was worth it to her. 😉

Granddaughter, Sarah, and I
I worked at the park on Friday and Saturday and, on Friday, the bison ended up at the building TWICE (which is very unusual)! They were there when I got there that morning and they came back around in the afternoon. Both times they stayed around for 45 minutes to an hour. It was awesome! 💗

Bison Grazing Outside the Window on the East Side of the Nature Center
Yesterday, of course was church and, in the evening, we attended a candlelight service at our daughter and son-in-law's church. 

So...that's it for my week last week. Let's get on into this week's post...shall we?

Today I am joining Sandra and the other ladies over at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday. Please be sure to go over and check it out! 💗

Right now I am...

... taking a tea and breakfast break. I have one loaf of bread baking in the oven and another mixing and rising in the bread machine (I shape the loaves myself before the final rise), have the lasagna prepped and on standby ready to go into the oven when the bread is done, have one load of clothes in the washer, another in the dryer, am waiting for my kitchen floor to dry, am listening to Christmas music, talking on the phone, talking to granddaughter on Snap Chat, and working on this post. Gee whiz! Anything else that I can think of??? 😲

Am thinking...

... about all that is left to do in preparation for tonight's dinner.

On the breakfast plate...

... sliced deli turkey, white cheddar cheese, an egg, and a cup of hot tea

The weather...

... Not too bad. Right now it's cloudy and 36 degrees. The high today is supposed to be 48...55 tomorrow...and 60 the next day. After that cooler temps and chances for precipitation.  

On my reading pile...

Am still reading The Great Buffalo Hunt by Wayne Gard, and Dear Kitchen Saints - Letters from an Iowa Housewife by Connie Hultquist.

On the menu this week...

Monday - lasagna, salad, homemade French bread with olive oil dip
Tuesday - pasta, sauce, meatballs, salad, homemade French bread with olive oil dip, cheesecake
Wednesday - mini stuffed peppers, black beans, and oven-roasted baby carrots
Thursday - potato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
Friday - broiled salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - leftovers

On my 'to-do' list...

Monday - Weekly "home blessing", make bread, and bake the lasagna in the morning, do some work at the park in the afternoon, host 30th annual Christmas Eve candlelight dinner for our family in the evening
Tuesday - Celebrate Christmas
Wednesday - Take a friend grocery shopping
Thursday - Doctor appointment
Friday - Work
Saturday - Work
Sunday - Church

In the craft basket...

I need a winter scarf, so, rather than buy one, I am using materials on-hand and am crocheting one instead. I am thinking of turning it into an infinity scarf.

I am also collecting old Christmas cards for a craft project (just need the fronts). If anyone has any to share, please, by all means, contact me! And thanks! 😊

Looking forward to this week...

Celebrating Christmas and having a day off without having to be anywhere or do anything in particular. 

Something interesting I watched this week...

I'm probably an idiot for sharing this on here, but, it was so funny that I couldn't not! When Sarah and I were out finishing up my shopping and celebrating her birthday and ended up at the mall??? Well...there was this photo booth and we decided to have our pictures taken. Now...it was really, REALLY windy that day and we had laughed all day about how crazy our hair looked, but we didn't realize how crazy until this. After I got home and looked at the photos, I noticed this code and it said that if I got online I could use this code to see our video. WHAT? 😲 What video??? 😲 We didn't realize it at the time, but the whole time we were getting our pictures done, they were videoing us. And, me being me, of course, I paid the $2.99 to view it AND have it uploaded to YouTube! I cannot tell you how much I have laughed over this video! What a fun memory to have of Sarah and I's outing!


From the camera...

This week's winter solstice full moon was so beautiful! Absolutely AMAZING!!!
Scripture passage...


Well, Ladies, that's it for this week! I pray that each and every one of you have a blessed and beautiful week ahead, and I'll see you next week! Blessings!

Until next time,
~Rebecca

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 23 - The Christmas Dinner Menu

As my children always say...Merry Christmas-Eve Eve! I hope you're having a great one! 💗

Okay...I'm going to post the Christmas dinner menu, BUT, keep in mind, I'm married to a man who is half-Sicilian on his mother's side...so...here goes...


Candlelight Christmas Eve Lasagna


Christmas Eve Menu

Lasagna
Salad
Homemade French Bread 
Olive Oil Bread Dip

Image result for holly and ivy clipart

Christmas Day Menu

Pasta
Sauce
Meatballs
Salad
Homemade French Bread
Olive Oil Bread Dip

Cheesecake

That's what we're having here. What's on the menu for Christmas at your house?

Until next time...
~Rebecca

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Blogmas 2018 - Day 22 - Christmas Tree and Decorations

Today's topic is Christmas tree and decorations. For me that is plural Christmas tree(s) as we have five of them...one big one and four little ones.


This is our big tree. It sits in my office (the Van Gogh room). As you can see, the doorway entering that room is also lighted with a strand of pretty Christmas lights.

A lighted angel adorns the top of the tree. She is constantly changing colors...first blue, then purple, then pink, then aquamarine. She's so pretty! Everyone loves her!
Next is my mother's tabletop tree...the vintage tree. I set it up every year, just as she did, and I only use her ornaments to decorate it with, including her Christmas tree skirt and the snowmen couple that she crocheted many years ago.

The only thing that I have added to the tree is a set of vintage glass Christmas tree ornaments like the ones that hung on the tree when I was a child. Over the years most of the ones Mom had have gotten broken and, by the time I inherited the tree, only a couple of the original glass ornaments remained, so I got online, tracked some down, and replaced them.
Vintage Glass Christmas Tree Ornaments

The same with the icicles. When I was a child these metal Diamond Ray Jeweled Icicles always adorned the Christmas tree. By the time I inherited the tree and its decorations, only two had survived, so, again, I got online, tracked some down, and replaced them. 
Diamond Ray Jeweled Icicles
This tiny silver tree sits in our livingroom, too, amid a village of tiny holiday houses. 
The Jesse Tree sits in the kitchen.
And last, but not least of the trees, this is the tiny tree and that sits atop the vanity in our bedroom. The mirror is outlined in lights. There is also a strand of battery operated lights laying over the cabinet in the bathroom across the hall.

Of course, my favorite decoration of all time, is the Nativity. Some day I'd like to have a big set sitting in our front yard. 

How about you? One tree? Or many? What's your favorite decoration?

Until next time...
~Rebecca

*Joining in with Jean over at So Not Organized and linking up with Tamy over at Chasing My Life for Blogmas 2018

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Blogmas 2018 - Day 21 - When Do You Open Presents?



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