Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Menus and Traditions

I should have posted this earlier, but like most of you, I have been too busy. I love to hear others traditions. We are just starting to establish some. Early in our marriage we traveled the entire Christmas break. We were in a different home every Christmas, so it was hard to start traditions. After getting Isaac we decided to stay home, but do to a Christmas miscarriage one year, pregnancy bed rest the following year and still having to travel at some point during the break to see grandparents, it has been hard to establish our own traditions. For the past three years we have done a few things that I guess are becoming traditions. On Christmas Eve we go to church and come home to have our big meal. The children then will open one present before going to bed. It has been pajamas(I want nice clean pictures on Christmas morning), but after a year of Isaac crying because he was so excited and then deflated to find pajamas, I have changed that. They always each get a box of new books. We will let them open that so they can read them while they are too excited to go to sleep. On Christmas morning we will open presents one at a time and try to spread it over time. We always read the Christmas passage from Luke and we have a breakfast of breakfast pizza and Cinnamon rolls. For the rest of the day we have left overs from the night before and other favorite heavier snack foods. We will leave the day after Christmas to visit with all of the family and we will be gone a little more than a week. That means on Christmas I will be packing last minute things and getting the house ready for us to leave. That is why we do our main meal on Christmas Eve. It leaves Christmas day for the kids to play with their new things and I do not have to be in the kitchen all day. Bruce is trying to talk my into taking the tree down on Christmas so we do not have to come home to it. I don't know yet.

Our menu this year will be:

Prime Rib Roast
Broccoli Casserole
Green Bean Bundles
Twice Baked Potato Casserole
Chocolate Chess Pie

What are your traditions?

The Father, The Mother, and The Child

We are going through Training Hearts Teaching Minds in our Family Worship Time. If you have not heard of it, it is a great book. It is a good tool to not only teach the children (and adults) the Shorter Catechism but to assist them in understanding it as well. Zachary (4) learns a lot by just listening to us work with the older two. Last night we were going through the questions and my husband asked, "How many person's are in the one true God?" Zach says, "I know, I know, let me try! Three persons are in the one God. The Father , the mother, and the child." I think we have more work to do.:)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas

One of my husband's Online students forwarded this Christmas greeting to him. I thought it was really funny.

To All My Democrat Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wedding Costs

When we found out Jackson was a boy, my husband's very first thought was "Yes! One more wedding I don't have to pay for!" That's a man for you. Well, I was reading this article, and I thought maybe we could get out of huge expenses for Sarah's as well.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Let's Talk Christmas Baking

I am not a baker. I plan and get excited about holiday dinners weeks ahead, but not the baking. I do not enjoy the mess and I imagine one day it will be fun with the help of the children, but not so much now. They REALLY want to help and it is honestly just tiring for me. But, I am a traditionalist and can not let Christmas slip by without doing it and the kids do enjoy it, so we will spend the week doing something different everyday. I polled everyone to determine favorites. Sarah has a choir concert tonight and we need to take cookies. Today we will make them. When I polled everyone I was very surprised to find they all (husband included) only wanted just plain old chocolate chip cookies. All of these years I have been making a variety of cookies and they just want chocolate chip. Well, that is easy enough. We are doing salsa for the neighbors this year. Several are elderly and diabetic. Here is the list of what we will cook/bake this week:

Chex Mix
Chocolate Covered Cherries
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sprinkles

What is on your list?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Stop, Rewind, Start Over

It is 8:54 Saturday morning. Can I go back to bed? Jack is cutting 4 teeth. Yes, I said 4. Therefore, NOTHING makes him happy. Bruce, Isaac, and I are passing him around. I fixed oatmeal for breakfast. I thought I was putting cinnamon in. When Bruce started to eat, he says, "this smells like tacos." I looked at my seasonings and I was looking at ground cumin. That pot was dumped and another one started. Now I am off to the grocery store. I meant to go yesterday, but took the older three to the movies instead.( That was really fun and time well spent. It was Zach's first time. It is always fun to see their awe at the theater.) We have a storm coming in tonight so the grocery store and Costco will be CRAZY. Not to mention it is Saturday two weeks before Christmas. So, here I go determined to turn my day around despite the circumstances.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Feasting This Week

Since joining my blogs I have been quite lazy at posting on Sabbath Feasting. We do still feast almost weekly. It is just easier to post about things I do not have to think about. I will be changing that.I am going to attempt to get back into the habit of sharing feasting menus and ideas. That said this weekend is the Christmas party for the employees at school. We will be eating there. I will have a brunch on Sunday after church for our feast. I grew up having this appetizer around Christmas. It goes well with a brunch so we will be having it along with a breakfast strata and a breakfast bread. I have never known the name of the appetizer. But here is the recipe.

1 lb ground beef (browned)
1 lb ground sausage (browned)
1 lb Velveeta Cheese
1 loaf party bread

Mix the first three ingredients together until the cheese is melted. (It melts faster if it is cut in small pieces.) Spread the mixture on the bread and bake at 350 until the mixture is warm and the bread is toasted.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pen Pals

One of the best things we have done for Isaac's schooling this year was start a pen pal relationship with an older homeschooled student. I have to admit it was not our idea. My husband has taught this student online and Isaac really thought he was "cool" when he met him. I am sure mom had a little to do with it, but Luke asked Isaac to be his pen pal. The first letter Isaac wrote was painful for me. I had to resist every temptation to sneak the letter and rewrite it. I did not and I am so glad. It has been encouraging to watch him improve, on his own, in his letter writing skills. I did not want to take something fun and turn it into a struggle. So, this brings me to a story about today's letter writing. He wanted to ask Luke how Omnibus II was going. It was not enough to just say Omnibus II, he wanted to list specific books. He said a title and I told him I thought that was Omnibus III, but he could write it and then have Dad check it when he got home. He then proceeds to explain the genre of books in each Omnibus level and the reasons why certain books are read certain years. Guess what!?! He was 100% correct! You gotta love a classical education.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

For Unto us a Child is Born!!

We are upon a very busy season of the year. I am looking at the next few weeks and wondering how to get through.In the middle of being so busy I am tempted to wish this Christmas season through and be done with it. This morning I was going over Isaac's copy and memory work with him. I have chosen Isaiah 9:1-7. I read that and immediately realized my sin. So, instead of downsizing my Sabbath feasting to save time I should be making it even more special as we celebrate the hope which comes in Christ. Yes, I should and will cut out a few obligations, but we will not cheat on the celebrating!

6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First Snow of the Year

We are so excited! No one wants to do school. I am trying to get through. We have missed too much due to illnesses. It does not matter they are only calling for an inch. It is still enough to make a snowball.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Stockings Are Hung

The season has officially started. We sang Joy to the World at church and the tree is up. Now, if I can only keep the one year old out of the tree we'll be doing good.

Today's Advent message will be. "Find the candy cane and eat it!"

Saturday, December 1, 2007

First Day of Advent

Today begins our first day of Advent. The note in the children's box will instruct them to decorate the Christmas tree. I stayed up last night getting the lights on so they could go at it. Tonight will also be the first Sabbath Advent for our home. We will light the first candle at our Sabbath dinner and let it burn through our Sabbath festivities. My husband will explain the wreath and candles to the children. He will then read the scripture for this week. There are several websites which give good information about the Advent season. I liked this one because it was simple. With my little ones I needed something quick. They tend to get very antsy with long devotions at the dinner table.

I pray you all have a joyous Advent season. That your hearts and minds will focus on Christ's love for us.