Merry Christmas Perfect Family Letter
I was in such a hurry when I ordered the yearly Christmas cards, I didn’t realize until I got them back that I had not even put our names on them or wrote any type of greeting. So you are being gifted with a Christmas letter from Frosty and Noel. On the Card i had designed, I realized that I had made the bigger pic of us ,and the smaller pic of Baby Jesus and I felt awful. IT should have been the other way around. Shows just how busy we become when trying to get everything on our list checked off. My mind had been on so many things that day that I simply didn’t pay enough attention to what I was doing. You are probably not like me. But that is how I roll. I act and then think. Well, now for the perfect Christmas letter saying we have a perfect little family. We have perfect gorgeous kids and grandkids who excel at everything they try. Our kids are all rich and in perfect health. They call us every day to check on us and allow us to just go on and on about our lives and then bring us amazing dinners, (since we can’t get close to them, they just throw the dinner in our car and run), but we are usually wanting to get home so Frosty can give me my nightly foot massage as I drink the hot cocoa he has so lovingly prepared for me with the box of chocolates he brings home once a week for my enjoyment.
Could life get any better? Now for the real story!
The reality of 2020. We began like most of you last December 31st, looking forward to a year of knowing that this year would be our best yet. We had friends over for a NYE gathering (I won’t call it party because we are old and we gather, we don’t party). Our somewhat, older than we are friends, decided that they had better start home by 9 p.m. if they wanted to get home before falling asleep. We decided that very night, that we were not going to be like the rest of the oldies. We would make this the year that we would find younger, more hip friends who could at least stay awake until 10. We were not going to let old age hinder our lives. I will be back after I finish watching The Wheel and finish taking all my meds before I fall asleep on the couch.
Ok, let’s finish!Yes, we do have great kids and so far, no one is in jail, everyone is employed (although some of the jobs, we don’t ask about, we don’t think we really want to know what they do) and 2 1/2 of them are married. So we feel pretty blessed. All of the grandkids still speak to us and we have finally been taken off about 25 robo call lists. Our cabinets have 25 rolls of toilet paper and a pantry full of flour and paper towels. Our goal this week before Christmas is to splurge on Hand sanitizer and possibly a new face mask for each other as gifts. So now you know the rest of the story. We truly are so grateful for your friendship and we hope that unlike me when I designed the cards, Jesus will be the “big picture” in your lives! Merry Christmas from our hearts to yours!
Isn’t it amazing how God works. Yesterday while sitting and having some hot tea before beginning the day, I was thinking back on when I last posted anything. Commenting to Randy that it had been over a week, I sat there and began to wonder if I should post a recipe or if the Lord had anything He wanted to me write. In just a matter of minutes, this song came to mind. A song that, if truth be told is probably one of my least favorite Christmas carols. But as I sat there, the words of this carol would not leave me and I began to sing to myself the words, “star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.” In all my 70 years, I don’t think this song ever just came to mind. Usually it is O Holy Night, or Silent Night, Mary Did You Know, or one of my old favorites, Ring The Bells, which I use to love hearing Sam Satterfield sing at First Bapt Corpus Christi.
But this morning, the words of that song, would just not leave me. It was then that I knew God had given me the next post that I was suppose to share.
We have all read so much this past year of keeping our eyes on the Lord, during this very hard season of Covid and seeing people we love experience the cruel hurts of this virus, some also loosing loved ones to it. And yet, we carry on, knowing that this hard and sorrowful time is one of the times that ask of us sometimes more than we want to give. How will God lead us to His Perfect Light? What will be my role in living a life that shows His love and faithfulness to others? Some of the questions that have crossed our minds are questions which need answers. But yet, we are not always given answers in the time we feel that they should be answered. It is during these hard days that our trust is grown and our faith sometimes either grows or falters.
This past week, I was ask to participate in a podcast next week in which they will ask me about traditions which our family took part in and also some Christmas recipes. (It is at this point that you are wondering what does this have to do with being guided to His perfect light, but hang on, I will eventually get there).
I texted my kids to ask them what they remembered about our Christmases when they were growing up. Having to admit that I wasn’t one of those moms who was big on lots of traditions, I dreaded seeing them answer like this, “Mom, I can’t remember a single tradition” Or “did we have any traditions? If so, they must have not been to much fun or memorable because I don’t have a clue.” But in fact, all 3 answered. Jamin wrote back to tell of several things he remembered. Jodi wrote back and told me the things she remembered and finally Jason called and told me that some of the things that he had read of Jamin’s response, Jason thinks he made up in his mind because he didn’t remember any of the things Jamin had written. But Jason did say that Christmas was always a great time and he remembered the fun and some of the big presents that he and the others were given. None of them remembered the smaller gifts. But it was always important to their dad and I that they walk in Christmas morning to see a Christmas tree that had a pile of presents under it. Because we didn’t have a lot of money, I would go to the Dollar Store and buy anything that would wrap and make it look like they were getting a lot of presents. When in fact, there were only 1 or 2 presents of any real value for each one. It was then that I began to think about how this relates to what I get out of Christmas. Do I surround myself with lots of worthless things that might give the appearance of Christmas or do I keep my eyes on the most valuable of all Christmas gifts…Jesus?
Of all the things that give me the most joy of human made Christmas decor, it is all the lights. Of course the Christmas music is wonderful, but the lights….that is what gives me, year after year, the most wonder. There is never enough time to drive around and see the beautiful displays of lights. For years, the lights on our Christmas trees stay on 24 hours a day. They simply give me such profound joy and excitement. And then comes January when the lights are taken down and this almost feeling of sadness overwhelms me as we see people out taking down all the beautiful lights. It is then that I am reminded that the One who is the Perfect Light will always be there, 365 days a year, 24 hours of each and every day. His Light will shine forth and never never go down. His Perfect Light is His Love shining down on us. Even during days or months of difficulty. His Love came to us so that we could be guided to His Truth. This Christmas may all of us allow Him to lead us to His perfect Light, Jesus, and only Jesus can make the valleys straight. Jesus and only Jesus will calm the storms.
John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the Light of the world. Whosoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid.”
Lord, help us to look past all the artificial lights of Christmas to behold the real Light of Christmas. Jesus, the Son of God who came to earth for our salvation.
One morning, a couple of years ago our preacher spoke from 1John of God’s love for us and what that truly means. During the Christmas season, we are continually reminded of that love, in that we see the nativity scenes everywhere and hear the stories of God sending his Son to earth for us. But in our everyday life, do we really stop to think of what this great love really means? That day in his sermon, he gave the analogy of when one of our children fall, do we just look down at them and tell them to “get up and get over it, the fall wasn’t that bad.” Or do we instantly bend down and scoop them up and tell them that it will be alright; That we are there and will take care of them. That is what God does for us. We are His own and He cares for each one of us. He ask us to think about the last time we truly felt God “love on us”. It was at that moment that I remembered a Christmas miracle, which happened the week I had just heard the sermon . It was one of those incidents which, at the time, reminded me that nothing is impossible with God, but I hadn’t thought about the fact that indeed, He was truly “reaching down and showing me that He loved me and cared about even the small things in my life. Here is the story:
A few weeks ago, I mailed a package to a friend for her combo birthday/Christmas present. It was a book she had been wanting and an apron that I had made for her. She is a strawberry fanatic and so the apron was made from material which had cute little snowmen and chocolate covered strawberries piled up around the snowmen. I was so excited to send these to her, knowing that it would make her so excited when she opened the package. In my haste to get it in the mail, I reused an envelop that I had received a Amazon order. Because it was a bubble envelop, when I tried to write my return address on it, it began to poke holes, so I didn’t put anything except my name. No address whatsoever. When I looked up her address in my contact list, I used the correct street address, but ended up using her old town and zip code, not the new town she had moved to over two years ago. Into the PO I ran and dropped it in the slot. I texted her and told her to be expecting a present in a couple of days. After a week, she still had not received it. At 5 am one morning, I awoke with a awful thought. It dawned on me what I had done. As soon as I could, I drove to the PO and told the guy at the window my story. I ask him if there was any way to track it. He assured me that because I had not put a return address on it, I would never see it again. That the package would go to their unclaimed mail station in North Carolina. I was so distraught. Realizing that not only was the present lost, but when was I going to learn to not do everything in a hurry. I texted my sweet friend and told her what I had done. It bothered me so much and I began to pray, telling the Lord that I knew that nothing is impossible with Him.
That week, on Tuesday, to be exact, I came home and Randy is outside. He tells me to go in the house and look on the dining room table. Asking why, he quickly tells me that the package was on the dining table. What? But how? there was no return address, how could it be here? I ran in (yes, I did run,because this was truly a miracle) and there it was. Apparently, someone had seen my name and had taken the trouble and time to peel off the top label to see where it originated. So they had returned it and here it was! Thanking the Lord for Him giving me a Christmas miracle, I began to think about what this really was. After that days sermon, it made me realize that God does give us those special little blessings to show His love for us, even during the routine days.
Also that week , Randy and I went to eat lunch. As we finished our meal, the waiter came to tell us that the couple sitting at a table over had already paid for our lunch. We were taken care of. Randy, of course, remarked, “well, shoot, if we had known that, I would have ordered the bigger breakfast”. He is such a dear. We walked over to thank them and they just said, “Merry Christmas”
This Christmas, my prayer is that I will be more conscious of God’s goodness to me. To look for the unexpected gifts that He sends to me and to also open my heart to someone who might just need to feel God’s love reaching down to them.
Last week I went to a friends house for lunch. A few friends had decided to get together at our friends house who had had knee surgery. So since she could not get out, we wanted to take lunch to her and just visit for a bit. When we discussed what to have, I had just finished the video of the cheesy potato soup so they ask if I would bring that. Of course I did and so Dena said she would bring these delectable little corn muffins, which are so great with soups. She sent me the recipe and said I could share with you. So here it is and I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. They are so moist and so full of flavor. If you don’t like green olives, switch to black. But with the weather turning cooler, you will love having these with a pot of whatever type of soup is on the menu.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tables sugar
2 teas baking powder
1 teas dry mustard
1/2 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt
1/4 teas black pepper
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375. Grease or paper-one 12 muffin cups (2 1/2″ cups)
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, mustard, baking powder, salt and red pepper in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in cheese and olives.
Combine buttermilk with egg in a small bowl until blended. Stir into flour -cheese mixture just util moistened. Spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups (pan).
Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Immediately remove from pan. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely.
They are great with a pat of butter melted over the top.
Why these little gems are called by that name, I have no idea, because they are so different from what you would think they would be. When I read the name of them, I envisioned a vanilla little “cornbread” looking muffin that would go with a cup of hot tea. But what they are are the most delectable chocolate gooey yummy morsels of bliss. When I made them for a video on YouTube last week, it didn’t dawn on me until today that not everyone out there in WordPressLand would watch my video (shame on you for not, but this is Thanksgiving week, so I will forgive you) and they are so good that I wanted to share them with you. A dear friend Peggy gave me this recipe after a mutual friend of ours told me that Peggy had made them for her and that I HAD to make them. So…here we are a week later and I have made them twice already. A friend from Corpus Christi wrote and she has made them for a ladies event also and loved them. So do yourself a favor and make these wonderful little brownie bites. You will get addicted to them, as I have done. The original recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, but I made them with 1 stick, (1/2 cup) and loved the texture of them using half the amount of butter, so that is how I am posting it.
1 stick butter
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (or 1 cup)
Melt the butter and the chocolate chips together. I microwaved them for about 40 seconds and stirred the mixture until all the chocolate chips were melted. But my butter was at room temperature.
Add 1 cup flour, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 4 eggs, 1 teas vanilla, 1 teas almond extract. Stir until mixture is well combined. Spray a miniature muffin pan with cooking spray. Using the middle size cookie scoop, fill each muffin pan with enough mixture to almost the time. This recipe makes 36 miniature muffins. Bake in preheated 325 oven and bake for about 13-15 minutes. You want to be sure and not overtake. You want the middle to be soft and gooey texture. Cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan.
Just wanted to post that I have started a YouTube￼ channel with cooking videos￼. Have made a couple￼ with some great recipes in the last couple days. One being Cheese Potato Soup and Antique Tea Muffins. Am not allowed to post videos on WP so please go To Sassy Southern for these great recipes! They are Butterful!!!
And no, I wasn’t around then to make this recipe up….it appeared in my email this morning as a recipe someone found in Taste of Home. I have not tried it yet, but it does sound really good and so easy to have on hand during the holidays when you have cooked so much that you feel like you are old enough to have been born in the 1800’s. Just get your slow cooker out and add ingredients and sit back and make your Christmas list to give to everyone.
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium sweet red bell pepper
2 teas minced garlic
3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tables curry powder
1 teas ground cinnamon
1 teas ground ginger
1 teas dried thyme
1 tables light brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
Hot cooked rice or noodles
Place onion, pepper and garlic in 6 qt slow cooker. Arrange chicken pieces over this.
Whisk the next 5 ingredients with the chicken broth. Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Add the raisins and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken reaches 165 (about 2 1/2 hours).
Serve hot over rice or noodles. Sprinkle with parsley if desired or tops of green onions.
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