The teacher gifts that almost weren’t.

Teacher gifts almost overwhelm me.  There’s so many of them to do.  Every year I say that this is going to be the year that I am organized.  They’ll be thought out, made or bought, and wrapped well in advance.  Ha!  Last year, I was on top of it.  And it was so nice.

This year, I had lofty plans.  On a trip to the city last month, I picked up cute little Christmas loaf pans.  I was going to bake  a loaf of some sort in them, wrap them in cello, tie with a  ribbon, and ta da!  Cute little gift.  Except it didn’t happen that way.    First of all I lost the pans.  Then I found them, but didn’t have enough time to do anything in them.  What to do?  Cause an empty pan just doesn’t say Merry Christams, no matter how cute it is!

Finally I remembered the pan of peanut butter fudge in the fridge that I had made the day before.  So I put some fudge in a little bag, placed it in the pan, tied some festive ribbon around it, added a cute little tag, and…done!  Quick and easy.

Here’s my fudge recipe.  This is such an easy recipe to make.  And very yummy, too.

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup peanut butter

3 1/2 cups icing sugar

1 tbsp flour

1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter and peanut butter together on stove.

Add icing sugar, flour and vanilla.  Stir well.  Put in 8×8 pan, and chill in fridge.

 

That’s it.  Enjoy!  Let me know if you try it.

Do you have any fool-proof, quick, easy, always-have-the-ingredients-on-hand-recipes?  Share them with me, please!

Christmas Shopping Party (or alternatively titled: No, Mommy loves ugly stuff)

I volunteered at the Christmas Shopping party at the kids school this morning.  Does your school do this? 

I love it, and try to work at it every year.  Basically, it’s a chance for us to get rid of our junk, and it gives the students an opportunity to do Christmas shopping for their families.   The stuff is sold cheap–$0.25-$2.00.  I give each boy $5.00, and they are able to get gifts for our family, and both sets of grandparents, and usually bring home change.

The kids crack me up with their gift-choosing.  This is a conversation  that I had way too many times today:

Me:  Who are you shopping for now?

Student:  My Mom.

Me:  Well, would she like something like this? (holding out sweet something or other–and yes, there really are  some great finds!)

Student:  No, she wouldn’t like  that.  I think I’ll get her this.  (holding up hideous wall-hanging that I had tried to hide, so no unfortunate person would get stuck with it, and have to sound like they LOVE! IT! on Christmas morning)

Honestly, I can’t even remember how many times this happened.  It’s a blast!

His Strength, not mine

I was feeling restless yesterday, and was flipping through my Bible.  This is the passage that I came to and stopped to really read, and think about.  I’m often guilty of just reading over verses, but not really stopping to think about what I read.  But still patting myself on the back after, because after all, I just read my Bible.  The older I get and the more I strive to serve and love my God fully, the more I know that it’s in the studying and pondering that I really get the benefits. 

Psalm 29

1. Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.

2. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

3. The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.

4. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

5. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea,  the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

6. He makeththem also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

7. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

8. The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

9. The voice of the LORD makeththe hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

10. The LORD sittethupon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King forever.

11. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

I love this passage.  It’s one of my new favorites.  It starts with my role.  Give to the LORD.  Give to Him glory and strength.  Worship Him.  Worship Him in the beauty of His holiness.   The beauty of His holiness.  I love this.  How often I skip over that.  God is holy, yup I know, been hearing it since I was born.  But to stop and think on His holiness.  The beauty of His holiness.  Perfection.  It baffles my mind, and makes me cringe in my imperfection.  To stop and think on how holy God is makes me also stop and think on how un-holy I am.

The next few verses describe God’s majesty, His strength.  What His voice alone can do!  Powerful, full of majesty, breaks the cedars, divides flames, shakes the wilderness!  Wow!

The last verse is my favorite.  It’s a promise.  “The LORD will give strength unto His people;  the LORD will bless His people with peace.”

And we just saw His strength described in the previous verses.  We know what He can do!

I don’t know where you are in your life right now.  But I do know where I am, and I know that I have not been relying on the Lord’s strength.  I’ve been trying to do things myself.  Trying to find my own solutions to  things that have been springing up like dandelions here lately. 

Relying on His strength, being blessed with His peace.  How could I choose any other way?

I pray that you, too, will know His strength and peace today.

Are you ready for Christmas?

I’m so not!  Gifts left to buy, baking to do, gifts to finish making, cards to send, tree to put up.  I have lists all over the house, but no panic has set in yet. 

Yesterday, when I was too miserable to do anything else, Mackenzie and I went through some recipe books, and planned our Christmas baking.  And by that, I mean I planned our baking, and she exclaimed over every yummy looking picture that This!!  This is what we need to make for our Christmas party!

What Christmas Party, you’re wondering?  Yeah, I’m wondering the same thing.  Although, maybe when you’re four, anytime you have company in, it’s a party!

Speaking of parties, though, lobster is $4.99 a pound right now, so after the concert on Sunday, we’re having Ray’s family over for lobster.  It’ll be the only time that the family has to all get together before Christmas, as his brother and wife  are spending Christmas with her family in Ontario this year. 

I’d better get another list started for that.  I think that I may also make Shannon’s recipe for Mushroom Potato Chowder.  That’s assuming that I can look at food by the weekend.  Today, that’s not going so well!  Did I mention that I lost five pounds since coming down with the kids “barf bug” on Monday afternoon.  Yeah, not a nice way to lose it, but still–five pounds!

Today, my goal is to get the cards finished, addressed, and mailed,  get a menu and grocery list ready for Sunday’s company, and catch up on the laundry and housework that I neglected yesterday. 

It’s gonna be a fun day!

A List……

………of things that are making me happy–right now!

-snow falling outside.

-a snow day for the kids.

-Christmas music playing.

-what seems like an end to the stomach bug that has been plaguing us.

-soup for lunch.

-a stack of  homemade Chrismas cards sitting on my desk, with only one thing left to finish on them.

-the two Cricut cartridges that will be waiting for me under the tree.

-and that I got them for only $40.00 each at Michaels a few weeks ago!

-finding a perfect gift for someone.

-a crackling woodstove.

-finally being caught up on the laundry.

-this season of celebrating our Saviour`s birth.

-that my kids totally get the real meaning of Christmas.

Round #2….

…….or is it 3?  I can no longer remember.

So, it’s 7:30 on Saturday morning, I’ve been up since 5:00, the first load  of laundry is in the dryer, and the second one is all done spinning, and is waiting for its turn in the dryer.  My bathroom floor is scrubbed, and the toilet has been scrubbed as well.

You guessed it–another kid with a barf bug.  (Can you tell that I have sons, cause that is totally what they would call it.)  🙂

Oh, and did I mention that I only got home at midnight?  Yeah, it’s going to be a long day.

Okay, enough whining from me! 

On a more positive note, we had a blast at our supper for the Awana leaders last night!  Lot’s of food, lot’s of laughs, lot’s of fun!  Lot’s of food……I don’t think that I’ll need to eat all day.  🙂

Well, I hear the little one stirring, so I’m off.

Have a happy Saturday!

BRF–Mark

So, I thought that this weeks assignment–reading the book of Mark through once during the week–would be no problem.

I was wrong. I got to chapter 9.  But I’m posting anyway, and I’ll finish reading Mark next week.

I was big-time convicted reading this book.

First in 1:18: “and straightway they forsook their nets and followed Him.” Straightway.  Not, let me think about; weigh the pros and cons;  talk to hubby;  consider the bigger picture. None of that, just straightway. Immediately. Yikes. How many times has God nudged me to do something, and I stop and think about it, worry about how it will affect my family and my plans. If God’s telling me to do something, I can know that it’s the right thing to do, the only thing to do. I want to be like Simon and Andrew, who immediately left their nets and followed Him.

It’s easy sometimes to pretend to be following God, to be doing the things that I’m supposed to be doing, but if I’m not doing it in the right spirit, I may as well not bother.

Which explains why this next verse “got” me.
7:6 “….this people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.”

Is that me? Honestly, yes, it sometimes is.

My heart’s desire is to be the woman that God wants me to be. Following His will, trusting Him for everything, and striving to be Christ-like. And if I’m not living like that, then everything I do for Christ, doesn’t matter. If it’s not in my heart, then it doesn’t matter if it’s on my lips.  I want my heart to always be near to God.

Be sure to head over to Watch the Sky to read some more reviews. Or read all (or a few chapters) of Mark today, and write your own review.   There’s no way you’ll regret it–you may be convicted, but you’ll also be blessed.