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!

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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!

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!

Snowy weather and nails don’t mix!

So unfortunately, being snowed-in and trying to grow out your nails don’t go well together.  Ugh!

But I’m right back at it.  I’ll just be 4 weeks behind where I would have been.  Yup, that’s right, I made it 4 weeks.  Yay Me!

We had a crazy snowy weekend.  And as much as I love the coziness of the snow falling and the wood stove crackling, and knowing we don’t have to be anywhere, it was really nice to get out yesterday for coffee–one of our favorite Sunday afternoon “things”.  I’d been stuck at home since Friday afternoon.

D. had  friend over for a sleepover on Friday.  He and his family just moved to Canada in the summer from England.  He told us that where he came from, when they had a lot of snow, you could still see the grass.  You can imagine this little guy’s excitement with the huge snow-fall that we got through the night on Friday.  I woke up at 5:30 Saturday morning, to hear “Please ask your Mom if we can go out now!”.  Yup, you heard that right–5:30!!!!!  I made them wait until around 9:00 when at least the wind had died down a bit.  He was so excited-I can’t even begin to describe the great big smile on his face.  Pure bliss!  I think that seeing the snow through his eyes made me mind it a little less.  And also made me not mind the piles of soaked clothes, and melting snow all over the floor that I dealt with all. day. Saturday!  🙂

Today M and I have been putting out some Christmas decorations.  With the Christmas music just blasting, and us belting it out.  We’re trying to listen to every CD before the boys get home from school.  We may make it! 

Happy Monday!

I want it all!

I want the tree down and the decorations put away (the presents are already done). I want the chaos and confusion here to end and life to feel normal again. I want the rocking chair in the living room put back to where it belongs once the tree is gone.

But I want to maintain the peaceful cozy feeling that comes at Christmas time. And since, I’m the wife and Mommy and “general cozy feeling keeper” here, I can do it! The peace and happiness that comes with the Christmas season isn’t something that has to go away with the tree and decorations. I’m not usually one for new years resolutions, I always just feel that I’m setting myself up for failure (and with that attitude, I really am). But this year, I have determined in my heart to try to dgyalways maintain a cozy, peaceful feeling around my home (and trust me, it isn’t always that way!) I need to start with my attitude and how I look at this little family of mine. I have this little ploy I use with the kids, when they’re having one of those days when they’re really not getting along, I tell them to pretend that they’re friends instead of brothers and sisters. And you know, it really works (for a while, anyway!) My job is to treat these kids as though they are someone really special in my home (which I do now, but I think I need to step it up a little.) Happy, content kids will lead to a more peaceful family home, and a more content and less-stressful Mommy and Daddy. And of course, relying on God for my strength to maintain a peaceful home is what will make all the difference!

So here’s to a happy, peaceful, completely family-focused new year in the Wade household!

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Mackenzie’s wisdom

Mackenzie was playing “Bepleham” with the nativity set the other day. This is what I heard as she was bringing the shepherds in to see Baby Jesus:

“Stay with Baby Jesus, boys, and you’ll be good, you’ll be safe.”

Isn’t that the truth!

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Christmas Hearts

I have a favorite book that I read every year in the last 2 weeks before Christmas. It’s called Christmas Hearts by Tim Roehl. “Images of Immanuel through the Eyes of Those Who Saw Him First”.

It tells twelve stories of the first Christmas, stories that maybe we don’t always think about, or just miss in our anxiousness to get to the “good stuff-the meat and potatoes of the nativity story”. I read one story every night. Yesterday, I read about Zechariah. If you’re a “church girl” like me ( I grew up in the church, and am now raising my own kids the same way), sometimes it’s easy to take the stories in the Bible for granted. I’ve heard them so many times, and could pretty much recite them all, so sometimes it becomes hard to remember that even in these well-loved stories that I’ve read so many times, there can still be something new to learn.

So that is the heart that I’m reading with this year–that there is something new to learn from these stories, and I’m praying that God will show me what it is that He wants me to learn.

Last night was Zechariah (I’m also reading this book to the boys this year. Travis was a bit squirmy, but Darian was listening intently and was full of questions during and after.)
I was reminded of three things while reading the story of Zechariah.

1. That God’s timing is always perfect. Zechariah was an old man when John the Baptist was born, so was his wife Elizabeth. (Not an old man, just old!) They had given up hope on ever having a baby. So when the angel came to tell Zechariah that he would have a son, he doubted and needed a sign. The sign, of course, was that he would not be able to speak until this prophesy was fulfilled. How easy it is to plan our own lives while forgetting that our timing is not God’s timing, and that His timing is best.

2. When Zechariah wrote down that he wanted to call his son John (remember, he still could not talk at this point), his family members objected. There was no one in their family with that name, shouldn’t they call the baby Zechariah? But he and Elizabeth stood firm and named their baby John, just as God had told them to. We live in a world where so many people do not believe and therefore do not understand the decisions that we make based on what God would have us to do. As Christians we meet a lot of opposition from those who are not raising their children in the same way that we are. We need to be God-pleasers and not man-pleasers. Sometimes others will not agree with us, but we need to stand firm and raise our kids (and make all our decisions) based on what God would want us to do. It may be hard sometimes but His way is always best!

3. Zechariah and Elizabeth knew that their son was going to be John the Baptist, that he would tell the world of the Messiah. And they raised him accordingly. We have no idea who our kids may grow up to be someday. We need to be raising them today so that they are ready to be whatever God has planned for them. Whether that be a world-known evangelist, who leads many to the Lord, or a milkman who has opportunities every day to tell his customers about God’s love. What we teach them today will impact who they are later. Huge responsibility, but thankfully, we’re not alone. We have God to lead us and to help us.

Tonight, I’ll be reading Mary’s story. Completely familiar, but I can’t wait to see what I can learn from it!

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