31 December 2007
1 package frozen dinner rolls (I used Kroger brand)
1 package vanilla pudding mix
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted
The night before, grease a bundt pan or tube pan of some sort.
Throw rolls into it. Sprinkle very liberally with cinnamon. Then sprinkle vanilla pudding on top. Then sprinkle brown sugar on the rolls. Then pour butter over rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temp overnight.
Cook at 325 for 25-30 minutes.
Cool slightly and invert.
Marvel in easy deliciousness.
29 December 2007
27 December 2007
26 December 2007
We went to church though we were the only morons with children there. We've decided that we will definitely need to go to mass next year. Or the Lutheran version of it. Lessons and Carols is definitely not for kids. Annalivia stayed awake for the ENTIRE thing and was pretty antsy by the singing of Silent Night at the end. Daniel had fallen asleep on the way into the service and woke up as we were getting his coat back on as we were leaving. Annalivia fell asleep before we left the driveway of the church. Daniel took about a block longer.
24 December 2007
Ok, I know this is tacky, but, if you think for a moment, there's a theological significance here that's really quite sweet. The lady who did this was obviously not content to leave Jesus on the concrete. He wasn't able to be seen.
So she elevated him. On a grubby plastic lawn chair, to a spot where he could be easily seen. Can't be missed, actually. Maybe seems a little out of place but definitely makes an impression the one who encounters Him.
Maybe all of us should get out the plastic lawn chairs.
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
23 December 2007
21 December 2007
What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave?
What is one of your favorite Christmas recipes? Bonus points if you share the recipe with us.
When my Sublime Aunt and Jetsetter Uncle were dating, we found out that he would be coming to Christmas but we didn't have a present for him. We had at our house, a book of upholstery samples (incidentally given to us by Sublime Aunt) and my sister and I chose two samples: One a manly grey and one a (manly?) purple and, in a matter of minutes, sewed them together. Then we stuffed it with fiberfill and because it didn't yet have that certain je ne sais quoi, I wrote his name in cursive on it. With a crayon.
I think Jetsetter Uncle takes this pillow with him every time he flies anywhere.
What, JU? You don't? You don't have it anymore? You didn't have it 15 minutes after you left the house that day?
Oh, fragile world. C.r.u.m.b.l.i.n.g.
It's probably better this way.
What is a tradition that your family can't do without?
I wouldn't say it is my favorite, but it's one I use most often, though interestingly, not so much this year.
one part Martha Stewart dreams
one part April McClure Stewart inability to plan
one part quirky congregation of older folks who do things like...well...die
one part unpredictable winter weather
Mix together. Sprinkle with perfectionism, computer problems, and Christmas carols.
At the point all seems lost, insert Holy Spirit, Mystery of Incarnation, Candlelight and Communion...
Oh, also helps to add a pinch on the husband's rear. Spices things up. :)
Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place?
Lucia Nights at Bishop Hill
The Muppets' Christmas Carol
Good live choral music.
Roo and I trying to play Christmas carols on the same piano bench.
The after-dinner naptime wrestling match for the spot by the fire.
A Christmas eve service.
Our church service is early in the evening and when I was unmarried, I would leave directly after the service and stop in Peoria, IL for midnight mass at the cathedral. I haven't done that since Dennis and I have been married and each year I miss just worshiping rather than "performing."So... this year we are going to make a concerted effort to arrange things so that we can go to the 11 p.m. service at the Disciples church across the river. I find myself needing to be shown the manger by someone else on Christmas eve. Anyone else like that?
Sublime Aunt and Jetsetter Uncle took that pillow and went to Hawaii by themselves this year for 10 days. (j/k about the pillow).I think that would be an ok tradition to start someday.
19 December 2007
One pageant rehearsal.
One Christmas pageant.
One extra service.
One dinner out with my love.
One dinner to host.
Far too few presents wrapped.
Even fewer bought.
But no sermon.
God is so good.
18 December 2007
|You Are a Cranberry and Popcorn Strung Tree|
Christmas is all about showcasing your creative talents.
From cookies to nicely wrapped presents, your unique creations impress everyone.
17 December 2007
15 December 2007
14 December 2007
13 December 2007
12 December 2007
Today, my sweet love is 38 years old. Because Dennis' company has a very generous "birthday-holiday" policy, Dennis has today off. He's finishing a take-home exam and being climbed on by his children.
He has gotten some good presents -- the hat and shirt in the photo above and an iPod. When he took out the earbuds from the iPod, he went to put them in his ears, then paused and said, "When I put these in my ears, I will immediately become a black silhouette." He may be old, but he sure is clever.
He thinks the best present is to spend time with his little ones and me. And we agree. We are so blessed to have this man in our lives. Happy Birthday, love.
Note: I just want y'all to know that I fully realize that I post terrible photos here. Just don't click on them. Then chalk it up to photographic ignorance and inordinate hubris. And, please, accept my apologies.
07 December 2007
06 December 2007
We got it mostly decorated and then Daniel woke up so I went to get him back to sleep.
The placement of the bells at the bottom of the tree is exciting for another member of the family, too, who can just reach them.
I think this is the last year for the little artificial tree and the completely kid-proof ornaments. I miss my other pretty ones. So, hopefully, next year, we can have a real tree that is large enough to put our actual ornaments on it towards the top. In the meantime, Annalivia is rearranging this one and Daniel is having a good time trying to get his hands on any part of it.
03 December 2007
28 November 2007
27 November 2007
26 November 2007
25 November 2007
22 November 2007
Because originally the meal was to be potluck style and the family in central Illinois was expecting the food I was supposed to prepare to make their meal complete, I cooked yesterday.
I made a bunch of stuff, but this is my favorite Thanksgiving bite -- liver pate on a buttery pretzel. Delish.
For our meal, we declined to have the traditional Thanksgiving fare. I recently had a conversation with Dennis wherein he revealed to me that his favorite food at Thanksgiving was the Macaroni and Cheese. I thought this was interesting because we have never eaten Mac and Cheese at Thanksgiving. But his grandmother made it when he was growing up and he has pined for it since she passed away, so I decided we'd have it.
Problem is, no one ever got Grandma Stewart's recipe. So I cornered a lady at church whose Mac and Cheese Dennis had highly praised and got her to tell me how to do it. And I did indeed follow her directions. To the letter. But it stunk. It was gross and inedible, although Dennis and Annalivia were trying. The thing is, this is about the 6th time I've tried to make Grandma's Mac and Cheese without any real concept of what her M&C, in fact, was like. I'm embarrassed to admit that I might have thrown a
We also had squash casserole and clementines for dessert/ centerpiece. It was simple. It worked for us.