Sunday, December 20, 2009

This Christmas...

5 days till Christmas!  Wow!  Where has the time gone?  Where has the year gone?

My Holiday tree that is kept up year round in my dining room is decorated with cookie cutters, homespun, a few fabric hearts and a Christmas present from my dear friend, Donna-- the adorable Gooseberry Patch Cookbook ornament!  I LOVE it!  It's so cute!  Thank you Donna!

A few things sitting on my husband's grandmother's hutch.  I decorated with fresh greenery all over this year and I love the pine smell!

My very favorite Christmas piece was made by my mom in 1986.  She made six of them!  One for each of her children!  Although it would be a decade later before I married, I have treasured it because I know how much love and time was put into this beautiful village!

I am so very thankful for this Christmas compared to last Christmas. Last year I had to work more days at my part-time job. I was working four days a week. This year I am only working two days a week. It has been so wonderful to accomplish so many things I wasn't able to last year because of time restraints. Even though my job is part-time, working retail at Hobby Lobby is hard work! Most especially at Christmas time and the month following it! I work in the Seasonal department and it is ever evolving! Constant change is going on. Right now we are in the process of setting out garden and spring items. Valentine's has arrived also! As much as I despise pink (sorry for all you pink lovers!), I am always so delighted to see some pink after all that red and green!

Anyway, it has been a most enjoyable Christmas for me this year. I have been able to focus more on Christ and share more of Him this year. That is always such a thrill for me! My most favorite thing about Christmas is spending time with family and friends. I had a wonderful weekend full of these! Some of my girlfriends and I had a cookie swap Friday night hosted at my home. We had a most enjoyable time... staying up till 1:35 AM catching up on each other's lives! We finally divvied up the cookies at 1 AM! Haha! It was fun and such sweet fellowship. Saturday night, we hosted the main course of a progressive Christmas dinner for our church youth. It was a house full! I was worried about 50+ people having room to sit down and eat dinner, but it worked out. Good times for sure!

After a week of baking and partying, I am ready to focus on a week of my kids being home on Christmas break. Together, we are going to build a gingerbread house (that was actually bought last year, but we never had time to put it together), make jelly and mini bread loaves to share with our family, wrap presents, watch Christmas shows snuggled up on the couch eating popcorn and nestle by the fire drinking hot cocoa. Now that is a Christmas I can enjoy instead of being wore out from working so hard!

Thank you Lord! I am most grateful for the joy in my heart this Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a most warm and blessed Christmas surrounded by lots of love!

Monday, December 14, 2009


I live outside of a small town called Catoosa, OK (East of Tulsa). My wonderful husband Rich and I have been living out this way since Feb 1996 with our three loving children: Ryan, Amariah and Robbie. We are extremely blessed beyond what we deserve. Our life revolves around our God, our family, our friends, and our home.

We enjoy the country life! We moved into our dream home 3 years ago. In doing that, we gained lots and lots of space… 1,678 feet to be exact! It has been both a joy and a challenge to make the house “our country home”. I believe I finally have it figured out though! When my little guy starts school next year… watch out! I won’t have a little one underfoot, hanging on my leg, following my every footstep… I’m actually gonna be able to accomplish something. I’m excited to get started on my living room. It will take on a whole new transformation! I can see it in my mind and it’s going to fit our family so perfectly!

Thankfully, I was born into a family of creative women all around me! My great-grandmas, grandmas, mom, sisters and aunts all had a love of some sort of crafting. I am so honored to be passing that love on down to my daughter and even my sons! My dream ever since I graduated from high school has been to have my own little shop. I have evolved over the years by creating and making heartfelt crafts. My mom and I share so many memories of years of craft shows.

All that to bring me to my present life. Having young children (4, 10, and 14) that are very involved in church activities and sports does not afford the time or money for a shop right now. One of these years, though!  Currently, I set up shop at the Tulsa Flea Market on Saturdays as time allows.  I love setting up my tables and making neat displays with all my goodies.  It's so much fun!

So in the present time, I am going to be crafting in-between practices and ball games, gymnastics, church events, my part-time job, and wherever else I can steal a minute or two. Maybe one day I will set up an Etsy store. Until then, I might be posting my goodies on my new ‘Berry Homespun Primitives’ blog.  This blog is not currently active because of the busy-ness of Christmas. So watch for me at the first of the year! Thanks for visiting and I look forward to getting to know you better!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Wednesday List

Wow!  It seems like all my friends are getting snow but me.  My poor nephew and friends in the Denver area are dealing with -8 degree weather!  Can you imagine living in below freezing temps?  Yikes!  I don't know if this old body could handle that.  Lol!

I made my "Wednesday list" on Monday, so it's a good thing it's a cold, cold day here today.  We are sitting at 18 degrees, windy.  Whew!  I always feel so sorry for those that have to work out in this kind of weather.

I just printed off a recipe from the Taste of Home website for Cinnamon Apple Jelly

  My dear friends Katie and Alissa made some a couple of months ago.  I did get a taste of it, and it is delicious!

Well, my Christmas decorating is almost officially done.  I just need to venture down by the pond to get some greens.  I should have done that last week when the weather wasn't so frightful.  I think Robbie and I will pursue that this afternoon if the temps go up a tad bit more.  The Weather Channel says we will get up to 27 degrees.  Maybe we can head out then.

Thanks to my dear hubby for fixing me a nice, toasty fire in the fireplace before he headed off to bed this morning.  At least he didn't have to work out in the cold last night!  He was also sweet enough to put some biscuits in the oven while I was delivering kids to school.  Too bad that cinnamon apple jelly isn't already made.  Mmmmm... That would be so good right now!  =]

Well, it's time for me to head downstairs where it's cozy warm!  On my list today:  finish up Christmas cards (83 done, 49 to go!), cut out and sort coupons, get my Christmas recipes out and make my shopping list, and figure the checkbook.  Gotta get ready for Friday-- shopping!  So glad my activities today will be near the fireplace.  Now I just need to put a pot of water on for some delightful hot chocolate.

Today I am grateful that I can be home to take care of some household chores.  For those that have to work more than two days a week, I know it can be stressful trying to carve out a little time to accomplish these things.  Stay as warm as you can today.  I wish for you a grand week/end~

Monday, December 7, 2009

Going Home

What a grand weekend I had "going back home".  Although I have been gone from Bruner, MO for almost 14 years-- it will always, always be home to me.

My boys and I arrived Friday evening just in time for dinner with my parents and my brother Daryl at China House.  Love their cashew chicken!  Ryan loves their crab legs that are only out on the buffet on Friday nights.  Needless to say, he was quite happy about the restaurant choice.  We stole Mom away and headed to Branson to see the Silver Dollar City lights.  You would think that living there for 25 years and going back numerous times over the past years that there would be one season in the past 40 years that I would have made it to see the SDC lights.  But no...  This was my first year!  And boy was it magical!

You just gotta love a twinkling parade at night!

The stores were all decked out in beautiful Christmas displays.  Robbie had to have his pixie stick from the candy store with him at all times.

The next morning bright and early I met my dear girlfriends, Donna and Jeanna, for breakfast.  Time spent with those two are truly priceless!  Why does time have to fly by so quickly when you just wish it would stand still?  I guess that's just a daily reminder for us to enjoy what we have when we have it.  There is always so much to talk about and never enough time to get it all in!  I am blessed to have been re-connected with them this year!

From there, I went to my niece's home to watch the small town Christmas parade with lots of heart!  My little great-nephews were in it and they were oh so proud to throw us lots of candy!  After the parade, we all gathered in her home for homemade cinnamon rolls, brownies, hot chocolate and cider.  It was nice to relax and fellowship with my loved ones!

That evening was our family Thanksgiving dinner.  We normally have it the Saturday after Thanksgiving but my parents were going to be out of town then so they moved it back.  I'm glad they did.  It was a very nice and enjoyable weekend for me!  As always, their home was full of family and love... and food!  With 6 kids, 16 grandkids, 15 great-grandkids, and all the spouses... we most definitely have family gatherings full of love!  For Rich growing up with one brother, he gets a little overwhelmed at times.  But I wouldn't have it any other way!  =]

To celebrate one of the two new additions that will be added to our family soon, we celebrated with a baby shower on Sunday.  What a nice way to end the weekend full of family and love!

I am grateful for a large family that truly loves one another, helps one another and gets along so well.  When I only get to go back home once in awhile, I miss them so.  Thank you Lord, for such a sweet and loving family!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Soup for the Soul

Our church had its Ladies Christmas Party Tuesday evening.  "Soup for the Soul" was the theme.  The whole evening revolved around this theme.  Our Women's Activity Team is awesome!  As always, they put together a wonderful evening!  We had a delicious smorgasbord of soups, salads, breads, and desserts!

Needing something to label my soup, I came across a very cute little soup label in one of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks.  So I sat down one night and went through all of the 28 GBP cookbooks that I own and found tons of cute labels for us to use!  I copied them onto cream colored cardstock.  Then the real fun began!  I used my scrapbooking chalk and watercolor pen to color in the pictures.  It took longer than I anticipated, but I enjoyed doing it.  Robbie wanted to color and chalk with me, so I got his coloring books and he joined me.  I asked him if we should get his workbook and work on some pages.  He LOVES his workbook!  He said "No Mommy, I'm having fun coloring with you."  Ah, too cute!  =]

As the ladies came in the door, the labels were sitting on a table for them to write what they brought and tape to it.  There were so many mouth-watering dishes-- I'm glad we had the labels!  I was so excited about getting a night of sweet fellowship with my sister friends that I forgot to take a picture of the food tables before.

My favorite soup is "Granny's Potato Soup".  Funny... We don't have a Granny in our family.  I'm not even sure where the recipe came from.  But she sure made some delicious potato soup!

It's so delicious... I think I'll share with you:
  • 6-8 medium potatoes
  • 6-8 slices bacon
  • 2 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 pt. sour cream
Dice potatoes and boil until tender.  Fry bacon until crisp.  Crumble bacon and put into crock pot.  Add 2 cans cream of chicken soup, milk, butter and sour cream.  Put drained potatoes on top and turn crock pot on high.  Cook until bubbles and well mixed.

Yum!  Only I cheat a little and use real bacon bits instead of taking the time to fry up some bacon.  I also leave out the sour cream.  And it is still very yummy and creamy!

Our leader of the Women's Ministry had a devotional for us about the different kinds of soups of our life and everything that we put into our soup.  I enjoyed the lesson and it touched my heart.  Amanda had a powerful way of presenting her message and she gently reminded us of the many, many blessings that we have!

We were blessed to hear the testimony of one of our youth girls.  The microphone was open to any others that wanted to partake.  It was a wonderful time of sharing.  Following this was a very compelling prayer time. 

To end the evening, we had a craft.  How fun!  There were tables set up with enamel paint and markers.  We painted on soup bowls!  It was hard to decide what to do, but I ended up painting a lime green and pink one for Amariah to use in her bedroom.

I am grateful for:
  • my husband for encouraging me to attend this event
  • my oldest son for watching his younger brother so I was able to attend
  • my sister friends who are so fun to be with even when I'm dog tired
  • my daughter who loved her bowl painted just for her
  • my God who loves me, bestows His great mercy on me especially when my soup is scorched/burnt