My Lord is my strength. I am so thankful for such a forgiving and loving God. I am happy that each day I have the opportunity to repent, and change my life to be more pleasing to God, each day I have the chance to strengthen our relationship. And every day He is with me regardless of my choices. He never leaves me. I am so thankful for this.
As I struggle with emotions, sorrows, and my imperfections this holiday season, I must remember that you will never forsake me.
As one of my favorite modern Christian songs is titled, I must, "Praise You in This Storm."
Some of my favorite lyrics are: Every tear I've cried/ You hold in your hand/ You've never left my side/ And though my heart is torn/ I will praise you in this storm.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Chive and Onion Creamed Corn
* 4 Cups frozen corn
* 1/2 pound bacon cooked and crumbled.
* 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper Chopped
* 1 Container Chive and Onion Cream Cheese.
* Salt and Pepper to Taste
I sometimes like to make this ahead of time in a crock pot so the flavors can blend together. It smells wonderful. It can also be cooked in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes stirring often.
Combine all ingredients, and stir in flavored cream cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
I am so proud of my husband.
He works so very hard to provide for his family.
He is emailing and texting non-stop to close deals and help families in need of homes.
He deals with unpleasantness and dishonesty on a daily basis.
He doesn't waver, he still gives people the benefit of the doubt and still feels for those people, even if he cant help them.
He listens to the stories of divorce, defeat, and hardships.
He has been taken advantage of because of his good heart.
Still he knows he must do what is good and right.
He warranties his work.
He holds his head up and presses on whether it is an insanely busy month, or a slow winter.
He always works with dignity and honesty.
He works every day of the week.
He genuinley wants to help everyone he comes in contact with.
He is such an amazing man, with great work ethic and I am proud to call him my husband.
Thank you for all you do for our family.
I am so happy that you are valued at your job, and that you have been recongnized two years in a row for your hard work!
You are so very special Josh.
I love you.
My wonderful family after Christmas Eve Mass.
This Christmas was spent celebrating the wonderful birth of my savior Jesus Christ. We honor Jesus who became man and died for us on the cross by celebrating this holiday in Christ's name. We spend the holiday attempting to be the Christians that God wants us to be people of love, honor, and humility.
I had a wonderful holiday, and I have so much to be thankful for!
My husband gets me a sentimental gift every year.
He has it personally engraved and this year it read:
"The best thing about me is you."
It was so very sweet and meaningful as always.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
We were so blessed to have most of the people we invited to Josh and Mayra's Open House come and celebrate their homecoming! It was very meaningful to the couple, as well as to my dad, to have the chance to see so much of his family before the holidays, in his words, "I couldn't have been any happier." Josh and I counted and I believe we had around 65 guests come and go. The house was packed but filled with love nonetheless. I loved the fact that despite all of the family dynamics and hard feelings that I know exist between many family members, everyone was able to come and have an enjoyable time together. Life is so funny. And God is so great. I am feeling very blessed today, and above all thankful for family and friends.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
My brother arrived with his family and extended family this Monday. I was so excited to see everyone! Monday evening we ate at the Twin Cities Grill and walked through the Mall of America. Valeria brought her American Girl Doll and got her hair done at the doll store, which was super cute! On Tuesday, the family went to the Outlets in Albertville. Wednesday, we went downtown to Macy's for the Christmas Land display and then to the Guthrie Theater for A Christmas Carol. It has been a wonderful time thus far and there will be many more pics to come as on Friday we are having an open house for the couple! And lets not forget Christmas!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The little guy I care for is 20 months now and he is totally into gluing things right now! So this year we decided to glue some things together and make Mom and Dad some Christmas Ornaments. I love taking photos of my little guy so we dressed him up in his Sioux Jersey, grabbed his hockey sticks, helmet, skates, and took some cute pics for Dad. And for Mom we put some angel wings on and pretended to fly. He had fun gluing the feathers on most of all.
So after we made these special ornaments I realised that there is a new fad now..."perfectly decorated Christmas trees!" Most of the houses I have been in this holiday season have trees that are very different from my tree at home! A lot of these trees have perfectly matching decorations, looking like they came straight out of a department store window. I understand that these trees do look amazing, but where is the sentiments? Where are the homemade children's ornaments, or the decorations from your great grandmother that were passed down from generations? Do people not do this anymore?
I had the honor of helping my parents decorate their tree this year as well as my own and to me it wouldn't be Christmas if there weren't those special ornaments that make us stop and reminisce on the past. My mom still cries every time she hangs my preschool ornament with my picture inside it! I remember decorating our tree growing up, and it was so much fun! We always did it as a family and listened to Christmas music. It may not have been prefect, but it was meaningful and we all share those memories today. And after all isnt that what is most important? The time spent with those who we love rather then the look of our Christmas tree.
Tell me parents.... do you let your children help? I have heard of some houses doing two trees, a children's tree and a "perfect tree." Is there too much pressure to have everything looking great around the holidays? Are we loosing traditions because of our need for perfection? What do the kids do with their proudly made homemade ornaments?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Today, was a long day, I helped out my boss by baking 12 dozen cookies for their neighborhood cookie exchange. After today I am officially cookied-out. My little boy was sick today with a fever and a cold. It is going to be a long week I am afraid. This weekend I have to work too sadly. I am trying to stay positive and think about the fun that I will have with my family during Christmas...and I am excited for my family to open the gifts that I have found for them. Especially my niece.
The highlight of my day has been coming home, taking a bath, and talking with my husband. Another positive aspect was finally discovering Words With Friends. I am already thoroughly enjoying myself. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband to come home to. He really makes all of my days brighter.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
This year, our annual celebration for the holidays was filled with joy! We always have the celebration on the second Saturday in December. We celebrated with some of our closest friends. We are so blessed to have such wonderful people to share our lives with! We had a wonderful turn out, the weather cooperated this year too!
Some of our wonderful friends in their Ugly Christmas Sweaters! A lot of people dressed up this year too! It is a silly tradition, but fun none the less! I would have to say that my husbands shorts and socks were the highlight of the wardrobe this year!
The beautiful bride to be and her handsome fiance even made it to the party! It was so nice to spend time with the special people who we seldom get to see during the holidays.
It wouldn't be the Christmas party without a ridiculous amount of delicious food! Josh and I were very busy this week preparing the food for the party but it is so worth it to watch everyone enjoy eating so much! We had Swedish meatballs, cheese dip, bacon wrapped shrimp, roll ups, cheese balls, Carmel puff corn, chex mix, bagel dip, meat and cheese trays, tons of cookies, veggie pizza, taco dip, and all kinds of other dips and snacks! A new favorite this year was the Sweet Ham and Swiss Sammie's! I will hopefully be sharing some of the recipes soon on my blog!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
2011 Cookie Baking Day
12 Kinds of Cookies
1. Grandma Van Donsel's Sugar Cookies
2. Lemon Spritzers
3. Aunt Joyces Bars
4. Cherry Hideaways
5. Peanut Blossoms
6. Peanut Butter Ritz
7. Almond Bark Pretzels
8. Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
10. Berlina Kruntzer
11. Almond Holiday Wreaths
12. Melting Moments
10. The Chipmunk Christmas- The Chipmunks
9. Go Tell it on the Mountain- Sheryl Crow
8. Away in a Manger- Trisha Yearwood
7. Silent Night- Andrea Bocelli
6. Ave Maria- Josh Groban
5. All I Want For Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
4. Blue Christmas- Elvis Presley
3. O Holy Night- Celine Dion
2. O Come All Ye Faithful- Casting Crowns
1. I'll Be Home For Christmas- Elvis Presley
(Played on the Record Player)
Friday, December 2, 2011
This is my new American Girl Doll! I created her with the "Just Like Me" program. It was a fun program, I decided her hair color, eye color, glasses, and whether or not she had pierced ears. I happened to find her wedding dress at a craft show and I bought the dress before I even had the doll. I knew that I wanted a "Wedding Doll" that would remind me of my wedding day! This dress, and this doll was perfect. I decided to name her Selma Lee, after the name of my Maggie Sottero wedding gown.
The back of Selma's Wedding Dress.
Below: My Wedding Dress.
Below: The Maggie Sottero Model wearing the Selma Dress.