Family Time

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This year has been so busy. This summer, even crazier. Today we decided to have a down day. A day to relax and enjoy our family. Gram came over and we swam half the day away in the pool. We had hot dogs and chips for supper, so easy, followed up with homemade chocolate frosties. After dinner we didn’t want to just sit around the TV so we we decided to play flashlight hide-n-seek in the house. It’s really dark in our house people! The only one with a flashlight is the seeker, and Ripley, the three year old, because he’s scared of the dark. It’s been forever since we played this game but it won’t be long before we play again I’m sure. It has been a good day.

Chocolate Frosties

  • 1/2 gallon chocolate milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8-ounce carton whipped cream

Mix all the ingredients together in an ice cream freezer. If needed, milk may be added up to the fill line. Freeze as usual in your ice cream freezer. Enjoy!

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Breakfast for Supper

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After a long week, and an extremely long day, what could be better for supper beside breakfast? The simplicity of a quick meal is not to be underrated, plus anything that includes bacon is ok with this girl.

I crave the simple things in life. We get so busy doing “good things” that we fail to move slow enough to enjoy the everyday pleasures. The pleasure of the laughter of your child, the comfort of a good cup of tea with a friend, the contentment of a chocolate chip cookie made by Mom, these are the kind of things that I don’t want to miss out on. You see that laughter means your spending time with a precious child, that cup of tea means you are stealing a moment with a good friend and that cookie means your with your Mom. These are the things that are important,  important enough to slow down and pay attention to.

Sunday Dinner

My mother always made Sunday dinner. She would leave something in the oven when we went to church. When we returned from church the house smelled fabulous. She would make some kind of bread, some tea and put the food in serving dishes while the kids set the table. She invited guests to join us most of the time. They wouldn’t be guests by the time the day was over, they would be regulars for dinner. Somehow we always found room for dessert. Homemade chocolate pudding or vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup made from recipes passed down from Grandma were regular additions to Sunday dinner.

We still have the privilege of going to my mom’s for Sunday dinner. There are about 20 of us plus guests. She cooks and we help when we get there after church. After dinner the children go outside to play, the men talk, Gram rocks the babies and the women go in the kitchen to clean up. Sunday dinner is not just about eating great food, it’s about being a family. Because of the efforts of my mother my family has remained very close. She has blessed us with more than she could have imagined.

Sunday dinner seems to be a thing of the past. My mom has left us with the memories of a lifetime and the love of a family. I am the one who is blessed because of her generosity.

Slow Day

If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.

                           Mother Teresa

The weather was suppose to be terrible here today so all activities were canceled. I am grateful that we didn’t have any nasty weather but I am just as grateful for a day that I got to spend with the most important people in my life. I try not to over schedule but when I am forced to slow down I realize how much I miss time to sit and be still with my precious family. Today turned out to be a great day that was really needed by all of us, even if we didn’t know that we needed it.

Super Simple Vanilla Cake

I’m not a plain vanilla cake kind of girl but I always make the kind of cake the birthday person asks for. This old fashioned cake is a bit dense but it turned out delicious, except for the fact that there was no chocolate involved. I will stop complaining about the lack of chocolate and let you know that this really is an easy, delicious cake to make. If your looking for a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting this is the way to go.

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Vanilla Cake

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • 2/3 c shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

Measure all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Pour into two prepared round layer pans and bake for 35-38 minutes. I always cut out parchment paper for the bottom of the cake pans. I hate it when the cake sticks!

Vanilla Icing

  • 2/3 c butter, softened
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk

Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp milk to softened butter. Beat with mixer until desired consistency. Add more milk if needed. Frost the cake once it is completely cool.

That’s it. I told you this was easy. I hope you don’t get tired of birthday cakes, we don’t. It’s a good thing too because we have a lot of birthdays around here with the size of my family.

 

 

A Few of My Favorite Things

I love vintage items. The nostalgic feeling they bring to a home is wonderful. Christmas decorations are no exception. The history of how they came to be a part of our family is as much a part of Christmas as the food and gifts are. The childhood memories that each item brings and the stories of Christmas pasts are told for years until the next generation longs to own a little bit of the treasure.

Precious little angels, choir boys and chippy bulbs are sweet little additions to small areas.

Curious elves, Santa in his sleigh and little deer have been a part of our home before an Elf came to live on our shelf.

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My husbands first ornament from his childhood. Isn’t it sweet?

Ornaments and mercury beads from my mother’s childhood Christmas tree are precious to me.

There are to many items to show all of them but these are among my favorites. One day my children will inherit these treasures and will tell the stories that go with them to their children. They will have a few things from their childhood to add to the collection that will remind them of wonderful days full of family and traditions.

Christmas Blessings

We had a great Christmas party. Lots of food, family and friends. Good music and lots of talking. Of course we couldn’t get away without the teenagers playing Just Dance.

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After all the food is put away and the last teenager is dropped off I get to take a minute to relax, then clean up is in full gear. I am reminded of how incredibly blessed I am. Blessed to have a home that people like to come to. Blessed to have the finances to be able to have people over. Blessed to have great family and friends who I can count on. Life is about choices. I am choosing to look for the best in my life. Thank God I have the opportunity to see how blessed I am.