Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Life

The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving has ended and my family is back safe and sound in their home far away. So now it's back to everyday life....slowly but surely I will get there. I feel so out of sorts physically & mentally after our wonderful week . So, I'm trying to stick to my routine and add a little of the extra Christmas stuff to get over the let down of the holiday ending and to get back on track.

I am one of those crazies that decided to go shopping on Black Friday, at 5am. I was glad I went because I did find some great deals and am glad to say my Christmas shopping is almost done. I even have the majority of what I bought wrapped...that way any curious children can't see anything if they happen to find their way to the hidden gifts .



Today I put out all of my Christmas decorations, which really isn't much. I decorate my fireplace mantle and put up a tree, although we haven't gotten the tree yet. I also put out my advent wreath/nativity set in one. My daughter who is almost 4 was very intrigued by it...it was like she hadn't seen it before. I suppose it does seem new to her since last year she was only two..almost three. She sat quietly and played with it but did eventually ask me to sit down and play with it with her. So I took this opportunity to play as a teaching moment. I got out my Bible and read to her...starting in Luke chapter 2, showing her the Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus figurines. I continued to read and showed her the shepards and the angels. She was so cute! I explained the reason we celebrate Christmas is because of Jesus. She said to me in the sweetest and most genuinely interested voice " I didn't know that! " I'm so glad I told her because I guess I just assumed she knew since she hears about Jesus all the time....at home and church.

We also started are Advent reading yesterday. We are reading Tabitha's Travels again. We actually have all 3 of the books in this Advent trilogy and have been reading them for years now. They never get old and I don't know why but they always make me cry.

Well I'm leaving you with a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake that I made for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust ~ 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies or graham crackers

1/2 cup chopped pecans

6 TB butter melted

1/4 sugar



Filling ~ 3 - 8oz packages softened cream cheese

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 1/2 tsp. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract



1. Preheat oven to 350 . Butter an 8 inch spring form pan. Combine crust ingredients and press over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.



2. Increase oven temp. to 425. Beat cream cheese, brown sugar, and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks. Add flour and spices..beat until well blended. Add remaining ingredients, beat until blended. Pour filling over the baked crust.

3. Bake Cheesecake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 and continue baking for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 3 hours.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving

These past several days have been chaotic, as I prepare for Thanksgiving week. I say week because my mom, brother , his wife, and children will be spending the week with us. They should arrive here this evening, after a 9 hour drive. It's always so exciting to have them come but alot of work preparing. I've got most of the house cleaned...a few odd and ends to do. Our dinner meals are planned and this is what our week will look like feeding a crowd. I have alot of cooking to do : )

Wed.
Lots of meatballs( using 6 # of meat) with spaghetti sauce & pasta, garlic bread and a green salad

Thurs. (Thanksgiving)
21 # turkey
homemade stuffing
pineapple yams (love this recipe)
mashed potatoes ( hoping 10# of potatoes will be enough)
green beans
corn
rolls
cranberry sauce
My wonderful SIL is bringing a ham and making a few pumpkin pies. Hopefully I'm not forgetting anything.

I will be making:
2 french apple pies (gf)
1 chocolate pie
1 pumpkin cheesecake (gf)

Fri.

Lots of leftovers

Sat.
Tacos

They will be heading back home Sat night. It's always hard when they go....takes a good week to adjust. We will miss them.

On another note .....I've been reading alot lately. I'm really needing God's help in so many areas...so many areas that I struggle and my heart is breaking over it. I've got lots on my mind. So, I've been reading "The Excellent Wife" & "Families Where Grace is in Place". Do you ever feel like you have things figured out and then realize you know nothing? This is where I've been lately.....learning to have a heart like the Lord Jesus, although I'm so far off from that most days. Don't we all need God's grace minute by minute...not only to have for ourselves but to pour out on others. I'm just thankful for God's love and that he sent Jesus to die for my ugly sins and that I have a way to redemption through the blood of Jesus. So much to be thankful for!

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
O! precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace - Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness - Nothing but the blood of Jesus
O precious is the flow That make me white as snow;
No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.