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 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 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.

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