Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Very Merry Christmas....

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.
Wishing you all a Very Blessed
and Very Merry Christmas!
~Rhonda :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Countdown 'til Christmas ~ Day 4/ Waiting for the Big Guy

It's so hard to believe...
Only 4 days until Christmas!!!
Is the excitement building around your home, as it is ours?
...waiting for the big guy to deliver presents?

We have many gatherings planned this week, in which this Santa will greet our guest,
those we heartily welcome into our home.
"A house filled with loved ones and friends at Christmas, is a true gift indeed!"

Blessings to all, this joyous season! ~Rhonda :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Countdown 'til Christmas ~ Day 5/ The Impossible

Luke 2 (NIV)

26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.

37 For nothing is impossible with God."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Countdown 'til Christmas ~ Day 6/'Picture This..."

This is the one thing I REALLY dread each year,
annual Photos for our Christmas cards.
I think my children are the two most beautiful kiddos in the entire world,
I'm biased that way! ;)
But to take their pictures, while making them behave, smile, and pick a picture that they both look good in,!
I have a friend who has four children, and she picked a card template that allowed four individual pictures. Her cards are beautiful, displaying a collage of four! Sounds like a winner to me! Can't imagine getting FOUR children to cooperate and all look good in ONE single picture!

Figuring that I had put it off long enough, and being that Christmas is NEXT week, I loaded up Ashley and David, and took them to the lake yesterday for pictures. I caught them by surprise, not even giving them time to change clothes. Less time for them to complain that way! :)
I told Ashley to slap some lip gloss on and let's go!
Ashley says, "If you take your Christmas Card pictures in a Guy Harvey Fishing T'Shirt, you may be a red-neck." {No offense to Guy Harvey, my daughter is walking advertisement for you, and literally lives in her white long sleeve one.}

Took the first picture, above. David wouldn't smile, showing his displeasure. Threatened to take away his Ipod for a day, and he decided it would be better to cooperate!

Better, but still not satisfied. Let's face it, some of these cards are going to people that only see my kids once a year, a Christmas card photo.
Let's head to the end of the pier and try for a better shot.

The kids run ahead, anxious to get it over with it! You can't see David, but he has his arm behind Ashley, pulling her in close to him...still clowning around.

Ah, they think they are so funny, but I'm determined to stay til night falls, if that's what it takes! :) I must confess though, in the end I thought this one below, was pretty cute, and showed their personality. I found a card template for two pictures and used this as one.

Great picture of Ashley, not so great of David....
Aren't digital cameras a blessing, delete all those bad boys that didn't make the cut! :)
This one below, will grace our 2009 Christmas Cards!

It's a wrap,
...and here they remain, still wound up and playing.

David, below, " warding off the camera,", Mom!

So, this is US, keeping it real! My children often try my patience, but they also bring me many smiles and much joy. I'm so thankful for them, and they certainly make the holidays alot more special.

Yep, I sure do love those boogers! ~Rhonda :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Countdown 'til Christmas ~ Day 7/Christmas Appetitizers

Wow! SEVEN more days until Christmas!
Can you believe it is almost here? Tuesday night, Ashley's Junior Class put on a short program for their parents and friends.
Earlier in the day, they performed it for the Elementary, and then Jr. High/High School classes. It was a precious play, and quite comical, that they had written themselves, concerning the real meaning of Christmas.
{Ashley is the one in the black & white scarf.}

I was asked to oversee the reception. It was a very simple layout. Ashley's teacher asked the kids to bring cookies, and out of 15, or so, plates of cookies, 12 were chocolate chip. :)

My food contribution was a Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball, an assortment of pre-cut cheeses, and the punch.
The Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball is easy, delicious, and always a big hit.
Thought I'd share the recipe....

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
Ingredients: 1- 8 oz. Cream Cheese, 1/2 cup Butter, 1/4 tsp. Vanilla, 2 tbs. Brown Sugar, 3/4 cup Conf. Sugar, 3/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips, 3/4 cups Pecans.

First) Beat softened cream cheese, butter & vanilla until creamy.Second) Slowly add sugars until blended.
Note: This is a perfect time to take a break, and lick the beaters. Don't worry, you are through with them at this point, so no nasty little germs will be spread. {If that is what you were thinking. lol! } I assure you, it is a delicious treat! :)
Third) Stir in chocolate chips with a spoon.
Mound into a small dish, or form into a ball. {May have to refrigerate just a few minutes, to form the ball.} Chill for at least 1 hour.
Optional: Roll in pecans (3/4 cup)
Serve with graham crackers or chocolate wafers.

The pre-cut cheeses, below, I also took for the reception.
These came straight from a bag, but I wanted to show off the pretty pieces I served them in. The two larger ones, were passed down from Aunt Bo, and the smaller one was found at a yard sale.
They are beautiful in person, and also make great candle pillar holders.

And lastly, I don't have a picture of the punch, but it was delicious, and I thought I'd share that recipe also. A friend gave the recipe to me, and I was very pleased at how it turned out!

Angi's Punch
Ingredients: 4 pkgs. Kool-aid (any flavor...according to what color you desire punch to be, I used lemon-lime to resemble Christmas green.), 2-48 oz. Pineapple Juice, 4 cups Sugar, 4 qts. Water., 2-3 bottles Sundrop

Directions: Mix all of the above, except Sundrop, several days ahead of event. Pour into zip-lock bags about 1/2 full. Freeze. The day needed, take bags out to thaw to a thick slushy material. (Or thaw enough that you can break up with a knife.)

Pour mixture into a punch bowl, and add Sundrop to taste.

Linking this post to Foodie Friday, hosted by Designs By Gollum,
"Would you like Chocolate with that?" hosted by Lisa at Stop 'n Smell the Chocolates.
~Rhonda :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Countdown 'til Christmas ~ Day 8/Festive Tablescape our Formal Dining Room...

China: Noritake Squirewood
{The colors on the china are gray and black, not blue as they appear in the pictures.}
Kevin and I found this eight piece set of china at a Pawn Shop in Myrtle Beach, a couple of years ago, for $100. The coffee pot and cream & sugar were included in the set.
The deer were found at Dollar Tree last year.
Only had 4 vintage green glasses, found at a yard sale, so I added 2 Noritake Swirl glasses {wedding gifts}, at the heads of the table, to round out the six settings.

Santa on the buffet...

For more tablescapes, please visit Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch!
For those of you who may not have heard,
Melanie's {Bella~Mella Blog} 12 year old son,
passed away Tuesday.
As she said in her own words,
...Andrew is now smiling down from Heaven!
If you would like to show Melanie and her family some much needed love and send your prayers, her button is on my sidebar.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Countdown 'til Christmas ~ Day 9/Christmas Candy

Sometimes, it's the simple things that really brighten my life,
especially those simple little candies that only come around one time of year.
You know, the ones we look forward to with each season.

At Easter,
It's the Cadbury Creme Eggs!
Doesn't get any better than that....

Until Christmas comes around.
Then it is the season for Chocolate Covered Cherries!

And My Very Favorite,

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Christmas Trees!
Imagine my delight, when I discovered Kraft Mallow Bites, in the Food Section of the "big blue retail store." Now I can enjoy this delicious snack, of my favorite seasonal treats any day of the year! And they are only a $1.00 a bag.
Sorry I don't have any actual ones to show. They didn't quite make it long enough for the "post photo shoot!" The bag is all that is left, but I can assure you they were wonderful!

If I keep on, I'm going to look like Sally's "Samanthaclaus, the fat lady that brings presents," from Charlie Brown's Christmas!

So what is your favorite Christmas Candy or Dessert?
Do tell....
And I hope you have been able to enjoy it already this Christmas Season!
~Rhonda :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Countdown 'til Christmas ~ Day 10/Still Time for Thrifting

Even though this is a busy time of the year, it is still nice to find a few moments for thrifting. It was so cold here, Saturday. I believe it was in the mid 30's that morning, but still many vendors braved the cold to set up shop at the local flea market.

I browsed quickly, and found a few bargains. First up, the little hard plastic vintage deer was so tacky, he was cute! :) {$1.00} Tucked him into a Christmas vignette on top of a cabinet.

The crystal bowl below was a bit of a splurge by thrifting standards, $10.00. But it is rather heavy and large, ....and the pictures do not do it justice. It is a beautiful piece. The lady that sold it to me is one of my favorite vendors at the flea market. She is a super sweet person and always has great glassware, mostly older pieces.
I walked away from the angel below, once, and later circled back through for a second look. Just couldn't decide on her. She is a ceramic piece, made by someone named Kathy in '94. Ceramics remind me of my Grandma B., who loved painting them. When the seller said she was 50 cents, how could I resist?

Linking up to Second Time Around, at Diane's Blog, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!
Be sure to visit her for more thrifty treasure finds! ~Rhonda :)
Luke 2:10-14 (New International Version)
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."