Thursday, December 25, 2008

Doug with Elise

Christmas vacation

Luke and Sydney love brownies.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish all my family and friends a very Merry Christmas.

Here is a great Christmas morning recipe I wanted to share, it is yummy!

Pull Apart Monkey Bread

18-22 frozen dinner rolls (Rhoades Bake and serve)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar, mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter melted
2 tablespoon butterscotch pudding mix(dry and not the instant)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Place the frozen rolls in a greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle brown sugar and pudding mix over frozen rolls. Pour on melted butter and add cinnamon mixture and nuts. Cover with foil and let rise overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Invert immediately onto plate for serving and enjoy. Yummy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The joys of Christmas

This is my most favorite time of year. I find joy in the small things like Christmas music, Christmas cards, special treats (food), the excitement of the faces of people opening gifts, the simple greeting of "Merry Christmas", the feeling of service in the air, all the parties, the decorations and lights. This is a time when I miss my children being little and getting excited for santa, and the traditions that we had. Oh the memories of years gone by... Here are a few as a child and as a young mother with children.
When I was about 8 my grandpa (who was widowed) came to spend the night with us on Christmas Eve (family tradition). My parents hid our present at the neighbors house 3 doors down. The gift was a Tandem bike for my sister and I. My dad and grandpa went down the street to get the bike about midnight, the story is told of dad and grandpa riding the bike up the street together in the snow and ice, with the bright moon lighting their way, mom tells the story of the priceless sight as they slipped and almost fell several times. Course we didn't know this until a couple of years later after we found out about the real Santa. But I will never forget coming in the room and seeing that blue bycicle built for two sitting there. I will also never forget the look on my parents and grandpa Miller's face as we screamed and danced around it. Little did I know that they had already taken a spin on it before we did. (Mom and dad still have that bike in there garage)
As a mom I remember many Christmas' but one in particular stands out... we lived in Laramie Wyoming. We went to cut down our own Christmas tree in the freezing cold and deep snow. The guys did the cutting and the girls sat in the warm car with the hot chocolate. We got out to tell them which tree then jumped back in the car. We must of thought we had a 20 foot ceiling cause we had to cut the tree down several times to fit it on the car and in the house. We had Christmas a day early (the kids didn't really know the difference)so we could travel to Salt Lake for Christmas with extended family. This was a 6 hour drive in a small Ford Broncho. (seat belt laws weren't in effect and yes we were dumb but it was the only dependable care we had). We made the trip singing, laughing (little fighting) along the way. For some reason I remember just being in that small space with all the people I love and feeling joy and love for each child and a good husband. What else is there? What is your favorite Christmas memory?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Holiday was so much fun!

We had a wonderful time for Thanksgiving as a family. Aubrey & Kyle, Celeste & Joe and Derek were here for the Thanksgiving celebration. We stayed up late every night, ate lots of food, played games, laughed, and played Rock Band together. (Yea it wasn't my type of music but it was fun when you were playing it).
They were all here by Wednesday, Brock and Brittany came by to visit. It was interesting to see these same kids that used to hang out together as teenagers many years ago, sit down together as adults talking about jobs, homes, babies and friends. They are all living in different areas doing their own thing in life and being responsible adults.
Thursday was the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Derek, Kyle, Joe and Doug were all helping in the kitchen. It was a first to have all guys in the kitchen with me. They all like to cook and I took advantage of that by giving them dishes to make. The food turned out yummy! Now if I could just get Aubrey and Celeste to like being in the kitchen too. The kid's friends came by and they played Rock Band, it was great being a part of the fun.
The girls went shopping on Black Friday while the guys went shooting. That turned out to be a great arrangement. We all got home about the same time, went to eat at Chicago pizza, which was yummy... came home and decorated the Christmas tree together.
Saturday we went to Little Rock to the River Market and walked around downtown. Some went to the Clinton Library while others went to the Arkansas Museum. Then we went to Macaroni Grill, shopped some more and came home and played all night. We won't be seeing Aubrey & Kyle at Christmas so we did our little mock Christmas and gave them their presents early.
Sunday we had a big breakfast together, then said our goodbye's to Aubs and Kyle. Joe & Celeste went to church and ate dinner with us, then they left to go home. Derek leaves this morning to go back to CA. It was wonderful having them come. The hardest thing is saying goodbye! During breakfast yesterday we were planning the next family get together. Those family times are priceless, and they have to be well planned because of distance and schedules, and expense. Doug and I cherish the time that we spend with our children and grandchildren. This is what life is all about, FAMILY! I am thankful for mine!