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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas Decorations 2014

 This year I bought a new pre-lit, skinny Christmas tree. My other Christmas tree wasn't pre-lit and I've always had multi-colored lights. Plus it was pretty big for the size of my living room. I wanted to change from multi-colored lights to clear too. I found this tree at Big Lots for only $60. I love the size of it and that I didn't have to squish my furniture to accommodate a larger tree this year. 
It's funny that even though the tree is much smaller, I still used all of my Christmas tree decorations. I love over filling my trees with ornaments. I don't have a fireplace mantel so I've always hung the stocking on the side of the fireplace. 
 Here is looking from the Christmas tree to the other side of my living room. 
 A couple of nativities. 
 A larger white nativity on the piano. It's washed out in the photo but it is absolutely a beautiful set. I couldn't get a clearer pictures, sorry. 
 On the table, I have a set of metal reindeer, a metal sleigh and the cutest Santa (also washed out in the photo). The lighting was horrible to take pictures. I may try again when it is dark outside). 
 In my kitchen, I have a couple of Christmas gingerbread men, a gingerbread T-pot, a "cookies for Santa" plate. Also a couple of winter scene pictures on top of the stove. 
 This snowman winter scene is in front of the kitchen sink. 
 This is on the breakfast bar.
 Nut crackers on top of the refrigerator. 
My dining table and the window.

I've finished decorating the inside of my home and put away all the totes. Now I just need to get the lights on the house outside. It's always beautiful when it's done. Now I have a month to enjoy all the beauty of Christmas.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

 Wednesday night (the night before Thanksgiving) we decided to go to a movie, The Mocking Jay at The Village in Meridian. Sharon had Jason stop by the fountains for a picture. I'm sure glad she did, because he is pretty cute in this photo!!

Anyway, we refuse to shop or go to any type of entertainment on Thanksgiving because it is unfair to make people have to work and we choose not to participate in that - no way! It's just wrong! Employers need to quit being so greedy and let their employees be with their families on holidays. Shame on them!
I felt that The Mocking Jay movie really followed the book. I was prepared for what the movie entails. I hated Katniss' hair. I need to watch Hunger Games and Catching Fire to see if it was that dark in those movies. It may have just been in braids in both shows and they kept it loose for her "craziness" or PTSD that she has in this movie - but I didn't like her hair. 

I also hope Peeta didn't really lose all that weight. Wow, he did look tortured. I hope it was digitally enhanced. 

Thanksgiving morning Jason and Sharon arrived early at around 10:30 am. They brought the groceries to make biscuits and gravy for breakfast. It was a yummy surprise. 

We didn't eat our Thanksgiving dinner until later - about 5:00 pm.

We decided not to have Turkey this year and order a ham from "Honey Baked Ham" in Boise. 

That meant that we didn't have gravy or stuffing for Thanksgiving. I asked them if they wanted Easy Cheesy Potatoes/funeral potatoes or Crock pot Au-gratin Potatoes. They voted for Jason's delicious mashed garlic red potatoes. Jason's potatoes were so full of flavor and YUM... sooo good. It was a great choice.

Sharon and I love Creamy Cheesy Broccoli but Jason doesn't. He would eat green beans or asparagus, but I was not going to go to the store to get asparagus the day before Thanksgiving - I'm not crazy - I really didn't want to be in a grocery store the day before Thanksgiving because it's usually a mad house. 
Of course I have canned green beans from my garden, so I baked a couple pieces of bacon, added some white sauce from the Creamy Cheesy Broccoli and added it to the beans - then topped with cheese. It was a hit and a new tradition. 

Plus we made sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. 

Last but not least my homemade buttery, flakey 12 hour crescent rolls

It was the easiest Thanksgiving dinner and day I've ever had. Having pre-cooked ham instead of a turkey, stuffing and gravy was the best. It's our new tradition to have ham going forward. Plus I know the we will have no problem eating ALL the ham leftovers verses turkey leftovers.
 Top going clockwise - Garlic potatoes, sweet potatoes, heavenly ham, green beans, and broccoli and the 12 hour crescent rolls up top. Together with Martinelli's sparkling apple cranberry juice. 
Our small family of 3 table setting. Jason is in the front who doesn't like sweet potatoes or the broccoli. He just doesn't know what he is missing.  
It was such a great dinner and a peaceful day together. I'm thankful that my children pose for pictures. My beautiful daughter in law Sharon and my son, Jason. 

Of course we missed Brady, who spend the day with his dad and family in Provo. I was able to chat with him for about 45 minutes. I miss him but we will be staying with him for Christmas this year. I'm looking forward to it. Jason, Sharon and I have tickets to fly down and stay with him. It's been a few years since we've spent Christmas together (or Thanksgiving). 

Of course we had pie too:
2 - Pumpkin Pies
Sharon also brought a pecan pie. I've never tasted pecan pie in my life and oooooh it was so good. It tasted like butterscotch to me. It has officially been added to our new Thanksgiving traditions.

I would have loved to have made coconut cream and lemon meringue pie, but seriously we already had 5 pies for 3 people. I guess I'll make them for Christmas. 

Over all, our small Thanksgiving day/dinner was wonderful! Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Counting all the blessings in my life on this one day - ha ha ha ha.

Seriously, I am the luckiest mom to have the 2 best sons and daughter in law, you make my life better everyday. I love you! I love talking to you on the phone or texting. I love spending time with you. I miss Brady, but am glad he is only a phone call away. We had a great family vacation this year and hope to schedule more in the future. 

I have a job I enjoy with the best customers around. I make enough money to provide for all my needs and wants. I love being self employed.

I have all the comforts of life, a great home and I love living in Idaho even when it snows. I love my home, inside and out. This past year I've gotten rid of a ton of clutter and excess stuff. I love the feeling of having less and still want to get rid of more. We have so much in the USA, we are spoiled with an abundance of stuff. I'm trying to limit that stuff and as I do, more peace comes into my life.

This year I've been working really hard at eliminating my debt. I'm almost there - a couple of more months and I'll be debt free except my house. I've sacrificed a lot, but it's all been worth it.

I love the internet and the valuable resource it is. It makes me realize that there are so many talented wonderful people in the world and I am grateful that they share their wisdom and talents with us. Being part of the virtual world has blessed me and motivated me to do better each day.

I love all the beauty around me, the sky, clouds, trees, flowers, streams, rivers, lakes, farmland, mountains, dirt, grass, leaves, animals, butterflies, birds, sunsets, clean air and this world in general. There is such beauty in looking and really seeing it.

I am thankful for books! I love my kindle and free books that let me read to my hearts desire.

I am thankful for quiet peaceful times in my life.

I am thankful for music. In my home it's going 90% of the time.

I don't watch TV anymore and if I do it is a movie. What a blessing it has been to turn off the TV. I don't watch any news anymore and am no longer swayed by the agenda they have and push. I no longer feel stirred up and anxious about what is going on in the world. It has been the best decision I've ever made to turn off news.

There isn't a thing in my life that I feel I am missing. 

I have been abundantly blessed with a wonderful life!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

 Thursday and Friday, November 14 - 15, 2014 we had a major snow storm park itself over the Boise Idaho area. 

All the schools in the area were closed including BSU. 
Even our trash service was delayed until road conditions improved.
A look outside my window on this snowy day. I love it when I can stay home and have the weekend to get the roads back in shape before I have to drive on them. 
Look at the height of the snow off the walks. Lots of snow, plus it was still snowing. 
 See how high the snow is at the snow tires? It took me quite a while to dig my car out and the driveway to the garage where my other car is. 
Boise Airport official total was 7.6 inches of snow. Wow! Most areas in Boise received 7 - 10 inches from this storm. It was a crazy snow day. It's beautiful, but soooo cold. It was 1 degree this morning and the high will only be 24 degrees today. Brrrrrrr
I saw this photo on KTVB (our local TV Station) and thought that was such a cute idea. Way to go girls! Do you want to build a snowman?
We also hosted a football game here. Bronco stadium was covered with a blanket of snow. It took a while for them to prepare Boise States Blue Turf for the game against San Deigo. 

Ok, I had to laugh when I found out it was San Diego that was coming to play in our cold snowy stadium. 

It took facility crews working throughout Friday to remove the snow from the field and stands at Albertsons Stadium.
I am sure it came as a shock to the Aztecs whose temperature in their home city of San Diego reached 70 degrees on Saturday. ha ha ha!

The expected temperature for Saturday's game at 8:15 pm kickoff was around 20 degrees, but the wind chill put that down even further. 

Poor San Diego!!! Brrrrrrrr

BSU Broncos' 38-29 were victorious over Sand Diego State!!
On this cold snowy weekend, I decided to make chili and taco soup. I used up the remaining kidney beans in my food storage. It's always a good feeling when I can replace food storage with new product because I am actually using it!

I was able to fill my freezer with 1 serving bags - my creative way to cook from scratch for 1 person.  I love meals in my freezer that I can pull out so I can eat healthy be frugal and not run to get fast food. 
It was an unusual Sunday too - our church had a pipe break, sending everyone out of the building and the fire department coming in. 
Glad it was only a broken pipe and everyone was safe!

Well, it's been quite a snow storm and weekend. Although the snow is beautiful, I always dread driving on it. But, it's back to work on Monday. Hopefully all the roadways will be back to normal and it will be an easy commute. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Parable of the Down Pillows

During Jaron and Autumn's Temple marriage ceremony, the officiator told a story "The Parable of the Down Pillows". I loved it so much I wanted to add it to my blog. I am paraphrasing from what I remember:

A young couple received a set of down pillows as a wedding present. 

They loved their soft down pillows through the years.

But, as the years went on, the pillows got flatter and flatter.

The wife took the pillows to a dry cleaner and asked them to clean and if they could add fluffing to the pillows.

They recommended that instead of adding more "down feather's" to the pillows they should take the down feather's from one of the pillows and add it to the other pillow - making only 1 pillow. 

That is what they did, and made one fluffy, soft down pillow.

From that day forward, it was a rush to get to bed between the Husband and Wife. 

They each wanted to give the other the soft down pillow to sleep with. 

They thought more of the comfort for their spouse then they did for themselves. 

That is what makes a marriage work, loving, giving and making sure your spouse is loved, happy and comfortable above all else. Each giving and loving each other more then words can say. That keeps a marriage together forever. 

Links to Autumn and Jaron's wedding: 

Halloween 2014

I was extremely lucky this Halloween to have my little brother, Richard and his family, Rhonda, Tymber and Hope here for a visit.
We has such an awesome time.
Halloween night we spent time at the village. Hope and Tymber posing by these random witch figures sitting on the benches. It took us a while to figure out if it was a real person or not. It wasn't real. 
We also went to "Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" at the theater in the village. It was just OK ... we had a tough time finding something that was family friendly for all of us to watch and this is what we settled on. 
More pictures in front of the fountains at the village. 
A few poses of Tymber who is obsessed with Batman right now. 

She is such a beautiful tween / woman / girl - grin. 
I loved the sparkles she put on the mask. She looked darling. 
Tymber did Hope's scary make up. 
Dracula girl ... the undead ... who is very messy when feeding on mortals.
I love this pose .. she sure looks scary!

Hope requested cup cakes and sugar cookies from Aunt Sondra .... and yes I delivered.
Mummy cup cakes
and sugar cookies. 

After we ate all the sugar cookies I taught Tymber how to make some more. 
She did a great job but I ended up frosting them while she put the make up on Hope. 

The next night we went to another movie at the Village. It was raining really hard and a lot. We had 1.15 inches in Boise that night - which is just crazy unbelievable - but we sure needed it.
We saw The Maze Runner, it was interesting. I like the action and the movie - but it left you with more questions then answers. I guess it's a trilogy book set and more movies are coming. 

I had such a great time having them here for a few days. It always goes by so fast. I sure love spending time with them!


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