Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 In Review

New-Years-Carnival I've been interested in doing one of those introspective, retrospective posts where I look back at 2009 and answer some deep and ponderous questions about accomplishments and relationship building, but I just couldn't do it.  Sometimes I just can't spill my guts to the worldwide web.

But I'll tell you what I can do.  I can give you a recap of my posts, at least the first sentence of the first day of each month's posts of 2009.  As I was reading them over, I had forgotten about all the things I had written.  Some of them were actually funny and well written (at least to my standards).  Huh.  I think I've forgotten how to write since somewhere back in April.

Anyway... here we go.

JANUARY 1... So... anything look different around here on the old blog?

I'm sure you can guess why I'd say that.  I changed my blog design that day for the, what... tenth time?

FEBRUARY 2...Well, I finally did it. 

You want to know what I finally did, don't you?  I became a dot com that day  Very exciting!

MARCH 3...This week has been a tough week, as far as spiritual challenges go.

This was my second entry as part of Jo-Lynne's What I Learned This Week carnival.  In this entry I had discovered my perfectionism was causing me undue grief at work, and I needed to be more prayerful about my job.  Hmmm... guess I still need to keep working on this one.

APRIL 1...At our church's missions conference last week we were encouraged to adopt one of our supported missionary families.

Uh oh.  Upon reading this entry, I realized I've really done lousy at praying for my adopted missionary this year.  Really lousy.

MAY 1...Let's take randomness to it's full potential today and do a quiz, shall we?

This is a post that was part of the Caffeinated Randomness hosted by Andrea.

JUNE 4...Being the first time I've read anything by the Blackabys, I didn't know what to expect.

This is my book review on Experiencing the Spirit by Henry & Mel Blackaby.  It is such a good book, and I need to read it a second time.

JULY 3... There are several things I miss about camp. 

Ah yes, I knew it was coming.  Yay Camp!!!  I went to teen camp, and I am so proud of myself... you know, proud in a humble sort of way.  ;)

AUGUST 12... A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, and I think it's hilarious.

The only day I posted in August, and it was a political funny.  A video of a dog who expressed his dislike for Obama.

SEPTEMBER 16... Hi, guys. I know I'm been MIA for months.

You can see this was the point in the year when blogging began to wane.  I express my overwhelmedness about changing my diet to be more whole foods as well as getting ready for our Word of Life club at church.  I also see a typo in the first line.  Terrific.

OCTOBER 6... The calendar has once again rolled over to October 6th, and it's my birthday.

Of course, this one needs no explanation.  It was my birthday, and I had a great hair day, I might add.

NOVEMBER 1... As this, the first day of November, I am participating in the NaBloPoMo.

Awww... it's NaBloPoMo, and I actually posted something every day in November, mostly with the focus of thankfulness.  That wasn't the topic every day, but it was for most days.

DECEMBER 1... What an excellent idea it was to participate in the National Blog Posting Month.

Okay, this post had nothing to do with that sentence.  It was about spending time in the kitchen and how that is SOOO not like me.


And here we are at the end.  I guess that's a wrap.  I just hope I have something to say in 2010.  You too?


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas? I Got It Done.

Someone, who shall remain nameless (*cough* Judy *cough*), informed me that she had been looking at the same blog post since December 23rd, and she wondered if I ever got past  "halfway there" to Christmas.  And I wonder how many of you were sitting on pins and needles, waiting to know too.

So I'm happy to report that I did get myself all the way to Christmas, and on time.  The cookies got baked and turned out wonderfully.  They were delicious!  Do you need a picture?  These are the Chocolate Crinkles.

Chocolate Crinkles -  12-23-09

Yes, they tasted as good as they look.

I also got all the presents purchased and wrapped.  The Hoisin wings I cooked in the crockpot got done too, and they were just okay.  I didn't love them enough to make that recipe again, though.

Being on the other side of Christmas feels good.  I've been relaxing a lot and plan to take Thursday and Friday off work this week, too.  I've been reading, which is how I really want to spend my time.  I'm gearing up for a new reading goal in 2010.  Still trying to decide what that will be, but I know I'm going to push myself harder than I did this year.

If you don't hear from me again before midnight tomorrow, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas? I'm Halfway There.

I told you yesterday that I would keep you updated on my Christmas preparations.  Well, things are moving along pretty well.

Shopping is 3/4 done.  I went to one superstore yesterday and got most everything I needed.  One more venture out will take care of the rest.

The cookie baking plan is also on target.  I did run into a bit of a roadblock when I tried to make sugar cookies using my unrefined organic whole cane sugar.  Do NOT try this at home.  It is NOT a good substitution.  It will make your sugar cookie dough look brown, and it will definitely NOT smell like sugar cookie dough.  Unfortunately, I had to do the one thing I hate in baking fiascos... throw it away!  Such a waste.

At that point I was about ready to throw in the towel.  Baking is not my forte.  After I settled down and went to read my book for awhile, I calmly decided to run out to the grocery store around the corner and buy more eggs and real sugar.  (I didn't know we were out of sugar because only my husband uses it.) 

You know, I say I hate baking, but I think the key to enjoying it is to have a good, easy recipe.  I didn't just love the recipe I was using out of my cookbook.  I don't think I should have to use my pastry cutter to cut butter into my flour mix for sugar cookies.  I want my stand mixer to do all the work for me.  So I did a search on my favorite recipe website,, and I found one for the best rolled sugar cookies.  It turned out to be VERY easy.  Cream the butter and sugar together?  Now that's what I'm talkin about.

After dinner I was able to mix both sugar cookie dough and my chocolate crinkle cookie dough.  Both are chilling in the fridge, ready to be baked this afternoon.  And the really good part is... I actually still feel like mixing up something else. 

See?  It's like I said.  If I have a good recipe that's easy to work with, it makes it more enjoyable for me.

Happy baking to you... and shopping... and wrapping...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas? I'm Workin On It.

So the plan for today is to start and finish my Christmas shopping.  Oh, I sure hope so.  As far as wrapping goes, gift bags are sounding wonderful for every gift right now.

I also might try to get a couple batches of cookie dough mixed up today and put in the fridge.  Then I'll leave the baking for tomorrow.  Sugar cookies are a must!  I also plan to make Chocolate Crinkles, which I haven't had in a long, long time.  Depending on how I feel after that, I might whip up one other variety.  No-Bake Cookies or Peanut Butter Kisses?

In between all of that, I hope to finish a book I'm in the middle of reading.  It's *Uncharted by Angela Hunt.  This one is very hard to put down because the storyline is about five old friends from college who are reunited after 20 years, who through a chain of events, end up stranded on a deserted island.  Bizarre things start to happen, like items from their past are washing up on shore.  And one of them has a haunting secret that must not be found out by the others.

Well, I'm off to do stuff.  I've got filing to do at the office, which is almost done.  Then I'll probably get all my information together to be ready to make the Sunday bulletin tomorrow.  Then I'm off Thursday for the holiday.  Woo-Hoooo!

I'll keep you updated with my Christmas checklist.  See ya later.

*This is an affiliate link.  If you make a purchase through this link, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Precious Moments

I don't have children, so the closest ones I can claim are my nieces and nephews.  Sometimes they can say crazy things, and I wonder, What on earth is that kid thinkin'?   Or Whose genes did they get?

On the other hand, there are those precious moments, like one that occurred tonight, when they say the sweetest thing, and you know that they love you.  Tonight my sweet Katy was talking to me before the Christmas program at church.  She took my hands and held them, and I bent over to listen to what she wanted to tell me.  She looked up at me and said, Aunt are sooo beautiful.

Oh my goodness, could you just eat her up?  Let me tell ya, Aunt Liz is gonna run out tomorrow and buy her a Barbie Dream House for Christmas ...or whatever it is that little girls want these days.  Because the flattery?  It is working!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Taking Ideas

I really would enjoy getting my blog rolling again, but I've been tapped dry for things to say.  I feel like I need a theme to stick with for a month, and I sort of have an idea in my head about what to write on in January.

If any of my readers have a theme idea for me, go ahead and leave me a comment.  Just so as it's something you think I could write about daily during the month of January, along the lines of a Nablopomo as I did with "thankfulness" in the month of November.  I would love suggestions.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas? I'm Not Ready Yet!

I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet.  Can you imagine?  I only have a few people to buy for, so it's not an extremely big deal. 

I also haven't baked anything yet, but I like to do it closer to the time that we'll be eating the goodies.  I'm thinking I might just make two types of cookies.  My family always spends Christmas Eve together, and we have a buffet of finger foods.  With my sister and mom pitching in on the food prep, I only have to bring a few things to share.  I found a wings recipe to make in the crock pot, so I thought I might give it a try as something new this year.

BookSpeaking of recipes... Do you know how I can tell I'm a different woman this year?  I have a cookbook on my Christmas wish list.  Now that's something that's never happened before.  This is the cookbook I found the wings recipe in.  You should check out  *Make It Fast, Cook It Slow.  There's everything from breakfast to dessert in there.  It looks terrific!

*This is an affiliate link.  If you make a purchase through this link, I will earn a small percentage of the sale.

Friday, December 11, 2009

That Holiday Feeling

It's December 11th.  I've been listening to Christmas music since two weeks prior to Thanksgiving.  I'm involved in the children's Christmas program at church.  I've watched portions of The Santa Clause and Home Alone movies on TV.  We've had snow.  The Christmas tree is up.

So...why don't I feel Christmas-y?

And then I ask myself, Is that very Christian-like?  Wanting to feel a feeling?  I know Christmas is all about Jesus' birth.  He is the Gift.  He was born to be my Savior.

It just seems like something is missing.  I've lost the excitement I had at Christmastime when I was a kid.  The anticipation of surprises, of the school Christmas concerts, of wishing for snow days, and the fun we had in visiting with cousins when we traveled to see our extended family for the holiday.  I guess I don't see anything wrong with feeling nostalgic about those things.  I miss that time in my life so much.

Does anyone know how to get that back?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Uh oh.  Looks like I'm back to where I was before November, having nothing to say.  What happened to the idea of writing becoming a habit?

I'm just so complex...and frustrating.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Seeing The Word In Flesh

If you receive updates from Revive Our Hearts on Facebook, then you saw this quote today.  I think it is a beautiful expression of how precious God's Word should be to us and what kind of relationship we can and should have with our Lord Jesus.

“So go on reading it until you can read no longer, and then you will not need the Bible any more, because when your eyes close for the last time in death, and never again read the Word of God in Scripture you will open them to the Word of God in the flesh, that same Jesus of the Bible whom you have known for so long, standing before you to take you for ever to His eternal home.” –Geoffrey Thomas

Will you know Him when you see Him?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Too Sleepy For Words

I know I'm very late with my post today, but it's been an extremely long day.  Even though I don't have a single thing to say, I thought about my little blog and couldn't bear to neglect it.  You know, they say once you do something for 21 consecutive days it becomes a habit.  I guess that Nablopomo/30 days of posts thing really did the trick, huh?  Now I can't stop posting.

Sleepy Dixie

Well... I'm sitting here next to my Sheltie whose eyelids are drooping, and my eyelids are getting pretty heavy too.  You should see us.  We make quite a cute pair.  I think it's time to log off and get to bed.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Random Dozen

random dozen

I don't know how Linda comes up with her questions, but she asked a couple of tough ones this week.  Here are my responses, for what it's worth...


1. Which Wizard of Oz character are you most like?

I never gave it much thought, but I guess I would be Dorothy.  As far as I'm concerned, there is no place like home.  I like the idea of traveling, but I am a homebody.

2. When you're deciding what you're going to wear each morning, which item do you select first?  Why?

It all depends on the day.  Sometimes I know I want to wear a particular top, so I'll choose the pants that make me look the skinniest with that top.  Is that how everyone else gets dressed for the day?

3. What kind of animal do you think the world could live without?


4. How many Christmas trees are in your home?

I think we own 2 artificial Christmas trees, but neither is put up yet.  We have no decorations up at all. 

5. Would you prefer to be emotionless if it mean you didn't have to feel a heartbreak?

I think feeling emotion is a gift, and I wouldn't give it up, even if it meant I didn't have to experience heartbreak.  Feeling that pain means you have loved, and isn't that worth something?

6. Do you ever experience holiday let-down or depression?

I have felt the holiday blues before.  It usually comes because I have expectations of how things ought to be, and I'm let down when they aren't met.  I also sometimes get that low feeling after the holiday has passed because the event I was all hyped up for has passed, and I'm not sure what to look forward to after that.

7. Do you like Michael Jackson's music?

I have to qualify my answer for this one.  I have never owned any of his music, but it's all very familiar because it was so prevalent in places I'd go, i.e. the mall.  Sort of like it's part of the background soundtrack of my life.  Some of his songs I have found to be "catchy", but I never liked the man.

8. Why is it that we never judge people who have their teeth fixed for cosmetic reasons, but every other cosmetic procedure has a stigma?

I never really thought about that, Linda.  Hmmm...I guess I'm stumped.  I'll be interested to see what other people think.

9. Enjoy horseback riding?

I have only ridden a horse on two occasions.  The first time I was just a little girl, and it was a pony guided by my dad at a zoo or something.  The second time I must have been about 12, and that time I actually got to hold the reins and follow the guide.  That was also at a zoo, and I'm pretty sure the horses knew exactly where they were supposed to go.  I am sure I enjoyed it, but I hardly remember it.

10. Shoes--practical or stylish?

I try to incorporate style into my practicality.

11. What was the name of your first pet? Feel free to post a pic.

We got a puppy when I turned 10.  Her name was Penny.  She was a black lab/beagle mix and the runt of the litter.  She was a free puppy, so we named her Penny since she didn't cost us a cent.  {That was until she went to her vet check-up and probably had to be dewormed and vaccinated.  I'm sure Mom & Dad paid plenty for that dog.}

12. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done?

None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

My answers weren't too snappy today, were they?  Oh well, maybe you'll have to go over to Linda's blog and see what other people had to say with their Random Dozen today.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

In The Kitchen

What an excellent idea it was to participate in the National Blog Posting Month.  I feel a sense of accomplishment for doing it, and I have a renewed enjoyment in blogging.  I hope to continue writing regularly.

Little Chefs Now... do you know what I did yesterday?  I spent time in my kitchen.  On purpose.  Just because I wanted to.  That just doesn't happen to me, people, so this is a good thing.  I had borrowed a book from the library called Make it Fast, Cook it Slow, which is a very cool book of crockpot recipes.  There seems to be quite a few in it that I would like to try.  Anyway, I thought I might try making one of the recipes today, but unfortunately I ran out of vanilla extract over the weekend, which I need for any of the recipes I intended to make.  Seeing as I still had the notion  in my head to bake something {again, amazing!}, I decided to try another quick bread using my bread machine.

I've been experimenting in my recipes with switching out some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat instead.  It appears to make the breads darker, and seems to give them a tougher texture.  They still taste good to me, though.  I ended up making Apple Pecan Bread because I had a whole bag of Golden Delicious apples that went unused when I didn't make that homemade pie for Thanksgiving.  What an aroma filled my house while that was baking!  Wonderful. 

I must say, I have felt so much better in the last two weeks.  I don't know where this renewed energy has come from.  Prior to that time, I had been seriously feeling drained all the time.  I hated the way I felt.  All I wanted to do was go to bed when I got home from work, and I only work four hours every morning.  I was afraid to exercise because I knew whatever energy I had left afterward would be zapped for the night.  Well, I don't know what changed, but all of a sudden I can get through my days without dragging.  I'm so thankful that seems to be behind me now.

Maybe I will spend more time whipping things up in the kitchen, since I'm feeling rejuvenated.  Maybe?

*Photo courtesy of Microsoft Office Clip Art