Monthly Archives: December 2010

A Little Bit More…

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,

stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?

It came without ribbons. It came without tags.

It came without packages, boxes or bags.

And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” – Dr. Suess

Hunters, Holidays and Tall Tales

We interrupt this Christmas season for a brief hunting interlude.

Why? Because  – let’s face it – hunting season definitely lands smack dap in the middle of yuletide preparations.

Think – pint sized Joseph decked out in camouflage  at Christmas program practice.

Or deer carcasses hanging in full view of the Christmas lights.

Or cooks taking a break from cookie baking to process this week’s kill.

Such is life in hunting season.

Such is my life this week.

The culprits are Grampa French, Mr. Cheesey, and Brian – our three hunters from Michigan. They’re camped out in our basement, spend the day reducing our deer population, and in the evening – they entertain us with their stories.

Oh my – such stories!

I’ve decided that hunters (at least these hunters) are much like fishermen – you never quite know where the truth ended!

They were talking about how many rabbits we have around here – and I mentioned what a nuisance they were in the garden.

Grandpa French leaned in and said, “You want to know how to catch those rabbits?”

I was all ears.

He continued, “Find a flat rock and sprinkle it with some freshly ground pepper” He paused and glanced around the table to make sure he had his audience.

“Then carefully lay a romaine leaf directly on top.”

Another dramatic pause.

“The rabbit will start eating the lettuce leaf…”

We all leaned in so as not to miss anything.

“Then the pepper will make him sneeze – throwing his head forward and he knocks himself out on the rock!”

Ouch! The master story teller got us again.

And so the laughter continues…

Chocolate Kissed Snowballs

Chocolate SnowballsI love these cookies.

Really love them.

I love them so much that I can’t stop eating them.

But since I’ve jumped in the “bottomless pit of Christmas goodies” with both feet – I figured I might as well make these too! 🙂

A sweet friend and co-worker first served me some of these goodies way back in the olden days when we were both still in college. She brought them into work one cold December day and I was hooked! (Bless you Miss Donna!)

They often make it into our Christmas line-up and on our Christmas treat plates. They do freeze well – but are divine fresh from the oven when the chocolate inside is gooey and hot! <drooling>

These are perfect on a cold snowy day!

Chocolate Kissed Snowballs

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans (I have substituted almonds)
5 ounce bag of Hershey Kisses (unwrapped)
powdered sugar for coating

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.  Add the flour, salt, and pecans. Mix well.

Shape about 1 teaspoon of dough around each candy kiss and put on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. Don’t let them get too brown!

Remove from the oven and place cookies on cooling racks.  While still slightly warm, roll in powdered sugar.


I’ll linked this post up with Tuesdays at the Table over at All the Small Stuff and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday over at At The Well.

Keeping Holiday

My mom is the church librarian and one of the perks of her position is getting to read and review all the books before they end up on the shelves.  She found another great one to share with us…

As Church Librarian, I’m always looking for good books, especially for the elementary age and that in-between age often called “tweens”.

Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade is a keeper!  Starr Meade is a Mom and Grandmother, who teaches home school students and knows how to write a captivating book!

She writes in the spirit of C.S. Lewis, making more to the story than meets the eye.

Join Dylan and his cousin as they search for the real Holiday, the one the Founder has for them.  “The Founder is also the Finder” is phrase they hear often as they continue their journey.

This spellbinding story of God’s work in the lives of those who are called according to his purpose will captivate readers from 8 to 78.

I’m sure it will become a Christmas tradition in your home!

Until next time,

Nana Shirley

Our Christmas Tree

TreeI love the Christmas season!

Normally – Christmas music will start playing just as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is picked over and in the fridge.

But this year the girls caved early and started listening the week of Thanksgiving!

And the Christmas tree goes up – by the first of December – if not before.

I will admit that our Christmas tree will never grace the cover of a home and garden magazine, nor would a passing stranger admire it’s beauty.

But that doesn’t matter to me.

Why? Because our tree is decorated with memories. Each and every ornament has a story. Each one is an old friend.

There are ornaments from college friends, former students, and coworkers. There is one “First Christmas Together” ornament along with five “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments.

Then there are the handmade ones, the art projects created by my children, the heirloom ornaments designed by our parents and Jan’s Grandma Moen’s tatted snowflakes and bells.

It’s not just a part of the Christmas decor – it is a document of our family history.

Just like everything else in our Christmas – it’s not about being picture perfect – it’s about making memories that tie us together as a family.

And that makes it a thing of beauty to me.