Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winter has arrived...

Looking outside you would think it was mid-January here.  We are experiencing a winter wonderland! 

It started snowing yesterday.  The temperatures have been in the 20's all day.  Overnight our temperature was about 19 degrees.  These are temperatures we see in mid-winter, not mid-fall.  From the looks outside we should be preparing for Christmas not Thanksgiving.

Our animals have not wanted to venture outside at all today.  They have been just sitting in our big picture window watching the snow fall.

Caspian our cat does not like to be outside in the winter more than he has to be.  Same with our dog Charlie.  He is just content lying on the couch with us.

As I type this up both animals are snuggled down with Matt on the couch.  Its a win win for him because they keep him warm. 

Even the ladybugs are hunkered down inside.  I captured this little one this afternoon. 

If you have been a reader of mine for any length of time you can remember me telling you all about our fun activity we do when it snows.  We stop what we are doing and make gingerbread.  The recipe I use is one that Laura Ingalls Wilder used.  You can find the recipe HERE.

We started this tradition when we started homeschooling.  We were reading through Laura's books.  The recipe is in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Cookbook.  If you are a fan of her then I know you would enjoy this cookbook. 

Well I am off to start supper.  My husband is off tonight because of the weather so we are enjoying our evening together. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Heart of Christmas

Not often does a movie come along that touches both my husband and myself!  Tonight we were flipping through the channels trying to find something worth wild to watch.  We settled on the UP channel.  They were showing some interesting Christmas movies.  Normally my husband doesn't like them, but this one caught our eye because Candice Cameron Bure was in it.  So we started watching, The Heart of Christmas.  The story is so touching and heartwarming.  Just a word of warning, make sure you have a box of tissues handy!

The movie is based on a true story.  It is the story of Dax Locke and his family as they walk through life after Dax is diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.  Dax was only 15 months old when he was diagnosed.  I cannot even imagine how his parents felt that day they found out.  If you have been a reader of mine for any length of time you are aware of the struggles we have had with our children.  But nothing, I mean nothing compares to what they went through. 

As they went through the rollercoaster ride of treatments at St. Jude Children's hospital, Julie Locke kept a journal on Caringbridge about their journey.  Because of that journal many lives were changed.  As a matter of fact a whole community was changed.  A neighbor Megan's (Candace Cameron Bure's character) family was living life just going through the motions.  They hardly ever connected as a family any longer.  Like so many families out there they were just too busy for this and that.  So on Halloween she runs out to quickly take her son trick-or-treating.  She stepped outside only to see the neighborhood lit up for Christmas.  She asks neighbors what it was all about.  She is then given a card with Julie Locke's blog information on it.  The Locke's realize one night that Dax will not live to see Christmas.  So late one night Dax's father decorates the house for Christmas.  They decide to give him the last Christmas he deserves.

Isn't is often tragedies in life that bring us back to the things that matter.  I think families like Megan's are all too common in the world today.  Parents so caught up in working to provide a "good" life for their kids they miss the kids' life.  I highly recommend this movie!! 

Psalm 90:12
"So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." was listed in a journal entry.  We are not guaranteed a tomorrow.  What we do with today is what matters.  Are you so worried about tomorrow you forget what is in front of you today?  If so perhaps it is time you re-evaluate your priorities in life.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Easy Pumpkin Bread

We got our first snowfall yesterday but not enough to warrant making gingerbread.  So I decided to make some pumpkin bread. 

Easy Pumpkin Bread

1 2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pinch of cloves
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup water

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Whisk until it is well combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or by hand) cream the sugar, shortening and vanilla until well blended.  Add the eggs one at a time until mixed thoroughly.  Stir in the pumpkin.  Add the dry ingredients and water beating until smooth.

Place the batter into a greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

This bread is so moist and delicious!  Next time I may add dried cranberries and walnuts.