Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Company

This week has been so fun. We had the chance to make dinner for some of our good friends from SoCal. The Cardwells come to camp every summer for a week of vacation, so it was fun to visit with them at home! Scott, Donna, Rachel, Charles and Sarah came through Redding on their way to Sun River, Oregon for Christmas. Scott's parents, Ralph and Geri, came too. They are some of Gordon and Dottie's very best friends. {too bad they were in Dallas for the holidays and missed them!}
The pressure was on!!! Dottie has told me so many stories about how Geri made the most delicious food and helped her learn how to be a good wife and mother. Gordon travelled a lot (or had youth activities going on) so Dottie was frequently invited to The Cardwells with her 3 boys (she later had Laurie and Brad!) for a meal and a little break. She told me that Geri always sent her home with wonderful hand me down clothes and toys AND leftover food packed up! She appreciated Geri's kind friendship and godly example so much.
I tried to fix a pretty table...but I was sure missing my SIL, Laurie! She is the Master at tablescapes!
I used a white boa on the light fixture and hung some ornaments too. {and I fully expected my husband to make some comment like, "Did a goose fly into our light?" But, he refrained.}
Anna and I made sugar cookies and she made Pioneer Woman's "Texas Sheet Cake" It was De-lish!
Lindsay asked all day long "when are the Cardwells going to get here?" and "are they going to bring their dog, Sneakers?" One summer the Cardwells brought Lindsay a little stuffed bear (in her hand in this picture) she has slept with it ever since and it is named, "Sneakers". She was THRILLED when they showed up with the REAL Sneakers!
Poor baby had back surgery just after Thanksgiving, so she had to be kept still!
The kids enjoyed eating at their own table and catching up. These kids are SO nice to Lindsay, it is no wonder she loves them so...
And we adults had a wonderful visit too! Shae was busy working at Bath and Body Works in the VERY busy mall, so she missed out on all the fun! {But, looks like she will be able to pay some of her school bill for next semester~yay~}
The rest of our Christmas break has been pretty chill. Lindsay plays with her blocks and watches public television (Yay for Clifford!) while Anna goes from one friend's house to another then basketball practice at night. I cook, clean, wash clothes, wrap get the picture...Scott is very busily working on a precious gift for Lindsay for Christmas! The sawdust is somehow ALL OVER my kitchen floor!

Only 2 more days!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome Home!

The Girl is HOME!We are all so happy!

Here are a few randoms for those who asked!
Here are the actual aprons that were wrapped in the boxes in the previous post {the "Miss Luff" one went to Texas...and the "Mrs. Walters" one is actually for Shae's RA who just got engaged!} But I made 10 all together. Even one for one of Lindsay's aides, "Sir John"!

The foyer at Neighborhood Church is amazing! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the beautiful words describing our Savior's birth that seem to burst forth from the tree reminding us of the REAL meaning of CHRISTmas! The black and white damask and "Peace on Earth" blocks are right up my alley too!
Here is my "baby" front and center in the Redding Christian School Christmas program. She is such a joy! Anna is a rule follower and Scott describes her as a "by the book-er". THAT is what makes her a great choice for speaking parts {and sports teams :) }
Besides Carmen Diehl's roll recipe baking in my oven, my family LOVES to smell these yummy croutons baking. I have to hide them until din-din or they will be GONE...

After Lindsay's hospital stay and brain injury (a long time ago) my friend, Marilee, arranged for us to have meals brought in for an entire month. What a luxury! almost makes me want to have a baby or something...
One of the most scrumptious meals was made by my friend, Natalie Fisher. She made us the yummiest salad with grilled chicken and....homemade croutons! She later told me how to make them and I have been making them ever since!

Sourdough Croutons
Get a sour dough baguette or a loaf of sliced sourdough bread. Cut in cubes.
Melt a cube of butter...yep, a cube of butter!
Toss the cubes in a large bowl and stir around evenly covering the cubes with the butter.
spread the croutons onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder or garlic salt.
Bake 10 minutes (may take longer, just keep watching them) or so at 350 every few minutes or so take a spatula and mix them around so they get evenly toasty but watch them carefully, they burn easily.
Enjoy a delicious and yummy addition to your salad!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

O' Happy Day!

Shae Marrin Luff is about to walk in this door any minute! We are so excited! Scott flew to Sacramento to pick her up in the plane, so the wait won't be too long this time! She got bumped from her flight out of Lynchburg (and got a $400 travel voucher~good girl!) so she is late getting in.
I hurried to finish decorating my Texas tree before she gets here or I would never hear the end of it! I put the little trees on the porch today too...but my off center front door is making hanging the garland difficult!
I usually do the formal tree in the living room but this year I wanted to have the mantle match the silvery the western decor had to move to the living room...AND I got this beautiful and HUGE real tree from the Redding Christian junior class fund raiser and it needed a big space!
I just wasn't feeling real creative or inspired this year, but I did what I could.
I brought back that yummy Christmas-y smelling candle from the most awesome WoodWick candle outlet in Virginia! {I hope Shae went there before she got all packed to come home!}
My sister-in-law, Laurie, keeps me up to date with all things "Texas-y" since she is lucky enough to still live there!
The tree is so big that my shot gun shell lights and chili pepper lights looked a little skimpy, so I borrowed some rope from Scott (I said, the dirtier the better!)
My sister-in-law, Lisa, sent me this darling Texas Santa last year!
My kitchen only has a few festive things this year, including (another Laurie gift), this snowman candy dish that no one has noticed has M&Ms in..hee hee!
and one of my favorite things, the "Believe" blocks!
The teacher gifts are wrapped and ready...(aprons with their names embroidered on each one and a $10 Starbucks giftcard.
I got these darling stickers from Expressionery.
Lindsay made this magnet for me at school last year. I love his little face, he reminds me a little bit of Lindsay!
Last but not least, here is what is making our house smell good tonight! Fresh baked rolls for my college girl!
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Plays, Parties and Players...

December has been so busy for us!
Anna was the narrator for the annual Christmas chapel at school. She was FLAWLESS and not one bit nervous. She waited for the applause to stop before introducing each act and spoke loudly and clearly the entire time!

She had to put her microphone down though, in order to perform in her 6th grade class dance!
The kids all did a great job and it always makes me feel so blessed to be a part of the Redding Christian School community!
That same day was the 5th and 6th grade field trip to The Cascade Christmas performance downtown at the Cascade Theater. It was fun being a driver for this one!

I had a car full of sweet girls. I always love to hear their conversations!
It was PACKED...and COLD downtown! I think every school in Redding had kids at the performance that day.
But the BEST ones were the ones from Redding Christian!
After the performance we had the chance to go out for lunch.
It was a fun and festive day.

But the night before all that holiday fun.....
Apolo Anton Ohno came to Redding for a book signing!
"Apolo is waaaaaaaaaay cooler!"

In the midst of all of the holiday busy-ness, we are deeply involved in
6th grade girls' basketball season. Anna has really stepped it up a notch and is the high scorer on her team! God bless Sweet David Van Dyke for his patience in coaching girls!

Lindsay has had a great week! First her special ed. class had the annual field trip to the Elks Lodge for a Christmas party where she got a humongous teddy bear from Santa. {well, she "waited at the table" while someone went to get her gift for her}. They always put on the nicest party and she gets to see lots of friends that have moved on to different schools and some of her teachers from earlier years.

Even with Ben she wasn't about to get too close to Santa! It was so funny...Ben would jump up and down clapping his hands with excitement while trying to talk her into going up there! When he finally got her to at least walk that way, he totally walked right up to the front of the line and cut in front of about 25 other kids in wheelchairs, etc. Hahahahahaha!

In the midst of the crazy schedule around here, I was able to get my house somewhat decorated. The girls and I have our bedroom trees up too, but I still have to do our Texas tree.
This year I did the fancier tree in the family room and I love the simple white lights! I used apocathary jars with silver and white beads and balls and "shopped" around the house for all my crystal and silver accessories. { I remembered all the "House of Design" ideas!!}
{please notice the folded laundry on the ottoman!}

I didn't even try to "stage" my pictures...can you tell?
Here is poor Scott trying to watch the news,
And here is the busy 6th grade girl toiling over that math homework!
Shae comes home on the 15th and we cannot wait!

Tonight it's Christmas music, tree decorating, hot chocolate and movies!
Happy Weekend!
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