Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree and so much more

The Happy Home and Heart are in full Christmas swing.  Our Christmas decorations have been up for a few weeks now and I am just loving it.  It just puts me in the mood to stay home more than I already love to.  We are pretty simple at our house.  I am not an interior designer by any means.  But here is a look at our two trees.  You won't find grapevine or ribbon on our trees.  It is mainly Christmas balls and ornaments the kids have received through the years. I don't even have the lights even.  That is so funny to me.  The little tree downstairs in the family room has snowmen and white Christmas balls on it.  See I told you nothing fancy.

Downstairs Christmas tree

Upstairs Christmas tree

Courtney and I took a walk one evening in the cold.  It was so cold but so fun.  We went around the neighborhood and looked at the lights people decorated their homes with.  Here is a few pictures of our cold adventure.

The house Alyssa lives in at college has a pecan tree.  So she has been picking pecans for me.  She went for a walk in her neighborhood with a friend looking for pine cones for me also. I know I ask a lot of her. Believe it or not it is hard to find pine cones in our neck of the woods.   Well as she was walking she noticed her neighbor had a pecan tree also and he let her pick as many as she wanted from his yard too.  So I have a ton of pecans.  Yeah!!  Those things are a pain to shell though.  My fingers are sore.  I also received some from a family member.  Well with all those pecans I wanted to try a new recipe.  I tried Spiced Pecans. They turned out pretty good.  I think if I had not over cooked them they would be awesome.  Just like the ones you get at the mall in those little cone bags.  My daughters love those.  So I will try to make them again and try not to burn them this time.  Here is the recipe if you want to try them.

Spiced Nuts

1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound unsalted pecans, cashews, walnut or almonds
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon coriander

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk egg white, water and salt in large bowl.  Add nuts and toss to coat.  Drain in colander for 5 minutes. 

2. Mix sugar, cinnamon ginger and coriander in large bowl.  Add drained nuts and toss to coat.  Spread nuts evenly on prepared baning sheets and bake until dry and crisp, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time.  Cool completely.  Break apart and serve. 

I have bought a few Christmas gifts mainly for family members that I need to get in the mail. That means a lot of wrapping. I am still working on the kids gifts.  This year I am struggling to buy for Alyssa.  Usually she is the easiest for me. Ryan, I am almost done.  Courtney I am also still working on.  Mike and I do not usually exchange gifts.  Our budget just really does not allow for that.  We would both rather spend the money on the kids.  That is good with me.  We will some day have our chance again but right now it is about our babies who really are not babies any more.  But you know how it is they will always be your babies.  Do people with kids exchange gifts for Christmas?  I don't know.  We have just always spent it on the kids.  

 It is so hard for me to put Jesus in human form. I wonder was he just the cutest little boy people had ever seen?   To think he was on this earth just as we are.  That for thirty-three years he felt everything we feel from feeling weary, afraid, happy, scared.  He got tummy aches, headaches, colds.  That is just amazing to me.  I am so grateful for all he with through just for me.  I know I am so undeserving and it brings tears to my eyes when I think he had to suffer so much just for me (us).  It just makes my tummy sick when I think of any one who has to suffer.  I am just so grateful.  I hope you are this Christmas also.  

Lastly, I am not a person who really takes naps.  But yesterday after church, wrapping presents and taking Court to volleyball I was so tired.  So my sweet husband said go lay down and you know what I listened to him and slept for 1 1/2 hours.  Wow, I was shocked I was able to sleep during the day.  I am really trying hard to not let the hustle and bustle of Christmas get to me.  I pray you are able to do the same.  

Merry Christmas