What a LOVELY Christmas we've had! We spent the 23rd with my husband's side of the family. We had a very nice time! My husband took our children and me on a car drive through his childhood. We visited his previous homes and schools, stopping to play on the playground of one of his elementary schools. The evening was spent with parents, his brother, and friends. It was full of talking, laughing, eating, and of course, opening gifts. Christmas day dawned rainy and drizzly . . . (it snowed on December 26th :] ) but the weather couldn't dampen the day! My siblings and our family congregated at my parents' house to celebrate the day. It was filled with wonderful smells, tastes, laughter and something I absolutely LOVE . . . singing. I was raised in a musical home. My Dad plays the guitar, my Mom plays the piano, and we ALL can sing . . . in harmony. We all nestled into the livingroom and passed out the Christmas songbooks. We sang a capella (without accompaniment) song after song after song. Until our throats were dry. The energy and feeling in the room was amazing! My Mom threw out a comment I had never heard before but just love . . . "If in the year you lose your way, you'll find yourself on Christmas day" :) One more quote from the Santa Claus in the movie "Miracle on 34th street": "I'm not just a whimsical figure who wears a charming suit and affects a jolly demeanor. I'm a symbol. I'm a symbol of the human ability to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives. And if you can't accept anything on faith, then you are doomed to a life dominated by doubt." Merry belated Christmas to you! And a very Happy New Year ahead!
I awoke this morning to a blanket of snow outside. A lovely sight! Hope we'll have a white Christmas this year! Awaiting pearls . . . placed an order this week for several types of pearls and am awaiting them anxiously. Planning on making several different sets of pearl hair bobbies and working on a new line of jewelry over the Christmas break, which will combine millinery flowers, silver, pearls and lovely ribbons. Look for the new line in my Etsy shop in January.
Well, my kids are counting down the days to Christmas! Santa's name is buzzing through the air continually, especially from my seven year old. A little bird once told me that Santa shops on Etsy. Browsing through items found under the "stocking stuffer" category, I came across these WONDERFUL items for *children* of all ages:
Just watched this movie a couple weeks ago. For any Jane Austen lovers, this movie is worth watching . . . if only once :) "Lost in Austen": a British miniseries about a modern-day girl who trades places with Elizabeth Bennet and ends up trying to make her new life work out like the book, Pride and Prejudice.
some (but not all) finds from the Lamb's Gate (thank you, Mom!)
Last Saturday, my Mom, sister Emily and I went on the Grand Ledge, MI Holiday Home Tour.We've been doing this for at least five years now, maybe seven or more, we've lost count. Our day starts by having breakfast at Sweet Linda's in downtown Grand Ledge.
Mom, Emily and I hungry for delicious food!
The yummiest thing at Sweet Linda's: a frostbite . . . hot chocolate, a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate syrup and chocolate shavings!
Next, it's on to the Lamb's Gate, a cute vintage and antiques store. LOADS of great finds!
Christmas here just wouldn't be Christmas without Grandma's Chocolate Lebkuchen! . . . never had Lebkuchen before? It's kind of like an orangy, spicy, really chewy brownie. It takes a bit of patience to make it as you start it one day and finish three days later, but SO worth trying!!! Yum!
1 1/4 cup white sugar 3/4 cup honey 3 Tbsp. water 2 cups chocolate chips 2 eggs, well beaten 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate 2 3/4 cup sifted white flour 2 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. ground cloves 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. baking powder
Combine sugar, honey and water in a large saucepan. Bring to boil and dissolve sugar thoroughly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Let cool until pan is no longer warm. (It is SO important that the mixture is cool at this point. When you add the eggs, if it is too warm, the eggs will cook and curdle and the lebkuchen will be ruined) Add orange juice concentrate and beaten eggs. Sift flour, spices, baking powder and soda. Add to chocolate mixture. Combine well. Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature for 3 days. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spread lebkuchen into a lightly oiled 9"x13" pan. Bake 35-40 mins. Let cool completely and frost with a mixture of powdered sugar and lemon juice. Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares. Store in a tightly covered container. May be refrigerated. After 24 hours, the flavors will have mellowed.
*my grandma adds candied fruits to this . . . my kids prefer it without . . . this is heavenly with 1 1/2 cups finely chopped dried apricots and dried cherries!
Looking outside today, everything is brown . . . not yet winter where everything is blanketed in snow . . . and not fall anymore . . . no pretty leaves on the trees, they're all bare now . . .
I've been thinking of my flower garden in spring . . . I know, it's too soon to think about spring! Here in Michigan, winters are cold! . . . and LONG . . . usually I get the itching for spring about late January, early February. I'm sure once the snow flies, I'll feel different . . . wanting to stay warm and cozy inside, drinking hot chocolate on cold mornings, LOVING winter . . . for now, I'll hold onto my mental images of the spring garden . . .