This week Kaitlin took some engagement photos of Marisa and John. I picked 5 of my favorites. They started at Cheeburger Cheeburger and ended up at KimT's house. It was a rainy day so the lighting was perfect. We do have fun having a professional photographer in the house and it doesn't hurt that John and Marisa are both so handsome.
We are getting 'The Save the Date' cards ready. None of the above are the one Marisa picked for that.
I got this from Barbara who, I think, got it from Sandy. I think it came from Cracker Barrell before that.
2 lbs of hash browns
1/2 c of butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint of sour cream
1/2 c chopped onion
2 c cheese, grated
1 t salt
Let the hash browns thaw and then sauté the onion in the butter. Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl. Spray Pam in a 9 x 13 pan. Put the yummy stuff in the pan and cook for 45 minutes at 350. Stir about half-way through. Sandy told me to double the recipe. At Sandy recommendation I used one large can of soup for the doubling. At lunch the five of us ate one pan of this. It is outstanding and so easy.
Yesterday was my friend, Elizabeth's birthday. The kitchen crew had her a party. It was a surprised! She told a few relatives that she had been kidnapped when they called to wish her Happy Birthday. We wouldn't tell her where we were going. We ended up after lunch at Suzanne's. We had a open house where lots of church folks dropped by to wish her a Happy Birthday.
Here she is with her two of her favorite girls, Sandy and Abbey. Here was the spread Elizabeth has friends of all ages! Here is Elizabeth sharing a laugh with Jim and Susanne She got several gifts and cards which she loved but this was her most touching gift. Hayden, age 5 or 6 gave her about 11 cents out of his change purse. I believe that was all he had. We were all crying. Here she is showing his mama what he gave her.
There is not a finer group of friends than the women I work in the kitchen with on Wednesdays. I think a strong bond is built when you have a common goal and mission that ties you together. As we work, for about 6 hours, each Wednesday, we really learn what all is going on in each others lives.
My friend, Sandy, has a husband that has a very taxing job. And as you know, when the husband has a taxing job, the wife carries that too. We have prayed for Sandy and her husband during this time. Sandy's husband had been out of town, state, country for about three weeks. He was due in on a Thursday. Sandy talked about how, after she cooked on Wednesday, she was going to go home and clean house- giving particular attention to her sock draw :) After the above lunch, Sandy ran a few errands before coming to help us cook. As we were cooking her husband walked into the church. I screamed. My first thought was that my eyes don't need to be the first ones to see him but Sandy's do. I wanted to text her and tell her he was here but he said that it was to be a surprise. So I sent a causal text saying "Hey, what cha doing girl? when will you be at the church?" She apologized and said that she had a few more errands and would be there in 15 minutes. By this time the rest of the kitchen crew was in the hallway seeing why was I screaming. More screaming as they saw her husband too.
Her husband moved his car and then hid in the pantry in the kitchen and closed the door. We NEVER shut the pantry door in the kitchen. When Sandy got to the church we all tried to act so causal, insert here lots of whistling and nonchalant looks, as we all followed her to the kitchen. She was clueless. When she got to the kitchen she was stunned to see the pantry door closed. She even said that she had never seen the door closed. We all held our collected breath. KimT said that Barbara was cleaning out in there. Sandy never realized that she was standing next to Barbara. Sandy opened the door to put up her coat and purse and then screamed, no, it was a SCREAM. She was stunned.
She was in shock most of the night. She kept saying I can't believe he is home.
How neat to see her so glad to see her husband. How neat to be able to share in this with her. Sharing life with wonderful friends is a blessing.
This is my beautiful view. One day this week it was especially beautiful. KimT called when she saw it. I didn't answer because I was outside taking pictures. She said that it made her think of the verse in Lamentations 3: 22 and 23...His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Indeed.
Kaitlin finished her finals a day before Marisa. Kaitlin didn't want Marisa to have to go to her final all alone soooo......Kaitlin and I left with Marisa at 7 am the next day. We dropped her off at her class and then...well. We had not thought about what we would do for an hour at 7 in the morning.
Papa! He works not far from UALR. We texted but got no answer but we were not deterred. We showed up at his office and called and texted again. This time success , he answered. He was surprised to see us needless to say. He had work to do so we just hung out. I had my camera and here is what we did. Enjoy your tour.
We were with him on a Friday. It is always causal Friday at his work and he always wears AUBURN clothes on Fridays. Kaitlin looking at his binary clock. What is a binary clock, you are asking? Here it is! Do you know what time it is? write the time as a comment. The last time Kaitlin was with Papa he taught her how to tell time on it. We took at trip to Mt Rushmore when we lived in MN in the early 80's. We bought these there. This picture belonged to Granddad. gift from Andrew that sits on Money's desk sculpture from John, know who it is? why, Martin Luther of course county where Money grew up gift from his favorite daughter his view we had a wonderful visit with a few co workers, we ate some of his snacks as we were hungry by now, and we left when we got the text that Marisa was finished! A great way to start the day.
This is one of our Nativities. It is also an Advent calendar. There are 25 figures that when all are up the scene is complete. Here are some of the pieces. When all the children were at home they, somewhat, took turns putting up the piece for the day. Kaitlin is enjoying putting up each piece. But Kaitlin thinks that since Jesus has already been born, he should already be up. I am not of that persuasion. I think we should look forward to His coming.
Kaitlin has hung up Jesus every day. She tries to do it so I just find that He is up and not see her do it. She is often successful. I decided that two can play at this game. I hid Jesus.
I am trying to slow down the days of this advent and Christmas holiday season. I am working at enjoying the little things like all being together in the car, enjoying the tree every morning, being thankful for presents to wrap and loving the smells of the cookies baking.
I get too caught up in the busyness of the season and the need to cross things off my to-do list.
Today I am thankful for today and all that today brings.
I am picturing this as if I had a cherry life saver in my mouth and I want to get every last drop of the flavor.
Here is a tour of the decorations around our house. Marisa, Kaitlin, Jennifer-who had Thanksgiving with us, John, and Carl did an amazing job of getting everything up.
Here are my Jim Shore Wise Men/ Nativity in the kitchen Precious Moments
This was our first Nativity after Andrew was born. He asked when he was 3 if we could get one where Jesus wasn't fastened to his car seat. This was it. When I was a little girl we had these little red angels that spelled out NOEL. My brother, Charles, always changed them to LEON. So the tradition continues
tree in the den. I love the way it reflects off the windows. I love getting Christmas cards. I love displaying Christmas cards. I saw in a magazine this idea of using raffia to tie them to garland. Here is my garland waiting on your cards. I'll let you know how it works out. tree in dining room kitchen window over sink kitchen window.I have a few more but I'll post them tomorrow. Have a wonderful December Fool's Day. Did you see one of our Christmas pictures as you were looking at the decorations?