Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Men's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

A couple of weeks ago, Sophia helped me bake chocolate chip cookies.  We placed them in the cookie jar I got from Aunt Millie.

 These are the best!!  Thanks, Diane Walter, for this recipe!

It didn't take long to finish them off!

Men's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup shortening                           3 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup butter, softened                   1 tsp. soda
1 cup sugar                                      1 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar, packed              1 cup nuts (or a bit more if you like)
2 eggs                                             2 cups chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix shortening, butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Blend in remaining ingredients.  (I usually whisk flour, soda and salt together first).   Drop by rounded spoonful 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet (I usually spray it with Pam or equivalent).  Bake 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas

 The day after Thanksgiving, we decorated for the Christmas season.

The sleigh is waiting to hold the Christmas cards we receive.  I LOVE getting those and catching up on friends from years past.

I have hung up the stockings.  There is not enough room for all of them on our fireplace, so they hang on the stairwell.

Five stockings for the grandchildren.  The children love to peek so I have resorted to safety pinning them shut! 
 I love birds so there are many bird ornaments.

There are grandchildren ornaments of course. 
The blue manger scene was our very first ornament the first year we were married.  I bought it at a Hallmark store in Hutchinson the year we were engaged.

There are ornaments from our travels - San Diego, Atlanta, Martha's Vineyard, Florida, Africa, Japan, Puebla, Mexico, and for this year, the slot canyons of Utah.......

Each year I purchase the grandchildren an ornament.  Sophie got hers a couple of weeks ago and was so pleased to put hers up on their tree.  This evening I will take Hannah on a date to find her ornament.  And I will be picking out Claire's first Christmas ornament too!  I plan to take Eli and Emeri shopping soon too!  Some years I have picked out the ornament, but they are getting old enough to want to do that themselves. 

I had Matt make me a manger to fit our "Baby Jesus" in by the tree.

I do have a couple of Santa decorations, but our Christmas doesn't revolve around him.  The kids know the story of Kris Kringle and Santa, but they don't believe in him.  Al does enjoy putting on a Santa suit though, to pop out to give the kids their gifts.  They think he is probably Papa, but are a little hesitant if that is true or not.   It seems Papa always goes to the bathroom and misses Santa!   Every year!  It is a fun thing to do, but for us Christmas is really Jesus' birthday. 

  These little choir boys have been out on our piano every year.  My mom got them from a little Christian bookstore in Miyazaki, Japan when we lived there.
If you have never watched "The Star of Bethlehem", I would encourage you to do so!  Pretty amazing!

I have to put out the creche that we had as kids.  There are nicer ones I could buy, but I just can't.  I love this set.  The horse and cows have each lost an ear.  We played with them so much when we were children.  We replayed and replayed the story of Baby Jesus.  And my grandchildren enjoy moving the figures around too.  Hannah and Sophia will make sure to remove Baby Jesus.  He is not supposed to come out until Christmas Day.

This Sunday we will light the first of the candles.  My Dad made this yule log for me when we were first married.  We had one just like it growing up in Japan.

Last year, Aunt Millie loaned me this book to read.  It is now in my home and I will read the stories behind the  songs we sing at Christmas in preparation for the celebration of the birth of our King.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Voran Thanksgiving

Last evening we had the Voran Thanksgiving.  Our son's family in Arkansas and my brothers in Washington and Kansas City weren't able to come, so it was a small gathering.  This year we missed having Aunt Millie with us too!

We went to my parent's place.  The girls LOVE their great-grandma Lois' closet where she keeps lots of toys and games for them.  I remember that my Grandma Geiger had a drawer filled with toys and coloring books in her kitchen also.  I have a drawer in my desk in the hearth room for the kids too, filled to the brim with things the children love.


We didn't have the traditional turkey but had 2 soups from leftover turkey and leftover ham.  Ham and potato soup and turkey/wild rice with spinach soup.  Delicious!  Along with garlic bread that Hannah prepared, beet eggs (it is a Swiss food I love!), salad and pumpkin delight for dessert. 

Adam has to be silly when I bring the camera out.  He can't resist.

Claire's first Thanksgiving with her Voran great-grandparents

Spinach, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup 

3 cups water
1 14 ounce can broth (I used real broth)
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup wild rice with seasoning packet
pepper to taste
3 cups cooked chicken (or in my case, leftover turkey)
2 cups fresh spinach (add close to the end of cooking time)
Combine and cook until rice is done.

Pumpkin Delight
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
2 T. sugar
1/2 cup nuts
Mix together and press in a 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes until light brown.  Cool.

Cream cheese filling:
1 8oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup Cool whip
Mix and spread over cooled crust.

Pumpkin topping:
2 packages vanilla instant pudding
1 1/3 cup milk
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Mix together
Cool whip tub
Fold in Cool whip with pumpkin/pudding mix and spread over cream cheese layer.  Chill before serving.

Next post - the house is decorated for Christmas!