Saturday, December 26, 2009

Some Of Our Home Grown Gifts...

I posted in November about the busy elves here at Cotton-Top Hills, but I couldn't show you the entire picture. We didn't want anyone to see their gifts before they got them, that wouldn't be any fun. But now that Christmas gift opening is over I can show you some of our projects.
Em and Soph put together some fleece blankets for several members of our family. This one here is for our little nephew.

WB amazes me with his talent for woodworking. He is a true artist in that he can envision something and then go and put it together. Our little niece needed some food for her play kitchen so WB made her these.

I'm not sure she'll recognize these artistic wooden eggs and plate for what they are, but she's pretty sharp so I bet she does. But I can also hear her saying "Those eggs aren't white like the ones we buy at the store!".

Our little nephew is just starting to get around so we figured a train would keep him busy. We all helped with the sanding and varnishing of this little guy. It was so much fun to put it together.

We made a few more things that I'll just have to save for another day. But the best part of this whole venture was the joy we felt in making something for someone else. We spent many weekend hours working on something for someone else. It was a blessing to our family, and hopefully to those who received these heartfelt gifts.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Cookie Swap

My blogging friend Jennifer is have a cookie swap over at her blog and she is also giving away some cookies to one lucky winner who participates in the Cookie swap. Go check out her blog and all the yummy cookie recipes people are posting.

The recipe I'm going to share is one that came from my grandmothers, Nano, family. Her parents came to this country from Germany and these cookies were a favorite. I must admit I usually leave out the minced citron, but I'm not sure why. I think they would be delicious with it!


1 cup honey
1 egg well beaten
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 T. lemon juice
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup minced citron
2 1/4 cups flour
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. each ground cloves, mace, allspice, soda, nutmeg, salt
blanched silvered almonds (optional)
silvered citron (optional)

Heat honey just under boiling in a saucepan. Cool to lukewarm and add egg, lemon rind, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Mix almonds and citron with 1/4 cup flour. Mix remaining flour with spices, soda, and salt in large mixing bowl. Combine honey mixture with dry ingredients. Add almond and citron mixture, and mix with hands. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Divide dough into quarters and roll each into a rectangle. Cut out cookies using round cookie cutters or you could use Christmas shapes. Place on greased cookie sheet, spread with glaze (recipe follows). You can decorate with blanched almonds or citron or leave plain. Bake in a preheated 400 F oven. After you place the cookies in the oven reduce heat to 375 F. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cookies test done. These cookies should not be hard, but chewy and moist.

1 egg white
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
dash of salt
1/4 t. vanilla or lemon juice
Beat egg white until stiff peaks form. Fold in sugar, salt, and vanilla or lemon juice.

You can put the glaze on after baking, which we usually did as we were decorating them for Christmas.

If you have a favorite recipe please share!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Day of Shedding

Yesterday seemed to be a day of shedding for my family. Seems like some of us were just ready to lose a few things.

First thing in the morning we took Em to the dentist for the removal of her braces. She's had them on since April to correct a bite problem and to straighten her front teeth.
She was so excited to finally have them off! I think her teeth are beautiful.
This sweet child has two loose front teeth. Yesterday, much to her amazement, she was finally able to pull one out.

She may be asking Santa for her two front teeth if she manages to lose the other one before Christmas!
Then there is my dear WB. They had their annual moustache growing contest at work last month. The judges will announce the winner today, but yesterday was judgement day. So when he got home he very happily shaved off his facial hair.

Oh, there's my sweet face. I'd been missing parts of it. The part I couldn't see under the hair. I think he'll keep the sideburns for awhile. I kinda like them:)

Now for Little One and I. I'm not sure we shed anything yesterday. I could be pessimist and say I shed another year off my life since today is my birthday, but that sounds kind of negative. I prefer to think I gained another year of wisdom. I'd like to report that Little One shed her pull-ups for good, but we're not quite there yet.

So now I'm off to shed a few pounds of fat. Part of my new years resolution, I'm a year older, next year is my 20th high school reunion kind of thing.

How about you, shed anything recently?