Faith at "Walk with me by Faith" hosts this carnival each year and I love it. It gives me the opportunity to 'send' you a Christmas card through my blog and wish you the most blessed, and beautiful Christmas.
I love what my friend put on her Christmas card. It reads, "May Christ's love be at the top of your list." And that is my hope for each one of you.
If it wasn't for Jesus, there would be no Christmas.
Joyce over at "From This Side of the Pond" hosts this weekly meme of Wednesday Hodgepodge. She puts the questions out there some time on Tuesday so that we can link up on Wednesday. Hop on board and join her. If you've never checked out her blog, you are missing out!
1. What does it mean to have the 'holiday spirit'? For me it's the whole package ... The Christmas tree is up with Christmas decorations throughout the house. I'm in the middle of shopping, I'm working on getting my Christmas cards out, going to cookie exchanges, the Christmas music is playing in the background and I am generally in a really good mood anticipating all that Christmas is. And in the midst of the busyness I am remembering that it's all about Jesus.
2. What sits atop your tree (s)? Why?
A sweet, little, white angel that my hubby and I purchased before we were married in anticipation of all the Christmases she would adorn our tree. She has a plain face, no eyes, nose, or mouth. She is made with white paper that has been curled at the ends and has a cute little head of brown hair with a bow made for wings. She brings us back to our very first Christmas together as a newly engaged couple. We both LOVE Christmas and the promise and hope that it brings.
3. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back?
I think in the past few days. I am working at starting my own chiropractic practice here at our new home and God has been bringing people my way that are interested in coming to see me. I haven't really been talking about it and they are inquiring. That makes me feel good.
4. Which of your senses is most sensitive this time of year?
I love all of the smells of Christmas. The smell of pine is amazing and cooking with lots of cinnamon makes me happy. I love mulled cider because of the cinnamon and cloves that go in it that fill the air of our home with its aroma.
5. What do you have too much of in your kitchen?
Sugar! and ceramics. I have a sweet tooth and pottery makes me go weak in the knees.
I think my house is getting cluttered with pottery!
See? I told ya.
6. What do you do for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Big meal? Breakfast tradition? Open the cookie tins and have at it?
Christmas happens to be the birthdate of our twins, Grant and Cooper. They'll be turning 9 in 9 days! We usually make whatever it is they request for breakfast and dinner. After about half the day, we switch gears to Christmas Eve and go to church. We take the kids for a drive to see all of the Christmas lights and decorations people have put up. When we get home, we open up one present which is new pajamas. If there's time, we'll watch a Christmas movie.
On Christmas morning, I make a ham and cheese strada for breakfast. We sing happy birthday to Jesus and have a cinnamon roll.
7. What is the best thing about winter? Putting on cozy pajamas, slippers, and snuggling up by the fire.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
These days I'm feeling a bit better about blogging again. I'm trying to be more consistent in posting, but can do better still at reading blogs and commenting.
Cherry Chocolate Shortbread Cookies: Prep Time: 20 minutes ~~ Bake Time: 20 - 30 min ~~ Yield: 3 1/2 Dozen Cookies 1 cup butter, softened (no substitute) 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. almond extract (I used orange extract) 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries 1/4 cup chocolate chip morsels 1 T. sugar
Drizzle: 1/4 cup chocolate chip morsels 1 tsp shortening
Mix butter, sugar and almond extract thoroughly using an electric mixer. Gradually blend in flour and corn starch. Add cherries and chocolate..
Form into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Pour sugar on a small plate; dip bottom of drinking glass in sugar and gently press down on each cookie to flatten. (You have to use the sugar or it will stick).
Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown.
Cool 5 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cook completely.
Drizzle: Place 1/4 cup morsels and shortening in a small resealable freezer bag. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, until chocolate is melted. Snip off tiny piece of corner and drizzle over cookies.
We had this photo taken on Thanksgiving day. Jill and Sarah collaborated their efforts (one held the umbrella and the other one shot!) and got this for our Christmas card.
It's in front of our new home. I realized just the other day that I have not, in fact, posted many pictures of it on my blog. So.... when I have the time, and that's few and far between lately, I shall post pictures of the Busse Homestead. Sound good?
Today I am baking cookies for a cookie exchange that I was invited to. Because there will be 21 other ladies there, I have to bake 88 cookies plus 8 more to put out on a plate for sampling. My cookie choice is:
Cherry Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
I'm not a HUGE fan of shortbread, but these are yummy!
If you'd like the recipe, I'll post it with a photo of the cookie tomorrow.
On Saturday night we'll go to our church's Saturday night service where we serve in the ministry for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. It's called Next Level and is the "Sunday School" for those grade levels. We are really enjoying working with the kids. There was a time when Shawn and I lead A.W.A.N.A for 5 years, and now the Lord has us in Next Level. I think you move to different ministries as your kids grow. That's the case for us anyway. And the beauty of not leading A.W.A.N.A. anymore is that we now go on a date while our younger 3 are there and the older 2 are serving as leaders in training. God's provision is perfect!
Grant and Cooper, our 8 year old Christmas Eve twins, have a birthday to celebrate soon. Because their birthday falls on that date, we usually plan their birthday party on a different day. So this Sunday they'll get to have 7 of their friends over for a few hours in celebration of them turning 9. They are so excited! It looks like we might have snow and the hubs will be entertaining 9 young gentlemen perhaps on the quad around our property. Grant has requested a coconut cake for his birthday and Cooper would like white cake with white frosting. And, yes, I do make 2 cakes because they are individuals after all.
1. What is the most interesting thing you've done in the last year?
Oh let's see. I moved from England back to Michigan in March. That is a tremendous feat and I feel, in some ways, that I am still reeling from the move. I think that coupled with the ginormous move, putting our firstborn into high school after homeschooling him for 7 years was HUGE. So, I guess between those two things it was a pretty big year.
2. What is your most meaningful family heirloom?
I don't really have any heirlooms. My mom was not one to hold onto things. I guess one of things that I cherish that I will hold on to and pass down is one of the last dollars that my father made while driving a taxi in N.J. It's in my wallet tucked away and each time I take a peek at it, it reminds me of the hard, dedicated worker he always was.
3. What food festival would you most like to attend? If you're not sure click here to see a list of possibilities. The Alba White Truffle one. That's the one that sounds the best to me. And, like Joyce, I love Italy, too.
4. Snow...do you love it or is it considered a four letter word where you live? I love the look of snow, the joy that it brings to my kids, and the fun I can have in it, BUT I don't enjoy driving in it! That pretty much sums it up.
5. Can you ski? Do you ski? Are you any good? Me no like to ski. I'm a big chicken.
6. What quality in your spouse or best friend are you most thankful for? His dependability. He has been there for me since day one for anything and everything. I adore him.
7. Describe the coziest spot in your home. The coziest place in our home is the living room. I like cuddling there to watch a good t.v. show or a movie together as a family.
8. Insert your own random thought here. Life is so busy these days. It seems that when I lived in England I found the time and inspiration to blog. Since I moved back, I just don't have it in me to write a post on any regular basis and it bums me out. I miss those of you that I use to visit all the time. When I finally get around to putting a post up it gives me joy and puts a smile on my face. That's my random thought for today.
I’m so glad you stopped by. My name is Carol. I am a Jesus-adoring, husband-loving, blessed mama of 5, back-adjusting, scrapbooking, quilt-making, furniture painting, friend appreciating, blog writing, recipe making, dessert lovin’, Jersey born, Michigan-living kind of girl. I love going to church and serving alongside some of the best people I know. Traveling is one of my passions and I hope to do it more.
I started “Joy in the Journey” about 9 years ago when I lived in England. We moved back in 2010 and life has changed in a few ways; well, it got busier.
Join me as I share about life in our home, what it means to have 2 kids at Michigan State University and 3 in high school. We stay busy with the high schoolers in 3 different sports. Austin is a junior, Braaten is a freshman, Melanie is a junior in high school, and Grant and Cooper are freshman.