Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's The Little Things....

I just wanted to share the no-money gifts we've received this month:

1. Having 15 deer appear in our backyard during lunch yesterday. Two of our young cousins are staying the weekend and loved the idea of woodland animals near our house. With the deer, the snow, and the season it looked very much like a picture postcard.

2. We took DD to Shriner's Hospital for her annual neck x-ray. The Atlanto Axial Instability is gone! I asked the dr. to repeat it again to make sure I heard him right. Oh, how I love miracles. Now her x-rays on neck and hips will be once every two years.

3. DS#1 has informed us that he has been voted "Best Hair Of The Eight Grade" and had his picture take for the yearbook. The best part of all this is actually a small victory. He wanted his hair long and it was a constant battle between us. The day we moved here my Daddy took him to get his hair cut. He told DS#1 that since Grandpa was paying, Grandpa would be dictating the haircut. Long, shaggy hair was chopped into a short 'do with a spiky top. He has worn it that way every since. I will be framing that yearbook picture.

4. DS#2 Now has so many friends that he could not invite them all to his birthday party. There is an endless stream of kids knocking on our front door asking to play with him. My Social King has polished his crown and wears it with a rakish tilt.

5. DS#3 is learning to read and spell. It was been fun to watch this awakening. Currently his favorite song to sing is to the tune of Aretha Franklin's "R-E-S-P-E-C-T". "B-L-A-C-K! Black is what I'm wearing today!" This is sung over and over like a broken record because his favorite jeans are black and due to the fact that he can't remember the rest of the song.

6. After months of working, DH finished the rennovations of our old house and it closed at the beginning of this month. We finally have him home on weeknights and weekends. We've had two Saturdays where there was nothing he had to do. We took advantage and played as a family.

There are too many gifts to list here but I keep them recorded in my heart. I do know how and where to send my thanks and it won't be with a handwritten note.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy St. Lucia Day!

St. Lucia Day is December 13, but my family traditionally celebrates the Saturday after. Instead of breakfast in bed we all gather around the table in our pjs. Instead of St. Lucia Buns and coffee, I make Orange Rolls and Stephen's Gourmet Cocoa.

Here is to celebrating traditions. My gift to you is my orange roll recipe. Tell me your holiday traditions (traditional recipes are always welcome, too!)

St. Lucia Orange Rolls

1 Tablespoon Yeast
1/3 Cup warm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 Cup butter
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Cup scalded milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 Cups flour
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cups white sugar
2 Tablespoons grated orange zest
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
In a small bowl dissolve yeat, warm water and honey. Let proof 5 minutes.
Meawhile, scald milk, turn off heat and add 1/ Cup butter and salt. Let stand until lukewarm and butter is melted.
Mix the proofed yeast with the milk mixture, eggs and flour to form a sticky dough. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover and let rise in the fridge overnight.
Remove dough from fridge 2 hours before baking. Roll into a 1/4 thick rectangle. Mix softened butter with orange peel and 1/2 Cup white sugar. Spread orange zest mixture over dough and roll up. Cut rolls into 1" slices with dental floss. Place in greased muffin cups. Let rise until double in bulk.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Let cool slightly. Mix together powdered sugar and orange juice and drizzle over orange rolls.
Makes 12-18 rolls.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

God Bless The Little Children.....

Last week we were getting ready for bed when DS#2 told me he needed two handmade puppets required for his book report the next day. The same time I remembered that DS#3 needed a VIP poster made for his birthday. Yes, I was up past midnight. Being the uncrafty person that I am, they were not spectacular but they were presentable.

The next morning I was exhausted as I put the VIP poster away for safekeeping until it was time for DS#3 to go to school. Not long before the buses came I found the VIP poster on the floor. The pictures were torn off. There was my Darling Daughter with half of a family picture in her hand.

I yelled at my daughter. (Condemn me all you want, I condemn myself even more.) DD smiled at me and said "I sorry Mom!" "No you're NOT!" I snarled back (oh, yes, I do condemn myself more than you do). DD left the room. I sat on the kitchen floor with a bottle of Elmers and a chopstick trying to piece the poster back together in the little time I had left. DD peeked around the corner of the stairs. "I sorry Mom?", she asked me. I didn't look up as I answered "No, you're not!" DD left again. I was rather enjoying my pity party on the floor when DD came up behind me. She put her arms around me from behind. I stopped my frantic gluing and turned to look at her. DD's bottom lip was poking out and a single tear coursed down her cheek. "Mom", she said softly, "I too sorry."

Leave it to my 4 year old to teach me about forgiveness. Who am I to say who gets to ask for forgiveness? Why did I hang onto my anger over what a 4 year old did? Christ taught us to forgive all men and my own daughter had to remind me of that. I put my arms around her and told her that I was sorry. She sat in my lap and showed me in her way that all was forgiven.

Before I became pregnant with my last child I would pray to our Heavenly Father to bless me with wisdom. His answer was to send me this special little girl. I hope He forgives me for all of the parenting mistakes I make.