At least we’re getting winter this time.

You know what I wish? That it would snow all winter long. I’m not even kidding. It wouldn’t have to snow 24/7, obviously. But the last week has been awesome. I dearly hope that continues into January. Nate and I went snowmobiling the last two days and it was so much fun. The best word to describe it is exhilarating. It’s also beautiful, especially when we’re riding the trails on the state land through the Kettle Moraine Forest. Yesterday it was snowing while we were out and I couldn’t get over the beauty. If only there were a way to completely block out the sound of the sleds so that I could feel the silence. But I like the sound, too.

It snowed all day yesterday. It’s still snowing now. Not nearly like last week Thursday, but hey, more snow is always nice. A friend and I were going to have a coffee date this morning, but decided staying at our respective houses and reading was a better idea. Besides, then I don’t have to try to get out of the driveway. Or pretend my body isn’t aching ALL OVER. Good aches, though. That’s what snowmobiling does to you.

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Anyway. A new year begins in a few days! Are you ready for whatever 2013 may bring? I have a lot of hopes, dreams, and wishes. As do we all, I’m sure. I also have a few goals set for myself, which I will be posting about soon.

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‘Twas the day after Christmas…

…and I haven’t gotten anything done. There’s plenty I could be doing. But the last few days were such a whirlwind that today all I really can do is eat leftover goodies and stare into space. Not really stare into space as much as stare at a book. Which translates into something productive, I suppose!

We were hoping to go snowmobiling this afternoon, but since Nate won’t be home until a little after three o’clock and it pretty much gets dark an hour after that, it’s not going to happen today. Not that snowmobiling at night isn’t enjoyable, but the lights on his sled are iffy at best right now and I have trouble seeing at night, so… Tomorrow and Friday look like better choices!

Now that my “Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer” challenge is completed, my posting will probably lessen. The posts won’t be everyday, that’s for sure. I have no idea what I’d write every single day at this point. In the next week I will for sure be posting my New Year’s Resolutions, though they aren’t so much resolutions as they are actual, solid goals to work towards. It’s always good to have goals. I’ve always had goals. But they tended to be more long-term than anything. Things like go to college, graduate college, get married, travel the world, buy a Victorian house, etc…have filled my head for years. With the Lord’s help, I’ve accomplished the first three! I suppose that’s a good thing. πŸ™‚

But short-term goals are good too. They prepare you for the long-term, or at least they can.

So, on this day after Christmas, I shall leave you all to your food-gift-and-family-fun-induced comas and hopefully you’ve got your own goals to set for the coming year! Me? I’m going to drink some tea and read a book.

Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer: December 25th (Merry Christmas!!)

A very Merry Christmas to all of you!!

Here is a photo of our church’s altar and chancel decorated for the season. The service this morning was absolutely beautiful. It’s always wonderful to worship with fellow believers and to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer: December 24th (Christmas Eve!!)

It’s Christmas Eve!!

And it’s snowing again, which is always lovely. As of last Wednesday evening, I just knew we would have a white Christmas, but I still am such a little kid about it. Anyway.

Yesterday afternoon Nate and I went to my grandma’s house for food, fun, and presents! We had an excellent time. I am proud to say that my family enjoyed my toffee and fudge…to the point that I came home with almost none of either one! That’s okay, though. I can always make more, but this way I’m not as tempted by it, haha. And of course, we took cheese with us, too. That’s always the request. Still no cheese curds, but one of these days we’ll remember them!

Gift opening was great fun. We gave my parents and siblings a set of the Extended Editions of The Lord of the Rings on Blu-ray, which I let my youngest sister open; I seriously thought she was going to cry when she opened it! (I own the DVDs and took those with me when I moved out, so…yeah…I had to do the same with the Harry Potter DVDs last Christmas!) Mom and Dad also received a book of our wedding photos, which everyone thought was really nice. The other family gift was a book called Broken, by Lutheran pastor Rev. Jonathan Fisk. Both my sisters received face washing sets of all-natural ingredients. My brother received a Green Bay Packers wall clock.

Nate and I received a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, which we loved. He got two shirts from my parents, and I got a shirt from them, a Lewis Carroll and anΒ Alice teacup from my one sister and a teapot pincushion from my brother. My youngest sister didn’t have her gift for me yet! I know I’m forgetting a few of the gifts already…but I’m still sleepy and I need to go finish my shopping for Nate’s family! Oh dear. Good thing Target is open. Nate said I should grab myself a peppermint mocha from Starbucks and enjoy shopping. He’s so sweet. I need to get a few more things for him, as well. Last night he opened one gift from me, The Complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Yes, we’re old souls and fans of British humour. πŸ˜‰

So.

I wish the house were cleaner and that Nate actually had the day off work, but you know what? He’ll be able to attend church with me this evening, and that’s the important thing. And we had almost the whole day yesterday.

No matter where you are, who you are spending your time with, and what your circumstances in life, I genuinely hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and that you never forget the Reason for the season: Jesus Christ, Who came down from heaven to become like us so that He could take our sins upon Himself and wash us clean before His Father in heaven.

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Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer: December 23rd (Sunday Serenade)

This post is technically for yesterday, but since I was out of the house all day visiting family, I didn’t have my computer, plus didn’t want to be rude and anti-social. I don’t see my parents and siblings much so I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. πŸ™‚

So, Sunday Serenade. Well, today is the last Sunday of Advent. In church we sang a few Advent hymns during Holy Communion, and the other hymns were Christmas carols. The church looked so beautiful, all decked out for Christmas. It’s been decorated since the beginning of December, but being this close to Christmas Eve, my eyes see things through rose-colored glasses, if you will. Though I always try to see the beauty in the world, there are times when it is just that much more apparent.

Today’s music that I will share with you is not just one song — it’s an entire radio station. An internet radio station, to be exact. One that at this moment is playing sacred Christmas carols nonstop. Lutheran Public Radio is a wonderful station to have on any time of the year, but right now more folks may be willing to listen to it, it being Christmas and all.

Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer: December 22nd (Oh, Fudge!)

It has arrived. Christmas weekend. Many of you will perhaps be celebrating with your families today and tomorrow, saving Christmas Eve and Day for your smaller celebrations at home. That’s what we are doing this year. Nothing today, but tomorrow we will be visiting my grandma’s house. I still have a few gifts to get before then…eek! Good thing the driveway is finally plowed. Also, it is barely 10 degrees outside. Brrr.

Anyway, it’s Christmas weekend. You’re hoping to be off to Auntie Bertha’s house in a few hours, but you don’t have a dish to pass or anything to share. Cookies usually take too long, but you really don’t want to go back to the store. Well, how about fudge? With just a few ingredients that you probably have in your pantry from other baking endeavours, you can make some of the creamiest chocolate fudge ever. And did I mention it takes less than an hour? And doesn’t have that nasty marshmallow creme???

Quick & Easy Fudge

4 cups confectioners’ sugar (also known as powdered sugar)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Grease a 9-inch pan or line with foil or wax paper. In a microwave safe bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Pour milk over mixture and place butter in bowl. Do not mix. Microwave until butter is melted, approximately 2 minutes. (NOTE: this took longer in my microwave, but I think that’s because it is only 700 watts.) Stir in vanilla and stir vigorously until smooth. Pour into prepared dish. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes before cutting into 1-inch squares.

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Ta-da! You have fudge. And nobody at Auntie Bertha’s has to know you made it in the microwave and freezer! Unless, of course, some favorite cousins simply must have the recipe. πŸ˜‰

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have some fudge…

Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer: December 21st (Happy Solstice!)

I’m fairly certain that we got more snow here yesterday than we got all last winter. It snowed for a little more than 24 hours and the total snowfall seems to be about 15-16 inches. Not very far south of us, there wasn’t nearly as much. Though it was nasty out, I feel blessed to have gotten so much, since you all know by this point that I love snow.

So, we have come to the shortest day and the longest night of the year. From here on out, the days get longer! And of course (as I knew) the Mayans were wrong. Come on, people. I wasn’t even going to say anything about it since it was so obvious that nothing was going to happen. But yeah.

And now the true rush begins. Christmas Eve being on a Monday can really throw things off, because the weekend has just finished. Just don’t forget the real Reason for the season in the midst of your last minute shopping, baking, and cleaning!