Puppies, Christmas cookies, and musings

Hello once again! I have not blogged in awhile, but today I decided to share another post with you all πŸ™‚

We’ve had a puppy explosion over here, and it’s fun watching them grow. And a little stressful πŸ™‚ They are ready to go to new homes, and I find myself torn between happiness about that, and also feeling a little sad. These are theΒ  mini labradoodles, and they get played with the most, because they have taken up residence in the garage πŸ™‚ I will miss my welcome committee every time I come home πŸ˜‰

There are 5 in the litter, but “George” is my favorite!There is lots of chaos here πŸ™‚We also have a litter of mini golden doodles. They are so sweet and cuddly.

This is “Rosie”This one is “Oreo”And this is “Joe”We have more, but this post might get too long πŸ™‚ It will be nice for the children to be home from school this week to help more with them.

We had cookie exchange here with my mom and sisters, and made some candy. It was a full day, but went too fast πŸ™‚These oreo truffles are a favorite here!

Then we had the “helpers”And the snitchers πŸ™‚His face when we slide the goodies out of reach πŸ˜‰Cousins..So many yummy treats! The chocolate are a favorite at our house!! Here is the recipe!

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

  • 1 3/4 flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 24 large marshmallows, halved

Glaze..

  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tblsp. hot, strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine flour, soda, salt,& cocoa. Cream shortening and sugar, beat in egg. Add flour alternately with milk, beating well. Add vanilla. Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 350* for 8 min. Top each cookie with a marshmallow half, pressing gently onto partially baked cookie. Bake 2 min. more. Cool and Glaze. Yields 4 doz. cookies.

And the taste testers πŸ™‚I think it’s safe to say they were quite tasty πŸ™‚It is nice to have a big selection to hand out cookie plates! So glad we do this every year!

Now for the musings part πŸ™‚

My children came home from school the last day before ChristmasΒ  vacation, with reports of all the school festivities, and who all was going to Florida over vacation. I could see the jealousy in their eyes, and I admit I joined them in their jealousy for a bit πŸ™‚ Somewhere warm and sunny sounded quite divine, and we have never gone on any big family vacation. My mind went to how hard we work at farming, the low milk prices the past while, and how it seemed unfair that we can’t do more “fun” things πŸ™‚

But my mind didn’t stay there long, as I thought of ALL my blessings!! Good health, my family, plenty of food, a home, a farm that we are working on buying, my home business, and so many more things that I can take for granted!! Life shouldn’t be all comfort and ease, should it? Because worthwhile things take hard work, and faith, and patience. Ahh, that last one is something I lack πŸ˜‰

I admit to being extra stressed in December, allowing the STUFF to get the best of me at times. I think it was last Saturday night, after another round of cookies were being finished, and I was cleaning up yet another mess, the children heard me say, ” Well heaven is looking sweeter all the time!” πŸ™‚ As it should be, right?

It is far too often I allow the daily things to weigh me down, and let that spirit of discontent in.

Friends, I challenge you to count your blessings this Christmas season! And share a bit of that Christmas joy with others!! Blessings, Jo

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours. May you be blessed with a wonderful Christmas!card2 copy And I’m including some other pictures from our little photo shoot(s) on our farm.wedding and my kiddos Sept. 2015 057 wedding and my kiddos Sept. 2015 058_edited-1 kiddos Sept. 2015 021_edited-1 kiddos Sept. 2015 024_edited-1 kiddos Sept. 2015 035And this is how they cooperated πŸ™‚kiddos Sept. 2015 027_edited-1 kiddos Sept. 2015 031 kiddos Sept. 2015 034Oh well, love them anyway πŸ™‚

One more card..Untitled-1Thank you to all my readers who visit this little space, leave comments, and encourage me in so many ways. I appreciate each and every one of you!

Christmas thoughts

I am sitting alot these days, and it has really made me ponder this busy season. While I do not enjoy this part of pregnancy, I’ve realized there are some aspects that I’m appreciating this year. I am always stressed over Christmas time. There is cookies to bake, Christmas gatherings, Christmas programs, buying gifts, cards to mail,Β extra school activities, etc. I also feel pressured to be creative with decorating, & gift giving. I am missing some of those things. Others, not so much πŸ™‚

This year, I just don’t care so much. And it’s ok. It’s made me realize that simplicity is perfectly fine. It is freeing.Β 

I do not judge anyone for their Christmas traditions, or the way they celebrate. For us, each year can be a bit different. For this year though, we told the children we are not spending a lot, and we would like to give money where it is really needed. I ordered gifts for 3 of them online on cyber Monday, and dear hubby went and got something for our farm boy πŸ™‚ It was so easy. I dislike shopping, by the way πŸ™‚

It bothers me that children, ours included, seem to feel entitled to gifts at Christmas. I know, it is special, and I know the meaning behind gifts. But they will not make a child happy. Maybe for a little, but then they want something else. You know, this is sadly how I am too sometimes. I’ve noticed that for a day or 2, the Christmas gifts get played with, and it’s nice, but all too soon they are found lying around, not as much fun as they were when they received them.

They will much sooner, treasure the memories of being together, time spent as a family.

However you may choose to celebrate this year, I hope you can find time for each other. And time for those that really need an extra dose of love. And if you can’t do extra things, relax. I promise, Christmas will still come. And it will be just fine πŸ™‚

Christmas in our hearts

I love this time of year! The decorations, the cookie baking, the candy making, the gift giving, the family gatherings, Christmas music, etc.

I don’t do much decorating, just a few simple things. I would have to say my favorite thing to do is to bring in the fresh greens.cookies, trip, misc 020_edited-1 cookies, trip, misc 022_edited-1 cookies, trip, misc 023_edited-1cookies, trip, misc 013_edited-1I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of my old hutch. I scored it at a sale. Love at first sight and all that πŸ˜‰cookies, trip, misc 017_edited-1 cookies, trip, misc 018_edited-1The buffet came from Dale’s Grandma Hurst. It was a bit beat up, so some black paint and new knobs perked it right up.Β cookies, trip, misc 038cookies, trip, misc 039_edited-1cookies, trip, misc 040cookies, trip, misc 041_edited-1 cookies, trip, misc 019cookies, trip, misc 014_edited-1 cookies, trip, misc 015Chair that came from my Grandma. After some paint over the ugly shade of green, I love it! cookies, trip, misc 016_edited-1 Can you believe my dear, sweet hubby had this gem of an oil can in the trash? I rescued her, and I quite like her on my table πŸ™‚cookies, trip, misc 024_edited-1We’ve been baking cookies as well. I had my 2 girls willing to help. When we did these peanut butter cookies last week, it just went pretty smoothly. Tonight we did another batch, and I was saying, “Puh-lease Jenna, go and play!” Ever notice how sometimes you feel more willing to let them help than other times?? πŸ™‚Untitled-1My children LOVE cookie dough!cookies, trip, misc 010 Nothing like a warm cookie πŸ™‚cookies, trip, misc 042cookies, trip, misc 043cookies, trip, misc 044cookies, trip, misc 045Hubby’s favorite kind..

I hope that with all the busyness and yes, maybe some stress, at this time of year, that we take time to remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas. There are so many things that can pull our attention away from focusing on Christ’s birth. And hopefully we can bless someone this Christmas that is in need of a blessing. I heard a song that said something like if only we had the Christmas spirit all year. Truly, I think we can. And it takes effort πŸ™‚ Tonight I wasn’t focusing on the right things. It may have had something to do with the 3d spill on my newly washed floor. I so often would handle situations better, if my focus was where it should be!

I’ll leave you with the lyrics to a touching song that I love ~

The Christmas Shoes

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line

Trying to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood

Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously

Pacing ’round like little boys do

And in his hands he held a pair of shoes.

And his clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe,

And when it came his time to pay

I couldn’t believe what I heard him say.

Chorus:

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my mama, please

It’s Christmas eve and these shoes are just her size

Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time

You see, she’s been sick for quite a while

And I know these shoes would make her smile

And I want her to look beautiful if mama meets Jesus tonight.

Β Vs. 2 He counted pennies for what seemed like years

Then the cashier said, “Son, there’s not enough here.”

He searched his pockets frantically

Then he turned and he looked at me

He said Mama made Christmas good at our house

Though most years she just did without

Tell me sir, what am I going to do, somehow I’ve got to buy her these Christmas shoes.

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out

And I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said

Mama’s gonna look so great.

Repeat Chorus

Bridge: I knew I caught a glimpse of heaven’s love

as he thanked me and ran out

I knew that God had sent that little boy

To remind me what Christmas is all about.

Repeat chorus

I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight.

– Leonard Ahlstrom & Eddie Carswell

Β Have a wonderful weekend! Spread that Christmas joy πŸ™‚