I sit here typing, drinking my Earl Grey tea with milk (an activity passed on to me by a dear, English friend :)) and waiting for my unusually, red painted nails to dry. It is the holidays after all, so red nails, it is. :)
I have five minutes to blog before we begin to create our salad and fondue for the Christmas eve dinner. We are going to church at 5:30, where we are the advent candle lighting family, which means we four each say something about the waiting of advent being over, let the joy begin, and then my husband will light the candles. My husband's parents and grandparents will also be attending with us, which is special and joyful. Then we all head back here, to our home, for dinner. We have a tradition with my in-laws, where we try to create something new each Christmas eve. We started doing this about five years ago. In the past, we've had crab cakes, monte cristo sandwiches, turkey artichoke paninis and I can't remember what else. So, tonight is beef, shrimp, dipping sauces, cheese fondue for bread and vegetables, and chocolate fondue with amaretto and hazelnuts-recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_23052,00.html?rsrc=search for fruit dipping. Then, to top it off, Rachel Ray's Eggnog Bread Pudding. Here, I inform with the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_32458,00.html?rsrc=search
We had a great time in Chicago, packing many activities into four days and three nights. We had some transportation snafus, but nothing major and we were all safe. We visited the American Girl Place, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, The Field Museum (including paying extra to see the King Tut exhibit, which was a long wait to see each item, but worth it. The historical value was tremendous, especially for our girls who enjoyed it and learned a lot!) We also swam a number of times in our hotel pool, went to some good restaurants and shopped the Magnificent Mile. Then we came home, and tried to catch up on chores and shopping to be ready for the holiday.
I got the many cards, photos and letters out in time for Christmas, and have received many in return. It's nice to receive items from long lost friends, photos of children and catch up on busy lives.
I sold some items on ebay, made about fifty-three dollars and found it was a pain in the neck to try to get everything shipped out in time to head to Chicago. I did some great shopping via ebay, though, getting some original, and unusual gifts for family. I'm pretty sure I spent more than I made, however!
Also, our church voted on the addition of the second campus, as I mentioned in a previous post. About two hundred people showed up for the vote. Thirty-one voted against, and one abstained. The rest voted for the merger, which is an exciting adventure for our church! :) Our recommendation was challenged at some of the question and answer sessions, but upon hearing our explanations, things were more well received.
Well, off to partake in cooking with my dear husband. He's the real chef around here. :) I'm the baker, he's the chef/creator. :)
Happy Holidays, dear readers, and be safe this season.
Our youngest daughter, on a recent trip to the grocery, talked me into buying pomegranates. She'd tried one last year at school, remembered that she liked it (although that was all she remembered) and thought we should get some. Well, I researched just a bit about them (finding some info here: http://www.pomwonderful.com/national_how_to_open.html ) and we had them with our dinner tonight. I did find out that they are great for your immune system! Which is wonderful for me, the substitute teacher. Teachers are always around lots of germs, kids who don't wash hands a lot, leaving germs everywhere, but subs are exposed to infinitely more, possibly seeing many different children every week. So, these immune boosting seeds are a little blessing. Thankfully, I'm not a germaphobe and don't think of these germs too often, even declining to get a flu shot (risk taker? Nah, just knocking on wood right now... :)) Anyway, I didn't see anything about side effects from eating too many seeds...hmmm. :) I have also been shopping a bit on ebay, looking for hard to find items for stocking stuffers for parents and in-laws. It's been fun and I haven't gone too overboard. I did receive an item that one of them already had, so I'm trying my hand at selling on ebay...however interest in my item is low... I'm up to my ears in Christmas cards I still have to do; as you know if you've read the blog or know me, I like snail mail and often handwrite letters...well, you guessed it, I also handwrite all 100 Christmas cards. I also have about a third of my (our) shopping to do for the upcoming holiday, although all I've bought has been wrapped, thus far. You readers know I need to inform in my blog entries: so here is how to write a Christmas letter (although I don't usually do this...) http://www.mormonchic.com/crafty/christmas-letters.asp Or some other Christmas card info: http://www.abc.net.au/southqld/stories/s1518417.htm And how to wrap a present neatly: http://www.wikihow.com/Wrap-a-Present-Nicely and how to wrap a present uniquely: http://www.ehow.com/how_1699_wrap-present-unique.html Our first forum at church, a short presentation followed by question and answer session was Sunday night and we had a nice turnout. It was a bit nerve wracking at first, and I take it so personally, that I was steaming a few times, but it all worked itself out, with almost everyone leaving with a positive feeling. We have another of these forums this coming Saturday morning, an open house that afternoon and the final vote on Sunday eve.