Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas
from my family
to yours!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cookie time!

I baked Soft Maple Sugar Cookies this morning!  They are delicious! You willl want to add these to your Christmas cookie collection.

Here’s the recipe, found in the  Better Homes and Gardens “Christmas Cookies” magazine.

Soft Maple Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter and shortening. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

Shape dough in to 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes (I did 12) or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes (they’re super soft right out of the oven!) Transfer to a wire rack; cool. (Centers will dip as cookies cool.) Drizzle with Maple Icing. Makes about 48 cookies.

Maple Icing

In a medium bowl, stir together 1/4 cup whipping cream or milk, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup. Whisk in 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar to make an icing of drizzling consistency.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Act of kindness and love

Jim and I were invited by our friends, Sally and  Ron, to go to Aruba.  They had been blessed with a week at a condo! We had a wonderful time being with them and away from the normal busyness of our lives. 

I knew we were coming home to Christmas time.  The tree needed to be bought and the house decorated. I was feeling the stress of all that needed to be done.  We were picked up at the airport by our daughter and son-in-law.  When we arrived home I walked through the door and had the most wonderful surprise.  There in the living room was
a pretty tree decorated so beautifully by Stacy, Shawna, Ashlynn, Austin and Travis.   The house was decorated and Christmas music was playing. 

 Jim and I were both so happy and felt so loved by our daughter's and their husbands!!!  They spent their Sunday afternoon doing this for US!

What an awesome gift of love! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thoughts on Christmas

I have shared the devotions A Heart to Hear by my friend Jennifer before.  I wanted to share the one she wrote today and pray that it blesses you as we begin the month of December.

Here we are, poised on the brink of the Advent season, like a roller coaster at the peak of the first hill. Now more than ever, we need to hear the Lord! Everywhere we turn, voices are shouting for our attention, our time, and our money. Pleas for giving to those in need compete with commercials touting the latest trends in toys. The desire to focus on simply celebrating the birth of Christ collides with a calendar that is suddenly covered with special events. Most stressful of all is trying to figure out what will bring joy to each and every person on our lists without causing a financial meltdown. Suddenly the joy of the season is wavering as we take up the burden of making Christmas wonderful for all the people we love. Does anybody besides me tremble a little at the daunting task of decorating, planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, baking, gift wrapping, gift giving, memory making, and don't forget photographing and scrapbooking the whole thing? Oy vey! in my quiet place, I'm coming to the Lord and I'm asking Him to make my mind new about Christmas. Ephesians 4:23 tells us to let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes. When it comes to preparing my heart for Christmas, that's exactly what I need Him to do. First on the agenda is dealing with the fear I feel over wanting to make everyone happy and being pretty sure I will fail. When I brought these fears to the Lord, He told me gently, yet firmly that He alone is responsible for each living soul. He said, "You can love, care and do what I allow you to do, but you will NEVER be able to make them happy or holy or whole. This is MY work. You are required to trust Me and stay out of My Way!"
There are many things I can give my family for Christmas, but happiness is not one of them. What I can give them is myself, at peace, simply loving them with no guilt, no stress, and no strings. I can give them freedom to be who God is making them to be. I can give them the gift of enjoying the imperfect instead of driving everyone crazy in my obsession to make everything flawless.

One more deep breath, and I think I'm ready to look forward to Christmas. My heart feels lighter, because I know now that my Abba Father has His own plans for this special season and He alone is able to make Christmas exactly what it needs to be for each one that I love.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

~~Jennifer Davis