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TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED CHALLENGE 7/1 THRU 12/30, 2013
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Twelve Days Of Christmas Challenge 12/12/12; Until Christmas Eve
Topic Started: Dec 12 2012, 05:37 AM (1,425 Views)
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This was Mike (The Lumberjack's) Challenge presented to us last year. It will now be an annual challenge.
"This is a challenge to simply come and post here as often as you can between December 12 and December 24. Naturally, the goal is to focus on diet for these days, but you may post that you've lost weight, gained weight, simple wishes of good luck to everyone, etc."

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

Now I know. From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism
The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit-Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

By Chell from MO

Day 1
The Greatest Christmas Gift
"This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ."
- Frank McKibben
The Greatest Christmas Gift
Each year we are reminded that Christmas should not be just about giving and receiving presents. But, if truly think about Christmas, it is, indeed, all about gift giving! At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift ever given, by the greatest gift-giver of all, our wonderful God and Father!

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I pray everyone has a most blessed Christmas.

My eating still not great, but not doing bad.
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I think last year I was disappointed in me. DH keeps on talking about a stock secular rally before Christmas Day. Will we, at GT, have one? :home:
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:morn:

I like the muppets version of the "12 Days Of Christmas" best. :)

So much of our holiday memories revolve around food. We have to be careful to practice moderation all year, but it is so challenging at this time of year. I've share about my memories of my mother's cookies. She baked dozens of different types and started making them in October. I still have her cookie cutters and baking pans but do not use the cookie cutters very often. I have fond memories of my mother, father and me decorating the cookies when I was growing up. After Fayrda and I married I carried on the traditions for a few years but as my back got worse it got more difficult. To me, no Christmas cookie tastes as good as my mother's did.

Cold and 32 degrees in WNY. We got a dusting of snow last night and it is staying. We are taking Russell's Smartcar and my Elantra to the dealer for service at 9:30 am today. We are paying for a remote starter to be installed into Russell's car and both will be getting their free quarterly oil-change and check up.

We are praying about selling the Elantra and I may try and talk to someone at the dealer today. Fayrda is not getting her workman's comp checks and her lawyer is fighting for that. The company wants to wait for a hearing to make any payment. The hearing will hopefully be before the end of this month. In the meantime our budget is getting quite tight. I know God will provide and make a way.

Have a blessed and wonderful Wednesday, friends. :)
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Interesting, Dave. Dick's Father was a baker all his life. I still have a few metal with wood handle (? is this what you have) cutters in my drawer which was given to me by him. I threw away the plastic cookie cutters I had when my oven died. I just checked and I have 6--one with the wooden handle. If you (for sentimental purposes like these) I will mail them to you.
I would like you to post daily the twelve days of Cookies if you can. Thanks!

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:noon:

Candy, do you mean post a different type of cookie my mother made?

If so, then we will start with the sugar cookies. She made at least 4 batches if not more. She made those into Santa faces, stars, trees, bells and angels. We would frost with a simple 10x sugar and milk mixture and then sprinkle on different color decorating sugars. The Santa faces were much more detailed, though. His hat and lips were red, the fur around his hat was white, and his beard and mustache were white icing and coconut. Sometimes my mother would mix up a batch of the simple icing with blue food coloring and dot each eye with that. All the cookies turned out so beautiful and tasted so good.

My mother's cookie cutters are a mixture of metal with wooden handles and plastic. Even the plastic ones are at least 50 years old, though. I think you should pass your cookie cutters down to the grandkids, Candy.

We have to take Russell's Smartcar back tomorrow. The guy that does the remote starters could not make it today and had no starters. The oil change was done using synthetic oil that only has to be changed once per year or every 7,500 miles. They serviced my Elantra as expected for no cost. I talked to a salesman and he quoted me a price to buy the Elantra that was not nearly as good as I had hoped. I will see what I could get online at a website like that Carmax.com.

Hoping you are all having a great 12-12-12! :)
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Oh, what wonderful memories with fun cookies, Dave. Thanks.
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Well, I don't celebrate christmas, but I always loved when my Grandma made xmas sugar cookies. They were always SO good. She doesn't bake any more. Though in her mind she still does all the cooking and baking.

And my Grandpap always had nuts at xmas time. The ones you had to open with a nutcracker. It was always fun to crack them open.
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Lenise, what do you mean you don't celebrate Christmas? Do you mean you don't exchange gifts?

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We don't exchange gifts. I don't believe that Christ was born then. But I think there is a lot of good that comes from people now. But it should be all the time. I do a lot more now regarding xmas than I used to. But for now this is where I am at in my walk.
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We will be celebrating in a quieter fashion that normal. We are having a family dinner with my family the Sunday before Christmas. Christmas day will probably be just me and Marty together at home. More about family and fellowship than gift giving. Gift giving will be at a minimum this year.
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We don't have the dinners, trims and exchanging of gifts between Dick and I, and I am sure the 25th is not Jesus' birthday, but I do celebrate by taking the opportunity to send cards with a Christ-bearing message. My daughters also send something for both of us, and I send gift cards. What a rough time I had as a single Mom providing the best Christmas memories available for them, yet it always was a wonderful season. My parents always saw to it that my brother and I had family celebrations, even though church was not involved.

Day 2

Laugh with Immanuel
"The implications of the name 'Immanuel' are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, because He has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems most bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know."
- Michael Card
Laugh with Immanuel Why do we turn to God so quickly in times of sorrow and struggle, in danger and fear, and forget Him in the times of joy and rejoicing? If God is the giver of joy and He is "God with us," then He must want to share in those moments of great joy--and even those times of silly laughter and fun.


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Cindy marie
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I don't believe that Jesus was born on Christmas either but I have always loved celebrating it anyway. When my children were young we did it all. Money was always tight so we made a lot of homemade gifts and goodies. I always waited till November to prune the shrubs and used the pine limbs to make swags for the windows and mailbox. I played carols on my antique pump organ (that was my great grandmother's) and we sang. We had old fashioned country style homemade Christmas at our house.
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I remember Christmases past where we hung stockings that my Great Grandma donated because they had runs in them. Just as Dick remembers, I remember them having fruits and nuts in them. One year I had--gasp--a lump of coal. To say we don't find a way to celebrate, whether meager or extravagant-we did, and we will until the end of time.
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:morn:

Well, whenever Christ was born this is the time of year that has been designated to celebrate. We should celebrate year round and show love all the time, of course.

Today I will talk of my mother's 'dark' cookie dough. It was a spice cookie with molasses, ginger and brown sugar. She used this dough to make the camels, reindeer and Scottie dogs. They were decorated like the sugar cookies, and sometimes my mother would put a cinnamon candy on the reindeer's noses to represent Rudolph.

Sunny and 30 degrees in WNY. Fayrda and Russell are doing much better after having breathing treatments at the doctor's office yesterday.

I have an offer from AutoTrader.com for my Elantra that is $2,000.00 more than the dealer offered me yesterday. I'm getting all the paper work together and will go back to the dealership later to talk to our regular salesman who was off yesterday. We want to give them one more chance to buy the car at a better price or we will take it to the other dealer that participates with AutoTrader.com. Russell cleaned out the Elantra for me just now and it is ready to sell. Not sure I am ready as it is the best car I have ever owned. We have to do this to stay afloat financially until Fayrda's workman's compensation claim is all settled.

Have a blessed and thankful Thursday, friends. :)
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Yummy cookies and I love the red on Rudolph's nose. Unfortunately, someone gave me home made fruitcake and I blew my sugar streak again! What a difference in offers, Dave.

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Hi all.

We decorated the cookie cutter cookies growing up too. I don't bake those. they are so time consuming.

I don't know if Jesus was born in December or not, but December is when it is designated, so we have always celebrated this.

Very chilly today. Have heat on off and on.

Not feeling up to par today. Legs really stiff and sore.

Have a blessed evening
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I have wracked my brains trying to remember if my Mom made cookies and I don't recall any. Dick remembers his Mom and Dad making cookies.

Day 3

Wonderful Impossibilities
"When God intends to make something wonderful he begins with a difficulty. When he intends to make something very wonderful, he begins with an impossibility."
- Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Coggan
Wonderful Impossibilities
The birth of Jesus was not just a difficulty, it was an impossiblity. Mary was a virgin. Only God could breath life into her womb. And just as God caused her to conceive the perfect sinless Savior--fully God, fully human--he can accomplish through you, those things that seem impossible in your life.
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Memory Lane
My Mother was all about cooking any time.
Christmas was always a special time in her kitchen.
Fruit Cakes, Pies, Cookies & Candies
On Christmas Eve we always had Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Pecan Pie.
Our Christmas Church service was on Christmas Eve Too.
We always went to Mother's side of the family for Christmas Lunch and Daddy's side of the family was always the Sunday before Christmas.
Daddy's side of the family was large and the meal was always wonderful. No paper plates. Me and a cousin always washed dishes till it was our time to eat, the last of three big tables and sub-tables.
The biggest best turkey, gravy and large pots of real mashed potatoes.
What a joy to be able to go back in time for a few minutes.
Thank you Lord for a loving family and precious memories.
My sister and I are making Christmas goodies with her Grandchildren next weekend.
Chocolate Candy, Peanut Butter Balls, Chocolate covered Peanut Butter and Crackers, Chocolate covered Pretzels. We are going to Walmart to get what we will need tonight.
No, I will not be eating any Sugar. I made it through last Christmas :sf: and I will do the same this year. PTL for making memories with her Grandchildren.
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:morn:

Sunny and 40 degrees in WNY.

Faye, you are such an inspiration.

We are leaving in a few minutes to do errands. I have to have fasting blood work done this morning for my doctor appointment on Monday. Then we are taking the Elantra to our dealer and selling it. Our regular salesman promised he would give us a good price. Then to the bank and insurance agent.

I will be back on later today to talk about another cookie that my mother made.

Have a blessed and fantastic Friday, friends. :)
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Thank you so much for sharing your fond memories with us, Faye. And for continuing the traditions passed down to you.
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:noon:

Our running around is finally done. We have been catching up on things we were unable to do while Fayrda was sick. We got a fair price for the Elantra and took care of all involved with that.

Another cookie my mother made a few times was a Polish cookie called chrusciki (krooscheekee), also called angel wings or butterfly cookies. The dough was made of flour, whole eggs and egg yolks, sugar, butter, milk and a shot of either rum or whiskey. The dough was then rolled out and cut into short strips. A small slit was made in each strip and half the strip was brought through the slit. They then looked like wings or bow ties. The cookies were fried (traditionally in lard) and then covered with powdered sugar. Fayrda and I made them one year but vowed never again as they are quite labor-intensive. Delicious cookies but very hard to make.

Here is a picture I found on the internet of Chrusciki:

Posted Image

Hope you are all having a great day. :)
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Man! It does sound like a lot of work and very fattening, but something to look forward to at Christmas.
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Over the years I have made pecan butter balls, potatoe chip cookies and candy. Haven't made anything this year. Probably won't.

Went to a friends house tonight for awhile. Played a card game and snacked.

Good Night and Sweet Dreams
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I always burned the bottom of cookies so did not attempt them or pass the tradition on. I guess it was because I wasn't taught the baker's secret.

Day 4
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing,
Returns to you glad.
- John Greenleaf Whittier
Make Room for More
We have heard people say, "You can't out-give God." Well, you can't out-give yourself either! You don't need to be wealthy to possess a giving heart. Give a smile, lend an ear, extend a hand. However you give, God's promise is tried and tested, and you'll see the blessings multiplied and returned back to you.
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Good morning. Federal review week is over. I have heard rumors there were problems but we won't get the results back for months. I am just relieved it is over and in time for the holidays. Marty is doing well. He is complaining his throat is sore and he has a cough (catching a cold?) but he is eating well so I'm not too worried. We have bought an indoor propane heater. It will run off the tanks for the gas grill. Marty is not able to cut and split firewood any more and the heater will be reserved for emergency power outages. We will go into town later to buy the things to hook it up. It is supposed to be warmer but rain here this weekend.
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It is so strange when I have had so many people tell me about the sore throat this week and slight cough this week.

Lovely morning here, Cindy, and each day we can drive on the road is astounding this time of year. :real:
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:morn:

Sunny and 29 degrees in WNY. We are having very nice, mild weather for December.

Today is Fayrda's mom's 88th birthday. We will be taking dinner to them around 2:00 pm today. We will go to a local supermarket and get their very good fish fries and a little bit of sushi. Fayrda's mom has always wanted to try it.

Today I'll talk about Welsh cookies, aka Welsh tea cakes. My dad is Welsh and my mother would make them for him at Christmas time and other times during the year. They are a dough made with currents or raisins, rolled and cut into rounds and then fried on a griddle on top of the stove. Definitely delicious with a cup of tea or coffee.

Have a blessed and super Saturday, friends. :)
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Cookies sound great and I am astounded you can remember these with background added, Dave. Happy birthday to Fayrda's mom even if she doesn't like Sushi. I have not and will not try it.
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I've always loved that revelation about the 12 Days of Christmas! :) Went to see A Christmas Carol last night... although it wasn't my favorite rendition, I did enjoy it, and most especially, the snow falling outside the theatre just as we departed. It made the moment that much more magical as the cast stood there caroling us as we left. And as I stepped away, the magic was revealed by the presence of a snow machine on top of the building. What can I say? we Arizonans do what we can to get the spirit. ;)

I haven't had too many Christmas treat temptations -- yet. Joining in the Challenge here, too. My focus is on food choices (of course) but more importantly for me: regular mealtimes, exercise and sleep. Have a great weekend, all!
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You had me going there on the snow comment knowing you are from AZ. Mystery solved, Grace!
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Day 5
Not Alone at All
"I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses."
- Taylor Caldwell
Not Alone at All
When you feel the most alone, it may be the very moment when you are truly least alone at all. God is there in your darkest night and coldest wind. He may be so close you cannot see him, but he is there. And perhaps he has chosen this moment to pull you closer to him than you have ever been before.
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:morn:

Currently 44 degrees going up to the 50's in WNY today with light rain.

Fayrda, Russell and I are planning to attend the 10:30 am service at the Alliance church this morning. After church we are planning to shop for my dad's supplies, pick him up and take him up to Lockport which is about an hour drive. We'll have a late lunch/early supper at a restaurant we like there and enjoy the ride.

Today I am remembering a cookie my mother made a few times called a "Hello Dolly". This is a bar cookie with a cookie base and coconut and chocolate chip topping.

"Father, we worship You and thank You for the unspeakable gift of Your only Son, Jesus. Bless us today with the Joy of Your presence, and may we know Your peace. Guide us with Your wisdom today, Lord, and help us to honor You in all we do. In Jesus name, amen."

Have a blessed and sanctified Son-day, friends. :)

:worthy: :glory: :lord: :roses:
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Thank you for the prayer, Dave. What a delightful name for a cookie!
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Candy, I always used to burn the bottoms of the cookies too. But quite a few years back when I ought stoneware cookie sheets I found that my cookies no longer burned!! Never burned them when i used to make dozens and dozens of cookies every week at camp. Don't know what the difference was there. lol
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A very long day at work... never expected overtime on a Sunday, of all days! So after 7 hrs of sleep and 10 hrs at work, I'm exhausted. Had a very good day with food choices... was wanting to reward myself for that, and also because it's Sunday when I usually allow myself a nice dessert but actually, I'm not hungry enough so think I'll just turn in without one.

Love that name of that bar cookie, too!
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Good tip, Lenise.

Grace, any chance of a Christmas bonus this year?

Day 6
Come as a Child
"There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child."
- Erma Bombeck
Come as a Child Is there anything more exciting than being a child on Christmas morning? And yet this is what God asks of us each day, to change and become like little children. Not just on Christmas, but each day approaching God the Father as a child, with excited anticipation of his goodness, humbly trusting him that every need will be met and every care will be taken care of.
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:morn:

My mother's baking sheets are stainless steel, I think. They are very shiny and have a very slight lip up on 3 sides and the fourth side has no lip at all. Nothing every sticks to them and they are probably older than I am.

Today we'll talk about my mother's Pineapple Cuts. She made a dough like sweet pie dough, rolled it out and put the bottom in a baking pan that did have short sides all around. Then she made a filling with canned crush pinapple and put that in. Then a top crust went over that and she baked it. When it was cool she frosted it with simple icing and cut it into squares. Very unique and good.

I can't believe I am remembering all these cookies. I think I can even go the whole twelve days as I'm remembering several more types she made.

I thank God for His unspeakable gift - Jesus! :)
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I bet since the pans are old that they are made much better and durable than ones made now.

The pineapple cookies sound good. I love pineapple.
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Truthfully, Dave, I am amazed that you can recall these. If you make the 12 days, I will never call you senile! :laugh:

Day 7

Christmas Candle
A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small.
- Eva K. Logue
A Christmas Candle
We are like candles that hold a flame, burning strong and bright the light of Christ. We softly give ourselves away, worshiping him and serving him, that we might become less and less, and that he might become greater and brighter through us.
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:morn:

Today I am remembering my mother making Mexican Wedding Cakes. These were a dough with spices and chopped nuts rolled into balls and baked. Then they are rolled in powdered sugar. I remember as a young child loving to lick all the powdered sugar off the cookie and then eating it.

One week from today is Christmas day! :)
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When I was a child we had one of those "aluminum" Christmas trees. We hated it! My mother loved it because it was "modern" and she thought it was pretty. It had one of those electric lights that shined on it since you were not supposed to put electric lights on the metal tree. The light changed colors.
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We had an aluminum tree when I was eight and nine years old. The light was called a "color wheel" and the colors rotated in front of a spot light making the tree appear different colors. The aluminum tree had "pom-poms" on the ends of the branches.

I hated the aluminum tree, too, Cindy marie.

Then my parents got a 7 foot tall plastic white tree and put blue lights and blue ornaments on that for a few years. It was nice, but not a true Christmas tree in my opinion. When I was a teenager we finally started going for live trees and putting those up. Those were my favorite. I still have the scar on my left hand from trying to pare down the stem of a tree to fit into the stand and the knife slipping.

Loving all the Christmas memories we are sharing here.
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I love today's Garfield...

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I'm very pleased to be back to my pre-trip (mgr's conference in CA earlier this month) weight this morning. I had gained 4+ lbs in 3 days. Of course, I still haven't been tempted with any Christmas goodies other than one of the cupcakes my daughter made the other night. She took the rest of the batch to a Christmas party my other daughter was giving that night. It did my heart good that all 4 of my kids were there together; I love knowing that 'grown as they are', they include one another and enjoy each other's company. :wub: Proud mama!

The talk of Christmas trees recalled a memory. We always had a real tree when I was growing up but in my early teens my parents were separated for a time, and my mother got a cheap (maybe used) artificial tree. My brother and I were very disenchanted with it, and so on Christmas Eve he (being about 12 yrs old) went up to the Boy Scout tree lot to find one. It was getting dark and they were closing up for the season, and (taking pity, I s'pose) gave him one at no charge. He dragged it home behind his bike, and we totally dismantled the artificial tree on our own and re-decorated the real one. :bam:

This year, we don't have one at all... space being our issue. However, I called my son the other day and asked if he could at least put up outdoor lights for us. When I arrived home yesterday afternoon, he, my daughter and her boyfriend had just finished the display. We celebrated the moment with a few pizzas and as soon as it was sufficiently dark went out to admire it. I'm fairly certain we have more lights than anyone else in this complex, lol. :but: We used to have them on a 2-story home. ;)
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What lovely and fond celebration memories. Dave hasn't run out of cookie memories! Always did have a real Christmas tree. Dick and I haven't had one here because of the woodburner.
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After the aluminum tree my parents bought an artificial tree that looked like a real tree. My dad was a volunteer fireman and wouldn't have a live tree in our home because of the fire danger. I always had an artificial tree too though I love the smell of a real one.
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There is only one thing that smells as good as a fresh Christmas tree and that is a freshly mowed lawn.

Day 8
Pleasing in Your Sight
So remember while December
Brings the only Christmas day,
In the year let there be Christmas
In the things you do and say.
- Anonymous
Pleasing in Your Sight
The words we speak are reflections of our thoughts and meditations. These God-pleasing thoughts and words become pleasing in his sight because they will motivate us to Christ-like actions--actions that are seen and not just heard. Are your thoughts and words pleasing to the Lord every day and not just at Christmas or on Sunday mornings? Do you keep the spirit of Christmas alive in your heart all throughout the year?

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:morn:

Partly cloudy and 35 degrees in WNY heading up near 40.

I have a 10:30 am chiro appointment and we have errands to run this morning. May get some mall walking in.

Today I am remembering the 'spritzer' cookies my mother would make. This is dough put into a tube with a handle and different discs with shapes on the other end. Push the trigger while holding the thing over a baking pan and different shaped cookies are formed. She made Christmas trees and stars. I have that spritzer cookie kit somewhere also.

Have a blessed and wonderful Wednesday, friends. :)
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Oh my, Dave. I do remember the Spritzer that I had bought and tossed away. This is so much fun. I had so much wanted to bake cookies with my kids and it just, despite attempts, didn't work out. Others though would send us some. Nothing tastes better than someone bringing homemade cookies to devour at your house.
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