Oprah has lots of favorite things and likes to talk about them regularly. Obviously I’m not famous but I thought I might share a few things over the next few weeks that I find invaluable.
Every year during the holiday season we attend many events with our families and church. All of these events include food and I inevitably take the same thing – peanut butter balls (also known as buckeyes but this Indiana girl REFUSES to call them that). I’ve made them since I was a little girl sneaking them from my grandma and they are still just as well loved now as they were then.
That being said, one of my favorite things is something that makes preparing the hundreds of candies I prepare each year just a little bit easier.
My KitchenAid mixer.
I’ve had this mixer since my family all decided to pitch in and get it for my birthday about 12 years ago. It was been well used and well loved. I’m able to whip up a double batch of the peanut butter filling in just a few minutes and just add the ingredients while the mixer does the work. Using a hand mixer would require a smaller batch and much more elbow grease to combine the thick filling. No thank you.
I’ve had many small appliances and gadgets that have worn out or lost their usefulness but my kitchen would be bare without this one.
I love to save money. But really, who doesn’t? One of my current favorite money savers are free e-books for my Kindle.
I can’t begin to imagine how many interpretations I have seen or read of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Heck, one of my November posts talked about watching Scrooged, which is one more retelling of this story.
Last year I watched Disney’s A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey for the first time. I enjoyed it thoroughly and highly recommend it but it’s definitely for slightly older kids than mine. It is quite frightening in some of the scenes but beautifully done. I was taken with the language and became curious as to the original story.
Given that A Christmas Carol is now public domain, I was able to download it for free on my Kindle (which I HIGHLY recommend!). The movie was so very much pulled from the book and I couldn’t get enough. I read it in just a few days, which wasn’t that difficult given how short it was.
It’s that time of year again so I decided to go back to this story. If you have the chance to read this before Christmas, I don’t think you’ll regret it. Not only is it a classic story but you can get it for free, and who doesn’t need something for free this time of year?
Here in the Indiana area we got hit with some ice and snow on Friday. Of course the kiddos were super excited about their snow day and getting to enjoy all the fabulousness that is playing in the first snow of the year. So thankful for their enthusiasm!
On a different note, I was also thankful for anti-lock brakes and the two new front tires I got in May. They made traveling in less than desirable conditions with precious cargo a little bit easier.
Gabe is having a Black Friday special on all of his books – only $0.99 each!!
This won’t last long so get it while you can!
Miss Livi had a little run in with a lamp today but she doesn’t seem to be any worse for the wear.
And pony band aids always make it better.
It has been almost a year since the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut ended with 28 people dead, including the gunman*, and many questions left unanswered.
I remember being at work and then at school when the details of the events began to be passed around. I remember talking about school safety and questioning the possible motives. I remember being overwhelmingly afraid while trying to finish the day as if the mom in me didn’t want to race to my son’s school to see that he was safe. I remember hugging my children extra tight that night and thanking God that they were safe in their beds when I couldn’t turn off my mind and got up multiple times to check on them.
School shootings are a terrible thing but this school shooting hit far too close to home. The faces of beautiful, bright and smiling 6 and 7-year-olds were shown and all I could see were the faces of my babies. One of the little girls shared my daughters name and my heart broke for all of their families.
Today reports were released as to the verification of only one shooter and, sadly, reminding us that the motives behind all of this will probably never be known. Many of the stories I read listed the victims of the shooting as 26, 20 children and 6 adults. I do understand this to some extent, these were the people that were killed in Sandy Hook Elementary.
What bothers me is that the shooter took the life of his mother before he made his way to Sandy Hook. She too was a victim and it bothers me that she is not included in many of the articles and reports. I have no idea what was going on in that house or why the gunman made the decisions that he made. I do know that as a mother, it bothers me that she is excluded so easily when she too was a victim.
I remember Sandy Hook and hope that when others also remember, that they include the shooter’s mother in the victim count, as he took 27 lives that day.
*I purposely chose not to list the gunman’s name here, as I don’t want that to be the focus of this post. I want it to be about the lives lost that day, the people that should be remembered.
While watching the original The Wizard of Oz this evening we were discussing why Dorothy was singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Gabe was trying to explain that Dorothy wanted an adventure instead of staying in her boring life.
Aiden responded with “and she wants it to be in color!” Laughs were had by all and we didn’t try to correct him. It was too sweet to set straight.
*I want to preface this post by making this statement. This is my space. I appreciate and welcome mature, honest feedback and conversation. I will not tolerate rudeness or name calling or profanity in my space. That is all.
I have wanted to say something for a while but I have kept my mouth shut for a long time about it. I usually keep my politics to myself and to people I’m close with. Today I can’t keep myself from saying this.
I am SICK of the state of politics in this country. I do not agree with the decisions our president is making and I think our country is only going to be harmed by them.
Above and beyond the decisions, I am sick of the lies. During campaigns we heard about how amazing the insurance for all would be. Now we have a website that we can’t use, people losing their insurance that were told would be able to keep their policies, and my family is no closer to insurance than we were before. People are told their insurance will be more expensive than ever and that they have to have coverage they will never use. Lies.
We also heard about troops coming home, getting out of countries we should have never been in, and yet yesterday the news came out that troops may remain in Afghanistan for another 10+ years. Lies on top of lies.
I want to hear from politicians that don’t want a career but want to see real change. I want to see people who care about the working poor that are trying to get by and not worried about securing yet another term. I am sick of the lies we are being fed and sick of the politics in this country. It’s shameful.
When it comes to blogging sometimes it’s hard to decide what to share and what not to, what topics to discuss and which ones should be shied away from.
Thus far on this blog I have kept my political views and opinions to myself. I have very strong opinions but was raised to know that the discussion of politics can be polarizing and I have no desire to offend in this space. Also, in the world of blogging it’s very easy to attract trolls and people who love nothing more than to disagree for the sake of disagreeing. While I know and respect that others do not see things the way I do, many people don’t have that same respect and things can quickly spiral into simple rudeness. That’s not something I really envision for this space.
All that being said, this is my space, my small piece of the Internet that I would like to be an honest place for me. To not share how I feel about something like politics and some of the things going on in the world today feels dishonest and unauthentic to who I am.
So, I haven’t made the decision 100% but I’m considering sharing my views and reactions to the world around me more. Decisions, decisions.
We have a few traditions in our house and one of them has to do with holidays/decorations. We don’t decorate for a season or holiday until the last one was over.
Christmas decorations have been in stores for WEEKS and I’m not even considering decorating yet. We usually try to put up our Christmas tree and get all the decorations out the weekend after Thanksgiving. By then the kids are losing it with excitement and I’m ready to spread Christmas cheer.
Our cable was out following the storms we had Sunday so we put in a movie. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation seemed like a logical choice and, quite frankly, we tend to watch that movie all year round.
Today at work while I had a quiet moment to think I suddenly realized I had a Christmas song in my head. Then it dawned on me that the music in the office had changed to Christmas music. Everyone seemed to be surprised it happened so early but I’m still relatively new there so it didn’t phase me.
Tonight, on the other hand, when it came time to cuddle up and pick out a movie, I thought Scrooged would be perfect.
I may avoid the Christmas creep when it comes to decorations but apparently I have no problem with Christmas movies. Go figure.